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had to plead for the weak before the powerful.* The chosen magistrate was not to despise his office because he had not so free a field as the magistrates of old times ; but he was never to forget the difference between him and them. Periklês might say that he was called to rule among freemen, among Greeks, among Athenians. The magistrate of Plutarch's day was to remember that he ruled with a ruler over him ; that his city was in subjection to the proconsuls of Rome, to the procurators of Cæsar.f War was impossible ; of freedom they had as much as their masters left to them, as much perhaps as was good for them when Greece was so weak, when there was no power left in her which the slightest bidding of a proconsul could not upset. In such times public men must be careful to give no offence, no occasion, to dangerous neighbours, above all they must avoid such occasion as was given by disputes at home or with other cities. At the same time, while fully understanding their dependent position, they must avoid base cringing and flattery; they must not make the governor yet more of a master than he is disposed to be by calling him in on all occasions ;ll and it will be wise to make some powerful Roman their friend. They will do well to study the records of old Greece, but only for examples suited to the actual state of things; tall talk about Marathôn and Plataia and Eurymedôn should be left to the rhetoric of the schools; but peaceful examples from earlier times, examples of courtesy, humanity, and good faith, were as instructive then as they ever had been. **
The precepts of Plutarch are perfectly general. He draws no dis. tinction between the different classes of cities, according to the greater or less degree of independence which they still formally kept. For in truth they were all practically in the same case; all had, in his own phrase, the shoe of the Roman over their heads.tt The mere provincial town could act freely in many things, if the governor did not choose to meddle; the independent ally could not act freely in any thing, if the governor did choose to meddle. We find things on the whole the same when we turn from the philosopher giving wise precepts in his study to the orator actually haranguing the assemblies whose duties Plutarch so carefully lays down. Diôn Chrysostom is a rhetorician by profession, and he has the faults of his profession; but there is much that is attractive about the man and his writings, and he gives us several instructive pictures of Greek life in his own day. His orations on subjects of theoretical politics, on kingship, aristocracy, democracy, and the like, sound a little un practical for those times; but we must remember that it mattered a good deal whether the reigning prince was Domitian or Trajan. We gain real additions to our knowledge from the picture of the Euboian hunter, possessed of the civic franchise but who had never been in the city, and we learn better what an Euboian city was like in Diôn’s day.* More interesting still is his picture of the Greek city of Olbia or Borysthenês, still clinging to its Greek speech and manners amid the constant attacks of dangerous barbarian neighbours. Of more importance for our purpose is his oration to the Rhodians, an oration of good advice, but of course largely mingled with panegyric on his hearers and their city. This is a document of deep
* C. 10. * C. 17. αρχόμενος άρχεις, υποτεταγμένης πολεως ανθυπάτοις, επιτρόπους Καίσαρος. + C. 32. ελευθερίας δε όσον οι κρατούντες νέμoυσι τους δήμους μετεστι, και το πλέον ίσως ουκ άμεινον.
8 Ιbid. ποία δύναμις ήν μίκρον ανθυπάτου διάταγμα κατέλυσεν ή μετέστησεν εις άλλο.
Η C. 19. οι πάντα δόγματα και συνεδρίων και χάριτι και διοικήσει προσάγοντες ηγεμονικής ρίσιν αναγκάζουσι έαυτών μάλλον ή βούλονται δεσπότας είναι τους ηγουμένους. TC. 18.
** C. 17. ++ 1bid. όρνώτα τους καλτίους επάνω της κεφαλής.
a interest if read by the light of the history of that illustrious island in the second century before Christ. Rhodes is throughout addressed as a free commonwealth, as a democracy ;f it is the one Greek state besides Athens which keeps its freedom ; § it is the only one which keeps up the glory of the Hellenic name. || The relations of the state to Rome are nowhere dwelled upon after the manner of Plutarch; Emperors are several times casually mentioned, but not as masters ;s the point of connexion between Rhodes and Rome of which the orator is most inclined to speak is the part played by the Rhodians in the Roman civil war. He knows of no break between the mighty Rhodes of an earlier day and the still flourishing democracy which he harangues. Some of his sayings could hardly have been approved by Plutarch ; they are too much in the Marathôn and Eurymedôn style; but they could not, even as flourishes, have been addressed to a people who were not free, at least in theory, however precarious might be the tenure by which their freedom was held.
Less interesting in themselves than any of these, but perhaps in a certain way more instructive, are the speeches which Diôn makes in his own city of Prusa and in other cities of his native province.
He had to preach peace and concord both to rival cities and to rival parties in the same city, and also to plead his own cause against his own enemies.tt The assemblies which he addresses are always assumed to be self-acting bodies ; references to the existence of Rome come in only
* Oration vii. Ευβοϊκός ή Κυνηγός. + Oration xxxvi. Bopvo Devikós.
