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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10522
Suetonius, Tiberius, 49


nan Presently, as time went on, he even resorted to plunder. All the world knows that he drove Gnaeus Lentulus Augur, a man of great wealth, to take his own life through fear and mental anxiety, and to make the emperor his sole heir; that Lepida, too, a woman of very high birth, was condemned to banishment to gratify Quirinius, an opulent and childless ex-consul, who had divorced her, and twenty years later accused her of having attempted to poison him many years before;, that besides this the leading men of the Spanish and Gallic provinces, as well as of Syria and Greece, had their property confiscated on trivial and shameless charges, some being accused of nothing more serious than having a part of their property in ready money; that many states and individuals were deprived of immunities of long standing, of the right of working mines and collecting revenues; that Vonones, king of the Parthians, who on being dethroned by his subjects had taken refuge at Antioch with a vast treasure, in the belief that he was putting himself under the protection of the Roman people, was treacherously despoiled and put to death.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. Tacitus, Annals, 2.27.1, 3.22-3.23, 4.13, 4.15, 4.16.4, 14.41 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2.27.1.  Nearly at the same time, a charge of revolutionary activities was laid against Libo Drusus, a member of the Scribonian family. I shall describe in some detail the origin, the progress, and the end of this affair, as it marked the discovery of the system destined for so many years to prey upon the vitals of the commonwealth. Firmius Catus, a senator, and one of Libo's closest friends, had urged that short-sighted youth, who had a foible for absurdities, to resort to the forecasts of astrologers, the ritual of magicians, and the society of interpreters of dreams; pointing to his great-grandfather Pompey, to his great-aunt Scribonia (at one time the consort of Augustus), to his cousin­ship with the Caesars, and to his mansion crowded with ancestral portraits; encouraging him in his luxuries and loans; and, to bind him in a yet stronger chain of evidence, sharing his debaucheries and his embarrassments. 3.22.  At Rome, in the meantime, Lepida, who, over and above the distinction of the Aemilian family, owned Sulla and Pompey for great-grandsires, was accused of feigning to be a mother by Publius Quirinius, a rich man and childless. There were complementary charges of adulteries, of poisonings, and of inquiries made through the astrologers with reference to the Caesarian house. The defence was in the hands of her brother, Manius Lepidus. Despite her infamy and her guilt, Quirinius, by persisting in his malignity after divorcing her, had gained her a measure of sympathy. It is not easy to penetrate the emperor's sentiments during this trial: so adroitly did he invert and confuse the symptoms of anger and of mercy. He began by requesting the senate not to deal with the charges of treason; then he lured the former consul, Marcus Servilius, with a number of other witnesses, into stating the very facts he had apparently wished to have suppressed. Lepida's slaves, again, were being held in military custody; he transferred them to the consuls, and would not allow them to be questioned under torture upon the issues concerning his own family. Similarly, he exempted Drusus, who was consul designate, from speaking first to the question. By some this was read as a concession relieving the rest of the members from the need of assenting: others took it to mark a sinister purpose on the ground that he would have ceded nothing save the duty of condemning. 3.23.  In the course of the Games, which had interrupted the trial, Lepida entered the theatre with a number of women of rank; and there, weeping, wailing, invoking her ancestors and Pompey himself, whom that edifice commemorated, whose statues were standing before their eyes, she excited so much sympathy that the crowd burst into tears, with a fierce and ominous outcry against Quirinius, to whose doting years, barren bed, and petty family they were betraying a woman once destined for the bride of Lucius Caesar and the daughter-in‑law of the deified Augustus. Then, with the torture of her slaves, came the revelation of her crimes; and the motion of Rubellius Blandus, who pressed for her formal outlawry, was carried. Drusus sided with him, though others had proposed more lenient measures. Later, as a concession to Scaurus, who had a son by her, it was decided not to confiscate her property. And now at last Tiberius disclosed that he had ascertained from Quirinius' own slaves that Lepida had attempted their master's life by poison. 4.13.  Meanwhile Tiberius had in no way relaxed his attention to public business, but, accepting work as a consolation, was dealing with judicial cases at Rome and petitions from the provinces. On his proposal, senatorial resolutions were passed to relieve the towns of Cibyra in Asia and Aegium in Achaia, both damaged by earthquake, by remitting their tribute for three years. Vibius Serenus, too, the proconsul of Further Spain, was condemned on a charge of public violence, and deported, as the result of his savage character, to the island of Amorgus. Carsidius Sacerdos, accused of supplying grain to a public enemy in the person of Tacfarinas, was acquitted; and the same charge failed against Gaius Gracchus. Gracchus had been taken in earliest infancy by his father Sempronius to share his banishment in the company of landless men, destitute of all liberal achievements; later, he eked out a livelihood by mean trading transactions in Africa and Sicily: yet even so he failed to escape the hazards reserved for rank and fortune. Indeed, had not Aelius Lamia and Lucius Apronius, former governors of Africa, come to the rescue of his innocence, he would have been swept to ruin by the fame of his calamitous house and the disasters of his father. 4.15.  The same year brought still another bereavement to the emperor, by removing one of the twin children of Drusus, and an equal affliction in the death of a friend. This was Lucilius Longus, his comrade in evil days and good, and the one member of the senate to share his isolation at Rhodes. Hence, in spite of his modest antecedents, a censorian funeral and a statue erected in the Forum of Augustus at the public expense were decreed to him by the Fathers, before whom, at that time, all questions were still dealt with; so much so, that Lucilius Capito, the procurator of Asia, was obliged, at the indictment of the province, to plead his cause before them, the emperor asserting forcibly that "any powers he had given to him extended merely to the slaves and revenues of the imperial domains; if he had usurped the governor's authority and used military force, it was a flouting of his orders: the provincials must be heard." The case was accordingly tried and the defendant condemned. In return for this act of retribution, as well as for the punishment meted out to Gaius Silanus the year before, the Asiatic cities decreed a temple to Tiberius, his mother, and the senate. Leave to build was granted, and Nero returned thanks on that score to the senate and his grandfather — a pleasing sensation to his listeners, whose memory of Germanicus was fresh enough to permit the fancy that his were the features they saw and the accents to which they listened. The youth had, in fact, a modesty and beauty worthy of a prince: endowments the more attractive from the peril of their owner, since the hatred of Sejanus for him was notorious. 14.41.  The same day brought also the fall of a youthful ex-quaestor, Pompeius Aelianus, charged with complicity in the villainies of Fabianus: he was outlawed from Italy and also from Spain, the country of his origin. The same humiliation was inflicted on Valerius Ponticus, because, to save the accused from prosecution before the city prefect, with the intention of defeating for the moment by a legal subterfuge, and in the long run by collusion. A clause was added to the senatorial decree, providing that any person buying or selling this form of connivance was to be liable to the same penalty as if convicted of calumny in a criminal trial.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aemilia lepida Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467
apamea Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
arabia Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
ateius capito, as praiseworthy Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
augurs Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
boulē Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
censuses Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
decline, of religion Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
egypt Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
elites Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
falsum, cases of Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467
flamen of augustus, dialis Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
julius caesar Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
lucilius capito, cn. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467
lucius (d. a.d. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467
nero caesar Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
pontifices, appointed Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
priests, (mis-)appointments Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
quaestio Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467
senate, failure of expertise Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
senate, in latin and greek, scope Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467
senate, responsible for cultus deorum Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
sycophancy, of senate Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 186
synedrion Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
taxation, by elites Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
taxation, capitation tax Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
taxation, land tribute Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
toparchies' Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 128
valerius ponticus Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467
vibius serenus (father) Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 467