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| Germanicus, C. Caesaris pater, Drusi et minoris Antoniae filius, a Tiberio patruo adoptatus, quaesturam quinquennio ante quam per leges liceret et post eam consulatum statim gessit, missusque ad exercitum in Germaniam, excessu Augusti nuntiato, legiones universas imperatorem Tiberium pertinacissime recusantis et sibi summam rei p. deferentis incertum pietate an constantia maiore compescuit atque hoste mox devicto triumphavit. Consul deinde iterum creatus ac prius quam honorem iniret ad componendum Orientis statum expulsus, cum Armeniae regem devicisset, Cappadociam in provinciae formam redegisset, annum agens aetatis quartum et tricensimum diuturno morbo Antiochiae obiit, non sine veneni suspicione. Nam praeter livores, qui toto corpore erant, et spumas, quae per os fluebant, cremati quoque cor inter ossa incorruptum repertum est, cuius ea natura existimatur, ut tinctum veneno igne confici nequeat.||(251) I. Germanicus, the father of Caius Caesar, and son of Drusus and the younger Antonia, was, after his adoption by Tiberius, his uncle, preferred to the quaestorship  five years before he had attained the legal age, and immediately upon the expiration of that office, to the consulship . Having been sent to the army in Germany, he restored order among the legions, who, upon the news of Augustus's death, obstinately refused to acknowledge Tiberius as emperor , and offered to place him at the head of the state. In which affair it is difficult to say, whether his regard to filial duty, or the firmness of his resolution, was most conspicuous. Soon afterwards he defeated the enemy, and obtained the honours of a triumph. Being then made consul for the second time , before he could enter upon his office he was obliged to set out suddenly for the east, where, after he had conquered the king of Armenia, and reduced Cappadocia into the form of a province, he died at Antioch, of a lingering distemper, in the thirty-fourth year of his age , not without the suspicion of being poisoned. For besides the livid spots which appeared all over his body, and a foaming at the mouth; when his corpse was burnt, the heart was found entire among the bones; its nature being such, as it is supposed, that when tainted by poison, it is indestructible by fire. |
| Obiit autem, ut opinio fuit, fraude Tiberi, ministerio et opera Cn. Pisonis, qui sub idem tempus Syriae praepositus, nec dissimulans offendendum sibi aut patrem aut filium, quasi plane ita necesse esset, etiam aegrum Germanicum gravissimis verborum ac rerum acerbitatibus nullo adhibito modo adfecit; propter quae, ut Romam rediit, paene discerptus a populo, a senatu capitis damnatus est.||II. It was a prevailing opinion, that he was taken off by the contrivance of Tiberius, and through the means of Cneius Piso. This person, who was about the same time prefect of Syria, and made no secret of his position being such, that (252) he must either offend the father or the son, loaded Germanicus, even during his sickness, with the most unbounded and scurrilous abuse, both by word and deed; for which, upon his return to Rome, he narrowly escaped being torn to pieces by the people, and was condemned to death by the senate.|
| Omnes Germanico corporis animique virtutes, et quantas nemini cuiquam, contigisse satis constat: formam et fortitudinem egregiam, ingenium in utroque eloquentiae doctrinaeque genere praecellens, benivolentiam singularem conciliandaeque hominum gratiae ac promerendi amoris mirum et efficax studium. Formae minus congruebat gracilitas crurum, sed ea quoque paulatim repleta assidua equi vectatione post cibum. Hostem comminus saepe percussit. Oravit causas etiam triumphalis; atque inter cetera studiorum monimenta reliquit et comoedias Graecas. Domi forisque civilis, libera ac foederata oppida sine lictoribus adibat. Sicubi clarorum virorum sepulcra cognosceret, inferias Manibus dabat. Caesorum clade Variana veteres ac dispersas reliquias uno tumulo humaturus, colligere sua manu et comportare primus adgressus est. Obtrectatoribus etiam, qualescumque et quantacumque de causa nanctus esset, lenis adeo et innoxius, ut Pisoni decreta sua rescindenti, clientelas divexanti non prius suscensere in animum induxerit, quam veneficiis quoque et devotionibus impugnari se comperisset; ac ne tunc quidem ultra progressus, quam ut amicitiam ei more maiorum renuntiaret mandaretque domesticis ultionem, si quid sibi accideret.||III. It is generally agreed, that Germanicus possessed all the noblest endowments of body and mind in a higher degree than had ever before fallen to the lot of any man; a handsome person, extraordinary courage, great proficiency in eloquence and other branches of learning, both Greek and Roman; besides a singular humanity, and a behaviour so engaging, as to captivate the affections of all about him. The slenderness of his legs did not correspond with the symmetry and beauty of his person in other respects; but this defect was at length corrected by his habit of riding after meals. In battle, he often engaged and slew an enemy in single combat. He pleaded causes, even after he had the honour of a triumph. Among other fruits of his studies, he left behind him some Greek comedies. Both at home and abroad he always conducted himself in a manner the most unassuming. On entering any free and confederate town, he never would be attended by his lictors. Whenever he heard, in his travels, of the tombs of illustrious men, he made offerings over them to the infernal deities. He gave a common grave, under a mound of earth, to the scattered relics of the legionaries slain under Varus, and was the first to put his hand to the work of collecting and bringing them to the place of burial. He was so extremely mild and gentle to his enemies, whoever they were, or on what account soever they bore him enmity, that, although Piso rescinded his decrees, and for a long time severely harassed his dependents, he never showed the smallest resentment, until he found himself attacked by magical charms and imprecations; and even then the only steps he took was to renounce all friendship with him, according to ancient custom, and to exhort his servants to avenge his death, if any thing untoward should befall him.|
| Quarum virtutum fructum uberrimum tulit, sic probatus et dilectus a suis, ut Augustus – omitto enim necessitudines reliquas – diu cunctatus an sibi successorem destinaret, adoptandum Tiberio dederit; sic vulgo favorabilis, ut plurimi tradant, quotiens aliquo adveniret vel sicunde discederet, prae turba occurrentium prosequentiumve nonnumquam eum discrimen vitae adisse, e Germania vero post compressam seditionem revertenti praetorianas cohortes universas prodisse obviam, quamvis pronuntiatum esset, ut duae tantum modo exirent, populi autem Romani sexum, aetatem, ordinem omnem usque ad vicesimum lapidem effudisse se.||IV. He reaped the fruit of his noble qualities in abundance, being so much esteemed and beloved by his friends, that Augustus (to say nothing of his other relations) being a long time in doubt, whether he should not appoint him his successor, at last ordered Tiberius to adopt him. He was so extremely popular, that many authors tell us, the crowds of those who went to meet him upon his coming to any place, or to attend him at his departure, were so prodigious, that he was sometimes in danger of his life; and that upon his return from Germany, after he had quelled the mutiny in the army there, all the cohorts of the pretorian guards marched out to meet him, notwithstanding the order that only two should go; and that all the people of Rome, both men and women, of every age, sex, and rank, flocked as far as the twentieth milestone to attend his entrance.|
| Tamen longe maiora et firmiora de eo iudicia in morte ac post mortem exstiterunt. Quo defunctus est die, lapidata sunt templa, subversae deum arae, Lares a quibusdam familiares in publicum abiecti, partus coniugum expositi. Quin et barbaros ferunt, quibus intestinum quibusque adversus nos bellum esset, velut in domestico communique maerore consensisse ad indutias; regulos quosdam barbam posuisse et uxorum capita rasisse ad indicium maximi luctus; regum etiam regem et exercitatione venandi et convictu megistanum abstinuisse, quod apud Parthos iusti[ti] instar est.||V. At the time of his death, however, and afterwards, they displayed still greater and stronger proofs of their extraordinary attachment to him. The day on which he died, stones were thrown at the temples, the altars of the gods demolished, the household gods, in some cases, thrown into the streets, and new- born infants exposed. It is even said that barbarous nations, both those engaged in intestine wars, and those in hostilities against us, all agreed to a cessation of arms, as if they had been mourning for some very near and common friend; that some petty kings shaved their beards and their wives' heads, in token of their extreme sorrow; and that the king of kings  forbore his exercise of hunting and feasting with his nobles, which, amongst the Parthians, is equivalent to a cessation of all business in a time of public mourning with us.|
| Romae quidem, cum ad primam famam valitudinis attonita
et maesta civitas sequentis nuntios opperiretur, et repente iam
vesperi incertis auctoribus convaluisse tandem percrebruisset, passim
cum luminibus et victimis in Capitolium concursum est ac paene
revolsae templi fores, ne quid gestientis vota reddere moraretur,
expergefactus e somno Tiberius gratulantium vocibus atque undique
Salva Roma, salva patria, salvus est Germanicus.
Et ut demum fato functum palam factum est, non solaciis ullis, non edictis inhiberi luctus publicus potuit duravitque etiam per festos Decembris mensis dies. Auxit gloriam desideriumque defuncti et atrocitas insequentium temporum, cunctis nec temere opinantibus reverentia eius ac metu repressam Tiberi saevitiam, quae mox eruperit.
|VI. At Rome, upon the first news of his sickness, the city was thrown
into great consternation and grief, waiting impatiently for farther
intelligence; when suddenly, in the evening, a report, without any
certain author, was spread, that he was recovered; upon which the people
flocked with torches (254) and victims to the Capitol, and were in such
haste to pay the vows they had made for his recovery, that they almost
broke open the doors. Tiberius was roused from out of his sleep with the
noise of the people congratulating one another, and singing about the
Salva Roma, salva patria, salvus est Germanicus.
Rome is safe, our country safe, for our Germanicus is safe.
But when certain intelligence of his death arrived, the mourning of the people could neither be assuaged by consolation, nor restrained by edicts, and it continued during the holidays in the month of December. The atrocities of the subsequent times contributed much to the glory of Germanicus, and the endearment of his memory; all people supposing, and with reason, that the fear and awe of him had laid a restraint upon the cruelty of Tiberius, which broke out soon afterwards.
| Habuit in matrimonio Agrippinam, M. Agrippae et Iuliae filiam, et ex ea novem liberos tulit: quorum duo infantes adhuc rapti, unus iam puerascens insigni festivitate, cuius effigiem habitu Cupidinis in aede Capitolinae Veneris Livia dedicavit, Augustus in cubiculo suo positam, quotiensque introiret, exosculabatur; ceteri superstites patri fuerunt, tres sexus feminini, Agrippina, Drusilla, Livilla, continuo triennio natae; totidem mares, Nero et Drusus et C. Caesar. Neronem et Drusum senatus Tiberio criminante hostes iudicavit.||VII. Germanicus married Agrippina, the daughter of Marcus Agrippa and Julia, by whom he had nine children, two of whom died in their infancy, and another a few years after; a sprightly boy, whose effigy, in the character of a Cupid, Livia set up in the temple of Venus in the Capitol. Augustus also placed another statue of him in his bed-chamber, and used to kiss it as often as he entered the apartment. The rest survived their father; three daughters, Agrippina, Drusilla, and Livilla, who were born in three successive years; and as many sons, Nero, Drusus, and Caius Caesar. Nero and Drusus, at the accusation of Tiberius, were declared public enemies.|
| C. Caesar natus est pridie Kal. Sept. patre suo et C.
Fonteio Capitone coss. Ubi natus sit, incertum diversitas tradentium
facit. Cn. Lentulus Gaetulicus Tiburi genitum scribit, Plinius
Secundus in Treveris vico Ambitarvio supra Confluentes; addit etiam
pro argumento aras ibi ostendi inscriptas ob Agrippinae pverperivm.
Versiculi imperante mox eo divulgati apud hibernas legiones procreatum
In castris natus, patriis nutritus in armis,
Iam designati principis omen erat.
Ego in actis Anti editum invenio. Gaetulicum refellit Plinius quasi mentitum per adulationem, ut ad laudes iuvenis gloriosique principis aliquid etiam ex urbe Herculi sacra sumeret, abusumque audentius mendacio, quod ante annum fere natus Germanico filius Tiburi fuerat, appellatus et ipse C. Caesar, de cuius amabili pueritia immaturoque obitu supra diximus. Plinium arguit ratio temporum. Nam qui res Augusti memoriae mandarunt, Germanicum exacto consulatu in Galliam missum consentiunt iam nato Gaio. Nec Plini opinionem inscriptio arae quicquam adiuverit, cum Agrippina bis in ea regione filias enixa sit, et qualiscumque partus sine ullo sexus discrimine puerperium vocetur, quod antiqui etiam puellas pueras, sicut et pueros puellos dictitarent. Exstat et Augusti epistula, ante paucos quam obiret menses ad Agrippinam neptem ita scripta de Gaio hoc – neque enim quisquam iam alius infans nomine pari tunc supererat –: "puerum Gaium XV. Kal. Iun. si dii volent, ut ducerent Talarius et Asillius, heri cum iis constitui. Mitto praeterea cum eo ex servis meis medicum, quem scripsi Germanico si vellet ut retineret. Valebis, mea Agrippina, et dabis operam ut valens pervenias ad Germanicum tuum." Abunde parere arbitror non potuisse ibi nasci Gaium, quo prope bimulus demum perductus ab urbe sit. Versiculorum quoque fidem eadem haec elevant et eo facilius, quod ii sine auctore sunt. Sequenda est igitur, quae sola [auctor] restat et publici instrumenti auctoritas, praesertim cum Gaius Antium omnibus semper locis atque secessibus praelatum non aliter quam natale solum dilexerit tradaturque etiam sedem ac domicilium imperii taedio urbis transferre eo destinasse
|VIII. Caius Caesar was born on the day before the calends [31st
August] of September, at the time his father and Caius Fonteius Capito
were consuls . But where he was born, is rendered
uncertain from the number of places which are said to have given him
birth. Cneius Lentulus Gaetulicus  says that he
was born at Tibur; Pliny the younger, in the country of the Treviri, at a
village called Ambiatinus, above Confluentes ;
and he alleges, as a proof of it, that altars are there shown with this
inscription: "For Agrippina's child-birth." Some verses which were
published in his reign, intimate that he was born in the winter quarters
of the legions,
In castris natus, patriis nutritius in armis,
Iam designati principis omen erat.
Born in the camp, and train'd in every toil
Which taught his sire the haughtiest foes to foil;
Destin'd he seem'd by fate to raise his name,
And rule the empire with Augustan fame.
