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Not so, however, the praetorians. The latter absorbed all of the vicious

influences of the capital, and to these added the vices of the camp. Their

leaders were generally infected with the politics of the capital, and the

guards soon became more of a menace than a protection to the state. As to

the naval service, a large fleet was retained under the command of Agrippa.

Naval stations were established at Ravenna, Misenum, and Fregus, in Gaul,

and from these harbors squadrons were sent out to chase pirates, collect

tribute, cruise around the shores of the Mediterranean, and convoy

merchantmen to and from the East.

Only for a short season after the conquest of Egypt were the portals of

Janus closed. It soon became necessary for Augustus to make a vigorous use

of the sword for the protection of the imperial borders. As early as B. C.

27, the Caesar was called to Lugdunum to settle the affairs of Gaul. It

was found necessary to revolutionize the Gallic towns, and to make war on

the Iberi and Cantabri. The policy was adopted of founding military

colonies, and encouraging the introduction of the Latin language and

customs among the Gauls. Highways were established at least by two routes

across the Alps, and communication thus made easy between Italy and Gallia


In B.C. 24, a trouble occurred on the borders of Upper Egypt, which made it

necessary for the Roman legion stationed at Alexandria to make war on

Candace, queen of Ethiopia. But this petty hostility was soon repressed. In

the same year an expedition, led by AElius Gallus, penetrated into Arabia

Felix, but was attended with no success. Two years afterwards, Augustus

himself made a tour of the East. Passing from Sicily into Greece, and

thence into Phoenicia, he settled various complications in those distant

parts, and then proceeded to recover from the Parthians the Roman standards

which had been taken from Crassus. On his return to Rome, another extension

of his authority for five years was voted by the Senate, and the Secular

Games (1) were celebrated in honor of the event. Great care was taken that

the festival should be observed after the manner of the fathers. To this

end the Sibylline books were consulted, and the priests ordered to prepare

a celebration which no living Roman had ever witnessed or would witness


The next foreign difficulties of the Empire were on the frontier of the

Rhine. The Germanic nations never ceased to press upon that border. In

order to check the incursion of the Teutonic tribes and make sure of the

Rhine as the permanent boundary of the Empire, a chain of no fewer than

seventy fortresses was established along that river. The defense of those

regions against the constant menaces of barbarism was entrusted to Drusus

and Tiberius, both surnamed Claudius Nero, and both stepsons of the

emperor. The two generals were ambitious of military fame, and aimed at the

conquest of Germany. Drusus constructed a canal from the Lower Rhine by way

of the Zuyder Zee to the mouths of the river, thus extending the defenses

of the Empire from Basle to the North Sea. In B.C. 12 he captured the

island of Burchana at the mouth of the Rhine, and in the same year

conquered the Bructeri, dwelling on the right bank of the river. Soon

afterwards the Usipii were also subdued, and in B. C. 10 the other over-

Rhine nations were conquered as far as the river Elbe. This was, however,

an ill-omened ___________________________________ 1 The Secular Games were

a national institution which the Romans established in the times of

Valerius Publicola. They were celebrated in honor of Pluto and Proserpine,

the divinities of Death and Life. The general purpose was to avert by

divine interposition calamity and downfall from the state. They were called

secular from saeculum, meaning an age, and were observed at long and

irregular intervals. Three times before the reign of Augustus they had been

celebrated, and were now, in B. C. 17, revived with great pomp and

magnificence. It was for this celebrated occasion that Horace composed his

Ode, called the Carmen Saeculare, or "Secular Hymn."