63BC-70AD The 11 horns of Daniel's 4th Beast

63BC-70AD: The 11 horns of Daniel's 4th Beast (The 11 "Kings" of Daniel's 4th idol-worshipping kingdom to possess Jerusalem)

"horn" = king, (national leader, primary personal representative)
"beast" = idol-worshipping Gentile nation that rules over (subjugates) God's Chosen People 

Bible scholars living in the last days of old Jerusalem may have seen some very interesting things in this dream of Daniel 7.

Since this is a prophecy of the Jews, everything must be seen from the outlook of the Jews. Their zeal was for their mother city, Jerusalem, the location of their Temple, the home of that which made them different from all other peoples. The biblical Jews would see as a "beast" any Gentile (idol-worshipping) kingdom (empire) that trampled upon Jerusalem, bringing her into subjection. They could count each "king" of such kingdoms as a "horn" on the "beast" since the time of Jerusalem's subjugation. Therefore, everything should be seen from the vantage point of Jerusalem, the mother city of the Jews, ("Israel" being their "fatherland").

"beast" = idol-worshipping kingdom (empire) trampling upon (possessing) Jerusalem.
"kingdom" = dominion, empire
, extent of rule, totality of territory & peoples governed, reign, administration, etc.
"horn" = "king" = supreme leader, chief ruler, monarch, emperor, caesar, kaiser, czar, pharoah, president, prime minister, the figurehead and personification of a nation, etc.

In this sense the Roman Caesars and their prototype, Pompey the Great, may justly be regarded as "kings" over the Roman "kingdom."

The vision of Daniel 7 describes a destroying beast with ten horns and an eleventh horn that uproots three of those first ten horns. The eleventh horn to appear becomes the eighth horn that remains, (since three horns are removed in the process of its appearing). The "horns" are then explained to be "kings" (supreme leaders) of the fourth kingdom (empire) since the Babylonians to possess Jerusalem: 1-Babylonians, 2-Medo-Persians, 3-Greeks, 4-Romans. These eleven "horns," then, would be the eleven "kings" (supreme leaders) of the Romans from the time Rome subjugated Jerusalem to the time Rome destroyed Jerusalem: 1-Pompey the Great, 2-Julius Ceaser, 3-Augustus, 4-Tiberius, 5-Caligula, 6-Claudius, 7-Nero, 8-Galba, 9-Otho, 10-Vitellius and 11-Vespasian ("the little horn").

The eight horns that remain after the three horns are removed would be: 1-Pompey the Great, 2-Julius Ceaser, 3-Augustus, 4-Tiberius, 5-Caligula, 6-Claudius, 7-Nero, 8-Galba, 9-Otho, 10-Vitellius and "the little horn," Vespasian, (now the 8th of the horns that actually remain). These are the "kings" (supreme leaders) of Rome that actually possessed Jerusalem during their reigns. The three "kings" who were removed were the ones who never possessed Jerusalem since Vespasian and his son Titus were there beseiging it during those reigns.

"Little horn that plucks up three of the ten horns" = 11-Vespasian who was "little" in the sense of his common birth but went on to become the consummate Roman general, a man of war, a soldier in service to Rome and its emperors his whole life, thus "diverse from the first ["ten kings"]. Vespasian made himself emperor by the campaigning of his zealous soldier-followers, usurping the last of the succession of 3 abrupted reigns since 7-Nero's death: 8-Galba, 9-Otho and 10-Vitellius in "69AD: The Year of the Four Emperors". As Emperor, Vespasian possessed the power to cease the war against the Jews but, instead, chose to pursue it to Jerusalem's 70AD destruction and beyond, not satisfied until the fall of Masada in 73AD and the wholesale slaughters of surviving Jews throughout the Roman Empire in massacres-for-display and celebrations. Old Jerusalem's subjugation to the Romans ended when it ceased to exist, hence the terminus of 70AD. Vespasian made light of the Roman religious custom of deifying their emperors at death but took war-making deathly serious, as though serving "a god of fortresses," he conquered for himself both Rome and Jerusalem, prevailing over the most valiant of each, almost simultaneously. "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
Jerusalem's subjugation to beastly Rome ended when it ceased to exist, hence the terminus of 70AD.

Prophecy ~ 536BC History 63BC-70AD
Daniel 7:7-8
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel 7:19-27
19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

  1. 63-49 BC: Pompey the Great: 1ST ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem
  2. 49-44 BC: Julius Caesar: 2ND ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem
  3. 27BC-14AD: Augustus: 3RD ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem
  4. 14-37 AD: Tiberius: 4TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem
  5. 37-41 AD: Caligula: 5TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem
  6. 41-54 AD: Claudius: 6TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem
  7. 54-68 AD: Nero: 7TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem
  8. 68-69 AD: Galba: 8TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem but never possessed her himself, Jerusalem enjoying freedom through revolt
  9. 69 AD: Otho: 9TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem but never possessed her himself, Jerusalem enjoying freedom through revolt
  10. 69 AD: Vitellius: 10TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem but never possessed her himself, Jerusalem enjoying freedom through revolt
  11. 69-79 AD: Vespasion: 11TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem: quashed revolt by destroying Jerusalem, Israel and Jews: little horn that uproots the previous 3: revived/preserved the Roman Empire from self-destruction


63-49BC Pompey the Great: 1ST ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompey


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Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus

Marble bust of Pompey the Great
Born September 29, 106 BC
Died September 28, 48 BC
Occupation Politician and military commander
Spouse Antistia
Aemilia Scaura
Mucia Tertia
Cornelia Metella

Pompey, Pompey the Great or Pompey the Triumvir [1] (Classical Latin abbreviation: CN·POMPEIVS·CN·F·SEX·N·MAGNVS[2], Gnaeus or Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus) (September 29, 106 BCSeptember 28, 48 BC), was a distinguished military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. Hailing from an Italian provincial background, after military triumphs he established a place for himself in the ranks of Roman nobility, and was given the cognomen of Magnusthe Great—by Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

Pompey was a rival of Marcus Licinius Crassus and an ally to Gaius Julius Caesar. The three politicians dominated the Late Roman republic through a political alliance called the First Triumvirate. After the death of Crassus, Pompey and Caesar became rivals, disputing the leadership of the Roman state in what is now called Caesar's civil war. Pompey fought on the side of the Optimates, the conservative faction in the Roman Senate, until he was defeated by Caesar. He then sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated.



[edit] Early life and political debut

( 106BC - 48BC ) His father Pompeius Strabo was an extremely wealthy man from the Italian region of Picenum but his family was not a part of the ancient families who had dominated Roman politics. Nevertheless, his father had climbed through the traditional cursus honorum being quaestor in 104 BC, praetor in 92 BC, and consul in 89 BC. Pompey had scarcely left school before he was summoned to serve under his father in the Social war. He fought under him in 89 against the Italians, at the age of seventeen, fully involved in his father's military and political affairs, and he would continue with his father until Strabo's death two years afterward. According to Plutarch, who was sympathetic to Pompey, he was very popular, and considered a look-alike of Alexander the Great.

His father died in 87 BC, in the conflicts between Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, leaving young Pompey in control of his family affairs and fortune. For the next few years the Marian party had possession of Italy; and accordingly Pompey, who adhered to the aristocratic party, was obliged to keep in the background. Returning to Rome he was prosecuted for misappropriation of plunder but quickly acquitted. His acquittal was certainly helped by the fact that he was betrothed to the judge's daughter, Antistia. Pompey sided with Sulla after his return from Greece in 83 BC. Sulla was expecting trouble with Gnaeus Papirius Carbo's regime and found the 23-year-old Pompey and the three veteran legions very useful. When Pompey (displaying great military abilities in opposing the Marian generals by whom he was surrounded) succeeded in joining Sulla, he was saluted by the latter with the title of Imperator. This political alliance boosted Pompey's career greatly and Sulla, now the Dictator in absolute control of the Roman world, persuaded Pompey to divorce his wife and marry his stepdaughter Aemilia Scaura, who was pregnant by her current husband, in order to bind his young ally more closely to him.

[edit] Sicily and Africa

Although his young age kept him a privatus (a man holding no political office of—or associated with—the cursus honorum), Pompey was a very rich man and a talented general in control of three veteran legions. Moreover, he was ambitious for glory and power. During the remainder of the war in Italy Pompey distinguished himself as one of the most successful of Sulla's generals; and when the war in Italy was brought to a close, Sulla sent Pompey against the Marian party in Sicily and Africa. Happy to acknowledge his wife's son-in-law's wishes, and to clear his own situation as dictator, Sulla first sent Pompey to recover Sicily from the Marians.

Pompey easily made himself master of the island in 82 BC. Sicily was strategically very important, since the island held the majority of Rome's grain supply. Without it, the city population would starve and riots would certainly ensue. Pompey dealt with the resistance with a harsh hand, executing Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and his supporters. When the citizens complained about his methods he replied with one of his most famous quotations: "Won't you stop citing laws to us who have our swords by our sides?" Pompey routed the opposing forces in Sicily and then in 81 BC he crossed over to the Roman province of Africa, where he defeated Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and the Numidian king Hiarbas, after a hard-fought battle.

After this continued string of unbroken victories, Pompey was proclaimed Imperator by his troops on the field in Africa. He earned the nickname adulescentulus carnifex ("teenage butcher" or "The Butcher Boy") at this time due to his savagery in dealing with the remnant Marians. On his return to Rome in the same year, he was received with enthusiasm by the people, and was greeted by Sulla with the cognomen Magnus, (meaning "the Great"), with most commentators suspecting that Sulla gave it as a cruel and ironic joke; it was some time before Pompey made widespread use of it.

Pompey, however, not satisfied with this distinction, demanded a triumph for his African victories, which Sulla at first refused; Pompey himself refused to disband his legions and appeared with his demand at the gates of Rome where, amazingly, Sulla gave in, overcome by Pompey's importunity, and allowing him to have his own way. However, in an act calculated to cut Pompey down to size, Sulla had his own triumph first, then allowed Metellus Pius to triumph, relegating Pompey to a third triumph in quick succession, on the assumption that Rome would become bored by the third one. Accordingly, Pompey attempted to enter Rome in triumph towed by an elephant. As it happened, it would not fit through the gate and some hasty re-planning was needed, much to the embarrassment of Pompey and amusement of those present.

[edit] Quintus Sertorius and Spartacus

Bust of Pompey in the Residenz, Munich.
Bust of Pompey in the Residenz, Munich.

Pompey's reputation for military genius, and occasional bad judgment, continued when, after suppressing the revolt by Lepidus (whom he had initially supported for consul, against Sulla's wishes), he demanded proconsular imperium (although he had not yet served as Consul) to go to Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal) to fight against Quintus Sertorius, a Marian general. The aristocracy, however, now beginning to fear the young and successful general, was reluctant to provide him with the needed authority. Pompey countered by refusing to disband his legions until his request was granted. However in Hispania Sertorius had for the last three years successfully opposed Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, one of the ablest of Sulla's generals, and ultimately it became necessary to send the latter some effectual assistance. As a result, the Senate, with considerable lack of enthusiasm, determined to send Pompey to Hispania against Sertorius, with the title of proconsul, and with equal powers to Metellus.

Pompey remained in Hispania between five and six years 7671 BC; but neither he nor Metellus was able to achieve a clean victory or gain any decisive advantage on the battlefield over Sertorius. But when Sertorius was treacherously murdered by his own officer Marcus Perperna Vento in 72, the war was speedily brought to a close. Perperna was easily defeated by Pompey in their first battle, and the whole of Hispania was subdued by the early part of the following year 71.

In the months after Sertorius' death, however, Pompey revealed one of his most significant talents; a genius for the organization and administration of a conquered province. Fair and generous terms extended his patronage throughout Hispania and into southern Gaul. While Crassus was facing Spartacus late in the Third Servile War in 71 BC, Pompey returned to Italy with his army. In his march toward Rome he came upon the remains of the army of Spartacus and captured five thousand Spartacani who had survived Crassus and were attempting to flee. Pompey cut these fugitives to pieces, and therefore claimed for himself, in addition to all his other exploits, the glory of finishing the revolt. His attempt to take credit for ending the Servile war was an act that infuriated Crassus.

Disgruntled opponents, especially Crassus, said he was developing a talent for showing up late in a campaign and taking all the glory for its successful conclusion. This growing enmity between Crassus and Pompey would not be resolved for over a decade. Back in Rome, Pompey was now a candidate for the consulship; and although he was ineligible by law, inasmuch as he was absent from Rome, had not yet reached the legal age, and had not held any of the lower offices of the state, still his election was certain. His military glory had charmed people, admirers saw in Pompey the most brilliant general of the age; and as it was known that the aristocracy looked upon Pompey with jealousy, many people ceased to regard him as belonging to this party, and hoped to obtain, through him, a restoration of the rights and privileges of which they had been deprived by Sulla.

Pompey on December 31, 71 BC, entered the city of Rome in his triumphal car, a simple eques, celebrating his second extralegal triumph for the victories in Hispania. In 71 BC, at only 35 years of age (see cursus honorum), Pompey was elected Consul for the first time, serving in 70 BC as partner of Crassus, with the overwhelming support of the Roman population.

[edit] Rome's new frontier on the East

In his consulship (70 BC), Pompey openly broke with the aristocracy, and became the great popular hero. By 69 BC, Pompey was the darling of the Roman masses, although many Optimates were deeply suspicious of his intentions. He proposed and carried a law, restoring to the tribunes the power of which they had been deprived by Sulla. He also afforded his powerful aid to the Lex Aurelia, proposed by the praetor Lucius Aurelius Cotta, by which the judices were to be taken in future from the senatus, equites, and tribuni aerarii, instead of from the senators exclusively, as Sulla had ordained. In carrying both these measures Pompey was strongly supported by Caesar, with whom he was thus brought into close connection. For the next two years (69 and 68 BC) Pompey remained in Rome. His primacy in the State was enhanced by two extraordinary proconsular commands, unprecedented in Roman history.

[edit] Campaign against the Pirates

Pompey on a coin by his son Sextus Pompeius.
Pompey on a coin by his son Sextus Pompeius.

In 67 BC, two years after his consulship, Pompey was nominated commander of a special naval task force to campaign against the pirates that controlled the Mediterranean. This command, like everything else in Pompey's life, was surrounded with polemic. The conservative faction of the Senate was most suspicious of his intentions and afraid of his power. The Optimates tried every means possible to avoid it. Significantly, Caesar was again one of a handful of senators who supported Pompey's command from the start. The nomination was then proposed by the Tribune of the Plebs Aulus Gabinius who proposed the Lex Gabinia, giving Pompey command in the war against the Mediterranean pirates, with extensive powers that gave him absolute control over the sea and the coasts for 50 miles inland, setting him above every military leader in the East. This bill was opposed by the aristocracy with the utmost vehemence, but was carried.

The pirates were at this time masters of the Mediterranean, and had not only plundered many cities on the coasts of Greece and Asia, but had even made descents upon Italy itself. As soon as Pompey received the command, he began to make his preparations for the war, and completed them by the end of the winter. His plans were crowned with complete success. Pompey divided the Mediterranean into thirteen separate areas, each under the command of one of his legates. In forty days he cleared the Western Sea of pirates, and restored communication between Hispania, Africa, and Italy. He then followed the main body of the pirates to their strongholds on the coast of Cilicia; and after defeating their fleet, he induced a great part of them, by promises of pardon, to surrender to him. Many of these he settled at Soli, which was henceforward called Pompeiopolis.

Ultimately it took Pompey all of a summer to clear the Mediterranean of the danger of pirates. In three short months (67-66 BC), Pompey's forces had swept the Mediterranean clean of pirates, showing extraordinary precision, discipline, and organizational ability; so that, to adopt the panegyric of Cicero:[3]

"Pompey made his preparations for the war at the end of the winter, entered upon it at the commencement of spring, and finished it in the middle of the summer."

The quickness of the campaign showed that he was as talented a general at sea as on land, with strong logistic abilities. Pompey was the hero of the hour.

[edit] Pompey in the East

Pompey was employed during the remainder of this year and the beginning of the following in visiting the cities of Cilicia and Pamphylia, and providing for the government of the newly-conquered districts. During his absence from Rome (66 BC), Pompey was nominated to succeed Lucius Licinius Lucullus in the command, take charge of the Third Mithridatic War and fight Mithridates VI of Pontus in the East. Lucullus, a well-born patrician, made it known that he was incensed at the prospect of being replaced by a "new man" such as Pompey. Pompey responded by calling Lucullus a "Xerxes in a toga." Lucullus shot back by calling Pompey a "vulture" because he was always fed off the work of others, referring to his new command in the present war, as well as Pompey's actions at the climax of the war against Spartacus. The bill conferring upon him this command was proposed by the tribune Gaius Manilius, and was supported by Cicero in an oration which has come down to us (pro Lege Manilia). Like the Gabinian law, it was opposed by the whole weight of the aristocracy, but was carried triumphantly. The power of Mithridates had been broken by previous victories of Luculus, and it was only left to Pompey to bring the war to a conclusion. This command essentially entrusted Pompey with the conquest and reorganization of the entire Eastern Mediterranean. Also, this was the second command that Caesar supported in favor of Pompey.

Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem, by Jean Fouquet
Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem, by Jean Fouquet

On the approach of Pompey, Mithridates retreated towards Armenia, but he was defeated; and as Tigranes the Great now refused to receive him into his dominions, Mithridates resolved to plunge into the heart of Colchis, and thence make his way to his own dominions in the Cimmerian Bosporus. Pompey now turned his arms against Tigranes; but the Armenian king submitted to him without a contest, and was allowed to conclude a peace with the republic. In 65 BC Pompey set out in pursuit of Mithridates, but he met with much opposition from the Iberians and Albanians; and after advancing as far as the River Phasis (now Fax or Rioni River), he resolved to leave these districts. He accordingly retraced his steps, and spent the winter at Pontus, which he made into a Roman province. In 64 BC he marched into Syria, deposed the king Antiochus XIII Asiaticus, and made that country also a Roman province. In 63 BC, he advanced further south, in order to establish the Roman supremacy in Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, and Israel. After that he captured Jerusalem. At the time Judaea was racked by civil war between two Jewish brothers who created religious factions: Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. The civil war was causing instability, and it exposed Pompey's unprotected flank. He felt that he had to act. Both sides gave money to Pompey for assistance, and a picked delegation of Pharisees went in support of Hyrcanus. Pompey decided to link forces with the good-natured Hyrcanus, and their joint army of Romans and Jews besieged Jerusalem for three months, after which it was taken from Aristobulus. Aristobulus was crafty, though, and later succeeded in temporarily usurping the throne from Hyrcanus. Subsequently, King Herod I executed Hyrcanus in 31 BC.

Pompey entered the Holy of Holies; this was only the second time that someone had dared to penetrate into this sacred spot. He went to the Temple to satisfy his curiosity about stories he had heard about the worship of the Jewish people. He made it a priority to find out whether or not the Jews had no physical statue or image of God in their most sacred place of worship. To Pompey, it was inconceivable to worship a God without portraying him in a type of physical likeness, like a statue. What Pompey saw was unlike anything he had seen on his travels. He found no physical statue, religious image, or pictorial description of the Hebrew God. Instead, he saw the Torah scrolls, and was thoroughly confused.

It was during the war in Judea that Pompey heard of the death of Mithridates.

With Tigranes as a friend and ally of Rome, the chain of Roman protectorates now extended as far east as the Black Sea and the Caucasus. The amount of tribute and bounty Pompey brought back to Rome was almost incalculable: Plutarch lists 20,000 talents in gold and silver added to the treasury, and the increase in taxes to the public treasury rose from 50 million to 85 million drachmas annually. His administrative brilliance was such that his dispositions endured largely unchanged until the fall of Rome.

Pompey conducted the campaigns of 65 to 62 BC and Rome annexed much of Asia firmly under its control. He imposed an overall settlement on the kings of the new eastern provinces, which took intelligent account of the geographical and political factors involved in creating Rome's new frontier on the East.

[edit] Pompey’s return to Rome

His third Triumph took place on the 29 September61 BC, on Pompey's 45th birthday, celebrating the victories over the pirates and in the Middle East, and was to be an unforgettable event in Rome. Two entire days were scheduled for the enormous parade of spoils, prisoners, army and banners depicting battle scenes to complete the route between Campus Martius and the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. To conclude the festivities, Pompey offered an immense triumphal banquet and made several donations to the people of Rome, enhancing his popularity even further.

Although now at his zenith, by this time Pompey had been largely absent from Rome for over 5 years and a new star had arisen. Pompey had been busy in Asia during the consternation of the Catiline Conspiracy, when Caesar pitted his will against that of the Consul Cicero and the rest of the Optimates. His old colleague and enemy, Crassus, had loaned Caesar money. Cicero was in eclipse, now hounded by the ill-will of Publius Clodius and his factional gangs. New combinations had been made and the conquering hero had been out of touch.

Back in Rome, Pompey deftly dismissed his armies, disarming worries that he intended to spring from his conquests into domination of Rome as Dictator. Pompey sought new allies and pulled strings behind the political scenes. The Optimates had fought back to control much of the real workings of the Senate; in spite of his efforts, Pompey found their inner councils were closed to him. His settlements in the East were not promptly confirmed. The public lands he had promised his veterans were not forthcoming. From now on, Pompey's political maneuverings suggest that, although he toed a cautious line to avoid offending the conservatives, he was increasingly puzzled by Optimate reluctance to acknowledge his solid achievements. Pompey's frustration led him into strange political alliances.

[edit] Caesar and the First Triumvirate

Although Pompey and Crassus distrusted each other, by 61 BC their grievances pushed them both into an alliance with Caesar. Crassus' tax farming clients were being rebuffed at the same time Pompey's veterans were being ignored. Thus entered Caesar, 6 years younger than Pompey, returning from service in Hispania, and ready to seek the consulship for 59 BC. Caesar somehow managed to forge a political alliance with both Pompey and Crassus (the so-called First Triumvirate). Pompey and Crassus would make him Consul, and he would use his power as Consul to force their claims. Plutarch quotes Cato the Younger as later saying that the tragedy of Pompey was not that he was Caesar's defeated enemy, but that he had been, for too long, Caesar's friend and supporter.

Caesar's tempestuous consulship in 59 brought Pompey not only the land and political settlements he craved, but a new wife: Caesar's own young daughter, Julia. Pompey was supposedly besotted with his bride. After Caesar secured his proconsular command in Gaul at the end of his consular year, Pompey was given the governorship of Hispania Ulterior, yet was permitted to remain in Rome overseeing the critical Roman grain supply as curator annonae, exercising his command through subordinates. Pompey efficiently handled the grain issue, but his success at political intrigue was less sure.

The Optimates had never forgiven him for abandoning Cicero when Publius Clodius forced his exile. Only when Clodius began attacking Pompey was he persuaded to work with others towards Cicero's recall in 57 BC. Once Cicero was back, his usual vocal magic helped soothe Pompey's position somewhat, but many still viewed Pompey as a traitor for his alliance with Caesar. Other agitators tried to persuade Pompey that Crassus was plotting to have him assassinated. Rumor (quoted by Plutarch) also suggested that the aging conqueror was losing interest in politics in favor of domestic life with his young wife. He was occupied by the details of construction of the mammoth complex later known as Pompey's Theater on the Campus Martius; not only the first permanent theater ever built in Rome, but an eye-popping complex of lavish porticoes, shops, and multi-service buildings.

Caesar, meanwhile, was gaining a greater name as a general of genius in his own right. By 56 BC, the bonds between the three men were fraying. Caesar called first Crassus, then Pompey, to a secret meeting in the northern Italian town of Lucca to rethink both strategy and tactics. By this time, Caesar was no longer the amenable silent partner of the trio. At Lucca it was agreed that Pompey and Crassus would again stand for the consulship in 55 BC. At their election, Caesar's command in Gaul would be extended for an additional five years, while Crassus would receive the governorship of Syria, (from which he longed to conquer Parthia and extend his own achievements). Pompey would continue to govern Hispania in absentia after their consular year. This time, however, opposition to the three men was electric, and it took bribery and corruption on an unprecedented scale to secure the election of Pompey and Crassus in 55 BC. Their supporters received most of the important remaining offices. The violence between Clodius and other factions were building and civil unrest was becoming endemic.

[edit] Confrontation to war

The triumvirate was about to end, its bonds snapped by death: first, Pompey's wife (and at that time Caesar's only child), Julia, died in 54 BC in childbirth; later that year, Crassus and his army were annihilated by the Parthian armies at the Battle of Carrhae. Caesar's name, not Pompey's, was now firmly before the public as Rome's great new general. The public turmoil in Rome resulted in whispers as early as 54 that Pompey should be made dictator to force a return to law and order. After Julia's death, Caesar sought a second matrimonial alliance with Pompey, offering a marital alliance with his grandniece Octavia (future emperor Augustus's sister). This time, Pompey refused. In 52 BC, he married Cornelia Metella, daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, one of Caesar’s greatest enemies, and continued to drift toward the Optimates. It can be presumed that the Optimates had deemed Pompey the lesser of two evils.

In that year, the murder of Publius Clodius and the burning of the Curia (the Senate House) by an inflamed mob led the Senate to beg Pompey to restore order, which he did with ruthless efficiency. The trial of the accused murderer, Titus Annius Milo, is notable in that Cicero, counsel for the defense, was so shaken by a Forum seething with armed soldiers that he was unable to complete his defense. After order was restored, the suspicious Senate and Cato, seeking desperately to avoid giving Pompey dictatorial powers, came up with the alternative of entitling him sole Consul without a colleague; thus his powers, although sweeping, were not unlimited.

While Caesar was fighting against Vercingetorix in Gaul, Pompey proceeded with a legislative agenda for Rome, which revealed that he was now covertly allied with Caesar's enemies. While instituting legal and military reorganization and reform, Pompey also passed a law making it possible to be retroactively prosecuted for electoral bribery—an action correctly interpreted by Caesar's allies as opening Caesar to prosecution once his imperium was ended. Pompey also prohibited Caesar from standing for the consulship in absentia, although this had frequently been allowed in the past, and in fact had been specifically permitted in a previous law. This was an obvious blow at Caesar's plans after his term in Gaul expired. Finally, in 51 BC, Pompey made it clear that Caesar would not be permitted to stand for Consul unless he turned over control of his armies. This would, of course, leave Caesar defenseless before his enemies. As Cicero sadly noted, Pompey had begun to fear Caesar. Pompey had been diminished by age, uncertainty, and the harassment of being the chosen tool of a quarreling Optimate oligarchy. The coming conflict was inevitable.[4]

[edit] Civil War and assassination

Main article: Caesar's civil war
The Flight of Pompey after Pharsalus, by Jean Fouquet
The Flight of Pompey after Pharsalus, by Jean Fouquet

In the beginning, Pompey claimed he could defeat Caesar and raise armies merely by stamping his foot on the soil of Italy, but by the spring of 49 BC, with Caesar crossing the Rubicon and his invading legions sweeping down the peninsula, Pompey ordered the abandonment of Rome. His legions retreated south towards Brundisium, where Pompey intended to find renewed strength by waging war against Caesar in the East. In the process, almost unbelievably, probably thinking that Caesar would not dare, neither Pompey nor the Senate thought of taking the vast treasury with them, which was left conveniently in the Temple of Saturn when Caesar and his forces entered Rome.

Escaping Caesar by a hair in Brundisium, Pompey regained his confidence during the siege of Dyrrhachium, in which Caesar lost 1000 men. Yet, by failing to pursue at the critical moment of Caesar's defeat, Pompey threw away the chance to destroy Caesar's much smaller army. As Caesar himself said, "Today the enemy would have won, if they had had a commander who was a winner" (Plutarch, 65). According to Suetonius, it was at this point that Caesar said that "that man (Pompey) does not know how to win a war." With Caesar on their backs, the conservatives led by Pompey fled to Greece. Caesar and Pompey had their final showdown at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. The fighting was bitter for both sides but eventually was a decisive victory for Caesar. Like all the other conservatives, Pompey had to run for his life. He met his wife Cornelia and his son Sextus Pompeius on the island of Mytilene. He then wondered where to go next. The decision of running to one of the eastern kingdoms was overruled in favor of Egypt.

After his arrival in Egypt, Pompey's fate was decided by the counselors of the young king Ptolemy XIII. While Pompey waited offshore for word, they argued the cost of offering him refuge with Caesar already en route for Egypt. It was decided to murder Caesar's enemy to ingratiate themselves with him. On September 29, his 58th birthday, the great Pompey was lured toward a supposed audience on shore in a small boat in which he recognized two old comrades-in-arms, Achillas and Lucius Septimius. They were to be his assassins. While he sat in the boat, studying his speech for the king, they stabbed him in the back with sword and dagger. After decapitation, the body was left, contemptuously unattended and naked, on the shore. His freedman, Philipus, organized a simple funeral pyre and cremated the body on a pyre of broken ship's timbers.

