Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…


Part 2 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

consideration of her little son, born in the camp, nursed in the arms of
the legions, and by themselves named Caligula, a military name from the
boots which of the same fashion with their own, in compliment to them, and
to win their affections, he frequently wore. But nothing so effectually
subdued them as their own envy towards the inhabitants of Treves: hence
they all besought, all adjured, that she would return to themselves, and
with themselves remain: thus some stopped Agrippina; but the main body
returned with their entreaties to Germanicus, who, as he was yet in the
transports of grief and anger, addressed himself on this wise to the
surrounding crowd.

"To me neither is my wife or son dearer than my father and the
Commonwealth. But him doubtless the majesty of his name will defend; and
there are other armies, loyal armies, to defend the Roman State. As to my
wife and children, whom for your glory I could freely sacrifice, I now
remove them from your rage; that by my blood alone may be expiated
whatever further mischief your fury meditates; and that the murder of the
great grandson of Augustus, the murder of the daughter-in-law of Tiberius,
may not be added to mine, nor to the blackness of your past guilt. For,
during these days of frenzy what has been too horrid for you to commit?
What so sacred that you have not violated? To this audience what name
shall I give? Can I call you _soldiers_? you who have beset with arms the
son of your Emperor, confined him in your trenches, and held him in a
siege? _Roman citizens_ can I call you? you who have trampled upon the
supreme authority of the Roman Senate? Laws religiously observed by common
enemies, you have profaned; violated the sacred privileges, and persons of
Ambassadors; broken the laws of nations. The deified Julius Caesar quelled
a sedition in his army by a single word: he called all who refused to
follow him, _townsmen_. The deified Augustus, when, after the battle of
Actium, the legions who won it lapsed into mutiny, terrified them into
submission by the dignity of his presence and an awful look. These, it is
true, are mighty and immortal names, whom I dare not emulate; but, as I am
their descendant, and inherit their blood, should the armies in Syria and
Spain reject my orders, and contemn my authority, I should think their
behaviour strange and base: are not the present legions under stronger
ties than those in Syria and Spain? You are the first and the twentieth
legions; the former enrolled by Tiberius himself; the other his constant
companions in so many battles, his partners in so many victories, and by
him enriched with so many bounties! Is this the worthy return you make
your Emperor, and late Commander, for the distinction he has shown you,
for the favour he has done you, and for his liberalities towards you? And
shall I be the author of such tidings to him; such heavy tidings in the
midst of congratulations and happy accounts from every province in the
Empire? Must it be my sad task to acquaint him that his own new levies, as
well as his own veterans who long fought under him; these not appeased by
their discharge, and neither of them satiated with the money given them,
are both still combined in a furious mutiny? must I tell him that here and
only here the Centurions are butchered, the Tribunes driven away, the
Ambassadors imprisoned; that with blood the camp is stained, and the
rivers flow with blood; and that for me his son, I hold a precarious life
at the mercy of men, who owe me duty, and practise enmity?

"Why did you the other day, oh unseasonable and too officious friends! why
did you leave me at their mercy by snatching from me my sword, when with
it I would have put myself out of their power? He who offered me his own
sword showed greater kindness, and was more my friend. I would then have
fallen happy; happy that my death would have hid from mine eyes so many
horrible crimes since committed by my own army; and for you, you would
have chosen another general, such a general, no doubt, as would have left
my death unpunished, but still one who would have sought vengeance for
that of Varus and the three legions; for the Gods are too just to permit
that ever the Belgians, however generously they offer their service, shall
reap the credit and renown of retrieving the glory of the Roman name, and
of reducing in behalf of Rome the German nations her foes. Filled with
this passion for the glory of Rome, I here invoke thy spirit now with the
Gods, oh deified Augustus; and thy image interwoven in the ensigns, and
thy memory, oh deceased father. Let thy revered spirit, oh Augustus, let
thy loved image and memory, oh Drusus, still dear to these legions,
vindicate them from this guilty stain, this foul infamy of leaving to
foreigners the honour of defending and avenging the Roman State. They are
Romans; they already feel the remorses of shame; they are already
stimulated with a sense of honour: improve, oh improve this generous
disposition in them; that thus inspired they may turn the whole tide of
their civil rage to the destruction of their common enemy. And for you, my
fellow-soldiers, in whom I behold all the marks of compunction, other
countenances, and minds happily changed; if you mean to restore to the
Senate its ambassadors; to your Emperor your sworn obedience; to me, your
general, my wife and son; be it the first instance of your duty, to fly
the contagious company of incendiaries, to separate the sober from the
seditious: this will be a faithful sign of remorse, this a firm pledge of

These words softened them into supplicants: they confessed that all his
reproaches were true; they besought him to punish the guilty and
malicious, to pardon the weak and misled, and to lead them against the
enemy; to recall his wife, to bring back his son, nor to suffer the
fosterling of the legions to be given in hostage to the Gauls. Against the
recalling of Agrippina he alleged the advance of winter, and her
approaching delivery; but said, that his son should return, and that to
themselves he left to execute what remained further to be executed.
Instantly, with changed resentments, they ran, and seizing the most
seditious, dragged them in bonds to Caius Cretonius, commander of the
first legion, who judged and punished them in this manner. The legions,
with their swords drawn, surrounded the tribunal; from thence the prisoner
was by a Tribune exposed to their view, and if they proclaimed him guilty,
cast headlong down, and executed even by his fellow-soldiers, who
rejoiced in the execution, because by it they thought their own guilt to
be expiated: nor did Germanicus restrain them, since on themselves
remained the cruelty and reproach of the slaughter committed without any
order of his. The veterans followed the same example of vengeance, and
were soon after ordered into Rhetia, in appearance to defend that province
against the invading Suevians; in reality, to remove them from a camp
still horrible to their sight, as well in the remedy and punishment, as
from the memory of their crime. Germanicus next passed a scrutiny upon the
conduct and characters of the Centurions: before him they were cited
singly; and each gave an account of his name, his company, country, the
length of his service, exploits in war, and military presents, if with any
he had been distinguished: if the Tribunes or his legion bore testimony of
his diligence and integrity, he kept his post; upon concurring complaint
of his avarice or cruelty, he was degraded.

Thus were the present commotions appeased; but others as great still
subsisted, from the rage and obstinacy of the fifth and twenty-first
legions. They were in winter quarters sixty miles off, in a place called
the Old Camp, [Footnote: Xanten.] and had first began the sedition: nor
was there any wickedness so horrid, that they had not perpetrated; nay, at
this time, neither terrified by the punishment, nor reclaimed by the
reformation of their fellow-soldiers, they persevered in their fury.
Germanicus therefore determined to give them battle, if they persisted in
their revolt; and prepared vessels, arms, and troops to be sent down the

Before the issue of the sedition in Illyricum was known at Rome, tidings
of the uproar in the German legions arrived; hence the city was filled
with much terror; and hence against Tiberius many complaints, "that while
with feigned consultations and delays he mocked the Senate and people,
once the great bodies of the estate, but now bereft of power and armies,
the soldiery were in open rebellion, one too mighty and stubborn to be
quelled by two princes so young in years and authority: he ought at first
to have gone himself, and awed them with the majesty of imperial power, as
doubtless they would have returned to duty upon the sight of their
Emperor, a Prince of consummate experience, the sovereign disposer of
rewards and severity. Did Augustus, even under the pressure of old age and
infirmities, take so many journeys into Germany? and should Tiberius, in
the vigour of his life, when the same or greater occasions called him
thither, sit lazily in the Senate to watch senators and cavil at words? He
had fully provided for the domestic servitude of Rome; he ought next to
cure the licentiousness of the soldiers, to restrain their turbulent
spirits, and reconcile them to a life of peace."

But all these reasonings and reproaches moved not Tiberius: he was
determined not to depart from the capital, the centre of power and
affairs; nor to chance or peril expose his person and empire. In truth,
many and contrary difficulties pressed and perplexed him: "the German army
was the stronger; that of Pannonia nearer; the power of both the Gauls
supported the former; the latter was at the gates of Italy. Now to which
should he repair first? and would not the last visited be inflamed by
being postponed? But by sending one of his sons to each, the equal
treatment of both was maintained; as also the majesty of the supreme
power, which from distance ever derived most reverence. Besides, the young
princes would be excused, if to their father they referred such demands as
were for them improper to grant; and if they disobeyed Germanicus and
Drusus, his own authority remained to appease or punish them: but if once
they had contemned their Emperor himself, what other resource was behind?"
However, as if he had been upon the point of marching, he chose his
attendance, provided his equipage, and prepared a fleet: but by various
delays and pretences, sometimes that of the winter, sometimes business, he
deceived for a time even the wisest men; much longer the common people,
and the provinces for a great while.

Germanicus had already drawn together his army, and was prepared to take
vengeance on the seditious: but judging it proper to allow space for
trial, whether they would follow the late example, and consulting their
own safety do justice upon one another, he sent letters to Caecina, "that
he himself approached, with a powerful force; and if they prevented him
not, by executing the guilty, he would put all indifferently to the
slaughter." These letters Caecina privately read to the principal
officers, and such of the camp as the sedition had not tainted; besought
them "to redeem themselves from death, and all from infamy; urged that in
peace alone reason was heard and merit distinguished; but in the rage of
war the blind steel spared the innocent no more than the guilty." The
officers, having tried those they believed for their purpose, and found
the majority still to persevere in their duty, did, in concurrence with
the General, settle the time for falling with the sword upon the most
notoriously guilty and turbulent. Upon a particular signal given they
rushed into their tents and butchered them, void as they were of all
apprehension; nor did any but the centurions and executioners know whence
the massacre began, or where it would end.

This had a different face from all the civil slaughters that ever
happened: it was a slaughter not of enemies upon enemies, nor from
different and opposite camps, nor in a day of battle; but of comrades upon
comrades, in the same tents where they ate together by day, where they
slept together by night. From this state of intimacy they flew into mortal
enmity, and friends launched their darts at friends: wounds, outcries, and
blood were open to view; but the cause remained hid: wild chance governed
the rest, and several innocents were slain. For the criminals, when they
found against whom all this fury was bent, had also betaken themselves to
their arms; neither did Caecina, nor any of the Tribunes, intervene to
stay the rage; so that the soldiers had full permission to vengeance, and
a licentious satiety of killing. Germanicus soon after entered the camp
now full of blood and carcasses, and lamenting with many tears that "this
was not a remedy, but cruelty and desolation," commanded the bodies to be
burnt. Their minds, still tempestuous and bloody, were transported with
sudden eagerness to attack the foe, as the best expiation of their
tragical fury: nor otherwise, they thought, could the ghosts of their
butchered brethren be appeased, than by receiving in their own profane
breasts a chastisement of honourable wounds. Germanicus fell in with the
ardour of the soldiers, and laying a bridge upon the Rhine, marched over
twelve thousand legionary soldiers, twenty-six cohorts of the allies, and
eight regiments of horse; men all untainted in the late sedition.

The Germans rejoiced, not far off, at this vacation of war, occasioned
first by the death of Augustus, and afterwards by intestine tumults in the
camp; but the Romans by a hasty march passed through the Caesian woods,
and levelling the barrier formerly begun by Tiberius, upon it pitched
their camp. In the front and rear they were defended by a palisade; on
each side by a barricade of the trunks of trees felled. From thence,
beginning to traverse gloomy forests, they stopped to consult which of two
ways they should choose, the short and frequented, or the longest and
least known, and therefore unsuspected by the foe: the longest way was
chosen; but in everything else despatch was observed; for by the scouts
intelligence was brought that the Germans did, that night, celebrate a
festival with great mirth and revelling. Hence Caecina was commanded to
advance with the cohorts without their baggage, and to clear a passage
through the forest: at a moderate distance followed the legions; the
clearness of the night facilitated the march, and they arrived at the
villages of the Marsians, which with guards they presently invested. The
Germans were even yet under the effects of their debauch, scattered here
and there, some in bed, some lying by their tables; no watch placed, no
apprehension of an enemy. So utterly had their false security banished all
order and care; and they were under no dread of war, without enjoying
peace, other than the deceitful and lethargic peace of drunkards.

The legions were eager for revenge; and Germanicus, to extend their
ravage, divided them into four battalions. The country was wasted by fire
and sword fifty miles round; nor sex nor age found mercy; places sacred
and profane had the equal lot of destruction, all razed to the ground, and
with them the temple of Tanfana, of all others the most celebrated amongst
these nations: nor did all this execution cost the soldiers a wound, while
they only slew men half asleep, disarmed, or dispersed. This slaughter
roused the Bructerans, the Tubantes, and the Usipetes; and they beset the
passes of the forest, through which the army was to return: an event known
to Germanicus, and he marched in order of battle. The auxiliary cohorts
and part of the horse led the van, followed close by the first legion; the
baggage was in the middle; the twenty-first legion closed the left wing,
and the fifth the right; the twentieth defended the rear; and after them
marched the rest of the allies. But the enemy stirred not, till the body
of the army entered the wood: they then began lightly to insult the front
and wings; and at last, with their whole force, fell upon the rear. The
light cohorts were already disordered by the close German bands, when
Germanicus riding up to the twentieth legion, and exalting his voice,
"This was the season," he cried, "to obliterate the scandal of sedition:
hence they should fall resolutely on, and into sudden praise convert their
late shame and offence." These words inflamed them: at one charge they
broke the enemy, drove them out of the wood, and slaughtered them in the
plain. In the meanwhile, the front passed the forest, and fortified the
camp: the rest of the march was uninterrupted; and the soldiers, trusting
to the merit of their late exploits, and forgetting at once past faults
and terrors, were placed in winter quarters.

