|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIII Chapter 13: Nero and Acte[AD 55]
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Agrippina, however, raved with a woman's fury about having a freedwoman [Note 1] for a rival, a slave girl for a daughter-in-law, with like expressions. Nor would she wait till her son repented or wearied of his passion. The fouler her reproaches, the more powerfully did they inflame him, till completely mastered by the strength of his desire, he threw off all respect for his mother, and put himself under the guidance of Seneca, one of whose friends, Annaeus Serenus, had veiled the young prince's intrigue in its beginning by pretending to be in love with the same woman, and had lent his name as the ostensible giver of the presents secretly sent by the emperor to the girl. Then Agrippina, changing her tactics, plied the lad with various blandishments, and even offered the seclusion of her chamber for the concealment of indulgences which youth and the highest rank might claim. She went further; she pleaded guilty to an ill-timed strictness, and handed over to him the abundance of her wealth, which nearly approached the imperial treasures, and from having been of late extreme in her restraint of her son, became now, on the other hand, lax to excess. The change did not escape Nero; his most intimate friends dreaded it, and begged him to beware of the arts of a woman, was always daring and was now false. It happened at this time that the emperor after inspecting the apparel in which wives and mothers of the imperial house had been seen to glitter, selected a jewelled robe and sent it as a gift to his mother, with the unsparing liberality of one who was bestowing by preference on her a choice and much coveted present. Agrippina, however, publicly declared that so far from her wardrobe being furnished by these gifts, she was really kept out of the remainder, and that her son was merely dividing with her what he derived wholly from herself.
Note 1: freedwoman = Acte
|Sed Agrippina libertam aemulam, nurum ancillam aliaque eundem in modum muliebriter fremere, neque paenitentiam filii aut satietatem opperiri, quantoque foediora exprobrabat, acrius accendere, donec vi amoris subactus exueret obsequium in matrem seque [Se]necae permitteret, ex cuius familiaribus Annaeus Serenus simulatione amoris adversus eandem libertam primas adulescentis cupidines velaverat praebueratque nomen, ut quae princeps furtim mulierculae tribuebat, ille palam largiretur. tum Agrippina versis artibus per blandimenta iuvenem adgredi, suum potius cubiculum ac sinum offerre contegendis quae prima aetas et summa fortuna expeterent. quin et fatebatur intempestivam severitatem et suarum opum, quae haud procul imperatoriis aberant, copias tradebat, ut nimia nuper coercendo filio, ita rursum intemperanter demissa. quae mutatio neque Neronem fefellit, et proximi amicorum metuebant orabantque cavere insidias mulieris semper atrocis, tum et falsae. forte illis diebus Caesar inspecto ornatu, quo principium coniuges ac parentes effulserant, deligit vestem et gemmas misitque donum matri, nulla parsimonia, cum praecipua et cupita aliis prior deferret. sed Agrippina non his instrui cultus suos, sed ceteris arceri proclamat et dividere