1The events related happened in the consulship of Iullus Antonius and Fabius Maximus. In the following year Drusus became consul with Titus Crispinus, and omens occurred that were anything but favourable to him. Many buildings were destroyed by storm and by thunderbolts, among them many temples; even that of Jupiter Capitolinus and the gods worshipped with him was injured. 2Drusus, however, paid no heed to any of these things, but invaded the country of the Chatti and advanced as far as that of the Suebi, conquering with difficulty the territory traversed and defeating the forces that attacked him only after considerable bloodshed. From there he proceeded to the country of the Cherusci, and crossing the Visurgis, advanced as far as the Albis, pillaging everything on his way. 3The Albis rises in the Vandalic Mountains, and empties, a mighty river, into the northern ocean. Drusus undertook to cross this river, but failing in the attempt, set up trophies and withdrew. For a woman of superhuman size met him and said: “Whither, pray, art thou hastening, insatiable Drusus? It is not fated that thou shalt look upon all these lands. But depart; for the end alike of thy labours and of thy life is already at hand.” 4It is indeed marvellous that such a voice should have come to any man from the Deity, yet I cannot discredit the tale; for Drusus immediately departed, and as he was returning in haste, died on the way of some disease before reaching the Rhine. 5And I find confirmation of the story in these incidents: wolves were prowling about the camp and howling just before his death; two youths were seen riding through the midst of the camp; a sound as of women lamenting was heard; and there were shooting stars in the sky. So much for these events.
2Augustus, upon learning of Drusus’ illness before it was far advanced (for he was not far off), had sent Tiberius to him in haste. Tiberius found him still breathing, and on his death carried the body to Rome, causing the centurions and military tribunes to carry it over the first stage of the journey,—as far as the winter quarters of the army,—and after that the foremost men of each city. 2When the body had been laid in state in the Forum, two funeral orations were delivered: Tiberius pronounced a eulogy there in the Forum, and Augustus pronounced one in the Circus Flaminius. The emperor, of course, had been away on a campaign, and it was not lawful for him to omit the customary rites in honour of his exploits at the time of his entrance inside the pomerium. 3The body was borne to the Campus Martius by the knights, both those who belonged strictly to the equestrian order and those who were of senatorial family; then it was given to the flames and the ashes were deposited in the sepulchre of Augustus. Drusus, together with his sons, received the title of Germanicus, and he was given the further honours of statues, an arch, and a cenotaph on the bank of the Rhine itself.
4Tiberius, while Drusus was yet alive, had overcome the Dalmatians and Pannonians, who had once more begun a rebellion, and he had celebrated the equestrian triumph, and had feasted the people, some on the Capitol and the rest in many other places. At the same time Livia, also, with Julia, had given a dinner to the women. 5And the same festivities were being prepared for Drusus; even the Feriae were to be held a second time on his account, so that he might celebrate his triumph on that occasion. But his untimely death upset these plans. To Livia statues were voted by way of consoling her and she was enrolled among the mothers of three children. 6For in certain cases, formerly by act of the senate, but now by the emperor’s, the law bestows the privileges which belong to the parents of three children upon men or women to whom Heaven has not granted that number of children. In this way they are not subject to the penalties imposed for childlessness and may receive all but a few of the rewards offered for large families; 7and not only men but gods also may enjoy these rewards, the object being that, if any one leaves them a bequest at his death, they may receive it.
3So much for this matter. As to Augustus, he ordered that the sittings of the senate should be held on fixed days. Previously, it appears, there had been no precise regulation concerning them and it often happened that members failed to attend; he accordingly appointed two regular meetings for each month, so that they were under compulsion to attend,—at least those of them whom the law summoned,— 2and in order that they might have no other excuse for being absent, he commanded that no court or other meeting which required their attendance should be held at that time. He also fixed by law the number of senators necessary for passing decrees, according to the several kinds of decrees,—to state only the chief points of the matter; and he increased the fines of those who without good excuse stayed away from the sessions. 3And since many such offences had regularly gone unpunished owing to the large number of those who were liable to punishment, he commanded that if many were guilty, they should draw lots and one out of every five, according as the lot should fall, should incur the fine. He had the names of all the senators entered on a tablet and posted; and this practice, originating with him, is still observed each year. 4Such were the measures he took to compel the attendance of the senators; but if on any occasion, as the result of some accident, fewer assembled than the occasion demanded,—and it should be explained that at every session, except when the emperor himself was present, the number of those in attendance was accurately counted, both at that time and later, for practically every matter of business,—the senators would proceed with their deliberations and their decision would be recorded, though it would not go into effect as if regularly passed, but instead, their action was what was termed auctoritas, the purpose of which was to make known their will. 5For such is the general force of this word; to translate it into Greek by a term that will always be applicable is impossible. This same custom prevailed in case they ever assembled in haste at any but the usual place, or on any but the appointed day, or without a legal summons, or if by reason of the opposition of some of the tribunes a decree could not be passed and yet they were unwilling that their opinion should remain unknown;afterwards the resolution would be ratified according to established precedent and would receive the name of a decree. 6This method, strictly followed for a long period by the men of old time, has in a way already become null and void, as has also the special privilege of the praetors. For they, becoming indignant that they could bring no proposal before the senate, though they outranked the tribunes, received from Augustus the right to do so, but in the course of time were deprived of it.
4These and the other laws which Augustus enacted at this time he had inscribed on tablets and posted in the senate before bringing them up for consideration, and he allowed the senators to enter the chamber in groups of two and read them, so that if any provision did not please them, or if they could advise anything better, they might speak. 2He was very desirous indeed of being democratic, as one or two incidents will illustrate. Once, when one of those who had campaigned with him asked him for his assistance as advocate, though he at first pretended to be busy and bade one of his friends speak in the man’s behalf, yet when the petitioner became angry and said, “But I, whenever you had need of my assistance, did not send some one else to you in place of myself, but personally encountered dangers everywhere in your behalf,” the emperor then entered the court-room and pleaded his friend’s cause. 3He also stood by a friend who was defendant in a suit, after having first communicated his purpose to the senate; and he saved his friend, but was so far from being angry with the friend’s accuser, though this man had indulged in the utmost frankness in his speech, that later on, when the same man appeared before him, as censor, for a scrutiny of his morals, the emperor acquitted him, saying openly that the other’s frankness was necessary for the Romans on account of the baseness of the majority of them. 4However, he punished others who were reported to be conspiring against him. He also caused quaestors to serve along the coast near the city and in certain other parts of Italy; and this practice was followed for many years.
At the time in question he was unwilling, as I have stated, to enter the city because of Drusus’ death; 5but the next year, when Asinius Gallus and Gaius Marcius were consuls, he made his formal return and carried the laurel, contrary to custom, into the temple of Jupiter Feretrius. 2He himself did not celebrate any festival in honour of the achievements mentioned, feeling that he had lost far more in the death of Drusus than he had gained in his victories; but the consuls performed the ceremonies usual on such occasions, among other things exhibiting combats between some of the captives. 3And later, when both they and the rest of the officials were accused of having secured their election by bribery, Augustus failed to investigate the matter, and furthermore pretended not even to know of it at all; for he was unwilling either to punish any of them or yet to pardon them if they were convicted. In the case of candidates for office, however, he demanded of them in advance of the elections a deposit of money on the understanding that they should forfeit this money in case they resorted to any illegal methods. 4This action of his was approved by all; but it was otherwise with another of his laws. As it was not permitted that a slave should be tortured for evidence against his master, he ordered that, as often as the necessity for such a course should arise, the slave should be sold either to the state or to him, in order that, being now no longer the property of the defendant, he might be examined. Some found fault with this, on the ground that the change of masters would in effect nullify the law; but others declared it to be necessary, because many were taking advantage of the old arrangement and conspiring against both the emperor himself and the magistrates.
