Multa sub eo et animadversa severe et coercita nec minus instituta: adhibitus sumptibus modus; publicae cenae ad sportulas redactae; interdictum ne quid in popinis cocti praeter legumina aut holera veniret, cum antea nullum non obsonii genus proponeretur; afflicti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominum superstitionis novae ac maleficae; vetiti quadrigariorum lusus, quibus inveterata licentia passim vagantibus fallere ac furari per iocum ius erat; pantomimorum factiones cum ipsis simul relegatae.
XVII. Adversus falsarios tunc primum repertum, ne tabulae nisi pertusae ac ter lino per foramina traiecto obsignarentur; cautum ut testamentis primae duae cerae testatorum modo nomine inscripto vacuae signaturis ostenderentur, ac ne qui alieni testamenti scriptor legatum sibi ascriberet; item ut litigatores pro patrociniis certam iustamque mercedem, pro subsellis nullam omnino darent praebente aerario gratuita; utque rerum actu ab aerario causae ad Forum ac reciperatores transferrentur et ut omnes
- 59Various attempts had however been made to check this form of luxury; see note on Claud. xxxviii. 2.
- 60Because of their disorderly conduct; see chap. xxvi. 2, and Tac. Ann. 13. 25.
- 61The tablets consisted of three leaves, two of which were bound together and sealed. The contract was written twice, on the open leaf and on the closed ones. In cases of dispute the seals were broken in the presence of the signers and the two versions compared.
- 62As witnesses. The testator afterwards wrote the names of the heirs on these leaves.
- 63The Cincian law of 204 b.c. forbade fees. Augustus renewed the law in 17 b.c. (Dio, 54. 18). Claudius limited fees to 10,000 sesterces (Tac. Ann. 11. 5-6). The senate again abolished fees at the beginning of Nero’s reign (Tac. Ann. 13. 5), but Nero apparently revived the law of Claudius, with a provision against the addition of “costs.”
During his reign many abuses were severely punished and put down, and no fewer new laws were made: a limit was set to expenditures; the public banquets were confined to a distribution of food; the sale of any kind of cooked viands in the taverns was forbidden, with the exception of pulse and vegetables, whereas before every sort of dainty was exposed for sale.59 Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition. He put an end to the diversions of the chariot drivers, who from immunity of long standing claimed the right of ranging at large and amusing themselves by cheating and robbing the people. The pantomimic actors and their partisans were banished from the city.60
XVII. It was in his reign that a protection against forgers was first devised, by having no tablets signed that were not bored with holes through which a cord was thrice passed.61 In the case of wills it was provided that the first two leaves should be presented to the signatories62 with only the name of the testator written upon them, and that no one who wrote a will for another should put down a legacy for himself; further, that clients should pay a fixed and reasonable fee for the services of their advocates,63 but nothing at all for benches, which were to be furnished free of charge by the public treasury; finally as regarded the pleading of cases, that those connected with the treasury should be transferred to the Forum64 and a board of arbiters,