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IX. Post hoc stipendium et donativum ex more pro-
misit et primam orationem ad senatum talem dedit :
"Ita mihi liceat, patres conscripti, sic 2 imperium regere
ut a vobis me constet electum, ut ego cuncta ex vestra
facere sententia et potestate decrevi. vestrum 3 est
igitur ea iubere atque sancire quae digna vobis, digna
modesto exercitu, digna populo Romano esse videan-

2tur." in eadem oratione Aureliano statuam auream
ponendam in Capitolio decrevit, item statuam argen-
team in Curia, item in Templo Solis, item in Foro divi
Traiani. sed aurea non est posita, dedicatae autem

Ssunt solae argenteae. in eadem oratione cavit ut
si quis argento publice privatimque aes miscuisset, si
quis auro argentum, si quis aeri plumbum, capital esset

4 cum bonorum proscription e. in eadem oratione cavit
ut servi in dominorum capita non interrogarentur, ne

1 at saltern Z ; ad salutem P. 2 sic 27; sit P. 3 itestrum
2 ; uerum P.

1 See Aur. t xxxv. 3 and note.

a See note to Hadr. t vii. 6.

3 This principle had been established by a vetus senatus
consul turn ; see Tacitus, Annals, ii. 30, 3. But by Cicero's
time an exception was made in cases of sacrilege and con-
spiracy; see Cicero, Oral. Partition's, 118.


TACITUS VI 11. 5- JX. 4

he speaks, listen to him with all respect, for his duty
it is to watch over us." Thereupon Tacitus Augustus
spoke : " Trajan also came into power in his old age, but
he was chosen by a single man, whereas I have been
judged worthy of this title, first by you, most venerated
fellow-soldiers, who know how to approve your
emperors, and then by the most noble senate. Now I
will endeavour and make every effort and do my
utmost that you may have no lack, if not of brave
deeds, at least of counsels worthy of you and of your

IX. After this he promised them their pay and the
customary donative, and then he delivered his first
speech to the senate as follows : " So surely may it be
granted me, Conscript Fathers, to rule the empire in
such a way that it will be apparent that I was chosen
by you, as I have determined to do all things by your
will and power. Yours it is, therefore, to command
and enact whatsoever seems worthy of yourselves,
worthy of a well-ordered army, and worthy of the
Roman people." In this same speech he proposed
that a golden statue of Aurelian be set up in the
Capitolium, likewise a silver one in the Senate-house,
in the Temple of the Sun, 1 and in the Forum of the
Deified Trajan. 2 The golden one, however, was never
set up and only the silver ones were ever dedicated.
In the same oration he ordained that if any one, either
officially or privately, alloyed silver with copper, or gold
with silver, or copper with lead, it should be a capital
offence, involving confiscation of property. In the
same speech he ordained that slaves should not be
questioned against their master when on trial for his
life, 3 not even in a prosecution for treason. He added
the further command that every man should have a



Bin causa maiestatis quidem. addidit ut Aurelianum
omnes pictum haberent. divorum templura fieri iussit,
in l quo essent statuae principum bonorum, ita ut iis-
dem natalibus suis et Parilibus et kalendis lanuariis

6 et Votis libamina ponerentur. in eadem oratione fratri
suo Floriano consulatum petiit et non impetravit, id-
circo quod iam senatus omnia mmdinia suffectorum
consulum clauserat. dicitur autem multum laetatus
senatus libertate, quod ei negatus est consulatus, quern
fratri petierat. fertur denique dixisse, " Scit senatus
quern principem fecerit."

X. Patrimonium suura publicavit, quod habuit in re-
ditibus, sestertium bis milies octingenties. pecuniam,
quam domi collegerat, in stipendium militum vertit.
togis et tunicis iisdem est usus quibus privatus.

2raeritoria intra urbem stare vetuit, quod quidem diu
tenere non potuit. thermas omnes ante lucernam
claudi iussit, ne quid per noctem seditionis oriretur.

