Violent contests between Demetrius and Perseus, the sons of Philip, king of Macedonia In consequence of the intrigues and calumnies of Perseus, and the jealousy excited by Demetrius’s attachment to the Romans, the latter is put to death, by poison; by which means, after the death of Philip, Perseus obtains the crown. Successes of the Romans, under different commanders, against the Ligurians; and, in Spain, against the Celtiberians. The books of Numa Pompilius discovered, buried in a stone chest, under the Janiculum; burned by the prætor, by order of the senate. Philip discovers the villainous machinations of Perseus, determines to bring him to punishment, and to settle the crown upon Antigonus; dies, and is succeeded by Perseus.
Y. R. 570.
182I.At the commencement of the next year, the consuls and prætors settled the distribution of their provinces. For the consuls, there was no province to be decreed, except Liguria. The city jurisdiction fell to Marcus Ogulnius Gallus; the foreign, to Marcus Valerius; the hither Spain, to Marcus Fulvius Flaccus; the farther, to Publius Manlius; Sicily, to Lucius Cæcilius Denter; and Sardinia, to Caius Terentius Istra. The consuls were ordered to levy troops, for Quintus Fabius had writen from Liguria, that the Apuans seemed inclined to renew hostilities, and that there was reason to apprehend their making an irruption into the district of Pisæ. From Spain, also, intelligence was received, that the hither province was in arms; that the war still continued with the Celtiberians; and that, in the farther province, in consequence of the long sickness of the prætor, the discipline of the army was greatly relaxed, through inactivity and intemperance. For these reasons, it was decreed, that new armies should be raised; four legions for Liguria, each containing five thousand two hundred foot, and three hundred horse, and to these were added, of the Latines, fifteen thousand foot, and eight hundred horse. These were to complete the two consular armies. They were ordered, also, to enrol seven thousand foot and six hundred horse, of the allies and Latines, and to send them into Gaul to Marcus Marcellus, who, on the expiration of his consulship, was continued in command. For the Spains, also, there were raised to be sent into both provinces, four thousand foot and two hundred horse, of Roman citizens; and, of the allies, seven thousand foot, and three hundred horse. Quintus Fabius Labeo was continued in command, for the year, with the army that he then had in Liguria.
II. The spring of this year was remarkable for storms. On the day before the feast of Pales, a tremendous hurricane arose, and made shocking havoc in many places, both sacred and common. It threw down brazen statues in the capitol; tore away a gate from the temple of Luna, on the Aventine, and dashed it against the wall of the temple of Ceres: overturned other statues in the great circus, together with the pillars on which they stood; tore off several cupolas from the tops of temples, which it shattered to pieces, and scattered about. This storm was deemed a prodigy, and the aruspices ordered it to be expiated. At the same time, expiation was made for a mule, with three feet, being said to be foaled at Reate; and for a temple of Apollo at Formiæ, and another at Caieta, which were said to be struck by lightning. On account of these prodigies, twenty of the larger victims were sacrificed, and a supplication, of one day’s continuance was performed. About the same time information was brought, by a letter from Aulus Terentius, proprætor, that Publius Sempronius, after struggling with his disorder, for more than a year, died in the farther province: for which reason the prætors were ordered to make the more haste into Spain. The foreign embassies then had audience of the senate: and, first, those of the kings Eumenes and Pharnaces, and of the Rhodians, complaining of the sufferings of the inhabitants of Sinope. There came, also, at this time, ambassadors from Philip, and the Achæans, and Lacedæmonians, to whom the senate gave answers, after having, first, heard the report of Marcius, who had been sent to inspect the affairs of Greece and Macedonia. To the Asiatic kings, and the Rhodians, they answered, that they would send ambassadors to examine into those matters.
III. Marcius had increased their anxiety respecting Philip; for, though he acknowledged that the king had complied with the injunctions of the senate, he had yet done it in such a manner, as demonstrated that his compliance would last no longer than necessity required; nor was it difficult to see, that he intended to make another trial of the fortune of war, all his actions and words at the present having a tendency that way. In the first place, he removed almost the whole body of horsemen, with their families, from the maritime cities, into Emathia, as it is now called, formerly Pæonia, giving up those cities to be inhabited by Thracians and other barbarians: thinking that such kind of people would prove more faithful to him, in case of a war with Rome. This proceeding caused great discontent all over Macedonia; and of those, who, with their wives and children were obliged to leave their dwellings, few concealed their grief in silence; most of them, as they marched in bodies along the roads, letting their hatred get the better of their fears, uttered curses against the king. This disturbed his mind to such a degree, that he conceived suspicions of danger from every man, and from every place and season; and, at last, went so far as to declare openly, that he could not think himself safe, in any respect, without seizing and confining the sons of those whom he had destroyed, and sending them out of the world at different times.
IV. The cruelty of these proceedings, horrible in itself, was rendered still more so by the calamities of one particular family. Philip had, many years before, put to death Herodicus, a Thessalian of distinction; and afterwards his sons-in-law. His daughters, who were thus left widows, had each one son. The names of the women were Theoxena, and Archo. Theoxena, though courted by many, rejected every offer of marriage. Archo married a person called Poris, the first in dignity of the Ænean nation; and, after bearing him many children, died, leaving them all young. Theoxena then, in order that her sister’s children might be educated under her own inspection, married Poris, and, as if she herself had borne them all, treated her sister’s sons, and her own, with the same affectionate care. When she heard of the king’s order for seizing the children of the persons who had fallen by his tyranny, supposing that they would be subjected not only to the king’s lust, but to that of his guards, she formed a horrid project, and had the hardiness to declare, that she would kill them all with her own hand, rather than they should come into the power of Philip. Poris, shocked at the mention of such a dreadful deed, told her that he would carry them away to Athens, to some faithful friends, and would himself accompany them in their flight. They all went from Thessalonica to Æneas, to a stated sacrifice, which is performed there, yearly, with great solemnity, in honour of Æneas, the founder of the nation. After passing the day there, in the anniversary feast, about the third watch, when all were asleep, they embarked in a vessel ready prepared by Poris, as if intending to return to Thessalonica; but their design was to cross over to Eubæa. However, day-light overtook them, at a small distance from the land, where they were struggling in vain against a contrary wind, when the king’s officers, who commanded the garrison of the port, despatched an armed bark to bring back their ship, with a strict injunction not to return without it. When this vessel came near the other, Poris exerted every effort to animate the rowers and sailors, and, raising his hands towards heaven, supplicated the gods for succour. Meanwhile, the woman, with desperate fury recurring to the shocking design, which she had long premeditated, dissolved some poison, and produced swords; then, placing the cup before their eyes, and unsheathing the swords, said, “These are the ways to death — our only refuge. Of these, let each take whichever he prefers; so shall you escape the tyranny of the king. Come, then, dear youths, let those of you who are the elder, first take the sword; or, if a slower death is your choice, the cup.” On one hand, the enemy were approaching fast; on the other, she, who urged them to despatch themselves, was instant; whereupon the young men, putting an end to their lives, some by the sword and some by the poison, were thrown, expiring, into the sea. Then, embracing her husband and companion in death, she plunged into the deep. The king’s people then took possession of the ship, in which they found not one of its owners.
V. The shocking circumstances of this transaction added fresh fuel to the flame of public resentment against the king, insomuch that most people imprecated curses on him and his children; which curses were heard by the gods, who soon after caused him to vent his cruelty on those of his own blood. For Perseus, perceiving that the popularity and high reputation of his brother Demetrius increased daily among the Macedonians; and also his interest with the Romans, saw no hope left to himself of obtaining the crown, except by some wicked device: he therefore bent all his thoughts to that one point. But, not thinking himself, alone, strong enough even for the dastardly project, which he meditated in his effeminate mind, he began to tamper with each of his father’s friends by dark hints and suggestions. At first, several of these showed an appearance of rejecting with aversion any such overtures, because they entertained higher expectations from Demetrius. Philip’s animosity to the Romans, however, increased every day — an animosity which Perseus fomented; but which Demetrius laboured, with all his might, to assuage. They foresaw therefore the fatal end of the youth, who used no precaution against the base designs of his brother; and thinking it prudent not to oppose what they judged must happen, and to support the pretensions of the more powerful, they united themselves to Perseus. Other measures they deferred to be executed each in its season; for the present, they determined to use every means to inflame the king’s anger towards the Romans, and to urge him to resolve on war, to which he was of himself very much inclined. At the same time, in order to aggravate his suspicions of Demetrius, they made it a practice in conversation to speak contemptuously of the Romans; some depreciating their manners and institutions, some their military achievements, some the appearance of the city itself unadorned, without either public or private structures; and others, some particular individuals among their principal men. On these occasions, the unwary young prince, out of affection to the Roman nation, and warmth of opposition to his brother, strongly maintained their cause, and by this means rendered himself more suspected by his father, and more obnoxious to injurious insinuations. Philip, therefore, kept him a stranger to all his designs respecting the Romans; and bestowing his entire confidence on Perseus, held with him, daily and nightly, deliberations on that subject. It happened, that some persons, whom he had sent to the Bastarnians, to solicit aid, came home at this time, and brought with them several young men of distinction, and some of the royal family; one of whom promised his sister in marriage to Philip’s son, and the close connection with that nation greatly raised the king’s spirits. Hereupon, Perseus said, “What does that avail? Foreign aids do not give us security, proportioned to the danger that threatens us from domestic treachery. I am unwilling to call him traitor, but a spy we certainly have in our bosom, and who, since he was a hostage at Rome, though the people returned us his person, has left his heart in their possession. Almost every Macedonian looks up to him, supposing that they are to have no other king than one given by the Romans.” By such discourses, the old man’s mind, distempered in itself, was stimulated to passion, and these imputations sunk deeper in his mind, than appeared from his countenance.
VI. The time of the purification of the army now arrived. The ceremony is thus performed:— A dog being cut asunder in the middle, the head, with the fore part and the entrails, is laid on the right side of the road, and the hind part on the left. Between the parts of the victim, thus divided, the forces march under arms. In the front of the van, are carried the remarkable suits of armour of all the kings of Macedonia, from the remotest origin; next follows the king himself, with his children; then the royal cohort and body guards, and the rest of the national troops close the rear. On this occasion, the king was accompanied by his two sons, one on each side of him; Perseus being now in his thirtieth year, Demetrius five years younger; the former in the full strength of manhood, the latter in its bloom; a ripe progeny, capable of rendering their father happy, if sound wisdom had regulated their conduct. The custom was, that when the purification was finished, the troops performed their exercise; and then, being divided into two equal parties, engaged in representation of a battle. The young princes were appointed commanders in this mock engagement; not indeed mock engagement, as it should have been; for the encounter was, as if they were fighting for the throne: many wounds were given with the foils, nor was any thing but sharp weapons wanting to render it a regular battle. The party under Demetrius had a great superiority; and, while Perseus was vexed thereat, his judicious friends rejoiced; and said, that that very cirsumstance would afford grounds for the heavier charges against his brother.
VII. Each of the princes gave an entertainment that day to the party, who had exercised under his command. Perseus was invited to supper by Demetrius, but refused; however, cheerful hospitality, on such a festival day; and youthful mirth, led both to drink freely of wine. The conversation of either party turned on the incidents of the mock engagement, and jocular remarks were thrown on their antagonists, without sparing even the commanders themselves. To listen and catch such expressions, a spy was sent from among the guests of Perseus; but not conducting himself with sufficient caution, he was detected by some young men who happened to come out of the banqueting-room, and severely beaten. Demetrius, knowing nothing of this matter, said, “Why don’t we go and join in merriment with my brother, assuaging, by our openness and candour, any remains of his anger that may subsist since the fight?” All cried out at once, that they would attend him, except those who were afraid of immediate vengeance for having beaten the spy. These, however, being pressed by Demetrius to go with the rest, concealed swords under their clothes, with which they might defend themselves if any violence should be offered. In the case of domestic discord, nothing can be kept secret. Both houses were full of spies and traitors. An informer ran on before to Perseus and told him, that four armed young men were coming with Demetrius. Though he well knew the reason of their fears, (for he had heard of the beaten given to his guest,) yet, for the purpose of giving the matter a bad colour, he ordered his gate to be locked, and from the windows facing the street he called aloud to the revellers, and as if they were come to murder him, not to approach the house. Demetrius, flushed with wine, exclaimed loudly on being shut out. He then went home to his own feast, entirely ignorant of the meaning of this proceeding.
VIII. Next day, Perseus, as soon as he could be admitted to his father’s presence, went into the palace; and with a countenance expressive of great perturbation, stood silent, at a distance. Philip asked him, “if all was well, and what was the cause of that sadness?” He answered, “I must tell you, that it is but by mere accident, that I am now alive. My brother attacks us, not with secret treachery; he came last night to my house, with men in arms, to take away my life; and it was by shutting the doors, and keeping the walls between me and him, that I saved myself from his fury.” As these words filled his father with horror, mixed with wonder, he added, if you can prevail on yourself to listen to me, I will give you the clearest proof of the matter.” Philip replied that he would certainly listen to him, and ordered Demetrius to be instantly summoned. He then sent for two friends of advanced age, Lysimachus and Onomastus, (who never interfered in the disputes of the brothers, and who of late had but seldom appeared in the palace,) that he might have the assistance of their advice. In the interim, he walked about, by himself, revolving many things in his mind. On being told that his friends were arrived, he retired with them into an inner apartment, attended by two of his lifeguards; at the same time permitting each of his sons to bring in three persons unarmed. Here, having taken his seat, he said, “Surely I am the most unhappy of fathers, sitting here as judge, between my two sons, on a charge of fratricide, made by one of them against the other; so that I must find in my nearest relations, the foul stam either of falsehood, or of wicked violence. This long time, indeed, I have apprehended an impending storm, not only from your countenances, which showed no sign of brotherly affection, but from some expressions which I have overheard. But I sometimes cherished the hope, that the heat of your resentments would cool, and that your mutual suspicions might be cleared up; for I considered, that even enemies lay down their arms and become friends; and I trusted that you would some time or other recal the memory of your fraternal relation to each other, of the open freedom and intimacy that subsisted between you in your boyish days; and finally, of my instructions, which, I fear, I have fruitlessly poured into deaf ears. How often have I, in your hearing, mentioned, with abhorrence, examples of discord between brothers, and recounted the dreadful consequences of them, by which themselves, their offspring, their houses, and their kingdoms, have been utterly ruined. I have represented, on the other hand, more laudable examples; the social intercourse between the two kings of the Lacedæmonians, beneficial to themselves and to their country for many ages; and where the custom of every one arbitrarily seizing on power, was quite overturned. Then, the brothers, Eumenes and Attalus, having raised their dominions (once so low, that they were almost ashamed of the title of king,) to an equality with mine, or with those of Antiochus, or indeed of any monarch of this age, and principally by brotherly concord. Nor did I decline showing you examples even from among the Romans; some that had fallen under my own observation, others that I had heard: as Titus and Lucius Quintius, who carried on the war with me; the two Scipios, Publius and Lucius, who vanquished Antiochus, and their father and uncle, whose sociality, maintained through life, was not broken even by death. But neither could the wickedness of the former, attended by a suitable issue, deter you from your foolish quarrels; nor could the sound judgment and good fortune of the latter, bend you to wisdom. While I am alive, and in health, you have both of you, in your hopes and wishes, laid hold on the succession. You wish me to live just so long as that, surviving one, I should, by my death, make the other king without a competitor. You cannot endure to have either brother or father. You have no sense of affection, or duty; your insatiable passion for rule, alone, has taken up the place of all other feelings. Come, then, contaminate your father’s ears, contend with mutual accusations, as you soon will with the sword; speak out whatever you can with truth, or whatever you may choose to invent. My ears are now open; but, henceforward, will be shut against all secret charges of one against the other.” On his uttering these words, with furious passion, every one present burst into tears, and for a long time kept a sorrowful silence.
