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Quote of the day: There was a firm persuasion, that in the
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIV Chapter 14: Nero as an artist[AD 59]
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He [Note 1] had long had a fancy for driving a four-horse chariot, and a no less degrading taste for singing to the harp, in a theatrical fashion, when he was at dinner. This he would remind people was a royal custom, and had been the practice of ancient chiefs; it was celebrated too in the praises of poets and was meant to show honour to the gods. Songs indeed, he said, were sacred to Apollo, and it was in the dress of a singer that that great and prophetic deity was seen in Roman temples as well as in Greek cities. He could no longer be restrained, when Seneca and Burrus thought it best to concede one point that he might not persist in both. A space was enclosed in the Vatican valley where he might manage his horses, without the spectacle being public. Soon he actually invited all the people of Rome, who extolled him in their praises, like a mob which craves for amusements and rejoices when a prince draws them the same way. However, the public exposure of his shame acted on him as an incentive instead of sickening him, as men expected. Imagining that he mitigated the scandal by disgracing many others, he brought on the stage descendants of noble families, who sold themselves because they were paupers. As they have ended their days, I think it due to their ancestors not to hand down their names. And indeed the infamy is his who gave them wealth to reward their degradation rather than to deter them from degrading themselves. He prevailed too on some well-known Roman knights, by immense presents, to offer their services in the amphitheatre; only pay from one who is able to command, carries with it the force of compulsion.

Note 1: He = Nero

Event: Nero as an artist

Vetus illi cupido erat curriculo quadrigarum insistere, nec minus foedum studium cithara ludicrum in modum canere. concertare [e]quis regium et antiquis ducibus factitatum memora[ba]t, idque vatum laudibus celebre et deorum honori datum. enimvero cantus Apollini sacros, talique ornatu adstare non modo Graecis in urbibus, sed Romana apud templa numen praecipuum et praescium. nec iam sisti poterat, cum Senecae ac Burro visum, ne utraque pervinceret, alterum concedere. clausumque valle Vaticana spatium, in quo equos regeret, haud promisco spectaculo. mox ultro vocari populus Romanus laudibusque extollere, ut est vulgus cupiens voluptatum et, se eodem princeps trahat, laetum. ceterum evulgatus pudor non satietatum, ut rebantur, sed incitamentum attulit. ratusque dedecus moliri, si plures foedasset, nobilium familiarum posteros egestate venales in scaenam deduxit; quos fato perfunctos ne nominatim tradam, maioribus eorum tribuendum puto. [nam et eius flagitium est, qui pecuniam ob delicta potius dedit, quam ne delinquerent.] notos quoque equites Romanos operas arenae promittere subegit donis ingentibus, nisi quod merces ab eo, qui iubere potest,