World's Famous Foreign Statesmen:
Read More Articles About: World's Famous Foreign Statesmen
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
B.C. 63-A.D. 14
THE FOUNDING OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Augustus Caesar was known originally as Caius Octavius. He was a grandnephew of Julius Caesar, his mother, Atia, being the daughter of Julia, one of the two sisters of Julius. His father, of the same name, died when he was a mere child, and his mother soon after married L. Philippus, under whose care he remained until about his sixteenth year, when his great-uncle, who was without children and had selected him as his heir, took his education in hand. When Caesar celebrated his triumph for his victories in Africa, his nephew rode by his side, decorated with badges of military honor. The next year the young Octavius accompanied his uncle into Spain, where he is said to have given indications of possessing an unusual aptitude for military affairs. On the close of the campaign he was sent to the camp at Apollonia, in Epirus, where Caesar was collecting an army for his projected expedition against the Parthians, there to continue his studies under the instruction of the rhetorician Apollodorus.
Octavius had been in the camp at Apollonia scarcely more than four months when news of the assassination of his uncle called him forth, though then hardly more than eighteen years of age, to take a leading part in the stir-ring events of the times. The news came in a brief letter from his mother. She could give no particulars; nothing was known of the extent of the conspiracy, but she urged him to repair to Rome at once.
When he showed this letter to his friends, many of them warmly dissuaded him from such a course. M. Agrippa and Q. Salvidienus advised him to throw himself on the protection of the legions among which he was. At the same time he was invited by some of their officers to put himself at their head, with the assurance that the soldiers would march with alacrity to avenge their murdered hero. In this conflict of advice he was thrown upon his own judgment, and the decision he took shows that, young as he was, he possessed a clear head. He determined to slip over quietly into Italy, without having committed himself to any course, and to study for himself the condition of affairs.
He landed at an obscure town near Brundisium, and here he remained a few days collecting information. Copies of the will by which Casar made Octavius his heir and adopted son were sent him; and he now boldly assumed the name Caius Julius Casar Octavianus, and presented himself to the garrison of Brundisium, which received him with acclamation.
His next step was to send to the Senate and to Antony, who was then in authority at Rome, a formal claim for his inheritance; and this step he followed up by starting leisurely for the capital, taking care to disclaim any ulterior intentions. Hundreds of the veteran soldiers of Csar flocked to meet him, and offering to avenge under his command the slaughter of their old General, but he prudently declined the offer, and continued on his way with only a few attendants.
Upon arriving in Rome, Octavius was coolly, even contemptuously, received by Antony. Before he could legally claim to be Caesar's heir the adoption must be formally sanctioned, and every obstacle to obtaining this recognition was thrown in his way. Caesar had made in his will certain legacies to the people. They had not been paid. These Octavius, unable to get at his inheritance, paid with his own means and by borrowing money of friends. This act and other well-considered steps won for him great popularity, particularly among the veterans, who began to look upon him as the only probable avenger of Caesar, since Antony had adopted a conciliatory policy toward the "liberators," but he continued to disclaim all intention of taking an active part in political affairs.
These affairs were now in a most perplexingly mixed condition. Antony, as consul, was the legalized head of the State; the Senate was subservient to him, and he had in the city a force sufficient to repress disorder. But he needed to act with caution. Brutus and Cassius were still in Italy, though they kept aloof from public affairs. Decimus Brutus, in defiance of a prohibition of the Senate, had gone into Cisalpine Gaul, and had collected a considerable military force. Lepidus, Antony's colleague, was in Spain. Sextus Pompeius had got possession of Sicily. Cicero, trimming, as usual, and seeking to make friends in all parties, was declaiming against Antony, for mismanagement and ambitious designs. And to add to the confusion, a conspiracy against the life of Antony was discovered, which was charged to Octavius, though he stoutly denied the charge and it is now generally discredited.
Nearly a year passed after the assassination of Caesar before matters assumed any definite shape. Antony had then broken with the Senate, by refusing to confine himself to Macedonia, which had been assigned to him as a province, and moving into Cisalpine Gaul, where he laid siege to Decimus Brutus, who had shut himself up in the town of Mutina. Octavius had now decided upon his course of action, and had raised a considerable force of veterans. Hirtius and Pansa, the consuls, were sent by the Senate to relieve Decimus Brutus, and Octavius joined his force to theirs. The combined forces attacked Antony, and were victorious; but both of the consuls were slain in the engagement. Antony fled into Transalpine Gaul, where he was joined by Lepidus.
