Suetonius ca. 69-ca. 122

Suetonius, ca. 69-ca. 122, creator; Thomson, Alexander, M.D, translator; Reed, J.E. (J. Eugene), editor

GERMANICUS, the father of Caius Caesar, and son of Drusus and the younger Antonia, was, after his adoption by Tiberius, his uncle, preferred to the quaestorship[*](A.U.C. 757) five years before he had attained the legal age, and immediately upon the expiration of that office, to the consulship.[*](A.U.C. 765) Having been sent to the army in Germany, he restored order among the legions, who, upon the news of Augustus's death, obstinately refused to acknowledge Tiberius as emperor,[*](A.U.C. 770) and offered to place him at the head of the state. In which affair it is difficult to say, whether his regard to filial duty, or the firmness of his resolution, was most conspicuous. Soon afterwards he defeated the enemy, and obtained the honours of a triumph. Being then made consul for the second time,[*](A.U.C. 767) before he could enter upon his office he was obliged to set out suddenly for the east, where, after he had conquered the king of Armenia, and reduced Cappadocia into the form of a province, he died at Antioch, of a lingering distemper, in the thirty-fourth year of his age,[*](A.U.C. 771) not without the suspicion of being poisoned. For besides the livid spots which appeared all over his body, and a foaming at the mouth; when his corpse was burnt, the heart was found entire among the bones; its nature being such, as it is supposed, that when tainted by poison, it is indestructible by fire.[*](This opinion, like some others which occur in Suetonius, may justly be considered as a vulgar error; and if the heart was found entire, it must have been owing to the weakness of the fire, rather than to any quality communicated to the organ, of resisting the power of that element.)

It was a prevailing opinion that he was taken off by the contrivance of Tiberius and through the means of Cneius Piso. This person, who was about the same time prefect of Syria, and made no secret of his position being such, that he must either offend the fathe ror the son, loaded Germanicus, even during his sickness, with the most unbounded and scurrilous abuse, both by word and deed; for which, upon his return to Rome, he narrowly escaped being torn to pieces by the people, and was condemned to death by the senate.

It is generally agreed, that Germanicus possessed all the noblest endowments of body and mind in a higher degree than had ever before fallen to the lot of any man; a handsome person, extraordinary courage, great proficiency in eloquence and other branches of learning, both Greek and Roman; besides a singular humanity, and a behaviour so engaging, as to captivate the affections of all about him. The slenderness of his legs did not correspond with the symmetry and beauty of his person in other respects; but this defect was at length corrected by his habit of riding after meals. In battle, he often engaged and slew an enemy in single combat. He pleaded causes, even after he had the honour of a triumph. Among other fruits of his studies, he left behind him some Greek comedies. Both at home and abroad he always conducted himself in a manner the most unassuming. On entering any free and confederate town, he never would be attended by any of his lictors. Whenever he heard, in his travels, of the tombs of illustrious men, he made offerings over them to the infernal deities. He gave a common grave, under a mound of earth, to the scattered relics of the legionaries slain under Varus, and was the first to put his hand to the work of collecting and bringing them to the place of burial. He was so extremely mild and gentle to his enemies, whoever they were, or on what account soever they bore him enmity, that, although Piso rescinded his decrees, and for a long time severely harassed his dependents, he never showed the smallest resentment, until he found himself attacked by magical charms and imprecations; and even then the only steps he took was to renounce all friendship with him, according to ancient custom, and to exhort his servants to avenge his death, if any thing untoward should befal him.

He reaped the fruit of his noble qualities in abundance, being so much esteemed and beloved by his friends, that Augustus (to say nothing of his other relations) being a long time in doubt, whether he should not appoint him his successor, at last ordered Tiberius to adopt him. He was so extremely popular, that many authors tell us, the crowds of those who went to meet him upon his coming to any place, or to attend him at his departure, were so prodigious, that he was sometimes in danger of his life; and that upon his return from Germany, after he had quelled the mutiny in the army there, all the cohorts of the pretorian guards marched out to meet him, notwithstanding the order that only two should go; and that all the people of Rome, both men and women, of every age, sex, and rank, flocked as far as the twentieth mile-stone to attend his entrance.