IX. At length Perseus spoke to this effect: “I ought then, it seems, to have opened my gate in the night, to have admitted those armed revellers, and held out my throat to their swords; since nothing less than the perpetration of the deed can gain belief, and since I, against whom a murderous plot was levelled, am accosted in the same language as if I were a robber and an assassin. It is not without reason, that people say that you have but one son, Demetrius; and that I am suppositious, and born of a concubine; for if I held in your breast the rank of a son, or the affection due to one, you would wreak your anger not on me, who, on detecting a plot against my life, make my complaint, but on him who was the author of it: nor would myself be, so cheap in your eyes, as that you should neither be moved by the danger which I have already undergone, nor by that to which I must be exposed in future, if the assassins are permitted to go unpunished. If therefore it be our doom to die in silence, let us only pray the gods, that the wicked design aimed at me may end with me; and that you be not wounded through my sides. But if, as nature itself dictates to people, encompassed with perils in a desert place, to implore aid from men whom they had never seen, so I, on finding a sword drawn against me, may be allowed to raise my voice. I beseech you then, by your own person, by the name of father, (and you long know which of us reveres that title most,) that you may hear me in the same manner, as you would if roused by calls and outcries, you had come up, when I was crying for help, and in the dead of night had found Demetrius, with armed men, in the porch of my house. What I should at that time, and in that case, have exclaimed against with terror, I now next day, lay before you in form of a complaint. Brother, it is long since you and I lived together on the terms of mutual hospitality; your chief wish is to be king; your hopes on that head meet obstacles in my age, in the law of nations, in the ancient practice of Macedonia, as well as in my father’s judgment. These you can surmount by no other means than by shedding my blood. To this end, you leave no scheme or effort untried. Hitherto, either my care or fortune has kept me from destruction. Yesterday, on occasion of the purification the military exercise and mock representation of a fight, you brought on almost a bloody battle; nor was I saved from death by any other means than by suffering myself and my party to be overcome. After this pretending brotherly sport, you wanted to drag me to your house to supper. Father, can you suppose I should have met there unarmed guests, when they came, in arms, to my house to drink with me? Do you think there would have been no danger in the night from their swords, when, before, they were near killing me with foils? Why, Demetrius did you come at that time of night; why, an enemy come to a person provoked; why with young men in arms? I did not dare to trust myself with you as a guest, and shall I admit you to drink with me, when you come surrounded with armed men? Father, if the gate had been open, you would at this moment bepreparing my funeral, instead of hearing my complaint. I do not as an accuser urge any thing for the purpose of aggravation; neither do I put together doubtful circumstances, in a train of artful arguments. For what can he say? Does he deny that he came to my gate with a large party, or that there were armed men with him? Send for the persons; I will name them. I know that they who dared to make this attempt, dare to do any thing; nevertheless, they will not dare to contradict what I say. If I brought before you any who had been caught within my doors, in arms, you would consider this as full proof; and you ought to consider those who make confession of what I have charged them with, in the same light, as if actually caught in the fact.
X. “Father! your curses should fall on the ambition for rule. Call up the furies, the avengers of the wrongs of brothers; but let not your curses be undiscriminating. Examine and distinguish between the plotter and the person plotted against, and pour them on the guilty head. Let him, who intended to kill a brother, feel the wrath of the gods, and of his father also; and let him, who was to have perished by a brother’s wickedness, find refuge in his father’s compassion and justice. For where else shall I seek refuge, who cannot find safety in the solemn purification of your army, in the exercise of the troops, in my own house, in a feast, nor in the night, which nature’s bounty granted to mankind for a season of repose. If I go to my brother, according to his invitation, I must die. If I admit my brother to a party of pleasure within my own gates, I must die. Neither by going, nor by staying, can I escape treacherous plots. Whither then shall I betake me? Father, your favour only have I ever courted, and that of the gods. I have not the Romans to fly to. They wish my destruction, because I grieve at the injuries which they have done to you; because I resent your being deprived of so many cities, so many nations, and but the other day, of the coast of Thrace. They have no hope that Macedonia will ever be their property, while either you or I are safe. But, if I should be taken off by the wickedness of my brother, and you by old age; or if even this should not be waited for, they know that both the king and kingdom of Macedonia will become theirs. If the Romans had left you any thing beyond the limits of Macedonia, I would suppose that I might there find shelter. But I have protection enough in the Macedonians. You were an eyewitness yesterday of the attack made on me by the soldiers. What did they want but pointed weapons, to complete the business. And what they wanted, in the day, my brother’s guests took to themselves in the night. Why need I mention the greater part of the nobles, who have placed all their hopes of wealth and preferment in the Romans, and in him, who can do every thing with the Romans? Nor, in truth, do they prefer him merely to me, his elder brother, but, in some measure, to yourself, his king and father. For he is the person, out of regard to whom the senate remitted to you the intended punishment, who now screens you from the Roman arms; who thinks it fit that your advanced age should be under obligation to, and under control of his youth. He is supported by the Romans, by all the cities liberated from your jurisdiction, by the Macedonians who are pleased at the peace with Rome. For me, where is there either hope or support of any kind, except in you, my father.
XI. “What do you suppose to be the intention of the letter sent to you lately by Titus Quintius, in which he not only says, that you acted wisely for your own interest in sending Demetrius to Rome, but also advises you to send him back again, with a greater number of ambassadors, and even the first men of Macedonia? Titus Quintius is now his counsellor, and master, in every thing. You, his father, he has renounced, and has substituted Quintius in your place. Rome is the principal place, where their secret plans are digested. When he desires you to send greater numbers, and the chief men of Macedonia, he is seeking assistance in their schemes. For those, who go thither, pure and uncorrupt, and satisfied that you are really their king, return tainted and infected by Roman poisons. Demetrius alone is every thing with them. They give him the title of king, even in his father’s lifetime. If I express my indignation at these things, I am charged with being ambitious for rule; not only by others, but, father, even by you. But this charge, if made against both, I do not admit; for whom do I disturb from his place, that I may succeed in his room? My father alone is before me; and that he may long be so, I beseech the gods. If I survive him, (and so may I survive him, as I shall deserve that himself may wish it,) I shall receive the crown, if my father devises it to me. He covets rule, and covets it with a criminal passion, who hastily over-leaps the order of age, of nature, of the Macedonian customs, and of the laws of nations. An elder brother stands in his way; to whom by right, and by the choice of his father, the succession belongs. Let us, he cries, put him out of the way. I shall not be the first that acquired a kingdom by killing a brother. My father being old, and left alone by his son’s death, will rather fear for himself, than revenge the death of his son. The Romans will rejoice, they will approve, they will support the act. Father, these prospects are uncertain, but they are not without grounds. For the matter stands thus: it is in your power to ward off danger,by punishing those who took arms to kill me; but should their villainy succeed, it will not then be in your power to take vengeance for my death.”
XII. When Perseus ceased speaking, the eyes of all present were turned on Demetrius, as they expected from him an immediate reply: but he kept silence for a long time. It was evident that, drowned as he was in tears, he had not power to utter a word; but, at last, the necessity that called on him to speak, overcame his grief, and he expressed himself thus: “Father, all the aids of which persons accused could heretofore have availed themselves, my brother has taken from me, and converted to his own purpose. By his tears, counterfeited for the purpose of working another’s ruin, he has caused my real tears to be suspected by you. Although, ever since my return from Rome, he has employed himself night and day in plotting my destruction, and holding, for that end, secret consultations with his confederates, yet he now represents me in the character, not only of a conspirator, but of an open assassin and murderer. He terrifies you with his danger, in order to hasten through your means the ruin of an innocent brother. He asserts, that he has no place of refuge in the world, in order to cut off any remains of hope, which I might have, even in you. Circumvented, unsupported, and helpless as I am, he loads me with injurious imputations, respecting interest with foreigners, which, instead of proving useful, is detrimental to me. Then, with what unfair artifice does he act, in blending the charge of last night with invectives against the rest of my conduct; with design, on the one hand, by his representation of the tenor of my behaviour, in other particulars, to throw a colour of guilt on the former, the true nature of which you shall soon understand; and, on the other hand, to support the other groundless insinuations respecting my views, wishes, and designs by this latter, fictitious, fabricated story. He had, at the same time, a farther design; that his accusation might appear to be sudden and unpremediated, as if occasioned by sudden fright and disturbance in the night. But, Perseus, if I were a traitor against my father and his government; if I had formed connections with the Romans, or with others, enemies of my father, the tale of last night ought not to have been waited for; I ought to have been long ago brought to answer for my treason. And if the other charge were unfounded, and tended to discover your ill will towards me, rather than my guilt, it ought on the present day also, to be either omitted or postponed; in order that it might clearly appear, whether I plotted against you; or you, with indeed a strange and singular kind of hatred, against me. However, I will, as well as I am able, in my present unforeseen perturbation of mind, distinguish those matters, which you have confounded; and I will unveil the plot of the preceding evening, whether mine or yours. Perseus wishes it to be believed, that I had formed a design to take his life, with the view, it seems, that having removed the elder brother, to whom by the law of nations, by the custom of Macedonia, and likewise by your judgment, as he says the kingdom was to devolve, I the younger, should succeed in the room of him whom I had slain. What, then, can be the meaning of that other part of his speech, where he says, that I courted the favour of the Romans, and from my reliance on them, conceived hopes of the crown? For, if I believed that the Romans possessed such influence, that they could impose on Macedonia whatever king they pleased, and if I had such confidence in my interest with them, what need was there of fratricide? Could it be my wish to wear a diadem stained with a brother’s blood, or to become odious and execrable, in the eyes of those very people, with whom, whatever share of interest I might happen to have, was procured by either real, or at least, affected integrity of conduct? Can this be possible, I say, unless you believe that Titus Quintius, by whose counsels and advice you allege I am at present governed, though he lives on a footing of such cordial affection with his own brother, would recommend to me to murder mine? He has assembled together for me, not only the favour of the Romans, but the opinions of the Macedonians, and the concurring sentiments almost of all the gods, and of all mankind, by reason of all which he cannot believe that he would prove equal to me in the competition. Yet the same man accuses me of having, (while sensible of my inferiority to him in every mode of proceeding,) had recourse to an act of wickedness as my only resource. Are you satisfied, that the decision between us shall be made on this principle, that whichever feared lest the other should seem more worthy of the throne, shall be deemed guilty of designing his brother’s destruction?
XIII. “But let us examine the process of this accusation, in whatever manner it has been fabricated. He has arraigned me of attempting his life, in several different methods; and all these modes of attack he has brought within the compass of one day. I intended to kill him in the middle of the day; in the course of the exercises; and, in preference of all other days, on that of the purification. I intended, when I invited him to supper, to take him off by poison. I intended, when some armed persons followed me to join his party in their conviviality, to kill him with the sword. You see what sort of opportunities were chosen for this murder; those of sport, feasting, and revelling, and on what days, or on what sort of a day! On the day, in which the army was purified; in which, after the royal armour of all the former kings in Macedonia was carried in procession between the divided parts of the victim, when he and I, only, rode along with you, father, at your sides, and the body of the Macedonian troops followed. Now, even supposing that I had formerly been guilty of some crime, could I, after being purified and expiated in this sacred solemnity, at the very time when I was looking at the victim laid on each side of our road, revolve in my mind fratricide; could I have poisons and swords prepared against the feast? With what other sacred rights could I afterwards atone for the guilt of a mind thus contaminated with every kind of villainy? But his understanding is so blinded by eagerness to turn every thing into a crime, that he confounds one thing with another. For if, Perseus, I intended to take you off by poison, what could be more incongruous with my design, than to provoke you to rage by an obstinate contest and fight? Ought I to have given you reason to refuse, as you did, my invitation to supper? But when, in your anger, you had refused, whether ought I to have taken pains to pacify you, that I might find another opportunity, since I had got the poison ready, or to fly off at once to another plan of killing you with the sword, and on that same day, under pretence of feasting with you? If I thought that you declined supping with me, through fear for your life, how could I suppose that you would not, through the same fear, have declined admitting me to drink with you.
