It is related by several writers of the period that many days before the murder, Nero had offered the worst insult to the boyhood of Britannicus; so that his death could no longer seem a premature or dreadful event, though it happened at the sacred board, without even a moment for the embraces of his sisters, hurried on too, as it was, under the eyes of an enemy, on the sole surviving offspring of the Claudii, the victim first of dishonour, then of poison.
tradunt plerique eorum temporum scriptores crebris ante exitium diebus inlusum isse pueritia[e] Britannici Neronem, ut iam non praematura neque saeva mors videri queat, quamvis inter sacra mensae, ne tempore quidem ad complexum sororum dato, ante oculos inimici properata sit in illum supremum Claudiorum sanguinem stupro prius quam veneno pollutum.
Now I would have an orator, like a rich and grand householder, not merely be sheltered by a roof sufficient to keep off rain and wind, but by one to delight the sight and the eye; not merely be provided with such furniture as is enough for necessary purposes, but also possess among his treasures gold and jewels, so that he may find a frequent pleasure in handling them and gazing on them.
Ego autem oratorem, sicut locupletem ac lautum patrem familiae, non eo tantum volo tecto tegi quod imbrem ac ventum arceat, sed etiam quod visum et oculos delectet; non ea solum instrui supellectile quae necessariis usibus sufficiat, sed sit in apparatu eius et aurum et gemmae, ut sumere in manus et aspicere saepius libeat.
That brother, surnamed Flavus, was with our army, a man famous for his loyalty, and for having lost an eye by a wound, a few years ago, when Tiberius was in command.
erat is in exercitu cognomento Flavus, insignis fide et amisso per vulnus oculo paucis ante annis duce Tiberio.
There was now an opportunity for managing affairs successfully, nor did it escape Caesar, that an army daunted at suffering such a loss before their eyes, could not stand, especially as they were surrounded by our horse, and the engagement would take place on even and open ground.
Erat occasio bene gerendae rei. Neque vero id Caesarem fugiebat, tanto sub oculis accepto detrimento perterritum exercitum sustinere non posse, praesertim circumdatum undique equitatu, cum in loco aequo atque aperto confligeretur; idque ex omnibus partibus ab eo flagitabatur.
You have yet before you a vigorous prime, and that on which for so many years your eyes were fixed, supreme power.
superest tibi robur et tot per annos summi fastigii regimen: possumus seniores amici quietem reposcere.
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Facilius est camelum per foramen acus transire quam divitem intrare in regnum Dei.
It added weight also to the advice of those who reported that circumstance, that the Nervii, from early times, because they were weak in cavalry, (for not even at this time do they attend to it, but accomplish by their infantry whatever they can,) in order that they might the more easily obstruct the cavalry of their neighbors if they came upon them for the purpose of plundering, having cut young trees, and bent them, by means of their numerous branches [extending] on to the sides, and the quick-briars and thorns springing up between them, had made these hedges present a fortification like a wall, through which it was not only impossible to enter, but even to penetrate with the eye.
Adiuvabat etiam eorum consilium qui rem deferebant quod Nervii antiquitus, cum equitatu nihil possent (neque enim ad hoc tempus ei rei student, sed quicquid possunt, pedestribus valent copiis), quo facilius finitimorum equitatum, si praedandi causa ad eos venissent, impedirent, teneris arboribus incisis atque inflexis crebrisque in latitudinem ramis enatis [et] rubis sentibusque interiectis effecerant ut instar muri hae saepes munimentum praeberent, quo non modo non intrari sed ne perspici quidem posset.
"I have no eye, he said, ""like Burrus, to two conflicting aims, but only to Nero's safety, which is at least secured against treachery in Rome by my presence. As for distant commotions, how can they be checked? Gaul is roused at the name of the great dictator, and I distrust no less the nations of Asia, because of the renown of such a grandfather as Drusus."
non se, ut Burrum, diversas spes, sed solam incolumitatem Neronis spectare; cui caveri utcumque ab urbanis insidiis praesenti o[pe]ra: longinquos motus quonam modo comprimi posse? erectas Gallias ad nomen dictatorium, nec minus suspensos Asiae populos claritudine avi Drusi.
