Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/961

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
913
AUGUSTUS

as he must now be called, could alone restore confidence and order. Towards the end of 27 B.C. he left Rome for Gaul, and from that date until October 19 B.C. he was mainly occupied with the reorganization of the provinces and of the provincial administration, first of all in the West and then in the East. It was during his stay in Asia (20 B.C.) that the Parthian king Phraates voluntarily restored the Roman prisoners and standards taken at Carrhae (53 B.C.), a welcome tribute to the respect inspired by Augustus, and a happy augury for the future. In October 19 B.C. he returned to Rome, and the senate ordered that the day of his return (Oct. 12) should thenceforward be observed as a public holiday. The period of ten years for which his imperium had been granted him was nearly ended, and though much remained to be done, very much had been accomplished. The pacification of northern Spain by the subjugation of the Astures and Cantabri, the settlement of the wide territories added to the empire by Julius Caesar in Gaul—the “New Gaul,” or the “long-haired Gaul” (Gallia Comata) as it was called by way of distinction from the old province of Gallia Narbonensis (see Gaul)—and the re-establishment of Roman authority over the kings and princes of the Near East, were achievements which fully justified the acclamations of senate and people.

In 18 B.C. Augustus’s imperium was renewed for five years, and his tried friend Marcus Agrippa, now his son-in-law, was associated with him as a colleague. From October of 19 B.C. till the middle of 16 B.C. Augustus’s main attention was given to Rome and to domestic reform, and to this period belong such measures as the Julian law “as to the marriage of the orders.” In June of 17 B.C. the opening of the new and better age, which he had worked to bring about, was marked by the celebration in Rome of the Secular games. The chief actors in the ceremony were Augustus himself and his colleague Agrippa,—while, as the extant record tells us, the processional hymn, chanted by youths and maidens first before the new temple of Apollo on the Palatine and then before the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol, was composed by Horace. The hymn, the well-known Carmen Saeculare, gives fervent expression to the prevalent emotions of joy and gratitude.

In the next year (16 B.C.), however, Augustus was suddenly called away from Rome to deal with a problem which engrossed much of his attention for the next twenty-five years. The defeat of Marcus Lollius, the legate commanding on the Rhine, by a horde of German invaders, seems to have determined Augustus to take in hand the whole question of the frontiers of the empire towards the north, and the effective protection of Gaul and Italy. The work was entrusted to Augustus’s step-sons Tiberius and Drusus. The first step was the annexation of Noricum and Raetia (16-15 B.C.), which brought under Roman control the mountainous district through which the direct routes lay from North Italy to the upper waters of the Rhine and the Danube. East of Noricum Tiberius reduced to order for the time the restless tribes of Pannonia, and probably established a military post at Carnuntum on the Danube. To Drusus fell the more ambitious task of advancing the Roman frontier line from the Rhine to the Elbe, a work which occupied him until his death in Germany in 9 B.C. In 13 B.C. Augustus had returned to Rome; his return, and the conclusion of his second period of rule, were commemorated by the erection of one of the most beautiful monuments of the Augustan age, the Ara Pacis Augustae (see Roman Art, Pl. II, III). His imperium was renewed, again for five years, and in 12 B.C., on the death of his former fellow-triumvir Lepidus, he was elected Pontifex Maximus. But this third period of his imperium brought with it losses which Augustus must have keenly felt. Only a few months after his reappointment as Augustus’s colleague, Marcus Agrippa, his trusted friend since boyhood, died. As was fully his due, his funeral oration was pronounced by Augustus, and he was buried in the mausoleum near the Tiber built by Augustus for himself and his family. Three years later his brilliant step-son Drusus died on his way back from a campaign in Germany, in which he had reached the Elbe. Finally in 8 B.C. he lost the comrade who next to Agrippa had been the most intimate friend and counsellor of his early manhood, Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, the patron of Virgil and Horace.

For the moment Augustus turned, almost of necessity, to his surviving step-son. Tiberius was associated with him as Agrippa had been in the tribunician power, was married against his will to Julia, and sent to complete his brother Drusus’s work in Germany (7-6 B.C.). But Tiberius was only his step-son, and, with all his great qualities, was never a very lovable man. On the other hand, the two sons of Agrippa and Julia, Gaius and Lucius, were of his own blood and evidently dear to him. Both had been adopted by Augustus (17 B.C.). In 6 B.C. Tiberius, who had just received the tribunician power, was transferred from Germany to the East, where the situation in Armenia demanded attention. His sudden withdrawal to Rhodes has been variously explained, but, in part at least, it was probably due to the plain indications which Augustus now gave of his wish that the young Caesars should be regarded as his heirs. The elder, Gaius, now fifteen years old (5 B.C.), was formally introduced to the people as consul-designate by Augustus himself, who for this purpose resumed the consulship (12th) which he had dropped since 23 B.C., and was authorized to take part in the deliberations of the senate. Three years later (2 B.C.) Augustus, now consul for the 13th and last time, paid a similar compliment to the younger brother Lucius. In 1 B.C. Gaius was given proconsular imperium, and sent to re-establish order in Armenia, and a few years afterwards (A.D. 2) Lucius was sent to Spain, apparently to take command of the legions there. But the fates were unkind; Lucius fell sick and died at Marseilles on his way out, and in the next year (A.D. 3) Gaius, wounded by an obscure hand in Armenia, started reluctantly for home, only to die in Lycia. Tiberius alone was left, and Augustus, at once accepting facts, formally and finally declared him to be his colleague and destined successor (A.D. 4) and adopted him as his son.

The interest of the last ten years of Augustus’s life centres in the events occurring on the northern frontier. The difficult task of bringing the German tribes between the Rhine and the Elbe under Roman rule, commenced by Drusus in 13 B.C., had on his death been continued by Tiberius (9-6 B.C.). During Tiberius’s retirement in Rhodes no decisive progress was made, but in A.D. 4 operations on a large scale were resumed. From Velleius Paterculus, who himself served in the war, we learn that in the first campaign Roman authority was restored over the tribes between the Rhine and the Weser, and that the Roman forces, instead of returning as usual to their headquarters on the Rhine, went into winter-quarters near the source of the Lippe. In the next year (A.D. 5) the Elbe was reached by the troops, while the fleet, after a hazardous voyage, arrived at the mouth of the same river and sailed some way up it. Both feats are deservedly commemorated by Augustus himself in the Ancyran monument. To complete the conquest of Germany and to connect the frontier with the line of the Danube, it seemed that only one thing remained to be done, to break the power of the Marcomanni and their king Maroboduus. In the spring of A.D. 6 preparations were made for this final achievement; the territory of the Marcomanni (now Bohemia) was to be invaded simultaneously by two columns. One, starting apparently from the headquarters of the army of Upper Germany at Mainz, was to advance by way of the Black Forest and attack Maroboduus on the west; the other, led by Tiberius himself, was to start from the new military base at Carnuntum on the Danube and operate from the south-east.

But the attack was never delivered, for at this moment, in the rear of Tiberius, the whole of Pannonia and Dalmatia burst into a blaze of insurrection. The crisis is pronounced by Suetonius to have been more serious than any which had confronted Rome since the Hannibalic war, for it was not merely the loss of a province but the invasion of Italy that was threatened, and Augustus openly declared in the senate that the insurgents might be before Rome in ten days. He himself moved to Ariminum to be nearer the seat of war, recruiting was vigorously carried on in Rome and Italy, and legions were summoned from