Book 40: Perseus and Demetrius
[40.1]At the beginning of the following year the consuls and praetors balloted for their provinces. Liguria was the only consular province and was assigned to both consuls. The result of the ballot gave the civic jurisdiction to M. Ogulnius Gallus, the alien jurisdiction to M. Valerius, Hither Spain to Q. Fulvius Flaccus, Further Spain to P. Manlius, Sicily to L. Caecilius Denter, and Sardinia to C. Terentius Istra. The consuls received instructions to levy troops. Q. Fabius had written from Liguria to say that the Apuani were contemplating a renewal of hostilities and there was danger of their making an irruption into the territory of Pisae. In the Spanish provinces too there was trouble: the senate knew that Hither Spain was in arms and that fighting was going on with the Celtiberi; in Further Spain, owing to the long-continued illness of the praetor, military discipline was relaxed by luxury and idleness. Under these circumstances they decided that fresh armies should be raised: four legions for Liguria each numbering 5200 infantry and 200 cavalry, with the addition of 15,000 infantry and 800 cavalry drawn from the Latin allies. These were to form the two consular armies. The consuls were further instructed to call up 7000 infantry and 400 cavalry as an allied contingent and despatch them to M. Marcellus, whose command in Gaul had been extended at the close of his consulship. For the two Spanish provinces a force of 4000 Roman infantry and 200 cavalry, together with 7000 infantry and 300 cavalry from the Latin allies, was to be raised. Q. Fabius Labeo had his command in Liguria extended, and he was to retain the army which he had.
[40.2]The spring of that year was a stormy one. On the eve of the Parilia, about the middle of the day a terrible storm of wind and rain burst and wrecked many sacred and ordinary buildings. It blew down the bronze statues on the Capitol, it carried off the door from the temple of Luna on the Aventine and dashed it against the walls behind the temple of Ceres. Other statues were overturned in the Circus Maximus together with their pedestals. Several sculptures were broken off from the roofs of the temples and ruthlessly shattered. This storm was in consequence regarded as a portent, and the augurs were bidden to direct the necessary expiation for it. A further expiation was demanded in consequence of intelligence brought to Rome of the birth of a mule at Reate with only three feet, and a report from Formiae that the temple of Apollo at Caieta had been struck by lightning. In consequence of these portents twenty full-grown victims were sacrificed and special intercessions offered for one day. From a despatch sent by A. Terentius it was ascertained that P. Sempronius, after more than a year's illness, had died in Further Spain. The praetors were ordered to start for Spain as soon as possible. Legations from overseas were admitted to an audience of the senate. First came those from Eumenes, Pharnaces and the Rhodians. The latter complained of the disaster which had overtaken Sinope. Envoys from Philip and from the Achaeans and Lacedaemonians went to Rome at the same time. After hearing Marcius, who had been sent to ascertain the state of affairs in Greece and Macedonia, the senate gave their reply. The two sovereigns and the Rhodians were informed that the senate would send a commission to look into those matters.
[40.3]Marcius had increased the senate's apprehensions about Philip. He admitted that Philip had carried out the measures insisted upon by the senate, but in such a way that he would obviously continue to do so no longer than he was compelled. There was little doubt that he would recommence war, and all his words and actions pointed in that direction. He transferred almost the entire population from the maritime cities to the district now called Emathia, formerly known as Paeonia, and had handed over those cities to the Thracians and other barbarians for their residence, thinking that these races could be more safely depended upon in case of a war with Rome. This action called forth loud protests throughout Macedonia; few of those who with their wives and children were abandoning their homes bore their grief in silence. Everywhere amongst the crowds of emigrants were heard curses on the king; their anger got the better of their fears. Furious at all this, Philip began to suspect all persons, places and seasons alike, and at last openly avowed that he could only be secure when he had the children of those whom he had put to death arrested and in safe keeping. Then he could put them out of the way from time to time.
[40.4]This brutality, hideous as it was, was rendered still more so by the sufferings of one particular family. Herodicus, a leading man in Thessaly, had been put to death by Philip many years ago; afterwards he put his sons-in-law to death and his two widowed daughters, Theoxena and Archo, were left each with one little son. Theoxena had several offers of marriage but declined them all. Archo married a man called Poris who held quite the first place among the Aenianes. She bore him several children but died whilst they were still small. In order that her sister's children might be brought up under her own care, Theoxena married Poris and took as much care of her sister's sons as she did of her own. When she heard of the king's edict about arresting the children of those whom he had put to death, she felt sure that the boys would fall victims to the king's lust and even to the passions of his guards. She formed a terrible design and dared to say that she would rather kill them with her own hand than let them fall into Philip's power. Poris was horrified at the mere mention of such a deed, and said that he would send them away to some trustworthy friends in Athens and that he would accompany them in their flight. They went from Thessalonica to Aenia. A festival was being held there at the time, which was celebrated with great pomp every four years in honour of Aeneas, the founder of the city. After spending the day in the customary feasting they waited till the third watch, when all were asleep, and went on board a ship which Poris had in readiness, ostensibly to return to Thessalonica, but really to sail across to Euboea. While, however, they were vainly trying to make headway against a contrary wind, they were surprised by daylight not far from land, and the king's troops who were on guard at the harbour sent an armed boat to seize the ship, with strict orders not to return without her. Poris, meanwhile, was doing his utmost to urge on the rowers and sailors, lifting up his hands from time to time to heaven and imploring the gods to help him. His wife, a woman of indomitable spirit, fell back on the purpose she had long ago formed, and mixing some poison, placed the cup where it could be seen, together with some naked swords. "Death," she said, "alone can free us. Here are two ways of meeting it, choose each of you which you will, as the escape from the king's tyranny. Come, my boys, you who are the older be the first to grasp the sword, or if you would have a more lingering death, drink off the poison." On the one hand were the enemy close to them, on the other the insistent mother urging them to die. Some chose the one death, some the other, and whilst still half-alive they were thrown from the ship. Then the mother herself, flinging her arms round her husband, sprang with him into the sea. The king's troops took possession of a deserted ship.
[40.5]The horror of this deed fanned afresh the flames of hatred against the king. Curses were everywhere heaped upon him and upon his children, and the dire imprecations soon reached the ears of all the gods, so that they drove him into murderous cruelty against his own flesh and blood. Perseus saw that his brother Demetrius was growing more every day in popularity and influence with the mass of his nation and in favour with the Romans, and he felt that no hope remained to him of winning the crown except through the perpetration of a crime, and to its accomplishment he now devoted all his thoughts. He did not think himself strong enough to carry out the purpose which he was hatching in his weak and unmanly mind, and he began to sound his father's friends one by one, dropping dark and dubious hints in his talks with them. Some of them made it appear at first as though they rejected anything of the kind, because they hoped more from Demetrius. But as Philip's bitterness against the Romans, which Perseus encouraged and Demetrius did his utmost to check, became more pronounced every day, they foresaw the ruin of the youth who was taking no precautions against his brother's intrigues. So they at last decided to help on what must inevitably happen and advance the hopes of the stronger by taking the side of Perseus. They left other measures to be carried out at a fitting time, for the present they determined to use all their endeavours to inflame the king against the Romans and induce him to expedite the warlike plans which he was already contemplating. To aggravate the suspicions against Demetrius, they used to bring up the subject of the Romans in their conversations with him. Some would run down their national character and institutions, others spoke lightly of their military achievements, others scoffed at the appearance of the City, its lack of adornment in both public and private buildings, whilst others, again, spoke contemptuously of different public men. The young man, thrown off his guard by his devotion to the name of Rome and his opposition to his brother, defended them in every way, and thus made himself an object of suspicion to his father and laid himself open to charges of disloyalty. The result was that his father excluded him from all consultations on matters relating to Rome and took Perseus entirely into his confidence, discussing these subjects with him day and night.
The envoys whom he had sent to the Bastarnae to summon assistance had returned and brought back with them some young nobles, amongst them some of royal blood. One of these promised to give his sister in marriage to Philip's son, and the king was quite elated at the prospect of an alliance with that nation. Perseus, on this, said to him, "What advantage is there in that? Little protection will there be in foreign support, compared with the danger of domestic treason. We have in our midst a spy, I do not want to call him a traitor; ever since he was a hostage in Rome, the Romans possess his heart and soul, though they have given us back his body. The eyes of almost all Macedonia are turned towards him; they are fully persuaded that they will have none else as king but the one whom the Romans give them." The distempered mind of the old king was made still more uneasy by these words, which he took more seriously than appeared from his looks.
[40.6]It happened to be the time for the lustration of the army. The following is a description of the ceremony. The body of a bitch was divided in the middle, the forepart with the head was placed on the right side of the road and the hinder part with the entrails on the left, and the troops marched between them. In front of the column were borne the insignia of all the kings of Macedonia from its remotest origin; then followed the king and his children; next to them the king's own cohort and his bodyguard, the Macedonian phalanx bringing up the rear. The two princes rode on either side of their father; Perseus was now thirty years old and Demetrius five years his junior, the former in the prime of manhood, the latter in the flower of youth. The father would have been fortunate in his maturer offspring if only he had been wise and sensible. When the purificatory rite was completed it was the custom for the army to go through maneuvers and after being formed into two divisions to engage in a sham-fight. The two princes were appointed to command in this mimic contest, but there was no make-believe about the fighting, it looked like a struggle for the crown, so fiercely did they engage. Many wounds were caused by their staves and nothing was wanting but swords to give the actual appearance of war. The division which Demetrius commanded was by far the better one. Perseus was intensely annoyed, but his wiser friends were delighted. That circumstance in itself, they said, would afford grounds for incriminating the young man.
[40.7]Demetrius invited Perseus to supper at the close of the day, but he refused to go, and each of them gave a banquet to those who had been their comrades in the sham-fight. The lavish hospitality, as befitted the festal day, and the high spirits of youth led both parties to drink freely. Then they began to talk about the battle and jokes were made at the expense of their opponents, not even their leaders being exempt. A spy was sent from Perseus' party to listen to this conversation, but as he behaved somewhat incautiously he was caught by some youths who happened to be leaving the banquet-room and soundly cudgelled. Demetrius knew nothing of this and he asked his companions, "If my brother is still in an angry mood after the battle, why should we not go to him as boon companions and appease him by our open-hearted merriment?" All of them, except those who were afraid of prompt retaliation for thrashing the spy, called out that they would go. Demetrius made those also go with him, and they concealed swords under their garments to defend themselves in case of attack. Nothing could possibly be kept secret in this family quarrel, both their houses were full of spies and traitors. An informer ran to Perseus and told him that four young men who were wearing concealed swords were coming with Demetrius. Although he must have known the reason, for he had heard that one of his guests had been thrashed by them, he made the affair look as black as possible by ordering the door to be bolted, and going to the upper part of the house, where the windows looked down on the road, he kept the revellers from approaching the door, as though they were coming to murder him. Demetrius was under the influence of wine, and finding himself shut out protested loudly for some time and then returned to the banquet-room, not knowing in the least what it all meant.
[40.8]As soon as he could get an opportunity of seeing his father the next day, Perseus entered the palace with a perturbed expression and stood in silence at some distance from his father. "Are you well?" asked Philip. "Why that gloomy countenance?" "Let me tell you," he replied, "that it is more than I hoped for to be alive now. It is no longer by secret plots that my brother is seeking my life; he came to my house at night with an armed band to kill me. Only by barring the doors could I shelter myself from his fury behind the walls of the house." After thus astonishing and alarming his father, he went on, "Yes, and if you can give me a hearing I will make you see the whole thing clearly." Philip said that he would certainly hear him and sent orders for Demetrius to be summoned at once. He also sent for two of his older friends who had nothing to do with the quarrel between the brothers, and did not often visit the palace - Lysimachus and Onomastus. He wished to have them present at the council. Whilst waiting for them he walked up and down deep in thought, his son standing some distance away. When they were announced he withdrew with them and two of his life-guards into an inner room, and allowed each of his sons to bring three companions unarmed. After taking his seat he began: "Here I, a most unhappy father, am sitting as judge between my two sons, one accusing the other of fratricide, and I have to find my own children guilty of either a false accusation or a confession of criminal intent. I have for some time been dreading the imminence of this storm as I watched the way you looked at one another with an expression of anything but brotherly love, and listened to some of your language. Sometimes I have ventured to hope that your anger was dying down and that suspicions could be cleared up. Even hostile nations have laid down their arms and made treaties of peace, and many men have put an end to their private quarrels. I fancied that some day you might remember your relationship to one another, the unreserved intimacy of your boyish days and the teaching which I have given you, which has, I fear, fallen on deaf ears. How often have I told you of my detestation of fraternal quarrels and the dreadful results they lead to, how often they have ruined families and houses and kingdoms! I have also placed before you happier examples on the other side; the perfectly friendly relations between the two kings of Sparta, which had for long centuries been such a safeguard to themselves and their country; but as soon as the fashion came in of each trying to secure despotic power for himself, that State was destroyed. Look at those two monarchs, Eumenes and Attalus, who from such small beginnings that they shrank from the title of king have now become the peers of Antiochus and myself, and this is due to nothing so much as the brotherly concord that existed between them. I even drew examples from the Romans which had fallen under my own observation or which I had heard of: the two Quinctii, Titus and Lucius; the two Scipios, Publius and Lucius, who conquered Antiochus; their father and their uncle whose lifelong harmony was cemented by death. And yet the bad examples which I first mentioned and the evil results of their evil conduct could not deter you from your insane quarrels, nor could the good character and the good fortune of the others turn you to a sound and healthy state of mind. While I am yet alive and drawing vital breath you have in your criminal ambition decided to whom the crown will pass. You wish me to live just long enough to survive one of you, and then by my death make the other the unquestioned king. You cannot bear that either your father or your brother should live. You have no affection, no conscience; an insatiable desire for the crown alone has supplanted everything else in your hearts. Go on, then, grieve and shock your father's ears, fight out your differences with mutual recriminations as you will soon do with the sword; speak out openly whatever you can truly allege or find pleasure in inventing. My ears are open to you now, henceforth they will be closed to any secret charges which you may make against each other." He uttered these last words in very angry tones and all present burst into tears; there was a long and sorrowful silence.
