¤ CABIRI Spirits of the underworld, perhaps of a volcanic nature; formed the heart of a cult centered in Asia that grew to immense popularity in the Late Empire. They were said to protect mankind against storms and hence were beneficial to all travelers. The cult appealed to all walks of life, and its centers of worship were mainly in Asia. Pergamum possessed an altar in their honor, although Samothrace was known as an important site, even the capital of the sect. Boeotia was a favorite place for the faithful, as were Phrygia and Thessalonica. Mysteries and initiations were widespread, and all classes were eligible. By 400 A.D., the Cabiri had faded. See also RELIGION.
¤ CAECINA ALIENUS, AULUS (d. 79 A.D.) Legate of the IV Legion on the Rhine; in 69 A.D., with Fabius Valens, led the movement to install Vitellius as emperor. Caecina was born at Volaterrae, serving in Boeotia as a quaestor. He acquired the patronage of Galba and soon was promoted to legate. Galba convicted him for misappropriation of funds, but he gained a command from Nero on the Rhine.
From the start of Galba's brief reign in 69 A.D.,CaeCINA and his loyal troops were reluctant to support the new emperor. Soon his statues were broken, and open rebellion ensued. Vitellius, it was decided, should be emperor, and the legions along the entire Rhine frontier set off for Italy. Otho, meanwhile, succeeded the assassinated Galba and in turn became the object of the legion's mutiny. While Valens pillaged much of Gaul, Caecina crossed Switzerland, encountering troubles with the local tribes. The Helvetii were massacred in the thousands, and only Vitellius himself prevented the destruction of Aventicum, the Helvetian capital. By March the legions of Caecina had descended the Great St. Bernard Pass. On April 15, at the battle of BEDRIACUM, the Vitellians won the Empire. Caecina shared in the subsequent division of spoils.
Self-aggrandizement ceased, however, as the legions in the East declared for Vespasian. Caecina doubted that Vitellius would survive, and conspired to hand over the army to Vespasian's oncoming forces. He met at Ravenna with the admiral of the fleet, Lucius Bassus, who easily convinced his sailors, and Caecina drew in several officers. The bulk of the legions, however, refused to defect and threw Caecina into chains. The second battle of Bedriacum followed, and Vespasian's followers won the day. Under the Flavians Caecina was rewarded for his efforts, but in 79, he was executed for conspiracy.
¤ CAECINA SEVERUS, AULUS (fl. early 1st century A.D.) Also called Aulus Caecina Severus; he appeared as legate of Moesia in 6 A.D., during the uprising of local tribes in Dalmatia and Pannonia under the two BATOS. He marched swiftly to rescue the city of Sirmium, checking Bato, the chief of the Breucians. When the Sarmatians and the Dacians threatened his own province, Caecina hurried home. In 7 A.D. he again participated in Roman operations against the Pannonians and Dalmatians, seeing a conclusion to these matters. The highlight of the campaign was his victory near Sirmium. Command in Germania Inferior came in 14 A.D., when Caecina faced a mutiny in his troops following the death of Augustus. Germanicus helped him restore order in his legions and then put him to use in a campaign against the Germans. During the fighting in 15 A.D., he was caught by the army of Arminius while crossing the Long Bridge over swampy terrain near the Ems River. He assumed a defensive posture awaiting the dawn. That night he dreamed that the ghost of the defeated Roman general VARUS emerged from the swamp, beckoning to him. He did not follow Varus' path to destruction. The legions broke through and drove Arminius from the field. Caecina reportedly served for 40 years and had six children, despite his personal belief that provincial governors should not be allowed to take their wives with them.
¤ CAELIAN HILL See HILLS OF ROME.
¤ CAELIUS RUFUS, MARCUS (d. 47 B.C.) Politician, correspondent and rabble-rouser; friend and associate of the most important men of his time. He was introduced by his father to Crassus and CICERO, developing a friendship with the latter. Already in politics by 56 B.C., as a member of the council in his home town, he joined the group surrounding the seductive CLODIA, replacing Catullus in her affections. This liaison proved unprofitable, and Cicero defended Caelius in the subsequent and famous trial. Henceforth, Caelius, probably older than Cicero, served as the eyes and ears of the politician in Rome, while Cicero was in Cilicia. Caelius' letters to Cicero were humorous, often malicious, but generally accurate accounts of current events in the city. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 49 B.C., debts forced Caelius to join with Julius Caesar, who made him a praetor in 48. After fighting in Spain, he returned to Rome where differences with Caesar surfaced. Caelius desired sweeping legal changes and found himself evicted from the capital. He fled to Campania, teaming with Titus Annius MILO in 47 to start a revolt in which both were killed. Caelius was reportedly fond of luxury and immoral conduct, all of which Cicero went to some pains to ignore.
¤ CAENIS (d. 75 A.D.) Concubine of VESPASIAN who had a very long service in the imperial household. Caenis was the friend and servant of the Lady Antonia in whose service she acquired the reputation of possessing a perfect memory. It was said that she helped Antonia write the letter warning Emperor Tiberius in 31 A.D. about Sejanus' plot. Vespasian (ruled 69-79 A.D.) was enchanted with her, making her his concubine. Rewards and gifts were acquired naturally, but Caenis also exercised tremendous influence at court with respect to monetary matters. Vespasian, unable to overcome habits from his lean, Judaean years, allowed governorships, military posts, priesthoods and even statues of himself to be sold. Caenis handled all such transactions. Condemned prisoners could also buy their own lives. Caenis, though clearly loved by the emperor, amassed untold wealth in this fashion.
¤ CAESAR, GAIUS (20 B.C.-4 A.D.) Son of AGRIPPA and JULIA; born in Rome and groomed with his brother Lucius to the imperial throne, he was adopted by Augustus in 17 B.C. The following year Gaius received the toga virilis. Membership in the Senate and the promise of a consulship in 1 A.D. were further symbols of his status. A marriage to Livilla in 1 B.C. aided in creating an environment for dynastic stability. Augustus sent Gaius to the East in 1 B.C. as a proconsul; there his advisors were men of considerable promise and power, including SEJANUS and QUIRINIUS. He returned to the East in 2 A.D. and met with the king of Parthia, installing a pro-Roman candidate on the Armenian throne. A revolt ensued, and at the siege of ARTAGIRA Gaius was wounded. On February 21, 4 A.D., he died in Lycia, on his way back to Rome. His death was a severe blow to Augustus. Suetonius wrote that the emperor had supervised personally the education and upbringing of Gaius and Lucius Caesar. Lucius had died in 2 A.D. in Massilia.
¤ CAESAR, JULIUS
CAESAR, JULIUS (Gaius Julius Caesar) (100-44 B.C.) General, politician, statesman, orator and writer who laid the foundation of the Roman Empire. Gaius Julius Caesar belonged to the family Julia, a patrician household supposedly descended from the son of Aeneas lulus. According to tradition, he was born on July 12, 100 B.C., during the consulship of the great MARIUS. Connections with the famous consul were cemented by the marriage of Caesar's aunt JULIA to Marius; and in 83 B.C., Caesar himself married CORNELIA, the daughter of CINNA, a lieutenant of Marius and the organizer of the Marian party. In the Rome of dictator SULLA, such affiliations could be fatal. When Sulla ordered him to divorce Cornelia, he refused and fled to the Sabinian region. Sulla allowed him to return, but gave the warning to "never forget that the man you wish me to save will one day be the ruin of the party, there are many Manuses in him!"
A return to Rome would be safe only temporarily, so the young Caesar chose a military career. He traveled to Asia as an aide-de-camp to Marcus Thermus in 81 B.C., helping in the capture of Mytilene in 80, where he was rewarded with a civic crown for saving a soldier's life. Sulla's death in 78 B.C. brought Caesar back to Rome, but he fled again after unsuccessfully prosecuting Dolabella. To improve his oratorical skills he sailed to Rhodes to study under Apollonius Molo. On the way, pirates kidnapped him, holding him for a ransom of 12,000 gold pieces. Caesar vowed during his imprisonment to hunt down his captors and stayed true to his word, crucifying every one of them.
When he returned to Rome, every effort was spent to gain the goodwill of the people through the reversal of Sullan legislation and by lavish displays of generosity. His rise was rapid: QUAESTOR in 69 B.C., in which he served in Spain as an assizer for Rome; AEDILE in 65 B.C., spending large sums on games; and PONTIFEX MAXIMUS in 63 B.C. A praetorship followed in 62 B.C., then military exploits in Spain, which provided him a way to gain both fame and fortune, while evading his creditors in Rome. (He had spent vast amounts to secure votes for the position of pontifex maximus.) After defeating the Lusitanians and pacifying the province, he returned to Italy.
Caesar and the wealthy Lucius Lucceius conspired to bribe Caesar's way into the consulships of 59 B.C. Alarmed, the aristocratic party ordered its candidate Marcus BIBULUS to spend even more money. Both Caesar and Bibulus were successful. Caesar then called upon two allies, the formidable CRASSUS and POMPEY THE GREAT. Crassus stood as a rich, powerful figure, while Pompey had grown estranged from the aristocratic party, which feared his conquests in Asia Minor. Caesar resolved their differences (they had disagreed bitterly during their consulships) and then suggested that the state be divided among them so long as each defended the interests of the others. Out of this arrangement came the FIRST TRIUMVIRATE. Caesar moved with confidence against the aristocratic party, ignoring the presence of Bibulus to such a degree that the joint consulship was called that of "Julius and Caesar." Radical measures were passed by the sheer force of his will or threat by arms; his agrarian laws and the cancellation of the farmers' debts infuriated the opposition but cheered the populace. Further acts ensured Caesar's support among the poor, the Equestrians and with Pompey. He married CALPURNIA, the daughter of his successor in the consulship, LUCIUS piso, and then betrothed his own daughter JULIA to Pompey.
Caesar looked to the Roman provinces for areas where he could not only gain a successful command but also insulate himself from possible prosecution for his unorthodox consulship. He first chose GALLIA CISALPINA and ILLYRICUM. In Cisalpine Gaul he commanded three legions and held the post of proconsul in both provinces for five years. Gallia Transalpina was added to his holdings, and the next nine years (59-50 B.C.) were spent campaigning in the GALLIC WARS to pacify Gaul and subdue the native tribes. In 55 and 54, he launched two sorties into BRITANNIA, after renewing his authority over the provinces with the help of Pompey. His ally's aid came in the face of threats from Lucius DOMITIUS AHENOBARBUS (1), who threatened to replace him.
Success in the field strengthened his reputation, now the rival of Pompey's, and his fellow triumvir came to view him with some apprehension. Crassus' death in 55 at the battle of CARRHAE accentuated the growing tension, and his daughter Julia's death in labor in 54 severed the cordiality between Caesar and Pompey, who returned to the aristocratic party.
Caesar desired the consulship in 49, but could not be elected in absentia by senatorial decree. He agreed to resign if Pompey did the same. The Senate, however, proposed a resolution on January 1, 49 B.C., ordering Caesar to disband his legions or be declared an enemy of the Republic. Despite the veto of Marc ANTONY and CASSIUS, the resolution passed, and Antony and Cassius allied themselves with Caesar.
Caesar's army, with which he had subdued Gaul, could crush any opponent in the Roman world. The troops were superbly trained, experienced and generaled by a master military mind. Taking an advance guard with him, Caesar rode to the Rubicon, the river separating Italy from the provinces. Suetonius reports that he called out: "Let us accept this as a sign from the gods, and follow where they call, in vengeance on our treacherous enemies. The die is cast." With that he rode across the Rubicon and civil war began.
Caesar discovered the Italians welcoming his advance toward Rome. City gates were opened to his soldiers, and the troops of Pompey deserted to him in large numbers. In the face of an underestimated enemy, Pompey and the leaders of the Senate and the Republic fled the capital to southern Italy, then Greece. Caesar chose not to pursue them, campaigning instead against the Pompeian strongholds elsewhere. He said, "I am off to meet an army without a leader, and when I come back, I shall meet a leader without an army." His victory at MASSILIA followed, as well as an easy conquest at ILERDA in Spain. Returning to Rome, he set out at once for Greece and an encounter with Pompey. His armies were stayed by the impenetrable walls of the city of DYRRHACHIUM in Epirus. In subsequent maneuverings, however, the two armies finally collided. Total victory was Caesar's, at the battle of PHARLUS on August 9, 48 B.C.
Pompey escaped to Egypt, and Caesar followed him. Caesar arrived in ALEXANDRIA to discover vicious civil battles taking place, as King PTOLEMY XIII feuded with his sister, Queen CLEOPATRA. A gift of the murdered Pompey's head, from Ptolemy, did little for the king or his cause. The small Roman expedition found itself under siege in the city. Brilliant handling of his limited forces staved off defeat, and reinforcements provided Caesar with the means to destroy Ptolemy in the battle of the NILE.
Caesar then went to Pontus to crush PHARNACES, the son of MITHRIDATES THE GREAT. Pharnaces, an ally of Pompey, was put to rout at the battle of ZELA (where the famous "veni, vidi, vici" was supposedly uttered). Rome greeted its returning hero in September of 47, but Caesar was soon bound for Africa, where two more allies of Pompey fell - Scipio and King Juba - at the battle of THAPSUS. At MUNDA in Spain the resistance of the Pompeians ended, and five great triumphs were staged in Rome.
In control of Rome, Caesar proved magnanimous, pardoning many of his enemies. From 49 B.C. onward the increasing powers of a dictator were granted to him, and he held successive consulships. He instituted a new CALENDAR in 46 and was revered by the people as semi-divine. Marc Antony offered him the crown, but Caesar refused it, fearing the adverse reaction of the mob. Despite conciliatory gestures toward the aristocratic party, many ardent Republicans conspired against him. Some, headed by BRUTUS and Cassius, were the most serious threats, forming the party of the LIBERATORS. The ancient sources claimed that omens preceded his death, but Caesar ignored them and fell beneath the daggers of his assassins on the Ides of March, in 44 B.C. The Republican form of government did not outlive its supposed enemy.
Julius Caesar was said to have been tall and muscular. He forgave his enemies easily, even those who fought openly against his cause, and bore a grudge only toward CATO, whom he hunted across the deserts of Africa. And once dictator, he denigrated the Republic and questioned the logic of his old enemy, Sulla, in resigning his dictatorship. His first wife Cornelia bore him Julia. He divorced his second wife, POMPEIA, the granddaughter of Sulla, because of her affair with clodius. He remained with his third wife, Calpurnia, until his death.
His oratorical skills placed him in the ranks of the finest speakers of his age, and even CICERO admired his wit, vocabulary and style. He wrote poetry, works on grammar, letters, and commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars, which Cicero and Hirtius (who may have finished the Gallic Wars) praised. In fact, these campaigns were recorded by numerous other writers, including: Appian's Civil War; Suetonius's Julius Caesar; Dio; Plutarch's Caesar; and the assorted letters of Cicero. Caesar's varied works included:
Bellum Africum probably was authored by someone other than Caesar; although tradition gives credit to Hirtius, it was not him. This record centered on the war in Africa (47-46 B.C.). Bellum Alexandrium examined various aspects of the Civil War, especially the long siege of Alexandria. Hirtius, according to Suetonius, authored this work (and others).
The Civil War certainly was begun by Caesar, who commented on his victories starting in 49 B.C. It included three books, treating events to the start of the Alexandrian conflict. The Gallic Wars contained seven books covering seven years of campaigning. Hirtius probably finished it, but this work proved the most enduring and popular of Caesar's commentaries.
Anti Cato was written in response to Cicero's panegyric, Cato. Cicero's defense of Cato Uticensis prompted Caesar to respond with an interesting record of the degree of hatred and spite to which he went in defaming his most ardent Republican foe.
¤ CAESAR, LUCIUS (17 B.C.-2 A.D.) Son of Marcus AGRIPPA and JULIA, grandson of Augustus; until his death, one of the obvious choices as heir to the throne, with his brother, Gaius. Lucius was adopted (with Gaius) by Augustus, to stop any plots. The brothers were subsequently raised in the emperor's house, where Augustus personally supervised their education and their upbringing. Augustus was only partially successful, for both succumbed readily to flattery, and Lucius especially was spoiled.
In 2 B.C., Lucius received the title PRINCEPS IUVENTUTIS, one year after Gaius, a clear sign that both were the designated heirs to the throne. Augustus then gave them the right to dedicate all public buildings, and they managed the Circensian Games. Finally, both brothers were chosen for more important tasks; Gaius going to the East and Lucius traveling to Spain to receive military training. He never reached the legions there, dying of a sudden illness at Massilia in 2 A.D. His death was a blow to Augustus, who suffered another, more serious disaster two years later when Gaius failed to recover from injuries received in Armenia. Rumors were rampant that LIVIA was at the bottom of the deaths, for her son Tiberius returned to Rome a short time later.
¤ CAESAR, PTOLEMY (47 B.C.-30 B.C.) Son of Julius CAESAR and Queen CLEOPATRA of Egypt. Following his father's assassination in 44 B.C., Ptolemy Caesar was placed on the Egyptian throne as his mother's co-ruler. In 34 B.C., Marc ANTONY arrived in Alexandria and declared that Caesarion (as he was known by the Alexandrians) was Caesar's legitimate heir. Antony decreed that he should be called the "King of Kings," with full powers inherent with sharing the throne with Cleopatra. His rule proved to be brief: Octavian (AUGUSTUS) won the battle of ACTIUM in 31 and Ptolemy Caesar was slain in 30.
¤ CAESAREA Large seaport on the Mediterranean Sea shore of PALESTINE, in the region of Samaria-Galatia. Originally called Stratonis Turri, or Strata's Tower, in 63 B.C., as part of the reorganization of the East by POMPEY, it was removed from the control of the Jews and placed with the province of SYRIA. Octavian (AUGUSTUS), after repairing relations with HEROD THE GREAT, restored the city to him in 30 B.C. Under the rule of Herod, a mammoth building program was initiated in the city, and the name Caesarea was adopted in honor of Augustus. A wall was built around the city, and construction lasted for some 12 years (22-10 B.C.). Hellenistic designs dominated, while the new harbor system became the gateway for the seaborne trade of Palestine. Augustus donated 500 talents, out of his own accounts, in genuine gratitude, and then sent AGRIPPA to visit JERUSALEM as as act of good will.
Being a port of international standing, like ALEXANDRIA, Caesarea was a gathering point for many races, including Greeks, Syrians and large numbers of Jews. Jewish demands for citizenship in 60 A.D. caused riots; Nero refused, however, to grant their demands. Six years later, Jews in Caesarea were murdered by non-Jews, and the governor of Syria, CESTIUS GALLUS, intervened. After 70 A.D., Caesarea served as home for the legates of the province. Vespasian designated Caesarea a colony, although for many years it was not given a colony's immunity from all forms of tribute. Archaeological work continues in Caesarea, most notably just off the coast and centering on Herod's Harbor.
¤ CAESARION See CAESAR, PTOLEMY.
¤ CALEDONIA Name given to the region of northern Britain beyond Roman control. As the Roman legions pressed to the north of the island, the BRIGANTES moved into what is now Scotland. From around 80 A.D., this wild territory was called Caledonia, also Britannia Barbara. Caledonians were a mix of races whose opposition to the Roman presence and dense population brought about massive assaults on the frontier. In 208 A.D., Septimius SEVERUS threw them back beyond the WALL OF HADRIAN. Punitive expeditions were then launched directly into Caledonia by the Romans. The Caledonians withdrew before Severus' cohorts, pulling them further into dense forest and swamps, where impure water waged a very efficient war of attrition.
A signed treaty with the Caledonians was the only victory that the emperor could claim. He left Caledonia, with the local inhabitants unpacified. Dio described in some detail not only the campaign by the Romans but also the unbearably harsh conditions of the region.
¤ CALEDONIANS See CALEDONIA.
¤ CALENAS, Q. FUFIUS (d. 40 B.C.) General and consul during the CIVIL WARS of the first century B.C.; sided with both Julius CAESAR and Marc ANTONY. Under Caesar, Calenas commanded a body of troops in Greece, where he harassed the pompeians. While unable to storm ATHENS, calenas did take Piraeus and laid waste the Athenian environs. In 48 B.C., after the death of Pompey the Great, the city surrendered to him. The Megarians apparently resisted, and the general put them down with great force but then sold the captives back to their relatives for small fees. After Caesar's assassination, Galenas sided with Marc Antony in 43 B.C., defending him in a spirited oratorical rebuttal of CICERO. After the battle of PHILIPPI in 42, Antony gave Galenas 11 legions to command in Gaul, relying on him to keep the real threat, Octavian (AUGUSTUS), out of the province. Galenas' death was a cruel blow to Antony's cause, for not only was Gaul lost, but also, by the terms of the TREATY OF BRUNDISIUM, he had to surrender five of Galenas' legions. Galenas was also a friend of CLO-Dius, saving him in 61 B.C. from condemnation after he violated the festival of BONA DEA.
¤ CALENDAR For centuries the Roman calendar year possessed 355 days, in accordance with the astronomers of Alexandria. In 46 B.C., however, Julius CAESAR elected to change the calendar, providing the Romans with the one used by the Western World until the 16th century A.D. A gifted astronomer in his own right, Caesar linked the calendar year to the solar calendar, thus preventing the priests from adding or subtracting months or days at their whim. The year was to have 365 days, with an extra day allowed every fourth year. The new system, Caesar decreed, would begin on January 1, 45 B.C. As for the year in which the calendar was being put into operation, 46 B.C., that was lengthened by three months, or by 90 days, to a total of 445 days, to ensure an astronomically correct transition. See also ASTRONOMY.
¤ CALIGULA See GAIUS CALIGULA.
¤ CALLISTUS (Bishop of Rome) (d. 222 A.D.) Former slave and eventually a bishop, Callistus was at the heart of a bitter and divisive feud within the Church of Rome in the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries A.D. Most of what is known about him comes from the oppositional writings of the Roman presbyter HIPPOLYTUS, in his Refutations of the Heresies, written around 222 A.D. The poisonous nature of the work raises questions of accuracy, but generally Hippolytus is accepted for biographical purposes. The servant of an official of Emperor Commodus Callistus impressed his master Carpophorus with his skills in finance and was given capital to establish a bank. When it failed, apparently from embezzlement, Callistus fled, trying to sail away from Pontus. He jumped into the sea but was fished out. Freed by Carpophorus to repay the terrible debts, Callistus chose to incite an anti-Jewish riot. The city prefect, Seius Fuscianus, sent him to Sardinia.
As a Christian, Callistus was able to have himself included in the general amnesty of Commodus in 192 A.D. that was directed at all Christian prisoners. He returned to Rome a free a man. In 199, Zephyrinus was named bishop of the city, and Callistus entered his service. Ordained, he became a new archdeacon and ran the diocese's adminstrative affairs and its cemetery. Essential to the diocese in this and other capacities, Callistus succeeded Zephyrinus, who died in 217. As the new leader of the Roman Christians, Callistus espoused views that were contrary to those of many of his clergy and other important figures. Chief among these foes were Hippolytus and Tertullian. The disagreement was bitter, but the direct activity of Callistus was ultimately brief. Nearly 60 when he assumed the see, he died in 222. His successor was Urban, accompanied by Pontian, both of whom carried on a religious war with Hippolytus. See CHRISTIANITY.
¤ CALLISTUS, GAIUS JULIUS (d. c. 52 A.D.) Imperial freedman during the reigns of emperors GAIUS GALIGULA and CLAUDIUS. Under Gaius, Callistus began using his office to enrich himself, but the emperor's increasing madness forced him in 40 A.D. to join in the large group of conspirators plotting to kill the emperor. The assassination took place on January 24, 41, and Callistus was able to ingratiate himself immediately with Claudius, Gaius' successor. As the A LIBELLUS, or secretary of petitions, to Claudius, Callistus worked with other freedmen, such as Narcissus, Pallas and Polybius, eventually exercising tremendous influence over both the emperor and the court.
¤ CALPURNIA (fl. mid-lst century B.C.) Third wife of Julius CAESAR, who helped establish a political alliance between Caesar and her father, Lucius Piso Caesoninus, in 59 B.C. Piso gained a consulship because of the marriage. Calpurnia was very loyal to Caesar, even though in 53 B.C. he considered divorcing her in favor of Pompey's daughter. It is reported that she dreamed of Caesar's impending assassination and tried to prevent his departure from the house on the day of his death. No one came to comfort her after Caesar's death, except her father. Antony did visit, to claim Caesar's papers and all available money.
¤ CALVINUS, GNAEUS DOMITIUS (fl. mid-lst century B.C.) Consul in 53 and in 40 B.C. and a supporter of Julius Caesar and AUGUSTUS. He served as a tribune during Caesar's consulship and then ran for the post himself in 54 B.C. In some of the worst election campaigns of the era, Calvinus gained his seat by corrupt methods. During the Civil War, he chose the side of Caesar against POMPEY THE GREAT. As a legate in Thessaly during the Dyrrhachium campaign of 48 B.C., he helped defeat the forces of Pompey in that region. After the battle of Pharsalus in that same year, Caesar ordered him to send two legions as support to Alexandria. Meanwhile, with only one legion and some auxiliaries at his disposal, Calvinus tried to stop the advance of Pharnaces, the king of the Bosporus, but was beaten at Nicopolis. Following Caesar's assassination, Calvinus granted his allegiance to Octavian (Augustus), taking over affairs in Spain around 40 B.C.
¤ CALVUS, GAIUS LICINIUS MACER (82-47 or 46 B.C.) Son of the annalist and praetor Licinius Macer; an ADVOCATUS and an erotic poet. Born on May 28, 82 B.C., Calvus displayed early on a gift for oratory and at the age of 27 challenged Cicero in his prosecution of Vatinius. A long career seemed to stretch ahead of him but he died at the age of 35 or 36, in either 47 or 46 B.C. Calvus also distinguished himself as a poet. Influenced by the Alexandrian School, he wrote numerous poems, specializing in erotica and the epic, although his lampoons of Caesar were so sharp as to require a formal reconciliation. None of his works are extant. See also POETRY.
¤ CAMILLUS, FURIUS SCRIBONIANUS (1) (d. 42 A.D.) Father of Camillus (2), he was consul in 32 A.D. and led a revolt against Claudius in 42. As legate in Dalmatia, he conspired with such notables as Caecina Paetus, Annius Vinicianus and Pomponius Secundus to overthrow the emperor. Camillus composed a letter to Claudius, threatening him with civil war if he did not abdicate. His two legions, however, refused to follow him, and either killed him or forced him to commit suicide. He was married to Vibia.
¤ CAMILLUS, FURIUS SCRIBONIANUS (2) (d. c. 52 A.D.) Son of Furius Scribonianus CAMILLUS (1); like his father, he was destroyed politically during the reign of Claudius. Camillus probably fell prey to the jealous alertness of Agrippina. In 52 A.D. he was charged with the use of magic (by consulting Chaldaean astrologers) to curse the emperor. As a result, Camillus and his mother Vibia were exiled. He died soon after, possibly of poison.
¤ CAMPANIA District in southern Italy surrounded by the region of Latium, Samnium and Lucania; one of the most beautiful areas of Italy, possessing several famous cities and natural points of interest. For centuries Campania was a select retreat for the nobility. Under the Empire such Campanian communities as Baiae and Bauli maintained an atmosphere of leisure and exclusivity. Fertile soil allowed crops to be grown three times a year, and vineyards produced a fine wine. Oils, metalwork and cloth were other products, while the port of Puteoli provided a gateway for seaborne trade, but was suppressed by Ostia in the 2nd century A.D. POMPEII and HERCULANEUM were burgeoning metropolises preserved as time capsules for the future by the explosion of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 A.D. The principal city of the region was CAPUA.
¤ CAMPUS AGRIPPA Area within the boundaries of Rome named after Marcus AGRIPPA. A number of construction projects were developed within its perimeters, including a portico, built by his sister, Polla, and a race course. In 7 B.C., Augustus declared the Campus open to the public.
¤ CAMPUS MARTIUS Large plain named after its altar to Mars; located just outside of the original walls of Rome near the northwestern bend of the Tiber River. The plain was surrounded by the Capitoline, Quirinal and Pincian hills and for centuries served as the gymnasium area for youths and military drilling. Temples and altars multiplied there during the days of the Republic, but under the Empire a strenuous building program on the property never ceased. Emperor Augustus sponsored a temple to Neptune in 32 B.C., and the first stone amphitheater, of Statilius Taurus, was erected in 29 B.C. Marcus Agrippa laid out an ambitious program: the Saepta of Julia, the Baths of Agrippa and the PANTHEON. Other buildings were constructed over the next centuries. During the reign of Domitian (81-96 A. D.), a stadium housed athletic shows. It rested on a solid foundation of concrete. Entertainment could also be found in the Theater of Marcellus, dedicated in 13 or 11 B.C., and the Theater of Balbus, dedicated in 13 B.C. Hadrian placed the basilicas of Marciana and Matidia in the Campus Martius and was memorialized by Antoninus Pius with his own temple in 154 A.D. In turn, Pius was honored with a column of beautiful classic sculpture, depicting the Marcomannic War.
The Campus Martius also served as the final resting place of many notable Romans. In 12 B.C., Agrippa was placed in a mausoleum there. Drusus, Tiberius's brother, joined him in 9 B.C. Augustus (d. 14 A.D.) had his own elaborate mausoleum. In 193 A.D., Septimius Severus used the burial of the murdered Emperor Pertinax to eulogize the deceased and to further his own firm hold on the throne. Gardens, an aqueduct, a sun-dial (added in 10 B.C.) and the famous Ara Pads, the Altar of Peace, made the Campus Martius popular. It was officially added to Rome when the WALL OF AURELIAN was constructed.
¤ CAMULODUNUM (Colchester) One of the leading cities of Roman-occupied BRITANNIA, situated in modern Essex. For years prior to the invasion by Aulus Plautius, Camulodunum served as the capital of the Belgae in Britain, under the rule of Cassivellaunus and his son, Tasciovanus. The court there during the reign of Cunobellinus was a center of strong rule but increasing disagreement on policy toward the Roman Empire. Claudius' conquest of the isles focused strategically on Camulodunum, and its fall in 43 A. D. signalled the end of Belgae power.
The new Roman province of Britannia, under Aulus Plautius, had Camulodunum as its capital. Colonists followed, settling in the former Belgae lands. Town life emerged after the official declaration in 49 A.D. of the colonial status of the region. Near Fishbourne, just outside of the city, a harbor was constructed. Veterans continued the expansion of the colony, with baths, a forum, theaters and a remarkable temple. This temple, originally dedicated to Claudius, emerged as the seat of the IMPERIAL CULT in the province. By the end of the 1st century A.D., Camulodunum had been surpassed in importance by Londinium (London). The administrative center of the Roman occupation remained in the city until the revolt of Queen BOUDICCA in 61 A.D.
¤ CANDIDUS, TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS (fl. late 2nd century A.D.) General and senator, Candidus was an accomplished officer serving in the army of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He possessed the favor of Emperor Corn-modus, who made him a senator, and was eventually the general of Emperor Septimius Severus. He commanded an army in Illyria from 193 to 197 A.D., proving invaluable at the battles of Cyzicus, Nicaea and the Issus, against the claimant Pescennius Niger.
¤ CANDIDUS CRASSUS, PUBLIUS (d. 30 B.C.) Legate of Marc ANTONY who served as his principal agent and general in preparing for his war with PARTHIA in 36 B.C. Crassus arrived in ARMENIA sometime in 37 to bring its King Artavasdes back into the sphere of Roman influence. A quick battle was followed by Armenia's submission; Crassus, with Antony's prodding, took Artavasdes at his word. With no guarantees, the legate marched away into the Asian kingdom of Iberia and conquered its ruler, Pharnabazus. He then joined Antony for the Parthian invasion, completely ignorant of the fact that Armenia could not be trusted. Marc Antony's war on the Parthians ended in disaster, and when he left his retreating columns to join Cleopatra, it was up to Crassus and his fellow officer, Domitius Ahenobarbus, to bring the broken army back to Syria.
Unlike many soldiers and politicians who saw Octavian (see AUGUSTUS) gaining the upper hand, Crassus chose to remain with his leader. In 31, when the final battle at ACTIUM was about to start, Crassus was appointed the commander of Antony's land forces. With the legions on shore he awaited news of the titanic struggle taking place on the sea. Within hours he knew that the destiny of Antony had been sealed. His troops refused to escape to Egypt and settled into negotiations with the agents of Octavian. Crassus wisely fled but was captured. After the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra in 30 B.C., Octavian pondered Crassus' fate and deemed him too loyal to the dead. Crassus was put to death, one of but a few executed by the new, sole ruler of Rome.
¤ CANTABRI People of the Cantabri region of northern Spain. Like the native Spaniards in the early days of Roman occupation, the Cantabri did not accept subjugation or pacification until they were utterly defeated by Emperor Augustus' generals. In 35 B.C., Augustus waged war in Spain and, though successful against surrounding tribes, he could not subdue the Cantabri. They revolted again in 22 B.C., as part of a wider uprising, but were defeated by the governor, Gaius Furnius, with many prisoners sent into slavery and others committing suicide. The tribes rose up yet again in 19 B.C. Their cause was championed by former warriors who had been enslaved but who had slain their masters and returned home. The Roman legions were victorious, and their general Agrippa took severe steps. All Cantabri of military age were massacred, and the rest were forced to live on the area's plains.
¤ CAPELLIANUS (fl. mid-3rd century A.D.) Governor (of senatorial rank) of Numidia, who in 238 A.D. proved the personal undoing of the imperial aspirations of the Gordians. Capellianus had been appointed governor by Maximinus and remained loyal to him. During his tenure of office he had even entered into a lawsuit with the governor of Africa, GORDIAN. In 238, when the Gordians seized the throne, Capellianus sided with Maximinus. The Numidian governor marched on Carthage with the III Augusta Legion and its auxiliary cohorts. Gordian's hopes were crushed, despite the popular support of the Carthaginians. Gordian II fell in the battle, and his father, Gordian I, killed himself.
¤ CAPER, FLAVIUS (fl. early 2nd century A.D.) Grammarian of the era of Trajan (97-117 A.D.) and the author of two treatises: de orthographia and de verbis dubiis. Little is known about his personal life.
¤ CAPITO, COSSUTIANUS (fl. 57-66 A.D.) Governor of Cilicia circa 57 A.D. who was famed for his role as an accuser during the reign of NERO. Serving in Cilicia, he earned the enmity of the local populace by shamefully extorting them. Prosecuted for this crime, he returned to Rome and began to accuse others. His first victim was the praetor, Antistius, who was accused in 62 of treason for reading a libelous verse against Nero at a banquet. Capito found allies at court and was elevated to the rank of senator by his father-in-law, the infamous Praetorian Prefect Tigellinus. The pair soon began to blackmail the rich and powerful of the city, gaining the wealth of Annaeus Mela, the father of the poet Lucan, after Mela killed himself in 66. Capito bore one Thrasea Paetus a grudge for aiding the Cilicians in 57 A.D., and in 66, after Thrasea had made the mistake of not honoring Empress Poppaea, listed a battery of charges against him. Thrasea was prosecuted, and Capito received five million sesterces.
¤ CAPITO, GAIUS ATEIUS (34 B.C.-22 A.D.) Jurist of the early Augustan era. Capito represented the conservative monarchist perspective in the reigns of Augustus (27 B.C.-14 A.D.) and Tiberius (14-37 A.D.). Although from a non-aristocratic family (his father was a praetor), Capito was famed for his oratorical skills and was placed second only to M. Antistius Labeo as a noted jurist. He lived in Rome as a favorite of Augustus, who made him a consul in 5 A.D.; he also served on the influential cura aquarum from 13 to 22 A.D.
¤ CAPITOLINE HILL See HILLS OF ROME.
¤ CAPPADOCIA Strategically important province in eastern ASIA MINOR that was a buffer along the wild and unpredictable frontier separating the Empire and the Parthian-Persian empires. The province offered a fertile environment for various cereals and fruits but was more suited to grazing herds of cattle, sheep and horses. Severe winters and inhospitable terrain prevented the Cappadocians from developing as fully as their neighbors in GALATIA, Paphlagonia and Lycaonia. Thus the region was governed for centuries by kings overseeing a feudal, horse-based culture that changed very little, despite contact with Hellenic and later Roman influence. Cappadocia's position in Asia Minor ensured political involvement with Rome. POMPEY THE GREAT helped rebuild several cities following the Mithridatic wars (c. 65 B.C.), installing a line of client kings who ruled only briefly. Antony replaced them with the far more reliable ARCHELAUS, but by 17 A.D. the Romans were in control of the country.
Roman occupation not only dictated Cappadocian policy from then on, but allowed the Empire to acquire as well a considerable portion of the province's tax revenues. Cappadocia served as a procuratorial province until 72 A.D., when Emperor VESPASIAN deemed its strategic location to be too important. Henceforth, until the time of TRAJAN, Cappadocia was attached to Galatia, guarded by legions and run by a legate. Trajan preferred a more aggressive frontier policy and severed the connection with Galatia, replacing it with PONTUS sometime before 113. This organization remained intact for centuries.