6After this, now that his second period of ten years had expired, Augustus once more accepted the supreme power,—though with a show of reluctance,—in spite of his oft-expressed desire to lay it down; and he made a campaign against the Germans. He himself remained behind in Roman territory, while Tiberius crossed the Rhine. 2Accordingly all the barbarians except the Sugambri, through fear of them, made overtures of peace; but they gained nothing either at this time,—for Augustus refused to conclude a truce with them without the Sugambri,—or, indeed, later. To be sure, the Sugambri also sent envoys, 3but so far were they from accomplishing anything that all these envoys, who were both many and distinguished, perished into the bargain. For Augustus arrested them and placed them in various cities; and they, being greatly distressed at this, took their own lives. The Sugambri were thereupon quiet for a time, but later they amply requited the Romans for their calamity. 4Besides doing this, Augustus granted money to the soldiers, not as to victors, though he himself had taken the title of imperator and had also conferred it upon Tiberius, but because then for the first time they had Gaius taking part with them in their exercises. 5So he advanced Tiberius to the position of commander in place of Drusus, and besides distinguishing him with the title of imperator, appointed him consul once more, and in accordance with the ancient practice caused him to post up a proclamation before entering upon the office. He also accorded him the distinction of a triumph; 6for he did not wish to celebrate one himself, though he accepted the privilege of having his birthday permanently commemorated by Circensian games. He enlarged the pomerium and changed the name of the month called Sextilis to August. 7The people generally wanted September to be so named, because he had been born in that month; but he preferred the other month in which he had first been elected consul and had won many great battles.
7All these things filled him with pride; but he was grieved at the death of Maecenas. He had received many benefits at his hands, for which reason he had entrusted him, though but a knight, with the oversight of the city for a long period; but he had found him of especial service on occasions when his own temper was more or less uncontrollable. For Maecenas would always banish his anger and bring him to a gentler frame of mind. 2Here is an instance. Maecenas once came upon him as he was holding court, and seeing that he was on the point of condemning many people to death, he attempted to push his way through the bystanders and get near him. When he was unable to do this, he wrote on a tablet, “Pray rise at last, executioner!” Then he threw the tablet into the lap of Augustus, as if it contained some indifferent matter, and the emperor imposed no death sentences, but arose and departed. 3Indeed, he not only was not displeased at such liberties, but was actually glad of them, because whenever he was led into unseemly outbursts of passion by his natural disposition or by the stress of his affairs, these were corrected by the frank speech of his friends. 4This also was a supreme proof of Maecenas’ excellence, that he not only made himself liked by Augustus, in spite of resisting his impulsiveness, but also pleased everybody else, and though he had the greatest influence with the emperor, so that he bestowed offices and honours upon many men, yet he did not lose his poise, but was content to remain in the equestrian order to the end of his life. 5Not only for these reasons, then, did Augustus regret his loss exceedingly, but also because Maecenas, although vexed at the emperor’s relations with his wife, had left him as his heir and had empowered him to dispose of all his property, with very few reservations, in case he wished to make gifts to any of his friends or otherwise. Such was the character of Maecenas and such was his treatment of Augustus. 6He was the first to construct a swimming-pool of warm water in the city, and also the first to devise a system of symbols to give speed in writing, and he used Aquila, a freedman, to train a considerable number in the system.
8Tiberius on the first day of the year in which he was consul with Gnaeus Piso convened the senate in the Curia Octaviae, because it was outside the pomerium. 2After assigning to himself the duty of repairing the temple of Concord, in order that he might inscribe upon it his own name and that of Drusus, he celebrated his triumph, and in company with his mother dedicated the precinct called the precinct of Livia. He gave a banquet to the senate on the Capitol, and she gave one on her own account to the women somewhere or other. 3A little later, when there was some disturbance in the province of Germany, he took the field. The festival held in honour of the return of Augustus was directed by Gaius, in place of Tiberius, with the assistance of Piso. The Campus Agrippae and the Diribitorium were made public property by Augustus himself. 4The Diribitorium was the largest building under a single roof ever constructed; indeed, now that the whole covering has been destroyed, the edifice is wide open to the sky, since it could not be put together again. Agrippa had left it still in process of construction, and it was completed at this time. The portico in the Campus, however, which was being built by Polla, Agrippa’s sister, who also adorned the race-courses, was not yet finished. 5Meanwhile the funeral combats in honour of Agrippa were given, all except Augustus putting on black clothing and even Agrippa’s sons doing the same. There were not only combats between single champions but also between groups of equal numbers on either side; and they were held in the Saepta both as an honour to Agrippa and because many of the structures around the Forum had been burned. 6The blame for the fire was laid upon the debtor class, who were suspected of having contrived it on purpose, in order that they might have some of their debts remitted when they appeared to have lost heavily. They, for their part, however, gained nothing from the fire; but the streets were put in charge of supervisors, chosen from the people, whom we call street commissioners. 7These men were allowed to use the official dress and two lictors, but only in the regions under their administration and on certain days, and they were given control over the force of slaves which had previously been associated with the aediles to save buildings that caught fire. The aediles, however, together with the tribunes and praetors, were still assigned by lot to have charge of the whole city, which was divided into fourteen wards. This is also the present arrangement.
9These were all events of that year, for nothing worthy of mention happened in Germany. The next year, in which Gaius Antistius and Laelius Balbus were consuls, Augustus was vexed when he saw that Gaius and Lucius were by no means inclined of their own choice to emulate his own conduct, as became young men who were being reared as members of the imperial house. They not only indulged in too great luxury in their lives, but were also inclined to insolence; for example, Lucius on one occasion entered the theatre unattended. 2They were being flattered by everybody in the city, sometimes sincerely and sometimes to curry favour, and consequently were being spoiled more and more. Among other things of this sort, the people had elected Gaius consul before he was as yet of military age. All this, as I have said, vexed Augustus, and he even prayed that no compelling circumstances might arise, as had once occurred in his own case, such as to require that a man less than twenty years old should become consul. 3When even so the people insisted, he then said that one ought not to receive the office until one was able not only to avoid error oneself but also to resist the ardent impulses of the populace. 4After that he gave Gaius a priesthood and also the right to attend the meetings of the senate and to behold spectacles and be present at banquets with that body. And wishing in some way to bring Gaius and Lucius to their senses still more sharply, he bestowed upon Tiberius the tribunician power for five years, and assigned to him Armenia, which was becoming estranged since the death of Tigranes. 5The result was that he needlessly offended not only his grandsons but Tiberius as well; for the former felt they had been slighted, and Tiberius feared their anger. At any rate he was sent to Rhodes on the pretext that he needed incidentally a bit of instruction; and he did not even take his entire retinue, to say nothing of friends, the object being that Gaius and Lucius should be relieved both of the sight of him and of his doings. 6He made the journey as a private citizen, though he exercised his authority by compelling the Parians to sell him the statue of Vesta, in order that it might be placed in the temple of Concord; and when he reached Rhodes, he refrained from haughty conduct in both word and deed. 7This is the truest explanation of his journey abroad, though there is also a story that he took this course on account of his wife Julia, because he could no longer endure her; at any rate, she was left behind in Rome. Others said that he was angry at not having been designated as Caesar, and yet others that he was expelled by Augustus himself, on the ground that he was plotting against Augustus’ sons. 8But that his departure was not for the sake of instruction nor because he was displeased at the decrees passed, became plain from many of his subsequent actions, and particularly by his opening his will immediately at that time and reading it to his mother and Augustus. But all possible conjectures were made.
