Part 8 out of 9
Arminius was no rude savage, fighting out of mere animal instinct or in
ignorance of the might of his adversary. He was familiar with the Roman
language and civilization; he had served in the Roman armies; he had
been admitted to the Roman citizenship, and raised to the rank of the
equestrian order. It was part of the subtle policy of Rome to confer
rank and privileges on the youth of the leading families in the nations
which she wished to enslave. Among other young German chieftains,
Arminius and his brother, who were the heads of the noblest house in the
tribe of the Cherusci, had been selected as fit objects for the exercise
of this insidious system. Roman refinements and dignities succeeded in
denationalizing the brother, who assumed the Roman name of Flavius, and
adhered to Rome throughout all her wars against his country. Arminius
remained unbought by honors or wealth, uncorrupted by refinement or
luxury. He aspired to and obtained from Roman enmity a higher title than
ever could have been given him by Roman favor. It is in the page of
Rome's greatest historian that his name has come down to us with the
proud addition of "_Liberator hand dubie Germaniae_."
Often must the young chieftain, while meditating the exploit which has
thus immortalized him, have anxiously revolved in his mind the fate of
the many great men who had been crushed in the attempt which he was
about to renew--the attempt to stay the chariot wheels of triumphant
Rome. Could he hope to succeed where Hannibal and Mithradates had
perished? What had been the doom of Viriathus? and what warning against
vain valor was written on the desolate site where Numantia once had
flourished? Nor was a caution wanting in scenes nearer home and more
recent times. The Gauls had fruitlessly struggled for eight years
against Caesar; and the gallant Vercingetorix, who in the last year of
the war had roused all his countrymen to insurrection, who had cut off
Roman detachments, and brought Caesar himself to the extreme of peril at
Alesia--he, too, had finally succumbed, had been led captive in Caesar's
triumph, and had then been butchered in cold blood in a Roman dungeon.
It was true that Rome was no longer the great military republic which
for so many ages had shattered the kingdoms of the world. Her system of
government was changed, and, after a century of revolution and civil
war, she had placed herself under the despotism of a single ruler. But
the discipline of her troops was yet unimpaired and her warlike spirit
seemed unabated. The first year of the empire had been signalized by
conquests as valuable as any gained by the republic in a corresponding
period. It is a great fallacy--though apparently sanctioned by great
authorities--to suppose that the foreign policy pursued by Augustus was
pacific; he certainly recommended such a policy to his successors
(_incertum metu an per invidiam_: Tac., _Ann_., i. 11), but he himself,
until Arminius broke his spirit, had followed a very different course.
Besides his Spanish wars, his generals, in a series of generally
aggressive campaigns, had extended the Roman frontier from the Alps to
the Danube, and had reduced into subjection the large and important
countries that now form the territories of all Austria south of that
river, and of East Switzerland, Lower Wuertemberg, Bavaria, the
Valtelline, and the Tyrol.
While the progress of the Roman arms thus pressed the Germans from the
south, still more formidable inroads had been made by the imperial
legions on the west. Roman armies, moving from the province of Gaul,
established a chain of fortresses along the right as well as the left
bank of the Rhine, and, in a series of victorious campaigns, advanced
their eagles as far as the Elbe, which now seemed added to the list of
vassal rivers, to the Nile, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Danube, the Tagus,
the Seine, and many more, that acknowledged the supremacy of the Tiber.
Roman fleets also, sailing from the harbors of Gaul along the German
coasts and up the estuaries, cooeperated with the land forces of the
empire, and seemed to display, even more decisively than her armies, her
overwhelming superiority over the rude Germanic tribes. Throughout the
territory thus invaded the Romans had with their usual military skill
established fortified posts; and a powerful army of occupation was kept
on foot, ready to move instantly on any spot where a popular outbreak
might be attempted.
Vast, however, and admirably organized as the fabric of Roman power
appeared on the frontiers and in the provinces, there was rottenness at
the core. In Rome's unceasing hostilities with foreign foes, and still
more in her long series of desolating civil wars, the free middle
classes of Italy had almost wholly disappeared. Above the position which
they had occupied, an oligarchy of wealth had reared itself; beneath
that position a degraded mass of poverty and misery was fermenting.
Slaves; the chance sweepings of every conquered country; shoals of
Africans, Sardinians, Asiatics, Illyrians, and others made up the bulk
of the population of the Italian peninsula.
The foulest profligacy of manners was general in all ranks. In universal
weariness of revolution and civil war, and in consciousness of being too
debased for self-government, the nation had submitted itself to the
absolute authority of Augustus. Adulation was now the chief function of
the senate; and the gifts of genius and accomplishments of art were
devoted to the elaboration of eloquently false panegyrics upon the
prince and his favorite courtiers. With bitter indignation must the
German chieftain have beheld all this and contrasted with it the rough
worth of his own countrymen: their bravery, their fidelity to their
word, their manly independence of spirit, their love of their national
free institutions, and their loathing of every pollution and meanness.
Above all, he must have thought of the domestic virtues that hallowed a
German home; of the respect there shown to the female character, and of
the pure affection by which that respect was repaid. His soul must have
burned within him at the contemplation of such a race yielding to these
Still, to persuade the Germans to combine, in spite of the frequent
feuds among themselves, in one sudden outbreak against Rome; to keep the
scheme concealed from the Romans until the hour for action arrived; and
then, without possessing a single walled town, without military stores,
without training, to teach his insurgent countrymen to defeat veteran
armies and storm fortifications, seemed so perilous an enterprise that
probably Arminius would have receded from it had not a stronger feeling
even than patriotism urged him on. Among the Germans of high rank who
had most readily submitted to the invaders and become zealous partisans
of Roman authority was a chieftain named Segestes. His daughter,
Thusnelda, was preeminent among the noble maidens of Germany. Arminius
had sought her hand in marriage; but Segestes, who probably discerned
the young chief's disaffection to Rome, forbade his suit, and strove to
preclude all communication between him and his daughter. Thusnelda,
however, sympathized far more with the heroic spirit of her lover than
with the timeserving policy of her father. An elopement baffled the
precautions of Segestes, who, disappointed in his hope of preventing the
marriage, accused Arminius before the Roman governor of having carried
off his daughter and of planning treason against Rome. Thus assailed,
and dreading to see his bride torn from him by the officials of the
foreign oppressor, Arminius delayed no longer, but bent all his energies
to organize and execute a general insurrection of the great mass of his
countrymen, who hitherto had submitted in sullen hatred to the Roman
A change of governors had recently taken place, which, while it
materially favored the ultimate success of the insurgents, served, by
the immediate aggravation of the Roman oppressions which it produced, to
make the native population more universally eager to take arms.
Tiberius, who was afterward emperor, had recently been recalled from the
command in Germany and sent into Pannonia to put down a dangerous revolt
which had broken out against the Romans in that province. The German
patriots were thus delivered from the stern supervision of one of the
most suspicious of mankind, and were also relieved from having to
contend against the high military talents of a veteran commander, who
thoroughly understood their national character, and also the nature of
the country, which he himself had principally subdued.
In the room of Tiberius, Augustus sent into Germany Quintilius Varus,
who had lately returned from the proconsulate of Syria. Varus was a true
representative of the higher classes of the Romans, among whom a general
taste for literature, a keen susceptibility to all intellectual
gratifications, a minute acquaintance with the principles and practice
of their own national jurisprudence, a careful training in the schools
of the rhetoricians, and a fondness for either partaking in or watching
the intellectual strife of forensic oratory had become generally
diffused, without, however, having humanized the old Roman spirit of
cruel indifference to human feelings and human sufferings, and without
acting as the least checks on unprincipled avarice and ambition or on
habitual and gross profligacy. Accustomed to govern the depraved and
debased natives of Syria--a country where courage in man and virtue in
woman had for centuries been unknown--Varus thought that he might
gratify his licentious and rapacious passions with equal impunity among
the high-minded sons and pure-spirited daughters of Germany. When the
general of an army sets the example of outrages of this description, he
is soon faithfully imitated by his officers, and surpassed by his still
more brutal soldiery. The Romans now habitually indulged in those
violations of the sanctity of the domestic shrine, and those insults
upon honor and modesty, by which far less gallant spirits than those of
our Teutonic ancestors have often been maddened into insurrection.
Arminius found among the other German chiefs many who sympathized with
him in his indignation at their country's abasement, and many whom
private wrongs had stung yet more deeply. There was little difficulty in
collecting bold leaders for an attack on the oppressors, and little fear
of the population not rising readily at those leaders' call. But to
declare open war against Rome and to encounter Varus' army in a pitched
battle would have been merely rushing upon certain destruction. Varus
had three legions under him, a force which, after allowing for
detachments, cannot be estimated at less than fourteen thousand Roman
infantry. He had also eight or nine hundred Roman cavalry, and at least
an equal number of horse and foot sent from the allied states, or raised
among those provincials who had not received the Roman franchise.
It was not merely the number, but the quality of this force that made
them formidable; and, however contemptible Varus might be as a general,
Arminius well knew how admirably the Roman armies were organized and
officered, and how perfectly the legionaries understood every manoeuvre
and every duty which the varying emergencies of a stricken field might
require. Stratagem was, therefore, indispensable; and it was necessary
to blind Varus to their schemes until a favorable opportunity should
arrive for striking a decisive blow.
For this purpose, the German confederates frequented the head-quarters
of Varus, which seem to have been near the centre of the modern country
of Westphalia, where the Roman general conducted himself with all the
arrogant security of the governor of a perfectly submissive province.
There Varus gratified at once his vanity, his rhetorical tastes, and his
avarice, by holding courts, to which he summoned the Germans for the
settlement of all their disputes, while a bar of Roman advocates
attended to argue the cases before the tribunal of Varus, who did not
omit the opportunity of exacting court fees and accepting bribes. Varus
trusted implicitly to the respect which the Germans pretended to pay to
his abilities as a judge, and to the interest which they affected to
take in the forensic eloquence of their conquerors.
