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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 4: Journey through the provinces[AD 23]
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Meanwhile, at the beginning of this year, Drusus, one of the children of Germanicus, assumed the dress of manhood, with a repetition of the honours decreed by the Senate to his brother Nero. The emperor added a speech with warm praise of his son for sharing a father's affection to his brother's children. Drusus indeed, difficult as it is for power and mutual harmony to exist side by side, had the character of being kindly disposed or at least not unfriendly towards the lads. And now the old plan, so often insincerely broached, of a progress through the provinces, was again discussed. The emperor's pretext was the number of veterans on the eve of discharge and the necessity of fresh levies for the army. Volunteers were not forthcoming, and even if they were sufficiently numerous, they had not the same bravery and discipline, as it is chiefly the needy and the homeless who adopt by their own choice a soldier's life. Tiberius also rapidly enumerated the legions and the provinces which they had to garrison. I too ought, I think, to go through these details, and thus show what forces Rome then had under arms, what kings were our allies, and how much narrower then were the limits of our empire. Interim anni principio Drusus ex Germanici liberis togam virilem sumpsit quaeque fratri eius Neroni decreverat senatus repetita. addidit orationem Caesar multa cum laude filii sui quod patria benevolentia in fratris liberos foret. nam Drusus, quamquam arduum sit eodem loci potentiam et concordiam esse, aequus adulescentibus aut certe non adversus habebatur. exim vetus et saepe simulatum proficiscendi in provincias consilium refertur. multitudinem veteranorum praetexebat imperator et dilectibus supplendos exercitus: nam voluntarium militem deesse, ac si suppeditet, non eadem virtute ac modestia agere, quia plerumque inopes ac vagi sponte militiam sumant. percensuitque cursim numerum legionum et quas provincias tutarentur. quod mihi quoque exequendum reor, quae tunc Romana copia in armis, qui socii reges,