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His table was served with the most frugal simplicity; and whenever he was at liberty to consult his own inclination, the ... } consisted of a few select friends, men of learning and virtue, among whom Ulpian was constantly invited. Their conversation was familiar and instructive; and the pauses were occa: sionally enlivened by the recital of some pleasing composition, which supplied the place of the dancers, comedians, and even gladiators, so frequently summoned to the tables of the rich and luxurious Romans.(70). The dress of Alexander was plain and modest, his demeanour courteous and affable: at the proper hours his palace was open to all his subjects, but the voice of the crier was heard, as in the Eleusinian mysteries, pronouncing the same salutary admonitions: “Let none enter those 3. walls, unless he is conscious of a pure and innocent mind.”(71) - Such an uniform tenor of life, which left not a moment for vice or folly, is a better proof of the wisdom and justice of Alexander's government, than all the trifling details preserved in the compilation of Lampridius. Since the accession of Commodus, the Roman world had experienced, during a term of forty years, the successive and various vices of four tyrants. From the death of Elagabalus, it enjoyed an auspicious calm of thirteen years. The provinces, relieved from the oppressive taxes invented by Caracalla and his pretended son, flourished in peace and prosperity, under the administration of magistrates, who were convinced by experience, that to deserve the love of the subjects, was their best and only method of obtaining the favour of their sovereign. While some gentle restraints were imposed on the innocent luxury of the Roman people, the price of provisions, and the interest of money, were reduced, by the paternal care of Alexander, whose prudent liberality, without distressing the industrious, supplied the wants and amusements of the populace. The dignity, the freedom, the authority of the senate was restored; and every virtuous senator might approach the person of the emperor, without fear, and without a blush. The name of Antoninus, ennobled by the virtues of Pius and Marcus, had been communicated by adoption to the dissolute Verus, and by descent to the cruel Commodus. It became the honourable appellation of the sons of Severus, was bestowed on young Diadumenianus, and at length prostituted to the infamy of the high priest of Emesa. Alexander, though pressed by the studied, and perhaps sincere importunity of the senate, nobly refused the borrowed lustre of a name; while in his whole conduct he laboured to restore the glories and felio of the age of the genuine Antonines.(72) n the civil administration of Alexander, wisdom was enforced by power, and the people, sensible of the public felicity, repaid their benefactor with their love and gratitude. There still remained a greater, a more necessary, but a more difficult enterprise; the reformation of the military order, whose interest and temper, confirmed by long impunity, rendered them impatient of the restraints of discipline, and careless of the blessings of public tranquillity. In the execution of his design the emperor affected to display his love, and to conceal his fear, of the army. , The most rigid economy in every other branch of the administration, od a fund of gold and silver for the ordinary pay and the extraordinary rewards of the troops. In their marches he relaxed the severe obligation *P. seventeen days’ provision on their shoulders. Ample magazines were formed along the public roads, and as soon as they entered the enemy's country, a numerous train of mules and camels waited on their haughty laziness. As Alexander despaired of correcting the luxury of his soldiers, he attempted, at least, to direct it to objects of martial pomp and ornament, fine fiorses, splendid armour, and shields enriched with silver and gold. He shared whatever fatigues he was obliged to impose, visited, in person, the sick and wounded, preserved an exact register of their services and his own
170) See the 13th Satire of Juvenal. (71) Hist. August. p. 119.