[40.9]Then Perseus began: "You think, then, that I ought to have opened the door and admitted the armed revellers and presented my throat to the sword, and beset as I am with plots and treachery, I have to listen to the same language that is addressed to thieves and foot-pads. It is not for nothing that those people say that Demetrius is your only son, whilst they call me supposititious and base-born. They speak to some purpose, for if I possessed in your eyes the rank, the affection due to a son, you would not vent your anger on me when I complain of the plot that has been frustrated, but on him who contrived it, nor would you hold my life so cheap as not to be moved by past dangers or by future dangers, should the plotters escape with impunity. If I am to die without uttering a protest, I would be silent except for a prayer to the gods that the villainy which began with me may end with me, and that my deathblow may not strike you. But if, whilst I see the sword drawn against me, I may be permitted to make my voice heard, then, just as Nature herself prompts those who are surrounded by dangers, with no friend near, to appeal for help to men they have never seen, so I beseech you by the sacred name of father - and you have long felt which of us holds that name most sacred - to grant me the same hearing as you would have done had you been awakened by a cry of alarm at night and gone at my call for help, and actually seen Demetrius with his armed comrades in my vestibule. What would have been my cry of alarm at the actual moment of danger, last night, I am today making the subject of my complaint.
"Brother, for a long time we have not lived together as table-companions. You, in any case, want to be king. This hope of yours is baffled by my seniority, by the right of primogeniture universally recognised, by the time-honoured usage of the Macedonians. You cannot surmount these barriers except through my blood. You are trying every device, every expedient. Hitherto, either my watchfulness or my good luck has stood in the way of your becoming a fratricide. Yesterday, on the occasion of the propitiatory sacrifice, the maneuvers and the sham-fight, you made the fight all but a fatal one, and nothing averted my death but the fact that I allowed my men and myself to be defeated. From that hostile encounter you wanted to inveigle me to your banquet, as though it had been merely brotherly sport. Do you believe, father, that it would have been amongst unarmed guests that I should have banqueted, when they came in arms to banquet with me? Do you believe that I was in no danger from their swords at night, after they had almost killed me with their staves whilst you were looking on? Why, Demetrius, do you come at that hour of the night, why do you come as an enemy to one who is in an angry mood, why do you come accompanied by youths with hidden swords? I did not dare to trust myself to you even as a guest, am I to admit you when you come with an armed band? Had my door been open, you, my father, would now be arranging my funeral obsequies instead of listening to my complaints. "I am not trumping up charges as a prosecutor, nor am I arguing upon questionable evidence. Surely he does not deny that he came to my door with a large crowd, or that he was accompanied by men with concealed swords. Send for the men whose names I give you. Those who have dared so far will go to any lengths, they will not, however, venture upon a denial. If I had caught them in my vestibule with their swords and brought them to you, you would have regarded it as a clear case; take their confession as equivalent to their being caught in the act.
[40.10]"Now invoke curses on the eager longing for your crown, awake the furies that avenge a brother's blood, but do not, my father, let your execrations fall blindly. Discern, distinguish between the plotter and the victim of his plots, and let them fall on the guilty head. Let him who intended to kill his brother feel the wrath of his father's gods, let him who was to perish through a brother's crime find shelter in his father's justice and compassion. For where else can I find refuge, when there is no safety either in the ceremonial purification of the army, or in house, or banquet, or in night, nature's boon to mortals for repose? If I had accepted my brother's invitation it would have been my death, if I had admitted my brother inside my doors it would have been my death. I do not escape his murderous designs whether I go or stay. I have sought favour from none, save the gods and you, my father; I have not the Romans to flee to. They are seeking my ruin because I grieve over your wrongs, because I resent your being deprived of so many cities, so many subject nations, and now' of the coastline of Thrace. When neither you nor I are any longer safe they hope that Macedonia will be theirs. If my brother's murderous hand carries me off, if old age carries you off, or even if they do not wait for that, they know that the king and realm of Macedonia will be at their disposal. If the Romans had left you anything beyond the borders of Macedonia, I could even believe that it was left as a harbour of refuge for me.
"But, you say, I have sufficient protection in the Macedonians. You saw how the soldiers attacked me yesterday. What was lacking except a sword? What was lacking in the daytime my brother's guests furnished themselves with at night. Why should I speak about the majority of our leading men who have placed all their hopes of fortune and power on the Romans and on the man who is all-powerful with the Romans? They are not only setting that fellow above me, but very soon they will set him above you, his father and his king. It was out of kindness to him that the Romans remitted the penalty they were going to impose on you; he it is who protects you from the arms of Rome, who thinks it right that you at your age should be at the mercy of his youth. On his side stand the Romans, on his side are all the cities which have been liberated from your rule, on his side are the Macedonians who are happy while there is peace with Rome. Whom have I to trust to but my father, what hope or security is there elsewhere?
[40.11]"What do you suppose is the meaning of that letter which has just been sent to you by T. Quinctius, in which he says that you acted wisely in your own interest by sending Demetrius to Rome, and urges you to send him again with a more numerous embassage including the foremost men in Macedonia? T. Quinctius is now his adviser and director in everything; he has renounced you, his father, and put him in your place. With him all the secret plans are arranged beforehand; he is looking out for men to help him in carrying out those plans when he bids you send more of the Macedonian leaders with him. They will go from here loyal and true, believing that they have a king in Philip, they will come back tainted and poisoned with Roman blandishments. Demetrius is everything to the Romans, they are already addressing him as king while his father is alive. If I show indignation at all this, I have forthwith to listen to charges of seeking the crown not only from others but even from you, my father. But if the accusation rests between us, I, for my part, repudiate it. For whom am I displacing that I may step into his place? My father alone is before me, and I pray Heaven that he may long be so. If I survive him - and may this be so only if my deserts make him wish it - I shall receive the heritage of the crown if my father delivers it to me. That youth is coveting the crown, and coveting it with criminal intent. He is eager to forestall the order laid down by age, by nature, by the usage of the Macedonians, by the law of nations. 'My elder brother,' he says to himself, 'to whom by right and even by my father's wish the crown belongs, stands in my way; let him be removed. I shall not be the first who has sought a kingdom at the cost of a brother's blood. My father, an old man, without the support of his elder son will be too much afraid for himself to think of avenging his son's death. The Romans will be glad, they will approve of my act and defend it.' These are uncertain hopes, but not groundless. For this is how matters stand, my father; you can repel the danger which menaces my life by punishing those who have taken up the sword to slay me; if their criminal purpose is achieved, you will not have the power to avenge my death."
[40.12]When Perseus had finished, all present looked at Demetrius, expecting him to reply at once. There was a long silence and everybody saw that he was bathed in tears and unable to speak. At length they told him that he must speak, and he was compelled to stifle his grief. So he began: "Everything, my father, on which those who are accused could rely for their defence has been prejudiced by my accuser. The tears which he feigned for the purpose of effecting another's ruin have made you suspect the reality of mine. Ever since my return from Rome he has been hatching secret plots against me day and night with his confederates, and now he deliberately fastens on me the character not only of an intriguer but even of an open assassin. He alarms you with the bugbear of his own danger in order that through you he may hasten the destruction of his unoffending brother. He says that there is no place of refuge for him in the whole world in order that I may have no hope of safety with you. Beset by foes, deserted by friends, destitute of all resources, he loads me with the odium aroused by the favour shown to me by foreigners, which hurts me more than it benefits. How like a common prosecutor has he acted in mixing up his account of last night's events with a bitter attack upon the rest of my life so that he put that incident, which you will see in its true colours, in a suspicious light, by representing the tenor of my life as other than what it is, and bolstering up that false and scandalous description of my hopes and wishes and designs by this fictitious and hollow evidence. And at the same time he tried to make his accusations appear as though they were uttered without preparation, on the spur of the moment, called forth forsooth by the alarm and tumult of the night. But, Perseus, if I were a traitor to my father and the realm, if I were scheming with the Romans or with any of my father's enemies, you ought not to have waited for this trumped-up story of last night's doings, you ought to have accused me of treachery before this. If that accusation as distinct from this one was without any foundation and a proof of your bad feeling towards me, rather than of my guilt, surely it ought to be passed over today and deferred till another occasion, so that the question which of us in a spirit of unheard-of hatred has been intriguing against the other might be decided on its merits. At all events, so far as I am able to do so in this sudden bewilderment, I shall separate what you have confused together, and unveil last night's plot, to show whether you or I were the author of it.
"He wants to make it appear that I formed a design against his life in order, forsooth, that after the removal of the elder brother, to whom by a universally acknowledged right, by the usage of the Macedonians and by your decision, as he says, the future crown belongs, I, the younger son, could step into the place of him whom I had killed. What then is the meaning of that part of his speech in which he says that I curried favour with the Romans and hoped through my reliance on them to come to the throne? For if I believed that the Romans possessed so much influence that they could impose upon the Macedonians whom they would as king, and if I trusted so much to my interest with them, what need was there for me to kill my brother? Was it that I might wear a crown stained with a brother's blood? That I might be execrated and hated by the very men whose favour I have won by a straightforwardness, either sincere or at least assumed, if indeed I have won it? Perhaps you imagine that T. Quinctius, by whose virtuous counsels you say that I am ruled, has instigated me to be my brother's murderer, though he himself lives in such close affection with his own brother. Perseus has brought together in what he said not only my favourable position with the Romans but also the sentiments of the Macedonians and the all but unanimous judgment of gods and men, and owing to all these advantages he professes to believe that he is no match for me. And yet, as though in everything else I were inferior to him, he maintains that I have betaken myself to crime as my last hope. Do you want the issue of the trial to take this form: 'Whichever of the two feared that the other might be thought more worthy of the crown, let him be judged to have formed the design of crushing his brother?'
[40.13]"Now in whatever way these charges have been fabricated, let us examine the order in which they stand. He said that numerous attempts had been made against his life, and he has brought all the methods employed within the limits of a single day. I wanted, he says, to kill him in broad daylight after the lustration when we were engaged in the mimic battle, actually, good heavens! on the very day of the lustration! Then I wanted to take him, forsooth, by poison, after inviting him to supper. Then I wanted to go with a band of revellers armed with hidden swords and kill him with cold steel. You notice what occasions he has selected for the murder - sports, a banquet, a wine party? Why, what was the character of the day? A day on which the army was purified, on which they marched between the two halves of the victim, with the royal arms of all the kings of Macedonia borne before them, we two alone in front by the side of you, my father, and the Macedonian phalanx following. Even though I had previously committed some sin which required expiation, could I, after being purified and absolved in this solemn rite, especially whilst gazing upon the victim which lay on either side our path - could I then be revolving in my mind thoughts of murder, poison, swords? With what other rites could I then have cleansed a mind steeped in uttermost guilt? But in his blind eagerness to launch accusations and throw suspicion on everything I did, he has made one thing contradict another. For if I intended to take you off by poison during the banquet, what could have less served my purpose than to rouse your anger by an obstinately contested fight so as to give you just cause for refusing my invitation? After your angry refusal what should I have done? Was I to make it my business to appease your wrath so as to have another opportunity, now that I had prepared the poison, or should I have, so to speak, leaped from that plan to another, and in the guise of a boon companion killed you with the sword, and all on the same day? If I had supposed that you kept clear of my supper party for fear of your life, how could I possibly have failed to suppose that the same fear would keep you from the drinking bout which followed?
