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P.Clodius

Proscription Declaration, Appian

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.. As bad as was Cassius' extortion of the Rhodesians.. everyone.

 

Here's a obscure nit-pick or more likely a debatable question; I think the plural of dwellers on the island of Rhodes is "Rhodians" and not these guys.

Edited by Virgil61

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So why didn't they simply say that? Why all the unnecessary propaganda? Why even post a justification for the list? Why not simply post the list with the reward?

 

I suppose to:

1) motivate the supporters/and fence sitters by deflecting as much direct responsibility/criticism as possible

2) mollify the quiet opposition

3) indicate to all who exactly was running the state

 

Despite the tyrranical nature of the proclamation I can understand why it was done.

 

(by the by, I admire it as a document of immense propaganda, but stand with Cato in not admiring its message.)

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Here's a obscure nit-pick or more likely a debatable question; I think the plural of dwellers on the island of Rhodes is "Rhodians" and not these guys.

 

Really? Next thing you know, you'll be telling me it's "Greeks" not "Grecians"!

Edited by M. Porcius Cato

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...

So why didn't they simply say that? Why all the unnecessary propaganda? Why even post a justification for the list? Why not simply post the list with the reward?

 

Why is propaganda ever important? Convince the non-convinced, the borderline supporters, those who might need a justification and, with the Roman sense of the past, convince history perhaps. Even mass-murder needs righteous justification for some psychological reason.

 

Octavius, cold-blooded manipulator that he was, has his fingerprints all over the document.

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So why didn't they simply say that? Why all the unnecessary propaganda? Why even post a justification for the list? Why not simply post the list with the reward?

 

It is called the art of being an orator: in order to arouse a crowd your points must be emphasised, exaggerated and even falsified, and that was perceived to be acceptable then.

 

Maybe Antony was giving Cicero a taste of his on oratory medicine (vengeance of the philippics maybe?).

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The nice piece of propaganda that opens this thread comes from Appian, Bellum Civilis, Liber IV, sec. VIII-XI.

With the terrifying precision of the Alexandrian, here comes some of the remaining of the Liber IV (sec. V-XXX):

 

"As soon as the triumvirs were by themselves they joined in making a list of those who were to be put to death... on the ground of enmity... or on account of their wealth, for the triumvirs needed a great deal of money to carry on the war ...senators who were sentenced to death and confiscation was about 300, and of the knights about 2000 ...

... (Lepidus') brother Paulus was the first on the list of the proscribed ...second name on the list was that of his (Antony's) uncle, Lucius Caesar.These two men had been the first to vote Lepidus and Antony public enemies...

The massacre began, as it happened, among those who were still in office, and the first one slain was the tribune Salvius... sacred and inviolable ... The second one slain was the praetor Minucius ... Annalis, another praetor, was going around with his son, who was a candidate for the quaestorship ... killed by the same soldiers who had killed his father ...

Thoranius (who was said by some to have been a tutor of Octavius)...

Cicero ...was proscribed, together with his son, his brother, and his brother's son and all his household, his faction, and his friends... Cicero's brother, Quintus, was captured with his son ... (The murderers) killed them at the same time ...

(Balbus) delivered himself to the murderers ...

When she (Arruntius' wife) learned that her son also had perished at sea she starved herself to death...

(brothers) Ligarius ... one of them was killed and the other ... threw himself from the bridge into the Tiber... so she (Ligarius' wife) starved herself to death ...

the wife of Septimius, who had an amour with a certain friend of Antony... kept him until the murderers came. The same day that her husband was killed she celebrated her new nuptials ...

Salassus ... seeing ... his wife bringing the murderers, he precipitated himself from the roof...

Statius, the Samnite ... now eighty years of age, was proscribed on account of his riches ... set fire to it(his house), and perished ...

Capito ... was overpowered by numbers and slain after killing single-handed many of his assailants...

Naso, having been betrayed by a freedman who had been his favourite ...

Lucius ... gave himself up to the murderers.

Labienus, who had captured and killed many persons in the time of the proscription of Sulla ... waited for the murderers.

Cestius ... leaped into it(a pyre) ...

Aponius ... came forth and delivered himself to slaughter...

Lucius, the father-in‑law of Asinius, who was then consul ... leaped overboard. Caesennius ... while he was reading (the proscription list) (they) killed him ...

The centurion, recognizing Aemilius, replied, "You and he," and killed them both.

Cillo and Decius ... their running betrayed them to the centurions whom they met on the road.

Icelius, who was one of the judges in the trial of Brutus and Cassius ... was recognized by the murderers and killed.

Varus, who was betrayed by a freedman ... a centurion ... recognized him, and cut off his head,

Largus was captured in the fields by soldiers who were pursuing another man.

Rufus, he possessed a handsome mansion near that of Fulvia, the wife of Antony, which she had wanted to buy ... His head was brought to Antony ... She ordered that it be fastened to the front of his own house instead of the rostra.

A slave revealed the hiding-place of Haterius and obtained his freedom in consequence.

Such were the miseries of grown men, but the calamity extended to orphan children on account of their wealth. One of these, who was going to school, was killed, together with his attendant ...