Octavius now determined upon a bold move. Marching to Rome at the head of his forces, he caused himself to be elected Consul by open intimidation of the Senate, and the liberties of the commonwealth were lost forever. He was now within one month of the close of the twentieth year of his age.
Invested with the authority of Consul, and in command of a numerous army, Octavius now marched back into Cisalpine Gaul, and found Lepidus and Antony, who had recrossed the Alps, in the neighborhood of Mutina. A friendly correspondence had been carried on between the chiefs of the two armies, before they were advanced very near to each other; and the result was an agreement that all their differences should be settled and their future course of action should be arranged at a personal interview.
The interview resulted in the formation of a Triumvirate, or High Commission of Three, for the settlement of the affairs of the commonwealth, during a period of five years. They partitioned among themselves all the western provinces of the Empire that is, all which were not then in the actual possession of the republican leaders. It was arranged that Antony should rule the two Gauls. To' Octavius fell Sicily, Sardinia, and Africa, while the peninsula of Italy, the hearth of Roman freedom, was exempt from this extraordinary control, but was entrusted to Lepidus, who was designated Consul for the ensuing year.
The compact formed was now cemented by one of the most bloody measures that stain the pages of history a wholesale proscription of their personal enemies. For three days, we are told, the. associates sat with a list of the noblest citizens before them, and each in turn pricked off a man whom he wished to perish. When they found their wishes to clash, they resorted to mutual concessions. Among the proscribed was Cicero, the particular enemy of Antony, and when Octavius would have saved him Antony surrendered to him his own uncle on his mother's side, Lucius Casar. The whole number of the proscribed extended, we are told, to 300 Senators and 2,000 knights. At the same time the soldiers put for-ward claims for reward which could not be ignored. A list of eighteen cities was drawn up, among them some of the finest in Italy, to be delivered to the soldiers with the country adjoining, by the dispossession from their estates of the existing occupants.
The self-appointed Triumvirs now marched upon the city, took possession of it, and carried into effect their bloody decree. The work was entrusted to hired assassins, who rushed through the city in search of their victims and slaughtered them wherever they could be found. But the fiend of carnage, once let loose, was not content with authorized murder. Many who had not been proscribed perished, for the thirst for blood spread to all who had a grudge to settle. Many a private debt was wiped out by the death of the creditor. A second and third and even a fourth proscription followed before the work was done, the latest victims being selected simply for their wealth, which was confiscated.
Scenes equally violent and unauthorized were enacted in the distribution of the lands. Murder was often added to dispossession. Many who were not proscribed fell victims to the covetousness of their neighbors, and the guilty were never brought to an account. The full horrors of the proscription were never known. In the end thousands of the rich in Italy, who had escaped murder, had been reduced to beggary, and the rough soldiers who had over-thrown the commonwealth were in possession of their estates.
While these scenes of murder and spoliation were taking place in Italy, Brutus and Cassius were collecting an army in Macedonia. As soon as affairs were somewhat settled in Italy, Antony and Octavius led an army to Macedonia, leaving Lepidus in charge at Rome, and defeated the two republican leaders in the battle of Philippi (B. C. 42). Brutus and Cassius both committed suicide.
Antony now, in an evil hour, undertook the management of the Asiatic provinces, while Octavius returned to Italy. They also relieved themselves of Lepidus, partly by persuasion and partly by threats, and sent him as propraetor to Africa.
Antony soon fell before the fascination of Cleopatra, and, forgetful of his eastern provinces, he turned aside to Alexandria; and there we may leave him for the present, spending his days and nights in rioting with the Egyptian Queen.
Octavius was now the master of one-half of the Roman world. His first measure was to add new confiscations in Italy to those already made, for in this way only could he satisfy the demands of his unpaid soldiers. Lucius Antonius, brother of the Triumvir, was Consul for the following year. Instigated by Fulvia, Antony's wife, Lucius set himself up as champion of the dispossessed landholders of Italy, and headed an insurrection against Octavius. He was finally compelled to shut himself up in the town of Perusia. After standing here a long siege, the horrors of which were aggregated by famine, he capitulated. The life of Lucius was spared, but the town and its people were delivered over to the soldiers. There is a story, though of doubtful authority, that Octavius selected 300 of the Perusians, and sacrificed them to the shade of Julius, who had then been formally raised to the rank of a demigod.
