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Quote of the day: That officer's wife, urged by a perverse
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XI Chapter 21: On Curtius Rufus[AD 47]
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Of the birth of Curtius Rufus, whom some affirm to have been the son of a gladiator, I would not publish a falsehood, while I shrink from telling the truth. On reaching manhood he attached himself to a quaestor to whom Africa had been allotted, and was walking alone at midday in some unfrequented arcade in the town of Adrumetum, when he saw a female figure of more than human stature, and heard a voice, Thou, Rufus, art the man who will one day come into this province as proconsul. Raised high in hope by such a presage, he returned to Rome, where, through the lavish expenditure of his friends and his own vigorous ability, he obtained the quaestorship, and, subsequently, in competition with well-born candidates, the praetorship, by the vote of the emperor Tiberius, who threw a veil over the discredit of his origin, saying, Curtius Rufus seems to me to be his own ancestor. Afterwards, throughout a long old age of surly sycophancy to those above him, of arrogance to those beneath him, and of moroseness among his equals, he gained the high office of the consulship, triumphal distinctions, and, at last, the province of Africa. There he died, and so fulfilled the presage of his destiny. De origine Curtii Rufi, quem gladiatore genitum quidam prodidere, neque falsa prompserim et vera exequi pudet. postquam adolevit, sectator quaestoris, cui Africa obtigerat, dum in oppido Adrumeto vacuis per medium diei porticibus secretus agitat, oblata ei species muliebris ultra modum humanum et audita est vox 'tu es, Rufe, qui in hanc provinciam pro consule venies.' tali omine in spem sublatus degressusque in urbem largitione amicorum, simul acri ingenio quaesturam et mox nobilis inter candidatos praeturam principis suffragio adsequitur, cum hisce verbis Tiberius dedecus natalium eius velavisset: 'Curtius Rufus videtur mihi ex se natus.' longa post haec senecta, et adversus superiores tristi adulatione, adrogans minoribus, inter pares difficilis, consulare imperium, triumphi insignia ac postremo Africam