Marcus Æmilius, consul, having subdued the Ligurians, makes a new road from Placentra to Arminium, where it joins the Flaminian way, Luxury introduced by the troops who had served in Asia. All the Ligurians, on the hither side of the Apennine, completely subdued. The Bacchanahan rites, borrowed from the Greeks, and celebrated by night, cause great alarm; are investigated by the consul: suppressed, and many of those concerned in them punished. Lucius Quintius Flaminius expelled the senate, by the censors, for flagitious conduct. Scipio dies at Liternum. Hannibal poisons himself, to avoid being given up to the Romans by Prusias, king of Bithynia. Philopœmen, the famous Achæan general, put to death by the Messemans. Successful operations against the Celtiberians. Another Macedonian war, causes and origin of it
Y. R. 565.
187.I.While these transactions passed at Rome, (if they are to be dated in this year,) both the consuls were employed in the war with the Ligurians. This people, seemed in some measure, intended by nature for the purpose of preserving military discipline among the Romans, by its opposition to their arms during the intervals between important wars; nor was any province better calculated to form a soldier to active valour. For as to Asia, from the enticing pleasures of its cities, the abundance of every production, both of land and sea, the unwarlike temper of its inhabitants, and the wealth of its princes, how much soever it might enrich the Roman armies, it contributed nothing towards the improvement of their courage. Under the command of Cneius Manlius, particularly, the troops were suffered to run into idleness and licentiousness. The consequence of which was, that, meeting in Thrace a passage somewhat more difficult, and an enemy of rather more vigour than they had been accustomed to, they suffered a repulse with severe loss. Whereas in Liguria, there was every circumstance that could invigorate the courage of soldiers; the face of the country mountainous and rugged, so that even the taking possession of unoccupied posts, and much more the dislodging of an enemy already in possession, was attended with much labour; the roads hilly, narrow, and exposed to danger from ambuscades; the enemy light, active, and brisk in their motions, so as to allow no rest or remissness, at any season, or in any place; a number of strong forts, necessarily to be attacked, with much toil and danger; and the country so poor, as to constrain the soldier to a sparing mode of living, while it afforded but a small share of booty. Accordingly, no suttler followed the army, no long train of baggage horses extended its line of march, nothing was to be seen but arms, and men who had no other hope but in their arms. Nor did those people ever cease to afford either subject, or cause, for hostilities; for, their own country being infertile, they made frequent incursions on the territories of their neighbours; ever avoiding, however, an engagement that might effectually disable them.
II. The consul, Caius Flaminius, after frequently defeating the Frinian Ligurians in their own country, received the submission of that tribe, and ordered them to deliver up their arms; but, having acted dishonestly in the delivery of them, and being reproved for their behaviour, they abandoned their villages, and fled to the mountain called Auginus, whither the consul immediately followed them. At his approach a part of the enemy again betook themselves to flight; and, running with precipitate haste, the greatest part without arms, over pathless tracts and rocky precipices, they got away, beyond the Apennine; the rest, who remained in the camp, were surrounded and reduced by assault. The legions were then led over the Apennine, where the enemy, assisted by the height of the mountain, where they had posted themselves, at first, stood on their defence, but, in a little time submitted. A more careful search was now made for their arms, which were all taken from them. The army, next, marched against the Apuan tribe of Ligurians, who, by their inroads, had infested the territories of Pisa and Bononia to such a degree, that the inhabitants could not till their grounds. These the consul entirely subdued, and thereby restored peace to the neighbourhood. Having now secured the province against any disturbance from an enemy, that he might not keep the soldiers in a state of idleness, he made a road from Bononia to Anetium. The other consul, Marcus Æmilius, ravaged with fire and sword the lands of the Ligurians, together with their villages that stood in the plains, while the inhabitants remained posted on two mountains, Ballista and Suismontius. He then attacked these, harassed them for some time, and, at last, compelled them to come to a regular engagement, in which he utterly defeated them. During the fight he vowed a temple to Diana. Having now reduced all on the hither side of the Apennine, he marched against those on the other side of that mountain; among whom were the Brinian tribe; which had not been attacked by Flaminius. Æmilius subdued them all, stripped them of their arms, and obliged the multitude to come down from the mountains into the plains. Peace being thus established in Liguria, he led his army into the Gallic territory, and drew a road from Placentia to Ariminum, to meet that made by Flaminius. During the last engagement, when he fought a pitched battle with the Ligurians, he vowed a temple to imperial Juno. Such were the transactions of this year in Liguria.
III. In Gaul, the prætor, Marcus Furius, seeking a pretext for war in the midst of peace, deprived the Cænomanians of their arms, although no charge of guilt had been proved against them. Of this they complained to the senate at Rome, and were by them referred to the consul Æmilius, whom the senate authorised to examine into and determine the cause. After a strong contest with the prætor it was decided in favour of the Cænomanians; their arms were restored, and the prætor was ordered to quit the province. The senate afterwards gave audience to envoys of the Latine confederates, who had come, in great numbers, from all parts of Latium. They complained, that a great multitude of their citizens had removed to Rome, and had been assessed there in the survey; on which a commission was given to Quintus Terentius Culleo, the prætor, to make inquiry after such persons, and on the allies proving that those persons, themselves, or their fathers, had been rated in the surveys of their states in the censorship of Caius Claudius and Marcus Livius, or at some time subsequent to their censorship, he was ordered to compel all such to return to the several states wherein they had been so rated. In consequence of this inquiry, twelve thousand Latines returned home; so much was the city, even at that early period, burdened by an influx of foreigners.
IV. Before the consuls came home to Rome, Marcus Fulvius, proconsul, returned from Ætolia. He, as usual, recited to the senate, in the temple of Apollo, the services which he had performed in Ætolia and Cephallenia, and then requested of the Fathers, that, in consideration of his having conducted the business of the public with good fortune and success, they would be pleased to order public thanks to be offered to the immortal gods, and to decree a triumph to him. Marcus Abutius, a plebeian tribune, gave notice, that, if any thing were determined on that subject, before the arrival of Marcus Æmilius, he would enter his protest: for “the consul intended to oppose that measure; and, at his setting out for his province, had given him a charge to keep the discussion of it open until he should come home. Fulvius,” he said, “would lose nothing by this, but time; for, notwithstanding the presence of his consul, the senate would determine according to its own judgment.” Fulvius replied, that, “even if people did not know that there was a quarrel subsisting between him and Marcus Æmilius, or with what overbearing, and in some measure, tyrannical rancour, that man prosecuted his enmity; yet it would be insufferable, that the absence of the consul should both obstruct the worship of the immortal gods, and delay a triumph due to merit; that a commander, after performing signal services, and his victorious army with its booty and prisoners, should remain outside the gates, until a consul, who purposely delayed abroad, should be pleased to return to Rome. But, in the present case, when the animosity between him and the consul was most notorious, what fair dealing could be expected from a man who procured clandestinely, in a thin house, and lodged in the treasury, a decree of senate, that ‘it did not appear that Ambracia was taken by force:’ a town which was attacked with mounds and engines; where, after the works were burned, others were constructed anew; where a fight was carried on for fifteen days, both above and under ground; where, from the first dawn, when the soldiers mounted the walls, the battle lasted until night, and was for a great part of the time, doubtful; and where more than three thousand of the enemy were killed? Then again, what a malicious misrepresentation did he make to the pontiffs, of the temples of the immortal gods being plundered in a captured city? If it were allowable that Rome should be decorated with the ornaments of Syracuse, and other conquered places, then must Ambracia be the single instance, of a captured city exempted from the laws of war. For his part, he besought the Conscript Fathers, and requested the tribunes, not to suffer him to become a subject of derision to an enemy who had acted, all along, with the most overbearing arrogance.”
V. Every one present felt the force of what he urged, and some intreated the tribune to desist, while others sharply reproved his conduct. But what affected him most, was a speech of his colleague, Tiberius Gracchus, who said, that “for a man in office to prosecute even his own quarrels, was an example of no good tendency; but, that a tribune of the people should take upon himself to be a solicitor in the quarrel of another, was infamous, and highly unworthy of the power and sacred laws of the order to which he belonged. It was right, that every one should love or hate others, approve or disapprove of measures, according to the dictates of their own judgment; but not that a tribune should depend on the look or nod of another man, veer about at the movements of another’s will, and make himself a tool to his displeasure; remember a private charge, committed to him by Marcus Æmilius, and forget that the tribuneship was a public charge, committed to him by the Roman people, for the aiding and maintaining the liberty of private citizens, not to aggrandize the arbitrary power of a consul. His colleague did not seem to consider, that this circumstance would be recorded and handed down to posterity; that, of two plebeian tribunes of the same college, one sacrificed his own resentment to the public good, the other accepted the employment of prosecuting the resentment of another man.” Overcome by these severe rebukes the tribune withdrew from the meeting, and Servius Sulpicius, the prætor, having put the question, a triumph was voted to Marcus Fulvius. He returned thanks to the Conscript Fathers; and then mentioned, that, “on the day of his taking Ambracia, he had vowed to celebrate the great games in honour of Jupiter supremely good and great; that a contribution for that purpose had been made to him by the several states, amounting to one hundred and ten pounds weight of gold; and he requested them to order that sum to be set apart, out of the money which he was to deposit in the treasury, after his triumph.” The senate ordered the college of pontiffs to be consulted, whether it were necessary that the whole of that sum should be expended on the games; and the pontiffs having answered, that the amount of the expense was a point in which religion was no wise concerned, the senate gave permission to Fulvius to expend as much as he thought proper, provided it did not exceed eighty thousand sesterces.* He, at first, intended to celebrate his triumph in the month of January; but, hearing that the consul Æmilius — in consequence of a letter from the tribune Abutius, acquainting him with his declining to protest, was coming in person to Rome, to hinder his triumph, but had been obliged by sickness to halt on the road, he hastened the time of the celebration, lest he should have more contests about it than he had met in the war. He triumphed over the Ætolians and Cephallenia on the tenth day before the calends of January. There were carried, before his chariot, golden crowns to the amount of one hundred and twelve pounds weight; of silver, eighty-three thousand pounds; of gold, two hundred and forty-three thousand; of Attic tetradrachms, one hundred and eighteen thousand;† of the coin called Philippics, twelve thousand four hundred and twenty-two;‡ brazen statues, two hundred and eighty-five; marble statues, two hundred and thirty; arms, weapons, and other spoils in great quantities: besides these, catapultas, ballistas, and engines of every kind; and in the procession were led twenty-seven commanders, some Ætolian, some Cephallenian, with others belonging to king Antiochus. Before he rode into the city, in the Flaminian circus, he honoured great numbers of tribunes, præfects, horsemen, centurions, both Romans and allies, with military presents; to each of the soldiers he distributed out of the booty twenty-five denariuses,§ double to a centurion, triple to a horseman.
Y. R. 566.
186.VI. The time of the election of consuls now approached; and as Marcus Æmilius, to whose lot that business had fallen, could not attend, Caius Flaminius came home to Rome. He elected consuls, Spurius Postumius Albinus, and Quintius Marcus Philippus. Then were chosen prætors — Titus Mænius, Publius Cornelius Sulla, Caius Calpurnius Piso, Marcus Licinius Lucullus, Caius Aurelius Scaurus, and Lucius Quintius Crispinus. At the close of the year, after the magistrates were appointed, on the third day before the nones of March, Cneius Manlius Vulso triumphed over the Gauls inhabiting Asia. The reason of his deferring his triumph so long was, to avoid standing a trial under the Petillian law, during the prætorship of Quintus Terentius Culleo; and the being involved in the ill consequences of the sentence passed on Lucius Scipio, especially, as the judges would be more disposed to severity against him than against Scipio; because the latter had strictly maintained military discipline, whereas he, his successor, had ruined it, by tolerating licentiousness of every kind. Nor were the facts, which were reported to have happened in the province, the only things that disgraced his character. The circumstances which his soldiers every day exhibited to the eyes of the public were even more scandalous: for by this army returning from Asia was the origin of foreign luxury imported into the city. These men first brought to Rome gilded couches, rich tapestry, with hangings and other works of the loom; and, what were then deemed magnificent furniture, single-footed tables and buffets. At entertainments, likewise, were introduced players on the harp and timbrel, with buffoons for the diversion of the guests. Their meats also began to be prepared with greater care and cost; while the cook, whom the ancients considered as the meanest of their slaves both in estimation and use, became highly valuable. Nevertheless, these instances of extravagance, as they were then deemed, were no more than the seeds of that luxury which was afterwards to spring up.
VII. Cneius Manlius carried in the triumph two hundred golden crowns of twelve pounds weight; two hundred and twenty thousand pounds weight of silver; two thousand two hundred and three of gold; one hundred and twenty-seven thousand Attic tetra-drachms;* two hundred and fifty thousand cistophoruses;† sixteen thousand three hundred and twenty golden Philippics;‡ together with abundance of Gallic arms and spoils in chariots. Fifty-two generals of the enemy were led before his car. He distributed to each of his soldiers forty-two denariuses,§ and double to a centurion; to the foot soldiers double pay, the horsemen triple. Great numbers of all ranks, whom he had distinguished by gifts, accompanied him. The verses thrown out by the soldiers were of such a kind, as plainly indicated, that their commander had been indulgent to them, and courted their affections. It was indeed evident that the triumph was beheld with a greater degree of favour by the troops than by the citizens. The friends of Manlius, however, were able to acquire for him the regard of the people also; for they procured the passing of a decree of the senate, ordering, that “such part of the money contributed to the public funds by the people, for the pay of the forces, as was not yet repaid, should be discharged out of that which had been carried in the procession to the treasury.” Accordingly the city prætors, with care and fidelity, paid twenty-five denariuses and a half∥ for each thousand asses.¶ About this time two military tribunes arrived from the two Spains, with letters from Caius Atinius, and Lucius Manlius, who governed those provinces. These letters contained information, that the Celtiberians and Lusitanians were in arms, and ravaging the territories of the allies; the senate, however, deferred all consideration of that business until the new magistrates should come into office. This year, during the celebration of the Roman games exhibited by Publius Cornelius Cethegus and Aulus Postumius Albinus, a pole in the circus, being loosely set in the ground, fell on the statue of Pollentia, and threw it down. The senate moved by such an incident, as it respected religion, voted that one day should be added to the celebration of the games, that two new statues should be set up instead of the one, and that one of them should be gilded. The plebeian games were likewise repeated for one day, by the ædiles Caius Sempronius Blæsus and Marcus Furius Luscus.
