Tacitus, Annals 2.82

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מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים T


But at Rome, when the failure of Germanicus' health became current knowledge, and every circumstance was reported with the aggravations usual in news that has travelled far, all was grief and indignation. A storm of complaints burst out:— "So for this he had been relegated to the ends of earth; for this Piso had received a province; and this had been the drift of Augusta's colloquies with Plancina! It was the mere truth, as the elder men said of Drusus, that sons with democratic tempers were not pleasing to fathers on a throne; and both had been cut off for no other reason than because they designed to restore the age of freedom and take the Roman people into a partnership of equal rights." The announcement of his death inflamed this popular gossip to such a degree that before any edict of the magistrates, before any resolution of the senate, civic life was suspended, the courts deserted, houses closed. It was a town of sighs and silences, with none of the studied advertisements of sorrow; and, while there was no abstention from the ordinary tokens of bereavement, the deeper mourning was carried at the heart. Accidentally, a party of merchants, who had left Syria while Germanicus was yet alive, brought a more cheerful account of his condition. It was instantly believed and instantly disseminated. No man met another without proclaiming his unauthenticated news; and by him it was passed to more, with supplements dictated by joy. Crowds were running in the streets and forcing temple-doors.85 Credulity throve — it was night, and affirmation is boldest in the dark. Nor did Tiberius check the fictions, but left them to die out with the passage of time; and the people added bitterness for what seemed a second bereavement. c


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