Stability within Cappadocia's borders allowed the province to keep its traditional territorial divisions. Urbanization came slowly and remained limited throughout the area. Once the frontiers were strengthened with legions, and with the addition of roads, Cappadocia participated, albeit slowly, in the trade system of the Empire. Several cities were constructed, but only a few could be called developed in comparison with the other cities of Asia Minor. Two of the more important urban centers were Caesarea and TRAPEZUS (modern Trebizond). Caesarea served as the provincial capital. Originally called Mozaca, it was rebuilt by Archelaus. Trapezus, a port on the Black Sea, was a trading post for the northern provincial lands. The Romans also founded large estates, the work of colonists. Formed from confiscated or purchased properties, these estates helped the economic strength of the province and were tiny islands of culture in a wild land. It is known that the Roman emperors maintained their own stud farms for horses in the province, controlling large sections of land into the 4th century.
In the middle of the 3rd century Cappadocia witnessed a decline of imperial influence and a major shift of power in the East. In 251-252, SHAPUR I, king of Persia, invaded Armenia, Syria and Cappadocia. For the next years the province was a battleground for Persia and Rome. Emperor Valerian's forces fell to Shapur in 259. From then on the Romans had only a fragile hold on the province, and CHRISTIANITY was persecuted severely.
¤ CAPRI Also called Caprae; an island south of Naples, just off the coast of CAMPANIA. Long held to be a beautiful island retreat, Emperor AUGUSTUS spent some time there, and his successor TIBERIUS chose the site for his self-imposed exile from Rome. He took it from the Neapolitans in 27 A.D. but reimbursed them with other territories. From 27 to 37 A.D., the emperor lived on Capri. The stories told of his lifestyle there, the murders, debaucheries and orgies, overshadow the considerable architectural achievements of his Villa Jovi. Capri lost its appeal to the Roman emperors after Tiberius. COMMODUS (ruled 177-192 A.D.) banished his wife and sister there. Tacitus described the island as isolated, with no harbors, mild in the winter and charming in the summer. A stunning view of Mount Vesuvius can still be seen from atop the hills of the small bay.
¤ CAPUA Chief city of the CAMPANIA district of ITALY. It was located northeast from the coast, along the Via Appia and near the river Volturnus. Capua played a significant role in the Roman trade in metal goods and pottery. Small factories of the area manufactured vessels of silver, and these were distributed throughout the Empire.
¤ CARACALLA (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus) (188-217 A.D.) Ruler of Rome from 211 to 217 A.D.; the son of Septimius SEVERUS and JULIA DOMNA. His original name, Julius Bassianus, came from the Syrian side of his family, although he was born in Gaul. In an attempt to strengthen his own imperial line, Severus, in 195 A.D., appointed his son to the rank of Caesar (or junior emperor), two years before Caracalla's great rival, his brother GETA, would receive that same honor. In 197 Caracalla became emperor-designate as well, and in the following year received the powerful title of Augustus. All of this led to palace intrigues, and Caracalla and Geta became bitter enemies, despite the efforts of Julia to keep the peace.
The Praetorian Prefect GAIUS PLAUTIANUS conspired to improve his already considerable powers by wedding his daughter Plautilla to Caracalla in 202. Caracalla resisted the marriage and then treated his bride coldly, all the while plotting against her father. Accounts varied as to the manner by which Plautianus fell in 205, but the death of the prefect was greeted with joy by Caracalla, who exiled his wife and now waited for his father to die as well.
Severus campaigned in Britain from 208 to 211, but because of his father's ill health, Caracalla was forced to conduct many of the campaigns in his place - earning the loyalty of the troops on the field. The name "Caracalla," in fact, came from the hooded cloak that he wore. The troops followed him faithfully, and he turned to them when Severus died at Eburacum (York) in 211. However, the Guard and the legions swore their oaths to both sons of the dead emperor. HERODIAN noted that the two brothers proposed to divide the Empire between them. Caracalla found a more permanent solution by assassinating Geta on February 12, 212, in their mother's apartment. To stem any problems with the legions and the Praetorian Guard, Caracalla immediately gave them better pay.
As emperor, Caracalla proved harsh, cruel and obsessed with the fulfillment of his martial dreams, as evidenced by his constant style of dress - that of a simple soldier. Where his father had disliked the SENATE, Caracalla displayed an outright hatred of the members of the legislative body. Those aspects of the Empire in which Caracalla did meddle soon suffered greatly. When PAPINIAN, the jurist and prefect, was hacked to pieces by the Guard, Caracalla merely commented that the killer should have used an ax instead of a sword. The provincial distribution of the legions was changed so that no more than two could be stationed in any province, an indication that Caracalla feared revolt.
Caracalla was forced to take money from the imperial treasury to pay his military units and was compelled to use other means as well. He issued a new COINAGE to debase the currency; the AUREUS was reduced and the ANTONINIANUS was introduced. In 212, to gain further revenues, Caracalla decreed the Constitutio Antoniniana bestowing citizenship on nearly everyone in the Roman world. While it must have had limitations (slaves were automatically ineligible and others must have been excluded for various reasons), its immediate benefit was the considerable TAXES that could be collected on inheritances and emancipation. Other methods of raising money were also employed. Dio noted that Caracalla spent freely on his soldiers but excelled in stripping, despoiling and grinding down the rest of humanity. New taxes were instituted and old ones increased. Cities had to build him houses, amphitheaters and race tracks whenever he visited. Of course, not every ounce of the collected gold went into the military coffers. Caracalla admired Alexander tremendously, seeing himself as the reincarnation of the Greek conqueror. He tried to be a general, emperor and builder, with the result that Rome saw the creation of one of the grandest monuments in the city's history. The BATHS of Caracalla epitomized the grandiose vision of the emperor, putting into architectural splendor his material expectations.
In 213, he marched to the Danube and Rhine frontiers, defeating the barbarian confederation of the ALAMANNI on the Main River and adding forts to strengthen the LIMES (frontier). Beginning in 214, he planned to conquer the East, much as Alexander had in his own time. Sweeping triumphantly through Macedonia, he recruited a 16,000-man phalanx, similar to the ancient Macedonian phalanx. Illness prevented serious campaigning, and Caracalla retraced Alexander's route to Egypt, where, in 215, he slaughtered many of Alexandria's hostile inhabitants. So many died at his hands that he could not even write to the Senate the exact number. By 216, his eastern preparations were complete, and he set out again for Mesopotamia. Wintering in Edessa, Caracalla suffered a bout of paranoia. MACRINUS, one of the Praetorian prefects, watched as many of his companions died as the result of an imperial whim. A seer, the Egyptian Serapio, who openly predicted the emperor's death and the succession of Macrinus, was thrown to the lions, survived and was slain. Caracalla confirmed his growing fear of the prefect in dispatches, which Macrinus managed to discover. With tribunes of the Guard, Macrinus killed Caracalla on April 8, 217 A.D., at Carrhae and became his successor.
Caracalla, despite his growing mental instability, formalized the increasingly international stature of the Empire. He favored the Gallic cloak, the German-style wig and certainly displayed the influences of his Syrian origins. His decree, the Constitutio Antoniniana, confirmed the changes taking place in the Roman world. Caracalla's family would return to power in the person of Bassianus (218 A.D.).
¤ CARATACUS (fl. mid-1st century A.D.) King of the CATUVELLAUNI from 41 to 51 A.D. This British monarch, also called Caractacus, resisted the conquest of his kingdom by Rome for eight years. He was the son of King Cunobellinus, along with Togodumnus and Amminius. At court Caratacus and Togodumnus championed the anti-Roman sentiment, in opposition to Amminius. In 41, Amminius fled the isles to Gaius Caligula, the same year in which Cunobellinus died. Claudius, in 43, determined that the time was right and invaded Britain with four legions under General Aulus Plautius. The brothers made the mistake of not opposing the Roman landing. They were soon defeated in the field, and Togodumnus died in battle. Claudius ended British resistance with his elephants, and Caratacus fled into Wales to stir up the tribes in that region. In 47, he lost another battle, this time to the general Ostorius Scapula. Only Cartimandua, queen of the Brigantes, could help him, but in keeping with her treaty with Rome, she handed him over to the enemy. He was taken to Rome and brought before Claudius, where, according to Tacitus, he delivered a speech of such force that the emperor gave him his life.
¤ CARAUSIUS, MARCUS AURELIUS MAUSAEUS (d. 293 A.D.) A major usurper during the late 3rd century A.D., who controlled Britain and much of modern Gaul. Carausius had humble origins in Messapia but won fame in the campaigns of Emperor Maximian against the Franks and the Bagaudae in 286. Looking for a competent officer to eradicate the Frank and Saxon pirates in the Channel, Maximian chose Carausius.
He proved a brilliant admiral but was accused of keeping recovered plunder for his own use and of pressing captured pirates into his own fleet. Sentenced to death, he sailed to Britain in late 286 or early 287, declaring himself independent of imperial control. The Britons greeted him cheerfully and helped him to consolidate his power. Carausius soon began to seize large parts of the Gallic coast. In April of 289, Maximian finally moved against him, only to suffer defeat at Carausius' hands. The emperor was reduced to making a treaty with him instead. Carausius declared his triumph, issuing at first an irregular and then an imperial coinage, with the presumptuous words: "Carausius and his brothers, Diocletian and Maximian." Ironically, Carausius provided the TETRARCHY exactly what it needed in Britain. He resisted the incursions of the Picts, repaired Hadrian's Wall and kept the regions secure. His independence, however, could not be tolerated, and Diocletian waited until the time was ripe to strike.
In 293, Emperor Constantius I Chlorus, Diocletian's junior, launched a massive assault on Carausius' holdings in Gaul. The port of Gesoriacum (Boulogne) was blockaded by Constantius, while Carausius' main fleet remained in Britain to repel an invasion. The city fell, but just barely; reinforcements were prevented from arriving by a great mole stretched across the harbor. These initial setbacks were compounded as Constantius cleared the entire region of Gaul. Having lost his continental territories, Carausius suffered other political difficulties as well, until his chief minister, ALLECTUS, became disenchanted and killed him in 293, taking over his ships, troops and his claim to supremacy in Britain.
¤ CARIA One of the districts of the Roman province of ASIA.
¤ CARINUS, MARCUS AURELIUS (d. 285 A.D.) Joint emperor with his brother NUMERIAN (late 283 to November 285) and ruler of the West until defeated by the claimant DIOCLETIAN. When CARUS ascended the throne in 282, his two adult sons, Carinus and Numerian, assumed leading roles in his reign. In early 283, Carus set off with Numerian for a campaign against Persia, while Carinus took up the reins of power in Rome, to maintain control of the West. He received the ranks of Augustus and co-emperor later in the year. When Carus died, Carinus and Numerian became joint emperors, Carinus in the West and Numerian in the East.
He proved himself successful in the field against the Germans but did not inspire the legions in the East. Thus, when Numerian died, they chose Diocletian. Carinus prepared for civil war, defeating first Julianus, the rebelling governor of Venetia, before turning to the real 'threat. In a pitched and hard-fought battle in the Margus Valley of MOESIA, Carinus' recently experienced troops had the upper hand. One of the emperor's officers, however, chose that moment to exact revenge for Carinus' seduction of his wife, and he killed him. Diocletian, as a result, became undisputed master of the Empire.
¤ CARNA Roman divinity who, as her name would suggest (cam, flesh), was the protectoress of health and wellbeing. Her festival was on the 1st of July. See also GODS AND GODDESSES OF ROME.
¤ CARNUNTUM Town in Upper PANNONIA, east of Vindobona (modern Vienna); originally settled by a Celtic people, under later Roman occupation it became a strategically based colony. Its location was prized, not only because of its roads but also because legions could be stationed there in defense of the entire frontier of the Danube. As colonists from Rome, mostly veterans, established themselves in the region, Carnuntum boasted the largest amphitheater in Pannonia.
¤ CARPENTUM A two-wheeled cart. Due to the congestion of wheeled traffic in the city of Rome, strict limitations were made on all such vehicles. The carpentum was no exception, and only a few very special people could ride in one during daylight hours. These included Vestal Virgins, priests on special days, and women of great distinction.
¤ CARPI A sizeable group of free Dacians who lived outside of DACIA after the conquest of their homeland by TRAJAN in the early 2nd century. The Carpi led waves of barbarians who molested the Roman province throughout the 3rd century and eventually regained much of their old lands in 271 A.D.
¤ CARRHAE Town in Mesopotamia, south of Edessa; site of the crushing defeat of CRASSUS (1) at the hands of the Parthians in 53 B.C. In 217 A.D., Emperor CARACALLA was assassinated near here, and in 296, GALERIUS faced a setback on the same site, in his campaign against the Persians.
The battle that took place in early May of 53 B.C., between the forces of the Triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus (1) and the army of PARTHIA, under the command of General SURENAS, was one of the worst defeats ever inflicted on the Roman legions.
In 55 B.C., the Parthians were being torn apart by internal conflict. The sons of PHRAATES iv, Orodes and Mithridates, had murdered their father in 57 B.C. and were warring against each other. Orodes forced Mithridates to flee to Syria. Its Roman governor, Aulus GABINIUS, provided troops, and Mithridates marched back to Parthia, but was defeated and died in 54 B.C. Crassus sensed an opportunity to conquer the Parthians while this internal disorder worked to his advantage. Despite the opposition of many in the Senate, the triumvir set out, crossing the Euphrates in late spring of 53 B.C. with about seven legions, cavalry, and auxiliaries totaling approximately 36,000 men. His lieutenants were his son, Publius CRASSUS, and the future assassin CASSIUS. Orodes gave command of his Parthian forces to General Surenas. His units were smaller in number than the Romans, but the Parthian cavalry, legendarily accurate bowmen, gave Surenas a distinct superiority.
With ample room to encircle the enemy, Surenas ambushed the Romans in the arid region of Carrhae. Responding in the traditional manner, Crassus's troops formed into a square. Publius was dispatched on a charge at the enemy to ensure enough time to dress the line completely. Surenas, however, cunningly withdrew as Publius pursued him. Isolated from the main body, the detachment was cut to pieces, and Publius literally lost his head. The remaining Parthians rode across Crassus and his men, raining down arrows on their heads. That night Crassus withdrew, abandoning 4,000 wounded to certain death. The Parthians continued their pursuit, and, with discipline collapsing under the heat of the Mesopotamian sun, Crassus was forced to agree to negotiations. He was killed during a meeting with Surenas, and his entire force was slaughtered. Crassus' death was never fully explained. PLUTARCH argued that a Parthian, Pomaxathres, killed him, but Dio wrote that a servant stabbed him to avoid his capture. Surenas sent his head to Orodes and held a mock triumph with a Roman prisoner named Gaius Paccianus dressed to resemble Crassus.
Carrhae was a disaster of monumental proportions. Only 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers returned to Syria. Another 10,000 had been captured while the rest had died horribly. Parthia had destroyed one of the armies of the triumvirate and had gained the eagles of the fallen legions. No revenge was forthcoming from Rome, embroiled in its CIVIL WARS, nor until the time of AUGUSTUS was any treaty made with the Parthians to return the symbols of legionary power.
¤ CARTHAGE Major city on the Mediterranean coast of AFRICA, at the tip of a peninsula near modern Tunis; eventually the capital of the Roman province of AFRICA PROCONSULARIS. For centuries Carthage had stood as the great rival to Rome. But after the conquest of the city in 146 B.C. by the Roman military leader Scipio Aemilianus, its walls were destroyed, and only a ruin identified its location. Carthage remained in this devastated condition for 30 years, until late in the 2nd century B.C., when colonists began to repopulate the region. These inhabitants could reclaim the city only partially. Julius CAESAR sent more colonists to Carthage and launched an extensive rebuilding program in 44 B.C. Emperor AUGUSTUS, sometime around 29 B.C., continued the improvements. The proof of his success was documented with the fact that during his reign the capital of the province was moved from Utica to Carthage.
From that point on the city established its dominance over all of Africa. The only legion in Africa outside of Egypt was placed under the proconsul there, a policy changed by GAIUS CALIGULA in 37 A.D.; he established the III Augusta Legion under a separate legate. This legion moved farther west in 200 A.D. to become part of the African province of NUMIDIA. The economic health and the relative security of Carthage made the presence of a legion there unnecessary. Roads brought all of the major communities and outposts of the province right to the gates of the city. The economic base of the region was agricultural, and Carthage was able to provide the manufactured wares. Rome took much of the wealth of Africa for its own treasury, but enough remained in Carthage for massive construction programs and extensive building.
Little of the city survived the Empire, but those sites uncovered as ruins show a major effort at Romanization of the territory. The best example of such Romanization is the Antonine BATHS. Built between 145 and 162 A.D., they rivaled the Baths of Caracalla in size and in architectural beauty. Carthage thus reflected the growing importance of Africa to the Empire. Annually the region exported some 500 million tons of corn to Rome. The schools of Carthage, especially those dedicated to law, produced advocati (courtroom lawyers) of considerable skill.
In 238 A.D., GORDIAN I, the governor of Africa, proclaimed himself emperor from his seat at Carthage. CAPELLIANUS, the governor of Numidia, who was loyal to Emperor MAXIMINUS, marched on Carthage to dispute the claim. Though the citizens of the city remained loyal to Gordian and his son, they could not prevent their defeat. In 308, the prefect of Africa, Domitius ALEXANDER, also revolted against Rome, threatening the imperial corn supply. MAXENTIUS sent the Praetorian Prefect Rufus VOLUSIANUS to crush the rebels, and he not only defeated them but also sacked and pillaged the city in the process. CONSTANTINE rebuilt Carthage in the 320s.
CHRISTIANITY became entrenched successfully in Africa after 180 A.D., but persecution followed. TERTULLIAN was one of the first writers to detail the persecution and survival of the church in Africa. His successor proved a brilliant leader of the Christians; CYPRIAN, who became bishop of Carthage, carried on the propagation of the faith in the face of outrages committed at the order of Emperor DECIUS in the mid-3rd century.
Carthage proved a center of dogmatic controversy as well. Disagreements between the Carthaginian presbyters and the Roman Church surfaced. AUGUSTINE proved a powerful spokesman for orthodoxy, but the city was receptive to the heretical movements of the 4th and 5th centuries. The Donatists (see DONATUS AND DONATISM) differed with Rome, and the church thus split apart. PELAGIUS and his theories next surfaced in the region. Pope ZOSIMUS assembled a large council on May 1, 418, in Carthage, to bring about the end of Pelagianism there. His successor, CELESTINE, further crushed the movement but also listened to the Carthaginian presbyter, Apiarius, in his complaints about his fellow Christian clerics.
In 429, the VANDALS led by GEISERIC invaded Africa. On October 19, 439, Carthage fell. Geiseric made the city his capital. Old landholders were stripped of their property and reduced to serfdom. More importantly, with an air of total independence, the Vandal kingdom elevated the status of ARIANISM. The orthodox Christian creed and clergy were abolished.
¤ CARTIMANDUA (fl. mid-lst century A.D.) Queen of Britain's BRIGANTES, whose client status with Rome preserved her power for a time but eventually cost her the kingdom. Following the conquest of southern Britain in 43 A.D., Cartimandua opted for a treaty relationship. The Romans, who were always eager to nurture buffer client states, agreed. For the most part both sides remained faithful to the agreement.
In 51, the rebel King Caratacus fled to Cartimandua, but she offered him up to the Romans. Anti-Roman sentiment, however, grew to such an extent that her own marriage was threatened. Venutius, her husband, broke with her, and direct intervention by Rome was required on two occasions, between 52 and 57, to keep her on the throne.
She finally divorced Venutius and married Vellocatus, resulting in a Brigantian revolt. The Brigantes sent Cartimandua into exile in 69. With Rome involved in its own civil war, help was not immediately forthcoming, although the queen was eventually given a haven and sanctuary. Rome's best ally in Britain having fallen, however, Vespasian eventually sent Petillius CEREALIS to crush the Brigantes.
¤ CARUS, MARCUS AURELIUS (d. 283 A.D.) Roman emperor from 282 to 283; probably from Narbo in Gaul, he rose through the ranks until 276, when he was elevated to PREFECT OF THE PRAETORIAN GUARD by Emperor PROBUS. Carus remained loyal to his imperial master in 282, even when the troops mutinied against protracted and harsh service conditions. Commanding the legions in the province of Raetia, while Probus was away preparing for another campaign, Carus tried to prevent his own elevation to the throne by the disgruntled legions. When even the detachment sent to him by Probus defected to his cause, Carus had little choice in the matter. Mercifully, Probus died at the hands of his own men, sparing the nation a civil war. The SENATE was informed but not asked for its blessing, as the days of such influence were long past. Carus accepted the throne and arranged for the deification of Probus.
A dynasty seemed to be developing with the accession of Carus, as he had two able sons, CARINUS and NUMERIAN. Both received the title of Caesar; Carinus ruled the West, and Numerian campaigned with his father. The SARMATIANS and QUADI were pushing across the Danube into Pannonia, and Carus crushed them in the field, slaughtering thousands. Early in 283, he and Numerian, along with the prefect of the Guard Arrius APER, marched east against the Persians. Seleucia fell and then Ctesiphon, that nation's capital. Mesopotamia was recovered and restored to the Romans, and Carus assumed the title of Parthicus Maximus. At the behest of Aper, another war in the East was planned.
Mysteriously, the night following a violent storm near Ctesiphon, Carus was found dead in his bed. Accounts vary as to the nature of his demise. Disease may have taken its toll, though lightning was blamed by others. Aper, who already called himself Numerian's father-in-law, may have had something to do with Carus' passing. Numerian did not long survive his father.
¤ CASCA, SERVILIUS (d. 42 B.C.) One of the assassins of Julius CAESAR in 44 B.C. It was said that Casca struck the first blow. Octavian (AUGUSTUS) allowed him to serve as tribune in 43 B.C., but when the future emperor marched on Rome, Casca fled the city. After the battle at PHILIPPI, Casca killed himself to avoid punishment.
¤ CASSIAN, JOHN (c. 360-435 A.D.) Important Christian writer and monastic. He traveled for many years, perfecting his understanding of the evolving Eastern monasticism, especially the style developing in Egypt. In 400, he visited with Germanus in CONSTANTINOPLE, after being driven out of Egypt. There he met with St. John Chrysostom, who later brought him to Rome. Cassian established himself soon after in Massilia (Marseilles), where monasteries for men and women were founded along the Eastern style. The three extant works of Cassian are: Institutiones coenobiorium, detailing monastic life; Collationes, 24 dialogues with monks from Egypt; and De incarnatione. See also CHRISTIANITY.
¤ CASSIUS (Gaius Cassius Longinus) (d. 42 B.C.) Prime mover in the assassination of Julius CAESAR in 44 B.C., and the leader, with BRUTUS, of the LIBERATORS. Cassius marched to war against Parthia under CRASSUS, holding the rank of quaester. In 53 B.C. he participated in the battle of CARRHAE, watching as Crassus was annihilated. He assumed control of the pitiful remnants, returning in 52 and in 51 to defeat the Parthians, especially at Antigoneia. In 49, as a tribune, he joined POMPEY THE GREAT against Caesar, commanding as an admiral and losing his flagship in one engagement. In 48 B.C., Caesar pardoned Cassius after defeating Pompey at PHARSALUS. Like Brutus, Cassius received the praetorship and command in Syria and was consul designate for 41 B.C.
By 44, conspiracies were widespread throughout Rome, with Cassius emerging as the leader of the most dangerous of the plots against Caesar. Like his fellow murderers, Cassius fled Italy in April. Instead of Syria, he was given the province of Cyrene by the Senate. He went to Syria anyway, defeating the appointed governor, Dolabella, and then plundering the provinces of Asia Minor. In 42, he joined Brutus in Greece, where they prepared for war with the triumvirs Octavian (AUGUSTUS) and Marc ANTONY. The battle of Philippi ended Cassius' ambitions. After being routed by Antony he instructed his freedman to kill him. His wife was Brutus' half sister, Junia Tertulla.
¤ CASSIUS, GAIUS AVIDIUS (d. 175 A.D.) General under Emperor MARCUS AURELIUS, who tried unsuccessfully to usurp the throne. Of Syrian origin, Cassius was the son of an Equestrian. He joined the army, rising through the ranks and gaining the attention of the emperor. Marcus put him in charge of the sadly demoralized and ill-disciplined legions in Syria, where he earned the nickname "Marius," alluding to the cruelty of the Republican Consul Marius. Soldiers were burned, bound with chains and thrown into the sea, had their hands chopped off, their legs broken or died of fright. By 163, the once unstable legions stood fully prepared for hardship and war.
In 164, the general marched against PARTHIA as part of the great Roman offensive in that region. He captured Seleucia, subdued Mesopotamia and claimed Ctesiphon, the great capital, as well. The total conquest of Parthia seemed possible, but a plague broke out in the legions. Retreat followed in 165-166, although Marcus Aurelius realized the magnitude of his victories and Cassius was promoted from governor of Syria to commander of the East. Cassius crushed the BUCOLICI in 172 in Egypt, and held his provinces as the Romans faced increasing frontier troubles in the West. The emperor was also deteriorating. Cassius perhaps contemplated a move for power in the face of such opportunity, but it was not until 175 that he became amorously entangled with Empress FAUSTINA, a relationship that prompted him to take political steps.
With all of Syria and most of the Eastern region behind him, Cassius heard that Marcus had died. He proclaimed himself emperor, appointed a prefect and pulled together a court, where he received the allegiance of Syria, Judaea and Cilicia, as well as Egypt. Only Bithynia and Cappadocia, under Martius Verus, held firm to Rome. Wider support never materialized. The Senate refused to recognize him - especially as Marcus still lived. All hopes vanished when the emperor returned to Rome. A centurion murdered Cassius, removed his head and brought it before the throne. The remains were buried as Verus crushed the remnants of the rebellion in preparation for a conciliatory visit from Marcus in 176. Cassius was described as sometimes stern, often gentle, a devotee of Venus and well loved by his own people. As a result of Cassius' rebellion, a law was passed forbidding all governors to be appointed in their own provinces of origin.
¤ CASSIUS LONGINUS, GAIUS (fl. mid-lst century A.D.) A descendant of the famed Cassius of the same name, and a famous jurist, governor and one of the most sober figures in the Empire during the reigns of GAIUS CALIGULA and NERO. He served as governor of Syria in 45, or perhaps earlier. He authored 10 books on civil law as well as other forms of law, and he helped shape the legal evolution of the school of Ateius CAPITO, eventually having adherents of his scientific system who called themselves the Cassiani. In 58, he criticized Nero for having too many honors, later vehemently supporting the policy of slaughtering the slaves belonging to a murdered owner. In 65, charged with revering too greatly the memory of his ancestor Cassius, he was banished by Nero to Sardinia. He returned to Rome under VESPASIAN and lived out his days in great popularity. He reportedly went blind at the end of his life.
¤ CASSIUS PARMENSIS (d. 31 B.C.) So called because of his origins in Parma. A member of the conspiracy against Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., he fled to Asia in 43 and took up a command there. Apparently he was never on very good terms with Octavian (AUGUSTUS). His letter-writing style imitated that of Cicero, and he composed poetry. After Actium in 31 B.C., Cassius Parmensis was put to death by Octavian.
¤ CASSIUS SEVERUS (d. 34 A.D.) Orator of the Augustan age (27 B.C.-14 A.D.) feared for his brilliantly biting wit. He spoke exceptionally well and took to his pen only reluctantly. His works were publicly burned as libelous. Cassius Severus faced banishment around 12 B.C., and later received Seriphus in the Cyclades as his place of exile. The fact that he made many enemies is attested to by the references of his contemporaries and historians. Caligula posthumously rehabilitated his works.
¤ CASSIVELLAUNUS (fl. mid-lst century B.C.) King of the Britons and ruler of the Belgic confederation in Britain at the time of Caesar's expedition in 54 B.C. The British realm stretched across the Thames River region into Essex, after the Trinovantes, under Mandubracius, were subdued. Caesar's landing pushed Cassivellaunus into the forefront of British chiefs as he organized an effective resistance. He tried first to win in the field but lost. Guerrilla tactics followed but were ineffective against the Roman advance, especially when Mandubracius joined Caesar. When an attack on the flotilla of Roman ships failed, the king agreed to terms. Caesar demanded a tribute and the promise to leave the Trinovantes in peace. As the Roman legions sailed away, however, Cassivellaunus immediately marched on Mandubracius and conquered the Trinovantes. Around 20 B.C., he established a new community near Camulodunum (Colchester). More importantly, Cassivellaunus certified his rule and ensured the continuation of Belgic influence in the isles for the next 60 years.
¤ CASTINUS (fl. early 5th century A.D.) A one-time comes domesticorum in the time of Emperor Constantius, he became MAGISTER MILITUM around 421, the year of Constantius' death. Castinus assumed command of an expedition against the Vandals in Spain, differing immediately with the magister militum Boniface on its conduct. Boniface departed for Africa while Castinus finished off any chances for a Roman victory by alienating his Visigoth allies. He claimed the defeat to be the responsibility of Boniface and Galla Placidia, the mother of the imperial aspirant, Valentinian III. Through his efforts Emperor Honorius exiled Galla Placidia from the court, and he obtained the consulship in 424, from Theodosius II. In 423, however, Galla Placidia, now in Constantinople, worked her way into a friendly relationship with the politically invincible Theodosius. Sensing that Valentinian might be elevated to the Western throne, Castinus opted for a radical solution, pushing for a usurper, a civil servant named John. Theodosius could not accept John and sent the magister militum Ardaburius and his son Aspar against Italy. In 425 the army of Theodosius under the command of Aspar, entered Ravenna, John's capital. The usurper was put to death and Castinus exiled, his gamble having failed.
¤ CASTRA See LEGIONS.
¤ CASTRA PEREGRINA Large military camp on the Caelian Hill in Rome, probably built during the reign of Emperor Septimius SEVERUS (193-211 A.D.). Its purpose was to house non-Italian troops stationed in the city. A temple to Jupiter was kept in the camp, and it stood as late as 357 A.D.
¤ CASTRA PRAETORIA The military camp of the PRAETORIAN GUARD in Rome. Founded in 23 A.D. by the infamous prefect of the Guard, SEJANUS, the Castra Praetoria stood as the physical manifestation of the Guard's strength for nearly 300 years. Sejanus convinced Emperor Tiberius that the cohorts of the Praetorians should be organized into one camp to ensure discipline and to allow a more rapid response to crises in the city. The camp was constructed on the heights in the northwest just within sight of the city walls and some 450 meters beyond the area called the Agger of Servius. Its design was similar to that of a regular army camp, but was permanent; the buildings were splendidly colored, constructed of pink and red bricks. After the struggle in Rome in 69 A.D., repairs were made with yellow bricks. Emperor Caracalla later raised the main walls and redesigned the interior, organizing and improving the living quarters. Marcus Aurelius elevated the walls even further.
The Castra assumed considerable importance in imperial affairs. In 41 A.D., after the murder of Caligula, Claudius spent several days there while the Guard debated his fate. Nero was certified on the throne by going to the camp with the Prefect BURRUS to ensure the loyalty of the Praetorians. In 69, the assassination of Galba was followed by a grotesque ceremony in the Castra in which Otho received the imperial purple, while Galba's head was paraded around on a spear. Later the new Praetorians of Vitellius were besieged and then massacred by the old Guard, and much of the camp was destroyed. In 193, following the murder of Emperor Pertinax, Sulpicianus and the Senator Didius Julianus went to the Castra. Julianus stood inside and Sulpicianus outside, each man shouting the price he would pay for the throne, with Didius Julianus gaining the Praetorians' support. Senator Gallicanus led the citizenry in a siege of the Praetorians. The walls of the camp proved too strong, and hundreds died in the fighting as the Senate called in troops from all over Italy. A second siege also failed, and in desperation the citizens of Rome cut off the water supply of the camp. The Praetorians responded by charging into the mobs, burning buildings and looting much of the city. The crowds surrendered, in the face of an ongoing fire that was destroying vast sections of the metropolis.
Having provided protection for the Praetorians for so long, the Castra was finally destroyed in 312. After Constantine the Great won the battle of MILVIAN BRIDGE, he marched on Rome, rode to the Castra Praetoria and decreed its destruction. Brick by brick the walls were torn down, with very little remaining for archaeological exploration.
¤ CATACOMBS Underground cemeteries composed of passages and tomb-chambers, with recesses in the walls for interring bodies. While catacombs are found throughout the Mediterranean world, they are most associated with the burial grounds near Rome used by Christians during the imperial era. The name is of uncertain origin, but it was first applied to the Basilica of St. Sebastian on the Via Appia, about three miles south of Rome, and came into use especially in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D. Saints Peter and Paul were buried there. In all, there are approximately 40 known catacombs, stretching for some 350 miles in a circle near Rome, located along the main roads leading to the city and positioned parallel to pagan cemeteries. Among the notable Christian catacombs are St. Priscilla, St. Callixtus and St. Praetextatus.
¤ CATALAUNIAN PLAIN In northeastern Gaul; site of a battle in 451 A.D. between ATTILA and the combined armies of the magister militum AETIUS and his allies. In early 451, Attila launched his invasion of Gaul, sweeping through Gallia Belgica, with his ultimate object being Orleans. Aetius could not allow such a catastrophe and consequently asked the aid of the local barbarian kingdoms, the BURGUNDIANS, FRANKS, CELTS and the VISIGOTHS of King THEODORIC. Sometime between late June and early July the two armies clashed on the road to Troyes, near the Catalaunian Plain.
If accounts of the historians Jordanes, Hydatius and Isidore are accurate, a terrible slaughter resulted in a draw. King Theodoric died in the fray, but Aetius did not press for a conclusive victory. Attila, meanwhile, had placed himself in a large, easily defended encampment. Aetius supposedly visited the Hun king there, warning him of the supposedly dangerous position in which the Huns found themselves. Attila believed him and rode off to Italy. Aetius maintained his control over Gaul as well as the equilibrium among the demanding kingdoms of his region. While the HUNS were not defeated, their failure to capture Gaul accelerated the invasion of Italy - with severe consequences for Aetius, who was seen as the man responsible for allowing Attila to escape. The battle of Catalaunian Plain has also been called Mauriac, Troyes and, most often, Chalons.
¤ CATO UTICENSIS, MARCUS PORCIUS (95-46 B.C.) Praeter in 54 B.C.; a descendant of the great Cato and one of the greatest champions of Republicanism in Rome. In 63 B.C. he differed with Caesar on the question of executions in the Catiline Conspiracy and helped prosecute many of the conspirators. This was the first of his many disagreements with Julius Caesar. The next dispute involved the Agrarian Laws of 59. M. Calpurnius Bibulus, Cato and others in the Senate opposed the measure supported by the eventual members of the FIRST TRIUMVIRATE: Caesar, Crassus and Pompey. Cato strenuously spoke out against the measure, continuing even after he had received death threats. In 58, a political bully in Rome, CLODIUS PULCHER, nominated Cato to receive the governorship of the recently acquired island of Cyprus. Unable to oppose such a post, the senator reluctantly departed and was absent from Rome during the next two, eventful years. He returned with a record of having governed effectively, but was slightly diminished in influence in Rome.
Battles with Caesar erupted almost immediately, and each one attacked the other before the Senate. Cato served as praetor in 54, while his brother-in-law, L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, gained a consulship, in 52, Pompey served as sole consul. Cato failed to be elected to the office, although his reputation for fairness and honesty was unsullied.
Cato never wavered in his hatred for Caesar. As a figure in the Senate, he aided in creating the atmosphere that made civil war inevitable. Distrusting Pompey but needing his military might, Cato joined the Pompeians, and, after the loss at Pharsalus in 48 B.C., fled to Africa. When Caesar triumphed at Thapsus, Cato returned to Utica, with Caesar in pursuit. There, around February 10, 46, he killed himself, denying his enemy the pleasure. Cicero dictated a panegyric to him, Cato, and Caesar wrote Anti-Cato.
¤ CATULLUS, GAIUS VALERIUS (87-54 B.C.) One of the foremost poets in Roman history. He came from Verona and his father had some affiliation with Julius Caesar, but details of his life are few. Catullus stood in some regard with the writers of his own age. He visited Bithynia with the governor, Gaius Memmius, Helvius Cinna and others, staying there from 57 to 56 B.C. On his return he made a pilgrimage to the tomb of his brother in Troas. In Rome he continued his affiliations with Cicero and Cornelius Nepos, and remained close friends with Cinna and Calvus.
The most notable involvement in his life was with "Lesbia," probably CLODIA the sister of P. Clodius Pulcher. Unhappily married to Metellus Celer, Clodia seemed to have carried on a torrid romance with Catullus, the passion of which influenced his love poems. Again the details remain obscure, including the intrusion of Caelius into the affair. Politics held no interest for him, despite his definite views on certain matters. He wrote against Julius Caesar and his adherents, especially the engineer Mamurra, whom he called "Mentula."
The works of Catullus were varied and extensive. He openly imitated the Alexandrine school but showed his own special brilliance with his short poems. A collection of his work, including a dedicatory poem to Cornelius Nepos, probably saw publication in 54 B.C. The poet received acclaim at the time but died before any concomitant wealth could be garnered. The collection, as it has come down through the ages, was apparently organized in three parts. Part one presented short iambic and melic poems. Part two had long poems, including Peleus and Thetis. Finally, part three contained elegiacs (epigrams). See also POETRY.
