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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10588
Tacitus, Annals, 1.6


Primum facinus novi principatus fuit Postumi Agrippae caedes, quem ignarum inermumque quamvis firmatus animo centurio aegre confecit. nihil de ea re Tiberius apud senatum disseruit: patris iussa simulabat, quibus praescripsisset tribuno custodiae adposito ne cunctaretur Agrippam morte adficere quandoque ipse supremum diem explevisset. multa sine dubio saevaque Augustus de moribus adulescentis questus, ut exilium eius senatus consulto sanciretur perfecerat: ceterum in nullius umquam suorum necem duravit, neque mortem nepoti pro securitate privigni inlatam credibile erat. propius vero Tiberium ac Liviam, illum metu, hanc novercalibus odiis, suspecti et invisi iuvenis caedem festinavisse. nuntianti centurioni, ut mos militiae, factum esse quod imperasset, neque imperasse sese et rationem facti reddendam apud senatum respondit. quod postquam Sallustius Crispus particeps secretorum (is ad tribunum miserat codicillos) comperit, metuens ne reus subderetur, iuxta periculoso ficta seu vera promeret monuit Liviam ne arcana domus, ne consilia amicorum, ministeria militum vulgarentur, neve Tiberius vim principatus resolveret cuncta ad senatum vocando: eam condicionem esse imperandi ut non aliter ratio constet quam si uni reddatur. The opening crime of the new principate was the murder of Agrippa Postumus; who, though off his guard and without weapons, was with difficulty dispatched by a resolute centurion. In the senate Tiberius made no reference to the subject: his pretence was an order from his father, instructing the tribune in charge to lose no time in making away with his prisoner, once he himself should have looked his last on the world. It was beyond question that by his frequent and bitter strictures on the youth's character Augustus had procured the senatorial decree for his exile: on the other hand, at no time did he harden his heart to the killing of a relative, and it remained incredible that he should have sacrificed the life of a grandchild in order to diminish the anxieties of a stepson. More probably, Tiberius and Livia, actuated in the one case by fear, and in the other by stepmotherly dislike, hurriedly procured the murder of a youth whom they suspected and detested. To the centurion who brought the usual military report, the emperor rejoined that he had given no instructions and the deed would have to be accounted for in the senate. The remark came to the ears of Sallustius Crispus. A partner in the imperial secrets — it was he who had forwarded the note to the tribune — he feared the charge might be fastened on himself, with the risks equally great whether he spoke the truth or lied. He therefore advised Livia not to publish the mysteries of the palace, the counsels of her friends, the services of the soldiery; and also to watch that Tiberius did not weaken the powers of the throne by referring everything and all things to the senate:— "It was a condition of sovereignty that the account balanced only if rendered to a single auditor." <


Primum facinus novi principatus fuit Postumi Agrippae caedes, quem ignarum inermumque quamvis firmatus animo centurio aegre confecit. nihil de ea re Tiberius apud senatum disseruit: patris iussa simulabat, quibus praescripsisset tribuno custodiae adposito ne cunctaretur Agrippam morte adficere quandoque ipse supremum diem explevisset. multa sine dubio saevaque Augustus de moribus adulescentis questus, ut exilium eius senatus consulto sanciretur perfecerat: ceterum in nullius umquam suorum necem duravit, neque mortem nepoti pro securitate privigni inlatam credibile erat. propius vero Tiberium ac Liviam, illum metu, hanc novercalibus odiis, suspecti et invisi iuvenis caedem festinavisse. nuntianti centurioni, ut mos militiae, factum esse quod imperasset, neque imperasse sese et rationem facti reddendam apud senatum respondit. quod postquam Sallustius Crispus particeps secretorum (is ad tribunum miserat codicillos) comperit, metuens ne reus subderetur, iuxta periculoso ficta seu vera promeret monuit Liviam ne arcana domus, ne consilia amicorum, ministeria militum vulgarentur, neve Tiberius vim principatus resolveret cuncta ad senatum vocando: eam condicionem esse imperandi ut non aliter ratio constet quam si uni reddatur. The opening crime of the new principate was the murder of Agrippa Postumus; who, though off his guard and without weapons, was with difficulty dispatched by a resolute centurion. In the senate Tiberius made no reference to the subject: his pretence was an order from his father, instructing the tribune in charge to lose no time in making away with his prisoner, once he himself should have looked his last on the world. It was beyond question that by his frequent and bitter strictures on the youth's character Augustus had procured the senatorial decree for his exile: on the other hand, at no time did he harden his heart to the killing of a relative, and it remained incredible that he should have sacrificed the life of a grandchild in order to diminish the anxieties of a stepson. More probably, Tiberius and Livia, actuated in the one case by fear, and in the other by stepmotherly dislike, hurriedly procured the murder of a youth whom they suspected and detested. To the centurion who brought the usual military report, the emperor rejoined that he had given no instructions and the deed would have to be accounted for in the senate. The remark came to the ears of Sallustius Crispus. A partner in the imperial secrets — it was he who had forwarded the note to the tribune — he feared the charge might be fastened on himself, with the risks equally great whether he spoke the truth or lied. He therefore advised Livia not to publish the mysteries of the palace, the counsels of her friends, the services of the soldiery; and also to watch that Tiberius did not weaken the powers of the throne by referring everything and all things to the senate:— "It was a condition of sovereignty that the account balanced only if rendered to a single auditor.


