Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: He had given himself up to excessive joy
Do not display Latin text
Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XI Chapter 16: Italicus king of the Cherusci[AD 47]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
It was in this same year that the Cherusci asked Rome for a king. They had lost all their nobles in their civil wars and there was left but one scion of the royal house, Italicus by name, who lived at Rome. On the father's side he was descended from Flavus, the brother of Arminius; his mother was a daughter of Catumerus, chief of the Chatti. The youth himself was of distinguished beauty, a skilful horseman and swordsman both after our fashion and that of his country. So the emperor [Note 1] made him a present of money, furnished him with an escort, and bade him enter with a good heart on the honours of his house. Neverbefore, he said, had a native of Rome, no hostage but a citizen, gone to mount a foreign throne. At first his arrival was welcome to the Germans, and they crowded to pay him court, for he was untainted by any spirit of faction, and showed the same hearty goodwill to all, practising sometimes the courtesy and temperance which can never offend, but oftener those excesses of wine and lust in which barbarians delight. He was winning fame among his neighbours and even far beyond them, when some who had found their fortune in party feuds, jealous of his power, fled to the tribes on the border, protesting that Germany was being robbed of her ancient freedom, and that the might of Rome was on the rise. Is there really, they said, no native of this country to fill the place of king without raising the son of the spy Flavus above all his fellows? It is idle to put forward the name of Arminius. Had even the son of Arminius come to the throne after growing to manhood on a hostile soil, he might well be dreaded, corrupted as he would be by the bread of dependence, by slavery, by luxury, by all foreign habits. But if Italicus had his father's spirit, no man, be it remembered, had ever waged war against his country and his home more savagely than that father.

Note 1: emperor = Claudius

Event: Italicus king of the Cherusci

Eodem anno Cheruscorum gens regem Roma petivit, amissis per interna bella nobilibus et uno reliquo stirpis regiae, qui apud urbem habebatur nomine Italicus. paternum huic genus e Flavo fratre Arminii, mater ex Actumero principe Chattorum erat; ipse forma decorus et armis equisque in patrium nostrumque morem exercitus. igitur Caesar auctum pecunia, additis stipatoribus, hortatur gentile decus magno animo capessere: illum primum Romae ortum nec obsidem, sed civem ire externum ad imperium. ac primo laetus Germanis adventus atque eo quod nullis discordiis imbutus pari in omnis studio ageret celebrari, coli, modo comitatem et temperantiam, nulli invisa, saepius vinolentiam ac libidines, grata barbaris, usurpans. iamque apud proximos, iam longius clarescere, cum potentiam eius suspectantes qui factionibus floruerant discedunt ad conterminos populos ac testificantur adimi veterem Germaniae libertatem et Romanas opes insurgere. adeo neminem isdem in terris ortum qui principem locum impleat, nisi exploratoris Flavi progenies super cunctos attollatur? frustra Arminium praescribi: cuius si filius hostili in solo adultus in regnum venisset, posse extimesci, infectum alimonio servitio cultu, omnibus externis: at si paterna Italico mens esset, non alium infensius arma contra patriam ac deos penatis quam parentem eius