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Caligula, Chapter 30: Caligula as a monster (Cont.)
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He seldom had anyone put to death except by numerous slight wounds, his constant order, which soon became well-known, being: Strike so that he may feel that he is dying. When a different man than he had intended had been killed, through a mistake in the names, he said that the victim too had deserved the same fate. He often uttered the familiar line of the tragic poet Accius, Atreus, 203]: |
Let them hate me, so they but fear me.
He often inveighed against all the senators alike, as adherents of Seianus and informers against his mother and brothers, producing the documents which he pretended to have burned, and upholding the cruelty of Tiberius as forced upon him, since he could not but believe so many accusers. He constantly tongue-lashed the equestrian order as devotees of the stage and the arena. Angered at the rabble for applauding a faction which he opposed, he cried: I wish the Roman people had but a single neck, and when the brigand Tetrinius was demanded, he said that those who asked for him were Tetriniuses also. Once a band of five retiarii in tunics, matched against the same number of secutores, yielded without a struggle; but when their death was ordered, one of them caught up his trident and slew all the victors. Caligula bewailed this in a public proclamation as a most cruel murder, and expressed his horror of those who had had the heart to witness it.
Event: Caligula as a monster