XIV. “Father, I have no cause to blush, that on a festival day, among companions of my own age, I should have indulged too freely in wine; and I wish you would inquire what cheerfulness and mirth prevailed, in yesterday’s entertainment, at my house, heightened too by our joy, perhaps a blameable one, for our party not having been worsted in the fight. My present misfortune, and my fears, have effectually dissipated the fumes of the liquor; but, if these had not intervened, we, the conspirators, would have been now lying fast asleep. If, Perseus, I designed to storm your house, and after taking it, to kill the owner, ought I not to have refrained from wine for that one day, and to have kept my soldiers sober? That I should not be the only one to defend my cause with excessive candour, my brother himself, not in the least inclined to malice or suspicion, says, I know nothing more, I charge them with nothing more, than that they came in arms to drink with me. If I should ask, how come you acquainted with that circumstance? you must necessarily acknowledge, either that my house was full of your spies, or that my companions took arms so openly, as that every one could know their purpose. Lest he should seem to argue, with an intention to aggravate guilt, he desires you to inquire from the persons, whom he would name, whether they had carried swords, in order that, in such a case, and respecting a fact which themselves confess, I might be deemed convicted. Why, Perseus, do you not rather desire inquiry to be made, whether they carried swords for the purpose of killing you? whether, by my directions and knowledge? for this is what you wish to be believed, and not what they will confess, and what is, indeed, notorious, that they carried them for the purpose of defending themselves. Whether they acted right or wrong, let them account for their own conduct. My cause, which is in no way affected by this act, you ought not to have blended with it; or you ought to have explained, whether we intended to attack you openly or secretly. If openly, why did we not all carry swords, and not those only who had beaten your spy? If privately, what was our plan? Were four to remain, when the banquet broke up, and I, your guest, had departed, in order to fall on you in your sleep? How would they have escaped detection, as being strangers, and belonging to me; and, above all, being liable to suspicion, on account of their having been in a quarrel a little before? And how were they to escape after having killed you? Was your house so weakly defended, as that it could be stormed by the aid of four swords.
XV. “Drop then, that fable of last night; and recur to what really grieves you, what kindles your envy. Say — Why, Demetrius, is mention made any where of your mounting the throne? Why do you appear, to some, more worthy to succeed to your father’s dignity than I? Why do you disturb, with doubt and anxiety, my hopes which would be certain if you were not in being? These are the thoughts of Perseus, though he does not express them; these make him my enemy, these my accuser; these, my father, fill your house, these fill your kingdom with accusations and suspicions. But as I ought not now to hope for the crown, or perhaps ever to think of a competition for it, being, as I am, the younger brother, and it being your will that I should yield to the elder; so neither ought I, at any former time, or at the present, to act in such a manner, as to appear undeserving of having you for my father, and of all the other blessings of my life. That would be the consequence of vicious conduct in me, not of moderation, and of yielding to him, to whom the laws, divine and human, order me to give place. I am upbraided in regard to the Romans; and what ought to be deemed an honour, is turned into a crime. It was not at my request, that I was either delivered a hostage to the Romans, or sent ambassador to Rome. Being commissioned by you, I did not refuse to go. On both occasions, I conducted myself in such a manner, as to be no disgrace to you, to your kingdom, or to the Macedonian nation. You, therefore, father, have been the cause of my friendship with the Romans. As long as peace shall subsist between you and them, so long will I also continue in friendship with them; but, if war should arise, I, who have been there a hostage, and no unprofitable ambassador in my father’s behalf, will be their most determined enemy. Nor do I, this day, require, that the favour of the Romans should be any advantage to me; I only deprecate its being made detrimental. It neither commenced in war, nor is it meant to subsist in war. I was a pledge of peace; and, to procure a continuance of peace, I was sent ambassador. Let neither be esteemed an honour or a crime. Father, if I have been guilty of any undutiful behaviour towards you, or any criminal behaviour towards my brother, there is no punishment to which I will not submit without murmuring. If I am innocent, let me not, I beseech you, be destroyed by envy. My brother’s accusation, this day, is not the first that he has brought against me; but it is the first made openly, and is entirely undeserved by me. If my father were angry with me, it would become the elder brother to intercede for the younger, to obtain pardon for his youth and for his error; but, in the very person, from whom I ought to receive protection, in him I meet my ruin. From a feast, and intemperate drinking, I have been hurried, almost half asleep, to defend myself against a charge of fratricide. Without advocates, without patrons, I am compelled to plead my own cause. If I were to speak for another, I would have taken time to study and compose my discourse; though, in that case, I should run no other hazard than that of my reputation for abilities. But before I knew the reason of being summoned hither, I heard you in a paroxysm of passion, ordering me to account for my conduct and my brother accusing me. He employed, against me, a speech, long before prepared and studied; while I had no longer time for learning the nature of the case, than while the charges against me were recited. During that short space, whether should I listen to my accuser, or study a defence? Thunderstruck by the sudden and unthought-of calamity, I was scarcely capable of understanding what was alleged against me, much less of settling properly, in my mind, what defence I should make. What hope, indeed, could I have, if my judge were not my father; with whom, though my elder brother has the advantage of a larger share in his affection, yet surely, standing thus accused, I ought not to meet a less share of compassion. For my prayer is, that you would save me, for my sake, and for your own; he demands, that for his security, you should put me to death. In what manner, do you think, will he act, when you shall deliver the kingdom into his hands, who, even now, thinks it reasonable that he should be gratified with my blood?” While he was proceeding in this manner, his voice was stopped by a flood of tears. Philip ordered Perseus and Demetrius to withdraw; and after conferring a short time with his friends, declared, that “he could not, from a single hour’s discussion, form a definite judgment on the cause between them. This could only be done by a scrutiny into the conduct and manners of both, and a close observation of their words and actions, on all occasions, great and small.” From which it appeared clearly to every one, that the charge relating to the preceding night, was effectually refuted; but that Demetrius was viewed with jealously, as too closely connected with the Romans. Such were the seeds of a Macedonian war, which were sowed during the life-time of Philip, though they did not ripen into effect until the government fell into the hands of Perseus, with whom it was waged.
XVI. Both the consuls went into Liguria, at that time, the only consular province. Their successes there occasioned a supplication of one day to be decreed. About two thousand Ligurians came to the extreme borders of the Gallic province, where Marcellus lay encamped, and requested him to receive their submission. Marcellus ordered them to wait where they were, and sent a letter to the senate, desiring to know their pleasure. The senate ordered Marcus Ogulnius, prætor, to write back to Marcellus, that “it would have been more proper for the consuls, whose province it was, than for them, to have determined what, in this case, was for the public advantage. That, however, as the matter stood, it was their opinion, that the submission of the Ligurians should be received; that their arms should be taken from them, and sent to the consuls.” The prætors arrived at the same time, in Spain; Publius Manlius, in the farther province, which he had governed in his former prætorship, and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, in the hither one, where he received the command of the army from Terentius; the farther province, by the death of the proprætor, Publius Sempronius, having been left without a governor. While Fulvius Flaccus was besieging a town of the Spaniards, called Urbicua, he was attacked by the Celtiberians. Many severe actions were fought on the occasion, and many of the Romans killed and wounded. Nothing, however, could prevail on Fulvius to raise the siege; and, by perseverance, he carried his point. The Celtiberians, wearied out with so many battles, retired; and the city, having lost their assistance, was, within a few days after, taken and sacked, when the prætor bestowed the booty on the soldiers. Fulvius, after reducing this town, sent his forces into winter quarters; and Publius Manlius did the same, without having performed any thing worth mention: for all that he did was, to collect, into one body, the troops which had been scattered in various places. Such were the transactions of that summer in Spain. Terentius, who had come home from that province, entered the city in ovation. He carried in the procession nine thousand three hundred and twenty pounds weight of silver, eighty pounds weight of gold, and two golden crowns of the weight of sixty-seven pounds.
XVII. This year the Romans were arbitrators in a dispute, subsisting between the people of Carthage and king Masinissa, about a tract of ground. This ground, Gala, father of Masinissa, had taken from the Carthaginians. Syphax had expelled Gala, and, afterwards, from respect to his father-in-law, Hasdrubal, had made a present of it to the Carthaginians. In the present year, Masinissa had expelled the Carthaginians. This matter was debated before the Roman deputies, with no less violent heat than had animated the parties when engaged in the field. The Carthaginians reclaimed the ground, first, as having been the property of their ancestors; and next, on the title which they had derived from Syphax. Masinissa urged, that “he had retaken possession of it as part of his father’s kingdom, and held it under the law of nations; and that he had the advantage, both in the merits of his cause, and, in the present possession. That, in this discussion, he had no other fear, than lest the moderation of the Romans might operate to his loss, making them dread the appearance of any partiality to a king who was their friend and ally, in prejudice to the common enemy of him and them.” The deputies did not alter the right of possession, but remitted the cause entire to the senate at Rome. There was nothing done afterwards, in Liguria. The inhabitants, at first, retired into remote forests; and, afterwards, disbanding their army, separated, and went off to their several forts and villages. The consuls, too, wished to disband their forces, and wrote to the senate for orders; but the senate directed, that one of them should discharge his troops, and come to Rome to elect magistrates for the year; and that the other, with his legions, should pass the winter at Pisæ. A report prevailed, that the transalpine Gauls were arming their young men, and it was not known, on what quarter of Italy, that multitude would pour itself. The consuls settled the matter between them — that Cneius Bæbius should go home to the elections; his brother, Marcus Bæbius, being a candidate for the consulship.
Y. R. 571.
181.XVIII. The assembly for the election of consuls was then held, and Publius Cornelius Cethegus and Marcus Bæbius Tamphilus were chosen. The prætors afterwards elected were, Quintus Fabius Maximus, Quintus Fabius Buteo, Caius Claudius Nero, Quintus Petillius Spurinus, Marcus Pinarius Posca, and Lucius Duronius. When the magistrates entered into office, the lots disposed of the provinces thus: to the consuls, Liguria, to Quintus Petillius, the city jurisdiction; to Quintus Fabius Maximus, the foreign; to Quintus Fabius Buteo, Gaul; to Caius Claudius Nero, Sicily; to Marcus Pinarius, Sardinia: and to Lucius Duronius, Apulia, to which was annexed Istria, information being received, from Tarentum and Brundusium, that the country on the sea-coasts was infested by foreign pirates. The Massilians made the same complaint, with regard to the ships of the Ligurians. The armies were then voted to the consuls, four Roman legions, each consisting of five thousand two hundred foot, and three hundred horse; and, of the allies and Latines, fifteen thousand foot, and eight hundred horse. In the two Spains, the prætors were continued in command, with the armies which they then had; and an augmentation was voted for them, amounting to three thousand Roman foot, with two hundred horse, and six thousand foot and three hundred horse, of the Latine confederates. Nor was the business of the fleet neglected. The consuls were ordered to constitute duumvirs for conducting it; and these were to man twenty ships, which they launched, with Roman citizens, who had been in servitude, only taking care that the officers should be men of free birth. The duumvirs, each at the head of ten ships, took separate parts of the sea coast under their protection, so that the promontory of Minerva formed the point of division between them; one was to defend the part on the right, as far as Marseilles; the other, that on the left, to the town of Barium.
XIX. Many alarming prodigies were seen at Rome this year, and others reported from abroad. A shower of blood fell in the courts of the temples of Vulcan and Concord, and the priests reported that spears moved in the hands of the statues, and that the image of Juno Sospita at Lanuvium shed tears. There was a pestilence in the country, in the market towns and villages; and so violent was it, in the city, that people could scarcely be found to bury the dead. These prodigies, and the mortality, alarmed the senate so much, that they ordered the consuls to sacrifice to such gods, as their judgment should direct, victims of the larger kinds, and that the decemvirs should consult the books. Pursuant to their direction, a supplication for one day was proclaimed, to be performed at every shrine in Rome; and they advised, besides, and the senate voted, and the consuls proclaimed, that there should be a supplication, and public worship, for three days, throughout all Italy. The pestilence raged with so great fury, that when, in consequence of the revolt of the Corsicans, and a war raised in Sardinia by the Ibians, an order was passed for raising, from among the Latines, eight thousand foot and three hundred horse, to be carried into Sardinia, with Pinarius the prætor; — the consuls returned a representation, that so great a number of men had died and so many were sick, in every place, that such a body of soldiers could not be collected. On this, the prætor was ordered to take from Cneius Bæbius, proconsul, who was in winter quarters at Pisæ, as many soldiers as would make up the deficiency, and then to sail to Sardinia. Lucius Duronius, the prætor, to whose lot Apulia had fallen, received also a charge to make inquiry concerning the Bacchanalians, for some remaining seeds of the evils, formerly excited by those people, had shown themselves there the year before. The inquiries, though commenced under the prætor, Lucius Pupius, had yet been brought to no issue; the senate therefore ordered the new prætor to cut up that evil by the roots, so that it should never spread again. The consuls, also, by direction of the senate, proposed to the people certain laws concerning canvassing for elections.
XX. They next introduced the embassies to audience. And first, those of the kings Eumenes and Ariarathes, the Cappadocian; and Pharnaces, of Pontus. No farther answer was given to these, than that the senate would send persons to examine, and decide, their disputes. Ambassadors from the Lacedæmonian exiles, and from the Achæans, were next brought in. Hopes were given to the exiles, that the senate would write to the Achæans to procure their restoration. The Achæans gave an account, to the satisfaction of the senate, of the recovery of Messene, and the settlement of affairs there. From Philip, king of Macedonia, came two ambassadors also — Philocles and Apelles; not on any business with the senate, but rather to pry into and inquire concerning the correspondence with the Romans, of which Perseus had accused Demetrius, and, particularly, into that with Titus Quintius, concerning the kingdom, to the supposed prejudice of his brother. The king had employed these men, believing them unbiassed in respect of either party; but they were accomplices and agents of Perseus, in his treacherous designs. Demetrius ignorant of all, except the villainous scheme of his brother, which had lately broke out, at first, neither utterly despaired, nor yet entertained much hope, of effecting a reconciliation with his father; but, afterwards, he trusted, less and less, every day, to Philip’s affection, having observed that he was closely beset by Perseus. Wherefore, not to increase the suspicions he laboured under, he used extreme circumspection, in all his words and actions, and carefully avoided all mention of, and communication with, the Romans; refraining even from receiving letters from them, as he knew that charges, of this nature, exasperated his father more than any thing else.
