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Quote of the day: He called into his service twelve lictor
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Twelve Emperors by Suetonius

Domitian, Chapter 14: A conspiracy is set up
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In this way he [Note 1] became an object of terror and hatred to all, but he was overthrown at last by a conspiracy of his friends and favorite freedmen, to which his wife [Note 2] was also privy. He had long since had a premonition of the last year and day of his life, and even of the very hour and manner of his death. In his youth astrologers had predicted all this to him, and his father [Note 3] once even openly ridiculed him at dinner for refusing mushrooms, saying that he showed himself unaware of his destiny in not rather fearing the sword. Therefore he was at all times timorous and worried, and was disquieted beyond measure by even the slightest suspicions. It is thought that nothing had more effect in inducing him to ignore his proclamation about cutting down the vineyards than the circulation of notes containing the following lines: "Gnaw at my root, an you will; even then shall I have juice in plenty To pour upon thee, O goat, when at the altar you stand" [Cf., Ovid, Fasti, 1.357]. It was because of this same timorousness that although he was most eager for all such honors, he refused a new one which the Senate had devised and offered to him, a decree, namely, that whenever he held the consulship, Roman equites selected by lot should precede him among his lictors and attendants, clad in the trabea and bearing lances. As the time when he anticipated danger drew near, becoming still more anxious every day, he lined the walls of the colonnades in which he used to walk with phengite stone [According to Pliny, Nat. Hist., a hard, white, translucent stone discovered in Cappadocia in the reign of Nero. Pliny also mentions similar mirrors of black obsidian; see Nat. Hist. xl.2], to be able to see in its brilliant surface the reflection of all that went on behind his back. And he did not give a hearing to any prisoners except in private and alone, even holding their chains in his hands. Further, to convince his household that one must not venture to kill a patron even on good grounds, he condemned Epaphroditus, his confidential secretary, to death, because it was believed that after Nero was abandoned the freedman's hand had aided him in taking his life.

Note 1: he = Domitian
Note 2: wife = Domitia Longina
Note 3: father = Vespasian