9The following year Augustus in the course of his twelfth consulship placed Gaius among the youths of military age, and at the same time introduced him into the senate, declared him princeps iuventutis, and permitted him to become commander of a division of cavalry.
10And after the lapse of a year Lucius also obtained all the honours that had been granted to his brother Gaius. On one occasion, when the people had gathered together and were asking that certain reforms be instituted and had sent the tribunes to Augustus for this purpose, the emperor came and consulted with them about their demands; and at this all were pleased.
10Augustus limited the number of people to be supplied with grain, a number not previously fixed, to two hundred thousand; and, as some say, he distributed a largess of sixty denarii to each man.
2. . . to Mars, and that he himself and his grandsons should go there as often as they wished, while those who were passing from the class of boys and were being enrolled among the youths of military age should invariably do so; that those who were sent out to commands abroad should make that their starting-point; 3that the senate should take its votes there in regard to the granting of triumphs, and that the victors after celebrating them should dedicate to this Mars their sceptre and their crown; that such victors and all others who received triumphal honours should have their statues in bronze erected in the Forum; 4that in case military standards captured by the enemy were ever recovered they should be placed in the temple; that a festival should be celebrated beside the steps of the temple by the cavalry commanders of each year; that a nail should be driven into it by the censors at the close of their terms; 5and that even senators should have the right of contracting to supply the horses that were to compete in the Circensian games, and also to take general charge of the temple, just as had been provided by law in the case of the temples of Apollo and of Jupiter Capitolinus.
6These matters settled, Augustus dedicated this temple of Mars, although he had granted to Gaius and Lucius once for all the right to consecrate all such buildings by virtue of a kind of consular authority that they exercised in the time-honoured manner. And they did, in fact, have the management of the Circensian games on this occasion, while their brother Agrippa took part along with the boys of the first families in the equestrian exercise called “Troy.” 7Two hundred and sixty lions were slaughtered in the Circus. There was a gladiatorial combat in the Saepta, and a naval battle between the “Persians” and the “Athenians” was given on the spot where even to -day some relics of it are still pointed out. 8These, it will be understood, were the names given to the contestants; and the “Athenians” prevailed as of old. Afterwards water was let into the Circus Flaminius and thirty-six crocodiles were there slaughtered. Augustus, however, did not serve as consul during all these days, but after holding office for a short time, gave the title of the consulship to another.
9These were the celebrations in honour of Mars. To Augustus himself a sacred contest was voted in Neapolis, the Campanian city, nominally because he had restored it when it was prostrated by earthquake and fire, but in reality because its inhabitants, alone of the Campanians, tried in a manner to imitate the customs of the Greeks. 10He also was given the strict right to the title of “Father”; for hitherto he had merely been addressed by that title without the formality of a decree. Moreover, he now for the first time appointed two prefects over the Praetorians, Quintus Ostorius Scapula and Publius Salvius Aper,—for I, too, apply this name “prefect” solely to them, of all who exercise a similar office, inasmuch as it has won its way into general use. 11Pylades, the dancer, gave a festival, though he did not perform any of the work himself, since he was very old, but merely wore the insignia of office and provided the cost of the entertainment; and the praetor Quintus Crispinus also gave one. I mention this only because it was on this occasion that knights and women of distinction were brought upon the stage. 12Of this, however, Augustus took no account; but when he at length discovered that his daughter Julia was so dissolute in her conduct as actually to take part in revels and drinking bouts at night in the Forum and on the very rostra, he became exceedingly angry. 13He had surmised even before this time that she was not leading a straight life, but refused to believe it. For those who hold positions of command, it appears, are acquainted with everything else better than with their own affairs; and although their own deeds do not escape the knowledge of their associates, they have no precise information regarding what their associates do. 14In the present instance, when Augustus learned what was going on, he gave way to a rage so violent that he could not keep the matter to himself, but went so far as to communicate it to the senate. As a result Julia was banished to the island of Pandateria, lying off Campania, and her mother Scribonia voluntarily accompanied her. 15Of the men who had enjoyed her favours, Iullus Antonius, on the ground that his conduct had been prompted by designs upon the monarchy, was put to death along with other prominent persons, while the remainder were banished to islands. And since there was a tribune among them, he was not tried until he had completed his term of office. 16As a result of this affair many other women, too, were accused of similar behaviour, but the emperor would not entertain all the suits; instead, he set a definite date as a limit and forbade all prying into what had occurred previous to that time. For although in the case of his daughter he would show no mercy, remarking that he would rather have been Phoebe’s father than hers, he nevertheless was disposed to spare the rest. This Phoebe had been a freedwoman of Julia’s and her accomplice, and had voluntarily taken her own life before she could be punished. It was for this that Augustus praised her.
17Gaius assumed command of the legions on the Ister with peaceful intent. Indeed, he fought no war, not because no war broke out, but because he was learning to rule in quiet and safety, while the dangerous undertakings were regularly assigned to others.
18When the Armenians revolted and the Parthians joined with them, Augustus was distressed and at a loss what to do. For he himself was not fit for campaigning by reason of age, while Tiberius, as has been stated, had already withdrawn, and he did not dare send any other influential man; as for Gaius and Lucius, they were young and inexperienced in affairs. Nevertheless, under the stress of necessity, he chose Gaius, gave him the proconsular authority and a wife,—in order that he might also have the increased dignity that attached to a married man,—and appointed advisers to him. 19Gaius accordingly set out and was everywhere received with marks of distinction, as befitted one who was the emperor’s grandson and was even looked upon as his son. Even Tiberius went to Chios and paid court to him, thus endeavouring to clear himself of suspicion; indeed, he humiliated himself and grovelled at the feet, not only of Gaius, but also of all the associates of Gaius. And Gaius, after going to Syria and meeting with no great success, was wounded.
20When the barbarians heard of Gaius’ expedition, Phrataces sent men to Augustus to explain what had occurred and to demand the return of his brothers on condition of his accepting peace. The emperor sent him a letter in reply, addressed simply to “Phrataces,” without the appellation of “king,” in which he directed him to lay aside the royal name and to withdraw from Armenia. Thereupon the Parthian, so far from being cowed, wrote back in a generally haughty tone, styling himself “King of Kings” and addressing Augustus simply as “Caesar.” Tigranes did not at once send any envoys, but when Artabazus somewhat later fell ill and died, he sent gifts to Augustus, in view of the fact that his rival had been removed, 21and though he did not mention the name “king” in his letter, he really did petition Augustus for the kingship. Influenced by these considerations and at the same time fearing the war with the Parthians, the emperor accepted the gifts and bade him go with good hopes to Gaius in Syria.
11Tiberius, it seems, was extremely well versed in the art of divination by means of the stars, and had with him Thrasyllus, who was a past-master of all astrology, so that he had full and accurate knowledge of what fate had in store both for him and for Gaius and Lucius. 2And the story goes that once in Rhodes he was about to push Thrasyllus from the walls, because he was the only one who shared all his own thoughts; but he did not carry out his intention when he observed that Thrasyllus was gloomy,—not, indeed, because of his gloom, but because, when asked why his countenance was overcast, the other replied that he had a premonition that some peril was in store for him. This answer made Tiberius marvel that he could foresee the mere project of the plot, and so he conceived the desire to keep Thrasyllus for his own purposes because of the hopes he entertained.