¤ CATUS DECIANUS (fl. mid-lst century A.D.) Procurator of Britain; an unpopular governor who was responsible in part for the rebellion of BOUDICCA in 61 A.D. As Roman policy in the province turned harsher, the death of Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, prompted the direct seizure of his territory, the claims of his wife Boudicca and his daughters notwithstanding. Catus also demanded the repayment of large sums given to the dead king by CLAUDIUS. Such outrages pushed the Britons too far, and they revolted. Catus, in charge of military affairs while Suetonius Paulinus was away on campaign, sent only a handful of soldiers to defend against the onslaught of the queen's forces. Frightened by the defeat of the IX Legion, the procurator fled to safety on the continent. He was replaced by Julius Classicianus.
Bronze coin of Cunobellinus, king of the Catuvellauni
CATUVELLAUNI A leading tribe in Britain that reached ascendancy in the southern part of the isles between 55 B.C. and 43 A.D. They were a part of the large influx of the BELGAE into Britain, occupying much of the Thames region. In 54 B.C., under their King CASSIVELLAUNUS, they resisted the invasion of Julius Caesar. Warfare conducted by the Catuvellauni was in a style traditionally Celtic that used chariots, long abandoned on the mainland of Europe. Forced to accept treaty terms with Rome, the tribe waited only until Caesar's departure to reassert its dominance, and the Trinovantes fell under their power. Cassivellaunus established a strong kingdom around CAMULODUNUM (Cholchester) and VERULAMIUM (St. Al ban's), composed of the Belgic tribes, of which the Catuvellauni were the heart. A line of kings established by Cassivellaunus included TASCIOVANUS, CUNOBELLINUS and CARATACUS. Under Caratacus, in 43 A.D., the tribe fought against the massive invasion of Aulus Plautius and Claudius. Despite hard fighting, the warriors broke before the Roman legions. The territory of the Catuvellauni became the Roman province of BRITANNIA.
¤ CELER, CANINIUS (fl. 2nd century A.D.) Orator and rhetorician who served as a tutor to Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
¤ CELER AND SEVERUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) Two architects commissioned by Emperor NERO to rebuild Rome after the terrible fire of 64 A.D. Architect and engineer, respectively, Severus and Celer rebuilt much of the devastated city at great cost and then laid out grand designs for Nero's new palace, the Domus Aurea, the GOLDEN HOUSE, to replace the burned DOMUS TRANSITORIA.
¤ CELESTINE (Pope) (fl. 5th century A.D.) Bishop of Rome from 422 to 432 A.D.; worked to assert the authority of his see in the face of schisms led by NESTORIUS and PELAGIUS. Celestine approved the choice of Nestorius as bishop of Constantinople but soon sent CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA to investigate charges of heresy there. In August 430, he condemned Nestorius and ordered Cyril to preside over the Council of EPHESUS where Nestorianism was declared heretical and the strained relationship between the sees of ALEXANDRIA and CONSTANTINOPLE became apparent.
Celestine next faced trouble from the African Church, which criticized him for listening too readily to complaints from men like Apiarius, the African priest. Pelagianism was then confronted in Gaul and Britain. Celestine sent clerical expeditions to both provinces and also dispatched PALLADIUS to Ireland in 431, preparing the way for St. Patrick. The details of Celestine's pontificate were preserved in his correspondence.
¤ CELSUS (fl. 2nd century A.D.) Platonic philosopher who wrote (177-180 A.D.) one of the first comprehensive and intellectual attacks on Christianity. The actual work is lost, but large parts of it are preserved in the reply written by the theologian ORIGEN (246-248). Celsus's attack utilized a series of progressively logical questions and answers, demanding such information as why should God come to Earth, or why should he visit the Earth in the shape of Jesus and why in Palestine. He dismissed Christ as the illegitimate child of Mary and a Roman soldier and said that he was no better than an Egyptian magician. Despite Origen's ardent defense of Christian thought, subsequent pagan Neoplatonists used Celsus' polemic in their own attacks on the growing church.
¤ CELSUS, AULUS CORNELIUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) Encyclopedist, probably during the time of Tiberius (ruled 14-37 A.D.). He composed a large encyclopedia, Aries, that was similar to those of Cato the Elder and VARRO. His subjects included war, farming, law, oratory, philosophy and medicine. The only extant books are 6 to 13, on medicine, clearly influenced by Hippocrates and including general therapy, internal illnesses, pharmacology and surgery. Celsus' work on farming was used by Julius Graecinus and his compilation on war by Vegetius. Celsus was respected well past the Middle Ages.
¤ CELSUS, MARIUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) General and consul-elect in 69 A.D., at the start of Galba's reign; stood firm in his loyalty to the emperor, despite the turbulence of that emperor's reign. Following the death of Galba, Celsus refused to disavow his previous fealty and stood in danger of execution. Otho had to arrest him to protect him from the angry Roman citizens and soldiers, pardoning him as part of a larger amnesty to cement his control of the throne. Henceforth Celsus obediently served Otho, even in the face of scheming fellow generals, such as the Praetorian Prefect Licinius PROCULUS. When word arrived that the legions on the Rhine had revolted and were marching on Italy, Otho appointed Celsus one of his leading generals, along with Proculus, L. Otho and Suetonius Paulinus. He conducted himself well in the early skirmishes but advised against an all-out effort against the Vitellian units, being joined in this counsel by Paulinus. Otho, however, listened to Proculus and to his own brother. At the battle of BEDRIACUM on April 15, 69, Celsus went into battle faithfully and lost, trying afterward to rally the broken and fleeing Othonian legions. Emperor Vitellius allowed him to serve his consulship.
¤ CELSUS, PUBLIUS JUVENTIUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) Jurist in the age of Vespasian (reigned 69-79 A.D.); served the Proculian School of Law.
A Celtic Torc, Worn Around The Neck.
Celtic Stone Pillar From Germany.
CELTS One of the dominant peoples of the Iron Age. The Celts spread across all of the region now termed modern Europe, settling in Iberia, GALLIA CISALPINA in Italy, Britain, Illyricum, Macedonia, Galatia, Gallia Belgica and along the Danube. They ruled uncontestedly until the 2nd century B.C., when faced with pressures from Italy and the East. Rome seized southeastern Gaul in 121 B.C., and the Teutonic tribes drove the Celts away from the Rhine. With their original dominions shrinking, the main bastions of Celtic culture became Gaul and Britain.
Throughout Gallia Lugdunensis and Gallia Belgica, the Celtic tribes banded together to form large political confederations. This practice was in place during the campaigns of Julius CAESAR (59-51 B.C.). Working against Celtic unity was the competition between local chiefdoms, which very often destroyed any hope of presenting a popular front against intruders. The AEDUI, AVERNI, NERVII and others never fully trusted one another, and chiefs such as COMMIUS of the Trebates would serve as allies with Rome for a time and then desert the Roman cause. In the ensuing internal quarrels the Celts proved easy prey for Roman LEGIONS bent on avenging the Celtic sack of Rome in 390 B.C. The Celts had maintained anachronistic military ways. Their nobles and kings went into battle with cavalry, while the infantry fought in the horde-like fashion of the past, without real discipline and lacking military complexity. Even when the Celts were victorious against the legions they suffered terrible losses, such as at ARAR and throughout Caesar's GALLIC WARS.
The Celts of Gaul preserved their old beliefs in DRUIDS AND DRUIDISM but grew more influenced by the Roman gods and goddesses, which in time supplanted or stood as equals to the Celtic originals. After Caesar's conquests (and even before) assimilation and Romanization began. Druidism was stamped out violently, and even the capital of the Aedui fell in favor of a new one, AUGUSTODONUM. The Celtic arts, enduring from the La Tene Culture, ceased to flourish, and only in Gallia Belgica and eventually just in Britain did Celtic life continue. This prompted Rome to exercise a tremendous effort, starting with its crushing invasion in 43 A.D., to stamp out all Celtic culture. In 60-61, SUETONIUS PAULINUS campaigned on Angelsey Island to annihilate the Druids. ROADS were laid and cities were constructed along Roman colonial lines. But Britain changed culturally only on a superficial basis, and even during the period of Roman dominance the Romanization of the isles extended only to the limits of townships, legionary forts or colonies. When the Romans left the isles, the Celtic culture, so long kept under foot, sprang once more to life. See also BRITANNIA.
¤ CENSOR An important office during the days of the Republic. The censors were responsible for keeping the citizen lists, conducting any needed CENSUS and holding the rolls of the members of the SENATE. They thus possessed the right to strike all senators who might act immorally or in opposition to the law. As magistrates of a key Republican institution, the censors came under attack by Sulla, who curtailed their influence, a process furthered by the emperors. It became policy for the masters of Rome, from AUGUSTUS onward, to assume for themselves the powers of the censors, the censoria potestas. They appointed senators, purged the senatorial ranks of unqualified members and controlled enactments. Other, more mundane functions passed from the hands of the censors in time. The water supply of Rome had long been under their jurisdiction, but in 12 B.C. Augustus required that a water board, called the curatores aquarum, henceforth care for the city's supplies. DOMITIAN took the final step in terminating censorial powers by assuming the censoria potestas for life.
¤ CENSORINUS (fl. mid-3rd century A.D.) Writer and grammarian whose main work, De die Natali, is extant.
¤ CENSUS An important registration method used irregularly in the Republic and in the Early Empire to calculate population statistics in Rome, Italy and the provinces in order to determine taxation in Rome's territories and to provide a register for military service among Roman citizens. The census conducted by the CENSORS was generally held by a provincial administrator, although Emperor Augustus put it to tremendous use. The emperor called for a census three times, and in Gaul alone the dates of a register were 27 B.C., 12 B.C., 14 A.D. and 61 A.D.
Normal procedure involved the listing of the names of males and their families and property owned (especially farmed lands, but including all other property as well as slaves). Taxes could be collected as a result, increased or decreased according to the figures provided. Based on the divisions established by Julius Caesar in Gaul, 40 million gold pieces were collected. The census was thus an important source of revenue. The census required forced migratory registration, which caused great discontent and often violence. In Judaea, the famous census of 6 A.D. provoked a harsh reaction from the Jews. Pannonia, Noricum, Raetia and Dalmatia made census taking difficult, because of their unpacified nature. Most of Asia Minor presented few problems, and in Egypt a very systematic census routine was in place from the time of the Ptolemies. Every 14 years a census was taken in Egypt, and every city and town provided complete information, street by street, in an impressive display of efficiency. Vespasian ordered the last known census in Italy.
¤ CENTURIATION Process by which Roman colonists or provincial administrators sectionalized land previously undelineated or uncultivated. A system popular in Italy, centuriation was especially liked in the provinces, where COLONIES were being founded. One of the best examples of the process can be found in Africa. There the members of the III Augusta Legion helped carve up all of the available territories. The resulting development yielded 500 communities, with 200 cities. The centuriated land is still visible by air in its original checkerboard design. A centuria was composed of 100 heredia, with each heredium equaling two iugera or approximately two actus, a plot of 120 square feet (by Roman measure). See COLONIES.
¤ CENTURION See LEGIONS.
¤ CEREALIA The festival of CERES, goddess of agriculture. This celebration was held every year on the 12th of April and went on for eight days, with lavish ceremonies in the deity's temple in Rome. On the last day, according to tradition, foxes were released from her temple on the Aventine Hill, with burning brands attached to their tails. The story was told that a fox one day tried to steal hens, was caught and wrapped in straw to be burned. The animal got loose while on fire and burned crops as he ran for his life.
¤ CEREALIS (Quintus Petillius Cerealis Caesius Rufus) (fl. 1st century A.D.) Prominent general during the Flavian era and brother-in-law of Emperor Vespasian. Cerealis probably hailed from Sabine country. His first notable appearance was as a legate in Britain during the revolt of BOUDICCA in 61 A.D. As commander of the IX Hispania Legion, he had the misfortune of being routed by the British queen, losing much of the legion in the process. Eight years later, Cerealis took part in Vespasian's battle for the throne. Part of Antonius Primus' army, he took charge of the cavalry. Outside of Rome, however, he learned of the death of Vespasian's brother, Flavius Sabinus, and, like the soldiers in the army, demanded an immediate conquest of the city. He shared subsequently in the rewards but was sent out immediately to put down the rebellion of the Treveri and the Batavians under Julius CIVILIS. The general Annius Callus took charge of Germania Superior while Cerealis attacked the rebels directly.
He marched on Mainz and then crushed Treveri resistance at Rigodulum, which was followed by the capture of Treves, the tribal capital. Cerealis moved in for the kill but ended up negotiating a peace with Civilis and the former Roman ally, Julius Classicus. In 71 A.D., Cerealis received a second opportunity in Britain. A legate there for three years, he advanced Roman conquests in the north, destroying the Brigantes.
¤ CERES Goddess of agriculture, patron of Roman farmers and a powerful figure in the Roman pantheon, with its emphasis on crops. Originally worshipped at Cumae, a temple was dedicated to her in 496 B.C., after a famine, and her statue showed her holding ears of corn. Ceres was worshipped by several colleges of priests, and measures of corn went by the name mensores frumentarii cereris. Her temple rested upon the Aventine Hill. There pigs were sacrificed to her, and the goods of traitors condemned by the Republic were stored in her complex. It also became traditional for Senate decrees to be deposited in the temple of this goddess. Her festival fell on the 12th of April and for eight days after (see CEREALIA). Ceres corresponds to the Demeter of Greek mythology. See also GODS AND GODDESSES OF ROME.
¤ CESTIUS CALLUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) Governor of Syria during the early part of the Jewish rebellion in PALESTINE, in 66 A.D. Cestius was sent to the East around 65 to replace the famous CORBULO (2) as administrator of SYRIA. While he controlled the legions of the province and had bureaucratic mastery over JUDAEA, his powers were limited compared to those of his predecessor. He arrived at a time when Jewish nationalistic feeling was running high, but he lacked both the vision to see his danger and the means to suppress that danger. The procurator of Judaea, Gessius Florus, had acquired a terrible reputation for corruption. When the Jews complained to Callus during a visit to Jerusalem in 65, he naturally sided with his underling.
The following year war erupted. Gallus gathered all available troops (the XII Legion) and marched on Palestine. He pushed his way to the very gates of Jerusalem but realized too late that Roman rule was being ignored in all other locations. Hoping to salvage his position strategically, Gallus ordered a retreat. Marching in the heat and under constant attack, the withdrawal deteriorated into a rout, and Gallus was put to flight. The Jewish victory spurred on the rest of the country and further reduced imperial control. He did take steps to restore order in Galilee (see JOSEPHUS) but apparently died, perhaps from exhaustion or possibly due to recognition that his career was over. His replacement - VESPASIAN - was far more competent.
¤ CESTUS, GALLIUS (fl. mid-lst century A.D.) Consul in 35; helped to prosecute Quintus Servaeus (a friend of Germanicus) and Minucius Thermus (a former client of Sejanus) for Tiberius in 32. Tacitus decried his prosecution as the beginning of a calamitous practice in which all words uttered by a person could be used against that person, no matter how innocently spoken or how long ago stated. Cestus was apparently the same senator who in 21 A.D. convicted one Annia Rufidla for fraud. She fled to the Capitoline Hill to seek sanctuary, and Cestus decried the mockery inherent in hiding behind a statue of the emperor. Drusus, Tiberius' son, agreed, and she was hauled away to prison.
¤ CHAEREA, CASSIUS (d. 41 A.D.) Tribune of the Praetorian Guard who in 41 A.D. played a major part in the assassination of Emperor GAIUS CALIGULA. A career officer, Chaerea was first mentioned as a soldier in 14 A.D., in the Rhine legions that revolted against their legate, Aulus Caecina, and their centurions. Chaerea cut his way through the unruly mob surrounding Caecina, and his devotion apparently earned him a reward. During the reign of Tiberius, Chaerea earned a posting to the Praetorian Guard, eventually rising to the rank of tribune. Chaerea later dealt daily with Gaius and not only witnessed his peculiar habits but also suffered increasingly cruel jokes at Caligula's hands. Suetonius reported that the emperor persistently teased Chaerea for being effeminate. When asked for the watchword, Caligula would respond with the names Priapus or Venus, two fertility deities; and, while being thanked for a favor, Caligula gave Chaerea his middle finger to kiss, while wagging it obscenely. The humor became unendurable when his fellow tribunes joined in the torment.
Chaerea's pride injured, he looked for partners in a plot to be rid of Caligula. He had no trouble finding accomplices. Arrecinus Clemens, a prefect; Cornelius Sabinus, a fellow tribune; Annius Vinicianus, a senator; Callistus, the imperial freedman; and others were eager to join him. On January 24, during the Ludi Palatini, the assassins struck. Although historical versions differ, all agree that Chaerea struck the first blow. In the panic that followed the assassination, Chaerea forgot his own Praetorian command, receiving instead the thanks of the Senate. He announced a new watchword, given by senators for the first time in a hundred years: "Liberty!" While he celebrated liberation with the Senate, the Praetorian Guard installed Claudius on the throne of Rome without Chaerea's knowledge. Chaerea, with Sabinus and Julius Lupus, a tribune and the murderer of Caligula's wife and daughter, were handed over for execution to protect the institution of the emperor.
¤ CHALCEDON City in the province of Bithynia, across the Bosporus from the city of Byzantium and predating the building of Constantinople. Chalcedon was the site of a major church council in October of 451 A.D., in which the dual nature of Christ's divinity and humanity was accepted. More importantly, the theological battle between the sees of Alexandria and Constantinople ended, with Constantinople victorious. Alexandria faded, and Byzantine CHRISTIANITY emerged supreme in the East.
¤ CHALCIS A small kingdom in Syria, ruled originally by a family of Ituraean princes. In 40 B.C., King Lysanias lost the domain to Marc Antony, who gave it to Queen CLEOPATRA as part of his reorganization of the East. After the battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Octavian (AUGUSTUS) restored the family to the throne. Lysanias' son, Zenodorus, ruled what Augustus hoped would be a reliable state buffering the Parthian Empire. Zenodorus proved so greedy and incompetent that in 24 B.C. he was deposed. The kingdom was given into the control of Herod, and remained Herodian for some time. Claudius placed Herod, brother of Agrippa, in charge but, after Herod's death in 48 A.D., gave it to Agrippa's son in 50. The Flavians seized Chalcis in 92 A.D., and from that time the domain belonged to the province of SYRIA.
¤ CHALDAEA An ancient province of Babylonia, located along the Euphrates River. "Chaldaea" assumed historical significance in later Roman eras as a seat of magical and mystical lore. Chaldaeans were honored as the creators of astrology. Their works, appearing in inscriptions and books, such as the Chaldaean Oracles, greatly influenced subsequent Greek and Roman thought on such subjects as astronomy and related fields. Strabo held them in great esteem.
¤ CHALONS, BATTLE OF See CATALAUNIAN PLAIN.
¤ CHARISIUS, FLAVIUS SOSIPATER (fl. late 4th century) Grammarian who probably came from Africa and gained historical notoriety through the compilations of other authors made within his own works. His Ars grammatica survives only in large fragments, the first, fourth and fifth books (out of five) all containing gaps. Charisius mentioned as sources and citations such writers as Remmius Palaemon, Ennius and Cato, although the commemorations within the broad outline of his book were haphazard.
¤ CHARON Mythical boatman of the Roman Underworld. Charon was a ferryman for the deceased, who would transport the dead over the river STYX - if he was paid. The Romans thus devised the custom of putting two coins over the eyes of their corpses.
¤ CHATTI Major Germanic tribe that resided in the region of the Weser and Rhine rivers in modern Hesse. The Chatti fought the Romans bitterly for most of the 1st century A.D. and gained superiority over their neighbors, especially the Cherusci. Julius Caesar may have referred to them as the Suebi, indicating that he had contact with them, but the tribe's greatest struggle came during the reigns of Augustus (27 B.C.-14 A.D.) and Tiberius (14-37 A.D.). In 12 B.C. Drusus launched punitive expeditions against them, returning on two other occasions, in 10 and in 9 B.C., before his death. The Chatti refused to submit and joined with the Cherusci in destroying General Varus in 9 A.D. Roman vengeance took six years. Germanicus marched against the Chatti in 15 A.D. His victories climaxed with the burning of the Chatti capital at Mattium, somewhere north of the Eder River.
The loss of the tribal center did not terminate Chatti aggression or power. The next few years were spent wearing down their immediate foes, again the Cherucsi, who ceased being a major factor in Germania. In 50 A.D., Pomponius Secundus, legate of Germania Superior, beat back a Chatti incursion into the region. Subsequent imperial attempts to manipulate the Cherusci, and the stronger tribe of the Hermunduri, into war against the Chatti reduced pressure along this Roman frontier.
Again resilient, the Chatti were known again in Rome in 69-70 A.D., when they participated in the rebellion of Civilis. Although they were beaten back, Roman forces reached the conclusion that a permanent solution had to be found. In 83, Emperor Domitian marched into Chattian territory with a large force to defeat the Chatti and to ensure their submission. Columns of Roman auxiliaries and legionaries carved up the Chatti lands with roads, barricades and water towers. The Chatti were forced to make a treaty at the end of Domitian's campaign, guaranteeing the tribe's recognition of the Empire. The Chatti, however, joined in the general upheaval on the Danube and Rhine frontiers in 169 A.D. Marcus Aurelius repelled the Chatti invasion, but by this time the frontier tribes were in the throes of change. Migrations were taking place throughout the region. The Chatti were unable to cope with the new pressures and faded from view.
Tacitus wrote of the Chatti with great admiration. They differed from other Germanic tribes in that discipline was maintained in battle, their commanders were obeyed and organization was used by them intelligently. Each Chattian warrior carried his own provisions and digging tools, much like the Roman soldier, and a system of supply followed large-scale troop movements.
¤ CHAUCI A Germanic people who lived along the North Sea, between the Ems and Elbe rivers. The Chauci earned the title of noblest and most just of the Germans from the historian Tacitus. In 12 B.C., when their lands faced conquest at the hands of Drusus, they elected to make peace with the Empire. The Chauci did not join in the destruction of General Varus at the hands of their neighbors, but they did war with Rome in 41 A.D. Crushed by Publius Secundus, they again offered peace but also launched raids into Gaul by sea. As subjects of the Romans, the Chauci stayed quiet as long as the might of the legions could not be contested. By the middle of the 2nd century A.D., however, the Rhine frontier had collapsed, and the Chauci seized parts of Gallia Belgica in 170. The emperor Didius Julianus quelled their ambitions, and the Chauci slipped as a power and were eventually subjugated and absorbed by the Saxons.
¤ CHERSONESE City in Thrace that came into the possession of Marcus Agrippa. In 12 B.C. he died and left it in his will to Emperor Augustus, who took ownership. Chersonese remained a private city of the emperors even when Thrace became a province in 44 A.D.
¤ CHERUSCI Not the most powerful German tribe in the early days of the Empire, but certainly the most famous of Rome's Germanic foes. The Cherusci, both the tribe and the loose confederation of which it was the head, dominated the region between the Weser and Elbe rivers, to the north of the Chatti, their hated enemy. They fought Rome for control of the frontier along the Rhine and Ems rivers. In 12 B.C., Drusus inflicted a defeat upon them, and in 1 B.C. L. Domitius Ahenobarbus constructed the Long Bridges over the marshes in the area to make them more accessible to legionary control. Tiberius extracted their submission in 4 A.D., but the Cherusci simply waited for their moment, which came in 9 A.D.
No military event in the Early Empire captured the Roman public's imagination or sense of horror like the annihilation of General VARUS and his legions in the TEUTOBURG FOREST (on the southern edge of Lower Saxony) by ARMINIUS, the Cheruscan king. The Romans were pushed back to the Rhine, and Arminius carved a place for himself in Teutonic folklore. More importantly, Roman vengeance took six years to organize and prepare. Germanicus defeated Arminius in 15 A.D., but the victory of the Romans was not a total one. The Cherusci faced two more powerful, and ultimately insurmountable, foes: the Chatti and the pressure of internal discord. Arminius and his tribes defeated Varus and almost snatched victory from Germanicus, but in doing so they fought without the widespread support of the other Germans. Further, in 15, the Cherusci had been divided into two camps: those of Arminius and his father in law, Segestes, who joined the Romans. With Arminius' death in 19, fortunes turned from bad to worse. The -Chatti made inroads both in territories and in numbers. By the late 1st century A.D., the Cherusci were having their kings chosen by the emperor in Rome. As pawns of the Empire the Cherusci played the part of allies, used continually to sap Chatti strength at their own expense. The Cherusci had declined by the 2nd century.
The Spread of Christianity, 200 A.D. - 300 A.D.
CHRISTIANITY The spiritual force that conquered the Roman Empire; one of the decisive elements in the growth of Western civilization. It would be impossible to document completely the birth of Christianity within these pages. However, a look at the spread of the religion throughout the Roman world and the manner in which the internal structure of the church evolved, spiritually and temporally, reveals both the influence of Rome and the way in which Rome itself was altered.
» General History
Christianity began as a minor sect of Judaism, at a time when great pressures were crowding upon the Jewish people, concomitant with the supremacy of Rome. The Jewish religion was strongly nationalistic but nevertheless enjoyed certain benefits under Roman law, a fact of some importance in the formative period of Christianity. At first the teachings of Christ, called the Word by believers, were given to Jews only, but it proved inevitable that the Gentiles should be included in the missionary work and be converted. This inclusion was a heated question in the middle of the 1st century A.D., resolved unsatisfactorily in the minds of many "Jewish-Christians" by the greatest of the early missionaries, Saul or St. Paul.
Paul chose to preach to the Gentiles without demanding that such new converts conform formally to Judaic law and religious practices. He found himself opposed by his fellow Jews on the subject, especially in Jerusalem. With its population of Gentiles, the city offered fertile ground for Paul, and there he preached of the more universal nature of Christ's message. James the Apostle headed the Christian Jews in Jerusalem at the time. He fought with Paul over the issue of conversions, but James died in 62, a martyr of Christianity. Peter, the head of all Christians, had struck a middle ground, placating both parties. After the Romans under General Titus conquered and humiliated all Jewish lands in 70 A.D., Jewish Christianity would decline as the creed moved outward to Asia Minor and Greece. There the ideas of Paul, intelligently and philosophically presented, took hold.
But Christianity had already fallen under increasing attack by the Jews, who resented the religion's growing popularity and its continued protection under Roman law. Magistrates and officials throughout the East were generally tolerant, continuing to understand that Christians were within the Jewish fold. Throughout the provinces Jews attempted to involve Christians in difficulties with Rome. They were unsuccessful, until the Empire itself finally took notice.
It was only until the reign of NERO (c. 64 A.D.) that Rome perceived Christianity as a unique entity, different from Judaism. Romans usually greeted with mixed emotions the arrival of new religions into their city. Most were tolerated, but many, Judaism and Christianity included, were connected in the Roman mind with the strange and occult religions of the East and followers were accused of practicing peculiar rites (see CYBELE). The historian Tacitus thus referred to Christians as adherents of a "detestable superstition," who came even to Rome "where every horrible and shameful iniquity, from every quarter of the world, pours in and finds a welcome." In 64, following the great fire in Rome, Nero chose this new religion as his means of satisfying the anger of the mobs at losing large parts of the city. His decision to persecute the Christians was a natural means of escape. Christians did not preach revolution and taught in the finest Jewish tradition a higher moral and philosophical ideal by which to live on Earth. The cult of Rome and the emperors (see IMPERIAL CULT) was abhorrent to them, as were most precepts of paganism, despite its tremendous claim to the classical world so admired by all thinking persons. These characteristics left Christianity open to attack.
Paul had provoked a riot in Ephesus when preaching against Artemis, giving Nero an impetus for his murder of the Christians. Such outbursts of violence were limited, however, and after the Neronian pogrom such methods were curtailed. The next years were spent attempting to deal with the Christians from a purely legal standpoint. Some definition had to be made of their status and rights, particularly because the Christians could no longer claim to be Jews, a title that the Jews themselves would not allow them. A clearer legal identification was made when it became a crime punishable by death to practice faith in Christ. The only way to escape such a fate was to sacrifice to the gods or to the emperor. There remained, however, wide avenues of discretion on the part of provincial governors; despite the ardent attempts of local bigots and detractors, Christians for the most part lived in comparative safety.
Individual martyrdoms took place, of course. Domitian exiled Domitilla and executed Flavius Clemens in 95 A.D. for supposed involvement with the religion. Popular Roman rumors depicted Christians as cannibals, incestuous devils and murderers, alleged crimes found to be untrue by the governor of Bithynia, PLINY THE YOUNGER. He wrote to Emperor Trajan (c. 111-112 A.D.) that he could find no evidence to support the wild accusations of the times but saw in the religion dangerous creeds capable of destroying Rome. Thus he ordered the deaths of unrepentent Christians when they were brought before him, a practice agreed upon by Trajan.
Hadrian and Antoninus Pius left the pattern of legal action intact; the general prosperity of the era also allowed the Christians to propagate their faith. Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher emperor, allowed informers to be used against the Christians, and in his time Asia was the heart of anti-Christian sentiment. Philosophers, Marcus included, had strong intellectual disagreements with the Christian religion, even if they did not believe the gossip and spurious attacks.
The Christians were quick to take advantage of any lull in persecution, adapting themselves to various enterprises and services in order to increase their membership. Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna and Bishop Melito of Sardis furthered the Christian cause while assuming honored positions in the eyes of their local governments. The church spread beyond Asia Minor, Palestine and Rome, into Gaul. Egypt and Africa were missionary fields where Christianity soon rivaled the major cults of Rome and the Roman state religion.
Emperor Severus placed a legal restriction on the propagation of both Judaism and Christianity. In 212 A.D., Caracalla ensured further harassment by granting his Constitutio Antoniniana, the edict by which all residents of the Empire were granted citizenship and could therefore be expected to offer sacrifices to the emperor. The result of such legislation could have been devastating to the Christians, but they weathered the storm and emerged from the period intact.
The next years (217-249 A.D.) were filled with alternating bouts of quiet and persecution. Throughout, the organized church grew in temporal power and influence, especially in Africa, and the supremacy of the Christians, ready in the late 2nd century to burst forth, seemed once again on the verge of exploding. Events were to prove otherwise, as the very survival of the Roman Empire seemed in doubt with the crises of the middle 3rd century. Trajanus Decius seized the throne in the summer of 249. He saw Christianity as a symptom of the general decline of imperial culture. While he campaigned aggressively against the Goths along the Danube, orders were issued to begin a very serious effort against the church as well. Bishops were arrested and martyred, including Pope Fabian. Another edict cleverly ensnared Christians by demanding that sacrifices be made to the gods. Commissioners handed out certificates to prove that all proper rituals had been performed by individual citizens. Tremendous upheaval was caused by the edict, which forced the Christians to wrestle with their own consciences and the views of their fellow church members. Violent disagreements would plague the Christian community after the end of the purge in 251, when Decius died in battle. Many of the certificates issued at the time still survive.
After a brief respite, Valerian became emperor in 253, and he initiated another wave of persecution four years later, presumably to divert attention from his own problems and to seize for himself part of the considerable wealth of the Christians. As with the other attacks, Valerian concentrated on executing the leaders and all Christians of note. Hence, thinkers and writers like CYPRIAN of Carthage were tried and slain, and many martyrs joined him over the period of 258-259. Valerian was equally concerned with wars in the East. He made war upon Shapur I of Persia, and in 260 lost a major battle, was captured and eventually put to death by his foe. This event was providential, for his son Gallienus ended all anti-Christian declarations.
From 261 to 303, Christianity made more progress than at any other time. In Africa, the East and in parts of the West, the pagan gods were slowly rooted out and replaced. Christianity became the religion not only of the great cities of Carthage, Antioch and Alexandria but attracted the farmers and workers of the fields as well. Once the seeds planted in the provinces took root, there was no way the emperors could rid themselves and Rome of the faith. This fact, unfortunately, was understood only after a long struggle.
Diocletian became emperor in 284, setting himself the task of repairing the shattered framework of the Roman world. In time he would be aided by his tetrarchs (see TETRARCHY), Maximian and Constantius I Chlorus in the West, and Galerius with himself in the East. Galerius was the most anti-Christian of all the rulers. Using all of his influence with Diocletian, he called for a wide and severe edict against the creed. Fearing perhaps the already considerable temporal power of Christianity, Diocletian agreed. On February 23, 303, all churches of the Christian religion were ordered destroyed. Clerics were arrested, and, in 304, general sacrifices by citizens were commanded; but the horrors of Decius and Valerian were not repeated at this time. No longer could the imperial might so easily crush the Christians. There were now too many of them in the Empire, even among notables in the government.
Failure was admitted at last by Diocletian, who abdicated in 305, putting an end to the anti-Christian campaign in the West. Galerius would not surrender for another six years, and then only because he was about to drop dead of a terrible cancer, which was reported with gleeful detail by the hostile chronicler, Lactantius. Maximinus, his successor, made a half-hearted attempt to continue the persecution, but he, too, failed. Meanwhile, Constantius had died in 306, and his son became the great champion of Christianity. CONSTANTINE the Great won the Western Empire from Maxentius in 312, and the following year issued the EDICT OF MILAN with the co-Emperor Licinius. In 325 he held the Council of NICAEA, and Christianity was given legal status as a religion of the Roman Empire.
» Christian Hierarchies
Christ left as his representatives his Apostles, headed by the Rock, Peter. As each of them spread out through Judaea, Palestine and beyond, they traveled as the unquestioned leaders of the new religion. They were the first followers of Jesus, having lived with him, talked with him and having shared in the agony of watching him die. They also emulated his life and his death. This last point created the first major question for the new church. After the deaths of the Apostles, who would guide the faithful? Among the Jews there had always been a question about the Apostles' authority, but the Gentiles brought a different perspective to the situation. They viewed the problem of succession as one with a possible solution. Paul was an important figure in concretizing the notion that a chief could be appointed with full powers when the need arose. Thus a hierarchy was established within the Christian communities.
There were diakonoi ("attendants"), or deacons, who aided the regular clergy, the presbyteroi ("elders"), or priests. These priests were responsible for caring for their congregations, including baptisms, a very important element of the religion, giving aid to the poor, and educating the faithful with the doctrinal decisions of their superiors, the episkopoi ("overseers"), or bishops. Every congregation possessed a chief shepherd, who, by virtue of his wisdom and acceptance by other bishops, served as the prelate empowered to ordain and declare positions on theology. Each bishop kept in touch with his associates in the surrounding area. By the end of the 1st century A.D., Clement, the bishop of Rome, could claim correctly that the church's system was based on that of the bishops. In the East, the bishops were more numerous, with virtually every township possessing such a prelate. In the West, where Christians followed the Roman Empire's provincial system, the bishoprics, or sees, were separated by greater distances and thus wielded greater influence, especially in their own communities, where the congregations had nowhere to go for aid and no one else to whom they could turn.
This pattern changed slightly in the 3rd century. First, the bishops of those cities serving as provincial capitals in the Empire came to occupy a higher position in the eyes of the church - a precedent of some note, as Christianity was henceforth inextricably bound to the government seeking so eagerly to destroy it. This new office was called a metropolitan see, and the archbishop occupying that office took control of the consecration of the bishops in his particular province, as well as the institution of their nominations (a practice that ensured each archbishop had suitably loyal and like-minded associates). Second, while other cities, like Antioch and Alexandria, were significant in the Roman world, Christians early on recognized the importance of Rome itself. Peter had perished there in 64, and Paul had preached in the Eternal City before dying on the road to Ostia. The bishop of Rome assumed a very special status as a result of this veneration, and Stephen, in the middle 3rd century, even proclaimed his supremacy as a successor to Peter. Such an assumption would be disputed for centuries, especially in other sees, but in the time of persecution the Christians sought only unity.
» Conflicts within the Christian Community / Later History
Attempts by the emperors to expunge the Christians from the Empire were only partially successful at any given time. Such persecutions, however, succeeded in tearing apart the delicately woven fabric of Christian solidarity, especially in the face of a diversity of views on doctrine and theology Disputes in the Christian movement were not new and could often be settled only at a high price. In the early church disagreements had raged over the Gentile question, and by the 2nd century more serious movements, deemed heretical by many, were being born. GNOSTICISM appealed to the less learned Christians, who saw the world around them as corrupt and evil. This doctrine offered a personal sense of salvation and self-discovery and ran counter to the avowed Christian belief in appointed ministers and representatives of Christ. Attacked by every orthodox see in Christendom, the movement lasted for some time. Next came the Phrygian prophet and ascetic Montanus, who, from 156-157 or perhaps 172, called for all Christians to prepare for the arrival of the New Jerusalem. His appeal was to those of an equal asceticism, notably in Africa, where he earned the devotion of TERTULLIAN, who was himself attempting to defend Christians with his great intellect and his gifted writings.
The outrages of Decius in the years 249-251 caused a bitter rift in the Christian community. Many Christians, priests included, had recanted their faith and had made sacrifices to the pagan gods and to the emperor. The church had to consider what was to be done with such people. The debate raged as to whether or not they should be allowed to return and to receive forgiveness. Many rigorists said no - once a sinner, always a sinner - and felt such people should be excluded from the church. Others, with greater foresight and more moderate natures, argued for readmission on the basis that all people were sinners, and the power to forgive them had been granted to the clergy by Christ himself. Chief among the rigorists was NOVATIAN. Unable to endure the return of the lapsed Christians into the fold, he established his own schismatic group in 251, taking many adherents with him. His sect would endure for many years. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, was the main opponent of the Novatian movement. As it was, the church survived the persecutions and martyrdoms (both Novatian and Cyprian would die in the reign of Valerian), and it would grow in size and in importance in the Empire.
