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Augustus, Chapter 24: Military affairs.
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In military affairs he [Note 1] made many alterations, introducing some practices entirely new, and reviving others, which had become obsolete. He maintained the strictest discipline among the troops; and would not allow even his lieutenants the liberty to visit their wives, except reluctantly, and in the winter season only. A Roman knight having cut off the thumbs of his two young sons, to render them incapable of serving in the wars, he exposed both him and his estate to public sale. But upon observing the farmers of the revenue very greedy for the purchase, he assigned him to a freedman of his own, that he might send him into the country, and suffer him to retain his freedom. The tenth legion becoming mutinous, he disbanded it with ignominy; and did the same by some others which petulantly demanded their discharge; withholding from them the rewards usually bestowed on those who had served their stated time in the wars. The cohorts which yielded their ground in time of action, he decimated, and fed with barley. Centurions as well as common sentinels, who deserted their posts when on guard, he punished with death. For other misdemeanors he inflicted upon them various kinds of disgrace; such as obliging them to stand all day before the praetorium, sometimes in their tunics only, and without their belts, sometimes to carry poles ten feet long, or sods of turf. |
Note 1: he = Augustus
|In re militari et commutavit multa et instituit, atque etiam ad antiquum morem nonnulla revocavit. Disciplinam severissime rexit: ne legatorum quidem cuiquam, nisi gravate hibernisque demum mensibus, permisit uxorem intervisere. Equitem Romanum, quod duobus filiis adulescentibus causa detrectandi sacramenti pollices amputasset, ipsum bonaque subiecit hastae; quem tamen, quod inminere emptioni publicanos videbat, liberto suo addixit, ut relegatum in agros pro libero esse sineret. Decimam legionem contumacius parentem cum ignominia totam dimisit, item alias immodeste missionem postulantes citra commoda emeritorum praemiorum exauctoravit. Cohortes, si quae cessissent loco, decimatas hordeo pavit. Centuriones statione deserta, itidem ut manipulares, capitali animadversione puniit, pro cetero delictorum genere variis ignominis adfecit, ut stare per totum diem iuberet ante praetorium, interdum trunicatos discinctosque, nonnumquam cum decempedis, vel etiam cespitem portantes.|