The Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Claudius, by Suetonius
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We're reading from the lives of the twelve caesars. By See suetonius tranquilize to which are added his lives of the crew. Marion's rhetorician and poets translated by Alexander Thomson and revised by t Forrester published by George. Bow London. Eighteen ninety six. Let's begin this evening with volume five. Claudius Tiberius Claudius drew. Caesar Livia having married Gustis when she was pregnant was within three months afterwards. Delivered of drew says the father of Claudius Caesar who had it I the Prey Newman of decimals. But afterwards that of Nero and it was suspected that he was begotten in adultery by his father in law the following verse however was immediately in. Everyone's mouth nine months for common births the fate's decree but for the great reduced the term to three this truce during the time of his being custer and prater commanded in the region and German wars and was the first of all the Roman generals who navigated the northern ocean. He made likewise some prodigious trenches beyond the Rhine which to this day are called by his name he overthrew the enemy in several battles and drove them far back into the depths of the desert nor did he desist from pursuing them until an apparition in the form of a barbarian woman of more than human size appeared to him and in the Latin tongue forbade him to proceed any farther. Fred these achievements he had the honor of innovation and the triumphal ornaments after his prater ship. He immediately entered on the office of console and returning again to Germany died disease in the summer encampment which then S- obtain the name of the unlucky camp. His corpse was carried to Rome by the principal persons of the several municipalities and colonies upon the road being met and received by the recorders of each place and buried in the campus. Martius in honor of his memory. The army erected a monument round which the soldiers annually up on a certain day used to march in solemn procession and persons deputy from the several cities of Gaul performed religious rites the Senate Mike Wise among various other honors decreed for him a triumphal arch of marble with trophies in the APP Ian Way and gave the economic upturn mannequins to him and his posterity in him the civil and military virtues were equally displayed. For besides his victories he gained from the enemy the SPA OPIE MA and frequently marked up the German chiefs in the midst of their army and encountered them in single combat at the utmost hazard of his life he likewise often declared that he would sometime or other if possible restore the ancient government in this account. I suppose some have ventured to affirm that a Gustis was jealous of him and recalled him and because he made no haste to comply with the order took him off by poison. This I mentioned I may not be guilty of any mission more than because I think it either true or probable since Augusta slapped him so much when living that he always in his wills made him Choi to air with his sons as he wants declared in the Senate and upon his deceased extolled him the speech to the people to that degree that he prayed the gods to make his Caesar's like him and to grant himself as honorable and exit out of this world as they had given him and not satisfied with inscribing upon his tomb an epitaph in verse composed by himself. He wrote likewise the history of his life. In pros he had by the younger Antonia several children but left behind him only three namely Germanacos villa and Claudius Claudius was born at Leon in the console ship of Julius Antonius and Fabulous Africanus upon the first of August. The Very Day upon which an altar was first dedicated there to Augustus he was named Tiberius. Claudius struse's but soon after words upon the adoption of his elder brother into the Julian family he assumed the CONAN UP TREMENDOUS. He was left an infant by his father and during almost the whole of his minority and for some time after he attained the age of men awed was afflicted with a variety of obstinate disorders. In some much that his mind and body being greatly impaired he was even after his arrival. At years of maturity never thought sufficiently qualified for any public or private employment he was therefore during a long time and even after the expiration of his minority under the direction of a pedagogue who he complains in a certain memoir was a barbarous wretch and formerly superintendent of the mule drivers who was selected for his governor on purpose to correct him severely on every trifling occasion on account of this crazy constitution of body and mind at the spectacle of gladiators which he gave the people jointly with his brother in honor of his father's memory. He presided muffled up in a Palim. A new fashion when he assumed the manly habit. He was carried in a litter at midnight to the capital without the usual ceremony. Claudius applied himself however from an early age with great agility to the study of the Liberal Sciences and frequently published specimens his skill in each of them but never with all his endeavours could attain to any public post in the government or afford any hope of arriving at distinction thereafter. His Mother Antonia frequently called him an abortion of man that had been only begun but never finished by nature and when she would upgrade anyone with dullness. She said he was a greater fool than her son. Claudius his grandmother Augusta always treated him with the utmost contempt. Very rarely spoke to him and when she did. Monash him upon any occasion it was in writing very briefly and severely or by messengers. His sister La Villa upon hearing that he was about to be created. Emperor openly and loudly expressed her indignation that the Roman people should experience a fate so severe and so much below their grandeur to exhibit the opinion both favourable and otherwise entertained concerning him by Gustis. His great uncle I have here some joined some extracts from the letters of that emperor quote. 