VIII. The consuls of the following year, Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Marcius Philippus, were diverted from the care of armies and wars, and provinces, to the punishing of an intestine conspiracy. On the prætors casting lots for their provinces, Titus Mænius obtained the city jurisdiction; Marcus Licinius Lucullus, that between citizens and foreigners; Caius Aurelius Scaurus, Sardinia; Publius Cornelius Sulla, Sicily; Lucius Quintius Crispinus, hither Spain; Caius Calpurnius Piso, farther Spain; the employment decreed to both the consuls was the making inquisition concerning clandestine meetings. A Greek of mean condition, came, first, into Etruria, not with one of the many trades which his nation, of all others the most skilful in embellishing the mind and body, has introduced among us, but a low operator in sacrifices, and a soothsayer: nor was he to be ranked with those who, publicly professing to give instruction for hire, make use of open rites and ceremonies, to imbue men’s minds with religious terrors, but a teacher of secret mysteries. These mysterious rites were, at first imparted to a few, but afterwards communicated to great numbers, both men and women. To their religious performances were added the pleasures of wine and feasting, to allure the greater number of proselytes. When wine, lascivious discourse, night, and the mingling of sexes had extinguished every sentiment of modesty, then debaucheries of every kind began to be practised, as every person found at hand that sort of enjoyment to which he was disposed by the passion most prevalent in his nature. Nor were they confined to one species of vice, the promiscuous intercourse of free-born men and of women; but from this store-house of villiany proceeded false witnesses, counterfeit seals, false evidences, and pretended discoveries. In the same place, too, were perpetrated secret murders; so that, in some cases, even the bodies could not even be found for burial. Many of their audacious deeds were brought about by treachery, but most of them by force, and this force was concealed by loud shouting, and the noise of drums and cymbals, so that none of the cries uttered by the persons suffering violation or murder could be heard abroad.
IX. The infection of this mischief, like that of a pestilence, spread from Etruria to Rome; where, the size of the city affording greater room for such evils, and more means of concealment, it remained some time undiscovered; but information of it was at length brought to the consul, Postumius, in the following manner. One Publius Æbutius, whose father had held equestrian rank in the army, was left an orphan, and, his guardians dying, he was educated under the eye of his mother Duronia, and his stepfather Titus Sempronius Rutilus. Duronia was entirely devoted to her husband; and Sempronius having managed the guardianship in such a manner that he could not give an account of the property, wished that his ward should be either made away with, or bound to compliance with his will by some strong tie. The Bacchanalian rites presented themselves to his view, as the surest way to effect the ruin of the youth. His mother told him, that, “during his sickness, she had made a vow for him, that if he should recover, she would initiate him among the Bacchanalians; that being, through the kindness of the gods, bound by this vow, she wished now to fulfil it; that it was necessary he should preserve chastity for ten days, and on the tenth, after he should have supped and washed himself, she would conduct him into the place of worship.” There was a freedwoman called Hispala Facenia a noted courtezan, but deserving of a better lot than that of the occupation to which she had been accustomed when very young, and a slave, and by which she had maintained herself since her manumission. As they lived in the same neighbourhood, an intimacy subsisted between her and Æbutius, which was far from being injurious either to the young man’s character or property; for she had conceived a passion for him, and had voluntarily sought his acquaintance; and as his supplies from his friends were scanty, he was supported by the generosity of this woman. Nay, to such a length did her affection carry her, that on the death of her patron, being without a protector, she petitioned the tribunes and prætor for a guardian, and, making her will, constituted Æbutius her sole heir.
X. As such pledges of mutual love subsisted, and as neither kept any thing secret from the other, the young man, jokingly, bid her not be surprised if he separated himself from her for a few nights; as, “on account of a religious duty, to discharge a vow made for his health, he intended to be initiated among the Bacchanalians.” On hearing this, the woman, greatly alarmed, cried out, “May the gods forbid!” affirming that “it would be better, both for him and her, to lose their lives, than that he should do such a thing:” she then imprecated curses, vengeance, and destruction, on the head of those that had advised him to such a step. Æbutius, surprised both at her expressions, and at the violence of her alarm, bid her refrain from curses, for “it was his mother who ordered him to do so, with the approbation of his stepfather.” “Then,” said she, “your stepfather (for perhaps it is not allowable to censure your mother) is in haste to destroy, by that act, your chastity, your character, your hopes, and your life.” This increasing his surprise, he begged of her to explain herself. On which, after imploring the favour and pardon of the gods and goddesses, if, compelled by her regard for him, she disclosed what ought not to be revealed, she told him, that “when in service, she had gone into that place of worship as an attendant on her mistress; but that, since she had obtained her liberty, she had never once gone near it: that she knew it to be the receptacle of all kinds of debaucheries; that it was well known, that, for two years past, no one older than twenty had been initiated there. When any person was introduced, he was delivered as a victim to the priests, who led him away to a place resounding with shouts, the sound of music, and the beating of cymbals and drums, lest his cries, while suffering forcible violation, should be heard abroad.” She then intreated and besought him to put an end to that matter in some way or other; and not to plunge himself into a situation, where he must first suffer, and afterwards commit, every thing that was abominable. Nor did she quit him until the young man gave her his promise to keep himself clear of those rites.
XI. When he came home, on his mother’s mention of the ceremonies which were to be performed on that day, and on the several following days, he told her, that he would not perform any of them, nor did he intend to be initiated. His stepfather was present at this discourse. Immediately the woman, with great heat, observed, that “he could not debar himself of the company of Hispala for ten nights; that he was so fascinated by the caresses of that serpent, as to retain no respect for his relatives, or even the gods themselves.” Loading him with reproaches, they drove him out of the house, assisted by four slaves. The youth on this repaired to his aunt Æbutia, told her the reason of his being turned out by his mother, and next day, by her advice, gave information of the affair to the consul Postumius, in private. The consul dismissed him, with an order to come again on the third day following. In the mean time, he inquired of his mother-in-law, Sulpicia, a woman of respectable character, “whether she knew an old matron called Æbutia, who lived on the Aventine hill?” Sulpicia said, “she knew her well, and that Æbutia was a woman of virtue; one whose character was marked with the modesty and simplicity of ancient times.” He then requested she might be summoned thither, as he had a particular reason for desiring some conversation with her. Æbutia, on receiving the message, came to Sulpicia’s house, and the consul, soon after, coming in, as if by accident, introduced a conversation about Æbutius, her brother’s son. On this she burst into tears, and lamented the unhappy lot of the youth; “who, after being defrauded by persons who should the rather have been his protectors, was, at that time, obliged to take up his residence with her, being driven out of doors by his mother, for no other reason but because he had refused to be initiated in certain mysteries of lewdness, as they were said to be.”
XII. The consul, on receiving this information respecting Æbutius, was of opinion that no suspicion could be entertained of his testimony. Taking leave, therefore, of Æbutia, he requested his mother-in-law to send again to the Aventine, for Hispala, a freedwoman, not unknown in that neighbourhood; for that he wanted to question her also. When Hispala received Sulpicia’s message, she was not a little alarmed at being sent for by a woman of such high rank and respectable character, and could not conjecture the cause; but, afterwards, when she saw the lictors in the porch, the multitude of Posthumia’s attendants, and afterwards himself, she was very near fainting. The consul led her into a retired part of the house, and, in the presence of his mother-in law, told her, that “she need not be uneasy, if she could resolve to speak the truth; and of this, either Sulpicia, a matron whose character she must know, or himself, would give her full assurance.” He then desired her to give him an account of all that was done by the Bacchanalians, in their nocturnal orgies, in the grove of Simila. The woman, on hearing this, was seized with such terror, and trembling of all her limbs, that, for a long time, she was unable to speak; but recovering, at length, she said, that “when she was very young, and a slave, she had been initiated, together with her mistress; but for several years past, since she had obtained her liberty, she knew nothing of what was done there.” The consul commended her, so far, as not having denied that she was initiated, but charged her to explain all the rest with the same sincerity; and on her persisting to affirm, that she knew nothing farther, he told her, that “she must not expect to meet the same tenderness, or pardon, if she should be convicted by another person, and one who had made a voluntary confession; that there was such a person, who had heard the whole from her, and had given him a full account of it.” The woman, now convinced that it must certainly be Æbutius who had discovered the secret, threw herself at Sulpicia’s feet, and, at first, began to beseech her, “not to let the private conversation of a freedwoman with her lover be made not only a serious business, but even capital charge;” declaring that, “she had spoken of such things merely to frighten him, and not because she knew any thing of the kind.” On this, Posthumius growing angry, said, “she seemed to imagine that she was wrangling with her gallant Æbutius, and not that she was speaking in the house of a most respectable matron, and to a consul.” Sulpicia endeavoured to dispel her terrors, and while she encouraged her to speak out, at the same time pacified her son-in-law’s anger. At length she took courage, and, after severe remarks on the perfidy of Æbutius, in making such a return for the extraordinary kindness shown to him in that very instance, she declared, that “she stood in great dread of the gods, whose secret mysteries she was to divulge; and also of men, who, should she be seized as an informer, would certainly put her to death. Therefore, she entreated this favour of Sulpicia, and likewise of the consul, that they would send her out of Italy, so that she might pass the remainder of her life in safety.” The consul desired she would fear nothing; assuring her, it should be his care that she might live securely in Rome.
XIII. Hispala then gave a full account of the origin of the mysteries. “At first,” she said, “the rites were performed by women. No man used to be admitted. They had three stated days in the year on which persons were initiated among the Bacchanalians, in the day time. The matrons used to be appointed priestesses, successively in their turn. Paculla Minia, a Campanian, when priestess, made an alteration in every particular, under pretence of having been so directed by the gods. For she first introduced men, who were her own sons, Minucius and Herennius, both surnamed Cerrinius; changed the time of celebration, from day to night; and, instead of three days in the year, appointed five days of initiation, in each month. When the rites were thus made common, and men were intermixed with women, the night encouraging licentious freedom, there was nothing wicked, nothing flagitious, that had not been practised among them. There were more frequent pollutions of men, with each other, than with women. If any showed an uncommon degree of reluctance, in submitting to dishonour, or of disinclination to the commission of vice, they were held as victims, and sacrificed. To think nothing unlawful, was the grand maxim of their religion. The men, as if bereft of reason, uttered predictions, with frantic contortions of their bodies; the women, in the habit of Bacchantes, with their hair dishevelled, and carrying blazing torches, ran down to the Tiber; where, dipping their torches in the water, they drew them up again with the flame unextinguished, being composed of native sulphur and charcoal. They said, that men were carried off by the gods, when, after being fettered, they were dragged into secret caves. These were such as refused to take the oath of the society, or to associate in their crimes. or to submit to defilement. Their number was exceedingly great, enough almost to compose a state in themselves, and among them were many men and women of noble families. During the last two years, it had been a rule, that no person above the age of twenty should be initiated; for they sought for people of such age as made them more liable to suffer deception and personal abuse.” When she had finished this recital, she again fell at the consul’s knees, and repeated the same entreaties, that she might be sent out of the country. Posthumius requested Sulpicia to clear some part of the house, into which Hispala might remove; accordingly, an apartment was assigned her in the upper part of it, of which the stairs, opening into the street, were stopped up, and the entrance made from the inner court. Thither all Fecenia’s effects were immediately removed, and her domestics sent for. Æbutius, also, was ordered to remove to the house of one of the consul’s dependents.
XIV. Having thus secured the informers, Posthumius represented the affair to the senate. When he laid before them the whole, in order, the information offered to him at first, and the discoveries gained by his inquiries afterwards, the senators were struck with great consternation; not only on the public account, lest such conspiracies, and nightly meetings, might be productive of secret treachery and mischief, but, likewise, on account of their own particular families, lest some of their relations might be involved in this infamous affair. They voted, however, that thanks should be given to the consul, for having investigated the matter, with singular diligence, and without exciting any alarm. They then passed an order, out of the common course, that the consuls should hold an inquisition extraordinary, concerning the Bacchanals and their nocturnal orgies; should take care that the informers, Æbutius and Fecenia, might suffer no injury on that account; and that they should invite other informers in the matter, by offering rewards. They ordered, that the officials in those rites, whether men or women, should, wherever found, be delivered over to the power of the consuls; and also that proclamation should be made, in the city of Rome, and published through all Italy, that “no persons initiated in the Bacchanalian rites should presume to come together or assemble on account of those rites, or to perform any such kind of worship;” and, above all, that search should be made for those who had assembled, or conspired, for the above named purpose, or for any other flagitious practices. These were the decrees of the senate. The consuls directed the curule ædiles to make strict inquiry after all the priests of those mysteries, and to keep such as they could apprehend in custody until their trial; they at the same time charged the plebeian ædiles to take care that no religious ceremonies should be performed in private. The capital triumvirs were ordered to post watches in proper places of the city, and to use vigilance to prevent any meetings by night. In order likewise to guard against fires, five assistants were joined to the triumvirs, so that each might have the charge of the buildings in his own separate district, on both sides the Tiber.
XV. After despatching these officers to their several employments, the consuls mounted the rostrum; and, having summoned an assembly of the people, one of the consuls, when he had finished the solemn form of prayer usually pronounced by the magistrates, before they address the people, proceeded thus: “Romans, in no former assembly was this solemn supplication to the gods more proper or even more necessary; as it serves to remind you, that these are the deities whom the wisdom of your forefathers pointed out as the objects of your worship, veneration, and prayers; and not those which, after infatuating men’s minds with corrupt and foreign modes of religion, drive them, as if goaded by the furies, to the indulgence of every lust, and the commission of every vice. I am in doubt as to what I should conceal, or how far I ought to speak out; for I dread, lest, if I leave you ignorant of any particular, I should give room for carelessness, or, if I disclose the whole, that I should too much awaken your fears. Whatever I shall say, be assured, that it is less than the magnitude and atrociousness of the affair would justify; though it may be sufficient to set us properly on our guard. That the Bacchanalian rites have subsisted, for some time past, in every country in Italy, and are, at present, performed in many parts of this city also, I am sure you must have been informed, not only by report, but by the nightly noises, and horrid yells, that resound from every part; but still you are ignorant of the nature of that business. Part of you think it is some kind of worship of the gods; others, some allowable sport and amusement, and that whatever it may be, it concerns but a few. As to what regards the number, if I tell you that there are many thousands, and without order, you must necessarily be terrified to excess, unless I farther acquaint you who and what sort of persons they are. First, then, a great part of them are women, and this was the source of the evil; the rest are males, but nearly resembling women, actors and pathicks, in the vilest lewdness; night revellers, hurried on, by wine, noise of instruments, and clamours, to a degree of mad enthusiasm. The conspiracy, as yet, has no strength; but it has abundant means of acquiring strength, for its numbers increase daily. Your ancestors would not allow that you should ever assemble, without some good reason; that is, either when the standard was erected on the Janiculum, and the army led out on occasion of elections; or when the tribunes proclaimed a meeting of the commons, or some of the magistrates summoned you to it. And they judged it necessary, that, wherever a multitude was, there should be a lawful governor of that multitude present. Of what kind, do you suppose, are the meetings of these people? In the first place, being held in the night, and, in the next, being composed promiscuously of men and women? If you knew at what ages the males are initiated, not only your compassionate feelings, but your modesty, would be shocked. Romans, can you think youths initiated, under such oaths as theirs, are fit to be made soldiers? That wretches, brought out of that temple of obscenity, should be trusted with arms? Shall these, contaminated with their own foul debaucheries, and those of others, be the champions for the chastity of your wives and children?
