|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 70: Prosecutions for Majestas: Ennius[AD 22]
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|Audience was next given to the people of Cyrene, and on the prosecution of Ancharius Priscus, Caesius Cordus was convicted of extortion. Lucius Ennius, a Roman knight, was accused of treason, for having converted a statue of the emperor to the common use of silver plate; but the emperor forbade his being put upon his trial, though Ateius Capito openly remonstrated, with a show of independence. "The Senate," he said, "ought not to have wrested from it the power of deciding a question, and such a crime must not go unpunished. Granted that the emperor might be indifferent to a personal grievance, still he should not be generous in the case of wrongs to the commonwealth." Tiberius interpreted the remark according to its drift rather than its mere expression, and persisted in his veto. Capito's disgrace was the more conspicuous, for, versed as he was in the science of law, human and divine, he had now dishonoured a brilliant public career as well as a virtuous private life.