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touch upon the poor man's taxes in the province, the rich man's luxury in his villa 112 or his Roman palace, the tumult of the Forum where riot was paid and murder entitled to a life-long opulence; but the bare outline is, in such a case, sufficient for the finished picture. If any thing be yet needed, the canvas must be turned, and the decrease of wealth, even where it seemed increasing, will be discovered to have been as sure as it was retributive. While the means of consumption were daily multiplying, the means of production were almost hourly dwindling; and so far as the city itself was concerned, the gladiator or the usurer was surer of employment than the laborer or the artisan. The toils of the provinces were the only sources of supply to the indulgences 113 of Rome.
The sword had been thrust deeper into the vitals of Italy. Many of her people would be driven to the same desperation that possessed the inhabitants of Norba, a Roman colony in Latium, when they set fire to their town and destroyed their scanty stores rather than be betrayed into the hands of Sulla's soldiers. 114 The colonies of the victorious legions
112 “They have their change of houses, 113 “ Corn from Sardinia, herds
manors, lordships; We scarce a fire or a poor household Lar!”etc.
of Calabrian cattle, meadows through Ben Jonson's Catiline. Act I. sc. 1. which pleasant Liris glides, silks This is the contrast; but for the from Tyrus, and golden chalices to sake of seeing one side, or rather a drown my health in," which Bishop fragment of one side, the reader Jeremy Taylor reprehends (Holy may be referred to Becker's Gallus, Living, Ch. II. sect. 6) as “inScene V.: “ The Villa.” Even struments of vanity or sin,” would Cicero owned ten of these sumptu- be but the beginning of the Roman's ous residences. See Middleton's riches. Life, p. 294, Moxon's edit.
114 οίδε μεν ούτως εγκρατώς απέbrought evils worse than treachery or conflagration into the lands assigned them; nor is there need of any detail to bring before the eyes that care to see such things the wrongs committed by soldiers who came from rapine in Asia and slaughter in Rome to live in unrestrained licentiousness amongst the country towns.'15 Few of the better classes could have endured through the civil wars; and besides the rough herdsmen of the mountains or the dispirited people of the cities, the rest, whether rich or poor, liked the excitement of the metropolis too well to linger about their wasted homes.
Abroad in the provinces, whose frontiers were marked by lines of Roman spears,116 the devastation of these tremendous years was not materially spread by the civil war or the despotism from which their mistress suffered. The rise and fall of successive leaders at Rome might, at some moments, add to the demands upon the subject countries for troops or for supplies; but at other times, undoubtedly, the provinces would be left in comparative tranquillity, forgotten amidst the convulsions in which Marius died and Sulla seemed to disappear. Spain, however, became the scene of a peculiar history, to which we shall presently recur.
davov, “ And they thus bravely the harpies whom Sulla let loose : -died,” says the Greek historian. “Igitur hi milites, postquam victoApp., Bell. Civ., I. 94.
riam adepti sunt, nihil reliqui victis 115 In many cases they had towns fecere.” Cat., 11. of their own ; witness the Bovianum 116 6. lidem fines provinciæ fueUndecumanorum of the eleventh rint qui gladiorum atque pilorum.” legion. Plin., Nat. Hist., III. 17. Cic., In Pis., 16. Sallust describes, in one sentence,
The neighbouring world that lay beyond the Roman provinces is represented under nearly all its different aspects in the single person of the last champion whom it obtained before the Christian era. Mithridates, the king of Pontus, whom Sulla checked, but did not stay to humble, was called by Cicero “ the greatest monarch after Alexander.” 117 The qualities and attainments natural to the latest century of heathenism, and to the regions not yet reduced beneath the Roman sway, could not have been more singularly combined in any living man. His active frame was hardened not only by exercise in arms and the chase, but by antidotes to poison, a common drink, it might be called, in those Oriental lands. His equally active mind was provided with much of the learning of the Greeks, besides being practised in what to him was the far more useful knowledge of the twoand-twenty languages 118 of his various subjects. He knew how to be cruel, crafty, and ambitious; and as the West was in stronger hands than his then were, he turned to the East and the North, in the hope of dominion there, and perhaps, when they were gained, of conquest upon Western territory. The alarm was taken on the part of the Romans; and after some provocations from them and concessions from him, the war began between the Commonwealth and Mithridates. It continued with great ferocity"! on either
117 Acad. Pr., Lib. II. 1. Cf. 119 It was signalized, near its bethe description by Vell. Paterculus, ginning, by the murder of one hunII. 18.