XVI. “But the mischief were less, if they were only effeminated by their practices; of that the disgrace would chiefly affect themselves; if they refrained their hands from outrage, and their thoughts from fraud. But never was there in the state an evil of so great magnitude, or one that extended to so many persons, and comprehended so many acts of wickedness. Whatever deeds of villainy have, of late, been committed, through lust; whatever, through fraud; whatever, through violence; they have, all, be assured, proceeded from that association alone. They have not yet perpetrated all the crimes for which they combined. The impious assembly, at present, confines itself to outrages on private citizens; because it has not yet acquired force sufficient to crush the commonwealth: but the evil increases and spreads daily; it is already too great to find employment among the private ranks of life, and aims its views at the body of the state. Unless you take timely precautions, Romans, their nightly assembly may become as large as this, held in open day, and legally summoned by a consul. At this present moment, they dread your collected body; but, in a short time, when you shall have separated, and retired to your several dwellings, they will again come together. They will hold a consultation on the means of their own safety, and, at the same time, of your destruction. Thus united, they will cause terror to every one. You, therefore, ought to pray, that all your kindred may have behaved with wisdom and prudence; and if lust, if madness, has dragged any of them into that abyss, to consider such a person as the relation of those with whom he conspired for the perpetration of every wickedness, and not as one of your own. I am not quite free from anxiety, lest some, even of yourselves, may have erred through mistake; for nothing is more apt to deceive, by specious appearances, than false religion. When the authority of the gods is held out, as a pretext, to cover vice, we become fearful, lest, in punishing the crimes of men, we may violate some divine right connected therewith. But from any scruple of that sort, you are entirely freed, by numberless decisions of the pontiffs, decrees of the senate, and answers of the Aruspices. How often, in the ages of our fathers, was it given in charge to the magistrates, to prohibit the performance of any foreign religious rites; to banish strolling sacrificers and soothsayers from the forum, the circus, and the city; to search for, and burn, books of divination; and to abolish every mode of sacrificing that was not conformable to the Roman practice? For they, who had a thorough knowledge of every divine and human law, maintained that nothing tended so strongly to the subversion of religion, as foreign sacrifices. Thus much I thought necessary to mention to you beforehand, that no vain scruple might disturb your minds when you should see us demolishing the places, resorted to by the Bacchanalians, and dispersing their impious assemblies. In doing this, we shall be favoured and approved by the gods; who, being incensed at the profanations offered to their majesty, by those people’s lusts and crimes, have drawn forth their proceedings from hidden darkness, into the open light; and who have directed them to be exposed, not that they may escape with impunity, but in order that they may be punished and suppressed. The senate have commissioned me and my colleague, to hold an inquisition extraordinary, concerning that affair. What is requisite to be done by ourselves, in person, we will do with energy. The charge of posting watches through the city, during the night, we have committed to the inferior magistrates; and, for your parts, it is incumbent on you, according to the several duties assigned you, and in the several places where you will be placed, to execute vigorously whatever orders you shall receive; and to use your best endeavours, that no danger or tumult may arise, from the treachery of the party involved in the guilt.”
XVII. They then ordered the decrees of the senate to be read, and published a reward for any discoverer, who should bring any of the guilty before them, or give information against any of the absent, adding that “if any person accused should fly, they would limit a certain day, upon which, if he did not obey their summons, and appear to answer, they would condemn him without waiting for his return; and if any one should be charged, who was out of Italy, they would allow him a longer time to come and make his defence.” They then issued an edict, that “no person whatever should presume to buy or sell any thing, for the purpose of leaving the country or to receive or conceal any such; nor, by any means, aid or abet any persons about to migrate.” On the assembly being dismissed, great terror spread throughout the city; nor was it confined merely within the walls or to the Roman territory, for in every quarter of Italy, the people, on being informed by letters from their friends of the decree of the senate, of what passed in the assembly, and of the edict of the consuls, began to be much alarmed. During the night, which succeeded the day in which the affair was made public, great numbers, attempting to fly, were seized and brought back, by the triumvirs, who had posted guards at all the gates; and informations were lodged against many, some of whom, both men and women, put themselves to death. It was said, that above seven thousand of both sexes had been sworn into the association; but it appeared, that the heads of the conspiracy, were two Catinii, Marcus and Lucius, citizens of Rome; Lucius Opiturnius, a Faliscian; and Minius Cerrinius, a Campanian: that from these proceeded all their criminal practices, and that these were the chief priests and founders of the sect. Care was taken that they should be apprehended, as soon as possible. They were brought before the consuls, and, confessing their guilt, saved them the trouble of a long and formal trial.
XVIII. But so great were the numbers that fled that many people suffered severely thereby, in their lawsuits and their substance; insomuch that the prætors, Titus Mænius and Marcus Licinius were obliged, under the direction of the senate, to adjourn their courts for thirty days, until the inquiries should be finished by the consuls. As the persons, against whom charges were brought, did not appear to answer, nor could be found in Rome, it became necessary for the consuls to make a circuit of the country towns, and there to make their inquisitions, and hold the trials. Those who, as it appeared, had been only initiated, repeating after the priest, and in the most solemn form, the prescribed imprecations, but who had not, themselves committed, or compelled others to commit, any of those acts, to which they were bound by the oath — all such they left in prison. But those who had forcibly committed personal defilements, or murders, or were stained with the guilt of false evidence, counterfeit seals, forged wills, or other frauds, all these they punished with death. A greater number were executed than thrown into prison; indeed, the multitude of men and women who suffered in both ways, was very considerable. The consuls delivered the women, who were condemned, to their relations, or to those in whose direction they were, that they might inflict the punishment in private; but if there did not appear any proper person of the kind, to execute the sentence, they were punished in public. A charge was then given to demolish all the places where the Bacchanalians had held their meetings; first, in Rome, and then throughout all Italy; excepting those, wherein should be found some ancient altar, or consecrated statue. With regard to the future, the senate passed a decree, “prohibiting the performance of any the like rites in Rome, or in Italy:” and ordering that, “in case any person should believe some such kind of worship incumbent on him, and necessary; and that he could not, without offence to religion, and incurring guilt, omit it, he should represent this to the city prætor, and the prætor should lay the business before the senate. If permission were granted by the senate, when not less than one hundred members were present, then those rites might be performed, provided that no more than five persons should be present, at the sacrifice, and that they should have no common stock of money, nor any president of the ceremonies, nor priest.”
XIX. Another decree, connected with this, was then made, on a motion of the consul, Quintus Marcius, that “the business respecting the persons who had served the consuls as informers should be proposed to the senate, when Spurius Postumius should have finished his inquiries, and returned to Rome.” They voted, that Minius Cerrinius, the Campanian, should be sent to Ardea, to be kept in custody there; and that a caution should be given to the magistrates of that city, to guard him with more than ordinary care, so as to prevent not only his escaping, but his laying violent hands on himself. Spurius Postumius soon came to Rome, and, on his proposing the question, concerning the reward to be given to Publius Æbutius and Hispala Fecenia, for their services in discovering the proceedings of the Bacchanalians, the senate passed a vote, that “the city quæstors should give to each of them, out of the public treasury, one hundred thousand asses;* and that the consuls should desire the plebeian tribunes to propose to the commons, as soon as convenient, that Publius Æbutius should be deemed to have served out his time in the army, that he should not be compelled to military duty, nor should any censor assign him a horse* at the public charge.” They voted also, that “Hispala Fecenia should enjoy the privileges of alienating her property by gift, or deed; of marrying out of her rank, and of choosing a guardian, as if a husband had conferred them by will; that she should be at liberty to wed a man of honourable birth, and that such person, marrying her, should not thereby incur any disgrace or disparagement; and that the consuls, then in office, and their successors, should take care that no injury should be offered to Hispala, but that she might live in safety. That it was the opinion, and desire, of the senate, that all these things should be so ordered.”— All these particulars were proposed to the commons, and executed, according to the vote of the senate; the consuls at the same time being authorised to determine respecting the impunity, and rewards of the other informers.
XX. Quintus Marcius, having completed the inquiries in his district, prepared, at length, to proceed into the province of Liguria, for the service of which he received a supply of three thousand Roman foot and one hundred and fifty horse, with five thousand Latine foot, and two hundred horse. The same province, and the same numbers of horse and foot, had been voted to his colleague, and they received the armies, which, during the preceding year, the consuls, Caius Flaminius and Marcus Æmilius, had commanded. They were, also, ordered by a decree of the senate, to raise two new legions, and they demanded from the allies and Latines twenty thousand foot, and one thousand three hundred horse; besides all which, they levied three thousand Roman foot, and two hundred horse, all which troops, except the legions, were ordered to march into Spain, to re-inforce the army employed there. The consuls, therefore, while themselves were kept busy, in holding the inquisitions, had delegated to Titus Mænius the charge of enlisting the troops. When the trials were finished, Quintus Marcius, first marched against the Apuan Ligurians. While he pursued these into very remote fastnesses, which had always served them as lurking places and receptacles, he was surrounded in a dangerous defile, inclosed by eminences, which were occupied by the enemy. Here four thousand soldiers fell, and three standards of the second legion, with eleven ensigns of the Latine allies, were taken; abundance of arms were likewise lost, being thrown away by the men, because they impeded their flight through the woody paths. The Ligurians ceased to pursue, sooner than the Romans to fly. As soon as the consul had effected his escape out of the enemy’s territories, he disbanded the troops, in the country of their friends, in order to conceal the greatness of the loss sustained. But he could not obliterate all memorial of his misconduct; for the pass, where the Ligurians put him to flight, has gotten the name of the Marcian pass.
XXI. Before the public received an account of this affair from Liguria, a letter from Spain was read to them, which produced a mixture of joy and grief. Caius Atinius, who, two years before, had gone to that province, in quality of prætor, fought, in the territory of Asta, a pitched battle with the Lusitanians, in which six thousand of the enemy were killed, the rest routed, driven from the field, and their camp taken. He then marched, at the head of the legions to attack the town of Asta, which he took, with little more trouble than he met at the camp; but, approaching the wall too carelessly, he received a wound, of which he died a few days after. On reading a letter, acquainting them with the proprætor’s death, the senate voted, that a courier should be sent to overtake the prætor, Caius Calpurnius, at the port of Luna, and inform him, that it was the will of the senate, that he should hasten his journey, lest the province should be without a governor. The courier reached Luna, on the fourth day, but Calpurnius had set out some days before. In hither Spain, Lucius Manlius Acidinus, who had come into that province at the same time when Caius Atinius came into his, fought a battle with the Celtiberians, in which neither party could claim the victory, farther than this, that the Celtiberians retreated, during the following night, and left the Romans at liberty to bury their dead, and collect the spoils. In a few days after, the Celtiberians, with a more numerous force, attacked the Romans, near the town of Calaguris. Writers have not mentioned the cause that rendered them weaker after their numbers were increased, but they were defeated in the battle; twelve thousand of their men were killed, more than two thousand taken, their camp falling into the hands of the Romans; and it is probable, if the conqueror’s career had not been stopped, by the arrival of his successor, he would have reduced Celtiberia to entire subjection. Both the new prætors drew off their armies into winter quarters.
XXII. About the time when the news of these transactions in Spain arrived at Rome, the games called Taurilia* were celebrated, during two days, on a religious account. Then Marcus Fulvius exhibited games, which he had vowed in the Ætolian war, and which lasted ten days. Many artists, out of respect to him, came from Greece on the occasion; and now, for the first time, the Romans were entertained with contests of wrestlers; they were also presented with a hunt of lions and panthers; the shows being exhibited in a manner, that fell but little short of the abundance and variety of the present age. The nine days’ solemnity was then performed, showers of stones having fallen, for three days, in Picenum; and fires from heaven, had, as was said, in various places, slightly burned the clothes of many persons. By order of the pontiffs, a supplication, of one day’s continuance, was added on account of the temple of Ops, in the capitol, being struck by lightning. The consul sacrificed victims, of the larger kinds, and purified the city. At the same time, an account was brought from Umbria, of an hermaphrodite, twelve years old, being found there. This was deemed a prodigy of direful import, and orders were given, that it should be removed instantly out of the Roman territories, and put to death. During this year, a body of transalpine Gauls came into Venetia, without committing depredation or hostility, and pitched on a spot, for building a town, not far from that where Aquileia now stands. Ambassadors were sent from Rome, over the Alps, on this business, who were told, that “the state had given those people no authority to quit it, nor did their countrymen know what they were doing in Italy.” About this time Lucius Scipio celebrated games, which, he said, he had vowed during the war with Antiochus; they lasted ten days, and the expense was defrayed by a contribution made to him, for the purpose, by the kings and states of Asia. Valerius Antias asserts, that, after his condemnation, and the sale of his effects, he was sent into Asia, to adjust disputes between the kings Antiochus and Eumenes; where he received these contributions for those games, and collected artists. Although he had made no mention of them, on the conclusion of the war, in which he said they had been vowed. On his return from this embassy, however, he introduced the subject in the senate.
