Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings and Sayings

LCL 493: 356-357

Go To Section
Go To Section

Valerius Maximus

supplices Romam <cum>78 venissent, accidit ut reliquis tribubus salutarem sententiam secutis sola Pollia iudicaret oportere puberes79 verberatos securi percuti, imbellem multitudinem sub corona venire. quam ob causam Papiria tribus, in qua plurimum postea Tusculani in civitatem recepti potuerunt, neminem umquam candidatum Polliae tribus fecit magistratum, ne ad eam ullus honor suffragiis <suis> perveniret, quae illis vitam ac libertatem, quantum in ipsa fuit, ademerat.


Illam vero ultionem et senatus et consensus omnium approbavit: cum enim Hadrianus cives Romanos, qui Uticae consistebant, sordido imperio vexasset idcircoque ab iis vivus esset exustus, nec quaestio ulla in urbe hac de re habita nec querella versata est.

ext. 1Clarae ultionis utraque regina, et Tomyris, quae caput Cyri abscisum in utrem humano sanguine repletum demitti iussit, exprobrans illi insatiabilem cruoris sitim, simulque poenas occisi ab eo filii sui exigens, et Berenice, quae Laodices insidiis interceptum sibi filium graviter ferens armata currum conscendit, persecutaque satellitem regium, crudelis operis ministrum, nomine Caeneum, quem80 hasta nequiquam petierat, saxo ictum prostravit, ac super eius corpus actis equis inter infesta contrariae partis agmina ad domum in qua interfecti pueri corpus occultari arbitrabatur


Book IX

children, wearing mourning in supplication. The result was that all the tribes were for mercy except the Pollia, which ruled that the men of military age be flogged and beheaded and the multitude of noncombatants sold by auction. For that reason the tribe Papiria, in which the Tusculans later had great power after they had been received into the franchise, never voted for a candidate belonging to tribe Pollia, not wishing that any office should go by their votes to that tribe which, so far as in it lay, had taken away their lives and liberty.1

Both the senate and public opinion as a whole approved the following act of revenge. Hadrianus had harried Roman citizens living in Utica with his avarice as governor and on that account had been burned alive by them. No enquiry was made on the matter in Rome nor did anybody complain.2


Two queens are famous for their revenges. Tomyris ordered Cyrus’ head to be cut off and let down into a bladder full of human gore, thus reproaching him with an insatiable thirst for blood and at the same time taking vengeance for her son whom he had killed.3 Berenice was aggrieved that her son had been taken from her by the treachery of Laodice. Mounting a chariot with weapons, she pursued a royal attendant named Caeneus who had carried out the cruel work and having missed him with a spear brought him down flat with a stone, then drove her horses over his body and between the hostile ranks of the opposing party to reach the house in which she thought the corpse of the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.valerius_maximus-memorable_doings_sayings.2000