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THE HOUSE OF

CAESAR

AND THE IMPERIAL DISEASE

BY SEYMOUR VAN SANTVOORD

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PAFRAETS BOOK COMPANY TROY NEW YORK MDCCCCII

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PREFACE

Prefaces to books are usually of two sorts: eoopldnatory and apologetic. For this reason, perhaps^ they are tolerated 08 in some degree useful to the comparatvvely few who read them. If of the first-mentioned kind, it is possible to form some estim^e as to whether the teoct has a message for the reader; while if the introduction is of the other variety^ to the eaperienced gleaner, at least, it is ordinarily safe to conclude that the book ought not to have been written.

While perhaps not entirely justifiable, I have felt that there is at least excuse for the publication of this little compilation than which it professes to be nothing mxyre. Wkde reading with my boys one of John Bonner s delight- ful books for children, I was impressed a^ I had never been by nwre pretentious Roman histories, with the almost certain incident to the imperial office of a death by violent means. Curiously tracing this so-called ^'Imperial Disease'' to its origin, I finally discovered it, as it seemed to me, in the introduction among the Romans by the Empress Livia Augusta of the dreadfid crime of domestic murder. And after descending again from JLivia to Nero, and eocplor- ing the fate of all who bore the cognomen of Caesar by the

[vii]

PREFACE

Old of the clue thtis discovered^ the conclusion became irre- sistible that the violent death which awaited so large a pro- portion of the Roman Emperors is to be accounted for not alone by the license of the times^ but in no small degree by the eocistence of a veritable disease having its origin in the house of Coesar itself

Although eortremely anomms not to be classed among those who deliberately cater to the taste for all monstrous infractions of both divine and natural lawSy I have as- sumed the risk which at first sight might not unnaturally attach to the narration of a series of almost uninterrupted crimpy confident that in the end the motive of this sketch will not be misjudged. And while distinctly disavowing the intent of pointing a morale at once so inexcusable and dan- gerous in a mere gathering of f axis ^ I have nevertheless felt that what De Quincey calls the ** striking and truly scenical catastroplie of retribution which overtook the long evolution of insane atrocities perpetrated by the Ccesars,'' furnishes a lesson so impressive as to justify in som^ mea- sure at least even what may be considered a monotonous relation of wickedness and outrage.

I have m^eant this to be an eocplanation. If between the lines an apology is founds whosoever discovers it would wisely apply the rule suggested in the introductory para- graph.

[ viii ]

PREFACE

As these pages have not been written for the learned^ I have not cited authorities. But my facts have been gathered from the visual sources^ Tacitus^ Dion Cassiv^y SuetomuSy P&ny, and Plutarch among the fathers; besides making use of CrAner, Merivale, Duruy^ Cribbon, and the many writers quoted by them respectively. Everything stated a^ fact has been founded upon the best obtainable authority y which cfter careful comparison has seemed to me under all the circumstances student; and where a particular inci- dent appears to be in doubts I have frankly so stated.

The vahiable and interesting ** Tragedy of the Ccesars'' by S. Baring-Gould wa^ not brought to my attention until the first eleven chapters of this volume were completed. The author's conclusions are in many respects so diametrically opposed to my own and to what has hitherto been so almost universally accepted as unquestionable fact, that both in a spirit of fairness and with an ananous regard for historic truths whatever idols must be destroyed, or new altars erected^ before completing my work the entire subject was carefvUy reconsidered in the light of Mr. Baring-Gould's argument. It need only be said that I have found no rea- son to recast any of my conclusions many qfwhicK cm the contrary t have been actu^dly strengthened cfter remaining unconvinced by what must be considered the strongest pos- sible presentation of the other side. My twelfth chapter was

[ix]

PREFACE

accordingly framed upon the lines originally drawn; in the final note to which chapter will be found a brief refer- ence to Mr. Baring-Gould's estimate of Livia, Tiberius^ Octavia Minor, and the two Agrippinas.