Conciti per haec non modo Cherusci, sed conterminae gentes, tractusque in partis Inguiomerus Arminii patruus, vetere apud Romanos auctoritate; unde maior Caesari metus. et ne bellum mole una ingrueret Caecinam cum quadraginta cohortibus Romanis distrahendo hosti per Bructeros ad flumen Amisiam mittit, equitem Pedo praefectus finibus Frisiorum ducit. ipse inpositas navibus quattuor legiones per lacus vexit; simulque pedes eques classis apud praedictum amnem convenere. Chauci cum auxilia pollicerentur, in commilitium adsciti sunt. Bructeros sua urentis expedita cum manu L. Stertinius missu Germanici fudit; interque caedem et praedam repperit undevicesimae legionis aquilam cum Varo amissam. ductum inde agmen ad ultimos Bructerorum, quantumque Amisiam et Lupiam amnis inter vastatum, haud procul Teutoburgiensi saltu in quo reliquiae Vari legionumque insepultae dicebantur. The opening crime of the new principate was the murder of Agrippa Postumus; who, though off his guard and without weapons, was with difficulty dispatched by a resolute centurion. In the senate Tiberius made no reference to the subject: his pretence was an order from his father, instructing the tribune in charge to lose no time in making away with his prisoner, once he himself should have looked his last on the world. It was beyond question that by his frequent and bitter strictures on the youth's character Augustus had procured the senatorial decree for his exile: on the other hand, at no time did he harden his heart to the killing of a relative, and it remained incredible that he should have sacrificed the life of a grandchild in order to diminish the anxieties of a stepson. More probably, Tiberius and Livia, actuated in the one case by fear, and in the other by stepmotherly dislike, hurriedly procured the murder of a youth whom they suspected and detested. To the centurion who brought the usual military report, the emperor rejoined that he had given no instructions and the deed would have to be accounted for in the senate. The remark came to the ears of Sallustius Crispus. A partner in the imperial secrets — it was he who had forwarded the note to the tribune — he feared the charge might be fastened on himself, with the risks equally great whether he spoke the truth or lied. He therefore advised Livia not to publish the mysteries of the palace, the counsels of her friends, the services of the soldiery; and also to watch that Tiberius did not weaken the powers of the throne by referring everything and all things to the senate:— "It was a condition of sovereignty that the account balanced only if rendered to a single auditor." <


Conciti per haec non modo Cherusci, sed conterminae gentes, tractusque in partis Inguiomerus Arminii patruus, vetere apud Romanos auctoritate; unde maior Caesari metus. et ne bellum mole una ingrueret Caecinam cum quadraginta cohortibus Romanis distrahendo hosti per Bructeros ad flumen Amisiam mittit, equitem Pedo praefectus finibus Frisiorum ducit. ipse inpositas navibus quattuor legiones per lacus vexit; simulque pedes eques classis apud praedictum amnem convenere. Chauci cum auxilia pollicerentur, in commilitium adsciti sunt. Bructeros sua urentis expedita cum manu L. Stertinius missu Germanici fudit; interque caedem et praedam repperit undevicesimae legionis aquilam cum Varo amissam. ductum inde agmen ad ultimos Bructerorum, quantumque Amisiam et Lupiam amnis inter vastatum, haud procul Teutoburgiensi saltu in quo reliquiae Vari legionumque insepultae dicebantur. The opening crime of the new principate was the murder of Agrippa Postumus; who, though off his guard and without weapons, was with difficulty dispatched by a resolute centurion. In the senate Tiberius made no reference to the subject: his pretence was an order from his father, instructing the tribune in charge to lose no time in making away with his prisoner, once he himself should have looked his last on the world. It was beyond question that by his frequent and bitter strictures on the youth's character Augustus had procured the senatorial decree for his exile: on the other hand, at no time did he harden his heart to the killing of a relative, and it remained incredible that he should have sacrificed the life of a grandchild in order to diminish the anxieties of a stepson. More probably, Tiberius and Livia, actuated in the one case by fear, and in the other by stepmotherly dislike, hurriedly procured the murder of a youth whom they suspected and detested. To the centurion who brought the usual military report, the emperor rejoined that he had given no instructions and the deed would have to be accounted for in the senate. The remark came to the ears of Sallustius Crispus. A partner in the imperial secrets — it was he who had forwarded the note to the tribune — he feared the charge might be fastened on himself, with the risks equally great whether he spoke the truth or lied. He therefore advised Livia not to publish the mysteries of the palace, the counsels of her friends, the services of the soldiery; and also to watch that Tiberius did not weaken the powers of the throne by referring everything and all things to the senate:— "It was a condition of sovereignty that the account balanced only if rendered to a single auditor.


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

6 results
