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, 4.17.1


nan In the consulate of Cornelius Cethegus and Visellius Varro, the pontiffs and — after their example — the other priests, while offering the vows for the life of the emperor, went further and commended Nero and Drusus to the same divinities, not so much from affection for the princes as in that spirit of sycophancy, of which the absence or the excess is, in a corrupt society, equally hazardous. For Tiberius, never indulgent to the family of Germanicus, was now stung beyond endurance to find a pair of striplings placed on a level with his own declining years. He summoned the pontiffs, and asked if they had made this concession to the entreaties — or should he say the threats? — of Agrippina. The pontiffs, in spite of their denial, received only a slight reprimand (for a large number were either relatives of his own or prominent figures in the state); but in the senate, he gave warning that for the future no one was to excite to arrogance the impressionable minds of the youths by such precocious distinctions. The truth was that Sejanus was pressing him hard: — "The state," so ran his indictment, "was split into two halves, as if by civil war. There were men who proclaimed themselves of Agrippina's party: unless a stand was taken, there would be more; and the only cure for the growing disunion was to strike down one or two of the most active malcontents.


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

3 results
1. Suetonius, Augustus, 31.3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2. Tacitus, Annals, 1.7.1, 1.43.3, 1.73.3, 2.8.1, 2.32.2, 2.83, 2.83.1, 3.56.1, 3.65, 4.1.1, 4.8.5, 4.9.2, 4.16.4, 4.34-4.35, 4.36.2, 4.74.2, 5.2.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.7.1.  At Rome, however, consuls, senators, and knights were rushing into slavery. The more exalted the personage, the grosser his hypocrisy and his haste, — his lineaments adjusted so as to betray neither cheerfulness at the exit nor undue depression at the entry of a prince; his tears blent with joy, his regrets with adulation. The consuls, Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Appuleius, first took the oath of allegiance to Tiberius Caesar. It was taken in their presence by Seius Strabo and Caius Turranius, chiefs respectively of the praetorian cohorts and the corn department. The senators, the soldiers, and the populace followed. For in every action of Tiberius the first step had to be taken by the consuls, as though the old republic were in being, and himself undecided whether to reign or no. Even his edict, convening the Fathers to the senate-house was issued simply beneath the tribunician title which he had received under Augustus. It was a laconic document of very modest purport:— "He intended to provide for the last honours to his father, whose body he could not leave — it was the one function of the state which he made bold to exercise." Yet, on the passing of Augustus he had given the watchword to the praetorian cohorts as Imperator; he had the sentries, the men-at‑arms, and the other appurteces of a court; soldiers conducted him to the forum, soldiers to the curia; he dispatched letters to the armies as if the principate was already in his grasp; and nowhere manifested the least hesitation, except when speaking in the senate. The chief reason was his fear that Germanicus — backed by so many legions, the vast reserves of the provinces, and a wonderful popularity with the nation — might prefer the owner­ship to the reversion of a throne. He paid public opinion, too, the compliment of wishing to be regarded as the called and chosen of the state, rather than as the interloper who had wormed his way into power with the help of connubial intrigues and a senile act of adoption. It was realized later that his coyness had been assumed with the further object of gaining an insight into the feelings of the aristocracy: for all the while he was distorting words and looks into crimes and storing them in his memory. 2.8.1.  The fleet had now arrived. Supplies were sent forward, ships assigned to the legionaries and allies, and he entered the so‑called Drusian Fosse. After a prayer to his father, beseeching him of his grace and indulgence to succour by the example and memory of his wisdom and prowess a son who had ventured in his footsteps, he pursued his voyage through the lakes and the high sea, and reached the Ems without misadventure. The fleet stayed in the mouth of the river on the left side, and an error was committed in not carrying the troops further upstream or disembarking them on the right bank for which they were bound; the consequence being that several days were wasted in bridge-building. The estuaries immediately adjoining were crossed intrepidly enough by the cavalry and legions, before the tide had begun to flow: the auxiliaries in the extreme rear and the Batavians in the same part of the line, while dashing into the water and exhibiting their powers of swimming, were thrown into disorder, and a number of them drowned. As the Caesar was arranging his encampment, news came of an Angrivarian rising in his rear: Stertinius, who was instantly despatched with a body of horse and light-armed infantry, repaid the treachery with fire and bloodshed. 2.83.  Affection and ingenuity vied in discovering and decreeing honours to Germanicus: his name was to be chanted in the Saliar Hymn; curule chairs surmounted by oaken crowns were to be set for him wherever the Augustal priests had right of place; his effigy in ivory was to lead the procession at the Circus Games, and no flamen or augur, unless of the Julian house, was to be created in his room. Arches were added, at Rome, on the Rhine bank, and on the Syrian mountain of Amanus, with an inscription recording his achievements and the fact that he had died for his country. There was to be a sepulchre in Antioch, where he had been cremated; a funeral monument in Epidaphne, the suburb in which he had breathed his last. His statues, and the localities in which his cult was to be practised, it would be difficult to enumerate. When it was proposed to give him a gold medallion, as remarkable for the size as for the material, among the portraits of the classic orators, Tiberius declared that he would dedicate one himself "of the customary type, and in keeping with the rest: for eloquence was not measured by fortune, and its distinction enough if he ranked with the old masters." The equestrian order renamed the so‑called "junior section" in their part of the theatre after Germanicus, and ruled that on the fifteenth of July the cavalcade should ride behind his portrait. Many of these compliments remain: others were discontinued immediately, or have lapsed with the years. 