L. ANNAEI SENECAE DIVI CLAUDII ΑΠΟΚΟΛΟΚΥΝΤΟΣΙΣ
1. Quid actum sit in caelo ante diem III idus Octobris anno novo, initio saeculi felicissimi, volo memoriae tradere. nihil nec offensae nec gratiae dabitur. haec ita vera. si quis quaesiverit unde sciam, primum, si noluero, non respondebo. quis coacturus est? ego scio me liberum factum, ex quo suum diem obiit ille, qui verum proverbium fecerat, aut regem aut fatuum nasci oportere. | 2si libuerit respondere, dicam quod mihi in buccam venerit. quis umquam ab historico iuratores exegit? tamen si necesse fuerit auctorem producere, quaerito ab eo qui Drusillam euntem in caelum vidit: idem Claudium vidisse se dicet iter facientem “non passibus aequis.” velit nolit, necesse est illi omnia videre quae in caelo aguntur: Appiae viae curator est, qua scis et divum Augustum et Tiberium Caesarem ad deos isse. | 3hunc si interrogaveris, soli narrabit:
1. I wish to give future generations a record of the proceedings in heaven on the thirteenth of October in the new year, which began an era of prosperity.1 It will be done without malice or favor. This is the honest truth. If anyone should ask for the source of my information, in the first place, if I do not wish to, I will not answer. Who will force me to do so? I know that I have the choice to speak or not, ever since the death of the fellow who gave truth to the proverb2 that one should be born a king or a fool. If it pleases me to reply, I will say the first thing that my tongue offers. Who ever required sworn witnesses from an historian? But if it is demanded to produce a source, ask the man who saw Druscilla3 go up to heaven: the same one will say that he saw Claudius making his way there, though “with unequal steps.”4 Like it or not, he cannot but see everything that happens in heaven: he is the custodian of the Appian Way, by which route, as you know, both the deified Augustus and Tiberius Caesar traveled to join the gods.5 If you question this man, he will tell the story to you
- 1First reference in the Apoc. to the Golden Age of Nero.
- 2Proverbs are common in the Apoc. and Satyrica.
- 3Julia Druscilla (17–38), sister of the emperor Caligula. Suetonius (Calig. 24.1) reports that there were sexual relations between sister and brother from childhood.
- 4Claudius was lame (Suet. Claud. 30). The quotation is from Virgil (Aen. 2.724).
- 5Augustus and Tiberius both died in Campania, and their bodies were returned to Rome on the Via Appia. Augustus was deified, Tiberius vilified.