(72) See in the Hist. August. Q., 116,117, the whole contest between Alexander and the senate, extracted from the journals of that assembly. It happened on the sixth of March, probably of the year 2:23, wher: the Romans had enjoyed, almost a twelvémonth, the blessings of his reign. Before the appellation of Antoninus was offered him as a title of honour, the senate waited to see whether Alexander would not assume it, as a family name.
gratitude, and expressed, on every occasion, the warmest o for a body of men, whose welfare, as he affected to declare, was so closely connected with that of the state.(73) By the most gentle arts he laboured to inspire the fierce multitude with a sense of duty, and to restore at least a faint image of that discipline to which the Romans owed their empire over so many other nations, as warlike and more powerful than themselves. But his prudence was vain, his courage fatal, and the attempt toward a reformation served only to inflame the ills it was meant to cure. The Praetorian guards were attached to the youth of Alexander. They loved him as a tender pupil, whom they had saved from a tyrant's fury, and placed on the imperial throne. That amiable prince was sensible of the obligation; but as his gratitude was restrained within the limits of reason and justice, they soon were more dissatisfied with the virtues of Alexander, than they had ever been with the vices of Elagabalus. Their praefect, the wise Ulpian, was the friend of the laws and of the people; he was considered as the enemy of the soldiers, and to his pernicious counsels every scheme of reformation was imputed. Some trifling accident blew up their discontent into a furious mutiny; and a civil war raged, during three days, in Rome, while the life of that excellent minister was defended by the grateful people. Terrified, at length, by the sight of some houses in flames, and by the threats of a general conflagration, the people yielded with a sigh, and left the virtuous but unfortunate Ulpian to his fate. He was pursued into the imperial palace, and massacred at the feet of his master, who vainly strove to cover him with the purple, and to obtain his pardon from the inexorable soldiers. Such was the deplorable weakness of vernment, that the emperor was unable to revenge his murdered friend and É. insulted dignity, without stooping to the arts of patience and dissimulation. Epagathus, the principal leader of the mutiny, was removed from Rome, by the honourable employment of praefect of Egypt; from that high rank he was ntly degraded to the government of Crete; and when, at length, his popu fo among the guards was effaced by time and absence, Alexander ventured to inflict the tardy, but deserved punishment of his crimes.(74) Under the reign of a just and virtuous prince, the tyranny of the army threatened with instant death his most faithful ministers, who were suspected of an intention to correct their intolerable disorders. The historian Dion Cassius had commanded the Pannonian legions with the spirit of ancient discipline. Their brethren of Rome, embracing the common cause of military license, demanded the head of the reformer. Alexander, however, instead of yielding to their seditious clamours, showed a just sense of his merit and services, by appointing him his colleague in the consulship, and defraying from his own treasury the expense of that vain dignity; but as it was justly apprehended, that if the soldiers beheld him with the ensigns of his office, they would revenge the insult in his blood, the nominal first magistrate of the state retired, by the emperor's advice, from the city, and spent the greatest part of his consulship at his villas in Camania.(75)f p The o, of the emperor confirmed the insolence of the troops; the legions imitated the example of the guards, and defended their prerogative of licentiousness with the same furious obstinacy. The administration of Alexander was an unavailing struggle against the corruption of his age. In Illyricum, in Mauritania, in Armenia, in Mesopotamia, in Germany, fresh mutinies perpetuall broke out; his officers were murdered, his authority was insulted, and his life at last sacrificed to the fierce discontents of the army.(76) One particular fact well deserves to be recorded, as it illustrates the manners of the troops, and
(73) It was a favourite saying of the emperor's, Se milites magis servare, quam seipsum; quod salus publica in his esset. Hist. August. p. 130. (74) Though the author of the life of Alexander (Hist. August. p. 132) mentions the sedition raised against Ulpian by the soldiers, he conceals the catastrophe, as it might discover a weakness in the ad.. of his hero. From this designed omission, we may judge of the weight and candour of at author. (75) For an account of Ulpian's fate and his own danger, see the mutilated conclusion of Dion's History, l. lxxx. p. 1371. (76) Annot. Reimar, ad Dion Cassius, l. lxxx. p. 1369.