1. Juvenal, Satires, 6, 1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2. Seneca The Younger, Apocolocyntosis, 6 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Suetonius, Caligula, 60 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Suetonius, Claudius, 29.1, 35.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5. Suetonius, Tiberius, 28 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Tacitus, Annals, 1.4-1.5, 1.7-1.15, 1.7.3, 2.82, 3.56.1, 11.28, 12.68-12.69, 13.1, 13.4 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.4.  It was thus an altered world, and of the old, unspoilt Roman character not a trace lingered. Equality was an outworn creed, and all eyes looked to the mandate of the sovereign — with no immediate misgivings, so long as Augustus in the full vigour of his prime upheld himself, his house, and peace. But when the wearing effects of bodily sickness added themselves to advancing years, and the end was coming and new hopes dawning, a few voices began idly to discuss the blessings of freedom; more were apprehensive of war; others desired it; the great majority merely exchanged gossip derogatory to their future masters:— "Agrippa, fierce-tempered, and hot from his humiliation, was unfitted by age and experience for so heavy a burden. Tiberius Nero was mature in years and tried in war, but had the old, inbred arrogance of the Claudian family, and hints of cruelty, strive as he would to repress them, kept breaking out. He had been reared from the cradle in a regt house; consulates and triumphs had been heaped on his youthful head: even during the years when he lived at Rhodes in ostensible retirement and actual exile, he had studied nothing save anger, hypocrisy, and secret lasciviousness. Add to the tale his mother with her feminine caprice: they must be slaves, it appeared, to the distaff, and to a pair of striplings as well, who in the interval would oppress the state and in the upshot rend it asunder! 1.5.  While these topics and the like were under discussion, the malady of Augustus began to take a graver turn; and some suspected foul play on the part of his wife. For a rumour had gone the round that, a few months earlier, the emperor, confiding in a chosen few, and attended only by Fabius Maximus, had sailed for Planasia on a visit to Agrippa. "There tears and signs of affection on both sides had been plentiful enough to raise a hope that the youth might yet be restored to the house of his grandfather. Maximus had disclosed the incident to his wife Marcia; Marcia, to Livia. It had come to the Caesar's knowledge; and after the death of Maximus, which followed shortly, possibly by his own hand, Marcia had been heard at the funeral, sobbing and reproaching herself as the cause of her husband's destruction." Whatever the truth of the affair, Tiberius had hardly set foot in Illyricum, when he was recalled by an urgent letter from his mother; and it is not certainly known whether on reaching the town of Nola, he found Augustus still breathing or lifeless. For house and street were jealously guarded by Livia's ring of pickets, while sanguine notices were issued at intervals, until the measures dictated by the crisis had been taken: then one report announced simultaneously that Augustus had passed away and that Nero was master of the empire. 1.7.  At Rome, however, consuls, senators, and knights were rushing into slavery. The more exalted the personage, the grosser his hypocrisy and his haste, — his lineaments adjusted so as to betray neither cheerfulness at the exit nor undue depression at the entry of a prince; his tears blent with joy, his regrets with adulation. The consuls, Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Appuleius, first took the oath of allegiance to Tiberius Caesar. It was taken in their presence by Seius Strabo and Caius Turranius, chiefs respectively of the praetorian cohorts and the corn department. The senators, the soldiers, and the populace followed. For in every action of Tiberius the first step had to be taken by the consuls, as though the old republic were in being, and himself undecided whether to reign or no. Even his edict, convening the Fathers to the senate-house was issued simply beneath the tribunician title which he had received under Augustus. It was a laconic document of very modest purport:— "He intended to provide for the last honours to his father, whose body he could not leave — it was the one function of the state which he made bold to exercise." Yet, on the passing of Augustus he had given the watchword to the praetorian cohorts as Imperator; he had the sentries, the men-at‑arms, and the other appurteces of a court; soldiers conducted him to the forum, soldiers to the curia; he dispatched letters to the armies as if the principate was already in his grasp; and nowhere manifested the least hesitation, except when speaking in the senate. The chief reason was his fear that Germanicus — backed by so many legions, the vast reserves of the provinces, and a wonderful popularity with the nation — might prefer the ownership to the reversion of a throne. He paid public opinion, too, the compliment of wishing to be regarded as the called and chosen of the state, rather than as the interloper who had wormed his way into power with the help of connubial intrigues and a senile act of adoption. It was realized later that his coyness had been assumed with the further object of gaining an insight into the feelings of the aristocracy: for all the while he was distorting words and looks into crimes and storing them in his memory. 