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Augustus, Chapter 27: As a triumvir.
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During ten years he [Note 1] acted as one of the triumvirate for settling the common-wealth, in which office he for some time opposed his colleagues in their design of a proscription; but after it was begun, he prosecuted it with more determined rigour than either of them. For whilst they were often prevailed upon, by the interest and intercession of friends, to show mercy, he alone strongly insisted that no one should be spared, and even proscribed Gaius Toranius, his guardian, who had been formerly the colleague of his father Octavius in the aedileship. Junius Saturnius adds this farther account of him that when, after the proscription was over, Marcus Lepidus made an apology in the senate for their past proceedings, and gave them hopes of a more mild administration for the future, because they had now sufficiently crushed their enemies; he, on the other hand, declared that the only limit he had fixed to the proscription was, that he should be free to act as he pleased. Afterwards, however, repenting of his severity, he advanced Titus Vinius Philopoemen to the equestrian rank for having concealed his patron at the time he was proscribed. In this same office he incurred great odium upon many accounts. For as he was one day making an harangue, observing among the soldiers Pinarius, a Roman knight, admit some private citizens, and engaged in taking notes, he ordered him to be stabbed before his eyes, as a busy-body and a spy upon him. He so terrified with his menaces Tedius Afer, the consul-elect, for having reflected upon some action of his, that he threw himself from a great height, and died on the spot. And when Quintus Gallius, the praetor, came to compliment him with a double tablet under his cloak, suspecting that it was a sword he had concealed, and yet not venturing to make a search, lest it should be found to be something else, he caused him to be dragged from his tribunal by centurions and soldiers, and tortured like a slave: and although he made no confession, ordered him to be put to death, after he had, with his own hands, plucked out his eyes. His own account of the matter, however, is, that Quintus Gallius sought a private conference with him, for the purpose of assassinating him; that he therefore put him in prison, but afterward released him, and banished him the city; when he perished either in a storm at sea, or by falling into the hands of robbers. He accepted of the tribunician power for life, but more than once chose a colleague in that office for two lustra successively. He also had the supervision of morality and observance of the laws, for life, but without the title of censor; yet he thrice took a census of the people, the first and third time with a colleague, but the second by himself. |
Note 1: he = Augustus
|Triumviratum rei p. constituendae per decem annos administravit; in quo restitit quidem aliquandiu collegis ne qua fieret proscriptio, sed inceptam utroque acerbius exercuit. Namque illis in multorum saepe personam per gratiam et preces exorabilibus, solus magnopere contendit ne cui parceretur, proscripsitque etiam C. Toranium tutorem suum, eudem collegam patris sui Octavi in aedilitate. Iunius Saturninus hoc amplius tradit, cum peracta proscriptione M. Lepidus in senatu excusasset praeterita et spem clementiae in posterum fecisset, quoniam satis poenarum exactum esset, hunc a diverso professum, ita modum se proscribendi statuisse, ut omnia sibi reliquerit libera. In cuius tamen pertinaciae paenitentiam postea T. Vincium Philopoemenem, quod patronum suum proscriptum celasse olim diceretur, equestri dignitate honoravit. In eadem hac potestate multiplici flagravit invidia. Nam et Pinarium equitem R. cum, contionante se admissa turba paganorum, apud milites subscribere quaedam animadvertisset, curiosum ac speculatorem ratus, coram confodi imperavit; et Tedium Afrum consulem designatum, quia factum quoddam suum maligno sermone carpsisset, tantis conterruit minis, ut is se praecipitaverit; et Quintum Gallium praetorem, in officio salutationis tabellas duplices veste tectas tenentem, suspicatus gladium occulere, nec quidquam statim, ne aliud inveniretur, ausus inquirere, paulo post per centuriones et milites raptum e tribunali, servilem in modum torsit ac fatentem nihil iussit occidi, prius oculis eius sua manu effossis; quem tamen scribit conloquio petito insidiatum sibi coniectumque a se in custodiam, diende urbe interdicta dimissum, naufragio vel latronum insidiis perisse. Tribuniciam potestatem perpetuam recepit, in qua semel atque iterum per singular lustra collegam sibi cooptavit. Recepit et morum legumque regimen aeque perpetuum, quo iure, quamquam sine censurae honore, censum tamen populi ter egit; primum ac tertium cum collega, medium solus.|