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Claudius, Chapter 4: Augustus on Claudius.
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"I have had some conversation with Tiberius, according to your desire, my dear Livia, as to what must be done with your grandson, Tiberius, at the games of Mars. We are both agreed in this, that, once for all, we ought to determine what course to take with him. For if he be really sound and, so to speak, quite right in his intellects, why should we hesitate to promote him by the same steps and degrees we did his brother? But if we find him below par, and deficient both in body and mind, we must beware of giving occasion for him and ourselves to be laughed at by the world, which is ready enough to make such things the subject of mirth and derision. For we shall be never easy, if we are always to be debating upon every occasion of this kind, without settling, in the first instance, whether he be really capable of public offices or not. With regard to what you consult me about at the present moment, I am not against his superintending the feast of the priests, in the games of Mars, if he will suffer himself to be governed by his kinsman, Silanus's son, that he may do nothing to make the people stare and laugh at him. But I do not approve of his witnessing the Circensian Games from the Pulvinar. He will be there exposed to view in the very front of the theatre. Nor do I like that he should go to the Alban Mount, or be at Rome during the Latin Festival festival. For if he be capable of attending his brother [Note 1] to the mount, why is he not made prefect of the city ? Thus, my dear Livia, you have my thoughts upon the matter. In my opinion, we ought to settle this affair once for all, that we may not be always in suspense between hope and fear. You may, if you think proper, give your kinsman Antonia this part of my letter to read."|
In another letter, he writes as follows:
" I shall invite the youth, Tiberius, every day during your absence, to supper, that he may not sup alone with his friends Sulpicius and Athenodorus. I wish the poor creature was more cautious and attentive in the choice of some one, whose manners, air, and gait might be proper for his imitation:
In things of consequence he sadly fails. Where his mind does not run astray, he discovers a noble disposition."
In a third letter, he says,
"Let me die, my dear Livia, if I am not astonished, that the declamation of your grandson, Tiberius, should please me; for how he who talks so ill, should be able to declaim so clearly and properly, I cannot imagine."
There is no doubt but Augustus, after this, came to a resolution upon the subject, and, accordingly, left him invested with no other honour than that of the Augural priesthood; naming him amongst the heirs of the third degree, who were but distantly allied to his family, for a sixth part of his estate only, with a legacy of no more than eight hundred thousand sesterces.
Note 1: brother = Germanicus
|"Collocutus sum cum Tiberio, ut mandasti, mea Livia, quid nepoti tuo Tiberio faciendum esset ludis Martialibus. Consentit autem uterque nostrum, semel nobis esse statvendum, quod consilium in illo sequamur. Nam si est artius, ut ita dicam, holocleros, quid est quod dubitemus, quin per eosdem articulos et gradus producendus sit, per quos frater eius productus sit? Sin autem elattosthai sentimus eum et beblaphthai kai eis ten tou somatos kai eis ten tes psyches artioteta, praebenda materia deridendi et illum et nos non est hominibus ta toiauta skoptein kai mykterizein eiothosin. Nam semper aestuabimus, si de singulis articulis temporum deliberabimus, me proupokeimenou hemin posse arbitremur eum gerere honores necne. In praesentia tamen quibus de rebus consulis, curare eum ludis Martialibus triclinium sacerdotum non displicet nobis, si est passurus se ab Silvani filio homine sibi affini admoneri, ne quid faciat quod conspici et derideri possit. Spectare eum circenses ex pulvinari non placet nobis; expositus enim in fronte prima spectaculorum conspicietur. In Albanum montem ire eum non placet nobis aut esse Romae Latinarum diebus. Cur enim non praeficitur urbi, si potest sequi fratrem suum in montem? Habes nostras, mea Livia, sententias, quibus placet semel de tota re aliquid constitui, ne semper inter spem et metum fluctuemur. Licebit autem, si voles, Antoniae quoque nostrae des hanc partem epistulae huius legendam." Rursus alteris litteris: "Tiberium adulescentem ego vero, dum to aberis, cotidie invitabo ad cenam, ne solus cenet cum suo Sulpicio et Athenodoro. Qui vellem diligentius et minus meteoros deligeret sibi aliquem, cuius motum et habitum et incessum imitaretur. Misellus atychei nam en tois spoudaiois ubi non aberravit eius animus, satis apparet he tes psyches autou eugeneia. Item tertiis litteris: "Tiberium nepotem tuum placere mihi declamantern potuisse, peream nisi, mea Livia, admiror. Nam qui tam asaphos loquatur, qui possit cum declamat saphos dicere quae dicenda sunt, non video." Nec dubium est, quid post haec Augustus constituerit, et reliquerit eum nullo praeter auguralis sacerdotii honore impertitum ac ne heredem quidem nisi inter tertios ac paene extraneos e parte sexta nuncuparet, legato quoque non amplius quam octingentorum sestertiorum prosecutus.|