Book 39: The Bacchanalia in Rome and Italy
[39.1]While these incidents were occurring in Rome - if indeed they did occur in this year - both consuls were engaged in war with the Ligurians. That enemy seemed born to keep up the military discipline of the Romans in the intervals between the more important wars; no other field of operations did more to whet the soldiers' courage. In Asia the pleasures of city life, the ample supply of luxuries furnished by land and sea, the effeminacy of the enemy, and the princely wealth had enriched the armies instead of making them more efficient. Especially under the command of Manlius they became careless and undisciplined, and so the somewhat rougher march through Thrace and a more warlike enemy gave them a much-needed lesson through severe defeat. In Liguria there was everything to try a soldier's mettle; a rough and difficult country, mountainous heights which it cost the men as much labour to secure for themselves as it did to dislodge the enemy from them; steep narrow roads where there was always the danger of an ambush; an enemy lightly armed, rapid in his movements, sudden in his onset, who never allowed any place or hour to remain quiet and undisturbed. Any attack on a fortified position involved much toil and danger; there was but little to be got out of the country, and the soldiers were reduced to scanty food, as they could secure very little plunder. Consequently, there were no camp-followers, no extended line of baggage animals; there was nothing beyond the arms and the men who depended solely upon them. Occasions of fighting were never lacking, for the natives driven by their poverty were in the habit of raiding their neighbours' fields; they never, however, engaged in a pitched battle.
[39.2]The consul C. Flaminius, after several successful actions with the Ligurian Freniates, accepted their surrender and disarmed them. As they evaded this demand, he took severe measures with them, on which they abandoned their villages and took refuge on Mt. Auginus, the consul following in close pursuit. In scattered parties, mostly without arms, they fled precipitately over trackless and rocky ground, where their enemy could not follow them, and in this way escaped across the Apennines. Those who had held to their camp were surrounded and driven out. The legions were then led across the Apennines. The Gauls were protected for a short time by the mountain height which they had occupied, but they soon made their surrender. This time there was a closer search made for arms and they were all secured. From them the war was transferred to the Apuani, whose continual incursions into the territories of Pisa and Bononia made any cultivation of the soil impossible. The consul thoroughly vanquished these also and so brought peace to their neighbours. Now that the province was brought from a state of war into one of peace and quiet, he determined that his soldiers should not be kept in idleness, so he employed them in constructing a road from Bononia to Arretium. The other consul, M. Aemilius, destroyed and burnt the farms and villages of the Ligurians who dwelt in the lowland country the inhabitants having previously fled and taken possession of the heights of Ballista and Suismontium. He then attacked them on the mountains, harassing them with skirmishes, and at last forcing them into a regular engagement, in which he completely defeated them. During the battle he vowed a temple to Diana. As all the tribes south of the Apennines were now subjugated, Aemilius advanced against those on the other side of the range, including those of the Freniates with whom C. Flaminius had not been in touch. He reduced them all to submission, deprived them of their arms and brought down the whole population from the mountains into the plains. After establishing peace in Liguria he led his army into Gaul and made a road from Placentia to Ariminum to join the Via Flaminia. In the last pitched battle he fought in Liguria he vowed a temple to Queen Juno. These were the events of the year in Liguria.
[39.3]In Gaul all was peaceful, but the praetor M. Furius, anxious to make it appear as though he were engaged in war, deprived the unoffending Cenomani of their arms. They sent to Rome to complain and were referred by the senate to Aemilius, who was empowered to investigate the case. There was a long and heated debate with the praetor, but they maintained their ground throughout, and Furius was ordered to restore their arms and leave his province. The senate then gave audience to the deputations who had come from all the cities and colonies of the Latin allies. Their grievance was that a large number of their citizens had migrated to Rome and were placed on the census there. Q. Terentius Culleo, one of the praetors, was charged with the task of finding them out, and whoever was proved to have been registered at home during the censorship of C. Claudius and M. Livius or their successors, he was to order his return to the city in which he had been registered; 12,000 Latins returned in consequence to their homes. Even then the City was overcrowded by the multitude of immigrants.
[39.4]Before the consuls returned to Rome M. Fulvius came back from Aetolia. He had an audience of the senate in the temple of Apollo and gave a detailed report of his operations in Aetolia and Cephallenia. He then asked the senate to pass a resolution that it was right and proper, in consideration of the success and good fortune with which he had served the State, that honours should be paid to the immortal gods and that a triumph should be decreed to him. M. Albutius, one of the tribunes of the plebs, declared his intention of vetoing any decree which should be passed before the arrival of M. Aemilius. The consul had wished to speak against it, and on his departure for his province had charged him, the tribune, to reserve all discussion of the question till his return. Fulvius, he argued, would lose nothing by the delay; even when the consul was present, the senate would decree what it wished. To this Fulvius replied: "Even if Aemilius' hostility to him and the arbitrary and dictatorial temper he showed towards his opponents were not a matter of common knowledge, still it would be intolerable that an absent consul should stand in the way of honour being paid to the immortal gods and should delay a triumph which was well earned and justly due, or that a general who had achieved brilliant success should be standing before the gate of the City with his victorious army and the spoils of war and the prisoners until the consul, who was for this very purpose delaying his movements, should please to return to Rome. But as a matter of fact his differences with the consul were notorious. What fair dealing could any one look for from the man who in a thinly attended and secret meeting of the senate got a resolution carried and deposited in the treasury in the temple of Saturn stating that there was no evidence that Ambracia had been carried by assault. Why, that city was besieged by agger and vineae, and when the siege-works were burnt, new ones were constructed; for fifteen days fighting went on there round the walls above ground and below, and even when the soldiers had surmounted the walls, there was a long and doubtful struggle from early dawn till nightfall; more than 3000 of the enemy were slain. What was that malicious story which he told the pontiffs about the spoliation of the temples of the gods in the captured city? Unless, indeed, we are to suppose that whilst the adornments of Syracuse and other captured cities may decorate the City, this right of war does not hold in the solitary case of Ambracia." He implored the senators and begged the tribune not to make him an object of derision to his insolent enemy. The senators were with him to a man; some tried to persuade the tribune to forgo his veto, others assailed him with bitter reproaches.
[39.5]But it was the speech of his colleague, Tiberius Gracchus, that produced the greatest effect. He said that for a man to use his official position as the instrument of his own personal animosities was in any case setting a bad precedent, but for a tribune of the plebs to become the agent of another man's vindictiveness was a disgraceful proceeding quite unworthy of the power and inviolability of the college of tribunes. Each man ought to judge for himself whom to love and whom to hate, what actions to approve of and what to disapprove of; he must not wait upon another man's look or nod, nor must he be driven hither and thither by the motives which sway another man's mind. A tribune who becomes the tool of an angry consul and is careful to remember what M. Aemilius entrusted to him privately, forgets that the tribuneship was entrusted to him publicly by the people of Rome, and entrusted to him for the protection and liberty of private citizens, not for the defence of an autocratic consul. Albutius does not see that it will go down to posterity that of two members of the same college of tribunes one subordinated his private quarrels to the interests of the State, the other took up a quarrel which was not even a private one, but was entrusted to him by some one else. Smarting under this castigation the tribune left the senate-house, and on the proposal of Ser. Sulpicius a triumph was decreed to M. Fulvius. He thanked the senators and went on to tell them that on the day he took Ambracia he had vowed to exhibit the Great Games in honour of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, and that a hundred pounds of gold had been contributed by the cities for this purpose. Out of the money which he was going to place in the treasury after it had been borne in the triumph, he requested the senate to order that this hundred pounds of gold should be set apart. The senate ordered the question to be referred to the college of pontiffs whether it was necessary that all that gold should be spent on the Games. They replied that no question of religion arose as to what amount should be spent on the Games, and the senate consequently allowed Fulvius to spend what he liked on the Games as long as it did not exceed 80,000 sesterces.
Fulvius had fixed the date of his triumph in January but, on learning that M. Aemilius had received a letter from Albutius stating that he had withdrawn his opposition and had himself at once started for Rome to stop the triumph, but was detained on his journey by sickness, he fixed an earlier date, for he was afraid there might be more serious conflicts over the triumph than during the war. It was on December 23 that he celebrated his triumph over the Aetolians and the Cephallenians. Before his chariot were carried golden crowns weighing in all 112 pounds, 1083 pounds of silver, 243 pounds of gold, 118,000 Attic tetrachmas and 12,422 "philippei"; 780 brazen statues and 230 marble statues. There was a large quantity of armour, weapons and all other spoil taken from the enemy, as well as catapults, ballistae, and every kind of artillery. The generals led in the procession - Aetolian, Caphallenian and those of Antiochus left behind in Aetolia - numbered seven and twenty. Before he actually entered the City, Fulvius bestowed rewards on many of the military tribunes, prefects, cavalrymen and centurions, both those in the Roman army and in the allied contingents. Out of the booty he gave to each private soldier 25 denarii, double the amount to each centurion, and three times as much to each cavalryman.
[39.6]The time for the consular elections was now at hand, and as M. Aemilius, to whom the task of conducting them had been assigned, was unable to undertake it, C. Flaminius went to Rome for the purpose. The consuls elected were Spurius Postumius Albinus and Q. Marcius Philippus. The new praetors were T. Maenius, P. Cornelius Sulla, C. Calpurnius Piso, M. Licinius Lucullus, C. Aurelius Scaurus and L. Quinctius Crispinus. At the close of the year, after the new magistrates had been appointed, Cneius Manlius Vulso celebrated his triumph over the Asiatic Gauls. The reason why he deferred his triumph to so late a date was his anxiety to avoid a prosecution under the Petillian Law whilst Q. Terentius Culleo was praetor, and the possibility of being caught by the flames of the verdict which condemned Scipio. He thought the judges would be even more hostile to him than they had been to Scipio owing to reports which had reached Rome of his allowing the soldiers every kind of licence and completely destroying the discipline which his predecessor Scipio had maintained. Nor were the stories of what had gone on in his province far away from men's eyes the only things that discredited him. Still worse things were witnessed amongst his soldiers every day' for it was through the army serving in Asia that the beginnings of foreign luxury were introduced into the City. These men brought into Rome for the first time, bronze couches, costly coverlets, tapestry, and other fabrics, and - what was at that time considered gorgeous furniture - pedestal tables and silver salvers. Banquets were made more attractive by the presence of girls who played on the harp and sang and danced, and by other forms of amusement, and the banquets themselves began to be prepared with greater care and expense. The cook whom the ancients regarded and treated as the lowest menial was rising in value, and what had been a servile office came to be looked upon as a fine art. Still what met the eye in those days was hardly the germ of the luxury that was coming.
[39.7]In his triumph Cn. Manlius had borne before him 200 golden crowns, each weighing 12 pounds, 220,000 pounds weight of silver, 2103 pounds of gold, 127,000 Attic tetrachmas, 250 cistophori, 16,320 golden coins of Philip's mintage, and a large quantity of arms and spoils taken from the Gauls, which were carried in wagons. Fifty-two of the enemy leaders were marched before his chariot. He distributed amongst the soldiers 42 denarii for each legionary, twice as much for the centurions, and three times as much for the cavalry, and double pay for all. Many of those who followed his chariot had received military rewards, and it was clear from the songs which the soldiers sang that they addressed him as an indulgent general who sought their goodwill, and that it was his popularity with the soldiers rather than with the people that lent lustre to his triumph. But the friends of Manlius succeeded in winning the favour of the people also; by their efforts a resolution was passed in the senate ordering that so much of the soldiers' stipends contributed by the people as had not yet been paid should be paid out of the money borne in the triumphal procession. The quaestors, making a true and just valuation, paid back 25 1/2 for every 1000 ases. Just at this time two military tribunes arrived with despatches from C. Atinius and L. Manlius, who were commanding in Hither and Further Spain. It appeared that the Celtiberi and Lusitanians were in arms and were ravaging the lands of the friendly tribes. The senate left the new magistrates to deal with the situation. Whilst the Roman Games were being celebrated this year by P. Cornelius Cethegus and A. Postumius Albinus, a pole insecurely fixed on the race-course fell on the statue of Pollentia and threw it down. This was regarded as an omen, and the senate decided that the Games should be celebrated for one day longer, and that two statues should be erected in place of the one that had fallen, one of them to be gilded. The Plebeian Games were exhibited for one day by the aediles C. Sempronius Blaesus and M. Furius Luscus.
