Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

B.C. 104.1 SECOND SERVILE WAP. IN SICILY. 70

On that occasion we have seen that the wretched state of the lowest class of freemen drove them to make common cause with the insurgents; and, in the reaction that ensued, the landholders and capitalists revenged themselves by claiming many freemen as their slaves. A decree of the Senate was directed against this outrage, and the governor of Sicily, P. Licinius Nerva, established a court of enquiry, which in a short time restored freedom to eight hundred persons, and new claims were pouring in every day (b.c. 104). The alarmed planters intimidated the proprsetor into sending the applicants back to their masters. The slaves flew to arms; but the first body of revolters was put down by a strange league between the governor and a captain of banditti, who betrayed them for the price of his own pardon. Another band, however, gained a victory over the garrison of Henna; and being thus provided with weapons, they swelled to an army of 20,000 foot and 2000 horse, under a leader named Salvius. Like Eunoiis in the first insurrection, he was saluted king by his followers, who were for the most part Syrians, and he assumed the name of Tryphon, who had usurped the throne of Syria about forty years before. The slaves became masters of the open country about Henna and Leontini, and had laid siege to Morgantia, when the prretor hastened to its relief, with an army consisting of the island militia, which dispersed during the engagement. The city was saved by the fidelity of the slaves within it on the promise of their freedom, which Nerva immediately declared null and void, as having been made under compulsion.

The insurrection in the west of the island was headed by a far abler leader, Athenion. Like Cleon in the first revolt, he had been a leader of banditti in Cihcia, where he had been captured and sold as a slave into Sicily. Like Eunoiis, he gained ascendancy over the superstitious Greeks and Syrians by prophecies and conjuring tricks. But he was vastly superior to both, as well as to Tryphon, in ability and moderation. Of the numbers who flocked to him, he only armed as many as he could form into a compact force, in which he preserved the strictest discipline. He permitted no excesses against the peaceful inhabitants, and treated his prisoners with kindness. His crowning proof of capacity was given by his cheerful submission to the orders of Tryphon. The whole plain country of the island fell into the power of the insurgents; and its rich produce was cut off from the people of the towns, who had to be fed from Rome. The force at the disposal of the governor barely sufficed to protect these cities, where the inhabitants were shut up with the domestic slaves whose revolt they daily dreaded; and Messana almost fell into the hands of Athenion.

In the midst of their preparations to meet the Cimbri in Gaul, the Romans sent an army of 14,000 men into Sicily under the praetor L. Lucullus, who gained a complete victory near Sciacca. But, while he neglected to follow up his success, Athenion, who had been left for dead upon the field, rejoined the remains of the army under Tryphon, and animated them to fresh resistance. The fact that such a force could be thus rallied proves the success of his previous discipline. Neither Lucullus, nor his successor C. Servilius (b.c. 102), achieved anything further; and both were prosecuted for wilful negligence. It seemed as if the island, like Hayti in modern times, were about to become an independent state of self-emancipated slaves under Athenion, who succeeded to the royal title on the death of Tryphon (b.c. 102). At length the Romans made efforts commensurate with the danger. Manius Aquillius, who had distinguished himself under Marius in Gaul, was elected as his colleague in the consulship, and appointed to the province of Sicily (b.c. 101). It took him two years of an incessant and exterminating war to subdue the insurrection. Athenion is said to have fallen in battle by the hand of Aquillius. The prisoners were sent to Rome and condemned to fight with wild beasts; but they disappointed the spectators in the Circus by falling upon one another till all were slain. In B.g. 99, after five years of Avar, the province was restored to tranquillity, and Aquillius returned to Rome laden with the spoils of his extortions.

Such was the state of the Roman republic, when, on the first day of the first century before Christ, Caius Marius entered on his sixth consulship, with the purpose of finally overthrowing the government of the nobles. How he fell from the height on which he now stood, will be related in the next chapter; and this may be closed by referring to the great men whose entrance on the world marks the present epoch. Marcus Tullius Cicero was born on the 3rd of January, B.c. 106; Cneius Pompeius Magnus on the last day of September in the same year; * and the sixth consulship of Marius was the natal year of his illustrious nephew, who was destined to achieve the work in whicli he failed. Caius Julius Caesar was born on the 12th of Quinctilis, the month which was afterwards called in his honour July, B.c. 100.

* When Pompey is said to have been born on the 30th of September, the date is adapted to the reformed calendar which did not yet exist. The 29th was the last day of September. T. Pomponius Atticus, tho friend of Cicero, was born in B.C. 1*19.

B.C. 100.] MARIUS AND CAMILLUS. 81

CHAPTER XXXIII.

