HISTORICAL NARRATIVE ORIGINALLY COMPOSED IN GREEK
DURING THE REIGNS OF SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, GETA
AND CARACALLA, MACRINUS, ELAGABALUS
AND ALEXANDER SEVERUS:
NOW PRESENTED IN ENGLISH FORM
HERBERT BALDWIN FOSTER, A.B. (Harvard), Ph. D. (Johns Hopkins), Acting Professor of Greek in Lehigh University
Extant Books 52-60 (B.C. 29-A.D. 54).
PAFRAETS BOOK COMPANY TROY NEW YOKK
Book Fifty-two Book Fifty-three Book Fifty-four Book Fifty-five Book Fifty-six Book Fifty-seven Book Fifty-eight Book Fifty-nine Book Sixty
DIO'S ROMAN HISTORY
The following is contained in the Fifty-second of Dio's Rome:
How Caesar formed a plan to lay aside his sovereignty (chapters 1-40).
How he began to be called emperor (chapters 41-43).
Duration of time, the remainder of the consulship of Caesar (5th) and Sextus Apuleius. (B.C. 29 = a. u. 725.)
(BOOK 52, BOISSEVAIN)
[-1-] My record has so far stated what the Romans both did and endured for seven hundred and twenty-five years under the monarchy, as a democracy, and beneath the rule of a few. After this they reverted to nothing more nor less than a state of monarchy again, although Caesar had a plan to lay down his arms and entrust affairs to the senate and the populace. He held a consultation on the subject with Agrippa and Maecenas, to whom he communicated all his secrets. Agrippa, first of the two, answered him as follows:—
[-2-] "Be not surprised, Caesar, if I try to turn your mind away from monarchy, in spite of the fact that I might enjoy many advantages from it if you held the place. If it were going to prove serviceable to you, I should be thoroughly enthusiastic for it. But those who hold supreme power are not in a like position with their friends: the latter without incurring jealousy or danger reap all the benefits they please, whereas jealousies and dangers are the lot of the former. I have thought it right, as in other cases, to look forward not for my own interest but for yours and the public's. Let us consider leisurely all the features of the system of government and turn whichever way our reflection may direct us. For it will not be asserted that we ought to choose it under any and all circumstances, even if it be not advantageous. Otherwise we shall seem to have been unable to bear good fortune and to have gone mad through our successes, or else to have been aiming at it long since, to have used our father and our devotion to him as a mere screen, to have put "the people and the senate" forward as an excuse. Our object will seem to have been not to free them from conspirators but to enslave them to ourselves. Either supposition entails censure. Who would not be indignant to see that we had spoken words of one tenor, but to ascertain that we had had something different in mind? How much more would he hate us now than if we had at the outset laid bare our desires and aimed straight at the monarchy! It has come to be generally believed that to adopt some violent course belongs somehow to the nature of man, even if it involves taking an unfair advantage. Every person who excels in any business thinks it right that he should enjoy more advantages than his inferior. If he meets with a success he ascribes it to the force of his individual temperament, and if he fails in anything he refers it to the workings of the supernatural. A man, however, who tries to gain advancement by plots and injuries is in the first place held to be crafty and crooked, malicious and vicious: (and this I know you would allow no one to say or think about you, even if you might rule the whole world by it): again, if he succeeds, he is thought to have gained an unjust advantage, and if he fails, to have met with merited misfortune. [-3-] This being so, any one might reproach us quite as much, even if we had nothing of the sort in mind at the beginning and were to begin to devise it only now. For to let the situation get the better of us and not restrain ourselves and not make a right use of the gifts of Fortune is much worse than for a man to do wrong through ill-luck. The latter sort are often compelled by their very disasters and in consideration of their own need of profit to behave against their will in an irregular way: the others voluntarily abandon self-control even if to do so is contrary to their own interests. And when men neither have any love of simplicity in their souls nor are able to show moderation in regard to the blessings bestowed upon them, how could one expect that they would either rule well over others or behave themselves uprightly in trouble? Let us make our decision on the basis that we are in neither of the classes mentioned and do not desire to act in any way unreasonably, but will choose whatever course after deliberation appears to us best. I shall speak quite frankly, for I could not for my part express myself in any other way, and I am aware that you do not enjoy hearing lies mingled with flattery.
[-4-] "Equality before the law has a pleasant name and its results are a triumph of justice. If you take men who have received the same nature, are of kindred race to one another, have been brought up under the same institutions, have been trained in laws that are alike, and yield in common the service of their bodies and of their minds to the same State, is it not just that they should have all other things, too, in common? Is it not best that they should secure no superior honors except as a result of excellence? Equality of birth strives for equality of possessions, and if it attains it is glad, but if it misses is displeased. And human nature everywhere, because it is sprung from the gods and is to return to the gods, gazes upward and is not content to be ruled forever by the same person, nor will it endure to share in the toils, the dangers, the expenditures, and be deprived of partnership in higher matters. Or, if it is forced to submit to such conditions, it hates the power which has applied coercion and if it obtains an opportunity takes vengeance on what it hates. All men think they ought to rule, and for this reason submit to being ruled in turn. They do not wish to be defrauded, and therefore do not insist on defrauding others. They are pleased with honors bestowed by their peers, and approve the penalties inflicted by their laws. If they conduct their government on these lines, and believe that profits and the opposite shall be shared in common, they wish no harm to happen to any one of the citizens and devoutly hope that all good things may fall to the lot of all of them. If one of them himself possesses any excellence, he makes it known without hesitation, practices it enthusiastically, and exhibits it very gladly: or, if he sees it in another, he readily advances it, is eager to increase it, and honors it most brilliantly. On the other hand if any one deteriorates, everybody hates him. If one meets misfortune, everybody pities him. Each person regards the loss or shame that such cause to be a common detriment to the city.
[-5-] "This is the constitution of democracies. Under tyrannies exactly the opposite conditions are found. It is useless to go at length into all of the details, but the chief feature is that no one is willing to seem to know or possess anything good, because the whole ruling power generally becomes hostile to him in such a case. Every one else takes the tyrant's behavior as a standard of life, and pursues whatever objects he may hope to gain through him by taking advantage of his neighbor while incurring no danger himself. Consequently the majority of the people have an eye only to their own interests and hate all other citizens: they esteem their neighbor's good fortune as a personal loss, and his misfortunes as a personal gain.
"Such being the state of the case, I do not see what could possibly incite you to become sole ruler. Besides the fact that that system is disagreeable to democracies, it would be far more unpleasant still to yourself. You surely see how the City and its affairs are even now in a state of turmoil. It is difficult, also, to overthrow our populace which has lived during so many years in freedom, and difficult, since so many enemies confront us round about, to reduce again to slavery the allies and the subject nations, which from of old have been democratic communities and were set free by our own selves.
[-6-] "To begin first with the smallest matter, it will be requisite that you procure a large supply of money from all sides. It is impossible that our present revenues should suffice for the very expenses, and particularly for the support of the soldiers. This need exists also in democracies, for it is not possible to organize any government without expense. But under such a system many give largely in addition to what is required, and do it frequently, making it a matter of rivalry and securing proper honors for their liberality. Or, if perchance there are compulsory levies upon everybody, they endure it because they can persuade themselves that it is wise and because they are contributing in their own behalf. Under sovereignties they think that the ruling power alone, to which they credit boundless wealth, should bear the expense: they are very ready to search out the ruler's sources of income, but do not make a similar careful calculation about the outgo. They are not inclined to pay out anything extra personally and of their own free will, nor will they hear of voluntary public contributions. The former course no one would choose, because he would not readily admit that he was rich, and it is not to the advantage of the ruler to have it happen. So liberal a citizen would immediately acquire a reputation for patriotism among the mass of the people, would become conceited, and cause a disturbance in politics. On the other hand, a general levy weighs heavily upon them all and chiefly because they endure the loss whereas others take the gain. In democracies those who contribute money as a general rule also serve in the army, so that in a way they get it back again. But in monarchies one set of people usually farm, manufacture, carry on maritime enterprises, engage in politics,—the principal pursuits by which fortunes are secured,—and a different set are under arms and draw pay.
"This single necessity, then, which is of such importance [-7-] will cause you trouble. Here is another. It is by all means essential that whoever from time to time commits a crime should pay some penalty. The majority of men are not brought to reason by suggestion or by example, but it is absolutely requisite to punish them by disenfranchisement, by exile, and by death; and this often happens in so great an empire and in so large a multitude of men, especially during a change of government. Now if you appointed other men to judge these wrongdoers, they would acquit them speedily, particularly all whom you may be thought to hate. For judges secure a pretended authority when they act in any way contrary to the wish of the ruling power. If, again, any are convicted, they will believe they have been condemned on account of instructions for which you are responsible. However, if you sit as judge yourself, you will be compelled to chastise many of the peers,—and this is not favorable,—and you will certainly be thought to be setting some of them right in anger rather than in justice. No one believes that those who have the power to use compulsion can execute judgment with justice, but everybody thinks that out of shame they spread out a mere phantom and rough picture of government in front of the truth, in order that under the legitimate name of court they may fulfill their desire. This is what happens in monarchies. In democracies, when any one is accused of committing a private wrong, he is made defendant in a private suit before judges who are his equals: or, if he is accused for a public crime, such a man has empaneled a jury of his peers, whoever the lot shall designate. It is easier for men to bear their decisions, since they do not think that any verdict rendered is due to the power of the judge or has been wrung from him as a favor.