XXI. Philip, in order to prevent his troops from being enervated by inactivity, and, at the same time, to avert all suspicion of his harbouring any design of a war with Rome, ordered his army to assemble at Stobi, in Pæonia; and thence he led it on into Mædica. He had been seized with an earnest desire of ascending to the summit of Mount Hemus, for he gave credit to a vulgar opinion, that from thence could be seen at once the Pontic and Adriatic seas, the river Danube, and the Alps; and he thought that the having a view of all those places, would be of no small consequence towards forming his plans of a war with Rome. On inquiry, from people acquainted with the country, respecting this mount, he was told that there was no way by which an army could go up it; but that a small party, lightly accoutred, might, though with great difficulty, climb to the top. Then, wishing to soothe, with familiar discourse, his younger son, whom he had determined not to take with him, he, first, asked his opinion, “whether, as the difficulty of the journey was represented to be so great, he ought to persist in his design, or not?” He added, that, “if he should resolve to proceed, he could not forget the caution of Antigonus, respecting undertakings of that kind; who, having all his family on board the same ship with him, and being tossed about by a violent storm, was said to have advised his sons, to remember, and hand down to their children, this maxim: never, in cases of danger, to hazard themselves, and their whole family together. He would therefore attend to this warning, and not expose his two sons at once to those perils, which were represented to lie in his way; and as he meant to take his elder son with him, he would send back the younger into Macedonia, as a reserve to his hopes, and as guardian of the kingdom.” Demetrius perceived clearly that he was sent out of the way, that he might not be present at their deliberations, when, with the above mentioned places in their view, they should consult which were the shortest roads to the Adriatic sea and to Italy, and what was the general plan to be pursued in the war. He was obliged however not only to obey his father on the occasion, but to express his approbation of the measure, lest a reluctant obedience might beget suspicion. To secure his safety on the road to Macedonia, Didas, one of the king’s general officers, and governor of Pæonia, was ordered to escort him with a small party of men. This man had united with Perseus, in the conspiracy to ruin his brother, as had likewise most of his father’s friends, as soon as they discovered plainly from the bent of the king’s inclination, which of the two was to inherit the throne; and Perseus charged him on this occasion, to insinuate himself by every kind of obsequiousness into the most familiar communication with Demetrius, so as to draw from him all his secrets, and to pry into his hidden thoughts. The prince, therefore, set out with a guard, which exposed him to greater dangers than he would have had to encounter if he had gone alone.
XXII. Philip marched first into Mædica, then across the deserts, that lie between Mædica and Hemus; and, at length, on the evening of the seventh day, he reached the foot of the mountain. There he halted one day, to make choice of those who were to accompany him, and on the next, proceeded on his journey. At first, while they ascended the lower parts of the hills, the fatigue was moderate; but, as they advanced upwards, they found the ground more thickly covered with woods, and in many places impassable. They then came to a part where the way was shaded by the thickness of the trees, and the branches so interwoven with each other, that they could hardly see the sky; but when they had nearly reached the top, what is rarely seen in other places, the whole tract was covered with a thick fog, so as to render their advancing no less difficult than if it had been night. At last, on the third day, they arrived at the summit. On coming down, they said nothing to discountenance the vulgar opinion, being unwilling, I suppose, to expose the journey to ridicule, and not because it was there possible to see those seas, and mountains, and rivers, so widely distant from each other. They were all greatly fatigued by the difficulty of the way; and chiefly the king himself, whose great age rendered him less qualified for active exertions. After sacrificing to Jupiter and the sun, on two altars which he consecrated on the spot, he descended in two days, though the ascent had cost him three; for he was particularly afraid of the night air, for though the dog star was now risen, the cold was as intense as in winter. After struggling with numerous hardships, he found his camp in a condition not more pleasing, for, as it lay in a country inclosed on all sides by deserts, it laboured under extreme want of every thing. He halted therefore but one day, to refresh those who had attended him, and then hastened away into the country of the Dentheletians, with all the precipitation of flight. These were allies, but the Macedonians, to supply their own necessities, plundered their country, as if it belonged to an enemy, for they first pillaged the country houses, and afterwards several villages, overwhelming the king with shame, when he heard the cries of his allies, calling, in vain, on the gods who witnessed their league, and on himself, by name. Having carried off corn from hence, he marched back into Mædica, and laid siege to a town called Petra. He pitched his camp in a plain, and sent his son Perseus with a small party, to attack the city, from higher ground. The townsmen, pressed by danger on all sides, gave hostages, and, for the present, surrendered themselves; but as soon as the army retired, regardless of the hostages, they deserted the city, and fled into fastnesses and mountains. Philip returned to Macedonia, having exhausted his troops by every kind of fatigue, without effecting any purpose, and with his suspicions of his son augmented through the treachery of the governor Didas.
XXIII. This man being sent, as before mentioned, to escort Demetrius, had, by flattering discourses, and even expressing his own indignation at the treatment shown him, imposed on the open temper of the youth, who was too much off his guard, and justly incensed against his relations; and by a voluntary offer of his assistance in all his measures, and giving a solemn assurance of fidelity, he prevailed on him to disclose his secrets. Demetrius was meditating flight to Rome; and he thought himself indebted to the kindness of the gods for sending him such an assistant in that design as the governor of Pæonia; — through whose province he supposed he might make his escape. This scheme was immediately betrayed to his brother, and, by his direction, discovered to his father. The information was conveyed by letter to the king, while he was besieging Petra; and, in consequence of it, Herodotus, who was the most intimate friend of Demetrius, was taken into custody, and an order was given that Demetrius himself should be guarded, without his perceiving it. These occurrences, added to what had passed before, made the king return into Macedonia with his heart burthened with grief. He thought the present charges required attention; yet he resolved to wait the return of those, whom he had sent to Rome, to procure intelligence of every particular. After he had passed several months under this uneasiness and anxiety, the ambassadors, who had preconcerted, before they left Macedonia, what information they should bring home from Rome, at last arrived. Besides other grounds of accusation, they produced to the king a forged letter, sealed with a counterfeit seal of Titus Quintius. In this letter was a kind of interceding apology, that if the young prince, misled by the ambition of reigning, had offered some propositions to him on the subject, yet he was sure that “Demetrius would never attempt any thing against his relations; and that, for himself, he never could be supposed to recommend undutiful proceedings.” This letter was deemed a full confirmation of the charges made by Perseus; Herodotus was, therefore, immediately put to the rack, which he endured a long time, and died under the torture, without making any kind of discovery.
XXIV. Perseus now brought before his father a second formal accusation against Demetrius. His intention of flying through Pæonia was alleged against him, and his having bribed certain persons to accompany him on the journey; but, what bore hardest on him, was, the forged letter of Titus Quintius. There was, however, no severe sentence pronounced openly, it being rather chosen to take away his life by secret means, in the fear, lest the inflicting punishment on him might be the means of divulging their designs against the Romans. The king himself having occasion to go from Thessalonica to Demetrias, sent Demetrius, with the same attendant Didas, to Asterium in Pæonia, and Perseus to Amphipolis, to receive hostages from the Thracians, and is said, on parting with Didas, to have given him directions to put his son to death. Didas either intended to perform a sacrifice, or made a pretence of doing so, and Demetrius, being invited to be present at the solemnity, came from Asterium to Heraclea. There, as we are told, poison was given him at supper. The moment he had swallowed the draught, he was conscious of its deadly property: and being quickly after seized with violent pains, retired to a chamber, where he continued for some time in agony, complaining of the cruelty of his father, inveighing against the fratricide of Perseus, and the villainy of Didas. Then, one Thyrsis of Stubera, and one Alexander of Berœa, were sent in, who, covering his head and mouth, with blankets, suffocated him. In this manner perished that innocent youth, his enemies not even contenting themselves with a common kind of murder.
XXV. While these matters passed in Macedonia, Lucius Æmilius Paullus, being, on the expiration of his consulate, continued in command, led his army, early in spring, into the country of the Ingaunian Ligurians. He had no sooner pitched his camp in the enemy’s territory, than ambassadors came to him, under pretext of suing for peace, but, in reality, as spies. Paullus declared, that he would enter into no treaty whatever, unless they first surrendered: to this they did not object, but said, that it would require time to procure the consent of such a rude kind of people. For that purpose, a suspension of arms, for ten days, was granted; and then, they farther requested, that his men might not go beyond the mountains, for wood or forage, for that was the part of their lands which they had under tillage. This being complied with, they collected all their forces behind those mountains, which they had prevented the Romans from approaching; and, on a sudden, with a vast multitude, assaulted every gate of this camp at once. During that whole day, they prosecuted the attack with such vigour, that Paullus had not time to march out of the camp, nor room to draw out his troops: so that they were obliged to defend their camp, by standing so thick together, in the gates, as to stop the passage, rather than by fighting. The enemy, retiring a little before sunset, the general despatched two horsemen to Pisæ, to Cneius Bæbius, proconsul, with a letter, requesting him to come, with all speed, to his relief, as the Ligurians had besieged him, in the midst of a truce. Bæbius had given up his army to Marcus Pinarius, the prætor, who was going into Sardinia, but he informed the senate by letter that Lucius Æmilius was besieged by the Ligurians, and also wrote to Marcus Claudius Marcellus, whose province lay the nearest, that, if he thought proper, he should march his army out of Gaul into Liguria, and to the relief of Æmilius. These succours would have come too late. The Ligurians returned, next day, to the attack of the camp. Æmilius, who was aware of this, and who could have drawn out his army to meet them, yet kept his men within the lines, for he wished to protract the business until such time as Bæbius should come with his army from Pisæ.
XXVI. Bæbius’s letter caused a great alarm, and it was increased by this circumstance, that, in a few days after, Marcellus coming to Rome, having given up the command of the army to Fabius, banished all hope of a possibility of the forces, then in Gaul, being removed into Liguria; for hostilities had commenced with the Istrians, who obstructed the settlement of the colony of Aquileia; and, as Fabius had led his army thither, he could not quit that country, now that the war was begun. There was but one thing that could afford any hope of relief, and even that too slow for the exigency of the case — this was, that the consuls might hasten their march into that province, and the senators earnestly pressed them to do so. But the consuls declared that they would not set out until the levies were completed, and that no indolence in them, but the violence of the epidemic sickness, was the cause of their delaying so long. However, they could not withstand the united wishes of the whole senate, in urging them to depart in the military habit, and to publish an order to the troops which they had enlisted, to assemble at Pisæ, on a certain day. Authority was given them to enlist soldiers for the occasion, on the road, and to take them with them. Orders were likewise issued to the prætors, Quintus Petillius, and Quintus Fabius, that Petillius should raise two tumultuary legions of Roman citizens, and compel every person under fifty years of age to enlist; and that Fabius should demand from the Latine allies, fifteen thousand foot, and eight hundred horse. Commanders were appointed to the fleet — Caius Matienus, and Caius Lucretius, and ships were put in readiness for them. Matienus, whose station was at the Gallic bay, was ordered to lead his squadron, with all expedition, to the coast of Liguria, and to try if he could be of any service to Lucius Æmilius and his army.
XXVII. Æmilius, seeing no appearance of succour from any quarter, supposed that his couriers had been intercepted. He resolved, therefore, to wait no longer, but to make a trial of fortune by himself; and for this purpose, before the coming of the enemy, who now made their attacks with less briskness and vigour, he drew up his troops at the four gates, that, on a signal being given, they might sally out from all sides at once. To four independent cohorts of auxiliaries, he added two others, and gave the command to Marcus Valerius, lieutenant-general, with orders to make his sally by the prætorian gate. At the right gate of the first cohort he formed the spearmen of the first legion, placing the first rank men of the same legion in reserve; these bodies were commanded by Marcus Servilius, and Lucius Sulpicius, military tribunes. The third legion was drawn up opposite to the left gate of the first cohort, with this difference only, that here the first-rank men were posted in front, and the spearmen in reserve. Sextus Julius Cæsar, and Lucius Aurelius Cotta, military tribunes, had the command of this legion. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, lieutenant-general, with the right wing of the allies, was posted at the quæstorian gate; and two cohorts, with the veterans of the two legions, were ordered to stay within to guard the camp. The general himself went round by all the gates, haranguing the troops and stimulating the soldiers, by every possible circumstance that he could mention; at one time declaiming against the treachery of the enemy, who after suing for peace, and obtaining a truce, had come during the very time of that truce, in violation of the law of nations, to attack his camp; at another, setting before them what a shame it was, that a Roman army should be besieged by Ligurians, people more properly styled robbers, than a regular enemy. “With what face,” continued he, “if you make your way hence, by the assistance of others, and not by your own valour, will any of you meet, I do not say those soldiers that conquered Hannibal, or Philip, or Antiochus, the greatest kings and generals of the present age, but those who often drove those very Ligurians before them, through pathless forests, and put them to the sword? What the Spaniards, the Gauls, the Macedonians, or Carthaginians, never dared to attempt, a Ligurian enemy dares: he marches up to the trenches of a Roman camp, besieges and assaults it; although, but a little while ago, they were glad to hide themselves, and lurk in the wilds of the forests, so that we were obliged to make diligent search before we could find them.” This was answered by a general clamour, that “the soldiers were not to be blamed, for they had not received any order to march out. Let him but give the order, and he should soon be convinced, that both the Romans and the Ligurians were the same that ever they were.”
XXVIII. There were two camps of the Ligurians on the hither side of the mountains, from which, on the former days, they had marched forward at sun-rise, all in order and regular array. On this day they did not take arms until they had made a full meal of food and wine; and then they came out in loose order, and regardless of their ranks, as expecting, with certainty, that the enemy would not venture out, beyond the rampart. As they were approaching, in this disorderly manner, the shout was raised by every one in the camp, at once, even by the suttlers and servants; and the Romans rushed out by all the gates at the same time. This event was so entirely unexpected by the Ligurians, that it confounded them, no less than if they had been caught in an ambush. For a short time, some appearance of a fight was maintained, and then followed an hasty flight, and a general slaughter of the fugitives. The cavalry, being ordered to mount their horses, and not to suffer any to escape, the enemy were driven, in the utmost confusion, to their camps, and soon beaten out of them also. Above fifteen thousand of the Ligurians were killed, and two thousand five hundred taken. In three days after the whole state of the Inguanian Ligurians gave hostages, and surrendered. The masters and crews of the ships, which had been employed in piracies, were carefully sought for, and thrown into prison; and thirty-two ships of that description were taken by Caius Matienus, on the Ligurian coast. Lucius Aurelius Cotta, and Caius Sulpicius Gallus, were sent to Rome with an account of these transactions, and with letters to the senate; they were ordered, at the same time, to request that, as the business of the province was finished, Lucius Æmilius might have permission to leave it, and to bring away his troops and disband them. The senate granted both, and decreed a supplication, at all the shrines, for three days; giving orders to the prætors that Petillius should discharge the city legions, that Fabius should excuse the allies, and Latines, from the levies, and that the city prætor should write to the consuls, that the senate thought proper that the occasional soldiers, enlisted on account of the sudden alarm, should be immediately discharged.
