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The first theo
shall endeavour to apply the test of common sense to the facts of which it will be necessary to treat; and, believing that man has ever been the same in his modes of thought and motives of action, I shall judge of past occurrences in the same way as of those of our own times.
In its entire form the Roman power consists of two theocracies, with a military domination intercalated. The first of these theocracies corresponds to Triple form of the fabulous period of the kings; the military Roman power. domination to the time of the republic and earlier Cæsars ; the second theocracy to that of the Christian emperors and the Popes.
The first theocracy is so enveloped in legends and fictions that it is impossible to give a satisfactory account of it. The biographies of the kings offer such undeniable evidence of being mere romances, that, since the time of Niebuhr, they have been received by historians in that light. But during the reigns of the pagan m emperors it was not safe in Rome to insinuate cracy and publicly any disbelief in such honoured legends legendary
times. as those of the wolf that suckled the foundlings; the ascent of Romulus into heaven; the nymph Egeria; the duel of the Horatii and Curiatii; the leaping of Curtius into the gulf on his horse; the cutting of a flint with a razor by Tarquin; the Sibyl and her books. The modern historian has, therefore, only very little reliable material. He may admit that the Romans and Sabines coalesced ; that they conquered the Albans and Latins; that thousands of the latter were transplanted to Mount Aventine and made plebeians; these movements being the origin of the castes which long afflicted Rome, Early Roman the vanquished people constituting a subor- history. dinate class; that at first the chief occupation was agriculture, the nature of which is not only to accustom men to the gradations of rank, such as the proprietor of the land, the overseer, the labourer, but also to the cultivation of religious sentiment, and even the cherishing of superstition ; that, besides the more honourable occupations in which the rising state was engaged, she had, from the beginning, indulged in aggressive war, and was therefore perpetually liable to reprisal-one of her
first acts was the founding of the town of Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber, on account of piracy; that, through some conspiracy in the army, indicated in the legend of Lucretia, since armies have often been known to do such things, the kings were expelled, and a military domination fancifully called a republic, but consisting of a league of some powerful families, arose.
Throughout the regal times, and far into the republican, the chief domestic incidents turn on the strife of the upper caste or patricians with the lower or plebeians, manifesting itself by the latter asserting their right to a share in the lands conquered by their valour; by the extortion of the Valerian law; by the admission of the Latins and Hernicans to conditions of equality ; by the transference of the election of tribunes from the centuries to the tribes; by the repeal of the law prohibiting the marriage of plebeians with patricians and by the eventual concession to the former of the offices of consul, dictator, censor, and prætor. In these domestic disputes we see the origin of the
Roman necessity for war. The high caste is necessity for steadily diminishing in number, the low caste
as steadily increasing. In imperious pride, the patrician fills his private jail with debtors and delinquents; he usurps the lands that have been conquered. Insurrection is the inevitable consequence, foreign war the only relief. As the circle of operations extends, both parties see their interest in a cordial coalescence on equal terms, and jointly tyrannize exteriorly.
The geographical dominion of Rome was extended at first with infinite difficulty. Up to the time of the capture of the city by the Gauls a doubtful existence was maintained in perpetual struggles with the adjacent towns and chieftains. There is reason to believe that in the very infancy of the republic, in the contest that ensued upon the expulsion of the kings, the city was taken by Porsenna. The direction in which her influence first
spread was toward the south of the peninsula. spread of Tarentum, one of the southern states, brought Auence to the over to its assistance Pyrrhus the Epirot. He
did little in the way of assisting his allies he only saw Rome from the Acropolis of Præneste; but
from him the Romans learned the art of fortifying camps, and caught the idea of invading Sicily. Here the rising republic came in contact with the Carthaginians, and in the conflict that ensued discovered the military value of Spain and Gaul, from which the Carthaginians drėw an immense supply of mercenaries and munitions of war. The advance to greatness which Rome now made was prodigious. She saw that everything turned Rome builds on the possession of the sea, and with admir- a navy, able