SCornelium Taciturn, scriptorem historiae Augustae,
quod parentem suum eundem diceret, in omnibus

1 in Z ; ut P.

1 There was already in existence a large structure built by
Domitian, consisting of two temples of Vespasian and Titus with
a great enclosing portico, called the Portions Divorum, the
whole complex being known as the Ternplum Divorurn. Its
site was the mod. Piazza Grazioli and the land to the south.

2 21 April, originally a festival in honour of an ancient
pastoral deity named Pales, and later celebrated as the birth-
day of Rome.

8 The Votorum Nuncupatio on 3 Jan., on which vows for the
emperor's health were taken by the officials and priests.
4 See c. xiii. 6 f.
"See notes to Corac., iv. 8, and Alex., xxviii. 1.



painting of Aurelian, and he ordered that a temple to
the deified emperors l be erected, in which should be
placed the statues of the good princes, so that sacrificial
cakes might be set before them on their birthdays, the
Parilia, 2 the Kalends of January, and the Day of the
Vows. 3 In the same speech he asked for the consul-
ship for his brother Florian, 4 but this request he did
not obtain for the reason that the senate had already
fixed all the terms of office for the substitute consuls. 6
It is said, moreover, that he derived great pleasure
from the senate's independence of spirit, because it
refused him the consulship which he had asked for his
brother. Indeed he is said to have exclaimed, " The
senate knows what manner of prince it has chosen."

X. He presented to the state the private fortune
which he had in investments, amounting to two
hundred and eighty million sesterces, and the money
which he had accumulated in his house he used for the
pay of the soldiers. He continued to wear the same
togas and tunics that he had worn while a commoner.
He forbade the keeping of brothels in the city
which measure, indeed, could not be maintained for
long. He gave orders that all public baths should be
closed before the hour for lighting the lamps, 6 that
no disturbance might arise during the night. He had
Cornelius Tacitus, the writer of Augustan history, 7
placed in all the libraries, claiming him as a relative 8 ;

6 They had been kept open at night by Severus Alexander ;
see Alex., xxiv. 6.

7 From this passage Casaubon took the title which has ever
since been given erroneously to this collection ; see vol. I M
Intro., p. xi.

8 The difference between the names of their respective gentea
shows this to be impossible.



bibliothecis conlocari iussit ; ne 1 lectorum incuria
deperiret, librum per annos singulos decies scribi
publicitus in t evicosarchis 2 iussit et in bibliothecis

4poni. holosericam vestem viris omnibus interdixit.
doraum suam destrui praecepit atque in eo loco ther-

5 mas publicas fieri private sumptu iussit. columnas
centum Numidicas pedum vicenum ternum Osti-
ensibus donavit de proprio. possessiones, quas in
Mauretania habuit, sartis tectis Capitolii deputavit.

eargentum mensale, quod privatus habuerat, 3 minis-
teriis conviviorum, quae in templis fierent, dedicavit.

7 servos urbanos omnes manu misit utriusque sexus,
intra centum tamen ne Caniniam transire videretur.

XI. Ipse fuit vitae parcissimae, ita ut sextarium
vini tota die numquam potaverit, saepe intra heminam.
2convivium vero unius gallinacei, ita ut sinciput ad-
deret et ova. prae omnibus holeribus adfatim minis-
tratis lactucis impatienter indulsit, somnum enim se
mercari ilia sumptus effusione dicebat. amariores

8 cibos adpetivit. balneis raro usus est atque adeo vali-
dior fuit in senectute. vitreorum diversitate atque
operositate vehementer est delectatus. panem nisi
siccum numquam comedit eundemque sale atque aliis

4 rebus conditum. fabricarum peritissimus fuit, mar-
morum cupidus, nitoris senatorii, venationum studiosus.

1 ne Hohl ; nee P ; iieue Peter 2 . 2 So P ; no successful
emendations have been proposed. ' A habuerat Z\ habu-eritP.