I am sure that every one even including the publishers will grant me a few lines in closing, gratefully to ac- knowledge my dear mother's kindness in procuring many of the photographs from which the accompanying illustra- tions have been made. Without the assistance which her fa- miliarity with the subject and close acquaintance with the museums consequent upon a long residence in Italy enabled her to render in the selection of those busts and statues of which photographs would be desirable, the most interesting and attractive features of this book would have been want- ing. And among the imperishable memories which lighten the soberer xnstas of the past, are those of the happy days when, in supplementing her earlier work, together we sal- lied forth in the Eternal City: and by pleading, cajolery, and insistence with here and there, it must be confessed, a somewhat laxnsh use of lire secured the necessary *'per- messo'' for our lively little photographic " Tito'' to make a negative of some rare bust which presumably had never before faced the camera. ''Instant dismissal would be mine, Signore Americano, if it came to his Holiness' s ears that this had been permitted," said the smiling official as he slyly

[X]

PREFACE

pocketed the gold piece (a rara avis indeed in that land of dirty paper) which was the price of the coveted photo- graph afAgrippina Major secured from the Chiaramonti in Holy Lent itse^/

s. r. S.

Naoember^ 1901

TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I

THE FIRST STAGE OP EMPIRE THE BEGINNING OP SPLENDOR

PAGE

I. Julius C^sae S

IL C^SAR Augustus, the Fibst Emperoe ao

III. The Family of Augustus 80

IV. Tiberius Cjesar, the Second Emperor 46 V. The Family of Tiberius 66

VI. Caligula, the Third Emperor 74

VII. The Family of Caligula 82

VIIL Claudius C^sar, the Fourth Emperor 96

IX. The Family of Claudius 104

X. Nero, the Fifth Emperor 125

XI. The Family of Nero 187

XII. Results and Causes 168

Appendix : Tables of the Victims, and of

Imperial Deaths and Marriages 196

TABLE OF CONTENTS PART II

THE SECOND STAGE OF EMPIRE

CHAPTBB PAGE

I. Completion of Splendor ao7

THE THIRD STAGE OF EMPIRE

II. Decline of Splendor 285

THE FOURTH STAGE OF EMPIRE

III. Revival of Splendor 298

THE LAST STAGE OF EMPIRE

IV. The Final Decline 844

Index to Part I 881

Index to Part II 898

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

IN PART I

PaLACBS of the CiESARS moNTisPiscB

Restored hf Betwemdi

Temples in the Forum Romanum facino page vii

Restored fry BecchetH

The Rostra and Arch of Sephmius Severus 8

Restored by BecchetH

JuunS C^SAR 6

Bust m British Museum

JULTOS C^SAR 10

Bust tit CapUolknt

JULTOS C^SAR 12

Bust in Uffisd Palace

Augustus 16

Bust in Vffisi Palace

Augustus 20

Bust in Vatican

Augustus 24

Staiue m Vffisi Palace

LlYIA 28

BuH in Vffisi Palace

Julia, daughter of Augustus 80

Bust in Vffisi Palace

Julia, daughter of Augustus 84

Bust in Vatican

Agrifpa 88

Bust in CapitoUne

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

AGBIPPA FAaNO PAGE 42

Bud m Uffisi Palace

Caius C^sab, son of Julia 46

Buil in Vatican

Lucius C^sab, son of Julia 50

Btut in Vatican

POSTUMUS AgRIPPA, SON OF JUUA 64

Bust in Vatican

Tiberius 68

BuH in Uffisi PtUace

Tiberius 62

Statue in Vatican

DrUSUS, son OF TiBEBIUS 66

Bud in Vffisi Palace

TiBEBIUS Gemellus 70

Bust in Lateran

DbUSUS, BBOTHEB of TiBEBIUS 74

Bud in Uffisi Palace

Antonia, motheb of Gebmanicus 76

Bud in Uffisi Palace

Antonia, motheb of Gebmanicus 80

Bud in Vatican

Gebmanicus 82

Statue in Lateran

Agbippina, wife of Gebmanicus 86

Bud in Vatican

Agbippina, wife of Gebmanicus 90

Pnifile of Bud in Vatican

CiNEBABY UbN OF AgBIPPINA 92

In the QjqntoHne

[xvi]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Nero, son of Germanicus facing page 96