[40.14]"There is nothing to blush for, father, in my having taken wine with my comrades somewhat freely on such a festal day. I wish you would find out with what fun and merriment we kept up the banquet at my house last night, and how delighted we were - perhaps improperly - at our side not being the worst in the youthful assault-at-arms. My unhappiness and my fears have quite shaken off the effects of the wine; had these circumstances not arisen, we dangerous plotters should now all be lying fast asleep. If I had been going to attack your house, and after getting possession of it kill the owner, should I not have kept myself and my soldiers from wine for one day at least? And that I may not be alone in taking this simple and ingenuous line of defence, my brother, by no means a suspicious person, says: 'I know of nothing more, I can bring no further proof than his having come to my house with a sword.' If I were to ask 'whence do you know even this much?' you would have to confess either that my house was filled with your spies, or that my comrades took their swords so openly that everybody saw them. And to take away all appearance of his having made previous enquiries, or of his proving me a criminal, now he wants you to ask those whose names he has given whether they had swords, as though there were any doubt about it. Then after being questioned as to a fact they all admitted, they were to be treated as persons found guilty after trial. Why do you not ask that this question be put to them: 'Did you take your swords for the purpose of murdering him?' This is what you want to have made clear, and not the other point which is openly admitted. But they say that they took their swords for their own protection. Whether they did this rightly or wrongly is their affair, they must answer for their own action. My case is in no way affected by what they did, do not mix up the two things together. Or else explain whether we were going to attack you secretly or openly. If openly, why did we not all carry swords ? Why did nobody take one besides those who had given your spy a thrashing? If secretly, what sort of a plan had we formed? After the party had broken up and I had left the table and four, as you say, remained behind for the purpose of attacking you when asleep, how could they have escaped, being as they were strangers belonging to my party, and, above all, objects of suspicion since they had been fighting not long before? How, too, could they have got away after murdering you? Could your house have been stormed and taken with four swords?
[40.15]"Why do you not drop this story of what happened last night and come back to your real grievance which supplies the fuel to your jealousy? 'Why, Demetrius, are people talking everywhere about your being king? Why do you appear in some people's eyes to be a more worthy successor to your father's position than myself? Why do you cloud with doubt and anxiety those hopes which, if you did not exist, would be assured?' So Perseus thinks, if he does not speak his thoughts. It is this that makes him my enemy, my accuser, it is this that floods your palace and your realm with slander and suspicion. But, my father, as I am bound in duty not to hope for the crown nor, perhaps, ever to dispute it, since I am the younger and it is your wish that I should give place to the elder, so have I felt it my duty in the past and so I feel it today, never to show myself unworthy of you, my father, or unworthy of all my nation. For that would be caused by my faults, not by modestly giving way to him who has right and justice on his side. You bring up the Romans against me and turn into a crime what ought to be a source of pride. I never asked to be handed over to the Romans as a hostage, or to be sent as an envoy to Rome, but when sent by you I did not refuse to go. On both occasions I so conducted myself that neither you nor your sovereignty nor the whole of Macedonia could be ashamed of me. So you, my father, were the cause of my friendship with the Romans; as long as peace exists between you and them I too shall stand in favour with them. If war breaks out I, who have been a hostage and a not unsuccessful representative of my father, shall be their most determined foe. I do not claim today that my interest with the Romans shall help me, but I do pray that it may not injure me. It did not begin in a time of war nor is it reserved for a time of war. I was a pledge of peace, I was sent as an envoy to maintain the peace: neither of these should be put down to my credit or to my fault. If I have been guilty of undutiful conduct towards you, my father, or criminal designs against my brother, I am prepared to undergo any punishment. If I am innocent, I beg that I may not fall a victim to envy and malice, since I cannot suffer for any crime.
"My brother is not accusing me for the first time today, but it is the first time he is doing so openly, though I have done nothing to deserve it. If my father were angry with me it would be your duty, as the elder brother, to intercede for the younger to obtain pardon for my offence in consideration of my youth. Where I ought to find protection, I find a determination to destroy me. I have been dragged away whilst only half-awake from a banquet and a wine party to answer a charge of fratricide. Without advocates, without defending counsel, I am compelled to plead for myself. Had I to plead for another I should have taken time to think out and arrange my speech, and what else would be at stake but my reputation as a skilful pleader? Unaware of the reason for being summoned, I found you in an angry mood, ordering me to defend myself, and my brother making accusations against me. He delivered a carefully prepared and thought-out speech against me; I had only such time as he took to make his accusations in which to learn what the matter at issue was. What was I to do in those few moments, listen to my accuser or think out my defence? Thunderstruck by a danger so sudden and so unlooked for, I could with difficulty understand the charges brought against me, still less could I see the right way of defending myself against them. What hope would there be for me if I had not my father as my judge? If my brother has a greater share of his affection, I, who have to defend myself, ought at all events not to have a less share of his compassion. I am praying you to preserve me in your own interest as well as mine; he demands that you shall put me to death for his own security. What do you think he will do to me when you have left your crown to him, if even now he thinks it right that my life should be sacrificed for him?"
[40.16]Tears and sobs prevented him from saying more. Philip ordered them to withdraw, and after a short consultation with his friends gave his decision. He would not, he said, base his judgment of their case upon what they had said, or upon an hour's discussion, but upon an investigation into the life and character of each and a close observation of their language and behaviour on all occasions, important and unimportant alike. Everybody saw from this that whilst the charges arising out of the last night's proceedings were easily disposed of, Demetrius' excessive friendliness with the Romans had aroused suspicion. These incidents which occurred during Philip's lifetime became, so to speak, the seeds of the Macedonian war, which was fought mainly against Philip.
Both the consuls left for Liguria, which was the only consular province, and on account of their successes there thanksgivings were ordered for one day. About 2000 Ligurians came to the extreme frontier of Gaul where Marcellus was encamped, begging him to accept their surrender. Marcellus told them to stay where they were and wait till he had communicated with the senate. The senate instructed the praetor, M. Ogulnius, to inform Marcellus by letter that the consuls whose province it was were better able to decide than they were what course would be most in the interests of the State. At the same time, if Marcellus accepted the surrender of the Ligurians, the senate did not wish their arms to be taken from them and thought it right that they should be sent to the consul. The praetors took up their respective commands at the same time. P. Manlius went to Further Spain, which he had administered in his former praetorship; Q. Fulvius Flaccus proceeded to Hither Spain and took over the army from A. Terentius, for owing to the death of P. Sempronius, Further Spain had been without a magistrate. Whilst Fulvius Flaccus was besieging a Spanish town called Urbicua he was attacked by the Celtiberians. Many fierce actions took place, and there were severe losses in killed and wounded amongst the Romans. No display of force could draw Fulvius away from the siege, and his perseverance finally conquered. Exhausted by so many battles the Celtiberi retired, and the city, now that assistance was withdrawn, was taken in a few days and sacked. The praetor gave the booty to the soldiers. Beyond this capture Fulvius did nothing worth recording, nor did P. Manlius, beyond concentrating his scattered forces. They withdrew their armies into winter quarters. Such was the record of that summer in Spain. Terentius, after giving up his command there, entered the City in ovation. He brought home 9320 pounds of silver, 82 pounds of gold and seven golden crowns weighing 60 pounds.
[40.17]During the year a commission went from Rome to arbitrate between the Carthaginian government and King Masinissa on a claim to certain territory. Masinissa's father, Gala, had taken it from the Carthaginians, Syphax had expelled Gala from it, and out of complaisance to his father-in-law Hasdrubal had made a present of it to the Carthaginians, and this year Masinissa had expelled the Carthaginians. The matter was contested as hotly in argument as it had been with the sword, and came before the Romans for decision, who investigated it on the spot. Masinissa said that he had recovered the territory as part of his ancestral dominions and held it by the universally acknowledged right of inheritance. His case was the stronger of the two, both by title and by actual possession. The only thing he feared was that he might be at a disadvantage should the Romans shrink from appearing to favour a monarch who was their friend and ally at the cost of a people who were enemies to him and them alike. The commissioners decided nothing as to the right of possession and referred the whole question to the senate. Nothing further took place in Liguria. The Gauls retreated into the pathless forests and then dispersed to their villages and forts. The consuls also wanted to disband their army, and consulted the senate about doing so. The senate ordered one of them to disband his army and proceed to Rome to elect the magistrates for the next year; the other was to winter with his legions at Pisae. There were rumours that the transalpine Gauls were arming and it was uncertain into what part of Italy they might descend, so the consuls arranged that Cn. Baebius should go to hold the elections, as his brother Marcus was a candidate.
[40.18]The new consuls were M. Baebius Tamphilus and P. Cornelius Lentulus. Liguria was assigned as their province. The assignment of provinces to the new praetors was as follows: The civic jurisdiction fell to Q. Petilius, the alien to Q. Fabius Maximus; Gaul to Q. Fabius Buteo; Sicily to Tiberius Claudius Nero; Sardinia to M. Pinarius; Apulia to L. Duronius, who was also to command in Histria, because news was received from Tarentum and Brundisium that the fields on the coast were being plundered by pirates from overseas. The same complaint was made by Marseilles about the ships of the Ligurians. The military requirements were then determined. Four legions were assigned to the consuls, each consisting of 5200 Roman infantry and 300 cavalry, and also 15,000 infantry to be drawn from the Latin allies and 800 cavalry. The former praetors remained in Spain with the armies they had, and reinforcements were sent to them of 3000 Roman citizens and 200 cavalry, together with 6000 allied infantry and 300 cavalry. Naval affairs were not lost sight of. The consuls appointed two officers to man twenty ships with crews of Roman citizens who had the status of freedmen, the officers alone being freeborn citizens. These two officers were responsible for the defence of the coast, each commanding ten ships, and their spheres of action were separated by the promontory of Minerva, which formed the centre of the defence; the operations of the one extending from that point westward to Marseilles; those of the other, south and east as far as Barium.
[40.19]Many dreadful portents were witnessed in Rome this year and reported from outlying districts. In the precincts of the temple of Vulcan and Concord there was a rain of blood, and the pontiffs announced that the spears had been shaken and the image of Juno Sospita at Lanuvium had shed tears. So severe an epidemic broke out in the market-towns and country districts that Libitina was hardly able to supply the materials for the funerals. Greatly alarmed by these portents and by the ravages of the pestilence, the senate decreed that the consuls should sacrifice full-grown victims to whatever deities they thought proper, and that the Sacred Books should be consulted. The Keepers of these Books decreed that special intercession should be offered at all the shrines for a whole day. They also advised that intercessions and suspension of work for three days should be observed throughout Italy. The senate approved and the consuls published an edict ordering the observance. Owing to a revolt in Corsica and hostilities on the part of the Ilians in Sardinia it had been decided to call up 8000 Latin and allied infantry and 300 cavalry for the praetor M. Pinarius to take with him to Sardinia, but such was the extent and deadly nature of the pestilence that the consuls reported the number could not be made up owing to the great mortality and wide-spread sickness. The praetor was ordered to take what he wanted from C. Baebius, who was wintering in Pisae, and to sail from there to Sardinia. The praetor L. Duronius, to whom the province of Apulia had fallen, was further charged with an investigation into the Bacchanalia, some remains of which had come to light the previous year, seeds as it were sown by the earlier mischief. L. Pupius, the former praetor, had begun an inquiry but it had not been brought to a definite issue. The senate sent orders to the new praetor to cut the evil out and prevent it from spreading. Acting on the authority of the senate, the consuls brought before the people a measure dealing with bribery.
[40.20]Some deputations were introduced to the senate. The first to be received were those from Eumenes, Ariarathes of Cappadocia and Pharnaces, King of Pontus. They were simply informed that commissions would be sent to examine and settle the conflicting claims. These were followed by envoys from the Lacedaemonian refugees and the Achaeans; the refugees were led to hope that the senate would order the Achaeans to repatriate them. The Achaeans explained to the satisfaction of the House the recovery of Messene and the settlement which had been made there. Two envoys also arrived from Philip of Macedonia - Philocles and Apelles. They were not sent with the view of obtaining anything from the senate, but simply to watch what was going on and to find out what those conversations were which Perseus had accused Demetrius of holding with the Romans, and in particular those with T. Quinctius, about the succession to the throne in opposition to his brother. The king had sent these men as being impartial and not biassed in favour of either, but they, too, were agents and accomplices in Perseus' treachery against his brother. Demetrius, ignorant of all the intrigues against him save what he had learnt from the recent outbreak of his brother's malice, was neither very sanguine nor altogether hopeless of a reconciliation with his father, but he gradually felt less confidence in his father's feelings towards him as he observed his brother constantly at his ear. To avoid grounds for further suspicion he was circumspect in all he said and did, and he took particular care to abstain from any mention of the Romans or any intercourse with them. He would not even have them write to him, because he saw that his father was particularly exasperated by this charge being brought against him.