1 See Heliog., xx^i. 1 and note.

8 See note to Gord., xxxii. 2.

3 The Lex Fufia Caninia of 2 B.C., designating specified pro-
portions of a household of slaves that might be manumitted,
the maximum being one hundred ; see Gaius, i. 42-46.


and in order that his works might not be lost through
the carelessness of the readers he gave orders that ten
copies of them should be made each year officially in
the copying-establishments and put in the libraries.
He forbade any man to wt-ar a garment made wholly
of silk. 1 He gave orders that his house should be
destroyed and a public bath erected on the site at his
own expense. To the people of Ostia he presented
from his own funds one hundred columns of Numidian
marble/ each twenty-three feet in height, and the
estates which he owned in Mauritania he assigned tor
keeping the Capitolium in repair. The table-silver
which he had used when a commoner he dedicated
to the service of the banquets to be held in the
temples, and all the slaves of both sexes whom he had
in the city he set free, keeping the number, however,
below one hundred in order not to seem to be trans-
gressing the Caninian Law. 3

XI. In his manner of living he was very temperate,
so much so that in a whole day he never drank a pint
of wine, and frequently less than a half-pint. Even
at a banquet there would be served a single cock, with
the addition of a pig's jowl and some eggs. In pre-
ference to ah 1 other greens he would indulge himself
without stint in lettuce, which was served in large
quantities, for he used to say that he purchased sleep
by this kind of lavish expenditure. He especially
liked the more bitter kinds of food. He took baths
rarely and w r as all the stronger in his old a<:e. He
delighted greatly in varied and elaborate kinds of
g'assware. He never ate bread unless it was dry, but
he flavoured it with salt and other condiments. He
was very skilled in the handicrafts, fond of marbles,
truly senatorial in his elegance and devoted to hunting.


5mensam denique suam numquam nisi agrestibus
opimavit. phasianam avem nisi suo et auorum natali
et diebus festissimis nori posuit. hostias suas semper

6 domurn revocavit iisdemque suos vesci iussit. uxorem
gemmis uti non est passus. auro clavatis vestibus idem
interdixit. nam et ipse auctor Aureliano fuisse perhi-
betur ut aurum a vestibus et cameris et pellibus sum-

7 moveret. multa hums feruntur, sed longum est ea in
litteras mittere. quod si quis omnia de hoc viro cupit
scire, legat Suetonium Optatianum, qui eius vitam ad-

8 fatim scripsit. legit sane senex minutulas litteras ad
stuporem nee umquam noctem intermisit qua non ali-
quid vel scriberet ille vel legeret praeter posterum
kalendarum diem.

XII. Nee tacendum est et frequenter intimandum 1
tantam senatus laetitiam fuisse, quod eligendi principis
cura ad ordinem amplissimum revertisset ut et suppli-
cationes decernerentur, et hecatombe promitteretur,
singuli denique senatores ad suos scriberent, nee ad
suos tantum sed etiam ad externos, mitterentur prae-
terea litterae ad provincias : "scirent omnes socii
omnesque nationes in antiquum statum redisse rem
publicam ac senatum principes legere, immo ipsum
senatum principem factum, leges a senatu petendas,

1 intimandum Salm. ; vmitandum P.

1 See note to Pert., xii. 6. a See Aur. t xlvi. 1.

3 Unknown and probably fictitious.

4 His reign was regarded throughout as the re-establishment
of the rule of the senate ; he restored to the senators the right
to hold military commands (Aur. Victor, Caes., 37, 6) and
issued gold coins inscribed S.C. (Matt.-Syd., v. p. 333, no. 75 ;
pp. 346-347, nos. 205 and 209). This policy found expression in



II is table, indeed, was supplied only with country
produce, and he never served pheasants l except on his
own birthday and on those of his family and on the
chief festivals. He always brought back home the
sacrificial victims and bade his household eat them.
He did not permit his wife to use jewels and also for-
bade her to wear garments with gold stripes. In fact,
it is said that it was he who impelled Aureliaii to forbid
the use of gold on clothing and ceilings and leather.' 2
Many other measures of his are related, but it would
be too long to set them all down in writing, and if
anyone desires to know everything about this man, he
should read Suetonius Optatianus, 3 who wrote his life
in full detail. Though he was an old man, he could
read very tiny letters to an amazing degree and he
never let a night go by without writing or reading
something except only the night following the day
after the Kalends.

