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Nero entered on his third consulship with Valerius Messala, whose great-grandfather, the orator Corvinus, was still remembered by a few old men, as having been the colleague of the Divine Augustus, Nero's great-grandfather, in the same office. But the honour of a noble house was further increased by an annual grant of five hundred thousand sesterces on which Messala might support virtuous poverty. Aurelius Cotta, too, and Haterius Antonius had yearly stipends assigned them by the emperor, though they had squandered their ancestral wealth in profligacy.

Early in this year a war between Parthia and Rome about the possession of Armenia, which, feebly begun, had hitherto dragged on, was vigorously resumed. For Vologeses would not allow his brother Tiridates to be deprived of a kingdom which he had himself given him, or to hold it as a gift from a foreign power, and Corbulo too thought it due to the grandeur of Rome that he should recover what Lucullus and Pompeius had formerly won. Besides, the Armenians in the fluctuations of their allegiance sought the armed protection of both empires, though by their country's position, by resemblance of manners, and by the ties of intermarriage, they were more connected with the Parthians, to whose sub- jection, in their ignorance of freedom, they rather inclined.

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