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Amid the many sorrows which saddened Rome, one cause of grief was the marriage of Julia, Drusus's daughter and Nero's late wife, into the humbler family of Rubellius Blandus, whose grandfather many remembered as a Roman knight from Tibur. At the end of the year the death of Ælius Lamia, who, after being at last released from the farce of governing Syria, had become city-prefect, was celebrated with the honours of a censor's funeral. He was a man of illustrious descent, and in a hale old age; and the fact of the province having been withheld gained him additional esteem. Subsequently, on the death of Flaccus Pomponius, proprætor of Syria, a letter from the emperor was read, in which he complained that all the best men who were fit to command armies declined the service, and that he was thus necessarily driven to intreaties, by which some of the ex-consuls might be prevailed on to take provinces. He forgot that Arruntius had been kept at home now for ten years, that he might not go to Spain. That same year Marcus Lepidus also died. I have dwelt at sufficient length on his moderation and wisdom in my earlier books, and I need not further enlarge on his noble descent. Assuredly the family of the Æmilii has been rich in good citizens, and even the members of that house whose morals were corrupt, still lived with a certain splendour.