Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10588
Tacitus, Annals, 12.1-12.8


Caede Messalinae convulsa principis domus, orto apud libertos certamine, quis deligeret uxorem Claudio, caelibis vitae intoleranti et coniugum imperiis obnoxio. nec minore ambitu feminae exarserant: suam quaeque nobilitatem formam opes contendere ac digna tanto matrimonio ostentare. sed maxime ambigebatur inter Lolliam Paulinam M. Lollii consularis et Iuliam Agrippinam Germanico genitam: huic Pallas, illi Callistus fautores aderant; at Aelia Paetina e familia Tuberonum Narcisso fovebatur. ipse huc modo, modo illuc, ut quemque suadentium audierat, promptus, discordantis in consilium vocat ac promere sententiam et adicere rationes iubet. The execution of Messalina shook the imperial household: for there followed a conflict among the freedmen, who should select a consort for Claudius, with his impatience of celibacy and his docility under wifely government. Nor was competition less fierce among the women: each paraded for comparison her nobility, her charms, and her wealth, and advertised them as worthy of that exalted alliance. The question, however, lay mainly between Lollia Paulina, daughter of the consular Marcus Lollius, and Julia Agrippina, the issue of Germanicus. The latter had the patronage of Pallas; the former, of Callistus; while Aelia Paetina, a Tubero by family, was favoured by Narcissus. The emperor, who leaned alternately to one or the other, according to the advocate whom he had heard the last, called the disputants into council, and ordered each to express his opinion and to add his reasons. <


Caede Messalinae convulsa principis domus, orto apud libertos certamine, quis deligeret uxorem Claudio, caelibis vitae intoleranti et coniugum imperiis obnoxio. nec minore ambitu feminae exarserant: suam quaeque nobilitatem formam opes contendere ac digna tanto matrimonio ostentare. sed maxime ambigebatur inter Lolliam Paulinam M. Lollii consularis et Iuliam Agrippinam Germanico genitam: huic Pallas, illi Callistus fautores aderant; at Aelia Paetina e familia Tuberonum Narcisso fovebatur. ipse huc modo, modo illuc, ut quemque suadentium audierat, promptus, discordantis in consilium vocat ac promere sententiam et adicere rationes iubet. The execution of Messalina shook the imperial household: for there followed a conflict among the freedmen, who should select a consort for Claudius, with his impatience of celibacy and his docility under wifely government. Nor was competition less fierce among the women: each paraded for comparison her nobility, her charms, and her wealth, and advertised them as worthy of that exalted alliance. The question, however, lay mainly between Lollia Paulina, daughter of the consular Marcus Lollius, and Julia Agrippina, the issue of Germanicus. The latter had the patronage of Pallas; the former, of Callistus; while Aelia Paetina, a Tubero by family, was favoured by Narcissus. The emperor, who leaned alternately to one or the other, according to the advocate whom he had heard the last, called the disputants into council, and ordered each to express his opinion and to add his reasons.


Per idem tempus legati Parthorum ad expetendum, ut rettuli, Meherdaten missi senatum ingrediuntur mandataque in hunc modum incipiunt: non se foederis ignaros nec defectione a familia Arsacidarum venire, set filium Vononis, nepotem Phraatis accersere adversus dominationem Gotarzis nobilitati plebique iuxta intolerandam. iam fratres, iam propinquos, iam longius sitos caedibus exhaustos; adici coniuges gravidas, liberos parvos, dum socors domi, bellis infaustus ignaviam saevitia tegat. veterem sibi ac publice coeptam nobiscum amicitiam, et subveniendum sociis virium aemulis cedentibusque per reverentiam. ideo regum obsides liberos dari ut, si domestici imperii taedeat, sit regressus ad principem patresque, quorum moribus adsuefactus rex melior adscisceretur. The execution of Messalina shook the imperial household: for there followed a conflict among the freedmen, who should select a consort for Claudius, with his impatience of celibacy and his docility under wifely government. Nor was competition less fierce among the women: each paraded for comparison her nobility, her charms, and her wealth, and advertised them as worthy of that exalted alliance. The question, however, lay mainly between Lollia Paulina, daughter of the consular Marcus Lollius, and Julia Agrippina, the issue of Germanicus. The latter had the patronage of Pallas; the former, of Callistus; while Aelia Paetina, a Tubero by family, was favoured by Narcissus. The emperor, who leaned alternately to one or the other, according to the advocate whom he had heard the last, called the disputants into council, and ordered each to express his opinion and to add his reasons. <


Per idem tempus legati Parthorum ad expetendum, ut rettuli, Meherdaten missi senatum ingrediuntur mandataque in hunc modum incipiunt: non se foederis ignaros nec defectione a familia Arsacidarum venire, set filium Vononis, nepotem Phraatis accersere adversus dominationem Gotarzis nobilitati plebique iuxta intolerandam. iam fratres, iam propinquos, iam longius sitos caedibus exhaustos; adici coniuges gravidas, liberos parvos, dum socors domi, bellis infaustus ignaviam saevitia tegat. veterem sibi ac publice coeptam nobiscum amicitiam, et subveniendum sociis virium aemulis cedentibusque per reverentiam. ideo regum obsides liberos dari ut, si domestici imperii taedeat, sit regressus ad principem patresque, quorum moribus adsuefactus rex melior adscisceretur. The execution of Messalina shook the imperial household: for there followed a conflict among the freedmen, who should select a consort for Claudius, with his impatience of celibacy and his docility under wifely government. Nor was competition less fierce among the women: each paraded for comparison her nobility, her charms, and her wealth, and advertised them as worthy of that exalted alliance. The question, however, lay mainly between Lollia Paulina, daughter of the consular Marcus Lollius, and Julia Agrippina, the issue of Germanicus. The latter had the patronage of Pallas; the former, of Callistus; while Aelia Paetina, a Tubero by family, was favoured by Narcissus. The emperor, who leaned alternately to one or the other, according to the advocate whom he had heard the last, called the disputants into council, and ordered each to express his opinion and to add his reasons.


Narcissus vetus matrimonium, filiam communem (nam Antonia ex Paetina erat), nihil in penatibus eius novum disserebat, si sueta coniunx rediret, haudquaquam novercalibus odiis visura Britannicum, Octaviam, proxima suis pignora. Callistus improbatam longo discidio, ac si rursum adsumeretur, eo ipso superbam; longeque rectius Lolliam induci, quando nullos liberos genuisset, vacuam aemulatione et privignis parentis loco futuram. at Pallas id maxime in Agrippina laudare quod Germanici nepotem secum traheret, dignum prorsus imperatoria fortuna: stirpem nobilem et familiae Iuliae Claudiaeque posteros coniungeret, ne femina expertae fecunditatis, integra iuventa, claritudinem Caesarum aliam in domum ferret. Narcissus discoursed on his early marriage, on the daughter who had blessed that union (for Antonia was Paetina's child), on the fact that no innovation in his domestic life would be entailed by the return of a spouse, who would regard Britannicus and Octavia — pledges of affection, next in dearness to her own — with anything rather than stepmotherly aversion. Callistus held that she was disqualified by her long-standing divorce, and, if recalled, would by the very fact be inclined to arrogance. A far wiser course was to bring in Lollia, who, as she had never known motherhood, would be immune from jealousy, and could take the place of a parent to her step-children. Pallas, in his eulogy of Agrippina, insisted on the point that she brought with her the grandson of Germanicus, who fully deserved an imperial position: let the sovereign unite to himself a famous stock, the posterity of the Julian and Claudian races, and ensure that a princess of tried fecundity, still in the vigour of youth, should not transfer the glory of the Caesars into another family! <


Narcissus vetus matrimonium, filiam communem (nam Antonia ex Paetina erat), nihil in penatibus eius novum disserebat, si sueta coniunx rediret, haudquaquam novercalibus odiis visura Britannicum, Octaviam, proxima suis pignora. Callistus improbatam longo discidio, ac si rursum adsumeretur, eo ipso superbam; longeque rectius Lolliam induci, quando nullos liberos genuisset, vacuam aemulatione et privignis parentis loco futuram. at Pallas id maxime in Agrippina laudare quod Germanici nepotem secum traheret, dignum prorsus imperatoria fortuna: stirpem nobilem et familiae Iuliae Claudiaeque posteros coniungeret, ne femina expertae fecunditatis, integra iuventa, claritudinem Caesarum aliam in domum ferret. Narcissus discoursed on his early marriage, on the daughter who had blessed that union (for Antonia was Paetina's child), on the fact that no innovation in his domestic life would be entailed by the return of a spouse, who would regard Britannicus and Octavia — pledges of affection, next in dearness to her own — with anything rather than stepmotherly aversion. Callistus held that she was disqualified by her long-standing divorce, and, if recalled, would by the very fact be inclined to arrogance. A far wiser course was to bring in Lollia, who, as she had never known motherhood, would be immune from jealousy, and could take the place of a parent to her step-children. Pallas, in his eulogy of Agrippina, insisted on the point that she brought with her the grandson of Germanicus, who fully deserved an imperial position: let the sovereign unite to himself a famous stock, the posterity of the Julian and Claudian races, and ensure that a princess of tried fecundity, still in the vigour of youth, should not transfer the glory of the Caesars into another family!