+ Oration Xxxi. vol. 1. p. 364, Dindorf. ταύτα εν δημοκρατία και παρ' υμίν, οι μέγιστον φρονείτε επί τω νομίμως και δικαίως διοικείν τα παρ' εαυτοίς. 8 Ιbid., p. 380. τοις μεν γάρ [Ροδίοις] μόνον υπάρχειν την ελευθερίαν δίχα 'Αθηναίων.
Η Ιδίd., p. 350. της λοιπης Ελλάδος τρόπον τινά εσβεσμένης μόνους έφ' αυτούς διαφυλάξαι το κοινόν αξίωμα των Ελληνων εις τον νυν παρόντα χρόνω. So p. 398. μόνοι καταλείπεσθε των Ελληνων οίς αν και παραινέσαι τις και περίώ έστιν έτι λυπηθήναι δοκούντων αμαρτάνειν.
1 Ibid., pp. 359, 380, 381, 387, 393.
casually, and Diôn does not often copy the plain-speaking of Plutarch.* But the speeches of the Greek orator put on a tenfold interest when we come to compare them with the memorable correspondence which is luckily preserved to
to us between a Roman Emperor and a proconsul of Bithynia of Dion's own day. The letters which passed between Trajan and Pliny seem at first sight to describe a wholly different state of things from that which appears in the speeches of Diốn. If we compare the two, we shall see that they set before us two opposite sides of the same state of things. From the two together we shall get a clear notion of the state of the various cities of Bithynia, and of the different relations in which, like those of any other province, they stood to the ruling power. Speeches and letters together illustrate the show of freedom which existed in perhaps every case, the reality of freedom which existed in some cases, and at the same time the precarious tenure by which both the shadow and the reality were held. We see the ordinary provincial town, still keeping the style of “res publica,” passing “psephismata,” sending “ legati” to the Emperor and the neighbouring governors, playing in short at being a commonwealth, but not venturing to do any local act of the least importance without consulting the Emperor's representative. Diôn brings out one side, Trajan and Pliny bring out the other side ; that is all. Diôn makes a speech to the people of Nikomêdeia, exhorting them to peace and harmony with the people of Nikaia. Many passages would have been in place in the mouth of a mediator between Athens and Sparta five hundred years earlier. There is no direct mention of any superior authority as bearing rule over both; the orator indeed tells his hearers that after all they cannot make war on their enemies, and warns them lest by their dissensions they make the Greek name ridiculous among the Romans. I We are for the moment amazed when we turn from this picture of two seemingly independent commonwealths to the letters which show how the Emperor and his representative had to be consulted by Nikomêdeia, Nikaia, and every other city, about the smallest municipal regulations, about every kind of local improvement. It is an odd comment on the dissensions between city and city of which Diốn speaks, when Trajan, remembering how Nikomêdeia and other cities had been torn by seditions, will not allow the creation of a kind of company of firemen, lest it be turned to some dangerous political purpose. Il We again feel sure that Pliny,
* Once perhaps in the home orations, xliv. (vol. ii. p. 117). ei ydp iote ÖTL TINE λεγομένην ελευθερίαν, και το όνομα τούθ', και παρά των κρατούντων και δυναμένων γίγνεται ένιότε ου δυνατόν κτήσασθαι.
* Oration XXXviii. Προς Νικομηδείς περί ομονοίας της προς Νικαιείς, vol. i. pp. 74, 75, 76. # Ibid. p. 80. § Epp. Plini et Trajani, 31, 33, 34, 37, 39, 40, 41, 48, 49, 70, 71, 74, 81, 90. !! Ep. 34. “Tibi quidem secundum exempla complurium in mentem venit posse collegium fabrorum apud Nicomedenses constitui. Sed meminerimus provinciam istam et præcipue eas civitates ejusmodi factionibus esse vexatas. Quodcumque nomen ex quacumque causa dederimus iis qui in idem contracti fuerint . . . . hetæriæque fient.”
in his zeal, meddled in many matters which a worse proconsul would have left alone, and that, in his desire to do right, he referred many things to the Emperor which such a proconsul would have settled for himself in a high-handed way. Reading speeches and letters together, we better understand both. We are dealing with commonwealths, but with commonwealths acting in fetters. They do everything for themselves by votes of their own assemblies. But those votes need a licence beforehand, a confirmation afterwards, or both the one and the other, from the overruling power that stands without,*
Both Nikomédeia and Nikaia and Dion's own city of Prusa were only ordinary provincial towns with no special privilege. But there were spots in Bithynia which were more highly favoured. Here, as elsewhere, the Roman colony, the free and allied city, were locally in the province, but not of it. It is plain that even cities of this rank were used to a good deal of meddling on the part of the Roman officers; but they resented such treatment and appealed to their privileges. Apameia was no provincial town, but a Roman colony. Diôn, who claimed to be one of its citizens, made a speech before its senate, in which he sets forth its dignity in that character.t Pliny, more busy than other proconsuls, claimed to look over the accounts of the colony. The colonists told him that he was welcome to do so, that it was their common wish that he should do so. But he should remember that it was a thing which no proconsul had ever asked before; their ancient privileges gave them the right of managing their own commonwealth as they thought good. Pliny asks for and receives a statement of their case in writing He thinks much of the paper irrelevant; but he sends it to the Emperor to be guided by his judgment.
