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tified Titus, that he was pleased to authenticate it, or to give his testimony to the truth of it, by affixing to it his own signature, and placing it in one of the public libraries of Rome (A.D. 80). Josephus attended Titus throughout the Jewish war, having fallen into his hands as a prisoner after the siege of Jotapata, where he displayed his abilities by enabling the city to hold out for forty-seven days against the efforts of Vespasian and his son; an event which took place at the breaking out of the rebellion in Judea. On this occasion, the life of the historian, which Providence seems to have watched over, for the purpose of handing down to us the knowledge of events that so strongly confirm the truth of our religion, was preserved in a most singular manner. He and forty of his countrymen took refuge, after Jotapata was taken, in a cave; and when his companions were determined to kill him and themselves, rather than fall into the hands of the Romans, he prerailed with them to draw lots who should be killed, one after the other; and at last he was thus left with only a single companion, whom he persuaded to surrender with himself to Vespasian (A.D. 67).

26. The other writer of this reign, whose name is deservedly famous, was Pliny, surnamed the elder. His work on Natural History is a collection of all the principal facts that were then known on this interesting science. It consists of 37 books, and is a monument of the industry and genius of the author, exceedingly valuable to all those who would understand the degree of knowledge which the ancients possessed of natural philosophy. Pliny was distinguished early by his military talents in the German war, and was afterwards governor of Spain. He lost his life during the eruption of mount Vesuvius, to which reference has been made (A.D. 79). He was at this time with the fleet under his command, at Misenum; but with the view of assisting those who were in peril nearer the mountain, he landed at a place where he might the better effect this benevolent design. He had not, however, fully appreciated the danger, no eruption of Vesuvius having taken place for several centuries before. After lingering for a few hours at the house of his friend Pomponianus, at Stabia, he was compelled to retire again towards the sea, by the showers of falling stones and ashes, which threatened him and his party with destruction. There,

as the narrative tells us, they waited to put to sea, but found the waves running extremely high and boisterous ; upon which Pliny. threw himself down upon a cloth which was spread for him. But presently the flames from the mountain, and a strong smell of sulphur, dispersed some of his party, and obliged him to rise. He raised himself up with the assistance of two of his servants, but almost instantly fell down insensible, being suffocated by some impure and noxious vapours which he was the less able to resist, having always had weak lungs, and a difficulty of breathing. The third day after his death, liis body was found entire, and without any marks of violenco upon it, exactly in the same posture as he fell, and looking more like a man asleep than dead.

27. Such are nearly the words in which this melancholy accident is described by the younger Pliny, who was at this time dwelling Misenum, and who wrote the account of his uncle's death. He has given a detailed account in one of his letters of all the circumstances attending this dreadful eruption of Vesuvius, which, among its other fearful ravages, overwhelmed the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, and bid them from the eye of man for a period of more than 1500 years.

SUMMARY OF ERA THE THIRD.

1. Name and family of the Vespasians.-2. Sketch of the Emperors who succeeded Augustus to the time of Vespasian.-3. Vespasian's history as a general before he obtains the empire.—4. The importance of this era.-5. Titus, the son of Vespasian ; his connection with this era.—6. He is sent by his father to carry on the Jewish war, and besieges Jerusalem.-7. Circumstances attending its siege and capture.—8. The account Josephus gives us of this event.-9. The subject continued.—10. The dreadful story of Eleazar's daughter.-11. Titus desires to save the temple ; his wishes are prevented.-12. The burning of the sacred edifice; description of it by Josephus.—13. The military talents and valour of Titus; he returns to Rome.-14. Takes a share in the government of the empire.-15. Reference to the arch of Vespasian at Rome, and other monuments of the conquest of Judea.—16. The miseries which fell upon the Jews; the death of their chief leaders; Jonathan and John at Rome.—17. The treatment of the Jewish captives. -18. The furniture of the temple, and its subsequent history.-19. The virtues of Titus after he became sole Emperor.-20. His generosity exemplified.-21. His humanity.-22. His gentleness and forbearance.—23. His famous saying.–24. The circumstance of his premature death ; dies greatly lamented.-25. The two remarkable writers of his age; Josephus and his history.—26. The elder Pliny ; his death, in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. -27. Pompeii and Herculaneum destroyed at this time.

63

ERA THE FOURTH.

THE LIFE OF ANTONINUS PIUS.

THE ANTONINES, AND THE FIRST TOLERATION OF THE

CHRISTIAN RELIGION.

a

1. From the death of Titus Vespasian to the era which we are now to notice, there was an interval of fifty-seven years (A.D. 81-138). During this time, the empire of Rome was governed in succession, by four rulers: Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian. of these, the first continued to disgrace the memory of his father and brother for fifteen years, and was then put to death by a conspiracy, which raised Nerva to the situation of Emperor (A.D. 96). His feeble old age was unable to administer the affairs of empire with the vigour that was necessary after the long tyranny of Domitian, and he was a prince of mild character, unsuited to the people over whom he had to preside. He beqneathed the burden of power, after a short reign of two years, to Trajan (A.D. 98), who had already been an experienced soldier, and for about nineteen years after was employed in extending the conquests of Rome among the Dacians, and in the east even as far as the borders of Judea. His victories were, however, of little value, and the yoke which he imposed upon many barbarous nations, was speedily thrown off. This martial and ambitious emperor was succeeded at his death by Hadrian (A.D. 117), who held the office for twenty-one years, and whose life was a scene of constant bustle and activity, as a soldier and a statesman. He was a great traveller, and there was scarcely any part of the empire which he did not visit and inspect in person; marching frequently bare-headed and on foot, and traversing

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