Atilius, who was just assuming the man's toga ... revealed himself to some passing centurions, and was killed."

 

Try to be neutral.

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What's my thought? Of impudent hypocricy, lies, slander, rationalization, and pure evil? Gee I don't know...

 

had not perfidious traitors begged for mercy and when they obtained it become the enemies of their benefactors and conspired against them, neither would Gaius Caesar have been slain by those whom he saved by his clemency after capturing them in war

 

A convenient falsehood but a lie nevertheless. Caesar offered no general amnesty after Pharsalus (when it might have brought a quick end to the civil war), preferring instead to dally with Cleopatra while the forces of the republic regrouped (master strategist that Caesar!) And when Scipio and his unseasoned troops then surrendered in North Africa, they were all summarily slaughtered. Caesar's excuse for slaughtering Scipio and his men was that he was having an epileptic attack at the time (!), but like his claim not to have stood in the presence of the Senate due to an acute bout of diaherria, the epilepsy excuse stinks to high heaven.

 

Although Caesar was clothed with supreme power, although he was pontifex maximus, although he had overthrown and added to our sway the nations most formidable to the Romans, although he was the first man to attempt the untried sea beyond the pillars of Hercules and was the discoverer of a country hitherto unknown to the Romans, this man was slain in the midst of the senate

By Pluto's thorny *$#%, this is rich! Although Pompey was clothed with supreme power, and had overthrown and added to Rome enemies far more formidable to the Romans (as opposed to the bunch of rag-tag iron age women and children that Caesar butchered by the hundreds of thousands), this POMPEY WAS SLAIN IN THE MIDST OF THE SENATE. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Moreover, and this is absolutely essential, ever since Publicola the killing of a man who declared himself king was required by law. Those cowards who failed to wield their daggers were the outlaws, not the liberators. As is well known, Caesar was known as king of Rome in everyplace but Italy, and he underscored this point by removing any tribune who contradicted his self-declared monarchy.

 

After this execrable crime, instead of arresting the guilty wretches, the rest sent them forth as commanders and governors, in which capacity they seized upon the public money, with which they are collecting an army against us and are seeking reinforcements from barbarians ever hostile to Roman rule. Cities subject to Rome that would not obey them they have burned, or ravaged, or levelled to the ground; other cities they have forced by terror to bear arms against the country and against us.

Oh yeah?!? And WHY were these commanders and governors collecting an army? Because the lackeys of Caesar were collecting one as well and because they cast the first stone by assembling mobs to burn government buildings and the private homes and persons of their enemies. As for "barbarians", these toadies of Caesar were hip-high in the barbarian clients that Caesar had collected in his illegal war. And shall we even discuss these Caesarian boot-lickers' treatment of pro-republican cities? Just ask Livia's family about their mercy. Or the men, women and children of Praeneste, who were all murdered (regardless of their allegiances) by this craven cabal of cowards.

 

Let no one harbour any one of those whose names are hereto appended, or conceal them, or send them away, or be corrupted by their money. Whoever shall be detected in saving, or aiding, or conniving with them we will put on the list of the proscribed without allowing any excuse or pardon. Let those who kill the proscribed bring us their heads and receive the following rewards: to a free man 25,000 Attic drachmas per head; to a slave his freedom and 10,000 Attic drachmas and his master's right of citizenship. Informers shall receive the same rewards. In order that they may remain unknown the names of those who receive the rewards shall not be inscribed in our registers.

 

And who exactly were on this notorious list? The very friends and families of Octavian and Antony, who--rather than trading indulgences for their loved ones--instead traded vendettas. If only some real Roman had been around to liberate their country of these new Tarquins! Unfortunately, the last true Roman was Cassius.

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second name on the list was that of his (Antony's) uncle, Lucius Caesar.

Thoranius (who was said by some to have been a tutor of Octavius)...

(Balbus) delivered himself to the murderers ...

Lucius Caesar was a kinsman of Caesar and uncle to Antony. Thoranius was the tutor of Octavian. Balbus was Octavian's own grandfather. Look through this list, count up the number of family connections to this blood-soaked junta, and the next time you hear about the importance of family connections in Roman politics, say something. Regardless of Syme's misleading stemmata, the fact is that family is not a map to faction.

 

 

Icelius, who was one of the judges in the trial of Brutus and Cassius ... was recognized by the murderers and killed.

What trial??

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Regardless of Syme's misleading stemmata, the fact is that family is not a map to faction.

I totally agree.

 

What trial??

Good question.

 

Here comes Mestrius Plutarchus of Chaeronea, Parallel Lives, Brutus, Ch. XXVII, sec. IV-V:

 

"Straightway, then, he (Octavius) brought indictments for murder against Brutus and his associates, accusing them of having slain the first magistrate of the city without a trial. He appointed Lucius Cornificius to be prosecutor of Brutus, and Marcus Agrippa of Cassius. Accordingly, their cases went by default, the jurors voting under compulsion. And it is said that when the herald on the rostra pronounced the customary summons for Brutus to appear, the multitude groaned audibly, while the better classes bowed their heads in silence; and that Publius Silicius was seen to burst into tears, and was for this reason afterwards put on the list of the proscribed."

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