[39.8]During the following year the consuls Sp. Postumius Albinus and Q. Marcius Philippus had their attention diverted from the army and the wars, and the administration of provinces, by the necessity of putting down a domestic conspiracy. The provinces were allotted to the praetors as follows: the civic jurisdiction to T. Maenius, the alien to M. Licinius Lucullus, Sardinia to C. Aurelius Scaurus, Sicily to P. Cornelius Sulla, Hither Spain to L. Q. Crispinus, and Further Spain to C. Calpurnius Piso. Both the consuls were charged with the investigation into the secret conspiracies. A low-born Greek went into Etruria first of all, but did not bring with him any of the numerous arts which that most accomplished of all nations has introduced amongst us for the cultivation of mind and body. He was a hedge-priest and wizard, not one of those who imbue men's minds with error by professing to teach their superstitions openly for money, but a hierophant of secret nocturnal mysteries. At first these were divulged to only a few; then they began to spread amongst both men and women, and the attractions of wine and feasting increased the number of his followers. When they were heated with wine and the nightly commingling of men and women, those of tender age with their seniors, had extinguished all sense of modesty, debaucheries of every kind commenced; each had pleasures at hand to satisfy the lust he was most prone to. Nor was the mischief confined to the promiscuous intercourse of men and women; false witness, the forging of seals and testaments, and false informations, all proceeded from the same source, as also poisonings and murders of families where the bodies could not even be found for burial. Many crimes were committed by treachery; most by violence, which was kept secret, because the cries of those who were being violated or murdered could not be heard owing to the noise of drums and cymbals.
[39.9]This pestilential evil penetrated from Etruria to Rome like a contagious disease. At first, the size and extent of the City allowing more scope and impunity for such mischiefs, served to conceal them, but information at length reached the consul, mainly through the following channel. P. Aebutius, whose father had served in the cavalry and was dead, had been left under guardians. On their death he had been brought up under the care of his mother Duronia and his stepfather T. Sempronius Rutilus. The mother was completely in her husband's hands; and as the stepfather had so exercised his guardianship that he was not in a position to give a proper account for it, he was anxious that his ward should either be put out of the way or placed at his mercy through his getting some hold upon him. One way of corrupting the youth's morals was through the Bacchanalia. The mother told the youth that she had made a vow on his behalf during an illness, namely, that as soon as he recovered she would initiate him into the Bacchic mysteries, and in that way would through the kindness of the gods discharge the vow by which she was bound. He must preserve his chastity for ten days, then after supper on the tenth day she would take him to a place set apart for the rite of initiation.
There was a freedwoman named Hispala Fecenia who, though she was a courtesan, was worthy of better things than the gains to which she had been accustomed from her girlhood, and by which she supported herself even after she had been manumitted. As their houses were near one another, an intimacy had sprung up between her and Aebutius, which was in no way injurious to either his reputation or his purse. She sought his company and his love unsolicited, and as his parents kept him close in every way, he was maintained by the girl's generosity. Her passion for him had gone so far that after her guardian had died, and she was no longer a ward, she begged the tribunes and the praetor to appoint a guardian for her. Then she could make a will and she constituted Aebutius her sole heir.
[39.10]With these proofs of her love they had no secrets from each other, and the youth told her in a jocular tone not to be surprised if he absented himself from her for some nights; he had a religious duty to perform, the discharge of a vow made while he was ill, and he intended therefore to be initiated into the Bacchic mysteries. On hearing this she was terribly upset and exclaimed, "Heaven forbid. Better for us both to die than that you should do this," and then invoked deadly curses on the heads of those who had advised him to take this course. The youth, astonished at her outburst and excitement, bade her spare her curses; it was his mother who had given him this command with the consent of his stepfather. "Your stepfather, then," she replied, "for, perhaps, it is not right to charge your mother with it, is by this act hurrying on the ruin of your modesty, your reputation, your hopes and your life." Still more astonished, he asked her what she meant. With a prayer to the gods and goddesses to forgive her if, constrained by her affection, she disclosed what she ought to be silent about, she explained that when she was in service she had accompanied her mistress into that place of initiation, but had never gone near it when once she was free. She knew it to be a sink of every form of corruption, and it was a matter of common knowledge that no one had been initiated for the last two years above the age of twenty. As each person was brought in, he was handed over to the priests like a victim and taken into a place which resounded with yells and songs, and the jangling of cymbals and drums, so that no cry from those who were suffering violation could be heard. She then begged and implored him to get out of the affair in whatever way he could, and not to rush blindly into a place where he would first have to endure, and then to commit, every conceivable outrage. Until he had given his word to keep clear of these rites she would not let him go.
[39.11]After he reached home his mother brought up the subject of the initiation and told him what he had to do in connection with it on that day, and what on the following days. He informed her that he would do nothing of the kind; he had no intention of being initiated. His stepfather was present. The mother at once exclaimed, "He cannot pass ten nights away from Hispala's embraces; he is so intoxicated with the fascinations of that venomous serpent, that he has no respect for either his parent or his stepfather or the gods." Amid the objurgations of his mother on the one side and his stepfather on the other, he was finally, with the assistance of four slaves, driven out of the house. The youth betook himself to his aunt Aebutia, and explained why he had been expelled from his home, and at her suggestion laid the matter privately before the consul the following day. Postumius told him to come again in three days' time, and in the meantime inquired of Sulpicia, his mother-in-law, a grave and judicious woman, whether she knew an old woman called Aebutia living in the Aventine quarter. She replied that she knew her to be a woman of respectable and strictly moral character; on which the consul said that it was important that he should have an interview with her, and Sulpicia must send for her to see her. Aebutia came to Sulpicia, and the consul coming in as though by accident turned the conversation on to her brother's son. The woman burst into tears and began to lament the youth's misfortunes, robbed as he had been of his fortune by those who ought to have been the very last to do so. He was, she said, at her house at the time, "he had been driven away by his mother because the honest and respectable youth refused - may the gods forgive me - to be initiated into what were commonly believed to be impure and obscene mysteries."
[39.12]As the consul considered that he had ascertained all that was necessary about Aebutius, and that the evidence was trustworthy, he dismissed Aebutia and asked his mother-in-law to send for Hispala, a freedwoman, who was well known round the Aventine, as there were some questions he wished to put to her. Hispala was alarmed at the message, and at being summoned into the presence of a woman of such high rank and character, without knowing the reason, and when she saw the lictors and the consul's attendants in the vestibule, she nearly fainted. She was conducted into an inner apartment where the consul and his mother-in-law were present, and the consul told her that there was nothing to be afraid of if she could make up her mind to speak the truth; she might trust the pledged word of such a woman as Sulpicia and his own promise of safety, but she must give him a description of what usually went on at the nocturnal Bacchic rites in the grove of Simila. On hearing this, the woman was seized with such a fright and a trembling in all her limbs that she could not open her lips. At last she recovered her nerves, and said that when quite a girl she had been initiated, together with her mistress, but since she had been manumitted, now some years ago, she knew nothing of what went on there. The consul commended her for having confessed that she had been initiated and begged her to be equally truthful in the rest of her story. She avowed that she knew nothing further, on which the consul warned her that she would not receive the same consideration and forbearance if she were confuted by some one else, as she would if she made a free confession, for the person who had heard these things from her had disclosed everything to him.
[39.13]The woman being convinced, and quite rightly, that Aebutius was the informer, flung herself at Sulpicia's feet and implored her not to let a conversation between a freedwoman and her lover be treated so seriously as to amount to treason. What she had told him was for the purpose of frightening, not because she really knew anything. Postumius was very angry, and told her that she must be imagining that she was joking with her lover, and not speaking in the house of a grave and august lady and in the presence of the consul. Sulpicia raised the terrified woman from the floor, spoke soothingly to her and tried to quiet her. At length she became calm, and after bitterly reproaching Aebutius for the return he had made after all she had done for him, and declared that while she stood in great fear of the gods, whose occult mysteries she was revealing, she stood in much greater fear of men who would tear her to pieces if she turned informer. So she begged Sulpicia and the consul to remove her to some place outside the borders of Italy where she could pass the rest of her days in safety. The consul bade her be under no apprehension; he would see to it that she found a safe home in Rome. Then Hispala gave an account of the origin of these rites.
At first they were confined to women; no male was admitted, and they had three stated days in the year on which persons were initiated during the daytime, and matrons were chosen to act as priestesses. Paculla Annia, a Campanian, when she was priestess, made a complete change, as though by divine monition, for she was the first to admit men, and she initiated her own sons, Minius Cerinnius and Herennius Cerinnius. At the same time she made the rite a nocturnal one, and instead of three days in the year celebrated it five times a month. When once the mysteries had assumed this promiscuous character, and men were mingled with women with all the licence of nocturnal orgies, there was no crime, no deed of shame, wanting. More uncleanness was wrought by men with men than with women. Whoever would not submit to defilement, or shrank from violating others, was sacrificed as a victim. To regard nothing as impious or criminal was the very sum of their religion. The men, as though seized with madness and with frenzied distortions of their bodies, shrieked out prophecies; the matrons, dressed as Bacchae, their hair dishevelled, rushed down to the Tiber with burning torches, plunged them into the water, and drew them out again, the flame undiminished, as they were made of sulphur mixed with lime. Men were fastened to a machine and hurried off to hidden caves, and they were said to have been rapt away by the gods; these were the men who refused to join their conspiracy or take a part in their crimes or submit to pollution. They formed an immense multitude, almost equal to the population of Rome; amongst them were members of noble families both men and women. It had been made a rule for the last two years that no one more than twenty years old should be initiated; they captured those to be deceived and polluted.
[39.14]When she had finished giving her evidence, she fell on her knees and again begged the consul to send her abroad. He asked his mother-in-law to set apart some portion of her house where she could take up her abode. An upper room was assigned to her which was approached by a flight of steps from the street; these were blocked up and an entrance made from inside the house. All Fecenia's effects were at once transferred, and her household slaves brought in, and Aebutius was ordered to take up his quarters with a client of the consul's. As both his informants were now in his hands, Postumius reported the affair to the senate. Everything was explained as it occurred, the information which he had first received, and then that which he had obtained in answer to his questions. The senate were greatly alarmed for the public safety; these secret conspiracies and nocturnal gatherings were a danger to the State; and they were alarmed for themselves, lest their own relations and friends might be involved. They passed a vote of thanks to the consul for having conducted his investigations so carefully and without creating any public disturbance. Then, arming the consuls with extraordinary powers, they placed in their hands the inquiry into the proceedings at the Bacchanalia and the nocturnal rites. They were to take care that Aebutius and Fecenia suffered no injury for the information they had given, and they were to offer rewards to induce other informers to come forward. Those who presided over these mysteries were to be sought out not only in Rome, but everywhere where people were in the habit of assembling, so that they might be delivered up to the consuls. Edicts were published in Rome and throughout Italy forbidding any who had been initiated from meeting together to celebrate their mysteries or performing any rites of a similar character, and above all, strict inquiry was to be made in the case of those who attended gatherings in which crime and debauchery had occurred. These were the measures which the senate decreed. The consuls sent orders to the curule aediles to search out all the priests of those rites and, when they were arrested, to keep them in such custody as they thought best until their trial. The plebeian aediles were to see that no rites were performed in open day; the police commissioners were instructed to post watches throughout the City and take care that no nocturnal gatherings took place; and as a precaution against fires, five men were appointed to assist the commissioners and take charge of the buildings assigned to them on this side the Tiber.
[39.15]When the various officials had been told off to their duties, the consuls convened the Assembly and mounted the Rostra. After the usual prayers with which proceedings are opened before the magistrates address the people, the consul began thus: "In no meeting of the Assembly has this solemn appeal to the gods been so appropriate and, I would add, so necessary. For it reminds you that it is these gods whom your ancestors ordained that we should worship, reverence, and pray to; not those who have driven the minds of people enslaved by foul and foreign superstitions, as though by goading furies, into every form of crime and every kind of lust. I am at a loss to know how far I ought to keep silence, and how far I ought to go, in what I have to say. I fear, if you remain in ignorance of anything, that I may leave an opening for neglect, whilst, if I disclose everything, I may create too much alarm. Whatever I say, you may be certain that it does not come up to the enormity and horror of the thing. We shall make it our business to say enough to put you on your guard. That the Bacchanalia have for some time been going on throughout Italy and are now practiced in many parts of the City you have, I am sure, learnt not only by report, but also by the nightly noises and yells which resound all over the City; but I do not think you know what it all means. Some of you fancy that it is a particular form of worship; others think that it is some permissible kind of sport and dalliance; its real nature is understood by few. As to their numbers, you would inevitably be very much alarmed if I were to say that there are many thousands of them, unless I went on to explain who and what sort of people they are.
"In the first place, then, women form the great majority, and this was the source of all the mischief. Then there are the males, the very counterparts of the women, committing and submitting to the foulest uncleanness, frantic and frenzied, driven out of their senses by sleepless nights, by wine, by nocturnal shouting and uproar. The conspiracy does not so far possess any strength, but its numbers are rapidly increasing day by day, and its strength is growing. Your ancestors would not have even your Assembly meet in an irregular and haphazard way, but only when the standard was hoisted on the citadel and the centuries in their array marched out, or when the tribunes had given notice of a meeting of the plebs, or the Assembly had been duly convened by one of the magistrates. Whenever the people met together there was bound to be a lawful authority to preside over it. Have you any idea what these nocturnal gatherings, these promiscuous associations of men and women are? If you knew at what age those of the male sex are initiated, you would feel not only compassion for them, but shame as well. Do you consider, Quirites, that young men who have taken this unhallowed oath are to be made into soldiers? That after the training they have received in that shrine of obscenity they are to be entrusted with arms? Shall these men, reeking with their impurity and that of those round them, wield their swords in defence of the chastity of your wives and children?
