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Tiberius Chapter 34: His frugality.
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He [Note 1] reduced the cost of the games and shows by cutting down the pay of the actors and limiting the pairs of gladiators to a fixed number. Complaining bitterly that the prices of Corinthian bronzes had risen to an immense figure and that three mullets had been sold for thirty thousand sesterces, he proposed that a limit be set to household furniture and that the prices in the market should be regulated each year at the discretion of the Senate, while the aediles were instructed to put such restrictions on cook-shops and eating-houses as not to allow even pastry to be exposed for sale. Furthermore, to encourage general frugality by his personal example, he often served at formal dinners meats left over from the day before and partly consumed, or the half of a boar, declaring that it had all the qualities of a whole one. He issued an edict forbidding general kissing, as well as the exchange of New Year's gifts after the Kalends of January. It was his custom to return a gift of four-fold value, and in person; but annoyed at being interrupted all through the month by those who did not have access to him on the holiday, he did not continue it. |
Note 1: Tiberius
|Ludorum ac munerum impensas corripuit mercedibus scaenicorum recisis paribusque gladiatorum ad certum numerum redactis. Corinthiorum uasorum pretia in immensum exarsisse tresque mul[l]os triginta milibus nummum uenisse grauiter conquestus, adhibendum supellectili modum censuit annonamque macelli senatus arbitratu quotannis temperandam, dato aedilibus negotio popinas ganeasque usque eo inhibendi, ut ne opera quidem pistoria proponi uenalia sinerent. Et ut parsimoniam publicam exemplo quoque iuuaret, sollemnibus ipse cenis pridiana saepe ac semesa obsonia apposuit dimidiatumque aprum, affirmans omnia eadem habere, quae totum. Cotidiana oscula edicto prohibuit, item strenarum commercium ne ultra Kal. Ian. exerceretur. consuerat quadriplam stren[u]am, et de manu, reddere; sed offensus interpellari se toto mense ab iis qui potestatem sui die festo non habuissent, ultra non tulit.|