1.8.  The only business which he allowed to be discussed at the first meeting of the senate was the funeral of Augustus. The will, brought in by the Vestal Virgins, specified Tiberius and Livia as heirs, Livia to be adopted into the Julian family and the Augustan name. As legatees in the second degree he mentioned his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; in the third place, the prominent nobles — an ostentatious bid for the applause of posterity, as he detested most of them. His bequests were not above the ordinary civic scale, except that he left 43,500,000 sesterces to the nation and the populace, a thousand to every man in the praetorian guards, five hundred to each in the urban troops, and three hundred to all legionaries or members of the Roman cohorts. The question of the last honours was then debated. The two regarded as the most striking were due to Asinius Gallus and Lucius Arruntius — the former proposing that the funeral train should pass under a triumphal gateway; the latter, that the dead should be preceded by the titles of all laws which he had carried and the names of all peoples whom he had subdued. In addition, Valerius Messalla suggested that the oath of allegiance to Tiberius should be renewed annually. To a query from Tiberius, whether that expression of opinion came at his dictation, he retorted — it was the one form of flattery still left — that he had spoken of his own accord, and, when public interests were in question, he would (even at the risk of giving offence) use no man's judgment but his own. The senate clamoured for the body to be carried to the pyre on the shoulders of the Fathers. The Caesar, with haughty moderation, excused them from that duty, and warned the people by edict not to repeat the enthusiastic excesses which on a former day had marred the funeral of the deified Julius, by desiring Augustus to be cremated in the Forum rather than in the Field of Mars, his appointed resting-place. On the day of the ceremony, the troops were drawn up as though on guard, amid the jeers of those who had seen with their eyes, or whose fathers had declared to them, that day of still novel servitude and freedom disastrously re-wooed, when the killing of the dictator Caesar to some had seemed the worst, and to others the fairest, of high exploits:— "And now an aged prince, a veteran potentate, who had seen to it that not even his heirs should lack for means to coerce their country, must needs have military protection to ensure a peaceable burial! 1.9.  Then tongues became busy with Augustus himself. Most men were struck by trivial points — that one day should have been the first of his sovereignty and the last of his life — that he should have ended his days at Nola in the same house and room as his father Octavius. Much, too, was said of the number of his consulates (in which he had equalled the combined totals of Valerius Corvus and Caius Marius), his tribunician power unbroken for thirty-seven years, his title of Imperator twenty-one times earned, and his other honours, multiplied or new. Among men of intelligence, however, his career was praised or arraigned from varying points of view. According to some, "filial duty and the needs of a country, which at the time had no room for law, had driven him to the weapons of civil strife — weapons which could not be either forged or wielded with clean hands. He had overlooked much in Antony, much in Lepidus, for the sake of bringing to book the assassins of his father. When Lepidus grew old and indolent, and Antony succumbed to his vices, the sole remedy for his distracted country was government by one man. Yet he organized the state, not by instituting a monarchy or a dictatorship, but by creating the title of First Citizen. The empire had been fenced by the ocean or distant rivers. The legions, the provinces, the fleets, the whole administration, had been centralized. There had been law for the Roman citizen, respect for the allied communities; and the capital itself had been embellished with remarkable splendour. Very few situations had been treated by force, and then only in the interests of general tranquillity. 1.10.  On the other side it was argued that "filial duty and the critical position of the state had been used merely as a cloak: come to facts, and it was from the lust of dominion that he excited the veterans by his bounties, levied an army while yet a stripling and a subject, subdued the legions of a consul, and affected a leaning to the Pompeian side. Then, following his usurpation by senatorial decree of the symbols and powers of the praetorship, had come the deaths of Hirtius and Pansa, — whether they perished by the enemy's sword, or Pansa by poison sprinkled on his wound, and Hirtius by the hands of his own soldiery, with the Caesar to plan the treason. At all events, he had possessed himself of both their armies, wrung a consulate from the unwilling senate, and turned against the commonwealth the arms which he had received for the quelling of Antony. The proscription of citizens and the