dred and fifty thousand Romans, 118 Val. Max., VIII. 7. 16, Ext. according to Plutarch's numbers Plin., Nat. Hist., VII, 24.
(Sull., 24), that is, Romans and
side, until the peace obtained by Sulla ; 120 but a year or two were hardly gone, when hostilities broke out afresh, though they were soon again suspended. At the time of Sulla's death, the Eastern king, though baffled in his designs of extensive sovereignty, still stood undaunted against the wolfish spirit,12 as he is said to have styled the voracity of his foes for wider realms. It was from future as from past campaigns against Mithridates that more than one of the generals despatched to conquer him returned with bolder ambition amongst their countrymen.
It may be plainer, after this rapid observation of the Commonwealth, as it was without and within, to read how the dominion of Sulla could endure beyond his death, and how its ruins furnished the materials of subsequent despotisms.
The first revolt against the power left by the late Dictator occurred so soon as at his funeral, which Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, then in the consulship, attempted to prevent from being celebrated at Rome.122 Lepidus, a man of small estimation with any class,123 was married to a daughter of Appuleius Saturninus,
Italians, publicans, traders, residents, animos inexplebiles sanguinis atque and even, if Appian (Bell. Mithrid., imperii, divitiarumque avidos ac jeju23) be right, freedmen and slaves nos habere.” XXXVIII. 6. of the same blood, in the cities of 122 · Fax illius motus ab ipso Asia, at the command of Mithri- Sullæ rogo exarsit.” Flor., III. 23. dates. This was in the winter of App., Bell. Civ., I. 105. A. C. 88-87, after Mithridates 123 He had been a bad Prætor in had been thirty years on the throne. Sicily (Cic., In Verr. Act. II., III. 120 Note 40.
91) and a faithless partisan of Sulla. 121 « Omnem illum populum," Sall., Frag. Hist., Lib. I. so runs Justin's account, “ luporum VOL. II.
whose factious life may have been a pattern to his son-in-law. But Lepidus, though in the first office under the constitution of Sulla, was totally unqualified to run the race on which he started. His proposal to repeal the laws of the Dictator, 124 and his invitation to the mass of the Italians to obtain the recovery of their rights and lands,125 were equally futile; and although he received the support of the soldiers, whose command devolved upon him as Proconsul in the following year,126 he was literally without any other partisans besides his abettor, Junius Brutus,127 then in command of Cisalpine Gaul, and a band of sorry followers collected in Etruria. He marched, without awaiting Brutus, against the city, but was easily defeated, near the Campus Martius, 128 by his recent colleague, Catulus, and Pompey, who had formerly been his patron.129 Not long afterwards he died in Sardinia, having done nothing more than add to the disturbance and the anxiety of his times. 130
A far different venture was made in Spain, by Quintus Sertorius, already mentioned as the best of the party opposed to Sulla. Born of a respectable family in one of the ancient Sabine towns, high up amongst the Apennines, he had spent his youth
124 Liv., Epit. XC. See the 129 And had upheld him against doubtful oration of Lepidus in Sal- Sulla. Plut., Sull., 34 ; Pomp., lust, loc. cit.
15. Catulus was the son of Ma125 App., Bell. Civ., 1. 107. rius's colleague. 126 A. C. 77.
130 “ Hoc bellum ut ignis in sti127 He was the father of the pula eadem celeritate qua exarsit, conspirator.
evanuit.” Oros., V. 22. Cf. Cic., 128 App., Bell. Civ., I. 107. In Cat., III. 10; Flor., III. 23.