|Do not fly Iberia
Do not display Latin text
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 44: Obituary of Agricola[AD 93]
Return to index
Agricola was born on the 13th of June, in the third consulate of Gaius Caesar; he died on the 23rd of August, during the consulate of Collega and Priscinus, being in the fifty-sixth year of his age. Should posterity wish to know something of his appearance, it was graceful rather than commanding. There was nothing formidable in his appearance; a gracious look predominated. One would easily believe him a good man, and willingly believe him to be great. As for himself, though taken from us in the prime of a vigorous manhood, yet, as far as glory is concerned, his life was of the longest. Those true blessings, indeed, which consist in virtue, he had fully attained; and on one who had reached the honours of a consulate and a triumph, what more had fortune to bestow? Immense wealth had no attractions for him, and wealth he had, even to splendour. As his daughter and his wife [Note 1] survived him, it may be thought that he was even fortunate -- fortunate, in that while his honours had suffered no eclipse, while his fame was at its height, while his kindred and his friends still prospered, he escaped from the evil to come. For, though to survive until the dawn of this most happy age and to see a Trajan on the throne was what he would speculate upon in previsions and wishes confided to my ears, yet he had this mighty compensation for his premature death, that he was spared those later years during which Domitian, leaving now no interval or breathing space of time, but, as it were, with one continuous blow, drained the life-blood of the Common-wealth.
Note 1: wife = Domitia Decidiana
|Natus erat Agricola Gaio Caesare tertium consule idibus Iuniis: excessit quarto et quinquagesimo anno, decimum kalendas Septembris Collega Prisc<in>oque consulibus. Quod si habitum quoque eius posteri noscere velint, decentior quam sublimior fuit; nihil impetus in vultu: gratia oris supererat. Bonum virum facile crederes, magnum libenter. Et ipse quidem, quamquam medio in spatio integrae aetatis ereptus, quantum ad gloriam, longissimum aevum peregit. Quippe et vera bona, quae in virtutibus sita sunt, impleverat, et consulari ac triumphalibus ornamentis praedito quid aliud adstruere fortuna poterat? Opibus nimiis non gaudebat, speciosae [non] contigerant. Filia atque uxore superstitibus potest videri etiam beatus incolumi dignitate, florente fama, salvis adfinitatibus et amicitiis futura effugisse. Nam sicut ei [non licuit] durare in hanc beatissimi saeculi lucem ac principem Traianum videre, quod augurio votisque apud nostras auris ominabatur, ita festinatae mortis grande solacium tulit evasisse postremum illud tempus, quo Domitianus non iam per intervalla ac spiramenta temporum, sed continuo et velut uno ictu rem publicam exhausit.