They, as they had been commanded, having brought out the four cohorts, which, as they had been left as a guard for the camp, were not fatigued by exertion, and having led them round by a some what longer way, lest they could be seen from the camp of the enemy, when the eyes and minds of all were intent upon the battle, quickly arrived at those fortifications which we have spoken of, and, having demolished these, stood in the camp of the enemy before they were seen by them, or it was known what was going on.
Illi, ut erat imperatum, eductis iis cohortibus quae praesidio castris relictae intritae ab labore erant, et longiore itinere circumductis, ne ex hostium castris conspici possent, omnium oculis mentibusque ad pugnam intentis celeriter ad eas quas diximus munitiones pervenerunt atque his prorutis prius in hostium castris constiterunt quam plane ab his videri aut quid rei gereretur cognosci posset.
With flashing eyes, and in the fierce tones that might be most widely heard (for the centurions and some of the common soldiers had intruded themselves into the deliberations), he poured out such a torrent of these and similar words, that he carried away even the cautious and prudent, while the general voice of the multitude extolled him as the one man, the one general in the army, and spurned the inaction of the others.
Haec ac talia flagrans oculis, truci voce, quo latius audiretur (etenim se centuriones et quidam militum consilio miscuerant), ita effudit ut cautos quoque ac providos permoveret, vulgus et ceteri unum virum ducemque, spreta aliorum segnitia, laudibus ferrent.
There was a story that Vespasian was insulted by Phoebus, a freedman, for closing his eyes in a doze, and that having with difficulty been screened by the intercessions of the well disposed, he escaped imminent destruction through his grander destiny.
ferebantque Vespasianum, tamquam somno coniveret, a Phoebo liberto increpitum aegreque meliorum precibus obtectum, mox imminentem perniciem maiore fato effugisse.
" I'll soon make you sensible who I am, answered the soldier. Then pulling off his helmet, to discover himself, he threw a javelin, with all his strength at Labienus, which wounding his horse severely in the breast-""Know, Labienus,"" says he, ""that this dart was thrown by a soldier of the tenth legion."" However, the whole army was not a little daunted, especially the new levies; and began to cast their eyes upon Caesar, minding nothing, for the present, but to defend themselves from the enemy's darts."
Misereor vestri.' Tum miles, 'Non sum' inquit 'tiro Labiene, sed de legione X veteranus.' Tum Labienus, 'Non agnosco' inquit 'signa decumanorum.' Tum ait miles: 'Iam me quis sim intelleges'; simul cassidem de capite deiecit ut cognosci ab eo posset, atque ita pilum viribus contortum, dum in Labienum mittere contendit, equi graviter adverso pectori adfixit et ait: 'Labiene, decumanum militem qui te petit scito esse.' Omnium tamen animi in terrorem coniecti, et maxime tironum: circumspicere enim Caesarem neque amplius facere nisi hostium iacula vitare.
The chiefs have a more elaborate style; so much do they study appearance, but in perfect innocence, not with any thoughts of love-making; but arranging their hair when they go to battle, to make themselves tall and terrible, they adorn themselves, so to speak, for the eyes of the foe.
Principes et ornatiorem habent: ea cura formae, sed innoxiae: neque enim ut ament amenturve; in altitudinem quandam et terrorem, adituri bella, compti, ut hostium oculis, ornantur.
Do you fancy yourselves to be dearer in the eyes of Civilis and the Batavi and the Transrhenane tribes, than your fathers and grandfathers were to their ancestors? There have ever been the same causes at work to make the Germans cross over into Gaul, lust, avarice, and the longing for a new home, prompting them to leave their own marshes and deserts, and to possess themselves of this most fertile soil and of you its inhabitants. Liberty, indeed, and the like specious names are their pretexts; but never did any man seek to enslave his fellows and secure dominion for himself, without using the very same words.
an vos cariores Civili Batavisque et transrhenanis gentibus creditis quam maioribus eorum patres avique vestri fuerunt? eadem semper causa Germanis transcendendi in Gallias, libido atque avaritia et mutandae sedis amor, ut relictis paludibus et solitudinibus suis fecundissimum hoc solum vosque ipsos possiderent: ceterum libertas et speciosa nomina praetexuntur; nec quisquam alienum servitium et dominationem sibi concupivit ut non eadem ista vocabula usurparet.'
