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admires, and will loDg admire, the awful remains of the amphitheatre of Titus, which so well deserved the epithet of Colossal.91 It was a building of an elliptic figure, rive hundred and sixty-four feet in length, and four hundred and sixtyseven in breadth, founded on fourscore arches, and rising, with four successive orders of architecture, to the height of one hundred and forty feet." The outside of the edifice was encrusted with marble, and decorated with statues. The slopes of the vast concave, which formed the inside, were filled and surrounded with sixty or eighty rows of scats of marble likewise, covered with cushions, and capable of receiving with ease about fourscore thousand spectators.93 Sixty-four vomitories (for by that name the doors were very aptly distinguished) poured forth the immense multitude; and the entrances, passages, and staircases were contrived with such exquisite skill, that each person, whether of the senatorial, the equestrian, or the plebeian order, arrived at his destined place without trouble or confusion.94 Nothing was omitted, which, in any respect, could be subservient to the convenience and pleasure of the spectators. They were protected from the sun and rain by an ample canopy, occasionally drawn over their heads. The air was continually refreshed by the playing of fountains, and profusely impregnated by the grateful scent of aromatics. In the centre of the edifice, the arena, or stage, was strewed with the finest sand, and successively assumed the most different forms. At one moment it seemed to rise out of the earth, like the garden of the Hespcrides, and was afterwards broken into the rocks and caverns of Thrace. The subterraneous pipes conveyed an inexhaustible supply of water; and what had just before appeared a level plain, might be suddenly converted into a wide lake, coxered with armed
"Sec Maffei. Verona Illustrata, p. iv. 1. i. c. 2. 8* Maffei, 1. ii. c. 2. The height was very much exaggerated by the ancients. It reached almost to the heavens, according to Calphurnius, (Eclog. vii. 23,) and surpassed the ken of human sight
the great pyramid of Egypt, which rises 500 feet perpendicular!
"According to different copios of Victor, we road 77,000, or 87,000 spectators; but Maffei (1. ii. c. 12) finds room on the open seats for no more than 34,000. The remainder were oontained in ths upper covered galleries.
M See Maffei, 1. ii. c. 5—12. He treats the very difficult subject with all possible clearness, and lik» an architect, as well as an antiquarian.
according to Ammianus
Yet how trifling to
vessels, and replenished with the monsters of the deep." In
the decoration of these scenes, the Roman emperors displayed their wealth and liberality; and we read on various occasions that the whole furniture of the amphitheatre consisted either of silver, or of gold, or of amber." The poet who describes the games of Carinus, in the character of a shepherd, attracted to the capital by the fame of their magnificence, affirms that the nets designed as a defence against the wild beasts, were of gold wire; that the porticos were gilded; and that the belt or circle which divided the several ranks of spectators from each other was studded with a precious mosaic of beautiful stones.*7
In the midst of this glittering pageantry, the emperor Carinus, secure of his fortune, enjoyed the acclamations of the people, the flattery of his courtiers, and the songs of the poets, who, for want of a more essential merit, were reduced to celebrate the divine graces of his person.'8 In the same hour, but at the distance of nine hundred miles from Rome, his brother expired; and a sudden revolution transferred into the hands of a stranger the sceptre of the house of Carus.w
The sons of Carus never saw each other after their father's death. The arrangements which their new situation required were probably deferred till the return of the younger brother to Rome, where a triumph was decreed to the young emperors for the glorious success of the Persian war.w(i It is uncertain whether they intended to divide between them the administration, or the provinces, of the empire; but it is very unlikely that their union would have proved of any long duration.
** Calphurn. Eclog. vil. 04. 73. These lines are curious, and the whole eclogue has been of Infinite use to Mattel. Cnlphurnius, as well as Martial, (see his first book.) was a poet; but when they described tlie amphitheatre, they both wrote from their own senses, and to those of the Ituman8.
*' Consult Plin. Hist. Natur. xxxiii. 16. xxxvii. 11.
"Battens en gemmis. en inlita portieus auro
Certatim radiant, &c. Calphurn. vii.
98 Et Martis vultus et Apollinis esse putavi, says Calphurnius; but John Malala, who had perhaps seen pictures of Carinus, describes him as thick, short. and white, toin. i. p. 403.
0J With regard to the time when these Roman games were celebrated, Scaliger, Salmasius, and Cuper have given themselves a great deal of trouble to perplex a very clear subjeot.
wo Nemesianus (in the Cyuegetieoa1 seems to anticipate in his faq :y that auspicious day.