2.83.1.  Affection and ingenuity vied in discovering and decreeing honours to Germanicus: his name was to be chanted in the Saliar Hymn; curule chairs surmounted by oaken crowns were to be set for him wherever the Augustal priests had right of place; his effigy in ivory was to lead the procession at the Circus Games, and no flamen or augur, unless of the Julian house, was to be created in his room. Arches were added, at Rome, on the Rhine bank, and on the Syrian mountain of Amanus, with an inscription recording his achievements and the fact that he had died for his country. There was to be a sepulchre in Antioch, where he had been cremated; a funeral monument in Epidaphne, the suburb in which he had breathed his last. His statues, and the localities in which his cult was to be practised, it would be difficult to enumerate. When it was proposed to give him a gold medallion, as remarkable for the size as for the material, among the portraits of the classic orators, Tiberius declared that he would dedicate one himself "of the customary type, and in keeping with the rest: for eloquence was not measured by fortune, and its distinction enough if he ranked with the old masters." The equestrian order renamed the so‑called "junior section" in their part of the theatre after Germanicus, and ruled that on the fifteenth of July the cavalcade should ride behind his portrait. Many of these compliments remain: others were discontinued immediately, or have lapsed with the years. 3.56.1.  Tiberius, now that his check to the onrush of informers had earned him a character for moderation, sent a letter to the senate desiring the tribunician power for Drusus. This phrase for the supreme dignity was discovered by Augustus; who was reluctant to take the style of king or dictator, yet desirous of some title indicating his pre-eminence over all other authorities. Later, he selected Marcus Agrippa as his partner in that power, then, on Agrippa's decease, Tiberius Nero; his object being to leave the succession in no doubt. In this way, he considered, he would stifle the misconceived hopes of other aspirants; while, at the same time, he had faith in Nero's self-restraint and in his own greatness. In accordance with this precedent, Tiberius then placed Drusus on the threshold of the empire, although in Germanicus' lifetime he had held his judgment suspended between the pair. — Now, however, after opening his letter with a prayer that Heaven would prospect his counsels to the good of the realm, he devoted a few sentences, free from false embellishments, to the character of the youth:— "He had a wife and three children; and he had reached the age at which, formerly, he himself had been called by the deified Augustus to undertake the same charge. Nor was it in haste, but only after eight years of trial, after mutinies repressed, wars composed, one triumph, and two consulates, that he was now admitted to share a task already familiar. 3.65.  It is not my intention to dwell upon any senatorial motions save those either remarkable for their nobility or of memorable turpitude; in which case they fall within my conception of the first duty of history — to ensure that merit shall not lack its record and to hold before the vicious word and deed the terrors of posterity and infamy. But so tainted was that age, so mean its sycophancy, that not only the great personages of the state, who had to shield their magnificence by their servility, but all senators of consular rank, a large proportion of the ex-praetors, many ordinary members even, vied with one another in rising to move the most repulsive and extravagant resolutions. The tradition runs that Tiberius, on leaving the curia, had a habit of ejaculating in Greek, "These men! — how ready they are for slavery!" Even he, it was manifest, objecting though he did to public liberty, was growing weary of such grovelling patience in his slaves. 4.1.1.  The consulate of Gaius Asinius and Gaius Antistius was to Tiberius the ninth year of public order and of domestic felicity (for he counted the death of Germanicus among his blessings), when suddenly fortune disturbed the peace and he became either a tyrant himself or the source of power to the tyrannous. The starting-point and the cause were to be found in Aelius Sejanus, prefect of the praetorian cohorts. of his influence I spoke above: now I shall unfold his origin, his character, and the crime by which he strove to seize on empire. Born at Vulsinii to the Roman knight Seius Strabo, he became in early youth a follower of Gaius Caesar, grandson of the deified Augustus; not without a rumour that he had disposed of his virtue at a price to Apicius, a rich man and a prodigal. Before long, by his multifarious arts, he bound Tiberius fast: so much so that a man inscrutable to others became to Sejanus alone unguarded and unreserved; and the less by subtlety (in fact, he was beaten in the end by the selfsame arts) than by the anger of Heaven against that Roman realm for whose equal damnation he flourished and fell. He was a man hardy by constitution, fearless by temperament; skilled to conceal himself and to incriminate his neighbour; cringing at once and insolent; orderly and modest to outward view, at heart possessed by a towering ambition, which impelled him at whiles to lavishness and luxury, but oftener to industry and vigilance — qualities not less noxious when assumed for the winning of a throne. 4.34.  The consulate of Cornelius Cossus and Asinius Agrippa opened with the prosecution of Cremutius Cordus upon the novel and till then unheard-of charge of publishing a history, eulogizing Brutus, and styling Cassius the last of the Romans. The accusers were Satrius Secundus and Pinarius Natta, clients of Sejanus. That circumstance sealed the defendant's fate — that and the lowering brows of the Caesar, as he bent his attention to the defence; which Cremutius, resolved to take his leave of life, began as follows:— "Conscript Fathers, my words are brought to judgement — so guiltless am I of deeds! Nor are they even words against the sole persons embraced by the law of treason, the sovereign or the parent of the sovereign: I am said to have praised Brutus and Cassius, whose acts so many pens have recorded, whom not one has mentioned save with honour. Livy, with a fame for eloquence and candour second to none, lavished such eulogies on Pompey that Augustus styled him 'the Pompeian': yet it was without prejudice to their friendship. Scipio, Afranius, this very Cassius, this Brutus — not once does he describe them by the now fashionable titles of brigand and parricide, but time and again in such terms as he might apply to any distinguished patriots. The works of Asinius Pollio transmit their character in noble colours; Messalla Corvinus gloried to have served under Cassius: and Pollio and Corvinus lived and died in the fulness of wealth and honour! When Cicero's book praised Cato to the skies, what did it elicit from the dictator Caesar but a written oration as though at the bar of public opinion? The letters of Antony, the speeches of Brutus, contain invectives against Augustus, false undoubtedly yet bitter in the extreme; the poems — still read — of Bibaculus and Catullus are packed with scurrilities upon the Caesars: yet even the deified Julius, the divine Augustus himself, tolerated them and left them in peace; and I hesitate whether to ascribe their action to forbearance or to wisdom. For things contemned are soon things forgotten: anger is read as recognition. 