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In the life of the now deified emperor Augustus even, whom the whole world would certainly agree to place in this class,1 if we carefully examine it in all its features, we shall find remarkable vicissitudes of human fate. There was his rejection from the post of master of the horse, by his uncle,2 and the preference which was given to Lepidus, and that, too, in opposition to his own requests; the hatred produced by the proscription; his alliance in the Triumvirate3 with some among the very worst of the citizens, and that, too, with an unequal share of influence, he himself being entirely borne down by the power of Antony; his illness4 at the battle of Philippi; his flight, and his having to remain three days concealed in a marsh,5 though suffering from sickness, and, according to the account of Agrippa and Mecænas, labouring under a dropsy; his shipwreck6 on the coast of Sicily, where he was again under the necessity of concealing himself in a cave; his desperation, which caused him even to beg Proculeius7 to put him to death, when he was hard-pressed by the enemy in a naval engagement;8 his alarm about the rising at Perusia;9 his anxiety at the battle of Actium;10 the extreme danger he was in from the falling of a tower during the Pannonian war11 seditions so numerous among his soldiers; so many attacks by dangerous diseases;12 the suspicions which he entertained respecting the intentions of Marcellus;13 the disgraceful banishment, as it were, of Agrippa;14 the many plots against his life;15 the deaths of his own children,16 of which he was accused, and his heavy sorrows, caused not merely by their loss;17 the adultery18 of his daughter, and the discovery of her parricidal designs; the insulting retreat of his son-in-law, Nero;19 another adultery, that of his grand-daughter;20 to which there were added numerous other evils, such as the want of money to pay his soldiers; the revolt of Illyria;21 the necessity of levying the slaves; the sad deficiency of young men;22 the pestilence that raged in the City;23 the famine in Italy; the design which he had formed of putting an end to his life, and the fast of four days, which brought him within a hair's breadth of death. And then, added to all this, the slaughter of Varus;24 the base slanders25 whispered against his authority; the rejection of Posthumous Agrippa, after his adoption,26 and the regret to which Augustus was a prey after his banishment;27 the suspicions too respecting Fabius, to the effect that he had betrayed his secrets; and then, last of all, the machinations of his wife and of Tiberius, the thoughts of which occupied his last moments. In fine, this same god,28 who was raised to heaven, I am at a loss to say whether deservedly or not, died, leaving the son of his own enemy his heir.29

1 In the class of those who were considered peculiarly fortunate; "hâc censurâ," literally, "in this assessment," in allusion to the classification of the citizens of Rome, according to the estimate of their property.—B.

2 In B.C. 45, when, being but about eighteen years of age, he had the presumption to ask his uncle for the office of "magister equitum;" upon which Julius Cæsar bestowed it on M. Lepidus, probably being of opinion that his nephew was not yet fit for the office.

3 In his triumvirate with Antony and Lepidus, he showed himself no less cruel than his colleague, Antony, notwithstanding the gloss which Pliny attempts to throw over his actions. Two thousand equites and three hundred senators are said to have been put to death during this proscription.

4 Augustus was detained at Dyrrhachium for some time before the battle of Philippi by illness, and had not recovered when the battle took place.

5 In the first engagement at Philippi, Brutus defeated the army of Augustus, while Cassius was defeated by Antony. Appian speaks also of his concealment in a marsh to the south of Philippi.

6 In his war against Sextus Pompeius, his fleet was twice shattered by shipwreck off the coast of Sicily, and he suffered several defeats by sea.

7 C. Proculeius, a member of the equestrian order, and a familiar friend of Augustus. It is of him that Horace speaks in the lines (II. Ode 2), "Vivet extento Proculeius ævo
Notus in fratres animi paterni."
He was one of the Romans to whom Augustus thought of giving his daughter Julia in marriage. The mode of his death is mentioned in B. xxxvi. c. 59.

8 This circumstance is stated more fully by Suetonius in his Life of Augustus; he tells, that "in crossing from Sicily to Italy to rejoin his forces, Augustus was unexpectedly attacked by Demochares and Apollophanes, two of Pompey's captains, and only escaped in a small vessel with the greatest difficulty."

9 L. Antonius having raised an army at Præneste, took possession of the town of Perusia, which was blockaded by Augustus, and Antonius was at last obliged to surrender. During this siege Augustus encountered several dangers, and was once nearly killed while sacrificing beneath the walls, by a band of gladiators, who came upon him unawares.

