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Claudius, Chapter 18: His care of the city.
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He [Note 1] paid particular attention to the care of the city, and to have it well supplied with provisions. A dreadful fire happening in the Aemiliana, which lasted some time, he passed two nights in the Diribitorium, 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 every one 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 winter. He proposed to the merchants a sure 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. |
Note 1: he = Claudius