assignments of land had been approved not even by those who executed them. Grant that Cassius and the Bruti were sacrificed to inherited enmities — though the moral law required that private hatreds should give way to public utility — yet Pompey was betrayed by the simulacrum of a peace, Lepidus by the shadow of a friendship: then Antony, lured by the Tarentine and Brundisian treaties and a marriage with his sister, had paid with life the penalty of that delusive connexion. After that there had been undoubtedly peace, but peace with bloodshed — the disasters of Lollius and of Varus, the execution at Rome of a Varro, an Egnatius, an Iullus." His domestic adventures were not spared; the abduction of Nero's wife, and the farcical questions to the pontiffs, whether, with a child conceived but not yet born, she could legally wed; the debaucheries of Vedius Pollio; and, lastly, Livia, — as a mother, a curse to the realm; as a stepmother, a curse to the house of the Caesars. "He had left small room for the worship of heaven, when he claimed to be himself adored in temples and in the image of godhead by flamens and by priests! Even in the adoption of Tiberius to succeed him, his motive had been neither personal affection nor regard for the state: he had read the pride and cruelty of his heart, and had sought to heighten his own glory by the vilest of contrasts." For Augustus, a few years earlier, when requesting the Fathers to renew the grant of the tribunician power to Tiberius, had in the course of the speech, complimentary as it was, let fall a few remarks on his demeanour, dress, and habits which were offered as an apology and designed for reproaches. However, his funeral ran the ordinary course; and a decree followed, endowing him a temple and divine rites. 1.11.  Then all prayers were directed towards Tiberius; who delivered a variety of reflections on the greatness of the empire and his own diffidence:— "Only the mind of the deified Augustus was equal to such a burden: he himself had found, when called by the sovereign to share his anxieties, how arduous, how dependent upon fortune, was the task of ruling a world! He thought, then, that, in a state which had the support of so many eminent men, they ought not to devolve the entire duties on any one person; the business of government would be more easily carried out by the joint efforts of a number." A speech in this tenor was more dignified than convincing. Besides, the diction of Tiberius, by habit or by nature, was always indirect and obscure, even when he had no wish to conceal his thought; and now, in the effort to bury every trace of his sentiments, it became more intricate, uncertain, and equivocal than ever. But the Fathers, whose one dread was that they might seem to comprehend him, melted in plaints, tears, and prayers. They were stretching their hands to heaven, to the effigy of Augustus, to his own knees, when he gave orders for a document to be produced and read. It contained a statement of the national resources — the strength of the burghers and allies under arms; the number of the fleets, protectorates, and provinces; the taxes direct and indirect; the needful disbursements and customary bounties catalogued by Augustus in his own hand, with a final clause (due to fear or jealousy?) advising the restriction of the empire within its present frontiers. 1.12.  The senate, meanwhile, was descending to the most abject supplications, when Tiberius casually observed that, unequal as he felt himself to the whole weight of government, he would still undertake the charge of any one department that might be assigned to him. Asinius Gallus then said:— "I ask you, Caesar, what department you wish to be assigned you." This unforeseen inquiry threw him off his balance. He was silent for a few moments; then recovered himself, and answered that it would not at all become his diffidence to select or shun any part of a burden from which he would prefer to be wholly excused. Gallus, who had conjectured anger from his look, resumed:— "The question had been put to him, not with the hope that he would divide the inseparable, but to gain from his own lips an admission that the body politic was a single organism needing to be governed by a single intelligence." He added a panegyric on Augustus, and urged Tiberius to remember his own victories and the brilliant work which he had done year after year in the garb of peace. He failed, however, to soothe the imperial anger: he had been a hated man ever since his marriage to Vipsania (daughter of Marcus Agrippa, and once the wife of Tiberius), which had given the impression that he had ambitions denied to a subject and retained the temerity of his father Asinius Pollio. 1.13.  