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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIII Chapter 47: Complot against Sulla[AD 58]
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Hitherto Nero had sought a veil for his abominations and wickedness. He was particularly suspicious of Cornelius Sulla, whose apathetic temper he interpreted as really the reverse, inferring that he was, in fact, an artful dissembler. Graptus, one of the emperor's freedmen whose age and experience had made him thoroughly acquainted with the imperial household from the time of Tiberius, quickened these apprehensions by the following falsehood. The Mulvian bridge was then a famous haunt of nightly profligacy, and Nero used to go there that he might take his pleasures more freely outside the city. So Graptus, taking advantage of an idle panic into which the royal attendants had chanced to have been thrown on their return by one of those youthful frolics which were then everywhere practised, invented a story that a treacherous attack had been planned on the emperor, should he go back by the Flaminian Road, and that through the favour of destiny he had escaped it, as he went home by a different way to gardens of Sallust. Sulla, he said, was the author of this plot. Not one, however, of Sulla's slaves or clients was recognised, and his character, despicable as it was and incapable of a daring act, was utterly at variance with the charge. Still, just as if he had been found guilty, he was ordered to leave his country, and confine himself within the walls of Hactenus Nero flagitiis et sceleribus velamenta quaesivit. suspectabat maxime Cornelium Sullam, socors ingenium eius in contrarium trahens callidumque et simulatorem interpretando. quem metum Graptus ex libertis Caesaris, usu et senecta Tiberio abusque domum principium edoctus, tali mendacio intendit. pons Mulvius in eo tempore celebris nocturnis inlecebris erat; ven[ti]tabatque illuc Nero, quo solutius urbem extra lasciviret. igitur regredienti per viam Flaminiam compositas insidias fatoque evitatas, quoniam diverso itinere Sallustianos in hortos remeaverit, auctoremque eius doli Sullam ementitur, quia forte redeuntibus ministris principis quidam per iuvenilem licentiam, quae tunc passim exercebatur, inanem metum fecerant. neque servorum quisquam neque clientium Sullae adgnitus, maximeque despecta et nullius ausi capax natura eius a crimine abhorrebat: proinde tamen, quasi convictus esset,