At Claudius, quamquam nobilitatibus externis mitis, dubitavit tamen accipere captivum pacto salutis an repetere armis rectius foret. hinc dolor iniuriarum et libido vindictae adigebat: sed disserebatur contra suscipi bellum avio itinere, importuoso mari; ad hoc reges ferocis, vagos populos, solum frugum egenum, taedium ex mora, pericula ex properantia, modicam victoribus laudem ac multum infamiae, si pellerentur. quin adriperet oblata et servaret exulem, cui inopi quanto longiorem vitam, tanto plus supplicii fore. his permotus scripsit Eunoni, meritum quidem novissima exempla Mithridaten, nec sibi vim ad exequendum deesse: verum ita maioribus placitum, quanta pervicacia in hostem, tanta beneficentia adversus supplices utendum; nam triumphos de populis regnisque integris adquiri. Narcissus discoursed on his early marriage, on the daughter who had blessed that union (for Antonia was Paetina's child), on the fact that no innovation in his domestic life would be entailed by the return of a spouse, who would regard Britannicus and Octavia — pledges of affection, next in dearness to her own — with anything rather than stepmotherly aversion. Callistus held that she was disqualified by her long-standing divorce, and, if recalled, would by the very fact be inclined to arrogance. A far wiser course was to bring in Lollia, who, as she had never known motherhood, would be immune from jealousy, and could take the place of a parent to her step-children. Pallas, in his eulogy of Agrippina, insisted on the point that she brought with her the grandson of Germanicus, who fully deserved an imperial position: let the sovereign unite to himself a famous stock, the posterity of the Julian and Claudian races, and ensure that a princess of tried fecundity, still in the vigour of youth, should not transfer the glory of the Caesars into another family! <


At Claudius, quamquam nobilitatibus externis mitis, dubitavit tamen accipere captivum pacto salutis an repetere armis rectius foret. hinc dolor iniuriarum et libido vindictae adigebat: sed disserebatur contra suscipi bellum avio itinere, importuoso mari; ad hoc reges ferocis, vagos populos, solum frugum egenum, taedium ex mora, pericula ex properantia, modicam victoribus laudem ac multum infamiae, si pellerentur. quin adriperet oblata et servaret exulem, cui inopi quanto longiorem vitam, tanto plus supplicii fore. his permotus scripsit Eunoni, meritum quidem novissima exempla Mithridaten, nec sibi vim ad exequendum deesse: verum ita maioribus placitum, quanta pervicacia in hostem, tanta beneficentia adversus supplices utendum; nam triumphos de populis regnisque integris adquiri. Narcissus discoursed on his early marriage, on the daughter who had blessed that union (for Antonia was Paetina's child), on the fact that no innovation in his domestic life would be entailed by the return of a spouse, who would regard Britannicus and Octavia — pledges of affection, next in dearness to her own — with anything rather than stepmotherly aversion. Callistus held that she was disqualified by her long-standing divorce, and, if recalled, would by the very fact be inclined to arrogance. A far wiser course was to bring in Lollia, who, as she had never known motherhood, would be immune from jealousy, and could take the place of a parent to her step-children. Pallas, in his eulogy of Agrippina, insisted on the point that she brought with her the grandson of Germanicus, who fully deserved an imperial position: let the sovereign unite to himself a famous stock, the posterity of the Julian and Claudian races, and ensure that a princess of tried fecundity, still in the vigour of youth, should not transfer the glory of the Caesars into another family!


Praevaluere haec adiuta Agrippinae inlecebris: ad eum per speciem necessitudinis crebro ventitando pellicit patruum ut praelata ceteris et nondum uxor potentia uxoria iam uteretur. nam ubi sui matrimonii certa fuit, struere maiora nuptiasque Domitii, quem ex Cn. Ahenobarbo genuerat, et Octaviae Caesaris filiae moliri; quod sine scelere perpetrari non poterat, quia L. Silano desponderat Octaviam Caesar iuvenemque et alia clarum insigni triumphalium et gladiatorii muneris magnificentia protulerat ad studia vulgi. sed nihil arduum videbatur in animo principis, cui non iudicium, non odium erat nisi indita et iussa. His arguments prevailed, with help from the allurements of Agrippina. In a succession of visits, cloaked under the near relationship, she so effectually captivated her uncle that she displaced her rivals and anticipated the position by exercising the powers of a wife. For, once certain of her marriage, she began to amplify her schemes, and to intrigue for a match between Domitius, her son by Gnaeus Ahenobarbus, and the emperor's daughter Octavia. That result was not to be achieved without a crime, as the Caesar had plighted Octavia to Lucius Silanus, and had introduced the youth (who had yet other titles to fame) to the favourable notice of the multitude by decorating him with the triumphal insignia and by a magnificent exhibition of gladiators. Still, there seemed to be no insuperable difficulty in the temper of a prince who manifested neither approval nor dislike except as they were imposed upon him by orders. <


Praevaluere haec adiuta Agrippinae inlecebris: ad eum per speciem necessitudinis crebro ventitando pellicit patruum ut praelata ceteris et nondum uxor potentia uxoria iam uteretur. nam ubi sui matrimonii certa fuit, struere maiora nuptiasque Domitii, quem ex Cn. Ahenobarbo genuerat, et Octaviae Caesaris filiae moliri; quod sine scelere perpetrari non poterat, quia L. Silano desponderat Octaviam Caesar iuvenemque et alia clarum insigni triumphalium et gladiatorii muneris magnificentia protulerat ad studia vulgi. sed nihil arduum videbatur in animo principis, cui non iudicium, non odium erat nisi indita et iussa. His arguments prevailed, with help from the allurements of Agrippina. In a succession of visits, cloaked under the near relation­ship, she so effectually captivated her uncle that she displaced her rivals and anticipated the position by exercising the powers of a wife. For, once certain of her marriage, she began to amplify her schemes, and to intrigue for a match between Domitius, her son by Gnaeus Ahenobarbus, and the emperor's daughter Octavia. That result was not to be achieved without a crime, as the Caesar had plighted Octavia to Lucius Silanus, and had introduced the youth (who had yet other titles to fame) to the favourable notice of the multitude by decorating him with the triumphal insignia and by a magnificent exhibition of gladiators. Still, there seemed to be no insuperable difficulty in the temper of a prince who manifested neither approval nor dislike except as they were imposed upon him by orders.


Sed Iazuges obsidionis impatientes et proximos per campos vagi necessitudinem pugnae attulere, quia Lugius Hermundurusque illic ingruerant. igitur degressus castellis Vannius funditur proelio, quamquam rebus adversis laudatus quod et pugnam manu capessiit et corpore adverso vulnera excepit. ceterum ad classem in Danuvio opperientem perfugit; secuti mox clientes et acceptis agris in Pannonia locati sunt. regnum Vangio ac Sido inter se partivere, egregia adversus nos fide, subiectis, suone an servitii ingenio, dum adipiscerentur dominationes, multa caritate, et maiore odio, postquam adepti sunt. His arguments prevailed, with help from the allurements of Agrippina. In a succession of visits, cloaked under the near relationship, she so effectually captivated her uncle that she displaced her rivals and anticipated the position by exercising the powers of a wife. For, once certain of her marriage, she began to amplify her schemes, and to intrigue for a match between Domitius, her son by Gnaeus Ahenobarbus, and the emperor's daughter Octavia. That result was not to be achieved without a crime, as the Caesar had plighted Octavia to Lucius Silanus, and had introduced the youth (who had yet other titles to fame) to the favourable notice of the multitude by decorating him with the triumphal insignia and by a magnificent exhibition of gladiators. Still, there seemed to be no insuperable difficulty in the temper of a prince who manifested neither approval nor dislike except as they were imposed upon him by orders. <


Sed Iazuges obsidionis impatientes et proximos per campos vagi necessitudinem pugnae attulere, quia Lugius Hermundurusque illic ingruerant. igitur degressus castellis Vannius funditur proelio, quamquam rebus adversis laudatus quod et pugnam manu capessiit et corpore adverso vulnera excepit. ceterum ad classem in Danuvio opperientem perfugit; secuti mox clientes et acceptis agris in Pannonia locati sunt. regnum Vangio ac Sido inter se partivere, egregia adversus nos fide, subiectis, suone an servitii ingenio, dum adipiscerentur dominationes, multa caritate, et maiore odio, postquam adepti sunt. His arguments prevailed, with help from the allurements of Agrippina. In a succession of visits, cloaked under the near relation­ship, she so effectually captivated her uncle that she displaced her rivals and anticipated the position by exercising the powers of a wife. For, once certain of her marriage, she began to amplify her schemes, and to intrigue for a match between Domitius, her son by Gnaeus Ahenobarbus, and the emperor's daughter Octavia. That result was not to be achieved without a crime, as the Caesar had plighted Octavia to Lucius Silanus, and had introduced the youth (who had yet other titles to fame) to the favourable notice of the multitude by decorating him with the triumphal insignia and by a magnificent exhibition of gladiators. Still, there seemed to be no insuperable difficulty in the temper of a prince who manifested neither approval nor dislike except as they were imposed upon him by orders.


Igitur Vitellius, nomine censoris servilis fallacias obtegens ingruentiumque dominationum provisor, quo gratiam Agrippinae pararet, consiliis eius implicari, ferre crimina in Silanum, cuius sane decora et procax soror, Iunia Calvina, haud multum ante Vitellii nurus fuerat. hinc initium accusationis; fratrumque non incestum, sed incustoditum amorem ad infamiam traxit. et praebebat Caesar auris, accipiendis adversus generum suspicionibus caritate filiae promptior. at Silanus insidiarum nescius ac forte eo anno praetor, repente per edictum Vitellii ordine senatorio movetur, quamquam lecto pridem senatu lustroque condito. simul adfinitatem Claudius diremit, adactusque Silanus eiurare magistratum, et reliquus praeturae dies in Eprium Marcellum conlatus est. Vitellius, therefore, able to screen his servile knaveries behind the title of Censor, and with a prophetic eye for impending tyrannies, wooed the good graces of Agrippina by identifying himself with her scheme and by producing charges against Silanus, whose sister — fair and wayward, it is true — had until recently been his own daughter-in‑law. This gave him the handle for his accusation, and he put an infamous construction on a fraternal love which was not incestuous but unguarded. The Caesar lent ear, affection for his daughter increasing his readiness to harbour doubts of her prospective husband. Silanus, ignorant of the plot, and, as it happened, praetor for the year, was suddenly by an edict of Vitellius removed from the senatorial order, though the list had long been complete and the lustrum closed. At the same time, Claudius cancelled the proposed alliance: Silanus was compelled to resign his magistracy, and the remaining day of his praetorship was conferred on Eprius Marcellus. <


Igitur Vitellius, nomine censoris servilis fallacias obtegens ingruentiumque dominationum provisor, quo gratiam Agrippinae pararet, consiliis eius implicari, ferre crimina in Silanum, cuius sane decora et procax soror, Iunia Calvina, haud multum ante Vitellii nurus fuerat. hinc initium accusationis; fratrumque non incestum, sed incustoditum amorem ad infamiam traxit. et praebebat Caesar auris, accipiendis adversus generum suspicionibus caritate filiae promptior. at Silanus insidiarum nescius ac forte eo anno praetor, repente per edictum Vitellii ordine senatorio movetur, quamquam lecto pridem senatu lustroque condito. simul adfinitatem Claudius diremit, adactusque Silanus eiurare magistratum, et reliquus praeturae dies in Eprium Marcellum conlatus est. Vitellius, therefore, able to screen his servile knaveries behind the title of Censor, and with a prophetic eye for impending tyrannies, wooed the good graces of Agrippina by identifying himself with her scheme and by producing charges against Silanus, whose sister — fair and wayward, it is true — had until recently been his own daughter-in‑law. This gave him the handle for his accusation, and he put an infamous construction on a fraternal love which was not incestuous but unguarded. The Caesar lent ear, affection for his daughter increasing his readiness to harbour doubts of her prospective husband. Silanus, ignorant of the plot, and, as it happened, praetor for the year, was suddenly by an edict of Vitellius removed from the senatorial order, though the list had long been complete and the lustrum closed. At the same time, Claudius cancelled the proposed alliance: Silanus was compelled to resign his magistracy, and the remaining day of his praetor­ship was conferred on Eprius Marcellus.