I find in the public registers that he was born at Antium. Pliny charges Gaetulicus as guilty of an arrant forgery, merely to soothe the vanity of a conceited young prince, by giving him the lustre of being born in a city sacred to Hercules; and says that he advanced this false assertion with the more assurance, because, the year before the birth of Caius, Germanicus had a son of the same name born at Tibur; concerning whose amiable childhood and premature death I have already spoken . Dates clearly prove that Pliny is mistaken; for the writers of Augustus's history all agree, that Germanicus, at the expiration of his consulship, was sent into Gaul, after the birth of Caius. Nor will the inscription upon the altar serve to establish Pliny's opinion; because Agrippina was delivered of two daughters in that country, and any child-birth, without regard to sex, is called puerperium, as the ancients were used to call girls puerae, and boys puelli. There is also extant a letter written by Augustus, a few months before his death, to his granddaughter Agrippina, about the same Caius (for there was then no other child of hers living under that name). He writes as follows: "I gave orders yesterday for Talarius and Asellius to set out on their journey towards you, if the gods permit, with your child Caius, upon the fifteenth of the calends of June [18th May]. I also send with him a physician of mine, and I wrote to Germanicus that he may retain him if he pleases. Farewell, my dear Agrippina, and take what care you can to (256) come safe and well to your Germanicus." I imagine it is sufficiently evident that Caius could not be born at a place to which he was carried from The City when almost two years old. The same considerations must likewise invalidate the evidence of the verses, and the rather, because the author is unknown. The only authority, therefore, upon which we can depend in this matter, is that of the acts, and the public register; especially as he always preferred Antium to every other place of retirement, and entertained for it all that fondness which is commonly attached to one's native soil. It is said, too, that, upon his growing weary of the city, he designed to have transferred thither the seat of empire.
| Caligulae cognomen castrensi ioco traxit, quia manipulario habitu inter milites educabatur. Apud quos quantum praeterea per hanc nutrimentorum consuetudinem amore et gratia valuerit, maxime cognitum est, cum post excessum Augusti tumultuantis et in furorem usque praecipites solus haud dubie ex conspectu suo flexit. Non enim prius destiterunt, quam ablegari eum ob seditionis periculum et in proximam civitatem demandari animadvertissent; tunc demum ad paenitentiam versi reprenso ac retento vehiculo invidiam quae sibi fieret deprecati sunt.||IX. It was to the jokes of the soldiers in the camp that he owed the name of Caligula , he having been brought up among them in the dress of a common soldier. How much his education amongst them recommended him to their favour and affection, was sufficiently apparent in the mutiny upon the death of Augustus, when the mere sight of him appeased their fury, though it had risen to a great height. For they persisted in it, until they observed that he was sent away to a neighbouring city , to secure him against all danger. Then, at last, they began to relent, and, stopping the chariot in which he was conveyed, earnestly deprecated the odium to which such a proceeding would expose them.|
| Comitatus est patrem et Syriaca expeditione. Unde reversus primum in matris, deinde ea relegata in Liviae Augustae proaviae suae contubernio mansit; quam defunctam praetextatus etiam tunc pro rostris laudavit. Transitque ad Antoniam aviam et undevicensimo aetatis anno accitus Capreas a Tiberio uno atque eodem die togam sumpsit barbamque posuit, sine ullo honore qualis contigerat tirocinio fratrum eius. Hic omnibus insidiis temptatus elicientium cogentiumque se ad querelas nullam umquam occasionem dedit, perinde obliterato suorum casu ac si nihil cuiquam accidisset, quae vero ipse pateretur incredibili dissimulatione transmittens tantique in avum et qui iuxta erant obsequii, ut non immerito sit dictum nec servum meliorem ullum nec deteriorem dominum fuisse.||X. He likewise attended his father in his expedition to Syria. After his return, he lived first with his mother, and, when she was banished, with his great-grandmother, Livia Augusta, in praise of whom, after her decease, though then only a boy, he pronounced a funeral oration in the Rostra. He was then transferred to the family of his grandmother, Antonia, and afterwards, in the twentieth year of his age, being called by Tiberius to Capri, he in one and the same day assumed the manly habit, and shaved his beard, but without receiving any of the honours which had been paid to his brothers on a similar (257) occasion. While he remained in that island, many insidious artifices were practised, to extort from him complaints against Tiberius, but by his circumspection he avoided falling into the snare . He affected to take no more notice of the ill-treatment of his relations, than if nothing had befallen them. With regard to his own sufferings, he seemed utterly insensible of them, and behaved with such obsequiousness to his grandfather  and all about him, that it was justly said of him, "There never was a better servant, nor a worse master."|
| Naturam tamen saevam atque probrosam ne tunc quidem inhibere poterat, quin et animadversionibus poenisque ad supplicium datorum cupidissime interesset et ganeas atque adulteria capillamento celatus et veste longa noctibus obiret ac scaenicas saltandi canendique artes studiosissime appeteret, facile id sane Tiberio patiente, si per has mansuefieri posset ferum eius ingenium. Quod sagacissimus senex ita prorsus perspexerat, ut aliquotiens praedicaret exitio suo omniumque Gaium vivere et se natricem populo Romano, Phaethontem orbi terrarum educare.||XI. But he could not even then conceal his natural disposition to cruelty and lewdness. He delighted in witnessing the infliction of punishments, and frequented taverns and bawdy-houses in the night-time, disguised in a periwig and a long coat; and was passionately addicted to the theatrical arts of singing and dancing. All these levities Tiberius readily connived at, in hopes that they might perhaps correct the roughness of his temper, which the sagacious old man so well understood, that he often said, "That Caius was destined to be the ruin of himself and all mankind; and that he was rearing a hydra  for the people of Rome, and a Phaeton for all the world." |
| Non ita multo post Iuniam Claudillam M. Silani nobilissimi viri filiam duxit uxorem. Deinde augur in locum fratris sui Drusi destinatus, prius quam inauguraretur ad pontificatum traductus est insigni testimonio pietatis atque indolis, cum deserta desolataque reliquis subsidiis aula, Seiano hoste suspecto mox et oppresso, ad spem successionis paulatim admoveretur. Quam quo magis confirmaret, amissa Iunia ex partu Enniam Naeviam, Macronis uxorem, qui tum praetorianis cohortibus praeerat, sollicitavit ad stuprum, pollicitus et matrimonium suum, si potitus imperio fuisset; deque ea re et iure iurando et chirographo cavit. Per hanc insinuatus Macroni veneno Tiberium adgressus est, ut quidam opinantur, spirantique adhuc detrahi anulum et, quoniam suspicionem retinentis dabat, pulvinum iussit inici atque etiam fauces manu sua oppressit, liberto, qui ob atrocitatem facinoris exclamaverat, confestim in crucem acto. Nec abhorret a veritate, cum sint quidam auctores, ipsum postea etsi non de perfecto, at certe de cogitato quondam parricidio professum; gloriatum enim assidue in commemoranda sua pietate, ad ulciscendam necem matris et fratrum introisse se cum pugione cubiculum Tiberi[i] dormientis et misericordia correptum abiecto ferro recessisse; nec illum, quanquam sensisset, aut inquirere quicquam aut exsequi ausum.||XII. Not long afterwards, he married Junia Claudilla, the daughter of Marcus Silanus, a man of the highest rank. Being then chosen augur in the room of his brother Drusus, before he could be inaugurated he was advanced to the pontificate, with no small commendation of his dutiful behaviour, and great capacity. The situation of the court likewise was at this time favourable to his fortunes, as it was now left destitute of support, Sejanus being suspected, and soon afterwards taken off; and he was by degrees flattered with the hope of succeeding Tiberius in the empire. In order more effectually to secure this object, upon Junia's dying in child-bed, he engaged in a criminal commerce with Ennia Naevia, the wife (258) of Macro, at that time prefect of the pretorian cohorts; promising to marry her if he became emperor, to which he bound himself, not only by an oath, but by a written obligation under his hand. Having by her means insinuated himself into Macro's favour, some are of opinion that he attempted to poison Tiberius, and ordered his ring to be taken from him, before the breath was out of his body; and that, because he seemed to hold it fast, he caused a pillow to be thrown upon him , squeezing him by the throat, at the same time, with his own hand. One of his freedmen crying out at this horrid barbarity, he was immediately crucified. These circumstances are far from being improbable, as some authors relate that, afterwards, though he did not acknowledge his having a hand in the death of Tiberius, yet he frankly declared that he had formerly entertained such a design; and as a proof of his affection for his relations, he would frequently boast, "That, to revenge the death of his mother and brothers, he had entered the chamber of Tiberius, when he was asleep, with a poniard, but being seized with a fit of compassion, threw it away, and retired; and that Tiberius, though aware of his intention, durst not make any inquiries, or attempt revenge."|
| Sic imperium adeptus, populum Romanum, vel dicam hominum genus, voti compotem fecit, exoptatissimus princeps maximae parti provincialium ac militum, quod infantem plerique cognoverant, sed et universae plebi urbanae ob memoriam Germanici patris miserationemque prope afflictae domus. Itaque ut a Miseno movit quamvis lugentis habitu et funus Tiberi prosequens, tamen inter altaria et victimas ardentisque taedas densissimo et laetissimo obviorum agmine incessit, super fausta nomina "sidus" et "pullum" et "pupum" et "alumnum" appellantium.||XIII. Having thus secured the imperial power, he fulfilled by his elevation the wish of the Roman people, I may venture to say, of all mankind; for he had long been the object of expectation and desire to the greater part of the provincials and soldiers, who had known him when a child; and to the whole people of Rome, from their affection for the memory of Germanicus, his father, and compassion for the family almost entirely destroyed. Upon his moving from Misenum, therefore, although he was in mourning, and following the corpse of Tiberius, he had to walk amidst altars, victims, and lighted torches, with prodigious crowds of people everywhere attending him, in transports of joy, and calling him, besides other auspicious names, by those of "their star," "their chick," "their pretty puppet," and "bantling."|
| Ingressoque urbem, statim consensu senatus et irrumpentis in curiam turbae, inrita Tiberi voluntate, qui testamento alterum nepotem suum praetextatum adhuc coheredem ei dederat, ius arbitriumque omnium rerum illi permissum est tanta publica laetitia, ut tribus proximis mensibus ac ne totis quidem supra centum sexaginta milia victimarum caesa tradantur. Cum deinde paucos post dies in proximas Campaniae insulas traiecisset, vota pro reditu suscepta sunt, ne minimam quidem occasionem quoquam omittente in testificanda sollicitudine et cura de incolumitate eius. Ut vero in adversam valitudinem incidit, pernoctantibus cunctis circa Palatium, non defuerunt qui depugnaturos se armis pro salute aegri quique capita sua titulo proposito voverent. Accessit ad immensum civium amorem notabilis etiam externorum favor. Namque Artabanus Parthorum rex, odium semper contemptumque Tiberi prae se ferens, amicitiam huius ultro petiit venitque ad colloquium legati consularis et transgressus Euphraten aquilas et signa Romana Caesarumque imagines adoravit.||XIV. Immediately on his entering the city, by the joint acclamations of the senate, and people, who broke into the senate-house, Tiberius's will was set aside, it having left his (259) other grandson , then a minor, coheir with him, the whole government and administration of affairs was placed in his hands; so much to the joy and satisfaction of the public, that, in less than three months after, above a hundred and sixty thousand victims are said to have been offered in sacrifice. Upon his going, a few days afterwards, to the nearest islands on the coast of Campania , vows were made for his safe return; every person emulously testifying their care and concern for his safety. And when he fell ill, the people hung about the Palatium all night long; some vowed, in public handbills, to risk their lives in the combats of the amphitheatre, and others to lay them down, for his recovery. To this extraordinary love entertained for him by his countrymen, was added an uncommon regard by foreign nations. Even Artabanus, king of the Parthians, who had always manifested hatred and contempt for Tiberius, solicited his friendship; came to hold a conference with his consular lieutenant, and passing the Euphrates, paid the highest honours to the eagles, the Roman standards, and the images of the Caesars. |
| Incendebat et ipse studia hominum omni genere popularitatis. Tiberio cum plurimis lacrimis pro contione laudato funeratoque amplissime, confestim Pandateriam et Pontias ad transferendos matris fratrisque cineres festinavit, tempestate turbida, quo magis pietas emineret, adiitque venerabundus ac per semet in urnas condidit; nec minore scaena Ostiam praefixo in biremis puppe vexillo et inde Romam Tiberi subvectos per splendidissimum quemque equestris ordinis medio ac frequenti die duobus ferculis Mausoleo intulit, inferiasque is annua religione publice instituit, et eo amplius matri circenses carpentumque quo in pompa traduceretur. At in memoriam patris Septembrem mensem Germanicum appellavit. Post haec Antoniae aviae, quidquid umquam Livia Augusta honorum cepisset, uno senatus consulto congessit; patruum Claudium, equitem R. ad id tempus, collegam sibi in consulatu assumpsit; fratrem Tiberium die virilis togae adoptavit appellavitque principem iuventutis. De sororibus auctor fuit, ut omnibus sacramentis adicerentur: "neque me liberosque meos cariores habebo quam Gaium habeo et sorores eius"; item relationibus consulum: "quod bonum felixque sit C. Caesari sororibusque eius." Pari popularitate damnatos relegatosque restituit; criminum, si quae residua ex priore tempore manebant, omnium gratiam fecit; commentarios ad matris fratrumque suorum causas pertinentis, ne cui postmodum delatori aut testi maneret ullus metus, convectos in forum, et ante clare obtestatus deos neque legisse neque attigisse quicquam, concremavit; libellum de salute sua oblatum non recepit, contendens nihil sibi admissum cur cuiquam invisus esset, negavitque se delatoribus aures habere.||XV. Caligula himself inflamed this devotion, by practising all the arts of popularity. After he had delivered, with floods of tears, a speech in praise of Tiberius, and buried him with the utmost pomp, he immediately hastened over to Pandataria and the Pontian islands , to bring thence the ashes of his mother and brother; and, to testify the great regard he had for their memory, he performed the voyage in a very tempestuous season. He approached their remains with profound veneration, and deposited them in the urns with his own hands. Having brought them in grand solemnity to Ostia , with an ensign flying in the stern of the galley, and thence up the Tiber to Rome, they were borne by persons of the first distinction in the equestrian order, on two biers, into the mausoleum , (260) at noon-day. He appointed yearly offerings to be solemnly and publicly celebrated to their memory, besides Circensian games to that of his mother, and a chariot with her image to be included in the procession . The month of September he called Germanicus, in honour of his father. By a single decree of the senate, he heaped upon his grandmother, Antonia, all the honours which had been ever conferred on the empress Livia. His uncle, Claudius, who till then continued in the equestrian order, he took for his colleague in the consulship. He adopted his brother, Tiberius , on the day he took upon him the manly habit, and conferred upon him the title of "Prince of the Youths." As for his sisters, he ordered these words to be added to the oaths of allegiance to himself: "Nor will I hold myself or my own children more dear than I do Caius and his sisters:"  and commanded all resolutions proposed by the consuls in the senate to be prefaced thus: "May what we are going to do, prove fortunate and happy to Caius Caesar and his sisters." With the like popularity he restored all those who had been condemned and banished, and granted an act of indemnity against all impeachments and past offences. To relieve the informers and witnesses against his mother and brothers from all apprehension, he brought the records of their trials into the forum, and there burnt them, calling loudly on the gods to witness that he had not read or handled them. A memorial which was offered him relative to his own security, he would not receive, declaring, "that he had done nothing to make any one his enemy:" and said, at the same time, "he had no ears for informers."|