Head of Statue in Lateran

Drusus, son of Germanicus 100

Butt m CapUoUne

Caliouia 104

Bust m Uffisi Palace

Caligula 108

Af some claimed to be a statue of Augustus, Statue m Fatican

Caligula 112

Bust m CapUoUne

Claudius 114

Bustim Uffisi Palace

Claudius 118

Statue in Vatican

Messalina, wife of Claudius 122

Bust in QqntoUne

Messalina, wife of Claudius 126

BuH in Uffisi Palace

OCTAVIA, SISTER OF AUGUSTUS 180

Bust in Lomrre

Antony 184

Bust in Fatican

Cleopatra 188

Bust in CapitoSne

Agrippina Minor 142

Bust in QqntoSne

Agrippina Minor 146

Bust in CapitoUne

Agrippina Minor 150

Bust in Nicies Museum

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Agrippina Minor facing page 164

Statue at Naplet

Nero 160

Bud in Vffin Palace

Nero 16*

Bud in Vatican

Nero 166

Bud in UffiziPaiace

Nero 170

Bud in Vffisd Palace

POPP^A 174

Bud in CapiioUne

POPP^A 178

Bud in Vffigi Palace

Britannicus 182

Bud in Uffin Palace

Britannicus 186

Statue in Lateran

Tower 190

FfxmwUch Nero is said to have watched the burning of the ci^

IN PART n

Ruins of the Forum Romanum 807

From a Photograph

Galea 210

Bud in CapitoUne

OthO 814^

Bud m CapiioUne

VlTELLIUS *16

Bud in CapHoUne

[ xviii ]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Vespasian facdiopaob S18

BuH in CapUolme

Titus 222

Buii m CapkoUne

DOMITIAN AND LoNGINA 226

Butt in CapiioUne

Nerya 280

Butt in Capiiolitie

TeaJAN 282

Buit hi CapiioUne

Hadrian 286

Baut in CapitoUne

JuuA Sabina, wife of Hadrian 240

Bust in CapiioUne

Antoninus Pius 242

Bud in Vatican

Faustina, wife of Antoninus Pius 246

Buil in CapiioUne

Marcus Aureuus 260

Butt in CapiioUne

Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius 262

Butt in CapiioUne

Marcus Aurelius 264

Equestrian Statue in Square of the Capitol

Commodus 266

Buit in Vatican

Crispina, wife of Commodus 260

Buit in CapiioUne

Pertinax ^ 264

Buit in Vatican

[ »x ]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

DlDIUS FACINOPAOB 266

Buit in Vatican

Septimius Sevebus 270

Bust in CapitoUne

JUUA DOMNA, WIFE OF SeFTIHIUS SeVERUS 274

Bust m Vatican

Clodius Albinus 276

Bud in Vatican

Pescennius Niger 278

BuH in Vatican

GeTA 282

Bust in CapitoUne

Caracalla 286

BuH m Vatican

Macrinus 290

BuH in CapitoUne

Elagabalus 294

BuH in CapitoUne

Julia M^sa, sister of Julia Domna 298

Statue in Q^ntoUne

Alexander Severus 802

BuH in Vatican

Sarcophagus of Alexander Severus and Mamjba 806

In the Vatican

Maximin 810

BuH in QqntoUne

GORDIAN I 814

BuH in QgntoUne

GORDIAN II 818

BuH in

[XX]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

BaLBINUS pacing page 820

BuH in Capiiolme

Decius S24

Bust in CapitoUne

Callus 8S8

Butt in CapitoUne

Gallienus 8SS

BuH in CapitoUne

Cosnella Salonika, wife of Gallienus 886

Bust in CapitoUne

AUBELLAN iAO

Bud in FaUcan

Ruins of the Forum Romanum 844

From a Photograph

Probus 846

Bugt in Muteo Nasionale, Naples

Zenobia 848

Bust in Vatican

CaSINUS 852

Bust in CapitoUne

Diocletian 866

Bust in CapitoUne

CONSTANTIUS ChLOBUS 860

Bust in CapitoUne

CONSTANTINE 864

Bust inLateran

Sabcophagus of Saint Helena 868

In the Vatican

Julian 872

Bust in CapiioUne

Ruins of the Palaces of the Cjesabs 876

From a Photograph

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE

Phocuhmei> m

Augustus

ROMAN EMPERORS

THB Year (b. c.) Proclaiiisd in thb Ybab (a. d.)