The jealousy of power must have been inflamed by the opposition of characters. In the most corrupt of times, Carinus was unworthy to live: Numerian deserved to reign in a happier period. His affable manners and gentle virtues secured him, as soon as they became known, the regard and affections of the public. He possessed the elegant accomplishments of a poet and orator, which dignify as well as adorn the humblest and the most exalted station. His eloquence, however it was applauded by the senate, was formed not so much on the model of Cicero, as on that of the modern declaimers; but in an age very far from being destitute of poetical merit, he contended for the prize with the most celebrated of his contemporaries, and still remained the friend of his rivals; a circumstance which evinces either the goodness of his heart, or the superiority of his genius.101 But the talents of Numerian were rather of the contemplative than of the active kind. When his father's elevation reluctantly forced him from the shade of retirement, neither his temper nor his pursuits had qualified him for the command of armies. His constitution was destroyed by the hardships of the Persian war; and he had contracted, from the heat of the climate,103 such a weakness in his eyes, as obliged him, in the course of a long retreat, to confine himself to the solitude and darkness of a tent or litter. The administration of all affairs, civil as well as military, was devolved on Arrius Aper, the Praetorian praefect, who to the power of his important office added the honor of being father-in-law to Numerian. The Imperial pavilion was strictly guarded by his most trusty adherents; and during many days, Aper delivered to the army the supposed mandates of their invisible sovereign.103
It was not till eight months after the death of Carus, that the Roman army, returning by slow marches from the banks of the Tigris, arrived on those of the Thracian Bosphorus. The legions halted at Chalcedon in Asia, while the court passed over to Heraclea, on the European side of the Pro
"" He won all the crowns from Nemesianus, with whom ho vied in didactic poetry. The senate erected a statue to the son of Carus, with a very ambiguous inscription, "To the most powerful of orators.' Bee Vopiscus in Hist. August, p. 251.
lu* A more natural cause, at least, than that assigned by Vopisccs, . Hist- August, p. 251,) incessantly weeping for his father's death.
"In the Persian war, Aper was suspected of a design to betray Carus. Hist. August, p. 250.
pontis 1<H But a report soon circulated through the camp, «l first in secret whispers, and at length in loud clamors, of lho emperor's death, and of the presumption of his ambitious minister, who still exercised the sovereign power in the name of a prince who was no more. The impatience of the soldiers could not long support a state of suspense. With rude curiosity they broke into the Imperial tent, and discovered only the corpse of Numerian.105 The gradual decline of hist health might have induced them to believe that his death was natural; but the concealment was interpreted as an evidence of guilt, and the measures which Aper had taken to secure his election became the immediate occasion of his ruin. Yet, even in the transport of their rage and grief, the troops observed a regular proceeding, which proves how firmly discipline had been reestablished by the martial successors of Gallienus. A general assembly of the army was appointed to be held at Chalcedon, whither Aper was transported in chains, as a prisoner and a criminal. A vacant tribunal was erected in the midst of the camp, and the generals and tribunes formed A great military council. They soon announced to the multitude that their choice had fallen on Diocletian, commander of the domestics or body-guards, as the person the most capable »f revenging and succeeding their beloved emperor. The future fortunes of the candidate depended on the chance or conduct of the present hour. Conscious that the station which he had filled exposed him to some suspicions, Diocletian ascended the tribunal, and raising his eyes towards the Sun, made a solemn profession of his own innocence, in the presence of that all-seeing Deity.106 Then, assuming the tone of a sovereign and a judge, he commanded that Aper should be brought in chains to the foot of the tribunal. "This man," said he, " is the murderer of Numerian ;" and without giving him time to enter on a dangerous justification, drew his sword, and buried it in the breast of the unfortunate praefect A charge supported by such decisive proof was admitted
,°4 We are obliged to the Alexandrian Chronicle, p. 274, for the knowledge of the time and place where Diocletian was elected emperor.
"* Hist. August, p. 2S1. Eutrop. ix. 88. Hieronym. in Chron. According to these judicious writers, the death of Numerian was discovered by the stench of his dead body. Could no nromatics be found in the Imperial household?
'"* Aurel Victor. Eutropius, ix. 20. Hieronym. in Chron.
without contradiction, and the legions, with repeated acclamations, acknowledged the justice and authority of the emperoi Diocletian.107
Before we enter upon the memorable reign of that prince, it will be proper to punish and dismiss the unworthy brother of Numerian. Carinus possessed arms and treasures sufficient to support his legal title to the empire. But his personal vice? overbalanced every advantage of birth and situation. The mos' faithful servants of the father despised the incapacity, and dreaded the cruel arrogance, of the son. The hearts of the people were engaged in favor of his rival, and even the senate was inclined to prefer a usurper to a tyrant. The arts of DiocleLan inflamed the general discontent; and the winter was employed in secret intrigues, and open preparations for a civil war. In the spring, the forces of the East and of the West encountered each other in the plains of Margus, a small city of Moasia, in the neighborhood of the Danube.108 The troop*, so lately returned from the Persian war, had acquired their glory at the expense of health and numbers; nor were they in a condition to contend with the unexhausted strength of the legions of Europe. Their ranks were broken, and, for a moment, Diocletian despaired of the purple and of life. But the advantage which Carinus had obtained by the valor of his soldiers, he quickly lost by the infidelity of his officers. A tribune, whose wife he had seduced, seized the opportunity of revenge, and, by a single blow, extinguished civil discord in the blood of the adulterer.109
m Vopiscus in Hist. August, p. 252. The reason why Diocletian killed Aper, (a wild boar,) was founded on a prophecy and a pun, as foolish as they are well known.
"* Eutropius marks its situation very accurately'; it was between the Mons Aureus and Viminiacum. M. d'Anville (Geographie Ancienne, torn. i. p. 304) places Margus at Kastolatz * in Servia, a little below Belgrade and Semendria.
108 Hist. August, p. 254. Eutropius, ix. 20. Aurelius VictoT Victor et Epitome.