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Quote of the day: He called into his service twelve lictor
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book VI Chapter 46: Succession of Tiberius[AD 37]
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This the emperor knew, and he therefore hesitated about bequeathing the empire, first, between his grandsons. Of these, the son [Note 1] of Drusus was nearest in blood and natural affection, but he was still in his childhood. Germanicus's son was in the vigour of youth and enjoyed the people's favour, a reason for having his grandfather's hatred. Tiberius had even thought of Claudius, as he was of sedate age and had a taste for liberal culture, but a weak intellect was against him. If however he were to seek a successor outside of his house, he feared that the memory of Augustus and the name of the Caesars would become a laughing-stock and a scorn. It was, in fact, not so much popularity in the present for which he cared as for glory in the future. Perplexed in mind, exhausted in body, he soon left to destiny a question to which he was unequal, though he threw out some hints from which it might be inferred that he foresaw what was to come. He taunted Macro, in no obscure terms, with forsaking the setting and looking to the rising sun. Once too when Gaius Caesar in a casual conversation ridiculed Lucius Sulla, he predicted to him that he would have all Sulla's vices and none of his virtues. At the same moment he embraced the younger of his two grandsons with a flood of tears, and, noting the savage face of the other, said, "You will slay this boy, and will be yourself slain by another." But even while his strength was fast failing he gave up none of his debaucheries. In his sufferings he would simulate health, and was wont to jest at the arts of the physician and at all who, after the age of thirty, require another man's advice to distinguish between what is beneficial or hurtful to their constitutions.