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Quote of the day: It had been the ancient policy of the fo
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 28: On the Papia Poppaea law[AD 20]
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Cneius Pompeius was then for the third time elected consul to reform public morals, but in applying remedies more terrible than the evils and repealing the legislation of which he had himself been the author, he lost by arms what by arms he had been maintaining. Then followed twenty years of continuous strife; custom or law there was none; the vilest deeds went unpunished, while many noble acts brought ruin. At last, in his sixth consulship, Caesar Augustus, feeling his power secure, annulled the decrees of his triumvirate, and gave us a constitution which might serve us in peace under a monarchy. Henceforth our chains became more galling, and spies were set over us, stimulated by rewards under the Papia Poppaea Law, so that if men shrank from the privileges of fatherhood, the State, as universal parent, might possess their ownerless properties. But this espionage became too searching, and Rome and Italy and Roman citizens everywhere fell into its clutches. Many men's fortunes were ruined, and over all there hung a terror till Tiberius, to provide a remedy, selected by lot five ex-consuls, five ex-praetors, and five senators, by whom most of the legal legal were disentangled and some light temporary relief afforded.