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the republic, or to the Roman people, as in the case of the consular armies, but that they were taken from Cæsar.1
In like manner Josephus? — " And now as Vespasian was coming to Alexandria, this good news came from Rome, and at the same time came embassies from all his own habitable earth," ιδιας της οικουμενησ.
The word vờiao shows that the empire was considered Vespasian's own property.
Gibbon says of Severus and his times—“ The victory over the senate was easy and inglorious. Every eye and every passion was directed to the supreme magistrate.”
Tacitus3 gives a like character of the Romans in the time of Augustus. “ All,” says he, “ looked to the commands of the prince.
Gibbon* says" The Greek historians of the age of the Antonines, observe, with a malicious pleasure, that although the sovereign of Rome, in compliance with an obsolete prejudice, abstained from the name of king, he possessed the full measure of regal power.
Tacitus5 calls, and represents the Romans as calling, the imperial family, the reigning house, and reigning
Gibbon says—“ In the reign of Severus the senate was filled with polished slaves from the eastern provinces, who justified personal flattery by speculative principles of servitude.6
It is unnecessary to go to the reign of Severus and the East for these polished slaves; they were to be found at Rome, according to Tacitus, both in and out of the senate, in the reign of Tiberius.
In the senate it was said “ that the body of the republic was one, and that it ought to be governed by the mind of one"" that princes were like gods”—that, “ by the gift of the gods,
1 Germ. c. 37.
2 Josephus' Wars, b. iv. c. 11. 3 Omnes
jussa principis aspectare.—An. b. i. c. 4. This was regarded by the ancients a sure mark of the most absolute power and servitude.- Demos. De Corona, 60, 136.— Ed. Stock.
5"domo regnatrice.”—An. b. i. c 4. “regnantibus."—ii. c. 82. Compare Suet. in Tib. c. 59.
" regnabit sanguine multo
Ad regnum," &c. Trajan wore the regal dress --Baolliknv orolnv. - Dion. Cass. b. lxxviii. 29.
6 c. 5.
the supreme pontiff was the greatest of men, that he was obnoxious neither to emulation, nor to hatred, nor to private affections."
Out of the senate it was said, in the time of Augustus and Tiberius, that Cæsar2 “ reigned next to Jupiter"—that “ it is not our business (the business of Romans) to consider, whom, you (Tiberius) raise above the rest, or for what reasons. The gods have given to you the supreme judgment: the glory of obedience has been left to us." Gibbons says—“ The imperious spirit of the first Cæsar too
easily consented to assume, during his lifetime, a place among the tutelar deities of Rome. The milder temper of his successor declined so dangerous an ambition, which was never afterwards revived, except by the madness of Caligula and Domitian. Augustus permitted, indeed, some of the provincial cities to erect temples to his honour, on condition that they should associate the worship of Rome with that of the sovereign. The attributes, or at least the titles, of the divinity were usurped by Diocletian and Maximian."5
From these two statements, one would suppose divine honours had not been paid to the emperors (except Caligula and Domitian) till the time of Diocletian and Maximian; and that they were the first to usurp the titles and honours of divinity. Whereas the fact is, that, according to the concurrent testimony of Greek and Latin historians, Augustus and other emperors (but not Tiberius) received divine honours during their lifetime—that their images were worshipped amongst the images of the gods and that they were supposed to have a numen, or deity.
Tacitus says, or makes the Romans say, Augustus “left no honour to the gods, since he desired to be worshipped in the temples, and amongst the images of the gods, by flamens and Tiberius, indeed, maintained against the senate and his flatterers, that he was a man and not a god; and he obstinately refused divine honours. But Nero's image was placed amongst the images of the gods, and the image was worshipped with the customary victims.
1 Tacit. An. b. i c. 12 ; iii. c. 36, 58.
2 Horace, Odes, i. 12. 3 An. b. vi. 8. Compare An. iii. 65.
4 c. 3.
5 c. 13. 6 “Nihil deorum honoribus relictum, quum se templis et effigie numinum per flamines et sacerdotes coli.”—An. b. i. c. 10. Virgil calls Augustus, god, and promises to offer on his altar many a sacrifice.--Eclogue i. Horace frequently calls him, god, deus, and divus.-Odes, b. iii. 5 ; iv. 5. The senate ordered libations to be poured out to Augustus in the public and private feasts, as Dion Cassius in forms us, auty OTEVÕELV; in Horace, te prosequitur mero, worships thee by wine. After his Parthian triumph, the senate decreed that he should be inscribed in the hymns equally with the gods, ές τε τους ύμνους αυτον εξισου τοις θεοις εγγραφεσθαι.-Dion, b. li. 19, 20. Augustus frequently dressed himself as Apollo, imagined there was a divine vigour in his eye, and was delighted when the person on whom he looked steadily, shrank from his gaze as from the sun in his splendour.-Sueton in August,
When Galba was made emperor, Vespasian sent Titus to adore and worship him. Now it is plain that this was not merely civil worship, or the acknowledging of his sovereignty. For it has been just seen that the emperors were worshipped with divine honours; and the emperor was supposed to have a numen or deity.