[39.16]"The mischief would not be serious, if they had only lost their manhood through their debauchery - the disgrace would fall mainly upon themselves - and had kept from open outrage and secret treason. Never has there been such a gigantic evil in the commonwealth, or one which has affected greater numbers or caused more numerous crimes. Whatever instances of lust, treachery, or crime have occurred during these last years, have originated, you may be perfectly certain, in that shrine of unhallowed rites. They have not yet disclosed all the criminal objects of their conspiracy. So far, their impious association confines itself to individual crimes; it has not yet strength enough to destroy the commonwealth. But the evil is creeping stealthily on, and growing day by day; it is already too great to limit its action to individual citizens; it looks to be supreme in the State. Unless, Quirites, you take precautions, this Assembly legally convened by a consul in the daylight will be confronted by another assembly gathered together in the darkness of the night. Now they, disunited, fear you, a united Assembly, but when you are dispersed to your homes and your farms they will hold their assembly and plot their own safety and your ruin. It will then be your turn, scattered as you will be, to fear them in their united strength.
"You ought, therefore, every one of you, to pray that your friends may have preserved their good sense. If unbridled and maddening lust has swept any one away into that whirlpool, you must judge him as belonging not to you but to those whom he has joined as fellow-conspirators in every kind of wickedness. I do not feel sure that even some of you may not have been misled. For there is nothing which wears a more deceptive appearance than a depraved superstition. Where crimes are sheltered under the name of religion, there is fear lest in punishing the hypocrisy of men we are doing violence to something holy which is mixed up with it. From these scruples you are delivered by numberless decisions of the pontiffs, resolutions of the senate and responses of the augurs. How often in the times of your fathers and grandfathers has the task been assigned to the magistrates of forbidding all foreign rites and ceremonies, prohibiting hedge-priests and diviners from entering either the Forum, the Circus, or the City, seeking out and burning all books of pretended prophecies, and abolishing every sacrificial ritual except what was accordant with Roman usage! Those men were masters of all human and divine love, and they believed that nothing tended so much to destroy religion as the performance of sacrificial rites, not after the manner of our fathers, but in fashions imported from abroad. I thought I ought to tell you this beforehand, so that none of you may be distressed by fears on the score of religion when you see us demolishing the seats of the Bacchanalia and dispersing their impious gatherings. All that we shall do will be done with the sanction of the gods and in obedience to their will. To show their displeasure at the insult offered to their majesty by these lusts and crimes they have dragged them out of their dark hiding-places into the light of day, and they have willed that they shall be exposed not to enjoy impunity, but to be punished and put an end to. "The senate has entrusted my colleague and myself with extraordinary powers for conducting an inquiry into this matter. We shall make an energetic use of them, and we have charged the subordinate magistrates with the care of the night-watches throughout the City. It is only right that you should show equal energy in doing your duty in whatever position you may be placed and whatever orders you receive, and also in making it your business to see that no danger or disturbance arise through the secret plots of the criminals."
[39.17]They then ordered the resolutions of the senate to be read, and offered a reward for any one who should bring a guilty person before the consuls, or give in his name if he were not forthcoming. In the case of any one who had been denounced and then taken to flight, they would fix a day for him to answer the charge, and if he failed to appear, he would be condemned in his absence; for any one who was abroad at the time they would extend the date should he wish to make his defence. They then published an edict forbidding any one to sell or buy anything for the purpose of flight, or to receive, harbour, or in any way assist those who fled. After the Assembly had broken up, the whole of the City was thoroughly alarmed. Nor was the alarm confined within the walls of the City or the frontiers of Rome; there was uneasiness and consternation throughout the whole of Italy when letters began to arrive announcing the resolutions of the senate, the proceedings in the Assembly and the edict of the consuls. During the night following the disclosure of the affair in the Assembly, guards were posted at all the gates, and many who tried to escape were arrested by the police commissioners and brought back. Many names were handed in, and some of these, both men and women, committed suicide. It was asserted that more than 7000 of both sexes were implicated in the conspiracy. The ringleaders were, it appears, the two Atinii, Marcus and Caius, both members of the Roman plebs; L. Opiternius of Falerium, and Minius Cerrinius, a Campanian. They were the authors of all the crime and outrage, the high priests and founders of the cult. Care was taken that they should be arrested as soon as possible, and when brought before the consuls they at once made a complete confession.
[39.18]So great, however, was the number of those who fled from the City that law-suits and rights of property were in numerous cases lost by default, and the praetors were compelled through the intervention of the senate to adjourn their courts for a month, to allow the consuls to complete their investigations. Owing to the fact that those whose names were on the list did not answer to the summons, and were not to be found in Rome, the consuls had to visit the country towns and conduct their inquiries and try the cases there. Those who had simply been initiated, who, that is, had repeated after the priest the prescribed form of imprecation which pledged them to every form of wickedness and impurity, but had not been either active or passive participants in any of the proceedings to which their oath bound them, were detained in prison. Those who had polluted themselves by outrage and murder, those who had stained themselves by giving false evidence, forging seals and wills and by other fraudulent practices, were sentenced to death. The number of those executed exceeded the number of those sentenced to imprisonment; there was an enormous number of men as well as women in both classes. The women who had been found guilty were handed over to their relatives or guardians to be dealt with privately; if there was no one capable of inflicting punishment, they were executed publicly. The next task awaiting the consuls was the destruction of all the Bacchanalian shrines, beginning with Rome, and then throughout the length and breadth of Italy; those only excepted where there was an ancient altar or a sacred image. The senate decreed that for the future there should be no Bacchanalian rites in Rome or in Italy. If any one considered that this form of worship was a necessary obligation and that he could not dispense with it without incurring the guilt of irreligion, he was to make a declaration before the City praetor and the praetor was to consult the senate. If the senate gave permission, not less than one hundred senators being present, he might observe those rites on condition that not more than five persons took part in the service, that they had no common fund, and that there was no priest or conductor of the ceremonies.
[39.19]Another matter connected with this was brought forward by the consul Q. Marcius and made the subject of a decree, namely, the cases of those whom the consuls had employed as informers. The question was left for the senate to deal with as soon as Sp. Postumius had closed his inquiry and returned to Rome. The senate decided that Minius Cerrinius, the Campanian, should be sent in chains to Ardea, and that the magistrates there should be warned to keep him in custody under close observation to prevent not only his escape but any chance of his committing suicide. After some time Sp. Postumius returned to Rome. He brought up the question of the rewards to be given to P. Aebutius and Hispala Fecenia, as it was owing to them that the Bacchanalia had been detected. The senate decided that the City praetor should give each of them 100,000 ases out of the treasury, and that the consul should arrange with the tribunes to propose to the plebs on the first opportunity that P. Aebutius should be exempted from military conscription, and not compelled, unless he wished, to serve in either the infantry or the cavalry. To Fecenia was granted the right of disposing of her property in any way she chose, of marrying out of her gens, and selecting her own guardian, just as though a husband had left her this power in his will. She was also at liberty to marry a free-born citizen, and whoever married her should not suffer in reputation or position. Moreover, the consuls and praetors then in office, and those who should succeed them, were to make it their care that no harm should happen to the woman but that she should live a safe life. These proposals the senate considered equitable and thought it right that they should be adopted. They were submitted to the plebs and the resolution of the senate was confirmed, and the consuls were to secure the impunity of the other informers and decide upon their rewards.
[39.20]By this time Q. Marcius had completed his inquiry throughout the district assigned to him, and was preparing to start for his province in Liguria. He was reinforced by 3000 Roman infantry and 150 cavalry, together with a contingent from the Latin allies of 5000 infantry and 200 cavalry. This province had been decreed to his colleague in conjunction with him, and he, too, received reinforcements of equal strength. They took over the armies which the previous consuls had commanded, and on the authority of the senate enrolled two fresh legions in addition. They required the Latin allies to furnish 20,000 infantry and 800 cavalry, and called up 3000 Roman infantry and 200 cavalry as well. The whole of this force, with the exception of the legions, was destined to reinforce the armies in Spain. While the consuls were preoccupied with their judicial investigations they appointed T. Maenius to superintend the levying of the troops. Q. Marcius was the first to complete his inquiry, and he at once advanced against the Apuani. Whilst he was following them into the depths of secluded passes, where they were in the habit of sheltering and concealing themselves, the enemy seized a narrow defile and hemmed him in. Four thousand men were lost, three standards belonging to the second legion and eleven ensigns from the Latin allies fell into the enemy's hands, together with a large quantity of arms which the fugitives, finding that they hampered their flight through the forest tracks, had everywhere thrown away. The enemy stopped their pursuit before the Romans stopped their flight. As soon as the consul got clear of the enemy's country, he dispersed his army in friendly territory to prevent the extent of his losses from being known. He was not, however, able to efface the memory of his ill-success. The pass out of which the Ligurians had chased him was afterwards known as the "Marcian Pass."
[39.21]No sooner had the news from Liguria become generally known, than despatches were received from Spain which aroused mingled feelings of joy and grief. C. Atinius, who two years before had gone to that province as propraetor, fought a pitched battle with the Lusitanians in the neighbourhood of Hasta. As many as 6000 of the enemy were killed; the rest were routed and driven out of their camp. Then he led the legions to an attack on the fortified town of Hasta which he captured with as little difficulty as he had met with in the capture of the camp. But while he was approaching the walls somewhat incautiously, he was struck by a missile and in a few days died of his wound. When the despatch announcing his death was read, the senate were of opinion that a courier ought to be sent to overtake the praetor C. Calpurnius at the port of Luna and inform him that the senate advised him to hasten his departure, so that the province might not be left without an administrator. The courier reached Luna in four days; Calpurnius had started a few days previously. In Hither Spain there was also fighting; L. Manlius Acidinus had a battle with the Celtiberi just at the time when C. Atinius reached the province. The battle was undecided, except so far as the Celtiberi shifted their camp in the following night and the Romans were allowed by the enemy to bury their dead and collect the spoils. A few days later the Celtiberi, having collected a larger force, took the aggressive and attacked the Romans near the town of Calagurris. There is no explanation as to why, though their numbers were increased, they proved to be the weaker side. They were worsted in the battle; 12,000 were killed, 2000 made prisoners, and the Romans gained possession of their camp. If his successor had not stopped Calpurnius' victorious advance, the Celtiberi would have been subjugated. The new praetors took both their armies into winter quarters.
[39.22]At the time when this intelligence was received from Spain, the "Taurii" Games were celebrated as a special religious observance. These were followed by the Games which M. Fulvius had vowed in the Aetolian war and were exhibited for ten days. Many actors from Greece came to do him honour, and athletic contests were witnessed for the first time in Rome. The hunting of lions and panthers formed a novel feature, and the whole spectacle presented almost as much splendour and variety as those of the present day. A shower of stones, lasting three days, fell at Picenum, and fire from the sky was said to have appeared in various places and singed many persons' garments. In consequence of these portents, special religious services were held for nine days. An additional day's service was ordered by the pontiffs owing to the temple of Ops on the Capitol being struck by lightning. The consuls sacrificed full-grown victims and purified the City. Almost at the same time a report came from Umbria of the discovery of a child there, nine years old, who was a hermaphrodite. Horrified at such a portent the auruspices gave orders for it to be removed from Roman soil as speedily as possible and put to death.
During the year some transalpine Gauls moved into Venetia without doing any damage or attempting hostilities. They took possession of some land not far from where Aquileia now stands on which to build a town. Roman envoys were sent across the Alps to inquire about this proceeding, and they were informed that the migration had taken place without the authority of their tribe, nor did they know what they were doing in Italy. L. Scipio now exhibited for ten days the Games which he said that he had vowed in the war with Antiochus; the cost was met by money contributed by the kings and cities of Asia. According to Valerius Antias, he was sent, after his condemnation and the sale of his property, as special commissioner to settle the differences between Antiochus and Eumenes, and whilst he was on this mission contributions in money were made for him, and actors gathered together from all parts of Asia. He had made no mention of these Games after the war in which he said that he had vowed them; it was only after his mission that they came before the senate.
[39.23]As the year was now closing, Q. Marcius was preparing to lay down his office while still abroad; S. Postumius, who had completed the investigations which he had conducted with the most scrupulous impartiality, held the election. The new consuls were Ap. Claudius Pulcher and M. Sempronius Tuditanus. The next day the following were elected praetors: P. Cornelius Cethegus, A. Postumius Albinus, C. Afranius Stellio, C. Atilius Serranus, L. Postumius Tempsanus and M. Claudius Marcellus. S. Postumius had reported that whilst engaged on his enquiries he had traversed both coasts of Italy, and had found two deserted colonies, Sipontum on the Adriatic and Buxentum on the Mediterranean. Three commissioners were appointed by the City praetor to enrol colonists for these places, namely, L. Scribonius Libo, M. Tuccius and Cn. Baebius Tamphilus. The war which was threatening with Perseus and the Macedonians did not owe its origin to what most people imagined, nor was it due to the action of Perseus himself. Its beginnings were prepared by Philip, and had he lived longer, he would himself have undertaken it. When the terms of peace were imposed upon him after his defeat, the thing which exasperated him most was the interference of the senate with his claim to punish those of his subjects who had revolted from him during the war. In drawing up the conditions of peace Quinctius had left this point for further consideration, and he was not without hopes of making his claim good. A second grievance which he felt bitterly was that when Antiochus was worsted at Thermopylae and the two armies separated, the consul advancing against Heraclea and Philip against Lamia, he was ordered to retire from the walls of Lamia, after the capture of Heraclea, and the town was surrendered to the Romans. The Aetolians were rallying from their flight at Naupactus, and the consul, hastening there, mollified Philip's anger by permitting him to make war on Athamania and Amynander and annex the cities, which the Aetolians had taken from the Thracians, to his own dominions. He expelled Amynander from Athamania without much trouble and took some of his cities. He also reduced Demetrias, a strong city and useful in every respect, and brought the tribe of the Magnetes beneath his sway. In Thrace, too, there were some cities in a state of turmoil owing to the quarrels of their leaders and the misuse of a liberty to which they were unaccustomed, and these he secured by supporting the weaker side in these domestic conflicts.