[-8-] "Then again there are many, apart from any criminals, some priding themselves on birth, others on wealth, others on something different, in general not bad men, who are by nature opposed to the conception of monarchy. If a ruler allows them to become strong, he cannot live in safety, and if he undertakes to impose a check on them, he cannot do so justly. What then shall he do with them? How shall he treat them? If you root out their families, diminish their wealth, humble their pride, you will lose the good-will of your subjects. How can it be otherwise, if no one is permitted to be born nobly or to grow rich honestly or to become strong, brave, or learned? But if you allow all the separate classes to grow strong, you will not be able to deal with them easily. If you alone were sufficient for carrying on politics and war well and opportunely, and needed no assistant for any of them, it would be a different story. As the case stands, however, it is quite essential for you to have many helpers, since they must govern so large a world: and they all ought to be both brave and prudent. Now if you hand over the legions and the offices to such men, there will be danger that both you and your government will be overthrown. It is not possible for a valuable man to be produced without good sense, and he cannot acquire any great good sense from servile practices. But again, if he becomes a man of sense, he cannot fail to desire liberty and to hate all masters. If, on the other hand, you entrust nothing to these men, but put affairs in charge of the worthless and chance comers, you will very quickly incur the anger of the first class, who think themselves distrusted, and you will very quickly fail in the greatest enterprises. What good could an ignorant or low-born person accomplish? What enemy would not hold him in contempt? What allies would obey him? Who, even of the soldiers themselves, would not disdain to be ruled by such a man? What evils are wont to result from such a condition I do not need to describe to you, for you know them thoroughly. I feel obliged to say only this, that if such an assistant did nothing right, he would injure you far more than the enemy: if he did anything satisfactorily, his lack of education would cause him to lose his head, and he would be a terror to you.
[-9-] "Such a question does not arise in democracies. The more men there are who are wealthy and brave, so much the more do they vie with one another and up-build the city. The latter uses them and is glad, unless any one of them wishes to found a tyranny: him the citizens punish severely. That this is so and that democracies are far superior to monarchies the experience of Greece makes clear. As long as the people had the monarchical government, they effected nothing of importance: but when they began to live under the democratic system, they became most renowned. It is shown also by the experience of other branches of mankind. Those who are still conducting their governments under tyrannies are always in slavery and always plotting against their rulers. But those who have presidents for a year or some longer period continue to be both free and independent.
"Yet, why need we use foreign examples, when we have some of our own? We Romans, ourselves, after trying a different social organization at first, later, when we had gone through many bitter experiences, felt a desire for liberty; and having secured it we attained our present eminence, strong in no advantages save those that come from democracy, through which the senate debated, the people ratified, the force under arms showed zeal, and the commanders were fired with ambition. None of these things could be done under a tyranny. For that reason, indeed, the ancient Romans detested it so much as to impose a curse upon that form of government.
[-10-] "Aside from these considerations, if one is to speak about what is disadvantageous for you personally, how could you endure the management of so many interests by day and night alike? How could you hold out in your enfeebled state? How could you participate in human enjoyments? How could you be happy if deprived of them? What could cause you real pleasure? When would you be free from biting grief? It is quite inevitable that the man who holds so great an empire should reflect deeply, be subject to many fears enjoy very little pleasure, but hear and see, perform and suffer, always and everywhere, what is most disagreeable. That is why, I think, both Greeks and some barbarians would not accept government by a king when offered to them.
"Knowing this beforehand, take good counsel before you enter upon such an existence. For it is disgraceful, or rather impossible, after you have once plunged into it to rise to the upper air again. Do not be deceived by the greatness of the authority nor the abundance of possessions, nor the mass of body-guards, nor the throng of courtiers. Men who have great power have great troubles: those who have large possessions are obliged to spend largely: the crowd of body-guards is gathered because of the crowd of conspirators: and the flatterers would be more glad to destroy than to save any one. Consequently, in view of these facts, no sensible man would desire to become supreme ruler. [-11-] If the fact that such rulers can enrich and preserve others and perform many other good deeds, and that, by Jupiter, they may also outrage others and injure whomsoever they please leads any one to think that tyranny is worth striving for, he is utterly mistaken. I need not tell you that to live licentiously and to do evil is base and hazardous and hated of both gods and men. You are not that sort of man, and it is not for these reasons that you would choose to be sole ruler. I have elected to speak now not of everything which one might accomplish who handled affairs badly, but of what even the very best are compelled to do and endure when they adopt the system. The other point,—that one may bestow abundant favors,—is worthy of zeal, to be sure: yet when this disposition is indulged in private capacity, it is noble, august, glorious, and safe, whereas in monarchies it is first of all not a sufficient offset to the other, more disagreeable matters, that any one should choose monarchy for this especially when one is to grant to others the benefit to be derived therefrom, and accept himself the unpleasantness involved in the rest of the conduct of the office.
[-12-] "In the next place, the matter is not simple, as people think. No one could render assistance enough to satisfy all who need help. Those who think they ought to receive some gift from the sovereign are practically all mankind, even though no favors can at once be seen to be due them. Every one naturally has his own approbation and wishes to enjoy some benefit from him who is able to give. But the presents which can be given them,—I mean honors and offices, and sometimes money,—can be counted quite easily as compared with so great a multitude. This being so, more hatred would fall to the monarch's lot from those who fail to get what they want than friendship from such as obtain their desires. The latter take what they regard as due to them and think there is no particular reason for being very thankful to the one who gives it, since they are getting no more than they expected. Moreover, they actually shrink from such behavior for fear they may appear in the light of persons undeserving of generous treatment. The others, who are disappointed of their hopes, are grieved for two causes. First, they feel that they are robbed of what belongs to them, for by nature all persons think that everything which they desire is their own: second, they feel as if they were finding themselves guilty of some wrong, if they show resignation at not obtaining what they expect. The man who gives such great gifts rightly of course investigates before all else each person's worth: some he honors, others he neglects. As a result, then, of his judgment, some are filled with pride and others with vexation by their own consciousness of its correctness. If any one were to wish to guard against this outcome and distribute his presents without system, he would fail utterly. The base, being honored contrary to their deserts, would become worse; for they would decide either that they were approved as being good or, if not so, that they were courted as dangerous persons: the excellent, on attaining no higher place than they, but held merely in equal honor with the base, would be more indignant at their reduction to the latter's level than the others would rejoice to be deemed valuable. Accordingly, they would give up the practice of better principles and strive to emulate less worthy men. Thus, even as a result of the very honors, those who bestow them would reap no benefit and those who receive them would become worse than before. So that this consideration, which would please some persons most in the monarchical constitution, has been proved to be a most difficult problem for you to deal with.
[-13-] "Reflecting on these facts and the rest which I mentioned a little earlier, be prudent while you may, and restore to the people the arms, the provinces, the offices, and the funds. If you do it at once and voluntarily, you will be the most famous of men and the most secure. But if you wait for some force to be applied, perhaps you might suffer some disaster together with ill repute. Here is evidence. Marius, Sulla, Metellus, and Pompey at first, when they got control of affairs, refused to become princes, and by this attitude escaped harm. Cinna, however, and Strabo, the second Marius, Sertorius, and Pompey himself at a later date, through their desire for sovereignty perished miserably. It is hard for this city which has been under a democracy for so many years and rules so many human beings to be willing to be a slave to any one. You have heard that the people banished Camillus when he used white horses for his triumph: you have heard that they overthrew Scipio after condemning him for some fraudulent procedure: you remember how they behaved toward your father because they had some suspicion that he wanted monarchy. Yet there have never been any better men than these.
"Moreover, I do not advise you merely to relinquish dominion, but to accomplish beforehand all that is advantageous for the public, and by decrees and laws to settle definitely whatever business needs attention, just as Sulla did. For even if some of his ordinances were subsequently overthrown, yet the majority of them and the more important still hold their ground. Do not say that even then some will indulge in factional quarrels, or I may be tempted to say again that all the more the Romans would not submit to a single ruler. If we were to review all the calamities that might befall a nation, it would be most unreasonable for us to fear dissensions which are the outgrowth of democracy rather then the tyrannies which spring from monarchy. Regarding the terrible nature of the latter I have not even undertaken to say a word. It has been my wish not merely to inveigh against a proposition so capable of censure, but to show you this,—that it is naturally such a regime that not even the most excellent men....