3Thrasyllus had so clear a knowledge of all matters that when he descried, approaching afar off, the ship which was bringing to Tiberius the message from his mother and Augustus to return to Rome, he told him in advance what news it would bring.
12The bodies of Lucius and Gaius were brought to Rome by the military tribunes and by the chief men of each city. And the golden targes and spears which they had received from the knights on entering the class of youths of military age were set up in the senate-house.
2When Augustus was once called “master” by the people, he not only forbade that any one should use this form of address to him, but also took very good care to enforce his command. 3And now that his third ten-year period was completed, he accepted the leadership for the fourth time, though ostensibly under compulsion. He had become milder through age and more reluctant to incur the hatred of any of the senators, and hence now wished to offend none of them.
4Once, when a fire destroyed the palace and many persons offered him large sums of money, he accepted nothing but an aureus from entire communities and a denarius from single individuals. I here use the name aureus, according to the Roman practice, for the coin worth one hundred sesterces. 5Some of the Greeks, also, whose books we read with the object of acquiring a pure Attic style, have given it this name.
Among the Greeks, Dio says, the aureus is exchanged for twenty drachmas.
When Augustus had built his house, he made it all state property, either on account of the contributions made by the people or because he was high priest and wished to live in apartments that were at once private and public.
13The people urged Augustus very strongly to restore his daughter from exile, but he answered that fire should sooner mix with water than she should be restored. And the people threw many firebrands into the Tiber; and though at the time they accomplished nothing, yet later on they brought such pressure to bear that she was at least brought from the island to the mainland.
2Yet suspecting that he also would lose his poise somehow or other, and fearing that he would begin a rebellion, he made him adopt his nephew Germanicus, though Tiberius had a son of his own. 3After this he took courage, feeling that he had successors and supporters, and he desired to reorganize the senate once more. So he nominated the ten senators whom he most highly honoured and appointed three of them, selected by lot, to examine the qualifications of senators. There were not many, however, who were affected, either by declaring themselves disqualified when permission was given them to do so, as had been done on the previous occasion, or by having their names erased against their will.
4Now Augustus caused others to carry through this business for him; but he himself took a census, but only of the inhabitants of Italy who possessed property worth at least two hundred thousand sesterces, for he did not compel the poorer citizens or those living outside of Italy to be listed, fearing lest, if they were disturbed, they would become rebellious. 5And in order that he might not appear to be acting herein in the capacity of censor, for the reason I mentioned before, he assumed the proconsular power for the purpose of completing the census and performing the purification. 6Inasmuch, moreover, as many of the young men of the senatorial class and of the knights as well were poor through no fault of their own, he made up to most of them the required amount, and in the case of some eighty increased it to one million two hundred thousand sesterces. 7Since also many were freeing their slaves indiscriminately, he fixed the age which the manumitter and also the slave to be freed by him must have reached and likewise the legal principles which should govern the relations of both citizens in general and the former masters toward slaves who were set free.
14While he was thus occupied, various men formed plots against him, notably Gnaeus Cornelius, a son of the daughter of Pompey the Great. Augustus was consequently in great perplexity for some time, since he neither wished to put the plotters to death, inasmuch as he saw that no greater safety would accrue to him by their destruction, nor to let them go, for fear this might induce others to conspire against him. 2While he was in doubt what to do and was finding it impossible either to be free from apprehension by day or from restlessness by night, Livia one day said to him: “What means this, husband? Why is it that you do not sleep?”
And Augustus answered: “What man, wife, could even for a moment forget his cares, who always has so many enemies and is so constantly the object of plots on the part of one set of men or another? 3Do you not see how many are attacking both me and our sovereignty? And not even the punishment of those who are brought to justice serves to check them; nay, quite the opposite is the result—those who are left are as eager to accomplish their own destruction also as if they were striving for some honourable thing.”
4Then Livia, hearing this, said: “That you should be the object of plotting is neither remarkable nor contrary to human nature. For you do a great many things, possessing so large an empire as you do, and naturally cause grief to not a few. A ruler can not, of course, please everybody; nay, it is inevitable that even a king whose rule is altogether upright should make many men his enemies. 5For those who wish to do wrong are far more numerous than those who do right, and it is impossible to satisfy their desires. Even among such as possess a certain excellence, some covet many great rewards which they can not obtain, and some chafe because they are less honoured than others; hence both these classes find fault with the ruler. 6Therefore it is impossible to avoid meeting with mischief, either at the hands of these or, in addition, at the hands of those who attack, not you personally, but the monarchy. For if you were a private citizen, no one would willingly have done you any harm, unless he had previously received some injury; but all men covet the office of ruler and the good things that office affords, and those who already possess some power covet much more than those who are lacking in this respect. 7It is, indeed, the way of men who are wicked and have very little sense to do so; in fact, it is implanted in their nature, just like any other instinct, and it is impossible either by persuasion or by compulsion to destroy such instincts in some of them; for there is no law and no fear stronger than the instincts implanted by nature. 8Reflect on this, therefore, and do not be vexed at the shortcomings of the other sort of men, but as for your own person and your sovereignty, keep close guard of them, that we may hold the throne securely, not by the strictness of the punishments you inflict upon individuals, but by the strictness with which you guard it.”
15To this Augustus replied: “But, wife, I, too, am aware that no high position is ever free from envy and treachery, and least of all a monarchy. 2Indeed, we should be equals of the gods if we had not troubles and cares and fears beyond all men in private station. But precisely this is what causes my grief,—that this is inevitably so and that no remedy for it can be found.”
3“Yet,” said Livia, “since some men are so constituted as to want to do wrong in any event, let us guard against them. We have many soldiers who protect us, some arrayed against foreign foes and others about your person, and also a large retinue, so that by their help we may live in security both at home and abroad.”
4“I do not need to state,” Augustus answered and said, “that many men on many occasions have perished at the hands of their immediate associates. For monarchies have this most serious disadvantage in addition to all the rest, that we have not only our enemies to fear, as have other men, but also our friends. 5And a far greater number of rulers have been plotted against by such persons than by those who have no connexion with them at all, inasmuch as his friends are with the ruler both day and night, when he takes his exercise, when he sleeps, and when he takes the food and drink which they have prepared. For the ruler labours under this special disadvantage as regards his friends, that, although he can protect himself from his enemies by arraying his friends against them, there is no corresponding ally on whom he may rely to protect him from these very friends. 6Consequently we rulers find it to be true at all times, that whereas solitude is dreadful, company also is dreadful, that whereas unprotectedness is terrifying, the very men who protect us are most terrifying, and that whereas our enemies are difficult to deal with, our friends are still more difficult. 7‘Friends,’ I say, for friends they must all be called, even if they are not friends. And even if one should find loyal friends, still one could by no means so completely trust them as to associate with them with a sincere, untroubled, and unsuspecting heart. This situation, then, and the necessity of taking measures to protect ourselves against the other group of plotters, combine to make our position utterly dreadful. For to be always under the necessity of taking vengeance and inflicting punishments is a source of great sorrow, to good men at least.”
