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Quote of the day: But a general survey inclines me to beli
Notes
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 49: Lucius Piso murdered (cont.)[AD 70]
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At this time the legion in Africa was commanded by Valerius Festus, a young man of extravagant habits and immoderate ambition, who was now made uneasy by his relationship to Vitellius. Whether this man in their frequent interviews tempted Piso to revolt, or whether he resisted such overtures, is not known for certain, for no one was present at their confidential meetings, and, after Piso's death, many were disposed to ingratiate themselves with the murderer. There is no doubt that the province and the troops entertained feelings of hostility to Vespasian, and some of the Vitellianists, who had escaped from the capital, incessantly represented to Piso that Gaul was hesitating and Germany ready to revolt, that his own position was perilous, and that for one who in peace must be suspected, war was the safer course. While this was going on, Claudius Sagitta, prefect of Petra's Horse, making a very quick passage, reached Africa before Papirius, the centurion despatched by Mucianus. He declared that an order to put Piso to death had been given to the centurion, and that Galerianus, his cousin and son-in-law, had perished; that his only hope of safety was in bold action; that in such action two paths were open; he might defend himself on the spot, or he might sail for Gaul and offer his services as general to the Vitellianist armies. Piso was wholly unmoved by this statement. The centurion despatched by Mucianus, on landing in the port of Carthage, raised his voice, and invoked in succession all blessings on the head of Piso, as if he were Emperor, and bade the bystanders, who were astonished by this sudden and strange proceeding, take up the same cry. The credulous mob rushed into the market-place, and demanded that Piso should shew himself. They threw everything into an uproar with their clamorous shouts of joy, careless of the truth, and only eager to flatter. Piso, acting on the information of Sagitta, or, perhaps, from natural modesty, would not make his appearance in public, or trust himself to the zeal of the populace. On questioning the centurion, and finding that he had sought a pretext for accusing and murdering him, he ordered the man to be executed, moved, not so much by any hope of saving his life, as by indignation against the assassin; for this fellow had been one of the murderers of Macer, and was now come to slay the proconsul with hands already stained with the blood of the legate. He then severely blamed the people of Carthage in an edict which betrayed his anxiety, and ceased to discharge even the usual duties of his office, shutting himself up in his palace, to guard against any casual occurrence that might lead to a new outbreak.

Event: Lucius Piso murdered

Sed tum legionem in Africa regebat Valerius Festus, sumptuosae adulescentiae neque modica cupiens et adfinitate Vitellii anxius. is crebris sermonibus temptaveritne Pisonem ad res novas an temptanti restiterit, incertum, quoniam secreto eorum nemo adfuit, et occiso Pisone plerique ad gratiam interfectoris inclinavere. nec ambigitur provinciam et militem alienato erga Vespasianum animo fuisse; et quidam e Vitellianis urbe profugi ostentabant Pisoni nutantis Gallias, paratam Germaniam, pericula ipsius et in pace suspecto tutius bellum. inter quae Claudius Sagitta, praefectus alae Petrianae, prospera navigatione praevenit Papirium centurionem a Muciano missum, adseveravitque mandata interficiendi Pisonis centurioni data: cecidisse Galerianum consobrinum eius generumque; unam in audacia spem salutis, sed duo itinera audendi, seu mallet statim arma, seu petita navibus Gallia ducem se Vitellianis exercitibus ostenderet. nihil ad ea moto Pisone, centurio a Muciano missus, ut portum Carthaginis attigit, magna voce laeta Pisoni omnia tamquam principi continuare, obvios et subitae rei miraculo attonitos ut eadem adstreperent hortari. vulgus credulum ruere in forum, praesentiam Pisonis exposcere; gaudio clamoribusque cuncta miscebant, indiligentia veri et adulandi libidine. Piso indicio Sagittae vel insita modestia non in publicum egressus est neque se studiis vulgi permisit: centurionemque percontatus, postquam quaesitum sibi crimen caedemque comperit, animadverti in eum iussit, haud perinde spe vitae quam ira in percussorem, quod idem ex interfectoribus Clodii Macri cruentas legati sanguine manus ad caedem proconsulis rettulisset. anxio deinde edicto Carthaginiensibus increpitis, ne solita quidem munia usurpabat, clausus intra domum, ne qua motus novi causa vel forte oreretur.