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Quote of the day: Vespasian's government had been infamous
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book VI Chapter 46: Succession of Tiberius[AD 37]
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This the emperor knew, and he therefore hesitated about bequeathing the empire, first, between his grandsons. Of these, the son [Note 1] of Drusus was nearest in blood and natural affection, but he was still in his childhood. Germanicus's son was in the vigour of youth and enjoyed the people's favour, a reason for having his grandfather's hatred. Tiberius had even thought of Claudius, as he was of sedate age and had a taste for liberal culture, but a weak intellect was against him. If however he were to seek a successor outside of his house, he feared that the memory of Augustus and the name of the Caesars would become a laughing-stock and a scorn. It was, in fact, not so much popularity in the present for which he cared as for glory in the future. Perplexed in mind, exhausted in body, he soon left to destiny a question to which he was unequal, though he threw out some hints from which it might be inferred that he foresaw what was to come. He taunted Macro, in no obscure terms, with forsaking the setting and looking to the rising sun. Once too when Gaius Caesar in a casual conversation ridiculed Lucius Sulla, he predicted to him that he would have all Sulla's vices and none of his virtues. At the same moment he embraced the younger of his two grandsons with a flood of tears, and, noting the savage face of the other, said, "You will slay this boy, and will be yourself slain by another." But even while his strength was fast failing he gave up none of his debaucheries. In his sufferings he would simulate health, and was wont to jest at the arts of the physician and at all who, after the age of thirty, require another man's advice to distinguish between what is beneficial or hurtful to their constitutions. Gnarum hoc principi, eoque dubitavit de tradenda re publica, primum inter nepotes, quorum Druso genitus sanguine et caritate propior, sed nondum pubertatem ingressus, Germanici filio robur iuventae, vulgi studia, eaque apud avum odii causa. etiam de Claudio agitanti, quod is composita aetate bonarum artium cupiens erat, imminuta mens eius obstitit. sin extra domum successor quaereretur, ne memoria Augusti, ne nomen Caesarum in ludibria et contumelias verterent metuebat: quippe illi non perinde curae gratia praesentium quam in posteros ambitio. mox incertus animi, fesso corpore consilium cui impar erat fato permisit, iactis tamen vocibus per quas intellegeretur providus futurorum; namque Macroni non abdita ambage occidentem ab eo deseri, orientem spectari exprobravit, et G. Caesari, forte orto sermone L. Sullam inridenti, omnia Sullae vitia et nullam eiusdem virtutem habiturum praedixit. simul crebris cum lacrimis minorem ex nepotibus complexus, truci alterius vultu, 'occides hunc tu' inquit 'et te alius.' sed gravescente valetudine nihil e libidinibus omittebat, in patientia firmitudinem simulans solitusque eludere medicorum artes atque eos qui post tricesimum aetatis annum ad internoscenda corpori suo utilia