16“You are indeed right,” answered Livia, “and I have some advice to give you,—that is, if you are willing to receive it, and will not censure me because I, though a woman, dare suggest to you something which no one else, even of your most intimate friends, would venture to suggest,—not because they are not aware of it, but because they are not bold enough to speak.”
2“Speak out,” replied Augustus, “whatever it is.”
“I will tell you,” said Livia, “without hesitation, because I have an equal share in your blessings and your ills, and as long as you are safe I also have my part in reigning, whereas if you come to any harm, (which Heaven forbid!), I shall perish with you. 3If it indeed be true that man’s nature persuades some persons to err under any and all conditions, and that there is no way to curb man’s nature when it has once set out upon a course of action, and that even what some men look upon as good conduct (to leave out of consideration the vices of the many) is forthwith an incentive to wrongdoing to very many men (for example, boasting of high birth, pride of wealth, loftiness of honours, arrogance of bravery, conceit of power—all these bring many to grief); 4if it be true that one can not make ignoble that which is noble, or cowardly that which is brave, or prudent that which is foolish (for that is impossible); if, on the other hand, one ought not to curtail the abundance of others or humble their ambitions, when they are guilty of no offence (for that were unjust); if, finally, the policy of defending oneself or even of trying to forestall the attacks of others inevitably leads to vexation and ill repute—if all this is true, come, let us change our policy and spare some of the plotters. 5For it seems to me that far more wrongs are set right by kindness than by harshness. For those who forgive are not only loved by the objects of their clemency, who will therefore even strive to repay the favour, but are also respected and revered by all the rest, who will therefore not readily venture to harm them; 6those, on the other hand, who indulge in inexorable resentment are not only hated by those who have something to fear, but are also disliked by all the rest, and are in consequence even plotted against by them in their desire to avoid meeting with destruction first.
17“Do you not observe that physicians very rarely resort to surgery and cautery, desiring not to aggravate their patients’ maladies, but for the most part seek to soothe diseases by the application of fomentations and the milder drugs? Do not think that, because these ailments are affections of the body while those we have to do with are affections of the soul, there is any difference between them. 2For also the minds of men, however incorporeal they may be, are subject to a large number of ailments which are comparable to those which visit their bodies. Thus there is the withering of the mind through fear and its swelling through passion; in some cases pain lops it off and arrogance makes it grow with conceit; the disparity, therefore, between mind and body being very slight, they accordingly require cures of a similar nature. 3Gentle words, for example, cause all one’s inflamed passion to subside, just as harsh words in another case will stir to wrath even the spirit which has been calmed; and forgiveness granted will melt even the utterly arrogant man, just as punishment will incense even him who is utterly mild. For acts of violence will always in every instance, no matter how just they may be, exasperate, while considerate treatment mollifies. 4Hence it is that a man will more readily submit to the most terrible hardships—and gladly, too—if he has been persuaded, than if compulsion has been put upon him. And so true it is that, in following both these courses, man is subject to a compelling law of nature, that even among the irrational animals, which have no intelligence, many of the strongest and fiercest are tamed by petting and subdued by allurements, while many even of the most cowardly and weak are aroused to fury by acts of cruelty which excite terror in them.
18“I do not mean by this that we must spare all wrongdoers without distinction, but that we must cut off the headstrong man, the meddlesome, the malicious, the trouble-maker, and the man within whom there is an incurable and persistent depravity, just as we treat the members of the body that are quite beyond all healing. 2In the case of the rest, however, whose errors, committed wilfully or otherwise, are due to youth or ignorance or misapprehension or some other adventitious circumstance, we should in some cases merely rebuke them with words, in others bring them to their senses by threats, and in still others apply some other form of moderate treatment, just as in the case of slaves, who commit now this and now that offence, all men impose greater penalties upon some and lesser upon others. 3Hence, so far as these political offenders are concerned, you may employ moderation without danger, punishing some by banishment, others by disfranchisement, still others by a pecuniary fine, and another class you may dispose of by placing some in confinement in the country and others in certain cities.
“Experience has shown that men are brought to their senses even by failing to obtain what they hoped for and by being disappointed in the object of their desires. 4Many men have been made better by having assigned to them at the spectacles seats which confer no honour, or by being appointed to posts to which disgrace attaches, and also by being offended or frightened in advance; and yet a man of high birth and spirit would sooner die than suffer such humiliation. 5By such means their plans for vengeance would be made no easier, but rather more difficult, of accomplishment, while we on our part should be able to avoid any reproach and also to live in security. As things are now, people think that we kill many through resentment, many through lust for their money, others through fear of their bravery and others actually through jealousy of their virtues. For no one finds it easy to believe that a ruler who possesses so great authority and power can be the object of plotting on the part of an unarmed person in private station, but some invent the motives I have mentioned, and still others assert that many false accusations come to our ears and that we give heed to many idle rumours as if they were true. 6Spies, they say, and eavesdroppers get hold of such rumours, and then—actuated sometimes by enmity and sometimes by resentment, in some cases because they have received money from the foes of their victims, in other cases because they have received none from the victims themselves—concoct many falsehoods, reporting not only that such and such persons have committed some outrage or are intending to commit it, but even that when so-and -so made such and such a remark, so-and -so heard it and was silent, a second person laughed, and a third burst into tears.
19“I could cite innumerable instances of such a kind, which, no matter how true they may be, are surely not proper subjects for gentlemen to concern themselves about or to be reported to you. Such rumours, if ignored, would do you no harm, but if listened to, would irritate you even against your will; 2and that is a thing by all means to be avoided, especially in one who rules over others. It is generally believed, at any rate, that many men are unjustly put to death as the result of such a feeling, some without a trial and others by a prearranged conviction in court; for the people will not admit that the testimony given or the statements made under torture or any evidence of that nature is true or suffices for the condemnation of the victims. 3This is the sort of talk that does, in fact, go the rounds, even though it is sometimes unjust, in the case of practically all who are put to death by action of the courts. And you, Augustus, ought not only to avoid unjust action, but even the suspicion of it; for though it is sufficient for a person in private station not to be guilty of wrongdoing, yet it behooves a ruler to incur not even the suspicion of wrongdoing. 4You are ruling over human beings, not wild beasts, and the only way you can make them truly well disposed toward you is by convincing them, by every means and on every occasion consistently, that you will wrong no one, either purposely or unwittingly. A man can be compelled to fear another, but he ought to be persuaded to love him; 5and he is persuaded not only by the good treatment he himself receives, but also by the benefits he sees conferred on others. The man, however, who suspects that a certain person has been put to death unjustly both fears that he may some day meet a like fate and is compelled to hate the one who is responsible for the deed. And to be hated by one’s subjects, quite apart from its being deplorable in general, is also exceedingly unprofitable. 6For most people feel that, although all other men must defend themselves against all who wrong them in any way or else become objects of contempt and so be oppressed, yet rulers ought to prosecute only those who wrong the state, tolerating those who are supposed to be committing offences against them privately; rulers, they reason, can not themselves be harmed either by contempt or by direct attack, inasmuch as there are many instrumentalities which protect them from both.
