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10. The Augustan Empire 43 BC (fb2)

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THE CAMBRIDGE ANCIENT HISTORY

VOLUME X

THE CAMBRIDGE ANCIENT HISTORY

SECOND EDITION

VOLUME X

The Augustan Empire, 43 B.C.—a.d. 69

edited by ALAN K. BOWMAN

Student of Christ Church, Oxford

EDWARD CHAMPLIN

Professor of Classics, Princeton University

ANDREW LINTOTT

Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History, Worcester College, Oxford

Cambridge

UNIVERSITY PRESS

published by the press syndicate of the university of cambridge The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom

cambridge university press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, uk 40 West 20th Street, New York, ny 10011-4211, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, vie 32.07, Australia

Ruiz de Alarcon 13, 28014 Madrid, Spain Dock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africa

http://www.cambridge.org

© Cambridge University Press 1996

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 1996 Fifth printing 2006

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Catalogue card number: 75-85719

isbn 0 521 26430 8 hardback

CONTENTS

'List of maps page xiv

List of text-figures xv

List of tables xv

List of stemmata xv

Preface xix

PART I NARRATIVE

The triumviral period i by Christopher pelling, Fellow andPraelector in

Classics, University College, Oxford

I The triumvirate i

II Philippi, 42 b.c. 5

The East, 42—40 в.с. 9

Perusia, 41-40 в.с. 14 V Brundisium and Misenum, 40-39 b.c. 17

VI The East, 39-37 в.с. zi

VII Tarentum, 37 в.с. 24

VIII The year 36 в.с. 27

IX 35—33 в.с. 36

X Preparation: 3 2 B.C. 48

XI Actium, 31 в.с. 54

XII Alexandria, 30 в.с. 59

XIII Retrospect 65

Endnote: Constitutional questions 67

Political history, 30 в.с. to a.d. 14 70 by j. a. crook, Fellow of St John's College, and Emeritus Professor of Ancient History in the University of Cambridge

I Introduction 70

II 30-17 в.с. 73

III 16 b.c.—a.d. 14 94Augustus: power, authority, achievement 113 by j.a. crook

I Power 113

II Authority 117

III Achievement 123

The expansion of the empire under Augustus 147 by erich s. gruen, Professor of History and Classics,

University of California, Berkeley

Egypt, Ethiopia and Arabia 148 II Asia Minor 151

Judaea and Syria 154

Armenia and Parthia 15 8

Spain 163 VI Africa 166

VII The Alps 169

VIII The Balkans 171

IX Germany 178

X Imperial ideology 188

XI Conclusion 194

Tiberius to Nero 198 by т. e.j. Wiedemann, Reader in the History of the Roman Empire, University of Bristol

I The accession of Tiberius and the nature of politics

under the Julio-Claudians 198

II The reign of Tiberius 209

Gaius Caligula 221

Claudius 229

Nero 241

From Nero to Vespasian 2 5 6 by t.e.j. wiedemann

I A.D. 68 256

II A.d. 69—70 265

PART II THE GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE EMPIRE

The imperial court 283 by andrew wallace-hadrill, Professor of Classics at

the University of Reading

I Introduction 283

Access and ritual: court society 285

Patronage, power and government 296

Conclusion 306

The Imperial finances 309 by d. w. rath bone, Reader in Ancient History, King's

College London

The Senate and senatorial and equestrian posts 3 24 by Richard j.a. talbert, William Rand Kenan, Jr,

Professor of History, and Adjunct Professor of Classics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

I The Senate 324

II Senatorial and equestrian posts 357

Provincial administration and taxation 344

by ALAN K. BOWMAN

I Rome, the emperor and the provinces 344

II Structure 351

Function 357

Conclusion 367

The army and the navy ■ 371 by lawrence keppie, Reader in Roman Archaeology, Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow

I The army of the late Republic 371

II The army in the civil wars, 49-30 b.c. 373

The army and navy of Augustus 3 76

Army and navy under the Julio-Claudians 387 V The Roman army in a.d. 70 393

The administration of justice 397 by h. galsterer, Professor of Ancient History at the

Rheinische Friedrich- Wtlhelms- Universitdt, Bonn

PART III ITALY AND THE PROVINCES

The West 414

13a Italy and Rome from Sulla to Augustus 414

by m. h. Crawford, Professor of Ancient History, University College London

I Extent of Romanization 414

II Survival of local cultures 424

13 b Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica 434

by r.j. a. Wilson, Professor of Archaeology, University of Nottinghamijf Spain 449

by g. alfoldy, Professor of Ancient History in the University of Heidelberg

I Conquest, provincial administration and military

organization 449

II Urbanization 455

Economy and society 458

The impact of Romanization 461

13 d Gaul 464 by c. goudineau, Profosseur du College de France (chaire d' Antiquites nationales)

I Introduction 464

II Gallia Narbonensis 471

III Tres Galliae 487

13* Britain 43 в.с. to a.d. 69 503 by john wacher, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, University of Leicester

I Pre-conquest period 503

II The invasion and its aftermath 5 06

Organization of the province 510

Urbanization and communications 511 V Rural settlement 513

VI Trade and industry 514

VII Religion 515

13/ Germany 517 by c. ruger, Honorary Professor, Bonn University

I Introduction 517

II Roman Germany, 16 b.c.-a.d. 17 524

III The period of the establishment of the military zone

(a.d. 14-90) 528

13g Raetia 535

by h. wolff, Professor of Ancient History, University of Passau

I 'Raetia' before Claudius 537

The Claudian province 541

13h The Danubian and Balkan provinces 545

by j.j. wilkes, Yates Professor of Greek and Roman Archaeology, University College London

I The advance to the Danube and beyond, 43 b.c.-a.d. 6 545

II Rebellion in Illyricum and the annexation of Thrace (a.d.

6-69) 5 5 3

The Danube peoples 5 5 8

IV Provinces and armies 565

Roman colonization and the organization of the native

peoples 573

13i Roman Africa: Augustus to Vespasian 586 by c.r. whittaker, Fellow of Churchill College, and formerly Lecturer in Classics in the University of Cambridge

I Before Augustus 586

II Africa and the civil wars, 44—51 b.c. 590

Augustan expansion 591

Tiberius and Tacfarinas 593

Gaius to Nero 5 96

VI The administration and organization of the province 600

VII Cities and colonies 603

VIII Romanization and resistance 610

IX The economy 615

X Roman imperialism 616

13/ Cyrene 619 by joyce Reynolds, Fellow of Newnham College, and Emeritus Reader in Roman Historical Epigraphy in the University of Cambridge and j. a. lloyd, Lecturer in Archaeology in the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Wolf son College

I Introduction 619

II The country 622

The population, its distribution, organization and

internal relationships 625

From the death of Caesar to the close of the Marmaric

War (c. a.d. 6/7) 630

a.d. 4-7O 636

14 The East 641

14л Greece (including Crete and Cyprus) and Asia Minor

from 43 b.c. to a.d. 69 641 by в. m. levic к, Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History, St Hilda's College, Oxford

I Geography and development 641

II The triumviral period 645

The Augustan restoration 647

Consolidation under the Julio-Claudians 663

Conclusion: first fruits 672

14b Egypt 676

by alan k. bowman

I The Roman conquest 676

II Bureaucracy and administration 679

Economy and society 693

Alexandria 699 V Conclusion 702

14c Syria 703

by DAVID Kennedy, Senior Lecturer, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Western Australia

I Introduction 703

Establishment and development of the province 708

Client states 728

Conclusion 736

iJudaea 737 by martin Goodman, Reader in Jewish Studies, University of Oxford, and Yellow of Wolf son College

I The Herods 737

II Roman administration 750

Jewish religion and society 761

Conclusion 780

PART IV ROMAN SOCIETY AND CULTURE UNDER THE JULIO-CLAUDIANS

Rome and its development under Augustus and his successors 782 by Nicholas purcell, Fellow and Tutor in Ancient

History, St John's College, Oxford

The place of religion: Rome in the early Empire 812

by s. r. f. price, Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

I Myths and place 814

II The re-placing of Roman religion 820

Imperial rituals 837

Rome and Her empire 841

The origins and spread of Christianity 848 by g.w. clarke, Director, Humanities Research Centre, and Professor of Classical Studies, Australian National University

I Origins and spread 848

II Christians and the law 866

III Conclusion 871

Social status and social legislation 873 by susan treggiari, Professor of Classics and Bass

Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University

I Legal distinctions 873

II Social distinctions 875

Social problems at the beginning of the Principate 883

The social legislation of Augustus and the Julio-

Claudians 886

The impact of the Principate on society 897

Literature and society 905 by Gavin townend, Emeritus Professor of Eat in in the University of Durham

Definition of the period 905

Patronage and its obligations 907

Rhetoric and escapism 916

The justification of literature 921

The accessibility of literature 926

Roman art, 43 в.с. to a.d. 69 930 by Mario torelli, Professor of Archaeology and the

History of Greek and Roman Art, University of Perugia

I The general characteristics of Augustan Classicism 930

The creation of the Augustan model 934

From Tiberius to Nero: the crisis of the model 952

Early classical private law 959 by bruce w. frier, Professor of Classics and Roman Earn, University of Michigan

I The jurists and the Principate 959

II Augustus' procedural reforms 961

Labeo 964

Proculians and Sabinians 969

Legal writing and education 973 VI Imperial intervention 974

VII The Flavian jurists 97^

Appendices to chapter 13a by м.н. crawford

I Consular dating formulae in republican Italy 979

II Survival of Greek language and institutions 981

Inscriptions in languages other than Latin after the

Social War 983

Italian calendars 985

Votive deposits 987 VI Epichoric funerary practices 987

VII Diffusion of alien grave stelae 989

Stemmata 990

Chronological table 995

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abbreviations page 1006

A General studies 1015

В Sources 1019

Works on ancient authors 1 о 19

Epigraphy 1027

Numismatics 1031

Papyrology 1034

С Political history 1035

The triumviral period and the reign of Augustus 103 5

The expansion of the empire, 43.b.c.-a.d. 69 1044

The Julio-Claudians and the year a.d. 69 1047

D Government and administration 1050

The imperial court 1050

The Senate and the equities 105 1

Provincial administration 1053

The imperial wealth io54

The army and the navy 1056

The administration of justice 1059

E Italy and the provinces 1061

Italy 1061

Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica 1066

Spain 1068

Gaul 1070

Britain 1082

Germany 1083

Raetia 1084

The Balkans 1086

Africa 1089

Cyrene 1091

Greece and Asia Minor io93

Egypt 1097

Syria 1100

Judaea 1104

F Society, religion and culture 1111

Society and its institutions 1111

Religion 1114

Art and architecture 1120

Law 113 5

Index 113 8

NOTE ON THE BIBLIOGRAPHY The bibliography is arranged in sections dealing with specific topics, which sometimes correspond to individual chapters but more often combine the contents of several chapters. References in the footnotes are to these sections (which are distinguished by capital letters) and within these sections each book or article has assigned to it a number which is quoted in the footnotes. In these, so as to provide a quick indication of the nature of the work referred to, the author's name and the date of publication are also included in each reference. Thus 'Syme 1986 (a 95) 50' signifies 'R. Syme, The Augustan Revolution, Oxford, 1986, p. 50', to be found in Section a of the bibliography as item 95.MAPS

The Roman world in the time of Augustus and the Julio-Claudian Emperors page xvi

Italy and the eastern Mediterranean 2

Italy 416

Sicily 436

Sardinia and Corsica 444

Spain 450

Gaul 466

Britain as far north as the Humber 5 04

Germany 518 ro Raetia 536

Military bases, cities and settlements in the Danubian provinces 5 46

Geography and native peoples of the Danubian provinces 5 60

Africa 588

Cyrene 620

Greece and the Aegean 642

Asia Minor 660

Egypt 678

Physical geography of the Near East 704

Syria and Arabia 710

Judaea 738

The eastern Mediterranean in the first century a.d. illustrating the origins and spread of Christianity 850

TEXT-FIGURES

Actium: fleet positions at the beginning of the battle page 60

Distribution of legions, 44 в.с. 374

Rodgen, Germany: ground-plan of Augustan supply base 380

Distribution of legions, a.d. 14 386

Vetera (Xanten), Germany: ground-plan of a double

legionary fortress, Neronian date 390

Valkenburg, Holland: fort-plan, c. a.d. 40 392

Distribution of legions, a.d. 23 394

The geography of Gaul according to Strabo 467

Autun: town-plan 494 10 Sketch map of Rome 786

TABLES

New senatorial posts within Rome and Italy page 338

Provinces and governors at the end of the Julio-Claudian period 369

The legions of the early Empire 388

STEMMATA

I Descendants of Augustus and Livia page 990

II Desendants of Augustus' sister Octavia and Mark Antony 991

The family of Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi 992

Eastern clients of Antonia, Caligula and Claudius 993 V Principal members of the Herodian family 994

Map i. The Roman world in the time of Augustus and the Julio-Claudian emperors,

PREFACE

The period covered in this volume begins a year and a half after the death of Iulius Caesar and closes at the end of a.d. 69, more than a year after the death of Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors. His successors, Galba, Otho and Vitellius had ruled briefly and disappeared from the scene, leaving Vespasian as the sole claimant to the throne of empire. This was a period which witnessed the most profound transformation in the political configuration of the res publico. In the decade after Caesar's death constitutional power was held by Caesar's heir Octavian, Antony and Lepidus as tresviri ret publicae constituendae. Our narrative takes as its starting-point 27 November 43 b.c., the day on which the Lex Titia legalized the triumviral arrangement, a few days before the death of Cicero, which was taken as a terminal point by the editors of the new edition of Volume ix. By 27 в.с, five years after the expiry of the triumviral powers, Octavian had emerged as princeps and Augustus, and in the course of the next forty years he gradually fashioned what was, in all essentials, a monarchical and dynastic rule which, although passed from one dynasty to another, was to undergo no radical change until the end of the third century of our era.

If Augustus was the guiding genius behind the political transforma­tion of the res publico, his influence was hardly less important in the extension of Roman dominion in the Mediterranean lands, the Near East and north-west Europe. At no time did Rome acquire more provincial territory or more influence abroad than in the reign of the first princeps. Accretion under his successors was steady but much slower. Conquest apart, the period as a whole is one in which the prosperity resulting from the pax romana, whose foundations were laid under the Republic, can be properly documented throughout the empire.

It is probably true that there is no period in Roman history on which the views of modern scholars have been more radically transformed in the last six decades. It is therefore appropriate to indicate briefly in what respects this volume differs most significantly, in approach and cover­age, from its predecessor and to justify the scheme which has been adopted, particularly in view of the fact that the new editions of the three

xix

volumes covering the period between the death of Caesar and the death of Constantine have to some extent been planned as a unity.

As far as the general scheme is concerned, we have considered it essential to have as a foundation a political narrative history of the period, especially to emphasize what was contingent and unpredictable (chs. i—6). The following chapters are more analytical and take a longer view of government and institutions (chs. 7—12), regions (chs. 13-14), social and cultural developments (chs. 15—21), although we have tried on the whole to avoid the use of an excessively broad brush. Interesting and invaluable though it was in its day, we have not been able to contemp­late, for example, a counterpart to F. Oertel's chapter (1st edn ch. 13) on the 'Economic unification of the Mediterranean region'. We are con­scious, however, that in the absence of such chapters something of value has been lost and we urge readers not to regard the first edition as a volume of merely antiquarian interest; the chapters of Syme on the northern frontiers (12) and Nock on religious developments (14), to name but two, still have much to offer to the historian.

The profound influence of Sir Ronald Syme's The Roman Revolution, published five years after the first edition of САН Volume x, is very evident in the following pages, as is that of his other, prosopographical and social studies which have done so much to re-write the history of the Roman aristocracy in the first century of the Empire. No one will now doubt that the historian of the Roman state in this period has to take as much account of the importance of family connexions, of patronage, of status and property relations as of constitutional or institutional history; and to see how these relations worked through the institutions of the res publico, the ordines, the army, the governmental offices and provincial society.

The influence of another twentieth-century classic, M. I. Rostovt- zeff's Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire, first published in 1926, was perhaps less evident in the pages of the first edition of САН Volume x than might have been expected. That balance, it is hoped, has been redressed. Rostovtzeff's great achievement was to synthesize, as no-one had done before, the evidence of written documents, buildings, coins, sculpture, painting, artefacts and archaeology into a social and economic history of the empire under Roman rule which did not adopt a narrowly Romanocentric perspective. The sheer amount of new evi­dence accruing for the different regions of the empire in the last sixty years is immense. It is impossible for a single scholar to command expertise and knowledge of detail over the empire as a whole, and regional specialization is a marked feature of modern scholarship. The present volume recognizes this by incorporating chapters on each of the regions or provinces, as well as Italy, a scheme which will also be adopted in the new edition of Volume xi. As far as these surveys of the parts of the empire are concerned, the guiding principle has been that the chapters in the present volume should attempt to describe the develop­ments which were the preconditions for the achievements, largely beneficial, of the 'High Empire', while the corresponding chapters in Volume xi will describe more statically, mutatis mutandis, the state of the different regions of the Roman world during that period.

Something must be said about the apparent omissions and idiosyncra­sies. We have not thought it necessary to write an account of the sources for the period. The major literary sources (Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio, Josephus) have been very well served by recent scholarship and this period is not, from the point of view of the literary evidence, as problematical as those which follow. The range of documentary, archaeological and numismatic evidence for different topics and regions has been thought best left to individual contributors to summarize as they considered appropriate.

The presence in this volume of a chapter on the unification of Italy might be thought an oddity. Its inclusion here was a decision taken in consultation with the editors of the new edition of Volume ix, on the ground that the Augustan period is a good standpoint from which to consider a process which cannot really be considered complete before that, and perhaps not fully complete even by the Augustan age. Two of the chapters (those on Egypt and on the development of Roman law) will have counterparts in Volume xii (a.d. 193-337), but not in Volume xi; in both cases the accounts given here are intended to be generally valid for the first two centuries a.d. The treatment of Judaea and of the origins of Christianity posed difficulties of organization and articulation, given the extensive overlap of subject-matter. We nevertheless decided to invite different scholars to write these sections and to juxtapose them. It still seems surprising that the first edition of this volume contains no account of the origins and early growth of Christianity, a phenomenon which is, from the point of view of the subsequent development of civilization, surely the most important single feature of our period. Some degree of overlap with other standard works of reference is inevitable. We have, however, deliberately tried to avoid this in the case of literature by including a chapter which is intended as a history of literary activity in its social context, rather than a history of the literature of the period as such, which can be found in The Cambridge History of Classical Literature, Vols, i and 11.

Each contributor was asked, as far as possible, to provide an account of his or her subject which summarizes the present state of knowledge and (in so far as it exists) orthodoxy, indicating points at which a different view is adopted. It would have been impossible and undesirable to demand uniformity of perspective and the individual chapters, as is proper, reflect a rich variety of approach and viewpoint, Likewise, we have not insisted on uniformity of practice in the use of footnotes, although contributors were asked to avoid long and discursive notes as far as possible. We can only repeat the statement of the editors in their preface to Vol. viii, that the variations reflect the different requirements of the contributors and their subject-material. It will be noted that the bibliographies are much more extensive and complex than in earlier volumes of The Cambridge Ancient History; again a reflection of the greater volume of important work which has been produced on this period in recent years. Most authors have included in the bibliographies, which are keyed by coded references, all, or most, of the secondary works cited in their chapters; others have included in the footnotes some reference to books, articles and, particularly, publications of primary sources which were not considered of sufficient general relevance to be included in the bibliographies. We have let these stand.

Most of the chapters in this volume were written between 1983 and 1988 and we are conscious of the fact that the delay between composition and publication has been much longer than we would have wished. The editors themselves must bear a share of the responsibility for this. The checking of notes and bibliographies, the process of getting typescripts ready for the press has too often been perforce relegated because of the pressure of other commitments. Contributors have, nonetheless, been given the opportunity to update their bibliographies and we hope that they still have confidence in what they wrote.

There are various debts which it is a pleasure to acknowledge. Professor John Crook was involved in the planning of this volume and we are much indebted to his erudition, sagacity and common sense. We very much regret that he did not feel able to maintain his involvement in the editorial process and we are the poorer for it. For the speedy and efficient translation of chapters 14c, 14d and 20 we are indebted, respectively, to Dr G. D. Woolf, Dr J.-P. Wild (who also provided valuable bibliographical guidance) and Edward Champlin. Mr Michael Sharp, of Corpus Christi College, Oxford and Mr Nigel Hope rendered meticulous and much-appreciated assistance with the bibliographies. David Cox drew the maps; the index was compiled by Barbara Hird.

To Pauline Hire and to others at Cambridge University Press involved in the supervision and production of this volume, we offer thanks for patience, good humour and ready assistance.

A.K.B E.J.С A.W.L

CHAPTER 1 THE TRIUMVIRAL PERIOD

CHRISTOPHER PELLING

i. the triumvirate

On 27 November 43, the Lex Titia initiated the period of absolute rule at Rome. Antony, Lepidus and Octavian were charged with 'restoring the state', triumviri rei publicae constituendae\ but they were empowered to make or annul laws without consulting Senate or people, to exercise jurisdiction without any right of appeal, and to nominate magistrates of their choice; and they carved the world into three portions, Cisalpine and Further Gaul for Antony, Narbonensis and Spain for Lepidus, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica for Octavian. In effect, the three were rulers. Soon there would be two, then one; the Republic was already dead.

Not that, at the time, the permanence of the change could be clear. As Tacitus brings out in the first sentence of the Annals, the roots of absolute power were firmly grounded in the Republic itself: there had been phases of despotism before - Sulla and Caesar, and in some ways Pompey too — and they had passed; the cause of Brutus and Cassius in the East was not at all hopeless. But what was clear was that history and politics had changed, and were changing still. The triumviral period was to be one of the great men feeling their way, unclear how far (for instance) a legion's loyalty could simply be bought, whether the propertied classes or the discontented poor of Rome and Italy could be harnessed as a genuine source of strength, how influential the old families and their patronage remained. At the beginning, there was a case for a quinquevirate, for Plancus and Pollio had played no less crucial a role than Lepidus in the manoeuvrings of mid-43. But Lepidus was included, Plancus and Pollio were not; and Lepidus owed that less to his army than to his clan and connexions. In 43 those seemed to matter; a few years later they were irrelevant, and so was he. Money too was a new, incalculable factor. In 44-43 the promises made to the troops reached new heights; and there was certainly money around — money of Caesar himself; money from the dead dictator's friends, men like Balbus and Matius; money that would be minted in plenty throughout the Roman world — no wonder that so many hoards from the period have been found, some of them vast.1 But would that money ever find its way to the

1 Crawford 1969(8 318) 117-31, 198) (в 320) 252.

i


Map г. Italy and the eastern Mediterranean,

legionaries? They did not know; no one knew. The role of propaganda was also changing. Cicero had been one master of the craft — we should not, for instance, assume that the Philippics were simply aimed at a senatorial audience; they would have force when read in the camps and market-places of Italy. But what constituency was worth making the propagandist's target? The armies, certainly: they were a priority in 44­43. But what of the Italians in the municipalities? Could they be won, and would they be decisive? Increasingly, the propaganda in the thirties turned in their direction, and they were duly won for Octavian. But was he wise to make them his priority — did they matter much in the final war? One may doubt it, though they certainly mattered in the ensuing peace. But it was that sort of time. No one knew what sources of strength could be found, or how they would count. The one thing that stood out was that the rules were new.

The difference is even harder for us to gauge than for contemporaries, simply because of our source-material. No longer do we have Cicero's speeches, dialogues and correspondence to illuminate events; instead we have only the sparsest of contemporary literary and epigraphic material, and have to rely on much later narratives - Appian, who took the story down to the death of Sextus Pompeius in his extant Civil Wars (he told of Actium and Alexandria in his lost Egyptian History)-, Cassius Dio, who gave a relatively full account of the triumviral period in Books xlvii-l; and Plutarch's fine Lives of Brutus and Antony. Suetonius too had some useful material in his Augustur, so does Josephus. The source-material used by these authors is seldom clear, though Asinius Pollio evidently influenced the tradition considerably, and so did Livy and the colourful Q. Dellius; but all the later authors may well have used other, more recherche material. Still, all are often demonstrably inaccurate, and there is indeed a heavy element of fiction throughout the tradition. Octavian's contemporary propaganda, doubtless repeated and reinforced in his Autobiography when it appeared during the twenties, spread stories of the excesses and outrages of Antony and Cleopatra; then the later authors, especially Plutarch, elaborated with romance, evincing sometimes more sympathy for the lovers, but scarcely more accuracy. And all these authors naturally concentrated on the principals themselves - Brutus, Cassius, Octavian, Sextus, Antony and Cleopatra. We are given very little idea of what everyday political life in Rome was like, how far the presence of these great men smothered routine activity and debate in the Senate, the courts, the assemblies and the streets. The triumvirs controlled appointments to the consulship and to many of the lower offices, but some elections took place as well; we just do not know how many, or how fiercely and genuinely they were contested.2 The plebs and

2 Cf. Frei-Stolba 1967 (c 92) 80-6; Millar 1973 (c 175) 51-3.

the Italian cities did not always take the triumvirs' decisions supinely; but we do not know how often or how effectively the triumvirs were opposed in the Senate, or how much freedom of speech and action senators asserted in particular areas. We hear little or nothing of the equiter. we cannot be sure that they were so passive or uninfluential. We no longer hear of showpiece political trials; it does not follow that they never happened. Everything in the sources is painted so starkly, in terms of the actions and ambitions of the great persons themselves. We have moved from colour into black and white.

ii. philippi, 42 b.c.

At Rome the year 42 began momentously. Iulius Caesar was consecrated as a god.[1] Roman generals were used to divine acclamations in the East, and divine honours had been paid in plenty to Caesar during his lifetime: but a formal decree of this kind was still different. Octavian might now style himself divifilius if he chose;4 and the implications for his prestige were, like so much else, incalculable. But a more immediate concern was the campaign against Brutus and Cassius in the East, a war of vengeance which the consecration invested with a new solemnity. Antony and Octavian were to share the command. The triumvirs now controlled forty-three legions: probably forty were detailed to serve in the East, though only twenty-one or twenty-two actually took part in the campaign and only nineteen fought at Philippi.[2] Lepidus would remain in control of Italy, but here too Antony's influence would be strong: for two of his partisans were also to stay, Calenus in Italy and Pollio in the Cisalpina, both with strong armies.

A preliminary force of eight triumviral legions, under C. Norbanus and L. Decidius Saxa, crossed the Adriatic early in the year: but the Liberators' fleets soon began to operate in the Adriatic, eventually some i jo ships under L. Staius Murcus and Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, and it would evidently be difficult to transport the main army. A further uncertainty was furnished by the growing naval power of Sextus Pompeius. His role in the politics of 44-43 had been slight, but he had appeared on the proscription list, and now it must have seemed inevitable that he would be forced into the Liberators' camp. By early 42 he had established himself in control of Sicily, his fleet was growing formidable, and he was already serving as a refuge for the disaffected, fearful and destitute of all classes. Many of the proscribed now swelled his strength. But Octavian sent Salvidienus Rufus to attack Sextus' fleet, and a great but indecisive battle ensued outside the Straits of Messana. After this Sextus' contribution was slight, and the Liberators gained very little benefit from potentially so valuable an ally. By summer, the main triumviral army managed to force its crossing.

In Macedonia the news of the proscriptions and Cicero's death had sealed C. Antonius' fate: he was at last executed, probably on Brutus' orders.[3] Brutus himself had been active in Greece, Macedonia, Thrace and even Asia through the second half of 43, raising and training troops and securing allies and funds. He finally began his march to meet Cassius perhaps in the late summer, more likely not until early 4г.[4] Cassius himself was delayed far away in the East till late in 43: even after Dolabella's defeat in July, there was still trouble to clear up — in Tarsus, for instance, where he imposed a fine of 1,5 00 talents, and in Cappadocia, where unrest persisted until Cassius' agents murdered the king Ariobar- zanes and seized his treasure in summer 42. The troubles were doubtless exacerbated by the harshness of Cassius' exactions, but the wealth of the East was potentially the Liberators' greatest asset (extended though they were to support their army, the triumvirs' position was even worse), and Cassius naturally wanted to exploit it to the full. It was perhaps not until winter, when the triumvirs had united and there were already fears that the first of their troops were crossing to Greece, that Cassius began the long westward march.[5] He and Brutus met in Smyrna in the spring of 42. Between them they controlled probably twenty-one legions, of which nineteen fought in the decisive campaign.[6]

The story went that they differed over strategy, Brutus wishing to return quickly to Macedonia, Cassius insisting that they first needed to secure their rear by moving against Rhodes and the cities of Lycia.[7]Cassius had his reasons, of course. Lycia and Rhodes were temptingly wealthy, and there were even some strategic arguments for delay: with the Liberators dominating the sea, the triumviral armies might be destroyed by simple lack of supplies. But still he was surely wrong. Philippi is a very long way east, and the battles there were fought very late in the year. The friendly states in Macedonia and northern Greece, who had welcomed Brutus with some spontaneity the previous year and whose accession Cicero had so warmly acclaimed in the Tenth Philippic, were by then lost, and their wealth and crops were giving vital support to the triumvirs, not the Liberators. Rhodes and Lycia had strong navies, but Cassius and Brutus had very litde to fear from them: the Liberators would dominate the sea in any case. It would surely have been better to move west quickly, provide better bases for their fleet in the Adriatic, and seek to isolate the advanced force on the west coast of Greece — to play the 48 campaign over again, in fact; and those eight unsupported legions of Norbanus and Saxa would have been hopelessly outmatched. The Liberators' brutal treatment of Rhodes and Lycia did nothing for their posthumous moral reputation. Perhaps it also cost them the war.

Cassius moved against Rhodes, Brutus against Lycia, and both won swift, total victories: in particular, the appalling scenes of slaughter and mass suicide in Lycian Xanthus became famous. Perhaps 8,500 talents were extorted from Rhodes; the figure of 15 о talents for Lycia is hard to believe.11 The other peoples of Asia were ordered to pay the massive sum of ten years' tribute, although the region had already been squeezed dreadfully in the preceding years. Some of the money was doubtless paid direct to the legionaries, some more was kept back for further distribu­tions during the decisive campaign: in the event the army stayed notably loyal, though this was doubtless not only for crude material reasons. The campaigns were rapid, but it was still June or July before Brutus and Cassius met again at Sardis, and began the northward march to the Hellespont, which they crossed in August.

Norbanus and Saxa had marched across Macedonia unopposed, and took up a position east of Philippi, trying to block the narrow passes; but the much larger force of Brutus and Cassius outflanked them, and reached Philippi at the beginning of September. Norbanus and Saxa fell back upon Amphipolis, where they linked with the main army under Antony: Octavian, weakened by illness, was following some way behind. Brutus and Cassius then occupied a strong position across the Via Egnatia. Within a few days Antony came up and boldly camped only a mile distant, in a much weaker position in the plain. Octavian, still sick, joined him ten days later. Despite the strength of their position, the Liberators at first sought to avoid a battle. They controlled the sea, the triumvirs' land communications to Macedonia and Thessaly were exposed, and Antony and Octavian would find it difficult to maintain a long campaign. But Antony's deft operations and earthworks soon began to threaten the Liberators' left, and Cassius and Brutus decided to

11 Plut. Brut. 32.4.

accept battle. There was not much difference in strength between the two sides: the triumviral legions had perhaps nearly 100,000 infantry, the Liberators something over 70,000; but the Liberators were the stronger in cavalry, with 20,000 against 13,000.[8]

Cassius commanded the left, Brutus the right, facing Antony and Octavian respectively. The battle began on Cassius' wing, as Antony stormed one of his fortifications. Then Brutus' troops charged, appar­ently without orders; but they were highly successful, cutting to pieces three of Octavian's legions and even capturing the enemy camp. Cassius fared much worse: Antony's personal gallantry played an important part, it seems, and he in turn captured Cassius' camp. In the dust and the confusion Cassius despaired too soon, and in ignorance of Brutus' victory he killed himself. So ended this first battle of Philippi (early October 42). On the same day (or so it was said) the Liberators won a great naval victory in the Adriatic, as Murcus and Ahenobarbus destroyed two legions of triumviral reinforcements.

Then there were three weeks of inaction. The first battle had done nothing to ease the triumviral problems of supply, and Antony was forced to detach a whole legion to march to Greece for provisions. But Brutus was under pressure from his own army to fight again; he was a less respected general than Cassius, and after the first battle he feared desertions; and he also soon found his own line of supplies from the sea threatened, for Antony and Octavian occupied new positions in the south. He felt forced to accept a second battle (23 October). His own wing may again have won some success, but eventually all his lines broke. The carnage was very great; and Brutus too took his own life. With him died the republican cause. Several of the surviving nobles also killed themselves, some were executed, others obtained pardon; a few fled to Murcus, Ahenobarbus, or Sextus Pompeius. Most of the troops came over to the triumvirs.[9]

Antony had long been known as a military man, but until now his record was not especially lustrous. His wing had played little part at Pharsalus, he had been absent from most of Caesar's other battles, and the outcome at Mutina had been shameful. All that was now erased. Octavian had given little to this victory; he had indeed been absent from the first battle — hiding in the marsh, and not even his friends could deny it.14 Before the fighting the forces had appeared equally matched: it was Antony's operations that forced the battles, his valour that won the day. He took the glory and the prestige. Now and for years to come, the world saw Antony as the victor of Philippi.

iii. the east, 42-40 b.c.

Antony's strength was reflected in the new division of responsibility and power. His task would be the organization of the East; he was also to retain Further Gaul, and take Narbonensis from Lepidus; he would lose only the Cisalpina, which was to become part of Italy. Italy itself was nominally left out of the reckoning, but Octavian was to be the man on the spot, with the arduous and unpopular task of settling the veterans in the Italian cities. He was also to carry on the war against Sextus Pompeius; he would retain Sardinia; and he too was to gain at Lepidus' expense, taking from him both provinces of Spain. Lepidus himself would be allowed only Africa; and there was some doubt even about that.15 Already, clearly, he was falling behind his colleagues. Antony was also to keep the greater part of the legions. A large number of the troops in the East had served their time, and were to be demobilized; the rest, including those who had just come over from Brutus and Cassius, were to be re-formed into eleven legions. Antony was to take six of these, Octavian five; he was also to lend Antony a further two. The position concerning the western legions is more obscure, but there too Antony's marshals seem to have controlled about as many legions as Octavian.[10]Antony promised that Calenus would transfer to Octavian two legions in Italy to compensate for the two he was now borrowing: but such promises readily foundered. The legions stayed with Calenus.

In Antony's lifetime two generals had successfully invaded Italy from their provinces, Sulla from the East and Caesar from Gaul. Both Gaul and the East would now fall to Antony. The menace was clear. The case of Gaul is particularly interesting. So much of the fighting and diplomacy of the last two years had been, in one way or another, a struggle for Gaul: and the province's strategic importance was very clear.[11] With hindsight, we always associate Antony with the East; Octavian's propaganda was to make great play with his oriental degeneracy. But nothing suggests that Antony yet planned any extended stay in the East. Naturally, he eyed its riches and prestige; he might of course have to play Sulla over again; but it was just as likely that he would return peaceably, as Pompey had returned in the sixties, to new power and authority in the West. In that case, and in the likely event of the triumvirs eventually falling out, Gaul would prove vital. Its governor would be Calenus, with eleven legions: Antony could rely on him. And, even if the Cisalpina were technically part of Italy, that too would not be out of Antony's control: Pollio was to be there, and he too had veterans under his command. The trusty Ventidius would also be active in the West, perhaps in Gaul, perhaps in Italy.[12] In the event Antony's possession of Gaul came to nothing, for Octavian took it over bloodlessly on Calenus' death in 40. It was that important historical accident that would turn Antony decisively towards the East. But, for the moment, possession of Gaul kept all his important options free.

The East came first. Its regulation would be a massive task, but a rewarding one; and it also offered the possibility of a war against Parthia. King Orodes had helped Cassius and Brutus,[13] and vengeance was in order; indeed, the republican commander Labienus was still at the Parthian court. No one yet knew what to expect of that; but, whether or not Parthia attacked Roman Asia Minor again, a Roman general could always attack Parthia, avenging Crassus' defeat, tickling the Roman imagination and enhancing his own prestige. He might even appear a second Alexander, if all went well: that always had a particular appeal to Roman fancy.

Antony spent the winter of 42/1 in Greece, where he made a parade of his philhellenism.[14] In spring 41 he crossed to Asia; it seems that he visited Bithynia, and presumably Pontus too, before returning to the Aegean coast.[15] At Ephesus, effectively Asia's capital, he was greeted as a god — such acclamations were by now almost routine in the East;[16] but exuberance soon turned sour, as Antony addressed representatives of the Asian cities and announced his financial demands. Yet again, the East found it had to fund both sides in a Roman civil war: and this time vast sums were needed to satisfy the legions — perhaps 15 0,000 talents if all the promised rewards were to be paid.[17] That was well beyond even the East's resources, especially after the exactions of Dolabella, then Cassius and Brutus. Antony eventually demanded nine years' tribute from Asia, to be paid over two years;[18] and he would be fortunate if the province could manage that. Asia's normal tribute was probably less than 2,000 talents a year.[19] Even allowing for contributions from the other eastern provinces and for extra sums from client kings and free cities,26 Antony could scarcely hope for more than 20,000 talents, the amount which Sulla raised in a similar levy after the Mithridatic War. And not all of that could be spent on rewards. There were the running costs of Antony's army and staff; there was a fleet to build, for Murcus, Ahenobarbus and Sextus were still worryingly strong;27 there were preparations to be made for war with Parthia. The troops were still calling for their rewards a year later.28

Yet there was generosity, too, in Antony's dispensations. He par­doned virtually all the supporters of Brutus and Cassius, excepting only those who had participated in the tyrannicide itself; that was more merciful than many expected.29 The states that had suffered worst from the Liberators, Lycia and Rhodes, were excused from the levies; later he extended a similar clemency to Laodicea and Tarsus. Rhodes was indeed given some new territory — Andros, Tenos, Naxos and Myndus.30 From mainland Greece the Athenians soon sent an embassy, and they too were favoured: they gained control of several islands, including Aegina. Antony was clearly favouring the great cultural centres. Such ostenta­tious philhellenism doubtless came naturally to him, but it might also prove politically valuable, and not merely in certain circles at Rome: in the East itself it had become fashionable for monarchs to show their enthusiasm for the great cities of the past by benefactions, and they might applaud Antony when he showed similar indulgence. It was also probably now, and in line with the same cultural policy, that he granted various privileges and immunities to 'the worldwide association of victors in the festival games' - an association which, it seems, included artists and poets as well as athletes.31 Antony spent the rest of summer 41 in touring the eastern provinces, imposing further levies and beginning to reorganize the administration after the disruption of the war: Antony himself could refer to Asia's need to recover from its 'great illness'.32 The range and deftness of his dispositions were eventually to be peculiarly impressive, but as yet there was only time for a few piecemeal measures. The highest priority had to be the regions furthest to the east, for they would be vital if it came to war with Parthia. Syria was particularly sensitive. Its cities had greeted Cassius with enthusiasm, and he had supported tyrants who were (it seems) disturbingly sympathetic to Parthia:33 most of them clearly had to go. So, probably, did Marion, tyrant of Tyre.34 Herod of Judaea was similarly compromised by his

App. BCiv. v. 55.230. 28 Dio xLvni.30.2.

Dio XLvm.24.6 — perhaps guesswork, but as often intelligent.

PossiblyAmorgustoo:cf./Gxii 5.58 and xii Jo/i/i. p. 102no. 38, withSchmitt i957(e872) 186 n. 2; contra, Fraser and Bean 1954 (e 828) 163 n. 3.

EJ2 300, RDCE 57; but it is possible that these privileges were not granted till 32: see RDGE adloc. and Millar 1973 (c 175) 55, 1977 (a 59) 4)6. Cf. also the triumviral inscription from Ephesus concerning travel-privileges for 'teachers, sophists and doctors': Knibbe 1981 (c 138).

52 In his letter to the Jews, Joseph. A] xiv.j 12.

According to App. BCiv. v.10.39,42> 'bey fled to the Parthian king after their deposition: not improbable, cf. Buchheim i960 (c 49) 27.

Tyrant in 42 when he invaded Galilee (Joseph. BJ 1.238-9, AJ xiv.298); but Antony's letter in 41 (next note) is addressed only to the magistrates and council (AJ xiv.314). Cf. Weinstock RE xiv 1803.

support for Cassius, but here Antony knew better than to play into the hands of the anti-Roman nobility. Herod and his brother Phasael were recognized as 'tetrarchs'; Judaea even recovered some territory it had lost to the Phoenician cities.35 And Egypt, with all its wealth, would inevitably be important. Momentously, Antony summoned its queen to meet him in Cilicia.

Plutarch and Shakespeare have immortalized the famous meeting on the Cydnus - the marvellous gilded barge, the purple sails, Cleopatra's display as Aphrodite; and, delightfully, much of the description is likely to be true.36 The queen's relations with Antony swiftly became more than diplomatic: their twins were born only a year later; and he spent the winter of 41-40 with her in Alexandria - a winter of careless frolics, so the story later went.37 But there were bloody elements too. Cleopatra was still insecure on her throne, threatened by her sister Arsinoe; Antony had Arsinoe dragged from sanctuary in Ephesus and murdered. Tyre had to surrender Serapion, the admiral who had betrayed Cleopatra's fleet to Cassius and Brutus; Arados was forced to give up a pretender to the Egyptian throne. Later writers naturally dwelt on the infatuation which forced Antony to such gruesomeness; but he could reasonably feel that it made political sense to favour Cleopatra in this way. He was regularly to favour strong, talented rulers, people like Polemo in Pontus or Herod in Judaea, people on whom he felt he could rely; and he could certainly rely on Cleopatra. Any infatuation was clearly under control; at least, for the present. In the spring of 40 he left her, and did not return for nearly four years.

For by the spring Alexandria was no place for Antony. Worrying news had been arriving about disorder in Italy, and now there was a more immediate threat in Asia Minor itself. During 41 Antony had probably been preparing for an offensive war against Parthia - by the end of the season he had indeed taken the border town of Palmyra in Syria. It seems that Parthia, naturally enough, responded by gathering a force in Mesopotamia to meet the evident threat. But, after Antony had departed to Alexandria for the winter, the Parthians decided to seize the moment and attack Roman Asia Minor themselves;38 and, far from waging a glorious campaign of vengeance, Antony had to hasten to put up what defence he could. The Parthian command was shared between the crown-prince Pacorus and Q. Labienus himself, son of that famous commander of Caesar who went over to Pompey at the beginning of the civil war. Brutus and Cassius had sent him to seek aid from Orodes, and

35 Tyre, Sidon, Antioch and Aradus: cf. Joseph. A] xiv.304-23, quoting verbatim Antony's letters to the Jews and to Tyre. * Plut. Ant. 26, with Pelling 1988 (в 138) aJloc.

Plut. Ant. 28-9; cf. App. BCiv. v.i 1.43-4.

Dio XLviii. 24.6-8, explicidy placing the decision after Labienus had heard of Antony's 'departure to Egypt'.

he had still been at the Parthian court when news of Philippi arrived. Wisely, he stayed where he was; and we need not doubt that he played an important role in persuading Orodes to attack now, when he rightly gauged that Antony might be vulnerable. It is easy but unfair to see Labienus as a latter-day Coriolanus, a renegade turning against his country through pique. In fact, republicans had long since been playing for Parthian support. Pompey had sought an alliance with Orodes against Caesar;39 a few years later the Parthians had been helping the republican troops of Q. Caecilius Bassus against Caesarians in Syria;40 Parthian contingents had even fought in the Philippi campaign.41 Over in the West, men could equally toy with the notion of exploiting Gallic nobles in a Roman civil war; might they not show themselves worthier champions of liberty than the Romans themselves?42 Doubtless there was hypocrisy in such proud phrases; but it was not confined to Labienus. He was indeed largely welcomed by the Roman garrisons in Syria,43 and apparently in Asia too.44

The campaign began in the early spring of 40. Labienus - now styling himself Q. LABIENUS PARTHICUS IMPERATOR45 - and Pacorus swiftly overran Syria: it had fallen before Antony could even reach Tyre, then he anyway found it necessary to sail west to Italy. The Parthian successes continued. Pacorus took Palestine, and installed the pretender Antigonus on the throne; Phasael was taken captive, then contrived to kill himself; Herod fled to Rome. Meanwhile Labienus swept through Cilicia and onward to the Ionian coast. The Carian cities of Alabanda and Mylasa fell to him, and Stratoniceia and Aphrodisias clearly suffered terribly;46 so perhaps did Miletus;47 Lydia too was overrun.48 Labienus met no effective resistance till 39, and by then northern Asia Minor had also felt his power; his agents were raising money even from Bithynia.49

And Antony could do nothing about it; for by now the news from Italy was even more alarming.

iv. perusia, 4i-4o b.c.

Even before Philippi, eighteen Italian cities had been marked down to provide land for the triumvirs' veterans; and it fell to Octavian to organize the settlement. It was a hateful task, involving widespread confiscation and intense misery for the dispossessed, who received no compensation: a hideous climax to a half-century of rural violence and horror. Virgil's Eclogues, especially the first and ninth, leave a moving imprint of a small farmer's suffering. But the tiniest holdings were eventually exempted, and so, often, were the largest: in particular, senators' estates were excluded; and, as in most of the cities some veteres possessores managed to hold on to their property, one may assume that the most influential local citizens often secured exemption. That left a great range of the middling well-off who were dispossessed, some who farmed at not much more than subsistence level, others who were quite wealthy people with slaves and fine villas. Their holdings were replaced by the standardized chequer-boards of the new allotments, usually it seems of up to 50 iugera for an ordinary soldier and perhaps 100 iugera or more for an officer. Eighteen cities turned out to be too few, and perhaps as many as forty were eventually involved. The most usual method was to extend the confiscations into the territory of a neighbouring town, as, famously, into Virgil's Mantua when nearby Cremona could offer too little land: 'Mantua, vae miserae nimium vicina Cremonae'.[20]

It all came at a time when Italy was anyway torn by famine, as Sextus grew stronger and his fleet prevented the vital corn-ships from coming to port. (Ahenobarbus' and Murcus' ships were doing the same, though still acting independently of Sextus.) Unsurprisingly there were violent protests, from landowners, from the magnates in the country-towns, from the urban plebs, even from the veterans themselves: they were becoming anxious at the slow pace of the settlement, and also concerned to protect the holdings of their own families and those of their dead comrades. There was soon rioting throughout Italy, with clashes between the new colonists and those they threatened; armed bands were roving the countryside. It was to take years for the disorder to settle.51 Antony's brother L. Antonius was consul in 41, and far from helping Octavian he served as a rallying-point for the discontented. Initially he was perhaps opposed by Antony's wife Fulvia,[21] but she soon lent her full support. To the dispossessed they urged resistance in the name of liberty and the established laws.[22] Perhaps we need not take their own commitment to freedom too seriously,[23] but it is interesting that they thought the slogans worth airing; and, indeed, old republicans were regularly to find Antony's cause more appealing than Octavian's.55 The veterans were encouraged to believe that all would be well once Antony returned: their debt of duty to the great man became another slogan. L. Antonius even, rather absurdly, took the cognomen Pietas.[24] There were charges, too, that Octavian was favouring his own veterans above Antony's in the distributions, and demands that the Antonian settle­ments should be supervised by Antony's own partisans.[25] The charges seem to have been conspicuously untrue: the Antonian colonies turned out to be the more numerous and the more strategically based.[26] But Octavian still felt it best to accede to the demand for Antonian commissioners, whatever might have been said at Philippi about his freedom to organize the settlement as he chose. That agreement of Philippi was indeed looking increasingly frail. The other Antonian marshals were less blatant than the consul Antonius, but they too were adding to the tension. Calenus never gave the promised two legions; Pollio blocked the route of Salvidienus Rufus as he tried to march with six legions to Spain.

At first Antony, far off in the East, thought it best to send no clear response, though he certainly knew what was going on. Everyone made sure of that, with Octavian sending confidential messengers and the colonies too taking care that their plight was known.[27] He had probably not planned or encouraged the troubles himself: it was a nice judgment whether he really stood to gain more than lose by the exchanges. Now he might naturally relish Octavian's embarrassment, but he could hardly come out openly against him; Octavian after all was merely pursuing his part of a shared bargain. Besides, Antony could not let his own veterans down, or allow Octavian to win more of their gratitude. He might need them again soon. A studied vagueness about his own views would indeed make sense, allowing him to exploit the outcome whichever way it went: there were times in antiquity when the slowness and unreliability of communications could be useful. But the consequences were very unfortunate. Unsure of his wishes, confused by various reports and missives,60 his supporters in Italy were bewildered. Just as on several occasions in 44 and 4 j, army officers and the veterans themselves pressed for a compromise,61 and so did two senatorial embassies to L. Antonius; but in the summer of 41 it came to war.

L. Antonius occupied Rome with an army, then marched north, hoping to link with Pollio and Ventidius. Operations in Etruria were complex and confused, but in the autumn L. Antonius was forced into Perusia and besieged by Octavian, Agrippa and Salvidienus Rufus. Still unsure of Antony's wishes, Pollio and Ventidius decided not to intervene. Plancus, arriving from the south, made the same choice. That made thirteen Antonian legions which stood by, inactive; L. Antonius himself had no more than eight.62 The siege wore on, bitterly. Both sides occupied idle moments by adding obscene graffiti to their sling-bullets, musing on Antonius' baldness, Octavian's backside, and Fulvia's private parts; Octavian himself wrote some peculiarly rude elegiacs at Fulvia's expense.63 The city eventually fell, amid scenes of dreadful bloodshed, in the early spring of 40. L. Antonius' veterans were spared: interestingly, their old comrades on Octavian's side interceded for them.64 Antonius himself was received honourably by Octavian, and indeed was sent to govern Spain (he died soon afterwards). Fulvia was allowed to flee to Athens. The ordinary dwellers of Perusia were not so fortunate. All the town-councillors except one were killed. Octavian's enemies soon elaborated the story, with talk of a human sacrifice of 300 senators and knights at the altar of Divus lulius\bb but the unembroidered truth was horrifying enough. The city itself was given over to Octavian's troops to plunder, and it burnt to the ground. A few years later the Umbrian Propertius chose to conclude his first book of witty love elegies with a disquieting and unexpected coda, two short stark poems on the suffering of the Perusine war (1.21, 22).

If a generation before Pompey had seemed an adulescentulus carnufex, Octavian was surely emerging as his equal. But he had not let the veterans down, and he had emphatically established his control of Italy. Soon, indeed, he would seem master of the entire West, when Calenus died in the summer of 40 and he swiftly occupied Gaul as well. Calenus' legions seem to have come over fairly readily, and so did two legions of Plancus in Italy. Perhaps they felt Octavian was now the more reliable champion of their interests.66

Cf. App. BCiv. v. 29.11 2 (a letter which Appian sensed might have been forged), 31.120.

App. BCiv. v.20.79-23.94.

App. BCiv. v.50.208, cf. 24.95, 29.114-30.115; Brunt 1971 (a 9) 494-6.

ILLRP 1106-18; cf. Hallett 1977 (c 109). Mart. x:.2o quotes Octavian's verses.

App. BCiv. v.46.196—47.200.

Suet. Aug. 15.1; cf. Dio XLVin.14.4: but App. BCiv. v.48.201-2 makes clear that senators and knights were spared. In general, Harris 1971 (e 55) 301—2.

Cf. Dio XLVin.20.3; Aigner 1974 (c 3) 113.

No wonder Antony was concerned. He hurried back to Italy in the midsummer of 40; and he arrived in some strength.

V. BRUNDISIUM AND MISENUM, 4O-39 B.C.

As relations had worsened, both Antony and Octavian had thought of wooing Sextus to their side. He was indeed worth wooing: Murcus had recently joined him, and Sextus' combined fleet now numbered some­thing like 250 ships.67 Now, in the summer of 40, Octavian married Scribonia, the sister of Sextus' associate and father-in-law L. Scribonius Libo. But Sextus was always particularly distrustful of Octavian, and preferred to look to Antony: indeed, Antony's mother Iulia had fled confidently to Sextus after Perusia's fall, which may suggest that there was already some secret understanding. Sextus sent a prestigious escort, including Libo, to accompany her to Antony, and took the opportunity to offer him an alliance. Antony replied in measured but encouraging terms: if it came to war with Octavian, he would welcome Sextus as his ally; if he and Octavian made their peace, he would try to reconcile Octavian with Sextus as well. The understanding was sufficiently strong for Sextus to raid the Italian coast in Antony's support;68 and a little later he occupied Sardinia and displaced Octavian's governor M. Lurius.

Octavian's ruthlessness in Italy, and perhaps his uncompromising response to L. Antonius' proclamations of freedom, had a further sequel. Domitius Ahenobarbus was also persuaded by the consul Pollio to join Antony, and his seventy ships joined Antony's two hundred as they sailed towards Brundisium. The alignments of early 43 had been paradoxically reversed. Republicans and Antony, with Sextus in the background, now stood together to confront the isolated Octavian; Brundisium might well turn out a Mutina in reverse, except that both Antony and Octavian were now much stronger. But, as in 43 but this time before serious bloodshed, Antony and Octavian were to find it prudent to come to terms.

There was some initial military activity. Brundisium, guarded by five of Octavian's legions, would not admit Antony's fleet, and was laid under siege; meanwhile Sextus was still continuing his raids on the coast. Octavian sent Agrippa to the town's aid, and himself swiftly followed; his troops were numerically superior69 but reluctant, and some of them turned back. There was some skirmishing; Antony had the better of it. But by now deputations of each army were urging compromise, and it was not at all clear that either side would fight. The two men's friends began to discuss terms, with Maecenas negotiating for Octavian, Pollio

App. BCh>. v.25.100; Veil. Pat. 11.77.3.

Dio XLvm.20.i—2, clearly dating to midsummer.. и Brunt 1971 (a 9) 497.

for Antony, and L. Cocceius Nerva as something of a neutral. Lepidus, unsurprisingly, was not represented. (He had been notably ineffectual in Italy during the Perusine War, and by now he was out of the way in Africa.) Thus was reached the Treaty of Brundisium (September 40).

The agreement closely duplicated the compact of Philippi, except for the important change that followed from Calenus' death. Octavian's occupation of Gaul was now recognized; he was also to have Illyricum. Antony was no longer simply entrusted with the organization of the East, he was also recognized as its master. The division of the world was correspondingly neater, with Antony controlling the East and Octavian the West: Scodra in Illyria was given unprecedented prominence as the dividing-point of the dominions. Lepidus might retain Africa, for what that was worth. Antony was to avenge Crassus by carrying through the Parthian War, Octavian to assert his claim to Sardinia and Sicily by expelling Sextus — unless (an interesting qualification) Sextus came to some agreement. There was also to be an amnesty for republican supporters. The consulships for the next few years were allocated; there was also a reallocation of legions, with Antony receiving some recom­pense for Calenus' army.[28]

This division of East and West was less clear-cut than it appeared. For instance, eastern as well as western states could address petitions to Octavian, and Octavian could answer them with authority;[29] he even sent cvtoAcu, a 'commission' (the Latin mandata), to Antony to restore loot to Ephesus.[30] But, rough though it was, the division had momen­tous consequences. First, Antony faced a more exclusively eastern future. If it came to war, he could no longer think of fighting the campaign of 49 over again, descending from the Alps as a new Iulius Caesar into a quavering Italy. Secondly, Octavian's position in Italy was a priceless asset. In 42 it might have seemed an embarrassment, with all those veterans to setde; but he had ridden that storm. Italy was now supposed to be shared by both men, open to each for his recruiting. But Octavian was there, Antony was not. It proved steadily more possible for Octavian to pose as the defender of Roman and Italian traditions against the monstrous portent of a degenerate Antony, declining into eastern weakness and eastern ways. The control of Italy, in 42 a sign of Octavian's inferiority, became an important element in his final success.

The new accord of Antony and Octavian was confirmed by a further bond, one which was to add richness to the latter romantic legend. Antony was now a widower, Fulvia having conveniently died in Greece. Octavia, the sober sister of Octavian, was to be his new bride. The great dynastic marriage was to seal the union of the dominions. There was no need to complicate the matter with any thoughts of Cleopatra.

Italy rejoiced at the treaty. It is probably wrong to connect Virgil's Fourth Eclogue with this: it was more likely written earlier, in the miserable days of late 41, and was designed to greet Pollio as he entered his consulship on the first day of 40. But more mundane celebration is clear enough. On 12 October the magistrates of Casinum erected a monument to mark the accord, a signum Concordiae.12, Coins too were struck in celebration, one for instance showing a head of Concordia and two hands around a caduceus (a symbol of concord) with the inscription M.ANTON.C.CAESAR.IMP.[31] Both Antony and Octavian celebrated ovationes as they entered Rome a few weeks later. But the festivities again swiftly soured. For one thing, the impoverished triumvirs again imposed unprecedented taxes.[32] Just as serious, Sextus - who could reasonably feel let down by the treaty's terms — was maintaining his pressure. There was fighting in Sardinia within a few weeks of the accord, with Octavian's general Helenus recapturing the island, then in his turn expelled by Sextus' admiral Menodorus. Sextus had by now taken over Corsica as well, and penetrated to Gaul and Africa;76 and his blockade of the Italian corn-ships was more effective than ever. By November Rome was again reduced to famine, and Antony and Octavian were confronted by violent popular riots. Both men also had troubles of their own, and the atmosphere was heavy with strain and suspicion. Antony executed his agent Manius, who had been very active in the Perusine War. Still more striking, Octavian recalled his general Salvidienus Rufus from Gaul, and had him killed. This extraordinary man had been consul designate for the following year, the first man since Pompey to be awarded a consulship before even entering the Senate: now his fall was just as abrupt. It was said that he had been plotting with Antony earlier in the year — indeed, that Antony frankly admitted it. That strains belief; but the truth is wholly elusive.77

Salvidienus' killing was prepared by the passing of the senatus consultum ultimum. The triumvirs' own extraordinary position was itself sufficient to authorize such emergency action; but, as usual with the s.c.u., it was moral rather than legal justification which was really in point. The Senate's moral backing was still worth having, and this was one of several occasions when the triumvirs paraded a certain constitutiona­lism. For instance, Octavia's marriage to Antony was technically difficult, for she had not completed the legal term of mourning after the death of her first husband, Marcellus: a dispensation was scrupulously secured from the Senate.[33] And Herod was to be recognized as king of Judaea: Antony and Octavian had agreed it - but the formal decision was deferred to the Senate, with Antony himself joining in the debate; a solemn procession to the Capitol followed, led by the consuls.[34] At some time during 39 the triumvirs also secured a senatorial decree to ratify all their past and future acts:[35] constitutionalism again, though of a rather quizzical kind. Like L. Antonius two years earlier, they evidently felt that traditionalist public sentiment was worth impressing.

But peace would surely impress people more. The Brundisium agree­ment had explicitly envisaged the possibility of coming to terms with Sextus as well. But it was not clear if Sextus himself would agree: there seems to have been some difference of view among his supporters, who were very disparate. The pirate-admiral Menodorus, we are told, pressed Sextus to continue the war, Staius Murcus and others took the opposite view; and here too the issues were fogged by suspicion, with Sextus by now deeply distrustful of Murcus. Murcus duly died, mysteriously. But Sextus still saw the force of his advice: he himself had always been realistic about his chances in a full-scale war. There was a preliminary meeting of negotiators at Aenaria in spring, 39. Scribonius Libo, once again emerging in a context of conciliation, represented Sextus. Octavian, Sextus and Antony then met at Cape Misenum in full summer, perhaps as late as August,[36] and terms were agreed. Sextus was to retain Corsica as well as Sicily and Sardinia, and take the Peloponnese as well; he was to hold this dominion for five years. Consulships were agreed for every year till 32: Libo was promised 34 and Sextus 33, just after the expiry of his quinquennium. For the present, he could have an augurship. In return for all this, he was to raise his blockade of Italy and remove his troops, to undertake to build no more ships and to receive no more runaway slaves, to guarantee Rome's corn supply, and to 'keep the sea free of pirates'. His supporters were to be allowed to return to Italy, with an amnesty for the proscribed: they were to receive some compensation for their vanished property. His slave supporters were to be freed, and his free soldiers were to receive the same rewards on retirement as those of the triumvirs. These last concessions were ones that Antony and Octavian were doubtless very ready to grant: they would placate many of Sextus' supporters, and, if it came again to war, he would not find it easy to recall them to arms.[37]There was also some more constitutionalist talk, this time more grandly of 'restoring the Republic': in eight years' time, perhaps.[38]

The agreement was celebrated by a banquet on Sextus' galley — once again rich material for later legend, with tales of the swashbuckling Menodorus eyeing the cable and thinking of cutting it, to make Sextus master of the world.[39] The agreement was indeed a precarious one, though for less romantic reasons - largely because it diminished and threatened Octavian distinctly more than Antony. It also freed Antony to return to the East. He left Rome shortly after 2 October 39, accompanied by Octavia.[40] He was not to see the city again.

vi. the east, 39—37 b.C.

During the summer of 39 news from the East had been reaching Rome. It was astoundingly good. A year earlier Antony had despatched Ventidius to try to recover Asia Minor:[41] and it seems that Ventidius took Labienus by surprise, forced him to flee eastwards, and finally trapped and defeated him near the Taurus range, perhaps at the Cilician Gates (midsummer 39). Labienus himself fled to Cilicia, but was overtaken there and presumably killed. Later in the summer Ventidius won another great victory at Mt Amanus over Phranipates, the satrap of the newly conquered Syria. Phranipates was killed, and the rest of the Parthian forces fell back beyond the Euphrates. Ventidius had done magnificently, and by the autumn of 39 it was already time for the Senate to reward certain states for their resistance to Labienus — Stratoniceia, Aphrodisias-Plarasa, and (now or a little later) Miletus.[42] The war seemed over. Indeed, there was uncomfortably little left for Antony to do himself.

Still, after spending the winter in Athens he prepared to depart eastwards in the spring of 38. There were a few preliminaries to take care of. The Parthian evacuation made this a sensible time to reorganize some parts of the East, at least provisionally; this time he concentrated on a great swathe from north to south of central Asia Minor. Twenty-five years earlier Pompey had ascribed a considerable tract of western Pontus to Bithynia, but allowed control to remain largely with the cities he had fostered: Antony now reversed the process, weakening the cities and establishing a new strong kingdom of Pontus.88 It was to be ruled by Darius, a descendant of Mithridates Eupator. Deiotarus of Galatia had died, and his possessions in Pontus were assigned to Darius; however, Deiotarus' grandson Castor was recognized as king of Galatia, and he was also allowed the interior of Paphlagonia.89 So far Antony was following the traditional Roman policy of supporting kings from the old regal families; thus also Lysanias was confirmed as king of Ituraea.90 And so far he was not especially concerned with rewarding past loyalties: Lysanias for one had taken the Parthian side.[43] But he also had new, able favourites of his own. Amyntas, once Deiotarus' secretary, was given Pisidia; Polemo of Laodicea-ad-Lycum, whose father Zeno was one of the few who resisted Labienus, received a dominion combining the western part of Cilicia with some parts of Lycaonia.[44] Like Ituraea and parts of Pontus, these were rough, unpacified regions: the new kings evidently had work to do. It was also probably now that Cleopatra was given Cyprus and a region of eastern Cilicia: she too perhaps had a task, for Cilicia and Cyprus were peculiarly rich in timber, and she was presumably to build ships to replenish Antony's fleet.[45] Herod of Judaea also received some further backing. Ventidius and his lieutenant Poppaedius Silo had apparently not tried very hard to displace the rival claimant Antigonus for the throne:[46] he had more pressing concerns. Stronger support could now be given. It seems that Antony began, rather oddly, by recognizing Herod as 'king of the Idumaeans and Samarians': possibly he acknowledged that Jerusalem was for the moment beyond recovery, and granted him this new title in provisional compensation.[47]

It was also now that Antony entered on a new religious policy, and began to insist more emphatically on his identification with Dionysus:[48]a god of liberation and eastern conquest, of course, as well as of vitality and exhilarating release. In Athens, he was duly celebrated as deos Neos

Magie 1950 (e 8jj) 1282П. 15. If Reynolds 1982(8270) doc. 7 refers to the Labienus war (cf. lines 3-4 with her commentary), rewards were also voted to Rhodes, Lycia, Laodicea and Tarsus. On the campaign in general cf. Sherwin-White 1984 (a 89) 303-4.

App. BCiv. v.75.319; cf. esp. Buchheim i960 (c 49) 49-51; Hoben 1969 (E 840) 34-9.

Cf. esp. Hoben 1969 (e 840) 116—19. 50 Cf. Dio xlix.32.3j Buchheim i960 (c 49) 18-19.

" Joseph. A] xiv.3^o, BJ 1.248.

72 App. BCiv. v.73.319 with Gabba 1970 (в 55)0*/on 'he date, Buchheim i960 (c 49) j 1-2. The realm extended as far as Iconium (Strab. xii. 5.3-6.2 (j68Q);cf. Mitford 1980 (e 860) 1242. For Zeno's resistance to Labienus cf. Strab. xiv.2.24— 5 (660Q.

,J Cf. Joseph. A] xiv.392-7, 406, BJ 1.288-92, 297; Buchheim i960 (c 49) 67.

Strab. xiv. j. 2-3 (669C), 671,68 j: cf. R. Meiggs, Trees and Timber in the Ancient Mediterranean World (Oxford, 1982) 117. On the date cf. the inscription published by Pouilloux 1972 (c 189), attesting an Egyptian orpanfyos of'Cyprus and Cilicia' in 38-7; Mitford 1980 (e 860) 1293-4.

App. BCiv. v.75.319 w'th Gabba 1970 (в 5 5) adloc.; Buchheim i960 (c 49) 66-7.

Dio xlvin.39.2.

Aiovvoos, in 39/8,[49] and he and Octavia were hailed as deot Evepyerat.[50]There were even perhaps hints of a divine marriage between Antony- Dionysus and the city's goddess Athena;[51] he issued cistophori represent­ing himself as Dionysus;[52] and stories were later told about his extravagant Dionysiac displays - a platform above the theatre, decorated with Dionysiac tambourines and fawnskins, where he drank with his friends all day; then torchlit Dionysiac processions to the Acropolis.101 Some of the detail is surely fantastic, but the general policy makes sense. His future now more clearly lay in the East; eastern states often worshipped their rulers; and he would be the greatest master of all. Divinity was the only comfortable status.

In spring 38 Antony made a rapid visit to Brundisium, where Octavian had invited him for talks about the worsening situation in Italy; but Octavian did not arrive. Antony issued a public letter of rebuke, and crossly sailed back. This irritating distraction must have delayed his departure to the East (that may even, in part, have been Octavian's intention), but Antony still reached Syria, with an army, by midsummer. He arrived to discover that Ventidius' triumphs had continued. The winter of 39/8 had been spent in consolidation: there was little sign, for instance, of any more energetic support for Herod, who had returned to Judaea during the summer and linked with Silo's troops. By the autumn he was encamped against Jerusalem, but Silo was still unco-operative, and his army soon scattered to its winter billets. In the spring Ventidius recalled Silo to Syria, anticipating a further attack from Pacorus. It soon came, but Ventidius had time to occupy a strong position at Gindarus, north east of Antioch in the Cyrrhestica region of Syria. As at the Cilician Gates the previous year, the Parthians attacked rashly; as at Mt Amanus, their leader fell, and they were wholly routed.102 Ventidius most effectively brought many of the Syrian cities over by sending around Pacorus' head on a stake.

Now there was little left to do. It was even possible to support Herod more openly, and Ventidius sent two legions and 1,000 cavalry to his help. (They turned out to be notably ineffective.) Otherwise there was only a pocket of resistance in Commagene, whose wealthy king

Antiochus was recalcitrant, refusing to surrender the Parthian survivors who had fled to him. Ventidius besieged him in Samosata, then Antony arrived to take over the campaign. Antiochus was eager to negotiate, but Antony refused; yet the siege proved more difficult than he expected, and he later, rather ingloriously, accepted terms.[53] Ventidius returned to Rome, and celebrated the triumph he richly deserved on 27 November 38; he died a little later, and was given a state funeral. Antony returned to Athens, where he spent the winter of 38/7. He had little more to fear from the Parthians in Asia Minor; it might even be time to think of carrying the war into Parthia itself, the richest way of winning glory that could be imagined. But first events in the West were again calling for attention.

vii. tarentum, 37 b.c.

The pact of Misenum was fragile. Antony, now a wary ally of both Sextus and Octavian, was the man who could preserve it: but he was soon away in the East, and the uneasy division of the West between Sextus and Octavian began to show strain. Signs of a rift emerged only a few months after the pact, when in autumn 39 Octavian divorced Scribonia, the bride he had married when courting Sextus' favour the previous year. (A few months later he married Livia instead: a love- match, perhaps, as people said[54] - but she certainly linked him to another great clan, and that was not imprudent.) And the Italian famine continued, with pirates continuing to ravage the shore of Campania and harry the grain ships: Octavian publicly blamed Sextus. Antony too was contributing to the instability, prevaricating about the surrender of the Peloponnese to Sextus. During the winter of 39/8 matters came to a head. Sextus' admiral Menodorus went over to Octavian and gave him control of Sardinia and Corsica, three legions and sixty ships. War between Octavian and the outraged Sextus naturally followed, and in spring 3 8 there were two great sea-battles, one off the coast of Cumae near Naples and one in the Straits of Messana. Both were considerable victories for Sextus, but he still followed his distinctive defensive policy, and did not press home his advantage. Octavian retired safely to Campania.

Antony must have heard of this with mixed feelings. He will not have been dismayed to see Sextus and Octavian assiduously weakening one another; but one of them might win, and an undisputed master of the

West was a disconcerting prospect. Before the two battles in the spring of 38, he had been worried enough to make the journey back to Brundisium, despite his urgency to move to the eastern front; at this point he was still pressing Octavian to avoid a breach with Sextus.[55]Octavian had then avoided a meeting, but after his defeats stood in much greater need of Antony's support. In Autumn 38 Octavian sent Maece­nas to seek a pledge of help against Sextus. We are told that Antony gave it;[56] and indeed the odds now favoured Sextus, so that moderate aid to Octavian might seem the best way to preserve the balance of power. But Antony's pledge doubtless carried its conditions, and relations were very strained.

Octavian had further problems too. There had been trouble in Gaul since the previous year, which had culminated in a full-scale revolt in Aquitania. By the end of 3 8 this had been dealt with by Agrippa, but this merely replaced one embarrassment with another: Agrippa's glory contrasted too obviously with Octavian's own defeats, and Agrippa tactfully went without a triumph.[57] And Octavian's control of Italy was not beyond reproach. Public life was unusually disordered, with a shortage of candidates for some offices, while in other cases magistrates were hastening to resign their offices: in 3 8 there were no less than sixty- seven praetors.[58] And the popular riots were continuing, including some support of a new favourite, a certain M. Oppius. Predictably, he soon died.[59] Any pretence of normality was wearing very thin.

Another meeting was clearly needed. Antony sailed for Italy in early spring 37: he was accompanied by 300 ships. The menace was unmistak­able. Perhaps he claimed he was coming to help Octavian against Sextus;[60] if so, he was naturally disbelieved, and it seems that the townsfolk of Brundisium refused to admit the fleet.[61] Bewildered and nervous, they doubtless trusted that Octavian would applaud them. Antony sailed to Tarentum instead, and Octavian travelled there to meet him. Lepidus was again unrepresented. Negotiations were slow, and it was perhaps latejuly or August before agreement was reached.[62] The questions were indeed delicate: it was certainly not clear that it was in

Antony's interests to support Octavian at all emphatically against Sextus. The mediation of Octavia, it was said, was crucial113 - possibly romantic fiction once again, but she may indeed have played a part.

Finally Antony agreed to back Octavian against Sextus, who was stripped of his priesthood and his promised consulship. Octavian was to carry through the war, but it was agreed that he should delay his attack on Sextus to the following year: it was doubtless Antony who pressed for this, for it offered him the hope of synchronizing his invasion of Parthia with this further war in Italy. The propaganda possibilities were clear: while Sextus and Octavian were refusing to let the civil wars die, Antony would be doing what Roman generals should always have done, advancing the empire and spilling foreign blood. It was all to work out rather differently. They further agreed that Octavian would give Antony 20,000 men and 1,000 elite troops in return for 120 men-of-war and ten skiffs.114 The deal made sense, for Octavian vitally needed reinforce­ments for the fleet which Sextus had damaged so badly, while Antony had recently been unable to recruit Italian troops. But, from his viewpoint, there was one drawback. He left the ships there and then. Octavian merely promised the troops. They never came.

There was a further problem, of a constitutional sort. The triumvirate had formally expired at the end of 38, leaving the triumvirs' position uncomfortably vague. Probably nobody knew whether their power was now illegal. The triumvirate was an irregular magistracy: to which regular magistracy should it be regarded as analogous? To the consul­ship, which had a fixed term of one year, but formally ended when the consuls abdicated their office on the last day? On the one hand, the term had passed; on the other, the triumvirs had not abdicated.115 Or perhaps it was closer to a provincial governorship, normally assigned by senatus consultum, which continued until a successor was appointed and arrived? Here there were no successors. In some ways the vast task rei publicae constituendae left the triumvirs more closely analogous to a dictator, who was similarly appointed for a specified purpose and held his office until he abdicated on completion of the task: now the res publico was certainly not yet constituta. But the early, traditional dictatorship had also had a maximum duration of six months, and that had been scrupulously observed:116 what would have happened had a dictator outstayed that

App. ВСя>.9з. 390-1,96.397; Dio xlviii. 54. j;and especially Plut. Ant. 35. Wallmann 1989(0 243) 181-2 thus explains Octavia's prominence on coins of 37-36 celebrating the accord (CRR 12 56, 1262, 1266).

App. BCiv. V.9J.396-7; cf. (with slightly different, less credible numbers) Plut. Ant. 35.7; Brunt 1971 (a 9) J02.

The constitutional puzzle certainly exercised the minds of contemporaries: cf. the elaborate treatment of similar issues at Livy, ш.36.9, 38.1, И-5-6 (decemvirs not laying down their office when their term expired; the decemvirate was an irregular magistracy like the triumvirate); ix.33—4 (similar behaviour by a censor). 116 Cf. Mommsen 1887 (a 6;) n.i3 161.

period? No one knew. Admittedly, the more recent (and very uneasy) precedents of Sulla and Caesar furnished a dictatorship without any such legal maximum term.117 But those dictatorships had been voted in those terms, without any time-limitation. Now it was precisely the specifica­tion of a limit which differentiated the triumvirate: how crucial was this difference, and who was to say? Perhaps the closest analogy was to those few provincial commands assigned by lex rather than s.c., such as Caesar's command in Gaul. That had carried a fixed term - but the events of 51-50 had shown that the legal implications of its expiry were tangled and unclear. Were further confusion required, it was offered by the triumvirs' provincial commands. They had assigned these to themselves by virtue of their triumviral powers, but had also had them ratified by s.c.; it was not at all clear that their provincial imperium lapsed when their triumviral powers lapsed.118 The analogy with a regular proconsul, assigned a province by s.c., was close.

In short, the legal position was hopelessly confused. Perhaps it did not matter very much: the realities of power were clear enough. But the events of 51-50 had shown that legal issues could be important, at least in propaganda terms; and, anyway, the triumvirs had recently been making a show of their constitutionalism. It would certainly be comfor­table to give their status more clarity. Reassuringly, the triumvirate was now formally renewed for another five years, very probably to expire on the last day of 33,119 and a little later this was ratified by the people of Rome.120 But the constitutional tangle was to return.

viii. the year 36 b.c.

While Antony and Octavian had been engaged at Tarentum, their lieutenants had been busy. Agrippa, consul in 37, had considerably strengthened Octavian's fleet; he had also recruited vast numbers of new seamen — 20,000 slaves were freed to allow them to serve.121 Most impressively of all, he had constructed the portus Iulius in Campania by linking the shallow Lucrine lake by a canal to the much deeper Avernus, then removing the dyke separating the Lucrine lake from the sea. The work was completed by two tunnels connecting the Avernus with

1,7 Cf. Mommsen 1887 (a 65) ii.i3 703-), 714-16. Caesar's dictatorship had originally been annual, then formally extended to ten years and then 'for life': MRR n »72, 285 n.i, 294-5, 30;, 317-18. 118 Cf. p. 20 and n.8o; Girardet 1990 (c 97). 119 See Endnote pp. 67-8.

130 Thus App. III. 28.80,... Ktu о Siĵ/ios (irtKtKvpwKci. There is no inconsistency here (as is often suggested) with BCiv. v.95.398, where the triumvirs agree the renewal oiStv tr 1 той Srjfiov Вет/ветте;. In BCiv. Appian is simply contrasting the procedure in 37 with that of November 43, when the triumvirs needed a lex to establish them in office (BCiv. iv.7.27). Their powers now authorized them (it could be claimed) to renew their own term: it still suited their current policy to obtain ratification for their acts from the Senate (cf. p. 20 and n. 80) or, as here, the people.

121 Suet. Aug. 16. i; cf. Brunt 1971 (a 9) 508.

Cumae and the beach.[63] Sextus had recently been concentrating his attacks on the Campanian coast:[64] now the tunnels would allow Agrippa to convey supplies safely, while the double lake would afford a protected expanse of water for training crews.

In the East, meanwhile, Herod at last received effective aid. C. Sosius, Antony's governor of Syria and Cilicia, first subdued the Aradians (a Syrian people who were still disaffected), then arrived in Palestine. The war had been dragging on through 3 8, with Antigonus having much the better of it; Herod himself had been absent for a good part of the summer, pressing Antony at Samosata for more energetic help. In late 3 8 two legions had been sent ahead under Herod's direct command (a most irregular procedure): he promptly won a considerable victory at Isana. The rest of Judaea, except for the capital, quickly fell to him, and in spring 3 7 he resumed the siege of Jerusalem itself. Sosius' new force then arrived, and in July the city fell, very bloodily.[65] Herod became king; Antigonus was captured, and when Antony returned to the East he yielded to Herod's pressure and had him publicly executed at Antioch.

Herod was not specially loved by his countrymen, but his decisive victory still added to the stability of the East. What is more, the Parthian threat seemed to have disappeared. Indeed, there was a new dynastic crisis within Parthia itself. Orodes abdicated in late 3 8 or 3 7, and from his thirty sons he unwisely selected Phraates as successor, who promptly killed his father, all his brothers, and his son. The Parthian nobility soon revolted: the prospects for a Roman invasion had seldom been better.

But there was no time to exploit the crisis in 37: Antony did not arrive back in the East until autumn. He spent the winter at Antioch, continuing his new administrative arrangements, and this time the reorganization was more extensive. In 39 he had already given hints of what was to come, when he had strengthened the kingdom of Pontus and begun to favour new men like Amyntas and Polemo. Now these policies were taken much further, and the East began to fall into a number of large client kingdoms, each ruled by an efficient and loyal prince. The newly enlarged kingdom of Pontus would more or less do, but the king would not; Darius was replaced by Polemo, who in his small dominion of 39 had evidently proved himself worthy of promotion.[66]Castor in Galatia was similarly replaced. (It is possible that Darius and Castor had both conveniently died; but the coincidence is suspicious, and it is more likely that both were deposed.) Castor's son Deiotarus

Philadelphia was allowed to inherit Paphlagonia,[67] but Galatia passed to Amyntas;[68] and the realm was greatly expanded, to include parts of Pamphylia and Polemo's former domain in Lycaonia.[69] The old boundaries of Cappadocia would serve adequately, but there had been dynastic unrest there for years. On Ariobarzanes' death in 42 the kingdom should have passed to his brother Ariarathes, a man of dubious loyalty to Rome; Antony preferred a certain Archelaus Sisines from Pontic Comana, and probably made his favour clear from the outset.[70]But in 42—41 it was not yet time to overthrow the legitimate heir in favour of an outsider. By 37—36 Antony's policy of favouring such men was more securely established, and Archelaus was duly confirmed as king.[71] Not that the great kings controlled everything: for instance, the priest-kings in southern Pontus, at Comana, Megalopolis and Zela, were retained and strengthened; several other minor princes were created, Cleon in Mysia, Adiatorix in Heraclea Pontica; in Upper Cilicia Tarcon- dimotus, a pirate in his youth, was encouraged in his small kingdom.[72]But it was Amyntas, Polemo and Archelaus who along with Herod would keep Asia Minor safe. It was a wise policy, and Antony chose his men well. The system, together with most of the individual kings, was to be continued by Octavian after Antony's fall: Archelaus, for instance, reigned for a full fifty years.[73]

Another monarch, too, had her realm increased. Cleopatra was given parts of coastal Phoenicia and Nabataean Arabia, and also the rich balsam woods around Jericho in Judaea.[74] Lysanias of Ituraea was executed, and she took over his kingdom along with some adjoining territory;[75] perhaps she had her dominion in Cilicia extended, and, now or earlier, she also became mistress of Crete and Cyrene.[76] Not all of this served Rome's interests - for instance, now or in 34 both Herod and Malchus of Arabia leased back from Cleopatra the land she now gained. The rent was vast, 200 talents apiece: Cleopatra rather than Rome was clearly the beneficiary of that arrangement. But the grants still fitted Antony's policy of strengthening loyal monarchs, and so far nothing suggests that Antony was favouring her unduly. Amyntas and Polemo did better out of this reorganization than she did, and indeed Antony now as later refused to give her parts of Judaea, Phoenicia, Syria and Arabia which she coveted.136 But he seems to have advertised their union in other ways. She travelled to meet him in Syria in late 37; in 36 she bore him another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. He also acknowledged paternity of the twins born in 40. This was not yet clearly a marriage - at least, not in Roman eyes, though Egyptians themselves may not have known quite what to make of it.137 But it was still a scandal, and one which left Antony peculiarly vulnerable to Octavian's propaganda. The Parthian War afforded Antony the chance of a propaganda triumph, one which might impress Italian sentiment much more than Octavian's con­tinuation of the civil war with Sextus.138 That was now compromised.

Why did Antony do it? Perhaps Cleopatra needed her position within Egypt strengthened (we know little of the internal history of her reign, but Ptolemies were often insecure on their thrones); but this seems an extreme method. More likely, Antony was hoping to strengthen his own position in the East, at least within Egypt itself. This festive connexion with an eastern queen — almost indeed a sacred marriage of Dionysus- Osiris and Isis - might be as popular there as it turned out to be unpopular in Italy. Glamour was important to Cleopatra in articulating her style of leadership; it was a style which Antony could naturally share; and eastern support would be crucial if it came to war with Octavian - that, surely, was already clear. But it is still surprising that he risked outraging Italian opinion quite so much; was Italy yet such a lost cause? Perhaps he thought he was doing nothing more outrageous than Caesar had done; Caesar had even installed Cleopatra at Rome; but Caesar did not have a master of propaganda to oppose him, and Antony should have sensed the danger. We rarely see Antony's political naivety so clearly, and it does remain quite possible that the personal factor was indeed important, with Cleopatra leading Antony against his political judgment. Not that he was infatuated beyond control: his refusal of the territory she desired is enough to show this; and he was shortly to leave her again, for a Parthian War which (he must have expected) would keep them apart for several years. But romance could still have been there.

Still, romance did not impede the preparations for Parthia. The signs

Joseph. A] xv.79, 91-4, 95, 258; cf. 24-5, 74-9.

Pelling 1988 (в 138) 219-20. 13« See above, p. 26.

of unrest at the court continued to come; in 37 or early 36 one Monaeses, from a great Parthian family, arrived with promises of a wider defection among the nobility. Monaeses' role is hard to gauge, and possibly he was playing a double game;[77] still, his news was not implausible, given Phraates' barbarity - Parthians might after all be as ready to exploit Roman help in their internal conflicts as the Roman Labienus had been to exploit the Parthians. There was obviously much to be said for striking quickly; but Crassus' fate in 5 3 had shown the vulnerability of a Roman force in the open plains of Mesopotamia, and Antony preferred a plan on the lines of the one which (it seems) Iulius Caesar was intending to follow in 44[78] — to take the slower northern route through Armenia into Media Atropatene, a rougher and hillier terrain where the Parthian cavalry would be less effective. The long-standing bad feeling between the kings of Armenia and Media (both named Artavasdes) offered the further possibility of exploiting one against the other. Presumably the Armenian Artavasdes would be the Romans' natural ally as they attacked his Median enemy, and it seems that he was already urging Antony on;[79]but both kings were very uncertain quantities. In 37 or early 36 P. Canidius Crassus made a firmer understanding with the Armenian Artavasdes, then passed on in the spring to defeat the Iberi and Albani: this remarkably swift campaign protected what would now become the Roman rear left. In the event the rear would be more exposed than it now seemed, but that was because of Artavasdes' unreliability; and, without a much more extensive campaign, that was a risk the Romans had to take.

Antony had by now sent to Phraates demanding the return of the eagles captured at Carrhae: a firm statement that, whatever Octavian might be saying at Rome, Antony's agreed task of 'avenging Crassus' was still incomplete.[80] Phraates of course refused - the insecure new monarch could hardly make so humiliating a concession — and Antony's muster continued. He first marched with his Syrian army to Zeugma. That might suggest that he was planning to follow Crassus' policy and strike direct at Mesopotamia, but that strategy would only work if the advance was to be unopposed. In fact Phraates swiftly concentrated the Parthian army in Mesopotamia. That ruled out Crassus' plan, and

Antony struck north instead towards Armenia. There he linked with Canidius' army, perhaps at the plateau of Erzerum, perhaps at Artax- ata;143 he was also joined by contingents from the allied kings, including Polemo.144 As Armenia had evidently been selected as the mustering- point some months before, Antony must always have expected that the northern route would turn out to be the only practicable one; otherwise, indeed, Canidius' preliminary campaign would make little sense; and it looks as if the Zeugma exercise had been no more than an elaborate feint.145 In all Antony had perhaps sixteen legions and a mass of auxiliaries,146 and Artavasdes of Armenia supplied a large contingent of cataphracts and lighter-armed cavalry, perhaps as many as 16,000.147 It was a vast army indeed, distinctly greater than that with which Caesar had conquered Gaul.

Antony was later accused of wrecking the campaign for Cleopatra's sake. He had begun it too late in the season, they said, because he had dallied too long at Alexandria; then he had conducted the invasion itself too hurriedly, eager to return to her side.148 But the points were hardly fair. The muster in Armenia was perhaps in June or July; what with Canidius' preliminary campaign and the long preliminary marches,149 it was astounding it could be so soon. Perhaps there was still a case for waiting till 3 5, keeping the army concentrated in the East ready for an early strike in the spring;150 but there was also the Parthian dynastic crisis to consider, as well as the chance of outflanking the Parthian army by a swift advance now — a ploy in which Antony very nearly succeeded. Of course Parthia would not fall in a single campaign: Iulius Caesar had planned on three years,151 and that was reasonable. But it was also reasonable to hope for a solid victory or so in Media, bolstering the morale of the Roman army and Phraates' internal enemies; then, if necessary, Antony could withdraw and winter in Armenia (though hardly at Cleopatra's side). Antony's strategy made sense.

Erzerum: Kromayer 1896 (c 142) 82. Artaxata: Sherwin-White 1984 (a 89) 311.

Polemo: Plut. Ant. 38.6; Dio xlix.2ĵ.4. Other kings: Plut. Ant. 37.3.

So Kromayer 1896 (c 142) 100-1; contra, Sherwin-White 1984 (a 89) 309—10.

1« Brunt 1971 (a 9) 503-4, Sherwin-White 1984 (a 89) 311 n.37.

So Plut. Ant. 50.3, though at 37.3 he wrote of'6,000' at the initial muster in Armenia. Strab. xi.14.9—12 (530C) speaks of 6,000 cataphracts 'besides the other cavalry', which may explain Plutarch's confusion; or both Plutarch's figures may be right, if the mass of the cavalry joined Antony in eastern Armenia after the muster; or 16,000 perhaps represented the paper strength, 6,000 the force which materialized (Sherwin-White 1984 (a 89) 311 n.37).

Livy, Per. 130: cf. Plut. Ant. 37.5-58.1 with Pelling 1988 (в 138)adloc. The criticism probably derived from Q. Dellius, an eyewitness of the campaign (Strab. xi. 13.1-4 (5 23Q) and no friend of Cleopatra.

Itwassome 1,000 Roman miles from Zeugma to the Median border (Strab. xi. 13.4—6 (5 24C); Plut. Ant. 38.1), itself a march of three to four months, and Antony's troops first had to march from Antioch.

So Plut .Ant. 38.1, perhaps from Dellius; Sherwin-White 1984^89) 316-17 thinks the point fair. 151 Dio xli11.51.2.

But it went wrong. Things started well, and he drove deep into Media. He indeed reached the capital Phraata[81] before the main Parthian force could double back from Mesopotamia. The Median king Artavasdes had left his royal family in residence at Phraata: he at least was evidently taken by surprise by Antony's strategy and speed. But to get there in time Antony had to rush on ahead of his own siege-engines. That was an evident gamble, though not dissimilar to the risks Caesar himself had famously taken in Gaul and in the Civil War, and the swift arrival of a formidable army might indeed have carried the unprotected city. But it did not, and a siege was necessary. Without the engines, it was a curiously amateurish job.[82] And, crucially, the engines never arrived, for Phraates' cavalry overtook the wagon-train and destroyed it, together with its accompanying two legions.[83] Polemo himself was captured, though not killed - he would be more useful alive when it came to negotiations.[84] Artavasdes of Armenia promptly despaired of Antony's cause, and withdrew with his force: a severe loss, for the heavy Armenian cataphracts would have been particularly useful in defence. A series of engagements followed, with Antony successful in the most substantial of them;[85] but the swift Parthian cavalry fled most effecti­vely, and Antony could not follow it up.

Before long Antony was forced to abandon the siege; and, predict­ably, his retreat turned out to be intensely difficult, with sickness and famine as great a problem as the harrying Parthian archers. The resilience and the valour of Antony and his army became famous, and the comparison with Xenophon's Ten Thousand was an obvious one.[86]Eventually, after an epic final night-time march across the foothills of the Kŭh-e-Sahand range,[87] the army reached the Talkheh, then the Araxes and Armenia. The retreat had taken twenty-seven days, and even now safety could not be taken for granted, given Artavasdes' earlier treach­ery. But Antony successfully made terms with him, and by mid-winter the remains of the army had reached Cappadocia: there were further deaths in this final section of the march. The total losses in the campaign were indeed catastrophic, some third of the entire army.[88]

So ended Antony's great attempt to emulate Alexander. Ironically, his best military qualities had seldom been clearer - his energy, his enterprise, his inspirational leadership; and yet it was disastrous. Plutarch later did well to make this campaign the centrepiece of his Life, but not only for those reasons. This was indeed the turning-point of the triumviral period. Till now Antony's military prestige and power had far outstripped Octavian, and he had consequently been the stronger partner in their diplomatic exchanges. This campaign should have raised his supremacy beyond challenge.

But instead the victories were being won elsewhere, and by Octavian. His war with the popular favourite Sextus was a delicate one to fight: it could much too easily seem Octavian's personal vendetta. Indeed, even while he was fighting it disturbances at Rome required urgent atten­tion;[89] there were grumblings in the veteran colonies too;[90] Etruria was particularly restive.[91] Octavian could not afford to lose or delay - for all he knew, Antony was carrying all before him in Parthia - but the events of 38 had shown how formidable an enemy Sextus could be.[92] Now Agrippa's preparations were magnificent, but Sextus had been preparing too, and by 36 he had some 350 ships.[93] Just as he had in 38, Octavian even sent to Lepidus in Africa for help. In 38 Lepidus had made no response, content to leave Octavian with his own problems.[94] This time he decided to come in force. He eventually arrived with twelve legions and 5,000 cavalry, with a further four legions following as reinforce­ments (two were destroyed by Sextus' fleet before they could land).166 Perhaps Lepidus already had clear plans of his own, perhaps not; he at least knew that the great battle for the West should not be fought without him.

By July 36 Octavian was able to launch a triple-pronged attack on Sextus in Sicily. He would attack from the north and Statilius Taurus from the east; Lepidus would attack the western coast. The plan was good. The campaign itself was to show how difficult Sextus would find it to stretch his forces to meet several threats. But Octavian's forces were beset by storms; so many ships were lost that there were thoughts of delaying the campaign to 35. At first only Lepidus managed to land in strength, and he laid Sextus' lieutenant L. Plinius Rufus under siege in

Lilybaeum. In the east there were naval battles, with first Agrippa successful off Mylae, then Sextus defeating Octavian himself off Tauro- menium. Sextus' victory was more emphatic than Agrippa's, but at least Octavian established bridgeheads both by Cape Tyndaris and near Tauromenium: Sextus' resistance on land was surprisingly half-hearted, particularly at Tauromenium.167 Octavian soon had twenty-one legions on the island,168 besides Lepidus' army; Sextus had only ten.169 He was soon hemmed into the island's north-east corner, a triangle bounded by Mylae and Tauromenium, and Mylae itself fell soon afterwards. And now even Lepidus himself was approaching, rather tardily. His part in the whole campaign is indeed enigmatically lackadaisical: it is odd that he did not move eastwards earlier - that was clearly where he was needed, and perhaps expected.170 The sequel was to show him dissatisfied with his subordinate role. Was he perhaps content to let Octavian and Sextus weaken one another in the east, hoping by a last minute arrival to claim the authority he felt he deserved? The events of 44/3 had shown his capacity to bide his time before a decisive change of front.171 If Octavian distrusted him, it was not without reason.172

Sextus' last hope was to pit everything on a battle at sea. Perhaps unwisely, Octavian accepted battle (there was possibly even a formal challenge and acceptance, agreeing time, place and numbers):173 but the risk came off. The battle was fought off Naulochus (3 September 36), with 300 ships on either side. Agrippa, not Octavian, took command. By now brawn rather than skill was dominant in naval warfare, and Agrippa's heavier ships and more sophisticated grappling equipment carried the day. Only seventeen of Sextus' ships escaped. Sextus himself fled: his only slender hope lay with Antony in the East.

His land forces came over to Octavian with little demur. Plinius Rufus had moved eastwards to Messana, presumably following Lepidus. By now he had command of a large portion of Sextus' army, comprising eight legions.174 It was clear that they would surrender: but to whom? Agrippa and Lepidus appeared before the city: Agrippa insisted that they wait for Octavian, but Lepidus overrode him. His forces indeed linked with those of Plinius, and together they sacked Messina. Lepidus now seemed in control of the combined force, some twenty-two legions. He had not been so powerful for years. Now if ever was the time to assert

147 App. BCiv. v.i 10.457-9, Gabba 1970 (в 5 5) adloc.

168 App. BCiv. v.i 16.481; Brunt 1971 (a 9) 498. 169 Brunt 1971 (a 9) 499-500.

170 App. BCiv. v.io}.427 with Gabba 1970 (в 55) ad loc. 171 Cf. САН ix2 471, 482.4.

Dio xlix. 8.3-4 even suggests that Lepidus was in secret league with Sextus, and that Octavian suspected as much (cf. xlix. 1.4). That is implausible, and probably influenced both by Octavian's propaganda and by Dio's tendency to guess at motivation; but some distrust is possible enough.

App. BCiv. v.i 16.489 with Gabba 1970 (в j 5) ad loc.; cf. Gabba 1977 (C94).

App. BCiv. v. 122.505 with Gabba 1970(8 55) ad loc.

himself, to show how unfairly he had been excluded from all those diplomatic dealings at Brundisium, Misenum and Tarentum. He laid claim to all Sicily, though he magnanimously offered to exchange Sicily and Africa for all his former portion, Narbonensis and Nearer and Further Spain.175 At first Octavian's friends remonstrated gently, then Octavian himself more fiercely; Lepidus was adamant. The legions were unamused. But the delusion could not last. Octavian entered his camp, almost unaccompanied — though there was a sizeable force of cavalry just outside. The troops at least knew where the balance of power lay: with only a little scuffling, they joined Octavian. Lepidus was allowed to keep his property and his life, and he even remained pontifex maximus. But Octavian stripped him of membership of the triumvirate and his provincial command.176 There were no thoughts of consulting Antony first. Octavian took over Africa and Sicily into his own domain. Lepidus retired into exile and anonymity.

That effectively concluded the elimination of Sextus and Lepidus. Antony and Octavian remained; and Antony was beginning to look a little tattered.

IX. 35-33 B.C.

Politics now looked simpler: the reckoning would surely come, and we might expect Antony and Octavian to spend the next few years in preparation. But it was not quite like that. Octavian, it is true, seems to have seen the future clearly enough. He soon intensified his battle to win Italian public opinion, with fierce propaganda against Cleopatra and Antony; he may even have been in contact with Antony's enemy Artavasdes of Armenia (unless that charge is simply a fiction of Antony's propaganda);177 and he was soon battle-hardening his troops in Illyri- cum, suggestively close to the dividing-line with Antony's dominion. But Antony was slow to respond. He may have talked of joining Octavian in an Illyrian campaign178 — in self-defence, that would have been no bad ploy, if it were practicable: but really his focus lay on the East - indeed, on the Jar East, and for several years he was preoccupied with vengeance on the perfidious Armenian king Artavasdes. Of course an Armenian success would do something to mend the shame of the Parthian debacle, but in Roman eyes Armenia lacked the glamour of Parthia; a new Alexander should be more glorious than that, and Armenia could only be the beginning; but a clearer-sighted man would have realized that now Parthia itself was a lost cause. With Octavian preparing in the West, there simply would not be time for the years a

"5 Cf. САН ix2 4g6. 176 MRR II 400.

177 Dio xux.14.6. 178 App. BCiv. v.132.549.

second Parthian invasion would demand. Yet in 3 } nearly all Antony's legions were still in the extreme east of his domain; only then, very slowly, did they begin the long march west. War with Octavian was scarcely foremost in Antony's mind. Perhaps he was peaceable, content by now to share the world; perhaps he was simply naive. But it is clear which of the two was seeking the breach, and which had his thoughts elsewhere.

The fall of Sextus involved both in temporary embarrassments. Octavian found himself with forty-five legions, but confronted by a mutiny. Uncomfortably enough, his troops were beginning to believe his own propaganda. He had concluded the civil wars and brought peace on land and sea, so he said:179 well, in that case there was no need for further service, and they demanded immediate demobilization. That would hardly do. Octavian knew he would need them again soon. But at least the longest-serving could be released, those who had fought for Octavian since Mutina and Philippi, some 20,000 men.180 There were delays, but land was found for most of them, largely in Italy but partly in Gaul.181 The others were promised 500 denarii, and, rather surprisingly, soon received it;182 they were also induced to expect lucrative spoils in Illyricum — not very plausible for any who knew the land, but probably few did, and the ploy passed. Octavian could now return to Rome and acclaim. He celebrated an ovatio, and the other honours included a grant of tribunicial sacrosanctity,183 interestingly presaging a conspicuous feature of his later constitutional facade. And there was more talk of restoring the Republic when Antony returned - how could he refuse, now Octavian had ended the civil wars? Peace and security would shortly be restored at home as well: Calvisius Sabinus was appointed to put down Italian brigandage, and a police force of some sort was established in Rome itself.184 There was even a remission of some taxes, and the regular magistrates were ostentatiously allowed more freedom.185 This was not the first time that the triumvirs had portrayed themselves as champions of Roman tradition, even a sort of constitutional normal­ity.186 But Octavian was beginning to steal the mask for his own.

In Antony's case, the embarrassment was Sextus himself. In the winter of 36/5 he arrived at Mytilene, hoping to ally himself with Antony; when

App. BCiv. v.i 28.5 50, 130.540-2, 132.546-8; cf. Dio xlix.15.2.

App. BCiv. v. 129.534 ('since Mutina or Philippi'); Dio xlix. 14.1 specifies those who had served'since Mutina or for ten years'; cf. Reinhold 1988(b i )o)njloc.\ Brunt 1971 (a 9) 3 31; Keppie 1983 (e 65) 69-73. Some of them soon re-enlisted: Dio xlix.54.3.

