Lives of the Caesars, IV

repertum est, cuius ea natura existimatur, ut tinctum veneno igne confici nequeat.

II. Obiit autem, ut opinio fuit, fraude Tiberi, ministerio et opera Cn. Pisonis, qui sub idem tempus Syriae praepositus, nec dissimulans offendendum sibi aut patrem aut filium, quasi plane ita necesse esset, etiam aegrum Germanicum gravissimis verborum ac rerum acerbitatibus nullo adhibito modo adfecit; propter quae, ut Romam rediit, paene discerptus a populo, a senatu capitis damnatus est.

III. Omnes Germanico corporis animique virtutes, et quantas nemini cuiquam, contigisse satis constat: formam et fortitudinem egregiam, ingenium in utroque eloquentiae doctrinaeque genere praecellens, benivolentiam singularem conciliandaeque hominum gratiae ac promerendi amoris mirum et efficax studium. Formae minus congruebat gracilitas crurum, sed ea quoque paulatim repleta assidua 2 equi vectatione post cibum. Hostem comminus saepe percussit. Oravit causas etiam triumphalis; atque inter cetera studiorum monimenta reliquit et comoedias Graecas. Domi forisque civilis, libera ac foederata oppida sine lictoribus adibat. Sicubi clarorum virorum sepulcra cognosceret, inferias Manibus dabat. Caesorum clade Variana veteres ac dispersas reliquias uno tumulo humaturus, colligere sua manu et comportare primus adgressus est. 3 Obtrectatoribus etiam, qualescumque et quantacum­que


Gaius Caligula

organ that when steeped in poison it cannot be destroyed by fire.

II. Now the belief was that he met his death through the wiles of Tiberius, aided and abetted by Gnaeus Piso.6 This man had been made governor of Syria at about that time, and realising that he must give offence either to the father or the son, as if there were no alternative, he never ceased to show the bitterest enmity towards Germanicus in word and deed, even after the latter fell ill. In consequence Piso narrowly escaped being torn to pieces by the people on his return to Rome, and was condemned to death by the senate.

III. It is the general opinion that Germanicus possessed all the highest qualities of body and mind, to a degree never equalled by anyone: a handsome appearance, unequalled valour, surpassing ability in the oratory and learning of Greece and Rome, unexampled kindliness, and a remarkable desire and capacity for winning men’s regard and inspiring their affection. His legs were too slender for the rest of his figure, but he gradually brought them to proper proportions by constant horseback riding after meals. He often slew a foeman in hand-to-hand combat. He pleaded causes even after receiving the triumphal regalia; and among other fruits of his studies he left some Greek comedies. Unassuming7 at home and abroad, he always entered the free and federate towns without lictors. Wherever he came upon the tombs of distinguished men, he always offered sacrifice to their shades. Planning to bury in one mound the old and scattered relics of those who fell in the overthrow of Varus, he was the first to attempt to collect and assemble them with his own hand. Even towards his detractors, whosoever they were and whatever

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.suetonius-lives_caesars_book_iv_gaius_caligula.1914