In all this correspondence one somehow thinks of Augustine and Gregory; the superior is so clearly the wiser man of the two. Trajan writes back that the straightforward dealing of the men of Apameia is to be respected; the proconsul is to tell them that it is by the Emperor's special request that he asks to look at their accounts; he is to do it without any prejudice to their privileges for the future. I We here see plainly enough the difference inherent in the position of a Roman colony as distinguished from that of an ordinary town of the province. Still an Emperor and a proconsul less scrupulous than Trajan and Pliny might have made short work of the liberties of Apameia. Under the men with whom the colonists bad actually to deal, those liberties, when once established by sufficient evidence, were safe.
But within the geographical limits of Bithynia there was some
* In Ep. 81 there are references to Diôn himself. He was a Roman citizen. + Oration xli. vol. ii. pp. 103, 105.
# Plin. et Traj. Epist. 47, 48 (56, 57). The claim of the colony is " habuisse privi. legium et vetustissimum morem arbitrio suo rem publicam administrare.” The Emperor's answer is "Remuneravda est igitur probitas eorum, et jam nunc sciant quod inspe cturus es ex mea voluntate salvis, quæ habent privilegiis esse facturum."
thing yet higher than a Roman colony. Amisos was an independent state surrounded by Roman territory. The city had in past times seen many settlers and many masters; it was at last delivered from its oppressors by Augustus Cæsar, and it became a free ally of Rome, bound to Rome only by the terms of its treaty.* We know not what those terms were; they may, like treaties with Gades and Aitolia, have formally bound Amisos to respect the majesty of Rome, or they
That difference mattered little to a commonwealth whose geographical position in any case compelled it practically to respect that majesty. But it mattered greatly that, within its own walls, Amisos was by right perfectly free, governed by its own laws, which might or might not agree with the laws of Rome. Still it is plain that its treaty rights could not always secure the commonwealth from the meddling of Roman proconsuls. And it again marks the difference between the servant and the master that Pliny speaks of the liberties of Amisos as existing by the indulgence of Trajan, while Trajan himself grounds them directly on the faith of treaties. The proconsul asks if an eranos, a benefit club, is to be allowed in Amisos. Such a question marks the way in which the rights even of a perfectly free city were liable to be interfered with. Trajan, as we have seen in the case of the Nikomêdeian firemen, had a great dislike to unions and societies of any kind which might possibly be turned to political ends. No eranos is to be allowed in any city that is subject to the laws of Rome. But at Amisos, a city ruled by its own laws, Pliny is not to interfere with the establishment of such a body. The way in which the great Emperor speaks is remarkable. The might of Cæsar stands disarmed before the majesty of treaties. Trajan carries out a certain policy wherever he has the legal right to do so ; where he has no such right, he forbears. Yet his words seem to imply that even he, the just Emperor, might have interfered with the rights of the free commonwealth, had he seen really good cause for doing so.t What other Emperors and other proconsuls did, with or without cause, it is easy to guess.
It is not at all wonderful if most of the business done by the assemblies of these commonwealths had to do with religious and social matters, and again with formal and trifling matters, with votes of honours, statues, and the like. As Diôn several times tells them implicitly, as Plutarch tells them more directly, the decision of
* See Strabo, xii. 3 (iii. 24 Tauchnitz. The Dictator Cæsar delivered it from Pharnakés; Antonius παρέδωκε βασιλεύσι, είτ' ήλευθερώθη πάλιν μετά τα 'Ακτιακά υπό Καίσαρος του Eeßdotou kai vûv eŮ ouvéotykev. Pliny (92 or 93) says, Amisenorum civitas libera et fæderata beneficio indulgentiæ tuæ legibus suis utitur.” Trajan answers, "si legibus istorum quibus de officio fæderis utuntur concessum est eranon habere," &e. “In cæteris civitatibus, quæ nostro jure obstrictæ sunt, res hujusmodi prohibenda est." There is another mention of Amisos in Letter 110, which reads rather like sharp practice on the part of the free and allied city, its bule and ecclesia.
† “ Possumus quo minus habeant non impedire, eo facilius si tali conlatione non ad turbas et ad inlicitos cætus, sed ad sustinendam tenuriorum inopam utuntur.