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Caligula, Chapter 55: Caligula and the circus.
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Toward those to whom he [Note 1] was devoted his partiality became madness. He used to kiss Mnester, an actor of pantomimes, even in the theatre, and if anyone made even the slightest sound while his favorite was dancing, he had him dragged from his seat and scourged him with his own hand. When a Roman eques created a disturbance, he sent a centurion to bid him go without delay to Ostia and carry a message for him to king Ptolemy in Mauretania; and its purport was this: Do neither good nor ill to the man whom I have sent you. He gave some Thracian gladiators command of his German body-guard. He reduced the amount of armor of the murmillones [a type of gladiator]. When one Columbus had won a victory, but had suffered a slight wound, he had the place rubbed with a poison which he henceforth called Columbinum; at least that name was found included in his list of poisons. He was so passionately devoted to the green faction [in the Circus races] that he constantly dined and spent the night in their stables, and in one of his revels with them he gave the driver Eutychus two million sesterces in gifts. He used to send his soldiers on the day before the games and order silence in the neighborhood, to prevent the horse Incitatus from being disturbed. Besides a stall of marble, a manger of ivory, purple blankets and a collar of precious stones he even gave this horse a house, a troop of slaves and furniture, for the more elegant entertainment of the guests invited in his name; and it is also said that he planned to make him consul. |
Note 1: he = Caligula
|Quorum uero studio teneretur, omnibus ad insaniam fauit. Mnesterem pantomimum etiam inter spectacula osculabatur, ac si qui saltante eo uel leuiter obstreperet, detrahi iussum manu sua flagellabat. Equiti R. tumultuanti per centurionem denuntiauit, abiret sine mora Ostiam perferretque ad Ptolemaeum regem in Mauretaniam codicillos suos; quorum exemplum erat: "ei quem istoc misi, neque boni quicquam neque mali feceris." Thraeces quosdam Germanis corporis custodibus praeposuit. murmillonum armaturas recidit. Columbo uictori, leuiter tamen saucio, uenenum in plagam addidit, quod ex eo Columbinum appellauit; sic certe inter alia uenena scriptum ab eo repertum est. Prasinae factioni ita addictus et deditus, ut cenaret in stabulo assidue et maneret, agitatori Eutycho comisatione quadam in apophoretis uicies sestertium contulit. Incitato equo, cuius causa pridie circenses, ne inquietaretur, uiciniae silentium per milites indicere solebat, praeter equile marmoreum et praesaepe eburneum praeterque purpurea tegumenta ac monilia e gemmis domum etiam et familiam et supellectilem dedit, quo lautius nomine eius inuitati acciperentur; consulatum quoque traditur destinasse.|