Dio Cassius, Roman History

LCL 83: 474-475

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Book LV

made a vow with reference to the Megalensian a.d. 7 games because some woman had cut some letters on her arm and practised some sort of divination. He knew well, to be sure, that she had not been possessed by any divine power, but had done this thing deliberately; but inasmuch as the populace was terribly wrought up over both the wars and the famine (which had now set in once more), he, too, affected to believe the common report and proceeded to do anything that would make the crowd cheerful, regarding such measures as necessary. And in view of the dearth of grain he appointed two ex-consuls commissioners of the grain supply, granting them lictors. And as there was need of more money for the wars and for the support of the night-watchmen, he introduced the tax of two per cent, on the sale of slaves, and he ordered that the money which was regularly paid from the public treasury to the praetors who gave gladiatorial combats should no longer be expended.

The reason why he sent Germanicus and not Agrippa to take the field was that the latter possessed an illiberal nature, and spent most of his time in fishing, by virtue of which he used to call himself Neptune. He used to give way to violent anger, and spoke ill of Livia as a stepmother, while he often reproached Augustus himself for not giving him the inheritance his father had left him. When he could not be made to moderate his conduct, he was banished and his property was given to the military treasury; he himself was put ashore on Planasia, the island near Corsica.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dio_cassius-roman_history.1914