The Christian Church became politically and socially prominent, to the point that many felt it was advantageous to know Christians. In 306, Constantine the Great followed his father's custom and tolerated the church. By 312 he firmly believed in the cause, issuing the Edict of Milan in 313.
Constantine did more than ensure the survival of Christ's church. He became its patron and its greatest supporter. Throughout the Roman Empire Christianity was encouraged, fostered and protected. From 325 and the Council of Nicaea, there could be no doubt as to Constantine's intention. His creed and faith would rule the hearts and minds of every citizen in the world.
Services were held in private homes until the 3rd century, when Christians were secure and prosperous enough to erect buildings. One of the most interesting archaeological discoveries was at Dura, where a BASILICA was uncovered. Such a general design became synonymous with Christian structures. Constantine founded many great churches in Rome and elsewhere, culminating in his finest achievement, the new Rome, the Christian capital of CONSTANTINOPLE.
There he took up residence, surrounded by what would become the largest collection of churches in the world, the greatest of which was the Church of Saint Sophia. Constantinople also received the prestigious title of metropolitan, befitting its general importance. The archbishop, close to the emperor and the empress, could directly shape church policy.
Constantine took a firm hand in guiding the organization and evolution of Christianity in his era. The faith assumed imperial status, with territorial authority resting in the hands of patriarchs in Constantinople, Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. Furthermore, even though the bishops were theoretically elected in their own territories, the patriarchs and the emperors exercised the right to intervene wherever and whenever they felt it was necessary to ensure orthodoxy of the creed or the maintenance of their personal views. This was very necessary in the face of the doctrinal heresies so rampant in the 4th and 5th centuries.
The heresy of Novatian in 251 was part of the debate within the church concerning intellectual and spiritual matters. One of the first of such arguments emerged in 313, actually born out of the Novatian movement. Cyprian believed that the sacraments of the church could not be administered by an unclean priest, a view shared by many African Christians. One advocate of Cyprian's beliefs was the bishop of Carthage, DONATUS. While Rome held that the sacraments were inviolate, pure and powerful in their own right, to the point that any minister, even an immoral one, could not taint them, Donatus and his followers disagreed. Constantine, fretting over the crisis, convened the Council of Aries in 314, but the North Africans persisted in their viewpoint, even in the face of an imperial decree. St. AUGUSTINE, the bishop of Hippo from 395 to 430, argued brilliantly against the logic of Donatus, but he too could not bring such dissidents back into the fold. In desperation, the church turned to more violent methods.
Augustine, a great figure, fought as well against the heretic PELAGIUS. This British monk preached that God's grace was not wholly responsible for man's actions; humanity bore much credit for its behavior. Augustine differed, and Pelagius was condemned, although some of Augustine's personal beliefs on matters such as predestination fell out of favor or were never adopted as church doctrine. While Pelagianism endured for some time, it could not compare to the far reaching and divisive heresy of ARIANISM.
No church debate ever caused such lasting bitterness or harsh treatment as did Arianism. Begun by ARIUS, the Alexandrian presbyter, in the early 4th century, the doctrine held that the only true godhead was the Father, who created all things and all persons, including Jesus Christ. The Son was therefore like, but second to, the Father. Unquestionably, Christ was the pivot of salvation, but the Father remained unique. The outcry resulting from this thinking drew in the entire religio-political framework of church and state.
Constantine and the Council of Nicaea condemned Arius in 325, but soon the Eastern bishops, fearing a loss of status to the West, declared their support for the Arians. To their good fortune, Constantine's eventual successor in the East, Constantius II, also supported the Arian cause. Arianism thus emerged as a potent political force, one that could be broken only by the will of one of the most dominant forces in the 5th-century Christianity: AMBROSE of Milan. Bishop Ambrose drove the Arians from their posts, shattering the movement. Although Arianism would gain great popularity with the barbarians, notably the Goths, Ambrose was genuinely successful in breaking the power of Arius and his followers.
The Arian struggle accentuated the temporal status of the church and the close relationship between Christianity and the imperial palaces. An issue such as the nature of Christ, debated so vehemently by Cyril of Alexandria and the Nestorians of Constantinople, was not settled by prayer but by the use of physical and political muscle. Cyril threatened Nestorius with violence at the Council of Ephesus in 431. The negotiations and arguments beforehand were not conducted from a spiritual perspective; Pope Celestine refused to support Nestorius out of a desire to reduce the ambitions of Constantinople. The patriarchs never allowed another see to achieve singular greatness. Thus Constantinople vied with Antioch or Alexandria, and Rome strove to oppress Constantinople. The Arian heresy was made far worse because of such episcopal jealousies and intense personal hatreds among the clergy. Furthermore, the supposed importance of the patriarch in the eastern capital did not always materialize in time of crisis, for until the 5th century there existed an even higher authority, the emperors and sometimes the empresses. Constantine tried personally to eradicate Arius' movement, and the acceptance of Arianism by Constantius not only ensured its survival but also guaranteed its acceptance as the de facto creed of the church. Ambrose brought Theodosius I to his knees in 381, with the councils of Constantinople and Aquileia, but once more it was to the emperor that Cyril and Nestorius turned in 431.
Cyril distributed bribes to various personages in Constantinople, thus winning for himself a favorable decision from Theodosius II. This intertwining of church and state had far-reaching implications in the West, for with the collapse of imperial authority only the bishop of Rome, the pope (see PAPACY), could have an impact on the broad and terrible events of the time, e.g., the barbarian invasions. When the emperors of the West died out altogether in 476, the pope stood as the figure of prominence, a guide and shepherd in the lives of Christians for the next 1,500 years.
Sources for Christianity are varied. Of great importance are the four Gospels, especially the Synoptic of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The New Testament on the whole is an excellent account of early Christianity, in particular the Acts of the Apostles.
For the opinions of the early historians before the time of Constantine, see Dio, Suetonius, Tacitus and Josephus. See also Pliny the Younger, Letters. Later historians include Ammianus Marcellinus, Aurelius Victor and Zosimus. See as well the Ecclesiastical Histories of Philostorgus, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret and Eusebius. Eusebius and Lactantius (De Mortibus Persecutorum, most notably) provide fairly detailed records of the struggle and final victory of Christianity. Eusebius also wrote on other aspects of the triumphant church.
As for writers of the evolutionary Creed, see the epistles, teachings and writings of Athanasius, Athenagoras, Augustine, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, Dionysius of Alexandria, Epiphanius, Hilary, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Jerome, Origen, Philo, Porphyry, Tertullian and Theophilus.
¤ CHRYSANTHIUS (fl. 4th century A.D.) Neoplatonic philosopher who studied under Aedesius in Pergamum. Chrysanthius was a friend and colleague of Maximus of Ephesus and taught Emperor Julian. When this pupil became emperor, he was twice summoned to the court (c. 362 A.D.) but declined because of infavorable omens. Julian made both Chrysanthius and his wife Melite high officials of the religious cult in Lydia; Chrysanthius proved mild toward Christians. He died at the age of 80 and was remembered by his student EUNAPIUS, who composed his Lives of the Sophists at Chrysanthius's suggestion.
¤ CICERO, MARCUS TULLIUS (1) (106-43 B.C.) One of the most important Roman orators, who wielded enormous philosophical, intellectual and political influence in the final years of the Republic. Cicero was, by far, the most famous of the Republican leaders and was noted for his voluminous writings. The son of an Equestrian, Cicero came from Arpinum and, along with his brother, Quintus, was well educated, receiving instruction from Archias of Antioch, a noted poet. He also studied under SCAEVOLA, PHILO of the Roman Academy, PHAEDRUS the Epicurean, and Molo of Rhodes. He came to public attention in 81 B.C., speaking for P. Quintius. This was a property dispute that is noteworthy as Cicero's opponent was Hortensius. Like Julius Caesar, Cicero offended Sulla and left Rome for Greece and Rhodes, returning in 77. He then served as QUAESTOR in Sicily (75 B.C.), as AEDILE in Rome (69) and as PRAETOR (66). His skills in law and oratory were at first in support of the popular party, and he defended the Lex Manilla, which granted unlimited powers to Pompey. As a lawyer of reputation, and with the support of the populace, he was elected CONSUL in 63 B.C.
The aristocratic party in Rome attracted Cicero, and he forsook his previous political affiliations. He opposed agrarian reform and then began his efforts to hound populist Catiline, who was crushed and finally executed on Cicero's orders. The Senate praised Cicero and gave him honors, including the title of Pater Patriae, but the populists despised him and feared his influence, while the aristocrats viewed him as an upstart. Though opposed, Cicero could not prevent the formation of the FIRST TRIUMVIRATE of Julius Caesar, Pompey and Crassus.
In 58 B.C., CLODIUS PULCHER, a personal enemy, influenced a law that exiled all officials found guilty of executing any Roman without a trial, implicating Cicero for his role in the Catiline conspiracy, and Cicero fled to Greece. Pompey urged his return in 57 B.C. By now, however, his carefully cultivated political reputation had been irreparably damaged. Pompey gave him several tasks, including the defense of T. Annius Milo, and in 52 B.C., Cicero received a proconsular seat in Cilicia.
He returned to Rome in January of 49, just in time for the eruption of the Civil War. Owing Pompey, Cicero joined reluctantly his cause. He sailed to Greece and was present in the Dyrrhachium Campaign (48 B.C.). After the battle of PHARSALUS (48 B.C.), the victorious Caesar not only pardoned Cicero but also met him personally, treating him with respect and allowing him to return to Rome.
Seemingly retired, Cicero spent the next years hard at work writing, a respite that ended on the Ides of March, 44 B.C. With Caesar dead, he emerged again as the champion of the Republic. Cicero tried but failed to win over Octavian (AUGUSTUS) but did deliver his finest addresses, aimed at Marc Antony, the Philippics. So vicious and biting was his oratory that on November 27, 43 B.C., when a new triumvirate was signed, Cicero's name appeared prominently on the lists of those who were condemned to die. Once again he fled. Soldiers found him, however, and his head and hands were chopped off, carried to Rome and nailed to the Rostra.
His works are varied in scope and in imagination. A survey follows:
Oratory -> Cicero possessed no equal in speechmaking. Of his orations, 57 or 58 are extant, starting with pro Quinctio, in 81 B.C. In all, he defended an amazingly diverse clientele, dealing with the issue of slaves (pro Q. Roscio comoedo in 76), inheritance (pro Cascina in 69), citizenship (pro Archia in 62) and bribery (pro Cn. Plancio in 54), as well as causes such as the Catiline Conspiracy, which he attacked in four speeches in November of 63. He also countered Caesar's command in Gaul (see GALLIA) in 56 and, of course, directed the Philippics at Marc Antony in 43.
Rhetoric -> Cicero's main extant works on rhetoric are: Rhetorica; De oratore, a dialogue between two great orators and the training involved, written at the request of his brother; Brutus, a history of Roman oratory; Orator ad M. Brutus, his examination of oratorical ideals, written in 46; Topica, on themes taken from Aristotle; De partitione oratoria, a dry analysis of rhetorical answers and questions; and De optima genere oratorum.
Philosophy -> Cicero returned to philosophy around 46, writing extensively between then and 44. He favored the New Academy but was eclectic in his own tastes, using Latin as the medium of expression, a bold decision for the time and one perfectly suited to display his brilliance in the language. His writings in political philosophy include De republica (54-51) and De legibus (On the laws, c. 52-46, never completed), which were both dialogues. In moral philosophy he authored a number of treatises, including De natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), On Fate, On Ends, On Duties and the Tusculanae disputationes (the Tusculan Disputations).
Poetry -> Cicero used poetry as a source of experimentation and translations. He transcribed the Greek poem Phaenomena by Aratus but earned a poor reputation for himself because of his habit of presenting episodes in his own life as epics of note, On His Consulship and On His Own Times. He was devoted mainly to Hellenistic verse.
Letters -> A great letter writer, some 931 messages and examples of correspondence from Cicero were preserved in four main collections: Letters, a compilation in 16 books, which covered his writings from 62 to 43; Letters to Atticus, also preserved in 16 books, which made evident the author's private thoughts and were probably published much later, perhaps during the reign of Nero; Letters to Quintus, showing Cicero addressing his brother; and the Correspondence Between Brutus and Cicero, demonstrating his opinions on the war in 43 B.C.
Most of Cicero's works, especially his letters, orations and a biography of him, were published or written by his freedman and friend, M. Tullius Tiro. Cicero married twice, to Terentia, whom he divorced in 46, after 30 years of marriage, and then briefly to Pubilia, a wealthy woman much younger than himself. By Terentia he had two children: Tullia, who died in 45, and Marcus.
¤ CICERO, MARCUS TULLIUS (2) (b. 65 B.C.) Son of CICERO and TERENTIA. Like his father, Marcus Tillius Cicero opposed Julius Caesar, and, when the dictator perished in 44 B.C., he joined the LIBERATORS and served under BRUTUS in Greece. After the battle of PHILIPPI in 42, Marcus sailed to Sicily and worked with SEXTUS, the son of Pompey, in the Mediterranean. In 39 B.C., Sextus signed a treaty with the SECOND TRIUMVIRATE, and Marcus returned to Rome and met with Octavian (AUGUSTUS), one of the triumvirs who had sentenced his father, the great Cicero, to death. A reconciliation was made between the two, and Marcus shared the consulship with Octavian but died shortly after.
¤ CICERO, QUINTUS TULLIUS (102 B.C.-43 B.C.) The brother of CICERO; well educated, he earned positions as an AEDILE in 67, PRAETOR in 62 and propraetor of Asia from 61 to 58 B.C. He served under Julius CAESAR in Gaul, from 55 until he joined his brother in Cilicia as legate, in 51.
During the CIVIL WAR, he supported Pompey, but after the battle of PHARSALUS in 48, Quintus received a full pardon from Caesar. In 43, again like his brother, his name was placed on the death list of the SECOND TRIUMVIRATE. He died that year. Quintus Cicero translated works by Sophocles, wrote original verse and authored a missive to Cicero, Commentariolum petitionis, a guide on campaigning for the consulship composed in 64 B.C.; but he never rivaled his brother in fame.
¤ CILICIA Imperial province stretching across virtually the entire southern coast of ASIA MINOR. Cilicia was surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the ranges of the Amanus and Taurus mountains, which divided the region into Cilicia Aspera and Cilicia Campestris, in the west and east, respectively. Although the two geographical divisions were united in the creation of the imperial borders in 72 A.D., they differed greatly in landscape and in culture.
With its location so close to SYRIA and the east-west trade routes, Cilicia Campestris attracted the Romans in 102 B.C., when pirate activity led to Roman occupation. In 67 B.C., POMPEY subjugated the region and it became a province. Cyprus was added in 58 B.C., and the province was joined to the territory of Syria for administrative and security reasons.
The rugged, mountainous Cilicia Aspera remained the provenance of client kingdoms well into the 1st century A.D. Marc ANTONY granted much land to CLEOPATRA, but in 25 B.C. Octavian (AUGUSTUS) proclaimed ARCHELAUS OF CAPPADOCIA, a reliable ally of Rome, as king, and his son succeeded him. In 38 or 41 A.D., GAIUS CALIGULA or CLAUDIUS placed ANTIOCHUS OF COMMAGENE on the throne. In 72, Emperor VESPASIAN liquidated that realm, along with all of the other smaller kingdoms, such as OLBA. Vespasian stripped Cilicia Campestris from Syria and united it with Aspera to form the new province of Cilicia.
A more diverse province did not exist in the empire. Aspera was mountainous, with wild territories and people. Campestris, on the other hand, offered fertile plains and thus contributed to the economy of the East. Exports included wheat, olives, fruit and wine, while Aspera produced timber. Cities sprang up on the coast and then farther inland. TARSUS was the provincial capital, with its meeting place of the local assembly, and the schools there were of note. Other cities included SELEUCIA, in Aspera; and in the 2nd century A.D. Anazarbos rivaled Tarsus as a great metropolis deep in the province. Christianity spread quickly through Cilicia, from Syria and Asia Minor. STRABO visited Cilicia and Tarsus, and CICERO in 52 B.C. fled Rome to take up a position as proconsul of the province.
¤ CILO, LUCIUS FABIUS (ft. late 2nd-early 3rd century A.D.) Consul in 193 and 203; a friend of Septimius SEVERUS and tutor to CARACALLA. Cilo came from Iluro in Raetia and served as governor of Bithynia and of Moesia in 195-196. He was also the governor of Pannonia and urban prefect of Rome. In 212, the new Emperor Caracalla, who had once called Cilo "father," plotted his death. The soldiers sent to murder him plundered his home, disfigured his face and carted him off to the palace for execution. The reaction of the crowds who witnessed the assault broke Caracalla's resolve, and he was forced to execute the offending soldiers, protecting Cilo with mock sincerity. In 193, Cilo may have buried COMMODUS after the emperor was assassinated.
¤ CINNA, LUCIUS CORNELIUS (fl. mid-lst century B.C.) Praeter in 44 B.C. and a member of the plot to kill Julius CAESAR. Cinna stood among the assassins on the Ides of March.
¤ CINNA, GAIUS HELVIUS (d. 44 B.C.) Friend of CATULLUS and a poet in the period of the Late Republic. Cinna traveled with Catullus in the suite of Praetor Memmius of Bithynia and knew most of the notable literary figures of his time. His main work was the poem Smyrna, written in an Alexandrine style over a period of nine years. His other poems and writings included erotica, hexameters and an epigram. Following Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., an angry mob murdered him, confusing him with one of Caesar's assassins, Cornelius CINNA. Cinna may have been a TRIBUNE as well during his career.
¤ CIRCUS A stadium designed for the presentation of great races, rivaling the amphitheaters as a major gathering place for Romans in pursuit of entertainment and sports. Because of their cost, Rome boasted the finest arenas, including the famed CIRCUS MAXIMUS. As with basilicas and baths, a circus could be an indicator of the wealth and degree of Romanization of a province. Any territory capable of affording a circus was prosperous and presumably stable. Throughout much of Gaul, a number of archaeological sites provide details of their number: They stood in LUTETIA (Paris), ARLES, LUGDUNUM (Lyons) and Saintes. Elsewhere they are found in CARTHAGE and in cities of Spain.
Circus Agonalis was erected by DOMITIAN around 86 B.C., on the present site of the Piazza Navona. This circus was a smaller structure than the CIRCUS MAXIMUS and could hold only some 30,000 spectators. Circus Flaminius was a structure within the CAMPUS MARTIUS, popular during the days of the Republic. Because of the prime location, other edifices were built nearby. Julius Caesar began construction of the nearby THEATER OF MARCELLUS, completed by Augustus in 17 B.C. Circus Gaius was constructed upon Vatican Hill to honor Emperor GAIUS CALIGULA. The obelisk of this circus is presently in the Piazza San Petro. See also GLADIATORS; LUDI; THEATERS AND AMPHITHEATERS.
¤ CIRCUS MAXIMUS The most famous race course in the Roman Empire, situated between the Palatine and Aventine Hills in Rome. Originally built by King Tarquin in the 7th century B.C., the circus fell into disuse during the Republic but was restored by Julius CAESAR to supersede the Circus Flaminius, and Augustus put it to great use during his reign. The circus was 700 yards long and 135 yards wide. Three tiered, covered porticos stretched along three sides, the fourth being left open for the competitors to assemble. Accommodating 150,000 spectators, much of the stadium had wooden seats, while the lower benches were cement. At one end stood a rampart of pink and gray granite, called the oppidium; opposite was the victor's gate. Until the time of TRAJAN a special box was used by the emperor, and senators and knights always sat in their own areas. Statues of heroes and deities dotted the circus, and an altar to the goddess Murcia, a local divinity equated with Venus, looked down from the oppidium. Vendors and merchants operated shops as close as possible to the massive structure. In time these wooden shacks became attached to the outer wall as the city and population surrounded the area. In 36 A.D., a fire broke out; the establishments of the merchants were destroyed and a section of the circus along the Aventine was damaged. After the great fire in 64 A.D., NERO rebuilt the burned sections and added his own touches of adornment.
¤ CIRTA Chief city of the province of NUMIDIA; designated a colony during the reign of CONSTANTINE and renamed Constantius. Cirta was situated upon a large hilltop on the road from CARTHAGE, surrounded by the Ampsagas River. Cornelius PRONTO came from Cirta, a product of Africa's intellectual flowering within the Empire.
¤ CIVILIS, GAIUS JULIUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) Chieftain of the Batavi; led a large-scale revolt of tribes against Rome in 69-70 A.D. Civilis had long dealt with the Empire, serving as the captain of a Batavian cohort in the auxiliaries, but never earning the trust of his supposed allies. Fonteius Capito, the governor of Germania Inferior, executed a Batavian chief, Julius Paulus, and sent Civilis in chains to Nero, under a charge of rebellion. Galba subsequently released Civilis, who, understandably, harbored resentment thereafter.
In 69, while Vitellius fought for his throne, Antonius Primus wrote Civilis to ask for cooperation, a request echoed by Hordeonius Flaccus, the governor of Germania Superior and a supporter of Vespasian. Civilis supported the Flavians against Vitellius openly, while planning a massive rebellion. His warriors began working against Vitellian garrisons, and as successes grew, the other local tribes joined, including the Bructeri. Civilis marched on the camp and headquarters of the V and XV legions at Castra Vetera, calling on them to surrender to the cause of Vespasian. Alarmed by the vigor of his supposed ally, Flaccus sent a legionary force under Dillius Vocula to keep Civilis in line. The force was attacked by Civilis instead.
When Vitellian hopes died at the second battle of BEDRIACUM, the pretense was over. Vetera's garrison broke through Civilis' siege, linking with Vocula. The Romans had only one emperor now. Civilis faced a dangerous situation. Although he was unable to generate enthusiasm among the general population of Gaul, three tribal leaders did join him: Julius Classicus and Julius Tutor, of the Treviri, and Julius Sabinus of the small Gallic tribe, the Lingones. At a meeting in Cologne it was agreed that the defeat of the legions on the Rhine should be followed by the declaration of an Imperium Galliarum. Vocula, meanwhile, tried to conduct operations but was murdered, his legions defecting or being massacred.
In Rome, Vespasian's representative Mucianus wasted no time in dealing with the crisis. Annius Gallus and Petilius Cerealis were dispatched north. Gallus pacified Germania Superior while Cerealis took on Civilis. Gallic cooperation failed to materialize, and the Imperium Galliarum fell apart. Civilis' wife and sister were captured, and despite late-hour heroics on the part of the one-eyed chief, he saw defeat unavoidably approaching. Civilis agreed to meet with Cerealis on a bridge; the uprising was ended with favorable terms for the Batavians and their allies.
¤ CIVIL SERVICE The cornerstone of the Roman civil administration. Under the Republic the government was run by elected magistrates, while the provinces were administered by officials and governors. There was no wide organization to regulate government affairs; Augustus, assuming the reins of empire in 27 B.C., recognized the need for a competent service. He began by appointing his governors from a pool of senators on whom he could rely. More importantly, the Augustan Principate (27 B.C.-14 A.D.) marked the political ascendancy of the EQUITES. Augustus appointed them to many posts, including the prefectship Of the PRAETORIAN GUARD.
This class was beholden to him and reliable as an instrument of his will. Imperial freedmen were placed in court positions and in financial offices, but their influence would not be felt completely until the reign of Claudius. Local provincial governments stood autonomous, and cities ran their own affairs.
It was widely held by contemporary writers and Roman historians that Claudius was dominated by freedmen. Clearly, CALLISTUS, NARCISSUS and PALLAS exercised great influence, but they also provided the means by which the emperor could rid himself of tiresome administrative tasks. Claudius elevated his freedmen and improved administration of the FISCUS or imperial treasury. Provinces saw their officials, especially the procurators, rise in power, prefiguring the increased imperial dominance of later years.
In his brief reign in 69 A.D., Vitellius returned to the Augustan policy of giving precedence to the Equites. They replaced the freedmen in such positions as the secretariat, the fiscus and the court. This policy became the norm during the next regimes, culminating with the changes initiated by Hadrian. The long, influential period of Hadrian's reign saw the Civil Service appear to Romans as a legitimate career choice. Previously, positions in the service were part of a regular imperial career, including military commands. Henceforth, a candidate had his choice of careers: the military or administration. Such a development had great impact on imperial government, as the split between bureaucracy and legions created, in time, a tremendous influence for both.
Meanwhile, another figure was emerging. The PREFECT OF THE PRAETORIAN GUARD had long been amassing posts as part of the policy of AMICI PRINCIPIS. Septimius Severus elevated the prefecture even further by granting to the holders of the office broad legal authority: PAPINIAN and ULPIAN served both as prefects and as jurists. They were unable to overcome, however, the difficult palace politics, and both were murdered by their own guardsmen.
With barbarian invasions and internal strife, the Civil Service fell into a state of decline and disarray. Diocletian came to the throne in 284 and immediately established a new system. A strong centralization characterized this age. New offices of secretary, advisor and chief legal administrator assisted the head of the civil services, the MAGISTER OFFICIORUM. Other notables in the imperial court were the COMITES, or counts, a civil nobility of sorts. The prefects continued to be important, and after Constantine terminated the last military tasks of the prefecture, they served as the great conduit of imperial control over the numerous provinces.
With the establishment of separate Eastern and Western empires, the bureaucracies were answerable to the rulers in the two great territories. The governors of the provinces exercised great power on behalf of the government and were often tyrannical figures. Centralization brought domination, and the constant desire to bring all of the regions into line with imperial policy.
The Empire was divided into prefectures, including Britain (Britannia), Gaul (Gallia), Spain (Hispania), Viennensis, Italy, Pannonia, Moesia, Thrace, Pontus, Asiana (Asia), Africa and Oriens. Prefects conducted the affairs of their districts with the help of deputies, or VICARII. Governors were in control of local administration, and the cities, once semi-independent, were regulated even down to the councils. Finances were placed under the control of the agents of the emperor.
Late imperial Civil Service was authoritarian, efficient and professional. It grew distant from the army and people, however, and this separation of the military and the onetime leaders of the legions from the state ensured the rise of the generals, the MAGISTRI MILITUM, who intimidated and conspired against the imperial households in the East and in the West.
¤ CIVIL WAR, FIRST TRIUMVIRATE Military and political contest (49-45 B.C.) that struck a mortal blow to the Republic and made Julius CAESAR master of the Roman world. The Civil War commenced on January 11, 49 B.C. With the words, "The die is cast," Caesar crossed the Rubicon from his province in northern Italy in direct disobedience to the orders of the SENATE. Caesar possessed eight legions and auxiliaries totaling 60,000 men, one of the finest fighting forces in history. Against him, POMPEY THE GREAT and the Senate had two legions in Italy and seven in Spain, with about eight more being recruited. More troops would be available in the provinces, but isolated and separated from each other as the senatorial forces were, quick marches by the Caesarians could negate any numerical advantages.
Caesar dealt with Italy first. He marched on Rome, forcing Pompey and the Senate to flee to Epirus, and then consolidated his hold on the capital. With his choice of theaters, Caesar marched to Spain claiming, "I am off to meet an army without a leader, and when I come back I shall meet a leader without an army." Caesar sent Gaius TREBONIUS to besiege the Pompeian city of MASSILIA (Marseilles), and by September, Pompey's general there, DOMITIUS AHENOBARBUS, was defeated and the city fell.
The legions of Caesar, 37,000 strong, forced their way into Spain across the Pyrenees. They faced AFRANIUS and PETREIUS, hounded them and finally trapped their army in ILERDA. On July 2, Ilerda surrendered, and with it, Spain. Shortly after this victory, Curio lost Africa to the Pompeians under Attius VARUS and King JUBA of NUMIDIA. The loss of Africa did not seriously affect Caesar's position in Italy, however, and he was declared dictator in October. With the provinces of the West firmly in his grasp, he turned to Pompey in Greece. Allies and recruitments had swelled Pompey's ranks to a number exceeding 100,000. His army, though, lacked the discipline and experience of Caesar's.
In early December, Caesar sailed from Brundisium to Greece with seven legions equaling between 25,000 and 30,000 men. He was joined by the trusted Marc ANTONY, with another 20,000. Pompey, allowing Caesar to seize the initiative, did not force battle and even endured a siege by Caesar's numerically inferior legions at DYRRHACHIUM and later drove off the enemy. By June 48, Caesar was on the move again, and this time Pompey, outnumbering him by nearly two to one, sought an open battle. At the battle of PHARSALUS, on August 9, Caesar lost several hundred men while Pompey fled the field, leaving 15,000 dead and 25,000 prisoners.
Caesar had little time to savor his triumph, however, as Pompey sailed to Egypt. In August, he moved in pursuit of Pompey, catching up with his body in ALEXANDRIA. With only 4,000 legionaries on hand, Caesar found himself fighting an immediate war with PTOLEMY XIII. For nearly four months a vicious siege raged, and the Romans could not gain the upper hand until January 47, when MITHRIDATES of Pergamum arrived with aid. The battle of the NILE in February gave Caesar complete control of Egypt. After remaining some time with Queen CLEOPATRA, Caesar marched to Asia Minor to avenge the defeat of CALVINUS at the hands of PHARNACES, the king of PONTUS. His claim "veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered") expressed his easy win at ZELA in May. Mithridates received Pharnaces's realm and the East was reorganized.
In early February 46, the battle of THAPSUS decided the allegiance of the region. METELLUS SCIPIO and Juba lost some 10,000 men, but many fled to Spain, where Gnaeus and Sextus POMPEY were rallying their father's broken armies. Caesar moved quickly against them in December of 46, with 40,000 soldiers against the Pompeian 60,000. By March 45, he had cornered the enemy, and on the 17th fought the most closely contested and harshest battle of the civil war at MUNDA. Victorious at last, Caesar returned to Rome to assume his position of power.
¤ CIVIL WAR, SECOND TRIUMVIRATE The conflict resulting from the assassination of Julius CAESAR in 44 B.C. and lasting until 31 B.C. Into the political vacuum caused by Caesar's death stepped Octavian (AUGUSTUS), Marc ANTONY and the ringleaders of the murder plot: Gaius CASSIUS and Marcus BRUTUS. Each jockeyed for power, and Octavian, trying to eliminate Antony, allied himself with BRUTUS ALBINUS, the Republican in Gallia Cisalpina, as the fighting broke out.
Antony chose to attack Brutus at MUTINA, besieging him from December 44 to April 43 B.C. When reinforcements under HIRTIUS and PANSA arrived, Antony defeated and killed Pansa but was routed by Hirtius at the battle of FORUM GALLORUM on April 14. On April 21, Antony again faced defeat and retreated to Gaul. Octavian marched to Rome, where he became consul in August. He realized that an alliance with Antony was more useful than facing the Republican generals, so, in November of 43 B.C., the triumvirate of Octavian, Antony and Marcus LEPIDUS was born - and turned on the assassins of Julius Caesar.
Brutus and Cassius had fled to Greece and, after pillaging the provinces of Syria, Greece and Asia Minor, raised armies for the inevitable conflict. In September 42, Antony and Octavian moved from Brundisium to Epirus, mirroring Caesar's campaign against Pompey in 49. The two armies, both numbering around 80,000 infantry, collided at PHILIPPI in Macedonia, about 10 miles inland from the Aegean Sea. Cassius and Brutus killed themselves when they saw defeat.
Antony and Octavian immediately began to differ. The PERUSINE WAR between Octavian and Antony's wife, FULVIA and her brother Lucius, only aggravated the situation. Fulvia's death eased the tension, and in 40, the two triumvirs signed the TREATY OF BRUNDISIUM, reaffirming it in 37 with the Treaty of TARENTUM. Peace between the two rivals lasted for four years, while Antony grew obsessed with the East and launched his disastrous Parthian invasion. Octavian solidified his position in the West, using Marcus AGRIPPA in Gaul and on the Rhine to quell revolts. Agrippa also battled against Sextus POMPEY, the son of POMPEY THE GREAT, who had become a sea pirate and menaced supply-lines.
By 33 B.C., Antony divorced OCTAVIA, the sister of Octavian, and was living openly with Queen CLEOPATRA of Egypt. Lepidus's power as a triumvir had waned, and civil war erupted again for supremacy over the Roman world. The struggle ended on September 2, 31 B.C., at the battle of ACTIUM, with Octavian victorious. He entered triumphantly into Rome in 29 B.C. to become Augustus, ushering in the imperial period.
¤ CIVIL WAR, 69 A.D. See 69 AD.
¤ CLAQUEURS Professional applauders hired for various performances or events during the time of NERO (54-69A.D.).
¤ CLARUS, C. SEPTICIUS (fl. early 2nd century A.D.) Prefect of the Praetorian Guard under HADRIAN (ruled 117-138 A.D.); succeeded the long-serving Sulpicius Similis at the start of the emperor's reign (c. 118). Clams was a friend of SUETONIUS, who dedicated his Lives of the Caesars to him, and was an influence on PLINY THE YOUNGER, convincing him to publish his Letters.
¤ CLASSICUS, JULIUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) A cavalry commander and leader in the rebellion of CIVILIS in 69-70 A.D. A tribal potentate of the Treviri, Classicus took a troop of cavalry to Italy during the civil war of 69 A.D. As part of the army of Fabius Valens, he defended Gallia Narbonensis against a sortie of the Othonians. He reappeared in Germania as a representative of the Treviri, along with Julius Tutor, at the meeting of the rebellious chiefs at Cologne. There he helped established the Imperium Galliarum, but proved inactive in the face of the Roman counterattack along the Rhine frontier. His daughter was captured, and he laid down his weapons when Civilis agreed to meet with the legate Petilius Cerealis to end the war.
¤ CLAUDIAN (Claudius Claudianus) (c. 370-c. 404 A.D.) Last great Roman classical poet; lived and wrote in an age of tremendous activity and declining imperial power. Little is known about his life. He probably came from Alexandria in Egypt, and wrote about his native land with poems concerning the Nile, Memphis and the Phoenix. His early writings were in Greek, and he did not use Latin until 395, about the same time as his arrival in Rome. He had friends in Rome, the two most powerful being the consuls Probinus and Aubrius, the sons of Petronius Pro-bus, to whom he had written from Mediolanum (Milan). Claudian remained at the court in Milan for five years. There he became poet in residence for the MAGISTER MILITUM, STILICHO. Poems and panegyrics showed the state of the imperial palace during the period. An unfinished poem to Urban Prefect Frontinus meant that the official fell out of power.
On January 3, 396, a panegyric praised Emperor Honorius. That same year saw Claudian mark Honorius' fourth consulship and the marriage of Honorius to Stilicho's daughter, Maria. These efforts joined others, including compositions on the Praetorian Prefect Rufinus and the rebellion of Gildo in Africa. In 399, he viciously attacked the eunuch Eutropius, chamberlain to Arcadius, and then offered a panegyric to Flavius Theodorus.
Early in 400, Claudian returned to Rome, where he praised Stilicho with a poem on his consulship. Two years later he again praised the magister militum for his victory over the Goths, receiving a statue in his honor from Honorius, a gift that he repaid with a poem dedicated to the emperor on his sixth consulship and his defeat of the Goths in 403. In 404, Claudian married, wrote two last poems to his new wife and died. Claudian was a remarkable writer for his age, with a flair for Latin born of intense study of the classical age. He wrote historical epics, as well as notably descriptive and stylized mythology, such as The Rape of Prosperpina.
¤ CLAUDIUS (Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus) (10 B.C.-54 A.D.) Emperor of Rome from 41 to 54 A.D. Born at Lugdunum (Lyons) to Drusus the Elder and Antonia, his life was troubled with illness from infancy. He was so beset with physical problems, such as a stammer, that his family believed any public career would be impossible for him. He suffered humiliation at the hands of his relatives, and his own mother called him "a monster." Discussing another person, Antonia was heard to remark: "He is a bigger fool than even my son Claudius!" During Augustus' entire reign (27 B.C.-14 A.D.) the only post that Claudius received was to the College of Augurs. In the emperor's will, Claudius was given 1,000 gold pieces and treated as an heir in the sixth part, a place for non-relatives.
Beneath the terrible social manners, stuttering and clumsiness, there lurked the mind of a scholar and orator. He authored several histories, including one on Carthage and on Etruscan matters, and earned the respect of the Equestrian class. The knights rose, for example, and removed their cloaks out of respect every time that Claudius entered the theater. Even Augustus could be surprised by him, writing to Livia of Claudius' skill in oratory. Despite these glimpses of his true character, TIBERIUS and then GAIUS CALIGULA considered his mental capacities defective, thereby safeguarding him, because he posed no threat to their ambitions. Claudius thus survived while other members of his family and his circle of friends suffered death or exile at their hands. He served as consul for Caligula and was once thrown into the Rhine by him.
So decimated was the imperial family by 41 A.D. that, when Caligula fell to the blades of assassins, the Praetorian Guard had a difficult time in finding a qualified replacement. They chose Claudius and forced Rome to accept him. The legions agreed, happy to have the brother of Germanicus on the throne. The Senate had little choice, with the Praetorians bent on their candidate and threatening violence. As for Claudius, he never forgot who was responsible for his elevation, granting the Guards a sizable DONATIVUM.