Meanwhile a succession of heavy rains rendered the country more
difficult for the operations of regular troops, and Arminius, seeing
that the infatuation of Varus was complete, secretly directed the tribes
near the Weser and the Ems to take up arms in open revolt against the
Romans. This was represented to Varus as an occasion which required his
prompt attendance at the spot; but he was kept in studied ignorance of
its being part of a concerted national rising; and he still looked on
Arminius as his submissive vassal, whose aid he might rely on in
facilitating the march of his troops against the rebels and in
extinguishing the local disturbance. He therefore set his army in
motion, and marched eastward in a line parallel to the course of the
Lippe. For some distance his route lay along a level plain; but on
arriving at the tract between the curve of the upper part of that stream
and the sources of the Ems, the country assumes a very different
character; and here, in the territory of the modern little principality
of Lippe, it was that Arminius had fixed the scene of his enterprise.
A wooded and hilly region intervenes between the heads of the two
rivers, and forms the water-shed of their streams. This region still
retains the name (Teutobergenwald = _Teutobergiensis saltus_) which it
bore in the days of Arminius. The nature of the ground has probably also
remained unaltered. The eastern part of it, round Detmold, the modern
capital of the principality of Lippe, is described by a modern German
scholar, Dr. Plate, as being a "table-land intersected by numerous deep
and narrow valleys, which in some places form small plains, surrounded
by steep mountains and rocks, and only accessible by narrow defiles. All
the valleys are traversed by rapid streams, shallow in the dry season,
but subject to sudden swellings in autumn and winter. The vast forests
which cover the summits and slopes of the hills consist chiefly of oak;
there is little underwood, and both men and horse would move with ease
in the forests if the ground were not broken by gulleys or rendered
impracticable by fallen trees." This is the district to which Varus is
supposed to have marched; and Dr. Plate adds that "the names of several
localities on and near that spot seem to indicate that a great battle
had once been fought there. We find the names '_das Winnefeld_' (the
field of victory), '_die Knochenbahn_' (the bone-lane), '_die
Knochenleke_' (the bone-brook), '_der Mordkessel_' (the kettle of
slaughter), and others."
Contrary to the usual strict principles of Roman discipline, Varus had
suffered his army to be accompanied and impeded by an immense train of
baggage wagons and by a rabble of camp followers, as if his troops had
been merely changing their quarters in a friendly country. When the long
array quitted the firm, level ground and began to wind its way among the
woods, the marshes, and the ravines, the difficulties of the march, even
without the intervention of an armed foe, became fearfully apparent. In
many places the soil, sodden with rain, was impracticable for cavalry
and even for infantry, until trees had been felled and a rude causeway
formed through the morass.
The duties of the engineer were familiar to all who served in the Roman
armies. But the crowd and confusion of the columns embarrassed the
working parties of the soldiery, and in the midst of their toil and
disorder the word was suddenly passed through their ranks that the
rear-guard was attacked by the barbarians. Varus resolved on pressing
forward; but a heavy discharge of missiles from the woods on either
flank taught him how serious was the peril, and he saw his best men
falling round him without the opportunity of retaliation; for his
light-armed auxiliaries, who were principally of Germanic race, now
rapidly deserted, and it was impossible to deploy the legionaries on
such broken ground for a charge against the enemy.
Choosing one of the most open and firm spots which they could force
their way to, the Romans halted for the night; and, faithful to their
national discipline and tactics, formed their camp amid the harassing
attacks of the rapidly thronging foes with the elaborate toil and
systematic skill the traces of which are impressed permanently on the
soil of so many European countries, attesting the presence in the olden
time of the imperial eagles.
On the morrow the Romans renewed their march, the veteran officers who
served under Varus now probably directing the operations and hoping to
find the Germans drawn up to meet them, in which case they relied on
their own superior discipline and tactics for such a victory as should
reassure the supremacy of Rome. But Arminius was far too sage a
commander to lead on his followers, with their unwieldy broadswords and
inefficient defensive armor, against the Roman legionaries, fully armed
with helmet, cuirass, greaves, and shield, who were skilled to commence
the conflict with a murderous volley of heavy javelins hurled upon the
foe when a few yards distant, and then, with their short cut-and-thrust
swords, to hew their way through all opposition, preserving the utmost
steadiness and coolness, and obeying each word of command in the midst
of strife and slaughter with the same precision and alertness as if upon
parade. Arminius suffered the Romans to march out from their camp, to
form first in line for action and then in column for marching, without
the show of opposition.
For some distance Varus was allowed to move on, only harassed by slight
skirmishes, but struggling with difficulty through the broken ground,
the toil and distress of his men being aggravated by heavy torrents of
rain, which burst upon the devoted legions, as if the angry gods of
Germany were pouring out the vials of their wrath upon the invaders.
After some little time their van approached a ridge of high wooded
ground, which is one of the offshoots of the great Hercynian forest, and
is situated between the modern villages of Driburg and Bielefeld.
Arminius had caused barricades of hewn trees to be formed here, so as to
add to the natural difficulties of the passage. Fatigue and
discouragement now began to betray themselves in the Roman ranks. Their
line became less steady; baggage wagons were abandoned from the
impossibility of forcing them along; and, as this happened, many
soldiers left their ranks and crowded round the wagons to secure the
most valuable portions of their property; each was busy about his own
affairs, and purposely slow in hearing the word of command from his
Arminius now gave the signal for a general attack. The fierce shouts of
the Germans pealed through the gloom of the forests, and in thronging
multitudes they assailed the flanks of the invaders, pouring in clouds
of darts on the encumbered legionaries as they struggled up the glens or
floundered in the morasses, and watching every opportunity of charging
through the intervals of the disjointed column, and so cutting off the
communication between its several brigades. Arminius, with a chosen band
of personal retainers round him, cheered on his countrymen by voice and
example. He and his men aimed their weapons particularly at the horses
of the Roman cavalry. The wounded animals, slipping about in the mire
and their own blood, threw their riders and plunged among the ranks of
the legions, disordering all round them. Varus now ordered the troops to
be countermarched, in the hope of reaching the nearest Roman garrison on
But retreat now was as impracticable as advance; and the falling back of
the Romans only augmented the courage of their assailants and caused
fiercer and more frequent charges on the flanks of the disheartened
army. The Roman officer who commanded the cavalry, Numonius Vala, rode
off with his squadrons in the vain hope of escaping by thus abandoning
his comrades. Unable to keep together or force their way across the
woods and swamps, the horsemen were overpowered in detail and
slaughtered to the last man. The Roman infantry still held together and
resisted, but more through the instinct of discipline and bravery than
from any hope of success or escape.
Varus, after being severely wounded in a charge of the Germans against
his part of the column, committed suicide to avoid falling into the
hands of those whom he had exasperated by his oppressions. One of the
lieutenants-general of the army fell fighting; the other surrendered to
the enemy. But mercy to a fallen foe had never been a Roman virtue, and
those among her legions who now laid down their arms in hope of quarter,
drank deep of the cup of suffering, which Rome had held to the lips of
many a brave but unfortunate enemy. The infuriated Germans slaughtered
their oppressors with deliberate ferocity, and those prisoners who were
not hewn to pieces on the spot were only preserved to perish by a more
cruel death in cold blood.
The bulk of the Roman army fought steadily and stubbornly, frequently
repelling the masses of assailants, but gradually losing the compactness
of their array and becoming weaker and weaker beneath the incessant
shower of darts and the reiterated assaults of the vigorous and
unencumbered Germans. At last, in a series of desperate attacks, the
column was pierced through and through, two of the eagles captured, and
the Roman host, which on the morning before had marched forth in such
pride and might--now broken up into confused fragments--either fell
fighting beneath the overpowering numbers of the enemy or perished in
the swamps and woods in unavailing efforts at flight. Few, very few,
ever saw again the left bank of the Rhine. One body of brave veterans,
arraying themselves in a ring on a little mound, beat off every charge
of the Germans, and prolonged their honorable resistance to the close of
that dreadful day. The traces of a feeble attempt at forming a ditch and
mound attested in after-years the spot where the last of the Romans
passed their night of suffering and despair. But on the morrow this
remnant also, worn out with hunger, wounds, and toil, was charged by the
victorious Germans, and either massacred on the spot or offered up in
fearful rites on the altars of the deities of the old mythology of the
A gorge in the mountain ridge, through which runs the modern road
between Paderborn and Pyrmont, leads from the spot where the heat of the
battle raged to the Extersteine--a cluster of bold and grotesque rocks
of sandstone--near which is a small sheet of water, overshadowed by a
grove of aged trees. According to local tradition, this was one of the
sacred groves of the ancient Germans, and it was here that the Roman
captives were slain in sacrifice by the victorious warriors of Arminius.
Never was victory more decisive; never was the liberation of an
oppressed people more instantaneous and complete. Throughout Germany the
Roman garrisons were assailed and cut off; and within a few weeks after
Varus had fallen, the German soil was freed from the foot of an invader.
At Rome the tidings of the battle were received with an agony of terror,
the reports of which we would deem exaggerated did they not come from
Roman historians themselves. They not only tell emphatically how great
was the awe which the Romans felt of the prowess of the Germans if their
various tribes could be brought to unite for a common purpose, but
they also reveal how weakened and debased the population of Italy had
become. Dion Cassius says: "Then Augustus, when he heard the calamity of
Varus, rent his garment, and was in great affliction for the troops he
had lost, and for terror respecting the Germans and the Gauls. And his
chief alarm was that he expected them to push on against Italy and Rome;
and there remained no Roman youth fit for military duty that were worth
speaking of, and the allied populations, that were at all serviceable,
had been wasted away. Yet he prepared for the emergency as well as his
means allowed; and when none of the citizens of military age were
willing to enlist, he made them cast lots, and punished, by confiscation
of goods and disfranchisement, every fifth man among those under
thirty-five and every tenth man of those above that age. At last, when
he found that not even thus could he make many come forward, he put some
of them to death. So he made a conscription of discharged veterans and
of emancipated slaves, and, collecting as large a force as he could,
sent it, under Tiberius, with all speed into Germany."