The tidings of these exploits affected Tiberius with gladness and anguish:
he rejoiced that the sedition was suppressed; but that Germanicus had, by
discharging the veterans, by shortening the term of service to the rest,
and by largesses to all, gained the hearts of the army, as well as earned
high glory in war, proved to the Emperor matter of torture. To the Senate,
however, he reported the detail of his feats, and upon his valour bestowed
copious praises, but in words too pompous and ornamental to be believed
dictated by his heart. It was with more brevity that he commended Drusus,
and his address in quelling the sedition of Illyricum, but more cordially
withal, and in language altogether sincere; and even to the Pannonian
legions he extended all the concessions made by Germanicus to his own.

There was this year an admission of new rites, by the establishment of
another College of Priests, one sacred to the deity of Augustus; as
formerly Titus Tatius, to preserve the religious rites of the Sabines, had
founded the fraternity of Titian Priests. To fill the society, one-and-
twenty, the most considerable Romans were drawn by lot, and to them added
Tiberius, Drusus, Claudius, and Germanicus. The games in honour of
Augustus began then first to be embroiled by emulation among the players,
and the strife of parties in their behalf. Augustus had countenanced these
players and their art, in complaisance to Maecenas, who was mad in love
with Bathyllus the comedian; nor to such favourite amusements of the
populace had he any aversion himself; he rather judged it an acceptable
courtesy to mingle with the multitude in these their popular pleasures.
Different was the temper of Tiberius, different his politics: to severer
manners, however, he durst not yet reduce the people, so many years
indulged in licentious gaieties.

In the consulship of Drusus Caesar and Caius Norbanus, a triumph was
decreed to Germanicus, while the war still subsisted. He was preparing
with all diligence to prosecute it the following summer; but began much
sooner by a sudden irruption early in the spring into the territories of
the Cattans: an anticipation of the campaign, which proceeded from the
hopes given him of dissension amongst the enemy, caused by the opposite
parties of Arminius and Segestes; two men signally known to the Romans
upon different accounts; the last for his firm faith, the first for faith
violated. Arminius was the incendiary of Germany; but by Segestes had been
given repeated warnings of an intended revolt, particularly during the
festival immediately preceding the insurrection: he had even advised Varus
"to secure himself and Arminius, and all the other chiefs; for that the
multitude, thus bereft of their leaders, would dare to attempt nothing;
and Varus have time to distinguish crimes and such as committed none." But
by his own fate, and the sudden violence of Arminius, Varus fell.
Segestes, though by the weight and unanimity of his nation he was forced
into the war, yet remained at constant variance with Arminius: a domestic
quarrel too heightened their hate, as Arminius had carried away the
daughter of Segestes, already betrothed to another; and the same
relations, which amongst friends prove bonds of tenderness, were fresh
stimulations of wrath to an obnoxious son and an offended father.

Upon these encouragements, Germanicus to the command of Caecina committed
four legions, five thousand auxiliaries, and some bands of Germans,
dwellers on this side the Rhine, drawn suddenly together; he led himself
as many legions with double the number of allies, and erecting a fort in
Mount Taunus, [Footnote: Near Homburg.] upon the old foundations of one
raised by his father, rushed full march against the Cattans; having behind
him left Lucius Apronius, to secure the ways from the fury of inundations:
for as the roads were then dry and the rivers low, events in that climate
exceeding rare, he had without check expedited his march; but against his
return apprehended the violence of rains and floods. Upon the Cattans he
fell with such surprise, that all the weak through sex or age were
instantly taken or slaughtered: their youth, by swimming over the Adrana,
[Footnote: Eder.] escaped, and attempted to force the Romans from building
a bridge to follow them, but by dint of arrows and engines were repulsed;
and then, having in vain tried to gain terms of peace, some submitted to
Germanicus; the rest abandoned their villages and dwellings, and dispersed
themselves in the woods. Mattium, [Footnote: Maden.] the capital of the
nation, he burnt, ravaged all the open country, and bent his march to the
Rhine; nor durst the enemy harass his rear, an usual practice of theirs,
when sometimes they fly more through craft than affright. The Cheruscans
indeed were addicted to assist the Cattans, but terrified from attempting
it by Caecina, who moved about with his forces from place to place; and by
routing the Marsians who had dared to engage him, restrained all their

Soon after arrived deputies from Segestes, praying relief against the
combination and violence of his countrymen, by whom he was held besieged;
as more powerful amongst them than his was the credit of Arminius, since
it was he who had advised the war. The genius this of barbarians, to judge
that men are to be trusted in proportion as they are fierce, and in public
commotions ever to prefer the most resolute. To the other deputies
Segestes had added Segimundus, his son; but the young man faltered a
while, as his own heart accused him; for that the year when Germany
revolted, he, who had been by the Romans created Priest of the altar of
the Ubians, rent the sacerdotal tiara and fled to the revolters: yet,
encouraged by the Roman clemency, he undertook the execution of his
father's orders, was himself graciously received, and then conducted with
a guard to the frontiers of Gaul. Germanicus led back his army to the
relief of Segestes, and was rewarded with success. He fought the
besiegers, and rescued him with a great train of his relations and
followers; amongst them too were ladies of illustrious rank, particularly
the wife of Arminius, the same who was the daughter of Segestes: a lady
more of the spirit of her husband than that of her father; a spirit so
unsubdued, that from her eyes captivity forced not a tear, nor from her
lips a breath in the style of a supplicant: not a motion of her hands, nor
a look escaped her; but, fast across her breast she held her arms, and
upon her heavy womb her eyes were immovably fixed. There were likewise
carried Roman spoils taken at the slaughter of Varus and his army, and
then divided as prey amongst many of those who were now prisoners: at the
same time appeared Segestes, of superior stature; and from a confidence in
his good understanding with the Romans, undaunted. In this manner he

"It is not the first day this, that to the Roman People I have approved my
faith and adherence: from the moment I was by the deified Augustus
presented with the freedom of the city, I have continued by your interest
to choose my friends, by your interest to denominate my enemies; from no
hate of mine to my native country (for odious are traitors even to the
party they embrace), but because the same measures were equally conducing
to the benefit of the Romans and of the Germans; and I was rather for
peace than war. For this reason to Varus, the then General, I applied,
with an accusation against Arminius, who from me had ravished my daughter,
and with you violated the faith of leagues: but growing impatient with the
slowness and inactivity of Varus, and well apprised how little security
was to be hoped from the laws, I pressed him to seize myself, and
Arminius, and his accomplices: witness that fatal night, to me I wish it
had been the last! more to be lamented than defended are the sad events
which followed. I moreover cast Arminius into irons, and was myself cast
into irons by his faction; and as soon as to you, Caesar, I could apply,
you see I prefer old engagements to present violence, and tranquillity to
combustions, with no view of my own to interest or reward, but to banish
from me the imputation of perfidiousness. For the German nation, too, I
would thus become a mediator, if peradventure they will choose rather to
repent than be destroyed: for my son, I intreat you, have mercy upon his
youth, and pardon his error; that my daughter is your prisoner by force I
own: in your breast it wholly lies under which character you will treat
her, whether as one by Arminius impregnated, or by me begotten." The
answer of Germanicus was gracious: he promised indemnity to his children
and kindred, and to himself a safe retreat in one of the old provinces;
then returned with his army, and by the direction of Tiberius, received
the title of _Imperator_. The wife of Arminius brought forth a male child,
and the boy was brought up at Ravenna; his unhappy conflicts afterwards,
with the contumelious insults of fortune, will be remembered in their

The desertion of Segestes being divulged, with his gracious reception from
Germanicus, affected his countrymen variously; with hope or anguish, as
they were prone or averse to the war. Naturally violent was the spirit of
Arminius, and now, by the captivity of his wife, by the fate of his child
doomed to bondage though yet unborn, enraged even to distraction: he flew
about amongst the Cheruscans, calling them to arms; to arm against
Segestes, to arm against Germanicus. Invectives followed his fury; "A
blessed father this Segestes," he cried! "a mighty general this
Germanicus! invincible warriors these Romans! so many troops have made
prisoner of a woman. It is not thus that I conquer; before me three
legions fell, and three lieutenant-generals. Open and honourable is my
method of war, nor waged with big-bellied women, but against men and arms;
and treason is none of my weapons. Still to be seen are the Roman
standards in the German groves, there by me hung up and devoted to our
country Gods. Let Segestes live a slave in a conquered province; let him
to his son recover a foreign priesthood: with the German nations he can
never obliterate his reproach, that through him they have seen between the
Elbe and Rhine rods and axes, and the Roman toga. To other nations who
know not the Roman domination, executions and tributes are also unknown;
evils which we too have cast off, in spite of that Augustus now dead and
enrolled with the Deities; in spite too of Tiberius, his chosen successor:
let us not after this dread a mutinous army, and a boy without experience,
their commander; but if you love your country, your kindred, your ancient
liberty and laws, better than tyrants and new colonies, let Arminius
rather lead you to liberty and glory, than the wicked Segestes to the
infamy of bondage."

By these stimulations, not the Cheruscans only were roused, but all the
neighbouring nations; and into the confederacy was drawn Inguiomerus,
paternal uncle to Arminius, a man long since in high credit with the
Romans: hence a new source of fear to Germanicus, who, to avoid the shock
of their whole forces, and to divert the enemy, sent Caecina with forty
Roman cohorts to the river Amisia, [Footnote: Ems.] through the
territories of the Bructerans. Pedo the Prefect led the cavalry by the
confines of the Frisians: he himself, on the lake, [Footnote: The Zuyder
Zee.] embarked four legions; and upon the bank of the said river the whole
body met, foot, horse, and fleet. The Chaucians, upon offering their
assistance, were taken into the service; but the Bructerans, setting fire
to their effects and dwellings, were routed by Stertinius, by Germanicus
despatched against them with a band lightly armed. As this party were
engaged between slaughter and plunder, he found the Eagle of the
nineteenth legion lost in the overthrow of Varus. The army marched next to
the farthest borders of the Bructerans, and the whole country between the
rivers Amisia and Luppia [Footnote: Lippe.] was laid waste. Not far hence
lay the forest of Teutoburgium, and in it the bones of Varus and the
legions, by report still unburied.

Hence Germanicus became inspired with a tender passion to pay the last
offices to the legions and their leader; the like tenderness also affected
the whole army. They were moved with compassion, some for the fate of
their friends, others for that of their relations here tragically slain;
they were struck with the doleful casualties of war, and the sad lot of
humanity. Caecina was sent before to examine the gloomy recesses of the
forest; to lay bridges over the pools; and upon the deceitful marshes,
causeways. The army entered the doleful solitude, hideous to sight,
hideous to memory. First they saw the camp of Varus, wide in
circumference; and the three distinct spaces, allotted to the different
Eagles, showed the number of the legions. Further, they beheld the ruinous
entrenchment, and the ditch nigh choked up: in it the remains of the army
were supposed to have made their last effort, and in it to have found
their graves. In the open fields lay their bones all bleached and bare,
some separate, some on heaps; just as they had happened to fall, flying
for their lives, or resisting unto death. Here were scattered the limbs of
horses, there pieces of broken javelins; and the trunks of trees bore the
skulls of men. In the adjacent groves were the savage altars; where, of
the tribunes and principal centurions, the barbarians had made a horrible
immolation. Those who survived the slaughter, having escaped from
captivity and the sword, related the sad particulars to the rest: "Here
the commanders of the legions were slain; there we lost the Eagles; here
Varus had his first wound; there he gave himself another, and perished by
his own unhappy hand. In that place, too, stood the tribunal whence
Arminius harangued; in this quarter, for the execution of his captives, he
erected so many gibbets; in that such a number of funeral trenches were
digged; and with these circumstances of pride and despite he insulted the
ensigns and Eagles."

Thus the Roman army buried the bones of the three legions, six years after
the slaughter: nor could any one distinguish whether he gathered the
particular remains of a stranger, or those of a kinsman; but all
considered the whole as their friends, the whole as their relations; with
heightened resentments against the foe, at once sad and revengeful. In
this pious office, so acceptable to the dead, Germanicus was a partner in
the woe of the living; and upon the common tomb laid the first sod: a
proceeding not liked by Tiberius; whether it were that upon every action
of Germanicus he put a perverse meaning, or believed that the affecting
spectacle of the unburied slain would sink the spirit of the army, and
heighten their terror of the enemy; as also that "a general vested, as
Augur, with the intendency of religious rites, became defiled by touching
the solemnities of the dead."

Arminius, retiring into desert and pathless places, was pursued by
Germanicus; who, as soon as he reached him, commanded the horse to
advance, and dislodge the enemy from the post they had possessed.
Arminius, having directed his men to keep close together, and draw near to
the woods, wheeled suddenly about, and to those whom he had hid in the
forest gave the signal to rush out: the Roman horse, now engaged by a new
army, became disordered, and to their relief some cohorts were sent, but
likewise broken by the press of those that fled; and great was the
consternation so many ways increased. The enemy too were already pushing
them into the morass, a place well known to the pursuers, as to the
unapprised Romans it had proved pernicious, had not Germanicus drawn out
the legions in order of battle. Hence the enemy became terrified, our men
reassured, and both retired with equal loss and advantage. Germanicus
presently after returning with the army to the river Amisia, reconducted
the legions, as he had brought them, in the fleet: part of the horse were
ordered to march along the sea-shore to the Rhine. Caecina, who led his
own men, was warned, that though he was to return through unknown roads,
yet he should with all speed pass the causeway called the long bridges: it
is a narrow track this, between vast marshes, and formerly raised by
Lucius Domitius. The marshes themselves are of an uncertain soil, here
full of mud, there of heavy sticking clay, or traversed with various
currents. Round about are woods which rise gently from the plain, and were
already filled with soldiers by Arminius; who, by shorter ways and a
running march, had arrived there before our men, who were loaded with arms
and baggage. Caecina, who was perplexed how at once to repair the causeway
decayed by time, and to repulse the foe, resolved at last to encamp in the
place, that whilst some were employed in the work, others might maintain
the fight.

