Anno Urbis - The Roman Empire Online
THE TWELVE CAESARS
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Lives of the Grammarians -
Lives of the Poets
Plin. Epist. i. 18, 24, iii. 8, v. 11, ix. 34, x. 95.
Lycee, part I. liv. III. c. i.
Julius Caesar Divus. Romulus, the founder of Rome, had the honour
of an apotheosis conferred on him by the senate, under the title of
Quirinus, to obviate the people's suspicion of his having been taken off
by a conspiracy of the patrician order. Political circumstances again
concurred with popular superstition to revive this posthumous adulation
in favour of Julius Caesar, the founder of the empire, who also fell by
the hands of conspirators. It is remarkable in the history of a nation
so jealous of public liberty, that, in both instances, they bestowed the
highest mark of human homage upon men who owed their fate to the
introduction of arbitrary power.
Pliny informs us that Caius Julius, the father of Julius Caesar, a
man of pretorian rank, died suddenly at Pisa.
A.U.C. (in the year from the foundation of Rome) 670; A.C. (before
Christ) about 92.
Flamen Dialis. This was an office of great dignity, but subjected
the holder to many restrictions. He was not allowed to ride on
horseback, nor to absent himself from the city for a single night. His
wife was also under particular restraints, and could not be divorced. If
she died, the flamen resigned his office, because there were certain
sacred rites which he could not perform without her assistance. Besides
other marks of distinction, he wore a purple robe called laena, and a
conical mitre called apex.
Two powerful parties were contending at Rome for the supremacy;
Sylla being at the head of the faction of the nobles, while Marius
espoused the cause of the people. Sylla suspected Julius Caesar of
belonging to the Marian party, because Marius had married his aunt Julia.
He wandered about for some time in the Sabine territory.
Bithynia, in Asia Minor, was bounded on the south by Phrygia, on the
west by the Bosphorus and Propontis; and on the north by the Euxine sea.
Its boundaries towards the east are not clearly ascertained, Strabo,
Pliny, and Ptolemy differing from each other on the subject.
Mitylene was a city in the island of Lesbos, famous for the study
of philosophy and eloquence. According to Pliny, it remained a free city
and in power one thousand five hundred years. It suffered much in the
Peloponnesian war from the Athenians, and in the Mithridatic from the
Romans, by whom it was taken and destroyed. But it soon rose again,
having recovered its ancient liberty by the favour of Pomnpey; and was
afterwards much embellished by Trajan, who added to it the splendour of
his own name. This was the country of Pittacus, one of the seven wise
men of Greece, as well as of Alcaeus and Sappho. The natives showed a
particular taste for poetry, and had, as Plutarch informs us, stated
times for the celebration of poetical contests.
The civic crown was made of oak-leaves, and given to him who had
saved the life of a citizen. The person thus decorated, wore it at
public spectacles, and sat next the senators. When he entered, the
audience rose up, as a mark of respect.
A very extensive country of Hither Asia; lying between Pamphylia to
the west, Mount Taurus and Amanus to the north, Syria to the east, and
the Mediterranean to the south. It was anciently famous for saffron; and
hair-cloth, called by the Romans ciliciun, was the manufacture of this
A city and an island, near the coast of Caria famous for the huge
statue of the Sun, called the Colossus. The Rhodians were celebrated not
only for skill in naval affairs, but for learning, philosophy, and
eloquence. During the latter periods of the Roman republic, and under
some of the emperors, numbers resorted there to prosecute their studies;
and it also became a place of retreat to discontented Romans.
Pharmacusa, an island lying off the coast of Asia, near Miletus.
It is now called Parmosa.
The ransom, too large for Caesar's private means, was raised by the
voluntary contributions of the cities in the Asiatic province, who were
equally liberal from their public funds in the case of other Romans who
fell into the hands of pirates at that period.
From Miletus, as we are informed by Plutarch.
Who commanded in Spain.
Rex, it will be easily understood, was not a title of dignity in a
Roman family, but the surname of the Marcii.
The rites of the Bona Dea, called also Fauna, which were performed
in the night, and by women only.