XII. It must not be left unmentioned, and in fact
it should become widely known, that so great was the
joy of the senate that the power of choosing an
emperor had been restored to this most noble body, 4
that it botli voted ceremonies of thanksgiving and
promised a hecatomb and finally each of the senators
wrote to his relatives, and not to his relatives only but
also to strangers, and letters were even despatched to
the provinces, all in the following vein : " Let all the
allies and all foreign nations know that the common-
wealth has been restored to its ancient condition, and
that the senate now creates the ruler, nay rather the
senate itself has been created ruler, and henceforth

the titles Verae Liber tatis Auctor given to him in an inscription
from Gaul (C.I.L. xii. 5563 = Dessau, Ins. Set. 591) and
Eestitutor Rei Publicae on coins (Cohen, vi. 2 p. 231, no. 107).



reges barbaros senatui supplicaturos, pacem ac bella
2senatu auctore tractanda." ne quid denique deesset
cognition!, plerasque huius modi epistulas in fine libri
posui, et cum cupiditate et sine fastidio, ut aestimo,

XIII. Et prima quidem illi cura imperatoris facti

haec fuit, ut omnes qui Aurelianum occiderant interi-

meret, bonos malosve, cum iam ille vindicatus esset.

2et quoniam a Maeotide multi barbari eruperant, hos

Seosdem consilio atque virtute compressit, ipsi autem

Maeotidae ita se gregabant, quasi accitu Aureliani ad

bellum Persicum convenissent, auxilium daturi nostris

4 si necessitas postularet. M. Tullius dicit magnificen-

tius esse dicere, quemadmodum gesserit quam quemad-

modum l ceperit consulatum ; at in isto viro magnificum

fuit quod tanta gloria cepit imperium ; gessit autem

6 propter brevitatem temporum nihil magnum, inter-

emptus est enim insidiis militaribus, ut alii dicunt,

sexto mense, ut alii, morbo interiit. tameii constat

1 gesserit quam quemadmodum rest, by Salm. from Cicero;
om. in P.

1 cc. xviii.-xix.

2 See Aur., xxxvii. 2. Others were punished by Probus ;
see Prob., xiii. 2.

3 The Sea of Azov ; see note to Aur., xvi. 4. A fuller account
of this invasion of the Erali in 275-276 is found in Zosimus, i.
63, 1 and Zonaras, xii. 28. Entering Asia Minor from Colchis,
they overran Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Cilicia, where
they were defeated by Tacitus with the aid of Florian. He
celebrated the victory by assuming the cognomen Gothicus
Maximus and by coins (of 276) with the legend Victoria
Gothica; see Matt.-Syd., v. p. 337, no. 110.

4 See Aur., xxxv. 4. 6 In Pisonem 3.



laws must be sought from the senate, barbarian kings
bring their entreaties to the senate, and peace and war
be made by authority of the senate." In fact, in
order that nothing may be lacking to your knowledge,
I have placed many letters of this sort at the end of
the book, 1 to be read, as I think, with enjoyment, or
at least without aversion.

XIII. His first care after being made emperor was
to put to death all those who had killed Aurelian,
good and bad alike, although he had already been
avenged. 2 Then with wisdom and courage he crushed
the barbarians for they had broken forth in great
numbers from the district of Lake Maeotis. 3 The
Maeotidae, in fact, were flocking together under the
pretext of assembling by command of Aurelian for the
Persian War, 4 in order that, should necessity demand
it, they might render aid to our troops. Now Cicero
declares 5 that it is rather a matter for boasting to tell
how one has conducted, rather than how one has ob-
tained, the consulship ; in the case of Tacitus, however,
it was a noble achievement that he obtained the
imperial power with such glory to himself, but by
reason of the shortness of his reign he performed no
great exploit. For hi the sixth month of his rule, he
was slain, 6 according to some, by a plot among the
troops, though according to others he died of disease. 7

6 At Tyana (Kizli-Hissar) in Cappadocia, according to Aur.
Victor, Goes., 36, 2. Zosimus (i. 63, 2) and Zonaras (xii. 28)
relate that he was killed by some soldiers who had murdered
his kinsman Maximinus, the governor of Syria, and then
feared punishment from him. As there are papyri of June
276, drawn up while he was ruling, his death could not have
taken place before this month.