[40.21]To prevent his soldiers from becoming demoralised through inaction, and at the same time to remove any suspicion of his meditating a war with Rome, Philip ordered his army to assemble at Stobi in Paeonia, and from there he led them into Maedica. He had been seized with a great desire to ascend the crest of Mt. Haemus, as he shared the common belief that the Pontus and the Hadriatic, the Hister and the Alps could all be seen from that point, and he believed that this prospect before his eyes would in no small measure serve to guide his plans in a war with Rome. He questioned those who knew the country about the ascent of Haemus, and all agreed that was impossible for an army, and extremely difficult even for a small lightly equipped force. His younger son he had decided not to take with him, and in order to lessen his disappointment, he engaged in familiar conversation with him and asked him, after putting before him the difficulties of the march, whether he thought he ought to go on or abandon the enterprise. If, however, he went on, he said, he could not forget the example of Antigonus, who, whilst tossing about in a violent storm and all his family in the ship with him, is reported to have given his children a precept for themselves to remember and to hand on to posterity, namely, that no one should expose himself to danger when accompanied by the whole of his family. Mindful of that precept Philip said that he would not expose both his sons to the chances of accident in what he proposed to do, and as he was taking his older son with him, he should send his younger son back to Macedonia as the stay of his hopes and the guardian of his kingdom. Demetrius was quite aware that the reason for his being sent back was that he might not be present at the council of war when Philip consulted his staff, whilst the various localities were lying in view, as to the quickest route to the Hadriatic, and the future conduct of the war. He was bound not only to obey his father's order but to show his approval of it, lest a reluctant compliance might arouse suspicions. To guarantee the safety of his journey to Macedonia, Didas, one of the royal officers who was governor of Paeonia, received orders to escort him with a small force. This man, also, Perseus had drawn into the conspiracy against his brother, as he had most of his father's friends, after it had become clear to everyone to which of the two sons the king's sympathies pointed as the heir to the throne. Didas' instructions were for the time being to insinuate himself by every kind of obsequiousness into Demetrius' confidence and intimacy so as to be able to draw out all his secrets and ascertain his hidden sentiments. So Demetrius departed amidst greater danger from his escort than if he had travelled alone.
[40.22]Philip's first objective was Maedica. From there he marched across the desolate country between Maedica and the Haemus, and in seven days reached the foot of the mountain range. Here he remained encamped for one day to select those whom he was to take with him, and the next day resumed his march. The first part of the ascent did not involve much labour, but as they gained higher ground the country became more wooded and overgrown; and one part of their route was so dark that, owing to the density of the foliage and the interlacing of the branches, the sky was hardly visible. As they approached the crest, everything was veiled in cloud, an uncommon occurrence at great altitudes, and so dense that they found marching as difficult as at night. At last on the third day they reached the summit. After their descent they said nothing to contradict the popular belief; more, I suspect, to prevent the futility of their march from becoming a subject of ridicule than because the widely separated seas and mountains and rivers could really be seen from one spot. They were all distressed by the hardships of the march, the king most of all, owing to his age. He raised two altars there to Jupiter and the Sun, on which he offered sacrifices, and then commenced the descent, which occupied two days, the ascent having taken three. He was afraid of the cold nights, which, though it was the dog-days, were like the cold in winter.
After all the difficulties he had had to contend against during those five days, he found things just as cheerless in his camp, where they were destitute of everything. This was inevitable in a district surrounded on all sides by uninhabited country. After one day in camp to rest the men whom he had taken with him, he hastened into the Dentheletic country at a speed which resembled a flight. This people were his allies, but owing to lack of food the Macedonians plundered them as though they were on enemy soil. Not content with robbing the homesteads, they devastated some of the villages, and it was with feelings of deep shame that the king heard his allies making fruitless appeals to the gods who watch over treaties and invoking his help and protection. Carrying off a supply of corn he returned to Maedica and made an attempt on a city called Petra. He fixed his camp on a plain which extended to the city and sent Perseus with a small force to approach the place from higher ground. With danger threatening them from all sides the townsmen gave hostages and surrendered the place for the time being, but as soon as the army had withdrawn they forgot all about the hostages, deserted their city and fled to their mountain strongholds. Philip returned to Macedonia with his men worn out to no purpose by labours and hardships innumerable, and with his mind filled with suspicions of his son through the cunning and treachery of Didas.
[40.23]This man, as I stated above, was sent to escort Demetrius. The young prince was incautious and angry, not without reason, at the way his relations treated him. Didas humoured him and pretended to be indignant on his account, and offered, unsolicited, to assist him in every way, and gave him his word of honour to be true to him. In this way he succeeded in eliciting his secret thoughts. Demetrius was meditating flight to the Romans and hoped to get away safely across Paeonia. That the governor of this province should further his project he regarded as a boon from heaven. This design was at once betrayed to his brother, and on his advice communicated to his father. A letter was sent to Philip while he was besieging Petra. On this, Heliodorus, the leading man amongst the friends of Demetrius, was flung into prison and orders were given to keep a secret watch on Demetrius. This more than anything else made the king's journey to Macedonia a very melancholy one. This new charge disturbed him greatly, but he felt that he ought to await the return of those who had been sent to find out everything in Rome. For some months he remained in suspense; at length his envoys returned after having settled beforehand in Macedonia what report they should bring back from Rome. In addition to all their other treachery, they handed to the king a forged letter sealed with a counterfeit of T. Quinctius' seal. The letter deprecated any harsh judgment of Demetrius, and stated that whatever communication the young prince in his eagerness for the crown had had with him, T. Quinctius, he was certain that he would do nothing to injure any of his relatives, nor was the writer a man who could be thought to countenance any unfilial conduct. This letter made Perseus' accusations appear more credible. Heliodorus was at once submitted to torture and died without implicating anyone.
[40.24]Perseus made fresh accusations against Demetrius to his father. He alleged the preparations for his flight and the bribery of some who were to accompany him. The forged letter purporting to come from T. Quinctius, he said, was the strongest proof of his guilt. No pronouncement was, however, made as to the infliction of any severe punishment, the intention was rather that he should be put to death secretly, not through any anxiety felt about him, but that Philip's designs against the Romans might not be revealed by a public sentence of death. Philip was marching from Thessalonica to Demetrias, and he sent Demetrius, still accompanied by Didas, to Astraeum in Paeonia, and Perseus to Amphipolis, to receive the Thracian hostages. It is said that as Didas was departing, Philip gave him instructions about putting his son to death. Didas arranged a sacrifice or else pretended to do so, and Demetrius was invited to the sacrificial banquet and went to Heraclea for the purpose. It is said that poison was given to him at the banquet, and that as soon as he drank the goblet he became aware of it. Very soon he was in great suffering., and he left the table and retired to his room. There he lay in agony exclaiming against his father's cruelty, and accusing his brother and Didas of murdering him. Then one Thyrsis of Stubera and a Beroean named Alexander entered the room, threw the bed-clothes over his head and suffocated him. In this way the unoffending youth was killed, as his enemies were not content with only one way of putting him to death.
[40.25]During these occurrences in Macedonia, L. Aemilius Paulus, whose command had been extended on the expiry of his consulship, marched against the Ingauni in Liguria. As soon as he had encamped on the enemy's territory, envoys came to him ostensibly to sue for peace, but really as spies. Paulus told them that he only made terms with those who surrendered. They did not definitely reject his conditions, but explained that they would require time to induce their people, a rustic population, to submit. An armistice for ten days was granted them. Then they asked that his soldiers might be forbidden to cross the mountains to gather fodder and wood - that cultivated part of the country formed part of their territory. They gained his consent to this also, and at once concentrated an enormous host behind those very mountains from which they were keeping their enemies away. A fierce attack was made on the Roman camp, all the gates being assaulted at once, and they kept up the attack with the utmost violence during the whole day. The Romans had no room for advancing against them, no sufficient ground for forming their battle-line. Massed in close order at the gates they defended the camp more by forming a barrier than by actual fighting. At sunset the enemy withdrew and Paulus sent two troopers to the proconsul at Pisae with a despatch informing him that his camp was invested in breach of the armistice, and asking him to come to his assistance as soon as possible. Baebius had handed over his army to the praetor M. Pinarius, who was on his way to Sardinia; however, he wrote to inform the senate that L. Aemilius was blockaded in his camp by the Ligurians, and he also wrote to M. Claudius Marcellus, whose province adjoined, that if he thought it wise he should transfer his army from Gaul to Liguria and relieve L. Aemilius from investment. This assistance would have been long in coming. The following day the Ligurians renewed their attack on the camp. Though L. Aemilius knew that they would come, and though he could have led out his men in line of battle, he kept them within their rampart in order that he might delay a battle till such time as Baebius could come with his army from Pisae.
[40.26]Baebius' despatch created considerable alarm in Rome, which was increased by the arrival of Marcellus a few days later. He had handed over his army to Fabius, and he told the senate that there was no hope of the army in Gaul being transferred to Liguria because it was engaged with the Histri, who were trying to prevent the formation of the colony at Aquileia. Fabius, he explained, had marched thither, and could not retrace his steps now that war had begun. There was one chance of sending help, though that would be later than the emergency demanded, namely, if the consuls hastened their departure for the province. All the senators were loud in their demand that they should go. The consuls declared that they would not go until the enrolment of troops was completed, and it was not through remissness on their part but through the violence of the epidemic that the completion was delayed. They were unable, however, to hold out against the unanimous determination of the senate, and left the City wearing the paludamentum, having appointed a day for the men whom they had enrolled to assemble at Pisae. The consuls were empowered to raise men indiscriminately as they went on, and take them with them. The praetors Q. Petilius and Q. Fabius received orders to raise fresh troops; Petilius to enrol two emergency legions of Roman citizens and to require all under fifty years of age to take the military oath; Fabius to demand from the Latin allies 15,000 infantry and 800 cavalry. C. Matienus and C. Lucretius were appointed to the naval command and ships were fitted out for them. Matienus, who was to command it in the Gulf of Gaul, was also ordered to bring his fleet as soon as possible down to the coast of Liguria in case it could be of any assistance to L. Aemilius and his army.
[40.27]As there were no signs of assistance coming anywhere, Aemilius supposed that his mounted messengers had been intercepted, and felt that he ought not any longer to delay trying what Fortune had in store for him single-handed. The enemy's attacks showed less spirit and force, and before their next assault he drew up his army at the four gates in order that on the signal being given they might make a simultaneous sortie on all sides. To the four praetorian cohorts he added two others with M. Valerius, one of his staff officers, in command, and gave them orders to sally from the praetorian gate. At the southern gate he posted the hastati of the first legion; the principes of this legion being in reserve. M. Servilius and L. Sulpicius, both military tribunes, were in command of these. The third legion was similarly drawn up at the north gate, with this difference that the principes formed the front, the hastati the reserve. The military tribunes Sextius Julius Caesar and L. Aurelius Cotta were in command of this legion. Q. Fulvius Flaccus, a staff officer, was posted with the right division of allied troops at the quaestorian gate. Two cohorts and the triarii of the two legions were ordered to remain and guard the camp. The general visited all the gates to harangue his men and whet their rage against the enemy by everything that could exasperate them. He spoke bitterly of the treachery of the enemy who, after suing for peace and being allowed a suspension of arms, had come to attack the camp while the armistice was actually in force, in violation of all international law. He pointed out what a disgrace it was for a Roman army to be hemmed in by Ligurians, who could be more truly described as a horde of robbers than as a regular enemy. "If," he continued, "you get out of this with the help of others, and not by your own courage, with what face will any of you meet - I do not say the soldiers who defeated Hannibal, Philip or Antiochus, the greatest generals and monarchs of our time, but - those who have so often pursued and cut to pieces these very Ligurians as they fled like frightened cattle through their pathless forests? What the Spaniards, the Gauls, the Macedonians, the Carthaginians did not dare to do, this the Ligurian is doing today; he comes up to the Roman rampart and actually surrounds and attacks our camp. And yet, formerly, it was hard to discover him after a close search as he lurked in his trackless hiding-places!" His words were met by a unanimous shout of approval from the soldiers. It was no fault of theirs, they said; no one had given the signal for a sortie; let him give the signal now, he would soon learn that the Romans and the Ligurians were the same that they had always been.
[40.28]The two camps of the Ligurians were on the near side of the mountain. During the first days they all used to march out of their camps at sunrise in proper formation; afterwards they did not take up arms unless they had been gorged with food and wine; they left their camps without any order, scattered about the field, feeling confident that their enemy would not advance outside his rampart. Whilst they were coming up in this disorderly fashion, the battle-shout was suddenly raised by every one in the camp, camp-followers and sutlers alike, and the Romans dashed out from all the gates. So little did the Ligurians expect this that they were thrown into as much confusion as if they had fallen into an ambush. For a few moments there was some appearance of a battle, then there was a wild flight and slaughter of the fugitives in all directions. The signal was given to the cavalry to mount their horses and allow no one to escape; the enemy were all driven headlong into their camp and then driven out of it. Over 15,000 Ligurians were killed that day and 2500 taken prisoners. Three days afterwards the entire tribe of the Ingauni made their submission and gave hostages. Search was made for the pilots and sailors who had been in the pirate ships, and they were all placed under guard. Thirty-two of these ships were captured by Matienus off the coast of Liguria. L. Aurelius Cotta and C. Sulpicius Gallus were sent to Rome to report what had happened and also to request that L. Aemilius, having brought his province into order, might be permitted to leave and bring away his soldiers with him and then disband them. Both requests were granted by the senate and thanksgivings at all the shrines were ordered for three days. Petilius was ordered to disband the citizen legions, and Fabius received orders to suspend the enrolment of Latin and allied troops. The City praetor was also ordered by the senate to write to the consuls and inform them that the senate thought it right that the men which had been hastily raised to meet the emergency should be disbanded as soon as possible.