20“I, therefore, when I hear such considerations advanced and turn my thoughts to them, am inclined to go so far as to urge you to give up altogether the inflicting of the death penalty in any case for reasons of this kind. 2For the office of ruler has been established for the preservation of the governed, to prevent them from being injured either by one another or by foreign peoples, and not for a moment that they may be harmed by the rulers themselves; and the greatest glory is gained, not by putting many citizens to death, but by being in a position to save them all, if that be possible. 3We must educate the citizens by means of laws and benefits and admonitions, in order that they may be right-minded, and furthermore, we must watch over them and guard them, in order that, even if they wish to do wrong, they may not be able to do so; and if there is any ailment among them, we must find some way to cure it and correct it, in order that the ailing member may not be utterly destroyed. 4To endure the offences of the multitude is a task demanding at once great prudence and great power; but if any one is going to punish them all without distinction as they deserve, before he knows it he will have destroyed the majority of mankind. 5Hence and for these reasons I give you my opinion to the effect that you should not inflict the death penalty upon any man for such offences, but should rather bring them to their senses in some other way, so that they will not in future commit any crime. What wrongdoing, indeed, could a man indulge in who is shut up on an island, or in the country, or in some city, not only deprived of a throng of servants and a supply of money, but also under guard, in case this, too, is necessary? 6Of course, if the enemy were anywhere near here or if some part of our sea belonged to a foreign power, so that one or another of the prisoners might escape to them and do us some harm, or if, again, there were strong cities in Italy with fortifications and armed forces, so that if a man seized them, he might become a menace to us, that would be a different story. 7But in fact all the places here are unarmed and without walls that would be of any value in war, and our enemies are separated from them by an immense distance; much sea and much land, including mountains and rivers hard to cross, lie between them and us. 8Why, then, should one fear this man or that, defenceless men in private station, here in the middle of your empire and hemmed in by your armed forces? For my part, I do not believe that any one could conceive any such plot as I have mentioned, or that the veriest madman could accomplish anything by it.
21“Let us make the experiment, therefore, beginning with these very men. Perhaps they may not only be reformed themselves, but also make others better; for you see that Cornelius is both of good birth and famous, and we ought, I presume, to take human nature into account in reasoning out such matters also. 2The sword, surely, can not accomplish everything for you,—it would indeed be a great boon if it could bring men to their senses and persuade them or even compel them to love a ruler with genuine affection,—but instead, while it will destroy the body of one man, it will alienate the minds of the rest. For people do not become more attached to any one because of the vengeance they see meted out to others, but they become more hostile because of their fears. 3So much for that side; but as for those who are treated in a forgiving spirit, they not only repent, because they are ashamed to wrong their benefactors again, but also repay them with many services, hoping to receive still further kindnesses; for when a man has been spared by one who has been wronged, he believes that his rescuer, if fairly treated, will go to any lengths in his benefactions. 4Heed me, therefore, dearest, and change your course; if you do, all your other acts that have caused displeasure will be thought to have been dictated by necessity,—indeed, it is impossible for a man to guide so great a city from democracy to monarchy and make the change without bloodshed,—but if you continue in your old policy, you will be thought to have done these unpleasant things deliberately.”
22Augustus heeded these suggestions of Livia and released all the accused with some words of admonition; and he even appointed Cornelius consul. 2As a result of this course he so conciliated both him and the other persons so treated that neither they nor anyone of the rest thereafter either actually plotted against him or was suspected of doing so. It was rather Livia herself, who was chiefly responsible for saving the life of Cornelius, that was to be charged with plotting the death of Augustus.
3At this time, in the consulship of Cornelius and Valerius Messalla, violent earthquakes occurred and the Tiber carried away the bridge and made the city navigable for seven days; there was also a partial eclipse of the sun, and famine set in. 4This same year Agrippa was enrolled among the youths of military age, but obtained none of the same privileges as his brothers. The senators witnessed the Circensian games separately and the knights also separately from the remainder of the populace, as is the case to -day also. 5And since the noblest families did not show themselves inclined to give their daughters to be priestesses of Vesta, a law was passed that the daughters of freedmen might likewise become priestesses. Many vied for the honour, and so they drew lots in the senate in the presence of their fathers, so far as these were knights; however, no priestess was appointed from this class.
23The soldiers were sorely displeased at the paltry character of the rewards given them for the wars which had been waged at this time and none of them consented to bear arms for longer than the regular period of his service. It was therefore voted that twenty thousand sesterces should be given to members of the pretorian guard when they had served sixteen years, and twelve thousand to the other soldiers when they had served twenty years. 2Twenty-three, or, as others say, twenty-five, legions of citizen soldiers were being supported at this time. At present only nineteen of them still exist, as follows: the Second (Augusta), with its winter quarters in Upper Britain; the three Thirds—the Gallica in Phoenicia, the Cyrenaica in Arabia, and the Augusta in Numidia; 3the Fourth (Scythica) in Syria; the Fifth (Macedonica) in Dacia; the two Sixths, of which the one (Victrix) is stationed in Lower Britain, the other (Ferrata) in Judaea; the Seventh (generally called Claudia) in Upper Moesia; the Eighth (Augusta) in Upper Germany; 4the two Tenths in upper Pannonia (Gemina) and in Judaea; the Eleventh (Claudia) in Lower Moesia (for two legions were thus named after Claudius because they had not fought against him in the rebellion of Camillus); 5the Twelfth (Fulminata) in Cappadocia; the Thirteenth (Gemina) in Dacia; the Fourteenth (Gemina) in Upper Pannonia; the Fifteenth (Apollinaris) in Cappadocia; 6the Twentieth (called both Valeria and Victrix) in Upper Britain. These latter, I believe, were the troops which Augustus took over and retained, along with those called the Twenty-second who are quartered in Germany,—and this in spite of the fact that they were by no means called Valerians by all and do not use that name any longer. 7These are the legions that still remain out of those of Augustus; of the rest, some were disbanded altogether, and others were merged with various legions by Augustus himself and by other emperors, in consequence of which such legions have come to bear the name Gemina.
24Now that I have once been led into giving an account of the legions, I shall speak of the other legions also which exist to -day and tell of their enlistment by the emperors subsequent to Augustus, my purpose being that, if any one desires to learn about them, the statement of all the facts in a single portion of my book may provide him easily with the information. 2Nero organized the First Legion, called the Italica, which has its winter quarters in Lower Moesia; Galba the First (Adiutrix), with quarters in Lower Pannonia, 3and the Seventh (Gemina), in Spain; Vespasian the Second (Adiutrix), in Lower Pannonia, the Fourth (Flavia), in Upper Moesia, and the Sixteenth (Flavia), in Syria; Domitian the First (Minervia), in Lower Germany; Trajan the Second (Aegyptia) 4and the Thirtieth (Germanica), both of which he also named after himself; Marcus Antoninus the Second, in Noricum, and the Third, in Rhaetia, both of which are called Italica; and Severus the Parthicae—the First and Third, quartered in Mesopotamia, and the Second, quartered in Italy.
5This is at present the number of the legions of regularly enrolled troops, exclusive of the city cohorts and the pretorian guard; but at that time, in the days of Augustus, those I have mentioned were being maintained, whether the number is twenty-three or twenty-five, and there were also allied forces of infantry, cavalry, and sailors, whatever their numbers may have been (for I can not state the exact figures). 6Then there were the body-guards, ten thousand in number and organized in ten divisions, and the watchmen of the city, six thousand in number and organized in four divisions; 7and there were also picked foreign horsemen, who were given the name of Batavians, after the island of Batavia in the Rhine, inasmuch as the Batavians are excellent horsemen. 8I can not, however, give their exact number any more than I can that of the Evocati. These last-named Augustus began to make a practice of employing from the time when he called again into service against Antony the troops who had served with his father, and he maintained them afterwards; they constitute even now a special corps, and carry rods, like the centurions.