Theodatus, the rhetorician, shows Caesar the head of Pompey; etching, 1820
Theodatus, the rhetorician, shows Caesar the head of Pompey; etching, 1820

Caesar arrived a short time afterwards. As a welcoming present he received Pompey's head and ring in a basket. However, he was not pleased in seeing his rival, once his ally and son-in-law, murdered by traitors. When a slave offered him Pompey's head, "he turned away from him with loathing, as from an assassin; and when he received Pompey's signet ring on which was engraved a lion holding a sword in his paws, he burst into tears" (Plutarch, Life of Pompey 80). He deposed Ptolemy XIII, executed his regent Pothinus, and elevated Ptolemy's sister Cleopatra VII to the throne of Egypt. Caesar gave Pompey's ashes and ring to Cornelia, who took them back to her estates in Italy.

[edit] Historic view

To the historians of his own and later Roman periods, the life of Pompey was simply too good to be true. No more satisfying historical model existed than the great man who, achieving extraordinary triumphs through his own efforts, yet fell from power and influence and, in the end, was murdered through treachery.

He was a hero of the Republic, who seemed once to hold the Roman world in his palm only to be brought low by his own weak judgment and Caesar. Pompey was idealized as a tragic hero almost immediately after Pharsalus and his murder: Plutarch portrayed him as a Roman Alexander the Great, pure of heart and mind, destroyed by the cynical ambitions of those around him.[citation needed]

[edit] Marriages and offspring

[edit] Chronology of Pompey's life and career

[edit] Pompey in literature and the arts

The historical character of Pompey plays a prominent role in several books from the Masters of Rome series of historical novels by Australian author Colleen McCullough.

Pompey's rivalry with Julius Caesar supports the plot in George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra (play).

Pompey's entry into Jerusalem and the desecration of the Temple is depicted in the opening scene of Nicholas Ray's biblical epic King of Kings. Pompey is played by Conrado San Martín.

Pompey is one of the key antagonists in the fourth season of Xena: Warrior Princess, portrayed by Australian actor Jeremy Callaghan. In the series, Pompey is beheaded by Xena in battle who then gives the head to Brutus to return to Julius Caesar, telling Brutus to claim Pompey's death for himself without mentioning her role.

A fictionalized Gnaeus Pompey Magnus also plays a key role in the first season of the HBO/BBC television series Rome, where he is played by Kenneth Cranham.

An opera seria composed during the baroque era, Handel's Giulio Cesare, is based on Cesare's reaction to Pompey's assassination (since the opera begins after the murder has occurred, Pompey never actually appears as a character--only his severed head when presented to the horrified Cesare). Typically, works composed in the genre of opera seria were intended to present lessons of morality while depicting aristocracy in a flattering light. In the case of Handel's Giulio Cesare, the Roman emperor prevails in the administration of justice against the evil Tolomeo (Ptolemy).

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ William Smith, A New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, Mythology and Geography, 1851. (Under the tenth entry of Pompeius).
  2. ^ Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, son of Gnaeus, grandson of Sextus
  3. ^ pro Lege Manilia, 12 or De Imperio Cn. Pompei (in favor of the Manilian Law on the command of Pompey), 66 BC.
  4. ^ Many historians have suggested that Pompey was, in spite of everything, politically unaware of the fact that the Optimates, including Cato, were merely using him against Caesar so that, with Caesar destroyed, they could then dispose of him.

[edit] Further reading

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] External links

  • Pompey entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith
  • Pompey's War Jona Lendering details Pompey's conquest of Judea
Preceded by
Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura and Gnaeus Aufidius Orestes
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Licinius Crassus
70 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus and Quintus Hortensius
Preceded by
Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus and Lucius Marcius Philippus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Licinius Crassus
55 BC
Succeeded by
Appius Claudius Pulcher and Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus
Preceded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Rufus and Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio
52 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Servius Sulpicius Rufus
NAME Pompey
DATE OF BIRTH September 29, 106 BC
DATE OF DEATH September 28, 48 BC

49-44BC Julius Caesar: 2ND ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar#Aftermath_of_the_civil_war

Julius Caesar

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Gaius Julius Caesar
Dictator of the Roman Republic
Bust of Julius Caesar.
ReignOctober, 49 BCMarch 15, 44 BC
Full nameGaius Julius Caesar
Born12 July 100 BC - 102 BC
Rome, Roman Republic
Died15 March 44 BC (aged 56)
Rome, Roman Republic
PredecessorLucius Cornelius Sulla (as Dictator of the Roman Republic)
SuccessorAugustus (as Roman Emperor)
Consort1) Cornelia Cinna minor 84 BC68 BC
2) Pompeia 68 BC63 BC
3) Calpurnia Pisonis 59 BC44 BC
IssueJulia Caesaris
Royal HouseJulio-Claudian
FatherGaius Julius Caesar
MotherAurelia Cotta

Gaius Julius Caesar[1] (pronounced [ˈgaːius ˈjuːlius ˈkaɪsar] in Classical Latin; conventionally pronounced /ˈgaɪəs ˈdʒuːliəs ˈsiːzɚ/ in English; July 13, 100 BC[2]March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men in world history. He played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

A politician of the populares tradition, he formed an unofficial triumvirate with Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus which dominated Roman politics for several years, opposed in the Roman Senate by optimates like Marcus Porcius Cato and Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus. His conquest of Gaul extended the Roman world all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, and he also conducted the first Roman invasion of Britain in 55 BC; the collapse of the triumvirate, however, led to a stand-off with Pompey and the Senate. Leading his legions across the Rubicon, Caesar began a civil war in 49 BC from which he became the undisputed master of the Roman world.

After assuming control of government, he began extensive reforms of Roman society and government. He was proclaimed dictator for life (dictator perpetuus), and heavily centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic. However, a group of senators, led by Caesar's former friend Marcus Junius Brutus, assassinated the dictator on the Ides of March (March 15) in 44 BC, hoping to restore the normal running of the Republic. However, the result was another Roman civil war, which ultimately led to the establishment of a permanent autocracy by Caesar's adopted heir, Gaius Octavianus. In 42 BC, two years after his assassination, the Senate officially sanctified Caesar as one of the Roman deities.

Much of Caesar's life is known from his own Commentaries (Commentarii) on his military campaigns, and other contemporary sources such as the letters and speeches of his political rival Cicero, the historical writings of Sallust, and the poetry of Catullus. Many more details of his life are recorded by later historians, such as Appian, Suetonius, Plutarch, Cassius Dio and Strabo.




Early life

Julius Cæsar.
Julius Cæsar.

Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas, supposedly the son of the goddess Venus.[3][4] The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by caesarian section (from the Latin verb to cut, caedo, caedere, cecidi, caesum).[5] The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair (Latin caesaries); that he had bright grey eyes (Latin oculis caesiis); or that he killed an elephant (caesai in Moorish) in battle.[6] Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favoured this interpretation of his name.[7]

Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, having produced only three consuls. Caesar's father, also called Gaius Julius Caesar, reached the rank of praetor, the second highest of the Republic's elected magistracies, and governed the province of Asia, perhaps through the influence of his prominent brother-in-law Gaius Marius.[8] His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family which had produced several consuls. Marcus Antonius Gnipho, an orator and grammarian of Gaulish origin, was employed as Caesar's tutor.[9] Caesar had two sisters, both called Julia. Little else is recorded of Caesar's childhood. Suetonius and Plutarch's biographies of him both begin abruptly in Caesar's teens; the opening paragraphs of both appear to be lost.[10]

Caesar's formative years were a time of turmoil. The Social War was fought from 91 to 88 BC between Rome and her Italian allies over the issue of Roman citizenship, while Mithridates of Pontus threatened Rome's eastern provinces. Domestically, Roman politics was divided between two broad factions, the optimates, who favoured aristocratic rule via the Senate, and the populares, who preferred to appeal directly to the electorate. Caesar's uncle Marius was a popularis; Marius' protégé and rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla was an optimas. Both Marius and Sulla distinguished themselves in the Social War, and both wanted command of the war against Mithridates, which was initially given to Sulla; but when Sulla left the city to take command of his army, a tribune passed a law transferring the appointment to Marius. Sulla responded by marching on Rome, reclaiming his command and forcing Marius into exile, but when he left on campaign Marius returned at the head of a makeshift army. He and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna seized the city and declared Sulla a public enemy, and Marius's troops took violent revenge on Sulla's supporters. Marius died early in 86 BC, but his faction remained in power.[11]

In 85 BC Caesar's father died suddenly while putting on his shoes one morning, without any apparent cause,[12] and at sixteen, Caesar was the head of the family. The following year he was nominated to be the new Flamen Dialis, high priest of Jupiter, as Merula, the previous incumbent, had died in Marius's purges.[13] Since the holder of that position not only had to be a patrician but also be married to a patrician, he broke off his engagement to Cossutia, a girl of wealthy equestrian family he had been betrothed to since boyhood, and married Cinna's daughter Cornelia.[14]

Then, having brought Mithridates to terms, Sulla returned to finish the civil war against Marius' followers. After a campaign throughout Italy he seized Rome at the Battle of the Colline Gate in November 82 BC and had himself appointed to the revived office of dictator; but whereas a dictator was traditionally appointed for six months at a time, Sulla's appointment had no term limit. Statues of Marius were destroyed and Marius' body was exhumed and thrown in the Tiber. Cinna was already dead, killed by his own soldiers in a mutiny.[15] Sulla's proscriptions saw hundreds of his political enemies killed or exiled. Caesar, as the nephew of Marius and son-in-law of Cinna, was targeted. He was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry and his priesthood, but refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against him was lifted by the intervention of his mother's family, which included supporters of Sulla, and the Vestal Virgins. Sulla gave in reluctantly, and is said to have declared that he saw many a Marius in Caesar.[10]

Early career

Rather than returning to Rome, Caesar joined the army, serving under Marcus Minucius Thermus in Asia and Servilius Isauricus in Cilicia. He served with distinction, winning the Civic Crown for his part in the siege of Mytilene. On a mission to Bithynia to secure the assistance of King Nicomedes's fleet, he spent so long at his court that rumours of an affair with the king arose, which would persist for the rest of his life.[16] Ironically, the loss of his priesthood had allowed him to pursue a military career: the Flamen Dialis was not permitted to touch a horse, sleep three nights outside his own bed or one night outside Rome, or look upon an army.[17]

In 80 BC, after two years in office, Sulla resigned his dictatorship, re-established consular government and, after serving as consul, retired to private life.[18] Caesar later ridiculed Sulla's relinquishing of the dictatorship—"Sulla did not know his political ABC's".[19] He died two years later in 78 BC and was accorded a state funeral.[20] Hearing of Sulla's death, Caesar felt safe enough to return to Rome. Lacking means since his inheritance was confiscated, he acquired a modest house in the Subura, a lower class neighborhood of Rome.[21] His return coincided with an attempted anti-Sullan coup by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, but Caesar, lacking confidence in Lepidus's leadership, did not participate.[22] Instead he turned to legal advocacy. He became known for his exceptional oratory, accompanied by impassioned gestures and a high-pitched voice, and ruthless prosecution of former governors notorious for extortion and corruption. Even Cicero praised him: "Come now, what orator would you rank above him...?"[23] Aiming at rhetorical perfection, Caesar travelled to Rhodes in 75 BC to study under Apollonius Molon, who had previously taught Cicero.[24]

On the way across the Aegean Sea,[25] Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates and held prisoner in the Dodecanese islet of Pharmacusa.[26] He maintained an attitude of superiority throughout his captivity. When the pirates thought to demand a ransom of twenty talents of gold, he insisted they ask for fifty. After the ransom was paid, Caesar raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates, and imprisoned them in Pergamon. The governor of Asia refused to execute them as Caesar demanded, preferring to sell them as slaves, but Caesar returned to the coast and had them crucified on his own authority, as he had promised to when in captivity – a promise the pirates had taken as a joke. He then proceeded to Rhodes, but was soon called back into military action in Asia, raising a band of auxiliaries to repel an incursion from Pontus.

On his return to Rome he was elected military tribune, a first step on the cursus honorum of Roman politics. The war against Spartacus took place around this time (73 - 71 BC), but it is not recorded what role, if any, Caesar played in it. He was elected quaestor for 69 BC, and during that year he delivered the funeral oration for his aunt Julia, widow of Marius, and included images of Marius, unseen since the days of Sulla, in the funeral procession. His own wife Cornelia also died that year. After her funeral Caesar went to serve his quaestorship in Hispania under Antistius Vetus. While there he is said to have encountered a statue of Alexander the Great, and realised with dissatisfaction he was now at an age when Alexander had the world at his feet, while he had achieved comparatively little. He requested, and was granted, an early discharge from his duties, and returned to Roman politics. On his return he married Pompeia, a granddaughter of Sulla.[27] He was elected aedile and restored the trophies of Marius's victories; a controversial move given the Sullan regime was still in place. He also brought prosecutions against men who had benefited from Sulla's proscriptions, and spent a great deal of borrowed money on public works and games, outshining his colleague Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus. He was also suspected of involvement in two abortive coup attempts.[28]

Caesar comes to prominence

63 BC was an eventful year for Caesar. He persuaded a tribune, Titus Labienus, to prosecute the optimate senator Gaius Rabirius for the political murder, 37 years previously, of the tribune Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, and had himself appointed as one of the two judges to try the case. Rabirius was defended by both Cicero and Quintus Hortensius, but was convicted of perduellio (treason). While he was exercising his right of appeal to the people, the praetor Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer adjourned the assembly by taking down the military flag from the Janiculum hill. Labienus could have resumed the prosecution at a later session, but did not do so: Caesar's point had been made, and the matter was allowed to drop.[29] Labienus would remain an important ally of Caesar over the next decade.

The same year, Caesar ran for election to the post of Pontifex Maximus, chief priest of the Roman state religion, after the death of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, who had been appointed to the post by Sulla. He ran against two powerful optimates, the former consuls Quintus Lutatius Catulus and Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus. There were accusations of bribery by all sides. Caesar is said to have told his mother on the morning of the election that he would return as Pontifex Maximus or not at all, expecting to be forced into exile by the enormous debts he had run up to fund his campaign. In the event he won comfortably, despite his opponents' greater experience and standing.[30] The post came with an official residence on the Via Sacra.[21]

When Cicero, who was consul that year, exposed Catiline's conspiracy to seize control of the republic, Catulus and others accused Caesar of involvement in the plot.[31] Caesar, who had been elected praetor for the following year, took part in the debate in the Senate on how to deal with the conspirators. During the debate, Caesar was passed a note. Marcus Porcius Cato, who would become his most implacable political opponent, accused him of corresponding with the conspirators, and demanded that the message be read aloud. Caesar passed him the note, which, embarrassingly, turned out to be a love letter from Cato's half-sister Servilia. Caesar argued persuasively against the death penalty for the conspirators, proposing life imprisonment instead, but a speech by Cato proved decisive, and the conspirators were executed.[32] The following year a commission was set up to investigate the conspiracy, and Caesar was again accused of complicity. On Cicero's evidence that he had reported what he knew of the plot voluntarily, however, he was cleared, and one of his accusers, and also one of the commissioners, were sent to prison.[33]

While praetor in 62 BC, Caesar supported Metellus Celer, now tribune, in proposing controversial legislation, and the pair were so obstinate they were suspended from office by the Senate. Caesar attempted to continue to perform his duties, only giving way when violence was threatened. The Senate was persuaded to reinstate him after he quelled public demonstrations in his favour.[34]

That year the festival of the Bona Dea ("good goddess") was held at Caesar's house. No men were permitted to attend, but a young patrician named Publius Clodius Pulcher managed to gain admittance disguised as a woman, apparently for the purpose of seducing Caesar's wife Pompeia. He was caught and prosecuted for sacrilege. Caesar gave no evidence against Clodius at his trial, careful not to offend one of the most powerful patrician families of Rome, and Clodius was acquitted after rampant bribery and intimidation. Nevertheless, Caesar divorced Pompeia, saying that "my wife ought not even to be under suspicion."[35]

After his praetorship, Caesar was appointed to govern Hispania Ulterior (Outer Iberia), but he was still in considerable debt and needed to satisfy his creditors before he could leave. He turned to Marcus Licinius Crassus, one of Rome's richest men. In return for political support in his opposition to the interests of Pompey, Crassus paid some of Caesar's debts and acted as guarantor for others. Even so, to avoid becoming a private citizen and open to prosecution for his debts, Caesar left for his province before his praetorship had ended. In Hispania he conquered the Callaici and Lusitani, being hailed as imperator by his troops, reformed the law regarding debts, and completed his governorship in high esteem.[36]

Being hailed as imperator entitled Caesar to a triumph. However, he also wanted to stand for consul, the most senior magistracy in the republic. If he were to celebrate a triumph, he would have to remain a soldier and stay outside the city until the ceremony, but to stand for election he would need to lay down his command and enter Rome as a private citizen. He could not do both in the time available. He asked the senate for permission to stand in absentia, but Cato blocked the proposal. Faced with the choice between a triumph and the consulship, Caesar chose the consulship.[37]

First consulship and first triumvirate

Three candidates stood for the consulship: Caesar, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, who had been aedile with Caesar several years earlier, and Lucius Lucceius. The election was dirty. Caesar canvassed Cicero for support, and made an alliance with the wealthy Lucceius, but the establishment threw its financial weight behind the conservative Bibulus, and even Cato, with his reputation for incorruptibility, is said to have resorted to bribery in his favour. Caesar and Bibulus were elected as consuls for 59 BC.[38]

Caesar was already in Crassus's political debt, but he also made overtures to Pompey, who was unsuccessfully fighting the Senate for ratification of his eastern settlements and farmland for his veterans. Pompey and Crassus had been at odds since they were consuls together in 70 BC, and Caesar knew if he allied himself with one he would lose the support of the other, so he endeavoured to reconcile them. Between the three of them, they had enough money and political influence to control public business. This informal alliance, known as the First Triumvirate (rule of three men), was cemented by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar's daughter Julia.[39] Caesar also married again, this time Calpurnia, daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, who was elected to the consulship for the following year.[40]

Caesar proposed a law for the redistribution of public lands to the poor, a proposal supported by Pompey, by force of arms if need be, and by Crassus, making the triumvirate public. Pompey filled the city with soldiers, and the triumvirate's opponents were intimidated. Bibulus attempted to declare the omens unfavourable and thus void the new law, but was driven from the forum by Caesar's armed supporters. His lictors had their fasces broken, two tribunes accompanying him were wounded, and Bibulus himself had a bucket of excrement thrown over him. In fear of his life, he retired to his house for the rest of the year, issuing occasional proclamations of bad omens. These attempts to obstruct Caesar's legislation proved ineffective. Roman satirists ever after referred to the year as "the consulship of Julius and Caesar".[41]

When Caesar and Bibulus were first elected, the aristocracy tried to limit Caesar's future power by allotting the woods and pastures of Italy, rather than governorship of a province, as their proconsular duties after their year of office was over.[42] With the help of Piso and Pompey, Caesar later had this overturned, and was instead appointed to govern Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) and Illyricum (the western Balkans), with Transalpine Gaul (southern France) later added, giving him command of four legions. His term of office, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the usual one.[43] When his consulship ended, Caesar narrowly avoided prosecution for the irregularities of his year in office, and quickly left for his province.[44]

Conquest of Gaul

Main article: Gallic Wars
Roman silver Denarius with the head of captive Gaul 48 BC, following the campaigns of Caesar.
Roman silver Denarius with the head of captive Gaul 48 BC, following the campaigns of Caesar.

Caesar was still deeply in debt, and there was money to be made as a provincial governor, whether by extortion[45] or by military adventurism. Caesar had four legions under his command, two of his provinces, Illyricum and Gallia Narbonensis, bordered on unconquered territory, and independent Gaul was known to be unstable. Rome's allies the Aedui had been defeated by their Gallic rivals, with the help of a contingent of Germanic Suebi under Ariovistus, who had settled in conquered Aeduan land, and the Helvetii were mobilising for a mass migration, which the Romans feared had warlike intent. Caesar raised two new legions and defeated first the Helvetii, then Ariovistus, and left his army in winter quarters in the territory of the Sequani, signaling that his interest in the lands outside Gallia Narbonensis would not be temporary.[46]

He began his second year with double the military strength he had begun with, having raised another two legions in Cisalpine Gaul during the winter. The legality of this was dubious, as the Cisalpine Gauls were not Roman citizens. In response to Caesar's activities the previous year, the Belgic tribes of north-eastern Gaul had begun to arm themselves. Caesar treated this as an aggressive move, and, after an inconclusive engagement against a united Belgic army, conquered the tribes piecemeal. Meanwhile, one legion, commanded by Crassus' son Publius, began the conquest of the tribes of the Armorican peninsula.[47]

During the spring of 56 BC the Triumvirate held a conference at Luca (modern Lucca) in Cisalpine Gaul. Rome was in turmoil, and Clodius' populist campaigns had been undermining relations between Crassus and Pompey. The meeting renewed the Triumvirate and extended Caesar's proconsulship for another five years. Crassus and Pompey would be consuls again, with similarly long-term proconsulships to follow: Syria for Crassus, the Hispanian provinces for Pompey.[48] The conquest of Armorica was completed when Caesar defeated the Veneti in a naval battle, while young Crassus conquered the Aquitani of the south-west. By the end of campaigning in 56 BC only the Morini and Menapii of the coastal Low Countries still held out.[49]

In 55 BC Caesar repelled an incursion into Gaul by the Germanic Usipetes and Tencteri, and followed it up by building a bridge across the Rhine and making a show of force in Germanic territory, before returning and dismantling the bridge. Late that summer, having subdued the Morini and Menapii, he crossed to Britain, claiming that the Britons had aided the Veneti against him the previous year. His intelligence was poor, and although he gained a beachhead on the Kent coast he was unable to advance further, and returned to Gaul for the winter.[50] He returned the following year, better prepared and with a larger force, and achieved more. He advanced inland, establishing Mandubracius of the Trinovantes as a friendly king and bringing his rival, Cassivellaunus, to terms. But poor harvests led to widespread revolt in Gaul, led by Ambiorix of the Eburones, forcing Caesar to campaign through the winter and into the following year. With the defeat of Ambiorix, Caesar believed Gaul was now pacified.[51]

While Caesar was in Britain his daughter Julia, Pompey's wife, had died in childbirth. Caesar tried to resecure Pompey's support by offering him his great-niece Octavia in marriage, alienating Octavia's husband Gaius Marcellus, but Pompey declined. In 53 BC Crassus was killed leading a failed invasion of Parthia. Rome was on the edge of violence. Pompey was appointed sole consul as an emergency measure, and married Cornelia, daughter of Caesar's political opponent Quintus Metellus Scipio, whom he invited to become his consular colleague once order was restored. The Triumvirate was dead.[52]

In 52 BC another, larger revolt erupted in Gaul, led by Vercingetorix of the Arverni. Vercingetorix managed to unite the Gallic tribes and proved an astute commander, defeating Caesar in several engagements including the Battle of Gergovia, but Caesar's elaborate siege-works at the Battle of Alesia finally forced his surrender.[53] Despite scattered outbreaks of warfare the following year,[54] Gaul was effectively conquered.

Vercingetorix surrenders to Caesar (by Lionel-Noel Royer).
Vercingetorix surrenders to Caesar (by Lionel-Noel Royer).

Titus Labienus was Caesar's most senior legate during his Gallic campaigns, having the status of propraetor.[55] Other prominent men who served under him included his relative Lucius Julius Caesar,[56] Crassus' sons Marcus[57] and Publius,[58] Cicero's brother Quintus,[59] Decimus Brutus,[60] and Mark Antony.[61]

Plutarch claimed that the army had fought against three million men in the course of the Gallic Wars, of whom 1 million died, and another million were enslaved. 300 tribes were subjugated and 800 cities were destroyed.[62] Almost the entire population of the city of Avaricum (Bourges) (40,000 in all) was slaughtered.[63] Julius Caesar reports that 368,000 of the Helvetii left home, of whom 92,000 could bear arms, and only 110,000 returned after the campaign.[64] However, in view of the difficulty of finding accurate counts in the first place, Caesar's propagandistic purposes, and the common gross exaggeration of numbers in ancient texts, the totals of enemy combatants in particular are likely to be far too high. Furger-Gunti considers an army of more than 60,000 fighting Helvetii extremely unlikely in the view of the tactics described, and assumes the actual numbers to have been around 40,000 warriors out of a total of 160,000 emigrants.[65] Delbrück suggests an even lower number of 100,000 people, out of which only 16,000 were fighters, which would make the Celtic force about half the size of the Roman body of ca. 30,000 men.[66]

Civil war

Main article: Caesar's civil war
An engraving depicting Gaius Julius Caesar.
An engraving depicting Gaius Julius Caesar.

In 50 BC, the Senate, led by Pompey, ordered Caesar to return to Rome and disband his army because his term as Proconsul had finished. Moreover, the Senate forbade Caesar to stand for a second consulship in absentia. Caesar thought he would be prosecuted and politically marginalised if he entered Rome without the immunity enjoyed by a Consul or without the power of his army. Pompey accused Caesar of insubordination and treason. On January 10, 49 BC Caesar crossed the Rubicon (the frontier boundary of Italy) with only one legion and ignited civil war. Upon crossing the Rubicon, Caesar is reported to have quoted the Athenian playwright Menander, saying alea iacta est, "the die is cast".

The Optimates, including Metellus Scipio and Cato the Younger, fled to the south, having little confidence in the newly raised troops especially since so many cities in northern Italy had voluntarily capitulated. An attempted stand by a consulate legion in Samarium resulted in the consul being handed over by the defenders and the legion surrendering without significant fighting. Despite greatly outnumbering Caesar, who only had his Thirteenth Legion with him, Pompey had no intention to fight. Caesar pursued Pompey to Brindisium, hoping to capture Pompey before the trapped Senate and their legions could escape. Pompey managed to elude him, sailing out of the harbor before Caesar could break the barricades.

Lacking a naval force since Pompey had already scoured the coasts of all ships for evacuation of his forces, Caesar decided to head for Hispania saying "I set forth to fight an army without a leader, so as later to fight a leader without an army." Leaving Marcus Aemilius Lepidus as prefect of Rome, and the rest of Italy under Mark Antony as tribune, Caesar made an astonishing 27-day route-march to Hispania, rejoining two of his Gallic legions, where he defeated Pompey's lieutenants. He then returned east, to challenge Pompey in Greece where on July 10, 48 BC at Dyrrhachium Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat when the line of fortification was broken. He decisively defeated Pompey, despite Pompey's numerical advantage (nearly twice the number of infantry and considerably more cavalry), at Pharsalus in an exceedingly short engagement in 48 BC.

In Rome, Caesar was appointed dictator, with Mark Antony as his Master of the Horse; Caesar resigned this dictatorate after 11 days and was elected to a second term as consul with Publius Servilius Vatia as his colleague.

He pursued Pompey to Alexandria, where Pompey was murdered by a former Roman officer serving in the court of King Ptolemy XIII. Caesar then became involved with the Alexandrine civil war between Ptolemy and his sister, wife, and co-regent queen, the Pharaoh Cleopatra VII. Perhaps as a result of Ptolemy's role in Pompey's murder, Caesar sided with Cleopatra; he is reported to have wept at the sight of Pompey's head, which was offered to him by Ptolemy's chamberlain Pothinus as a gift. In any event, Caesar defeated the Ptolemaic forces in 47 BC in the Battle of the Nile and installed Cleopatra as ruler, with whom he is suspected to have fathered a son, Caesarion. Caesar and Cleopatra celebrated their victory of the Alexandrine civil war through a triumphant procession on the Nile in the spring of 47 B.C. The royal barge was accompanied by 400ADditional ships, introducing Caesar to the luxurious lifestyle of the Egyptian pharoahs.

Caesar and Cleopatra never married: they could not do so under Roman Law. The institution of marriage was only recognised between two Roman citizens; Cleopatra was Queen of Egypt. In Roman eyes, this did not constitute adultery, and Caesar is believed to have continued his relationship with Cleopatra throughout his last marriage, which lasted 14 years and produced no children. Cleopatra visited Rome on more than one occasion, residing in Caesar's villa just outside Rome across the Tiber.

After spending the first months of 47 BC in Egypt, Caesar went to the Middle East, where he annihilated King Pharnaces II of Pontus in the Battle of Zela; his victory was so swift and complete that he mocked Pompey's previous victories over such poor enemies. Thence, he proceeded to Africa to deal with the remnants of Pompey's senatorial supporters. He quickly gained a significant victory at Thapsus in 46 BC over the forces of Metellus Scipio (who died in the battle) and Cato the Younger (who committed suicide). Nevertheless, Pompey's sons Gnaeus Pompeius and Sextus Pompeius, together with Titus Labienus, Caesar's former propraetorian legate (legatus propraetore) and second in command in the Gallic War, escaped to Hispania. Caesar gave chase and defeated the last remnants of opposition in the Battle of Munda in March 45 BC. During this time, Caesar was elected to his third and fourth terms as consul in 46 BC (with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus) and 45 BC (without colleague).

Aftermath of the civil war

While he was still campaigning in Hispania, the Senate began bestowing honours on Caesar in absentia. Caesar had not proscribed his enemies, instead pardoning almost all, and there was no serious public opposition to him.

Great games and celebrations were held on April 21 to honour Caesar’s victory at Munda.

Caesar was the first to print his own bust on a Roman minted coin.
Caesar was the first to print his own bust on a Roman minted coin.