The snickers accompanying his arrival quickly disappeared as the new emperor assumed the greatest power of any Roman ruler to date. He furthered the decline of the Senate both in the manner of his rule and in his resurrection of censorial privilege. He used the powers of CENSOR in 47-48 to bring the Senate to its knees, and infuriated the senatorial class further with his constant pleas for them to assume a greater role in government. The senators considered Claudius boorish and deserving of little respect, thus ensuring a political breach and the birth of conspiracies.
Claudius endured six such plots against his life, from lone dagger-wielding assassins to a large-scale attempt by M. Furius Scribonianus to lead a revolt of the legions in Dalmatia. Execution of the conspirators often included senators, which did little to heal the relationship between the throne and the Senate. In their place as servants and advisors, the emperor relied upon two other classes, the Equestrians and the imperial FREEDMEN. The knights found Claudius grateful. He made advancement in the government and in the military easier for the members of this class. Real progress toward influence was made by the imperial freedmen. Claudius surrounded himself with these able-bodied secretaries to alleviate his work load, and he turned to the freedmen to assume tasks of a bureaucratic nature. While he kept the major decisions for himself throughout much of his reign, near the end of it the freedmen dominated the civil service and the palace. Furthermore, the leading freedmen amassed considerable wealth and a say in policy, which even a major friend of Claudius, such as Lucius Vitellius, could not match.
The emperor paid great attention to detail, especially with regard to judicial matters. He sat in court and delivered judgments he thought were fair, even if the actual statutes differed with his view. His decisions could be annoying to the legal experts, and many stories were recorded of lawyers and defendants encroaching severely upon his goodwill and his time, out of a lack of respect (and a sense of frustration). But Rome profited from his attentions. He tried earnestly to maintain the grain imports and constructed aqueducts to improve the water supply. In Ostia, Claudius built a new harbor and port and handed out large gifts to the population at various times, including games. As a result of Claudius's reign, the Empire was stabilized, especially when compared to the eccentricities of Caligula. In 50, Claudius granted Herod Agrippa the kingdom of Chalcis and the tetrarchy of Philip Archelaus. Thrace was annexed and declared a province. The greatest achievement in foreign policy came in 43, however, when Claudius finally embarked on an invasion of Britain. General Aulus Plautius landed on the isle and defeated the kings of the Catuvellauni - Cratacus and Togodumnus. Claudius soon claimed the victory personally, as much of southern Britain fell to his legions. He declared the conquered region a province.
He returned to Rome but soon had to face a major crisis. Empress Valeria MESSALLINA committed adultery frequently arid with such ardor that her murder had to be ordered in 48. For Claudius this disastrous marriage was but one of four unsuccessful relationships, culminating in his union with AGRIPPINA THE YOUNGER. This marriage brought a formidable figure into the palace and sacrificed the claims of Claudius' other children, his daughters Octavia and Antonia and his son Britannicus. Nero moved in with his mother, marrying Octavia in time. Once her son stood unquestionably as the heir to the throne, Agrippina poisoned Claudius with a plate of mushrooms, and he died on October 13, 54, at the age of 64.
Although his rule often left much to be desired, as a writer he was considered by his contemporaries to be remarkable. His works were histories (not extant) of Carthage and the Etruscans, an autobiography and a study of the alphabet.
¤ CLAUDIUS, FREEDMEN OF Members of the court who were generally held to dominate Claudius' life and palace. These servants also made themselves tremendously wealthy during his reign. Some of these freedmen were Posides, a eunuch who was awarded a headless spear after the British campaign; Felix, who rose to the governorship of Judaea; Harpocras, a noted host of entertainments, who rode in a special litter; and the imperial mentor of literature, Polybius. The three most powerful of the freedmen, however, were Callistus, Narcissus and Pallas.
¤ CLAUDIUS, WIVES OF Women who were married to Claudius before and after his ascent to the throne of Rome. He married four times: to Plautia Urgulanilla, Aelia Paetina, Valeria MESSALLINA and AGRIPPINA THE YOUNGER. Urgulanilla he divorced for adultery. Aelia Paetina was also divorced. Valeria Messallina proved even more wanton, and after her death in 48 A.D., Claudius swore to the Praetorian Guard that if he ever remarried they should kill him. Urgulanilla bore Claudius two children, Drusus and Claudia. Drusus died in childhood and Claudia was illegitimate, the daughter of the Freedman Boter. Messallina gave him Octavia and Britannicus. Antonia is considered the daughter of Aelia Paetina.
¤ CLAUDIUS II GOTHICUS (Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius) (c. 214-270 A.D.) Emperor from 268 to 270 A.D.; probably from Upper Moesia. Claudius' career proved successful early on; he served as a tribune under Trajanus Decius and Valerian, becoming for the latter the chief of the legions in the troublesome province of Illyricum. Details reported in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae are unreliable.
In 268, Claudius joined the army of Gallienus, as one of his generals, helping to besiege the rebel Aureolus in Mediolanum (Milan). Gallienus died at the hands of assassins during the siege, and the army faced with the task of finding a successor. They chose Claudius over Aurelian. He immediately put down a mutiny in the troops, promising a donativum (a money-grant to each soldier). He then continued the siege, worked out a cease-fire with Aureolus and had him put to death. The emperor moved quickly to push back an Alamanni invasion and turned his attention to the dangerous Goths along the Danube frontiers and in the Balkans. In a series of smashing victories the barbarians were routed, earning him the title "Gothicus."
More invasions followed, this time by the Juthungi, who crossed the Danube in 270. Aurelian was given charge of finishing off the Goths while Claudius marched to Sirmium, where he succumbed to the plague. Claudius II Gothicus left behind him a number of crises. Postumus and Victorinus, usurpers in Gaul, and Zenobia of Palmyra were yet to be subdued. The Juthungi, Vandals and Goths still threatened the frontiers, and Aurelian, unloved by his legions, took over an uncertain Empire. Claudius supposedly founded the family of Constantine the Great.
¤ CLEANDER, MARCUS AURELIUS (d. 186 A.D.) A Phrygian freedman, who in 186 became PREFECT OF THE PRAETORIAN GUARD under Emperor COMMODUS. Cleander plotted against Perennis, the prefect who constantly interfered with his ambitions. With his fellow freedmen, Cleander worked for his foe's destruction and eventually succeeded in causing his death. Perfectly suited to manipulating Commodus' many weaknesses, Cleander assumed for himself broad powers, including the stewardship in the palace and control of the legions in the Empire. He also hoarded the grain of the city (see ANNONA) in order to use it to feed the army and public in the event of a famine. Public outrage erupted in violence as a mob charged Corn-modus' estate near Rome. Cleander unleashed the cavalry on them, dispersing them cruelly. Commodus remained ignorant of these events until his sister, possibly named Phadilla, finally alerted him to the truth. The emperor summoned Cleander to the palace, where his head was severed and presented to the vengeful mobs. His children died brutally, as did his friends, their bodies dragged away and thrown into sewers. See also PAPIRIUS DIONYSIUS for a variation on Cleander's end.
¤ CLEMENS, ARRECINUS (d. c. 81 A.D.) Prefect of the PRAETORIAN GUARD under Emperor VESPASIAN; son of the Prefect M. Arrecinus CLEMENS. His sister had been married to Titus, and this relationship to Vespasian made him a candidate for the prefecture in 70. Clemens was well suited to deal with the reconstructed Praetorian Guard and had the backing of the Senate, as he was a member of that legislative body. He knew and befriended Domitian, but when Domitian succeeded to the throne, the prefect was charged with some offense and executed.
¤ CLEMENS, FLAVIUS (d. 95 A.D.) Consul in 95 A.D. and a relative of Domitian; not only a cousin of the emperor but also married to Domitian's niece, DOMITILLA. Clemens succeeded in having his two sons, named for the emperors Vespasian and Domitian, declared as eventual successors to the childless Emperor Domitian. Such imperial favor was difficult to maintain. Shortly before leaving office in 95, Clemens was called to answer charges of impiety. He and his wife were charged with neglecting the state religion and of favoring both Christianity and Judaism. It is possible that they were converts to one of these religions. Clemens was executed, and Domitilla was exiled from Rome.
¤ CLEMENS, M. ARRECINUS (fl. mid-lst century A.D.) Prefect of the praetorian Guard under GAIUS CALIGULA; replaced by the fallen MACRO in 38 A.D. Clemens was involved in the plots against the emperor in 41, but found himself stripped of his post by Claudius' new wife, Agrippina. His son was Arrecinus CLEMENS.
¤ CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (Titus Flavius Clemens) (c. 150-203? A.D.) Important Christian theologian from the Egyptian community, who ranked with ORIGEN as a Church Father. Clement called himself an Athenian and a pagan by birth. He came to Alexandria, enrolling in the famous Catechetical School and studying under Pantaenus, whom he succeeded in 190. As the head of the school, Clement authored several notable works. In Protrepticus (Exhortation to the Greeks), he argued the natural attraction and superiority of Christianity. Paidogogus observed the many facets of Christian doctrine. Stromateis was concerned with the philosophical basis of Christian intellectual thought. He opposed pagan beliefs but accepted them as a logical progression toward the enlightenment of Christ. In Stromateis he wrote that philosophy to the Greeks prepared them for Christianity, while the Jews were prepared by the law. Paganism as part of a process could be tolerated if, in its own cultivated manner, it accepted Christ as the true, final, enlightened vision of cosmic order. In 202, Clemens left Alexandria because of the persecutions conducted by Septimius Severus. He lived out his days in Palestine. His successor in Alexandria as the head of the Catechetical School was Origen.
Cleopatra, (From A Bust)
CLEOPATRA (d. 30 B.C.) Last queen of EGYPT (ruling 51-30 B.C.). Of Macedonian descent, she was the eldest daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes. When growing up in the palace of Alexandria, she learned court intrigue and also developed a loathing for her ambitious brother Ptolemy. In 51 B.C., Auletes died, leaving Cleopatra and Ptolemy (now Ptolemy XIII) as corulers of the kingdom of Egypt. Cleopatra was 17 years old. A feud started instantly, and with the aid of his mercenary advisors, Ptolemy expelled Cleopatra from the throne. He relied upon such men as Pothinus and Achillas to assume the burden of administration. Cleopatra, in turn, raised an army to counter the forces of Achillas and was about to battle Ptolemy when Julius Caesar arrived in Alexandria in October of 48 B.C. The head of POMPEY was delivered to Caesar as a gift from Ptolemy, an act that offended the Romans and even Caesar, who had been Pompey's father-in-law. Caesar declared his intention to settle Egyptian affairs as the official representative of Rome on the scene. After charming Caesar, Cleopatra was installed on the throne and, after Ptolemy XIII's death, she elevated her youngest brother, Ptolemy XIV, as her royal consort. But she was the one power in Egypt, and, supported by Caesar, bore him a son, Caesarion (see Ptolemy CAESAR). Cleopatra subsequently traveled to Rome and stayed there until 44 B.C. No longer welcome after Caesar's assassination, she returned to Egypt. In 41 B.C. she met Marc ANTONY in Cilicia, and the two became lovers.
Her status and that of her country grew in the East as Antony became centered more and more on his possessions there. In Rome, Octavian (AUGUSTUS) anticipated civil war, starting propaganda campaigns against the couple on the Nile. Their open alliance gave him more than enough scandalous material, and in 31 the conflict erupted for control of the Roman world. Antony was financed by Cleopatra but even with such support could not win the battle of ACTIUM. The queen's premature retreat from the battle had an impact on the loss. Cleopatra sailed to Alexandria, where Antony joined her. Trying to salvage her realm and Antony's life, she negotiated with Octavian to no avail. Antony killed himself. After failing to win Octavian's affection, Cleopatra joined her lover in one of the most celebrated suicides in history. She died at the age of 39; her desires and ambitions proved the undoing of Marc Antony and ensured the supremacy of Augustus. With her death the line of the Ptolemies came to an end. Egypt was seized and became just another Roman province.
CLIENT STATES Regions used by the Roman Empire as territorial buffers along the troubled frontiers, or as pawns in the destruction of powerful enemy kingdoms. Most of these client states reflected Roman policy, and most of the domains were controlled by old dynasties or by tribes newly arrived in an area. Others were friends or servants to the emperors. This was especially true in the days of the Early Empire, when Augustus left intact many of Marc Antony's clients or awarded them to his own associates. Clients received more than the blessing of Rome. They probably did not have to pay taxes, could depend upon the Roman legions for support in the event of an attack and could rule domestic affairs as they pleased. Very often, however, such kingdoms were corrupt, dynastically exhausted and destined for annexation.
An administrator could be named to watch over their affairs, as was the case with the governor of Syria and the small domains of Cilicia. Furthermore, the foreign policy of the emperors had to be followed, because failure to comply meant direct intervention. The kings of the client states thus traveled a narrow road, placating their own national concerns of religion, politics and social organization, while holding fast against an insane Roman emperor or a demanding, long-term strategic policy. Few client states survived.
In the eastern regions and provinces were found most of the ancient dynastic kingdoms. They had been reorganized in the era of the Republic and were maintained by both Antony and Augustus. Some, such as Armenia and Armenia Minor, were constantly receiving new rulers from Parthia or Rome - as the previous ruler was murdered, driven out or, rarely, died of natural causes. These states were:
Arabia - CommageneArmenia - JudaeaArmenia Minor - OlbaBosporan Kingdom - PalmyraCappadocia - PontusCilicia
In Africa, Egypt could be considered a client state, under Ptolemy XII Auletes and Cleopatra, but its status was always special to Rome, given its prime strategic location and its grain exports. After 30 B.C. it was a province. Mauretania became a Roman province after Caligula murdered the dynasty of Juba in 40-41 A. D. Numidia was seized by Augustus and incorporated into Africa.
In the West, with the exception of the British kings of the Brigantes and the Iceni, and Thrace, the allies of Rome were most often barbarian peoples and used against a more powerful frontier threat. The Cherusci, for example, and the Hermunduri, fought as counterweights to the Chatti.
League of Achaea - ChauciBritannia - CherusciBrigantes - HermunduriBurgundian - Kingdom IceniThrace
See individual entries for complete details about each kingdom or group.
¤ CLODIA (b. c. 94 B.C.) Famous sister of P. CLODIUS PULCHER and known as one of the most beautiful women in Rome. Unhappily married to Metellus Celer in 60 B.C., Clodia became a widow one year later. She was possibly involved with the poet CATULLUS, in an affair that became well known in the city. Entranced by her wit and skills in love, Catullus devoted most of his passionate poetry to her charms. Their relationship seems to have lasted from 61 to 58 B.C., despite his unsuccessful attempts at freeing himself of her during that time. In his poems, Catullus names Clodia as "Lesbia." Catullus was replaced in her affections by the friend of Cicero, CAELIUS RUFUS. He surrendered himself to her circle but grew distant and was taken to court by Clodia in 56 B.C. Defended by Cicero, he was acquitted, but a lasting enmity developed between Clodia and Cicero as a result. The writer and statesman countercharged her with incest and the murder of her husband.
¤ CLODIUS ALBINUS, DECIMUS (d. 197 A.D.) Governor of Britain and a leading figure in the civil war of 193, when Septimius SEVERUS became emperor. Albinus was from a wealthy background and made a name for himself in Germany (see GERMANIA), under the command of Corn-modus, and in Dacia, before assuming his first post in Britain. The unrest in Rome, the result of the murder of Emperor Pertinax by the Praetorian Guard in 193 and the subsequent auctioning off of the Empire to Didius Julianus, compelled Albinus to rise up against the infamous deeds.
Upon assuming the title of emperor, Severus tried to protect his rear while engaged against the claimant Pescennius Niger in the East; he offered Albinus the post of Caesar, the second highest office in the Empire. Severus routed Niger at Issus, while Albinus held his own forces in check. His legions clamored for Albinus to take the title, while the Senate approved of his connections to Rome. In 196, at the head of an army, Albinus crossed into Gaul to rally the support of the German legions. He failed and was crushed by Severus at Lugdunum in 197, committing suicide. His followers in Rome followed him into early graves.
¤ CLODIUS PULCHER, PUBLIUS (d. 52 B.C.) Violent and ambitious figure in the final years of the Republic. He achieved legendary status in 62 B.C. by profaning the mysteries being held in the home of Julius Caesar for the BONA DBA. Forbidden to males, Clodius dressed as a woman and violated the festival. Brought to trial, he provided an alibi that Cicero refuted by stating on the witness stand that Clodius had been with him for only three hours on the night in question. As Clodius held the rank of quaestor at the time of the trial, he was able to bribe the judges. Still he never forgave Cicero, and the two of them became the most vicious enemies of the period. It was a possibility that his arranged adoption into a plebeian family formed part of an elaborate plot against Cicero. Using this new position, he became a powerful tribune of the plebs in 58 B.C., throwing his lot in with the FIRST TRIUMVIRATE members, Crassus, Pompey and Caesar.
With their help he persecuted Cicero and Caesar's enemy, Cato Uticensis. In 58, both of these politicians were exiled from Rome, and Clodius proceeded to extend his own influence over the city and the assemblies. Despite gaining an aedileship in 56, Clodius was on the decline. He could not prevent the return of Cicero, and his decision to intimidate Pompey proved fatal. His gangs roamed the streets to enforce his will, and in 57 he used these tactics on Pompey but found a foe with the resources to counterattack. Pompey summoned Annius MILO and turned him loose on Clodius. The resulting struggle was a physical and legal bloodbath. Squads of roaming thugs inflicted injury on one another while the two officials sparred in the courts. In 52, Clodius ran for the praetorship and Milo for the consulship. A fierce battle ensued on January 20, 52, on the Appian Way. Clodius died, and his supporters erupted as a result. They burned the house of the Senate and caused such civil strife that Pompey was appointed sole consul.
¤ COGIDUBNUS, TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS (fl.lst century A.D.) King of the Britons, and a client of Rome in Britain. Cogidubnus surrendered voluntarily after the fall of the Catuvellauni at Roman hands in 43 A.D. He subsequently received the blessings of Claudius to rule his own territory with the added title of rex.
In 47 A.D., when the governor, Ostorius Scapula, encountered opposition from the local tribes for incursions, Cogidubnus chose to remain loyal. Scapula rewarded him with several additions of territory. However, his kingdom was eventually annexed as part of the Roman province of BRITANNIA.
¤ COHORT See LEGIONS.
¤ COINAGE Basis of a monetary system that existed for centuries and served as a unifying element of imperial life. The coins surviving in modern times serve as important sources of information about the eras in which they were minted. Much remains unclear, however, and new discoveries yield new questions. It is not possible to examine here every aspect of Roman coinage, but a general analysis will examine the place of the coins in Roman history, their types and the Roman mints.
Under the Republic, the Senate oversaw the nation's coinage, and the mint at Rome turned out its monetary needs. The years of civil war, however, put an end to senatorial control. Generals and governors throughout the provinces used the smaller mints at their disposal to strike enough money to pay troops and conduct campaigns. Coinage, once depicting Roma and a sturdy ship, now displayed references to personal achievements, as in the case of POMPEY THE GREAT, or portraits of leaders, as in the case of Julius CAESAR. Inflation was rampant in the provinces and in Rome, and leaders in widely separated regions produced their own coins. As a result, the great mint in Rome was closed in 40 B.C. After winning the battle of Actium, AUGUSTUS returned to Rome to assume imperial powers in 31 B.C.
Augustus first stabilized the coinage by retaining the main coin types: the AUREUS, DENARIUS, SESTERTIUS and others. He then established across the Empire numerous imperial and local mints, all to be strictly controlled. From 19 to 12 B.C., the mint at Rome was reopened and struck the gold and silver coins that were dispersed to the provinces. The Roman mint was later abandoned, for some reason, and Augustus chose a new site for the operation in Lugdunum (Lyons). Over the next years of his reign (27 B.C.-14 A.D.), and indeed throughout all of Tiberius' era (14 B.C.-37 A.D.), the gold and much of the silver coinage came from Lugdunum. Other silver coins were struck in the East or in special mints. Bronze tokens, used everywhere, were the responsibility of smaller, provincial mints, and were struck with the letters "S.C.," for SENATUS CONSULTUM, a recognition by the emperor of the Senate's historical role in coinage and an example of Augustus' desire to work with this legislative body for the good of Rome.
A change was made under GAIUS CALIGULA. Sometime between 37 and 41 A.D., the main coining operation returned from Lugdunum to Rome. Claudius, most likely, kept the mint at Rome, and Nero followed suit. The young emperor, however, decided that the Senate should be granted a say in the striking of gold and silver. The letters "EX S.C." appeared on coins for a time, but the senatorial privilege was revoked in 64, reviving Lugdunum's mint - which burned down later that same year.
Following the civil war of 69 A.D., the new regime of the FLAVIANS, especially Vespasian, took steps to reinstate Rome's lost grandeur and supremacy. Provincial mints were severely limited as a result, and for the next century only the silver mints in the East could claim any kind of independence; in Trajan's reign they were combined under one roof in Cappadocia. Emperors Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and, presumably, Commodus, all followed the tradition of the Roman monetary dominance.
New civil wars from 193 to 197 allowed the provinces at long last to strike coinage of all types. Pescennius Niger, a rival for the throne, poured out money from the East and possibly from Byzantium (CONSTANTINOPLE). The eventual victor for the throne, Septimius Severus, used provincial mints as well, in Laodicea, perhaps in Emesa and possibly in Antioch. When he became emperor he chose to continue this new policy. Henceforth, Roman coins were joined by those struck elsewhere.
The beginning of the 3rd century witnessed a deterioration of the value of money, the near collapse of the frontiers, a terrible financial crisis and rampant inflation. Debasement reduced the value of several coins, especially the denarius. This silver denomination dropped drastically so that by the time Caracalla came to the throne in 211, it had a value of some 5% of its original. To offset such reductions, Caracalla issued a new coin, the Antoninianus, worth l 1/2 or two denarii. The Antoninianus was dropped by Severus Alexander but restored by Balbinus and Pupienus, and was used until the great reforms of Diocletian as the replacement of the denarius.
Knowledge of late 3rd century coinage is very limited because of the chaos of the era. Sometime between 270 and 275, Aurelian withdrew all existing currency and struck new models. His two copper-based silver coins, while serving his immediate needs, were of dubious value. The Empire was faced with a multitude of mints, issuing badly debased coins. Reforms were needed, not only in financial matters, but also in government and in administration.
In 284, Diocletian became emperor and labored to stabilize the Roman world. Around 293 or 294, he began to reorganize the coinage types. Within two years the old debased currency had been replaced by gold aurei and by silver, copper and other, lighter tokens. Only those mints specifically chosen for imperial service struck coins of legal tender. These mints, some 15 in all (see below), ranged across the provinces and marked their coins to show their source of origin. All smaller mints on the local or provincial level were closed, including those of the usurpers Carausius and Allectus in Britain.
The system of weight and value adopted by Diocletian remains a source of some doubt, as are the actions of his eventual successor, Constantine. Aureus (gold) coins at the time were very pure, and none more so than the new gold piece, the SOLIDUS. The solidus became the primary means of paying taxes, and it was traded in for other minor coins, the pecunia. Their metallic composition remains a mystery. Little silver was minted for a time, until around 330. The bronze coins lost much of their value during the reign of Constantine, although the basic systems remained intact for some years.
Constantius II, circa 348, issued two new coins of varying value: the miliarense and the centenionalis. The former was probably silver or part silver, and the latter could have been a form of denarius. Julian, the emperor from 355 to 363, ordered another series of reforms. But the system established by Diocletian and Constantine remained relatively intact until the middle of the 5th century.
With the rise of Constantinople as capital of the Eastern Empire, the minting of coins was secure, especially in comparison to the mints of the Western Empire, which suffered conquest, destruction or seizure by the barbarians dominating Germany, Gaul and Spain. In time only the mints of the Italian districts and of Rome were still functioning. Henceforth, the barbarian peoples would develop their own systems of money.
The coins of the Republic most often contained phrases or even small pictures. Later, generals placed small commemoratives upon them, and Julius Caesar even adorned his coinage with the picture of a man. Under Augustus, the propaganda of the Empire was furthered by the currency. The Pax Romana was celebrated, as was the magnificence of the emperor and his state.
All coinage could be classified into several artistic types. Some were designed to honor the gods, such as those minted at Lugdunum. Others displayed events, battles, campaigns or building programs. Commemorative coins honored individuals, groups (such as the medals struck by Claudius for his Praetorian Guard around 41 A.D.) and events. For the most part, the coins stressed the rulers themselves. Every emperor wanted to display his own likeness or those of his wife, mother or other relative.
This aspect of the currency provides a wealth of historical information, establishing chronologies and tracing the internal affairs of the Empire. For example, Nero began his reign with coins prominently displaying his mother Agrippina the Younger. As his reign progressed her portrait ceased to appear; her fortunes followed suit.
» Coinage Types and Values
Throughout the years of the Roman Empire there was a constant effort to maintain distinct species of coinage with their own values. The following were the main coins used from the days of the Late Republic until the end of the Empire, circa 476 A.D.:
Antoninianus - Coin issued during Caracalla's reign (211-217 A.D.). After 256 A.D., it became the main silver coin of the realm, replacing the denarius. Its value declined steadily in the 3rd century.
Argentus - An invention of Diocletian in 296 A.D., given the value of the denarius and replacing the antoninianus in popular use.
as (sing.) or asses (pi.) - Coin issued by the Republic. It was the principal form of currency for years before being reduced to a mere measurement of weight.
Aureus - Gold coin of general currency from the era of Julius Caesar to that of Constantine. By the 4th century its value had been debased and it was replaced by the solidus.
Centenionalis - Form of currency issued around 348 A.D., as part of the new coinage of Constantius II. It may have been a variation on the denarius, but many questions remain as to its value and purpose.
denarius (sing.) or denarii (pi.) - Silver coin of the republican and imperial eras, until the late 4th century A. D. Its value declined steadily through the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., and by the 3rd century it was replaced by the antoninianus. Diocletian revived its issue around 294-296, but under the name "argentus."
Dupondius - Republican currency equal to approximately two asses. The coin depreciated to such an extent that, like the as, the dupondius became a weight.
Miliarense - Probably a silver coin issued as part of the coinage of Constantine in the early 4th century A.D. Its content and overall purpose are difficult to calculate with any accuracy.
Pecunia - Currency issued to replace the solidus; a mixture of silver and bronze.
Pecunia Maiorina - Name often given to the centenionalis.
Quadrans - Old coin from the days of the Republic, made of bronze.
Quinarius - Silver-based currency equal to one-half the denarius. The value fluctuated with that of the silver in the denarius, especially in the late years of the 3rd century A.D. It formed part of the general breakdown of the denarius and represented five asses. The gold quinarius equalled approximately one-half the aureus.
semis -> Part of the republican form of currency, made of brass and originally some six ounces in weight. As was the case with many of the coins, its value fell severely.
Sestertius - One of the lesser breakdowns of a denarius, with a silver content equivalent to one-quarter of a denarius. Of all the coins in the Empire, the sestertius achieved the widest distribution and was also called the nummus. It ceased to be minted in the middle of the 3rd century A.D.
Siliqua - Coin of silver that stood as a lesser equivalent of the denarius and, in the later Roman Empire, the solidus.
Solidus - The most important and valuable coin in the Empire from the time of Constantine. It was normally exchanged for pecunia and thus could be returned to the mints as payment of taxes.
The general values of the coinage changed from age to age, but several patterns can be deduced.
1 aureus = 25 denarii = 100 sestertii1 quinarius = 12 1/2 denarii = 50 sestertii = 200 asses1 denarius = 4 sestertii = 16 asses1 silver quinarius = 2 sestertii = 8 asses1 sestertius = 4 asses1 dupondius = 2 asses1 as = 1/4 sestertius1 quadrans = 1/4 as
1 solidus = 24 siliquae = 1000 silvered bronze = 2000 denarii
Constantius II Values1 solidus = 12 miliarensia = 24 siliquae1200 centenionales = 24,000 half-centenionales = 12,000 nummi or smallest units
» The Imperial Mints
As we have seen, the mints were divided originally between the emperor and the Senate. Augustus had control over the gold and silver, while the Senate managed the bronze coinage. Under later rulers even this courtesy was ended, and total fiscal and currency powers resided in the hands of the emperors and their imperial administrators.
Aside from the mints of the provinces, under the control of governors, and the Senate's own mint, run by the praefecti aerarii, the currency of the Empire was struck under the direction of the A RATTONIBUS, the head of the Roman FINANCES.
Clearly, for a time the two mints in Rome were kept in different buildings. On the Capitoline Hill stood the temple of Julia Moneta; within it was the Senate's mint, the emperor's being somewhere else, perhaps near the Baths of Trajan. In time they came together. Precisely how they functioned is hard to say, as many bits of knowledge are lost, especially with regard to the bullion and how it was acquired and stored, among many other factors. What is clear is the fact that the mints formed the backbone of Roman financial stability. After Constantine, the mints were under the control of the RATIONALES of the comes sacrarum largitionum.
The following is a list of the mints of the Empire during several historical periods, excluding the smaller, provincial shops or those opened by usurpers.
Western Provinces <-> Eastern Provinces
Italy <-> SyriaRome <-> AntiochMediolanum (Milan) <-> EmesaTicinum <-> LaodiceaAquileia <-> BithyniaGallia <-> CyzicusLugdunum (Lyon) <-> NicomediaTreveri (Trier) <-> CappadociaMacedonia <-> CaesareaThessalonica <-> AfricaThrace <-> CarthageHeracleia <-> EgyptIllyricum-Danube <-> AlexandriaSerdicaSisciaSpainGermania InferiorCologne (Colonia Agrippina)
Sources for information about Roman imperial coinage vary from the vast collections of museums to scholarly studies. See A. Banti and L. Simonetti, Corpus Nummorum Romanorum; Harold Mattingly and Edward Sydenham, The Roman Imperial Coinage; C.H.V. Sutherland and R.A.G. Carson, The Roman Imperial Coinage.
¤ COLOGNE Also known as Colonia Agrippina or Agrippinensis; one of the leading cities in the West, serving for centuries as the provincial capital of Germania Inferior. Cologne was an unimportant site on the Rhine until the time of Augustus (ruled 27 B.C.-14 A.D.). His lieutenant Marcus Agrippa moved the Roman-allied tribe of the Ubii across the great river for protection and settled them there. In time, they were joined by a legionary detachment camp.
The name given to the tribal center was Oppidum or Civitas Ubiorum, and settlers from Italy began arriving there. Agrippina, the wife of Claudius, was born to Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder while in the camp. This birthplace proved important, for in 51 A.D. Agrippina convinced Claudius to declare the community a colony, with forts for protection and veteran colonists sent to populate it. Success seemed evident, for Cologne was considered essential to the victory of the Rhine revolt in 69 A.D. The city fell to CIVILIS but then rose up and expelled the rebels, precipitating Civilis' defeat. An indication of the hostility felt by the colonists toward the Germans was given shortly afterward. All of the natives in the town died cruelly.
Cologne became attached to the province of Germania Inferior, and Domitian decreed it to be the capital as well. With this new status, large efforts were made to redesign the city and construct suitable edifices. So effective were the city's planners that the original design remained visible into the 20th century. Baths, government buildings and temples to Mercury and the imperial cult dominated the architecture. Industry began as well. From Gaul, glass-blowing and manufacturing were imported and pursued vigorously. By the late 2nd century A.D., Cologne rivaled Aquileia in the distribution of glass, pottery and fine goods. Famous glass markets in Africa and Alexandria were driven completely out of the Western provinces as Cologne formed the heart of Rome's economic thrust into northern Europe. In the 3rd century A.D., Emperor Gallienus conducted many of his campaigns from Cologne. He also resided there, and in 257 decided to move the imperial mint to the city.
¤ COLONIA AGRIPPINA See COLOGNE.
¤ COLONIES The creation of coloniae allowed Rome to extend its people, culture and control over the hostile, foreign or desired territories, all the while meeting the demands of the Empire's growing population.
During the early Roman times and during the Republic, colonies were established in ITALIA (Italy) with their own constitutions and organization, enabling Rome to bring all of Italy under its domination. Special privileges were accorded to colonists, who considered themselves extensions of Rome itself, although in time all of the inhabitants of the Italian districts enjoyed full citizenship. The Senate was against foreign colonization and opposed even small settlements in Africa and Gaul, especially the colony established in 118 B.C. in GALLIA NARBONENSIS. Few further attempts were made until two figures arrived on the scene: Julius CAESAR and AUGUSTUS.
Caesar extended land grants to many of his veterans, and land in Africa and Italy was set aside for retired legionaries. Specifically, he settled his ex-soldiers in Campania (Italy), Carthage (Africa) and in Corinth (Greece), saving allotments of territory in Gallia Narbonensis and Gallia Transalpine for his VI and X Legions. Caesar made other colonial attempts overseas by moving large elements of the crowded Roman population into a variety of settlements from Corinth to Spain. Two types of colonist emerged: army veterans desirous of finding land on which to settle; and the unemployed, often poverty stricken Romans and Italians who were willing to go anywhere for better circumstances. Colonies thus gave the Empire both short- and long-term solutions to its problems. First, ex-soldiers could be satisfied, and the overpopulation at home could be resolved. Furthermore, once established, new colonies could provide economic power for Roman interests abroad. Finally, as it was policy not to recruit from native peoples for the army, the established Roman communities in Gaul, Spain, Africa and in the East could produce the needed recruits for centuries to come.
Augustus certainly understood this, for he pursued an aggressive process of colonization. He created settlements in the West and focused on Asia Minor to establish veterans in lush regions that were also troubled areas. Under Claudius, parts of Germania were appropriated at the expense of the local tribes. Other coloniae sprang up at least until the reign of Hadrian. From that time, new colonies were rare.
Essentially, a colony came into being when a group of Roman citizens, be they veterans or civilians, received from the state a grant of land in a province (or in Italy). The amount allotted to each colonist followed the regular plotting used as the standard throughout the Empire (CENTURIATION). Once measured, all the colonists' land received the prized status of IUS ITALICUM, in which no tribute was demanded because they were all citizens.
By the middle of the 3rd century A.D., imperial requirements for manpower were such that the provinces produced soldiers for the army. Cities in existence prior to Roman preeminence began to request the right to change their status. Non-Roman territories could rise to a better status in the provinces by acquiring the rank of colonia. Hadrian agreed to grant colonial privileges to Italica in Spain, his native home, and other municipia received not only the honorable IUS LATH but also the more valuable IUS Italicum.
An improved title did not necessarily guarantee full freedom, however. Thus when Caesarea became a colony under Vespasian, only its poll tax (tributum capitis) was dropped. It did not initially claim the IUS Italicum, and very few cities ever would. Caesarea finally gained its IUS status under Titus, and Utica, Carthage, and Lepcis Magna were so blessed by Caracalla. Equally, the designation coloniae civium Romanorum made such a district part of the provincial elite, ahead of the title MUNICIPIUM, and certainly superior to the communities of the PEREGRINI, or foreigners. The advantages were obvious, and in an Empire where commercial, social and administrative competition was fierce, it helped to have every conceivable edge.
¤ COLONUS See FARMING.
¤ COLOSSEUM The greatest structure erected during the age of the Flavian emperors (69-96 A.D.) and arguably the finest architectural achievement in the history of the Roman Empire. The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater, but it became known as the Colosseum after a colossal statue of Nero that once stood nearby. Its origins are to be found in the desire of the Emperor VESPASIAN to create for the Romans a stadium of such magnitude as to convince both them and the world of Rome's return to unquestioned power after the bitter civil war.
Construction began in 72 or 75 A.D. Vespasian chose as the site a large plot between the Caelian and Esquiline hills, near the lake of Stagnum Neronis and the GOLDEN HOUSE OF NERO. His intent was obvious - to transform the old residence of the despot Nero into a public place of joy and entertainment. He succeeded admirably, and his achievement would be supplemented in time by the Baths of Titus, built in order to use up the rest of the Golden House. The work proceeded feverishly and the tale that 30,000 Jews were pressed into service persists. Yet Vespasian did not live to see its completion. Titus took up the task in his reign, but it was Domitian who completed the structure sometime around 81 A.D. The official opening, however, was held on a festal day in 80. Titus presided over the ceremonies, which were followed by a prolonged gladiatorial show lasting for 100 days.
The Colosseum seated at least 45,000 to 55,000 people. Vespasian chose an elliptical shape in honor of the amphitheater of Curio, but this one was larger. There were three principal arcades, the intervals of which were filled with arched corridors, staircases, supporting substructures and finally the seats. Travertine stone was used throughout, although some brick, pumice and concrete proved effective in construction. The stones came from Albulae near Tivoli. The elliptically shaped walls were 620 feet by 507 feet wide at their long and short axes, the outer walls standing 157 feet high. The arena floor stretched 290 feet by 180 feet at its two axes. The dimensions of the Colosseum have changed slightly over the years, as war and disaster took their toll. Eighty arches opened onto the stands, and the columns employed throughout represented the various orders - Doric, Ionic and Corinthian - while the fourth story, the top floor, was set with Corinthian pilasters, installed with iron to hold them securely in place.
