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Quote of the day: Against Falanius it was alleged by his a
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book VI Chapter 26: Suicide of Nerva[AD 33]
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Soon afterwards Cocceius Nerva, a man always at the emperor's side, a master of law both divine and human, whose position was secure and health sound, resolved to die. Tiberius, as soon as he knew it, sat by him and asked his reasons, adding intreaties, and finally protesting that it would be a burden on his conscience and a blot on his reputation, if the most intimate of his friends were to fly from life without any cause for death. Nerva turned away from his expostulations and persisted in his abstinence from all food. Those who knew his thoughts said that as he saw more closely into the miseries of the State, he chose, in anger and alarm, an honourable death, while he was yet safe and unassailed on. Meanwhile Agrippina's ruin, strange to say, dragged Plancina with it. Formerly the wife of Cneius Piso, and one who had openly exulted at the death of Germanicus, she had been saved, when Piso fell, by the intreaties of Augusta, and not less by the enmity of Agrippina. When hatred and favour had alike passed away, justice asserted itself. Pursued by charges universally notorious, she suffered by her own hand a penalty tardy rather than undeserved. Haud multo post Cocceius Nerva, continuus principi, omnis divini humanique iuris sciens, integro statu, corpore inlaeso, moriendi consilium cepit. quod ut Tiberio cognitum, adsidere, causas requirere, addere preces, fateri postremo grave conscientiae, grave famae suae, si proximus amicorum nullis moriendi rationibus vitam fugeret. aversatus sermonem Nerva abstinentiam cibi coniunxit. ferebant gnari cogitationum eius, quanto propius mala rei publicae viseret, ira et metu, dum integer, dum intemptatus, honestum finem voluisse. Ceterum Agrippinae pernicies, quod vix credibile, Plancinam traxit. nupta olim Cn. Pisoni et palam laeta morte Germanici, cum Piso caderet, precibus Augustae nec minus inimicitiis Agrippinae defensa erat. ut odium et gratia desiere, ius valuit; petitaque criminibus haud ignotis sua manu sera magis quam