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 both agreed in this that once. Aw We ought to determine what course to take with him for if he 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 efficient both in body and mind. We must be aware 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 never shall be easy if we are always to be debating upon every occasion up this kind without settling in the first instance whether he'd 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 feast of the priests in the Games of Mars. If he will suffer himself to be governed by his kinsman SALONA says son that he may do nothing to make the people stare and laugh at him but I do not approve of his. Witnessing the Circassian Games from the pull Venar he will be. They're exposed to view in the very front of the theater nor do I like that. He should go to the Alban Mount or be it wrong during the Latin festivals. For if he capable of attending his brother to the mount why is he not made prefect City thus my dear Livia. You have my thoughts on 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 think proper give your Kinsmen Antonia this part of my letter to read and quote in another letter. He writes as follows quote. I shall invite the Youth Tiberius every day during your absence to supper that he may not SUPP- alone with his friends so pcs and Theodorus. I wished the poor creature was more cautious and attentive in the choice of someone who's manners. Air and gate might be proper for his imitation. In things of consequence he sadly fails where his mind does not run a stray discovers a noble disposition and quote in a third letter. He says quote. Let me Die Livia if I am not astonished that the declamation up 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 and quote. There is no doubt but Augusta's after this came to a resolution upon the subject and accordingly left him invested with no other honor than that of the augural priesthood naming him amongst the heirs of the third degree who were but distantly allied to his family for six the part of his estate only with a legacy of no more than eight hundred thousand sister. She's upon his requesting some office in the state. Tiberius granted him the honorary appendages of the console ship and when he pressed for a legitimate appointment the emperor wrote word back that he sent him forty gold pieces for his expenses during the festivals of the Saturnalia and Sidga Larrea upon this laying. Aside all hope of advancement. He resigned himself entirely to an indolent life. Living in great privacy one while in his gardens or a Fila which he had near the city. Another while in compagno where he passed his time in the lowest society by which means besides his former character of a dull heavy fellow. He acquired that of a drunkard and game. Stir notwithstanding this sort of life much. Respect was shown him both in public and private. The equestrian order twice may choice of him to intercede on their behalf. Wants to obtain from the console's the favor of burying on their shoulders the corpse of Augusta's to Rome and a second time to congratulate him upon the death of Sa- John us when he entered the theater they used to rise and put off their cloaks the Senate likewise decreed that he should be added to the number of the Augusta College of priests who were chosen by lot and soon afterwards when his house was burnt down that it should be rebuilt at the public charge and that he should have the privilege of giving his vote. Amongst the men of consular rank this decree however was repealed. Tiberius insisting to have him excused on account of his imbecilities and promising to make good his loss at his own expense but at his death he named him in his well amongst his third airs for a third part of his estate leaving him besides a legacy of to millions of sister she's and expressly recommending him to the army's the Senate and people of Rome amongst other relations at last guys his brother's son upon his advancement to the empire endeavoring to gain the affections of the public by all the arts of popularity. Claudius also was admitted to public offices and help console ship jointly with his nephew for two months as he was entering the forum for the first time with the fash. She's an eagle which was flying that way alighted upon his right shoulder. A second console ship was also allotted him to commence at the expiration of the fourth year. He sometimes presided at the public spectacles as the representative of guys being always on those occasions complemented with the acclamations of the people wishing him all happiness sometimes under the title of the emperors on gone and sometimes under that up. Germanic asus brother still. He was subjected to many sides. If any he came in late to supper he was obliged to walk around the room some time before. He could get a place at table when he indulged himself with sleep after eating which was common practice with him. The company used to throw olive stones and dated him and the buffoons who attended would wake him as if it were only in dressed with a cane or a whip sometimes they would put slippers upon his hands as he lays snoring that he might upon awaking rob his face with them he was not only exposed to contempt but sometimes likewise to considerable danger. I in his console ship for having been to remiss in providing and erecting the statues of gases brothers. Niro and truces. He was very near being deprived of his office. And after words he was continually harassed with informations against him by one or other sometimes even by his own domestics when the conspiracy of Lapidus and guide tool Lucas was discovered being sent with some other deputies into Germany to congratulate the emperor upon the occasion. He was in danger of his life. Guy Is being greatly enraged and loudly complaining that his uncle was sent to him as if he was a boy who wanted a governor some even say that he was thrown into a river in his traveling dress from this period he voted in the Senate always the last of the members of Concierge Bank being called upon after the rest one purpose to disgrace him a charge for the forgery of a will was also allow to be prosecuted though he had only signed it as a witness at last being obliged to pay eight millions of sister she's upon entering