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926

UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

and the education of the younger Celts in the literature, politics, and

arts of the parent state.

The Germans beyond the Rhine were a constant menace to the peace of the

Empire. Their swarming tribes were ever pressing to the west, and the

cordon of Roman forts on the left bank of the river was an imperative

necessity of the situation. During the reign of Claudius there was an

unusual commotion among the restless Teutons. They were held in check by

the Legions stationed on the frontier; and in one instance at least the

Roman arms were again carried beyond the river in a successful campaign.

The tribes of the Chatti and Chauci were punished for their arrogance and

hostility, and were taught to accept the Rhine as the utmost limit of their

excursions.

Personally Claudius had few elements of popularity. His figure was

ungainly; his gait, shambling; his legs, crooked; his health, miserable;

his countenance, expressive of trepidation and pain. His personal habits,

moreover, were of a sort to be admired only by contrast with the despicable

conduct of the two emperors who had preceded him. He was gluttonous in food

and drink; many times married; devoid of taste; of impure manners.

So far, however, as the great work of governing was concerned, he had a

broader view of the requirements of the state than any Roman ruler since

Julius Caesar. He applied himself diligently to business, and outworked

most of his subordinates in the onerous duties of the administration. His

intellect worked slowly and laboriously, and his government was one of

ingenuity rather than Of intuition.

In the conduct of foreign affairs, the attention of the Emperor was next

directed to the East. He adopted the policy of conciliating the Asiatic

provinces by restoring to them their native princes. The sovereignty of

Commagene was bestowed on a certain Antiochus. 'Mithridates, a lineal

descendant of Mithridates the Great, was given the kingdom of the

Bosphorus. The deposed sovereign of that state was recompensed with a

province in Cilicia; while the authority of Herod Agrippa, of Galilee, was

extended over the whole of Palestine.

The impudence of Caligula, in ordering his own statue to be set up in the

temple of Jehovah, had excited the wrath of the Jews to such an extent that

they were on the eve of rebellion. The course pursued by Claudius, however,

was highly approved, and the coming of Agrippa to Jerusalem was hailed with

delight. The people of Jewry were at this time divided into two parties;

the ancient Jewish faction, which upheld the old Israelitish theory of

government, and the pagan or Greek party, which maintained the supremacy if

not the divinity of the secular ruler. Herod found it impossible to

reconcile these factions, or to secure a harmonious government. While in

the Jewish capital he was obliged to agree with the Jewish faction; but in

the provinces he followed his natural inclinations and affiliated with the

Hellenizers. At Caesarea he fell sick and died, and Palestine was thereupon

annexed to the province of Syria.

Several public works were undertaken or completed in the reign of Claudius.

A great sewer was constructed to drain the Fucine lake, and a harbor was

excavated at the mouth of the Tiber. The aqueduct which had been begun by

the engineers of Caligula, was brought to completion, and many other public

works promoted. The Claudian census showed a population of nearly twenty-

four millions.

The marital relations of Claudius were any thing other than happy. His

first wife Plautia and the second AElia, were both for good reasons

divorced. Hereafter he married the notorious Valeria Messalina, who has the

historical reputation of being the worst of her sex. Her mind was a vortex

of pride, passion, subtlety, ambition, and every vice and crime which could

flourish in such a maelstrom. Deceit was her prevalent trait, and treachery

her chief entertainment. She debauched her husband's administration, and

turned the government into a bagnio. She finally in A. D. 48 capped the

climax of her criminal caprices by marrying a young nobleman named Silius,

with whom she proposed to share the throne when Claudius should be disposed

of. The Emperor was absent from the capital when the marriage was

performed, and on his return, the public scandal for Messalina had her