| Spintrias monstrosarum libidinum aegre ne profundo mergeret exoratus, urbe submovit. Titi Labieni, Cordi Cremuti, Cassi Severi scripta senatus consultis abolita requiri et esse in manibus lectitarique permisit, quando maxime sua interesset ut facta quaeque posteris tradantur. Rationes imperii ab Augusto proponi solitas sed a Tiberio intermissas publicavit. Magistratibus liberam iuris dictionem et sine sui appellatione concessit. Equites R. severe curioseque nec sine moderatione recognovit, palam adempto equo quibus aut probri aliquid aut ignominiae inesset, eorum qui minore culpa tenerentur nominibus modo in recitatione praeteritis. Ut levior labor iudicantibus foret, ad quattuor prioris quintam decuriam addidit. Temptavit et comitiorum more revocato suffragia populo reddere. Legata ex testamento Tiberi quamquam abolito, sed et Iuliae Augustae, quod Tiberius suppresserat, cum fide ac sine calumnia repraesentata persolvit. Ducentesimam auctionum Italiae remisit; multis incendiorum damna supplevit; ac si quibus regna restituit, adiecit et fructum omnem vectigaliorum et reditum medii temporis, ut Antiocho Commageno sestertium milies confiscatum. Quoque magis nullius non boni exempli fautor videretur, mulieri libertinae octingenta donavit, quod excruciata gravissimis tormentis de scelere patroni reticuisset. Quas ob res inter reliquos honores decretus est ei clipeus aureus, quem quotannis certo die collegia sacerdotum in Capitolium ferrent, senatu prosequente nobilibusque pueris ac puellis carmine modulato laudes virtutum eius canentibus. Decretum autem ut dies, quo cepisset imperium, Parilia vocaretur, velut argumentum rursus conditae urbis.||XVI. The Spintriae, those panderers to unnatural lusts , he banished from the city, being prevailed upon not to throw them (261) into the sea, as he had intended. The writings of Titus Labienus, Cordus Cremutius, and Cassius Severus, which had been suppressed by an act of the senate, he permitted to be drawn from obscurity, and universally read; observing, "that it would be for his own advantage to have the transactions of former times delivered to posterity." He published accounts of the proceedings of the government--a practice which had been introduced by Augustus, but discontinued by Tiberius . He granted the magistrates a full and free jurisdiction, without any appeal to himself. He made a very strict and exact review of the Roman knights, but conducted it with moderation; publicly depriving of his horse every knight who lay under the stigma of any thing base and dishonourable; but passing over the names of those knights who were only guilty of venial faults, in calling over the list of the order. To lighten the labours of the judges, he added a fifth class to the former four. He attempted likewise to restore to the people their ancient right of voting in the choice of magistrates . He paid very honourably, and without any dispute, the legacies left by Tiberius in his will, though it had been set aside; as likewise those left by the will of Livia Augusta, which Tiberius had annulled. He remitted the hundredth penny, due to the government in all auctions throughout Italy. He made up to many their losses sustained by fire; and when he restored their kingdoms to any princes, he likewise allowed them all the arrears of the taxes and revenues which had accrued in the interval; as in the case of Antiochus of Comagene, where the confiscation would have amounted to a hundred millions of sesterces. To prove to the world that he was ready to encourage good examples of every kind, he gave to a freed-woman eighty thousand sesterces, for not discovering a crime committed by her patron, though she had been put to exquisite torture for that purpose. For all these acts of beneficence, amongst other honours, a golden shield was decreed to him, which the colleges of priests were to carry annually, upon a fixed day, into the Capitol, with the senate attending, and the youth of the nobility, of both sexes, celebrating the praise of his virtues in (262) songs. It was likewise ordained, that the day on which he succeeded to the empire should be called Palilia, in token of the city's being at that time, as it were, new founded. |
| Consulatus quattuor gessit, primum ex Kal. Iul. per duos menses, secundum ex Kal. Ian. per XXX dies, tertium usque in Idus Ian., quartum usque septimum Idus easdem. Ex omnibus duos novissimos coniunxit. Tertium autem Luguduni iniit solus, non ut quidam opinantur superbia neglegentiave, sed quod defunctum sub Kalendarum diem collegam rescisse absens non potuerat. Congiarium populo bis dedit trecenos sestertios, totiens abundantissimum epulum senatui equestrique ordini, etiam coniugibus ac liberis utrorumque; posteriore epulo forensia insuper viris, feminis ac pueris fascias purpurae ac conchylii distribuit. Et ut laetitiam publicam in perpetuum quoque augeret, adiecit diem Saturnalibus appellavitque Iuvenalem.||XVII. He held the consulship four times; the first , from the calends [the first] of July for two months: the second , from the calends of January for thirty days; the third , until the ides [the 13th] of January; and the fourth , until the seventh of the same ides [7th January]. Of these, the two last he held successively. The third he assumed by his sole authority at Lyons; not, as some are of opinion, from arrogance or neglect of rules; but because, at that distance, it was impossible for him to know that his colleague had died a little before the beginning of the new year. He twice distributed to the people a bounty of three hundred sesterces a man, and as often gave a splendid feast to the senate and the equestrian order, with their wives and children. In the latter, he presented to the men forensic garments, and to the women and children purple scarfs. To make a perpetual addition to the public joy for ever, he added to the Saturnalia  one day, which he called Juvenalis [the juvenile feast].|
| Munera gladiatoria partim in amphitheatro Tauri partim in Saeptis aliquot edidit, quibus inseruit catervas Afrorum Campanorumque pugilum ex utraque regione electissimorum. Neque spectaculis semper ipse praesedit, sed interdum aut magistratibus aut amicis praesidendi munus iniunxit. Scaenicos ludos et assidue et varii generis ac multifariam fecit, quondam et nocturnos accensis tota urbe luminibus. Sparsit et missilia variarum rerum et panaria cum obsonio viritim divisit; qua epulatione equiti R. contra se hilarius avidiusque vescenti partes suas misit, sed et senatori ob eandem causam codicillos, quibus praetorem eum extra ordinem designabat. Edidit et circenses plurimos a mane ad vesperam interiecta modo Africanarum venatione modo Troiae decursione, et quosdam praecipuos, minio et chrysocolla constrato circo nec ullis nisi ex senatorio ordine aurigantibus. Commisit et subitos, cum e Gelotiana apparatum circi prospicientem pauci ex proximis Maenianis postulassent.||XVIII. He exhibited some combats of gladiators, either in the amphitheatre of Taurus , or in the Septa, with which he intermingled troops of the best pugilists from Campania and Africa. He did not always preside in person upon those occasions, but sometimes gave a commission to magistrates or friends to supply his place. He frequently entertained the people with stage-plays (263) of various kinds, and in several parts of the city, and sometimes by night, when he caused the whole city to be lighted. He likewise gave various things to be scrambled for among the people, and distributed to every man a basket of bread with other victuals. Upon this occasion, he sent his own share to a Roman knight, who was seated opposite to him, and was enjoying himself by eating heartily. To a senator, who was doing the same, he sent an appointment of praetor-extraordinary. He likewise exhibited a great number of Circensian games from morning until night; intermixed with the hunting of wild beasts from Africa, or the Trojan exhibition. Some of these games were celebrated with peculiar circumstances; the Circus being overspread with vermilion and chrysolite; and none drove in the chariot races who were not of the senatorian order. For some of these he suddenly gave the signal, when, upon his viewing from the Gelotiana  the preparations in the Circus, he was asked to do so by a few persons in the neighbouring galleries.|
| Novum praeterea atque inauditum genus spectaculi excogitavit. Nam Baiarum medium intervallum [ad] Puteolanas moles, trium milium et sescentorum fere passuum spatium, ponte coniunxit contractis undique onerariis navibus et ordine duplici ad ancoras conlocatis superiectoque terreno ac derecto in Appiae viae formam. Per hunc pontem ultro citro commeavit biduo continenti, primo die phalerato equo insignisque quercea corona et caetra et gladio aureaque chlamyde, postridie quadrigario habitu curriculoque biiugi famosorum equorum, prae se ferens Dareum puerum ex Parthorum obsidibus, comitante praetorianorum agmine et in essedis cohorte amicorum. Scio plerosque existimasse talem a Gaio pontem excogitatum aemulatione Xerxis, qui non sine admiratione aliquanto angustiorem Hellespontum contabulaverit; alios, ut Germaniam et Britanniam, quibus imminebat, alicuius inmensi operis fama territaret. Sed avum meum narrantem puer audiebam, causam operis ab interioribus aulicis proditam, quod Thrasyllus mathematicus anxio de successore Tiberio et in verum nepotem proniori affirmasset non magis Gaium imperaturum quam per Baianum sinum equis discursurum.||XIX. He invented besides a new kind of spectacle, such as had never been heard of before. For he made a bridge, of about three miles and a half in length, from Baiae to the mole of Puteoli , collecting trading vessels from all quarters, mooring them in two rows by their anchors, and spreading earth upon them to form a viaduct, after the fashion of the Appian Way . This bridge he crossed and recrossed for two days together; the first day mounted on a horse richly caparisoned, wearing on his head a crown of oak leaves, armed with a battle-axe, a Spanish buckler and a sword, and in a cloak made of cloth of gold; the day following, in the habit of a charioteer, standing in a chariot, drawn by two high-bred horses, having with him a young boy, Darius by name, one of the Parthian hostages, with a cohort of the pretorian guards attending him, and a (264) party of his friends in cars of Gaulish make . Most people, I know, are of opinion, that this bridge was designed by Caius, in imitation of Xerxes, who, to the astonishment of the world, laid a bridge over the Hellespont, which is somewhat narrower than the distance betwixt Baiae and Puteoli. Others, however, thought that he did it to strike terror in Germany and Britain, which he was upon the point of invading, by the fame of some prodigious work. But for myself, when I was a boy, I heard my grandfather say , that the reason assigned by some courtiers who were in habits of the greatest intimacy with him, was this; when Tiberius was in some anxiety about the nomination of a successor, and rather inclined to pitch upon his grandson, Thrasyllus the astrologer had assured him, "That Caius would no more be emperor, than he would ride on horseback across the gulf of Baiae."|
| Edidit et peregre spectacula, in Sicilia Syracusis asticos ludos et in Gallia Luguduni miscellos; sed hic certamen quoque Graecae Latinaeque facundiae, quo certamine ferunt victoribus praemia victos contulisse, eorundem et laudes componere coactos; eos autem, qui maxime displicuissent, scripta sua spongia linguave delere iussos, nisi ferulis obiurgari aut flumine proximo mergi maluissent.||XX. He likewise exhibited public diversions in Sicily, Grecian games at Syracuse, and Attic plays at Lyons in Gaul besides a contest for pre- eminence in the Grecian and Roman eloquence; in which we are told that such as were baffled bestowed rewards upon the best performers, and were obliged to compose speeches in their praise: but that those who performed the worst, were forced to blot out what they had written with a sponge or their tongue, unless they preferred to be beaten with a rod, or plunged over head and ears into the nearest river.|
| Opera sub Tiberio semiperfecta, templum Augusti theatrumque Pompei, absolvit. Incohavit autem aquae ductum regione Tiburti et amphitheatrum iuxta Saepta, quorum operum a successore eius Claudio alterum peractum, omissum alterum est. Syracusis conlapsa vetustate moenia deorumque aedes refectae. Destinaverat et Sami Polycratis regiam restituere, Mileti Didymeum peragere, in iugo Alpium urbem condere, sed ante omnia Isthmum in Achaia perfodere, miseratque iam ad dimetiendum opus primipilarem.||XXI. He completed the works which were left unfinished by Tiberius, namely, the temple of Augustus, and the theatre (265) of Pompey . He began, likewise, the aqueduct from the neighbourhood of Tibur , and an amphitheatre near the Septa ; of which works, one was completed by his successor Claudius, and the other remained as he left it. The walls of Syracuse, which had fallen to decay by length of time, he repaired, as he likewise did the temples of the gods. He formed plans for rebuilding the palace of Polycrates at Samos, finishing the temple of the Didymaean Apollo at Miletus, and building a town on a ridge of the Alps; but, above all, for cutting through the isthmus in Achaia ; and even sent a centurion of the first rank to measure out the work.|
| Hactenus quasi de principe, reliqua ut de monstro
narranda sunt. Compluribus cognominibus adsumptis -- nam et "pius" et
"castrorum filius" et "pater exercituum" et "optimus maximus Caesar"
vocabatur - - cum audiret forte reges, qui officii causa in urbem
advenerant, concertantis apud se super cenam de nobilitate generis,
Eis koiranos eto, eis basileus.
Nec multum afuit quin statim diadema sumeret speciemque principatus in regni formam converteret. Verum admonitus et principum et regum se excessisse fastigium, divinam ex eo maiestatem asserere sibi coepit; datoque negotio, ut simulacra numinum religione et arte praeclara, inter quae Olympii Iovis, apportarentur e Graecia, quibus capite dempto suum imponeret, partem Palatii ad forum usque promovit, atque aede Castoris et Pollucis in vestibulum transfigurata, consistens saepe inter fratres deos, medium adorandum se adeuntibus exhibebat; et quidam eum Latiarem Iovem consalutarunt. Templum etiam numini suo proprium et sacerdotes et excogitatissimas hostias instituit. In templo simulacrum stabat aureum iconicum amiciebaturque cotidie veste, quali ipse uteretur. Magisteria sacerdotii ditissimus quisque et ambitione et licitatione maxima vicibus comparabant. Hostiae erant phoenicopteri, pauones, tetraones, numidicae, meleagrides, phasianae, quae generatim per singulos dies immolarentur. Et noctibus quidem plenam fulgentemque lunam invitabat assidue in amplexus atque concubitum, interdiu vero cum Capitolino Iove secreto fabulabatur, modo insusurrans ac praebens in vicem aurem, modo clarius nec sine iurgiis. Nam vox comminantis audita est:--
Hae em' anaeir', hae ego se...
donec exoratus, ut referebat, et in contubernium ultro invitatus super templum Divi Augusti ponte transmisso Palatium Capitoliumque coniunxit. mox, quo propior esset, in area Capitolina novae domus fundamenta iecit.
|XXII. Thus far we have spoken of him as a prince. What remains to be
said of him, bespeaks him rather a monster than a man. He assumed a
variety of titles, such as "Dutiful," "The (266) Pious," "The Child of
the Camp, the Father of the Armies," and "The Greatest and Best Caesar."
Upon hearing some kings, who came to the city to pay him court,
conversing together at supper, about their illustrious descent, he
Eis koiranos eto, eis basileus.
Let there be but one prince, one king.
He was strongly inclined to assume the diadem, and change the form of government, from imperial to regal; but being told that he far exceeded the grandeur of kings and princes, he began to arrogate to himself a divine majesty. He ordered all the images of the gods, which were famous either for their beauty, or the veneration paid them, among which was that of Jupiter Olympius, to be brought from Greece, that he might take the heads off, and put on his own. Having continued part of the Palatium as far as the Forum, and the temple of Castor and Pollux being converted into a kind of vestibule to his house, he often stationed himself between the twin brothers, and so presented himself to be worshipped by all votaries; some of whom saluted him by the name of Jupiter Latialis. He also instituted a temple and priests, with choicest victims, in honour of his own divinity. In his temple stood a statue of gold, the exact image of himself, which was daily dressed in garments corresponding with those he wore himself. The most opulent persons in the city offered themselves as candidates for the honour of being his priests, and purchased it successively at an immense price. The victims were flamingos, peacocks, bustards, guinea-fowls, turkey and pheasant hens, each sacrificed on their respective days. On nights when the moon was full, he was in the constant habit of inviting her to his embraces and his bed. In the day-time he talked in private to Jupiter Capitolinus; one while whispering to him, and another turning his ear to him: sometimes he spoke aloud, and in railing language. For he was overheard to threaten the god thus:
Hae em' anaeir', hae ego se...
Raise thou me up, or I'll--
(267) until being at last prevailed upon by the entreaties of the god, as he said, to take up his abode with him, he built a bridge over the temple of the Deified Augustus, by which he joined the Palatium to the Capitol. Afterwards, that he might be still nearer, he laid the foundations of a new palace in the very court of the Capitol.