upon a new office of priesthood. He was reduced to such traits in his private affairs. That an order to discharge his bond to the Treasury he was under the necessity of exposing to sail his whole estate. By an order of the prefects having spent the greater part of his life under these circumstances he came last to the Empire in the Fiftieth Year of his age by a very surprising turn of fortune being as well as the rest prevented from approaching guy by the conspirators who dispersed the crowd under the pretext of his desiring to be private he retired into an apartment called the her ma'am and soon afterwards terrified by the report of gas being slain. He crept into an adjoining balcony where he hid himself behind the hangings of the door a common soldier who happened to pass that way spying his feet and desirous to discover who he was pulled him out when immediately recognizing him he threw himself in a great Friday at his feet and saluted him by the title of Emperor. He then conducted him to his fellow soldiers who were all in a great rage and irresolute. What they should do they put him into a litter and ask the slaves of the palace had all fled took their turns in carrying him on their shoulders and brought him into the camp sad and trembling the people who met him lamenting his situation. As if the poor innocent was being carried to execution being received within the ramparts he continued all night with the sentry on guard recovered somewhat from his right but in no great hopes of the succession for the consoles with the Senate and civic troops had possessed themselves of the form and capital with the determination to assert the public liberty and he being sent four likewise by tribune of the people to the Senate House to give his advice upon the present juncture of affairs returned answer quote I am under constraint and cannot possibly come and quote the day afterwards the Senate being delayed hurry in their proceedings and worn out by divisions amongst themselves while the people who surrounded the Senate House shouted that they would have one master naming. Claudius he suffered. The soldiers assembled arms to swear allegiance to him. Promising them fifteen thousand sister. She's a man. He being the first of the Caesar's who purchased a submission of the soldiers with money having thus established himself in power. His first object was to abolish all remembrance of the two preceding days in which revolution in the state had been canvassed. Accordingly he passed an act of Perpetual Oblivion and pardon for everything said or done during that time and this he faithfully observed with the exception only of putting to death a few tribunes and centurions concerned in the conspiracy against guerrillas both as an example and because he understood that they had also planned his own death he now turned his thoughts towards paying respect to the memory of his relations his most solemn unusual oath was by a Gustis he prevailed upon the Senate decreed divine honours to his grandmother. Livia with a chariot in the Circassian procession drawn by elephants as had been appointed for Augusta's and public offerings to the shades of his parents besides which he instituted Circassian Games for his father to be celebrated every year upon his birthday and for his mother a chariot to be drawn through the circus the title of Augusta which had been refused by his grandmother to the memory of his brother to which upon all occasions. He showed a great regard. He gave a Greek comedy to be exhibited in the public diversions at Naples and awarded the crown for it according to the sentence of the judges in that solemnity nor did he admit to make honorable and grateful mention of Mark Antony to clearing by a proclamation that he the more earnestly insisted upon the observation of his father drew's his birthday because it was likewise that of his grandfather antony he completed the Marble Arch near puppies theater which had formerly been decreed by the Senate in honor of Tiberius but which had been neglected and though he cancelled all the acts of Guayas yet he forbade the day of his assassination notwithstanding it was that of his own accession to the Empire to be reckoned amongst the festivals but with regard to his own aggrandizement he was sparing and modest declining title of Emperor and refusing all excessive honors. He's celebrated the marriage of his daughter and the birthday of grandson with great privacy at home he recalled none of those who had been banished without a decree of the Senate and requested of them. Permission for the prefect of the military tribunes and Praetorian guards to attend him in the Senate House and also that they would be pleased to bestow upon his procured her judicial authority in the provinces. He asked of the consuls. Likewise the privilege of holding fairs upon his private estate. He frequently assisted the magistrates in the trial of causes as one of their assessors and when they gave public spectacles he would rise up with the rest of the spectators and salute them both by words and gestures when the tribunes of the people came to him while he was on the tribunal. He excused himself because on account of the crowd he could not hear them unless they stood in a short time by this conduct. He wrote himself so much into favour and affection of the public that when upon his going to Austria our report was spread in the city that he had been weighed in slain the people never ceased carson the soldiers for traders and the Senate as Paris sides until one or two persons and presently after several others were brought by the magistrates upon the Ro- Straw. Who was shared them that he was alive and not far from the city on his way home conspiracies however we're formed against him not only by individual separately but by a faction and at last. His government was disturbed with a civil war. A low fellow was found with a pond near about him near his chamber at midnight. Two men of the equestrian order were discovered a waiting for him in the streets armed with a Tuck and Huntsman's dagger one of them intending to attack missy came out of the theater and the other as he was sacrificing in the temple of Mars. Callous