XXIX. The colony of Gravisca was established this year in a district of Etruria, formerly taken from the Tarquinians, and five acres of land were given to each settler. The commissioners who conducted it were Caius Calpurnius Piso, Publius Claudius Pulcher, and Caius Terentius Istra. The year was rendered remarkable by a drought, and a scarcity of the productions of the earth. Writers mention, that during the space of six months no rain fell. In the same year, some workmen, in the farm of Lucius Petillius, a notary, at the foot of the Janiculum, digging the ground deeper than usual, discovered two stone chests, about eight feet long and four broad, the covers of which were soldered with lead. Both the chests had inscriptions in Greek and Latine letters, one signifying that therein was buried Numa Pompilius, son of Pompo, and king of the Romans; the other, that therein were contained the books of Numa Pompilius. The owner of the ground having, by the advice of his friends, opened these chests, found the one, which according to its inscription contained the body of the king, perfectly empty, without any appearance of a human body or any thing else, having ever been in it; the whole being consumed by the decay of such a number of years. In the other were found two bundles, tied round with waxed cords, and each containing seven books, not only entire, but apparently quite fresh. Seven were in Latine, and related to the pontifical law; and seven in Greek, containing the doctrines of philosophy, such as might have been known in that age. Valerius Antias adds, that they contained the doctrines of Pythagoras, supporting, by this plausible fiction, the credit of the vulgar opinion, that Numa had been a disciple of Pythagoras. The books were read, first, by Petillius’s friends, who were present at the discovery; and, afterwards, by many others, until they came to be publicly spoken of. Then Quintus Petillius, the city prætor, having a desire to read them, borrowed them from Lucius Petillius, with whom he was familiarly acquainted; in consequence of Quintus Petillius having, when quæstor, chosen him, who was a notary, a decurio of horse. On reading the principal heads of the contents, he perceived that most of them had a tendency to undermine the established system of religious doctrines, and, thereupon, he told Lucius Petillius, that “he was determined to throw those books into the fire; but before he did so, he gave him leave, if he thought he had any right or title to demand the restitution of them, to make the trial, which would not give him the least offence.” The notary applied to the plebeian tribunes, and the tribunes referred the matter to the senate. The prætor declared, that he was ready to make oath, that those books ought not to be read or preserved; and the senate decreed, that “the prætor’s having offered his oath ought to be deemed sufficient evidence that those books should, without delay, be burned in the comitium, and that the owner should be paid for them such price as might be judged reasonable by the prætor Quintus Petillius, and the majority of the plebeian tribunes.” This the notary did not assent to. The books, however, were burned in the comitium, in the view of the people, the fire being made by the public servants, whose duty it was to assist at sacrifices.
XXX. A formidable war broke out this summer in the hither Spain, where the Celtiberians assembled such a force as they had hardly ever brought into the field before, amounting to no less than thirty-five thousand men. This province was governed by Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, who, on hearing that the Celtiberians were arming their young men, drew together all the succours he could procure from the allies. But he was still far inferior to the enemy in point of numbers. Early in spring, he marched his army into Carpetania, and fixed his camp close to the town of Æbura, in which he posted a small garrison. In a few days after the Celtiberians pitched their camp at the foot of a hill, about two miles from thence. When the Roman prætor was informed of their coming, he detached his brother, Marcus Fulvius, with two troops of the allied horse, to the enemy’s post, to take a view of them; ordering him to advance as near as possible to their rampart, so as to form a judgment of the size of the camp; and not to engage in fight, but to retreat if he should see the enemy’s cavalry coming out. He acted according to his instructions, and for several days there was nothing farther done than these two troops showing themselves, and then retreating when the enemy’s cavalry sallied from their tents. At length, the Celtiberians came out, with their entire force of horse and foot together, and drawing up in a line, posted themselves about midway between the two camps. The whole plain was level, and convenient for fighting, and here the Spaniards stood waiting for their enemy. The Roman general kept his men within the rampart, during four successive days, while the others constantly drew up theirs, and formed in the same place. The Romans never stirred; and from that time the Celtiberians, finding no opportunity of engaging, remained quiet in their camp; their cavalry only appearing as an advanced guard, to be ready in case of any movement being made by Fulvius. Both parties went for wood and forage behind their own camps, neither interrupting the other.
XXXI. When the Roman prætor thought that, by continuing inactive so many days, he had created in the Celtiberians a firm persuasion that he would not be first in any enterprise, he ordered Lucius Acilius, with the left wing of allies and six thousand provincial auxiliaries, to make the circuit of a mountain, behind the enemy; and as soon as he should hear the shout to pour down from thence on their camp. This party, to avoid being seen, set out in the night. At the dawn of day, Flaccus sent Caius Scribonius, a præfect of the allies, with the select horse of the left wing to the enemy’s rampart; when the Celtiberians, observing that they approached nearer, and were also more numerous than usual, made the whole body of their cavalry sally out against them, and gave orders to the infantry to follow. Scribonius, according to his instructions, nosooner heard the noise of the enemy’s cavalry than he wheeled about and retreated: on which they pursued with the more violence. First the cavalry, and in a short time the line of infantry, came up, confidently expecting that they should be able to assault the camp before night, and they advanced within five hundred paces of the rampart. Flaccus, therefore, thinking that they were now drawn far enough from their camp, to hinder them from giving it any succour, as he had his troops already formed within the works, burst out from three sides at once; and at the same time raised the shout, not only to inspire ardour for the fight, but also that it might be heard by the party on the mountain. Nor did these make any delay, but, according to their orders, poured down on the camp, where the guard consisted of only five hundred men, who were so terrified by the smallness of their numbers, the multitude of the assailants, and the unexpectedness of the affair, that the camp was taken almost without a dispute. Acilius set fire to that part of it which was most exposed to the view of the combatants.
XXXII. The Celtiberians in the rear of their line first observed the flames, and the news spread quickly through the whole army, that the camp was lost, being at that moment in a blaze, which filled them with dismay, while it gave fresh spirits to the Romans: for these now heard the shouts of victory raised by their friends, and saw the enemy’s camp on fire. The Celtiberians hesitated for some time, uncertain how to act; but when they considered that, in case of a defeat, they had no place of refuge, and that their only hope now lay in their arms, they renewed the combat afresh, with greater obstinacy. Their centre was pressed hard by the fifth legion; but their men advanced with more confidence against the left wing, where they saw that the Romans had posted the provincial auxiliaries, troops of their own kind. The left wing of the Romans was now in danger of being defeated, had not the seventh legion come to its support. At the same time, the troops left in garrison at Æbura came up during the heat of the battle, and Acilius closed on the enemy’s rear. Thus surrounded, the Celtiberians were, for a long time, cut off in great numbers, and at last the survivors betook themselves to flight. The cavalry, in two divisions, was sent in pursuit, and made great havoc. There were killed, of the enemy, on that day twenty-three thousand, and four thousand eight hundred were taken, with more than five hundred horses, and ninety-eight military ensigns. The victory was great, but not obtained without loss of blood. There fell of the two Roman legions, a few more than two hundred men; of the Latine confederates, eight hundred and thirty; and of the foreign auxiliaries, about two thousand four hundred. The prætor led back his victorious troops to their tents: but ordered Acilius to lodge in the camp which he had taken. Next day the spoils were collected, and presents bestowed, in public assembly, on such as had distinguished themselves by their bravery.
XXXIII. The wounded were then conveyed into the town of Æbura, and the legions marched through Carpetania, against Contrebia. The garrison there, on being invested, sent for succours to the Celtiberians; but these were long in coming, not because they were unwilling to give assistance but that after they had begun their march the roads were rendered impassable, and the rivers swelled by continued rains, so that their countrymen, despairing of assistance, capitulated. The same severe weather forced Flaccus to bring his whole army into the city. The Celtiberians, who were on their march, having heard nothing of the capitulation, when the rains abated, at last, passed the rivers, and came to Contrebia. When they saw no camp before the town, supposing, either, that it was removed to the other side, or that the enemy had retired, they came up towards the walls, in careless disorder; on which the Romans sallying out from two gates, attacked them before they could recover from their confusion, and effectually routed them. The same circumstance that disabled them from standing their ground and maintaining a fight — their not having come in one body, or in a regular disposition, round their standards — proved favourable to many in making their escape: for they scattered themselves widely over the whole plain, so that the Romans could no where inclose any considerable body of them. However, there were twelve thousand killed, and more than five thousand taken, with four hundred horses, and sixty-two military standards. The stragglers, flying homewards, turned back another body of Celtiberians, whom they met on the road, by informing them of the surrender of Contrebia, and their own defeat; whereupon they all immediately dispersed, and made the best of their way to their several villages and forts. Flaccus, leaving Contrebia, led his legions through Celtiberia, ravaging the country, and reducing a great number of their forts; in consequence of which the greater part of the nation surrendered themselves.
XXXIV. Such were the transactions of that year in the hither Spain. In the farther province, Manlius fought several successful battles with the Lusitanians. In the same year the Latine colony of Aquileia was established in the Gallic territory. Three thousand foot soldiers received each fifty acres, centurions an hundred, horsemen an hundred and forty. The commissioners who conducted the settlement were Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, Caius Flaminius, and Lucius Manlius Acidinus. Two temples were dedicated, this year, one to Venus Erycina, at the Colline gate, the ceremony being performed by Lucius Porcius Licinus, duumvir, son of Lucius. This temple had been vowed, during the Ligurian war, by Lucius Porcius, consul. The other to Piety, in the herb-market. This was dedicated by Manius Acilius Glabrio, duumvir, who erected a gilded statue of his father Glabrio, the first of the kind that ever was seen in Italy. This was the person who vowed the temple, on the day whereon he gained the decisive victory over king Antiochus, at Thermopylæ, and who, likewise, had contracted for its being built, in pursuance of a decree of senate. At the same time, when these temples were consecrated, Lucius Æmilius Paullus, proconsul, triumphed over the Ingaunian Ligurians. He carried in the procession twenty-five golden crowns, but no other article of either gold or silver. Many Ligurian chiefs were led captives before his chariot, and he distributed to each of his soldiers three hundred asses.* The reputation of this triumph was enhanced by the arrival of ambassadors from the Ligurians, begging that a perpetual peace might be established; and averring, that “the Ligurians had come to a resolution never again to take arms, on any occasion, except when commanded by the Roman people.” Quintus Fabius, prætor, by order of the senate, gave the Ligurians this answer; that “such kind of language was not new with the Ligurians; but it concerned chiefly their own interest that their disposition should be new, and conformable to their language. They must go to the consuls, and act as they should command; for the senate would never believe, from any other than the consuls, that the Ligurians were really and sincerely disposed to peace.” Peace however was made with that people. In Corsica, a battle was fought, in which the prætor, Marcus Pinarius, slew in the field two thousand of the islanders: by which loss they were compelled to give hostages, and an hundred thousand pounds of wax. The army was then carried over into Sardinia, and some successful battles were fought with the Illians, a nation, even at the present day, not in every particular friendly to us. In this year, an hundred hostages were restored to the Carthaginians, and the Roman people enabled them to live in peace, not only among themselves, but also with Masinissa, who at that time, with an armed force, held possession of the land in dispute.
Y. R. 572.
180.XXXV. The consuls had nothing to do in their province. Marcus Bæbius, being summoned home to Rome to preside at the elections, created consuls Aulus Postumius Albinus Luscus, and Caius Calpurnius Piso. Then were made prætors Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, Lucius Postumius Albinus, Publius Cornelius Mammula, Titus Minucius Molliculus, Aulus Hostilius Mancinus, and Caius Mænius. All these entered into office on the ides of March. In the beginning of this year, (the consulate of Aulus Postumius Albinus and Caius Calpurnius Piso,) the consul, Aulus Postumius, introduced to an audience of the senate, a deputation, sent from the hither Spain, by Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, and composed of Lucius Minucius, lieutenant-general, and two military tribunes, Titus Mænius, and Lucius Terentius Massa. These, after informing the senate of the two victories gained, of the submission of Celtiberia, and of peace being re-established, and that there was no occasion either to send pay, as usual, or corn to the army, for that year, requested, first, that “on account of these successes a thanksgiving should be performed to the immortal gods, and, then, that leave should be given to Quintus Fulvius on his quitting the province, to bring home thence the army which had served under him, and many former prætors, with much bravery. They represented, that this measure, besides the propriety of it, was in some degree necessary, for the troops were so obstinately bent on it, that it did not seem possible to keep them longer in the province; but, if they were not called away, they would either leave it, without orders, or, if compulsory methods were employed to detain them, would break out into a dangerous mutiny.” The senate ordered, that Liguria should be the province of both the consuls. The prætors then cast lots for theirs. The city jurisdiction fell to Aulus Hostilius, the foreign, to Titus Minucius, Sicily, to Publius Cornelius; Sardinia, to Caius Mænius; farther Spain, to Lucius Postumius, and the hither, to Tiberius Sempronius. As this last was to succeed Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, and wished that the province might not be stripped of the veteran troops, he spoke thus: “Quintus Minucius, I demand of you, since you assert, in your report, that peace is re-established in the province — is it your opinion, that the Celtiberians will always faithfully observe the treaty, so that the province may be kept in obedience without an army? If you cannot give us any assurance of that, or undertake to answer for the fidelity of the barbarians, but think that, at all events, there must be an army maintained there; I pray you, whether would you recommend to the senate to send a reinforcement into Spain, in order that those soldiers, only, who have served out their time, may be discharged, and the recruits mixed with the veterans, or to withdraw the veteran legions, and enlist new ones, in their place; and this, although the contempt entertained for such soldiers might rouse barbarians of more pacific tempers to a renewal of war? It would be a matter easier said than done, to reduce to complete subjection a province naturally fierce, and remarkable for its frequent renewals of hostility. A few states, as I am informed, who were awed, more than the rest, by the nearness of our winter quarters, have submitted to our authority and dominion; while those more remote are in arms. This being the case, Conscript Fathers, I now give notice before hand, that, with the army at present there, I will undertake to execute the business of the public; but, if Flaccus brings those legions home with him, I will choose some quiet part of the country for winter-quarters, and will not expose undisciplined soldiers to an enemy so remarkably ferocious.”
