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CARACALLA.

native on tho guards and the people, and a nego­tiation was commenced for a peaceful partition of the empire. But the passions of Caracalla could no longer be restrained. During an interview held in the chamber of Julia, soldiers, who had been craftily concealed, rushed forth and stabbed the younger son of the empress in his mother's arms, while the elder not only stood by and encouraged, but with his own hands assisted in completing the deed. The murderer sought to appease the irri­tated troops by pretending that he had only acted in self-defence; but was eventually compelled to purchase their forbearance by distributing among them the whole wealth accumulated during his fa­ther's reign. The senate he treated with well-merited contempt, and, feeling now secure, pro­ceeded to glut his vengeance by massacring all whom he suspected of having favoured the preten­sions or pitied the fate of Geta, whose name was forthwith erased from the public monuments. The number of persons sacrificed is said to have amount­ed to twenty thousand of both sexes, among the number of whom was Papinianus, the celebrated jurist. But these crimes brought their own retri­bution. From this moment Caracalla seems never to have enjoyed tranquillity for a single hour. Never were the terrors of an evil conscience more fearfully displayed. After endeavouring in vain to banish remorse by indulgence in all the dissolute pleasures of Rome, by chariot-racing and gladiato­rial shows and wild beast hunts, to each of which in turn he devoted himself with frantic eagerness; after grinding the citizens to the earth by taxes and extortions of every description; and after plun­dering the whole world to supply the vast sums lavished on these amusements and on his soldiers, he resolved if possible to escape from himself by change of place. Wandering with restless activity from land to land, he sought to drown the recollec­tion of his past guilt by fresh enormities. Gaul, Germany, Dacia, Thrace, Asia, Syria, and Egypt, were visited in succession, and were in succession the scene of varied and complicated atrocities. His sojourn at Alexandria was marked by a gene­ral slaughter of the inhabitants, in order to avenge certain sarcastic pleasantries in which they had in­dulged against himself and his mother; and the numbers of the slain were so great, that no one ventured to make known the amount, but orders were given to cast the bodies instantly into deep trenches, that the extent of the calamity might be more effectually concealed. The Greeks now be­lieved that the furies of his brother pursued him with their scourges. It is certain that his bodily health became seriously affected, and his intellects evidently deranged. He was tormented by fearful visions, and the spectres of his father and the murdered Geta stood by him, in the dead^of night, with swords pointed to his bosom. Believing him­self spell-bound by the incantations of his foes, he had recourse to strange rites in order to evoke the spirits of the dead, that from them he might seek a remedy for his tortures; but it was said that none would answer to his call except the kindred soul of Commodus. At last, he sought the aid of the gods, whom he importuned by day and night with prayers and many victims; but no deity would vouchsafe a word of comfort to the fraticide. While in this excited and unhappy condition, he demanded in marriage the daughter of Artaba-nus, the Parthian king; but the negotiation having

CARACTACUS.

been abruptly broken off, he suddenly passed the Euphrates in hostile array. The enemy were to­tally unprepared to resist an invasion so unexpect­ed, and could offer no effectual resistance. Meso­potamia was wasted with fire and sword, Arbela was captured, and the emperor, after digging up the sepulchres of the Parthian kings and scattering their bones, returned to winter at Edessa. Having trea­cherously gained possession of the person of Abga-rus, king of the Osroeni, he seized upon his terri­tory, and took the field in spring with the intention of carrying his arms beyond the Tigris. His course was first directed towards Carrhae, that he might offer homage at a, celebrated shrine of the Moon-deity in that neighbourhood; but during the march he was assassinated, at the instigation of Macrinns, the praetorian praefect, by a veteran named Mar-tialis, on the 8th of April, 217, in the thirtieth year of his age and the seventh of his reign.

The chronology of the last years of Caracalla is full of difficulty, and it is almost impossible to ar­range the different events recorded in their proper order with anything like certainty. We hear of an expedition against the Alemanni and another against the Getae. The former, commemorated by the epithet Germanicus, terminated in a purchased peace ; the latter appears to have been partially successful. The portion of Dion Cassius which refers to this period consists of disjointed and im­perfect chapters, between which we can seldom establish any connexion. They contain, however, much curious information, to which considerable additions -have been made by the fragments re­cently discovered by Mai. Dion tells us, that after death Caracalla was usually spoken of under the insulting name of Tarantus, taken from a gladiator remarkable from his short stature, ugly features, and sanguinary disposition. The historian himself, having explained this term (Ixxviii. 9), invariably employs it in the subsequent portions of his work.

We must not omit to observe, that Gibbon, fol­lowing Spanheim and Burmann, ascribes to Cara­calla the important edict which communicated to all free inhabitants of the empire the name and privileges of Roman citizens, while several ancient authors attribute this document to M. Aurelius. The truth seems to be, that M. Aurelius was the author of a very broad and liberal measure in favour of the provincials, clogged, however, by certain conditions and restrictions which were swept away by Caracalla, in order that he night introduce an uniform system of taxation and extort a larger revenue in return for a worthless privilege.

(Dion Cass. Ixxvii. Ixxviii.; Herodian. iv.; Spar- tian. Vit. CaracalL ; Aurel. Vict. Epit. xxi., Caes. xxi.; Eutrop. xxi.; Gruter, Corp. Inscr. pp. cxci. cclxvii. ccc. Mlxxxv.; Gibbon, chap. vi. ; Joh. P. Mahneri, Comm. de Marc. Aur. Antonino Consti­ tution, de Civitate Universo Orbi Romanae data^ Hall. 1772, quoted by Wenck; comp. Milman's Gibbon, vol. i. p. 281.) A coin of Caracalla's, which has been accidentally omitted here, is given under his brother geta. [W. R, ]

CARACTACUS (or, as Dion Cassius calls him, KapdraKos or KarapaKaros^ was a king of the British tribe of the Silures, and by various pros­perous enterprises had raised himself above all the other British chiefs. Pie appears to have been a most formidable enemy of the Romans. When they made their last attack upon him, he trans­ferred the war into the country of the Ordovices,

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