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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10588
Tacitus, Annals, 5.3-5.4


Ceterum ex eo praerupta iam et urgens dominatio: nam incolumi Augusta erat adhuc perfugium, quia Tiberio inveteratum erga matrem obsequium neque Seianus audebat auctoritati parentis antire: tunc velut frenis exoluti proruperunt missaeque in Agrippinam ac Neronem litterae quas pridem adlatas et cohibitas ab Augusta credidit vulgus: haud enim multum post mortem eius recitatae sunt. verba inerant quaesita asperitate: sed non arma, non rerum novarum studium, amores iuvenum et impudicitiam nepoti obiectabat. in nurum ne id quidem confingere ausus, adrogantiam oris et contumacem animum incusavit, magno senatus pavore ac silentio, donec pauci quis nulla ex honesto spes (et publica mala singulis in occasionem gratiae trahuntur) ut referretur postulavere, promptissimo Cotta Messalino cum atroci sententia. sed aliis a primoribus maximeque a magistratibus trepidabatur: quippe Tiberius etsi infense invectus cetera ambigua reliquerat. In any case, there followed from now onward a sheer and grinding despotism: for, with Augusta still alive, there had remained a refuge; since deference to his mother was ingrained in Tiberius, nor did Sejanus venture to claim precedence over the authority of a parent. But now, as though freed from the curb, they broke out unrestrained, and a letter denouncing Agrippina and Nero was forwarded to Rome; the popular impression being that it was delivered much earlier and suppressed by the old empress, since it was publicly read not long after her death. Its wording was of studied asperity, but the offences imputed by the sovereign to his grandson were not rebellion under arms, not meditated revolution, but unnatural love and moral depravity. Against his daughter-in‑law he dared not fabricate even such a charge, but arraigned her haughty language and refractory spirit; the senate listening in profound alarm and silence, until a few who had nothing to hope from honesty (and public misfortunes are always turned by individuals into stepping-stones to favour) demanded that a motion be put — Cotta Messalinus being foremost with a drastic resolution. But among other leading members, and especially the magistrates, alarm prevailed: for Tiberius, bitter though his invective had been, had left all else in doubt. <


Ceterum ex eo praerupta iam et urgens dominatio: nam incolumi Augusta erat adhuc perfugium, quia Tiberio inveteratum erga matrem obsequium neque Seianus audebat auctoritati parentis antire: tunc velut frenis exoluti proruperunt missaeque in Agrippinam ac Neronem litterae quas pridem adlatas et cohibitas ab Augusta credidit vulgus: haud enim multum post mortem eius recitatae sunt. verba inerant quaesita asperitate: sed non arma, non rerum novarum studium, amores iuvenum et impudicitiam nepoti obiectabat. in nurum ne id quidem confingere ausus, adrogantiam oris et contumacem animum incusavit, magno senatus pavore ac silentio, donec pauci quis nulla ex honesto spes (et publica mala singulis in occasionem gratiae trahuntur) ut referretur postulavere, promptissimo Cotta Messalino cum atroci sententia. sed aliis a primoribus maximeque a magistratibus trepidabatur: quippe Tiberius etsi infense invectus cetera ambigua reliquerat. In any case, there followed from now onward a sheer and grinding despotism: for, with Augusta still alive, there had remained a refuge; since deference to his mother was ingrained in Tiberius, nor did Sejanus venture to claim precedence over the authority of a parent. But now, as though freed from the curb, they broke out unrestrained, and a letter denouncing Agrippina and Nero was forwarded to Rome; the popular impression being that it was delivered much earlier and suppressed by the old empress, since it was publicly read not long after her death. Its wording was of studied asperity, but the offences imputed by the sovereign to his grandson were not rebellion under arms, not meditated revolution, but unnatural love and moral depravity. Against his daughter-in‑law he dared not fabricate even such a charge, but arraigned her haughty language and refractory spirit; the senate listening in profound alarm and silence, until a few who had nothing to hope from honesty (and public misfortunes are always turned by individuals into stepping-stones to favour) demanded that a motion be put — Cotta Messalinus being foremost with a drastic resolution. But among other leading members, and especially the magistrates, alarm prevailed: for Tiberius, bitter though his invective had been, had left all else in doubt.