The seats were arranged in four different sections on the podium. The bottom seats belonged to the tribunes, senators and members of the Equestrian Order. The second and third sections were for the general citizenry and the lower classes, respectively. The final rows, near the upper arches, were used by the lower classes and many women. All of these public zones bore the name maeniana. Spectators in the upper seats saw clearly not only the games but were shaded by the velaria as well, awnings stretched across the exposed areas of the stadium to cover the public from the sun. The canvas and ropes were the responsibility of a large group of sailors from Misenum, stationed permanently in Rome for this sole purpose.
Every arch had a number corresponding to the tickets issued, and each ticket specifically listed the entrance, row and number of the seat belonging to the holder for that day. There were a number of restricted or specific entrances. Imperial spectators could enter and be escorted to their own box, although Commodus made himself an underground passage. Routinely, the excited fans took their seats very early in the morning and stayed throughout the day.
The stories told of the games and of the ingenious tricks used to enhance the performances and to entertain the mobs could rarely exaggerate the truth. Two of the most interesting events were the animal spectacles and the famed staged sea battles of Titus, both requiring special architectural devices. In the animal spectacles the cages were arranged so expertly that large groups of beasts could be led directly into the arena. Domitian added to the sublevels of the arena, putting in rooms and hinged trapdoors that allowed for changes of scenery and the logistical requirements of the various displays. As for the sea fights, while Suetonius reports that they were held instead in the artificial lake of Naumachia and not in the amphitheater, Die's account disagrees. The Colosseum did contain drains for the production of such naval shows, although they were not installed until the reign of Domitian. The abundance of water nearby made the filling of the Colosseum possible, although architecturally stressful. The drains routinely became clogged, causing extensive rot in the surrounding wood. The year 248 A.D. saw the last recorded, sea-oriented spectacle called a naumachia. (For more on the events held in the Colosseum, see GLADIATORS and LUDI.)
A number of other practical features were designed for the comfort of the thousands of spectators. Spouts could send out cool and scented streams of water on hot days, and vomitoria (oversized doors) were found at convenient spots for use by those wishing to relieve themselves of heavy foods. Aside from the statues adorning the arches, the Colosseum was solid, thick and as sturdy as the Empire liked to fancy itself. The structure was Vespasian's gift to the Romans, whose common saying remains to this day: "When the Colosseum falls, so falls Rome and all the world."
¤ COLUMELLA, LUCIUS JUNIUS MODERATUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) Agricultural writer who was a contemporary of Seneca. From Gades, he served in the legions but then embarked on a career of writing on horticulture and nature. His first notable effort was De re rustica (On Agriculture). In 12 books he examined the field, using Virgil's Georgics as a source and as an inspiration.
¤ COLUMNS Columns were erected by the Romans to honor and revere an individual or his achievements. Although they were not as popular as other commemorative monuments (see ARCHES), during the Republic they appeared frequently. During the Empire, several rulers designed massive columns, including:
Column of Trajan. Erected sometime between 108 and 113 A.D. to honor the emperor's great victory over the Dacians (101-106). Aside from a number of extant references in the Decian Commentaries and DIO, the column is the invaluable source of information on the conflict. It stood in the new FORUM TRAIANI and was some 100 feet high. In a spiraling design, the entire campaign unfolded through elaborate carvings and reliefs, cut from the finest available marble. Scenes of soldiers, Dacians, the Danube and battles dominated the curving outside of the structure, while Trajan's ashes were placed in the interior of the podium. A set of stairs led up to the top of the column, on which stood a statue nearly 30 feet high. Two libraries were constructed on either side of the column, one Greek, the other Latin. Column of Antoninus Pius. Placed in the Campus Martius; a monument that adhered closely to Antoninus's firm belief in the preservation of classicism in art.
The Column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome
Column of Marcus Aurelius. Dedicated in 193 A.D. and built by order of the emperor's son, COMMODUS, the column was placed in what is now the Piazza Colonna. It resembled very closely the Column of Trajan, although its base is considered to be better proportioned. Like Trajan's monument, the column was carved with a series of magnificent reliefs spiraling along the shaft and depicting the wars raging along the Danube from 167 to 179. The battles grimly represented involved hardship and blood, with fallen legionaries alongside barbarians. The story of the "Miracle Rain" was carved into the column, the thunderstorms that proved to be so providential and beneficial to the Romans during one of these battles. Marcus himself appeared in the same harsh, somber relief as the rest of the figures. The monument came to be known as the Antonine Column. The column's base was repaired in 1589 A.D.
¤ COMANA (1) Town in CAPPADOCIA whose importance derived from its temples and the power of its high priests. These clerics ruled land and faithful, but the town attracted merchants and markets. In time the influx of new people helped break the priests' hold, and under VESPASIAN, Comana received a charter as part of a province.
¤ COMANA (2) City in the kingdom of PONTUS. Comana was the seat of the state religion, and the high priest there exercised considerable power. The strength of the religion faded after Pontus was annexed by Rome in the reign of Augustus (27 B.C.-14 A.D.).
¤ COMES Title given to a high-ranking military or administrative figure in the Late Empire. As the court developed in size and in influence, the emperors established a casual practice of appointing loyal servants to various posts. This process had already been utilized elsewhere, as with the PREFECT OF THE PRAETORIAN GUARD and the AMICI PRINCIPIS. As the imperial system expanded, however, new offices were needed and centralization demanded change. The result was the creation of the rank of "comes" or count.
The comites (counts) became the leading officials of the Roman Empire. They wielded posts of every description, from the army to the civil service, while never surrendering their direct links and access to the emperors. Constantine took the final step of certifying the posts so that they were permanent fixtures of imperial government. The following is a list of the various types of comes:
Comes Africae -> Count in charge of the defense of Roman Africa.
Comes Avernorum -> Count in charge of the defenses of part of Gaul (GALLIA)
Comes Britanniarum -> Count in charge of the defense of Roman Britain (BRITANNIA). This post presumably died out circa 410 A.D., when the last Romans in the isles sailed away forever.
Comes dispositionum -> A deputy to the very powerful MAGISTER officiorum (master of offices); responsible for organizing the imperial calendar and preparing the correspondence for distribution to the proper offices for transcription.
Comes domesticorum -> Head of the DOMESTICI, the imperial bodyguards of the emperor who were stationed in the palace. This count controlled both the horse and foot units.
Comes Hispaniarum -> Count in charge of the defense of Roman Spain (HISPANIA).
Comes Orientis -> Actually a member of the VICARII, this count had control of the large diocese of ORIENS.
Comes privatae largitionis -> Official in charge of the privy purse, answerable and subordinate to the comes rerum privatarum.
Comes rerum privatarum -> Powerful imperial official responsible for the private estates or holdings of the emperor and his family (RES PRIVATA). The count maintained the properties and collected all money from rent, of which most went to the public funds and some to the privy purse administered by the comes privatae largitionis.
Comes sacrarum largitionum -> Master of the Sacred Largesse, this count operated the imperial finances. He controlled all of the mints, collected senatorial taxes, custom duties and some of the land taxes. He was also responsible for the yields of mines. The count provided budgets for the civil service and armies and supplied all uniforms. See also RATIONALIS; A RATIONALIS; FISCUS; and FINANCE.
Comes SACRAE VESTIS -> Count in charge of the wardrobe of the emperor. See also PRAEPOSITUS sacri cubiculi.
¤ COMITATENSES One of the divisions of the army of the Late Roman Empire, forming a strong mobile force at the disposal of the emperor. In effect, these were field troops, as compared to the LIMITANEI and PALATINI, the border and bodyguards respectively. For a detailed examination, see LEGIONS.
¤ COMITATES Names given to the retinue of the emperor when he was in the field. These were the troops who actually accompanied the ruler on military campaigns. Service was distinctly more enjoyable than that on the frontiers. Composition of the comitates came from the COMITATENSES. See LEGIONS.
¤ COMITES See COMES.
¤ COMITIA TRIBUTA Venerable Republican institution empowered for centuries with the right to elect magistrates and to pass laws. It remained in existence into the imperial age but lost influence with the increasing authority of the emperors and eventually ceased to exist.
¤ COMMAGENE Small Euphrates-based kingdom of Seleucid origin, located between Armenia and Cilicia. Commagene survived the fall of the Seleucids in Syria and came to the attention of Rome in 63 B.C., when POMPEY THE GREAT reorganized the East. Antiochus I, the ruler of Comma-gene, was allowed to remain on the throne as a buffer between the Parthians and the Romans. His position, however, drew his kingdom into the wider conflict between those powers. Antiochus leaned toward PARTHIA, and in 36 B.C., during Marc Antony's ill-fated campaign, he gave aid to the retreating Parthians. Antiochus was thus deposed by the Romans in favor of his brother, Mithridates II.
Roman influence in the kingdom grew over the next decades. Mithridates and another notable monarch, Antiochus III, reigned over a troubled land as parties both internally and externally called for imperial annexation. In 17 A.D., Antiochus HI died, and Commagene was placed under the control of praetors by Emperor Tiberius - Quintus Servius being the first. In 37 A.D., GAIUS CALIGULA returned the realm to its rightful claimants. Antiochus IV received back his kingdom, to which was added parts of Cilicia and Lycaonia, plus the sum of 100 million sesterces. Caligula proved an unreliable patron. In 40 he expelled the cruel Antiochus, not out of disappointment with his rule (he liked him) but because he wanted his money back. Claudius reinstated Antiochus, and the entire kingdom supported Rome in its next war against Parthia in 57. Emperor Vespasian decided to return to Tiberius' policies toward Commagene. In 72, he annexed small domains in the region and Commagene was among them. It was attached to the province of SYRIA.
¤ COMMIUS (fl. 1st century B.C.) King of the Trebates, the Belgic tribe also called Atrebates. Commius owed his kingship to Julius CAESAR and was, for as long as possible, his trusted ally. The Belgae had both communications and colonies in Britain, a fact not lost on Caesar as he planned his expedition to the isles in 55 B.C. Commius received a request to sail across the Channel to encourage the local British tribes to submit peacefully to Rome. His mission was a disaster, however, and Commius found himself imprisoned by the tribes in the region of Kent. Caesar landed, fought and won a few victories before Commius was released. He returned to his own land.
Much of Gaul planned to revolt against Rome. Commius joined the organizers, intending to bring with him the entire nation of Gallia Belgica. Labienus, Caesar's able lieutentant, discovered the plot and tried to remove Commius through murder. The Roman assassination failed, but Commius suffered a grievous injury, which aborted the involvement of his people in the uprising. Following the conclusion of the Gallic revolt, circa 51 B.C., Caesar aided a Belgic warlord, Correus, in stirring up dissent among the tribes of Gallia Belgica, although Correus is best known for his later opposition to Caesar. He died in an ambush during a revolt of the Belloraci. Caesar moved quickly against them, forcing Commius to settle with his old Roman ally. By 50 B.C. Commius was resolved to leave the land of Roman occupation. Commius sailed across the Channel again, this time as a free king in search of a domain. Commius settled near the Thames River and founded a dynasty in southern Britain, in coordination with the other Celtic tribes already there.
¤ COMMODIAN (fl. 3rd century A.D.) Christian poet who authored two long poems, in loosely written hexameters but varying in quality and in accent. He probably came from Gaza and was a convert to Christianity, accepting the faith with great fanaticism.
Commodus, From A Bust of The Emeror as Hercules
COMMODUS (Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus) (161-192 A.D.) Emperor from 180 to 192 A.D. Aurelius Commodus proved to be an unworthy successor to his illustrious father, MARCUS AURELIUS. Born at Lanuvium as one of a pair of twins to Faustina (his brother died in 165), he was named Commodus after the original name of his adoptive uncle Lucius Verus. His education was the finest available for an imperial heir and, beginning in 166, Marcus Aurelius groomed him for the throne. In that year he was made Caesar (junior emperor), 10 years later imperator and in 177, Augustus (coruler of the Empire).
From 177 to 180, Commodus studied under his father the art of statecraft in the field. Marcus Aurelius was managing the mammoth affairs of the Empire while conducting a war with the Marcomanni on the Danube. The aged emperor's health finally collapsed, however, and on March 17,180, Commodus succeeded to the throne at Vienna. At only 19, the new ruler at first wisely listened to the advisors of his late father but then started to give in to the flattery and intrigue of those courtiers who wanted to abandon the campaign and return home. The result was Commodus' first major, independent decision. He suspended the war along the Danube, which also meant that Rome's territorial ambitions had to be curbed. Commodus opted for a triumphal entry into Rome. Despite the pleas of his father's counselors, he returned to the capital, buying off the Marcomanni and other Germanic tribes with tributes and concessions, a policy that proved successful for a time.
Shortly after his arrival in Rome, Commodus uncovered supposed plots against him, all hatched within the palace and even within his own family. His sister, Annia Lucilla, her cousin, Ummidius Quadratus, and her nephew-in-law, Quintianus, were all accused of conspiracy. Quadratus and Quintianus died immediately. Lucilla was exiled to Capri and later executed. Commodus was not satisfied with these deaths and became convinced that one of his two prefects of the PRAETORIAN GUARD, Tarrutenius Paternus, had also been a member of the conspiracy. Paternus joined the others in death.
The trend of Commodus' reign was set with Paternus' fall, for the successor in his power and rank was Tigidius PERENNIS, who had been his coprefect. Perennis was the first of several court officials who would gain considerable influence over the unstable emperor. Perennis allowed his master to indulge his taste for games and suspicion while he ran the Empire virtually unchallenged. His sons received posts in Pannonia, while the prefect himself came to be hated by his court rivals. Inevitably he perished, in 185, along with his sons.
Marcus Aurelius CLEANDER followed him in imperial favor. A freedman, Cleander outmaneuvered his fellow prefects and tried to elevate himself even further by hoarding imperial grain. Riots broke out in Rome, and an indication of Commodus' casual rule was demonstrated by his near total ignorance of the city's upheavals. Alerted finally by his sister, phadilla, his response was simple. He cut off Cleander's head and gave it to the crowd on a stick. Following Cleander's decapitation in 186, Aemilius Laetus took control of the Guard and watched Commodus deteriorate steadily. Dio called him a greater curse upon the Romans than any plague, and the Senate especially felt his hatred and suspicions. Commodus killed its members and seized their property at every opportunity, extorting money in return for keeping accused persons alive. The imperial treasury was being drained, and he found extreme means of refilling his purse.
He loved games of every sort and once ran 30 races in two hours. His true passion, however, was for gladiatorial exhibitions and athletic prowess. Animals of every description were slaughtered in groups; his excesses culminating in a 14-day bloodbath of races, gladiators and massacres. For Commodus the games were a great personal triumph, fostering his own belief in his superiority.
Commodus believed himself to be Hercules reincarnated and a fighter worthy of heroic legend. Rome was renamed Commodianus, and the legions became known as Commodian. Another plot was formed against Commodus as a result. This time Laetus and the Chamberlain Eclectus were involved. Buoyed by Commodus' declaration that at his inauguration as consul on January 1, 193, he would march in full gladiatorial costume (he normally wore a lion skin and carried a club), even his concubine, Marcia, joined in the plot. They attempted to poison him but he showed every indication of surviving that attack. A wrestling companion was then brought to him to put an end to his life and reign. The companion, Narcissus, strangled Commodus in his bath on the night of January 31, 192.
The main historical event of his reign took place in Britain, where, in 184, the Antonine Wall was breached by the Caledonians. Ulpius Marcellus had to campaign three times in order to evict the invaders. Commodus' body was placed in the mausoleum of Hadrian as the Senate greeted the news of his death with glee. The first natural heir to succeed to the throne, Commodus bequeathed chaos to coming generations. Pertinax followed him as emperor, but only a short time later the Empire would be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
¤ CONCILIA The councils (singular, concilium) of each province, established to keep Rome informed of regional needs and problems and to propagate the cult of Rome and the emperors. Under the Republic the occupied territories had no voice with which to express opinions or complaints, except for infrequent and ineffective delegations of local officials. The first emperor, Augustus, desired channels of communication with the provinces when his reign began (27 B.C.). He took steps to ensure that most provinces possessed a board or congress of some sort, and the result was the concilia.
The concilia fulfilled two major functions. Augustus believed that the Empire should be efficient, yet allow a certain amount of native self-expression in a given region, coupled with participation in the grand imperial framework of events and policies. The concilia in each territory provided both the voice of the province and the means by which the IMPERIAL CULT could be fostered.
The concilia (or koina in the East) were not wholly new. They had existed in some form in various kingdoms of Asia Minor, and even Julius Caesar had summoned notable tribal chiefs to participate in a conference in Gaul. In the West, however, the form of councils was less known and hence more malleable to Roman influence.
One of the first concilia in the West originated in 12 B.C. in Gallia Comata. By the time Vespasian ruled the Roman world (69-79 A.D.), all of the various parts of the Empire had councils. Exceptions to this were Egypt and those groups of provinces (such as in Gaul) where one congress represented a broad stretch of interests and concerns along racial or cultural lines, rather than political ones.
Delegates from each city traveled to a major center and elected its concilium and an officer to serve as president. The council head administered secular affairs and directed the annual grand festival, with games, in honor of Rome and the emperor. Regular business would also be conducted and dispatches to Rome drafted. Such dispatches proved invaluable in the 1st century A.D. in providing an accurate assessment of the provinces. Also, governors found themselves suddenly answerable to the Senate and the emperor for administering affairs incorrectly or harshly. In 23 A.D., for example, Lucilius Capito, procurator of Asia, was accused and tried for overstepping his authority. The concilia lacked basic powers, however. The members could not enact legislation and relied upon imperial goodwill in all matters. When the emperor became isolated or absent, as in years of crisis, the role of the concilia declined.
¤ CONDIANUS, SEXTUS QUINTILIUS See the QUINTILII BROTHERS.
¤ CONDRUSI Germanic people residing in Gallia Belgica. They were clients of the TREVIRI.
¤ CONDUCTORES See FARMING.
¤ CONGIARIUM Name originally given to the gifts of oil, wine or other goods distributed to the general populace by public officials. During the Empire it became the custom for rulers to make most gifts in money upon the occasion of a great victory, an imperial birthday or some other public celebration.
¤ CONSILIUM PRINCIPIS Name given to the Council of State, the body of advisors who helped the emperors decide important legal and administrative matters until the beginning of the 4th century A.D. A tradition actually starting in the Republic and carried on by the emperors, Augustus made it a habit to call together senators, equestrians and friends (amid Caesaris).
Tiberius had his own board, which appealed to him to hand over PISO to the Senate in 20 A.D. He also added several legal experts, a precedent followed by Claudius. It was Hadrian, however, who widened the legal jurisdiction of the Consilium and opened it to greater membership on the part of jurists. Legal technicians such as Julian, Papinian and Ulpian found their roles expanded in direct proportion to the judicial demands of the growing imperial administration. Severus Alexander (ruled 222-235 A.D.) further organized his Consilium by having a regular number of 70 members, including senators, Equestrians and some 20 priests. The Equestrians played a major role, no more so than in their most important officeholder, the Praetorian prefect. Not only were the prefects powerful legal administrators (Ulpian and Papinian were officeholders), but by the middle of the 3rd century A.D. they ran the affairs of the Consilium by virtue of their political positions and their special role of amid prindpis. Diocletian changed the entire council when he created the consistorium.
¤ CONSISTORIUM The council of advisors during the reigns of Diocletian, Constantine and their successors. The consistorium evolved out of the CONSILIUM PRINCIPIS of the Early and Middle Empire but differed in several ways from its predecessor. In the past, appointments were made in an ad hoc fashion; members were summoned to deal with a crisis, and their powers lasted only for the duration of that emergency. The new council had fixed members with permanent roles. This policy reflected the purposeful reorganization of the imperial court.
Members of the consistorium included all major officers of the Empire. There were the MAGISTER OFFICIORUM (master of offices), the comes rerum privatarum (master of the privy purse), the praefectus praetorio praesens (Praetorian prefect of the capital), the PRAEPOSITUS SACRI CUBICULI (grand chamberlain), the comes sacrarum largitionum (master of the sacred largesse), the QUAESTOR SACRI PALATII (imperial legal advisor) and minor officials. The emperor normally presided over the meetings, but in his absence the quaestor was in charge, reporting to the emperor all decisions and inspecting the minutes taken down by the NOT ARU. Membership was influential, and the name consistorians was granted to each one. Constantine called the council the sacrum consistorium to differentiate it from the Consilium prindpis. As the name would indicate, the consistorium stood in the emperor's presence while the old Consilium sat.
¤ CONSTANS, FLAVIUS JULIUS (320-350 A.D.) Emperor of Italy, Illyricum and Africa from 337 to 350 A.D.; the youngest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta, he shared in the division of the Empire into three parts, with his brothers Constantine II and Constantius II as partners. His designated territory included Italy, Illyricum and Africa, although for a time he also controlled Greece and Constantinople. Constans' brother, Constantine II, coveted Italy, and in 340 marched against the capital while Constans was away. The conflict between the two had been growing; Constans had even given Constantinople back to his other brother, Constantius, in 339 in hopes of winning his support. It proved unnecessary, for the legions of Constantine were crushed near Aquileia in 340, and Constantine died.
Two brothers now owned the world, and trouble flared between them immediately. They quarreled bitterly over Christian doctrines, with Constantius favoring the Arians and Constans the tenets of the Nicene Creed. Constans championed the anti-Arian cause of Athanasius, especially at the Council of Serdica in 342. A reconciliation was made in 346.
Constans kept busy with campaigns and with travels throughout his lands. He crushed the Franks in 342 and visited Britain in 343, the last emperor to do so. His reign, according to the historian Aurelius Victor, was tyrannical and unpopular, especially among the military. In 350, an officer named Magnentius rebelled, and Constans fled. Soldiers caught up with him and put him to death.
¤ CONSTANTIA (fl. early 4th century A.D.) Wife of the co-emperor Licinianus LICINIUS, from 313 to 325 A.D. Constantia was the daughter of Emperor Constantius I and Theodora, and the sister of CONSTANTINE the Great. Her marriage to Licinius came about as a result of political expediency, as Constantine and Licinius united against the influence of the other emperors of their era, Maxentius and Maximin Daia. The bethrothal was made in 310 and the wedding was held at Mediolanum (Milan) in 313.
Little is known of her marriage. A child was born to the couple, but great events overshadowed its life. In 323-324, war erupted between Licinius and her brother, culminating in Constantine's victory at the battle of ADRIANOPLE. Constantia pleaded for her husband's life, and Constantine relented, exiling Licinius to Salonica. A year later Licinius was put to death. His son was killed in 326. Constantia henceforth lived in the palace as a widow. Her relations with Constantine were good; she convinced him to hear Arius (she was one of his followers) and to accept her confessor, an Arian, as part of a deathbed wish.
¤ CONSTANTINA (d. 354 A.D.) Known also as Constantia, she was the daughter of CONSTANTINE the Great and wife of her cousin, King Hannibalianus (335-337), and then wife of another cousin, Gallus Caesar (351-354). After the end of her marriage to Hannibalianus, who was the king of Armenia and Pontus, she returned to the West and played a part in the events following the death of her brother Constans in 350.
Fearing the rise of Magnentius in Gaul, Constantine persuaded the aged MAGISTER PEDITUM, Vetranio, to help contain the ursurper. Subsequently she was married to Gallus Caesar, recently elevated to that title by Constantius II. The new couple traveled east to maintain the Syrian region for Constantius while he moved against Magnentius.
Gallus proved to be cruel and incompetent, and Constantina earned the reputation of being a wicked abettor of his crimes. Ammianus Marcellinus called her one of the Furies, insatiable for blood, and an expert in causing harm and unhappiness. Appalled at events in the East, Constantius recalled Gallus Caesar after a palace revolt. Constantina set out to defend her husband but died in Bithynia in 354, before she could help. Gallus soon joined her.
¤ CONSTANTINE ("the Great," Flavius Valerius Constantinus) (c. 285-337 A.D.) Joint emperor from 306 to 323 and sole emperor from 324 to 337. Flavius Valerius Constantinus transformed the Roman Empire and helped shape the future course of Western civilization.
Constantine was born at Naissus in Upper Dacia, to CONSTANTIUS i CHLORUS and an innkeeper's daughter, Helena. He received a good education and served at the court of DIOCLETIAN after 293, when Contantius became a Caesar (junior emperor) in the TETRARCHY. As a soldier he displayed some skill and joined the other Caesar, GALERIUS, in his campaigns against the Persians. Galerius kept Constantine attached to his staff as a comfortable hostage until 305, when the two AUGUSTI (senior emperors), Diocletian and MAXIMIAN, abdicated in favor of the two Caesars.
In 306, trouble in Britain caused Constantine to travel to join his father in Gaul; they crossed the Channel and made war on the Picts. Constantius died at Eburacum (York) on July 25, 306, and with the legions on hand, Constantine was declared his heir. Galerius received word and with little choice accepted Constantine's rise. He insisted that Constantine be elevated only to the rank of Caesar, however, not that of Augustus. The new Caesar maneuvered around the title by marrying FAUSTA, the daughter of the retired Emperor Maximian, and gaining his blessing to be Augustus over Britain and Gaul.
In 306, Maximian's son, MAXENTIUS, usurped control of Rome, and Constantine made an alliance immediately as a counter to the considerable influence of Galerius in the East. Three years later he was dragged into the quarrels between Maximian and his son, granting sanctuary to the father in Gaul when he was evicted from Italy.
After an unsuccessful conference at Carnuntum in 308, at which time Galerius tried to strip him of his title, Constantine launched several expeditions against the Alamanni and the Franks along the Rhine. Further campaigns in German territory were cut short when word arrived that Maximian had tried to seize power and was cornered in Massilia. Constantine immediately besieged him, compelled him to surrender and probably put him to death in 310. After disposing of his father-in-law, Constantine felt the need to rehabilitate his family origins. He decided that a direct, hereditary line to Emperor CLAUDIUS n GOTHICUS would supply the needed legitimacy; this claim was perpetuated by the vast imperial machine. Maximian's demise was joined in 311 by that of Galerius. Four main potentates now ruled the world: Constantine in Gaul and Britain as well as in Spain; Maxentius in Italy and parts of Africa; LICINIUS in the Danube area; and Maximin Daia (Maximinus II Daia) in the East.
Constantine and Licinius formed an uneasy alliance against Maximin Daia and Maxentius, and in 312 hostilities erupted when Constantine took the chance of marching against Maxentius. His legions pressed over the Alps, and in a series of victories he pushed Maxentius to the very gates of Rome. There, in a bloody struggle, the future of the Empire was decided on October 28 at the battle of MILVIAN BRIDGE. Constantine proved victorious and entered the Eternal City. Licinius greeted the success of his ally with enthusiasm. In 313 he married Constantine's sister CONSTANTIA and set out with an army to destroy Maximin Daia. Two emperors now controlled the East and the West, but even this proved one too many.
By 316, new struggles gripped the Roman world as Constantine and Licinius vied for control of the Balkans. Victory for Constantine in one battle was not followed by a string of successes, and a temporary peace established new frontiers. In 323, Constantine made war upon the Goths in the Danube area, using his pursuit of the enemy as an excuse to openly violate the borders. The following year a final campaign was launched, and Constantine and Licinius collided at ADRIANOPLE on July 3, 324. Licinius' army broke; after losing at sea on September 8 of that year, he surrendered. The Roman Empire was now in the hands of one man.
Diocletian had started the many processes of centralization, and Constantine first embraced them and then expanded on them. First he subjected the bureaucracy to a massive overhaul. All ministries were under the command of the MAGISTER OFFICIORUM (master of offices), who supervised the rapidly centralized government. Although this trend had been toward a greater imperial authority, under Constantine's direction the bureaus grew even weightier, more demanding but more efficient.
Officers of the civil service rose in rank to wield influence and titles. Finances were administered by the COMES sacRarum largitionum (Count of the Sacred Largesse) and the comes privatae largitionis (Count of the Privy Purse) (see COMES). In legal matters Constantine relied upon the Jurists and his quaester sacri palati (chief legal advisor). All of these reforms found body and substance in the altered CONSILIUM PRINCIPIS, now called the CONSISTORIUM. This council of permanent magistrates and ministers framed the legislative enactments of the imperial will and brought all of the provinces under control. The regions of the Empire were still under the authority of prefectures, but the prefects themselves were more answerable to the imperial house, and the functions of these offices were altered.
Following the battle at Milvian Bridge, Constantine destroyed the CASTRA PRAETORIA, the centuries-old barracks of the PRAETORIAN GUARD. The Praetorians were disbanded and their prefects stripped of military duties. They retained their political and legal powers, however, overseeing the DIOCESE of the prefecture. In the place of the Guard, the DOMESTICI of Diocletian, along with the PALA-TINI, emerged as the military powers.
Now Constantine recognized the need to make a parallel military structure that would mirror the improved governmental body. He thus organized the army into two main classes, the COMITATENSES and the LIMITANEI. The comitatenses was the emperor's mobile army. The limitanei stood as the static frontier troops, ready to defend the imperial domains. This military machine was entrusted by Constantine to very reliable officers: the MAGISTER MILITUM (master of soldiers), the MAGISTER PEDITUM (master of infantry) and MAGISTER EQUITUM (master of cavalry). Although supposedly under the watchful eyes of the rulers, in the late 4th century and during the 5th century, the magister militum would seize unequalled supremacy in the Western Empire and considerable power in the Eastern.
Constantine thus succeeded in concretizing the separation between his government, or administration, and the military and sought a new capital city in the East to secure his enlarged frontiers. Constantine settled upon a site that was well situated both east and west. It possessed a splendid harbor and rested on the great continental dividing line, the Bosporus. The city was Byzantium, and between 324 and 330, it changed into the great Christian city, CONSTANTINOPLE. According to legend, Constantine walked out the dimensions of the city personally, with the Spear of LONGINUS in hand, stopping only when the voice of God told him he had measured enough area. Such stories maintained Constantine's personal sense of debt to the God of the Christians. In 312, his conversion had already begun, and he attributed his victory at Milvian Bridge to this deity's intervention. The imperial world henceforth would be a Christian one.
In 313, Constantine had agreed with Licinius to cease all persecution of Christians. With his great EDICT OF MILAN, a more comprehensive decree than the Edict of Serdica, Constantine became a patron of Christianity and, in many ways, its head. It was he who influenced the proceedings of the council at Aries in 314, and especially that at Nicaea in 325, and it was he who fought the heresies of DONATUS and ARIUS. Christianity was encouraged in the government, the masses and the army. Great edifices were constructed in Rome and in Constantinople, and this new city represented the temporal power of the creed. Finally, in May of 337, Constantine himself was baptized.
Constantine's personal life was troubled. With his wife Minervina he had a son Crispus, and then with Fausta had three more sons: CONSTANTINE II, CONSTANTIUS II and CONSTANS. In 326, Constantine executed Crispus at Pola, while on his way to Italy, and a little later put Fausta to death by suffocation for allegedly having an affair. The question of succession, however, plagued him.
With three sons, civil war after his death would have been unavoidable, hence the division of the Empire into three parts, a move that only delayed the inevitable conflict among the siblings. Furthermore, Constantine's death in 337 touched off a pogrom in the palace; much of his family faced extermination to reduce the number of groups of influence so common during his reign. Constantine's institutions, however, were so solid and so organized that they would survive civil wars, barbarian invasions, theological conflagrations and incompetent emperors. In the West the Empire would last another century, while Constantinople stood for a millennium.
Constantine was described as pious, intelligent and dignified by his biographer EUSEBIUS. He certainly excelled intellectually, not necessarily in philosophy or theology but in the ways of war and in the art of leading others. A ruthless character was tempered by the Christian doctrine. A complex personality, Constantine stood as the cornerstone of a new age. See also CHRISTIANITY; for other reforms, see also COINAGE; FINANCE.
¤ CONSTANTINE II (317-340 A.D.) Joint emperor from 337 to 340 A.D. The son of CONSTANTINE the Great and Fausta, the eldest of three, he was born at Aries. Named a Caesar and eventually sharing in the division of the Empire upon his father's death in 337, Constantine II joined his brothers CONSTANTIUS n and CONSTANS as masters of the world. He received Gaul, Britain, Spain and a small part of Africa. He was never fully satisfied, coveting the territories of Constans in Italy and Constantius in the East. In 340, Constantine II marched on Constans but suffered defeat in a battle near Aquileia and died.
¤ CONSTANTINE III (d. 411 A.D.) The third usurper proclaimed by the legions of Britain in 407 A.D. Constantine III was a common soldier with a fortuitous name. He succeeded the murdered Marcus and Gratian as leader of the legions in the isles. Hoping to ensure his own position, he sailed to Gaul with a large army. Without any competent general in Gaul to resist him, he seized both the region and the troops. His rule over Gaul proved competent, inflicting defeats upon the local barbarians and negotiating agreements with the Alamanni and probably the Burgundians. HONORIUS, emperor of the West, finally took notice when the major city of Aries fell to the usurper, who then marched on Spain. The only response Honorius could make was to accept an offer to legitimize Constantine's claim to rule his conquered lands. An attempt to enter Italy proved unsuccessful, and in 411, Constantine's trusted general in Spain, Gerontius, rebelled. Gerontius elevated his own candidate for emperor, Maximus. He then invaded Gaul, killing Constantine's first-born son Constans at Vienne and besieging Constantine and his other son, Julian, at Aries. Honorius took up the siege, sending his MAGISTER MILITUM, Constantius, to take command. Hoping to save himself, Constantine fled to the sanctuary of the church, was ordained a priest and surrendered to the mercy of Honorius. Disregarding the clerical robes, the emperor put Constantine to death in September of 411.
¤ CONSTANTINOPLE Capital of the Eastern Roman Empire; replacing Rome as the heart of imperial power, it maintained influence and stability in the face of the decline of the West.
In 324 A.D., CONSTANTINE the Great defeated rival Emperor LICINIUS at the battle of ADRIANOPLE, laying claim to sole mastery over the entire Roman Empire. He recognized the need for a new capital to replace Rome, which could no longer serve as the center of defense for the widely spread frontiers on the Rhine and Danube and in the East. A new location had to be found, one easily fortified and centrally situated. In addition, Constantine planned not only to expand Diocletian's sweeping reforms but also envisioned an entirely new world for mankind and planned to overcome the dangerous influences of Rome, which had destroyed other emperors, by establishing a new model for the Empire. At the same time, Rome stood for the paganism of centuries, and Constantine's faith demanded a new setting, where Christianity could flourish.
Bithynia and Nicomedia and other places in Asia had appeal, but none could be defended adequately, and some even presented themselves as targets for Persian attack. Constantine decided on Byzantium, a small city on the edge of the Golden Horn, on the Strait of the Bosporus, a bridge between East and West. Legendary accounts state that Constantine arrived there in November of 324 to march off the measurements for the extended building program, his yardstick being the "Hand of God." Using the Lance of LONGINUS, the relic that was reported to have pierced the side of Christ while he was on the cross, the emperor started walking from Byzantium; when he stopped two miles later, he gave orders to start construction. Constantinople had seven hills and 14 quarters, as did Rome, and like that city it could not be built in a day. Six years of work followed its founding, and it was not until May 11, 330, that Constantine could declare the construction completed, and officially renamed the city, although changes and modifications never ceased.
Byzantium had been a small community set on a promontory between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. In 194, the town had become embroiled in the war between the imperial claimants Septimius SEVERUS and PESCENNIUS NIGER. After a long and bitter siege, Severus took the walls, and the town fell and suffered the humiliations of defeat. Constantine chose the site, in part because the rocks along its southern shore crushed vessels attempting to land outside the harbor, and the currents of the Bosporus made navigation difficult and sinkings frequent. About 3 1/2 miles at its widest, the circumference of the city was some 15 miles. Constantine erected his new edifices around the original structures, eventually called the Augusteum, in honor of his mother Helena.
As the most prominent part of the jutting land mass and the most easily defended, the Augusteum became the spoke in a circle of urban growth that housed the most important offices of state. Nearby were the imperial palaces, the hippodrome and several of the great forums. The emperors and their families resided in the palaces, accompanied by government bureaucrats and ministers, the SCRINARII. Also, the CONSISTORIUM met there, and close by the Senate convened. The hippodrome served as the entertainment center for all residents. Smaller than the Circus Maximus, on which it was based, the hippodrome offered great games, chariot races and lavish spectacles, and seated over 60,000.
In the finest Roman tradition, several forums were erected to allow public assemblies and shopping areas, and no expense was spared in bringing the finest artisans and intellectuals to the city. As in Rome, columns adorned the skyline. In the Forum of Constantine the emperor was made eternal, with his own head mounted on top of a statue of Apollo at the peak of a column. In the Forum Tauri (from the reign of THEODOSIUS I), one of the emperor's columns towered above the landscape. Other monuments in the city included those dedicated to ARCADIUS, Aelia EUDOXIA and MARCIAN, as well as those of JUSTINIAN, of a later era. Near the Forum Tauri was the city's seat of learning, the Capitolium. There young from the various provinces studied under the foremost rhetoricians, grammarians, philosophers and academicians of the time. In 425, THEODOSIUS n certified the University of Constantinople, which rivaled those of Antioch, Alexandria and, of course, Athens.
Three periods of growth took place within its borders. The first, from 324 to 330, was when Constantine's Wall established the perimeters from the Propontis to the Golden Horn. The second was from 330 to about 413, when the population expanded beyond the walls and into the adjoining eastern districts. The last period of growth was from 413 to a time well beyond the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, when the walls established newer and wider borders.