At Caesar cognita morte legati, ne provincia sine rectore foret, A. Didium suffecit. is propere vectus non tamen integras res invenit, adversa interim legionis pugna, cui Manlius Valens praeerat; auctaque et apud hostis eius rei fama, quo venientem ducem exterrerent, atque illo augente audita, ut maior laus compositis et, si duravissent, venia iustior tribueretur. Silures id quoque damnum intulerant lateque persultabant, donec adcursu Didii pellerentur. sed post captum Caratacum praecipuus scientia rei militaris Venutius, e Brigantum civitate, ut supra memoravi, fidusque diu et Romanis armis defensus, cum Cartimanduam reginam matrimonio teneret; mox orto discidio et statim bello etiam adversus nos hostilia induerat. sed primo tantum inter ipsos certabatur, callidisque Cartimandua artibus fratrem ac propinquos Venutii intercepit. inde accensi hostes, stimulante ignominia, ne feminae imperio subderentur, valida et lecta armis iuventus regnum eius invadunt. quod nobis praevisum, et missae auxilio cohortes acre proelium fecere, cuius initio ambiguo finis laetior fuit. neque dispari eventu pugnatum a legione, cui Caesius Nasica praeerat; nam Didius senectute gravis et multa copia honorum per ministros agere et arcere hostem satis habebat. haec, quamquam a duobus pro praetoribus pluris per annos gesta, coniunxi ne divisa haud perinde ad memoriam sui valerent: ad temporum ordinem redeo. Vitellius, therefore, able to screen his servile knaveries behind the title of Censor, and with a prophetic eye for impending tyrannies, wooed the good graces of Agrippina by identifying himself with her scheme and by producing charges against Silanus, whose sister — fair and wayward, it is true — had until recently been his own daughter-in‑law. This gave him the handle for his accusation, and he put an infamous construction on a fraternal love which was not incestuous but unguarded. The Caesar lent ear, affection for his daughter increasing his readiness to harbour doubts of her prospective husband. Silanus, ignorant of the plot, and, as it happened, praetor for the year, was suddenly by an edict of Vitellius removed from the senatorial order, though the list had long been complete and the lustrum closed. At the same time, Claudius cancelled the proposed alliance: Silanus was compelled to resign his magistracy, and the remaining day of his praetorship was conferred on Eprius Marcellus. <


At Caesar cognita morte legati, ne provincia sine rectore foret, A. Didium suffecit. is propere vectus non tamen integras res invenit, adversa interim legionis pugna, cui Manlius Valens praeerat; auctaque et apud hostis eius rei fama, quo venientem ducem exterrerent, atque illo augente audita, ut maior laus compositis et, si duravissent, venia iustior tribueretur. Silures id quoque damnum intulerant lateque persultabant, donec adcursu Didii pellerentur. sed post captum Caratacum praecipuus scientia rei militaris Venutius, e Brigantum civitate, ut supra memoravi, fidusque diu et Romanis armis defensus, cum Cartimanduam reginam matrimonio teneret; mox orto discidio et statim bello etiam adversus nos hostilia induerat. sed primo tantum inter ipsos certabatur, callidisque Cartimandua artibus fratrem ac propinquos Venutii intercepit. inde accensi hostes, stimulante ignominia, ne feminae imperio subderentur, valida et lecta armis iuventus regnum eius invadunt. quod nobis praevisum, et missae auxilio cohortes acre proelium fecere, cuius initio ambiguo finis laetior fuit. neque dispari eventu pugnatum a legione, cui Caesius Nasica praeerat; nam Didius senectute gravis et multa copia honorum per ministros agere et arcere hostem satis habebat. haec, quamquam a duobus pro praetoribus pluris per annos gesta, coniunxi ne divisa haud perinde ad memoriam sui valerent: ad temporum ordinem redeo. Vitellius, therefore, able to screen his servile knaveries behind the title of Censor, and with a prophetic eye for impending tyrannies, wooed the good graces of Agrippina by identifying himself with her scheme and by producing charges against Silanus, whose sister — fair and wayward, it is true — had until recently been his own daughter-in‑law. This gave him the handle for his accusation, and he put an infamous construction on a fraternal love which was not incestuous but unguarded. The Caesar lent ear, affection for his daughter increasing his readiness to harbour doubts of her prospective husband. Silanus, ignorant of the plot, and, as it happened, praetor for the year, was suddenly by an edict of Vitellius removed from the senatorial order, though the list had long been complete and the lustrum closed. At the same time, Claudius cancelled the proposed alliance: Silanus was compelled to resign his magistracy, and the remaining day of his praetor­ship was conferred on Eprius Marcellus.


C. Pompeio Q. Veranio consulibus pactum inter Claudium et Agrippinam matrimonium iam fama, iam amore inlicito firmabatur; necdum celebrare sollemnia nuptiarum audebant, nullo exemplo deductae in domum patrui fratris filiae: quin et incestum ac, si sperneretur, ne in malum publicum erumperet metuebatur. nec ante omissa cunctatio quam Vitellius suis artibus id perpetrandum sumpsit. percontatusque Caesarem an iussis populi, an auctoritati senatus cederet, ubi ille unum se civium et consensui imparem respondit, opperiri intra palatium iubet. ipse curiam ingreditur, summamque rem publicam agi obtestans veniam dicendi ante alios exposcit orditurque: gravissimos principis labores, quis orbem terrae capessat, egere adminiculis ut domestica cura vacuus in commune consulat. quod porro honestius censoriae mentis levamentum quam adsumere coniugem, prosperis dubiisque sociam, cui cogitationes intimas, cui parvos liberos tradat, non luxui aut voluptatibus adsuefactus, sed qui prima ab iuventa legibus obtemperavisset. In the consulate of Gaius Pompeius and Quintus Veranius, the union plighted between Claudius and Agrippina was already being rendered doubly sure by rumour and by illicit love. As yet, however, they lacked courage to celebrate the bridal solemnities, no precedent existing for the introduction of a brother's child into the house of her uncle. Moreover, the relationship was incest; and, if that fact were disregarded, it was feared that the upshot would be a national calamity. Hesitation was dropped only when Vitellius undertook to bring about the desired result by his own methods. He began by asking the Caesar if he would yield to the mandate of the people? — to the authority of the senate? On receiving the answer that he was a citizen among citizens, and incompetent to resist their united will, he ordered him to wait inside the palace. He himself entered the curia. Asseverating that a vital interest of the country was in question, he demanded leave to speak first, and began by stating that "the extremely onerous labours of the sovereign, which embraced the management of a world, stood in need of support, so that he might pursue his deliberations for the public good, undisturbed by domestic anxiety. And what more decent solace to that truly censorian spirit than to take a wife, his partner in weal and woe, to whose charge might be committed his inmost thoughts and the little children of a prince unused to dissipation or to pleasure, but to submission to the law from his early youth?" <


C. Pompeio Q. Veranio consulibus pactum inter Claudium et Agrippinam matrimonium iam fama, iam amore inlicito firmabatur; necdum celebrare sollemnia nuptiarum audebant, nullo exemplo deductae in domum patrui fratris filiae: quin et incestum ac, si sperneretur, ne in malum publicum erumperet metuebatur. nec ante omissa cunctatio quam Vitellius suis artibus id perpetrandum sumpsit. percontatusque Caesarem an iussis populi, an auctoritati senatus cederet, ubi ille unum se civium et consensui imparem respondit, opperiri intra palatium iubet. ipse curiam ingreditur, summamque rem publicam agi obtestans veniam dicendi ante alios exposcit orditurque: gravissimos principis labores, quis orbem terrae capessat, egere adminiculis ut domestica cura vacuus in commune consulat. quod porro honestius censoriae mentis levamentum quam adsumere coniugem, prosperis dubiisque sociam, cui cogitationes intimas, cui parvos liberos tradat, non luxui aut voluptatibus adsuefactus, sed qui prima ab iuventa legibus obtemperavisset. In the consulate of Gaius Pompeius and Quintus Veranius, the union plighted between Claudius and Agrippina was already being rendered doubly sure by rumour and by illicit love. As yet, however, they lacked courage to celebrate the bridal solemnities, no precedent existing for the introduction of a brother's child into the house of her uncle. Moreover, the relation­ship was incest; and, if that fact were disregarded, it was feared that the upshot would be a national calamity. Hesitation was dropped only when Vitellius undertook to bring about the desired result by his own methods. He began by asking the Caesar if he would yield to the mandate of the people? — to the authority of the senate? On receiving the answer that he was a citizen among citizens, and incompetent to resist their united will, he ordered him to wait inside the palace. He himself entered the curia. Asseverating that a vital interest of the country was in question, he demanded leave to speak first, and began by stating that "the extremely onerous labours of the sovereign, which embraced the management of a world, stood in need of support, so that he might pursue his deliberations for the public good, undisturbed by domestic anxiety. And what more decent solace to that truly censorian spirit than to take a wife, his partner in weal and woe, to whose charge might be committed his inmost thoughts and the little children of a prince unused to dissipation or to pleasure, but to submission to the law from his early youth?


