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Tiberius Chapter 67: No Father of the country.[33 AD]
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At last in utter self-disgust he [Note 1] all but admitted the extremity of his wretchedness in a letter [33 A.D.] beginning as follows: |
If I know what to write to you, Fathers of the Senate, or how to write it, or what to leave unwritten at present, may all gods and goddesses visit me with more utter destruction than I feel that I am daily suffering.
Some think that through his knowledge of the future he foresaw this situation, and knew long beforehand what detestation and ill-repute one day awaited him; and that therefore when he became emperor, he positively refused the title of Father of his country and to allow the Senate to take oath to support his acts, for fear that he might presently be found undeserving of such honours and thus be the more shamed. In fact, this may be gathered from the speech which he made regarding these two matters; for example, when he says; I shall always be consistent and never change my ways so long as I am in my senses; but for the sake of precedent the Senate should beware of binding itself to support the acts of any man, since he might through some mischance suffer a change. Again: If you ever come to feel any doubt, he says, of my character or of my heartfelt devotion to you (and before that happens, I pray that my last day may save me from this altered opinion of me), the title of Father of my country will give me no additional honour, but will be a reproach to you, either for your hasty action in conferring the appellation upon me, or for your inconsistency in changing your estimate of my character.
Note 1: Tiberius