24 Septimius Severus 198

Proclaimed in thk Year (a. a) CloDIUS AlbINUS

198

Tiberius

14

Pkscknnius Nioeb

J98

Caugula

87

Geta

211

Claudius

41

Caracalla I

211

Nebo

54

Macrinus

217

Galba

69

Elagabalus

218

Otho

69

Alexander Severus

222

VlTKI.IJUS

69

Maximin I /

'285

Vespasian

69

GORDIAN I /

285

Titus

79

Gordian II ^

285

DOMITIAN

81

PUPIENUS

r288

Nerya

06

BaIiBINUS

(288

Trajan

08

Gordian III

240

Hadrian

117

Phiup

244

Trrus Antoninus

188

Decius

249

Marcus Aureuus

161

Gallus

251

COMHODUS

180

^MILIAN

252

Pertinax

198

Valerl/^n

254

DiDIUS

108

Gallienus

260

[ xxiii ]

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF EMPERORS

PROCLAimD IN THE YbAR

(A.D.)

PsocLAimo m rm Year

(A.D.)

POSTUMUS

V

Florian

275

LiEUANUS

Probus

276

ViCTORINUS

»

Carus

282

Marius

Cartnus

288

Tetricus

NUMERIAN

288

Cyriades

Diocletian

285

B^^ULISTA

Maximian

285

Macriamus

CONSTANTIUS I

805

Quietus

FROM

Galerius

805

Odenatrus

258

Maximin II

805

Valens

TO

Seyerus

805

Calpurnius Piso

268

1

Maxemtius

806

Saturninus

CONSTANTINE THK

Trebeixiakus

Great

806

Celsis

Ijcinius

807

^MILIANUS

CoNSTANTIUS II

887

Ingenuus

CONSTANTINE II

887

Reoalian us

CONSTANS

887

AUREOLUS

^

Maomektius

850

Claudius II

268

Julian

861

QUINTILLUS

270

Jovian

868

AURELIAN

270

Valentinian I

864

Tacitus

27

'&

Valkns

875

[ xxiv ]

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF EMPERORS

PiBOCLAIlIED IN THE YbAR (a. D.) G&ATIAK 878

Maximus

888

Majorian

Valentinian

II

888

Sevebus

Thkodosius

892

Anthemius

HONOBIUS

895

Oltbeius

John

428

Glycebius

Valentinian

III

425

Julius Nepos

Proclaiikd in thb Yba« (a. d.)

Ayitus 455

457 461 467 472 478 475

Petronius Maximus 455 Romulus Auoustulus 476

PART I THE HOUSE OF C^SAR

'■■'•■*'.'■.,

ir '

li

■- 3

THE BEGINNING OF SPLENDOR

CHAPTER I

JULIUS CiESAR

ON the fifteenth of March in the year 44 b. c, Caius I Julius Cassar, the greatest man in ancient Rome, the grandest figure of sovereignty in all the an- cient world, was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate. It was a premeditated assassination. Dissuaded from at- tending the session by the tender entreaties of his wife Calpumia, he had sent word that he would not come. But the conspirators despatched a trusted fiiend to urge his attendance, and overcoming his presentiments he yielded and went to his fate. On the way to the senate-house some one thrust into his hand a scroll containing the names of the conspirators and an account of their wicked designs. The &te of the Republic hung upon his opening it. He did not open it.