[-14-] "They cannot easily persuade by frank argument men who possess less power, or succeed in their enterprises, because their subjects are not in accord with them. Hence, if you have any care at all of your country, for whom you have fought so many wars, for whom you would gladly surrender your life, attune her to greater moderation and order her affairs with that in view. For the privilege of doing and saving precisely what one pleases becomes in the case of sensible people, if you examine it, a cause of prosperity to all: but in the case of the foolish, a cause of disaster. Therefore he who confers authority upon such men is holding out a sword to a child and a madman; but he who gives it to the prudent, besides performing other services, preserves the objects of his liberality themselves, though they may be unwilling. Therefore I ask you not to be deceived by regarding fine-sounding names, but to look forward to the results that spring from them, and so to put an end to the insolence of the populace, and to impose the management of public affairs upon yourself and the most excellent of the remainder of the community. Then the most prudent may deliberate, those most qualified for generals become commanders, and the strongest and most needy men serve as soldiers and draw pay. In this way, all zealously discharging the duties appertaining to their offices and paying without hesitation the debts they owe one another, they will not be aware of their inferiority and lack of certain advantages and will secure the real democracy and a safe sort of freedom. The boasted "freedom" of the mob proves to be the most bitter servitude of the best element and brings a common destruction upon both. The other, which I advocate, honors responsible men everywhere and bestows equal advantages upon all so far as they are worthy: thus it renders prosperous all alike who possess it. [-15-] Do not think that I am advising you to enslave the people and the senate and then play the tyrant. This plan I should never dare to suggest nor you to execute. It would, notwithstanding, be well and useful both for you and for the city that you should yourself establish all proper laws with the approval of the best men without any opposing talk or resistance on the part of the masses, that you and your counselors should arrange the details of wars according to your united wishes while all the rest straightway obey orders, that the choice of officials should be in the power of the cabinet to which you belong, and that the same men should also determine honors and penalties. Then whatever pleases you after consulting the Peers will be immediately a law, and wars against enemies may be waged with secrecy and at an opportune time; those to whom a trust is committed will be appointed because of excellence and not by lot and strife for office; the good will be honored without jealousy and the bad punished without opposition. Thus what was done would be accomplished in the best way, not referred to the public, nor talked over openly, not committed to packed committees, nor endangered by rivalry. We should reap the benefits of the blessings that belong to us with enjoyment, not entering upon dangerous wars nor impious civil disputes. These two drawbacks are found in every democracy: the more powerful, desiring first place and hiring the weaker men, turn everything continually upside down. They have been most frequent in our epoch and there is no other way save the one I propose that will put a stop to them. The proof of my words is that we have been warring abroad and fighting among ourselves for an inconceivably long time: the cause is the multitude of men and the magnitude of the interests at stake. The men are of all sorts in respect to both race and nature and have the most diversified tempers and desires. The interests have become so vast that it is very difficult to attempt to administer them. [-16-] Witness to the truth of my words is borne by our past. While we were but few, we had no important quarrel with our neighbors, got along well with our government, and subjugated almost all of Italy. But ever since we spread beyond the peninsula and crossed to many foreign lands and islands, filling the whole sea and the whole earth with our name and power, nothing good has been our lot. In the first place we disputed in cliques at home and within our walls, and later we exported this plague to the camps. Therefore our city, like a great merchantman full of a crowd of every race borne without a pilot these many years through rough water, rolls and shoots hither and thither because it is without ballast. Do not, then, allow her to be longer exposed to the tempest; for you see that she is waterlogged. And do not let her split upon a reef; for her timbers are rotten and will not be able to hold out much longer. But since the gods have taken pity on this land and have set you up as her arbiter and chief; do not betray your country. Through you she has now revived a little: if you are faithful, she may live with safety for ages to come.
[-17-] "That I do right to urge you to be sole ruler of the people I think you have long ere this been persuaded. If so, then be ready and eager to assume the leadership of the State, or rather, do not let it slip. For we are not deliberating about taking something, but about not losing it and about running hazards in addition. Who will spare you if you commit matters to the people as they were, and to some other man, seeing that there are great numbers whom you have injured, all of whom, or nearly all, will lay claim to the sovereignty? No one of them will fail to wish to punish you for what you have done, or will care to have you survive as a rival. There is evidence of this in the case of Pompey, who, when he withdrew from his supremacy, became the victim of scorn and of plots: he found himself unable to win back his place, and so perished. Also Caesar your father, who did this very same thing, was slain for his trouble. Marius and Sulla would certainly have endured a like fate, had they not died too soon. Indeed, some say that Sulla anticipated this very end by making away with himself. Many of the provisions of his constitution, at any rate, began to be abolished while he was still alive. You, too, must expect to find that many Lepiduses, Sertoriuses, Brutuses, Cassiuses will arise against you.
[-18-] "Seeing these facts and reflecting on the other interests involved, do not abandon yourself and your country, out of fear that you may seem to some to be pursuing the office of set purpose. First of all, even if any one does suspect it, the desire is not one repugnant to human nature, and the danger from it is a noble danger. Second, is any one unaware of the necessity under which you were led to take this action? Hence, if there be any blame attached to it, one might most justly censure your father's slayers therefor. For if they had not murdered him in so unjust and pitiable a fashion, you would not have taken up arms, would not have gathered your legions, would not have made a compact with Antony and Lepidus, and would not have taken measures against those very men. That you were right and were justified in doing all this no one is unaware. If any slight errors have been committed, at least we cannot safely make any further changes. Therefore for our own sakes and for that of the city let us obey Fortune, who gives you the supremacy. Let us be very thankful to her that she has not simply filled us with civil woes, but has put the reorganization of the government in your hands. By paying due reverence to her you may show all mankind that whereas others wrought disturbance and injury, you are an upright man.
"Do not, I beg you, fear the magnitude of the empire. The greater its extent, the more are the preservative influences it possesses; also, to guard anything is a long way easier than to acquire it. Toils and dangers are needed to win over what belongs to others, but a little prudence suffices to retain what is already yours. Moreover, do not be afraid that you will not live quite safely in the midst of it and enjoy all the blessings extant among men, if you are willing to arrange all the details as I shall advise you. And do not think that I am making my appeal depart from the subject in hand, if I shall speak at some length about the project. I shall not do this merely to hear myself talk, but to the end that you may be positively assured that it is both possible and easy, for a man of sense at least, to govern well and without danger.
[-19-] "I maintain, therefore, first of all that you ought to pick out your friends in the senatorial body and then subject it to a sifting process, because some who are not fit have become senators on account of civil disputes: such of them as possess any excellence you ought to retain, but the rest you should erase from the roll. Do not, however, get rid of any man of worth, because of poverty, but give him the money that he needs. In the place of those who have been dropped introduce the noblest, the best, the richest men obtainable, selecting them not only from Italy but from the allies and subject nations. In this way you will not be employing many assistants and you will insure a correct attitude on the part of the chief men from all the provinces. These districts, having no renowned leader, will not be disposed to rebel, and their prominent men will entertain affection for you because they have been made sharers in your empire.
"Take precisely these same measures in the case of the knights, by enrolling in the equestrian class such as hold second place everywhere in birth, excellence, and wealth. Register as many in both classes as may please you, not troubling at all about their numbers. The more men of repute you have as your associates, the more easily will you yourself settle everything in case of need and persuade your subjects that you are treating them not as slaves nor in any way as inferior to us, but are sharing with them besides all the other blessings that belong to us the chief magistracy also, that so they may be devoted to it as their own possession. I am so far from assuming this to be a mistaken policy that I say they ought all to be given a share in the government. Thus, having an equal allotment in it, they might be faithful allies of ours, believing that they inhabited one single city owned in common by all of us, and this really a city, and regarding fields and villages as their individual property. But about this and what ought to be done so as not to grant them absolutely everything, we shall reflect in greater detail at another time.
[-20-] "It is proper to put men on the roll of the knights at eighteen years of age; for at that period of life physical condition is at its best and suitability of temperament can be discerned. But for the senate they should wait till they are twenty-five years old. Is it not disgraceful and hazardous to entrust public business to men younger than this, when we will commit none of our private affairs to any one before, he has reached such an age? After they have served as quaestors and aediles, or tribunes, let them be praetors, when they have attained their thirtieth birthday. These offices and that of consul are the only ones at home which I maintain you ought to recognize; and that is for the sake of remembrance of ancestral customs and in order not to seem to be changing the constitution altogether. Do you, however, yourself choose all who are to hold them and not put any of these offices longer in charge of the rabble or the populace,—for they will surely quarrel,—nor in charge of the senate, for its members will contend for the prize. Moreover, do not keep up the ancient powers of these positions, for fear history may repeat itself, but preserve the honor attached while abating the influence to such an extent as will enable you to deprive each place of none of its esteem but to forestall any desire of insubordination. This can be done if you require the incumbents to stay in town, and do not permit any of them to handle arms either during their period of office or immediately afterward, but only after the lapse of some time, as much as you think sufficient in each instance. In this way none of them will rebel, because they become to an extent by their title masters of armies, and their irritation will be assuaged by their faring as private citizens for a time. Let these magistrates conduct such of the festivals as would naturally belong to their office, and let them all individually try cases save those of homicide, during their tenure of office in Rome. Courts should also be made up of the senators and knights, but the final appeal should be to the aforesaid officials.
[-21-] "Let a praefectus urbi be appointed from the ranks of the prominent men and from such as have previously passed through the necessary offices. His duties should not be to govern when the consuls are somewhere out of town, but to exercise at all times a general supervision of the City's interests and to decide the cases referred to him by all the other magistrates I mentioned, both those demanding final decision and such as may be appealed, together with any that involve the death penalty; and he must have authority in all of them that concern men both in the City (except such as I shall name) and those dwelling outside to the distance of seven hundred and fifty stades.