| Agrippae se nepotem neque credi neque dici ob ignobilitatem eius volebat suscensebatque, si qui vel oratione vel carmine imaginibus eum Caesarum insererent. Praedicabat autem matrem suam ex incesto, quod Augustus cum Iulia filia admisisset, procreatam; ac non contentus hac Augusti insectatione Actiacas Siculasque victorias, ut funestas p. R. et calamitosas, vetuit sollemnibus feriis celebrari. Liviam Augustam proaviam "Vlixem stolatum" identidem appellans, etiam ignobilitatis quadam ad senatum epistula arguere ausus est quasi materno avo decurione Fundano ortam, cum publicis monumentis certum sit, Aufidium Lurconem Romae honoribus functum. Aviae Antoniae secretum petenti denegavit, nisi ut interveniret Macro praefectus, ac per istius modi indignitates et taedia causa exstitit mortis, dato tamen, ut quidam putant, et veneno; nec defunctae ullum honorem habuit prospexitque e triclinio ardentem rogum. Fratrem Tiberium inopinantem repente immisso tribuno militum interemit, Silanum item socerum ad necem secandasque novacula fauces compulit, causatus in utroque, quod hic ingressum se turbatius mare non esset secutus ac spe occupandi urbem, si quid sibi per tempestates accideret, remansisset, ille antidotum oboluisset, quasi ad praecavenda venena sua sumptum, cum et Silanus impatientiam nauseae vitasset et molestiam navigandi, et Tiberius propter assiduam et ingravescentem tussim medicamento usus esset. Nam Claudium patruum non nisi in ludibrium reservavit.||XXIII. He was unwilling to be thought or called the grandson of Agrippa, because of the obscurity of his birth; and he was offended if any one, either in prose or verse, ranked him amongst the Caesars. He said that his mother was the fruit of an incestuous commerce, maintained by Augustus with his daughter Julia. And not content with this vile reflection upon the memory of Augustus, he forbad his victories at Actium, and on the coast of Sicily, to be celebrated, as usual; affirming that they had been most pernicious and fatal to the Roman people. He called his grandmother Livia Augusta "Ulysses in a woman's dress," and had the indecency to reflect upon her in a letter to the senate, as of mean birth, and descended, by the mother's side, from a grandfather who was only one of the municipal magistrates of Fondi; whereas it is certain, from the public records, that Aufidius Lurco held high offices at Rome. His grandmother Antonia desiring a private conference with him, he refused to grant it, unless Macro, the prefect of the pretorian guards, were present. Indignities of this kind, and ill usage, were the cause of her death; but some think he also gave her poison. Nor did he pay the smallest respect to her memory after her death, but witnessed the burning from his private apartment. His brother Tiberius, who had no expectation of any violence, was suddenly dispatched by a military tribune sent by his order for that purpose. He forced Silanus, his father-in- law, to kill himself, by cutting his throat with a razor. The pretext he alleged for these murders was, that the latter had not followed him upon his putting to sea in stormy weather, but stayed behind with the view of seizing the city, if he should perish. The other, he said, smelt of an antidote, which he had taken to prevent his being poisoned by him; whereas Silanus was only afraid of being sea-sick, and the disagreeableness of a voyage; and Tiberius had merely taken a medicine for an habitual cough, (268) which was continually growing worse. As for his successor Claudius, he only saved him for a laughing- stock.|
| Cum omnibus sororibus suis consuetudinem stupri fecit plenoque convivio singulas infra se vicissim conlocabat uxore supra cubante. Ex iis Drusillam vitiasse virginem praetextatus adhuc creditur atque etiam in concubitu eius quondam deprehensus ab Antonia avia, apud quam simul educabantur; mox Lucio Cassio Longino consulari conlocatam abduxit et in modum iustae uxoris propalam habuit; heredem quoque bonorum atque imperii aeger instituit. Eadem defuncta iustitium indixit, in quo risisse lavisse cenasse cum parentibus aut coniuge liberisve capital fuit. Ac maeroris impatiens, cum repente noctu profugisset ab urbe transcucurrissetque Campaniam, Syracusas petit, rursusque inde propere rediit barba capilloque promisso; nec umquam postea quantiscumque de rebus, ne pro contione quidem populi aut apud milites, nisi per numen Drusillae deieravit. Reliquas sorores nec cupiditate tanta nec dignatione dilexit, ut quas saepe exoletis suis prostraverit; quo facilius eas in causa Aemili Lepidi condemnavit quasi adulteras et insidiarum adversus se conscias ei. Nec solum chirographa omnium requisita fraude ac stupro divulgavit, sed et tres gladios in necem suam praeparatos Marti Ultori addito elogio consecravit.||XXIV. He lived in the habit of incest with all his sisters; and at table, when much company was present, he placed each of them in turns below him, whilst his wife reclined above him. It is believed, that he deflowered one of them, Drusilla, before he had assumed the robe of manhood; and was even caught in her embraces by his grandmother Antonia, with whom they were educated together. When she was afterwards married to Cassius Longinus, a man of consular rank, he took her from him, and kept her constantly as if she were his lawful wife. In a fit of sickness, he by his will appointed her heiress both of his estate and the empire. After her death, he ordered a public mourning for her; during which it was capital for any person to laugh, use the bath, or sup with his parents, wife, or children. Being inconsolable under his affliction, he went hastily, and in the night-time, from the City; going through Campania to Syracuse, and then suddenly returned without shaving his beard, or trimming his hair. Nor did he ever afterwards, in matters of the greatest importance, not even in the assemblies of the people or before the soldiers, swear any otherwise, than "By the divinity of Drusilla." The rest of his sisters he did not treat with so much fondness or regard; but frequently prostituted them to his catamites. He therefore the more readily condemned them in the case of Aemilius Lepidus, as guilty of adultery, and privy to that conspiracy against him. Nor did he only divulge their own hand-writing relative to the affair, which he procured by base and lewd means, but likewise consecrated to Mars the Avenger three swords which had been prepared to stab him, with an inscription, setting forth the occasion of their consecration.|
| Matrimonia contraxerit turpius an dimiserit an tenuerit, non est facile discernere. Liviam Orestillam C. Pisoni nubentem, cum ad officium et ipse venisset, ad se deduci imperavit intraque paucos dies repudiatam biennio post relegavit, quod repetisse usum prioris mariti tempore medio videbatur. Alii tradunt adhibitum cenae nuptiali mandasse ad Pisonem contra accumbentem: "Noli uxorem meam premere," statimque e convivio abduxisse secum ac proximo die edixisse: matrimonium sibi repertum exemplo Romuli et Augusti. Lolliam Paulinam, C. Memmio consulari exercitus regenti nuptam, facta mentione aviae eius ut quondam pulcherrimae, subito ex provincia evocavit ac perductam a marito coniunxit sibi brevique missam fecit interdicto cuiusquam in perpetuum coitu. Caesoniam neque facie insigni neque aetate integra matremque iam ex alio viro trium filiarum, sed luxuriae ac lasciviae perditae, et ardentius et constantius amavit, ut saepe chlamyde peltaque et galea ornatam ac iuxta adequitantem militibus ostenderit, amicis vero etiam nudam. Uxorio nomine [non prius] dignatus est quam enixam, uno atque eodem die professus et maritum se eius et patrem infantis ex ea natae. Infantem autem, Iuliam Drusillam appellatam, per omnium dearum templa circumferens Minervae gremio imposuit alendamque et instituendam commendavit. Nec ullo firmiore indicio sui seminis esse credebat quam feritatis, quae illi quoque tanta iam tunc erat, ut infestis digitis ora et oculos simul ludentium infantium incesseret.||XXV. Whether in the marriage of his wives, in repudiating them, or retaining them, he acted with greater infamy, it is difficult to say. Being at the wedding of Caius Piso with Livia Orestilla, he ordered the bride to be carried to his own house, but within a few days divorced her, and two years after banished her; because it was thought, that upon her divorce she returned to the embraces of her former husband. (269) Some say, that being invited to the wedding-supper, he sent a messenger to Piso, who sat opposite to him, in these words: "Do not be too fond with my wife," and that he immediately carried her off. Next day he published a proclamation, importing, "That he had got a wife as Romulus and Augustus had done."  Lollia Paulina, who was married to a man of consular rank in command of an army, he suddenly called from the province where she was with her husband, upon mention being made that her grandmother was formerly very beautiful, and married her; but he soon afterwards parted with her, interdicting her from having ever afterwards any commerce with man. He loved with a most passionate and constant affection Caesonia, who was neither handsome nor young; and was besides the mother of three daughters by another man; but a wanton of unbounded lasciviousness. Her he would frequently exhibit to the soldiers, dressed in a military cloak, with shield and helmet, and riding by his side. To his friends he even showed her naked. After she had a child, he honoured her with the title of wife; in one and the same day, declaring himself her husband, and father of the child of which she was delivered. He named it Julia Drusilla, and carrying it round the temples of all the goddesses, laid it on the lap of Minerva; to whom he recommended the care of bringing up and instructing her. He considered her as his own child for no better reason than her savage temper, which was such even in her infancy, that she would attack with her nails the face and eyes of the children at play with her.|
| Leve ac frigidum sit his addere, quo propinquos amicosque pacto tractaverit, Ptolemaeum regis Iubae filium, consobrinum suum – erat enim et is M. Antoni ex Selene filia nepos – et in primis ipsum Macronem, ipsam Enniam, adiutores imperii; quibus omnibus pro necessitudinis iure proque meritorum gratia cruenta mors persoluta est. Nihilo reverentior leniorve erga senatum, quosdam summis honoribus functos ad essedum sibi currere togatos per aliquot passuum milia et cenanti modo ad pluteum modo ad pedes stare succinctos linteo passus est; alios cum clam interemisset, citare nihilo minus ut vivos perseveravit, paucos post dies voluntaria morte perisse mentitus. Consulibus oblitis de natali suo edicere abrogavit magistratum fuitque per triduum sine summa potestate res p. Quaestorem suum in coniuratione nominatum flagellavit veste detracta subiectaque militum pedibus, quo firme verberaturi insisterent. Simili superbia violentiaque ceteros tractavit ordines. Inquietatus fremitu gratuita in circo loca de media nocte occupantium, omnis fustibus abegit; elisi per eum tumultum viginti amplius equites R., totidem matronae, super innumeram turbam ceteram. Scaenicis ludis, inter plebem et equitem causam discordiarum ferens, decimas maturius dabat, ut equestria ab infimo quoque occuparentur. Gladiatorio munere reductis interdum flagrantissimo sole velis emitti quemquam vetabat, remotoque ordinario apparatu tabidas feras, vilissimos senioque confectos gladiatores, proque paegniariis patres familiarum notos in bonam partem sed insignis debilitate aliqua corporis subiciebat. Ac nonnumquam horreis praeclusis populo famem indixit.||XXVI. It would be of little importance, as well as disgusting, to add to all this an account of the manner in which he treated his relations and friends; as Ptolemy, king Juba's son, his cousin (for he was the grandson of Mark Antony by his daughter Selene) , and especially Macro himself, and Ennia likewise , by whose assistance he had obtained the empire; all of whom, for their alliance and eminent services, he rewarded with violent deaths. Nor was he more mild or respectful in his behaviour towards the senate. Some who had borne the (270) highest offices in the government, he suffered to run by his litter in their togas for several miles together, and to attend him at supper, sometimes at the head of his couch, sometimes at his feet, with napkins. Others of them, after he had privately put them to death, he nevertheless continued to send for, as if they were still alive, and after a few days pretended that they had laid violent hands upon themselves. The consuls having forgotten to give public notice of his birth-day, he displaced them; and the republic was three days without any one in that high office. A quaestor who was said to be concerned in a conspiracy against him, he scourged severely, having first stripped off his clothes, and spread them under the feet of the soldiers employed in the work, that they might stand the more firm. The other orders likewise he treated with the same insolence and violence. Being disturbed by the noise of people taking their places at midnight in the circus, as they were to have free admission, he drove them all away with clubs. In this tumult, above twenty Roman knights were squeezed to death, with as many matrons, with a great crowd besides. When stage- plays were acted, to occasion disputes between the people and the knights, he distributed the money-tickets sooner than usual, that the seats assigned to the knights might be all occupied by the mob. In the spectacles of gladiators, sometimes, when the sun was violently hot, he would order the curtains, which covered the amphitheatre, to be drawn aside , and forbad any person to be let out; withdrawing at the same time the usual apparatus for the entertainment, and presenting wild beasts almost pined to death, the most sorry gladiators, decrepit with age, and fit only to work the machinery, and decent house-keepers, who were remarkable for some bodily infirmity. Sometimes shutting up the public granaries, he would oblige the people to starve for a while.|
| Saevitiam ingenii per haec maxime ostendit. Cum ad saginam ferarum muneri praeparatarum carius pecudes compararentur, ex noxiis laniandos adnotavit, et custodiarum seriem recognoscens, nullius inspecto elogio, stans tantum modo intra porticum mediam, "a calvo ad calvum" duci imperavit. Votum exegit ab eo, qui pro salute sua gladiatoriam operam promiserat, spectavitque ferro dimicantem nec dimisit nisi victorem et post multas preces. Alterum, qui se periturum ea de causa voverat, cunctantem pueris tradidit, verbenatum infulatumque votum reposcentes per vicos agerent, quoad praecipitaretur ex aggere. Multos honesti ordinis deformatos prius stigmatum notis ad metalla et munitiones viarum aut ad bestias condemnavit aut bestiarum more quadripedes cavea coercuit aut medios serra dissecuit, nec omnes gravibus ex causis, verum male de munere suo opinatos, vel quod numquam per genium suum deierassent. Parentes supplicio filiorum interesse cogebat; quorum uni valitudinem excusanti lecticam misit, alium a spectaculo poenae epulis statim adhibuit atque omni comitate ad hilaritatem et iocos provocavit. Curatorem munerum ac venationum per continuos dies in conspectu suo catenis verberatum non prius occidit quam offensus putrefacti cerebri odore. Atellanae poetam ob ambigui ioci versiculum media amphitheatri harena igni cremavit. Equitem R. obiectum feris, cum se innocentem proclamasset, reduxit abscisaque lingua rursus induxit.||XXVII. He evinced the savage barbarity of his temper chiefly by the following indications. When flesh was only to be had at a high price for feeding his wild beasts reserved for the spectacles, he ordered that criminals should be given them (271) to be devoured; and upon inspecting them in a row, while he stood in the middle of the portico, without troubling himself to examine their cases he ordered them to be dragged away, from "bald-pate to bald- pate."  Of one person who had made a vow for his recovery to combat with a gladiator, he exacted its performance; nor would he allow him to desist until he came off conqueror, and after many entreaties. Another, who had vowed to give his life for the same cause, having shrunk from the sacrifice, he delivered, adorned as a victim, with garlands and fillets, to boys, who were to drive him through the streets, calling on him to fulfil his vow, until he was thrown headlong from the ramparts. After disfiguring many persons of honourable rank, by branding them in the face with hot irons, he condemned them to the mines, to work in repairing the high-ways, or to fight with wild beasts; or tying them by the neck and heels, in the manner of beasts carried to slaughter, would shut them up in cages, or saw them asunder. Nor were these severities merely inflicted for crimes of great enormity, but for making remarks on his public games, or for not having sworn by the Genius of the emperor. He compelled parents to be present at the execution of their sons; and to one who excused himself on account of indisposition, he sent his own litter. Another he invited to his table immediately after he had witnessed the spectacle, and coolly challenged him to jest and be merry. He ordered the overseer of the spectacles and wild beasts to be scourged in fetters, during several days successively, in his own presence, and did not put him to death until he was disgusted with the stench of his putrefied brain. He burned alive, in the centre of the arena of the amphitheatre, the writer of a farce, for some witty verse, which had a double meaning. A Roman knight, who had been exposed to the wild beasts, crying out that he was innocent, he called him back, and having had his tongue cut out, remanded him to the arena.|
| Revocatum quendam a vetere exilio sciscitatus, quidnam ibi facere consuesset, respondente eo per adulationem: "deos semper oravi ut, quod evenit, periret Tiberius et tu imperares," opinans sibi quoque exules suos mortem imprecari, misit circum insulas, qui universos contrucidarent. Cum discerpi senatorem concupisset, subornavit qui ingredientem curiam repente hostem publicum appellantes invaderent, graphisque confossum lacerandum ceteris traderent; nec ante satiatus est quam membra et artus et viscera hominis tracta per vicos atque ante se congesta vidisset.||XXVIII. Asking a certain person, whom he recalled after a long exile, how he used to spend his time, he replied, with flattery, "I was always praying the gods for what has happened, that Tiberius might die, and you be emperor." Concluding, therefore, that those he had himself banished also (272) prayed for his death, he sent orders round the islands  to have them all put to death. Being very desirous to have a senator torn to pieces, he employed some persons to call him a public enemy, fall upon him as he entered the senate-house, stab him with their styles, and deliver him to the rest to tear asunder. Nor was he satisfied, until he saw the limbs and bowels of the man, after they had been dragged through the streets, piled up in a heap before him.|
| Immanissima facta augebat atrocitate verborum. Nihil magis in natura sua laudare se ac probare dicebat quam, ut ipsius verbo utar, ?äéáôñåøßáí, hoc est inverecundiam. Monenti Antoniae aviae tamquam parum esset non oboedire: "memento," ait, "omnia mihi et in omnis licere." Trucidaturus fratrem, quem metu venenorum praemuniri medicamentis suspicabatur: "antidotum," inquit, "adversus Caesarem?" Relegatis sororibus non solum insulas habere se, sed etiam gladios minabatur. Praetorium virum ex secessu Anticyrae, quam valitudinis causa petierat, propagari sibi commeatum saepius desiderantem cum mandasset interimi, adiecit necessariam esse sanguinis missionem, cui tam diu non prodesset elleborum. Decimo quoque die numerum puniendorum ex custodia subscribens rationem se purgare dicebat. Gallis Graecisque aliquot uno tempore condemnatis gloriabatur Gallograeciam se subegisse.||XXIX. He aggravated his barbarous actions by language equally outrageous. "There is nothing in my nature," said he, "that I commend or approve so much, as my adiatrepsia (inflexible rigour)." Upon his grandmother Antonia's giving him some advice, as if it was a small matter to pay no regard to it, he said to her, "Remember that all things are lawful for me." When about to murder his brother, whom he suspected of taking antidotes against poison, he said, "See then an antidote against Caesar!" And when he banished his sisters, he told them in a menacing tone, that he had not only islands at command, but likewise swords. One of pretorian rank having sent several times from Anticyra , whither he had gone for his health, to have his leave of absence prolonged, he ordered him to be put to death; adding these words "Bleeding is necessary for one that has taken hellebore so long, and found no benefit." It was his custom every tenth day to sign the lists of prisoners appointed for execution; and this he called "clearing his accounts." And having condemned several Gauls and Greeks at one time, he exclaimed in triumph, "I have conquered Gallograecia." |
| Non temere in quemquam nisi crebris et minutis
ictibus animadverti passus est, perpetuo notoque iam praecepto: "ita
feri ut se mori sentiat." Punito per errorem nominis alio quam quem
destinaverat, ipsum quoque paria meruisse dixit. tragicum illud
Oderint, dum metuant.
