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ROME-THE FIRST CAESARS.

in the year 12, when the deposed triumvir, Lepidus, died, his office of

chief pontiff was transferred to the sovereign.

The great transformation thus accomplished in the structure of Roman

society was effected without noticeable agitations. The old institutions of

Rome still walked like well pleased shadows about the Forum and the Campus.

The Senate assembled on the stated days, freely debated the questions which

were presented, passed resolutions and bills, and flattered itself that it

was the same body of which Cato and Cicero had once been members, and

Augustus was careful not to dispel the illusion. The outsider in Rome

beheld the priest and the virgin ascending the hill of the Capitol as of

old. The municipal officers still bearing the ancient names went as usual

to the discharge of their daily duties.

Meanwhile Augustus drew between himself and the other dignitaries of the

state as little distinction in right and etiquette as possible. His life on

the Palatine was that of a wealthy senator. On election days he went into

the public assembly and voted as any other citizen. In the Senate House he

was careful not to assume an air of haughtiness and grandeur. His house was

not of the most splendid and his apparel was the garb of Roman citizenship,

undistinguished by badges or insignia. He went freely among the people,

walked the streets of the city and saluted his friends as would be expected

of any other person of distinction. His banquets were comparatively free

from ostentation, and his tables were never the scene of boisterous revelry

and drunkenness. He even insisted that the women of his household should

practice industry and economy after the manner of the matrons and maidens

of ancient Rome. This cold temperament and passionless character made self-

control as easy to the man Octavianus as it was necessary to the man

Augustus. The senses of all Rome were thus lulled into repose. The

truculent specters of the old aristocracy ceased to menace the established

order, and the Roman populace had its bread and its circus. It ate the one

and went to the other and was satisfied.

The noiseless pressure of the new regime was particularly felt in the

suppression of the hurtful distinctions hitherto existing in Roman