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Quote of the day: A shudder comes over my soul, whenever I
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 55: Germanicus goes East. Piso too.[AD 18]
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Cneius Piso meanwhile, that he might the sooner enter on his design, terrified the citizens of Athens by his tumultuous approach, and then reviled them in a bitter speech, with indirect reflections on Germanicus, who, he said, had derogated from the honour of the Roman name in having treated with excessive courtesy, not the people of Athens, who indeed had been exterminated by repeated disasters, but a miserable medley of tribes. As for the men before him, they had been Mithridates's allies against Sulla, allies of Antonius against the Divine Augustus. He taunted them too with the past, with their ill-success against the Macedonians, their violence to their own countrymen, for he had his own special grudge against this city, because they would not spare at his intercession one Theophilus whom the Areopagus had condemned for forgery. Then, by sailing rapidly and by the shortest route through the Cyclades he overtook Germanicus at the island of Rhodes. The prince was not ignorant of the slanders with which he had been assailed, but his good nature was such that when a storm arose and drove Piso on rocks, and his enemy's destruction could have been referred to chance, he sent some triremes, by the help of which he might be rescued from danger. But this did not soften Piso's heart. Scarcely allowing a day's interval, he left Germanicus and hastened on in advance. When he reached Syria and the legions, he began, by bribery and favouritism, to encourage the lowest of the common soldiers, removing the old centurions and the strict tribunes and assigning their places to creatures of his own or to the vilest of the men, while he allowed idleness in the camp, licentiousness in the towns, and the soldiers to roam through the country and take their pleasure. He went such lengths in demoralizing them, that he was spoken of in their vulgar talk as the father of the legions. Plancina too, instead of keeping herself within the proper limits of a woman, would be present at the evolutions of the cavalry and the manoeuvres of the cohorts, and would fling insulting remarks at Agrippina and Germanicus. Some even of the good soldiers were inclined to a corrupt compliance, as a whispered rumour gained ground that the emperor [Note 1] was not averse to these proceedings. Of all this Germanicus was aware, but his most pressing anxiety was to be first in reaching Armenia

Note 1: emperor = Tiberius

Event: Germanicus goes East

At Cn. Piso quo properantius destinata inciperet civitatem Atheniensium turbido incessu exterritam oratione saeva increpat, oblique Germanicum perstringens quod contra decus Romani nominis non Atheniensis tot cladibus extinctos, sed conluviem illam nationum comitate nimia coluisset: hos enim esse Mithridatis adversus Sullam, Antonii adversus divum Augustum socios. etiam vetena obiectabat, quae in Macedones inprospere, violenter in suos fecissent, offensus urbi propria quoque ira quia Theophilum quendam Areo iudicio falsi damnatum precibus suis non concederent. exim navigatione celeri per Cycladas ee compendia maris adsequitur Germanicum apud insulam Rhodum, haud nescium quibus insectationibus petitus foret: sed tanta mansuetudine agebat ut, cum orta tempestas raperet in abrupta possetque interitus inimici ad casum referri, miserit triremis quarum subsidio discrimini eximeretur. neque tamen mitigatus Piso, et vix diei moram perpessus linquit Germanicum praevenitque. et postquam Syriam ac legiones attigit, largitione, ambitu, infimos manipularium iuvando, cum veteres centuriones, severos tribunos demoveret locaque eorum clientibus suis vel deterrimo cuique attribueret, desidiam in castris, licentiam in urbibus, vagum ac lascivientem per agros militem sineret, eo usque corruptionis provectus est ut sermone vulgi parens legionum haberetur. nec Plancina se intra decora feminis tenebat, .sed exercitio equitum, decursibus cohortium interesse, in Agrippinam, in Germanicum contumelias iacere, quibusdam etiam bonorum militum ad mala obsequia promptis, quod haud invito imperatore ea fieri occultus rumor incedebat. nota haec