Before the charge of the cavalry at Waterloo, Napoleon is sfud to have asked a question of the guide Lacoste presumably whether there was any obstacle. The fate of the nineteenth century hung upon the shake of a peasant's head. But, says Hugo, '^ Was it possible for Napoleon to win the battle? We answer in the negative. Why? On account of Wellington or Bliicher? No; on account of God." Napoleon had begun to disturb the equilibrium of the universe ; nature and Gk)d decreed that he must be displaced. And so when Caesar, on his way to death, re- ceived from the unknown a written disclosure of the con- spiracy against his life, but which he carelessly assumed to

[8]

THE HOUSE OF C^SAR

be an ordinary petition, the fate of many centuries hung upon a thread and the thread was not broken. But could the Empire have been forestalled? We answer no; God's law of evolution decreed otherwise. Says Froude, **As Caesar had lived to reconstruct the Roman world, so his death was necessary to finish the work." For in any event, the Republic was doomed. Caesar, as king in name, would have put an end to that And as the writer last quoted explains so convindngly, the Empire of the Caesars was exactly the kingdom demanded by the new life which was dawning for mankind ; *^a kingdom where peaceful men could work, think, and speak as they pleased," and travel freely where life and property were for the most part protected and fanatics prevented from tearing each other to pieces on account of reli^ous opinions.

ShaU we say, then, that the slayers of Caesar were indeed world patriots? And that what Goethe has declared to have been the most senseless deed that was ever done, was really founded in the necessities of civilization's progress ?

The &mily of Caesar claimed to be of immortal descent, tracing its pedigree back to a son of ^neas, who after the fall of Troy had found a resting-place along the sunny shores of western Italy. During a funeral oration which he pronounced from the rostra, in praise of his aunt Julia (the wife of Marius), Caius Julius, who was then quaestor, said: **My aunt Julia derived her descent by her mother from a race of Kings, and by her father from the Inunor- tal GU)ds. For the Mardi R^es, her mother's family, de- duce their pedigree from Ancus Mardus, and the Julii, her Other's, from Venus; of which stock we are a branch. We therefore unite in our descent the sacred majesty of Kings, the chiefest among men, and the divine majesty of GU)ds, to whom Kings themselves are subject"

[4]

JULIUS CiESAR

iEneas was the son of Anchises and Venus, and it was from his son Ascanius, otherwise called lulus, or Jvlus^ that the Gens Julia, of which the Cassars were a branch, was descended. Ancus Marcius was the fourth King of Rome, and according to the old legends he befriended the people against the nobles, for which reason his name was held in especial reverence.

The etymology of the name Caesar is unsettled. It has been variously derived from the color of the eyes prevail- ing in the family (dark gray and piercing, like an eagle's) ; from an exploit during an African hunt, there being a Moorish word Coesar meaning elephant, and from the fact that the first celebrated member of the family came into the world by the aid of the surgeon's knife. But whatever the original meaning of the word, from the hour when Cassius s dagger put an end to the life work of the great Caesar, the name has remained among mankind as the title of sovereignty august, indeed, as the first Emperor so pompously elected to be called.

Froude says that the pedigree of the great Cassar goes no further than his grandfather Caius Julius, who about the middle of the second century before Christ married Marcia, descended from one of the early kings as above stated. Their three chUdren were Caius Julius, Sextus Julius, and Julia. The daughter married Caius Marius, afterwards the boast of democracy, and whose name remains a syno- nym for hardy, incorruptible Roman virtue. Their son, the younger Marius, who after the death of his father shared with Cinna the chief power of Rome, was in his youth one of the most intimate firiends of his cousin, Caius Julius, the future dictator.

The elder son of Caius Julius and Marcia married Au- relia, allied to the great consular family of Cotta. Of this

[5]

THE HOUSE OF CiESAR

union was bom, in the year 100 b. c. (or 102 b.c., as fixed by Mommsen and perhaps more generally accepted by scholars), on the twelfth day of the month which there- after took its name from him, Julius Ccpsar^ afterwards known to all the world as Caesar the Great. From the Ro- man people he ultimately received the appellation Julius CcBsar IHons the Divine. It was from the same motive that an apotheosis had been conferred upon Romulus, namely, to obviate the people's suspicion that he was murdered by a conspiracy of the patrician order.

According to Pliny, his father, who had been prsetor, died suddenly at Pisa, in the year 670 a. u.c. (about 84 B. c). Caesar was then a youth of sixteen or eighteen. Although little is known of his mother Aurdia, she was plainly a woman of character. Plutarch says that she had great discretion, and it is certain that between mother and son a passionate attachment always existed. On the mom- ing of the election when Caesar was candidate for the office of Pontifex Maximus, which was really the beginning of his great career, his mother attended him to the door with tears in her eyes, while he said as she embraced him, ^'My dear mother, you will see me this day chief pontiff, or I shall never return." It seems to have been her life task to watch over his best interests, and she lived to share in the triumph of his great exploits in GauL She died in the year 54 B. c.

