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The Great Empires of Prophecy, from Babylon to the Fall of Rome

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    Rise of Octavius—Plot, Counterplot, and War—The Triumvirate Formed—The Triumvirs’ Proscription—“The Saviors of their Country”—Antony and Cleopatra—Herod Made King

    CAESAR was dead; but all that had made him what he had been, still lived. Pretended patriots assassinated Caesar to save the republic from what they supposed was threatened in him; but in that act of base ingratitude and cruel “patriotism,” there was accomplished that which they professed to fear from him, and which in fact they realized from those who were worse than he. It was with the Romans at this time, as it was with the Athenians when Demosthenes told them that if there were no Philip they themselves would create a Philip.GEP 296.1

    2. Affairs had reached that point in the Roman State where a Caesar was inevitable, and though to avoid it they had killed the greatest Roman that ever lived, the reality was only the more hastened by the very means which they had employed to prevent it. This they themselves realized as soon as they had awakened from the dream in which they had done the desperate deed. Cicero exactly defined the situation, and gave a perfect outline of the whole history of the times, when, shortly after the murder of Caesar, he bitterly exclaimed, “We have killed the king; but the kingdom is with us still. We have taken away the tyrant; the tyranny survives.” That tyranny survived in the breast of every man in Rome.GEP 296.2

    3. At the death of Caesar, the reins of government fell to Mark Antony, the sole surviving consul. Lepidus, Caesar’s general of cavalry, was outside the walls with a legion of troops about to depart for Spain. He took possession of the Camp of Mars, and sent to Antony assurances of support. As night came on, with a body of troops he entered the city and camped in the Forum. He and Antony at once came to a mutual understanding. Antony as consul agreed to secure for Lepidus the office of pontifex maximus made vacant by the murder of Caesar; and the alliance was completed by Antony’s daughter being given in marriage to the son of Lepidus. Antony secured Caesar’s will and all his private papers, besides a great sum of money.GEP 296.3

    4. As the will showed that Caesar had bequeathed his private gardens to the people of Rome forever as a pleasure ground; and to each citizen a sum of money amounting to nearly fourteen dollars; this bound the populace more firmly than ever to the memory of Caesar. And as Antony stood forth as the one to avenge Caesar’s death, this brought the populace unanimously to his support. By the help of all this power and influence, Antony determined to put himself in the place which Caesar had occupied. Among Caesar’s papers he found recorded many of Caesar’s plans and intentions in matters of the government. These he made to serve his purpose as occasion demanded; for the Senate dared not dissent from any of Caesar’s recorded wishes and designs. When the legitimate papers were exhausted, he bribed one of Caesar’s clerks to forge and declare to be Caesar’s purpose, such State documents as Antony chose to have made laws, all of which by the power of Caesar’s name were carried against all opposition.GEP 297.1

    5. Soon, however, there came a serious check upon the success of Antony’s soaring ambition. Octavius appeared upon the scene. Caius Octavius was the grandson of one of Caesar’s sisters, and by Caesar’s will was left his heir and adopted son. He was then in the nineteenth year of his age. He was in Apollonia when Caesar was killed; and upon learning of the murder he immediately set out for Rome, not knowing the particulars, nor yet that Caesar had left a will in his favor. These he learned when he reached the coast of Italy.GEP 297.2

    6. Without delay, he incorporated Caesar’s name with his own,—Caius Julius Caesar Octavius,—and presented himself to the nearest body of troops as the heir of the great general. When he reached Rome, Antony received him coldly, refused to give him any of the money that had been left by Caesar, and caused him all the trouble he possibly could in securing possession of the inheritance. Notwithstanding all this, the young Octavius succeeded at every step, and checked Antony at every move. Antony had lost much of his own influence with the populace by failing to fulfil, or even to promise to fulfil, to them the provisions of Caesar’s will. And by refusing to Octavius any of Caesar’s money, he hoped so to cripple him that he could not do it.GEP 297.3