[Footnote 83: It is clear that the Romans followed the policy of
fomenting dissensions and wars of the Germans among themselves.]
Dion mentions also a number of terrific portents that were believed to
have occurred at the time, and the narration of which is not immaterial,
as it shows the state of the public mind when such things were so
believed in and so interpreted. The summits of the Alps were said to
have fallen, and three columns of fire to have blazed up from them. In
the Campus Martius, the temple of the war-god, from whom the founder of
Rome had sprung, was struck by a thunderbolt. The nightly heavens glowed
several times as if on fire. Many comets blazed forth together; and
fiery meteors, shaped like spears, had shot from the northern quarter of
the sky down into the Roman camps. It was said, too, that a statue of
Victory, which had stood at a place on the frontier, pointing the way
toward Germany, had of its own accord turned round, and now pointed to
Italy. These and other prodigies were believed by the multitude to
accompany the slaughter of Varus' legions and to manifest the anger of
the gods against Rome.
Augustus himself was not free from superstition; but on this occasion no
supernatural terrors were needed to increase the alarm and grief that he
felt, and which made him, even months after the news of the battle had
arrived, often beat his head against the wall and exclaim, "Quintilius
Varus, give me back my legions." We learn this from his biographer
Suetonius; and, indeed, every ancient writer who alludes to the
overthrow of Varus attests the importance of the blow against the Roman
power, and the bitterness with which it was felt.
The Germans did not pursue their victory beyond their own territory; but
that victory secured at once and forever the independence of the
Teutonic race. Rome sent, indeed, her legions again into Germany, to
parade a temporary superiority, but all hopes of permanent conquests
were abandoned by Augustus and his successors.
The blow which Arminius had struck never was forgotten. Roman fear
disguised itself under the specious title of moderation, and the Rhine
became the acknowledged boundary of the two nations until the fifth
century of our era, when the Germans became the assailants, and carved
with their conquering swords the provinces of imperial Rome into the
kingdoms of modern Europe.
I have said above that the great Cheruscan is more truly one of our
national heroes than Caractacus is. It may be added that an Englishman
is entitled to claim a closer degree of relationship with Arminius than
can be claimed by any German of modern Germany. The proof of this
depends on the proof of four facts: First, that the Cheruscans were Old
Saxons, or Saxons of the interior of Germany; secondly, that the
Anglo-Saxons, or Saxons of the coast of Germany, were more closely akin
than other German tribes were to the Cheruscan Saxons; thirdly, that the
Old Saxons were almost exterminated by Charlemagne; fourthly, that the
Anglo-Saxons are our immediate ancestors. The last of these may be
assumed as an axiom in English history. The proofs of the other three
are partly philological and partly historical. It may be, however, here
remarked that the present Saxons of Germany are of the _High_ Germanic
division of the German race, whereas both the Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon
were of the _Low_ Germanic.
Being thus the nearest heirs of the glory of Arminius, we may fairly
devote more attention to his career than, in such a work as the present,
could be allowed to any individual leader; and it is interesting to
trace how far his fame survived during the Middle Ages, both among the
Germans of the Continent and among ourselves.
It seems probable that the jealousy with which Maroboduus, the king of
the Suevi and Marcomanni, regarded Arminius, and which ultimately broke
out into open hostilities between those German tribes and the Cherusci,
prevented Arminius from leading the confederate Germans to attack Italy
after his first victory. Perhaps he may have had the rare moderation of
being content with the liberation of his country, without seeking to
retaliate on her former oppressors. When Tiberius marched into Germany
in the year 10, Arminius was too cautious to attack him on ground
favorable to the legions, and Tiberius was too skilful to entangle his
troops in the difficult parts of the country. His march and countermarch
were as unresisted as they were unproductive. A few years later, when a
dangerous revolt of the Roman legions near the frontier caused their
generals to find them active employment by leading them into the
interior of Germany, we find Arminius again active in his country's
defence. The old quarrel between him and his father-in-law, Segestes,
had broken out afresh.
Segestes now called in the aid of the Roman general, Germanicus, to whom
he surrendered himself; and by his contrivance, his daughter, Thusnelda,
the wife of Arminius, also came into the hands of the Romans, she being
far advanced in pregnancy. She showed, as Tacitus relates, more of the
spirit of her husband than of her father, a spirit that could not be
subdued into tears or supplications. She was sent to Ravenna, and there
gave birth to a son, whose life we know, from an allusion in Tacitus, to
have been eventful and unhappy; but the part of the great historian's
work which narrated his fate has perished, and we only know from another
quarter that the son of Arminius was, at the age of four years, led
captive in a triumphal pageant along the streets of Rome.
The high spirit of Arminius was goaded almost into frenzy by these
bereavements. The fate of his wife, thus torn from him, and of his babe
doomed to bondage even before its birth, inflamed the eloquent
invectives with which he roused his countrymen against the
home-traitors, and against their invaders, who thus made war upon women
and children. Germanicus had marched his army to the place where Varus
had perished, and had there paid funeral honors to the ghastly relics of
his predecessor's legions that he found heaped around him. Arminius
lured him to advance a little farther into the country, and then
assailed him, and fought a battle, which, by the Roman accounts, was a
[Footnote 84: In the Museum of Rhenish Antiquities at Bonn there is a
Roman sepulchral monument the inscription on which records that it was
erected to the memory of M. Coelius, who fell "_Bella Variano_."]
The effect of it was to make Germanicus resolve on retreating to the
Rhine. He himself, with part of his troops, embarked in some vessels on
the Ems, and returned by that river, and then by sea; but part of his
forces were intrusted to a Roman general named Caecina, to lead them
back by land to the Rhine. Arminius followed this division on its march,
and fought several battles with it, in which he inflicted heavy loss on
the Romans, captured the greater part of their baggage, and would have
destroyed them completely had not his skilful system of operations been
finally thwarted by the haste of Inguiomerus, a confederate German
chief, who insisted on assaulting the Romans in their camp, instead of
waiting till they were entangled in the difficulties of the country, and
assailing their columns on the march.
In the following year the Romans were inactive, but in the year
afterward Germanicus led a fresh invasion. He placed his army on
shipboard and sailed to the mouth of the Ems, where he disembarked and
marched to the Weser, there encamping, probably in the neighborhood of
Minden. Arminius had collected his army on the other side of the river;
and a scene occurred, which is powerfully told by Tacitus, and which is
the subject of a beautiful poem by Praed. It has been already mentioned
that the brother of Arminius, like himself, had been trained up while
young to serve in the Roman armies; but, unlike Arminius, he not only
refused to quit the Roman service for that of his country, but fought
against his country with the legions of Germanicus. He had assumed the
Roman name of Flavius, and had gained considerable distinction in the
Roman service, in which he had lost an eye from a wound in battle. When
the Roman outposts approached the river Weser, Arminius called out to
them from the opposite bank and expressed a wish to see his brother.
Flavius stepped forward, and Arminius ordered his own followers to
retire, and requested that the archers should be removed from the Roman
bank of the river. This was done; and the brothers, who apparently had
not seen each other for some years, began a conversation from the
opposite sides of the stream, in which Arminius questioned his brother
respecting the loss of his eye, and what battle it had been lost in, and
what reward he had received for his wound. Flavius told him how the eye
was lost, and mentioned the increased pay that he had on account of its
loss, and showed the collar and other military decorations that had been
given him. Arminius mocked at these as badges of slavery; and then each
began to try to win the other over--Flavius boasting the power of Rome
and her generosity to the submissive; Arminius appealing to him in the
name of their country's gods, of the mother that had borne them, and by
the holy names of fatherland and freedom, not to prefer being the
betrayer to being the champion of his country. They soon proceeded to
mutual taunts and menaces, and Flavius called aloud for his horse and
his arms, that he might dash across the river and attack his brother;
nor would he have been checked from doing so had not the Roman general
Stertinius run up to him and forcibly detained him. Arminius stood on
the other bank, threatening the renegade, and defying him to battle.
I shall not be thought to need apology for quoting here the stanzas in
which Praed has described this scene--a scene among the most affecting,
as well as the most striking, that history supplies. It makes us reflect
on the desolate position of Arminius, with his wife and child captives
in the enemy's hands, and with his brother a renegade in arms against
him. The great liberator of our German race was there, with every source
of human happiness denied him except the consciousness of doing his duty
to his country.
"Back, back! he fears not foaming flood
Who fears not steel-clad line:
No warrior thou of German blood,
No brother thou of mine.
Go, earn Rome's chain to load thy neck,
Her gems to deck thy hilt;
And blazon honor's hapless wreck
With all the gauds of guilt.
"But wouldst thou have _me_ share the prey?
By all that I have done,
The Varian bones that day by day
Lie whitening in the sun,
The legion's trampled panoply,
The eagle's shatter'd wing--
I would not be for earth or sky
So scorn'd and mean a thing.
"Ho, call me here the wizard, boy,
Of dark and subtle skill,
To agonize but not destroy,
To torture, not to kill.
When swords are out and shriek and shout
Leave little room for prayer,
No fetter on man's arm or heart
Hangs half so heavy there.
"I curse him by the gifts the land
Hath won from him and Rome,
The riving axe, the wasting brand,
Rent forest, blazing home.
I curse him by our country's gods,
The terrible, the dark,
The breakers of the Roman rods,
The smiters of the bark.
"Oh, misery that such a ban
On such a brow should be!
Why comes he not in battle's van
His country's chief to be?
To stand a comrade by my side,
The sharer of my fame,
And worthy of a brother's pride
And of a brother's name?
"But it is past! where heroes press
And cowards bend the knee,
Arminius is not brotherless,
His brethren are the free.
They come around: one hour, and light
Will fade from turf and tide,
Then onward, onward to the fight,
With darkness for our guide.
"To-night, to-night, when we shall meet
In combat face to face,
Then only would Arminius greet
The renegade's embrace.
The canker of Rome's guilt shall be
Upon his dying name;
And as he lived in slavery,
So shall he fall in shame."