At the time of his death, however, and afterwards, they displayed still greater and stronger proofs of their extraordinary attachment to him. The day on which he died, stones were thrown at the temples, the altars of the gods demolished, the household gods, in some cases, thrown into the streets, and new-born infants exposed. It is even said that barbarous nations, both those engaged in intestine wars, and those in hostilities against us, all agreed to a cessation of arms, as if they had been mourning for some very near and common friend; that some petty kings shaved their beards and their wives heads, in token of their extreme sorrow; and that the king of kings[*](The magnificent title of King of Kings has been assumed, at different times, by various potentates. The person to whom it is here applied, is the king of Parthia. Under the kings of Persia, and even under the Syro-Macedonian kings, this country was of no consideration, and reckoned a part of Hyrcania. But upon the revolt of the East from the Syro-Macedonians, at the instigation of Arsaces, the Parthians are said to have conquered eighteen kingdoms. ) forbore his exercise of hunting and feasting with; his nobles, which, amongst the Parthians, is equivaleii to a cessation of all business in a time of public mourning with us.

At Rome, upon the first news of his sickness, the city was thrown into great consternation and grief, waiting impatiently for farther intelligence; when suddenly, in the evening, a report, without any certain author, was spread, that he was recovered; upon which the people flocked with torches and victims to the Capitol, and were in such haste to pay the vows they had made for his recovery, that they almost broke open the doors. Tiberius was roused from out of his sleep with the noise of the people congratulating one another, and singing about the streets,

  1. Salva Roma, salva patria, salvus est Germanicus,
  1. Rome is safe, our country safe, for our Germanicus is safe.
But when certain intelligence of his death arrived, the mourning of the people could neither be assuaged by consolation, nor restrained by edicts, and it continued during the holidays in the month of December. The atrocities of the subsequent times contributed much to the glory of Germanicus, and the endearment of his memory; all people supposing, and with reason, that the fear and awe of him had laid a restraint upon the cruelty of Tiberius, which broke out soon afterwards.

Germanicus married Agrippina, the daughter of Marcus Agrippa and Julia, by whom he had nine children, two of whom died in their infancy, and another a few years after; a sprightly boy, whose effigy, in the character of a Cupid, Livia set up in the temple of Venus in the Capitol. Augustus also placed 'another statue of him in his bed-chamber, and used to kiss it as often as he entered the apartment. The rest survived their father; three daughters, Agrippina, Drusilla, and -Livilla, who were born in three successive years; and as many sons, Nero, Drusus, and Caius Caesar. Nero and Drusus, at the accusation of Tiberius, were declared public.enemies.

Caius Caesar was born on the day before the calends [31st August] of September, at the time his father and Caius Fonteius Capito were consuls.[*](A.U.C. 765) But where he was born is rendered uncertain from the number of places which are said to have given him birth. Cneius Lentulus Gaetulicus[*](It does not appear that Gaetulicus wrote any historical work, but Martial, Pliny, and others, describe him as a respectable poet.) says that he was born at Tibur; Pliny the younger, in the country of the Treviri, at a village called Ambiatinus, above Confluentes;[*](Supra Confluentes; The German tribe here mentioned occupied the country between the Rhine and the Meuse, and gave their name to Treves (Treviri), its chief town. Coblentz had its ancient name of Confluentes, from its standing at the junction of the two rivers The exact site of the village in which Caligula was born is not known. Cliverius conjectures that it may be Cafelle.) and he alleges, as a proof of it, that altars are there shown with this inscription: "For Agrippina's child-birth." Some verses which were published in his reign, intimate that he was born in the winter quarters of the legions,

  1. In castris natus, patriis nutritius in armis,
  2. Jam designati principis omen erat.
  1. Born in the camp, and trained in every toil
  2. Which taught his sire the haughtiest foes to foil;
  3. Destin'd he seem'd by fate to raise his name,
  4. And rule the empire with Augustan fame.
I find in the public registers that he was born at Antium. Pliny charges Gaetulicus as guilty of an arrant forgery, merely to soothe the vanity of a conceited young prince, by giving him the lustre of being born in a city sacred to Hercules; and says that he advanced this false assertion with the more assurance, because, the year before the birth of Caius, Germanicus had a son of the same name born at Tibur; concerning whose amiable childhood and premature death I have already spoken.[*](Chap. vii.) Dates clearly prove that Pliny is mistaken; for the writers of Augustus's history all agree, that Germanicus, at the expiration of his consulship, was sent into Gaul, after the birth of Caius. Nor will the inscription upon the altar serve to establish Pliny's opinion; because Agrippina was delivered of two daughters in that country, and any child-birth, without regard to sex, is called puerperium, as the ancients used to call girs puerat, and boys puelli. There is also extant a letter written by Augustus, a few months before his death, to his granddaughter Agrippina, about the same Caius (for there was then no other child of hers living under that name). He writes as follows: "I gave orders yesterday for Talarius and Asellius to set out on their journey towards you, if the gods permit, with your child Caius, upon the fifteenth of the calends of June [I8th May]. I also send with him a physician of mine, and I wrote to Germanicus that he may retain him if he pleases. Farewell, my dear Agrippina, and take what care you can to come safe and well to your Germanicus." I imagine it is sufficiently evident that Caius could not be born at a place to which he was carried from The City when almost two years 'old. The same considerations must likewise invalidate the evidence of the verses, and the rather, because the author is unknown. The only authority, therefore, upon which we can depend in this matter, is that of the acts, and the public register; especially as he always preferred Antium to every other place of retirement, and entertained for it all that fondness which is commonly attached to one's native soil. It is said, too, that, upon his growing weary of the city, he designed to have transferred thither the seat of empire.