"Still another magistrate ought to be chosen, himself also from a similar class, to investigate and watch the matters of family, property, and morals of senators and knights, alike of men and of the children and wives belonging to them. He should also set right such behavior as properly entails no punishment, yet if neglected becomes the cause of many great evils. The more important details he must report to you. This duty ought to be assigned to some senator, and to the most distinguished one after the praefectus urbi, rather than to one of the knights. He would naturally receive his name from your authority as censor, (for you must certainly be the dictator of the census), so that he might be called sub-censor.—Let these two hold office for life, unless either of them deteriorates in any way or becomes sick or superannuated. By reason of the permanence of their positions they would do nothing dangerous, for one would be entirely unarmed and the other would have but a few soldiers and be acting for the most part under your eyes. By reason of their rank they would shrink from coming into collision with any one and would be afraid to do any act of violence, for they would foresee their retirement to ordinary citizenship and the supremacy of others in their stead. Let them also draw a certain salary, to compensate them for the time consumed and to increase their reputation. This is the opinion I have to give you in regard to these officials.
"Let those who have been praetors hold some office among the subject nations. Before they have been praetors I do not think they should have this privilege. Let those who have not yet been praetors serve for one or two terms as lieutenants to such persons as you may have designated. Then, under these conditions, let them be consuls if they continue to govern rightly, and after that let them take the greater positions of command. [-22-] The following is the way I advise you to arrange it. Divide up all of Italy which is over seven hundred and fifty stades from the city and all the rest of the territory which owns our sway, both on the continents and in the islands,—divide it up everywhere according to races and nations; and pursue the same course with as many cities as are important enough to be ruled by one man with full powers. Then establish soldiers and a governor in each one and send out one of the ex-consuls to take charge of all, and two of the ex-praetors. One of the latter, fresh from the City, should have the care of private business and the supplying of provisions: the other should be one of those who have had this training, who will attend to the public interests of the cities and will govern the soldiers, except in cases that concern disenfranchisement or death. These must be referred only to the ex-consul who is governor, except in regard to the centurions who are on the lists and to the foremost private individuals in every place. Do not allow any other person than yourself to punish either of these classes, so that they may never be impelled by fear of any one else to take any action against you. As for my proposition that the second of the ex-praetors should be put in charge of the soldiers, it is subject to the following limitations. If only a few are in service in foreign forts or in one native post, it is well enough for this to be so. But if two citizen legions are wintering in the same province (and more than this number I should not advise you to trust to one commander), it will be necessary for the two ex-praetors to superintend them, each having charge of one besides managing the remaining political and private interests. Therefore, let the ex-consul... these matters and likewise on the cases, both those subject to appeal and those already referred which are sent up to him from his praetors. And do not be surprised that I recommend to you to divide Italy also into such sections. It is large and populous, and so is incapable of being well managed by the governors at the capital. The governor of any district ought to be always present and no duties should be laid upon our city magistrates that are impossible of fulfillment.
[-23-] "Let all these men to whom affairs outside the city are committed receive pay, the greater ones more, the inferior ones less, those of medium importance a medium amount. They can not in a foreign land live on their own resources nor as now stand an unlimited and uncalculated expense. Let them govern not less than three years (unless any one of them commits a crime), nor more than five. These limits are because annual and short-time appointments after teaching persons what they need to know send them back again before they can display any of their knowledge: and, on the other hand, longer and more lasting positions fill many with conceit and incline them to rebellion. Hence I think that the greater posts of authority ought not to be given to persons consecutively, without interval, for it makes no difference whether a man is governor in the same province or in several in succession, if he holds office longer than is proper. Appointees improve when a period of time is allowed to elapse and they return home and live as ordinary citizens.
"The senators, accordingly, I affirm ought to discharge these duties and in the way described. [-24-] Of the knights the two best should command the body-guard which protects you. To entrust it to one man is hazardous, and to several is sure to breed turmoil. Let these prefects therefore be two in number, in order that, if one of them suffers any bodily harm, you may still not lack a person to guard you: and let them be appointed from those who have been on many campaigns and have been active also in many other capacities. Let them have command both of the Pretorians and of all the remaining soldiers in Italy with such absolute power that they may put to death such of them as do wrong, except in the case of the centurions and any others who have been assigned to members of the senate holding office. These should be tried by the senatorial magistrates themselves, in order that the latter may have authority both to honor and to chastise their dependents and so be able to count on their unhesitating support. Over all the other soldiers in Italy those prefects should have dominion (aided of course by lieutenants), and further over the Caesarians, both such as wait upon you and all the rest that are of any value. These duties will be both fitting and sufficient for them to discharge. They should not have more labors laid upon them than they will be able to dispose of effectively, that they may not be weighed down by the press of work or find it impossible to see to everything. These men ought to hold office for life like the praefectus urbi and the sub-censor. Let some one else be appointed night watchman, and still another commissioner of grain and of the other market produce, both of these from the foremost knights after those mentioned and appointed to hold their posts for a definite time like the magistrates elected from the senatorial class. [-25-] The disposition of the funds, also,—of both the people and the empire, I mean, whether in Rome or in the rest of Italy or outside,—should be entirely in the hands of the knights. These treasurers also, as well as all of the same class who have the management of anything, should draw pay, some more and some less, with reference to the dignity and magnitude of their employment. The reason is that it is not possible for them, since they are poorer than the senators, to spend their own means while engaged in no business in Rome. And then again, it is neither possible nor advantageous for you that the same men should be made masters of both the troops and the finances. Furthermore, it is well that all the business of the empire should be transacted through a number of agents, in order that many may receive the benefit of it and become experienced in affairs. In this way your subjects, reaping a multiform enjoyment from the public treasures, will be better disposed toward you, and you will have an abundant supply of the best men on each occasion for all necessary lines of work. One single knight with as many subordinates (drawn from the knights and from your freedmen) as the needs of the case demand, is sufficient for every separate form of business in the City and for each province outside. You need to have these assistants along with them in order that your service may contain a prize of excellence, and that you may not lack persons from whom you may learn the truth even contrary to the wishes of their superiors, in case there is anything irregular happening.
"If any one of the knights after passing through many forms of service distinguishes himself enough to become a senator, his age ought not to hinder him at all from being enrolled in the senate. Let some of those even be registered who have held the post of company leaders in citizen forces, unless it be one who has served in the rank and file; for it is both a shame and a reproach to have on the list of the senate any of these persons who have carried loaded panniers and charcoal baskets. But in the case of such as were originally centurions there is nothing to prevent the most distinguished of them from being advanced to a better class.
[-26-] "With regard to the senators and the knights this is my advice to you. And, by Jupiter, I have this to say further. While they are still children they should attend schools, and when they come out of childhood into youth they should turn their minds to horses and arms and have paid public teachers in each of these two departments. In this way from very boyhood they will both learn and practice all that they must themselves do on becoming men, and so they will prove far more serviceable to you for every work. The best ruler, who is of any value, must not only himself perform all his required tasks, but also look forward to see how the rest shall become also as excellent as possible. And this name can be yours, not if you allow them to do whatever they please and then censure those who err, but if before any mistakes occur you teach them everything which, when practiced, will render them more useful both to themselves and to you. And afford nobody any excuse whatever, either wealth or birth, or anything else that accompanies excellence, for affecting indolence or effeminacy or any other behavior that is not genuine. Many persons, fearing that on account of some such possession they may incur jealousy or danger, do much that is unworthy of themselves, expecting by such behavior to live in greater security. As a consequence they commiserate themselves, believing themselves wronged in this very particular, that they are not allowed to appear to live aright. Their ruler also suffers a loss because he is deprived of the services of good men, and suffers ill repute for the censure imposed upon them. Therefore never permit this to be done, and have no fears that any one brought up and educated as I propose will ever adopt a rebellious policy. Quite the reverse; it is only the ignorant and licentious that you need suspect. Such persons are easily influenced to behave most disgracefully and abominably in absolutely every way first toward their own selves and next toward other people. Those, however, who have been well brought up and educated are purposed not to wrong any one and least of all him who cared for their rearing and education. If any one, accordingly, shows himself wicked and ungrateful, do not entrust him with any such position as will enable him to effect any harm: if even so he rebels, let him be tried and punished. Do not be afraid that any one will blame you for this, if you carry out all my injunctions. For in taking vengeance on the wrongdoer you will be guilty of no sin any more than the physician who burns and cuts. All will pronounce the man justly treated, because after partaking of the same rearing and education as the rest he plotted against you.—This is the course of action I advise in the case of the senators and knights.
[-27-] "A standing army should be supported, drawn from the citizens, the subject nations, and the allies, in one case more, in another less, province by province, as the necessities of the case demand; and they ought to be always under arms and make a practice of warfare continually. They must have secured winter-quarters at the most opportune points, and serve for a definite time, so that a certain period of active life may remain for them before old age. For, separated so far as we are from the frontiers of the empire, with enemies living near us on every side, we should otherwise no longer be able to count on auxiliaries in the case of emergencies. Again, if we allow all those of military age to have arms and to practice warlike pursuits, quarrels and civil wars will always be arising among them. However, if we prevent them from doing this and then need their assistance at all in battle, we shall always have to face danger with inexperienced and untrained soldiers at our back. For this reason I submit the proposition that most of them live without arms and away from forts; but that the hardiest and those most in need of a livelihood be registered and kept in practice. They themselves will fight better by devoting their leisure to this single business; and the rest will the more easily farm, manage ships, and attend to the other pursuits of peace, if they are not forced to be called out for service, but have others to stand as their guardians. The most active and vigorous element, that is, which is oftenest obliged to live by robbery, will be supported without harming others, and all the rest of the population will lead a life free from danger.