From the time that the Divine Augustus gave me the citizenship, I have chosen my friends and foes with an eye to your advantage, not from hatred of my fatherland (for traitors are detested even by those whom they prefer) but because I held that Romans and Germans have the same interests, and that peace is better than war.
ex quo a divo Augusto civitate donatus sum, amicos inimicosque ex vestris utilitatibus delegi, neque odio patriae (quippe proditores etiam iis quos anteponunt invisi sunt), verum quia Romanis Germanisque idem conducere et pacem quam bellum probabam.
Nero prolonged the banquet with various conversation, passing from a youth's playful familiarity to an air of constraint, which seemed to indicate serious thought, and then, after protracted festivity, escorted her on her departure, clinging with kisses to her eyes and bosom, either to crown his hypocrisy or because the last sight of a mother on the even of destruction caused a lingering even in that brutal heart.
iam pluribus sermonibus, modo familiaritate iuvenili Nero et rursus adductus, quasi seria consociaret, tracto in longum convictu, prosequitur abeuntem, artius oculis et pectori haerens, sive explenda simulatione, seu pe[ri]turae matris supremus adspectus quamvis ferum animum retinebat.
But as the aspects of places change not, as do the looks of men, and as he had ever before his eyes the dreadful sight of that sea with its shores (some too believed that the notes of a funereal trumpet were heard from the surrounding heights, and wailings from the mother's grave), he retired to Neapolis and sent a letter to the Senate, the drift of which was that Agerinus, one of Agrippina's confidential freedmen, had been detected with the dagger of an assassin, and that in the consciousness of having planned the crime she had paid its penalty.
quia tamen non, ut hominum vultus, ita locorum facies mutantur, obversabaturque maris illius et litorum gravis adspectus (et erant qui crederent sonitum tubae collibus circum editis planctusque tumulo matris audiri), Neapolim concessit litterasque ad senatum misit, quarum summa erat repertum cum ferro percussorem Agermum, ex intimis Agrippinae libertis, et luisse eam poenam conscientia, qua[si] scelus paravisset.
Latinius Latiaris, Porcius Cato, Petitius Rufus, and Marcus Opsius, ex-praetors, conspired to attack him, with an eye to the consulship, to which there was access only through Sejanus, and the good will of Sejanus was to be gained only by a crime.
hunc Latinius Latiaris, Porcius Cato, Petilius Rufus, M. Opsius praetura functi adgrediuntur, cupidine consulatus ad quem non nisi per Seianum aditus; neque Seiani voluntas nisi scelere quaerebatur.
Doubtless, best of fathers, with that most loving wife at thy side, all the dues of affection were abundantly paid thee, yet with too few tears thou wast laid to thy rest, and in the light of thy last day there was something for which thine eyes longed in vain.
Omnia sine dubio, optime parentum, adsidente amantissima uxore superfuere honori tuo: paucioribus tamen lacrimis comploratus es, et novissima in luce desideravere aliquid oculi tui.
Gallus, as Piso had forestalled him in the display of freedom, maintained that nothing was sufficiently impressive or suitable to the majesty of the Roman people, unless done before Caesar and under his very eyes, and that therefore the gathering from all Italy and the influx from the provinces ought to be reserved for his presence.
Gallus, quia speciem libertatis Piso praeceperat, nihil satis inlustre aut ex dignitate populi Romani nisi coram et sub oculis Caesaris, eoque conventum Italiae et adfluentis provincias praesentiae eius servanda dicebat.
Caesar was obliged to advance to her relief, that he might not suffer the disgrace of seeing one of his galleys sunk before his eyes though, had he left her to perish, he judged that she deserved it for her rashness.
Cui coactus est Caesar ferre subsidium, ne turpem in conspectu hostium contumeliam acciperet, quamquam, si quid gravius illis accidisset, merito casurum iudicabat.
They were acting on the instincts of human nature, which prompt men to scrutinize with keen eyes the recent elevation of their fellows, and to demand a temperate use of prosperity from none more rigorously than from those whom they have seen on a level with themselves.
uxorem quoque eius Saloninam, quamquam in nullius iniuriam insignis equo ostroque veheretur, tamquam laesi gravabantur, insita mortalibus natura recentem aliorum felicitatem acribus oculis introspicere modumque fortunae a nullis magis exigere quam quos in aequo viderunt.
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