The Barbarians strove violently to break our station, and to fall upon the
entrenchers: they harassed our men, assaulted the works, changed their
attacks, and pushed everywhere. With the shouts of the assailants, the
cries of the workmen were confusedly mixed; and all things equally
combined to distress the Romans: the place deep with ooze sinking under
those who stood, slippery to such as advanced; their armour heavy; the
waters deep, nor could they in them launch their javelins. The Cheruscans,
on the contrary, were inured to encounters in the bogs; their persons
tall, their spears long, such as could wound at a distance. At last the
legions, already yielding, were by night redeemed from an unequal combat;
but night interrupted not the activity of the Germans, become by success
indefatigable. Without refreshing themselves with sleep, they diverted all
the courses of the springs which rise in the neighbouring mountains, and
turned them into the plains: thus the Roman camp was flooded, the work, as
far as they had carried it, overturned, and the labour of the poor
soldiers renewed and doubled. To Caecina this year proved the fortieth of
his sustaining as officer or soldier the functions of arms; a man in all
the vicissitudes of war, prosperous or disastrous, well experienced and
thence undaunted. Weighing, therefore, with himself all probable events
and expedients, he could devise no other than that of restraining the
enemy to the woods, till he had sent forward the wounded men and baggage;
for, from the mountains to the marshes there stretched a plain fit only to
hold a little army: to this purpose the legions were thus appointed; the
fifth had the right wing, and the one-and-twentieth the left; the first
led the van; the twentieth defended the rear.

A restless night it was to both armies, but in different ways; the
Barbarians feasted and caroused, and with songs of triumph, or with horrid
and threatening cries, filled all the plain and echoing woods. Amongst the
Romans were feeble fires, sad silence, or broken words; they leaned
drooping here and there against the pales, or wandered disconsolately
about the tents, like men without sleep, but not quite awake. A frightful
dream too terrified the General; he thought he heard and saw Quinctilius
Varus, rising out of the marsh all besmeared with blood, stretching forth
his hand, and calling upon him; but that he rejected the call and pushed
him away. At break of day, the legions posted on the wings, through
contumacy or affright, deserted their stations, and took sudden possession
of a field beyond the bogs. Neither did Arminius fall straight upon them,
however open they lay to his assault; but, when he perceived the baggage
set fast in mire and ditches, the soldiers above it disorderly and
embarrassed, the ranks and ensigns in confusion, and, as usual in a time
of distress, every one in haste to save himself, but slow to obey his
officer, he then commanded his Germans to break in, "Behold," he
vehemently cried; "behold again Varus and his legions subdued by the same
fate." Thus he cried, and instantly with a select body broke quite through
our forces, and chiefly against the horse directed his havoc; so that the
ground becoming slippery by their blood and the slime of the marsh, their
feet flew from them, and they cast their riders; then galloping and
stumbling amongst the ranks, they overthrew all they met, and trod to
death all they overthrew. The greatest difficulty was to maintain the
Eagles; a storm of darts made it impossible to advance them, and the
rotten ground impossible to fix them. Caecina, while he sustained the
fight, had his horse shot, and having fallen was nigh taken; but the first
legion saved him. Our relief came from the greediness of the enemy, who
ceased slaying to seize the spoil: hence the legions had respite to
struggle into the fair field and firm ground. Nor was here an end of their
miseries: a palisade was to be raised, an entrenchment digged; their
instruments too for throwing up and carrying earth, and their tools for
cutting turf, were almost all lost; no tents for the soldiers; no remedies
for the wounded; and their food all defiled with mire or blood. As they
shared it in sadness amongst them, they lamented that mournful night, they
lamented the approaching day, to so many thousand men the last.

It happened that a horse, which had broke his collar as he strayed about,
became frightened with noise, and ran over some that were in his way: this
raised such a consternation in the camp, from a persuasion that the
Germans in a body had forced an entrance, that all rushed to the gates,
especially to the postern, as the farthest from the foe, and safer for
flight. Caecina having found the vanity of their dread, but unable to stop
them, either by his authority, or by his prayers, or indeed by force,
flung himself at last across the gate. This prevailed; their awe and
tenderness of their General restrained them from running over his body;
and the Tribunes and Centurions satisfied them the while, that it was a
false alarm.

Then calling them together, and desiring them to hear him with silence, he
reminded them of their difficulties, and how to conquer them: "That for
their lives they must be indebted to their arms, but force was to be
tempered with art; they must therefore keep close within their camp, till
the enemy, in hopes of taking it by storm, advanced; then make a sudden
sally on every side, and by this push they should break through the enemy,
and reach the Rhine. But if they fled, more forests remained to be
traversed, deeper marshes to be passed, and the cruelty of a pursuing foe
to be sustained." He laid before them the motives and fruits of victory,
public rewards and glory, with every tender domestic consideration, as
well as those of military exploits and praise. Of their dangers and
sufferings he said nothing. He next distributed horses, first his own,
then those of the Tribunes and leaders of the legions, to the bravest
soldiers impartially; that thus mounted they might begin the charge,
followed by the foot.

Amongst the Germans there was not less agitation, from hopes of victory,
greediness of spoil, and the opposite counsels of their leaders. Arminius
proposed "to let the Romans march off, and to beset them in their march,
when engaged in bogs and fastnesses." The advice of Inguiomerus was
fiercer, and thence by the Barbarians more applauded: he declared "for
forcing the camp, for that the victory would be quick, there would be more
captives, and entire plunder." As soon, therefore, as it was light, they
rushed out upon the camp, cast hurdles into the ditch, attacked and
grappled the palisade. Upon it few soldiers appeared, and these seemed
frozen with fear; but as the enemy was in swarms, climbing the ramparts,
the signal was given to the cohorts; the cornets and trumpets sounded, and
instantly, with shouts and impetuosity, they issued out and begirt the
assailants. "Here are no thickets," they scornfully cried; "no bogs; but
an equal field and impartial Gods." The enemy, who imagined few Romans
remaining, fewer arms, and an easy conquest, were struck with the sounding
trumpets, with the glittering armour; and every object of terror appeared
double to them who expected none. They fell like men who, as they are void
of moderation in prosperity, are also destitute of conduct in distress.
Arminius forsook the fight unhurt; Inguiomerus grievously wounded; their
men were slaughtered as long as day and rage lasted. In the evening the
legions returned, in the same want of provisions, and with more wounds;
but in victory they found all things, health, vigour, and abundance.

In the meantime a report had flown, that the Roman forces were routed, and
an army of Germans upon full march to invade Gaul; so that under the
terror of this news there were those whose cowardice would have emboldened
them to have demolished the bridge upon the Rhine, had not Agrippina
restrained them from that infamous attempt. In truth, such was the
undaunted spirit of the woman, that at this time she performed all the
duties of a general, relieved the necessitous soldiers, upon the wounded
bestowed medicines, and upon others clothes. Caius Plinius, the writer of
the German wars, relates that she stood at the end of the bridge, as the
legions returned, and accosted them with thanks and praises; a behaviour
which sunk deep into the spirit of Tiberius: "For that all this
officiousness of hers," he thought, "could not be upright; nor that it was
against foreigners only she engaged the army. To the direction of the
generals nothing was now left, when a woman reviewed the companies,
attended the Eagles, and to the men distributed largesses: as if before
she had shown but small tokens of ambitious designs, in carrying her child
(the son of the General) in a soldier's coat about the camp, with the
title of Caesar Caligula: already in greater credit with the army was
Agrippina than the leaders of the legions, in greater than their generals;
and a woman had suppressed sedition, which the authority of the Emperor
was not able to restrain." These jealousies were inflamed, and more were
added, by Sejanus; one who was well skilled in the temper of Tiberius, and
purposely furnished him with sources of hatred, to lie hid in his heart,
and be discharged with increase hereafter. Germanicus, in order to
lighten the ships in which he had embarked his men, and fit their burden
to the ebbs and shallows, delivered the second and fourteenth legions to
Publius Vitellius, to lead them by land. Vitellius at first had an easy
march on dry ground, or ground moderately overflowed by the tide, when
suddenly the fury of the north wind swelling the ocean (a constant effect
of the equinox) the legions were surrounded and tossed with the tide, and
the land was all on flood; the sea, the shore, the fields, had the same
tempestuous face; no distinction of depths from shallows; none of firm,
from deceitful, footing. They were overturned by the billows, swallowed
down by the eddies; and horses, baggage, and drowned men encountered each
other, and floated together. The several companies were mixed at random by
the waves; they waded, now breast high, now up to the chin, and as the
ground failed them, they fell, some never more to rise. Their cries and
mutual encouragements availed them nothing against the prevailing and
inexorable waves; no difference between the coward and the brave, the wise
and the foolish; none between circumspection and chance; but all were
equally involved in the invincible violence of the flood. Vitellius, at
length struggling on to an eminence, drew the legions thither, where they
passed the cold night without fire, and destitute of every convenience;
most of them naked or lamed; not less miserable than men enclosed by an
enemy; for even to such remained the consolation of an honourable death;
but here was destruction every way void of glory. The land returned with
the day, and they marched to the river Vidrus, [Footnote: Weser.] whither
Germanicus had gone with the fleet. There the two legions were again
embarked, when fame had given them for drowned; nor was their escape
believed till Germanicus and the army were seen to return.

Stertinius, who in the meanwhile had been sent before to receive
Sigimerus, the brother of Segestes (a prince willing to surrender himself)
brought him and his son to the city of the Ubians. Both were pardoned; the
father freely, the son with more difficulty, because he was said to have
insulted the corpse of Varus. For the rest, Spain, Italy, and both the
Gauls strove with emulation to supply the losses of the army; and offered
arms, horses, money, according as each abounded. Germanicus applauded
their zeal; but accepted only the horses and arms for the service of the
war. With his own money he relieved the necessities of the soldiers: and
to soften also by his kindness the memory of the late havoc, he visited
the wounded, extolled the exploits of particulars, viewed their wounds,
with hopes encouraged some, with a sense of glory animated others; and by
affability and tenderness confirmed them all in devotion to himself and to
his fortune in war.

The ornaments of triumph were this year decreed to Aulus Caecina, Lucius
Apronius, and Caius Silius, for their services under Germanicus. The title
of Father of his Country, so often offered by the people to Tiberius, was
rejected by him; nor would he permit swearing upon his acts, though the
same was voted by the Senate. Against it he urged "the instability of all
mortal things, and that the higher he was raised the more slippery he
stood." But for all this ostentation of a popular spirit, he acquired not
the reputation of possessing it, for he had revived the law concerning
violated majesty; a law which, in the days of our ancestors, had indeed
the same name, but implied different arraignments and crimes, namely,
those against the State; as when an army was betrayed abroad, when
seditions were raised at home; in short, when the public was faithlessly
administered and the majesty of the Roman People was debased: these were
actions, and actions were punished, but words were free. Augustus was the
first who brought libels under the penalties of this wrested law, incensed
as he was by the insolence of Cassius Severus, who had in his writings
wantonly defamed men and ladies of illustrious quality. Tiberius too
afterwards, when Pompeius Macer, the Praetor, consulted him "whether
process should be granted upon this law?" answered, "That the laws must be
executed." He also was exasperated by satirical verses written by unknown
authors and dispersed; exposing his cruelty, his pride, and his mind
naturally alienated from his mother.

It will be worth while to relate here the pretended crimes charged upon
Falanius and Rubrius, two Roman knights of small fortunes; that hence may
be seen from what beginnings, and by how much dark art of Tiberius, this
grievous mischief crept in; how it was again restrained; how at last it
blazed out and consumed all things. To Falanius was objected by his
accusers, that "amongst the adorers of Augustus, who went in fraternities
from house to house, he had admitted one Cassius, a mimic and prostitute;
and having sold his gardens, had likewise with them sold the statue of
Augustus." The crime imputed to Rubrius was, "That he had sworn falsely by
the divinity of Augustus." When these accusations were known to Tiberius,
he wrote to the consuls, "That Heaven was not therefore decreed to his
father, that the worship of him might be a snare to the citizens of Rome;
that Cassius, the player, was wont to assist with others of his profession
at the interludes consecrated by his mother to the memory of Augustus:
neither did it affect religion, that his effigies, like other images of
the Gods, were comprehended in the sale of houses and gardens. As to the
false swearing by his name, it was to be deemed the same as if Rubrius had
profaned the name of Jupiter; but to the Gods belonged the avenging of
injuries done to the Gods."

Not long after, Granius Marcellus, Praetor of Bithynia, was charged with
high treason by his own Quaestor, Cepio Crispinus; Romanus Hispo, the
pleader, supporting the charge. This Cepio began a course of life which,
through the miseries of the times and the bold wickedness of men, became
afterwards famous: at first needy and obscure, but of a busy spirit, he
made court to the cruelty of the Prince by occult informations; and
presently, as an open accuser, grew terrible to every distinguished Roman.
This procured him credit with one, hatred from all, and made a precedent
to be followed by others, who from poverty became rich; from being
contemned, dreadful; and in the destruction which they brought upon
others, found at last their own. He accused Marcellus of "malignant words
concerning Tiberius," an inevitable crime! when the accuser, collecting
all the most detestable parts of the Prince's character, alleged them as
the expressions of the accused; for, because they were true, they were
believed to have been spoken. To this, Hispo added, "That the statue of
Marcellus was by him placed higher than those of the Caesars; and that,
having cut off the head of Augustus, he had in the room of it set the head
of Tiberius." This enraged him so, that breaking silence, he cried, "He
would himself, in this cause, give his vote explicitly and under the tie
of an oath." By this he meant to force the assent of the rest of the
Senate. There remained even then some faint traces of expiring liberty.
Hence Cneius Piso asked him, "In what place, Caesar, will you choose to
give your opinion? If first, I shall have your example to follow; if last,
I fear I may ignorantly dissent from you." The words pierced him, but he
bore them, the rather as he was ashamed of his unwary transport; and he
suffered the accused to be acquitted of high treason. To try him for the
public money was referred to the proper judges.