FIRST PERIOD OF CIVIL WARS.—MARIUS AND SULLA. B.C. 100 TO B.C. 78.

"The Rom Ax, when his burning heart
Was slaked with blood of Rome,

Threw down the dagger, dared depart
In savage grandeur home.

He dared depart in utter scorn

Of men that such a joke had borne,
Yet left him such a doom!

His only glory was that hoar

Of self-upheld, abandon'd power."—Byron.

MAiTCS IS HONOURED AS A SECOND CAMILLUS—HIS DEFECTS— HE CREATES A STANDING. ARMY—HIS LEAGUE WITH GLAUCIA AND SATUHMXUS—THE APPCLBIAN LAWS— BANISHMENT Or METELLCS—SEDITION AND DEATH 07 SATURNINUS — TRIUMPH OF THE OPTIMATES—RETIREMENT 07 MABIUS—FOREIGN AFFAIRS: SPAIN AND CYRENE— LEX CECILIA—JUDICIAL ABUSES BY THE EQUITES—Q. SCSVOLA IN ASIA—CONDEMNATION OP RCTIUUS RUPUS —PROSECUTION OP SCACRUS—TRIBUNATE OP M. LIYIUS DRUSUS —HIS MEASURES OP RE70RM— THEIR PASSAGE AND REPEAL—ASSASSINATION 07 DRUSUS —RETOLT OP THE ALLIES—THE SOCIAL OR MARSIO WAR—THE ITALIAN CONFEDERATION, AND ITS NEW CAPITAL—THE STATES PAITHFUL TO ROME—THE TWO SCENES OP THE WAR—SUCCESSES 07 THE INSUROENTS IN CAMPANIA—L. JULIUS CJJ8AR— DE7EAT AND DEATH 07 RUTILIUS LUPUS —SUCCESSES OF MARIUS, SULLA, AND POMIEIU5 STRABO—THE ROMANS GRANT THE CITIZENSHIP TO THE ALLIES—THE LEX JULIA AXD LEX PLAUTIA PAPIRIA—THE FRANCHISE IN CISALPINE OAUL—SECOND TEAR OF THE WAR— SUCCESSES OF POMPEIUS STRABO AND SULLA — RESISTANCE OF THI SAMNITES —WAB WITn XITHRIDATES—CONSULSHIP OP SULLA—JEALOUSY Of MARIUS—TRIBUNATE AND LAWS OF SULPIOIUS RUPUS—MARIUS APPOINTED TO THE COMMAND AGAINST MITHRIDATES—SULLA MARCHES UPON ROME—PLIGHT AND ADVENTURES OP MARIUS—PROCEEDINGS OF SULLA—CINNA ELECTED CONSUL—SULLA DEPARTS FOR ASIA—ATTEMPT AT A COUNTER-REVOLUTION — CINNA DRIVEN OCT 07 ROME—HE COLLECTS AN ARMY—RETURN OF MARIUS TO ITALY—SIEGE AND CAPITULATION OF ROME MASSACRE OF THE OPTIMATES—SEVENTH CONSULSHIP OP MARIUS

— THE FIRST MITHRIDAT1U WAR — CHARACTER OF MITHRIDATES VI. APFAIRS OP

CAFPADOCIA AND BITHYNIA— INVASION OP ASIA, AND MASSACRE OF THE ITALIANS —INSURRECTION OF GREECE—SULLA LANDS IN EPIRUS, TAKES ATHENS, AND DEFIATS ARCHELACS—PEACE WITH MITnRIDATES—THE OIVIL WAR EXTENDS TO ASIA

— DEATHS OF PLACCUS AND FIMBRIA—SULLA RETURNS TO ITALY—GOVERNMENT AND DEATH OF CINNA—PREPARATIONS FOR WAR—SULLA DEFEATS NORBANUS—IS JOINED BT POMPET AND OTHER LEADERS OF THE OPTIMATES—MARIUS THE YOUNGER AND FAPIRIUS CARBO — DEFEAT OP MARIUS—MASSACRE AT ROME—SULLA DEFEATS THE SAMIITES BEFORE THE COLLINE GATE—DEATH OF MARIUS—AUTOCRACY OP SULLA— TBI FIRST GREAT PROSCRIPTION—TRIUMPH, DICTATORSHIP, AND LEGISLATION OF SULLA—HIS RETIREMENT, DEATH, AND FUNERAL.