Nam Vologeses casum invadendae Armeniae obvenisse ratus, quam a maioribus suis possessam externus rex flagitio obtineret, contrahit copias fratremque Tiridaten deducere in regnum parat, ne qua pars domus sine imperio ageret. incessu Parthorum sine acie pulsi Hiberi, urbesque Armeniorum Artaxata et Tigranocerta iugum accepere. deinde atrox hiems et parum provisi commeatus et orta ex utroque tabes perpellunt Vologesen omittere praesentia. vacuamque rursus Armeniam Radamistus invasit, truculentior quam antea, tamquam adversus defectores et in tempore rebellaturos. atque illi quamvis servitio sueti patientiam abrumpunt armisque regiam circumveniunt. In the consulate of Gaius Pompeius and Quintus Veranius, the union plighted between Claudius and Agrippina was already being rendered doubly sure by rumour and by illicit love. As yet, however, they lacked courage to celebrate the bridal solemnities, no precedent existing for the introduction of a brother's child into the house of her uncle. Moreover, the relationship was incest; and, if that fact were disregarded, it was feared that the upshot would be a national calamity. Hesitation was dropped only when Vitellius undertook to bring about the desired result by his own methods. He began by asking the Caesar if he would yield to the mandate of the people? — to the authority of the senate? On receiving the answer that he was a citizen among citizens, and incompetent to resist their united will, he ordered him to wait inside the palace. He himself entered the curia. Asseverating that a vital interest of the country was in question, he demanded leave to speak first, and began by stating that "the extremely onerous labours of the sovereign, which embraced the management of a world, stood in need of support, so that he might pursue his deliberations for the public good, undisturbed by domestic anxiety. And what more decent solace to that truly censorian spirit than to take a wife, his partner in weal and woe, to whose charge might be committed his inmost thoughts and the little children of a prince unused to dissipation or to pleasure, but to submission to the law from his early youth?" <


Nam Vologeses casum invadendae Armeniae obvenisse ratus, quam a maioribus suis possessam externus rex flagitio obtineret, contrahit copias fratremque Tiridaten deducere in regnum parat, ne qua pars domus sine imperio ageret. incessu Parthorum sine acie pulsi Hiberi, urbesque Armeniorum Artaxata et Tigranocerta iugum accepere. deinde atrox hiems et parum provisi commeatus et orta ex utroque tabes perpellunt Vologesen omittere praesentia. vacuamque rursus Armeniam Radamistus invasit, truculentior quam antea, tamquam adversus defectores et in tempore rebellaturos. atque illi quamvis servitio sueti patientiam abrumpunt armisque regiam circumveniunt. In the consulate of Gaius Pompeius and Quintus Veranius, the union plighted between Claudius and Agrippina was already being rendered doubly sure by rumour and by illicit love. As yet, however, they lacked courage to celebrate the bridal solemnities, no precedent existing for the introduction of a brother's child into the house of her uncle. Moreover, the relation­ship was incest; and, if that fact were disregarded, it was feared that the upshot would be a national calamity. Hesitation was dropped only when Vitellius undertook to bring about the desired result by his own methods. He began by asking the Caesar if he would yield to the mandate of the people? — to the authority of the senate? On receiving the answer that he was a citizen among citizens, and incompetent to resist their united will, he ordered him to wait inside the palace. He himself entered the curia. Asseverating that a vital interest of the country was in question, he demanded leave to speak first, and began by stating that "the extremely onerous labours of the sovereign, which embraced the management of a world, stood in need of support, so that he might pursue his deliberations for the public good, undisturbed by domestic anxiety. And what more decent solace to that truly censorian spirit than to take a wife, his partner in weal and woe, to whose charge might be committed his inmost thoughts and the little children of a prince unused to dissipation or to pleasure, but to submission to the law from his early youth?


Postquam haec favorabili oratione praemisit multaque patrum adsentatio sequebatur, capto rursus initio, quando maritandum principem cuncti suaderent, deligi oportere feminam nobilitate puerperiis sanctimonia insignem. nec diu anquirendum quin Agrippina claritudine generis anteiret: datum ab ea fecunditatis experimentum et congruere artes honestas. id vero egregium, quod provisu deum vidua iungeretur principi sua tantum matrimonia experto. audivisse a parentibus, vidisse ipsos abripi coniuges ad libita Caesarum: procul id a praesenti modestia. statueretur immo documentum, quo uxorem imperator acciperet. at enim nova nobis in fratrum filias coniugia: sed aliis gentibus sollemnia, neque lege ulla prohibita; et sobrinarum diu ignorata tempore addito percrebuisse. morem accommodari prout conducat, et fore hoc quoque in iis quae mox usurpentur. As this engagingly worded preface was followed by flattering expressions of assent from the members, he took a fresh starting-point:— "Since it was the universal advice that the emperor should marry, the choice ought to fall on a woman distinguished by nobility of birth, by experience of motherhood, and by purity of character. No long inquiry was needed to convince them that in the lustre of her family Agrippina came foremost: she had given proof of her fruitfulness, and her moral excellences harmonized with the rest. But the most gratifying point was that, by the dispensation of providence, the union would be between a widow and a prince with experience of no marriage-bed but his own. They had heard from their fathers, and they had seen for themselves, how wives were snatched away at the whim of the Caesars: such violence was far removed from the orderliness of the present arrangement. They were, in fact, to establish a precedent by which the emperor would accept his consort from the Roman people! — Still, marriage with a brother's child, it might be said, was a novelty in Rome. — But it was normal in other countries, and prohibited by no law; while marriage with cousins and second cousins, so long unknown, had with the progress of time become frequent. Usage accommodated itself to the claims of utility, and this innovation too would be among the conventions of to‑morrow." <


Postquam haec favorabili oratione praemisit multaque patrum adsentatio sequebatur, capto rursus initio, quando maritandum principem cuncti suaderent, deligi oportere feminam nobilitate puerperiis sanctimonia insignem. nec diu anquirendum quin Agrippina claritudine generis anteiret: datum ab ea fecunditatis experimentum et congruere artes honestas. id vero egregium, quod provisu deum vidua iungeretur principi sua tantum matrimonia experto. audivisse a parentibus, vidisse ipsos abripi coniuges ad libita Caesarum: procul id a praesenti modestia. statueretur immo documentum, quo uxorem imperator acciperet. at enim nova nobis in fratrum filias coniugia: sed aliis gentibus sollemnia, neque lege ulla prohibita; et sobrinarum diu ignorata tempore addito percrebuisse. morem accommodari prout conducat, et fore hoc quoque in iis quae mox usurpentur. As this engagingly worded preface was followed by flattering expressions of assent from the members, he took a fresh starting-point:— "Since it was the universal advice that the emperor should marry, the choice ought to fall on a woman distinguished by nobility of birth, by experience of motherhood, and by purity of character. No long inquiry was needed to convince them that in the lustre of her family Agrippina came foremost: she had given proof of her fruitfulness, and her moral excellences harmonized with the rest. But the most gratifying point was that, by the dispensation of providence, the union would be between a widow and a prince with experience of no marriage-bed but his own. They had heard from their fathers, and they had seen for themselves, how wives were snatched away at the whim of the Caesars: such violence was far removed from the orderliness of the present arrangement. They were, in fact, to establish a precedent by which the emperor would accept his consort from the Roman people! — Still, marriage with a brother's child, it might be said, was a novelty in Rome. — But it was normal in other countries, and prohibited by no law; while marriage with cousins and second cousins, so long unknown, had with the progress of time become frequent. Usage accommodated itself to the claims of utility, and this innovation too would be among the conventions of to‑morrow.


Eodem anno saepius audita vox principis, parem vim rerum habendam a procuratoribus suis iudicatarum ac si ipse statuisset. ac ne fortuito prolapsus videretur, senatus quoque consulto cautum plenius quam antea et uberius. nam divus Augustus apud equestris qui Aegypto praesiderent lege agi decretaque eorum proinde haberi iusserat ac si magistratus Romani constituissent; mox alias per provincias et in urbe pleraque concessa sunt quae olim a praetoribus noscebantur: Claudius omne ius tradidit, de quo toties seditione aut armis certatum, cum Semproniis rogationibus equester ordo in possessione iudiciorum locaretur, aut rursum Serviliae leges senatui iudicia redderent, Mariusque et Sulla olim de eo vel praecipue bellarent. sed tunc ordinum diversa studia, et quae vicerant publice valebant. C. Oppius et Cornelius Balbus primi Caesaris opibus potuere condiciones pacis et arbitria belli tractare. Matios posthac et Vedios et cetera equitum Romanorum praevalida nomina referre nihil attinuerit, cum Claudius libertos quos rei familiari praefecerat sibique et legibus adaequaverit. As this engagingly worded preface was followed by flattering expressions of assent from the members, he took a fresh starting-point:— "Since it was the universal advice that the emperor should marry, the choice ought to fall on a woman distinguished by nobility of birth, by experience of motherhood, and by purity of character. No long inquiry was needed to convince them that in the lustre of her family Agrippina came foremost: she had given proof of her fruitfulness, and her moral excellences harmonized with the rest. But the most gratifying point was that, by the dispensation of providence, the union would be between a widow and a prince with experience of no marriage-bed but his own. They had heard from their fathers, and they had seen for themselves, how wives were snatched away at the whim of the Caesars: such violence was far removed from the orderliness of the present arrangement. They were, in fact, to establish a precedent by which the emperor would accept his consort from the Roman people! — Still, marriage with a brother's child, it might be said, was a novelty in Rome. — But it was normal in other countries, and prohibited by no law; while marriage with cousins and second cousins, so long unknown, had with the progress of time become frequent. Usage accommodated itself to the claims of utility, and this innovation too would be among the conventions of to‑morrow." <


