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Quote of the day: And that he might also soften the rememb
Display Latin text
Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 39: Scribonianus does not want to become emperor[AD 70]
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On the 1st of January, at a meeting of the Senate, convoked for the purpose by Julius Frontinus, praetor of the city, votes of thanks were passed to the legates, to the armies, and to the allied kings. The office of praetor was taken away from Tettius Julianus, as having deserted his legion when it passed over to the party of Vespasian, with a view to its being transferred to Plotius Griphus. Equestrian rank was conferred on Hormus. Then, on the resignation of Frontinus, Caesar Domitian assumed the office of praetor of the city. His name was put at the head of despatches and edicts, but the real authority was in the hands of Mucianus, with this exception, that Domitian ventured on several acts of power, at the instigation of his friends, or at his own caprice. But Mucianus found his principal cause of apprehension in Primus Antonius and Varus Arrius, who, in the freshness of their fame, while distinguished by great achievements and by the attachment of the soldiery, were also supported by the people, because in no case had they extended their severities beyond the battle-field. It was also reported that Antonius had urged Scribonianus Crassus, whom an illustrious descent added to the honours of his brother made a conspicuous person, to assume the supreme power; and it was understood that a number of accomplices would not have failed to support him, had not the proposal been rejected by Scribonianus, who was a man not easily to be tempted even by a certainty, and was proportionately apprehensive of risk. Mucianus, seeing that Antonius could not be openly crushed, heaped many praises upon him in the Senate, and loaded him with promises in secret, holding out as a prize the government of Eastern Spain, then vacant in consequence of the departure of Cluvius Rufus. At the same time he lavished on his friends tribuneships and prefectures; and then, when he had filled the vain heart of the man with hope and ambition, he destroyed his power by sending into winter-quarters the 7th legion, whose affection for Antonius was particularly vehement. The 3rd legion, old troops of Varus Arrius, were sent back to Syria. Part of the army was on its way to Germany. Thus all elements of disturbance being removed, the usual appearance of the capital, the laws, and the jurisdiction of the magistrates, were once more restored.