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Vespasian, Chapter 2: His youth
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|Vespasian was born in the Sabine country, in a small village beyond Reate, called Falacrina, on the evening of the fifteenth day before the Kalends of December, in the consulate of Quintus Sulpicius Camerinus and Gaius Poppaeus Sabinus, five years before the death of Augustus [November 14, 9 C.E.]. He was brought up under the care of his paternal grandmother Tertulla on her estates at Cosa. Therefore, even after he became emperor, he used constantly to visit the home of his infancy, where the manor house was kept in its original condition, since he did not wish to miss anything which he was wont to see there; and he was so devoted to his grandmother's memory, that on religious and festival days he always drank from a little silver cup that had belonged to her. After assuming the garb of manhood, he for a long time made no attempt to win the broad stripe of senator, though his brother [Note 1] had gained it, and only his mother [Note 2] could finally induce him to sue for it. She at length drove him to it, but rather by sarcasm than by entreaties or parental authority, since she constantly taunted him with being his brother's footman. [The " anteambulo" was the client who walked before his patron on the street and compelled people to make way for him]. He served in Thracia as tribune of the soldiers; as quaestor was assigned by lot to the province of Crete and Cyrene; became a candidate for the aedileship and then for the praetorship, attaining the former only after one defeat and then barely landing in the sixth place but the latter on his first canvass and among the foremost. In his praetorship, to lose no opportunity of winning the favor of Gaius, who was at odds with the Senate [See Calig. xlviii-xlix], he asked for special games because of the emperor's victory in Germania and recommended, as an additional punishment of the conspirators Lepidus and Gaetulicus; see Claud. ix.1] that they be cast out unburied. He also thanked the emperor before that illustrious body [The Senate] because he had deigned to honor him with an invitation to dinner.||
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Patron / Patronus:The patron was bound to defend and protect those dependent on him -- his clients -- especially those who had not strictly legal rights
Quaestor:There were two sets of officers bearing this title, the commissioners of the treasure, and the "trackers of murder" -- as their title may be literally translated -- whose duty was to search for and bring up for prosecution those who had been guilty of capital crimes.