XXXVI. To these questions, the lieutenant-general answered, that “neither he nor any other could possibly divine what were the sentiments of the Celtiberians, or what they would be in future; therefore he could not deny that it would be proper to send an army among a barbarous people, who, though reduced to a state of quiet, were not yet sufficiently inured to subjection; but whether a new army or a veteran one might be requisite, was a question which he alone could answer, who knew, with what sincerity the Celtiberians would observe the peace; and who, at the same time, had assurance that the troops would remain quiet, if kept longer in the province. If a conjecture were to be formed of their intentions, either from their conversations with each other, or from the expressions with which they interrupted the general’s harangues, they had openly and loudly declared, that they would either keep their commander in the province, or come home with him to Italy.” This discussion, between the prætor and the lieutenant-general, was suspended, by the consuls introducing other matters; for they demanded, that the business of their own provinces might be adjusted before that of the prætor’s should be proceeded on. An army entirely new was decreed to the consuls: two Roman legions, with their proportion of cavalry; and of the Latine allies, the usual number, of fifteen thousand foot and eight hundred horse. With these forces, they were directed to make war on the Apuan Ligurians. Publius Cornelius and Marcus Bæbius were continued in command, and ordered to hold the government of the provinces until the consuls should arrive. They were then to disband their troops, and return to Rome. Next was taken into consideration the business of the army under Tiberius Sempronius. The consuls were ordered to enlist for him a new legion of five thousand two hundred foot, and four hundred horse; and also a thousand Roman foot and five hundred horse; and to command the allies of Latium to furnish seven thousand foot and three hundred horse. With this army, it was determined that Sempronius should go into the hither Spain. Permission was granted to Quintus Fulvius, with respect to all those soldiers, whether Romans or allies, who had been transported into Spain, previous to the consulate of Spurius Postumius and Quintus Marcius; and likewise to such as, after the junction of the reinforcements, should be found redundant in the two legions, above the number of ten thousand four hundred foot and six hundred horse; and in the Latine auxiliaries above twelve thousand foot and six hundred horse, and who had behaved with courage under Quintus Fulvius in the two battles with the Celtiberians — these, if he thought proper, he might bring home. Thanksgivings for his successes were also decreed; and the rest of the prætors sent into their provinces. Quintus Fabius Buteo was continued in command in Gaul. It was resolved that eight legions should be employed, this year, besides the veteran army then in Liguria, which expected to be speedily disbanded; and even this number of men could with difficulty be made up, in consequence of the pestilence which continued, for the third year, to depopulate the city of Rome, and all Italy.
XXXVII. Tiberius Minucius, the prætor, died of this malady; and soon after Caius Calpurnius the consul, also many illustrious men of all ranks; so that at last it began to be considered as a prodigy. Caius Servilius, chief pontiff, was ordered to find out proper atonements for the wrath of the gods; the decemvirs to inspect the books, and the consul to vow offerings, and to present gilded statues, to Apollo, Æsculapius, and Health; all which he performed. The decemvirs proclaimed, on account of the sickness, a supplication of two days in the city; and in all the market-towns and villages; which supplication, every person, above the age of twelve years, performed, with garlands on their heads, and holding laurel in their hands. There had, also, crept into people’s minds, a suspicion of human villainy in regard to it, whereupon Caius Claudius, prætor, who had been substituted in the room of Tiberius Minucius, was commissioned, by a decree of senate, to make inquisition concerning acts of sorcery committed in the city, or within ten miles of it; and Caius Mænius was ordered to do the same, before he passed over to his province, Sardinia, in the market-towns and villages, beyond the tenth stone. The death of the consul created the strongest suspicions. It was reported, that he had been murdered by his wife Quarta Hostilia; and when her son Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, was proclaimed consul in the room of his step-father, the suspicions of the public, respecting the death of Piso, were greatly augmented: for witnesses appeared, who testified, that, after Albinus and Piso were declared consuls, in which election Flaccus had suffered a disappointment, his mother upbraided him with being refused the consulship, a third time, and then desired him to stand candidate again, saying, “she would take such measures that within two months he should be made consul.” This expression, verified by the event exactly corresponding with it, and, joined to many other evidences of the same tendency, appeared such strong proof, that Hostilia was condemned. In the spring of this year, the levies detained the new consuls at Rome; while the death of one of them, and the holding of the assembly to substitute another in his place, occasioned still farther delays. Publius Cornelius, and Marcus Bæbius, who in their consulate had done nothing worth mention, led their troops into the country of the Apuan Ligurians.
XXXVIII. The Ligurians had no thought of being attacked before the consuls arrived in the province. Being thus surprised, they surrendered to the number of twelve thousand men. Cornelius and Bæbius, having consulted the senate by letter, determined to bring them down from their mountains into a plain country, so far from home, that they should have no hope of a return; for they were convinced, that by no other means could a final end be put to the war in Liguria. There was a tract of land in Samnium, the public property of the Roman people, formerly occupied by the Taurasians, and hither they intended to transplant the Apuan Ligurians. Accordingly, they published an order, that this people should quit the mountains, with their wives and children, and bring all their effects along with them. The Ligurians made, by their ambassadors, many humble supplications that they might not be compelled to relinquish their native home, the soil in which they were born, and the tombs of their forefathers. They promised to give up their arms, and deliver hostages; but failing in all their solicitations, and being destitute of strength for the maintenance of a war they obeyed the order. Forty thousand men, of free condition, with their women and children, were transplanted at the expense of the public, and an hundred and fifty thousand sesterces* were given them, to provide necessaries for their new habitations. Cornelius and Bæbius, who removed them were commissioned to divide and apportion the lands; but at their own request, the senate appointed five other commissioners to assist them with their advice. When they had finished this business, and brought home their veteran soldiers to Rome, the senate decreed them a triumph. These were the first, who ever triumphed, without having fought an enemy. Hostages only were led before their chariots; for there appeared not, in their triumphs, either spoils to be carried, or prisoners to be led captives, or money to be distributed to the soldiers.
XXXIX. With regard to the affairs of Spain; this year Fulvius, proprætor, as his successor did not come to the province at the usual time, drew out the troops from their winter quarters, and proceeded to lay waste the farther part of Celtiberia, whose inhabitants had not come in to make submission. But by this proceeding he rather provoked, than terrified the barbarians; so that, having collected secretly a body of forces, they beset the Manlian pass, through which they knew, with certainty, that the Roman army was to march. Gracchus had commissioned his colleague, Lucius Postumius Albinus, who was going to the farther Spain, to desire Quintus Fulvius to bring his forces to Tarraco, where he intended to discharge the veterans, to fill up the corps with the new supplies, and to put the whole army in complete order. The day also was mentioned to Flaccus, and that not very distant, on which his successor would arrive. On being informed of this new disposition, Flaccus was forced to drop the business which he had undertaken, and to lead away the troops, in haste, out of Celtiberia. The barbarians, unacquainted with the reason, and supposing that he had discovered their revolt, and secret assembling of an army, and that he was retreating through fear, exerted themselves, with greater confidence to secure the pass. The Roman army entered this defile, at the dawn of day, and imediately the enemy starting up, suddenly attacked it on two sides at once, Flaccus seeing this, took pains to quiet the confusion caused by the first alarm, by giving orders through the centurions, that every man should keep his post, in the order of march, and get ready his arms; then, collecting the baggage and beasts of burden, into one spot, partly by himself, partly by the help of the lieutenant-generals, and military tribunes, without any hurry or confusion, he formed his troops, as the time and place required. He put them in mind, that they were to engage with men “who had been twice reduced to submission; who had acquired an addition of wickedness and perfidy, but not of courage or spirit. That these people had put it in their power to make their return to their country glorious and splendid; for they would now carry home their swords reeking with the blood of the enemy, and spoils dropping the same.” The time allowed not more to be said, the enemy advanced upon them; the extemities of the wings were already engaged, and quickly after the entire lines.
XL. The battle was furious in every part, but the success various. The two legions fought with extraordinary bravery, nor were the two cohorts of the allies remiss; but the foreign auxiliaries were hard pressed, by men armed like themselves, and much better qualified for soldiers; nor were they able to maintain their ground. The Celtiberians perceiving, that, in a regular line, and in fair fighting, they were no match for the legions, made a push against them, in the form of a wedge, in which sort of attack they excel so much, that on whatever part they direct their assault, they never fail to make an impression. On this occasion, too, the legions were disordered, and the line was almost broken. When Flaccus observed this disorder, he rode up to the legionary cavalry, asking them, “Have we any support in you? Is the whole army to be lost?” Whereupon they called to him, from all sides, to “tell them what he wished to be done and that it should be instantly attempted.” “Double your troops,” he replied, “and charge the wedge, by which we are attacked; increase the force of your horses, by taking off their bridles; and then spur them on against the foe.” This expedient historians mention to have been often employed by the Roman cavalry with great advantage. They did as directed, pushing in full career, through that body, twice, forward and backward, breaking their spears to pieces, and making great havoc of the enemy. The Celtiberians, on this dispersion of their wedge, on which they had placed their whole reliance, were quite dismayed; and, almost giving over the fight, looked about for ways to escape. And now, when the allied horse saw this brilliant exploit of the Roman cavalry, they were so inflamed, by the example of their bravery, that, without waiting for orders, they made a charge on the enemy, while they were in confusion. The Celtiberians made no longer resistance; all fled in haste, and the Roman general, when he saw their backs, vowed a temple to Equestrian Fortune, and games in honour of Jupiter, supremely good and great. The fugitives, dispersing, were pursued with much slaughter, through the whole length of the pass. According to some historians, seventeen thousand of the enemy were killed on this occasion, and more than three thousand taken, with two hundred and seventy-seven military standards, and near one thousand one hundred horses. The victorious army pitched no camp on that day. This victory, however, was not gained without loss; four hundred and seventy-two Roman soldiers, one thousand and nineteen of the allies and Latines, with three thousand of the auxiliaries, perished. The Roman troops, having thus re-asserted their former renown, finished their march to Tarraco. The prætor, Tiberius Sempronius, who had arrived two days before, came out to meet Fulvius, on the road, and congratulate him on the important services which he had rendered to the commonwealth. They then, with perfect unanimity, settled what soldiers they should discharge, and what they should retain; and Fulvius, embarking the disbanded soldiers in the fleet, set sail for Rome, while Sempronius led the legions into Celtiberia.
XLI. Both the consuls led their armies into Liguria, but on different sides. Postumius, with the first and third legions, invested the mountains of Balista and Suismontium, and by securing the narrow passes leading thereto, with guards, cut off all supplies of provisions; by which means he reduced them to an entire obedience. Fulvius, with the second and fourth legions, marched from Pisæ against the Apuan Ligurians, and having received the submission of that part of them which inhabited the banks of the river Macra, he put them on board ships, to the number of seven thousand men, and sent them along the Etrurian coast to Neapolis, from whence they were conducted into Samnium, and had lands assigned them among their countrymen. Aulus Postumius cut down the vineyards, and burned the corn of the Ligurians of the mountains, until, by making them suffer all the calamities of war, he compelled them to surrender, and deliver up their arms. From thence, Postumius proceeded, by sea, to visit the coast of the Ingaunian, and Intemelian tribes. Before these consuls joined the army at Pisæ, it was under the command of Aulus Postumius, and a brother of Quintus Fulvius, Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, who was military tribune of the second legion. The tribune, in his months* of command, disbanded the legion, after obliging the centurions to swear, that they would carry the money in their hands to the treasury, and deliver it to the quæstors. When intelligence of this was brought to Aulus at Placentia, to which place he happened to have made an excursion, he set out with some light horsemen, in quest of the disbanded men; and such as he could overtake, he sharply rebuked, and brought back to Pisæ, and then sent information of the whole matter to the consul. He laid the business before the senate, who passed a decree, that Marcus Fulvius should be banished into that part of Spain, beyond new Carthage, and a letter was given him by the consul, to be carried into the farther part of Spain, to Publius Manlius. The soldiers were ordered to return to their standards; and it was decreed, that, as a mark of disgrace, that legion should, for that year, receive but half a year’s pay. The consul was likewise ordered to sell, as a slave, every soldier who should not return to the army, and to confiscate his goods.
XLII. Lucius Duronius, who had been prætor the year before, returned now, with ten ships, from Illyricum to Brundusium, and leaving the fleet in that harbour, came to Rome. In giving a recital of the services which he had performed in his province, he threw the blame of all the piracies committed by sea, on Gentius, king of Illyricum. “From his kingdom,” he said, “came all the ships that had ravaged the coast; that he had sent ambassadors on the subject, but they were not even allowed an audience of the king.” Some time before this, ambassadors had come to Rome from Gentius, who said, that “when the Romans came and desired audience of the king, he happened to be sick, in a remote part of his dominions; and that Gentius requested of the senate, not to give credit to the forged charges which his enemies made against him.” Duronius added, that many Roman citizens and Latine allies, suffered ill treatment in Gentius’s dominions; some of whom he held in confinement in Corcyra. An order was made, that all these should be brought to Rome; that the prætor, Caius Claudius, should inquire into that business, and that, until this were done, no answer should be given to the king or his ambassadors. Among many who were cut off by the pestilence this year, were several priests. Lucius Valerius Flaccus, a pontiff, died of it, and, in his room, was substituted Quintus Fabius Labeo. Publius Manlius, who had lately come home from the farther Spain, and was triumvir of religious feasts, died also, who was succeeded by Quintus Fulvius, son of Marcus, then a mere youth. The appointing of a king of the sacrifices, in the room of Cneius Cornelius Dolabella, gave rise to a dispute between Caius Servilius, chief pontiff, and Lucius Cornelius Dolabella, naval duumvir. The pontiff required, before he inaugurated him, that he should resign his commission, and, on his refusing this, the pontiff imposed a fine on the duumvir. The latter then appealed, and the affair was brought to trial before the people. After a majority of the tribes were called in to give their votes, and had ordered that the duumvir should comply with the requisition of the pontiff, and that on his resigning his commission the fine should be remitted, an unfavourable omen from the heavens, intervened, and broke off the proceedings of the assembly. After this the pontiffs were prevented, by religious scruples, from inaugurating Dolabella. They consecrated Publius Clælius Siculus as king of the sacrifices, who had been invested pontiff, in the second place. Towards the end of the year, Caius Servilius Geminus, the chief pontiff, also died; he was moreover decemvir of religious affairs. In his room, as pontiff, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus was nominated by the college, but the post of chief pontiff, though sought by many illustrious candidates, was conferred on Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, as was that of decemvir of religious affairs, vacant by the death of the same person, on Quintus Marcius Philipus. Spurius Postumius Albinus, an augur, died; and the augurs filled his place with Publius Scipio, son of Africanus. On the request of the people of Cumæ, leave was granted them to use the Latine language in their public business, and their auctioneers also, in selling goods.