[-28-] "From what source, then, will the money come for these warriors and for the other expenses that will be found necessary? I shall make this point clear, with only the short preliminary statement that even were we under a democracy, we should in any case need money. We can not survive without soldiers, and without pay none of them will serve. Hence let us not feel downhearted in the belief that the compulsory collection of money appertains only to monarchy, and let us not turn away from the system for that reason, but conduct our deliberations with a full knowledge of the fact that in any case it is necessary for us to obtain funds, whatsoever form of government we may adopt. Consequently, I maintain that you should first of all sell the goods which are in the public treasury,—and I notice that these have become numerous on account of the wars,—except a few which are exceedingly useful and necessary to you: and you should loan all this money at some moderate rate of interest. In this way the land will be worked, being delivered to men who will cultivate it themselves, and the latter will obtain a starting-point and so grow more prosperous, while the treasury will have a sufficient and perpetual revenue. This amount should be computed together with all the rest of the revenue that can be derived from the mines and with certainty from any other source; and after that we ought to reckon on not only the military service but everything else which contributes to the successful life of a city, and further how much it will be necessary to lay out in campaigns at short notice and other critical occurrences which are wont to take place. Then, to make up the deficiency in income, we ought to levy upon absolutely all instruments which produce any profit for the men who possess them, and we should exact taxes from all whom we rule. It is both just and proper that no one of them should be exempt from taxation,—individual or people,—because they are destined to enjoy the benefit of the taxes in common with the rest. We should set over them tax-collectors in every case to manage the business, so that they may levy from all sources of revenue everything that falls due during their term of management. The following plan will render it easier for the officers to gather the taxes and will be of no little service to those who contribute them. I mean that they will bring in whatever they owe in an appointed order and little by little, instead of remaining idle a short time and then having the entire sum demanded of them in one payment.
[-29-] "I am not unaware that some of the incomes and taxes established will be disliked. But I know this, too,—that if the peoples secure immunity from any further abuse and believe in reality that they will be contributing all of this for their own safety and for reaping subsidiary benefits in abundance and that most of it will be obtained by no others than men of their own district, some by governing, others by managing, others by army service, they will be very grateful to you, giving as they do a small portion of large possessions, the profits of which they enjoy without oppression. Especially will this be true if they see that you live temperately and spend nothing foolishly. Who, if he saw you very economical of your own means and very lavish of the public funds, would not willingly contribute, and deem your possession of wealth to constitute his safety and prosperity? By these means a very large amount of money would be on hand.
[-30-] "The rest I urge you to arrange in the following way. Adorn this city in the most expensive manner possible and add brilliance by every form of festival. It is fitting that we who rule many people should surpass all in everything, and such spectacles tend in a way to promote respect on the part of our allies and alarm on the part of enemies. The affairs of other nations you should order in this fashion. First, let the various tribes have no power in any matter nor meet in assemblies at all. They would decide nothing good and would always be creating more or less turmoil. Hence I say that even our own populace ought not to gather at court or for elections or for any other such meeting where any business is to be transacted. Next, they should not indulge in numbers of houses of great size and beyond what is necessary, and they should not expend money upon many and all kinds of contests: so they will neither be worn out by vain zeal nor become hostile through unreasonable rivalries. They ought, however, to have certain festivals and spectacles, (apart from the horse-race held among us), but not to such an extent that the treasury or private estates will be injured, or any stranger be compelled to spend anything whatever in their midst, or food for a lifetime be furnished to all who have merely won in some contest. It is unreasonable that the well-to-do should submit to compulsory expenditures outside their own countries; and for the athletes the prizes for each event are sufficient. This ruling does not apply to any one of them who might come out victor in the Olympian or Pythian games, or some contest here at Rome. Such are the only persons who ought to be fed, and then the cities will not exhaust themselves without avail nor anybody practice save those who have a chance of winning, since one can follow some other pursuit that is more advantageous both to one's self and to one's country. "This is my decision about these matters.—Now to the horse-races which are held without gymnastic contests, I think that no other city but ours should be allowed to hold them, so that vast sums of money may not be dissipated recklessly nor men go miserably frantic,—and most of all that the soldiers may have a plentiful supply of the best horses. This, therefore, I would forbid altogether, that those races should take place anywhere else than here. The other amusements I have determined to moderate so that all organizations should make the enjoyment of entertainments for eye and ear inexpensive, and men thereby live more temperately and free from discontent.
"Let none of the foreigners employ their own coinage or weights or measures, but let them all use ours. And they should send no embassy to you, unless it involve a point for decision. Let them instead present to their governor whatever they please and through him forward to you all such requests of theirs as he may approve. In this way they will neither spend anything nor effect their object by crooked practices, but receive their answers at first hand without any expenditure or intrigue.
[-31-] "Moreover, in respect to other matters, you would seem to be ordering things in the best way if you should, in the first place, introduce before the senate the embassies which come from the enemy and from those under truce, both kings and peoples. For it is awe-inspiring and impressive to let the senate appear to be master of all situations and to exhibit many adversaries prepared for petitioners who are guilty of double dealing. Next, have all the laws enacted by the senators, and do not impose a single one upon all the people alike, except the decrees of that body. In this way the dignity of the empire would be the more confirmed and the decisions made in accordance with the laws would prove indisputable and evident to all alike. Thirdly, it would be well in case the senators who are serving in the city, their children or their wives, are ever charged with any serious crime, so that a person convicted would receive a penalty of disenfranchisement or exile or even death, that you should set the situation before the senate, without any previous condemnation, and commit to that body the entire decision at first hand regarding it. Thus those guilty of any crime would be tried before all their peers and punished without any ill-feeling against you. The rest, seeing this, would improve in character for fear of being themselves publicly apprehended. I am speaking here about those offences regarding which laws are established, and judgments are rendered according to the laws.
"As for talk that some one has abused you or spoken in an unfitting way about you, do not listen to any one who brings such an accusation nor investigate it. It is disgraceful to believe that any one has wantonly insulted you who are doing no wrong and benefiting all. Only those who rule badly will credit these reports. Because of their own conscience they surmise that the matter has been stated truthfully. It is a shame to be angry at complaints for which, if true, one had better not have been responsible, and about which, if false, one ought not to pretend to care. Many in times past by angry behavior have caused more things and worse to be said against them. This is my opinion about those accused of uttering some insult. Your personality should be too strong and too lofty to be assailed by any insolence, and you should never allow yourself to think nor lead others into thinking that any person can be indecent toward you. Thus they will think of you as of the gods, that you are sacrosanct. If any one should be accused of plotting against you (such a thing might happen), do not yourself sit as judge on a single detail of the case nor reach any decision in advance,—for it is absurd that the same man should be made both accuser and judge,—but take him to the senate and make him plead his defence. If he be convicted, punish him, though moderating the sentence so far as is feasible, in order that belief in his guilt may be fostered. It is very difficult to make most men believe that any unarmed person will plot against him who is armed. And the only way you could gain credence would be by punishing him not in anger nor overwhelmingly, if it be possible.—This is aside from the case of one who had an army and should revolt directly against you. It is not fitting that such an one be tried, but that he be chastised as an enemy.
"In this way refer to the senate these matters and [-32-] most of the highly important affairs that concern the commonwealth. Public interests you must administer publicly. It is also an inbred trait of human nature for individuals to delight in marks of esteem from a superior, which seem to raise one to equality with him, and to approve everything which the superior has determined after consulting them, as if it were their own proposal, and to cherish it, as if it were their own choice. Consequently I affirm that such business ought to be brought before the senate.—In regard to most cases all those senators present ought equally to state their opinions: but when one of their number is accused, not all of them should do so, unless it be some one who is not yet a senator or is not yet in the ranks of the ex-quaestors that is being tried. And, indeed, it is absurd that one who has not yet been a tribune or an aedile should cast a vote against such as have already filled these offices, or, by Jupiter, that any one of the latter should vote against the ex-praetors or they against the ex-consuls. Let the last named have authority to render a decision in all cases, but the rest only in the cases of their peers and their subordinates.
[-33-] "You yourself must try in person the referred and the appealed cases which come to you from the higher officials, from the procurators, from the praefectus urbi, from the sub-censor, and the prefects, both the commissioner of grain and the night-watch. No single one of them should have such absolute powers of decision and such independence that a case can not be appealed from him. You should be the judge, therefore in these instances, and also when knights are concerned and properly enrolled centurions and the foremost private citizens, if the trial involves death or disenfranchisement. Let these be your business alone, and for the reasons mentioned let no one else on his own responsibility render a decision in them. You should always have associated with you for discussion the most honored of the senators and of the knights, and further certain others from the ranks of the ex-consuls and ex-praetors, some at one time and some at another. In this association you will become more accurately acquainted with their characters beforehand, and so be able to put them to the right kind of employment, and they by coming in contact with your habits and wishes will have them in mind on going out to govern the provinces. Do not, however, openly ask their opinions when a rather careful consideration is required, for fear that they, being outside their accustomed sphere, may hesitate to speak freely; but let them record their views on tablets. To these you alone should have access, that they may become known to no one else, and then order the writing to be immediately erased. In this way you may best get at each man's exact opinion, when they believe that it can not be identified among all the rest.
