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had steeped their swords in blood. The temple of Janus was closed for the third time since its dedication, in sign of peace; and the joy of the troops, the people, and the poet found issue with the Senate in decreeing new honors to the conqueror. The only attempt against him, made by the son of his former colleague, Lepidus, was crushed before his return; and the few conspiracies of after years were equally unsuccessful. The cost of disturbing an Emperor had been proved by the fifteen years which intervened between the dreadful murder of the uncle and the magnificent entry of the nephew.
The victor himself was in some degree subdued by his success. The fate of the first Cæsar, occurring almost at the moment of his being left alone, as it were, in the world, may have given some anxiety to the second Cæsar, when he found himself in possession of the solitary power which he had long before determined to obtain. There was no further temptation, at all events, to cruelty or to conflict; and he who had been the most unpitying and the most covetous of the Triumvirs was desirous to become the peaceful and the placable sovereign. Once before pretending his willingness to resign the authority he held as Triumvir, he now professed to be in doubt concerning the retention of the dominion he alone controlled, and called his most trusted adherents, Agrippa and Mæcenas, to advise with him in his uncertainty.
3 Vell. Pat., II. 38. Dion Cass., 5 After the flight of Sextus PomLI. 19, 20.
pey from Sicily. App., Bell. Civ., 4 Suet, Aug., 19. Vell. Pat., II. 88. V. 132. Suet., Aug., 28.
These two great names open the history of the period in which the liberty finally gives way to the servitude of Rome. It is so, not merely because the counsels of Mæcenas and Agrippa enabled Cæsar to conciliate the different classes of his subjects, but chiefly because the principal of these classes are singularly represented in the chosen servants of their common sovereign. The only powers which seemed to find an opportunity for development in the present universal prostration were partly those inherent in the Romans as lovers of war or dominion, and partly those to which they now inclined as lovers of luxury. Without enumerating the common people or the still inferior orders by whom the empire was inhabited, there appear to have been two divisions amongst the more eminent Romans; one being that of the mili. tary or the political, the other that of the literary or the luxurious individuals, to whom any thing like note or genius yet belonged.
Vipsanius Agrippa, already mentioned as the able general through whose exertions Pompey was driven from Sicily and Antony routed at Actium, is described, not only as the energetic soldier, but also as the active magistrate, ornamenting the city, amusing the citizens, and turning his popularity and his liberality to his own advantage, at the same time that he never neglected the service of his sovereign. Caius Cilnius Mæcenas, of higher birth, but content to re
6 Hor., Carm., I. 1; Sat., I. 6. himself sprung from the Lucumos 3. Propert., Eleg., III. 9. He of Etruria. believed, or pretended to believe,
main amongst the Knights, early devoted himself to Cæsar," and was early trusted in return. He served in the negotiations with Antony,* in the commissions * from Cæsar's camps to the city, and was finally employed to govern Italy in his master's absence.10 But when the season of conflict and peril passed, Mæcenas gave up his life, rather than his leisure, to the luxurious delights which he much preferred to any lofty but toilsome dignities. He was the votary of wealth, indulgence, and intellectual culture, in blending which he escaped from the deeper sensualities of his times, without rising to any high spirituality, of which, however, the contemporary poems and histories were also totally devoid. A song, such as could then be written or comprehended, touched his fancy, if it had no power to reach his soul; and the breeze that breathed through his gardens on the Esquiline was a joy, though fresh to the senses alone of the lordly voluptuary. His learning and his luxury, nevertheless, allowed him to be humane; and it was to the compassion of Mæcenas that Cæsar listened, when he turned a deaf ear to his own natural barbarity.
Mæcenas and Agrippa were together charged with the government of Rome after the battle at Actium;" and their authority had not yet, perhaps, been resumed by Cæsar when he asked them whether he had better lay down his power or retain it in defiance of the superannuated liberties of his country. Agrippa,
ambitious and energetic, exhorted him to restore the Commonwealth ; while Mæcenas, indolent and voluptuous, pleaded for the establishment rather than the abandonment of a single sovereignty.12 There can be no doubt that Cæsar would have kept possession of his supremacy, although both his counsellors had united in imploring him to relinquish it; and it is equally certain, that, in following the advice which Mæcenas is reported to have given, he obeyed the Will that had humbled his generation to inactivity and servitude.
The imperial authority rose, like an exhalation, from the rent and bleeding soil of Rome. It seemed, however, to wear so many shapes before the eyes of those who watched its ascension, as to task the whole political vocabulary of its subjects that it might be rightly named. The title of Emperor, conferred upon Cæsar the year of his return,13 was shortly followed by that of Father of his Country 14 and the yet more venerable 15 appellation of Augustus, or the August, by which he was afterwards addressed, as if the epithet distinguished him sufficiently from common men. Other titles were successively added, as though the power of the Emperor were running too freely for its first moulds; and the offices of Perpetual Proconsul, Perpetual Tribune, Perpetual Consul, and Chief Pontiff 16 were hurriedly added to those already bestowed. The desire to invest the imperial majesty with the ancient badges of the Commonwealth was rather that of Augustus himself than that of the hasty multitude. He remembered his uncle's fate, provoked, as it may have seemed, by a wish to be called king; and sooner than risk his authority and his life, Augustus would have sunk every name, even that of Cæsar, which he bore, in the simple title of a Roman on whom his too easy countrymen had thrown the burden of their cares. Five separate times, therefore, he chose to enact the part of wishing to resign his toils and dignities; but so winning was his assumed humility that the power he would never really have laid down dilated to vaster proportions, and more, apparently, to the delight of the subjects than of the sovereign. The administration of the Emperor, at once so crafty and so timid, extended over the Senate as its Prince,18 over the assemblies as their Tribune or presiding magistrate,19 over the revenues,20 the elections,21 the laws,22 the legions,23 and
12 See the long discourses, un- 15 - The more noble name of doubtedly founded upon some that Augustus.” Becker, Gallus, p. 16. were actually delivered to Cæsar, in " Sanctius et reverentius visum est the fifty-second book of Dion Cas- nomen Augusti, ut scilicet jam tum
dum colit terras, ipso nomine et 13 Dion Cass., LII. 41. See titulo consecraretur.” Last words Dion's account of the imperial in Florus. See Ovid., Fast., I. power in LIII. 17, 18-22. 590, 599.
14 Suet., Aug., 58.
16 Dion Cass., LIII. 28, LIV. 20 See Gibbon, Decline and Fall, 10, 27. Suet., Aug., 58. Note Ch. VI. 19.
21 Dion Cass., LIII. 21, LV. 34. 17 Dion Cass., LIII. 11, 16, etc. Suet., Aug., 56. The hypocrisy of the edict quoted 2 Suet., Aug., 27, 34. by Suet., Aug., 28, is yet more 23 Numbering 450,000 men. Ibid., striking.
26. Dion Cass., LV. 23, 24. Nie18 Dion Cass., LIII. 1.
buhr's Lectures on Rom. Hist., 19 Ibid., 21, 32. Suet., Aug., LIV. The number of citizens, A. 27. Tac., Ann., I. 9, III. 56. C. 29, was 4,164,000.