[40.29]A colony was settled this year at Gravisca in Etruria on territory which had formerly been taken from the Tarquinii. Five jugera were given to each man; the supervisors of the settlement were C. Calpurnius Piso, P. Claudius Pulcher and C Terentius Istra. The year was marked by a drought and failure of the crops. It is recorded that no rain fell for six months. During this year while labourers were digging at some depth on land belonging to L. Petilius, a scrivener who lived at the foot of the Janiculum, two stone chests were discovered about eight feet long and four wide, the lids being fastened down with lead. Each bore an inscription in Latin and Greek; one stating that Numa Pompilius, son of Pompo and king of the Romans, was buried there, and the other saying that it contained his books. When the owner at the suggestion of his friends had opened them, the one which bore the inscription of the buried king was found to be empty, with no vestige of a human body or of anything else, so completely had everything disappeared after such a lapse of time. In the other there were two bundles tied round with cords steeped in wax, each containing seven books, not only intact but to all appearance new. There were seven in Latin on pontifical law, and seven in Greek dealing with the study of philosophy so far as was possible in that age. Valerius Antias says further that they were Pythagorean books, thus shaping his belief to the common opinion that Numa was a disciple of Pythagoras, and trying to give probability to a fiction.
The books were first examined by the friends who were present. As the number of those who read them grew, and they became widely known, Q. Petilius, the City praetor, was anxious to read them and took them from Lucius. They were on very friendly terms; when Q. Petilius was quaestor he had given Lucius Petilius a place on the decury. After perusing the most important passages he perceived that most of them would lead to the break-up of the national religion. Lucius promised that he would throw the books into the fire, but before doing so said that he should like to find out, if allowed to do so, whether he could reclaim them either by the right of possession or by the authority of the tribunes of the plebs, without, however, disturbing his friendly relations with the praetor. The scrivener approached the tribunes, and the tribunes left the matter for the senate to deal with. The praetor stated that he was ready to declare on oath that the books ought not to be preserved. The senate held the praetor's asseveration to be sufficient, and that the books ought to be burnt as soon as possible in the comitium. Whatever sum the praetor and the majority of the tribunes thought a fair price for the books was to be paid to the owner. The scrivener refused to accept it. The books were burnt in the comitium in the sight of the people in a fire made by the victimarii.
[40.30]A serious war broke out this summer in Hither Spain. The Celtiberi had got together as many as 35,000 men; hardly ever before had they raised so large a force. Q. Fulvius Flaccus was in charge of the province. On hearing that the Celtiberi were arming their fighting men, he had drawn from the friendly tribes all the troops he could, but he was very inferior to the enemy in numbers. In the first days of spring he led his army into Carpetania and fixed his camp near the town of Aebura, a small detachment being sent to occupy the town. A few days afterwards the Celtiberi encamped at the foot of a hill about two miles distant. When the Roman praetor became aware of their proximity, he sent his brother Marcus with two squadrons of native cavalry to reconnoitre the enemy's camp. His instructions were to approach as closely as possible to the rampart so as to get some idea of the size of the camp, but if he saw the enemy's cavalry coming, he was to retire without fighting. These instructions he carried out. For some days nothing took place beyond the appearance of these two squadrons, and they were always withdrawn after the enemy's cavalry had emerged from their camp. At last the Celtiberi issued from their camp with the whole of their infantry and cavalry, and formed up in line of battle midway between the two camps and remained stationary. The ground was level and well adapted for a battle. There the Spaniards stood in expectancy, whilst the Roman general kept his men within their rampart. For four successive days the enemy took their stand in battle-order on the same spot, but the Romans made no move. After this the Celtiberi rested in their camp as they had no opportunity of fighting; the cavalry alone rode out and took station as advanced pickets, in case of any movement on the part of their enemy. Both sides went out to collect fodder and wood in the rear of their camps, neither of them interfering with the other.
[40.31]When the Roman praetor had satisfied himself that after so many days' inaction the enemy would not expect him to take the initiative, he ordered L. Acilius to take the division of allied troops and 6000 native auxiliaries, and make a circuit round the mountain which lay behind the enemy's camp. When he heard the battle-shout he was to charge down on their camp. They started in the night to escape observation. At daybreak Flaccus sent C. Scribonius, the commander of the allied troops, with his "select" cavalry up to the enemy's rampart. When the Celtiberi saw them approaching more closely and in greater strength than they had usually done, the whole of their cavalry streamed out from the camp and the signal was given for the infantry also to advance. Scribonius, acting on his instructions, no sooner heard the clatter of the advancing cavalry than he turned his horses' heads and made for his camp. The enemy followed in hot haste. First their cavalry came up and soon after the infantry, never doubting but that they would that day capture the Roman camp. They were not now more than half a mile from the rampart. As soon as Flaccus considered that they were sufficiently drawn off from guarding their own camp he sallied forth from his camp, his army which had previously been drawn up inside the rampart being formed into three separate corps. The battle-shout was raised not only to stimulate the ardour of the combatants but also to reach the ears of those who were amongst the hills. Without a moment's delay these charged down, as they had been ordered, on the enemy's camp, where not more than 5000 men were left on guard. The strength of the assailants compared with their own scanty numbers and the suddenness of the attack so appalled them that the camp was taken with little or no resistance. When it was captured Acilius set fire to that part of it which could be best seen from the field of battle.
[40.32]The Celtiberi who were in the rear were the first to catch sight of the flames; then word ran through the whole line that the camp was lost and was burning furiously. This increased the dismay of the enemy and the courage of the Romans. On the one hand there were the cheers of their victorious comrades, on the other the sight of the hostile camp in flames. The Celtiberi were for a few moments uncertain what to do, but as there was no shelter for them if they were defeated, and their only hope lay in keeping up the struggle, they recommenced the fight with greater determination. Their centre was being closely pressed by the fifth legion, but they advanced with more confidence against the Roman left where they saw that their own countrymen were posted, and it would have been repulsed had not the seventh legion come up in support. The troops left to hold Aebura appeared in the middle of the battle and Acilius was in the enemy's rear. Between the two the Celtiberi were being cut to pieces; the survivors fled in all directions. The cavalry were sent after them in two divisions and caused great slaughter among them. As many as 23,000 men were killed that day, and 4700 were made prisoners; 500 horses and 88 military standards were captured. It was a great victory, but not a bloodless one. Out of the two legions rather more than 200 Roman soldiers fell, 830 out of the Latin allies, and 2400 out of the native auxiliaries. The praetor led his victorious army back to camp. Acilius was ordered to remain in the camp he had captured. The following day the spoils were collected, and those who had shown conspicuous bravery were rewarded in the presence of the whole army.
[40.33]The wounded were carried into Aebura and the legions marched through Carpetania to Contrebia. When this city was invested, the townspeople sent to the Celtiberi for assistance. This was delayed, not through any reluctance on the part of the Celtiberi, but because they could not make their way over the roads which were rendered impassable and the rivers which were flooded by incessant rain. Despairing of any help from their countrymen, the inhabitants surrendered. Flaccus found himself compelled by the terrible storms to move his entire army into the city. The Celtiberi, meanwhile, had started from home in ignorance of the surrender, and as soon as the rain stopped they succeeded at last in crossing the rivers and arrived before Contrebia. They saw no camp outside the walls, and concluding that it had been transferred elsewhere, or else that the enemy had withdrawn, they approached the town without taking precautions or keeping any proper formation. The Romans made a sortie from two gates, and attacking them whilst in disorder, routed them. The very thing that made resistance impossible, namely, their not marching in one body, or keeping with their standards, really helped the majority to escape, for the fugitives dispersed all over the field and the Romans could nowhere intercept any considerable number together. Nevertheless, the killed amounted to 12,000 and the prisoners to more than 5000; 400 horses and 62 standards were also secured. The scattered fugitives made their way to their homes, and meeting another body of Celtiberi who were going to Contrebia, stopped them by informing them of the surrender of the place and of their own defeat. All promptly dispersed to their forts and villages. Leaving Contrebia Flaccus led the legions through Celtiberia, ravaging the country as he marched and storming many of the forts until the greater part of the nation came in to make their surrender. Such were the incidents this year in Hither Spain. In Further Spain the praetor Manlius fought several successful actions with the Lusitanians.
[40.34]Aquileia, a city situated on land belonging to the Gauls, received this year a body of Latin colonists; 3000 infantry soldiers were settled there, and each man was allotted 50 jugera, the centurions 100, and the cavalry men 140. The supervisors of the settlement were P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica, C. Flaminius and L. Manlius Acidinus. Two temples were dedicated during the year, one to Venus Erycina, by the Porta Collina - this temple had been vowed by L. Porcius in the Ligurian war and was dedicated by his son - the other, the temple of Pietas in the Forum Olitorium. Manius Acilius Glabrio dedicated this temple and set up a gilt statue of his father Glabrio, the first gilded statue to be set up in Italy. He had himself vowed this temple on the day of his battle with Antiochus at Thermopylae and had also contracted for the building of it in accordance with a resolution of the senate. At the time of the dedication of these temples L. Aemilius Paulus celebrated his triumph over the Ingauni. Twenty-five golden crowns were borne in the procession; there was no other gold or silver in the triumph. Many Ligurian chiefs walked as prisoners before his chariot. To each soldier he gave as his share of the booty 300 ases. His triumph was notable for the presence of Ligurian envoys who had come to pray for a perpetual peace. So thoroughly had he made that people understand that they must never again take up arms except at the bidding of Rome. By order of the senate the praetor informed them in answer to their request that this was no new petition on the part of the Ligurians, there must be a new spirit and temper corresponding to it, and this rested above all with themselves. They must go to the consuls and carry out whatever they ordered. The senate would not believe that the Ligurians meant honestly and sincerely to keep the peace on any one's word but the consuls'. Peace was established with them. In Corsica there was fighting with the natives, M. Pinarius slew 2000 of them in battle. Through this defeat they were driven to give hostages and also 100,000 pounds of wax. Pinarius took his army to Sardinia and fought successful actions with the Ilienses, a tribe which to this day is not thoroughly pacified. In the course of this year the hundred hostages were restored to the Carthaginians and the Roman people brought about peace not only on their side, but also on the side of Masinissa, who was in forcible occupation of the disputed territory.
[40.35]The consuls' province remained quiet. M. Baebius was recalled to Rome to conduct the elections. A. Postumius Albinus Luscus and C. Calpurnius Piso were the new consuls. The praetors elected were Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, L. Postumius Albinus, P. Cornelius Mammula, Ti. Minucius Molliculus, A. Hostilius Mancinus and C. Maenius. All these magistrates entered upon office on the Ides of March. At the beginning of his year of office A. Postumius introduced to the senate L. Minucius, a staff officer, and two military tribunes, T. Maenius and L. Terentius Massiliota, who had come from Q. Fulvius Flaccus in Hither Spain. They gave a report of the two victorious battles, the surrender of the Celtiberi and the establishment of order throughout the province, and told the senate that there was no need of the pay which was usually sent nor of any supply of corn to the army for that year. They then requested that honour might be paid to the immortal gods for these successes and that Q. Fulvius should be allowed to bring back on his departure from Spain the army whose courage had been of such service to him and to many praetors before him. This was not only due to them, but it was all but inevitable, for the soldiers were in such a determined mood that it appeared impossible to keep them any longer in the province, and if they were not disbanded, they were prepared to leave without orders, or if they were kept back by a strong hand, would break out into a dangerous mutiny.
The senate ordered the consuls to take Liguria as their province. Then the praetors balloted for their provinces. Hither Spain fell to Tiberius Sempronius. As he was to succeed Q. Fulvius he did not want the province to be robbed of the veteran army and accordingly made the following speech in the senate: "I ask you, L. Minucius, since you report that the province is in a settled state, whether it is your belief that the Celtiberi will always keep their word so that this province can be held without the presence of an army? If you can neither assure yourself nor give us any guarantee of their remaining permanently at peace, and still hold that in any case an army must be kept there, would you advise the senate to send such reinforcements as will only allow the time-expired soldiers to be released, the recruits being incorporated in the old army, or would you say that the veteran legions should be withdrawn and fresh ones enrolled and sent there, when the contempt felt for these raw recruits might possibly excite even the less aggressive barbarians to resume hostilities? To say that you have pacified and settled a province whose inhabitants are naturally warlike and aggressive may be easier than to do it. According to what I hear only a few communities, mainly those where we have made our winter quarters, have submitted to our authority; those further off are in arms. Under these circumstances, senators, I declare at the outset that I am ready to take the government of the province with the army which is there now. If Flaccus brings his legions with him, I shall select for my winter quarters places already pacified, and shall not expose my new soldiers to a most fierce enemy."