fatigues of the Persian war irritated the military discontent; the unsuccessful event"degraded the reputation of the emperor as a general, and even as a sol dier. Every cause prepared, and every circumstance hastened a revolution which distracted the Roman empire with a long series of intestine calamities The dissolute tyranny of Commodus, the civil wars occasioned by his death, and the new maxims of policy introduced by the house of Severus, had all contributed to increase the dangerous power of the army, and to obliterate the faint image of laws and liberty that was still impressed on the minds of the Romans. This internal change, which undermined the foundations of the empire, we have endeavoured to explain with some degree of order and perspicuity. The personal characters of the emperors, their victories, laws, follies, and fortunes, can interest us no farther than as they are connected with the general history of the Decline and Fall of the monarchy. Our constant attention to that great object will not suffer us to overlook a most important edict of Antoninus Carala, which communicated to all the free inhabitants of the empire the name and privileges of Roman citizens. His unbounded liberality flowed not, however, from the sentiments of a generous mind; it was the o result of avarice, and will naturally be illustrated by some observations on the finances of that §. from the victorious ages of the commonwealth to the reign of Alexander Verus. The siege of Veii in Tuscany, the first considerable enterprise of the Romans, was protracted to the tenth year, much less by the strength of the place than by the unskilfulness of the besiegers. The unaccustomed hardships of so many winter campaigns, at the distance of nearly twenty miles from home,(81) required more than common encouragements; and the senate wisely prevented the clamours of the people, by the institution of a regular pay for the soldiers, which was loby a general tribute, assessed according to an equitable proportion on the property of the citizens.(82) During more than two o years after the conquest of Veii, the victories of the republic added less to the wealth than to the power of Rome. The states of Italy paid their tribute in military service only, and the vast force both by sea and land, which was exerted in the Punic wars, was maintained at the expense of the Romans themselves. That high spirited people (such is often the generous enthusiasm of freedom,) cheerfully submitted to the most excessive but voluntary burdens, in the just confidence that they should speedily joy the rich harvest of their labours. heir expectations were not disappointed. In the course of a few years the riches of Syracuse, of Carthage, of Macedonia, and of Asia, were brought in triumph to Rome. The treasures of Perseus alone amounted to near two millions sterling, and the Roman people, the o of so many nations, were for ever delivered from the weight of taxes.(83) The increasing revenue of the provinces was found sufficient to defray the ordinary establishment of war and government, and the superfluous mass of gold and silver was deposited in the temple of Saturn, and reserved for any unforeseen emergency of the state.(84) #. has never, perhaps, suffered a greater or more irreparable injury, than in the loss of the curious registeribequeathed }. Augustus to the senate, in which that experienced prince so accurately balanced the revenues and expenses of the }. empire.(85). Deprived of this clear and comprehensive estimate, we are reduced to collect a few imperfect hints from such of the ancients as have accidentally turned aside from the splendid to the more useful parts of history. We are informed that, by the conquests of o: the tributes of Asia were raised from fifty to one hundred and thirty-five millions
(81) According to the more accurate Dionysius, the city itself was only a hundred stadia, or twelve miles and a half from Rome; though some out-posts might be advanced farther on the side of Etruria. Nardini, in a professed treatise, has combated the popular opinion, and the authority of two popes, and has removed Veii from Civita Castellana, to a little spot called Isola, in the midway between Rome and the lake Bracciano.t (82) See the 4th and 5th books of Livy. In the Roman Census, property, power, and taxation, were commensurate with ench other. (83) Plin. Hist. Natur. I. xxxiii. c. 3. Cicero de Offic. ii.22. Plutarch. in P. Af.mil. p. 275. (84). See a fine description of this accumulated wealth of ages, in Lucan's Phars. l. iii. v. 155, &c. (850 Tacit. in Annal. i. 11. Itseems to have existed in the time of Appian.