    7. Octavius promptly assumed all the obligations of the will. He raised money on that portion of the estate which fell to him; he persuaded the other heirs to surrender to his use their shares in the inheritance; he borrowed from Caesar’s friends; and altogether succeeded in raising sufficient funds to discharge every obligation. By paying to the people the money that Caesar had left them, he bound the populace to himself.GEP 298.1

    8. At the time of Caesar’s funeral, one of the tribunes, a fast friend to Caesar, but who unfortunately bore the same name as one of Caesar’s enemies, was mistaken by the populace for the other man, and in spite of his cries and protestations, was literally torn to pieces. The time came for the vacant tribunate to be filled. Octavius strongly favored a certain candidate. The people proposed to elect Octavius himself, though he was not yet of legal age to hold office. Antony, as consul, interfered to stop the proceedings. This roused the spirit of the people, and as they could not elect Octavius, they stubbornly refused to elect anybody.GEP 298.2

    9. Antony, seeing his power with the people was gone, next tried to secure the support of the army. The six best legions of the republic were stationed in Macedonia, destined for service in Parthia. Five of these legions Antony wheedled the Senate into transferring to him. Next he intrigued to have the province of Gaul within the Alps bestowed on him instead of the province of Macedonia, which had already been given him. This the Senate hesitated to do, and interposed so many objections that Antony found his purpose about to be frustrated; and he made overtures to Octavius. Octavius received him favorably; a pretended reconciliation was accomplished between them; and by the support of Octavius, Antony secured the change of provinces which he desired. Antony called four of his legions from Macedonia to Brundusium, and went to that place to assume command. As soon as Antony went to Brundusium, Octavius went to Campania, to the colonies of veterans who had been settled there upon the public lands; and by the offer of about a hundred dollars to each one who would join him, he soon secured a force of ten thousand men. These he took to the north of Italy, to the border of Antony’s province, and put them in camp there.GEP 298.3

    10. When Antony met his legions at Brundusium, he found them sullen; and instead of their greeting him with acclamations, they demanded explanations. They declared that they wanted vengeance for Caesar’s death; and that instead of punishing the assassins, Antony had dallied with them. They called upon him to mount the tribunal, and explain his conduct. He replied that it was not the place of a Roman commander to explain his conduct, but to enforce obedience. Yet he betrayed his fear of them by mingling promises with his threats and pledges with his commands. He offered them about twenty dollars apiece, and drew a contrast between the hard service in Parthia, and the easy time that was before them in the province to which he was to take them. This did not satisfy them. He put some to death, yet the others would not be quiet. The agents of Octavius were among them contrasting the hundred dollars to each man, that he was paying, with the paltry twenty dollars that Antony was offering. Antony was obliged to increase his bid, but it was not yet near the price Octavius was offering.GEP 299.1

    11. Antony broke up his command into small bodies, and ordered them to march separately thus along the coast of the Adriatic, and unite again at Rimini; and he himself returned to Rome. He had barely time to reach his home, when a messenger arrived with the word that one of his legions had gone over bodily to Octavius. This message had scarcely been delivered when another came saying that another legion had done likewise. He went with all haste to where they were, hoping to win them back; but they shut against him the gates of the city where they were, and shot at him from the walls. By raising his bid to the same amount that Octavius was paying, he succeeded in holding the other two legions in allegiance to himself.GEP 299.2

    12. War could be the only result of such counterplotting as this, and other circumstances hastened it. Antony now had four legions; Lepidus had six; three were in Gaul under the command of Plancus; and Octavius had five. When Antony had obtained the exchange of provinces, the one which he secured—Gaul within the Alps—was already under the command of a proconsul, Decimus Brutus. But with the command of the province, Antony had received authority to drive out of it any pretender to the government. He commanded Decimus to leave the province. Decimus refused, and Antony declared war. Decimus shut himself up in a stronghold, and Antony laid siege to him there. Octavius saw now an opportunity to humble Antony and strengthen himself; he offered his service to the Senate.GEP 300.1