On the day after the Romans had reached the Weser, Germanicus led his
army across that river, and a partial encounter took place, in which
Arminius was successful. But on the succeeding day a general action was
fought, in which Arminius was severely wounded and the German infantry
routed with heavy loss. The horsemen of the two armies encountered
without either party gaining the advantage. But the Roman army remained
master of the ground and claimed a complete victory. Germanicus erected
a trophy in the field, with a vaunting inscription that the nations
between the Rhine and the Elbe had been thoroughly conquered by his
army. But that army speedily made a final retreat to the left bank of
the Rhine; nor was the effect of their campaign more durable than their
trophy. The sarcasm with which Tacitus speaks of certain other triumphs
of Roman generals over Germans may apply to the pageant which Germanicus
celebrated on his return to Rome from his command of the Roman army of
the Rhine. The Germans were "_triumphati potius quam victi_."
After the Romans had abandoned their attempts on Germany, we find
Arminius engaged in hostilities with Maroboduus, king of the Suevi and
Marcomanni, who was endeavoring to bring the other German tribes into a
state of dependency on him. Arminius was at the head of the Germans who
took up arms against this home invader of their liberties. After some
minor engagements a pitched battle was fought between the two
confederacies (A.D. 19) in which the loss on each side was equal, but
Maroboduus confessed the ascendency of his antagonist by avoiding a
renewal of the engagement and by imploring the intervention of the
Romans in his defence. The younger Drusus then commanded the Roman
legions in the province of Illyricum, and by his mediation a peace was
concluded between Arminius and Maroboduus, by the terms of which it is
evident that the latter must have renounced his ambitious schemes
against the freedom of the other German tribes.
Arminius did not long survive this second war of independence, which he
successfully waged for his country. He was assassinated in the
thirty-seventh year of his age by some of his own kinsmen, who conspired
against him. Tacitus says that this happened while he was engaged in a
civil war, which had been caused by his attempts to make himself king
over his countrymen. It is far more probable, as one of the best
biographers has observed, that Tacitus misunderstood an attempt of
Arminius to extend his influence as elective war chieftain of the
Cherusci and other tribes, for an attempt to obtain the royal dignity.
[Footnote 85: Dr. Plate, in _Biographical Dictionary_.]
When we remember that his father-in-law and his brother were renegades,
we can well understand that a party among his kinsmen may have been
bitterly hostile to him, and have opposed his authority with the tribe
by open violence, and, when that seemed ineffectual, by secret
Arminius left a name which the historians of the nation against which he
combated so long and so gloriously have delighted to honor. It is from
the most indisputable source, from the lips of enemies, that we know his
exploits. His countrymen made history, but did not write it. But his
memory lived among them in the days of their bards, who recorded
"The deeds he did, the fields he won,
The freedom he restored."
Tacitus, writing years after the death of Arminius, says of him,
"_Canitur adhuc barbaras apud gentes_." As time passed on, the gratitude
of ancient Germany to her great deliverer grew into adoration, and
divine honors were paid for centuries to Arminius by every tribe of the
Low Germanic division of the Teutonic races. The _Irmin-sul_, or the
column of Herman, near Eresburgh (the modern Stadtberg), was the chosen
object of worship to the descendants of the Cherusci (the Old Saxons),
and in defence of which they fought most desperately against Charlemagne
and his Christianized Franks. "Irmin, in the cloudy Olympus of Teutonic
belief, appears as a king and a warrior; and the pillar, the
'Irmin-sul,' bearing the statue, and considered as the symbol of the
deity, was the Palladium of the Saxon nation until the temple of
Eresburgh was destroyed by Charlemagne, and the column itself
transferred to the monastery of Corbey, where perhaps a portion of the
rude rock idol yet remains, covered by the ornaments of the Gothic
era." Traces of the worship of Arminius are to be found among our
Anglo-Saxon ancestors after their settlement in this island. One of the
four great highways was held to be under the protection of the deity,
and was called the "Irmin street." The name _Arminius_ is, of course,
the mere Latinized form of _Herman_, the name by which the hero and the
deity were known by every man of Low German blood on either side of the
German Sea. It means, etymologically, the _War-man_, the _man of hosts_.
No other explanation of the worship of the Irmin-sul, and of the name of
the Irmin street, is so satisfactory as that which connects them with
the deified Arminius. We know for certain of the existence of other
columns of an analogous character. Thus there was the _Roland-seule_ in
North Germany; there was a _Thor-seule_ in Sweden, and (what is more
important) there was an _Athelstan-seule_ in Saxon England.
[Footnote 86: Tacitus: _Annales_.]
[Footnote 87: Palgrave: _English Commonwealth_.]
[Footnote 88: Lappenburg: _Anglo-Saxons_.]
CHRONOLOGY OF UNIVERSAL HISTORY
EMBRACING THE PERIOD COVERED IN THIS VOLUME B.C. 450-A.D. 12
JOHN RUDD, LL.D.
Events treated at length are here indicated in large type; the numerals
following give volume and page.
Separate chronologies of the various nations, and of the careers of
famous persons, will be found in the INDEX VOLUME, with volume and page
references showing where the several events are fully treated.
"Est" means date uncertain.
450. The decemvirate instituted at Rome; the Twelve Tables of law
framed. See "INSTITUTION AND FALL OF THE DECEMVIRATE IN ROME," ii, 1.
448. First Sacred War between the Phocians and Delphians for the
possession of the temple at Delphi.
The decemvirate abolished at Rome. See "INSTITUTION AND FALL OF THE
DECEMVIRATE IN ROME," ii, 1.
Athens is now the principal seat of Greek philosophy, literature, and
447. The Boeotians defeat the Athenians at Coronea; the conflict was
brought about by Athens breaking the truce arranged between the Greek
states to endure for five years, in order to combine against Persia. The
result was the loss to Athens of Boeotia, Phocis, and Locris.
445.[Est] Nehemiah begins the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.
Peace of Callias between the Greeks and Persians.
Birth of Xenophon, general and historian.
444. Ascendency of Pericles at Athens.[Est] See "PERICLES RULES IN
ATHENS," ii, 12.
The military tribunes instituted at Rome. The consulship was in no sense
abolished; until the passage of the Licinian Rogations (when it
reappeared as a permanent annual magistracy) it alternated irregularly
with the military tribunes. See "INSTITUTION AND FALL OF THE DECEMVIRATE
IN ROME," ii, 1.
Thucydides exiled Athens.
443. An Athenian colony planted at Thurium, near Sybarius; it is
accompanied by Herodotus and Lysias.
442. Pericles, guided by Phidias the sculptor, adorns Athens; the
Parthenon, Propylaea, and Odeum built.
440. Samos resists the Athenian sway; is besieged by Pericles and
Sophocles; Melissus defends the city, but surrenders after a siege of
Comedies prohibited performance at Athens.
439. Great famine in Rome; Sp. Maelius distributes corn to the citizens,
for which he is accused of wishing to be king, and is assassinated by
438. Spartacus becomes king of Bosporus.
Ahala impeached and exiled Rome.
437. The prohibition of comedy repealed at Athens.
Syracuse, the predominant state in Sicily, reaches the height of its
prosperity. See "DEFEAT OF THE ATHENIANS AT SYRACUSE," ii, 48.
436. Commencement of the dispute between Corinth and Corcyra regarding
the city of Epidamnus, in which Athens supported the latter; this led to
the Peloponnesian War.
435. Naval victory over the Corinthians by the Corcyraeans, near Actium.
432. Ambassadors from Corcyra implore the aid of Athens, which series a
fleet to defend the island against the Corinthian attack. Corinth
incites Potidaea to revolt from Athens.
431. Beginning of the Peloponnesian War. Sparta declares on the side of
Corinth and makes war on Athens. The real cause of the war--which was to
be so disastrous to Greece--was that Sparta and its allies were jealous
of the great power Athens had attained. Sparta was an oligarchy and a
friend of the nobles everywhere; Athens was a democracy and the friend
of the common people; so that the war was to some extent a struggle
between these classes all over Greece.
430. "GREAT PLAGUE AT ATHENS." See ii, 34. The physician Hippocrates
distinguishes himself by extraordinary cures of the sick.
Second invasion of Attica by the Spartans.
429. Death of Pericles, during the plague, at Athens.
Potidaea reduced by the Athenians.
Birth of Plato.
428. Attica invaded the third time.
Lesbos revolts from the Athenian confederacy; on this the Athenians
427. Mitylene reduced; Athens becomes master of Lesbos. Plataea, the ally
of Athens, after being besieged, surrenders to the Peloponnesians and is
Attica again invaded.
425. Agis begins the fifth invasion of Attica; he retires on learning
that the Athenians under Cleon had taken Pylos and Sapachteria.
Mount AEetna in eruption.
On the death of Artaxerxes I, his son, Xerxes II, succeeds him as ruler
of Persia; he reigns only forty-five days, being slain by his brother
Sogdianus, who usurps the throne.
424. The island of Cythera taken by the Athenians. Brasidas, the Spartan
general, captures Amphipolis, defeating Thucydides.
Ochus (Darius Nothus) rids himself of Sogdianus and succeeds him on the
423. The Athenians banish Thucydides for having suffered Amphipolis to
422. The Athenians send Cleon to recover Amphipolis; he is defeated by
Brasidas; both fall in the battle.
421. Peace of Nicias between Sparta and Athens. End of the first period
of the Peloponnesian War.
420. Alcibiades negotiates an alliance between Athens and Argos.
Amphipolis retained by the Spartans.
419. An Athenian expedition is led into the Peloponnesus by Alcibiades.
418. Victory of the Spartans at Mantinea.
The league between Athens and Argos dissolved.
416. The island of Melos, which had remained neutral, is conquered by
the Athenians; its inhabitants are treated with extreme cruelty.
415. The Athenians send an expedition against Syracuse under Nicias,
Lamachus, and Alcibiades; the latter is recalled to answer an accusation
of having broken some statues of Mercury in Athens; he takes refuge in
Sparta. Andocides, the orator, implicated in the same charge, is
imprisoned and exiled.
