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rence to his

Biography. honoured it in the living, but did all in his power master of several instruments, on which, however, he Marcus

to commemorate its happy effects in the men of former never played except in private. Lampridius, who Aurelius From Ages. He collected in Trajan's Square the Statues charges him with an unbecoming anxiety respecting his


Severus. of all the deified Sovereigns of Rome, as, also, of the fame, accuses him of showing too much deference to 222. more celebrated Commanders who had distinguished learned men, and of regarding them as the arbiters of

From themselves and served their Country ; adorning them his reputation, of which, it is acknowledged, he was 235.

with inscriptions which set forth their exploits and extremely jealous. He granted pensions, it is true, to
prominent qualities. He had likewise in his Palace the Professors of the several Sciences and Arts, built
two chapels, in which the principal objects of his vene- Schools and endowed them liberally; but as his patron-

ration were ranged in two classes; the one being dedi- age was extended to all classes of ingenious men whose
cated to Virtue, the other to eminent abilities. In labours promised to adorn or benefit Society, there is
the former were placed good Monarchs, among whom reason to believe that he was influenced not less by dis-
he thought proper to rank Alexander the Great; and interested patriotism than by a selfish regard to his own
next to them, wise men or Sages, by whose precepts posthumous celebrity.
the World had been enlightened and improved, in- The worst enemies of Alexander have not assailed Accused of
cluding Abraham, Orpheus, Apollonius Tyanæus, and his memory with any crime more heinous than that of

undue defe Jesus Christ. * In the latter were Military heroes, and yielding a little too far to the caprice and avarice of his

persons conspicuous in the Republic of Letters, such mother, whom Lampridius describes as an excellent
as Achilles, Cicero, Virgil, which last he usually called woman, but covetous.* He is reported to have con-
the Plato of the Poets. In each of these shrines he nived at her rapacity, when, perhaps, he was unable to
offered sacrifice every day; confirming thereby his good check it. But Herodian relates an occurrence which,
resolutions with the remembrance of departed excel- if true, convicts the Prince of a degree of obsequiousness
lence, and giving vigour to his motives by perpetuating not quite consistent with the general excellence of his
the fame of good and great actions.

character. He informs us, that Mamæa, after consentHis various

The greater part of his mornings was devoted to the ing that her son should marry the daughter of a Patripursuits.

despatch of business with his Ministers; for which cian, became jealous of the influence to which the
purpose he rose even before it was light, and spent young Empress very naturally attained, and plotted her
several hours together in this occupation without show- ruin. Her resentment could not be appeased until she
ing any symptoms of uneasiness or fatigue. A coun- had expelled the wife of Alexander from the Palace,
tenance always placid and serene, and an invariable and banished her into Africa, and finally brought down
sweetness of temper, rendered such labour easy to him- upon the father, who complained of the injuries inflicted
self and pleasant to others. After this he allotted some upon his child, the punishment of a traitor or rebel.
time to reading and amusement. His favourite authors The same writer, who is throughout very unfriendly to
were those whose names have been already mentioned. the reputation of this Emperor, assures his readers that
To the exercises of the mind succeeded those of the Alexander remained a passive spectator of a scene
body; and to promote health and relaxation, Alex- which ought to have interested him the most deeply;
ander engaged in the gymnastic arts which were most that fear of his mother shut his mouth ; and that he
valued among his contemporaries, running, wrestling, permitted, with a degree of patience which would have
and throwing the quoit. After the bath, and a slight disgraced a simpleton, a transaction which the laws of
repast, he returned once more to business, when justice and humanity equally called upon him to prevent.
surrounded by the officers of his establishment, he The account given by Lampridius of this affair is
read letters, examined petitions, and corrected de- considerably different, and more creditable to the feel-
spatches, till the approach of evening. Nor was itings of the Prince. He relates, that the father-in-law
before these important duties were discharged, that of the Emperor, loaded with dignities and honours
he opened the gates of his Palace to the Nobility, which his connection with the Throne enabled him to
who went to pay visits of compliment, or to share in procure, entertained a criminal design against the Go-
the entertainments with which the day was usually vernment; and that it was in consequence of a dis-
closed. A temperate meal, with instructive conversa- covery affecting at once his loyalty and his gratitude,
tion, afforded to the graver class of the Senators the that the Ministers of the Crown insisted upon his death
most agreeable pastime ; while plays, or the declama- and the repudiation of his daughter. It is impossible,
tions of Orators and of Poets, who were invited to read indeed, to determine whether the malice of Herodian
their works, supplied that variety of amusement which or the credulity of Lampridius is the more deserving
suited the diversity of ages and of taste.

of credit ; but the unquestionable authority of Dion His learn. A life so regulated could not fail to be distinguished Cassius removes all doubt as to the fact, that Mamæa ing, and

by Knowledge as well as by Virtue; and we accordingly showed towards the wife of her son a degree of jealousy love for the find that Alexander had the

reputation of learning and and hatred for which the public eye could not discover .

of many accomplishments. From his Syrian extraction, any just cause."
we are not surprised to find that he spoke Greek more In the administration of Civil affairs, the sedulous His success
fluently than Latin, and that he gave a decided pre- attention and pure motives of Alexander secured the in reforming

Civil affairs.
ference to the former language. He composed verses exercise of justice and the restoration of confidence.
in both tongues with so much facility, that he is said to His choice, too, of wise counsellors contributed much
have written in Poetry the lives of the good Emperors. to the tranquillity of the Empire; for public burdens
He understood Geometry and Music, and was even were everywhere imposed with moderation and exacted

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* Christum, Abraham, et Orpheum, et hujusmodi ceteros hnbebat, ac majorum effigirs, rem divinam fucicbut. Lamprid. in Alex, Serer. c. 29.

* Mulier sancta, sed avara, et auri el argenti cupida, c. 14.

† Dion Cassius, lib. lxxx. Lamprid. in Aler. Sever. c. 49. Herodian. lib. vi.


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Biography. with lenity. The Provinces, relieved from the taxes sedition which ended in the murder of Ulpian. He Marcus which had been drawn from them by the two preceding removed him from Italy to Egypt, under the pretext of Aurelius

From Emperors, flourished in peace and prosperity under the giving him a command in the latter Country; from

administration of Magistrates who were convinced by whence he was, in due time, brought back to Crete,
experience, that to deserve the love of his subjects was where he paid the penalty due to his crime.

the only method of obtaining the favour of the Sove- But that it was the want of power and not of courage
reign. By the judicious economy of the Emperor, the to which we must ascribe the failure of Alexander in

price of provisions and the interest of money were kept the case of the Prætorians, is rendered manifest by his
within moderate limits. Dignity, freedom, and autho- conduct on other occasions. When the Troops were 235.
rity were restored to the Senate; and in every depart- in the field, he never suffered either officers or soldiers
ment of the State except one, the powers inherent in to quit their standard to gratify their love of plunder
the Empire were firmly directed to the confirmation or private revenge. On the contrary, he punished every
and perpetuity of the renovated order of things. The such breach of discipline with marked severity: and on
Army did not sympathize with the great body of the one occasion, when a farrier destroyed the property of
People in the love of peace, and in the administration an old woman, and thereby deprived her of the means
of equal laws; while their turbulent spirit, confirmed of obtaining a livelihood, he condemned the man to be
by long impunity, rendered them impatient of the re- her slave, and to labour for her maintenance as long as
straints of discipline, and utterly regardless of the she should live.
public welfare if opposed to their boundless preten- There is on record a still more remarkable instance His firmness
sions. *

of his coolness and determination. When at Antioch, on a memo-
Seditious Domitius Ulpianus, the disciple of the great Papini- preparing for his expedition against the Persians, he rable occa-
sunt of the anus, and tutor to the infancy of the reigning Prince, found it necessary to chastise the immorality of a cer-
Aray, and
murder of

was elevated by his grateful pupil to the rank of Præ- tain number of the men belonging to a particular Clpian. torian Præfect. The fame of Ulpian as a Jurist has legion. The Cohorts became mutinous, and demanded

reached even to our own times, but he did not display back their comrades with seditious cries. Alexander
in the Camp the same commanding powers which ascended the tribunal, ordered the prisoners to be
raised his reputation in the Senate, and in Courts of brought before him loaded with chains, and then ad-
Justice. His vigilance, as well as his avowed intention dressed the riotous Legionaries in the following terms:
to introduce among them certain reforms, gave great “Fellow Soldiers ! for such I am still willing to call
offence to the Soldiers, who in return assailed his ears you, because I make no doubt that you heartily disap-
with seditious language, and on several occasions pro- prove the conduct of those individuals who have in-
ceeded so far as to threaten his life. The Emperor curred my displeasure, you cannot fail to know that it
frequently interposed for his preservation, and by pre- is the discipline of our ancestors which has hitherto
senting his own body to the swords of the angry Præ- preserved the power and glory of the Commonwealth,
torians, saved that of his faithful Minister from mortal and that without this support the Roman Empire and
wounds. But at length their fury burst through all name must infallibly perish.' Your companions have
restraint; and pursuing the unfortunate Præfect to the been guilty of great irregularities, alike disgraceful to
Palace, they murdered him at the feet of his master. themselves, and fatal to the success and reputation of
Encouraged by their success, which Alexander had not our arms, Never will I suffer the infamous disorders
the firmness or the power to punish, they resolved to which prevailed during the reign of my predecessor,
despatch in like manner the celebrated Historian Dion that monster of impurity, to be revived while I am on
Cassius. This officer was just returned from his govern- the Throne. The death of the offenders shall expiate
ment in Upper Pannonia, where he had found means their crime !"
to bring the troops under his command to a proper At these words, the clamours of the Legion inter-

sense of their duty, and to make them respect the au- rupted his mild expostulation. “Forbear that noise," Danger of thority of their superiors. It was the apprehension that he exclaimed; “ such outeries may be suitable enough Doa

this example might be extended to themselves also, which in the field of battle, but they become you not when Cassias.

excited the wrath of the Guards against the Pannonian listening to your Emperor. Preserve your warlike
Governor, and rendered them clamorous for his head. shouts until you be in the presence of the Germans,
But Alexander, so far from listening to their barbarous the Persians, and the Sarmatians, but use them not
demand, conferred upon Dion the honour of a second against him who bestows upon you the food, the
Consulate; an act of firmness, however, in which he clothing, and the riches of the Provinces. Be silent,
did not persevere, for he soon afterwards deemed it that I may not find it necessary to reduce you all at
expedient to advise the Consul to retire from the neigh- once from the rank of Soldiers to the condition of pri-
bourhood of Rome, and finally into Asia Minor, his vate Citizens, if indeed those be worthy of that honoured
native country, to spend the remainder of his days at a name who wantonly violate the most sacred laws of
distance from the mutinous Prætorians.t

our Country.” This threatening inflamed the resentThese facts leave no doubt upon the mind of the ment of the mutineers to a still higher pitch. Their act of reader, that the Emperor did not feel his power or his murmurs were louder, and expressed more audaciously :

resolution equal to the object which he was so desirous they even proceeded so far as to brandish their arms. to accomplish,--the reformation of the Military Order. Alexander, still unintimidated, resumed his address. This impression is still further confirmed by the indirect “ Those weapons," said he, “were given you to be method which he was compelled to adopt for the pu- employed against the enemies of Rome; prove them nishment of Epagathus, the principal author of the in that service, if ye be men of true courage.

Your menaces have no effect upon me. In taking my life, * Lamprid. in Aler. Sever. c. 21, 22.

you will remove but one individual, whom the Republic † Dion Cassius, lib. Isxx.

can well spare. Our Country will still remain identified




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Biography. with the exertions of the Senate and Roman People, questioned, he at length fell a victim to the turbulent Marcus and the hand of National justice will not fail to avenge and licentious spirit which he had in vain attempted to

Aurelius From its own cause. The seditious legion became now


Alexander more outrageous than ever ; upon which the Emperor, But the course of events calls us from the considera222.

who seems to have been prepared for all extremities, tion of private character and domestic arrangements to From

pronounced the decisive sentence, “ Citizens ! lay down follow him into the East, where, about the tenth year 235.

your arms, and depart from a camp which no longer of his reign, he conducted a successful war against the 222. acknowledges you.'

Persians. There are, indeed, in the Augustan History, The success

The voice fell on their ears like thunder, and it was obscure hints of hostile movements said to have taken 235 wbich attended it.

instantly obeyed. Those very men who had so obsti- place at an earlier period, among the Barbarians of the He prepares nately opposed the punishment of their comrades, Northern frontiers; and we find allusions to triumphs for an

quietly submitted to the punishment which was in- which on several occasions are imagined to have
flicted upon themselves. They forthwith laid down crowned the arms of the Imperial Lieutenants. But
their arms and other military accoutrements, and, it does not appear that Alexander took the field in
instead of returning to the Camp, sought a temporary person until the dignity of the Empire was insulted,
lodging in private houses. Nay, what is more, they and its Asiatic Provinces endangered by the preten-
entreated Alexander in the most humble manner to em- sions of Artaxerxes, the new Sovereign of Persia.
body them once more as a legion, and to afford them The reader of ancient History requires not to be in- State of
an opportunity of proving their repentance, and reco- formed, that the Parthians, under the command of their Parthia, an
vering their character as soldiers. At the end of thirty celebrated Prince Arsaces, rose, about two centuries tion of the
days he granted their petition, but not before he had and a half before Christ, to the Sovereignty of those Persian
punished with death those Tribunes by whose neglect fine countries which are watered by the Tigris and Empire.
or instigation the mutiny had been excited: and it is Euphrates; and also that, governed by a dynasty of
worthy of remark, that the legion which was thus Kings who perpetuated the name of their founder,
broken and restored, was ever afterwards greatly at- they maintained an undisputed ascendency in that part
tached to the Emperor, served him faithfully while of Asia during the long period of nearly five hundred
living, and revenged him when dead.*

years. Artabanes, the last Monarch of the House of the
But Alexander, generally speaking, had recourse to Arsacidæ, weakened his Kingdom by a protracted Civil
more gentle means for gaining the affections of his war, waged with his brother for the occupation of the
troops. It was with him a standing maxim, that mili- Throne; and hence he found that he had no sooner
tary discipline could not be effectually supported unless suppressed all opposition at home, than he had to en-
the men were well fed, suitably clothed and armed, and counter the more formidable array of certain vassal
even somewhat at ease in their general circumstances.f Princes, who were resolved to shake off his yoke.
For this reason, he not only vindicated the rights of the This insurrection originated with the Persians, who
private soldiers with the most severe exactness, punish- at that time consented to be led by a spirited youth,
ing every officer who attempted to infringe their privi- distinguished by the title of Artaxerxes, which he had
leges or diminish their dues; but he also devised means probably assumed, and still more by the honour of
for lessening their fatigue on the march, for alleviating founding the Royal Family of the Sassanides, which
their sufferings when sick or wounded, and for securing governed Persia from the days of Alexander Severus
to them a comfortable retirement at the end of their down to the era of the Mohammedan conquest. The
services. He relaxed the ancient rule by which every birth of this adventurer, as is usual in Oriental tradi-
man was obliged to carry on his shoulders seventeen tion, is darkly clouded with fable. He was the son of
days' provisions. Ample magazines were formed along a soldier, whose name was Sassan, by the wife of a
the public roads within the boundaries of the Empire; shoemaker, who being very learned in Astrology, was
and as soon as they entered an enemy's country, they thereby enabled to foresee that the descendants of his
were supplied with mules, or other beasts of burden, to military neighbour were to acquire great fame and
carry their baggage. Besides, the Emperor was always power, coveted for his spouse the honour of giving
ready to share whatever labours he imposed upon his birth to the first of such a favoured race, and accord-
followers. He solaced their privations, and praised ingly handed her over to the father of Artaxerxes. But
their exertions; and, in a word, he embraced every whatever might be his extraction, there seems to be no
occasion of expressing his warmest regard for a Body doubt that he was the means of rousing the Persians to
of men, whose welfare he was pleased to describe as a sense of their degradation, as the tributaries of a
being closely connected with that of the whole Empire. People whom their ancestors despised. Recalling to
His endeavours, indeed, to restore discipline and sub- their recollection the glories of Cyrus, and the long
ordination, were not attended with the success which succession of Kings which they had given to Asia, he
they deserved; and though, in the latter part of his induced them to rise against Artabanes, whose arms
reign, neither his prudence nor his courage could be and treasures, he reminded them, were no longer in a

condition to resist their efforts to recover their just

independence. In three battles he so completely de-
* Deponite dextras, contra hostem erigendus, si forles estis : me

feated the Parthians, that he forthwith transferred to
enim isla non terrent. Si enim unum hominum occideritis, non nobis
deerie Respublica, non Senatus, non Populus Romanus qui me de the Sceptre of Persia the authority of which it had
vobis vindicet. Quiriles, discedite, atque arma deponite. Lamprid. in been so long deprived, and invested it once more with
Aler. Sever. c. 54.

a paramount sway over all the nations of Western † Nec exercitum unquam timuerit, idcirco, quoil in vitam suam

Asia. * nihil dici posset, quoil unquam Tribuni vel duces de stipendiis militum quidynam accessissent: dicens, Miles non timet, nisi vestitus, armatus, calceatus, et salur, et habens aliquid in zonula. Lamprid. in Alex, Sever, c. 52.

* Herodian. lib. vi. Lamprid. in Alex, Sever. c. 50, 55.



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Bastaphy. Encouraged by this brilliant success, he resolved to avoided, made his final preparations for carrying it Marcus turn his arms immediately against the Romans. He on with vigour. As he had a numerous army, drawn

Aurelius From

Alexander advanced into Mesopotamia, threatened Syria, and even from different nations, and trained to fight according Severus.

laid claim to the whole of Asia Minor; asserting, that to the various systems of tactics which at that time 222.

these countries had been conquered by Cyrus, and prevailed among the Romans, the Greeks, and the From

governed for centuries by Persian Satraps, under the Asiatics, he was advised by the ablest Generals who 235,

authority of the Great King, whose glory, he added, he followed his banners to divide his followers into three 222. attacks the himself had in some measure retrieved, and whose great bodies, and to attack the Persian Empire in Rodans,

territories he was determined to repossess. When in three vital points at the same moment. One of these 235. who attempt telligence of the Parthian revolution reached Rome, detachments was to cross Armenia, a country still in And invades

Persia, tə Legociates together with the pretensions founded upon it by the alliance with the Romans, and to pass from thence into

victorious rebel, the pacific Government of Alexander Media; the second was to march southwards into the was not a little disturbed. On all occasions the son of Province of Susiana, and to ravage the Capital of the Mamæa was more inclined to have recourse to reason rising Empire ; and the third or main division, with the than to force. Herodian, indeed, takes pleasure in re- Emperor at its head, was to take the middle road through presenting him as smitten with grief and consternation; Mesopotamia, and at once to carry the weight of Alexshuddering at the fatigue and danger of so distant a ander's vengeance into the heart of the enemy's herewar against so powerful an enemy. It is certain, that ditary dominions. The plan of the campaign likewise he sent ambassadors to the Persian Chief, with the required that all the Troops should afterwards meet at view of dissuading him from his projected invasion of one point, and cooperate together for the final reduction the Roman Provinces, by exhibiting the evils which of the Persian confederacy.* must result from the conflict of two such mighty Em- In regard to the details of the actual warfare which He gains a pires. He reminded him at the same time of the ensued, we have, as usual, to reconcile as well as we signal vicrepeated victories which had been gained over the can the conflicting statements of Herodian and Lam- tory, and

obtains a Parthians by Trajan, Severus, and other Commanders, pridius. The Greek Historian insinuates, that the

Triumph at when the whole power of Persia was included in that timidity of Alexander and the terrors of his mother Rome. of a single Province of the great Kingdom which owned retarded the progress of the main division of the Army, the Sovereignty of the Arsacidæ.

and rendered useless the success of the other two, Artaxerxes, as might have been expected, paid no which were conducted with greater resolution. But regard to those remonstrances. Haughty by nature, whatever occurrences may have diversified the opening and elated with prosperity, he answered the embassy of of the campaign, it is admitted on all hands, that the Rome by the commencement of actual hostilities. 'lle grand Armies came at length to an engagement, in entered Mesopotamia with an increased armament, laid which the Romans carried away a signal advantage. siege to its principal cities, routed some legions which Artaxerxes is reported to have entered the field with he attacked in their separate camps, and gained a seven hundred elephants, a thousand armed chariots, temporary possession of the whole country.

and a hundred and twenty thousand cavalry. The Aander

The deliberations which preceded the departure of Emperor is said to have displayed great firmness, zsters bis Alexander from his Capital indicated, without doubt, skill, and the utmost contempt of death; moving

that he regarded war in general as a great calamity, from point to point with the coolness of an expeand looked forward to that upon which he was about to rienced Commander, encouraging his men, and setting enter with the serious conviction, that before it could an example of every military excellence. The victory be brought to a close, much time and treasure, and is described as having been most complete. In his many valuable lives, must be sacrificed to the ambition address pronounced before the Senate, Alexander stated, of an upstart. He levied, indeed, a powerful army, that, of the seven hundred elephants, the Romans had selected brave and skilful officers, and provided them killed two hundred and taken three hundred; that with supplies adapted to the service in which they they had captured a great many of the chariots, and put were to be employed. Still, he did not despair of to flight sixscore thousand horse; that they had slain obviating the necessity of a direct appeal to arms. two thousand men armed in coats of mail, and made as When he arrived at Antioch, he despatched a second many captives as uld enrich by their ransoms the message to the Persian King, exhorting him to mode- whole Army which had been collected round the Imperial rate his views, and listen to equitable terms of accom- standards at Antioch. “We have put to flight,” says he, modation. He had hoped that his presence in Syria, at Artaxerxes, denominated by the Eastern world the the head of a large army, might induce his rival to Great King, and who, if we measure his title by his withdraw his pretensions, and retreat beyond the power, is not unworthy of that distinction. He has reTigris ; but Artaxerxes, on the contrary, esteeming tired, defeated and disgraced, into his native dominions ; these repeated attempts to avoid a war as proofs of and the Provinces which, in days not long gone by, saw weakness or of fear, received every overture with scorn, our captive Eagles carried in triumph by an insulting and became more unreasonable in the conditions which

conqueror, have recently witnessed the flight of that he proposed. He returned an answer to the Emperor presumptuous Chief, who left in our possession the by four hundred of his Lords, magnificently dressed, national standard of his confederated Tribes. Our armed with bows, and mounted upon fine horses ; in- Soldiers return rich and happy. The benefits which forming him, that the Great King demanded that the have crowned their victory have made them forget the Romans should without delay relinquish all Syria, as fatigue and peril with which it was purchased ; and all well as the countries situated between the sea of Cilicia, that now remains is the duty of returning thanks to the Ægean Sea, and the Euxine, as belonging to the ancient dominions of the Persians.

* Lamprid. in Alex. Sever. c. 55. Herodian. lib. vi. Aurel. Alexander, finding that war could be no longer Vict.


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Biography. the Gods, by whose favour our exertions have been power ; for it is clear that Alexander found it neces

Marcus rewarded with this triumphant issue."*

sary to winter on the German frontiers, where he Aurelius From The Triumph which was decreed to Alexander did not employed the interval in reforming the Gallic Legions, Severus.

detain him long at Rome. He endured, indeed, the and in attempting to revive among them the spirit of 222.

fatigue of the usual display, exhibited his prisoners, ancient discipline. These stubborn cohorts, long ac- From

and set forth to public gaze the variety of his spoils. customed to unbounded licentiousness, opposed the 235. The Ger

He conferred the accustomed largess on the Military, patriotic designs of the Emperor, and even became 222. mans invade and gratified the luxurious idleness of the Citizens with seditious; and the Officers who were employed to Gaul. Games and theatrical amusements. He founded Schools second the efforts of their Prince, instead of following

235. for the gratuitous education of the poorer classes, and up his instructions with firmness, listened to the comdedicated them in honour of his mother, whose name plaints of the men, and studied to turn their disaffecthey bore; but his chief attention, meanwhile, was tion to the furtherance of their personal ambition. directed to a rising storm on the frontiers of Germany Among these, Maximinus held a distinguished place. and Gaul, which threatened to lay waste the fairest He was appointed to the command of the new levies, parts of Italy.

which he undertook to form after the model of the fine Alexander Several of those fierce Tribes which dwelt beyond troops who under Severus had conquered the East and marches to the Rhine, taking advantage of his absence in the West. One day as he approached their lines to resume

of the Rhine.

East, had invaded the Roman Provinces on the South, the usual exercises, the Soldiers, either from a sudden
and carried devastation into the very heart of Gaul. impulse or a premeditated conspiracy, saluted him by
Alexander, accompanied by his mother, marched against the title of Emperor, and urged him to complete their
them with a powerful host, consisting not only of the rebellion by the murder of Alexander. The catastrophe
veteran Legionaries who had just vanquished the which followed is variously related.* Some writers His assassi
Persian cavalry and bowmen, but also of Mauritanian assert that the son of Mamæa was assassinated in his nation.
slingers, Parthian archers, and other light troops se- tent, whither he had retired to enjoy a few hours of
lected from the Provincial armies, who were prepared repose after dinner; while others maintain that he was
to assail the Germans with weapons more formidable pursued thither by the insurgents, who had openly
to their massy columns than either spear or sword. No declared for Maximinus. No doubt, however, exists as
sooner had the Emperor crossed the Alps than the to the main fact, that he was murdered by the Soldiers
enemy retired. Equally ready for peace or for war, at the instigation of the Commander just named; who
he built a temporary bridge over the Rhine to com- to the number of his victims immediately added the
mand an entrance into their territory, and at the same Empress, and the most faithful friends of her Govern-
time sent messengers to their Chiefs, to induce them ment. A system of proscription and cruelty ensued,
to listen to terms of accommodation. History has which revived all the horrors of the evil days under
not preserved the tenour of their reply, but we may Nero, Commodus, and Caracalla.
presume that they rejected his offers and defied his

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FROM A. D. 235 to 238.


From A. D. 235,

to 238.

A. D.


The troubles which followed the mild reign of competitors, who fell on the field of battle, and finally Caius
Alexander Severus have left a deep impression on the involved the other two in the effects of the catastrophe


Verus page of Roman History. Native authors have com- which closed his bloody career.f

Maximinu pared the change which took place at his death to the The personal history of Maximinus, while it presents fabled transition from the Golden Age to that of Iron; some striking incidents as a separate narrative, tends

From for the Sceptre then passed from the hands of a gentle, to throw considerable light on the degraded condition pacific, and truly patriotic Prince, into those of a cruel of the Civil authority at Rome, and on the complete 235. barbarian, who took pride to himself for governing the ascendency which had been acquired by the Military Empire by means of terror and brutal force. The fury power in the Provinces not less than in Italy. The 238. which he manifested against every person distinguished adventurer now named appears to have been a native The early either by his birth or by his services to the State, soon of Thrace, and is first noticed on an occasion of festi- history of

Maximinu exhausted, indeed, the endurance of the Senate, and vity, celebrated by Severus, when marching through that induced that illustrious Body to supersede him by the country, on his return from the East. During the appointment of men more worthy to rule ; but so great military Games which were given on the birth-day of was his interest with the Army, as well as the means Geta, the attention of the Emperor was attracted by which he possessed for carrying on war, that before he the boastful manner of a gigantic barbarian, who was expelled from the Throne he triumphed over two

Lamprid. in Alex. Sever. c. 59. Herodian. lib. vi. Capitolin.

in Maxim. c. 7. * Lamprid, in Alex. Sever. c. 56, 57

+ Herodian. lib. vii

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