[39.24]These successes for the time being allayed the king's anger against the Romans. Never, however, was his attention diverted from amassing a force during the years of peace which he could, whenever a favourable opportunity presented itself make use of in war. He raised the taxes which were levied on agricultural produce and increased the amount of the import and export duties; he also re-opened old and disused gold and silver mines and started new ones. In order to make good the loss of population caused by his wars, he made provision for fresh growths from the stock by compelling all his subjects to marry and bring up children. He further transported a large body of Thracians into Macedonia, and in these ways, during all the time he was undisturbed by alarms of war, he devoted all his thoughts and care to increasing the power and resources of his realm. Then fresh incidents occurred to rekindle his indignation against the Romans. The Thessalians and Perrhaebians protested against his retaining possession of their cities; envoys from Eumenes complained of the forcible occupation of towns in Thrace and the removal of the population into Macedonia. The reception given to these remonstrances made it clear that they would not be ignored. What created the deepest impression on the senate was the information they had received that he was contemplating the seizure of Aenus and Maronea; they were less interested in the Thessalians. Delegates also appeared from Athamania, the burden of whose complaint was not the loss of a part of their country but the subjection of the whole of Athamania to the power and rule of the king. Some Maronite refugees were present who had been expelled because they had tried to defend their liberty against the king's garrison. They declared that not only Maronea but Aenus also was in Philip's power. Envoys came from Philip to defend him against these charges. They affirmed that nothing had been done without the sanction of the Roman generals; that the cities of the Thessalians and Perrhaebians and Magnetes, as well as the people of Athamania with their king Amynander, were in the same case as the Aetolians. For when after the expulsion of Antiochus the consul was engaged in the reduction of the cities of Aetolia, he sent Philip to take the cities in question; they were his by the rights of war. The senate would not come to any decision in the king's absence, and accordingly they sent Q. Caecilius, M Baebius Tamphilus and Ti. Sempronius, as special commissioners, to settle the dispute. Previous to their arrival, notice was sent to all the cities concerned that a council would be convened at Tempe in Thessaly.
[39.25]When all had taken their seats - the Roman commissioners appearing as arbitrators, the Thessalians, Perrhaebians and Athamanians as open accusers, and Philip, who had to listen to the charges against him, as defendant - the leaders of the different delegations revealed their characters in the attitude they assumed towards Philip, whether of sympathy or of more or less violent antagonism. The dispute turned upon the status of the cities of Philippopolis, Tricca, Phaloria, Eurymenae, and the other towns in their neighbourhood. Did they belong of right to the Thessalians, though they had been forcibly seized and taken possession of by the Aetolians - for it was admitted that it was from the Aetolians that Philip had wrested them - or had they always been Aetolian towns? It was argued that Acilius had granted them to the king on the understanding that they belonged to the Aetolians, and had joined their League voluntarily, not under the compulsion of arms. A similar question arose with regard to the towns in Perrhaebia and Magnesia, for the Aetolians, by seizing all these towns as they had opportunity, had made their rightful position uncertain. To these matters in dispute were added the complaints of the Thessalians, who pointed out that if those towns were restored to them as they were, he would restore them plundered and deserted. Besides those lost through the accidents of war, he had carried off 500 of their young men to Macedonia, where they were wasting their energies in servile tasks, and whatever he was compelled to restore to the Thessalians, he took care to render of no further use. In former times the one mercantile port which the Thessalians had access to was Phthian Thebes, from which they derived profit and revenue. The king fitted out a number of merchant ships there which made their voyages past Thebes to Demetrias, and so diverted all sea-borne traffic from that port. Now things had come to such a pass that he did not shrink from doing violence to their envoys, who were protected by the law of nations; he had waylaid and captured them on their way to T. Quinctius. The whole of Thessaly was in consequence so intimidated that no one dared to open his mouth, either in their cities or in their national council. The Romans, the authors of their liberties, were far away; an oppressive tyrant was close at their side, making it impossible for them to enjoy the benefits which the people of Rome had conferred upon them. What liberty was there, where there was no liberty of speech? Even now, whilst relying on the protection of the commissioners, they were uttering groans rather than coherent words. Unless the Romans devised some means of checking Philip's audacity and relieving the fears of the Greek neighbours of Macedonia, his defeat and their liberation would be in vain. If he does not obey, he must, like a stubborn horse, be coerced with a severer bit. These bitter invectives were from those who spoke last; the former speakers had softened his resentment by asking him to pardon their speaking in defence of their liberties. They expressed a hope that he would lay aside the harshness of a master and reconcile himself to becoming their friend and ally, and so follow the example of the Romans who prefer to extend their alliances through affection and not through fear. After the Thessalians, the Perrhaebians stated their case. They claimed Gonnocondylum, which Philip had re-named Olympias, as belonging to Perrhaebia, and pleaded for its restoration. The same request was made with regard to Malloea and Ericinium. The Athamanians sought to recover their independence and the fortified posts of Athenaeum and Poetneum.
[39.26]Philip's role was to appear as accuser rather than defendant. He began by charging the Thessalians with seizing Menelais in Dolopia by force of arms, a place which belonged to his dominions, and in conjunction with the Perrhaebians capturing also Petra in Pieria. Even Xynias, beyond all doubt an Aetolian town, had been forced to join their confederacy, and without a shadow of right they had made themselves masters of Parachelois, which was under Athamania. As to the charges brought against him of waylaying envoys, of causing the fulness or emptiness of seaports, the latter was absurd; he was not responsible for the preference which traders or skippers showed for certain ports; and as to the former, it was quite alien from his character. Through all these years, charges had been continually made against him either to the Roman generals or to the Roman senate. Who had ever been injured even by a word? 'They said that a plot was once formed against those who were going to Quinctius, but they did not go on to say what happened to them. These are the accusations of men who are hunting for false charges, since they have nothing true to go upon. The Thessalians in their insolence were shamelessly abusing the indulgence of the people of Rome; like men who after a long thirst drank wine too eagerly, they were intoxicated with liberty. Like slaves suddenly and unexpectedly manumitted, they show their freedom by putting no constraint on their speech and language and showering abuse on their late masters. Then in a towering rage he exclaimed: "The evening of all days has not yet come!'' The Thessalians and even the Romans took this as a threat against themselves. When the murmurs of disapprobation at these words had died away, he replied to the Perrhaebian and Athamanian envoys, and maintained that the cities which they represented were in the same position as the others; Acilius and the Romans had given them to him at a time when they belonged to the enemy. If the donors wished to take away what they had given, he knew he must give them up, but in that case they would be ingratiating themselves with fickle and useless allies by doing an injustice to a more deserving and faithful friend. Nothing evoked a more short-lived gratitude than the gift of liberty, especially among those who were ready to abuse and corrupt it. After hearing all sides the commissioners announced their decision. The king's garrisons must be withdrawn from the cities in dispute, and his kingdom limited to the ancient frontiers of Macedonia. As for the complaints which each side made against the other, a court of arbitration must be formed to settle the differences between these peoples and the Macedonians.
[39.27]Leaving the king intensely annoyed, the commissioners proceeded to Thessalonica to consider the question of the cities of Thrace. Here they met the envoys of Eumenes, who asserted that if the Romans wished Aenus and Maronea to be free, their sense of honour forbade them to say more, unless it was to warn them to leave those people in the enjoyment of a real and not merely nominal liberty, and not to allow their boon to be intercepted by some one else. But if they thought the question of the Thracian cities comparatively unimportant, it would be much more reasonable that those which had been under Antiochus should be held as prizes of war by Eumenes rather than by Philip. This would be a return to Eumenes for the services of his father Attalus during the war which the Romans waged against this same Philip, and also for what he had himself done in sharing all their toils and dangers on land and sea. Moreover, Eumenes had the decision of the ten commissioners in his favour, for in giving him the Chersonese and Lysimachia they certainly gave him Aenus and Maronea as well, for these two places owing to their proximity formed appendages as it were of the larger gift. "What service rendered to the Roman people, or what sovereign right could justify Philip in forcing his garrison on these cities, lying as they do so far from the frontiers of Macedonia? Let the Maronites be called in, then the commissioners will learn everything about the status of those cities." The Maronites were then called in. They told the commissioners that the king's troops were not confined to one part of the city, as in other places, but were dispersed everywhere; the city was full of Macedonians. The king's adherents were complete masters; they alone were allowed to speak in the senate and the public assembly; they secured all the posts of honour for themselves and their friends. Every respectable citizen who had any regard for liberty and law was either expelled from his native place or, unhonoured, and at the mercy of the mob, was compelled to remain silent. Briefly explaining what were their legal boundaries, they stated that when Q. Fabius Labeo was in that district he fixed the old "king's road," which goes up to Parorea in Thrace and nowhere descends to the sea, as Philip's boundary line; Philip subsequently constructed a new road by which he took in the cities and lands of the Maronites.
[39.28]Philip took a very different course in his reply from that which he adopted towards the Thessalians and Perrhaebians. "My contention," he began, "is not with the Maronites or with Eumenes, but with you, Romans. I have for some time perceived that I shall get no fair treatment from you. I thought it just and right that the cities of the Macedonians which revolted from me during the suspension of hostilities should be restored to me; not that these would have been a great addition to my kingdom, for they are small places situated on the extreme frontiers, but because such an example would have gone far to restrain the rest of the Macedonians. This has been refused me. During the Aetolian war I was instructed by Manius Acilius to attack Lamia, and when after long and weary siege operations and fighting I was at last surmounting the walls, and the city was all but taken, the consul recalled me, and compelled me to draw off my troops. As some consolation for this injustice, I was allowed to seize some places in Thessaly, Perrhaebia and Athamania - forts rather than cities. Those very places you, Q. Caecilius, took from me a few days ago.
"The envoys of Eumenes actually assumed just now, as a matter beyond doubt, that it would be more equitable for Eumenes to hold the places which belonged to Antiochus, than that I should do so. I take a very different view. Unless the Romans had - I will not say conquered, but even - undertaken that war, Eumenes could not have remained on his throne. So it is he who is indebted to you, not you to him. So far was any part of my kingdom from being in danger, that when Antiochus sought to purchase my support by the promise of 3000 talents, 50 decked ships, and all the cities of Greece which he had previously held, I rejected his offer and declared myself his enemy even before Manius Acilius landed his army in Greece. In concert with him I took whatever part in the war he assigned to me, and when his successor, Lucius Scipio, decided to take his army to the Hellespont overland, I not only allowed him a free passage through my dominions, but I constructed roads, built bridges and furnished supplies, and this not through Macedonia only, but through Thrace as well, where amongst other things peace had to be secured from the barbarians. In return for this proof of my goodwill towards you - I will not call it meritorious service - what is the right thing to do, Romans: to augment and amplify my kingdom by your generosity, or to rob me as you are now doing of what I hold, whether by my own right or by your liberality? The Macedonian cities which, you admit, formed part of my dominions are not restored. Eumenes has come here to despoil me as though I were Antiochus, and actually has the impudence to put forward the decision of the ten commissioners as a cloak for his dishonest intrigues; the very decision by which he can be most effectually confuted. It is quite clearly stated there that the Chersonese and Lysimachia are given to Eumenes. Where, pray, are Aenus and Maronea and the cities of Thrace mentioned ? Is he going to get from you what he did not dare to ask from them, as though they had granted it? It is a matter of some importance to me in what light you regard me. If you have made up your minds to persecute me as an enemy, go on as you have begun; but if you have any feeling of regard for me as a royal friend and ally, do not judge me deserving of so great an injustice."