7 This version, evidently incorrect, seems to appear also in
Prob. , x. 1 and Car., iii. 7, and in Ejjit., 36, 1.



factionibus eum oppressum mente atque animo de-
fecisse. liic idem mensem Septembrem Taciturn ap-
pellari iussit, idcirco quod eo mense et natus et factus
est imperator.

Huic frater Florianus in imperio successit, de quo
pauca ponenda sunt.

XI V. Hie frater Taciti germanus fuit, qui post fra-
trem arripuit imperium, non senatus auctoritate sed
suo motu, quasi hereditarium esset imperium, cum
sciret adiuratum esse in senatu Taciturn, ut, cum mori
coepisset, non liberos suos sed optimum aliquem prin-

2 cipem faceret. denique vix duobus mensibus imperium
ten u it et occisus est Tarsi a militibus, qui Probum
audierant imperare, quern omnis exercitus legerat.

3 tantus autem Probus fuit in re l militari ut ilium sena-
tus optaret, miles eligeret, ipse populus Romanus ad-

4 clamationibus peteret, fuit etiam Florianus morum
fratris imitator, nee tamen usquequaque. nam effu-

1 in re 27, Peter, Hohl ; intere P.

1 See c. ii. 6 and note.

2 M. Annius Florianus Augustus. His name shows that the
biographer is correct in his statement, in c. xvii. 4, that he was
the son of Tacitus' mother by a second husband ; accordingly,
the " germanus " of c. xiv, 1 is incorrect. In direct contradic-
tion of c. xiv. 1 Zonaras says that he was i ecognised by the
senate, and both he and Zosimus relate that he was acknow-
ledged emperor by the European and African portions of the
empire ; this is supported by the evidence of inscriptions from
the various western provinces.

3 Cf . c. vi. 8.

4 He reigned for eighty days according to Eutropius, ix. 16,
and for eighty-eight according to the " Ghronographer of 354."
Since Tacitus seems to have been killed in June, 276 (see note
to c. xiii. 5), and F:orian is said by Zosimus (i. 64, 2) to have



It is, nevertheless, agreed among all that, crushed by
plots, he grew weak both in mind and in spirit. He
likewise gave command that the month of September
should be called Tacitus, for the reason that in that
month he was not only born but also created emperor. 1

He was succeeded in the imperial power by his
brother Florian, 2 about whom a few things must now
be related.

XIV. Florian was own brother to Tacitus, and after
his brother's death he seized the imperial power, not
by authorisation of the senate but on his own volition,
just as though the empire were an hereditary posses-
sion, and although he knew that Tacitus had taken
oath in the senate that when he came to die he would
appoint as emperor not his own sons but some excel-
lent man. 3 Finally, after holding the imperial power
for scarce two months 4 he was slain at Tarsus by the
soldiers, 5 who heard that Probus, the choice of the
whole army, was now in command. So great, more-
over, was Probus in matters of war that the senate
desired him, the soldiers elected him, and the Roman
people itself demanded him by acclamations. 6 Florian
was also an imitator of his brother's ways, though not

been killed during the summer, his death may be supposed to
have taken place about August.

"Zosimus (i. 64, 2) relates that he carried on the war against
the Eruli with success and that he had cut off their retreat
when he was forced by Probus' assumption of the imperial
power to return to Cilicia. After a battle of no importance
Probus' soldiers deposed Florian and placed him under guard ;
when he made an attempt to recover his position he was killed
by his own troops at the instigation of Probus' emissaries. The
biographer, both here and in Prob., x. 8, suppresses all sugges-
tion of complicity in Florian's death on the part of his hero

"See Prob., x. -xii.



sionem in eo frater frugi reprehendit, et haec ipsa im-
perandi cupiditas aliis eum moribus ostendit fuisse
quam fratrem.