Keppie 1983 (e 65) 70-3; cf. Dio xlix.34.4.

Dio xlix. 14.2, with Reinhold 1988 (в 150) alloc.-, App. BCiv. v. 129.536.

See Endnote, p. 68.

ш App. BCiv. v.132.547; cf. Suet. Aug. 32; Dio XLix.15.1j Palmer 1978 (c 184) 320-1.

App. BCiv. v.150.540, 132.548; Dio XLIX.15.3; cf. Nicolet 1976(0104)95.

See above, pp. 19-21, 27.

he heard of the Parthian disaster, he began to intrigue against him instead. Either way, he was a problem. Not that he was very strong: he was raising troops again, but even at the end he had little more than three legions and a handful of ships.[95] But he would be an awkward ally: with Italy being encouraged to celebrate his downfall, it might now seem to be Antony rather than Octavian who was refusing to let the civil wars die. And it would be awkward to kill him too. There were enough people in Rome who still recalled wistfully the hopes they had placed in him:[96]Octavian himself, outrageously, was later to make capital of this, and attack Antony for his faithless treatment of him.[97] Antony appointed M. Titius to take charge of the problem. Titius' father had been among the proscribed who fled to Sextus, and Titius himself had been spared by Sextus when captured by Menodorus in 40.[98] Antony probably selected Titius precisely because of these earlier favours, to smooth any dealings which proved necessary. But in the event no dealing proved possible, for Sextus' faithlessness became too apparent. By the spring of 3 5 the pursuit was tying up the governors of both Asia and Bithynia, C. Furnius and Domitius Ahenobarbus, as well as a sizeable fleet; King Amyntas too was involved. That was too much. When Sextus was finally captured by Amyntas in Phrygia, he was brought to Titius in Miletus and executed there. Antony may or may not have authorized his death. If he did, he covered his tracks: some said that Plancus, not he, had given the order; other stories were told of two letters, one ordering the execution and one countermanding it, which of course arrived in the wrong sequence.[99]

Antony himself was more concerned with Armenia. He was clearly determined to exact vengeance from Artavasdes; and he doubtless considered he was being prudent as well as vindictive, for he still dreamed of a second Parthian campaign. (He was indeed to embark on one two years later.) For this a secure Armenia was essential; but that could never be, as long as Artavasdes was king. Matters now took an unexpected turn, for an envoy arrived in Alexandria from the Median Artavasdes, Antony's enemy of the previous year: an envoy in fact of peculiar distinction, King Polemo himself. Antony's designs on Arme­nia would seem no surprise, and Median Artavasdes offered Antony an alliance. Antony accepted, and set out from Egypt during the summer.

Perhaps he pretended that he was attacking the Parthians; but his immediate goal was surely Armenia.[100]

For the present it came to nothing, for a different sort of crisis supervened. Octavia arrived in the East. Whatever people were saying about her husband and Cleopatra, she was still his wife. (Her journey indeed demonstrates that Italians at least could not yet think of Antony as married to Cleopatra: otherwise she would surely have divorced him by now.)[101] It may well be that Octavian himself had encouraged his sister in the mission, as some suspected;[102] it was certainly deeply embarrassing to Antony — and not just because of Cleopatra, who was away from Antony's company at present, tactfully at home in Alexandria.[103] The real problem was that Octavia was bringing with her 2,000 elite troops from her brother, besides money and supplies to replace those lost in Parthia, and perhaps some Italian cavalry.[104] Octavian in fact owed Antony far more than this, all the 20,000 troops that he had promised at Tarentum in return for Antony's 140 ships.[105] Those ships had been most useful in the war against Sextus, and since then Octavian had returned half of them; but that was hardly enough.[106] It would be a triumph for Octavian if Antony accepted the troops, but insulting to Octavia if he refused - and probably politically damaging as well, for Octavian was soon to show himself adept at building propaganda from his sister's maltreatment.[107] Sensibly, Antony accepted. But that was all the annoyance he was prepared to take from Octavia's presence for the moment, and he told her to stay in Athens, perhaps even to return to Rome.[108] He himself retired to Alexandria for the winter of 3 5 /4. (It was evidently too late in the season to resume the Armenian expedition.) Cleopatra was more congenial company than Octavia; Octavian could make of that what he wished. In fact, he would make a great deal.

In early 34 Antony turned to Armenia again. First, during the winter, came diplomacy: he sent Dellius to ask the Armenian Artavasdes for the king's daughter, pretending he wished to marry her to his son Alexander Helios. She would of course make a splendid hostage. Artavasdes was shrewd enough to refuse. In the spring Antony appeared suddenly at

Nicopolis on the Armenian border, and sent for the Armenian king to discuss a new Parthian campaign; Artavasdes again refused. While Dellius travelled once more to ask Artavasdes to a conference, Antony himself marched quickly on Artaxata; Artavasdes was finally forced by his own nobility and soldiers to come to Antony, despite his suspicions of such curious friendliness. Antony took him captive, and quickly occupied the whole country: he left his troops there for the winter, and within a year at least sixteen legions would be there.[109] His enemies, first among them Octavian, might claim that the victory was all dishonour­able, won through perfidy; his friends would retort that Artavasdes' own treachery justified it quite sufficiently.[110] At least, it was something to restore Antony's paling prestige. On coins he could celebrate a conquest at last: ARMENIA DEVICTA.[111]

Artavasdes himself was conveyed to Alexandria. The thing could be done in style: his chains were silver, or perhaps gold.[112] And the victory merited celebration. A great Dionysiac procession took place in Alexan­dria in late 34, as was only fitting for Antony as Dionysis-Osiris, and amply precedented in the city. Not everything went according to plan: Artavasdes and his fellow captives refused to pay obeisance to Cleopatra. But it was still a ceremony in which Antony could bask.

Unfortunately, it was also uncomfortably close to a Roman triumph, which itself had many Dionysiac associations;[113] and it was all too easy for Octavian to represent it as a sacrilegious transfer of the Roman ceremony to Egypt.[114] And that was not all. At around the same time, perhaps indeed at the same ceremony,[115] came the 'Donations of Alexandria'. In the Alexandrian Gymnasium were set up high golden thrones for himself and Cleopatra, and lower ones for their children: and he declared Cleopatra monarch (along with her son Caesarion) of Egypt, Cyprus and Koile Syria. Armenia, Media and - when conquered - Parthia were to fall to their six-year-old son Alexander Helios; Libya and Cyrene to his twin Cleopatra Selene; and Ptolemy Philadelphus, still only two, was to have Phoenicia, Syria and Cilicia. Then the children appeared themselves, Alexander with Median clothes and head-dress, Ptolemy with the distinctive Macedonian boots, cloak and cap — but

55-33 в.с.

Alexander had a regal tiara too, and Ptolemy a diadem.[116] It was all show. The gestures made no difference to the administration of the East.[117] But it was a show with style, and it doubtless went down very well in Alexandria.

It was still an extraordinary thing to do, and Octavian clearly relished it. Just as in 36 when he flaunted his liaison with Cleopatra, Antony surely underestimated the dangers of such behaviour before the Roman public: and once again we see a substantial political error centring on Cleopatra — perhaps indeed inspired by her persuasion. At that time, Antony was still concerned about Italian opinion. He responded to Octavian's constitutional talk by writing grandly himself to the Senate about restoring the Republic.[118] But the antics in Alexandria belied the republican pretence. The gestures may have meant little, but if they meant anything they meant a dynastic succession: Antony was indeed a second Hercules, but in fathering a new race of monarchs, and fathering them from a foreign woman. He would even issue coins with his head on one side and Cleopatra's on the other. It was unthinkable, a foreign woman on a Roman coin![119] True, his Roman children were not forgotten either: at around this time he was issuing coins with his head and that of his eldest son Antyllus, his principal heir in Roman law.[120]But there too the suggestions were all too close to a dynasty; and that was not the Roman way.

4i

Still, one should not overstate the damage. Octavian certainly fastened on this, and Antony's friends in Rome were certainly discom­fited:[121] that is enough to demonstrate its unwisdom. But still in early 3 2, when he sought ratification in Rome for his acta, the Antonian consuls Sosius and Ahenobarbus believed they could hush up the affair of the Donations, some fifteen months earlier:[122] hardly credible, if they had been as public and spectacular as our sources Plutarch and Dio suggest.

Other propaganda mattered more. Of course, Antony and Octavian had been exchanging public abuse for years, with particular ferocity during the early stages in 44—43 and the Perusine War of 40.[123] Butduring the last few years Octavian had rather been directing his fire at Sextus — the champion of the slaves and pirates, or so Octavian could pretend.216 With Sextus' fall, the propaganda battle with Antony recommenced, and they were soon exchanging public letters and manifestos. Part of it was simply the competition to outbid one another in constitutionalist protestation; but much was more personal. That of course followed the traditions of Roman invective, but it also suited the times. To be successful, propaganda needs to find a willing public, with prejudices it can subtly mirror and exploit. Now it was easy to see civil war and fraternal bloodshed as the index of the collapse of the old virtues. The public was ripe for believing what it was told about Antony's morality, and for thinking that it mattered. By winter 35/4 Octavian was probably making capital out of his sister's treatment: surely she was entitled to a divorce — but she was of course too noble to seek one.217 Then there was all the eastern degeneracy, the debauchery, the infatuation (as of course it must be) with Cleopatra. All could be painted in the most lurid colours. Horace's ninth Epode, written a few years later in 31, gives some of the flavour:

Future generations will not believe it - a Roman soldier, bought and sold, carrying stakes and bearing arms for a woman, even bringing himself to serve under withered eunuchs! And amid the army's standards the sun glimpses a shameful mosquito net.

(Hor. Epodes ix. 11—16)

Tales could be told of Antony anointing Cleopatra's feet in public, or reading love-letters as he delivered judgments - even springing from his tribunal to hang on to Cleopatra's litter as she passed!218 Antony's entourage too came in for picturesque attack: stories were told of a banquet where Plancus danced, naked and painted, as a sea-god.219 And Cleopatra herself: she evidently wished to rule in Rome - why, her favourite form of oath was 'so may I give my judgments on the Capitol'! But Rome might then be nothing: were they not scheming to move the capital to Alexandria?220

Cf. above, p. 20; Wallmann 1989 (c 243) 163-77, 185-220. Even after Sextus fell, this public front was maintained: cf. RG 25.1, 'mare pacavi a praedonibus', and 27.3, 'bello servili'; and in late 36 Octavian made a great show of restoring his 'slaves' to their owners for punishment (RG 23.1; App. BCiv. v.i 30.544-5 with Gabba 1970 (в j 5)ad loc.; Dio xlix. 12.4—5).

Plut. Ant. 54.1, 57.4, with Pelling 1988 (в 138) ad loc. In 35 sacrosanctity was extended to include Li via and Octavia (Dio xlix. 38.1 with Rcinhold 1988 (в 1 )o)adloc.;cf. Endnote 2): that was doubtless a related ploy. Octavian's women should have a solemnity to offset the awesome but shameless Cleopatra.

Plut. Ant. 58.9-11, the stories of Octavian's friend Calvisius Sabinus: Plutarch did not believe them, 59.1. 219 Veil. Pat. 11.83.2.

220 Dio l.4.1-2, j, 26.5; Veil. Pat. 11.82.4; Livy, Per. 132; cf. Prop. 111.11.31-50, esp. 46; Hor. Carm. i.37.5-12; Ov. Met. xv.826-8; Scott 1933 (c.212) 43-4; Fadinger 1969 (в 42) 115-18, 163. Augustus himself included such material in his Autobiography, published in the twenties: cf. fr. 16M.

Antony of course responded. Octavian's battle-record was frivolous and cowardly; now his treatment of Lepidus was outrageous. What had happened to Antony's share of Sicily? Or to the troops he was owed? Now Octavian had found land for all his own troops, what would be left for Antony's? And Octavian's behaviour was pretty outlandish too: he had had his affairs with consular wives, indeed his friends were carefully inspecting unclothed matrons and virgins to pick for his pleasure; and had people not heard of that strange banquet of the twelve gods, when Octavian had taken the role of Apollo?[124] It was not just Antony who dealt in foreign marriages, either; Octavian had offered his daughter Iulia to Cotiso, king of the Getae - indeed, promised to take Cotiso's own daughter in return.[125] (One wonders what Livia might have said to that.) Octavian was much too fond of gaming, too.[126] But many of Antony's lines, far too many, had to be defensive. He wrote a work de sua ebrietate, On his own drunkenness, for instance[127] — presumably less enter­taining than it sounds, not a tippler's memoir but an earnest insistence that he was less drunken than Octavian alleged. But the attacks on Cleopatra were clearly the most damaging. In a public letter of 53 he remonstrated with Octavian:

What has changed your view towards me? Because I'm screwing the queen? Is she my wife? [Of course not!][128] And I've been doing it for nine years anyway. And what about you? Is Livia the only woman you screw? I bet, when you read this, you'll just have been inside some Tertulla or Terentilla or Rufilla or Salvia Titisenia — or all of them. Does it matter where and in whom you have your erections? (Suet. Aug. 69)

The tone as well as the content has its point. This is the broad, coarse language of the soldier, the thoroughly masculine Roman. A man like this would not waste his time with effeminate mosquito nets.

There was another medium, too, that of visual art: and here Antony found it even more difficult to hold his own. Particularly striking was the treatment of the gods. Antony might have his Dionysus, and a few years earlier he had been emphasizing Hercules. Both could seem all too appropriate to an Italian audience. That Dionysiac blend of excess, drunkenness and eastern menace was hardly reassuring. And Hercules, it was recalled, had fallen unmanned before Omphale: a suggestive model for Antony, indeed, and one that duly recurs in contemporary art. Octavian countered with more comfortable gods, especially Apollo with his civilized order, discipline, calm and restraint. Here too Octavian found a willing audience: Apolline themes, portrayed with delicate restraint, swiftly become favourites in private dwellings, sometimes in rooms which would not be open to any public gaze: that must reflect genuine Italian taste, a spontaneous welcoming of the new moral climate. But it was not just Apollo. On beautifully minted coins, Venus, Jupiter, Hermes and Victoria were all shown in association with Octavian. If the gods were taking sides, no one could doubt which divine entourage was the weightier.[129] And here Antony could do little to reply: religion worked differently in the East, and he could hardly be more than Dionysus incarnate. A plurality of gods would simply blur the picture, and no wonder that even Hercules was dropping from view.

So propaganda flourished. At whom was it all aimed? Really, at everyone, or at least everyone in Italy. We might expect the veteran colonies to be most important: after all, the veterans had refused to fight one another in 40,[130] and the recent mutiny had shown that Octavian's control of them was insecure. Doubtless they did matter, and Antony's coarse language would strike a particular chord with them; but perhaps they mattered less than we naturally assume. For one surprising omission from the catalogue of propaganda themes is the memory of Iulius Caesar himself. Was Antony or Octavian his true heir? In 44-43 that theme had been vital.[131] Now there was certainly a little of this: Antony for instance made something of Caesarion — Caesar's true son, as he claimed in a letter to the Senate (not merely adopted, like Octavian);[132]while Octavian toyed publicly with the idea of invading Britain again, and — very slowly — was building a temple to Divus Iulius in the Forum Romanum.[133] Still, this is surprisingly little. To judge from the propa­ganda now, Caesar was out of date; just as there had been no particular concern to portray the war with Sextus as a rehash of the old civil war, with a young Caesar and a young Pompey reliving their fathers' destinies. Yet surely, in the colonies themselves, Caesar's name was no irrelevance, and his veterans would not have been impervious to the battle-cry. Soldiers would surely be less moved by all this talk of oriental excess: Caesar too had had his women; soldiers, and their captains, were simply like that. Those themes had more appeal for the propertied classes of the Italian towns, where traditional morality was strong. These, probably, were the people whom Augustus was to eye a few years later with his moral legislation,231 and a constituency to which he was always alert. Even the Senate, the rich, the cultured would not be unmoved by the themes; we might expect them to be more sophisticated — after all, they turned out too sophisticated to stomach the moral reforms — and it is true that many of the most republican and traditional stayed loyal to Antony;232 but even the most urbane find propaganda hard to escape, if it is repeated often and insistently enough, and if it appeals sufficiently sharply to their pre-existent assumptions and prejudices. More senators eventually took Octavian's part than Antony's.233

Octavian anyway knew better than to bludgeon the cultured too crudely. 'Propaganda' is too crass a word to apply to the literary production of his followers. Horace, for instance, was hardly disloyal. When he was writing an Epode, the tone would be appropriately Archilochean and abusive. But he was also writing his Satires, where Lucilius had set the generic pattern of personal attack and derision; yet, very self-consciously, Horace turned away from the tradition, dwelling instead on the delicate portrayal of his life and his values, especially the value of friendship. Remarkably, Antony and Cleopatra escape attack; Horace's personalia are different, warmer and more intimate. If Octavian is in the background, the suggestions are gentle ones: these are his friends, and this is how they live. A few years earlier Virgil too had complimented Octavian in the first Eclogue — 'deus nobis haec otia fecit' (1.6), and there can be little doubt that the god is Octavian. Coming so early in the first poem, that is almost an informal dedication of the whole collection. But the tone is anything but bluntly propagandist. The final emphasis of the first Eclogue rests more on the emptiness faced by the dispossessed Meliboeus; and the whole book explores the different registers of tragedy one found in the Italian countryside, an idyllic land now wracked by a devastation for which, if one thought about it, Octavian himself took much of the blame. In the late thirties Virgil was at work on the Georgics, and there too he wrote warmly of Octavian. But once again the tone is often sombre, dwelling on the vast work that was needed to restore the beauty that had been marred and lost.234 As in the first Eclogue, Octavian can certainly offer hope: 'hunc saltern everso iuvenem succurrere saeclo|ne prohibete' (G. 1. 500—1). But still not all of these are the emphases Octavian would have favoured himself. Guided doubtless by Maecenas, he was already seeing the value of a patronage which was notably loose and free, and the poets responded with writing

231 See below, ch. 18 pp. 883-93. 232 See below, pp. 49-50. 233 See below, p. 5 3.

234 That is a suggestion even of the proem to the third Gcorgic, where Virgil promises Octavian a poetic temple in the manner of Pindar. The 'temple' will be in Mantua. After G. 11.198-9, and indeed Eel. ix.27-9 (see above, p. 14), Mantua's suggestions are tragic; its idyllic description at G. 11.12-15 must now seem bland, with the tragedy artificially muted.

which meshed with his propagandist themes without always crudely echoing them. He already knew better than to confuse independence with subversion: knowledge which he was to retain for many years to come.

And, all this while, what was Octavian doing himself? He was in Illyricum, winning some glory for himself with cheap foreign blood. There had been campaigns there a few years earlier: in 39 Pollio had been involved with the Parthini in the south, and possibly with the Delmatae as well,235 at the same time an army of Octavian had apparently been active somewhere in the country.236 But little had been achieved, .and there was still plenty for Octavian to do. And, of course, Illyricum bordered Antony's dominion. It was not very likely that it would be strategically valuable if it came to war; at least, not unless Illyricum could be fully conquered, and that would hardly be practicable in the time. A civil war would probably be fought in Greece, and Greece would still be reached most readily by the sea-crossing from Italy. But, when war came, at least Octavian's troops would not have far to go. He could reasonably hope to make inroads into Antony's territory before Antony himself could return.

The campaigns themselves are described elsewhere in this volume.237 By summer 3 3 Octavian was back in Rome, sporting the eagles which Gabinius had lost in 48 and the defeated Delmatae had now returned.238 The achievements were modest but real, and Illyricum had certainly served its purpose: Octavian had secured his excuse for keeping his soldiers in arms, the men had been battle-hardened, and Octavian himself looked far more soldierly at the end than at the beginning. Why, he had even contrived to be wounded, though not always very satisfactorily: at Setovia, for instance, he was struck by a stone on the knee. And he might seem something of a disciplinarian as well. On one occasion he had gone so far as to order a decimation of his own troops.239 During his brief winter stays at Rome Octavian could inveigh against Antony, and contrast his own energy with Antony's sloth.240 Now

This is disputed, and is connected with the difficult question of Pollio's own political position during those years. For different views cf. Syme 1937 (d 67); Bosworth 1972 (c 34); and Woodman 1983 (в 203) on Veil. Pat. 11.78.2.

App. BCiv. v.80.538; Veil. Pat. 11.78.2; it is possible, but not perhaps very likely, that Octavian's army and Pollio's were one and the same (cf. Bosworth 1972 (c 34) 466-7; Woodman 1983 (в 203) on Veil. Pat. 11.78.2). App. BCiv. v.75.320 records an expedition sent by Antony against the Parthini in late 39; that campaign, pace Bosworth 1972 (c 34) 466, is much more likely to be identical with Pollio's. 237 See below, pp. 172—j, J49—JO.

App. ///. 28.82; RG 29.1. On the date of Octavian's return cf. Schmitthenner 1958 (c 304) 215-16.

Decimation was in fact rather in fashion: instances had been ordered by Caesar in 49 (Dio xli.3;.5, if that can be trusted), Domitius Calvinus in 39 (Dio XLViit.42.2), and Antony in 36 (Plut. Ant. 39 9, Dio xlix.27.1). But in each of those cases the punishment was rather more clearly deserved than on this occasion. 240 Cf. Plut. Ant. 55.1, App. 111. 16.46.

47

35-33 в с.

people might actually believe him. And in Rome itself celebration could be marked in other ways. It might be by triumphs. Admittedly, in 34 the Antonian Sosius celebrated his triumph over Judaea, possibly the most brilliant of them all - and celebrated it on, of all days, 3 September, the anniversary of Naulochus, when men's thoughts should have been with Octavian. For this to be allowed, Antony must still have had his influential friends. But at least Octavian's men could outdo Antony in numbers of triumphs: in 36 Domitius Calvinus over Spain, in 34 Statilius Taurus over Africa and Norbanus Flaccus over Spain, in 33 Marcius Philippus and Claudius Pulcher over Spain and L. Cornificius over Africa.[134] And in the Roman way triumph led to buildings ex manubiis, from the spoils of conquest. In the late thirties Domitius Calvinus was rebuilding the Regia, while in the Campus Martius Statilius Taurus was building a stone amphitheatre and Marcius Philippus restoring a temple of Hercules Musarum; on the Aventine Cornificius was rebuilding the temple of Diana. And it was not just the triumphators: Paullus Aemilius, apparently Octavian's partisan, completed and dedicated his Basilica in 34. Antony's followers responded. Domitius Ahenobarbus too built a temple of Neptune; Sosius planned a splendid temple to Apollo in the Circus, vainly hoping to impugn Octavian's exclusive claim on the god; but on their own they could hardly compete with Octavian's men. And though Octavian himself made a point of delaying his acceptance of an Illyrian triumph (he eventually celebrated it in 29), he certainly joined in the craze for construction: in 33 he rebuilt the Porticus Octavia, and put Gabinius' eagles on display there; in 32 he restored Pompey's theatre; work was also proceeding on the temples of Divus Iulius, Palatine Apollo and Jupiter Feretrius; and particular energy was spent on the Mausoleum, the material guarantee of Octavian's own eternal glory.[135]All of this would visibly attest the restoration of Rome's glory; nearly all pointed to Octavian. He was already turning Rome from brick to marble.

Sewerage mattered too; that fell to trusty Agrippa. He organized an extensive scheme of cleaning and repair; indeed, during these years he carried out a massive overhaul of the whole water supply.[136] In 34, it seems, he restored one aqueduct, the Aqua Marcia, then in 3 3 the Aqua Iulia; he also repaired others, the Aqua Appia and the Anio Vetus; and reservoirs and ornamental fountains were built all over the city. As aedile in 3 3 — an odd but significant appointment for so distinguished a man - Agrippa fostered the people in other ways, with spectacular games, free distributions of salt and olive oil, free admission to the baths, and a scattering of vouchers in the theatre for clothing, money and otherthings.[137] A more dignified step was Agrippa's revival of the lusus Troiae,[138] later to be celebrated in the Aeneid(v. 545-603). Octavian had been alert for some time to the possibilities of a tasteful antiquarianism. As early as 43 he had been hinting at a link with Romulus,[139] and in 38 there had been some ritual at the casa Romuli on the Palatine:[140] nor, probably, was it coincidence that he chose to live so close to the casa Romuli himself.[141] His traditionalism was gathering style. To emphasize the point, astrologers and magicians were expelled from the city.249 They were altogether too unroman.

And Antony? His thoughts were still far away. In 33 he planned a second Parthian campaign, this time with his new ally Artavasdes of Media: they were now more closely linked, with Alexander Helios betrothed to the king's daughter Iotape. Iotape had indeed been safely transported to Alexandria - an additional stimulus to loyalty, perhaps. In the spring of 33 Antony and Artavasdes met on the Araxes. All, or almost all, of Antony's eastern army was already in Armenia, a full sixteen legions.250 In 36, the need to concentrate his troops had delayed the invasion till uncomfortably late in the year; now, he was in a much better position for an early attack. But such thoughts were already out of date, and finally even Antony came to realize it. The defence of the eastern frontier was left to the Median king and to Polemo, to whom he now gave Lesser Armenia.251 Antony's own troops began the 2,500-km march back to the Ionian coast. At last, he had 'turned to the civil war'.252

x. preparation: 32 b.c.

Almost certainly, the second term of the triumvirate expired on 31 December 33.253 This time there would evidently be no question of renewing it, even as the duovirate it had now become. This would not leave the legal position of Antony and Octavian unsupportable,254 but it was certainly embarrassing, and more embarrassing for Octavian than for Antony. Octavian had lately been making so much of his respect for Roman tradition and the Roman republican constitution; and Octavian would be in Italy, where legal questions could awaken more interest. In the East Antony simply ruled - as god, monarch, proconsul, or triumvir, it hardly mattered. In Italy , it might. And Octavian's position was delicate in other ways, for if the triumvirate had expired the consuls might matter more; and the consuls of 3 2 were to be C. Sosius and Cn.

preparation: 32 b.c.

Domitius Ahenobarbus — not merely Antonians but peculiarly impres­sive ones, particularly Domitius with his record of republican political commitment and all the weight of an ancient family. Nor was he the only old republican to prefer Antony to Octavian. So did Cato's grandson, L. Calpurnius Bibulus, and there were others too.255 Not that the issue would be decided simply by the credentials of one's Roman followers. It would depend on martial strength: and Antony's army and Antony himself were infinitely more formidable a force than anything Octavian had yet confronted. In retrospect, we too readily think of Octavian as already marked out for victory. History may have been on his side, but many of the crucial factors were not. Since 37 Octavian had certainly done much to redress the odds, which till then had heavily favoured Antony: Octavian's politics had been much the shrewder, his campaigns the more triumphant; his supporters increasingly included persons of family and achievement.256 But to a measured observer those odds were still on Antony.

The pleasantries soon started. The consuls were armed with a dispatch from Antony, recounting his acta and asking for ratification — something he did not legally need,257 but knew it was tactful to seek; it may also have included some further offer to lay down the triumvirate.258 True, in January little was heard of all this; the experienced Domitius held the fasces, and thought some of the acta better suppressed. But on 1 February259 Sosius took over the fasces and launched a public attack on Octavian. Most interestingly, his motion of censure was vetoed by a tribune: the institutions of the Republic might seem alive once more. If that suggests that the motion would otherwise have passed, it is eloquent testimony for the degree of senatorial sympathy Antony still enjoyed. But the inference is precarious. The motion was an extreme step; if Sosius had doubted whether it would pass, a prearranged veto would have been a shrewd device.

For the moment, Octavian himself was sensibly absent from the city. But a few weeks later he responded with a show of force in the Senate: he was surrounded by an armed guard, and, whatever his legal status, he took his seat on a chair of state between the consuls. Rome was accustomed to violent displays, but this was not the sort of tradition that Octavian wished to be seen reviving; still, it was immediately effective, for the consuls fled to Antony. Many senators, possibly several

255 Syme 1959 (a 93) 222, 239, 266—70, 282; Syme 1986 (a 95) 206-7, 264.

г» Syme 1939 (a 93) 234-42.

All the triumviral acts had already been ratified in advance: cf. above, p. 20 with n.80.

Cf. p. 41 and n. 210.

49

Cf. Gray 1975 (c 102) 17; Reinhold 1988 (в i jo) on Dio L.2.3. For the alternative view, that Sosius launched an attack on 1 January, cf. Fadinger 1969 (в 42) 19; n.i.

hundred,[142] accompanied them. Antony organized them into a 'counter- senate', reflecting his claim that the constitution was on his side. In the presence of the consuls, driven out by arrant force, the claim was not ridiculous. But their flight left Italy an open field for the completion of Octavian's propaganda, and his final transformation of a selfish war into a national crusade. It was a travesty, of course. The consuls might after all have been more useful in Rome itself, providing a visible reminder that there was more to Antony's side than eastern effeminacy.

They found Antony in Ephesus,[143] organizing the transport of his troops to Greece. It was a massive task. His army was eventually more than 100,000 strong, at least as large as for the Parthian campaign.[144] He had clearly been recruiting in the East, presumably both native orientals and resident Italians.[145] His fleet numbered 800, nearly 300 of them transports;[146] but that was surely not enough to carry the whole army, and they must have crossed the Aegean in several waves. Shortly Antony and his staff moved to Samos. As usual on campaign, there was time to kill: Cleopatra and Antony characteristically did so in style. The festivities became famous.[147] They also, of course, afforded a further diet for Octavian to feed his public.

Antony also faced a more serious choice. It still seemed likely that the campaign would start before the end of 32. Should Cleopatra stay for it, or should she return to Egypt? Domitius Ahenobarbus and others urged Antony to send her away, Canidius Crassus said she should remain — so the story went, and probably it was more than a story, for Domitius had just been in Rome and knew what Octavian was making of Cleopatra there. Other experienced politicians, including Plancus, clearly took the same view. Equally Canidius, soon to command the land-army, would naturally stress the importance of Cleopatra's military aid — at least 200 ships (presumably including crews), and vast financial support as well.[148]It was not at all an easy choice, for there was also the question of the troops' and allies' morale. Just as Octavian encouraged Italians to see the war as a crusade against the East, so many easterners surely saw it as a chance to avenge themselves on Rome.267 Such men would fight for their queen, not for a Roman general. Cleopatra had to stay.

By early summer the slow western journey had reached Athens.268 The time was coming for decisiveness, and Antony sent a note of divorce to Octavia. Perhaps he had little choice. When war came, it was inconceiv­able that Octavia could remain his wife, demurely tending the house and family of a public enemy (for such he would very likely be declared). Octavian had, it seems, been publicly urging his sister to divorce her lecherous and unfaithful husband for some time;269 Octavia would hardly continue to refuse. At Athens the prospect was already the subject for public jokes.270 One could already foresee the grave and sorrowful speech where Octavia announced her decision — a moving and elegant culmination for her brother's propaganda. Far better for Antony to initiate the matter himself; far better to get it over with now.

Octavia had to be dismissed, Cleopatra had to stay. Both steps made sense; but both were hard decisions, which fuelled Octavian's attacks and alienated valuable Italian support. In earlier days, with Pompey and with Brutus and Cassius, the better cause had managed to draw on eastern support without losing its solid Roman respectability. This was different. Even to Antony's most valued captains, Octavian's derision might seem to have a core of truth. The womenfolk symbolized something deeper. Antony didlook more like a champion of the East, an uncomfortable figurehead. Opinions might differ on what to do about it. The most influential figure was Domitius, by now it seems leader of a sort of 'Roman party'.271 He confined himself to public rudeness to Cleopatra:272 that was harmless enough. Others were more decisive. Plancus was Antony's most senior consular;273 Titius, Plancus' nephew and the slayer of Sextus, was consul designate.274 It was about now275 that both fled to Octavian, who was doubtless delighted: with every Roman who transferred allegiance, especially men as distinguished as this, the lines of East and West became more plain. Still, Plancus and Titius as yet had no followers, or none of which we hear. Antony's men might be troubled, but most stayed firm.

Plancus derided Antony in the Senate; not everyone was impressed,276 and a more sensational ploy was needed. The two renegades suggested that Antony's will, which rested with the Vestal Virgins, might repay study. It was illegal, as it happened, to open the will of a living man; no matter — Octavian opened it, alone and unsupervised.277 Its provisions were extraordinary: when Antony died he was to be buried in Alexan­dria; Caesarion was recognized as Caesar's son (though it is hard to say why this quite fitted in Antony's will); vast gifts were to be made to the children borne by Cleopatra to Antony. It was all exactly what Octavian might have wished for. Why, he might almost have written it himself. Perhaps indeed he did, at least in part:278 the Vestals would not know the will's contents, and Octavian could claim what he wished. And he was skilful enough to allege provisions which Antony, eager to retain his eastern support, would find as uncomfortable to deny as to admit.

Even Antony's preparations, worryingly massive as they were, could be turned to account. Perhaps by early August, his force was on the west coast of Greece.279 Was he intending to invade Italy, the natural climax of such treachery to Rome?280 That was desperately unlikely, in fact. Octavian firmly held Tarentum and Brundisium, the two great harbours of southern Italy, and it would be no easy matter for Antony to transport large quantities of troops in several waves and land them on hostile beaches.281 Roman civil wars were always fought in Greece, for precisely this reason: it was natural for one side to flee to exploit the resources of the East, but then virtually impossible to force a passage back to a defended Italy.

Still, the Italian public were not strategists. They feared what they were told to fear. Evidently they needed a champion, and it could only be Octavian; but his status was still uncertain. He was no longer calling himself triumvir (Antony, incidentally, had no such compunctions);282 though it would be hard to doubt that Octavian retained his vast provincial imperium, he wanted something more, something which would clearly justify him as the defender of Rome and its traditions, and

Cf. the cutting remark of one Coponius, Veil. Pat.11.83.).

Just as, alone and unsupervised in a temple, he found equally convenient material a few years later: the truth (so he claimed) about the consular status of old Cornelius Cossus. Cf. Livy 1v.20.5-11 with Ogilvie 196; (в ijj ) ad loc. and below, ch. 2 p. 80.

Cf. e.g. Syme 1939 (a 93) 282 n.i; Crook 1957 (c 68) 36-8; contra, Johnson 1978 (c 128); Wallmann 1989 (c 243) 310—13. 279 Kromayer 1898 (c 143) 57.

Cf. Livy, Per. 132; Dio l.9.2; Veil. Pat. 11.82.4; Plut. Ant. 58.1-3 with Pelling 1988 (в 138) ad be.

Cf. Plut. Ant. 62.3; Hermocrates at Thuc. vi.34.5. The strategic position is set out masterfully by Kromayer 1898 (c 143) 57-67- 282 MRR 11 417-18, cf. RRC 545-6.

render this the most moral of civil wars. The propertied classes of Italy came to his rescue. For much of summer 3 2 he was organizing an oath to follow his personal leadership:283 it was to be taken throughout Italy, and indeed all the western provinces (that probably meant little more than the Roman citizens in each).

Of its own free will, all Italy swore allegiance to me, and demanded me as its general for the war I won at Actium; the Gallic and Spanish provinces, Africa, Sicily and Sardinia took the same oath. (Rm Gestae 25.2)

The oath did nothing to improve Octavian's legal status, but its moral implications were extraordinary. It was taken to him personally. There were a few civilian precedents,284 but the nearest analogies were in fact military, the oath taken by soldiers to their general: and it was appropriate that Italy and the provinces were 'demanding Octavian as their general' for the war. Besides the backing it gave Octavian, this was also one way of preparing Italy psychologically for conflict. There were doubtless others too - for instance, the Res Gestae passage goes on to speak of more than 700 senators 'serving under Octavian's colours',285 and such language probably goes back to the events themselves. Of course, there had been appeals to consensus Italiae, the united sentiment of all Italy, many times before.286 Now, as usual, the public's feelings were doubtless more complex. For one thing, Italy was growling at Octa­vian's new financial exactions, severe even by the standards of the last twenty years.287 And it would be naive to think that the oath was wholly voluntary. Some communities were indeed 'excused' from taking it, for instance Antony's own veteran colonies.288 Still, the claim of harmony was not mere hypocrisy. A great many senators, for instance, seem to have come over to Octavian during these final stages;289 and it seems likely that only a few of Antony's colonists exploited Octavian's dispensation.290 In 40 the veterans had refused to fight one another, but this time it would be different. At last, Italy was almost solid for Octavian.

Cf. esp. von Premerstein 1957 (a 74) and, briefly, Brunt and Moore 1967 (в 2t;)on RG 25.2; Syme 1939 (a 93) 284-92; Herrmann 1968 (c 117) 78-89; Linderski 1984 (c 164); Girardet 1990 (c 97) 345—50. The evidence for the oath's dating is set out by von Premerstein 1937 (a 74) 41; Syme 1939 (a 93) 284-5 suggests, probably rightly, that the Italian cities took the oath not simultaneously but in sequence.

Von Premerstein 1937 (a 74) 27-36; for important qualifications, Herrmann 1968 (c 117) 50-89.

RG 25.3, cf. n.260 above. The phrase is often taken to imply that all the senators accompanied Octavian on his campaign: that need not follow. 286 Syme 1939 (a 93) 285-6.

2,7 Plut. Ant. 58.2; Dio l. 10.4-5, '6-3, 20.3, liii.2.3; Pliny, HNxxxvti.io; cf. Syme 1939 (a 93) 284; Nicolet 1976 (d 104) 95; Yavetz 1969 (a i 10) 25-6.

Especially Bononia, Suet. Aug. 17.2; but it seems that even here Octavian made attempts to win them over (Dio l.6.3).

Cf. Wallmann 1976 (c 242). »0 Dio l.6.3, cf- li.4.6 with Keppie 1983 (e 65) 76.

The time for action was approaching, though the summer was wearing on, and it did not now look as if the decision would be reached this year. That was in Octavian's interests, in fact: Antony had his vast army ready, backed by all the wealth of the East; Octavian's treasury was worryingly empty.291 But Octavian's political preparations, at least, were almost complete, and in late summer he could declare war. That too should be done in the right style. War was declared on Cleopatra alone: she after all was the real enemy. And it was declared in the most Roman of fashions: Octavian disinterred, perhaps even fabricated, an ancient fetial rite — a picturesque affair of casting a spear into a symbolically hostile patch of land.292 Not of. course that Antony was ignored: he was stripped of the consulship he was to hold the next year, and also of 'the rest of his power'293 — presumably the triumvirate which he was still claiming and, on one possible view, he still held. But he was not yet declared a public enemy. The moment for that would soon come.294 For Antony would surely stand by Cleopatra: and then, would he not be a self-confessed enemy of Rome?

XI. ACTiим, 31 B.C.

During winter 32/1 Antony's force stood ready in Greece. His main fleet was in the harbour of Actium; but Greece's western coast is pitted by natural harbours, and it was best to defend them all. Pockets of ships were distributed fairly widely - in Methone, for instance, Leucas, Corcyra, Taenarum and probably Corinth.295 Antony himself wintered in Patrae, with yet another contingent of ships and men. The next summer would clearly see the critical campaign, and he could still be sanguine. True, Italy was lost, and lost more conclusively than he would have hoped; that was disappointing. But he could reasonably reflect that, once Octavian had survived the buffeting of the Perusine War, he would always have the advantage there. In Italy Octavian was the man in possession: far less adept politicians would have been able to capitalize on that. Anyway, the politics were virtually over. Antony might still go through the motions of offering to resign the triumvirate, after he had won his victory (as he now had to specify): two months later, or possibly six.296 It all hardly mattered now.

Cf. p. 5 3 and n. 287.

DioL.4.4-5 with Reinhold 1988 (в i jo);cf. Livy, 1.3 2.4 with Ogilvie 196) (в ad be.; Rich 1976 (a 81) 56-7, ioj-6; Wiedemann 1986 (f 237).

rf/v aAAr/v tЈovoiav vaaav, Dio L.4.3 with Reinhold 1988(8 150) ad be.; cf. Plut. Ant. 60.1.

Antony certainly was declared a bottis at some point (App. BCiv. iv.4 j. 193, cf. iv.38.161; Suet. Aug. 17.2): probably later in 32 or in early 31 rather than after Actium, as Fadinger 1969(842) 243­5 2 argues.

Cf. Dio l.11-13; Oros. vi. 19.6-7; Strab. viii.4.1-4 (359Q; Veil. Pat. 11.84.1, Plut. Ant. 67.5; Kromayer 1898 (c 143) 60. 256 Dio L.7.1-2.

In military terms Antony still looked ahead. He had been unable to recruit in Italy, but not all orientals were weaklings, and his forces were probably the larger, possibly 100,000 infantry against Octavian's 80,000. The cavalry was equally matched, but Antony's fleet of 500 men-of-war was more numerous than Octavian's and - almost as important — his were the larger ships.[149] The way naval battles were now fought, bulk was likely to count; certainly, it had counted at Naulochus. Antony's side was also the wealthier. Octavian's exactions had doubtless done some­thing to replenish his treasury, but he could still hardly compete: for one thing, he had already had to give his troops a precautionary donative.[150]Last of all, there was Antony himself, still surely more effective a general than Octavian despite those Illyrian victories. Antony knew how little those meant. True, he must have heard impressive things of Agrippa, who was still virtually untried when last Antony was in the West; he might prove a worthier adversary. But, everything considered, Antony still looked to be the winner.

It was clear what his strategy should be. Invading Italy was not an option, for sound military reasons.[151] Antony would have to wait for Octavian to come to him, just as Pompey had waited in 49—48; and, again like Pompey, he would hope to harass Octavian's fleet during the crossing, when the ships would be terribly cumbersome, with cavalry, legionaries and baggage on board. Even if they could land, they might find it hard to support themselves if Antony could maintain his expected superiority at sea. The lesson of 48 was again there to be learnt, when Caesar had certainly found it very difficult to establish himself with sufficient numbers of troops.[152] It might still be disconcerting that Pompey had finally lost, and then in the next civil war the eastern side had lost again; but Antony could still reflect that Pompey should really have won at Dyrrhachium, while Brutus and Cassius had fought their battle too far east.[153] The eastern side should strategically be the stronger. Sulla was the more telling precedent.

Once again, it all went wrong.[154] The danger in Antony's position was simply the necessity to divide his army and fleet among so many harbours. These various forces could reasonably be expected to rein­force one another if threatened; besides, the main force at Actium could be expected to harry any invasion fleet as it sailed down the Adriatic, if any target further south were chosen for its landing. But Agrippa was too quick. Surprisingly early in the } i season, he struck with an advance force and took Methone, then launched surprise attacks elsewhere on the coast, even as far north as Corcyra. Meanwhile Octavian himself managed to cross, surprisingly unimpeded, to the mainland north of Corcyra; within a few days he had reached Actium, and occupied the tactical strongpoint in the area, the hill of Mikalitzi. Soon Octavian had linked his camp by earthworks to the harbour of Gomaros. We do not even hear of any resistance, which is astounding. Perhaps there were operations which our sources omit, perhaps the Actium land-force had been called away to meet one of Agrippa's sudden threats elsewhere. Anyway, the first tricks had fallen to Octavian, and they turned out to be decisive.

Antony soon arrived himself from Patrae, and pitched camp near Punta on the southern coast of the bay. Octavian naturally tried to bring him to battle before he could concentrate the rest of his fleet or army; Antony naturally declined. When his troops arrived from their various stations, Antony established a new camp on the northern side of the straits, near Preveza. Only the plain of Nicopolis now separated the two armies, but it was Octavian who refused a land-battle. Antony tried strenuously to cut Octavian off from the river Louros in his rear, vital to his water supply, and there was clearly a series of cavalry battles in the northern plain: the most substantial was won by Statilius Taurus and the renegade Titius, by now one of Octavian's commanders. Then, once again, a contribution of Agrippa was crucial. His fleet took the island of Leucas, just south west of the mouth of the harbour; this afforded Octavian a safer anchorage than Gomaros, and made it difficult for Antony's other scattered ships to reinforce him. A little later Agrippa also took Patrae, where there were still ships, and Corinth. Antony was now under virtual blockade.

The analogy with 48 must again have been felt. This was Dyrrha- chium over again, but the roles were strangely reversed: it was now the eastern force under Antony which, like Caesar then, was cut off on the coast by a stronger army and fleet. Antony naturally thought of breaking out to the interior of Greece: that was what Caesar had done, and had gone on to win at Pharsalus. Octavian had already sent his own men into Greece and Macedonia, while Antony sent Dellius and Amyntas into Macedonia and Thrace303 - to seek mercenaries, according to our source Dio, but probably their brief was a wider one. Soon Antony himself set out to overtake them. While he was away Sosius tried to break out at sea, but was beaten by Agrippa. On his return Antony lost another cavalry battle. By now it looked very bleak. Allied kings had been killed - Bogud of Mauretania at Methone, Tarcondimotus304 with Sosius. Others were

303 Dio l. 15.4. 304 See above, p. 29.

defecting. Deiotarus Philadelphus of Paphlagonia had gone to Octavian some time since, and at some point he was joined by Rhoemetalces of Thrace;[155] now the much more valuable Amyntas went too. That was cheering to Horace,[156] and doubtless to Octavian too. Antony's position was becoming desperate. Provisions were failing: disease was rife - particularly, perhaps, malaria and dysentery, worsened by the shortage of supplies and water. Antony had no option but to withdraw all his troops to the southern bank, but that is even more waterless than the north, and the deaths went on.

Romans too were defecting. The most dispiriting was that of Domitius Ahenobarbus, already mortally ill. Dellius too, notorious for picking the right moment to change sides, realized that it was now: with him he took Antony's battle-plans. Not that they were hard to divine. The break-out to the interior was a serious option, and it seems to have been urged by the land-commander Canidius Crassus. But it would have meant abandoning the fleet; and even if the army could break out to Thessaly, even if Octavian obliged by offering battle there rather than relying on attrition, Antony's army was so wasted by disease that it would barely be able to fight. Realistically, the battle had to be fought at sea. Later romantic fiction would represent this as a crazed decision, influenced by Cleopatra:[157] but that is absurd. Antony had already done all he could on land; only now, in late summer, did he decide that a naval battle was the only option left.[158]

At the outset of the campaign Antony's fleet had outnumbered Octavian's, but Agrippa had destroyed some of his squadrons, while others had been unable to force their way through to join the Actium fleet. And there was a manning problem as well, for death and desertion had reduced Antony's numbers considerably. By now he had no hope at all of matching Octavian's numbers: otherwise, indeed, he would have forced on the sea-battle earlier. He eventually put to sea with perhaps 200 or 250 ships, while Octavian had 400 or more.[159] Antony simply burnt the remainder of his ships: better that than to allow them to fall into Octavian's hands.

Antony's chances of victory were evidently very poor. The most he could realistically hope for was to break out with as many ships and men as possible, and this seems to have been in his mind from the beginning: he shipped his treasure-chest, for instance, an extraordinary thing to do unless he was planning flight; he also gave orders to carry sails, which was most unusual for an ancient battle. He could keep his mind a little open, perhaps: he knew he could not break out without a fight, sea- battles were often unpredictable, and if things went surprisingly well then of course he would try to fight it out to the end. The weather might even be rough - it had been for the last few days before the battle - and that might add some further unpredictability: his galleons might better survive a buffeting than Octavian's slightly lighter ships. Still, the chance of a break-out in force was always the more likely option. He may not have told too many of his own troops: it would of course be highly damaging to morale, for most of them would have to be left to the victor's mercy. One need not doubt their surprise and dismay when, in mid-battle, they realized the truth.310 But his own mind must have been clear enough. He must also have known that the break-out was not going to be easy. Outflanking Octavian's superior numbers would be impossible, and the only way was to drive a wedge through the centre. Even if that could be done, a flight southwards involved a technical difficulty. The island of Leucas juts out just south of Actium, and with prevailing winds from the west and north west it would be hard to clear it under sail.311 The best hope was to join the battle as far out to sea as he could (Octavian would in fact be unlikely to resist this, for he too would want open waters to exploit his superior numbers and manoeuvrability); and if possible to delay it till the afternoon, when the wind typically veers from west to west-north-west.

That indeed is exactly what happened. On the morning of 2 Sep­tember 31, Antony's fleet took up its station outside the harbour mouth. Cleopatra's squadron of sixty ships rested behind his centre, ready (it seems) for a concentrated strike on any weak point in Octavian's line - a sort of maritime Panzer-tactic, in fact. Octavian's much longer line moved to hem them in. Then, most eerily, for hours nothing happened. Antony was waiting for afternoon; Octavian would be content to wait much longer, for it was Antony, not he, who needed to break the blockade by battle. Around midday there was at last some movement of both fleets to seaward; but still, no real action. The first decisive move came in early afternoon, for both northern wings — Antony's right and Octavian's left under Agrippa — began to drift further north. It is not clear who started it. Perhaps it was Agrippa, as our principal source Plutarch suggests: now that both fleets were in more open sea, he could reasonably begin an outflanking move. More likely it was Antony, trying to entice Octavian into leaving a critical gap in the centre of his line. Anyway, gaps began to open, at least in Antony's line and perhaps

3,0 Memorably described by Plut. Ant. 66.6-8. зп Carter 1970 (c 51) 215-27.

ALEXANDRIA, 30 B.C.

in Octavian's too. Cleopatra's squadron seized the moment: she hoisted sail and bore down on the enemy. It is hard to say which side was the more startled. The squadron forced its way through, perhaps surpris­ingly easily;312 Antony himself moved from his massive flagship to a quinquereme and followed. So did others, but perhaps not very many. It is hard to think that even a hundred ships escaped; these had some legionaries on board, perhaps one hundred apiece — but the bulk of the fleet, and over three-quarters of the army, remained.

Once Antony and Cleopatra had sailed away, the rest of their fleet saw little point in the battle. Some galleons made their way back to the harbour in a peculiarly undignified way, backing water in a halting crab­like movement to port.313 There was perhaps a little fighting, but nothing very fierce. The whole battle produced only 5,000 casualties, an amazingly small number by the standards of a sea-battle. Octavian did his best to make it a little more spectacular: a few ships were fired;314 and he took the ostentatious precaution of spending the night on board ship.

But it was hard to disguise the truth. The Battle of Actium was a very lame affair. Such as it was, Antony and Cleopatra arguably won it: at least, they achieved all they could reasonably have hoped. But they had so decisively lost the campaign that the success made little difference. There was some talk of the surviving army saving itself on land, and some forlornly set out for Macedonia;315 but it was all highly unrealistic. They soon went over to Octavian, who gave generous terms.316 The Battle of Actium delayed the end for a year; nothing more.

XII. ALEXANDRIA, 30 B.C.

Antony had concentrated almost, but not quite, all of his legions for the Actium campaign. The exception was a force of four legions under L. Pinarius Scarpus in Cyrene, left probably to protect Egypt from political disorder, for like most of the Ptolemies Cleopatra had many internal enemies. Anyway, they were now Antony's only hope, and the remains of his fleet crossed not to Alexandria but to Paraetonium, the nearest port to Pinarius' force. But, all too predictably, the hope proved ill founded: Pinarius swiftly declared for Octavian; and the dispirited Antony returned to Alexandria. Cleopatra had already been there for

312 Or so Plut. Ant. 66. j-6 suggests: that is not necessarily reliable (cf. Pelling 1988 (в 158) on Ant. 6 j-6), but the low casualty figures do suggest that there was no fierce fighting.

3,3 Hot. Epod. ix. 19-10, 'hostiliumque navium portu latentIpuppes sinistrorsum citae', a striking epigram. These were probably the remains of Antony's right, whose northern movement would have left them uncomfortably far from the harbour mouth. Cf. Pelling 1986 (c 186).

314 Augustan poets made the most of this. It was the best they could do. Cf. Hor. Carm. i.J7-1}, 'vix una sospes navis ab ignibus ...'; and Virg. Aen. viii.694— 5; then Dio l.34, whose battle- description is as usual wholly unreliable. 315 Dio li.1.4; cf. Plut. Ant. 67.8.

59

316 Plut. Ant. 68.2-5, with Pelling 1988 (в 138) ad lot.-, Keppie 1983 (e 65) 79-80.



ALEXANDRIA, 30 B.C.

some time, acting decisively. Many of the suspected nobles were murdered, and Artavasdes too was hauled from his captivity and executed. She also plundered extensively to gather money for the armies: hopelessly enough, for by now no money was likely to retain their loyalty.

Depressing news continued to arrive throughout the winter. The intelligent princes Antony had encouraged in Asia Minor were alert enough to know they should change sides. Amyntas had already gone at Actium, and Herod of Judaea shortly followed his example.317 So did lesser men, for instance the sons of Tarcondimotus of Cilicia;318 we do not hear when Archelaus and Polemo declared for Octavian, but that too was probably soon during the winter.319 Octavian himself had spent some time in Samos and Ephesus after the end of the Actium campaign, and was beset by embassies, for instance from Rhosus and probably Mylasa;320 for the cities too recognized who was their master now. By the end of 31 Octavian had effectively taken over Asia Minor, with his own man Q. Didius as governor of Syria. The loyalty Antony had always inspired still paid some slight dividends, for some gladiators were so determined to join him that they fought their way from Cyzicus through Galatia and Cilicia to Syria.321 But that was the only good news, and that was not much.

At the end of the year Octavian returned briefly to Italy, where there was a little trouble. Doubtless the financial discontent had not disap­peared, though there were now some remissions; but a more immediate problem was presented by a large body of veterans, both his own and those who had come over to him after the battle. They had been sent back to Brundisium, and, just as their comrades had after Naulochus,322 they were insisting on their dispensability: for everyone knew that the war was virtually concluded. They wanted immediate demobilization, and that meant land. The obvious way to find it was to expropriate Antony's Italian partisans, yet it seems that there were precious few of those.323 Agrippa had been sent back to Italy soon after Actium, apparently because problems were already looming. Maecenas was already there.324 Octavian himself could afford only a month in Italy, and

311 Herod secured formal pardon from Octavian in Rhodes in spring, 30; but he had already given help to Q. Didius in resisting the Antonian gladiators. 31S Dio L.7.4; cf. above, pp. 29, 56.

3" Soon after Actium Archelaus was explicitly excused from any reprisals, along with Amyntas (Dio li.2.1). That suggests that he had gone over at once. Polemo, away on the eastern frontier, would take longer to hear of Actium, but nothing suggests that he delayed for long.

RDGE 58.III (= EJ2 301) and perhaps 60 ( = EJ2 303); cf. Millar 1973 (c 175) 58. Perhaps Samos too: Reynolds 1982 (в 270) doc. 13, with Badian 1984 (в 208) 168-9.

There they reluctantly made terms with Didius. Most soon met their deaths.

See above, p. 37. 323 See above, p. 53.

6l

324 It is just possible that Maecenas himself was at Actium, as Eltg. aJ Mate. 45-8 implies: so Wistrand 1958 (в 200) 16-19. If so, he returned very soon afterwards. But Dio Li.3.5 seems clearly to suggest that Maecenas had been left in charge at Rome during the campaign, and that is more likely to be right; so Symei939 (a 93) 292; cf. Woodman 1983 (в 203) on Veil. Pat. 11.88.2.

proceeded no further than Brundisium: large numbers of senators and knights, and many of the city plebs, poured forth from Rome to meet him. He was also met, somewhat less obsequiously, by the veterans. He made a show of asserting discipline, but in fact largely capitulated: those 'who had served him throughout' — probably that means those who had fought on his side at Actium - were to get land, the others (probably the Antonians) only money. Even this meant settling perhaps 40,000 or more.325 Where was the land to come from? Italy was quaking. The risk was all too clear that the trauma of the Perusine War would return. There was only one alternative, to buy the land rather than seize it, and that was what Octavian chose. Of course he did not have the money; but the treasure of Egypt beckoned, and the soldiers and the sellers of land had to be content with promises. There continued to be rumblings during Octavian's absence, including a mysterious 'conspiracy' led by young M. Lepidus, the former triumvir's son.326 But Italy would have to wait. Quite evidently, the final defeat of Antony and Cleopatra had to come first. Egypt's spoils were needed now.

It took a long time for Octavian's forces to reach Alexandria. With Syria safe, he might perhaps have shipped them to the Phoenician ports; but that too would take time, for they would need to travel in several waves, and Octavian preferred to march them overland from the Ionian coast. It was July before they approached Egypt. By then Antony and Octavian had been exchanging embassies for some time.327 Octavian offered nothing, though it does seem that he was more encouraging to Cleopatra. For one thing, he was worried that she might destroy her treasure, which Octavian needed so vitally: she was already making a great show of piling it together and packing it round with inflammable flax and tow. There was even some talk of allowing her children (presumably the younger ones, not the embarrassing Caesarion) to retain the throne, provided always that she surrendered Antony or killed him. All that was not unthinkable. Alexandria had seen mysterious deaths before; Rome had appointed many a surprising client king. Cleopatra herself may well have taken the proposals seriously, more seriously than Antony would have wished: certainly, Octavian's messengers seem to have been able to reach her and talk to her privately - very odd, unless she was giving them some encouragement. But such an outcome was never very likely, and it may be that Octavian never intended more than to sow mutual suspicions, or restrain Cleopatra from premature hopeless suicide. By July it was clear that it would be fought out to the end.

Dio li.4.2-8 with Reinhold 1988 (в 150) tut loc.; Keppie 1983 (e 65) 73-82, especially 85.

Veil. Pat. 11.88, cf.Livy, Per. 153; Dio liv. 15.4; Suet. Aug. 19.1: probably in 30 rather than 31 (as App. BCb. iv.50.217 clearly implies), even though inierat at Veil. Pat. 11.88.1 cannot give the precise dating that Woodman claims. Cf. Wistrand 1958 (в 200).

Plut. Ant. 72-3 with Pelling 1988 (в 138) ad loc.; Dio u.6-8.

ALEXANDRIA, JO B.C.

Octavian planned a simple pincer movement. Cornelius Gallus had taken over and reinforced Pinarius' legions, and he would attack from the west while Octavian's own troops completed their long journey from the east. Oddly, Antony himself moved to the western front (and was pretty ineffective there); yet the east was clearly the more important front. Octavian's difficult desert march to Pelusium turned out to be wholly unopposed, and Pelusium itself fell quickly, perhaps by trea­chery. Soon Octavian's army appeared before Alexandria itself. On 31 July there was a cavalry battle, which went quite well for Antony; but the storming of the city itself was clearly imminent.

During the night of 31 July came a most curious event, or so the story was later told — a mysterious sound of divine music, a strange procession as Dionysus himself abandoned the city.328 What really happened is not beyond conjecture. There was an ancient Roman custom, the evocatio of the gods of an enemy city before a battle: the Roman general would call them out and invite them to take up a new friendly Roman home. The rite was probably enacted before the fall of Carthage in 146;329 it was also used in the routine capture of a Cilician town, Isaura Vetus, in 75 B.C.330 Octavian was always sensitive to the use he could make of antique custom. The fall of Alexandria would be the greatest conquest of an enemy city since Carthage itself, and Cleopatra was the greatest threat to Rome since Hannibal. Octavian was the man who had solemnly recalled the old fetial formula for declaring war; he would hardly neglect an opportunity like this, and evocatio is exactly what we should expect. Antony had played Dionysus-Osiris for long enough. Now he was indeed to be deserted by his god.

On i August Octavian attacked, and Alexandria fell. First came a naval fiasco in the harbour: Antony's whole fleet deserted to Octavian. Then came an infantry exchange, which Octavian once again won decisively. Antony returned to the palace, and he died. Plutarch and after him Shakespeare tell the story magnificently - the false news that Cleopatra is dead, the slow removal of the armour, the slave who kills himself rather than strike his lord, the bungled death-blow, the wretched writhing as Cleopatra and her maids haul him into the mausoleum. At least we can believe that in the tumult Antony heard confused reports, and he may well have falsely believed that Cleopatra had taken her own life: it was the natural thing to do. But in fact Octavian's men took her captive first, and she lived on for nine more days.331

Octavian himself entered Alexandria without resistance, and in a careful speech announced his forgiveness of the city. But his mercy had

Plut. Ant. 7J.

Macrob. Sat. ш.9.6; Serv. ad Aen. xn.841; doubted by Rawson 1973 (f 203).

33° Hall 1972 (в 240); Le Gall 1976 (d 210).

63

331 For the date of her death (probably 10 August) cf. Skeat 1953 (c 219) 98-100.

its bounds. He took the treasure, of course. Caesarion was hunted down and killed; so was Antyllus, Antony's eldest son; there were other victims too, including Cassius Parmensis, the last of Iulius Caesar's assassins, and Canidius Crassus, the general of the Actium campaign. But many were spared, including Cleopatra's other children - at least for the present.[160] They were being kept for the triumph, and the taunts of the Roman crowd. And so, it seems, was Cleopatra herself: but here Octavian's plan went astray.

The story of her death is still more extraordinary than Antony's, and very hard to estimate. The ancient sources, especially Plutarch and Dio,[161] had no doubt that Octavian was trying to prevent her suicide, and used threats to her children to ensure that she stayed alive. This was, of course, to make certain that she would be displayed humiliatingly at his triumph in Rome; and, for the ancient sources, it was when Cleopatra realized the horror of this fate that she finally determined to kill herself. She bathed herself, and dressed in her finest regal attire - a strange version of the bathing and dressing that were important parts of a real funeral. Then she clasped the asp to her arm; she took her seat on the regal throne, flanked by the devoted maids Iras and Charmion who chose to join their mistress in death. The guards burst in to find them there in their tableau of death; Cleopatra had won her final marvellous victory. And it was the most appropriate of deaths, for the double cobra was an old Ptolemaic symbol, the uraeus-. on a Ptolemaic head-dress the cobras would rear up, as if to strike any enemy of the throne.[162] Now Cleopatra's very life had become hostile to her. It was right for the royal cobra to strike.

The version goes back very close to the events themselves. In outline it had taken shape by the time Horace wrote his Cleopatra Ode a few years later.[163] But modern scholars are sceptical.[164] They point to the advan­tages to Octavian of having her dead: even as it was, trouble continued in Egypt for some months,[165] and it would have been more perilous if Cleopatra had remained a potential figurehead. Would it not be better for Octavian to remove her? If actual murder was too crude, then at least he could leave poison, or indeed cobras, pointedly available — a glamorous equivalent of the revolver on the officer's table. Yet such a view raises more difficulties than it solves. It leaves it unclear why Octavian should have allowed her to live on for those nine days; we are even told that he foiled two earlier suicide attempts.[166] Octavian must have known his mind well before the city was taken. In the turmoil of the first day Cleopatra could readily have died, and it would have been easy to portray it as suicide, doubtless by a barbaric method. Octavian would have spoken regretfully of the mercy he would have shown: that sort of scene was to become commonplace in the early Principate. But the impli­cations of the story we have are very different, and much less flattering to Octavian. No one could escape the inference that he was trying to keep her alive against her will, but was outwitted. Octavian was usually a more accomplished propagandist than this. It is surely better to assume that, if he kept her alive at all, he genuinely did want her for the triumph, just as his supporters wished.[167] Some of the details may well be fictional[168] - perhaps the famous story of the basket of figs, for instance. But, at least in outline, her splendid, serene, triumphant death is probably history, not legend.

XIII. RETROSPECT

Why did Antony and Cleopatra lose? Of course one can point to their political errors, and Octavian's greater shrewdness. There was Antony's insensitivity to the western crisis, which misled him into keeping his legions on the eastern frontier for too long; there was the indelicacy with which he flaunted his liaison with Cleopatra; there were the Donations of Alexandria — pure spectacle, but once again so damaging before an Italian audience. On the other side, there was Octavian's adept manipu­lation of Italian public opinion, exploiting propaganda with greater power and insight than had ever been done before. It is so easy to isolate these facts that we naturally assume they were decisive. They certainly made a difference: how big a difference, one may doubt. It remains true that, with Antony so confined to the East, Italy would have favoured Octavian overwhelmingly in any case; it remains true that, once all the politics had been played out, at the beginning of the } 1 campaign Antony still looked as if he would win. The East was as solid for him as the West for Octavian, and the military factors were on his side. Octavian certainly outwitted Antony in their political exchanges; but it was not this that finally brought the victory.

Perhaps it is easier to isolate the decisive moments. One is obvious, the autumn of 36, when Antony was failing in Parthia and Octavian was crushing Sextus: a suggestive contrast for the Italian public to ponder, and also a startling one — victory could not have been expected to dwell with the weak unmilitary Octavian rather than Antony, the greatest captain of the world. But there are at least two more turning-points. One, rather inconspicuously, was the death of Calenus in 40. It was that which robbed Antony of Gaul, and turned him so firmly eastwards; and, in the longer term, that gave Octavian not merely Gaul but also the whole West. And Calenus' death was just an accident, just Antony's bad luck. The second was the first stage of the Actium campaign itself, with Octavian's swift unimpeded crossing and, more important, Agrippa's series of debilitating thrusts on Antony's scattered forces. It was then that, within a few weeks, Antony started to look the loser rather than the winner; thereafter, the fighting simply ran its course. The true history of those few weeks remains hard to grasp. Why was Antony so dilatory in his resistance? Why was Octavian able to take over the decisive land station at Actium so easily? We shall never know; perhaps once again luck played a great part. But those few weeks decided the future of the Mediterranean world.

Octavian's greater political shrewdness should suggest a different reflection. Antony and Cleopatra might well have won the Actium campaign. If they had, the task of settling the world would in some ways have been easier for them. Their marriage — for marriage, unequivocally, it would then have been — would provide a most attractive register to describe and suggest a new harmony of West and East. That would be particularly true in any culture which thought of its royalty as gods: this would be a divine marriage, a most certain guarantee of the world's prosperity. But such cultures were the cultures of the East: Antony and Cleopatra would be both gods and monarchs, and the fate of Iulius Caesar made clear how sensitive such topics were in Rome. Antony had shown his statesmanship in other ways, especially in his penetrating judgment of the individuals he raised to power in the East, and in the style and range of his settlement. But his failure to appease Italian sentiment would surely have turned out to be a decisive flaw. The union of the Greco-Roman world was always a precarious thing, and it is hard to think that it could have survived the continuing dominion of Cleopatra and Antony. Looking a generation ahead, one could see what might happen: two worlds, not one, with Antyllus (perhaps) succeeding to some sort of control in the West, and Caesarion a more traditional monarch in the East. Or rather, that was the best that could be hoped for;

constitutional questions

a further debilitating series of revolts and civil wars, once again fought out in Italy and Greece, was just as likely. And no one could see what would emerge at the end.

Enthusiasm for Octavian comes less naturally to us now than fifty years ago. 'Because he stood for something more than mere ambition he could draw a nation to him in the coming struggle'341 — one would not write that now. We admire the political shrewdness which forwarded ambition so well, but we admire it grudgingly: we have seen too many similar leaders since, and what they have meant for the world. Now the story is once again told, not as Octavian's triumph, but as the tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra. But, still, they could not have coped with success, and Octavian could: his mastery of Italian propaganda may not have won him the war, but it did much to win the ensuing peace. For Rome, the right man won.

ENDNOTE: CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS

i. the terminal date of the triumvirate

This is notoriously disputed. For thorough discussion of the evidence and bibliography, reaching opposite conclusions, cf. esp. Fadinger 1969 (в 42) 98— 153, Gabba 1970 (в 55) lxviii—lxxix.

The Lex Titia of 27 November 43 established the triumvirate for five years: its terminal date was 31 December 3 8 and the term was more precisely five years and a little over a month-. It was renewed for a further term, but not until the conference of Tarentum in 37 (above, p. 27). The disputed question is the terminal date fixed at the time of this renewal, whether 31 December 3 3 or 31 December 32.

67

At RG 7.1 Augustus claims to have held the triumvir per continues annos decern / ovvexeoiv ereaiv 84ка (cf. Suet. Aug. 27.1): i.e. clearly, from 27 November 43 to 31 December 3 3: cf. Brunt - Moore ad loc. I agree with those who regard this as decisive. Thus the Fasti Capitolini, inscribed under Augustus, include the triumvirs before the consuls in their entry for 1 January 37 (rather than 36): the second five-year term had retrospectively been fixed as beginning then. App. III. 28. 80 shows that Appian regarded the triumvirate as due to end at the end of 3 2 rather than 3 3: 8vo yap eXeiirev ётт) rfj Sevrepq. TrevratTla -rfjabe rrjs apxys [of 1 January 33], but that seems to be his own misinterpretation: even though in III. Appian is in general drawing on Augustus' Autobiography, it would not be surprising if Augustus was delicately vague in that work about his status in 32, and it would be in Appian's manner to fill out the gap with his own explanation. BCiv. v.95.398, brei Se о XP°V°S fXrjye rrjs apxrjs ■ ■ ■ [of Tarentum], perhaps implies that Appian wrongly thought that the triumvirs still held office in 37, when in fact this had already expired (cf. Dio xlviii. 5 4.6): in that case he would naturally assume that the five-year renewal would last from 36 to the end of 32. As Antony and Octavian were due to assume the consulship on 1 January 31, it J" .Charlesworth, САН x' 65.

was tempting to infer that the triumvirate was due to expire on the previous day, and that perhaps misled Appian, But such extensions usually went in five-year terms, and at Tarentum the triumvirs' first priority was to legalize their current position retroactively and therefore to backdate the new term to i January 37.

The oddity is in fact not that they renewed their term only to December 3 3 (that is explained sufficiently by the taste for five-year terms and the need for retrospective recognidon in 37); but that at Misenum, when they completed their consular lists for the following years, they had fixed on 31 rather than 3 2 as the date for their own consulship. They might then already have anticipated that a second quinquennium would expire in 33 rather than 32. But that may well have been Antony's choice: he was in a strong position at both Brundisium and Misenum, and the Antonians Ahenobarbus and Sosius were due to be consuls in 32. Antony may well have been content to rely on them to support him and embarrass Octavian in a crucial year.

2. octavian's'tribunicial sacrosanctity'

Dio xlix. 15.5—6 clearly implies that Octavian was granted this in 36: 'they [the people] voted him... protection from insult in word or deed (то ^ijre еруш р-утс Xoyw Ti v^pt^eadai): anyone who committed such an outrage was to fall liable to the same penalties as in the case of a tribune'. (On the terminology cf. Bauman 1981 (c. 20)). He also received the right to sit on the tribunician bench, ibid.-, the following year sacrosanctity was extended to Octavia and Livia, Dio xlix. 38.1. But App. BCiv. v. 13 2.548 says that in 36 'they' elected Octavian 8-qp.apxos is act, i.e. presumably gave him tribunicia potestas, 'encouraging him, it seems, to replace his previous apxy) [the triumvirate] with this permanent one': Oros. vi. 18.34 also attests a grant of full tribunicia potestas in 36. At li. 19.6 Dio says that Octavian was voted tribunicia potestas in 30; then, oddly enough, at liii. 3 2.5-6 he records a similar vote in 2 3. In fact Augustus certainly counted his trib. pot. from 23 (RG 4.4), and the easiest resolution of the evidential tangle seems to be to assume that Dio xlix. i 5.5—6 is right about sacrosanctity. The misinterpretation of Appian and Orosius is then unsurprising. Dio liii. 32.5 will then correctly record the final vote to confer trib.pot. in 23, and liii.32.6 makes it clear that the honour was then accepted. AtLi.19.6Dio specifies only an offer of trib.pot. in 30; at li. 20.4 he says that Octavian accepted 'all but a few' of the honours voted on that occasion - admittedly surprising phraseology, if the trib. pot. was among those he rejected, but perhaps not impossible (Dio elsewhere tends to present catalogues of honours voted as if they were generally accepted). So Last 1951 (c 15 3)-

Some prefer to assume that Octavian provisionally accepted trib. pot. in 36, but only on condition that both he and Antony laid down the triumvirate; on this view the proposal lapsed when Antony refused, but Octavian managed to preserve sacrosanctity from the original offer: cf. e.g. Schmitthenner 1958 (c 304) 191 n.2, Palmer 1978 (c 184) 322—3. That is possible. Some, e.g. von Premerstein 1937 (a 74) 260-6, suggest that Octavian accepted full trib. pot. in 36, then renounced it at some time (probably early 27) before re-accepting it in 23; but in that case it is odd that this first trib. pot. is never mentioned in

constitutional questions 69

contemporary documents, nor its renunciation in the literary sources. Others, e.g. Kromayer 1888 (c 141) 40, Grant 1946 (в 522)446—5 3, Jones i960 (a 47) 10, 94-5, Reinhold 1988 (в 150) 229-30, prefer to assume that Octavian was allowed the tribunician ius auxilii in 3 o: this rests on Dio li . 19.6, where Dio connects the iusauxilii with the conferring of trib.pot., a notice which that view anyway has to reject or explain in the way outlined above; and it was anyway 'not a Roman habit of thought to decompose the potestas itself' in this manner (Last 1951 (c 153) 101).

CHAPTER 2

POLITICAL HISTORY, 30 B.C. TO A.D. 14

j. a. crook

i. introduction

With the victory of Iulius Caesar's heir there began - though it is apparent only to historical hindsight - both a distinct phase in the history of Europe, the 'Augustan Age', and a distinct epoch in the standard divisions of world history, the 'Roman Empire'. That fact has always constituted a problem for historians, from the earliest writers about Augustus until now, in that Augustus was both an end and a beginning. The temptation is for chronological narrative to be given up - for time, as it were, to stop - at the beginning of the Principate (whether that be put in 27 or 23 or 19 b.c. or in some other year), giving way to thematic accounts of 'institutions' of the Roman Empire as initiated by its 'founder'. Augustus did, indeed, 'found' the Roman Empire; but the danger of succumbing to the thematic temptation is that it makes the institutions he initiated look too much the product of deliberation and the drawing-board, whereas they need to be seen as arising, incomplete and tentative, out of the vicissitudes of a continuing political storv. That story will be told in the present chapter.1

The sources of evidence for the reign of Augustus, subsequent to the 'triumviral' period narrated in chapter 1 above, are too multifarious to be described generally here,2 yet in some ways they are far from satisfactory all the same, and the Augustan beginnings of many institutions of the Roman Empire remain hard to detect. The narratives we have are also of such a kind as to lure people into placing too much emphasis on minor turbulences. One or two features of the evidence need to be brought to the reader's attention. The first is that the only full-scale ancient chronological narrative of Augustus' reign that has come down to us is the relevant part (Books li—lvi) of the Histories, in Greek, by Cassius Dio, a consular senator of the Severan age.3 We are fortunate that, for a

To be read in conjunction with the military story told in ch. 4.

On the main literary sources see САН x1 866-76. F.pigraphic documents: F.hrenberg and Jones, 2nd edn 195 5 (в 227) (the paperback reprint of 1976 and 1979, containing important addenda) (EJ2). Translations: AN. Selcct sources in English: Chisholm and Ferguson 1981 (a 16).

Millar 1964 (в 128); Manuwald 1979 (в 121).

71

introduction

good deal of the period, the full narrative written by Dio survives, as opposed to the Byzantine abridgements of him with which historians of the post-Augustan period have mostly to be content; but there are a number of small gaps, due not to any sinister cause but to the mere loss of leaves from a codex, where we are reduced either to the abridgements or to nothing of Dio at all.[169] The loss thus caused to the detailed picture of the last twenty years of the reign is disproportionately great, leaving all too much room for conjecture and making inevitable some imbalance of emphasis upon the first half of the reign.

A second feature of Dio's Histories about which notice must be given is the peculiarity of Book lii. It consists almost entirely of an artificial debate, set in 29 b.c., between Agrippa and Maecenas, as advisers to the future Augustus, on the relative merits of a 'democratic' or a 'monarchic' state; the speech of Maecenas advocating the latter is enormously the longer.[170] The prevailing view, here accepted, is that the Maecenas- speech, at least, is a demarche composed by Dio in the hope of influencing the policy of government in his own age, and cannot be used as direct evidence for what was intended or was the case at the time when it is supposed to have been spoken.

The two major literary sources, apart from the Histories of Dio, are Suetonius' lives of Augustus and Tiberius: the Lives are immensely important, but they are organized thematically rather than chronologi­cally.[171] In any case, Suetonius and Dio being non-contemporary sources, the question arises what their sources may have been, and how reliable. Of contemporary material there survive today Augustus' own Res Gestae (as well as other important inscriptions and papyri), the relevant parts of the Roman History of Velleius Paterculus,[172] and Strabo's Geography. We know that there was much more: Augustus wrote an autobiographical fragment (going down only to 25 b.c.), and there were collections of his letters and sayings; Agrippa, too, wrote memoirs, and we hear of various contemporaries and near-contemporaries who may have narrated the events of the reign - though not a word of them survives.[173] Livy continued his History down to 9 b.c.; but of that work we possess only the so-called Periochae or 'Tables of Contents', and to the important question whether Livy was the main source of the narrative of Dio forthe Augustan period as he had been for the previous period, the answer seems to be that he was probably not.9 That leaves the historian of Augustus in the uncomfortable position that his main narrative source is itself dependent upon an unknown and lost source as to whose credentials no judgment can be made.

Of the inscriptions, abundant and of the first importance, though all call for careful interpretation, only one group would really baffle the reader without a word of explanation: the lists known as the Fasti and the Calendars.10 The Fasti are chronological lists, on stone, of the annual Roman consuls or of those who celebrated triumphs, from early times, the bare lists being sometimes accompanied by brief annotations of other events. The most important surviving set, which includes both consuls and triumphatores, is called the Fasti Capitolini, and was inscribed on an Augustan triumphal arch at the southern end of the Forum Romanum.11 It is crucial to realize that those Fasti are not, as we have them, age-old primary material but a learned compilation, set up enure at a single moment, not for a historical but for a propaganda purpose. Sets of consular Fasti were also erected in the municipalities, who added their local magistrates, and some corporations kept such lists: the vicomagistri furnish a good consular list down to a.d. 3. The Calendars were lists of festivals and other events organized under the days of the year;12 there was no doubt an official Roman set, but the ones that, in more or less fragmentary states, have come down to us belonged to municipalities or corporations or even private persons. The most useful are the Fasti Praenestini, from the forum of Praeneste: they, too, were a learned construction, the work of the antiquarian Verrius Flaccus, the tutor of Augustus' grandsons, Gaius and Lucius Caesar.

The quantity of new information available today that was not in the possession of those who wrote on Augustus in the first edition of the Cambridge Ancient History is small, consisting of a few inscriptions and papyri - not but what some of those are of high significance. But an enormous enlargement of the historian's task in handling the evidence for the Augustan age has resulted from three conceptual developments. Scholars have come, first, to see that the physical monuments - buildings, art-objects, coins - are central and not merely corroboratory evidence: they were, to the Romans, speaking monuments, and they spoke politically.13 Secondly, that appreciation is part of a wider enlargement of perspective, in that we are required to view symbolism

' Manuwald 1979 (в 121).

Texts in EJ2; edition, Degrassi 1947 and 1963 (в 224) XIII, fascs. 1 and 2.

Latest arguments, Coarelli 1985 (e 19) 11 263-308.

Ovid's Fatti is a versification of the calendar material for half a year.

" Holscher 1984 (p 424); Hannestad 1986 (f 409); Simon 1986 (f 577); Zanker 1987 (f 632).

and myth-making as an integral function of all societies, and a nation's political symbols and images as essential to the understanding of any segment of its history. Finally, there stretches a vast field, on whose battles scarcely any historian has been competent to be more than an onlooker - the works of the famous figures of Augustan literature. A present trend amongst literary specialists is to see those writings as through-and-through political, whether as propaganda for the political regime or as in more or less covert resistance against it, asserting either 'Augustan values' or those of the 'alternative society'. The historian cannot avoid the challenge to regard that material also as central rather than peripheral, though his sense of the impossibility of mastering all the evidence is thereby greatly aggravated.[174]

11. 30-17 B.C.

Actium, though it is convenient to historians as a punctuation mark (Dio says we should date the years of the new ruler's 'monarchy' from 2 September 31 B.C.),[175] and was convenient to the victor as a symbol, was not quite the end of civil war. A campaign had to be mounted for Egypt,[176] and i August 30 B.C., Aegypto capta, is the real ending date, with the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra following hard upon it.

Caesar[177] now had, at just under thirty years of age, all the power there was, but not yet - if ever - was there a 'happy ever after', for there was no necessary acquiescence. The presuppositions of republican political life did not disappear overnight, and though many had gone and many survivors leapt on to the winning bandwagon, opposition did not instantly die away. That fact has received much emphasis in recent scholarship, to the point of finding in 'opposition' the key to most of what happened down to 17 B.C.,[178] but it is best not to exaggerate: such opposition had no sufficient base of power to force Caesar to take or refrain from any action. It is, perhaps, a matter of the right language to use, for there were certainly considerations that he had to face. Victory cast into his lap, along with it, all current problems and all future policies. He held power as long as he satisfied the various elements in the body politic - the armies, mostly wanting demobilization on good terms,19 his supporters who had made victory a reality, the plebs of Rome, too large, politicized and volatile to ignore,20 and the surviving governing class, without whom an empire could not be maintained. And there were pre-existing structures to which, for the very sake of power, he must relate himself, and which could not be wished away, such as career expectations and clientelae.

A career reward for an important supporter may be the banal explanation of the first momentous decision taken after Cleopatra's death, with which our tale begins. Egypt was a new responsibility. The question was, how that land should be governed; the answer, that it should be a province of the Roman empire, but with an eques, not a senator, as its governor. The choice may, at the time, have been obvious: simply, the member of the victorious junta who had successfully handled the Egyptian campaign and who deserved a major reward. That Gaius Cornelius Gallus21 was only an eques was perhaps of secondary or no consideration. Like Dio and Tacitus,22 with hindsight we seek a principle for the consigning of Egypt, ever after, to an eques: the crucial importance of its corn for Rome and the need to deny its resources to opponents. But Gallus was the man on the spot, and Upper Egypt, the old traditional part of the Double Kingdom, recalcitrant to the Ptole­mies and wooed by Cleopatra, had to be integrated militarily with the rest. Meanwhile, the royal treasure-house was seized, which meant the end of shortage of funds and enabled promised payments to be made for the land bought for discharged veterans.

At Rome, tight control was exercised on behalf of his absent chief by another member of the triumphant junta, also an eques, Gaius Maecenas. He scotched an alleged plot by Lepidus, the son of the deposed triumvir, to assassinate Caesar — an unconvincing story indeed, given that Caesar was across the seas. Anyone looking for what was usurpatory and unconstitutional about the new rulers who had vaulted into power need look no further, for there is no sign that Maecenas had any formal authority at all, and there were perfectly valid consuls in office: 'non mos, non ius', yet.23 And though certain new constitutional powers were voted to the absent Caesar, the 'Vote of Athena' or power of pardon,24 the auxilii latio or power, like a tribune , to come to the aid of citizens in the city of Rome,25 and the power to 'judge when called upon'26 (which scholars seize upon in the search for a constitutional basis for the emperor as judge), they are best seen either as marks of honour, simply — for 30 B.C., with Caesar away from Rome, was hardly a time for constitution-making — or else as giving him some judicial standing in the East, in relation to former partisans of Antony, or of himself.27 (Cf. ch. i. Endnote 2.)

21 Boucher 1966 (c 37). 22 Dio li.17.1; Tac. Ann. 11.59.3. 23 Tac. Ann. 111.28.1.

Jones i960 (a 47) 95.

Dio li. 19.6 says all powers of a tribune, for life. That may have been offered; Caesar accepted (only)'most'of what was offered, li. 20.4. 26 екнХт/тбу Stxa^etv.

27 His partisans in the cities may have been calling for support.

jo—17 в.с.

For Caesar showed no sign of hurry to reach the hub of things. He entered upon his fifth consulship of 29 B.C., as he had done his fourth the year before, in absence from Rome, still in the East, where there was need for diplomatic activity and reflection (no doubt) on policy, and where a major decision was forced on him about cult of himself as the new liberator, peace-bringer and benefactor.28 Caesar was bombarded with offers of official cult, in line with what was customarily offered in the hellenistic world. Dio tells us what he decided: for the Roman citizens in the East, temples of Rome-plus-the-divine-Iulius at Ephesus and Nicaea were to be the prescribed limit of official cult; for the non-Romans, temples of Rome-plus-himself at Pergamum and Nicomedia.29 That, Dio says, was the precedent for the subsequent general pattern; like the prefecture of Egypt, and much else, what came to be settled policy sprang from a quick decision made in a particular context.

The Senate, at its first meeting of 29 B.C., excogitated further honours for the still absent victor: the right to use Imperator as his permanent first name,30 formal approval of his eastern diplomatic arrangements, and, on 11 January, the closing of the gates of Janus in sign that Rome was at total peace. (We can all notice, with Dio,31 that campaigns were going on in Spain, Gaul and Africa, but the Romans meant peace as far as they were concerned, and the 'business-as-usual' foreign triumphs by which the aspiring leaders of the Republic brought themselves to prominence, and which had gone on, significantly, all through the triumviral period, were still going on.)

Caesar came leisurely home. In August he was back on Italian soil (Virgil and Maecenas read the Georgics to him at Atella);32 and on 13, 14 and 15 August he celebrated the only three triumphs he was ever to celebrate: for his Dalmatian campaigns of 35-33 B.C., for Actium, and for Egypt. His sister's son Marcus Claudius Marcellus, and his stepson, Tiberius Claudius Nero, coeval, born in 42 B.C., rode with the triumviral carriage.There were gladiatorial and beast shows, a distribution of 400 sesterces per person to everybody 'from the booty', and a present to discharged soldiers of 1,000 sesterces per head. On 18 August came another ceremony: the dedication, on their completion, of two struc­tures in the Forum Romanum proclaiming the glory of the gens lulia,33 the temple of divus lulius at the southern end and the new senate-house, the Curia lulia, at the northern. The new Curia housed the statue of Victory from Tarentum and the statue of 'Venus rising' by Apelles, purchased by Caesar expressly; and outside the new temple were placed

a Habicht 1973 (f 134) 55-64. 29 Dio li.20.6-9.

30 So defacto on coins already in the triumviral period. 31 Dio li.20.5.

Donatus, Life of Virgil, from Suetonius' hives of tbe Poets (ed. Rostagni 1956 (в 153) 89).

75

Transformation of the Forum Romanum, Simon 1986 (f 577) 84-91.

the rostra captured at Actium, to face the rostra at the other end of the Forum (in their new Caesarian location). Noting these details is not to descend into triviality; they are the first of many examples to come of political statements made through visual monuments.

Caesar and the chief among all his collaborators, Agrippa, were granted censoriapotestas, the authority possessed by censors, with which, in 2 8, being both also the consules ordinarii of the year, they carried out the first solemn lustration of the Roman people since 70 B.C. They also carried out a revision of the senate-list, lectio senatus, which obliged numerous senators to resign. It was the first of several purges of the curial order, but one should be aware of incautious inferences from the story that Caesar and Agrippa wore breastplates under their togas at that lectio. Of course, assassination was always a possibility, but the idea that the purge in 28 B.C. was for the rooting out of irredentist Antonians is simplistic, because such enemies were hardly to be scotched merely by excluding them from the Curia. The Senate had, notoriously, been grossly enlarged by the introduction of people whom the rest of that body regarded as socially unworthy, and in the restoration of the status quo ante which — as will be seen - was afoot, a return to a normalized Senate was in the interest of the senatorial order itself. Furthermore, if Caesar was going to set up a committee chosen by lot from the senators to play some role in the preparation of public business,34 it would need first to shed its unsuitables. Dio mentions here (it is the first of many new regulations governing senatorial affairs) a new rule that senators might only leave Italy-Sicily with Caesar's permission: hitherto the Senate itself had been the licensing authority.35

It was in 28 B.C. that some of the slowly maturing plans began to take shape. There faces us in the end that unavoidable topic, the constitution of the Principate: it will be dealt with in chapter 3, but in the present chronological account what happened can best be described as 'business as usual after alterations', which was what all Rome wanted and expected. 'In my sixth and my seventh consulship, after I had ex­tinguished the fires of civil war, in accordance with the wishes of all [Greek version: 'of my fellow citizens'] having taken control of all things, I transferred the res publico [Greek version: not politeia but kjrieia, 'supreme authority'] from my power into the arbitrament of the Roman Senate and people.'36 It can be noted at once that there was no such thing as 'the constitutional settlement of 27 B.C.': 'In my sixth (28) and my seventh (27) consulship ...', says Augustus.37 The process was con­ceived of as a steady return to normality after years of abnormality. In 28

34 Crook 1955 (d 10) 11. 35 Dio lii.42.6; Mommsen 1888 (a 65) ш 912-13.

36 RG 34.1. 37 And cf. Tac. Ann. 111.28, sexto demum consulate.

Caesar shared the consularfasces, month by month, with his colleague, in the traditional manner (after all, he was now in Rome and so able to do so), and he announced that the rulings of the triumvirs -including his own, and presumably insofar as not already validated — would be abolished as from the end of the year.38 What was occurring was what Antony and Caesar, as triumvirs, had promised would occur. They had envisaged it for their intended joint consulate of 31 в.с.:39 it had been regrettably delayed by civil war, so Caesar implied, but now here it was; and nobody at Rome can have expected that the 'dynasts' would reserve to themselves no special place in the restored order. The difference was that there was now only one 'dynast' left, which was, needless to say, no small difference.

But first, the year 28 had other excitements for the Roman public. To begin with, no less than three 'business-as-usual' proconsular triumphs, in May, July and August; then in September the first celebration of 'Actian Games' in Rome; and in October the completion of the white marble temple of Apollo on the Palatine.40 Potent symbolism lay in that: Actian Apollo to be the presiding genius of a new age, a synthesis of Greece and Rome, of arms and arts, his shining temple standing prominent, housing famous original statues and flanked by libraries, and connecting with - so as to be virtually a part of- the house of Caesar. The ever-recurring paradox of all this story comes out in those symbols: the effort of Caesar, on one plane, to restore the 'Scipionic' Rome of past glories, matched, on another plane, by the rapid growth, also by his efforts, of new concepts and structures, of a 'parallel language'.41 The paradox is yet more apparent if the view of some modern writers be accepted that Caesar's huge Mausoleum beside the Tiber was already finished by 28 в.с. and was a great symbol; but that may not be right,42 and there is disagreement about what it is supposed to have symbolized. Certainly, the Mausoleum was not redolent of modest aspirations, but the late-republican Romans were competitive about tombs, and it was perhaps just an ace of trumps in that competition.43

Caesar was absent from his 'Actian Games': he was ill. Scepticism is common amongst historians about the illnesses that punctuated the first forty years of Caesar's life: they were, it is supposed, psychological reactions to tense situations, or even fraudulent and calculated. The scepticism is fuelled by the fact that after 23 B.C. he lived to a great age in

38 Dio Lin.2.5. Grenade equates that announcement with the edict quoted by Suetonius, Aug. 28.2. Unconvincing. 59 App. BCiv. v.75.313.

Propertius 11.31; Simon 1986 (f 577) 19-25; Zanker 1987 (f 632) 52-73 and 242-5.

Concept borrowed from C. Nicolet 1976 (a 66) ch. 9, ies langages paralleles'.

Reliance is placed on Suet. Aug. 100.4; but it was recem when Virgil wrote Am. vi.873 and still unfinished when Marcellus was placed in it. 43 For the competition see Zanker 1987 (f 632) 27.

essentially sound health,44 by the lack of success of medical historians in diagnosing, from the vague evidence, what, if anything, was seriously the matter with him, and by the fact that he is known to have staged one crisis, when Tiberius threatened retirement — and Tiberius was unde­terred. Nevertheless, doubt is hypersceptical. Illness and early death stalked the corridors of power in antiquity.45 Iulius Caesar was epileptic; Pompey was ill every year,46 and very gravely ill at Naples in 50 B.C.; as for our Caesar, he nearly died in his teens, and in 42 he was ill at Dyrrhachium and at Philippi, and there were rumours of his death. In 3 3 he was ill in Dalmatia. His illness in 28 went on after the Games all through the winter, for he was still not recovered in May the following year. In 26 illness overtook him at Tarraco after the first Spanish campaign, and may have been continuous through 2 5 and 24; for he was ill at Rome in June 24, and very likely continued so right down to his resignation of the consulship in July 23: then, notoriously, he was thought to be at death's door again. And, surely, he thought himself so: hence the building of the Mausoleum, and the autobiography, after­wards abandoned, and the early versions of the Res Gestae. Caesar's precarious condition, and his own belief in it, must be borne in mind when we think of'constitutional settlements': it really was possible that the whole story would end abruptly, and he must hasten to leave something stable behind.

At the beginning of 27 b.C., all special powers being abolished, Caesar and Agrippa were joint consuls once again. On the Ides of January, in a careful consular speech in the Curia, Caesar handed the whole Roman state back into the hands of the Senate and people, for them to decide the nature of its future government: that was the gesture of fulfilment of the promise. It does not seem likely that the Senate's response was other than carefully prepared and stage-managed:47 it was to grant to Caesar what the Senate had traditional authority to grant, a provincia. But that provincia, 'Caesar's province', gave him nevertheless an overwhelming role in the new order, because of its size: Spain, Gaul and Syria (plus, indeed, Egypt, which, having not existed as a province at all until 30 B.C., may not have been thought of as any of the Senate's business to grant), on a ten-year maximum tenure. Caesar made no gesture to resign the consulship, which lay with the people to grant; and if he chose to continue to offer himself annually for election to it, no doubt he would be regularly elected: he would hold his vast provincia either as consul, or, if he ever dropped the consulship, as proconsul. No change at all needed to be made in the traditional arrangements for the rest of the provinces of the Roman world. Strabo, indeed, states — implying that it was at this

44 Though he remained hypochondriacal^ fussy about himself all his life, and often had throat infections. 45 Syme 1986 (a 95) 20-5. 46 Cic. Att. vin.2.3. 47 Contra, Dio liii.i i.

time - that Caesar received 'headship of the hegemony' and was made arbiter of peace and war for life, but reasons for limiting the significance of that claim will be given in chapter 3 below.[179]

The formal authority Caesar thus took for himself was vast, indeed, and in its totality un-republican; nevertheless, it was a way of expressing his overwhelming predominance in encouragingly familiar concepts — sovereignty vested in Senate and people, and no political structure incompatible with mos maiorum. And not a colossal confidence trick, for who, amongst those who mattered, could have been taken in? Rather - if Caesar turned out to have made the right political guess — what most people badly wanted to believe; and, furthermore, experimental and with a fixed term. And finally, if he died, the traditional res publico would be standing in place, inviolate.

But at once comes the counterpoint and the paradox. For on 16 January Caesar was heaped with new honours proposed by his adher­ents, above all with the name 'Augustus'; and that was a fantastic novelty, the impact of which is blunted for us by two millennia of calling him by that name. No human person had been called it before, and its symbolic range was very large. The sources preserve a tale that Caesar, or some of his advisers, or both, had first thought of 'Romulus'.[180] Some scholars doubt, others think that 'Augustus' was a second-best imposed by the strength of opposition; but it came to the same thing, for they all knew their Ennius: '... since famous Rome was founded with august augury'. There were other insignia: the 'civic crown' of oak-leaves 'in honour of the salvation of the citizens'; the shield proclaiming Augustus' special qualities, virtus-, dementia, iustitia and pietas erga deos patriamque[181](expressing, of course, what was wanted of the ruler); the laurels placed on either side of his house doorway.[182] As children of a different culture we might be impatient with those insignia, as politically trivial; but in a society in which, to be a great man, you had to be acknowledged and proclaimed as such, the names and crowns and dedications had power, carrying symbolic messages both ways, of what was granted and what was expected.

In Sextilis (or August) Augustus, in poor health again, went off, first to Gaul and then to Spain. In fact, for fifteen years he kept up virtually a regime of three-year trips to the provinces alternating with two-year stays in Rome,[183] and Suetonius remarks that Augustus saw personally every Roman dominion except Africa and Sardinia.53 We need not attribute to him the passion for personal oversight — and for tourism - that motivated Hadrian over a hundred years later. Escape from opposition, at least in the sense of letting experiments simmer, may be more relevant; the desire, also, to foster the impression of 'business-as- usual': the governor goes to his province and Senate and people are sovereign at Rome. Nevertheless, already and at once, the res publico was stamped with that hallmark of a changed world, 'ubi imperator, ibi Roma', 'where the ruler is, there is Rome'. There was only one ruler now, and the world must make its way to where he was.

'Business-as-usual' included a triumph, in September, for Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus (the patron of Tibullus and perhaps of Livy), ex Gallia, but before that, in July, one for Marcus Licinius Crassus, ex Thracia et Getis. Crassus (a grandson of Iulius Caesar's triumviral colleague), who had been a partisan of Sextus Pompeius and then of Mark Antony, but, in spite of that, consul ordinarius in 30 B.C., requested the further honour of dedicating spolia opima for having personally killed an enemy chief. Augustus had it disallowed, on a probably trumped-up ground:54 no one was to be allowed military honours greater than the ruler himself could ever conceivably have — indeed, before long not even triumphs would be permitted to any except members of the 'divine family'. But use of this incident to infer a 'challenge to the usurping authority' by an unreconciled Antonian, and a 'crisis of the new order' is altogether out of proportion. Crassus celebrated a full triumph, and the fact that he 'disappears from history' afterwards does not warrant sinister suspicions. What is more, the history of his campaigns, far from being suppressed, must have been written up by somebody, for Dio has a disproportionately long account of them.55

Another disappearance at about this time, however, might be regarded as more of a tragedy: the suicide, in 26,56 of the poet, soldier, and part-architect of Augustus' victory, Gaius Cornelius Gallus, first prefect of Egypt. Recent new - or newly evaluated — evidence57 has led to revisions of the older story, that it was because he got above himself for his undoubtedly successful campaigns to unify Egypt that he forfeited the amicitia of Augustus. But whatever the reason, he did forfeit it, and the protection it afforded, and laid himself open to a senatorial declara­tion that he was liable to prosecution. Suetonius states that Augustus was distressed by Gallus' suicide and had not desired it;58 so modern interpreters have urged that Gallus fell, not to the malice of his old chief, but to that of the 'opposition', to whom the consignment of Egypt to an

Livy, iv.20.j (who plainly (32.4) did not believe Augustus' case).

Dio li.23.2-27; and observe Livy Pir. 134-3.

Dio lin.23.4—7. Syme 1986 (a 95), 32, following Jerome, argues for 27.

Hartmann 1965 (в 241); Volkmann 1965 (в 295); Boucher 1966(0 37); Daly and Reiter 1979(0 74); Hermes 1977 (в 82). 58 Suet. Aug. 66.2.

81

30-17 в.с.

eques had been an outrage and who seized upon some Achilles' heel of Gallus to destroy him. There is a puzzle of evidence here, whose pieces do not all fit; but it may be that we can legitimately see the Senate emboldening itself to declare - now that the favourite had fallen from grace — that a prefect of Egypt was not exempt from prosecutions to which other governors were liable. And perhaps it is not too fanciful to guess that the fall from grace was because Gallus had had further career pretensions, such as entry into the Senate with high standing. At any rate, insofar as there was a display of opposition in the incident it quite failed to unnerve Augustus, who continued to entrust Egypt to equites (and did not let them rise further).

The story here being challenged, that of attacks upon the usurping junta by an increasingly powerful and bold opposition, leading' to disintegration of the 'Party' and forcing upon the ruler a rethinking of his entire position that bore fruit in 23 B.C., is held to embrace even Augustus' Spanish war — its purpose political propaganda and its goal not achieved.[184] Northern Spain had been a useful triumph-hunting ground for years, down to 26 B.C., but it seems probable that it was now to be definitively annexed for its precious metals. That proved a hard task: Augustus had intended to lead a victorious campaign in person, and he had Marcellus and Tiberius with him as military tribunes, but he was ill at Tarraco and the war had to be carried forward - to no properly conclusive end — by legates. The illness gives a better key to these years: Augustus doubted his own long survival. Timor mortis, rather than fear of the opposition, was what preoccupied him.