It was to the jokes of the soldiers in the camp that he owed the name of Caligula,[*](The name was derived from Caliga, a kind of boot, studded with nails, used by the common soldiers in the Roman army.) he having been brought up among them in the dress of a common soldier. How much his education amongst them recommended him to their favour and affection, was sufficiently apparent in the mutiny upon the death of Augustus, when the mere sight of him appeased their fury, though it had risen to a great height. For they persisted in it, until they observed that he was sent away to a neighbouring city, [*](According to Tacitus, who gives an interesting account of these occurrences, Treves was the place of refuge to which the young Caius was conveyed.-Annal. i. ) to secure him against all danger. Then, at last, they began to relent, and, stopping the chariot in which he was conveyed, earnestly deprecated the odium to which such a proceeding would expose them.

He likewise attended his father in his expedition to Syria. After his return, he lived first with his mother, and, when she was banished, with his great-granrmother, Livia Augusta, in praise of whom, after her decease, though then only a boy, he pronounced a funeral oration in the Rostra. He was then transferred to the family of his grandmother Antonia, and afterwards, in the twentieth year of his age, being called by Tiberius to Capri, he in one and the same day assumed the manly habit, and shaved his beard, but without receiving any of the honours which had been paid to his brothers on a similar oeeasien. While he remained in that island, many insidious artifices were practised, to extort from him complaints against Tiberius, but by his circumspection he avoided falling into the snare. [*](In c. liv. of TIBERIUS, we have seen that his brothers Drusus and Nero fell a sacrifice to these artifices. ) He affected to take no more notice of the ill-treatment of his relations, than if nothing had befallen them. With regard to his own sufferings, he seemed utterly insensible of them, and behaved with such obsequiousness to his grandfather[*](Tiberius, who was the adopted father of Germanicus.) and all about him, that it was justly said of him, "There never was a better servant, nor a worse master."

But he could not even then conceal his natural disposition to cruelty and lewdness. He delighted in witnessing the inflictions of punishments, and frequented tavernsand bawdy-houses in the night-time, disguised in a periwig -and a long coat; and was passionately addicted to the theatrical arts of singing and dancing. All these levities Tiberius readily connived at, in hopes that they might perhaps correct the roughness of his temper, which the sagacious old man so well understood, that he often said, "That Caius was destined to be the ruin of himself and all mankind; and that he was rearing a hydra[*](Natriceus, a water-snake, so called from nato, to swim. The allusion is probably to Caligula's being reared in the island of Capri. ) for the people of Rome, and a Phaeton for all the world. [*](A Phaeton is said to have set the world on fire. )

Not long afterwards, he married Junia Claudilla, the daughter of Marcus Silanus, a man of the highest rank. Being then chosen augur in the room of his brother Drusus, before he could be inaugurated he was advanced to the pontificate, with no small commendation of his dutiful behaviour, and great capacity. The situation of the court likewise was at this time favourable to his fortunes, as it was now left destitute of support, Sejanus being suspected, and soon afterwards taken off; and he was by degrees flattered with the hope of succeeding Tiberius in the empire. In order more effectually to secure this object, upon Junia's dying in child-bed, he engaged in a criminal commerce with Ennia Naevia, the wife of Marco, at that time prefect of the pretorian cohorts; promising to marry her if he became emperor, to which he bound himself, not only by an oath, but by a written obligation under his hand. Having by her means insinuated himself into Marco's favour, some are of opinion that he attempted to poison Tiberius, and ordered his ring to be taken from him, before tihe breath was out of his body; and that, because he seemed to hold it fast, he caused a pillow to be thrown upon him,[*](See the Life of TIBERIUS, c. lxxiii. ) squeezing him by the throat, at the same time, with his own hand. One of his freedmen crying out at this horrid barbarity, he was immediately crucified. These circumstances are far from being improbable, as some authors relate that, afterwards, though he did not acknowledge his having a hand in the death of Tiberius, yet he frankly declared that he had formerly entertained such a design; and as a proof of his affection for his relations, he would frequently boast, "That, to revenge the death of his mother and brothers, he had entered the chamber of Tiberius, when he was asleep, with a poniard, but being seized with a fit of compassion, threw it away, and retired; and that Tiberius, though aware of his intention, durst not make any inquiries, or attempt revenge."