Antony, who, during the occurrence of these events, had remained supinely inactive in Egypt, now became aroused to the danger of the growing power of Octavius, and having formed an alliance with Sextus and Domitius Pompey, was already threatening Italy, when better counsels prevailed on both sides, and the horrors of another civil war were averted by a new treaty between the two rivals. Fulvia was now dead, and the peace was ratified by Antony's marriage with Octavia, the sister of his colleague in empire. This was in the year 40 B. C.
Sextus Pompey now becomes an important character in the drama. Pompey's power was on the sea. While Antony was still at Rome, Pompey succeeded so effectually in interrupting the grain supply of Rome that the Triumvirs were compelled by the clamors of the people to make terms with him. He was admitted as a fourth partner in the Triumvirate, and was given as his province Sicily and Sardinia.
Antony now set out from Rome to lead his legions against the Parthians. But he stopped at Athens, where he spent the winter with his newly wedded wife, Octavia, in a round of dissipation which must have shocked not a little the staid matron at his side. In the spring, how-ever, he recovered himself and proceeded with his expedition.
The peace with Pompey was not of long continuance.
It was broken by his refusal to comply with all of its terms, and war between him and Octavius was renewed on the sea, in which the advantage lay with Pompey for nearly two years, when he was finally defeated by Agrippa (B. C. 36) in a naval battle off the coast of Sicily. Lepidus had been drawn into alliance with Pompey; but he was magnanimously pardoned by Octavius, though removed from the Triumvirate, which had a short time before been renewed for a second term of five years.
With the defeat of Sextus begins a new period in the life of Octavius. He was now in his twenty-eighth year. His power was established on a firm basis. One of his colleagues had been deposed; the other, self-banished in the East, was fast acquiring the tastes and habits of the despised Orientals. Italy lay submissive under his feet. Her spirit had been broken, the flower of her nobility destroyed by the terrible proscriptions. His soldiers had been satisfied. There was no longer need of harsh measures. From this time forward his whole conduct showed a sincere desire to win the esteem and love of the people, to blot from their recollection the horrors of the past. On returning to .Rome from his victorious Sicilian expedition he was received with every honor which fear or flattery could suggest. The Senate and the citizens went out to meet him in festive procession; and on this occasion he delivered an address, in which he reviewed the whole course of his Triumvirate, excused the severe measures on the ground of necessity, and pledged himself that the civil war had reached its final termination.
He now turned his attention to establishing a mild, though firm, government in Rome and throughout Italy, leaving to the people as much liberty as was compatible with his own supreme control, and repressing with a firm hand all disorder in the State. By this evident concern for the public weal and by his affable manners he soon secured a genuine popularity and came to be looked upon as a real benefactor of the State. At the same time he began a system of public improvement of the city, by building useful works and erecting splendid edifices. In this work he found an able assistant in Agrippa, while in his legislation and constitutional reforms Maecenas was his trusted adviser.
Hostilities broke out with the Illyrians, Dalmatians, and other barbarian tribes, and Octavius conducted in per-son campaigns against them in three successive summers, adding to his military reputation, but, what was of more importance to him, exercising his legions, for already the cloud of a greater war was looming up in the East.
Antony, after an unsuccessful campaign against the Parthians, had again fallen under the dominion of Cleopatra. Reports of the scandalous orgies celebrated at the Alexandrian court reached Italy, and filled the public mind with disgust and estranged it from the absent triumvir, though Antony still had vigilant friends to watch over his interests in Rome. To both Antony and Octavius it became clear that a conflict between them was unavoidable, and both stealthily prepared themselves for it. Antony tore himself away from Cleopatra and marched into Asia, on pretense of resuming the war against the Parthians, but really to effect an alliance with the King of Media, while Octavius, on his side, assembled a large force, pretending a design upon Britain. At the same time Octavius maintained the semblance of good will toward Antony, but sought to increase the public indignation against the Egyptian Queen. Gradually he molded public opinion to his purpose. The climax came when Octavius, having surreptitiously gotten possession of Antony's will, broke the seal and read the contents of it publicly, first to the Senate and afterward before the popular assembly. The parts of the will which aroused especial indignation were Antony's recognition of Cleopatra's son, Caesarion, as the son of Julius, and his desire that after his death his body might be taken to Alexandria and be deposited by the side of that of Cleopatra. Every effort was made by Octavius to give to the approaching contest the appearance of being a war with Egypt, and to array on his side the national pride and jealousy of Rome.
