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SYNOPSIS OF EVENTS BETWEEN THE BATTLE OF THE METAURUS, B.C. 207,

AND ARMININIUS'S VICTORY OVER THE ROMAN LEGIONS UNDER VARUS, A.D. 9.

B.C. 205 to 201. Scipio is made consul, and carries the war into Africa. He gains several victories there, and the Carthaginians recall Hannibal from Italy to oppose him. Battle of Zama in 201: Hannibal is defeated, and Carthage sues for peace. End of the second Punic war, leaving Rome confirmed in the dominion of Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, and also mistress of great part of Spain, and virtually predominant in North Africa.

200. Rome makes war upon Philip, king of Macedonia. She pretends to take the Greek cities of the Achaean league and the AEtolians under her protection as allies. Philip is defeated by the proconsul Flaminius at Cynocephalae, 198; and begs for peace. The Macedonian influence is now completely destroyed in Greece, and the Roman established in its stead, though Rome nominally acknowledged the independence of the Greek cities.

194. Rome makes war upon Antiochus, king of Syria. He is completely defeated at the battle of Magnesia, 192, and is glad to accept peace on conditions which leave him dependent upon Rome.

200-190. "Thus, within the short; space of ten years, was laid the foundation of the Roman authority in the East, and the general state of affairs entirely changed. If Rome was not yet the ruler, she was at least the arbitress of the world from the Atlantic to the Euphrates. The power of the three principal states was so completely humbled, that they durst not, without the permission of Rome, begin any new war; the fourth, Egypt, had already, in the year 201, placed herself under the guardianship of Rome; and the lesser powers followed of themselves: esteeming it an honour to be called the allies of Rome. With this name the nations were lulled into security, and brought under the Roman yoke; the new political system of Rome was founded and strengthened partly by exciting and supporting the weaker states against the stronger, however unjust the cause of the former might be, and partly by factions which she found means to raise in every state, even the smallest."--(HEEREN.)

172. War renewed between Macedon and Rome. Decisive defeat of Perses, the Macedonian king, by Paulus AEmilius at Pydna, 168, Destruction of the Macedonian monarchy.

150. Rome oppresses the Carthaginians till they are driven to take up arms, and the third Punic war begins, Carthage is taken and destroyed by Scipio AEmilianus, 146, and the Carthaginian territory is made a Roman province.

146. In the same year in which Carthage falls, Corinth is stormed by the Roman army under Mummius. The Achaean league had been goaded into hostilities with Rome, by means similar to those employed against Carthage. The greater part of Southern Greece is made a Roman province, under the name of Achaia.

133. Numantium is destroyed by Scipio AEmilianus. "The war against the Spaniards, who, of all the nations subdued by the Romans, defended their liberty with the greatest obstinacy, began in the year 200, six years after the total expulsion of the Carthaginians from their country, 206. It was exceedingly obstinate, partly from the natural state of the country, which was thickly populated, and where every place became a fortress; partly from the courage of the inhabitants; but at last all, owing to the peculiar policy of the Romans, who yielded to employ their allies to subdue other nations. This war continued, almost without interruption, from the year 200 to 133, and was for the most part carried on at the same time in Hispania Citerior, where the Celtiberi were the most formidable adversaries, and in Hispania Ulterior, where the Lusitani were equally powerful. Hostilities were at the highest pitch in 195, under Cato, who reduced Hispania Citerior to a state of tranquillity in 185-179, when the Celtiberi were attacked in their native territory; and 155-150, when the Romans in both provinces were so often beaten, that nothing was more dreaded by the soldiers at home than to be sent there. The extortions and perfidy of Servius Galba placed Viriathus, in the year 146, at the head of his nations, the Lusitani: the war, however, soon extended itself to Hispania Citerior, where many nations, particularly the Numantines, took up arms against Rome, 143. Viriathus, sometimes victorious and sometimes defeated, was never more formidable than in the moment of defeat; because he knew how to take advantage of his knowledge of the country and of the dispositions of his countrymen. After his murder, caused by the treachery of Saepio, 140, Lusitania was subdued; but the Numantine war became still more violent, and the Numantines compelled the consul Mancinus to a disadvantageous treaty, 137. When Scipio, in the year 133, put an end to this war, Spain was certainly tranquil; the northern parts, however, were still unsubdued, though the Romans penetrated as far as Galatia."--HEEREN.

134. Commencement of the revolutionary century at Rome, I.E. from the time of the excitement produced by the attempts made by the Gracchi to reform the commonwealth, to the battle of Actium (B.C. 31), which established Octavianus Caesar as sole master of the Roman world. Throughout this period Rome was engaged in important foreign wars, most of which procured large accessions to her territory.

118-106. The Jugurthine war. Numidia is conquered, and made a Roman province.

113-101. The great and terrible war of the Cimbri and Teutones against Rome. These nations of northern warriors slaughter several Roman armies in Gaul, and in 102 attempt to penetrate into Italy, The military genius of Marius here saves his country; he defeats the Teutones near Aix, in Provence; and in the following year he destroys the army of the Cimbri, who had passed the Alps, near Vercellae.

91-88. The war of the Italian allies against Rome. This was caused by the refusal of Rome to concede to them the rights of Roman citizenship. After a sanguine struggle, Rome gradually grants it.

89-86. First war of the Romans against Mithridates the Great, king of Pontus, who had overrun Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Greece. Sylla defeats his armies, and forces him to withdraw his forces from Europe. Sylla returns to Rome to carry on the civil war against the son and partisans of Marius. He makes himself Dictator.