"Moreover for the lawsuits, letters, and decrees of the cities, for the consideration of the demands of individuals and everything else which belongs to the administration of the empire you must have supporters and assistants from among the knights. Everything will move along more easily in this way, and you will neither err through want of fairness nor become exhausted by doing everything yourself. Grant every one who wishes to make any suggestion whatever to you the right of speaking freely and fearlessly. If you approve what he says, it will be of great service: and if you are not persuaded, it will do no harm. Those who obtain your favorable judgment you should both praise and honor, since by their devices you will receive glory: and those who fail of it you should never dishonor or censure. It is proper to look at their intentions, and not to find fault because their plans were unavailable. Guard against this same mistake when war is concerned. Be not enraged at any one for involuntary misfortune nor jealous of his good fortune, to the end that all may zealously and gladly run risks for you, confident that if they make a slip they will not be punished nor if successful become the objects of intrigue. There are many who through fear of jealousy on the part of those in power have chosen to meet reverses rather than to effect anything. As a result they retained their safety, but the loss fell upon their own heads. You, who are sure to reap the principal benefit from both classes alike,—the inferior and the superior,—ought never to choose to become nominally jealous of others, but really of yourself.
[-34-] "Whatever you wish your subjects to think and do you must say and do. You can better educate them in this way than if you should desire to terrify them by the severities of the laws. The former course inspires emulation, the latter fear. And any one can more easily imitate superior conduct, when he actually sees it in some life, than he can guard against low behavior which he merely hears to be prohibited by edict. Act in every way yourself with circumspection, not condoning any mistakes of your own, for be well assured that all will straightway learn everything you say and do. You will live as it were in a kind of theatre, whose audience is the whole world: and it will not be possible for you to escape detection if you commit the very smallest error. No act of yours will ever be in private, but all of them will be performed in the midst of many persons. And all the remainder of mankind somehow take the greatest delight in being officious with respect to what is done by their rulers. Hence, if they once ascertain that you are urging them to one course and following a different one yourself, they will not fear your threats, but will imitate your deeds.
"Have an eye to the lives of others, but do not carry your investigations unpleasantly close. Decide cases which are brought before you by outsiders, but do not pretend to notice conduct that receives no outspoken censure from any one, except irregularities not consonant with public interest. The latter ought to be properly rebuked, even if no one has aught to say against them. Other private failings you ought to know, in order to avoid making a mistake some day by employing an assistant unsuitable for a particular duty: do not, however, take individuals to task. Their natures impel many persons to commit various violations of the law. If you make an unsparing campaign against them, you might leave scarcely one man unpunished. But if you humanely mingle consideration with the strict command of the law, you may perhaps bring them to their senses. For the law, though necessarily severe in its punishments, can not always conquer nature. Some men, if permitted to think they are unobserved, or if moderately admonished, improve, some through shame at being discovered and others through fear of failure the next time. Whereas when they are openly denounced and throw compunction to the winds, or where they are chastised beyond measure, they overturn and trample under foot all law and order and obey slavishly the impulses of their nature. Therefore it is not easy to discipline all of them nor is it fitting to allow some of them to continue publicly their outrageous conduct.
"This is the way I advise you to treat people's offences, except the very desperate cases: and you should honor even beyond the deserts of the deed whatever they do rightly. In this way you can best make them refrain from baser conduct by kindliness and cause them to aim at what is better by liberality. Have no dread that either money or other means of rewarding those who do well will ever fail you. I think those deserving of good treatment will prove far fewer than the rewards, since you are lord of so much land and sea. And fear not that any who are benefited will commit some act of ingratitude. Nothing so captivates and conciliates any one, be he foreigner or be he foe, as freedom from wrongs and likewise kindly treatment.
[-35-] "This is the attitude which I urge you to assume toward others. For your own part allow no extraordinary or overweening distinction to be given you through word or deed by the senate or by anybody else. To others honor which you confer lends adornment, but to your own self nothing can be given that is greater than what you already have, and it would arouse no little suspicion of failure in straightforwardness. None of the ordinary people willingly approves of having any such distinction voted to the man in power. As he receives everything of the kind from himself, he not only obtains no praise for it but becomes a laughing-stock instead. Any additional brilliance, then, you must create for yourself by your good deeds. Never permit gold or silver images of yourself to be made; they are not only costly, but they give rise to plots and last but a brief time: you must build in the very hearts of men others out of benefits conferred, which shall be both unalloyed and undying. Again, do not ever allow a temple to be raised to yourself. Large amounts of money are spent uselessly on such objects, which had better be laid out upon necessary improvements. Great wealth is gathered not so much by acquiring a great deal as by not spending a great deal. Nor does a temple contribute anything to any one's glory. Excellence raises many men to the level of the gods, but nobody ever yet was made a god by show of hands. Hence if you are upright and rule well, the whole earth will be your precinct, all cities your temple, all mankind your statues. In their thoughts you will ever be enshrined and surrounded by good repute. Those who administer their power in any other way are not only not magnified by sites and edifices of worship, though these be the choicest in all the cities, but erect for themselves therein mute detractors which become trophies of their baseness, memorials of their injustice. And the longer these last, the more steadfastly does the ill-repute of such sovereigns abide. [-36-] Therefore if you desire to become in very truth immortal, act in this way; and further, reverence the Divine Power yourself everywhere in every way, following our fathers' belief, and compel others to honor it. Those who introduce strange ideas about it you should both hate and punish, not only for the sake of the gods (because if a man despises them he will esteem naught else sacred) but because such persons by bringing in new divinities persuade many to adopt foreign principles of law. As a result conspiracies, factions, and clubs arise which are far from desirable under a monarchy. Accordingly, do not grant any atheist or charlatan the right to be at large. The art of soothsaying is a necessary one and you should by all means appoint some men to be diviners and augurs, to whom people can resort who desire to consult them on any matter; but there ought to be no workers of magic at all. Such men tell partly truth but mostly lies, and frequently inspire many of their followers to rebel. The same thing is true of many who pretend to be philosophers. Hence I urge you to be on your guard against them. Do not, because you have come in contact with such thoroughly admirable men as Areus and Athenodorus, think that all the rest who say they are philosophers are like them. Some use this profession as a screen to work untold harm to both populace and individuals.
[-37-] "Your spirit, then, because you have no desire for anything more than you possess, ought to be most peaceful, whereas your equipment should be most warlike, in order that no one ordinarily may either wish or try to harm you, but if he should, that he may be punished easily and instantly. For these and other reasons it is requisite for some persons to keep their ears and eyes open to everything appertaining to your position of authority, in order that you may not fail to notice anything which needs guarding against or setting right. Remember, however, that you must not trust merely to all they say, but investigate their words carefully. There are many who, some through hatred of certain persons, others out of desire for what they possess, or as a favor to some one, or because they ask money and do not receive it, oppress others under the pretext that the latter are rebellious or are guilty of harboring some design or uttering some statement against the supreme ruler. Therefore it is not right to pay immediate or ready attention to them, but to enquire into absolutely everything. If you are slow in believing anybody, you will suffer no great harm, but if you are hasty, you may make a mistake which can not easily be repaired.
"Now it is both right and necessary for you to honor the excellent both among the freedmen and among the rest of your associates. This will afford you great renown and security. They must, however not have any extraordinary powers but all carefully moderate their conduct, that so you may not be ill spoken of through them. For everything they do, whether well or ill, will be accredited to you, and the estimate of yourself to be made by all men will depend upon what you permit these persons to do.
"Do not, then, allow the influential either to make unjust gains or to concern themselves with blackmail: and let no one be complained of for 'having influence', even if he is otherwise irreproachable. Defend the masses vigorously when they are wronged and do not attend too easily to accusations against them. Examine every deed on its merits, not being suspicious of every one who is prominent nor believing every one who is lower in the social scale. Those who are active and are the authors of any useful device you must honor, but the idle or such as busy themselves with petty foolishness you must hate. Thus your subjects will be inclined to the former conduct because of the benefits attached and will refrain from the latter on account of the penalties, and will become better as individuals and more serviceable for your employment in the public service.
"It is an excellent achievement also to render private disputes as few as possible and their settlement as rapid as may be. But it is best of all to cut short the impetuosity of communities, and, if under guise of some appeals to your sovereignty and safety and good fortune they undertake to use force upon anybody or to undertake exploits or expenditures that are beyond their power, not to permit it. You should abolish altogether their enmities and rivalries among themselves and not authorize them to create any empty titles or anything else which will breed differences between them. All will readily obey you both in this and in every other matter, private and public, if you never permit any one to transgress this rule. Non-enforcement of laws makes null and void even wisely framed precepts. Consequently you should not allow persons to ask for what you are not accustomed to give. Try to compel them to avoid diligently this very practice of petitioning for something prohibited. This is what I have to say on that subject.