[40.36]In reply to these questions Minucius said that neither he nor any one else could possibly divine what the intentions of the Celtiberi were at the time or what they might be in the future. He could not therefore deny that it might be better for an army to be sent even to those of the natives who had been reduced to submission but were not accustomed to our rule. But whether there was need of the old army or of a new one was for him to say who was in a position to know how far the Celtiberi would keep the peace, and who had also definitely ascertained whether the soldiers would take it quietly if they were retained in the province. If their sentiments were to be inferred from what they say to one another, or from their exclamations when their commander addresses them on parade, then it ought to be known that they had openly and loudly declared that they would either keep their general in the province or else go back with him to Italy. This discussion was interrupted by the consuls, who gave it as their opinion that the right and proper course was for their province to be provided for before the question of a praetor's army was raised. A whole new army was decreed for the consuls; two Roman legions for each with their full complement of cavalry and the usual proportion of Latin and allied troops, namely 15,000 infantry and 800 cavalry. With this army they were commissioned to make war on the Apuani in Liguria. P. Cornelius and M. Baebius were ordered to retain their commands until the consuls arrived, then after disbanding their army they were to return to Rome.
Then the question of the army for Tiberius Sempronius was settled. The consuls were ordered to enrol for him a fresh legion of 5200 infantry and 400 cavalry and an additional force of 1000 infantry and 50 cavalry. They were also to require the Latin allies to furnish 7000 infantry and 300 cavalry. Such was the army with which it was decided that Tiberius Sempronius should go to Hither Spain. Q. Flaccus received permission to bring away with him, if he thought fit, those soldiers, whether Roman citizens or allies, who had been transferred to Spain previous to the consulship of Spurius Postumius and Q. Marcius. When by the addition of the reinforcements the two legions had been raised above their normal strength, namely 14,000 infantry and 600 cavalry, Flaccus was at liberty to bring away all in excess of that number whose bravery had been of such service to Flaccus in his two successful actions against the Celtiberi. Thanksgivings were also decreed for his good services to the State. The other praetors were then sent off to their provinces; Q. Fabius Buteo was continued in his command in Gaul. It was decided that there should be only eight legions for that year besides the old army in Liguria who were expecting their discharge shortly. Even that force was with difficulty made up owing to the pestilence which had for three years been devastating Rome and Italy.
[40.37]The death of the praetor Tiberius Minucius and not long after that of the consul C. Calpurnius, followed by those of many distinguished men of all ranks, came to be regarded as a portent. C. Servilius, the Pontifex Maximus, was instructed to search in the pontifical rolls for the method of appeasing the wrath of the gods, and the Keepers of the Sacred Books were to examine their Sibylline Books. The consul was ordered to vow and offer gilded statues to Apollo, Aesculapius and Salus. The Keepers of the Sacred Books proclaimed special intercessions for two days in the City, and in all market-towns and places of public resort. All who were above twelve years of age took part in the intercessions, wearing wreaths of bay and carrying branches of it in their hands. Men began to suspect that this was the work of criminals, and the senate ordered investigations to be made into some cases of alleged poisoning. C. Claudius was charged with this enquiry in the City and within a radius of ten miles from it; C. Maenius was to undertake it in the market-towns and places of public resort outside that limit, before he sailed for his province of Sardinia. The death of the consul aroused the strongest suspicion. He is said to have been murdered by his wife, Quarta Hostilia. When her son Q. Fulvius Flaccus was declared consul in place of his step-father, the death of Piso aroused much greater misgivings. Witnesses came forward who asserted that after Albinus and Piso had been declared consuls, Flaccus having been defeated in the election was reproached by his mother for having failed three times in his candidature for the consulship, and she went on to say that she was getting ready to canvass and would manage in less than two months to have him made consul. Amongst much other evidence bearing on the case this utterance of hers, which was only too truly confirmed by what followed, did most to secure her condemnation. While the consuls were detained in Rome by the enrolment of fresh troops and matters were still further delayed by the death of one of them, and the holding of an election to choose his successor, P. Cornelius and M. Baebius, who during their consulship had done nothing of any importance, now, at the beginning of spring, led their armies against the Apuani.
[40.38]This Ligurian tribe, who had not expected that war would begin before the arrival of the new consuls, were taken wholly by surprise, and after a crushing defeat surrendered to the number of 12,000. After consulting the senate by letter, Cornelius and Baebius decided to remove them from their mountains into some open and level country far from their homes, so that there could be no hope of return; for they did not see any other end of the Ligurian wars. There was some land in Samnium, forming part of the State domain, which had belonged to Taurania. The consuls wished to settle the Ligurians in this district, and they issued an order for them to come down from Anidus and their mountain homes with their wives and children and take all their property with them. The Ligurians made frequent appeals through their envoys, begging that they might not be compelled to abandon their household gods, the homes in which they had been born and the burial-places of their forefathers, and promising to surrender their arms and give hostages. When they found all their appeals fruitless, and knew that they were not strong enough for war, they obeyed the consuls' edict. As many as 40,000 freemen with their wives and children were transported at the expense of the government; 150,000 silver denarii were allowed them to procure necessaries for their new homes. Cornelius and Baebius were also authorised to distribute and assign the land; they asked, however, that five assessors might be appointed to assist them, and the senate appointed them. After finishing this business they brought their army of veterans to Rome, and the senate decreed a triumph for them. These men were the very first to enjoy a triumph without having been engaged in a war. Only victims for sacrifice were led before the chariot; there were no prisoners, no spoils, nothing to distribute amongst the soldiers.
[40.39]As his successor was somewhat late in reaching Spain, Fulvius Flaccus led out his army from winter quarters and began to devastate the more distant parts of Celtiberia, where the inhabitants had not come in to surrender. By this action he irritated the natives more than he intimidated them, and secretly collecting a force they beset the Manlian Pass, through which they were tolerably certain that the Romans would march. Gracchus had instructed his colleague, L. Postumius Albinus, who was on his way to Further Spain, to inform Q. Fulvius that he was to bring his army to Tarraco, where he intended to disband the old soldiers, incorporate the reinforcements into the various corps and reorganise the whole army. Fulvius was also informed of the date of his successor's arrival which was close at hand. This information compelled Flaccus to abandon his projected operations and withdraw his army hastily from Celtiberia. The barbarians, ignorant of the true reason, and imagining that he had become aware of their rising and secret gathering in arms and was afraid of them, invested the pass all the more closely. When the Roman column entered the pass, the enemy rushed down upon it from both sides. As soon as Flaccus saw this, he allayed the first symptoms of tumult in the column by giving the order through the centurions for every man to stand where he was and get his weapons ready. The packs of the baggage animals were piled up in one place, and partly by his own exertions, partly through his officers, he got the whole force into such fighting order as the time and place required. He reminded his men that they had to deal with those who had twice made their submission and who were impelled by treachery, not by true courage. His soldiers, he told them, would have returned home without distinguishing themselves; the enemy had given them the chance of a glorious and memorable homecoming. They would carry in triumph through Rome swords reddened with the slaughter of their foes and spoils dripping with their blood. Time did not allow him to say more; the enemy were upon them and fighting was already begun at the outermost points. Then the two lines closed.
[40.40]The battle was everywhere a desperate one, but with changing fortunes. The legionaries fought splendidly, nor did the two divisions of allied troops offer a less vigorous resistance. The native auxiliaries confronted by men similarly armed, but somewhat better fighters, could not hold their ground. When the Celtiberi found that their regular order of battle made them no match for the legions, they bore down upon them in wedge-formation, a maneuver which gives them such weight that in whatever direction they carry their attack it cannot be withstood. Even the legions were now thrown into disorder and the Roman line was all but broken. Fulvius, seeing this, galloped up to the legionary cavalry and shouted: "Unless you can come to the rescue it will be all over with this army." "Say," they shouted in reply, "what you want done, we shall not be slack in carrying out your orders." He replied: "Close up your squadrons, cavalry of the two legions, and let your horses go where the enemy wedge is pressing our men. Your charge will have all the greater force if you make it on unbitted horses." (We have heard that Roman cavalry have often done that and covered themselves with glory.) They removed the horses' bits and charged the wedge in both directions, first forward and then back again, inflicting great slaughter upon the enemy and shivering all their spears. When the wedge on which all their hopes rested was broken up, the Celtiberi so completely lost heart that they gave up almost any attempt at fighting and began to look about for means of escape. When the auxiliary cavalry saw the notable feat of the Roman horse they, too, fired by the courage of the others, and without waiting for orders, spurred their horses against the enemy who was now thoroughly shaken. This proved decisive; the Celtiberi fled precipitately in all directions, and the Roman commander, watching them as they turned their backs, vowed a temple to Fortuna Equestris and the celebration of solemn Games to Jupiter Optimus Maximus. The Celtiberi, scattered in flight, were cut to pieces all through the pass. It is asserted that 17,000 of the enemy were killed on that day, and more than 4000 taken alive, together with 277 military standards and nearly 600 horses. The victorious army remained encamped in the pass. The victory was not without loss; 472 Roman soldiers, 1019 soldiers of the allies and 3000 native auxiliaries perished on the field. With its former glory thus renewed the victorious army marched to Tarraco. Tiberius Sempronius, who had landed two days before, went to meet Fulvius and congratulated him upon his successful conduct of affairs. They were quite at one as to which soldiers they should release and which retain. After releasing the time-expired men from their military oath, Fulvius embarked with them for Italy. Sempronius led the legions into Celtiberia.
[40.41]The two consuls advanced against the Ligurians by different routes. Postumius with the first and third legions closed round the mountains of Ballista and Suismontium, and posted detachments to block the passes. By thus cutting off their supplies and reducing them to complete destitution, he brought them to terms. Fulvius moved out from Pisae with the second and fourth legions, and marched against those of the Apuani who dwelt round the Macra, and after receiving their surrender placed some 7000 of them on board ship and sailing along the Etruscan coast landed them at Neapolis. From there they were transported to Samnium, and land was assigned to them amongst their own countrymen. The Ligurians who dwelt in the mountains had their vineyards cut down and their corn crops burnt by A. Postumius, until after suffering all the miseries of war they were compelled to submit and give up their arms. From there Postumius sailed on a tour of inspection along the coast occupied by the Ingauni and Intemelii. Before the new consuls joined the army which was to assemble at Pisae, A. Postumius remained in command. M. Fulvius Nobilior, brother of Q. Fulvius, who was a military tribune in the second legion, during his two months of office, disbanded the legion, having first exacted an oath from the centurions that they would carry the unexpended soldiers' pay back to the quaestors who had charge of the treasury. As soon as Aulus heard of this at Placentia, where he happened to be at the time, he followed the disbanded soldiers, and those whom he caught he sternly rebuked and took them back to Pisae, and sent word to the consul about the others. The consul laid the matter before the senate, and they passed a resolution that M. Fulvius should be relegated to a part of Spain beyond New Carthage, and a letter was handed to him by the consul to be given to P. Manlius in Further Spain. The soldiers were ordered to rejoin their standards; and in the case of any soldier who did not return to the army, the consul received orders to sell him as a slave and all his goods. In consequence of their disgraceful conduct, it was decreed that this legion should only receive half the year's pay.
[40.42]L. Duronius, who had been commanding as praetor in Illyria, returned this year to Brundisium. In giving his report of what he had done, he unhesitatingly threw all the responsibility for the piracy on Gentius, the King of Illyria; it was from his dominions that all the ships had sailed which had ravaged the shores of the Hadriatic. He stated, further, that he sent envoys to the king to deal with the matter, but they had had no opportunity of meeting him. A deputation from Gentius went to Rome and explained that at the time when the Romans went to meet the king he happened to be lying ill in the most distant part of his kingdom. He asked the senate not to accept the trumped-up charges against him which his enemies had made. In reply to this, Duronius further stated that injuries had been inflicted on many Roman citizens and Latin allies in his dominions, and it was reported that Roman citizens were being detained in Corcyra. The senate decided that they should all be brought to Rome and that the praetor C. Claudius should investigate their case. Till then no reply should be given to Gentius or to his envoys.
Amongst the many who were carried off by the epidemic this year were some of the priests. The pontiff L. Valerius Flaccus died, and Q. Fabius Labeo was appointed in his place; P. Manlius, who had lately returned from Further Spain, one of the three superintendents of the sacrificial banquets, fell a victim, and Quinctus the son of M. Fulvius was appointed in his place, quite a young man at the time. The filling of the vacancy caused by the death of Cneius Cornelius Dolabella, the rex sacrificulus, led to a dispute between the Pontifex Maximus C. Servilius and L. Cornelius Dolabella, one of the two directors of naval affairs. The pontiff required him to resign his post in order that he might inaugurate him. On his refusing to do so, the pontiff imposed a fine upon him, and on his appeal the question of the fine was argued before the Assembly. When several of the tribes had declared by their votes that the naval director should comply with the pontiff's requirement, and that if he resigned his post the fine should be remitted, a thunderstorm interrupted the proceedings. The pontiffs were thus prevented on religious grounds from appointing Dolabella, and they inaugurated P. Claelius Siculus, who had the next largest number of votes. At the close of the year the Pontifex Maximus died. C. Servilius Geminus was not only Pontifex Maximus, but also one of the Keepers of the Sacred Books. Q. Fulvius Flaccus was co-opted by the college as one of the pontiffs, and M. Aemilius Lepidus was made Pontifex Maximus in place of Geminus from among many distinguished competitors. In his place Q. Marcius Philippus was chosen as a Keeper of the Sacred Books. The augur Sp. Postumius also died and the other augurs co-opted P. Scipio the son of Africanus to fill the vacancy.