    13. The two consuls whose term of office had expired came up, January, 43 B. C., and Octavius joined his forces to theirs. Two battles were fought in April, in both of which Antony was worsted, though both the proconsuls were slain. Antony left the field of battle, and marched across the Alps and joined Lepidus. Decimus desired to follow with all the forces present; but as he was one of the murderers of Caesar, Octavius would not obey him. Also the troops of Octavius declared that Caesar’s heir was their leader, and Decimus their enemy. Decimus then marched also across the Alps, and joined his forces to those of Plancus. This left Italy wholly to Octavius, and he made the most of the opportunity. He demanded that the Senate grant him a triumph. His demand was treated only with contempt. The Senate in turn sent to him a peremptory command to lead his army against “parricides and brigands” that had joined their forces in Gaul. He replied by sending to Rome four hundred of his soldiers to demand for him the consulship for the year 42.GEP 300.2

    14. The soldiers presented their demand in the Senate house. It was refused. One of them then laid his hand upon his sword and declared with an oath, “If you do not grant it, this shall obtain it for him.” Cicero replied, “If this is the way that you sue for the consulship, doubtless your chief will acquire it.” The soldiers returned to Octavius, and reported upon their embassy. Octavius with his legions immediately crossed the Rubicon and started for Rome, giving up to the license of his soldiers all the country as he passed. 15. As soon as the Senate learned that Octavius was coming with his army, they sent an embassy to meet him, and to tell him that if only he would turn back, they would grant everything he asked, and add yet above all about five hundred dollars for each of his soldiers. But he, knowing that he had the Senate in his power, determined to make his own terms after he should get possession of the city. The Senate turned brave again, put on a blustering air, and forbade the legions to come nearer then ninety miles to the city. As two legions had just come from Africa, the senators supposed they had a military power of their own. They threw up fortifications and gave the praetors military command of the city.GEP 300.3

    16. By this time Octavius and his army had reached Rome. The senators again suddenly lost all their bravery. Such of them as had least hope of favor fled from the city or hid themselves. Of the others, each one for himself decided to go over to Octavius; and when each one with great secrecy had made his way to the camp of the legions, he soon found that all the others had done the same thing. The legions and the praetors who had been set to defend the city went over bodily to Octavius. The gates were thrown open; Octavius with his legions entered the city; the Senate nominated him for consul; the assembly was convened, and he was elected, September 22, 43 B. C., with his own cousin, Pedius, chosen as his colleague, and with the right to name the prefect of the city. Octavius became twenty years old the next day.GEP 301.1

    17. An inquiry was at once instituted upon the murder of Caesar, and all the conspirators were declared outlaws; but as Brutus and Cassius, the two chief assassins, were in command of the twenty legions in Macedonia and Asia Minor, Octavius needed more power. This he obtained by forming an alliance with Antony and Lepidus. These two commanders crossed the Alps, and the three met on a small island in the river Reno, near Bologna. There, as a result of their deliberation for three days, the second triumvirate was formed, and the tripartition of the Roman world was made.GEP 301.2

    18. They assumed the right to dispose of all the offices of the government; and all their decrees were to have the force of law, without any question, confirmation, or revision by either the Senate or the people. In short, they proposed that their power should be absolute—they would do what they pleased. Yet they were compelled to consider the army. To secure the support of the legions, they pledged to them eighteen of the finest districts in Italy, with an addition of about a thousand dollars to each soldier. The conditions of the compact were put into writing, and when each of the triumvirs had taken an oath faithfully to observe them, they were read to the troops. The soldiers signified their approval upon condition that Octavius should marry the daughter of Antony’s wife Fulvia. 1[Page 302] The girl’s name was Clodia. She was Fulvia’s daughter by Clodius, her former husband.GEP 302.1