Nor sufficed it Tiberius to assist in the deliberations of the Senate
only: he likewise sat in the seats of justice; but always on one side,
because he would not dispossess the Praetor of his chair; and by his
presence there, many ordinances were established against the intrigues and
solicitations of the Grandees. But while private justice was thus
promoted, public liberty was overthrown. About this time, Pius Aurelius,
the Senator, whose house, yielding to the pressure of the public road and
aqueducts, had fallen, complained to the Senate and prayed relief: a suit
opposed by the Praetors who managed the treasury; but he was relieved by
Tiberius, who ordered him the price of his house; for he was fond of being
liberal upon honest occasions: a virtue which he long retained, even after
he had utterly abandoned all other virtues. Upon Propertius Celer, once
Praetor, but now desiring leave to resign the dignity of Senator, as a
burden to his poverty, he bestowed a thousand great sesterces; [Footnote:
L8333.] upon ample information, that Celer's necessities were derived from
his father. Others, who attempted the same thing, he ordered to lay their
condition before the Senate; and from an affectation of severity was thus
austere even where he acted with uprightness. Hence the rest preferred
poverty and silence to begging and relief.

The same year the Tiber, being swelled with continual rains, overflowed
the level parts of the city; and the common destruction of men and houses
followed the returning flood. Hence Asinius Callus moved "that the
Sibylline books might be consulted." Tiberius opposed it, equally
smothering all inquiries whatsoever, whether into matters human or divine.
To Ateius Capito, however, and Lucius Arruntius, was committed the care of
restraining the river within its banks. The provinces of Achaia and
Macedon, praying relief from their public burdens, were for the present
discharged of their Proconsular government, and subjected to the Emperor's
lieutenants. In the entertainment of gladiators at Rome, Drusus presided:
it was exhibited in the name of Germanicus, and his own; and at it he
manifested too much lust of blood, even of the blood of slaves: a quality
terrible to the populace; and hence his father was said to have reproved
him. His own absence from these shows was variously construed: by some it
was ascribed to his impatience of a crowd; by others to his reserved and
solitary genius, and his fear of an unequal comparison with Augustus, who
was wont to be a cheerful spectator. But, that he thus purposely furnished
matter for exposing the cruelty of his son there, and for raising him
popular hate, is what I would not believe; though this too was asserted.

The dissensions of the theatre, begun last year, broke out now more
violently, with the slaughter of several, not of the people only, but of
the soldiers, with that of a Centurion. Nay, a Tribune of a Praetorian
cohort was wounded, whilst they were securing the magistrates from
insults, and quelling the licentiousness of the rabble. This riot was
canvassed in the Senate, and votes were passing for empowering the
Praetors to whip the players. Haterius Agrippa, Tribune of the People,
opposed it; and was sharply reprimanded by a speech of Asinius Gallus.
Tiberius was silent, and to the Senate allowed these empty apparitions of
liberty. The opposition, however, prevailed, in reverence to the authority
of Augustus; who, upon a certain occasion, had given his judgment, "that
players were exempt from stripes:" nor would Tiberius assume to violate
any words of his. To limit the wages of players, and restrain the
licentiousness of their partisans, many decrees were made: the most
remarkable were, "That no Senator should enter the house of a pantomime;
no Roman Knight attend them abroad; they should show nowhere but in the
theatre; and the Praetors should have power to punish any insolence in the
spectators with exile."

The Spaniards were, upon their petition, permitted to build a temple to
Augustus in the colony of Tarragon; an example this for all the provinces
to follow. In answer to the people, who prayed to be relieved from the
_centesima_, a tax of one in the hundred, established at the end of the
civil wars, upon all vendible commodities; Tiberius by an edict declared,
"That upon this tax depended the fund for maintaining the army; nor even
thus was the Commonwealth equal to the expense, if before their twentieth
year the veterans were dismissed." So that the concessions made them
during the late sedition, to discharge them finally at the end of sixteen
years, as they were made through necessity, were for the future abolished.

It was next proposed to the Senate, by Arruntius and Ateius, whether, in
order to restrain the overflowing of the Tiber, the channels of the
several rivers and lakes by which it was swelled, must not be diverted.
Upon this question the deputies of several cities and colonies were heard.
The Florentines besought, "that the bed of the Clanis [Footnote: Chiana.]
might not be turned into their river Arnus; [Footnote: Arno.] for that the
same would prove their utter ruin." The like plea was urged by the
Interamnates; [Footnote: Terni.] "since the most fruitful plains in Italy
would be lost, if, according to the project, the Nar, branched out into
rivulets, overflowed them." Nor were the Reatinians less earnest against
stopping the outlets of the Lake Velinus into the Nar; "otherwise," they
said, "it would break over its banks, and stagnate all the adjacent
country; the direction of nature was best in all natural things: it was
she that to rivers had appointed their courses and discharges, and set
them their limits as well as their sources. Regard too was to be paid to
the religion of our Latin allies, who, esteeming the rivers of their
country sacred, had to them dedicated Priests, and altars, and groves;
nay, the Tiber himself, when bereft of his auxiliary streams, would flow
with diminished grandeur." Now, whether it were that the prayers of the
colonies, or the difficulty of the work, or the influence of superstition
prevailed, it is certain the opinion of Piso was followed; namely, that
nothing should be altered,

To Poppeus Sabinus was continued his province of Mesia; and to it was
added that of Achaia and Macedon. This too was part of the politics of
Tiberius, to prolong governments, and maintain the same men in the same
armies, or civil employments, for the most part, to the end of their
lives; with what view, is not agreed. Some think "that from an impatience
of returning cares, he was for making whatever he once liked perpetual."
Others, "that from the malignity of his invidious nature, he regretted the
preferring of many." There are some who believe, "that as he had a crafty
penetrating spirit, so he had an understanding ever irresolute and
perplexed." So much is certain, that he never courted any eminent virtue,
yet hated vice; from the best men he dreaded danger to himself, and
disgrace to the public from the worst. This hesitation mastered him so
much at last that he committed foreign governments to some, whom he meant
never to suffer to leave Rome.

Concerning the management of consular elections, either then or afterwards
under Tiberius, I can affirm scarce anything: such is the variance about
it, not only amongst historians, but even in his own speeches. Sometimes,
not naming the candidates, he described them by their family, by their
life and manners, and by the number of their campaigns; so as it might be
apparent whom he meant. Again, avoiding even to describe them, he exhorted
the candidates not to disturb the election by their intrigues, and
promised himself to take care of their interests. But chiefly he used to
declare, "that to him none had signified their pretensions, but such whose
names he had delivered to the Consuls; others too were at liberty to offer
the like pretensions, if they trusted to the favour of the Senate or their
own merits." Specious words! but entirely empty, or full of fraud; and by
how much they were covered with the greater guise of liberty, by so much
threatening a more hasty and devouring bondage.


A.D. 16-19.

The commotions in the East happened not ungratefully to Tiberius, since
then he had a colour for separating Germanicus from his old and faithful
legions; for setting him over strange provinces, and exposing him at once
to casual perils and the efforts of fraud. But he, the more ardent he
found the affections of the soldiers, and the greater the hatred of his
uncle, so much the more intent upon a decisive victory, weighed with
himself all the methods of that war, with all the disasters and successes
which had befallen him in it to this his third year. He remembered "that
the Germans were ever routed in a fair battle, and upon equal ground; that
woods and bogs, short summers, and early winters, were their chief
resources; that his own men suffered not so much from their wounds, as
from tedious marches, and the loss of their arms. The Gauls were weary of
furnishing horses; long and cumbersome was his train of baggage, easily
surprised, and with difficulty defended; but, if we entered the country by
sea, the invasion would be easy, and the enemy unapprised. Besides, the
war would be earlier begun; the legions and provisions would be carried
together; and the cavalry brought with safety, through the mouths and
channels of the rivers, into the heart of Germany."

On that method therefore he fixed: whilst Publius Vitellius and Publius
Cantius were sent to collect the tribute of the Gauls; Silius, Anteius,
and Caecina had the direction of building the fleet. A thousand vessels
were thought sufficient, and with despatch finished: some were short,
sharp at both ends, and wide in the middle, the easier to endure the
agitations of the waves; some had flat bottoms, that without damage they
might bear to run aground; several had helms at each end, that by suddenly
turning the oars only they might work either way. Many were arched over,
for carrying the engines of war. They were fitted for holding horses and
provisions, to fly with sails, to run with oars, and the spirit and
alacrity of the soldiers heightened the show and terror of the fleet. They
were to meet at the Isle of Batavia, which was chosen for its easy
landing, for its convenience to receive the forces, and thence to
transport them to the war. For the Rhine, flowing in one continual
channel, or only broken by small islands, is, at the extremity of Batavia,
divided as it were into two rivers; one running still through Germany, and
retaining the same name and violent current, till it mixes with the ocean;
the other, washing the Gallic shore, with a broader and more gentle
stream, is by the inhabitants called by another name, the Wahal, which it
soon after changes for that of the river Meuse, by whose immense mouth it
is discharged into the same ocean.

While the fleet sailed, Germanicus commanded Silius, his lieutenant, with
a flying band, to invade the Cattans; and he himself, upon hearing that
the fort upon the river Luppia [Footnote: Lippe.] was besieged, led six
legions thither: but the sudden rains prevented Silius from doing more
than taking some small plunder, with the wife and daughter of Arpus,
Prince of the Cattans; nor did the besiegers stay to fight Germanicus, but
upon the report of his approach stole off and dispersed. As they had,
however, thrown down the common tomb lately raised over the Varian
legions, and the old altar erected to Drusus, he restored the altar; and
performed in person with the legions the funeral ceremony of running
courses to the honour of his father. To replace the tomb was not thought
fit; but all the space between Fort Aliso and the Rhine, he fortified with
a new barrier.

The fleet was now arrived, the provisions were sent forward; ships were
assigned to the legions and the allies; and he entered the canal cut by
Drusus, and called by his name. Here he invoked his father "to be
propitious to his son attempting the same enterprises; to inspire him with
the same counsels, and animate him by his example." Hence he sailed
fortunately through the lakes and the ocean to the river Amisia,
[Footnote: Ems.] and at the town of Amisia the fleet was left upon the
left shore; and it was a fault that it sailed no higher, for he landed the
army on the right shore, so that in making bridges many days were
consumed. The horse and the legions passed over without danger, as it was
yet ebb; but the returning tide disordered the rear, especially the
Batavians, while they played with the waves, and showed their dexterity in
swimming; and some were drowned. Whilst Germanicus was encamping, he was
told of the revolt of the Angrivarians behind him, and thither he
despatched a body of horse and light foot, under Stertinius. who with fire
and slaughter took vengeance on the perfidious revolters.

Between the Romans and the Cheruscans flowed the river Visurgis,
[Footnote: Weser.] and on the banks of it stood Arminius, with the other
chiefs: he inquired whether Germanicus was come; and being answered that
he was there, he prayed leave to speak with his brother. This brother of
his was in the army, his name Flavius; one remarkable for his lasting
faith towards the Romans, and for the loss of an eye in the war under
Tiberius. This request was granted: Flavius stepped forward, and was
saluted by Arminius, who, having removed his own attendance, desired that
our archers ranged upon the opposite banks might retire. When they were
withdrawn, "How came you," says he to his brother, "by that deformity in
your face?" The brother having informed him where, and in what fight, was
next asked, "what reward he had received?" Flavius answered, "Increase of
pay, the chain, the crown, and other military gifts;" all which Arminius
treated with derision, as the vile wages of servitude.

Here began a warm contest: Flavius pleaded "the grandeur of the Roman
Empire, the power of the Emperor, the Roman clemency to submitting
nations, the heavy yoke of the vanquished; and that neither the wife nor
son of Arminius was used like a captive." Arminius to all this opposed
"the natural rights of their country, their ancient liberty, the domestic
Gods of Germany; he urged the prayers of their common mother joined to his
own, that he would not prefer the character of a deserter, that of a
betrayer of his family, his countrymen, and kindred, to the glory of being
their commander." By degrees they fell into reproaches; nor would the
interposition of the river have restrained them from blows, had not
Stertinius hasted to lay hold on Flavius, full of rage, and calling for
his arms and his horse. On the opposite side was seen Arminius, swelling
with ferocity and threats, and denouncing battle. For, of what he said,
much was said in Latin, having as the General of his countrymen served in
the Roman armies.

Next day, the German army stood embattled beyond the Visurgis. Germanicus,
who thought it became not a General to endanger the legions, till for
their passage and security he had placed bridges and guards, made the
horse ford over. They were led by Stertinius, and Aemilius, Lieutenant-
Colonel of a legion; and these two officers crossed the river in distant
places, to divide the foe. Cariovalda, Captain of the Batavians, passed it
where most rapid, and was by the Cheruscans, who feigned flight, drawn
into a plain surrounded with woods, whence they rushed out upon him and
assaulted him on every side; overthrew those who resisted, and pressed
vehemently upon those who gave way. The distressed Batavians formed
themselves into a ring, but were again broken, partly by a close assault,
partly by distant showers of darts. Cariovalda, having long sustained the
fury of the enemy, exhorted his men to draw up into platoons, and break
through the prevailing host; he himself forced his way into their centre,
and fell with his horse under a shower of darts, and many of the principal
Batavians round him; the rest were saved by their own bravery, or rescued
by the cavalry under Stertinius and Aemilius.