Lucius Arruntius, who followed in a vein not much unlike that of Gallus, gave equal offence, although Tiberius had no standing animosity against him: he was, however, rich, enterprising, greatly gifted, correspondingly popular, and so suspect. For Augustus, in his last conversations, when discussing possible holders of the principate — those who were competent and disinclined, who were inadequate and willing, or who were at once able and desirous — had described Manius Lepidus as capable but disdainful, Asinius Gallus as eager and unfit, Lucius Arruntius as not undeserving and bold enough to venture, should the opportunity arise. The first two names are not disputed; in some versions Arruntius is replaced by Gnaeus Piso: all concerned, apart from Lepidus, were soon entrapped on one charge or another, promoted by Tiberius. Quintus Haterius and Mamercus Scaurus also jarred that suspicious breast — Haterius, by the sentence, "How long, Caesar, will you permit the state to lack a head?" and Scaurus, by remarking that, as he had not used his tribunician power to veto the motion of the consuls, there was room for hope that the prayers of the senate would not be in vain. Haterius he favoured with an immediate invective: against Scaurus his anger was less placable, and he passed him over in silence. Wearied at last by the universal outcry and by individual appeals, he gradually gave ground, up to the point, not of acknowledging that he assumed the sovereignty, but of ceasing to refuse and to be entreated. Haterius, it is well known, on entering the palace to make his excuses, found Tiberius walking, threw himself down at his knees, and was all but dispatched by the guards, because the prince, either from accident or through being hampered by the suppliant's hands, had fallen flat on his face. The danger of a great citizen failed, however, to soften him, until Haterius appealed to Augusta, and was saved by the urgency of her prayers. 1.14.  Augusta herself enjoyed a full share of senatorial adulation. One party proposed to give her the title "Parent of her Country"; some preferred "Mother of her Country": a majority thought the qualification "Son of Julia" ought to be appended to the name of the Caesar. Declaring that official compliments to women must be kept within bounds, and that he would use the same forbearance in the case of those paid to himself (in fact he was fretted by jealousy, and regarded the elevation of a woman as a degradation of himself), he declined to allow her even the grant of a lictor, and banned both an Altar of Adoption and other proposed honours of a similar nature. But he asked proconsular powers for Germanicus Caesar, and a commission was sent out to confer them, and, at the same time, to console his grief at the death of Augustus. That the same demand was not preferred on behalf of Drusus was due to the circumstance that he was consul designate and in presence. For the praetorship Tiberius nominated twelve candidates, the number handed down by Augustus. The senate, pressing for an increase, was met by a declaration on oath that he would never exceed it. 1.15.  The elections were now for the first time transferred from the Campus to the senate: up to that day, while the most important were determined by the will of the sovereign, a few had still been left to the predilections of the Tribes. From the people the withdrawal of the right brought no protest beyond idle murmurs; and the senate, relieved from the necessity of buying or begging votes, was glad enough to embrace the change, Tiberius limiting himself to the recommendation of not more than four candidates, to be appointed without rejection or competition. At the same time, the plebeian tribunes asked leave to exhibit games at their own expense — to be called after the late emperor and added to the calendar as the Augustalia. It was decided, however, that the cost should be borne by the treasury; also, that the tribunes should have the use of the triumphal robe in the Circus; the chariot was not to be permissible. The whole function, before long, was transferred to the praetor who happened to have the jurisdiction in suits between natives and aliens. 2.82.  But at Rome, when the failure of Germanicus' health became current knowledge, and every circumstance was reported with the aggravations usual in news that has travelled far, all was grief and indignation. A storm of complaints burst out:— "So for this he had been relegated to the ends of earth; for this Piso had received a province; and this had been the drift of Augusta's colloquies with Plancina! It was the mere truth, as the elder men said of Drusus, that sons with democratic tempers were not pleasing to fathers on a throne; and both had been cut off for no other reason than because they designed to restore the age of freedom and take the Roman people into a partnership of equal rights." The announcement of his death inflamed this popular gossip to such a degree that before any edict of the magistrates, before any resolution of the senate, civic life was suspended, the courts deserted, houses closed. It was a town of sighs and silences, with none of the studied advertisements of sorrow; and, while there was no abstention from the ordinary tokens of bereavement, the deeper mourning was carried at the heart. Accidentally, a party of merchants, who had left Syria while Germanicus was yet alive, brought a more cheerful account of his condition. It was instantly believed and instantly disseminated. No man met another without proclaiming his unauthenticated news; and by him it was passed to more, with supplements dictated by joy. Crowds were running in the streets and forcing temple-doors. Credulity throve — it was night, and affirmation is boldest in the dark. Nor did Tiberius check the fictions, but left them to die out with the passage of time; and the people added bitterness for what seemed a second bereavement. 