414. Syracuse is invested by the Athenians under Nicias; being hard
pressed, Syracuse appeals to the other Greek states; Cylippus, the
Spartan commander, comes with a fleet to the aid of the city. See
"DEFEAT OF THE ATHENIANS AT SYRACUSE," ii, 48.
The Romans capture Bolae, an AEquian town; the division of the booty
causes a mutiny among the soldiers, who slay the quaestor and the
military tribune, M. Postumius.
413. On Alcibiades' advice the Spartans fortify a position at Decelea,
"DEFEAT OF THE ATHENIANS AT SYRACUSE." See ii, 48.
412. Alcibiades visits the Persian satrap Tissaphernes, with whose aid
he negotiates an alliance between Persia and Sparta.
411. Owing to the machinations of Alcibiades a revolt is organized in
Athens, by the aid of the clubs of the nobles and rich men; its object
being to overthrow the democracy and establish an oligarchy. The rising
is successful and the "Reign of the Four Hundred" ensues; it lasts four
months; its framer, Antipho, is put to death. Alcibiades is recalled.
410. The Spartans are defeated by Alcibiades in a naval encounter at
Cyzicus. Sparta makes overtures for peace.
409. The Carthaginians invade Sicily; they reduce Silenus and Himera.
408. Alcibiades takes Selymbria and Byzantium.
Psammeticus is king of Egypt.
Roman plebs first admitted to the quaestorship.
407. Lysander, the Spartan admiral, defeats the Athenian fleet at
Notium; in consequence of this defeat, Alcibiades, who had been received
with great honor, is banished, and ten generals are nominated to succeed
406. The Athenians vanquish the Spartan fleet under Callicratidas, at
Arginusae. The Athenian generals are executed at Athens for not saving
the shattered vessels and the bodies of the slain.
Dionysius the Elder becomes ruler of Syracuse.
Anxur and other towns captured by the Romans, who now first give their
soldiers a regular pay.
405. The Spartan under Lysander, who had been restored to command,
annihilate the Athenian navy at Aegospotami.
Artaxerxes II succeeds Darius II on the Persian throne.
Successful revolt of the Egyptians against the Persians; the
independence of Egypt secured.
404. Athens taken by Lysander and dismantled; thirty tyrants appointed
by him. Lysias and other orators banished. End of the Peloponnesian War.
403. Democracy is restored in Athens by Thrasybulus; he publishes an act
of amnesty. The Ionian alphabet adopted at Athens.
401. Cyrus rebels against his brother Artaxerxes, of Persia; he is
defeated and slain at the battle of Cunaxa.
400. The Ten Thousand Greek auxiliaries of Cyrus effect their retreat to
the sea. See "RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND GREEKS," ii, 68.
399. Sparta and Persia engage in war.
"CONDEMNATION AND DEATH OF SOCRATES." See ii, 87.
396. Agesilaus, the Spartan general, begins his victorious campaigns
against the Persians.
The Romans, headed by Camillus, capture Veii, after a ten years' siege.
395. Corinth, Thebes, Argos, and Athens combine against Sparta; the
Spartans are defeated at Haliartus; Lysander is slain.
Tissaphernes' Persian army is defeated by Agesilaus, near Sardis.
394. The Athenian admiral Conon, in charge of the Persian fleet,
crushingly defeats that of the Spartans, under Pisander, off Cnidus.
Agesilaus is recalled from Asia; commanding the Spartans, he gains a
victory over the confederate Greeks at Coronea.
393. Conon undertakes the rebuilding of the walls in Athens and restores
392. Conon excites the jealousy of the Persians; he retires into Cyprus,
where he dies.
391. Camillus banished from Rome, charged with misappropriating the
booty secured at Veii, but really on account of his patrician
haughtiness; he dies at Ardea, whither he had withdrawn.
389. Aeschines born; he was accounted in Athens second only to
Demosthenes as an orator.
388 (387). Brennus, commanding the Gauls, burns Rome. See "BRENNUS
BURNS ROME," ii, 110.
[Footnote 89: By the old chronological reckoning this event occurred
387. Through the mediation of Persia, Sparta compels the Greek states to
accept the peace of Antalcidas, which leaves the Ionian cities and
Cyprus at his mercy; this enables Sparta to maintain her supremacy in
385.[Est] Birth of Demosthenes, the famous Greek orator and general.
384. Aristotle born.
383. War of Syracuse with Carthage.
Thebes is betrayed to Sparta, during her war against Olynthus.
379. The Olynthians are forced to submission by the Spartans. Pelopidas
and his associates drive the Spartans from Thebes.
378. Athens declares in favor of Thebes against Sparta.
376. Cleombrotus leads the Spartans into Boeotia; the Spartan fleet,
under Pollis, is overwhelmed off Maxos, by Chabrias.
371. Congress of Sparta, Thebes being excluded from the treaty of peace;
Pelopidas and Epaminondas gain the great victory of Leuctra, in which
Cleombrotus, King of Sparta, is slain. Thebes becomes the dominant power
The Arcadian union formed. One of the first effects of the battle of
Leuctra was to emancipate the Arcadians, and a plan was formed to raise
them in the political affairs of Greece.
370. Epaminondas, the Theban general, heads his first expedition into
the Peloponnesus; he threatens Sparta, which Agesilaus saves.
369. The Thebans advance into Laconia; they restore the independence of
the Messenians. Epaminondas and Pelopidas are condemned for having
retained their command beyond the term allowed by the laws of Thebes;
they are pardoned and reappointed.
The Arcadians found Megalopolis, which they make the capital of the
368. The Thebans again enter the Peloponnesus, but retreat before the
arrival of succor sent by Dionysius to the Lacedaemonians. Pelopidas,
treacherously made prisoner by Alexander of Pherae, is rescued by
Epaminondas. A congress, under the mediation of Persia, is held at
Delphi; it fails, because the Thebans will not abandon the Messenians.
The Carthaginians at war with Dionysius; but, after losing Selinus and
other towns, they make peace.
Camillus, more than eighty years old, appointed dictator at Rome; he
persuades the patricians to assent to the demands of the plebs, and
builds the temple of Concord.
A celestial globe brought into Greece from Egypt.
367. The Licinian Rogations, Rome; three bills introduced by Licinius,
decreeing: 1. That interest on loans be deducted from the principal; 2.
Limiting the public land held by any individual to 500 jugera (320
acres); 3. Ordering that one of the two consuls should be a plebeian.
Institution of the praetorship.
364. Pelopidas attacks Alexander of Pherae; during the battle of
Cymoscephale his soldiers are alarmed at an eclipse of the sun, and he
362. The Spartans and allies defeated at Mantinea by Epaminondas; he is
361 (359). Artaxerxes II of Persia succeeded by Artaxerxes III (Ochus).
359. Philip ascends the throne of Macedon; he concludes peace with the
358.[Est] Athens involves herself in the Social War with Cos, Rhodes,
Chios, and Byzantium.
Amphipolis captured by Philip of Macedon; he loses his right eye by an
arrow from Astor.
357. Outbreak of the Ten Years' Sacred War, caused by the Crissians
levying grievous taxes on those who went to consult the oracle of
356. Burning of the temple of Diana at Ephesus; this building was
accounted one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Birth of Alexander the Great.
Dion frees Syracuse from Dionysius the Younger; he is expelled from
355. The Social War ends in Greece. Athens recognizes the independence
of the confederated states.
353. Final conquest of Egypt by the Persians.
352. Philip of Macedon interferes in the Greek Sacred War; Demosthenes
delivers his First Philippic encouraging the Greeks to resist the
Macedonians; Philip's attempt to seize Thermopylae is defeated.
Two thousand colonists are sent from Athens to Samos.
347. Philip of Macedon captures and destroys Olynthus.
346. Phocis occupied by Philip of Macedon; this ends the Sacred War.
Dionysius the Younger again assumes power in Syracuse.
343 (340). Timoleon effects the deliverance of Syracuse from Dionysius
Rome engages in the First Samnite War.
341 (338). End of the First Samnite War.
Invasion of China by Meha the Hun. See "TARTAR INVASION OF CHINA BY
MEHA," ii, 126.[Est]
340. Adoption of the Publilian laws in Rome, which further restricted
the power of the patricians.
The Romans make war upon the Latins; the latter are subjugated. Manlius,
one of the Roman consuls, condemns his son to death for a breach of
338. Athens and Thebes form an alliance to resist Philip of Macedon, who
had passed Thermopylae and seized Elatea. The allied forces are
overwhelmed at Chaeronea, and Philip establishes the Macedonian dominion
Artaxerxes III is succeeded by Arses in Persia.
337. Philip of Macedon declares himself commander of the Greeks against
the Persians; he repudiates his wife Olympias; their son Alexander
attends his mother into Epirus.
336. Assassination of Philip of Macedon, by Pausanias at Aegae, while
preparing to invade Persia; he is succeeded by his son, Alexander the
Arses is succeeded by Darius III (Codomannus) in Persia.
335. Thebes, revolting against the Macedonian authority, is subdued and
destroyed by Alexander, who, however, spares the house of Pindar the
Rome concludes a peace with Gaul.
334. Alexander enters upon the conquest of Persia; he is victorious over
Darius at the Granicus.
333. Lycia and Syria reduced by Alexander; Damascus captured by
Parmenio, Alexander's general, and the siege of Tyre begun.
Darius is defeated at Issus; his family are among Alexander's captives.
332. "ALEXANDER REDUCES TYRE: LATER FOUNDS ALEXANDRIA." See ii, 133. He
takes Gaza and occupies Egypt.
The Lucanians and Bruttians defeat and slay Alexander of Epirus, his
ambitious designs in Italy having been betrayed.
331. "THE BATTLE OF ARBELA," in which Alexander the Great conquers
Darius and overthrows the Persian empire. See ii, 141.
330. The Spartans, under Agis III, revolt against the Macedonians;
Antipater defeats the Spartans and their allies at Megalopolis; Agis is
Darius is seized and laden with chains by Bessus, a Bactrian satrap who
soon after slays him.