Eodem anno saepius audita vox principis, parem vim rerum habendam a procuratoribus suis iudicatarum ac si ipse statuisset. ac ne fortuito prolapsus videretur, senatus quoque consulto cautum plenius quam antea et uberius. nam divus Augustus apud equestris qui Aegypto praesiderent lege agi decretaque eorum proinde haberi iusserat ac si magistratus Romani constituissent; mox alias per provincias et in urbe pleraque concessa sunt quae olim a praetoribus noscebantur: Claudius omne ius tradidit, de quo toties seditione aut armis certatum, cum Semproniis rogationibus equester ordo in possessione iudiciorum locaretur, aut rursum Serviliae leges senatui iudicia redderent, Mariusque et Sulla olim de eo vel praecipue bellarent. sed tunc ordinum diversa studia, et quae vicerant publice valebant. C. Oppius et Cornelius Balbus primi Caesaris opibus potuere condiciones pacis et arbitria belli tractare. Matios posthac et Vedios et cetera equitum Romanorum praevalida nomina referre nihil attinuerit, cum Claudius libertos quos rei familiari praefecerat sibique et legibus adaequaverit. As this engagingly worded preface was followed by flattering expressions of assent from the members, he took a fresh starting-point:— "Since it was the universal advice that the emperor should marry, the choice ought to fall on a woman distinguished by nobility of birth, by experience of motherhood, and by purity of character. No long inquiry was needed to convince them that in the lustre of her family Agrippina came foremost: she had given proof of her fruitfulness, and her moral excellences harmonized with the rest. But the most gratifying point was that, by the dispensation of providence, the union would be between a widow and a prince with experience of no marriage-bed but his own. They had heard from their fathers, and they had seen for themselves, how wives were snatched away at the whim of the Caesars: such violence was far removed from the orderliness of the present arrangement. They were, in fact, to establish a precedent by which the emperor would accept his consort from the Roman people! — Still, marriage with a brother's child, it might be said, was a novelty in Rome. — But it was normal in other countries, and prohibited by no law; while marriage with cousins and second cousins, so long unknown, had with the progress of time become frequent. Usage accommodated itself to the claims of utility, and this innovation too would be among the conventions of to‑morrow.


Haud defuere qui certatim, si cunctaretur Caesar, vi acturos testificantes erumperent curia. conglobatur promisca multitudo populumque Romanum eadem orare clamitat. nec Claudius ultra expectato obvius apud forum praebet se gratantibus, senatumque ingressus decretum postulat quo iustae inter patruos fratrumque filias nuptiae etiam in posterum statuerentur. nec tamen repertus est nisi unus talis matrimonii cupitor, Alledius Severus eques Romanus, quem plerique Agrippinae gratia impulsum ferebant. versa ex eo civitas et cuncta feminae oboediebant, non per lasciviam, ut Messalina, rebus Romanis inludenti. adductum et quasi virile servitium: palam severitas ac saepius superbia; nihil domi impudicum, nisi dominationi expediret. cupido auri immensa obtentum habebat, quasi subsidium regno pararetur. Members were not lacking to rush from the curia, with emulous protestations that, if the emperor hesitated, they would proceed by force. A motley crowd flocked together, and clamoured that such also was the prayer of the Roman people. Waiting no longer, Claudius met them in the Forum, and offered himself to their felicitations, then entered the senate, and requested a decree legitimizing for the future also the union of uncles with their brothers' daughters. None the less, only a single enthusiast for that form of matrimony was discovered — the Roman knight Alledius Severus, whose motive was generally said to have been desire for the favour of Agrippina. — From this moment it was a changed state, and all things moved at the fiat of a woman — but not a woman who, as Messalina, treated in wantonness the Roman Empire as a toy. It was a tight-drawn, almost masculine tyranny: in public, there was austerity and not infrequently arrogance; at home, no trace of unchastity, unless it might contribute to power. A limitless passion for gold had the excuse of being designed to create a bulwark of despotism. <


Haud defuere qui certatim, si cunctaretur Caesar, vi acturos testificantes erumperent curia. conglobatur promisca multitudo populumque Romanum eadem orare clamitat. nec Claudius ultra expectato obvius apud forum praebet se gratantibus, senatumque ingressus decretum postulat quo iustae inter patruos fratrumque filias nuptiae etiam in posterum statuerentur. nec tamen repertus est nisi unus talis matrimonii cupitor, Alledius Severus eques Romanus, quem plerique Agrippinae gratia impulsum ferebant. versa ex eo civitas et cuncta feminae oboediebant, non per lasciviam, ut Messalina, rebus Romanis inludenti. adductum et quasi virile servitium: palam severitas ac saepius superbia; nihil domi impudicum, nisi dominationi expediret. cupido auri immensa obtentum habebat, quasi subsidium regno pararetur. Members were not lacking to rush from the curia, with emulous protestations that, if the emperor hesitated, they would proceed by force. A motley crowd flocked together, and clamoured that such also was the prayer of the Roman people. Waiting no longer, Claudius met them in the Forum, and offered himself to their felicitations, then entered the senate, and requested a decree legitimizing for the future also the union of uncles with their brothers' daughters. None the less, only a single enthusiast for that form of matrimony was discovered — the Roman knight Alledius Severus, whose motive was generally said to have been desire for the favour of Agrippina. — From this moment it was a changed state, and all things moved at the fiat of a woman — but not a woman who, as Messalina, treated in wantonness the Roman Empire as a toy. It was a tight-drawn, almost masculine tyranny: in public, there was austerity and not infrequently arrogance; at home, no trace of unchastity, unless it might contribute to power. A limitless passion for gold had the excuse of being designed to create a bulwark of despotism.


Die nuptiarum Silanus mortem sibi conscivit, sive eo usque spem vitae produxerat, seu delecto die augendam ad invidiam. Calvina soror eius Italia pulsa est. addidit Claudius sacra ex legibus Tulli regis piaculaque apud lucum Dianae per pontifices danda, inridentibus cunctis quod poenae procurationesque incesti id temporis exquirerentur. at Agrippina ne malis tantum facinoribus notesceret veniam exilii pro Annaeo Seneca, simul praeturam impetrat, laetum in publicum rata ob claritudinem studiorum eius, utque Domitii pueritia tali magistro adolesceret et consiliis eiusdem ad spem dominationis uterentur, quia Seneca fidus in Agrippinam memoria beneficii et infensus Claudio dolore iniuriae credebatur. On the wedding-day Silanus committed suicide; whether he had preserved his hope of life till then, or whether the date was deliberately chosen to increase the odium of his death. His sister Calvina was expelled from Italy. Claudius, in addition, prescribed sacrifices in accordance with the legislation of King Tullus, and expiatory ceremonies to be carried out by the pontiffs in the grove of Diana; universal derision being excited by this choice of a period in which to unearth the penalties and purifications of incest. Agrippina, on the other hand, not to owe her reputation entirely to crime, procured a remission of banishment for Annaeus Seneca, along with a praetorship: his literary fame, she conceived, would make the act popular with the nation; while she was anxious to gain so distinguished a tutor for Domitius in his transit from boyhood to adolescence, and to profit by his advice in their designs upon the throne. For the belief was that Seneca was attached to Agrippina by the memory of her kindness and embittered against Claudius by resentment of his injury. <


Die nuptiarum Silanus mortem sibi conscivit, sive eo usque spem vitae produxerat, seu delecto die augendam ad invidiam. Calvina soror eius Italia pulsa est. addidit Claudius sacra ex legibus Tulli regis piaculaque apud lucum Dianae per pontifices danda, inridentibus cunctis quod poenae procurationesque incesti id temporis exquirerentur. at Agrippina ne malis tantum facinoribus notesceret veniam exilii pro Annaeo Seneca, simul praeturam impetrat, laetum in publicum rata ob claritudinem studiorum eius, utque Domitii pueritia tali magistro adolesceret et consiliis eiusdem ad spem dominationis uterentur, quia Seneca fidus in Agrippinam memoria beneficii et infensus Claudio dolore iniuriae credebatur. On the wedding-day Silanus committed suicide; whether he had preserved his hope of life till then, or whether the date was deliberately chosen to increase the odium of his death. His sister Calvina was expelled from Italy. Claudius, in addition, prescribed sacrifices in accordance with the legislation of King Tullus, and expiatory ceremonies to be carried out by the pontiffs in the grove of Diana; universal derision being excited by this choice of a period in which to unearth the penalties and purifications of incest. Agrippina, on the other hand, not to owe her reputation entirely to crime, procured a remission of banishment for Annaeus Seneca, along with a praetor­ship: his literary fame, she conceived, would make the act popular with the nation; while she was anxious to gain so distinguished a tutor for Domitius in his transit from boyhood to adolescence, and to profit by his advice in their designs upon the throne. For the belief was that Seneca was attached to Agrippina by the memory of her kindness and embittered against Claudius by resentment of his injury.