9Now Augustus lacked funds for all these troops, and therefore he introduced a proposal in the senate that revenues in sufficient amount and continuing from year to year should be set aside, in order that the soldiers might receive without stint from the taxes levied their maintenance and bonuses without any outside source being put to annoyance. The means for such a fund were accordingly sought. Now when no one showed a willingness to become aedile, some men from the ranks of the ex-quaestors and ex-tribunes were compelled by lot to take the office—a thing which happened on many other occasions. 25After this, in the consulship of Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Arruntius, when no revenues for the military fund were being discovered that suited anybody, but absolutely everybody was vexed because such an attempt was even being made, 2Augustus in the name of himself and of Tiberius placed money in the treasury which he called the military treasury, and commanded that three of the ex-praetors, to be chosen by lot, should administer it for three years, employing two lictors apiece and such further assistance as was fitting. 3This method was followed with the successive incumbents of the office for many years; but at present they are chosen by the emperor and they go about without lictors. Now Augustus made a contribution himself toward the fund and promised to do so annually, and he also accepted voluntary contributions from kings and certain communities; but he took nothing from private citizens, although a considerable number made offers of their own free will, as they at least alleged. 4But as all this proved very slight in comparison with the amount being spent and there was need of some permanent supply, he ordered each one of the senators to seek out sources of revenue, each independently of the others, to write them in books, and give them to him to consider. This was not because he had no plan of his own, but as the most certain means of persuading them to choose the plan he preferred. 5At all events, when different men had proposed different schemes, he approved none of them, but established the tax of five per cent. on the inheritances and bequests which should be left by people at their death to any except very near relatives or very poor persons, representing that he had found this tax set down in Caesar’s memoranda. 6It was, in fact, a method which had been introduced once before, but had been abolished later, and was now revived. In this way, then, he increased the revenues; as for the expenditures, he employed three ex-consuls, chosen by lot, by whose help he reduced some of them and altogether abolished others.
26This was not the only source of trouble to the Romans; for there was also a severe famine. In consequence of this, the gladiators, and the slaves who were for sale, were banished to a distance of one hundred miles, Augustus and the other officials dismissed the greater part of their retinues, a recess of the courts was taken, and senators were permitted to leave the city and to proceed wherever they pleased. 2And in order that their absence might not prevent decrees from being passed, a ruling was made that all decisions reached by those in attendance at any meeting should be valid. Moreover, ex-consuls were appointed to have oversight over the grain and bread supplies, so that only a fixed quantity should be sold to each person. 3Augustus, to be sure, gave free of cost to those who were receiving doles of corn as much again in every case as they were already getting; but when even that did not suffice for their needs, he forbade even the holding of public banquets on his birthday.
4When many parts of the city were at this time destroyed by fire, he organized a company of freedmen, in seven divisions, to render assistance on such occasions, and appointed a knight in command over them, expecting to disband them in a short time. 5He did not do so, however; for he found by experience that the aid they gave was most valuable and necessary, and so retained them. These nightwatchmen exist to the present day, as a special corps, one might say, recruited no longer from the freedmen only, but from the other classes as well. They have barracks in the city and draw pay from the public treasury.
27Now the masses, distressed by the famine and the tax and the losses sustained in the fire, were ill at ease, and they not only openly discussed numerous plans for a revolution, but also posted at night even more numerous bulletins. 2Word was given out that all this had been planned and managed by one Publius Rufus, but suspicion was directed to others; for as Rufus could neither have devised nor accomplished any of these things, it was believed that others, making use of his name, were planning a revolution. 3Therefore an investigation of the affair was voted for and rewards for information were announced. Information began to be offered, and this also contributed to the commotion in the city. This lasted until the scarcity of grain was at an end and gladiatorial games in honour of Drusus were given by Germanicus Caesar and Tiberius Claudius Nero, his sons. 4For this mark of honour to the memory of Drusus comforted the people, and also the dedication by Tiberius of the temple of Castor and Pollux, upon which he inscribed not only his own name,—calling himself Claudianus instead of Claudius, because of his adoption into the family of Augustus,—but also that of Drusus. 5Tiberius, it should be explained, continued to carry on the wars, and at the same time visited the city repeatedly whenever the opportunity offered; this was partly, to be sure, on account of various business, but chiefly because he was afraid that Augustus might take advantage of his absence to show preference to somebody else.
6These were the events in the city that year. In Achaia the governor died in the middle of his term and instructions were given to his quaestor and to his assessor (whom, as I have stated, we call envoy) for the former to administer the province as far as the Isthmus and the other the remainder. Herod of Palestine, who was accused by his brothers of some wrongdoing or other, was banished beyond the Alps and his portion of the domain was confiscated to the state.
28During this same period many wars also took place. Pirates overran a good many districts, so that Sardinia had no senator as governor for some years, but was in charge of soldiers with knights as commanders. 2Not a few cities rebelled, with the result that for two years the same men held office in the provinces which belonged to the people and were appointed instead of being chosen by lot; of course the provinces which belonged to Caesar were, in any case, assigned to the same men for a longer period. But I shall not go into all these matters minutely, for many things not worthy of record happened in individual instances and their recital in detail would serve no useful purpose. 3I shall give simply the events worthy of some mention and very briefly at that, except in the case of those of greatest importance.
The Isaurians began with marauding expeditions, but were led on into all the horrors of war, until they were utterly subdued. The Gaetulians, also, were discontented with their king, Juba, and scorning the thought that they, too, should be ruled over by the Romans, 4rose against him. They ravaged the neighbouring territory, slew many even of the Romans who made a campaign against them, and, in fine, gained so great headway that Cornelius Cossus, who subjugated them, received triumphal honours and also a title from them. 5While these events were occurring, expeditions against the Germans also were being conducted by various leaders,especially Tiberius. He advanced first to the river Visurgis and later as far as the Albis, but nothing noteworthy was accomplished at this time, 6although not only Augustus but also Tiberius was called imperator because of the campaign, and Gaius Sentius, the governor of Germany, received triumphal honours, inasmuch as the Germans, through their fear of the Romans, made a truce, not merely once, but twice. 7The reason that peace was granted them a second time, in spite of their having broken their truce so soon, was that the Dalmatians and Pannonians were in a state of great disturbance and required sharp attention.