74-64. The last Mithridatic wars. Lucullus, and after him Pompeius, command against the great King of Pontus, who at last is poisoned by his son, while designing to raise the warlike tribes of the Danube against Rome, and to invade Italy from the north-east. Great Asiatic conquests of the Romans. Besides the ancient province of Pergamus, the maritime countries of Bithynia, and nearly all Paphlagonia and Pontus, are formed into a Roman province, under the name of Bithynia; while on the southern coast Cilicia and Pamphylia form another, under the name of Cilicia; Phoenicia and Syria compose a third, under the name of Syria. On the other hand, Great Armenia is left to Tigranes; Cappodocia to Ariobarzanes; the Bosphorus to Pharnaces; Judaea to Hyrcanus; and some other small states are also given to petty princes, all of whom remain dependent on Rome.

58-50. Caesar conquers Gaul.

  1. Crassus attacks the Parthians with a Roman army, but is overthrown and killed at Carrhae in Mesopotamia. His lieutenant Cassius collects the wrecks of the army, and prevents the Parthians from conquering Syria.

49-45. The civil war between Caesar and the Pompeian party. Caesar drives Pompeius out of Italy, conquers his enemy's forces in Spain, and then passes into Greece, where Pompeius and the other aristocratic chiefs had assembled a large army. Caesar gives them a decisive defeat at the great battle of Pharsalia. Pompeius flies for refuge to Alexandria, where he is assassinated. Caesar, who had followed him thither, is involved in a war with the Egyptians, in which he is finally victorious. The celebrated Cleopatra is made Queen of Egypt. Caesar next marches into Pontus, and defeats the son of Mithridates, who had taken part in the war against him. He then proceeds to the Roman province of Africa, where some of the Pompeian chiefs had established themselves, aided by Juba, a native prince. He over throws them at the battle of Thapsus. He is again obliged to lead an army into Spain, where the sons of Pompeius had collected the wrecks of their father's party. He crushes the last of his enemies at the battle of Munda. Under the title of Dictator, he is the sole master of the Roman world.

  1. Caesar is killed in the Senate-house; the Civil wars are soon renewed, Brutus and Cassius being at the head of the aristocratic party, and the party of Caesar being led by Mark Antony and Octavianus Caesar, afterwards Augustus.

  1. Defeat and death of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi. Dissensions soon break out between Octavianus Caesar and Antony.

  1. Antony is completely defeated by Octavianus Caesar at Actium. He flies to Egypt with Cleopatra. Octavianus pursues him. Antony and Cleopatra kill themselves. Egypt becomes a Roman province, and Octavianus Caesar is left undisputed master of Rome, and all that is Rome's. The state of the Roman world at this time is best described in two lines of Tacitus:--"Postquam bellatum apud Actium, atque OMNEM POTESTATEM AD UNUM CONFERRI PACIS INTERFUIT." (Hist. lib. i. s. 1.)

The 44th year of the reign of Augustus, and the 1st year of the 195th Olympiad, is commonly assigned as the date of THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD. There is much of the beauty of holiness in the remarks with which the American historian, Eliot, closes his survey of the conquering career and civil downfall of the Roman Commonwealth:--

"So far as humility amongst men was necessary for the preparation of a truer freedom than could ever be known under heathenism, the part of Rome, however dreadful was yet sublime. It was not to unite, to discipline, or to fortify humanity, but to enervate, to loosen, and to scatter its forces, that the people whose history we have read were allowed to conquer the earth, and were then themselves reduced to deep submission. Every good labour of theirs that failed was, by reason of what we esteem its failure, a step gained nearer to the end of the well-nigh universal evil that prevailed; while every bad achievement that may seem to us to have succeeded, temporarily or lastingly, with them was equally, by reason of its success, a progress towards the good of which the coming would have been longed and prayed for, could it have been comprehended. Alike in the virtues and in the vices of antiquity, we may read the progress towards its humiliation. ["The Christian revelation," says Leland, in his truly admirable work on the subject (vol. i. p. 488), "was made to the world at a time when it was most wanted; when the darkness and corruption of mankind were arrived at the height. . . . if it had been published much sooner, and before there had been a full trial made of what was to be expected from human wisdom and philosophy, the great need men stood in of such an extraordinary divine dispensation would not have been so apparent."] Yet, on the other hand, it must not seem, at the last, that the disposition of the Romans or of mankind to submission was secured solely through the errors, and the apparently ineffectual toils which we have traced back to these times of old. Desires too true to have been wasted, and strivings too humane to have been unproductive, though all were overshadowed by passing wrongs, still gleam as if in anticipation or in preparation of the advancing day.

"At length, when it had been proved by ages of conflict and loss, that no lasting joy and no abiding truth could be procured through the power, the freedom, or the faith of mankind, the angels sang their song in which the glory of God and the good- will of men were together blended. The universe was wrapped In momentary tranquillity, and 'peaceful was the night' above the manger at Bethlehem. We may believe, that when the morning came, the ignorance, the confusion, and the servitude of humanity had left their darkest forms amongst the midnight clouds. It was still, indeed, beyond the power of man to lay hold securely of the charity and the regeneration that were henceforth to be his law; and the indefinable terrors of the future, whether seen from the West or from the East, were not at once to be dispelled. But before the death of the Emperor Augustus, in the midst of his fallen subjects, the business of THE FATHER had already been begun in the Temple at Jerusalem; and near by, THE SON was increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man." [Eliot's "Liberty of Rome," vol. ii. p. 521.]




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