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

4 results
1. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 17.254-17.269 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

17.254. 2. But on the approach of pentecost, which is a festival of ours, so called from the days of our forefathers, a great many ten thousands of men got together; nor did they come only to celebrate the festival, but out of their indignation at the madness of Sabinus, and at the injuries he offered them. A great number there was of Galileans, and Idumeans, and many men from Jericho, and others who had passed over the river Jordan, and inhabited those parts. This whole multitude joined themselves to all the rest, and were more zealous than the others in making an assault on Sabinus, in order to be avenged on him; 17.255. o they parted themselves into three bands, and encamped themselves in the places following:—some of them seized on the hippodrome and of the other two bands, one pitched themselves from the northern part of the temple to the southern, on the east quarter; but the third band held the western part of the city, where the king’s palace was. Their work tended entirely to besiege the Romans, and to enclose them on all sides. 17.256. Now Sabinus was afraid of these men’s number, and of their resolution, who had little regard to their lives, but were very desirous not to be overcome, while they thought it a point of puissance to overcome their enemies; so he sent immediately a letter to Varus, and, as he used to do, was very pressing with him, and entreated him to come quickly to his assistance, because the forces he had left were in imminent danger, and would probably, in no long time, be seized upon, and cut to pieces; 17.257. while he did himself get up to the highest tower of the fortress Phasaelus, which had been built in honor of Phasaelus, king Herod’s brother, and called so when the Parthians had brought him to his death. So Sabinus gave thence a signal to the Romans to fall upon the Jews, although he did not himself venture so much as to come down to his friends, and thought he might expect that the others should expose themselves first to die on account of his avarice. 17.258. However, the Romans ventured to make a sally out of the place, and a terrible battle ensued; wherein, though it is true the Romans beat their adversaries, yet were not the Jews daunted in their resolutions, even when they had the sight of that terrible slaughter that was made of them; 17.259. but they went round about, and got upon those cloisters which encompassed the outer court of the temple, where a great fight was still continued, and they cast stones at the Romans, partly with their hands, and partly with slings, as being much used to those exercises. 17.261. till at last the Romans, who were greatly distressed by what was done, set fire to the cloisters so privately, that those that were gotten upon them did not perceive it. This fire being fed by a great deal of combustible matter, caught hold immediately on the roof of the cloisters; 17.262. o the wood, which was full of pitch and wax, and whose gold was laid on it with wax, yielded to the flame presently, and those vast works, which were of the highest value and esteem, were destroyed utterly, while those that were on the roof unexpectedly perished at the same time; for as the roof tumbled down, some of these men tumbled down with it, and others of them were killed by their enemies who encompassed them. 17.263. There was a great number more, who, out of despair of saving their lives, and out of astonishment at the misery that surrounded them, did either cast themselves into the fire, or threw themselves upon their own swords, and so got out of their misery. But as to those that retired behind the same way by which they ascended, and thereby escaped, they were all killed by the Romans, as being unarmed men, and their courage failing them; their wild fury being now not able to help them, because they were destitute of armor 17.264. insomuch that of those that went up to the top of the roof, not one escaped. The Romans also rushed through the fire, where it gave them room so to do, and seized on that treasure where the sacred money was reposited; a great part of which was stolen by the soldiers, and Sabinus got openly four hundred talents. 17.265. 3. But this calamity of the Jews’ friends, who fell in this battle, grieved them, as did also this plundering of the money dedicated to God in the temple. Accordingly, that body of them which continued best together, and was the most warlike, encompassed the palace, and threatened to set fire to it, and kill all that were in it. Yet still they commanded them to go out presently, and promised, that if they would do so, they would not hurt them, nor Sabinus neither; 17.266. at which time the greatest part of the king’s troops deserted to them, while Rufus and Gratus, who had three thousand of the most warlike of Herod’s army with them, who were men of active bodies, went over to the Romans. There was also a band of horsemen under the command of Ruffis, which itself went over to the Romans also. 17.267. However, the Jews went on with the siege, and dug mines under the palace walls, and besought those that were gone over to the other side not to be their hinderance, now they had such a proper opportunity for the recovery of their country’s ancient liberty; 17.268. and for Sabinus, truly he was desirous of going away with his soldiers, but was not able to trust himself with the enemy, on account of what mischief he had already done them; and he took this great [pretended] lenity of theirs for an argument why he should not comply with them; and so, because he expected that Varus was coming, he still bore the siege. 17.269. 4. Now at this time there were ten thousand other disorders in Judea, which were like tumults, because a great number put themselves into a warlike posture, either out of hopes of gain to themselves, or out of enmity to the Jews.
2. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 2.39-2.54, 2.249, 3.62 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.39. What remains, therefore, is this, that you have recourse to Divine assistance; but this is already on the side of the Romans; for it is impossible that so vast an empire should be settled without God’s providence. 2.39. 1. Now before Caesar had determined anything about these affairs, Malthace, Archelaus’s mother, fell sick and died. Letters also were brought out of Syria from Varus, about a revolt of the Jews. 2.41. and went himself to Antioch. But Sabinus came, after he was gone, and gave them an occasion of making innovations; for he compelled the keepers of the citadels to deliver them up to him, and made a bitter search after the king’s money, as depending not only on the soldiers which were left by Varus, but on the multitude of his own servants, all which he armed and used as the instruments of his covetousness. 2.41. and when many of the high priests and principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon. These relied much upon their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the innovators assisted them; but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the governor of the temple. 2.42. Now when that feast, which was observed after seven weeks, and which the Jews called Pentecost (i.e. the 50th day) was at hand, its name being taken from the number of the days [after the passover], the people got together, but not on account of the accustomed Divine worship, but of the indignation they had [at the present state of affairs]. 2.42. Now this terrible message was good news to Florus; and because his design was to have a war kindled, he gave the ambassadors no answer at all. 2.43. Wherefore an immense multitude ran together, out of Galilee, and Idumea, and Jericho, and Perea, that was beyond Jordan; but the people that naturally belonged to Judea itself were above the rest, both in number, and in the alacrity of the men. 2.43. 7. But on the next day, which was the fifteenth of the month Lous, [Ab,] they made an assault upon Antonia, and besieged the garrison which was in it two days, and then took the garrison, and slew them, and set the citadel on fire; 2.44. So they distributed themselves into three parts, and pitched their camps in three places; one at the north side of the temple, another at the south side, by the Hippodrome, and the third part were at the palace on the west. So they lay round about the Romans on every side, and besieged them. 2.44. But Manahem and his party fell upon the place whence the soldiers were fled, and slew as many of them as they could catch, before they got up to the towers, and plundered what they left behind them, and set fire to their camp. This was executed on the sixth day of the month Gorpieus [Elul]. 2.45. 2. Now Sabinus was affrighted, both at their multitude, and at their courage, and sent messengers to Varus continually, and besought him to come to his succor quickly; for that if he delayed, his legion would be cut to pieces. 2.45. It is true, that when the people earnestly desired that they would leave off besieging the soldiers, they were the more earnest in pressing it forward, and this till Metilius, who was the Roman general, sent to Eleazar, and desired that they would give them security to spare their lives only; but agreed to deliver up their arms, and what else they had with them. 2.46. As for Sabinus himself, he got up to the highest tower of the fortress, which was called Phasaelus; it is of the same name with Herod’s brother, who was destroyed by the Parthians; and then he made signs to the soldiers of that legion to attack the enemy; for his astonishment was so great, that he durst not go down to his own men. 2.46. nor was either Sabaste (Samaria) or Askelon able to oppose the violence with which they were attacked; and when they had burnt these to the ground; they entirely demolished Anthedon and Gaza; many also of the villages that were about every one of those cities were plundered, and an immense slaughter was made of the men who were caught in them. 2.47. Hereupon the soldiers were prevailed upon, and leaped out into the temple, and fought a terrible battle with the Jews; in which, while there were none over their heads to distress them, they were too hard for them, by their skill, and the others’ want of skill, in war; 2.47. for he came every day and slew a great many of the Jews of Scythopolis, and he frequently put them to flight, and became himself alone the cause of his army’s conquering. 2.48. but when once many of the Jews had gotten up to the top of the cloisters, and threw their darts downwards, upon the heads of the Romans, there were a great many of them destroyed. Nor was it easy to avenge themselves upon those that threw their weapons from on high, nor was it more easy for them to sustain those who came to fight them hand to hand. 2.48. As for the Gerasens, they did no harm to those that abode with them; and for those who had a mind to go away, they conducted them as far as their borders reached. 2.49. 3. Since therefore the Romans were sorely afflicted by both these circumstances, they set fire to the cloisters, which were works to be admired, both on account of their magnitude and costliness. Whereupon those that were above them were presently encompassed with the flame, and many of them perished therein; as many of them also were destroyed by the enemy, who came suddenly upon them; some of them also threw themselves down from the walls backward, and some there were who, from the desperate condition they were in, prevented the fire, by killing themselves with their own swords; 2.49. but at this time especially, when there were tumults in other places also, the disorders among them were put into a greater flame; for when the Alexandrians had once a public assembly, to deliberate about an embassage they were sending to Nero, a great number of Jews came flocking to the theater; 2.51. 4. However, this destruction of the works [about the temple], and of the men, occasioned a much greater number, and those of a more warlike sort, to get together, to oppose the Romans. These encompassed the palace round, and threatened to destroy all that were in it, unless they went their ways quickly; for they promised that Sabinus should come to no harm, if he would go out with his legion. 2.51. 11. But Cestius sent Gallus, the commander of the twelfth legion, into Galilee, and delivered to him as many of his forces as he supposed sufficient to subdue that nation. 2.52. There were also a great many of the king’s party who deserted the Romans, and assisted the Jews; yet did the most warlike body of them all, who were three thousand of the men of Sebaste, go over to the Romans. Rufus also, and Gratus, their captains, did the same (Gratus having the foot of the king’s party under him, and Rufus the horse) each of whom, even without the forces under them, were of great weight, on account of their strength and wisdom, which turn the scales in war. 2.52. of whom the most valiant were the kinsmen of Monobazus, king of Adiabene, and their names were Monobazus and Kenedeus; and next to them were Niger of Perea, and Silas of Babylon, who had deserted from king Agrippa to the Jews; for he had formerly served in his army. 2.53. Now the Jews persevered in the siege, and tried to break downthe walls of the fortress, and cried out to Sabinus and his party, that they should go their ways, and not prove a hinderance to them, now they hoped, after a long time, to recover that ancient liberty which their forefathers had enjoyed. 2.53. But when Cestius was come into the city, he set the part called Bezetha, which is also called Cenopolis, [or the new city,] on fire; as he did also to the timber market; after which he came into the upper city, and pitched his camp over against the royal palace; 2.54. Sabinus indeed was well contented to get out of the danger he was in, but he distrusted the assurances the Jews gave him, and suspected such gentle treatment was but a bait laid as a snare for them: this consideration, together with the hopes he had of succor from Varus, made him bear the siege still longer. 2.54. 7. It then happened that Cestius was not conscious either how the besieged despaired of success, nor how courageous the people were for him; and so he recalled his soldiers from the place, and by despairing of any expectation of taking it, without having received any disgrace, he retired from the city, without any reason in the world. 2.249. whom he had married to Nero; he had also another daughter by Petina, whose name was Antonia. 3.62. By this means he provoked the Romans to treat the country according to the law of war; nor did the Romans, out of the anger they bore at this attempt, leave off, either by night or by day, burning the places in the plain, and stealing away the cattle that were in the country, and killing whatsoever appeared capable of fighting perpetually, and leading the weaker people as slaves into captivity;