Acehnese and Statinias court Venus grandsons of the two orders polio and Masala formed a conspiracy against him in which they engaged many of his Friedman and slaves furious. Camillus Qorbani hones- his lieutenant in Dalmatia broke into rebellion but was reduced in the space of five days the legions which had seduced from their oath of Fidelity ringling pushing their purpose upon an alarm occasioned by L. Almonds far when orders were given them to march to meet their new emperor. The Eagles could not be decorated nor the standards pulled out of the ground whether it was by accident or a divine besides his former consul ship. He helped the office afterwards. Four Times the first to successively but the following after an interval of four years each the last for six months the others for two and the third upon his being chosen in the room of console who died which had never been done by any of the emperors before him whether he was consul or out of office he constantly attended the courts for the administration of Justice even upon such days as were solemnly observed as days of rejoicing in his family or by his friends and sometimes upon the public festivals of Ancient Institution. Nor did he always adhere strictly to the letter of the laws but overall the rigor or lenghty of many of their enactments according to his sentiments of Justice and equity for where persons lost their suits by insisting upon more than appeared to be there do before the judges of private causes. He granted them the indulgence of a second trial and with regard to such as are convicted of any great delinquency he even exceeded the punishment appointed by law and condemned them to be exposed to wild beasts but in hearing and determining causes he exhibited a strange inconsistency of temper being at one time circumspect in sagacious at another inconsiderate and rash and sometimes frivolous and like one out of his mind in correcting the role of judges. He struck off the name of one who concealing the privileges children gave him to be excused from serving had answered to his name. 's Too eager for the office another who was summoned before him because of his own but alleged affair did not properly come under the emperors cognizance but that of the ordinary charges. He ordered to plead the cause himself immediately before him and show and in case of his own how equitable judge he would prove in that of other persons. I'm woman refusing to acknowledge her own son and there being no clear proof on either side he obliged her to confess the truth by ordering her to marry the young man. He was much inclined to determine the causes in favor of the parties who appeared against those who did not without enquiring whether their absence was occasioned by their own fault or by rail necessity on proclamation of Man's being convicted of forgery and that he ought to have his hand cut off. He insisted that an executioner should be immediately sent a for with a Spanish sword and block a person being prosecuted for falsely assuming the freedom of Rome and a frivolous dispute arising between the advocates in the cause whether he ought to make appearance in the Roman or Grecian dress to show his impartiality. He commanded him to change his clothes several times. According to the character he assumed in the accusation or defense an anecdote is related of him and believed to be true that in a particular 'cause he delivered his sentence in writing thus quote. I am in favor of those who have spoken the truth and quote by this he so much forfeited the good opinion of the world that he was everywhere and openly despised a person making an excuse for the non appearance of a witness who had sent for from the provinces declared it was impossible for him to appear concealing the reason for some time at nast after several interrogatory were put to him on the subject he answered the man is dead to which Claudius replied. I think that is a sufficient. Excuse I have likewise heard. Some old men say that the advocates use to abuse his patience so grossly that they would not on the call him back as he was quitting the tribunal but would seize him by the lap of his coat and sometimes catch him by the heels to make him stay that such behaviour however strange is not incredible will appear from this anecdote. Some obscure Greek. Who was a la- tint had an altercation with him in which he called out you are an old fool. It is certain that are Rome night. Who was prosecuted by an impotent? Divisive his enemies on a false charge of abominable obscenity with women observing that Commons trumpets were summoned against him and allowed to give evidence uprated. Claudius in very harsh and severe terms with his folly and cruelty and through his delay and some books which he had in his hands in his face with such violence as to wound him severely in the cheek he likewise assume the censorship which had been discontinued since the time the powerless and punk s and jointly held it. But this also he administered of Harry unequally and with a strange heredity of humor and conduct in his review of the nights he passed over her without any markup disgrace profligate young man only because his father spoke of him in the highest terms for said He. His father is his proper sensor another who was infamous for the botching us and for adultery. He only admonished to indulge his youthful inclinations more sparingly or at least more cautiously adding. Why must I know what Mistress Yuki? When at the request of his friends he had taken off a mark of infamy which he had set upon one night's name he said let the blot however remain. He not only struck out of the list of judges but my quest deprived of the freedom of Rome and unless driest man of the highest provincial rank in Greece only because he was ignorant of the Latin language nor in this review. Did he suffer anyone to give an account of his conduct by an advocate but obliged each man to speak for himself in the best way he could? He disgraced many and some that little expected and far reason entirely new namely for going out of Italy without his license and one likewise for having in his province in the familiar companion of King observing that in former times eareas