War with the Queen of Egypt was finally declared by Octavius. Antony, whose preparations were already completed, repaired to Athens with his fleet, with which was joined that of Cleopatra; and from Athens he issued a counter declaration of war, to which he added the insult of divorcing himself from Octavia.
The contest between these two powerful rivals for the sole control of the Roman world was settled in a great naval battle off the promontory of Actium. The fleet of Octavius, commanded by Agrippa, won the victory. The ships of Antony and Cleopatra, such as did not, through their lightness, escape by flight, were almost utterly destroyed. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt. The troops which Antony had assembled in Greece threw down their arms, after the defection of their leader, or consented to employ them in the service of Octavius.
After spending some months in regulating his affairs in Greece, Octavius was at leisure to pursue his defeated rival. Meanwhile Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt had made every effort, first, to repair their disaster and, afterward, separately, to make terms with Octavius. With Antony, Octavius refused to negotiate. Cleopatra's offer to surrender Antony, he indignantly rejected; but at the same time he caused it artfully to be insinuated to her that her own personal charms might be the means of her securing favor with him, and for a time Cleopatra indulged in a dream of a new conquest, which might yet make her the Queen of the Roman world. Antony, in his despair, committed suicide, by opening his veins with a dagger. He was taken to the apartment of Cleopatra, and died in her arms. Cleopatra herself, after having become convinced in an interview with Octavius that he was impregnable to her seduction, followed the example of Antony. The manner of her death was never known with certainty, as no marks were found upon her person; but it has always been supposed that she died from the poisonous bite of an asp* Octavius had permitted Cleopatra to bury Anthony with regal honors in the tombs of the Ptolemies, and she was now placed by his side. Her son Caesarion, whom she had sent for safety into Libya, was inveigled into the power of Octavius and was executed; but her children by Antony were permitted to live, though deprived, of course, of their sovereignty.
Octavius now made Egypt a Roman province, and appointed a favorite officer, Cornelius Gallus, to govern it. He then set out on a tour of inspection through Pales-tine, Syria, and Asia Minor. The most notable incident of this tour was the effort made by two rival claimants to the throne of Parthia to have him act as arbitrator. He refused to interfere in their quarrel, but gave to Tiradates an asylum in Syria, and accepted as hostage the young daughter of Phraates, who was the actual occupant of the throne.
After an absence of nearly two years Octavius returned to Rome, and was accorded a triple triumph, one for his successes obtained over the Dalmatians, a second for the victory at Actium, while the third commemorated the final extinction of the rivalry between the East and the West before the walls of Alexandria. The spectacle of the last day was the richest and most attractive. The pro-cession was headed by the captive children of the Queen and her Roman lover, while following them came an image of Cleopatra herself, reclining in rich attire upon a couch and with an asp attached to each arm. Then followed the usual games, in which for the first time the hippopotamus and the rhinoceros were seen in Rome.
We have now to pass hastily over a space of two years, in which Octavius was engaged in consolidating his power, while at the same time winning his way tò the hearts of the people by liberal expenditures for their aid or their amusement, by erecting new buildings, and particularly by the pious work of repairing the neglected temples of the gods. One of the first acts of Octavius, after his return from the East, was the closing of the Temple of Janus, thus signifying in an impressive manner that peace now reigned throughout the whole extent of the vast empire.
It has been said that Octavius at this time seriously contemplated resigning his great power and restoring the re-public, and that when he consulted his two trusted advisers, Agrippa and Maecenas, the former favored such a course, while the latter advised him against it. At any rate, he found it expedient to declare such an intention to the Senate. Considering his actual power, as commander of a still undisbanded army, there was but one way to meet such a proposal. The Senators with one voice entreated their magnanimous patron to retain the powers they had entrusted to him for their benefit. The imperium, or chief military command, was thrust back upon him, though he refused to accept it for a period of more than ten years, and thus the farce ended.
And now arose an interesting and not unimportant question, by what title he should be addressed. The title of King had been hateful to the Romans from the beginning of the republic, and was not to be thought of; that of Dictator was scarcely less odious. The title finally selected was Augustus, which was bestowed upon him by the Senate in January, B. C. 27, and thenceforward it is by the name Augustus that he appears in Roman history. Subsequently was added the complimentary designation, "Father of his Country."
Having now sketched the events, extending over fourteen years, through which Octavius, or, as we must now call him, Augustus, attained to his position of Imperator, or Emperor, of the Roman world, it will be convenient to treat of the remainder of his long reign with less attention to the exact order of occurrences. Augustus visited at different times every part of his vast empire, sometimes for the purpose of conducting military operations, and always with a view to effecting a more perfect organization of the provinces. Soon after he assumed the title of Augustus, he visited Gaul and Spain, the latter of which countries he succeeded in bringing for the first time completely under Roman control. In B.C. 22 he made a second tour through the eastern provinces. On this occasion he was again appealed to by the rival claimants for the throne of Parthia, and as the price of the Roman support of Phraates, who then held a precarious possession of the kingdom, he demanded and obtained the restoration of the standards which had been lost by Crassus, some thirty years before a successful piece of negotiation which particularly gratified the Roman Senate and populace. During his three years' absence upon this expedition, affairs at Rome were managed by Agrippa. Soon after his return from the East he was called into Gaul by a formidable outbreak of some of the Alpine tribes; and, having suppressed this disturbance, he made a second visit to Spain. After his return from Spain the Temple of Janus was a second time closed.
Augustus gradually formed, for the purpose of con-trolling the provinces and repressing hostilities along the border of the Empire, a thoroughly organized standing army, the size of which came finally to be fixed at twenty-five legions. The full complement of each of these legions was 6,100 foot and 726 horse, and this continued to be the strength of the Roman legion for a period of 400 years. He also inaugurated the system of military roads, the first works of this kind being constructed in Gaul, under the supervision of Agrippa.
In organizing his imperial government, Augustus was careful to preserve the semblance of the old republican constitution. His policy was to cajole the people into the belief that they still retained some portion of their liberties, and to keep himself as much as possible in the background. Consuls and Tribunes and Censors still continued to be elected, as in the time of the republic he himself during the early years of his power was usually one of the Consuls though the powers of all of these officers were successively conferred permanently upon him by the Senate. This body was permitted still to retain its old functions; its sanction was still held to be necessary to every act of administration, though its members could not but feel that their action was a mere formality. In reorganizing the internal administration of the State, Augustus made a special effort to bring back the citizens to their ancestral religious rites and ceremonies. New fanes and altars were erected in the city and elsewhere to the half-forgotten Latin divinities, and old religious festivals were revived. He sought, too, to restore the sanctity of marriage, which had ceased to be regarded as much else than a civil contract, and to encourage marriage by laws against celibacy.
The greater became the power of Augustus, the more solicitous he was to appear by his habits and demeanor to stand on a level with the citizens. His mansion on the Palatine Hill was moderate in size and decoration, and he showed his contempt for the voluptuous appliances of Patrician luxury by retaining the same bed-chamber both in winter and summer. His dress was that of a plain Senator, and he let it be known that his robe was woven by the hands of Livia herself and the maids of her apartment. He was seen to traverse the streets as a private citizen, with no more than the ordinary retinue of slaves and clients, addressing familiarly the acquaintances he met, taking them courteously by the hand or leaning on their shoulders, allowing himself to be summoned as a witness in their suits, and often attending in their houses on occasions of domestic interest. At table his habits were sober and decorous, and his mode of living abstemious; he was generally the last to approach and the earliest to quit the board. His guests were few in number, and were chosen for the most part for their social qualities. Virgil and Horace, the Plebeian poets, were as welcome to his hours of recreation as Pollio or Messala. His conversation turned on subjects of intellectual interest; he disdained the amusement which the vulgar rich derived from dwarfs, idiots, and monsters. Some ribald stories were current respecting his private habits, which the citizens gratified themselves with repeating, though attaching, perhaps, little credit to them. The guardian of manners and reviver of the ancient purity was affirmed to have courted, sometimes in the rudest and most open manner, the wives of the noblest Romans; not from unbridled appetite, but in order, as his apologists averred, to extract from his paramours the political secrets of their consorts. Such stories, however, were too commonly reported of all conspicuous characters to be deserving of a too easy credence.
During the long reign of Augustus his legions were almost continually engaged somewhere in active warfare, particularly along the northern border of the Empire. The Pannonians, Illyrians, and Dalmatians were finally reduced to complete subjection, and the bounds of the Empire were pushed on the side of these tribes to the Danube. The Alpine tribes and the Germans continued longer to give trouble, but these, too, were at last brought under submission, and the Roman authority was respected across the Rhine as far as the Weser and perhaps to the Elbe. Then came a terrible military reverse, which combined with domestic troubles to sadden the closing years of the life of Augustus. Quintilius Varus had been sent by Augustus to take command of the newly acquired German province. The Germans, under their leader, Arminius, rose in revolt against Varus, compelled him to retreat, and defeated him (A. D. 91) in the Black Forest, annihilating completely his three legions. Varus and several of his officers took their own lives in despair. Prompt measures were taken by Augustus to repair the disaster, by sending Tiberius into Gaul, to prevent the passage of the Germans across the Rhine. But after the immediate necessity for action had passed, the aged Emperor sank into a state of nervous despondency. For many months he allowed his hair and beard to go untrimmed, and was even known to dash his head against the walls of his chamber, exclaiming, mournfully : "Varus, Varus, give me back my legions !"
The conspiracy of Cinna against Augustus (A. D. 4) is remarkable for the way in which the conspirator, after his plot had been revealed by an accomplice, was treated by Augustus. There was a time when Augustus would have wreaked terrible vengeance on a culprit of this sort; but his passions had now cooled, and he could reason that, though severity might punish, it could not prevent such crimes. He sent for Cinna, seated him by his side, and proceeded to read to him a long document he had pre-pared, in which he recited the favors he had bestowed upon Cinna, and set forth all of the details of the plot, as they had been made known to him, and in the end astonished his trembling listener by an assurance, not only of forgiveness, but of renewal of favor. Shortly after-ward he conferred upon Cinna the consulship, and found him ever afterward a grateful and sincere adherent.
One of the greatest of the afflictions which clouded the declining years of Augustus was the misconduct of his daughter and only child, Julia. Julia was the daughter of Scribonia, whom Augustus divorced to marry Livia. She was given in marriage, first to Marcellus, the son of Octavia whom Augustus early fixed upon as his heir and successor, and whose early death was a source of the keenest grief to him then to Agrippa, and after the death of Agrippa, to Tiberius, the elder of the two sons of Livia. History paints Julia as one of the most beautiful and brilliant of women, and at the same time one of the most dissolute. For a long time Augustus closed his eyes to her misconduct, or limited his action to severe reprimand. But the orgies of Julia became so notorious and so scandalous, that even a fond father could no longer overlook them. Julia was sent into banishment, together with the reputed partners of her licentiousness, among whom were some of the noblest youths of Rome.
During the last twenty years of the long reign of Augustus, he was deprived of the able counsel and coöperation of Agrippa and Maecenas, who died at nearly the same time, and came more and more completely under the control of Livia, who seems to have been the only woman for whom he ever entertained a sincere regard. The story of his life toward its close becomes little more than a domestic drama, in which the central figures are a scheming woman, plotting to secure for her son the succession to the imperial toga, and a feeble old man, grown morose from ill-health, saddened through disappointment from the successive deaths of all whom he had chosen to succeed him, conscious of the plotting around him, detesting in his heart the man—Tiberius—whom he has been induced to adopt, and still hoping to find a way out of his dilemma. As Augustus felt his strength failing, it seemed to him that a change of air might be beneficial. Accordingly, accompanied by Livia, he went to Campania. Here he died, at Nola, August 19, A. D. 14 by a singular coincidence in the very month that was named for him near the close of the seventy-sixth year of his age and in the forty-fifth year of his reign.
Augustus was in his stature somewhat below the medium height, according to Suetonius, but extremely well proportioned. His hair was inclined to curl, and was of a yellowish-brown. His eyes were bright and lively, and the general expression of his countenance was remark-ably calm and mild. His literary attainments, for an obvious reason, were not great, though he took great pleasure in the society of men of culture. His own style of writing was heavy and dull. His speeches on any public occasion were written and committed to memory; and not only this, but so fearful was he that he might drop some unguarded expression, that even when discussing any important subject with his wife he was accustomed to write down what he had to say and to read it to her. He seems to have been quite indifferent to the beauties of art. Instead of adorning his residence on the Palatine with statuary and painting, he decorated his halls with fossil bones, gathered in Sardinia and elsewhere bones which passed for those of giants-thus testifying to a penchant toward science rather than art. It is probable that the patronage which he extended to Virgil and Horace, and to other deserving poets, is to be credited to Maecenas rather than to him, though, doubtless he heartily coöperated in this policy of his cultured and trusted minister.
Augustus left to his successors an inheritance, both of territory and policy, which remained substantially unaltered for a period of more than two centuries. Britain and Judaea were the only considerable additions made to the Empire after the death of Augustus, and no territory was stripped from it permanently during these centuries. Though in the list of Roman Emperors Julius Casar stands first, Augustus was the real founder of the Empire.