On Caesar's return to Italy in September 45 BC, he filed his will, naming his grand-nephew Gaius Octavius (Octavian) as the heir to everything, including his title. Caesar also wrote that if Octavian died before Caesar did, Marcus Junius Brutus would be the next heir in succession.

Caesar tightly regulated the purchase of state-subsidised grain, and forbade those who could afford privately supplied grain from purchasing from the grain dole. He made plans for the distribution of land to his veterans, and for the establishment of veteran colonies throughout the Roman world.

In 63 BC Caesar had been elected Pontifex Maximus, and one of his roles as such was settling the calendar. A complete overhaul of the old Roman calendar proved to be one of his most long lasting and influential reforms. In 46 BC, Caesar established a 365-day year with a leap year every fourth year (this Julian Calendar was subsequently modified by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 into the modern Gregorian calendar). As a result of this reform, a certain Roman year (mostly equivalent to 46 BC in the modern Calendar) was made 445 days long, to bring the calendar into line with the seasons.

The Forum of Caesar, with its Temple of Venus Genetrix, was built among many other public works.

All of the pomp, circumstance, and public taxpayers' money being spent incensed certain members of the Roman Senate. One of these was Caesar's closest friend, Marcus Junius Brutus.

Assassination plot

Morte de Césare (Death of Caesar) by Vincenzo Camuccini
Morte de Césare (Death of Caesar) by Vincenzo Camuccini

Ancient biographers describe the tension between Caesar and the Senate, and his possible claims to the title of king. These events would be the principal motive for Caesar's assassination by his political opponents in the Senate.

Plutarch records that at one point, Caesar informed the Senate that his honours were more in need of reduction than augmentation, but withdrew this position so as not to appear ungrateful. He was given the title Pater Patriae ("Father of the Fatherland"). He was appointed dictator a third time, and then nominated for nine consecutive one-year terms as dictator, effectually making him dictator for ten years. He was also given censorial authority as praefectus morum (prefect of morals) for three years.

The Senate named Caesar Dictator Perpetuus, "dictator for life" or "perpetual dictator". Roman mints printed a denarius coin with this title and his profile on one side, and with an image of the goddess Ceres and Caesar's title of Augur Pontifex Maximus on the reverse. While printing the title of dictator was significant, Caesar's image was not, as it was customary to print consuls and other public officials on coins during the Republic.

According to Cassius Dio, a senatorial delegation went to inform Caesar of new honours they had bestowed upon him in 44 BC. Caesar received them while sitting in the Temple of Venus Genetrix, rather than rising to meet them. According to Dio, this was a chief excuse for the offended senators to plot his assassination. He wrote that a few of Caesar's supporters blamed his failure to rise on a sudden attack of diarrhoea, but his enemies discounted this in observing that he had walked home unaided.

Suetonius wrote that Caesar failed to rise in the temple either because he was restrained by Cornelius Balbus or that he balked at the suggestion he should rise. Suetonius also gave the account of a crowd assembled to greet Caesar upon his return to Rome. A member of the crowd placed a laurel wreath on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra. The tribunes Gaius Epidius Marcellus and Lucius Caesetius Flavius ordered that the wreath be removed as it was a symbol of Jupiter and royalty. Caesar had the tribunes censored from office through his official powers. According to Suetonius, he was unable to disassociate himself with the title of monarch from this point forward. His biographer also gives the story that a crowd shouted to him "rex", the Latin word for king. Caesar replied, "I am Caesar, not Rex", a pun on the Roman name coming from the title. Also, at the festival of the Lupercalia, while he gave a speech from the Rostra, Mark Antony, who had been elected co-consul with Caesar, attempted to place a crown on his head several times. Caesar put it aside to be used as a sacrifice to Jupiter Opitimus Maximus.

Plutarch and Suetonius are similar in their depiction of these events, but Dio combines the stories writing that the tribunes arrested the citizens who placed diadems or wreaths on statues of Caesar. He then places the crowd shouting "rex" on the Alban Hill with the tribunes arresting a member of this crowd as well. The plebeian protested that he was unable to speak his mind freely. Caesar then brought the tribunes before the senate and put the matter to a vote, thereafter removing them from office and erasing their names from the records.

Suetonius adds that Lucius Cotta proposed to the Senate that Caesar should be granted the title of "king" for it was prophesied that only a king would conquer Parthia. Caesar intended to invade Parthia, a task which would later give considerable trouble to Mark Antony during the second triumvirate.

Brutus began to conspire against Caesar with his friend and brother-in-law Cassius and other men, calling themselves the Liberatores ("Liberators"). Many plans were discussed by the group, as documented by Nicolaus of Damascus:

The conspirators never met openly, but they assembled a few at a time in each other's homes. There were many discussions and proposals, as might be expected, while they investigated how and where to execute their design. Some suggested that they should make the attempt as he was going along the Sacred Way, which was one of his favorite walks. Another idea was for it to be done at the elections during which he had to cross a bridge to appoint the magistrates in the Campus Martius; they should draw lots for some to push him from the bridge and for others to run up and kill him. A third plan was to wait for a coming gladiatorial show. The advantage of that would be that, because of the show, no suspicion would be aroused if arms were seen prepared for the attempt. But the majority opinion favoured killing him while he sat in the Senate, where he would be by himself since only Senators would be admitted, and where the many conspirators could hide their daggers beneath their togas. This plan won the day.

Two days before the assassination of Caesar, Cassius met with the conspirators and told them that, should anyone discover the plan, the conspirators were to turn their knives on themselves.


A diabase bust of Caesar.
A diabase bust of Caesar.

On the Ides of March (March 15; see Roman calendar) of 44 BC, a group of senators called Caesar to the forum for the purpose of reading a petition, written by the senators, asking him to hand power back to the Senate. However, the petition was a fake. Mark Antony, having vaguely learned of the plot the night before from a terrified Liberator named Servilius Casca, and fearing the worst, went to head Caesar off at the steps of the forum. However, the group of senators intercepted Caesar just as he was passing the Theatre of Pompey, located in the Campus Martius, and directed him to a room adjoining the east portico.

As Caesar began to read the false petition, Tillius Cimber, who had handed him the petition, pulled down Caesar's tunic. While Caesar was crying to Cimber "But that is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!"), the aforementioned Casca produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator's neck. Caesar turned around quickly and caught Casca by the arm, saying in Latin "Casca, you villain, what are you doing?"[67] Casca, frightened, shouted "Help, brother" in Greek ("ἀδελφέ, βοήθει!", "adelphe, boethei!"). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was striking out at the dictator. Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenseless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, around sixty or more men participated in the assassination. He was stabbed 23 times.[68] According to Suetonius, a physician later established that only one wound, the second one to his chest, had been lethal.[69]

The dictator's last words are not known with certainty, and are a contested subject among scholars and historians alike. The version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase Et tu, Brute? ("even you, Brutus?" or "you too, Brutus?"); this derives from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic line: "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar." Shakespeare's version evidently follows in the tradition of the Roman historian Suetonius, who reports that Caesar's last words were the Greek phrase "καὶ σύ, τέκνον;"[70] (transliterated as "Kai su, teknon?": "You too, my child?" in English).[71] Plutarch, on the other hand, reports that Caesar said nothing, pulling his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators.[72]

According to Plutarch, after the assassination, Brutus stepped forward as if to say something to his fellow senators; they, however, fled the building.[73] Brutus and his companions then marched to the Capitol while crying out to their beloved city: "People of Rome, we are once again free!". They were met with silence, as the citizens of Rome had locked themselves inside their houses as soon as the rumour of what had taken place had begun to spread.

A wax statue of Caesar was erected in the forum displaying the 23 stab wounds. A crowd who had amassed there started a fire, which badly damaged the forum and neighboring buildings. In the ensuing chaos Mark Antony, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar), and others fought a series of five civil wars, which would end in the formation of the Roman Empire.

Aftermath of assassination

Deification of Julius Caesar as represented in a 16th-century engraving.
Deification of Julius Caesar as represented in a 16th-century engraving.

The result unforeseen by the assassins was that Caesar's death precipitated the end of the Roman Republic. The Roman middle and lower classes, with whom Caesar was immensely popular, and had been since Gaul and before, were enraged that a small group of high-browed aristocrats had killed their champion. Antony did not give the speech that Shakespeare penned for him more than 1600 years later ("Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears..."), but he did give a dramatic eulogy that appealed to the common people, a reflection of public opinion following Caesar's murder. Antony, who had been drifting apart from Caesar, capitalised on the grief of the Roman mob and threatened to unleash them on the Optimates, perhaps with the intent of taking control of Rome himself. But Caesar had named his grand nephew Gaius Octavian his sole heir, giving him the immensely powerful Caesar name as well as making him one of the wealthiest citizens in the Republic. Gaius Octavian was also, for all intents and purposes, the son of the great Caesar, and consequently also inherited the loyalty of much of the Roman populace. Octavian, only aged 19 at the time of Caesar's death, proved to be dangerous, and while Antony dealt with Decimus Brutus in the first round of the new civil wars, Octavian consolidated his position. Later Mark Antony would marry Caesar's lover Cleopatra.

In order to combat Brutus and Cassius, who were massing an army in Greece, Antony needed both the cash from Caesar's war chests and the legitimacy that Caesar's name would provide any action he took against the two. A new Triumvirate was formed (the second and final one) with Octavian, Antony, and Caesar's loyal cavalry commander Lepidus as the third member. This Second Triumvirate deified Caesar as Divus Iulius and, seeing that Caesar's clemency had resulted in his murder, brought back the horror of proscription, abandoned since Sulla. It proscribed its enemies in large numbers in order to seize even more funds for the second civil war against Brutus and Cassius, whom Antony and Octavius defeated at Philippi. A third civil war then broke out between Octavian on one hand and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. This final civil war, culminating in Antony and Cleopatra's defeat at Actium, resulted in the ascendancy of Octavian, who became the first Roman emperor, under the name Caesar Augustus. In 42 BC, Caesar was formally deified as Divus Iulius, and Caesar Augustus henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of a god").


Caesar may have suffered from epilepsy. He had four documented episodes of what were probably complex partial seizures. He may additionally have had absence seizures in his youth. There is family history of epilepsy amongst his ancestors and descendants. The earliest accounts of these seizures were made by the biographer Suetonius who was born after Caesar's death. However, the claim of epilepsy is disputed by some historians and is countered by a claim of hypoglycemia, which sometimes causes epileptic-like fits.[74][75][76]

Literary works

Caesar was considered during his lifetime to be one of the best orators and authors of prose in Rome—even Cicero spoke highly of Caesar's rhetoric and style.[77] Among his most famous works were his funeral oration for his paternal aunt Julia and his Anticato, a document written to blacken Cato's reputation and respond to Cicero's Cato memorial. Unfortunately, the majority of his works and speeches have been lost to history.


Commentarii de Bello Gallico, an account written by Julius Caesar about his nine years of war in Gaul.
Commentarii de Bello Gallico, an account written by Julius Caesar about his nine years of war in Gaul.

Other works historically attributed to Caesar, but whose authorship is doubted, are:

These narratives, apparently simple and direct in style— to the point that Caesar's Commentarii are commonly studied by first and second year Latin students— are highly sophisticated advertisements for his political agenda, most particularly for the middle-brow readership of minor aristocrats in Rome, Italy, and the provinces.

Military career

Historians place the generalship of Caesar as one of the greatest military strategists and tacticians who ever lived, along with Alexander the Great, Sun Tzu, Hannibal, Genghis Khan and Napoleon Bonaparte. Caesar suffered occasional tactical defeats, such as Battle of Gergovia during the Gallic War and the Battle of Dyrrhachium during the Civil War. However, his tactical brilliance was highlighted by such feats as his circumvallation of Alesia during the Gallic War, the rout of Pompey's numerically superior forces at Pharsalus during the Civil War, and the complete destruction of Pharnaces' army at Battle of Zela.

Caesar's successful campaigning in any terrain and under all weather conditions owes much to the strict but fair discipline of his legionaries, whose admiration and devotion to him were proverbial due to his promotion of those of skill over those of nobility. Caesar's infantry and cavalry were first rate, and he made heavy use of formidable Roman artillery and his army's superlative engineering abilities. There was also the legendary speed with which he manoeuvred his troops; Caesar's army sometimes marched as many as 40 miles (64 km) a day. His Commentaries on the Gallic Wars describe how, during the siege of one Gallic city built on a very steep and high plateau, his engineers tunnelled through solid rock, found the source of the spring from which the town was drawing its water supply, and diverted it to the use of the army. The town, cut off from their water supply, capitulated at once.


Using the Latin alphabet as it existed in the day of Caesar (i.e., without lower case letters, "J", or "U"), Caesar's name is properly rendered "GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR". The form "CAIVS" is also attested using the old Roman pronunciation of letter C as G; it is an antique form of the more common "GAIVS". It is often seen abbreviated to "C. IVLIVS CAESAR". (The letterform "Æ" is a ligature, which is often encountered in Latin inscriptions where it was used to save space, and is nothing more than the letters "ae".) In Classical Latin, it was pronounced [ˈgaːius ˈjuːlius ˈkaisar].[78] In the days of the late Roman Republic, many historical writings were done in Greek, a language most educated Romans studied. Young wealthy Roman boys were often taught by Greek slaves and sometimes sent to Athens for advanced training, as was Caesar's principal assassin, Brutus. In Greek, during Caesar's time, his family name was written Καίσαρ, reflecting its contemporary pronunciation. Thus his name is pronounced in a similar way to the pronunciation of the German Kaiser. This German name was phonemically but not phonetically derived from the Middle Ages Ecclesiastical Latin, in which the familiar part "Caesar" is [ˈtʃeːsar], from which the modern English pronunciation (a much-softened "SEE-zer") is derived, as well as the title of Czar.

His name is also remembered in Norse mythology, where he is manifested as the legendary king Kjárr.[79]





  • First marriage to Cornelia Cinnilla, from 83 BC until her death in childbirth in 69 or 68 BC
  • Second marriage to Pompeia, from 67 BC until he divorced her around 61 BC
  • Third marriage to Calpurnia Pisonis, from 59 BC until Caesar's death



  • Grandson from Julia and Pompey, dead at several days, unnamed.


Notable relatives

Political rivals and rumours of homosexual activity

Roman society viewed the passive role during sex, regardless of gender, to be a sign of submission or inferiority. Indeed, Suetonius says that in Caesar's Gallic triumph, his soldiers sang that, "Caesar may have conquered the Gauls, but Nicomedes conquered Caesar."[81] According to Cicero, Bibulus, Gaius Memmius, and others (mainly Caesar's enemies), he had an affair with Nicomedes IV of Bithynia early in his career. The tales were repeated, referring to Caesar as the Queen of Bithynia, by some Roman politicians as a way to humiliate and degrade him. It is possible that the rumors were spread only as a form of character assassination. Caesar himself, according to Cassius Dio, denied the accusations under oath.[82] This form of slander was popular during this time in the Roman Republic to demean and discredit political opponents. A favorite tactic used by the opposition was to accuse a popular political rival as living a Hellenistic lifestyle based on Greek & Eastern culture, where homosexuality and a lavish lifestyle were more acceptable than the conservative traditions of the Romans.

Catullus wrote two poems suggesting that Caesar and his engineer Mamurra were lovers,[83] but later apologised.[84]

Mark Antony charged that Octavian had earned his adoption by Caesar through sexual favors. Suetonius described Antony's accusation of an affair with Octavian as political slander. The boy Octavian was to become the first Roman emperor following Caesar's death.[85]



Julius Caesar was voted the title Divus ("god") after his death.

During his life, he received many honours, including titles such as Pater Patriae (Father of the Fatherland), Pontifex Maximus (Highest Priest), and Dictator. The many titles bestowed on him by the Senate are sometimes cited as a cause of his assassination, as it seemed inappropriate to many contemporaries for a mortal man to be awarded so many honours.

As a young man he was awarded the Corona Civica (civic crown) for valour while fighting in Asia Minor.

Caesar's cognomen would eventualy become a title. The title became the German Kaiser and Slavic Tsar/Czar. As the last tsar in nominal power was Simeon II of Bulgaria whose reign ended in 1946; for two thousand years after Julius Caesar's assassination, there was at least one head of state bearing his name. This title was greatly promulgated by the Bible, for its famous verse "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s".

See also


  1. ^ Official name after 42 BC, Gaius Iulius Caesar Divus (Latin script: GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR) (in inscriptions IMP•C•IVLIVS•CAESAR•DIVVS), in English, "Imperator [and] God Gaius Julius Caesar". Also in inscriptions, Gaius Iulius Gaii Filius Gaii Nepos Caesar, in English, "Gaius Julius Caesar, son of Gaius, grandson of Gaius".
  2. ^ There is some dispute over the date of Caesar's birth. The day is sometimes stated to be be 12 July, when his feast-day was celebrated after deification, but this was because his true birthday clashed with the Ludi Apollinaris. Some scholars, based on the dates he held certain magistracies, have made a case for 101 or 102 BC as the year of his birth, but scholarly consensus favours 100 BC.
  3. ^ Froude, James Anthony (1879). Life of Caesar. Project Gutenberg e-text, 67.
  4. ^ Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Julius 6; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.41; Virgil, Aeneid
  5. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7.7. The misconception that Julius Caesar himself was born by Caesarian section dates back at least to the 10th century (Suda kappa 1199). However, he wasn't the first to bear the name, and in his time the procedure was only performed on dead women, while Caesar's mother, Aurelia, lived long after he was born.
  6. ^ Historia Augusta: Aelius 2.
  7. ^ Coins of Julius Caesar
  8. ^ Suetonius, Julius 1; Plutarch, Caesar 1, Marius 6; Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7.54; Inscriptiones Italiae, 13.3.51-52
  9. ^ Suetonius, Lives of Eminent Grammarians 7
  10. ^ a b Plutarch, Caesar 1; Suetonius, Julius 1
  11. ^ Appian, Civil Wars 1.34-75; Plutarch, Marius 32-46, Sulla 6-10; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.15-20; Eutropius 5; Florus, Epitome of Roman History 2.6, 2.9
  12. ^ Suetonius, Julius 1; Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7.54
  13. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.22; Florus, Epitome of Roman History 2.9
  14. ^ Suetonius, Julius 1; Plutarch, Caesar 1; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.41
  15. ^ Appian, Civil Wars 1.76-102; Plutarch, Sulla 24-33; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.23-28; Eutropius, Abridgement of Roman History 5; Florus, Epitome of Roman History 2.9
  16. ^ Suetonius, Julius 2-3; Plutarch, Caesar 2-3; Cassius Dio, Roman History 43.20
  17. ^ William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities: Flamen
  18. ^ Appian. Civil Wars 1.103
  19. ^ Suetonius, Julius 77.
  20. ^ Plutarch, Sulla 36-38
  21. ^ a b Suetonius, Julius 46
  22. ^ Suetonius, Julius 3; Appian, Civil Wars 1.107
  23. ^ Suetonius, Julius 55
  24. ^ Suetonius, Julius 4. Plutarch (Caesar 3-4) reports the same events but follows a different chonology.
  25. ^ Again, according to Suetonius's chronology (Julius 4). Plutarch (Caesar 1.8-2) says this happened earlier, on his return from Nicomedes's court. Velleius Paterculus (Roman History 2:41.3-42 says merely that it happened when he was a young man.
  26. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 1-2
  27. ^ Suetonius, Julius 5-8; Plutarch, Caesar 5; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.43
  28. ^ Suetonius, Julius 9-11; Plutarch, Caesar 5.6-6; Cassius Dio, Roman History 37.8, 10
  29. ^ Cicero, For Gaius Rabirius; Cassius Dio, Roman History 26-28
  30. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.43; Plutarch, Caesar 7; Suetonius, Julius 13
  31. ^ Sallust, Catiline War 49
  32. ^ Cicero, Against Catiline 4.7-9; Sallust, Catiline War 50-55; Plutarch, Caesar 7.5-8.3, Cicero 20-21, Cato the Younger 22-24; Suetonius, Julius 14
  33. ^ Suetonius, Julius 17
  34. ^ Suetonius, Julius 16
  35. ^ Cicero, Letters to Atticus 1.12, 1.13, 1.14; Plutarch, Caesar 9-10; Cassius Dio, Roman History 37.45
  36. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 11-12; Suetonius, Julius 18.1
  37. ^ Plutarch, Julius 13; Suetonius, Julius 18.2
  38. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 13-14; Suetonius 19
  39. ^ Cicero, Letters to Atticus 2.1, 2.3, 2.17; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.44; Plutarch, Caesar 13-14, Pompey 47, Crassus 14; Suetonius, Julius 19.2; Cassius Dio, Roman History 37.54-58
  40. ^ Suetonius, Julius 21
  41. ^ Cicero, Letters to Atticus 2.15, 2.16, 2.17, 2.18, 2.19, 2.20, 2.21; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 44.4; Plutarch, Caesar 14, Pompey 47-48, Cato the Younger 32-33; Cassius Dio, Roman History 38.1-8
  42. ^ Suetonius, Julius 19.2
  43. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2:44.4; Plutarch, Caesar 14.10, Crassus 14.3, Pompey 48, Cato the Younger 33.3; Suetonius, Julius 22; Cassius Dio, Roman History 38:8.5
  44. ^ Suetonius, Julius 23
  45. ^ See Cicero's speeches against Verres for an example of a former provincial governor successfully prosecuted for illegally enriching himself at his province's expense.
  46. ^ Cicero, Letters to Atticus 1.19; Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 1; Appian, Gallic Wars Epit. 3; Cassius Dio, Roman History 38.31-50
  47. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 2; Appian, Gallic Wars Epit. 4; Cassius Dio, Roman History 39.1-5
  48. ^ Cicero, Letters to his brother Quintus 2.3; Suetonius, Julius 24; Plutarch, Caesar 21, Crassus 14-15, Pompey 51
  49. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 3; Cassius Dio, Roman History 39.40-46
  50. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 4; Appian, Gallic Wars Epit. 4; Cassius Dio, Roman History 47-53
  51. ^ Cicero, Letters to friends 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.10, 7.17; Letters to his brother Quintus 2.13, 2.15, 3.1; Letters to Atticus 4.15, 4.17, 4.18; Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 5-6; Cassius Dio, Roman History 40.1-11
  52. ^ Suetonius, Julius [1]; Plutarch, Caesar 23.5, Pompey 53-55, Crassus 16-33; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 46-47
  53. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 7; Cassius Dio, Roman History 40.33-42
  54. ^ Aulus Hirtius, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 8
  55. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War 1.21
  56. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War 7.65
  57. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War 6.6
  58. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War 2.34
  59. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War 6.32 &f.
  60. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War 3.11
  61. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War 7.81 &f.
  62. ^ http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/p/plutarch/lives/chapter48.html Plutarch Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans CAESAR
  63. ^ http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10657/10657.txt "DE BELLO GALLICO" & OTHER COMMENTARIES OF CAIUS JULIUS CAESAR chapter 28 translated by Thomas de Quincey<
  64. ^ http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10657/10657.txt "DE BELLO GALLICO" & OTHER COMMENTARIES OF CAIUS JULIUS CAESAR chapter 29 translated by Thomas de Quincey
  65. ^ Furger-Gunti, 102.
  66. ^ H. Delbrück Geschichte der Kriegskunst im Rahmen der politischen Geschichte, Vol. 1, 1900, pp. 428 and 459f.
  67. ^ Plutarch, Life of Caesar, ch. 66: "ὁ μεν πληγείς, Ῥωμαιστί· 'Μιαρώτατε Κάσκα, τί ποιεῖς;'"
  68. ^ Woolf Greg (2006), Et Tu Brute? - The Murder of Caesar and Political Assassination, 199 pages - ISBN 1-8619-7741-7
  69. ^ Suetonius, Julius, c. 82.
  70. ^ Suetonius, Julius 82.2
  71. ^ Suetonius, Life of the Caesars, Julius trans. J C Rolfe [2]
  72. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 66.9
  73. ^ Plutarch, Caesar, 67
  74. ^ Hughes J (2004). "Dictator Perpetuus: Julius Caesar--did he have seizures? If so, what was the etiology?". Epilepsy Behav 5 (5): 756-64. PMID 15380131.
  75. ^ Gomez J, Kotler J, Long J (1995). "Was Julius Caesar's epilepsy due to a brain tumor?". The Journal of the Florida Medical Association 82 (3): 199-201. PMID 7738524.
  76. ^ H. Schneble (2003-01-01). Gaius Julius Caesar. German Epilepsy Museum. Retrieved on 2006-08-10.
  77. ^ Cicero, Brutus, 252.
  78. ^ Note that the first name, like the second, is properly pronounced in three syllables, not two. See Latin spelling and pronunciation.
  79. ^ Anderson, Carl Edlund. (1999). Formation and Resolution of Ideological Contrast in the Early History of Scandinavia. Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic (Faculty of English). p. 44.PDF (308 KiB)
  80. ^ Tacitus, Histories 4.55
  81. ^ Suetonius, Julius 49
  82. ^ Suetonius, Julius 49; Cassius Dio, Roman History 43.20
  83. ^ Catullus, Carmina 29, 57
  84. ^ Suetonius, Julius 73
  85. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 68, 71

Primary sources

Own writings

Ancient historians' writings

Secondary sources

  • Canfora, Luciano. Julius Caesar: The People's Dictator. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0748619364; paperback, ISBN 0748619372). Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007 (hardcover, ISBN 0520235029).
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian. Caesar: Life of a Colossus. New Heaven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0-300-12048-6).
  • Jiménez, Ramon L. Caesar Against Rome: The Great Roman Civil War. Westpoint, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2000 (hardcover, ISBN 0-275-96620-8).
  • Kleiner, Diana E. E. Cleopatra and Rome. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005 (hardcover, ISBN 0-674-01905-9).
  • Meier, Christian. Caesar: A Biography. New York: Basic Books, 1996 (hardcover, ISBN 0-465-00894-1); 1997 (paperback, ISBN 0-465-00895-X).
  • Niel, Thomas (2005). Rome and Its Legends. New York, NY: Simon and Shuster.

External links

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Preceded by
Lucius Afranius and Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus
59 BC
Succeeded by
Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus and Aulus Gabinius
Preceded by
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus and Gaius Claudius Marcellus Maior
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus
48 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Fufius Calenus and Publius Vatinius
Preceded by
Quintus Fufius Calenus and Publius Vatinius
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
46 BC
Succeeded by
Gaius Julius Caesar without colleague
Preceded by
Gaius Julius Caesar and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
Consul of the Roman Republic
without colleague
45 BC
Succeeded by
Gaius Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius
Preceded by
Gaius Julius Caesar without colleague
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Marcus Antonius
44 BC
Succeeded by
Aulus Hirtius and Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Preceded by
Lucius Cornelius Sulla, then lapsed
Dictator of the Roman Republic
46 BC-44 BC
Succeeded by
NAMECaesar, Gaius Julius
DATE OF BIRTHJuly 12, 100 BC
PLACE OF BIRTHRome, Roman Republic
DATE OF DEATHMarch 15, 44 BC
PLACE OF DEATHRome, Roman Republic

Mark Antony never "KING" (supreme leader) of the Romans

Though he tried, Mark Antony was never "king" (supreme leader) of the Romans. His highest rank was sharing the Triumvirate with Octavian, (who went on to become Emperor Augustus, a "king" over the Roman Empire). Nonetheless, Herod the Great felt he owed his rule to Mark Antony.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Antony

Mark Antony

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Marcus Antonius
January 14, 83 BCAugust 1, 30 BC (age 53)
M Antonius.jpg
Bust of Mark Antony (Vatican Museums)
Place of birth Rome, Roman Republic
Place of death Alexandria, Ptolemaic Kingdom
Allegiance Roman Republic
Years of service 54–30 BC
Rank General
Commands held Roman army
Battles/wars Gallic Wars
Caesar's civil war
Antony's war on Parthia
Battle of Mutina
Battle of Philippi
Battle of Actium

Marcus Antonius (in Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N[1]) (c. January 14, 83 BC–August 1, 30 BC), known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and General. He was an important supporter and the loyal friend of Gaius Julius Caesar as a military commander and administrator, being Caesar's second cousin, once removed, by his mother Julia Antonia. After Caesar's assassination, Antony formed an official political alliance with Octavian (Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, known to historians today as the Second Triumvirate.

The triumvirate broke up in 33 BC. Disagreement between Octavian and Antony erupted into civil war, the Final War of the Roman Republic, in 31 BC. Antony was defeated by Octavian at the naval Battle of Actium, and in a brief land battle at Alexandria. He and his lover Cleopatra committed suicide shortly thereafter.



[edit] Early life

A member of the Antonia gens, Antony was born in winter 87-6 BC,[citation needed] probably in Sulla's army besieging Athens during the Mithridatic War. His father was his namesake, Marcus Antonius Creticus, the son of the great rhetorician Marcus Antonius Orator who had been murdered and decapitated by order of Gaius Marius at the end of 87 B.C. His mother Julia was a daughter of Lucius Caesar (consul 90, censor 89), another Marian victim slain with Antonius the orator. His father (praetor 74) died in 71 B.C. during his command against Mediterranean piracy, and Julia soon remarried to Publius Cornelius Lentulus (Sura) (consul 71), an eminent patrician politician and co-leader of the infamous Conspiracy of Catiline named after the latter.

