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Quote of the day: He was looked up to with reverence for h
Notes
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 69: Prosecutions for Majestas: Silanus(cont.)[AD 22]
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Cornelius Dolabella however, by way of carrying flattery yet further, sharply censured the morals of Silanus, and then moved that no one of disgraceful life and notorious infamy should be eligible for a province, and that of this the emperor should be judge. Laws, indeed," he said, punish crimes committed; but how much more merciful would it be to individuals, how much better for our allies, to provide against their commission." The emperor opposed the motion. "Although," he said, "I am not ignorant of the reports about Silanus, still we must decide nothing by hearsay. Many a man has behaved in a province quite otherwise than was hoped or feared of him. Some are roused to higher things by great responsibility; others are paralysed by it. It is not possible for a prince's knowledge to embrace everything, and it is not expedient that he should be exposed to the ambitious schemings of others. Laws are ordained to meet facts, inasmuch as the future is uncertain. It was the rule of our ancestors that, whenever there was first an offence, some penalty should follow. Let us not revolutionise a wisely devised and ever approved system. Princes have enough burdens, and also enough power. Rights are invariably abridged, as despotism increases; nor ought we to fall back on imperial authority, when we can have recourse to the laws." Such constitutional sentiments were so rare with Tiberius, that they were welcomed with all the heartier joy. Knowing, as he did, how to be forbearing, when he was not under the stimulus of personal resentment, he further said that Gyarus was a dreary and uninhabited island, and that, as a concession to the Junian family to a man of the same order as themselves, they might let him retire by preference to Cythnus. This, he added, was also the request of Torquata, Silanus's sister, a vestal of primitive purity. The motion was carried after a division.

Event: Majestas prosecution: Silanus