3.56.1.  Tiberius, now that his check to the onrush of informers had earned him a character for moderation, sent a letter to the senate desiring the tribunician power for Drusus. This phrase for the supreme dignity was discovered by Augustus; who was reluctant to take the style of king or dictator, yet desirous of some title indicating his pre-eminence over all other authorities. Later, he selected Marcus Agrippa as his partner in that power, then, on Agrippa's decease, Tiberius Nero; his object being to leave the succession in no doubt. In this way, he considered, he would stifle the misconceived hopes of other aspirants; while, at the same time, he had faith in Nero's self-restraint and in his own greatness. In accordance with this precedent, Tiberius then placed Drusus on the threshold of the empire, although in Germanicus' lifetime he had held his judgment suspended between the pair. — Now, however, after opening his letter with a prayer that Heaven would prospect his counsels to the good of the realm, he devoted a few sentences, free from false embellishments, to the character of the youth:— "He had a wife and three children; and he had reached the age at which, formerly, he himself had been called by the deified Augustus to undertake the same charge. Nor was it in haste, but only after eight years of trial, after mutinies repressed, wars composed, one triumph, and two consulates, that he was now admitted to share a task already familiar. 11.28.  A shudder, then, had passed through the imperial household. In particular, the holders of power with all to fear from a reversal of the established order, gave voice to their indignation, no longer in private colloquies, but without disguise:— "Whilst an actor profaned the imperial bedchamber, humiliation might have been inflicted, but destruction had still been in the far distance. Now, with his stately presence, his vigour of mind, and his impending consulate, a youthful noble was girding himself to a greater ambition — for the sequel of such a marriage was no mystery!" Fear beyond doubt came over them when they considered the hebetude of Claudius, his bondage to his wife, and the many murders perpetrated at the fiat of Messalina. Yet, again, the very pliancy of the emperor gave ground for confidence that, if they carried the day thanks to the atrocity of the charge, they might crush her by making her condemnation precede her trial. But the critical question, they realized, was whether Claudius would give a hearing to her defence, and whether they would be able to close his ears even to her confession. 12.68.  Meanwhile, the senate was convened, and consuls and priests formulated their vows for the imperial safety, at a moment when the now lifeless body was being swathed in blankets and warming bandages, while the requisite measures were arranged for securing the accession of Nero. In the first place, Agrippina, heart-broken apparently and seeking to be comforted, held Britannicus to her breast, styled him the authentic portrait of his father, and, by this or the other device, precluded him from leaving his room. His sisters, Antonia and Octavia, she similarly detained. She had barred all avenues of approach with pickets, and ever and anon she issued notices that the emperor's indisposition was turning favourably: all to keep the troops in good hope, and to allow time for the advent of the auspicious moment insisted upon by the astrologers. 12.69.  At last, at midday, on the thirteenth of October, the palace gates swung suddenly open, and Nero, with Burrus in attendance, passed out to the cohort, always on guard in conformity with the rules of the service. There, at a hint from the prefect, he was greeted with cheers and placed in a litter. Some of the men are said to have hesitated, looking back and inquiring:— "Where was Britannicus?" Then, as no lead to the contrary was forthcoming, they acquiesced in the choice presented to them: Nero was carried into the camp; and, after a few introductory words suited to the time, promised a donative on the same generous scale as that of his father, and was saluted as Imperator. The verdict of the troops was followed by the senatorial decrees; nor was any hesitation evinced in the provinces. Divine honours were voted to Claudius, and his funeral solemnities were celebrated precisely as those of the deified Augustus, Agrippina emulating the magnificence of her great-grandmother Livia. His will, however, was not read, lest the preference of the stepson to the son should leave a disquieting impression of injustice and invidiousness upon the mind of the common people. 13.1.  