    19. When the powers of the triumvirate had thus been made firm, the triumvirs sat down “with a list of the noblest citizens before them, and each in turn pricked [with a pin] the name of him whom he destined to perish. Each claimed to be ridded of his personal enemies, and to save his own friends. But when they found their wishes to clash, they resorted without compunction to mutual concessions.” Above all other men Cicero was the one upon whom Antony desired to execute vengeance; and in return for this boon, he surrendered to Octavius his own uncle on his mother’s side. Lepidus gave up his own brother. “As they proceeded, their views expanded. They signed death warrants to gratify their friends. As the list slowly lengthened, new motives were discovered for appending to it additional names. The mere possession of riches was fatal to many; for the masters of so many legions were always poor; the occupation of pleasant houses and estates sealed the fate of others, for the triumvirs were voluptuous as well as cruel. Lastly, the mutual jealousy of the proscribers augmented the number of their victims, each seeking the destruction of those who conspicuously favored his colleagues, and each exacting a similar compensation in return. The whole number extended, we are told, to three hundred senators and two thousand knights; among them were brothers, uncles, and favorite officers of the triumvirs themselves.”—Merivale. 2[Page 302] “Romans under the Empire,” chap 26. par 13.GEP 302.2

    20. When this list had been arranged, the triumvirs with their legions started to Rome. Before they reached the city, they sent to the consuls the names of seventeen of the most prominent citizens, with an order to put them all to death at once. Cicero was one of the seventeen. The executioners “attacked the houses of the appointed victims in the middle of the night: some they seized and slew unresisting; others struggled to the last, and shed blood in their own defense; others, escaping from their hands, raised the alarm throughout the city, and the general terror of all classes, not knowing what to expect, or who might feel himself safe, caused a violent commotion.”—Merivale. 3[Page 303] Id., par. 14.GEP 303.1

    21. Cicero had left the city; but he was overtaken by the messengers of blood, his head and his hands were cut off and carried to Antony, who exulted over the ghastly trophies; and Fulvia, in a rage of gloating anger, took the bloody head and held it upon her knees, and, looking into the face, poured forth a torrent of bitter invective against him whose face it was; and then in a perfect abandon of fury seized from her hair her golden bodkin, and pierced through and through the tongue that had so often, so exultantly, and so vilely abused both her husbands.GEP 303.2

    22. The triumvirs reached Rome one after another. “Octavius entered first; on the following day Antony appeared; Lepidus came third. Each man was surrounded by a legion and his praetorian cohort. The inhabitants beheld with terror these silent soldiers taking possession of every point commanding the city. Rome seemed like a place conquered and given over to the sword.”—Duruy. 4[Page 303] “History of Rome,” chap 59, sec, iv, par. 10. A tribune called an assembly of the people; a few came, and the three commanders “were now formally invested with the title of triumvirs, and all the powers they claimed were conferred upon them” November 27, 43 B. C. The following night there was posted throughout the city this edict:—GEP 303.3

    “M. Lepidus, Marcus Antonius, and Octavius Caesar, chosen triumvirs for the reconstitution of the republic, thus declare: Had not the perfidy of the wicked answered benefits by hatred; had not those whom Caesar in his clemency spared after their defeat, enriched, and loaded with honors, become his murders, we too should disregard those who have declared us public enemies. But perceiving that their malignity can be conquered by no benefits, we have chosen to forestall our enemies rather than be taken unawares by them. Some have already been punished; with the help of the gods we shall bring the rest to justice. Being ready to undertake an expedition against the parricides beyond the seas, it has seemed to us and will appear to you necessary that we should not leave other enemies behind us. Yet we will be more merciful than a former imperator, who also restored the ruined republic, and whom you hailed with the name of Felix. Not all the wealthy, not all who have held office, will perish, but only the most dangerous evil-doers. These offenders we might have seized unawares; but for your sakes we have preferred to draw up a list of proscribed persons rather than to order an execution by the troops, in which harm might have come to the innocent. This then is our order: Let no one hide any of those whose names follow; whosoever shall aid in the escape of a proscribed man shall be himself proscribed. Let the heads be brought to us. As a reward, a man of free condition shall receive twenty-five thousand Attic drachmae, a slave ten thousand, together with freedom and the name of citizen. The names of persons receiving these rewards shall be kept secret.”—Duruy. 5[Page 304] Id.GEP 303.4