Germanicus, having passed the Visurgis, learned from a deserter, that
Arminius had marked out the place of battle; that more nations had also
joined him; that they rendezvoused in a wood sacred to Hercules, and would
attempt to storm our camp by night. The deserter was believed; the enemy's
fires were discerned; and the scouts having advanced towards them,
reported that they had heard the neighing of horses, and the hollow murmur
of a mighty and tumultuous host. In this important conjuncture, upon the
approach of a decisive battle, Germanicus thought it behoved him to learn
the inclinations and spirit of the soldiers and deliberated with himself
how to be informed without fraud: "for the reports of the Tribunes and
Centurions used to be oftener pleasing than true; his Freedmen had still
slavish souls, incapable of free speech; friends were apt to flatter;
there was the same uncertainty in an assemble, where the counsel proposed
by a few was wont to be echoed by all; in truth, the minds of the soldiery
were then best known, when they were least watched; when free and over
their meals, they frankly disclosed their hopes and fears."

In the beginning of night, he went out at the augural gate, with a single
attendant; himself disguised with the skin of a wild beast hanging over
his shoulders; and choosing secret ways, he escaped the notice of the
watch, entered the lanes of the camp, listened from tent to tent, and
enjoyed the pleasing display of his own popularity and fame; as one was
magnifying the imperial birth of his general; another, his graceful
person; and all, his patience, condescension, and the equality of his soul
in every temper, pleasant or grave: they confessed the gratitude due to so
much merit, and that in battle they ought to express it, and to sacrifice
at the same time to glory and revenge these perfidious Germans, who for
ever violated stipulations and peace. In the meantime one of the enemy who
understood Latin rode up to the palisades, and with a loud voice offered,
in the name of Arminius, to every deserter a wife and land, and as long as
the war lasted an hundred sesterces a day. [Footnote: 16s. 8d.] This
contumely kindled the wrath of the legions: "Let day come," they cried,
"let battle be given: the soldiers would seize and not accept the lands of
the Germans; take and not receive German wives; they, however, received
the offer as an omen of victory, and considered the money and women as
their destined prey." Near the third watch of the night, they approached
and insulted the camp; but without striking a blow, when they found the
ramparts covered thick with cohorts, and no advantage given.

Germanicus had the same night a joyful dream: he thought he sacrificed,
and, in place of his own robe besmeared with the sacred blood, received
one fairer from the hands of his grandmother Augusta; so that elevated by
the omen, and by equal encouragement from the auspices, he called an
assembly, where he opened his deliberations concerning the approaching
battle with all the advantages contributing to victory: "That to the Roman
soldiers not only plains and dales, but, with due circumspection, even
woods and forests were commodious for an engagement. The huge targets, the
enormous spears, of the Barbarians could never be wielded amongst thickets
and trunks of trees like Roman swords and javelins, and armour adjusted to
the shape and size of their bodies, so that with these tractable arms they
might thicken their blows, and strike with certainty at the naked faces of
the enemy, since the Germans were neither furnished with headpiece nor
coat of mail, nor were their bucklers bound with leather or fortified with
iron, but all bare basket-work or painted boards; and though their first
ranks were armed with pikes, the rest had only stakes burnt at the end, or
short and contemptible darts; for their persons, as they were terrible to
sight and violent in the onset, so they were utterly impatient of wounds,
unaffected with their own disgrace, unconcerned for the honour of their
general, whom they ever deserted and fled; in distress cowards, in
prosperity despisers of all divine, of all human laws. In fine, if the
army, after their fatigues at sea and their tedious marches by land,
longed for an utter end of their labour, by this battle they might gain
it. The Elbe was now nearer than the Rhine; and if they would make him a
conqueror in those countries where his father and his uncle had conquered,
the war was concluded." The ardour of the soldiers followed the speech of
the general, and the signal for the onset was given.

Neither did Arminius or the other chiefs neglect to declare to their
several bands that "these Romans were the cowardly fugitives of the Varian
army, who, because they could not endure to fight, had afterwards chosen
to rebel. That some with backs deformed by wounds, some with limbs maimed
by tempests, forsaken of hope, and the Gods against them, were once more
presenting their lives to their vengeful foes. Hitherto a fleet, and
unfrequented seas, had been the resources of their cowardice against an
assaulting or a pursuing enemy; but now that they were to engage hand to
hand, vain would be their relief from wind and oars after a defeat. The
Germans needed only remember their rapine, cruelty, and pride; and that to
themselves nothing remained but either to maintain their native liberty,
or by death to prevent bondage."

The enemy, thus inflamed and calling for battle, were led into a plain
called Idistavisus: [Footnote: Near Minden.] it lies between the Visurgis
and the hills, and winds unequally along, as it is straitened by the
swellings of the mountains or enlarged by the circuits of the river.
Behind rose a forest of high trees, thick of branches above but clear of
bushes below. The army of Barbarians kept the plain, and the entrances of
the forest. The Cheruscans alone sat down upon the mountain, in order to
pour down from thence upon the Romans as soon as they became engaged in
the fight. Our army marched thus: the auxiliary Gauls and Germans in
front, after them the foot archers, next four legions, and then Germanicus
with two Praetorian cohorts and the choice of the cavalry; then four
legions more, and the light foot with archers on horseback and the other
troops of the allies; the men all intent to march in order of battle and
ready to engage as they marched.

As the impatient bands of Cheruscans were now perceived descending
fiercely from the hills, Germanicus commanded a body of the best horse to
charge them in the flank, and Stertinius with the rest to wheel round to
attack them in the rear, and promised to be ready to assist them in
person. During this a joyful omen appeared: eight eagles were seen to fly
toward the wood, and to enter it; a presage of victory to the General.
"_Advance_," he cried, "_follow the Roman birds; follow the tutelar
Deities of the legions!_" Instantly the foot charged the enemy's front,
and instantly the detached cavalry attacked their flank and rear: this
double assault had a strange event; the two divisions of their army fled
opposite ways; that in the woods ran to the plain; that in the plain
rushed into the woods. The Cheruscans, between both, were driven from the
hills; amongst them Arminius, remarkably brave, who with his hand, his
voice, and distinguished wounds was still sustaining the fight. He had
assaulted the archers, and would have broken through them, but the cohorts
of the Retians, the Vindelicians, and the Gauls marched to their relief;
however, by his own vigour and the force of his horse, he escaped, his
face besmeared with his own blood to avoid being known. Some have related
that the Chaucians, who were amongst the Roman auxiliaries, knew him, and
let him go; the same bravery or deceit procured Inguiomerus his escape;
the rest were everywhere slain; and great numbers attempting to swim the
Visurgis were destroyed in it, either pursued with darts, or swallowed by
the current, or overwhelmed with the weight of the crowd, or buried under
the falling banks; some seeking a base refuge on the tops of trees, and
concealment amongst the branches, were shot in sport by the archers, or
squashed as the trees were felled: a mighty victory this, and to us far
from bloody!

This slaughter of the foe, from the fifth hour of the day till night,
filled the country for ten miles with carcasses and arms: amongst the
spoils, chains were found, which, sure of conquering, they had brought to
bind the Roman captives. The soldiers proclaimed Tiberius _Imperator_ upon
the field of battle, and raising a mount, placed upon it as trophies the
German arms, with the names of all the vanquished nations inscribed below.

This sight filled the Germans with more anguish and rage than all their
wounds, past afflictions, and slaughters. They, who were just prepared to
abandon their dwellings, and flit beyond the Elbe, meditate war and grasp
their arms: people, nobles, youth, aged, all rush suddenly upon the Roman
army in its march and disorder it. They next chose their camp, a strait
and moist plain shut in between a river and a forest, the forest too
surrounded with a deep marsh, except on one side, which was closed with a
barrier raised by the Angrivarians between them and the Cheruscans. Here
stood their foot; their horse were distributed and concealed amongst the
neighbouring groves, thence, by surprise, to beset the legions in the rear
as soon as they had entered the wood.

Nothing of all this was a secret to Germanicus: he knew their counsels,
their stations, what steps they pursued, what measures they concealed;
and, to the destruction of the enemy, turned their own subtilty and
devices. To Seius Tubero, his Lieutenant, he committed the horse and the
field; the infantry so disposed, that part might pass the level approaches
into the wood, and the rest force the ramparts; this was the most arduous
task, and to himself he reserved it; the rest he left to his Lieutenants.
Those who had the even ground to traverse, broke easily in; but they who
were to assail the rampart, were as grievously battered from above, as if
they had been storming a wall. The General perceived the inequality of
this close attack, and drawing off the legions a small distance, ordered
the slingers to throw, and the engineers to play, to beat off the enemy:
immediately showers of darts were poured from the engines, and the
defenders of the barrier, the more bold and exposed they were, with the
more wounds they were beaten down. Germanicus, having taken the rampart,
first forced his way, at the head of the Praetorian cohorts, into the
woods, and there it was fought foot to foot; behind, the enemy were begirt
with the morass, the Romans with the mountains or the rivers; no room for
either to retreat, no hope but in valour, no safety but in victory.

The Germans had no inferior courage, but they were exceeded in the fashion
of arms and art of fighting. Their mighty multitude, hampered in narrow
places, could not push nor recover their long spears, nor practise in a
close combat their usual boundings and velocity of limbs. On the contrary,
our soldiers, with handy swords, and their breasts closely guarded with a
buckler, delved the large bodies and naked faces of the Barbarians, and
opened themselves a way with a havoc of the enemy: besides, the activity
of Arminius now failed him, either spent through his continual efforts or
slackened by a wound just received. Inguiomerus was everywhere upon the
spur, animating the battle, but fortune rather than courage deserted him.
Germanicus, to be the easier known, pulled off his helmet, and exhorted
his men "to prosecute the slaughter; they wanted no captives," he said;
"only the cutting off that people root and branch would put an end to the
war." It was now late in the day, and he drew off a legion to make a camp;
the rest glutted themselves till night, with the blood of the foe; the
horse fought with doubtful success.

Germanicus, in a speech from the tribunal, praised his victorious army,
and raised a monument of arms with a proud inscription: "That the army of
Tiberius Caesar, having vanquished entirely the nations between the Rhine
and the Elbe, had consecrated that monument to Mars, to Jupiter, and to
Augustus." Of himself, he made no mention, either fearful of provoking
envy, or that he thought it sufficient praise to have deserved it. He had
next commanded Stertinius to carry the war amongst the Angrivarians; but
they instantly submitted; and these supplicants, by yielding without
articles, obtained pardon without reserve.

The summer now declining, some of the legions were sent back into winter
quarters by land; more were embarked with Germanicus upon the river
Amisia, to go from thence by the ocean. The sea at first was serene, no
sound or agitation but from the oars or sails of a thousand ships; but
suddenly a black host of clouds poured a storm of hail; furious winds
roared on every side, and the tempest darkened the deep, so that all
prospect was lost; and it was impossible to steer. The soldiers too,
unaccustomed to the terrors of the sea, in the hurry of fear disordered
the mariners, or interrupted the skilful by unskilful help. At last the
south wind, mastering all the rest, drove the ocean and the sky: the
tempest derived new force from the windy mountains and swelling rivers of
Germany, as well as from an immense train of clouds; and contracting
withal fresh vigour from the boisterous neighbourhood of the north, it
hurled the ships and tossed them into the open ocean, or against islands
shored with rocks or dangerously beset with covered shoals. The ships by
degrees, with great labour and the change of the tide, were relieved from
the rocks and sands, but remained at the mercy of the winds; their anchors
could not hold them; they were full of water, nor could all their pumps
discharge it: hence, to lighten and raise the vessels swallowing at their
decks the invading waves, the horses, beasts, baggage, and even the arms
were cast into the deep.

By how much the German ocean is more outrageous than the rest of the sea,
and the German climate excels in rigour, by so much this ruin was reckoned
to exceed in greatness and novelty. They were engaged in a tempestuous
sea, believed deep without bottom, vast without bounds, or no shores near
but hostile shores: part of the fleet were swallowed up; many were driven
upon remote islands void of human culture, where the men perished through
famine, or were kept alive by the carcasses of horses cast in by the
flood. Only the galley of Germanicus landed upon the coast of the
Chaucians, where wandering sadly, day and night, upon the rocks and
prominent shore, and incessantly accusing himself as the author of such
mighty destruction, he was hardly restrained by his friends from casting
himself desperately into the same hostile floods. At last, with the
returning tide and an assisting gale, the ships began to return, all
maimed, almost destitute of oars, or with coats spread for sails; and
some, utterly disabled, were dragged by those that were less. He repaired
them hastily, and despatched them to search the islands; and by this care
many men were gleaned up; many were by the Angrivarians, our new subjects,
redeemed from their maritime neighbours and restored; and some, driven
into Great Britain, were sent back by the little British kings. Those who
had come from afar, recounted wonders at their return, "the impetuosity of
whirlwinds; wonderful birds; sea monsters of ambiguous forms, between man
and beasts." Strange sights these! or the effects of imagination and fear.

The noise of this wreck, as it animated the Germans with hopes of renewing
the war, awakened Germanicus also to restrain them: he commanded Caius
Silius, with thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse, to march
against the Cattans: he himself, with a greater force, invaded the
Marsians, where he learnt from Malovendus, their general, lately taken
into our subjection, that the Eagle of one of Varus's legions was hid
underground in a neighbouring grove, and kept by a slender guard.
Instantly two parties were despatched; one to face the enemy and provoke
them from their post; the other to beset their rear and dig up the Eagle;
and success attended both. Hence Germanicus advanced with great alacrity,
laid waste the country, and smote the foe, either not daring to engage,
or, wherever they engaged, suddenly defeated. Nor, as we learnt from the
prisoners, were they ever seized with greater dismay: "The Romans," they
cried, "are invincible: no calamities can subdue them: they have wrecked
their fleet; their arms are lost; our shores are covered with the bodies
of their horses and men; and yet they attack us with their usual ferocity,
with the same firmness, and with numbers as it were increased."