of drachms; or about four millions and a half sterling.(86). Under the last and most indolent of the Ptolemies, the revenue of Egypt is said to have amounted to twelve thousand five hundred talents, a sum equivalent to more than two millions and a half of our money, but which was afterward considerably improved by the more exact economy of the Romans, and the increase of the trade of Æthiopia and India.(87) Gaul was enriched by rapine, as Egypt was by commerce, and the tributes of those two great provinces have been compared as nearly equal to each other in value.(88). The ten thousand Euboic or Phoenician talents, about four millions sterling,(89) which vanquished Carthage was condemned to pay within the term of fifty years, were a slight acknowledgment of the superiority of Rome, 90) and cannot bear the least proportion with the taxes afterwards raised both on the lands and on the persons of the inhabitants, when the fertile coast of Africa was reduced into a province.(91) Spain, by a very singular fatality, was the Peru and Mexico of the old world. The discovery of the rich western continent by the Phoenicians, and the oppression of the simple natives, who were compelled to labour in their own mines for the benefit of strangers, form an exact type of the more recent history of Spanish i...o The Phoenicians were acquainted only with the sea-coast of Spain; avarice, as well as ambition, carried the arms of Rome and Carthage into the heart of the country, and almost every part of the soil was found pregnant with copper, silver, and gold. Mention is made of a mine near do. which yielded every day twenty-five thousand drachms of silver, or about three hundred thousand pounds a year.(93) Twenty thousand pounds weight of gold was annually received from the provinces of Asturia, Gallicia, j Lusitania.(94) We want both leisure and materials to pursue this curious inquiry through the many potent states that were annihilated in the Roman empire. Some notion, however, may be formed of the revenue of the provinces, where considerable wealth had been deposited by nature, or collected by man, if we observe the severe attention i. was directed to the abodes of solitude and sterility. Augustus once received a petition from the inhabitants of Gyarus, humbly praying that they might be relieved from one third of their excessive impositions. Their whole tax amounted indeed to no more than one hundred ofifty drachms, or about five pounds: but Gyarus was a little island, or rather a rock, of the AEgean Sea, destitute of fresh water and every necessary of life, and inhabited only by a few wretched fishermen.(95) From the faint glimmerings of such doubtful and scattered lights we should be inclined to believe, 1st, That (with every fair allowance for the difference of times and circumstances) the general income of the Roman provinces could seldom amount to less than fifteen or twenty millions of our money;(96), and, 2dly, That so ample a revenue must have been fully adequate to all the expenses of the moderate government instituted by Augustus, whose court was the modest family of a private senator, and whose military establishment was calculated for the defence of the frontiers, without any aspiring views of conquest, or any serious apprehension of a foreign invasion. Notwithstanding the seeming probability of both these conclusions, the latter of them at least is positively disowned by the language and conduct of Augustus. It is not easy to determine whether, on this occasion, he acted as the common
(86) Plutarch. in Pompeio, p. 642. (87) Strabo, 1. xvii. p. 798. (88) Welleius Paterculus, l. ii. c. 39. He seems to give the preference to the revenue of Gaul. (89) The Euboic, the Phoenician, and the Alexandrian talents, were double in weight to the Attic. See Hooper on ancient weights and measures,& iv. c. 5. It is very probable, that the same talent was carried 0.
from Tyre to Carthage. (90) Polyb. 1. xv. c. 2. (91) Appian. in Punicis, p. 84. (92) Diodorus Siculus, 1. v. Cadiz was built by the Phoenicians a little more than a thousand years before Christ. See Well. Paterc. i. 2. (93) Strabo, I. iii. p. 148.
(94). Plin. Hist. Natur. l. xxxiii. c. 3. He mentions likewise a silver mine in Dalmatia, that yielded every day fifty pounds to the state.
§ Strabo, 1.x. p. 485. Tacit. Annal. iii. 69, and iv. 30. See in Tournefort (Voyages au Levant, Lettre viii.) a very lively picture of the actual misery of Gyarus.
(96. Lipsius de magnitudine Romant, (l. ii. c. *::::::: the revenue at one hundred and fift millions of gold crowns; but his whole book, though ned and ingenious, betrays a very heated nation.: