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The republicans assembled an army iu Thrace, and Philippi witnessed a victory which Antony might alınost claim as his own, for the conduct of Oca tavius was evasive and timid. There Brutus and Cassius after their defeat, despairing of the republic and of themselves, fell by their own hands. Antony foon after, captivated by the charms of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, regardless of his honour and his fafety, lavithed the Roman provinces upon her, and paffed his days in voluptuousness. Octavius, indignant at his treatment of his fifter Oétavia, whom Antony had divorced, fought and vanquished him at the naval battle of Actium, upon the coast of Epirus. He pursued the fugitives to Egypt, and they escaped his vengeance by fuicide. Antony fell by his own sword; and Cleopatra, disdaining to grace the triumph of the conqueror, died by the poifon of an asp applied to her arm. Octavius returned to Rome unrivalled mafter of the empire, in the year before Christ 31. From that time commenced the era of the Roman Emperors. The name of Octavius was afterwards loft in that of Augustus, which was perpetuated with honour, as the title of the fixth month of the Roman year.
Augustus having always present to his mind the image of the murdered Julius Cæsar, pursued the fame objects of ambition by different means. He was cautious and artful : when engaged in the Triumvirate, he refiited the proposal of Antony and Lepidus to begin a profcription, but when they had
determined upon that sanguinary measure, he acted with more severity than either of them. Unlike his great predecessor in empire, he had not always the magnanimity to pardon his vanquished foes. To strike terror into his enemies, lie ordered three hundred Senators and Knights, who had espoused the party of Antony, to be Nain at the altar of Julius Cæsar. Yet the equity of his laws, and the prudent administration of his government after he was Emperor, during forty-four years of glory and peace, inade no incoufiderable recompence to his country for the evils which he had before either encouraged or inficted. His muninificence, moderation, and paternal care, were bounded only by the limits of his extensive dominions. He presented to the world an extraordinary character, as he proved that the finiles of fortune, far from increasing the severity of his temper, and giving a keener edge to his resentment, could foften a timid and fanguinary tyrant into a mild and generous prince. He died at Nola in Campania, aged 76, A.U.C. 767. A.D. 14.
The period of history, from the time of Marius and Sylla to the accession of Augustus, presents the most calamitous prospect of bloody profcriptions, and are crouded with images of martial horror.
It abounds with examples of luccessful villainy and - unfortunate virtue. But after the naval victory,
obtained over Antony at Acium, had given the : empire to Auguftus, the scene brightened into the - fair views of order and happiness, the storyis
of civil discord were hushed into peace, and phi. losophy, literature, and the arts, derived the greateft and most honourable encouragement from his patronage.
To the Tuscans Romé was first indebted for works of architecture, sculpture, and painting. Their productions were characterised by boldnefs, folidity, and grandeur, as appear from the foundations of the Capitol, the remains of the Cloaca Alaxima, and many other fpecimens which are still extant. But the fuperior elegance of Grecian works of art attracted the attention of the Romans, as foon as their conquests gave them an opportunity of becoming conversant with them.
From the indiscriminate collection of thc fpecimens of the fine arts, arose by flow degrees the genuine taste of the Romans. When Marcellus took Syracuse, he sent home all the pictures and ftatues of that elegant city. The remonftrances of Fabius Maximus against his conduct were uttered without effect; and in vain did he represent, that as such trifles were only calculated for the amusement of an idle and effeminate people, they were beneath the notice of his countrymen, disiinguifhed as they were by the manly roughness of their character. The love of the arts, which commenced at this period, was gratified by the conquest of thofe Gre
cian cities most eminent for their productions. · The triumph of Emilius was graced with some of · the choicest monuments of sculpture; and Mum
mius, the tastelefs conqueror of Achaia, completely ftripped Corinth of her ftatues and pictures, to enrich his native city. Sometimes the vanity, and fometimes the avarice of generals and governors of provinces, contributed to make Rome a repository of the faireft fpoils of Greece; and the custom of adorning the theatres with them by the authority of the magistrates, contributed to diffuse a refined taste. During the civil wars, the public and private collections were considerably enriched; for Sylla brought home the plunder of Athens, and Julius Cæfar formed a valuable cabinet of ancient gems.
An æra of the highest refinement commenced with the reign of Auguftus, whose palace was adorned with the rich vases of Corinth. Grecian artists were invited to Rome, and the masterly execution of the medals of that period, prove their great fuperiority to those of former tiines. It is remarked by Suetonius, that Auguftus found Rome built of brick, and that he left it built of marble. It displayed under his auspices, in palaces, temples, and theatres, the majesty and elegance of Grecian architecture. The public edifices were furnished with the choicest ornaments brought from the same country, and the streets and squares exhibited the exquisite ftatues of all the Pagan deities.
* The admirer of ancient sculpture may see some fine fpecie Inens of the art in the Pomfret collection in Oxford. He will however be sorry to find them crowded together in a gloomy VOL. I.
The same obligations, which the Romans owed to Greece for inspiring them with a love of the arts, were extended to philosophy and polite literature, with this remarkable difference, that in the former they were only admirers, and in the latter they ventured to be competitors with their great mafters. A fondness for fculpture and painting, and the cultivation of eloquence and poetry, kept nearly an equal pace; and the same age faw them arise and flourish together. Writers, whose works are the glory of ancient Italy, and the praife of every age, adorned this period, and reached that standard of excellence, from which the unpolished style of their predeceffors, and the degenerate af.
room. The Pembroke collection at Wilton is remarkable for the number of bults: when I saw then some years ago, I thought few of them equal to the fame of the collection. Perhaps Lord Carlisle, at Castle Howard, in Yorkshire, has as. many, if not more, genuine antiques. At Mr. Duncombe's, at Duncombe Park, in the same county, may be seen the an. cient Grecian dugi formerly in the pofsession of Mr. Lock, and the Discobolus, to finifhed and so easy in attitude, that it is worthy of the chisel of a Phidias, or Praxiteles. But the best school of observation which this country can afford to any one, who is desirons of improving his taste, may be found at Mr. 'Townley's Collection, lately purchased. by Parliament for the British Museum. The statue of Ihs, or Cybele, crowned with the lotus, is majestic; the sleeping Adonis is very elegant; but the Thalia, or Pastoral Muse, is fo inimitable for delicate proportions, and transparent drapery, which adorns without concealing any part of the figure, that it exceeds all praise. For an entertaining account of sculpture, and of English collections in particular, see Mr. Dallaway's Anécdotes of the Arts, p. 163, &e. :D !! ... 17..,'t..." S p . A.!!
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