Tacitus, Annals

LCL 249: 292-293

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The Annals Of Tacitus

casus obtulerat in sapientiam vertenda ratus, circumiri tentoria iubet; accitur centurio Clemens et si alii bonis artibus grati in vulgus. Hi1 vigiliis, stationibus, custodiis portarum se inserunt, spem offerunt, metum intendunt: “Quo usque filium imperatoris obsidebimus? quis certaminum finis? Percennione et Vibuleno sacramentum dicturi sumus? Percennius et Vibulenus stipendia militibus, agros emeritis largientur? denique pro Neronibus et Drusis imperium populi Romani capessent? Quin potius, ut novissimi in culpam, ita primi ad paenitentiam sumus? Tarda sunt quae in commune expostulantur: privatam gratiam statim mereare, statim recipias.” Commotis per haec mentibus et inter se suspectis, tironem a veterano, legionem a legione dissociant. Tum redire paulatim amor obsequii: omittunt portas, signa unum in locum principio seditionis congregata suas in sedes referunt.

XXIX. Drusus, orto die et vocata contione, quamquam rudis dicendi, nobilitate ingenita incusat priora, probat praesentia; negat se terrore et minis vinci: flexos ad modestiam si videat, si supplices audiat, scripturum patri ut placatus legionum preces exciperet. Orantibus rursum idem Blaesus

  • 1hi Weikert: in.

The Annals Of Tacitus

reap where chance had sown. He ordered a round of the tents to be made. Clemens, the centurion, was sent for, along with any other officer whose qualities had made him popular with the ranks. These insinuated themselves everywhere, among the watches, the patrols, the sentries at the gates, suggesting hope and emphasizing fear. “How long must we besiege the son of our emperor? What is to be the end of our factions? Are we to swear fealty to Percennius and Vibulenus? Will Percennius and Vibulenus give the soldier his pay—his grant of land at his discharge? Are they, in fine, to dispossess the stock of Nero and Drusus and take over the sovereignty of the Roman People? Why, rather, as we were the last to offend, are we not the first to repent? Reforms demanded collectively are slow in coming: private favour is quickly earned and as quickly paid.” The leaven worked; and under the influence of their mutual suspicions they separated once more recruit from veteran, legion from legion. Then, gradually the instinct of obedience returned; they abandoned the gates and restored to their proper places the ensigns which they had grouped together at the beginning of the mutiny.

XXIX. At break of day Drusus called a meeting. He was no orator, but blamed their past and commended their present attitude with native dignity. He was not to be cowed, he said, by intimidation and threats; but if he saw them returning to their duty, if he heard them speaking the language of suppliants, he would write to his father and advise him to lend an indulgent ear to the prayers of the legions. They begged him to do so, and as their deputies to Tiberius sent the younger Blaesus as before, together with

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.tacitus-annals.1931