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Quote of the day: Antonius Felix, indulging in every kind
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIII Chapter 17: Funeral of Brittanicus[AD 55]
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And so after a brief pause the company resumed its mirth. One and the same night witnessed Britannicus's death and funeral, preparations having been already made for his obsequies, which were on a humble scale. He was however buried in the Campus Martius, amid storms so violent, that in the popular belief they portended the wrath of heaven against a crime which many were even inclined to forgive when they remembered the immemorial feuds of brothers and the impossibility of a divided throne. 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. The emperor apologised for the hasty funeral by reminding people that it was the practice of our ancestors to withdraw from view any grievously untimely death, and not to dwell on it with panegyrics or display. For himself, he said, that as he had now lost a brother's help, his remaining hopes centred in the State, and all the more tenderness ought to be shown by the Senate and people towards a prince who was the only survivor of a family born to the highest greatness. Nox eadem necem Britannici et rogum coniunxit, proviso ante funebri paratu, qui modicus fuit. in campo tamen Martis sepultus est, adeo turbidis imbribus, ut vulgus iram deum portendi crediderit adversus facinus, cui plerique etiam hominum ignoscebant, antiquas fratrum discordias et insociabile regnum aestimantes. 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. festinationem exsequiarum edicto Caesar defendit, id a maioribus institutum referens, subtrahere oculis acerba funera neque laudationibus aut pompa detinere. ceterum et sibi amisso fratris auxilio reliquas spes in re publica sitas, et tanto magis fovendum patribus populoque principem, qui unus superesset e familia summum ad