This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 If, in addition to our description of Italy, a few words should be summarily added about the Romans who have possessed themselves of it, and prepared it as a centre from whence to enforce their universal dominion, we would offer the following.—The Romans, after the foundation of their state, discreetly existed as a kingdom for many years, till Tarquin, the last [Roman king], abused his power, when they expelled him, and established a mixed form of government, being a modification both of the monarchical and aristocratical systems; they admitted both the Sabines1 and Latins2 into their alliance, but as neither they nor the other neighbouring states continued to act with good faith towards them at all times, they were under the necessity of aggrandizing themselves by the dismemberment of their neighbours.3 Having thus, by degrees, arrived at a state of considerable importance, it chanced that they lost their city suddenly, contrary to the expectation of all men, and again recovered the same contrary to all expectation.4 This took place, according to Polybius, in the nineteenth year after the naval engagement of Ægos-potami,5 about the time of the con- clusion of the peace of Antalcidas.6 Having escaped these misfortunes, the Romans first reduced all the Latins7 to complete obedience, they then subdued the Tyrrheni,8 and stayed the Kelts, who border the Po, from their too frequent and licentious forays; then the Samnites, and after them they conquered the Tarentines and Pyrrhus,9 and presently after the remainder of what is now considered as Italy, with the exception of the districts on the Po. While these still remained a subject of dispute they passed over into Sicily,10 and having wrested that island from the Carthaginians11 they re- turned to complete the conquest of the people dwelling along the Po. While this war was still in hand Hannibal entered Italy,12 thus the second war against the Carthaginians ensued, and after a very short interval the third, in which Carthage was demolished.13 At the same time the Romans became masters of Africa,14 and of such portions of Spain as they won from the Carthaginians. Both the Greeks and the Macedonians, and the nations of Asia who dwelt on the hither side of the river Kisil-Irmak15 and the Taurus, took part in these struggles with the Carthaginians: over these Antiochus16 was king, and Philip and Perseus,17 these therefore the Romans found themselves obliged to subdue. The people likewise of Illyria and Thrace, who were next neighbours to the Greeks and Macedonians, at this time commenced the war with the Romans that never ceased, until the subjugation of all the people who inhabit the countries on the hither side of the Danube18 and the Kisil-Irmak19 had been effected. The Iberians, and Kelts, and all the rest who are subject to the Romans, shared a similar fate, for the Romans never rested in the subjugation of the land to their sway until they had entirely overthrown it: in the first instance they took Numantia,20 and subdued Viriathus,21 and afterwards vanquished Sertorius,22 and last of all the Cantabrians,23 who were brought to subjection by Augustus Cæsar.24 Likewise the whole of Gaul both within and beyond the Alps with Liguria were annexed at first by a partial occupation, but subsequently divus Cæsar and then Augustus subdued them completely in open war, so that now25 the Romans direct their expeditions against the Germans from these countries as the most convenient rendezvous, and have already adorned their own country with several triumphs over them. Also in Africa all that did not belong to the Carthaginians has been left to the charge of kings owning dependence on the Roman state, while such as have attempted to assert their independence have been overpowered. At the present moment both Maurusia and much of the rest of Africa have fallen to the portion of Juba26 on account of his good will and friendship towards the Romans. The like things have taken place in Asia. At first it was governed by kings who were dependent on the Romans, and afterwards when their several lines of succession failed, as of that of the kings Attalus,27 the kings of the Syrians,28 the Paphlagonians,29 Cappadocians,30 and Egyptians,31 [or] when they revolted and were subsequently deposed, as it happened in the case of Mithridates Eupator, and Cleopatra of Egypt, the whole of their territories within the Phasis32 and the Euphrates,33 with the exception of some tribes of Arabs, were brought completely under the dominion of the Romans and the dynasties set up by them. The Armenians and the people who lie beyond Colchis, both the Albani and Iberians, require nothing more than that Roman governors should be sent among them, and they would be easily ruled; their attempted insurrections are merely the consequence of the want of attention from the Romans, who are so much occupied elsewhere: the like may be asserted of those who dwell beyond the Danube,34 and inhabit the banks of the Euxine, excepting only those who dwell on the Bosphorus35 and the Nomades;36 of these the former are in subjection to the Romans, and the latter are unprofitable for commerce on account of their wandering life, and only require to be watched. The rest of the countries [of Asia] are chiefly inhabited by Scenites37 and Nomades who dwell at a great distance. The Parthians indeed border on them and are very powerful, but they have yielded so far to the superiority of the Romans and our emperors, that they have not only sent back38 to Rome the trophies which they had at a still more distant period taken from the Romans, but Phraates has even sent his sons and his sons' sons to Augustus Cæsar, as hostages, assiduously courting his friendship:39 indeed the [Parthians] of the present time frequently send for a king from hence,40 and are almost on the point of relinquishing all power to the Romans. We now see Italy, which has frequently been torn by civil war even since it came under the dominion of the Romans, nay, even Rome herself, restrained from rushing headlong into confusion and destruction by the excellence of her form of government and the ability of her emperors. Indeed it were hard to administer the affairs of so great an empire otherwise than by committing them to one man as a father.41 For it would never have been in the power of the Romans and their allies to attain to a state of such perfect peace, and the enjoyment of such abundant prosperity, as Augustus Cæsar afforded them from the time that he took upon himself the absolute authority; and which his son Tiberius, who has succeeded him, still maintains, who takes his father for a pattern in his government and ordinances. And in their turn his sons, Germanicus and Drusus,42 who are exercising the functions of government under their father, take him for their model.