    23. Attached to this document were one hundred and thirty names of senators and knights who were devoted to death. Another list of one hundred and fifty was almost immediately added; and yet others followed in quick succession. Guards had been placed at all the gates, all places of refuge had been occupied, and all means of escape had been cut off. The slaughter began. “The executioners, armed with the prostituted forms of authority, rushed unresisted and unhindered in pursuit of their victims. They found many to aid them in the search, and to stimulate their activity. The contagious thirst of blood spread from the hired assassins to all who had an ancient grudge to requite, a future favor to obtain. Many fell in the confusion whose names were not included in the list of the proscribed. Many a private debt was wiped out in the blood of the creditor. Robbers and cut-throats mingled with the bitter partizan and the private enemy. While the murderer carried the head of his victim to fix it on a spike before the rostra, and claim the proffered reward, the jackals of massacre entered the tenantless house, and glutted themselves with plunder.”—Merivale. 6[Page 304] “Romans under the Empire,” chap 26, par. 15.GEP 304.1

    24. When the names of the published lists had been exhausted, and all their political enemies had been slain, the triumvirs published yet another list, not of more to be put to death, but of those whose property should be confiscated. When this list was exhausted, then “all the inhabitants of Rome and Italy,—citizens and foreigners, priests and freedmen,”—who had possessions amounting to more than twenty thousand dollars, were obliged to “lend” to the triumvirs one tenth of all their possessions, and “give” one year’s income besides. Then, “glutted with blood and rapine,” Lepidus, for the triumvirate, announced to the Senate that the proscription was at an end. Octavius, however, reserved the right to kill some more, and “declared that the only limit he had fixed to the proscription was that he should be free to act as he pleased.”—Suetonius. 7[Page 305] “Lives of the Caesars,” Augustus, chap 27. Then the fawning Senate voted to the triumvirs civic crowns as “the saviors of their country”!GEP 304.2

    25. In the beginning of the year 42 B. C., Antony and Octavius, leaving Lepidus in command of Rome and Italy, started to the East to destroy Brutus and Cassius, the murderers of Caesar; but it was summer before they got all their troops together in Macedonia. Brutus and Cassius, with their united forces, had returned from Asia Minor into Europe. The two armies met at Philippi in Macedonia. The forces of Brutus and Cassius numbered about one hundred thousand, and those of Antony and Octavius about one hundred and twenty thousand. Two battles, twenty days apart, were fought on the same ground. In the first Cassius lost his life; in the second the army of Brutus was annihilated, and Brutus committed suicide.GEP 305.1

    26. It became necessary now to pay the soldiers the money, and put them in possession of the land, which had been promised them when the triumvirate was formed. A sum equal to a thousand dollars had been promised to each soldier, and, as there were now one hundred and seventy thousand soldiers, a sum equal to one hundred and seventy million dollars was required. Antony assumed the task of raising the money from the wealth of Asia; and Octavius the task of dispossessing the inhabitants of Italy and distributing their lands and cities among the soldiers.GEP 305.2

    27. Antony’s word to the people of Pergamos describes the situation both in Italy and all the countries of Asia. He said:—GEP 305.3

    “You deserve death for rebellion; this penalty I will remit; but I want money, for I have twenty-eight legions, which with their auxiliary battalions amount to 170,000 men, besides cavalry and detachments in other quarters. I leave you to conceive what a mass of money must be required to maintain such armaments. My colleague has gone to Italy to divide its soil among these soldiers, and to expel, so to speak, the Italians from their own country. Your lands we do not demand; but instead thereof we will have money. And when you hear how easily, after all, we shall be contented, you will, we conceive, be satisfied to pay and be quit of us. We demand only the same sum which you have contributed during the last two years to our adversaries; that is to say, the tribute of ten years; but our necessities compel us to insist upon receiving this sum within twelve months.” 8[Page 306] Merivale’s “Romans under the Empire,” chap 27, par. 2.GEP 306.1