According to authorities like Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering the streets of Rome with his brothers and friends, most notably Gaius Curio (the later tribune 50 B.C.), with whom he is said to have had a long term homosexual liaison. Plutarch writes that before Antony reached 20 years of age, he was already indebted to the sum of 250 talents.[2] (About $5 million in today's money.[3])

After this period of recklessness, Antony fled to Greece to escape his creditors and to study rhetoric. After a short time spent in attendance on the philosophers at Athens, he was summoned by Aulus Gabinius, proconsul of Syria, to take part in the campaigns against Aristobulus II in Judea, and in support of King Ptolemy XII Auletes in Egypt. In the ensuing campaign, he demonstrated his talents as a cavalry commander and distinguished himself with bravery and courage.

Indeed, Antony's life was a mixture, often simultaneous, of astounding military honor along with equally astounding debauchery. In a similar vein, Plutarch noted that while his generosity helped raise him to the heights of power, he was equally hindered by his countless faults. [4]

[edit] Supporter of Caesar

In 54 BC, Antony became a member of the staff of Caesar's armies in Gaul and early Germany. He again proved to be a competent military leader in the Gallic Wars, but his personality caused instability wherever he went. Antony and Caesar were said to be best of friends as well as being fairly close relatives. Antony made himself ever available to assist Caesar in carrying out his military campaigns.

Raised by Caesar's influence to the offices of quaestor, augur, and tribune of the plebeians (50 BC), he supported the cause of his patron with great energy. Caesar's two proconsular commands, during a period of ten years, were expiring in 50 BC, and he wanted to return to Rome for the consular elections. But resistance from the conservative faction of the Roman Senate, led by Pompey, demanded that Caesar resign his proconsulship and the command of his armies before being allowed to seek re-election to the consulship.

This Caesar would not do, as such an act would at least temporarily render him a private citizen and thereby leave him open to prosecution for his acts while proconsul. It would also place him at the mercy of Pompey's armies. To prevent this occurrence Caesar bribed the plebian tribune Curio to use his veto to prevent a senatorial decree which would deprive Caesar of his armies and provincial command, and then made sure Antony was elected tribune for the next term of office. Antony exercised his tribunician veto, with the aim of preventing a senatorial decree declaring martial law against the veto, and was violently expelled from the senate with another Caesar adherent, Cassius, who was also a tribune of the plebs. Caesar crossed the river Rubicon upon hearing of these affairs which began the Republican civil war. Antony left Rome and joined Caesar and his armies at Ariminium, where he was presented to Caesar's soldiers still bloody and bruised as an example of the illegalities that his political opponents were perpetrating, and as a casus belli. Tribunes of the Plebs were meant to be untouchable and their veto inalienable according to the Roman mos maiorum (although there was a grey line as to what extent this existed in the declaration of and during martial law). Antony commanded Italy whilst Caesar destroyed Pompey's legions in Spain, and led the reinforcements to Greece, before commanding the right wing of Caesar's armies at Pharsalus.

When Caesar became dictator for a second time, Antony was made Master of the Horse, the dictator's right hand man, and in this capacity he remained in Italy as the peninsula's administrator in 47 BC, while Caesar was fighting the last Pompeians, who had taken refuge in the province of Africa. But Antony's skills as an administrator were a poor match for his generalship, and he seized the opportunity of indulging in the most extravagant excesses, depicted by Cicero in the Philippics. In 46 BC he seems to have taken offense because Caesar insisted on payment for the property of Pompey which Antony professedly had purchased, but had in fact simply appropriated. Conflict soon arose, and, as on other occasions, Antony resorted to violence. Hundreds of citizens were killed and Rome itself descended into a state of anarchy. Caesar was most displeased with the whole affair and removed Antony from all political responsibilities. The two men did not see each other for two years. The estrangement was not of long continuance, with Antony meeting the dictator at Narbo (45 BC) and rejecting the suggestion of Trebonius that he should join in the conspiracy that was already afoot. Reconciliation arrived in 44 BC, when Antony was chosen as partner for Caesar's fifth consulship.

Whatever conflicts existed between the two men, Antony remained faithful to Caesar at all times. On February 15, 44 BC, during the Lupercalia festival, Antony publicly offered Caesar a diadem. This was an event fraught with meaning: a diadem was a symbol of a king, and in refusing it, Caesar demonstrated that he did not intend to assume the throne.

On March 14, 44 BC, Antony was alarmed when a Senator named Cicero told him the gods would strike down Caesar. The following day, the Ides of March, he went down to warn the dictator but the Liberatores reached Caesar first and he was assassinated on March 15, 44 BC. In the turmoil that surrounded the event, Antony escaped Rome dressed as a slave; fearing that the dictator's assassination would be the start of a bloodbath among his supporters. When this did not occur, he soon returned to Rome, discussing a truce with the assassins' faction. For a while, Antony, as consul, seemed to pursue peace and an end to the political tension. Following a speech by Cicero in the Senate, an amnesty was agreed for the assassins.

Then came the day of Caesar's funeral. As Caesar's ever-present second in command, co-consul and cousin, Antony was the natural choice to give the eulogy. In his speech, he made accusations of murder and ensured a permanent breach with the conspirators. Showing a talent for rhetoric and dramatic interpretation, Antony snatched the toga from Caesar's body to show the crowd the stab wounds, pointing at each and naming the authors, publicly shaming them. During the eulogy he also read Caesar's will, which left most of his property to the people of Rome, demonstrating that, contrary to the conspirator's assertions, Caesar had no intention of forming a royal dynasty. Public opinion turned, and that night, the Roman populace attacked the assassins' houses, forcing them to flee for their lives.

[edit] Enemy of the state and triumvirate

Roman aureus bearing the portraits of Mark Antony (left) and Octavian (right). Struck in 41 BC, this coin was issued to celebrate the establishment of the Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in 43 BC. Both sides bear the inscription "III VIR R P C", meaning "One of Three Men for the Regulation of the Republic".[5]

Antony was left as sole Consul, he surrounded himself with a bodyguard of Caesar's veterans and forced the senate to transfer to him the province of Cisalpine Gaul, which was then administered by Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, one of the conspirators. Brutus refused to surrender the province and Antony set out to attack him in October 44 BC, besieging him at Mutina. Encouraged by Cicero, the Senate denounced Antony and in January 43 they granted Octavian imperium (commanding power), which made his command of troops legal and sent him to relieve the siege, along with Hirtius and Pansa, the consuls for 43 BC. In April 43, Antony's forces were defeated at the Battles of Forum Gallorum and Mutina, forcing Antony to retreat to Transalpine Gaul. However, both consuls were killed, leaving Octavian in sole command of their armies.

When they knew that Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius were assembling an army in order to march on Rome, Antony, Octavian and Lepidus allied together in November 43 BC, forming the Second Triumvirate to stop Caesar's assassins. Brutus and Cassius were defeated by Antony and Octavian at the Battle of Philippi in October 42 BC. After the battle, a new arrangement was made between the members of the Second Triumvirate: while Octavian returned to Rome, Antony went on to govern the east. Lepidus went on to govern Hispania and the province of Africa. The triumvirate's enemies were subjected to proscription including Mark Antony's archenemy Cicero who was killed on December 7 43 BC.

[edit] Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1883)

Antony summoned Cleopatra to Tarsus in October 41 BC. There they formed an Alliance and became lovers. Antony returned to Alexandria with her, where he spent the winter of 41 BC - 40 BC. In spring 40 BC he was forced to return to Rome following news of his wife Fulvia's Civil war. Fulvia died while Antony was en-route to Sicyon (where Fulvia was exiled). Antony made peace with Octavian in September 40 BC and married Octavian's Sister Octavia Minor. The Parthian Empire had supported Brutus and Cassius in the civil war, sending forces which fought with them at Philippi; following Antony and Octavian's victory, the Parthians invaded Roman territory, occupying Syria, advancing into Asia Minor and installing Antigonus as puppet king in Judaea to replace the pro-Roman Hyrcanus. Antony sent his general Ventidius to oppose this invasion. Ventidius won a series of victories against the Parthians, killing the crown prince Pacorus and expelling them from the Roman territories they had seized. Antony now planned to retaliate by invading Parthia, and secured an agreement from Octavian to supply him with extra troops for his campaign. With this military purpose on his mind, Antony sailed to Greece with Octavia, where he behaved in a most extravagant manner, assuming the attributes of the Greek god Dionysus (39 BC). But the rebellion in Sicily of Sextus Pompeius, the last of the Pompeians, kept the army promised to Antony in Italy. With his plans again disrupted, Antony and Octavian quarreled once more. This time with the help of Octavia, a new treaty was signed in Tarentum in 38 BC. The triumvirate was renewed for a period of another five years (ending in 33 BC) and Octavian promised again to send legions to the East.

But by now, Antony was skeptical of Octavian's true support of his Parthian cause. Leaving Octavia pregnant with her second child Antonia in Rome, he sailed to Alexandria, where he expected funding from Cleopatra, the mother of his twins. The queen of Egypt lent him the money he needed for the army, and after capturing Jerusalem and surrounding areas in 37 BC, he installed Herod as puppet king of Judaea, replacing the Parthian appointee Antigonus. Antony then invaded Parthian territory with an army of about 100,000 Roman and allied troops but the campaign proved a disaster. After defeats in battle, the desertion of his Armenian allies and his failure to capture Parthian strongholds convinced Antony to retreat, his army was further depleted by the hardships of its retreat through Armenia in the depths of winter, losing more than a quarter of its strength in the course of the campaign.

Meanwhile, in Rome, the triumvirate was no more. Lepidus was forced to resign after an ill-judged political move. Now in sole power, Octavian was occupied in wooing the traditional Republican aristocracy to his side. He married Livia and started to attack Antony in order to raise himself to power. He argued that Antony was a man of low morals to have left his faithful wife abandoned in Rome with the children to be with the promiscuous queen of Egypt. Antony was accused of everything, but most of all, of "going native", an unforgivable crime to the proud Romans. Several times Antony was summoned to Rome, but remained in Alexandria with Cleopatra.

A map of the Donations of Alexandria (by Mark Antony to Cleopatra and her children) in 34 BC

Again with Egyptian money, Antony invaded Armenia, this time successfully. In the return, a mock Roman Triumph was celebrated in the streets of Alexandria. The parade through the city was a pastiche of Rome's most important military celebration. For the finale, the whole city was summoned to hear a very important political statement. Surrounded by Cleopatra and her children, Antony was about to put an end to his alliance with Octavian. He distributed kingdoms between his children: Alexander Helios was named king of Armenia, Media and Parthia (which were never conquered by Rome), his twin Selene got Cyrenaica and Libya, and the young Ptolemy Philadelphus was awarded Syria and Cilicia. As for Cleopatra, she was proclaimed Queen of Kings and Queen of Egypt, to rule with Caesarion (Ptolemy XV Caesar, son of Julius Caesar), King of Kings and King of Egypt. Most important of all, Caesarion was declared legitimate son and heir of Caesar. These proclamations were known as the Donations of Alexandria and caused a fatal breach in Antony's relations with Rome.

Distributing insignificant[citation needed] lands among the children of Cleopatra was not a peace move, but it was not a serious problem either.[citation needed] What did seriously threaten Octavian's political position, however, was the acknowledgment of Caesarion as legitimate and heir to Caesar's name. Octavian's base of power was his link with Caesar through adoption, which granted him much-needed popularity and loyalty of the legions. To see this convenient situation attacked by a child borne by the richest woman in the world was something Octavian could not accept. The triumvirate expired on the last day of 33 BC and was not renewed. Another civil war was beginning.

The Battle of Actium, by Lorenzo Castro, 1672, National Maritime Museum, London

During 33 and 32 BC, a propaganda war was fought in the political arena of Rome, with accusations flying between sides. Antony (in Egypt) divorced Octavia and accused Octavian of being a social upstart, of usurping power, and of forging the adoption papers by Caesar. Octavian responded with treason charges: of illegally keeping provinces that should be given to other men by lots, as was Rome's tradition, and of starting wars against foreign nations (Armenia and Parthia) without the consent of the Senate. Antony was also held responsible for Sextus Pompeius' execution with no trial. In 32 BC, the Senate deprived him of his powers and declared war against Cleopatra - not Antony, because Octavian knew that another civil war would lose him popular support. Both consuls (Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Gaius Sosius) and a third of the Senate abandoned Rome to meet Antony and Cleopatra in Greece.

In 31 BC, the war started. Octavian's loyal and talented general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa captured the Greek city and naval port of Methone, loyal to Antony. The enormous popularity of Octavian with the legions secured the defection of the provinces of Cyrenaica and Greece to his side. On September 2, the naval battle of Actium took place. Antony and Cleopatra's navy was destroyed, and they were forced to escape to Egypt with 60 ships.

Octavian, now close to absolute power, did not intend to give them rest. In August 30 BC, assisted by Agrippa, he invaded Egypt. With no other refuge to escape to, Antony committed suicide by stabbing himself with his sword in the mistaken belief that Cleopatra had already done so (30 BC). When he found out that Cleopatra was still alive, his friends brought him to Cleopatra's monument in which she was hiding, and he died in her arms.(However, some sources claim that he did not commit suicide, but was killed by an Egyptian priest who was in favour of Octavian). Cleopatra was allowed to conduct Antony's burial rites after she had been captured by Octavian. Realising that she was destined for Octavian's triumph in Rome, she made several attempts to take her life and was finally successful in mid-August. Antony's children by Cleopatra were spared, but paraded through the streets of Rome by Octavian. Antony's daughters by Octavia were spared, as was his son, Iullus Antonius. But his elder son, Marcus Antonius Antyllus, was killed by Octavian's men while pleading for his life in the Caesarium.

[edit] Aftermath and legacy

When Antony died, Octavian became uncontested ruler of Rome. In the following years, Octavian, who was known as Augustus after 27 BC, managed to accumulate in his person all administrative, political, and military offices. When Augustus died in 14 AD, his political powers passed to his adopted son Tiberius; the Roman Principate had begun.

The rise of Caesar and the subsequent civil war between his two most powerful adherents effectively ended the credibility of the Roman oligarchy as a governing power and ensured that all future power struggles would centre upon which of two (or more) individuals would achieve supreme control of the government, rather than upon an individual in conflict with the Senate. Thus Antony, as Caesar's key adherent and one of the two men around whom power coalesced following his assassination, was one of the three men chiefly responsible for the fall of the Roman Republic.

[edit] Marriages and descendants

Antony had been married in succession to Fadia, Antonia, Fulvia, Octavia and Cleopatra, and left behind him a number of children. Through his daughters by Octavia, he would be ancestor to the Roman Emperors Caligula, Claudius and Nero.

  1. Marriage to Fadia, a daughter of a freedman. According to Cicero, Fadia bore Antony several children. Nothing is known about Fadia or their children. Cicero is the only Roman source that mentions Antony’s first wife.
  2. Marriage to first paternal cousin Antonia Hybrida Minor. According to Plutarch, Antony threw her out of his house in Rome, because she slept with his friend, the tribune Publius Cornelius Dolabella. This occurred by 47 BC and Antony divorced her. By Antonia, he had a daughter:
  3. Marriage to Fulvia, by whom he had two sons:
  4. Marriage to Octavia Minor, sister of Octavian, later Augustus; they had two daughters:
  5. Children with the queen Cleopatra of Egypt, the former lover of Julius Caesar:

[edit] Fictional portrayals

Fictional works in which the character of Mark Antony plays a central role include:

[edit] References

  1. ^ Marcus Antonius Marci Filius Marci Nepos; in English, "Marcus Antonius, son of Marcus, grandson of Marcus".
  2. ^ Plutarch, "Anthony"
  3. ^ One talent had a purchasing power of about $20,000.[1]. A talent represented nine years of wages for a craftsman.[2]
  4. ^ http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Antony*.html Chapter 4, Verse 3
  5. ^ Sear, David R. "Common Legend Abbreviations On Roman Coins". http://www.davidrsear.com/academy/roman_legends.html. Retrieved 2007-08-24.

[edit] Primary sources

[edit] Modern Works

  • Groebe, Pauly-Wissowa Realencyclopadie
  • de Quincey, Thomas, Essay on the Caesars
  • Lytle, William Haines (1826–1863), Antony and Cleopatra
  • Weigall, Arthur: Marc Antoine, sa vie et son temps (Maurice Gerin translation, Payot, Paris, 1933)
  • Lindsay, Jack: Marc Antony, his World and his Contemporaries (E. P. Dutton & co., New York, 1937)
  • Jones, A M H: The Herods of Judaea (Oxford, 1938)
  • Babcock, C L: “The early career of Fulvia”, AJP 86 (1965), 1-32
  • Bengtson, Hermann: Marcus Antonius, Triumvir und Herrscher des Orients (C. H. Beck, Münich, 1977) ISBN 3 406 06600 3
  • Pelling, C B R: Plutarch, Life of Antony (Cambridge UP, 1988) ISBN 0521240662
  • Paul-Marius Martin, Antoine et Cléopâtre, la fin d'un rêve, Albin Michel, 1990, 287 p.

[edit] External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Gaius Julius Caesar without colleague
Consul of the Roman Republic
first with Gaius Julius Caesar,
then with Publius Cornelius Dolabella (suffectus)

44 BC
Succeeded by
Aulus Hirtius and Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Preceded by
Lucius Cornificius and Sextus Pompeius
Consul of the Roman Republic
first with Lucius Scribonius Libo,
then with Aemilius Lepidus Paullus (suffectus)

34 BC
Succeeded by
Caesar (Octavianus) and Lucius Volcatius Tullus


27BC-14AD Augustus: 3RD ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Augustus Caesar
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Bust of Caesar Augustus.
Reign January 16, 27 BCAugust 19 AD 14
Full name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
Born September 23, 63 BC
Rome, Roman Republic
Died August 19 AD 14 (age 76)
Nola, Italia, Roman Empire
Buried Mausoleum of Augustus
Predecessor Gaius Julius Caesar
Successor Tiberius, stepson by third wife and adoptive son
Consort to 1) Clodia Pulchra ? – 40 BC
2) Scribonia 40 BC – 38 BC
3) Livia Drusilla 38 BC – AD 14
Issue Julia the Elder
Royal House Julio-Claudian
Father Gaius Octavius;
adopted by Julius Caesar
Mother Atia Balba Caesonia

Augustus (Latin: IMPERATOR•CAESAR•DIVI•FILIVS•AVGVSTVS;a[›] September 23, 63 BCAugust 19, AD 14), born Gaius Octavius Thurinus and prior to 27 BC, known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus after adoption (Latin: GAIVS•IVLIVS•CAESAR•OCTAVIANVS), was the first emperor of the Roman Empire, who ruled from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. The young Octavius was adopted by his great uncle, Julius Caesar, and came into his inheritance after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC. The following year, Octavian joined forces with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in a military dictatorship known as the Second Triumvirate. As a Triumvir, Octavian effectually ruled Rome and most of its provinces[1] as an autocrat, seizing consular power after the deaths of the consuls Hirtius and Pansa and having himself perpetually re-elected. The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its rulers: Lepidus was driven into exile, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by the armies of Octavian in 31 BC.

After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Octavian restored the outward facade of the Roman Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, but in practice retained his autocratic power. It took several years to work out the exact framework by which a formally republican state could be led by a sole ruler, the result of which became known as the Roman Empire. The emperorship was never an office like the Roman dictatorship which Caesar and Sulla had held before him; indeed, he declined it when the Roman populace "entreated him to take on the dictatorship".[2] By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including those of tribune, censor, and consul, without being formally elected to either of those (incompatible) offices. His substantive power stemmed from financial success and resources gained in conquest, the building of patronage relationships throughout the Empire, the loyalty of many military soldiers and veterans, the authority of the many honors granted by the Senate,[3] and the respect of the people. Augustus' control over the majority of Rome's legions established an armed threat that could be used against the Senate, allowing him to coerce the Senate's decisions. With his ability to eliminate senatorial opposition by means of arms, the Senate became docile towards his paramount position of leadership.

The rule of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana, or Roman peace. Despite continuous frontier wars, and one year-long civil war over the imperial succession, the Mediterranean world remained at peace for more than two centuries. Augustus expanded the boundaries of the Roman Empire, secured the Empire's borders with client states, and made peace with Parthia through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army (and a small navy), established the Praetorian Guard, and created official police and fire-fighting forces for Rome. Much of the city was rebuilt under Augustus; and he wrote a record of his own accomplishments, known as the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, which has survived. Upon his death in AD 14, Augustus was declared a god by the Senate, to be worshipped by the Romans.[4] His names Augustus and Caesar were adopted by every subsequent emperor, and the month of Sextilis was officially renamed August in his honour. He was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius.



Early life

Roman imperial dynasties
Julio-Claudian dynasty
Natural - Julia the Elder
Adoptive - Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Agrippa Postumus, Tiberius
Natural - Julius Caesar Drusus
Adoptive - Germanicus
Natural - Julia Drusilla
Adoptive - Tiberius Gemellus
Natural - Claudia Antonia, Claudia Octavia, Britannicus
Adoptive - Nero
Natural - Claudia Augusta

While his paternal family was from the town of Velitrae, about 25 miles from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on September 23, 63 BC. He was born at Ox Heads, which was a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum. An astrologer had given a warning to his father. However, his father decided to keep the child despite the warning (rather than leave the child in the open to be eaten by dogs). He was given the name Gaius Octavius.[5] Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavian (at this point he was simply called Gaius) was taken to his father's home village at Velitrae to be raised.

Octavian only mentions his father's family briefly in his memoirs, saying that he "came from a rich old equestrian family". His paternal great-grandfather was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several local political offices. His father, also named Gaius Octavius, had been governor of Macedonia.[6][7] Shortly after Octavius' birth, his father gave him the cognomen of Thurinus, possibly to commemorate his victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves.[8] His mother Atia was the niece of Julius Caesar.

Since Octavius' father was a plebeian, Octavius himself was a plebeian, despite the fact that his mother, who was Julius Caesar's niece, was a patrician.[9] Octavius gained patrician status when he was adopted by Julius Caesar in 44 BC.

In 59 BC, when he was four years old, his father died.[10] His mother married a former governor of Syria, Lucius Marcius Philippus.[11] Philippus claimed descent from Alexander the Great, and was elected consul in 56 BC. Philippus never had much of an interest in young Octavius. Because of this, Octavius was raised by his grandmother (and Julius Caesar's sister), Julia Caesaris.

In 52 or 51 BC, Julia Caesaris died. Octavius delivered the funeral oration for his grandmother.[12] From this point, his mother and step-father took a more active role in raising him. He donned the toga virilis four years later,[13] and was elected to the College of Pontiffs in 47 BC.[14][15] The following year he was put in charge of the Greek games that were staged in honor of the Temple of Venus Genetrix, built by Julius Caesar.[15] According to Nicolaus of Damascus, Octavius wished to join Caesar's staff for his campaign in Africa but gave way when Atia protested.[16] In 46 BC, she consented for him to join Caesar in Hispania, where he planned to fight the forces of Pompey, Caesar's late enemy, but Octavius fell ill and was unable to travel.

When he had recovered, he sailed to the front, but was shipwrecked; after coming ashore with a handful of companions, he made it across hostile territory to Caesar's camp, which impressed his great-uncle considerably.[13] Velleius Paterculus reports that Caesar afterwards allowed the young man to share his carriage.[17] When back in Rome, Caesar deposited a new will with the Vestal Virgins, naming Octavius as the prime beneficiary.[18]

Rise to power

Heir to Caesar

The Death of Caesar, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1867). On March 15, 44 BC, Octavius' adoptive father Julius Caesar was assassinated by a conspiracy led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.
The Death of Caesar, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1867). On March 15, 44 BC, Octavius' adoptive father Julius Caesar was assassinated by a conspiracy led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.

At the time Caesar was killed on the Ides of March (the 15th) 44 BC, Octavius was studying and undergoing military training in Apollonia, Illyria. Rejecting the advice of some army officers to take refuge with the troops in Macedonia, he sailed to Italia to ascertain if he had any potential political fortunes or security.[19] After landing at Lupiae near Brundisium, he learned the contents of Caesar's will, and only then did he decide to become Caesar's political heir as well as heir to two-thirds of his estate.[20][19][15] Having no living legitimate children,[21] Caesar had adopted his great-nephew Octavius as his son and main heir.[22] Owing to his adoption, Octavius assumed the name Gaius Julius Caesar. Roman tradition dictated that he also append the cognomen Octavianus (Octavian) to indicate his biological family. Yet no evidence exists that he ever used that name, as it would have made his modest origins too obvious.[23][24] Mark Antony later charged that Octavian had earned his adoption by Caesar through sexual favours, though Suetonius describes Antony's accusation as political slander.[25]

To make a successful entry into the echelons of the Roman political hierarchy, Octavian could not rely on his limited funds.[26] After a warm welcome by Caesar's soldiers at Brundisium,[27] Octavian demanded a portion of the funds that were allotted by Caesar for the intended war against Parthia in the Middle East.[26] This amounted to 700 million sesterces stored at Brundisium, the staging ground in Italy for military operations in the east.[28] A later senatorial investigation into the disappearance of the public funds made no action against Octavian, since he subsequently used that money to raise troops against the Senate's arch enemy, Mark Antony.[27] Octavian made another bold move in 44 BC when he appropriated the annual tribute that had been sent from Rome's Near Eastern province to Italy without official permission.[24][29] Octavian began to bolster his personal forces with Caesar's veteran legionaries and with troops designated for the Parthian war, gathering support by emphasizing his status as heir to Caesar.[30][19] On his march to Rome through Italy, Octavian's presence and newly-acquired funds attracted many, winning over Caesar's former veterans stationed in Campania.[24] By June he had gathered an army of 3,000 loyal veterans, paying each a salary of 500 denarii.[31][32][33]

20th century drawing of Augustus. From the Augustus of Prima Porta.
20th century drawing of Augustus. From the Augustus of Prima Porta.

