ROME-THE FIRST CAESARS.
He was now nearly seventy-six years of age, and for forty-four years had
borne the cares and responsibilities of the state. In the summer of A. D.
14, Tiberius was sent on an expedition into Illyricum. In departing, he was
accompanied as far as Beneventum by the emperor. In returning to Rome
Augustus was taken sick, and, after a short illness, died at the town of
Nola, on the 19th day of August. So signal had been his success as a
general, an emperor, and a man that his name has been indissolubly
associated with that colossal power over which he was the first recognized
ruler, and with one of the most brilliant literary epochs in the world.
With that age are blended the splendid achievements of Virgil and Horace,
of Livy and Ovid; and of the city herself, where this magnificence of
thought and deed was exhibited, it has been said, without undue license of
speech, that Augustus found Rome of brick, and left it of marble.
After the death of the emperor's grandsons, Caius and Lucius, public
attention was naturally turned to Tiberius as the probable successor to the
throne. Him, indeed, had Augustus associated with himself in the
government, and to his claims, after the Emperor's death, there was no
formidable opposition. Tiberius Claudius Nero, therefore, at the age of
forty-six, found himself raised by common consent to the throne of the
Caesars. On his accession to power, acting in accordance with an alleged
but manifestly fictitious wish of the late Emperor, he put to death Agrippa