His consular colleagues in Rome in 27 and 26 were Marcus Agrippa and Titus Statilius Taurus, reliable men. It can therefore hardly have been out of a sense of insecurity that in 26, from Spain, he promoted another experiment, the appointment of a prefect of the city, the respected triumphator Messalla Corvinus.[185] The post had a remote republican history: in the dim past a prefect had been appointed by the consuls if both had to be absent on campaign, to see to the government of the city, and Iulius Caesar had appointed several prefects simulta­neously in his absence. The prefecture was destined to become a regular post under the Principate, with responsibility for policing Rome, for which the urban cohorts were at the prefect's disposal; it came, in fact, to be the crown of a senatorial career. But in 26 there was a sitting consul, and Messalla, having accepted, gave up the post after six days.[186] The oddity is, if he thought it was a breach of mos maiorum, why he accepted inthe first place. Scholars suggest that pressure from his peers caused him to resign - another 'victory for the opposition' - or that he realized he was being manipulated by the ruler into acquiescing in a sinister novelty. It may be suggested, rather, that Augustus intended the post as an addition to the 'honours list' and Messalla accepted it as such and then learnt (from someone like Livy? We must remember that the Romans did not know much about their ancient history) how historically anomalous it was. There is no sign that he forfeited Augustus' esteem by his resignation, and the post was not, at that time, proceeded with. Statilius Taurus, according to Tacitus, took it, and with success, but hardly immediately, for he was consul; and it is by no means certain that Augustus ever intended that prefecture as a permanent post.

Agrippa, in his chief's absence, was engaged in the creation of a new complex of public structures and leisure-spaces in the Campus Martius. It was part of the stage-by-stage capture of the public spaces of Rome for the symbolism of the new ruler, as well, of course, as the cultivation of the plebs and the continuation of Agrippa's own populist image, inaugurated by his astonishing aedileship in 3 3 B.C.62 The new complex comprised, particularly, the Saepta Iulia, the great covered hall for voting (a project of Iulius Caesar), new baths with an attached park, and a new temple, the Pantheon.63 Now the precedents for such a temple as that were hellenistic and monarchical, and scholars detect a whiff of opposition again, for we are told that Agrippa wished to call his structure Augusteum and place in it a statue of Augustus, so implanting direct cult of the ruler in Rome itself. Augustus declined, and if he was not under pressure he was certainly, in the matter of cult, feeling every step of the way; his absence will have helped to save embarrassment.

The creation of public spaces advertising the triumphant glory of Rome was proceeding also in newly conquered lands — in, for example, the major new cities of Colonia Augusta Praetoria (Aosta) and Colonia Augusta Emerita (Merida), both of them settlements of retired soldiers. A second closing of 'the gates of Janus signalized the all-too-incomplete victory in Spain.64 Meanwhile, to Tarraco flocked the world's embassies: Parthians, Scyths, Indians, delegations from Greek cities. There could be no doubt where policy was being made; and that was the reverse of the coin, the disadvantage of absence, for not even a pretence could there be made of senatorial involvement. Incidentally, Augustus' wife, Livia Drusilla, was always at his side, whether on tour or at home. But there was no son of that marriage, a fact which remains a mystery.

42 Zanker 1987 (f 652) 144-8.

Not like the Hadrianic rotunda to be seen today, and facing in the opposite direction. Coarelli 1983 (f 116).

Oio dates the closing to 2] b.c., liii.27.1; and that is certainly before Augustus got back to Rome.

30-17 в.с.

Hence the major preoccupation of the sick ruler at Tarraco was: what happens if I die tomorrow? The answer arrived at, of immense signifi­cance (and hardly what Livia Drusilla can have advised), was to marry his two nearest blood relations to each other, his daughter lulia, aged fourteen, to his sister's son, Marcellus, aged seventeen. In 24 в.с. Marcellus was admitted to the Senate with the rank of one who had already held the praetorship and with the promise of an early consulship, and in 23, to enhance his popular image, he was made aedile and Augustus contributed to make his aedilician games especially note­worthy.65 We ought not to be puzzled at the paradox of a regime carefully founded on the ostensible principle of election to offices, all of whose successive rulers, including the high-minded Marcus Aurelius, thought in exclusively dynastic terms about the succession. Paradox it is, but not novel; on the contrary, rooted in the mentality of the governing class of the Republic, whose young hopefuls had in each generation to compete for the people's votes to obtain office and so 'stay in the club', but felt themselves entitled by descent to be the competitors, and whose major families expected the highest honours for their sons. Augustus' solution, then, was, mutatis mutandis, a traditional one: to see that his natural dynastic successors were placed in the appropriate positions of office. The one idiosyncrasy was his very strictly 'genetic' concept of the succession: it was the blood of his family that was to prevail over all. It is easy to perceive the difficulty, namely that he had to make, and be seen to be responsible for, the choices that, in the Republic, the populus Komanus had made. Tiberius, for example, the son of Livia Drusilla, coeval with Marcellus: what of him? He must play second fiddle. In 24 he was elected quaestor for 23 - a step behind Marcellus - and allowed to stand for further offices five years ahead of normal. Or what of Agrippa, the main architect of victory, guarantor of stability, and focus of plebeian support? He had, at all events, no son. If mortality were to strike Augustus now, he alone could conceivably carry on the regime as they had planned it. Would he do so faithfully in the name of Marcellus and lulia? Well, he presided over the marriage ceremonies, which suggests that he supported the solution — except that Augustus was never sensitive to the feelings of those closest to him.

Augustus struggled home at the end of 25. He entered on his tenth consulship on the road from Spain to Rome; and on that day, 1 January 24 B.C., the Senate took an oath to uphold his acta, and it was announced that he would make a present to the plebs of 400 sesterces per person. Whereupon the Senate, according to Dio, 'released him from all compulsion of the laws',66 which meant, goes on Dio, that Augustus was

The vela. Prop. 111.18.13. Crinagoras, Poems x and xi, ed. Gow and Page 1968 (в 6j).

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Dio liii.z8.2.

to be 'master of himself and the laws and do what he liked and not do what he did not like'. Now Dio remarks elsewhere67 that the emperor is 'absolved from the laws' - which was proper constitutional doctrine by his day. If that, plus 'doing what he liked', was proclaimed as the prerogative of Augustus as from i January 24 B.C., it is that date, not 31 nor 29 nor 27 nor 23 nor 19 nor 2 B.C., that would have to count as the start of formal constitutional autocracy at Rome, for both the great doctrines of the High Empire, 'the emperor is dispensed from the laws' and 'what is pleasing to the emperor has the force of statute', are inherent in what Dio says. Scholars do not so count it, and they are right not to; for even those who deduce from the lex de imperio Vespasiant that the second of those doctrines did apply already to Augustus68 are usually constrained by parity of reasoning to admit that that same lex shows that Augustus was not, in general, 'dispensed from the laws'.69 Such prerogatives could not have been granted by the Senate alone, and it is best to treat the alleged grant just as a proposal, made in Augustus' absence and in contemplation of his illness, that never got beyond the Senate. Constitutional redefinition was on the way, but it was to take a quite different turn.

The year 23 B.C., Augustus' fortieth, was a year of crisis, because Augustus almost died and Marcellus did die. Numerous historians at the present time re-date two events placed by Dio in the year 22 B.C., the 'trial of Marcus Primus' and the 'conspiracy of Caepio and Murena'.70 They place them in 23, and claim that those events, coupled with the assumed disgruntlement of Agrippa with the promotion of Marcellus, were the culmination of the long tale of increasingly bold and successful opposition, nearly brought the whole regime down to disaster, and forced upon Augustus a constitutional retreat. The illness of Augustus is seen as a feint, a sharp incentive to the 'Party' to pull itself together. That transposition (with all the inferences that it carries with it) is, on methodological grounds, not adopted in what follows.71

Early in the year 23, Augustus did not expect to survive. There were, no doubt, people who rejoiced, and to whom the ruler's unexpected and rapid recovery was deeply disappointing. But at the crisis he handed state papers to his fellow-consul and his private signet to Agrippa. That was a scrupulously correct procedure. And he had not given the dynastic signal of adoption to Marcellus, not even in his will - as he was anxious to assure people.72 Upon recovery, in fact, he hastened to redefine powers, and, first of all, those of Agrippa. A law was passed conferring

" Dio Liii.18.1. 68 Seech. 3 below, pp. 118-20.

69 And historians, from Dio onwards, are wrong if they think the two doctrines 'come close to the same thing'. 70 DioLiv.5.

71 Badian 1982 (c 14) argues cogently against it. 72 Dio Lin.31.1.

upon Agrippa an imperium proconsulate, probably with a term of five years:[187] not for action, but for eminence next to Augustus (and certainly not maius, for not even Augustus had that yet). Agrippa, with his new imperium, sailed off promptly to the East, to no particular activity, settling his headquarters at Lesbos and governing Syria through his own legates. Already in antiquity historians thought up explanations of this odd conduct: Agrippa had taken himself off, or been sent off by the very grant of proconsular imperium, in rage and humiliation, or in loyal co­operation, in order not to be in the path of the rising star, Marcellus. 'Crisis' historians, nowadays, prefer to see him sent to 'hold the East' because of the strength of opposition to the regime. Better than any of those explanations is to see in Agrippa's departure an experiment with the concept of double-harness at the top, one ruler in the West and one in the East. Augustus was, presumably, convalescent, and no one could know that he was destined never to be seriously ill again. Moreover, there was plague at Rome.

In any case, the new formula for Agrippa was only the first stage in a bigger reformulation, the 'constitutional settlement' of 23 в.с. On 1 July Augustus laid down his eleventh consulship, and must then have made it plain that in subsequent years he would not normally be a candidate for the office; for alternative formulae were adopted for giving him the various powers that he was relinquishing by giving up the consulship. But let us here be clear about the difference between powers and power. Augustus was not engaged in taking or declining or modifying the latter: factual power was not in question; he had that, totally, as long as he satisfied the general interest of governing class, plebs and armies. What was being taken or declined or modified was the expression of that power, which would settle expected boundaries of its use, of the behaviour of the ruler, and the scope to be allowed for a modus vivendi under his power. Not, then, retreats and compromises in a struggle over power, but in order to get the most acceptable modus vivendi. And in 23 the prime need was to restore to full availability the highest social prize of the aristocracy, the consulship,[188] which had been monopolized for years, as to one place, by Augustus, and twice also, as to the other, by Agrippa.75 'Business-as-usual' was what the aristocracy wanted as the price for their co-operation. Suetonius records, undated, a proposal by Augustus for there to be three consuls in any year when he was one, which was turned down:76 the proposal tends to be associated with 19 B.C., but it might belong here in 2 3 - tried out, perhaps, on the senatorial steering committee and greeted with too much dismay. The alternative was for the ruler to relinquish the highest office.

Instead (or at least at the same time) Augustus received the grant, annually renewable but for life, of the official powers possessed by tribunes of the plebs, tribunicia potestas. We can argue that he needed the tribunician power so as, constitutionally, to be able to summon the Senate and to introduce legislation, and Augustus certainly so employed it. Some historians, regarding it as the principal cloak for autocracy, designate it as 'vague' and 'all-embracing': that is not right, for, unlike imperium, which was indeed vague, tribunicia potestas was a bundle of specifically defined powers.That is corroborated by the fact that an addition had to be made:[189] the Senate granted Augustus the right to make a formal motion at any session (a right that had not been part of the power of tribunes in the Republic). Tacitus looked in a different direction for the prime significance of the tribunician power: 'Augustus invented it as the title of highest pre-eminence, in order not to assume the name of king or dictator, and yet to have an appellation that would make him stand above all other imperii,[190] Tacitus thus saw it as a distinction rather than a power, and the same inference can be drawn from two other considerations, first that it came to be used as the chronological marker of the reign,[191] and, second, that it came to be the ultimate honour conferred on those chosen to be partners in the ruler's responsibilities - the sign of a 'colleague in rule', collega imperii. Also, of course, in an age attuned to symbols, tribunician power implied a relationship of protec­torate over the common people; though how far that impressed them is doubtful, and what they were hoping for was, as we shall see, something much more full-blooded.

The imperium of Augustus was redefined: it became imperium maius, which gave him prevailing authority over any other provincial governor in any case of conflict. It was, however, only proconsular imperium, giving him no authority in the home sphere such as he had possessed as consul (though, simply for practical convenience, he was allowed to have it 'once for all' in the sense of not having to drop it every time he entered the sacred pomerium of Rome and resume it every time he departed).80 Some interpret the redefinition as compensating Augustus for the total maius imperium over the Roman world traditionally pos­sessed by consuls; but not all historians are agreed as to the reality, in practice, of the consular maius imperium, and, once again, not the least importance of the new device was to function as a distinction, keeping Augustus' imperium one stage higher than the new imperium of Agrippa.

'Constitutional settlement' is, then, too schematic a description of the changes of 23 B.C.; but it is only fair to add that the two elements, imperium proconsulate maius and tribunicia potestas, proved a very stable formula for the executive authority of Roman emperors for a long time to come.

So much for paper arrangements; in the world beyond the drafting- board nature and chance play their part: disease and death, fire, flood and famine affect the stability of regimes. The years 23 and 22 в.с. were plague years all over Italy. Marcellus died (we do not know whether of plague), and there was no child of his marriage; that was a blow to Augustus' first attempt to create a succession, though the less urgent in that the ruler himself seemed out of danger. More urgent was the condition of the plebs of Rome, whose goodwill Agrippa had fostered. Along with its huge growth in numbers the plebs, overwhelmingly of freedman status, had acquired some political force.81 It is exaggerated to suppose that Augustus was either dependent on it or could ever have based power mainly upon it, but it had huge 'nuisance-value' and had to be managed and prevented from developing popular leaders. Along with plague went grave food shortage,82 and the commons were angry and disillusioned, calling upon the ruler to undo the careful paperwork and take official powers more plenary than he had ever yet had.

The year 22 B.C. was, in fact, fraught with ills. The statutory court for treason had to be convened for more than one case.83 The trial of Marcus Primus, proconsul of Macedonia, for making war on the Odrysae of Thrace unprovoked and without authority, his claim to have done so at the behest of'Augustus or Marcellus', the appearance of Augustus at the tribunal to deny any such instruction, the question by defence counsel what standing he had to intervene, and his reply that his justification was 'the public interest': all that is a well-known story.84 The matter was, no doubt, serious, especially as the resulting conviction of Primus was not unanimous; but it may have been accorded a significance beyond its deserts by being transposed to 23 в.с. It belongs, rather, to the category of 'famous repartees', Augustus' reply being reminiscent of that of Pericles, that moneys had been spent 'for a necessary purpose'.85

But there was also a conspiracy by two persons, presumably to attempt what nature had failed to achieve.86 One was a wholly unknown Fannius Caepio,87 the other a certain Murena (so Dio calls him),88 connected with a group close to the ruler: he was the brother, or half- brother, of Maecenas' wife, Terentia89 and of Augustus' other equestrian

" See САН ix,2 ch. 17. 82 Note the frumentatio recorded in RG 1 j. 1.

0 Its composition was, presumably, at least half non-senatorial. M Dio Liv.3.1-3.

5 Plut. Per. 2J.1. M Dio Liv.3.4-8; Veil. Pat. 11.91.2. 87 Syme 1986 (л 9;) 40, n.47.

*® Referred to in different sources as Licinius Murena and Varro Murena; doubdess he was also a Terentius, but he was not the mystery man in the consular Fasti for 23. Syme 1986 (л 93) 387-9.

" With whom Augustus was supposed to be having a liaison.

friend, Gaius Proculeius, and he was also the very defence counsel who had sought to embarrass Augustus at the trial of Marcus Primus. There is no reason to think that the charge was merely trumped up by Augus­tus.[192] There was a formal trial for treason,[193] and a conviction, but, again, short of unanimous. The sinister part of the tale is that the convicted men were not permitted to slip away into exile in the traditional way but apprehended and put to death.[194] Perhaps they failed to depart instantly enough. Maecenas is said by Suetonius to have given the nod to his wife to warn her brother to flee,[195] and commonly supposed to have lost his confidential standing with Augustus from that moment (though it is not clear that he did lose it abruptly, and Terentia hardly needed her husband as a go-between for information). Augustus celebrated his delivery from the plot (presumably to knife him) as a victory, and was furious at the lack of unanimity of the condemnation.

Disease and hunger led to demonstrations in Rome. Augustus had set out for eastern parts (we shall see why), but the disorders were too great to ignore, and Agrippa was away, so he hurried back. He was offered the dictatorship,[196] by the Senate under heavy pressure from the city plebs, which was thinking of Iulius Caesar; he was offered the powers of a censor for life; he was offered a consulship that would be 'annual yet perpetual', like his tribunician power. He made, like Iulius Caesar at the Lupercalia, a histrionic scene of public refusal.[197] He cannot have been scheming to get those offices, any one of which amounted to formal constitutional supremacy, though those who believe that the arrange­ments of 23 B.C. were a retreat imposed by opposition also believe that Augustus engineered the public outcry to give him the excuse to recover constitutional ground. If scheming is in question it would be more plausible to suppose that he schemed for a chance to refuse them. Or were opponents trying to manoeuvre him into a false step that would justify tyrannicide? Perhaps all was straightforward on both sides, for the context was that of demands that somebody, somehow, should produce bread, and Augustus did accept cura annonae, charge of the corn supply, and it is altogether too subtle to think that that authority was a disguise for total supremacy and that the shortage itself was engineered for that. Bread appeared quickly enough,96 and for the future a not very radical experiment was embarked on to improve the distribution of the free ration: a new annual committee of senior senators, praefectijrumentidandi.

In September 22 B.C. Augustus got away from Rome, and was away three whole years. Agrippa was in the eastern lands, no prefect of the city was appointed, and the urban plebs was not satisfied: the consuls had a rebellious populace on their hands. The people in comitia refused to elect more than one consul for 21 B.C.; equally, Augustus, writing from Samos, refused to take the vacant place. Only at the beginning of 21 did the people obediently elect a second consul.

What had taken the ruler to the East was a major policy issue, and he, not Agrippa, must be the one to achieve a hoped-for diplomatic coup. So Agrippa was available to change places with him, to return to Rome, and, momentously, to marry the widow Iulia. (Tiberius, the stepson, was not offered that hand: he was intended for a career of great public service, indeed, but not to reach the summit of all things.) If Agrippa's presence, briefly, in Rome was also supposed to calm plebeian agitation and prevent the now open consulship from falling into wrong hands, his success was limited, for in 20 в.с. the comitia again declined to elect more than one consul, Gaius Sentius Saturninus, who, in early 19 B.C., found himself facing, alone, the rise of a 'people's champion', a certain Marcus Egnatius Rufus.

The garbled tale of Egnatius Rufus97 may be not unfairly boiled down to this: he was a senator who, as aedile, had won the favour of the Roman plebs by organizing a fire service; that had taken him straight to the praetorship, emboldened by which he stood in 19 в.с. for the consul­ship.98 That conduct counts, in our sources, as one of the 'canonical' list of conspiracies against Augustus;99 it is puzzling why. For Augustus was in the East (and Agrippa was, in a single year's campaign, finally conquering the Cantabrians in Spain), and the problem, whatever it was, was dealt with firmly and successfully by the consul and the Senate. The consul refused Egnatius' candidature, and when a popular uprising occurred it was suppressed, in accordance with a senatus consultum ultimum, and the aspiring popular leader executed. The naive guess is probably right, that the plebs had found a new Clodius, and the fact was dangerous - but to the whole elite, not just to the ruler, so they closed ranks. If Augustus was hoping, as some authors think, that the political agitations of the plebs would lead to an enlargement of his own powers, he would not want his position to seem to be dependent on a demagogue; and if he just feared the plebs would be seduced away from him and Agrippa, he had a yet more obvious motive for wanting Egnatius removed. In any event, neither he nor Agrippa saw any need to rush home.100

The sources are muddled, not least chronologically: Dio liii. 24.4-6 (under 26 b.c.); Veil. Pat. 11.91.3-4, with the notes of Woodman 1985 (в 203).

The vacant one of 19? It sounds, rather, as if the consul was presiding over ordinary elections, which would have been those for 18. 99 Suet. Aug. 19.1.

100 Agrippa's Aqua Virgo was opened on 9 June, but he can hardly have completed the clinching Spanish campaign quickly enough to be present.

Augustus' eastern sojourn claimed striking achievements. The back­ground of affairs in the kingdoms of Parthia and Armenia is described in chapter 4 below.101 The first result of Augustus' intervention in 20 в.с. was a diplomatic agreement with the government of Parthia, the only substantial territorial power on Rome's horizon. It was no doubt welcome to both sides, and established a treaty relationship as between equal powers and an official frontier. Moreover, legionary standards captured from Marcus Crassus and from Mark Antony were handed back to the Romans. Augustus succeeded brilliantly in exploiting the fact, for home consumption, as a victory of arms, which it was not. An opportunity also offered itself for Tiberius Claudius Nero, the stepson, to gain diplomatic or military credit by installing a Roman supporter on the throne of Armenia - which proved easy, because the monarch of the moment had been assassinated before Tiberius arrived. But it was the 'return of the standards' that became a corner-stone of the ideology of a reinvigorated Rome resuming her historic right to 'spare the conquered and defeat the proud'.102

Augustus made many other political dispositions in the eastern provinces, for example depriving cities of their status as 'free' cities and promoting others, quite irrespective (as Dio points out) of the nature of provinces such as Asia and Bithynia, which were technically provinciae populi Romatti governed by proconsuls.103 It was done by the authority of his imperium maius. Also, according to Dio,104 he sent the Senate a letter stating a policy strangely like the instructions that Tacitus says he left behind in a.d. 14: 'to keep the empire within bounds'. That is surprising at this juncture, in view of the huge expansion that was to come: perhaps it was a justification for treaty relations with Parthia and the continued use of 'client kings' in the East.

Augustus voyaged home via Athens, whither Virgil journeyed in his honour (and died in his entourage at Brundisium on the way back: a heavy year for Roman poetry, which saw the death of Tibullus also). The magistrates and Senate proceeded to Campania to meet the returning ruler, a gesture that became a precedent;105 and he appointed, proprio motu, a second consul for the empty place, thus both resolutely declining to change course but also cutting a Gordian knot by pure auctoritas-. it was not, apparently, challenged.

An altar to Fortuna Redux, 'Fortune the Bringer Home', was erected at the Porta Capena and a ceremony of reditus, return, was enacted, of which much is made in the Res Gestae.106 A triumph, however, Augustus

к» Pp. i j 8-63.

102 Virg. Aen. VI.853. Cf. Prop, iv.6.83, Horace's Carmen Saeculare, and the breastplate of the statue of Augustus from Prima Porta, Simon 1986 (f 577) 52-7. 103 Dio Liv.7.4-5.

104 Dio Liv.9. i. 105 First, actually, in 30 b.c., Dio li.4.5.

106 RG 11; the Fasti Amiternini and Oppiani have it also, under 12 Oct.

refused, accepting instead ornamenta triumphalia, the insignia without the ceremony.107 Triumphs were to be quite rare, partly because indepen­dent proconsular commands, a prerequisite of a triumph, died out and partly because triumphs competed, as public spectacle, with the ruler's own image-making: Agrippa led the abstinence. In March 19 в.с. Lucius Cornelius Balbus held a full, formal triumph for campaigns in Africa, and that was the last to be recorded in the Fasti Triumphales and the last to be held by anyone outside the 'divine family': for others, ornamenta triumphalia became the usual limit of honours. It may have been at that time that the arch was built next to the temple of Divus Iulius which had on its inner walls the pageant of Roman history represented by the Fasti Capitolini and Fasti Triumphales;108 the ideology of military success and hegemony was the very breath of Rome: it was to be channelled in the interest of the ruler.

Dio gives a list of further constitutional grants to Augustus in 19 B.C.: an 'overseership of morality' {praejectura morum would have been the Latin), a censorial authority, a grant that most scholars interpret as the consular power for life, and the right to enact any laws he might wish, presumably without submitting them to the comitia, and to call them leges Augustae.*09 Was that the successful outcome of a Machiavellian policy of 'reculer pour mieux sauter'? Had the popular agitations given Augustus the all-embracing formal authority he coveted, under an at last accep­table formula? Though widely believed, that is probably not right; the context will suggest an alternative view. In the Res Gestae, Augustus strenuously denies receiving all-embracing formal authority: but what he did proceed to in the years that followed was a programme of legislation, particularly such as he hoped would restore traditional standards of the Roman people. The intention so to legislate must have been known in advance, through the deliberations of the senatorial sub­committee. Praefectura morum, we may guess, was a suggestion mooted for the formal authority on which Augustus should proceed, censorial power another, the right to enact leges Augustae another; all politely rejected, but somehow the offers have got into the record as accepted.110 The 'consular power' is a more complex, and certainly a controversial, question. Most scholars, nowadays,111 are only too happy to believe that Augustus accepted it for life in 19 B.C., because it serves to provide formal justification for certain actions he took, for which they can see no other. There is, however, no explicit statement but Dio's and Dio,

107 Dio says he celebrated an ovation, but see Abaecherli Boyce 1942 (л i).

106 For the date, and the argument that the Fasti were on a 'Parthian arch', see Coarelli 198) (e 19)11. 109 Dio Liv.io.j-6.

110 Rejection of magistracy of curator morum, RG 6.1 (Greek only); of censorial power, implicit in RG 8; only Dio mentions leges Augustae, and Augustus' reference to his laws at RG 8.5 gives no hint. Suetonius was misled: Aug. 27.5. 1,1 Following Jones i960 (a 47) 15-15.

properly read, is saying something different: .. and the power of the consuls he took for life, to the extent of using the twelvefasces always and everywhere and sitting on a magisterial chair between the consuls at any time'.[198] In the Rw Gestae Augustus informs the reader of revisions of the Senate list carried out 'by consular power': he surely means ad hoc grants, and so implies that he did not possess it permanently. What Dio is telling us about is not a power but an honour; for some 'social' rule was bound to be invented, now that Augustus no longer held, every year, one of the two highest offices of the state, about where, on formal occasions, he should be placed in relation to those two officers and what insignia he should have: we remember how the idea of three consuls did not appeal and was dropped.

In fact, those who like to see the first third of Augustus' reign punctuated by 'constitutional settlements' might better look to 18 than to 19 в.с. (though what is to be seen in 18 gives no comfort to any belief that he had acquired some kind of 'total power' in 19.) In 18 B.C. Augustus' provincia ran out: something certainly had to be done about that, and it was, in fact, renewed for the modest term of five years. Simultaneously, Agrippa's proconsular imperium was renewed for the same five years, and in addition he received the tribunician power for five years.[199] In that development there is constitutional novelty in plenty: an original and experimental arrangement based on a collegiate conception of the rulership. Agrippa and Iulia now had a son, and another baby was due, so dynasty was once again assured. The past decade had been uncomfortable for the ruler and his regime; now, with a good measure of optimism and militarism, Rome was to resume her role of conqueror and mistress of the world.

So the years 18 and 17 were marked by a programme of social reform, public and private, including a second revision of the Senate list, and by a great festival of Rome, to proclaim regeneration and traditional values, the ludi saeculares of 17 в.с.

Details of Augustus' social laws of this phase are treated in chapters 3 and 18 below.[200] He did not accept the offer to promulgate statutes as leges Augustae, but proposed them to the people by virtue of his tribunician power, so that they were leges Iuliae. In general, they were concerned with two themes, first the fairer and smoother running of the organs of state and law, and, second, family and birth-rate — of the ordines, the upper class, which was what Augustus thought mattered. Under the first heading the major element was the pair of leges luliae iudiciorumpublicorum etprivatorum, virtually a code for the organization of the courts ofjustice (and including, probably, a regulation de vi that reaffirmed the ancient citizen right ofprovocatio). Others were a lex lulia de ambitu and a lex lulia de collegiis.nb The package proclaimed that the traditional system of public life was to run as before, at a better level of efficiency. The lectio senatus of 18 в.с. was in the same vein. It was an attempt to reduce the Senate to nearer its old pre-Sullan number of 300, though Augustus did not succeed in getting it below double that figure. More important, a senatorial census was laid down for the first time - a minimum property rating for a man to enter or stay in the august body.116 Augustus wanted an old-fashioned Senate, whose members were to continue to hold virtually all major executive positions in the state, the legionary commands and provincial governorships, as well as receiving new commissions from time to time.

The second heading of the legislation of 18 and 17 b.c., the lex lulia de adulteriis establishing a new criminal court for sexual offences that included extra-marital intercourse of men with freeborn women as well as adultery, and the lex lulia de maritandis ordinibus, which provided bonuses for those with children and penalties for those not, is castigated nowadays as having imported the freedom-denying arm of the law into what had hitherto been matters of private morality and family concern. That, indeed, it did, but the perspective is erroneous unless it be observed that interference by the state in matters of private conduct was no novelty, but part of the age-old tradition of the Republic, which had comitial trials for stuprum, sumptuary laws, the Oppian and Voconian laws, and above all the surveillance of the censors, with their nota for all sorts of conduct disapproved of by society.117 No more than the Greeks did the Romans believe that there was any sphere of private morality separable from the interests of the community at large. Augustus was taking over both the mantle of ancient Greek legislators and the Roman censorial role that he had been offered, but not under the formal title. That is not to say that all of the elite class found the laws to their taste, although Augustus claims in the Res Gestae that the Senate was in favour of his measures.118

Augustus and Agrippa were in Rome. lulia had borne a second son, and the two little boys, Augustus' grandsons, were now formally adopted as his sons, taking the names Gaius and Lucius Caesar — which served plain notice upon the stepsons, Tiberius Claudius Nero and his brother Nero Claudius Drusus, as to what the future could not hold for

Whether we should add, on the basis of the Tabula Irni/ana (Gonzalez 1986 (в 23;) 1 ;o), a lex lulia municipalis standardizing the constitutions of the municipalities of Italy, is a matter of continuing debate.

Discrepancy in the sources: Suet. Aug. 41.1 gives 1,200,000, Dio Liv.17.3 g'ves 1,000,000 sesterces. 117 Underestimated by Dixon 1988 (f 26л) 71. 118 RG 6.2 (the Greek text).

them, though it would be more than a decade before the boys could come into their political inheritance.

The celebration of a new lustrum — indeed, far more, a new saeculum of Rome — came, in triumphal mood, on 31 May 17 в.с.,119 and Horace's official Ode for the occasion, the Carmen Saeculare, cannot be bettered as a compendium of the ideology set before the Roman people. It is the fashion of our age to undercut official triumphalism, and there is plenty of reason in the present case. Many of the governing class exhibited irreconcilable dissatisfaction with the attempt to regulate their conduct: Augustus had been up against the plebs, but now he was up against its betters. Dio (and it must come from his source) stresses the ««-popularity of Augustus at this time, and even makes 18 в.с. the beginning of plots against him and against Agrippa,120 whose status was resented. So if, as we are commonly taught, Augustus' greatest skill was the political tact whereby he experimented to fit his de facto supremacy into a framework of what people wanted it to seem to be, he had not, in the decade down to the ludi saeculares, reaped much fruit of that alleged skill — or so we might think until we notice the consuls of 16 в.с.121

hi. 16 в.с. - A.D. 14

The consuls of 16 в.с. were young nobles (and similarly in the years that followed, so all was right in that relationship, at least). That particular pair were also related to Augustus. Publius Cornelius Scipio was the son of his former wife Scribonia by an earlier marriage, and so half-brother to Iulia, and Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus was married to Augustus' niece Antonia, one of the two women of that name, the daughters of Octavia and Mark Antony, who carried the great enemy's genes deep into the heart of the 'divine family'.122 The 'divine family' was the most distinctly Augustan innovation of all, his way of reconciling the high aristocracy. It was powerful both as fact and as concept. Practically, it secured a cadre of collaborators at the highest level; psychologically, it was the exemplar of Augustus' moral programme; and symbolically it was the 'parallel language' of dynasty and court taking over from elective republicanism. (As a matter of fact, for the second half of the year 16, the plebeian Lucius Tarius Rufus took over from P. Scipio; and that well illustrates the historian's peril in pretending to interpret the politics of the age, for we do not know why. Was it because Rufus could not be denied an honour and had to be fitted in? Or was Scipio ill, or

Pighi 1965 (в 263) 107-30, plus 131-6, shown by Cavallaro 1979 (в 217) to belong to the Augustan ludi. 120 Diouv.ij.i. 121 Syme 1986 (a 95) 53-63.

122 For all such persons see, now, Syme 1986 (a 95), via the index.

incompetent, or dissident? Many stories could be told, and a 'crisis of 16 B.C.' invented; but it would all be idle conjecture.)

In any case, the main theme of Augustus' second decade was different. Towards the end of the year 16 Augustus and Agrippa left Rome, for opposite ends of the empire, each for three years - according, as it were, to pattern. Rome was left to the consuls, plus Titus Statilius Taurus as 'prefect of the city and Italy'.[201] Agrippa's role in the East was not military: he exercised imperial policy in half the empire as collega imperii, dealing, for example, with the affairs of the remote client kingdom of the Crimea,[202] and confirming the right of the Jews of the Diaspora to their ancestral laws and customs.[203] More in need of interpretation is Augus­tus' purpose in the West. His departure was hastened by the flurry caused by a legionary standard lost on the Rhine,126 for rebuffs to Roman military prestige could not be allowed. According to Dio, some said he left Rome in order to consort with Maecenas' Terentia with less scandal, others that it was to avoid general unpopularity. But maybe a main theme was already emerging: imperial expansion in northern Europe, of which the two efficient stepsons would be the principal agents. Augustus was inexhaustible in experiments with the material at any time to hand: three centuries later, under Diocletian and his successors, the Roman empire would be ruled by two 'Augusti' and two 'Caesares', and the experiment of Augustus' second decade looks as if based on some such idea - save for the awkward and ominous difference that the two 'Caesares' due to be groomed for succession were a different pair of brothers entirely from the ones who were to share the present burdens.

Certain things that were done can be seen as preparatory. The generation of soldiers who had been recruited after Actium must now be pensioned off, so a big phase of veteran settlement occurred in Gaul and Spain; and it is no surprise that, connected with the discharges and new recruitments, the term of service was now[204] officially established at a minimum of sixteen years for legionaries and twelve for the praetorian guard. Thus, out of the needs of the time, emerged the formal establishment of the Roman army as a professional service (for 'other ranks', not officers). And at roughly the same time Lugdunum seems to have begun to function as a major government mint, coining gold and silver; new money was going to be needed to pay legions campaigning in north and west. Gaul was subjected to a census, and detested both the tax and the procurator.

The first big movement128 was the subjugation by the brothers, Tiberius Nero and Nero Drusus, of Raetian and Vindelician Switzerland (not without mass deportations) and the bloodless incorporation of the kingdom of Noricum. Augustus took an imperatorial salutation; the stepsons could have neither triumph nor ovation, for they were only legati Augusti, but at least Horace accorded them proud celebration, as he did also for the return of Augustus to Rome in 13 в.с.129 And in relation to that reditus a magnificent new way was invented to advertise the 'divine family': on 4 July 13 в.с., by decree of the Senate, there was inaugurated a sacred precinct and altar of the 'Augustan Peace' in the north part of the Campus Martius; it was not dedicated till 10 January 9 в.с. Its famous frieze is an imaginary depiction of a procession of the 'divine family' and the members of the great priesthoods to an inaugural celebration; contemporaries will probably have been able to identify every figure.130 Both the frieze and the independent panels of the Ara Pacis are eloquent with all the themes of Augustan ideology, not the least striking emphasis being upon children, the 'young hopefuls', the key to future glory.131

To the Ara Pacis we now have to add, as an element - perhaps the major element — in a complex architectural ensemble, the enormous public sundial and astronomical clock created, also, in the north part of the Campus.132 Its gnomon, 30 m high (with plinth), was one of the two obelisks brought from 'captured Egypt';133 the paved ground under the feet of pedestrians was itself the sundial; and the equinoctial line on the ground passed through the Ara Pacis and subtended a right angle to the Mausoleum by the Tiber. There has been detected a whole wealth of symbolism about the birth and conception of Augustus in relation to renewal and peace, adding significance to one of the best-known inscriptions of the period, the letter of the proconsul of Asia and decrees of the Joint Council of the province inaugurating a new calendar for Asia based on Augustus' birthday, which is celebrated as 'giving a new look to the cosmos'.134

Of course, both the rulers returned to Rome in 13 B.C., for their

A prelude consisted of campaigns by Publius Silius in the Alpine foothills.

Hor. Carm. iv.4 and 14; iv.; and 2, lines 41-60.

Contra, however, Zanker 1987 (f 632) 128. There are still many disagreements about the identity of individual figures: see, e.g., the next note.

Zanker 1987 (f 632) 219, contests the view that two of the little boys are barbarian captives, and thinks that they are, after all, Gaius and Lucius Caesar.

Buchner 1982 (f 306); Zanker 1987 (f 632) 149-50. Unmentioned in the Res Gestae-, had it already been discovered that the 'clock was wrong'? (Pliny, HN xxxvi.72-3).

EJ2 14. The other was placed on the spina of the Circus Maximus. Their transport and erection were a tremendous technological feat. 134 EJ2 98.

official powers lapsed and required renewal. Needless to say, they were duly renewed, for a cautious five years, including Agrippa's tribunician power.135 A tiresome complication is added to the story of official powers by Dio's statement that the cura morum of Augustus was renewed in 12 b.c. for five years;136 for, if Augustus possessed it at all, he had had it, on Dio's own account, for five years from 19 b.c., and its renewal should have occurred two years sooner. In the Res Gestae it is asserted that the offer of a cura morum was made again in 11 b.c., but declined. There was, however, a revision of the Senate list in 11 b.c., performed by virtue of censoria potestas; perhaps Dio's garbled tale is an echo of that temporary grant. A much more significant constitutional fact is that in 1 3 b.c. Agrippa's imperium was, at last, defined as maius.137 For a brief span he and Augustus had equal formal authority as rulers of the Roman world; it was a joint rule of two colleagues, the one superior to the other only in auctoritas. We notice the immense significance of that experiment all too little because fate decreed that it should be so brief; for in March 12 b.c., only a few days after another great ceremony, stressed in the Res Gestae, the solemn assembly of the Roman people at which, at long last, Augustus became pontifex maximus,m Agrippa died.139 Catastrophe following hard on the heels of triumph is an obstinate motif in the story of the age.

But the engine of Roman imperialism, having been turned on, was not allowed to falter: Tiberius Nero and Nero Drusus embarked at once on their great joint aristeia of 12—9 b.c. in the north, and Augustus set himself at Aquileia and other northern towns, to be in touch with the grand strategy. Tiberius already knew, before he left for Illyricum, what he was going to have to do: divorce Agrippa's daughter, Vipsania, by whom he had a son, and marry lulia, Agrippa's widow. The marriage took place in 11 b.c., and caused all parties untold misery: lives sacrificed to duty. Augustus was relentless in his demand for co-operation, from high as from low, and there are straws in the wind, by the middle of the reign, that not even those well-disposed in general were keen to co­operate on his stern terms. Hence various experiments to get the Senate to work properly, and to encourage the elite not to turn their backs on public service, which belong in this decade.140

To celebrate the second year of the northern campaigns, in which Drusus, the younger stepson but the favourite of the ruler and the public,141 had the more spectacular part, both he and Tiberius were voted ovations and ornamenta triumphalia, and in their honour there was a

135 Diouv.28.1. 136 Diouv.50.1. 131 Dio Liv.28.1; see above, n.i 13.

RG 10. The former triumvir Lepidus had never been deprived of that priestly office, and had remained a senator until his death, though not permitted to live in Rome.

The consular Fasti of 12 b.c. are strange: Syme deduces plague.

See ch. 5 below, pp. 124-5. 1,1 Tac. Am. 11.41.5, favor vulgi.

distribution of 400 sesterces per head and games were held.142 But then Octavia died, Augustus' sister and Antony's widow, who had given and inspired devotion. Drusus spoke the laudation, as her son-in-law.

For the third year, 10 B.C., Augustus accompanied the headquarters to Gaul, where the 'Altar at the Confluence of Rhone and Arar' was dedicated as a focus in the West for cult of the ruler, and, on the selfsame day, the future emperor Claudius was born, son of Drusus and the younger Antonia. (The prevailing view, drawing an inference from Dio, is that the dedication was in 12 в.с. It involves a strained interpretation of Suetonius' 'selfsame day'; and Augustus could not have been present at Lugdunum in that year, whereas in 10 we have corroboration from a papyrus that he was.)143 In the winter Drusus did not return to Rome, but entered upon his consulship of 9 B.C. in absence; and in that year he carried Roman arms to the river Elbe. Those were noteworthy military achievements: Augustus and both his stepsons took imperatorial salu­tations, Tiberius celebrated the ovation voted to him, and Drusus was due to celebrate his. Whereupon death struck again: Drusus, the darling of all, died, in his consular year, aged 29, on 24 September - there is no record of any suffect consul being created to fill the brief vacancy. Tiberius made all speed, and, according to Dio, just managed to greet his brother before he died.[205] For Tiberius above all it was a catastrophe: as a united force they had had much to achieve.

Augustus did not permit the expansion in Germany to pause; he simply transferred Tiberius to that front. Nevertheless, to him also Drusus' departure was a bad blow, coming so soon upon those of Agrippa and Octavia; it may not be fanciful to detect a growing rigidity in Augustus' attitudes and proceedings, now that he was deprived of the personalities from whom he had derived support and counsel. But there is a remarkable further tale that the reader must be asked to estimate, for it plays quite a part in recent accounts: 'republicanist' opposition on the part of the stepsons. It derives from Suetonius, who says that Drusus at some time wrote to Tiberius 'about forcing Augustus to restore liberty'; there was plainly some historical source that gave Drusus that colour­ing.[206] Conspiracies are mentioned by Dio at the end of his account of the year 9 B.C., and in the very next year a new rule was made that slaves could be compulsorily purchased by the state so as to make them available as witnesses against their former masters in cases of treason. Have we, then, uncovered the 'crisis of 9 в.с.'? There were those who believed that Augustus suspected Drusus and had him poisoned; also, that none other than Tiberius had reported the treasonable correspon-

L. Piso also had ornamenta triumpbalia for a Helium Tbraeicum, probably in 11 B.C.

Dio Liv.32.1; Suet. Claud. 2.1; POxj 3020, col. 1, line 4. Absence of Augustus is, admittedly, not impossible: in 9 B.C., for example, he was at Ticinum and cannot have attended the consecration of the Ara Pacis. 144 Dio Lv.2.1. 145 Suet. Tib. 50.1; Claud. 1.4.

dence to his stepfather. Suetonius, however, who records all that, gives one reason for hesitating, namely that there is so much evidence that Drusus was a favourite of Augustus: he had a place in the ruler's will, for instance. Antiquity was given to novelettes about poisoning; we do not have to accept that tale, and the conspiracies alluded to by Dio are unrelated. But it may be a fact that the brothers had discussed the kind of res publico they would like to serve under, and that Tiberius had undertaken to lay their views before Augustus while he was heavily reliant on them. We can imagine how, with Drusus gone, the sole effect would be to make Augustus reluctant to leave things to Tiberius.

The year 8 в.с. was twenty years from that sixth consulship when Augustus had begun handing the res publico back to the Senate and people: vicennalia, it would have been called in a later century, and it was, if mutedly, celebrated (though hand in hand with celebration went, again, loss: Maecenas first, and Horace shortly after). A 'census was completed, by consular imperium (a special, conceivably celebratory, grant), with a revision of the Senate list and — a rare curiosity — an extension of thepomerium of Rome.[207] Now, too, the month Sextilis was renamed 'Augustus'.147 The anniversary was accompanied, as it had to be, by another formal renewal of Augustus' powers, for - surprisingly but perhaps also in celebration - a further complete decade; what did not accompany it was any acknowledgement of Tiberius as collega imperii: no love existed there, and no trust, and other possibilities were nearly in sight.

Yet the campaign of Tiberius in 7 в.с. was triumphant, leaving Germany 'practically ready to become a province of the Roman empire',148 and permitting the discharge of large numbers of legionaries over the next few years.149 Tiberius, who was, that year, consul for the second time, celebrated a full, formal triumph, and afterwards laid the foundation of a temple of Concord in the Forum Romanum, his thoughts perhaps still upon the lost partnership.

There were relatively everyday tasks and problems of government, not necessarily trivial. One such was an accusation, astonishingly, of ambitus, electoral bribery, against all the magistrates, presumably of the year 8. Augustus took care not to peer into that too closely, but he did make new rules to reduce bribery at the consular elections in the future. The very fact that it occurred shows that there was still popular choice, but it is principally a pointer to something else. What was amiss was that for twenty years Augustus had insisted on the being, in the old tradition, only two consuls a year (barring emergencies); but the office was still eagerly sought after and fought over, as the crown of a social career, and soon Augustus experimented again, dividing the year into two halves, with two 'ordinary' consuls followed by two 'suffect' consuls, a system that became regular from 5 в.с.

Natural disasters, too, never ceased to punctuate the history of the biggest conurbation in the ancient world, and governments never did enough. There was a very grave fire in 7 B.C., just before the funeral games in memory of Agrippa. Augustus took occasion to reorganize the local structure of the city into fourteen official 'regions', with a devolution down to the 265 vici or 'blocks', the latter to be responsible for fire precautions. It did not prove adequate.

His coeval generation dying away, Augustus was obliged to place reliance on the younger folk. For Herod the Great and his dynastic problems and brutal treatment of his sons, Augustus had the greatest contempt,150 but that turned into a terrible irony. In the year 6 в.с. Tiberius Nero received a renewal of imperium, plus tribunician power for five years, which proclaimed him to the world as collega imperii-, and at that very moment he declared his wish to retire from state responsibili­ties and took himself off to Rhodes. Augustus staged a bit of. illness to detain him, but it did not work. The historian Velleius, adulatory of Tiberius, exaggerates the consequences of his retirement into a sort of paralysis of the res publico,151 and the loss of the full text of Dio for those years contributes to a possibly false picture; but it was undeniably major trouble in high politics.

The modern, as well as the ancient, interpretation is that it was dynastic trouble. Gaius and Lucius Caesar were of an age to begin their progress into the limelight (and 'above themselves' already, according to Dio, who writes that in 6 B.C. the people 'chose' Gaius as consul and Augustus had to step in and quash it: a demonstration, perhaps).152 In 5 b.c. Gaius was made a pontifex and designated consul for a.d. i, and a new title was invented for him, princeps iuventutis or honorary president of the order of equites, and a distribution of money was made in his honour; in 4 в.с. he had a seat on the great consilium called to settle the fate of Judaea upon the death of Herod. In 2 в.с. Lucius was made an augur and designated consul for a.d. 4, and became joint princeps iuventutis. What is more, the coinage was the medium for a course of advertisement for the pair such as neither Drusus nor Tiberius had been accorded.153 So, then, Tiberius moved downstage, and the questions that gather about Agrippa's departure seventeen years earlier repeat themselves. Did he go in self-effacing co-operation or in rage and frustration? Scholars have conjured up binary opposites, a Claudian faction led by

150 Macrob. Sat. 11.4.11. 151 Veil. Pat. 11.100.1.

152 DioLV.9.1-2. 153 Zanker 1987 (f 632) 218-26.

l6 b.c.-a.d. 14

Livia Drusilla on behalf of her sons (now reduced to one) and a Julian, led by Iulia on behalf of hers, whose opposition was destined to tear at the vitals of the regime until Augustus' death, and beyond. That picture may be not so much wrong as a bit too simple. First, there could never have been any doubt, from the moment that Gaius and Lucius were adopted, that if Augustus, and they, survived long enough for them to grow to manhood they would be his chosen successors; Tiberius Nero and Nero Drusus could never have expected a role greater than that of Agrippa. Again, it was in 6 B.C., before the formal elevation of the youths began, that Tiberius retired; that elevation looks more like the ruler's instant response to, than the cause of, Tiberius' desertion. And finally, you hardly make a man collega imperii to kick him out: rather, to try to keep him. The latter end of Tiberius' Rhodian sojourn was certainly an unofficial exile; but there is a wider story to which his initial retirement belongs, the story of people's growing unwillingness to work with and for Augustus, and to play their roles in the drama according to his script. Tiberius Nero, with the independent spirit he had shared with his brother (and shared, to their mutual cost, with his wife, Augustus' daughter), saw himself type-cast as collega imperii, the new Agrippa, and rebelled. To Agrippa, his status as collega imperii had been an insurance for the succession of his sons, and part, anyway, of a lifelong collabor­ation. For Tiberius it was neither: therefore, Augustus must carry on alone.

The impression of a political standstill is doubtless false, but not much can be done to compensate. One important experiment of 4 в.с. serves to help fill the gap: it is known only from an inscription.154 By a senatus consultum of that year, on a proposal from Augustus, a novel, expedited procedure became available to provincials alleging extortion by Roman magistrates, in all but the gravest (i.e. capital) cases. It probably was genuinely quicker; on the other hand it contained an unadvertised advantage for senatorial governors by enabling them to be tried by a committee of their peers instead of the mainly non-senatorial juries of the quaestio repetundarum.

101

But 2 B.C. was a year of crisis — or so it has been called. Certainly it contained paradox enough to satisfy any novelist. It began with a tremendous burst of ceremony, symbolism and festivity. Augustus was sixty; he was consul ordinarius (he had taken the consulship in 5 B.C. to preside over the debut of Gaius Caesar, and now did the same for Lucius); and on 5 February he was officially designated pater patriae, 'Father of the Nation'. The title crowns the Res Gestae, and Suetonius quotes the very words in which it was bestowed and accepted.155 It was not (though historians recently have tried to make it) a constitutional Ii4 EJ2 j11, v. is» Suet. Aug. 58.2.

statement, nor a symbol that the state was ultimately governed by the concept of patria potestas, nor an ingeniously invented jurisprudential basis for equating attacks on the 'divine family' with treason against the state.156 It was an honour- an extension of the title parens patriae that had been accorded to Marius, to Cicero, and to Iulius Caesar, a supremely high public decoration.

Augustus' quidpro quo was (besides a distribution of money) some very grand consular games - a new set, the ludi Martiales. The name was not fortuitous, for on 12 May157 the two young Caesars dedicated the most symbolic and triumphalist of all the Augustan public buildings, the temple of Mars Ultor at the far end of the new Augustan Forum, where those long-ago recovered standards would repose permanently. With its porticoes, friezes and caryatids, and the statues of all the Roman triumphatores,158 the Augustan Forum is the building that must be most attentively listened to. Its emphasis is, actually, not so much on the 'divine family' (and we may be inclined to guess why not) as on victory and the long, successful tale of Roman imperialism: hard, bold, assertive, confident — and for constant public use, especially for law-courts.159 And, in celebration of the celebration, another marvellous entertainment was provided, the 'naval battle of the Greeks and Persians', in a specially constructed artificial lake beside the Tiber; that, too, is recalled with pride in the Res Gestae.

So it was a many-sided paradox that, later in that year, lulia, the daughter of Augustus, was deported to the island of Pandateria. Her mother Scribonia went with her into exile. Multiple adulteries were the charge against lulia, or the excuse.160 Tacitus says that Augustus chose to treat those adulteries as treason,161 implying that he did not believe Iulia's offence to have been treason; but modern historians have woven here a tale of a major attempt at a coup d'etat. It ought to be allowed, in any case, that immorality at the heart of that 'divine family' that Augustus wanted as the paradigm for his society was a blow to pride and optimism in the year of the title pater patriae; and, further, that lulia, like Tiberius, was committing the crime of repudiating her role in the scenario as composed by her father. That might be enough and to spare. It is the involvement, as the foremost among Iulia's alleged lovers, of Iulius Antonius that, to some detective minds, has suggested more.162 He was either executed or forced to commit suicide: the other named men

156 Contra, respectively, Salmon 19 j 6 (c 204); Lacey'Patria Potestas', in Rawson 1986 (f 54)121- 44; Bauman 1967 (f 640) 255-9. 157 For this date, rather than in August, Simpson 1977 (f 578).

158 Zanker n.d. [л 1968] (f 625); Zanker 1987 (p 652) 215. It had been long in building: Macrob. Sat. 11 4.9. Forum dedicated earlier than temple: Degrassi 194; (f 546).

1W Suet. Aug. 29.1-2; tablets from Puteoli, Camodeca 1986 (f 511). 160 Dio lv. 12.10-16.

i«i Xac. Ann. in. 24.2. 162 It did not to Tacitus, Ann. iv.44. j; but cf. Sen. De Brev. Vit. 4.5.

involved incurred mere banishment,[208] an inadequate reaction if they had been part of a treasonable conspiracy. They were members of families of the nobility, indeed,[209] and one of them had been consul in 9 B.C., as Iullus was in 10; but hardly of prominence or stature, apart from him, to justify a picture of a 'faction of the nobility' opposed to the 'radical' Tiberius. Iullus is different: son of Antony and Fulvia, spared after Actium, half-brother of the Antonias, he had become a favoured court figure. As praetor he had given the games for Augustus' birthday in 13 B.C.; he had reached the consulship in 10 в.с. and Dio's epitome states that he was allegedly out for monorchia. Actium reversed and revenged: was that the idea?

The greatest sobriety of judgment is needed here. One matter for pause is what fate we are to suppose Iullus and lulia had in store for Gaius and Lucius Caesar. Were they to perish in the bloodbath? Was lulia to sacrifice her sons? Or was the whole scheme designed to bolster their succession against Tiberius Nero? But they were secure as things were, and it was Tiberius who lived in eclipse and danger. And was Iullus to be content with prominence as a mere caretaker for Iulia's sons, an alternative Tiberius? Not, of course, that the craziness of a proposal is proof that people did not entertain it.

In 2 B.C. prefects of the praetorian guard were appointed for the first time, and some are tempted to relate that novelty to the alleged state of emergency; but caution will suggest hesitation. First, they were a pair, and mere equites at that; secondly, this was certainly not the moment of creation of the praetorian guard, which already existed. It is not known what commanding officer the guard had before 2 в.с. — quite probably Augustus himself, with no intermediary; in which case it is hard to see the establishment of a pair of equestrian prefects as strengthening the ruler's control in face of a crisis.

This is usually held to have been the season of Ovid's Ars Amatoria. That chronology has been challenged,165 but Dio records some other activities of the 'smart set' that were capable of making Augustus' blood boil.166 The simple man's alternative, about this story, is therefore still the best: morality uppermost in the ruler's stern plan for triumphant Rome; revelations - perhaps, indeed, made by enemies - of a fast-living set, with lulia and Iullus at its centre; humiliation and rage of the ruler matching the psychological climate of resistance to his relentless imperatives.

The social imperatives were evident in that year in another context. The suffect consuls, Lucius Caninius Gallus and Gaius Fufius Geminus, put through the comitia a law setting limits to the number of slaves an individual master might free by testament; and that may well have a relationship to another change attributed to 2 B.C. whereby the number of recipients of the free corn ration was cut down to 200,000. Too much foreign blood in the citizen body, and too many layabouts!

Phraates IV of Parthia had just, after a long reign, been murdered, and succeeded, by his favourite son, who, with anti-Roman zeal, had assisted in the ejection of the king of Armenia, all that while a Roman nominee. There was an irritable international correspondence, and an air in Rome as of the prelude to a Parthian war; but Augustus repeated almost exactly the successful formula of twenty years before.[210] Tiberius Nero had been his envoy then, and could have been so again, but he was in retirement: indeed, since all his formal powers had run out, and no attempt had been made to renew them, he was — like his wife — an exile. In any case, the occasion could be used to give Gaius Caesar his first impressive role in the official drama; so in 1 B.C., invested with an imperium for the whole East, he set out, amidst a cloud of diplomatic advisers and to the strains of eager poetasters.[211] There was no state of war, so no hurry; in a.d. i,[212]when he entered in absentia upon his long-prearranged consulship, Gaius was engaged in some sort of campaign in Nabatean Arabia.170 The hopes he carried with him (along with his brother, who died, however, in a.d. 2 at Massilia of some non-sinister cause) are revealed in a letter of Augustus to him written in September, a.d. 2:'... with you two playing your part like true men and taking over the sentry-post from me'.[213] The great diplomatic exchange of courtesies duly took place, on an island in the Euphrates,[214] followed, as it were canonically, by the march to set a Roman protege again on the Armenian throne. This time it was not a formality. At an unknown place, Artagera, Gaius received a stab- wound, though it seemed to heal, and both he and Augustus took imperatorial salutations.173 And then occurred the strangest event in the whole tale. Tiberius Nero had just been permitted to return to Rome, a mere private citizen, with a question-mark upon his future;[215] and now Gaius wrote home to say that he was going to retire into private life and contemplation.[216] He was 23. People said at the time, and they were very likely right, that Gaius was a mortally sick man, and, to Augustus' culminating dismay, in a.d. 4 he died; in so short an interval were both the young hopefuls gone. But one can imagine, even before that, the effect of the letter of resignation: 'You too, son'. Like Tiberius and like Iulia: this was the canker that had rotted Augustus' third decade, that the people of his choice did not want to tread his path of duty. When, in a.d. 3, his constitutional powers were again renewed (and for a full decade) there could be no word of Tiberius Nero or of Gaius Caesar, for both were sulking in their tents; there was no collega imperii.

But in a.d. 4 Augustus, alone, implacable176 and indefatigable, with imperialism and social reform still on his agenda, bowed to political necessity. Tiberius Nero was rehabilitated faute de mieux, received tribunician power for ten years,[217] and was appointed to command in Germany,178 though apparently even then not with a general imperium maius. The dynastic goal was still the old one. Augustus' nearest relatives, apart from his daughter, were now her surviving three children, her daughters Iulia and Agrippina and her son Agrippa, the so- called 'Postumus'; and the goal determined the action. On 26 June a.d. 4 Augustus adopted Tiberius and Agrippa as his sons — 'for the sake of the res publico', he is supposed to have said in Tiberius' case[218] (though we cannot recapture the tone of that remark, whether of bleak resignation or of confident affirmation). For Tiberius, the choice was power and the chance of new military glory, even if only, still, as a caretaker, over against eclipse and perhaps worse. As for Agrippa, he must not be treated as just peripheral to the story.[219] The ancient writers all describe him as truculent and retarded;181 he may have become so, or this may be no more than the official story by which his later exile and elimination were justified. Bur in a.d. 4 he was a still viable, if eleventh-hour, replacement for his deceased brothers. In any case, that was not the full extent of the ruler's scheme. For, at the same time, Tiberius adopted his own nephew, Nero Claudius Germanicus, son of the adored Drusus, to count as brother to his own son, the second Drusus. Germanicus was married to Agrippina, so it was their children who would carry the Julian inheritance — an exceedingly efficient way of repairing the badly torn 'divine family'.

Legislatively, a.d. 4[220] was the year of the Lex Aelia Sentia, the most far-reaching of the statutes regulating slavery and freedom from sla­very;[221] also of important improvements in the administration of justice, notably the addition of a fourth decuria of persons liable for jury service.[222] Militarily, Tiberius' campaigns in Germany in a.d. 4, 5 and 6 were, as twelve years before, grand successes:[223] in a.d. 5 Roman armies reached the Elbe again, and in a.d. 6 the pincers were set to close on a great prize, the Bohemian kingdom of Maroboduus.

It was the last moment of imperial optimism in Augustus' reign. What was left, looked at narrowly, takes on a colouring of disaster and disillusion, not least — though not only - in the military sphere, where it hurt hardest: the historical irony of that letter to Gaius Caesar becomes very acute. So before plunging into the gloom it is as well to remind ourselves that Augustus had succeeded in establishing a political order that survived, with modifications, for some centuries and a territorial hegemony that expanded for another hundred years and for two centuries lost nothing that it had included at his death.

The forces were poised against Bohemia when the shock came, the news that all Illyricum was in rebellion. Tiberius' efforts of fifteen years before had not proved lasting. Bohemia had to be abandoned, and Tiberius to return to the front he had known, to battle for three heavy years against a national uprising.[224] And it was not the only trouble of those years.[225] We hear of cities in revolt, and proconsuls having to be appointed instead of chosen by the lot and to have their tenures prolonged. The wild Isaurians in Asia Minor were in ferment, and Cossus Cornelius Lentulus won ornamenta triumphalia for operations in Africa against the Gaetulians. Sardinia had to be redesignated as a part of the 'province of Caesar' because of a recrudescence of the corsairs. There was once again a Judaean problem: Archelaus, who had received the lion's share on the death of Herod, had been denounced by his people and exiled to Gaul, and Rome had to take Judaea over as an equestrian province.[226]

Resources were strained. The very nature of the professional army came into question, its recruitment and its cost, especially that of providing for time-expired soldiers. Augustus attempted to cut the cost by lengthening the term of service.189 He also put to the Senate the problem of funding an overall increase in state income,190 met a stony silence, and so, in a.d. 6, imposed on Roman citizens a death-duty of 5 per cent on the estates of the moderately rich and upwards, if left to any but their families.191 Its purpose was to fund a new Military Treasury to provide the retirement payments to the soldiers. Augustus primed it with 170 million sesterces of his own money,[227] but the death-duty was the first direct taxation of Roman citizens since 167 b.c., and was regarded by the rich, who paid it, with outrage.

The years a.d. 6 and 7 have the fairest claim of all the years of Augustus' reign to be called 'crisis' years, for upon military and financial anxieties, and widespread disaffection, there supervened natural catas­trophes and dynastic discords. Nature did her best to prove that none of the problems of the great conurbation had been even halfway solved: food shortages led to rationing, and there was another bad fire. A new fire service was established, since the devolution solution had proved inadequate: thus began the vigiles of the imperial period, under an equestrian prefect.[228] But the plebs was disgruntled: there was a spate of revolutionary talk, and flysheets circulated at night.[229] According to Dio, a certain Publius Rufus was thought to have instigated those things, but to have had more powerful hidden backers - a story with repercus­sions that will emerge.

In a.d. 7 Germanicus, quaestor that year, was sent to Illyricum with troop reinforcements for Tiberius. They included not only the products of a rare levy of citizens at Rome,195 but also slaves purchased by the government and manumitted to enable them to be enrolled.196 Dio transmits a story that Augustus suspected Tiberius of dragging his feet and sent Germanicus to stir things up: Tiberius had actually said he had soldiers in plenty, and sent some back.197 We may well suspect political manoeuvrings behind these facts, but they remain obscure. At the elections there were riots, and Augustus, impatient with the proprieties, nominated all the magistrates himself - the only time: he had worked at full stretch for fifty years, and crisis was taking its toll. He began to give up public appearances, and appointed a committee of senior senators to take over the hearing of embassies.

There is a view amongst historians198 that in Augustus' last decade all was done to the tune of Tiberius, who returned to Rome after each annual campaign. That would be not unlikely, though the arguments tend to be circular and it was normal for commanders-in-chief to return to Rome between campaigning seasons. The question whether it was Tiberius' tune that was being played is certainly very relevant to the next item in the tale of'passion and polities'. No doubt it ought to have been young Agrippa's privilege to be quaestor and take the troops to Germany; instead, probably in a.d. 6,199 he was removed from Rome to Surrentum, and in a.d. 7 he was repudiated by Augustus and deported to the island of Planasia. In a.d. 8 his sister also, young Iulia, suffered banishment, never to return.200 Scholars deduce treason again, at the heart of the 'divine family': a story going back to 23 b.C., of thirty years of crisis in the 'Party', of the Julian faction's last bid against the, otherwise, now inexorable accession of the hated Claudian. Some speculations on those lines are too close to fiction, but there is a case. Why the exile of Agrippa? He was alleged to have been, or turned into, a cretinous thug; but Germanicus' brother Claudius, spastic and eccentric, though kept out of the limelight, was neither repudiated nor banished: his star was yet to rise. Agrippa, too, had been denied the limelight, being accorded no title of princeps iuventutis and no permission to stand early for office. Was that at Tiberius' behest? Had Agrippa less than mildly suggested that it was not good enough? Suetonius carries a story about a person (of low status) who 'in the name of young Agrippa put out to the public a most bitter letter about him' (Augustus).201 But those who rush to make use of the tale fail to notice its ambiguities: it is not clear whether the biographer meant 'on Agrippa's behalf' or 'pretending it was written by Agrippa', nor whether the letter was supposed to have been a private one that was wrongly made public — and if so to whom it was addressed - or a letter actually addressed to the public.

As for Iulia, the official account was, again, adultery, though with only one partner, Decimus Iunius Silanus - who was merely told that he was no longer a friend of the emperor, which he took as dismissal from Rome.202 She, by contrast, was banished, implacably, for life (and it turned out to be twenty years); she was supported financially - this we must take into account — by Livia Drusilla.203 No less to be taken into account is the identity of Iulia's husband: he was Lucius Aemilius Paullus, who appears in Suetonius' canon of conspirators against Augustus.204 He is there linked with one Plautius Rufus, who reminds historians (though it is a thin point) of the Publius Rufus who is supposed to have spread the revolutionary pamphlets in a.d. 6. Were husband and wife convicted of conspiracy? And of joint, or separate, conspiracies? It has been common to suppose that Paullus was executed, but a strong case has been made against that.205 If he was only banished, that is insufficient punishment for conspiracy; and Iulia's offence is better seen as what it was stated to be. Augustus insisted on the child she bore

"» Veil. Pat. n.112.7.

Ovid, too, had to go, and he, too, was never to be allowed back home.

Suet. Aug. 5 i.i. 202 Unlike Ovid, he was allowed back by Tiberius, Tac. Ann. 111.24.

203 Tac. Ann. iv.71.4. 204 Suet. Aug. 19.1; Syme 1986 (a 95) ch.9.

205 Syme 1986 (a 95) 125-5.

not being allowed to live, and the sharp-eyed Tacitus found no other cat to let out of the bag. Nor is either lulia named in Suetonius' canon of conspirators.

But yet another mysterious set of facts adds fuel to the hypothesis of conspiracy. There were two — or in an ironical sense perhaps three — attempts to achieve a break-out for Agrippa. In Suetonius' conspiracy- list ' Audasius and Epicadus had intended to spirit lulia the daughter and Agrippa the grandson from the islands where they were held to the armies.'[230] There is something amiss with the tale, because by the time Agrippa was sent to his island 'lulia the daughter' had left hers. Perhaps it is a mere slip for 'lulia the granddaughter'; but the elder lulia was still in exile and still a potential focus for dissidence, so the error may be different. In any case, the story reinforces the view that Agrippa was in banishment because he was dangerous; and the danger was to Tiberius. The second story is how, immediately upon Augustus' death, Agrippa's slave Clemens went hotfoot to Planasia but arrived too late, the primum facinus novi principatus having already occurred — and how, two years later, he obtained a following by passing himself off as Agrippa, was arrested and put to death, and care was taken not to probe deeply into what were suspected to be his powerful backers 'in the house of the princeps' and amongst senators and equites.[231] That story finds credence amongst historians; the third, ironical indeed if true, still divides them. It is that Augustus, shortly before his death, visited Agrippa in his exile and they were reconciled.[232] Whether true or not, that tale, too, points in a consistent direction: Agrippa was politically of high significance. And it may well be that in conjuring up a conspiracy against Augustus (or Tiberius) in the years a.d. 6 to 8 historians have tried to be too clever. The cui bono of the elimination of Iulia's children was Tiberius, and they may have been the victims rather than the authors of a deadly dynastic struggle.

On the return of Tiberius from Illyricum at the beginning of a.d. 9 there was a ceremony of reditus in his honour in the Saepta; and resentment, not on the part of the plebs but of its betters, spilt over: the equites protested against the rules of the lex lulia de maritandis ordinibus, with their penalties upon the childless. Old Augustus read the assembled populace in the Forum a furious lecture about childlessness;[233] and while Tiberius travelled back to the front for what was to prove the conclusive campaign against the rebels in Dalmatia, a Lex Papia Poppaea was put to the assembly by the suffect consuls. It modified the statute of twenty-five years earlier: Dio and Suetonius, however confusing and incompatible their accounts, give an impression that concessions were made, whereas Tacitus speaks expressly to the contrary.[234] For the unmarried, at any rate, one should not underestimate the public ignominy in which the legislation sought to place them: if the ordo equester (being, presumably, the biggest concentration of wealthy caelibes) thought they had influence with the aged ruler, they were sharply rebuffed.

When, late in a.d. 9, with the great rebellion crushed, Tiberius and Germanicus returned to Rome, full triumphs were voted to Augustus and Tiberius, and Germanicus was voted ornamenta triumpbalia, praetor­ian standing, and permission to stand for the consulship ahead of normal.[235] But no triumphs ensued, for, five days later, the mood of congratulation was shattered by the yet more unimaginable blow of the 'disaster of Varus';[236] three legions lost, and everything beyond the Rhine lost with them. The optimism of Roman conquest had, as in Illyricum, proved unjustified, imperium sine fine unattainable. Augustus' nerve very nearly broke, and we are told he had thoughts of suicide. The defeat laid bare the slender military base on which the empire rested; the Illyricum campaign had already stretched manpower to the limits. Conscription was applied, and stepped up, and there are tales of people executed for refusing the levy. All veterans were recalled, freedmen again enrolled. It was a question whether the Roman people would stand it: fear of a tumult us in Rome led to drafting of an extra military force, and the ruler's personal German bodyguard was held no longer safe.[237]

Tiberius had to take on Germany. He toiled for three more hard years,[238] with nothing to show for all of them that could be treated triumphally; when his ceremony of reditus finally took place,[239] and his celebration of a full triumph, it was labelled not as 'over the Germans' but as the postponed triumph 'over Illyricum'. There was to be no provincia Germania.

In the year 12 Germanicus was consul. He was emerging as the new 'limelight personality': Dio has surprisingly much about his part in the Illyrian and German campaigns, which suggests that someone must have been writing them up.[240] However, his consular year was anything but cheerful. Natural disaster played its part again: the Tiber in spate, the Circus flooded and the ludi Martiales displaced. A new, sinister, note is heard, of seditious literature burnt and authors punished. Dates are uncertain, but this year is quite likely that of the banishment of the abrasive, witty barrister Cassius Severus,217 for having 'defamed men and women of the highest status with licentious writings' — not, to judge from Tacitus' phrase, the ruler himself; but the offence was treated, for the first time, under the law of treason. One of Cassius' sarcasms related to the burning, by decision of the Senate, of the writings of a fellow- barrister, Titus Labienus, who wrote history, it seems, with a 'republicanist' flavour: he committed suicide.218 And Ovid's books had been withdrawn from the libraries. The deterioration is evident: an anxious, touchy government and a subservient Senate.

In a.d. 13 the constitutional powers of Augustus and Tiberius were renewed again for ten years, and the imperium of Tiberius was at last declared equal to that of Augustus:219 he was collega imperii. He had saved the sum of things, twice, he was fifty-six, and his duty was now quiedy to take over, with Germanicus, his adopted son, and Drusus, his original son, as the hopefuls for the succession. The senatorial sub-committee that prepared business for the full Senate, which Augustus had always used as his sounding-board, was given a revised membership and new powers, enabling it to pass resolutions equivalent to formal senatus consulta\ Tiberius, Germanicus and Drusus joined it as regular members.220 The purpose was stated to be to relieve Augustus of regular attendance at the Senate, but one can see how it could be an organ for quiet transition. Not that Augustus was 'going downhill': paradoxically, the very next thing we hear in Dio, when upper-class fretfulness over the iniquities of the death-duty became vocal again, displays the hand of the old manipulator still on the helm of policy. Augustus challenged the senators, individually, to suggest any better way of raising the necessary revenue, and then put in hand apparent preparations to institute an even stiffer scheme (a land-tax on solum Italic urn), whereupon they decided to keep the devil they knew.221

Augustus and Tiberius began a census, with a special grant of consular imperium, and completed the lustrum in the next year on 11 May. Augustus travelled as far as Beneventum with Tiberius, who was on his way to Illyricum. Velleius has it that Tiberius' journey was 'to consoli­date in peace what he had conquered in war',222 which is an admission that there was not anything needing the attention of Tiberius in Illyricum; but the two collegae imperii could not sit in Rome together. As

2,7 Tic. Ann. 1.72.5 with the notes of Goodyear 1981 (в 62). 218 Sen. Contra/, x Prtuf. 4-8.

2,9 Veil. Pat. 11.121. i with the note of Woodman 198 3 (в 203); Suet. Tib. 20-21.1. There can be no certainty just when Tiberius received that grant.

220 Dio lvi.28.2-5; Crook 1955 (d 10) 14-13. Cf. EJ2 579, which may have some genuine documentary basis. 221 Dio lvi.28.4-6. 222 Veil. Pat. 11.123.1.

in Marcus Agrippa's distant day, they must operate apart; yet, evidently, it was no longer wise for Tiberius to be many days' journey away. Augustus, on his way home, spent a few days at Capri, which he had acquired from the city of Naples, in exchange for Ischia, because he and Tiberius liked it.223 He attended local games at Naples, and struggled as far as an old family property at Nola, where, on 19 August, he died.

Transmission, both constitutional and dynastic, had been taken care of. There was a collega imperii in place, and he should not have too many problems, for all that three members of the 'divine family', Augustus' nearest blood-relations, lived in exile - one, poor fellow, too dangerous to be left.224 Factual power would depend on whether the system had become sufficiently ingrained in Roman political life to survive, without seriously imaginable alternative, the rule of successors less skilful and less ruthless than Augustus; and in that respect his long reign had helped to make success somewhat more likely than not. In the course of the more than forty years since Actium a new age of European history had, in fact, managed to struggle into being, but our narrative has at least shown how far its genesis was from any kind of blueprint.

Suet. Aug. 92.2 Dio Lii.43.2.

Pani 1979 (c 185) has acute, if over-stated, analysis of the dynastic situation.

CHAPTER 3

AUGUSTUS: POWER, AUTHORITY, ACHIEVEMENT

J. A. CROOK

I. POWER

Rome's tradition of government, down to Iulius Caesar, was character­ized by distributed power and multiple sources of decision. That was never to return. From 30 в.с. onwards, the whole Roman world found itself in the grasp of a single ruler, possessing all power and making all decisions, except insofar as he might choose to leave some of them to others. We are insistently bidden to penetrate behind the 'facade' to the 'reality' of Augustus' power, and some advantage is to be gained if, to begin with, we separate the power - its extent and sources and the functions it was used to accomplish — from the authority, which was the dress in which the power was clothed. But we must remember that such a separation is, in the long run, artificial, because, in the actual political life of a nation, power and its formalizations are inextricably linked, and where authority is entrenched recourse to power is unnecessary.

Tacitus, in a paragraph which, if its hostility of tone be discounted, remains the most masterly succinct statement of what Augustus did, writes thus:"... he laid aside the title of triumvir and paraded himself as consul and as content with the tribunician authority for looking after the commons. The soldiery he enticed with gifts, the people with corn, and all alike with the charms of peace and quiet; and thus he edged forward bit by bit (insurgere paulatim), taking into his hands the functions of Senate, magistrates, laws.'1 Both as to the use of power, and its spheres of application, and as to its translation into constitutional terms, insurgere paulatim describes what occurred with profound insight. What did not change or develop was the ruler's hold on actual coercive power: he possessed that, totally, from the start, and never let a particle of it slip from his hands. Power, he had; functions, he increasingly took over; formulations of that power and those functions he carefully fostered. But one aspect deserves to be stressed from the outset: initiative. All policy was decided by Augustus, as far as we know.2 In making decisions he naturally listened to representations from, and took advice from, appropriate quarters, and, for all we know, he may have put into practice

1 Tac. Am. 1.2.1. 2 Millar 1977 (a 59) 616.

"5

policies proposed to him by others, though the state of the evidence makes that difficult to demonstrate. But, apart from what he might choose to leave to others, for example to the Senate, he presided over the withering away of independent sources of initiative.

Those who urge the historian to look behind the 'facade' and confront the 'reality' of Augustus' power mostly imply that he should acknow­ledge that Augustus' ultimate possibility of coercion lay in control of the army. That is a truism, and scarcely penetrates far enough, for we have still to ask, especially in the case of that first sole Roman ruler, how he was able to control the army. The Roman Republic had had no post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; and, until it began to change in the crucible of the late Republic, the army had been a conscript force recruited by the consuls ad hoc, allotted by the the Senate to those whose provinciae required armies, and swearing an oath of obedience to each commander set to lead them. The triumviral age had been the culmina­tion of changes: nevertheless, it was the achievement of Augustus to create a volunteer, professional army, its size determined by himself, 'de- politicize' it,3 and establish for it an ethos of loyalty to himself and the 'divine family'. That result was not accomplished in a day. One of the reasons why Augustus' formal authority cannot be detached from his actual power is that armies can only with difficulty and exceptionally be recruited and held without a legitimate claim. Augustus was, in the first years after jo B.C., consul, and the provincia he was given from 27 B.C. entitled him to overall command of the troops within it (which was most of the troops, and their oath of obedience was necessarily to him). Although for a time there continued to be independent proconsuls with their own auspicia, they did not command enough forces to be a serious counterpoise to those commanded by Augustus. Perhaps the crucial fact in the whole story is that, in Augustus' first decade, Roman citizens were tired of civil war, which had brought no advantage to the ordinary soldier; that generation mostly wanted peace and discharge, and would not have been available for recruitment by a mere new pretender in a struggle against Augustus for power. By the time that war-weariness had worn off, he had succeeded in building a new army loyal to himself, and could offer it enough reward to make service worth while.

But, though legitimacy is important, the most direct influence on soldiers is that of their immediate commanding officers. It was those people's loyalty that Augustus needed to secure. The Republic had had no professional officer class with a distinct ideology or solidarity: commanding troops was something that every member of the governing class must do, but none could or wished to do for more than sporadic periods. Augustus, then, had no army lobby either to oppose him or to

3 Raaflaub 1980 (c 190).

be coaxed into supporting him. His formal powers gave him the right to choose his legati for his provincia, which included most of the areas of military activity, and the formally independent commands soon with­ered away; beyond that, his ability to control who commanded the armies remained simply a part of his general patronage of those who sought high office in the state. So two things were needful to enable Augustus to keep control of the army: he had to satisfy the aspirations of the political class, and to be a reliable paymaster to the troops.

That consideration leads to the second 'brute fact' about the power of Augustus, his overwhelming predominance in resources. The figures he gives in the Res Gestae suffice to show that the resources he directly had and personally controlled, from the start (once the Ptolemaic fortune passed into his hands), made it inconceivable for any alternative paymaster to arise, capable of supporting any notable army against him. The imperium that he caused to be bestowed on himself supplied the formal right to receive out of public revenue the cost of the major part of the armies; but beyond that, though he did not need to mingle the state's revenues officially with his private fortune, he took care to account for, and budget in the light of, the whole resources of the state.

A third aspect of Augustus' de facto power, and that which has received most emphasis recently, is his role as the universal patron, the sole source of benefits.[241] Already in preparation for war upon Antony and Cleopatra he had obtained from Italy and the provinces of the West an oath of personal allegiance, which was to become a standard element in the position of the ruler.[242] For a time, recently, historians urged us to see it as an oath of 'clientship' and describe Augustus as the universal patronus in as formal a sense as a former owner was patronus of his freedmen. That notion has been shown to have been too schematic,[243] and, besides, the practical importance of the oath, beyond its original context, cannot be judged. Nevertheless, patronage played a great role in the ruler's position, and its workings can be seen, already under Augustus, in various spheres. The leading families of the Republic had cultivated clientships all over the Roman world, especially in the East and in Spain and Africa; and numerous documents of the triumviral period show the 'dynasts' of the civil wars using their clients as agents in the control of cities and regions.7 'So-and-so, my friend' [philos, amicus) might be the key figure in a locality. And when there was only one 'dynast' left it was his 'friends' around the world who kept cities and regions in line with his wishes, and could expect rewards such as the grant of Roman citizenship. (One category of such supporters were the 'client kings',8 who, even if originally Antony's men, soon submitted to the patronage of the victor of Actium.)

But how far the upper class of Rome as a whole depended for their careers, henceforward, on the patronage of the ruler is, at least for Augustus' time, dificult to determine. It cannot be ascertained how minutely he supervised entry into the militiae that formed the base of every public career. After those first steps, civil promotion depended, as before, on election. We know that Augustus was prepared to promote specific candidates openly by his own canvas and vote; and he could grant the latus clavus or see that a man did not lack the senatorial census. In so far as he created new executive posts, such as the praetorian prefectures, he nominated to them as he chose. But he did not have to control the whole promotion system in painful detail. The Roman state had never had high governmental or executive posts held for life or till retirement: there were no Chancellorships or the like. Nor did Augustus establish any such posts. The structure of public careers remained sporadic and gentlemanly in character: offices were held on short tenures, and none created any kind of fief. That was in one way an advantage to the ruler, but it precluded him, even if he had wished otherwise, from dominating areas of political life through the promotion of his amici to permanencies.

Historians have, since the 1930s, very readily applied to this period the notion of a dominant 'Party'.9 Augustus began his career, certainly, as a dux partiunr, when he became sole ruler, we are told, it was through the 'Party' that he continued to dominate the political world, his biggest problems, consequently, being those involved in holding the 'Party' together. That analysis is too closely based on the modern experience; and as soon as one attempts to locate the alleged 'Party' one is confronted with either too many people or too few. The obvious place to look is at the 'Friends of the Ruler', amiciprincipis (and renuntiatio amicitiae, such as happened to Cornelius Gallus, is then described as 'expulsion from the Party'). But the amici principis are too broad a group, for although Augustus' few close collaborators were, of course, amici principis, that category could also include jurists, philosophers, doctors and poets; in fact, it is hard to say where amicitia ended and clientela began. And if we include Augustus' well-wishers in the cities of the empire, we are soon in danger of ascribing to the 'Party' more or less everyone who is not known to have been an opponent of the regime - at which point the concept ceases to be helpful. Neither is any structural organization to be seen such as is nowadays associated with the idea of a 'Party', or would have held Augustus' adherents in the Roman world together politically. Of his handful of close associates, and how he bound them to him, there

' The most cogent account in terms of 'Party' is Be ranger 1959 (c 27).

will be more to say later; it is not at a 'Party' that we shall be looking, but at a dynastic network.

The fact that one finds it impossible not to speak of Augustus 'doing' this or 'deciding' that or 'establishing' the other is a reflection of blunt reality. It was he who decided what campaigns should be waged and when, and by armies of what size. As overall commanders of the main enterprises he appointed whom he chose. He decided policy towards Parthia, and the disposal of Judaea (though in that case we have in Josephus a window through which to watch him taking public advice).10 It was he who settled, not who should be consuls, but, much more importantly, how many consuls and praetors there should be each year, and from what minimum ages men might hold office. The Campaign to legislate for morality was his campaign. And as he took over functions, such as responsibility for food supply, security and fire-fighting in the capital, so his executive hold grew on more and more aspects of public life. Of power, that is to say of initiative and its important counterpart, the power to prevent things being done, Augustus held the essential reins from the beginning, and the rest he took over.

II. AUTHORITY

So the whole Roman world had a single ruler. The Greek-speaking part of that world , used to rulers and their ideology, saw no complications. By the time of, let us say, Hadrian or Marcus Aurelius, the ruler's total power was equally taken for granted in Rome, Italy and the West, and descriptions and justifications of it in Roman terms were available without embarrassment or hesitation. It was due to Augustus that that came to be so, because he combined a conservative cast of mind, and a vision of himself as restorer of Rome's erstwhile greatness and stability, with the ruthless determination to turn his power into a transmissible system. The descriptions and justifications of the power of the Roman ruler run, for that reason, on two parallel tracks: conformity to mos maiorum and creation of 'charisma'.

It was suggested in chapter 2 above that accounts of the traditional elements in Augustus' position in terms of a 'hoax', a 'cloak', or a 'veneer', masking 'brute power', though common, are seriously inade­quate. The better concept is 'legitimization': 'political power and legitimacy rest not only in taxes and armies, but also in the perceptions and beliefs of men'.11

The narrative in chapter 2 showed how the main constitutional elements of the imperial system, imperium proconsulate maius and tribunicia

Joseph. BJ 11. 25 and 81: A] xvn.229 and 501; Crook 1955 (d 10) 32.

Hopkins 1978 (a 45) 198.

potestas, arose as solutions to particular political situations rather than out of any global vision. What is more, by no means every element of the eventual system was in place by Augustus' death: some of the cogs were added by his successors, and some of what were, during all his time, still experiments, hardened into fixity under his successors. Whether the inventive brain was that of Augustus alone, we cannot be sure. It is possible that the conventions of ancient historiography, aggravated by the self-advertising genius of Augustus, may have caused the suppres­sion from the record of people whose ideas and influences helped to create the imperial system. But little can be done to put that record straight. A final preliminary is to observe that one may judge the product to have been a remarkable achievement without, necessarily, admiring it wholeheartedly.

The Roman Republic - to repeat — had had, by tradition and convention, multiple points of decision-making: votes of the comitia, resolutions of the Senate, edicts of magistrates, interventions of tri­bunes, verdicts of criminal juries, sententiae of lay judges in the civil courts. The most fundamental long-term political trend of the imperial age of Roman history is the dwindling of that multiplicity until decision­making was, by formal rule even, in the hands of the emperor or of those to whom he might delegate authority. When it is asked how far Augustus carried Rome along that path — the path to 'the emperor is dispensed from the laws' and 'what is pleasing to the emperor has the force of statute' — two contrasting answers are given by historians, and debate is not over.

One answer was implied in the narrative of chapter 2, where Augustus was described as keeping, and brilliantly utilizing, the old republican unwritten 'rule-book' and its well-tried terminology, and rejecting offers of powers formally inconsistent with that; but modern scholarship has repeatedly emphasized that there appear to exist a whole set of counterfactuals to that picture, which would lead to the view that, in fully formal terms, Augustus' constitutional position was quite differ­ent, and quite revolutionary. One source, above all, poses the problem: the so called lex de imperio Vespasiani, the surviving second bronze tablet of an inscription on which were set out the constitutional powers conferred on the emperor Vespasian.12 The sixth surviving clause reads: '... and that, whatever he judges to be in accordance with the interest of the state and the solemnity (maiestas) of divine and human and public and private affairs, he shall have the right and power to do and perform, as the divine Augustus, and Tiberius Iulius Caesar Augustus, and Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, had'. If that sentence be taken at its face value, the consequences for the picture so far given of 12 EJ2 564; Brunt 1977 (c 535).

Augustus' formal position are devastating, for in that event it must be admitted that he had, all the time, in the most formal sense,[244] total constitutional power. That conclusion is particularly welcome to legal historians, as an explanation of how it was that Augustus seems to have been accepted as the head of the legal order, which no concatenation of executive or initiative powers (which is what imperium and tribunicia potestas were) could have achieved. Numerous further pieces can be fitted into the picture, especially the remark in Gaius' Institutes[245] that'... it has never been doubted that it [a decision by the emperor, constitutio principis] has the force of statute', and the statement in Suetonius' Life of Caligula that Caligula received en bloc, at his accession, the 'right and arbitrament of all matters'.[246] Strabo's claim that Augustus had the arbitrament of peace and war[247] is another item for the dossier. And scholars have found, in phrases from the sources here and there, possible titles for the supremacy Augustus is supposed to have received - 'care of the res publico', 'headship of the common weal', 'Principate', or just imperium.

Augustus told the world how he wished it to think about this in the Res Gestae. Minimizing his formal powers, and insisting on his rejection of powers contrary to mos maiorum, he asserted that what he predomi­nated in was auctoritas,xl the predicate of'being accepted as a top person' that the 'chief men' (principes virt) of the Republic had been said to possess, by which the things he commanded were done simply because it was he who commanded them. Some historians have tried to show that unofficial auctoritas was turned — by some step that has eluded us - into an official power of legislation, or that it replaced imperium as the formal statement of total power, or that by an edict of 28 B.C. Augustus received a formal 'Principate' that carried all else with it.18

There is no compatibility between the two pictures, and no com­promise will accommodate both; it is necessary to choose. The choice made in chapter 2 and in the present account, of the more old-fashioned, 'minimalist' - and at present heterodox - picture of the 'Augustan constitution' imposes some immediate caveats and clarifications. First, to repeat: neither picture is an account of de facto power; both are accounts of descriptions, justifications, legitimizations, of power. To choose the first is not, therefore, to imply that Augustus finished up any the less the de facto ruler of Rome; it is to say that he and his contempor­aries clothed his rule in concepts that were not yet of the monolithically monarchical kind familiar to the Severan emperors and their contempor­aries two hundred years later. Secondly it imposes the duty to offer an alternative account of at least three texts, but especially of the sixth clause of the lex de imperio Vespasiani, the so-called 'discretionary clause'.[248]

The difficulty about believing that clause to mean, baldly, what it seems to imply - that is, that Augustus already had total, formal power to act at will — is that it would have made otiose the whole of the rest of the document, including the grants of the major specific powers that presumably occupied the missing first tablet. Proper significance needs, instead, to be given to its position in the list of regulations: it belongs to a closing group, in which the seventh clause grants the new ruler exemption from certain statutes and the eighth validates retrospectively his actions before becoming ruler. That position establishes for the sixth clause its natural and appropriate role as a grant of residual emergency powers.[249] It is, in any case, erroneous to invoke the 'discretionary clause' as a prop for the ruler's legislative authority, for it gives him power to do things, whereas legislation is only in a truistic sense the 'doing' of things: it is the creation of rules, an altogether broader activity.

Gaius, writing an elementary law-book in the second century a.d., sounds uncomfortable in his protestation (if it is his) that 'no one has doubted' that a constitutio principis has the force of statute. Such was certainly correct doctrine in his own day, and perhaps we should simply infer from his embarrassment that he knew that earlier constitutional statements had not taken that form. But Gaius' passage is in a more parlous state still, for it continues by giving a reason for the principle that a constitutio principis has the force of statute which is deficient in logic:'... because the emperor receives his imperium by statute'. The поп sequitur is so blatant as to cast doubt whether Gaius could have penned such an absurdity. It bears, too, the marks of an unintelligent echo of Ulpian's account, quoted in Justinian's Digest, of what is there called the 'royal law', lex regia;[250] it is in all probability an intrusion into the real text of Gaius, which will simply have stated the rule about imperial pronounce­ments that prevailed in his day.

The third text is that of Strabo. He was a contemporary and a serious author; but his assertion that Augustus received 'headship of the hegemony' and 'the power of war and peace for life' comes at the end of his Geography. That is not a work of legal science, and he is not making a constitutional statement. (He is, in fact, detailing the division of the provinces into 'people's provinces' and 'Caesar's provinces'; and that was actually accomplished not by virtue of any great overriding power of Augustus, but, in all probability, in a senatorial debate.)22

The case, then, for Augustus having been granted a formal 'consti­tutional monarchy' does not prevail over the account, derived from Dio and elsewhere, of his receiving at different stages a concatenation of particular powers; and when Dio himself says that it was from the beginning 'unalloyed monarchy'23 he is not giving a description but making a comment.

In any case, there is still more to be said about the constitutional forms in which the ruler's power was expressed. They interacted with the 'brute realities' by creating boundaries of normal conduct: the clothing helped to define the role. And the separate powers had a further usefulness: they could be applied piecemeal in the gradual promotion of the ruler's principal collaborator to the position of collega imperii. The pedantic precision of their use in that way can be observed in the papyrus fragment of a Greek translation of Augustus' funeral laudation of Agrippa:'... tribunician power for five years in 18 в.с. on the basis of a senatus consultum, and again in 13 B.C., plus, in a statute, that no man's authority should be greater than yours in any province to which the public weal of Rome might hale you'.24 That careful formulation helps to corroborate the case that has been argued here, that the ruler's own powers were described in terms of a concatenation rather than by some global formula.

Auctoritas is the aspect of the forms (in the sense that it could be given a name and is appealed to in the R« Gestae) that lay closest to the actuality. It was personal to the individual ruler, and if he lacked or lost it his rule was in peril. He possessed it partly by force of personality, partly by the 'brute fact' that he held the reins of power; yet at the same time it was by possessing auctoritas that he held those reins, for, insofar as he possessed it, he had only to command to be obeyed. Inscriptions recording that things were done 'by order of Augustus', iussu Augusti,25 ought not to cause perplexity: they are the reflection of auctoritas, for the people concerned were content to state that they had done things because Augustus told them to. Auctoritas was, furthermore, the link between the conformity to mos maiorum (for it had been predicated of republican principes viri) and the creation of 'charisma' (because it was predicated of the ruler as an individual): it could pave the way for the insertion of the ruler's personality in the permanent, extra-constitutional consciousness of the people.

But legal historians are quite right, that it is above all for the ruler's role as an issuer of norms, regulations to be obeyed generally and for the future, that we need to seek the constitutional basis, because that role is

22 Lacey 1974 (c 146). a Dio ui.i.i. 24 ej2 ,66. « ep tgj. j6g

not explicable in terms of the 'blunt realities' of power. Augustus' word, though it was as well to obey it in the instant case, did not 'have the force of statute'. He was offered, as a special grant, the right to make leges Augustae, but turned it down; instead he put bills before the comitia by virtue of his tribunician power, and they became leges luliae.[251] He could summon and put motions to the Senate, but the resulting decisions were senatus consulta.21 His edicts would lapse unless validated, at least tacitly, by his successors (though is was probably not doubted that they would be).[252] The responsaprudentium, 'opinions of the jurists' (the jurists of the late Republic had sought normative status for their responsa,z<) which came, in the imperial period, to count as an official source of law) continued to depend on the auctoritas of the individual jurist. Augustus, besides himself giving some responsa,[253] is said to have 'decided that they [the jurists] should give their opinions ex auctoritate eius'.[254] There are reasons for being extremely unsure what exactly that meant or what resulted from it. Some scholars see it as a takeover by the ruler of the interpretation of the law, which is very implausible; others think it just gave certain favoured jurists a status somewhat like that of English Queen's Counsel. In any case, what supported the privilege was not imperium orpotestas, but, properly, auctoritas, Augustus' auctoritas supple­menting, as it were, that of the particular jurist.

The ruler in the imperial period had the role, also, of supreme and ultimate judge. In the Republic there had been no supreme judge or court of the Roman state, and decisions both of the criminal and of the civil courts were inappellable. So it has again to be asked what part Augustus played in that important development, and by what consti­tutional authority. Under him the civil courts continued to function in the standard way, and so did the criminal quaestiones, with, even, an addition, the adultery court; and for the organization of them all the important pair of statutes de iudiciis was passed.[255] But besides that, there existed already judicial appeal to the ruler as a supreme court and jurisdiction by the ruler at first instance, in the form of pure cognitio: there is not much evidence, and it is anecdotal at that, but historians mostly, and rightly, accept that at least tentative beginnings can be perceived under Augustus.[256] Attempts to derive that extra ordinem jurisdiction of

Augustus from republican precedents and his traditional constitutional powers[257] all fail, at least in part, however hard scholars press into service the early grants of'judging when called upon' and the 'vote of Athena',[258]or seek to extract a judicial power from his proconsular imperium or — for those who believe in its existence — his consular potestas. It seems necessary to posit some formal legislative basis for Augustus' jurisdic­tion; and as that is unlikely to have been a statute of which no hint survives in the sources, a reasonable guess, in a situation of admitted uncertainty, is that something may have been contained in the leges de iudiciis. Be that as it may, the emergence of the ruler as supreme judge and head of the legal order is the principal formal difference between the Republic and the Empire.

III. ACHIEVEMENT /. Governing class

However one may qualify or re-phrase, the late Republic was running into an imbalance between the growing scale of its responsibilities as a world power and the organization needed to meet them,[259] and, with further growth of empire, some initiatives would have had to be taken, though they did not need to be massive or revolutionary. The organs of government of the Roman empire are treated in various chapters below, but we must here consider what part Augustus played in their development.

To call the Senate an 'organ of government' brings out vividly the change it had to undergo, for it had been, not an 'organ', but the government itself. To an extent, that continued to be so.37 There was no 'dyarchy': just as Augustus' imperium maius entitled him to determine things all over the empire, so senatus consulta could be of universal application. And the Senate gained (like Augustus) one completely new role, as a court of law.38 Nor need it be doubted that Augustus' repeated efforts to reduce the size and purify the social composition of the Senate were motivated by his desire for that body to retain a responsible role in public affairs. The sub-committee he set up to prepare senatorial business with him will have improved, not diminished, the chance of the Senate to maintain a hold on serious matters of state, as well as for the ruler to propose initiatives and gauge reactions.39 As individuals, the senators remained the holders of virtually all the top offices of state - in principle, all home magistracies, all legionary legateships and all governorships of provinces, save for the one major exception, Egypt, and a few minor ones. (Nor was Egypt any harbinger of change: no further major province, nor any other legionary command, became equestrian till Severan times.) Senators also retained charge of the state treasury, and supplied, exclusively, the personnel of a number of new administrative committees:praefectifrumenti dandi from 22 B.C.; curatores viarum from 20 b.C., curatores aquarum from 11 b.C.; praefecti aerarii militaris from a.d. 6; curatores operum publicorum (not datable); curatores frumenti40 for acquiring grain in a.d. 6 and 7; the consular commission on expenditure, a.d. 6; the consular committee to take over embassies, from a.d. 8. The consuls were also charged with a new jurisdiction over fideicommissa, testamen­tary trusts. Finally, experimental but with a future of high prestige, there was the prefecture of the city.

An important advance on tradition, however, was that Augustus created in the senatorial order something closer to a hereditary peerage.41 Suetonius informs us that Augustus permitted the sons of senators to wear the 'broad stripe', latus clavus,vl and Dio that in 18 в.с. he imposed a minimum property qualification upon candidates for office, which settled at 250,000 drachmas - a million sesterces. Dio states, indeed, that Augustus' original minimum was 100,000 drachmas (400,000 sesterces), but that was just the 'equestrian' rating that everybody had to have to serve as an officer, the necessary preliminary to all political office. So 18 в.с. should date the inception of a specifically senatorial census.43 Sons of senators could, henceforward, automatically stand for the offices that — still, alone - gave entrance to the order. Suetonius does not say that others could only do so as a beneficium of the ruler, thus giving'him sole control over access to the order, but the power may have been employed to keep out 'gatecrashers'.44 As for the property qualification, the figure was presumably chosen with an eye to getting a senatorial order of the desired size, for there were plenty of people - and not only senators — much richer than the minimum.

But Augustus' struggle was uphill, because he could not bring himself to accept the inevitability of apathy. To put it in a homely form, if you say to people 'I am the ruler, but please, everybody, carry on exactly as usual', they won't. The honorific and social position was still a goal, and legionary and provincial commands were still sought after, but the requirement of residence to attend formal meetings was thought a

Dio Lv.26.2; 31.4.

Nicolet 1976(0 j 3); Chastagnol 1973 (d 31) and 1975 (d 33). Both Mommsen and Willemshad, in their day, pointed this out.

Suet. Aug. 38.2; Suetonius docs not necessarily imply that (for example, owing to a 'crisis of recruitment') they were forced to enter the Senate.

Dio liv.i7.3; Suet. Aug. 41.1, with Carter's note. 44 As in 36 b.c., Dio xlix. 16.1.

nuisance. Hence the changes that had to be made in the rules of senatorial procedure.45 The 'acts of the Senate' ceased to be published,46 and it is possible that that was intended actually to encourage freedom of oral debate; but principally the changes were by way of securing proper levels of attendance:47 increased fines for absence, fixing of regular sessions of the Senate fortnighdy on specified days, and - in capitulation, really - lowering of the quorum needed to pass valid senatus consulta.