Since the day when Camillus, having rescued the city from the Gatils, consecrated the restored harmony between the orders of the state, no Roman had occupied a prouder position than Caius Marius, when he celebrated his double triumph (b.c. 101). Not only had he saved Rome: he was confessed to be the only man who could have saved her. In the libations at banquets his name was coupled with the gods, and men called him the third founder of Rome. While family legends invested Camillus with the glory

VOL. III. G

of that deliverance, which had in fact been purchased by a heavy ransom, and which secured only the retreat of the invaders, Marras had annihilated one barbarian host on its march to cross the Alps, and a second on the soil of Italy itself. But he was utterly destitute of those qualities which gave the ancient hero the right to set np the altar of Concord, the "ingenium civile,'''' which the old Roman aristocracy, with all its faults, so conspicuously possessed. His long military career had made him almost a stranger at Rome, and his blunt nature was uncongenial with the society to the head of which he had now risen. His inability to converse in Greek, and his impatience of Greek plays, his growing addiction to deep drinking and the still more unpardonable fault of keeping a bad cook, and his contempt for official etiquette, exposed him to sarcasms, which were envenomed by his arrogance in prosperity. He was wont to compare his marches from Africa to Gaul, and from Gaul to Italy, to the processions of Bacchus from continent to continent, and he had a cup made after the model of that which the Greek poet calls "the shield of Dionysus." Nor was he endowed with the eloquence which at Rome commanded the respect of all parties; and he seems to have been alike ignorant of legal and political culture. This personal severance from the class among which he remained a stranger, after he had risen to its ranks, confirmed his hostility to their vices of corruption and extravagance, and threw him entirely into the arms of the people, who already idolized him for having humbled the oligarchy in conquering Jugurtha and the barbarians. The peculiar position in which he was thus placed, acting upon a nature undisciplined by polite culture, will go far to account for the horrors which marked the last period of his career. His military work being finished, he was now expected to complete the victory of the people over the Optimates, and he seemed to be furnished with an irresistible force in the new standing army which his changes had created. How little he was likely to be restrained from its use by constitutional scruples he had already shown, when he excused the act of giving the Roman franchise to two Italian cohorts, as the reward of their bravery at the Raudine plain, by declaring that ho could not hear the laws amidst the din of arms. "If once, in more important questions, the interest of the army and that ot the general should concur to produce unconstitutional demands, who could be security that then other laws would not cease to be heard? They had now the standing army, the soldier-class, the body-guard (or privileged prcetorian cohort). As in the civil con

B.C. 100.] COALITION WITH GLAUCIA AND SATURNINUS. 83

stitution, so also in the military, all the pillars of the future monarchy were already in existence: the monarch alone was wanting. When the twelve eagles circled round the Palatine Hill, they ushered in the kings; the new eagle which Caius Marias bestowed on the legions proclaimed the advent of the Emperors." (Mommsen.)

The time, however, had not yet come; public feeling would not suffer the laws to be silenced by the sword within Rome itself; and perhaps Marins abstained from the attempt through underrating the constitutional power still wielded by the Senate. He disbanded his army, as usual, after his triumph, and threw himself upon the support of the popular party and its leaders. Both had deteriorated since the fall of Caius Gracchus. The patriotic fervour which hailed the Sempronian reforms had degenerated, from causes which our narrative has developed, into hatred and contempt for the nobility. The popular leaders were no longer men who, like the Gracchi, had long pondered over the intolerable evils, which they felt an irresistible call to combat. They were either novices in political life, whose popular zeal soon subsided into a conservative reaction, like the tribune 0. Memmius and the orator L. Crassus, both of whom had now gone over to the government; or adventurers who played the game of the demagogue with the rashness of men who had none but the last stake to lose. Such were Caius Servilius Glaucia, a shameless but witty mob orator, whom Cicero calls the Roman Hyperbolus, and the abler and more respectable L. Appuleius Saturninus, the most vehement opponent of the order from whom he had received a gross insult in his quaestorship. As tribune in B.C. 103, Saturninus had carried the bill for prosecuting Caepio, and had mainly contributed to the re-election of Marius, with whom both he and Glaucia had the fellow-feeling of personal enmity to Metellus Numidicus. In the elections for B.c. 100, the coalition formed in order to secure the consulship for Marius, the prsetorship for Glaucia, and a second tribuneship for Saturninus, had been successful, by bribery and open violence,* against the opposition of the Optimates, who put forward Metellus against Marius; and the time had now come both to revenge themselves and satisfy the popular demands. Saturninus proposed an Agrarian Law, to

* Nonius, the candidate of the Senate for the tribunate, was murdered on the evo ■jf the election by a band composed chiefly, it was alleged, of the discharged soldiers of Marius. Some say that he was actually elected, and that Saturninus was chosen t'i all the vacancy by a packed meeting called very early on the following morning.

« ForrigeFortsett »