Arriving in Rome on May 6, 44 BC,[24] Octavian found the consul Mark Antony, Caesar's former colleague, in an uneasy truce with the dictator's assassins; they had been granted a general amnesty on March 17, yet Antony succeeded in driving most of them out of Rome.[24] This was due to his "inflammatory" eulogy given at Caesar's funeral, mounting public opinion against the assassins.[24] Although Mark Antony was amassing political support, Octavian still had opportunity to rival him as the leading member of the faction supporting Caesar. Mark Antony had lost the support of many Romans and supporters of Caesar when he at first opposed the motion to elevate Caesar to divine status.[34] Octavian failed to persuade Antony to relinquish Caesar's money to him, but managed to win support from Caesarian sympathizers during the summer.[35] In September, the Optimate orator Marcus Tullius Cicero began to attack Antony in a series of speeches, seeing Antony as the greatest threat to the order of the Senate.[36][37] With opinion in Rome turning against him and his year of consular power nearing its end, Antony attempted to pass laws which would lend him control over Cisalpine Gaul, which had been assigned as part of his province, from Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, one of Caesar's assassins.[38][39] Octavian meanwhile built up a private army in Italy by recruiting Caesarian veterans, and on November 28 won over two of Antony's legions with the enticing offer of monetary gain.[40][41][42] With Octavian's large and capable force, Antony saw the danger of staying in Rome, and to the relief of the Senate he fled to Cisalpine Gaul, which was to be handed to him on January 1.[42]

First conflict with Antony

After Decimus Brutus refused to give up Cisalpine Gaul, Antony besieged him at Mutina.[43] The resolutions passed by the Senate to stop the violence were rejected by Antony, as the Senate had no army of its own to challenge him; this provided an opportunity for Octavian, who was already known to have armed forces.[41] Cicero also defended Octavian against Antony's taunts about Octavian's lack of noble lineage; he stated "we have no more brilliant example of traditional piety among our youth."[44] This was in part a rebuttal to Antony's opinion of Octavian, as Cicero quoted Antony saying to Octavian, "You, boy, owe everything to your name".[45][46] In this unlikely alliance orchestrated by the arch anti-Caesarian senator Cicero, the Senate inducted Octavian as senator on January 1, 43 BC, yet he was also given the power to vote alongside the former consuls.[41][42] In addition, Octavian was granted imperium (commanding power), which made his command of troops legal, sending him to relieve the siege along with Hirtius and Pansa (the consuls for 43 BC).[47][41] In April of 43 BC, Antony's forces were defeated at the battles of Forum Gallorum and Mutina, forcing Antony to retreat to Transalpine Gaul. However, both consuls were killed, leaving Octavian in sole command of their armies.[48][49]

After heaping many more rewards on Decimus Brutus than Octavian for defeating Antony, the Senate attempted to give command of the consular legions to Decimus Brutus, yet Octavian decided not to cooperate.[50] Instead, Octavian stayed in the Po Valley and refused to aid any further offensive against Antony.[51] In July, an embassy of centurions sent by Octavian entered Rome and demanded that he receive the consulship left vacant by Hirtius and Pansa.[52] Octavian also demanded that the decree declaring Antony a public enemy should be rescinded.[51] When this was refused, he marched on the city with eight legions.[51] He encountered no military opposition in Rome, and on August 19, 43 BC was elected consul with his relative Quintus Pedius as co-consul.[53][54] Meanwhile, Antony formed an alliance with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another leading Caesarian.[55]

Second Triumvirate

The Roman Revolution

Roman aureus bearing the portraits of Mark Antony (left) and Octavian (right), issued in 41 BC to celebrate the  establishment of the Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in 43 BC. Both sides bear the inscription "III VIR R P C", meaning "One of Three Men for the Regulation of the Republic".
Roman aureus bearing the portraits of Mark Antony (left) and Octavian (right), issued in 41 BC to celebrate the establishment of the Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in 43 BC. Both sides bear the inscription "III VIR R P C", meaning "One of Three Men for the Regulation of the Republic".[56]

In a meeting near Bologna in October of 43 BC, Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus formed a junta called the Second Triumvirate.[57] This explicit arrogation of special powers lasting five years was then supported by law passed by the plebs, unlike the unofficial First Triumvirate formed by Gnaeus Pompey Magnus, Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus.[58][57] The triumvirs then set in motion proscriptions in which 300 senators and 2,000 equites were branded as outlaws and deprived of their property and, for those who failed to escape, their lives.[59] This decree issued by the triumvirate was motivated in part by a need to raise money to pay their troops' salaries for the upcoming conflict against Caesar's assassins, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.[60] Rewards for their arrest gave incentive for Romans to capture those proscribed, while the assets and properties of those arrested were seized by the triumvirs.[59] This measure by the triumvirs went beyond a simple purge of those allied with the assassins. Octavian objected to enacting the proscriptions at first because he wanted to spare the life of his newfound ally Marcus Tullius Cicero (who was to be listed on the proscriptions).[59] However, Antony's hatred of Cicero was unyielding, and Cicero fell victim to the occasion.[59] The death of so many republican senators allowed the triumvirs to fill their positions with their own supporters. This has been called the "Roman revolution" by twentieth-century historians; it had far-reaching implications in that it wiped out the old order and established a sturdy political foundation for the Augustan form of leadership to come.[61]

On January 1 42 BC, the Senate recognised Caesar as a divinity of the Roman state, "Divus Iulius". Octavian was able to further his cause by emphasizing the fact that he was Divi filius, "Son of God".[62] Antony and Octavian then sent 28 legions by sea to face the armies of Brutus and Cassius, who had built their base of power in Greece.[61] After two battles at Philippi in Macedonia in October of 42, the Caesarian army was victorious and Brutus and Cassius committed suicide. Mark Antony would later use the examples of these battles as a means to belittle Octavian, as both battles were decisively won with the use of Antony's forces.[63] In addition to claiming responsibility for both victories, Antony also branded Octavian as a coward for handing over his direct military control to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa instead.[63]

After Philippi, a new territorial arrangement was made among the members of the Second Triumvirate. While Antony would leave Gaul, the provinces of Hispania, and Italia in the hands of Octavian, Antony traveled east to Egypt where he allied himself with Queen Cleopatra VII, the former lover of Julius Caesar and mother of Caesar's infant son, Caesarion. Lepidus was left with the province of Africa, stymied by Antony who conceded Hispania to Octavian instead.[64] Octavian was left to decide where in Italy to settle tens of thousands of veterans of the Macedonian campaign whom the triumvirs had promised to discharge. The tens of thousands who had fought on the republican side with Brutus and Cassius, who could easily ally with a political opponent of Octavian if not appeased, also required land.[64] There was no more government-controlled land to allot as settlements for their soldiers, so Octavian had to choose one of two options: alienating many Roman citizens by confiscating their land, or alienating many Roman soldiers who could mount a considerable opposition against him in the Roman heartland; Octavian chose the former.[65] There were as many as eighteen Roman towns affected by the new settlements, with entire populations driven out or at least given partial evictions.[66]

Rebellion and marriage alliances

A statue of Octavian, c. 30 BC.
A statue of Octavian, c. 30 BC.

Widespread dissatisfaction with Octavian over his soldiers' settlements encouraged many to rally at the side of Lucius Antonius, who was brother of Mark Antony and supported by a majority in the Senate.[66] Meanwhile, Octavian asked for a divorce from Clodia Pulchra, the daughter of Fulvia and her first husband Publius Clodius Pulcher. Claiming that his marriage with Clodia had never been consummated, he returned her to her mother, Mark Antony's wife. Fulvia decided to take action. Together with Lucius Antonius she raised an army in Italy to fight for Antony's rights against Octavian. However, Lucius and Fulvia took a political and martial gamble in opposing Octavian, since the Roman army still depended on the triumvirs for their salaries.[66] Lucius and his allies ended up in a defensive siege at Perusia (modern Perugia), where Octavian forced them into surrender in early 40 BC.[66] Lucius and his army were spared due to his kinship with Antony, the strongman of the East, while Fulvia was exiled to Sicyon.[67] However, Octavian showed no mercy for the mass of allies loyal to Lucius; on March 15, the anniversary of Julius Caesar's assassination, he had 300 Roman senators and equestrians executed for allying with Lucius.[68] Perusia was also pillaged and burned as a warning for others.[67] This bloody event somewhat sullied Octavian's career and was criticized by many, such as the Augustan poet Sextus Propertius.[68]

Sextus Pompeius, son of the first Triumvir and still a renegade general following Caesar's victory over Pompey, was established in Sicily and Sardinia as part of an agreement reached with the Second Triumvirate in 39 BC.[69] Both Antony and Octavian were vying for an alliance with Pompeius, who was ironically a member of the republican party, not the Caesarian faction.[68] Octavian succeeded in a temporary alliance when in 40 BC he married Scribonia, a daughter of Lucius Scribonius Libo who was a follower of Pompeius as well as his father-in-law.[68] Scribonia conceived Octavian's only natural child, Julia, who was born the same day that he divorced Scribonia to marry Livia Drusilla, little more than a year after his marriage.[68]

While in Egypt, Antony had been engaged in an affair with Cleopatra that produced three children, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Aware of his deteriorating relationship with Octavian, Antony left Cleopatra; he sailed to Italy in 40 BC with a large force to oppose Octavian, laying siege to Brundisium. However, this new conflict proved untenable for both Octavian and Antony. Their centurions, who had become important figures politically, refused to fight due to their Caesarian cause, while the legions under their command followed suit.[70][71] Meanwhile in Sicyon, Antony's wife Fulvia died of a sudden illness while Antony was en route to meet her. Fulvia's death and the mutiny of their centurions allowed the two remaining triumvirs to effect a reconciliation.[70][71] In the autumn of 40, Octavian and Antony approved the Treaty of Brundisium, by which Lepidus would remain in Africa, Antony in the East, Octavian in the West. The Italian peninsula was left open to all for the recruitment of soldiers, but in reality, this provision was useless for Antony in the East.[70] To further cement relations of alliance with Mark Anthony, Octavian gave his sibling sister, Octavia Minor, in marriage to Anthony in late 40 BC.[70] During their marriage, Octavia gave birth to two daughters (known as Antonia Major and Antonia Minor).

War with Pompeius

A denarius of Sextus Pompeius, minted for his victory over Octavian's fleet. On the obverse the Pharus of Messina, on the reverse monster Scylla, who defeated Octavian.
A denarius of Sextus Pompeius, minted for his victory over Octavian's fleet. On the obverse the Pharus of Messina, on the reverse monster Scylla, who defeated Octavian.

Sextus Pompeius threatened Octavian in Italy by denying to the peninsula shipments of grain through the Mediterranean; Pompeius' own son was put in charge as naval commander in the effort to cause widespread famine in Italy.[71] Pompeius' control over the sea prompted him to take on the name Neptuni filius, "son of Neptune."[72] A temporary peace agreement was reached in 39 with the treaty of Misenum; the blockade on Italy was lifted once Octavian granted Pompeius Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, the Peloponnese, and an ensured future position as consul for the year 35.[72][71] The territorial agreement amongst the triumvirs and Sextus Pompeius began to crumble once Octavian divorced Scribonia and married Livia on January 17, 38 BC.[73] One of Pompeius' naval commanders betrayed him and handed over Corsica and Sardinia to Octavian; however, Octavian needed Antony's support to attack Pompeius, so an agreement was reached with the Second Triumvirate's extension for another five-year period beginning in 37.[74][75] Antony in supporting Octavian expected to gain support for his own campaign against Parthia, desiring to avenge Rome's defeat at Carrhae in 53.[75] In an agreement reached at Tarentum, Antony provided 120 ships for Octavian to use against Pompeius, while Octavian was to send 20,000 legionaries to Antony for use against Parthia.[76] However, Octavian sent only a tenth the number of those promised, an intentional provocation that Antony would not forget six years later when they faced each other in battle.[76]

Octavian and Lepidus launched a joint operation against Sextus in Sicily in 36.[77] Despite setbacks for Octavian, the naval fleet of Sextus Pompeius was almost entirely destroyed on September 3, 36 BC by general Agrippa at the naval battle of Naulochus.[78] Sextus fled with his remaining forces to the east, where he was captured and executed in Miletus by one of Antony's generals the following year.[78] Both Lepidus and Octavian gathered the surrendered troops of Pompeius, yet Lepidus felt empowered enough to claim Sicily for himself, ordering Octavian to leave.[78] However, Lepidus' troops deserted him and defected to Octavian since they were weary of fighting and found Octavian's promises of money to be enticing.[78] Lepidus surrendered to Octavian and was permitted to retain the office of pontifex maximus (head of the college of priests), but was ejected from the Triumvirate, his public career at an end, and was effectively exiled to a villa at Cape Circei in Italy.[79][78] The Roman dominions were now divided between Octavian in the West and Antony in the East. To maintain peace and stability in his portion of the Empire, Octavian ensured Rome's citizens of their rights to property. This time he settled his discharged soldiers outside of Italy while returning 30,000 slaves to former Roman owners that had previously fled to Pompeius to join his army and navy.[80] To ensure his own safety and that of Livia and Octavia once he returned to Rome, Octavian had the Senate grant him, his wife, and his sister tribunal immunity, or sacrosanctitas.[81]

War with Antony

Anthony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
Anthony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Meanwhile, Antony's campaign against Parthia turned disastrous, tarnishing his image as a leader, while the mere 2,000 legionaries sent by Octavia to Antony was hardly enough to replenish his forces.[82] On the other hand, Cleopatra could restore his army to full strength, and since he was already engaged in a romantic affair with her, he decided to send Octavia back to Rome.[83] Although Antony had the interests of rebuilding his military in mind, this act played right into the hands of Octavian, who spread propaganda implying that Antony was becoming less than Roman because he rejected a legitimate Roman spouse for an "Oriental paramour".[84] In 36 BC, Octavian used a political ploy to make himself look less autocratic and Antony more the villain by proclaiming that the civil wars were coming to an end, and that he would step down as triumvir if only Antony would do the same; Antony refused.[85] After Roman troops captured Armenia in 34 BC, Antony made his son Alexander Helios the ruler of Armenia; he also awarded the title "Queen of Kings" to Cleopatra, acts which Octavian used to convince the Roman Senate that Antony had ambitions to diminish the preeminence of Rome.[84] When Octavian became consul once again on January 1, 33 BC, he opened the following session in the Senate with a vehement attack on Antony's grants of titles and territories to his relatives and to his queen.[86] Defecting consuls and senators rushed over to the side of Antony in disbelief of the propaganda (which turned out to be true), yet so did able ministers desert Antony for Octavian in the autumn of 32 BC.[87] These defectors, Munatius Plancus and Marcus Titius, gave Octavian the information he needed to confirm with the Senate all the accusations he made against Antony.[88] By storming the sanctuary of the Vestal Virgins, Octavian forced their chief priestess to hand over Antony's secret will, which would have given away Roman-conquered territories as kingdoms for his sons to rule, alongside plans to build a tomb in Alexandria for him and his queen to reside upon their deaths.[89][90] In late 32 BC, the Senate officially revoked Antony's powers as consul and declared war on Cleopatra's regime in Egypt.[91][92]

The Battle of Actium, by Lorenzo Castro, painted 1672, National Maritime Museum, London.
The Battle of Actium, by Lorenzo Castro, painted 1672, National Maritime Museum, London.

Octavian gained a preliminary victory in early 31 BC when the navy under command of Agrippa successfully ferried their troops across the Adriatic Sea.[93] While Agrippa cut off Antony and Cleopatra's main force from their supply routes at sea, Octavian landed on the mainland opposite the island of Corcyra (modern Corfu) and marched south.[93] Trapped on land and sea, deserters of Antony's army fled to Octavian's side daily while Octavian's forces were comfortable enough to make preparations.[93] In a desperate attempt to break free of the naval blockade, Antony's fleet sailed through the bay of Actium on the western coast of Greece. It was there that Antony's fleet faced the much larger fleet of smaller, more maneuverable ships under commanders Agrippa and Gaius Sosius in the battle of Actium on September 2, 31 BC.[94] Antony and his remaining forces were only spared due to a last-ditch effort by Cleopatra's fleet that had been waiting nearby.[95] Octavian pursued them, and after another defeat in Alexandria on August 1, 30 BC, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide; Antony fell on his own sword and into Cleopatra's arms, while she let a poisonous snake bite her.[96] Having exploited his position as Caesar's heir to further his own political career Octavian was only too well aware of the dangers in allowing another to do so and, reportedly commenting that "two Caesars are one too many", he ordered Caesarion to be killed whilst sparing Cleopatra's children by Antony.[97][98]

Although his methods were cruel, it was Mark Antony who flaunted the child as the legitimate heir of the deified Julius Caesar, hence weakening the credibility of Octavian to hold that entitlement legitimately.[99] Octavian had previously shown little mercy to military combatants and acted in ways that had proven unpopular with the Roman people, yet he was given credit for pardoning many of his opponents after the Battle of Actium.[100]

Octavian becomes Augustus

After Actium and the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian was in a position to rule the entire Republic under an unofficial principate.[101] However, Octavian would have to achieve this through incremental gaining of power, courting the Senate and people, while upholding republican traditions of Rome to appear that he was not aiming for dictatorship or monarchy.[102][103] Marching into Rome, Octavian and Marcus Agrippa were elected as dual consuls by the Senate.[104] Years of civil war had left Rome in a state of near-lawlessness, but the Republic was not prepared to accept the control of Octavian as a despot. At the same time, Octavian could not simply give up his authority without risking further civil wars amongst the Roman generals, and even if he desired no position of authority whatsoever, his position demanded that he look to the well-being of the city of Rome and the Roman provinces. Octavian's aims from this point forward were to return Rome to a state of stability, traditional legality, and civility by lifting the overt political pressure imposed upon the courts of law and ensuring free elections, in name at least.[105]

First settlement

Augustus as a magistrate; the statue's marble head was made c. 30–20 BC, the body sculpted in the 2nd century AD.
Augustus as a magistrate; the statue's marble head was made c. 30–20 BC, the body sculpted in the 2nd century AD.

In 27 BC, Octavian formally returned full power to the Roman Senate and relinquished his control of the Roman provinces and their armies.[104] However, under the consulship of Octavian, the Senate had little power in initiating legislation by introducing bills for senatorial debate.[104] Although Octavian was no longer in direct control of the provinces and their armies, he retained the loyalty of active duty soldiers and veterans alike.[104] The careers of many clients and adherents depended on his patronage, as his financial power in the Roman Republic was unrivaled.[104] The historian Werner Eck states of Augustus:

The sum of his power derived first of all from various powers of office delegated to him by the Senate and people, secondly from his immense private fortune, and thirdly from numerous patron-client relationships he established with individuals and groups throughout the Empire. All of them taken together formed the basis of his auctoritas, which he himself emphasized as the foundation of his political actions.[106]

To a large extent, the public was aware of the vast financial resources Augustus commanded. When Augustus failed to encourage enough senators to finance the building and maintenance of networks of roads in Italy, he took over direct responsibility of building roads in 20 BC.[107] His construction of roads was publicized on the Roman currency issued in 16 BC, after he donated vast amounts of money to the aerarium Saturni, the public treasury.[107]

According to Scullard, however, Augustus' power was based on the exercise of "…a predominant military power and that the ultimate sanction of his authority was force, however much the fact was disguised."[108]

The Senate proposed to Octavian, the cherished victor of Rome's civil wars, to once again assume command of the provinces. The senate proposal was a ratification of Octavian's extra-constitutional power. Through the senate, Octavian was able to continue the appearance of a still-functional constitution of the Roman Republic. Whilst putting on the appearance of reluctance he accepted a ten year responsibility of overseeing provinces that were considered to be in a somewhat chaotic state.[109][110] The provinces ceded to him to pacify within the promised ten year period comprised much of the conquered Roman world, including all of Hispania and Gaul, Syria, Cilicia, Cyprus, and Egypt.[109][111] Moreover, command over these provinces provided Octavian with control over the majority of Rome's legions.[111][112] While Octavian acted as consul in Rome, he dispatched senators to the provinces under his command as his representatives to manage provincial affairs and ensure his orders were carried out.[112] On the other hand, the provinces not under Octavian's control were overseen by governors chosen by the Roman Senate.[112] Octavian became the most powerful political figure in the city of Rome and in most of its provinces, yet he did not have a sole monopoly on political and martial power.[113] The Senate still controlled North Africa, an important regional producer of grain, as well as Illyria and Macedonia, two martially strategic regions with several legions.[113] However, with control of only five or six legions distributed amongst three senatorial proconsuls, compared to the 20 legions under the control of Augustus, the Senate's control of these regions did not amount to any political or martial challenge to Octavian.[102][114] The Senate's control over some of the Roman provinces helped maintain a republican facade for the autocratic Principate.[102] Also, Octavian's control of entire provinces for the objective of securing peace and creating stability followed a Republican era precedence, with prominent Romans such as Pompey being granted similar military powers in times of crisis and instability.[102]

Bust of Augustus, wearing the Civic Crown. Glyptothek, Munich.
Bust of Augustus, wearing the Civic Crown. Glyptothek, Munich.

In January of 27 BC, the Senate gave Octavian the new titles of Augustus and Princeps.[115] Augustus, from the Latin word Augere (meaning to increase), can be translated as "the illustrious one".[100] It was a title of religious rather than political authority.[100] According to Roman religious beliefs, the title symbolized a stamp of authority over humanity—and in fact nature—that went beyond any constitutional definition of his status. After the harsh methods employed in consolidating his control, the change in name would also serve to demarcate his benign reign as Augustus from his reign of terror as Octavian. His new title of Augustus was also more favorable than Romulus, the previous one he styled for himself in reference to the story of Romulus and Remus (founders of Rome), which would symbolize a second founding of Rome.[100] However, the title of Romulus was associated too strongly with notions of monarchy and kingship, an image Octavian tried to avoid.[100] Princeps, comes from the Latin phrase primum caput, "the first head", originally meaning the oldest or most distinguished senator whose name would appear first on the senatorial roster; in the case of Augustus it became an almost regnal title for a leader who was first in charge.[116][3] Princeps had also been a title under the Republic for those who had served the state well; for example, Pompey had held the title. Augustus also styled himself as Imperator Caesar divi filius, "Commander Caesar son of the deified one".[115] With this title he not only boasted his familial link to deified Julius Caesar, but the use of Imperator signified a permanent link to the Roman tradition of victory.[115] The word Caesar was merely a cognomen for one branch of the Julian family, yet Augustus transformed Caesar into a new family line that began with him.[115]

Augustus was granted the right to hang the corona civica, the "civic crown" made from oak, above his door and have laurels drape his doorposts.[113] This crown was usually held above the head of a Roman general during a triumph, with the individual holding the crown charged to continually repeat "memento mori", or, "Remember, you are mortal", to the triumphant general. Additionally, laurel wreaths were important in several state ceremonies, and crowns of laurel were rewarded to champions of athletic, racing, and dramatic contests. Thus, both the laurel and the oak were integral symbols of Roman religion and statecraft; placing them on Augustus's doorposts was tantamount to declaring his home the capital. However, Augustus renounced flaunting insignia of power such as holding a scepter, wearing a diadem, or wearing the golden crown and purple toga of his predecessor Julius Caesar.[117] If he refused to symbolize his power by donning and bearing these items on his person, the Senate nonetheless awarded him with a golden shield displayed in the meeting hall of the Curia, bearing the inscription virtus, pietas, clementia, iustitia—"valor, piety, clemency, and justice."[113][3]

Second settlement

Portrait of Augustus wearing a gorgoneion on a three layered sardonyx cameo, AD 14–20.
Portrait of Augustus wearing a gorgoneion on a three layered sardonyx cameo, AD 14–20.

In 23 BC, there was a political crisis that involved Augustus' co-consul Terentius Varro Murena, who was part of a conspiracy against Augustus. The exact details of the conspiracy are unknown, yet Murena did not serve a full term as consul before Calpurnius Piso was elected to replace him.[118][119] Piso was a well known member of the republican faction, and serving as co-consul with him was another means by Augustus to show his willingness to make concessions and cooperate with all political parties.[120] In the late spring Augustus suffered a severe illness, and on his supposed deathbed made arrangements that would put in doubt the senators' suspicions of his anti-republicanism.[118][121] Augustus prepared to hand down his signet ring to his favored general Agrippa.[118][121] However, Augustus handed over to his co-consul Piso all of his official documents, an account of public finances, and authority over listed troops in the provinces while Augustus' supposedly favored nephew Marcus Claudius Marcellus came away empty-handed.[118][121] This was a surprise to many who believed Augustus would have named an heir to his position as an unofficial emperor.[122] Augustus bestowed only properties and possessions to his designated heirs, as a system of institutionalized imperial inheritance would have provoked resistance and hostility amongst the republican-minded Romans fearful of monarchy.[103]

Soon after his bout of illness subsided, Augustus gave up his permanent consulship.[121] The only other times Augustus would serve as consul would be in the years 5 and 2 BC.[121][123] Although he had resigned as consul, Augustus retained his consular imperium, leading to a second compromise between him and the Senate known as the Second Settlement.[124] This was a clever ploy by Augustus; by stepping down as one of two consuls, this allowed aspiring senators a better chance to fill that position, while at the same time Augustus could "exercise wider patronage within the senatorial class."[125] Augustus was no longer in an official position to rule the state, yet his dominant position over the Roman provinces remained unchanged as he became a proconsul.[121][126] As an earlier consul he had the power to intervene, when he deemed necessary, with the affairs of provincial proconsuls appointed by the Senate.[127] As a proconsul Augustus did not want this authority of overriding provincial governors to be stripped from him, so imperium proconsulare maius, or "power over all the proconsuls" was granted to Augustus by the Senate.[124]

Augustus was also granted the power of a tribune (tribunicia potestas) for life, though not the official title of tribune.[124] Legally it was closed to patricians, a status that Augustus had acquired years ago when adopted by Julius Caesar.[125] This allowed him to convene the Senate and people at will and lay business before it, veto the actions of either the Assembly or the Senate, preside over elections, and the right to speak first at any meeting.[123][128] Also included in Augustus' tribunician authority were powers usually reserved for the Roman censor; these included the right to supervise public morals and scrutinize laws to ensure they were in the public interest, as well as the ability to hold a census and determine the membership of the Senate.[129] With the powers of a censor, Augustus appealed to virtues of Roman patriotism by banning all other attire besides the classic toga while entering the Forum.[130] There was no precedent within the Roman system for combining the powers of the tribune and the censor into a single position, nor was Augustus ever elected to the office of censor.[131] Julius Caesar had been granted similar powers, wherein he was charged with supervising the morals of the state, however this position did not extend to the censor's ability to hold a census and determine the Senate's roster. The office of the tribune plebis began to lose its prestige due to Augustus' amassing of tribunal powers, so he revived its importance by making it a mandatory appointment for any plebeian desiring the praetorship.[132]

In addition to tribunician authority, Augustus was granted sole imperium within the city of Rome itself: all armed forces in the city, formerly under the control of the prefects and consuls, were now under the sole authority of Augustus.[133] With maius imperium proconsulare, Augustus was the only individual able to receive a triumph as he was ostensibly the head of every Roman army.[134] In 19 BC, Lucius Cornelius Balbus, governor of Africa who defeated the Garamantes, was the first man of provincial origin to receive this award, as well as the last.[134] For every following Roman victory the credit was given to Augustus, due to the fact that Rome's armies were commanded by the legatus, who were deputies of the princeps in the provinces.[134] Augustus' eldest son by marriage to Livia, Tiberius, was the only exception to this rule when he received a triumph for victories in Germania in 7 BC.[135] Ensuring that his status of maius imperium proconsulare was renewed in 13 BC, Augustus stayed in Rome during the renewal process and provided veterans with lavish donations to gain their support.[123]

Many of the political subtleties of the Second Settlement seem to have evaded the comprehension of the Plebeian class. When Augustus failed to stand for election as consul in 22 BC, fears arose once again that Augustus was being forced from power by the aristocratic Senate. In 22, 21, and 19 BC, the people rioted in response, and only allowed a single consul to be elected for each of those years, ostensibly to leave the other position open for Augustus.[136] In 22 BC there was a food shortage in Rome which sparked panic, while many urban plebs called for Augustus to take on dictatorial powers to personally oversee the crisis.[123] After a theatrical display of refusal before the Senate, Augustus finally accepted authority over Rome's grain supply "by virtue of his proconsular imperium", and ended the crisis almost immediately.[123] It was not until AD 8 that a food crisis of this sort prompted Augustus to establish a praefectus annonae, a permanent prefect who was in charge of procuring food supplies for Rome.[137] In 19 BC, the Senate voted to allow Augustus to wear the consul's insignia in public and before the Senate,[133] as well as sit in the symbolic chair between the two consuls and hold the fasces, an emblem of consular authority.[138] Like his tribune authority, the granting of consular powers to him was another instance of holding power of offices he did not actually hold.[138] This seems to have assuaged the populace; regardless of whether or not Augustus was actually a consul, the importance was that he appeared as one before the people. On March 6, 12 BC, after the death of Lepidus, he additionally took up the position of pontifex maximus, the high priest of the collegium of the Pontifices, the most important position in Roman religion.[139][140] On February 5, 2 BC, Augustus was also given the title pater patriae, or "father of the country".[141][142]

Later Roman Emperors would generally be limited to the powers and titles originally granted to Augustus, though often, to display humility, newly-appointed Emperors would often decline one or more of the honorifics given to Augustus. Just as often, as their reign progressed, Emperors would appropriate all of the titles, regardless of whether they had actually been granted them by the Senate. The civic crown, which later Emperors took to actually wearing, consular insignia, and later the purple robes of a Triumphant general (toga picta) became the imperial insignia well into the Byzantine era.

War and expansion under Augustus

Extent of the Roman Empire under Augustus; the yellow legend represents the extent of the Empire in 31 BC, the shades of green represent gradually conquered territories under the reign of Augustus, and pink areas on the map represent client states.
Extent of the Roman Empire under Augustus; the yellow legend represents the extent of the Empire in 31 BC, the shades of green represent gradually conquered territories under the reign of Augustus, and pink areas on the map represent client states.
Further information: Roman relations with the Parthians and Sassanids

Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus chose Imperator, "victorious commander" to be his first name, since he wanted to make the notion of victory associated with him emphatically clear.[143] By the year 13, Augustus boasted 21 occasions where his troops proclaimed imperator as his title after a successful battle.[143] Almost the entire fourth chapter in his publicly-released memoirs of achievements known as the Res Gestae was devoted to his military victories and honors.[143] Pandering to Roman patriots, Augustus promoted the ideal of a superior Roman civilization with a task of ruling the world (the extent to which the Romans knew it), embodied in the phrase tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento—"Roman, remember by your strength to rule the earth's peoples!"[130] This fit well with the Roman elite and the wider public opinion of the day which favored expansionism, reflected in a statement by the famous Roman poet Virgil who said that the gods had granted Rome imperium sine fine, "sovereignty without limit".[144] There was public disappointment and regret for not avenging Crassus' captured battle standards when Augustus decided that the Middle Eastern power of Parthia should not be invaded.[145] However, there were many other viable lands to be conquered.

Bust of Tiberius, a successful military commander under Augustus before he was designated as his heir and successor.
Bust of Tiberius, a successful military commander under Augustus before he was designated as his heir and successor.