WhUe a mere boy Caesar had been betrothed to Cossutia, a member of a very wealthy family, but only of the eques- trian order. His views, however, were more ambitious and after his father s death he repudiated the engagement and married Cornelia, daughter of Cinna, who had been four times consul. At the time of this marriage he seems to have been nineteen years old. There is no more striking

[6]

V,

JULIUS CjESAE

;^u^^

*T.B.j^r«°SK!^*.«^

,,'e^>-^"«"

JULIUS CiESAR

evidence of his character than his spirited refusal to di- vorce Cornelia, at the command of the terrible Sylla* His friend, the great Pompey, had yielded to a similar com- mand and given up his wife to marry the tyrant's step- daughter iBmilia, who was compelled to put away her own husband for that purpose. But with Caesar, coaxing, blandishments, and threats were alike useless. The love of his wife and child and the maintenance of his indepen- dence and self-respect were more to him than life. Sylla stripped him of his sacerdotal office, confiscated his patri- monial estates and his wife's dowry, and actually set a price upon his head. Suetonius says that his life was finally spared through the intercession of powerful friends and that in granting their request Sylla declared: "This man for whose safety you are so extremely anxious will some day or other be the ruin of the party of nobles in defence of which you are leagued with rh^vfw jfn.this one Csesar you will find many a Marius.'^ K^Mfes a j^pphetic utter- ance.

One daughter, Julia, was bom qf .t|iis marriage. JuUa is said to have been gifted with every ch&ia^^kiid at the age of twenty-two she cemented the friendship of her father and the great Pompey by manying the latter. She won her husband's passionate affection, and her early death in the year 54 B. c. was bitterly and universally lamented. A child which she had borne to Pompey had previously died.

After the death of Comeha, Cassar married Pompeia, daughter of Quintus Pompeius and granddaughter of Lu- cius Sylla. He afterwards divorced her upon suspicion of her unfaithftilness ; although there was no evidence other than the attempt of a young quaestor named Clodius to enter Caesar's house in disguise during the celebration of

[7]

THE HOUSE OF CiESAR

a religious festivaL But ** Caesar's wife ought not to be even so much as suspected," he is reported to have said, although the saying is perhaps, like so many others, apocryphaL

Caesar's third wife was Calpumia, the daughter of Lucius Piso, who succeeded Caesar as consul. Calpumia survived him. No children were bom of this or of Caesar s second marriage. Caesario, his reputed child by Cleopatra, was put to death by Augustus, after the final defeat of Antony.^

Caesar was assassinated in the year 44 b. c. At the time of his death he had held every office of importance in the Roman State and was an absolute monarch in everything but the title. In the name of Democracy and under cover of the Marian principles he had overthrown the Republic and reduced the Senate to a mere machine for register- ing his decrees. Whether he really expected or even de- sired to become king eo nomine may be questioned. But he prepared the way for Empire, and he alone. He was the founder of the house of Caesar; and without the house of Caesar there would have been no Roman Empire. By the fiction of adoption, the glory of the great Caesar passed on to the young Augustus and in itself played no unimpor- tant part in building up the imperialistic idea.

Twenty years after the daggers of Cassius and Brutus had left the world without a master, Augustus succeeded in erecting the framework of an Empire upon the foundation which his great kinsman had built so enduringly. In ex-

^ Cleopatra^ in anticipation of Antony's defeat^ had sent Caesario with a large sum of money through Ethiopia into India. Plutarch says that the young man's tutor urged him to turn back, falsely persuading him that Augustus would make him King of Egypt While the Emperor was de- liberating how to dispose of him some one observed that there ought not by any means to be too many Caesars; whereupon Cesario was put to death.