Hispania Boetica; the Hither province being called Hispania
Alexander the Great was only thirty-three years at the time of his
The proper office of the master of the horse was to command the
knights, and execute the orders of the dictator. He was usually
nominated from amongst persons of consular and praetorian dignity; and
had the use of a horse, which the dictator had not, without the order of
Seneca compares the annals of Tanusius to the life of a fool,
which, though it may he long, is worthless; while that of a wise man,
like a good book, is valuable, however short.--Epist. 94.
Bibulus was Caesar's colleague, both as edile and consul. Cicero
calls his edicts "Archilochian," that is, as full of spite as the verses
of Archilochus.--Ad. Attic. b. 7. ep. 24.
A.U.C. 689. Cicero holds both the Curio's, father and son, very
cheap.--Brut. c. 60.
Regnum, the kingly power, which the Roman people considered an
An honourable banishment.
The assemblies of the people were at first held in the open Forum.
Afterwards, a covered building, called the Comitium, was erected for that
purpose. There are no remains of it, but Lumisden thinks that it
probably stood on the south side of the Forum, on the site of the present
church of The Consolation.--Antiq. of Rome, p. 357.
Basilicas, from Basileus; a king. They were, indeed, the palaces
of the sovereign people; stately and spacious buildings, with halls,
which served the purpose of exchanges, council chambers, and courts of
justice. Some of the Basilicas were afterwards converted into Christian
churches. "The form was oblong; the middle was an open space to walk in,
called Testudo, and which we now call the nave. On each side of this
were rows of pillars, which formed what we should call the side-aisles,
and which the ancients called Porticus. The end of the Testudo was
curved, like the apse of some of our churches, and was called Tribunal,
from causes being heard there. Hence the term Tribune is applied to that
part of the Roman churches which is behind the high altar."--Burton's
Antiq. of Rome, p. 204.
Such as statues and pictures, the works of Greek artists.
It appears to have stood at the foot of the Capitoline hill.
Piranesi thinks that the two beautiful columns of white marble, which are
commonly described as belonging to the portico of the temple of Jupiter
Stator, are the remains of the temple of Castor and Pollux.
Ptolemy Auletes, the son of Cleopatra.
Lentulus, Cethegus, and others.
The temple of Jupiter Capitolinus was commenced and completed by
the Tarquins, kings of Rome, but not dedicated till the year after their
expulsion, when that honour devolved on M. Horatius Fulvillus, the first
of the consuls. Having been burnt down during the civil wars, A.U.C.
670, Sylla restored it on the same foundations, but did not live to
Meaning Pompey; not so much for the sake of the office, as having
his name inserted in the inscription recording the repairs of the
Capitol, instead of Catulus. The latter, however, secured the honour,
and his name is still seen inscribed in an apartment at the Capitol, as
It being the calends of January, the first day of the year, on
which the magistrates solemnly entered on their offices, surrounded by
Among others, one for recalling Pompey from Asia, under the pretext
that the commonwealth was in danger. Cato was one of the colleagues who
saw through the design and opposed the decree.
See before, p. 5. This was in A.U.C. 693.
Plutarch informs us, that Caesar, before he came into office, owed
his creditors 1300 talents, somewhat more than 565,000 pounds of our
money. But his debts increased so much after this period, if we may
believe Appian, that upon his departure for Spain, at the expiration of
his praetorship, he is reported to have said, Bis millies et quingenties
centena minis sibi adesse oportere, ut nihil haberet: i. e. That he was
2,000,000 and nearly 20,000 sesterces worse than penniless. Crassus
became his security for 830 talents, about 871,500 pounds.
For his victories in Gallicia and Lusitania, having led his army to
the shores of the ocean, which had not before been reduced to submission.
Caesar was placed in this dilemma, that if he aspired to a triumph,
he must remain outside the walls until it took place, while as a
candidate for the consulship, he must be resident in the city.
Even the severe censor was biassed by political expediency to
sanction a system, under which what little remained of public virtue, and
the love of liberty at Rome, were fast decaying. The strict laws against
bribery at elections were disregarded, and it was practised openly, and
accepted without a blush. Sallust says that everything was venal, and
that Rome itself might be bought, if any one was rich enough to purchase
it. Jugurth, viii. 20, 3.