By the end of his reign, the armies of Augustus had conquered northern Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal),[146] the Alpine regions of Raetia and Noricum (modern Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria, Slovenia),[146] Illyricum and Pannonia (modern Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, etc.),[146] and extended the borders of the Africa Province to the east and south.[146] After the reign of the client king Herod the Great (73–4 BC), Judea was added to the province of Syria when Augustus deposed his successor Herod Archelaus.[146] Like Egypt which had been conquered after the defeat of Antony in 30 BC, Syria was governed not by a proconsul or legate of Augustus, but a high prefect of the equestrian class.[146] Again, no military effort was needed in 25 BC when Galatia (modern Turkey) was converted to a Roman province shortly after Amyntas of Galatia was killed by an avenging widow of a slain prince from Homonada.[146] When the rebellious tribes of Cantabria in modern-day Spain were finally quelled in 19 BC, the territory fell under the provinces of Hispania and Lusitania.[147] This region proved to be a major asset in funding Augustus' future military campaigns, as it was rich in mineral deposits that could be fostered in Roman mining projects.[147] Conquering the peoples of the Alps in 16 BC was another important victory for Rome since it provided a large territorial buffer between the Roman citizens of Italy and Rome's enemies in Germania to the north.[148] The poet Horace dedicated an ode to the victory, while the monument Trophy of Augustus near Monaco was built to honor the occasion.[149] The capture of the Alpine region also served the next offensive in 12 BC, when Tiberius began the offensive against the Pannonian tribes of Illyricum and his brother Nero Claudius Drusus against the Germanic tribes of the eastern Rhineland.[150] Both campaigns were successful, as Drusus' forces reached the Elbe River by 9 BC, yet he died shortly after by falling off his horse.[150] It was recorded that the pious Tiberius walked in front of his brother's body all the way back to Rome.[151]

To protect the eastern areas of the Empire from the Parthian threat, Augustus relied on the client states of the east to act as territorial buffers and areas which could raise their own troops for defense.[152] To ensure security of the Empire's eastern flank, Augustus stationed a Roman army in Syria just in case, while his skilled stepson Tiberius negotiated with the Parthians as Rome's diplomat to the East.[152] One of Tiberius' greatest diplomatic achievements was negotiating for the return of Crassus' battle standards, a symbolic victory and great boost of morale for Rome.[152][151] Tiberius was also responsible for restoring Tigranes V to the throne of Armenia.[151]

Although Parthia always posed a threat to Rome in the east, the real battlefront was along the Rhine and Danube rivers.[152] Before the final fight with Antony, Octavian's campaigns against the tribes in Dalmatia was the first step in expanding Roman dominions to the Danube.[153] Victory in battle was not always a permanent success, as newly conquered territories were constantly retaken by Rome's enemies in Germania.[152] A prime example of Roman loss in battle was the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, where three out of nine legions led by Publius Quinctilius Varus were destroyed with few survivors by Arminius, leader of the Cherusci.[154] Augustus retaliated by dispatching Tiberius and Drusus to the Rhineland to pacify it, which was a huge success in AD 13.[155][156] The Roman general Germanicus took advantage of a Cherusci civil war between Arminius and Segestes; they defeated Arminius, who fled that battle but was killed later in 19 due to treachery.[157]

Death and succession

Roman aureus struck under Augustus, c. AD 13–14. The reverse shows Tiberius riding on a quadriga, celebrating the fifteenth renewal of his tribunician power. At least six potential heirs, including Agrippa and his sons, had expired or proven incapable of succeeding Augustus, before he finally settled on Tiberius in AD 9.
Roman aureus struck under Augustus, c. AD 13–14. The reverse shows Tiberius riding on a quadriga, celebrating the fifteenth renewal of his tribunician power. At least six potential heirs, including Agrippa and his sons, had expired or proven incapable of succeeding Augustus, before he finally settled on Tiberius in AD 9.

The illness of Augustus in 23 BC brought the problem of succession to the forefront of political issues and the public. To ensure stability, he needed to designate an heir to his unique position in Roman society and government. This was to be achieved in small, undramatic, and incremental ways that did not stir senatorial fears of monarchy.[158] If someone was to succeed his unofficial position of power, they were going to have to earn it through their own publicly-known merits.[158] Some Augustan historians argue that indications pointed toward his sister's son Marcellus, who had been quickly married to Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder.[159] Other historians dispute this due to Augustus' will read aloud to the Senate while he was seriously ill in 23 BC,[160] instead indicating a preference for Marcus Agrippa, who was Augustus' second in charge and arguably the only one of his associates who could have controlled the legions and held the Empire together.[161] After the death of Marcellus in 23 BC, Augustus married his daughter to Agrippa. This union produced five children, three sons and two daughters: Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Vipsania Julia, Agrippina the Elder, and Postumus Agrippa, so named because he was born after Marcus Agrippa died. Shortly after the Second Settlement, Agrippa was granted a five-year term of administering the eastern half of the Empire with the imperium of a proconsul and the same tribunicia potestas granted to Augustus (although not trumping Augustus' authority), his seat of governance stationed at Samos in the Cyclades.[162][161] Although this granting of power would have shown Augustus' favor for Agrippa, it was also a measure to please members of his Caesarian party by allowing one of their members to share a considerable amount of power with him.[162]

Augustus' intent to make Gaius and Lucius Caesar his heirs was apparent when he adopted them as his own children, and personally ushered them into their political careers by serving as consul with each in 5 and 2 BC.[121] Augustus also showed favor to his stepsons, Livia's children from her first marriage, Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus and Tiberius Claudius, granting them military commands and public office, and seeming to favor Drusus. However, Drusus' marriage to Antonia, Augustus' niece, was a relationship far too embedded within the family to disturb over succession issues.[163] After Agrippa died in 12 BC, Livia's son Tiberius was ordered to divorce his own wife Vipsania and marry Agrippa's widow, Augustus' daughter Julia—as soon as a period of mourning for Agrippa had ended.[163] While Drusus' marriage to Antonia was considered an unbreakable affair, Vipsania was "only" the daughter of the late Agrippa from his first marriage.[163]

Tiberius shared in Augustus' tribune powers as of 6 BC, but shortly thereafter went into retirement, reportedly wanting no further role in politics while he exiled himself to Rhodes.[135][164] Although no specific reason is known for his departure, it could have been a culmination of reasons, including a failing marriage with Julia.[135][164] It could very well have been from feelings of jealousy and being left out since Augustus' young grandchildren-turned-sons, Gaius and Lucius, joined the college of priests at an early age, were presented to spectators in a more favorable light, and were introduced to the army in Gaul.[165][166] After the early deaths of both Lucius and Gaius in AD 2 and 4 respectively, and the earlier death of his brother Drusus (9 BC), Tiberius was recalled to Rome in June AD 4, where he was adopted by Augustus on the condition that he, in turn, adopt his nephew Germanicus.[167] This continued the tradition of presenting at least two generations of heirs.[163] In that year, Tiberius was also granted the powers of a tribune and proconsul, emissaries from foreign kings had to pay their respects to him, and by 13 was awarded with his second triumph and equal level of imperium with that of Augustus.[168] The only other possible claimant as heir was Postumus Agrippa, who had been exiled by Augustus in AD 7, his banishment made permanent by senatorial decree, and Augustus officially disowned him.[169] He certainly fell out of Augustus' favor as an heir; historian Erich S. Gruen notes various contemporary sources that state Postumus Agrippa was a "vulgar young man, brutal and brutish, and of depraved character."[169]

On August 19 AD 14, Augustus died while visiting the place of his father's death at Nola, and Tiberius—who was present alongside Livia at Augustus' deathbed—was named his heir.[170] Augustus' famous last words were, "Did you like the performance?"—referring to the play-acting and regal authority that he had put on as emperor. An enormous funerary procession of mourners traveled with Augustus' body from Nola to Rome, and on the day of his burial all public and private businesses closed for the day.[170] Tiberius and his son Drusus delivered the eulogy while standing atop two rostra.[4] Augustus' body inside a coffin was cremated on a pyre close to his mausoleum, and it was proclaimed that Augustus joined the company of the gods as a member of the Roman pantheon.[4] In 410 during the Sack of Rome the mausolem was despoiled by the Goths and his ashes scattered.

Augustus' legacy

Further information: Augustus in popular culture

Augustus' reign laid the foundations of a regime that lasted hundreds of years until the ultimate decline of the Roman Empire. Both his borrowed surname, Caesar, and his title Augustus became the permanent titles of the rulers of Roman Empire for fourteen centuries after his death, in use both at Old Rome and New Rome. In many languages, caesar became the word for emperor, as in the German Kaiser and in the Bulgarian and subsequently Russian Tsar. The cult of Divus Augustus continued until the state religion of the Empire was changed to Christianity in 391 by Theodosius I. Consequently, there are many excellent statues and busts of the first emperor. He had composed an account of his achievements, the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, to be inscribed in bronze in front of his mausoleum.[171] Copies of the text were inscribed throughout the Empire upon his death.[172] The inscriptions in Latin featured translations in Greek beside it, and were inscribed on many public edifices, such as the temple in Ankara dubbed the Monumentum Ancyranum, called the "queen of inscriptions" by historian Theodor Mommsen.[173] There are a few other written works by Augustus that have not survived. This includes his poems Sicily, Epiphanus, and Ajax, an autobiography of 13 books, a philosophical treatise, and his written rebuttal to Brutus' Eulogy of Cato.[174]

Many consider Augustus to be Rome's greatest emperor; his policies certainly extended the Empire's life span and initiated the celebrated Pax Romana or Pax Augusta. He was intelligent, decisive, and a shrewd politician, but he was not perhaps as charismatic as Julius Caesar, and was influenced on occasion by his third wife, Livia (sometimes for the worse). Nevertheless, his legacy proved more enduring. The city of Rome was utterly transformed under Augustus, with Rome's first institutionalized police force, fire fighting force, and the establishment of the municipal prefect as a permanent office.[175] The police force was divided into cohorts of 500 men each, while the units of firemen ranged from 500 to 1,000 men each, with 7 units assigned to 14 divided city sectors.[175] A praefectus vigilum, or "Prefect of the Watch" was put in charge of the vigiles, Rome's fire brigade and police.[176] With Rome's civil wars at an end, Augustus was also able to create a standing army for the Roman Empire, fixed at a size of 28 legions of about 170,000 soldiers.[177] This was supported by numerous auxiliary units of 500 soldiers each, often recruited from recently conquered areas.[178] With his finances securing the maintenance of roads throughout Italy, Augustus also installed an official courier system of relay stations overseen by a military officer known as the praefectus vehiculorum.[179] Besides the advent of swifter communication amongst Italian polities, his extensive building of roads throughout Italy also allowed Rome's armies to march swiftly and at an unprecedented pace across the country.[180] In the year 6 Augustus established the aerarium militare, donating 170 million sesterces to the new military treasury that provided for both active and retired soldiers.[181] One of the most lasting institutions of Augustus was the establishment of the Praetorian Guard in 27 BC, originally a personal bodyguard unit on the battlefield that evolved into an imperial guard as well as an important political force in Rome.[182] They had the power to intimidate the Senate, install new emperors, and depose ones they disliked; the last emperor they served was Maxentius, as it was Constantine I who disbanded them in the early 4th century and destroyed their barracks, the Castra Praetoria.[183]

Augustus in an Egyptian-style depiction, a stone carving of the Kalabsha Temple in Nubia.
Augustus in an Egyptian-style depiction, a stone carving of the Kalabsha Temple in Nubia.

Although the most powerful individual in the Roman Empire, Augustus wished to embody the spirit of Republican virtue and norms. He also wanted to relate to and connect with the concerns of the plebs and lay people. He achieved this through various means of generosity and a cutting back of lavish excess. In the year 29 BC, Augustus paid 400 sesterces each to 250,000 citizens, 1,000 sesterces each to 120,000 veterans in the colonies, and spent 700 million sesterces in purchasing land for his soldiers to settle upon.[184] He also restored 82 different temples to display his care for the Roman pantheon of deities.[184] In 28 BC, he melted down 80 silver statues erected in his likeness and in honor of him, an attempt of his to appear frugal and modest.[184]

The longevity of Augustus' reign and its legacy to the Roman world should not be overlooked as a key factor in its success. As Tacitus wrote, the younger generations alive in AD 14 had never known any form of government other than the Principate.[185] Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters might have turned out differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican oligarchy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a de facto monarchy in these years. Augustus' own experience, his patience, his tact, and his political acumen also played their parts. He directed the future of the Empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus' ultimate legacy was the peace and prosperity the Empire enjoyed for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor. Every emperor of Rome adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, which gradually lost its character as a name and eventually became a title.[4]

Revenue reforms

Coin of Augustus found at the Pudukottai hoard, from an ancient Tamil country, Pandyan Kingdom of present day Tamil Nadu in India. British Museum.
Coin of Augustus found at the Pudukottai hoard, from an ancient Tamil country, Pandyan Kingdom of present day Tamil Nadu in India. British Museum.
Indian imitation of a coin of Augustus. 1st century. British Museum.
Indian imitation of a coin of Augustus. 1st century. British Museum.
Coin of the Himyarite Kingdom, southern coast of the Arabian peninsula. This is also an imitation of a coin of Augustus. 1st century.
Coin of the Himyarite Kingdom, southern coast of the Arabian peninsula. This is also an imitation of a coin of Augustus. 1st century.

Augustus's public revenue reforms had a great impact on the subsequent success of the Empire. Augustus brought a far greater portion of the Empire's expanded land base under consistent, direct taxation from Rome, instead of exacting varying, intermittent, and somewhat arbitrary tributes from each local province as Augustus's predecessors had done.[186] This reform greatly increased Rome's net revenue from its territorial acquisitions, stabilized its flow, and regularized the financial relationship between Rome and the provinces, rather than provoking fresh resentments with each new arbitrary exaction of tribute.[186] The measures of taxation in the reign of Augustus were determined by population census, with fixed quotas for each province.[187] Citizens of Rome and Italy paid indirect taxes, while direct taxes were exacted from the provinces.[187] Indirect taxes included a 4% tax on the price of slaves, a 1% tax on goods sold at auction, and a 5% tax on the inheritance of estates valued at over 100,000 sesterces by persons other than the next of kin.[187]

An equally important reform was the abolition of private tax farming, which was replaced by salaried civil service tax collectors. Private contractors that raised taxes had been the norm in the Republican era, and some had grown powerful enough to influence the amount of votes for politicians in Rome.[186] The tax farmers had gained great infamy for their depredations, as well as great private wealth, by winning the right to tax local areas.[186] Rome's revenue was the amount of the successful bids, and the tax farmers' profits consisted of any additional amounts they could forcibly wring from the populace with Rome's blessing. Lack of effective supervision, combined with tax farmers' desire to maximize their profits, had produced a system of arbitrary exactions that was often barbarously cruel to taxpayers, widely (and accurately) perceived as unfair, and very harmful to investment and the economy.

The use of Egypt's immense land rents to finance the Empire's operations resulted from Augustus's conquest of Egypt and the shift to a Roman form of government.[188] As it was effectively considered Augustus's private property rather than a province of the Empire, it became part of each succeeding emperor's patrimonium.[189] Instead of a legate or proconsul, Augustus installed a prefect from the equestrian class to administer Egypt and maintain its lucrative seaports; this position became the highest political achievement for any equestrian besides becoming Prefect of the Praetorian Guard.[190] The highly productive agricultural land of Egypt yielded enormous revenues that were available to Augustus and his successors to pay for public works and military expeditions,[188] as well as bread and circuses for the population of Rome.

Month of August

The month of August (Latin: Augustus) is named after Augustus; until his time it was called Sextilis (named so because it had been the sixth month of the original Roman calendar and the Latin word for six was sex). Commonly-repeated lore has it that August has 31 days because Augustus wanted his month to match the length of Julius Caesar's July, but this is an invention of the 13th century scholar Johannes de Sacrobosco. Sextilis in fact had 31 days before it was renamed, and it was not chosen for its length (see Julian calendar). According to a senatus consultum quoted by Macrobius, Sextilis was renamed to honour Augustus because several of the most significant events in his rise to power, culminating in the fall of Alexandria, fell in that month.[191]

Building projects

Further information: Category:Augustan building projects
Close up on the sculpted detail of the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace), 13 BC to 9 BC.
Close up on the sculpted detail of the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace), 13 BC to 9 BC.

On his deathbed, Augustus boasted "I found Rome of clay; I leave it to you of marble;" although there is some truth in the literal meaning of this, Cassius Dio asserts that it was a metaphor for the Empire's strength.[192] Marble could be found in buildings of Rome before Augustus, but it was not extensively used as a building material until the reign of Augustus.[193] Although this did not apply to the Subura slums, which were still as rickety and fire-prone as ever, he did leave a mark on the monumental topography of the centre and of the Campus Martius, with the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) and monumental sundial, whose central gnomon was an obelisk taken from Egypt.[194] The relief sculptures decorating the Ara Pacis visually augmented the written record of Augustus' triumphs in the Res Gestae.[195] Its reliefs depicted the imperial pageants of the praetorians, the Vestals, and the citizenry of Rome.[195] He also built the Temple of Caesar, the Baths of Agrippa, and the Forum of Augustus with its Temple of Mars Ultor. Other projects were either encouraged by him, such as the Theatre of Balbus, and Agrippa's construction of the Pantheon, or funded by him in the name of others, often relations (eg Portico of Octavia, Theatre of Marcellus). Even his Mausoleum of Augustus was built before his death to house members of his family.[196] To celebrate his victory at the Battle of Actium, the Arch of Augustus was built in 29 BC near the entrance of the Temple of Castor and Pollux, and widened in 19 BC to include a triple-arch design.[193] There are also many buildings outside of the city of Rome that bear Augustus' name and legacy, such as the Theatre of Merida in modern Spain, the Maison Carrée built at Nîmes in today's southern France, as well as the Trophy of Augustus at La Turbie, located near Monaco.

The Temple of Augustus and Livia in Vienne, late 1st century BC.
The Temple of Augustus and Livia in Vienne, late 1st century BC.

After the death of Agrippa in 12 BC, a solution had to be found in maintaining Rome's water supply system. This came about because it was overseen by Agrippa when he served as aedile, and was even funded by him afterwards when he was a private citizen paying at his own expense.[175] In that year, Augustus arranged a system where the Senate designated three of its members as prime commissioners in charge of the water supply and to ensure that Rome's aqueducts did not fall into disrepair.[175] In the late Augustan era, the commission of five senators called the curatores locorum publicorum iudicandorum was put in charge of maintaining public buildings and temples of the state cult.[175] Augustus created the senatorial group of the curatores viarum for the upkeep of roads; this senatorial commission worked with local officials and contractors to organize regular repairs.[179]

The Corinthian order of architectural style originating from ancient Greece was the dominant architectural style in the age of Augustus and the imperial phase of Rome.[193] Suetonius once commented that Rome was unworthy of its status as an imperial capital, yet Augustus and Agrippa set out to dismantle this sentiment by transforming the appearance of Rome upon the classical Greek model.[193]

See also


^ a: Fully Imperator Caesar, Divi Filius, Augustus which means Imperator Caesar, Son of the Divus (Divus Julius), Augustus.

  1. ^ Some provinces were governed by the Senate.
  2. ^ CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 35.
  3. ^ a b c Eck, 3.
  4. ^ a b c d Eck, 124.
  5. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 5–6 on-line text.
  6. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 1–4.
  7. ^ Rowell, 14.
  8. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 7
  9. ^ By Roman custom, one's status passed through one's father, not one's mother.
  10. ^ Chisholm, 23.
  11. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 4–8; Nicolaus of Damascus, Augustus 3.
  12. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 8.1; Quintilian, 12.6.1.
  13. ^ a b Suetonius, Augustus 8.1
  14. ^ Nicolaus of Damascus, Augustus 4.
  15. ^ a b c Rowell, 16.
  16. ^ Nicolaus of Damascus, Augustus 6.
  17. ^ Velleius Paterculus 2.59.3.
  18. ^ Suetonius, Julius 83.
  19. ^ a b c Eck, 9.
  20. ^ Appian, Civil Wars 3.9–11.
  21. ^ His daughter Julia had died in 54 BC.
  22. ^ Rowell, 15.
  23. ^ Mackay, 160.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Eck, 10.
  25. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 68, 71.
  26. ^ a b Eck, 9–10.
  27. ^ a b Rowell, 19.
  28. ^ Rowell, 18.
  29. ^ CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 18.
  30. ^ Appian, Civil Wars 3.11–12.
  31. ^ Chisholm, 24.
  32. ^ Chisholm, 27.
  33. ^ Rowell, 20.
  34. ^ Eck, 11.
  35. ^ Syme, 114–120.
  36. ^ Chisholm, 26.
  37. ^ Rowell, 30.
  38. ^ Eck, 11–12.
  39. ^ Rowell, 21.
  40. ^ Syme, 123–126.
  41. ^ a b c d Eck, 12.
  42. ^ a b c Rowell, 23.
  43. ^ Rowell, 24.
  44. ^ Chisholm, 29.
  45. ^ Chisholm, 30.
  46. ^ Rowell, 19–20.
  47. ^ Syme, 167.
  48. ^ Syme, 173–174
  49. ^ Scullard, 157.
  50. ^ Rowell, 26–27.
  51. ^ a b c Rowell, 27.
  52. ^ Chisholm, 32–33.
  53. ^ Eck, 14.
  54. ^ Rowell, 28.
  55. ^ Syme, 176–186.
  56. ^ Sear, David R. Common Legend Abbreviations On Roman Coins. Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
  57. ^ a b Eck, 15.
  58. ^ Scullard, 163.
  59. ^ a b c d Eck, 16.
  60. ^ Scullard, 164.
  61. ^ a b Eck, 17.
  62. ^ Syme, 202.
  63. ^ a b Eck, 17–18.
  64. ^ a b Eck, 18.
  65. ^ Eck, 18–19.
  66. ^ a b c d Eck, 19.
  67. ^ a b Rowell, 32.
  68. ^ a b c d e Eck, 20.
  69. ^ Scullard, 162
  70. ^ a b c d Eck 21.
  71. ^ a b c d CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 19.
  72. ^ a b Eck, 22.
  73. ^ Eck, 23.
  74. ^ Scullard, 163
  75. ^ a b Eck, 24.
  76. ^ a b Eck, 25.
  77. ^ Eck, 25–26.
  78. ^ a b c d e Eck, 26.
  79. ^ Scullard, 164
  80. ^ Eck, 26–27.
  81. ^ Eck, 27–28.
  82. ^ Eck, 29.
  83. ^ Eck, 29–30.
  84. ^ a b Eck, 30.
  85. ^ CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 20.
  86. ^ Eck, 31.
  87. ^ Eck, 32–34.
  88. ^ Eck, 34.
  89. ^ Eck, 34–35
  90. ^ CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 21–22.
  91. ^ Eck, 35.
  92. ^ CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 22.
  93. ^ a b c Eck, 37.
  94. ^ Eck, 38.
  95. ^ Eck, 38–39.
  96. ^ Eck, 39.
  97. ^ Green, 697.
  98. ^ Scullard, 171.
  99. ^ CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 21.
  100. ^ a b c d e Eck, 49.
  101. ^ CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 34–35.
  102. ^ a b c d CCAA, 24–25.
  103. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 38–39.
  104. ^ a b c d e Eck, 45.
  105. ^ Eck, 44–45.
  106. ^ Eck, 113.
  107. ^ a b Eck, 80.
  108. ^ Scullard, 211.
  109. ^ a b Eck, 46.
  110. ^ Scullard, 210.
  111. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 34.
  112. ^ a b c Eck, 47.
  113. ^ a b c d CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 24.
  114. ^ Scullard, 211.
  115. ^ a b c d Eck, 50.
  116. ^ Eck, 149
  117. ^ CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 13.
  118. ^ a b c d CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 25.
  119. ^ Eck, 55.
  120. ^ Eck, 55–56.
  121. ^ a b c d e f g Eck, 56.
  122. ^ CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 38.
  123. ^ a b c d e CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 26.
  124. ^ a b c Eck, 57.
  125. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 36.
  126. ^ CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 37.
  127. ^ Eck, 56–57.
  128. ^ Eck, 57–58.
  129. ^ Eck, 59.
  130. ^ a b CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 30.
  131. ^ Bunson, 80.
  132. ^ Bunson, 427.
  133. ^ a b Eck, 60.
  134. ^ a b c Eck, 61.
  135. ^ a b c Eck, 117.
  136. ^ Dio 54.1, 6, 10.
  137. ^ Eck, 78.
  138. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 43.
  139. ^ Bowersock, p. 380. The date is provided by inscribed calendars; see also Augustus, Res Gestae 10.2. Dio 27.2 reports this under 13 BC, probably as the year in which Lepidus died (Bowersock, p. 383).
  140. ^ CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 28.
  141. ^ Mackay, 186.
  142. ^ Eck, 129.
  143. ^ a b c Eck, 93.
  144. ^ Eck, 95.
  145. ^ Eck, 95–96.
  146. ^ a b c d e f g Eck, 94.
  147. ^ a b Eck, 97.
  148. ^ Eck, 98.
  149. ^ Eck, 98–99.
  150. ^ a b Eck, 99.
  151. ^ a b c Bunson, 416.
  152. ^ a b c d e Eck, 96.
  153. ^ Rowell, 13.
  154. ^ Eck, 101–102.
  155. ^ Eck, 103.
  156. ^ Bunson, 417.
  157. ^ Bunson, 31.
  158. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 50.
  159. ^ Eck, 114–115.
  160. ^ Eck, 115.
  161. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 44.
  162. ^ a b Eck, 58.
  163. ^ a b c d Eck, 116.
  164. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 46.
  165. ^ Eck, 117–118.
  166. ^ CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 46–47.
  167. ^ Eck, 119.
  168. ^ Eck, 119–120.
  169. ^ a b CCAA, Erich S. Gruen, Augustus and the Making of the Principate, 49.
  170. ^ a b Eck, 123.
  171. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 101.4.
  172. ^ Eck, 1–2
  173. ^ Eck, 2.
  174. ^ Bunson, 47.
  175. ^ a b c d e Eck, 79.
  176. ^ Bunson, 345.
  177. ^ Eck, 85–87.
  178. ^ Eck, 86.
  179. ^ a b Eck, 81.
  180. ^ Chisholm, 122.
  181. ^ Bunson, 6.
  182. ^ Bunson, 341.
  183. ^ Bunson, 341–342.
  184. ^ a b c CCAA, Walter Eder, Augustus and the Power of Tradition, 23.
  185. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.3
  186. ^ a b c d Eck, 83–84.
  187. ^ a b c Bunson, 404.
  188. ^ a b Bunson, 144.
  189. ^ Bunson, 144–145.
  190. ^ Bunson, 145.
  191. ^ Macrobius, Saturnalia 1.12.35.
  192. ^ Dio 56.30.3
  193. ^ a b c d Bunson, 34.
  194. ^ Eck, 122.
  195. ^ a b Bunson, 32.
  196. ^ Eck, 118–121


  • Everitt, Anthony (2006) Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor. Random House Books. ISBN-10: 1400061288
  • Bowersock, G. W. (1990). "The Pontificate of Augustus", in Kurt A. Raaflaub and Mark Toher (eds.): Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate. Berkeley: University of California Press, 380–394. ISBN 0-520-08447-0.
  • Bunson, Matthew (1994). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. New York: Facts on File Inc. ISBN 0-8160-3182-7
  • Chisholm, Kitty and John Ferguson. (1981). Rome: The Augustan Age; A Source Book. Oxford: Oxford University Press, in association with the Open University Press. ISBN 0-19-872108-0.
  • Eck, Werner; translated by Deborah Lucas Schneider; new material by Sarolta A. Takács. (2003) The Age of Augustus. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing (hardcover, ISBN 0-631-22957-4; paperback, ISBN 0-631-22958-2).
  • Eder, Walter. (2005). "Augustus and the Power of Tradition," in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus (Cambridge Companions to the Ancient World), ed. Karl Galinsky, 13-32. Cambridge, MA; New York: Cambridge University Press (hardcover, ISBN 0-521-80796-4; paperback, ISBN 0-521-00393-8).
  • Green, Peter (1990). Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age, Hellenistic Culture and Society. Berkeley, CA; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05611-6 (hbk.); ISBN 0-520-08349-0 (pbk.).
  • Gruen, Erich S. (2005). "Augustus and the Making of the Principate," in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus (Cambridge Companions to the Ancient World), ed. Karl Galinsky, 33-51. Cambridge, MA; New York: Cambridge University Press (hardcover, ISBN 0-521-80796-4; paperback, ISBN 0-521-00393-8).
  • Mackay, Christopher S. (2004). Ancient Rome: A Military and Political History. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521809185.
  • Scullard, H. H. [1959] (1982). From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 68, 5th edition, London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-02527-3 (pbk.).
  • Syme, Ronald (1939). The Roman Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280320-4 (pbk.). The classic revisionist study of Augustus
  • Rowell, Henry Thompson. (1962). The Centers of Civilization Series: Volume 5; Rome in the Augustan Age. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-0956-4

Further reading

  • Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and His Principate, edited by Kurt A. Raaflaub and Mark Toher. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993 (paperback, ISBN 0-520-08447-0).
  • Everitt, Anthony. Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor. New York: Random House, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 1-4000-6128-8). As The First Emperor: Caesar Augustus and the Triumph of Rome. London: John Murray, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0719554942).
  • Galinsky, Karl. Augustan Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998 (paperback, ISBN 0-691-05890-3).
  • Jones, A.H.M. "The Imperium of Augustus", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 41, Parts 1 and 2. (1951), pp. 112–119.
  • Jones, A.H.M. Augustus. London: Chatto & Windus, 1970 (paperback, ISBN 0-7011-1626-9).
  • Osgood, Josiah. Caesar's Legacy: Civil War and the Emergence of the Roman Empire. New York: Cambridge University Press (USA), 2006 (hardback, ISBN 0-521-85582-9; paperback, ISBN 0-521-67177-9).
  • Reinhold, Meyer. The Golden Age of Augustus (Aspects of Antiquity). Toronto, ON: Univ of Toronto Press, 1978 (hardcover, ISBN 0-89522-007-5; paperback, ISBN 0-89522-008-3).
  • Southern, Pat. Augustus (Roman Imperial Biographies). New York: Routledge, 1998 (hardcover, ISBN 0-415-16631-4); 2001 (paperback, ISBN 0-415-25855-3).
  • Zanker, Paul. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1989 (hardcover, ISBN 0-472-10101-3); 1990 (paperback, ISBN 0-472-08124-1).