5 Duo igitur priucipes una exstiterunt domo, quorum
alter sex mensibus, alter vix duobus imperaverunt,
quasi quidam interreges inter Aurelianum et Probura,
post interregnum principes nuncupati. 1

XV. Horum statuae fuerunt Interamnae duae
pedum tricenum e mar more, quod illic eorum ceno-
taphia constituta sunt in solo proprio ; sed deiectae
fulmine ita contritae sunt ut membratim iaceant dis-

2sipatae. quo tempore responsum est ab haruspicibus
quandocumque ex eorum familia imperatorem Roma-
num futurum seu per feminam seu per virum, qui det
iudices Parthis ac Persis, qui Francos et Alamannos
sub Romanis legibus habeat, qui per omnem African!
barbaruml I non relinquat, qui Taprobanis praesidem
imponat, qui ad luvernam 2 insulam proconsulem
mittat, qui Sarmatis omnibus iudicet, qui terram
omnem, qua Oceano ambitur, captis omnibus genti-
bus suam faciat, postea tamen senatui reddat imperium
et antiquis legibus vivat, ipse victurus annis centum

3 viginti et sine herede moriturus. futurum autem eum
dixerunt a die fulminis praecipitati statuisque confract : s

4 post 3 annos mille. non magna haec urbanitas harus-
picum fuit, qui principem talem post mille annos
futurum esse dixerunt, pollicentes cum vix remanere

1 post . . . nuncupati P, retained by von Winterfeld; del.
by Salm., Peter, Hohl. a luvernam Purser, Hohl ;

Romanam P, Peter. 3 post 2 ; per P.

1 Mod. Terni, about 60 m. N. of Rome.

2 Cf. Prob., xxiv. 2. 8 Ceylon.

4 Ireland if the emendation in the text is correct.



in every respect. For the frugal Tacitus found fault
with his lavishness, and his very eagerness to rule
showed him to be of a different stamp from his brother.

So then there arose two princes from one house, of
whom the one ruled for six months and the other for
scarce two merely regents, so to speak, between
Aurelian and Probus, and themselves named princes
after a regency.

XV. Their two statues, made of marble and thirty
feet in height, were set up at Interamna, 1 for there
cenotaphs were erected to them on their own land ;
but these were struck by lightning and so thoroughly
broken that they lay scattered in fragments. On
this occasion the soothsayers foretold that at some
future time there would be a Roman emperor from
their family, 2 descended through either the male or
the female line, who would give judges to the Parthians
and the Persians, subject the Franks and the Ala-
manni to the laws of Rome, drive out every barbarian
from the whole of Africa, establish a governor at
Taprobane, 3 send a proconsul to the island of luverna, 4
act as judge to all the Sarmatians, make all the land
which borders on the Ocean his own territory by
conquering all the tribes, but thereafter restore the
power to the senate and conduct himself in accord-
ance with the ancient laws, being destined to live for
one hundred and twenty years 5 and to die without
an heir. They declared, moreover, that he would
come one thousand years from the day when the
lightning struck and shattered the statues. It showed
no great skill, indeed, on the soothsayers' part to de-
clare that such a prince would come after an interval
of one thousand years, for their promise applied to

* Cf. Claud., ii. 4.



tails possit historia, 1 quia, si post centum annos prae-
dicerent, forte possent eorum deprehendi mendacia.
6 ego tamen haec idcirco inserenda volumini credidi lie
quis me legens legisse non crederet.

XVI. Tacitus congiarium populo Romano intra sex

2 menses vix dedit. imago eius posita est in Quintili-
orum, in una tabula quinquiplex, in qua semel togatus,
semel chlamydatus, semel armatus, semel palliatus,

3 semel venatorio habitu. de qua quidem epigram-

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