[40.43]During the year the people of Cuma sent a request to be allowed to use Latin as the language of law and commerce. Pisae offered land for the foundation of a Latin colony and was thanked by the senate. The supervisors of the settlement were Q. Fabius Buteo and the two Popillii Laenates, Marcus and Publius. C. Maenius, to whom Sardinia had been allotted, had also been charged with the investigation of the cases of poisoning which had occurred beyond the ten-mile radius from the City. A letter was received from him stating that he had sentenced 3000 offenders, and that the accumulating evidence was widening the scope of his enquiry; either he would have to give up the task or resign his province. Q. Fulvius Flaccus returned to Rome with a great reputation after his work in Spain. While he was still outside the City waiting for his triumph he was elected consul, together with L. Manlius Acidinus, and a few days later he entered the City in triumph with the soldiers he had brought with him. In the procession there were carried 124 golden crowns, 31 pounds of gold and 173,200 pieces of Oscan coinage. To each of the legionaries he gave from the sale of the booty 50 denarii, double the amount to the centurions and treble to the cavalry, and the same amount to the men of the Latin allies. All were alike granted double pay.
[40.44]A law was passed for the first time this year fixing the age at which men could be candidates for or hold a magistracy. It was introduced by L. Vilius, a tribune of the plebs, and from this his family received the cognomen of Annalis. After many years had elapsed, four praetors were elected this year under the Baebian Law, which laid down the rule that four praetors should be elected in alternate years. Those elected were Cnaeus Cornelius Scipio, C. Valerius Laevinus, and two sons of M. Scaevola, Quinctius and Publius. The new consuls had the same province assigned to them as their predecessors, and the same number of Roman and allied infantry and cavalry. In the two Spains, Ti. Sempronius and L. Postumius had their commands extended and retained their armies. To reinforce them the consuls were instructed to enrol 3000 Roman infantry and 300 cavalry, and 5000 infantry and 400 cavalry from the Latins and allies. P. Mucius Scaevola received the civic jurisdiction and was also charged with the investigation into the poisoning cases in the City and within ten miles of it. Cn. Cornelius Scipio had the alien jurisdiction; Q. Mucius Scaevola, Sicily; and C. Valerius Laevinus, Sardinia. Before Q. Fulvius commenced his duties as consul he said that he wished to discharge the State from the obligation of his vows. He had on the day of his last battle with the Celtiberi vowed Games to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and also a temple to Fortuna Equestris, and he had collected money from the Spaniards for this purpose. A decree was made that the Games should be celebrated and that two commissioners should be appointed to see to the construction of the temple. A limit was fixed for the expenditure on the Games. It was not to exceed the sum which had been decreed for the celebration of the Games after the Aetolian war by Fulvius Nobilior, and the consul was forbidden to requisition or levy or accept or do anything in respect of these Games in contravention of the resolution passed by the senate during the consulship of L. Aemilius and Cn. Baebius. The senate made their decree in this form in consequence of the extravagant cost incurred in the Games exhibited by Ti. Sempronius in his capacity of aedile, a cost which proved burdensome not only to Italy and the Latin allies, but to the provinces abroad as well.
[40.45]The winter was a severe one owing to snow and storms of every description. The trees which were exposed to the icy winds were all blasted, and the cold season lasted longer than usual. One result of this was that the Latin Festival was broken up by a terrible storm which burst suddenly upon the Alban Mount, and the pontiffs ordered it to be celebrated afresh. The same storm flung down some statues on the Capitol and several localities were disfigured by lightning, amongst them the temple of Jupiter in Terracina, the Alban temple at Capua and one of the gates of Rome. In some places the battlements were dislodged from the walls. Amongst these ominous occurrences it was reported from Reate that a mule had been foaled with only three feet. The Keepers were ordered to consult the Sacred Books, and they announced what deities were to be propitiated and what victims were to be offered, and they also enjoined special intercessions for one day. After this the Games which Q. Fulvius had vowed were exhibited on a grand scale for ten days. Next came the election of censors. The new censors were M. Aemilius Lepidus, Pontifex Maximus, and M. Fulvius Nobilior, who had celebrated his triumph over the Aetolians. Between these two distinguished men there was a feud which had often caused many violent quarrels between them in the senate and before the Assembly. When the election was over the censors took their seats, according to ancient custom, in curule chairs at the altar of Mars in the Campus Martius. Suddenly the leaders of the senate appeared, accompanied by a large body of citizens, and Q. Caecilius Metellus addressed them in the following terms:
[40.46]"We have not forgotten, censors, that you have just been chosen by the universal voice of the Roman people to superintend our morals, and that we must be admonished and regulated by you, not you by us. We are, however, bound to point out what it is in you that gives offence to all good citizens, or at all events what they would prefer to see changed. When we contemplate you each by himself, M. Aemilius and M. Fulvius, we feel that we have no one amongst the citizens today whom, if we were recalled to the polling booths, we should wish to take precedence of you. But when we behold you both together we cannot help fearing that you are ill-suited for each other, and that the unanimous vote in your favour will not benefit the commonwealth so much as the entire absence of unanimity between yourselves will injure it. For many years you have been cherishing violent and bitter feelings against each other, and the danger is that these may prove more disastrous to us and to the commonwealth than to you. Many considerations might be alleged, unless you are deaf to all remonstrance, as to the causes of your mutual hostility. We all of us with one voice implore you to put an end to these quarrels on this day and on this hallowed ground; we ask that the men whom the Roman people have associated together by their vote may through us be reconciled to one another. Choose the senate, revise the equities, close the lustrum with one mind, one judgment, so that when you repeat the formula of almost all the prayers: 'May this prove to be a good and blessed thing for me and my colleague,' you may in all sincerity desire and bring it about that it shall so prove, so that what you have prayed for from the gods, we men may believe you really wish for. In the very City where they met in hostile encounter, Titus Tatius and Romulus reigned peacefully side by side. Not only private quarrels, but even wars are put an end to; deadly enemies generally prove the most faithful allies; sometimes they even become fellow-citizens. When Alba was destroyed, the Albans were transferred to Rome; the Latins and the Sabines have been admitted to our franchise. That common saying: 'Friendships ought to be immortal, enmities mortal,' has passed into a proverb because it is true."
Murmurs of approval were heard and then the voices of all present, as though it were the voice of one making the same request, drowned the speaker. Hereupon Aemilius, amongst other things, complained that he had been twice rejected by M. Fulvius as a candidate for the consulship when he was certain to win it. Fulvius, on the other hand, protested that he had been constantly receiving provocation from Aemilius and had undergone the humiliation of having to give security. They each, however, signified that if the other was willing, he would bow to the authority of such an influential body. As all present pressed their demand, the censors grasped each other's hands and gave their word to dismiss all angry feelings and put an end to their quarrel. They were then conducted to the Capitol amidst universal applause, and the trouble which their leaders had taken over the matter and the yielding temper of the censors received the approbation and praise of the senate. The censors asked for a grant of money to spend on public works, and one year's revenue was assigned to them.
[40.47]The propraetors in Spain agreed upon a common plan of operation; Albinus was to march through Lusitania against the Vaccaei, and if the Celtiberian war became more serious he was to return thither; Gracchus, meantime, was to penetrate to the further borders of Celtiberia. Making a nocturnal attack on the city of Munda, he took it at the first assault. After taking hostages and placing a garrison to hold the place, he marched on, storming the forts and burning the crops, till he came to another city of exceptional strength called by the natives Certima. He was already bringing up his engines against the walls when a deputation arrived from the town. Their words betrayed a primitive simplicity; they made no concealment of their intention to continue the struggle if they had the strength. They requested permission to visit the Celtiberian camp and ask for help; if it were refused them they would take counsel among themselves. Gracchus gave them permission, and in a few days they returned, bringing with them ten more envoys. It was at the hour of noon, and the first request they made to the praetor was that he would order something to be given them to drink. After emptying the cups they asked for more, and the bystanders burst into peals of laughter at such boorishness and utter want of manners. Then the oldest amongst them spoke: "We have been sent," he said, "by our nation to enquire on what it is that you rely in carrying your arms against us." Gracchus told them that he relied upon his splendid army, and if they wanted to see it for themselves so that they might carry back a fuller account of it, he would give them the opportunity of doing so. He then sent word to the military tribunes to order the whole of the force, horse and foot, to equip themselves completely and practice their maneuvers under arms. After this exhibition the envoys were sent home, and they dissuaded their countrymen from sending any succour to the besieged city. The townsmen kindled fires on their watch towers, but when they found that it was in vain, and that their only hope of assistance had failed them, they surrendered. A war indemnity of 2,400,000 sesterces was levied upon them. They had also to give up forty youths who were in their cavalry and belonged to their noblest families, not under the name of hostages, for they were to serve in the Roman army, but as a matter of fact they were pledges of the fidelity of their countrymen.
[40.48]From there he advanced to the city of Alce, where the camp from which the envoys had come was located. For some days he confined himself to annoying the enemy by sending skirmishers against his advanced posts, but every day he sent them out in stronger force in order to draw the full strength of the enemy outside his lines. When he saw that he had gained his object, he ordered the commanders of the native auxiliaries to offer a slight resistance and then turn back in hasty flight to their camp, as though they were overborne by numbers. He in the meanwhile drew up his men at every one of the gates of the camp. No long time had elapsed when he saw his men flying back in a body with the enemy following in disorderly pursuit. Up to this point he kept his men within their rampart, and now, only waiting till the fugitives could find shelter within the camp, the battle-shout was raised and the Romans burst forth from all the gates simultaneously. The enemy could not stand against this unlooked-for attack. They had come up to storm the Roman camp; now they could not even defend their own. Routed, put to flight, driven in a panic inside their rampart, they at last lost their camp. There were 9000 men killed that day, 320 taken prisoners, 112 horses and 37 military standards were captured. Out of the Roman army 109 fell.
[40.49]From the battlefield Gracchus led the legions further into Celtiberia, which he ravaged and plundered. When the natives saw him carrying off their property and driving away their cattle, some of the tribes bowed their necks to the yoke voluntarily, others through fear, and within a few days he accepted the surrender of a hundred and three towns and secured an enormous amount of booty. Then he marched back to Alce and commenced the siege of that place. At first the townsmen withstood the assaults, but when they found themselves attacked by siege-engines as well as by arms, they lost confidence in the protection of their walls and retired in a body to their citadel. Finally they sent envoys to place themselves and all their property at the disposal of the Romans. A large amount of booty was seized here. Many of their nobles were taken, amongst them the two sons and the daughter of Thurrus. This man was the chief of these tribes and by far the most powerful man in Spain. On hearing of the disaster to his countrymen he sent to ask for a safe-conduct while he visited Gracchus in his camp. When he arrived his first question was whether he and his family would be allowed to live. On the praetor replying that his life would be safe, he asked, further, whether he would be allowed to fight on the side of the Romans. Gracchus granted that request also, and then he said: "I will follow you against my old allies." From that time he followed the Romans, and on many occasions his gallant and faithful services were helpful to the Roman cause.
[40.50]On this, Ergavica, a powerful and influential city, alarmed at the disasters which had befallen her neighbours, opened her gates to the Romans. Some authorities assert that these surrenders were not made in good faith, and wherever Gracchus withdrew his legions, hostilities were at once renewed; also that he fought a great battle with the Celtiberi at Mt. Chaunus, lasting from dawn till mid-day, and many fell on both sides. You would not suppose from this that the Romans achieved any great success beyond the fact that they challenged the enemy who kept within his lines, and also spent the whole day in collecting the spoils. They assert, further, that on the third day a still bigger battle was fought, and now at last the Celtiberi suffered a decisive defeat; their camp was taken and plundered, 22,000 of the enemy were killed, more than 300 taken prisoners, and about the same number of horses and 72 military standards were taken. This finished the war and a real, not an insincere peace, as before, was made. According to these authors, L. Postumius fought with great success against the Vaccaei in Further Spain this summer, killing 35,000 of the enemy and getting possession of their camp. It would be nearer the truth to say that he arrived in his province too late in the summer to undertake a campaign.
