|Do not fly Iberia
Display Latin text
Nero, Chapter 2: Ancestry of Nero (cont.)
Return to index
To begin then somewhat far back, his great-grandfather's grandfather, Gnaeus Domitius, when tribune of the commons, was enraged at the pontiffs for choosing another than himself in his father's place among them, and transferred the right of filling vacancies in the priesthoods from the colleges themselves to the Senate. Then, having vanquished the Allobroges and the Arverni in his consulship he rode through the province on an elephant, attended by a throng of soldiers, in a kind of triumphal procession. He it was of whom the orator Licinius Crassus said that it was not surprising that he had a brazen beard, since he had a face of iron and a heart of lead. His son [Note 1], who praetor at the time, summoned Gaius Caesar to an investigation before the Senate at the close of his consulship, because it was thought that his administration had been in violation of the auspices and the laws. Afterwards, in his own consulship he tried to deprive Caesar of the command of the armies in Gallia, and being named Caesar's successor by his party, was taken prisoner at Corfinium at the beginning of the civil war. Granted his freedom, he at first gave courage by his presence to the people of Massilia, who were hard pressed by their besiegers, but suddenly abandoned them and at last fell in the battle of Pharsalus. He was a man of no great resolution, though he had a violent temper, and when he once attempted to kill himself in a fit of despair and terror, he so shrank from the thought of death that he changed his mind and vomited up the poison, conferring freedom on his physician, since, knowing his master, he had purposely given him what was not a fatal dose. When Gnaeus Pompeius brought forward the question of the treatment of those who were neutral and sided with neither party, he alone was for regarding them as hostile.
Note 1: son = Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, maybe his grandson is meant.