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A.D. 43—50.] CONQUEST OF SOUTH BRITAIN. 397
sixteen days in the island, Claudius returned to Rome to enjoy not only a triumph (a.d. 44), but the honour, only claimed before him by Sulla and Augustus, of enlarging the sacred pomoerium of the city, in token of his having extended the limits of the empire.* The work of completing the conquest thus vaunted was left to Plautius and Vespasian. The latter led the second legion against the Belga? and Damnonii, who inhabited the peninsula west of the Solent and the Severn, defeating them in thirty-two battles, in one of which the young Titus gave the earnest of his future fame by saving his father's life. The Regni in the south not only submitted, but became the zealous allies of Rome; and the Iceni in the east were led to take the same course through jealousy of the Trinobantes. Their heroic king, Caractacus, still held out at the head of the Silures (in South Wales), when Aulus Plautius was succeeded by Ostorius Scapula (a.d. 47). The first act of the new commander was to establish a line of posts along the course of the Severn and the Avon. After subduing a revolt of the Iceni, and making successful attacks upon the Brigantes, in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and other tribes whose localities are less certain,! Ostorius founded a colony of veterans at Camulodunum, which became the great military base of the Roman power in the island; and here the worship of Claudius was set up. "In the colony of Camulodunum the Britons beheld an image, rude indeed and distorted, of the camp on the Rhine or Danube, combined with the city on the Tiber" (a.d. 50).
The Roman general now devoted all his energy to finishing the war, which Caractacus had prolonged for nine years by deeds which were doubtless sung by the native bards, but of which the record of his enemies is silent. He had now transferred the war to the mountains of the Ordovices in North Wales; but it seems impossible to identify with certainty the hill and river where his camp (Caer Caradoc) was at last stormed by the sheer hard-fighting of the legionaries. His wife and daughter were among the captives, and Caractacus himself was betrayed by his step-mother, Cartismandua, the queen of the Brigantes, with whom he had taken refuge. Claudius, who had already celebrated his triumph, prepared another spectacle, in which to exhibit the first British prince who had been brought a captive to Rome. Caractacus, led in chains with his family and clients before the tribunal, where the emperor was seated with Agrippina at his side, at the gate of the praetorian camp, pleaded for his life with a sublime boldness worthy of the first of British heroes.* While reminding the emperor that his resistance enhanced the glory of his conquest, he invited him to earn a nobler title to fame by his clemency. The voice of history has ever since ratified the truth of the appeal; and the response of Claudius places him in honourable contrast to the murderers of Pontius, of Perseus, of Jugurtha, and of Yercingetorix.f Meanwhile the capture of Caractacus had not ended the resistance of the Britons, and Ostorius Scapula died in the midst of his efforts to subdue them. A great victory was gained by the Silures over Valens and a Roman legion, and the Brigantes regained their independence, after expelling the traitress Cartismandua. The new legate, Aulus Didius, inactive alike from age and caution, was content to secure the ground already won, and to press forward slowly in the subjugation of Wales. When the reign of Claudius ended in the year 54, the south of Britain, from the Exe and the Severn to the Stour, had begun to assume the aspect of a settled Roman province, with Camulodunum for its capital, and London scarcely second to it as a seat of traffic. "Swept east and west by the tidal stream, and traversed north and south by the continuous British roads, Londinium supplied the whole island with the luxuries of another zone, just as Massilia had supplied Gaul." The readiness of the southern Britons to accept the civilization of the Romans inspired the latter with a confidence which was shown by the absence of any new works for the fortification of the Colony; and neither of the four legions which formed
* This ceremony took placo in A.D. 49.
+ The Cangi, for example, are placed by the geographers in the peninsula of Caernarvonshire.
• Truo as is the remark already quoted, that Arminius has equal claims to rank as one of the first heroes of the English nation, nothing hut the mere pedantry of ethnical science would depose Caractacus from his place in our popular traditions. Not to insist at present on the arguments for a greater continuity of the Celtic element in our nation than is commonly admitted, nor on the honour which the whole people owes to the greatness of each of its races, the popular sontiment is amply justified hy the prineiplo of local association. Just as in the hattles of chivalry the victor took the armorial hearings of the vanquished—our own heir-apparent, for example, deriving his title from the conquered Cymry, and his heraldic insignia from the King of Bohemia, who was slain at Crecy—so the English are not wrong in claiming the whole traditional inheritance which is included under the jiame of BriUms.
t The family of Caractacus would naturally he enrolled among the clients of the Claudian house; and it has been conjectured that the accomplished lady celebrated by Martial as "Claudia sprung from the blue-eyed Britons" (Epig. IV. 18), was the same person as the Claudia, wife of Pudens,whos3 Christian greeting Paul sends to Timothy (2 Tim. iv. 21). An inscription, however, found at Chichester, has given ground for the belief that St Tanl's Claudia was tho daughter of a British king, Cogidubnus, an ally of Rome (seo Smith's Did. of Iht Bible, s.v.). We shall have again to speak of tho early indications of Christianity among the Britons.
A.D. 54.] GOVERNMENT OF CLAUDIUS. 399
the whole military force was retained for its protection. The Second Legion held the country which it had conquered in the West; but it is not clear whether its head-quarters were yet fixed at the great station of Isca Silurum ( Cacrleoii)* on the river of the same name (the Usk). The Ninth, quartered among the Iceni, kept watch over the doubtful fidelity of that people, as well as against the still hostile Brigantes beyond the Wash, who were confronted at the opposite extremity of their wide territory by the Twentieth Legion, whose camp upon the Dee grew into one of the most interesting of the Roman cities in our island, f The Fourteenth Legion was occupied in completing the reduction of North Wales, where its progress drove back the more resolute patriots, with the proscribed Druids, both of Gaul and Britain, to their last refuge in the dense forests of Anglesey.
