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Quote of the day: That officer's wife, urged by a perverse
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 6: Tiberius' administration[AD 23]
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It is however, I think, a convenient opportunity for me to review the hitherto prevailing methods of administration in the other departments of the State, inasmuch as that year brought with it the beginning of a change for the worse in Tiberius 's policy. In the first place, public business and the most important private matters were managed by the Senate: the leading men were allowed freedom of discussion, and when they stooped to flattery, the emperor himself checked them. He bestowed honours with regard to noble ancestry, military renown, or brilliant accomplishments as a civilian, letting it be clearly seen that there were no better men to choose. The consul and the praetor retained their prestige; inferior magistrates exercised their authority; the laws too, with the single exception of cases of treason, were properly enforced. As to the duties on corn, the indirect taxes and other branches of the public revenue, they were in the hands of companies of Roman knights. The emperor intrusted his own property to men of the most tried integrity or to persons known only by their general reputation, and once appointed they were retained without any limitation, so that most of them grew old in the same employments. The city populace indeed suffered much from high prices, but this was no fault of the emperor, who actually endeavoured to counteract barren soils and stormy seas with every resource of wealth and foresight. And he was also careful not to distress the provinces by new burdens, and to see that in bearing the old they were safe from any rapacity or oppression on the part of governors. Corporal punishments confiscations of property were unknown. Congruens crediderim recensere ceteras quoque rei publicae partis, quibus modis ad eam diem habitae sint, quoniam Tiberio mutati in deterius principatus initium ille annus attulit. iam primum publica negotia et privatorum maxima apud patres tractabantur, dabaturque primoribus disserere et in adulationem lapsos cohibebat ipse; mandabatque honores, nobilitatem maiorum, claritudinem militiae, iniustris domi artes spectando, ut satis constaret non alios potiores fuisse. sua consulibus, sua praetoribus species; minorum quoque magistratuum exercita potestas; legesque, si maiestatis quaestio eximeretur, bono in usu. at frumenta et pecuniae vectigales, cetera publicorum fructuum societatibus equitum Romanorum agitabantur. res suas Caesar spectatissimo cuique, quibusdam ignotis ex fama mandabat, semelque adsumpti tenebantur prorsus sine modo, cum plerique isdem negotiis insenescereut. plebes acri quidem annona fatigabatur, sed nulla in eo culpa ex principe: quin infecunditati terrarum aut asperis maris obviam iit, quantum impendio diligentiaque poterat. et ne provinciae novis oneribus turbarentur utque vetera sine avaritia aut crudelitate magistratnum tolerarent providebat: corporum verbera, ademptiones bonorum aberant. rari per Italiam Caesaris agri, modesta servitia, intra paucos libertos domus;