- 326labori CPTF.
him, not the hearts of the people); the sword’s crime he expiated by the sword, and so he fell, O Rome, bringing thee lower than he himself was brought. Yet even then the kindly fates with their golden distaff were evolving the reign of our present chief; but the calamities of the people shrank from bringing enmity on such a man. All who had been chosen to bear the name of Augustus had held a throne left for them by the Caesars; but he, when thou 1 wert captured and in sore trouble, created that which he now holds. Nerva called Trajan to power when his son was already a conqueror; in official title he was styled Germanicus, but his deeds had made him so already. The one thing leads to the other: whoever begins thus aims at the same glory. In olden days after Tiberius in Capri, after Gaius’ base assumption of divinity, after the censorship of Claudius, 2 after Nero with his lyre and his lechery, after the parade of that horrible mirror 3 in which Otho, foul because he was fair, was wont to behold himself, after Vitellius’ five millions of money condemned to the bottomless pit of his scandalous belly, Vespasian had been chosen emperor with the same titles won by the same toil as Trajan’s and Majorian’s.
“But lest haply thou think that I am securely hemmed in by the valour of the Robber, know that in him the vileness of his vices has sapped the vigour of his race. 4 His Scythian 5 savagery is governed not by his strength but by his desires; spoils immense he has won, but already by his profligacy he has lost all that made him strong when he was poor. Now he arms mine own flesh against me for his own ends, and after all these years of captivity I am being
- 1At this point it is perhaps necessary to remind the reader that Africa is addressing all these words to the goddess Roma.
- 2See Suet. Claud. 16 for the eccentric conduct of Claudius as censor.
- 3See Juvenal II. 99.
- 4This was not true of Geiseric, though it may have been true of many of his followers.
- 5See nn. on 219 above and on 2. 351.