In Otho's council an immediate battle was urged with the Vitellians, because, as it was said, “ fortune, and the gods, and the divinity (the numen) of Otho would be present. Pliny4 tortured and put to death the Christians in his
province, because they refused to worship the image of Trajan, which was placed amongst the images of the gods.
Hadrianó built and dedicated temples to his own name.
It would be easy to extend this list, and to show that the Christians might have been generally exempted from torture and death, by calling the emperor “ lord," and worshipping him.
Gibbono asserts that the title of dominus, or lord, was not given to, and received by the earlier, but by the later, Cæsars.
Here he is again contradicted by the concurrent testimony of history. Marcus Antoninus7 called himself the “ lord of the world.” But let us go back to earlier times. In the Acts of the Apostles, Festus calls Nero his “lord.” And Bloomfield, in his notes on the place, cites a passage from Phædrus, to show that Tiberius was addressed by the title of dominus, or lord.
1 Tacit. An. b. XV. c. 29. 2 Ad venerationem et cultum.—Tacit. Hist. b. i. 10. 3 Fortunam, et deos, et numen Othonis adesse.— Tacit. Hist. ii. 33. 4 Letter to Trajan, cited by Lardner, vol. vii. 5 Ib. 101. 6 vol. ii. c. 13, p. 39. 7 Godefroy Cod. Theod. b. ii. tit. 1. 8 Acts, xxv. 26. Wars, b. iv. c. 10.
Josephus says Vespasian could not, with any satisfaction, own Vitellius for his lord, (do torns). Juvenali calls Domitian, lord, or dominus. And Tacitus everywhere calls the imperial government a “ dominatio," or tyranny, and the emperor, dominus or
? lord. With him Vitellius is “ lord of the human race:"3 and as Rome was designated domina rerum, mistress of the world, so Tacitus calls Vespasian “ dominus rerum,"4 " lord of the world."
Gibbon says the Romans in the times of the first emperors were exempted from torture. “ The annals of tyranny,5 from the reign of Tiberius to that of Domitian, circumstantially relate the executions of many innocent victims; but, as long as the faintest remembrance was kept alive of the national freedom and honour, the last hours of a Roman were secure from the dangers of an ignominious torture.” Suetonius and Tacitus flatly contradict this account.
Augustus6, when triumvir, tortured Q. Gallus, the Prætor, tore out his eyes with his own hands, and then ordered him to be put to death; when emperor?, he disfranchised a Roman knight, and commanded him to be sold as a slave. If an emperor could degrade a knight to the rank of a slave, he might torture him, if he pleased. Suetonius gives a minute and very horrible account of the torturing by Tiberius, and he expressly says, he spared no one from torture. Caligulao ordered his quæstor to be scourged by the soldiers; and he treated others with no less violence and ignominy; branding many of an honourable rank, condemning them to the mines, shutting them up in cages, like wild beasts, or cutting them in two with a saw. And Claudiuslo ordered Cn. Novius, an illustrious Roman knight, to be torn in pieces by torture.
1 Sat. iv. 2 Annals, b i. c. 3. vi. c. 48. B. i. c. 4. xiv. 56. 3 Hist. iii. 68. 4 ii. 78. 3 C. 17. 315, vol. ii. 6 Sueton. in Aug. 27.
7 Ib. 24. 8 Neque tormentis neque supplicio cujusquam pepercit, 62. Compare 61 for a still more horrible act of atrocity.
9 Suet. Cal. 26, 27. 10 Cn. Novius insignis eques Romanus tormentis dilaniabatur.-Tacit. An. b. xi. c. 22. Claudius, (Tacit. An. xii. c. 60,) invested the procurators with a power equal to his own, and above the laws, within their provinces. And in the reign of Nero, perhaps sooner, the rights of a Roman citizen had ceased to protect him from a servile punishment. Galba crucified, in Spain, a Roman citizen, who appealed in vain to the laws, and his rights as a citizen.—(Sueton. in Galba, 9.) Florus scourged and crucified many Jews, who were Roman knights.—Josephus, Wars, b. ii. c. 14, 9.
The Black Horse—the Balances or Zugos—the Wheat—the Barley—the Price
the Command not to hurt the Corn and the Wine.
“ AND when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast
say, come and see. And I beheld, and, lo, a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances (zugos, a yoke). And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."
As wheat and barley, oil and wine, the produce of the earth, are important subjects of the vision, the scene of it must be the earth, which has been shown to be the Roman empire. This seal, like the preceding, denotes a state of things which begins and is developed while the empire is heathen, for no intimation has yet been given of the fall of paganism. And, since blackness is the symbol of affliction and distress, as (“ atra cura,") black care, “all faces shall gather blackness,"l—it is a state of things pregnant with care and anxiety.
The precise character of the predicted events is now to be determined.
The Greek word zugos means a pair of balances, or a yoke for oxen, and, hence, symbolically and figuratively, an oppressive government. A pair of balances, is the translation in the authorized version, and commentators generally maintain its correctness. The price of the corn, it is said, is enormous, indicating a famine; and, corn, it is said, was weighed, in times of scarcity, instead of being measured; and this is aptly represented by the balances.