The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


of prosecuting C. Cassius, one of the murderers of J. Caesar. At the outbreak of the Perusinian war between Octavius, now Octavianus, and L. Anto-nius, in b. c. 41, Agrippa, who was then praetor, commanded part of the forces of Octavianus, and after distinguishing himself by skilful manoeuvres, besieged L. Antonius in Perusia. He took the town in b. c. 40, and towards the end of the same year retook Sipontum, which had fallen into the hands of M. Antonius. In b. c. 38, Agrippa ob­tained fresh success in Gaul, where he quelled a revolt of the native chiefs ; he also penetrated into Germany as far as the country of the Catti, and transplanted the Ubii to the left bank of the Rhine ; whereupon he turned his arms against the revolted Aquitani, whom he soon brought to obe­dience. His victories, especially those in Aquitania, contributed much to securing the power of Octavi­anus, and he was recalled by him to undertake the command of the war against Sex. Pompeius, which was on the point of breaking out, b. c. 37. Octavianus offered him a triumph, which Agrippa declined, but accepted the consulship, to which he was promoted by Octavianus in b. c. 37. Dion Cassius (xlviii. 49) seems to say that he was con­sul when he went to Gaul, but the words vTrdrzve 5-e /ueTa Aovitiov Ta\\ov seem to be suspicious, unless they are to be inserted a little higher, after the passage, t<£ 5' Arypiirirq, Trjv rov vavriKov TrapacTKeuT]!' ey%etp£o'as, which refer to an event which took place during the consulship of Agrippa. For, immediately after his promotion to this dig­nity, he was charged by Octavianus with the con­struction of a fleet, which was the more necessary, as Sextus Pompey was master of the sea.

Agrippa, in whom thoughts and deeds were never separated (Vellei. ii. 79), executed this order with prompt energy. The Lucrine lake near Baiae was transformed by him into a safe harbour, which he called the Julian port in honour of Octavianus, and where he exercised his sailors and mariners till they were able to encounter the experienced sailors of Pompey.. In b.c. 36, Agrip­pa defeated Sex. Pompey first at Mylae, and after­wards at Naulochus on the coast of Sicily, and the latter of these victories broke the naval supremacy of Pompey. He received in consequence the ho­nour of a naval crown, which was first conferred upon him; though, according to other authorities, M. Varro was the first who obtained it from Pom­pey the Great. (Vellei. ii. 81 ; Liv. Epit. 129 ; I)ion Cass. xlix. 14; Plin. H.N. xvi. 3. s. 4; Virg. Aen. viii. 684.)

In b. c. 35, Agrippa had the command of the war in Illyria, and afterwards served under Octa­vianus, when the latter had proceeded to that coun­try. On his return, he voluntarily accepted the aedileship in b.c. 33, although he had been consul, and expended immense sums of money upon great public works. He restored the Appian, Marcian, and Anienian aqueducts, constructed a new one, fifteen miles in length, from the Tepula to Rome, to which he gave the name of the Julian, in honour of Octavianus, and had an immense number of smaller water-works made, to distribute the water within the town. He also had the large cloaca of Tarquinius Priscus entirely cleansed. His various works were adorned with statues by the first ar­tists of Rome. These splendid buildings he aug­mented in b. c. 27, during his third consulship, by several others, and among these was. the Pantheon,


on which we still read the inscription: " M. Agrippa L. F. Cos. Tertium fecit." (Dion Cass. xlix. 43, liii. 27 ; Plin. //. N. xxxvi. 15, s. 24 § 3; Strab. v. p. 235 ; Frontin. De Aquaed. 9.)

When the war broke out between Octavianus and M. Antonius, Agrippa was appointed coin-mander-in-chief of the fleet, b. c. 32. He took Methone in the Peloponnesus, Leucas, Patrae, and Corinth; and in the battle of Actium (b. c. 31) where he commanded, the victory was mainly owing to his skill. On his return to Rome in b. c. 30, Octavianus, now Augustus, rewarded him with a " vexillum caeruleum," or sea-green flag.

In b. c. 28, Agrippa became consul for the second time with Augustus, and about this time married Marcella, the niece of Augustus, and the daughter of his sister Octavia. His former wife, Pomponia, the daughter of T. Pomponius Atticus, was either dead or divorced. In the following year, b. c. 27, he was again consul the third time with Augustus. In b. c. 25, Agrippa accompanied Augustus to the war against the Cantabrians. About this time jealousy arose between him and his brother-in-law Marcellus, the nephew of Augustus, and who seemed to be destined as his successor. Augustus, anxious to prevent differences that might have had serious consequences for him, sent Agrippa as pro­consul to Syria. Agrippa of course left Rome, but he stopped at Mitylene in the island of Lesbos, leaving the government of Syria to his legate.' The apprehensions of Augustus were removed by the death of Marcellus in b. c. 23, and Agrippa immediately returned to Rome, where he was the more anxiously expected, as troubles had broken out during the election of the consuls in b. c. 21. Augustus resolved to receive his faithful friend into his own family, and accordingly induced him to divorce his wife Marcella, and marry Julia, the widow of Marcellus and the daughter of Augustus by his third wife, Scribonia. (b. c. 21.)

In b. c. 19, Agrippa went into Gaul. He paci­fied the turbulent natives, and constructed four great' public roads and a splendid aqueduct at Nemausus (Nimes). From thence he proceeded to Spain and subdued the Cantabrians after a short but bloody and obstinate struggle; but, in accord­ance with his usual prudence, he neither announced his victories in pompous letters to the senate, nor did he accept a triumph which Augustus offered him. In B. c. 18, he was invested with the tribu-nician power for five years together with Augustus ; and in the following year (b. c 17), his two sons, Caius and Lucius, were adopted by Augustus. At the close of the j^ear, he accepted an invita­tion of Herod the Great, and went to Jerusa­lem. He founded the military colony of Berytus (Beyrut), thence he proceeded in b. c. 16 to the Pontus Euxinus, and compelled the Bosporani to accept Polemo for their king and to restore the Roman eagles which had been taken by Mithri-dates. On his return he stayed some time in Ionia, where he granted privileges to the Jews whose cause was pleaded by Herod (Joseph. Antiq. Jiid. xvi. 2), and then proceeded to Rome, where he arrived in b. c. 13. After his tribunician power had been prolonged for five years, he went to Pan-nonia to restore tranquillity to that province. He returned in b. c. 12, after having been successful as usual, and retired to Campania. There he died unexpectedly, in the month of March, b. c. 12, m

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of