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Augustus, Chapter 67: His servants.
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As a patron and master, his behaviour in general was mild and conciliating; but when occasion required it, he [Note 1] could be severe. He advanced many of his freedmen to posts of honour and great importance, as Licinus, Enceladus, and others; and when his slave, Cosmus, had reflected bitterly upon him, he resented the injury no further than by putting him in fetters. When his steward, Diomedes, left him to the mercy of a wild boar, which suddenly attacked them while they were talking together, he considered it rather a cowardice than a breach of duty; and turned an occurrence of no small hazard into a jest, because there was no knavery in his steward's conduct. He put to death Proculus, one of his most favourite freedmen, for maintaining a criminal commerce with other men's wives. He broke the legs of his secretary, Thallus, for taking a bribe of five hundred denarii to discover the contents of one of his letters. And the tutor and other attendants of his son Gaius, having taken advantage of his sickness and death, to give loose to their insolence and rapacity in the province he governed, he caused heavy weights to be tied about their necks, and had them thrown into a river. |
Note 1: he = Augustus
|Patronus dominusque non minus severus quam facilis et clemens multos libertorum in honore et usu maximo habuit, ut Licinum et Celadum aliosque. Cosmum servum gravissime de se opinantem non ultra quam compedibus coercuit. Diomeden dispensatorem, a quo simul ambulante incurrenti repente fero apro per metum obiectus est, maluit timiditatis arguere quam noxae, remque non minimi periculi, quia tamen fraus aberat, in iocum vertit. Idem Polum ex acceptissimis libertis mori coegit compertum adulterare matronas; Thallo a manu, quod pro epistula prodita denarios quingentos accepisset, crura ei fregit; paedagogum ministrosque C. fili, per occasionem valitudinis mortisque eius superbe avareque in provincia grassatos, oneratis gravi pondere cervicibus praecipitavit in flumen.|