The Ancient Library

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Ionia, also, that Augustus formed his intimate friendship with Q. Saividienus Rufus and M. Vip-sanius Agrippa.

When the news of Caesar's murder reached the troops in Illyricum, they immediately offered to follow Augustus to Italy and avenge his uncle's death ; but fear and ignorance of the real state of affairs at Rome made him hesitate for a while. At last he resolved to go to Italy as a private person, accompanied only by Agrippa and a few other friends. In the beginning of April he landed at Lupiae, near Brundusium, and here he heard of his adoption into the gens Julia and of his being the heir of Caesar. At Brundusium, whither he next proceeded, he was saluted by the soldiers as Caesar, which name he henceforth assumed, for his legitimate name now was C. Julius Caesar Octa-vianus. After having visited his stepfather in the neighbourhood of Naples, he arrived at Rome, ap­parently about the beginning of May. Here he demanded nothing but the private property which Caesar had left him, but declared that he was re­solved to avenge the murder of his benefactor. The state of parties at Rome was most perplexing; and one cannot but admire the extraordinary tact and prudence which Augustus displayed, and the skill with which a youth of barely twenty contrived to blind the most experienced statesmen in Rome, and eventually to carry all his designs into effect. It was not the faction of the conspirators that placed difficulties in his way, but one of Caesar's own party, M. Antony, who had in his possession the money and papers of Caesar, and refused to give them up. Augustus declared before the prae­tor, in the usual manner, that he accepted of the inheritance, and promised to give to the people the portion of his uncle's property which he had be­queathed them in his will. Antony endeavoured by all means to prevent Augustus from obtaining his objects; but the conduct of Augustus gained the favour of both the senate and the people. [antonius, p. 215, b.] Augustus had to con­tend against Dec, Brutus, who was in possession of Cisalpine Gaul, as well as against Antony.; but to get rid of one enemy at least, the sword was drawn against the latter, the more dangerous of the two. While Antony was collecting troops for the war against D. Brutus, two of the legions which came from Macedonia, the legio Martia and the fifth, went over to Augustus ; and to pre­vent the remaining troops following the- example, Antony hastened with them to the north of Italy. Cicero, who had at first looked upon Augustus with contempt, now began to regard him as the only man capable of delivering the republic from its troubles; and Augustus in return courted Cicero. On the 10th of December, Cicero, in his third Philippic, proposed that Augustus should be entrusted with the command of the army against Antony, and on the first of January, b. c. 43, he repeated the same proposal in his fifth Philippic. The senate now granted more than had been asked: Augustus obtained the command of the army with the title and insignia of a praetor, the right of voting in the senate with the consulars, and of holding the consulship ten years before he attained the legitimate age. He was accordingly sent by the seriate, with the two consuls of the year, C. Vibius Pansa and A. Hirtius, to compel Antony to raise the siege of Mutina. Augustus dis­tinguished himself by his defence of the camp near


Mutina, for which the soldiers saluted him as imperator. The fall of the two consuls threw the command of their armies into his hands. Antony was humbled and obliged to flee across the Alps. Various reports were spread in the meantime of disputes between D. Brutus and Augustus, and it was even said that the death of the two consuls was the work of the latter. The Roman aris­tocracy, on whose behalf Augustus had acted, now determined to prevent him from acquiring all further power. They entrusted D. Brutus with the command of the consular armies to prosecute the war against Antony, and made other regula­tions which were intended to prevent Augustus gaining any further popularity with the soldiers. H e remained inactive, and seemed ready to obey the commands of the senate. Antony had in the meantime become reconciled with the governors in Gaul and Spain through the mediation of Lepidus, and was now at the head of a powerful army. In these circumstances Augustus resolved to seek a power which might assist him in gaining over An­tony, or enable him to oppose him more effectually if necessary. This power was the consulship. He was very popular with the soldiers, and they were by promises of various kinds induced to demand the consulship for him. The senate was terrified, and granted the request, though, soon after, the arrival of troops from Africa emboldened them again to declare against him. But Augustus had won the favour of these troops: he encamped on the campus Martins, and in the month of August the people elected him consul together with Q. Pedius. His adoption into the gens Julia was now sanctioned by the curies; the sums due to the peo­ple, according to the will of Julius Caesar, were paid, the murderers of the dictator outlawed, and Augustus appointed to carry the sentence into effect. He first marched into the north, professedly against Antony, but had scarcely entered Etruria, when the senate, on the proposal of Q. Pedius, repealed the sentence of outlawry against Antony and Lepidus, who were just descending from the Alps with an army of 17 legions. D. Brutus took to fiight, and was afterwards murdered at Aquileia at the command of Antony. On their arrival at Bononia, Antony and Lepidus were met by Au­gustus, who became reconciled with them. It was agreed by the three, that Augustus should lay down his consulship, and that the empire should be divided among them under the title of triumviri rei publicae constituendae, and that this arrange­ment should last for the next five years. Lepidus obtained Spain, Antony Gaul, and Augustus Africa, Sardinia, and Sicily. Antony and Augustus were to prosecute the war against the murderers of Caesar. The first objects of the triumvirs were to destroy their enemies and the republican party; they began their proscriptions even before they arrived at Rome; their enemies were murdered and their property confiscated, and Augustus was no less cruel than Antony. Two thousand equites and three hundred senators are said to have been put to death during this proscription : the lands of whole townships were taken from their owners and distributed among the veteran soldiers. Num­bers of Roman citizens took to flight, and found a refuge with Sex. Pompeius in Sicily. Augustus first directed his arms against the latter, because Pompeius had it in his power to cut off all pro­visions from Rome. The army assembled at Rhc-

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