Fuit in senatu Iunius Rusticus, componendis patrum actis delectus a Caesare eoque meditationes eius introspicere creditus. is fatali quodam motu (neque enim ante specimen constantiae dederat) seu prava sollertia, dum imminentium oblitus incerta pavet, inserere se dubitantibus ac monere consules ne relationem inciperent; disserebatque brevibus momentis summa verti: posse quandoque domus Germanici exitium paenitentiae esse seni. simul populus effigies Agrippinae ac Neronis gerens circumsistit curiam faustisque in Caesarem ominibus falsas litteras et principe invito exitium domui eius intendi clamitat. ita nihil triste illo die patratum. ferebantur etiam sub nominibus consularium fictae in Seianum sententiae, exercentibus plerisque per occultum atque eo procacius libidinem ingeniorum. unde illi ira violentior et materies criminandi: spretum dolorem principis ab senatu, descivisse populum; audiri iam et legi novas contiones, nova patrum consulta: quid reliquum nisi ut caperent ferrum et, quorum imagines pro vexillis secuti forent, duces imperatoresque deligerent? There was in the senate a certain Julius Rusticus, chosen by the Caesar to compile the official journal of its proceedings, and therefore credited with some insight into his thoughts. Under some fatal impulse — for he had never before given an indication of courage — or possibly through a misapplied acuteness which made him blind to dangers imminent and terrified of dangers uncertain, Rusticus insinuated himself among the doubters and warned the consuls not to introduce the question — "A touch," he insisted, "could turn the scale in the gravest of matters: it was possible that some day the extinction of the house of Germanicus might move the old man's penitence." At the same time, the people, carrying effigies of Agrippina and Nero, surrounded the curia, and, cheering for the Caesar, clamoured that the letter was spurious and that it was contrary to the Emperor's wish that destruction was plotted against his house. On that day, therefore, no tragedy was perpetrated. There were circulated, also, under consular names, fictitious attacks upon Sejanus: for authors in plenty exercised their capricious imagination with all the petulance of anonymity. The result was to fan his anger and to supply him with the material for fresh charges:— "The senate had spurned the sorrow of its emperor, the people had forsworn its allegiance. Already disloyal harangues, disloyal decrees of the Fathers, were listened to and perused: what remained but to take the sword and in the persons whose effigies they had followed as their ensigns to choose their generals and their princes?" <