[8]

JULIUS C^SAR

tent, in wealth, in variety, and in everything that makes up earthly power and dignity it became the most magnifi- cent governmental creation that ever had existed. Perhaps no man but Alexander, and possibly Napoleon, has ever dreamed of a greater. During the first two centuries it waxed and maintained its supremacy; during the three following it waned, and finally in the year 476 a. d., five hundred and twenty years after its great founder perished, it melted away into barbarous oblivion.

During the five hundred years which elapsed between what may be called the actual establishment of the Em- pire by Augustus (about 24 b. c.) and the termination of the Empire by the deposition of Romulus Augustus, 476 A. D., we may count exactly one hundred emperors. Not all of them indeed are classed as such by the his- torians. For some, while claiming the office and title for themselves, or having the claim made for them by certain provinces, or factions of the State or army, did not main- tsdn themselves sufficiently long to acquire a permanent place in the imperial roll. 3o that of the one hundred so- called emperors, perhaps twenty or twenty-five may be con- sidered as spurious. But for the^ractical purposes of life and death it made no difference whether the claim to the title were genuine or false. The most shadowy as well as the best-established claim was aUke sufficient to expose its possessor to the "Imperial disease"; and of these one hundred so-called emperors of the mightiest and most wonderful of human governments, only nineteen are known to have died a natural death. Of the remaining eighty-one, seven were killed in battle, three committed suicide, sixty- four were murdered, whUe the cause of death of seven is unknown. That is to say, during the five centuries of the Roman Empire's existence, the average reign of its rulers

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vrvisfive years ; while four out of five of those rulers came to a violent end.

The sickening story began with the death of the great Julius. Scarcely one of the murderers, and as well those who participated in it, died from natiural causes. All were condemned by the Senate ; some were drowned and others killed in battle, while Brutus and Cassius destroyed them- selves with the same poniards with which they had killed Caesar. It might be said that Caesar's blood was well avenged ; but this proved to be only the baptismal sprin- klmg of a long r^me of the most horrible famUy and State murders contained in the annals of a civilized society. While it is not a pleasant page to scan, there is many a lesson to be read between the lines, not the least impor- tant of which is the undoubted fact that from the horrible practice of domestic murder which was introduced among the Romans by the Caesars, sprang no inconsiderable por- tion of that spirit of lawlessness, soon acquired by the people after example set by the nobles, which was one of the chief causes of the ruin of Rome. So that it may not be unprofitable to briefly trace the rise of what may well be termed the "Imperial disease" and then notice still more briefly its fatal efiects upon the long list of Roman Emperors.

Apart from numerous coins, a few gems, and the various busts of which the greater number are of doubtful value, the author of the "Lives" remains our only source of in- formation as to the personal appearance of the early Caesars. But however untrustworthy Suetonius may be in other respects, it is probable that his personal descriptions are in the main reliable; founded, as they undoubtedly were, upon both popular tradition and the unquestionably genuine busts and statues which must have been extant

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JULIUS CiESAR

at the lime he wrote. And while evidence of this sort must necessarily be open to question, it is convincing enough to at least gratify that invariable curiosity as to the personal appearance and characteristics of the great figures in history. Too often the result is disappointing; but in the case of Caesar the commonly accepted picture is that of a man whose bodily presence and personal attri- butes are entirely proportioned to the greatness of his in- tellect, the intensity of his moral force, and the splendor of his fame.

Measured by the Italian standard of height, which is supposed to have been then, as it still is, lower than that of the more hardy and vigorous northern races, the founder of the house of Caesar was tall and of athletic propor- tions. With well-made limbs, strongly knit frame, and an iron constitution, he was capable of unremitting activity and of enduring the greatest fatigue and hardships. His complexion is said to have becfh %ur, his eyes dark and piercing, his Ups thin and fimdy ^e^'^ together, his face rather full and strongly niarked D^;ttie.< prominent nose which is so rarely absent in the portxaftt^^W ^really great men. His large and well^formed head, its dbofe accentu- ated by the prominent templ^ and«^the absence of hair from the sharply rising forehead, wak- set djpon a firm and sinewy neck, the latter in itself so significant of constitu- tional vigor. The contour of the well-known bust in the British Museum is almost flawless; and combined with the keen look, not wanting, however, in its expression of massive gravity, and the strong lines which mark so plainly a powerful self-poise and an unconquerable will, satisfies our conception of one of the greatest of men, whether or not the marble be genuine.