XXIII. As the year was, now, drawing to a conclusion, Quintus Marcius, then abroad, was soon to go out of office Spurius Postumius, after having conducted the inquisitions, with the utmost care and propriety, held the elections.Y. R. 567
185 Appius Claudius Pulcher and Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus were chosen consuls. Next day were elected prætors, Publius Cornelius Cethegus, Aulus Postumius Albinus, Caius Afranius Stellio, Caius Atilius Serranus, Lucius Postumius Tempsanus, and Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Towards the close of the year, the consul, Spurius Postumius, reported, that in travelling along the coasts of Italy, for the purpose of holding the inquisitions, he found two colonies deserted, Sipontum, on the upper sea, and Buxentum on the lower; on which, in pursuance of a decree of the senate, Titus Mænius, city prætor, constituted Lucius Scribonus Libo, Marcus Tuccius, and Cneius Bebius Tamphilus, commissioners for conducting colonists thither. The war, at this time apprehended, with king Perseus and the Macedonians, owed not its origin either to Perseus himself, nor to the causes to which it has been generally attributed. The original idea of it was conceived by Philip, and, if he had lived some time longer, he would himself have entered on the prosecution of it. In the conditions imposed on him, when he was vanquished, there was one particular that chagrined him more than all the rest: this was, his being deprived, by the senate, of the liberty of wreaking his vengeance on such of the Macedonians as had revolted from him, in the course of the war; although, from Quintius having left that point undetermined, when he was adjusting the articles of pacification, he had entertained some hopes of being indulged in it. Afterwards, on the defeat of Antiochus, at Thermopylæ, the armies separated, and the consul Acilius carried on the siege of Heraclea, while Philip besieged Lamia. As soon as Heraclea was taken, however, Philip was ordered to retire from the walls of Lamia, and the town was surrendered to the Romans; this also gave him great offence. The consul, indeed, in some measure, soothed his resentment; for, when he was hastening to Naupactum, where the Ætolians had re-assembled, after their flight, he gave Philip permission to make war on Amynander and Athamania; and to annex to his dominions the cities which the Ætolians had taken from the Thessalians. Without much difficulty, he expelled Amynander from Athamania, and got possession of several cities. He also reduced under his dominion, the city of Demetrias, a place of great strength, and convenient in every respect; with the whole of the Magnesian state. Afterwards, finding that several cities in Thrace, through an abuse of the liberty which they had lately acquired, and to which they had not been accustomed, were distracted by dissensions among their leading men, he, by uniting himself to the parties that were worsted in their disputes with their countrymen, made himself master of them all.
XXIV. By these means the king’s displeasure was silenced for the present: but he never abandoned the project of collecting such a force during peace, as would enable him to maintain a war, whenever fortune should offer an occasion. He augmented the revenues of his kingdom, not only out of the produce of the lands, and the port duties, but, also, by setting men to work again in old mines, which had been neglected, and opening new ones in many places. Then, (in order to restore the country to its former degree of population, which had been diminished by the calamities of war, besides compelling every one to marry and educate children, he transplanted a great multitude of Thracians into Macedonia, and, during a long suspension of arms, he employed the utmost assiduity in augmenting, by every possible means, the strength of his kingdom. Causes afterwards occurred, which served to revive his resentment against the Romans. Complaints were made by the Thessalians and Perrhæbians, of his holding possession of their towns, and, by ambassadors from king Eumenes, of his having forcibly seized the cities of Thrace, and transplanted great numbers of their people into Macedonia. These had been received in such a manner as plainly evinced that they were not thought unworthy of attention. What made the greatest impression on the senate, was, their having been informed, that Philip aimed at the possession of Ænus and Maronea; as to the Thessalians, they regarded them less. Ambassadors came, likewise, from the Athamanians, informing — not that their frontiers were encroached on, or part of their territory taken — but that all Athamania had been brought under the dominion and jurisdiction of the king. Exiles from Maronea also appeared, who had been expelled by the king’s troops, for having supported the cause of liberty; who reported, that not only Maronea, but Ænus too, was held in subjection by him. Ambassadors came from Philip to defend his conduct, asserting, that, in all these cases, nothing had been done without permission from the Roman commanders. That “the states of the Thessalians, Perrhæbians, and Magnesians, and the nation of the Athamanians, with Amynander, had all been engaged in the same cause with the Ætolians. That after the expulsion of king Antiochus, the consul, being himself busy in reducing the towns of Ætolia, had named Philip to subdue those states, and they remained subject to him in consequence of their being conquered by his arms.” The senate, unwilling to come to any decision in the king’s absence, sent Quintus Cæcilius Metellus, Marcus Bæbius Tamphilus, and Tiberius Sempronius, ambassadors to adjust those disputes. Previous to their arrival, a convention of all those states, who had disputes with the king, was summoned to meet at Tempe in Thessaly.
XXV. There, when all were seated, (the Roman ambassadors, in the character of arbitrators, the Thessalians, Perrhæbians, and Athamanians, professedly as accusers, and Philip as defendant,) the heads of the embassies, according to their several tempers, their favour, or their hatred towards the king, spoke, some with acrimony, others with mildness. There was a dispute concerning Philippopolis, Trica, Phaloria, Eurymenæ, and the other towns in their neighbourhood. The point in controversy was, whether these towns were the property of the Thessalians, forcibly taken from them, and held by the Ætolians, (for from these it was acknowledged that Philip had received them,) or whether they were originally belonging to the Ætolians: Acilius having granted them to the king, on the condition that “they had been the property of the Ætolians; and that their siding with the Ætolians had been voluntary, and not the effect of compulsion and force.” The question in regard to the towns of the Perrhæbians and Magnesians, turned on the same points; for the Ætolians, by holding possession of them occasionally, had introduced confusion with respect to the real proprietors of them all. To these particulars, which were matter of discussion, the Thessalians added complaints, that, “if these towns were now restored to them, they would come into their hands in a state of desolation, and depopulated; for besides the loss of inhabitants, through the casualties of war, Philip had carried away five hundred of their young men of the first rank into Macedonia, where he employed them in servile offices, unbecoming their birth; and had taken pains to render useless whatever he should be compelled to restore to the Thessalians. That Thebes in Phthiotis was the only sea-port they had, which, formerly, produced much profit and advantage to the inhabitants of Thessaly; but, that Philip, having collected there a number of ships of burthen, made them steer their course past Thebes to Demetrias; by which means, he turned thither the whole commerce by sea. That he did not now scruple to offer violence, even to ambassadors, who, by the law of nations, are every where held inviolable, but had laid an ambush for theirs who were going to Titus Quintius. In consequence of these proceedings, the Thessalians were all seized with such dread, that not one of them, even in their own states, or in the general assemblies of the nation, ventured to open his lips. For the Romans, the defenders of their liberty, were far distant; and a severe master close at their side, debarring them from the kindness of those their allies. If speech were not free, what else could be said to be so: at present, they confided, so far, in the protection of the ambassadors, as to utter their groans, rather than words; but, unless the Romans would apply some remedy to abate both the fears of the Greeks bordering on Macedonia, and the arrogance of Philip, his having been conquered, and their being set at liberty, would prove utterly fruitless. Like a stubborn, unmanageable horse, he required to be checked with a strong bridle.” These bitter expressions were used by the last speakers among them; those who spoke before having endeavoured, by mildness, to mitigate his resentment; requesting him, “to make allowances for people pleading in defence of their liberty; to lay aside the harshness of a master, and in the course of his conduct, show himself a friend and ally; to imitate the Roman people, who wished to unite their allies to them by the ties of affection, rather than of fear.” When the Thessalians had finished, the Perrhæbians pleaded that Gonnocondylos, to which Philip had given the name of Olympias, belonged to Perrhæbia, and ought to be restored to them; and the same demand was made with respect to Malœa, and Ericinium. The Athamanians claimed a restoration of liberty, with the forts Athenæus and Pœtneus.
XXVI. Philip, that he might maintain the appearance of an accuser, rather than of a defendant, began his discourse also with complaints. He alleged, that “the Thessalians had taken by force of arms, Menclais in Dolopia, a town belonging to his dominions; likewise Petra in Pieria, by the same Thessalians, and the Perrhæbians; that they had reduced, under their government, Xyniæ, which unquestionably belonged to Ætolia, and had, without any colour of justice, subjected to the jurisdiction of the Thessalians, Parachelois, in the territory of Athamania. As to the charges brought against him, concerning an ambush laid for ambassadors, and of sea-ports being frequented or deserted, the one was quite ridiculous, (as if he were to account for what harbours merchants or sailors should frequent;) and the other, the constant tenor of his conduct refuted. During a number of years, ambassadors had never ceased carrying complaints against him, sometimes to the Roman generals, at others to Rome to the senate, though none of them had ever been injured, even in words. They said, indeed, that an ambush was once laid for some who were going to Quintius, but they are silent in regard to consequences. It was evident, that the authors sought for groundless imputations, because they had none to offer that were founded in truth.” He said, that “the Thessalians, insolently and wantonly, abused the indulgence of the Roman people, too greedily drinking as it were, strong draughts of liberty after a long thirst; and thus, in the manner of slaves lately set free, made trial of their voices and tongues, and prided themselves in invectives and railings against their masters.” Then, hurried on by passion, he added, that “his sun had not set yet;” which expression, not only the Thessalians, but the Romans also, took as a menace to themselves, and a murmur of displeasure followed his words. When this at length ceased, he proceeded to answer the ambassadors of the Perrhæbians and Athamanians. He observed, “the cases of the cities of which they had spoken were the same. The consul Acilius and the Romans gave them to him, when they were the property of enemies. If the donors chose to resume what they had given, he knew he must submit, but in that case they would, for the gratification of inconstant and unprofitable allies, do injury to a more useful and more faithful friend. For no favour produced less permanent gratitude than the gift of liberty, especially among people who were ready to make a bad use of it.” After hearing all parties, the ambassadors pronounced their judgment, that “the Macedonian garrisons should be withdrawn from the cities in question, and that the kingdom of Macedonia should be limited within its ancient boundaries. That, with regard to the injuries complained of by the several parties, in order to decide the controversies between those states and the Macedonians, it would be requisite to institute a regular judicial inquiry into their several rights.”
XXVII. This determination gave grievous offence to the king, and the ambassadors proceeded thence to Thessalonice, to give a hearing to the business concerning the cities of Thrace. Here the ambassadors of Eumenes said, that “if the Romans wished that Ænus and Maronea, should be independent, the king had nothing more to say, than to recommend it to them to leave those people free in fact, though not in words; nor to suffer their kindness to be intercepted by another. But, if they had not so much concern for the cities in Thrace, it was much more reasonable, that places which had been under the dominion of Antiochus, and were become the prize of victory, should be granted to Eumenes, than to Philip; and that, either an account of his father Attalus’s deserts in the war, waged by the Roman people against Philip himself, or on account of his own, in sharing all the toils and dangers on land and sea, during the war with Antiochus. Besides, he had the previous judgment of the ten ambassadors to that purpose; who, when they granted the Chersonesus and Lysimachia, surely yielded, at the same time, Ænus and Maronea; which even from the proximity of situation were but a sort of appendages to the larger gift. For, as to Philip, what merits towards the Roman people, or what right of dominion could he plead for having put garrisons into those places, which were at so great a distance from the borders of Macedonia? They then desired, that the Romans would order the Maronites to be called, from whom they would receive more positive information of the condition of those cities.” The Maronite ambassadors, being called in, declared, that “not in one spot of the city, as was usually the case, but in every quarter of it, there was a party of the king’s troops, so that Maronea was full of Macedonians; in consequence of which, the party that showed themselves disposed to humour the king, domineered over the rest; they alone had liberty of speaking either in the senate, or assemblies of the people. All posts of eminence they assumed to themselves, or conferred on whom they thought proper. Persons of the best characters, and who had a regard for liberty and for the laws, were either expelled their country; or obliged to sit down in silence, deprived of all share in the public honours, and exposed to insolence.” They added also a few words respecting their right to the frontier places, affirming, that “Quintus Fabius Labeo, when he was in that country, had fixed as a boundary line to Philip, the old royal road leading to Paroreia, in Thrace, which in no place leads towards the sea; and that Philip afterwards drew a new one in another direction, in order to comprehend the cities and lands of the Maronites.”
XXVIII. Philip, in his reply, took quite another course than when answering the Thessalians and Perrhæbians, and spoke to the following effect:—“I dispute not now with the Maronites, or with Eumenes, but with you yourselves, Romans, from whom, as it would seem, I am not to expect any justice. The cities of Macedonia, which had revolted from me during a suspension of arms, I wished to have been restored to me; not that they would have made any great accession to my dominions, because the towns are small in themselves, and, besides, are situated on the extremities of the frontiers; but because the example was of consequence towards retaining the rest of the Macedonians, in their allegiance. This was refused me. In the Ætolian war, I was ordered, by the consul Manius Acilius to lay seige to Lamia, and when I had there undergone a long course of fatigue in fighting and constructing works, and was on the point of mounting the walls, the consul recalled me when the city was almost in my possession, forcing me to draw off my troops. As some consolation for his hard treatment, I received permission to seize on some forts rather than cities, of Thessaly, Perrhæbia, and Athamania. Of these also, Quintus Cæcilius has deprived me. The ambassadors of Eumenes, just now, took for granted, it seems, that whatever belonged to Antiochus would more properly be given to Eumenes than to me. My judgment of the matter is widely different. For, not on the Romans proving victorious, but on their engaging in the war, Eumenes’ continuance on his throne depended. The obligation, therefore, lies on his side, not on yours, whereas, so far were any part of my dominions from being in danger, that, when Antiochus voluntarily offered to purchase my alliance, with three thousand talents and fifty decked ships, guaranteeing to me all the cities of Greece, of which I had heretofore been in possession, I rejected that offer. I avowed myself his enemy, even before Manius Acilius brought over an army into Greece. In conjunction with that consul, I supported whatever share of the war he gave me in charge. To serve the succeeding consul, Lucius Scipio, when he proposed leading his army by land, to the Hellespont, besides giving him a passage through my dominions, I also made roads for him, built bridges, supplied him with provisions, and convoying him, not only through Macedonia, but likewise through Thrace; where, besides other business, I had the task of keeping the barbarians quiet. In requital of this zealous, not to call it meritorious, conduct towards you, whether would it be proper in you, Romans, to grant me some addition to my dominions by acts of generosity, or to ravish from me what I possessed, either in my own right, or through your kindness? The cities of Macedonia, which you acknowledge to have belonged to my kingdom, are not restored. Eumenes comes to plunder me as he would Antiochus, and covers his most shameless and groundless chicanery, under the decree of the ten ambassadors, the very circumstance that completely refutes and convicts him. For is it not expressly and plainly set down in that writing, that the Chersonese and Lysimachia are granted to Eumenes; and is there any mention therein of Ænus, Maronea, and the cities of Thrace? That which he did not dare ever to ask from them, shall he obtain from you, as if under their grant? Much depends on the character in which you choose to consider me. If you are resolved to persecute me as a foe, proceed to act as you have begun: but, if you have any consideration of me, as a king in friendship and alliance with you, I must intreat you not to judge me deserving of such injurious treatment.”
XXXIX. The king’s discourse made a considerable impression on the ambassadors; they therefore left the matter in suspense by this indecisive resolution, that “if the cities in question were granted to Eumenes by the decree of the ten ambassadors, they would make no alteration. If Philip subdued them in war, he should by the laws of war, hold them as the prize of victory. If neither were the case, then their judgment was, that the decision should be referred to the senate; and in order that every particular might be open for deliberation, the garrisons in those cities should be withdrawn.” These causes, among others of less weight, aleniated the regard of Philip from the Romans, so that in all appearance the war was not set on foot by his son Perseus for any fresh causes, but rather was, for these causes, bequeathed by the father to the son. At Rome there was hitherto no suspicion of a war with Macedonia. Lucius Manlius, proconsul, had by this time come home from Spain. He demanded a triumph from the senate assembled in the temple of Bellona, and his demand was justified by the greatness of his exploits, but contradicted by precedent; for it was a rule established by ancient practice, that no commander, who had not brought home his troops, should triumph, unless he had delivered up the province to his successor, in a state of thorough subjection and tranquillity. However, the senate took a middle course, and ordered that Manlius should enter the city in ovation. He carried in the procession fifty-two golden crowns, one hundred and twenty-two pounds weight of gold, with sixteen thousand three hundred pounds of silver; giving public notice, in the senate, that his quæstor, Quintus Fabius, was bringing ten thousand pounds weight of silver, and eighty of gold, which he intended to carry likewise to the treasury. During that year there was a formidable insurrection of the slaves in Apulia. Lucius Postumius, prætor, governed the province of Tarentum, who conducted with much severity, inquiries into a conspiracy of peasants, who had infested the roads and public pastures with robberies. Of these, he passed sentence on no less than seven thousand; many of whom made their escape, and many were punished. The consuls, after being long detained in the city by the levies, set out at length for their provinces.
XXX. This year Caius Calpurnius and Lucius Quintius, the two prætors in Spain, drew their troops out of winter quarters, early in spring, and making a junction of them in Bæturia, for they were resolved to proceed in the operations of the campaign with united zeal and harmony, advanced into Carpetania, where the enemy’s camp lay. At a small distance from the towns of Hippo and Toletum, a fight began between the foraging parties; and as reinforcements came up on both sides, from the camps, the entire armies were, by degrees drawn out into the field. In this irregular kind of battle, the advantage of the ground and the manner of fighting were in favour of the enemy. The two Roman armies were routed, and driven into their camp; but the enemy did not pursue the advantage, which the others fears afforded them. The Roman prætors, lest their camp should be attacked next day, gave orders, without noise for decamping, and led away their army in the dead of the following night. At the first dawn, the Spaniards came up to the rampart in battle array, and finding, beyond their expectation, that the camp was deserted, marched in, and made prey of whatever had in the hurry and confusion been first left behind; and then, returning to their own station, remained quiet for several days. Of the Romans and allies, there were killed in the battle and the pursuit, five thousand men, out of whose spoils the enemy furnished themselves with arms. They then advanced to the river Tagus. All the intermediate time, the Roman prætors employed in collecting aid from the allied Spanish states, and recovering the spirits of their men from the dismay occasioned by their defeat. When they judged their strength sufficient, and found themselves called on by the soldiers, to lead them against the enemy, that they might blot out their former disgrace, they took post at the distance of twelve miles from the river Tagus; but decamping thence at the third watch, and marching in order of battle, reached the bank of the river at the break of day. The enemy’s camp was on a hill at the other side of the river. Having discovered two fords, Calpurnius immediately led his army across through that on the left. All this time, the enemy continued motionless, surprised at the sudden arrival of the Romans, and busy in consultations, when they might have greatly distressed the troops during their hurry and confusion in passing the river. The Romans brought all over even to their baggage, which they threw together in a heap. Seeing the enemy, at length, begin to move, and having no time for fortifying a camp, they formed their line of battle, placing in the centre, the fifth legion, serving under Calpurnius, and the eighth under Quintius, which composed the principal strength of their army. From hence, all the way to the enemy’s camp, they had an open plain, where there could be no danger of ambush.
XXXI. When the Spaniards saw the two bodies of Romans, on their side of the river, they resolved to fall upon them before they should unite and put themselves in order: rushing therefore suddenly out of the camp, they advanced to battle at full speed. The fight in the beginning, was urged with great fury; the Spaniards being elated by their late success, and the Roman soldiery inflamed to rage by a discomfiture to which they were unaccustomed. The centre, consisting of two legions of the greatest bravery, fought with the utmost vigour. The enemy, seeing that they could not be forced from their ground by any other means, resolved to make their attack in form of a wedge; and this body, becoming continually more numerous and more compact, pressed hard on them. When the prætor, Calpurnius, perceived the distress of this part of his line, he hastily despatched two lieutenants-general, Titus Quintilius Varus and Lucius Juventius Thalna, to animate the courage of the two legions, who were ordered to say, that “all hopes of victory, and of retaining possession of Spain depended entirely on them. If they should give ground, not a man in that whole army would ever see Italy, no, nor even the farther bank of the Tagus.” He himself at the head of the cavalry of the two legions, making a small circuit charged the flank of the wedge, which was pressing upon his centre. Quintius, likewise, with his cavalry, charged the enemy on the other flank; but the horsemen of Calpurnius fought with far greater spirit, while the prætor himself exceeded all others. He was the first that struck down one of the enemy, and he pushed in among the troops, in the centre, in such a manner, that it was hard to distinguish to which side he belonged. Thus the horse were animated by the extraordinary valour of the prætor, and the infantry by that of the horse. The foremost centurions, seeing the prætor in the midst of the enemy’s weapons, were struck with shame. They all, therefore, earnestly pressed the standard bearers, urging them to carry forward the ensigns, and the soldiers to follow with speed. All set up the shout a-new, and made an attack as violent as if they were rushing down a hill. Like a flood, therefore, they broke and bore down the enemy in dismay, nor was it possible to withstand them, pouring in one after another. The Spaniards, flying to their camp, were pursued by the cavalry, who, mixing in the crowd of the runaways, penetrated into it. Here the fight was renewed, by the troops left to guard the same, and the Roman horsemen were obliged to dismount. While they were engaged, the fifth legion came up, with the rest of the troops. The Spaniards were cut to pieces, in all parts of the camp; not more than four thousand men making their escape. Of these, about three thousand, who kept their arms, took post on a mountain, at a small distance, and one thousand, who were in general but half armed, dispersed through the country. This army of the enemy had contained thirty-five thousand men, of whom that very small number survived the battle. One hundred and thirty-three standards were taken. Of the Romans and allies, a few more than six hundred fell; and, of the provincial auxiliaries, about one hundred and fifty. The loss of five military tribunes, and a few Roman horsemen, was the only circumstance that made the victory appear to have been dearly earned. The army lodged in the enemy’s camp, as they had not had time to fortify one of their own. Next day, Calpurnius, in an assembly, commended the behaviour of the cavalry, making them presents of horse furniture, and declaring publicly, that through their bravery principally, the enemy had been defeated, and their camp stormed and taken. Quintius, likewise gave chains and clasps to his men. A great many centurions also, of both the armies, received gratuities, especially those who were in the centre.
XXXII. The consuls, as soon as they had finished the levies, and other business necessary to be done at Rome, led the army into their province, Liguria. Sempronius, marching from Pisæ against the Apuan Ligurians, ravaged their lands, and burned their villages and forts, until he opened that difficult country, as far as the river Macra, and the harbour of Luna. The enemy posted themselves on a mountain, which had, from old times, served their forefathers as a retreat; but the difficulty of access, here also, was overcome, and they were dislodged by force. The good conduct and success of Appius Claudius against the Ingaunian tribe, was not inferior to that of his colleague, for he defeated them in several battles. He also stormed six of their towns, in which he made a vast number of prisoners, beheading forty-three of the chief promoters of the war. The time of the elections now drew near; but Claudius came home to Rome sooner than Sempronius, to whom the business of presiding at the elections had been allotted, because his brother, Publius Claudius, stood candidate for the consulship. His competitors, of patrician rank, were Lucius Æmilius, Quintus Fabius Labeo, and Servius Sulpicius Galba, who had been candidates before, and now renewed their suit, for the honour of which they had been disappointed, and which was the more justly due to them, as it had been refused before. Besides, as it was not lawful that more than one patrician should be appointed, this made the competition, being four, still more obstinate. Claudius was the only new one. The plebeian candidates likewise were men in high esteem. Lucius Porcius, Quintus Terentius Culleo, and Cneius Bæbius Tamphilus; these too had been disappointed, but had cherished hopes of attaining the honour at some future time. The general opinion was, that Quintus Fabius Labeo and Lucius Porcius Licinus would be the successful persons; but Claudius, the consul, unattended by his lictors, canvassed with his brother, through all parts of the Forum, notwithstanding the loud remonstrances of his opponents, and the greater part of the senate, who insisted that, “he ought to remember the duty of a consul of the Roman people, in preference to that of the brother of Publius Claudius. To sit on his tribunal, content himself with presiding, and remain a silent spectator of the business.” Yet nothing could restrain his immederate zeal. The election was, also, several times, interrupted by contentions between the plebeian tribunes, some of whom struggled hard in opposition to the consul, and others in support of the cause which he favoured. At last, Appius conquered all opposition, so as to set aside Fabius, and bring in his brother. Thus was Publius Claudius Pulcher elected consul, beyond his own, and indeed the general expectation. Lucius Porcius Licinus carried his election also. The contest, among the plebeian candidates, was decently conducted and not with intemperate violence, like that of Claudius. Then was held the election of prætors, in which were chosen, Caius Decimius Flavus, Publius Sempronius Longus, Publius Cornelius Cethegus, Quintus Nævius Matho, Caius Sempronius Blæsus, and Aulus Terentius Varro. Such were the occurrences at home and abroad, of this year, during the consulate of Appius Claudius and Marcus Sempronius.
Y R. 568.
184.XXXIII. In the beginning of the following year, (Publius Claudius and Lucius Porcius being consuls,) Quintus Cæcilius, Marcus Bæbius, and Tiberius Sempronius, who had been sent to adjust the matters in dispute between the kings, Philip and Eumenes, and the states of the Thessalians, came home, and gave an account of the execution of their commission. They also introduced to the senate ambassadors from those kings and states. On this occasion, the same arguments were repeated by all parties, which had been urged before the ambassadors in Greece. The senate then decreed, that a new embassy, with Appius Claudius at its head, should be sent into Macedonia and Greece, to know whether the several states had been restored to the Rhodians, Thessalians, and Perrhæbians. They were, farther, instructed to take care, that the garrisons should be withdrawn from Ænus and Maronea, and that all the sea-coast of Thrace should be made free and independent of Philip and the Macedonians. They were ordered, also, to go to Peloponnesus, where the former ambassadors had, at their departure, left affairs in a more unsettled state, than they would have been, if they had not come thither. For, besides other matters, they were even sent away without an answer by the Achæan council, nor were they allowed an audience. On this subject, Quintus Cæcilius made a heavy complaint. At the same time the Lacedæmonians deplored the demolition of their walls, the carrying off their poor people into Achaia, the selling of them there and the depriving them of the laws of Lycurgus, by which the nation had been supported unto that time. On this the Achaians, endeavouring chiefly to apologize for having refused a meeting of the council, recited a law which enacted, that a council should not be summoned, except on business of peace or war, or when ambassadors should come from the senate with letters or written instructions. That this kind of excuse should not be made in future, the senate observed to them, that they ought in prosperity, to take care that Roman ambassadors should at all times have an opportunity of applying to their council; in like manner as the senate always gave them audience, at any time when they wished it.
XXXVI. After those ambassadors had received their answers, Philip, being informed that he must yield up the states, and evacuate the towns in question, was highly enraged against all, yet vented his fury on the Maronites in particular. He gave a charge to Onomastus, who had the command of the sea-coast, to put to death the leaders of the opposite party. This man employed a person called Cassander, a partizan of the king’s who had resided a long time in Maronea, and he, introducing a body of Thracians by night, put the inhabitants to the sword, as if the city had been taken by storm. When the Roman ambassadors complained of his acting with such cruelty towards the innocent Maronites, and with such presumption towards the Roman people, in killing, as enemies, those very persons to whom the senate had adjudged the restoration of liberty, he averred that “none of those matters concerned him, or any one belonging to him; that they had quarrelled among themselves, and fought, because some wished to bring over their state to his side, others to that of Eumenes. That the truth of this might be readily ascertained; and they had only to ask the Maronites themselves.” For he was confident, that, while they were all under the impression of terror, since the late massacre, not one of them would dare to utter a word against him. Appius said, that “this would be looking for obscurity in a case already clear. But if he wished to remove the guilt from himself, let him send Onomastus and Cassander, the actors in that business, to Rome, that the senate might examine them.” At first, these words so entirely disconcerted the king, that neither his colour, nor his looks, remained unchanged; then, after some time, having collected his thoughts, he replied, that “he would send Cassander, who had been in Maronea, if it was their desire: but, as to Onomastus, how could that matter affect him, who so far from being in Maronea, was not even near it?” He was more careful of Onomastus, as a more valued friend, yet he dreaded him much more lest he might make discoveries. He had, in person, however, conversed with him on the subject, and he had confided in him as an agent in many similar transactions. Cassander is supposed to have been taken off, that the truth might not be divulged — being poisoned by persons sent to escort him through Epirus to the sea-coast.
XXXV. The ambassadors quitted the conference in a manner which plainly showed that they were not at all pleased with any thing that had passed; and Philip, with a full resolution to have recourse again to arms. But his strength being, as yet, insufficient for that purpose, he resolved, in order to procure delay, to send his younger son Demetrius to Rome, to clear him from the above-named charges; and, at the same time, to deprecate the wrath of the senate. Philip had strong expectations that the young man himself, having, while an hostage at Rome, exhibited proofs of a princely disposition, would have a good deal of influence now. Meanwhile, under the pretence of carrying succour to the Byzantians, but, in reality, with design to strike terror into the chieftains of the Thracians, he marched into their country, utterly defeated them in an engagement, in which he took their commander, Amadocus, prisoner, and then returned to Macedonia, having first despatched emissaries to persuade the barbarians, living near the Danube, to make an irruption into Italy. The Roman ambassadors, who had been ordered to go from Macedonia into Achaia, were expected daily in Peloponnesus: and, in order that the Achæans might settle their plans of conduct towards them beforehand, their prætor, Lycortas, summoned a general council. Here the affair of the Lacedæmonians was taken into consideration. It was observed, that “from enemies they were turned accusers: and there was reason to fear, lest they should prove more formidable, after having been conquered, than when they had arms in their hands: for, in the war, the Achæans had the Romans as allies in their cause; now, the same Romans were more favourable to the Lacedæmonians than to the Achæans. Even Areus and Alcibiades, both restored from exile, through the kindness of the Achæans, had undertaken an embassy to Rome, in prejudice to a nation to which they were so much obliged; and had spoken against it, with so much animosity, that people might suppose they had been banished from their country, instead of being restored to it.” A general clamour arose, requiring him to put the question on each of them by name; and as every thing was directed by passion, not by reason, they were condemned to die. In a few days after this, the Roman ambassadors arrived, and a council was summoned to meet them at Clitor, in Arcadia.
XXXVI. Before any business was entered on, the Achæans received an alarming proof, how little impartiality they were likely to experience in the proceedings on this cause, when they saw in company with the ambassadors, Areus and Alcibiades, whom, in their last council, they had condemned to death; yet none of them dared to utter a word. Appius acquainted them, that the senate was much displeased at those matters, of which the Lacedæmonians made complaint before them; “first, the massacre at Compasium of those who, in obedience to the summons of Philopœmen, came to stand a trial; then, after such barbarity, the having demolished the walls of that famous city, having abrogated its laws, of the greatest antiquity, and abolished the discipline of Lycurgus, so famed throughout the world.” After Appius had spoken to this effect, Lycortas, both because he was prætor, and because he was of the faction of Philopœmen, the adviser of all that was done at Lacedæmon, answered him thus: “Appius Claudius, it is a harder task on us to plead before you, than we had lately, before the senate at Rome; for then we had to answer the accusations of the Lacedæmonians, but now, we stand accused by yourselves, before whom our cause is to be heard. But to this disadvantage of situation we submit with this hope, that you will hear us with the temper of a judge, laying aside the character of an advocate, in which you, just now, appeared. For my part, at least, though the matters of which the Lacedæmonians complained formerly, in this place, before Quintus Cæcilius, and afterwards at Rome, have been just recapitulated by you, yet I shall consider myself as answering not to you, but before you, to them. You charge us with the murder of those men, who, being called out by the prætor Philopœmen, to trial, were put to death. This I think a charge of such a nature, that it ought not to be advanced against us, either by you, Romans, or by any in your presence; and I will tell you why. One of the articles in the treaty which you signed is, that the Lacedæmonians should not intermeddle with the cities on the coast. At the time, when they took arms, assaulted, in the night, and seized on those towns, with which they had been forbidden to interfere; if, I say, Titus Quintius, if a Roman army had been in Peloponnesus, as formerly the captured and oppressed inhabitants would surely have fled to them for relief. As you were at a great distance, to whom else would they fly, but to us, your allies, whom they had seen at a former time bringing aid to Gythium; whom they had seen, in conjunction with you, besieging Lacedæmon on their account? In your stead, therefore, we undertook a just and rightful war. Other men approve this step, and even the Lacedæmonians cannot censure it; the gods themselves, also, by giving us the victory, have shown their approbation of it; how then, can acts, done under the laws of war, be, by any means, made matter of civil disquisition? Of these acts, however, the greatest part nowise effect us. The summoning to trial, men, who had excited the populace to arms, who had stormed and plundered the towns on the coast, who had murdered the principal inhabitants, was our act; but, the putting them to death, when they were coming into the camp, was yours, Areus and Alcibiades, who now arraign us, and not ours. The Lacedæmonian exiles, and, among the rest, these two men, who were then in our camp, thinking the attack meant against them, as they had chosen the maritime towns for their residence, made an assault on those by whose means they had been banished, and who, they perceived with indignation, would not suffer them even to grow old in exile with safety. Lacedæmonians therefore, not Achæans, slew Lacedæmonians; nor is it of any consequence to dispute, whether they were slain justly or unjustly.
XXXVII. “But then, Achæans, the abolition of the laws and ancient discipline of Lycurgus, with the demolition of the walls — these acts were unquestionably yours: now, how can both these charges be brought forward by the same persons, since the walls of Lacedæmon were built, not by Lycurgus, but a few years ago, for the purpose of subverting the discipline of that very man? The tyrants erected them lately, as a fortress and defence for themselves, not for the state; and, if Lycurgus should rise this day from the dead, he would rejoice at seeing them in ruins, and would say, that he now acknowledged his country, and ancient Sparta. You ought not to have waited for Philopœmen, or the Achæans; you should have removed and razed, with your own hands, every vestige of tyranny; for these were the foul scars, left on you by slavery. And as, during almost eight hundred years, while ye were without walls, ye were free, and, for some time, even chiefs of Greece; so, after being bound with walls, as with fetters, you were slaves for one hundred years. As to what concerns the abrogating their laws, I conceive that the tyrants took away the ancient laws of Lacedæmon, and that we did not deprive them of their own laws, which they did not possess, but gave them ours; nor did we neglect the interests of their state, when we made it a member of our council, and incorporated it with ourselves, so that the whole Peloponnesus should form one body, and one council. If, indeed, we had imposed on them laws, different from those under which we lived ourselves, in that case, I think they might complain of being treated unfairly, and consequently be displeased. I know, Appius Claudius, that the kind of discourse, which I have hitherto used, is not proper either for allies, addressing their allies, or for an independent nation; but, in truth, for slaves pleading before their masters. For, if the herald’s proclamation, in which you ordered the Achæans, in the first place, to be free, was any thing more than empty sound; if the treaty is valid, if the alliance and friendship is maintained on equal terms, why do not I inquire what you, Romans, did, on the taking of Capua, as well as that you demand an account of our conduct towards the Lacedæmonians, when we conquered them in war? Some persons were killed, suppose by us. What! did not you behead the Campanian senators? We demolished their walls: you not only destroyed the walls, but you took the city, and the lands. But you say, the Achæans enjoy, in appearance, a league on equal terms, but, in reality, a precarious state of freedom, while the Romans enjoy supreme power. I am sensible of it, Appius; and if I ought not, I do not remonstrate: but, I beseech you, let the difference between the Romans and Achæans be as great as it may, not to place people, who are foes to both, on an equal footing with us, your allies, or even on a better. For, as to setting them on an equality, that we ourselves have done, when we gave them our own laws, when we made them members of the Achæan council. Vanquished — they are not content with what satisfies their conquerors; foes — they demand more than allies enjoy. What we have ratified, by our oaths, what we have consecrated as inviolable, to eternal remembrance, by records engraved in stone, they want to abolish, and to load us with perjury. Romans, for you we have high respect; and, if such is your wish, dread also; but we more respect and dread the immortal gods.” He was heard with general approbation, and all declared, that he had spoken as became the dignity of his office; so that it was easily seen, that the Romans could not support their ascendancy, by gentle methods. Appius then said, that “he earnestly recommended it to the Achæans, to show a compliant temper, while it was in their power to act voluntarily, lest they might, presently, be obliged, by compulsion, to act against their wills.” These words inspired universal affliction, and effectually deterred them from refusing compliance. They only requested the Romans “to make such alterations, respecting the Lacedæmonians, as they should judge proper; and not involve the Achæans in the guilt of annulling what they had sanctioned with their oaths.” And then, nothing more was done than to reverse the sentence lately passed on Areus and Alcibiades.
XXXVIII. In the beginning of this year, when the business of assigning the provinces to the consuls and prætors was taken under consideration, at Rome, Liguria was decreed to the consuls, there being no war any where else. As to the prætors — Caius Decimius Flavus obtained, by lot, the city jurisdiction; Publius Cornelius Cethegus, that between citizens and foreigners; Caius Sempronius Blæsus, Sicily; Quintus Nævius Matho, Sardinia, he had also the charge of making inquisition concerning poisons; Aulus Terentius Varro, hither Spain, and Publius Sempronius Longus, farther Spain. From the two latter provinces deputies arrived, about this time. — Lucius Juvencius Thalna, and Titus Quintilius Varus. These represented to the senate, that the formidable war of Spain had been brought to a fortunate conclusion: they therefore requested, that in consideration of such happy success, a thanksgiving should be performed to the immortal gods, and permission granted to the prætors to bring home the armies. The senate decreed a thanksgiving for two days, and ordered that the question, respecting the armies, should lie over, and be proposed when those, for the consuls and prætors, should be under consideration. A few days after this, they voted to the consuls, for Liguria, two legions each, which had been commanded by Appius Claudius and Marcus Sempronius. With regard to the armies in Spain, there was a warm contention between the new prætors and the friends of the absent ones, Calpurnius and Quintius. On each side were plebeian tribunes, and, on each, a consul. The former threatened, if the senate voted for bringing home the armies, to protest against their decree; the latter, that, if such a protest were made, they would not suffer any other business to proceed. At last the interest of the absent prætors was overpowered, and a decree of the senate passed, that “the prætors should enlist four thousand Roman foot, and four hundred horse; with five thousand foot, and five hundred horse of the Latine confederates; whom they should carry with them into Spain. That, when they should have divided these, between the legions, whatever number should then be in each legion, above five thousand foot and three hundred horse, should be discharged, beginning with those who had served out their number of campaigns, and proceeding to the rest, according to their respective merits, in the service under Calpurnius and Quintius.”
XXXIX. No sooner was this dispute ended, than another arose, in consequence of the death of a prætor, Caius Decimius. There stood candidates for his place, Cneius Sicinius and Lucius Pupius, who had been ædiles the year before; Caius Valerius, the flamen of Jupiter; and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, who, though he did not appear in the white gown, because he was curule ædile elect, yet pressed his suit with more warmth than any of them. The contest lay between the latter two. Fulvius at the beginning seemed to have an equal chance with the flamen, and afterwards surpassed him; on which, some of the plebeian tribunes insisted, that he ought not to be admitted a candidate, because one person could neither hold, nor administer, two offices, especially curule ones, at the same time; while others of them gave their opinion, that he ought to be exempted from the laws, in order that the people might have the power of electing prætor the person whom they wished. The consul, Lucius Porcius, was, from the beginning, inclined to refuse admitting him a candidate; and, afterwards, wishing to have the countenance of the senate in so doing, he called the members together, and told them, that “he desired their judgment in the case, where a curule ædile elect, without any colour of law, and setting a precedent insufferable in a free state, stood candidate for the prætorship; for his part, unless they determined otherwise, he intended to hold the election according to law.” The senate voted, that the consul, Lucius Porcius, should recommend to Quintus Fulvius, not to obstruct the assembly (soon to be held for substituting a prætor, in the room of Caius Decimius) from proceeding according to law. When the consul, in pursuance of this decree, applied to him on the subject, he answered, that “he would do nothing unworthy of himself,” by which indeterminate answer, he left room for people to interpret his intention, agreeably to their wish, and that he meant to submit to the direction of the senate. But, in the assembly, he urged his pretensions with more eagerness than ever; remonstrating, that the consul and the senate were forcibly depriving him of the kindness intended for him by the Roman people; exciting a clamour against a second post of honour being conferred on him; as if it were not manifest, that, when elected prætor, he must instantly abdicate the ædileship. The consul, seeing the candidate’s obstinacy increase, and the public favour incline to him more and more, dissolved the assembly, and summoned a meeting of the senate; where, in a full house, a vote was passed, that “inasmuch as the directions of the senate had produced no effect on Flaccus, the affair concerning him should be laid before the people.” A general assembly was, accordingly, summoned, and the consul made a full representation of the matter. Fulvius still remained inflexible. He returned thanks to the Roman people “for the great zeal which they had shown in their desire to make him prætor, as often as opportunity had been given them of declaring their sentiments;” and assured them, that “it was his resolution not to disappoint such instances of the attachment of his countrymen” This determined declaration increased the ardour of the people for his cause, to such a degree, that he would undoubtedly have been chosen prætor, if the consul had admitted him to stand. The tribunes maintained a violent altercation, both with their colleagues, and with the consul, until, at length, the senate passed a decree, that “whereas the obstinacy of Quintus Flaccus, and the ill-judged party zeal of many among the people, had prevented the assembly for filling the place of a prætor, from being held according to law. The senate therefore gave their judgment, that the present number of prætors was sufficient, that Publius Cornelius should hold both jurisdictions in the city, and celebrate the games of Apollo.”
XL. No sooner was this election stopped by the prudence and firmness of the senate, than another ensued, with greater heat of contest; both because the subject was of greater importance, and the competitors more numerous, and more powerful. The censorship was contended for by the following candidates, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, Publius Scipio, Lucius Scipio, Cneius Manlius Vulso, and Lucius Furius Purpureo, patricians; Marcus Porcius Cato, Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, Tiberius Sempronius Longus, Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus, plebeians But all of them, both plebeians and patricians, of the highest ranks, were left far behind by Marcus Porcius. So great were the powers of this man’s mind, that he seemed able to attain to any situation he aimed at. No one qualification for the management of business, either public or private, was wanting to him: being equally knowing in ordinary matters as in those of the state. Some have been advanced to the highest honours by their knowledge of the law, others by their eloquence, some by military renown; but this man’s genius was so versatile, and so well adapted to all things, that in whatever way engaged, it might be said, that nature formed him for that alone. In war, he was the most courageous, distinguishing himself highly in many remarkable battles; and, when he arrived at the highest posts, was likewise the most consummate commander. Then, in peace, if information were wanted in a case of law, he was the wisest counsellor; if a cause was to be pleaded, the most eloquent advocate. Nor was he one of those whose oratory was striking only during their own lives, without leaving after them any monument of it. On the contrary, his eloquence still lives, and will long live, consecrated to memory by writings of every kind. His orations are many, spoken for himself, for others, and against others, for he harassed his enemies, not only by supporting prosecutions against them, but by maintaining causes in opposition to them. Enmities in abundance gave him plenty of employment; nor was it easy to tell whether the nobility laboured harder to keep him down, or he to oppress the nobility. His temper, no doubt, was austere, his language bitter, and unboundedly free, but he was never ruled by his passions; his integrity was inflexible, and he looked with contempt on popularity and riches. In spare diet, in enduring toil and danger, his body and mind were like steel; so that even old age, which brings all things to dissolution, did not break his vigour. In his eighty sixth year he stood a trial, pleaded his own cause, and published his speech; and, in his ninetieth year, he brought Servius Galba to trial, before the people.
XLI. On this occasion, of standing for the censorship, the nobility, as they had done through the whole course of his life, endeavoured to obstruct his promotion. All the candidates, likewise, except Lucius Flaccus, who had been his colleague in the consulship, combined to disappoint him of the office, not merely with a view to their own success, in preference to him, or because it would grieve them to see a new man in it, but because from one who had received offence from most of them, and who wished to retaliate, they apprehended a harsh severity in his administration, that would endanger the reputations of many. For, even, while soliciting, he uttered frequent menaces, and upbraided them with endeavouring to exclude him, because they dreaded an impartial and courageous execution of the duty of censor; at the same time, giving his interest to Lucius Valerius. He said, that “he was the only colleague, in conjunction with whom he could correct modern profligacy, and re-establish the ancient morals.” People were so inflamed by such discourses, that, in spite of the opposition made by the nobility, they not only made Marcus Porcius censor, but gave him, for his colleague, Lucius Valerius Flaccus. Immediately after the election of censors, the consuls and prætors went abroad to their provinces, except Quintus Nævius, who was detained from going to Sardinia, for no less than four months, by inquisitions concerning poisonings, a great part of which he held out of the city, in the corporate towns and villages; for that method was judged the more eligible. If we are to credit Valerius Antias, he condemned two thousand men. Lucius Postumius, the prætor, to whose lot the province of Tarentum had fallen, made discovery of numerous conspiracies of the peasants, and, with great care, finished the remainder of the inquiries concerning the Bacchanalians. Many of these, who had not appeared on being summoned, or had deserted their bail, were then lurking in that part of Italy; some of them he sentenced to punishment, and others, he sent under a guard to the senate to Rome, where they were all committed to prison by Publius Cornelius.
XLII. In farther Spain, the Lusitanians being weakened by their losses in the late war, matters remained quiet. In hither Spain, Aulus Terentius took the town of Corbia, in Suessetania, after a regular siege, and sold the prisoners; after which, the troops had rest in their winter quarters, in that province also. The former prætors, Caius Calpurnius Piso, and Lucius Quintius came home to Rome, and the senate, with great cheerfulness, voted a triumph to both. Caius Calpurnius triumphed, first, over the Lusitanians and Celtiberians. He carried in procession eighty-three golden crowns, and twelve thousand pounds weight of silver. In a few days after, Lucius Quintius Crispinus triumphed over the same Lusitanians and Celtiberians, bearing in his triumph the same quantity of gold and silver. The censors, Marcus Porcius and Lucius Valerius, while the public were full of anxious curiosity blended with fear, made their survey of the senate; out of which they displaced seven members, one of them a man of consular rank, highly distinguished by nobility of birth and honourable employments — Lucius Quintius Flamininus. It is mentioned, as a practice instituted in early times, that the censors should annex marks of censure to the names of such as they degraded from the senate. There are severe speeches of Cato, against those whom he either expelled the senate, or degraded from the equestrian rank, but by far the most so is that against Lucius Quintius. Had he spoken, in the character of prosecutor, previous to the censure, and not in that of censor after it, not even his brother Titus, if he were his colleague, could have suffered Quintius to remain in the senate. Among other charges, he objected to him, that he had, by hopes of extraordinary presents, prevailed on Philip, a Carthaginian and a catamite, to accompany him into his province of Gaul; that this youth, in order to enhance the merit of his complaisance to the consul, used frequently, in wanton squabbling, to upbraid him for having quitted Rome just before the show of gladiators. It happened, that while they were at a feast, and heated with wine, a message was brought into the place of entertainment, that a Boian, of high rank, had come as a deserter with his children, and wished to see the consul, that he might, in person, receive his assurance of protection. He was accordingly introduced into the tent, and began to address him through an interpreter: but while he was speaking, Quintius said to his catamite, “since you were deprived of the show of gladiators, have you a mind to see this Gaul dying?” The boy giving a sort of assent, between jest and earnest, the consul, drawing a sword that hung over his head, first struck the Gaul as he was speaking, and then, when he was running out, and imploring the faith of the Roman people, and of those present, ran him through the side.
XLIII. Valerius Antias, who never read Cato’s speech, and only gave credit to a tale published without authority, tells the story in another manner, but similar to this in lust and cruelty. He writes, that, at Placentia, the consul invited to an entertainment a woman of ill fame, with whom he was desperately enamoured. There, displaying his importance to this courtezan, he told her, among other matters, with what severity he had conducted the inquisitions, and how many he had then in prison, under sentence of death, whom he intended to behead. Then she, being next him on the couch, said, that having never seen any one beheaded, she was very desirous of seeing an execution; on which the indulgent lover ordered one of those wretches to be dragged to the spot, and there cut off his head. The deed of death, whether committed as the censor or as Valerius reports it, was barbarous and inhuman; that in the midst of feasting and cups, when it is customary to offer libations to the gods, and to pray for happiness, a human victim should be butchered, and the table stained with his blood, and this for the entertainment of an acknowledged wanton. In the latter part of Cato’s speech, he proposes to Quintius, that if he denied this fact, and the others of which he accused him, he should give security to abide a legal trial; but if he confessed them, could he suppose, he asked him, that any one would be sorry for his disgrace; the disgrace of him who, in the midst of a feast, being intoxicated with wine and lust, had sported with the blood of a human being.
XLIV. In the review of the knights, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus was degraded. In fixing the rates of taxation, also, the censor’s conduct was harsh and severe to all ranks of men. He ordered, that people should give account, upon oath, of women’s dress, and ornaments, and carriages, exceeding in value fifteen thousand asses;* and that slaves, younger than twenty years, which, since the last survey, had been bought for ten thousand asses† or more, should be estimated at ten times their value; and that, on all these articles, a tax should be laid of three denariuses‡ for each thousand asses.§ Water, running or carried into any private building or field, the censors took away; and all buildings or sheds, in possession of private persons that projected into public ground, they demolished within thirty days. They then engaged contractors for executing national works, with the money decreed for that purpose — for paving cisterns with stone, for cleansing the sewers and forming new ones on the Aventine, and in other quarters where hitherto there had been none. Then, dividing their tasks, Flaccus built a mole at Nepthunia, on the coast, and made a road through the Formian mountains. Cato purchased for the use of people two halls, the Mænian, and Titian, in the street Lauturniæ, and four shops, erecting on that ground a court of justice, which was called the Porcian. They farmed out the several branches of the revenue, at the highest prices; while they allowed very small profits for the services, on which the money was to be expended. But the senate, overcome by the prayers and lamentations of the publicans, ordered those bargains to be revoked, and new agreements to be made; on which the censors, by an edict, prohibited the persons, who had eluded the former contracts, from being concerned in the new ones, and farmed out all the same branches at prices very little reduced. This censorship was very remarkable, producing abundance of animosities; and drawing on Marcus Porcius, to whom all the harshness was attributed, much uneasiness during the remainder of his life. This year, two colonies were established, Potentia in Picenum, and Pisaurum in the Gallic territory. Six acres were given to each settler. The same commissioners had the ordering of both colonies, and the division of the lands.Y. R. 569.
183. Quintus Fabius Labeo, Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, and Quintus Fulvius Nobilior, the consuls of that year, performed nothing memorable, at home or abroad.
XLV. The consuls, elected for the ensuing year, were Marcus Claudius Marcellus, and Quintus Fabius Labeo. These, on the ides of March, the first day of their assuming the administration, proposed to the senate to determine their provinces, and those of the prætors. The prætors appointed, were Caius Valerius, flamen of Jupiter, who had been a candidate the year before, Spurius Posthumius Albinus, Publius Cornelius Sisenna, Lucius Pupius, Lucius Julius, and Cneius Sicinius. Liguria was ordered to be the province of the consuls, and the armies were assigned to them, which had been commanded by Publius Claudius and Marcus Porcius. The two Spains, without being put to the lot, were reserved for the prætors who held them the year before, and also their own armies. The prætors were ordered to regulate their casting lots, in such a manner, that the flamen of Jupiter should have one or other of the judicial employments in the city. The foreign jurisdiction fell to his lot, that between citizens to Cornelius Sisenna. Sicily was assigned to Spurius Posthumius, Apulia to Lucius Pupius, Gaul to Lucius Julius, Sardinia to Cneius Sicinius. Lucius Julius was ordered to hasten to his province, because some transalpine Gauls, as was mentioned before, having made their way through the forests into Italy, by an unknown road, were building a town in the country, now the district of Aquileia. The prætor received a charge to interrupt their proceedings, as far as possible, without having recourse to arms; and, if it should be necessary to stop them by force, to give information to the consuls, one of whom was, in that case, directed to march his legions against those Gauls. Towards the close of the preceding year, an assembly had been held for the purpose of electing an augur, in the room of Cneius Cornelius deceased, when Spurius Posthumius Albinus was chosen.
XLVI. In the beginning of this year, Publius Licinius Crassus, chief pontiff, died, in whose room was appointed Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus, and Caius Servilius Geminus was raised to the place of chief pontiff. On occasion of the funeral of Publius Licinius, a largess of flesh was distributed to the people, and one hundred and twenty pair of gladiators fought. The funeral games lasted three days, and, after the games, a public feast was given. During the feast, and while the couches were spread over the Forum, a storm came on with violent gusts of wind, which compelled most of the people to pitch tents in that place, which, on the weather clearing up, in a short time after, were removed. This occasioned a general remark, that they had fulfilled a prophecy, which soothsayers had pronounced, among the decrees of the fates, that, inevitably, tents would be pitched in the Forum. No sooner were they eased of the apprehensions, caused by this prophecy, than they were struck with new ones, by showers of blood falling for two days, in the area of Vulcan’s temple. The decemvirs, ordered a supplication for the expiation of the prodigy. Before the consuls set out for their provinces, they introduced the foreign embassies to an audience of the senate; and at no time was there in Rome such a number of people from countries beyond sea. For, as soon as it became generally known, through the nations bordering on Macedonia, that accusations and complaints against Philip were listened to by the Romans, with some degree of attention, and that many had profited by having complained; all those states, nations, and even individuals, on their own accounts, (for he was a troublesome neighbour to every one,) flocked to Rome, with hopes of obtaining either redress of their injuries, or, at least, the consolation of expressing their griefs. An embassy came, also, from king Eumenes with his brother Athenæus, to complain of the Macedonian in not withdrawing his garrisons out of Thrace; and, likewise on his sending succours into Bithynia, to Prusias, who was at war with Eumenes.
XLVII. To Demetrius, who was then very young, was assigned the task of speaking to their representations; and it was no easy matter to retain in memory, either all the particulars set forth, or what was proper to be said in reply. For the charges were not only numerous, but most of them exceedingly frivolous: of disputes about boundaries, of men forced away, and cattle driven off; of justice, either partially administered or refused; of sentences respecting property, founded either on force or influence. The senate perceived that Demetrius could not explain any of those matters distinctly, and that the information which they could obtain from him was not sufficiently clear; at the same time, the youth, through inexperience and bashfulness, was much embarrassed. They therefore ordered that he should be asked, whether he had received from his father any written instructions on those points; and on his answering that he had, they thought it the best and properest way to receive the answers of the king himself, on each particular head, and immediately called for the writing; but afterwards they gave him leave to read it to them himself. Here were his apologies on each several subject, concisely stated in a narrow compass, in some cases, that he had acted in conformity to the determinations of the ambassadors; in others, that the fault of not conforming to them, lay not in him, but actually in the persons themselves who accused him. He had interspersed, also, remonstrances on the injustice of those determinations, and the partiality that appeared when those matters were discussed before Quintus Cæcilius; as well as the indecent and unmerited insults thrown on him by all. The senate remarked on these tokens of his temper; nevertheless, on the young man apologizing for some things, and undertaking that others should be performed in the manner most agreeable to the senate, they ordered this answer to be given him, that “in no instance, was his father’s conduct either more proper, or more pleasing to the senate, than in his choosing, whatever the nature of those transactions might be, to send his excuses for them to the Romans, by his son Demetrius. That the senate could leave unnoticed, forget and put up with, many past matters, and believed also that they might place confidence in Demetrius; for, though they restored his person to his father, they still had his mind as an hostage, and were convinced that, as far as was compatible with his duty as a son, he was a friend to the Roman people. That, out of regard to him, they would send ambassadors into Macedonia, in order that if any thing which ought to have been done, was left undone, it might then be effected, but still without any vindictive retrospect to former omissions. That they would be glad if Philip also were sensible that he was indebted to his son Demetrius for the continuance of the good understanding between him and the Romans.
XLVIII. These honourable declarations, intended to add to the dignity of his character, proved to the young man the cause of immediate envy, and not of far distant ruin. The Lacedæmonians were next introduced, when many insignificant disputes were agitated. Those which might be deemed important were — whether the persons condemned by the Achæans, should be reinstated or not; whether others were justly put to death; and whether the Lacedæmonians should continue in the Achæan council, or as had formerly been the case, that a single state in Peloponnesus, should have separate independence. It was determined, that the condemned should be reinstated, and the sentences passed reversed; that Lacedæmon should continue in the Achæan council; and that this decree should be committed to writing, and signed by the Lacedæmonians and Achæans. Quintus Marcius was sent ambassador into Macedonia, with orders, likewise to take a view of the affairs of the allies in Peloponnesus; for there also disturbances still subsisted, in consequence of the old quarrels, and Messene had revolted from the Achæan confederacy. But if I were to trace out the cause and progress of this war, I should deviate from the resolution which I laid down, of not meddling with foreign transactions, farther than they are connected with the affairs of Rome.
XLIX. One event deserves to be mentioned: that, notwithstanding the Achæans had a superiority in the war, Philopœmen, their prætor, was taken prisoner, on his march to secure Corone, which the enemy meant to attack, being, with a small party of horse, surprised and overpowered in a dangerous defile. It is said, that he might have effected his own escape, by the aid of some Thracians and Cretans, who were with him, but was hindered by the shame of deserting his horsemen, the most distinguished youths in the nation, selected by himself, a short time before. In procuring these, an opportunity of getting clear of the narrow defile, while closing the rear, in person, and sustaining the assaults of the enemy — his horse fell. By the shock of his fall, and the weight of his horse, which fell upon him, he was nearly killed on the spot; for he was now seventy years old, and his strength had been greatly impaired by a tedious illness, from which he had been just recovered. Lying thus on the ground, the enemy pouring on, secured him. Out of respect to his character, however, and from regard to his merit, they raised him up with as much care, as if it had been their own commander, took every pains to revive him, and carried him out of that remote valley into the road. Their joy was so great, and so unexpected, that they scarcely believed their own senses; however, some of them sent on messages to Messene, that the war was at end, for they were bringing Philopœmen prisoner. At first this seemed so incredible, that the messenger was deemed either a liar or a madman. Afterwards, when numbers came, one after another, all asserting the same, the matter was at length believed; and, before they well knew whether he was come near the city, every human being, freemen and slaves, with even women and children, poured out to enjoy the sight; insomuch that the multitude quite closed up the gate, all pushing eagerly forward, and seeming as if nothing but the testimony of their own eyes could convince them of so momentous an event. Those who conducted Philopœmen, made their way with difficulty through the crowd, so as to pass into the gate; but the rest of the way was quite shut up by the thick press of people; and, as the greatest part of these were excluded from the sight, they suddenly rushed into a theatre which was contiguous to the street, and all with one voice insisted, that he should be brought thither into the public view. The magistrates and leading men were afraid, that compassion for so great a man, on his being brought before them, would cause some disturbance; as many would be moved by respect for his former dignity, when they compared it with his present condition, and many, by the recollection of his transcendant merits; they therefore placed him, where he could be seen at a distance, and quickly after hurried him away out of the sight of the people, who were told by the prætor, Dinocrates, that the magistrates wanted to ask him some questions, on points that were material to the success of the war. Having carried him thence to the senate house, and called the senate together, they began a consultation on the measures to be pursued.