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Born: 23 September 63 BC Died: 19 August AD 14
Political offices
Preceded by
Aulus Hirtius and Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Consul (Suffect.) of the Roman Republic
Quintus Pedius
43 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Munatius Plancus
Preceded by
Marcus Antonius and Lucius Scribonius Libo and Aemilius Lepidus Paullus (Suffect.)
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Volcatius Tullus
33 BC
Succeeded by
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Gaius Sosius
Preceded by
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Gaius Sosius
Consul of the Roman Empire
31 BC23 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Claudius Marcellus Aeserninus and Lucius Arruntius
Preceded by
Decius Laelius Balbus and Gnaeus Antistius Vetus
Consul of the Roman Empire
5 BC
Succeeded by
Gaius Calvisius Sabinus and Lucius Passienus Rufus
Preceded by
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus and Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
2 BC
Succeeded by
Cossus Cornelius Lentulus and Lucius Calpurnius Piso
Preceded by
Julius Caesar
Julio-Claudian dynast
44 BC – AD 14
Succeeded by
New title Roman Emperor
27 BC – AD 14
NAME Augustus
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus; Octavian; Gaius Octavius Thurinus
SHORT DESCRIPTION first Roman Emperor
DATE OF BIRTH September 23, 63 BC
DATE OF DEATH August 19, 14

14-37AD Tiberius: 4TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius


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Emperor of the Roman Empire

A bust of the Emperor Tiberius
Reign AD 14–37
Full name Tiberius Caesar Augustus
(born Tiberius Claudius Nero)
Born November 16, 42 BC
Died March 16, AD 37 (age 78)
Predecessor Augustus
Successor Caligula
Wife/wives 1) Vipsania Agrippina, 20 BC to 12 BC
2) Julia the Elder, 11 BC to 2 BC
Issue By 1) Julius Caesar Drusus
By 2) 1, died in infancy
Dynasty Julio-Claudian
Father Tiberius Nero
Mother Livia

Tiberius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16, 42 BCMarch 16, AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor, from the death of Augustus in AD 14 until his own death in 37. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced his father and was remarried to Octavian Augustus in 39 BC. Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder (from an earlier marriage) and even later be adopted by Augustus and by this act he became a Julian. The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the next forty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Tiberius was one of Rome's greatest generals, whose campaigns in Pannonia, Illyricum, Rhaetia and Germania laid the foundations for the northern frontier. But he came to be remembered as a dark, reclusive, and sombre ruler who never really desired to be emperor; Pliny the Elder called him tristissimus hominum, "the gloomiest of men".[1] After the death of Tiberius’ son Julius Caesar Drusus in 23, the quality of his rule declined and ended in a terror. In 26, Tiberius exiled himself from Rome and left administration largely in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian Prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro. Caligula, Tiberius’ adopted grandson, succeeded the Emperor upon his death.



[edit] Early life

Roman imperial dynasties
Julio-Claudian dynasty
Natural - Julia the Elder
Adoptive - Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Agrippa Postumus, Tiberius
Natural - Julius Caesar Drusus
Adoptive - Germanicus
Natural - Julia Drusilla
Adoptive - Tiberius Gemellus
Natural - Claudia Antonia, Claudia Octavia, Britannicus
Adoptive - Nero
Natural - Claudia Augusta

[edit] Background

Tiberius Claudius Germanicus Augustus Nero was born on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Nero and Livia Drusilla, in Rome.[2] In 39 BC, his mother divorced his biological father and remarried Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus shortly thereafter, while still pregnant with Tiberius Nero's son. Shortly thereafter in 38 BC his brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, was born.

Little is recorded of Tiberius's early life. In 32 BC, Tiberius made his first public appearance at the age of nine, delivering the eulogy for his biological father.[3] In 29 BC, both he and his brother Drusus rode in the triumphal chariot along with their adoptive father Octavian in celebration of the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.[3] In 26 BC, Augustus became gravely ill, and his possible death threatened to plunge the Roman world into chaos again. Historians generally agree that it is during this time that the question of Augustus's heir became most acute, and while Augustus had seemed to indicate that Agrippa and Marcellus would carry on his position in the event of his death, the ambiguity of succession became Augustus's chief problem.

In response, a series of potential heirs seem to have been selected, among them Tiberius and his brother, Drusus. In 24 BC, at the age of seventeen, Tiberius entered politics under Augustus's direction, receiving the position of quaestor,[4] and was granted the right to stand for election as praetor and consul five years in advance of the age required by law.[5] Similar provisions were made for Drusus.

[edit] Civil and military career

Shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate,[6] and it is presumably here that his interest in Greek rhetoric began. In 20 BC, Tiberius was sent East under Marcus Agrippa. The Parthians had captured the standards of the legions under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus (53 BC) (at the Battle of Carrhae), Decidius Saxa (40 BC), and Marc Antony (36 BC).[5] After several years of negotiation, Tiberius lead a sizable force into Armenia, presumably with the goal of establishing Armenia as a Roman client-state and as a threat on the Roman-Parthian border, and Augustus was able to reach a compromise whereby these standards were returned, and Armenia remained a neutral territory between the two powers.[5]

Bust of Vipsania Agrippina, Tiberius' first wife. Recovered from Leptis Magna.
Bust of Vipsania Agrippina, Tiberius' first wife. Recovered from Leptis Magna.

After returning from the East in 19 BC, Tiberius was married to Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and greatest general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa,[7] appointed praetor, and sent with his legions to assist his brother Drusus in campaigns in the west. While Drusus focused his forces in Gallia Narbonensis and along the German frontier, Tiberius combated the tribes in the Alps and within Transalpine Gaul. In 16 BC he discovered the sources of the Danube, and soon afterwards the bend of the middle course. Returning to Rome in 13 BC, Tiberius was appointed as consul, and around this same time his son, Julius Caesar Drusus, was born.

Agrippa's death in 12 BC elevated both Tiberius and Drusus with respect to the succession. At Augustus’ request, Tiberius divorced Vipsania and married Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter and Agrippa's widow.[7] This event seems to have been the breaking point for Tiberius; his marriage with Julia was never a happy one, and produced only a single child which died in infancy.[7] Reportedly, Tiberius once ran into Vipsania again, and proceeded to follow her home crying and begging forgiveness;[7] soon afterwards, Tiberius met with Augustus, and steps were taken to ensure that Tiberius and Vipsania would never meet again. Tiberius continued to be elevated by Augustus, and after Agrippa's death and his brother Drusus's death in 9 BC, seemed the clear candidate for succession. As such, in 12 BC he received military commissions in Pannonia and Germania; both areas highly volatile and both areas key to Augustan policy. He returned to Rome and was consul for a second time in 7 BC, and in 6 BC was granted tribunician power (tribunicia potestas) and control in the East,[8] all of which mirrored positions that Agrippa had previously held. However, despite these successes and despite his advancement, Tiberius was not happy.

[edit] Retirement to Rhodes

Remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, a Roman resort midway between Rome and Naples.
Remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, a Roman resort midway between Rome and Naples.

In 6 BC, on the verge of accepting command in the East and becoming the second most powerful man in Rome, Tiberius suddenly announced his withdrawal from politics and retired to Rhodes. The precise motives for Tiberius's withdrawal are unclear.[9] Historians have speculated a connection with Augustus’s grandchildren Gaius and Lucius, whom Augustus had adopted, and were being elevated along the same political path that both Tiberius and Drusus had been. Tiberius thus was an interim solution; he would hold power only until Lucius and Gaius came of age, and then be swept aside. The promiscuous, and very public, behavior of his unhappily married wife, Julia,[10] may have also played a part;[8] indeed Tacitus calls it Tiberius' intima causa, his innermost reason for departing for Rhodes, and seems to ascribe the entire move to a hatred of Julia and a longing for Vipsania.[11] Tiberius had found himself married to a woman he loathed, who publicly humiliated him with nighttime escapades in the Forum, and forbidden to see the woman he had loved.

Whatever Tiberius's motives, the withdrawal was almost disastrous for Augustus's succession plans. Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar were still in their early teens, and Augustus, now 57 years old, had no immediate successor. There was no longer a guarantee of a peaceful transfer of power after Augustus's death, nor a guarantee that his family, and therefore his family's allies, would continue to hold power should the position of princeps survive.

Somewhat apocryphal stories tell of Augustus pleading with Tiberius to stay, even going so far as to stage a serious illness; Tiberius's response was to anchor off the shore of Ostia until word came that Augustus had survived, then sailing straightway for Rhodes.[12] Tiberius reportedly discovered the error of his ways and requested to return to Rome several times; each time Augustus refused the request.

[edit] Heir to Augustus

With Tiberius's departure, succession rested solely on Augustus' two young grandsons, Lucius and Gaius Caesar. The situation became more precarious in AD 2 with the death of Lucius; Augustus, with perhaps some prompting from Livia, allowed Tiberius to return to Rome as a private citizen and nothing more.[13] In AD 4, Gaius was killed in Armenia and, to paraphrase Tacitus, Augustus had no other choice but to turn to Tiberius.[14][15]

The death of Gaius in AD 4 initiated a flurry of activity in the household of Augustus. Tiberius was adopted as full son and heir. In turn, Tiberius was required to adopt his nephew, Germanicus, the son of his brother Drusus and Augustus' niece Antonia Minor.[14][16] Along with his adoption, Tiberius received tribunician power as well as a share of Augustus's maius imperium, something that even Marcus Agrippa may never have had.[17] In AD 7, Postumus was disowned by Augustus and banned to the island of Planasia, to live in solitary confinment.[18][19] Thus, when in AD 13, the powers held by Tiberius were made equal, rather than second, to Augustus's own powers, he was for all intents and purposes a "co-princeps" with Augustus, and in the event of the latter's passing, would simply continue to rule without an interregnum or possible upheaval.

Augustus died in AD 14, at the age of seventy-six.[20] He was buried with all due ceremony and, as had been arranged beforehand, deified, his will read, and Tiberius confirmed as his sole surviving heir.[21]

[edit] Emperor

[edit] Early reign

The younger Emperor Tiberius.  Bust from the Louvre, Paris.
The younger Emperor Tiberius. Bust from the Louvre, Paris.

While the reality of Tiberius's position as the new Princeps could not be denied, the ceremonial aspect of the transference of power was something that neither the Senate, nor indeed Tiberius, knew how to handle. The Senate convened on 18 September, ostensibly to validate Tiberius's position as Princeps and, as it had done with Augustus before, extend the powers of the position to him. Tacitus gives a full account of the proceedings. Tiberius already had the administrative and political powers of the Princeps, all he lacked were the titles—Augustus, Pater Patriae, and the Civic Crown (a crown made from laurel and oak, in honor of Augustus having saved the lives of Roman citizens).

Tiberius, however, attempted to play the role of Augustus, that is of the reluctant public servant who wants nothing more than to serve the state, and ended up throwing the entire affair into confusion. Rather than humble, he came across as derisive; rather than seeming to want to serve the state, he seemed obstructive.[22] He cited his age as a reason why he could not act as Princeps, stated he did not wish the position, and then proceeded to ask for only a section of the state. The Senate, thoroughly confused, asked which part of the state he would like. Finally, one senator cried, "Sire, for how long will you allow the State to be without a head?"[23] Tiberius finally relented and accepted the powers voted to him, though according to Tacitus and Suetonius he refused to bear the titles Pater Patriae, Imperator, and Augustus, and declined the most solid emblem of the Princeps, the Civic Crown and laurels.[24]

This meeting seems to have set the tone for Tiberius's entire rule. He seems to have wished for the Senate and the state to simply act without him; his direct orders were vague, inspiring debate more on what he actually meant than on passing his legislation.[25] In his first few years, Tiberius seems to have wanted the Senate to act on its own,[26] rather than as a servant to his will as it had been under Augustus; according to Tacitus, Tiberius derided the Senate as "men fit to be slaves".[27]

[edit] Rise and fall of Germanicus

Problems arose quickly for the new Princeps. The legions posted in Pannonia and in Germania had not been paid the bonuses promised them by Augustus, and after a short period of time, when it was clear that a response from Tiberius was not forthcoming, mutinied.[28] Germanicus and Tiberius's son, Drusus, were dispatched with a small force to quell the uprising and bring the legions back in line. Rather than simply quell the mutiny however, Germanicus rallied the mutineers and led them on a short campaign across the Rhine into Germanic territory, stating that whatever booty they could grab would count as their bonus.[29] Germanicus's forces smashed across the Rhine and quickly occupied all of the territory between the Rhine and the Elbe. Additionally, Tacitus records the capture of the Teutoburg forest and the reclaiming of standards lost years before by Publius Quinctilius Varus,[30] when three Roman legions and its auxiliary cohorts had been ambushed by a band of Germans. In the face of inaction by Tiberius, Germanicus had managed to deal a significant blow to Rome's enemies, quell an uprising of troops, and once again return lost standards to Rome, actions that placed the young Germanicus in a clear "Augustan" light when compared with befuddled Tiberius.

After being recalled from Germania,[31] Germanicus celebrated a triumph in Rome in AD 17,[30] the first full triumph that the city had seen since Augustus's own in 29 BC. As a result, in AD 18 Germanicus was granted control over the eastern part of the empire, just as both Agrippa and Tiberius had received before, and was clearly the successor to Tiberius.[32] Germanicus survived a little over a year before dying, accusing Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.[33] The Pisones had been longtime supporters of the Claudians, and had allied themselves with the young Octavian after his marriage to Livia, the mother of Tiberius; Germanicus's death and accusations indicted the new Princeps. Piso was placed on trial and, according to Tacitus, threatened to implicate Tiberius.[34] Whether the governor actually could connect the Princeps to the death of Germanicus will never be known; rather than continuing to stand trial when it became evident that the Senate was against him, Piso committed suicide.[35][36]

Tiberius seems to have tired of politics at this point. In AD 22, he shared his tribunician authority with his son Drusus,[37] and began making yearly excursions to Campania that reportedly became longer and longer every year. In AD 23, Drusus mysteriously died,[38][39] and Tiberius seems to have made no effort to elevate a replacement. Finally, in AD 26, Tiberius retired from Rome altogether to the island of Capri.[40]

[edit] Tiberius in Capri, Sejanus in Rome

Roman aureus depicting Tiberius, with Livia as Pax shown on the reverse. Struck in AD 36.
Roman aureus depicting Tiberius, with Livia as Pax shown on the reverse. Struck in AD 36.

Lucius Aelius Sejanus had served the imperial family for almost twenty years when he became Praetorian Prefect in AD 15. As Tiberius became more embittered with the position of Princeps, he began to depend more and more upon the limited secretariat left to him by Augustus, and specifically upon Sejanus and the Praetorians. In AD 17 or 18, Tiberius had trimmed the ranks of the Praetorian guard responsible for the defense of the city, and had moved it from encampments outside of the city walls into the city itself,[41] giving Sejanus access to somewhere between 6000 and 9000 troops. The death of Drusus elevated Sejanus, at least in Tiberius's eyes, who thereafter refers to him as "my partner". Tiberius had statues of Sejanus erected throughout the city,[42][43] and Sejanus became more and more visible as Tiberius began to withdraw from Rome altogether. Finally, with Tiberius's withdrawal in AD 26, Sejanus was left in charge of the entire state mechanism and the city of Rome.

Sejanus's position was not quite that of successor; he had requested marriage in AD 25 to Tiberius's niece, Livilla,[44] though under pressure quickly withdrew the request.[45] While Sejanus's Praetorians controlled the imperial post, and therefore the information that Tiberius received from Rome and the information Rome received from Tiberius,[46] the presence of Livia seems to have checked his overt power for a time. Her death in AD 29 changed all that.[47] Sejanus began a series of purge trials of Senators and wealthy equestrians in the city of Rome, removing those capable of opposing his power as well as extending the imperial (and his own) treasury. Germanicus's widow Agrippina the elder and two of her sons, Nero and Drusus were arrested and exiled in AD 30 and later all died in suspicious circumstances.[48]

Ruins from the Villa Jovis at Capri, where Tiberius spent much of his final years, leaving control of the empire in the hands of the prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus.
Ruins from the Villa Jovis at Capri, where Tiberius spent much of his final years, leaving control of the empire in the hands of the prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus.

In 31, Sejanus held the consulship with Tiberius in absentia,[49] and began his play for power in earnest. Precisely what happened is difficult to determine, but Sejanus seems to have covertly attempted to court those families who were tied to the Julians, and attempted to ingratiate himself with the Julian family line with an eye towards placing himself, as an adopted Julian, in the position of Princeps, or as a possible regent.[49] Livilla was later implicated in this plot, and was revealed to have been Sejanus's lover for a number of years.[50] The plot seems to have involved the two of them overthrowing Tiberius, with the support of the Julians, and either assuming the Principate themselves, or serving as regent to the young Tiberius Gemellus or possibly even Gaius Caligula.[51] Those who stood in his way were tried for treason and swiftly dealt with.

However, what is clear from the record is that when Sejanus finally did fall, the purges that ensued under Tiberius were almost all aimed at supporters of the Julians. In AD 31 Sejanus was summoned to a meeting of the Senate, where a letter from Tiberius was read condemning Sejanus and ordering his immediate execution. Sejanus was tried, and he and several of his colleagues were executed within the week.[52] As commander of the Praetorian Guard, he was replaced by Naevius Sutorius Macro.[52]

Rome then erupted into even more extensive trials. Whereas Tiberius had been hesitant to act at the outset of his reign, now, towards the end of his life, he seemed to do so without compunction. The Senatorial ranks were decimated. Hardest hit were those families with political ties to the Julians. Even the imperial magistracy was hit, as any and all who had associated with Sejanus or could in some way be tied to his schemes were summarily tried and executed, their properties seized by the state.[53] As Tacitus vividly describes,

Executions were now a stimulus to his fury, and he ordered the death of all who were lying in prison under accusation of complicity with Sejanus. There lay, singly or in heaps, the unnumbered dead, of every age and sex, the illustrious with the obscure. Kinsfolk and friends were not allowed to be near them, to weep over them, or even to gaze on them too long. Spies were set round them, who noted the sorrow of each mourner and followed the rotting corpses, till they were dragged to the Tiber, where, floating or driven on the bank, no one dared to burn or to touch them. The force of terror had utterly extinguished the sense of human fellowship, and, with the growth of cruelty, pity was thrust aside.[53]

Meanwhile, with Tiberius in Capri, rumors abounded as to what exactly he was doing there. Suetonius records lurid tales of sexual perversity and cruelty, of sado-masochism and pederasty,[54] and most of all his paranoia.[55] While perhaps sensationalized, the stories at least paint a picture of how Tiberius was perceived by the Roman people, and what his impact on the Principate was during his 23 years of rule.

[edit] Final years

The Death of Tiberius by Jean-Paul Laurens, depicting the Roman emperor about to be smothered under orders of Naevius Sutorius Macro.
The Death of Tiberius by Jean-Paul Laurens, depicting the Roman emperor about to be smothered under orders of Naevius Sutorius Macro.

The affair with Sejanus and the final years of treason trials permanently damaged Tiberius' image and reputation. After Sejanus's fall, Tiberius's withdrawal from Rome was complete; the empire continued to run under the inertia of the bureaucracy established by Augustus, rather than through the leadership of the Princeps. He became utterly paranoid,[55] and reportedly spent a great deal of time brooding over the death of his son. Meanwhile, Suetonius records a short invasion by Parthia and incursions by tribes from Dacia and from across the Rhine by several Germanic tribes.[56]

Nothing was done to either secure or indicate how his succession was to take place; the Julians and their supporters felt his full wrath, his own sons and immediate family were dead. There seemed to be a vague nod to Gaius "Caligula", the sole surviving son of Germanicus, as well as his own grandson Tiberius Gemellus,[57] but nothing certain, and there was only a half-hearted attempt at the end of his life to make Gaius an honorary quaestor.[58]

Tiberius died in Misenum on March 16, AD 37, at the age of 77.[59] Tacitus records that upon the news of his death the crowd rejoiced, only to become suddenly silent upon hearing that he had recovered, and rejoiced again at the news that Caligula and Macro had smothered him.[60] This is not recorded by other ancient historians and is most likely apocryphal, but it can be taken as an indication of how the senatorial class felt towards the Emperor at the time of his death. In his will, Tiberius had left his powers jointly to Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus[61][62]; Caligula's first act on becoming Princeps was to void Tiberius' will and have Gemellus executed.[62]

Tiberius’s downfall was not his abuse of power but his refusal to use it. His withdrawn nature, especially in comparison with Augustus's openness, immediately made him a disliked figure. The Senate had been functioning under the directorship of the Principate for almost 50 years; most Senators had gained their position and hoped to advance further by courting Imperial favor. Tiberius's attempt to restore some share of administration to the Senate thus met with failure; the Senate no longer knew how to rule independent of the Princeps. Tiberius seemed uninterested in the role set for him to play, and his rule and his reputation suffered. The administration of the Imperial sector of the government increased during this time, but how much this is due to direct action by Tiberius rather than his freedmen advisors cannot be determined. In the end, Tiberius perhaps is a model of how power can be abused by its lack of use.

[edit] Legacy

[edit] Historiography

Publius Cornelius Tacitus.
Publius Cornelius Tacitus.

Were he to have died prior to AD 23, he might have been hailed as an exemplary ruler.[63] Despite the overwhelmingly negative characterization left by Roman historians, Tiberius left the imperial treasury with nearly 3 billion sesterces upon his death.[64][62] Rather than embark on costly campaigns of conquest, he chose to strengthen the existing empire by building additional bases, using diplomacy as well as military threats, and generally refraining from getting drawn into petty squabbles between competing frontier tyrants.[41] The result was a stronger, more consolidated empire. Of the authors whose texts have survived until the present day, only four describe the reign of Tiberius in considerable detail: Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio and Velleius Paterculus. Fragmentary evidence also remains from Pliny the Elder, Strabo and Seneca the Elder. Tiberius himself wrote an autobiography which Suetonius describes as "brief and sketchy", but this book has been lost.[65]

[edit] Publius Cornelius Tacitus

The most detailed account of this period is handed down to us by Tacitus, whose Annals dedicates the first six books entirely to the reign of Tiberius. Tacitus was a Roman of the equestrian order, born during the reign of Nero in 56. His text is largely based on the acta senatus (the minutes of the session of the Senate) and the acta diurna populi Romani (a collection of the acts of the government and news of the court and capital), as well as speeches by Tiberius himself, and the histories of contemporaries such as Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Pliny the Elder (all of which are lost to us at present). Tacitus' narrative emphasizes both political and psychological motivation. The characterisation of Tiberius throughout the first six books is mostly negative, and gradually worsens as his rule declines, identifying a clear breaking point with the death of Drusus in 23.[63] The rule of Julio-Claudians is generally described as unjust and 'criminal' by Tacitus.[66] Even at the outset of his reign, he seems to ascribe many of Tiberius' virtues merely to hypocrisy.[59] Another major recurring theme concerns the balance of power between the Senate and the Emperors, corruption, and the growing tyranny among the governing classes of Rome. A substantial amount of his account on Tiberius is therefore devoted to the treason trials and persecutions following the revival of the maiestas law under Augustus.[67] Ultimately, Tacitus' opinion on Tiberius is best illustrated by his conclusion of the sixth book:

His character too had its distinct periods. It was a bright time in his life and reputation, while under Augustus he was a private citizen or held high offices; a time of reserve and crafty assumption of virtue, as long as Germanicus and Drusus were alive. Again, while his mother lived, he was a compound of good and evil; he was infamous for his cruelty, though he veiled his debaucheries, while he loved or feared Sejanus. Finally, he plunged into every wickedness and disgrace, when fear and shame being cast off, he simply indulged his own inclinations.[59]

[edit] Suetonius Tranquilius

Suetonius was an equestrian who held administrative posts during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. The Twelve Caesars details a biographical history of the principate from the birth of Julius Caesar to the death of Domitian in AD 96. Like Tacitus, he drew upon the imperial archives, as well as histories by Aufidius Bassus, Cluvius Rufus, Fabius Rusticus and Augustus' own letters, but his account is more sensationalist and anecdotal than that of his contemporary. The most famous sections of his biography delve into the numerous alleged debaucheries Tiberius remitted himself to while at Capri.[54] Nevertheless, Suetonius also reserves praise for Tiberius' actions during his early reign, emphasizing his modesty.[68]

[edit] Velleius Paterculus

One of the few surviving sources contemporary with the rule of Tiberius comes from Velleius Paterculus, who served under Tiberius for eight years (from AD 4) in Germany and Pannonia as praefect of cavalry and legatus. Paterculus' Compendium of Roman History spans a period from the fall of Troy to the death of Livia in AD 29. His text on Tiberius lavishes praise on both the emperor[4][69] and Sejanus.[70] How much of this is due to genuine admiration, prudence or fear remains an open question, but it has been conjectured that he was put to death in AD 31 as a friend of Sejanus.[71]

[edit] Gospels

The tribute penny mentioned in the Bible is commonly believed to be a Roman denarius depicting Tiberius.
The tribute penny mentioned in the Bible is commonly believed to be a Roman denarius depicting Tiberius.

The Gospels record that during Tiberius' reign, Jesus of Nazareth preached and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. In the Bible, Tiberius is mentioned by name only once, in Luke 3:1, stating that John the Baptist entered on his public ministry in the fifteenth year of his reign. Many references to Caesar (or the emperor in some other translations), without further specification, actually refer to Tiberius.

Similarly, the "Tribute Penny" referred to in Matthew 22:19 and Mark 12:15 is popularly thought to be a silver denarius coin of Tiberius.

[edit] Archeology

The palace of Tiberius at Rome was located on the Palatine Hill, the ruins of which can still be seen today. No major public works were undertaken in the city during his reign, except a temple dedicated to Augustus and the restoration of the theater of Pompey,[72][73] both of which were not finished until the reign of Caligula.[74]

In addition, remnants of Tiberius' villa at Sperlonga, which includes a grotto where several Rhodean sculptures have been recovered, and the Villa Jovis on top of Capri have been preserved. The original complex at Capri is thought to have spanned a total of twelve villas across the island[40], of which Villa Jovis was the largest.

Tiberius refused to be worshipped as a living god, and allowed only one temple to built in his honor at Smyrna.[75]

The town Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee was named in Tiberius's honour by Herod Antipas.[76]

[edit] Tiberius in fiction

Tiberius has been represented several times in fiction, both in literature and in film and television, though often as a peripheral character in the central storyline. The most widely known modern representation is in the novel I, Claudius by Robert Graves, and the consequent BBC television series adaptation, where he is portrayed by George Baker. In addition, Tiberius has prominent roles in Ben-Hur (played by George Relph in his last starring role), and Caligula (played by Peter O'Toole).