energy built a navy. In this her expectations were more than realized. The assertion is quite true that she spent more time in acquiring a little earth in Italy than was necessary for subduing the world after she had once obtained possession of the Mediterranean. From the experience of Agathocles she learned that the true method of controlling Carthage was by invading Africa. and invades The principles involved in the contest, and the Africa. position of Rome at its close, are shown by the terms of the treaty of the first Punic War—that Carthage should evacuate every island in the Mediterranean, and Results of the pay a war-fine of six hundred thousand pounds. first Punic În her devotion to the acquisition of wealth Carthage had become very rich; she had reached a high state of cultivation of art; yet her prosperity, or rather the mode by which she had attained it, had greatly weakened her, as also had the political anomaly under which she was living, for it is an anomaly that an Asiatic people should place itself under democratic forms. Her condition in this respect was evidently the consequence of her original subordinate position as a Tyrian trading station, her rich men having long been habituated to look to the mother city for distinction. As in other commercial states, her citizens became soldiers with reluctance, and hence she had often to rely on mercenary troops. From her the Romans received lessons of the utmost importance. She confirmed them in the estimate they had formed of the value of naval power; taught them how to build ships properly and handle them; how to make military roads." The tribes of Northern Italy were hardly included in the circle of Roman dominion when a fleet was built in the Adriatic, and, under the pretence of
putting down piracy, the sea power of the Illyrians was extinguished. From time immemorial the Mediterranean had been infested with pirates ; man-stealing had been a profitable occupation, great gains being realized by rarsoms of captives, or by selling them at Delos or other slave-markets. At this time it was clear that the final mastery of the Mediterranean turned on the possession of Spain, the great silver-producing country. The rivalry for Spain occasioned the second Punic War. It is needResults of the less to repeat the well-known story of Hannisecond Punic bal, how he brought Rome to the brink of ruin. War. The relations she maintained with surrounding communities had been such that she could not trust to them. Her enemy found allies in many of the Greek towns in the south of Italy. It is enough for us to look at the result of that conflict in the treaty that closed it. Carthage had to give up all her ships of war except ten triremes, to bind herself to enter into no war without the consent of the Roman people, and to pay a war-fine of two millions of pounds. Rome now entered, on the great scale, on the policy of disorganizing states for the purpose of weakening them. Under pretext of an invitation from the Athenians to protect them from the King of Rome invades Macedon, the ambitious republic secured a foot
ing in Greece, the principle developed in the invasion of Africa of making war maintain war being again resorted to. There may have been truth in the Roman accusation that the intrigues of Hannibal with Antiochus, king of Syria, occasioned the conflict between Rome and that monarch. Its issue was a prodigious event in the material aggrandizement of Rome--it was the cession of all his possessions in Europe and those of Asia
north of Mount Taurus, with a war-fine of and compels the cession of three millions of pounds. Already were seen
the effects of the wealth that was pouring into vinces of An- Italy in the embezzlement of the public money
by the Scipios. The resistance of Perses, king of Macedon, could not restore independence to Greece; Revolt of Per- it ended in the annexation of that country,
Epirus and Illyricum. The results of this war were to the last degree pernicious to the victors and the
all the European pro
vanquished; the moral greatness of the former is truly affirmed to have disappeared, and the social ruin of the latter was so complete that for long marriage was replaced by concubinage. The policy and practices of Rome now literally became infernal; she forced a quarrel upon her old antagonist Carthage, and the third Punic War resulted in the utter destruction of that city. Simultaneously her oppressions in Greece Dreadful provoked revolt, which was ended by the sack social effects and burning of Corinth, Thebes, Chalcis, and on Rome. the transference of the plundered statues, paintings, and works of art to Italy. There was nothing now in the way of the conquest of Spain except the valour of its inhabitants. After the assassination of Viriatus, procured by the Consul Cæpio, and the horrible siege of Numantia, that country was annexed Greece and as a province. Next we see the gigantic re- annexation of
Spain. public extending itself over the richest parts of Asia Minor, through the insane bequest of Attalus, king of Pergamus. The wealth of Africa, Spain, Greece, and Asia, was now concentrating in Italy, and the capital was becoming absolutely demoralized. In vain the Gracchi attempted to apply a remedy. The Roman aristocracy was intoxicated, insatiate, irresistible. The Seizure of middle class was gone; there was nothing but Asia Minor. profligate nobles and a diabolical populace. In the midst of inconceivable corruption, the Jugurthine War served only to postpone for a moment an explosion which was inevitable. The Servile rebellion in Sicily broke out; it was closed by the extermination of a million of those unhappy wretches : vast numbers of them and Social were exposed, for the popular amusement, to the wild beasts in the arena. It was followed closely by the revolt of the Italian allies, known as the Social Warthis ending, after the destruction of half a million of men, with a better result, in the extortion of the freedom of the city by several of the revolting states. Doubtless it was the intrigues connected with these transactions that brought the Cimbri and Teutons into Italy, and furnished an opening for the rivalries of Marius and Sylla, who, in turn, filled Rome with slaughter. The same spirit broke