Having thus secured the imperial power, he fulfilled by his elevation the wish of the Roman people, I may venture to say, of all mankind; for he long been the object of expectation and desire to the greater part of the provincials and soldiers who had known him when a child; and to the whole people of Rome, from their affection for the memory of Germanicus, his father, and compassion for the family almost entirely destroyed. Upon his moving from Misenum, therefore, although he was in mourning, and following the corpse of Tiberius, he had to walk amidst altars, victims, and lighted torches, with prodigious crowds of people everywhere attending him, in transports of joy, and calling him, besides other auspicious names, by those of "their star," " their chick," "their pretty puppet," and "bantling."

Immediately pn his entering the city, by the joint acclamations of the senate, and people, who broke into the senate-house, Tiberius's will was set aside, it having left his other grandson,[*](His name was also Tiberius. See before, TIBERIUS, C. lxxvi. ) then a minor, co-heir with him, the whole government and administration of affairs was placed in his hands; so much to the joy and satisfaction of the public, that, in less than three months after, above a hundred and sixty thousand victims are said to have been offered in sacrifice. Upon his going, a few days afterwards, to the nearest islands on the coast of Campania,[*](Procida, Ischia, Capri, etc.) vows were made for his safe return; every person emulously testifying their care and concern for his safety. And when he fell ill, the people hung about the Palatium all night long; some vowed, in public handbills, to risk their lives in the combats of the amphitheatre, and others to lay them down, for his recovery. To this extraordinary love entertained for him by his countrymen, was added an uncommon regard by foreign nations. Even Artabanus, king of the Parthians, who had always manifested hatred and contempt for Tiberius, solicited his friendship; came to hold a conference with his consular lieutenant, and passing the Euphrates, paid the highest honours to the eagles, the Roman standards, and the images of the Caesars.[*](The eagle was the standard of the legion, each cohort of which had its own ensign, with different devices; and there were also little images of the emperors, to which divine honours were paid. )

Caligula himself inflamed this devotion, by practising all the arts of popularity. After he had delivered, with floods of tears, a speech in praise of Tiberius, and buried him with the utmost pomp, he immediately hastened over to Pandataria and the Pontian islands,[*](See Tiberius, cc. liii. liv.) to bring thence the ashes of his mother and brother; and, to testify the great regard he had for their memory, he performed the voyage in a very tempestuous season. He approached their remains with profound veneration, and deposited them in the urns with his own hands. Having brought them in grand solemnity to Ostia,[*](See TIBERIUS, c. X.; and note.) with an ensign flying in the stern of the galley, and thence up the Tiber to Rome, they were borne by persons of the first distinction in the equestrian order, on two biers, into the mausoleum,[*](The mausoleum built by Augustus, mentioned before in his Life, ch. xcix) at noon-day. He appointed yearly offerings to be solemnly and publicly celebrated to their memory, besides Circensian games to that of his mother, and a chariot with her image to be included in the procession. [*](The Carpentum was a carriage, commonly with two wheels, and an arched covering, but sometimes without a covering; used chiefly by mations, and named, according to Ovid, from Carmenta, the mother of Evander. Women were prohibited the use of it in the second Punic war, by the Oppian law, which, however, was soon after repealed. This chariot was also used to convey the images of the illustrious women to whom divine honours were paid, in solemn processions after their death, as in the present instance. It is represented on some of the sestertii. ) The month of September he called Germanicus, in honour of his father. By a single decree of the senate,-he heaped upon his grandmother, Antonia, all the honours which had been ever conferred on the empress.-Livia. His uncle, Claudius, who till then continued in the equestrian order, he took for his colleague in the consulship. He adopted his brother, Tiberius, [*](See cc. xiv. and xxiii. of the present History. ) on the day he took upon him the manly habit, and conferred upon him the title of "Prince of the Youths." As for his sisters, he ordered these words to be added to the oaths of allegiance to himself: "Nor will I hold myself or my own children more dear than I do Caius and his sisters:"[*](Ib. cc. vii. and xxiv.) and commanded.all resolutions proposed by the consuls in the senate to be prefaced thus: " May what we are going to do, prove fortunate and happy to Caius Caesar and his sisters." With the like popularity he restored all those who had been condemned and banished and granted an act of indemnity against all impeachments and past offenses. To relieve the informers and witnesses against his mother and brothers from all apprehension, he brought the records of their trials into the forum, and there burnt them, calling loudly on the gods to witness that he had not read or handled them. A memorial which was offered him relative to his own security, he would not receive, declaring, "that he had done nothing to make any one his enemy:" and said, at the same time, "he had no ears for informers."