Fuit in senatu Iunius Rusticus, componendis patrum actis delectus a Caesare eoque meditationes eius introspicere creditus. is fatali quodam motu (neque enim ante specimen constantiae dederat) seu prava sollertia, dum imminentium oblitus incerta pavet, inserere se dubitantibus ac monere consules ne relationem inciperent; disserebatque brevibus momentis summa verti: posse quandoque domus Germanici exitium paenitentiae esse seni. simul populus effigies Agrippinae ac Neronis gerens circumsistit curiam faustisque in Caesarem ominibus falsas litteras et principe invito exitium domui eius intendi clamitat. ita nihil triste illo die patratum. ferebantur etiam sub nominibus consularium fictae in Seianum sententiae, exercentibus plerisque per occultum atque eo procacius libidinem ingeniorum. unde illi ira violentior et materies criminandi: spretum dolorem principis ab senatu, descivisse populum; audiri iam et legi novas contiones, nova patrum consulta: quid reliquum nisi ut caperent ferrum et, quorum imagines pro vexillis secuti forent, duces imperatoresque deligerent? There was in the senate a certain Julius Rusticus, chosen by the Caesar to compile the official journal of its proceedings, and therefore credited with some insight into his thoughts. Under some fatal impulse — for he had never before given an indication of courage — or possibly through a misapplied acuteness which made him blind to dangers imminent and terrified of dangers uncertain, Rusticus insinuated himself among the doubters and warned the consuls not to introduce the question — "A touch," he insisted, "could turn the scale in the gravest of matters: it was possible that some day the extinction of the house of Germanicus might move the old man's penitence." At the same time, the people, carrying effigies of Agrippina and Nero, surrounded the curia, and, cheering for the Caesar, clamoured that the letter was spurious and that it was contrary to the Emperor's wish that destruction was plotted against his house. On that day, therefore, no tragedy was perpetrated. There were circulated, also, under consular names, fictitious attacks upon Sejanus: for authors in plenty exercised their capricious imagination with all the petulance of anonymity. The result was to fan his anger and to supply him with the material for fresh charges:— "The senate had spurned the sorrow of its emperor, the people had forsworn its allegiance. Already disloyal harangues, disloyal decrees of the Fathers, were listened to and perused: what remained but to take the sword and in the persons whose effigies they had followed as their ensigns to choose their generals and their princes?


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

11 results
1. Herodotus, Histories, 1.59.6 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.59.6. These rose with Pisistratus and took the Acropolis; and Pisistratus ruled the Athenians, disturbing in no way the order of offices nor changing the laws, but governing the city according to its established constitution and arranging all things fairly and well.
2. Isocrates, Nicocles, 24 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3. Xenophon, On Horsemanship, 6.4 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Xenophon, Hiero, 10.3 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

5. Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, 1.1.3, 8.7.13 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.1.3. Thus, as we meditated on this analogy, we were inclined to conclude that for man, as he is constituted, it is easier to rule over any and all other creatures than to rule over men. But when we reflected that Cyrus a king of men there was one Cyrus, the Persian, who reduced to obedience a vast number of men and cities and nations, we were then compelled to change our opinion and decide that to rule men might be a task neither impossible nor even difficult, if one should only go about it in an intelligent manner. At all events, we know that people obeyed Cyrus willingly, although some of them were distant from him a journey of many days, and others of many months; others, although they had never seen him, and still others who knew well that they never should see him. Nevertheless they were all willing to be his subjects. 8.7.13. As for you, Cambyses, you must also know His words of counsel—(1) to Cambyses; that it is not this golden sceptre that maintains your empire; but faithful friends are a monarch’s truest and surest sceptre. But do not think that man is naturally faithful; else all men would find the same persons faithful, just as all find the other properties of nature the same. But every one must create for himself faithfulness in his friends; and the winning of such friends comes in no wise by compulsion, but by kindness.
6. Xenophon, Memoirs, 3.3.9, 4.6.12 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3.3.9. Well, I suppose you know that under all conditions human beings are most willing to obey those whom they believe to be the best. Cyropaedia III. i. 20. Thus in sickness they most readily obey the doctor, on board ship the pilot, on a farm the farmer, whom they think to be most skilled in his business. Yes, certainly. Then it is likely that in horsemanship too, one who clearly knows best what ought to be done will most easily gain the obedience of the others. 4.6.12. Kingship and despotism, in his judgment, were both forms of government, but he held that they differed. For government of men with their consent and in accordance with the laws of the state was kingship; while government of unwilling subjects and not controlled by laws, but imposed by the will of the ruler, was despotism. And where the officials are chosen among those who fulfil the requirements of the laws, the constitution is an aristocracy: where rateable property is the qualification for office, you have a plutocracy: where all are eligible, a democracy.
7. Xenophon, On Household Management, 4.19 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4.19. I think you have one clear proof of a ruler’s excellence, when men obey him willingly Mem III. iii. 9. and choose to stand by him in moments of danger. Now his friends all fought at his side and fell at his side to a man, fighting round his body, with the one exception of Ariaeus, whose place in the battle was, in point of fact, on the left wing. Anabasis, I. ix. 31. Ariaeus fled when he saw that Cyrus had fallen.
8. Plutarch, Cato The Younger, 9.9-9.10 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Plutarch, Lycurgus, 30 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 8.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. Tacitus, Annals, 5.4, 14.11, 15.57 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.4.  There was in the senate a certain Julius Rusticus, chosen by the Caesar to compile the official journal of its proceedings, and therefore credited with some insight into his thoughts. Under some fatal impulse — for he had never before given an indication of courage — or possibly through a misapplied acuteness which made him blind to dangers imminent and terrified of dangers uncertain, Rusticus insinuated himself among the doubters and warned the consuls not to introduce the question — "A touch," he insisted, "could turn the scale in the gravest of matters: it was possible that some day the extinction of the house of Germanicus might move the old man's penitence." At the same time, the people, carrying effigies of Agrippina and Nero, surrounded the curia, and, cheering for the Caesar, clamoured that the letter was spurious and that it was contrary to the Emperor's wish that destruction was plotted against his house. On that day, therefore, no tragedy was perpetrated. There were circulated, also, under consular names, fictitious attacks upon Sejanus: for authors in plenty exercised their capricious imagination with all the petulance of anonymity. The result was to fan his anger and to supply him with the material for fresh charges:— "The senate had spurned the sorrow of its emperor, the people had forsworn its allegiance. Already disloyal harangues, disloyal decrees of the Fathers, were listened to and perused: what remained but to take the sword and in the persons whose effigies they had followed as their ensigns to choose their generals and their princes? 14.11.  He appended a list of charges drawn from the remoter past:— "She had hoped for a partnership in the empire; for the praetorian cohorts to swear allegiance to a woman; for the senate and people to submit to a like ignominy. Then, her ambition foiled, she had turned against the soldiers, the Fathers and the commons; had opposed the donative and the largess, and had worked for the ruin of eminent citizens. At what cost of labour had he succeeded in preventing her from forcing the door of the senate and delivering her answers to foreign nations!" He made an indirect attack on the Claudian period also, transferring every scandal of the reign to the account of his mother, whose removal he ascribed to the fortunate star of the nation. For even the wreck was narrated: though where was the folly which could believe it accidental, or that a ship-wrecked woman had despatched a solitary man with a weapon to cut his way through the guards and navies of the emperor? The object, therefore, of popular censure was no longer Nero — whose barbarity transcended all protest — but Seneca, who in composing such a plea had penned a confession.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
accession (imperial) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
advisers Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
aemilius laetus, q. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
agrippina (younger) Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
alliatoria celsilla Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
bodyguard Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
brother Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
commodus Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
consilium (of the emperor) Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
consul, joint presidency Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
consul, role Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
cruelty Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
domitian, relationship Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
drusus (d. a.d., presides Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
elagabalus, denounces macrinus Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
emperor, and offices bestows consulship Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
emperor, items referred to Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
fear Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
flattery Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
goodwill (εὔνοια) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
intertextuality Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
leader(ship) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
livia Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
marcus aurelius Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
memory Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
moderation Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
nero, denounces agrippina Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
nero Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
nymphidius sabinus, c Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
omens Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
ornamenta Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
plotina Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
pompeius secundus, q. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
pompeius sosius falco, q. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
praetorian prefect Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
readers, active engagement/response Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
sallustius crispus, c Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
senate, in latin and greek, exemption from laws Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
senate, in latin and greek, first century Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
senate, in latin and greek, non-members Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
senate, in latin and greek, praetorian prefects Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
senate, in latin and greek, role Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
senate, in latin and greek, weak position Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
senate, in latin and greek, women Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
sentius saturninus, cn. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
speech(es) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
tacitus Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
tiberius, concern to maintain attendance Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 274
tiberius, treatment of relatives Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161
tiberius Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
tyranny/tyrants Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
violence Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
virtues' Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
women Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 161