[-38-] "I advise you never to make use of your authority against all the citizens at once nor to deem it in any way curtailed if you do not do absolutely everything that is within your power. But in proportion as you are able to carry out all your wishes, you must be anxious to wish only what is proper, make always a self-examination, to see whether what you are doing is right or not, what conduct will cause people to love you, and what not, in order that you may perform the one set of acts and avoid the other. Do not admit the thought that you will sufficiently escape the reputation of acting contrary to this rule, if only you hear no one censuring you; and do not look for any one to be so mad as to reproach you openly for anything. No one would do this, not even if he should be violently wronged. Quite the reverse,—many are compelled in public to praise their oppressors, and while engaged in opposition not to manifest their wrath. The ruler must infer the disposition of people not from what they say but from the way it is natural for them to feel.
[-39-] "This and a similar policy is the one I wish you to pursue. I pass over many matters because it is not feasible to speak of them all at one time and within present limits. One suggestion therefore I will make to sum up both previous remarks and whatever is lacking. If you yourself by your own motion do whatever you would wish some one else who ruled you to do, you will make no mistakes and will be always successful, and consequently your life will be most pleasant and free from danger. How can all fail to regard you and to love you as father and preserver, when they see you are orderly, leading a good life, good at warfare, but a man of peace: when you are not wanton, do not defraud: when you meet them on a footing of equality, and do not yourself grow rich while demanding money from others: are not yourself given to luxury while imposing hardships upon others: are not yourself unbridled while reproving others: when, instead, your life in every way without exception is precisely like theirs? Be of good cheer, for you have in your own hands a great safeguard by never wronging another. And believe me when I tell you that you will never be the object of hatred or plots. Since this is so, you must quite inevitably lead a pleasant life. What is pleasanter, what is more conducive to prosperity, than to enjoy in a rightful way all the blessings among men and to have the power of granting them to others?
[-40-] "With this in mind, together with all the rest that I have told you, heed my advice and let not that fortune slip which has chosen you out of all and set you at the head of all. If you would choose the substance of monarch but fear the name of 'kingdom' as accursed, then refrain from taking possession of the latter and be satisfied to employ merely the title of 'Caesar.' If you need any further appellations, they will give you that of Imperator, as they gave it to your father. They will reverence you also by still another name, so that you may obtain all the advantages of a kingdom without the disfavor that attaches to the term itself."
[-41-] Maecenas thus brought his speech to an end. Caesar thanked them both heartily for their many ideas, the exhaustiveness of their exposition, and their frankness. He rather inclined, however, to the proposition of Maecenas. Yet he did not immediately put into practice all of the other's suggestions, for fear that he might meet with some setback if he wanted to reform men in multitudes. So he made some changes for the better at once and others later. He left some things also for those who should come to the head of the State afterward to do, as might be found more opportune in the progress of time. Agrippa cooeperated with him in all his projects quite zealously, in spite of having stated a contrary opinion, just as if he had been the one to propose the plan. Caesar did this and what I have recorded earlier in the narrative in that year when he was consul for the seventh time, and added the title of Imperator. I do not refer to the title anciently granted some persons for victories,—this he received many times before and many times later for his deeds themselves, so that he had the name of imperator twenty-one times,—but to the other one which signifies supreme power, just as they had voted to his father Caesar and to the children and descendants of the same.
[-42-] After this he entered upon a censorship with Agrippa and besides setting aright some other business he investigated the senate. Many knights and many foot-soldiers, too, who did not deserve it were in the senate as a result of the civil wars, so that the total of that body amounted to a thousand. These he wished to remove, but did not himself erase any of their names, urging them to become their own judges out of the consciousness of their family and their life. So first he persuaded fifty of them to retire voluntarily from the assemblage and then compelled one hundred and forty others to imitate their example. He disenfranchised none of them, but posted the names of the second division. In the case of the first, because they had not delayed but had straightway obeyed him, he remitted the reproach and their identity was not made public. These accordingly returned willingly to private life. He ousted Quintus Statilius, very much against the latter's will, from the tribuneship to which he had been appointed. Some others he made senators, and he counted among the ex-consuls two men of the senatorial class,—a certain Cluvius and Gaius Furnius,—because they had been appointed first, though certain others had taken possession of their offices so that they were unable to become consuls. He added to the class of patricians, the senate allowing him to do this because most of its members had perished. No element is exhausted so fast in civil wars as the nobility or is deemed to be so necessary for the continuance of ancestral customs. In addition to the above measures he forbade all persons in the senate to go outside of Italy, unless he himself should order or permit any one of them to do so. This custom is still kept up at the present day. Except that he may visit Sicily and Gallia Narbonensis no senator is allowed to go anywhere out of the country. As these regions are close at hand and the population is unarmed and peaceful, those who have any possessions there have been granted the right to take trips to them as often as they like, without asking leave.—Since also he saw that many of the senators and of the others who had been devoted to Antony still maintained an attitude of suspicion toward him, and as he was afraid they might cause some uprising, he announced that all the letters found in his rival's chest had been burned. Some of them as a matter of fact had perished, but the majority of them he took pains to preserve and did not even hesitate to use them later.
[-43-] Besides these acts related he also settled Carthage anew, because Lepidus had laid waste a part of it and for that reason he maintained that the colonists' rights of settlement had been abrogated. He summoned Antiochus of Commagene to appear before him because this prince had treacherously slain an envoy despatched to Rome by his brother, who was at variance with him. Caesar brought him before the senate, where he was condemned and the sentence of death imposed. Capreae was also obtained from the Neapolitans, to whom it had anciently belonged, in exchange for other land. It lies not far from the mainland opposite Surrentum and is good for nothing but has a name even now on account of Tiberius's sojourn there.—These were the events of that period.
[Footnote 1: Reading [Greek: anagchastae] (Boissevain)]
[Footnote 2: The same Strabo who is mentioned in the early part of chapter 28, Book Forty-four.]
[Footnote 3: There is a gap here in the Greek text. The conclusion of Agrippa'a speech is missing, as is also the earlier portion of Maecenas's, with some brief preface thereto. In the next chapter we are full in the midst of the opposite argument,—in favor, namely, of the assumption of supreme power by Octavius Caesar.]
[Footnote 4: Cobet prefers to read "fearlessly" (substituting [Greek: hadeos] for [Greek: aedeos]).]
[Footnote 5: Dio seems here to be imitating, in his phraseology, Thukydides (VII, 25). The proper reading is [Greek: peri herma] (two words), not [Greek: perierma] as in some of the MSS.]
[Footnote 6: Dindorf's reading (Greek: gunaichon te ton prosaechouson autois).]
[Footnote 7: Compare Suetonius, Augustus, chapter 37. In practice there were six of them,—three to nominate senators, and three to make a review of the knights.]
[Footnote 8: Here some words have evidently fallen out of the text.]
[Footnote 9: Reading [Greek: hapo] with Dindorf.]
[Footnote 10: Reading [Greek: archousi] (MSS. and Boissevain) instead of [Greek: archomenois] (Xylander).]
[Footnote 11: Adopting Boissevain's reading (Greek: diagein estai).]
[Footnote 12: A reference particularly to the ludi Capitolini, founded by Domitian.]
[Footnote 13: Latin, praefectus annonae.]
[Footnote 14: Latin, praefectus vigilum.]
DIO'S ROMAN HISTORY
The following is contained in the Fifty-third of Dio's Rome:
How the temple of Apollo on the Palatine was consecrated (chapters 1, 2).
How Caesar delivered in the senate a speech as if retiring from the sovereignty; and thereafter assigned to that body its proper provinces (chapters 3-12).
About the appointment of the governors sent to the provinces (chapters 13-15).
How Caesar was given the title of Augustus (chapter 16).
About the names which the emperors assume (chapters 17-22).
How the Saepta were consecrated (chapters 23, 24).
How Caesar fought against Astures and Cantabri (chapter 25).
How Gaul began to be governed Romans (chapter 26).
How the Portico of Neptune and the Baths of Agrippa were dedicated (chapter 27).
How the Pantheon was dedicated (chapter 27).
How Augustus was released from the obligation of obeying the laws (chapter 28).
How an expedition was made into Arabia Felix (chapters 29-33).
Duration of time six years, in which there were the following magistrates here enumerated.
Caesar (VI), M. Vipsanius L.F. Agrippa (II). (B.C. 28 = a. u. 726.)
Caesar (VII), M. Vipsanius L.F. Agrippa (III). (B.C. 27 = a. u. 727.)
Caesar Augustus (VIII), T. Statilius T.F. Taurus (II). (B.C. 26 = a. u. 728.)
Augustus (IX), M. lunius M.F. Silanus. (B.C. 25 = a. u. 729.)
Augustus (X), C. Norbanus C.F.C.N. Flaccus. (B.C. 24 = a. u. 730.)
Augustus (XI), Cn. Calpurnius Cn.F.Cn.N. Piso. (B.C. 23 = a. u. 731.)
(BOOK 53, BOISSEVAIN.)