Access could be gained through the ports, harbors or gates. The Golden Horn entrances included posts along the seawall and in the harbor of Prosphorion. Two main harbors served Propontis, the Theodosius and the Julian. Chains could be used to seal off the mouths of these harbors. As for the walls, the grand portal of Constantine's Wall was the Golden Gate. Built by Theodosius I, the gate commemorated his victory over Maximus the usurper in 388. A second Golden Gate loomed at the southern end of the Anthemian Walls (eventually renamed in honor of Theodosius). In the wider series of fortifications, the gates could be used either by the civilian population or the military, depending upon classification. There were five entrances for the army and numerous ones for everyone else. Entering the Golden Gate, a traveler would proceed north along the Middle Way, the road cutting through the city all the way to the Church of Saint Sophia. It crossed the Lycus River near the harbor of Theodosius and passed through most of the forums and many of the other buildings of importance, including the hippodrome and the Great Palace and the Palace of Hormisdas, constructed during Constantine's reign to house a Persian prince.
As the center of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople had a population to rival Rome's - anywhere from 500,000 to 800,000 people. Aqueducts supplied the water needs, and Egypt's fields provided the food. When the number of inhabitants began to outgrow the original boundaries of the city, towns such as Chrysopolis and Chalcedon could assume some of the population burdens. But a more permanent solution had to be found. At the same time, Constantinople needed even more defensive strength in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D., as barbarians pillaged in the West and turned on the eastern borders.
Thus, in the first years of the reign of young Theodosius II, his Praetorian Prefect ANTHEMIUS took upon himself (c. 408-414) the task of creating the strong fortifications still standing today. Anthemius placed the new wall approximately one mile to the west, along a wider line. Towers and gates, both civil and military, and fortified positions dotted this new structure.
Cyrus, a popular Praetorian prefect and prefect of the city (439-441), extended the northern wall. No longer relying upon the Blachernae Palace for an anchor, it was linked to the seawall, defending the approaches to the city along the entire coastline. In the middle of the 5th century, a violent earthquake (not uncommon) shook the walls, and a Praetorian prefect by the name of Constantine ordered repairs to be made immediately. Another, smaller outer wall was added. The capacity to withstand attack became essential during the chaotic era of the 4th century. The Huns remained as a constant threat to Constantinople, as did other barbarian tribes. But the city served as a constant bulwark throughout the Late Roman Empire.
Constantine had built his city as a point from which Christianity could spread to the entire world. Thus the city became a center of churches, reflecting the changes within the Roman Empire. The greatest religious structure was Saint Sophia's Church. Finished around 360, it represented the ideal of Great Wisdom. The church stood until the time of Justinian (ruled 527-565), when the Nika Revolt destroyed it. Its successor was greater than the original. Other magnificent churches included (through the ages) the Holy Apostles, St. Euphemia, Theotokos, St. Irene, St. Thomas, St. Laurentius, St. Diamed, and Theotokos Hodegetria, among others.
A bastion of spiritual authority, Constantinople played a significant role in the evolution of Christian doctrine. From its thrones the emperors and empresses directed the implementation of Christianity as the religion of the state. And in bitter theological feuds with such heresies as ARIANISM, Donatism and Novatianism, the patriarch of Constantinople vied for influence with the emperors, as Antioch, Alexandria and Rome formed joint and competing alliances.
Theodosius I summoned the Council of Constantinople in 381 to reaffirm the Nicene Creed. Theodosius II listened to both sides of a dispute over the nature of Christ but succumbed to the bribes and threats of CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA over the Nestorians.
Constantinople remained the capital of the Eastern Empire until the fall of the West circa 476, and served as the home of the Byzantine rulers until 1453. In that year, it was finally captured by the Turks.
¤ CONSTANTIUS I CHLORUS (d. 306 A.D.) Joint emperor in the West from 293 to 306 A.D.; one of the founders of the new imperial system of Diocletian (the TETRACHY). He probably came from the Danube region and was not a descendant of Claudius II Gothicus, as would be claimed by his self-legitimizing son, CONSTANTINE the Great. Embarking on a career in the army, Constantius I became the governor of Dalmatia and then, sometime around 293, PREFECT OF THE PRAETORIAN GUARD. He was chosen for even higher office and had moved toward that ambition by removing his first wife, Helena, an innkeeper's daughter, in favor of Theodora, daughter of Diocletian's co-Emperor Maximian.
In 293, as part of the tetrachy system, Diocletian named Constantius to be Caesar (junior emperor), assisting Maximian in the West, while Galerius served Diocletian in the East. His territory included Gaul and Britain. His first task was to deal with a usurper, the dangerous admiral CARAUSIUS, who controlled northern Gaul and Britain. Constantius blocked part of the admiral's fleet at Gesoriacum (Boulogne); in 293, Carausius died at the hands of his minister, Allectus. In 296, Constantius sailed to Britain with his Praetorian Prefect ASCLEPIODOTUS. While he tried unsuccessfully to land, Asclepiodotus destroyed Allectus in battle. Constantius seized the opportunity and celebrated in great triumph.
Diocletian abdicated in 305, as did Maximian. Their successors were Constantius and Galerius. Galerius ruled the East while Constantius possessed Spain, along with Gaul and Britain. The tetrarchy so carefully established was showing signs of strain, and Galerius clearly had the advantage. Not only did he dominate the East, but Constantius' son, Constantine (the son of Helena), was at his court as a hostage. Only the barbarian invasions of Britain (see PICTS) gave Constantius an excuse to have his son returned to him. Constantine fled to his father, and in 306 they repelled the Picts. On July 25, 306, Constantius I Chlorus died at Eburacum (York), leaving Constantine to face Galerius alone. He did not depart without having left his son considerable resources. Constantius had proved himself to be an able if not beloved emperor. He strengthened the Rhine frontier and did extensive building at Treviri (see TRIER). Further, his son was bright, well-educated and supported by experienced and devoted legions.
¤ CONSTANTIUS II (317-361 A.D.) Joint emperor from 337 to 350 A.D. and sole emperor of Rome from 350 to 361. Constantius was the most gifted son of CONSTANTINE the Great and FAUSTA. He was born in Illyricum, named Caesar (junior emperor) in 324 and given Antioch to administer in 333. Upon his father's death in 337, he played a major part in the massacre of all parties of influence in the imperial family; the Empire was then partitioned among himself and his two brothers, Constans and Constantine II. He received the East, minus (briefly) Armenia and Constantinople, which belonged for a time to HANNIBALIANUS, Constantine's nephew, and to Constans, respectively.
The first years of independent rule were filled with campaigns against the Persians under Shapur II, but, starting in 350, his attention turned to the West. In 340, the triple division of the Empire ended when Constantine II died while trying to overthrow Constans in Italy. Until 350, the two remaining brothers ruled the world; in that year, however, the usurper Magnentius killed Constans.
Tension gripped the domain of Constantius, for the whole West, with its legions, could have hailed Magnentius as emperor. Fortunately, Constantina, daughter of Constantine and Constantius' sister, convinced the MAGISTER PEDITUM, Vetranio, to allow himself to be hailed as Augustus, as a counterweight to Magnentius. The move, obviously calculated to aid her brother, proved very successful. Magnentius lost momentum, and Vetranio stepped down, retiring to Prusa in Bithynia. Strengthened by the addition of the legions along the Danube, Constantius crushed Magnentius in battle (see MURSA MAJOR) in 351. The usurper committed suicide in 353, leaving Constantius the undisputed master.
He returned to campaigning, defeating the Sarmatians and the Quadi on the Danube frontier. Persia saw further action, and in 359, he attacked Mesopotamia. Clearly, as a general, Constantius II possessed remarkable skills, defeating the Frankish king, Silvanus, the Suevi, the Sarmatians, the Quadi and the Persians all in a span of several years.
Constantius recognized the need to appoint a Caesar who could aid him in ruling regions that he could not visit. His first choice, Callus, married the emperor's sister Constantia in 351, but was tyrannical as the ruler of Antioch and had to be put to death in 354. Constantine then appointed JULIAN, Callus' half-brother, to be Caesar in the West, marrying him to his sister Helena. Julian was competent and loved by the army. When Constantius sent orders for him to dispatch reinforcements in 360 to help in the Persian wars, the legions in the West revolted, declaring Julian their ruler. Despite his triumphant entry into Rome in 357, Constantius knew that the threat to his reign was legitimate. He organized an expeditionary force and headed toward a confrontation with Julian. While marching through Cilicia, Constantius II succumbed to a fever near Tarsus, dying on October 5, 361.
Constantius believed in the cause of ARIANISM. He protected the Arians from the start and then differed vehemently with his orthodox brother Constans on the future of Christianity. At the Council of Serdica in 342, some differences were resolved, but no substantial harmony could be achieved until 346, when war nearly erupted. Constantius received a free hand in theological matters following Constans' death in 350. Henceforth the Arians dominated religious affairs at court. Athanasius, the anti-Arian champion, was removed from his seat as the bishop of Alexandria in 356, and the emperor named many Arian prelates to succeed to the major sees in Christendom. Ammianus Marcellinus, who lived and served in the army of that era, wrote extensively of Constantius' character and achievements.
¤ CONSTANTIUS III (d. 421 A.D.) Joint emperor in the West in 421. Constantius III was a MAGISTER MILITUM who rose to claim the throne, albeit briefly. Born in the Danube region, he entered upon a military career and by 411 had earned the magister militum rank under Emperor Honorius. For the next 10 years Constantius administered most of the Western Empire, dealing with the crises of the period. In 410, he became the primary factor in the destruction of the usurper Constantine HI, marching into Gaul with his lieutenant, Ulfilas, and besieging Constantine at Aries. In 411, he crushed an African-based rebel, Heraclianus, before turning to the pressing problem of the Visigoths in Gaul and in Spain.
Athaulf, successor of Alaric as king of the Visigoths, had established a domain in Gaul and had not only refused to return Honorius' sister, GALLA PLACIDIA, but also set up Priscus Attalus as an imperial claimant and married Placidia in 414. Constantius crushed Attalus in southern Gaul. By 415, Athaulf was dead, and the new Visigoth king, Wallia, negotiated a peace with Honorius. Galla Placidia returned to her brother. Out of political need she was married early in 417 to Constantius. Despite her reluctance, she bore him two children, one of whom became Valentinian III, emperor from 425 to 455. With such a union, and in recognition of the overwhelming power at his disposal, Honorius elevated Contantius to the rank of co-emperor or Augustus on February 8, 421. He ruled only from February to September.
¤ CONSTANTIUS, JULIUS (d. 337 A.D.) A half-brother of CONSTANTINE the Great. He was the son of CONSTANTIUS I CHLORUS and his second wife, Theodora. Constantius suffered from court intrigues and retired in semi-exile to Toulouse and Corinth but profited from political rehabilitation in 335. Constantine made him a patrician and a consul in that year, and he emerged as leader of one of the numerous factions formed in the palace just before the emperor's death. Constantius married twice. His first wife, Galla, gave him two sons. The younger, Gallus, became Caesar but was killed by Constantius II in 354. Basilina, his second wife, produced Julian, the eventual emperor. In 337, after the death of Constantine, Constantius intended to share in the division of power between all of the major family members and sons. A massacre of the parties formed in the court took place instead, instigated by Constantius II and supported by his brothers, Constans and Constantine II. Julius Constantius died at the hands of soldiers, along with his eldest son.
¤ CONSTITUTIONES The term used to describe the legal enactments and edicts of the Roman emperors. The Constitutiones did not appear in great number until the 4th century A.D.
Emperor Augustus and his immediate successors certainly passed laws, but their actions were based on two principles: (1) they possessed the IMPERIUM PROCONSULARIS, giving the right to issue edicts; and (2) all proposed legislation was brought to the Senate, where the emperor requested through an Oratio (speech) that the august legislative body of the Empire pass them. In this system there existed supposed limits on power. The Senate could refuse him if it so desired; and the IMPERIUM ended upon the emperor's death.
Furthermore, those pronouncements actually made by the emperors were seldom original. Virtually all such statements could be classified as either rescripta (rescripts) or decreta (decrees). Rescripts were answers to questions on law made by members of a ministry or by a litigant. They explained or interpreted the law. The decreta were actual decisions made in trials over which the emperor presided. As Suetonius showed with the verdicts of Claudius, such pronouncements could be debatable, changeable, even nonsensical.
What an emperor intended to be an explanation, however, very often became an authoritative basis for subsequent legislation. This was especially true in the 2nd century A.D. Senatorial power fell as imperial dominance of the administration took place. The permission from the Senate was no longer sought actively by the emperors, and then the Constitutiones themselves automatically became binding law. Thus the rulers could have a tremendous influence over the entire framework of law, as CARACALLA demonstrated in 212 A.D., with his Constitutio Antoniana, granting citizenship to all free persons in the Empire.
With the broadening of political power came a recognition on the part of the emperors that increased knowledge and expertise were also necessary. Jurists joined the great advisory boards of the palace, the CONSILIUM PRINCIPIS, and Hadrian relied upon lawyers to aid him in framing his Constitutiones. Quite often it was the CONCILIA that authored the greatest legal reforms and advances, with the Jurists responsible for fine details. In the 4th century the emperors faced no hindrances to legal enactments, and then the Constitutiones went unquestioned, for the benefit or peril of the Empire.
¤ CONSUALIA Great FESTIVAL of the god CONSUS, celebrated twice every year, on August 19 or 21 and on December 15, in the Circus Maximus. According to legend, the Consualia was begun by Romulus and the Rape of the Sabines took place at the first commemoration of the festival. Lavish games were held in the Circus, supervised by the emperor, while sacrifices to the god were made by the VESTAL VIRGINS and the FLAMINES. The day also included the rare unearthing of Consus' statue from beneath the Circus Maximus, so that the deity might witness the day's events.
¤ CONSUL The supreme office of power during the Roman Republic and a position of honor but increasing political emptiness in the days of the Empire. In the year 510 B.C., the kings of Rome were expelled and in their place the Romans chose a safe government of dual magistrates who were equal in power and in influence. Elected by the comitia centuriata, the consuls, for some four centuries, fulfilled the political role of royal authority, bringing all other magistrates into the service of the people and the city of Rome. The tasks of a consul were varied. Their laws could be appealed by the people, vetoed by the TRIBUNES and severely curtailed by any appointed dictator. They could, however, control their own administrations, decide civil and criminal cases in the legions and prepare resolutions to become law. In Rome, consuls had the right to summon the SENATE and the comitia and to nominate and conduct the elections of dictators and members of the comitia. Over the years certain other powers were lost: Civil jurisdiction within the city passed to the PRAETORS, and the census fell to the CENSORS.
As the consuls were to be equal, the actual governing was shared; with each holding greater influence on a monthly rotational basis. In the field, each wielded two legions; military strength maintained a unique equilibrium. The Senate encroached yearly upon the operation of the Republic, while the consuls' position of preeminence outside of Rome ensured a proper balance. Thus the dictator Sulla sought to curb this strength by stripping the consular office of its military base, the IMPERIUM. Sulla insisted that the term of the consul, one year, be spent in Rome.
As civil wars erupted in the Republic in the 1st century B.C., the consuls lost all control of their office. The FIRST and SECOND TRIUMVIRATES held the true reins of power; the office was even altered in 52 B.C., when POMPEY THE GREAT held it alone. With the founding of the Empire under Augustus in 27 B.C., further reductions in the status of consul were inevitable. Augustus worked to preserve the Republican facade in his new imperial system, thus, while still a great honor, consulship also meant little influence. Augustus even held the consulship himself, and the emperors who followed him did the same. Family members, friends and associates also served, for the ruler had full control over nominations and, hence, the election returns. The old process provided for resignation and death by having replacement consuls available, with those who were the original consul for a year (inaugurated on January 1) bearing the name consules ordinarii and their successors, consules suffecti. The practice naturally evolved that the consules suffecti finished out each year. By the middle of the 1st century A.D., the actual holding of the consulship by anyone for the entire year became very rare.
A consul's new duties, while not significant, were nonetheless interesting. Certain criminal trials were supervised, with the final judgment resting in the hands of the consul, as did civil authority, including questions concerning slaves. Another task of considerable prestige was that of presiding over the games (LUDI) and the many FESTIVALS celebrated in Rome.
Aside form the emperor himself, the consul held one of the most glamorous offices in the Empire. Their insignia included the toga praetexta, sella curculis (a ceremonial chair) and the right to be surrounded by the LICTORES. These 12 guardians normally walked before the consul officiating for the month and walked behind his associate. Usually, the inauguration of a consul took place on January 1, by a law passed in 153 B.C. (Previously, the inauguration was held on March 15, as decreed in 222 B.C.) The candidates marched to the capital with the senators, members of the Equestrians and other important figures. Prayers were offered solemnly, as were the oaths. To the Romans, the entire ceremony was serious and even the thought of offending tradition was fraught with dread. Thus, when Emperor COMMODUS proposed to go to his inauguration dressed as a gladiator on January 1, 193 A.D., the group plotting his assassination was so horrified that they murdered him the night before his oath-taking.
There can be little doubt that the rulers of the Empire dismissed the consuls easily. TIBERIUS sent the consular robes to CLAUDIUS as a joke and grew angry when his lame relative pressed him for the office's full powers. GAIUS CALIGULA also appointed Claudius, his uncle, to the office, both as a humorous distraction and to gain popularity. Family members routinely served, many under-age. From the time of Cicero no one under 43 (or perhaps 42) could be consul, a regulation frequently ignored.
With the division of the Empire into East and West, the consulship was equally divided, sometime in the late 4th century A.D. The emperors in Constantinople assumed the title consul perpetuus, and in the West the consuls disappeared altogether in 534 A.D.
¤ CONSUS An Italian god of several identities whose festival, CONSUALIA, was held on the days of August 19 or 21 and December 15. Census may have been associated with corn or with the harvest, although his altar stood in the Circus Maximus. The fact that this altar was placed underground, covered with dirt, probably implied an association with the underworld; corn was also planted in the earth and stored in subterranean holds. As a result of the games held during the god's festival, Consus was also known as Neptunus Equestrius to Livy.
¤ CONVENTUS Name given to the small associations of Roman citizens living abroad but outside the COLONIES. It was quite common for Romans in the provinces to associate freely with each other, given their generally superior legal status. Groups of them came together to form boards within their own towns, to discuss problems or issues of interest. They elected their own committee head, a curator, and kept in touch both with Rome and with other such organizations throughout the Empire. Another kind of conventus was the judicial summons made in the provinces when the governor or magistrate paid a visit to a town, city or large community so chosen for the honor. A provincial head would arrive on the scene and normally be greeted by artificially enthusiastic crowds. He would then conduct all necessary legal business before departing for the next conventus. For smaller, non-colonial townships and cities, the reception of the title conventus brought considerable prestige and wealth because of the number of visitors lured to the scene to have cases heard.
¤ CORBULO, GNAEUS DOMITIUS (1) (fl. mid-lst century A.D.) Praetor, master of the Roman roads and father of the famed general, Gnaeus Domitius CORBULO (2). In 21 A.D., Corbulo called attention to the deplorable condition of the roads in Italy. He argued that corruption among magistrates and contract workers was such that no remedy could be found unless drastic measures were put into effect. Corbulo consequently received a commission to watch over each officer in charge of a road, the curator viarum. He administered the roads for much of the reign of Tiberius, and in 39 A.D., Caligula drafted him to help acquire funds. All former highway repairmen, alive or dead, were fined for obviously embezzling some of the money used on roads. Caligula took his share, and presumably so did Corbulo. In 43 A.D., Claudius put an end to the fines. Corbulo was then forced to return some of his reward money to help reimburse those who had endured previous punishments.
¤ CORBULO, GNAEUS DOMITIUS
Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
CORBULO, GNAEUS DOMITIUS (2) (d. 67 A.D.) Roman general who preserved Roman supremacy in Germania and in the East. He was probably the son of the head of the roads during the reigns of Tiberius and Gaius Caligula (see CORBULO ) and early on achieved some success as a military officer. In 47 A.D., he received the rank of legate for Germania Inferior and took command of Roman troops in the face of the invading Chauci. He won a series of engagements over the Germans, including a battle of the Rhine, using triremes rowed up the great river. Once the Chauci were repulsed, Corbulo disciplined the legions of the province. Known as a strict and stern general, he not only brought the legionaries back to full strength and morale but also shattered the resolve of the surrounding tribes, especially the Frisii.
Corbulo regretted, however, his lack of free movement as a general; Germania, in his view, was ripe for subjugation. When Claudius forbade any actions in that direction, he remarked: "How happy must have been the generals in older days!"
Corbulo's reputation was enhanced by his reception of the triumphal insignia from Claudius. When Nero, therefore, searched for an officer to salvage Roman policy in ARMENIA in 54 A.D., he turned to Corbulo. After arriving in Cilicia, he found the governor of Syria, Ummidius Quadratus, waiting for him. Eager not to lose power or prestige, Quadratus insisted on sharing in all major decisions; not surprisingly, a bitter fight erupted between them. Nero settled the dispute by having laurels placed on the imperial fasces or insignia, as a credit to each man. Corbulo then repeated his work in Germania, where the legions were relentlessly and mercilessly drilled and beaten into shape. The pleasant climate and good living in Syria ended in 58, when the reformed troops finally set out to reclaim Armenia from the Parthians.
Since the occupation of the kingdom by Parthia in 54 (and by its King Vologeses I), Armenia had been ruled by the pro-Parthian Tiridates. Corbulo now besieged him militarily and politically, using the client states of Iberia, Cappadocia and Commagene to pressure his borders. When the Armenian ruler and his Parthian masters refused to yield during negotiations, the Roman general marched on the capital of Artaxata, capturing it in 58 and then netting the other major city of TIGRANOCERTA as well. Tiridates, ousted from the country, tried to reclaim the dominion but could not; Corbulo pacified all of Armenia.
In 60-61, Nero chose to place a new client on the throne, TIGRANES. Corbulo was ordered to assume the governorship in Syria, as Quadratus had died. Tigranes proved an incompetent monarch and in 61 attacked a small region of Parthia, Adiabene; he soon called for help from Syria when Vologases moved against him. Despite the strong possibility that Corbulo may have approved of the sortie, his position in Syria gave him no powers in dealing with the Armenian question. Thus, Rome sent out the appallingly bad general, Caesennius Paetus, to annex all of the region, as Tigranes could not hold the throne. Paetus bungled his task. Corbulo did not march from Syria. The Parthian king and the ousted Tiridates, instead, agreed to Roman terms. Armenia would be a client to Rome once more. Nero ordered Paetus to return to Italy, and Corbulo received the position equal to his skills. He obtained the mains imperium, the power over all of the adjoining provinces and the client states therein. He continued to administer most of the East until 66, when a conspiracy surfaced in Rome.
Plots against Nero were common. When Annius Vinicianus began his, Corbulo naturally was implicated. Vinicianus had married Corbulo's daughter; as the foremost military figure of the time, Corbulo's name surfaced as a successor to the tyrant. In 67, Corbulo received a summons to Greece. Joining several other governors, namely the SCRIBONII BROTHERS, the loyal general bowed before his emperor and heard the imperial command for him to commit suicide.
¤ CORDUBA Also called Corduva, the provincial capital of the senatorial province of Baetica in Spain. Very little of the ancient city survived the Islamic period, although the organization of the city reportedly was based upon the original design. The capital contained all of the necessary Roman structures, including a forum and baths.
¤ CORINTH City in Greece. Once one of the great trading centers of the ancient world, Corinth was reborn under the Empire. For centuries the city served as the heart of Hellenic commercial ties with the world, and its buildings, stretching across the Isthmus of Corinth, were magnificent. Not surprisingly, the Republic sought to include the city in its list of 2nd century B.C. conquests. In 146 B.C., L. Mummius laid seige and brutally destroyed Corinth. The population saw no means of rebuilding, and the city became a deserted shell.
In 46 B.C., Julius CAESAR looked for a means of reducing the population of Italy and needed a place to settle his many retired and discharged legionary veterans. His solution, colonization, soon benefited many regions of Roman occupation, Corinth among them. Colonists arrived sometime after Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., choosing to rebuild in a style very Roman. They succeeded brilliantly, and their efforts produced a capital for the eventual province of Achaea.
Architecturally, Corinth received a massive transfusion from Rome. With the exception of the Temple of Apollo, the usual Agora (Forum) and the various stoas, the city was more Roman than Greek - a characteristic very pleasing to the appointed proconsul, who administered the province from his office near the Forum. To provide the bureaucratic organization befitting a capital, four basilicas were constructed as well. They were grouped around the Forum and stood close to the stoas and merchant centers in the city. Early on, the colonists had realized that Corinth, just as before, had to be based on commerce. Thus the city life was centered on trade and economic growth.
In a reflection of the wealth brought in by the merchants, no expenses were spared in decoration or in public entertainments. The original Greek theater was changed to a Roman structure, complete with a changeable arena for games and gladiatorial contests. A small Odeum was added to provide yet another alternate amusement. To display the city's religious sincerity, six temples were completed sometime in the 2nd century A.D., the same time as Herodes Atticus made his generous gifts to Greece. Corinth received a beautiful fountain from him. Reliant upon trade, Corinth was very susceptible to changes in the economic health of the Empire. When the strength of Rome began to fail in the 3rd century A.D., the effects were felt first in Corinth; then the entire colonia began to decline.
Archaeologically, Corinth is extremely interesting, with excavation work still proceeding on the site. The most bizarre episode in its history surely came in the reign of Nero. In 66 A.D., the emperor went to Greece on a grand tour. When visiting Corinth he conceived of a plan to cut a canal across the isthmus and gathered together the Praetorian Guard to begin digging. He joined them with a shovel, filling a bucket of dirt, which he carried away on his back. Fortunately for both the Corinthians and the abused guards, Nero lost interest in the project. In the Empire, the original name for Corinth was Colonia Laus Julia Cerinthus.
¤ CORNELIA (1) (fl. 1st century B.C.) First wife of Julius CAESAR. Cornelia was the daughter of the four-time Consul Cinna. The dictator Sulla opposed the marriage and demanded that Caesar divorce her. When Caesar refused, Sulla stripped him of his priesthood and her dowry. She bore Caesar a daughter, JULIA.
¤ CORNELIA (2) (fl. 1st century B.C.) Fifth wife of POMPEY THE GREAT and stepmother of Sextus POMPEY and Gnaeus POMPEY. Cornelia proved a kind and caring mother and was known for possessing a combination of beauty and intelligence. She knew literature, music, philosophy and mathematics. Cornelia supported her husband during the CIVIL WAR with Julius Caesar. After the Dyrrhachium campaign, Pompey sent her back to the city of Mitylene, on the island of Lesbos. He was apparently concerned about the coming battle with Caesar and had Sextus join her. The battle of PHARSALUS fulfilled his fears. After a rout of his army at Caesar's hands, Pompey fled to Lesbos, and Cornelia and Sextus boarded his ship of escape. Rhodes and Antioch would not allow them to land. With no other choice, they sailed to Egypt after taking on a small troop at Cyprus. On September 29, 48 B.C., they reached Egypt and tried to land the following day. Before Cornelia's horrified eyes, Pompey was murdered on the orders of Ptolemy XIII. With the scene still firmly in her mind, Cornelia and her shocked stepson landed at Tyre. After the Civil War, the magnanimous Caesar made peace with her.
¤ CORNELIA (3) (d. 90 A.D.) The ranking Vestal Virgin during the reign of Domitian. Cornelia and several of her fellow Vestals were involved in a scandal and were eventually put to death. Domitian believed firmly in religious devotion and when word arrived that the Vestals had broken their vows of chastity he looked into the matter personally. Domitian found them all guilty and was far more angry with Cornelia than with the others. The two sisters of the Oculata family and another, Varonilla, were executed in 83 A.D. Cornelia, however, suffered the traditional punishment of burial alive. Her lovers were then beaten to death in public view.
¤ CORNELIUS SEVERUS (fl. late 1st century B.C.) An epic poet of the Augustan age. See also POETRY.
¤ CORNIFICIUS, LUCIUS (fl. 1st century B.C.) A supporter of Octavian (AUGUSTUS) who helped prosecute Brutus for Caesar's assassination and then joined the forces of Octavian during the struggles for power (see CIVIL WAR, SECOND TRIUMVIRATE). In 36 B.C., he commanded a sizable detachment in Sicily and was besieged by the dangerous Sextus POMPEY. His situation grew increasingly desperate as his casualties mounted and provisions became scarce. Marcus Agrippa arrived to relieve him in time. Cornificius forever afterward commemorated his good fortune by traveling to dinner on the back of an elephant. Octavian granted him a consulship in 35 B.C., during which Sextus Pompey met his end. He also held a proconsulship in Africa with considerable success.
¤ CORNUTUS, LUCIUS ANNAEUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) A philosopher and writer born in Lepcis around 20 A.D.; a freedman to Seneca, or perhaps a relative. In the mid-sixties he was exiled, perhaps as part of the conspiracy of G. C. PISO, but there is debate concerning this. Cornutus may also have returned to Rome at a later time.
¤ CORRECTORES Special agents employed by the emperors in certain provinces or territories to examine finances, supervise administrative affairs or simply to represent imperial will where the ruler desired it to be stressed. Most correctores were appointed from the ranks of praetors or ex-praetors, and thus they could wield power and influence comfortably. The correctores proved tremendously useful in Achaea. Appointed by Trajan, they worked to reorganize the bureaucracy in the province and to salvage the desperate financial situation in Athens in the early 2nd century A.D. By the 3rd century, they had also been appointed to the Italian districts, where the local townships needed administrative supervision. In the Late Roman Empire, the office evolved into the regular functions of the provincial governors. Diocletian granted increased power to his heads of provinces, and financial control gave the imperial government more authority.
¤ CORSICA Large island in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Gaul; first seized from the Carthaginians around 227 B.C. by Rome. In establishing the imperial system, Augustus (ruled 27 B.C.-14 A.D.) placed Corsica under a Praetorian consul but in 6 A.D. named the island as a part of the territories governed by the procurator of SARDINIA. Corsica was never fully settled, despite its harbors, and it remained a wilderness. On the eastern side there were two colonies - Aleria and Mariana. Aleria served as the local center of government and came the closest to achieving the standards and quality of life expected by the imperial domination. The most popular export of Corsica was wax. The island also served as a popular place for exiles (Domitian sent one Mettius Pompusianus there in 91 A.D.). Corsica also served as a stopping-off point for those unfortunate Romans being sent to the island of Planasia.
¤ COTTA, LUCIUS AURUNCULEIUS See ADUATUCA.
¤ COTTA MESSALINIUS, M. AURELIUS (fl 1st century A.D.) Consul in 20 A.D.; also known as M. Aurelius Cotta Maximus. The son of MESSALLA CORVINUS, the writer, Cotta was one of the most despised figures of the reign of Tiberius (14-37 A.D.). He sat in the Senate, ever prepared to accuse and to prosecute any poor victim chosen by the emperor. In 20 A.D. he led the attack on Piso, and in 29 tried to have Agrippina the Elder and her son Nero (son of Germanicus) condemned. After the fall of SEJANUS in 31 A.D. created a difficult environment for imperial henchmen, Cotta found himself facing charges. When the Senate would not protect him from these prosecutions, he appealed to Tiberius, who wrote a long letter in his defense. Tacitus wasted no opportunity to attack Cotta in the Annals. In 24 A.D., however, Cotta did propose one sensible piece of legislation. Governors of the provinces, he argued, should be held accountable for the crimes of their wives, an idea considered insulting by Tacitus.
¤ COTTIAEN ALPS Mountain range (also called Alpes Cottiae) between the Maritime Alps of the French-Italian seacoast and the Graiaen Alps of northwestern Italy. Originally inhabited by a native people, the area was subjugated by Augustus sometime around 8 B.C. Its King COTTIUS (after whom the mountains were named) became a client of Rome; subsequently, the Cottiaen Alps benefited from imperial attention. Roads were built and an arch placed at a conspicuous point to honor Augustus. The Romans used the passes to maintain communications with Gaul.
¤ COTTIUS (fl. 1st century A.D.) King of the Ligurians who earned the honor of having a part of the Alpine range named after him - the Cottiaen Alps. Cottius very wisely submitted to Augustus and sometime around 8 B.C. signed a peace treaty with Rome. His domains included most of the surrounding regions and peoples, and as a client he was reliable. He built roads and allowed his territory to serve as a launching site for at least one expedition during the reign of Tiberius. An arch for Augustus was also constructed. In 44 A.D., Claudius recognized the claims of the king's son, Marcus Julius Cottius. This new king sat on the throne until some time during the reign of Nero, when he died. With his passing his realm became part of the Roman territories.
¤ COTYS (1) (fl. 1st century A.D.) King of Armenia Minor; grandson of Polemo, king of Pontus, who received the rule of Armenia Minor in 38 A.D. from GAIUS CALIGULA. He was a friend of the emperor from the days of his youth. Claudius certified his control over the Armenian kingdom, although he was one of the last possessors of the throne before the annexation of the country under Vespasian.
¤ COTYS (2) (d. before 62 A.D.) King of the BOSPORUS; son of Aspurgeus of the Bosporan kingdom and his second wife, the Thracian Princess Gepaepyris. Cotys was the half-brother of Mithridates, son of Aspurgeus and Queen Dynamis. In 37 or 38 A.D., the king died, and GAIUS CALIGULA named Polemo II of Pontus as the ruler. Gepaepyris and her stepson Mithridates took effective control. Claudius affirmed Mithridates' claim in 41 A.D. Cotys, mean-while, waited for his half-brother to grow ambitious. Sometime around 44 or 45, the prince revealed to Claudius that Mithridates planned a revolt. The grateful emperor gave Cotys the throne. After overcoming his brother's attempted usurpation (Cotys relied upon the help of Roman troops under the command of Julius Aquila), Cotys administered the kingdom until his death, sometime before Nero seized it in 62. A number of other Bosporan kings bore the same name.
¤ COTYS OF THRACE (fl. early 1st century A.D.) Son of the Thracian King Rhoemetalces, who became part of the struggle for the throne of THRACE in 19 A.D. When Rhoemetalces died in the reign of Augustus (27 B.C.-14 A.D.), the Thracian realm was divided between his son Cotys and his brother, Rhescuporis. Cotys ruled the civilized and abundant regions, while his uncle controlled the wilder, mountainous territories.
A peace existed between the two rulers for several years, but by 19 A.D. the marauders of Rhescuporis had developed into outright military columns. Emperor Tiberius sent a centurion to warn them, and a treaty was to be negotiated. Instead, Rhescuporis trapped Cotys and put him to death. Unable to tolerate such actions, Tiberius ordered Pomponius Flaccus to bring Rhescuporis to Rome. There he was accused by Cotys' widow, the greatly respected Antonia Tryphaena, a relative of Marc Antony. Cotys was avenged, and his sons shared in the distribution of power in Thrace.
¤ CRASSUS (1), MARCUS LICINIUS (c. 115-53 B.C.) A member of the FIRST TRIUMVIRATE and a leading figure in the final days of the Republic. Crassus was known as one of the wealthiest men in Rome. His family had long been involved in politics, and his father served as consul in 97 B.C. before warring against Marius with Sulla, a struggle resulting in the father's death in 87 B.C. The young Crassus immediately enlisted with Sulla, after returning from the safety of Spain. Loyalty to Sulla was rewarded when large amounts of confiscated property fell under his control after Sulla became the master of Rome. He continued his accumulation of wealth and rose in political power. Money he amassed from his estates, from the slave trade and silver mines. Political strength came from his popularity carefully cultivated over the years. He became praetor, earning eventually a proconsular position over several legions, putting down Spartacus and his slave army in 72-71 B.C.
Military achievements were not to be his road to supremacy in the Republic. Another, more able general emerged - POMPEY THE GREAT. Crassus had watched with growing alarm as Pompey first seized martial fame with his own exploits and then stole Crassus' glory in 71 B.C. by crushing the pitiful remnants of Spartacus' forces. From that moment on Crassus worked against Pompey, although serving in the consulship of 70 with him. They argued and debated every issue, rendering the time of their consulships absolutely useless. Crassus did finance a huge festival with 10,000 tables for the citizens.
The Catiline affair next dominated Rome in 63 B.C. Many officials of note fell, and as Crassus had served with Catiline in the censorship, he too came under suspicion for a time. He was saved by Julius CAESAR'S ambitions for the consulship and for greatness. Caesar desired to increase his powers and needed allies. With Crassus and Pompey so bitterly opposed to one another, Caesar sought a reconciliation between them. In 60 B.C., Crassus agreed to join a triumvirate with Pompey and Caesar. Each shared in the full benefits of the state.
Crassus found his situation virtually unchanged. Pompey had grown in the view of the optimate party in Rome and Caesar amassed victories in Gaul, while Crassus did little to improve his personal fortunes. In 56 B.C., a conference was held at LUCA to change this situation. Crassus, it was decided, would share a consulship again with Pompey, and Caesar would remain in Gaul to finish his conquests. For Crassus, however, such gains were not enough.
