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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book I Chapter 77: Trouble in the theatre[AD 15]
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Meanwhile the unruly tone of the theatre which first showed itself in the preceding year, broke out with worse violence, and some soldiers and a centurion, besides several of the populace, were killed, and the tribune of a praetorian cohort was wounded, while they were trying to stop insults to the magistrates and the strife of the mob. This disturbance was the subject of a debate in the Senate, and opinions were expressed in favour of the praetors having authority to scourge actors. Haterius Agrippa, tribune of the people, interposed his veto, and was sharply censured in a speech from Asinius Gallus, without a word from Tiberius, who liked to allow the Senate such shows of freedom. Still the interposition was successful, because Augustus had once pronounced that actors were exempt from the scourge, and it was not lawful for Tiberius to infringe his decisions. Many enactments were passed to fix the amount of their pay and to check the disorderly behaviour of their partisans. Of these the chief were that no senator should enter the house of a pantomime player, that Roman knights should not crowd round them in the public streets, that they should exhibit themselves only in the theatre, and that the praetors should be empowered to punish with banishment any riotous conduct in the spectators.