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It happened that the trial at this time of Votienus Montanus, a popular wit, convinced the hesitating Tiberius that he ought to shun all assemblies of the Senate, where speeches, often true and offensive, were flung in his very face. Votienus was charged with insulting expressions towards the emperor, and while the witness, Æmilius, a military man, in his eagerness to prove the case, repeated the whole story and amid angry clamour struggled on with loud assertion, Tiberius heard the reproaches by which he was assailed in secret, and was so deeply impressed that he exclaimed that he would clear himself either at once or on a legal inquiry, and the entreaties of friends, with the flattery of the whole assembly, hardly restored his composure. As for Votienus, he suffered the penalty of treason; but the emperor, clinging all the more obstinately to the harshness with which he had been reproached in regard to accused persons, punished Aquilia with exile for the crime of adultery with Varius Ligur, although Lentulus Gætulicus, the consul-elect, had proposed that she should be sentenced under the Julian law. He next struck off Apidius Merula from the register of the Senate for not having sworn obedience to the legislation of the Divine Augustus.