    28. As the tribute was much reduced by the time it reached the coffers of Antony, the levy was doubled, and the command given that it should be paid in two instalments the same year. To this the people replied, “If you force us to pay the tribute twice in one year, give us two summers and two harvests. No doubt you have also the power to do so.” But instead of considering the distress of the people caused by these most burdensome exactions,“Antony surrounded himself with flute-players, mountebanks, and dancing-girls. He entered Ephesus, preceded by women dressed as Bachantes, and youths in the garb of Fauns and Satyrs. Already he assumed the attributes of Bacchus, and set himself to play the part by continual orgies.”—Duruy. 9[Page 306] “History of Rome,” Chap. 60, sec. 3, par. 1.GEP 306.2

    29. The greed of Antony for money stood Herod of Judea in good stead. For when ambassadors from all parts met him in Bithynia, among them “the principal men of the Jews came to accuse” Herod and his brother Phasaelus, and to charge that though “Hyrcanus had indeed the appearance of reigning, these men had all the power. But Antony paid great respect to Herod, who was come to him to make his defense against his accusers, on which account his adversaries could not so much as obtain a hearing, which favor Herod had gained of Antony be money.”Josephus. 10[Page 306] “Antiquities,” book xiv, chap 12, par. 2.GEP 306.3

    30. While Cassius was in Asia Minor, he had compelled Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, to supply him with troops and money. As these had been used against the triumvirs, Antony sent from Tarsus in Cilicia, and called her to account for her conduct. She came, representing Venus, to render her account in person. And “when she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart on the river of Cydnus.”GEP 306.4

    “The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
    Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
    Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
    The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
    Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
    The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
    As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
    It beggared all description: she did lie
    In her pavilion (cloth of gold and tissue),
    O’er-picturing that Venus, where we see
    The fancy out-work nature; on each side her,
    Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling cupids,
    With divers colored fans, whose wind did seem
    To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
    And what they undid, did....
    GEP 307.1

    “Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
    So many mermaids, tended her i’ the eyes,
    And made their bends adornings; at the helm
    A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle
    Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
    That yarely frame the office. From the barge
    A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
    Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
    Her people out upon her; and Antony,
    Enthroned in the market-place, did sit alone,
    Whistling to the air, which, but for vacancy,
    Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra, too,
    And made a gap in nature....
    GEP 307.2

    “Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
    Invited her to supper; she replied,
    It should be better he became her guest,
    Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
    Whom ne’er the word of ‘No’ woman heard speak,
    Being barbered ten times o’er, goes to the feast;
    And, for his ordinary, pays his heart
    For what his eyes eat only.”
    Shakespeare. 11[Page 307] “Antony and Cleopatra,” act 2, scene 2.
    GEP 307.3

    31. To Antony in Cilicia there came again “a hundred of the most potent of the Jews to accuse Herod and those about him, and set the men of the greatest eloquence among them to speak.” But “when Antony had heard both sides at Daphne, he asked Hyrcanus who they were that governed the nation best. He replied, ‘Herod and his friends.’ Hereupon Antony, by reason of the old hospitable friendship he had made with his father [Antipater], ... made both Herod and Phasaelus tetrarchs, and committed the public affairs of the Jews to them, and wrote letters to that purpose.”—Josephus. 12[Page 308] “Antiquities,” book xiv, chap 13, par. i.GEP 308.1

    32. Antony went with Cleopatra to Alexandria, B. C. 41. Fulvia died in the spring of 40. Antony’s giddy infatuation with the voluptuous queen of Egypt was fast estranging him from Octavius and the Roman people. The matter was patched up for a little while by the marriage of Antony and Octavia, the sister of Octavius, B. C. 40; and “the triumvirs returned to Rome to celebrate this union.”—Duruy. 13[Page 308] “History of Rome,” chap 60, sec. xii, par. 3.GEP 308.2

    33. In the same year, at the instance of a certain Antigonus, the Parthians made an incursion into Judea, gained possession of Jerusalem, and captured Hyrcanus and Phasaelus, with many of their friends. But Herod with his betrothed, with some of his family and a number of his friends, accompanied by a strong guard, all escaped and made their way to Petra in Idumaea. Thus by means of the Parthians, Antigonus obtained the power in Judea. He cut off the ears of Hyrcanus so that, being maimed, he could not, according to the law, hold the high-priesthood. Phasaelus being imprisoned, and knowing he was devoted to death, “since he had not his hands at liberty,—for the bands he was in prevented him from killing himself thereby,—he dashed his head against a great stone, and thereby took away his own life.”GEP 308.3