[B.C. 28 (a. u. 726)]
[-1-] The following year Caesar held office for the sixth time and did everything according to the usage approved from very early times, delivering to Agrippa his colleague the bundles of rods which belonged to an incumbent of the consulship, while he himself used the others. On completing his term he had the oath administered according to ancestral custom. Whether he ever did this again I do not know. Agrippa he honored exceedingly, even going so far as to give him his niece in marriage and to provide him with a tent similar to his own whenever they went on a campaign together; and the watchword was given by both of them. At that particular time besides attending to the ordinary run of business he finished the taking of the census, in which he was called Princeps Senatus, as had been deemed proper under the real democracy. He further completed and dedicated the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, the precinct surrounding it, and the stores of books. And he celebrated in company with Agrippa the festival in honor of the victory won at Actium, which had been voted: in it he had the horse-race between boys and between men of the nobility. This celebration every five years, as long as it lasted, was in charge of the four priesthoods in succession,—I mean the pontifices and augurs and the so-called septemviri and quindecimviri. A gymnastic contest was also held at that time,—a wooden stadium being built in the Campus Martius,—and there was an armed combat of captives. This continued for several days without a break, in spite of Caesar's falling sick; for even so Agrippa filled his place.
[-2-] Caesar spent some of his private means upon the festivals, and when money was needed for the public treasury he borrowed it and supplied the want. For the management of this branch of the service he ordered two annual magistrates to be chosen from among the ex-praetors. To the populace he distributed a quadruple allowance of grain and made a present of money to some of the senators. For many of them had grown so poor as not to be willing to be even aedile on account of the great expenses. Moreover the courts which belonged to the aedileship were to be assigned to the praetors as had been the custom, the more important to the praetor urbanus and the others to the praetor peregrinus. Again, he himself appointed the praetor urbanus, as he often did subsequently. The pledges deposited with the public treasury before the battle of Actium he released, save any that involved house property, and burned the old acknowledgments of those who owed the State anything. Egyptian rites he did not admit within the pomerium, but paid great attention to the temples of Egyptian deities. Such as had been built by private individuals he ordered their children and descendants, if any survived, to repair, and the rest he restored himself. He did not, however, appropriate the credit for their building but allowed it to rest with those who had originally constructed them. And since very many unlawful and unjust ordinances had been passed during the internecine strifes and in the wars, and particularly in the dual reign of Antony and Lepidus, he abolished them all by one promulgation, setting his sixth consulship as the limit of their existence. As he obtained approbation and praise for this act he desired to exhibit another instance of magnanimity, that by such a policy he might be honored the more and that his supremacy might be voluntarily confirmed by the people, which would enable him to avoid the appearance of having forced them against their will. As a consequence, after apprising those senators with whom he was most intimate of his designs, he entered the senatorial body in his seventh consulship and read the following document.
[B.C. 27 (a. u. 727)]
[-3-] "I am sure that I shall seem to some of you, Conscript Fathers, to have made an incredible choice. For what each one of my hearers would not wish to do himself, he does not like to believe when another states it as accomplished. This is chiefly because every one is jealous of every one who surpasses him and is more or less inclined to distrust anything said that is higher than his own standard. Moreover I know this, that those who make apparently untrustworthy statements not only persuade nobody but further have the appearance of cheats. And, indeed, if it were a case of announcing something that I was not intending to do immediately, I should hesitate very much about making it public, for fear of obtaining some unworthy charge against me instead of gratitude. But, as it is, when the performance will follow the promise this very day, I feel entirely confident not only of avoiding any shame for prevarication but of surpassing all mankind in good repute. [-4-] You all see that I am so situated that I could rule you perpetually. All the revolutionists either have been disciplined and been made to halt or have had pity shown them and so have come to their senses. My helpers have been made devoted by a recompense of benefits and steadfast by a participation in the government: therefore they do not desire any political innovations, and if anything of the sort should take place, the men to assist me are even more ready for it than the instigators of rebellion. My military is in prime condition, we have good-will, strength, money, and allies, and chiefest of all you and the people are so disposed toward me that you would be quite willing to have me at your head. However, I will lead you no longer, nor shall any one say that all the acts of my previous career have been with the object of sole rulership. I give up the entire domain, and I restore to you absolutely everything,—the arms, the laws, and the provinces,—not only all those which you committed to me but also all that I myself subsequently acquired for you. Thus by my deeds themselves you may ascertain that I did not from the outset desire any position of power, but wished in very truth to avenge my father cruelly murdered and to extricate the city from great and continuous evils. [-5-] I would that I had never taken charge of affairs even to the present extent. That is, I would that the city had never needed me for any such purpose, but that we of this age had from the outset lived in peace and harmony as our fathers once did. But since an inflexible fate, as it seems, brought you to a place where there was need even of me, though I was still young, and I was put to the test, I was always ready to labor zealously at everything even beyond what was expected of my years, so long as the situation demanded my help, and I accomplished everything with good fortune, even surpassing my powers. There was not one consideration out of all that might be cited which could turn me from aiding you when you were in danger, not toil or fear or threats of foes or prayers of friends or the numbers of the confederates or the desperation of our adversaries. I gave myself to you unsparingly for all the tasks that fell to our lot, and my performances and sufferings you know. From it I myself have derived no gain except that I caused my country to survive, but you are both preserved and in your sober senses. Since, then, the gracious act of Fortune has restored to you by my hands peace without treachery and harmony without turmoil, receive back also liberty and democracy. Take possession of the arms and the subject nations, and conduct the government as has been your wont.
[-6-] "You should not be surprised at my attitude when you see my right conduct in other ways, my mildness and freedom from meddling, and reflect moreover that I have never accepted any extraordinary privilege, beyond what the majority might gain, though you have often voted many of them to me. Do not, again, condemn me for folly because, when it is in my power to rule over you and hold so great a sovereignty over this great world, I am unwilling. Examining the merits of the situation I deem it most just for you to manage your own affairs: examining the advantages, I regard it as most advantageous to myself to be free from trouble, from jealousy, from plots, and for you to conduct a free government with moderation and love: examining where the glory lies (for the sake of which men often choose to enter war and danger), will it not add most to my reputation to resign so great a dominion? Will it not be most glorious to leave so exalted a sovereignty and voluntarily become a plain citizen? So if any one of you doubts that any one else could show true moderation in this and bring himself to speak out, let him at all events believe me. For, though I could recite many great benefits which have been conferred upon you by me and by my father for which you would naturally love and honor us above all the rest, I could say nothing greater and I should take pride in nothing else more than this, that he would not accept the monarchy which you strove to give him, and that I, holding it, lay it aside.
[-7-] "What need to set side by side his separate exploits,—the conquest of Gaul, the subduing of Moesia, the subjugation of Egypt, the enslaving of Pannonia? Or again Pharnaces, Juba, Phraates, the campaign against the Britons, the crossing of the Rhine? Yet these are greater and more important deeds than all our forefathers performed in all previous time. Still, any of these accomplishments scarcely deserves a place beside my present act, nor yet, indeed, does the fact that the civil wars, the greatest and most diverse that have occurred in the history of man, we fought to a successful finish, and that we made humane terms, overcoming all who withstood us, as enemies, and saving alive all who yielded, as friends; (so that if our city should ever again be fated to suffer from disaffection, we might pray that the quarrel should follow this same course). For that in spite of our possessing such great power and standing at the summit of excellence and good fortune so that we might govern you willing or unwilling, we should neither lose our heads nor desire sole supremacy, but that instead he should reject it when offered and I return it when given is a superhuman achievement. I speak in this way not for idle boasting,—I should not have said it at all if I were to derive any advantage whatever from it,—but in order that you may see that whereas there are many public benefits to our credit and we have in private many lofty titles, we take greatest pride in this, that what others desire to gain even by doing violence to their neighbors we surrender without any compulsion.
[-8-] Who could be found more magnanimous than I (not to mention again my father deceased) or whose conduct more godlike? With so many fine soldiers at my back and citizens and allies (O Jupiter and Hercules!), that love me, supreme over the entire sea within the Pillars of Hercules except a very few tribes, possessing both cities and provinces on all the continents, at a time when there is no longer any foreign enemy opposing me and there is no disturbance at home, but you all are at peace, harmonious and strong, and greatest of all are willingly obedient,—under such conditions I voluntarily, of my own motion, resign so great a dominion and alienate so vast a property. For if Horatius, Mucius, Curtius, Regulus, the Decii wished to encounter danger and death with the object of seeming to have done a great and noble deed, why should I not even more desire to do this as a result of which I shall while alive excel both them and all the rest of mankind in glory? No one of you should think that whereas the ancient Romans pursued excellence and good repute, all manliness has now become extinct in the city. Again, do not entertain a suspicion that I wish to betray you and confide you to any base fellows or expose you to mob rule, from which nothing good but all the most terrible evils always result to mankind. Upon you, upon you, the most excellent and prudent, I lay all public interests. The other course I should never have followed, had it been necessary for me to die or even to become monarch ten thousand times. This policy I adopt for my own good and for that of the city. I myself have undergone both labors and hardships and I can no longer hold out either in mind or in body. Furthermore I foresee the jealousy and hatred which rises in the breasts of some against the best men, and the plots which result from those feelings; and for that reason I choose rather to be a private citizen with glory than to be a monarch in danger. And the public business would be managed much better if carried on publicly and by many people at once than if it were dependent upon any one man.