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Quote of the day: When he drank his destruction at Babylon
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book I Chapter 72: The death of Tigellinus[AD 69]
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Then followed as great a burst of joy, though from a less worthy cause, when the destruction of Tigellinus was achieved. Sophonius Tigellinus, a man of obscure birth, steeped in infamy from his boyhood, and shamelessly profligate in his old age, finding vice to be his quickest road to such offices as the command of the watch and of the Praetorian Guard, and to other distinctions due to merit, went on to practise cruelty, rapacity, and all the crimes of maturer years. He perverted Nero to every kind of atrocity; he even ventured on some acts without the Emperor's knowledge, and ended by deserting and betraying him. Hence there was no criminal, whose doom was from opposite motives more importunately demanded, as well by those who hated Nero, as by those who regretted him. During the reign of Galba Tigellinus had been screened by the influence of Vinius, who alleged that he had saved his daughter. And doubtless he had preserved her life, not indeed out of mercy, when he had murdered so many, but to secure for himself a refuge for the future. For all the greatest villains, distrusting the present, and dreading change, look for private friendship to shelter them from public detestation, caring not to be free from guilt, but only to ensure their turn in impunity. This enraged the people more than ever, the recent unpopularity of Vinius being superadded to their old hatred against Tigellinus. They rushed from every part of the city into the palace and forum, and bursting into the circus and theatre, where the mob enjoy a special license, broke out into seditious clamours. At length Tigellinus, having received at the springs of Sinuessa a message that his last hour was come, amid the embraces and caresses of his mistresses and other unseemly delays, cut his throat with a razor, and aggravated the disgrace of an infamous life by a tardy and ignominious death. Par inde exultatio disparibus causis consecuta impetrato Tigellini exitio. Ofonius Tigellinus obscuris parentibus, foeda pueritia, impudica senecta, praefecturam vigilum et praetorii et alia praemia virtutum, quia velocius erat, vitiis adeptus, crudelitatem mox, deinde avaritiam, virilia scelera, exercuit, corrupto ad omne facinus Nerone, quaedam ignaro ausus, ac postremo eiusdem desertor ac proditor: unde non alium pertinacius ad poenam flagitaverunt, diverso adfectu, quibus odium Neronis inerat et quibus desiderium. apud Galbam Titi Vinii potentia defensus, praetexentis servatam ab eo filiam. haud dubie servaverat, non clementia, quippe tot interfectis, sed effugium in futurum, quia pessimus quisque diffidentia praesentium mutationem pavens adversus publicum odium privatam gratiam praeparat: unde nulla innocentiae cura sed vices impunitatis. eo infensior populus, addita ad vetus Tigellini odium recenti Titi Vinii invidia, concurrere ex tota urbe in Palatium ac fora et, ubi plurima vulgi licentia, in circum ac theatra effusi seditiosis vocibus strepere, donec Tigellinus accepto apud Sinuessanas aquas supremae necessitatis nuntio inter stupra concubinarum et oscula et deformis moras sectis novacula faucibus infamem vitam foedavit etiam exitu sero et inhonesto.