4.35.  "I leave untouched the Greeks; with them not liberty only but licence itself went unchastised, or, if a man retaliated, he avenged words by words. But what above all else was absolutely free and immune from censure was the expression of an opinion on those whom death had removed beyond the range of rancour or of partiality. Are Brutus and Cassius under arms on the plains of Philippi, and I upon the platform, firing the nation to civil war? Or is it the case that, seventy years since their taking-off, as they are known by their effigies which the conqueror himself did not abolish, so a portion of their memory is enshrined likewise in history? — To every man posterity renders his wage of honour; nor will there lack, if my condemnation is at hand, those who shall remember, not Brutus and Cassius alone, but me also!" He then left the senate, and closed his life by self-starvation. The Fathers ordered his books to be burned by the aediles; but copies remained, hidden and afterwards published: a fact which moves us the more to deride the folly of those who believe that by an act of despotism in the present there can be extinguished also the memory of a succeeding age. On the contrary, genius chastised grows in authority; nor have alien kings or the imitators of their cruelty effected more than to crown themselves with ignominy and their victims with renown. 5.2.1.  Tiberius, however, without altering the amenities of his life, excused himself by letter, on the score of important affairs, for neglecting to pay the last respects to his mother, and, with a semblance of modesty, curtailed the lavish tributes decreed to her memory by the senate. Extremely few passed muster, and he added a stipulation that divine honours were not to be voted: such, he observed, had been her own wish. More than this, in a part of the same missive he attacked "feminine friendships": an indirect stricture upon the consul Fufius, who had risen by the favour of Augusta, and, besides his aptitude for attracting the fancy of the sex, had a turn for wit and a habit of ridiculing Tiberius with those bitter pleasantries which linger long in the memory of potentates.
3. Cassius Dio, Roman History, 54.27.3, 57.24.6 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

54.27.3.  That measure, therefore, now failed of passage, and he also received no official residence; but, inasmuch as it was absolutely necessary that the high priest should live in a public residence, he made a part of his own house public property. The house of the rex sacrificulus, however, he gave to the Vestal Virgins, because it was separated merely by a wall from their apartments. 57.24.6.  There were other events, also, at this time worthy of a place in history. The people of Cyzicus were once more deprived of their freedom, because they had imprisoned some Romans and because they had not completed the shrine to Augustus which they had begun to build.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
adulatio Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183; Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182, 183, 184
agrippina the elder Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182, 183, 184
anger, divine Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 183
augustus, worship of Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
augustus (octavian), imperial cult Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
cremutius cordus Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
drusus (son of germanicus) Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182, 183, 184
family, imperial Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182
flattery Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 183
imperial cult Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
informers Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
livia, temples dedicated to Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
marriage Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182
memory, cultic Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
nero (son of germanicus) Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182, 183, 184
pontifex/pontifices Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182
pontifex maximus, emperor as Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182
prayer Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 183
precedents in religious decision-making Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182
priests and priesthoods Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182, 183
rhodes, innovation in Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 183
ritual Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
saevitia Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
sejanus Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 183
senate, and emperor Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
senate, failure of expertise Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
senate Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182, 184
spain Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
sycophancy, of senate Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
sycophancy Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
tiberius, and divus augustus Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
tiberius, emperor, and informers Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
tiberius, emperor, limits honours Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 183
tiberius, senates relationship with Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182, 183, 184
tiberius, temples of Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
tiberius, worshipful treatment of Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 184
vestal virgins, pontifex maximus and Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182
vestal virgins Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182
vota' Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 182