[39.29]The king's address made a considerable impression on the commissioners. Their reply was a compromise; nothing was decided. If those cities were given to Eumenes by the decision of the ten commissioners, they said, they would make no change; if Philip had taken them in war, he should hold them as the prize of war; if neither of these proved to be the case, the question must be left to the senate. In order that matters might remain as they were, the garrisons must be withdrawn from those cities. These were the main reasons why Philip turned against the Romans. The war was not started by his son Perseus on any fresh ground; it might be regarded as a legacy from his father. At Rome there was no suspicion of a war with Macedonia. The proconsul L. Manlius had returned from Spain. The senate met in the temple of Bellona, and he asked to be allowed to celebrate his triumph. The magnitude of his operations justified his request, but precedent was against it; the immemorial practice had been that no commander should enjoy a triumph unless he had brought back his army, or unless he left to his successor a province thoroughly subjugated and pacified. However, the intermediate honour was allowed to Manlius; he was to enter the City in ovation. In his procession were borne 52 golden crowns, 132 pounds of gold, and 16,300 pounds of silver, and he announced in the senate that his quaestor, Q. Fabius, was bringing 10,000 pounds of silver and 80 pounds of gold, and this also he would place in the treasury. There was a wide-spread movement amongst the slaves in Apulia this year. The herdsmen had entered into a conspiracy and were making the highroads and public pastures insecure through acts of brigandage. The praetor L. Postumius, who was administering the district from Tarentum, made a strict and close investigation, and sentenced as many as 7000 men. Many took to flight and many were executed. The consuls who had been for a long time detained in the City by the enrolment of troops departed at last for their provinces.
[39.30]As soon as their troops left their winter quarters, the two praetors, C. Calpurnius and L. Quinctius, joined their forces in Baeturia, and as the enemy were encamped in Carpetania they advanced thither, prepared to carry out their operations in mutual concert. A fight began at a spot not far from the cities of Dipo and Toletum between foraging parties, who were reinforced from both camps, and gradually the whole of the two armies were drawn out to battle. In this tumultuary conflict the enemy were helped by their knowledge of the country and the nature of the fighting. The two Roman armies were routed and driven back to their camp. The enemy did not press their demoralised adversaries. The Roman commanders, fearing lest the camp might be stormed on the morrow, withdrew their armies in silence during the night. The Spaniards formed in battle-array at dawn and marched up to the rampart; surprised at finding the camp empty, they entered it and appropriated what had been left behind in the confusion of the night. After this they returned to their own camp and remained inactive for some days. The losses of the Romans and the allies in the battle amounted to 5000, and the enemy armed themselves with the spoils taken from their bodies. Then they moved on to the Tagus.
The Roman generals in the meantime had spent their whole time in drawing Spanish troops from the friendly cities and restoring the courage of their men which had been so shaken in the battle. When they considered that they were strong enough and the soldiers were asking that they might meet the enemy and wipe out their disgrace, they moved forward and fixed their camp at a distance of twelve miles from the Tagus. Then, taking up the standards and forming into a closed square, they reached the Tagus at daybreak. The enemy camp was on a hill on the other side of the river. There were two places where the river was fordable, and the armies were promptly led across - Calpurnius on the right and Quinctius on the left. The enemy remained quiet - taken aback at the sudden advance of the Romans and making up their minds what to do - when they might have attacked the Romans and thrown them into confusion during the passage of the river. The Romans meanwhile had transported their baggage across and placed it all together. There was not space enough for an entrenched camp, so seeing the enemy in motion, they deployed into line of battle. Two legions, the fifth from Calpurnius' army and the eighth under Quinctius, formed the centre - the main strength of the army. The ground was level and open up to the hostile camp; there was no fear of surprise or ambush.
[39.31]When the Spaniards saw the two Roman divisions on their side of the river, they decided to engage them before they could form a united front, and swarming out of their camp they rushed down to battle. The fighting began very fiercely, as the Spaniards were full of spirit after their recent victory, and the Romans were smarting under their unwonted humiliation. The Roman centre, formed by two of the bravest legions, fought most gallantly, and the enemy finding themselves unable to dislodge them in any other way, formed themselves into a wedge and thus massed, the ranks behind always more numerous than those in front, they forced the centre back. When he saw that the line was in trouble, Calpurnius sent two of his staff, T. Quinctilius Varus and L. Juventius Thalna, one to each legion, to stimulate their courage, and warn them that all hopes of victory or of keeping their hold on Spain rested with them; if they gave way, not a man would ever see the other side of the Tagus, let alone any return to Italy. He, himself, with the cavalry, made a short detour and charged the flank of the enemy's wedge as it was pressing back the centre, and Quinctilius delivered a similar charge on the other side. But the cavalry under Calpurnius fought with much the greater determination, and he, himself, most of all. He was the first to strike down an enemy, and he rode so far into the hostile ranks that it was difficult to recognise to which side he belonged. The praetor's conspicuous courage fired the cavalry, and the cavalry fired the infantry. The leading centurions who saw the praetors in the midst of the enemy's weapons felt that their honour was at stake; they each urged on their standard-bearers, shouting to them to carry their standards forward, and then called upon the soldiers to follow them up. The battle-shout rose again from the whole army, and they dashed forward as if they were charging from higher ground. Just like a mountain torrent they bore down and swept away their unnerved foe, and as rank after rank pressed on, they carried all before them. The cavalry pursued the fugitives up to their camp, and mingling with the crowded enemy forced their way into it. Here a fresh battle began with those left to guard the camp, and the Roman troops were obliged to dismount and fight on foot. The fifth legion now joined the combatants, and the rest came up as fast as they could. The Spaniards were cut down everywhere throughout the camp; not more than 4000 men escaped. Of these about 3000, who had retained their arms, occupied a mountain in the neighbourhood, and the rest, only half-armed, straggled about the country. The enemy had numbered more than 35,000, out of whom this small number alone survived the battle. One hundred and thirty-two standards were captured. Of the Romans and allies little more than 600 fell, and of the native auxiliaries about 150. It was mainly the loss of five military tribunes and a few of the Roman cavalry that gave the victory the appearance of a bloody one. As they had not ground sufficient for their own camp, they remained in the enemy's camp. The next day Calpurnius addressed words of thanks and praise to the cavalry, and presented them with ornamental trappings for their horses. He told them that it was mainly due to them that the enemy had been routed, and his camp captured. Quinctius presented his cavalry with chains and brooches. The centurions also in both armies received rewards, especially those who had been posted in the centre.
[39.32]When the enrolment of troops and the other business which kept the consuls in Rome was finished, they led the army into Liguria. Sempronius advanced from Pisae against the Apuani, and after devastating their fields and burning their villages, opened up the pass leading to the river Macra and the port of Luna. The enemy took up their position on a mountain range, where their ancestors had long been settled, and though the approach was extremely difficult they were driven off. In his good fortune and courage Appius Claudius was not behind his colleague. He won several victories over the Ingauni, took six of their towns and many thousands of the inhabitants. Forty-three of the chief instigators of the war were beheaded. The time for the elections was now approaching. It fell to Sempronius to conduct them, but Claudius reached Rome before him, as his brother Publius was standing for the consulship. The other patrician candidates were L. Aemilius, Q. Fabius and Ser. Sulpicius Galba. They had been unsuccessful in previous contests, and they considered that they had all the stronger claim to the honour because it had been denied them before. Only one consul could be a patrician, and this lent additional keenness to the contest. The plebeian candidates were all popular men: L. Porcius, Q. Terentius Culleo and Cnaeus Baebius Tamphilus, and they, too, had had their hopes of attaining the distinction deferred by previous defeats. Out of all the candidates, Claudius was the only new one. It was generally looked upon as a certainty that Q. Fabius Labeo and L. Porcius Licinius would be the successful candidates. But Claudius, unattended by his lictors, was bustling about with his brother in every corner of the Forum, notwithstanding the loud remonstrances of his opponents and of most of the senators, who told him to bear in mind that he was the consul of the people of Rome rather than that he was Publius' brother. "Why," they asked, "did he not take his seat on the tribunal and show himself as a witness or silent spectator of the proceedings?" In spite of all, he could not be restrained from his zealous exertions. The elections were from time to time disturbed by heated quarrels between the tribunes of the plebs; some were fighting against the consul, and some in his support. At last Appius succeeded in defeating Fabius and carrying his brother in. Contrary to his own expectation and everybody else's, P. Claudius Pulcher was elected consul. L. Porcius Licinius gained his position because he had conducted his canvass amongst the plebeians in a temper of moderation, not with the violence of a Claudius. Those who were elected praetors on the following day were C. Decimius Flavus, P. Sempronius Longus, P. Cornelius Cethegus, Q. Naevius Matho, C. Sempronius Blaesus and A. Terentius Varro. These were the main incidents at home and abroad during the consulship of Appius Claudius and M. Sempronius.
[39.33]The commissioners who had been sent to adjust the differences between Philip and Eumenes and the cities in Thrace had given in their report, and at the commencement of the year, the consuls introduced the envoys from the two monarchs and the cities to the senate. The same arguments as had been used before the commissioners in Greece were repeated on both sides. The senate decreed that a fresh commission should go to Greece and Macedonia to find out whether the cities had been given back to the Thessalians and Perrhaebians. Instructions were also given that the garrisons should be withdrawn from Aenus and Maronea, and that the whole of the Thracian sea-board should be cleared of Philip and his Macedonians. The commissioners were further ordered to visit the Peloponnese which the former commission had left in a more unsatisfactory situation than if they had not gone there, for they had come away without receiving any assurances, and the council of the Achaean League had refused their request for an interview. Q. Caecilius complained in very strong terms of their conduct, and the Lacedaemonians at the same time deplored the razing of their walls, the removal of the population as slaves into Achaia, and the abolition of the laws of Lycurgus, on which up to that day the stability of their State had rested. The Achaeans met the charge of refusing to convene their council by quoting the law which forbade the summoning of a council except where the question was one of peace or war, or when delegates came from the senate with despatches or written instructions. That they might not have that excuse for the future, the senate pointed out to them that it was their duty to see that Roman envoys had at all times an opportunity of approaching their council, just as an audience of the senate was granted to them whenever they wished for one.
[39.34]The delegations left for their homes, and Philip was informed by his delegates that he must withdraw his garrisons from the cities. Furious as he was with everybody, he wreaked his vengeance on the Maronites. He sent instructions to Onomastus, the governor of the coastal district, to put to death the leaders of the party opposed to him. There was a certain Casander, one of the king's courtiers, who had been living a considerable time in Maronea. Through his agency a body of Thracians were admitted by night and a general massacre followed as though the place had been taken by assault. The Roman commissioners censured him for behaving so cruelly to the unoffending Maronites and so defiantly towards the people of Rome; those to whom the senate had guaranteed their liberty had been butchered as though they were enemies. Philip said that neither he nor any of his people were concerned in the matter; a domestic quarrel had broken out amongst them, some wanting to bring the city over to him, others to Eumenes; the commissioners could easily get at the facts by questioning the Maronites themselves. He made this suggestion fully convinced that the Maronites had been too much terrified by the recent bloodshed to open their mouths against him. Appius replied that he should make no enquiry, as though there was any doubt in his mind, the facts were quite clear. If Philip wished to remove all suspicion, he must send those who were reported to have been his agents - Onomastus and Casander - to Rome, that the senate might examine them. The king was so startled at this that the colour fled from his face. At last, recovering his presence of mind, he promised that he would send Casander, if they really wished it, as he had been at Maronea; but how, he asked, could Onomastus be connected with the affair, seeing that he was not in Maronea nor anywhere near it? He was anxious to keep Onomastus out of danger because he valued him as a friend, and he was afraid of any evidence he might give, for he had had frequent conversations with him and made him his agent and confidant in many similar designs. As for Casander, it is believed that to prevent him from giving any information, he was poisoned by emissaries, who were sent direct through Epirus down to the sea
[39.35]The commissioners came away from the conference making no secret of their failure to get anything satisfactory, and Philip on his side entertained no doubt that he would have to renew hostilities. His resources were not yet sufficient, and in order to gain time, he decided to send his younger son Demetrius to Rome with the object of exculpating him from the charges brought against him, and at the same time deprecating the anger of the senate. He quite hoped that in spite of his youth, the prince, who had given proof of his princely character whilst a hostage in Rome, would have considerable influence there. Meanwhile, under cover of carrying succour to the Byzantines but really to intimidate the Thracian chiefs, he advanced against the latter and completely defeated them in a single battle, taking Amodocus, their leader, prisoner. He had previously sent messages to the barbarians dwelling round the Hister urging them to make an incursion into Italy. The Roman commissioners were under orders to proceed from Macedonia to Achaia, and their arrival was being awaited in the Peloponnese. The captain-general Lycortas summoned a special meeting of the national council to decide upon the policy to be adopted. The subject of discussion was the Lacedaemonians. From being enemies they had become accusers, and there was fear lest they should be more dangerous now that they were defeated than when engaged in war. In that war the Achaeans had found the Romans useful allies; now these very Romans were more partial to the Lacedaemonians than to the Achaeans. Areus and Alcibiades, both of them exiles and repatriated through the good offices of the Achaeans, had actually undertaken a mission to Rome against the interests of the nation to whom they owed so much, and had spoken in such a hostile tone that it might be thought that they were expelled from, not restored to, their country. Demands arose from all sides that the council should deal with them individually. As the whole proceedings were governed by passion, not by reason, they were condemned to death.
