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Caligula, Chapter 55: Caligula and the circus.
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Toward those to whom he [Note 1] was devoted his partiality became madness. He used to kiss Mnester, an actor of pantomimes, even in the theatre, and if anyone made even the slightest sound while his favorite was dancing, he had him dragged from his seat and scourged him with his own hand. When a Roman eques created a disturbance, he sent a centurion to bid him go without delay to Ostia and carry a message for him to king Ptolemy in Mauretania; and its purport was this: Do neither good nor ill to the man whom I have sent you. He gave some Thracian gladiators command of his German body-guard. He reduced the amount of armor of the murmillones [a type of gladiator]. When one Columbus had won a victory, but had suffered a slight wound, he had the place rubbed with a poison which he henceforth called Columbinum; at least that name was found included in his list of poisons. He was so passionately devoted to the green faction [in the Circus races] that he constantly dined and spent the night in their stables, and in one of his revels with them he gave the driver Eutychus two million sesterces in gifts. He used to send his soldiers on the day before the games and order silence in the neighborhood, to prevent the horse Incitatus from being disturbed. Besides a stall of marble, a manger of ivory, purple blankets and a collar of precious stones he even gave this horse a house, a troop of slaves and furniture, for the more elegant entertainment of the guests invited in his name; and it is also said that he planned to make him consul. |
Note 1: he = Caligula