Saepe in cunctos pariter senatores ut Seiani clientis, ut matris ac fratrum suorum delatores, invectus est prolatis libellis, quos crematos simulaverat, defensaque Tiberi saevitia quasi necessaria, cum tot criminantibus credendum esset. Equestrem ordinem ut scaenae harenaeque devotum assidue proscidit. Infensus turbae faventi adversus studium suum exclamavit: "utinam p. R. unam cervicem haberet!" Cumque Tetrinius latro postularetur, et qui postularent, Tetrinios esse ait. Retiari tunicati quinque numero gregatim dimicantes sine certamine ullo totidem secutoribus succubuerant; cum occidi iuberentur, unus resumpta fuscina omnes victores interemit: hanc ut crudelissimam caedem et deflevit edicto et eos, qui spectare sustinuissent, execratus est.
|XXX. He generally prolonged the sufferings of his victims by causing
them to be inflicted by slight and frequently repeated strokes; this
being his well-known and constant order: (273) "Strike so that he may
feel himself die." Having punished one person for another, by mistaking
his name, he said, "he deserved it quite as much." He had frequently in
his mouth these words of the tragedian--
Oderint, dum metuant. 
I scorn their hatred, if they do but fear me.
He would often inveigh against all the senators without exception, as clients of Sejanus, and informers against his mother and brothers, producing the memorials which he had pretended to burn, and excusing the cruelty of Tiberius as necessary, since it was impossible to question the veracity of such a number of accusers . He continually reproached the whole equestrian order, as devoting themselves to nothing but acting on the stage, and fighting as gladiators. Being incensed at the people's applauding a party at the Circensian games in opposition to him, he exclaimed, "I wish the Roman people had but one neck."  When Tetrinius, the highwayman, was denounced, he said his persecutors too were all Tetrinius's. Five Retiarii , in tunics, fighting in a company, yielded without a struggle to the same number of opponents; and being ordered to be slain, one of them taking up his lance again, killed all the conquerors. This he lamented in a proclamation as a most cruel butchery, and cursed all those who had borne the sight of it.
| Queri etiam palam de condicione temporum suorum solebat, quod nullis calamitatibus publicis insignirentur; Augusti principatum clade Variana, Tiberi ruina spectaculorum apud Fidenas memorabilem factum, suo oblivionem imminere prosperitate rerum; atque identidem exercituum caedes, famem, pestilentiam, incendia, hiatum aliquem terrae optabat||XXXI. He used also to complain aloud of the state of the times, because it was not rendered remarkable by any public (274) calamities; for, while the reign of Augustus had been made memorable to posterity by the disaster of Varus , and that of Tiberius by the fall of the theatre at Fidenae , his was likely to pass into oblivion, from an uninterrupted series of prosperity. And, at times, he wished for some terrible slaughter of his troops, a famine, a pestilence, conflagrations, or an earthquake.|
| Animum quoque remittenti ludoque et epulis dedito eadem factorum dictorumque saevitia aderat. Saepe in conspectu prandentis vel comisantis seriae quaestiones per tormenta habebantur, miles decollandi artifex quibuscumque e custodia capita amputabat. Puteolis dedicatione pontis, quem excogitatum ab eo significavimus, cum multos e litore invitasset ad se, repente omnis praecipitavit, quosdam gubernacula apprehendentes contis remisque detrusit in mare. Romae publico epulo servum ob detractam lectis argenteam laminam carnifici confestim tradidit, ut manibus abscisis atque ante pectus e collo pendentibus, praecedente titulo qui causam poenae indicaret, per coetus epulantium circumduceretur. Murmillonem e ludo rudibus secum battuentem et sponte prostratum confodit ferrea sica ac more victorum cum palma discucurrit. Admota altaribus victima succinctus poparum habitu elato alte malleo cultrarium mactavit. Lautiore convivio effusus subito in cachinnos consulibus, qui iuxta cubabant, quidnam rideret blande quaerentibus: "quid," inquit, "nisi uno meo nutu iugulari utrumque vestrum statim posse?"||XXXII. Even in the midst of his diversions, while gaming or feasting, this savage ferocity, both in his language and actions, never forsook him. Persons were often put to the torture in his presence, whilst he was dining or carousing. A soldier, who was an adept in the art of beheading, used at such times to take off the heads of prisoners, who were brought in for that purpose. At Puteoli, at the dedication of the bridge which he planned, as already mentioned , he invited a number of people to come to him from the shore, and then suddenly, threw them headlong into the sea; thrusting down with poles and oars those who, to save themselves, had got hold of the rudders of the ships. At Rome, in a public feast, a slave having stolen some thin plates of silver with which the couches were inlaid, he delivered him immediately to an executioner, with orders to cut off his hands, and lead him round the guests, with them hanging from his neck before his breast, and a label, signifying the cause of his punishment. A gladiator who was practising with him, and voluntarily threw himself at his feet, he stabbed with a poniard, and then ran about with a palm branch in his hand, after the manner of those who are victorious in the games. When a victim was to be offered upon an altar, he, clad in the habit of the Popae , and holding the axe aloft for a while, at last, instead of the animal, slaughtered an officer who attended to cut up the sacrifice. And at a sumptuous entertainment, he fell suddenly into a violent fit of laughter, and upon the consuls, who reclined next to him, respectfully asking him the occasion, "Nothing," replied he, "but that, upon a single nod of mine, you might both have your throats cut."|
| Inter varios iocos, cum assistens simulacro Iovis Apellen tragoedum consuluisset uter illi maior videretur, cunctantem flagellis discidit conlaudans subinde vocem deprecantis quasi etiam in gemitu praedulcem. Quotiens uxoris vel amiculae collum exoscularetur, addebat: "tam bona cervix simul ac iussero demetur." Quin et subinde iactabat exquisiturum se vel fidiculis de Caesonia sua, cur eam tanto opere diligeret.||(275) XXXIII. Among many other jests, this was one: As he stood by the statue of Jupiter, he asked Apelles, the tragedian, which of them he thought was biggest? Upon his demurring about it, he lashed him most severely, now and then commending his voice, whilst he entreated for mercy, as being well modulated even when he was venting his grief. As often as he kissed the neck of his wife or mistress, he would say, "So beautiful a throat must be cut whenever I please;" and now and then he would threaten to put his dear Caesonia to the torture, that he might discover why he loved her so passionately.|
| Nec minore livore ac malignitate quam superbia saevitiaque paene adversus omnis aevi hominum genus grassatus est. Statuas virorum inlustrium ab Augusto ex Capitolina area propter angustias in campum Martium conlatas ita subvertit atque disiecit ut restitui salvis titulis non potuerint, vetuitque posthac viventium cuiquam usquam statuam aut imaginem nisi consulto et auctore se poni. Cogitavit etiam de Homeri carminibus abolendis, cur enim sibi non licere dicens, quod Platoni licuisset, qui eum e civitate quam constituebat eiecerit? Sed et Vergili ac Titi Livi scripta et imagines paulum afuit quin ex omnibus bibliothecis amoveret, quorum alterum ut nullius ingenii minimaeque doctrinae, alterum ut verbosum in historia neglegentemque carpebat. De iuris quoque consultis, quasi scientiae eorum omnem usum aboliturus, saepe iactavit se mehercule effecturum ne quid respondere possint praeter eum.||XXXIV. In his behaviour towards men of almost all ages, he discovered a degree of jealousy and malignity equal to that of his cruelty and pride. He so demolished and dispersed the statues of several illustrious persons, which had been removed by Augustus, for want of room, from the court of the Capitol into the Campus Martius, that it was impossible to set them up again with their inscriptions entire. And, for the future, he forbad any statue whatever to be erected without his knowledge and leave. He had thoughts too of suppressing Homer's poems: "For why," said he, "may not I do what Plato has done before me, who excluded him from his commonwealth?"  He was likewise very near banishing the writings and the busts of Virgil and Livy from all libraries; censuring one of them as "a man of no genius and very little learning;" and the other as "a verbose and careless historian." He often talked of the lawyers as if he intended to abolish their profession. "By Hercules!" he would say, "I shall put it out of their power to answer any questions in law, otherwise than by referring to me!"|
| Vetera familiarum insignia nobilissimo cuique ademit, Torquato torquem, Cincinnato crinem, Cn. Pompeio stirpis antiquae Magni cognomen. Ptolemaeum, de quo rettuli, et arcessitum e regno et exceptum honorifice, non alia de causa repente percussit, quam quod edente se munus ingressum spectacula convertisse hominum oculos fulgore purpureae abollae animadvertit. Pulchros et comatos, quotiens sibi occurrerent, occipitio raso deturpabat. Erat Aesius Proculus patre primipilari, ob egregiam corporis amplitudinem et speciem Colosseros dictus; hunc spectaculis detractum repente et in harenam deductum Thraeci et mox hoplomacho comparavit bisque victorem constringi sine mora iussit et pannis obsitum vicatim circumduci ac mulieribus ostendi, deinde iugulari. Nullus denique tam abiectae condicionis tamque extremae sortis fuit, cuius non commodis obtrectaret. Nemorensi regi, quod multos iam annos poteretur sacerdotio, validiorem adversarium subornavit. Cum quodam die muneris essedario Porio post prosperam pugnam servum suum manumittenti studiosius plausum esset, ita proripuit se spectaculis, ut calcata lacinia togae praeceps per gradus iret, indignabundus et clamitans dominum gentium populum ex re levissima plus honoris gladiatori tribuentem quam consecratis principibus aut praesenti sibi.||XXXV. He took from the noblest persons in the city the ancient marks of distinction used by their families; as the collar from Torquatus ; from Cincinnatus the curl of (276) hair ; and from Cneius Pompey, the surname of Great, belonging to that ancient family. Ptolemy, mentioned before, whom he invited from his kingdom, and received with great honours, he suddenly put to death, for no other reason, but because he observed that upon entering the theatre, at a public exhibition, he attracted the eyes of all the spectators, by the splendour of his purple robe. As often as he met with handsome men, who had fine heads of hair, he would order the back of their heads to be shaved, to make them appear ridiculous. There was one Esius Proculus, the son of a centurion of the first rank, who, for his great stature and fine proportions, was called the Colossal. Him he ordered to be dragged from his seat in the arena, and matched with a gladiator in light armour, and afterwards with another completely armed; and upon his worsting them both, commanded him forthwith to be bound, to be led clothed in rags up and down the streets of the city, and, after being exhibited in that plight to the women, to be then butchered. There was no man of so abject or mean condition, whose excellency in any kind he did not envy. The Rex Nemorensis  having many years enjoyed the honour of the priesthood, he procured a still stronger antagonist to oppose him. One Porius, who fought in a chariot , having been victorious in an exhibition, and in his joy given freedom to a slave, was applauded so vehemently, that Caligula rose in such haste from his seat, that, treading upon the hem of his toga, he tumbled down the steps, full of indignation, (277) and crying out, "A people who are masters of the world, pay greater respect to a gladiator for a trifle, than to princes admitted amongst the gods, or to my own majesty here present amongst them."|
| Pudicitiae neque suae neque alienae pepercit. M. Lepidum, Mnesterem pantomimum, quosdam obsides dilexisse fertur commercio mutui stupri. Valerius Catullus, consulari familia iuvenis, stupratum a se ac latera sibi contubernio eius defessa etiam vociferatus est. Super sororum incesta et notissimum prostitutae Pyrallidis amorem non temere ulla inlustriore femina abstinuit. Quas plerumque cum maritis ad cenam vocatas praeterque pedes suos transeuntis diligenter ac lente mercantium more considerabat, etiam faciem manu adlevans, si quae pudore submitterent; quotiens deinde libuisset egressus triclinio, cum maxime placitam sevocasset, paulo post recentibus adhuc lasciviae notis reversus vel laudabat palam vel vituperabat, singula enumerans bona malave corporis atque concubitus. Quibusdam absentium maritorum nomine repudium ipse misit iussitque in acta ita referri.||XXXVI. He never had the least regard either to the chastity of his own person, or that of others. He is said to have been inflamed with an unnatural passion for Marcus Lepidus Mnester, an actor in pantomimes, and for certain hostages; and to have engaged with them in the practice of mutual pollution. Valerius Catullus, a young man of a consular family, bawled aloud in public that he had been exhausted by him in that abominable act. Besides his incest with his sisters, and his notorious passion for Pyrallis, the prostitute, there was hardly any lady of distinction with whom he did not make free. He used commonly to invite them with their husbands to supper, and as they passed by the couch on which he reclined at table, examine them very closely, like those who traffic in slaves; and if any one from modesty held down her face, he raised it up with his hand. Afterwards, as often as he was in the humour, he would quit the room, send for her he liked best, and in a short time return with marks of recent disorder about them. He would then commend or disparage her in the presence of the company, recounting the charms or defects of her person and behaviour in private. To some he sent a divorce in the name of their absent husbands, and ordered it to be registered in the public acts.|
| Nepotatus sumptibus omnium prodigorum ingenia superavit, commentus novum balnearum usum, portentosissima genera ciborum atque cenarum, ut calidis frigidisque unguentis lavaretur, pretiosissima margarita aceto liquefacta sorberet, convivis ex auro panes et obsonia apponeret, aut frugi hominem esse oportere dictitans aut Caesarem. Quin et nummos non mediocris summae e fastigio basilicae Iuliae per aliquot dies sparsit in plebem. Fabricavit et deceris Liburnicas gemmatis puppibus, versicoloribus velis, magna thermarum et porticuum et tricliniorum laxitate magnaque etiam vitium et pomiferarum arborum varietate; quibus discumbens de die inter choros ac symphonias litora Campaniae peragraret. In exstructionibus praetoriorum atque villarum omni ratione posthabita nihil tam efficere concupiscebat quam quod posse effici negaretur. Et iactae itaque moles infesto ac profundo mari et excisae rupes durissimi silicis et campi montibus aggere aequati et complanata fossuris montium iuga, incredibili quidem celeritate, cum morae culpa capite lueretur. Ac ne singula enumerem, immensas opes totumque illud Ti. Caesaris vicies ac septies milies sestertium non toto vertente anno absumpsit.||XXXVII. In the devices of his profuse expenditure, he surpassed all the prodigals that ever lived; inventing a new kind of bath, with strange dishes and suppers, washing in precious unguents, both warm and cold, drinking pearls of immense value dissolved in vinegar, and serving up for his guests loaves and other victuals modelled in gold; often saying, "that a man ought either to be a good economist or an emperor." Besides, he scattered money to a prodigious amount among the people, from the top of the Julian Basilica , during several days successively. He built two ships with ten banks of oars, after the Liburnian fashion, the poops of which blazed with jewels, and the sails were of various parti-colours. They were fitted up with ample baths, galleries, and saloons, and supplied with a great variety of vines and other fruit-trees. In these he would sail in the day-time along the coast of Campania, feasting (278) amidst dancing and concerts of music. In building his palaces and villas, there was nothing he desired to effect so much, in defiance of all reason, as what was considered impossible. Accordingly, moles were formed in the deep and adverse sea , rocks of the hardest stone cut away, plains raised to the height of mountains with a vast mass of earth, and the tops of mountains levelled by digging; and all these were to be executed with incredible speed, for the least remissness was a capital offence. Not to mention particulars, he spent enormous sums, and the whole treasures which had been amassed by Tiberius Caesar, amounting to two thousand seven hundred millions of sesterces, within less than a year.|