[39.36]A few days later the Roman commissioners arrived. The council was convened to meet them at Clitoris in Arcadia. Before the business began, the Achaeans saw Areus and Alcibiades, who had been condemned to death at the last meeting, sitting with the commissioners. They were thoroughly alarmed and did not consider that the coming discussion would be very favourable to them; no one, however, dared to open his mouth. Appius pointed out how the various things that the Lacedaemonians complained of were viewed with displeasure by the senate - the assassination at Campasium of the delegates who on the invitation of Philopoemen had gone to make their defence, and then after this cruelty towards men, their filling up the measure of savagery by razing the walls of a great and famous city and annulling the immemorial laws and world-famed discipline of Lycurgus. After this speech, Lycortas in his capacity of captain-general, and also as a supporter of Philopoemen, the prime mover in all that had happened in Lacedaemon, rose to reply. "It is more difficult," he began, "for us to speak before you, Appius Claudius, than it was the other day before the Roman senate. Then we had to answer the accusations of the Lacedaemonians; now it is you who are our accusers, you before whom the issue is to be tried. Whilst labouring under this disadvantage, we still hope that you will lay aside the heated temper in which you spoke just now, and listen to us in a judicial frame of mind. At all events, as regards the complaints which the Lacedaemonians laid before Q. Caecilius and afterwards at Rome, and which you yourself have now repeated, it is to them, and not to you, that I shall suppose myself to be replying.
"You bring up against us the assassination of the delegates who had gone on the invitation of Philopoemen to make their defence. I hold this charge ought never to have been made by you, Romans, or even by others in your presence. Why so? Because it was laid down in your treaty with the Lacedaemonians that they should not interfere with the cities on the coast. Had T. Quinctius been in the Peloponnese; had there been a Roman there at the time when the Lacedaemonians made an armed attack upon the cities which they were pledged to leave alone, the inhabitants would, of course, have taken refuge with the Romans. As you were far away, with whom else could they have found shelter but with us, your allies? They had previously seen us carrying succour to Gytheum and attacking Lacedaemon on similar grounds in conjunction with you. On your behalf, then, we undertook the war as a just one, prompted by our sense of duty. Since others commend our conduct, and not even the Lacedaemonians can find fault with it, since the gods themselves, who have given us the victory, showed their approval of it, how can what we did by right of war admit of question? And yet the thing they lay most stress upon in no way concerns us. We are responsible for having called to trial the men who had excited the population to take up arms, who had stormed and plundered the maritime towns and massacred their leading men; but the putting them to death as they were coming into the camp was your doing, Areus and Alcibiades; and now, good heavens! you are actually accusing us of it! The Lacedaemonian refugees, these two men amongst them, were with us at the time, and because they had selected the maritime towns for their residence, they believed that their lives were in danger, and in retaliation made an attack upon those who had been the instruments of their banishment and would not suffer them to pass their lives in security, even though it were in exile. It was not, therefore, the Achaeans but the Lacedaemonians who slew Lacedaemonians, whether justly or unjustly, we are not concerned to discuss.
[39.37]"'Well but,' you say, 'these things are your doing, Achaeans - the abolition of the laws and discipline of Lycurgus which have come down from a remote antiquity, and the destruction of the walls.' Now, how can both these charges be made by the same people, seeing that the walls were built, not by Lycurgus but only a few years ago, and built, too, for the purpose of undermining the discipline of Lycurgus? It is quite recently that the tyrants raised them as a stronghold and defence for themselves, not for the city; and if Lycurgus could today rise from the dead, he would be glad to see them in ruins, and would say that he now recognised his old Sparta. For like disfiguring brands they marked you as slaves, and you ought to have torn down and demolished with your own hands, Lacedaemonians, every vestige of the tyrant's rule, and not have waited for Philopoemen and the Achaeans to do it. Whilst for 800 years you were without walls, you were free and for some time the foremost power in Greece, but when shut in by walls, bound as it were by fetters, you have for the last century been slaves. As for the deprivation of their laws and constitution, I consider that the tyrants deprived the Lacedaemonians of their ancient laws; we did not deprive them of their laws and constitution, for they had none; but we gave them our own laws, nor did we in any way do the city a wrong when we made it a member of our council and incorporated it in our League, so that there might be one political body and one common council for the whole of the Peloponnese. If we ourselves had been living at the time under different laws from those which we imposed on them, they could, in my opinion, have complained and felt justly indignant at not enjoying equal rights with us.
"I am quite aware, Appius Claudius, that the language I have so far used is not the language that allies should hold towards allies, nor does it befit a nation of freemen; it is really appropriate to the bickerings of slaves before their masters. If there is any meaning in the words of the herald in which you ordered that the Achaeans should be the first of all the Greeks to be free; if our treaty is still in force; if the terms of amity and alliance are kept equally for both sides, why should I not ask what you Romans did when you took Capua, as you demand from us an account for what we Achaeans did to the Lacedaemonians, after we had conquered them in war? 'Some of them were killed.' Suppose they were killed by us, what then? Did not you, senators, behead the Campanians? We destroyed the walls; you deprived the Campanians not only of their walls but of their city and their fields. The treaty, you say, is on the face of it just to both sides. As a matter of fact, the Achaeans enjoy a precarious freedom; the supreme power rests with the Romans. I am sensible of this, and I do not, unless compelled, protest against it; but I do implore you, however great the difference between the Romans and the Achaeans, not to let our common enemies stand in as favourable position with you as we, who are your allies, still less in a more favourable one. For we put them on an equality with ourselves when we gave them our laws. What satisfies the victors is too little for the vanquished; enemies demand more than allies receive. The agreement which has been sworn to and inscribed in stone for a perpetual memorial as being sacred and inviolable, that agreement they are preparing to do away with, and make us forsworn. We have a profound respect for you, Romans, and if you wish it, we hold you in fear, but we have a more profound respect for and a greater fear of the immortal gods."
His speech was received with general approbation; all recognised that he had spoken as befitted the high position he held, so that it was quite clear that the Romans could not maintain their authority, if they did not take a strong line. Appius said that he would strongly advise the Achaeans to court the favour of the Romans whilst they could do so of their own free-will, lest they should soon be compelled to do so against their will. These words called forth a general murmur, but they were afraid of what might happen if they refused to comply with the Roman demands. They only requested the Romans to make such changes with regard to the Lacedaemonians as seemed desirable, and not involve the Achaeans in the guilt of perjury by making them undo what they had sworn to. The only decision arrived at was the cancelling of the sentence against Areus and Alcibiades.
[39.38]In the assignment of provinces at the commencement of the year to the consuls and praetors, Liguria, the only country where war was going on, was assigned to the consuls. The allocation of provinces to the praetors was as follows: the civic jurisdiction fell to C. Decimius Flavus; the alien, P. Cornelius Cethegus; C. Sempronius Blaesus took Sicily; Q. Naevius Matho, Sardinia, and also the investigation into the alleged cases of poisoning; A. Terentius Varro, Hither Spain, and P. Sempronius Longus, Further Spain. From these two last-mentioned provinces, two representatives of the praetors - L. Juventius Thalna and T. Quinctius Varus - went to Rome and after explaining to the senate the magnitude of the war in Spain which had now been terminated, they made a request that for such a great success, honours should be paid to the immortal gods and the praetors allowed to bring home their army. A two days' thanksgiving was appointed; as to the return of the legions, the senate ordered the matter to be adjourned till the question of the armies for the consuls and praetors was considered. A few days later a decree was made transferring to each of the consuls two of the legions which Appius Claudius and M. Sempronius had had. The question of the armies in Spain gave rise to a serious dispute between the new praetors and the friends of the praetors in Spain. Each side was supported by tribunes of the plebs and by one of the consuls. The one party threatened to veto any senatorial decree which ordered the return of the armies; the other side declared that if such a veto took place, they would stop all further business. The interests of the praetors abroad proved the stronger, and a resolution was passed by the senate that the new praetors should enrol 4000 Roman infantry and 300 cavalry, and from the Latin allies 5000 infantry and 500 cavalry, as the force which they were to take with them. When they had incorporated them with the four legions in Spain, so that each legion should not contain more than 5000 infantry and 300 cavalry, they were to discharge the remainder; first, those who had served their time, and then those who had shown exceptional bravery in battle under Calpurnius and Quinctius.
[39.39]No sooner was this dispute settled than a fresh one started on the death of the praetor C. Decimius. The candidates for the vacant post were Cnaeus Sicinius and L. Pupius, who had been aediles during the previous year; C. Valerius, one of the Flamens of Jupiter, and Q. Fulvius Flaccus, who was curule aedile designate, and therefore did not appear in a candidate's dress, though he was most active of all in his canvassing. The contest lay between him and the Flamen. At first they were level, but when he appeared to be winning, some of the tribunes of the plebs said that votes must not be accepted for him, because no one could accept or hold two magistracies, especially curule magistracies, at the same time. Other tribunes thought it only right that he should be exempted from the legal disability in order that the people might be at liberty to elect whom they would as praetor. L. Porcius, the consul, was at first disposed not to allow votes for him; then in order to have the authority of the senate for doing this, he summoned the senators and said that he referred the question to them because the canvassing for a praetorship on the part of a curule aedile elect was not in accordance with justice, nor would the precedent be one which a free commonwealth could allow. As far as he was concerned, unless they thought some other course desirable, he intended to conduct the election according to law. The senate decided that the consul should come to an understanding with Q. Fulvius not to prevent the election of a praetor in place of C. Decimius from being conducted according to law. Acting on this resolution the consul approached Flaccus. He replied that he would do nothing unworthy of himself. Those who interpreted this evasive reply in accordance with their wishes were led to hope that he would yield to the authority of the senate. On the day of the election he displayed more determined activity than ever, and accused the consul and the senate of trying to deprive him of the goodwill and sympathy of the people of Rome, and creating odium against him for aspiring to double honours, as if it were not perfectly obvious that as soon as he was elected praetor he would resign the aedileship. When the consul saw that he was becoming more obstinate, and the popular feeling was more and more in his favour, he suspended the election and convened a meeting of the senate. There was a full attendance, and they resolved that since the authority of the senate had no weight with Flaccus, the case must be brought before the people. The Assembly met and the consul laid the matter before them. Not even then was Flaccus moved from his determination. He expressed his gratitude to the Roman People for their zealous support and their desire to make him praetor as often as they had the opportunity of expressing their desire. He had no intention of forgoing the zealous support which his fellow-citizens accorded him. The fixed determination thus expressed kindled the popular enthusiasm to such an extent that he would undoubtedly have become praetor, had the consul been willing to accept votes for him. There was a heated dispute amongst the tribunes themselves and between them and the consul, until at a meeting of the senate convened by the consul it was decreed that whereas the obstinacy of Q. Fulvius and the mischief of party strife prevented the election from being conducted according to law, the senate considered that the number of praetors was sufficient. P. Cornelius was to exercise both jurisdictions m the City and also to celebrate the Games of Apollo.
[39.40]This election had been stopped through the good sense and courage of the senate, but another followed where more important interests were at stake and more numerous and more influential competitors appeared. This was the election to the censorship. Those who were standing were L. Valerius Flaccus, the two Scipios, Publius and Lucius, Cnaeus Manlius Vulso, L. Furius Purpurio as patricians, and the following plebeians: M. Porcius Cato, M. Fulvius Nobilior, the two Sempronii, Tiberius and Sempronius Longus, and M. Sempronius Tuditanus. The contest was a very animated one, but patricians and plebeians alike, even those belonging to the noblest families, were far outstripped by M. Porcius. This man possessed such ability and force of character that in whatever station he had been born he must have been a fortunate and successful man. In no department of business, whether public or private, was the requisite knowledge lacking to him, he was equally versed in the affairs of town and country life. Some men have reached the highest posts through their knowledge of law, others through eloquence, others again through their military reputation. This man's versatile genius made him at home in all alike, so much so indeed that whatever he took up you would say that he was born for that one thing alone. In war he was a most doughty fighter and distinguished himself in many famous battles, and when he reached the highest posts he proved himself a consummate general. In peace, if you consulted him you found him a most able lawyer, and if he had to plead in a case, a most eloquent one. Nor was he one of those whose power of speech lasts only during their lifetime, and of whose eloquence no memorial survives; his eloquence is still alive and vigorous, enshrined in writings on all sorts of subjects. There are a great number of speeches made in his own defence and in defence of others, and also against others, for he harassed his opponents equally whether he was prosecuting or defending. Personal quarrels - far too many of them - kept him busy, and he himself took care to keep them alive, so that it would be difficult to say who displayed the greater energy, the nobility in trying to suppress him, or he in worrying the nobility. He was undoubtedly a man of a rough temper and a bitter and unbridled tongue, absolute master of his passions, of inflexible integrity, and indifferent alike to wealth and popularity. He lived a life of frugality capable of enduring toil and danger, with a mind and body tempered almost like steel, which not even old age that weakens everything could break. In his eighty-sixth year he defended himself in a lawsuit and published his speech, in his ninetieth year he brought Ser. Galba to trial before the people.
