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empire. By so many cities, images of Rome herself, possessing and communicating her privileges, she drew and moulded the various nations after her own pattern; and so, without an ubiquitous police or an army of administrative agents, she gave life, order, and unity to the whole mass, as the centre of all rights, and the disposer of all rewards. "The one thing which I especially admire in you," says the same Greek rhetorician, "is that with so great and strongly constituted a dominion you govern men as freemen, which is entirely peculiar to yourselves. It is no Caria given to Tissaphernes, or Phrygia to Pharnabazus, or Egypt to another, as the private property of one himself a slave; but as the magistrates of a particular city govern its revenues for that city's good, you have made the world one city, and appoint its rulers to preside over and provide for citizens with lawful not despotic power."*
We can now better understand the majesty of that omnipresent city as seen in the several magistrates, who by the names of Proconsuls, Propraetors, Procurators, or Prefects, bore her name and power in the several countries. Round their tribunals at Aries, at Cordova, at Carthage, at Thessalonica, at Ephesus, at Antioch, at Alexandria, nations distinct in their origin, laws, and customs, waited with an equally humble obedience, receiving a common law from their mouth. Armed force was not needed, for greater than any force was the name of the goddess Roma, whom they represented. And so the five hundred cities of Asia reverence, without a garrison, a single ruler and his consular fasces. The Greeks with all their wisdom, the Macedonians after all their victories, bow humbly before six rods. The Gauls, who fought for freedom during eighty years, pay tribute and accept prosperity from the Romans, with but 1200 soldiers among them, scarcely more numerous than the number of their cities.* Yet these rulers, whose majesty surpasses that of kings, are themselves magistrates owing obedience to another. They serve their appointed time and depart; are responsible for their actions and their judgments to that supreme ruler at Rome who governs the world by his letters.
broken down in the hundred years preceding the empire, seems certainly to have been, in part at least, restored under the empire. ° Aristides, De Urbe Roma, pp. 207, 211, 213, 214.
Is this an unworthy development for those who in their beginning were so unsparing to self, so stern in their notion of duty, so devoted to their country; for which parents were known to sacrifice their children, patriots to devote themselves to death—the city of Marcus Brutus, Camillus, Decius, Fabius, Regulus, Manlius, Curtius, Virginius?
Is not the very language of Cicero and Virgil an expression of this lordly, yet peaceful rule; this even, undisturbed majesty, which holds the world together like the regularity of the seasons, like the alternation of light and darkness, like the all-pervading warmth of the sun? If every language reflects the character of the race which speaks it, surely we discern in the very strain of Virgil the closing''of the gates of war, the settling of the nations down to the arts of peace, the reign of law and order, the amity and concord of races, the weak protected, the strong ruled; in a word,
0 See the speech of Agrippa, dissuading the Jews from war, in Josephus, De Bello, ii. 16.
"Romanos rerum dominos gentemque togatam."
It is with the settled reign and matured policy of Augustus that this peace begins, and it lasts more or less two hundred years in its completeness, and two hundred more in its decline. To it will apply the words of Seneca, that Rome had found most faithful allies in the nations which had been its most obstinate enemies: for in what would its empire consist had it not with wise provision blended the conquered with their conquerors?* And a Roman general reminds the Gauls how their country had been a scene of interminable wars and revolutions before the Romans intervened. "And if they were expelled, what else," he added, "would follow, but a struggle between every nation and its neighbour? It cost the good fortune and the discipline of eight hundred years to weld into one mass this empire, which cannot be rent to pieces but with the destruction of those • Seneca, De Ira, ii. 34.
who rend it. Cherish, therefore, and love that peace and that city, which, whether conquered or conquerors, we possess with common rights."*
From this glimpse of the external grandeur of the Roman people let us turn to the internal condition of its society.
First and foremost is the great institution of slavery, the broad basis on which this mighty pyramid may be said to rest. For not merely was all domestic service performed by slaves, but the cultivation of the land had at this time fallen almost entirely to them, as well as all works of industry involving hand-labour in town and country. Even the liberal arts, such as medicine and architecture, were mainly in their hands. Of their number it is difficult to obtain any certain knowledge. It differed probably in the various provinces, being largest of all at Rome, where the servile population was twice, if not thrice, in number the free. Thus, first of all, hand-work was servile; secondly, domestic service; thirdly, industry; fourthly, commerce and the useful arts of life in great part, and even the fine arts in some degree. The conquest of all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, accomplished in the hundred and fifty years preceding Christ, flooded the Eoman world with slaves. Nor were they of an inferior or even markedly different race from their masters. Drawn from Germany, Gaul, Spain, Northern Africa, Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, and Thrace, the vast majority belonged, like their conquerors, to the great Aryan race. There were few of the children of Shem; fewer yet of Ham's unhappy progeny. On the whole, the Roman slave was, in natural gifts of body and mind, fully his master's equal. What then was his social condition?
0 Speech of Cerialis, Tac. Hist. iv. 73-4. " Nam pubis, quod dii prohibeant, Romanis, quid aliud quam bella omnium inter se gentium existent? Octingentorum annorum fortuna disciplinaque compages ha;c coaluit, quae convelli sine exitio convellentium non potest. . . Proinde pacem et urbem quam victi victoresque eodem jure obtinemus, amate, colite."
A slave was a piece of property ;* an animated instrument, something absolutely belonging to his master, a being absorbed in his master's being, by whom he could be given, lent, pledged, exchanged, or sold. This was the fundamental notion of Roman slavery in particular, that the slave was a thing, not a person; so specially a thing, that the Roman word for 'chattel' belonged to him peculiarly. He was mancipium, a marvellous expression of the hard Roman idea, by which the human being became a thing which you could grasp in your hand. Varro, in treating of agriculture, wrote: "There are three sorts of instruments, vocal, semi-vocal, and mute: vocal, which comprises slaves; semi-vocal, oxen; mute, wagons." The principle thus tersely stated by Varro was carried out through Roman law with
° The following summary of slavery is condensed from Wallon, and Dollinger Held, und Jud. p. 704-10. It must be remembered that Roman slavery is here treated of, not slavery in general,—a question which I reserve for future treatment.