3. Suetonius, Claudius, 26 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Tacitus, Annals, 11.26-11.28, 11.30-11.31, 12.2-12.8, 14.3-14.9 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11.26.  By now the ease of adultery had cloyed on Messalina and she was drifting towards untried debaucheries, when Silius himself, blinded by his fate, or convinced perhaps that the antidote to impending danger was actual danger, began to press for the mask to be dropped:— "They were not reduced to waiting upon the emperor's old age: deliberation was innocuous only to the innocent; detected guilt must borrow help from hardihood. They had associates with the same motives for fear. He himself was celibate, childless, prepared for wedlock and to adopt Britannicus. Messalina would retain her power unaltered, with the addition of a mind at ease, could they but forestall Claudius, who, if slow to guard against treachery, was prompt to anger." She took his phrases with a coolness due, not to any tenderness for her husband, but to a misgiving that Silius, with no heights left to scale, might spurn his paramour and come to appreciate at its just value a crime sanctioned in the hour of danger. Yet, for the sake of that transcendent infamy which constitutes the last delight of the profligate, she coveted the name of wife; and, waiting only till Claudius left for Ostia to hold a sacrifice, she celebrated the full solemnities of marriage. 11.27.  It will seem, I am aware, fabulous that, in a city cognizant of all things and reticent of none, any human beings could have felt so much security; far more so, that on a specified day, with witnesses to seal the contract, a consul designate and the emperor's wife should have met for the avowed purposes of legitimate marriage; that the woman should have listened to the words of the auspices, have assumed the veil, have sacrificed in the face of Heaven; that both should have dined with the guests, have kissed and embraced, and finally have spent the night in the licence of wedlock. But I have added no touch of the marvellous: all that I record shall be the oral or written evidence of my seniors. 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. 11.30.  As the next step, Calpurnia — for so the woman was called — secured a private audience, and, falling at the Caesar's knee, exclaimed that Messalina had wedded Silius. In the same breath, she asked Cleopatra, who was standing by ready for the question, if she had heard the news; and, on her sign of assent, requested that Narcissus should be summoned. He, entreating forgiveness for the past, in which he had kept silence to his master on the subject of Vettius, Plautius, and their like, said that not even now would he reproach the lady with her adulteries, far less reclaim the palace, the slaves, and other appurteces of the imperial rank. No, these Silius might enjoy — but let him restore the bride and cancel the nuptial contract! "Are you aware," he demanded, "of your divorce? For the nation, the senate, and the army, have seen the marriage of Silius; and, unless you act with speed, the new husband holds Rome! 11.31.  The Caesar now summoned his principal friends; and, in the first place, examined Turranius, head of the corn-department; then the praetorian commander Lusius Geta. They admitted the truth; and from the rest of the circle came a din of voices:— "He must visit the camp, assure the fidelity of the guards, consult his security before his vengeance." Claudius, the fact is certain, was so bewildered by his terror that he inquired intermittently if he was himself emperor — if Silius was a private citizen. But Messalina had never given voluptuousness a freer rein. Autumn was at the full, and she was celebrating a mimic vintage through the grounds of the house. Presses were being trodden, vats flowed; while, beside them, skin-girt women were bounding like Bacchanals excited by sacrifice or delirium. She herself was there with dishevelled tresses and waving thyrsus; at her side, Silius with an ivy crown, wearing the buskins and tossing his head, while around him rose the din of a wanton chorus. The tale runs that Vettius Valens, in some freak of humour, clambered into a tall tree, and to the question, "What did he spy?" answered: "A frightful storm over Ostia" — whether something of the kind was actually taking shape, or a chance-dropped word developed into a prophecy. 12.2.  Narcissus discoursed on his early marriage, on the daughter who had blessed that union (for Antonia was Paetina's child), on the fact that no innovation in his domestic life would be entailed by the return of a spouse, who would regard Britannicus and Octavia — pledges of affection, next in dearness to her own — with anything rather than stepmotherly aversion. Callistus held that she was disqualified by her long-standing divorce, and, if recalled, would by the very fact be inclined to arrogance. A far wiser course was to bring in Lollia, who, as she had never known motherhood, would be immune from jealousy, and could take the place of a parent to her step-children. Pallas, in his eulogy of Agrippina, insisted on the point that she brought with her the grandson of Germanicus, who fully deserved an imperial position: let the sovereign unite to himself a famous stock, the posterity of the Julian and Claudian races, and ensure that a princess of tried fecundity, still in the vigour of youth, should not transfer the glory of the Caesars into another family! 12.3.  His arguments prevailed, with help from the allurements of Agrippina. In a succession of visits, cloaked under the near relationship, she so effectually captivated her uncle that she displaced her rivals and anticipated the position by exercising the powers of a wife. For, once certain of her marriage, she began to amplify her schemes, and to intrigue for a match between Domitius, her son by Gnaeus Ahenobarbus, and the emperor's daughter Octavia. That result was not to be achieved without a crime, as the Caesar had plighted Octavia to Lucius Silanus, and had introduced the youth (who had yet other titles to fame) to the favourable notice of the multitude by decorating him with the triumphal insignia and by a magnificent exhibition of gladiators. Still, there seemed to be no insuperable difficulty in the temper of a prince who manifested neither approval nor dislike except as they were imposed upon him by orders. 12.4.  Vitellius, therefore, able to screen his servile knaveries behind the title of Censor, and with a prophetic eye for impending tyrannies, wooed the good graces of Agrippina by identifying himself with her scheme and by producing charges against Silanus, whose sister — fair and wayward, it is true — had until recently been his own daughter-in‑law. This gave him the handle for his accusation, and he put an infamous construction on a fraternal love which was not incestuous but unguarded. The Caesar lent ear, affection for his daughter increasing his readiness to harbour doubts of her prospective husband. Silanus, ignorant of the plot, and, as it happened, praetor for the year, was suddenly by an edict of Vitellius removed from the senatorial order, though the list had long been complete and the lustrum closed. At the same time, Claudius cancelled the proposed alliance: Silanus was compelled to resign his magistracy, and the remaining day of his praetorship was conferred on Eprius Marcellus. 12.5.  In the consulate of Gaius Pompeius and Quintus Veranius, the union plighted between Claudius and Agrippina was already being rendered doubly sure by rumour and by illicit love. As yet, however, they lacked courage to celebrate the bridal solemnities, no precedent existing for the introduction of a brother's child into the house of her uncle. Moreover, the relationship was incest; and, if that fact were disregarded, it was feared that the upshot would be a national calamity. Hesitation was dropped only when Vitellius undertook to bring about the desired result by his own methods. He began by asking the Caesar if he would yield to the mandate of the people? — to the authority of the senate? On receiving the answer that he was a citizen among citizens, and incompetent to resist their united will, he ordered him to wait inside the palace. He himself entered the curia. Asseverating that a vital interest of the country was in question, he demanded leave to speak first, and began by stating that "the extremely onerous labours of the sovereign, which embraced the management of a world, stood in need of support, so that he might pursue his deliberations for the public good, undisturbed by domestic anxiety. And what more decent solace to that truly censorian spirit than to take a wife, his partner in weal and woe, to whose charge might be committed his inmost thoughts and the little children of a prince unused to dissipation or to pleasure, but to submission to the law from his early youth? 12.6.  As this engagingly worded preface was followed by flattering expressions of assent from the members, he took a fresh starting-point:— "Since it was the universal advice that the emperor should marry, the choice ought to fall on a woman distinguished by nobility of birth, by experience of motherhood, and by purity of character. No long inquiry was needed to convince them that in the lustre of her family Agrippina came foremost: she had given proof of her fruitfulness, and her moral excellences harmonized with the rest. But the most gratifying point was that, by the dispensation of providence, the union would be between a widow and a prince with experience of no marriage-bed but his own. They had heard from their fathers, and they had seen for themselves, how wives were snatched away at the whim of the Caesars: such violence was far removed from the orderliness of the present arrangement. They were, in fact, to establish a precedent by which the emperor would accept his consort from the Roman people! — Still, marriage with a brother's child, it might be said, was a novelty in Rome. — But it was normal in other countries, and prohibited by no law; while marriage with cousins and second cousins, so long unknown, had with the progress of time become frequent. Usage accommodated itself to the claims of utility, and this innovation too would be among the conventions of to‑morrow. 12.7.  Members were not lacking to rush from the curia, with emulous protestations that, if the emperor hesitated, they would proceed by force. A motley crowd flocked together, and clamoured that such also was the prayer of the Roman people. Waiting no longer, Claudius met them in the Forum, and offered himself to their felicitations, then entered the senate, and requested a decree legitimizing for the future also the union of uncles with their brothers' daughters. None the less, only a single enthusiast for that form of matrimony was discovered — the Roman knight Alledius Severus, whose motive was generally said to have been desire for the favour of Agrippina. — From this moment it was a changed state, and all things moved at the fiat of a woman — but not a woman who, as Messalina, treated in wantonness the Roman Empire as a toy. It was a tight-drawn, almost masculine tyranny: in public, there was austerity and not infrequently arrogance; at home, no trace of unchastity, unless it might contribute to power. A limitless passion for gold had the excuse of being designed to create a bulwark of despotism. 12.8.  On the wedding-day Silanus committed suicide; whether he had preserved his hope of life till then, or whether the date was deliberately chosen to increase the odium of his death. His sister Calvina was expelled from Italy. Claudius, in addition, prescribed sacrifices in accordance with the legislation of King Tullus, and expiatory ceremonies to be carried out by the pontiffs in the grove of Diana; universal derision being excited by this choice of a period in which to unearth the penalties and purifications of incest. Agrippina, on the other hand, not to owe her reputation entirely to crime, procured a remission of banishment for Annaeus Seneca, along with a praetorship: his literary fame, she conceived, would make the act popular with the nation; while she was anxious to gain so distinguished a tutor for Domitius in his transit from boyhood to adolescence, and to profit by his advice in their designs upon the throne. For the belief was that Seneca was attached to Agrippina by the memory of her kindness and embittered against Claudius by resentment of his injury. 14.3.  