[39.41]This was the man who was a candidate for the censorship, and the nobility tried now, as they had done all through his life, to crush him. With the exception of L. Flaccus, who had been his colleague in the consulship, all the candidates combined to keep him out, not so much because they wanted the post for themselves, or because they were indignant at the prospect of a "novus homo" as censor, as because they expected that his censorship would be strict and severe and damaging to many reputations; most of them had done him a bad turn and he would be eager to retaliate. Even in his candidature he assumed a menacing tone and accused his opponents of trying to prevent his election, because they were afraid of a censor who would act with impartiality and courage. At the same time he supported the candidature of L. Valerius, for he considered him the only man with whom as colleague he could repress the vices of the time and restore the old standard of morality. His speeches awoke general enthusiasm and the people, in the teeth of the nobility, not only made him censor but gave him L. Valerius as his colleague. Close upon the election of censors followed the departure of the consuls and praetors for their provinces. Q. Naevius, however, did not leave for Sicily till four months had elapsed, as he was detained by the task of investigating charges of poisoning. These were gone into mostly in the boroughs and market towns, a more convenient arrangement than transferring them to Rome. If we are to believe Valerius Antias, he sentenced more than 2000 persons. L. Postumius, to whom Tarentum had been assigned as his province, crushed the wide-spread conspiracy of the herdsmen, and made a close and careful examination into the remaining cases connected with the Bacchanalia. Many who had been summoned to Rome had not put in an appearance or had deserted their securities and were in hiding in that part of Italy. Some he arrested and sent to Rome for the senate to deal with, others he convicted and sentenced. They were all thrown into prison by P. Cornelius.
[39.42]In Further Spain matters were quiet as the strength of the Lusitanians was broken in the last war. In Hither Spain A. Terentius besieged and took the town of Corbio belonging to the Suessetani and sold the prisoners. After this Hither Spain was also quiet through the winter. The late praetors returned to Rome, and the senate unanimously decreed a triumph to each of them. C. Calpurnius celebrated his triumph over the Lusitanians and the Celtiberi; 83 golden crowns and 12,000 pounds of silver were carried in the procession. A few days later L. Quinctius Crispinus triumphed over the same nations and a similar amount of gold and silver was carried in his procession. The censors M. Porcius and L. Valerius, amidst many forebodings, revised the roll of the senate. They removed seven names, including that of a man of consular rank, L. Quinctius Flamininus, distinguished for his high birth and the offices he had held. There is said to have been an old regulation that the censors should commit to writing their reasons for excluding any from the senate. There are extant some incriminating speeches which Cato delivered against those whom he removed from the roll of the senate or the register of the equites, but by far the most damaging is the one he made against L. Quinctius. If Cato had delivered this speech as accuser before the name was erased and not as censor after he had erased it, not even his brother T. Quinctius, had he been censor at the time, could have kept him on the roll.
Amongst other charges he brought up against him was the following. He had persuaded by huge bribes a Carthaginian boy named Philip, an attractive and notorious catamite, to accompany him into Gaul. This boy in petulant wantonness used very often to reproach the consul for having carried him away from Rome just before the exhibition of gladiators, in order that he might put a high price upon his compliance with the consul's passions. It happened that while they were banqueting and heated with wine a message was brought in that a Boian noble had come as a refugee with his children and wanted to see the consul in order to obtain from him personally a promise of protection. He was brought into the tent and began to address the consul through an interpreter. In the middle of his speech the consul turned to his paramour and said: "As you have given up the show of gladiators, would you like to see this Gaul die?" Hardly meaning what he said, the boy assented. The consul seized a naked sword hanging above him and struck the Gaul, who was still speaking, on the head. He turned to flee, imploring the protection of the Roman People and of those who were present, when the consul ran his sword through him.
[39.43]Valerius Antias, as though he had never read Cato's speech and had only given credence to an unauthenticated; story, relates a different incident, but resembling the above in its lust and cruelty. According to him, a woman of Placentia, a bad character, with whom the consul was madly in love, was invited by him to a banquet. Here, boasting of his exploits, he told the harlot, amongst other things, what a stern inquisitor he had been, how many who had been condemned to death he was keeping in chains till he executed them. She was reclining on the same couch with him, and remarked that she had never seen an execution and would dearly love to see one. Thereupon, to indulge her, he ordered one of those unhappy wretches to be brought in and then struck off his head. Whether the incident took the form described in the censor's speech, or whether it was as Valerius narrates it, in any case a cruel and brutal crime was perpetrated. During a festive meal, when it is customary to pour libations to the gods and wish all happiness to the guests, a human victim was sacrificed and the table sprinkled with blood to delight the eyes of a wanton harlot lying on a consul's breast! Cato closed his speech by saying that if Quinctius denied the charges he gave him the option of providing security and letting the case go to trial, but if he admitted them, did he suppose that any one would grieve over his disgrace after he had amused himself, when maddened by wine and lust, by shedding a man's blood at a banquet?
[39.44]In the revision of the register of the equites L. Scipio Asiagenes was struck out. In fixing the assessments the censorship was severe and harsh on all classes. Orders were issued that an account should be taken on oath of all female dress, ornaments and carriages which were valued at more than 15,000 ases, and that they should be assessed at ten times their value. Similarly, slaves less than twenty years old who had been sold since the last lustrum for 10,000 ases or more were to be assessed at ten times that amount, and on all these assessments a tax was imposed of one-third per cent. The censors cut off from the public aqueducts all supplies of water for private houses or land, and wherever private owners had built up against public buildings or on public ground, they demolished these structures within thirty days. They next made contracts for lining the reservoirs with stone and, where it was necessary, cleaning out the sewers, money having been set apart for the purpose, and also for the construction of sewers in the Aventine quarter and in other places where as yet there were none. Flaccus constructed a raised causeway at the Fountain of Neptune to serve as a public road and also a road along the Formian Hill. Cato purchased for the State two auction halls in the Lautumiae, the Maenium and the Titium, as well as four shops, and on the site he built a basilica, known afterwards as the Porcian. They farmed the taxes to the highest bidders, and let out the contracts to the lowest tenders. The senate, yielding to the prayers and lamentations of the tax-farmers, annulled these arrangements and ordered fresh terms to be made. The censors gave public notice that those who had treated the former contracts with contempt should not be allowed to make fresh bids. They signed fresh contracts for everything on slightly easier terms. This censorship was noteworthy for the feuds and quarrels it gave rise to, and for which Cato through his severity was held responsible; feuds which made his life a stormy one to the end. Two colonies were founded this year, one at Potentia in the Picene district, the other at Pisaurum in the land of the Gauls. Six jugera were allotted to each colonist; the commissioners who supervised the settlement were Q. Fabius Labeo, M. Fulvius Flaccus and Q. Fulvius Nobilior. The consuls for this year did nothing worth recording.
[39.45]The consuls elected for the next year were M. Claudius Marcellus and Q. Fabius Labienus. On the day they entered upon office - March 15 - they brought before the senate the question of their provinces. Liguria was assigned to both consuls with the armies which their predecessors had had. When the new praetors balloted for their provinces, the two Spains were reserved for the praetors of the year before who retained their armies. C. Valerius, the Flamen, who had been an unsuccessful candidate the year before, was in any case to have one of the two jurisdictions in Rome; he drew the alien jurisdiction. The other provinces went as follows: the civic jurisdiction to Sisenna Cornelius, Sicily to Sp. Postumius, Apulia to L. Pupius, Gaul to L. Julius, Sardinia to Cnaeus Sicinius. L. Julius was required to hasten his departure. The transalpine Gauls, who, as stated above, had descended into Italy by a hitherto unknown mountain road, were building a town in the territory which now belongs to Aquileia. The praetor received instructions to prevent their doing this, without war if he could; if they had to be restrained by force of arms he was to inform the consuls, and one of them was to lead the legions against the Gauls. At the end of the preceding year there was an election of an augur to fill the place of Cnaeus Cornelius Lentulus who had died. Sp. Postumius Albinus was elected.
[39.46]At the commencement of this year P. Licinius Crassus, the Pontifex Maximus, died. M. Sempronius Tuditanus was co-opted as pontiff to fill the vacancy in the college, and C. Servilius Geminus was elected Pontifex Maximus. On the day of the funeral of P. Licinius a public distribution of meat was made, and a hundred and twenty gladiators fought in the funeral games which lasted for three days and after the games a public feast. The couches had been spread all over the Forum when a violent storm of wind and rain burst and compelled most people to put up shelter tents there. On the sky clearing, everywhere soon after they were removed, and it was commonly said that the people had fulfilled a prediction which the prophets of fate had made that it was necessary for tents to be set up in the Forum. No sooner were they relieved from their religious fears than another portent followed. There was a rain of blood for two days and the Keepers of the Sacred Books ordered special intercessions to be made to expiate the portent. Before the consuls left for their provinces they introduced various overseas deputations to the senate. Never before had there been so many men from that part of the world assembled in Rome. As soon as it became generally known amongst the tribes inhabiting Macedonia that the complaints about Philip were not falling on deaf ears and that many people had found it quite worth their while to bring forward complaints, they flocked to Rome, cities, tribes, even individual complainants, each with their own grievance - for the hand of their neighbour, Philip, was heavy on them all - in the hope of obtaining redress for their wrongs or comfort under their sufferings. Eumenes, too, sent his brother Athenaeus with a deputation to complain that the garrisons had not been withdrawn from Thrace, and that Philip had assisted Prusias in his war with Eumenes.
[39.47]Demetrius, who was at the time quite a young man, had to answer all the charges. It was by no means an easy matter for him to retain in his memory either the details of the allegations or the proper reply to be made to them. They were not only very numerous, but most of them were very trivial, such as disputes about boundaries, the carrying off of cattle and men, the capricious administration of justice, judges corrupted by bribes or intimidated by threats of violence. When the senate found that Demetrius could not explain things clearly and that they could get no definite information from him and saw that the youth was embarrassed and at a loss what to say, they ordered the question to be put to him whether he had received from his father any memorandum dealing with these matters. On his stating that he had received one, they thought by far the wisest course would be to have the king's own replies to each point raised. They at once called for the book and allowed him to quote from it. It contained concise explanations under each head. Some of the things he had done were, he said, in compliance with the dictates of the commissioners; with regard to other of his acts, it was not his fault but that of his accusers that he had failed to comply. Interspersed throughout the memorandum were protests against the partiality shown in the rulings of the commissioners and the unfair way in which the discussion had been carried on before Caecilius, and also the undeserved and unworthy insults heaped upon him from all sides. The senate took these as marks of irritation on his part; however, as the young prince apologised for some things, and gave an undertaking that for the future all would be done as the senate wished, it was decided that the following reply should be given: "Nothing which his father had done was more correct or more in accordance with the senate's wishes than his willingness, whatever his conduct had been, to send his son Demetrius to give satisfaction to Rome. Much of the past the senate could close their eyes to and forget and put up with, and they believed that they could trust Demetrius, for though they returned him to his father in bodily presence, they had his mind and feelings with them still as a hostage, and they knew that so far as was consistent with his affection for his father he was a friend to the People of Rome. Out of regard for him they would send a commission to Macedonia, so that whatever had not been done which ought to have been done it might even yet be carried out without any penalty for past omissions." They also wished Philip to understand that he was indebted to his son Demetrius for the complete restoration of his good relations with Rome.
[39.48]This, which was done to enhance the dignity of the young prince, immediately aroused jealousy against him and finally proved to be his ruin. The Lacedaemonians were introduced next. Many questions, quite insignificant, were raised; there were some, however, of great importance, for instance, whether those whom the Achaeans had condemned should be restored, whether those whom they had put to death were justly or unjustly slain, and also whether the Lacedaemonians should remain in the Achaean League, or whether, as had previously been the case, that city alone out of the whole of the Peloponnese should keep its own separate laws. It was decided that the exiles should be restored and the sentences passed on them annulled, and that Lacedaemon should remain in the Achaean League. This decree was to be committed to writing and signed by the Lacedaemonians and Achaeans. Q. Marcius was sent as special commissioner to Macedonia, he was also instructed to examine the state of affairs in the Peloponnese. The unrest left by the old dissensions still prevailed there and Messene had seceded from the Achaean League. If I were to go into the origin and progress of this war I should be forgetting my resolution not to touch on foreign affairs except so far as they are connected with those of Rome.
[39.49]There was one incident worth recording. Though the Achaeans proved superior in the war, their captain-general Philopoemen was taken prisoner. He was on his way to occupy Corone, against which place the enemy were advancing, and whilst he was traversing a valley over difficult and broken ground with a small cavalry escort, he was surprised by the enemy. It is said that with the help of the Thracians and Cretans he could have effected his escape, but honour forbade him to desert his cavalry, men of good family whom he had himself selected. Whilst he was closing up his rear to meet the enemy's onset, and so give his cavalry a chance of escaping through the narrow pass, his horse fell, and what with his own fall and the weight of the horse rolling over him, he was very nearly killed on the spot. He was now seventy years old and his strength was greatly impaired by a long illness from which he was just recovering. The enemy, closing round him as he lay, made him their prisoner. As soon as he was recognised, the enemy, out of personal regard for him and recalling his great services, treated him just as if he had been their own general, lifted him up carefully, gave him restoratives, and carried him out of the entangled ravine into the high road, hardly believing the good fortune which had befallen them. Some of them at once dispatched messengers to Messene to announce that the war was over, and Philopoemen was being brought in as a prisoner. The affair seemed at first so incredible that the messenger was regarded as not only false but out of his senses. As one after another arrived, all bringing the same story, it was at last believed, and before they really knew that he was anywhere near the city, the whole population, citizens and slaves, even boys and women, poured out to see him. The crowd had blocked the gate, it looked as though each must have the evidence of his own eyes before he could believe that such a great event had really happened. Those who were bringing Philopoemen in had the greatest difficulty in forcing an entrance into the city through the crowd. An equally dense crowd blocked the rest of the route and, as the great majority were prevented from seeing, they rushed to the theatre which was near the road and all with one voice demanded that he should be brought where the people could see him. The magistrates and principal citizens were afraid that the compassion evoked by the sight of so great a man might lead to a disturbance, for whilst some would contrast his former greatness with his present position, others would be moved by the memory of all he had done for them. They placed him where he could be seen at a distance, and then hurriedly removed him from men's eyes. Dinocrates, the governor, gave out that there were certain questions connected with the conduct of the war which the magistrates wished to put to him. He was then led away to the senate house and on the assembling of the senate they commenced their deliberations.