1 In the year 747 B. C.
2 In the year 594 B. C.
3 The Latins were first subjected in 499 B. C., but not totally subjugated; the Sabines were almost annihilated in the war which happened about 450 B. C.
4 See Poly b. Hist. book i. chap. vi. § 1, edit. Schweigh, tom. i. p. 12.
5 This battle was fought in the year 405 B. C.
6 Concluded 387 B. C.
7 About 338 B. C.
8 About 310 B. C.
9 About 275 B. C.
10 In the year 264 B. C.
11 In the year 241 B. C.
12 218 B. C.
13 146 B. C.
15 The ancient Halys.
16 Antiochus ceded Asia Minor in the year B. C. 189.
17 Perseus was taken in the year B. C. 167.
19 The ancient Halys.
20 In the year B. C. 133.
21 In the year B. C. 140.
22 B. C. 72.
23 The inhabitants of Biscay.
24 B. C. 19.
25 About A. D. 17 or 18.
26 From this expression we may gather that Strabo wrote this 6th Book of his Geography during the life-time of Juba, and, as we shall presently see, about A. D. 18; while he did not compile the 17th Book till after Juba's death, which must have taken place before A. D. 21. See M. l' Abbé Sevin, Rech. sur la Vie, &c., de Juba, Ac. des Inscr. et Belles- Lettres, vol. iv. Mém. p. 462.
27 Attalus III., king of Pergamus, died 133 B. C., and constituted the Roman people his heir.
28 We may here observe that the Seleucidæ ceased to reign in Syria as early as 83 B. C., when that country, wearied of their sad dissensions, willingly submitted to Tigranes the king of Armenia, but their race was not extinct, and even in the year 64 B. C. when Pompey made the kingdom a Roman province, there were two princes of the Seleucidæ, Antiochus Asiaticus and his brother Seleucus-Cybiosactes, who had an hereditary right to the throne; the latter however died about 54 B. C., and in him terminated the race of the Seleucidæ.
29 The race of the kings of Paphlagonia became extinct about 7 B. C. See M. l' Abbé Belley, Diss. sur l' ère de Germanicopolis, &c. Ac. des Inscr. et Belles-Lettres, vol. xxx. Mém. p. 331.
30 The royal race of Cappadocia failed about 91 B. C.
31 The race of the Lagidæ terminated with Ptolemy Auletes, who died 44 B. C., leaving two daughters, Cleopatra and Arsinoë. Ptolemy Apion died 96 B. C.; he left Cyrene, whereof he was king, to the Roman people
32 Now the Fasz or Rion.
33 The Forat, Ferat, or Frat.
34 The ancient Ister.
35 Strabo will relate in book vii. chap. iv. § 4, that after the defeat of Mithridates Eupator they became subject to the Romans.
36 See more as to these people in book vii. chap. iii. § 17.
37 Inhabitants of tents.
38 In the year 20 B. C. See book xvi. chap. i. § 28.
39 Compare Tacitus, Annales, lib. ii. § 1.
40 As Vonones, mentioned by Tacitus in his second book.
41 Compare the words of Tacitus, Annal. lib. i. § 9, Non aliud discordantis patriæ remedium fuisse, quàm ut ab uno regeretur.
42 Germanicus was appointed to take charge of the East in A. D. 17, in 18 he took possession of his government, and died in 19. Drusus was in command of the armies of Germany in A. D. 17. Thus we may safely conclude this 6th book of Strabo's Geography to have been written in A. D. 18.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.