Recently, in line with the general theme of 'opting out' whose repercussions on the 'divine family' were seen in chapter 2 above, historians have discerned a 'crisis of recruitment' in the governing class, especially in the Senate. In 13 b.c. the Senate itself, in Augustus' absence, alarmed at the situation, appointed men from the equestrian order to the lowest set of senatorial posts, the 'vigintivirate' (allowing them to remain equites), and obliged ex-quaestors over forty to draw lots for the tribunate; and on his return Augustus compelled some people with the requisite census to enter the Senate. In the following year there was again a shortage for the tribunate, and equites were forced into it, with a choice, at the end, which order to stay in. In a.d. 5 (and often, says Dio) people were unwilling to be aediles, and compulsion was used. Suetonius alleges that the additional decuria was necessitated by avoidance of jury- service, and Dio records the difficulty of getting people to offer their daughters as Vestal Virgins.48 We can, then, agree as to the phenome­non, provided that a careful distinction be made. For the people at the lower end of the elite group, the sort who in the Republic would not have got beyond quaestorian rank and would have remained senatores pedarii, in the new dispensation the rank was not worth the trouble and expenditure. But the top was unaffected; praetorships and consulships were sdll sought after and fought over, hence Augustus' need to pass a lex de ambitu and make a rule, in 8 B.C., requiring deposits from candidates for office.49 In 23 B.C. he had declared that only ten praetors were needed annually, and the figure was kept at that for a few years; but there was pressure, and they were restored to twelve. And in a.d. ii, there being sixteen candidates, all were let in.50 As for the consulship, both its relinquishment by Augustus from 23 B.C. and the introduction of a second pair each year, which was regular from 5 B.C., must be seen as a response to the number of men eagerly surging up through the system and wanting the social reward: the age at which nobiles might reach the consulship was actually lowered.51 So it is no wonder that in the Augustan marriage-laws one of the privileges achieved by the possession of children was priority in the candidature for office.

45 Talbert 1984 (d 77) 122-4, following Rotondi, posits a lex lulia de senatu babendo of 9 b.c.

44 Suet. Aug. 36.1. 47 Dio Liv.18.5 and 35.1; lv.3. 48 Suet. Aug. 32; Dio lv.22.j.

4' DioLV.5.3. M Dio lvi.23.4. 51 Syme 1986 (a 95) j 1-3

The election to magistracies was plainly not intended by Augustus to go simply by his fiat. There was insistence on giving people the vote, as in the arrangements for the decurions of the twenty-eight Italian coloniae to have a kind of 'postal vote';[260] and Agrippa's new Saepta and Diribitorium must have been intended and used for actual voting and vote-counting, even if also for exhibitions. That might not be very significant: by Pliny's time, elections by the people in the Campus, though they still happened, were just a piece of pageantry. But to the extent to which, in Augustus' day, the ruler still needed to influence them, that state had not yet arrived. We are told how he gave presents to his own tribes and canvassed personally for his preferred candidates.[261]One of his privileges was that of 'commendation' of candidates for the higher offices, who were then 'candidates of Caesar' and automatically elected: Augustus seems to have used it sparingly, and not at all (as far as we know) for the consulship. He did not 'give' consulships to people, though we have seen in chapter 2 how he caused special arrangements to be made for the young hopefuls of the 'divine family'. Dio asserts that Augustus often chose the urban praetor himself[262] (not, it appears, the peregrine praetor, who shared the civil jurisdiction, which shows that this is nothing to do with a 'grip on the law'); doubtless what that means is that he decided which of the annually elected praetors should have the hierarchically senior position.55 As for governors of provinces, those of Augustus' own provincia were, properly, his to choose: it was an immense hold on promotion to the really significant jobs. The proconsulships of the 'provinces of the Roman people', were, in principle, still determined by the lot. Some scholars are minded to show that they were somehow picked with an eye to particular talent or suitability or experience.56 The attempt results in very little, but some manipulation of the lot is plausible, for ensuring, for example, that Africa got a soldier when needed, and we know that the lot was abandoned in at least one period of emergency.

In any case, it is a merit of recent scholarship to have pointed out that, in the Empire just as in the Republic, public responsibilities were not specialized (not even, by and large, the military ones, for every gentleman had to do some soldiering). Provided candidates seemed loyal and ordinarily competent, it did not greatly matter who received which office, and there was little need to gerrymander the system in detail, except, perhaps, negatively, to exclude men not competent enough — or too competent. The great, overriding campaign commands were just put, unashamedly, in the hands of members of the 'divine family';

otherwise, the important criteria were, really, social, and it is best to view the whole as an honours system, positions of distinction graded in a traditional ladder up which the socially ambitious could move. Its other importance was as a 'brokerage' system in the distribution of the ruler's beneficia, because it was those who rose in the order whose recommenda­tions carried weight, and who could obtain favours for the people or cities who were their clientes.51

The only other 'order' that mattered was that of the equites, and to them Augustus looked for some administrative personnel, without whom he would have had to expand the traditional magistracies and so dilute the senatorial crime de la creme. The wealthy class of newly united Italy was ready to be brought into the scheme of things. We have learnt better, however, than to see Augustus as 'inventing the Roman civil service' or harnessing to his regime the skills of a 'business class'. He used individuals of different kinds and skills and backgrounds, and did not create for them a cursus honorum in imitation of that of the senators: that was a later development. He did take steps to give the order a stronger collective image, with a formal 'entrance examination' and an annual equestrian parade, and, when Gaius and Lucius Caesar were old enough, making them its honorary presidents. From the funeral honours for Germanicus58 we learn of a Lex Valeria Cornelia of a.d. 5, by which a new electoral committee of senators and select equites was interposed between candidature for office and the comitia, choosing a list of persons destinati, to be added, probably, to any commendati, to be put before the assembly of the people. It was allowed for that there might still be more candidates presenting themselves independently, but maybe from then on the assembly was virtually a rubber stamp. The significance of the new committee has been variously assessed; one view is that it had a political purpose, to encourage, by allowing some equites a say in the process, the rise to office of 'new men' favourable to Tiberius. But the more sober, and now prevailing, view is that it was an 'honour', a further special mark of distinction for the equestrian order.59

When it came to the offices opened to the equites, there was, in Augustus' conception, no 'ladder'.60 The order maintained, in any case, its traditional role as a principal source for the manning of the standard jury-courts and the filling of junior army officerships. The most significant of the new functions were for experienced military equites: the prefectures of small provinces and of the naval squadrons, and the census

s7 Sailer 1981 (p 59) 94-111 and 7)-8.

и The rogatio Valeria Auretia of a.d. 19. Sources: Tabula Hebana, EJ2 94a; Tabula Siarensis, J. Gonzalez 1984 (в 234); Rome fragment, C1L vi 31199; perhaps also the Tabula I/ieitaiu, EJ2 94b (or the latter may come from similar honours for Drusus in a.d. 23). w Brunt 1961 (c 47).

60 Dismantling of the 'ladder' began with Sherwin-White 1939 (d 65).

officerships in the provinces. Above all, of course, stood the prefecture of Egypt and Alexandria itself. The first three prefects performed important military tasks; quite a number of other prefects are known by name from Augustus' reign, but we hear little of their activities, they had short terms of office, and they were socially not of high consequence.61 Equites were also employed in new procuratorial, that is financial, offices (though such offices might go to freedmen, such as the notorious Julius Licinus).62 The equestrian offices in the capital arose only relatively late, in the process of experimentation: the two praetorian prefects first in 2 b.c., thepraefectus vigilum in a.d. 6, thepraefectus annonae not before a.d. 7.63 The stimulus may not have been so much growing confidence in the equestrians as dissatisfaction with experiments using senatorial committees.64

In the imperial period there is a civil service, purely executive, staffed by 'slaves of Caesar' and 'freedmen of Augustus' (until its headships begin to go to equites, and then we really are in a different world). There are, especially, a number of central posts occupied by freedmen, the secretaryships of correspondence, accounts, and petitions being the principal: and for a period in the first century a.d. holders of some of those posts had powerful personal influence on the rulers. Augustus' part in initiating the system is hard to estimate because of shortage of evidence, but historians, probably rightly, tend to conclude from that shortage that the beginnings, under him, were slight and unsystematic. To his last instructions, leaving behind a military and financial handbook to the empire, he 'appended also the names of the freedmen and slaves who could be called to account',65 which suggests a precursor of the Department of Accounts; but the floodtide of correspondence was yet to come,66 and the regular answering of, at any rate, legal petitions a later development. Certainly, there is no sign of any such persons having political influence on Augustus. Naturally, there was also a large personnel, greater than, though not different in kind from, that of the republican prirtcipes viri, of household servants, and with the rise of a 'court' (to which we shall come) it was destined to become very large indeed. But Augustus treated his servants sternly,67 and no sign is yet to be detected of the influence of chamberlains or the like, let alone of the ruler's inaccessibility behind layers of personnel.

Our focus has shifted from the way Augustus secured the personnel he needed to the extent of their influence upon him. The 'Party' has been

61 Brunt 1975 (e 906). 62 Dio liv. 21.3-8.

It is likely that the praefectus vebtculorum also goes back to Augustus, though not yet epigraphically attested so early: Suet. Aug. 49-3.

" Eck 1985 (c 82). « Suet. Aug. 101.4.

Though for a trace of a precursor of ab epistulis see Suet. Aug. 67.2, with Kienast 1982 (c 136) 262. 61 Suet. Aug. 67; 74.

adduced, and the amici principis were his obvious channel of advice; but it is practically impossible to attribute any particular action to the influence of a specific individual, except in a few cases of personal patronage. Crucially lacking, of course, are the files, letters, memoirs and diaries from which historians of the modern age extract such information. In accordance with mos maiorum, Augustus brought in persons of standing, of his choice, when public decisions had to be seen to be made; they can be observed, listed hierarchically, in the minutes of formal meetings.68 It is also quite certain that Augustus used amici of his choice, according to their talents and the matter in hand, as his informal consilium, summoned according to need.69 Doubtless they did exercise influence; someone must have been involved, for example, in the orchestration of the imperial symbolism (a subject to which we shall come). Doubtless, too, the senatorial probouleutic sub-committee was not always on the mere receiving end. But that is all that can be said.70 There were eminencesgrises: Maecenas and Sallustius Crispus were sources of confidential infor­mation and privy to secret plans, and people, no doubt rightly, believed that they could get what they wanted;71 but we do not actually know what items of policy sprang from their brains.72 Livia Drusilla, always at her husband's side, may have had the greatest influence of all; in her case, the less people knew, the more — and worse - they guessed. Prosopogra- phy has, to be sure, given vivid life to a number of powerful personalities of the age whom we may well guess to have been immensely influential: M. Lepidus, M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus, L. Calpurnius Piso, consul of 15 B.C., Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, consul of 14 B.C., Paullus Fabius Maximus, consul of n B.C., and plenty of others. But the most characteristic means whereby Augustus obtained the co-operation of, and promoted to high responsibilities, the people of his choice, was their incorporation in the ramifications of the 'divine family'.73 Complex family alliances were not in the least contrary to tradition, but when such an alliance revolved round just one princeps vir instead of many, the quantitative change became qualitative, and an imperial court was in the making. To the ideological aspects of the 'divine family' we shall return; its practical aspect was that the greatest commands and the most spectacular diplomatic missions went — and were held for as long as the ruler thought necessary - to the closest members of his family and then, as it were, spread outwards. It is likely that, insofar as they were experienced enough, those men were also Augustus' principal counsel-

M Ep 579, lines 34-40. 64 Crook 1933 (d to) ch. 3.

Policy about codicils was suggested by the jurist Trebatius Testa, Inst. just. 11. 25.

Hor. Sat. 1.9.43-56; 11.6.58-58.

Crispus may have been solely responsible for the elimination of Agrippa Postumus.

For the process, and the people, see Syme 1986 (a 95).

lors and collaborators; hence the political tragedy of Augustus' unwil­lingness to trust Tiberius and Tiberius' withdrawal from collaboration with Augustus.

2. Policy

What, with hindsight, historians analyse as Roman 'policy' was often, simply, the Roman government's pragmatic reaction to situations. (The 'spread of citizenship', with the founding of new coloniae, is, as far as Augustus is concerned, a case in point, because veterans had to be settled somewhere.) There are, nonetheless, one or two areas in which it is proper to speak of, and needful briefly to review, Augustus' 'policy'. He had a military and imperial policy: that is assessed in chapter 4 below. He had a financial and budgetary policy and a social and demographic policy. He also had an ideology, the most important part of the whole story.

A degree of financial policy and initiative greater than that of the Republic was forced upon Augustus by the need for a permanent military budget. What was needed was relatively exact housekeeping - and the Res Gestae was evidently composed by someone who relished exact figures. A 'statement of accounts' of the empire, such as was left by Augustus to his successor, had already been available to be handed to his fellow-consul in 23 b.C., when he thought he was dying.74 The general basis of taxation from the republican time was not seriously changed, except for the introduction, quite late on, of the estate duty, vicesima hereditatium, to feed the new account for meeting army discharge gratuities. However, a full property and poll census of the provinces was put in hand, gradually and over many years; it was imposed particularly on newly acquired regions, where it was regarded as the principal sign of subjection and was a major cause of unrest. Besides army pay, another costly item was the supply of free corn at Rome (though much of the taxation for that came in in kind). Augustus did not invent the policy of 'bread and circuses'; in fact, probably after the great food panic of a.d. 6, he was minded to abolish the Jrumentatio (his motive being not economic but social, namely the very conservative belief that free corn at Rome lured citizens away from the admirable activity of peasant farming). But he concluded that abolition was politically inexpedient.75 The main economic fact, however, that determined policy was the enormous, and ever-growing, wealth of the ruler himself; the patrimonium could serve as an alternative treasury, and enabled Augustus to practise a kind of deficit financing on the main accounts, with himself making up the shortfall from his private fortune. Chapters 15 to 18 of the Res Gestae tell the story:

74 Dio liii.50.2. 75 Suet. Aug. 42.3.

'... four times I helped the state treasury with my money';'... from the year of the Lentuli [18 B.C.], when the public revenues were insufficient, I gave subventions of corn and cash from my own granary and bank to sometimes 100,000 people and sometimes many more'. The ruler thus imposed on himself, as the richest citizen, a kind of super-liturgy, which enabled him - as the ancient liturgical principle always enabled the payer - to take on the role of super-benefactor.[263]

Except for that part of the taxation of the provinces that was paid in kind, the Roman empire had a money economy. In particular, the armies were paid in cash, and so were the principal officials. Governors of provinces received large salaries (which was an important innovation of Augustus),77 and equestrian officialdom was from the start a salaried service. As in every respect, so in that of coinage the Roman imperial system relied on the continuance of local government and practice, and so the cities of the Roman world went on issuing, for everyday use, their own, mostly bronze, coinages. The gold and, above all, the silver coinages, for major payments, passed into the control of Rome, the ruler. Numismatists tell us that under Augustus there came into being a 'world coinage'. There was less of policy about that than just the way things worked out (and the only actual Augustan change in the currency system was, surprisingly, in the non-precious metal currency of Rome, which became bimetallic):[264] huge coinages had been issued in the triumviral period, to pay the rival armies, so there was much in circulation; the government opened and closed mints at different times and places, as and when the need was perceived for specific quantities of new coin. The total production was, undeniably, enormous.79

The aspect of Augustus' activity, however, that most plainly deserves the name of 'policy' is that which is commonly called his 'social policy', since it evidently sprang from passionate personal concern: he doggedly fought his own elite over it. The impression given by much recent writing is that Augustus was both revolutionary, in trying to mould the morality and demography of a society by legislation, and at the same time grossly illiberal and reactionary in the rules he sought to impose. As was pointed out in chapter 2 above, there stood behind Augustus a strong republican tradition of the state's interference in the behaviour of the citizens, through legislation, the courts, and, above all, the censorship.80 As to the illiberality, it has often been characteristic of dictators and the like to treat what part, at least, of the citizenry regard as freedoms of personal choice as signs of decadence, and try to curb them, and Augustus is easily tarred with that brush; but the debate about the state's role in relation to morality and family is perennial, and we should beware of imposing a current standard too crudely. Augustus shared with Cicero81 the belief in a superior early and middle Republic, whose victories had been based on better morals and solider family virtues, and he strove to re-create that idealized past.

The legislation relating to slaves and former slaves (freedmen and freedwomen) occurs relatively late in Augustus' reign, and was not part of the 'package' of the leges Iuliae.iZ Proposed by consuls, it may well have been with the approval or even at the initiative of the Senate; for the governing class had a tradition (as can be seen in 'sumptuary laws') of restraining their richer members from stepping too far out of line.83 The astute may even detect, in the Lex Aelia Sentia, some competing pressures, for example, between the drastic regulation of the number and kind of persons who could be elevated to Roman citizenship by the mere process of being liberated by a Roman owner, and, on the other hand, the even-handed provisions governing conduct between freed people and their former owners.84 The leges luliae de adulteriis and de maritandis ordinibus and the Lex Papia Poppaea are the group that represent a moral commitment evinced by Augustus from the beginning,85 and never given up. The curious title of the lex lulia de maritandis ordinibus seems to relate only to those parts of the big statute that restricted the right to full Roman marriage between certain status classes, for example between the senatorial order and freed persons and between all freeborn persons and the usual classes of 'people of low repute' (,infames); but its best-known feature is the pressure that it placed on citizens to marry and re-marry, backed by rewards for those with at least three children and penalties for the childless. The rewards included priority in the competition for public office, and the penalties included severe public marks of disesteem for the unmarried; but the system was made to turn a good deal on how far people were allowed to take inheritances, and those rules did not apply as between close kin, nor below a modestly high property rating. It is fair to infer that it was the birth-rate in the upper ranks of society that Augustus cared about (less so to infer that the true purpose of the legislation was different from what lies on its face, such as the preservation of estates).86 It is, of course, true that Augustus did not dispose of proper demo-

Cic. Marccll. 2 3.

The Lex Iunia, which created the status of'Junian Latins', bears the title lunia Norbana in Inst. Jut. i. 5. j, and should be dated to a.d. 19 accordingly. If it had been part of the early batch of Augustus' laws it would have been a Lex lulia like the rest.

For leges sumptmriae of Julius Caesar and of Augustus in the old republican tradition, see Rotondi 1912 (f 68j) 421 and 447 andGell. NA 11.24.14-15.

Accusation of ingratitude against freedmen, Dig. 40.9. 30 pr.; but if patron fails to support freed man he loses rights, Dig. 38.2.33; and if he obliges freedman or freed woman to agree not to marry he loses rights, Dig. 37.14.13.

The standard view; challenged by Badian 1985 (f 4). 86 So Wallace-Hadrill 1981 (f 73).

graphic knowledge about the trend of the birth-rate and what needed to be achieved to change it; but he probably thought he knew quite enough, and the upper class he could, if unsystematically, observe. His legislation was not going to produce waves of stout yeomen (unless by imitation of their betters), but what he might achieve was a stable officer class. That such was his aim is corroborated by two other new legal rules that will have had importance mainly for the better-off: first, the introduction of peculium castrense, the fund comprising what a filius familias earned from, or acquired in connexion with, his military service, which he could control independently of his paterfamilias-, and, secondly, the rule that a paterfamilias was not allowed to disinherit a filius familias during his military service.[265]

Augustus was, then, probably telling in the Res Gestae the simple truth about what he conceived his legislation to have been for: 'By new statutes passed on my initiative I restored many good examples of our forbears that were disappearing from the current age, and I personally[266]handed on to posterity examples of many things for them to imitate'. That does not mean that it was particularly successful or that it was without pernicious consequences, of which perhaps the worst was that the marriage laws conjured up a fiscal interest in escheated estates that had not existed before.

j. Ideology

The act of creative policy, however, that was Augustus' abiding legacy to Rome was the bringing into being of an ideology of rule, parallel to the careful traditionalism of most of what has been spoken of so far — surprising, in that it manifests itself quite early in Augustus' reign, and multifaceted, so that to describe it even summarily involves consider­ation of many phenomena, of which the 'imperial cult' is only one. Glorification of the personality of the ruler, advertisement of his role, proclamation of his virtues, pageantry over his achievements, visual reminders of his existence, and the creation of a court and a dynasty: those are,par excellence, the things that make a.d. i 4 different from 30 b.c.

It is a difficult question how far the pattern of ideas and symbols that pervades the culture of Augustus' age was 'orchestrated'. Scholars do make such a claim,[267] and, however great the need to resist exaggeration, at least some of the broad lines of the pattern must have been someone's deliberate contrivance. Augustus was probably entirely sincere when he said he wanted to be remembered as the creator of the 'best possible condition' (optimus status), and in his delight when the crew and passengers of a ship from Alexandria put on festal dress and poured libations and cried that 'because of him they had their livelihood, because of him they sailed the seas, they enjoyed freedom and prosperity through him';[268] but into that broad river flowed many channels, some the result of more deliberate channelling than others.

The public cult of the ruler bulks large in the ideology of the Roman empire. Augustus began it - though Iulius Caesar and Antony would have done the same. Cult means, strictly, performing acts of worship to the ruler as a god, but, broadly conceived, it is about people's percep­tions and descriptions of the ruler and his role, and also about the practical business of securing and rewarding adherents in positions of importance in the cities and regions. The cult of the ruler as founder, saviour and benefactor was well established in the Greek-speaking world, and such honours had been bestowed, from time to time, on Roman commanders in the late Republic; even 'Roma', as a divinity, had come to be an object of cult in the East.[269] But it was the rival claims of the triumvirs to influence in the cities that raised the stakes in the game,92 and hence the cult and symbolism of the ruler were promoted and financed in the East by Augustus and by his wealthier supporters.[270] In Rome, the plebs had offered worship to Scipio, Marius and Iulius Caesar, but its betters had been too strongly principes inter pares for that, and Augustus behaved carefully. A gesture used by his successors, but no doubt deriving from him,94 was the refusal of public divine honours for his person in his lifetime: we have seen how he declined to allow Agrippa's temple in the Campus to be called' Augusteum'. On the other hand, there were by now many Roman citizens about the world: the colonizations of Iulius Caesar had made a big difference. For them, the answer was an official cult of 'Rome and Augustus'. The West and North (except for Provence, southern Spain and Africa, long the home of cives Romani) were still under conquest and first-stage reorganization, and had no traditions offering precedent: Augustus promoted there major centres of cult and ceremony, the 'Altar of the Three Gauls' at Lugdunum and the 'Altar of the Ubii' at Cologne. For the Roman plebs there was yet another expedient in this rich fund of devices, the setting of a new cult of th& genius, or 'abiding spirit', of the ruler amongst the little tutelary gods of the 'blocks' of urban Rome, the lares compitales: their cult was in the charge of the 'block leaders', magistri vicorum.9b Those magistri were freedmen; Augustus took account more globally of the fact that large numbers of Roman citizens were actually of that status, promoting another novelty: collegia of freedmen devoted to the cult of the ruler came into being in the cities under the title of 'Augustales', forming a freedman elite parallel to the municipal elites of the freeborn.[271]

No account on the scale here available can do justice to this vast subject. The antiquarian revival of cults, temples and ceremonies in Rome, and the harnessing of the major priesthoods to the new order, are part of the story;[272] so, too, the inclusion of Augustus' genius in oaths sworn by the divinities; so, too, the additions to the religious calendar celebrating his important dates. We have been bidden, rightly, to develop an imagination for the enormous visual impact of it all, with images of the ruler everywhere, in endless profusion, both actual and portrayed on the coinage. In summary, the whole complex was meant to serve as an ecumenical unifying force: citizens and non-citizens, classes and statuses, language- and culture-groups enmeshed in a common, though varied, symbolic network, and the cult acts of Gallic magnates, leading bourgeois of Asia, successful freedmen in the municipia, the plebs of Rome, and the legions,[273] all focussed on the ruler, legitimizing his rule on the charismatic plane, while ministering at the same time to their own desire for social prominence.

The 'divine family' must return into consideration here, from a more conceptual viewpoint. Should we, for example, see Livia Drusilla as an 'empress', or Gaius and Lucius Caesar as 'princes'? Did Augustus inhabit a 'palace', and was he surrounded by a 'court'? The best answer to all those questions would be 'hardly, yet', and, as in the constitutional sphere, comparison with the Severan or Diocletianic age shows how far there was to go. Yet transition was certainly occurring, as can be neatly seen in the matter of Augustus' house.[274] Its nucleus was the house of the republican orator, Hortensius, on the south-western slope of the Palatine, and it remained modest in type and scale, though neighbouring properties were added to it[275] to an extent that is yet uncertain (and the well-known 'House of Livia' presumably came to count as part of it). But the symbolic significance of the dwelling was played upon with insist­ence.101 Augustus' temple of Apollo was built not merely adjacent to it but connecting directly with it. Then, in 27 B.C., the civic crown of oak was placed permanently above its doorway, and laurels were planted to flank the entrance.102 When Augustus became pontifex maximus in 12

B.C., a shrine of Vesta was consecrated in the house.[276] After a fire on the Palatine in a.d. 2 or 3, in which the house of Augustus and the temple of the Magna Mater suffered badly, a public subscription was got up, of which Augustus graciously accepted part; but he then declared the house public property, as being the residence of thepontifex maximus.m A few years later, Ovid, describing how his books from exile might approach the ruler, shows - if we discount a degree of understandable sycophancy - how much more than a mere house the 'Caesaris domus', though still so called, had become.[277]

The association of the ruler's family with him took no long time to develop.[278] We have seen the 'divine family' on exhibition in the frieze of the Ara Pacis of 13 B.C., and can see it at a later stage in the inscriptions recorded in the Codex Einsiedlensis as coming from statues that adorned a gateway at Ticinum, dated to Augustus' thirtieth tribunician power, a.d. 7-8.[279] Honours, even cult, were paid in the cities to members of the family besides Augustus. To what extent the group associated, or even lived, together is uncertain;[280] but there sound like the makings of a 'court' when we hear of Augustus' views about the younger members appearing for dinner with their elders and whether young Claudius could be allowed to make public appearances,[281] and there is rather more evidence about the education of the 'princes' and other youngsters who belonged to the charmed circle.[282] The house of a princeps vir of the republican time had never been solely a haven of privacy, so it was not new for the ruler to live his life in the public gaze, but Augustus wanted his domus to serve as a universal exemplar of the values he aimed to promote.

Most of the evidence about imperial insignia and ceremonial[283]concerns developments later than Augustus: till well after his day, accessibility of the ruler and primacy inter pares remained the ideal. The orb and sceptre carried by the 'emperor', the sacred fire carried before the 'empress', belong to an ideology that was to lead to the remote and hieratic emperorship of late antiquity, and hardly began before the middle of the second century a.d. Yet some seminal elements can already be traced, for example, in the oak-leaf crowns and laurel wreaths, and the symbolism of victory-on-the-orb on the coinage and elsewhere; and

Augustus was accorded the right to wear at any time the triumphal costume, which was the dress of Jupiter himself, and included a sceptre.

In any case, ceremonial in a wider sense was of the first importance. Augustus was a supreme showman (or someone was on his behalf), and made a perpetually inventive use of the 'parallel language' to maintain himself and his achievements in the public consciousness. The games and shows are one part of the story, valuable to him to establish a relationship to his plebs, to preside over its pleasures and expose himself to its demonstrations. Augustus provided generously, adding ludi Actiaci and ludi Martiales to the traditional regular series; and there were regular games on his birthday from 11 B.C. onwards. Triumphs, the irregular spectacle par excellence, reserved after 19 в.с. for members of the 'divine family', were pretty rare, but they were complemented by the great funerals, often also with games: Marcellus, Octavia, Agrippa, Drusus. As for the posthumous honours for Gaius and Lucius Caesar, their complexity and comprehensiveness are revealed in detail by inscriptions[284] (which show, incidentally, that such ceremonies were not laid on only at Rome, but took place in the municipalities and provinces).

The reign was punctuated by other colourful excitements; Augustus' pride in them is attested by the attention given to them in the Res Gestae. There was the journey of Senate and people to Campania to meet the returning ruler in 19 B.C., with the ceremonies at the altar of Fortuna Redux: 'returns' became a standard occasion for pageantry. The ludi saeculares in 17 b.C., the thronged assembly for Augustus' assumption of the role of pontifex maximus in 12 b.C., the full triumph of Tiberius in 7 B.C., the successive installations of Gaius and Lucius as principes iuventutis, reached a culmination in 2 в.с. with the bestowal of the title pater patriae on Augustus and the dedication of the temple of Mars Ultor, accompanied by gladiatorial combats and the long-remembered 'Naval Battle of the Greeks and Persians'. Perhaps creativity ran out after 2 B.C., but activity did not, for the games of a.d. 8 in honour of Germanicus and (astonishingly) Claudius were notable, and it must not be forgotten that it was intended for Augustus and Tiberius to hold full triumphs after the defeat of the Pannonian rebellion in a.d. 9, and Tiberius did celebrate one on 23 October of a.d. 12 or 13. The whole was, in any event, a remarkable calendar of novelties to keep the images of victory and peace simultaneously before the public eye.

Commonly related to the process of image-building are the legends and pictures on the Augustan coinage. It is wise to be cautious about calling them 'propaganda', not least because much uncertainty and disagreement persists as to whom the coinage was supposed to influence and who decided on the types and legends.[285] Gold coinage, and even silver, down to the denarius (the 'tribute-money') will not often have been in the hands of ordinary people; and some of the best-known 'speaking' types and legends are portentously rare and must have been struck in relatively tiny issues, while, conversely, some very large emissions have relatively uninformative material on them. New money probably went first to the troops, so the influence of the coins may have been intended primarily for them; certainly, an explosion of vivid and dramatic, plainly propaganda, types is a feature of the years after Julius Caesar's assassination, and they were part of the armoury of the triumvirs and Sextus Pompeius. In the new age after Actium that momentum was maintained for a while, but it then diminished. Augus­tus' 'saving of the citizens' and the crown of oak leaves, and the Shield of the Virtues, achieved celebration, as did festivals and buildings and cult

Fortuna Redux, the ludi saeculares, Actian Apollo, the Altar of the Three Gauls and the temple of Rome and Augustus at Pergamum. The collegiality of Augustus and Agrippa was also given some emphasis. But the only specific promotional campaign run by the official coinage was bestowed on Gaius and Lucius Caesar (though the successes of Tiberius late in the reign did not go quite without mark). At least, however, the Augustan coinage was, even in terms of types, as well as scale, a world- coinage, with Lugdunum and Nemausus, Ephesus and Pergamum, all striking to recognizably similar effect, and as a dissemination of the image of the ruler that was tremendous.

Buildings also (to return to that important theme) were part of the image-making.114 The public heart of the city of Rome was transformed: everyone knows how Augustus boasted that he had 'taken over a Rome of brick and left a Rome of marble',[286] and Ovid, justifying the soignee look for ladies, exclaims 'Before, all was country plainness: now Rome is of gold'.116 The transformation was not just in grandeur, but in symbolic orientation towards the ruler. It is, indeed, unfair to see the programme solely in that context: improvement and amenity went hand in hand with symbolism. Sewers and water supply, markets and porticoes, theatres and an amphitheatre, improvements to the race-course, parks, baths and libraries now adorned Rome, and Agrippa's part was the more brilliant in that it combined the prosaic and the charismatic. But improvement stopped short when it paid no dividends in prestige (and when Agrippa was no longer there), so that some of the recurrent scourges of the plebs

floods, fires and collapses - were tackled with less than total commitment. About the transformation of Augustus' house enough has been said, and about his new Forum; but even the Forum Romanum took on the symbolism of the ruler and his divine ancestry, and Jupiter Tonans on the Capitol stole some of the limelight of the Capitoline god himself.117 Agrippa adorned the middle Campus, Augustus the northern part, with the Mausoleum, the Ara Pacis and the Horologium. Buildings were erected by, or in the name of, many members of the 'divine family'; as for the republican tradition by which triumphing generals embel­lished the capital and built roads 'out of spoils' (ex manubiis), Augustus was keen for it to continue, and for a while it did, endowing Rome with such important structures as Asinius Pollio's Atrium Libertatis, with the first Roman public library, Cn. Domitius Calvinus' marble rebuilding of the Regia, T. Statilius Taurus' amphitheatre in the Campus and the major temples of C. Sosius (Apollo Sosianus in the Campus) and C. Cornificius (Diana on the Aventine). That tradition only died out because the triumphs and the independent commands on which they rested died out: the last major such building was the theatre of Balbus, and he was, precisely, the last person outside the 'divine family' to celebrate a full triumph.

It hardly needs saying that building programmes advertising the ruler were not confined to the capital. Nor, in the Roman world in general, were they confined to structures erected at government expense, for there was a great mass of building on local and private initiative, as the municipal wealthy responded to the stability of the 'Augustan Peace'. Much was, however, inspired from the centre, such as the Augustan arches that still stand in testimony to the construction of roads, city-walls and harbours, and other imposing structures still to be seen - the Pont du Gard, the Maison Carree, the public buildings of Merida: enough for the imagination to grasp how new a visual world had been created by a.d. 14. In the Roman Forum stood the Golden Milestone,118 and the Chorographic Map of Agrippa stood in his sister Vipsania's portico.119

Of such elements was composed the great assault on the psychology of a generation. A consistent ideology is conveyed, an 'Augustan synthe­sis', the visual monuments being echoed by the literary monuments: it may be summarily spelt out, under three or four heads. First, this is a 'new age', novum saeculum - the keystone of Virgil's Aeneid,120 the theme of the ludi saeculares and of the architectural transformation of Rome. It is an age in which the Hellenic and Roman cultural heritages are to be no longer enemies but partners,121 a partnership symbolized by Actian Apollo, the god combining arms and arts, with his temple and libraries on the Palatine. The gift of the new age is the 'Augustan Peace'; and the

111 On the Forum Romanum, Simon 1986 (f 5 77) 84-91; on Jupiter Tonans, Zanker 1987 (f6j2) 44. »» Dio liv. 8.4. 119 Strab. 11.5.17 (120C); Pliny, HN 111.17.

120 Virg. Aen. vi-791-853. 121 Bowersock 1965 (c 59) ch. 10.

prerequisite of that peace is the ruler's untiring devotion to his cura, by reason of his virtus, dementia, iustitia and pietas. But it demands an answering devotion from others, a willingness to constitute a nation of stern morality and stable family life: that comes out best in the most overtly moralizing of all the literary monuments, the Carmen Saeculare of Horace. And amongst the duties demanded is untiring militarism. For Roman victory and supremacy to be maintained the Romans must keep faith with their long history. That is the message of the Fasti Trium- phales and the busts of Rome's heroes in the porticoes of the Augustan Forum, of the triumphal arches placed about the Roman world, and of the importance attached to the 'return of the standards' in the symbolic nexus. Virgil's 'Be it thy care, О Roman, to rule the peoples with thy sway' is the formal repudiation of the Epicureanism of Lucretius: 'Better to obey in quiet than wish to rule things with your sway and control kingdoms.122

4. Resistance

The 'Augustan synthesis', thus summarized, is a rich diet and a heady brew; historical therapy demands that it be countered, in conclusion, by more astringent and sobering reflections. The historian must ask how successful the mystique was. To what extent can we perceive scepticism, rejection, an alternative ideology,123 a revoludonary temper, even? 'Resistance' is an insistent modern theme;124 how much of it is to be found beneath the confident surface of the 'Augustan synthesis'?

A distinction can properly be made between political and ideological dissent within the Roman people (which is really our theme) and the resistance of conquered peoples to Roman imperialism. Of the latter there was enough and to spare, but the only question about it needing to be raised here is how Augustan rule was viewed in the Greek half of Rome's dominions. For the Greek world too, was a conquered world. Most of it, indeed, had been conquered already under the Republic, and the 'intellectual opposition' (a well-worn topic)125 was rather to Rome in general than to the Augustan rearrangements — though it was them that Alexandria long bitterly resented.126 By and large, the ruling classes, to whom the Augustan effort was mainly addressed, were glad of the 'Augustan Peace', which perpetuated their own local predominance; and there was no shortage of leading families eager for Roman citizenship. If

Virg. Aen. vi.8ji; Lucr. v.1129-30.

D'Elia 193 5 (в 41); La Penna 1963 (в 102).

'M See the collections of papers in Pippidi 1976 (а 72л) and Yuge and Doi 1988 (a i i i).

Bowersock 1965 (c 39) ch. 8.

Hence the 'Acts of the Pagan Martyrs': for the Augustan items that may belong to them, see Musurillo 1954 (в 381) no. 1; POxy 3020; POxy 2435, verso ( = EJ2 379).

they did not 'rally to the support of the Principate',127 they did not rally against it. The two expatriate Greek intellectuals in Rome of the Augustan time of whose writings the most survives today, Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Strabo of Amaseia, were enthusiastic supporters; if the rest of the Greek world was cooler, it was not estranged.

Coming, however, to Roman opposition to Augustus, we should first remember that there were conspiracies, numerous, it appears,128 and spanning his whole reign. Heads of state are, notoriously, at the mercy of plain and simple assassination attempts by individuals, but it was - presumably - Augustus' triumph not to bring upon himself a conspiracy of an entire section of the governing class, as Iulius Caesar had done. As to conspiracy by factions within the 'divine family', reasons have been given for wariness in the face of some sensational hypotheses; in so far as such conspiracies existed, they seem to have been directed against the succession of Tiberius, and, in the end, by him against residual rivals.

More generally, however, we have to do with what was described earlier as resistance to playing the game by Augustus' rules and subscribing to the Augustan ethic. Modern studies place emphasis on the 'crisis of recruitment' of the senatorial class and Augustus' continual battle against the apathy of senators towards attendance in the Curia; they invite attention, too, to the 'crisis of recruitment' of the armed forces in the last decade of the reign. And, lastly, recent studies of Augustan Latin literature have dwelt upon the themes of resistance to tyranny, revolt against crude demands for panegyric and conformity, and covert undermining of the official ethic and promotion of an alternative ideology of 'love, not war' - with the fates of Cornelius Gallus, at one end, and Ovid, at the other, as the real, and damning, historical symbols of the 'Augustan Peace'.

As to the 'crisis of recruitment' in the governing elite, something has been already said, and a distinction has been insisted on: from the top parts of the cursus honorum and the valuable and prestige-enhancing offices of state there was no such flight, and leading dignitaries from the provinces would soon be eager for a place in the system. In the case of the armies, conscription was certainly needed at the military crisis, which shows that the envisaged system was over-stretched; the reduction of the legions to twenty-five after the Varian disaster may have brought the size of the citizen army into balance with what the recruiting possibilities were as well as what the treasury could afford. Already in a.d. 5 the length of service of legionary rank-and-file was raised from sixteen to twenty years, because time-expired soldiers were not staying on;129 that implies that there were not plenty of citizens queuing to take over from

127 Bowersock 196) (c 39) 104; he is talking specifically about a.d. 6.

121 Suet. Aug. 19.1; Dio liv.ij.i. 129 DioLV.23.1.

them. But the undoubted eventual decline of recruitment in Italy was a very long-term process, hardly to be attributed to discontent with Augustus. He did not, after all, find himself constrained to raise the pay of the troops, he gave only two army donatives, and he was able to impose a prohibition of iustum matrimonium upon serving soldiers.[287] At his death the northern armies were just about to mutiny; but they had not, nor had the rest, simply melted away.

Finally, as to social and moral attitudes, in literature and life: Augustus proposed, in certain matters, standards stiffer than those to which part, at least, of the leading class were accustomed. Resistance to the legislation about sexual behaviour, marriage, celibacy and childlessness (and to the direct taxation of cives Romanil) was vociferous. On the other hand, the very practical case of high-status people engaging in theatrical and gladiatorial performances, and of the attempts by the Senate as well as Augustus to prohibit such conduct,[288] brings out the feature that the elite had motives for maintaining its own cohesion by drawing the bounds of accepted standards more tightly. Nevertheless, we can appreciate why, more than anything else, it was Augustus' daughter who broke the spell of Augustus' vision - the candid and caustic Iulia, who did every bit of her duty in her dynastic role but refused to bound her life with demure domesticity.

Some bons mots of Iulia survived, as did some of her father's[289] - and of his opponents. It is not right to imply (though that is sometimes done) that the voice of opposition was somehow suppressed from the historical record, for plenty of it has come down to us, not only in anecdotes but in whole passages in the chief historians where editors point out that the writer is 'following a hostile source'.

And the poets?[290] They have been seen by some as purveyors of propaganda, drafted in detail by someone for them to versify: for how else could their images correspond so well with those of the visual monuments? Patronage certainly demanded its quid pro quo, and it was open and explicit in that age: the frankest statement is the preface of Vitruvius' De Architectural We must beware of hypocrisy: we find no difficulty about accepting that the epigrammatists Crinagoras and Antipater wrote to order for the 'divine family' and others, or that the panegyrist of Messalla or the writer of the Consolatio ad Lit/iam were clientes, so why should we doubt it of the patriotic purple passages in the Aeneid, the 'Roman Odes' of Horace, the Carmen Saeculare, or Propertius' celebrations of Roman legend? Tibullus, precisely because he never belonged to the crucial salon, could stay cool and aloof from the Augustan mystique, and Ovid was able to take on the role of cynic and 'debunker' for the same reason, while Propertius trod a complicated middle ground. It is in Ovid and Propertius that we meet most explicitly the 'alternative life style', the cult of the clandestine love-affair, the theme of militia amoris, or 'love, the true enlistment', and the cry that 'there shall no soldier be born of thee and me'.135 Yet even among the 'establish­ment' poets there occurred recusatio, the elegant refusal of commissions: Augustus never got the simply conceived epic of his Res Gestae that he would have liked, nor the revival of good old native drama.136 A recent tendency goes further, detecting concealed sniping even in the most panegyrical works. Is fulsomeness of praise, then, a form of deliberate 'overkill'? Is the Aeneid, actually, a condemnation of Augustan trium- phalism (since it is, admittedly, not a naive affirmation)? Some recent claims may come to be thought exaggerated: what it is certainly important not to forget is that, with the exception of Ovid, the minds and hearts of the major poets — and of Livy — were formed before Augustus ever became Augustus, and so were his mind and heart. Their praise of peace and the unity of Italy and Rome's mission, their vision of the 'new age', grew out of the experiences of the late Republic and the triumviral age, and Augustus, their coeval, was the fortunate inheritor of those sentiments: he did not have to drum them up. It may be that all of them, includinghimselj, as time went on, came to perceive only too well the price that had to be paid for the 'Augustan Peace'.

For the Augustan creation perpetuated some of the ruthlessness of its origins. Certainly, in the 'police states' that we nowadays know, the ordinary folk as well as their betters are under fear and compulsion - the informer in the pub and the apartment block, the exclusion of the dissident from employment and of his children from education, the bloody suppression of meetings and arrest of popular leaders. The Augustan regime did not possess the apparatus of ideological tyranny to operate on that global scale, though every provincial governor's duty of 'maintaining the peace' included keeping a sharp eye on public meetings, and both abroad and in Rome the collegia were anxiously controlled. In Rome, too, the Egnatius episode shows that the government would not tolerate a successful demagogue; and the city was heavily policed at the crisis of a.d. 6.

But if we stick to the ambience of the governing elite at the political centre, there, particularly, though not exclusively, in Augustus' later years, things were done that we do associate with the behaviour of 'police states': the widening of the range of offences counting as treason

135 Prop. 11.7.14. 136 If that is what he wanted, as argued by La Penna 196} (в 102).

(with the inevitable encouragement of informers); banishments and exiles without trial; the sudden courier and the enforced suicide; the suppression of literature and the banning, and worse, of authors. And those things were a legacy: they formed part of the apparatus of rule of Augustus' successors, used from time to time as raison d'etat demanded.

Yet, though they were a characteristic, they were not the dominant characteristic, nor even the dominant ultimate weakness, of Augustus' creation. The work known as the Dialogus, attributed to Tacitus, contains, through the mouth of an 'opposition' writer, a well-known expression of the view that the ending of the creative phase of, at least, Roman eloquence was directly due to the loss of freedom.137 That was not the only view then,138 nor need it be now; but historians are not wrong to perceive a general loss of momentum supervening on the Augustan triumphs. The late Republic had been moving fast; the very fact of Augustus' rule, let alone his ideals and policies, applied a brake that brought his whole society to a relative standstill. The 'New Age' was conceived of as a 'return to the Age of Saturn', not a great leap into the future; and just as the Greek literature of the age swung back from 'Asianism' to 'Atticism', so did the visual arts return from Hellenistic 'baroque' to serene Classicism and even a curious cult of the Archaic.139 It is likely that to most of the upper classes in the Roman world, in most respects, that result was welcome rather than otherwise, for their interest was in stability, and Augustus had to fit in with their career ambitions and social expectations as much as they with his proddings and exhortations. Certainly, his revolution was no social revolution: the maintenance, and strengthening, of status hierarchy was high on its priorities,140 and some historians have seen its principal historical effect as the consolidation of the 'slave society'. Be that as it may, 'it is a fair criticism of the new order, that its temptation was to be static in high matters',141 and stability is, of the political virtues, the least heart­warming to read about.

/. An estimate

Tacitus offers an appraisal of Augustus, in contrasting paragraphs: what can be said in his favour and what against.142 For Tacitus, as for many historians after him, the bad outweighed the good. Nevertheless, whether for good or ill, Tacitus lived in a political world of which Augustus had been the principal architect; and for an estimation of

K. Heldmann, Antikt Tbeoritn ŭbtr EntwUkhmgund Vtrjallier Redthmst vi.i, Munich, 1982, esp. 271-86.

It is not even the only view in the Dialogur, and in 'On the Sublime', ch. 44, expressed more broadly, it is rejected by the author of that work himself; see Heldmann, Antikt Tbeorien vi.2.

Literature: Gabba 1982 (в 57); visual arts: Simon 1986 (f 577) 110-36, with the illustrations.

IW Rawson 1987 (f 56). 1,1 Adcock, САН x" 606. 142 Tac. Ann. 1.9-10.

Augustus' achievement, for good or ill, it is as necessary to look at what followed him as at what preceded him. For we can then see that his was not a 'blueprint' creation, but experimental, and that it underwent much further change. Neither was it in all respects successful, even in his own time and terms:143 there was more propaganda than reality about some of the military enterprises, and the programme of social reform probably had little good effect and certainly had some bad. As for the subsequent changes, some represent practical breakdowns in his scheme of things. For instance, the transmission of power broke down with Nero, and it is doubtful whether Augustus envisaged the rise of any of the new equestrian officials to formal political influence, and virtually certain that he would have been appalled at the political power of freedmen.

But if we look from the political world of Cicero to that of Tacitus, we ought to be able to discern what structures Augustus left (in principle, at least, and for good or ill) to the Roman world after him. First, the ideology, as well as the reality, of a single ruler (supported, it might be, by a collega imperii). Secondly, a system for the transmission of power and authority, namely dynasty, by birth or adoption, coupled with the bringing of the chosen successor into proper relation with the legitimiza­tions of power as early as possible, which, though sometimes nullified in practice, was always, in principle, revived and never supplanted. Thirdly, a rule of law - for the ruler was not, in principle, 'above the law' — intended normally to prevail, although raison d'etat overrode it all too readily in crises.[291] Fourthly, the preservation of strict social hierarchy, the leading role being still assigned to the senatorial order, the governing class of the empire remaining a tiny elite. Fifthly, unchanged also from the Republic, the principle of 'government without bureaucracy',145 by which the local management of the vast empire was left to the municipalities and imperial administration could remain unprofessiona- lized and economical of manpower and cost. Sixthly, by contrast, armed forces that were, in the lower ranks, professional. They were composed partly of Roman citizens and partly of non-citizens, and by careful budgeting they were supported on a scale enabling them to achieve some modest further expansion of Rome's dominions down to the time of Trajan — though they were destined, in the 'Year of the Four Emperors', to be the vehicle of renewed civil war. Lastly, it would be unfair to rob Augustus of his part in turning the city of Rome into a monumental imperial capital.

'Achievement', however, may seem too biographical a term in which to estimate the place of Augustus in history: more neutrally, we could substitute 'results' or 'effects', and the observed effects may have had a multiplicity of causes, amongst which Augustus was only one. He stands between what we recognize (or have created for our own convenience) as two ages of European history, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. But was he, after all, the 'architect' of the Empire? Or was he just the culminating 'dynast' thrown up by the 'Roman Revolution',146 a process of change that began with Sulla, or even the Gracchi, and had its own momentum, so that even if Antony had won at Actium or Augustus had died in 23 в.с. the Roman Republic would still have been succeeded by the Roman Empire? What specific contribution is it possible to attribute to Augustus within that massive historical process? Perhaps just this much (if only by slipping back into biography): if Julius Caesar or Antony had been the culminating dynast there would, very likely, still have been a Roman Empire, but it would, very likely, have had a different face. The characteristic structure of the Empire, in which so much of what was new was based so firmly on what was old, is likely to have owed something to the particular cast of mind of its first ruler - narrow, pragmatic and traditionalist. Augustus was equated, in his time, with most of the gods of the Roman pantheon; today, we might think him best fitted by one he was not equated with, Janus, as he steered the Roman world into the future with his eyes fixed on the values of the past. Plutarch records a saying of his (it matters little whether vero or ben trovato): when somebody told him that Alexander, after his conquests, had been at a loss what to do next, Augustus said he was surprised that Alexander had not realized that a greater job than acquiring empire was getting it into shape when you had acquired it.[292] The shape of the Roman Empire was his contribution.

THE EXPANSION OF THE EMPIRE UNDER AUGUSTUS

ERICH S. GRUEN

The contemporaries of Augustus delivered high praise for conquest and empire. The poet of the Aeneid has Jupiter forecast a Roman rule that will know no bounds of time or space, and Anchises' pronouncement from the underworld previews Augustus extending imperial power to the most remote peoples of the world. Livy characterizes his city as caput orbis terrarum and its people as princeps orbis terrarum populus. Horace asserts that the maiestas of the imperium stretches from one end of the world to the other.1

The phrases echo sentiments and expressions of the Roman Republic. Militarism marked much of its history. And the exploits of the con­queror were envied, honoured and celebrated. Those precedents stimu­lated and helped shape the character of the Augustan years. Wars dominate the era, victories were repeatedly gained (or claimed), and the humbling of external foes became a prime catchword of the regime.

The successes of Augustus abroad suggest a drive to consolidate the empire, to create a united dominion under Roman rule.2 The princeps, it can be argued, conceived a broad-gauged military strategy, based on economy of force, which, through a combination of mobile troops and loyal dependencies, provided both for internal security and frontier stability.3

Theoretical formulations in retrospect, however, fail to catch the dynamics of a volatile situation. And they slight the diversity of geographical, political, diplomatic and cultural considerations that faced Augustus in the vast expanse of the Roman world. One need not assume that the princeps had a structured blueprint for empire. Nor did his actions adhere to a uniform pattern imposed on all sectors of the imperium Komanum. Different circumstances in different areas provoked a variety of responses, sometimes cautious, sometimes bold, occasionally calculated, often extemporaneous. Augustus was less concerned with a systematic plan for world dominion than with a systematic construct of his image as world conqueror.

Virg. Лея. 1.278-9; Livy, xxi.30.10, xxiv.)8.8; Hor. Carm. iv.13.13-16.

Cf. Kienast 1982 (c 136) 366-70, 406-20. 3 Luttwak 1976 (a 37) 13-50.

•47

i. egypt, ethiopia and arabia

The deaths of Antony and Cleopatra left Octavian as master of Egypt. He would not permit that land to slip from his grasp again. Its wealth and resources in the hands of a rival would constitute a serious menace, and its role as a granary could be critical. Egypt became a province in 30 B.C., but no ordinary province. Octavian took full responsibility for gover­nance. He appointed an equestrian prefect to administer the nation, and allowed no Roman senator or high-ranking eques even to visit it without his authorization. The princeps reckoned Egypt a place apart and kept close surveillance over its affairs.4

The prefect of Egypt supervised collection of revenue in the highly centralized fiscal system, exercised judicial duties, and commanded the three legions and auxiliary troops stationed in the country.5 The forces seem adequate for the preservation of security and the entrenchment of Roman control.

Yet Octavian did not content himself with the acquisition of Egypt. His first appointee as praefectus Aegypti, C. Cornelius Gallus, both poet and military man, pressed for expansion from the start. He quelled revolts in Heroonpolis, east of the Delta, and in the Thebaid. That was an appropriate and expected part of the job. But Gallus had no intention of stopping there. He took his forces southward, beyond the First Cataract of the Nile, where, so he claimed, neither Roman nor Egyptian arms had ever penetrated before. Gallus received representatives of the king of Ethiopia, accepted the king under his protection, and installed a dynast to rule over Triacontaschoenus, evidently as buffer zone between the realms of Egypt and Ethiopia. All this had been accomplished by the spring of 29 B.C. when Gallus erected a trilingual inscription in Latin, Greek and hieroglyphics to celebrate his exploits.6 The prefect's pen­chant for self-display eventually proved fatal. He had images of himself set up all over Egypt and a record of his achievements inscribed even on the pyramids. Such hybris, combined with a host of other alleged misdeeds, brought about Gallus' recall, renuntiatio amicitiae by Augustus, accusation, conviction and suicide perhaps in 26 в.с.7 But nothing in the charges raised objections to Gallus' pushing Roman authority beyond the First Cataract and obtaining the homage of Ethiopian princes. Augustus may have frowned on his prefect's over-zealousness in taking personal credit for Roman expansion — but he did not disavow the

Tac. Ann. 11.59; Hist, i.ii; Dio li.17.1-5. See the recent treatments, with bibliography, by Geraci 1983 (e 924) 128-46 and 1988 (E926), who rightly questions the common idea that Augustus treated Egypt as a 'private preserve'. It was considered as one among Rome's revenue producing provinces; Veil. Pat. 11.39.2; Strab. xvn.1.12 (797C); Tac. Ann. xv.36; Huzar 1988 (c 277) 370-9.

On his position, see Geraci «983 (E924) 163-76; Huzar 1988 (c 277) 352-62; and below, ch. 14b.

ILS 8994, 8995; Strab. xvii.i.] 5 (819Q. 7 Dio Lin.23.j-7; Suet. Aug. 66.

149

egypt, ethiopia and arabia

expansionism. Installation of a client prince and acceptance of the Ethiopian ruler under Roman protection appealed to the pride — and probably stemmed from the policy — of Augustus.

The intentions of the princeps emerge with greater clarity in the actions of the next prefect, Aelius Gallus. First-class testimony survives from the pen of his friend and confidant Strabo. Augustus instructed his prefect to investigate the peoples and topography of Ethiopia and to explore the situation in Arabia. The plan formed a prelude to Gallus' invasion of Arabia Felix, the land of the Sabaeans in the north-west corner of the Arabian peninsula. The economic advantages did not escape Augustus' notice: the Sabaeans were key suppliers or middlemen in the lucrative commerce of spices, gems and perfumes from the East. Gallus' invasion may have had in view some Roman involvement in that traffic. But the move forms part of a larger pattern. Roman power was to extend into both Arabia and Ethiopia and the Sabaeans would be the first step. Augustus expected to coerce them into alliance, or to add to his reputation as conqueror.[293]

As it happened, Aelius Gallus' venture proved calamitous, and the plan abortive. Numerous vessels were wrecked in a long and unnecess­ary voyage from Arsinoe in 26 or 25 в.с. Worse followed when the troops marched into the interior of Arabia from Leuke Kome, a six month trek to Marib, major city of the Sabaeans. There were victories, or alleged victories, along the way, but also disease and death. And the siege of Marib ended in failure: lack of water dictated the abandonment of the whole campaign. The humiliated Roman legions returned through the desert, recrossed the Red Sea and made their way back to Alexandria. Interested sources did their best to obscure the ignominy. The Res Gestae of Augustus speaks only of advance into Arabia, to the land of the Sabaeans and the town of Marib. Not a word about the outcome. And Strabo, though he does not conceal the failures, places the blame on the treacherous Nabataean minister Syllaeus who purportedly misdirected and sabotaged the Roman enterprise.[294] The fault, however, lay with Aelius Gallus, or perhaps with Augustus.

The princeps nevertheless refused to be deflected from his scheme. Arabia no longer seemed inviting, but Ethiopia still beckoned. Augus­tus' new prefect of Egypt, P. Petronius, headed the invasion in 2 5 or 24 в.с., an undertaking whose groundwork had been prepared by Aelius

Gallus. In Strabo's version, Ethiopians took the initiative, crossed the First Cataract, and attacked the towns of Syene, Philae and Elephantine, thus provoking retaliation by Petronius. There may be truth in that: the Ethiopians perhaps learned that they had been marked out as next victims, thus anticipating Rome and taking advantage of the temporary absence of Roman forces (they were with Aelius Gallus in Arabia). Petronius' assault, in response, was vigorous and effective. His troops drove the Ethiopians out of the places they had seized, pushed them well back into their own territory, regained the cities and trophies captured by the Ethiopians, and penetrated all the way to Napata, chief northern city of the kingdom, which they stormed and destroyed. Only the forbidding terrain prevented further advance. This was much more than a retaliatory campaign. Petronius installed a garrison at Primis between the First and Second Cataracts, dispatched Ethiopian prisoners to Augustus as token of new conquest, and imposed tribute upon the people as sign of Roman rule.

An Ethiopian attempt to break the yoke came a year or two later, under the energetic queen Candace: an attack on the garrison at Primis which brought Petronius back swiftly from Alexandria. The second campaign re-established Roman supremacy in a hurry in zz B.C. Candace sought terms, and Petronius sent her representatives to the princeps at Samos, where he magnanimously offered a remission of tribute.10

Peaceful relations prevailed thereafter. Petronius' campaigns had secured the southern borders of Egypt, rendering that land largely invulnerable to external menace. But this was no mere defensive mission. Roman suzerainty now extended over the Dodecaschoenus, the zone between the First and Second Cataracts. And Augustus boasted in the Res Gestae of military conquest stretching to Napata: Roman power now reached almost to the great Ethiopian city of Meroe.11

Aelius Gallus' ill-fated expedition had thwarted Roman aims in Arabia Felix. But Augustus maintained interest in the Nabataean Arabs and even meddled in the internal affairs of that kingdom. Intrigue and rivalry between the Nabataeans and the realm of Herod the Great in Palestine kept the princeps repeatedly involved in hearing and judging competitive claims. Augustus briefly considered adding the Nabataeans to the dominion of Herod, but decided instead to confirm Aretas IV on the throne c. 8 в.с. After the death of Herod in 4 B.C., however, Rome may actually have annexed Nabataea for a short time, subjecting it to direct rule before relinquishing it again to Aretas. The latter act can be

10 Strab. xvn.1.5 3-4(819-210); Dio li.5.4-6; Pliny, HN vi.i81; see Jameson 1968 (£939)72-6, 79-82; Torok 1988 (e 976) 275-9. O" the name P. Petronius, see Bagnall 1985 (e 889). Additional bibliography in Burstein 1988 (c 258) 16—20, who argues that the tribute was first imposed by Cornelius Gallus and that Augustus' remission of it represented abandonment of his aggressive policies in the region. 11 Aug. RG 26.

associated with a military expedition by C. Caesar, grandson of the princeps, in a.d. i, who fought a campaign in or near Arabia, out of which perhaps came the reinstatement of Aretas as Roman client king over the Nabataeans.12 Augustus kept in touch with affairs of the Near East - and made certain to manifest Roman authority in the area.

ii. asia minor

The Greek East had been a mainstay for Antony. But the battle of Actium, followed in the next year by the suicides of Antony and Cleopatra, tipped the balance decisively. Rulers and dynasts in the hellenistic world faced a crisis. Earlier support for Antony, once a source of authority, now became a perilous liability. The new shape of the East would be at the command of Octavian, a fact that prompted hasty shifts of allegiance and spread alarm among the leadership.

Octavian, however, knew better than to conduct a wholesale overturn of the old order. Men of experience and established influence could be valuable instruments in preserving stability in the Greek world. They served to illustrate the conqueror's clemency, to deliver a comforting sense of continuity, and to transmit the advantages of loyalty to the new regime.13

Octavian confirmed the ex-Antonian Polemo in place in Pontus. The king subsequently gained formal recognition as friend and ally of Rome.14 He had to yield up Armenia Minor, but only because Octavian wished to award it to another ex-Antonian, Artavasdes of Armenia.15 Polemo collaborated loyally and faithfully with the Augustan regime. When rebellion broke out in the Bosporan kingdom, headed by an obscure usurper named Scribonius, Agrippa, who oversaw Rome's eastern interests in Syria, commissioned Polemo to restore the situation in 14 b.c. Polemo carried out the task, though it required Agrippa's forces to intimidate the rebels. The Pontic dynast, with Augustus' approval, went on to marry Dynamis, widow both of Scribonius and the previous Bosporan king, and to add the Bosporan realm to his own holdings.16 The combination of royal houses and kingdoms evidently appealed to Augustus: it permitted him to hold the allegiance of a broad area under a tested client prince. As it happened, the marriage soon foundered. Dynamis regained control of her dominion on the Bosporus, Polemo selected a new bride, Pythodoris from Tralles, and hostilities resumed between the kingdoms. Polemo fell in battle while endeavour-

12 Pliny, HN 11.168, vi.160; Strab. xvi.4.21 (779Q, with the discussion of Bowersock 1983 (e 990) 5 3-6; cf. Romer 1979 (c 301) 204-8; Sidebotham 1986 (c 310) 130-3. On the Nabataean kingdom in this period, see Negev 1978 (c 292) 549-69. Gaius' martial accomplishments are celebrated in 1LS, 140, lines 9-12; EJ2 69. 13 See Levick's account below, ch. 14a.

14 Strab. xn.8.16 (578Q; Dio Liii.25.1. is Dio Liv.9.2. 16 Dio liv.24.4-6 ing to regain the Bosporan realm in 8 B.C., and his wife Pythodoris inherited power in Pontus.[295] Augustus remained aloof from the contest, hoping to encourage stability without intervention. Dynamis obtained recognition as friend and ally of the Roman people. The princeps preferred to endorse continuing regimes rather than to undermine or destabilize them. Dynastic ties unravelled between Pontus and the Bosporan kingdom, but gained new strength between Pontus and Cappadocia when Polemo's widow Pythodoris wed Archelaus of Cappa- docia, thus linking the two kingdoms.[296] That arrangement too was doubtless orchestrated by Augustus, thereby to bind together the royal houses of Anatolia as surrogates for Roman suzerainty.

Archelaus, beneficiary of Antony, kept his throne through the favour of Caesar Octavianus. Indeed, he would soon increase his holdings with Roman encouragement. Archelaus obtained Cilicia Tracheia, parts of the coast, and Armenia Minor by 20 в.с., a move to build a more solid shield against Parthia.19 The king experienced less success with his subjects, some of whom lodged an accusation against him in Rome - to no avail.[297] And at some point Augustus was induced to install an overseer in Cappadocia.[298] Nevertheless, Archelaus' connexions and machinations kept him on his throne through the reign of Augustus.[299]

Deiotarus Philadelphus ruled Paphlagonia with Antony's approval, switched sides at Actium, and earned the gratitude of the conqueror. Octavian confirmed him in power.[300] The kingdom may have been enlarged later with parts of Phazemonitis. Deiotarus enjoyed an un­troubled dominion until his death in 6 B.C.24

Amyntas of Galatia too changed allegiance hastily before Actium, and profited. He remained sovereign in his realm and received further territorial grants in Pisidia, Lycaonia, Isauria and Cilicia Tracheia.25 The new dominions brought added responsibilities. Amyntas undertook to subjugate the fiercely independent and troublesome mountain tribes sheltered in the Taurus range and menacing the southern fringes of Galatia. The king made admirable headway, up to a point, capturing a number of mountain fastnesses. But terrain favoured the guerrillas. Amyntas fell victim to the formidable tribe of the Homonadenses and was executed in 25 B.C.[301] Augustus moved swiftly and decisively. He would leave no vacuum in central Anatolia that might tempt marauders or rebels. Galatia was annexed as a Roman province. The region encompassed Isauria, Pisidia, Lycaonia and part of Pamphylia, in addition to Galatia proper. It would henceforth come under the supervision of a Roman governor.[302] Reasons for Augustus' sudden shift of policy are not easy to discern. Amyntas had sons but Augustus ignored their claims. It would be hazardous to infer that theprinceps had a long-standing and deliberate design to convert client states into pro­vinces, once their rulers had prepared them for incorporation. Nor would provincialization of the land provide the glory of imperial expansion that came with conquest. An ad hoc decision seems more likely. Death of the king at the hands of rebellious tribes threatened the region and challenged the efficacy of Roman overlordship. Augustus would now make a display of direct Roman rule. The new province included a number of military colonies dispatched by Augustus to Pisidia. The annexation of Galatia served to solidify the area, overawe recalcitrant mountaineers, and provide a buttress for client princes in Pontus, Paphlagonia and Cappadocia, as well as for the provinces of Bithynia and Asia.

Augustus had no commitment to provincialization as a matter of policy. In fact, he detached the area of Cilicia Tracheia from Galatia and bestowed it upon Archelaus, the loyal ruler of Cappadocia.[303] When circumstances called for it, he would alter arrangements and reorganize territory accordingly. The death of Deiotarus Philadelphus in 6/5 B.C. gave occasion for incorporating his realm into the province of Galatia. Three years later came a further addition to the province, the region of Pontus Galaticus.[304] A preserved oath of allegiance from Gangra under­scores the new order: the inhabitants swore fealty to Augustus and included his name among the gods and goddesses by whom the oath was sanctioned.30 Improvisation rather than elaborate design appears to characterize Roman decisions in Asia Minor. The Homonadenses had brought about the demise of Amyntas and provided the impetus for provincialization. Yet Roman governors of Galatia, whose appoint­ments began in 25 B.C., conducted no campaign against that people for two decades. The tribe had presumably been quiescent in the mean time. It can be inferred that Augustus ordered an offensive only when the Homonadenses stirred trouble again. The legate P. Sulpicius Quirinius headed forces that engaged the mountaineers, perhaps c. 5-3 B.C., gradually reducing their strongholds and starving out the defenders, a lengthy and arduous process.[305] One other uprising demanded Rome's attention a few years later: the turbulent Isaurians challenged her authority and had to be quelled in a.d. 6. The province had now been effectively pacified.[306]

Elsewhere in Asia Minor petty dynasts ruled in cities or lesser principalities. Some had served the cause of Antony and were removed, others kept in place. And even where Augustus deposed, a dynast he might subsequently restore the dynasty. He left tyrannies in power in Mysia, at Caranitis and Amasia, and in the Bosporan kingdom. He removed rulers from Hierapolis Castabala in Cilicia Pedias and from Olba in Cilicia Tracheia, only to reinstate the ruling houses later. At Pontic Comana he overthrew one Antonian supporter and replaced him with another. Tarsus, where Octavian replaced a client of Antony with one of his own partisans, was exceptional rather than representative. And in Commagene, Augustus expelled more than one dynast before turning the principality back to a previous ruling line.[307] The ad hoc character of these dispositions stands out clearly. Some changes took place after Actium, and some dynasties suffered interruption. In general, however, Augustus preferred continuity or reverted to earlier dynastic houses which could bring experience and promote stability.

iii. judaea and syria

Syria held Rome's principal military installation in the East. Three, later four, legions were stationed there, a show of strength to Parthia, and a garrison to intervene at need in Asia Minor or Palestine. Expansionism was not the aim here, rather the maintenance of order and the entrench­ment of control. Internal security took precedence.

Syria had become a Roman province after Pompey's campaigns in the 60s and remained a centre for implementation of eastern policy. Antony of course controlled it in the 30s, and Octavian made certain to establish his dominion there shortly after the fall of his rival. The governor of Syria, Q. Didius, was among those who made timely transfer to Octavian after Actium; and Octavian himself spent some time in Syria in late 30 в.с. His presence alone underscored the importance of the area.[308]In the settlement of 27 в.с. Augustus acquired formal responsibility for the province of Syria and thereby for Rome's defence system in the East. The princeps kept close surveillance on the region through his appoin­tees. Roman troops quelled an uprising of the Ituraeans in Lebanon. And the loyalty of minor dynasts like Dexandros at Apamea helped keep the region under control.35 Augustus gave his chief deputy M. Agrippa general supervision of the East based on Syria in 23 B.C., an office he discharged for ten years, though usually in absentia, with trusted legates in place.36 A similar duty seems to have been exercised by Augustus' grandson Gaius, in association with his eastern expedition c. 1 B.C., thus reaffirming the central significance of Syria for Rome's position in the East.37

On the Syrian flanks Augustus relied on client princes to serve as buffers and to cushion the province. The petty kingdoms of Emesa and Ituraea provided protection against Bedouin tribes from the desert.38 And supervision over much of Palestine was entrusted to a remarkable man, Herod the Great.

The extensive testimony of Josephus affords a more intimate glimpse into the affairs of Herod than we possess for any other dependent ruler. Herod has thus become the client prince par excellence, a prime exhibit for the relationship between Rome and vassal kings.

This half-Jewish Idumaean had been a chief beneficiary of Antony, confirmed and supported in his authority by the triumvir. And he sided loyally with Antony right down to Actium itself. Herod was not at Acdum, engaged instead in fighdng with the Nabataeans. But for Herod, as for so many others, the battle represented a decisive turning point. No pretence of hidden sympathies for Octavian was possible. Herod sought out Octavian in Rhodes in 30 B.C. and took a straightfor­ward line: the same sort of unswerving fidelity he had shown to Antony he could now offer to Antony's conqueror; he could be trusted to serve Octavian's interests — as he served his own. Octavian recognized the mutual benefits inherent in this relationship, reaffirmed Herod's royal status and expanded his holdings along the coast, in Samaria, in the Decapolis and around Jericho. Herod put his loyalty on display by visiting Octavian in Egypt and accompanying the Roman on his return trip as far as Antioch.39 The events of 30 B.C. set a pattern for the relationship between princeps and client king.

Herod discharged or anticipated obligations. He supplied soldiers for Aelius Gallus' campaign in Arabia c. 26 B.C., refounded and renamed cides in Augustus' honour, dispatched two of his sons to Rome for their education in 23 B.C., and had his subjects swear an oath of allegiance to

35 Crushing of the Ituraeans: ILS168 j; Dexandros and in general, Rey-Coquais 1978 (e 1054)47- 9. 34 Dio 1.111.3г.1; Joseph. AJ xvi.3.3.

37 Oros. vii.3.4. For the evidence on Roman governors of Syria under Augustus, see Schŭrer 1973 (e 1207) 253-60.

M Augustus appears to have deposed and later restored the dynasty of Emesa; Sullivan 1977 (e 1065)210-14. 39 Joseph. AJ xv.183-201, 218; BJ 1.386-97.

the emperor.40 And the king profited. Augustus enlarged his territorial holdings twice more in the decade after Actium: in 23 в.с. Herod's friendship with the princeps' son-in-law and chief helpmate M. Agrippa only enhanced his status further. The king orchestrated an elaborate tour and a lavish reception for Agrippa during his stay in the area in 15 B.C. and performed numerous services for him on a mission to Asia Minor.41 The tighter the bonds, however, the greater the dependency. The kingdom of Herod was evidently not liable for tribute to Rome.42 The obligations were subtler and more ambiguous, and thereby, in some ways, more demanding. Augustus gave to Herod some responsibility for supervision in Syria, thus, no doubt, to co-ordinate efforts with the princeps legate in that province.43 He also awarded to Herod the privilege of appointing his own successor.44 The princeps presumably intended that gesture as a sign of esteem and an encouragement to independent behaviour. But the very fact that such a privilege had to be explicitly articulated is the most telling indicator of the true relationship. And the outcome only intensified subordination. Herod more than once thrust upon Augustus the burden of adjudicating disputes within the royal family. The sordid tale of intrigues in the court, domestic discord, and Herod's morbid suspicions which led to the execution of three sons need not be recounted here. The pertinent fact is that Herod declined to settle matters even in his own household without seeking the emperor's directions. His reign was long and memorable - but always precarious. Conflict between Herod and the Nabataeans led to recriminations in Rome, as the king alternately fell out of and was restored into the favour of Augustus.45

Herod's will, twice rewritten during his lifetime, drew Augustus still further into the affairs of the realm after the Idumaean's death in 4 B.C. The document parcelled Herod's holdings among three sons. But it also provided for vast sums of money for Augustus, Livia, the imperial children, amici and freedmen, and it further specified that none of the provisions could take effect without ratification by the princeps.*6

Troops for Aelius Gallus: Joseph. AJxv.} 17; the naming of Sebaste and Caesarea: Joseph. AJ xv.296, xv.339; the sending of sons to Rome: Joseph. A] xv.342; oath of allegiance: Joseph. A J xvii.42.

Territorial acquisitions: Joseph. AJxv.343-8, 360; BJ 1.398-400; Dio Liv.9.3; cf. Bietenhard 1977 (e 988) 238-40. Herod and Agrippa: Joseph. AJxv.350, xv.361, xvi.i 2-16, xvi.86; BJ, 1.400. Cf. Schalit 1969 (e 1206) 424-6; Smallwood 1976 (e 212) 86—90; Braund 1985 (c 254) 79—80, 85; Roddaz 1984 (c 200) 450-5.

As argued by Schiirer 1973 (e 1207) 1.399-427; contra, Applebaum 1977 (e 1074) 373. But note the cash gift on a trip to Rome in 12 b.c.; Joseph. A J xvi. 128.

Joseph. AJ xv.360; BJ 1.399. 44 Joseph. A] xv.343, xvi.i29.

45 Smallwood I976(e 1212)96-104; Schiirer 1973 (e 1207) 320-6; Schalit 1969^ 1206) 563-644; Bammel 1968 (e 1083) 73-9; Piatelli (e i 189) 323-40; Bowersock 1983 (£990)49-53; Baumann 1983 (e 1091) 221-37; and see below ch. i5</.

Joseph. AJ xvii.146, xvii.188-90, 195; BJ 1.646,1.664-5,1.669.

Herod's privilege of appointing a successor had thus been transformed into a recommendation rather than a directive; Augustus would have the final say. That clause invited discord. The sons of Herod brought conflicting claims to Rome, complicated by a separate Jewish delegation which requested abolition of the monarchy. Augustus decided matters with even-handedness: he endorsed Herod's territorial dispositions, in effect dividing his realm into three parts, but withheld the royal title from all three sons. Archelaus would rule Judaea, Samaria and Idumaea as ethnarch, Antipas and Philip obtained the designation of tetrarch, the one over Galilee and Peraea, the other over Batanaea, Trachonitis and Auranitis. The will and its sequel allowed Augustus both to exercise beneficence and to re-assert his ultimate authority.47 Further, the princeps' chief appointee in the East, P. Quinctilius Varus, the governor of Syria, intervened with force to quell a Jewish rebellion which had arisen in the wake of Herod's death. The limits of autonomy gained clear expression.48

What Augustus gave he could also take away. The precedent of asking the emperor to redress grievances created in Palestine had been firmly set in the reign of Herod. A logical step followed in a.d. 6. Complaints registered in Rome against the misrule of Archelaus led Augustus to depose the Herodian dynast, banish him to Gaul, and convert his domain into a Roman province. The smaller principalities under Antipas and Philip remained 'autonomous', but the key districts of Judaea, Samaria and Idumaea would now come under direct Roman rule, governed by an equestrian prefect and under the general surveillance of the imperial legate in Syria. A census directed by the Syrian legate P. Sulpicius Quirinius marked the new order in a.d. 6. It signalled the imposition of Roman taxes and the official subordination of Judaea.49

Consolidation rather than expansion characterized Augustan policy in Syria and Palestine. Syria contained the major Roman garrison in the East and provided the pivot for the defence of Rome's position and enforcement of her authority. The history of Judaea under Augustus exposed the fragility of 'independence' for client states which served as buffers for Roman interests. Herod earned imperial favour by tying his realm more closely to the emperor, thus bolstering power but increasing dependence. The transition from client kingdom to province repre­sented a logical stage in the development. Taxation and direct rule only formalized a continuing process of implementing Roman authority in the East.

47 Joseph. A]xv11.219-49, xvii.ĵ00-23; Д/ ".14-38,11.80-100; Braund 1984 (c 234) 139-42.

** Joseph. Д/xvn.250-99; BJ 11.39-79.

49 Joseph. Л/xvii.342-4,xvii.354-5; В_/и.111-13,11.i i7;DioLV.27.6;Pani 1972(0 295) 133-7. The census of Quirinius is wrongly dated to the reign of Herod by Luke 2:1-5. Oo the new province, see Smallwood 1976 (E 1212) 144-56; Ghiretti 1985 (e 1119)751-66.

iv. armenia and parthia

M. Antonius had invested heavily in warfare against Parthia. Contests with the great eastern power entailed substantial costs in men and prestige. Parthia had inflicted defeat upon Roman armies, and Rome's influence in Armenia had proved ephemeral. The humiliation left deep scars. Standards of the Republic's army captured at Carrhae and hostages taken in Antony's abortive campaign remained in Parthian hands.50 After Antony's demise, the burden of restoring Rome's honour rested with the victor of Actium. But Octavian resisted the temptation to retaliate. More urgent tasks of consolidation took priority after Actium. And the restraint set a pattern: the princeps recognized that prudent diplomacy and discreet display of force were preferable to expensive and hazardous ventures across the distant Euphrates. Indirect suzerainty in Armenia and a modus vivendi with Parthia represented the means to preserve prestige and protect security.

Octavian exercised caution from the outset with Parthia. Dynastic rivalry, as so often, plagued the Parthian ruling houses. Even before Actium Phraates IV and the pretender to his throne Tiridates both sought to enlist Octavian's assistance in their respective causes. Octavian wisely refrained from taking action. After Actium, when Phraates expelled his rival, Tiridates sought refuge in the Roman province of Syria. Octavian permitted him to reside there, a useful card to play in diplomatic games with Parthia, while also maintaining amicable rela­tions with Phraates at an official level.51 In similar fashion, he declined the request of the Armenian ruler Artaxias to restore his brothers, held as hostages in Rome. They too would serve as insurance and potential counter-weight. And he installed the Mede Artavasdes as king of Armenia Minor, thus to provide further check on any Armenian aspirations.52

A reserved cordiality toward Parthia continued through the next decade. In the mid 20s Tiridates left Syria and made his way to Augustus, having in tow the young son of Phraates IV, whom he had managed to kidnap. Phraates sent envoys to the emperor, asking for the surrender of Tiridates and the release of his son. Tiridates, in turn, advertised himself as philorhomaios and promised unswerving loyalty as client king if Rome should put him on the Parthian throne. Augustus again delivered an even-handed decision. He would neither turn over the rebel for punishment nor promote his designs on Parthia. Tiridates remained in Rome, his wants amply provided for, and his ambitions circumscribed by Augustus' needs. Phraates got his son back — a magnanimous gesture

On Antony and Parthia, see above, ch. i.

Dio li.18.2-3. 52 Dio li.16.2, Liv.9.2; Strab. xii.3.29 (55 5C); Magie 1950 (e 853) 443.

by Augustus - but no more. Amicable relations held, so long as the princeps could make the decisions.53

Restraint and quiet diplomacy kept the peace during the 20s. Other matters occupied Augustus' attendon: the working out of constitutional arrangements and the entrenchment of Rome's position in the West. But the princeps did not rest content with the status quo in the East. Parthia's retention of standards and captives taken from Roman armies remained an open sore and an implicit denial of Rome's omnipotence. The year 20 B.C. proved to be the year of reckoning. Augustus travelled personally to the East, adjudicated disputes, made territorial dispositions and setded internal quarrels in cities of Greece, Asia Minor and Syria. He further exhibited the authority of the suzerain by reassigning lands to dynasts in Cilicia, Emesa, Judaea, Commagene and Armenia Minor.[309] The princeps' presence in the Near East may have provided the occasion for upheaval in Armenia. The citizenry, or a significant portion thereof, rose against Artaxias II, protege of the Parthian monarch, and requested a new ruler, namely Artaxias' brother Tigranes, then resident in Rome. Augustus, who had given refuge to the brothers for just such a contingency, readily complied. The emperor directed his stepson Tiberius to install Tigranes at the head of a Roman army. Mobilization alone sufficed. The Arme­nians assassinated Artaxias, and Tiberius could deliver Tigranes to a vacant throne without use of force.[310] Presentation of the event in Rome, however, simulated military victory. The coinage blared slogans of Armenia capta or Armenia recepta.[311]

In the East Augustus affected war but practised diplomacy. The celebrated arrangement with Phraates IV in 20 b.c. cannot be disasso­ciated from the princeps' presence in Syria and the settlement in Armenia. Phraates yielded up at last the standards and captives held for a generation as Parthian prizes, thereby allowing Augustus to claim credit for wiping out a long-standing stain on Roman honour.57 Negotiations had brought about that result. Phraates evidently received assurances of non-interference in his own realm (the pretender Tiridates is not heard from again), while Parthia acknowledged the Roman interest in Arme­nia. The king allegedly supplied hostages to Rome as well. An informal accord arose from the bargaining, perhaps even an overt acceptance that the Euphrates would serve as boundary between the zones of

influence.[312] But here again Augustus proclaimed victory, conquest and martial supremacy for consumption at home. The Res Gestae declared that he had 'compelled' the Parthians to surrender trophies and beg for Roman friendship. The Senate offered to vote a triumph, and a triumphal arch was erected in the Forum. Numismatic representations repeatedly called attention to signis receptis. And the central scene of the cuirass on the Prime Porta statue depicted the transfer of the standards.[313] Augustus made the most of his diplomatic success. A compact of mutual advantage and mutual agreement took on the glow of military mastery.

A sign of continuing cordiality between Rome and Parthia came in 10 в.с. Phraates IV sent four sons to live in Rome. The gesture did not signify deference or subordination, as sometimes portrayed; rather, it provided a means whereby the Parthian king could defuse opposition at home and stabilize his hold on the throne. Augustus was pleased to comply. He could both grant a favour to Phraates and take possession of potentially valuable instruments of diplomacy.[314]

Relations between the empires remained smooth and undisturbed for nearly two decades after Phraates relinquished the standards. Trouble arose, as so often, in the client state and buffer region of Armenia. The death of Augustus' appointee Tigranes II c. 7 в.с. ushered in a turmoil of which our sources preserve only a few confused fragments. A struggle for the throne evidently gripped Armenia, pitting Tiridates III against - another Roman nominee Artavasdes, and prompting the princeps to dispatch Tiberius to settle affairs. But Tiberius, for motives that remain forever hidden, abandoned his commission and took up residence in Rhodes. Rome's influence over subsequent events in Armenia suffered sharp decline.[315]

The situation in Parthia soon complicated matters, dealing Roman interests a further blow. Phraates IV perished, perhaps murdered, in 2 B.C., and his successor Phraates V (or Phraataces) took the occasion to meddle in Armenia.[316] Augustus could not permit Rome's prestige in the East to suffer further deterioration. His own prestige at home was at

stake. The princeps then staged a public demonstration to reassure the citizenry that Roman power would again make itself felt, undiminished, in the lands of the East. Augustus' grandson (and adopted son and heir) Gaius took command of troops to head for the Euphrates, intimidate Parthia, and settle accounts in Armenia. The young prince received a handsome send-off. Elaborate pageantry marked the occasion, with talk in the air of conquest, vengeance against Parthia, new triumphs and spoils for the imperial house, and expansion of the Roman empire.63

Augustus' intentions, in fact, were rather more modest. But public perception, as ever, counted. Gaius took an extensive detour, to Arabia and elsewhere, in part to add to his distinctions, primarily to show the flag.[317] News of his achievements and of his arrival in Syria had the desired effect. Tigranes III of Armenia sent a conciliatory message to the princeps, seeking Roman endorsement for his claims on the throne, and received a friendly response. Phraataces also prepared to negotiate. His letter to Rome probed for an accommodation, but simultaneously requested the return of his brothers, now under the princeps' protection. Augustus fired off a sharp reply, demanding that Parthia refrain from interference in Armenia and leaving off the royal title in his address, a deliberate affront — not a slight on Parthian sovereignty but on Phraataces' legitimacy. The king responded in kind: his letter addressed the princeps merely as Caesar and identified himself as 'King of Kings'. The exchange of messages plainly directed itself to a domestic constitu­ency — on both sides. The whole sequence of events supplied more show than substance. No fighting was necessary, not even a hostile confron­tation. The encounter, when it came, was amicable and fruitful. It too had been carefully programmed in advance. In a.d. 2 Gaius and Phraataces, each with impressive and equal entourage, met on an island in the Euphrates. Mutual pledges and a recognition of formal equality ensued. The king dined with Gaius on Rome's side of the river and then Phraataces hosted a banquet on the Parthian side. The scene was well orchestrated. Phraataces now officially acknowledged Rome's interests in Armenia and dropped his request for restoration of his brothers. Augustus, in effect, consented to leave Phraataces undisturbed, renewed amicitia, and implicitly designated the Euphrates as a frontier between spheres of influence. But his retention of the Parthian princes left the critical diplomatic leverage in his hands.[318]

The arrangement in a.d. 2 ought to have settled matters. But

Ov. ArsAm. 1.177 86,1.20i-iz;cf. Dioi.v.ioa.3; Hollis 1977 (в 86)65-73; Syme 1978 (в 179) 8—i i. Gaius' appointment is recorded also by Tac. Ann. 11.4; Dio lv.10.18-19; Veil. Pat. 11.101.1.

Cf. Romer 1978 (c 300) 187-202, 1979 (c 301) 203-8.

Dio lv. 10.20—i, lv.ioa.4; Veil. Pat. 11.101.1-3. Among modern discussions, see e.g., Ziegler 1964 (c 327) 5 3-6; Chaumont 1976 (a i 5) 77-80; Romer 1979 (c 301) 203-4, 208-10; Pani 1972 (c 295) 45-6; Cimma 1976 (d 120) 324-8.

Armenian affairs followed their own path, regardless of agreements between Rome and Parthia. Tigranes III died, probably in a.d 3, setting off a chain of events no longer recoverable in detail or in precise sequence. Gaius installed a new ruler, the Mede Ariobarzanes, thus to reiterate Rome's role in the indirect governance of that client kingdom. But Armenian nationalist sentiment resisted once more, and upheaval followed in which Gaius himself suffered a wound that would prove fatal. Two or three more changes of rulers came in Armenia during the lifetime of Augustus. The princeps claimed credit for the appointments, but the real extent of his influence cannot be ascertained. Internal struggles for power in that land reduced it for a time to anarchy.[319]

Comparable struggles for the throne occurred in Parthia during the final decade of Augustus' reign. The princeps neither promoted nor abetted them, but he did profit from them. In the midst of this turmoil, c. a.d. 6, a delegation of Parthian leaders arrived in Rome to seek release of Vonones, one of the sons of Phraates IV who had resided in Rome for the past decade and a half, in order to install him as Parthian ruler. The prospect appealed to Augustus who sent off Vonones with handsome gifts - as if setting his own appointee on the throne of Parthia.[320]Augustus welcomed the opportunity to have an indirect hand in ordering Parthian affairs - or at least to appear to be doing so. In fact, the Roman connexions and upbringing proved to be more a liability than an asset for Vonones. The Parthians themselves eventually found him unacceptable, summoned Artabanus of the Arsacid line to the throne, and expelled Vonones in a.d. 12. Augustus, who had played only a passive role in the installation of Vonones, took no steps to support him. It was not part of Rome's policy to provoke Parthia; rather she aimed to maintain her interests in Armenia and to keep Parthian influence on the far side of the Euphrates. Those aims could even be seen as advanced by the flight of Vonones: he made his way to Armenia and there took the throne made vacant by recent upheavals. So, the Parthian prince, raised in Rome, now held the crown in Armenia.[321] Such was the situation, quite acceptable from the Roman vantage-point, at the death of Augustus. The reliance on diplomacy, with occasional brandishing but only rare exercise of force, continued as standard policy throughout most of the Julio-Claudian era.

The pattern of the emperor's policy in that region maintained consistency throughout. He pursued the twin goals of hegemony via client rulers in Armenia and amicable reladons, including mutually acknowledged spheres of influence, with Parthia.69 The behaviour was marked by restraint, but the public posture was one of aggressiveness. So Augustus presented endorsement of a client king as capture of Armenia, recovery of the standards as Parthian submission, and the assignment of Gaius as an imperialist venture. The princeps knew the limits of Rome's effective authority in the East and kept within them. But keeping up appearances was no less important than keeping within limits. Augustus projected the image of a conqueror who extended Roman sovereignty to the East.

V. SPAIN

The reputation of the princeps also played a major part in determining the extension of imperial power to north-west Spain. That region, home of the fierce Cantabrians and Asturians, remained outside Rome's control, despite more than two centuries of Roman presence in the Iberian peninsula. Augustus led his forces in person, the last dme he was to do so. The matter was evidently deemed to be of high importance.

The campaigns proved long and arduous, as so often in Spain. Augustus headed the effort in one year only, 26 B.C., but resistance continued at intervals until 19 B.C., perhaps even beyond. The princeps was determined to subjugate the area.

Strategic motives do not account for the thrust. Roman commanders regularly claimed triumphs in Spain - six of them had been awarded in the decade just prior to Augustus' invasion itself. Raids by the Canta­brians upon neighbouring tribes might have supplied a pretext. But hardly enough to warrant the emperor's own presence at the head of the army. Nor do economic motives provide an answer. Spanish mines and other resources had long been exploited by Rome; the wealth of the north west was an afterthought rather than an incentive.70 Our sources offer little by way of explanation: Cantabrian harassment of neighbours, Augustus' intent to regulate affairs in Spain, or simply irritation that after 200 years a corner of the peninsula still held itself independent of Roman rule.71 Concrete goals take second place here; propaganda counted for more.

The provinces of Spain (Baetica was soon to be removed) were among the overseas territories assigned to Augustus at the beginning of the year

" Sherwin-White 1984 (a 89) 322—41, sees a more menacing posture by Augustus toward Parthia. 70 Cf. Flor. 11.33.60.

71 On the triumphs, see Fasti Triumph, for the years 36, 34,33,32, 28, and 26; Il/a/xm p. 57o;cf. also Oio li.20.5; ILS 893. Raids by Cantabrians: Flor. 11.33.47; regulation of affairs: Oio lin.22.5; subjugation of independent peoples: Oros. vi.21.1. For discussions of these motives, see Schmitt- henner 1962 (c 303) 43-33; Santos Yanguas 1982 (e 237) 7-10, with further literature.

27 B.C. He announced his resolve to bring them firmly under Roman authority. Since most of the peninsula already fell in that category, the intended targets were plainly the Cantabrians and Asturians. Tales made the rounds of their ferocious nature and fanatic resistance to any infringement on autonomy. Augustus threw open the gates of Janus' temple, a symbolic means to proclaim a crusade against the foe. And his personal leadership of the army would reinforce martial credentials, a check on actual or potential rivals with military claims of their own.[322] As the opening of the gates declared Augustus' purpose, so their closing advertised its accomplishment. The princeps made certain to have that ceremony conducted to commemorate his success in 25 B.C., only the fourth time in Roman history that Janus' gates were shut — but the second time in five years.73 The occasion in 29 had marked official termination of civil war; this time the ritual signified pacification of the empire. Augustus declined to celebrate a triumph, a display of moderatio, but accepted a more enduring distinction: the privilege of wearing garlands and triumphal dress on the first day of every year.[323] He plainly intended to make the event memorable, a fact underscored by the composition and publication of Augustus' own autobiography. The work concluded with the successful close of the Cantabrian War.[324] It memorialized a capstone of the princeps' career. In light of later accomplishments, the bellum Cantabricum et Asturicum may not have seemed so momentous. Augustus gives it only brief mention in the Res Gestae, among a number of regions which he brought to submission.[325]The earlier and more emphatic presentation, however, is reflected in the Livian tradition and picked up by Velleius Paterculus: after two centuries of bloodshed in that violent and savage land, Caesar Augustus' campaigns imposed a lasting peace that not only crushed armed resistance but even wiped out brigandage.77 The conquest of north-west Spain rounded off control of the entire peninsula.

As in the case of Parthia, battlefield exploits in Spain did not match their publicity in Rome. Confusion in the sources prevents a confident reconstruction of events, geography, or chronology. It is clear, in any case, that Augustus' personal intervention was anything but decisive. The princeps was at Tarraco at the beginning of 26 B.C., there to inaugurate his eighth consulship.78 He participated in the campaign of that year, but in what area and for how long remain unknown. Florus and Orosius record only Roman victories in Cantabria, with the princeps directing a three-pronged attack from the base camp at Segisamo: the Romans inflicted a defeat on their foes at Bergida (or Velleia), starved them out at Mt Vindius and captured the city of Aracelium (or Racilium). Names of the sites and their locations have long been disputed. Nor is it clear whether the campaign of 26 confined itself to Cantabria or included Asturia. The question connects to a further one: did the three Roman assaults occur serially or simultaneously? No definitive answers are possible.79 Cassius Dio's account, however, discloses setbacks: the Romans made little headway under Augustus, illness felled the princeps who withdrew to Tarraco, and successes came only through the exertions of C. Antistius Vetus, legate of Tarraconen- sis.80 Augustus, it may be safely surmised, did not return to the battlefield after the campaigning season of 26 в.с. Roman forces penetrated into Asturia and gained a dramatic victory over besieged and desperate Spaniards at Mt Medullius in 26 or 2 5.81 A concerted assault by the Asturians followed in 25, nearly overwhelming Roman forces in the region, thwarted only by a last-minute betrayal of their plan and a march to the rescue by the army of P. Carisius, legate of Lusitania. Carisius' capture of the Asturian stronghold Lancia concluded the fighting. Romans had gained the upper hand, but the struggle had been bloody and the cost in lives heavy.82

The victories prompted Augustus to direct the closing of Janus' doors, an announcement of thorough pacification, and generated the award of triumphal honours. The princeps even authorized the establish­ment of a veteran colony, colonia Augusta Emerita (Merida), to mark the settled status of the land.83 An ode of Horace welcomed home the returning conqueror, comparing him to Hercules and rejoicing in a new security.84 But the conquest was superficial and the celebration prema­ture. Both Cantabrians and Asturians exploded into revolt as soon as Augustus left the province in 24, thus exposing the fragility of his achievement. The legate of Tarraconensis, L. Aelius Lamia, resorted to brutality in suppressing the rebellion.85 Two years later the Cantabrians

79 Flor. 11.33.48—50; Oros. vi.21.3-5. Among numerous scholarly discussions, see Magie 1920(0 285) 325-39; Syme 1934 (c 313) 293-317; Schuten 1943 (e 238); Horrent 1953 (c 276) 279-90; Schmitthenner 1962 (c 305) 54-60; Syme 1970 (c 314) 83-103; a recent summary of scholarship in Santos Yanguas 1982 (e 237) 16-26. See also Santos 1975 (c 503) 531-6; Lomas Salmonte 1975 (e 230) 103-27; Solana Sainz 1981 (e 259) 97-119; Tranoy 1981 (e 244) 132-44; Martino 1982 (c 287) 41-104. 80 Dio liii.25.5-8; cf. Flor. 11.33.51; Suet. Aug. 81.

Flor. 11.33.50; Oros. vi.21.6—8. The location of Mt Medullius, whether in Asturia or in Callaecia, is uncertain; Santos Yanguas 1982 (e 237) 18-26; Martino 1982 (c 287) 105-24.

Flor. 11.33.54-8; Oros. vt.21.9-10; Dio liii.25.8. For the deployment and identification of the legions, see testimony collected by Lomas Salmonte 1975 (e230) 135-9; Jones (£226)48-51; Solana Sainz 1981 (e 239) 120-42; Santos Yanguas 1982 (e 237) 26-45. 83 Dio liii.26.1.

84 Hor. Carm. in.i4;cf. iv. 14.50. A darker interpretation of the poem by Sholz 1971(0 307) 123­37. 85 Dio Lni.29.1-2. For the legate's name, see AE 1948, 93.

rose against their new governor, C. Furnius, and the Asturians against the increasing cruelty of Carisius, bringing still more ruthless repression and subjugation.[326] Yet another insurrection by the redoubtable Canta- brians in 19 B.C. provoked the dispatch of M. Agrippa himself who subdued them, but only at heavy cost and severe losses, declining even to accept the triumph voted him at Augustus' urging.[327] Agrippa's campaign which flushed the Cantabrians out of their strongholds and compelled them to settle in the plains finally brought a measure of stability to the region.[328] The princeps was able to make a more peaceful tour of Spain in 15-14 B.C., organizing colonial foundations and exhibiting generosity.[329]

Here as elsewhere propaganda and reality diverged. Augustus entered Spain to claim victory and announce pacification. And so he did. His autobiography saluted the achievement, Velleius Paterculus embellished it, the tradition followed by Florus and Orosius reiterated it. The conquest of north-west Spain rounded off Roman suzerainty in the Iberian peninsula. But the real victory did not match Augustus' boast. It came slowly, a bloody and brutal process that endured well beyond the princeps' declaration of success. The Ara Pacis was duly decreed to herald Augustus' return from Spain. Not, however, in 25 в.с. when Janus' doors were closed and triumphal honours bestowed; rather in 13 в.с. after more than a decade of intermittent insurrection, costly casualties and terrorism.

VI. AFRICA

In Africa entrenchment of control rather than expansionism predomi­nated. The region served as an important granary for Rome and its security held a place on the imperial agenda. The provincia Africa, once the realm of Carthage, had been in Roman hands for a century. Iulius Caesar added to the empire's holdings, annexing the kingdom of Numidia, henceforth Africa Nova, with the former province becoming Africa Vetus.[330] The fall of Sextus Pompeius in 36 в.с. brought both provinces under Octavian's authority. He strengthened Roman presence in both, sending new settlers to Carthage in 29 в.с. and to Cirta in 26 в.с.91 Confidence in their security allowed him to transfer responsibility for the area, whether as one or as two provinces, to the Senate in the dispositions of 27 в.с.92

Not that calm had descended altogether. Nor did Rome abandon aggression and content herself with consolidation. A series of procon­suls earned triumphs ex Africa, five of them in the period 24—19 B.C.[331]Details of the campaigns escape us for the most part, as do motives, location and the identity of the foe. Evidence does not permit characteri­zation of them either as defence of the frontier or as extension of empire. The southern boundaries of the provinces were fluid. One can hardly draw a distinction between protection of Roman interests and intimida­tion of semi-nomadic tribes. The legio III Augusta remained as a continuing presence even after the Senate took official responsibility in 27 B.C. Of the triumphs recorded, details survive only for the campaign of L. Cornelius Balbus who gained his reward in 19 B.C. Balbus, a friend and loyal lieutenant of Augustus and a man experienced in Africa, drove deeply into the territory of the Garamantes, the restive Berber people who dwelled south of the Roman province. Pliny describes the triumph, with a catalogue of the towns and tribes whence came the spoils displayed by Balbus. The extent of his victories indicates carefully planned campaigns with a number of columns to penetrate the present Fezzan and its environs. Balbus' well-earned triumph suggests a syste­matic thrust to intimidate the Berber. And Augustus could take credit for his subordinate's accomplishment. Virgil's homage to the princeps' imperialism makes special mention of the subjugation of the Garamantes.[332]

The intimidation apparently took effect. Two decades passed with no evidence of trouble from the nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes on the fringes of the province. The stationing of legio III Augusta at Ammaedara no doubt helped to keep matters under control.[333] Troubles did not recommence until c. a.d. 2: another imperator, L. Passienus Rufus, gained triumphal honours for victories in Africa.[334] The triumph presupposes rebellion and upheaval. And other fragmentary evidence confirms it: the Gaetulians and Musulamii in the region of the Syrtes engaged in guerilla warfare against Roman rule and against Rome's commanders, until subdued in a.d. 6 by Cossus Cornelius Lentulus who would pass to his son the commemorative title of Gaetulicus.[335] It may have been during these same years that the Garamantes rose again, together with the

Marmarides, providing occasion for another Roman military success, that of Sulpicius Quirinius, who with modesty uncharacteristic of imperatores, declined the honorific name of Marmaricus.98 Testimony is thin and woefully inadequate. But it is plain that the stability imposed by Balbus' successes did not endure through the reign of Augustus. Native resistance to Roman rule resurfaced when opportunity arose, a periodic rejection of the pax Augusta.