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural Histories XXVIII.5.23.
  2. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 5
  3. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 6
  4. ^ a b Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.94
  5. ^ a b c Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 9
  6. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 8
  7. ^ a b c d Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 7
  8. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.9
  9. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 10
  10. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.100
  11. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.53
  12. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 11
  13. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 13
  14. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals I.3
  15. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 15
  16. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.13
  17. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 21. For the debate over whether Agrippa's imperium after 13 BC was maius or aequum, see, e.g., E. Badian (December–January 1980–1981). "Notes on the Laudatio of Agrippa". Classical Journal 76 (2): 97–109, pp. 105–106.
  18. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 15
  19. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LV.32
  20. ^ Velleieus Paterculus, Roman History II.123
  21. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.8
  22. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 24
  23. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.12, I.13
  24. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 26
  25. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.32, III.52
  26. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.35, III.53, III.54
  27. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.65
  28. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.16, I.17, I.31
  29. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.6
  30. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals II.41
  31. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.26
  32. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.43
  33. ^ Tacitus, Annals II.71
  34. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.16
  35. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 52
  36. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.15
  37. ^ Tacitus, Annals III.56
  38. ^ Tacitus, Annals, IV.7, IV.8
  39. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 62
  40. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals IV.67
  41. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 37
  42. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.2
  43. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.21
  44. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.39
  45. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.40, IV.41
  46. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.41
  47. ^ Tacitus, Annals V.3
  48. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 53, 54
  49. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 65
  50. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.22
  51. ^ Boddington, Ann (January 1963). "Sejanus. Whose Conspiracy?". The American Journal of Philology 84 (1): 1–16. Retrieved on 2007-07-23.
  52. ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History LVIII.10
  53. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals VI.19
  54. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 43, 44, 45
  55. ^ a b Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 60, 62, 63, 64
  56. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 41
  57. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.46
  58. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LVII.23
  59. ^ a b c Tacitus, Annals VI.50, VI.51
  60. ^ Tacitus, Annals VI.50
  61. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 76
  62. ^ a b c Cassius Dio, Roman History LIX.1
  63. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals IV.6
  64. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula37
  65. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 61
  66. ^ Tacitus, Annals, I.6
  67. ^ Tacitus, Annals I.72, I.74, II.27-32, III.49-51, III.66-69
  68. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 26-32
  69. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, II.103-105, II.129-130
  70. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History II.127-128
  71. ^ Cruttwell, C.T. (1877). A History of Roman Literature. Oxford, Book 3, chapter 1.
  72. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.45, III.72
  73. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Tiberius 47
  74. ^ Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula 21
  75. ^ Tacitus, Annals IV.37-38, IV.55-56
  76. ^ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.2.3

[edit] Bibliography

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] Primary sources

[edit] Secondary material

  • Syme, Ronald (1986), The Augustan Aristocracy, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 978-0198148593
  • Seager, Robin (1972), Tiberius, London: Eyre Methuen, ISBN 978-0413276001
  • Ehrenberg, V. & Jones, A.H.M. (1955), Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, Oxford
  • Shotter, David (1992), Tiberius Caesar, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-07654-4

[edit] Biographical sketches

[edit] Other material

Born: 16 November 42 BC Died: 16 March AD 37
Political offices
Preceded by
Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives and Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Publius Quinctilius Varus
13 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus Appianus and Quirinius
Preceded by
Gaius Marcius Censorinus and Gaius Asinius Gallus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso
7 BC
Succeeded by
D. Laelius Balbus and Gaius Antistius Vetus
Preceded by
Roman Emperor
Succeeded by
Julio-Claudian Dynasty
Preceded by
Lucius Pomponius Flaccus and Gaius Caelius Rufus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Germanicus
Succeeded by
Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus and Lucius Norbanus Balbus
Preceded by
Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus and Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Julius Caesar Drusus
Succeeded by
Decimus Haterius Agrippa and Gaius Sulpicius Galba
Preceded by
Marcus Vinicius and Lucius Cassius Longinus
Consul of the Roman Empire together with Sejanus
Succeeded by
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus

NAME Tiberius
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Tiberius Caesar Augustus; Tiberius Claudius Nero
DATE OF BIRTH 16 November 42 BC
DATE OF DEATH 16 March AD 37
PLACE OF DEATH Misenum, Campania, Italy

37-41AD Caligula: 5TH ROMAN "KING" since Rome possessed Jerusalem

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaius_Caligula


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Emperor of the Roman Empire

Bust of Gaius Cæsar in the Louvre
Reign16 March 37 AD
24 January 41 AD
(Consul from 39)
Full nameGaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
BornAugust 31, 12(12-08-31) AD
DiedJanuary 24, 41 (aged 28) AD
Wife/wives1) Junia Claudilla, 3334
2) Livia Orestilla, 37 or 38
3) Lollia Paulina, 38
4) Caesonia, ?–41
IssueJulia Drusilla
MotherAgrippina the Elder

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 31, 12January 24, 41), more commonly known by his nickname Caligula (pronounced /kəˈlɪɡjʊlə/, meaning "little [soldier's] boots"), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 16 March 37 until his assassination on 24 January 41. Caligula was the third emperor of the Roman Empire, and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty which descended from Augustus.

Caligula's father, Germanicus, was the adopted son of emperor Tiberius and one of Rome's most beloved generals. The young Gaius earned his nickname, meaning little soldier's boot, while travelling with his father on military campaigns in Germania. When Germanicus died in Antioch in 19, his mother Agrippina the Elder returned to Rome with her six children, where she became entangled in an increasingly bitter feud with Tiberius. During the course of the 20s and 30s, many of Caligula's relatives, including Agrippina and two elder brothers, died in mysterious circumstances. Caligula withdrew to the island of Capri in 31, where Tiberius himself had retired since 26, and eventually succeeded his adoptive grandfather upon his death on 16 March 37.

Although Caligula was popular with the Roman public throughout his reign, the scarce surviving sources focus upon anecdotes of his alleged cruelty, extravagance and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources has been difficult to assess, what is known is that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the authority of the Principate, but struggled to maintain his position in the face of several conspiracies to overthrow him. He focused much of his attention on ambitious construction projects, and annexed Mauretania but failed to conquer Britain.

On 24 January 41, Caligula was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy involving members of his own bodyguard and the Roman Senate. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted, as the same day the Praetorian Guard declared Caligula's uncle Claudius emperor in his place.



[edit] Early life

[edit] Family

Roman imperial dynasties
Julio-Claudian dynasty
Natural - Julia the Elder
Adoptive - Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Agrippa Postumus, Tiberius
Natural - Julius Caesar Drusus
Adoptive - Germanicus
Natural - Julia Drusilla
Adoptive - Tiberius Gemellus
Natural - Claudia Antonia, Claudia Octavia, Britannicus
Adoptive - Nero
Natural - Claudia Augusta
See Julio-Claudian Family Tree.

Born as Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus on August 31, 12, at the resort of Antium.[1] He was the third of six surviving children born to Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder.[2] Gaius' brothers were Nero and Drusus.[2] His sisters were Julia Livilla, Drusilla and Agrippina the Younger.[2] Gaius was also nephew to Claudius (the future emperor).[3]

Gaius' father, Germanicus, was a prominent member of the Julio-Claudian family and was revered as one of the most beloved generals of the Roman Empire.[4] He was the son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor. Germanicus was grandson to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia, as well as the adoptive grandson of Augustus.[5]

Agrippina the Elder was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder.[2] She was also a granddaughter of Augustus and Scribonia.[2]

[edit] Youth and early career

A caliga.

As a boy of just two or three, Gaius accompanied his father, Germanicus, on military campaigns in the north of Germania and became the mascot of his father's army.[6] The soldiers were amused that Gaius was dressed in a miniature soldier's uniform, including boots and armor.[6] He was soon given his nickname Caligula, meaning "Little (Soldier's) boots" in Latin, after the small boots he wore as part of his uniform.[7] Gaius, though, reportedly grew to dislike this nickname.[8]

At the age of seven, Caligula also accompanied Germanicus on his expedition to Syria.[9] Upon return, Caligula's father died on October 10, 19. Suetonius claims that Germanicus was poisoned in Syria by an agent of Tiberius who viewed Germanicus as a political rival.[10]

After the death of his father, Caligula lived with his mother until relations between her and Tiberius deteriorated.[9] Tiberius would not allow Agrippina to remarry for fear her husband would be a rival.[11] Agrippina and Caligula's brother, Nero Caesar, were banished in 29 on charges of treason.[12][13] The adolescent Caligula was then sent to live first with his great-grandmother, and Tiberius' mother, Livia.[9] Following Livia's death, he was sent to live with his grandmother Antonia.[9] In 30, his brother, Drusus Caesar, was imprisoned on charges of treason and his brother Nero died in exile from either starvation or suicide.[14][13] Suetonius writes that after the banishment of his mother and brothers, Caligula and his sisters were nothing more than prisoners of Tiberius under close watch of soldiers.[15]

In 31, Caligula was remanded to the personal care of Tiberius on Capri, where he lived for six years.[9] To the surprise of many, Caligula was spared by Tiberius.[16] According to historians, Caligula was an excellent natural actor and, recognizing danger, hid all his resentment towards Tiberius.[17][9] An observer said of Caligula, "Never was there a better servant or a worse master!"[9][17]

In 33, Tiberius gave Caligula an honorary quaestorship, a position he held until his reign.[18] Meanwhile, both Caligula's mother and brother, Drusus, died in prison.[19][20] Caligula was briefly married to Junia Claudilla in 33, though she died in childbirth the following year.[21] Caligula spent time befriending the Praetorian Prefect, Naevius Sutorius Macro, an important ally.[21] Macro spoke well of Caligula to Tiberius, attemping to quell any ill will or suspicion the Emperor felt towards Caligula.[22]

In 35, Caligula was named joint heir to the throne along with Tiberius Gemellus.[23]

[edit] Emperor

[edit] Early reign

Caligula Depositing the Ashes of his Mother and Brother in the Tomb of his Ancestors, by Eustache Le Sueur, 1647
Caligula Depositing the Ashes of his Mother and Brother in the Tomb of his Ancestors, by Eustache Le Sueur, 1647

When Tiberius died on March 16, 37, his estate and the titles of the Principate were left to Caligula and Tiberius' own grandson, Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs. Despite Tiberius being 77 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still claim he was murdered.[24][21] Tacitus writes that the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people,[24] and Suetonius writes that Caligula may have carried out the killing.[21] Philo and Josephus, though, record Tiberius dying a natural death.[25] Backed by Macro, Caligula had Tiberius’ will nullified with regards to Gemellus on grounds of insanity, but otherwise carried out Tiberius' wishes.[26]

Caligula accepted the powers of the Principate as conferred by the Senate and entered Rome on March 28 amid a crowd that hailed him as "our baby" and "our star," among other nicknames.[27] Caligula is described as the first emperor who was admired by everyone in "all the world, from the rising to the setting sun."[28] Caligula was loved by many for being the beloved son of the popular Germanicus,[27] but also because he was not Tiberius.[29] It was also said by Suetonius that over one-hundred and sixty thousand animals were sacrificed during three months of public rejoicing to usher in his reign.[30][31] Philo describes the first seven months of Caligula's reign as completely blissful.[32]

Caligula's first acts were said to be generous in spirit, though many were political in nature.[26] To gain support, he granted bonuses to those in the military including the Praetorian Guard, city troops and the army outside of Italy.[26] He destroyed Tiberius' treason papers, declared that treason trials were a thing of the past and recalled exiles.[33] He helped those who had been harmed by the Imperial tax system, banished sex offenders from the empire and put on lavish spectacles for the public, such as gladiator battles.[34][35] Caligula also collected and brought back the bones of his mother and of his brothers and deposited their remains in the tomb of Augustus.[36]

[edit] Illness, conspiracies and a change in attitude

Following an auspicious start to his reign, Caligula fell seriously ill in October of 37. Philo is the sole historian to describe this illness,[37] though Cassius Dio mentions it in passing.[38] Philo claims that Caligula’s increased bath-taking, drinking, and sex after becoming emperor caused him to catch the virus.[39] It was said that the entire empire was paralyzed with sadness and sympathy over Caligula’s affliction.[40] Caligula completely recovered from this illness, but Philo highlights Caligula's near-death experience as a turning point in his reign.[41] There is some debate if and when a change in Caligula occurred. Josephus claims that Caligula was a noble and moderate ruler for the first two years of his rule before a turn for the worse occurred.[42]

Shortly after recovering from his illness, Caligula had several loyal individuals killed who had promised their lives for his in the event of a recovery.[43] Caligula had his wife banished and his father-in-law, Marcus Silanus, and his cousin, Tiberius Gemellus, were forced to commit suicide.[44][43]

There is evidence that the deaths of Silanus and Gemellus were prompted by plots to overthrow Caligula. Philo claims Gemellus, in line to become emperor, plotted against Caligula while he was ill.[45] Silanus, prior to killing himself, was formally put on trial by Caligula.[46] Julius Graecinus was ordered to prosecute Silanus, but refused and was executed as well.[46] It is unknown if the plans of Gemellus and Silanus were related or separate. Suetonius claims that the plots were nothing more than Caligula's imagination.[47]

[edit] Public reform

Quadran celebrating the abolishment of a tax in 38 AD by Caligula. The obverse of the coin contains a picture of the liberty cap which refers the liberation of the people from the tax burden.
Quadran celebrating the abolishment of a tax in 38 AD by Caligula. The obverse of the coin contains a picture of the liberty cap which refers the liberation of the people from the tax burden.

In 38, Caligula focused his attention on political and public reform. He published the accounts of public funds, which had not been made public during the reign of Tiberius. He aided those who lost property in fires, abolishing certain taxes and gave out prizes to the public and gymnastic events. He also allowed new members into the equestrian and senatorial orders.[48]

Perhaps most significantly, he restored the practice of democratic elections.[49] Cassius Dio said that this act "though delighting the rabble, grieved the sensible, who stopped to reflect, that if the offices should fall once more into the hands of the many ... many disasters would result".[50]

During the same year, though, Caligula also was criticized for executing people without full trials. The most significant execution was that of Macro, to whom, in many ways, Caligula owed his status as emperor.[38]

[edit] Financial crisis and famine

According to Cassius Dio, a financial crisis emerged in 39.[38] Suetonius claims that this crisis began in 38.[51] Caligula’s political payments for support, generosity and extravagance had exhausted the state’s treasury. Ancient historians claim that Caligula began falsely accusing, fining and even killing individuals for the purpose of seizing their estates.[52] A number of other desperate measures by Caligula are described by historians. In order to gain funds, Caligula asked the public to lend the state money.[53] Caligula levied taxes on lawsuits, marriage and prostitution.[54] Caligula began auctioning the lives of the gladiators at shows.[52][55] Wills that left items to Tiberius were interpreted now to leave the items to Caligula.[56] Centurions who had acquired property during plundering were forced to turn over spoils to the state.[56] The current and past highway commissioners were accused of incompetence and embezzlement and forced to repay money.[56]

The Vatican Obelisk was first brought from Egypt to Rome by Caligula. It was the centerpiece of a large racetrack he built.
The Vatican Obelisk was first brought from Egypt to Rome by Caligula. It was the centerpiece of a large racetrack he built.

A brief famine of an unknown size occurred, perhaps caused by this financial crisis. Suetonius claims that it was from public carriages being seized by Caligula.[52] Seneca claims grain imports were disturbed by Caligula using boats for a pontoon bridge.[57]

[edit] Construction

Despite financial difficulties, Caligula embarked on a number of construction projects during his reign. Some were for the public good while others were for himself.

Josephus claims Caligula's greatest contribution was having the harbours at Rhegium and Sicily improved which allowed grain imports from Egypt to increase.[58] These improvements may have been in response to the famine.

Caligula completed the temple of Augustus and the theatre of Pompey and began an amphitheatre beside the Saepta.[59] He also had the imperial palace repainted.[60] He began the aqueducts Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus, which Pliny the Elder considered engineering marvels.[61] He built a large racetrack known as the circus of Gaius and Nero and had an Egyptian obelisk (now known as the Vatican Obelisk) transported to Rome by sea and erected in the middle of it.[62] At Syracuse, he repaired the city walls and the temples of the gods.[59] He had new roads built and pushed to keep roads in good condition.[63] He had planned to rebuild the palace of Polycrates at Samos, to finish the temple of Didymaean Apollo at Ephesus and to found a city high up in the Alps.[59] He also planned to dig a canal through the Isthmus in Greece and sent a chief centurion to survey the work.[59]

The hull of one of two ships recovered from Lake Nemi during the 1930s.  This massive vessel served as an elaborate floating palace to the emperor.
The hull of one of two ships recovered from Lake Nemi during the 1930s. This massive vessel served as an elaborate floating palace to the emperor.

In 39, Caligula performed a spectacular stunt by ordering a temporary floating bridge to be built using ships as pontoons, stretching for over two miles from the resort of Baiae to the neighboring port of Puteoli.[64] It was said that the bridge was to rival that of Persian King Xerxes' crossing of the Hellespont.[64] Caligula, a man who could not swim,[65] then proceeded to ride his favorite horse, Incitatus, across, wearing the breastplate of Alexander the Great.[64] This act was in defiance of Tiberius' soothsayer Thrasyllus of Mendes prediction that he had "no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae".[64]

Caligula also had two large ships constructed for himself. These two sunken ships were found at the bottom of Lake Nemi. The ships are among the largest vessels in the ancient world. The smaller of the ships was designed as a temple dedicated to Diana. The larger ship was essentially an elaborate floating palace that counted marble floors and plumbing among its amenities.

[edit] Feud with the Senate

In 39, relations between Caligula and the Roman Senate deteriorated.[66] On what they disagreed is unknown. A number of factors, though, aggravated this feud. Prior to Caligula's appointment, The Roman Senate was accustomed to ruling without an emperor in Rome since Tiberius' departure for Capri in 26.[67] Additionally, Tiberius' treason trials had eliminated a number of pro-Julian senators such as Gallus Asinius.[68]

Caligula reviewed Tiberius' records of treason trials and decided that numerous senators, based on their actions during these trials, were not trustworthy.[66] He ordered a new set of investigations and trials.[66] He replaced the consul and had several senators put to death.[69] Suetonius claims that other senators were degraded by being forced to wait on him and run beside his chariot.[69]

Soon after his break with the Senate, Caligula was met with a number of additional conspiracies against him.[70] A conspiracy involving his brother-in-law, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, was foiled in late 39.[70] Soon after, the governor of Germany, Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus, was executed for connections to a conspiracy.[70]

[edit] Western expansion

In 40, Caligula expanded the Roman Empire into Mauretania and made a significant attempt at expanding into Britannia. The later action was fully realized by his successors.

Mauretania was a client kingdom of Rome ruled by Ptolemy of Mauretania. Caligula invited Ptolemy to Rome and then had him suddenly executed.[71] Mauretania was annexed by Caligula and divided into two provinces.[72] This annexation of Mauretania led to a rebellion of some magnitude that was put down under Claudius.[73] Details on these events are unclear. Cassius Dio had written an entire chapter on the annexation of Mauretania by Caligula, but it is now lost.[74]

There also seemed to be a northern campaign to Britannia that was aborted.[74] This campaign is derided by ancient historians with accounts of Gauls dressed up as Germanic tribesmen at his triumph and Roman troops ordered to collect sea-shells as "spoils of the sea".[75] Due to the lack of sources, what precisely occurred and why is a matter of debate even among the primary sources for Caligula's reign. Modern historians have put forward numerous theories in an attempt to explain these actions. This trip to the English Channel could have merely been a training and scouting mission.[76] The mission may have been to accept the surrender of the British chieftain Adminius.[77] It is possible that his troops refused to embark on a mission across the channel and hence Caligula ordered them to collect seashells as a sarcastic reward.[78] "Seashells", or conchae in Latin, may be a metaphor for something else such as female genitalia (perhaps the troops visited brothels) or boats (perhaps they captured several small British boats).[79]

[edit] Acting like a god

Ruins of the temple of Castor and Pollux in the Forum Romanum. Ancient resources as well as recent archeological evidence suggest that, at one point, Caligula had the palace extended to annex this structure.
Ruins of the temple of Castor and Pollux in the Forum Romanum. Ancient resources as well as recent archeological evidence suggest that, at one point, Caligula had the palace extended to annex this structure.

In 40, Caligula began implementing very controversial policies that introduced religion into his political role. Caligula began appearing in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules, Mercury, Venus and Apollo.[80] Reportedly, he began referring to himself as a god when meeting with politicians and he was referred to as Jupiter on occasion in public documents.[81][82] A sacred precinct was set apart for his worship at Miletus in the province of Asia and two temples were erected for worship of him in Rome.[82] The Temple of Castor and Pollux on the Forum was linked directly to the Imperial residence on the Palatine and dedicated to Caligula.[82][83] He would appear here on occasion and present himself as a god to the public.

Caligula's religious policy was a subtle, but important departure from the policy of his predecessors. According to Cassius Dio, living Emperors could be worshipped as divine in the east and dead Emperors could be worshipped as divine in Rome.[84] Augustus also had the public worship his spirit on occasion, but Dio describes this as an extreme act that emperors generally shied away from.[84] Caligula took things a step further and had those in Rome, including Senators, worship him as a physical living god.[85]

[edit] Eastern policy

Caligula needed to quell several riots and conspiracies in the eastern territories during his reign. Aiding him in his actions was his good friend, Herod Agrippa, who became governor of the territories of Batanaea and Trachonitis after Caligula became emperor in 37.[86]

The cause of tensions in the east was complicated, involving the spread of Greek culture, Roman law and the rights of Jews. Philo, though, placed the blame with Caligula and claimed that Caligula's desire to be worshiped was at odds with Jewish monotheism.[87] He said that Caligula "regarded the Jews with most especial suspicion, as if they were the only persons who cherished wishes opposed to his."[87]

Caligula did not trust the prefect of Egypt, Aulus Avilius Flaccus. Flaccus had been loyal to Tiberius, had conspired against Caligula's mother and had connections with Egyptian separatists.[88] In 38, Caligula sent Agrippa to Alexandria unannounced to check on Flaccus.[89] According to Philo, the visit was met with jeers from the Greek population who saw Agrippa as the king of the Jews.[90] Flaccus tried to placate both the Greek population and Caligula by having statues of the emperor placed in Jewish synagogues.[91] As a result, riots broke out in the city.[92] Caligula responded by removing Flaccus from his position and executing him.[93]

In 39, Agrippa accused Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, of planning a rebellion against Roman rule with the help of Parthia. Herod Antipas confessed and Caligula exiled him. Agrippa was rewarded with his territories and now controlled most of Judea. [42]

Riots again erupted in Alexandria in 40 between Jews and Greeks.[94] Jews were accused of not honoring the emperor.[95] Also, disputes occurred in the city of Jamnia.[96] Jews were angered by the erection of a clay altar and destroyed it.[96] In response, Caligula ordered the erection of a statue of himself in the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem.[97]

Fearing civil war if the order were carried out, it was delayed for nearly a year by the governor of Syria, Publius Petronius.[98] Agrippa finally convinced Caligula to reverse the order.[99]

[edit] Scandals

Roman sestertius depicting Caligula, c. 38. The reverse shows Caligula's three sisters, Agrippina, Drusilla and Iulia Livilla, with whom Caligula was rumoured to have carried on incestuous relationships.
Roman sestertius depicting Caligula, c. 38. The reverse shows Caligula's three sisters, Agrippina, Drusilla and Iulia Livilla, with whom Caligula was rumoured to have carried on incestuous relationships.

Surviving sources present a number of outlandish stories about Caligula that attempt to illustrate cruelty, debauchery and insanity.

The contemporary sources, Philo of Alexandria and Seneca the Younger, describe an insane Emperor who was self-absorbed, angry, killed on a whim, and who indulged in too much spending and sex.[100] He is accused of sleeping with other men's wives and bragging about it,[101] killing for mere amusement,[102] purposely wasting money on his bridge, causing starvation,[103] and wanting a statue of himself erected in the Temple of Jerusalem for his worship.[97]

While repeating the earlier stories, the later sources of Suetonius and Cassius Dio add additional tales of insanity. They accuse Caligula of incest with his sisters, Agrippina, Drusilla and Julia Livilla, and say he prostituted them to other men.[104] They claim he sent troops on illogical military exercises.[105][74] They also allege he made the palace into a literal brothel.[106] Perhaps most famous, they say that Caligula tried to make his horse, Incitatus, a consul and a priest.[107]

The validity of these claims is debatable. In Roman political culture, insanity and sexual perversity were often presented hand-in-hand with poor government.[108]

[edit] Assassination and aftermath

Renaissance picture of Caligula.
Renaissance picture of Caligula.

Caligula's actions as Emperor were described as being especially harsh to the Senate, the nobility and the equestrian order.[109] According to Josephus, these actions led to several failed conspiracies against Caligula.[110] Eventually, a successful murder was planned by officers within the Praetorian Guard led by Cassius Chaerea.[111] The plot is described as having been planned by three men, but many in the Senate, army and equestrian order were said to have been informed of it and involved in it.[112]

According to Josephus, Chaerea had political motivations for the assassination.[113] Suetonius, on the other hand, only claims Caligula called Chaerea derogatory names.[114] Caligula considered Chaerea effeminate because of a weak voice and for not being firm with tax collection.[115] Caligula would mock Chaerea with watchwords like "Priapus" and "Venus".[116]

On January 24, 41, Chaerea and other guardsmen accosted Caligula while he was addressing an acting troupe of young men during a series of games and dramatics held for the Divine Augustus.[117] Details on the events vary somewhat from source to source, but they agree that Chaerea was first to stab Caligula followed by a number of conspirators.[118] Suetonius records that Caligula's death was similar to that of Julius Caesar. He claims that both the elder Gaius Julius Caesar (Julius Caesar) and the younger Gaius Julius Caesar (Caligula) were stabbed 30 times by conspirators led by a man named Cassius (Cassius Longinus and Cassius Chaerea).[119] By the time Caligula's loyal Germanic guard responded, the emperor was already dead. The Germanic guard, stricken with grief and rage, responded with a rampaging attack on the assassins, conspirators, innocent senators and bystanders alike.[120]

The Senate attempted to use Caligula's death as an opportunity to restore the Republic.[121] Chaerea attempted to convince the military to support the Senate.[122] The military, though, remained loyal to the office of the emperor.[122] The grieving Roman people assembled and demanded that Caligula's murderers be brought to justice.[123] Uncomfortable with lingering imperial support, the assassins sought out and stabbed Caligula's wife, Caesonia, and killed their infant daughter, Julia Drusilla, by smashing her head against a wall.[124] They were unable to reach Caligula's uncle, Claudius, who was spirited out of the city to a nearby Praetorian camp.[125] Claudius became emperor after procuring the support of the Praetorian guard and ordered the execution of Chaerea and any other known conspirators involved in the death of Caligula.[126] According to Suetonius Caligula's body was placed under turf until it was burned and entombed by his sisters. He was buried within the Mausoleum of Augustus; in 410AD during the sack of Rome, the tomb's ashes were scattered.

[edit] Legacy

[edit] Historiography

The history of Caligula’s reign is extremely problematic. Only two sources have surived that were contemporary with Caligula— the works of Philo and Seneca. Philo’s works, On the Embassy to Gaius and Flaccus, give some details on Caligula’s early reign, but mostly focus on events surrounding the Jewish population in Judea and Egypt with whom he sympathizes. Seneca’s various works give mostly scattered anecdotes on Caligula’s personality. Seneca was almost put to death by Caligula in 39 likely due to his associations with conspirators.[127]

At one time, there were detailed contemporary histories on Caligula, but they are now lost. Additionally, the historians who wrote them are described as biased, either overly critical or praising of Caligula.[128] Nonetheless, these lost primary sources, along with the works of Seneca and Philo, were the basis of surviving secondary and tertiary histories on Caligula written by the next generations of historians. A few of the contemporary historians are known by name. Fabius Rusticus and Cluvius Rufus both wrote condemning histories on Caligula that are now lost. Fabius Rusticus was a friend of Seneca who was known for historical embellishment and misrepresentation.[129] Cluvius Rufus was a senator involved in the assassination of Caligula.[130] Caligula’s sister, Agrippina the Younger, wrote an autobiography that certainly included a detailed explanation of Caligula’s reign, but it too is lost. Agrippina was banished by Caligula for her connection to Marcus Lepidus, who conspired against Caligula.[131] The inheritance of Nero, Agrippina's son and the future emperor, was seized by Caligula. Gaetulicus, a poet, produced a number of flattering writings about Caligula, but they too are lost.

The bulk of what is known of Caligula comes from Suetonius and Cassius Dio, who were both of the Patrician class. Suetonius wrote his history on Caligula eighty years after his death, while Cassius Dio wrote his history over 180 years after Caligula’s death. Though Cassius Dio’s work is invaluable because it alone gives a loose chronology of Caligula’s reign, his surviving work is only a summary written by John Xiphilinus, an 11th century monk.

A handful of other sources also add a limited perspective on Caligula. Josephus gives a detailed description of Caligula’s assassination. Tacitus provides some information on Caligula’s life under Tiberius. Tacitus, the most objective of ancient historians, did write a detailed history of Caligula, but this portion of his Annals is lost. Pliny the Elder’s Natural History also has a few brief references to Caligula.

There are few surviving sources on Caligula and no surviving source paints Caligula in a favorable light. The paucity and bias of sources has resulted in significant gaps in the reign of Caligula. Little is written on the first two years of Caligula’s reign. Additionally, there are only limited details on later significant events, such as the annexation of Mauretania, Caligula’s military actions in Britannia, and his feud with the Roman Senate.

[edit] Question of insanity

All surviving sources, except Pliny the Elder, claim Caligula was insane. It is not known whether they are speaking figuratively or literally, though. Additionally, given Caligula's unpopularity among the surviving sources, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. Recent sources are divided in attempting to ascribe a medical reason for Caligula's behavior, citing as possibilities encephalitis, epilepsy or meningitis. The question of whether or not Caligula was insane remains unanswered.

Bust of Caligula, 1st century.
Bust of Caligula, 1st century.

Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and Seneca also claim Caligula was insane, but claim this madness was a personality trait that came through experience.[42][132][133] Seneca claims that Caligula became arrogant, angry and insulting once becoming emperor and uses his personality flaws as examples his readers can learn from.[134] Josephus claims power made Caligula incredibly conceited and led him to think he was a god.[42] Philo of Alexandria reports that Caligula became ruthless after nearly dying of his illness in 39.[135] Juvenal claims he was given a magic potion that drove him insane.

[edit] Epilepsy

Suetonius said that Caligula suffered from "falling sickness" when he was young.[136] Modern historians have theorized that Caligula lived with a daily fear of seizures.[137] Despite swimming being a part of imperial education, Caligula could not swim.[138] Epileptics are encouraged not to swim because light reflecting off water can induce seizures.[139] Additionally, Caligula reportedly talked to the full moon.[140] Epilepsy was also long associated with the moon.[141]

[edit] Hyperthyroidism

Some modern historians claim that Caligula suffered from hyperthyroidism.[142] This diagnosis is mainly attributed to Caligula's irritability and his "stare" as described by Pliny the Elder.

[edit] Ancestry

8. Tiberius Nero
4. Nero Claudius Drusus
9. Livia Drusilla
2. Germanicus
10. Mark Antony
5. Antonia Minor
11. Octavia Minor