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Quote of the day: It had been the ancient policy of the fo
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIV Chapter 57: Sulla en Plautus[AD 62]
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When Seneca had fallen, it was easy to shake the position of Faenius Rufus by making Agrippina's friendship a charge against him. Tigellinus, who was daily becoming more powerful and who thought that the wicked schemings which alone gave him strength, would be better liked if he could secure the emperor's complicity in guilt, dived into Nero's most secret apprehensions, and, as soon as he had ascertained that Plautus and Sulla were the men he most dreaded, Plautus having been lately sent away to Asia, Sulla to Gallia Narbonensis, he spoke much of their noble rank and of their respective proximity to the armies of the East and of Germany. "I have no eye", he said, "like Burrus, to two conflicting aims, but only to Nero's safety, which is at least secured against treachery in Rome by my presence. As for distant commotions, how can they be checked? Gaul is roused at the name of the great dictator, and I distrust no less the nations of Asia, because of the renown of such a grandfather as Drusus. Sulla is poor, and hence comes his surpassing audacity; he shams apathy, while he is seeking an opening for his reckless ambition. Plautus again, with his great wealth, does not so much as affect a love of repose, but he flaunts before us his imitations of the old Romans and assumes the self-consciousness of the Stoics along with a philosophy, which makes men restless, and eager for a busy life". There was not a moment's delay. Sulla, six days afterwards, was murdered by assassins brought over to Massilia while he was reclining at the dinner-table, before he feared or heard of his danger. The head was taken to Rome, and Nero scoffed at its premature grey hairs as if they were a disfigurement. Perculso Seneca promptum fuit Rufum Faenium imminuere Agrippinae amicitiam in eo criminantibus. validiorque in dies Tigellinus et malas artes, quibus solis pollebat, gratiores ratus, si principem societate scelerum obstringeret, metus eius rimatur; compertoque Plautum et Sullam maxime timeri, Plautum in Asiam, Sullam in Galliam Narbonensem nuper amotos, nobilitatem eorum et propinquos huic Orientis, illi Germaniae exercitus commemorat. non se, ut Burrum, diversas spes, sed solam incolumitatem Neronis spectare; cui caveri utcumque ab urbanis insidiis praesenti o[pe]ra: longinquos motus quonam modo comprimi posse? erectas Gallias ad nomen dictatorium, nec minus suspensos Asiae populos claritudine avi Drusi. Sullam inopem, unde praecipuam audaciam, et simulatione segnitiae, dum temeritati locum reperiret. Plautum magnis opibus ne fingere quidem cupidinem otii, sed veterum Romanorum imitamenta praeferre, adsumpta etiam Stoicorum adrogantia sectaque, quae turbidos et negotiorum adpetentes faciat. nec ultra mora. Sulla sexto die pervectis Massiliam percussoribus ante metum et rumorem interficitur, cum epulandi causa discumberet. relatum caput eius inlusit