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likewise continued to make use of. He was extremely precise in the dating of his letters, putting down exactly the time of day or night at which they were dispatched.
36. With regard to the prevailing prejudice in favour of the truth of portents, omens, and dreams, Augustus betrayed a mind fully possessed with the delusions of the age in which he lived. His terror on such occasions sometimes showed itself in a way that was ridiculous. In a storm of thunder and lightning he would retire into a vault under ground; and he usually carried about with him a seal skin--an article supposed to be a means of preservation at such times. Upon his own dreams, and those of his friends, he laid much stress; and it was believed that he saved himself at the battle of Philippi by having left his tent at the instance of a friend, who had dreamt that his life would be there unsafe. tain day of the year, he publicly begged an alms of the people, holding out his hand as a supplicant, with the idea of thus being secured from some calamity with which one of his own dreams had threatened him.
Certain signs and omens he regarded as infallible; if in the morning his shoe was put on wrong, or the left instead of the right, it was always interpreted as a dismal presage; and when he set out on a journey by sea or land, a misty rain was held to be a good sign of a speedy and fortunate return.
37. From the whole of this view of the reign and conduct of Augustus, it will appear that the superiority which he obtained in his age and country was owing not so much to extraordinary qualities of mind or body, as to his caution, moderation, and artful policy. He understood well the spirit and the temper of the times in which he lived; and in exactly suiting himself to these consisted his secret of governing mankind. Profiting at first by his station and position, then by his fears, and lastly by the ascendancy which' victory over his rivals had given him, he secured possession of the imperial authority, still preserving among the Romans (as long as he lived) the image at least of civil liberty and of good government.
SUMMARY OF ERA THE SECOND.
1. The peculiarity of this era.—2. The birth of Octavius.—3. The Triumvirate and the battle of Philippi.-4. The rise of Octavius.-5. He dissolves his connection with Lepidus and Marc Antony.-Conquers Egypt, and makes it à Roman province.-6. The wars of Octavius.—7. Extent of the Roman Empire at this time.-8. Augustus makes triumphal processions after his victories.-9. A peaceful sovereign.-10. He shuts the Temple of Janus three times in his reign.-11. Proposes to resign his authority as Emperor, but afterwards consents to hold it for a limited period.-12. The Emperor's power.—13. Augustus shows great humility, and a dislike of pompous titles ; illustrations of his general conduct.-14. He makes many beneficial regulations.—15. He reforms the senate.-16. Puts restrictions on attendance at the public spectacles.—17. Evidences of his generosity of disposition.-18. The conduct of Augustus towards foreign powers.—19. He visits the eastern provinces; anecdote of the voluntary immolation of a Brahmin in the presence of his court.—20. The Emperor effects great improvements in the city; deposits immense wealth in the Capitol.—21. His zeal for the religion of his country; gifts to the Jewish temple; the policy of his government; his regard for the memory of distinguished Romans. —22. His opinion of the conduct of a good general.23. His moral character stained with the vices of his age ; an account of his family ; his nephew Marcellus; his daughter Julia, &c.—24. His love of the society of men of genius ; Virgil and Horace his companions.—25. Virgil's treatment by the Emperor, and by the Roman people.—26. The Emperor's conduct towards Cicero and Ovid an exception.-27. The peaceful death of Augustus.-28. Omens supposed to have attended his birth and death.-29. Augustus a great benefactor to the state.-30. His last will; his diary.–31. His residences; his love of what was beautiful and curious.—32. His mode of living ; his entertainments; diet and division of his time.-33. Description of the Emperor's person and bodily constitution.-34. His study and practice of elocution; his attention to literary composition.—35. His arrangements for the conveyance of letters ; his seals, &c.-36. His fears of lightning, and superstition respecting dreams, &c.; his attention to omens.-37. General estimate of the character of Augustus--of the causes of his success as Emperor.
ERA THE THIRD.
THE LIFE OF TITUS VESPASIAN.
THE ROMAN POWER TRIUMPHANT IN JUDEA, AND THE
DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
1. Titus VESPASIAN, as he is commonly called, was the tenth Roman Emperor, or the ninth reckoning from Augustus. His
proper name, or the name which he bears in Roman history, when written at full length, was Titus Flavius Vespasianus Augustus. The first of these titles marked the individual, being equivalent to our Christian name; the second denoted the race from which he descended, or the Flavii; the third, the particular family belonging to that race, or the Vespasians; the last was a mere honorary title, derived from the first Emperor to whom it was given.
2. The history of the Emperors who immediately succeeded Augustus presents but few bright spots, upon which the memory could wish to dwell. They were, for the most part, some of the worst characters which have disgraced the annals of Rome. Tiberius, upon whom the imperial mantle fell (A.D. 14) after the decease of Augustus, left a name polluted by vices and cruelties of the most abominable kind. Another monster followed him, distinguished by the nickname of Caligula (A.D. 37), whose brief reign of four years presents a scene of profligacy, madness, and atrocious crimes, of which the world has had but few such examples. After him succeeded Claudius (A.D. 41), whose reign of about fourteen years, was chiefly memorable for the conquest of a large portion of Britain (A.D. 43), and the captivity of the noble British chieftain Caractacus. In his cruelty, and other enormities, he manifested the disposition of a stern tyrant, whose only redeeming virtue was that of liberating Caractacus, after he had led him in triumph through the streets of Rome (A.D. 51). In Nero, the sixth of the Cæsars (1.D. 54), all the vices of preceding Emperors displayed themselves by turns; and although, like some of these, he began his reign with a show of virtue, he afterwards revelled in crimes that might have been thought suitable to a demon rather than a man. During nearly eighteen years the empire groaned under his yoke, a melancholy spectacle of degeneracy in every virtue. . He was the last who bore the family name of Cæsar; and the year after his death (A.D.68), Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, cach obtaining the empire by the power of a licentious soldiery, and becoming after a few months its unhappy victim, exhibited a mockery of the imperial majesty and greatness. Sweeping hastily over this period of fifty years from the death of Augustus, which brings us to a.d. 69, we arrive at a new and important era, the reign of Titus, who (with the exception of the son that bears his name) was, upon the whole, one of the best princes who inherited the power and dominion of the Caesars.
3. At the time that Claudius invaded Britain, Titus Vespasian was lieutenant-general of a legion in Germany, where he obtained much reputation as a warrior, but was recalled from thence to take a part in the victories of that Emperor in this island. Here he was distinguished in no less than thirty engagements, taking, among other conquests, the isle of Wight. In the reign of Nero he also maintained his military famc, by being commissioned to reduce the province of Judea, which had revolted from the Roman government (1.1). 66). But the civil war raised for a short time by Vitellius, rendered it necessary for him to proceed to Egypt. Meanwhile his own army in Judea had acknowledged him as Emperor, and the legions in Egypt soon following this example, his claim to the empire was universally admitted on the death of his only opponent (A.D. 69).
4. The year following was the era of an occurrence next in importance to that which signalized in the reign of Augustus. The siege and destruction of Jerusalem were