posthumous had been prosecuted for treason although he only went after Ptolemy to Alexandria for the purpose of securing payment of a debt having tried to brand with disgrace several others he to his own greeter shame found them generally innocent through the negligence of the persons employed to acquire into their characters those whom he charged with living in celibacy with want of children or estate proving themselves to be husband's parents and in affluent circumstances one of the Knights who was charged with stabbing himself laid his bosom bear to show that there was not the least mark violence upon his body the following incidents or remarkable in his censorship he ordered a car plated with silver and a very sumptuous work when champ which was exposed for sale in the social area to be purchased and broken in pieces before his eyes he published twenty proclamations in one day in one of which he advised the people. Since the vintage was very plentiful to have their casks well secured the Bung with pitch and in another. He told them that nothing would sooner. Cure the bite of a viper. Then the Saab of the tree he undertook only one expedition and that was of short duration the triumphal ornaments decreed him by the Senate. He considered as beneath the imperial dignity and was therefore resolved to have the honor of a real triumph for this purpose. He selected Britain which had never been attempted by anyone since Julius sees her and was then chafing with a rage because the Romans would not give up some deserters accordingly he set sail from Austria but was twice very near being wrecked by the boisterous wind concert upon the coast of Nigeria and near the islands called. Still Kadi's having marched by land from Marseille. To get Serena come he thence passed over to Britain and part of the island submitting to him within a few days after his arrival without battle or bloodshed. He returned to Rome in less than six months from the time of his departure and triumphed in the most solemn manner. To witness wedge. He not only gave leave to governors of provinces to come to Rome but even to some of the exiles among the spoils taken from the enemy he fixed upon the pennant of his house in the palladium a naval crown in token of his having passed and as it were conquered the ocean and had it suspended near the civic crown. Which was there before Miss Elina? His wife followed his chariot in a covered litter. Those who had attained the honor of triumphal ornaments in the same war road behind the rest followed on foot wearing the robe with the broad stripes. Crass his rookie was mounted upon a horse richly caparisoned in her robe embroidered with palm leaves. Because this was the second time of his obtaining that honor he paid particular attention to the care of the city and to have it well supplied with provisions a trend full fire happening in the Miliana Ana which lasted some time. He passed two nights in the derogatory them and the soldiers and gladiators not being in sufficient numbers to extinguish it. He caused the magistrates to summon the people out of all the streets in the city to their assistance placing bags of money before him. He encouraged them to do their utmost declaring that he would reward everyone on the spot according to their exertions during a scarcity of provisions occasioned by bad crops for several successive years he was stopped in the middle of the forum by the mob. Who so abused him at the same time. Pelting him with fragments of bread that he had some difficulty in escaping into the palace by a back door he therefore used all possible means to bring provisions to the city. Even in the winter he proposed the merchants usher profit by indemnifying them against any loss that might befall them by storms at sea and granted great privileges to those who built ships for that traffic to a citizen home. He gave an exemption from the penalty of the Papaya Papaya and Law to one. Who had only the privilege of allowed him the freedom of the city and two women the rights which by law belong to those who had four children which enactments are enforced to this day he completed some important public works which are not numerous. Were very useful. The principal were an aqueduct which had been begun by. Kaya 's an emissary for the discharge of the waters of the few sign lake and the harbor of Ostia although he knew that Augusta's had refused to comply with the repeated application of the mercy for one of these and that the other had been several times intended by Julius Caesar but as often abandoned on account of the difficulty of its execution he brought to the city the cool into plentiful springs of the cloudy and water one of which is called several years and the other courteous and Al. Boot innis asked likewise river of the new Agno in stone now and distributed them into many magnificent reservoirs. The canal from the few sign lake was undertaken as much for the sake of profit as for the honor of the enterprise for their parties who offered to drain it at their own expense on condition of their having. A grant of the land laid try with great difficulty. He completed a canal three miles in length. Partly by cutting through and partly by tunneling a mountain thirty thousand men being constantly employed in the work for eleven years he formed the harbor at Ostia by carrying out circular piers on the right and on the left with the mole protecting in deep water the entrance of the port to secure the foundation of this mall. He sunk the vessel in which the great apple has had been brought from Egypt and built upon the piles very lofty tower in imitation of the pharaohs at Alexandria on which lights who are burnt to direct mariners in the night. And that seems as good a place as any to end this evening's reading from the lives of the twelve caesars. Five Claudius written by the Great Roman biographer Suetonius. If you're interested in reading this classic work for yourself as always you'll find a link to a free e Book Version From Project Gutenberg in the show description if you'd like to connect or suggest a boring book you'd like to hear read contact me on our website at. 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