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Quote of the day: Meanwhile Otho, to the surprise of all,
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 43: Germanicus goes East. Preparations.[AD 17]
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Tiberius accordingly discussed these matters and the affairs of Armenia, which I have already related, before the Senate. "The commotions in the East," he said, "could be quieted only by the wisdom, of Germanicus; his own life was on the decline, and Drusus had not yet reached his maturity." Thereupon, by a decree of the Senate, the provinces beyond sea were entrusted to Germanicus, with greater powers wherever he went than were given to those who obtained their provinces by lot or by the emperor's appointment. Tiberius had however removed from Syria Creticus Silanus, who was connected by a close tie with Germanicus, his daughter being betrothed to Nero, the eldest of Germanicus's children. He appointed to it Cneius Piso, a man of violent temper, without an idea of obedience, with indeed a natural arrogance inherited from his father Piso, who in the civil war supported with the most energetic aid against Caesar the reviving faction in Africa then embraced the cause of Brutus and Cassius, and, when suffered to return, refrained from seeking promotion till, he was actually solicited to accept a consulship offered by Augustus. But beside the father's haughty temper there was also the noble rank and wealth of his wife Plancina, to inflame his ambition. He would hardly be the inferior of Tiberius, and as for Tiberius's children, he looked down on them as far beneath him. He thought it a certainty that he had been chosen to govern Syria in order to thwart the aspirations of Germanicus. Some believed that he had even received secret instructions from Tiberius, and it was beyond a question that Augusta, with feminine jealousy, had suggested to Plancina calumnious insinuations against Agrippina. For there was division and discord in the court, with unexpressed partialities towards either Drusus or Germanicus. Tiberius favoured Drusus, as his son and born of his own blood. As for Germanicus, his uncle's estrangement had increased the affection which all others felt for him, and there was the fact too that he had an advantage in the illustrious rank of his mother's family among whom he could point to his grandfather Marcus Antonius and to his great-uncle Augustus. Drusus, on the other hand, had for his great-grandfather a Roman knight, Pomponius Atticus, who seemed to disgrace the ancestral images of the Claudii. Again, the consort of Germanicus, Agrippina, in number of children and in character, was superior to Livia, the wife of Drusus. Yet the brothers were singularly united, and were wholly unaffected by the rivalries of their kinsfolk.

Events: Germanicus goes East, Commotion in Parthia and Armenia

Igitur haec et de Armenia quae supra memoravi apud patres disseruit, nec posse motum Orientem nisi Germanici sapientia conponi: nam suam aetatem vergere, Drusi nondum satis adolevisse. tunc decreto patrum per missae Germanico provinciae quae mari dividuntur, maiusque imperium, quoquo adisset, quam iis qui sorte aut missu principis obtinerent sed Tiberius demoverat Syria Creticum Silanum, per adfinitatem conexam Germanico, quia Silani filia Neroni vetustissimo liberorum eius pacta erat, praefeceratque Cn. Pisonem, ingenio violentum et obsequii ignarum, insita ferocia a patre Pisone qui civili bello resurgentis in Africa partis acerrimo ministerio adversus Caesarem iuvit, mox Brutum et Cassium secutus concesso reditu petitione honorum abstinuit, donec ultro ambiretur delatum ab Augusto consulatum accipere. sed praeter patemos spiritus uxoris quoque Plancinae nobilitate et opibus accendebatur; vix Tiberio concedere, liberos eius ut multum infra despectare. nec dubium habebat se delectum qui Syriae imponeretur ad spes Germanici coercendas. credidere quidam data et a Tiberio occulta mandata; et Plancinam haud dubie Augusta monuit aemulatione muliebri Agrippinam insectandi divisa namque et discors aula erat tacitis in Drusum aut Germanicum studiis. Tiberius ut proprium et sui sanguinis Drusum fovebat: Germanico alienatio patrui amorem apud ceteros auxerat, et quia claritudine matemi generis anteibat, avum M. Antonium, avunculum Augustum ferens. contra Druso proavus eques Romanus Pomponius Atticus dedecere Claudiorum imagines videbatur: et coniunx Germanici Agrippina fecunditate ac fama Liviam uxorem Drusi praecellebat. sed fratres egregie