The army was from thence led back into winter quarters, full of joy to
have balanced, by this prosperous expedition, their late misfortune at
sea; and by the bounty of Germanicus, their joy was heightened, since to
each sufferer he caused to be paid as much as each declared he had lost;
neither was it doubted but the enemy were humbled, and concerting measures
for obtaining peace, and that the next summer would terminate the war. But
Tiberius by frequent letters urged him "to come home, there to celebrate
the triumph already decreed him; urged that he had already tried enough of
events, and tempted abundant hazards: he had indeed fought great and
successful battles; but he must likewise remember his losses and
calamities, which, however, owing to wind and waves, and no fault of the
general, were yet great and grievous. He himself had been sent nine times
into Germany by Augustus, and effected much more by policy than arms: it
was thus he had brought the Sigambrians into subjection, thus drawn the
Suevians and King Maroboduus under the bonds of peace. The Cheruscans too,
and the other hostile nations, now the Roman vengeance was satiated, might
be left to pursue their own national feuds." Germanicus besought one year
to accomplish his conquest; but Tiberius assailed his modesty with a new
bait and fresh opportunity, by offering him another Consulship, for the
administration of which he was to attend in person at Rome. He added,
"that if the war was still to be prosecuted, Germanicus should leave a
field of glory to his brother Drusus, to whom there now remained no other;
since the Empire had nowhere a war to maintain but in Germany, and thence
only Drusus could acquire the title of Imperator, and merit the triumphal
laurel." Germanicus persisted no longer; though he knew that this was all
feigned and hollow, and saw himself invidiously torn away from a harvest
of ripe glory.

Decrees of the Senate were made for driving astrologers and magicians out
of Italy; and one of the herd, Lucius Pituanius, was precipitated from the
Tarpeian Rock: Publius Marcius, another, was, by the judgment of the
Consuls, at the sound of trumpet executed without the Esquiline Gate,
according to the ancient form.

Next time the Senate sat, long discourses against the luxury of the city
were made by Quintus Haterius, a consular, and by Octavius Fronto,
formerly Praetor; and a law was passed "against using table-plate of solid
gold, and against men debasing themselves with gorgeous and effeminate
silks." Fronto went further, and desired that "the quantities of silver
plate, the expense of furniture, and the number of domestics might be
limited;" for it was yet common for senators to depart from the present
debate and offer, as their advice, whatever they judged conducing to the
interest of the commonweal. Against him it was argued by Asinius Callus,
"That with the growth of the Empire private riches were likewise grown,
and it was no new thing for citizens to live according to their
conditions, but agreeable to the most primitive usage: the ancient
Fabricii and the later Scipios, having different wealth, lived
differently; but all suitably to the several stages of the Commonwealth.
Public property was accompanied with domestic; but when the State rose to
such a height of magnificence, the magnificence of particulars rose too.
As to plate, and train, and expense, there was no standard of excess or
frugality, but from the fortunes of men. The law, indeed, had made a
distinction between the fortunes of senators and knights; not for any
natural difference between them, but that they who excelled in place,
rank, and civil pre-eminence, might excel too in other particulars, such
as conduced to the health of the body or to the peace and solacement of
the soul; unless it were expected, that the most illustrious citizens
should sustain the sharpest cares, and undergo the heaviest fatigues and
dangers, but continue destitute of every alleviation of fatigue and danger
and care." Gallus easily prevailed, whilst under worthy names he avowed
and supported popular vices in an assembly engaged in them. Tiberius too
had said, "That it was not a season for reformation; or, if there were any
corruption of manners, there would not be wanting one to correct them."

During these transactions, Lucius Piso, after he had declaimed bitterly in
the Senate against "the ambitious practices and intrigues of the Forum,
the corruption of the tribunals, and the inhumanity of the pleaders
breathing continual terror and impeachments," declared "he would entirely
relinquish Rome, and retire into a quiet corner of the country, far
distant and obscure." With these words he left the Senate; Tiberius was
provoked; and yet not only soothed him with gentle words, but likewise
obliged Piso's relations, by their authority or entreaties, to retain him.
The same Piso gave soon after an equal instance of the indignation of the
free spirit, by prosecuting a suit against Urgulania; a lady whom the
partial friendship of Livia had set at defiance with the laws. Urgulania
being carried, for protection, to the palace, despised the efforts of
Piso; so that neither did she submit; nor would he desist, notwithstanding
the complaints and resentments of Livia, that in the prosecution "violence
and indignity were done to her own person." Tiberius promised to attend
the trial, and assist Urgulania; but only promised in civility to his
mother, for so far he thought it became him; and thus left the palace,
ordering his guards to follow at a distance. People the while crowded
about him, and he walked with a slow and composed air: as he lingered, and
prolonged the time and way with various discourse, the trial went on. Piso
would not be mollified by the importunity of his friends; and hence at
last the Empress ordered the payment of the money claimed by him. This was
the issue of the affair: by it, Piso lost no renown; and it signally
increased the credit of Tiberius. The power, however, of Urgulania was so
exorbitant to the State, that she disdained to appear a witness in a
certain cause before the Senate: and, when it had been always usual even
for the Vestal Virgins to attend the Forum and Courts of Justice, as oft
as their evidence was required; a Praetor was sent to examine Urgulania at
her own house.

The procrastination which happened this year in the public affairs, I
should not mention, but that the different opinions of Cneius Piso and
Asinius Gallus about it, are worth knowing. Their dispute was occasioned
by a declaration of Tiberius; "that he was about to be absent," and it was
the motion of Piso, "that for that very reason, the prosecution of public
business was the rather to be continued; since, as in the Prince's
absence, the Senate and equestrian order might administer their several
parts, the same would redound to the honour of the Commonwealth." This was
a declaration for liberty, and in it Piso had prevented Gallus, who now in
opposition said, "that nothing sufficiently illustrious, nor suiting the
dignity of the Roman People, could be transacted but under the immediate
eye of the Emperor, and therefore the conflux of suitors and affairs from
Italy and the provinces must by all means be reserved for his presence."
Tiberius heard and was silent, while the debate was managed on both sides
with mighty vehemence; but the adjournment was carried.

A debate too arose between Gallus and the Emperor: for Gallus moved "that
the magistrates should be henceforth elected but once every five years;
that the legates of the legions, who had never exercised the Praetorships,
should be appointed Praetors; and that the Prince should nominate twelve
candidates every year." It was not doubted but this motion had a deeper
aim, and that by it the secret springs and reserves of imperial power were
invaded. But Tiberius, as if he rather apprehended the augmentation of his
power, argued "that it was a heavy task upon his moderation, to choose so
many magistrates, and to postpone so many candidates. That disgusts from
disappointments were hardly avoided in yearly elections; though, for their
solacement, fresh hopes remained of approaching success in the next; now
how great must be the hatred, how lasting the resentment of such whose
pretensions were to be rejected beyond five years? and whence could it be
foreseen that, in so long a tract of time, the same men would continue to
have the same dispositions, the same alliances and fortunes? even an
annual designation to power made men imperious; how imperious would it
make them, if they bore the honour for five years! besides, it would
multiply every single magistrate into five, and utterly subvert the laws
which had prescribed a proper space for exercising the diligence of the
candidates, and for soliciting as well as enjoying preferments."

By this speech, in appearance popular, he still retained the spirit and
force of the sovereignty. He likewise sustained by gratuities, the dignity
of some necessitous Senators: hence it was the more wondered, that he
received with haughtiness and repulse the petition of Marcus Hortalus, a
young man of signal quality and manifestly poor. He was the grandson of
Hortensius the Orator; and had been encouraged by the deified Augustus,
with a bounty of a thousand great sestertia, [Footnote: L8333.] to marry
for posterity; purely to prevent the extinction of a family most
illustrious and renowned. The Senate were sitting in the palace, and
Hortalus having set his four children before the door, fixed his eyes, now
upon the statue of Hortensius, placed amongst the orators; then upon that
of Augustus; and instead of speaking to the question, began on this wise:
"Conscript Fathers, you see there the number and infancy of my children;
not mine by my own choice, but in compliance with the advice of the
Prince: such too was the splendour of my ancestors, that it merited to be
perpetuated in their race; but for my own particular, who, marred by the
revolution of the times, could not raise wealth, nor engage popular
favour, nor cultivate the hereditary fortune of our house, the fortune of
Eloquence: I deemed it sufficient if, in my slender circumstances, I lived
no disgrace to myself, no burden to others. Commanded by the Emperor, I
took a wife; behold the offspring of so many Consuls; behold the
descendants of so many Dictators! nor is this remembrance invidiously
made, but made to move mercy. In the progress of your reign, Caesar, these
children may arrive at the honours in your gift; defend them in the
meantime from want: they are the great-grandsons of Hortensius; they are
the foster sons of Augustus."

The inclination of the Senate was favourable; an incitement this to
Tiberius the more eagerly to thwart Hortalus. These were in effect his
words: "If all that are poor recur hither for a provision of money to
their children, the public will certainly fail, and yet particulars never
be satiated. Our ancestors, when they permitted a departure from the
question, to propose somewhat more important to the State, did not
therefore permit it, that we might here transact domestic matters, and
augment our private rents: an employment invidious both in the Senate and
the Prince; since, whether they grant or deny the petitioned bounties,
either the people or the petitioners will ever be offended. But these, in
truth, are not petitions; they are demands made against order, and made by
surprise: while you are assembled upon other affairs, he stands up and
urges your pity, by the number and infancy of his children; with the same
violence, he charges the attack to me, and as it were bursts open the
exchequer; but if by popular bounties we exhaust it, by rapine and
oppression we must supply it. The deified Augustus gave you money,
Hortalus; but without solicitation he gave it, and on no condition that it
should always be given: otherwise diligence will languish; sloth will
prevail; and men having no hopes in resources of their own, no anxiety for
themselves, but all securely relying on foreign relief, will become
private sluggards and public burdens." These and the like reasonings of
Tiberius were differently received; with approbation by those whose way it
is to extol, without distinction, all the doings of Princes, worthy and
unworthy; by most, however, with silence, or low and discontented murmurs.
Tiberius perceived it, and having paused a little, said "his answer was
particularly to Hortalus; but if the Senate thought fit, he would give his
sons two hundred great sestertia each." [Footnote: L1666.] For this all
the Senators presented their thanks; only Hortalus said nothing; perhaps
through present awe, or perhaps possessed, even in poverty, with the
grandeur of his ancient nobility. Nor did Tiberius ever show further pity,
though the house of Hortensius was fallen into shameful distress.

At the end of the year, a triumphal arch was raised near the Temple of
Saturn; a monument this for the recovery of the Varian Eagles, under the
conduct of Germanicus, under the auspices of Tiberius. A temple was
dedicated to Happy Fortune near the Tiber, in the gardens bequeathed to
the Roman People by Caesar, the Dictator. A chapel was consecrated to the
Julian family, and statues to the deified Augustus, in the suburbs called
Bovillae. In the consulship of Caius Celius and Lucius Pomponius, the six-
and-twentieth of May, Germanicus Caesar triumphed over the Cheruscans, the
Cattans, the Angrivarians, and the other nations as far as the Elbe. In
the triumph were carried all the spoils and captives, with the
representations of mountains, of rivers, and of battles; so that his
conquests, because he was restrained from completing them, were taken for
complete. His own graceful person, and his chariot filled with his five
children, heightened the show and the delight of the beholders; yet they
were checked with secret fears, as they remembered "that popular favour
had proved malignant to his father Drusus; that his uncle Marcellus was
snatched, in his youth, from the burning affections of the populace; and
that ever short-lived and unfortunate were the favourites of the Roman

Tiberius distributed to the people, in the name of Germanicus, three
hundred sesterces a man, [Footnote: L2, 10s.] and named himself his
colleague in the Consulship. Nor even thus did he gain the opinion of
tenderness and sincerity: in effect, on pretence of investing the young
Prince with fresh preferment and honours, he resolved to alienate him from
Rome; and, to accomplish it, craftily framed an occasion, or snatched such
an one as chance presented. Archelaus had enjoyed the kingdom of
Cappadocia now fifty years; a Prince under the deep displeasure of
Tiberius, because, in his retirement at Rhodes, the King had paid him no
sort of court or distinction: an omission this which proceeded from no
disdain, but from the warnings given him by the confidents of Augustus;
for that the young Caius Caesar, the presumptive heir to the sovereignty,
then lived, and was sent to compose and administer the affairs of the
East; hence the friendship of Tiberius was reckoned then dangerous. But
when, by the utter fall of the family of the Caesars, he had gained the
Empire, he enticed Archelaus to Rome, by means of letters from his mother,
who, without dissembling her son's resentment, offered the King his mercy,
provided he came and in person implored it. He, who was either ignorant of
the snare, or dreaded violence if he appeared to perceive it, hastened to
the city, where he was received by Tiberius with great sternness and
wrath, and soon after accused as a criminal in the Senate. The crimes
alleged against him were mere fictions; yet, as equal treatment is unusual
to kings, and to be treated like malefactors intolerable; Archelaus, who
was broken with grief as well as age, by choice or fate ended his life;
his kingdom was reduced into a province, and by its revenues Tiberius
declared the tax of a hundredth penny would be abated, and reduced it for
the future to the two hundredth. At the same time died Antiochus, king of
Comagena, as also Philopator, king of Cilicia; and great combustions shook
these nations; whilst of the people many desired Roman government, and
many were addicted to domestic monarchy. The provinces, too, of Syria and
Judea, as they were oppressed with impositions, prayed an abatement of

These affairs, and such as I have above related concerning Armenia,
Tiberius represented to the Fathers, and "that the commotions of the East
could only be settled by the wisdom and abilities of Germanicus; for
himself, his age now declined, and that of Drusus was not yet sufficiently
ripe." The provinces beyond the sea were thence decreed to Germanicus,
with authority superior to all those who obtained provinces by lot, or the
nomination of the Prince; but Tiberius had already taken care to remove
from the government of Syria Creticus Silanus, one united to Germanicus in
domestic alliance, by having to Nero, the eldest son of Germanicus,
betrothed his daughter. In his room he had preferred Cneius Piso, a man of
violent temper, incapable of subjection, and heir to all the ferocity and
haughtiness of his father Piso; the same who, in the civil war, assisted
the reviving party against Caesar in Africa with vehement efforts; and
then followed Brutus and Cassius, but had at last leave to come home, yet
disdained to sue for any public offices; nay, was even courted by Augustus
to accept the Consulship. His son, besides his hereditary pride and
impetuosity, was elevated with the nobility and wealth of Plancina his
wife; scarce yielded he to Tiberius, and, as men far beneath him, despised
the sons of Tiberius; neither did he doubt but he was set over Syria on
purpose to thwart the measures and defeat all the views of Germanicus.
Some even believed that he had to this purpose secret orders from
Tiberius, as it was certain that Livia directed Plancina to exert the
spirit of the sex, and by constant emulation and indignities persecute
Agrippina. For the whole court was rent, and their affections secretly
divided between Drusus and Germanicus. Tiberius was partial to Drusus, as
his own son by generation; others loved Germanicus; the more for the
aversion of his uncle, and for being by his mother of more illustrious
descent; as Marc Anthony was his grandfather, and Augustus his great-
uncle. On the other side, Pomponius Atticus, a Roman knight, by being the
great-grandfather of Drusus, seemed thence to have derived a stain upon
the images of the Claudian house; besides, Agrippina, the wife of
Germanicus, did in the fruitfulness of her body and the reputation of her
virtue far excel Livia, the wife of Drusus. Yet the two brothers lived in
amiable dearness and concord, no wise shaken or estranged by the reigning
contention amongst their separate friends and adherents.