The first death under the new principate, that of Junius Silanus, proconsul of Asia, was brought to pass, without Nero's cognizance, by treachery on the part of Agrippina. It was not that he had provoked his doom by violence of temper, lethargic as he was, and so completely disdained by former despotisms that Gaius Caesar usually styled him "the golden sheep"; but Agrippina, who had procured the death of his brother Lucius Silanus, feared him as a possible avenger, since it was a generally expressed opinion of the multitude that Nero, barely emerged from boyhood and holding the empire in consequence of a crime, should take second place to a man of settled years, innocent character, and noble family, who — a point to be regarded in those days — was counted among the posterity of the Caesars: for Silanus, like Nero, was the son of a great-grandchild of Augustus. Such was the cause of death: the instruments were the Roman knight, Publius Celer, and the freedman Helius, who were in charge of the imperial revenues in Asia. By these poison was administered to the proconsul at a dinner, too openly to avoid detection. With no less speed, Claudius' freedman Narcissus, whose altercations with Agrippina I have already noticed, was forced to suicide by a rigorous confinement and by the last necessity, much against the will of the emperor, with whose still hidden vices his greed and prodigality were in admirable harmony. 13.4.  However, when the mockeries of sorrow had been carried to their close, he entered the curia; and, after an opening reference to the authority of the Fathers and the uimity of the army, stated that "he had before him advice and examples pointing him to an admirable system of government. Nor had his youth been poisoned by civil war or family strife: he brought to his task no hatreds, no wrongs, no desire for vengeance. He then outlined the character of the coming principate, the points which had provoked recent and intense dissatisfaction being specially discounteced:— "He would not constitute himself a judge of all cases, secluding accusers and defendants within the same four walls and allowing the influence of a few individuals to run riot. Under his roof would be no venality, no loophole for intrigue: the palace and the state would be things separate. Let the senate retain its old prerogatives! Let Italy and the public provinces take their stand before the judgement-seats of the consuls, and let the consuls grant them access to the Fathers: for the armies delegated to his charge he would himself be responsible.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
addressee, significant naming of Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
addressee, victimization of Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
adviser, satirist as, on marriage Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
agrippa postumus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 157; Galinsky, Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (2016) 163
agrippina Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
anger, and women Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
asinius gallus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 157
augustus, emperor, 163, 164 Galinsky, Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (2016) 163
augustus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 157; Viglietti and Gildenhard, Divination, Prediction and the End of the Roman Republic (2020) 80
augustus (previously octavian), builds temple of mars, relationship Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 489
claudius Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
consilium (augustus' senatorial)" Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 489
conspicuous consumption Viglietti and Gildenhard, Divination, Prediction and the End of the Roman Republic (2020) 80
emotion, infection with Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
indignatio, in satiric plot Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
julius silanus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 157
leges sumptuariae Viglietti and Gildenhard, Divination, Prediction and the End of the Roman Republic (2020) 80
livia (mother of tiberius) Galinsky, Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (2016) 163
marriage Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
masculinity Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
messalina Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
moderatio Viglietti and Gildenhard, Divination, Prediction and the End of the Roman Republic (2020) 80
myth, in rhetorical education Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
nero, emperor Galinsky, Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (2016) 163
nero Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 157
parsimonia Viglietti and Gildenhard, Divination, Prediction and the End of the Roman Republic (2020) 80
patrimony Viglietti and Gildenhard, Divination, Prediction and the End of the Roman Republic (2020) 80
pleasure Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
rhetorical education, controversiae and suasoriae Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions (2015) 71
sallustius crispus, c Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 489
senate, in latin and greek, recruitment difficulties Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 489
senate Viglietti and Gildenhard, Divination, Prediction and the End of the Roman Republic (2020) 80
suetonius tranquillus, c. Galinsky, Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (2016) 163
tacitus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 157
tiberius, and senate abandons consilium Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 489
tiberius, emperor, accession' Galinsky, Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (2016) 163
tiberius, emperor Galinsky, Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (2016) 163
tiberius Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 157