Roman influence, limited on the southern borderlands, spread along the Mediterranean coast of Africa. The ruler of Mauretania, Bocchus, died in 3 j в.с. and Octavian took charge of his kingdom, keeping it out of the hands of any native prince and transforming it into a direct Roman dependency." Precisely how the region was administered in subsequent years remains obscure. Mauretania does not appear among the provinces enlisted on Octavian's side in 32 B.C., nor among those assigned in the settlement of 27 в.с.100 The nature of its governance eludes inquiry, but Rome directly or indirectly, took responsibility for it. In 25 B.C., however, the arrangement gave way to a new solution: Augustus turned the realm over to Juba II, son of the former king of Numidia whose dominion had been annexed by Caesar.101 The transfer had perhaps been anticipated from the start, or else Augustus gradually recognized the undue burden of extending Roman resources to administer north Africa all the way to the Atlantic. In any event, the scholarly Juba, now accorded a new throne and assigned new duties, accepted the role of loyal and dependent client.102

The princeps, however, did not pin his faith entirely upon the client king in Mauretania. Nor exclusively on military force in the border regions of Africa Vetus and Africa Nova. Augustus embarked on a systematic policy of colonization. In addition to restocking Carthage and Cirta, he planted three or four colonies in Africa Vetus, at least two in Africa Nova, and twelve in Mauretania. And he further setded veterans and other colonists in rural districts, the pagi outside the towns.103

Roman presence in north Africa increased markedly under Augustus. A garrison at Ammaedara, military action in the frontier zones, a dependent ruler in Mauretania and, perhaps, twenty colonial founda­tions all reinforced that presence. The need to secure an area which

SEG IX.6.65; Flor. 11.31.41. The date is quite uncertain; Rachet 1970 (c 297) 77, n. 4.

Dio xux.45.7. 100 Aug. RG 25.2; Dio l.6.3-4, lin.12.4-7.

Dio uu.26.2; Strab. vi.4.2 (288Q; xvii.3.7 (828Q. It is unlikely, despite Dio, li.ij.6, that Numidia had been restored to Juba II in the meantime and was now exchanged for Mauretania. See the arguments of Romanelli 1959 (e 760) 1 j6—8; Ritter 1987 (c 299) 137-42.

On Mauretania between 3 3 and 2 3 B.C., see Pavis d'Escurac 198 2 (c 296) 219-2 5; Mackie 1983 (e 753) 333-42 - highly conjectural. On Juba, see Romanelli 1959 (e 760) 162-74; Pavis d'Escurac 1982 (c 296) 225-9.

Evidence and discussion in Romanelli 1959 (e 760) 187-226; Benabou 1976 (e 715) 50-7; Kienast 1982 (c 136) 395-7; Pavis d'Escurac 1982 (c 296) 229-30; Mackie 1983 (e 753) 332-38.

served as an important source of grain supplied prime motivation. But the measures also provoked resentment and retaliation, guerrilla warfare and disruption by native peoples. The shoring up of Roman authority had at the same time generated challenges to that authority and stirred sentiments that would lead to even more explosive reaction in the reign of Augustus' successor.

VII. THE ALPS

The Alps loomed over northern Italy, a haven for fierce tribes and violent folk who might menace the Roman hold on Gaul and disrupt communications from Italy. For Augustus, ready access through that barrier and containment of restive tribes who could obstruct movement were important desiderata. And he made certain to achieve those goals. That larger motives held - a prelude to comprehensive conquests in the Balkans and Germany - would be a hasty conclusion and premature judgment.

The young triumvir recognized early the importance of controlling the Little and Great St Bernard passes, the routes to Helvetia and the Upper Rhine. His officer Antistius Vetus attacked the Salassi in 34 в.с., tough warriors who inhabited the higher reaches and represented constant danger to that region. Initial efforts miscarried, as the Salassi first surrendered and then expelled a Roman garrison with scorn and glee. The imperial legate Valerius Messalla retaliated a few years later, but success again was short-lived. Subjugation of the recalcitrant Salassi came only in 25 в.с. when Augustus' appointee Terentius Varro forced them to capitulate and sold the able-bodied into slavery. The military colony of Augusta Praetoria (Aosta) soon rose on the site of Varro's camp and facilitated Roman access to central Gaul.104

Determination to command the Alps did not slacken thereafter. Military installations gradually multiplied in strategic places during the next decade: Zurich, Basel, Vindonissa, Oberwinterthur and else­where.105 That provincial penetration prepared the way for outright conquest.

Campaigns began in earnest in 17 or 16 в.с. when P. Silius Nerva, proconsul of Illyricum, subdued two Alpine tribes, the Camunni and the Vennii, the first at least and perhaps both in the region between Como and Lake Garda.106 Roman sources, of course, held the enemy respon-

App. III. 17; Dio XLIX.34.2, xlix.38.3, Lin.25.2-5; Strab. iv.6.7 (205-6Q.

Wells 1972 (e 601) 40-6; Fcei-Stolba 1976 (e 616) 350-5.

Dio liv. 20. i. Debate continues over the identity and location of the Vennii. If they are identified with the Vennonetes of the upper Rhine, then Silius' assaults were quite wide-ranging; cf. van Berchem 1968 (£605)4-7; Wells 1972 (e 601)63-6. But the matter remains uncertain; Overbeck 1976 (e 633) 665-8; Kienast 1982 (c 136) 295; Waasdorp 1982/3 (e 639) 39-40.

sible for provoking the conflict. More probably, it represents a stage in Augustus' drive to bring the Alpine regions under Roman dominion. It can hardly be coincidence that a two pronged assault followed in the next year of 15 B.C., headed by the princeps' stepsons. Tiberius marched eastwards from Gaul, Drusus northwards through the Brenner and Reschenscheideck passes to the valley of the Inn. Blame was once again fastened upon the foe: Dio describes the Raeti of the central Alps as savages who plundered Gaul and northern Italy, preyed upon travellers, and murdered all male captives, even unborn babies divined to be male.[336] But the Roman purpose went beyond retaliation. Silius' campaign had served as prelude; Drusus and Tiberius then carried out a systematic design, moving into Raetia from two directions and with various columns emerging at different points simultaneously.[337] Augus­tus determined to clear out hostile elements in the central Alps and to extend Roman control throughout the Alpine regions. The brothers achieved their goals, subduing the formidable Raeti and Vindelici of eastern Switzerland, the Tyrol and southern Bavaria.[338] Roman domi­nion in the Alps would be secure.

The victories of Augustus' stepsons were followed in 14 в.с. by subjugation of the Ligurians and annexation of the Maritime Alps.[339]The native dynast Cottius gained recognition as praejectus to rule over the Cottian Alps in Roman interest.[340] Occupation of strategic sites in the lands of the Raeti and Vindelici came in subsequent years. Augustus stationed two legions in the area and appointed an equestrian prefect to make Raetia an administrative unit of the empire, thus bringing under control all the major passes of the central Alps and allowing Roman influence to stretch through the Voralpenland to the Danube. Strabo attests to peaceful acquiescence by the once savage tribes in Roman rule and taxation a generation later.[341]

The Alpine campaigns in 16 and 15 B.C. included fighting against peoples further east, branches of the Norici, inhabitants of the regnum Noricum that linked Raetia to Pannonia.[342] That fighting later served as pretext for Дотап occupation of Noricum. At what point the region became formally annexed remains in dispute. But a Roman presence in the land under Augustus and as consequence of the Alpine conquests admits of little doubt. Noricum, a generally peaceful acquisition, supplied a vital communication between the forces in Raetia and the army of Illyricum.[343] Roman influence now spread all along the middle Danube.

What prompted pacification of the Alps? A long-range imperialist plan is often conjectured: the Alpine campaigns merely set the stage for major offensives against Germany, the expansion of Roman power across both the Rhine and the Danube to effect the subjugation of that land all the way to the Elbe.[344] Perhaps. But that ambitious scheme need not have been in prospect at the time of the Alpine conquests. Other motives sufficed. The opening of the Great St Bernard and the route through Helvetia gave swifter access from Italy to the Rhine and thus greater protection to Gaul. Reduction of Raetia and occupation of Noricum provided essential links between legions on the Rhine and the armies of Illyricum.[345] The Upper Danube as yet contained no fortresses, a zone of influence, not a fixed frontier.[346] Ease of communications rather than the prospect of further expansion may have been the immediate stimulus.

Concrete objectives coincided with political motives and public relations. Augustus utilized the Alpine campaigns to hone the talents and advance the claims of his stepsons. The advertisement of victory came in varied forms and reached a wide constituency. Horace sang of the exploits in two carmina, celebrating Drusus' routs of Alpine tribes and Tiberius' decisive conquest of the Raeti.[347] The Consolatio ad Liviam, composed later in the reign of Augustus, also extolled the accomplish­ments of the brothers and the thorough defeat of the barbarians.119 A monument was erected to commemorate these events, the Tropaeum Alpium, installed at La Turbie in the Maritime Alps and listing no fewer than forty-five tribes brought under subjection by the princeps.120 And Augustus boasts in the Res Gestae that he had pacified the Alps all the way from the Adriatic to the Tuscan Sea — adding the questionable corollary that every campaign had been legitimate and justified.121 The princeps, as ever, cultivated the image of the successful and rightful conqueror.

VIII. THE BALKANS

Strategy and politics combined to motivate Roman action in Illyricum. Octavian recognized the region's importance at an early stage and led the campaigns in person during the triumviral period. That proved to be just a prelude. Major expansion took place between 13 and 9 b.C., and then the imposition of a new and more permanent arrangement after suppression of the Pannonian revolt in a.d. 9. Augustus prepared the ground for two provinces, Dalmatia and Pannonia, extended Roman control to the Danube, and secured the land route between northern Italy and the Balkans.

The result had not been forecast from the outset. Octavian's thrust into Illyricum from 35 to 33 в.с. had more specific ends in view. He looked to his own needs - and to those of his soldiers. The rugged lands across the Adriatic would provide good training and discipline, a hardening of the sinews that might otherwise grow soft with idleness.[348]Weapons would now be trained on the barbarian, a conspicuous turning away from the civil strife that exhausted and demoralized the troops. They could look forward to enrichment from the spoils of the enemy, so Octavian alleged. Campaigns against foes of the empire would restore morale to the forces and allow their commander to claim leadership in the national interest instead of a factional struggle.[349] The memoirs of the princeps expounded at length on the Ulyrian adventure, reproduced in part by the historian Appian a century and a half later. They provided due justification for the war: Illyrians had periodically plundered Italy, they had damaged the cause of Iulius Caesar, had destroyed the armies of Gabinius and Vatinius in the 40s, and held the captured standards of Roman legions — enough reason for retaliation and restoration of national honour.[350] A harsher assessment comes from the pen of Cassius Dio, drawing on a tradition outside Augustus' memoirs. Dio notes correctly that no Illyrian provocation prompted the war: Octavian lacked legitimate complaint and sought pretext to give practice to his legions against a foe whose resistance was likely to be ineffective.125

Neither the cynical judgment nor the self-serving explanation gets to the heart of the matter. Octavian needed to enhance his military reputation, an effort to match the accomplishments of his partner and rival Antony. It is no accident that Octavian took conspicuous personal risks and twice suffered injury in Illyricum. Those badges of courage could be useful. And upon completion of the contest he delivered a speech to the Senate making pointed contrast between Antony's idleness and his own vigorous liberating of Italy from incursions by savage peoples.126

Larger strategic considerations have also been postulated. Perhaps Octavian sought to secure Italy to the north east in order to prevent a march by Antony via that route, as had once been contemplated by Philip V and Mithridates, or else to seize the area in preparation for a future offensive against his fellow triumvir. Or perhaps Octavian already contemplated a broad strategic design that would push the borders of Illyricum to the Danube and forge a link with imperial defences on the Rhine.127 But military conflict with Antony was not yet imminent in 3 5; nor had any eastern ruler yet employed such a path to invade Italy. As for the eventual push to the Danube, Augustus himself ascribes that plan to the campaigns of his stepson Tiberius more than two decades later. Octavian had more immediate needs: establishment of a military reputation through punishment of tribes that had sullied Roman honour. He could thus contrast solid accomplishment with the sloth of Antony. Octavian would unfurl the Roman standards regained from the barbarian. And he would suggest even greater conquests in store for the future: victories in Illyria, it was reported, might lead to bold offensives against Dacians and Bastarnae.128 Not that Octavian actually considered such offensives at this time. But here, as elsewhere, he sedulously advanced the pose of the conqueror.

Actual accomplishments in the Illyrian War of 35 to 33 в.с. were modest. Octavian opened the fighting in 3 5 B.C. with a thrust against the Iapodes, bringing their forces to surrender, and besieging their principal city and citadel at Metulum which was soon destroyed by fire.129 Roman armies pressed on to assault Segesta (Siscia) at the confluence of the Save, blockade the city, and force it to submission. Octavian could take pride in the achievement and returned to Rome for the winter, intending to resume operations in Illyria in the following spring.130 That next season, however, saw him transfer attention to Dalmatia. Talk of advance against Dacia was evidendy given up - or never meant seriously. Octavian did not intend to go beyond the Save. Instead, he could earn further laurels by punishing the tribes that had defeated Roman armies and held Roman standards. The princeps' forces stormed the Dalmatian stronghold of Promona and destroyed Synodium at the edge of the forest where Gabinius' troops had been cut down. Early in the next year, 3 3 B.C., the chastened and desperate Dalmatians, cut off from outside supplies, yielded up themselves and the Roman standards, pledged payment of arrears in tribute, and vowed obedience to Roman power. Other tribes also offered submission, and Octavian brought the three- year Illyrian War to a conclusion.131

Territorial gains were relatively limited. But territory had not been the

On the motives, see Syme 1971 (E702) 17,157; Wilkes 1969 (£706)48-9. A healthy scepticism is expressed by Schmitthenner 1958 (c 504) 193-200.

Aug. RG 29.1, 30.1; App. III. 22; Strab. vii.5.2 (313Q. 129 App. HI. 18-21.

App. III. 22-4; Dio xLix.37.1-xLix.38-1.

App. III. 25-8; Dio XLIX.38.3-4, XLIX.43.8; Strab. vn.5.5 (315Q.

objective. Octavian had driven as far as Siscia on the Save and displayed Roman power to the Dalmatians, thus retaliating against peoples who had raided Roman territory or vanquished Roman troops in the past. What mattered was the presentation of events in Rome. Octavian spoke to the Senate and rattled off the names of nearly thirty tribes which his forces had coerced into submission, surrender and payment of tribute. He proudly set up the recovered standards in the portico of Cn. Octavius, thus linking his success to earlier republican victories. And he elevated the prestige of his family through the award of statues and the privilege of tribunician sacrosanctity for Livia and Octavia. Propaganda value, as so often, counted for more than tangible achievement.132

Another barbarian people also held Roman standards in their posses­sion: the Bastarnae on the Lower Danube. They had captured the trophies from a defeated Roman army thirty years before. Octavian would restore Roman honour here as well. The proconsul of Macedonia, M. Licinius Crassus, marched north in 29 B.C. to engage the Bastarnae who, it was reported, had crossed the Haemus mountain range and had overrun parts of Thrace wherein dwelt allies of Rome. Crassus con­ducted campaigns over a two year period, driving back the Bastarnae, gaining victories over other Thracian tribes from the lower Danube, including the Moesi, the Getae and perhaps the Dacians, slaying a prince of the Bastarnae in hand to hand combat, and regaining the Roman eagles. He celebrated a well-earned triumph in 27 B.C.[351] Nothing suggests that these campaigns actually extended the boundaries of Macedonia. But the punishment of unruly tribes and the recovery of lost military emblems served to demonstrate and reinforce Roman authority.

Major advance in the region awaited a decade and a half. The provincial distributions of 27 в.с. assigned responsibility for Dalmatia and Macedonia to the Senate, two separate and independent proconsular commands. That formal situation remained unchanged through the 20s and for some years thereafter. But the advantages of a link between these domains and a push to the Danube that would control the land route from northern Italy to the lands of the East became increasingly evident. Restive Pannonian tribes attacked Istria in 16 B.C., Thracians ravaged Macedonia, and an uprising in Dalmatia had to be quelled in the same year. The Pannonians rose again in 14 B.C., calling forth yet another ad hoc suppression.134 Augustus now made plans in earnest for subjugation.

M. Vinicius, probably proconsul of Illyricum, undertook operations in 14 b.c., but Augustus soon entrusted overall direction of the war to Agrippa with broad powers, a maius imperium, in the following year.135 The princeps obviously took the matter very seriously. After Agrippa died in 12 b.c., he appointed his stepson and new son-in-law Tiberius to the post. More than just suppression of tribal incursions was at stake here. Roman forces advanced against the peoples between the Save and the Drave, presumably the war-like Breuci. Tiberius, with the aid of the Scordisci who had already been brought under Roman authority, earned triumphal honours for a vigorous campaign against Pannonians in 12 b.c. and then continued against both Dalmatians and Pannonians in 11. The operations evidently gave Rome control of the Save valley and allowed for the initial penetration of Bosnia.[352] Parallel campaigns were conducted in Thrace where L. Piso subjected hostile tribes in three years of fighting and secured Roman mastery by 11 b.c.[353] The Augustan regime had now made a major commitment in the Balkans. The former proconsular command of Illyricum came directly under Augustus' authority, to be governed by the princeps' legates. It encompassed an area that would soon stretch from the Adriatic to the Danube.[354] Tiberius led campaigns for two more seasons in 10 and 9, reducing tribes that resisted domination, pacifying the region, and winning an ovatio. Augustus himself paid signal tribute to his stepson's achievements in the Res Gestae-, he had subjugated the previously unconquered peoples of Pannonia and extended the frontier of Illyricum to the banks of the Danube.[355]

Evidence largely fails for the next fifteen years. Those years, it may be presumed, constituted the time of real pacification, the securing of the middle Danube, and the intimidation of tribes beyond it in order to assure control of the frontier. Augustus' legate Sex. Appuleius com­pleted coercion of the Pannonians in 8 b.c. Excursions across the Danube followed in subsequent years: L. Domitius Ahenobarbus resettled the Hermunduri as a check on the Marcomanni and even brought his troops to the far side of the Elbe; epigraphic testimony records another Augustan legate, perhaps M. Vinicius, who routed the Bastarnae and entered into relations with a number of trans-Danubian tribes; Aelius Catus transplanted 50,000 Getae from the far side of the

Danube to Thrace, where they took on the name of Moesians; and Cn. Cornelius Lentulus successfully drove Dacians and Sarmatians back from the vicinity of the Danube, thus to solidify further Rome's hold on the river.[356] A legionary command was installed in Moesia during these years.[357] Augustus boasts hyperbolically of smashing the Dacians and compelling them to submit to Roman orders, a claim echoed but modified by Strabo.[358] The situation seemed secure.

But that confidence proved to be premature. In a.d. 6 Tiberius assembled troops for a decisive thrust against the Marcomannic leader Maroboduus in Bohemia. The Roman imperator summoned recruits from the ostensibly compliant Illyrians for the purpose. The assemblage itself, however, gave the indigenous forces a sense of their own strength and numbers. National pride came to the surface, intensified by resent­ment at harsh exactions of tribute by Roman officials and the fierce spirit of a new generation of Illyrian warriors. Bato, a chieftain of the Daesitiates in central Bosnia, took the lead in whipping up hostility. And the rising of the Daesitiates was soon matched by rebellion of the Breuci in Pannonia, headed by Pinnes and another Bato. Thus erupted the great Pannonian revolt which would endure from a.d. 6 to 9 and nearly shake the empire to its foundations. Suetonius labelled it, without much exaggeration, the most serious external threat to Rome since the war with Hannibal.[359]

The rebels assaulted legionary detachments and massacred Roman merchants. The Breuci headed for the key Roman garrison at Sirmium and would have taken it but for the timely arrival of A. Caecina Severus, legate of Moesia who turned back the Pannonian threat while suffering heavy losses. Tiberius immediately cancelled operations against Maro­boduus and dispatched the Illyrian legate M. Valerius Messalla to secure the other critical Roman fortress at Siscia which guarded the route to north-eastern Italy. The rebel forces in Pannonia and Dalmatia had been slow to combine efforts; otherwise, the entire Roman position in Illyricum might have collapsed. As it was, the insurgents controlled most of the territory from the Save to the Adriatic and had gathered forces, so it is reported, of 200,000 infantry and 9,000 cavalry. Caecina Severus returned to his own provincia of Moesia to protect it against incursions of Dacians and Sarmatians. Sirmium was still vulnerable, and

Tiberius could not afford to move far or fast from his base at Siscia. Grave anxieties gripped Rome. Augustus, now severely alarmed, ordered extraordinary levies, impressed veterans back into service, imposed new taxes, called upon the patriotic instincts of senators and equites, and enrolled freedmen into the ranks as reinforcements for the army of Illyricum. The princeps sent recruits with Velleius Paterculus who would then gain an eyewitness's view of the war for his future history, dispatched additional troops with a trusted member of his own household, young Germanicus the nephew of Tiberius, and even moved his personal entourage to Ariminum where he could keep in closer touch with developments.[360]

Rebuilding of the Roman position began in earnest in a.d. 7. Reinforcements from Italy brought Tiberius' army up to five legions. M. Plautius Silvanus led two legions from the east and joined forces with Caecina's army of Moesia. Both commanders, together with the Thra- cian cavalry under Rhoemetalces, now headed west to link with Tiberius. They survived near calamity at the Volcaean Marshes, an ambush by troops under the combined leadership of the two Batos. Old- fashioned discipline, as Velleius describes it, repaired ranks that were broken, stemmed panic, and turned defeat into victory.[361] By the winter of a.d. 7/8 an immense assemblage of ten legions had converged at Siscia, swollen further by seventy auxiliary cohorts, fourteen cavalry units, and no fewer than 10,000 veterans recalled to the colours from Italy - the largest military concourse since the civil wars. Yet the giant gathering once effected, Tiberius almost immediately dissolved it again, escorting the reinforcements from Moesia and the east back to Sir­mium.[362] A perplexing decision. Perhaps the assemblage had been Augustus' idea, the product of impatience and anxiety, without consul­tation of Tiberius.147 More likely, it was a tactic of intimidation: such a concentration of power could overawe the resistance of rebels.

The manoeuvre achieved its end. In the following year, without further show of force, the Pannonians offered full surrender and received terms. A final flurry occurred late in the year, when the Dalmatian chieftain Bato captured and killed his treacherous Breucian namesake and rekindled revolt among the Pannonians. But the Roman garrison at Sirmium under Silvanus crushed the uprising and restored order. The Save valley was once again safely in Roman hands.148

Dalmatia remained to be reduced in a.d. 9. Tiberius returned to Rome in the winter, but three commanders held responsibility for completing the reconquest: M. Lepidus, left as legate in Siscia, Silvanus at Sirmium and Germanicus on the Dalmatian coast itself. But the combination proved inadequate. The inexperienced Germanicus made little headway, and Augustus sent back Tiberius himself to resume command. That decision sealed the fate of Dalmatia. Lepidus forced his way through hostile territory to join with Tiberius. And the redoutable Bato, though eluding capture and resisting siege, finally came to terms - and was spared by the admiring Tiberius.149

Four bloody years had been consumed in suppressing this mighty challenge to Roman authority.150 Military success, as usual, would be translated into political distinction. Augustus exploited the victory to bestow honours on his family. Germanicus made public announcement of the result. The princeps and his stepson both celebrated triumphs in a.d. 10 and received triumphal arches in Pannonia, as well as other distinctions. Germanicus gained triumphal insignia and praetorian rank. And even Tiberius' son Drusus, though he played no part in the war, obtained the right to attend the Senate and to hold praetorian status as soon as he reached the quaestorship.151 The geopolitical consequences, however, were greater still. The process of consolidation and organiza­tion lay in the future. But conquest was complete. Roman power extended to the middle Danube, a critical link in the connexion that now ran from northern Italy through the Balkans to the provinces of the East. At some time after a.d. 8 the princeps set in place the two great military commands that would become the new provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia.152 It was a solid and enduring achievement.

ix. germany

The confrontation of Rome and Germany created high drama in the time of Augustus - and heated debate in the modern era. What were the objectives of Rome's crossing the Rhine, how far did she intend to go, and how firm a hold did she expect to exercise? The penetration of Germany was no isolated event. It must be considered in close conjunc­tion with Roman presence in Gaul.

Caesar had conquered Gaul but had not fully pacified it. Octavian took the matter in hand, an item of the first priority in consolidation of the western empire. In the early 30s в.с. he commissioned his most trusted collaborator, M. Agrippa, to campaign against rebellious peoples in Aquitania in the south west and against tribes in the north

1,9 Dio lvi.11—16; Veil. Pat. 11.115.1-4. See the analysis of Koestermann 1953 (c 281) 368-76; Wilkes 1965 (E70J) 111—25■

On the war, in general, see the thorough treatment of Koestermann 1953 (c 281) 345-78; also Mocsy 1962 (e 675) 544-8; Wilkes 1969 (e 706) 69-77.

Dio lvi.17.1-3. 'и Cf. Braunert 1977 (c 25 5) 21 j-16.

east.153 Unrest persisted. The years 31 to 28 B.C. witnessed three uprisings requiring Roman military acdon: against the Morini, the Treviri and the Aquitani, each issuing in triumphs or imperial salu­tations for the victorious commanders.154 Those episodes drove home the lesson that the policing of Gaul could not be divorced from control of Germanic tribes across the Rhine. Caesar had experienced the problem, having faced large scale migrations by Germans like the Sugambri, the Usipetes and the Tencteri who dwelled near the river and who felt the pressure of the potent Suebi.155 It is noteworthy and revealing that Gallic disturbances in the 30s and early 20s b.c. repeatedly involved assistance or provocation from peoples across the Rhine. Agrippa had to fight on the other side of the river; the Treviri got support from trans-Rhenane tribes; and the Suebi came to the aid of the Morini.156 Augustus effected a settlement in Gaul in 27 B.C., conducting a census and perhaps implementing the tripartite division of the land.157 But administrative arrangements did not avert upheaval. The legate M. Vinicius brought an army against Germans in retaliation for their murder of Roman citizens who practised trade in their lands.158 Agrippa returned to Gaul in 20 and 19 b.c. and encountered a familiar scene: conflicts among the Gauls compounded by intervention of the Ger­mans.159 The situation had changed little from the time of Caesar's Gallic Wars a generation earlier. The Rhine was an artificial and largely ineffectual barrier. Germanic peoples dwelled on both sides of the river. It represented at best a frontier zone rather than a demarcated border. And harassment of Roman Gaul by trans-Rhenane intruders was a continual menace.

Diplomatic measures proved unsatisfactory. Rome reached friendly accords with the Chatti and perhaps others, thereby to use them as counter-weight to other peoples who might enter the Roman pro­vince.160 To no avail. In 17 or 16 B.C. Sugambri, Usipetes and Tencteri spilled over the Rhine, plundered Gallic territory, ambushed Roman forces, and inflicted an ignominious defeat on the legate M. Lollius.161 The princeps himself hastened to Gaul in 16 B.C. to repair the damage. The cost in prestige outweighed any material losses. By the time Augustus reached Gaul, the Germans had withdrawn and there was no one to fight. A peaceful settlement followed.162 But it is no accident that

,u App. BCiv. v.92; Dio xLvn1.49.2-j; Eutrop. vii.j; Roddaz 1984 (c 200) 66-75.

Dio Li.20.;, Li.21.5-6; App. BCiv. iv.j8; Tib. 1.7.3—12, " i-Ji-6; ILS 893; CIL I2.jo, 77.

Caes. BGall. iv.iff; cf. Timpe 1975 (c 321) 125—9.

154 Dio xlviii.49.2-}, li-20.5f li.2I.6.

157 Dio Lin.22.5; Livy, Per. 134; cf. Drinkwater 1983 (E326) 20-1, 95. 158 Dio Lin.26.4—5.

Dio liv.11.2. On Agrippa's activities, see Roddaz 1984 (c 200) 383-402.

Dio liv.56.3; Timpe 1975 (c 321) 135-9.

Dio liv.20.4-5; Veil. Pat. 11.97.1; Suet. Aug. 23; Tac. Ann. 1.10; Obsequens, 71.

Dio Liv.19.1, Liv.20.6; Veil. Pat. 11.97.1; Suet. Aug. 25.

Augustus appeared in the region, prepared to lead forces in person. A Roman defeat, however minor, could not be tolerated. It was essential to present a bold face to the public. Hence the appearance of the emperor in the field. The image of Roman authority had to be advanced.

Augustus stayed in the West for three years.[363] That period marks the beginning of a more aggressive Roman posture to assure ascendancy in Gaul and to intimidate tribes across the Rhine. It represents a logical time for establishment of legionary forts on the river. Six camps eventually arose on the lower and middle Rhine: Fectio, Noviomagus, Vetera, Novaesium, Oppidum Ubiorum and Moguntiacum.[364] Once again the close association of this development with new administrative arrangements to strengthen Roman governance in Gaul is plain.[365]

The princeps stepson Drusus took over in Gaul when Augustus returned to Rome in 13 B.C.[366] In the following year Drusus launched the first four major offensives against tribes on the far side of the Rhine. The campaigns have stimulated speculation on Roman motives and inten­tions for conquest to the Elbe or beyond. It would be more prudent to recognize the continued connexion between suppression of Gallic unrest and the terrorizing by Rome of Germanic peoples who had contributed or might contribute to that unrest. The sources make the connexion explicit. Drusus established an altar of Augustus at Lugdunum (see p. 98 above for the view that this was in 10 B.C.), thereby to rally Gallic loyalty to the regime. But his conduct of a census, presumably associated with financial exactions, sparked new upheaval, aggravated by interference from German tribes on both sides of the Rhine.[367] Drusus' campaigns in Germany, therefore, grew out of familiar circumstances. They intensi­fied pressure on the Germans in order to strengthen the Roman dominion in Gaul.

The campaigns spread over four years, gathering in momentum, and displayed might to the barbarian to an extent not previously exper­ienced. Drusus began in 12 B.C. with assaults on the Sugambri whom he caught on the Gallic side of the Rhine and on the Usipetes across the river. He proceeded to an amphibious operation along the North Sea coast, gaining the Frisii as allies and invading the land of the Chauci.[368]Notable advances came in the following year. Drusus subdued the Usipetes, bridged the Lippe, and passed through the land of the

Sugambri into that of the Cherusci as far as the Weser river. The coming of winter again induced him to return to the Rhine, but not before he installed a garrison on the junction of the Lippe and the Eliso, perhaps at Haltern, and another near the Rhine in the region of the Chatti. The achievements earned Drusus triumphal honours.[369]

Augustus himself accompanied Drusus to Gaul in winter i i/io B.C., there to inspect the altar at Lugdunum and to observe the German situation. The linkage between defeat of Germans and consolidation of Gaul remained close. Another season in ю B.C. saw Drusus gain further victories over the Sugambri and Chatti who abandoned lands awarded them in an earlier diplomatic settlement by Rome.[370]

More far reaching successes marked the fourth and final campaign in 9 в.с. Drusus commenced the invasion, it appears, from Moguntiacum, attacked the Chatti once more, defeated the Marcomanni on the upper Main after stiff resistance, turned northward to the realm of the Cherusci, crossed the Weser again, and got as far as the Elbe. That, however, proved to be the terminus. Drusus turned back, suffered the misfortune of a broken leg, and died en route to the Rhine.[371] What stayed his advance at the Elbe is unspecified. But Augustan policy demanded that the best face be placed upon the events. Drusus, like Alexander the Great at the Hyphasis, set up trophies at the Elbe to signify progress rather than setback. And a story conveniently surfaced that Drusus was halted by a vision delivering divine pronouncement about the fate of the mission.[372]The gods, not any Roman failures, accounted for withdrawal. And elaborate honours were showered upon the memory of Drusus and his deeds.[373] Whatever the reality of the situation, Augustus, here as elsewhere, insisted on the appearance of success.

What had been accomplished? Drusus' campaigns had been invasions rather than conquests, the Germans intimidated rather than subdued. But these were more than hit and run raids. Drusus left tangible reminders of Roman power. Cassius Dio reports two garrisons planted in 11 B.C.; Florus, with obvious exaggeration, speaks of numerous forts and guard posts installed all along the Maas, the Weser and the Elbe.[374]Archaeology discloses the existence of important legionary bases at Haltern and Oberaden on the Lippe, and other garrisons elsewhere, but does not permit a precise chronology that would fix them to the time of

Drusus' incursions.[375] Nor can one assume that the garrisons signalled a permanent and a full-scale occupation. Tiberius rushed to the scene upon the death of his brother and, if Tiberius' panegyrist Velleius Paterculus is to be believed, he overran all of Germany as victorious commander in 8 B.C. without sustaining any losses. Other sources supply some specifics: Tiberius induced all Germans but the Sugambri to agree to peace terms, but Augustus then refused to embrace a peace without the Sugambri — a convenient pretext to keep options open and maintain a presence in Germany. Tiberius proceeded to deport 40,000 Germans to the Gallic side of the Rhine.[376] The exhibition of Roman power is clear, a necessary demonstration in the wake of Drusus' death. But it is rash to speak of Germany organized as a province of the empire, with Roman authority extended to the Elbe.[377] In fact, even Velleius, who would hardly minimize Tiberius' accomplishment, speaks only of reducing Germany 'almost to the form of a tributary province'. And Florus acknowledges that Germans were defeated rather than subdued.[378] Rome held only selected portions of German soil.[379] As so often, the appearance of Roman success outstripped the reality of Roman control.

The need to maintain a posture of strength in Germany continued to mark Augustan policy. An altar to Augustus was erected among the Ubii who had settled on the Rhine bank, at what later became Colonia Agrippina (Cologne). Appointment of a priest to the cult from the Cherusci was clearly meant to signal German allegiance to the princeps and his regime.[380] Periodic Roman military incursions gave repeated reminders of the empire's authority. Tiberius snuffed out some minor troubles in 7 в.с.181 At some time before a.d. i L. Domitius Ahenobar- bus undertook a more significant venture. He took troops from the Danube, encountered the tribe of the Hermunduri whom he settled on the upper Main, an area evacuated by the Marcomanni, crossed the Elbe without any resistance, made alliance with people on the further bank of that river, and planted a new altar to Augustus on the site, a symbol that loyalty extended even to that distant region. The idea that this expedition prepared the way for a Roman invasion of Bohemia is unnecessary conjecture. It supplied a means to reassert Roman influence without taking undue risks. Domitius even became embroiled in intra-tribal disputes among the Cherusci. But he made sure to winter his men back in the safer quarters on the Rhine.182 Domitius' successor M. Vinicius found it necessary or advantageous to engage in hostilities with German peoples beginning in a.d. 1, a massive war, so it is described. The sources preserve no record of location or details. But Vinicius did obtain triumphal honours and a public decree inscribed with his exploits.183 The presentation at home of continued success and ascendancy in Germany remained consistent.

An ostensibly more vigorous expedition was launched in a.d. 4. Tiberius had come back into his stepfather's good graces, gained adoption by him, and was forthwith appointed to Germany. His laudator Velleius Paterculus describes the events with excessive adulation. Tears of joy allegedly filled the eyes of soldiers in greeting the much decorated commander under whom many had already served in various sectors of the empire. Tiberius, so Velleius reports, subdued the Cananefates, Attuarii and Bructeri, regained dominion over the Cherusci, crossed the Weser, and set up winter quarters at the source of the Lippe.184 Velleius waxes even more rhetorical on the second campaigning season in a.d. 5: Tiberius' armies traversed all of Germany, beat down the Chauci once again, snapped the power of the fearsome Langobardi, and then capped his success by having his fleet sail up the Elbe. In two years, according to Velleius, Tiberius had been victorious everywhere, his army unscathed. The victories left nothing unconquered in all Germany except the Marcomanni.185 Exaggeration is patent. The outbursts of Velleius do not warrant full confidence. Among other things, he calls Tiberius the first Roman general to reach the Elbe and the first to winter in Germany.186 Cassius Dio provides a curt and sober assessment: Tiberius advanced to the Weser and the Elbe, but accomplished nothing worthy of record.187 Only peace treaties resulted, whereas the legate got triumphal honours and the princeps and his son were hailed as impera- tores.m The contrast between appearance and reality persists.

An assault on the Marcomanni was next on the Roman agenda. They had abandoned their ancestral lands in the Main valley under pressure of Drusus' attacks in 9 в.с. and had now carved out a kingdom under their formidable ruler Maroboduus.189 The realm sat in an area bordering on

182 Dio Lv.10a.2-j; Tac. Ann. iv.44. The conjecture on Domitius' purpose in Syme 1954(0 312) 365-6. The starting-point of his expedition remains in dispute; Syme 1934 (c 312) 365-6; Timpe 1967(0 317) 280-4; Wells 1972 (e601) 158-9; Christ 1977(0 260) 181-3. 183 Veil. Pat. 11.104.2.

Veil. Pat. 11.104.5-105.3.

Veil. Pat. 11.106.1-3, n.107.3, n.108.1. Similarly, Aufidius Bassus, in Peter, HRR, ii, 96, 3.

Veil. Pat. 11.105.3,11.106.2.

Dio lv.28.5j cf. Timpe 1967 (0317) 284-88. Note that after the campaigns of a.d. 5 Tiberius evidently returned to winter quarters on the Rhine; Veil. Pat. 11.107.3. 188 Dio lv.28.6.

189 Veil. Pat. 11.108.1-2; Strab. vn.1.3 (290Q; Tac. Germ. 42; cf. Flor. 11.30.23-4; Dio Lv.1.2. On Maroboduus, see Dobias i960 (c 264) 15 5-66.

regions subject to or linked with Rome: Pannonia, Noricum and neighbouring German tribes. Maroboduus brought some of these tribes under his authority, and induced others into alliance. He made no moves to threaten Rome, but his position and his prestige represented an embarrassment.[381] The Roman high command designed a two-pronged operation in a.d. 6. Tiberius was to lead the army of Illyricum from Carnuntum on the Danube, and the legate Sentius Saturninus would bring the Rhine legions from the west through the land of the Chatti, thus to close the vice on Maroboduus.[382] The plan never came to fruition. News of a Pannonian revolt arrived to panic Augustus and cancel the assault on Bohemia when the two Roman armies were within days of effecting a junction.[383] Peace negotiations ensued instead, and Maroboduus became a friend and ally of Rome. The outcome, of course, was interpreted differently by each party, as suited respective tastes. Maroboduus represented the agreement as putting him on equal terms with his opponents.[384] From the Roman vantage-point, however, the Marcomannic prince had been obliged to keep the peace.[385] That version appropriately accommodated public opinion.

The great rebellion in Pannonia pinned down the bulk of Rome's forces for more than three years from a.d. 6 to 9. Germany was surprisingly quiet during those years. Maroboduus held to his treaty, and the rest of the land seemed untroubled. Five legions remained in the Rhine command, but the hand of Rome, it appears, was felt only lightly in Germany. Roman authority extended to parts of the nation, but by no means to all. The process of urbanization, establishment of markets, and encouragement of peaceful assemblies that came with Roman presence advanced without apparent resistance.[386] The new legate P. Quinctilius Varus, related by marriage to the houses of Augustus and Agrippa, was a man more accustomed to peace than to war, more comfortable with administration than with fighting.[387] Varus' activities, therefore, con­centrated on the imposition of rules, the exercise of judicial powers, and the collection of revenues — a practice not hitherto implemented in Germany. Cassius Dio appropriately notes that Varus acted as if the Germans were subject peoples. Other sources, eager to blame the legate for future calamity, stress his combination of greed and ineptitude.197 The actions provoked a subversive movement among the Germans, nourished perhaps as much by scorn as by resentment. Their leaders despised the symbols of Roman authority, the rods, axes and togas - and the emptiness that they masked.198

Details of the insurrection can here be omitted. A young warrior from the ruling house of the Cherusci, Arminius, inspired and headed the rebels. They lulled Varus into complacency, then lured him into an ambush. In the vicinity of the Teutoburg Forest in September, a.d. 9 Varus lost his life and Rome lost three legions, a disaster unparalleled in the Augustan years.199

The news shocked and dispirited the princeps. Augustus reportedly let his hair and beard grow for months as a sign of mourning, and more than once broke into the celebrated lament 'Varus, give me back my legions!'200 Those histrionics buttress the common view that Varus' defeat marked the major turhing point in Augustus' German policy: the plan to pacify all of Germany to the Elbe was given up and the empire's borders were withdrawn to the Rhine.201 It might be more revealing, however, to point to the continuities than to stress the caesura. Augustus made no public move to surrender Germany. Quite the contrary. The princeps forthwith dispatched Tiberius, fresh from his victory in the Pannonian War, to resume command of forces on the Rhine. Indeed those troops were soon built up with reinforcements from elsewhere to reach a total of eight legions, a far larger army than had been gathered in that region before. Augustus would not give even a suggestion of retreat. Tiberius reconfirmed allegiance in Gaul, distributed armies and fortified garrisons.202 The veteran commander knew better than to venture much beyond the Rhine in a.d. 10 and 11. He restricted himself to cautious raids and demonstrations. But the demonstrations them­selves were important. In the presentation of Velleius Paterculus, they were vigorous offensive manoeuvres and aggressive warfare - and that is doubtless the impression that Augustus wished to deliver.203 Evidence fails on the years a.d. 12 and 13, but Roman troops clearly did not huddle behind a Rhine frontier. Forces remained in or were sent to the land of the Chauci.204 And Augustus appointed young Germanicus, who had served with Tiberius on the Rhine in a.d. i i , to supreme command in the region in a.d. 13. This was no mere holding action. Germanicus would lead vigorous offensive campaigns into the interior of Germany. Tacitus pinpointed the motive with accuracy: war on the Germans derived less

,9e Tac. Am. 1.59.

Veil. Pat. II.118.1—119.5; Dio Lvi.18.4-22.2; Tac. Am. 1.(7-61; Suet. Aug. 25; Tib. 17. The account of Florus, 11.jo.j2-8, is unreliable. On the site of the battle, see Koestermann 1957 (c 282) 441-j. On Arminius, see Timpe 1970(0 j 19) 11-49; Dyson 1971 (л 25) 25 j-8. Tacitus'description of Arminius as liberator Germaniat (Am. 11.88) does not imply that Rome had previously annexed the land as a province. 200 Suet. Aug. 2J.2; Oros. vi.21.27. 201 Cf. Flor. 11.jo.j9.

ш Veil. Pat. 11.120.1; Dio LV1.2j.2-4. The eight Rhine legions are listed in Tac. Ann. 1.j7.

203 Veil. Pat. 11.120.1-2,11.121.1; Lvi.24.6, Lv1.25.2-j; Suet. Tib. 18. 204 Tac. Ann. i.j8.

from desire to extend the empire or to achieve tangible gain than to wipe out the disgrace of Varus' defeat.205 The princeps would not allow that calamity to stain Rome's reputation.

The campaigns of Germanicus after the death of Augustus belong to a later discussion. Suffice it here to point out that those campaigns in a.d. 15 and 16 follow a long familiar pattern rather than mark a conspicuous break with the past. They exemplify once again the repeated discrepancy between achievement and advertisement. Germanicus engaged naval and land forces, brought armies across the Weser, claimed major victories - and accomplished very little.206 Despite, or rather in conse­quence of, that fact, he enjoyed lavish honours. Germanicus celebrated a handsome triumph and his legates received ornamenta triumpbalia. The triumph specified as defeated tribes the Cherusci, Chatti, Angrivarii, and all other peoples dwelling west of the Elbe — assertions that went well beyond tangible reality.207 When Tiberius recalled Germanicus in a.d. 16, the young general expressed disappointment, and claims were made that another season's campaigning would have brought the war to an end.208 Whatever the plausibility of those claims, they were bound to be made — nor did Tiberius dispute them. Rome halted offensive operations across the Rhine. But she also let it be known that she could have subjugated Germany in a year, had she wishfed.209

Definition of a general Augustan 'policy' on Germany would be difficult to formulate and probably pointless to attempt. To designate it either as 'defensive' or as 'imperialistic' risks oversimplification.210 And it would be erroneous to consider Roman actions in Germany as following a static plan.

Initial thrusts across the Rhine in the early Augustan years stemmed from the need to police and pacify Gaul. Rome experimented with both diplomacy and warfare, intimidating hostile tribes or winning the allegiance of some to neutralize others. A shocking defeat suffered by Lollius provoked sterner measures, not to satisfy imperialist urgings but to restore imperial prestige. Legions were brought up to the Rhine and forts installed at key sites along the river. Augustus himself returned to Gaul to implement administrative changes and dramatize the import-

Tac. Ann. 1.3.6; cf. Veil. Pat. 11.123.1. The motive is confirmed by Strab. vn.1.4 (291-2C).

On Germanicus'campaigns, see Koestermann 1957 (c 282); cf. the analysis by Telschow 1975 (c 315) 148-82.

Tac. Ann. i.j j.i, 1.72.i, 11.41.2-4; Strab. vn.1.4 (291Q; Timpe 1968 (c 318) 41-77.

Tac. Ann. 11.26.

Strab. vii.i.4 (291C), written after Augustus' death, implies that the princeps never relin­quished claims on Germany west of the Elbe.

For an extensive rehearsal of opinions through the early twentieth century, see Oldfather and Canter 191 j (c 294) 9-20, 3j-81. A more recent survey by Christ 1977 (c 260) 151-67. Add also Welwei 1986(0 323) 118-57.

ance he attached to the area. Defence of the Gallic provinces and expansion into Germany were complementary rather than contrasting policies. The princeps' stepsons, first Drusus, then Tiberius, carried Roman standards into the lands of the barbarian over the next several years, in campaigns that included impressive victories, advance to the Elbe, deportations of peoples, and the planting of garrisons at selected locations. No obvious ultimate goal had been announced or probably formulated. The successes represented more than a display of might, but rather less than the organization of a province. Altars at Cologne and on the Elbe signified German loyalty to the princeps, and Domitius' crossing of the Elbe to enlist new peoples in Roman amicitia put on show Rome's ability to influence events wherever she wished in that vast land. The garrisons in the interior implied that Roman presence would be neither brief nor superficial. But generals continued to withdraw the main body of their forces to the Rhine after almost every campaigning season. Augustus preferred to exhibit power than to put it to risk.

Tiberius' appointment to Germany in a.d. 4 signalled the restored confidence of the princeps in his newly adopted son and gave him the opportunity to add further laurels to his reputation. The campaigns were more notable for enhancement of prestige than for solid accomplish­ment. Conquest of the Marcomanni would have provided something solid but had to be abandoned for pressing needs elsewhere. As substitute came a movement toward more systematic application of judicial and financial authority by the new legate Varus. But the changes engendered reaction and calamity. Augustus had to adjust accordingly. If he could not replace Varus' three legions, he could shift forces from elsewhere in the empire to the Rhine. His appointment of Tiberius and Germanicus in the years that followed the Varian disaster served to controvert any suggestion of Roman weakness. And their campaigns proposed to show that Rome could resurrect her influence in Germany whenever circumstances required it.

Despite shifts in behaviour and action, continuities prevailed: the emphasis on Rome's international authority and her ascendancy over all rivals. That emphasis emerges in the swift retaliation after each chal­lenge, the timely appearance of the princeps and his stepsons, the establishment of garrisons, the promotion of the imperial cult, the expeditions (however brief and temporary) to the Elbe, triumphal honours and imperial salutations repeatedly awarded, the display of Roman magisterial symbols, the introduction of administrative regula­tions, and the drive to compensate publicly for every setback. Reference to Germany in the Res Gestae suitably completes the picture. Augustus ignores precision for propaganda: he includes Germany with Gaul and

Spain as evidence for his pacification of Europe from Gades to the Elbe.211

X. IMPERIAL IDEOLOGY

Assessment of Augustus' imperial policy has long divided scholars. Was he a relentless expansionist or a prudent leader who set bounds to the empire? Did he conduct aggressive imperialism or a defensive policy? Was he military conqueror or bringer of peace?

Pax Augusta has become the conventional characterization of the new order introduced by the princeps.2n Repetition by moderns, however, obscures the fact that the phrase rarely surfaced in the age of Augustus himself. It finds voice occasionally in dedications offered by individuals or officials in Italian or provincial towns.213 But it does not represent a slogan emanating from the government.

Augustus, it is often alleged, placed limits on the extension of territory and advised that the empire be held within fixed bounds. But evidence for that conclusion is slim and dubious. Recovery of the standards from Parthia in 20 B.C. induced the princeps to announce that the realm could remain at its present extent - a posture that, at best, was only temporary and brief.214 He issued instructions directing generals not to pursue enemies beyond the Elbe, but that too was a temporary restraint designed to allow concentration on another conflict, not a delineation of boundaries.215 More significant, or so it would seem, was a document read to the Senate after Augustus' death and purporting to contain his advice that the empire be held within its present frontiers.216 The authenticity of that item remains in doubt. Tiberius may have had cause to seek posthumous Augustan sanction for policies he intended to promote. And the statement attributed to Augustus by Dio that he had never added possessions from the barbarian world is preposterous.217

The martial accomplishments of Augustus belie any systematic policy of limits or leanings toward pacifism. The princeps' appointees penetrated beyond the First. Cataract in Egypt, extended influence to Ethiopia and invaded Arabia. He converted Judaea into a province, rattled sabres at Parthia, and maintained an indirect hegemony in Armenia. Roman forces subjugated north-west Spain and carried campaigns against tribes in north Africa. Augustus or his surrogates fought Dalmatians and Pannonians, mounted a force against the Marcomanni, and laid the

211 Aug. RG 26.2. 2'2 Cf e.g., Stier 1975 (a 91) 18-42; Fears 1981 (c 267) 884-9.

ILS 3787, 3789; 1GRR iv 1173; cf. Weinstock i960 (f 617) 47~i°-

Dio Liv.9. i; cf. Lin. 10.4-3. 2'5 Strab. VII.1.4 (291C).

216 Tac. Ann. 1.11.4; Dio LVi.33.5-6.

2,7 Dio Lvi.33.6. Suetonius'assertion that Augustus had no ambition for empire or martial glory (Aug. 21.2) is nonsense. On these matters, see now Ober 1982 (c 293) 306-28.

groundwork for Roman provinces along the Danube. He routed Alpine peoples, opened passes in the mountains, reduced Raetia, and occupied Noricum. Romans crossed the Rhine, established garrisons in Germany, and dispatched armies to the Elbe. The record of conquest eclipsed that of all predecessors. The regime thrived on expansionism - or at least the reputation of expansionism.

Augustus left the impression of aggressiveness even where he had no intent to undertake aggression. Britain is a prime example. On three occasions, so Cassius Dio reports, the princeps let it be known that he was on the point of mounting an expedition against that remote island: in 34, 27 and 26 B.C. Each time other pressing needs conveniently intervened to postpone the venture: a rising in Dalmatia, unsettled conditions in Gaul, and the Cantabrian War respectively.218 In the eyes of contemporaries in the 30s and 20s, the invasion of Britain was a sure thing - as was its conquest. Repeated allusions in the poems of Virgil, Horace and Propertius attest to that public perception.219 Augustus could later abandon the idea altogether by producing a plausible justification: British kings had sent embassies, made offerings on the Capitol, and formally acknowledged the princeps' authority. It was as good as a conquest — and much cheaper.220 Britain could subsequently be ignored, a matter of policy, as Augustus explicitly characterized it.221 The earlier projection of an aggressive pose had equally been a matter of policy.

Reputation held pre-eminent place in the realm of Augustus. The precedents of the Republic helped shape the ideology of the Principate - not so much in constitutional matters as in the image of martial success. Pax rarely made an appearance as symbol of Republican aspirations. Victoria predominated as a numismatic slogan, triumphs represented the most coveted prizes, expansion of territory elicited ringing phrases from orators who trumpeted Roman mastery of the world.222 That is the proper context for comprehending the imperial posture of Augustus.223

Defeat of Antony and Cleopatra placed unprecedented power in the hands of the victor. He may have sought to bind up the wounds of the civil war, but he also made certain to commemorate the victory — and to institutionalize reminders of it. Two new cities rose as memorials to the achievement, each bearing the imposing designation of Nicopolis, one on the site of Octavian's camp at Actium, the other to mark the battle

2,1 Dio xlix.38.2, liii.22.5, liii.2;.2.

Virg. Eel. 1.67; G. 1.29, 111.25; Hor. Epod. vn.7; Carm. i.2i.ij, 1.31.29, m.4.34, 111.5.2-4, 1v.14.47; Prop. 11.27.J, iv.3.7; cf. Momigliano 1950 (c 290) 39—41.

Strab. iv.).3 (200C). These embassies need to be kept distinct from the arrival of British refugee princes as suppliants at the court of Augustus; RG 32.1. 221 Tac. Agr. xiii.

E.g. Cic. Leg. Мая. j 3; Миг. 22; Off. 1.38,11.26; Pii/. vm.12.F0r Victoria »s a symbol, see Fears 1981 (c 268) 773-804. On Republican attitudes toward militarism and conquest, see Harris 1979 (c 273) 10-41; cf. Brunt 1978 (c 257) 162-72; Jal 1982 (c 279) 143-50.

On what follows, see the fuller treatment in Gruen 1986 (c 271) 51-72.

near Alexandria that completed the conquest. At Epirote Nicopolis the conqueror sponsored games, enlarged the temple of Apollo, erected a trophy, and displayed a huge inscription to memorialize the victory.[388]And in 29 в.с. Octavian celebrated a triple triumph, a spectacular event that stretched over three days, to signal his successes in Illyria, Actium and Alexandria.[389] The monuments and the ceremonies spelled out these messages clearly: they exalted not pax but the gloria of the conqueror.

Those celebrations set a pattern for the imagery, both written and visual, that characterized the self-representation of the princeps and his government. The Res Gestae makes the point without ambiguity. Augustus reels off his victories abroad and the distinctions which they earned him at home: ovationes, triumphs, salutations as imperator, the annexation of Egypt, advance against Ethiopia and Arabia, recovery of eastern provinces and captured standards, defeat of Pannonians and Dacians, pacification of the Alps, Gaul, Spain and Germany, and extension of the Illyrian frontier to the Danube.[390] He summarized the achievement with a claim that he had pushed the boundaries of every province as a lesson to peoples who did not acknowledge the imperium of Rome.[391] The princeps does indeed boast of bringing pax. But it is a pax achieved by victories. And he declared that the temple of Janus had been closed three times during his reign - a fact that signalled not permanent peace but repeated subjugation of enemies and pacification of empire.[392]The Res Gestae provides no apologia or justification. Augustus takes for granted the legitimacy of Roman conquest and expansionism.[393] The preamble of the document itself sums up the contents quite pointedly: 'The achievements of the divine Augustus whereby he subjected the world to the power of the Roman people.'

The poets of the era reinforce that impression. It need not be surmised that they wrote at Augustus' behest; nor, conversely, that their writings either provoked the princeps, exceeded his intent, or subtly criticized his ambitions.[394] One can, however, postulate with confidence that ideas and attitudes repeatedly voiced by the poets evoke the prevailing atmosphere of public discussion.

Virgil's verses supply pertinent illustrations. The Georgia portray the princeps as heir to Rome's hardiest warriors of the past: Decius, Camillus, Scipio and Marius. Actium made him victor in the furthest bounds of the East; Parthia is reckoned as already defeated and humbled; Octavian thunders on the banks of the Euphrates, imposing laws upon compliant peoples.[395] The Aeneid forecasts world dominion in the age of Augustus. Jupiter promises imperial holdings without limits. And the shield of Aeneas depicts the princeps as sitting in proud splendour while long rows of conquered peoples from Africa to the Euphrates pass in array before him.[396]

Comparable indications recur in the songs of Horace. The poet urges that Roman arms no longer be trained on fellow-citizens but be directed against foreign foes. He takes for granted Roman offensive thrusts against Parthians, Gauls, Scythians, Arabs and Britons. The drive for expansionism is simply a given. Horace foresees a universal dominance for his nation.[397] Parthia is the principal target: Augustus will avenge Roman honour, regain the standards lost by other generals, lead conquered Parthians in triumph, and,annex the land to Rome's empire.[398] The princeps did indeed obtain the standards in 20 в.с. but without battle, trophies, or triumphs. Horace, however, presents the outcome as fulfilment of his own prediction: Parthians are stripped of their spoils, bend to the dictates of Rome, and venerate Augustus. Capture of the standards is juxtaposed to the exercise of Roman sway throughout the world.[399] Whatever his personal predilections, Horace accurately reflects the dominant propaganda of the era.

Reflection can be found also in the lines of Propertius. The convention of the recusatio conveniently served the purpose. By disclaiming com­petence to sing of Augustus' martial feats, Propertius also calls attention to those feats. The poet alludes to victories abroad, kings led in triumph, distant lands trembling and obedient to the authority of the princeps-[400]Like Horace, Propertius projects campaigns to the extremities of empire and visualizes a humiliation of Parthia.[401] And when the standards were returned to Rome, Propertius duly represents the result as a Parthian confession of defeat.[402]

The cynical Ovid, both playful and serious, describes the heady excitement in Rome on the eve of young C. Caesar's departure to the East in 2 B.C. His Ars Amatoria characterized the intent of the expedition: Augustus to add to his dominions, Parthia to pay the price for her misdeeds, Crassus' shades to be avenged. The poet even envisions the future triumph of Gaius, bringing in its train captive Asians from exotic parts of the world.239 Gaius, in fact, never returned from that venture, and no triumph was earned. Ovid therefore recalls the language of his predecessors: recovery of the standards sufficed to make the point and Augustus had already coerced the Parthians into humble compliance.240 The Metamorphoses and the Fasti speak of the subjugation of barbarian peoples and the deep penetration of Roman power. Jupiter surveys a world where Roman dominion is universal. The earth lies under the heel of the conqueror.241 Even in the poems from exile, late in Augustus' reign, Ovid's praise of the princeps places stress upon victory, the garnering of military laurels, the conquest of Pannonia, Raetia and Thrace, surrender by Armenia and Parthia, awe-struck Germany, and imperial holdings now at their greatest reach.242

The public manifestations of the regime tell much the same story. Coins, inscriptions and monuments converge in transmitting the picture of Roman might and dominance. Victoria, whether as bust or as figure, occurs frequently on the coinage, especially with the globe that exempli­fied world rule. Other martial symbols also prevail: triumphal chariots, the ornamenta triumphalia, trophies, a triumphal arch, the temple of Mars Ultor, victory laurels.243 Annexation, acquisition, or military reprisals are regularly on display. The numismatic legends trumpet Aegyptus capta, Armenia capta, Asia recepta and signa recepta.w The inscribed trophy that recorded Augustus' pacification of the Alpine regions listed the names of nearly fifty tribes that had been subjected to Roman power.245

The city of Rome exhibited striking monuments that transmitted the image of conqueror, master and guarantor of security through force. As early as 29 B.C. Octavian installed a statue of Victory in the Curia lulia. A triumphal arch commemorated his successes abroad.246 Two years later the Senate appropriately voted Augustus the privilege of placing laurel trees before his residence and setting an oak crown above them — a gesture that symbolized his role both as perpetual victor over enemies and as saviour of citizens.247

The Forum Augustum gave the most visible and prominent display of Augustan ideology. The imposing temple of Mars Ultor, vowed by

239 Ov. Ars Am. 1.177-228. 240 Ov. Fast. v. 579-94.

Ov. Met. xv.820-31, xv.877; Fast. 1.85-6,1.717,11.684, iv.857-62.

Ov. Tr. 11.1.169-78, 225-52,111.12.45-8.

E.g. BMCRE Augustus, nos. 1, 68, 77-8, 101-2, 217-19, 224, et at.

E.g. BMCRE Augustus, nos. 10-19, 4°~4> S32. 4>o~23, 647-5 5, 671-81, 703.

2« Pliny, HN in.136-7. 246 Dio u.22.1-2; Zanker 1972 (f 626) 8-12.

247 Dio lin. 16.4.

Augustus after Philippi but not completed until 2 b.c., held conspicuous place. It would be the locus of assemblage for the Senate for all declarations of war or award of triumphs, and the symbolic starting- point for every general to lead his troops abroad. The Forum Augustum served as repository for weapons of all sorts and for arms seized as booty from the defeated foes of Rome.248 The statue of the princeps himself stood in the centre of the Forum, set in a triumphal chariot which contained record of his conquests.249 The flanks of the Forum held two rows of statues. In the niches of one side Augustus installed representa­tives of the great men of Rome's past, with inscribed elogia attesting, among other things, to military achievements and triumphal honours. Opposite that array of heroes stood the figures of Aeneas and all the representatives of the Julian line.250 The princeps thus linked himself and his family to a gallery of republican duces, triumphatores and summi viri, as heir to the grandest martial traditions of the state.

Other items add to the impression. Among them the commanding statue of Augustus at Prima Porta takes pride of place. An elaborately engraved cuirass calls forth the martial image. The centrepiece of the breastplate displays the transfer of captured standards by the Parthians to Rome, emblematic of Roman supremacy in the East. And the figures of female barbarians in the middle zone of the cuirass, dejected and submissive, represent Roman humbling of the Celtic peoples of the West. Triumphal symbolism predominates. The mother earth figure, reclining at the bottom with cornucopiae and babies, projects prosperity and the bountifulness of the land. As is clear, the new and prosperous age depends upon armed force and constitutes the fruits of victory.251 The Prima Porta figure signifies conquest of the empire and world-wide rule assured by the continual vigilance of the princeps.

The celebrated Ara Pacis, it might be thought, forms a counterpoint to this presentation. Not necessarily so. The altar, in fact, strikes a balance that parallels other verbal and visual productions of the Augustan era: a juxtaposition of the rewards of peace with the military success that made them possible. The Senate voted to consecrate the Ara Pacis in 13 в.с. as memorial to Augustus' return in that year from the subjugation of Spain and the pacification of Gaul.252 The panel of Aeneas on the west side of the altar has him offering sacrifice to the Di Penates, a scene that evidently celebrates his homecoming, just as the monument itself celebrated Augustus' homecoming. But that panel is balanced by

218 Ov. Fast. v.5 50-62; Suet. Aug. 29.2; Dio lv.io.2-j.

»» Aug. RG jj.i; Veil. Pat. 11.59.2.

Ov. Fast. v. 565-6; Suet. Aug. 51.5; Dio lv.10.5; SHA. Alex. Sev. 28.6; Zanker 1968 (f625); Frisch 1980 (в 251) 91-8; Zanker 1988 (f 6jj) 210-14; Luce 1990 (c 284) i2j-j8.

On the Prima Porta statue, see esp. Kahler 1959 (f 441); Zinserling 1967 (f 656) j27-j9; Pollini 1978 (f 551) 8-74; Zanker 1988 (f 6jj) 183-92. 232 Aug. RG 12.2.

another, featuring the partially preserved Mars, father of the twins Romulus and Remus, and pre-eminent god of war. A similar balance occurs on the eastern panels of the Ara Pacis. One depicts a female deity with the attributes of fertility and bountifulness, calling attention to the blessings of a tranquil time. But its corresponding panel contains the goddess Roma resting, as often, on a pile of arms. The imagery takes on meaning in combination. The accomplishment of peace is inseparable from success in war.[403]

That association is reinforced by a recent discovery. Close connexion held between the Ara Pacis and the Egyptian obelisk that stood as the gnomon of the colossal sundial, the Solarium Augusti. The shadow of the obelisk pointed squarely at the centre of the Ara Pacis on 2 3 September, the birthday of Augustus himself.[404] The obelisk itself was set up to memorialize Augustus' subordination of Egypt to the control of the Roman empire. The collective message dramatically linked peace with military authority and imperial expansion.

XI. CONCLUSION

A survey of territorial expansion under Augustus tempts conclusions about strategic designs, empire-wide policy, and imperialist intent. It has been claimed, for example, that Augustus adopted and refined a military system of hegemonic rule, resting on a combination of client states and an efficiently deployed armed force stationed in frontier sectors but mobile enough for transfer wherever needed.[405] Many reckon the push to the north as a carefully conceived and sweeping plan that linked the Alpine, Balkan and German campaigns, and aimed to establish a secure boundary of the empire that ran along the line of the Danube and the Elbe.[406] Others, however, consider Augustus a determined imperialist, bent on expansion everywhere and motivated by dreams of world conquest. Only the Pannonian revolt and the defeat of Varus obliged him to check his ambition and bequeath a defence policy to his successor.[407]

Yet the very idea of an all-encompassing scheme, whatever its form, misconceives the diversity and flexibility of Augustus' foreign ventures. No uniform plan or articulated goal guided his acts. Location, circum­stances and contingencies determined decisions.

The eastern realms provoked varied responses. In Asia Minor and Judaea Augustus cultivated client princes, generally keeping in place those already established, regardless of prior allegiances. But he was not averse to deposing dynasts (e.g. in Commagene), intervening in royal dispensations (as with Herod), or even converting principalities into provinces (Galatia and Judaea) when unexpected developments called for it. Principal garrisons of Roman power in the East stood in Egypt and Syria - but for very different purposes. Egypt held a special place for Augustus, its economic resources a mainstay of empire and its territory a staging-ground for military adventures in Ethiopia and Arabia. Troops in Syria, by contrast, served to signal stability rather than advance, a means of showing the flag and discouraging Parthian ambitions. The princeps kept a hand in the dynastic affairs of Armenia and a careful watch on vicissitudes in the royal house of Parthia. Recovery of the standards took priority in policy and propaganda. But dealings with Parthia relied on diplomacy - alternate displays of resolve and negotiated settlements - rather than force. The kingdom supplied occasions for posturing, not a menace against which to devise a strategy.

Different motives and different actions prevailed in the West. The princeps or his generals conducted vigorous campaigns in Illyria and Spain in the 30s and 20s B.C. Strategic purposes, however, played at best a secondary role. Octavian used the Illyrian adventure to shore up his reputation vis-a-vis Antony, and brought north-west Spain under subjec­tion to demonstrate Roman might throughout the Iberian peninsula. Roman involvement in north Africa had still a different character (or characters): the princeps experimented with client kings, warfare and colonial foundations at various times and places in that area - with no consistent results.

The great northern campaigns may assume coherent shape in retros­pect - but hardly at the time. Divergent aims dictated action, Roman response occurred as often as Roman initiative, political and ideological purposes frequently took precedence over strategic goals. Control of the Alpine regions facilitated communications between the Rhine forces and the troops in Illyricum. The push to the Danube held out many advantages: the disciplining of recalcitrant tribes which had damaged Rome's repute, military laurels for members of Augustus' family, and opening of a land route from northern Italy to the eastern dependencies. The heaviest fighting, however, came in reaction to rebellion rather than as part of an imperial scheme. Advancement against Germans derived from security and administrative needs in Gaul. Strikes across the Rhine advertised Roman might and authority without establishing a perma­nent presence. Prestige may have counted for more than strategy. Exhibitions of force occurred after the Varian disaster as before.

Diversity stands out far more boldly than uniformity. There was uniformity, however, in one key respect. The princeps need not have felt commitment to relentless conquest and indefinite extension of territory and power. But he did feel commitment so to represent his aspirations.

Representation and reality often diverged. Augustus made certain to maintain consistency in the former. Pragmatic considerations might on occasion dictate restraint or withdrawal. And defeat could sometimes mar the achievement. But the public posture remained uniform: a posture of dynamism, success and control. Aelius Gallus' calamitous campaigns in Arabia were covered over in the Res Gestae which reports only Roman advance in the area; and aggressive thrusts served to compensate for the setbacks. Bloodless negotiations allowed Augustus to recover the standards from Parthia and diplomacy provided an acceptable setdement in Armenia; but the regime made menacing gestures, and the propaganda proclaimed defeat for Parthia and subjec­tion for Armenia. The closing of Janus' doors and triumphal honours awarded after a campaign in north-west Spain belied the superficiality of that achievement — to be followed by another decade of brutal fighting in the region and some heavy losses for Rome. Modest successes in Illyria during the triumviral period became exaggerated in report and announ­cement so as to elevate Octavian's reputation at the expense of his rival. Victories and the honours of victory marked advance to the Danube and even encouraged the mounting of a campaign against the Marcomanni; the Pannonian revolt, however, shattered the illusion of Roman mastery and required an enormous commitment of resources to restore control. Conquest of the Alps may have had strategic ends, but it also served to advertise the prowess of Augustus' stepsons and to summon public acclaim for the imperial house. Similarly, Drusus' thrusts across the Rhine called forth magnificent honours, out of proportion to solid accomplishments, and the termination of his advance at the Elbe was explained away as the consequence of divine intervention. In compar­able fashion Tiberius obtained high honours for victories in Germany, and his panegyrist Velleius rhapsodized about his successes, though litde of substance was accomplished. And when disaster did strike, in the form of Varus' crushing defeat, the princeps strove to stress continuity, appointing Tiberius and then Germanicus to resume aggressive campaigns across the Rhine, as if to deny any setback or interruption.

The imperial policy of Augustus varied from region to region, adjusted for circumstances and contingencies. Aggression alternated with restraint, conquest with diplomacy, advance with retreat. Acqui­sitions and annexations occurred in some areas, consolidation and negotiation in others. The insistence upon reputation, however, was undeviating. The regime persistently projected the impression of vigour, expansionism, triumph and dominance. Augustus reiterated the aspirations and professed to eclipse the accomplishments of republican heroes. The policy may have been flexible, but the image was consistent.

CHAPTER 5 TIBERIUS TO NERO

Т. E. J. WIEDEMANN

i. the accession of tiberius and the nature of politics under the j ulio-с l audians

Political history explores the ways in which the men (and very occasion­ally women) who wielded power over others chose to exercise that power. In every system of government there are dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals who have to use their initiative about the exercise of power in particular circumstances, or about the best way to implement decisions taken by their superiors. But Rome under Augustus and his successors was a monarchy: every exercise of political power had ultimately to be answered for to the emperor. The emperor's authority could not publicly be challenged (anyone who successfully did so would become the new emperor). The political, history of the Principate is therefore primarily an account of the relationship between the reigning emperor and the other individuals and groups who played a role in public life. Although some of the political figures of the Julio-Claudian period were descended from families that had been powerful under the Republic, it does not follow that the 'republican' aristocracy still wielded independent power. Such men - like the 'new men' who were prepared to put their military or rhetorical skills at the service of the Caesars - had only as much power as the emperor allowed them, and only for as long as the emperor needed to make use of them. They had a place in public life only because, and insofar as, they had the princeps' favour; they were what in Latin would be called his amici, friends. He who lost the emperor's friendship lost the basis for his public existence - and the effect of that was that his public life (and sometimes his personal existence) came to an end, whether he was a patrician or a novus homo or a freedman or even a close relative of the emperor himself.1

From Augustus on, as Cassius Dio noted, politics had ceased to be 'public'. Important political choices no longer needed to be debated, or voted on, in public, but only in the private consilium of the emperor and

1 For the nature of politics under the Principate, see chs. 2 and 3 above; Wickert 1974 (a 102) (with bibliography, pp. 5-8); Millar 1977 (a 59); Levick 1983 (c 371). Standard narrative histories of this period: H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero (London, 1st edn. 1939); Garzetti 1974 (a jj).

198

his amici. Consequently historians, ancient as well as modern, lack public records of how decisions came to be taken by the emperor, or of the different views held by his amici. As in modern dictatorships, the absence of reliable information meant that the decision-making process was portrayed through rumours, jokes, anecdotes, and the hostile reminis­cence of bitter and disillusioned men (and women) who hated the establishment largely because they felt it had not given them the rewards they deserved. The actions of emperors often baffled contemporaries; and what is baffling is liable to be dismissed as lunatic, or condemned as monstrous. Hence, as the poet Claudian was to write later,

The annals speak of the crimes committed by the men of old, And the stains will remain for ever. Who will not for all eternity Condemn the monstrous actions of the House of Caesar, Nero's dreadful murders, the disgusting cliffs of Capri, Inhabited by an aged pervert?2

The most fascinating source of such information about the Julio- Claudians is to be found in the surviving portions of Tacitus' Annals. They cover the periods a.d.14-29, 51-37 and 47-66. Archaeology and epigraphy may provide additional evidence to supplement the disap­pointingly meagre accounts of life outside the metropolis in the ancient literary sources; but the Annals are the point of departure for political history. There are other accounts by ancient writers; although often based on the same sources, they are sometimes not so reliable because of their particular literary format, but we can use them to modify the more obviously tendentious interpretations in Tacitus. Tacitus was writing a century after the death of Augustus, and many of his preoccupations were as much with the actions and attitudes (especially towards the Senate) of Trajan and Hadrian, under whom he lived, as with those of the Julio-Claudians.3

The relationship between emperor and Senate is a major concern of other senatorial writers beside Tacitus. The language in which they tend to express that concern is that of a contrast between 'tyranny' and 'freedom' (libertas), concepts inherited from the late Republic. But this republican vocabulary should not mislead us into treating the history of the Julio-Claudian period as similar to that of the Republic — as a chronicle of the magistracies and honours achieved by politicians as the result of competition with one another. There was competition, but it was for the emperor's favour. It was the emperor who took the decisions.

Cassius Dio on secret politics: liii.19. The consilium-, ch. 7 below. Claudian, IV Cons. Hon., 8.511-15.

Furneaux's edition of Tacitus' Annals remains the most accessible; for commentaries, see Koestermann 1963-8 (в 98); Goodyear 1972 and 1981 (в 62). On Tacitus, Syme 195 8 (в 176) remains basic; among others, see Christ 1978 (в 28).

In recent years historians have stressed that imperial 'policy' was often purely passive, that the decisions taken by emperors were often made in response to the actions of others. The emperor's most important activity was the exercise of gratia; as the most powerful of patrons, he was expected to distribute favours to senators and the plebs, to Romans and provincials who came and asked for them. The story of how imperial responses to such initiatives changed the nature of Mediterranean culture and society is traced in other chapters of this volume. We should be sceptical about earlier views of the emperors as great visionaries who sought to impose upon their officials policies of administrative central­ization, the systematic spreading of Roman culture, the systematization of Roman law, justice for provincials (let alone slaves), and even, as was once believed, a positive attitude towards agriculture, trade and indus­try. Nor should we put too much emphasis on the emperor's need to be a successful showman, like the leader of a modem mass democracy; an emperor certainly had to advertise his popularity, but that popularity itself was based on the care he took for his people as patron of rich and poor alike, pater patriae. But not all imperial policies were passive responses to the demands of others. Every emperor needed to have a minimal policy - to stay in command of the political process; to maximize his own prestige; and to maintain in his own hands the choice of whom to hand his power on to after his death. These aims had applied to Augustus as much as they applied to his Julio-Claudian successors.[408]

The events which followed the death of Augustus at Nola in Campania on 19 August a.d. 14 became a paradigm for the smooth transfer of power from an emperor to his successor; few future emperors found themselves in total control with as little difficulty as Tiberius did. Nevertheless the moment at which monarchical power is transferred from one man to his successor is a critical point at which the different elements that constitute a political system can be seen most clearly. Although Tacitus' record of these events at the opening of the Annals betrays his concern about the accessions of much later emperors (Trajan in 97 and Hadrian in 117), it reveals the control that a new emperor had to exercise over, first and foremost, the imperial household, the domus Caesarir, and then over the soldiers of the praetorian guard, magistrates, the Senate and people of Rome, and the Roman armies in the provinces.

Although the domus Caesaris was in law just another Roman house­hold, it gave its head (Lat. paterfamilias) access to material resources, services (via procurators managing estates throughout the empire) and informal social control on a scale with which no other household could compete. The emperor's domus contained not just those of his descen­dants who were under his legal control {in potestate), a definition much narrower than that of the word 'family' in English, but also their chattels and estates, including slaves (Lat. Jamilia), and dependants: freedmen, provincial magnates (including 'client kings'), and also those Roman amici who regarded themselves as owing their personal or political lives to the present Caesar or his predecessors. In this sense, every ex- magistrate had to consider that he had a personal duty to ensure the well- being of the current head of the imperial household.

Tiberius was Augustus' stepson; notwithstanding his marriage to Augustus' daughter lulia, it was not his birthright to succeed Augustus as 'Caesar'. But in a.d. 4 he had been formally adopted by Augustus as his son. The grant of tribunicia potestas awarded then and renewed in a.d. 1 j together with a grant of imperium maius meant that there was no doubt as to who would rule Rome after Augustus. Some of the men who might have been Tiberius' rivals had been disgraced along with lulia in 2 B.C.; others were sent into exile in connexion with the fall of her daughter, lulia the Younger, in a.d. 8. At the moment of Augustus' death, Tiberius was the only man who could seriously be considered as his political successor.[409] But there was someone else with a legitimate claim to a share in Augustus' personal estate: his grandson Agrippa Postumus, whom Augustus had adopted at the same time as Tiberius. Although Roman law gave a paterfamilias wide rights to dispose of his property as he pleased, it was customary for sons (together with the widow and daughters who were still in potestate) to inherit equal portions of the estate. Anyone who wished to disinherit a son had to do so explicitly in his will; even if he had been explicitly disinherited, a son could still appeal against the will as 'undutiful' {querella inofficiosi testamenti). Although Postumus had been sent into exile by his adoptive father, there is no clear evidence that he had been disinherited: in terms of Roman private law, he had the same claim to be 'Caesar' as Tiberius. However weak his political influence, the existence of Agrippa Postumus as an exile on the island of Planasia threatened the smooth transfer of power; it gave Tiberius' opponents the option of making use of him.

This made it imperative for Tiberius as heir to step into the persona of Augustus immediately that he died. He had to be on the spot to be recognized as the new paterfamilias, but Augustus' final illness came suddenly. Earlier in the year, the seventy-six-year-old emperor had still been in good health; on 11 May, he had completed a census revision, with Tiberius as his colleague. Early in August Tiberius left Augustus in Campania to return to the army in Pannonia. He hastened to Nola as soon as he heard that Augustus was ill, possibly in response to a summons by the emperor himself. Tacitus reports a rumour that when Tiberius reached Nola, he found Augustus already dead, and that Livia kept the truth hidden in order to facilitate the transfer of power to her son (more suggestive of the role played by Plotina at Hadrian's accession in a.d. 117). Tiberius himself claimed that he had spoken to Augustus before he died.

Tiberius' first reported acuon after Augustus' death was to write to all the Roman armies (not just his own in Pannonia). He did not style himself Augustus, since that was a title that had been bestowed by the Roman Senate, and he had no right yet to use it. But there was no need to wait for the Senate to confirm the manifest fact that following Augustus' death, Tiberius had become the new head of the imperial household. The next thing that happened was that Agrippa Postumus was put to death. Augustus had suggested that Postumus' rowdy character made him entirely unsuitable for public responsibility. But Tacitus reports rumours, presumably put about by those who did not wish to see Tiberius succeed, that the emperor had visited his exiled grandson at Planasia in the year before his death, and planned to reinstate him. Later, one of his freedmen pretended to be the dead Postumus, suggesting that there were those who might be expected to back his claims against Tiberius. He had to be killed. The fact that Postumus' name was not mentioned at all in Augustus' will suggests that the execution had been arranged by Augustus before his death, to facilitate Tiberius' accession; it might have been ordered by Livia, purporting to act for Augustus, for the same reason (or out of'stepmotherly spite', as Tacitus would have it); or by Tiberius himself. It was probably carried out by one of Augustus' advisers, Gaius Sallustius Crispus (a grand-nephew of the historian), as soon as he heard of the emperor's death. When Tiberius heard of the execution, he denied responsibility and said that the action would have to be answered for to the Senate. No further discussion occurred.6

By inheriting the imperial household, the domus Caesaris, Tiberius controlled greater material resources than were available to any other Roman, either in a private capacity or as a magistrate. Caesar owned property throughout the empire; he commanded procurators in every province to look after his interests (even when they conflicted with those of the governor, whether pro-magistrate or legate), and consequently was served by a more effective network for gathering information than

6 On the accession, Timpe 1962 (c 403). Tiberius writes to armies: Dio lvii.z.i. Postumus: Jameson 1975 (c 126). The 'false Postumus': Tac. Ann. 11.39.

was available to anyone else, including the magistrates at Rome. He also inherited the loyalty and gratitude which every Roman in public life owed to his predecessor in return for the patronage which Augustus had bestowed (and which Tiberius ensured would not be forgotten: see the Res Gestae Divi Augusti). That this made Tiberius the undisputed ruler of Rome from the moment of Augustus' death was beyond question. That fact was symbolically recognized by the oath to protect him and the rest of the domus whose paterfamilias he had now become, taken as soon as they heard the news by the consuls, and the prefects of the praetorian guard and of the corn supply, and then administered to the Senate, the equestrian or do and the Roman people. Similar oaths were subsequently sworn by communities elsewhere in the empire; a copy of an oath to Tiberius and his whole household taken by the cities of Cyprus survives. This oath illustrates the dependence of groups as well as individual magistrates on the head of the imperial family as the source of patronage, honour and decision-making. But — unlike the sacramentum, the military oath taken by a soldier to the emperor as his commander-in-chief — its force was private and personal, not public or constitutional. An emperor's power and influence as Caesar may be distinguished from the public powers conferred upon him by the Senate and people, the organs who alone had the right to grant him imperium, the power to command. Later imperial candidates realized that the moment they controlled the imperial household, the award of public titles and offices by Senate and people would be a formality; in a.d. 14, in the absence of any historical precedent, the distinction was very clear, and Tiberius took pains to act with complete constitutional propriety. He could not take public acquiescence in his accession for granted. Velleius Paterculus refers to fears of disorder, confirmed by the posting of large numbers of troops at Augustus' funeral.7

Tiberius accompanied Augustus' body on its ceremonial return to Rome, just as twenty-two years before he had accompanied the body of his brother Drusus on its long journey back from northern Germany. The ceremonial procession, and the funeral itself, were to set precedents for the treatment of other members of the imperial family after their deaths. The public funeral was decreed at a meeting of the Senate early in September, convoked by Tiberius in virtue of his tribunicia potestas rather than his imperium. This does not mean that Tiberius thought that the imperium maius he had been granted in the previous year did not suffice to make him a legitimate emperor; but it does suggest that there was uncertainty about whether Augustus' responsibility (referred to in Tacitus as his cura or munera) for governing the empire had lapsed at his

7 Ep ioj = AN } j i. Cf. Price 1984 (f 199) (and ch. 16 below). Fears for stability: Veil. Pat. 11.124.

death. Augustus' will was read to the Senate. It confirmed Tiberius as principal heir; he was awarded two thirds of Augustus' property, and the remaining third went to Livia. Historians have made much of the opening words of the will, stating that Augustus wanted Tiberius to be his heir because 'a cruel fate' had taken away his own (adopted) sons (and natural grandsons) Gaius and Lucius. This was not a calculated or even unintended insult to Tiberius, suggesting that he was only a second best as successor, but an explanation for why Augustus had adopted as his son and instituted as his heir someone from outside the Julian family. These words can only have been intended to strengthen further the legitimacy of Tiberius' position as head of the domus Caesaris — particu­larly since no mention was made of Agrippa Postumus.

On 17 September, after the funeral, there was a second meedng of the Senate, at which it was reported that Augustus' spirit had been seen rising to heaven in the form of an eagle while the body was being cremated. If the Senate chose to believe this testimony, it would be powerful evidence in favour of the proposidon that Augustus had now joined the Olympians; the Senate chose to believe, and accepted the consequence, that a cult ought to be formally established by the Roman state to worship the new god.

Turning next to the matters of this world, the Senate had to give its opinion on what was to happen to Augustus' responsibilities now that he had departed the scene. Tacitus does not explicitly tell us what modon was debated. It cannot have been to advise the people to grant Tiberius imperium, since he already had that; nor to define his provincia, since that had presumably been done when he was given maius imperium to equal that of Augustus in a.d. 13. Probably the point at issue was whether Tiberius should be asked to undertake the whole of Augustus' cura, his oversight of political (and especially foreign and military) affairs.8 Tiberius pointed out that these responsibilities were vast; he wondered whether there was any case for sharing them. Tacitus tells us that one of the senators, Asinius Gallus, was quick to agree with this suggestion.

At this point in his narrative Tacitus reports a story that Augustus had once suggested that, apart from Tiberius, there were other persons who were 'capable of being emperor', capaces imperii. He names them as M. Lepidus, Asinius Gallus and L. Arrundus (or alternadvely Cn. Piso). Tacitus does not give us the exact context of this statement; it may have been invented by an earlier historian. It may be more than a coincidence that two of those named were the fathers of men who were later themselves to lay claim to the Principate. The son of Marcus (rather than Manius, as printed in most editions of Tacitus since the seventeenth century) Aemilius Lepidus (cos. a.d. 6) was first trusted, and then

8 Liebeschuetz 1986 (c 163); cf. Tac. Ann. i.i i: 'partem curarum'.

executed, by Caligula; Lucius Arruntius (also cos. a.d. 6) was the son of one of Octavian's commanders at Actium, and adopted as his own son Camillus Scribonianus, who was to rebel against Claudius in 42; and various Julio-Claudian emperors felt themselves threatened by men called Piso. Whatever lies behind the anecdote, it raises the question what the source would be from which an alternative leader might derive his authority. Tacitus' account is intended to suggest that at the beginning of Tiberius' reign, there still existed political figures whose power was independent of the backing of the princeps. The fourth man named was the Asinius Gallus who took up Tiberius' question as to whether the cura borne by Augustus ought to be divided. He was the son of Asinius Pollio, one of the early generals of Octavian during the 40s and 30s B.C., but by no means a constant and unquestioning supporter. Virgil had dedicated the Fourth ('Messianic') Eclogue to Pollio; and Gallus is said to have told the literary critic Asconius Pedianus that he himself was the promised Messiah. According to Tacitus, it was Augustus' opinion that Gallus was incapable of exercising imperial power, but avid for it. Tiberius could not forget that after Augustus had forced him to divorce Vipsania, a woman he genuinely loved, in favour of Augustus' own daughter Iulia (and that was not a happy marriage), it was Gallus who married Vipsania.9

Gallus had implied that Tiberius could not shoulder Augustus' responsibilities alone. Tiberius could not conceal his displeasure; Gallus backtracked by pretending that he had made the point only in order to prove that imperial power could not in fact be divided. The episode raises the question of Tiberius' honesty in claiming that he did not want the imperial office. Contemporary evidence shows that Tiberius himself was worried about his reputation for disguising his real intentions, dissimulatio, a quality without which he might well have failed to live through Augustus' reign.10 Later emperors at their accession went through a pretence of rejecting the offer of imperial power; in Tiberius' case, such a recusatio imperii might have been misunderstood because there was no precedent for it. If Tiberius was genuine in not wishing to take on all Augustus' responsibilities, this is hardly likely to have been because he was afraid that his claims would be disputed by one, or possibly several, other candidates. Velleius Paterculus tells of the fear and uncertainty that filled Rome at the time of Augustus' death; not everyone believed that the transfer of power would run smoothly. But Velleius also makes it clear that the three main concentrations of legions, in Spain, the Balkans, and on the Rhine, were all in the hands of generals

' 'Capaces imperii': Tac. Ann. 1.13.2. Gallus: Oliver 1947 (c 582); Shorter 1971 (c 393). On M. Lepidus, Syme 1970 (в 178).

10 On the Tabula Siamsis and Tiberius' dissimulatio-. Gonzalez 1984(8 234); Zecchini 1986 (в 301).

loyal to Tiberius. In Spain there was Marcus Lepidus (the consul of a.d. 6), who had been Tiberius' legate in putting down the Pannonian revolt between a.d. 6 and 9; in Pannonia, Tiberius had his own legates, in particular Iunius Blaesus, and Germany was governed by Tiberius' adopted son Germanicus. Tiberius had nothing to fear from any of these generals; the soldiers themselves were not to transfer their allegiance without trouble, but that was a question of discipline, not of high politics. Even if Tiberius had already heard of the mutinies in the Pannonian army which broke out as soon as the troops heard of the death of Augustus, the commander to whom they had taken their oaths of military service, it does not follow that such a threat of rebellion would have been a real reason for declining the imperial office.

The Senate duly confirmed Tiberius' succession to the cura bestowed on his predecessor (and also granted him the title Augustus). Tiberius' were not the only powers the Senate was required to confirm. On the occasion when Augustus had adopted Tiberius into the Julian house­hold, he had also made him adopt Germanicus, the son of Tiberius' younger brother Drusus and of Antonia, daughter of Mark Antony and Augustus' sister Octavia. This formally made Germanicus Tiberius' eldest son. Tiberius, in a.d. i 4, was fifty-five. Should anything happen to him, it would be Germanicus who would succeed as head of the domus Caesaris.

The same session of the Senate also proposed to vote honours to Livia; Tiberius expressed reservations about these, possibly because he was embarrassed by suggestions that he derived his position from his mother's influence over Augustus. Other decisions relating to the extent of Tiberius' cura for the state were taken at the same meeting; in particular, Tacitus says that Tiberius proclaimed a change in the procedures for nominating candidates for magistracies. In future, the list of nominations would be discussed by the Senate; four of the praetor- ships would be filled by persons recommended by Tiberius, the other places would be open to any candidates selected by the Senate (though clearly the support of; the princeps would be decisive here too). Formally, the list would then go before the comitia centuriata for approval, just as had happened in republican times; but competition for the votes of the people now became a pure formality for candidates for the praetorship (as it had been for candidates for the consulship since the time of Julius Caesar). Candidates needed the support only of the emperor and of the Senate. An important effect of this was to make it unnecessary for quaestors and aediles who had an eye on a praetorship to win the favour of the Roman plebs by putting on spectacular games. The giving of games was one of the principal ways in which those who participated in public life advertised their prestige. The poverty of such spectacles under Tiberius is an aspect of the concentration of power in the hands of the princeps, to the detriment both of the senatorial elite and of the people.[410]

Apart from the imperial household, the Senate and the people, the emperor also had to control the army: as we have seen, Tiberius' first act after Augustus' death was to inform every provincial army. Tacitus describes in great detail the mutinies of the two most powerful groups of legions, on the Rhine and the Danube; but we should not assume that they were a serious threat in the same way as apparently similar events were in a.d. 69 and a.d. 97. Augustus' death gave the Roman conscripts serving in Pannonia and Germany an opportunity to express their long- repressed resentment at their terms of service.The Roman soldier's oath of loyalty was not only to the res publico, but to the individual imperator who had called him up for that particular campaign. This was the first time in almost half a century that an imperator had died and needed to be replaced by a new one — albeit one who had seen many years' service both in Pannonia and Germany. It was an appropriate occasion to demand improvements in conditions of service. Tacitus describes these events as a complete collapse of discipline, and maximizes both the moral disgrace and the potential danger to Tiberius. He and other historians following the same sources (probably Pliny the Elder's Histories of the German Wars and the younger Agrippina's memoirs) agree that the Pannonian mutiny was comparatively easy to control. The mutiny on the Rhine was politically more significant because of the presence there of Germanicus, whom these sources wish to represent as a potential alternative emperor.[411]

Tacitus' account of the unrest among the Pannonian legions includes a speech encapsulating the soldiers' (largely legitimate) grievances, such as long terms of service, often over twenty years, low pay and the deduction of money to buy exemption from unpleasant duties, and the quality of the land allotments granted to soldiers by the aerarium militare on completion of their period of service. The speech is attributed to Percennius, said to have been a professional claque-manager for the Roman theatre-audiences before having been called up during the emergency levy that followed the destruction of Varus' three legions just five years previously. The Pannonian commander, Quintus Iunius Blaesus (cons. a.d. 10; uncle of the praetorian prefect L. Aelius Seianus) was unable to prevent his soldiers from looting civilian settlements. Although he promised to send his son, a tribune, to Rome at the head of a delegation to request improved terms of service, he was only able to reimpose discipline when Tiberius' son Drusus arrived on the scene with two praetorian cohorts commanded by Sejanus (now described as co- prefect of the guard along with his father, Lucius Seius Strabo). Tacitus describes Tiberius' decision to send his son as though it was a response to a major threat; but we should remember that the theme of civil discord is basic to the Annals.

The story told by Tacitus implies that the mutineers were by no means inclined to accept Drusus' promise to refer their complaints to Tiberius as their commander, and through him to the Senate. But a coincidental eclipse of the moon on the night of 25-6 September served them as an excuse to back down, enabling Drusus to execute the two ringleaders and return to Rome without even bothering to await the return of the soldiers' delegation to Tiberius.

The legions on the Lower Rhine, under the command of Aulus Caecina Severus, also used the death of the imperator to whom they had sworn their military oath as an occasion to express their discontent about the unremitting military operations which Augustus had imposed upon them for so many years. One theme which runs through Tacitus' account of the politics of Tiberius' reign is the conflict between the widow and children of Germanicus on the one hand, and Tiberius and his direct descendants on the other. Even if this analysis (probably going back to the younger Agrippina's memoirs) were correct, it would be wrong to accept the implication that Germanicus was a rival or a threat to Tiberius during his lifetime. On the contrary, there is epigraphical and other evidence that Germanicus was recognized as Tiberius' successor by men who had no wish to show disloyalty to Tiberius himself. When Ovid, in exile at Tomi on the Black Sea, addressed Germanicus as a princeps, he will hardly have assumed that he would be understood to want Germanicus to be emperor in Tiberius' place.13

According to Tacitus, the major difference between the mutinies in Pannonia and on the Rhine was that some of the soldiers on the Rhine offered to make Germanicus emperor if he acceded to their demands. We may be sceptical about how serious this offer was; an anecdote about a soldier who was prepared to help kill Germanicus himself is just as likely to be authentic. Whatever the political significance of the mutiny, it is clear from Tacitus' account that (some) soldiers who had completed long terms of service had to be discharged, and that in return the legions on both the lower and the upper Rhine were prepared to take the military oath to their new imperator. But the arrival at Ara Ubiorum (Cologne) of a delegation of senators sent by Tiberius led to renewed outbreaks of insubordination, since the soldiers correctly feared that Tiberius would

13 Ov. Fast. 1.19. G. Herbert-Brown, Ovid and the Fasti (Oxford, 1994), ch. An Ephesian inscription describes Germanicus and Drusus together as the 'New Dioscuri' (SEG iv.j 1j).

use the authority of the Senate as an excuse to reject the newly won concessions. The legate Lucius Munatius Plancus, who had been consul in the previous year, was humiliated; and Germanicus ostentatiously sent his wife and children (including the two-year-old Gaius, often dressed in 'little boots' - hence his later name Caligula) away to safety at Trier. Tacitus suggests that the mutiny was now so serious that Germanicus should have called on the upper Rhine legions to suppress it by force; in fact he seems to have been able to restore order without difficulty at Cologne, and Caecina was able to do the same for the two legions stationed at Xanten (when Germanicus inspected the bodies of those executed, he claimed to be appalled at the catastrophe). The mutinies on the Rhine and in Pannonia were not unimportant, but they were by no means the threat either to Rome or to Tiberius that Tacitus, or his sources, imply. Spectacular though the mutinies may have been, they were an expression of Augustus' failure, or inability, to provide for the real costs of his military policy, rather than a threat to Tiberius.

ii. the reign of tiberius14

In the autumn of a.d. 14, and during the following two summers, Germanicus employed his legions on a series of campaigns east of the Rhine. Both archaeological and literary evidence indicates that there was no serious attempt to expand the territory under direct Roman control. These campaigns were fought for reasons of prestige, both for Rome — whose reputation for military success had to be re-established after the Varus disaster of a.d. 9 - and for Germanicus himself. The fact that Germanicus received the news of Augustus' death while organizing a census of the Gallic provinces suggests that Augustus himself had planned these campaigns; they did not contradict the advice he allegedly appended to his summary of the resources of the empire, that its borders should not be expanded. Augustus' advice to his heir to restrict the opportunities for commanders to acquire military gloria was not intended to apply to Tiberius' own adopted successor. Tacitus' belief that historiographical literature required long military narratives, coupled with his desire to heroize Germanicus, gave him the oppor­tunity for an epic account of a visit to the site of the defeat of Varus' army and the reburial of the corpses of the slain, and of a heroic retreat through the north German marshes. This does not hide the fact that Germanicus achieved nothing of permanence - and probably did not intend to.15

We should not accept Tacitus' suggestion that Tiberius was jealous of any successes Germanicus might achieve, and therefore recalled him

14 Tiberius' reign: see n. j above. The main narrative sources are: Tac. Ann. i-vi; Suet. Tib.; Dio, Lvii-Lvin; Veil. Pat. 11.125—)i, with Woodman 1977 (в 202). 15 Koestermann 1957 (c 362).

after two years. He wanted to make it clear to the Germans that Augustus' death did not mean the end of Roman military efforts on the northern frontiers. He also wanted Germanicus to win enough glory to make his virtus manifest; consequently he awarded his adopted son and successor a full triumph, the highest mark of military distinction, in a.d. 17. In the following year Tiberius made Germanicus' position as his designated successor explicit by sharing his third consulship with him.

It was because of a genuine concern that his successor should have the experience required of a ruler that Tiberius sent Germanicus on a tour of the eastern half of the empire in this year. There were precedents from the Augustan period: Agrippa, Tiberius himself, and Gaius Caesar had all ruled the east of the empire for a time when they had been heirs- apparent. Some practical tasks had to be performed. King Archelaus of Cappadocia had died at Rome in a.d. 17 (of natural causes, but exacerbated by the hostility shown by hispatronus Tiberius). In order to help solve the shortage of funds for military pay, Tiberius wanted Cappadocia integrated into the empire as a province (see ch. 14л). Germanicus was also to oversee the fiscal administration of Palmyra, and inspect earthquake damage suffered by several cities of Asia in a.d. 17. As his adviser Tiberius appointed Cnaeus Calpurnius Piso - who had been his colleague as consul in 7 в.с. — to accompany him as legate of Syria. Tacitus insinuates that the intention was to use Piso to control Germanicus. If we abandon the idea that Tiberius and Germanicus mistrusted each other, then Piso's task as a trusted amicus of the domus Caesaris was simply to give support and advice. But Piso's advice was irksome to Germanicus; it may be that he restrained Germanicus from engaging in unnecessary military adventures against the Parthians to enhance his own glory. In any case, Piso's bad temper was notorious. Germanicus avoided further advice from Piso by travelling to Egypt (from which Roman senators were excluded), where his attempts to win popularity by opening the grain reserves may have had the effect of exacerbating a grain shortage at Rome. Tiberius was displeased, and Piso misinterpreted his displeasure as permission to quarrel with Germani­cus. Germanicus formally renounced the amicitia between Piso and the domus Caesaris. Piso had no option but to leave Syria. Unfortunately Germanicus died soon after (10 October a.d. 19), and Piso (despite the warnings of his consilium) thought he could return to take control of his province again. If Germanicus had acted provocatively, Piso's reaction was simply treasonable; he was arrested and sent to Rome to be tried before the Senate on the charge of having waged war on a province of the Roman people. Agrippina, bearing the ashes of her husband to Rome with her, saw to it that he was also accused of having had Germanicus poisoned; the charge was pressed by Publius Vitellius, who had been one of Germanicus' generals in Germany and whose brothers were to be loyal supporters of Germanicus' son Caligula and brother Claudius. There was no evidence to support it. But despite Tiberius' efforts to ensure that the affair was handled openly and fairly, Piso's suicide was later taken as a sign that he had done away with Germanicus — on Tiberius' orders.[412]

The death of Germanicus meant that Tiberius' other son, his natural son Drusus, was now the heir-apparent. That is suggested by coins celebrating the birth of Drusus' twin sons in a.d. 19/20 (only one, known as Tiberius Gemellus, was to survive). Drusus' position was fully confirmed when Tiberius shared his fourth consulship with him in a.d. 21; and in April 22 he was formally granted tribunicia potestas. Agrippina may have felt that Fortune had cheated her of the chance of becoming an emperor's wife, but she was not justified in laying the blame for this on Tiberius; nor is there evidence that she did so at this stage. It was in the memoirs of her daughter, Agrippina the Younger, that the picture of Germanicus as a new Alexander, poisoned in his prime, was created, and Tiberius attacked for failing to mourn him properly - though we may note that Tiberius made a point of his moderatio in mourning all his relatives, as in other respects; Seneca refers to the restraint he had shown when he had to arrange the obsequies for his own brother, Drusus, in 9 B.C.17

This moderatio did not imply restraint in protecting himself against those foolish enough to think that they had a claim to be emperor in his place. Accusations of sorcery were brought against Marcus Scribonius Libo, a great-grandson of Pompey and grand-nephew of Scribonia, who had been Augustus' wife and the mother of the elder Iulia; he was convicted (} September a.d. 16), and on his aunt's advice killed himself.[413] And despite insinuations to the contrary, Tiberius exercised his cur a over the provinces efficiently - taking care that too much military virtue should not be displayed by provincial governors. The need to suppress a rebellion in the province of Africa led by a romanized military leader called Tacfarinas brought into the open the question of whom the emperor could trust, and whom he could not. The proconsul of Africa was the only man apart from the princeps who commanded a legion under his own imperium (though the emperor would take the credit for his victories, too). Tiberius asked the Senate to appoint an extraordinary commander. Two candidates were proposed, both presumably known to be loyal servants of the princeps: Marcus Lepidus and Iunius Blaesus (suffect consul in a.d. io). Perhaps out of deference to Blaesus' nephew Sejanus, Tiberius' trusted praetorian prefect, Lepidus withdrew his candidature. Blaesus would not misuse the ornamenta triumphalia he was awarded for the expected victory.