Drusus was soon after sent into Illyricum in order to inure him to war,
and gain him the affections of the army; besides, Tiberius thought that
the youth, who loved wantoning in the luxuries of Rome, would be reformed
in the camp, and that his own security would be enlarged when both his
sons were at the head of the legions. But the pretence of sending him was
the protection of the Suevians, who were then imploring assistance against
the powers of the Cheruscans. For these nations, who since the departure
of the Romans saw themselves no longer threatened with terrors from
abroad, and were then particularly engaged in a national competition for
glory, had relapsed, as usual, into their old intestine feuds, and turned
their arms upon each other. The two people were equally powerful, and
their two leaders equally brave; but differently esteemed, as the title of
king upon Maroboduus had drawn the hate and aversion of his countrymen;
whilst Arminius, as a champion warring for the defence of liberty, was the
universal object of popular affection.

Hence not only the Cheruscans and their confederates, they who had been
the ancient soldiery of Arminius, took arms; but to him too revolted the
Semnones and Langobards, both Suevian nations, and even subjects of
Maroboduus; and by their accession he would have exceeded in puissance,
but Inguiomerus with his band of followers deserted to Maroboduus; for no
other cause than disdain, that an old man and an uncle like himself should
obey Arminius, a young man, his nephew. Both armies were drawn out, with
equal hopes; nor disjointed, like the old German battles, into scattered
parties for loose and random attacks; for by long war with us they had
learnt to follow their ensigns, to strengthen their main body with parties
of reserves, and to observe the orders of their generals. Arminius was now
on horseback viewing all the ranks: as he rode through them he magnified
their past feats; "their liberty recovered; the slaughtered legions; the
spoils of arms wrested from the Romans; monuments of victory still
retained in some of their hands." Upon Maroboduus he fell with
contumelious names, as "a fugitive, one of no abilities in war; a coward
who had sought defence from the gloomy coverts of the Hercynian woods, and
then by gifts and solicitations courted the alliance of Rome; a betrayer
of his country, and a lifeguard-man of Caesar's, worthy to be exterminated
with no less hostile vengeance than in the slaughter of Quinctilius Varus
they had shown. Let them only remember so many battles bravely fought; the
events of which, particularly the utter expulsion of the Romans, were
sufficient proofs with whom remained the glory of the war."

Neither did Maroboduus fail to boast himself and depreciate the foe. "In
the person of Inguiomerus," he said (holding him by the hand), "rested the
whole renown of the Cheruscans; and from his counsels began all their
exploits that ended in success. Arminius, a man of a frantic spirit, and a
novice in affairs, assumed to himself the glory of another, for having by
treachery surprised three legions, which expected no foe, and their
leader, who feared no fraud; a base surprise, revenged since on Germany
with heavy slaughters, and on Arminius himself with domestic infamy, while
his wife and his son still bore the bonds of captivity. For himself, when
attacked formerly by Tiberius at the head of twelve legions, he had
preserved unstained the glory of Germany, and on equal terms ended the
war. Nor did he repent of the treaty, since it was still in their hands to
wage anew equal war with the Romans, or save blood and maintain peace."
The armies, besides the incitements from these speeches, were animated by
national stimulations of their own. The Cheruscans fought for their
ancient renown; the Langobards for their recent liberty; and the Suevians
and their king, on the contrary, were struggling for the augmentation of
their monarchy. Never did armies make a fiercer onset; never had onset a
more ambiguous event; for both the right wings were routed, and hence a
fresh encounter was certainly expected, till Maroboduus drew off his army
and encamped upon the hills; a manifest sign this that he was humbled.
Frequent desertions too leaving him at last naked of forces, he retired to
the Marcomannians, and thence sent ambassadors to Tiberius to implore
succours. They were answered, "That he had no right to invoke aid of the
Roman arms against the Cheruscans, since to the Romans, while they were
warring with the same foe, he had never administered any assistance."
Drusus was, however, sent away, as I have said, with the character of a
negotiator of peace.

The same year twelve noble cities of Asia were overturned by an
earthquake: the ruin happened in the night, and the more dreadful as its
warnings were unobserved; neither availed the usual sanctuary against such
calamities, namely, a flight to the fields, since those who fled, the
gaping earth devoured. It is reported "that mighty mountains subsided,
plains were heaved into high hills: and that with flashes and eruptions of
fire, the mighty devastation was everywhere accompanied." The Sardians
felt most heavily the rage of the concussion, and therefore most
compassion: Tiberius promised them an hundred thousand great sesterces,
[Footnote: L83,000.] and remitted their taxes for five years. The
inhabitants of Magnesia, under Mount Sipylus, were held the next in
sufferings, and had proportionable relief. The Temnians, Philadelphians,
the Aegeatans, Apollonians, with those called the Mostenians or
Macedonians of Hyrcania, the cities too of Hierocaesarea, Cyme, and
Tmolus, were all for the same term eased of tribute. It was likewise
resolved to send one of the Senate to view the desolations and administer
proper remedies: Marcus Aletus was therefore chosen, one of Praetorian
rank; because, a Consular Senator then governing Asia, had another of the
like quality been sent, an emulation between equals was apprehended, and
consequently opposition and delays.

The credit of this noble bounty to the public, he increased by private
liberalities, which proved equally popular: the estate of the wealthy
Aemilia Musa, claimed by the exchequer, as she died intestate, he
surrendered to Aemilius Lepidus, to whose family she seemed to belong; as
also to Marcus Servilius the inheritance of Patuleius, a rich Roman
knight, though part of it had been bequeathed to himself; but he found
Servilius named sole heir in a former and well-attested will. He said such
was "the nobility of both, that they deserved to be supported." Nor did he
ever to himself accept any man's inheritance, but where former friendship
gave him a title. The wills of such as were strangers to him, and of such
as, from hate and prejudice to others, had appointed the Prince their
heir, he utterly rejected. But, as he relieved the honest poverty of the
virtuous, so he degraded from the Senate (or suffered to quit it of their
own accord) Vibidius Varro, Marius Nepos, Appius Appianus, Cornelius
Sylla, and Quintus Vitellius, all prodigals, and only through debauchery

About this time Tiberius finished and consecrated what Augustus began, the
Temples of the Gods consumed by age or fire: that near the great Circus,
vowed by Aulus Posthumius the Dictator, to Bacchus, Proserpina, and Ceres.
In the same place the Temple of Flora, founded by Lucius Publicius and
Marcus Publicius while they were Aediles. The Temple of Janus, built in
the Herb Market by Caius Duillius, who first signalised the Roman power at
sea, and merited a naval triumph over the Carthaginians. That of Hope was
dedicated by Germanicus: this temple Atilius had vowed in the same war.

The Consuls for the following year were, Tiberius the third time,
Germanicus the second. This dignity overtook Germanicus at Nicopolis, a
city of Achaia, whither he arrived by the coast of Illyricum, from
visiting his brother Drusus, then abiding in Dalmatia; and had suffered a
tempestuous passage, both in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea: he therefore
spent a few days to repair his fleet, and viewed the while the Bay of
Actium renowned for the naval victory there; as also the spoils
consecrated by Augustus, and the Camp of Anthony, with an affecting
remembrance of these his ancestors; for Anthony, as I have said, was his
great uncle, Augustus his grandfather; hence this scene proved to
Germanicus a mighty source of images pleasing and sad. Next he proceeded
to Athens, where in concession to that ancient city, allied to Rome, he
would use but one Lictor. The Greeks received him with the most elaborate
honours, and to dignify their personal flattery, carried before him
tablatures of the signal deeds and sayings of his ancestors.

Hence he sailed to Eubea, thence to Lesbos, where Agrippina was delivered
of Julia, who proved her last birth; then he kept the coast of Asia and
visited Perinthus and Byzantium, cities of Thrace, and entered the straits
of Propontis, and the mouth of the Euxine; fond of beholding ancient
places long celebrated by fame: he relieved at the same time, the
provinces wherever distracted with intestine factions, or aggrieved with
the oppressions of their magistrates. In his return he strove to see the
religious rites of the Samothracians, but by the violence of the north
wind was repulsed from the shore. As he passed, he saw Troy and her
remains, venerable for the vicissitude of her fate, and for the birth of
Rome: regaining the coast of Asia, he put in at Colophon, to consult there
the oracle of the Clarian Apollo: it is no Pythoness that represents the
God here, as at Delphos, but a Priest, one chosen from certain families,
chiefly of Miletus; neither requires he more than just to hear the names
and numbers of the querists, and then descends into the oracular cave;
where, after a draught of water from a secret spring, though ignorant for
the most part of letters and poetry, he yet utters his answers in verse,
which has for its subject the conceptions and wishes of each consultant.
He was even said to have sung to Germanicus his hastening fate, but as
oracles are wont, in terms dark and doubtful.

But Cneius Piso, hurrying to the execution of his purposes, terrified the
city of Athens by a tempestuous entry, and reproached them in a severe
speech, with oblique censure of Germanicus, "that debasing the dignity of
the Roman name, he had paid excessive court, not to the Athenians by so
many slaughters long since extinct, but to the then mixed scum of nations
there; for that these were they who had leagued with Mithridates against
Sylla, and with Anthony against Augustus." He even charged them with the
errors and misfortunes of ancient Athens; her impotent attempts against
the Macedonians; her violence and ingratitude to her own citizens. He was
also an enemy to their city from personal anger; because they would not
pardon at his request one Theophilus condemned by the Areopagus for
forgery. From thence sailing hastily through the Cyclades, and taking the
shortest course, he overtook Germanicus at Rhodes, but was there driven by
a sudden tempest upon the rocks: and Germanicus, who was not ignorant with
what malignity and invectives he was pursued, yet acted with so much
humanity, that when he might have left him to perish, and to casualty have
referred the destruction of his enemy; he despatched galleys to rescue him
from the wreck. This generous kindness however assuaged not the animosity
of Piso; and scarce could he brook a day's delay with Germanicus, but left
him in haste to arrive in Syria before him: nor was he sooner there, and
found himself amongst the legions, than he began to court the common men
by bounties and caresses, to assist them with his countenance and credit,
to form factions, to remove all the ancient centurions and every tribune
of remarkable discipline and severity, and, in their places, to put
dependents of his own, or men recommended only by their crimes; he
permitted sloth in the camp, licentiousness in the towns, a rambling and
disorderly soldiery, and carried the corruption so high, that in the
discourses of the herd, he was styled _Father of the Legions_. Nor did
Plancina restrain herself to a conduct seemly in her sex, but frequented
the exercises of the cavalry, and attended the decursions of the cohorts;
everywhere inveighing against Agrippina, everywhere against Germanicus;
and some even of the most deserving soldiers became prompt to base
obedience, from a rumour whispered abroad, "that all this was not
unacceptable to Tiberius,"

These doings were all known to Germanicus; but his more instant care was
to visit Armenia, an inconstant and restless nation this from the
beginning; inconstant from the genius of the people, as well as from the
situation of their country, which bordering with a large frontier on our
provinces, and stretching thence quite to Media, is enclosed between the
two great Empires, and often at variance with them; with the Romans
through antipathy and hatred, with the Parthians through competition and
envy. At this time and ever since the removal of Vonones, they had no
king; but the affections of the nations leaned to Zeno, son of Polemon,
king of Pontus, because by an attachment, from his infancy, to the
fashions and customs of the Armenians, by hunting, feasting, and other
usages practised and renowned amongst the barbarians, he had equally won
the nobles and people. Upon his head therefore, at the city of Artaxata,
with the approbation of the nobles, in a great assembly, Germanicus put
the regal diadem; and the Armenians doing homage to their king, saluted
him, _Artaxias_, a name which from that of their city, they gave him. The
Cappadocians, at this time reduced into the form of a province, received
for their governor Quintus Veranius; and to raise their hopes of the
gentler dominion of Rome, several of the royal taxes were lessened.
Quintus Servaeus was set over the Comagenians, then first subjected to the
jurisdiction of a Praetor.