| Exhaustus igitur atque egens ad rapinas convertit animum vario et exquisitissimo calumniarum et auctionum et vectigalium genere. Negabat iure civitatem Romanam usurpare eos, quorum maiores sibi posterisque eam impetrassent, nisi si filii essent, neque enim intellegi debere "posteros" ultra hunc gradum; prolataque Divorum Iuli et Augusti diplomata ut vetera et obsoleta deflabat. Arguebat et perperam editos census, quibus postea quacumque de causa quicquam incrementi accessisset. Testamenta primipilarium, qui ab initio Tiberi principatus neque illum neque se heredem reliquissent, ut ingrata rescidit; item ceterorum ut irrita et vana, quoscumque quis diceret herede Caesare mori destinasse. Quo metu iniecto cum iam et ab ignotis inter familiares et a parentibus inter liberos palam heres nuncuparetur, derisores vocabat, quod post nuncupationem vivere perseverarent, et multis venenatas matteas misit. Cognoscebat autem de talibus causis, taxato prius modo summae ad quem conficiendum consideret, confecto demum excitabatur. Ac ne paululum quidem morae patiens super quadraginta reos quondam ex diversis criminibus una sententia condemnavit gloriatusque est expergefacta e somno Caesonia quantum egisset, dum ea meridiaret. Auctione proposita reliquias omnium spectaculorum subiecit ac venditavit, exquirens per se pretia et usque eo extendens, ut quidam immenso coacti quaedam emere ac bonis exuti venas sibi inciderent. Nota res est, Aponio Saturnino inter subsellia dormitante, monitum a Gaio praeconem ne praetorium virum crebro capitis motu nutantem sibi praeteriret, nec licendi finem factum, quoad tredecim gladiatores sestertium nonagies ignoranti addicerentur.||XXXVIII. Having therefore quite exhausted these funds, and being in want of money, he had recourse to plundering the people, by every mode of false accusation, confiscation, and taxation, that could be invented. He declared that no one had any right to the freedom of Rome, although their ancestors had acquired it for themselves and their posterity, unless they were sons; for that none beyond that degree ought to be considered as posterity. When the grants of the Divine Julius and Augustus were produced to him, he only said, that he was very sorry they were obsolete and out of date. He also charged all those with making false returns, who, after the taking of the census, had by any means whatever increased their property. He annulled the wills of all who had been centurions of the first rank, as testimonies of their base ingratitude, if from the beginning of Tiberius's reign they had not left either that prince or himself their heir. He also set aside the wills of all others, if any person only pretended to say, that they designed at their death to leave Caesar their heir. The public becoming terrified at this proceeding, he was now appointed joint-heir with their friends, and in the case of parents with their children, by persons unknown to him. Those who lived any considerable time after making such a will, he said, were only making game of him; and accordingly he sent many of them poisoned cakes. He used to try such causes himself; fixing previously the sum he proposed to raise during the sitting, and, after he had secured it, quitting the tribunal. Impatient of the least delay, he condemned by a single sentence forty (279) persons, against whom there were different charges; boasting to Caesonia when she awoke, "how much business he had dispatched while she was taking her mid-day sleep." He exposed to sale by auction, the remains of the apparatus used in the public spectacles; and exacted such biddings, and raised the prices so high, that some of the purchasers were ruined, and bled themselves to death. There is a well-known story told of Aponius Saturninus, who happening to fall asleep as he sat on a bench at the sale, Caius called out to the auctioneer, not to overlook the praetorian personage who nodded to him so often; and accordingly the salesman went on, pretending to take the nods for tokens of assent, until thirteen gladiators were knocked down to him at the sum of nine millions of sesterces , he being in total ignorance of what was doing.|
| In Gallia quoque, cum damnatarum sororum ornamenta et supellectilem et servos atque etiam libertos immensis pretiis vendidisset, invitatus lucro, quidquid instrumenti veteris aulae erat ab urbe repetiit, comprensis ad deportandum meritoriis quoque vehiculis et pistrinensibus iumentis, adeo ut et panis Romae saepe deficeret et litigatorum plerique, quod occurrere absentes ad vadimonium non possent, causa caderent. Cui instrumento distrahendo nihil non fraudis ac lenocinii adhibuit, modo avaritiae singulos increpans et quod non puderet eos locupletiores esse quam se, modo paenitentiam simulans quod principalium rerum privatis copiam faceret. Compererat provincialem locupletem ducenta sestertia numerasse vocatoribus, ut per fallaciam convivio interponeretur, nec tulerat moleste tam magno aestimari honorem cenae suae; huic postero die sedenti in auctione misit, qui nescio quid frivoli ducentis milibus traderet diceretque cenaturum apud Caesarem vocatu ipsius.||XXXIX. Having also sold in Gaul all the clothes, furniture, slaves, and even freedmen belonging to his sisters, at prodigious prices, after their condemnation, he was so much delighted with his gains, that he sent to Rome for all the furniture of the old palace ; pressing for its conveyance all the carriages let to hire in the city, with the horses and mules belonging to the bakers, so that they often wanted bread at Rome; and many who had suits at law in progress, lost their causes, because they could not make their appearance in due time according to their recognizances. In the sale of this furniture, every artifice of fraud and imposition was employed. Sometimes he would rail at the bidders for being niggardly, and ask them "if they were not ashamed to be richer than he was?" at another, he would affect to be sorry that the property of princes should be passing into the hands of private persons. He had found out that a rich provincial had given two hundred thousand sesterces to his chamberlains for an underhand invitation to his table, and he was much pleased to find that honour valued at so high a rate. The day following, as the same person was sitting at the sale, he sent him some bauble, for which he told him he must pay two hundred thousand sesterces, and "that he should sup with Caesar upon his own invitation."|
| Vectigalia nova atque inaudita primum per publicanos, deinde, quia lucrum exuberabat, per centuriones tribunosque praetorianos exercuit, nullo rerum aut hominum genere omisso, cui non tributi aliquid imponeret. Pro edulibus, quae tota urbe venirent, certum statumque exigebatur; pro litibus ac iudiciis ubicumque conceptis quadragesima summae, de qua litigaretur, nec sine poena, si quis composuisse vel donasse negotium convinceretur; ex gerulorum diurnis quaestibus pars octava; ex capturis prostitutarum quantum quaeque uno concubitu mereret; additumque ad caput legis, ut tenerentur publico et quae meretricium quive lenocinium fecissent, nec non et matrimonia obnoxia essent.||(280) XL. He levied new taxes, and such as were never before known, at first by the publicans, but afterwards, because their profit was enormous, by centurions and tribunes of the pretorian guards; no description of property or persons being exempted from some kind of tax or other. For all eatables brought into the city, a certain excise was exacted: for all law-suits or trials in whatever court, the fortieth part of the sum in dispute; and such as were convicted of compromising litigations, were made liable to a penalty. Out of the daily wages of the porters, he received an eighth, and from the gains of common prostitutes, what they received for one favour granted. There was a clause in the law, that all bawds who kept women for prostitution or sale, should be liable to pay, and that marriage itself should not be exempted.|
| Eius modi vectigalibus indictis neque propositis, cum per ignorantiam scripturae multa commissa fierent, tandem flagitante populo proposuit quidem legem, sed et minutissimis litteris et angustissimo loco, uti ne cui describere liceret. Ac ne quod non manubiarum genus experiretur, lupanar in Palatio constituit, districtisque et instructis pro loci dignitate compluribus cellis, in quibus matronae ingenuique starent, misit circum fora et basilicas nomenculatores ad invitandos ad libidinem iuvenes senesque; praebita advenientibus pecunia faenebris appositique qui nomina palam subnotarent, quasi adiuvantium Caesaris reditus. Ac ne ex lusu quidem aleae compendium spernens plus mendacio atque etiam periurio lucrabatur. Et quondam proximo conlusori demandata vice sua progressus in atrium domus, cum praetereuntis duos equites R. locupletis sine mora corripi confiscarique iussisset, exultans rediit gloriansque numquam se prosperiore alea usum.||XLI. These taxes being imposed, but the act by which they were levied never submitted to public inspection, great grievances were experienced from the want of sufficient knowledge of the law. At length, on the urgent demands of the Roman people, he published the law, but it was written in a very small hand, and posted up in a corner, so that no one could make a copy of it. To leave no sort of gain untried, he opened brothels in the Palatium, with a number of cells, furnished suitably to the dignity of the place; in which married women and free-born youths were ready for the reception of visitors. He sent likewise his nomenclators about the forums and courts, to invite people of all ages, the old as well as the young, to his brothel, to come and satisfy their lusts; and he was ready to lend his customers money upon interest; clerks attending to take down their names in public, as persons who contributed to the emperor's revenue. Another method of raising money, which he thought not below his notice, was gaming; which, by the help of lying and perjury, he turned to considerable account. Leaving once the management of his play to his partner in the game, he stepped into the court, and observing two rich Roman knights passing by, he ordered them immediately to be seized, and their estates confiscated. Then returning, in great glee, he boasted that he had never made a better throw in his life.|
| Filia vero nata paupertatem nec iam imperatoria modo sed et patria conquerens onera conlationes in alimonium ac dotem puellae recepit. Edixit et strenas ineunte anno se recepturum stetitque in vestibulo aedium Kal. Ian. ad captandas stipes, quas plenis ante eum manibus ac sinu omnis generis turba fundebat. Novissime contrectandae pecuniae cupidine incensus, saepe super immensos aureorum acervos patentissimo diffusos loco et nudis pedibus spatiatus et toto corpore aliquamdiu volutatus est.||XLII. After the birth of his daughter, complaining of his (281) poverty, and the burdens to which he was subjected, not only as an emperor, but a father, he made a general collection for her maintenance and fortune. He likewise gave public notice, that he would receive new-year's gifts on the calends of January following; and accordingly stood in the vestibule of his house, to clutch the presents which people of all ranks threw down before him by handfuls and lapfuls. At last, being seized with an invincible desire of feeling money, taking off his slippers, he repeatedly walked over great heaps of gold coin spread upon the spacious floor, and then laying himself down, rolled his whole body in gold over and over again.|
| Militiam resque bellicas semel attigit neque ex destinato, sed cum ad visendum nemus flumenque Clitumni Mevaniam processisset, admonitus de supplendo numero Batavorum, quos circa se habebat, expeditionis Germanicae impetum cepit; neque distulit, sed legionibus et auxiliis undique excitis, dilectibus ubique acerbissime actis, contracto et omnis generis commeatu quanto numquam antea, iter ingressus est confecitque modo tam festinanter et rapide, ut praetorianae cohortes contra morem signa iumentis imponere et ita subsequi cogerentur, interdum adeo segniter delicateque, ut octaphoro veheretur atque a propinquarum urbium plebe verri sibi vias et conspergi propter pulverem exigeret.||XLIII. Only once in his life did he take an active part in military affairs, and then not from any set purpose, but during his journey to Mevania, to see the grove and river of Clitumnus . Being recommended to recruit a body of Batavians, who attended him, he resolved upon an expedition into Germany. Immediately he drew together several legions, and auxiliary forces from all quarters, and made every where new levies with the utmost rigour. Collecting supplies of all kinds, such as never had been assembled upon the like occasion, he set forward on his march, and pursued it sometimes with so much haste and precipitation, that the pretorian cohorts were obliged, contrary to custom, to pack their standards on horses or mules, and so follow him. At other times, he would march so slow and luxuriously, that he was carried in a litter by eight men; ordering the roads to be swept by the people of the neighbouring towns, and sprinkled with water to lay the dust.|
| Postquam castra attigit, ut se acrem ac severum ducem ostenderet, legatos, qui auxilia serius ex diversis locis adduxerant, cum ignominia dimisit; at in exercitu recensendo plerisque centurionum maturis iam et nonnullis ante paucissimos quam consummaturi essent dies, primos pilos ademit, causatus senium cuiusque et imbecillitatem; ceterorum increpita cupiditate commoda emeritae militiae ad †sescentorum† milium summam recidit. Nihil autem amplius quam Adminio Cynobellini Britannorum regis filio, qui pulsus a patre cum exigua manu transfugerat, in deditionem recepto, quasi universa tradita insula, magnificas Romam litteras misit, monitis speculatoribus, ut vehiculo ad forum usque et curiam pertenderent nec nisi in aede Martis ac frequente senatu consulibus traderent.||XLIV. On arriving at the camp, in order to show himself an active general, and severe disciplinarian, he cashiered the lieutenants who came up late with the auxiliary forces from different quarters. In reviewing the army, he deprived of their companies most of the centurions of the first rank, who had now served their legal time in the wars, and some whose time would have expired in a few days; alleging against them their age and infirmity; and railing at the covetous disposition (282) of the rest of them, he reduced the bounty due to those who had served out their time to the sum of six thousand sesterces. Though he only received the submission of Adminius, the son of Cunobeline, a British king, who being driven from his native country by his father, came over to him with a small body of troops , yet, as if the whole island had been surrendered to him, he dispatched magnificent letters to Rome, ordering the bearers to proceed in their carriages directly up to the forum and the senate-house, and not to deliver the letters but to the consuls in the temple of Mars, and in the presence of a full assembly of the senators.|
| Mox deficiente belli materia paucos de custodia Germanos traici occulique trans Rhenum iussit ac sibi post prandium quam tumultuosissime adesse hostem nuntiari. Quo facto proripuit se cum amicis et parte equitum praetorianorum in proximam silvam, truncatisque arboribus et in modum tropaeorum adornatis ad lumina reversus, eorum quidem qui secuti non essent timiditatem et ignaviam corripuit, comites autem et participes victoriae novo genere ac nomine coronarum donavit, quas distinctas solis ac lunae siderumque specie exploratorias appellavit. Rursus obsides quosdam abductos e litterario ludo clamque praemissos, deserto repente convivio, cum equitatu insecutus veluti profugos ac reprehensos in catenis reduxit; in hoc quoque mimo praeter modum intemperans. Repetita cena renuntiantis coactum agmen sic ut erant loricatos ad discumbendum adhortatus est. Monuit etiam notissimo Vergili versu--"durarent secundisque se rebus servarent." Atque inter haec absentem senatum populumque gravissimo obiurgavit edicto, quod Caesare proeliante et tantis discriminibus obiecto tempestiva convivia, circum et theatra et amoenos secessus celebrarent.||XLV. Soon after this, there being no hostilities, he ordered a few
Germans of his guard to be carried over and placed in concealment on the
other side of the Rhine, and word to be brought him after dinner, that an
enemy was advancing with great impetuosity. This being accordingly done,
he immediately threw himself, with his friends, and a party of the
pretorian knights, into the adjoining wood, where lopping branches from
the trees, and forming trophies of them, he returned by torch-light,
upbraiding those who did not follow him, with timorousness and cowardice;
but he presented the companions, and sharers of his victory with crowns
of a new form, and under a new name, having the sun, moon, and stars
represented on them, and which he called Exploratoriae. Again, some
hostages were by his order taken from the school, and privately sent off;
upon notice of which he immediately rose from table, pursued them with
the cavalry, as if they had run away, and coming up with them, brought
them back in fetters; proceeding to an extravagant pitch of ostentation
likewise in this military comedy. Upon his again sitting down to table,
it being reported to him that the troops were all reassembled, he ordered
them to sit down as they were, in their armour, animating them in the
words of that well-known verse of Virgil:
(283) Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.
Bear up, and save yourselves for better days.
