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Quote of the day: Poor for many years and suddenly growing
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book VI Chapter 29: Labeo and Scaurus[AD 34]
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Rome meanwhile being a scene of ceaseless bloodshed, Pomponius Labeo, who was, as I have related, governor of Moesia, severed his veins and let his life ebb from him. His wife, Paxaea, emulated her husband. What made such deaths eagerly sought was dread of the executioner, and the fact too that the condemned, besides forfeiture of their property, were deprived of burial, while those who decided their fate themselves, had their bodies interred, and their wills remained valid, a recompense this for their despatch. The emperor, however, argued in a letter to the Senate that it had been the practice of our ancestors, whenever they broke off an intimacy, to forbid the person their house, and so put an end to friendship. "This usage he had himself revived in Labeo's case, but Labeo, being pressed by charges of maladministration in his province and other crimes, had screened his guilt by bringing odium on another, and had groundlessly alarmed his wife, who, though criminal, was still free from danger." Mamercus Scaurus was then for the second time impeached, a man of distinguished rank and ability as an advocate, but of infamous life. He fell, not through the friendship of Sejanus, but through what was no less powerful to destroy, the enmity of Macro, who practised the same arts more secretly. Macro's information was grounded on the subject of a tragedy written by Scaurus, from which he cited some verses which might be twisted into allusions to Tiberius. But Servilius and Cornelius, his accusers, alleged adultery with Livia and the practice of magical rites Scaurus, as befitted the old house of the Aemilii, forestalled the fatal sentence at the persuasion of his wife Sextia, who urged him to die and shared his death. At Romae caede continua Pomponius Labeo, quem praefuisse Moesiae rettuli, per abruptas venas sanguinem effudit; aemulataque est coniunx Paxaea. nam promptas eius modi mortes metus carnificis faciebat, et quia damnati publicatis bonis sepultura prohibebantur, eorum qui de se statuebant humabantur corpora, manebant testamenta, pretium festinandi. sed Caesar missis ad senatum litteris disseruit morem fuisse maioribus, quoties dirimerent amicitias, interdicere domo eumque finem gratiae ponere: id se repetivisse in Labeone, atque illum, quia male administratae provinciae aliorumque criminum urgebatur, culpam invidia velavisse, frustra conterrita uxore, quam etsi nocentem periculi tamen expertem fuisse. Mamercus dein Scaurus rursum postulatur, insignis nobilitate et orandis causis, vita probrosus. nihil hunc amicitia Seiani, sed labefecit haud minus validum ad exitia Macronis odium, qui easdem artes occultius exercebat detuleratque argumentum tragoediae a Scauro scriptae, additis versibus qui in Tiberium flecterentur: verum ab Servilio et Cornelio accusatoribus adulterium Liviae, magorum sacra obiectabantur. Scaurus, ut dignum veteribus Aemiliis, damnationem antiit, hortante Sextia uxore, quae incitamentum mortis et particeps