Nero, therefore, began to avoid private meetings with her; when she left for her gardens or the estates at Tusculum and Antium, he commended her intention of resting; finally, convinced that, wherever she might be kept, she was still an incubus, he decided to kill her, debating only whether by poison, the dagger, or some other form of violence. The first choice fell on poison. But, if it was to be given at the imperial table, then the death could not be referred to chance, since Britannicus had already met a similar fate. At the same time, it seemed an arduous task to tamper with the domestics of a woman whose experience of crime had made her vigilant for foul play; and, besides, she had herself fortified her system by taking antidotes in advance. Cold steel and bloodshed no one could devise a method of concealing: moreover, there was the risk that the agent chosen for such an atrocity might spurn his orders. Mother wit came to the rescue in the person of Anicetus the freedman, preceptor of Nero's boyish years, and detested by Agrippina with a vigour which was reciprocated. Accordingly, he pointed out that it was possible to construct a ship, part of which could be artificially detached, well out at sea, and throw the unsuspecting passenger overboard:— "Nowhere had accident such scope as on salt water; and, if the lady should be cut off by shipwreck, who so captious as to read murder into the delinquency of wind and wave? The sovereign, naturally, would assign the deceased a temple and the other displays of filial piety. 14.4.  This ingenuity commended itself: the date, too, was in its favour, as Nero was in the habit of celebrating the festival of Minerva at Baiae. Thither he proceeded to lure his mother, observing from time to time that outbreaks of parental anger had to be tolerated, and that he must show a forgiving spirit; his aim being to create a rumour of reconciliation, which Agrippina, with the easy faith of her sex in the agreeable, would probably accept. — In due course, she came. He went down to the beach to meet her (she was arriving from Antium), took her hand, embraced her, and escorted her to Bauli, the name of a villa washed by the waters of a cove between the promontory of Misenum and the lake of Baiae. Here, among others, stood a more handsomely appointed vessel; apparently one attention the more to his mother, as she had been accustomed to use a trireme with a crew of marines. Also, she had been invited to dinner for the occasion, so that night should be available for the concealment of the crime. It is well established that someone had played the informer, and that Agrippina, warned of the plot, hesitated whether to believe or not, but made the journey to Baiae in a litter. There her fears were relieved by the blandishments of a cordial welcome and a seat above the prince himself. At last, conversing freely, — one moment boyishly familiar, the next grave-browed as though making some serious communication, — Nero, after the banquet had been long protracted, escorted her on her way, clinging more closely than usual to her breast and kissing her eyes; possibly as a final touch of hypocrisy, or possibly the last look upon his doomed mother gave pause even to that brutal spirit. 14.5.  A starlit night and the calm of an unruffled sea appeared to have been sent by Heaven to afford proof of guilt. The ship had made no great way, and two of Agrippina's household were in attendance, Crepereius Gallus standing not far from the tiller, while Acerronia, bending over the feet of the recumbent princess, recalled exultantly the penitence of the son and the re-entry of the mother into favour. Suddenly the signal was given: the canopy above them, which had been heavily weighted with lead, dropped, and Crepereius was crushed and killed on the spot. Agrippina and Acerronia were saved by the height of the couch-sides, which, as it happened, were too solid to give way under the impact. Nor did the break-up of the vessel follow: for confusion was universal, and even the men accessory to the plot were impeded by the large numbers of the ignorant. The crew then decided to throw their weight on one side and so capsize the ship; but, even on their own part, agreement came too slowly for a sudden emergency, and a counter-effort by others allowed the victims a gentler fall into the waves. Acerronia, however, incautious enough to raise the cry that she was Agrippina, and to demand aid for the emperor's mother, was despatched with poles, oars, and every nautical weapon that came to hand. Agrippina, silent and so not generally recognised, though she received one wound in the shoulder, swam until she was met by a few fishing-smacks, and so reached the Lucrine lake, whence she was carried into her own villa. 14.6.  There she reflected on the evident purpose of the treacherous letter of invitation and the exceptional honour with which she had been treated, and on the fact that, hard by the shore, a vessel, driven by no gale and striking no reef, had collapsed at the top like an artificial structure on land. She reviewed as well the killing of Acerronia, glanced simultaneously at her own wound, and realized that the one defence against treachery was to leave it undetected. Accordingly she sent the freedman Agermus to carry word to her son that, thanks to divine kindness and to his fortunate star, she had survived a grave accident; but that, however great his alarm at his mother's danger, she begged him to defer the attention of a visit: for the moment, what she needed was rest. Meanwhile, with affected unconcern, she applied remedies to her wound and fomentations to her body: Acerronia's will, she gave instructions was to be sought, and her effects sealed up, — the sole measure not referable to dissimulation. 14.7.  Meanwhile, as Nero was waiting for the messengers who should announce the doing of the deed, there came the news that she had escaped with a wound from a light blow, after running just sufficient risk to leave no doubt as to its author. Half-dead with terror, he protested that any moment she would be here, hot for vengeance. And whether she armed her slaves or inflamed the troops, or made her way to the senate and the people, and charged him with the wreck, her wound, and the slaying of her friends, what counter-resource was at his own disposal? Unless there was hope in Seneca and Burrus! He had summoned them immediately: whether to test their feeling, or as cognizant already of the secret, is questionable. — There followed, then, a long silence on the part of both: either they were reluctant to dissuade in vain, or they believed matters to have reached a point at which Agrippina must be forestalled or Nero perish. After a time, Seneca so far took the lead as to glance at Burrus and inquire if the fatal order should be given to the military. His answer was that the guards, pledged as they were to the Caesarian house as a whole, and attached to the memory of Germanicus, would flinch from drastic measures against his issue: Anicetus must redeem his promise. He, without any hesitation, asked to be given full charge of the crime. The words brought from Nero a declaration that that day presented him with an empire, and that he had a freedman to thank for so great a boon: Anicetus must go with speed and take an escort of men distinguished for implicit obedience to orders. He himself, on hearing that Agermus had come with a message from Agrippina, anticipated it by setting the stage for a charge of treason, threw a sword at his feet while he was doing his errand, then ordered his arrest as an assassin caught in the act; his intention being to concoct a tale that his mother had practised against the imperial life and taken refuge in suicide from the shame of detection. 14.8.  In the interval, Agrippina's jeopardy, which was attributed to accident, had become generally known; and there was a rush to the beach, as man after man learned the news. Some swarmed up the sea-wall, some into the nearest fishing-boats: others were wading middle-deep into the surf, a few standing with outstretched arms. The whole shore rang with lamentations and vows and the din of conflicting questions and vague replies. A huge multitude streamed up with lights, and, when the knowledge of her safety spread, set out to offer congratulations; until, at the sight of an armed and threatening column, they were forced to scatter. Anicetus drew a cordon around the villa, and, breaking down the entrance, dragged off the slaves as they appeared, until he reached the bedroom-door. A few servants were standing by: the rest had fled in terror at the inrush of men. In the chamber was a dim light and a single waiting-maid; and Agrippina's anxiety deepened every instant. Why no one from her son — nor even Agermus? Had matters prospered, they would have worn another aspect. Now, nothing but solitude, hoarse alarms, and the symptoms of irremediable ill! Then the maid rose to go. "Dost thou too forsake me?" she began, and saw Anicetus behind her, accompanied by Herculeius, the trierarch, and Obaritus, a centurion of marines. "If he had come to visit the sick, he might take back word that she felt refreshed. If to do murder, she would believe nothing of her son: matricide was no article of their instructions." The executioners surrounded the couch, and the trierarch began by striking her on the head with a club. The centurion was drawing his sword to make an end, when she proffered her womb to the blow. "Strike here," she exclaimed, and was despatched with repeated wounds. 14.9.  So far the accounts concur. Whether Nero inspected the corpse of his mother and expressed approval of her figure is a statement which some affirm and some deny. She was cremated the same night, on a dinner-couch, and with the humblest rites; nor, so long as Nero reigned, was the earth piled over the grave or enclosed. Later, by the care of her servants, she received a modest tomb, hard by the road to Misenum and that villa of the dictator Caesar which looks from its dizzy height to the bay outspread beneath. As the pyre was kindled, one of her freedmen, by the name of Mnester, ran a sword through his body, whether from love of his mistress or from fear of his own destruction remains unknown. This was that ending to which, years before, Agrippina had given her credence, and her contempt. For to her inquiries as to the destiny of Nero the astrologers answered that he should reign, and slay his mother; and "Let him slay," she had said, "so that he reign.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
adultery Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
agrippa Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
agrippina queen Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
agrippina the younger, and claudius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
aristocracy, and claudius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
augustus, and claudius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
bachelorhood Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 14
basilius emperor Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 14
bible Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
bones Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
caligula Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
christianity, and acceptance of celibacy Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 14
claudius, and agrippina the younger Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
claudius, and caligula Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
claudius, and domus augusta Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
claudius, and messalina Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
claudius, and octavian Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
claudius Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185; Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 14
coffins Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
domus augusta (imperial family), and claudius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
egypt Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
family Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
freedmen Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
galba, emperor Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 14
greek Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
hebrew Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
inscriptions Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
jericho Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
jewish Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
judea Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
literature Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 14
messalina Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
narcissus (freedman of claudius) Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
roman Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
rome, people of and augustus as pater patriae, and claudius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
senate, and claudius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
senate, and claudius and messalina Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
soldiers and cato the younger, and claudius and messalina Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
soros (coros) Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
syria Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
tacitus, on claudius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
tacitus, on messalina Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
tacitus, works annales (annals) Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50
temple Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
terminology for single status Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 14
title' Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices And Rites In The Second Temple Period (2005) 185
vitellius, lucius Fertik, The Ruler's House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (2019) 50