His personal habits with one exception are univer-

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sally ocmoeded to have been of that sort which indicates a hi^ measure of lefinement, self-respect, and apprecia- tion of the dignity of hiunan nature. Scrupulously dean and neat, and all through life particularly attoitive to his personal appearance, abstemious at table rarely or never touching wine with tonper always under abscdute con- trol and exhibiting an unfailing pati^ice and courtesy, he OHmdered sobriety, both bodily and moital, not only among the highest qualities, but as a veritaUe duty of citizenship. He excdled in all manly exercises, being noted especially, however, for his horsemanship and his skill with the sword.

The charge of immorality under which the first Caesar suffers equally with his five successors, although fiercely disputed, has never be^i disproved. Even Froude, who contends most strenuously against the severe accusations of certain early writers, concedes it to be in the highest de- gree improbable that Csesar s morality was superior to that of the average of his contemporaries. Beyond this point, however, a sober weighing of the fiicts does not compel us to go. Froude's arguments are entirely convincing that the accusations of Cicero, Catullus, and Lidnius, grossly re- peated by Suetonius (who is said by some one to have dis- played in his writings all the delight in a coarse sensuality which those of whom he wrote manifested in their lives), must have been slanders. And unless forced to do so, by unquestioned historic truth, we are not inclined to enlarge, beyond its well-defined limits, this one notable weakness of "the foremost man of all this world.** ^

While not entirely free from the superstition of his times, Cassar was too genuinely great to be in any degree moved by it. The omens were never so unpromising as to deter

CCBMOT, Act !▼. Sc. S.

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him from a projected enterprise. Happening to stumble while stepping ashore in the Afirican expedition, it is said that instead of yielding what was considered a dark omen he gave a lucky turn to it by exclaiming, ''I hold thee fast, Africa!" Whether founded upon fact, or only traditional, the story is finely illustrative both of his tena- city of purpose and that abiding confidence in himself and his high destiny, which is one of the first attributes of an elevated souL These characteristics, united with the most conspicuous courage and daring, and a talent for war which has never been equalled and will probably never be sur- passed, rendered him well-nigh invulnerable in those mem- orable campaigns which advanced the glory of the Roman arms to a position undreamed of by t|)pe in<>st ardent lover of the Republic > < J '^.,\ ;-•' ..

His career furnishes perhaps the only e)auift||)e of^a great military leader who never failed. to achieve sucdcjlis when himself in command. And even 'in the three o^four in- stances where his lieutenants met 4?fedt,*lus' ^nius was sufficient to retrieve the disaster, whrchr^in tl^e end was converted into an overwhelming victory.

Caesar possessed all the innate kindliness, courtesy, lack of resentment, and magnanimity which under the circum- stances of his position none but a supremely great man could have displayed in the Roman world of that day. The story of his clemency and generosity after the civil war is like a refreshing breeze out of the tropics, after reading similar pages of contemporaneous history. With less dig- nity of character and a smaller measure of that calm con- fidence in the genius of his fortunes and the stabiUty of his relation to events, his remarkable display of modera- tion towards the vanquished party would never have oc- curred, and his senseless murder would not have awakened

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him firom a projected enterprise. Happening to stumble while stepping ashore in the African expedition, it is siud that instead of yielding to what was considered a dark omen he gave a lucky turn to it by exclaiming, ''I hold thee fast, Africa 1" Whether founded upon fact, or only traditional, the story is finely illustrative both of his tena- city of purpose and that abiding confidence in himself and his high destiny, which is one of the first attributes of an elevated soul. These characteristics, united with the most conspicuous courage and daring, and a talent for war which has never been equalled and will probably never be sur- passed, rendered him well-nigh invulnerable in those mem- orable campaigns which advanced the glory of the Roman arms to a position undreamed of by ();ie most ardent lover of the Republic. / > 4 J ^^^.v' >; ..

His career furnishes perhaps the only e)casi&|}e of^a great military leader who never failed. to achieve sucdQj^s when himself in command. And even 'in Uie three o^four in-