The Spintriae he banished from the city, being prevailed upon not to throw them into the sea, as he had intended. The writings of Titus Lubienus, Cordus Cremutius, and Cassius Severus, which had been suppressed by an act of the senate, he permitted to be drawn from obscurity, and universally read; observing, "that it would be for his own advantage to have the transactions of former times delivered to posterity." He published accounts of the proceedings of the government-a practice which had been introduced by Augustus, but discontinued by Tiberius. [*](See the Life of AUGUSTUS, cc. xxviii. and xciL ) He granted the magistrates a full and free jurisdiction, without any appeal to himself. He made a very strict and exact review of the Roman knights, but conducted it with moderation; publicly depriving of his horse every knight who lay under the stigma of any thing base and dishonourable; but passing over the names of those knights who were only guilty of venial faults, in calling over the list of the order. To lighten the labours of the judges, he added a fifth class to the former four. He attempted likewise to restore to the people their ancient right of voting in the choice of magistrates. [*](Julius Caesar had shared it with them (c. xli.). Augustus had only kept up the form (c. xl.). Tiberius deprived the Roman people of the last remains of the freedom of suffrage.) He paid very honourably, and without any dispute, the legacies left by Tiberius in his will, though it had been set aside; as likewise those left by the will of Livia Augusta, which Tiberius had annulled. He remitted the hundredth penny, due to the government in all auctions throughout Italy. He made up to many their losses sustained by fire; and. when he restored their kingdoms. to any princes, he likewise allowed them all the arrears of the taxes.-and revenues which had accrued in the interval; as in the case of Antiochus of Comagene, where the confiscation would have amounted to a hundred millions of sesterces. T6, prove to the world that he was ready to encourage good examples of every kind, he gave to a freed-woman eighty thousand sesterces, for not discovering a crime committed by her patron, though she had been put to exquisite torture for that purpose. For all these acts of beneficence, amongst other honours, a golden shield was decreed to him, which the colleges of priests were to carry annually, upon a fixed day, into the Capitol, with the senate attending, and the youth of the nobility, of both sexes, celebrating the praise of his virtues in songs. It was likewise ordained, that the day on which he succeeded to the empire should be called Palilia, in token of the city's being at that time, as it were, new founded. [*](The city of Rome was founded on the twenty-first day of April, which was called Palilia, from Pales, the goddess of shepherds, and ever afterwards kept as a festival. )

He held the consulship four times: the first,[*](A. U. C. 790.) from the calends [the first] of July for two months; the second,[*](A.U.C. 791) from the calends of January for thirty days; the third,[*](A.U.C. 793) until the ides [the 13th] of January; and the fourth,[*](A.U.C. 794) until the seventh of the same ides [7th January]. Of these, the two last he held successively. The third he assumed by his sole authority at Lyons; not, as some are of opinion, from arrogance or neglect of rules; but because, at that distance, it was impossible for him to know that his colleague had died a little before the beginning of the new year. He twice distributed to the people a bounty of three hundred sesterces a man, and as often gave a splendid feast to the senate and the equestrian order, with their wives and children. In the latter, he presented to the men forensic garments, and to the women and children purple scarfs. To make a perpetual addition to the public joy for ever, he added to the Saturnalia[*](The Saturnaia, held in honour of Saturn, was, amongst the Romans, the most celebrated festival of the whole year, and held in the month of December. All orders of the people then devoted themselves to mirth and feasting; friends sent presents to one another; and masters treated their slaves upon a footing of equality. At first it was held only for one day, afterwards for three days, and was now prolonged by Caligula's orders.) one day, which he called juvenalis [the juvenile feast].