Alexander captures Bessus and delivers him to Oxathres, the brother of
Darius, by whom he is executed.
Alexander pursues his conquests in Parthia, Media, Bactria, and on the
shores of the Caspian.
329. The Oxus and Jaxartes are crossed by Alexander; he drives back the
Scythians; he founds new cities in the countries adjacent, and winters
The consuls at Rome are granted a triumph and the surname of
"Privernas," for the conquest of Privernum.
328. Sogdiana, Central Asia, occupies Alexander during this, his seventh
campaign, and he winters there at Nautaca.
327. Marriage of Alexander to Roxana, daughter of Oxyartes, a Bactrian
326. Alexander invades India and defeats Porus; his soldiers refuse to
Rome begins the Second Samnite War.
325-4. Alexander marches from the Indus to Persepolis; his fleet is
sailed to the Euphrates by Nearchus.
Harpalus flees from Babylon with immense treasures, which he conveys to
323. Death of Alexander the Great at Babylon. His principal generals
endeavored to obtain, each for himself, a portion of his empire. Ptolemy
first secures Egypt and establishes his dynasty firmly there. Philip
Aridaeus, half-brother of Alexander, succeeds him on the throne of
Macedon, with Perdiccas as regent. Demosthenes returns to Athens and
rouses the Greek states to recover their freedom; under Leosthenes they
overpower Antipater, who takes refuge in Lamia, whence this is called
the Lamian War.
The Samnites sue for peace, but reject the terms on which it is offered
by the Romans.
322. The body of Alexander is entombed at Alexandria.
The confederate Greeks are defeated by Antipater at Crannon; end of the
Demosthenes, who was accused by the Macedonians of being privy to the
looting of the treasury by Harpalus, after the battle of Crannon fled to
Calauria; he was captured by the Macedonian troops and thereupon
321. Beginning of the wars between Alexander's successors; Perdiccas and
Eumenes oppose themselves to Antipater, Craterus, Antigonus, and
Perdiccas assails Ptolemy in Egypt; Perdiccas is slain in a mutiny. In
Asia Minor, Eumenes triumphs over Craterus, who is killed.
Victory of the Samnites over the Romans at the Caudine Forks. These were
two narrow gorges, united by a range of mountains on each side. The
Romans went through the first pass, but found the second blocked up; on
returning they found the first similarly obstructed. Being thus hemmed
in they passed under the yoke.
320. Eumenes, defeated by Antigonus, shuts himself up in the castle of
Nora, where he sustains a year's siege.
319. Polysperchon is appointed by Antipater to succeed him as regent for
Philip Arrhidaeus and Alexander Aegus, half-brother and son of Alexander
the Great, on his, Antipater's, death.
Polysperchon's elevation to power is followed by a league against him,
formed by Antipater's son Cassander, Antigonus, and Ptolemy. Eumenes
lends his support to Polysperchon, after escaping from Nora.
318. The Romans and Samnites make a truce.
Polysperchon prevailed over by Cassander in the struggle for power in
Greece and Macedonia. Athens he places under the rule of Phalereus.
317. Phocion, an Athenian general who wisely advised in vain for peace
with Antipater, became regarded as a traitor; he fled to Phocis, entered
into the intrigues of Cassander, who delivered him up to the Athenians,
who condemned him to drink hemlock. Olympias, mother of Alexander the
Great, aided by Polysperchon and the Epirotes, seizes Macedonia.
Olympias is put to death by Cassander. Eumenes, being betrayed to
Antigonus, is put to death; Antigonus holds the supreme power in Asia.
315. The rebuilding of Thebes undertaken by Cassander.
314. Commencement of the struggle against Antigonus waged by Cassander,
Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus.
313. Tyre surrenders to Antigonus. Ptolemy engages with him and conquers
The Romans take Fregellae and other towns from the Samnites.
312. Seleucus Nicator establishes the realm of the Seleucidae, the army
of Antigonus, under his son Demetrius Poliorcetes, being defeated by
Ptolemy and Seleucus. Babylon is made the capital.
Ptolemy conquers Judea; he transplants many Jews to Alexandria and
Cyrene, where their industry is encouraged and their religion protected.
At Rome Appius Claudius, the blind, constructs the Via Appia, the first
aqueduct, and a canal through the Pontine marshes.
Zeno institutes the sect of Stoics at Athens.
311. A temporary peace among the competitors for power in Asia. Greece
is declared to be free, and Ptolemy resigns Phoenicia to Antigonus.
Roxana, the widow of Alexander the Great, and her young son Alexander
Aegas, are put to death by Cassander.
The Roman consul Bubulcus penetrates into Samnium, where he is
surrounded, and cuts his way through with great courage.
310. Agathocles, the Syracusan ruler, defeated by the Carthaginians at
Himera, passes over to Africa and carries the war into their own
The Etruscans take up arms in favor of the Samnites.
Civil war in the little kingdom of Bosporus; Satyrus II, king for a few
months, falls in battle.
An eclipse of the sun, August 15th.
309. Hercules, a natural son of Alexander, proclaimed king of Macedon;
he is murdered by Cassander.
The Romans are victorious over the Samnites and the Etruscans.
308. The Romans, under Fabius, compel the Etruscans to make peace;
Fabius then turns against the Samnites, whom he defeats.
307. Demetrius Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus, arrives with a fleet at
Athens, expels Demetrius Phalereus, and restores the democracy, the
Athenians throw down Phalereus' statues and condemn him to death.
306. Ptolemy's fleet is destroyed by Demetrius Poliorcetes at Salamis;
but Antigonus fails in his attempt on Egypt. Antigonus assumes the title
of king of Asia; Ptolemy Lagi, Lysimachus, and Seleucus, the rulers of
Egypt, Thrace, and that part of Alexander's empire east of the
Euphrates, likewise assume the royal title. Cassander of Macedon is
hailed king by his subjects.
305. War between Seleucus and India, under Sandrocottus, ends in a
treaty of amity.
Flavius reconciles all orders of the Roman state and erects a temple of
Demetrius Poliorcetes besieges Rome.
304. The Romans triumphantly end the Second Samnite War.
302. The priesthood at Rome is opened to the plebs.
300. Battle of Ipsus. Seleucus and Lysimachus overwhelm the army of
Antigonus and his son, Demetrius Poliorcetes; Antigonus is slain. His
dominions are divided among the victors. Lysimachus takes a large
portion of Asia Minor; Seleucus appropriates Upper Syria, Capuadocia,
and other territory.
[Footnote 90: The date is usually given as 301.]
Seleucus Nicator builds Antioch, which he makes the capital of his
kingdom of Syria.
299. Rome engages in the Third Samnite War, which becomes one of
extermination, but the Samnites bravely resist in their mountain holds.
295. Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, espouses Antigone of the house of Ptolemy;
he returns to his dominions, out of which he had been driven by the
The Samnites, Etruscans, Umbrians, and Gauls unite against Rome. Q.
Fabius Rullianus and P. Decimo Mus defeat the Samnites and Gauls at
Demetrius Poliorcetes retakes Athens; Lysimachus and Ptolemy deprive him
of all he possesses.
294. The Macedonian throne is seized by Demetrius Poliorcetes; by
violence or treachery the sons of Cassander are slain.
293. Many towns of the Samnites are so utterly destroyed by the Romans
that their sites are unknown; a portion of the spoil is cast into a
brazen colossus, and placed in front of the Roman Capitol.
The Roman census is 272,308 citizens.
The first sun-dial at Rome is placed on the temple of Quirinus.
290. The end of the Third Samnite War, which results in the submission
of the Samnites to Rome.
287. Birth of Archimedes, celebrated mathematician.[Est]
Lysimachus and Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, wrest Macedonia from Demetrius
Poliorcetes; immediately after, Lysimachus expels Pyrrhus.
286. The Hortensian law, passed by Q. Hortensino, affirmed the
legislative power granted the plebeians B.C. 446 and 336.
285. Completion of the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Scriptures,
called "the Alexandrian."
The length of the solar year first accurately determined by Dionysius,
in the astronomical canon.
283. Death of Ptolemy Lagi (Ptolemy Soter); Ptolemy Philadelphus
(jointly on the throne with his father since 295) succeeds him as King
of Egypt. He further encourages the immigration of the Jews, who
282. The Tarentines attack a Roman fleet and insult the ambassadors, who
demand satisfaction. Rome prepares for war; the Tarentines engage
Pyrrhus to assist them.
281. Lysimachus, at war with Seleucus Nicator, is defeated and slain in
The Roman consul Aemilius invades the territory of Tarentum.
280. Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, invades Italy; he makes the cause of
Tarentum his own and wars on Rome. Laevinus, the Roman consul, is
defeated. See "FIRST BATTLE BETWEEN GREEKS AND ROMANS," ii, 166.
Revival of the Achaean League. The Achaei originally inhabited the
neighborhood of Argos; when driven thence by the Heraclidae, they
retired among the Ionians, expelled the natives, and seized their
thirteen cities, forming the Achaean League.
279. Pyrrhus, who had tried to mediate between Tarentum and Rome,
meeting with non-success, advances on Rome. He fails to make any
impression and returns to Tarentum; the Romans follow him, and he gains
an unimportant victory over them at Asculum. See "FIRST BATTLE BETWEEN
GREEKS AND ROMANS," ii, 166.
Irruption of Gauls into Macedonia; King Ptolemy Ceraunus offers battle
to them, in which he is killed.
[Footnote 91: The date usually given is B.C. 280.]
278. The Gauls under Brennus invade Greece; they are cut to pieces near
Alliance formed between Rome and Carthage.
Pyrrhus wars against Carthage in Sicily.
277. A body of Gauls enter Northern Phrygia, of which they take
Pyrrhus expels the Carthaginians from most of their possessions in
276. Other Grecian cities join the Achaean League.
275. Pyrrhus, on the arrival of Carthaginian reenforcements, returns to
Italy; he is totally defeated by M. Curius Dentatus (at Beneventum), who
exhibits in his triumphs the first elephants ever seen in Rome.