    34. Herod shortly went from Idumaea to the king of Arabia, and from there to Egypt, stopping first at Pelusium. There the captains of the ships befriended him and took him to Alexandria, where Cleopatra received him and entertained him; “yet was she not able to prevail with him to stay there, because he was making haste to Rome, even though the weather was stormy, and he was informed that the affairs of Italy were very tumultuous and in great disorder.”GEP 308.4

    35. Having through violent storms, severe reverses, and much expense, reached Rome, “he first related to Antony what had befallen him in Judea,” and how “that he had sailed through a storm, and contemned all these terrible dangers, in order to come, as soon as possible, to him who was his hope and only succor at this time.”GEP 309.1

    36. “This account made Antony commiserate the change that had happened in Herod’s condition. And, reasoning with himself that this was a common case among those that were placed in such great dignities, and that they are liable to the mutations that come from fortune, he was very ready to give him the assistance that he desired; and this because he called to mind the friendship he had had with Antipater; because Herod offered him money to make him king, as he had formerly given it to him to make him tetrarch; and chiefly because of his hatred to Antigonus, for he took him to be a seditious person and an enemy to the Romans.GEP 309.2

    37. “Caesar [Octavius] was also the forwarder to raise Herod’s dignity, and to give him his assistance in what he desired, on account of the toils of war which he had himself undergone with Antipater his father in Egypt, and of the hospitality he had treated him withal, and the kindness he had always shown him, as also to gratify Antony, who was very zealous for Herod.GEP 309.3

    38. “So the Senate was convocated; and Messala first and then Atratinus, introduced Herod into it, and enlarged upon the benefits they had received from his father, and put them in mind of the goodwill he had borne to the Romans. At the same time they accused Antigonus, and declared him an enemy, not only because of his former opposition to them, but that he had now overlooked the Romans, and taken the government from the Parthians. Upon this the Senate was irritated; and Antony informed them further that it was for their advantage in the Parthian War that Herod should be king. This seemed good to all the senators, and so they made a decree accordingly.GEP 309.4

    39. “When the Senate was dissolved, Antony and Caesar went out of the Senate house with Herod between them, and with the consuls and other magistrates before them, in order to offer sacrifices, and to lay up their decrees in the capital. Antony also feasted Herod the first day of his reign. And thus did this man receive the kingdom, having obtained it on the one hundred and eighty-fourth Olympiad [July, 40 B. C], when Cneius Domitius Calvinus was consul the second time, and Caius Asinius Pollio the first time.”—Josephus. 14[Page 310] “Antiquities,” book xiv, chap 14, pars. 1-5.GEP 310.1

    40. And thus when Herod, a full-blooded Idumaean, had become king of Judea, the scepter had departed from Judah, and a lawgiver from between his feet; and the time was at hand when Shiloh should come, to whom the gathering of the people should be. 15[Page 310] Genesis 49:10.GEP 310.2

    41. Within two years after his marriage with Octavia, Antony was again swallowed up in the charms of Cleopatra, from whom he never again separated. Two children whom he had by her he named respectively the Sun and the Moon; and when Cleopatra assumed the dress and professed the attributes of Isis, Antony played the part of Osiris. He publicly rejected Octavia in 35, divorced her in 32, and war was declared the same year. The war began and ended with the naval battle of Actium, September 2, 31 B. C.GEP 310.3

    42. In the midst of the battle Cleopatra hoisted sail and fled. Antony left everything and followed her. They sailed home to Alexandria, and there committed suicide. In the meantime Lepidus had been set aside, and now, just thirteen and one-half years from the murder of Caesar, the State, having again gone through the same course precisely, came again to the exact point where it had been then, only in worse hands, and Octavius was the head of one hundred and twenty millions of people, and sole master of the roman world.GEP 310.4

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