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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 III Chapter 16: The process against Piso. The cause of his death[AD 20]
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I remember to have heard old men say that a document was often seen in Piso's hands, the substance of which he never himself divulged, but which his friends repeatedly declared contained a letter from Tiberius with instructions referring to Germanicus, and that it was his intention to produce it before the Senate and upbraid the emperor, had he not been deluded by vain promises from Sejanus. Nor did he perish, they said, by his own hand, but by that of one sent to be his executioner. Neither of these statements would I positively affirm; still it would not have been right for me to conceal what was related by those who lived up to the time of my youth. The emperor, assuming an air of sadness, complained in the Senate that the purpose of such a death was to bring odium on himself, and he asked with repeated questionings how Piso had spent his last day and night. Receiving answers which were mostly judicious, though in part somewhat incautious, he read out a note written by Piso, nearly to the following effect:- "Crushed by a conspiracy of my foes and the odium excited by a lying charge, since my truth and innocence find no place here, I call the immortal gods to witness that towards you Caesar, I have lived loyally, and with like dutiful respect towards your mother. And I implore you to think of my children, one of whom, Gneius is in way implicated in my career, whatever it may have been, seeing that all this time he has been at Rome, while the other, Marcus Piso, dissuaded me from returning to Syria. Would that I had yielded to my young son rather than he to his aged father! And therefore I pray the more earnestly that the innocent may not pay the penalty of my wickedness. By forty-five years of obedience, by my association with you in the consulate, as one who formerly won the esteem of the Divine Augustus, your father, as one who is your friend and will never hereafter ask a favour, I implore you to save my unhappy son." About Plancina he added not a word.

Event: The process against Piso

Audire me memini ex senioribus visum saepius inter manus Pisonis libellum quem ipse non vulgaverit; sed amicos eius dictitavisse, litteras Tiberii et mandata in Germanicum contineri, ac destinatum promere apud patres principemque arguere, ni elusus a Seiano per vana promissa foret; nec illum sponte extinctum verum immisso percussore. quorum neutrum adseveraverim: neque tamen occulere debui narratum ab iis qui nostram ad iuventam duraverunt. Caesar flexo in maestitiam ore suam invidiam tali morte quaesitam apud senatum . . . . . crebrisque interrogationibus exquirit qualem Piso diem supremum noctemque exegisset. atque illo pleraque sapienter quaedam inconsultius respondente, recitat codicillos a Pisone in hunc ferme modum compositos: 'conspiratione inimicorum et invidia falsi criminis oppressus, quatenus veritati et innocentiae meae nusquam locus est, deos inmortalis testor vixisse me, Caesar, cum fide adversum te neque alia in matrem tuam pietate; vosque oro liberis meis consulatis, ex quibus Cn. Piso qualicumque fortunae meae non est adiunctus, cum omne hoc tempus in urbe egerit, M. Piso repetere Syriam dehortatus est. atque utinam ego potius filio iuveni quam ille patri seni cessisset. eo impensius precor ne meae pravitatis poenas innoxius luat. per quinque et quadraginta annorum obsequium, per collegium consulatus quondam divo Augusto parenti tuo probatus et tibi amicus nec quicquam post haec rogaturus salutem infelicis filii rogo.' de Plancina nihil