Aside from his defeat of Spartacus, for which a triumph had been celebrated, Crassus was no match for the reputations of his fellow triumvirs. He resolved to establish himself militarily and demanded the territory of Syria. Despite his age, which was 60, and deafness in one ear, Crassus put together an army for the invasion of Parthia. Two years of planning and meticulous preparation preceded one of the worst disasters ever inflicted upon Roman arms, in 53 B.C. In the deserts of Mesopotamia, near a town called CARRHAE, the would-be general allowed his troops to be surrounded by the Parthians. Under a hail of arrows and the relentless sun, Crassus watched as his army disappeared. Accounts varied as to his death. Plutarch reported that a Parthian named Pomaxathres killed him, and Dio wrote that he died at the hands of one of his men in order to avoid capture. His head and right hand were sent to the king of Parthia, Orodes. That monarch reportedly poured molten gold into Crassus' mouth, saying: "Satisfy yourself with the metal for which in life you were so greedy."
¤ CRASSUS (2), MARCUS LICINIUS (fl. last 1st century B.C.) General and one-time follower of Sextus POMPEY and Marc ANTONY, who served with Octavian as consul in 30 B.C., a sign of Octavian's goodwill toward members of the various political parties in existence before ACTIUM. In 29 B.C. he was sent to Macedonia to repel an invasion of the Bastarnae (see SCYTHIANS). After crushing these wild people, he pursued them into MOESIA, subdividing the country along the way. The Scythians turned to give battle, and Crassus launched a devastating attack upon them, personally killing their King DELDO. He then finished the Scythians before marching against the Moesians. Winter was coming, and Crassus retired to Thrace but had to launch another expedition against the Scythians, who were seeking vengeance upon the few Roman allies of that region. The victories of Crassus were celebrated by the Senate. He could have received the spolia opima for slaying Deldo (the honorific dedication of his armor to Jupiter Feretrius) had he possessed the title of IMPERATOR, but Octavian kept that for himself, perhaps preferring to deny such an honor to a former lieutenant of Antony.
¤ CRASSUS, PUBLIUS LICINIUS (d. 53 B.C.) A legate of the Republic's legions, serving both Julius CAESAR and his father Marcus Licinius CRASSUS (1). Crassus was an officer of Caesar's army in Gaul. He was used for a number of missions conducted with a considerable freedom of operation. Caesar sent him with a legion into Normandy and Brittany in early 57 B.C.; he conquered the tribes there. Later that year he sailed across the Channel conducting a reconnaissance in force, part of the preparation for Caesar's expeditions two years later.
Crassus achieved his greatest success at the expense of the tribes in Gallia Aquitania. In 56 B.C., as Caesar labored to maintain his hold over Gaul, Crassus was sent with 12 cohorts and cavalry to invade all of Aquitania. His advance was absolutely triumphant, and the region became pacified very quickly. A year later, Caesar gave Crassus a cavalry command under his triumvir father. Publius Crassus arrived in Syria in time to embark with his father on the ill-fated Parthian invasion in 53; he was given the right flank of the advancing Roman host. The ensuing battle of CARRHAE was a disaster. The Roman army marched into the dry lands away from Euphrates, and there the legions were surrounded by the Parthians under the command of SURENAS. As the enemy rained down arrows, Publius tried to charge the enemy in order to buy time for the main body to form into a defensive square. His frontal assault was initially effective, but soon he and his men found themselves isolated from their comrades. Publius and his cohorts were cut to pieces; the young legate's head was placed on a spear and displayed by the Parthians who rode gleefully around the remaining Romans. Morale perished with Publius, and Marcus Licinius Crassus suffered one of the worst defeats in Roman history. According to Plutarch, Publius admired Cicero and his oratorical skills.
¤ CREMONA See BEDRIACUM (second battle).
¤ CREMUTIUS CORDUS, AULUS (d. 25 A.D.) A writer and highly respected figure of the early 1st century A.D. Cremutius Cordus authored a History in which he commended Marcus Brutus and praised Gaius Cassius. The work was honored by Augustus, who may have not only read it but also accorded Cordus the honor of having him read out loud in the palace. SEJANUS accused him of improper writings in his History, especially with regard to Brutus and Cassius. He was found guilty, returned home, and starved himself to death. The books of Cordus were then banned and burned by the aediles, although his daughter Marcia hid many copies. Gaius Caligula later rehabilitated him, posthumously.
¤ CRESCENTIA, CANNUTIA (d. 213 A.D.) One of the four VESTAL VIRGINS sentenced to death by CARACALLA in 213. Cannutia Crescentia earned the displeasure of the emperor, and he ordered her to die. While her sisters, Clodia Laeta, Pomponia Rufina and Aurelia Severa, were all buried alive, Cannutia threw herself off a roof.
¤ CRETE AND CYRENAICA Two formerly different provinces - Cyrenaica on the North African coast, west of Egypt, and Crete, an island in the Mediterranean some 200 miles north of Cyrenaica - combined by the Republic in 67 B.C. to form one province. In his reorganization of the Roman world, Emperor Augustus chose to certify the union once more, as control had waned during the troubled years before his rise. The union was convenient in governmental affairs only, however, for neither half could ever be so organized as to warrant independent provincial status. Under normal circumstances it was a senatorial province under a proconsul.
Piracy and its assault on the general sea routes of the Mediterranean first attracted the attention of Rome in or around 67 B.C. In that year, Caecilius Metellus landed and easily captured the island of Crete. Henceforth it belonged firmly to the Romans, who brought it under further control with the use of colonists, former soldiers in search of land.
Roman life, however, never took firm root in Cretan soil. Only one real colony was granted full status, Knossus (Colonia Julia Cnossus), and the people of native origin remained unchanged for centuries. They retained their own tribal systems, had magistrates and continued to use Greek as the language of choice. To them Latin remained a strange tongue, used only by those of great power who had arrived to change all aspects of life. The Cretans were not violently opposed to Rome; on the contrary, they benefited handsomely from Rome's gifts of money and labor. They just did not surrender their way of living. For the imperial officials given the task of working with the residents of Crete, the fulfillment of duty was not easy. These Romans, however, chose to aid the Cretans in the areas that they understood best, namely economics and architecture.
Fertile fields naturally made agriculture the financial base of Cretan stability, and the colonists introduced better farming and harvesting techniques. But the intrusion of government into such matters dissipated the benefits to some degree, for large tracts of land were taken over by the Italians, especially families from Campania, who received rights to estates from Augustus.
Builders arrived on Crete as well, to expedite both a series of construction programs (especially in the 2nd century A.D.) and to effect repairs on the towns all over the island. An earthquake in 46 A.D. flattened most of the cities, and administrators for the next century worked to overcome the terrible damage. Despite such natural disasters, the Cretans spent the entire imperial era in isolation. The only cities of note on Crete were Knossus and Gortyn. Knossus, of course, captured the imagination of the Romans with its fabled past. Gortyn, in contrast, was a thoroughly modern site and consequently served as the provincial capital.
Cyrenaica formed a diverse but beautiful stretch of land directly east of the Gulf of Sidra and the provinces of Africa and Numidia. Cyrenaica stood isolated from the rest of Africa by deserts and by the terrible sun. Greek colonists settled there in the 7th century B.C., when they founded the Pentapolis or five colonies: Barea (later Ptolemais), Hespera (later Berenice), Teuchira (later Arsinoe), Cyrene and Apollonia.
For a time Egypt occupied the country through the Ptolemies, but in 96 B.C., the Republic took control of the dead Ptolemy Apion's royal lands, which was followed by the region's complete annexation in 74 B.C. Thought surely was given to combining Cyrenaica with other African areas, such as Tripolitana, but the difficulties inherent environmentally and geographically necessitated a different solution, in 67 B.C.
Wars raged along its arid borders for most of the early reign of Augustus, as Sulpicius Quirinius waged several campaigns against the nomadic tribes from 6 B.C. until 2 A.D. Augustus then dealt with the terrible economic and administrative problems. Although the pirates had been cleared from the seas, more pillaging was done by the governors. Augustus and his successors took swift action, which resulted in charges and prosecutions. Men like Pedius Blaesus, the provincial governor who in 59 A.D. was ousted from the Senate for bribery, soon learned that the position could not be abused.
As a result, Cyrenaica became a model of Roman efficiency, for the state not only protected the citizen's rights and culture, limiting colonization, but also helped the economy to develop and prosper. Engineering projects, improved irrigation, roads, communication and district organization became commonplace as magistrates and administrators cared for the legal and governmental needs of the cities and the estates.
Starting with Cyrene, all of Cyrenaica blossomed, and while its wealth was never vast, by the start of the 2nd century the province could lay claim to true prosperity. Much of the credit had to be given to the special legates appointed by the emperors to organize the land allotments. From the time of Claudius to the reign of the Flavians, officers such as L. Acilius Strabo and Q. Paconius Agrippinus worked hard in the service of the province and its people.
From 115 to 117 A.D., the Jewish revolt caused chaos in Cyprus, Egypt and Cyrenaica. Cities were destroyed and thousands massacred. Cyrene was ruined utterly. Emperor Hadrian instituted a major building program, restoring damaged communities and granting the status of coloniae to Cyrene and Arsinoe. He also created Hadrianopolis. With this aid, however, came the unavoidable Roman cultural influences. Too much had taken place in the region to restore the original morale and prosperity of the inhabitants. The result was an uncomfortable mixture of the old and the new.
¤ CRISPINA (d. 182 A.D.) First wife of Emperor COMMODUS, to whom she was married in 178 A.D. Marcus Aurelius, her father-in-law, apparently regretted the union but had little choice because of the demands of state. Crispina suffered at the hands of Commodus' sister, LUCILLA, who resented her status as empress, a seat of honor she held once herself as the wife of Lucius Verus. When Commodus deteriorated mentally, Crispina's situation became precarious. In 182, believing her guilty of adultery, Commodus exiled her to Capri, along with his sister, who had been exposed as a member of a plot against his life. Both women were subsequently executed.
¤ CRISPINILLA, CALVIA (fl. 1st century A.D.) A mistress of Nero who succeeded, as did most of the imperial favorites, in amassing great power and influence. In 67 A.D., she possessed the title of caretaker of the imperial wardrobe and also was charged by Nero with watching over his eunuch whle the emperor journeyed to Greece. In the fulfillment of her duties she managed to plunder Rome. Nero later used her as an emissary to the rebelling legate of Africa, Clodius Macer, but she was unsuccessful in preventing an uprising. See also HELIUS; POLYCLEITUS.
¤ CRISPINUS, RUFRIUS (d. 66 A.D.) Prefect of the PRAETORIAN GUARD in the reign of Claudius (41-54 A.D.), who with his co-prefect, Lusius Geta, was removed in 51 by Empress Agrippina, Claudius' wife. He had been appointed co-prefect sometime before 47, for in that year he was sent to Baiae to arrest Valerius Asiaticus on the charge of conspiracy against the emperor. Although the real reason for the arrest had been the hatred of Empress Messallina, Crispinus received the Praetorian insignia.
Crispinus remained at his post for the next four years, watching Messallina die and be replaced by the powerful Agrippina. He had apparently been loyal to Messallina as had Geta, and the new wife of the emperor could tolerate no one who might disagree with her or prevent her domination in the palace. On the pretext that the Praetorian Guard needed one commander only, she convinced Claudius to remove both Crispinus and Geta in 51.
His fortunes continued to decline under Nero. His wife, Poppaea, one of the most beautiful women in the Empire, set upon an adulterous affair with the handsome and influential M. Junius Otho, the eventual emperor. Leaving Crispinus and her son behind, she married Otho and then found Nero. Aware of Crispinus' one-time union with Poppaea, Nero banished him in 65 to Sardinia, where he lived in exile until the following year. In 66, Nero ordered him to die.
¤ CRISPINUS, TULLIUS (d. 193 A.D.) Prefect of the PRAETORIAN GUARD under Emperor DIDIUS JULIANUS. He served in his post (along with the co-prefect, Flavius Genealis) for a brief period in 193. After buying the Roman Empire in an auction conducted by the Praetorian Gaurd, Didius Julianus allowed the cohorts to choose their own prefects, and Crispinus and Genealis were their favorites. The reign of Julianus proved brief, for the legions of Septimius Severus marched on Italy. Crispinus was sent to block the arrival of Severus at Ravenna, but when the fleet fell into Severus' hands and many officers joined his cause, Crispinus returned to Rome. Desperately trying to save his throne, Julianus once more dispatched Crispinus, this time to meet and negotiate with Severus in the hope of securing an agreement to share the rule. Again Crispinus was unsuccessful. Fearing that he may have been ordered to commit murder, Severus put the prefect to death on the advice of Julius Laetus.
¤ CRISPUS, FLAVIUS JULIUS (305-326 A.D.) Oldest son of CONSTANTINE the Great and his first wife, Minervina. Crispus received an education from the family friend, Lactantius, while living in Gaul. In March of 317, he received the title of Caesar (junior emperor), which he shared with his brother Constantine. Crispus served in the army of his father and commanded part of the fleet used in 324 to destroy the emperor of the East, Licinius, at the battle of ADRIANOPLE. He then traveled to Rome with his father but somehow fell out of favor on the way. Early in 326, at Pola, he was executed on Constantine's order, perhaps for committing adultery with his stepmother, although the exact reason remained unclear.
¤ CTESIPHON One of the two great capitals of the empire of PARTHIA, situated in Babylonia along the east bank of the Tigris River, near modern Baghdad. Under the Parthians the large city was used as a winter residence of the kings, while Ecbatana was the royal summer home. When the Persians seized control of the entire empire, Ctesiphon remained the seat of power. Situated on the great trade lane from the east, the city provided a rest point for caravans and merchants traveling back and forth from as far as Spain and China. Ctesiphon was reportedly very large and can actually be called an amalgamation of two cities, Ctesiphon and Seleuceia. The Persian kings liked Ctesiphon because of its central location, especially with relation to Roman Syria and Armenia, and SHAPUR I (214-272 A.D.) built himself a grand palace there.
Strategically, however, the capital was exposed, and any advance down the Eurphrates, through Mesopotamia, produced a serious threat. The Parthians and the Persians lost Ctesiphon on several occasions. In 115-116 A.D., the Emperor Trajan not only captured the city but also used the victory to award himself the title of Parthians. Avidius Cassius, Marcus Aurelius' great general, burned down the palace of Vologases III; in 197 A.D., Septimius Severus allowed his legions to plunder the city and to masscacre its inhabitants. With the coming of the Persians, many things changed. ARDASHIR i around 224 A.D. named Ctesiphon his home, and the dynastically vigorous successors defeated Rome several times in wars launched from the site. The Roman military recovery late in the 3rd century A.D. once more imperiled Ctesiphon. For a time several emperors marched around Babylonia, virtually unmolested. These included Carus in 283 and more importantly, Galerius in 296, whose victories were never forgiven and caused the incessant wars of Shapur II for much of the 4th century.
¤ CUICUL Military colony created in the late 1st century A.D. (c. 96). Cuicul was one of the numerous Roman colonies in North Africa (see THAMUGADI; THUGGA; THYSDRUS), specifically in NUMIDIA. The original walls of the colony were outgrown by the middle of the 2nd century A.D., and the city emerged as one of the most interesting sites in Africa. Cuicul possessed all of the normal buildings associated with Roman colonies, including baths and various basilicas. It also had a Senate chamber, a forum of some size, and a theater. The colonists, however, were blessed with two other notable structures, the Temple of the Severans and the Arch of Caracalla. The arch was erected in 216 A.D., as part of a large effort by the city to honor the family of Septimius Severus. It stood just north of the Severan temple and near the square named after the family. The temple was completed around 230 and contained all of the normal elements found in classical Roman religious buildings. Cuicul also became known as Djemila.
¤ CUNOBELLINUS (d. 42 A.D.) King of the CATUVELLAUNI, a powerful tribe in Britain, from about 5 A.D. to 41 or 42 A.D. He was the son of the powerful leader Tasciovanus and took over the throne with an eye toward solidification and expansion. Thus he conquered or acquired dominance over most of southeastern England. Ruling from CAMULODUNUM (Colchester), Cunobellinus furthered the economic growth of the islands and ties with the BELGAE on the Continent. The Romans knew him as the king of the Britons. He had three sons: CARATACUS, Togodumnus and Amminius. Caratacus and Togodumnus agreed with their father's anti-Roman policies, but Amminius favored improved relations and eventually fled to the Romans. Cunobellinus died shortly after, and the stage was set for the invasion by Claudius in 43 A.D.
¤ CURA ANNONAE The original board charged with the supply of corn for Rome, its name meaning "care for the harvest." The task of this group's members was handed eventually by Augustus to the newly created office of the praefectus annonae. See also ANNONA.
¤ CURA AQUARUM Board that maintained the water supply and the aqueducts of Rome. The three members were appointed by the emperor, with a presiding officer and the pay and full rights of public officials. Augustus founded the board in 11 B.C. but acted in coordination with the Senate. The first presiding officer of the cura aquarum was Messalla Corvinus.
¤ CURAE PALATIORUM The board overseeing residences of the emperors during the Late Empire. They were under the care of the PRAEPOSITUS SACRI CUBICULI. See also DOMUS.
¤ CURATORES Agents of the imperial government who oversaw the finances of the various cities of the Empire. The institution probably began under Emperor TRAJAN, who sent out reliable officials, some of senatorial rank, to examine the accounts of the cities. Eventually he appointed them to other provinces as well, such as BITHYNIA. Their original role was as advisors and to stem corruption. However, they provided the emperors with a means of bureaucratic control and could dominate a community by virtue of their special status. Increased centralization was the inevitable result.
¤ CURIA The meeting house of the SENATE, specifically, and the name also applied to a meeting place generally. Senatorial proceedings were held throughout Rome's history in several buildings: the CURIA HOSTILIA, CURIA POMPEY and the CURIA JULIA. Tradition dictated that curia be prominently positioned with access to the sky to observe omens.
¤ CURIA CORNELIA The curia begun in 52 B.C. by Faustus Sulla, the son of Sulla the dictator. It was intended to restore the CURIA HOSTILIA, but Julius CAESAR ordered construction to cease in the mid-forties, in favor of his own CURIA JULIA. A lingering dislike for Sulla led the Romans to destroy the work and to replace it with a temple.
¤ CURIA HOSTILIA The first great curia and the meeting place of the SENATE for centuries. According to tradition, the curia had been built by King Tullus Hostilius in the 7th century B.C. for his own use but was taken over by the new Republic. Finally succumbing to violence in 52 B.C., the curia was burned in riots following the death of CLODIUS. Faustus Sulla, the dictator's son, began an effort to rebuild it as the CURIA CORNELIA, but Julius CAESAR halted the work to ensure the completion of his own CURIA JULIA. The Curia Hostilia was the stage on which some of the finest orations of Rome were made, including those of Caesar and Cicero. The structure stood prominently in the FORUM ROMANUM.
¤ CURIA JULIA The new home for the SENATE, begun by Julius CAESAR in place of the CURIA HOSTILIA and finished by AUGUSTUS. It was dedicated in 29 B.C. Its location, as conceived by Caesar, reflected the decline of the Senate. Instead of a prominent site in the FORUM ROMANUM, the curia now stood next to the BASILICA AEMILIA along a different axis from the original Curia Hostilia, actually near the Forum Julium. In 94 A.D., DOMITIAN reconstructed the Curia Julia slightly in order to position it along the cardinal points of the compass, retaining Caesar's original plan. In 283 A.D., during the reign of CARINUS, a fire destroyed much of the structure. DIOCLETIAN repaired the structure using concrete and stucco. The renewed curia survived and provided the clearest glimpse of the environment in which the Senate of Rome functioned. Two aisles led to the seats of the CONSULS, while on either side the senators in the benches were arranged according to importance and seniority. The more powerful senators sat comfortably in the front, while the junior members stood crowded at the top. The curia was 27 feet by 18 feet, and tremendous congestion must have been commonplace.
¤ CURIA POMPEIA A curia situated in the entrance of the Theater of Pompey. It was reportedly small but served during the construction of the CURIA JULIA as the meeting place of the SENATE. The Senate met in the Curia Pompey on the fateful Ides of March, and Julius CAESAR died at the base of Pompey's statue, which stood in the midst of the building. The curia was located near the Tiber, in the area of the Circus Flaminius.
¤ CURIALIS The title given to a member of the city councils (the curiae) throughout the Roman Empire; an inherited position. The curiales (plural) worked as the local representatives of the imperial government. Their duties included assisting in the administration of estates and offices and, most importantly, in the collection of duties, levies and taxes. Local agents thus assumed considerable power in their own regions. As the principle representatives of imperial TAXATION, the curiales earned the dislike of a city's inhabitants. They acted as workers for the state without real compensation or rewards. Thus only the wealthiest of the social classes in a region could afford service but were initially unwilling to do so, for obvious reasons. Exemptions were made for a number of categories, and senators and Equestrians avoided it because of their duties in Rome, while others were exempted, including the clergy, doctors and caretakers of imperial grounds. All landowners not eligible for inclusion on the exemption list, all those possessing 25 Roman acres or more had to join the curia; their children were compelled to follow.
By the 4th century, as the central bureaucracy under DIOCLETIAN and CONSTANTINE grew in autocratic strength, serving as a curialis became unbearable. The curiales were seen as tyrannical and cruel oppressors of the poorest classes, while the higher social strata avoided all association with them. Great effort was exerted by individuals to escape the curiae, and decrees of the 4th and 5th centuries indicate that they were no more popular with the emperors than they were with the taxed populace. During the time of Diocletian members could not receive honorific offices, but under THEODOSIUS n, the Codex Theodosianus (428-439 A.D.) restricted any departures from the land, exacerbating the already unpleasant restrictions. The members were forced to pay tax deficiencies out of their own pocket and were beaten for disobeying imperial decrees. The inevitable collapse of the middle class took place as the curiales went bankrupt or fled their land holdings. This social demise worsened the already decaying economic situation in the provinces and contributed to the demise of the Roman Empire. See also ECONOMY.
¤ CURSUS HONORUM Circuit of appointments by which a Roman magistrate could rise to increasingly powerful positions in government. Normally, an individual would assume the offices of: TRIBUNE (military service); QUAESTOR; AEDILE; PRAETOR; CONSUL; and CENSOR. Other forms of the cursus honorum existed in the imperial government, including one for the Equestrian Class (EQUITES).
¤ CURSUS PUBLICUS Courier service of the Roman Empire, created by Emperor AUGUSTUS for the purpose of transporting messages and officials from one province to another. A series of forts and stations were spread out along the major road systems connecting the regions of the Roman world. These relay points (or stationes) provided horses to dispatch riders, usually soldiers, and vehicles for magistrates or officers of the court. The vehicles were called clabulae, but little is known of them. A diplomata or certificate issued by the emperor himself was necessary to use the roads. Abuses of the system existed, for governors and minor appointees used the diplomata either to aid themselves in transport free of charge or to avail their families; forgeries and stolen diplomata were also used.
The cursus operated in Italy and in the more advanced provinces. There was only one in EGYPT and one in ASIA MINOR, as Pliny's letters to Trajan attest. It was common for a village to exist every 12 miles or so, and there a courier might rest at large, privately owned mansiones. Operated by a manceps, or business man, the mansiones provided food and lodging, and care and a blacksmith for the horses. The cursus also used communities located along the imperial highways. These towns very often provided food and horses to messengers of the LEGIONS, theoretically receiving reimbursement, and were responsible for the care of their section of the Roman ROADS. Disputes arose naturally, and for a time the central administration participated more directly.
Costs for the cursus publicus were always high, and its maintenance could not always be guaranteed. Around the time of Nerva, in the late 1st century, the general cost was transferred to the FISCUS (treasury). Further centralization came during the reign of Hadrian, who created an actual administration under a prefect, who bore the title praefectus vehiculorum. Provinces were always in touch with Rome and one another. The Imperial Post gave to the legions the capacity to summon reinforcements and provide status reports before any situation deteriorated too badly. The average citizen sent letters and messages to friends across the sea through slaves and traveling associates. Most news reached its destination eventually.
¤ CYBELE The Great Earth Mother of Asia, she found a large and passionate following both in Rome and throughout the Empire. The goddess of nature, the mountains and fertility, she had been known to the Romans through Hellenic influence. In 204 B.C., the Senate chose a moment of crisis during the Punic War to bring Cybele to Rome from her cultic center at Pessinus in Phrygia. An embassy brought her black betyl stone of odd shape to the Temple of Victory, and there P. Scipio Nasica installed it. The black stone, made supposedly of meteoric rock, represented Cybele's throne. The great games of MEGALESIA were then held in her honor. In 191 B.C., the goddess received her own temple on the Palatine Hill. When Phrygian priests arrived to conduct orgiastic and bloody ceremonies, a law was passed by the Senate to prohibit direct involvement by citizens in the rituals of Cybele, although support of her brotherhoods was allowed. Phrygian clerics became a fixture in the city, with their magnificent attire, and during the reign of Claudius (41-54 A.D.) a more lax attitude toward the cult was adopted.
Cybele's legendary lover Attis, of whom CATULLUS wrote his 63rd poem, began to be honored in Rome under Claudius. With the arrival of this deity the Romans could join the cultic priesthood freely, although the entire cult fell under the jurisdiction of the QUINDECIMVIRI. A new series of holy days in his honor began the spring cycle. Already popular in ASIA MINOR, the cult of Cybele spread out from Rome to the provinces. The goddess was associated with forms of ARTEMIS and VENUS, and cults grew in MACEDONIA, THRACE, AFRICA, HISPANIA and throughout GALLIA and all of Italy. As a pagan form of worship, Cybele was attacked vehemently by the Christians, and of all the cults in Rome and elsewhere, hers took the longest to die in the Christian era.
In 392 A.D., Emperor Eugenius allowed Cybele to return from exile, having been sent away in 363 under Christian influence. Rome was treated once more to the Megalesian games, and her statue received the obligatory centuries-old washing. The Christians successfully reasserted their dominance in time. See also GNOSTICISM; GODS AND GODDESSES; RELIGION.
¤ CYNEGIUS, MATERNUS (fl. late 4th century A.D.) Praetorian prefect in the East from 384 to 388 A.D., a proponent of strict Christian orthodoxy, especially in dealing with the remnants of PAGANISM. Emperor Theodosius I charged him with the task of closing all of the pagan temples in which sacrifices were conducted. Cynegius took to his mission with fanaticism, touring Asia and Egypt and setting off other, more punitive actions by monks who destroyed completely the Serapeum at Alexandria and the temple of Edessa. Cynegius was opposed by LIBANIUS. He also served as consul in 388.
¤ CYNICS Members of a philosophical school of the ancient world, probably founded by Diogenes of Sinope (c. 400-325 B.C.). In principle, Cynicism called for the ruthless purging of materialism and the development of a sense of ethical selflessness, valuing poverty and the freedom to speak one's mind. The development of the Cynic philosophy was hampered by its own lack of organization; although considerably popular in the 4th and 3rd century B.C., it faded in the next 200 years. A rebirth of the movement took place in the 1st century A.D. Cynics in the Roman Empire were easily identified, because they wandered the cities in rags, preaching their doctrines. They were vocal opponents of authority and government, especially under Vespasian.
Unconventional, demanding and mocking, the Cynics attacked the emperor and all forms of tyranny, led by DEMETRIUS THE CYNIC. Vespasian at first ignored them, calling Demetrius "good dog," a reference to the Greek kuon, or dog, the original term for the Cynics. So harsh did the group become, however, that the normally even-handed emperor first banished them in 71 A.D. and then turned to harsher measures. Although Demetrius was executed, other compatriots later denounced Titus' relationship with the Jewish Princess BERENICE, forcing him to abandon his long-term plans with her. Pseudo-Cynics emerged in the 1st century A. D. as well, who carried on in their ragged habits while secretly living in comfort and ease. They were condemned by the real Cynics.
Famous Cynics of the 1st and 2nd century included DIO COCCEIANUS, Peregrinus Proteus and Demonax. The school remained very popular both in the public imagination and in the minds of the well educated. Remarkable similarities emerged between the Cynics and the early Christian ascetics. By the 6th century A.D., the philosophers had been absorbed completely into the Christian community.
¤ CYPRIAN (Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, "St. Cyprian") (c. 200-258 A.D.) Bishop of Carthage from 248 to 258 A.D.; born a pagan, to Carthaginian parents of some wealth and status, and trained in rhetoric. He converted to Christianity in 246 and was baptized soon afterward. He became a priest, and then the bishop of Carthage, sometime around 248-249, in an era of persecution of Christians that had begun under Emperor Decius. Cyprian left his see in order to avoid death, but his letters provide a chronicle of the terrible events of the period. One of the questions arising from the persecution was the matter of dealing with those Christians who had recanted their faith in order to survive. Cyprian proposed that they be allowed to return with proper penance, a view not held by adherents of religious strictness. His stand on the NOVATIAN movement put him at odds with many in Rome, including Pope STEPHANUS. Cyprian, seconded by most prelates in the East, opposed the pope's baptism of Novatian's flock. He rejected such heretical baptisms while stressing the need for Christian unity and the importance of perpetuating the early ideal of equality among the bishops.
Persecution of Christians was renewed under Trebonianus Callus (251-253) and then under Valerian (253-260). Cyprian returned to Carthage in 257 but received orders of exile. Finally, in 258, on September 13, he was martyred for his faith. Cyprian's influence and work in the African Church created the environment for the schisms of the 4th century, especially those of the Donatists and others. Further, he took a firm legal perspective on his own beliefs and on the manner in which bishops should conduct their affairs. Thus the church in North Africa rested firmly in the hands of the bishops and their councils, who used such meetings (as in 251 and 254) to grant to the common but fallen faithful the means of returning to the Christian community while denying the same right to clerics who were appointed ministers and then failed. Cyprian's writings displayed his rhetorical training. His letters (81 in number) and treatises (15) helped detail his 10 years as the ranking prelate in Carthage. Cyprian modeled himself greatly on Tertullian and to a lesser extent on Minucius Felix. He received praise or was mentioned by EUSEBIUS, JEROME, LACTANTIUS and PRUDENTIUS.
¤ CYPRUS Roman province on the large Mediterranean island off the coast of SYRIA and south of ASIA MINOR. Cyprus came under direct Roman control in 58 B.C., when it was attached to the province of CILICIA. In that year, however, political feuds in Rome made its status unclear. CLODIUS sought to remove the troublesome CATO UTICENSIS from the city and so named him administrator of Cyprus. Cato fulfilled his duties, ironically aiding the island in the process. Later and for a brief time, CLEOPATRA owned Cyprus, as a gift from Marc ANTONY. AUGUSTUS reclaimed it and declared the entire stretch of land an imperial province once more, though control probably passed into the hands of the SENATE, appointing a proconsul. Cyprus was dominated by two major cities, Paphos and Salamis. When the massive Jewish revolt broke out in 115 A.D., it spread to Cyprus. By the following year virtually all of Salamis had been destroyed, and its non-Jewish residents had been massacred. When peace was restored, a decree was enacted, banning all Jews from the province and condemning any found on the island to death. Paphos served as the seat of administration during this and other periods, but a terrible earthquake forced the movement of the proconsul's seat to Salamis in the 4 century A.D.
Know originally as a fertile and abundant island, the province served as a source of copper for some time and helped to promote trade throughout most of the Empire. It was said as well that the worship of Aphrodite (VENUS) arrived in Cyprus through Phoenician traders. Christianity took over the island quickly, and the Church of Cyprus won its temporal and theological independence from ANTIOCH as a result of the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
¤ CYRENAICA See CRETE AND CYRENAICA.
¤ CYRENE A large and prosperous city in North Africa, between ALEXANDRIA and CARTHAGE. Originally a Greek colony, Cyrene belonged to the province of CRETE AND CYRENAICA. The city was located about 10 miles from the coast on the top of the Cyrenaican Mountains, some 2,000 feet above sea level. For some years Cyrene was in the hands of the Ptolemies, and the Republic allowed it to remain so until the early 1st century B.C. Control was then granted to Greek cities, but in 74 B.C. all of Cyrenaica reverted to Rome, and Cyrene joined the newly formed province. Under the Early Empire it grew in size and in wealth, though never boasting great economic power. From 115 to 117 A.D., the Jewish revolt raged across much of Africa, Egypt and Cyprus, and its flames reached the city. The Greek population was massacred, temples burned and roads destroyed. Hadrian assumed the task of rebuilding and repairing, especially the temples of Zeus and Apollo. A number of other monuments and buildings dominated the city, including a temple to Augustus near the Forum of Proclus, a structure erected in the early 1st century A.D. Baths were also built during the reign of Trajan, though not as impressive as those in Rome or in major provincial capitals.
The economy of Cyrene was based upon agriculture, although horses were bred and raised there as well. Cereals and corn were the main exports after the decline of silphium, a medicinal plant that became nearly extinct.
Gyrene's agora housed several inscriptions dating from the time of Augustus and detailing the enactments of the emperor. The first four inscriptions, dated from 7 to 6 B.C., dealt with Crete and Cyrenaica specifically and covered such issues as criminal procedures, treatment of Roman citizens and the rights of the Greeks. The last decree, issued in 4 B.C., covered the judicial powers of the Senate. Cyrene later received colonial status from Hadrian.
¤ CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA ("St. Cyril") (d. 444 A.D.)
Bishop of Alexandria from 412 to 444 A.D. and a leading figure in the internal struggles of the Christian Church in the early 5th century. He may have had a hand in the horrible death of the pagan philosopher, HYPATIA, in 415 A.D., and he energetically fought against PAGANISM, JUDAISM and Christian heresy. Cyril, however, found his greatest enemy within the church - NESTORIUS, the bishop of Constantinople. Cyril argued for Christ's dual nature, human and divine, a view widely supported by his fellow Alexandrian theologians. Nestorius differed, attacking Cyril's beliefs as nonsensical. A war of influence erupted between the prelates. Cyril wrote to Emperor Theodosius II, PULCHERIA and other important personages, and both he and Nestorius invoked the aid of Pope Celestine, who had political reasons for supporting Alexandria over Rome's rival, Constantinople. The emperor was convinced by Nestorius to convene a council at Ephesus in 431.
What was to have been an impartial synod degenerated into a struggle of spheres of powers. Nestorius' life was threatened, and with the arrival of the delegates from Rome enough votes were cast to condemn him. Nestorius struck back with his own allies from Antioch, and Cyril suffered not only prosecution but also removal from his see. Bribery and organized riots followed. Theodosius, at the urging of his wife Pulcheria, lifted the ban on Cyril but allowed Nestorius to go first to Antioch, then into exile. Having won a bitter war, Cyril now faced an equally hostile split with Antioch until 433, when both sides accepted an accommodation. Cyril remained at his post until his death. Cyril's writings included a defense of Christianity, written between 435 and 440; the prelate refuted Emperor Julian, and also wrote Letters and Anathemas.
¤ CYRIL OF JERUSALEM ("St. Cyril") (fl. 4th century A.D.) Bishop of JERUSALEM from about 350 to 386 A.D.; encountered problems as a prelate from the ascendant Arianists in the church. He was removed by his metropolitan (religious superior), Acacius, in 357. Two years later the Council of Seleucia reinstated Cyril, and he participated in the councils of Constantinople in 361 and in 381. Cyril wrote his 24 Catechetical Lectures, the foundation of liturgical training, sometime around 350. He also serves as one of history's best sources for studying Jerusalem in the later Roman Empire.
¤ CYRUS, FLAVIUS (fl. 5th century A.D.) Praetorian prefect of the East (439-441) and PREFECT OF THE CITY of CONSTANTINOPLE (439). From Panopolis in Egypt originally, Cyrus studied architecture and art and wrote poetry. Although generally considered a pagan, he attained influence in the court at Constantinople and the friendship of Empress EUDOCIA, wife of THEODOSIUS n. As Praetorian prefect, he proved both successful and, until 441, immensely popular. Cyrus issued decrees in Greek, rather than Latin, and effected numerous civic improvements, completing the walls of Anthemius, restoring buildings and installing street lighting. In 441, however, his influence faded with Eudocia's fall from power. Apparently converted to Christianity, he was then named to the see of a small town in PHRYGIA, where his first sermon contained a mere 37 words.
¤ CYZICUS City in the province of BITHYNIA, located at the neck of a peninsula jutting into the Sea of Marmara. Cyzicus traditionally served as a major port in the Bosporus region because of its two harbors and its ingenious defense measures. The isthmus could be flooded to halt sieges or attacks from pirates, an event that took place in 21 A.D. The city was a haven for the combatants of the civil war between Antony and Octavian (Augustus). Its increasing power in trade brought merchants into conflict with other parties in time. In 20 B.C., Cyzicus temporarily suffered the loss of its rights (Libertas), apparently because of the murder of several traders from Rome. Claudius established a mint at Cyzicus, and Hadrian build a large temple, affirming the city's status as a metropolis. By the 3rd century A.D., its influence stretched throughout Bithynia and into Mysia. Antonia Tryphaena, the widow of the murdered COTYS OF THRACE, lived in Cyzicus.
¤ CYZICUS, BATTLE OF An engagement in the fall of 193 A.D. between the legions of Septimius SEVERUS and the governor of Asia, Asellius Aemilianus, who supported NIGER in the battle for the throne of Rome. When Severus marched from Rome, Aemilianus tried to stop his advance on the west side of the Bosporus, at Byzantium, failing in his efforts. The governor doubled back to meet the enemy, being ferried to the eastern shore. Near Cyzicus the two armies clashed, and Aemilianus was crushed. He died on the field of battle, as did Bithynian support for Niger. See also issus; NICAEA, BATTLE OF.