Marcus Agrippa: Organizer of Victory

Marcus Agrippa: Organizer of Victory

Marcus Agrippa: Organizer of Victory

Marcus Agrippa: Organizer of Victory

Excerpt

Of all the great names in Roman history no one has been paid less attention by biographers, no one has received less of the fame that is his due, than Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.To establish a new imperial system on the ruins of the old republican constitution destroyed by Julius Caesar was a task of immense difficulty—tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem—far too great for the powers of any one person. The task was eventually performed with a fair measure of success, but in its initial stages it was performed not by one man but by a syndicate of four. Augustus, by common consent, was allowed to take the credit for all that his associates did, but the hardest part of the work was actually left to Agrippa, who was content all through his life to be his subordinate and eventually to marry his daughter.

There are periods when nothing of very great moment seems to happen, and the tide of affairs is stagnant without perceptible ebb or flow. There are other periods when all kinds of forces, destructive and constructive, are let loose, and the whole history of nations is changed for the better or the worse. To this latter class belongs the half-century in which Agrippa lived; and from the time when he first . . .

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