273. Ptolemy Philadelphus, of Egypt, sends an embassy to congratulate
the Romans on their victory and to ask an alliance with them.
272. Pyrrhus attempts the siege of Sparta; he is repulsed. In an attack
on Argos, Pyrrhus is slain.
Tarentum surrenders to the Romans.
Lucania and Brittium also submit to Rome.
269. The first silver coinage at Rome.
266. The Romans capture and destroy Volsinii; Rome controls all Italy.
264. War between Rome and Carthage. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii, 179.
Gladiators first introduced into Rome.
263. Antigonus Gonatus, King of Macedon, captures Athens.
The Romans compel Hiero, King of Syracuse, to withdraw from the support
of Carthage. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii, 179.
Philetaerus at his death appoints his nephew, Eumenes, King of Pergamus;
the competition for books between him and Ptolemy Philadelphus causes
the latter to prohibit the export of papyrus from Egypt; this leads to
the invention of parchment at Pergamus, whence it takes its name.
Hiero makes peace with the Romans; he becomes their most trusted ally.
260. Ships-of-war first built by the Romans; the naval power of Rome
inaugurated by the decisive victory of Duilius over the Carthaginians at
Mylae. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii, 179.
259. The Romans invade Corsica; they carry off much rich spoil from
thence and Sardinia, but make no permanent conquests. The island of
Melita (Malta) is captured by the Romans.
258. Atilius, the Roman consul, surrounded by the Carthaginians in
Sicily, escapes with difficulty.
257. A drawn battle between the fleets of Rome and Carthage off Tyndaris
causes the Romans to prepare larger ships, in order to strike a decisive
256. Total defeat of the Carthaginian fleet near Ecnomus; the victorious
Roman consuls land in Africa. The Carthaginians hire troops from Greece
and give the command to Xanthippus. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii, 179.
255. Regelus and his Roman legions are vanquished by Xanthippus; Regelus
is taken captive. The Romans fit out a large fleet, which gains another
victory and brings off the remains of the army from Africa. Many of the
ships are wrecked.
254. Another fleet consisting of 220 ships is equipped in three months
by the Romans; Panormus (Palermo) is captured. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii,
253. The Romans again land in Africa and ravage many Carthaginian coast
cities; on their return most of their ships are wrecked; the Romans
resolve to abstain from naval warfare.
252. Birth of Philopoemen, called the "Last of the Greeks."
251. Aratus restores the freedom of Sicyon; joins the Achaean League,
which becomes a powerful body.
250. Arsaceo founds the kingdom of Parthia.
The Romans begin the siege of Lilybaeum; the Carthaginians successfully
defend it till the close of the war. Metellus, the Roman proconsul,
commanding in Sicily, gains a great victory over Hasdrubal near
Panoramus; over one hundred elephants form part of his triumphal
249. Naval victory of the Carthaginians over the Romans at Drepanum.
Regelus is sent to Rome to propose an exchange of prisoners; on his
return the Carthaginians put him to death with the utmost cruelty.
The war between Syria and Egypt, which had been ruinous to the former,
is ended by a treaty between Antiochus II and Ptolemy Philadelphus. One
of the conditions was that Antiochus repudiate Laodice and marry
Berenice, Ptolemy's daughter.
248. Parthia becomes an independent kingdom.
247. Birth of Hannibal, the famous Carthaginian general.
Ptolemy Euergetes succeeds his father Ptolemy Philadelphus on the throne
243. Corinth, delivered by Aratus from the yoke of Macedon, joins the
Achaean League; other states follow the example.
241. Agis IV, of Sparta, assists the Achaeans in their war against the
Rome, having again assembled a great fleet, under Lutatius Catalus,
vanquishes the Carthaginians in a naval encounter off the Aegates. End
of the First Punic War; Sicily is relinquished by Carthage to Rome.
240. The Carthaginian mercenaries in Africa revolt; Hamilcar Barca
crushes it out.
237. Carthage is compelled to cede Sardinia to Rome.
236-221. Celomenes III of Sparta institutes great political reforms and
engages in a struggle with the Achaean League.
236-220. Hamilcar Barca and Hasdrubal, his son-in-law, conquer a great
part of Spain.
235. Rome, at peace with all the world, closes the temple of Janus, for
the first time since Numa, according to legend, the second king of Rome.
234. Birth of Cato the Elder.
Scipio Africanus born.
230. Ambassadors sent by Rome to protest against the piracies of the
Illyrians are murdered by the order of Queen Teuta.
229. A successful war is waged by the Romans against the Greek kingdom
of Illyria; the Roman power is extended across the Adriatic.
On the death of Hamilcar, his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, takes his place in
Spain; he founds Carthago Nova (Carthagena).
227. Sparta makes war with the Achaean League.
225-222. Cisalpine Gaul is conquered by the Romans.
221. Cleomenes III is crushed by Antigonus Doson, ruler of Macedon, at
Sellasia; the Spartan power is utterly destroyed.
220. Social war; the war made by the Aetolian League on the Achaean
219. Hannibal lays siege to Saguntum, which he destroys; this is the
real commencement of the Second Punic War. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii,
Philip V, of Macedon, is victorious in his campaigns against the
218. Hannibal crosses the Alps into Italy; he defeats the Romans on the
Ticinus and Trebia. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii, 179.
217. Philip V continues his victorious way against the Aetolian League.
Hannibal defeats the Romans at the Trasimene Lake.
Antiochus the Great cedes Coele-Syria and Palestine to Egypt.
216. Crushing defeat of the Romans by Hannibal at Cannae. See "THE PUNIC
WARS," ii, 179.
214. Rome has her first encounter with Macedon; Philip V allies himself
with Hannibal and begins the war.
Marcellus is sent into Sicily and besieges Syracuse, which had declared
213. Aratus, strategus of the Achaean League, is poisoned by Philip V of
Macedon; this alienates from him many Greek states.
Hwangti crushes out literature in China.
212. After a two-years' siege the Romans under Marcellus take Syracuse.
The two Scipios defeated and killed in Spain. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii,
211. Hannibal before the gates of Rome. See "THE PUNIC WARS," ii, 179.
The Aetolian League with its allies assists Rome against Macedon.
210. Aegina taken by the Romans; the inhabitants reduced to slavery.
Agrigentum, being conquered by Caevinus, places all Sicily again under
Scipio, victorious in Spain, takes Carthago Nova. See "THE PUNIC WARS,"
208. Suspension of his operations against Scipio--the future Scipio
Africanus--in Spain by Hasdrubal, son of Hamilcar, who sets out to
relieve his brother Hannibal in Italy.
207. Hasdrubal is defeated and slain on the Metaurus. See "BATTLE OF THE
METAURUS," ii, 195.
A signal victory is achieved by Philopoemen, general of the Achaean
League, with Macedon, over the Spartans at Matinea.
206. Birth of Polybius, Greek historian.
The Carthaginian power in Spain completely destroyed by Scipio.
205. End of the first Romo-Macedonian war.
204. Scipio carries the war into Africa; he defeats the Carthaginians
and the Numidians.
203. Hannibal, recalled from Italy, arrives at Carthage.
202. The Carthaginian power is completely broken, ending the Second
Punic War. See "SCIPIO AFRICANUS CRUSHES HANNIBAL AT ZAMA AND SUBJUGATES
CARTHAGE," ii, 224.
201. A war is begun by Rome for the resubjugation of the Boii and
Insubres of Cisalpine Gaul, who had attained freedom owing to the
The Jews become subject to the Seleucid monarchy.
200. Declaration of war by Rome against Macedon; the second Macedonian
198. Antiochus the Great, of Syria, conquers Palestine and Coele-Syria
from Egypt, defeating Scopas and the Aetolian allies.
197. Decisive Roman victory over the Macedonians at Cynoscephale; Philip
V of Macedon makes a humiliating peace.
196. The Roman general Flaminius proclaims the freedom of the Greeks.
195.[Est] Birth of Terrence, Roman comic poet.
Ptolemy V, Epiphanes, King of Egypt. See i, 1, "The Rosetta Stone."
192. In concert with the Aetolians, Antiochus the Great takes up arms
191. Antiochus is defeated by the Romans under Acilius Glabrio, at
Thermopylae, in Greece. The resubjugation of Cisalpine Gaul is completed
All the Peloponnesus is included in the Achaean League, which attains
190. Scipio Asiaticus takes command of the Romans in Greece, with his
brother Africanus as lieutenant; Antiochus is vanquished at Magnesia and
he is compelled to release his hold on the greater part of Asia Minor.
Most of the conquered territory is annexed to Pergamus. Scipio Asiaticus
takes his surname for the courage and ability he showed.
189. Fall of the Aetolian League.
185. Birth of Scipio Africanus the Younger.
179. Death of Philip V of Macedon. His son Perseus negotiates secretly
with other states against Rome. The Celtiberians and Lusitanians lay
down their arms.
177. Rome suppresses a revolt in Sardinia. A colony settled at Lucca.
The Achaeans contract an alliance with Rome.
Thessaly relapses under the Macedonian influence.
176. The consul Scipio dies, and C. Valerius Laevinus takes his place
for the rest of the year. His colleague Petilius is slain in battle
against the Ligurians. The Orchian and other sumptuary laws fail to
repress the luxury of the Romans.
175. Disgraceful struggles for the high-priesthood of Jerusalem;
Antiochus sells it to Jason, the brother of Onias, who is deposed.
174. Masinissa, after many encroachments, seizes the Carthaginian
provinces of Tyssa, with fifty cities; Roman ambassadors sent to settle
the dispute. Others deputed to ascertain the intentions of Perseus.
Mithridates VI of the Arsacidae begins his reign and prepares the
elevation of Parthia to great power.
173. The Roman ambassadors return, Perseus having refused to receive
Death of Cleopatra, who, in the name of her young son, had been regent
172. The Ligurians are subdued and Northern Italy filled with Roman
colonies. Eumenes honorably received at Rome; on his way back he is
attacked by assassins near Delphi.
