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Quote of the day: Civilis had also thrown a dam obliquely
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 34: Piso and Urgulania.[AD 16]
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During this debate Lucius Piso, after exclaiming against the corruption of the courts, the bribery of judges, the cruel threats of accusations from hired orators, declared that he would depart and quit the capital, and that he meant to live in some obscure and distant rural retreat. At the same moment he rose to leave the Senate-House. Tiberius was much excited, and though he pacified Piso with gentle words, he also strongly urged his relatives to stop his departure by their influence or their entreaties. Soon afterwards this same Piso gave an equal proof of a fearless sense of wrong by suing Urgulania, whom Augusta's friendship had raised above the law. Neither did Urgulania obey the summons, for in defiance of Piso she went in her litter to the emperor's house; nor did Piso give way, though Augusta complained that she was insulted and her majesty slighted. Tiberius, to win popularity by so humouring his mother as to say that he would go to the praetor's court and support Urgulania, went forth from the palace, having ordered soldiers to follow him at a distance. He was seen, as the people thronged about him, to wear a calm face, while he prolonged his time on the way with various conversations, till at last when Piso's relatives tried in vain to restrain him, Augusta directed the money which was claimed to be handed to him. This ended the affair, and Piso, in consequence, was not dishonoured, and the emperor rose in reputation. Urgulania's influence, however, was so formidable to the State, that in a certain cause which was tried by the Senate she would not condescend to appear as a witness. The praetor was sent to question her at her own house, although the Vestal Virgins, according to ancient custom, were heard in the courts, before judges, whenever they gave evidence. Inter quae L. Piso ambitum fori, corrupta iudicia, saevitiam oratorum accusationes minitantium increpans, abire se et cedere urbe, victurum in aliquo abdito et longinquo rure testabatur; simul curiam relinquebat. commotus est Tiberius, et quamquam mitibus verbis Pisonem permulsisset, propinquos quoque eius impulit ut abeuntem auctoritate vel precibus tenerent. haud minus liberi doloris documentum idem Piso mox dedit vocata in ius Vrgulania, quam supra leges amicitia Augustae extulerat. nec aut Vrgulania optemperavit, in domum Caesaris spreto Pisone vecta, aut ille abscessit, quamquam Augusta se violari et imminui quereretur. Tiberius hactenus indulgere matri civile ratus, ut se iturum ad praetoris tribunal, adfuturum Vrgulaniae diceret, processit Palatio, procul sequi iussis militibus. spectabatur occursante populo compositus ore et sermonibus variis tempus atque iter ducens, donec propinquis Pisonem frustra coercentibus deferri Augusta pecuniam quae petebatur iuberet. isque finis rei, ex qua neque Piso inglorius et Caesar maiore fama fuit. ceterum Vrgulaniae potentia adeo nimia civitati erat ut testis in causa quadam, quae apud senatum tractabatur, venire dedignaretur: missus est praetor qui domi interrogaret, cum virgines Vestales in foro et iudicio audiri, quotiens testimonium dicerent, vetus