10 The victory was long doubtful, and it was only the sudden panic of Cleopatra, that finally ensured it to Augustus.

11 The exact nature of the accident here alluded to, is discussed by Hardouin, Lemaire, vol. iii. p. 169; he concludes, from the account of Suetonius and of Dion Cassius, that it was owing to the fall of a gallery, which extended between two towers.—B.

12 These are fully described by Suetonius, in his Life of Augustus, c. 80 and 81.

13 M. Claudius Marcellus, the son of Octavia, sister of Augustus. He was adopted by Augustus. Tacitus seems to hint that he was greatly beloved by the Roman people, and it is not improbable that Augustus may have become suspicious or jealous of him; his decease took place in his twentieth year.

14 To Mitylene. This refers to the jealousy between Marcellus and his brother-in-law, M. Vipsanius Agrippa. Pliny probably uses the term "pudenda," implying that Augustus showed neither firmness nor gratitude on this occasion; for anxious, at any cost, to prevent these differences, he sent Agrippa, against his will, as proconsul to Syria; immediately on which Agrippa left Rome, but stopped at Mitylene, and left the government of Syria to his legatus. Upon the death of Marcellus, Agrippa returned to Rome.

15 Dion Cassius mentions three conspiracies, the first by Fabius Cæpio and Muræna, a second, of which he does not name the authors, and a third by Cornelius Cinna.

16 Said in allusion to the suspicious deaths of his grandchildren Lucius and Caius, the children of his daughter Julia by Agrippa. They were probably removed by the criminal acts of Livia; but some historians have hinted that Augustus was privy to their destruction, the object of which was to remove all obstacles that lay in the way of Tiberius to the throne.

17 Implying that he was conscience-stricken at his share in their death, as well as struck with sorrow and remorse.

18 She was his only child; Scribonia was her mother. She was first married to her cousin Marcellus; on his death to L. Vipsanius Agrippa, and after his decease to Tiberius Nero, the son of Livia. Her profligacy was universally known, and Augustus did not scruple to enlarge upon it before the senate; but Pliny is the only writer who states that she contemplated an attempt on the life of his father; though Suetonius says that she became, at a late period of her reign, an object of interest to those who were disaffected. Julia was first banished to Pandataria, off the coast of Campania, and then to Rhegium, which she was never allowed to leave. Her death took place A.D. 14.

19 Tiberius Nero, afterwards emperor. Pliny here alludes to his retirement to Rhodes, where he remained seven years. Tacitus represents that his chief reason for leaving Rome was to escape the society of his wife Julia, who treated him with the utmost contempt, and whose licentious life was not unknown to him. During this retreat he devoted himself to the study of astrology. He left Rome without the consent of Augustus, who was equally unwilling to allow of his return.

20 Julia, one of the daughters of Julia and Agrippa, and the wife of L. Æmilius Paulus. She fully inherited the vices of her mother. For an adulterous intercourse with D. Silanus she was banished, by Augustus to Tremerus, off the coast of Apulia, where she survived twenty years, dependent on the bounty of the empress Livia. A child born after her dis- grace, was, by order of Augustus, exposed as spurious. She is supposed by some to be the Corinna of Ovid's amatory poems.

21 He probably alludes to the rising of some tribes in the provinces on the north-eastern coast of the Adriatic, in B.C. 35, who refused to pay their tribute. They were finally vanquished by Statilius Taurus, B.C. 33.

22 After the defeat of his general Varus, by Arminius, in Germany.

23 This pestilence is also mentioned by Dion Cassius; it took place A.U.C. 732.—B.

24 We have an account of the disastrous expedition of Varus in Florus, B. iv. c. 12.—B.

25 Suetonius speaks of calumnious pamphlets (libelli), that were circulated about, even in the senate-house, to his extreme disparagement.

26 A posthumous son of M. Vipsanius Agrippa by Julia, the daughter of Augustus, by whom he was adopted together with Tiberius. He was afterwards banished to Planaria, off the coast of Corsica, on account of his savage and intractable character, though guilty of no crime. Augustus is said to have privately visited him there, which, coming to the ears of Livia, increased her enmity against this youth, and he was murdered by her orders or those of Tiberius.

27 Tacitus, Ann. B. i. c. 3, says that he was banished by the artifices of Nero.—B.

28 After his death his solemn apotheosis took place in the Campus Martius. In some of the coins which were struck even during his life-time, he was called "Divus," or "the god."

29 For Tiberius Nero, the father of Tiberius Cæsar, took the side of M. Antonius in the Civil War.—B.

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