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MS. translation of the third book we have been permitted to make free use.
We have prefixed a brief Historical Introduction, bringing the reader to the point of time at which the narrative of the Annals begins, and have endeavoured to elucidate by tables the intricate family relationships of the Cæsars. Where notes seemed really necessary for the understanding of the text, we have added them, together with some essays on a few subjects which seemed of special interest and importance.
A. J. C.
INTRODUCTION TO THE ANNALS.”
TACITUS'S Annals begin with the accession of Tiberius and, as originally written, ended with Nero's death. They thus embraced a period of 54 years, from A.D. 14 to 68. The history of the reign of Caius Cæsar (Caligula), and of the first six years of that of Claudius—in all a period of 10 years, from A.D. 37 to 47—is lost. So also is his narrative of the last three years of Nero's reign, A.D. 66-68. In the Chronological Summary we have given very briefly the chief events of these two periods for the convenience of readers. It may be also convenient to them to have a short sketch of the years immediately preceding the accession of Tiberius, of the family connections of Augustus, and of the early career of Tiberius himself. The introductory chapters of the First Book will be thus more clearly intelligible.
The great aim of Augustus had been to consolidate the Roman empire. His wars were waged for the rectification of its boundaries, and to secure what had been already conquered. Rome's most formidable enemies were the German tribes on the Rhine, the warlike populations along the lower Danube, and the Parthian monarchy in the East. They were not indeed crushed by Augustus, but they were, for a time at least, cowed and humbled. He was thus able to organize the provinces of the empire on a comparatively secure basis. This he made his special work; hazardous and remote conquests he avoided. His last counsel was that the empire should be confined to its then existing limits. At home, he endeavoured to revive the patriotic spirit and the better morality of the days when Rome's dominion did not extend beyond Italy. He worked, too, for the empire's material prosperity, and sought to enrich it by rendering commerce safe and easy. The capital he made, as far as possible, the visible symbol of the grandeur of the Roman people. He had found it, he said, a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.
His wars were waged in Spain, in Germany, and in the countries south of the Danube. The result of these wars was the formation of several new provinces. From B.C. 27 to 19 his armies were engaged in reducing the mountain tribes of Northern Spain, of which the Cantabrians were the most formidable. Now, for the first time, the district we know as Asturias, Santander, and Biscay, was conquered. Thus the province called Tarraconensis, from its chief city Tarraco (Tarragona), was completed, and Rome's empire was extended to the ocean. The year B.C. 15 saw the conquest of an equally difficult country, also occupied by mountain tribes. Switzerland, to the north and east, the Engadine, Tyrol, South Germany, and a large part of the Austrian dominions were subjugated by the brothers Tiberius and Drusus, whose victories Horace commemorates in a wellknown ode.“ Rætia, Vindelicia, and Noricum were made Roman provinces. In the years B.C. 12, 11, and 9, Rome's armies under Drusus penetrated the forests and swamps of Germany, and overawed the warlike tribes of that vast country. In the third and last of his campaigns, B.C. 9, Drusus crossed the Weser, and advanced as far as the Elbe, the farthest limit, it may be said, to which the arms of Rome were ever carried in these regions. To this period belongs, it would seem, the establishment of the two important provinces of Upper and Lower Germany. Tiberius meanwhile won some successes in Pannonia, but the country was not really conquered and made a province till some years later, in A.D. 8. It would seem probable that Mesia, too, about that same time became a province, as we find in the Annals (1. 80), Poppacus Sabinus spoken of as its governor in A.D. 14. The annexation of Mæsia and Pannonia, which included what is now Hungary, Servia, Bulgaria, brought Roman territory as far as the Danube, as its northern boundary. In the east Rome's power was firmly established. Parthia, the only source of danger, had been checked. Armenia,“ of old an.
* Odes, Book iv 4.