Gaul, too, suffered from rebellion at this time, because of heavier taxation to pay for the army and perhaps also as a result of the cessation of military activity involving Gallic units in Roman operations against Germany. Tacitus' account mentions the leaders as Florus and Sacrovir, and implies that druids were involved. But he describes the crisis very much in terms of Vindex's uprising in a.d. 68, criticizing Tiberius for failing to go in person to defeat the rebels as though he was behaving as thoughtlessly as Nero did in 68.

One of the roots of Tiberius' later reputation for failing to exercise the responsibilities of an emperor was his own emphasis on moderatio, including a willingness to allow a plurality of opinions to be aired in the Senate when what senators wanted him to do was give a clear indication of what his own sententia was. Another was his lack of interest in spectacles — when the people of Trebia asked him what to do with money their city had been left, he told them to build a road rather than a theatre. Most crucially, he was physically absent from Rome. Augustus had often been away from the capital, but that was to take command of wars or to supervise provincial affairs. Tiberius went to Campania, where rich Romans had traditionally spent their holidays. His reasons may some­times have been valid — between a.d. 21-22 he spent twenty months away from Rome, probably to avoid a period of pestilence. When his mother fell ill, Tiberius returned at once.19

But Tiberius' absences resulted in a failure to control proceedings in the Senate. That was one of the elements responsible for the series of accusations of treason, maiestas, which made his reign so distasteful to later senatorial historians. For ambitious men with rhetorical ability, such prosecutions were the most effective way to get to the top now that Tiberius' policy of military retrenchment made it more difficult for 'new men' to demonstrate their virtus in the military field. A successful prosecutor would manage to eliminate a personal enemy, win acclaim for his rhetorical ability, receive at least one quarter of the goods of the convicted, and gain the emperor's gradtude - possibly resulting in appointment to the highest offices. While Tiberius remained in Rome, he did his best to restrain delatores in order to minimize the insecurity they created. Tacitus suggests, and coins confirm, that Tiberius made much of his self-restraint, moderatio, in rejecting the weapon of maiestas-

19 Trebia: Suet. Tib. ji. Tiberius' absences from Rome: Syme 1986 (a 95) 24; Stewart 1977 (f 583), Orth 1970 (c 384), Houston 1985 (c 357). Livia: Sutherland 1987 (в 358) ch. 20.

accusations against senators during these years. The emperor could intervene to exercise the imperial virtue of dementia-, in a.d. 22 he allowed Decimus Iunius Silanus to return from the exile that had been forced upon him when Augustus had revoked his amicitia because of Decimus' association with the younger Iulia during the crisis of a.d. 8. Tiberius did not, however, feel that Decimus could be allowed to return to public life.[414]

Another important effect of Tiberius' absences from the capital was to increase the importance of Aelius Sejanus, now the sole praetorian prefect, as the channel of communication between senators and the emperor. During these years Sejanus greatly strengthened his police powers in Rome by concentrating the praetorian cohorts in a single, permanent camp (one of the first military camps to have a permanent stone wall). There is no reason to believe that the immediate objective was anything more sinister than to impose better discipline on the soldiers; but the camp was also a suitable place to keep political prisoners.

The death ofDrusus on 14 September a.d. 23 ended for the time being any hopes Tiberius had of leaving his power in the hands of a son, natural or adopted, who would be old enough and experienced enough to rule. Perhaps Drusus would not have been an ideal emperor. Like his father, he was a heavy drinker; it was said that he had once physically attacked Sejanus during a drinking party. The story was one of the arguments later advanced in support of allegations that Sejanus had poisoned Drusus, but these inventions postdated Sejanus' fall; the two had been loyal colleagues and friends for many years, and the summer of a.d. 23 was another particularly unhealthy one. Tiberius made a point of being present in Rome to give the funeral speech.

The question of the succession was now open again. By early a.d. 23, two of Germanicus' sons had already come of age; to strengthen their position, their mother Agrippina asked Tiberius to provide her with a new husband. It is possible that she had Asinius Gallus in mind. One of his sons, Asinius Saloninus, had been betrothed to a daughter of Germanicus, but died in a.d. 22, before the marriage could take place; two other sons of Gallus were consuls during these years, C. Asinius Pollio in 23, and Marcus Asinius Agrippa in 25 (but he died in the following year). Tiberius would not allow Nero and Drusus to come under the protection of such a powerful stepfather, particularly one whom he loathed.

The emperor's concern that Germanicus' sons might replace him was shared by the praetorian prefect Sejanus. Sejanus' own interest in Tiberius' survival was illustrated by an incident in a.d. 26.21 While Tiberius was on his way to his villa at Capri, part of the ceiling of a grotto near Terracina collapsed on the imperial party during a dinner. Sejanus threw himself upon Tiberius, convincing him of the genuineness of his loyalty. In the previous year Tiberius had had doubts about Sejanus: he refused a request that he should be allowed to marry Drusus' widow Livilla (Livia lulia). Sejanus may have been a loyal supporter of the dynasty, like his father and perhaps grandfather before him, but that did not give him sufficient status to rank with the republican nobility. Even his wife's family had only been consular for one generation. In Tiberius' opinion, Sejanus would not have had the political influence needed to protect Tiberius Gemellus against the claims of Agrippina's children. In any case, he had every intention of remaining alive for many years to come, and was supported in this by the prognostications of his personal astrologer Thrasyllus.

Tiberius had been 66 in the previous November. At an age when other Roman senators could look forward to retiring from public life, he saw no escape from the responsibilities inherited from Augustus. It is not surprising that he should have preferred to stay away from Rome, even for the funeral of his mother Livia in a.d. 29. The question of the succession will have been a major source of conflict between mother and son; Tiberius Gemellus was Livia's great-grandson, but so (through Drusus) were Agrippina's three sons, and Augustus had clearly indi­cated in his will that the succession should ultimately go to them. So long as Livia was alive, she could protect them against Tiberius' displeasure. Livia's funeral oration was given by Gaius Caligula, whom Livia had taken into her own domus. Soon after the funeral, Sejanus hadAgrippina, Nero and Drusus arrested. Caligula had not been allowed to don the toga virilis yet, and consequently could not be treated as a political threat. He moved to the house of his grandmother the younger Antonia, who protected the interests of the supporters of her son Germanicus as well as she could during the years of Sejanus' supremacy.

Following her funeral, Livia was awarded full divine honours by the Senate, similar to those awarded to her husband on his death (there were minor differences, as protocol required; for instance the image of the divus was carried by a four-horse chariot, while the diva Augusta had to be satisfied with two horses). Her will was notable for the enormous legacy she bestowed on the young Servius Sulpicius Galba (born j B.C.); a relative of Livia's, Livia Ocellina, was his stepmother and had adopted him. Tiberius was understandably upset by the size of the legacy - 50 million sesterces — and apparently held back even the revised sum of

21 Stewart 1977 (f 583).

500,000 he was prepared to countenance. Galba's elder brother (cos. a.d. 22) had already attracted his disfavour, and was later forced to commit suicide (с. a.d. 36). Livia's legacy demonstrated both her displeasure at her son and a belief that Galba was worthy of holding a central position on the public stage. After Livia's death, Galba had the support of Antonia (and later of Caligula). His wife was probably the daughter of M. Aemilius Lepidus, capax imperii, the consul of a.d. 6; another of Lepidus' daughters married Drusus, son of Germanicus. Galba himself had already won the praetorship (it is not certain in what year he held it, but we are told of the tightrope-walking elephants he presented at the Floralia). In a.d. 33, he was consul ordinarius. It is not surprising that Tiberius, having worked out his horoscope, should have said that the young Galba was destined to be emperor one day.

Although Tacitus insinuates that one of Tiberius' main motives for leaving Rome had been to avoid his mother, her death made him no more willing to return. His absence did not mean that he ceased to control the empire; but it allowed Sejanus to monopolize the infor­mation and advice about events in the capital on the basis of which Tiberius' decisions were taken. Sejanus had already made clear to the emperor his readiness to marry Drusus' widow Livilla, and thus immediately become the stepfather of Tiberius' grandson and intended successor, and in due course perhaps the father of further children who would be eligible for imperial office. So long as Sejanus' stepson, or his own children, were still too young for this office, he could fulfil the role that Augustus had intended Tiberius to play for Germanicus. Tiberius understood this ambition, though it is not clear whether he was now prepared to allow the marriage.[415] What he did do was appoint Sejanus, although he was not a senator, consul ordinarius for a.d. 31, and he publicly demonstrated the extent to which the praetorian prefect was 'partner of his labours' by holding his own fifth consulship as Sejanus' colleague. His third consulship had been held with Germanicus, his fourth with Drusus: in both cases this was a way of indicating who was the heir- apparent. Sejanus' election was held on the Aventine hill, traditionally associated with the urban plebs, and the gifts and shows granted on this occasion were for them a welcome contrast to the neglect which Tiberius' electoral reforms had occasioned, since such bids for popular­ity now normally had little point.[416]

For Tiberius, the public recognition of another potential successor could only increase his freedom of manoeuvre vis-a-vis the children of

Agrippina. For Sejanus, on the other hand, the elimination of Agrip- pina's children as candidates was essential for the success of his dynasdc ambitions. Nero and Drusus were accused of plotting against the emperor by a relative of Sejanus, Cassius Longinus (probably Lucius, who was consul ordinarius in a.d. 30, rather than his brother Gaius, the famous jurist (see ch. 21), who was a suffect consul in the same year). The fact that the Cassii Longini were related to the Caesaricide Cassius did not make them republicans, though that was what Gaius was to be accused of by Nero after the conspiracy of Piso many years later. The threat posed by Nero and Drusus to Tiberius and to the succession of Gemellus (with or without Sejanus as his stepfather) was real. Even after the elimination of Sejanus, Tiberius took no steps to release Drusus from prison. It is likely that Agrippina and her sons, seeing the danger that Sejanus represented, thought it necessary to plan for Tiberius' removal before Sejanus' position had become unchallengeable.

It was Germanicus' mother the younger Antonia, the young men's grandmother, who warned Tiberius in a letter delivered to him person­ally through her freedman M. Antonius Pallas that Sejanus' consoli­dation of his power was not just aimed against Agrippina and her children, but beginning to threaten Tiberius' own chances of polidcal survival. With Sejanus as protector of Tiberius' heir, and no other candidates for the Principate surviving, Tiberius' own role would have been played out. And given that it was Sejanus who was responsible for Tiberius' personal security, Antonia must have pointed out to him that Sejanus would have no further interest in keeping Tiberius alive once Agrippina and her offspring no longer existed. It was a powerful argument, and Tiberius summoned Germanicus' remaining son, Gaius Caligula, to the safety of his household at Capri. He did not prevent Sejanus from executing Nero.

In over seventeen years as emperor, Tiberius had not ordered the execution of one single senator. The old man's well-planned and efficient elimination of Sejanus on 18 October a.d. 31 consequently came as a great shock to Rome. His agent was another equestrian public servant, Sutorius Macro, prefect of the urban vigiles: he brought two letters from Tiberius. One was read out to the Senate in Sejanus' presence; it was lengthy and impenetrable (in Juvenal's words, 'grandis et verbosa') and only after a long time did it come to the point: Sejanus was denounced as a traitor. While the Senate, and Sejanus himself had been kept guessing, Macro took command of the praetorians, authorized by Tiberius' second letter. Sejanus had expected to be granted tribunicia potestas as Tiberius' colleague. Instead he found himself stripped of his office and arrested. He was executed the same day; so were his wife and daughter. It was claimed that eight years before, Sejanus and Livilla had together poisoned Tiberius' son, Livilla's husband Drusus.

Sejanus' fall enabled a number of figures who had been supporters of Germanicus to return to the centre of the political stage, under the protection of the younger Antonia. Some of them were to give support to the regimes of her grandson Caligula, and then her son Claudius. Lucius Vitellius, who was to become Claudius' principal adviser and the father of another later emperor, was consul ordinarius in a.d. 34, and in 3 5 a suffect consulship was held by his friend Valerius Asiaticus from Vienne, whose son was to be betrothed to the emperor Vitellius' daughter, and whose grandson was to be a powerful figure into the next century (M. Lollius Paulinus Decimus Valerius Asiaticus Saturninus, cos. a.d. 94, cos. II a.d. 125). Flavius Sabinus {praefectus urbi under Nero, Otho and Vitellius, and the brother of Vespasian), entered the Senate in a.d. 34 or 3 5. Galba has already been mentioned; his successor as suffect consul in a.d. 3 3 was Lucius Salvius Otho, whose father, a novus homo, had reached the praetorship early in Tiberius' reign as a result of the favour of Livia. Otho's daughter had once been betrothed to Germanicus' son Drusus; his elder son Lucius Titianus was to reach the consulship in 5 2, become proconsul of Asia, and like his father, promagister of the Arval Brethren; his younger son became emperor.[417]

On the other hand the overthrow of Sejanus did not make any difference to Tiberius' hostility to Agrippina herself. Neither she nor Drusus were released from prison or exile, and they both died in a.d. 33. Her daughters could be made harmless without being killed. In 33, Tiberius married Drusilla to Lucius Cassius Longinus, and Germanicus' youngest daughter, lulia Livilla, to the powerful and loyal Marcus Vinicius; his grandfather, the consul of 19 B.C., had been one of Tiberius' early generals in Illyricum and won the ornamenta triumphalia for his services in Germany. The father, consul ordinarius in a.d. 2, was highly regarded as an orator; Vinicius himself had been consul in a.d. 30 (the year in which Velleius Paterculus dedicated his history to him), and perhaps was among those who felt insulted, if not threatened, by Sejanus' predominance. By entrusting Livilla to him, Tiberius was marking him out as someone to whom the empire too might be entrusted; and indeed (despite Caligula's banishment of Livilla in 39)

Vinicius was powerful enough to be the major contender for the succession after Caligula's removal in 41. The third daughter, Agrippina the Younger, had already been married in a.d. 28, to Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus (cos. a.d. 52). Through his mother Antonia the Elder, he was the grandson of Mark Antony and Augustus' sister Octavia. It is hardly surprising that the couple avoided having children so long as Tiberius was alive. Only in the last year of Tiberius' life was Ahenobar­bus exiled on a charge of incest with his sister, Domitia Lepida. Tiberius also forced Asinius Gallus to end his life in a.d. 33, after three years of house-arrest. Tiberius' hatred for him went much further back than Gallus' association with Agrippina and alleged support for Sejanus. Nevertheless three of his sons survived to take office again under Caligula (Servius Asinius Celer, cos. 38, executed in 47; Asinius Gallus, banished in 46; and Asinius Pollio, proconsul of Asia 38/39).

Tacitus notes that the attacks on Sejanus and Livilla in the Senate were led by 'men with the great names Scipio, Silanus, Cassius'. If Tacitus wished to imply that the political significance of these men derived from their republican ancestry, that was not the whole story. Their links with the domus Caesaris mattered as much, if not more. These men, and others, used the freedom provided by Tiberius' absence from Rome to indulge in an orgy of recrimination, accusing their personal opponents of having been associated with Sejanus. Some of those who suffered were no doubt indeed close associates of Sejanus - though it is interesting that even his uncle, Quintus Iunius Blaesus, was not formally condemned and executed, but committed suicide after Tiberius renounced his amicitia. Blaesus' two sons even survived until 36. Indeed, some of those keenest to attack Sejanus' memory were related to him: the grandfather of the two Cassii, Quintus Aelius Tubero, had been Sejanus' stepfather. The trials of the next few years were certainly not the result of any plan by Tiberius to round up those who had participated in Sejanus' 'conspiracy' against him: there had been no such conspiracy.

But it suited other political figures to suggest that there had. The charge of association with Sejanus was used as a cover for political, family and personal hatreds in such a way as to give the impression that there must have been a major conspiracy organized by Sejanus in which half the Senate had been involved. Rumour exaggerated his power to such an extent that it was even said that Tiberius had given instructions that, if Sejanus' supporters in the praetorian guard posed a threat, Germanicus' children might have to be released from prison to act as a rallying-point for those loyal to the dynasty. But the minute number of those directly convicted of being Sejanus' associates suggests that they were not executed for being conspirators, but because they might resent the way in which a loyal servant and his wife and daughter had been dealt with by Tiberius. Had Sejanus managed to remove all the offspring of Germanicus, he might have been a real threat to Tiberius. As it was, the conspirator was not Sejanus, but Tiberius.

Tacitus blames Tiberius for the deaths of a considerable number of people accused of maiestas (as he does for virtually any other death during these years, whether from sickness or old age, like that of Manius Lepidus, or by suicide like that of L. Arruntius). If Tiberius was to blame, then it was by omission: his absence from Rome lifted any restraint on delatores who made use of treason-accusations to attack their personal rivals or simply to enrich themselves. Maiestas-accusations at this dme had the great advantage to the accuser that they were based on the accused's dissadsfaction with an emperor; hence those accused lost the emperor's amicitia the moment they were charged, and that meant that their public careers (and usually their lives) came to an immediate end. One of the first to suffer this fate was C. Annius Pollio, accused in a.d. 32; he had been suffect consul in 21 or 22. His son Lucius Annius Vinicianus was accused with him, but was to survive to become consul suffect, probably under Caligula, and important enough to be considered an imperial candidate after Caligula's assassinadon. But not all treason- accusations resulted in conviction. One who survived was C. Appius Iunius Silanus (cos. 28).

Tiberius' main concern during these years continued to be to ensure the succession of his grandson Tiberius Gemellus. His astrologer seems to have persuaded him that he would survive to see Gemellus old enough to succeed him. Consequently there was no danger in honouring Caligula: he was made a member of the college of augurs and a pontifex and in 3 j he held the office of quaestor. At some time during these years, Tiberius tried to bring Caligula more firmly under his control by marrying him to Iunia Claudilla, the daughter of his old supporter Marcus Silanus (cos. a.d. i 5). Also in 33, Tiberius' granddaughter Livia lulia was remarried; her husband was the relatively insignificant Gaius Rubellius Blandus (cos. suff. a.d. 18, and grandson of Tiberius' rhetoric teacher). Tiberius will have assumed that they and their descendants would represent no threat to Gemellus, though many years later Nero was to be sufficiendy frightened of their son Rubellius Plautus to have him killed in a.d. 62. Together with Domitius Ahenobarbus, Marcus Vinicius and Cassius Longinus, Blandus was publicly honoured as one of the emperor's grandsons-in-law, progeneri Caesaris. When large areas of Rome were destroyed by fire in a.d. 36, the four of them were appointed to supervise the distribution of aid on Tiberius' behalf.25

Tiberius continued to carry out his other duties as princeps with equal efficiency. Not only did he help those members of the Roman plebs

25 Blandus: Syme 1982 (c 401) Progeneri Caesarir. Tac. Am. «.45.j.

whose houses had been destroyed by fire, he intervened to avoid a major crisis of credit in a.d. 33, apparently caused by a shortage of coin; although the economic significance of Tiberius' actions has been grossly overestimated by modern historians applying anachronistic economic models to antiquity, it was thought to be part of an emperor's duties to ensure that the wealthy could feel secure in the possession of their property. In another respect too Tiberius' reign was a period when the security of those with property increased, through the continuing development of Roman jurisprudence by the so-called 'schools' of jurists whose legal opinions were backed by the emperor's authority. In comparison, Tiberius' own absence from the courtrooms of Rome will have made little difference, though it made life more difficult for those who sought privileges (and would have to travel to Campania) and was a major reason for the emperor's increasing unpopularity. Claudius attacked 'the constant absence of my uncle' in a surviving edict.[418]

It is less clear how much attention he devoted to providing good government for provincials; although he was credited with telling Aemilius Rectus, a later prefect of Egypt, that 'good governors shear their sheep, they do not strip them', there is no reason for believing that he took a personal interest in initiating accusations against governors for corruption, or that the reason why he left his legates in charge of the same province for years on end was that this would make them less greedy. Poppaeus Sabinus served as legate of Moesia from a.d. 1 i unul 3 5. Tiberius himself complained to the Senate about the unwillingness of consulars to accept their obligation to govern distant provinces. Nevertheless the old emperor was clearly afraid that change might mean trouble; Augustus too had kept governors on in their respective commands after the crisis of a.d. 9. One reason why a legate might be left in charge of an army was that Tiberius feared that he would rebel if he tried to recall him: the governor of the upper Rhine army, Lentulus Gaetulicus, is reported to have come to an unofficial arrangement whereby he promised to cause no trouble for Tiberius so long as he was not recalled. Gaetulicus must have calculated, rightly, that Tiberius' reign would soon be over. But where the good of the Republic required it, Tiberius was still capable of taking decisions. In a.d. 35 Lucius Vitellius was sent to Syria as legate, to intervene in the affairs of Armenia by imposing a Roman nominee, Tiridates, on the throne.[419]

Despite his firm belief that he would live for another ten years,

Tiberius died on 16 March a.d. 37 at Misenum, while on a journey back to the capital. The following day was the feast of the Liberalia, traditionally one of the days suitable for bestowing the toga virilis on a boy. If Tiberius had intended to perform this ceremony for Gemellus before presenting him to the Senate and people at Rome as his heir, then his death was remarkably opportune for Caligula. The inevitable rumour had it that Caligula and Macro helped Tiberius on his way by smothering him with a pillow. In any case Gemellus was still a child, and in no position to stop Caligula from taking command of the domus Caesaris.

iii. gaius caligula28

The popular rejoicing that greeted the news of Tiberius' death was not just a reaction against an unpopular princeps who in his last years had failed to provide Rome with his presence and consequently with the public shows and other beneficia that a Roman ruler owed his supporters. There was also a positive welcome for the Principate of Caligula, the surviving son of Germanicus, a man who had been destined by Augustus to be head of the domus Caesaris only to be robbed of his expectations by premature death. On 18 March, two days after Tiberius' death, the Senate met and acclaimed Caligula, and Caligula alone, as emperor. Caligula and Macro hastened to Rome ahead of Tiberius' body; they arrived on 28 March, and Caligula attended a meeting of the Senate which confirmed his position (there is no need to assume that he had made a pretence of refusing the imperial acclamation of 18 March).29 It was probably at this point that Tiberius' will was produced; in accord­ance with normal Roman custom, he had instituted his two grandsons, natural and adopted, as equal heirs. But the domus Caesaris was not a normal household; its formal division between the two brothers - which was what the will required — would have had disastrous political results, even if it had been possible in practice. There was no precedent at Rome for one household to be headed by twopatresfamilias. Only in the time of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus in the 160s a.d. would the position of 'Caesar' become sufficiently recognizable as a public office to make the concept of a college of equal emperors feasible. In any case Gemellus was still a child and could hold no public office. Caligula alone was recognized as Tiberius' heir. As a standard justification for the setting aside of the will, it was declared that Tiberius had been insane.

я Tacitus does not survive for Caligula: we have Dio ux and Suet. Calig. The acta of the Arval Brethren survive for the period January 58 to June 40 (= GCN 1-11). Caligula's personality continues to attract interpretations in terms of psychosis. The most far-reaching attempt at a rehabilitation remains Balsdon 1934 (c 331). For a conservative account, see Barrett 1989 (c 333).

n Timpe 1962 (c 403)', for date of acclamation and recusatio, Jakobson and Cotton 198) (c 358).

Communities and officials in East and West swore their loyalty to Caligula and to his domus. Caligula's speech at Tiberius' funeral on 3 April emphasized that he was Germanicus' son, and proclaimed a return to the style of Augustus. Although the dead emperor's apotheosis was duly reported, as Augustus' had been, he was too unpopular for the Senate to grant him divine honours. (The mint at Lyons erroneously struck aurei and denarii depicting Tiberius as divine.) Caligula promised formally to adopt Gemellus and honoured him as princeps iuventutis. This both labelled him as too young to be a serious alternative to Caligula, and removed any justification his supporters might have for resentment against the emperor.[420]

The immediate requirement if the new regime was to establish itself was the distribution of beneficia to Romans of all classes. Tiberius' will had promised the praetorians a donative of 5 00 sesterces each; by giving them twice as much, Caligula set the precedent that the loyalty of the guard should be bought by their new imperator, instead of being rewarded by the old one at his death. The fact that sesterces representing the emperor addressing his praetorian cohorts appear to have been produced throughout his reign suggests that these donatives were repeated. Caligula also demonstrated his care for the people; inscriptions confirm that 75 sesterces were distributed to the entire citizen population of Rome on 1 June and 19 July. In pointed contrast to Tiberius, Caligula spared no expense in providing the plebs with games; the very first privilege he requested from the Senate was for permission to exceed the statutory number of gladiators. He is also said to have returned the right to elect praetors to the comitia. What that meant in practice was that potential candidates for the praetorship — notably the aediles - would try to win popularity by putting on much more lavish games than they had needed to under Tiberius. Caligula also inaugurated a grandiose pro­gramme of public building, on the Palatine hill and elsewhere, to make up for Tiberius' years of neglect. It will have been these plans, rather than the distributions of cash (which cannot have come to more than 150 million sesterces) that lie behind the accusadon that Caligula squandered the 2.7 billion sesterces reported to have been left by Tiberius.

At the same time, Caligula did what he could to win the support of the upper classes; he refused the title pater patriae on the grounds that he was too young, recalled exiles, and made a public show of burning Tiberius' private papers without (he claimed, falsely) having read the contents. An early sestertius with the legend 'For Citizens Saved' advertises his claim to have restored the security of the law. The backlog of legal business for which Tiberius' absence from Rome was blamed was tackled by adding a fifth panel of jurors and allowing magistrates' sentences to be carried out without the need for imperial confirmation.31

The new emperor's policy towards client kings should also be seen primarily as an attempt to ensure that the network of hellenistic rulers which was an integral part of the Roman empire had close personal links with the reigning Caesar. The fact that some of them were related to Caligula through Antony, and some had been brought up together with him in the house of Antonia the Younger, also helped to bind them and their territorial resources to him; but the great-grandson of Antony had no grand plan to resolve the conflict between East and West.32 The three Thracian princes, Cotys, Polemo and Rhoemetalces, to whom he granted the kingdoms of Lesser Armenia, Pontus and eastern Thrace, were probably cousins. The son of the last king of Commagene was given back his father's kingdom, plus the taxes extracted by the Romans over the intervening twenty years. The Jewish prince Marcus Iulius Agrippa (usually known as Herod Agrippa I) was also presented with extensive domains. We should be sceptical of later accusations that these kings trained Caligula in the ways of oriental (ie. hellenistic) despotism.

Caligula was particularly keen to draw attention to his family relationships in order to stress that (by implication, unlike Tiberius) he deserved loyalty because he was a Caesar by descent and not just by adoption. He went in person to bring back to Rome the ashes of his exiled mother and brother Nero for interment in the mausoleum built for the Caesars by Augustus. Coins show his mother Agrippina and grandfather Agrippa, his brothers Nero and Drusus on horseback, and his sisters Agrippina, Drusilla and lulia Livilla holding the attributes of 'Security', 'Concord' and 'Good Fortune'. The three sisters were given the honours due to Vestal Virgins. Caligula's uncle, Claudius (who had not been adopted into the imperial household), was honoured as befitted Germanicus' brother; he became Caligula's colleague in his first consul­ship, held from 1 July to 31 August (so as not to impair the respect due to the regular consuls). The memory of Livia was also honoured: Caligula began the construction of a temple and cult, voted but never undertaken at her death. When his grandmother Antonia died on 1 May, the prestige of the imperial family was emphasized again by the grant of similar honours.

The losers were those who had supported Tiberius. It is hardly

» ADLOCVT СОН, OB CIVES SERVATOS. For Caligula's coinage, cf. Sutherland 1987 (в }j8) chs. 26-9; GCN 81-6. Congiaria: Fasti Ostienses= GCN 31 = AN 174. Building programme: Thornton 1989 (p 594). The 2.7 billion sesterces was perhaps the value of the patrimoniunr. Suet. Ca/ig. 37.3.

12 Ceaujescu 1973 (c 337) (at a time when Rumania was seeking to play a similar role as mediator between East and West). Cf. Sherk 42; Braund 1984 (c 254) 41-6; Sullivan 1983 (e 1224) (Judaea).

surprising that Gemellus was soon required to commit suicide on the charge of having taken an antidote, ie. implicitly accusing Caligula of wanting to poison him. Caligula executed Tiberius' long-term associate Marcus Iunius Silanus (cos. a.d. i 5), the father of his deceased wife Iunia Claudilla, and presumably a supporter of Gemellus. Caligula accused him of attempting a coup while he was away, possibly during his trip to recover his mother's ashes. Macro, too, soon met his end: Caligula had no intention of making the mistake of being as dependent upon him as Tiberius had been on Sejanus. It is interesting that while later tradition accuses Caligula of having been too friendly with client kings, there are no references to his being under the influence of his freedmen or even prefects: Caligula did not shift the responsibility for his own actions onto others.

The way in which Caligula built up support and eliminated potential opposition shows that the new emperor had learnt a great deal from Tiberius. These executions also suggest that attempts to divide his reign into a 'good' beginning followed by unremitting atrocities, or even lunacy, are misplaced. It is useless to date the turning-point to before the death of Antonia (two months after his accession), an illness in the autumn of a.d. 37 which is supposed to have affected his brain, or the death of his sister Drusilla on 10 June 38. (According to the ancient sources, Drusilla was so dear to him that he was accused of incest with her, and modern historians have suggested that she was a 'restraining influence' on him.) We cannot judge how genuine Caligula's affection for his sisters was; but it is clear that he knew from the start that their children, and their husbands, were his rivals. We are told that when his sister Agrippina and her husband, Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, had a son on 15 December 3 7, Caligula insultingly suggested that he be named after Claudius. The death of Ahenobarbus in 39 meant that Agrippina and her child — the later Nero — were not an immediate threat.

Drusilla was married to Lucius Cassius Longinus; Caligula gave her instead to Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, member of one of the wealthiest surviving republican dynasties, long associated with Augustus' family.33 His father (cos. a.d. 6) was one of those allegedly described by Augustus as suitable for imperial office (see p. 204f. above); he was related to the younger Iulia's husband Aemilius Paullus, exiled in a.d. 8; and his sister Aemilia Lepida had been the wife of Caligula's brother Drusus. Caligula trusted Lepidus to the extent that they were said to have been homosex­ual lovers, and more significantly he gave his seal-ring to Lepidus during his serious illness in a.d. 37 — the customary sign that Lepidus, as Drusilla's husband, was to administer the household if Caligula were to die without issue.

33 Syme 1970 (в 178) ch. 4; 1986 (a 95); PIR.

When Drusilla died, Caligula had her deified (23 September 38).There was nothing un-Roman about her cult: as a Julian, she was associated with Venus, the ancestor of the Iulii. The title 'Panthea' associated her with the Magna Mater, but that cult too (notwithstanding its hellenistic origins) had been at home in Rome for over two centuries. And there was nothing 'oriental' about the new goddess' elephant-drawn biga (male divi like Augustus had their image drawn by a quadriga of elephants), nor about the requirement that Roman women should swear by Drusilla (Claudius made the women of his household swear by the diva Livia).

The deification of Drusilla raises the question of whether Caligula had a 'religious policy', wanting to be adored as a god in the style of hellenistic monarchs. 'Emperor-worship' can no longer be dismissed as an irrational oriental superstition (see ch. 16 for a discussion of the various cults); if Caligula saw himself, or his office, as divine, then this was an attempt to express the reality of his position as a mediator between the Roman community and the world of the gods. It was not fantastic to express this position as analogous to that of Hercules, the man whose labours made him divine (and, like later emperors with a special devotion to Hercules, Caligula liked to be seen as a gladiator, imposing law and order upon wild beasts and criminals), nor strange to commune with Jupiter. That monotheism made it impossible for the Jews to accept the emperor as divine in this sense was beyond the comprehension of Caligula, as of so many other Romans. Recent excavations suggest that some anecdotes about Caligula's claims to divinity (eg. that Castor and Pollux were his 'doorkeepers') were based on his building activities on and around the Palatine.34

A number of the peculiar stories told about Caligula suggest that, more clearly than other emperors, he saw that the emperor's role symbolized the struggle of man against nature. Although unable to swim, he seems to have been particularly keen to impose his will upon the sea: according to Suetonius' grandfather, the astrologer Thrasyllus had once told Tiberius that Caligula had no more chance of being emperor than of riding a horse across the sea. To refute him, he built a bridge of boats from Baiae to Puteoli and rode across. Soon after his accession he braved the elements to sail to the island of Planasia, where his mother and brother had died in exile, in order to demonstrate his piety towards them; and control over the Ocean also featured in his military expeditions. In a successful emperor, such attempts to control nature were divine, but — like Xerxes' bridge over the Hellespont - they might also be the acts of a tyrant. It is not surprising that Caligula is reported to have suffered from nightmares in which he pitted himself against the Mediterranean Sea.

34 Buildings and religion: Wiseman 1987 (e 140); Barrett 1989 (c 553) ch. 13.

Sexual licence was another characteristic of the typical tyrant. Stories of incest and homosexuality have to be understood as representing Caligula's tight political control over his family, and over others who might threaten him. We are told that he intervened to prevent a marriage between C. Calpurnius Piso (the man who was to lead the conspiracy of a.d. 65) and Livia Orestilla, presumably a relative of Livia's; he slept with her himself, to ensure that, if there were any children, it would not be clear that they were Piso's. Caligula took steps to control other Pisones, too. When Lucius Piso (consul in 27, and urban prefect under Tiberius) was proconsul of Africa in 39/40, he felt it necessary to remove the Third Legion from the proconsul's command (a decision which later emperors did not think it politic to rescind).

The threats represented by his sisters as well as by more distant relatives would be much less immediate if Caligula had a child of his own. In 38, he married Lollia Paulina, the granddaughter of Augustus' general (and Tiberius' enemy) the consul of 21 в.с. Paulina did not please Caligula, and she was divorced after a year (but survived to rival Agrippina for the hand of Claudius). His last wife was Milonia Caesonia, whose mother Vistilia was famous for marrying six husbands in succession; one of Caesonia's stepfathers, Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo (father of Nero's general), was given a suffect consulship in 39. Caesonia provided Caligula with a daughter, lulia Drusilla; he was delighted, and his position vis-a-vis potential successors was greatly strengthened. Marcus Lepidus was no longer the heir-apparent, and could be dispensed with.

In the autumn of 39, Caligula claimed to have uncovered a major conspiracy to replace him with Lepidus; although the exact sequence of events is impossible to reconstruct, it is clear that he acted swiftly and decisively. He publicized the striking failure of the consuls to offer prayers on his behalf on his birthday on 31 August. Cnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus, consul in a.d. 26 and in command of the upper Rhine legions since 30, could be represented as constituting a military threat. Caligula gave orders for a major military force to be concentrated in Upper Germany, and marched north himself with the praetorians (he pretended that the object of the expedition was to levy Batavians for his personal bodyguard). Lentulus Gaetulicus' own legions were overawed by the display of imperial might, and he was executed; a considerable number of tribunes and centurions had to be retired.

Caligula had kept Lepidus, Agrippina and Livilla by his side during this expedition. Lepidus was now formally tried and executed; corre­spondence was produced incriminating both sisters, and Caligula sent to Rome three daggers with which he claimed they had intended to kill him. Agrippina and Livilla were condemned on the standard charge of adultery, and exiled. In a parody of the return of their grandfather Drusus' and father Germanicus' ashes to Rome, Caligula forced Agrip­pina to return bearing those of her 'lover' Lepidus. The future emperor Vespasian, who was praetor in that year, distinguished himself by his attacks on Agrippina in the Senate. The records of the Arval Brethren inform us that on 27 October 39, the promagister L. Salvius Otho sacrificed in thanksgiving for the unmasking of the conspiracy. The deaths of Calvisius Sabinus (the legate of Pannonia) and his wife at about the same time may have been connected with the conspiracy, pretended or real.35

Caligula's visit to the Rhine legions provided him with an opportunity to enhance his status by winning military glory. The first imperative was to regain the loyalty of the Rhine army. Gaetulicus' replacement was Lepidus' brother-in-law Servius Sulpicius Galba; his friendship with Caligula will have dated to the period when Caligula lived in Livia's household. Galba restored strict standards of discipline to the legions, and Caligula himself led a number of expeditions across the Rhine. They were not obviously less successful in reasserting Roman prestige in the eyes of the German tribes than his father Germanicus' had been in a.d. 14-16. It is only because of Caligula's own unpopularity that our ancient sources with one accord decry them as artificial and unreal, accusing Caligula of cowardice, and suggesting that he fabricated the fighting, and bought or kidnapped the captives in Gaul, where he spent the winter.

Accounts of Caligula's activities at Lyons during the winter empha­size his bad relations with the Senate, and his need for funds. The property of Gallic notables was confiscated, as well as senatorial estates in Italy (eg. those of Sextus Pompeius, cos. a.d. 14); he auctioned off the property of his exiled sisters, and even some of the effects of the imperial household. Such anecdotes illustrate the fiscal requirements of policies that were themselves likely to strengthen the regime. Coins advertise the abolition of the \ percent sales tax on slaves, which will have been welcome to wealthy Italians; the tax had already been reduced from 1 per cent by Tiberius, at the time when Germanicus had overseen the annexation of Cappodocia. To make up for the lost income, Caligula will have looked for another client kingdom to integrate into the empire. His choice fell on Mauretania, whose king, Caligula's cousin Ptolemy, was summoned to Lyons and executed (not, as has been suggested, because Caligula coveted his alleged position as high priest of the Isis cult).36

и Lepidus and Gaetulicus: Meise 1969(0 5 75) ch. 5; Simpson 1980(0 394); Acta Arvalium,GCN 9. For Vespasian's role, Jones 1984 (c 560).

36 Ptolemy and Mauretania: Fishwick 1971 (e 732); Braund 1984 (c 254); Hoffman 1959 (c 275) (Isis). Coins advertising tax reduction ('RCC'): Sutherland 1987 (в 358) ch. 19. Victory over the Ocean: Suet. Calig. 46; Dio ux.25.

But Caligula was also planning to follow in the footsteps of his ancestor Iulius Caesar by imposing Roman military control over Britain. The expulsion from his kingdom and flight to Gaul of Cunobelinus' son Adminius gave Rome an excuse to intervene. Two new legions (the Fifteenth and Twenty-second) seem to have been raised at this time; they were called Primigeniae, probably in honour of the emperor's first-born daughter. Their numbers suggest that they were intended to be twinned with two of the upper Rhine legions, the Fourteenth at Mainz and Twenty-first at Vindonissa, an indication of Caligula's caution regarding the loyalty of Gaetulicus' old army. Other preparations for the invasion included the construction of a lighthouse at Boulogne. Again, the ancient sources argue that Caligula was far too great a coward to have been serious about invading Britain; and anecdotes about the operation are selected with a view to suggesting that the whole affair was further proof of his madness. It is impossible to judge why the army never embarked. The story that Caligula intended to punish the legions by decimation suggests that there may have been a mutiny (he is said to have reminded them of the mutiny of their predecessors after Augustus' death, in which as a baby he had been taken away to Trier by Agrippina); alternatively, the Bridsh chieftains may have acceded to his demands without the need for an invasion. If there is any truth behind Suetonius' story that Caligula ordered his troops to collect seashells in the context of military operations either on the north German coast or against Britain, it may be that he meant these shells to be a symbol of his victory over the Ocean. (An unlikely alternative explanation has been that the musculi he ordered the troops to pack up were not sea-shells, but siege engines.)

Caligula returned to Italy in the summer of a.d. 40. ТЪе winter in Lyons had not been conducive to good relations with the Senate. Communications were a problem; when one of the consuls-elect died shortly before 1 January, there was not enough time for Caligula to be consulted about a replacement, and he was (very unreasonably) blamed for entering office without a colleague — perhaps the context of the story about his wishing to appoint the horse Incitatus to the consulship. There had been executions, such as that of the father of Tacitus' father-in-law Agricola. After the removal of Lepidus, any relative represented a threat, even his uncle Claudius. He was said to have thrown Claudius into the river Rhine when he arrived at the head of a senatorial delegation sent to congratulate him on the elimination of Lepidus and Gaetulicus.

Caligula remained outside Rome for a time, possibly simply to avoid the unhealthy summer months, rather than out of fear of conspiracies (although he is said to have remarked that he wished he could eliminate the entire Senate at a stroke). We should beware of taking Seneca's hostile remarks, or the later justifications for his murder, as evidence for widespread unpopularity. It is hardly surprising that Cassius Chaerea and the other disgruntled praetorian officers responsible for Caligula's death and the brutal killing of his wife and baby daughter on 24 January a.d. 41 should have justified their treason by claiming that it was tyrannicide. No doubt Chaerea was genuinely unhappy about Caligula's persecution of other members of Germanicus' family, but it also irked him that the emperor kept drawing attention to Chaerea's effeminate tone of voice.

IV. CLAUDIUS37

Most ancient sources treat Claudius as a fool who became emperor by accident. Already in Seneca's satire the Apocolocyntosis, written some months after Claudius' death, he is represented as vicious, stupid and fearful. It may not have been entirely Claudius' fault that he executed some two hundred equestrians and thirty-five senators, including many of his relatives, during a reign of just over thirteen years. But we should not be too keen to rehabilitate Claudius in the face of the judgment of antiquity. Nor should all Claudius' acts be ascribed to a grandiose and far-seeing overall 'policy', when many can be explained as particular responses to standard political threats. Claudius' 'policy' was above all that of any other Roman princeps-. staying alive, controlling the succes­sion, rewarding clients and winning glory - even though the form it took may have been influenced by traditions about the Claudii, and by his respect for Iulius Caesar.

The reported views of Augustus, of Claudius' grandmother Livia and his mother Antonia the Younger as to his unsuitability for public office should not be ignored. A public position was not something automati­cally inherited at Rome; it was something that each individual had to prove himself fit for. Neither Augustus nor Tiberius felt that Claudius was suitable for election to office, and he had remained an eques. Although he had been granted some honours by Tiberius, on the rare occasions when he appeared on the political scene it was only in a private capacity - for example, to accompany his brother Germanicus' ashes on their return from the East - or as the representative of the equestrian ordo at Augustus' funeral and to congratulate Tiberius on the overthrow of Sejanus. Tiberius had no intention of allowing Claudius to inherit the political support of his brother Germanicus. Like other Romans excluded from politics, Claudius turned to intellectual pursuits, and in particular to the study of history. He wrote about Carthage and the Etruscans (many of his associates, including his first wife Plautia

37 Main literary sources: Tac. Ann. xi-xii, with Mehl 1974 (в 125); Dio lx; Suet. Claud.-, Sen. Apocol. Assessments: Momigliano 1954 (c 377); Levick 1978 (c 367); Levick 1990 (c 372).

Urgulanilla, had an Etruscan background). The effect has been to make him particularly sympathetic to modern historians, who see a fellow- worker in Claudius. More crucially, the mask of pedantry enabled him to survive Tiberius' reign.

At his accession, Caligula brought his uncle fully into public life as part of his attempt to strengthen his position by enhancing the respect due to his relatives. From i July to 12 September a.d. 37 Claudius was Caligula's colleague during his first consulship. In 39 he married his third wife, Valeria Messallina; her father was Claudius' cousin Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus, son of the consul of 12 в.с. and of Augustus' niece Marcella the Younger, and her mother was Domitia Lepida. Although Octavia and Britannicus were not born until 40/1, the possibility that his uncle might produce children who, unlike Antonia (Claudius' daughter by Urgulanilla), had Augustus' blood in their veins, cannot have pleased Caligula.

When Caligula was unexpectedly assassinated, there was no precedent for the form which the transfer of power to a new princeps should take. Of course, death might come suddenly to political leaders then as now, and it should not surprise us that potential claimants had contingency plans ready. The speed with which some of them acted does not prove that they were involved in Chaerea's plot. Once it was clear that Caligula's baby daughter had been killed with him, the obvious person to claim to inherit the domus Caesaris was Marcus Vinicius, husband of the exiled lulia Livilla (Caligula's other sister, Agrippina, was a widow). Where Vinicius erred was in turning to the Senate to confirm his position.38

The Senate was immediately summoned by the consul Quintus Pomponius Secundus: this need not indicate that he was privy to the plot. As a half-brother of Caesonia, he too had an interest in the succession. Later, after the Senate had failed to institute a Caesar of its own, it became politic for everyone, including the new emperor, to pretend that they had merely been acting in the public interest. The Senate debated the situation in the language of republicanism, and that language masked the ambitions of those involved. On the evening of the assassination, the hundred or so senators who had the courage to appear were in no mood to confirm Vinicius' claims. Instead, they celebrated the removal of a tyrant, and the consuls - for the first time since the establishment of the Principate — gave the urban cohorts their watch­word for the following day. But the celebradon of libertas did not exclude the search for a new .princeps-, the urban cohorts made it clear that that was what they wanted.

While the Senate debated, Claudius had taken control of the house-

38 Accounts of the succession crisis: Joseph. A] xix.248-73 = AN 194; Timpe 1962 (c 403); Swan 1970 (c 395); Jung 1972 (c 361); Ritter 1972 (в 151).

hold of the Caesars. Tradition had it that after Caligula's death he was found hiding in the palace by a guardsman who acclaimed him as emperor, and taken to the praetorian camp where he was recognized as the legitimate head of the Caesars. In strict law, that may not have been so; but Roman law also recognized the principle of possessio. The Praetor's Edict protected the rights of the person who was in actual control of an estate until such time as the appropriate court (in the case of inheritances, the centumviral court) had passed judgment on the question of ownership in accordance with strict iusQuiritium. 'Whether (possessio) existed or not was regarded as a question of fact, but if it existed, it conferred rights'.[421] It was certainly a fact that Claudius now had possessio.

Claudius was not a member of the Julian household; but his uncle Tiberius and his brother Germanicus had been adopted into it, and they and his nephew Caligula had headed, or been expected to head, that household. After his acclamation as their new imperator by the praetorian guard, Claudius immediately adopted the name Caesar, to show that he had inherited that household; the name did not imply any fictitious posthumous adoption, nor was it pre-empting the bestowal of a title (like that of 'Augustus') by the Senate. Nor was Claudius arrogating any constitutional powers to himself by calling himself Caesar. It represented the fact that Claudius was now Caligula's successor as head of the domus Caesaris. In the aftermath of the assassination no will was sought out that would have to be adhered to, like that of Augustus, or set aside, like that of Tiberius.

When the Senate reconvened on the following day, it was too late to recognize the claims of Marcus Vinicius or any other candidate. The consul Pomponius allowed other names to be considered, including those of Annius Vinicianus (who supported his uncle Vinicius) and Decimus Valerius Asiaticus, who had been an early adviser of Caligula and was married to a sister of Lollia Paulina. There were a number of other consulars who were related to the Julian family through descent or by marriage; they too might want a say in who was to head the domus Caesaris, but most of them happened to be away from Rome as provincial governors in January 41, and January was not a good time for communicating with Spain or the Rhine or Danube, nor for travel thence to Rome. Servius Sulpicius Galba, who had given Caligula such excellent support in the aftermath of Gaetulicus' rebellion and was now legate of the upper Rhine army, Aulus Plautius in Pannonia, Camillus Scribonianus in Dalmatia, and Appius Iunius Silanus in Tarraconensis, could not be consulted and could not intervene to affect the recognition of a new Caesar at Rome — even if their names may later have been mentioned as alternative candidates. In the end, the Senate summoned Claudius to discuss the situation. He politely pretended that the praetorians were keeping him against his will; but the consuls and other senators had to accept that the support of the praetorians for Claudius left them with no choice but to confirm his position.

Claudius' debt to the guard is reflected in his early coins. A gold aureus shows one of the first representations of a walled Roman camp with battlements, arched gateways, and a pair of columns supporting a pediment. A praetorian stands guard, and the inscription proclaims 'The Commander Received' [sc. into the guard's loyalty]. The other side of the special relationship between the new imperator and his soldiers is depicted by a bronze as with Claudius, in the civilian's toga, clasping hands with a soldier, and the inscription 'The Praetorians Received'. These issues were of course intended for the eyes of the guard, and were very probably the coins used to pay the unprecedented donative of 15,000 sesterces which Claudius had promised them at his elevation; we are told that he continued to give each soldier a payment of 100 sesterces annually throughout his reign.

Other coins celebrate decidedly non-military aspects of the image the new ruler wished to present of himself: there are representations of 'Augustan Liberty' holding a liberty-cap, and dedications 'To Augustan Peace' and 'Augustan Constancy'. A copper quadrans, listing the emper­or's new honours (including his designation to a second consulship, i.e. the consulship of 42), may refer to a decision to return to the traditional metal-content of the coinage, debased by Caligula. Some of Caligula's coins were ceremonially defaced. Like some of the coin-issues by means of which Caligula at his accession had distanced himself from Tiberius, Claudius wanted to emphasize a return to legality, and to the precedents set by Augustus. A sestertius depicts the oak wreath awarded 'For Citizens Saved'. Claudius was also anxious to stress the links between his Claudian relations and the Julian family. Early coins show his father, Drusus; his mother Antonia (given the title Augusta); and his brother Germanicus, formally 'son of Tiberius Augustus and grandson of the Divine Augustus'. Livia, too, was honoured; and the dedication of an altar to 'Augustan Piety' in c. a.d. 43 symbolized the new emperor's claim to be close to Augustus.40

One way to show that he intended his reign to be an improvement on Caligula's was by recalling those who had been exiled (as Caligula himself had done at his accession). Those who returned included Agrippina and lulia Livilla. The public honour Claudius bestowed upon

40 Coins: AN 187-8, 194; GCN 81-6; Sutherland 1987 (в )j8) chs. 30, 32.

his relatives did not mean that he could trust them. His fear of assassination was extreme (up to the last years of his reign, everyone who entered his presence was searched for weapons). Historians have expressed doubt about the extent to which Claudius' third wife Messal- lina was responsible for the executions of these early years of his reign. But many of those who threatened her threatened him too, and Claudius publicly thanked her for warning him against at least some of those he had put to death. Soon after her return, Iulia Livilla was exiled again and then executed. Agrippina fared better; her son Domitius Ahenobarbus returned to her care, and his property, confiscated by Caligula, was restored to him. Agrippina looked for the support of a new husband; her first choice was Livia's protege, Galba, but Galba's mother-in-law pointed out to him that that would make his claim to the imperial office so strong that he could not expect to survive for long. (She also made a point of slapping Agrippina's face in public.) Instead, Agrippina married C. Sallustius Passienus Crispus, the adopted son of Augustus' closest associates (see above pp. 202). As a new member of the imperial family, and potential father of Caesarian children, Crispus had to be honoured with a second consulship in a.d. 44; but he died soon after — poisoned by Agrippina, according to Suetonius - so that Messallina allowed Agrip­pina to survive.41

Claudius and Messallina also looked for support through matrimonial alliances. In 42 Appius Iunius Silanus was recalled from the governor­ship of Tarraconensis to marry Messallina's mother Domitia Lepida, daughter of Augustus' niece the elder Antonia. Claudius' daughter by Aelia Paetina, Antonia, was married to Pompeius Magnus, son of Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi (cos. a.d. 27); through his mother Scribonia, he was related to Augustus. Claudius' two-year-old daughter by Messallina, Octavia, was engaged to Augustus' great-great-grandson Lucius Iunius Torquatus Silanus (the youngest son of the consul of a.d. 19, proconsul of Africa under Caligula: not closely related to Appius Silanus), aged about sixteen. Silanus was identified as a suitable succes­sor, sufficiently young to pose no immediate threat: he was made a vigintivir and praefectus urbiferiarum Latinarum causa. But the preference shown to Silanus naturally weakened the chances of others interested in the imperial office.

By and large Claudius was initially unsuccessful, or unlucky, in his attempts to build up a wide enough network of dependants to whom he had distributed bcneficia. Supporters appointed to client kingships included Mithridates in Lesser Armenia, and Agrippa in Judaea (the latter's role in the events following Caligula's assassination is empha-

41 Opposition: McAlindon 19(6(0 573), 19(7(0 374); Baldwin 1964(0 330); Meise 1969(0 375); Wiseman 1982 (в 198). Agrippina and Galba: Suet. Galba. 5.

sized by Josephus in his Antiquities')-, although Agrippa died in 44 after just three years, he was able to persuade Claudius to grant considerable beneficia to Jewish communities at Alexandria and elsewhere in the empire. As a reward for not challenging Claudius' possessio of the domus Caesaris, Marcus Vinicius was to be consul ordinarius for the second time in 45, and Valerius Asiaticus given a second consulship in 46.

Just under a year after his accession, on 12 January 42, it was felt that Claudius had distributed honours and offices to enough members of the political class to warrant accepting the title ofpater patriae. (He also held a consulship, his second, for two months at the beginning of this year.) This merely masked his weakness. After Caligula's assassination, those powerful governors who happened not to be in Rome accepted Claudius' elevation as a fait accompli. But Claudius' political inexperience and lack of military virtus gave those who considered themselves more suitably qualified a temptation to act. Galba and Aulus Plautius remained loyal; Appius Silanus and Camillus Scribonianus did not. Appius Silanus may have judged that if Claudius were out of the way, he, as the husband of Octavia's grandmother Domitia Lepida, would be in a doubly strong position to gain recognition as Caesar. The weak point in his calculation was that there was no love lost between Messallina and her mother. Backed by the libertus Narcissus, Messallina informed Claudius of Silanus' ambitions, and Claudius tried and convicted Silanus, not in public but in his domestic court, the consilium of his amici.

The execution of Silanus was a sign of Claudius' insecurity as well as of his readiness to eliminate rivals. The legate of Dalmatia, Lucius Arruntius Furius Camillus Scribonianus (adopted son of Lucius Arrun- tius, one of those who, according to Tacitus, had been thought worthy of the Principate by Augustus), calculated that his chances of survival would be better if he made a bid for empire himself. Scribonianus commanded two legions, the Seventh and Eleventh, and his attempt was supported by a number of figures in Rome who had failed to respond positively to Claudius' acclamation in the previous year. They included Lucius Annius Vinicianus and the consul who had summoned the Senate, Quintus Pomponius Secundus. Our sources tell us that Claudius seriously discussed the advisability of surrendering his imperium to Scribonianus. Unfortunately for Scribonianus, he felt himself unable at this stage to declare himself emperor — either because he waited for confirmation from his supporters in the Senate, or because he was hoping for support from other provincial commanders such as Galba and Aulus Plaudus. These commanders had no interest in forsaking Claudius for another emperor; and after a few days, the two Dalmatian legions abandoned Scribonianus. It was claimed that the legionary standards had become stuck in the ground as a sign of divine anger at their disloyalty. Scribonianus killed himself, and those of his supporters at Rome who did not were executed.

Claudius' third consulship in a.d. 43 was again a sign of weakness rather than strength. During these first years of his reign, he had to make every effort to ensure that he was popular with the Roman plebs — apart from staging games and spectacles, he initiated some major building operations, some of them directly raising the living standards of the Roman population. They included the draining of the Fucine lake, to provide much-needed agricultural land in the vicinity of the capital, a new aqueduct, and the construction of a safe harbour at Ostia. A riot early in his reign made it clear to Claudius that, since the time of Iulius Caesar, the supervision of the corn supply was one of the ruler's principal functions. Another was the supervision of the judicial system; particu­larly during his tenure of consular office. Claudius made himself visibly available in the law-courts. Even hostile sources (who dwell on his tendency to ignore the law in favour of so-called 'equity') had to admit that he was serious in his desire to be seen to be a hard-working judge.

In terms of the qualities required of a Roman imperator, Claudius' major weakness, like that of Caligula when he had come to power, was that he had no military experience. This explains his almost obsessive need to advertise any military success achieved during his reign; Claudius chose to accept twenty-seven imperatorial acclamations, more than any other emperor. Even in his first year, coins showed off a triumphal arch with trophies won by his father Drusus 'from the Germans'. Soon there were genuine military successes. In Mauretania, Suetonius Paulinus dealt successfully with a war against nomad tribes that had arisen out of Caligula's removal of King Ptolemy and impo­sition of direct Roman rule (see chapter 13/ on Africa). Paulinus' successors completed the process of pacification; it gave Claudius the opportunity to honour Marcus Crassus Frugi, both a central figure of the old aristocracy and the father-in-law of Antonia. Crassus was now awarded triumphal ornamenta for finishing off the war effectively won by the novus homo Suetonius Paulinus.

Claudius reserved for himself the glory of conquering Britain. Ever since the time of Iulius Caesar, Britain, as an island in the Ocean, had had a symbolic importance for Romans: its conquest would indicate that not just the whole world, but even lands beyond the edge of the world, were subject to the dominion of the Roman people. The occupation of Britain would have the additional benefit of removing several legions from within striking distance of Rome: Caligula's new legions had raised the number in each of the German armies to five, and that made their commanders too powerful.

Claudius felt that he could trust the Pannonian governor, Aulus

Plautius, to undertake the actual military operation. Son of an officer of Claudius' father Drusus and brother Germanicus, Plautius had remained loyal during Scribonianus' rebellion, and he was a cousin of Claudius' first wife (although he had divorced Urgulanilla, Claudius is said to have remained on good terms with her). The other person Claudius trusted was Lucius Vitellius, the consul of 34, son of a mere eques but with two consular brothers. Loyal supporters of Germanicus, Vitellius and his brothers had returned to prominence during Tiberius' last years because of the support of Caligula's grandmother (and Claudius' mother) Antonia. Vitellius held a second consulship in 43, and Claudius entrusted the capital to his care for the duration of the expedition.

There were few others he trusted not to plot in his absence: a large number of senators had to accompany him. It was even said that Claudius put off the voyage to Britain by a few days because Galba claimed that he was too ill to travel. Galba was one consular Claudius could not afford to leave behind. Among others in the party were both Valerius Asiaticus and Marcus Vinicius. The Britons themselves pre­sented considerably fewer problems (see chapter 1 $e), and the resultant triumph enabled Claudius to distribute the ornamenta triumpbalia to all those consulars he brought with him, thus putting them under a stronger obligation to be loyal. For much of the rest of the reign, Claudius ensured that no one would forget the symbolic success of carrying the frontiers of the empire beyond the Ocean; coins advertised trophies won 'from the Britons'. An inscription dating to c. a.d. 51/2 and probably originating from his triumphal arch alludes to 'the surrender of eleven British kings without loss', and asserts that 'he was the first to subject to the rule of the Roman people barbarian tribes beyond the Ocean'. During his fourth consulship in a.d. 49, Claudius extended thepomerium of the city to demonstrate his success in extending the empire.42

But the integration of Mauretania, south-east Britain, and also Lycia- Pamphylia during these years did not imply a 'policy' of general expansion, in contrast to that initiated by Tiberius. Military adventures can be seen as a function of a weak emperor's need to buttress his gloria. There could be no question of allowing other commanders such military gloria. The imperial legate in Lower Germany, Cn. Domitius Corbulo (half-brother of Caligula's wife Caesonia), took action to suppress raids into Gaul by a Chaucian chieftain, Gannascus, in 47; Claudius had to restrain him from proceeding with operations along the Frisian coast.[422]

While the administrative measures of these years can be seen primarily as responses to Claudius' political weakness, the form they took suggests that Claudius was keen to represent himself as following in the footsteps of the Claudii of old, and - like Caligula - of Iulius Caesar. This lay behind the policy of extending Roman citizenship to the provinces, and looking after the interests of the army. Serving soldiers were granted the legalprivilegia maritorum. Claudius was also anxious to retain the support of the Roman plebs. When he released some of the quaestors from their archaic obligations as prefects of Ostia and 'Gaul' (possibly Senonian Gaul, the region south of Rimini), it was not so much as part of a 'policy of centralization', but rather — so Suetonius tells us — so that young men interested in a political career could pay more attention to providing the plebs with games. As far as the propertied classes were concerned, an emperor's chief function was to ensure that the law courts functioned swiftly and effectively. Service as 'jurors' ('lay judges' might be a better translation) was irksome, but essential for the peaceful ordering of citizen society; Claudius reduced the age at which equestrians were required to present themselves for such service from twenty-five to twenty-four. More courts required more presidents, and one of the reasons for the transfer in a.d.44 of responsibility for the aerarium Saturni from two of the praetors to a pair of titular quaestors, selected by the emperor himself for a term of three years, will have been to make these praetors available for court service. Certainly there is nothing sinister in the fact that the two new quaestors were the emperor's personal appointees: by this stage no magistrate was elected to office without the implicit support of the princeps, and an emperor who did not personally select the men who were to look after the state treasury would have been curiously negligent of his responsibilities. We need not ascribe any conscious policy of centralization to Claudius; centralization was impli­cit in the patronage system of the Principate.

The important role that ex-slaves were said to have played in Claudius' household is more interesting, and should not be dismissed entirely as hostile propaganda. Claudius had had little experience of politics, even during the reign of Caligula. He depended for advice on amici of his family like Aulus Plautius and Lucius Vitellius, and on freedmen such as Narcissus, the ab epistulis (secretary for correspondence), Pallas, the a rationibus (keeper of accounts), Callistus, the a libellis (petitions), and Polybius, the a studiis (perhaps a speech-writer). But it does not follow that Claudius was systematically creating departments of state, or using his own dependants instead of freeborn citizens as part of a conscious 'policy' of rationalizing or controlling everything that was going on. During the Julio-Claudian period, men of wealth and standing were not yet as prepared as they later were to serve the emperor in a subordinate capacity. Freedmen were not only obedient, but also expendable; it might be politic for a weak emperor to blame unpopular measures on his ex-slaves - or his wives. (For the imperial court, see chapter 7.)

One area in which Claudius was keen to demonstrate the 'democratic' tradition he had inherited both from the Claudii and from Iulius Caesar was the distribution of corn to the urban population. Responsibility was transferred from the aerarium to the fiscus; legal privileges were granted to importers of grain; there were changes in the system of distribution - to bring an end to the crush which had taken place once a month, eligible citizens were given tickets telling them on which day of the month to collect their allocation. The fact that it was the emperor, not the Roman state, who ensured that people did not starve, was symbolized by the fact that distributions were now undertaken by an imperial procurator (the de Minucid), though there is no positive evidence that the senatorialpraefecti frumenti dandt were formally abolished; the post had in any case largely been a sinecure. The personal role of the emperor and his family in looking after their dependent people by ensuring the proper functioning of the corn supply is shown by its use to publicize the succession. In 45, Octavia's betrothed, Lucius Silanus, represented Claudius at the distri­bution of largesse.

Coins and inscriptions confirm the emperor's personal interest in providing his people with 'Augustan grain' and fresh water. Apart from constructing the Aqua Claudia, Claudius instituted a second gang of slaves to look after Rome's aqueducts. He took equally seriously his patronal responsibilities to protect the people from fire and flood damage. An inscription shows that the canal he had dug in the lower reaches of the Tiber as part of the works associated with the construction of new harbour facilities at Ostia was not only intended to assist navigation, but also advertised as having the result that 'he freed the city from the danger of flooding'.44

Claudius was consul yet again in 47. Together with Vitellius, he also held the first formal census for over thirty years. This again was a way of honouring his supporters, and seeking the support of potential oppo­nents. A large number of new senators owed their position to Claudius; and many families which had played a political role for two or three generations were raised to patrician status. Of course, we should not exclude completely a genuine feeling for past tradition as one of Claudius' motives in wanting to hold the ancient office of censor, and ensuring that there were patricians to carry on archaic religious rituals.

That Claudius had genuine antiquarian interests is clear from the speech in which he defended his decision to allow Gallic aristocrats who were Roman citizens to stand for political office and join the Senate. The speech is summarized by Tacitus, and fragments survive from a copy set up at Lyons.45 When the census was completed in 48, the consul Lucius Vipstanus Poplicola duly suggested that Claudius should be granted the tide pater senatus-, that was rejected - it would have defined the relationship of dependence of all senators on the emperor too clearly for comfort.

In the same year, he arranged a series of magnificent spectacles associated with the ceremony of the ludi saeculares, the date of which he had himself re-calculated so as to coincide with the eighth centenary of the foundation of Rome. They included a performance of the 'Troy game'; it was noted that when Britannicus, aged six, and Claudius' grand-nephew, Agrippina's son the nine-year-old Domitius Ahenobar­bus, led the two groups, it was Domitius, as a descendant of Germanicus, who won most applause. But notwithstanding his descent, Domitius was still too young to be considered by Claudius a potential transitional ruler to fill the gap until Britannicus was old enough to succeed. One suitable candidate for this caretaker role was Antonia's husband Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus. The likeliest immediate successor to Claudius was still Lucius Silanus, who had been elected praetor peregrinus in this year (ten years or so before the normal age). The prominence of the Silani in these years can also be deduced from the fact that Lucius' brother Marcus Iunius Silanus had been consul ordinarius for the entire twelve months of the year 46.

The year 48 also saw the last major threat to Claudius' rule, an attempt by his wife Messallina to replace him. Responsibility for the removal of a number of potential rivals both inside and outside the imperial house­hold is ascribed to her by our sources: they include Germanicus' daughter lulia Livilla and C. Appius Iunius Silanus in 42; Tiberius' granddaughter lulia (wife or widow of Rubellius Blandus) in 43; powerful senators such as Catonius Iustus in 43; Marcus Vinicius in 46, and Valerius Asiaticus in 47. Also in 47, the husband of Claudius' daughter Antonia, Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus, was executed, together with the parents through whom he derived descent from Pompey and Crassus. Antonia was re-assigned to Faustus Sulla, a son of Domitia Lepida: as Messallina's half-brother, he was no threat to her. In at least some of these cases, the blame may be assigned to Messallina. She had a claim to Julian blood in her own right, and was building up a power base for herself and her two children. But her plans threatened not just Claudius' daughter Antonia, but also many of the servants of the domus « ILS 212 = GCN 369 = AN 570; cf. Griffin 1982 (в 237).

Caesaris. The freedmen Narcissus and Mnester organized the opposition to her; she was accused of planning - or perhaps actually carrying out — a divorce, followed by a remarriage to the patrician Gaius Silius, who would presumably rule Rome as her consort until Britannicus was old enough to take over. Claudius was convinced of the truth of these allegations, and Narcissus had Messallina executed.46

Although Messallina's plot was suppressed, it again underlined the weakness of Claudius' rule. Despite his promise to the praetorians never to have anything to do with women, another matrimonial alliance was essential to put an end to speculation about the succession. There were several possible candidates. Lollia Paulina, who had been married to Caligula, was supported by Callistus, who had served that emperor. Antonia's mother Aelia Paetina had been married to Claudius before, and was descended from an ancient republican family. Agrippina was the most direct descendant of Augustus. Her candidature was strongly opposed by the freedman Narcissus, who saw that it would be the end of Britannicus' chances of succeeding. Agrippina was selected, thanks to the support of Antonius Pallas, who had been the trusted procurator of Claudius' and Germanicus' mother Antonia. Vitellius was given the task of asking the Senate to set aside the legal objections to a marriage between uncle and niece, and the wedding was celebrated on i January 49.

The rise of Agrippina implied the fall of the man who had been nearest to being Claudius' successor during Britannicus' minority, Lucius Iunius Silanus. For several years, he had been engaged to Claudius' daughter Octavia, now aged ten. Again it was the loyal Vitellius who arranged what was necessary: he accused Silanus of incest with his sister Iunia Calvina, the wife of his own son Lucius. Four days before Claudius' wedding, Silanus was forced to give up the praetorship to which he had been appointed and was expelled from the Senate. His only option was to kill himself. The new dynastic relationships were demon­strated publicly during Claudius' fifth and last consulship in a.d. 50: on 2 5 February he adopted Agrippina's son Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus as Nero Claudius Caesar. Agrippina herself was given the title of Augusta, and her birthplace Cologne honoured with the title Claudia Ara Agrippinensis. After Nero came of age in a.d. 51, the Arval Brethren prayed for him in the same terms as for Claudius himself; he was appointed princeps iuventutis\ and Cassius Dio mentions an edict in which Claudius entrusted the cura of the empire to Nero. For the next ten years, those men against whom Agrippina bore a grudge - such as Galba and Vespasian — disappeared from public life.

Claudius' marriage to Agrippina greatly strengthened his position, and the last years of his reign were marred by far fewer executions and

44 Messallina: Meise 1969 (c 375) ch. 6; Ehrhardt 1978 (c 343).

plots than the first. The need to win military prestige was no longer so great, though much was made of the capture of the British king Caratacus, who was displayed at Rome. In the East, on the other hand, there were difficulties which continued at great financial expense into the next reign; the Parthian king Vologases I succeeded in imposing his brother Tiridates as king of Armenia. There continued to be food riots in the capital, but these were not now a serious threat.

The situation was stable because for the time being the succession was as clear as the imperial system could ever make it. Agrippina managed to have her own nominee Sextus Afranius Burrus appointed to command the praetorian cohorts; Burrus came from Narbonensis, where the Domitii Ahenobarbi had exercised patronage for generations. But Britannicus too had his supporters, including his grandmother, Domitia Lepida (also Nero's paternal aunt), and the ab epistulis Narcissus. Nero's position was strengthened by his marriage in 5 3 to Claudius' daughter Octavia (who formally had to be adopted into another domus to marry her father's adoptive son), and his appearance before the Senate on a number of occasions. Agrippina succeeded in having Domitia Lepida con­demned for failing to keep the herdsmen on her great ranching estates in the south of Italy under proper control.

But Britannicus would be fourteen on 12 February 5 5, and old enough to be introduced to public life; there were rumours that Claudius said that he wished to be succeeded by a 'real' Caesar. That would have been fitting for one who had emulated Julius Caesar in being the patron of the people and of the army, effecting the spread of citizenship in the provinces, and making Britain part of the empire. Suetonius reports him as telling Britannicus to 'grow up quickly, so that he [Claudius] could explain all his actions'.47 On 13 October 54, Claudius suddenly died after eating mushrooms. The suspicion that Agrippina poisoned her husband is shared by all ancient sources (only Josephus calls it a 'rumour'). His death was most opportune for Agrippina and her son, and the fact that Narcissus happened to be away from the court for a short time seems too convenient to have been fortuitous.

V. NERO[423]

At the moment of Claudius' death, there was no question of any other candidate for the imperial office but Nero; he was his predecessor's adopted son and the husband of his predecessor's daughter (herself descended from Augustus' sister); he had been designated to hold a consulship when he reached the age of twenty (for a.d. 5 8), and he had been granted proconsular powers in Italy extra urbem. In a.d. 5 2 he had been appointed to the symbolic magistracy of praefectus urbi feriarum hatinarum causa. Had Claudius died even a few months later, he might have made a public wish to leave the empire to his natural-born son Britannicus; but the removal of Britannicus' grandmother Domitia Lepida, and the temporary absence of Narcissus, left Agrippina supreme in the palace, and the transfer of power was as straightforward as it had been in a.d. 14 or 37. The news of Claudius' death was kept secret for several hours, and then Burrus accompanied Nero to the camp of the praetorian guard where he was enthusiastically acclaimed. The promise of a donative of 15,000 sesterces to each soldier will have helped. Although Tacitus pretends that some soldiers asked where Britannicus was, Britannicus could not have shared the imperial office. He was still a child, as Tiberius Gemellus had been at Caligula's accession.

Nero went on to a meeting of the Senate, where he was recognized with the full imperial powers; he turned down, for the time being, the title pater patriae, since it seemed inappropriate to a youth of sixteen. It was not considered necessary, or sensible, for Claudius' will to be read and either approved, or set aside (Tacitus perversely suggests that had the will been read, Britannicus' plight might have received some sympathy precisely because he was not named as Claudius' successor).

Nero's speech at Claudius' funeral, as well as his speech to the Senate accepting the imperial powers and outlining his approach to the office that had been bestowed upon him, were both composed for him by his rhetoric teacher Seneca. Like Caligula and Claudius at their accessions, Nero promised a new start, and a return to the principles of Augustus. There would be no more secret trials within the emperor's cubiculum, and the Senate would be respected. That respect was made manifest by the appearance of the letters 'EX S. C.' on aurei and denarii between a.d. 54 and 64, to show that the use of gold and silver from the aerarium had been authorized by the Senate.

Seneca's treatise De Clementia, composed in a.d. 55, gives us some idea of how this adviser of Nero's thought that a Roman emperor should exercise power. That Seneca makes much of both the absoluteness, and the arbitrariness, of imperial power, does not indicate a belief that Roman republican ideals should give way to those of hellenistic (let alone so-called 'oriental') kingship. Rather, it simply makes explicit the fact that since the Battle of Actium there was only one man in the Roman world who was ultimately responsible for any decision affecting public life, and many decisions affecting the private lives both of members of his own household and of others who wished to participate in the political process. Seneca pointed out to Nero that while the gods' gift to him of uncontrolled power and unrivalled wealth was glorious indeed, it also implied the responsibility to behave in accordance with virtus; and clemency - essentially, restraint in the justified application of the emperor's power to punish those who had offended him - was a major imperial virtue.49

The success of Seneca and Burrus in persuading contemporaries that they were guiding the young emperor along the path of virtue has had a considerable effect on the historical tradition. Our sources agree that Nero's reign began well, and that it was only in the last few years that Nero alienated the elite to the extent of provoking conspiracy and ultimately open rebellion. The propaganda levelled against him by the rebels in a.d. 68 made much of his personality and cultural interests, in particular his philhellenism and his un-Roman desire to appear publicly as a performer. Opponents in the 60s had to explain why these character- traits had not provoked hostility from the start; and since antiquity did not allow much scope for the concept of character development, it was argued that Nero directed his self-indulgence towards other ends during the years when Seneca and Burrus were in a position to advise him. Burrus died and Seneca retired in 62; while they are characterized in a generally favourable way in the historical tradition, Burrus' successor as prefect of the praetorian guard, Ofonius Tigellinus, is presented as a wicked contrast to Burrus, and even (unconvincingly) as Seneca's enemy. Partly at least this was so that Nero's last years could be painted even blacker.

One consequence appears to be the development of a myth of the quinquennium Neronis; the idea that there was a period of five years during Nero's reign when the empire was well governed, and the relationship between Senate and princeps was as harmonious as it could ever be. Historians in Late Antiquity who found references to such a quinquennium in their sources were puzzled (since Nero ended up as a typical tyrant figure). They assumed that since Nero could not have exhibited such 'virtue' in his relations with the Senate (or with his own family), such praise must either refer to his public building programme, or to the traditional field in which a Roman displays his virtus, military conquests. Nero's building programmes were in fact remarkable. Although the reconstruction of Rome after the great fire of 64 resulted in considerable opposition, both because of its cost and because of the amount of land in the city which Nero reserved for his reconstructed palace (including the Golden House), even hosdle writers had to accept that some of Nero's

49 Seneca and Agrippina: Griffin 1976 (в 71). Coins: GCN 107 = AN 240; Sutherland 1987 (в 358) chs. 35-6. Seneca and Nero: Leach 1989 (в 106).

buildings were in accordance with the best Roman traditions of public benefaction: 'What was worse than Nero? What is better than Nero's Baths?'50

The idea of Nero's quinquennium is unlikely to have been invented in order to explain the excellence of Nero's buildings, or the real (but marginal) military successes associated with Corbulo and other com­manders. It was perhaps rather an attempt to explain why so many senators who later reviled Nero as a monster were prepared to support him for so many years. 'Five years' from 5 4 take us up to a.d. 5 9, the year in which Nero killed his mother, and one senator who paraded his belief in libertas, Thrasea Paetus, walked out of the Senate; Paetus was later hailed as a Stoic martyr. Whether or not such Stoic propaganda was the source of the concept of a quinquennium Neronis, the idea itself shows there was unease about the fact that Nero had been a popular emperor until the last years of his reign.

It would be naive to believe that Nero's rule was perfect so long as he was under the control of Seneca and Burrus - and not only because Cassius Dio tells us how rich Seneca managed to become during his years as imperial adviser, to the extent that he was at least partly to blame for the exasperation of the Britons which led to Boudica's rebellion in a.d. 60. Political conflict did not cease because the emperor was being advised by a Stoic. Nero may have been the obvious candidate to succeed Claudius; but should he make any false move, there were a number of men who had survived Claudius' reign who might provide a focus of opposition - Domitia Lepida's grandson Britannicus, of course, but also her son (by a different marriage from that which produced Messallina), Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix, the husband of Claudius' daughter Antonia. And further candidates of Julian ancestry were available in the person of Rubellius Plautus (Tiberius' great-grandson), and the surviv­ing brothers and sisters of Lucius Iunius Silanus, who were grandchil­dren of Augustus' granddaughter Iulia. Nero's position needed streng­thening by fair means, and foul. Fair means included claims to military prestige; in a.d. 55, the administration made much of an imperial salutation for a temporary success in Armenia achieved by Domitius Corbulo. To buttress his gloria, Nero was awarded a statue in the temple of Mars Ultor and an ovation.

Nero's legitimacy as emperor also needed strengthening in dynastic terms. Immediately after Claudius' funeral, the Senate had voted the late emperor divine honours; although the unpopularity of Tiberius and Caligula at the time of their deaths had prevented them from being

50 Quinquennium: Aur. Vic. De Caes. v.2—4. Cf. Murray 1965 (c 380); Hind 1971 (c 3; j); Levick 1983 (c j68). Nero's baths: Mart, vii.34. The character of Tigellinus: Roper 1979 (c 389).

similarly acclaimed, some female members of the domus Caesaris had been deified (Livia, Antonia, Drusilla), and Nero and his advisers had little choice but to do this for Claudius.The problem was that while the new emperor could now describe himself as divij. (and did so on his coinage for the next year or so), Britannicus was equally a divijand Sulla the son-in-law of a divus. While they remained on the scene, they would be a constant threat. Just as the rift between Domitia Lepida and Messallina contributed to the latter's fall, so a rift between Nero and Agrippina might lead her to drop her son in favour of any one of the other descendants of Augustus who were her cousins. The immediate problem was Britannicus; Agrippina, after all, was formally Britannicus' mother as well as Nero's.

The death of Britannicus early in 5 5, whether or not Seneca and Burrus were personally responsible, certainly strengthened their position — and Nero's — against Agrippina. So did the removal of Agrippina's ally Pallas from his post as a rationibus\ he went on condition that no one should ask questions about the finances of the domus Caesaris under his stewardship. Although the removal of Pallas seems to have been directed against him personally — his brother Felix was allowed to remain procurator of Judaea until a.d. 60 — it was interpreted as an attack on Agrippina; Domitia Lepida and Iunia Silana (a sister of Caligula's first wife Iunia Claudilla) accused her of plotting to replace her son with Rubellius Plautus. His father-in-law Antistius Vetus was Nero's collea­gue as consul in this year; he went on to become legate of Upper Germany, but was replaced after a year. Although the charge was not believed, Agrippina's weakness as an emperor's mother, compared to her power as an emperor's wife, is demonstrated by the disappearance of her portrait from the coinage after 5 5.

During these years, Seneca and Burrus seem to have used their influence to appoint associates to positions of honour and power. The brother of Seneca's wife, Pompeius Paulinus from Aries, commanded the army of Lower Germany from 5 6 to 5 8; he was succeeded by Lucius Duvius Avitus, who came from Burrus' home town, Vasio, also in Narbonese Gaul. (Nero's supporters from this region had been inherited from his paternal ancestors, the Domitii Ahenobarbi, rather than from the Julio-Claudians.) Avitus had been consul in 56. Another provincial who may well have been associated with them, Lucius Pedanius Secundus from Barcelona, had been consul in 43 and was appointed praefectus urbi in 56. Secundus' murder at the hands of his own slaves in a.d. 61 was a major scandal, and provoked the veteran consular and famous jurist C. Cassius Longinus (consul in a.d. 30) to propose strong measures to control slaves. In accordance with the strict interpretation of the existing law, about 400 of Secundus' slaves (present in his palace when he was killed) were executed, in spite of demonstrations by the urban plebs, many of whom were themselves ex-slaves.

It has been argued that Longinus' interpretation of the law should be seen as evidence of a new direction in imperial policy, no longer under the influence of freedmen as it had been under Claudius. This raises the question whether the events of Nero's reign should be ascribed to the 'policies' of the emperor and his advisers rather than to his individual personality and temperament. During his first consulship, Nero realized that he vastly enjoyed being a public figure and at the centre of attention. He was delighted to accept the title of pater patriae when the Senate offered it to him a second time in 5 6, and he took repeated consulships (the second in 5 7, and the third in 5 8), although a proposal put forward by the Senate in 58, that he be consul perpetuus (something the Senate clearly thought he would enjoy) was turned down as being without precedent. The young man's desire to be seen and heard led him to intervene in senatorial debates, sometimes without proper briefing. On one occasion he suggested, apparently on his own initiative, that all customs dues (portoria) throughout the empire ought to be abolished, since they caused much resentment against unscrupulous tax-farmers. Having committed himself to this astonishing proposal, he could only be persuaded not to implement his promise with the utmost.difficulty. The incident is no evidence for any hypothetical imperial 'policy' towards the provinces, or towards trade (there was a time when scholars anachronis- tically suggested that it proved that Nero or his advisers favoured free market economics); but it does throw a great deal of light on Nero's desire to make spectacular public utterances. Examples of imperial beneficence, for instance settling veterans on Italian land, should not be confused with an economic or agricultural 'policy'. In 5 7, Nero founded formal veteran settlements at Capua and Nuceria, and in 60, Puteoli was raised to the status of a colony as Colonia Claudia Neronensis; that may have been less to provide for veterans than as a response to internal political difficulties which had led to major disturbances in the colony two years previously, necessitating the intervention of troops.

The desire to appear in public was not restricted to the political forum. Like other good emperors, Nero took seriously his duty to provide the Roman people with games. Unfortunately, he had an uncontrollable desire to be seen by the public as a performer himself, both on the stage and at the races. At first, Nero could be persuaded only to appear himself in contests held in the relative privacy of the imperial domus (for example, in the imperial hippodrome in the Vatican valley). The Juvenalia, held to celebrate Nero's achieving adulthood in a.d. 59, were still held in private, but senators and equestrians were expected to take part. In the quinquennial games which Nero held on Greek lines in a.d. 60 and 65, such inhibitions were laid aside; Nero thought that, like a Greek aristocrat, he would win fame and glory rather than opprobrium by performing in person on the lyre and in the hippodrome. In a Greek city, like Naples, he felt he was appreciated for his own personal qualities as a performer, rather than just for being emperor (though even here, he did not formally compete in public until a.d. 64).

Nero's personal tastes certainly affected the political scene when it came to his matrimonial affairs. Our sources suggest that his love for Poppaea Sabina (granddaughter of Tiberius' legate of Moesia) led to a complete rift with his mother. Later rumours suggested that Nero's relationship with Poppaea had existed several years before he divorced Octavia in order to marry her in 62. It was said that the emperor asked his friend Marcus Salvius Otho to marry Poppaea so that Nero could visit her secretly. Certainly there was a good political reason why Nero was unable to repudiate Octavia immediately: if he did so, then his claim to the loyalty of Claudius' supporters would be weakened in comparison with that of Antonia's husband Sulla Felix. This was seen by Agrippina, who is said to have advised her son against divorcing Octavia on the grounds that he would have to return her dowry — the empire. It is not inconceivable that the great crime for which Nero was to go down in history, the murder of his mother in a.d. 59, was the result of a personal conflict about whether or nor Octavia could be divorced; the fact that Seneca and Burrus seem not to have been involved in the initial plot to shipwreck a pleasure-boat on which Agrippina was returning home from dinner with her son suggests that this may not have been planned as an act of state. It may be that the original intention was not to kill Agrippina, but to frighten her so that she would not in future interfere with her son's wishes.

But in any case, once the shipwreck had been arranged by one of Nero's freedmen, Anicetus (who had been Nero's paedagogus), and Agrippina survived, Nero panicked; Agrippina threatened to publicize the incident, and that would have led to enormous unpopularity and perhaps Nero's replacement by another candidate who had Agrippina's support. The only answer now was a cover-up, and that meant the elimination of Agrippina. Nero consulted Seneca and Burrus, who apparently knew nothing of the plot. Burrus pointed out that the praetorian guard could not be expected to condone the killing of a member of the family they were sworn to protect. In the end they decided to claim that Agrippina had been detected conspiring to replace Nero - not an unlikely story - and she was executed.

Agrippina's killing may have brought an end to the quinquennium Neronis, but it made little difference to Nero's popularity. While Thrasea

Paetus walked out of the Senate in disgust, other senators accepted the explanation given by Nero and Seneca. But in future Nero needed the legitimacy conferred by his marriage to Octavia more than ever; we should not be surprised that there was a three-year hiatus between Agrippina's death and Nero's divorce of Octavia. Before that could happen, Nero needed to remove Sulla Felix; and also Rubellius Plautus (who seems not to have had the slightest ambition to become emperor). Sulla had been required to withdraw to Marseilles in 5 8. A comet in a.d. 60 led to rumours that a new princeps was at hand; Nero utilized the occasion to require Rubellius Plautus to go into exile in Asia. In the same year Servius Sulpicius Galba was sent to Hispania Tarraconensis as imperial legate; the fact that Nero left him there for the rest of his reign suggests that this too, was intended as a mechanism for removing a potential rival, though one who was now perhaps too old to require execution.

The same year also saw continuing success by Corbulo in the campaign to maintain Armenia as part of the Roman sphere of influence. After the installation of a pro-Roman king, Tigranes V, Corbulo was transferred to the governorship of Syria. Tigranes made the mistake of invading the Parthian dependent state of Adiabene in the following year, which not surprisingly resulted in a Parthian military response. It seems that Corbulo had to remove Tigranes from his throne, and in the year after that (62) an attempt by the new legate of Cappadocia, Caesennius Paetus, to reimpose Roman control resulted in the humiliation of his army by the Parthians at Rhandeia. In a.d. 63, Corbulo was given an unusual grant of imperium maius over the eastern provinces, with an additional legion from the Danube army. Both Romans and Parthians saw that a compromise was to their mutual advantage (both were becoming aware of the danger posed by recent migrations by the Alani from central Asia), and Corbulo negotiated an agreement whereby Armenia was to be ruled by the Parthian candidate Tiridates - who would be able to maintain order in the kingdom - but Rome's right to treat Armenia as part of its imperium was recognized in that he was to be formally granted his diadem by Nero at Rome as a gift of the Roman people. (Tiridates' visit took place in 66.) Although these military operations brought long-term peace to the eastern frontier, and glory to Nero, they were expensive.

So was the rebellion in Britain, brought about - at least in part - by the calling-in of debts of 40 million sesterces by the philosophical Seneca's procurators. A commission of three consulars was appointed to investi­gate the tax-collecting system in 62. Part of the results of this investi­gation is revealed in an inscribed dossier found at Ephesus, containing the accumulated regulations regarding the farming of the portoria of

Asia. The leges governing such tax-collection had the dual aim of restraining extortion by collectors and ensuring that the public treasury received its due. How far they commanded the respect of collectors is another matter. It is only too probable that the emperor and Senate were more concerned to secure revenue, whose chief destination was army pay, than to see that publicans acted more fairly towards provincials. The emphasis on avoiding abuses in tax-collecdon which can be found in a document issued in a.d. 68 on Galba's behalf by the prefect of Egypt, Tiberius Iulius Alexander, reflects the discontent of provincials throughout the empire at the exacdons of Nero's tax-collectors.[424]

Nero's reign saw a considerable number of trials of ex-governors for extortion. Both extortion by provincial governors, and accusations lodged against them by their opponents after their term of office had come to an end, were constant factors in Roman political life, under the Principate as under the Republic. But concern that its subjects should be justly treated should not be denied out of hand. It is even possible that Stoic theory may have played a part: Thrasea Paetus was particularly keen to oversee provincial matters, and on one famous occasion drew the Senate's attention to the unacceptable influence of the leading man in Crete, Claudius Timarchus. In 57, Thrasea successfully prosecuted the son-in-law of Tigellinus, an associate of Seneca's who was to become Burrus' successor as praetorian prefect. But in general such trials reflect rivalry between senators, rather than a 'policy' on the part of the government.[425]

Some sources blame Nero for the death of Burrus in a.d. 62, suggesting that Nero (now aged twenty-four) wished to rid himself of the restraining influence of his advisers. Seneca retired in this year, too: but that does not mean that their 'party' lost influence, or was replaced by another supposedly centred on Tigellinus. Tigellinus owed his rise to Seneca, and the picture of him as an enemy of Seneca and Burrus is an attempt by those who loyally served Nero to draw a clear but artificial distincdon between Nero's good 'early' years and his wicked later years. The deaths of Britannicus and Agrippina, the exile of Sulla and Rubellius Plautus, and the uprising in Britain, all occurred while Seneca and Burrus were Nero's ministers. Seneca's retirement from public life at the age of sixty-five is not unexpected.

Tacitus' account makes much of the reintroduction of trials for maiestas in 62. Tacitus wants us to believe that such trials were a sign of a systematic policy on the part of an emperor to destroy opposition; that may have been the case under Domitian. But we have seen that under

Tiberius, дал/гх/лг-accusations flourished as a result of too little control of affairs by the emperor, and particularly his absence from Rome. Like charges of extortion, these accusations arose from conflicts between senators, and the opportunities they provided for able novi homines to acquire wealth, glory and the emperor's friendship. Perhaps Seneca's retirement made it easier for such men to exploit Nero's inexperience and gullibility. Earlier in his reign, he had rejected maiestas-zccub&iions on the grounds that nobody could possibly have reason to hate him. The first such trial that Tacitus reports was of Antistius Sosianus, accused of composing epigrams insulting the emperor. A senatorial debate took place, in which Thrasea Paetus objected to the consul designate's proposal that the death penalty be imposed. The consuls were unhappy to accept his milder proposal of exile, and referred the matter to Nero; Tacitus suggests that Nero was angry that the Senate had been lenient, but there is no reason to suspect that Nero was lying when he said that he would have preferred the milder punishment himself. Most of those accused of treason (when they did not commit suicide first) were exiled, not executed.

In general, those who suffered before a.d. 64 suffered because of their descent from the family of Augustus. Sulla Felix and Rubellius Plautus, exiled in 5 8 and 60, were both executed in 62; this made Nero feel secure enough to divorce Octavia (alleging barrenness) and exile her to Campania in order to marry Poppaea, which he did twelve days later. Her husband Otho had been sent to govern Lusitania shortly after Agrippina's death in 59. Public demonstrations in Octavia's favour by the urban plebs, who had perhaps not forgotten the benefits Claudius had bestowed upon it, made Nero realize that he had been wrong to discount her influence; he claimed that she was involved in a plot, and had her executed on 9 June. Although Poppaea gave birth to a daughter in January 63, the baby died after a few months. Her deification as Claudia Augusta was no consolation for the fact that Nero still had no direct heir. He was now frightened of anyone who might have a claim to be emperor. In 64, Decimus Iunius Silanus Torquatus, great-great- grandson of Augustus through the younger Iulia, had to commit suicide; the only child of the consul of a.d. 19 who had not been disgraced was now Iunia Lepida, wife of Gaius Cassius Longinus.

Nero's mistakes had hitherto affected mainly those whom he feared as rivals. But on the night of 18-19 July 64 there occurred a chance event which resulted in widespread dissatisfaction with Nero both in the city of Rome and throughout the empire. The fire of Rome and the subsequent programme of reconstruction were immensely costly, and contributed directly to Nero's loss of popularity among the wealthy throughout Italy and in certain other provinces. Later rumours ascribing responsibility for the fire to Nero himself, anecdotes about the pleasure he took in playing the lyre while Rome burnt, and the revulsion of writers normally hostile to the Christians at his attempt to mark them out as the incendiaries, illustrate the extent to which an emperor was seen as personally responsible for the disasters as well as the benefits experienced by those whom he ruled. In fact, Nero did what he could to prevent the fire from spreading by creating fire-breaks (only to be accused of pulling down buildings in areas he coveted for extensions to his own palace); and like the emperors before him, he assisted those made homeless and personally supervised the rebuilding programme.

But the reconstruction of large areas of the city was immensely expensive, and put additional strains on the finances of the domus Caesaris and of the empire as a whole. Nero's designs for a new palace were grandiose, and involved the wholesale expropriation of areas of Rome that had been the traditional habitation of the senatorial elite. Nero refused permission for the great families to rebuild their town houses on sites that he required for his domus transitorta. Here was a case of direct and unresolvable conflict of interest between an emperor and his senators.

Not only senators suffered. We are told that the free distribution of grain to the urban population had to be suspended for a time, and that some troops were not paid. Nero was now so desperate for additional sources of funding that - like a typical tyrant — he is said to have told magistrates to ensure that the maximum number of cases resulted in conviction, and confiscations. We are told that he confiscated 'half the province of Africa' (effectively the fertile Bagradas valley in northern Tunisia), executing six landowners to do so. Temple treasures were melted down; the need for precious metals resulted in considerable hostility in provinces both West and East, and contributed directly to the rebellions both of Vindex and of the Jews. In May 66, the procurator of Judaea, Gessius Florus, arrived in Jerusalem claiming that the Jews owed the imperial fiscus arrears of tax to the extent of 40 talents of gold. When the money was not forthcoming, he removed 17 talents from the Temple treasury; and it was this act which sparked off violent opposition to the Romans to an extent that the Jewish elite, including client kings, were unable to control. An attempt by Cestius Gallus, the governor of Syria, to suppress the rebellion with military might in November 66 failed (the reasons for his withdrawal were inexplicable to contemporar­ies as they are to us), and Nero had to embark on a regular war to restore Roman control over Judaea.

These fiscal problems were exacerbated by the great fire at Rome, but as Boudica's rebellion shows, they had already existed before. Through­out Nero's reign, the precious metal content of the coinage had been steadily declining. By a.d. 64, there had been a major reform of the currency: the number of aurei to the pound of gold was increased from 40 or 42 to 45, the number of denarii to the pound of silver from 84 to 96. The fact that Nero's new coins were beautifully designed could not disguise the fact that he was short of money.[426]

Nero's removal of the descendants of Augustus meant that the option to replace him was extended to others whose connexion with the Caesars was far more distant. Nero's unpopularity was exploited by a group of people who selected as their candidate C. Calpurnius Piso, the man whose marriage to Livia Orestilla had been barred by Caligula (see above, p.226); Claudius had recalled him from exile and gave him a consulship in 41. The members of the conspiracy were said to have included Faenius Rufus, co-prefect of the guard, who was afraid of the influence of Tigellinus, with three of the sixteen praetorian tribunes. The consul designate, Plautius Lateranus, was also involved, and many others were accused. To give legitimacy to the cause, Claudius' daughter Antonia was to be taken to the praetorian camp after Nero had been killed in the circus. There was nothing 'republican' about the plot.

The effect of the conspiracy was that Nero now became afraid of many who were not related to him; and he reacted by eliminating an extraordinary number of suspects. Seneca was one of those required to end their lives. Donatives were given to the praetorian guard, and other gifts to those Nero thought he could continue to trust: triumphal insignia to Tigellinus, Petronius Turpilianus, and the later emperor Cocceius Nerva. Nymphidius Sabinus, grandson of Caligula's freedman Callistus, was given insignia consularia, and appointed praetorian prefect in association with Tigellinus. Nero may have had doubts as to whether Tigellinus was as efficient a soldier as he had been a horse-breeder.

The death of Poppaea Sabina in a.d. 65 was a political as well as a personal disaster for Nero: she had not provided him with an heir.54 There were rumours of further plots, and executions. C. Cassius Longinus, husband of Iunia Lepida, was forbidden from attending meetings of the Senate; soon after Nero asked the Senate to exile him and his wife's nephew Lucius Iunius Silanus. Silanus, son of the Marcus reputedly poisoned by Agrippina in 54, was a descendant of Augustus; although the Pisonian conspirators had ignored his prior claim to the position of Caesar, Nero felt he had to execute him after a trial for incest. Cassius himself was able to return from exile in Sardinia under Galba. Another casualty of a distant relationship with the imperial family was

Antistius Vetus, Rubellius Plautius' father-in-law, and once a protege of Agrippina.

Nero's execution of those he feared continued into 66. Ostorius Scapula, son of an early governor of Britain, had consulted astrologers about how much longer Nero was likely to survive. P. Anteius, an ex- consul, was accused on the same charge; both killed themselves. The list of casualties included Seneca's two brothers, Annaeus Mela (father of Lucan, who had already killed himself on Nero's orders), and Gallio (who appears in the Acts of the Apostles as governor of Achaea); C. Petronius, Tigellinus' rival as Nero's boon companion; the ex- praetorian prefect Rufrius Crispinus; Anicius Cerealis, who had been consul in 65; and the two noted Stoics, Thrasea Paetus and Barea Soranus. Stoicism may have given some of these the vocabulary and slogans to articulate their opposition to the way Nero was behaving, but those Roman families that now turned against Nero did not do so as a 'group' or 'party', nor, primarily, because of any philosophical beliefs they may have held about 'ideal kingship', let alone 'republicanism'.

To strengthen his own dynastic position, Nero proposed to marry Claudius' daughter Antonia; but she had no wish to oblige. Instead, Nero married Statilia Messallina, the widow of another of his victims, Vestinus Atticus. She counted amongst her ancestors Augustus' gener­als Statilius Taurus and Valerius Messalla Corvinus.

Nero also made every effort to re-establish his military prestige after 65. He made the most of the solution to the Armenian problem which had been achieved by Corbulo, and arranged some spectacular festivals on the occasion of King Tiridates' visit to Rome in 66 to receive his diadem from Nero's own hands. New issues of coins stressed 'Augustan Victory', the Altar of Peace, and the fact that 'he shut the temple of Janus after peace had been achieved by land and sea'. Nero honoured generals like Vespasian and Suetonius Paulinus (who was granted a second consulship), perhaps to counter any threat from the virtus demonstrated by Corbulo. And he planned to gain military prestige himself by leading a major expedition in the East during these years; it was a period when both the Romans (on the lower Danube) and the Parthians felt that they were coming under increasing pressure from tribes originating further east (the legate of Moesia between a.d. 60 and 67, Tiberius Plautius Silvanus, had already been involved in fighting). The good relations between Nero (and later Vespasian) and the Parthians suggest that in the context of the solution to the Armenian conflict, the two states had come to an agreement about the need for military co-operation. Nero advertised an expedition against the 'Caspian Gates' at the eastern end of the Caucasus, and astrologers predicted that he would be enthroned in glory at Jerusalem. In preparation for the campaign, the Fourteenth Legion was withdrawn from Britain; it had distinguished itself in the repression of Boudica, and was granted the title Martia Victrix. Turpilianus (one man Nero trusted) was put in charge of raising a new legion in Italy. The annexation of Pontus as a province in a.d. 64 may also have been connected with Nero's eastern plans. The coins struck during his last years reveal an increasing interest in military matters.55 But Nero's prime concern apparently continued to be the glory he could achieve as a public performer. Only the Greeks, he was heard to say, appreciated real virtue. He may originally have wanted to visit Greece in a.d. 6 5, to be able to compete at the regular Olympic games. In the event, certain quadrennial games had to be rescheduled in order to allow him to participate, and carry off the prizes. It is clear that his visit made him genuinely popular in Greece. At Corinth, he dramatically re- enacted the 'liberation' of Greece from direct Roman administration, as played out by Flamininus in 196 b.c. 56

During Nero's journey to Greece with his entourage, a further conspiracy was uncovered at Beneventum (details are sparse, and it is not clear whether Nero was present when the conspiracy was brought to light). The leading figure was Annius Vinicianus, who was executed. Nor is it clear what this man's relationship was to the Annius Vinicianus who was involved in Camillus Scribonianus' rebellion against Claudius: his brother may have been the Annius Pollio implicated in the Pisonian conspiracy in the previous year. What is known is that he was Corbulo's principal supporter. He had been legatus of the Fifth Legion in Corbulo's Armenian campaign of c. a.d. 58, and was the husband of one of Corbulo's two daughters (the other was later to become Domitian's wife). In the previous year, Annius had been sent by Corbulo to accompany Tiridates on his journey to Rome; Cassius Dio says that this was as much to put a hostage of his good faith into Nero's hands as anything else. Tiridates had commented to Nero 'What a good slave he had in Corbulo'. The conspiracy at Beneventum - whether real or imagined - meant that Nero knew that he could now no longer rely on Corbulo's support. The implication was clear, and Corbulo was sum­moned to meet Nero in Greece, where he was ordered to kill himself. A little later (and presumably in connexion with the same conspiracy) the legates of the upper and lower Rhine armies were also summoned to Nero in Greece, and forced to suicide. They were the brothers Publius Sulpicius Scribonius Proculus and Scribonius Rufus, sons of a senator

» Nero as imperator. 1LS 233 (Luna) = GCN 149 = AN 287. PACE P. R. TERRA MARIQUE PARTA IANUM CLUSIT: Sutherland 1987 (в 358) ch. 39.