In the meantime, he reprimanded the senate and people of Rome in a very severe proclamation, "For revelling and frequenting the diversions of the circus and theatre, and enjoying themselves at their villas, whilst their emperor was fighting, and exposing himself to the greatest dangers."
| Postremo quasi perpetraturus bellum, derecta acie in litore Oceani ac ballistis machinisque dispositis, nemine gnaro aut opinante quidnam coepturus esset, repente ut conchas legerent galeasque et sinus replerent imperavit, "spolia Oceani" vocans "Capitolio Palatioque debita," et in indicium victoriae altissimam turrem excitavit, ex qua ut Pharo noctibus ad regendos navium cursus ignes emicarent; pronuntiatoque militi donativo centenis viritim denariis, quasi omne exemplum liberalitatis supergressus: "abite," inquit, "laeti, abite locupletes."||XLVI. At last, as if resolved to make war in earnest, he drew up his army upon the shore of the ocean, with his balistae and other engines of war, and while no one could imagine what he intended to do, on a sudden commanded them to gather up the sea shells, and fill their helmets, and the folds of their dress with them, calling them "the spoils of the ocean due to the Capitol and the Palatium." As a monument of his success, he raised a lofty tower, upon which, as at Pharos , he ordered lights to be burnt in the night-time, for the direction of ships at sea; and then promising the soldiers a donative of a hundred denarii  a man, as if he had surpassed the most eminent examples of generosity, "Go your ways," said he, "and be merry: go, ye are rich."|
| Conversus hinc ad curam triumphi praeter captivos ac transfugas barbaros Galliarum quoque procerissimum quemque et, ut ipse dicebat, axiothriambeuton, ac nonnullos ex principibus legit ac seposuit ad pompam coegitque non tantum rutilare et summittere comam, sed et sermonem Germanicum addiscere et nomina barbarica ferre. Praecepit etiam triremis, quibus introierat Oceanum, magna ex parte itinere terrestri Romam devehi. Scripsit et procuratoribus, triumphum appararent quam minima summa, sed quantus numquam alius fuisset, quando in omnium hominum bona ius haberent.||XLVII. In making preparations for his triumph, besides the prisoners and deserters from the barbarian armies, he picked out the men of greatest stature in all Gaul, such as he said were fittest to grace a triumph, with some of the chiefs, and reserved them to appear in the procession; obliging them not only to dye their hair yellow, and let it grow long, but to learn the German language, and assume the names commonly used in that country. He ordered likewise the gallies in which he had entered the ocean, to be conveyed to Rome a great part of the way by land, and wrote to his comptrollers in the city, "to make proper preparations for a triumph against (284) his arrival, at as small expense as possible; but on a scale such as had never been seen before, since they had full power over the property of every one."|
| Prius quam provincia decederet, consilium iniit nefandae atrocitatis legiones, quae post excessum Augusti seditionem olim moverant, contrucidandi, quod et patrem suum Germanicum ducem et se infantem tunc obsedissent, vixque a tam praecipiti cogitatione revocatus, inhiberi nullo modo potuit quin decimare velle perseveraret. Vocatas itaque ad contionem inermes, atque etiam gladiis depositis, equitatu armato circumdedit. Sed cum videret suspecta re plerosque dilabi ad resumenda si qua vis fieret arma, profugit contionem confestimque urbem petit, deflexa omni acerbitate in senatum, cui ad avertendos tantorum dedecorum rumores palam minabatur, querens inter cetera fraudatum se iusto triumpho, cum ipse paulo ante, ne quid de honoribus suis ageretur, etiam sub mortis poena denuntiasset.||XLVIII. Before he left the province, he formed a design of the most horrid cruelty--to massacre the legions which had mutinied upon the death of Augustus, for seizing and detaining by force his father, Germanicus, their commander, and himself, then an infant, in the camp. Though he was with great difficulty dissuaded from this rash attempt, yet neither the most urgent entreaties nor representations could prevent him from persisting in the design of decimating these legions. Accordingly, he ordered them to assemble unarmed, without so much as their swords; and then surrounded them with armed horse. But finding that many of them, suspecting that violence was intended, were making off, to arm in their own defence, he quitted the assembly as fast as he could, and immediately marched for Rome; bending now all his fury against the senate, whom he publicly threatened, to divert the general attention from the clamour excited by his disgraceful conduct. Amongst other pretexts of offence, he complained that he was defrauded of a triumph, which was justly his due, though he had just before forbidden, upon pain of death, any honour to be decreed him|
| Aditus ergo in itinere a legatis amplissimi ordinis ut maturaret orantibus, quam maxima voce: "veniam," inquit, "veniam, et hic mecum," capulum gladii crebro verberans, quo cinctus erat. Edixit et reverti se, sed iis tantum qui optarent, equestri ordini et populo; nam se neque civem neque principem senatui amplius fore. Vetuit etiam quemquam senatorum sibi occurrere. Atque omisso vel dilato triumpho ovans urbem natali suo ingressus est; intraque quartum mensem periit, ingentia facinora ausus et aliquanto maiora moliens, siquidem proposuerat Antium, deinde Alexandream commigrare interempto prius utriusque ordinis electissimo quoque. Quod ne cui dubium videatur, in secretis eius reperti sunt duo libelli diverso titulo, alteri "gladius," alteri "pugio" index erat; ambo nomina et notas continebant morti destinatorum. Inventa et arca ingens variorum venenorum plena, quibus mox a Claudio demersis infecta maria traduntur non sine piscium exitio, quos enectos aestus in proxima litora eiecit.||XLIX. In his march he was waited upon by deputies from the senatorian order, entreating him to hasten his return. He replied to them, "I will come, I will come, and this with me," striking at the same time the hilt of his sword. He issued likewise this proclamation: "I am coming, but for those only who wish for me, the equestrian order and the people; for I shall no longer treat the senate as their fellow-citizen or prince." He forbad any of the senators to come to meet him; and either abandoning or deferring his triumph, he entered the city in ovation on his birthday. Within four months from this period he was slain, after he had perpetrated enormous crimes, and while he was meditating the execution, if possible, of still greater. He had entertained a design of removing to Antium, and afterwards to Alexandria; having first cut off the flower of the equestrian and senatorian orders. This is placed beyond all question, by two books which were found in his cabinet (285) under different titles; one being called the sword, and the other, the dagger. They both contained private marks, and the names of those who were devoted to death. There was also found a large chest, filled with a variety of poisons which being afterwards thrown into the sea by order of Claudius, are said to have so infected the waters, that the fish were poisoned, and cast dead by the tide upon the neighbouring shores|
| Statura fuit eminenti, colore expallido, corpore enormi, gracilitate maxima cervicis et crurum, oculis et temporibus concavis, fronte lata et torva, capillo raro at circa verticem nullo, hirsutus cetera. Quare transeunte eo prospicere ex superiore parte aut omnino quacumque de causa capram nominare, criminosum et exitiale habebatur. Vultum vero natura horridum ac taetrum etiam ex industria efferabat componens ad speculum in omnem terrorem ac formidinem. Valitudo ei neque corporis neque animi constitit. Puer comitiali morbo vexatus, in adulescentia ita patiens laborum erat, ut tamen nonnumquam subita defectione ingredi, stare, colligere semet ac sufferre vix posset. Mentis valitudinem et ipse senserat ac subinde de secessu deque purgando cerebro cogitavit. Creditur potionatus a Caesonia uxore amatorio quidem medicamento, sed quod in furorem verterit. Incitabatur insomnio maxime; neque enim plus quam tribus nocturnis horis quiescebat ac ne iis quidem placida quiete, sed pavida miris rerum imaginibus, ut qui inter ceteras pelagi quondam speciem conloquentem secum videre visus sit. Ideoque magna parte noctis vigiliae cubandique taedio nunc toro residens, nunc per longissimas porticus vagus invocare identidem atque expectare lucem consuerat.||L. He was tall, of a pale complexion, ill-shaped, his neck and legs very slender, his eyes and temples hollow, his brows broad and knit, his hair thin, and the crown of the head bald. The other parts of his body were much covered with hair. On this account, it was reckoned a capital crime for any person to look down from above, as he was passing by, or so much as to name a goat. His countenance, which was naturally hideous and frightful, he purposely rendered more so, forming it before a mirror into the most horrible contortions. He was crazy both in body and mind, being subject, when a boy, to the falling sickness. When he arrived at the age of manhood, he endured fatigue tolerably well; but still, occasionally, he was liable to a faintness, during which he remained incapable of any effort. He was not insensible of the disorder of his mind, and sometimes had thoughts of retiring to clear his brain . It is believed that his wife Caesonia administered to him a love potion which threw him into a frenzy. What most of all disordered him, was want of sleep, for he seldom had more than three or four hours' rest in a night; and even then his sleep was not sound, but disturbed by strange dreams; fancying, among other things, that a form representing the ocean spoke to him. Being therefore often weary with lying awake so long, sometimes he sat up in his bed, at others, walked in the longest porticos about the house, and from time to time, invoked and looked out for the approach of day.|
| Non inmerito mentis valitudini attribuerim diversissima in eodem vitia, summam confidentiam et contra nimium metum. Nam qui deos tanto opere contemneret, ad minima tonitrua et fulgura conivere, caput obvolvere, at vero maiore proripere se e strato sub lectumque condere solebat. Peregrinatione quidem Siciliensi irrisis multum locorum miraculis repente a Messana noctu profugit Aetnaei verticis fumo ac murmure pavefactus. Adversus barbaros quoque minacissimus, cum trans Rhenum inter angustias densumque agmen iter essedo faceret, dicente quodam non mediocrem fore consternationem sicunde hostis appareat, equum ilico conscendit ac propere reversus ad pontes, ut eos calonibus et impedimentis stipatos repperit, impatiens morae per manus ac super capita hominum translatus est. Mox etiam audita rebellione Germaniae fugam et subsidia fugae classes apparabat, uno solacio adquiescens transmarinas certe sibi superfuturas provincias, si victores Alpium iuga, ut Cimbri, vel etiam urbem, ut Senones quondam, occuparent; unde credo percussoribus eius postea consilium natum apud tumultuantes milites ementiendi, ipsum sibi manus intulisse nuntio malae pugnae perterritum.||LI. To this crazy constitution of his mind may, I think, very justly be ascribed two faults which he had, of a nature directly repugnant one to the other, namely, an excessive confidence and the most abject timidity. For he, who affected so (286) much to despise the gods, was ready to shut his eyes, and wrap up his head in his cloak at the slightest storm of thunder and lightning; and if it was violent, he got up and hid himself under his bed. In his visit to Sicily, after ridiculing many strange objects which that country affords, he ran away suddenly in the night from Messini, terrified by the smoke and rumbling at the summit of Mount Aetna. And though in words he was very valiant against the barbarians, yet upon passing a narrow defile in Germany in his light car, surrounded by a strong body of his troops, some one happening to say, "There would be no small consternation amongst us, if an enemy were to appear," he immediately mounted his horse, and rode towards the bridges in great haste; but finding them blocked up with camp-followers and baggage- waggons, he was in such a hurry, that he caused himself to be carried in men's hands over the heads of the crowd. Soon afterwards, upon hearing that the Germans were again in rebellion, he prepared to quit Rome, and equipped a fleet; comforting himself with this consideration, that if the enemy should prove victorious, and possess themselves of the heights of the Alps, as the Cimbri  had done, or of the city, as the Senones  formerly did, he should still have in reserve the transmarine provinces . Hence it was, I suppose, that it occurred to his assassins, to invent the story intended to pacify the troops who mutinied at his death, that he had laid violent hands upon himself, in a fit of terror occasioned by the news brought him of the defeat of his army.|
| Vestitu calciatuque et cetero habitu neque patrio neque civili, ac ne virili quidem ac denique humano semper usus est. Saepe depictas gemmatasque indutus paenulas, manuleatus et armillatus in publicum processit; aliquando sericatus et cycladatus; ac modo in crepidis vel coturnis, modo in speculatoria caliga, nonnumquam socco muliebri; plerumque vero aurea barba, fulmen tenens aut fuscinam aut caduceum deorum insignia, atque etiam Veneris cultu conspectus est. Triumphalem quidem ornatum etiam ante expeditionem assidue gestavit, interdum et Magni Alexandri thoracem repetitum e conditorio eius.||LII. In the fashion of his clothes, shoes, and all the rest of his dress, he did not wear what was either national, or properly civic, or peculiar to the male sex, or appropriate to mere mortals. He often appeared abroad in a short coat of stout cloth, richly embroidered and blazing with jewels, in a tunic with sleeves, and with bracelets upon his arms; sometimes all in silks and (287) habited like a woman; at other times in the crepidae or buskins; sometimes in the sort of shoes used by the light-armed soldiers, or in the sock used by women, and commonly with a golden beard fixed to his chin, holding in his hand a thunderbolt, a trident, or a caduceus, marks of distinction belonging to the gods only. Sometimes, too, he appeared in the habit of Venus. He wore very commonly the triumphal ornaments, even before his expedition, and sometimes the breast-plate of Alexander the Great, taken out of his coffin. |
| Ex disciplinis liberalibus minimum eruditioni, eloquentiae plurimum attendit, quantumvis facundus et promptus, utique si perorandum in aliquem esset. Irato et verba et sententiae suppetebant, pronuntiatio quoque et vox, ut neque eodem loci prae ardore consisteret et exaudiretur a procul stantibus. Peroraturus stricturum se lucubrationis suae telum minabatur, lenius comptiusque scribendi genus adeo contemnens, ut Senecam tum maxime placentem "commissiones meras" componere et "harenam esse sine calce" diceret. Solebat etiam prosperis oratorum actionibus rescribere et magnorum in senatu reorum accusationes defensionesque meditari ac, prout stilus cesserat, vel onerare sententia sua quemque vel sublevare, equestri quoque ordine ad audiendum invitato per edicta.||LIII. With regard to the liberal sciences, he was little conversant in philology, but applied himself with assiduity to the study of eloquence, being indeed in point of enunciation tolerably elegant and ready; and in his perorations, when he was moved to anger, there was an abundant flow of words and periods. In speaking, his action was vehement, and his voice so strong, that he was heard at a great distance. When winding up an harangue, he threatened to draw "the sword of his lucubration," holding a loose and smooth style in such contempt, that he said Seneca, who was then much admired, "wrote only detached essays," and that "his language was nothing but sand without lime." He often wrote answers to the speeches of successful orators; and employed himself in composing accusations or vindications of eminent persons, who were impeached before the senate; and gave his vote for or against the party accused, according to his success in speaking, inviting the equestrian order, by proclamation, to hear him.|
| Sed et aliorum generum artes studiosissime et diversissimas exercuit. Thraex et auriga, idem cantor atque saltator, battuebat pugnatoriis armis, aurigabat exstructo plurifariam circo; canendi ac saltandi voluptate ita efferebatur, ut ne publicis quidem spectaculis temperaret quo minus et tragoedo pronuntianti concineret et gestum histrionis quasi laudans vel corrigens palam effingeret. Nec alia de causa videtur eo die, quo periit, pervigilium indixisse quam ut initium in scaenam prodeundi licentia temporis auspicaretur. Saltabat autem nonnumquam etiam noctu; et quondam tres consulares secunda vigilia in Palatium accitos multaque et extrema metuentis super pulpitum conlocavit, deinde repente magno tibiarum et scabellorum crepitu cum palla tunicaque talari prosiluit ac desaltato cantico abiit. Atque hic tam docilis ad cetera natare nesciit.||LIV. He also zealously applied himself to the practice of several other arts of different kinds, such as fencing, charioteering, singing, and dancing. In the first of these, he practised with the weapons used in war; and drove the chariot in circuses built in several places. He was so extremely fond of singing and dancing, that he could not refrain in the theatre from singing with the tragedians, and imitating the gestures of the actors, either by way of applause or correction. A night exhibition which he had ordered the day he was slain, was thought to be intended for no other reason, than to take the opportunity afforded by the licentiousness of the season, to make his first appearance upon the stage. Sometimes, also, (288) he danced in the night. Summoning once to the Palatium, in the second watch of the night , three men of consular rank, who feared the words from the message, he placed them on the proscenium of the stage, and then suddenly came bursting out, with a loud noise of flutes and castanets , dressed in a mantle and tunic reaching down to his heels. Having danced out a song, he retired. Yet he who had acquired such dexterity in other exercises, never learnt to swim.|