The conquest of Southern Britain was not the only memorable event in the provincial government of Claudius, which was distinguished also for the number and splendour of his colonies on the frontier, % and by his patronage of the petty princes of the East. Antiochus was restored to the kingdom of Commagene, Mithridates to that of Pontus, and Herod Agrippa to the throne of Judaea; but the history of this country is reserved for another chapter. At home, Claudius endeavoured, so far as his feeble character and the evil influences about him would permit, to imitate the policy of Augustus in raising the dignity of the Senate, recruiting its numbers from the most distinguished of the provincials, especially from his native land of Gaul, the nobles of which were admitted to the Roman magistracies;—in his regulation of the national religion;—his regularity and firmness in the administration of justice ;—and in the splendour and utility of his public works. Of these, the most remarkable were the Claudian aqueduct, already begun by Caius; § the new Augustan or Roman Harbour at the mouth of the Tiber, which enabled the corn ships again to sail up to Rome, after being long used to unload at Puteoli, in consequence of the silting up of the port of
* That is, the Camp of the Legion. In the same way, the city of Leon in Spain derived its name from the Legio VII. Gemina, which was stationed there to command the Astures.
+ Deva, now Chester, a name which, with its compounds, as Col-chester, Chi-che9tcr, Ciren-cester, is a sure mark of tho site of a Roman camp, castra.
X Such as Augusta Trevirorum (Treves) on the Moselle, and Colonia Claudia Augusta Agrippinensis (Cologne) on the Rhine, the latter named iu honour of his wife Agrippina.
§ This aqueduct, in the form in which it entered Rome, was the combination of two, tho Aqua Claudia and the Anio Nom*. The former was brought from a distance of about forty-five Roman miles, and the latter had a eourse of nearly fifty-nine. Near the city they were raised on a common substruction of arches, one channel over the other; and of this portion we have a splendid remnant in the double archway now called Porta Maggiore.—(See p. 400.)
Ostia; and the subterranean "emissary," three miles long, which provided an outlet for the surplus waters of the Fucine lake in the Marsian hills. The mimic sea-fight on the lake, by which the completion of this work was celebrated, afforded the populace of Rome, who witnessed it by imperial invitation, a novel change from the spectacles of the amphitheatre, which Claudius provided on a grander scale than any of his predecessors, and honoured more regularly by his presence.
In all this there were proofs at least of good intentions, which in a man of more energy and self-reliance, and trained from his youth to the duties of empire, might have been crowned with success. But the very exertions which Claudius made seem to have had an unfavourable re-action on his natural tendency to coarse sensual pleasures. In the scandalous chronicles of the empire, Claudius is conspicuous for his disgusting gluttony; but taking into account the constant exaggeration of such writers as Suetonius, we may believe that, "of all the Crosars, Claudius stands, on the whole, the most nearly free from the charge of illicit and disgraceful indulgences." But it was his fate to have wives whose influence was more fatal than that of other princes' mistresses; and what remains to be told of his reign consists almost entirely of the intrigues of these abandoned women, and of the freedmen who shared and disputed their influence over the feeble and irresolute old man. At the time of his accession,
A.D. 42] OUTRAGES OF MESSALINA. 401
Claudius had recently married his third wife, Valeria Messalina, who bore him a son, born in A.d. 41, and named Britannicus, and a daughter Octavia. She was conspicuous for her profligacy even in an age which seemed to have forgotten every vestige of the fame of the old Roman matrons; and, from the moment of her husband's accession, she sought to establish her power at court by a guilty league with Polybius and Narcissus, the Greek freedmen and ministers of the emperor, who appears to have been completely deceived. Her influence was seen in the second banishment of Julia, the sister of Caligula,* as well as of the philosopher Seneca, of whom we shall soon have to speak again (a.d. 41). "With the aid of Narcissus, Messalina extorted from the fears of Claudius the condemnation and death of a most distinguished Senator, Appius Junius Silanus, whom the emperor had chosen for the honour of a double connection by marriage with the imperial family; and the abortive conspiracy of Scribonianus, provoked by this and similar cruelties, was made the occasion of a series of executions. This reign of terror is memorable for the affecting deaths of Paetus and his wife Arria, who, when her husband shrunk from the deed of self-destruction, to which he was doomed by Claudius, stabbed herself first, and then handed him the dagger, saying calmly, "Partus, it does not pain me" (a.d. 42). After the return of Claudius from Britain, he was still so blind to his wife's conduct or so besotted by her influence, that he commanded the Senate to confer upon her the same honours that Livia had shared with Augustus, while she plunged into hideous excesses, only paralleled in history by those of Catherine of Russia. The partners of her guilt, who might at any moment become her betrayers, were bribed with wealth obtained by fresh judicial murders, of which that of the consul Valerius Asiaticus was among the worst (a.d. 46).
It was amidst such scenes as these that Claudius celebrated the Secular Games, on the completion of the eighth century from the foundation of the city (a.d. 47) ;f and a representation of the
* One of the first acts of Claudius was the recal of Julia and her more celebrated sister Agrippina, the daughters of Germanicus.
t In this year Claudius took a census of the empire, which gave the sum of 5,984,072 males of the military age, corresponding to a total population of 25,419,066. In A.d. 13, the number was 4,897,000, corresponding to a population of 17,400,000. The immense increase was chiefly due to the extension of the citizenship to whole communities as well as individuals. The franchise, of which Augustus had been so chary, was made the object of traffic, if not by Caius and Claudius themselves, certainly by their ministers and favourites; and people were ready to pay for an honour which exempted them from the poll and land tax. "The sale of the franchise by the
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