L. The evening came on while they were still at a loss, not only about other matters, but even about the place where he might be kept, with proper security, during the following night. They were quite confounded when they reflected on the greatness of his former fortune and merit; and they neither dared to undertake the guarding of him at their houses, nor thought it safe to trust the custody of him to any individual. At last, some persons reminded them of a public treasury, under ground, inclosed with hewn stone; into this place he was put down, in chains, and a huge stone was placed over it, with the help of a machine. After having thus determined to trust to the place rather than to any man, for his safe keeping, they waited with impatience for the following day, when the whole populace to a man, mindful of his former services to the state, declared their opinion, that they ought to spare him, and to seek through his means, some remedies for their present misfortunes. But the authors of the revolt, in whose hands was the management of affairs, held a secret consultation, in which it was unanimously resolved to put him to death; but whether they should do it speedily, or defer it, was for some time a matter of doubt. The party that wished his immediate execution at length prevailed, and a person was sent to him with poison. We are told, that on receiving the cup, he only asked if Lycortas, the other commander of the Achæans, and the horsemen, had escaped; and being told that they were safe, he said, “It is well,” and then, intrepidly drinking the contents of the cup, expired shortly after. The actors of this piece of cruelty, however, did not long rejoice at his death; for the Messenians were vanquished in the war, and compelled, by the positive demands of the Achæans, to deliver up the guilty into their hands. The bones of Philopœmen were restored, and his funeral was attended by the whole Achæan council, who heaped on him, not only every human, but even several divine honours. Historians, both Greek and Latine, entertain so high an idea of this man, that several of them have recorded, as a circumstance remarkably distinguishing this year, that three illustrious commanders died in it, Philopœmen, Hannibal, and Publius Scipio, placing him on an equal footing with the most consummate generals of the two most powerful nations.
LI. Titus Quintius Flamininus came ambassador to king Prusias, who had incurred the jealousy of the Romans, by entertaining Hannibal after the flight of Antiochus, and by making war on Eumenes. Soon after his arrival, among other discourse, he remonstrated with Prusias, on his giving protection to a person, who, of all men living, was the most inveterate enemy to the Roman nation; who had incited, first, his own country, and, afterwards, when its power was reduced, king Antiochus, to make war on Rome. In consequence of this, or of Prusias having himself a desire of gratifying Flamininus, and the Roman people, he conceived the design of killing Hannibal, or delivering him into their hands. Immediately after the first conference therefore with Flamininus a party of soldiers was sent to guard Hannibal’s house. The Carthaginian had always foreseen some such end of his life; for he knew the implacable hatred which the Romans bore him, and placed little confidence in the faith of kings. Besides, he had experienced the fickle temper of Prusias, and had, for some time, dreaded the arrival of Flamininus, as an event fatal to him. Surrounded, as he was, by dangers, on all sides, in order to have always some passage open for flight, he had made seven doors to his house, of which some were concealed, lest they might be invested by a guard. But the imperious government of kings suffers nothing to remain secret, which they choose to discover. The troops formed a circle of guards round the house in such a manner, that it was impossible to slip out. Hannibal, on being told, that some of the king’s soldiers were in the porch, endeavoured to escape through a back door, which was the most private, and whence the passage was least likely to be observed; but, perceiving that to be guarded, and every avenue round to be shut by a body of soldiers, he called for poison, which he had long kept in readiness against such an event; and said, “Let us release the Romans from their long anxiety, since they have not patience to wait for the death of an old man. Flamininus will gain no very great or memorable victory, over one unarmed and betrayed. What an alteration has taken place in the behaviour of the Roman people, this day affords abundant proof. Their fathers gave warning to Pyrrhus, their armed foe, then heading an army against them in Italy, to beware of poison. The present generation have sent an ambassador, of consular rank, to persuade Prusias villainously to murder his guest.” Then imprecating curses on the head of Prusias, and on his kingdom, and calling on the gods, the avengers of violated hospitality, to witness his breach of faith, he drank off the contents of the cup. In this manner did Hannibal end his life.
LII. Both Polybius and Rutilius say, that Scipio died in this year; but I do not agree either with them, or Valerius. Not with them, because I find that, in the censorship of Marcus Porcius and Lucius Valerius, the censor himself, Lucius Valerius, was chosen prince of the senate, which place had for the three preceding lustrums been held by Africanus; and, if he were alive, unless he had been displaced from the senate, which disgrace no one has recorded, another prince would not have been chosen in his room. The authority of Antias is refuted by the plebeian tribunate of Marcus Nævius, against whom there is extant a speech, signed by Publius Africanus. Now, this Marcus Nævius, in the register of the magistrates, appears to have been plebeian tribune, in the consulate of Publius Claudius and Lucius Porcius; but he entered on the tribuneship in the consulate of Appius Claudius and Marcus Sempronius, on the fourth day before the ides of December, from which time, to the ides of March, when Publius Claudius and Lucius Porcius become on the consuls, there are three months. Thus it appears that he was living in the tribunate of Marcus Nævius, and might have been prosecuted by him; but that he died, before the censorship of Lucius Valerius and Marcus Porcius. The deaths of the three most illustrious men of their respective nations have a similarity, not only in respect to the concurrence of the times, but in this circumstance also, that no one of them met a death, suitable to the splendour of his life. In the first place, neither of them died or was buried in his native soil. Hannibal and Philopœmen were taken off by poison; Hannibal breathed his last in exile, betrayed by his host; Philopœmen in captivity, in a prison, and in chains. Scipio, though neither banished, nor condemned, yet, under prosecution, and summoned as an absent criminal to a trial, at which he did not appear, passed sentence of voluntary exile, not only on himself, while alive, but, likewise, on his body, after death.
LIII. During these transactions in Peloponnesus, whence I digressed, the return of Demetrius, with the ambassadors, into Macedonia, affected people’s minds in various manners. The generality of the Macedonians, terrified by the apprehension of an impending war with the Romans, looked with the highest esteem on Demetrius, to whom they owed the continuance of peace; and, at the same time, destined him to the throne, after the demise of his father. They argued, that, “although he was younger than Perseus, yet he was born of a wife, and the other of a concubine; that the latter, born of a mother, who did not confine her favours to one man, had no likeness to any particular father, whereas the former had a striking resemblance of Philip. Besides it was probable, that the Romans would place him on the throne of his father, as Perseus had no pretensions to their favour.” Such was the conversation of people in general. As to Perseus, he was tortured with fear, lest his age alone might not sufficiently secure his interest, his brother having the advantage of him in every other particular; while Philip, himself, doubting his own ability of choosing which of them he should leave heir to his dominions, began to think that his younger son, encroached on him, more than he could wish. He was sometimes displeased at the numerous attendance of the Macedonians, round Demetrius, and chagrined at perceiving that there was a second court, during his own lifetime. The young prince, no doubt, came home with more lofty notions of himself, elated with the honours paid him by the senate, and their having conceded to him what they had refused to his father; insomuch that every mention of the Romans, whatever degree of respect it procured him from the rest of the Macedonians, created an equal degree of envy, not only in the breast of his brother, but also in that of his father; especially after the Roman ambassadors arrived, and the king was obliged to evacuate Thrace, to withdraw his garrisons, and to perform the other articles, either according to the decisions of the former ambassadors, or the late regulations made by the senate. But all this he did with great reluctance, and even with anguish of mind. His feelings of this sort were aggravated, by seeing his son more frequently in company with them, than with himself; nevertheless, to avoid giving any pretence for an immediate commencement of hostilities, he paid submissive attention to the Romans, in every thing; and, in order to turn away their thoughts, from a suspicion of any such designs, he led an army into the heart of Thrace, against the Odrysians, Dantheletians, and Bessians. He took the city of Philippopolis, after it was deserted by the inhabitants, who fled with their families to the tops of the nearest mountains; and, by wasting the country, reduced the barbarians living in the plains, to submission. Then, leaving a garrison in Philippopolis, which was soon after expelled by the Odrysians, he set about building a town in Deuriopus. This is a district of Pæonia, near the river Erigonus, which, flowing from Illyricum, through Pæonia falls into the river Axius. Not far from the old city of Stobæ he built his new one, which he ordered to be called Perseis, in honour of his elder son.
LIV. While these things passed in Macedonia, the consuls went to their provinces. Marcellus sent forward an express to Lucius Porcius, the proconsul, to lead up the legions, to the new town of the Gauls; which people, on the arrival of the consul, surrendered themselves. There were of these twelve thousand fighting men, most of whom had arms, which they had forced from the inhabitants: all which, to their great mortification, were taken from them, as was every thing else which they had either acquired by plundering in the country, or had brought along with them. On this, they sent ambassadors to Rome to complain of those proceedings, who being introduced to audience of the senate, by the prætor Caius Valerius, represented, that “in consequence of a redundancy of people in Gaul, they had been compelled, by the want of land, and indeed of every thing, to cross the Alps, in quest of a settlement. That, finding lands lying uncultivated, they had settled in the country without doing injury to any. They had, likewise, begun to build a town, which was a proof that they did not come with ill intentions. That some time ago, Marcus Claudius sent them a message, that unless they surrendered to him, he would march against them, and that preferring a certain though not very honourable, peace, to the uncertainties of war, they had thrown themselves on the protection of Rome, before they submitted to its power. That, in a short time after, being ordered to quit the country, they had intended to remove, without murmuring, to whatever part of the world they were able, and that, notwithstanding, their arms, and finally all the property which they had brought with them, were taken from them. They therefore besought the senate and people of Rome, not to treat harmless people, who had surrendered themselves, with greater severity, than they would enemies.” To this discourse the senate ordered the following answer to be given: That “on one hand, they had not acted properly in coming into Italy, and attempting to build a town, in the territory of others, without permission from any Roman magistrate commanding in that province; yet on the other hand, the senate did not approve of people who had surrendered, being stripped of their property. They would therefore appoint ambassadors, who should go with them to the consuls, and order all their effects to be restored, provided they returned to the place whence they came; and who should also proceed to the other side of the Alps, and give warning to the Gallic states, to keep their people at home. That the two countries were separated by those mountains, to be an almost insuperable barrier, which, whoever should pass in future, should meet no better fate than those who first showed them passable.” The ambassadors sent were, Lucius Furius Purpeureo, Quintus Minucius, Publius Manlius Acidinus. The Gauls on receiving restitution of all the effects, which had been justly their own, withdrew out of Italy.
LV. The transalpine states answered the Roman ambassadors, in terms of friendship and kindness. Their elders even found fault with the excessive lenity of the Roman people, in “suffering men to depart with impunity, who, without an order of their nation, left their home, attempted to seize on lands belonging to the Roman empire, and to build a town on them. They ought,” they said, “to have suffered severely for their inconsiderate conduct; and, as to the restoration of their effects, they expressed a fear, lest, in consequence of this too great tenderness, others might be encouraged to attempts of a like nature.” They not only entertained the ambassadors, but conferred considerable presents on them. The consul Marcus Claudius, when he had sent the Gauls out of his province, began to prepare for a war with the Istrians, and wrote to the senate, for permission to lead the legions into their country. The senate approved of the measure. They formed an intention of establishing a colony at Aquileia; but were some time divided in opinion, whether it should consist of Latines, or Roman citizens; at last however they passed a vote, in favour of a Latine settlement. The commissioners appointed for the purpose, were Publius Scipio Nasica, Caius Flaminius, and Lucius Manlius Acidinus. In the same year, colonies of Roman citizens were led out to Mutina, and Parma. Two thousand men were settled in each colony, on lands which lately belonged to the Boians, and formerly to the Tuscans; they received at Parma eight acres, at Mutina five each. These colonists were conducted by Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, Titus Æbutius Carus, and Lucius Quintius Crispinus. The colony of Saturnia, also, consisting of Roman citizens, was settled on the lands of Caletra, by Quintus Fabius Labeo, Caius Afranius Stellio, and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who assigned to each man ten acres.
LVI. This year Aulus Terentius Varro, proprætor, fought some successful battles with the Celtiberians, near the river Iberus, in the territory of Auseta, reducing several towns, which they had fortified in that quarter. The farther Spain was quiet during the whole year, Publius Sempronius, the propærtor, being seized with a lingering disorder. In Liguria nothing extraordinary was performed by Quintus Fabius the consul. Marcus Marcellus being recalled out of Istria, to attend the elections, disbanded his army, and came home to Rome.Y. R. 570
182. He elected consuls Cneius Bæbius Tamphilus, and Lucius Æmilius Paulus. This latter had been curule ædile, along with Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, who, after two disappointments, was chosen consul, and from the time of whose consulate, this was the fifth year. Then were elected prætors, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, Marcus Valerius Lævinus, Publius Manlius a second time, Marcus Ogulnius Gallus, Lucius Cæcilius Denter, and Caius Terentius Istra. Towards the close of the year, a supplication was performed, on occasion of prodigies, for people were persuaded that it had rained blood for two days in the court of the temple of Concord; and an account was received, that, near the coast of Sicily, a new island rose out of the sea. Valerius Antias fixes the death of Hannibal in this year, and says, that besides Titus Quintius Flamininus, whose name is mentioned in this business, by all writers, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, and Publius Scipio Nasica, were sent ambassadors to Prusias on that occasion.
* 645l. 17s. 2d.
† 15,241l. 12s. 4d.
‡ 801l. 3s. 3d.
§ 16s. 1 1-4d
* 16,404l. 3s 4d.
† 4309l. 14s. 9d.
§ 1l 6s. 3d.
∥ 6s. 5d.
¶ 3l 4s. 7d
* 322l. 18s. 4d.
* Those to whom the censor assigned a horse, were bound to serve. But as liberty was granted to Æbutius, to serve or not, as he chose, it became necessary that the censor should be thus restrained by a vote of the senate, from assigning him a horse; otherwise, if one had been assigned him, whether willing or not, he must have served
* Games in honour of the infernal deities, instituted in the reign of Tarquin the Proud, on occasion of a malignant disorder that had attacked pregnant women. Black bulls were sacrificed, whence the name.
* 48l. 8s. 9d.
† 32l. 5s 19d.
‡ 3l 4s. 9d
§ 1s 11 1-4d.
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