| Quorum vero studio teneretur, omnibus ad insaniam favit. Mnesterem pantomimum etiam inter spectacula osculabatur, ac si qui saltante eo vel leviter obstreperet, detrahi iussum manu sua flagellabat. Equiti R. tumultuanti per centurionem denuntiavit, abiret sine mora Ostiam perferretque ad Ptolemaeum regem in Mauretaniam codicillos suos; quorum exemplum erat: "ei quem istoc misi, neque boni quicquam neque mali feceris." Thraeces quosdam Germanis corporis custodibus praeposuit. Murmillonum armaturas recidit. Columbo victori, leviter tamen saucio, venenum in plagam addidit, quod ex eo Columbinum appellavit; sic certe inter alia venena scriptum ab eo repertum est. Prasinae factioni ita addictus et deditus, ut cenaret in stabulo assidue et maneret, agitatori Eutycho comisatione quadam in apophoretis vicies sestertium contulit. Incitato equo, cuius causa pridie circenses, ne inquietaretur, viciniae silentium per milites indicere solebat, praeter equile marmoreum et praesaepe eburneum praeterque purpurea tegumenta ac monilia e gemmis domum etiam et familiam et supellectilem dedit, quo lautius nomine eius invitati acciperentur; consulatum quoque traditur destinasse.||LV. Those for whom he once conceived a regard, he favoured even to madness. He used to kiss Mnester, the pantomimic actor, publicly in the theatre; and if any person made the least noise while he was dancing, he would order him to be dragged from his seat, and scourged him with his own hand. A Roman knight once making some bustle, he sent him, by a centurion, an order to depart forthwith for Ostia , and carry a letter from him to king Ptolemy in Mauritania. The letter was comprised in these words: "Do neither good nor harm to the bearer." He made some gladiators captains of his German guards. He deprived the gladiators called Mirmillones of some of their arms. One Columbus coming off with victory in a combat, but being slightly wounded, he ordered some poison to be infused in the wound, which he thence called Columbinum. For thus it was certainly named with his own hand in a list of other poisons. He was so extravagantly fond of the party of charioteers whose colours were green , that he supped and lodged for some time constantly in the stable where their horses were kept. At a certain revel, he made a present of two millions of sesterces to one Cythicus, a driver of a chariot. The day before the Circensian games, he used to send his soldiers to enjoin silence in the (289) neighbourhood, that the repose of his horse Incitatus  might not be disturbed. For this favourite animal, besides a marble stable, an ivory manger, purple housings, and a jewelled frontlet, he appointed a house, with a retinue of slaves, and fine furniture, for the reception of such as were invited in the horse's name to sup with him. It is even said that he intended to make him consul.|
| Ita bacchantem atque grassantem non defuit plerisque animus adoriri. Sed una atque altera conspiratione detecta, aliis per inopiam occasionis cunctantibus, duo consilium communicaverunt perfeceruntque, non sine conscientia potentissimorum libertorum praefectorumque praetori; quod ipsi quoque etsi falso in quadam coniuratione quasi participes nominati, suspectos tamen se et invisos sentiebant. Nam et statim seductis magnam fecit invidiam destricto gladio affirmans sponte se periturum, si et illis morte dignus videretur, nec cessavit ex eo criminari alterum alteri atque inter se omnis committere. Cum placuisset Palatinis ludis spectaculo egressum meridie adgredi, primas sibi partes Cassius Chaerea tribunus cohortis praetoriae depoposcit, quem Gaius seniorem iam et mollem et effeminatum denotare omni probro consuerat et modo signum petenti "Priapum" aut "Venerem" dare, modo ex aliqua causa agenti gratias osculandam manum offerre formatam commotamque in obscaenum modum.||LVI. In this frantic and savage career, numbers had formed designs for cutting him off; but one or two conspiracies being discovered, and others postponed for want of opportunity, at last two men concerted a plan together, and accomplished their purpose; not without the privity of some of the greatest favourites amongst his freedmen, and the prefects of the pretorian guards; because, having been named, though falsely, as concerned in one conspiracy against him, they perceived that they were suspected and become objects of his hatred. For he had immediately endeavoured to render them obnoxious to the soldiery, drawing his sword, and declaring, "That he would kill himself if they thought him worthy of death;" and ever after he was continually accusing them to one another, and setting them all mutually at variance. The conspirators having resolved to fall upon him as he returned at noon from the Palatine games, Cassius Chaerea, tribune of the pretorian guards, claimed the part of making the onset. This Chaerea was now an elderly man, and had been often reproached by Caius for effeminacy. When he came for the watchword, the latter would give "Priapus," or "Venus;" and if on any occasion he returned thanks, would offer him his hand to kiss, making with his fingers an obscene gesture.|
| Futurae caedis multa prodigia exstiterunt. Olympiae simulacrum Iovis, quod dissolvi transferrique Romam placuerat, tantum cachinnum repente edidit, ut machinis labefactis opifices diffugerint; supervenitque ilico quidam Cassius nomine, iussum se somnio affirmans immolare taurum Iovi. Capitolium Capuae Id. Mart. de caelo tactum est, item Romae cella Palatini atriensis. Nec defuerunt qui coniectarent altero ostento periculum a custodibus domino portendi, altero caedem rursus insignem, qualis eodem die facta quondam fuisset. Consulenti quoque de genitura sua Sulla mathematicus certissimam necem appropinquare affirmavit. Monuerunt et Fortunae Antiatinae, ut a Cassio caveret; qua causa ille Cassium Longinum Asiae tum proconsulem occidendum delegaverat, inmemor Chaeream Cassium nominari. Pridie quam periret, somniavit consistere se in caelo iuxta solium Iovis impulsumque ab eo dextri pedis pollice et in terras praecipitatum. Prodigiorum loco habita sunt etiam, quae forte illo ipso die paulo prius acciderant. Sacrificans respersus est phoenicopteri sanguine; et pantomimus Mnester tragoediam saltavit, quam olim Neoptolemus tragoedus ludis, quibus rex Macedonum Philippus occisus est, egerat; et cum in Laureolo mimo, in quo a[u]ctor proripiens se ruina sanguinem vomit, plures secundarum certatim experimentum artis darent, cruore scaena abundavit. Parabatur et in noctem spectaculum, quo argumenta inferorum per Aegyptios et Aethiopas explicarentur.||LVII. His approaching fate was indicated by many prodigies. The statue of Jupiter at Olympia, which he had ordered to be taken down and brought to Rome, suddenly burst out into such a violent fit of laughter, that, the machines employed in the work giving way, the workmen took to their heels. When this accident happened, there came up a man named Cassius, who said that he was commanded in a dream to sacrifice a bull to Jupiter. The Capitol at Capua was (290) struck with lightning upon the ides of March [15th March] as was also, at Rome, the apartment of the chief porter of the Palatium. Some construed the latter into a presage that the master of the place was in danger from his own guards; and the other they regarded as a sign, that an illustrious person would be cut off, as had happened before on that day. Sylla, the astrologer, being, consulted by him respecting his nativity, assured him, "That death would unavoidably and speedily befall him." The oracle of Fortune at Antium likewise forewarned him of Cassius; on which account he had given orders for putting to death Cassius Longinus, at that time proconsul of Asia, not considering that Chaerea bore also that name. The day preceding his death he dreamt that he was standing in heaven near the throne of Jupiter, who giving him a push with the great toe of his right foot, he fell headlong upon the earth. Some things which happened the very day of his death, and only a little before it, were likewise considered as ominous presages of that event. Whilst he was at sacrifice, he was bespattered with the blood of a flamingo. And Mnester, the pantomimic actor, performed in a play, which the tragedian Neoptolemus had formerly acted at the games in which Philip, the king of Macedon, was slain. And in the piece called Laureolus, in which the principal actor, running out in a hurry, and falling, vomited blood, several of the inferior actors vying with each other to give the best specimen of their art, made the whole stage flow with blood. A spectacle had been purposed to be performed that night, in which the fables of the infernal regions were to be represented by Egyptians and Ethiopians.|
| VIIII. Kal. Febr. hora fere septima cunctatus an ad prandium surgeret marcente adhuc stomacho pridiani cibi onere, tandem suadentibus amicis egressus est. Cum in crypta, per quam transeundum erat, pueri nobiles ex Asia ad edendas in scaena operas evocati praepararentur, ut eos inspiceret hortareturque restitit, ac nisi princeps gregis algere se diceret, redire ac repraesentare spectaculum voluit. Duplex dehinc fama est: alii tradunt adloquenti pueros a tergo Chaeream cervicem gladio caesim graviter percussisse praemissa voce: "hoc age!" Dehinc Cornelium Sabinum, alterum e coniuratis, tribunum ex adverso traiecisse pectus; alii Sabinum summota per conscios centuriones turba signum more militiae petisse et Gaio "Iovem" dante Chaeream exclamasse: "accipe ratum!" Respicientique maxillam ictu discidisse. Iacentem contractisque membris clamitantem se vivere ceteri vulneribus triginta confecerunt; nam signum erat omnium: "repete!" Quidam etiam per obscaena ferrum adegerunt. Ad primum tumultum lecticari cum asseribus in auxilium accucurrerunt, mox Germani corporis custodes, ac nonnullos ex percussoribus, quosdam etiam senatores innoxios interemerunt.||LVIII. On the ninth of the calends of February [24th January], and about the seventh hour of the day, after hesitating whether he should rise to dinner, as his stomach was disordered by what he had eaten the day before, at last, by the advice of his friends, he came forth. In the vaulted passage through which he had to pass, were some boys of noble extraction, who had been brought from Asia to act upon the stage, waiting for him in a private corridor, and he stopped to see and speak to them; and had not the leader of the party said that he was suffering from cold, he would have gone back, and made them act immediately. Respecting what followed, (291) two different accounts are given. Some say, that, whilst he was speaking to the boys, Chaerea came behind him, and gave him a heavy blow on the neck with his sword, first crying out, "Take this:" that then a tribune, by name Cornelius Sabinus, another of the conspirators, ran him through the breast. Others say, that the crowd being kept at a distance by some centurions who were in the plot, Sabinus came, according to custom, for the word, and that Caius gave him "Jupiter," upon which Chaerea cried out, "Be it so!" and then, on his looking round, clove one of his jaws with a blow. As he lay on the ground, crying out that he was still alive , the rest dispatched him with thirty wounds. For the word agreed upon among them all was, "Strike again." Some likewise ran their swords through his privy parts. Upon the first bustle, the litter bearers came running in with their poles to his assistance, and, immediately afterwards, his German body guards, who killed some of the assassins, and also some senators who had no concern in the affair.|
| Vixit annis viginti novem, imperavit triennio et decem mensibus diebusque octo. Cadaver eius clam in hortos Lamianos asportatum et tumultuario rogo semiambustum levi caespite obrutum est, postea per sorores ab exilio reversas erutum et crematum sepultumque. Satis constat, prius quam id fieret, hortorum custodes umbris inquietatos; in ea quoque domo, in qua occubuerit, nullam noctem sine aliquo terrore transactam, donec ipsa domus incendio consumpta sit. Perit una et uxor Caesonia gladio a centurione confossa et filia parieti inlisa.||LIX. He lived twenty-nine years, and reigned three years, ten months, and eight days. His body was carried privately into the Lamian Gardens , where it was half burnt upon a pile hastily raised, and then had some earth carelessly thrown over it. It was afterwards disinterred by his sisters, on their return from banishment, burnt to ashes, and buried. Before this was done, it is well known that the keepers of the gardens were greatly disturbed by apparitions; and that not a night passed without some terrible alarm or other in the house where he was slain, until it was destroyed by fire. His wife Caesonia was killed with him, being stabbed by a centurion; and his daughter had her brains knocked out against a wall.|
| Condicionem temporum illorum etiam per haec aestimare quivis possit. Nam neque caede vulgata statim creditum est, fuitque suspicio ab ipso Gaio famam caedis simulatam et emissam, ut eo pacto hominum erga se mentes deprehenderet; neque coniurati cuiquam imperium destinaverunt; et senatus in asserenda libertate adeo consensit, ut consules primo non in curiam, quia Iulia vocabatur, sed in Capitolium convocarent, quidam vero sententiae loco abolendam Caesarum memoriam ac diruenda templa censuerint. Observatum autem notatumque est in primis Caesares omnes, quibus Gai praenomen fuerit, ferro perisse, iam inde ab eo, qui Cinnanis temporibus sit occisus.||LX. Of the miserable condition of those times, any person (292) may easily form an estimate from the following circumstances. When his death was made public, it was not immediately credited. People entertained a suspicion that a report of his being killed had been contrived and spread by himself, with the view of discovering how they stood affected towards him. Nor had the conspirators fixed upon any one to succeed him. The senators were so unanimous in their resolution to assert the liberty of their country, that the consuls assembled them at first not in the usual place of meeting, because it was named after Julius Caesar, but in the Capitol. Some proposed to abolish the memory of the Caesars, and level their temples with the ground. It was particularly remarked on this occasion, that all the Caesars, who had the praenomen of Caius, died by the sword, from the Caius Caesar who was slain in the times of Cinna.|
Unfortunately, a great chasm in the Annals of Tacitus, at this period, precludes all information from that historian respecting the reign of Caligula; but from what he mentions towards the close of the preceding chapter, it is evident that Caligula was forward to seize the reins of government, upon the death of Tiberius, whom, though he rivalled him in his vices, he was far from imitating in his dissimulation. Amongst the people, the remembrance of Germanicus' virtues cherished for his family an attachment which was probably, increased by its misfortunes; and they were anxious to see revived in the son the popularity of the father. Considering, however, that Caligula's vicious disposition was already known, and that it had even been an inducement with Tiberius to procure his succession, in order that it might prove a foil to his own memory; it is surprising that no effort was made at this juncture to shake off the despotism which had been so intolerable in the last reign, and restore the ancient liberty of the republic. Since the commencement of the imperial dominion, there never had been any period so favourable for a counter-revolution as the present crisis. There existed now no Livia, to influence the minds of the senate and people in respect of the government; nor was there any other person allied to the family of Germanicus, whose countenance or intrigues could promote the views of Caligula. He himself was now only in the twenty-fifth year of his age, was totally inexperienced in the administration of public affairs, had never performed even the smallest service to his country, and was generally known to be of a character which (293) disgraced his illustrious descent. Yet, in spite of all these circumstances, such was the destiny of Rome, that his accession afforded joy to the soldiers, who had known him in his childhood, and to the populace in the capital, as well as the people in the provinces, who were flattered with the delusive expectation of receiving a prince who should adorn the throne with the amiable virtues of Germanicus.
It is difficult to say, whether weakness of understanding, or corruption of morals, were more conspicuous in the character of Caligula. He seems to have discovered from his earliest years an innate depravity of mind, which was undoubtedly much increased by defect of education. He had lost both his parents at an early period of life; and from Tiberius' own character, as well as his views in training the person who should succeed him on the throne, there is reason to think, that if any attention whatever was paid to the education of Caligula, it was directed to vitiate all his faculties and passions, rather than to correct and improve them. If such was really the object, it was indeed prosecuted with success.
The commencement, however, of his reign was such as by no means prognosticated its subsequent transition. The sudden change of his conduct, the astonishing mixture of imbecility and presumption, of moral turpitude and frantic extravagance, which he afterwards evinced; such as rolling himself over heaps of gold, his treatment of his horse Incitatus, and his design of making him consul, seem to justify a suspicion that his brain had actually been affected, either by the potion, said to have been given him by his wife Caesonia, or otherwise. Philtres, or love-potions, as they were called, were frequent in those times; and the people believed that they operated upon the mind by a mysterious and sympathetic power. It is, however, beyond a doubt, that their effects were produced entirely by the action of their physical qualities upon the organs of the body. They were usually made of the satyrion, which, according to Pliny, was a provocative. They were generally given by women to their husbands at bed-time; and it was necessary towards their successful operation, that the parties should sleep together. This circumstance explains the whole mystery. The philtres were nothing more than medicines of a stimulating quality, which, after exciting violent, but temporary effects, enfeebled the constitution, and occasioned nervous disorders, by which the mental faculties, as well as the corporeal, might be injured. That this was really the case with Caligula, seems probable, not only from the falling sickness, to which he was subject, but from the habitual wakefulness of which he complained.
(294) The profusion of this emperor, during his short reign of three years and ten months, is unexampled in history. In the midst of profound peace, without any extraordinary charges either civil or military, he expended, in less than one year, besides the current revenue of the empire, the sum of 21,796,875 pounds sterling, which had been left by Tiberius at his death. To supply the extravagance of future years, new and exorbitant taxes were imposed upon the people, and those too on the necessaries of life. There existed now amongst the Romans every motive that could excite a general indignation against the government; yet such was still the dread of imperial power, though vested in the hands of so weak and despicable a sovereign, that no insurrection was attempted, nor any extensive conspiracy formed; but the obnoxious emperor fell at last a sacrifice to a few centurions of his own guard.
This reign was of too short duration to afford any new productions in literature; but, had it been extended to a much longer period, the effects would probably have been the same. Polite learning never could flourish under an emperor who entertained a design of destroying the writings of Virgil and Livy. It is fortunate that these, and other valuable productions of antiquity, were too widely diffused over the world, and too carefully preserved, to be in danger of perishing through the frenzy of this capricious barbarian.