From the affairs of the allies, thus all successfully settled, Germanicus
reaped no pleasure, through the perverseness and pride of Piso, who was
ordered to lead by himself or his son, part of the legions into Armenia,
but contemptuously neglected to do either. They at last met at Cyrrum, the
winter quarters of the tenth legion, whither each came with a prepared
countenance; Piso to betray no fear, and Germanicus would not be thought
to threaten. He was indeed, as I have observed, of a humane and
reconcilable spirit: but, officious friends expert at inflaming
animosities, aggravated real offences, added fictitious, and with manifold
imputations charged Piso, Plancina, and their sons. To this interview
Germanicus admitted a few intimates, and began his complaints in words
such as dissembled resentment dictates. Piso replied with disdainful
submissions; and they parted in open enmity. Piso hereafter came rarely to
the tribunal of Germanicus; or, if he did, sate sternly there, and in
manifest opposition: he likewise published his spite at a feast of the
Nabathean King's, where golden crowns of great weight were presented to
Germanicus and Agrippina; but to Piso and the rest, such as were light:
"This banquet," he said, "was made for the son of a Roman prince, not of a
Parthian monarch:" with these words, he cast away his crown, and uttered
many invectives against luxury: sharp insults and provocations these to
Germanicus; yet he bore them.

In the consulship of Marcus Silanus and Lucius Norbanus, Germanicus
travelled to Egypt, to view the famous antiquities of the country; though
for the motives of the journey, the care and inspection of the province
were publicly alleged: and, indeed, by opening the granaries, he mitigated
the price of corn, and practised many things grateful to the people;
walking without guards, his feet bare, and his habit the same with that of
the Greeks; after the example of Publius Scipio, who, we are told, was
constant in the same practices in Sicily, even during the rage of the
Punic War there. For these his assumed manners and foreign habit, Tiberius
blamed him in a gentle style, but censured him with great asperity for
violating an establishment of Augustus, and entering Alexandria without
consent of the Prince. For Augustus, amongst other secrets of power, had
appropriated Egypt, and restrained the senators, and dignified Roman
knights from going thither without licence; as he apprehended that Italy
might be distressed with famine by any who seized that province, the key
to the Empire by sea and land, and defensible by a light band of men
against potent armies.

Germanicus, not yet informed that his journey was censured, sailed up the
Nile, beginning at Canopus, [Footnote: Near Aboukir.] one of its mouths:
it was built by the Spartans, as a monument to Canopus, a pilot buried
there, at the time when Menelaus returning to Greece was driven to
different seas and the Lybian continent. Hence he visited the next mouth
of the river sacred to Hercules: him the nations aver to have been born
amongst them; that he was the most ancient of the name, and that all the
rest, who with equal virtue followed his example, were, in honour, called
after him. Next he visited the mighty antiquities of ancient Thebes;
[Footnote: Karnak and Luxor.] where upon huge obelisks yet remained
Egyptian characters, describing its former opulency: one of the oldest
priests was ordered to interpret them; he said they related "that it once
contained seven hundred thousand fighting men; that with that army King
Rhamses had conquered Lybia, Ethiopia, the Medes and Persians, the
Bactrians and Scythians; and to his Empire had added the territories of
the Syrians, Armenians, and their neighbours the Cappadocians; a tract of
countries reaching from the sea of Bithynia to that of Lycia:" here also
was read the assessment of tribute laid on the several nations; what
weight of silver and gold; what number of horses and arms; what ivory and
perfumes, as gifts to the temples; what measures of grain; what quantities
of all necessaries, were by each people paid; revenues equally grand with
those exacted by the denomination of the Parthians, or by the power of the

Germanicus was intent upon seeing other wonders: the chief were; the
effigies of Memnon, a colossus of stone, yielding when struck by the solar
rays, a vocal sound; the Pyramids rising, like mountains, amongst rolling
and almost impassable waves of sand; monuments these of the emulation and
opulency of Egyptian kings; the artificial lake, a receptacle of the
overflowing Nile; and elsewhere abysses of such immense depth, that those,
who tried, could never fathom. Thence he proceeded to Elephantina and
Syene, two islands, formerly frontiers of the Roman empire, which is now
widened to the Red Sea.

Whilst Germanicus spent this summer in several provinces, Drusus was
sowing feuds amongst the Germans, and thence reaped no light renown; and,
as the power of Maroboduus was already broken, he engaged them to persist
and complete his ruin. Amongst the Gotones was a young man of quality, his
name Catualda, a fugitive long since from the violence of Maroboduus, but
now in his distress, resolved on revenge: hence with a stout band, he
entered the borders of the Marcomannians, and corrupting their chiefs into
his alliance, stormed the regal palace, and the castle situate near it. In
the pillage were found the ancient stores of prey accumulated by the
Suevians; as also many victuallers and traders from our provinces; men who
were drawn hither from their several homes, first by privilege of traffic,
then retained by a passion to multiply gain, and at last, through utter
oblivion of their own country, fixed, like natives, in a hostile soil.

To Maroboduus on every side forsaken, no other refuge remained but the
mercy of Caesar: he therefore passed the Danube where it washes the
province of Norica, and wrote to Tiberius; not however in the language of
a fugitive or supplicant, but with a spirit suitable to his late grandeur,
"that many nations invited him to them, as a king once so glorious; but he
preferred to all the friendship of Rome." The Emperor answered, "that in
Italy he should have a safe and honourable retreat, and, when his affairs
required his presence, the same security to return." But to the Senate he
declared, "that never had Philip of Macedon been so terrible to the
Athenians; nor Pyrrhus, nor Antiochus to the Roman people." The speech is
extant: in it he magnifies "the greatness of the man, the fierceness and
bravery of the nations his subjects; the alarming nearness of such an
enemy to Italy, and his own artful measures to destroy him." Maroboduus
was kept at Ravenna, for a check and terror to the Suevians; as if, when
at any time they grew turbulent, he were there in readiness to recover
their subjection: yet in eighteen years he left not Italy, but grew old in
exile there; his renown too became eminently diminished; such was the
price he paid for an over-passionate love of life. The same fate had
Catualda, and no other sanctuary; he was soon after expulsed by the forces
of the Hermundurans led by Vibilius, and being received under the Roman
protection, was conveyed to Forum Julium, a colony in Narbon Gaul. The
barbarians their followers, lest, had they been mixed with the provinces,
they might have disturbed their present quiet, were placed beyond the
Danube, between the rivers Marus and Cusus, and for their king had
assigned them Vannius, by nation a Quadian.

As soon as it was known at Rome, that Artaxias was by Germanicus given to
the Armenians for their king, the fathers decreed to him and Drusus the
lesser triumph: triumphal arches were likewise erected, on each side of
the Temple of Mars the Avenger, supporting the statues of these two
Caesars; and for Tiberius, he was more joyful to have established peace by
policy, than if by battles and victories he had ended the war.

Germanicus returning from Egypt, learned that all his orders left with the
legions, and the eastern cities, were either entirely abolished, or
contrary regulations established: a ground this for his severe reproaches
and insults upon Piso. Nor less keen were the efforts and machinations of
Piso against Germanicus; yet Piso afterwards determined to leave Syria,
but was detained by the following illness of Germanicus: again when he
heard of his recovery, and perceived that vows were paid for his
restoration; the Lictors, by his command, broke the solemnity, drove away
the victims already at the altars; overturned the apparatus of the
sacrifice; and scattered the people of Antioch employed in celebrating the
festival. He then departed to Seleucia, waiting the event of the malady
which had again assaulted Germanicus. His own persuasion too, that poison
was given him by Piso, heightened the cruel vehemence of the disease:
indeed, upon the floors and walls were found fragments of human bodies,
the spoils of the grave; with charms and incantations; and the name of
Germanicus graved on sheets of lead; carcasses half burnt, besmeared with
gore; and other witchcrafts, by which souls are thought doomed to the
infernal gods: besides there were certain persons, charged as creatures of
Piso, purposely sent and employed to watch the progress and efforts of the

These things filled Germanicus with apprehensions great as his resentment:
"If his doors," he said, "were besieged, if under the eyes of his enemies
he must render up his spirit, what was to be expected to his unhappy wife,
what to his infant children?" The progress of poison was thought too slow;
Piso was impatient, and urging with eagerness to command alone the
legions, to possess alone the province: but Germanicus was not sunk to
such lowness and impotence, that the price of his murder should remain
with the murderer: and by a letter to Piso, he renounced his friendship:
some add, that he commanded him to depart the province. Nor did Piso tarry
longer, but took ship; yet checked her sailing in order to return with the
more quickness, should the death of Germanicus the while leave the
government of Syria vacant.

Germanicus, after a small revival, drooping again; when his end
approached, spoke on this wise to his attending friends: "Were I to yield
to the destiny of nature; just, even then, were my complaints against the
Gods, for hurrying me from my parents, my children, and my country, by a
hasty death, in the prime of life: now shortened in my course by the
malignity of Piso, and his wife, to your breasts I commit my last prayers:
tell my father, tell my brother, with what violent persecutions afflicted,
with what mortal snares circumvented, I end a most miserable life by death
of all others the worst. All they whose hopes in my fortune, all they
whose kindred blood, and even they whose envy, possessed them with
impressions about me whilst living, shall bewail me dead; that once great
in glory, and surviving so many wars, I fell at last by the dark devices
of a woman. To you will be place left to complain in the Senate, and place
to invoke the aid and vengeance of the laws. To commemorate the dead with
slothful wailings, is not the principal office of friends: they are to
remember his dying wishes, to fulfil his last desires. Even strangers will
lament Germanicus: you are my friends: if you loved me rather than my
fortune, you will vindicate your friendship: show the people of Rome my
wife, her who is the grand-daughter of Augustus, and enumerate to them our
six children. Their compassion will surely attend you who accuse; and the
accused, if they pretend clandestine warrants of iniquity, will not be
believed; if believed, not pardoned." His friends, as a pledge of their
fidelity, touching the hand of the dying prince, swore that they would
forego their lives sooner than their revenge. Then turning to his wife, he
besought her "that in tenderness to his memory, in tenderness to their
common children, she would banish her haughty spirit, yield to her hostile
fortune, nor, upon her return to Rome, by an impotent competition for
ruling, irritate those who were masters of rule." So much openly, and more
in secret; whence he was believed to have warned her of guile and danger
from Tiberius. Soon after he expired, to the heavy sorrow of the province,
and of all the neighbouring countries; insomuch that remote nations and
foreign kings were mourners: such had been his complacency to our
confederates; such his humanity to his enemies! Alike venerable he was,
whether you saw him or heard him; and without ever departing from the
grave port and dignity of his sublime rank, he yet lived destitute of
arrogance and untouched by envy.

The funeral, which was performed without exterior pomp or a procession of
images, drew its solemnity from the loud praises and amiable memory of his
virtues. There were those who from his loveliness, his age, his manner of
dying, and even from the proximity of places where both departed, compared
him in the circumstances of his fate, to Great Alexander: "Each of a
graceful person, each of illustrious descent; in years neither much
exceeding thirty; both victims to the malice and machinations of their own
people, in the midst of foreign nations: but Germanicus gentle towards his
friends; his pleasures moderate; confined to one wife; all his children by
one bed; nor less a warrior, though not so rash, and however hindered from
a final reduction of Germany, broken by him in so many victories, and
ready for the yoke: so that had he been sole arbiter of things, had he
acted with the sovereignty and title of royalty, he had easier overtaken
him in the glory of conquests, as he surpassed him in clemency, in
moderation, and in other virtues." His body, before its commitment to the
pile, was exhibited naked in the Forum of Antioch, the place where the
pile was erected: whether it bore the marks of poison, remained undecided:
for, people as they were divided in their affections, as they pitied
Germanicus, and presumed the guilt of Piso, or were partial to him, gave
opposite accounts.

It was next debated amongst the legates of the legions and the other
senators there, to whom should be committed the administration of Syria:
and after the faint effort of others, it was long disputed between Vibius
Marsus and Cneius Sentius: Marsus at last yielded to Sentius, the older
man and the more vehement competitor. By him one Martina, infamous in that
province for practices in poisoning, and a close confidant of Plancina,
was sent to Rome, at the suit of Vitellius, Veranius, and others, who were
preparing criminal articles against Piso and Plancina, as against persons
evidently guilty.

Agrippina, though overwhelmed with sorrow, and her body indisposed, yet
impatient of all delays to her revenge, embarked with the ashes of
Germanicus, and her children; attended with universal commiseration, "that
a lady, in quality a princess, wont to be beheld in her late splendid
wedlock with applauses and adorations, was now seen bearing in her bosom
her husband's funeral urn, uncertain of vengeance for him and fearful for
herself; unfortunate in her fruitfulness, and from so many children
obnoxious to so many blows of fortune." Piso the while was overtaken at
the Isle of Cooes by a message, "that Germanicus was deceased," and
received it intemperately, slew victims and repaired with thanksgiving to
the temples: and yet, however immoderate and undisguised was his joy, more
arrogant and insulting proved that of Plancina, who immediately threw off
her mourning, which for the death of a sister she wore, and assumed a
dress adapted to gaiety and gladness.

About him flocked the Centurions with officious representations, "that
upon him particularly were bent the affections and zeal of the legions,
and he should proceed to resume the province, at first injuriously taken
from him and now destitute of a governor." As he therefore consulted what
he had best pursue, his son Marcus Piso advised "a speedy journey to Rome:
hitherto," he said, "nothing past expiation was committed; nor were
impotent suspicions to be dreaded; nor the idle blazonings of fame: his
variance and contention with Germanicus was perhaps subject to hate and
aversion, but to no prosecution or penalty; and, by bereaving him of the
province, his enemies were gratified: but if he returned thither, as
Sentius would certainly oppose him with arms, a civil war would thence be
actually begun: neither would the Centurions and soldiers persist in his
party; men with whom the recent memory of their late commander, and an

Book of the day: