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Dio's Rome, Volume 4 An Historical Narrative   By:

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DIO'S ROME

AN

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE ORIGINALLY COMPOSED IN GREEK

DURING THE REIGNS OF SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, GETA

AND CARACALLA, MACRINUS, ELAGABALUS

AND ALEXANDER SEVERUS:

AND

NOW PRESENTED IN ENGLISH FORM

BY

HERBERT BALDWIN FOSTER, A.B. (Harvard), Ph. D. (Johns Hopkins), Acting Professor of Greek in Lehigh University

FOURTH VOLUME

Extant Books 52 60 (B.C. 29 A.D. 54).

1905

PAFRAETS BOOK COMPANY TROY NEW YOKK

VOLUME CONTENTS

Book Fifty two Book Fifty three Book Fifty four Book Fifty five Book Fifty six Book Fifty seven Book Fifty eight Book Fifty nine Book Sixty

DIO'S ROMAN HISTORY

52

VOL. 4 1

The following is contained in the Fifty second of Dio's Rome:

How Cæsar formed a plan to lay aside his sovereignty (chapters 1 40).

How he began to be called emperor (chapters 41 43).

Duration of time, the remainder of the consulship of Cæsar (5th) and Sextus Apuleius. (B.C. 29 = a. u. 725.)

(BOOK 52, BOISSEVAIN)

[ 1 ] My record has so far stated what the Romans both did and endured for seven hundred and twenty five years under the monarchy, as a democracy, and beneath the rule of a few. After this they reverted to nothing more nor less than a state of monarchy again, although Cæsar had a plan to lay down his arms and entrust affairs to the senate and the populace. He held a consultation on the subject with Agrippa and Mæcenas, to whom he communicated all his secrets. Agrippa, first of the two, answered him as follows:

[ 2 ] "Be not surprised, Cæsar, if I try to turn your mind away from monarchy, in spite of the fact that I might enjoy many advantages from it if you held the place. If it were going to prove serviceable to you, I should be thoroughly enthusiastic for it. But those who hold supreme power are not in a like position with their friends: the latter without incurring jealousy or danger reap all the benefits they please, whereas jealousies and dangers are the lot of the former. I have thought it right, as in other cases, to look forward not for my own interest but for yours and the public's. Let us consider leisurely all the features of the system of government and turn whichever way our reflection may direct us. For it will not be asserted that we ought to choose it under any and all circumstances, even if it be not advantageous. Otherwise we shall seem to have been unable to bear good fortune and to have gone mad through our successes, or else to have been aiming at it long since, to have used our father and our devotion to him as a mere screen, to have put "the people and the senate" forward as an excuse. Our object will seem to have been not to free them from conspirators but to enslave them to ourselves. Either supposition entails censure. Who would not be indignant to see that we had spoken words of one tenor, but to ascertain that we had had something different in mind? How much more would he hate us now than if we had at the outset laid bare our desires and aimed straight at the monarchy! It has come to be generally believed that to adopt some violent course belongs somehow to the nature of man, even if it involves taking an unfair advantage. Every person who excels in any business thinks it right that he should enjoy more advantages than his inferior. If he meets with a success he ascribes it to the force of his individual temperament, and if he fails in anything he refers it to the workings of the supernatural. A man, however, who tries to gain advancement by plots and injuries is in the first place held to be crafty and crooked, malicious and vicious: (and this I know you would allow no one to say or think about you, even if you might rule the whole world by it): again, if he succeeds, he is thought to have gained an unjust advantage, and if he fails, to have met with merited misfortune. [ 3 ] This being so, any one might reproach us quite as much, even if we had nothing of the sort in mind at the beginning and were to begin to devise it only now. For to let the situation get the better of us and not restrain ourselves and not make a right use of the gifts of Fortune is much worse than for a man to do wrong through ill luck... Continue reading book >>


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