[39.50]Evening was now coming on, and they were not only unable to get through their other business but they could not even agree as to where he could be safely kept during the night. They were dazed by the greatness of the man and the splendour of his career, and they did not dare to take him to their own homes or trust his custody to any single individual. Somebody reminded them of the public treasury which was an underground chamber, walled with hewn stone. Here he was let down in chains and the huge stone with which it was covered was lowered with pulleys. Having thus made up their minds that his safe-keeping ought to be entrusted to a place rather than to any man, they waited for the day. On the morrow the whole population, bearing in mind his former services to their city, considered that he ought to be spared and that through his means they must look for the remedy for their present troubles. The authors of the secession, who were in control of the government, held a secret meeting and unanimously decided that he must be put to death, but they were not agreed whether they should act at once or not. The party who were eager for his death carried the day, and a man was sent to him with the poison. It is said that he took the bowl and merely asked whether Lycortas was safe and whether the cavalry had escaped. When he was assured that they were safe he said, "It is well," and without the slightest sign of fear drained the bowl and shortly afterwards expired. The authors of this cruelty did not congratulate themselves on his death for long. Messene was captured in the war, and on the demand of the Achaeans the criminals were surrendered. The remains of Philopoemen were restored to them and the whole of the Achaean council were present at his funeral. After heaping upon him every human honour they did not shrink from according to him divine honours. Greek and Latin historians pay this man so high a tribute that some of them have placed on record as a notable feature of this year that three illustrious generals died during its course - Philopoemen, Hannibal and Lucius Scipio. To such an equality with the greatest generals of the most powerful nations in the world have they raised him.
[39.51]Prusias had for some time fallen under suspicion in Rome, partly owing to his having sheltered Hannibal after the flight of Antiochus and partly because he had started a war with Eumenes. T. Quinctius Flamininus was accordingly sent on a special mission to him. He charged Prusias, amongst other things, with admitting to his court the man who of all men living was the most deadly foe to the People of Rome, who had instigated first his own countrymen and then, when their power was broken, King Antiochus to levy war on Rome. Either owing to the menacing language of Flamininus or because he wished to ingratiate himself with Flamininus and the Romans, he formed the design of either putting Hannibal to death or delivering him up to them. In any case, immediately after his first interview with Flamininus he sent soldiers to guard the house in which Hannibal was living. Hannibal had always looked forward to such a fate as this; he fully realised the implacable hatred which the Romans felt towards him, and he put no trust whatever in the good faith of monarchs. He had already had experience of Prusias' fickleness of temper and he had dreaded the arrival of Flamininus as certain to prove fatal to himself. In face of the dangers confronting him on all sides he tried to keep open some one avenue of escape. With this view he had constructed seven exits from his house, some of them concealed, so that they might not be blocked by the guard. But the tyranny of kings leaves nothing hidden which they want to explore. The guards surrounded the house so closely that no one could slip out of it. When Hannibal was informed that the king's soldiers were in the vestibule, he tried to escape through a postern gate which afforded the most secret means of exit. He found that this too was closely watched and that guards were posted all round the place. Finally he called for the poison which he had long kept in readiness for such an emergency. "Let us," he said, "relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man's death. The victory which Flamininus will win over a defenceless fugitive will be neither great nor memorable; this day will show how vastly the moral of the Roman People has changed. Their fathers warned Pyrrhus, when he had an army in Italy, to beware of poison, and now they have sent a man of consular rank to persuade Prusias to murder his guest." Then, invoking curses on Prusias and his realm and appealing to the gods who guard the rights of hospitality to punish his broken faith, he drained the cup. Such was the close of Hannibal's life.
[39.52]According to Polybius and Rutilius this was the year in which Scipio died. I do not agree with either of these writers, nor with Valerius; I find that during the censorship of M. Porcius and L. Valerius, Valerius was himself chosen as leader of the senate, though Africanus had held that position through the two previous censorships, and unless we are to assume that he was removed from the senatorial roll - and there is no record of any such stigma being affixed to his name - no other leader of the senate would have been chosen. Valerius Antias is proved to be wrong by the following considerations. There was a tribune of the plebs, M. Naevius, against whom Scipio delivered a speech which is still extant. From the lists of the magistrates it appears that this Naevius was tribune of the plebs during the consulship of P. Claudius and L. Porcius, but actually entered upon office on December 10, when Appius Claudius and M. Sempronius were the consuls. Three months elapsed from that date to March I5, when P. Claudius and L. Porcius assumed office. Thus it appears that Scipio was alive when Naevius was tribune and might have been impeached by him, but dead before L. Valerius and M. Porcius were censors. We may trace a correspondence in the death of these three men, who were each the most illustrious of his nation, for not only did they die about the same time, but not one of the three ended his life in a way worthy of his splendid career. None of them died on his native soil or was buried there. Hannibal and Philopoemen were carried off by poison; Hannibal was an exile, and betrayed by his host, Philopoemen was a captive and died in prison and in chains. Though Scipio had not been banished or condemned to death, still, as he did not appear on the day fixed for his trial, though duly cited, he passed upon himself a sentence of banishment, not only for life but even after he was dead.
[39.53]During the incidents in the Peloponnese from which I have made a digression, Demetrius and his legation returned to Macedonia. There was much divergence of view as to the results of their embassy. The bulk of the Macedonian people, appalled at the imminent prospect of a war with Rome, were enthusiastic supporters of Demetrius. They looked upon him as the author of peace and regarded his succession to the throne after his father's death as a certainty. Although younger than Perseus, he was a legitimate son, the other was the son of a concubine. People said that Perseus, the offspring of a prostitute, had no note or mark of any particular father, whereas Demetrius showed a remarkable likeness to his father; moreover, Perseus was no favourite with the Romans and they would place Demetrius on his father's throne. Such was the common talk. Perseus felt himself superior to his brother in everything else, but he was haunted by the thought that his age alone would count but little in his favour. Philip himself, too, whilst feeling doubtful whether it would be in his power to decide whom he should leave as heir to the throne, considered that his younger son was assuming more authority than he wished him to possess. He was annoyed at the way in which the Macedonians resorted to Demetrius and he looked upon the existence of a second royal court as an indignity to himself. The young prince had certainly come home with a much higher sense of his own importance, presuming as he did upon the compliments paid him by the senate and the concessions they had made to him after refusing them to his father. Every allusion he made to the Romans raised his prestige amongst the Macedonians and evoked a corresponding amount of jealousy and ill-will in his father and brother. This was particularly the case when the fresh commissioners arrived from Rome and Philip was compelled to evacuate Thrace and withdraw his garrisons and carry out the other measures demanded by the previous commissioners and the fresh orders of the senate. All these things were a source of grief and bitterness to him, all the more so because he saw him associating with the Romans much more frequently than with himself. Still he acted in obedience to the orders of Rome that there might be no pretext for commencing hostilities. Thinking to divert any suspicions the Romans might entertain as to his designs, he led his army into the interior of Thrace, against the Odrysae, the Dentheleti and the Bessi. He took the city of Philippopolis which had been deserted by the inhabitants, who with their families had taken refuge in the nearest mountains. After ravaging the fields of the barbarians who lived in the lowlands, he accepted their surrender. Leaving a garrison in Philippopolis which was shortly afterwards expelled by the Odrysae, he began to build a town in Deuriopus, a district in Paeonia, near the river Erigonus which, rising in Illyria, flows through Paeonia into the Axius, not far from the ancient city of Stobae. He ordered the new city to be called Perseis in honour of his eldest son.
[39.54]During these events in Macedonia the consuls left for their provinces. Marcellus sent a message to L. Porcius, the proconsul, asking him to take his legions to the town which the Gauls had lately built. On the consul's arrival the Gauls surrendered. There were 12,000 under arms, most of them had arms which they had taken by force from the peasants. These were taken from them as well as what they had carried off from the fields or brought with them. They resented this strongly and sent envoys to Rome to complain. C. Valerius the praetor introduced them to the senate. They explained how, owing to over-population, want of land and general destitution, they had been compelled to seek a home across the Alps. Where they saw the country uninhabited and uncultivated there they had settled, without doing injury to any one. They had even begun to build a town, a clear proof that they were not going to attack either town or village. M. Claudius had recently sent a message to them that if they did not surrender he would make war upon them. As they preferred a secure if not a very honourable peace to the uncertainties of war, they had placed themselves under the protection, before they had to submit to the power, of Rome. A few days afterwards they were ordered to evacuate their city and territory, and they intended to depart quietly and settle in what part of the world they could. Next, their arms were taken from them, and at last all that they possessed, their goods and their cattle. They implored the senate and the People of Rome not to treat those who had surrendered without striking a blow with greater severity than they treated active enemies.
To these pleas the senate ordered the following reply to be given: They had acted wrongfully in coming into Italy and attempting to build a town on ground that was not their own without the permission of any Roman magistrate who was over that province. On the other hand, it was not the pleasure of the senate that after they had surrendered they should be despoiled of their goods and possessions. The senate would send back with them commissioners to the consul, who on their returning whence they had come would order all that belonged to them to be restored. The commissioners would also cross the Alps and warn the Gaulish communities to keep their population at home. The Alps lay between as an almost impassable frontier line; those who were the first to make them easy of transit would certainly not be the better for it. The commissioners who were sent were L. Furius Purpurio, Q. Minucius and L. Manlius Acidinus. After everything which they had any right to was restored to them, the Gauls departed from Italy.
[39.55]The transalpine tribes gave a satisfactory reply to the commissioners. The older men amongst them blamed the excessive leniency of the Romans for having sent away, unpunished, men who without any authority from their tribe had set out to occupy territory belonging to the Roman government, and had attempted to build a town on land that did not belong to them. They ought to have paid heavily for their audacity. The indulgence shown them in the restoration of their property might, they feared, invite others to similar ventures. The hospitality which they showed towards the commissioners was so generous that they loaded them with presents. After the Gauls had been cleared out of his province, M. Claudius began to lay his plans for a Histrian war. He wrote to the senate for permission to lead his legions into Histria and the senate sanctioned his doing so. They were at the time discussing the question of sending colonists to Aquileia, and the question was whether they should make it a Latin colony or send Roman citizens. It was finally decided that the colony should consist of Latin settlers. The commissioners for superintending the settlement were P. Scipio Nasica, C. Flaminius and L. Manlius Acidinus. Mutina and Parma were also colonised this year by Roman citizens. Two thousand men were settled in each colony on land which had recently belonged to the Boii, formerly to the Tuscans. Those at Parma received eight jugera each, those at Mutina, five. The allocation of the land was carried out by M. Aemilius Lepidus, T. Aebutius Carus and L. Quinctius Crispinus. Saturnia, also, a colony of Roman citizens, was founded under the supervision of Q. Fabius Labeo, C. Afranius Stellio and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. Ten jugera were assigned to each colonist.
[39.56]During the year the proconsul A. Terentius fought some successful actions with the Celtiberi not far from the Ebro in the Ausetanian country, and stormed several places which they had fortified there. Further Spain was quiet during the year owing to the long illness of P. Sempronius, and the Lusitanians, receiving no provocation, remained, fortunately, quiet. Nor did Q. Fabius do anything worth mentioning in Liguria. M. Marcellus was recalled from Histria and his army disbanded. He returned to Rome to conduct the elections. The new consuls were Cnaeus Baebius Tamphilus and L. Aemilius Paulus. The latter had been curule aedile with M. Aemilius Lepidus who five years before had won his consulship after two previous defeats. The new praetors were Q. Fulvius Flaccus, M. Valerius Laevinus, P. Manlius for the second time, M. Ogulnius Gallus, L. Caecilius Denter, and C. Terentius Istra. At the end of the year there were intercessions owing to portents. It was firmly believed that a rain of blood had fallen for two days in the temple precinct of Concord, and it was reported that not far from Sicily a new island had been thrown up by the sea. Valerius Antias is our authority for stating that Hannibal died this year, and that in addition to T. Quinctius Flamininus, whose name is well known in connection with that incident, L. Scipio Asiaticus and P. Scipio Nasica were sent to Prusias on that occasion.
End of Book 39
Copyright (c) 1996 by Bruce J. Butterfield.
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