Menelaus, another brother, supplants Jason in the high-priesthood of
171. Commencement of the Third Macedonian War; King Perseus begins his
struggle with Rome.
Antiochus invades Egypt and takes Memphis.
170. Hostilius, who takes the command in Macedon, makes no progress; the
Roman fleet ravages the sea-coast.
Perseus negotiates with Antiochus, Prusias, and many Greek states to
form a coalition against Rome; even Eumenes begins to treat with him.
Ptolemy Physcon is associated with his brother as joint King of Egypt.
169. The manoeuvres of Marcius Philippus drive Perseus from his strong
position in Tempe.
Antiochus lays siege to Alexandria; the Egyptians apply to Rome for aid.
168. Battle of Pydna; complete defeat of Perseus, King of Macedon, by
the Romans, under L. Aenilius Paulas. Macedon becomes a Roman province.
Antiochus, awed by the Roman ambassador Popillius and the fate of
Perseus, evacuates Egypt. In his retreat he plunders Jerusalem and
despoils the Temple, in which he sets up the statue of Jupiter Olympias.
167. Deportation of a thousand Achaeans to Rome; among them is Polybius,
the historian, who there finds patrons and friends. The first library
opened in Rome, consisting of books plundered from Macedon.
Arms are taken up by the Asmoneans against Antiochus, King of Syria.
165. Judas Maccabaeus enters Jerusalem; he purifies the Temple. See
"JUDAS MACCABEUS LIBERATES JUDEA," ii, 245.
160. Defeat and death of Judas Maccabaeus in battle.
158. Roman citizens are almost entirely relieved of direct taxation by
the revenues from Macedon and other conquests.
149. Commencement of the Third Punic War between Rome and Carthage. See
"THE PUNIC WARS," ii, 179.
First Roman law against bribery at elections.
147.[Est] Viriathus, the Lusitanian leader, has his first great victory
over the Romans.
146. Scipio Africanus the Younger completely destroys Carthage.
Mummius, commanding in Greece, defeats the Archaeans at Leucopetra; he
captures and destroys Corinth. The treasures of Grecian art conveyed to
Rome. Greece becomes a Roman province.
Demetrius Nicator slays Alexander Bala in battle and becomes king of
141. Simon Maccabaeus captures the citadel of Jerusalem.
Silanus, accused by the Macedonians of corrupt practices, is condemned
by his father, Torquatus, and takes his own life.
140. The Jews proclaim Simon Maccabaeus hereditary prince; with this
dignity is united the office of high-priest.
[Est]Viriathus, the Lusitanian leader against the Romans in Spain, is
assassinated by order of the consul Caepio.
135. Simon Maccabaeus is assassinated; John Hyrcanus, his son, succeeds
him as ruler at Jerusalem.
134-133. Antiochus Tidetes, King of Syria, besieges Jerusalem; he is
134-132. Servile War in Sicily, caused by the inhuman treatment of the
slaves by their owners; two great battles were fought before the rising
133. Tiberius Gracchus attempts his great political and agrarian reforms
in Rome. See "THE GRACCHI AND THEIR REFORMS," ii, 259.
Scipio Africanus the Younger reduces Numantia.
Attalus III of Pergamus bequeaths his kingdom, which embraces a great
part of Asia Minor, to the Romans.
125-121. The southeastern portion of Transalpine Gaul conquered by the
123-122. Caius Gracchus commences his agrarian reforms in Rome. See "THE
GRACCHI AND THEIR REFORMS," ii, 259.
118. Rome extends her dominion beyond the Rhone; the colony of Narbo
Martius (Narbonne) founded.
113. Hordes of the Cimbri and Teutons threaten the Rome dominion by an
invasion of Illyrium.
112. Jugurtha, King of Numidia, kills Adherbal, who has been restored to
the throne of Numidia after being driven thence by Jugurtha.
111. The consul Calpurnius proceeds with a Roman army into Numidia;
bribed by Jugurtha, he makes a peace and withdraws his forces.
109. Jugurtha is opposed in Numidia by the Roman army headed by
John Hyrcanus, the Jewish Prince and high-priest, defeats Ptolemy
Lathyrus and captures Samaria.[Est]
The Cimbri request an allotment of land from the Romans, whereon to
settle; it is refused; they ravage the country, but are checked in
Thrace by Nimicus Rufus.
108. Metellus, as proconsul, continues the war in Numidia.
The Cimbri defeat the consul Scaurus in Gaul.
Mithridates of Pontus secretly prepares to regain by force the province
of Phrygia, which the Romans took from him during his minority.
107. Marius vigorously carries on the war against Jugurtha; Marius is
consul, Sylla his quaestor.
Cassius, Roman consul, is defeated and slain by the Cimbri in Gaul.
106. Birth of Cicero. Birth of Pompey the Great.
Jugurtha is betrayed by Bocchus, King of Mauretania, into the hands of
the Romans, which ends the Jugurthine War.
105. The Cimbri and Teutones defeat the consul Manilius and proconsul
Caepio, near the Rhone, with great loss.
Aristobulus, son of John Hyrcanus, succeeds his father and assumes the
title of king of Judea.
104. Alexander Jannaeus succeeds his brother Aristobulus in Judea.
102. Marius overwhelmingly defeats the Teutones, while they were
retreating from Spain, at Aquae Sextiae (Aix).
Another revolt of the slaves in Sicily (Second Servile War).
101. Marius utterly crushes the Cimbri on the Raudian Fields, after they
had previously defeated the proconsul Lutatius Catulus.
100. The Second Servile War continues.
Birth of Julius Caesar.
99. M. Aquilius finally crushes out the slave uprising in Sicily.
94. Mithridates makes his son king of Cappadocia.
93. Cappadocians appeal to the Romans, who give them Ariobarzanes for
their king. Mithridates seizes Galatia.
92. Sulla is sent by the Romans into Cappadocia to observe Mithridates'
proceedings; ambassadors from Parthia meet him there.
91. M. Livius Drussus, people's tribune, advocates giving the rights of
citizenship to the Roman allies; he is assassinated.
90. Social or Marsic War, a conflict of the Italian states against Rome,
begins, the cause being the refusal of the franchise by Rome. Caesar, the
consul, is unfortunate against the Samnites, and Rutilius is defeated
and slain by the Marsi. Marius retrieves these disasters. Citizenship
granted to the states which remain faithful to Rome.
The Roman senate promises aid to Cappadocia against Mithridates.
89. The consul Pompeius (father of Pompey the Great) gains decided
victories over the Picentines; his colleague, Cato, defeats the Marsi,
but is killed in the battle; Sulla takes the command, and is so
successful that he is elected consul for the ensuing year. Cicero is a
cadet in the army of Pompeius.
Cleopatra is put to death by her son Alexander, who is expelled from
Egypt, and Ptolemy Soter restored.
88. End of the Social War. Most of the refractory states admitted to
Mithridates, King of Pontus, occupies Phrygia; he asks all Asia Minor to
join him; a general massacre of the Romans occurs.
Quarrel between Sulla and Marius which causes war between them for the
control of the Roman army. The first Roman civil war.
87. Sulla proceeds to Greece to conduct the war against Mithridates;
Sulla besieges Athens.
The consul Cinna, deposed by the senate, calls Marius from Africa,
raises an Italian army, and reinstates himself in office; bloody
proscriptions by Marius and Cinna follow.
86. Death of Marius, in the beginning of his seventh consulate; Flaccus,
appointed in his place, is assassinated on his march to the east, by C.
Fimbria, who assumes command of the Roman army.
Sulla captures the revolted city of Athens and defeats the army of
Mithridates under Archelaus.
A sedition of the Jews is quelled with merciless severity by Alexander
85. The Romans are successful against Mithridates in Asia.
84. End of the First Mithridatic War; Mithridates, finding himself
between two victorious Roman armies, agrees to peace and relinquishes
all his acquisitions.
83. Sulla makes war against the Marian party in Italy.
The Roman senate refuses to send Mithridates a formal ratification of
the treaty. He retains a part of Cappadocia. The Second Mithridatic War
82. Sulla becomes dictator at Rome, after crushing the Marian party; he
inflicts a bloody vengeance on his enemies.
End of the Second Mithridatic War.
81. Pompey, having been successful in Africa, is granted a triumph in
80. Sertorius, the Marian leader, sets up an independent state in Spain.
Caesar serves as a cadet at the siege of Mitylene; he receives a civic
crown for saving the life of a citizen.
79. Sulla resigns the dictatorship, but remains master of Rome.
Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea, is succeeded on his death by his
78. Death of Sulla.
76. Pompey is sent into Spain to oppose Sertorius.
74. Mithridates renews hostilities; he enters into an abortive alliance
with Sertorius. Third Mithridatic War. Lucullus commands the Roman
73. Lucullus routs the army of Mithridates.
Rising of the gladiators; Spartacus collects, on Mount Vesuvius, a
numerous army of slaves and gladiators; they overcome the forces sent
against them and ravage Southern Italy. The Third Servile War.
72. Sertorius is assassinated in Spain; the Spaniards submit to Pompey.
King Mithridates is driven from his dominions by Lucullus; the King
takes refuge in Armenia.
71. Crassus defeats and slays Spartacus; the gladiators are crushed.
70. Death of Alexandra, widow of Jannaeus; she nominates her son,
Hyrcanus, as her successor; but his brother, Aristobulus, usurps the
throne of Judea.
Pompey and Crassus, previously at variance, are reconciled during their
Cicero's six orations (the first only being actually delivered) against
Verres, who, when governor of Sicily, had plundered the island of
property, art treasures, etc.
Birth of Vergil.
69. Lucullus crosses the Euphrates, captures Tigranocerta, and defeats
Tigranes, who had succored Mithridates in Armenia.
68. Lucullus defeats Tigranes and takes Nisibis.
67. A mutiny in the Roman army caused by the appointment of Glabrio to
Pompey crushes the pirates of Cilicia and makes it a Roman province.
Julius Caesar is quaestor in Spain.