Tacitus, Annals

LCL 249: 522-523

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The Annals Of Tacitus


I. Niiiil intermissa navigatione hiberni maris Agrippina Corcyram insulam advehitur, litora Calabriae contra sitam. Illic paucos dies componendo animo insumit, violenta luctu et nescia tolerandi. Interim, adventu eius audito, intimus quisque amicorum et plerique militares, ut quique sub Germanico stipendia fecerant, multique etiam ignoti vicinis e municipiis, pars officium in principem rati, plures illos secuti, ruere ad oppidum Brundisium, quod naviganti celerrimum fidissimumque adpulsu erat. Atque ubi primum ex alto visa classis, complentur non modo portus et proxima mari,1 sed moenia ac tecta, quaque longissime prospectari poterat, maerentium turba et rogitantium inter se silentione an voce aliqua egredientem exciperent. Neque satis constabat quid pro tempore foret, cum classis paulatim successit, non alacri, ut adsolet, remigio, sed cunctis ad tristitiam compositis. Postquam duobus cum liberis, feralem urnam tenens, egressa navi defixit oculos, idem omnium gemitus; neque discerneres proximos alienos, virorum feminarumve


The Annals Of Tacitus


I. Without1 once pausing in her navigation of theA.V.O. 773 – a.d. 20 wintry sea, Agrippina reached the island of Corcyra2 opposite the Calabrian coast. There, frantic with grief and unschooled to suffering, she spent a few days in regaining her composure. Meanwhile, at news of her advent, there was a rush of people to Brundisium, as the nearest and safest landing-place for the voyager. Every intimate friend was present; numbers of military men, each with his record of service under Germanicus; even many strangers from the local towns, some thinking it respectful to the emperor, the majority following their example. The moment her squadron was sighted in the offing, not only the harbour and the points nearest the sea but the city-walls and house-roofs, all posts, indeed, commanding a wide enough prospect, were thronged by a crowd of mourners, who asked each other if they ought to receive her landing in silence, or with some audible expression of feeling. It was not yet clear to them what the occasion required, when little by little the flotilla drew to shore, not with the accustomed eager oarsmanship, but all with an ordered melancholy. When, clasping the fatal urn, she left the ship with her two children, and fixed her eyes on the ground, a single groan arose from the whole multitude; nor could a distinction be traced between the relative and the stranger, the wailings of women or of men: only, the attendants of Agrippina,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.tacitus-annals.1931