XLIII. The Pisans, making an offer of grounds for the establishment of a Latine colony, received the
thanks of the senate, and commissioners were appointed to conduct that business; these were Quintus Fabius Buteo,
Marcus Pompilius Lænas, and Publius Pompilius Lænas. Caius Mænius, prætor, who, on his appointment to the government of
Sardinia, had also received commission to make inquisition concerning practices of sorcery, in places more than ten
miles distant from the city represented, in a letter, that “he had already passed sentence on three thousand people,
and that still, in consequence of fresh discoveries, the business increased so much on his hands, that he must either
drop the prosecution of the inquiries or give up the province.” Quintus Fulvius Flaccus returned from Spain, with a
high reputation for his military exploits; and, while he waited without the city, in expectation of a triumph, was
elected consul with Lucius Manlius Acidinus.Y. R. 573.
179. A few days after which, with the soldiers whom he had brought home, he rode into the city in triumph. He carried in the procession an hundred and twenty-four golden crowns, together with thirty-one pounds weight of gold, and of coined Oscan silver an hundred and seventy-three thousand two hundred pieces.* He gave out of the booty, to each of the soldiers, fifty denariuses; double to a centurion; triple to a horseman; and the same sums to the Latine allies, with double pay to all. This year, for the first time, a law was proposed by Lucius Villius, plebeian tribune, ascertaining the ages at which men might sue for, and hold, the several offices in the state. Hence his family acquired the surname of Annalis.
XLIV. The Bæbian law, which ordered, that every second year the number of prætors elected should be four, and which had been overlooked for many years, was now observed; and the persons appointed were, Cneius Cornelius Scipio, Caius Valerius Lævinus, Quintus Mucius Scævola, and Publius Mucius Scævola, sons of Quintus. To the consuls, Quintus Fulvius and Lucius Manlius, was decreed the same province, as to the preceding ones, and the same number of forces, infantry, cavalry, citizens, and allies. In the two Spains, Tiberius Sempronius and Lucius Postumius were continued in command, with the same armies which they then had; and, to fill up their numbers, the consuls were ordered to enlist, of Romans three thousand foot and three hundred horse, and of the Latine allies five thousand foot and four hundred horse. The lots gave to Publius Mucius Scævola the city jurisdiction, and the business of the inquisitions concerning sorcery, in the city, and within ten miles of it; to Cneius Scipio the foreign jurisdiction; to Quintus Mucius Scævola, Sicily; and to Caius Valerius Lævinus, Sardinia. The consul, Quintus Fulvius before he meddled with the public business, declared, that “he intended to acquit both himself and the state of the obligation of fulfilling the vows which he had made; that, on the day of his last battle with the Celtiberians, he had vowed to perform games in honour of Jupiter supremely good and great, and to build a temple to Equestrian Fortune; and that the Spaniards had made a contribution of money for these purposes. A vote was passed that the games should be performed, and that duumvirs should be appointed to contract for the building of the temple: With regard to the expenses, a limitation was fixed that “no greater sum should be expended on the games than that which had been voted to Fulvius Nobilior, when he exhibited such on the conclusion of the Ætolian war; and that the consul should not, on account of these, send for, collect, or receive any thing, or act in any respect contrary to the decree of senate, passed concerning games in the consulate of Lucius Æmilius and Cneius Bæbius.” The senate qualified their vote in this manner, because Tiberius Sempronius, in his ædileship, had expended, on the like exhibitions, such enormous sums as were burthensome not only to the Latine allies and Italy, but even to the provinces abroad.
XLV. The winter of that year was rendered remarkably severe by great falls of snow, and storms of every kind; those kinds of trees which are susceptible of injury from cold, were entirely blighted; and its duration, also, was unusually long, so that the Latine festival, on the mount, was broken off soon after its commencement, by a hurricane coming on suddenly, and with irresistible fury; but it was celebrated afterwards, pursuant to an order of the pontiffs. The same storm also threw down many statues in the capitol, disfigured many buildings by lightning, as the temple of Jupiter at Tarracina, the white temple, and the Roman gate at Capua; and in many places the battlements of the walls were overthrown. Among the rest of these prodigies, an account was received from Reate, that a mule, with three feet, was foaled there! On account of those portents, the decemvirs were ordered to consult the books. They directed to what gods, and with how many victims, sacrifices should be performed; and that on account of the many places being struck by lightning, a supplication should be performed at the temple of Jupiter, of one day. Then the votive games of the consul Quintus Fulvius were exhibited with great magnificence, during ten days. Soon after, was held the election of censors, when Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, chief pontiff, and Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, who had triumphed over the Ætolians, were chosen. It was universally known, that a strong enmity subsisted between these two; for they had published it often, by many disputes in the senate, and in the assemblies of the people. When the election was ended, according to ancient custom, they seated themselves in curule chairs in the field, near the altar of Mars, when, in a few minutes, came up thither the principal senators, accompanied by the body of the citizens, among whom was Quintus Cæcilius Metellus, who spoke as follows:—
XLVI. “Censors, we are not unmindful that you have been just now invested, by the whole body of the Roman people, with authority to preside over the morals of the state, and that we ought to be admonished and ruled by you, not you by us. Nevertheless, it may not be improper to point out what all good men blame in you, or, at least, somewhat which they wish to see altered. When we look at you separately, Marcus Æmilius, Marcus Fulvius, we know not, in the whole state, any one person whom, if we were called back again to vote, we could wish to be preferred to you; but when we behold you both together, we cannot avoid fearing that you are but ill associated; and that the public may not reap as much advantage from your being exceedingly pleasing to every one of us, as prejudice, from your being displeasing one to another. You have, for many years past, harboured an enmity, violent in its degree, and detrimental to yourselves; and we justly fear, that from this day forward, it may prove more detrimental to us, and to the state, than it has been to you. As to the reasons, on which these our fears are founded, many observations, which might be made, will readily occur to yourselves; unless perhaps your implacable resentments have totally engrossed your minds. These resentments we all beseech you to terminate this day, in that sacred place, and to suffer persons, whom the Roman people have united by their suffrages, to be united through our means; and that you will, with unanimity and harmony, choose the senate, review the knights, perform the survey, and close the lustrum: and that when you utter those words, which make part of almost all your prayers, ‘that such a matter may prove prosperous and happy to me and my colleague,’ you will, truly and sincerely, wish it to prove so; and that you will act in such a manner, as that, whatever you beg from the immortal gods, we mortals also may be convinced, that you really desire it. Titus Tatius and Romulus, after having encountered, as enemies, in the middle of the forum, reigned with concord in the same city. Not only quarrels, but wars, are accommodated, and, from bitter foes, men frequently become faithful allies, nay, sometimes, countrymen. The Albans, after the demolition of Alba, were transplanted to Rome; the Latines, the Sabines, were admitted into the number of citizens. It is a common saying, and, because founded in truth, has become a proverb, that friendships ought to be immortal, but enmities mortal.” A universal roar of approbation was now heard; and presently after, the voices of every one present, all joining in the same request, interrupted his discourse. Then Æmilius, besides other complaints, represented, that through Fulvius’s intrigues, he had been twice disappointed of the consulship, when he had reason to think himself sure of obtaining it. On the other hand, Fulvius complained, that Æmilius sought every opportunity of injuring him; had instituted a prosecution against him, and obliged him to give surety to abide judgment, to his great discredit. Nevertheless, each of them intimated, that, if the other would do the same, he was ready to submit to the direction of such a number of the most respectable members of the state; and all present urgently repeating their request, they mutually pledged their right hands, and their honour, to dismiss and forget all animosity. The whole assembly expressed the highest applause of their behaviour; and then escorted them to the capitol, where both the attention paid to such a matter by the persons of the first consequence, and the compliance of the censors, were most warmly approved, and commended by the senate. The censors, then, demanded, that a sum of money should be assigned to them, which they might employ in public works; and the customs of one year were accordingly decreed to them.
XLVII. Meanwhile, in Spain, the proprætors, Lucius Postumius, and Tiberius Sempronius, settled between them, that Albinus should march through Lusitania, against the Vaccæans, and thence return into Celtiberia. Gracchus penetrated into the remotest parts of that province; because the commotions there were the most dangerous. First, he made an unexpected assault on the city of Munda, by night, and took it by storm; then, having received hostages, and placed a garrison in the town, he proceeded to attack their forts, and ravage the country with fire, until he arrived at another strong town, called by the natives Certima. While he was employed here, in advancing his works to the walls, deputies came out from the town, who spoke with all the simplicity of the earliest times, not dissembling their wishes to continue the war, if they could procure strength to support it. — For they requested permission to go into the camp of the Celtiberians, and solicit assistance from them, and said, that “if they did not obtain it, they would then consult their own interests, separately, without regard to them.” This being granted by Gracchus, they went accordingly, and, in a few days after, came back with ten ambassadors. They arrived about noon; and the first thing that they asked of the prætor was, that he would order some drink to be given them. After drinking off the first cups, they called for more, while all who were present could not refrain from laughing at a people so unpolished, so ignorant of every thing like civilized manners. Then the eldest of them said, “we have been sent by our nation to ask what it is that gives you so much confidence, that you should venture to come and make an attack on them?” To this question Gracchus answered, that “he came relying on an excellent army; which if they chose to see, in order to carry back certain information to their friends, he would give them an opportunity,” and then he ordered the military tribunes to draw up, in array, all the forces both horse and foot, and make them go through their exercise in arms. After this sight, the ambassadors were dismissed; and they gave such accounts, as deterred their people from attempting to succour the besieged city. The townsmen raised fires on the towers, which was the signal agreed on, but receiving no answer, and being thus disappointed in their only hope of relief, they capitulated. A contribution of two million four hundred thousand sesterces* was imposed on them; and they were obliged to furnish forty horsemen, of the highest rank among them, not under the denomination of hostages, for they were ordered to serve as soldiers, but in reality to be pledges for their fidelity.
XLVIII. Gracchus then marched to the city of Alce, where lay the camp of the Celtiberians, from which the ambassadors had lately come. For some days, he harassed them with skirmishes, sending his light troops to charge their advanced guards; and then made more important attacks, in order to draw them from out their entrenchments. As soon as he perceived that his plan took effect, he gave orders to the præfects of the auxiliaries, that, after a short contest, they should suddenly turn their backs, as if overpowered by numbers, and fly, with all haste, to the camp; in the meantime, he himself drew up all his forces in order, within the rampart, at all the gates. It was not long until he saw his detachment flying towards him, as had been previously agreed, and the barbarians following, in a disorderly pursuit. This was exactly what he wanted; and his troops were formed in readiness to lay hold on the occasion. He therefore delayed no longer, than to leave the passage open for his party, which was flying, to get into the camp, and then, raising the shout, he caused them to rush out from all the gates at once. The enemy did not sustain the unexpected shock. They who came to assault his camp, could not even defend their own; for they were instantly routed, put to flight, driven in a panic within their trenches; and, at last, beaten out of them. In this action, nine thousand of the enemy were killed, and three hundred and twenty taken, with an hundred and twelve horses, and thirty-seven military ensigns. Of the Roman army there fell an hundred and nine.
XLIX. After this battle, Gracchus employed the legions in ravaging the country of Celtiberia. After he had spread depredations of every kind, to a vast extent, some states voluntarily, others, through fear, submitted to his yoke; so that within a few days, he received the submission of an hundred and three towns, besides having acquired an immense booty. He then marched to Alce, whence he came, and opened the siege of that city. The townsmen withstood the first assault; but when they afterwards found themselves attacked, not only by arms, but works also, they despaired of being able to defend the place, and retired into the citadel. After some time, they sent envoys, and surrendered themselves, and every thing belonging to them, to the Romans. The plunder here was very great. Many prisoners of distinction fell into the victor’s hands, among whom were two sons and a daughter of Turrus. This chieftain, who governed those tribes, was by far the most powerful of all the Spaniards. On hearing the disasters of his countrymen, he sent for a passport, and coming into the camp to Gracchus, asked him, first, “Whether the lives of himself and his subjects would be spared?” The prætor answered that they would; then he asked again, “Whether it would be allowed him to bear arms on the side of the Romans?” To this too Gracchus assented, on which he said, “I will follow you, then, against my old allies, since they have not thought proper to pay any regard to me.” From that time, he united himself to the Romans, and acted in their service, on many occasions, with great courage and fidelity
L. After this, Ergavia, a city of great power and opulence, terrified by the disasters of the surrounding states, opened its gates to the Romans. Some writers say, that the submissions of these towns were not made with sincerity; but that, whenever the legions were led away from any quarter of the country, the natives resumed their arms; and that the Roman general fought, afterwards, near Mount Caunus, a pitched battle with the Celtiberians, which was warmly contested, from break of day to the sixth hour, that many fell on both sides, and that the Romans had no strong proof of their gaining the victory, excepting that, next day, they offered battle, and the enemy refused to come out of their entrenchments: that they employed that whole day in collecting the spoils, and, on the day following, fought a more desperate battle, in which the Celtiberians were at length completely defeated, and their camp taken and plundered: that twenty-two thousand of the enemy were killed in the action, more than three hundred taken, with almost an equal number of horses, and seventy-two military standards: that this put an end to the war, and that the Celtiberians concluded a peace, with a real intention to keep it, and not with their former insincerity. They say also, that during the same summer Lucius Postumius fought two battles, in the farther Spain, with the Vaccæans, and gained complete victorics, killed thirty-five thousand men, and took their camp. It is, however, more probable, that he came into the province too late to assist greatly in that campaign.
LI. The censors reviewed the senate with cordial harmony. Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, the censor, who was likewise chief pontiff, was chosen head of the senate; three were expelled. Lepidus restored some who were struck out by his colleague. They then divided a part of the money assigned to them, and completed therewith the following works:— Lepidus built a mole at Tarracini, an unpopular work, because he had estates there, and brought into the account of the public expenditure, what ought to have been done at his own expense. He agreed with contractors for building a theatre near the temple of Apollo, and for embellishing the temple of Jupiter in the capitol, and the columns around it: he also removed from those columns the statues that stood incommodiously before them, and took down the shields and military ensigns of all sorts, which were hung upon them. Marcus Fulvius made contracts for more numerous and more useful works: a haven on the Tiber, and piers for a bridge across it; on which piers Publius Scipio Africanus and Lucius Mummius, censors, many years after, caused the arches to be erected; a court of justice behind the new bankers’ houses, and a fish-market, surrounded with shops, which he sold to private persons; also a forum and portico, on the outside of the gate Trigemina; another portico behind the dock-yard, and one at the temple of Hercules; also a temple of Apollo Medicus, behind that of Hope, on the bank of the Tiber. They had, besides, some of the money undivided, and out of this they jointly agreed to pay for water being brought to the city, and the raising of the necessary arches; but Marcus Licinius Crassus put a stop to this work, which he would not suffer to be brought through his grounds. They also established many port duties and customs, and took care that several public chapels, which were then occupied by private persons, should again be open to the people. They likewise made an alteration in the mode of voting; for, through all the regions, they divided the tribes* according to the different ranks of men, and their several occupations and callings.
LII. One of the censors, Marcus Æmilius, petitioned the senate, that a sum of money should be voted to him for the celebration of games, on occasion of the dedication of the temples of Imperial Juno and Diana, which he had vowed eight years before, when employed in the Ligurian war. They accordingly voted twenty thousand asses.* He dedicated those temples in the Flaminian circus; in which place he exhibited stage plays for three days, after the dedication of the temple of Juno, and two, after that of Diana, and for one day in the circus of Rome. He also dedicated a temple to the deities† of the sea in the field of Mars. This had been vowed eleven years before, by Lucius Æmilius Regillus, in the sea-fight with the ships of king Antiochus. Over the gate of the temple was hung up a tablet with this inscription: [. . . .]‡ The same was placed over the gate of the temple of Jupiter, on the capitol.
LIII. Two days after the censors had reviewed the senate, the consul Quintus Fulvius marched against the Ligurians; and, making his way amid the mountains and difficult passes, fought a pitched battle with the enemy, and not only defeated them in the field, but took their camp the same day. Three thousand two hundred of the enemy, and all that tract of Liguria, surrendered to the conqueror. The consul brought down all those who surrendered, into the low lands, and posted guards on the mountains. His letters from that province quickly reached Rome; and a thanksgiving, of two days, was voted on account of his successes. The prætors, during this thanksgiving, sacrificed forty victims of the larger kinds. The other consul, Lucius Manlius, did nothing in Liguria worth recording. Some transalpine Gauls, to the number of three thousand, came over into Italy, without offering to commit hostilities of any kind, and petitioned the consul and senate for some land, proposing to live as became peaceable subjects, under the government of the Roman people But the senate ordered them to quit Italy, and enjoined the consul Quintus Fulvius to search after and punish those, who had been their advisers and leaders in passing the Alps.
LIV. This year died Philip, king of Macedonia, being worn out with age, and the grief which had continually preyed on him since the death of his son Demetrius. He spent the winter at Demetrias, in great anguish of mind, occasioned by the loss of his son, and by remorse for his own cruelty. He also received constant cause of disquiet from Perseus, who now considered himself, as did every one else, quite secure of the throne. Philip perceived that the eyes of all were turned from himself; in his old age, forsaken and desolate. Some only waited for his death to show their inclinations, while others did not even wait for that event. All this added to the bitterness of his sorrow; in which the only one who sympathized with him, was Antigonus, son of Echecrates, named after his uncle Antigonus, who had been guardian to Philip. He was a man of royal dignity, and famed for a remarkable battle which he fought against Cleomenes the Lacedæmonian. The Greeks called him the Guardian, to distinguish him from the other princes of that surname.* His nephew Antigonus, of all the friends whom Philip had honoured with his favours, alone, remained uncorrupted; and this faithful attachment was the cause that Perseus, who had never been his friend, became now his open and most inveterate enemy. He plainly foresaw the great dangers which threatened him, in case of the succession of the crown coming to Perseus; and therefore, as soon as he perceived the king’s mind to be softened, and that he sometimes sighed with regret for the loss of Demetrius; that he sometimes listened to people conversing on the subject, and sometimes even introduced the mention of it, as of a proceeding too rashly executed, accompanying the lamentations of Antigonus with his own; — and, as the truth usually affords many traces of itself, he pursued these with the most zealous diligence, in order that the whole might be brought to light as speedily as possible. Of the agents employed in that business, those who were most generally supposed guilty, were Apelles and Philocles, who had gone ambassadors to Rome, and had brought the letter under the name of Flamininus, which had proved so ruinous to Demetrius. The common cry in the palace now was, that it was a forgery, contrived by the secretary, and that the seal was counterfeited.
LV. While this, however, was rather a matter of suspicion, than of certainty, Antigonus accidentally met Xychus, on whom he immediately laid hands, and brought to the palace; then, leaving him in custody of a guard, he went on to the apartment of Philip, to whom he said — “From many conversations, I think I may conclude, that it would be highly satisfactory to you, to be able to learn the truth respecting your sons; which of the two was guilty of treachery, and plotting against the other. The only man in the world who can unravel this mystery is now in your power, Xychus. I met him by accident, and I have brought him to the palace; I entreat you to order him to be called into your presence.” On being brought in, he at first denied every thing, but with such irresolution, as showed that a slight application to his fears would readily extort the truth. Accordingly, he did not withstand the sight of the executioner and the instruments of torture, but disclosed the whole process of the villainy of the ambassadors, and the part which he himself had acted in it. Orders were instantly despatched to seize the ambassadors; and Philocles, who was in the town, was apprehended; but Apelles, who had been sent in pursuit of a person called Chærea, getting notice of the discovery made by Xychus, fled over into Italy. With respect to Philocles, no certain account has been published; some say, that, for a time, he boldly denied all knowledge of the matter; but that, when Xychus was confronted with him, he persisted no longer; others, that he even suffered the rack without confessing. Philip’s grief was hereby renewed and doubled, and he felt his unhappiness, with regard to his children press the heavier on him, because one of them was still alive.
LVI. When Perseus was told that all was discovered, being too powerful to think flight necessary, he only took care to keep out of the way, intending to guard himself, during the remainder of Philip’s life, from the flame, as it were of his burning resentment. His father, having now no hope of bringing him to punishment, resolved to take vengeance in the only way that was left him; and accordingly he employed all his endeavours to prevent his enjoying the prize his villainy aimed at. To this end, he addressed himself to Antigonus, to whom he was obliged for the full discovery of the fratricide; and whom he supposed the Macedonians, considering the fresh renown of his uncle Antigonus, would neither be ashamed nor displeased at having for their king. “Antigonus,” said he, “since I have been brought into such a situation, that the being childless, a state which other parents reckon a curse, would to me be a blessing, I am resolved to transfer to you the kingdom which I received from your uncle, and which his faithful and resolute guardianship not only preserved for me, but even enlarged. You are the only friend I have, whom I can judge worthy of the throne; and, if I had not one such, I should wish the regal dignity to perish and become extinct, rather than be a prize to the treacherous villainy of Perseus. I shall think Demetrius recalled from the dead, and restored to me, if I can leave in this place such a representative as you, who alone have wept for his innocent death, and for my unhappy error.” After this discourse he omitted no opportunity of promoting his interest, by conferring on him honours of every kind; and, as Perseus was absent in Thrace, he made a circuit round the cities of Macedonia, recommending Antigonus to the men of principal consequence: and, had he lived a little longer, he would undoubtedly have left him in possession of the throne. After leaving Demetrias, he staid longest at Thessalonica; and on going thence to Amphipolis, was there seized with a severe sickness. Yet it was evident that the disorder of his mind was greater than that of his body, and that the immediate causes of his death were his troubled thoughts and want of rest; for he was frequently thrown into violent agitation by a supposed apparition of his innocent, murdered son, and drew his last breath in dreadful imprecations on the other. Nevertheless, Antigonus might have been seated on the throne, if either he had been on the spot, or the death of Philip had been immediately divulged. But Caligenes, the physician, who had the care of the king in his sickness, as soon as he observed the first desperate symptoms, despatched the account to Perseus by couriers, who, according to a plan settled, had been previously disposed in convenient places; and until the prince arrived, he concealed the death of the king from all but those who were in the palace.
LVII. Perseus, therefore, by his sudden arrival, as people neither expected it, nor knew what had happened, crushed all thoughts of opposition, and siezed on the throne, the object of his wicked devices. The demise of Philip happened very seasonably for the purpose of gaining time, and collecting strength for the support of a war; for, in a few days after, the nation of the Bastarnians, in consequence of long solicitation, set out from their own country, with a large force of infantry and cavalry, and crossed the Danube. Antigonus and Cotto went forward, to carry intelligence of this to the king. Cotto was a Bastarnian of distinction, and Antigonus had been sent, much against his will, with this same Cotto, as ambassador, to persuade his countrymen to take arms. At a small distance from Amphipolis, common report first, and then authentic information, acquainted them with the king’s death; which event disconcerted the whole of their plan. The scheme had been settled in this manner:— Philip was to procure for the Bastarnians a safe passage through Thrace, and supplies of provisions; in order to be able to effect which, he had gained the confidence of the chieftains in that country by presents, and had pledged his faith, that they should march through it in a peaceable manner. It was proposed to exterminate the nation of the Dardanians, and to give settlements to the Bastarnians in their country: from which measure a double advantage was expected; as, in the first place, the Dardanians, a nation ever hostile to Macedonia, and watchful to take advantage of the misfortunes of its kings, would be removed out of the way; while the invaders might leave their wives and children in Dardania, and be sent to ravage Italy. It was concluded, that the road to the Adriatic sea and Italy was through the country of the Scordiscians, and that the army could not make its passage by any other way; that the Scordiscians would readily grant a passage to the Bastarnians, for they would have no dislike to people resembling themselves in language and manners, and would probably join them in an expedition, when they saw that their object was the plunder of a most opulent nation. The remainder of the plan was accommodated to every kind of event that might take place; for, in case of the Bastarnians being cut off by the Romans, still the removal of the Dardanians, the booty to be gained from the remains of the former, and the full possession of Dardania, would prove a great consolation. But if they should be successful; then, while the force of the Romans would be directed against the Bastarnians, the king might recover what he had lost in Greece. Such had been the designs of Philip.
LVIII. The Bastarnians at first marched through the country, without doing any mischief, according to the engagements of Cotto and Antigonus. But, on hearing the news of Philip’s death, the Thracians soon became troublesome to deal with, and the Bastarnians not content with what they could purchase; nor could they be kept in a body, so as not to go out of the road. In consequence, injuries were committed on both sides; and, from the daily multiplication of these, war at last blazed out. In the end, the Thracians, unable to withstand the great strength and numbers of the enemy, deserted their towns in the plains, and betook themselves to a high mountain, which they call Donuca. The Bastarnians in vain attempted to follow them. We are told that the Gauls, when plundering Delphi, were destroyed by a storm; so a like storm now discomfited the people, when they were approaching the summit of the mountain. They were not only overwhelmed with a deluge of rain, followed by prodigious thick showers of hail, and accompanied with tremendous noises in the sky, peals of thunder, and flashes of lightning, which dazzled their sight; but the thunderbolts, also, fell so thick on all sides, that they seemed to be aimed at their bodies; and not only the soldiers, but their officers also, were struck by them, and fell. They fled, therefore, precipitately; and hurrying along, without looking before them, tumbled down the high precipices of the rocks, while the Thracians, pursuing close, increased their dismay: but they themselves said, that the gods had put them to flight, and that the sky was falling on them. When, after their dispersion by the storm, as after a shipwreck, they returned (most of them half armed) to the camp whence they had set out, they held a consultation about their future proceedings; on which a disagreement ensued, some advising to return home, and others to push forward into Dardania. About thirty thousand men, under the command of Clondicus, proceeded thither; the rest marched back, by the same road through which they came, to the country beyond the Danube. Perscus, as soon as he got possession of the kingdom, ordered Antigonus to be put to death; and, until he could settle his affairs on a firm foundation, sent ambassadors to Rome, to renew the treaty concluded by his father, and to request the senate to give him the title of king. These were the transactions of that year in Macedonia.
LIX. The consul Quintus Fulvius triumphed over the Ligurians; but it was plain that he was indebted for
this triumph to interest, rather than to the greatness of his exploits. He carried in the procession a vast quantity of
arms, taken from the enemy, but no money; yet he distributed to each soldier three hundred asses; double to
centurions, triple to horsemen. There was nothing in this triumph more remarkable, than that it happened to be
celebrated on the same day of the year on which he had triumphed, after his prætorship, the year before.Y. R. 574.
178. After this, he proclaimed the assembly of election, in which were chosen consuls, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Aulus Manlius Vulso. Afterwards, when three prætors had been appointed, Publius Ælius Ligus, Titus Æbutius Carus, and Marcus Titinius, a storm interrupted the election; but on the following day, the fourth before the ides of March,* the other three were elected, Marcus Titinius Curvus, Tiberius Claudius Nero, and Titus Fonteius Capito. The Roman games were repeated by the curule a diles, Cneius Servilius Cæpio, and Appius Claudius Cento, on account of the prodigies which had occurred. In the public Forum, during the celebration of a lectisternium, there was an earthquake. The heads of the gods who lay on the couches, turned away their faces, and the cloak and coverings placed on Jupiter fell off. It was also construed as a prodigy, that the olives on the table were gnawed by mice. For the expiation of these, nothing more was done than the re-celebration of the games.
* 19s. 4d.
* 1210l. 19s. 9d
* As there were six tribunes in each legion they took the command of it in turn, each holding it for two months
* 5592l. 17s. 4d
* In consequence of which regulation, all those of each tribe, who were of the same rank and occupation, voted together
* 64l. 11s 4d.
† Neptune, Thetis and Glacus.
‡ Here are given in the original, some lines, as the inscription, but so corrupted and so defective, as to be utterly unintelligible. Gronovius endeavours, in vain, to explain them: Crevier gives the matter up.
* They called him also Euergetes, and Soter.
* The eleventh of March.
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