56 Liberation of Greece: ILS 8794 = GCN 64 = AN 127.

executed (in the very Senate-house, according to our sources) by Caligula in a.d. 40.

On his arrival in Greece Nero heard of the failure of Cestius Gallus, governor of Syria, to restore Roman control over Jerusalem in November 66. Gallus seems to have died soon after, and it was imperative for someone to be appointed quickly to take command in the full-scale war which needed to be fought for control over Judaea. In February 67 Nero appointed two men to replace Gallus, Mucianus as legate of Syria, and Vespasian to take command of the war itself; it is not surprising that the administrative problems involved in separating what had been a single provincial administration into two different commands should have caused friction between the two generals, and we do not have to suppose that there was any deep ill-feeling between the two. Their disagreements did not prevent Vespasian from pursuing the pacification of Galilee with general success during the years a.d. 67 and 68, as described in ch. 14b of this volume. By the time of Nero's death, when Vespasian ceased major operations in Palestine, there was little left for the Roman army to do apart from the recovery (and destruction) of Jerusalem itself and of a number of other forts whose reduction was more a matter of demonstrating Rome's might than of removing a serious threat.

By the winter of a.d. 67/8, it had become clear to Helius and the other members of the household who were looking after affairs in the capital that Nero's artistic victories in Greece had weakened, not strengthened, his position with the Roman elite. In January, Helius went to Greece in person (in spite of the dangerous winter weather) to persuade Nero that a return to Rome was imperative. As he travelled back to Rome via Naples, Nero's first concern was to be honoured as a Greek Olympic victor by driving his chariot through specially constructed gaps in the walls of the cities he passed on his journey to Rome via Naples. He showed much less concern when he heard that Gaius Iulius Vindex, legate of Gallia Lugdunensis, had thrown off his allegiance - news which reached him at Naples on the anniversary of his mother's murder.

CHAPTER 6 FROM NERO TO VESPASIAN

Т. E. J. WIEDEMANN

I. A.D. 68

In January 68, Nero had been persuaded by his freedman Helius to break off his successful and popular tour of Greece and return to Italy immediately. The fact that Helius braved the winter storms to cross the Adriatic confirms that he was deeply concerned about the possibility not just of a conspiracy among members of the Senate at Rome, but of a rising by one or more provincial governors with their armies. The evidence for this was a series of letters calling for Nero's overthrow circulated to other governors by C. Iulius Vindex, probably the legate of Gallia Lugdunensis. Some of the recipients passed the letters they received from Vindex on to Rome via local imperial procurators. But those who were administering the government on Nero's behalf cannot have been certain which governors if any were still to be trusted.

Imperial procurators in Tarraconensis, for instance, will have realized that the legate, Servius Sulpicius Galba, was taking no action to punish those who were circulating verses hostile to Nero. No one could tell whether Galba might not be similarly tolerant of those - perhaps the same people — who were plotting armed disloyalty.

The only direct evidence we have for assessing Vindex's reasons for rebelling, and his objectives, are the anti-Neronian writings he circu­lated, and the inscriptions on the coins he minted to pay his followers. Suetonius tells us that Vindex referred to Nero as 'Ahenobarbus', emphasizing that he had not been born a member of the domus Caesaris, and condemned him for his philhellenism: he was a charioteer and lyre- player with a weak voice. The coinage issues confirm that Vindex sought to represent himself as asserting traditional Roman values, protecting the Roman community against a tyrant. Legends on coins refer to the 'Salvation of the Human Race', showing the oak wreath bestowed on a Roman soldier for saving a fellow-citizen's life, together with the letters SPQR. There is an aureus with Mars the avenging war-god, and a pair of military standards described as belonging to the Roman people. There are denarii depicting 'Rome restored (to freedom)', and Hercules and Jupiter as liberators. Very similar coins were minted by Galba in Spain

z56

after he had thrown off his allegiance to Nero. The Spanish denarii refer to the 'Freedom' and to the 'Life-force of the Roman People', with images of Mars the avenger and a liberty-cap. Perhaps the most interesting issue shows personifications of Spain and Gaul with a Victory between them, and the legend 'Harmony of the Spanish and Gallic Provinces'; the reverse represents the 'Victory of the Roman People' driving in a two-horse chariot. The similarity between Vindex's issues and those of Galba indicates collusion between the two legates after they had withdrawn support from Nero, but it cannot prove that Galba was actively involved in Vindex's conspiracy from the beginning. Nor does the fact that both legates minted coins with inscriptions asserting republican virtues and referring to the 'Roman People' mean that Vindex or Galba rebelled against Nero in order to re-activate a form of republican constitution. That was not what 'The Liberty of the Roman People' meant to Vindex, whose ancestors had not even been citizens at the time of the Republic. He will have wanted to replace a failed princeps by a better one, and will have been well aware that he himself had no chance of attaining that position. On the other hand that does not mean that an assertion of loyalty to the SPJ2R was simply a cover for treason against the legitimate emperor; for there was a sense in which the SP^R were sovereign. They could not of course make one man more or less powerful than another; but they could recognise which man, and which group of supporters, had the most power and authority. What Vindex recognized was the right of the Senate and people to decide who it was who was actually in control — hoping, of course, that it would not be Nero, but someone else who had a claim to inherit the property and powers of the Caesars. An obvious candidate was Galba in Spain, whose name had already been mentioned as a claimant in a.d. 41.[427]

Vindex was not just a legate of Caesar; he was also a powerful man in Gaul in his own right. We are told that his ancestors had been 'kings' amongst the Aquitanians (ethnically, Basques, although the root *vent- is Celtic). We should not be surprised that Vindex made use of his local connexions; and we hear of Basque fighters volunteering to join Galba. Rivalry between different Gallic tribes, as well as between Gauls and communities of Italian settler origin with their traditional loyalty to the Ahenobarbi, will have played a role in determining who joined and who opposed Vindex. But there is no basis for the theory, popular earlier in this century, that Vindex's revolt was essentially a 'native' uprising against Roman rule. Tacitus follows the official Flavian interpretation of events in coupling Vindex with Civilis as though both were primarily native chieftains seeking to set up their own separate (but Romanized) states in north-west Europe. Like Civilis, Vindex will have exploited what opposition there was to Roman rule, aggravated by Nero's fiscal requirements; but it would be anachronistic to see him as a nationalist freedom-fighter rather than as a Roman senator reacting against Nero's 'tyranny'.

While the numismatic evidence demonstrates that those who rose against Nero agreed in recognizing the ultimate authority of the 'Roman Senate and People', the literary sources suggest that it was not clear from the start that Vindex would win the support of Galba, or of anyone else. Although Galba kept back evidence of Vindex's intentions from Nero's procurators, he was sceptical of Vindex's chances of success. It was Titus Vinius Rufinus, the commander of the Sixth Legion (currently the only legion stationed in Spain), who pointed out that if Nero's opponents did not all rally round Vindex now, the frightened and angry emperor would subsequently find it easy to deal with them one by one.

Galba was acclaimed as 'Caesar' by his troops at the regular guberna­torial assizes held at New Carthage on 2 or 3 April. He immediately rejected the imperial title, which soldiers had no right to bestow, but called himself'Legate of the Roman Senate and People'. There was some opposition: the proconsul of Baetica, Obultronius Sabinus, and his legate, Cornelius Marcellus, had to be executed. Apart from Titus Vinius, Galba was sure of the support of the quaestor Caecina Alienus, who took over the government of Baetica, and in particular the legate of Lusitania, Marcus Salvius Otho. Between them, the three governors controlled most of the empire's resources of precious metals. Otho had for many years been an associate of the young Nero. Almost nine years before, Nero had sent him to Lusitania as governor in order to facilitate his own access to Otho's wife Poppaea. Poppaea was now dead; Otho had nothing to lose from Nero's overthrow, and much to gain. Galba would be seventy in December, and had no son to succeed him in the imperial office, while Otho was thirty-seven, and available as Galba's supporter and successor.

Nero had heard of Vindex's rebellion at Naples. He was not unduly concerned at news of unrest in Gaul, but Galba would have some chance of winning recognition as Caesar; his defection changed the picture completely. It confirmed that no governors could be trusted any longer.

Petronius Turpilianus, who had proved so loyal in the suppression of Piso's conspiracy, was sent to northern Italy to assemble an army, to include the Fourteenth Legion and a new one raised from the marines at Misenum. As a deterrent to others, Galba's estates in Italy were confiscated; Galba retaliated by auctioning off the property of the domus Caesaris in Spain, using the proceeds to raise a second legion from Roman citizens in Spain, the Seventh Galbiana. Its legionary eagle was formally presented on 10 June. Galba appointed as its commander a man from Tolosa, Antonius Primus; he had been expelled from the Senate in a.d. 6i for helping to forge a will, probably before reaching the praetorship, and exiled to Marseilles. As one of Nero's exiles — and almost certainly an acquaintance of Vindex - he had immediately given his support to Galba.

Primus, Otho, Vinius and Alienus had made it clear that they were deserting Nero in favour of Galba. Others who played an important part in Nero's overthrow did not make their intentions so clear, either to contemporaries or to us. At some point in a.d. 68, the legate of the Third Legion in north Africa, Clodius Macer, threw off the authority of the government in Rome, deposed the proconsul of Africa, and raised an additional legion, which he called I Macriarta Liberatrix. A denarius, probably from Carthage, describes him not as emperor but simply as 'Propraetor of Africa' (it also carries the letters S[enatus] C[onsu/toJ). Galba had to use force to suppress Macer. We are told that members of Nero's household went to Macer in Africa and urged him to resist Galba; that may have been before or after Nero's death and Galba's recognition by the Senate in June. But Rome experienced a considerable shortfall of grain well before Nero's death; and that suggests that Macer had rejected Nero's authority, and prevented corn-ships from leaving Carthage for Italy, soon after he heard of Vindex's rebellion. Macer may have thought that by starving Rome, he could persuade the Senate to recognize that it was he, not Galba, who had the power to be Nero's successor.2

The actions of the legate commanding the upper Rhine army, Verginius Rufus, are even more difficult to interpret. We must assume that Rufus, like his colleagues, had been approached by Vindex. When Vindex offered Galba the support of Gaul, he claimed to have 100,000 soldiers to put at his disposal; since Vindex's own provincial levies only came to 20,000 men, this can only mean that he thought that some at least of the Rhine legions, and their commanders, would support his coup. On the other hand, it is also possible that Rufus stayed loyal to Nero. Tacitus says explicitly that the Rhine legions stood by Nero and the Caesars longer than other armies did.

Rufus mobilized his legions and marched south west through the 2 Macer coins: Sutherland 1987 (в 558) ch. 4a; GCN 73; cf. MW 24.

Franche Comte in the direction of central Gaul. When he heard of Rufus' march, Vindex was attempting unsuccessfully to reduce Lyons, which remained loyal to Nero out of gratitude for recent favours; he broke off the siege, marched towards Rufus, and met him at Vesontio, probably towards the end of May. There followed a battle in which Vindex's levies were defeated by the Rhine legions, superior in numbers, weapons and training; the only option left to Vindex was suicide. Soon (but not necessarily immediately) after the battle, Rufus was acclaimed emperor; he rejected the offer (or several such offers). Many years later, the epitaph on his tomb stated that 'after Vindex's defeat, he laid claim to the imperial power not on his own behalf but on that of the fatherland'.

Since the 1950s, the consensus amongst scholars - following the account given by Cassius Dio — has been that the Battle of Vesontio was a mistake. Vindex and Rufus were co-conspirators who had arranged to combine their forces and then to march on Italy together in support of Galba. Unfortunately, when Vindex's largely Gaulish levies met the legionaries from the Rhine, the resentment which the two groups felt for one another resulted in unexpected violence which the respective commanders could not contain. Similar uncontrolled violence by Roman troops during the campaigns of the following year suggests that this is not impossible. On this interpretation, the Rhine legions may have hated the Gauls and their upstart leader, but that does not mean that they were loyal to Nero; indeed, having flexed their muscles at Vesontio, they offered to put their own commander in Nero's place.

If Vindex was indeed certain of Rufus' support for himself and Galba, it is curious that he should have marched north to meet Rufus at Vesontio instead of waiting for his army at Lyons or Vienne. It is more likely that Vindex feared that Rufus and the Rhine army would stand by Nero. As for Rufus, he may well have destroyed Vindex on Nero's behalf; but very soon after the battle news reached Gaul that Nero had lost his nerve and killed himself. It was now essential for Rufus to hide the fact that he and his soldiers had supported Nero and destroyed Galba's allies, artd it was perhaps only then that the Rhine legions acclaimed Rufus as an imperial candidate - not as an alternative to Nero, but as an alternative to Galba, who would not (and did not) look kindly upon what they had done to Vindex.3

Rufus was certainly not acting in association with Galba; Galba later separated him from his army in order to give him the 'honour' of accompanying him on his journey to Rome. The immediate effect of the news of Rufus' destruction of Vindex was to make Galba withdraw to his base at Clunia, where he is said to have contemplated suicide himself. It was later asserted that he erroneously thought that Rufus had betrayed him; he may rather have feared that the Rhine legions would impose their own candidate, or that their victory would allow Nero to re­establish his authority.

Rufus' victory at Vesontio turned out to be irrelevant to the final issue, since early in June Nero had lost his nerve and effectively abandoned the administration of affairs. We do not know enough about the exact chronology of events that year to be able to say whether he had heard of Vindex's defeat, or of the Rhine army's attempt to acclaim Rufus. He may have suspected the loyalty of Turpilianus' army in northern Italy. A plan to flee to Egypt led Nymphidius Sabinus, who in Tigellinus' continued illness commanded the praetorian guard, to promise them a donative of 30,000 sesterces each if they broke their oath of loyalty to Nero, on the grounds that their emperor had already abandoned them. The Senate's role was to confirm that Nero no longer had the authority to govern, and to decide who in fact had that authority. On 9 June (or possibly 11) it declared Nero an enemy of the Roman people, recognized Galba as Caesar, acclaimed him as Augustus, and voted him imperial powers. Nero, realizing that the only support he had left was that of certain members of his household staff (and, perhaps, of the Roman plebs), committed suicide; his last words — 'what a creative artist I have been' - show how much more interested he was in his public image than in governing. Galba's freedman Icelus was released from custody and travelled to Clunia in a mere seven days to inform the new emperor of the events in the capital.

Each new emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty had faced consider­able but quite different problems in establishing himself. Galba had to face most of them together. At Tiberius' accession, there had been no previous transfer of power from one emperor to another; but Tiberius, Caligula and Nero had been the legitimate heirs of their predecessors. Galba's links with the Julio-Claudians were so tenuous as to be worthless in terms of loyalty. He made what he could of these links: an official document from Egypt calls him 'Lucius Livius Galba', and Livia's head appears on his coins.4 But like Claudius, Galba was an 'outsider' taking over possessio of the domus Caesaris after the death of its previous paterfamilias, and in the absence of direct heirs. As in a.d. 41, there were others who put forward their own claims and who either had to be eliminated (like Clodius Macer in Africa), or whose support had to

4 Galba is called 'Livius' in the Edict of Tiberius lulius Alexander: MW )iS = AN 600 (see above, p. 249). DIVA AVGVSTA coin: MW 75.

be won, at least until they could be made safe, like Verginius Rufus. Galba had to ensure that all these groups would come to be as dependent upon him as they had been on earlier Caesars; under the circumstances, we should not be too surprised at his lack of success.

The nature of the Principate naturally gave any new emperor the advantage of having patronage to bestow, and being able to remove from positions of authority men upon whose loyalty he had no claims, to replace them with others who would be ipso facto in the new emperor's debt. While Verginius Rufus was beholden to no one, his successor Hordeonius Flaccus was indebted for his office to Galba. At the start of a new reign, individuals competed to win the favour of a man who brought few supporters with him from Spain. Thus although the legions on the lower Rhine, under the command of Fonteius Capito, had not been involved in the events at Vesontio, individual officers were keen to show exceptional loyalty to Galba. At Bonn, the legionary commander Fabius Valens (who claimed to have been a supporter of Rufus, and therefore, perhaps, an opponent of Nero) was quick to administer the oath of loyalty to Galba. Later on in the year he again tried to demonstrate his loyalty by executing his commander, Fonteius Capito, on the grounds that he was plotting against Galba. Valens will have assumed that he deserved a reward for his efforts, perhaps in the shape of the Rhine army command. Galba did not reward him, and instead appointed Aulus Vitellius to command the army on the lower Rhine in December. It was Otho who had to pay the price for Galba's ingratitude.

With the exception of Africa under Macer - whom Galba soon destroyed, possibly after a naval campaign - there was now no province which failed to recognize the new emperor. But not all those who held military power owed their authority to Galba. Galba's authority might be seen as stemming from the decision by the praetorian prefect Nymphidius Sabinus to abandon Nero. It was Sabinus who was in effective control of Rome. He allowed sections of the urban mob, those who thought that they had suffered under Nero, to indulge in attacks of physical violence on some of Nero's freedmen. He also removed the invalid Ofonius Tigellinus from his position as co-commander of the guard, claiming that Tigellinus had been particularly involved in all the evil aspects of Nero's administration (a myth which those who had loyally served Nero for many years were happy to accept). The removal of Tigellinus concentrated power in Sabinus' hands; and Sabinus soon came to think of himself as potentially more than a kingmaker. To justify a bid for control of the imperial household, rumours were circulated that he was in fact an illegitimate son of Caligula, whose freedman his grandfather had been.

Galba's insistence that, since he was a member of a republican family

a.d. 68

that could be traced back for several centuries, his authority stemmed from his own domus as well as, and as much as, that of the Caesars, is not likely to have endeared him to those who belonged to the imperial household. Like other emperors, Galba depended on the help of trusted freedmen — but his own freedmen, Asiaticus and Icelus (to whom he granted equestrian privileges), were naturally a threat to those who had served the Julio-Claudians. Otho was later to win considerable success by representing himself as Nero's successor as head of that domus. Anecdotes were told of how Galba's idea of distributing largesse was to give people dny amounts of money, but stress that they came from his private purse, and not that of the Caesars. He had at first rejected the dtle of 'Caesar' altogether; although he accepted it from the senatorial delegation which met him at Narbo on his journey from Spain to Rome, the senators noted that they were entertained off Galba's family dinner- service, and not off that of the Caesars which had been specially sent out to him. Titus Vinius had to make it clear to Galba that this snobbery would not help him to gain legitimacy.

Galba's arrival in Rome would mean changes in the distribution of power there; he was bringing his own supporters with him, Icelus and Asiaticus to help him in the domus, and Titus Vinius and Otho in the government. These men were bound to replace not just the leading administrators within the domus, but also public officials appointed by Nero — for instance, the praefectus urbi, Flavius Sabinus. Rumours that Galba might appoint the commander of his legionary guard, Cornelius Laco, to the praetorian prefectship, implied that Nymphidius Sabinus would either have to accept a much less prominent role than that which as 'Benefactor of the Senate and People' he had been playing since Nero's death, or seize power before Galba and his supporters reached Rome. In addition, Macer's interruption of corn supplies from Africa was one of the factors that undermined Galba's popularity at Rome. We do not have enough evidence to be entirely certain whether Nymphidius Sabinus did in fact plan a conspiracy, or whether he and his friends were 'framed' either by those at Rome who wished to curry Galba's favour, or those accompanying Galba on his journey who had no wish to tolerate potential rivals. We are told that one night in late summer, Sabinus attempted to enter the praetorian camp; his way was blocked by one of the tribunes, Antonius Honoratus, who had him killed. It was claimed that Sabinus held in his hands a speech, composed by the senator Cingonius Varro, appealing for the support of the troops.

5

Whatever the threat Sabinus may have represented, Galba's reaction was harsh. He ordered the execution of Varro, and took the opportunity to kill other friends of Sabinus and of Nero, such as the exiled king Mithridates of Pontus (who had said some unpleasant things about

Galba's appearance). Petronius Turpilianus was ordered to commit suicide. These deaths did not bode well for those who hoped that dementia would be one of Galba's imperial virtues. As Galba's entourage approached Rome, the marines whom Nero had constituted into a regular legion during his last months appealed to be allowed the same privileges as the new Seventh Legion which was accompanying him from Spain. Galba rejected their pleas; several of them lost their lives in the violence that followed.

Galba was rapidly losing much of the goodwill with which he had set out. It was not just his parsimonious personal regime which led to resentment. He realized that Nero had been unpopular during his last years because of the need to raise funds in the provinces in order to pay for new buildings and spectacles in the capital. Galba's solution was to cut expenditure. He even went so far as to set up a commission of thirty senators to try to get back money which Nero had bestowed on his favourites. Needless to say they claimed to be able to recover only one tenth of what Nero had disbursed.

There were other aspects of Galba's administration that undermined support for him. On Nero's death, those exiled by the tyrant during the last few years returned to Rome, and some opened legal proceedings against those who had accused them; a praetor-elect, Helvidius Priscus, was particularly keen to begin a vendetta against all those who had supported Nero. When Galba arrived, he made it clear that the past should best be forgotten. As expected, he, or Icelus, arranged for the execution of some of the principal freedmen of the domus Caesaris: Helius, Polyclitus, Petinus and Patrobius. On the other hand many (including Helvidius Priscus) took it amiss that Vinius, a notorious womanizer, saved Tigellinus because he was interested in his widowed daughter. We are left with the impression that Galba was not displeased by rumours hostile to Vinius: Vinius' role as Galba's closest adviser - symbolized by his designation to the consulship for a.d. 69 as the emperor's colleague - gave him more power than was safe.

Historians once thought that one of Galba's strengths as an imperial candidate had been that he had no obvious successor. In fact there was a grand-nephew, Publius Dolabella, and the Caesars' personal bodyguard of German soldiers assumed that he would be Galba's heir. This displeased Galba: the history of earlier emperors had indicated that when the succession was clear, those who wished to prosper transferred their loyalty from the setting to the rising sun. A plurality of potential successors could be as much to an emperor's advantage as a source of instability for the empire (see above, ch.5 n.4). The fact that Galba should have thought that the adoption of a son and successor would be a solution to his present difficulties therefore requires explanation. Even more surprising is the identity of the man he adopted: Lucius Calpurnius

Piso Frugi Licinianus. This Piso was the youngest son of the consul of a.d. 27, destroyed by Messallina in a.d. 47. Although he had been exiled under Nero as a member of a family who seem consistently to have represented a threat to the Julio-Claudians, Piso had no political ambitions (we do not even know whether he had ever been a senator). The choice of Piso was not made because Galba needed the support of Piso's relatives. Galba claimed that he was choosing Piso on entirely personal grounds; many years before, as a private citizen, he had decided to make Piso his own heir, and now that Galba had become a Caesar, he asserted that there was no reason to take any other factors into account (in fact Piso was a brother of the Cn. Pompeius Magnus who married Claudius' daughter Antonia and related to the Julians through Seribo- nia: see Stemma III, p. 992). But if Galba's decision was determined by private factors, why did he pass over his own nephew, Dolabella?

One explanation for the adoption of as unspectacular a successor as Piso may be that there already was an obvious successor: Otho. Otho was associated with Nero's 'good', early years; he was popular with the praetorians, and had considerable support within the domus Caesaris. His influence may be detected in the fact that Galba appointed, or retained, Poppaea's brother Scipio Asiaticus as suffect consul for the last months of 68. Otho also had the support of Titus Vinius. He had undertaken to marry Vinius' daughter if Vinius persuaded Galba to adopt him. Thus Vinius would ultimately, if all went well, end up as the grandfather of Otho's son and successor. The moment Otho was formally recognized as the emperor's successor, Galba's own role would have been played out.

11 a. d. 69—70

Our knowledge of the calendar year 69 is much better than of 68, since Tacitus' description of the events of this 'long' year in his Histories happens to survive. Tacitus' account naturally has its limitations. It depends upon pro-Flavian traditions and was written with hindsight, with the problems of the reigns of Nerva and Trajan in mind. It also suffers from the limitations of ancient historiography as a literary form — in particular, its overemphasis on warfare. Certainly Roman armies won and lost two great battles in a.d. 69; but the success or failure of candidates for the imperial office depended on whether they could win the loyalty of very much wider groups of people than merely the particular soldiers who fought on the battlefields of northern Italy.5

By replacing Verginius Rufus with Hordeonius Flaccus, Galba had

5 The events of a.d. 69 are covered by Tacitus in books i-iii of the Historitr. Heubner 1965-82 (в 84); Wellesley 1972 (в i95);Chilver 1979 (в 27). We also have Plutarch's Galba and Otho, Suetonius, Dio lxiii and lxiv, and a summary by Josephus (BJ iv.iof).

The readable modern narrative accounts by Wellesley 1975 (c 412) and Greenhalgh 1975 (c 551) put more stress on the military action than on analysis of the political manoeuvring.

removed a potential rival for the imperial office, and Titus Vinius a personal enemy; they had not won the allegiance of the three legions of the upper Rhine army. The appointment of one of his earliest supporters, Caecina Alienus, as legate of the two legions encamped at Mainz is an indication of Galba's anxieties about them. It is not particularly surprising that on i January a.d. 69, Hordeonius Flaccus was unable to persuade the legions at Mainz to take the annual military oath to Galba; as in the previous year, an oath of loyalty to the 'Roman Senate and People' cloaked treason to the emperor. Such disrespect would only become a serious threat if the troops found an alternative candidate for the imperial office, more willing to risk civil war than Rufus had been. Flaccus was old and lame, and not a potential emperor.

Just a month or so previously, however, the lower Rhine army had received Aulus Vitellius as its commander in place of the executed Fonteius Capito. Vitellius, born on 7 September a.d. 12, and consul ordinarius in a.d. 48, was an illustrious figure; his father had been Claudius' foremost supporter (see above, p. 236), and he himself had been trusted by Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. The suggestion that Vitellius should be offered the imperial office apparently came from Caecina Alienus. Our sources ascribe his readiness to abandon Galba to his fear of an impending prosecution for corruption committed as governor of Baetica; such a prosecution may cover a desire on the part of Vinius and Otho, Galba's two other early supporters, to have him out of the way. The revolt had been carefully prepared, possibly even before Vitellius' appointment. On the same evening the news from Mainz was brought to Vitellius in Cologne, presumably via Bonn. The legate of the legion stationed at Bonn was Fabius Valens, the man who had engin­eered Capito's execution. Valens was disappointed that Galba had insufficiently rewarded him for having removed Capito. He took the lead in persuading Vitellius to risk a bid for the imperial office, despite the dangers - quite apart from the military question, Vitellius' wife and children were in Rome. Although Vitellius had no reason to be dissatisfied with Galba, he had nothing to hope for from the coming regime of Titus Vinius and his prospective son-in-law Otho. When Valens appeared at the legate's palace at Cologne (the remains of which can still be seen underneath the present town hall) and saluted Vitellius as his imperator, Vitellius was prepared to accept. The legions further downriver at Neuss and Xanten joined Valens on the same day, and on the following day the upper Rhine army at Mainz took the oath to him as well.6

Galba's procurator for Belgic Gaul, Pompeius Propinquus, had immediately informed the government of the trouble at Mainz on 1

6 Vitellius'proclamation: Murison 1979(0 378).

January. Galba may well have thought that the animosity of Verginius Rufus' old army was directed not so much against himself, as against Vinius and Otho; 1 January was the day when Galba and Vinius entered upon their joint consulship, and many had assumed (Plutarch tells us) that on that day Otho would be publicly acclaimed as Galba's adoptive son and successor. Even if he had known that the Rhine armies had already gone so far as to proclaim a rival emperor, Galba will still have thought that his chances of regaining the loyalty of these armies would be improved if he showed that there was an alternadve to Vinius and Otho. If he rejected making his nephew Publius Cornelius Dolabella his heir, then it was because he was too fond of him to force him into the position of being a foil to Otho. But Piso mattered less; Galba was willing to put his life at risk. On 10 January he announced his decision to his consilium of amici, and then presented Piso to the praetorians and to the Senate as the new Lucius Sulpicius Galba Caesar.

The adoption of Piso was not so much a matter of indicating who was to be the next emperor, as indicating who was not: Otho. Otho moved swiftly to recover the prize that had as good as been his. Vinius had let him down in the imperial consilium-, Otho had no need of his support now, and Vinius seems not to have been aware of Otho's plans. Galba had alienated the domus Caesaris by executing its freedmen and replacing them with his own; he had alienated certain praetorian tribunes as a result of the coup ascribed to Nymphidius Sabinus, and the rank and file by refusing to pay out the donative of 30,000 sesterces per man promised them by Sabinus in June. (Strictly speaking, a donative had hitherto been a legacy paid out of a deceased Caesar's will as a reward for past loyalty, and Galba had no need to make such a payment on Nero's behalf. But the insulting quip that 'he levied his soldiers, and did not buy them' will have done his popularity little good.) Otho, perhaps with Vinius' backing, had no difficulty in finding supporters amongst the praetorians, the vigiles and the urban cohorts. Early in January Galba himself was frightened enough of the extent of that support to retire several tribunes. They and their friends were easily persuaded to back Otho's coup.

On the advice of his astrologer, Otho finally chose 15 January for his enterprise. He accompanied Galba to a public sacrifice at the temple of Apollo on the Palatine; at the appropriate moment his freedman Onomastus gave the agreed message - that 'the building surveyors are waiting for you at home' - and Otho slipped away to be saluted as emperor by just twenty-three soldiers of the bodyguard. When this small group of supporters reached the praetorian camp, there was no oppo­sition from the officers. Galba's associates — including Vinius, apparently still unaware of Otho's plans - sent to the other troops present in Rome for military support, but without success. A false rumour that Otho had been killed by guards loyal to himself induced Galba to leave the palace in order to give thanks to the gods on the Capitol. As he and his entourage crossed the Forum, it became clear that their hopes were in vain. A small number of praetorians — considerably fewer than those who subsequently claimed the credit — attacked the party. Galba was killed in the Forum by a soldier from one of the Rhine legions. Piso died outside the temple of Vesta, where he had taken refuge. Titus Vinius failed to persuade the man who killed him that he was actually involved in Otho's conspiracy.

The Senate formally recognized Otho as the man who controlled the imperial household and the empire at a meeting held on the same evening. Otho was the first emperor to have seized power as a result of open bloodshed (Claudius had executed his predecessor's assassins). He also soon realized that he was faced with the candidature of a rival emperor on the Rhine. There was an exchange of correspondence with the usurper, and Otho suggested that Vitellius take Vinius' place as his prospective father-in-law. A senatorial embassy was sent to persuade Vitellius to abandon his claim, but it soon became clear that he was not a free agent, and that the Rhine armies would not countenance a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Nevertheless Otho's regime was popular. He already had the support of the praetorians, and of their officers. For all that he had virtually been Galba's expected successor, he publicly dissociated himself from that unpopular emperor, and instead emphasized his association with Nero: Galba's freedman Icelus and his appointee as praetorian prefect, Corne­lius Laco, were both executed. Statues of Nero and Poppaea were restored, and the emperor was acclaimed by the urban plebs as 'Nero Otho'. Any negative features of Nero's last years (when Otho was in Spain) were blamed on the unfortunate Tigellinus, whom Otho now executed. The disappearance of Vinius was a bonus; not only could unpopular decisions taken by Galba be ascribed to him, but Otho was freed from his promise to marry Vinius' daughter. Instead, he proposed to strengthen his claim to be the legitimate paterfamilias of the imperial household by marrying Nero's widow, Statilia Messallina. By represent­ing himself as Nero's successor, and copying his liberality, Otho won the support of the urban population; and he did his best to win supporters among the Senate, not just by inviting senators to dinner at the palace (much to their discomfort when on one occasion the praetorians suspected them of plotting against their emperor), but also by appoint­ing several additional suffect consuls, including Verginius Rufus. Marius Celsus, designated to a suffect consulship for the second half of the year by Galba, was confirmed in it by Otho. Otho himself was formally elected consul, together with his elder brother, Lucius, on 26 January.

Vespasian's elder brother, Flavius Sabinus, was re-appointed to the urban prefecture he had held under Nero.

Like other emperors, Otho made the most of news of military success. The defeat of a Sarmatian raiding party by the legate of Moesia, M. Aponius Saturninus, in February not only gave Otho some of the military prestige which he had hitherto lacked, but also enabled him to tie both the governor and one of his legionary legates, Aurelius Fulvus (grandfather of the emperor Antoninus Pius), to him by bestowing military honours. The governor of Pannonia, L. Tampius Flavianus, was honoured by being given Galba's place among the Arval Brethren; although related to Vitellius, he was to remain loyal to Otho. In any case, most provincial governors had no qualms about recognizing Galba's murderer. Even the governor of Tarraconensis, Cluvius Rufus, at first recognized Otho as emperor. So did the eastern armies: Antioch in Syria minted coins with his image and title. The gold coins issued in Otho's name and proclaiming 'peace throughout the world' were perhaps optimistic, but not absurdly so.7 Only the German and British legions refused to take the oath. (The situation in Britain was confused; the governor Trebellius Maximus seems to have lost control, and fled to Vitellius; but the legionary legates also provided Vitellius with vexilla- tiones of 8,000 men.)

Otho's coup was irrelevant to the plans of Vitellius, Valens and Caecina. Their rebellion had been as much against Galba's intimates as against Galba himself. For Vitellius to be a legitimate emperor — and he made no claim to be Augustus until he had won the approval of the Senate and people — those who ruled in Rome had to be removed, and the Rhine legions had the power to do this. The historical narrative of the year 69 gives the impression that it was the support of the armies that gave legitimacy to a candidate for imperial office; but that was not the whole story. Otho's failure shows that an emperor had to have control over his armies; but Vitellius' failure shows that military power alone was not enough to maintain control over the empire. While Caecina and Valens prepared to march on Italy with the greater part of the upper and lower Rhine armies, Vitellius proved to be markedly unsuccessful in winning support outside the western provinces. More pardcularly, there is little evidence that he was ever accepted by the client kings, freedmen and procurators of the domus Caesaris.

The two Rhine armies had probably not heard of Otho's accession when they set off to cross into Italy as soon as the Alpine passes were clear of snow, Caecina through Switzerland and across the Great St Bernard, Valens through central Gaul and then across the Mont

7 Otho's coin issues: PAX ORBIS TERRARVM, MW 32; Otho recognized at Antioch, MW 77. For Sabinus: Wallace 1987 (c 407).

Genevre. Later historians following pro-Flavian sources give a highly coloured account of the havoc the two armies caused along their route. In January, the Twenty-first Legion, based at Vindonissa, was involved in a regular battle against the civitas of the Helvetii, who had apparently arrested one of Vitellius' messengers on his way to the Danube to seek support from L. Tampius Flavianus. The Helvetians surrendered to Caecina when he arrived before their capital of Aventicum in early February. Tacitus' account of the progress of Valens' army through Gaul is similarly coloured by anti-Vitellian propaganda, and stresses the violence of the troops against the Gallic population - particularly the destruction of Vienne, for having supported Vindex — and against each other. And if we are to believe our sources, when Vitellius left the Rhineland in March with a third army, he did nothing but feast for the whole length of his journey.

Otho acted immediately and, as far as one can judge, rationally. It was not to be expected that an army would be able to cross the Alps until March or April (he could not predict the unusually early spring that year). Loyal legions from the Balkans could be marshalled in northern Italy well before Vitellius' main armies arrived, so long as the area was kept under the government's control. In winter, the only weak point on Italy's north-western border was the Via Domitia, the coastal road between the Ligurian Alps and the sea. A number of units commanded by officers who had backed Otho's coup (but who quarrelled amongst themselves) reached this sector by early February. The government was assisted by its command of the sea; when the governor of Corsica, Decimus Picarius, came out prematurely on Vitellius' side, he was soon killed. The legate of the Maritime Alps, Marius Maturus, also joined Vitellius before Valens' army was near enough to protect his province from the Othonians (among those who lost their lives at the hands of plundering Othonian soldiers was Agricola's mother). A cavalry force (including a unit of Treverans under Iulius Classicus, the later rebel leader) was sent south, but failed to dislodge Otho's troops.

The success of Otho's soldiers in Liguria prevented a quick dash by Valens' cavalry towards Rome along the Etrurian coast. What Otho cannot have foreseen was that Caecina would be able to take advantage of an early warm spell to cross the Great St Bernard with a force of about 18,000 troops, and establish himself in north-western Italy by the beginning of March. He advanced as far as Cremona without encounter­ing significant opposition.

The fact that a rebel army had been allowed to enter Italy before the arrival of the loyal legions from the Danube was to mean that Otho had already lost. Nevertheless the officers he had sent to hold northern Italy managed to inflict a series of reverses on Caecina. A force based at

Verona under Annius Gallus, largely made up of three praetorian cohorts, and one based at Placentia under Vestricius Spurinna, consist­ing of Nero's legio I Adiutrix and two praetorian cohorts, forced Caecina back to Cremona. On 14 March Otho himself left Rome with all available forces (and with all those senators whom he could not trust; they were billeted in Mutina (Modena) for the duration of the campaign, where he could keep an eye on them). His troops (perhaps 15,000 men) were still outnumbered by Caecina. Early in April, Caecina, having heard that Valens' army had now also reached Italy, decided to try to deal with the Othonians before his colleague and competitor could assist, and share the glory. An attempt to lure the imperial army, under the command of Suetonius Paulinus and Marius Celsus, into an ambush at a place called Ad Castores about twelve Roman miles east of Cremona on the Via Postumia, resulted in another defeat for Caecina.

With Valens' arrival at Cremona, the advantage held by the Vitellian forces was, for the moment, overwhelming. But the emperor was already beginning to receive the reinforcements he had summoned from Pannonia; it would be another month before the Moesian legions were there in strength, but the main force of one of the Pannonian legions (the Twelfth) reached the Othonians a few days after Ad Castores, and the two others (the Seventh Galbiana and the Fourteenth) had already crossed into Italy. From a purely military perspective, it would have been in Otho's interest to put off a battle for a couple of weeks; that was what Suetonius Paulinus, Marius Celsus and Annius Gallus are reported as having proposed to the emperor's consilium. But the uldmate decision was the emperor's, and it had to be taken on political as well as military grounds. Because of their numerical superiority, the Vitellians had the option of detaching part of their army to cross the Po and march on the capital. Otho had no other troops between the Apennines and Rome. All Vitellius' supporters had to be prevented from moving south, and the only way to do that was to fight a battle immediately.

The battle, known as the 'First Battle of Cremona' or 'Bedriacum', took place on 14 April. The imperial army had the advantage of surprise, and gained some initial successes; but they were tired out by a 20- kilometre march to the batdefield, and the terrain - thick with vineyards and watercourses — was not to the advantage of the attackers. The Vitellians' greater military experience, as well as their numerical super­iority, decided the batde. Needless to say, the emperor's troops believed that they had been betrayed by some, or most, of their officers. Suetonius Paulinus immediately decamped to beg pardon from Vitellius at Lyons. On the day after the batde, Marius Celsus, Salvius Titianus and the other officers surrendered on behalf of their troops.

Otho had awaited the outcome of the battle at Brixellum, 20 km away on the south bank of the Po. He had the option of holding off the Vitellian army for a few more days, in the hope that the two other Pannonian legions would reach him, and that they would fight for him. That was unlikely: their colleagues in the Twelfth Legion were part of the army that had been defeated, and the emperor had to assume that the war was over. After making those arrangements that antiquity expected of a good monarch to protect his supporters from the vengeance of Vitellius — including kind words for his nephew, Salvius Cocceianus, whose relationship to Otho was not to prove fatal until the reign of Domitian — he killed himself on the morning of 16 April. He was not able to foresee that his death only freed Rome from the horrors of further bloodshed for some months; it was applauded as a brave act, then and later.

After the battle, Caecina and Valens both returned to Vitellius at Lyons. There the usurper received and pardoned a number of Otho's officers, and heard that the Senate had bestowed imperial powers on him on 19 April. Vitellius accepted the grant of imperium, but did not see himself as a 'Caesar', and for the time being even rejected the title 'Augustus'. A formal senatorial delegation met him at Pavia in mid-May. Vitellius spent some time in northern Italy visiting the battlefield at Cremona and attending gladiatorial games celebrating the establishment of the new order given by Caecina at Cremona and Valens at Bologna. In June, Vitellius and his considerable army — perhaps 60,000 soldiers — entered Rome, to the great inconvenience of its residents.

Despite the military victory of his armies and his formal recognition by the Senate, Vitellius' position was weaker than any emperor's had been on his accession. He had ensured that the legions which had remained loyal to the government of Otho were dispersed as widely as possible: the Fourteenth was returned to Britain, Nero's First Adiutrix was sent to Spain, the Seventh, Eleventh and Twelfth were sent back to Pannonia, Dalmatia and Moesia, and the Thirteenth was kept in northern Italy in the insulting position of helping build the amphi­theatres required for Valens' and Caecina's shows. These legions were not reconciled to the usurper. They would be ready to support any candidate who presented himself instead of Vitellius. Suetonius states that he was told, presumably by his father (who took part in these events), that some soldiers of the Seventh Claudia were already canvass­ing Vespasian's candidacy. A more likely candidate would have been Galba's nephew Cornelius Dolabella, who unwisely returned to Rome after Otho's death in a vain attempt to rally Vitellius' opponents. He was arrested and executed by the urban prefect, Vespasian's brother Flavius Sabinus.

Vitellius' coins show his awareness of the deep split between those soldiers who supported and those who opposed him. A Spanish as proclaims the 'Unity of the Armies' (in the plural). A denarius that may have been minted for the Rhine armies before Vitellius was recognized by the Senate asserts that both the armies (obverse) and the praetorians (reverse) were loyal; both sides of the coin show a ceremonial pair of hands, clasped in friendship. The praetorians had loyally supported their emperor, and Vitellius thought it wise to discharge considerable numbers (those who were provided with plots of land in the Maritime Alps and near Aquileia were swift to join the Flavian cause in the autumn) and replace them with soldiers from the Rhine legions. He tried to advertise the support of other armies, e.g. with coins celebrating Vespasian's subjugation of Judaea.

Vitellius not only failed to reconcile the troops who had opposed him, but also failed to win popularity in other quarters. Coins advertising the imperial corn supply show that he was aware of the need for support from the plebs; and on the day after his arrival at Rome, he accepted the title 'Augustus' in response to popular demand (early coins describe him as 'Germanicus', with the praenomen 'imperator'). He accepted the dtle 'perpetual consul' which had been rejected by Nero. But he failed, or refused, to recognize the importance of being head of the domus Caesaris, and did not call himself 'Caesar' until the very last days of his reign. Instead, he emphasized the security which his new dynasty provided by the existence of a son and a daughter. His children appear on gold coins from Rome; the daughter was betrothed to Decimus Valerius Asiaticus, who as legate of Gallia Belgica had been an early supporter of Vitellius. Although only of praetorian rank, he was the son of the Asiaticus who had been mentioned as an imperial candidate in a.d. 41, and forced to commit suicide by Messallina in 47. The alliance with Asiaticus was perhaps both an attempt to reconcile those communities in Gaul that had backed Vindex, such as Asiaticus' origo Vienne, and to win the support of those families that had been associated with Vitellius' father during the early years of Claudius. Other aurei struck by Vitellius at Rome represent the censor. Another of his father's associates, Vespasian's elder brother Flavius Sabinus (cos. suff. c. 45), was confirmed in the position of praefectus urbi restored to him by Otho. His son was assigned a consulship. But neither Asiaticus nor Sabinus were able to give Vitellius much support when the army commanders appointed during Nero's reign came up with an alternative. Even Vitellius' own mother was sceptical of Vitellius' chances of establishing a new dynasty: she is reported to have said that the son she gave birth to was called Aulus, not Germanicus.8

» Vitellius' coin issues: IMP. GERMANICVS, Sutherland 1987 (в 3 5 8) chs. 47-9; CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM S.C.; FIDES EXERCITWM/ PRAETORIANORVM; ANNONA AVG. S.C., MW 36-9; LIBERI IMP. GERM. AVG., MW 80; L. VITELLIVS COS III CENSOR, MW 82 (we may note that Joscphus pretends to know nothing of these children: BJ iv.io.3(596)). Consul perpetuus-, ILS 242 = MW 81.

Foremost amongst the provincial commanders was C. Licinius Mucianus, legate of Syria. Mucianus preferred literature to soldiering, and did not propose to put forward his own candidature. Although we do not have enough information about his family to know how 'aristocratic' he was, his own career — governor of Lycia and Pamphylia in 5 7; consul towards the end of Nero's reign — gave him the authority to recommend a name to the Roman establishment. And those officers whose careers had been advanced by Corbulo before his execution in a.d. 66 now looked to him to protect their interests against their fellow- officers in the Rhine legions, who were being given swift promotion by Vitellius. Vespasian, like Mucianus, had loyally served Nero in his last years; he had had much military experience, and distinction; and he also had two adult sons, ensuring that there would be someone to succeed him. Between them the two legates commanded six legions, enough at least to challenge the rebellious Rhine armies. Vespasian was prepared to take the initiative. Despite initial disagreements of the kind only to be expected when Syria and its army had been divided between the two of them by Nero in the spring of 67, Mucianus was prepared to back him.

Vespasian's son Titus was instrumental in arranging Mucianus' support for his father. At the end of 68, he had left Palestine for Rome to submit himself as a candidate for the quaestorship; Galba had been his father's superior at Strasbourg in a.d. 41-3, when Titus had been a child, and Titus was certain that he would favour him. But at Corinth he heard both of Galba's assassination, and of Vitellius' proclamation, and decided to return to Palestine. Oracles and omens along the way confirmed him in the view that Vitellius should be resisted. When news of Otho's defeat reached them, Mucianus and Vespasian were in no doubt about their responsibility to restore legitimate government. They informed governors, imperial procurators and legionary legates throughout the empire of their intentions, and won the support of the network of client kings in the eastern Mediterranean. Minor military operations against the Jewish rebels in Palestine in June had left Vespasian in control of most of the province except Jerusalem and three other strongholds; most of the Judaean army was free for operations elsewhere.

By the time Vespasian was publicly proclaimed emperor, the Danube armies were already throwing off their allegiance to Vitellius. The process by which they were persuaded to support Vespasian rather than a more legitimate Galban successor is unclear. Personal animosities between officers played their part; in Moesia, discipline collapsed when the governor, Marcus Aponius Saturninus, tried to kill the legate of the Seventh Claudia, alleging treason. Another Moesian legion, the Third Gallica, had recently been transferred from Syria. As soon as it heard that the other Syrian legions were supporting Vespasian, it too expressed its support for his candidature. Its legate, Titus Aurelius Fulvus from Nimes, rose high in Vespasian's service. He was to be honoured with a first consulship c. 70; he was to be consul again as the emperor Domitian's colleague in 85, and his grandson Antoninus Pius was himself to hold the imperial office. By contrast, no rewards accrued to Antonius Primus, sdll in command of Galba's Seventh Legion, and loyal to his and Otho's memory. His legion, and the other Pannonian legion, the Thirteenth, that had been forced to assist Caecina and Valens' victory games in Cremona and Bologna, declared for the Flavians, but only because that allowed them to re-open hostilides against Vitellius. They accused the governor of Pannonia, M. Tampius Flavianus, of loyalty to Vitellius — he was a distant relative, but as we have seen had been honoured by Otho. Flavianus initially abandoned his office, but returned at the request of the procurator Cornelius Fuscus. Fuscus had been appointed to the post by Galba; he was to be another important supporter of the new dynasty.[428]

The first official formally to proclaim Vespasian was in fact the prefect of Egypt, Tiberius Iulius Alexander. Son of Alexander 'the Alabarch', a procurator of the younger Antonia, he was the nephew of the Jewish philosopher Philo, and his deceased brother had been the son-in-law of King Iulius (commonly but incorrectly 'Herod') Agrippa I. Not surpris­ingly, he had done well during the early years of Claudius; from a.d. 46 to 48 he was procuratorial governor of Judaea. After some quiet years probably to be explained by the primacy of Agrippina (when Vespasian, too, had been in disgrace) his experience and connexions throughout the eastern Mediterranean made him a suitable choice as an officer on Corbulo's staff in 63 (probably praefectus castrorum, in charge of the commissariat). In 66 he was appointed prefect of Egypt. The prefect of Egypt was the only Roman provincial governor who was not shadowed by an imperial procurator; this made it easier for him to declare his support for a new emperor. The acclamation of Vespasian at Alexandria on i July (two days before Vespasian's own army followed suit at Caesarea) was enthusiastically received; Alexandria had only restricted corporate rights as a city, and will have hoped that support for a successful pretender would be rewarded by the privileges appropriate for the second greatest city in the Mediterranean world. Vespasian was to disappoint any such expectations; he had no wish to represent himself as beholden to the Greek East.10

In mid-July, Vespasian and Mucianus held a conference at Berytus (Beirut) to plan their campaign. Agrippa, and representatives of other eastern clients of the Julio-Claudians such as Antiochus of Commagene, also attended. The Judaean countryside had been pacified; the glory of conquering the centre of the rebellion, Jerusalem, could safely be left to Titus, supported by Alexander as hispraefectus castrorum. Titus needed an experienced counsellor, and it was perhaps politic to prevent Alexander from becoming too popular in his home town. Mucianus would proceed to the Balkans with an army consisting of one full legion and 13,000 men in vexillationes from seven others. Ships were organized for the crossing of the Bosphorus, and later events suggest that the Flavians approached the prefects of both Italian fleets with a view to winning their support for ferrying Mucianus' army from Dyrrhachium to Brundisium. Whether the intention was to invade Italy from the south or the north (or both), Vespasian cannot have expected any major military operations in Italy before the spring of the next year. In the mean time, it would be made clear to Vitellius and his supporters that no one could be emperor with the support of the Rhine legions alone. The supplies of corn from Egypt, upon which Rome depended, were cut off. Vespasian himself was to await the outcome of events at Alexandria.

What the plan decided upon at Berytus actually was cannot be known because by the time Mucianus reached the Balkans two months later, he found that the Danubian legions had already begun their own war against Vitellius under the command of Antonius Primus. To do that they had left the Danube frontier almost unprotected against the continuing Sarmatian pressure, and Mucianus was forced to turn north to repulse a serious invasion. Leaving his army behind, he hurried on after the Danube legions, to reach Italy in December. His haste suggests that Primus' advance into Italy at the beginning of September was by no means in accordance with the plans drawn up at Berytus. Tacitus says that Primus ignored Vespasian's written instructions to hold back at Aquileia. Vespasian and Mucianus were not pleased at Primus' victories, and he had to spend the rest of his days in peaceful retirement in his home town of Tolosa. On reaching northern Italy, Primus had shown where his loyalty lay: at Padua, he called for the busts of Galba to be restored. It is also remarkable that no coins bearing Vespasianic legends can be assigned to his army; serious objections have been raised to the view that a series of coins bearing Galba's portrait and referring to him as P[a/er] P[atriae] were issued posthumously, perhaps at Lyons, but if such coins were indeed struck after Galba's death, it would be tempting to associate them with the pay given to Primus' soldiers.11

From Vitellius' point of view, the immediate effect of Primus' action

11 On the so-called 'posthumous' coins of Galba, see Kraay 1956 (в 532).

was to cut Italy off from any further reinforcements from the British and Rhine armies. It also made it clear to some of Vitellius' own supporters that there was now no chance that he would be accepted as a legitimate emperor. In September, Caecina and Valens entered upon the suffect consulship which was their reward for their victory. In response to Primus' invasion, Caecina took the entire army north (the praetorians, including the best of the soldiers who had come from the Rhine, were left behind; so was Valens, who was ill). He left it at Bologna, and then went to Ravenna to discuss with the prefect of the Adriatic fleet, Sextus Caecilius Bassus, the best way of solving the crisis without bloodshed. (Bassus was disappointed with Vitellius because he had hoped for promotion to praetorian prefect.) Bassus had already been in touch with an imperial freedman, Hormus, acting for Vespasian.

While military and civilian officers were trying to avoid bloodshed, that was exactly what the armies were looking for. Primus' legions, stationed at Verona, rioted against the two provincial governors, and both Tampius Flavianus and Aponius Saturninus were expelled from the camp. Meanwhile at Bologna, Caecina tried to remove Vitellius' por­traits, but could make no headway in persuading his legions to accept Vespasian as emperor. He fled to Bassus, who had brought his sailors over to the Flavians without difficulty. Two legionary tribunes, Fabius Fabullus and Cassius Longus, took over command of the Vitellian army until Valens was to arrive.

Primus saw that he should force a battle now, before Valens could restore the Vitellians' morale. He advanced on the strongly pro-Vitellian city of Cremona, forcing the Vitellians to try to reach it first. Battle was joined to the east of the city in the late afternoon of 24 October, and lasted through the night; ancient sources give the expected vivid accounts of the horrors of this 'Second Battle of Cremona'. There were said to be 50,000 dead, and worse than the actual battle was the destruction of Cremona by the victorious Flavians which followed; the fire, started by the Thirteenth Legion in revenge for the insulting way it had been forced to help build an amphitheatre for Valens' games after the first battle, was said to have lasted for four days.

Caecina's defection showed that Vitellius could no longer trust some of his own officers. The praetorian prefect, Publius Sabinus, had to be replaced before the major part of what remained of the Vitellian army, fourteen praetorian cohorts, moved north along the Via Flaminia in support of Valens, who no longer had an army. Meanwhile Cornelius Fuscus had occupied Rimini on behalf of the Flavians, and the Vitellian army fell back, ultimately taking up a position at Narnia, about 100 km north of Rome. Valens himself travelled through northern Italy to Gallia Narbonensis, hoping to raise another army on the Rhine; but Valerius

Paulinus, the procurator - who, like many of the imperial procurators of whom we know, gave immediate support to Vespasian's bid for the empire - arrested him and sent him to Primus, who had him executed.

Late in November, a centurion of the fleet at Misenum was instrumen­tal in effecting the fleet's transfer of loyalty to Vespasian. But here Vitellius had some success: he sent his brother Lucius to Campania with a few praetorian cohorts, and on 18 December - during the Saturnalia - Lucius' troops managed to recapture Terracina from the marines. But Lucius' actions came too late to save his brother: the cohorts at Narnia had surrendered one or two days before.

Vitellius' failure to bring about a swift end to the civil war after the second battle of Cremona has been unfavourably compared to Otho's suicide after the first. His indecision may be explained as due to uncertainty as to the extent to which Primus and his army were actually acting in support of Vespasian. Throughout the autumn, Vespasian's brother, the urban prefect Flavius Sabinus, had been available as a mediator; Vitellius seems to have been guaranteed his life, and the opportunity to retire to Campania. But Sabinus, too, was unclear about whether Primus would accept his authority (Vespasian's twenty-year- old younger son Domitian was not prepared to leave Rome in the company of Primus' messengers). Only when Mucianus himself had reached northern Italy could Sabinus and Vitellius act publicly. But the soldiers from the Rhine legions whom Vitellius had promoted to his praetorian guard had too much to lose to accept his abdication. When a formal contio was held in the Forum on 18 December to announce the surrender of Vitellius' imperium, those present shouted their opposition. An attempt to hand his dagger over to the consul, Caecilius Simplex, as a sign that he was resigning the imperial office, was rejected. Vitellius had to return to the palace while Sabinus (who, as praefectus urbi, was commander of the urban cohorts) and Domitian retired to the Capitol, assuming that they would be safe there until Vitellius regained control of his supporters.

While these negodations had been in progress, Primus was in no hurry to rescue Vespasian's relatives in Rome. Independent action was taken by a cavalry unit commanded by Petillius Cerialis, described as a close relative of Vespasian; he was almost certainly the husband of Vespasian's daughter Domitilla (now deceased). Cerialis' attempt to break through the Vitellian defences on the northern outskirts of Rome was repulsed, and in revenge Vitellius' soldiers turned against Sabinus. It appears that some of the Flavian supporters set fire to buildings on the slope of the Capitol in order to protect themselves: the fire spread and engulfed the principal temple of Rome. Several Flavian supporters were killed. Sabinus himself was captured and brought before Vitellius, whose attempts to save his life failed. Domiuan escaped in the garb of a priest of Isis, together with his cousin, Sabinus' son T. Flavius Clemens (consul in a.d. 95 as Domitian's colleague).[429]

When he heard of Cerialis' failure to enter Rome and of the destruction of the Capitol, Antonius Primus could no longer hold back his army. He may also have calculated that the death of Sabinus would enable him to present a candidate of his own choice to the Senate. Tacitus suggests that in the first days or weeks after the occupation of Rome, he tried and failed to persuade Licinius Crassus Scribonianus to become his own puppet emperor. As brother of the Piso adopted by Galba, and the Cn. Pompeius Magnus married to Claudius' daughter Antonia, Crassus had a stronger connexion with the household of Caesar than Vespasian. Primus entered the city on 20 December (possibly 21), and encountered considerable resistance. Vitellius attempted to flee the city - he may have heard of his brother's successes in Campania — but his praetorians would not let him go. He was discovered hiding in the deserted palace, dragged through the Forum by a mob of soldiers and civilians, and put to death.

Mucianus succeeded in reaching Rome within a few days of Primus, and acted swiftly to isolate him. Even before his arrival, Mucianus had sent written instructions to the Senate to ensure that it was Vespasian who was duly recognized as Caesar and Augustus, and that the people passed a law voting him all the legal powers that earlier emperors had had (one of the two bronze tablets bearing the text of this lex de Imperio Vespasiani still exists, and grammatical peculiarities suggest - the haste with which Mucianus drafted it).[430] It is not surprising that individual senators started to ask questions about just who it was who represented the new emperor. In January 70, with Domitian's consent, the Senate passed a decree honouring Galba and Piso; only later was it realized that this did not accord at all with the wishes of Mucianus and Vespasian. Domitian's re-appearance as Caesar provided a point of reference. He was duly elected as urban praetor, but with the unprecedented imperium of a consul. Mucianus arranged for rewards for those who had been a party to Vespasian's own plans. He himself was nominated to a second suffect consulship in a.d. 70, together with Petillius Cerialis; the client- kings who had supported Vespasian were honoured; and the freedman Hormus, instrumental in negotiations regarding the fleet, was granted equestrian status. But Antonius Primus, the man who had actually defeated Vitellius, was eased out of power and never again played a political role. For Vespasian's security, Mucianus arranged for the execution of those who might attract the support of Galban partisans as candidates for the imperial office: C. Piso Galerianus (son of the conspirator of a.d. 65), and his father-in-law Lucius Piso (cos. 57), current proconsul of Africa. Lucius was a brother-in-law of Galba's heir and of Licinius Crassus Scribonianus; both were therefore related to Augustus' first wife Scribonia. Piso was killed by Valerius Festus, legate of the Third Legion and a relative of Vitellius who needed to prove his loyalty to the new regime.

Mucianus' next problem was to defuse the rivalry between Vespa­sian's two sons. Titus had won military glory as his father's legate in Judaea (he was to remain there for the prestige of destroying Jerusalem that summer). Domitian suspected that he would have little chance of surviving for long if his brother ever came to the throne. One option open to him was to win military glory himself by leading the Flavian legions north to deal with the remaining Vitellian units in Gaul, Britain and the Rhineland. Mucianus had already sent Petillius Cerialis to the Rhineland, and allowed Domitian to follow (thus removing him from Rome); later tradition had it that Domitian personally received the surrender of the Lingones, but he seems to have been prevented from seeing any fighting. Instead of seeking to rival the military glories of his brother Titus and brother-in-law Cerialis, Domitian dedicated himself to writing poetry, including epics recording the fighting on the Capitol and his achievements in Gaul.

The failure of the Rhine legions to accept Vespasian after Vitellius' death proved a major embarrassment to the Flavians, and to pro-Flavian historians. The events of a.d. 69/70 in the Rhineland had to be re-written in such a way as to avoid giving the impression that Vespasian had been supported by Batavians and (some) Gauls, while the citizen legions and (other) Gauls continued to constitute a 'Vitellian' force. In consequence, Tacitus' Histories describe the rebellion against Vitellius led by the Batavian leader Civilis as though it was an uprising by provincials against Roman rule. But Tacitus also has to admit that when the rebellion began, it was welcome to the Flavians: he says that at first it was only in secret that the rebel leaders expressed anti-Roman views. If Civilis was a traitor, he was a traitor to Vitellius. In the autumn of 69, at the behest of Antonius Primus, he took the oath to Vespasian and besieged a Vitellian legion at Vetera (Xanten). Tacitus misleadingly suggests that by the beginning of 70, the legions too had taken the oath of loyalty to Vespasian. In fact, the legate of Upper Germany, Hordeo- nius Flaccus (who had supported Civilis' action) was killed by his troops when he tried to administer the oath, and Vitellius' portrait restored. A pro-Vitellian legate, Dillius Vocula, came to the help of the soldiers at Vetera; when the legionaries tried to evacuate the camp there and march south in March 70, they were massacred by Civilis' Batavians (Tacitus emphasizes the presence of Germanic warriors from across the Rhine among Civilis' soldiers).

The leaders of a number of Gallic tribes also remained loyal to the Vitellian cause. With the Flavians recognized at Rome and the arrival of Cerialis and Domitian in Gaul in the spring of 70, their resistance could be re-interpreted as a tribal uprising. But these men were as little Gallic nationalists as Vindex had been. Iulius Classicus had led the Vitellian advance as far as the Maritime Alps in early 69; the other leaders, Iulius Tutor and Iulius Sabinus, were 'Romans' to such an extent that Dillius Vocula's legions accepted their command after the disastrous retreat from Vetera. In the absence of any senator who might be put up as the Vitellians' candidate for the imperial office, Iulius Sabinus made a bid by claiming that his grandfather had been an illegitimate son of none other than Iulius Caesar himself. The 'Gallic Empire' (Imperium Galliarum) which they called for was not an empire controlled by the Gauls, but a Roman empire in Gaul, a compromise which could be supported both by legionaries who wished to remain loyal to Vitellius and by Civilis' Batavians and other Gallic tribes who had fought them.

It was the absence of a plausible leader that gave the legionaries no alternative but to accept Vespasian. Their last hope was to persuade Cerialis himself to take up their cause; he passed their offer to make him emperor back to Domitian. The Flavians took what measures they could to win the loyalty of these supporters of Vitellius. Four of the Rhine legions had to be disbanded (I, IV Macedonica, XV Primigenia, XVI), and replaced by new ones, whose titles proclaimed their association with the new dynasty (IV and XVI Flavia). The loyalties of the British legions during this period are even more difficult to reconstruct (see ch. 13?). Cerialis took over command of the British army, perhaps to balance his brother-in-law Titus' command in the East. The military activities of the next three years, involving the subjugation of Brigantia and the founding of a new legionary base at York, gave the legions stationed in Britain an opportunity to prove their loyalty to the Flavians. In Britain, as in the Rhineland, the legionaries' conditions were improved by the construction of more permanent, stone camps, such as the one at Caerleon. The story of their war against Civilis was re-written to make it seem that they had always been loyal to Rome, fighting German barbarians and Celtic and Batavian traitors. Unlike Galba, Otho or Vitellius, the Flavians managed to win the support even of those who had fought against them. The coinage broadcast not just military victory over Judaea and the security represented by the new emperor's two sons, but the 'Revival of Rome', Peace, Liberty, and concord between emperor and Senate. As censors (a.d. 72-4), Vespasian and Titus freed the Roman people from the moral stain, and from some of the memories, of civil strife. The account of Vespasian's reign as the recognized successor of the Julio-Claudians is to be found in another volume. Mucianus enjoyed a third consulship in a.d. 72, and then spent his retirement writing books.14

14 Civilis: Urban 1985 (c 406). Classicus' coins include the legends ADSERTOR LIBERTAT1S, LEGION XV PRIM and CONCORDIA: FIDES may be an appeal for continued loyalty to the Vitellian cause. Cf. Zehnacker 1987 (в 564). Tacitus' admission that the rebels were only 'separatists' in secret: Hist. 111.14. Brigantia: Birley 197; (e 529), Hanson and Campbell 1986 (e 544). Vespasian's coin issues: ROMA RESVRGENS, PAX P. ROMANI, L1BERTAS RESTITVTA, AETERNI- TAS P.R., CONCORDIA SENATV1 - MW 42-6; 90; 254.

CHAPTER 7 THE IMPERIAL COURT

ANDREW WALLACE-HADRILL

I. INTRODUCTION

If the powers of Augustus and his successors were monarchical, the most important arena where those powers were exercised was the court. Both as an institution and as a word, the court was alien to the Republic. Aula, a direct derivative of the Greek aule, the standard term in the hellenistic world for the courts of oriental and Greek kings, is almost unknown to republican literature (including Livy); but rapidly establishes itself under the early Empire (notably in the writings of Seneca under Nero) to refer both to the physical location of imperial power and to the type of power, the personnel, and the perilous way of life that were associated with it.1 New though the phenomenon was to the Romans, they were well aware that what they now experienced was an old feature of monarchical societies. 'Reflect,' observed the emperor Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations, 'how all the life today is a repetition of the past... the whole court circle of Hadrian for example, or the court of Antoninus, or the courts of Philip, Alexander and Croesus. The performance is always the same; it is only the actors who change.'2

The historical and biographical sources recognize the role of the Julio-Claudian court. Stories told about Vespasian's early career encap­sulate assumptions about how court life worked. His success under Claudius was ascribed to the influence of the freedman Narcissus; he also had a mistress, Caenis, among the imperial freedwomen. His son, Titus, was brought up at court (in aula) with Britannicus. The fall of Narcissus and the rise of Agrippina meant his political eclipse. Nevertheless, he remained in the court circle, and was taken by Nero to Greece among the comites. But his unconcealed lack of enthusiasm for singing brought him into bad odour, and he was banned not only from the inner circle (contubernium) but even from the general audience {publico salutatio). He

See TLL 1.1457-8, s.v. aula II.j.c. Cic. Fam. xv.4.6 (of the court of Ariobarzanes) is apparently the only republican occurrence. Similarly used of foreign courts by Augustan and later writers, e.g. Virg. 11.504, Val. Max. vn.1.2; of court life in contexts applicable to Rome ĥrst in Seneca Ira 11. j}.», Tranq. vi.2; of Nero's court, [Seneca] Octavia 285 etc.; then regularly of the imperial court in Martial, Statius, Tacitus, Suetonius and later.

Med. 10.27. On the views of Marcus, Brunt 1974 (в 19).

283

learnt of his disgrace from one of the freedmen who controlled admissions (ex officio admissionis), whose treatment of him was so acrimonious that he was scarcely rescued by the intervention of other courtiers.[431] We meet here a string of assumptions that run through the historical accounts of the Julio-Claudian and later periods: the fragility of political success and its dependence on imperial favour; the role of freedmen and members of the imperial family as mediators of favour; the emergence of subordinate personnel who help to define access to and exclusion from the court; and the intertwining of political and social life at court, and the consequent importance of imperial tastes.

The work of the last generation of historians has represented a large step towards a better understanding of the early imperial court. Several major studies have extended our detailed knowledge of the freedmen personnel,[432] the equestrian amici principis,[433] and of links among the senatorial elite.[434] Above all, study of contacts between emperors and their subjects, the decision-making process and the distribution of resources and patronage, show us the network of imperial personnel in operation and reveal something of the structures within which they operate.7

But in spite of these advances, the court remains partly veiled from our sight. Historiographically it leads a sort of twilight existence. This is true both of the ancient sources and modern scholarship. The difficulties that obstruct the historian were articulated by Cassius Dio: monarchical rule involved a retreat of political life and the decision-making process from open places (the Senate and Forum) into privacy. Dubious official announcements and hearsay represent the only access to what was going on.[435] Tacitus reacts to this problem by the tactic of irony.9 Rather than focus on the court on the basis of suspect information, he directs his attention to public places in the style of his republican predecessors: he thereby underlines not merely the political impotence of the Senate, but the impotence of the historian, who can only approach the true locus of power indirectly. The majority of our direct information about the workings of the Julio-Claudian court is anecdotal: this is true not only of the biographies of Suetonius, but of the numerous reminiscences of contemporaries, Seneca in his philosophical dialogues, the elder Pliny in his Natural Histories, or the Discourses of the ex-slave philosopher Epictetus preserved by Arrian. The tendency to anecdote is not a personal weakness of our sources, but a structural consequence of the retreat of politics behind closed doors.[436]

Modern historians have reacted to the problem differently. Suspicious of anecdote, and disinclined to see history as made by feminine schemes and palace plots,[437] we have moved away from study of the Principate as a political system to study of administrative systems and hierarchies. The temptation has not always been resisted to substitute modern bureaucra­tic structures for the unfamiliar structures of a court society.12 The world of kings and courts is one of which the present age has lost sight, and it requires an effort of historical imagination to take its structures ser­iously.[438] In consequence, this chapter represents a sketch not only of what we have learnt, but of what we stand in danger of forgetting.[439] In discussing the nascent court of the Julio-Claudian period, it will be necessary to generalize more broadly about the function of the court in the structure of imperial power.

ii. access and ritual: court society

The court and its membership had no 'official' definition, for this was a social not a legal institution, private in its composition though public in its importance. The contrast with the Senate is significant: membership of that body was a legal status, only open to certain social categories, age groups, and one sex, and Augustus at an early stage took measures further to define eligibility and to formalize procedures and conduct of business.15 The court remained in its nature undefined: membership was constituted by proximity to the emperor, and only social ritual could distinguish degrees of proximity. At the negative extreme, the renounce­ment of amicitia was a formal token of imperial displeasure and expulsion from court; but the amicitia enjoyed by those who had not fallen from grace was fluid and imprecise (a point obscured by attempts to catalogue the amici principis, as if they were officials with a rank).16 Many had access to the aula; far fewer were admitted to the private chamber, the cubiculum principis,17 Nor did the court have any official or public function. Events of public importance took place on the Palatine from Augustus on, such as the reception of embassies, councils of state and trials, but they did so not as 'court' events, but in virtue of the personal obligations of the emperor. By tradition, any public figure at Rome was liable to use his house for occasions of a quasi-public nature.18 This lack of definition only added to the power of the court: one of the secrets of power, the arcana imperii, was to be untramelled by rules.

Nor was its location fixed: aula represents an abstraction, not a description of a particular place. Under the late Empire the court was to be peripatetic, like the courts of many medieval monarchs; at all periods the court (but not necessarily all courtiers) moved with the emperor.19 This does not mean that the imperial presence transformed all contexts into the court, as when the emperor attended the Senate or the games: these were public venues, in contrast to the private and domestic venues of the court, even the praetorian tent on campaign.20 But despite the string of properties across Italy already developed by Augustus, and the fondness of the Julio-Claudians for the Bay of Naples, and specifically Capri, it is notable that in practice the court was from the start firmly centred on the city of Rome, and particularly the Palatine Hill.21 This too has its echo in language. Palatium acquires the sense of'palace' by the end of the first century a.d. (the metaphorical usage goes back to Ovid), and as Cassius Dio later pointed out, it was the facts of life rather than any decree that turned palatium into the name for any imperial residence, no matter where its location.22 The rapid absorption of the show houses of the republican nobility on the Palatine, already far advanced by the end of Augustus' reign, neatly symbolizes the absorption of their social power.23 Augustus and his successors manipulated this symbolism with care: the rich ritual and 'historical' associations of the hill of Romulus were exploited, and the potential of the site to overlook and dominate the public activity of the Forum and the mass meetings of the Circus Maximus was underlined by the choice of where to build.

Suetonius' emphasis on the modesty of Augustus' residence may create a false impression, engendered by the desire of a later age to idealize the simplicity of the past.24 Contemporary reactions in the poets, explicit in Propertius and Ovid, veiled in Virgil, register the overwhelm­ing impression made by the novel complex of private house and public temple (Actian Apollo), portico (adorned with Danaids) and libraries.25 The tantalizing fragments that have emerged from recent archaeological

'8 Vitr. De Arcb. vi.j.z; cf. Millar 1977 (a 59) i8ff. 19 Millar 1977 (a 59) 28-57.

Veyne 1976 (f 71) 682-5 perversely identifies the whole city of Rome as court.

Millar 1977 (a 59) 15-28.

Ov. Met. 175, Dio lin.16.4-6; cf. RE xvin 3 (1949) 10-15 s v- Palatium.

Wiseman 1987 (f 81).

Suet. Aug. 72. Sources are collected in Lugli 1962 (e 82) 154-61.

Esp. Prop. 11.31; Ov. Fast. ^.951-4; Tr. 111.1.31-48; Pont. 11.8.17; Virg. Aen. vii.^ofT, cf. Wiseman 1987 (f 81).

exploration give concrete documentation of the interweaving of public and private in the area of the temple of Apollo, approached from within Augustus' house by a series of ramps, which is more reminiscent of a hellenistic royal palace than a traditional Roman house.[440] This feature, dating back to 28 B.C., was extended in the course of the reign: in 12 в.с. the public cult of Vesta, symbolic hearthplace of the city, was incorpor­ated within the private house of Augustus as pontifex maximus, and in a.d. 3 after a major fire and rebuilding of the palace on public subscripdon, the whole residence was declared public property. Thus the architectural ambivalence of public and private embodies from the first the essendal ambiguity of the court as an institution, a private household with a central role in public life, the domus of a citizen and simultaneously the praetorium, the headquarters of a commander pro­tected by the praetorian guard.[441]

The Augustan development lacked unity; it was rather a string of separate households absorbed piecemeal, and this was still true of the palace as Josephus describes it at the time of Gaius' murder.[442] Nero's vast building activities, both before and after the great fire, imposed coherence for the first time, and eliminated the final traces of indepen­dent houses of the aristocracy on the Palatine, such as the house of the orator Crassus with its famous lotus trees, finally owned by Claudius' courtier Caecina Largus.[443] Even without taking into account Nero's extension of his Golden House onto the Esquiline, we may be struck, as were contemporaries, by the staggering extent of the palatial complex.[444]Covering some 10 hectares, it exceeded the palace of Attalus at Pergamum by a factor of 30, though indeed if the palaces of Alexandria or Antioch were preserved, they might have approached somewhat closer to the Roman scale. This vast development implies human activity on a corresponding scale. The so-called Aula Regia of Domitian's palace was preceded by an earlier and not much less impressive auditorium. A small indicator is provided by the lavatories which constitute one of the few fragments of Nero's rebuilding on the Palatine: with a capacity of over forty, they exceed the public lavatories attached to the fora of towns like Ostia or Corinth, and approach the level of a major modern railway station. The palace should be seen as a major concourse of human activity.31

Rome was where the early emperors held court for serious business: Italian villas and the Bay of Naples, even in the case of Tiberius' last years, represented an escape from the pressure of people into relative otium,[445] The choice of location had implications for the development of Rome as an imperial city and as the monumental showpiece of the empire. Many factors, not least tradition, may have dictated this choice; but one factor of paramount importance was the question of accessibi­lity. The emperor needed to be readily accessible to a very considerable number of individuals. The prime function of a court is to provide and control physical access to the ruler; the courtiers are those who simultaneously have achieved some degree of regular access for them­selves and are capable of mediating it to others. It is therefore the structures and rituals through which access to the ruler is mediated which give a court its distinctive character. Who could get at the emperor, and on what conditions?

The composition and rituals of the imperial court were evolved from patterns current among the Roman upper classes at large.[446] Three groups can be broadly distinguished: family, servile household, and friends. The first two represent the 'insiders', the domus or Jamilia Caesaris. Wives and children play a central role in court life. Other relatives were more loosely attached: Roman social custom did not favour the extended family, and many members of the imperial family kept separate households. The exceptionally diffuse family network built up by Augustus explains the physical structure of the palace in his day as a nexus of partially separate houses: even Tiberius in the last decade of his adoptive father's reign kept separate household in the Domus Tiberiana, while Gaius' father Germanicus had his own house in the reign of Tiberius.

Freedmen too, following Roman social custom, might be more or less loosely attached to their imperial patron's house: they might reside within the palace to perform daily services, but they might keep separate households of their own. Augustus used the houses of freedmen on the Palatine or elsewhere to escape from visitors or to watch the games, while the independent houses of Claudius' great freedmen like Posides and Callistus were among the wonders of the city.[447] What distinguishes both family and freedmen as 'insiders' is their relationship to the emperor, not their residential location. Fortune, whether through birth, marriage or the slave market, had placed them in a permanent proximity to the ruler to which no outsider had access. The imperial household, unlike that of the medieval or early modern king, opened no avenues to the talent and ambition of the subject: the element of sheer chance behind the making of a potent freedman was epitomized by Epictetus in the figure of Felicio, the cobbler slave who by an exchange of hands emerged as an imperial functionary, to the confusion of his old master.[448] To start with, the domus Caesaris was many households as well as many houses: different members of the imperial family kept their own establishments, and Antonius Pallas, the most famous of Claudius' freedmen, began his career as a slave in the confidential service of Claudius' mother Antonia.[449]

The court is not simply the ruler's household, but the household operating as an interface with the society over which he rules. The distribution of power in monarchical society is likely to correspond to the distribution of access to the ruler. In the hellenistic kingdoms there was marked conflict between the status systems of the court and of the cities. The royal philoi drew their status from proximity to the king; and the grades of court hierarchy depended not on functional differentiation but on closeness to the royal person — so in the Ptolemaic court the descent is from relatives (syngeneis), to those honoured as if relatives, to the bodyguard (in the sense of royal pages), to first friends, to friends. The kings paid no attention to the ascriptive status systems of the cities; consequently out of the court circle the royal friends were derided as unworthy climbers, 'flatterers' or 'parasites'.[450] Correspondingly the hellenistic courts developed rituals and ceremonials which opened a sharp gulf between the king and the norms of Greek or Macedonian society: pomposity of dress and setting (elaborately canopied thrones); rituals like proskynesis which, whatever its significance and appropriate­ness in Persian society, had in the context of Greco-Macedonian society a profoundly distancing effect; and ceremonial language drawing on that of cult.

The similarity has often been remarked between these hellenistic philoi and the amici Caesaris, particularly in view of the apparent (but ill- attested) distinctions introduced of a cohors primae admissionis (group of the first admission), secundae admissionis and so on.[451] Doubtless there was hellenistic influence on Roman social ritual, of which the Romans themselves were aware, just as the differentiation of the freedman secretariat is probably developed on a hellenistic model. But this obscures the fundamental gulf between the imperial court and any hellenistic analogue. For by and large the early Caesars paid elaborate attention to the status hierarchy of Roman society, dovetailed the privileges of their amicitia with the demands of ascriptive status, avoided rituals that set them apart from the aristocracy, and controlled the tendency of the court to generate a gulf between itself and society.[452]

The social rituals which channelled access, notably the morning salutatio and the afternoon cena, were those normal among the nobility of the late Republic and early Empire. Repeated descriptions of the bustle of the early morning salutatio at the great houses of Rome by Seneca and the satirists only underline its similarity to the imperial routine: the emperor was distinguishable in the scale but not the style of his admissions.[453] If he graded his friends into admissiones, so too did others; Seneca, our only informant on this, attributes the introduction of the custom to Gaius Gracchus and Livius Drusus.[454] Assuming that Vespa­sian followed the pattern of his predecessors, secretaries and officials were interviewed and their breviaria read before the admission of friends to the bedroom, followed by a general salutation. Vespasian may have started earlier in the day than some, but the daybooks of officials in Egypt show similar patterns of business.[455] Nor is there much trace at this stage of the evolution of distinctive imperial dress or pomp. The emperor wore the toga at his levee; if Caligula wore floral tunics, it was regarded as an aberration, and failed to establish a new ceremonial.[456]

Other institutions taken directly from the republican nobility include the appointment of comites (companions), duly rewarded with a salarium, to form a cohors amicorum, and to join the contubernium (mess) of the emperor on tour or campaign, and the summoning of amici to form a consilium to advise on specific issues.[457] Naturally, the 'friends' and 'advisers' of the emperor played a role in public affairs and wielded an influence which far outran any republican precedent, and the amici principis were busy men, and regarded by others with awe and even fear.[458] But it is an error to represent the imperial consilium as an established organ of government with a defined membership. Its informality was essential.[459] In building on republican precedent in all these varieties of amicitia, the Caesars not only established themselves as respectors of the mores maiorum, but integrated the behaviour of the court into the patterns of behaviour current in the aristocradc society around them.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the anecdotal descriptions of imperial admissions and receptions is the predominance of senators and members of the upper stratum of the equestrian order. There was evidently widespread attendance at salutations by members of the senatorial order (including their wives and children); not until a.d. i 2 in the infirmity of old age did Augustus ask the Senate to be excused his normal practice of greedng them all at his home.47 As a rule they enjoyed precedence. Senators were greeted with a kiss - a hellenistic custom indeed, but one already current among the elite in Cicero's day.48 Nero is said to have denied the kiss to all senators on his return from Greece: this was a powerful mark of imperial displeasure, not an attempt to reverse the assumption that senators were entitled to this mark of intimacy.49 A vivid reflection of the social ties which interconnected the upper orders and linked them to the emperor is the elder Pliny's report of the outbreak of a facial disease in Tiberius' reign.50 Pliny remarks on the way this epidemic was restricted in its incidence both geographically to Rome and socially to the upper orders {proceres): the disease was spread by kissing, and its extent and restriction reflected the exchange of kisses at the salutation. Tiberius, who appears to have been affected himself, put a temporary ban on the custom. The kiss was not reduced to a symbol of obeisance. Seneca vigorously protests at Gaius' gesture in proffering his foot to a consular to kiss: with its overtones of oriental court ritual, this was precisely the kind of gesture that did not establish itself as the Roman norm.51

Accounts of imperial dinners repeatedly feature senators and equites.52 Even if Gaius was tickled by the macabre thought that he could execute both consuls at will, they were reclining next to him in the positions of honour when the thought arose.53 Conversely there is a dearth of anecdotes illustrating the entertainment of the socially humble, or complaining of their access to the imperial table. Augustus is said only once to have admitted a freedman (not his own) to his table.54 His successors were not necessarily so strict; but there is no sign of imperial freedmen jostling for places with the proceres. The prime access of freedmen to the emperors was not on formal occasions, but informal and backstairs. Helico owed his influence with Gaius to his access to him at

47 Dio lvi.26.2—j* 48 Cic. Alt. xvi.5.2; Kroll 1933 (a 54) li-5gfF.

49 Suet. Ner. 37. » Pliny, HN xxvi.3; cf. Val. Max. xi.6.17; Suet. Tib. 34.4; 68.2.

51 Alfoldi 1934 (d i), 4off; Sen. Вея. н.12.1; cf. Epictetus, Diss, iv.1.17.

и Friedlander 1922 (a 30) 1. 98-103: Turcan 1987 (d 20) 2}7ff; cf. D'Arms 1984 (f 23).

51 Suet. Calig. 32.

54 Suet. Aug. 74; but cf. Macrob. Sat. 11.4.28 for the entertainment of a slave dealer.

intimate moments, 'when he was playing ball, taking exercise, at his bath and at his breakfast, and retiring at night'.55 But as far as social life was concerned, the early emperors behaved as members of their own social class, greeting, entertaining, and on occasion reciprocating offices by accepting hospitality and attending functions.[460]

Senators and equites were by no means the sole members of the court circle. One notable group which regularly met in the court of Augustus and his successors was that of Greek intellectuals and men of learning - the philosopher Areius at Augustus' court, the grammarian Seleucus or the astrologer Thrasyllus at Tiberius', the doctor Xenophon at Clau­dius', the musician Terpnus at Nero's. The majority of these are attested as living at court, sharing the contubernium principis.51 Here again, emperors were not setting themselves apart from, but assimiladng themselves to, the habits of the republican and early imperial nobility. When the historian Timagenes forfeited the amicitia of Augustus, he went to live with Asinius Pollio.58 In supporting such intellectuals, emperors were not promoting a group otherwise neglected by society, but providing themselves and their friends with cultural stimulus of the type the Roman upper class had come to expect. On the other hand, because the resources and importance of the imperial house so far outran those of any aristocratic house, the effect was to introduce a new pattern of effectively 'public' patronage of the arts in place of the strictly private patronage of the Republic.59

Because integrated into the social and cultural life of the Roman upper class, the court not only served to reflect existing norms but dictated the tone of society.[461] The emperor was seen as a model eagerly imitated by others. The hothouse atmosphere of the court helped to disseminate tastes and fashions as well as facial disorders. Fashions in hairstyles or the decoration of houses throughout the empire closely and rapidly respond to models set by the court in Rome, and art history points to the deep penetration of the lives of Romans by the stylistic and moral values of the imperial circle.[462]

The role of the court in shaping fashion was aided by its use as a place for the upbringing of the children of favoured courtiers (as well as the children of foreign and barbarian kings). In hellenistic courts, the pages or basilikoipaides were a formal institution, enjoying especial prestige, and kings took into their innermost circle the syntrophoi with whom they themselves had been brought up. At Rome there is no trace of royal pages as a formal rank, but the children of the distinguished certainly frequented the court, received schooling there (under Augustus at the hands of the grammarian Verrius Flaccus), attended dinners (explicitly attested under Claudius), and enjoyed the attentions of emperors and their wives.[463]

Looking back from the complacent respectability of the Flavian and Antonine eras, our historical sources regard the mores of the Julio- Claudian court with a mixture of shock and astonishment. Profligacy of sexual morals, grossness and wanton pursuit of the exotic in eating, above all lavish waste in the construction and decoration of houses combine with sophistication of taste in literature and an (unRoman) delight in music. In all this, the imperial court continues in a direct line the 'hellenizing' tendencies of the aristocratic houses of the late Republic. Such social and cultural trends could not be manipulated by the emperors at will: the attempts of Augustus and even Tiberius to impose restraint, whether by legislation or by example, proved futile. In fact they (probably unwittingly) promoted the trends they professed to oppose. For by suppressing the traditional channels by which prestige was generated and made visible under the Republic, through glory in war and demonstrations of popular favour,63 they redirected the compe­titive energies of the elite into the social displays upon which success in a court society depended.

This display contained the seeds of its own destruction. Their very magnificence, as Tacitus observes, was the ruin of the great houses, and Nero, who outstripped all competition with the sumptuousness of his Golden House and the wasteful dinners when guests were drenched in perfume from the ceiling, was surely aware of the political advantages of ruining his rivals financially with the aid of his unique access to the wealth of empire.64 But Nero in turn was ruined by employment of this technique, both financially and, more damagingly, morally. The accele­ration in extravagance of his reign produced a revulsion of taste within the court circle itself, among men from municipal and provincial backgrounds who perceived the implications of the way of life into which they found themselves sucked.[464] The tone of the Flavian court, for which the elder Pliny acts as spokesman, was palpably different.

Just as the court had a decisive impact on the culture and morality of Roman society at large, it is likely to have played a central role in the formation of opinion. It is frequently stated that the outlook of our sources is 'senatorial'. In some ways this is undeniable. Republican historiography had been dominated by senators, and imperial historians were conscious inheritors of the republican tradition. Respect for the upper classes in general and for the Senate in particular is one of the criteria on which emperors are most consistently praised or condemned. Social contacts within the relatively small group of senators could have been close, and doubtless many of them saw eye to eye on many issues. But what cannot be demonstrated is that such a 'senatorial' viewpoint is at variance with an alternative viewpoint, and that things looked rather differently from the perspective of the Palace.

It is notable that two of our major sources for the Julio-Claudian period, the elder Pliny and Suetonius, were men of equestrian rank who held posts in the service of the emperor. Their judgments of individual emperors and their underlying ideals do not appear to differ significantly from those of the senatorial Tacitus; on the other hand, both can be taken to reflect the views of the courts at which they served, Pliny in his loyalty to the Flavians and their puritanical morality, Suetonius in his implicit acceptance of the ideals of the 'golden age' of Trajan and Hadrian.66 Other non-senatorial sources follow the same pattern. Josephus' black­ening of Gaius, though in line with senatorial opinion, was determined by his own Jewish sensibilities, and was evidently quite acceptable to his Flavian patrons. Epictetus' reminiscences of court life are based on his experience as slave of Epaphroditus; though his master was close to Nero, he fully shares the 'senatorial' view of Nero as a tyrant.67

Without suggesting that the court always had a homogeneous point of view (there could be deep internal conflicts, as under Nero), it is not hard to imagine that it may have acted as a focus for discussion, gossip, and eventual opinion formation. Gossip it generated in abundance, and courtiers at all levels might be the source of anecdotes, from Augustus' attendant Julius Marathus who could describe his physique, and the interiores aulici who had theories about Gaius' Baiae bridge, to reminis­cences by consulars about what had been said at the imperial table.68 Imperial freedmen were a source of valuable information to contempor­aries: leaking of inside information, or to use their own expression, the 'sale of smoke', became a familiar abuse in the Antonine court, but already we are told that Augustus broke the legs of a secretary for selling the contents of a letter.69

Behind trivial gossip lies concealed the serious purpose of the

64 Wallace-Hadrill 1983 (в 190) 998; Gascou 1984 (в 59) 71 iff; Lambrecht 1984 (в 103).

Rajak 1983 (в 147) i8jf on Josephus; Millar 1965 (d 14) on Epictetus.

Suet. Aug. 79 and 94.3; Calig. 19.3; Tib. 61.6.

Suet. Aug. 67; Friedlander 1922 (a 30) 1. 47 on the sale of smoke; cf. Mart, iv.5.7.

exchange of observations and impressions by those in the imperial entourage. Court life, as Saint Simon appreciated, is a watching game. It could be vital to second-guess the imperial mind, to see who was rising in favour and who falling, and what changes were in the wind, for on such observations, as Sejanus' facdon discovered to their cost, fortune and even life depended. Tacitus' descripdon of the dinner at which Britanni­cus was poisoned suggests something of the sense of urgency of the game, and of the simultaneous need to see into the minds of others while concealing one's own: 'those sitting nearby were thrown into confusion; the imprudent fled, but those with deeper understanding remained rooted to the spot and watched Nero'.70

Assessments of individual emperors and their characters are surpris­ingly constant in the different sources, and it was once the fashion of source-criticism to posit a single source from whose initial assessment of an emperor all successive accounts derived. This perhaps underestimates the potential of the social circles around the court, the convivia et circuit of whose part in shaping public opinion Tiberius was aware,[465] to evolve a stereotype of the character of the ruler. In his lifetime assessments will have been fluid; but after his death, the court of the succeeding ruler could impose a definitive stamp. The image of Claudius as a fool was one Nero deliberately encouraged, both by his own chance remarks, and by the publication of the Apocolocyntosis by his closest adviser; Nero was surely drawing on and encouraging court gossip here, and there is no need to lay the blame for the image of Claudius solely on the malice of senators outraged by the power of the secretariat.[466]

In social terms, then, the Julio-Claudian emperors, whatever the political strains they may have experienced with the Senate, and however much power they may have allowed to their freedmen, drew their friends and companions from the upper class, afforded them easy access, failed to elaborate rituals that set themselves apart, and were bonded to them by the integrating force of common culture. Rather than regarding the court as an institution apart, we might think of it as the centre of a sort of solar system. Numerous houses of the rich and powerful in the city of Rome acted as lesser courts, centres of influence round which social activity clustered, to which visitors and clients thronged in the morning, and where sophisticated entertainment was provided later in the day. The palace was both similar to them and yet outshone them, the centre round which they themselves revolved, and from which ultimately they derived their own radiance.

iii patronage, power and government

The social rituals of a court may act as a fafade to screen the realities of power. The endlessly elaborate etiquette and ceremonial of the French court of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries partly served to mask the diversion of power from the old nobility by substituting the fafade of social precedence for the realities of control.[467] The 'civility' for which 'good' emperors are praised by the sources has also been seen as a charade designed to screen the unpalatable truth of imperial power. The disjunction between appearance and reality has been greatly exagger­ated. For while emperors undoubtedly used the court to control and limit the power of the upper classes, they also used it to strengthen their own power by embedding it within the existing social structure. The relationship of emperor and upper classes is thus complex and ambivalent.[468]

What drew men to court was more than social life. The court was the font of power and favour - and so the scene of anxieties and humilia­tions. Men love or hate Caesar, according to Epictetus, only because of his power to confer and take away advantages, wealth, military rank, praetorships or consulships.75 The court inspires fear, not just of bodyguards and chamberlains and the like, but because of anxiety to secure the benefits Caesar distributes, governorships, procuratorships, praetorships, consulships, money; the courtiers behave like children fighting in their scramble to gather the scattered figs and nuts.76 The lure of court is irresistible: the returning exile who swore to live in peace could not resist the invitation to court, and found himself praetorian prefect.77 Yet was success worth the humiliations involved? The rising early, the running around, the kissing hands, rotting at others' doors, speaking and acting like a slave, sending gifts?78

From the first, emperors derived power from their ability to distribute resources. Claudius had shown, according to Seneca, how much more effectively imperial power was secured by favours (beneficia) than by arms.79 The range of beneficia was enormous: status and legal privileges (citizenship, equestrian and senatorial rank, privileges like the ius trium liberorum etc.), magistracies, posts in the army and administration, financial benefits (fiscal concessions and immunities, subventions after disaster, grants to enhance status, and numberless liberalities to favour­ites and courtiers) and judgment (from resolution of disputes to cases of life and death). Documents and anecdotes evoke a vivid picture of the pressure of petitions and requests from individuals and communities across the empire on the person of the emperor, and the personal nature of his involvement.80 Yet though he and not any subordinate bureau­cracy was the source of the benefits, inevitably the requests were mediated through others. Hence the patronage of the emperor is the centre of a complex web, in which the courtiers act as brokers as well as beneficiaries.81

The network emerged rapidly. One aspect is the swift evolution of a ramifying secretariat of slaves and freedmen. Over 4,000 inscriptions, mostly sepulchral, attest the sheer scale of the imperial secretariat over the course of the Empire.82 The shape of imperial business dictated the division and organization of labour, and it is significant that the lines along which it divided were not areas of government but the channels of communication between subject and ruler. The letters, petitions, embas­sies and legal hearings which brought contact with the emperor generated the Palatine 'offices' of ab epistulis, a libellis, a legationibus and a cognitionibus, and alongside these record-keeping (a memoria) and above all supervision of the vast imperial wealth, ambivalent in its status between the public and the private (a rationibus), account for the main activities of the secretariat.83 Such divisions may go back at an informal level to Augustus,84 but it is notoriously under Claudius that the formal titulature that became standard is first seen in the literary sources in the naming of Polybius, Narcissus and Pallas as a studiis, ab epistulis and a rationibus respectively, and on the testimony of one who himself held two of these posts.85 At once, such titles acquired an imperial ring: the charge against the two Torquati Silani under Nero of nursing imperial ambi­tions in calling their secretaries ab epistulis, a libellis and a rationibus shows how for all its origins in the bloated servile households of the aristocracy, the imperial household had grown into something of quite another order.86

In some respects, the familia Caesaris betrays characteristic features of bureaucratic government. We can detect the emergence of bureaux with their own hierarchy of subordinate posts, from slave tabellarii, through junior freedmen adiutores, tabularii and a commentariis, to the senior grade of proximus immediately below the head, himself known simply by the name of his officium (e.g. ab epistulis). The grades seem clearly distinguish­able in terms of age-range (senior officials were normally old men), even if a set salary structure must be regarded as hypothetical.87 The personnel could be regarded as 'officials' embarked on a quasi-public career

80 Millar 1977 (a 59)passim and 1967 (d i 5). 81 Sailer 1981 (f 59) 4iff.

82 Weaver 1972 (d 22) 8. 83 Millar 1977 (a 59) 20з(Г. м Boulvert 1970 (d 6) 5jff.

»5 Suet. Claud. 28; cf. Wallace-Hadrill 198} (в 190) 73ff.

Tac. Ann. xv.jj and xvi.8.

Weaver 1972 (d 22) 227ff; Boulvert 1974(07) 127ff on grades is too schematic, cf. Burton 1977 (D 8).

partially analogous to the cursus bonorum: this much is implicit in Statius' panegyrical account of the career of the father of Claudius Etruscus, whose promotions through a series of posts brought him progressive honour,88 and also in those epitaphs which imitate senators and eques­trians in listing posts in ascending or descending sequence.

But in analysing the functions and powers of the familia Caesaris, it is misleading to assimilate it to a modern bureaucracy. Much more fruitful analogies lie in the royal households of medieval and Renaissance Europe. One essential feature of the household is that it serves the person of the ruler in all his activities, private or public, small or large. Private functions of the ruler (the bedchamber, the table, the stables etc.) are hard to separate from the public and administrative. Just as the medieval English court generated numerous - and to us faintly ludicrous — subdivisions in the private sphere, of spicery, napery, ewery, and apothecary, of gargons of the sumpterhorse or valets of the garbage,[469] or as the court of Francis I of France gloried in its sixty categories of household officials, down to furriers, spit-turners, tapestry-makers and laundresses,90 so the imperial court displays a dizzy proliferation of minutely defined functions, such as the many divisions of the wardrobe (a veste privata,forensi, castrensi, munda, alba triumphali, matutina venatoria, regia et Graecula etc.) or of the buttery (a crystallinis, a cyatho, a lagona, a potione etc.).91 The fact that a freedman might advance like Ti. Claudius Aug. lib. Bucolas from taster (praegustator) and butler (tricliniarchus) to procurator aquarum, with care for the aqueducts of Rome, and procurator castrensis, steward of the Palace,92 certainly affected contemporary per­ceptions of imperial freedmen, and should at least make us pause before categorizing them as 'civil servants'. Separation of domus and respublica was an empty promise.[470]

The range of posts within and without the Palace reflected the diversity of its activities, from distribution of resources and judgment to feasting and entertainment. Certainly the appointment of equestrians to the major secretarial posts which Vitellius initiated shows their develop­ment under the Julio-Claudians to a conspicuous role in public life; yet equestrians had been employed before this in the imperial household in less 'political' functions, like Pompeius Macer as a bibliothecis under Augustus, let alone Tiberius' shocking appointment of an equestrian to charge of his 'pleasures' (a voluptatibus), a post regarded by a later freedman as a splendid promotion.[471] It does not help to draw a hard and fast line between private and public funcdons. The role of the important post a studiis is notably obscure, but may have ranged from advice on imperial speeches to grammatical commentary on private reading of literature.95

In trying to understand the power of the imperial freedman, then, it is not enough to say that the early emperors turned their household into a new arm of government (though this is clearly the case). The power of the freedman derived from his proximity to the emperor and his consequent ability to influence specific aspects of resource-distribution. The word even of a court-jester might cost a man his life.[472] Claudius' prepotent freedmen, who included Posides the eunuch and Harpocras as well as the 'heads of bureaux', owed their power to their master's combination of an insatiable appetite to bestow favours and judgment with an inability to control the detail of so many transactions. The mistresses of emperors, as of many later kings, were in an ideal position to extract favours, as Vespasian's Caenis, with her long experience of the court, well understood.[473] That the elite resented the wealth and influence which flowed from such brokerage is not surprising, not because the use of political position to amass gratia was new to Roman society, but precisely because the exercise of patronage was how the elite tradition­ally defined its own standing. Imperial freedmen established no mono­poly in this respect, and the fact that the court became the focus of elite patronage too underlay the tension.