He exhibited some combats of gladiators, either in the amphitheatre of Taurus,[*](See AUGUSTUS, cc. xxix. and xliii. The amphitheatre of Statilius Taurus is supposed to have stood in the Campus Martius, and the elevation now called the Monte Citorio, to have been formed by its ruins. ) or in the Septa, with which he intermingled troops of the best pugilists from Campania and Africa. He did not always preside in person on those occasions, but sometimes gave a commission to magistrates or friends to supply his place. He frequently entertained the people with stage-plays of various kinds, and in several parts of the city, and sometimes by night, when he caused the whole city to be lighted. He likewise gave various things to be scrambled for among the people, and distributed to every man a basket of bread with other victuals. Upon this occasion, he sent his own share to a Roman knight, who was seated opposite to him, and was enjoying himself by eating heartily. To a senator, who was doing the same, he sent an appointment of praetor-extraordinary. He likewise exhibited a great number of Circensian games from morning until night; intermixed with the hunting of wild beasts from Africa, or the Trojan exhibition. Some of these games were celebrated with peculiar circumstances; the Circus being overspread with vermilion and chrysolite; and none drove in the chariot races who were not of the senatorian order. For some of these he suddenly gave the signal, when, upon his viewing from the Gelotiana[*](Supposed to be a house, so called, adjoining the Circus, in which some of the emperor's attendants resided.) the preparations in the Circus, he was asked to do so by a few persons in the neighbouring galleries.

He invented besides a new kind of spectacle, such as had never been heard of before. For he made a bridge, of about three miles and a half in length, from Baiae to the mole of Puteoli, [*](Now Puzzuoli, on the shore of the bay of Naples. Every one knows what wealth was lavished here and at Baiae, on public works and the marine villas of the luxurious Romans, in the times of the emperors. ) collecting trading vessels from all quarters, mooring them in two rows by their anchors, and spreading earth upon them to form a viaduct, after the fashion of the Appian way. [*](The original terminus of the Appian way was at Brundusium. This mole formed what we should call a nearer station to Rome, on the same road, the ruins of which are still to be seen. St. Paul landed there. ) This bridge he crossed and recrossed for two days together; the first day mounted on a horse richly caparisoned, wearing on his head a crown of oak leaves, armed with a battle-axe, a Spanish buckler and a sword, and in a cloak made of cloth of gold; the, day following, in the habit of a charioteer, standing in a chariot, drawn by two high-bred horses, having with him a young boy, Darius by name, one of the Parthian hostages, with a cohort of the pretorian guards attending him, and- a party of his friends in ,cars of Gaulish make. [*](Essedis: they were light cars, on two wheels, constructed to carry only one person; invented, it is supposed, by the Belgians, and by them introduced into Britain, where they were used in war. The Romans, after their expeditions in Gaul and Britain, adopted this useful vehicle instead of their more cumbrous RHEDA, not only for journies where dispatch was required, but in solemn processions, and for ordinary purposes. They seem to have become the fashion, for Ovid tells us that these little carriages were driven by young ladies, themselves holding the reins, Amor. xi. 16. 49. ) Most people, I know, are of opinion, that this bridge was designed by Caius, in imitation of Xerxes, who, to the astonishment of the world, laid a bridge over the Hellespont, which is somewhat narrower than the distance betwixt Baiae and Puteoli. Others, however, thought that he did it to strike terror in Germany and Britain, which he was upon the point of invading, by the fame of some prodigious work. But for myself, when I was a boy, I heard my grandfather say, [*](Suetonius flourished about seventy years after this, in the reign of Adrian, and derived many of the anecdotes which give interest to his history from cotemporary persons. See CLAUDIUS, c. xv. c. ) that the reason assigned by some courtiers who were in habits of the greatest intimacy with him, was this; when Tiberius was in some anxiety about the nomination of a successor, and rather inclined to pitch upon his grandson, Thrasyllus the astrologer had assured him, "That Caius would no more be emperor, than he would ride on horseback across the gulf of Baiae."

He likewise exhibited public diversions in Sicily, Grecian games at Syracuse, and Attic plays at Lyons in Gaul: besides a contest for pre-eminence in the Grecian and Roman eloquence; in which we are told that such as were baffled bestowed rewards upon the best performers, and were obliged to compose speeches in their praise: but that those who performed the worst were forced to blot out what they had written with a sponge or their tongue, unless they preferred to be beaten with a rod, or plunged over head and ears into the nearest river.