29The Dalmatians, chafing under the levies of tribute, had hitherto kept quiet, though unwillingly. But when Tiberius made his second campaign against the Germans, and Valerius Messallinus, the governor of Dalmatia and Pannonia at the time, was sent out with him, taking most of his army along, 2the Dalmatians, too, were ordered to send a contingent; and on coming together for this purpose and beholding the strength of their warriors, they no longer delayed, but, under the vehement urging of one Bato, a Desidiatian, at first a few revolted and defeated the Romans who came against them, and then the rest also rebelled in consequence of this success. 3Next the Breucians, a Pannonian tribe, put another Bato at their head and marched against Sirmium and the Romans in that town. They did not capture the place, however, for Caecina Severus, the governor of the neighbouring province of Moesia, marched rapidly against them, when he heard of their uprising, and joining battle with them near the river Dravus, vanquished them; but hoping in some way to renew the struggle soon, since many of the Romans also had fallen, they turned their attention to summoning their allies and were getting together as many as they could. 4Meanwhile the Dalmatian Bato marched upon Salonae, where he was badly wounded by a stone missile and so accomplished nothing himself; but he sent out some others, who wrought havoc along the whole sea-coast as far as Apollonia, and at that point, in spite of having been first defeated, won a battle in turn against the Romans who engaged them. 30Now when Tiberius learned of this, fearing that they might invade Italy, he returned from Germany, sending Messallinus ahead and following himself with most of his army. 2But Bato learned of their approach, and although not yet well, went to meet Messallinus; and though he proved stronger than Messallinus in open conflict, he was afterward defeated by an ambuscade. Thereupon he went to Bato, the Breucian, and making common cause with him in the war, occupied a mountain named Alma. 3Here they were defeated by Rhoemetalces, the Thracian, who had been sent ahead against them by Severus, but resisted Severus himself vigorously. 4Later, when Severus withdrew to Moesia, because the Dacians and Sarmatians were ravaging it, and Tiberius and Messallinus were tarrying in Siscia, the Dalmatians overran the territory of their allies and caused many more to revolt. 5And although Tiberius approached them, they would engage in no pitched battle with him, but kept moving from one place to another, causing great devastation; for, owing to their knowledge of the country and the lightness of their equipment, they could easily proceed wherever they pleased. And when winter set in they did much greater damage, for they even invaded Macedonia again. 6As for these forces, now, Rhoemetalces and his brother Rhascyporis checked them by a battle; and as for the others, they did not come to the defence of their country when it was later ravaged (in the consulship of Caecilius Metellus and Licinius Silanus), but took refuge in the mountain fortresses, from which they made raiding expeditions whenever the chance offered.
31When Augustus learned of these things, he began to be suspicious of Tiberius, who, as he thought, might speedily have overcome the Dalmatians, but was delaying purposely, in order that he might be under arms as long as possible, with the war as his excuse. He therefore sent out Germanicus, although he was only a quaestor, and gave him an army composed not only of free-born citizens but also of freedmen, including those whom he had freed from slavery by taking them from their masters and mistresses on payment of their value and the cost of their maintenance for six months. 2This was not the only measure he took to meet the need occasioned by the war, but he also postponed the review of the knights, which was wont to occur in the Forum. And he made a vow with reference to the Megalensian games because some woman had cut some letters on her arm and practised some sort of divination. 3He knew well, to be sure, that she had not been possessed by any divine power, but had done this thing deliberately; but inasmuch as the populace was terribly wrought up over both the wars and the famine (which had now set in once more), he, too, affected to believe the common report and proceeded to do anything that would make the crowd cheerful, regarding such measures as necessary. 4And in view of the dearth of grain he appointed two ex-consuls commissioners of the grain supply, granting them lictors. And as there was need of more money for the wars and for the support of the night-watchmen, he introduced the tax of two per cent. on the sale of slaves, and he ordered that the money which was regularly paid from the public treasury to the praetors who gave gladiatorial combats should no longer be expended.
32The reason why he sent Germanicus and not Agrippa to take the field was that the latter possessed an illiberal nature, and spent most of his time in fishing, by virtue of which he used to call himself Neptune. 2He used to give way to violent anger, and spoke ill of Livia as a stepmother, while he often reproached Augustus himself for not giving him the inheritance his father had left him. When he could not be made to moderate his conduct, he was banished and his property was given to the military treasury; he himself was put ashore on Planasia, the island near Corsica.
3These were the events in the city. After Germanicus reached Pannonia and armies were assembling there from many sides, the two Batos waited until Severus approached from Moesia and then fell upon him unexpectedly, while he was encamped near the Volcaean marshes. They frightened the pickets outside the ramparts and drove them back inside, but when the men in the camp stood their ground, the attackers were defeated. 4After this the Romans were divided into detachments, in order that they might overrun many parts of the country at once; most of these detachments did nothing worthy of note, at least not at that time, but Germanicus conquered in battle and harassed the Mazaei, a Dalmatian tribe.
33These were the achievements of that year. In the consulship of Marcus Furius and Sextus Nonius, the Dalmatians and Pannonians desired to make terms, because they were afflicted first by famine and then by disease that followed it, since they were using for food roots and strange herbs. They did not, however, make any overtures, being hindered by those who had no hope of being spared by the Romans, but even in their distress still resisted. 2And one, Scenobardus, who had pretended he was going to change sides and with reference to this very matter had sent to Manius Ennius, the commander of the garrison in Siscia, as if he were ready to desert, became afraid that he might suffer harm beforehand . . . .
3The Po, which, under the name Eridanus, they call the king of the rivers that cleave the soil of Italy, had its waters let into a very wide canal by the Emperor Augustus. A seventh part of the stream of this river flows through the centre of the city, affording at its mouth a most attractive harbour, which was formerly believed, according to Dio, to be a thoroughly safe anchorage for a fleet of two hundred and fifty ships.
4When at last the famine had abated, he conducted games in the Circus in the name of Germanicus, who was son of Drusus, and in that of Germanicus’ brother. On this occasion an elephant overcame a rhinoceros and a knight who had once been distinguished for his wealth fought in single combat.
5Now when Augustus was growing weary by reason of old age and the feebleness of his body, so that he could not attend to the business of all those who needed his care, though he continued personally, with his assistants, to investigate judicial cases and to pass judgment, seated on the tribunal in the palace, he entrusted to three ex-consuls the embassies sent to Rome by peoples and kings; these, sitting separately, gave audience to such embassies and made answer to them, except in matters in which the final decision had of necessity to be rendered by the senate and Augustus.
34[It had been Augustus’s practice hitherto to attend all the meetings of the senate, though he did not,] however, declare his opinion among the first, but among the last, his purpose being that all might be permitted to form their views independently and no one should abandon his own judgment, as though he were under any necessity of agreeing with the emperor; and he would often sit with the magistrates as they tried cases. Also, whenever those who sat in judgment with him found themselves in disagreement, the emperor’s vote was counted as no more than equal to that of any other judge. 2But at the time to which I refer, Augustus allowed the senate to try most cases without him, and he gave up attending the popular assemblies. Instead, he had the year before personally appointed all who were to hold office, because there were factional outbreaks, and in this and the following years he merely posted a bulletin recommending to the plebs and to the people those whom he favoured. 3Yet he was so vigorous when it came to directing campaigns against the enemy that he proceeded to Ariminum in order that he might be near at hand to give all necessary advice in regard to both the Dalmatians and the Pannonians. On his departure vows were made, and on his return the sacrifices customary when he came back from the enemy’s country were offered.
4This was what was done in Rome. Meanwhile, Bato, the Breucian, who had betrayed Pinnes and had received the right to rule over the Breucians as his reward, was captured by the other Bato and put to death. 5The Breucian, it seems, had been somewhat suspicious of his subject tribes and had gone round to each of the garrisons to demand hostages; and the other, learning of this, lay in wait for him somewhere or other, defeated him in battle, and shut him up in a stronghold. Later, when the Breucian was delivered over by those inside, he took him and brought him before the army, and then, when he had been condemned, put him to death on the spot. 6After this many of the Pannonians rose in revolt, and Silvanus made a campaign against them, conquered the Breucians, and won over some of the others without a battle. Bato, on seeing this, gave up all hope of Pannonia, but occupied the passes leading to Dalmatia with garrisons and ravaged that country. 7Then at last the remainder of the Pannonians also came to terms, chiefly for the reason that their country was being harried by Silvanus. However, certain bands of brigands continued their forays for a long time, as was natural after so great a disturbance; indeed, this nearly always happens, not only among other peoples, but especially in the case of these tribes.