The reign of Augustus was one of transition from the pluralist patronage system of the Republic, whereby the nobility competed with each other to maximize their following and thus their influence with the populus Komanus, to the imperial pattern under which the emperor monopolized the support of the populus, and the elite looked to him for favours, which they in their turn distributed to others.98 The number of benefits within the imperial gift multiplied throughout the Julio- Claudian period: the number of posts in the imperial service rose, and rights and privileges like the ius trium liberorum or even leave of absence from the Senate were quietly absorbed by successive emperors by steps we can mostly no longer trace. But the core of imperial patronage, round which all else accrued, was there from the start: the wealth that flowed from victory in civil war, and the control over appointments in the army and 'imperial' provinces.

From the first, then, the elite looked to the emperor for favours, and their attendance at court was motivated by pursuit of favours. The court thus played a vital role in consolidating imperial power within the context of imperial society." First, it enabled the ruler to control the elite. In order to pursue power it was necessary to come to Rome and enter the intrigue of the court. That firmly established Rome as the arena of political conflict and discouraged the emergence of alternative regional power bases. The 'big men' of the empire were under the immediate eye of the emperor. He could manipulate their ambition by playing them off against each other, using his control of the distribution of resources to keep them on tenterhooks, withholding favours and elevating new favourites if the influence of old favourites threatened to become entrenched. Secondly, he could through the elite exercise a progressively wider control throughout the empire. The elite, senatorial and equestrian, was drawn from the municipalities of Italy and, in this period, increasingly the western provinces. Those at court acted as brokers for their contacts at home, securing benefits for them and drawing further compatriots into the circle of power at Rome — a marked example of this process is the rise of Spaniards in various posts in the administration during the Corduban Seneca's period of influence with Nero.100

Within the broad circle of the hopeful and ambitious who attended the court, there was an inner circle of amici upon whom emperors called for advice in a variety of circumstances: to assist in giving judgment, whether in public imperial cognitiones, or in the more sinister trials intra cubiculum, and to handle a whole range of questions from the trivial and routine to matters of high state. Perhaps there were times when not even the amici could predict the gravity of the questions to be considered: Juvenal's picture of an imperial council debating the preparation of a fish may be satire, but Nero is said to have called theprimores to his house in the Vindex crisis only to spend the day, after brief political consultation, discussing types of musical organ.101 Augustus' innovation of a standing committee of senators with regular meetings and a defined and rotating membership which prepared business for the Senate was not continued by his successors; thereafter such business was dealt with on the same informal and ad hoc basis as other matters. There was no such thing, as the classic study of the subject has emphasized, as the consilium principis.102 Lack of definition, in membership and function, only increased the discretionary powers of the ruler: this too was among the arcana imperii. Even so, some were called for consultation more regularly, and on more

" Cf. Elias, Court Sociity, i46ff. 100 Griffin 1976 (в 71), 81-96.

Juv. Sat. 4; Suet. Ner. 41.2, better than Dio lxin.26.4.

Crook 1955 (d 10) 8-20; i04ff.

sensitive issues, than others, and these could be seen as the friends of Caesar.

The accessibility of the emperor to the elite thus worked to their mutual advantage. Individual members of the elite had access to power and influence; the emperor was able to reduce the elite to dependence on himself. That does not mean that the court operated smoothly and without tension. On the contrary, it was a battleground — much more so than the Senate, where the only real battles were trials. In the Julio- Claudian period the battle was particularly bloody, for while the system was still emergent, major tensions were unresolved. The sharpness of the conflict is reflected in the bitterness of the accounts given by the sources, for instance the power of the praetorian prefect Sejanus under Tiberius, or that of the freedmen Pallas and Narcissus under Claudius. Two areas of tension are apparent: that within the senatorial-equestrian elite, and that between the elite and members of the inner imperial household, especially the freedmen officials.

Because of the obvious contrast between the monarchical nature of the court and the republican nature of the Senate, it is tempting to envisage a permanent tension between senators as a group and non- senators, whether equites or imperial freedmen, as an opposed group, a temptadon strengthened by the old theory of a legal separadon of powers between emperor and Senate. This is to understate the com­plexity of the conflict.[474] It is true that Augustus' creation of the great equestrian prefectures, and the power attained by the chief freedmen secretaries under Gaius, Claudius and Nero, created a new disjunction between power and status, which resulted in strange inversions of social precedence, as when the equestrian prefects followed the consuls, but preceded the other magistrates, in swearing the oath of allegiance to Tiberius, or Claudius' freedman Polybius walked in public between the two consuls.[475] A divorce between status and power meant that the emperor was less trammelled by social constraints in distribudng power, and could neutralize those by whom he felt threatened by palming them off with marks of high status that carried little power.[476] It is not unlikely that even Augustus saw the advantages of such a strategy and played it deliberately.

But it is wrong to represent the senators as a coherent group, either socially or politically. They were as much creatures of the court as the imperial freedmen. Patronage cut across status barriers: senators enlisted the support of equites and freedmen, but conversely equestrian and freedmen posts might be owed to the brokerage of senators. Alliances like that between Vespasian and Narcissus worked to the advantage of both parties. Within the Senate distinctions may be drawn: not perhaps between men in the 'imperial service' and others, since imperial patronage also affected posts that were not direct imperial appointments, but between a 'grand set' of those swiftly promoted in status who enjoyed little power, and a 'power set' of those who rose more slowly but were entrusted with greater responsibility.106 But even this distinction may understate the influence wielded at court by members of the grand set, who having risen rapidly thanks to good connexions may well have continued to exercise their connexions to the benefit of others. The lines of division of the elite at court were not between the social ranks of senator, eques and freedman, which were united by multiple ties of family, friendship and interest, but between groups of mixed status: the fissures were vertical not horizontal.

The heyday of the power of freedmen coincides with a period of intrigue and influence among the female members of the imperial household. Wives and freedmen have it in common that they are 'insiders' and therefore stand apart from the 'outsider' elite. In no sense were freedmen in compedtion with members of the elite: they were not eligible for army rank nor senatorial positions (even if they could be awarded military and senatorial decorations); they did not function as amici, and there is no sign that they were invited to attend the consilium -it is with high irony that Tacitus depicts Claudius in consilio when consulting his freedmen.[477] Nor, as we have seen, do they appear to have shared in the social life of the court. Unlike elite brokers of patronage, they were not themselves competitors. Their competition was with each other (Pallas' award of the insignia of the praetorship reflects compe­tition not with senators but with his fellow-freedman Narcissus, pre­viously decorated with the quaestorship); in exactly the same way the imperial women competed for influence with each other, excluded by their sex from the men's world of offices. The influence of freedmen should therefore be seen in the context of the pattern of court intrigue in which the women were simultaneously involved. Their power came from the conflict of competing groups.

The women of the Julio-Claudian household were openly involved in the opieradon of patronage. We hear casually of Livia's role in promodng Galba and the grandfather of the emperor Otho.108 An inscription shows her openly acknowledged by Augustus for her role in securing privileges for the island of Samos.109 Networks of friendship extended from the palace among the women of the Roman elite. Seneca (who owed the start of his career to his aunt Helvia, and its furtherance to Agrippina) takes for granted that Marcia, as an indmate of Livia, used her influence to secure a priesthood for her own son.110 Messallina abused her position not by exercising but by selling patronage: together with Claudius' freedmen, she sold the cidzenship so liberally that it was said to be had in exchange for glass beads, and not only the citizenship, nor even military commands and provincial governorships, but everything in general.111 Her presence at the trial intra cubiculum of Valerius Asiaticus was something altogether more sinister.112

Female involvement in patronage was not simply a side product of the system. From Augustus to Nero the imperial court is characterized by sharp intrigue that periodically surfaces in the eruption of major conflicts between competing groups; in almost all these conflicts, the women play a central role. The court of Louis XIV was analysed by pardcipants as split between cabals that clustered round various members of the royal family; any distinctions of political or religious principle that could be detected between the cabals were of secondary significance.113 A similar analysis seems to .apply to the Julio-Claudian court. The power groupings are heterogeneous in composition: female members of the domus Caesaris and their children, leading freedmen, senators and equites. Lucius Vitellius, that epitome of a courtier, thrice consul and censor, was said to have carried around Messallina's slipper and kissed it from time to time, and to have kept the images of Narcissus and Pallas among his lares.n4

The aim of a cabal is to maximize its own influence in the distribution of resources. Naturally groupings tend to form around potential candidates for the succession: there are already hints of rival groups round Octavia and her son Marcellus on one side, Agrippa, Livia and her sons on the other early in Augustus' reign,115 clear signs of rival groups round Julia, Livia and their respective sons later,116 and under Tiberius explicit feuding between the supporters of Agrippina and those of Sejanus, adulterously linked to Livilla.117 It should not be assumed that such cabals formed with explicit designs on the throne: the mere existence of a potential successor is enough to constitute a catalyst for intrigue, and much of the policy of intermarriage and interadoption,

109 Reynolds 1982 (в 270) no. 13 line 5, cf. Suet. Aug. 40. 110 Sen. Cons, ad Marciam 24.3.

111 Dio lx.17.3-8. 112 Tac. Ann. xi.2.

1,5 See E. Le Roy Ladurie 'Versailles observed: the court of Louis XIV in 1709' (in The Mind and Method of the Historian. Trans. S. and B. Reynolds. Brighton, 1981) for analysis of cabals.

114 Suet. Vit. 2. 115 Syme 1939 (a 93) 340-2.

Syme 1984 (a 94) hi. 912-36. 117 Levick 1976 (c 366) i48fF.

particularly as practised by Augustus, must have been designed (how­ever ineffectively) to frustrate the formation of rival cabals. The marriage of Tiberius to lulia, for instance, though it did little to clarify the line of succession to power, must have aimed to obviate precisely the sort of tensions and rivalries that erupted with such unfortunate consequences.

A characteristic of conflict between rival groupings is that they come to a head in accusations of adultery - against the two Iulias, Livilla and Sejanus, the sisters of Gaius, Messallina, and Nero's betrothed Octavia. The charge of adultery is often regarded as a sham to disguise political realities; indeed the strings of 'accomplices' of the adultery of the Iulias indicate that no ordinary adultery is involved.118 But we should not underestimate the threat posed to stability within the court by adulterous liaisons (nor overestimate the innocence of the accused). Since marriage was used as an official instrument of dynastic policy, to mark succession and to unify potentially divergent groups, adultery represented the inverse, the dark underside of intrigue and group formation out of the emperor's control. Sejanus' adultery was seen as a vital step in his rise to influence and his establishment of a stranglehold over the network of patronage. Of course, some accusations of adultery were false, and could be cooked up by rival interests to discredit the accused (Livia must be suspect on this count). But, as with accusations of magic, which was the inverse of the divine protection behind imperial power, the charge reflected a threat to imperial power which the participants felt to be real.

Finally, we should not exaggerate the rigidity of such cabals. Their membership was unstable and fluid. Loyalties and friendships could evaporate in a moment (it was the misfortune of Sejanus' supporters that they had no warning of his fall). Courtiers watched carefully to see whose stock was rising with the emperor, whose falling. 'Nothing in human affairs is so unstable and fluid as the reputation of power': Agrippina's crowded threshold was deserted in an instant when the whisper circulated of her son Nero's displeasure.119 Epictetus compares court life to the lot of a traveller who attaches himself to the convoy of a passing official for protection from bandits; the friendship of Caesar is an equally undependable method of progress, hard to pick up, easy to be lost, and limited by the life chances of the Caesar himself.120 The point applies similarly to friendship with Caesar's friends. Moreover, the groupings were fissile, potentially divided into further groupings. Messallina was overthrown by a combination of her old supporters, Narcissus and Vitellius; during the crisis, Narcissus did not feel sure even of Vitellius and had him excluded from the imperial Utter.121 Though supported in the overthrow by Pallas, Narcissus was ruined by the combination of

118 Tac. Ann. ш.24; cf. Syme 1984 (a 94) 111.924^ »' Tac. Ann. xin.19.

120 Epictetus, Diss, rv.1.91-8. 121 Tac. Ann. xi.33.

Pallas and Agrippina, having unwisely shown too much interest in Britannicus. Agrippina was abandoned by her proteges Seneca and Burrus. Such cases serve as warning against any attempt to detect long- term political groupings and alliances.

With new patterns of politics, the court generated new styles of life peculiar to itself. Even survival, let alone success, was fraught with dangers. Seneca reports the reply of the old courtier asked with amazement how he had reached old age at court: 'by accepting insults and expressing gratitude for them'.[478] Flattery and the concealment of true feelings were a structural necessity. Seneca goes on to tell the tale of the distinguished eques Pastor who, on the very day that his son was executed by Gaius, was bidden to make merry at the imperial table. There was a reason for the courtier's bizarre compliance with the invitation — he had a second son. A degree of self-abasement and hypocrisy seemed necessary even under the best-intentioned emperors: Tiberius complained of the servility of his senators, but failed to stop it. In this respect, the Senate acted as an extension of court life; the adulatio of which Tacitus complains, the incessant manufacture of honorific decrees and inflated language, came from men with an eye to promotion or merely survival at court.

Hypocrisy and flattery stood in direct antithesis to the libertas of frank expression and independent opinion on which the republican nobility prided itself.[479] It was not however mere traditionalist sentiment which made men under the Principate hanker for the old libertas. The new court life was highly unstable, and placed gross psychological strains on the courtier, who hardly knew whom to trust and whom to back from one moment to another. The agony felt by the friends of the disgraced Sejanus, eloquently voiced by M. Terentius, struck a chord with every anxious courtier: 'It is not ours to reason whom you choose to elevate above others and on what grounds; the gods have given you the final say; it is left to us to take pride in loyalty.'124 But such obsequium was no defence for those who backed a loser.

In this context of instability and psychological strain, philosophy had an important role to play. Stoicism, with its stress on the value of single- minded pursuit of public duty and virtues irrespective of the dangers, offered a vital antidote to the hypocrisy of court life.125 It is no coincidence that Stoicism flourished, in martyrs like Thrasea Paetus, when the excesses of Nero's court were at their peak. The philosophy of both Seneca and Epictetus emerges from men with a court background and offers explicit reaction against court morality. In the long run the Stoics carried their point, and the tone did change. Yet a century later, the Stoic emperor Marcus still needs his philosophy as antidote to court life, its vain pomp and superficiality, its transitory quarrels and ambi­tions, and the sheer irritation of working with the pettiness of his courtiers.126

IV. CONCLUSION

The court, as social and political insdtution, lies at the heart of the new regime established by Augustus and his heirs. It also encapsulates the paradoxes of that regime, and the way it transformed the structures of the old city-state to create those of the new monarchy. The household of a private citizen, based on the forms and practices of the households of the republican nobility, became the centre of the state; the focus of political activity shifted irrevocably from a plurality of households to a single one, sprawling monstrously over the symbolical heart of Rome. In drawing to itself the threads of patronage, the court brought the transactions of political dealing under imperial surveillance.

The similarities to the royal courts of the East were only too apparent to participants. Court life brought servility in the place of the freedom of a society of citizen equals. The tone of public discourse changed, from bold self-advertisement and uninhibited attack on rivals, to self-conceal­ment and lip-service to the source of power. And yet the transition from city-state to monarchy was a hesitant and gradual one, and the reuse of old forms was essential. The Julio-Claudian court preserved the social hierarchy of the Republic, while yet seeming to undermine it and subject senators to slaves. The early emperors needed to exercise power with, not against, the traditional ruling class. They used republican forms to establish their own dominance while appearing to respect their fellow- citizens. The rituals of court allowed them at one level to use the republican status hierarchy to legitimate their own position, while at another playing off the aristocracy against new men promoted from the provinces and against liberti, ignoble but potent. The accessibility of the emperor to the upper classes and his 'civil' treatment of them as 'equals' was an essendal part of the strategy of power, and it makes the imperial court fundamentally different from the court of any hellenistic ruler.

Between Augustus and Nero the patterns of court life were develop­ing, and still far from fixed. But there is an unmistakable movement towards formalization and institutionalization. The differentiation of the secretariat and the evolution of its internal hierarchy is one tangible

124 Cf. Brunt 1974 (в 19).

example of this. It is also right to emphasize the element of continuity.127 When we ask what made possible the stability of the government evolved by Augustus, which despite its extraordinary lack of legal definition and its reliance on Augustus' own charismatic personality, nevertheless managed to survive the eccentricities of four members of his own house and a return to civil war, to become the system without which peace was unthinkable, the answer must He partly in the imperial court. Despite notable instances of the fall of political favourites, like Sejanus or Seneca, there was an underlying condnuity of personnel. The Flavians were served by many with long experience of power in the Julio-Claudian court. The anonymous father of Claudius Etruscus, who served as freedman of every Caesar from Tiberius to Domitian to die in his ninetieth year excited Statius' admiration by surviving so many changes of yoke and so many stormy seas.128 But though few could rival him in longevity, imperial slaves and freedmen, originally personal to Augustus, came to transfer automatically to the new regime, giving rise to a stability of staff.

The same continuity can be observed at higher social levels. It is striking what long and intimate links each of Nero's successors display with the Julio-Claudian court. Galba started as a favourite of Livia, and served successive emperors, being especially favoured by Claudius who admitted him to his cohors amicorum.129 Otho was grandson of another of Livia's proteges and son of one so admired by Claudius as to be honoured with a statue on the Palatine; his own intimacy with Nero was notorious.130 Vitellius, grandson of an Augustan procurator, and son of that most adept of Claudian courtiers, also had an uncle whose links with Sejanus cost him his life; while he himself followed the tastes of each Caesar with remarkable pliability, a sexual favourite under Tiberius, a charioteer under Gaius, a dicer under Claudius, a musician under Nero.131 Vespasian, as we have seen, met both favour and disgrace at court, while his son Titus was intimate enough with Britannicus to have risked sharing his fate. Even in Nerva, at the end of the century, we find a sexagenarian, whose loyalty to Nero had earned him a statue on the Palatine, and a member of a family whose three generations of loyalty to the dynasty stretched back to the treaty of Brundisium in 39 B.C.132 If others were as well served biographically as were emperors, such family histories of continuous service would be multiplied.

Good friends, Trajan is supposed to have said, compensated for

Crook 1955 (d 10) 29, 11 j fF etc.

Stat. Silv. in.j.8jf, 'tu totiens mutata ducum iuga rite tulisti|integer, inque omni felix tua cumba profundo'; Weaver 1972 (d 22) 284^

Suet. Galba j and 7. 130 Suet. Oth. 1. Suet. Vit. 2-4.

132 Crook 19j5 (d 10) i)9f; for the consulate of Nerva's father, AE 1979, 100.

Domitian's bad rule.133 But emperors inevitably took over their pre­decessors' friends and servants, good or bad, since these made them­selves indispensable. Vested interests were at stake. Augustus and his successors needed a court in order to rule; but if imperial rule came under question, the court needed its emperor. Thus, despite its conflicts and distasteful features, the court was a system of power which tended to its own perpetuation.

133 SHA Alex. Sen. 65.5; cf. Tac. Hist, iv.7.3, 'nullum maius boni imperii instrumentum quam bonos amicos esse.'

CHAPTER 8 THE IMPERIAL FINANCES

D. W. RATHBONE

The economic resources at the disposal of the emperors from Augustus to Vitellius and the uses which they made of them are most clearly explained against the background of the state expenditure of the Roman empire.1

The empire required an army, and under Aifgustus a standing army was developed, of which the size and terms of service of the legionary component remained broadly stable throughout this period, although the nature of the auxiliary component took much longer to crystallize.2 Annual pay for a legionary was 900 sesterces, while cavalrymen, higher ranks and the praetorian guard received considerably more. There were stoppages against this pay for replacement equipment and clothing and almost certainly for food. On discharge a surviving legionary in theory received a bounty of 12,000 sesterces - equivalent to over twelve years' basic pay, and so a third of a surviving veteran's total remuneration - but he may often have been given a plot of land in a frontier zone instead or in part payment. The conversion of auxiliary forces, traditionally supplied ad hoc by allied states, into regular units of the Roman army and the standardization of their terms of service and remuneration were slow processes which lasted into the Flavian era. The rate of pay for auxiliary troops remains frustratingly uncertain (footsoldiers may have received a half or five-sixths or some intermediate fraction of the basic legionary rate), as does the date of its standardization (perhaps under Claudius, but perhaps not until the Flavians). There is no evidence that auxiliaries in this period regularly received either cash or land on discharge. Instead, from Claudius on, Roman citizenship was used as a cheap reward, along with the limited tax immunities which were probably granted to all veterans. Pay for all soldiers was sometimes supplemented by bonuses given by emperors on political occasions (booty was another possible extra, though hardly state expenditure). Other military expenditure included materials for defences, camps, all kinds of equipment, transport and riding animals, and supplies. There were also the fleets to maintain.

1 General treatments: Frank 1940 (d i 28) v. chs. I—II; Neesen 1980 (d 151); Lo Cascio 1986 (d 145); Noe 1987 (d 152). г See below, ch. 11.

309

The total annual cost of the imperial armed forces cannot be computed with accuracy because of the mass of variable and unknown factors. Most modern estimates of the average annual wage bill before Domi­tian's pay-rise would put it, if we include discharge bounties, at 400 million sesterces, at least.[480] Even if not fallacious, such estimates are misleading. Because of the system of deductions at source from pay, much of the theoretical wage bill was probably never paid in cash. On the other hand, the total bill will have increased steadily as the number of auxiliary units grew and their remuneration was regularized. Actual cash expenditure also swelled when campaigns were mounted, probably mainly to mobilize extra supplies — the slave dispensator for Nero's Armenian manoeuvres allegedly managed to siphon off 13 million sesterces with which to buy his freedom.[481] In general terms, however, military expenditure was kept artificially low insofar as conscription, rather than the payment of attractive salaries, was used regularly to fill auxiliary units and sometimes to fill legions.

The empire required administration, mostly in the spheres of finance and law and order. Salaried officials were few - the senatorial governors and legates and the slowly growing number of equestrian procurators - but their salaries were substantial, perhaps totalling over 50 million sesterces per annum, and presumably were paid in cash; revenues were also skimmed off by the increasingly numerous and permanent clerical staff in their offices.[482] However, many of the costs of administration were hidden. The emperor, senators and town councillors throughout the empire were meant to perform public functions at their own private expense, an obligation which helped to justify and to reinforce their economic dominance.[483] As subordinates they would also use their own dependants - which was initially the position of the familia Caesaris, the imperial slaves and freedmen, although it came to live at least partly off state revenues. The central government and its representatives also employed seconded soldiers in civil police and administradve roles. When transport, labour or supplies of any kind were required in the public interest both central and local governments and their individual representatives could commandeer virtually at will from the subject population. The prime examples of this are the cursus publicus and the uniquely well-documented local corvee obligations in Egypt.7

The empire had no economic or social programmes, but it still incurred massive expenditure on public buildings and roads, on the rituals of civic life such as sacrifices, games and banquets, on rewards to artists, athletes and educators, on minting coinage, and on ensuring a reasonably regular supply of staple foodstuffs to its urban populations, in short on producing and maintaining what we recognize as Roman civilization. In the provinces and Italy this expenditure normally fell on the local aristocracy, who were mostly, in this period, not unwilling to bear it in return for the prestige and power which it conferred. In Rome itself, though senatorial commissions to supervise public buildings and facilides had been instituted by Augustus, who had also revived the priestly colleges, a de facto ban on aristocratic initiatives had been imposed to reduce the risk of challenges to imperial munificence.8 Senators could still, on defined occasions, give games, but all main public buildings and facilities, the major festivals and the grain supply became the responsibility of the emperor. From Augustus on, emperors haphazardly extended their operations in this line to the towns of Italy and the provinces, using tactics which included, for example, paying for buildings through their relatives, and diverting or remitting imperial taxes to local councils to aid municipal projects.9

Beyond this state munificence which was arguably necessary there was the ad hoc liberality expected of all rich and prominent men in the empire, and most expected of the richest and most prominent of all, the emperor.10 Friendship with the emperor and his trust were demonstrated in a courtier's receipt of estates and other gifts in cash and kind. Individual deeds had to be rewarded appropriately, whether a huge sum to an important freedman or a few coins to a street poet. An emperor could remit some of the taxes due from a city purely as a mark of his favour; a Nero could remit those of a whole province. In an ego- boosting display of superiority as well as of generosity the emperor could throw to the Roman crowd tokens for mystery prizes including cash and all kinds of objects. The range of imperial giving cannot be described exhaustively, nor was it meant to be: 'there is nothing that might not be hoped for from my magnanimity', said Nero.11 Since such 'spontaneous' giving was an integral part of the role of emperor as, on a smaller scale, it was of local magistrates, it must be counted as an area of state expenditure.

The cost of all this munificence, both necessary and spontaneous, is impossible to compute. More important is its size in relation to military expenditure. Under Claudius, for example, the draining of the Fucine lake over eleven years is said to have employed 30,000 men (though perhaps 30,000 was the aggregate total of man-days), and the estimated costs of the new port at Ostia were expected to kill off his enthusiasm for the project. There were other imperial building projects in Rome, lavish

8 Eck 1984(0 39). ' Bourne 1946(0 11 j); Corbier 1985 (o 124); Mitchell 1987(0 150).

"> Kloft 1970 (d 138). 11 GCN 64 (lines 10-11).

shows and several handouts. The freedmen Pallas and Narcissus between them allegedly accumulated a sum equal to one and a half years' military budget.[484] It is likely that Claudius spent in and around Rome - and necessarily in actual coin - as much each year as the army in theory cost him, and in practice much military expenditure was notional since it was covered by supplies in kind. If we allow also for civil expenditure outside Rome and its environs, it is likely that the army, even if it was the single largest regular item in the imperial budget, in this period accounted on average for less than half of all imperial spending. The claims in later Roman writers that the reason for taxation was the need to pay for the armies which guaranteed peace have a propagandist whiff about them.

To meet this varied expenditure the state had a correspondingly varied range of assets and incomes. As heir to the ideology of the Greek city-state, the Roman government did not subject its own citizens, wherever they resided, to regular direct taxation on the person, and did not tax its own 'citizen land' (i.e. that held iureQuiritium), which meant mainland Italy and also the territories of Roman overseas colonies and of provincial cities which enjoyed the г us Italicum.n As an imperial power Rome levied direct taxes or rents on the rest of its subject lands and populations. It is dubious whether any coherent legal justification for this fiscal exploitation was elaborated under the Principate; instead pragmatism ruled.[485] Where sophisticated pre-Roman fiscal systems existed, mainly in the old hellenistic kingdoms, they tended to be adapted and maintained, and more generally there flourished a defensive ideology of fiscal minimalism (no new taxes, no increases to old ones). But, starting in Egypt, Augustus introduced an annual poll-tax in cash, Roman-style census arrangements gradually spread through the eastern provinces, and Roman fiscality — and, with it, monetization - was brusquely introduced to the northern and central European provinces.15 Although the new regular provincial poll-tax allowed Augustus and his successors to dispense with the irregular hellenistic capitation taxes which republican governors had continued to levy on occasion and to discontinue the revived triumviral levying of tributum in Italy, all Rome's subjects and even her own citizens remained liable to random summary exploitation such as confiscation of land for colonies or veteran settle­ment (not always to punish disloyalty), requisition of housing, animals and supplies for the use of the military and the administration, and conscription into the army.16

In the early Principate different direct taxes, assessed on different bases and according to different rates, continued to be levied from province to province. Republican modes of thinking and terms persisted: the fiscal value of a province was estimated as an annual cash sum, the word vectigalia could still be used of all fiscal revenues, direct and indirect, from a province, and stipendium of the totality of direct taxes from a senatorial province. But a new categorization was developing: vectigalia often now denoted only indirect taxes, and tributum was used of regular direct taxes (not, as in the Republic, of emergency cash levies), conceptually subdivided into those assessed on land {tributum soli) and those assessed on persons {tributum capitis). This was not a programmatic scheme for standardizing direct taxation - indeed some scholars deny that capitation taxes were levied in all provinces — but these terminological changes reflect some attempt to simplify and improve the overall administration of taxation and the loss by provincial governors of independence in fiscal matters in favour of the central imperial government.17

The collection of direct taxes was now mostly devolved to the theoretically autonomous cities and tribes of the empire, each of which was meant to produce a fixed annual sum of direct tax assessed in cash terms. The elimination of tithes and of their collection by Roman publicani in the Greek-speaking provinces seems to have been mainly the work of A. Gabinius and Iulius Caesar. Both the tithe and publicani persisted in Sicily, but neither Augustus nor his successors introduced publicani to collect direct taxes in newly created provinces.18 The total of direct taxes due from each community was computed by multiplying the taxable base — quantity of land and (probably) number of people — by the relevant rates. In some cases this will have followed on a Roman census; in others, presumably, it was simply what the city claimed was the traditional figure, while for many tribes it must have been an arbitrary guess. The city council (or tribal leaders) were obliged to make up any shortfall in the aggregate sum due, but probably more often made a nice profit, whether through extortion or because the actual taxable base had grown since the original assessment. The job of the local Roman financial official, the quaestor in a public province or the procurator in an imperial province, must have been mainly to ensure that the total due was paid on time, in full and (to introduce a further complication) in acceptable proportions of cash and kind.

Although the total tax dues of provinces and communities were usually expressed in terms of a lump cash sum, direct taxes on land were often assessed and collected in kind, mainly wheat, rather than cash. (Peasants presumably often paid local collectors in kind, and the collectors sold the produce and made the payments to the government in

Neesen 1980(0 151)25-9, 117-20.

Brum 1990 (d 119); Jones 1974(0 157) 164-8, 180-3; Cimma '981 (D I21)'

cash, but this is a different matter.) The early evidence from Egypt and Britain for adaeratio, the commutation of wheat-dues for a cash payment at a fixed official exchange rate, and the more widely attested government purchases of grain (implying that, relative to needs, too much tax had in practice been paid as cash rather than in kind), suggest that from the start the Roman government could be flexible about the medium of pay­ment.19 The existence of an official exchange rate permitted the calcula­tion and recording of taxes in cash terms whatever the proportion actually paid each year in kind. No figure can be put on the average annual empire-wide ratio between direct taxes collected in cash and in kind, but probably more came in kind under the early Principate than is conventionally assumed.

Many indirect taxes, called vectigalia, were also levied in the Roman empire.20 The main category of these were customs-dues (portoria) which were usually exacted at ports, on the imperial frontiers, at the boundaries between provinces or groups of provinces, and sometimes at internal boundaries within provinces. The rate on the eastern frontier was apparently 25 per cent of the value of all goods; known inter-provincial rates range from 2 per cent to 5 per cent. In Italy the imperial government drew revenue from a 1 per cent auction tax (centesima rerutn venalium), a 4 per cent (originally 2 per cent) tax on sales of slaves, and the tolls at the gates of Rome; it was also the recipient of the 5 per cent inheritance tax (vicesima bereditatum) which applied throughout the empire to Roman citizens of a certain wealth and without closely related heirs, and of a 5 per cent tax on the value of slaves manumitted by Roman citizens. In the cities of the empire other indirect taxes were imposed by and benefited the local authorities.

The collection of imperial indirect taxes continued in the early Principate as in the Republic to be farmed out to publicani. The old censorial task of fixing the contracts and supervising their execution must have passed to new imperial financial officials — in Italy this was certainly one function of the prefects of the state treasury.21 In theory the state conceded some profit margin to the contractors, but in pracuce the system avoided extra bureaucracy and stabilized receipts. The relative value to the imperial government of indirect as against direct taxes is impossible to assess, but they were probably crucial to the imperial finances. Being indirect they were politically easier to increase or invent than direct taxes, and in fact all the new taxes imposed in the early

" Tac Agr. xix.4; Neesen 1980(0 151) 104-16; Brunt 1981 (d 188) 161-2; Rathbone i989(e96o) >75-4-

General: de Laet 1949 (d 140); Neesen 1980 (0151)156-41; see n. 18 above. Cases of Asia and Egypt: Engelmann and Knibbe 1989 (в 229); Sijpesteijn 1987 (e 965); Wallace 1938 (e 979).

Dio Lx.10.3; Corbier 1974 (d 122); Millar 1964 (d 149); see nn. 18 and 20 above.

Principate were indirect. Other advantages were that they produced a fairly immediate cash revenue, which in several cases was actually paid over in Rome, and that Roman citizens, perhaps with the excepdon of veterans, were not exempt. Indeed, if we except the landholdings of Roman citizens in territories not exempt from tributum soli, indirect taxes were almost the only regular means of exploiting private Roman wealth open to the imperial government.

The state also had fixed assets consisting principally of land, urban properties and mines. In theory all ager publicus which had not been granted away into private ownership still belonged to the Roman state and bore a rent. It is unfortunately unclear how much remained, and whether and how rents from it were collected, but it is known that the government still farmed out to publicani the collection of fees, called scripturae, for the use of public grazing lands in Italy, Cyrene and perhaps elsewhere too. Many cities in their own right also owned and leased out estates, not just in their own territories, and this category of public ownership was constantly being increased by bequests from private individuals. As regards other fixed assets of the state, public buildings should perhaps be counted rather as financial liabilities. Temples, however, contained treasures which could be 'borrowed' in times of emergency, and warehouses, the shop areas in porticoes and other functional buildings could be leased out by the civic authorides.

The possessions of the emperor himself, his patrimonium, must also be counted as state assets.22 The emperor was not just another member of the empire-wide wealthy elite who discharged public functions and funded public projects out of their own private resources. Much imperial property may have been acquired through private transactions such as inheritance, personal gifting or purchase, and emperors made wills as if they were private persons. However the imperial patrimonium passed from emperor to emperor as part of the office rather than through normal inheritance, as is patent in the cases of the emperors from Otho to Vespasian but was perhaps first recognized on Gaius' accession, whereas no consul, for example, inherited his predecessor's personal fortune.23 Furthermore, the patrimonium gradually established its claim to a number of 'public' sources of income, and although it was in theory managed separately from the state finances, its personnel, both equestrian procur­ators and imperial freedmen and slaves, soon became an integral part of the state bureaucracy.

The basis of the patrimonium was the family estates, urban properties, slaves and other possessions of the Iulii, Octavii and Claudii. Under Tiberius the patrimonium in Italy was still modest, according to Tacitus -

22 Millar 1977 (a 59) ch. IV and Apps. 1-3; Rogers 1947 (d 154); Crawford 1976 (d 125); Parassoglou 1978 (e 9)6); Rathbone 1993 (e 962). и Bellen 1974 (d 112).

that is by senatorial standards; the comment implies significant growth by the end of the century. Emperors were also from the beginning massive landowners in the provinces. Augustus' acquisition of substan­tial estates in Egypt (known locally as ousiat) is a prime example; another is Nero's confiscation of 'half' of Africa.[486] The patrimonium grew in ways unparalleled by any private estate because the emperor's position opened unique avenues for increasing his possessions. Like any Roman noble, he expected and received legacies from relatives and friends, but under an acquisitive emperor the category of 'friends' could embrace almost all the Italian nobility and some prominent provincials, especially client kings. In the first century the patrimonium gradually usurped from the aerarium the right to bona vacantia and caduca and bona damnatorum (that is property with no known owner, usually because the former owner had died intestate and without kin, property whose testamentary disposition was legally invalid and property of condemned criminals). Since in Egypt these had all fallen to the fiscus since annexation, this was clearly a royal prerogative adopted from hellenistic practice. The patrimonium was also the beneficiary of booty (manubiae) from imperial campaigns, and of the gold crowns sometimes spontaneously offered by communities to mark victories. The emperor's landed properties, like those of any noble, contained sub-enterprises such as transhumant flocks, clay pits and potteries, tanneries and textile processing facilities, urban craftshops and so on. Under Augustus and Tiberius almost all mines not already run by the state came into the hands of the patrimonium, and often if not normally were put under military supervision, and new mines, like those in Britain, followed suit. Some quarries too became imperial proper­ties.[487] In Rome itself the emperors had warehouses where they stored everything from produce of their own estates to exotic gifts from foreign embassies. There was also the palace, enlarged successively by each Julio-Claudian emperor, together with the imperial gardens; though the site and buildings were hardly saleable, the rich furniture and furnishings represented a significant reserve of wealth. The contribution of the patrimonium to the imperial finances cannot be quantified, but its political importance is clear: it enabled emperors to claim that they subsidized rather than exploited the state revenues.

These, in outline, were the resources available to the imperial government to meet its expenditure. The last topic which must be added before the management of the imperial finances can be discussed is the imperial coinage and its production.[488] The coinage of Rome as stabilized by Augustus in or by 19 B.C. was trimetallic, consisting of almost pure gold and silver coins and a range of what is for convenience termed 'bronze' (or aes) coinage, though some pieces were almost pure copper while others were orichalcum, an alloy of copper and zinc. In the system established by Augustus the main coins in circulation and their official relationships of value were as follows: the gold aureus, the silver denarius of which there were 2 5 to the aureus, the copper as of which there were sixteen to the denarius, and various fractions of the as\ the normal unit of account, however, remained the sestertius, equivalent to four asses, though the actual (orichalcum) coin was rare. As regards weight, forty or forty-two aurei were struck from one Roman pound of gold, and eighty- four denarii from one pound of silver. These standards held until Nero's reform of a.d. 64. He retained the relative face values of the Augustan system but struck forty-five aurei and ninety-six denarii respectively to the pound. The silver content of the denarius was also reduced to an average of 93.5 per cent. Although Nero's attempt to introduce a wholly orichalcum 'bronze' coinage was a rapid failure, his system in its essentials lasted until Commodus.

The various denominations in the Augustan-Neronian system were minted in varying quantities, often discontinuously, from two main and some minor mints. The mint at Lyons (Lugdunum) produced almost all the imperial gold and silver coinage from 15 b.c. onwards until Nero (or possibly Gaius) transferred production to the mint at Rome. From 23 or 19 b.c. the Roman mint produced most of the imperial 'bronze' coinage, but in most reigns there were sporadic and sometimes heavy regional issues of imperial type from provincial mints. Output of mainstream imperial coin was supplemented by the issue of silver tetradrachms, didrachms and drachmas by the mints of a number of Greek cities, notably Ephesus, Pergamum, Caesarea (in Cappadocia) and (Syrian) Antioch. These and other city-mints also produced sporadic issues, occasionally quite large, of bronze fractions. Egypt had its own internal coinage based on the Alexandrian tetradrachm. In the west local mints had always been rare. Most were in Spain, they produced only bronze coin, and those which survived Tiberius were shut down by Gaius. The broad pattern of supply of coinage in the period as a whole is thus that the mints at Rome and Lyons produced gold coins for the whole empire and silver and bronze for all the western provinces; western silver coins also reached the East but were outnumbered by the regional producuons there, and the eastern provinces were almost wholly dependent on very locally produced bronze coinage.

Minting was essentially controlled by the emperor. Most of the bullion used must have come from sources under imperial control — an early example is the exaction of bullion in Gaul by Augustus' freedman

3i8

8. the imperial finances

procurator Licinus, presumably to prime the new mint at Lyons.[489]Supervision of the state mints, at Rome at least, was again entrusted to young senatorial tresviri monetales, whose full title (aere argento auro flando feriundo) implies oversight of the production of all coins. Briefly under Augustus they were allowed to choose the types for some issues, but that was the extent of their independence. The letters 'S.C.' (senatus consulto) which appeared on Augustus' new bronze coinage, and on some provincial and some Neronian imperial issues, do not, it is now generally agreed, indicate any continuing senatorial control of minting, but advertise that this was the official Roman coinage, perhaps originally with reference to a senatorial vote of approval for the new weight standards of the Augustan system.[490] In the provinces many 'local' coinages, such as the cistophoric tetradrachms of the province of Asia (which bore Latin legends), were in effect 'imperial' coinages. The mint at Alexandria was under direct imperial control, and under Tiberius the silver-weight of its tetradrachms was adjusted to match that of the denarius; around the same time Palmyra and the Jewish rulers were made to bring their silver coinages into line. The closing of all the local mints in Spain must indicate imperial intervention, and it is noticeable that many sporadic eastern issues coincided with military operations in the area.[491] The emperor could control minting when and wherever he wanted; that he sometimes allowed local initiative is not evidence for a real division of authority. The emperor thus was in theory able to regulate in broad terms the quantity and type of coinage in circulation; the quesdons of whether and why he did or did not lead into the wider issue of the management of the imperial finances in general.

Detailed quantification of coin production in the early Empire must await systematic study of the number of dies used for each issue, although even this will leave considerable uncertainty about the scale of issues.30 Compared to earlier and later eras the surviving gold and silver coinage of this period is relatively rare; significant quantities of the heavier republican denarii condnued to find their way into hoards through to the end of the first century a.d. Augustus had to mint extensively to establish his new system of bronze coinage, but there was a drastic fall in producdon later: Tiberius and Gaius, for example, closed the western provincial mints, and no imperial bronze was struck in the first ten years of Nero's reign. There is no evidence for regular recall and re-minting of old coins (which would have been very expensive). Old coins collected by the state were simply re-issued. The main sources of metal for minting new coins were bullion acquired through taxadon orconfiscation and above all the mines which had rapidly fallen under imperial control. It is therefore very likely that the overall stock of coinage in the early Empire was constantly if gradually increasing.

The rationale underlying this pattern of minting is a controversial topic.31 It is likely that the imperial government recognized some political responsibility, incurred through its near monopoly of minting, to maintain in circulation an adequate supply of the full range of denominations. The rare but heavy issues of small denominations, however, must be taken as one-off responses to particularly noticeable shortages and thus as indicators of a lack of any forward planning. The famous 'crisis of liquidity' at Rome in a.d. 33 tells the same story for the higher denominations.32 Clearly there can have been no government statistics for the volume of coinage in circulation, for any lump of gold or silver, including coins of the Roman Republic and of the hellenistic kings, could be used for exchange, while imperial gold and silver coins could be hoarded or melted down as bullion. These considerations undercut modern theories that changes in the rate of output and in the weight and purity of the imperial coinage represent attempts to keep it in tune with the changing market values of the uncoined metals; it is more plausible that the 'bronze' was a largely token coinage from the start, and that the denarius was deliberately overvalued in relation to the aureus so that it had a token premium against gold which discouraged private melting down of silver coins. Indeed it is very difficult to construct any satisfactory economic explanation for Nero's 'devaluation' of the silver and gold coinage, the only major monetary adjustment in this period. The common view that it was a device to stretch imperial funds is unsatisfactory, partly because earlier heavier coins were not all driven out of circulation, and mainly because it ignores the simultaneous attempt to introduce an all-orichalcum aes coinage.33 Nero was probably trying to reform the whole monetary system for a mixture of administra­tive and aesthetic reasons. Normally, however, emperors seem to have thought little about minting, which was ordered primarily in response to specific immediate needs. As long as the mines, supplemented by booty and confiscations of bullion from individuals, continued to produce sufficient new metal for minting, there will have been no obvious need to worry about questions of policy.

State income and expenditure in cash in the Roman empire is best visualized not as a massive annual ebb and flow of coin between the provinces and Rome, but as a series of provincial whirlpools, some of them spilling over into others and all being sporadically topped up from the imperial mints at Rome and elsewhere. The whole system functioned

For example Crawford 1970 (d i 26); Lo Cascio 1981 (d 144); Howgego 1992 (d i }s).

Rodewald 1976 (в 548) ch. 1. 33 Bolin 19)8 (o 11 3) ch. 4; Lo Cascio 1980(0 143).

}20

8. the imperial finances

largely under its own momentum with little direct intervention from the central government. It seems that, following republican practice, each province had a 'fiscus' (literally 'basket', sc. for holding coins), a sort of branch office of the main state treasury {aerarium). The chief task of each fiscus was to receive and record the lump sums of direct and indirect taxes due from the local communities and tax-farmers. It also had to pay out for expenses in that province: the salaries of the governor and his subordinates, any imperially funded building projects, and the cash costs of the garrison if there was one.

In republican Rome the central state treasury, to which all state revenues were in theory due and from which expenditure was made — though in practice many transactions were handled entirely by the provincial fisci — was the aerarium, located in the temple of Saturn. This treasury continued to exist in the Principate, now called the aerarium Saturni to distinguish it from the aerarium militare, the separate 'military treasury' established by Augustus in a.d. 6 with the new and limited function of paying the discharge bounties due to veterans out of the revenues earmarked for them.[492] In addition to these public treasuries formally constituted under senatorial supervisors, there existed the originally private administrative organization of the emperor's patrimo- nium or fiscus (as it was sometimes known), staffed by imperial slaves and freedmen, which swiftly came to assume the leading role in the administration of the state finances as a whole; hence the trend for fiscus to supplant aerarium as the general term for the fiscal and financial centre of the Roman state.

Admittedly the nature and origins of this imperial fiscus have been keenly disputed.[493] A common view is that a new imperial treasury called the fiscus, separate from the patrimonium, was set up parallel to the aerarium Saturni, probably by Claudius and perhaps together with the creation of an 'accounts department' {a rationibus) of the imperial familia headed by Pallas. Another suggestion is that this fiscus was a sub-unit of the aerarium which, on the analogy of provincial fisci, handled the finances of the emperor's composite provincia. The evidence, however, tells against any neat division between 'imperial' and 'senatorial' finances and their control. Under Augustus the aerarium Saturni was credited with the revenues of the new imperial province of Egypt, as was the aerarium militare in a.d. 17 with those of Cappadocia; the aerarium Saturni administered the financing of the vigiles, the new imperial fire-brigade, and continued to do so into the third century, and the aerarium militare functioned independently into the same period.[494] In the summaryaccount of the finances of the empire which Augustus left on his death, along with his private will, he listed the cash in the aerarium, the cash in the provincial fisci and the sums due from the tax-farmers.37 Clearly no new imperial treasury was officially recognized under Augustus, and there is no good evidence for one under his Julio-Claudian successors. The emperors were able to control state finances without diverting revenues into a new separate treasury.

The aerarium Saturni had no real financial independence. Although it was supervised by senatorial officials, the changes from praetors selected by lot to quaestors and then to ex-praetors chosen by the emperor are one sign of subordination to imperial control.38 The duties of these officials, as under the Republic, and of the senatorial prefects of the aerarium militare, were restricted to technical functions such as administering the tax-farming contracts, investigating accusations of tax avoidance and prosecuting defaulters; because this often meant dealing with upper- class Italians, it was politic to employ officials of senatorial status.39 It is, furthermore, unclear what revenues and expenditure continued in practice to be accounted for — let alone actually received or disbursed — by the aerarium Saturni. When Augustus, for example, drew up his summary of the state finances, a large percentage of the sums involved will have been in the fisci of imperial provinces under the control of imperial freedmen or equestrian officials, and any cash he held in Rome was presumably accounted for as being 'in' these fisci or as 'due' to the aerarium. These sums, as well as not passing through the aerarium, had apparently not been reported to its officials, for Augustus referred the Senate for details to the members of his familia who kept the accounts. These imperial clerks, technically the financial administrators (a rationi- bus) of the patrimonium, were thus not invented by Claudius, even if he was responsible for giving them a more formal 'departmental' organiza­tion. This may have encouraged people to think in terms of an imperial treasury based on the administration of the patrimonium, and hence called the fiscus, and in practice the role of the aerarium Saturni may increasingly have been confined to receiving the fiscal surpluses from public provinces and revenues raised in Italy and to administering public expenditure in Rome and Italy which was nominally under senatorial control such as that on aqueducts and temple maintenance and rituals.

In some respects Augustus had behaved in the tradition of late republican commanders, notably Pompey. There had not, therefore, been any formal division of responsibility, and in theory the aerarium Saturni remained the state treasury. In practice, however, the emperors controlled all financial policy. After Augustus only Gaius ever again

31 Suet. Aug. 101.4. 38 Millar 1964(0 149) 34.

39 For example, the case of Claudius: Suet. Claud. 9.2.

offered any account of the imperial revenues and expenditure to the Senate. Instead of the emperor's agents reporting to the aerarium, we must suppose that its prefects had to make their records available to the imperial accountants who drew up overall statements of the state finances for the restricted benefit of the emperor and his advisers. The question of administration is really a red herring: Augustus and his successors controlled the state finances by monopolizing the decision­making on financial matters. More precisely state finances were depoliti- cized by the death of republican politics - it was no longer open to ambitious individuals to propose controversial expenditure (wars, buildings, doles) or fiscal changes. Now a standing army received automatic payment in cash and kind, the Roman populace had a permanent grain supply laid on by the emperor, the provinces had a system of regular taxation which for over two hundred years underwent only minor adjustments.

The stability of Roman taxation at a level which, if it hurt individual peasants, was low for each community as a whole is often used to help explain the acceptance and support of Roman rule by the upper classes of the provinces.40 But the proposition should perhaps be reversed: the Romans were so dependent on this local co-operation that to avoid the risk of disaffection they rarely dared to increase provincial taxation, and its level constrained rather than was determined by imperial expenditure. In the Julio-Claudian period expenditure on the army must have increased gradually as auxiliary forces were turned into regular units. Total state revenues, however, will also have increased as new areas were converted into provinces subject to direct Roman taxadon. The evi­dence suggests that, outside Egypt, censuses were not regular and neutral operations but occasional deliberate attempts to increase the tribute assessments of individual provinces; if so, it would appear that as Gaul developed economically, its tribute was increased.41 Similar increases probably occurred in other relatively new and underdeveloped provinces as, for instance, in Moesia under Nero through the settlement of Transdanubians.42 In the Principate, however, only Vespasian is credited — and dubiously so — with widespread increases of tribute, examples of imperial caution about the general level of provincial taxation are numerous, and individual communities could petidon for reductions in their tribute assessment and doubtless frequently did so, somedmes with success.

It is difficult to estimate the size and nature of the public profit made from the provinces by imperial Rome. The situadon can be pictured as an outer ring of coin-hungry fisci of frontier provinces with large

Jones 1974 (d 137); MacMullen 1987 (d 147).

Cf. Brunt 1981 (d i 18), modified in 1990 (a 12) 533. «2 GCN 228.

garrisons which kept solvent by drawing on the cash surplus of the fisci of interior civilian provinces.43 How much or little cash surplus this left to be shipped to Rome is unknowable; against it must also be set all the newly minted coinage injected into the provincial system. But the profits of imperialism did not come only in cash. Direct taxes, although assessed and accounted for in cash terms, were partly collected in kind. Thus, for instance, insofar as soldiers received supplies in place of cash remune­ration, the fisci of frontier provinces need not always have been seriously short of coin; on the other hand civilian provinces may have produced surpluses in kind rather than cash. More importantly, the one provincial revenue which is certainly known to have been shipped to Rome is the annonal wheat.

While the revenues which could be drawn in cash from the provinces were limited, emperors were under constant pressure to spend munifi­cently, especially in Rome. Tiberius was exceptional in his accumulation of a large cash reserve, and Gaius' immediate spending of it was almost inevitable. Such savings undermined the justification for taxation, a mentality which was in part the legacy of the republican system of ad hoc financial arrangements, but in part derived from the emperor's monopo­lization of the control of the state finances. While emperors were happy to take the credit for beneficial expenditure, they also had to face personal criticism for the level of taxation, and preferred to spend rather than save. There could normally be no centralized reserves of wealth at all comparable to those, for instance, of the Achaemenid kings. It is also clear why for emperors who wished or were obliged to fund major new projects such as wars or building schemes and whose needs were normally for ready cash, the income from indirect taxes, particularly those raised in Italy, and that from the patrimonium had a special importance. In effect needy emperors turned to the Senate (and other rich nobles), whether it was Augustus instituting the 5 per cent inheritance tax or the villain of later senatorial rhetoric, the emperor who killed and confiscated to raise cash. The imperial wealth was enormous but, through a combination of political weakness, difficulties of commu­nications and transport and incomplete monetization, much of it could not be mobilized effectively by the central government. Although the period from Augustus to Nero saw an overall rise in expenditure which was at least matched by an overall increase in revenues, the lack of central reserves was a weakness embedded in the system from its inception and one which was to cause problems for the rest of the Principate.

43 Hopkins 1980(0 153).

THE SENATE AND SENATORIAL AND EQUESTRIAN POSTS

RICHARD J. A. TALBERT

I. THE SENATE1

There can be no question that the 20s B.C. and the half century which followed were a time of unparalleled change for the Senate and its members. Augustus was its principal instigator. Once peace had been secured after the long civil wars, the 'restoration of the Republic' was one of his foremost aims. By definition that touched closely the central institutions of the Republic, the Senate among them. The size and quality of senatorial membership engaged his attention first. In size it had expanded to 1,000 or more, partly because of numerous adlections by Iulius Caesar as dictator, partly because following his death others successfully used influence and bribery to gain admission by the same means. Moreover, by raising the total of quaestorships from twenty to forty, Caesar had doubled the number of new members each year, since tenure of this junior magistracy in practice offered life membership of the Senate. As early as 29 B.C. Octavian (as he then was) used a review of the senatorial roll to exclude 190 members on one ground or another. It was

1 Since contemporary testimony is largely lost along with the Lex Iulia of 9 b.c. which governed procedure, the main sources of knowledge for the Senate during the Julio-Claudian period are the later historical writers Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio — in particular Tacitus, who certainly drew upon the detailed record of senatorial proceedings {acta senates) for his Annals, although to what extent and by what means remain matters of considerable dispute (Talbert 1984 (d 77) ch. 9; Brunt 1984 (л io)). Inscriptions and papyri make a growing contribution. An impression of the nature and scope of senatorial legislative activity can be formed by drawing together material from legal writers and elsewhere (Talbert 1984 (d 77) ch. 15 sect. 5). Seneca's vivid sketch of the heavenly senate in session on Olympus, presided over by Jupiter (Apocol. 8-11), parodies its Roman counterpart of which he was himself a member, and offers a rare piece of contemporary insight. If it is accepted that Diocletian's Curia in Rome (built near the end of the third century and still standing today in a restored state) is in effect a reconstruction of the Curia Iulia, then it is possible to observe closely the meeting-place where most of the Senate's sessions were held: see further A. Bartoli, Curia Senatus, lo scam e H restauro (Rome, 1963).

Inscriptions are the main source for knowledge of senatorial and equestrian administrators and their work. Significant in this connexion from Augustus' reign onwards is the growing frequency with which records listing all the offices a man had held were no longer inscribed just posthumously, but during his lifetime too (Millar and Segal 1984 (c 176) ch. ;).

Modern discussion: Talbert 1984 (d 77) offers a starting-point on most aspects; for senators and their careers, see also Hopkins 1983 (a 46) ch. 3. Much relevant documentary material is assembled in FIRA i.

324

probably also during the 20s that he reduced the number of quaestor- ships to the old figure of twenty. Either then, or during the 'teens b.c., he took the consequential step of reducing the lower office holders (mostly aspirants to the Senate, not yet members) from vigintisexviri (twenty-six) to vigintwiri (twenty).

A Senate of about 800 still seemed too large. When Augustus returned to the task of reducing it further by another review of the roll in 18 b.c.,2 his preference is said to have been for a body of just 300: the simultaneous removal of as many as 500 members would thus be required. Unless he was displaying an astonishing lack of foresight, a more profound reappraisal of the role of the Senate would have been called for next, since all the existing functions assigned to the corporate body and its members could barely have been carried out by such a reduced group. In the event, however, Augustus abandoned any drastic aims of this type, and enrolled about 600 members by a peculiar method which combined co-option and the drawing of lots. Thereby the Senate returned to the approximate size which the dictator Sulla had made it. Up to the end of the Julio-Claudian period there are known to have been at least two more revisions of the roll during Augustus' reign (around 13— 11 b.c. and in a.d. 4), and a third carried out by the emperor Claudius and L. Vitellius as censors in a.d. 47/8. But in none of these instances does there appear to have been further significant alteration to the size of the membership. Rather, the regular number remained about 600, though it should be understood that this figure was always just a notional optimum, never a fixed maximum or fixed total. The normal method of entry continued to be through the twenty annual vacancies in the quaestorship. On present evidence at least, the alternative of'adlection', or direct elevation of a non-member to a grade of membership within the Senate (at the emperor's instigation), was only used very sparingly indeed during the Julio-Claudian period.3

The quality of senatorial membership concerned Augustus, as well as its size. As his conduct of the reviews in 29 and 18 B.C. demonstrated, he was determined to rid the Senate of members who were immoral, irresponsible, or lacking means. His purpose was to create a body which should be an outstanding elite of princes - high-minded, statesmanlike, wealthy. He waited until 18 B.C. to translate this ideal into reality. From that time all members had to be worth at least one million sesterces rather than just showing the modest equestrian census of 400,000, which was all that had previously been required.4 He appreciated the strain which would result, and over the years did help both worthy existing members who could not show the increased amount, and many prospective

2 Dio Liv.13-15. 3 Demougin 1982 (d 36) 81-2.

4 Nicolet 1976 (d j 3); Millar and Segal 1984 (c 176) ch. 4.

3*6

9- the senate

entrants. Among Augustus' Julio-Claudian successors similar assistance is known to have been given by Tiberius (albeit sometimes in rather grudging fashion) and by Nero.

Also from 18 в.с. in all likelihood, the old custom was abandoned whereby every prospective entrant wore the distinctive badge of the senator — the broad stripe (latus clavus) on the tunic — even before he had ever gained the lowest senatorial magistracy and actually joined the corporate body as quaestor.[495] In future this was to be the exclusive privilege of those senators' sons who chose to follow in their fathers' footsteps. Other young men seeking to become the first members of their family to enter the Senate could certainly pursue this quest, as ever, but they could not wear the coveted latus clavus until they became quaestors.

This particular way of marking out senators' sons and encouraging them to emulate their fathers was one of Augustus' many experiments which did not endure. The restriction had evidently come to be disregarded by the 30s a.d. at the very latest. Instead the practice developed whereby all equestrian aspirants to a senatorial career were obliged to gain the emperor's permission to wear the latus clavus. How selective successive emperors were in their consideration of such applications is completely unknown. None the less it is clear that Augustus' experiment formed part of a wider effort to exalt not just senators themselves, but also members of their families, whom he actually defined for the first time ever as a separate, superior 'senatorial class'.

The class first appears formally in Augustus' marriage legislation of 18 b.C., and of course it did endure. Membership belonged to senators and their descendants to the third generation, plus wives. Once a distinct class had been formed on this pattern, it was natural for a haphazard growth of privileges and restrictions to become attached to it. Among privileges, special front seats at shows and a certain precedence at elections were introduced early; limited exemption from particular local obligations may also have been granted.[496] Among restrictions, a series of bans on marriage with the lowest classes, prostitution, and appearances in shows or on stage, were all intended to maintain the dignity of the highest class in society.[497]

Regardless of how they gained the latus clavus, all those intending to pursue a senatorial career had to undertake the cursus honorum as reformed by Augustus.8 Tenure of one of the twenty minor offices in the vigintivirate bestowed annually by the emperor was now made acompulsory prerequisite. Either before or afterwards a limited period of service in a legion as tribunus mtlitum was recommended, though it was never compulsory and was often omitted by those of aristocratic background. Entry to the Senate itself was gained by election to one of the twenty annual quaestorships, for which a candidate had now to have reached his twenty-fifth year (previously the qualifying age had been thirty).Thereafter, notionally with minimum intervals of just over one year between each magistracy, plebeians had first to hold one of the six aedileships or ten tribunates (patricians were excused this stage); next all competed for the praetorship, which could not be held before a candidate's thirtieth year (previously thirty-nine or forty). The degree of rivalry sharpened at this vital stage, depending upon the number of praetorships, which it was the significant prerogative of the emperor to fix from year to year. Augustus at first permitted as few as ten praetors each year, and even by the end of his reign seldom more than twelve. As a result, at this date an average first-generation senator could take pride in having climbed even this high. Augustus' Julio-Claudian successors became somewhat more generous (not least because the range of duties assigned to senators of this rank was extended), so that by the end of the period the total of praetorships seems to have been fluctuating between fourteen and eighteen. None the less the risk of rejection was still a real one.

Beyond the praetorship a minority of favoured senators could sooner or later proceed on to the highest magistracy, the consulship. Both the number of consulships each year, and the choice of holders, in effect quickly came to be a choice for the emperor alone to make. Initially there was no more than one pair of holders for the entire year on the traditional republican pattern. But from 5 в.с. these two 'ordinary' consuls, who retained the prestige of opening the year, were regularly replaced by one or two further pairs of 'suffect' consuls at variable intervals, with the result that up to six men were permitted to attain this distinction within a single year. Thereby competition for it became less intense, and there were more members eligible to occupy posts reserved for senators of this standing. Certain highly distinguished men might be privileged to enjoy the supreme honour of a second, and even a third, consulship.

In time Augustus formed the opinion that it was not just the membership of the Senate which required his attention, but also the workings of the corporate body. His revival of fines for non-attendance in 17 в.с. is an early sign of his impatience with members who failed to match up to his ideals. Though in theory a presiding magistrate had always had authority to fine absentees, not since the second century B.C. perhaps had it been normal practice to do so, with the result that this clumsy measure by Augustus merely served to give offence. Only in 11 в.с. did he act further, when he formally abolished the quorum of 400 which was still required for any measure passed to be valid. In all likelihood it dated back to Caesar's dictatorship, but must have been a dead letter ever since the reduction of the membership to 600 in 18 в.с.

The abolition at least cleared the way for positive reform in the shape of the comprehensive lex Iulia de senatu habendo (9 B.C.), which was intended to regulate every aspect of the Senate's workings. The principal purpose of the law was seemingly to improve levels of attendance, which had for some time been giving Augustus cause for concern. To this end fines were increased, but they proved as ineffective as ever, and were quietly dropped, never to be revived. Quorums (a modest 200 is the only one known)9 were introduced for every kind of business: in themselves they were no novelty, but never before had they been laid down so comprehensively. Even more important was the innovation of fixed days for meetings, the Kalends and the Ides of each month, so that members would know to set these aside for attendance. As some alleviation, for the four stated meetings of the holiday months, September and October, the law did permit no more than a quorum chosen by lot to be present, while the likelihood is that perhaps two stated meetings were normally cancelled around our Eastertime, when traditionally there had been a recess (res prolatae or discessus senatus). However at all seasons special meetings in addition to the stated ones could be called, if necessary at very short notice. It was equally in connexion with regulating attendance that the law made two further provisions. First, it required a list of all senators' names to be displayed publicly and updated each year. Second, it introduced a 'retirement age' for senators. Previously the formal position had been that every member was obliged to keep up his attendance for life. Augustus appreciated that it would be neither practical nor sensible to insist upon this, and thus had the law stipulate that members were no longer required to come beyond the age of sixty or sixty-five (it is not known which). All the same, they were still welcome to come voluntarily, and many did.

Beyond all this the Lex Iulia codified senatorial procedure. That really did represent a new departure, since previously the proceedings seem to have been governed almost exclusively by custom, rather than by written statute. So it was probably now for the first time that features like the order in which opinions were to be asked for, or the manner in which a vote was to be taken, were actually written down. Such codification no doubt appealed to Augustus' sense of order. Even so it is striking that he does not appear to have exploited the opportunity to change procedure much. In practice meetings seem to have beeA generally conducted in just the same way after 9 в.с. as before. There is no foundation to the 9 FIR A i 68 col. V lines 106-7.

modern claim10 that the law in some way curtailed the ancient right of a member, when called upon for his opinion (sententia), to speak first without time limit on whatever subject he chose (egredi relationem). This right was retained and was still exploited.

Of course what neither the Lex lulia nor any other law ever codified was the position of the emperor in the Senate. His presence was a major new feature to which the corporate body had to adjust from the 20s B.C. All emperors were patrician senators and must have headed the list of members during their reigns, though Augustus alone of the Julio- Claudians took the title princeps senatus (from 28 B.C.). In his case, too, formal difficulties were few before 23 B.C., since he was always consul and frequently out of Rome. Thereafter, however, the need was felt to offer him the guaranteed opportunity of bringing forward one item at any stage of any meeting — what has been dubbed somewhat inaccurately the ius primae relationis — as well as authority to summon the Senate as often as he pleased (in theory he could already do this by virtue of his tribunicia potestas). In 19 b.c. he was granted the right to sit on the president's tribunal at meetings, in between the two consuls. At some stage, too, as early as Augustus' reign, there was recognition (not necessarily formal perhaps) of a unique right of the emperor to have business put forward by letter rather than in person. All these privileges must have been conferred upon subsequent emperors on their accession.

At least up until a.d. 8, when old age compelled him to reduce his activities, Augustus showed the Senate respect by attending not just as president, but also as a private member. The one meeting which we know him to have missed deliberately was the occasion in 2 B.C. when the discovery of his daughter Iulia's scandalous behaviour had to be made public: in his shame he could not face the Senate in person, but sent a letter instead. Unfortunately the source-material is lacking which would allow us to build up a picture of his participation and performance at meetings in the way that can be done for Tiberius through Tacitus' Annals. In general, however, it is clear that he did take an active enough part in debate, although two major difficulties in this connexion quickly made themselves felt.

The first was the nature of members' reaction to the superior position of the emperor, which might take the form of respect, or fear, or resentment, according to different individuals' viewpoints. These feel­ings sprang from a variety of causes: the knowledge that in practice nothing which the emperor requested or openly supported could be refused; the recognition that every senator's advancement depended in large measure upon his approval; and the realization that control of many key spheres of government had effectively become his alone. Even

10 Mommsen 1888 (a 65) 111.2. 940.

many of the Senate's meeting-places were now powerful symbols of the imperial regime — the Curia Iulia, begun by Iulius Caesar, dedicated by Octavian in 29 B.C., and thereafter adorned with a growing number of monuments and dedications in honour of the emperor and his family; the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, close by the emperor's residence; and from 2 B.C. the temple of Mars Ultor in front of which was sited a great statue of Augustus victorious in a chariot. Under such circumstances, and in such surroundings, members came to feel, more or less willingly, that it was pointless any longer to take an active, critical, independent part in sessions, when the result seemed a foregone conclusion, and no more than officially selected extracts from the detailed record of proceedings — acta senatus, instituted by Iulius Caesar in 59 в.с. - were now permitted to be made public. In addition certain matters of the highest importance were never even referred to the Senate at all. It is hardly surprising that the only two known instances of open senatorial disagreement with Augustus were cases where he perhaps expected opposition to be voiced anyway — a request to have not one colleague, but two, whenever he held the consulship, and an offer after his illness in 2} в.с. to read out his will. Perhaps more characteristic were the meetings under Augustus' presidency where frustration at members' reluctance to formulate independent opinions led him to call names at random rather than in the customary order of seniority.

Despite Augustus' efforts to counter the trend, this understandable reluctance was to persist indefinitely. Tiberius' impatience with it as emperor prompted his allegedly regular exclamation on leaving sessions 'O homines ad servitutem paratos', 'O men ready to be slaves!'.[498] It must be reflected again by the otherwise unknown Titius Rufus whose claim that 'the Senate thought one way and voted another'12 led to his indictment in a.d. 39; and there is no doubt that it was a principal target of the consular Thrasea Paetus, who consciously risked Nero's disap­proval by his outspoken encouragement of greater independence on the part of fellow members in the late 50s and early 60s. The most vehement attack on such senatorial reluctance, however, is made in the speech of an unidentified senator (in all likelihood the emperor Claudius) preserved on a papyrus fragment:

If these proposals meet with your approval, Conscript Fathers, say so plainly at once, in your own considered words. But if you disapprove, find another solution, yet do so in this temple, or, if you perhaps want a more generous interval in which to think, take it, provided you remember that, whatever the place you should be summoned to, you must give us your own opinion. For

Conscript Fathers, it is most unbecoming to the dignity of this order here that just one consul designate should deliver a sententia, and even this drawn word for word from the relatio of the consuls, while others utter the single word adsentior, and then when they depart say 'Well, we spoke'.13

Even where the emperor took care not to express a view, his relatives (who generally pursued senatorial careers) might still be regarded as speaking for him. Thus in a.d. 13, when alternadves to the 5 per cent inheritance tax were under discussion, Augustus specifically forbade Germanicus and Drusus to make any suggestion, for fear that it would be regarded as his, and adopted without more ado.

The second main difficulty which acted as a curb on the freedom and vigour of senatorial proceedings in Augustus' reign was his introduction some time between 27 and 18 в.с. of a consilium to consider items of business in advance of their being laid before the full corporate body (distinct from the consilium principis, for which see p. 290). It must be acknowledged that this committee was intended to have no more than such a preparatory function. Yet for all Augustus' efforts to uphold that aim, members in the full Senate would hardly have been human if they still did not suspect that they could exercise only the most limited influence after the 'real' debate had already occurred in the committee, and the 'real' decisions had been taken there. Under such conditions few members were going to have the appetite for a wide-ranging, frank discussion in the full Senate. Their worst fears can only have been confirmed in a.d. i 3 when Augustus (now in extreme old age) had the membership of the consilium reformed and its decisions granted authority equal to that of the full Senate.

In a pithy summary Tacitus later wrote of Augustus 'drawing to himself the functions of the Senate, the magistrates and the laws'.14 There is a large measure of truth in the allegation: even though not only Augustus but also all his successors studiously derived their formal authority from the Senate, it did still have to adjust itself to a curtailed prerogative. Of course many traditional functions remained. The Senate legislated actively, and its resolutions came to be recognized as law without the need for confirmation by a popular assembly. Honours were bestowed in greater quantity and variety than ever. The Senate's authority in matters of religion was still accepted as supreme, and it continued to be approached by embassies, albeit in reduced numbers. On the other hand the emperor in large measure reserved to himself matters relating to the army and foreign affairs; public finance; and the adminis­trative oversight of a large group of existing provinces, together with that of all new ones. In consequence the Senate lost for ever the major

13 FIRA I 44 col. ill lines 10-22. 14 Am. i.i.

prerogative (already challenged formidably in the late Republic) of determining the disposition of the state's military forces year by year and the extent of the territory to which it laid claim. The creation of supervisors for roads, aqueducts, the distribution and supply of corn, and for other concerns (treated further below), in practice represented further encroachment upon its formerly exclusive authority.

However, despite the fact that the republican Senate had seldom shown more than the most desultory concern for such matters, Augustus was still scrupulous in arranging not just for the new officials to be appointed by the Senate, but also for their activities to be authorized by it. He likewise constantly informed and consulted the Senate about military, provincial, diplomatic and financial affairs, in addition to inviting its approval of significant changes or unusual expedients in these spheres.15 In many instances it may be that this was not merely tact or caution, but rather that he was genuinely seeking to hear a range of proposals, to test opinion and to mould his reaction to it, as well as ensuring reasonable acquiescence in whatever might finally be decided. More than anyone Augustus knew how vital it was that he should not lose touch with upper-class opinion or seriously alienate it. Yet however open to advice he might appear, it always remained awkward for members to be confident of his purpose, or to judge the point at which they might be considered to have overstepped the mark in risking a frank statement of views. In this dilemma the majority preferred to take no risk at all, and the Senate as a deliberative body suffered.

Altogether Augustus' impact upon the Senate proved a mixed one. He showed it the greatest respect. While reducing the size of the member­ship, he raised its moral and social standing, he promoted regular attendance by a variety of means, and codified (though hardly altered) procedure. But for all his assiduous consultation of the Senate, and his avowed encouragement of frankly expressed opinions, it was impossible for members to ignore his overriding supremacy in the state and his effective usurpation of certain major senatorial prerogatives. The sena­torial consilium, especially after the strengthening of its authority in a.d. i j, acted as a further discouragement to the corporate body.

Tiberius' impact was equally mixed. Up to a point in the case of the Senate, as elsewhere, he merely continued Augustus' approach. While this is by no means an unfair assessment, it perhaps fails to give due weight to our sources' emphatic claim that the widest possible range of issues, public and private, great and small, was brought before the Senate by Tiberius, at least in the earlier part of the reign. Discreet warnings against such openness from Augustus' confidant, the eques C. Sallustius 15 Brunt 1984 (d 27); FIRA i 99 lines 1-7.

Crispus, were ignored. Moreover the Senate could feel that it enjoyed greater freedom to handle all this business, following the radical step taken by Tiberius on his accession: he was not content merely to reduce Augustus' senatorial consilium to its status prior to a.d. ij, but actually abolished it altogether. As a result the primacy of the full Senate was quite unexpectedly reasserted.

The Senate received a further boost during the early weeks of Tiberius' reign when elections to magistracies were transferred to it from the popular assemblies (though the latter continued to meet for the purpose of ratifying the choice of candidates). To what extent this development was an idea of Augustus rather than of Tiberius is obscure: but on present evidence there is no sign that the former ever wanted to do more than give the upper classes a prominent role in assembly elections, while at the least there can be no question that the dming of the change must have been decided by Tiberius.16 The Senate, of course, gained no formal power from it. Neither was there any relaxation of the existing constraints imposed upon both candidates and voters by the emperor's interest. For the consulship he condnued to support as many candidates as there were vacancies. For all other magistracies, however, his candidates would usually comprise no more than a proportion of the vacancies, so that there was genuine, fierce competition for the remain­ing places. Thus the transfer still gratified members, and did offer the corporate body a regular, active function to which much significance was attached.17 The details of how far in advance magistrates were elected thus in the Julio-Claudian period, and at what times of year, remain almost a blank: in all probability no set pattern emerged until a later date. An attempt by Gaius to return the elections to popular assemblies was frustrated by senators and soon abandoned.

Even more welcome to members was the trend which Tiberius more or less consciously encouraged whereby the Senate should exercise a regular jurisdiction as a high court.18 It had never done this during the Republic nor during the reign of Augustus. Rather, in his scheme of things this function was to be fulfilled by the jury-courts (quaestiones), which he overhauled and added to, and in which he gave senators an established place; in addition, from 4 b.c. certain charges of extordon (repetundae) might be heard by small panels of senators. Only for needs and cases beyond the normal routine did Augustus occasionally turn to the full Senate — in particular cases where his own prestige and interest were closely involved, or where the complexity or novelty of the issues were beyond the competence of a quaestio. In the earlier part of Tiberius' reign such formerly occasional referral became so frequent as to

16 Brunt 1961 (c 47); 1984 (d 27) 429. 17 Talbert 1984 (d 77) 202-4 and 34>—5•

18 Bleicken 1962 (d 248); Garnsey 1970 (f j;); Talbert 1984 (d 77) ch. 16.

9- the senate

constitute regular jurisdiction, while many more repetundae cases were considered to require a hearing before the full Senate rather than mere reference to a small panel. The trial of Cn. Calpurnius Piso in a.d. 20 for the murder of Germanicus may have been a turning-point. According to Tacitus,19 Tiberius himself openly acknowledged that it was exceptional to bring the case before the Senate rather than a quaestio. Yet from the 20s there remains no doubt that the senatorial court was well established, and the likelihood is that the quaestiones for treason (maiestas) and extortion (repetundae) became practically defunct in consequence.

Established senatorial procedure required little adaptation to accommodate judicial hearings, especially as the Senate had long been accustomed to entertaining pleas and applications, and adjudicating disputes. It is unlikely that its regular jurisdiction was ever sanctioned formally by law: none was necessary if the development enjoyed the emperor's support. While in theory the Senate as a supreme legislative body claimed the right (unlike a quaestio) to hear any charge and to fix any penalty, certain conventions quickly developed. The Senate became the principal court chosen to take cases of maiestas and repetundae in the Julio- Claudian period. Otherwise it normally confined itself to cases where individuals of high rank were involved; where the issue was particularly serious or scandalous; or where an affair attracted a special degree of public attention. Thus, for example, the Senate was a natural choice of court to hear adultery cases where persons of high rank were implicated, and where there might be associated charges, not to mention delicate political overtones. It was equally well fitted to investigate the collapse of an unsafe amphitheatre at Fidenae in 27 which caused catastrophic loss of life among the spectators: this resulted in the banishment of the builder, a freedman, and the drafting of regulations to prevent the recurrence of such a disaster.

The further convention seems to have developed that the emperor remained aloof from repetundae trials, according the Senate complete freedom to decide these as it pleased — a detachment which represented no special sacrifice on his part. It could only be otherwise with cases of maiestas, however. These were often brought to the emperor in the first instance and only referred to the Senate on his initiative. Since by definition they did touch his own safety and interest, he considered it important to make his views known and to have them adopted by whatever means might prove necessary. As a result the Senate was seldom left free to decide such cases, and bitterly resented the inevitable imperial interference, especially when the defendants were from the senatorial class. It became a major tragedy of Tiberius' reign that he did

334

19 Am. hi. 12.

less and less to control the bringing of maiestas charges. Moreover in any politically sensitive case he was above all concerned to see his own wishes met, rather than to encourage senatorial independence.

No less harmful was his withdrawal to Capri in 26, which turned out to be permanent. Up till that time his attendance - at debates and trials, as president and private member, even on election days — had been outstandingly conscientious. He had participated actively in proceed­ings too — suffering insults, being drawn into embarrassing exchanges, and even on occasion finding himself outvoted. Taken together with his other measures this behaviour understandably increased the Senate's confidence in the nature and value of its role, so that the effect of the emperor's isolation from the corporate body after 26 was all the more damaging.

Gaius' declaration20 at his accession that he would never write to the Senate (and thus by implication would always attend in person) did indicate a fleeting initial reaction against Tiberius' behaviour during the previous eleven years. But it was left to Claudius to make a serious effort in this regard. While perhaps never as assiduous as Tiberius had been, he did none the less regularly attend meetings and trials, both as president and private member, and was an eager participant, bringing much business before the corporate body. He seems also to have been exceptionally severe in insisting upon good attendance by others. The ban on unauthorized private travel beyond Italy (and after 49 Sicily and Narbonese Gaul) by senators was stringently enforced. Nero's personal­ity and lack of experience led him to attend the Senate much less than Claudius, in particular towards the end of the reign when he became more and more estranged from it. But strikingly Vitellius' background and training led him to revert to the example of Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius. Tacitus21 notes that during his brief reign in 69 he made a point of attending the Senate even when the items on the agenda were only trivial.

Of all the emperors between 37 and 69 it was Claudius who made the most lasting impact upon the Senate by widening its membership. It is true that he stressed to the Senate itself the desire of both Augustus and Tiberius 'that there should be in this curia all the flower of the colonies and municipalities everywhere, namely good men and rich'.22 Yet in making such a claim he appears to be over-generous. Even though Iulius Caesar had introduced a few provincials, both Augustus and Tiberius - whatever may have been their ideal - in practice seem to have continued this trend no more than cautiously. Despite the favour regularly shown 20 Dio ux.3.1. 21 Hiit. 11.91. 22 FIRA 1 43 col. II lines 2-4.

by emperors to respectful senators of distinguished ancestry, many old families soon ceased to be represented for a variety of reasons.23 As a result there was room for a steady influx of novi homines, or first generation senators, who at this date were still mainly Italian. There was evidently no shortage of aspirants except for a limited period during the 'teens B.C. New patricians were created by both Augustus and Claudius. But it was only because of further initiative by the latter that provincials became in any way a notable element in the membership of the Senate. Even then, the great majority of these newcomers originated from the West of the empire: by contrast, not until after the Julio-Claudian period did more than a handful of easterners have qualifications and contacts which encouraged them to put themselves forward.24

Hostile emperors like Gaius and Nero inflicted no more than short-term damage upon the Senate as a corporate body. For by the latter part of Tiberius' reign reform of its membership and workings was complete, while its functions had been satisfyingly enough redefined within the new constraints which the Principate imposed. In the spheres of legislation and jurisdiction the Senate remained notably busy. Meetings might last the entire day from sunrise to sunset; even so, many were required beyond the minimum of two each month prescribed by the Lex Iulia. Such miscellaneous attendance and voting figures as survive range from respectable to high25 and are all the more remarkable in view of the considerable proportion of members who would always have to be out of Rome on official business or had reached the 'retirement age'. Debate was often sharp, and participation in it by no means confined just to the two highest grades, consulares and praetorii, who were consulted first. Great pride was taken in senatorial membership, and there was evidently never difficulty in attracting fresh aspirants, or in inspiring loyalty to the institution on the part of those who were elected. Moreover, even though the Senate may no longer have exercised much formal power, its members individually and collectively still exerted a decisive influence upon all the empire's affairs. While in one sense the well-being of the Senate, like everything else, remained painfully dependent upon the emperor's pleasure, in another the attitude of Augustus and Tiberius during their long reigns set a standard which senatorial opinion could ever afterwards demand that each of their successors maintain. These values were strongly advocated by senators and to a significant extent observed by responsible emperors, very much to the benefit of the corporate body and its prestige. Thus, as Tacitus26 has Otho emphasize in the most high-flown surviving statement of the Senate's significance

23 Hopkins 1985 (a 46), ch. 5. 24 Halfmann 1979 (d 44).

25 Talbert 1984 (d 77) ch. 4 sect. 2; Gonzalez 1984 (в 234) 76. 26 Hist. 1. 84.

for Romans, it was the institution which continued to be seen as the permanent embodiment of the ancient respublica.

II. SENATORIAL AND EQUESTRIAN POSTS

No princeps, however active, could run the empire single-handed. Moreover the administrative functions fulfilled by the annual magis­trates elected at Rome were deliberately curtailed in scope. It is true that they continued to preside over a variety of courts there, and that quaestors acted as financial officers in the ten or so senatorial provinces. In addition three magistrates in office acted as mint supervisors, while between 23 b.c. and a.d. 56 there were others who administered the state treasury in Rome. But that was about all. For everything else the emperor had to seek assistance, principally from the upper classes. Here the role of senators was an outstanding one. The individuals invited to advise the emperor in his private consilium would be drawn largely from their ranks. Their formerly exclusive privilege to govern provinces and command legions was barely infringed either during the Julio-Claudian period or long afterwards. These were two functions of vital importance which alone by a.d. 68 called for the services of over fifty members at any one time, nearly all of them consulares or praetorii (men who had been consul or praetor respectively); further senators would accompany governors as legates.

The proconsuls of the senatorial provinces were still chosen according to the traditional method of the lot to serve for just a one year term, which would normally be expected to begin between our Easter and mid-summer. The arrangements for drawing lots, and the timing, are mostly obscure. Appointment as proconsul of Africa or Asia came to be offered to the senior consulares who had not held either post already. In this instance, therefore, once the two men eligible and willing to accept appointment had been identified, the drawing of lots was confined to deciding which province each would take. It may be that a broadly similar procedure was followed in the case of other proconsulships too, all reserved for praetorii (although tenure of more than one such post was permitted). Since there were as many as eight posts to be assigned thus, the lot could operate very much at random, and it does seem to have been left to do so. Such instances of individual manipulation as have been suspected appear exceptional; the same applies to extended terms of office.27

Apart from these ten or so proconsulships, all governors and all legionary commanders were appointed by the emperor to serve for as long as he required. The same in effect applied to most of the new

я Talbert 1984 (d 77) ch. 10 sect. 3 and App. 8.

Table i New senatorial posts within Rome and Italy


Title

Function

Date

Remarks

Number and rank


PRAEFECTUS

FRUMENTI DANDI29 CURATOR VIARUM»

PRAEFECTUS AERARII Management of state treasury SATURNI28

Distribution of corn dole at Rome

Management of roads in Italy (though precise scope of functions remains obscure)

CURATOR AQUARUM31 Management of aqueducts of Rome

I praetorii

4 praetorii, notionally chosen

by lot Board of uncertain composition

3 notionally chosen by lot, comprising i consular is, i praetorius, i senator of lesser rank

29 to 23 в.с. and from a.d. 56

2 from 22 b.c., 2 more

added in 18 B.C. From 20 B.C.

From 11 в.с.

Function carried out between 2 3 в.с. and a.d. 56 by praetors and quaestors in office

Regular assignment 6f one or more named main roads to an individual senatorial curator almost certainly postdates the Julio-Claudian period Board was granted legal authority to maintain the responsibility exercised informally by Agrippa for just over twenty years prior to his death in 12 B.C.


PRAEFECTUS AERARII Management of military treasury 3 praetorii MILITAR1S32

From a.d. 6

Archaic office permanently re- instituted in new form from a.d. 13

PRAEFECTUS URBI33 Oversight of law and order in 1 senior consularis Rome, and command of the three urban cohorts (formerly under the direct control of Augustus)

senatorial posts within Rome and Italy established on a permanent basis by Augustus and Tiberius, albeit with the Senate's approval. Although these posts (set out in Table i) without doubt represent a haphazard growth, rather than a planned series, none the less all were equally intended to improve public services and thereby strengthen the em­peror's own position. At the same time the creation of one or more posts with a particular responsibility did not deter him from still taking personal initiatives in the same sphere from time to time.

Not only did adjustment and experiment continue, as Table i shows. Senators might also be called upon at any time to assist in tackling some short-term crisis or difficulty. But all the same it can be seen that the substantial group of new senatorial administrative posts within Rome and Italy was largely organized by early in Tiberius' reign. To some extent the same may be true of the new posts throughout the empire to which equites were appointed, although the ancient sources' lack of interest in tracing the development of the equestrian service usually makes it impossible to claim with confidence when a particular post was instituted.39

Already during the late Republic certain officerships in the army were normally held by equites (a small number of whom would advance to pursue senatorial careers). Augustus increased the opportunities for military service of this type, so that in time there developed the pattern whereby most legionary tribunates and all auxiliary prefectures were reserved for equites-, some prefects of fleets were also equestrian (the others being freedmen). A limited proportion of all these officers were ex-centurions who had gained equestrian status through working their way up to the primipilate; but the majority were equites by birth, newly recruited into the army and likely to serve there for some years. It seems to have been understood that such military service would be required of any eques who aspired to a civil appointment in the emperor's service.

Like any republican magnate Augustus needed procurators to manage estates which he could not see to himself and to represent him in the courts. He generally asked equites to fulfil this function, and from the beginning of his reign he must have had such representatives in most, if not all, provinces. In senatorial provinces (where a quaestor was stationed) the procurator's function was technically confined to the administration of the emperor's private property. Even during the reign of Augustus, however, procurators in imperial provinces took on a wider role, handling public money and commanding troops; some were actually put in charge of a region or even an endre province, answerable either to the nearest army commander, or to the emperor direct. Most

39 Hirschfeld 1912 (d 13); Stein 1927 (d66); Pflaum 1950(0 56); 1960-1; 1982 (d 59); 1974 (d 58). Many of Pflaum's dates for the creation of new posts should be viewed with caution.

notable among the latter was the prefect of Egypt, who was regarded as the senior equestrian official during the Julio-Claudian period, and whose immediate subordinates (even the commanders of the two legions stationed outside Alexandria) were all equites.[499] Some enlargement of the procurator's role inevitably developed in senatorial provinces too, and it must have been as a reflection of this general expansion that Claudius gave all his procurators jurisdiction in fiscal cases.[500] Indeed by his day there was even one eques who believed that in occupying posts normally given to members of his class he could achieve the same degree of wealth and influence as a consularis."'[501]

In Rome Augustus handed direct command of the praetorian cohorts to a pair of equestrian prefects from 2 в.с. A few years later crises in two spheres prompted him to tackle their persistent problems much more decisively than hitherto. First, after a serious fire in a.d. 6 he took the step of appointing an equestrian praefectus vigilum who commanded a force of 7,000 freedmen to combat fires. Though ostensibly experimen­tal,[502] this innovation soon became a permanent feature. Second, a severe shortage in the same year led him to appoint a pair of consulares to supervise the corn supply in two successive years; then at some date between a.d. 7 and his death in 14 he put the task in the hands of an equestrian praefectus annonae, whose office was permanent.44 There is reason to believe that an equestrian prefecture of vehicles in Italy may also date from Augustus' reign,45 while it was certainly from early in the Julio-Claudian period that equestrian assistants (adiutores) of various grades came to be attached to many of the senatorial and equestrian administrative officers mentioned above.

It should be stressed that the growth of all these equestrian posts was as much an unco-ordinated response to immediate problems as in the case of the senatorial appointments already outlined. There was no equestrian 'civil service' whose members were guaranteed permanent employment within a planned career structure which encouraged them to develop a particular expertise.46 Augustus' general reasons for turning to the equestrian order for the assistance which he sought seem easy enough to conjecture. On the negative side, it might not have been diplomatic to appoint senators to some of the posts concerned, even had there been sufficient members of their class; there may have also been instances where senators' competence was doubted. On the positive side, while equites ranked below senators (and could thus accept orders more readily), they had always been inextricably linked with them; a favoured few were even numbered among the emperor's closest advisers. In addition as a group equites, like senators, were wealthy, educated, and conservative in outlook. Many had experience of public life as jurors, contractors and municipal magistrates, as well as through army service. In general they were an obvious recourse for the emperor in his search for administrative assistance.

All the same it is less easy to be sure why he specifically chose members of the equestrian class to occupy particular posts. In Rome for example, the prefectures of the fire brigade and of the corn supply (both spheres formerly of general concern to senatorial magistrates) could seemingly just as well have been senatorial appointments. Among provinces it is impossible to find convincing general characteristics which distinguish the diverse areas entrusted to equites from those continuing to be governed by senators. Even in the case of Egypt the claims of later ancient writers,47 that the country was too turbulent and altogether represented too great a security risk to be safely assigned to a senator, hardly ring true, all the more so in view of the alarm created by the first prefect, the eques Cornelius Gallus. As to the choice of equites to fill procuratorships, the modern contention that the background of the class enabled its members to draw upon unique expertise in the areas of finance, trade and manufacture may seem an unsatisfactory oversimplifi­cation, which overlooks the fact that most equites were no more than owners of large estates, and that the type of expertise attributed to the class is not hereditary. Any assumptions that equestrian officials would generally prove more honest in their conduct than senators, as well as displaying greater loyalty to the emperor, are equally misplaced. It is worth recalling in this connexion the point made above that equestrian adiutores came to be attached to both senatorial and equestrian admini­strative officers. While their appointment may have been intended in part to provide a check on malpractices, it is equally likely that the burden of work carried by their superiors did genuinely call for some assistance.

It may be more satisfactory to admit that Augustus' motives for choosing to employ equites in the way that he did can no longer be identified with any certainty for the most part. At the least, however, his concern must have been to ensure that each individual responsibility was tackled in the most effective manner at the dme, rather than that assignment of posts to members of different classes should conform to some general system or theory. Later, Augustus' successors in all likelihood just continued to appoint to most posts men of the same class as the redring holders, partly out of respect for established practice, and partly because no pressing cause to overturn existing arrangements was apparent. Exceptionally, towards the end of the Julio-Claudian period

47 Tac. Ann. ii. 5 9; Hist. 1.11; Dio Li.7.1.

pressure did develop on a number of grounds for equites to be appointed to senior posidons in the emperor's secretariat, which hitherto had normally been given to freedmen. Although the shift itself only occurred later, it does at least serve to highlight in conclusion the extent to which the ambition of equites had grown within the relatively short span since their first employment by Augustus. It confirms, too, their willingness to serve the emperor and their full appreciation by this date of his boundless prerogative as patron and ruler.

PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION AND TAXATION

ALAN K. BOWMAN

I. ROME, THE EMPEROR AND THE PROVINCES

The reorganization of provincial government which began with Au­gustus' so-called first settlement in January 27 B.C. gave to the imperial administration in the provinces a fundamental structure which it was to retain for more than three centuries. Its basis can only be fully appreciated in the light of the developments of the late republican period.1 In the East the Roman organization of Greece and Asia had taken advantage of the urban legacy of hellenization and set the pattern of which the far-reaching arrangements of Pompey's eastern settlement were a logical extension. Here, the ubiquitous phenomenon of organiza­tion through the hellenized poleis, based on specific and definable relationships between the city and the ruling power, was to find its clearest expression, whilst the military and fiscal interests of Rome knitted diverse communities into a loose provincial structure. In the West, Spain, Africa and Narbonensis required a longer period of development and acclimatization to Roman rule, accelerating noticeably only in the last three or four decades of the first century в.с. and drawing in their wake the newly acquired regions of Gallia Comata. If East and West differed in pace of'Romanization' and in many a significant detail, the broad objectives did not: the need to encourage or create civilized and self-sufficient communities (whether based on polis or civitas) governed by their indigenous aristocracies; the need to ensure Rome's military security and the protection of her imperial interests in the broad sense, the cost of which would be met (at the least) by the revenue which Rome could draw from the province enjoying her protection; finally, as a natural corollary, the need to support and promote the interests of Romans in the provinces, senators and equites at the top of the social and

1 See САН ix2, ch. 1The evidence for provincial administration under Augustus and the Julio- Claudians is mainly inscriptional, supplemented by scattered references in the literary sources. No attempt is here made to provide exhaustive documentation. Care is needed in using the more abundant documentary and literary sources for the period from the Flavians to the Severi which are likely to reflect a more highly developed provincial administration than that which existed between 4j b.c. and a.d. 69. Some later items of evidence are cited in what follows, but only those which seem unlikely to be seriously anachronistic.

344

economic scale, then negotiators, veteran colonists and increasing numbers of assimilated provincial Roman citizens. For all this the visible and effective support system lay in the military establishment, the institutions of provincial and civic government, the power of Rome's currency, the increasing dominance of her economic interests, and the gradual spread of Roman law.[503]

The patterns of provincial government established in the late Republic certainly survived the triumviral period, although it is difficult to see whether the political and military disturbances entailed any long- term disruption on more than a local scale. From the point of view of Roman magistrates and officers serving in the provinces, the arrange­ments enunciated in the Lex Titia of 27 November 43 в.с. and emended after Philippi offered the triumvirs the opportunity to exercise patronage and appoint supporters to provincial governorships and legateships; the more general implication was the evoludon of 'spheres of influence' which gave them access to the military and financial resources provided by the provinces in their areas.[504] But it would be mistaken to deduce from this that either the constitutional power or the influence of a triumvir was limited by any 'iron curtain'. Antony might write to the koinon of Asia on the subject of privileges enjoyed by athletes and artists, but Octavian was also able to maintain his close relationship with Aphrodis- ias-Plarasa in Caria, to bestow personal privileges on the naval captain (nauarchos) Seleucus of Rhosus and to issue an edict on veteran privileges whose beneficiaries were not confined to one part of the empire.4 But the solicitude of a triumvir for Rome's subjects was not universal even in his own area; some communities suffered from neglect or from inability to enlist effective aid and support, as is suggested by the evidence for internal faction and belated reparation for damage caused in the Asian cities of Aphrodisias and Mylasa during the invasion by Labienus and the Parthians.[505]

The enduring administrative arrangements made at the beginning of 27 B.C. will certainly have owed something to the experience of the previous fifteen years, even though it was politic to suppress any overt appeal to triumviral precedents. The assignation to Augustus of a large provincia, with leave to govern it through senatorial legates appointed for terms determined by the princeps, might rather have recalled the Spanish governorship of Pompey the Great in 5 5 B.C. As defined in the first instance, Augustus' province was to include Spain (though Baetica was soon removed), Gaul, Syria, Cilicia, Cyprus and Egypt (governed, since 30 B.C. by an equestrian praefectus personally appointed by the princeps).[506]Within a few years Cyprus and Narbonensis were to be returned to the control of proconsuls, selected by the traditional lot for annual gover­norships and by the end of Augustus' reign Illyricum, now reorganized to form the provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia, was in the emperor's hands.[507]

New provinces, by their very nature, demanded assignation to the emperor. Distinctions of rank existed within the categories of governors of 'imperial' and 'public' provinces, the major military imperial pro­vinces being entrusted to men of consular status, the lesser to praetor­ians, the Senate appointing ex-consuls only to Africa and Asia, ex- praetors to the remainder. For those imperial provinces normally entrusted to equites, the prefecture of Egypt was perhaps the prototype; others were governed by men whose positions evolved from military praejecturae or civil procuratorships, becoming assimilated under the general title of procurator in the reign of Claudius. These governorships were in no constitutional sense reserved for men of equestrian rank - a freedman could be appointed deputy-prefect of Egypt and there is no evidence that Pallas' brother, Antonius Felix, was elevated to equestrian rank to hold the prefecture of Judaea.[508]

It is essential to emphasize that under Augustus and his successors practice remained flexible. It allowed provinces to be governed in groups, a province to be transferred from the control of a proconsul to that of a senatorial legatus Augusti or an equestrian governor (or, occasionally, vice versa), to place public and imperial provinces under a combined governorship, to allow a province to be 'upgraded' from equestrian control to that of a legate or from a praetorian to a consular legate, to recognize, in adjacent provinces, although perhaps only in special circumstances, the superior status of the legatus Augusti of the one to the equestrian praefectus of the other.[509] There are obvious differences between the categories of governors in length of tenure and method of appointment. Legates and procurators, appointed directly by the prin­ceps, normally enjoyed a tenure of several years; proconsuls were appointed by lot and served for one year, although there are isolated examples of prolongation and of appointment without the lot (extra sortem). Beyond that, powers and responsibilities tended to become increasingly assimilated (this had been the purpose and effect of the law regularizing the position of the equestrian prefect of Egypt10) and proconsular independence of the emperor is all too easily exaggerated.

The evolution of this 'system' shows that the implications were far- reaching, although not in any sense which imposes a misleading division of the empire into two halves or two separate methods of government. Augustus could have claimed, if he were ever asked, to be entitled to act in his own and in the public provinces in virtue of his consular imperium until 23 B.C.; a consular decree of Augustus and Agrippa was certainly applicable in the province of Asia not long after 27 в.с. Thereafter he might claim to act by virtue of the lifetime grant of imperium proconsulare maius. But the renewal of the grant of theprovincia in 18 в.с. (and at five- and ten-year intervals thereafter until the practice lapsed after a.d. 14) seems to show that at first the imperium was in principle separable from the territories assigned to him.11 That these were all regarded, at least in the beginning, as provinces of the senatus populusque Komanus seems evident if we accept Velleius' implication that Egypt's tribute was properly the revenue of the aerarium, Tiberius' censure of his legates for not sending reports on their provinces to the Senate, or the fact that the operation of the emperor's Special Account (Idios Logos) in Egypt could be affected by regulations made by the Senate.12 On the other hand, there is abundant evidence to show that, in fact, business from both public and imperial provinces tended to gravitate towards the emperor as the most clearly identifiable and effective source of power. The first of Augustus' Cyrene edicts can just as naturally be taken to show this as any implied exercise of imperium maius, since it clearly shows the Cyreneans taking the initiative by consulting the princeps, and it is noteworthy that Tiberius, by contrast, thought it appropriate in similar circumstances not to handle the business himself or in conjunction with the Senate, but to allow the Senate an illusion of its traditional functions (imaginem antiquitatis) by remitting to it embassies from cities in proconsular provinces.13

governed by procurators, then transferred to legates in the second century; for the relationship between the prefect of Judaea and the legate of Syria see Joseph., A] xvni.88-9, xx.132, BJ 11.244 and Schŭrer 1973 (e i 207) 1. 360-1. For the status of the provinces in a.d. 69 see Table 2.

Extended tenure of legateships: Tac. Ann.1.80; proconsul appointed extra sortem-. GCN 237; Egypt: Tac. Ann.xu.60.), Ulpian, Dig 1.17.

RDGE 61 (Cyme). Dio Liii.16.2-3. 12 Vell.Pat. 11.59.2, Suet. ГЛ.32, BGU 1210,praef.

13 EJ2 311.1-40, Tac. Ann. 111.60.3.

Growth in the emperor's influence and control may also be illustrated by observing his relations with governors. In 22 в.с. public embarrass­ment was caused by Augustus' role in the misbehaviour of the proconsul Primus in Macedonia, brought to book for waging war on the Thracian Odrysae outside his province.14 Obscure though the details of the affair are, it is evident that Augustus' advice to Primus carried so much authority that it might have helped him avoid conviction for treason (maiestas)-, what was potentially embarrassing to Augustus was the alleged intermediary role of his nephew Marcellus. But later the emperor's control of governors could easily be exercised overtly. He could intervene, when convenient, in the sortition of senatorial governorships; Augustus' explicit refusal to criticize a proconsul of Crete and Cyrene for despatching a provincial to Rome suggests that he could easily have done so had he thought it appropriate; in the reign of Claudius, an inscription yields explicit evidence that the emperor might furnish senatorial proconsuls, as w