[40.51]M. Aemilius Lepidus, Pontifex Maximus and Censor, was himself chosen as leader of the House. Lepidus kept some on the roll whom his colleague had left out. The sums which had been granted to them for constructive works were employed as follows. Lepidus constructed a breakwater at Terracina, an unpopular proceeding because he had estates there and was charging to the public account what should have been his private expenditure. He contracted for the building of an auditorium and stage at the temple of Apollo, and the polishing with chalk of the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol and the columns round it. He also removed the statues from the front of the columns which blocked the view and took away all the shields and military standards which had been fastened to them. M. Fulvius undertook more numerous and more useful works. He constructed a wharf on the Tiber and piles for a bridge on which some years later the censors P. Scipio Africanus and L. Mummius erected arches. He built a court-house behind the new bankers' establishments, a fish-market surrounded by shops, a market-square and colonnade outside the Porta Trigemina, and other colonnades behind the docks, at the fane of Hercules, behind the temple of Hope by the Tiber, and one at the temple of Apollo Medicus. Besides the sums allotted to each they had a certain amount to use in common, and this they devoted to the construction of an aqueduct on arches. M. Licinius Crassus threw difficulties in the way of this work, as he would not allow it to be carried through his land. Various tolls were also initiated by them, and they fixed rents for the use of the State lands. Many chapels and public buildings had been taken possession of by private individuals; the censors made it their care that these should preserve their sacred character and be accessible to the public. The method of voting was revised by them, and through all the "regions" they classified the tribes according to their status, their circumstances, and their sources of income.
[40.52]One of the censors, M. Aemilius, asked the senate for a sum of money to be decreed for the Games on the occasion of the dedication of Queen Juno and Diana, which he had vowed eight years previously, during the Ligurian war. A sum of 20,000 ases was granted. He dedicated the temples which both stood in the Circus Flaminius, and exhibited scenic Games for three days after the dedication of the temple of Juno, and for two days after the dedication of the temple of Diana. He also dedicated a temple to the Lares Permarini in the Campus Martius. This temple had been vowed by L. Aemilius Regillus eleven years previously, during the naval action against the commanders of King Antiochus. Above the folding-doors of the temple a tablet was affixed with this inscription: "When Lucius the son of Marcus Aemilius went out to battle to put an end to a great war and to subdue kings . . . The chief cause of obtaining peace . . . under his auspicious command and fortunate leadership the fleet of Antiochus, ever before invincible, was defeated, shattered and put to flight between Ephesus, Samos and Chios, before the very eyes of Antiochus and of his whole army, his cavalry and elephants. On that day forty-two ships of war were captured there, with all their crews; and after that battle had been fought, King Antiochus and his realm . . . Wherefore, because of this action he vowed a temple to the Lares Permarini." A similar tablet is fixed above the doors of the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol.
[40.53]Two days after the censors had finished revising the roll of the senate the consul Q. Fulvius set out for Liguria. After traversing with his army pathless mountains and ravines and forests, he fought a pitched battle with the enemy, and not only defeated him but seized his camp the same day; 3200 of the enemy and the whole of that district made their surrender. The consul brought them down into the plains and posted detachments to hold the mountains. Despatches were quickly sent to Rome and a three days' thanksgiving was decreed, the praetors sacrificing full-grown victims. Nothing worth recording was done in Liguria by the other consul L. Manlius. Three thousand men belonging to the transalpine Gauls crossed the Alps into Italy without doing any injury, and asked the consuls and senate for a grant of land, that they might live quietly under the sovereignty of Rome. The senate ordered them to quit Italy, and Q. Fulvius was instructed to seek out and take action against the prime instigators of this movement across the Alps.
[40.54]In the course of this year Philip king of the Macedonians died, worn out with old age and grief at the death of his son. He passed the winter at Demetrias, full of poignant regret at the death of his son and of remorse for his own cruelty. His feelings were still further embittered by the conduct of his other son, who, in his own opinion and in that of others, was undoubtedly king, for all eyes were turned towards him, and also by the desertion of his friends in his old age, some waiting for his death, others not even waiting for it. This was a greater source of anxiety to him as it was to Antigonus the son of Echecrates, who bore the name of his paternal uncle, Antigonus. The uncle had been Philip's guardian, a man of kingly dignity, distinguished, too, for his conduct in the famous battle against Cleomenes the Lacedaemonian. This man's nephew, Antigonus, out of all those whom Philip had honoured with his friendship, alone remained uncorrupted, and this loyalty made Perseus, who had never been friendly to him, his bitterest enemy. He foresaw the danger in which he would be involved by the heritage of the crown descending to Perseus, and as soon as he saw the king's feelings changing, and heard him deploring the loss of his son, he used sometimes to be a silent listener; at others he would lead the king to speak of the incident as unpremeditated, and in this way often showed active sympathy with his grief. And as truth usually gives signs of its presence, so it was here, and he followed up the traces to the utmost of his power so that everything might be the sooner brought to light. Suspicion attached mainly to Apelles and Philocles as the authors of the crime; they were the men who had gone in the character of envoys to Rome, and had brought back the letter forged in the name of Flamininus which had proved so fatal to Demetrius.
[40.55]It was commonly said in the palace that the letter was a forgery concocted by one of the secretaries and sealed with a counterfeit seal. Whilst, however, there was as yet no clear evidence, only suspicion, Xychus happened to meet Antigonus, who had him promptly arrested and conveyed to the palace. Leaving him there under guard he went in to Philip and said to the king: "I think I have understood from my many conversations with you that you would value very highly the opportunity of learning the whole truth about your sons, which of them was the victim of the cunning and treachery of the other. The one man in the whole world who can unravel the knot, namely Xychus, is in your hands. I met him by chance and had him brought to the palace; order him to be summoned." When brought in he at first denied everything, but with such hesitancy that a moderate appeal to his fears would obviously make him a ready informer. The sight of the executioner with his scourge was too much for him, and he explained in full detail the villainy of the two envoys and the way he had acted as their tool. Men were at once despatched to arrest them. Philocles was seized on the spot; Apelles, who had been in pursuit of a certain Chaereas, on learning that Xychus was turned informer, sailed for Italy. The fate of Philocles is not certain. According to some writers he, at first, stoutly denied; afterwards, confronted with Xychus, he no longer held out. Others say that even when put to the torture he still maintained his innocence. Philip's grief and distress were awakened afresh. He considered that the unhappiness caused by his children was made more painful by the survival of the one than by the death of the other.
[40.56]On being informed that everything had been disclosed, Perseus, whilst feeling himself strong enough to avoid the necessity of flight, took care, nevertheless, to keep well out of the way, and prepared to protect himself from the flames of his father's wrath, as long as he was alive. Philip, hopeless of being able to inflict punishment on the person of his son, made it his aim to prevent him, whilst escaping punishment, from enjoying the rewards of his wickedness as well. Accordingly he summoned Antigonus, to whom he was under such obligations for the detection of the fratricide, and who he thought, owing to the glory recently won by his uncle, Antigonus, might be one whom the Macedonians would not be ashamed of or disappointed in as their king. "Antigonus," he began, "now that my condition is such that the childlessness which other fathers regard as a curse I am compelled to regard as a thing to be wished for, I have resolved to leave to you the kingdom which your gallant uncle not only defended but augmented by his fidelity and watchfulness. You are the only one I have whom I judge worthy of the crown; if I had no one I would rather have my kingdom perish and disappear than that Perseus should have it as the prize of treachery and murder. I should feel that Demetrius had been recalled from the tomb, if I could leave you to take his place, you who have shed tears over the death of an innocent victim and wept at my terrible mistake."
From this time he was continually advancing him from one honour to another. Whilst Perseus was away in Thrace, Philip made a progress through the cities of Macedonia, and recommended Antigonus to their leading men, and had he lived longer he would undoubtedly have left him in actual possession of the crown. Leaving Demetrias, he stopped for a considerable time at Thessalonica. From there he travelled to Amphipolis, and here he became seriously ill. But he was more sick in mind than in body. He was a prey to gloomy fears and sleeplessness; again and again the form and shade of his innocent murdered son threw him into violent agitation. He died whilst invoking terrible curses on the other one. Antigonus could, however, have been warned, had he been at hand, or had the king's death been openly announced in the palace. Calligenes, the head physician, did not anticipate it so soon. When the case became hopeless he sent the news as had been mutually agreed, to Perseus by a relay of messengers and concealed the fact from all outside the palace pending his arrival.
[40.57]Perseus took them all by surprise; they were unaware of what had happened and were not in the least expecting him. He seized the throne which he had gained by crime. The death of Philip occurred very opportunely as regarded the postponement of hostilities and the concentration of the resources for war. A few days later the tribe of the Bastarnae, after repeated invitations, left their homes and crossed the Hister with a large body of infantry and cavalry. Antigonus and Cotto - a Bastarnian noble - went in advance to inform the king. Antigonus had previously been sent with this same Cotto to induce the Bastarnae to move. Not far from Amphipolis they heard a report, and soon afterwards were met by messengers who announced the king's death. This completely upset their plans. It had been settled that Philip would afford the Bastarnae a safe passage through Thrace and supply them with provisions. To ensure this he had bribed the chiefs in the districts to be traversed and had pledged his word that the Bastarnae would pass through peacefully. It was intended to exterminate the Dardani and to make a home for the Bastarnae in their territory. There was to be a double advantage in this; the Dardani, who had always been bitter enemies to Macedonia, and ready to fall on her in times of misfortune, would be put out of the way, and the Bastarnae could leave their wives and children in Dardania and be sent on to devastate Italy. The way to the Hadriatic and to Italy lay through the Scordisci; that was the only practicable route for an army, and the Scordisci were expected to grant a passage to the Bastarnae without any difficulty, for neither in speech nor habits were they dissimilar, and it was hoped that they would unite forces with them when they saw that they were going to secure the plunder of a very wealthy nation. Thus Philip's plans were adapted to either alternative. If the Bastarnae were defeated by the Romans, the extermination of the Dardani, the plunder of what remained of the Bastarnae, and the unchallenged possession of Dardania would be some consolation to him; if on the other hand they met with success and the Romans were recalled to a war with the Bastarnae, he would win back what he had lost in Greece. Such were Philip's schemes.
[40.58]At the outset the Bastarnae marched in peaceable and orderly fashion. But after Cotto and Antigonus had left them and the news of Philip's death arrived a few days later, the Thracians began to make difficulties about providing a market. Unable to buy what they needed, the Bastarnae could not be kept in their ranks nor prevented from straggling. This led to acts of violence on both sides, and as these became daily more aggressive, war broke out. In the end the Thracians, finding themselves unable to withstand the numbers and the fierceness of their assailants, left their villages in the plains and retired to a mountain of immense height called Donuca. While the Bastarnae were preparing to follow them, a storm similar to that which is said to have destroyed the Gauls while plundering Delphi burst upon them as they were nearing the summit. They were overwhelmed by a deluge of rain, followed by a heavy hailstorm accompanied with the crashing of thunder peals and blinding flashes of lightning. The lightning played everywhere round them; it seemed as though it were aimed at the men; not only the common soldiers but their chiefs were struck down. As they floundered and fell in blind headlong flight amongst the beetling cliffs, they were closely pursued by the Thracians; but they said to themselves that the gods were causing their flight and the heavens were falling on them. Scattered by the storm like shipwrecked sailors, they at last reached their camp, most having lost their arms, and then began to deliberate as to what they were to do. Opinions were divided; some were for returning home, others wanted to invade Dardania. About 30,000 men, led by Clondicus, succeeded in reaching Dardania; the rest of the host retraced their steps and made their way into the inland district of Apollonia. After gaining possession of the crown, Perseus ordered Antigonus to be put to death. Whilst he was strengthening himself on the throne, he sent an embassy to Rome to renew the friendship which had existed in his father's time and to request the senate to recognise him as king. These were the events of the year in Macedonia.
[40.59]Q. Fulvius celebrated his triumph over the Ligurians, but it was generally believed that this triumph was granted to him more on personal grounds than because of the importance of his victories. He had a large amount of enemy arms carried in the procession, but no considerable sum of money. However, he distributed 300 ases to each of the legionaries, twice as much to each centurion, and three times as much to each of the cavalry. The most striking thing about this triumph was that he happened to celebrate it on the same day as his triumph the preceding year after his praetorship. Immediately after his triumph he fixed the day for the elections. The new consuls were M. Junius Brutus and A. Manlius Vulso. Three of the praetors had been elected when a storm interrupted the proceedings. The next day the remaining three were elected, namely, M. Titinius Curvus, Ti. Claudius Nero, and T. Fonteius Capitol The Roman Games were exhibited afresh by the curule aediles Cnaeus Servilius Caepio and Appius Claudius Cento in consequence of some portents which had occurred. There was an earthquake. Whilst a lectisternium was going on in the public shrines the deities on their couches turned away their heads from the offerings set before them, and the coverlet with the covers of the dishes set before Jupiter fell from the table. The olives were nibbled by mice before they were placed before the gods, and this was regarded as a portent. Nothing beyond the repetition of the Games was done in the way of expiating these portents.
End of Book 40
Copyright (c) 1996 by Bruce J. Butterfield.
No Restrictions for Non-Commercial use