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That same year Rome suffered from a terrible fire, and part of the circus near the Aventine hill was burnt, as well as the Aventine quarter itself. This calamity the emperor turned to his own glory by paying the values of the houses and blocks of tenements. A hundred million of sesterces was expended in this munificence, a boon all the more acceptable to the populace, as Tiberius was rather sparing in building at his private expense. He raised only two structures even at the public cost, the temple of Augustus and the stage of Pompey's theatre, and when these were completed, he did not dedicate them, either out of contempt for popularity or from his extreme age. Four commissioners, all husbands of the emperor's granddaughters—Cneius Domitius, Cassius Longinus, Marcus Vinicius, Rubellius Blandus—were appointed to assess the damage in each case, and Publius Petronius was added to their number on the nomination of the consuls. Various honours were devised and decreed to the emperor such as each man's ingenuity suggested. It is a question which of these he rejected or accepted, as the end of his life was so near.

For soon afterwards Tiberius's last consuls, Cneius Acerronius and Caius Pontius, entered on office, Macro's power being now excessive. Every day the man cultivated more as-

siduously than ever the favour of Caius Cæsar, which, indeed, he had never neglected, and after the death of Claudia, who had, as I have related, been married to Caius, he had prompted his wife Ennia to inveigle the young prince by a pretence of love, and to bind him by an engagement of marriage, and the lad, provided he could secure the throne, shrank from no conditions. For though he was of an excitable temper, he had thoroughly learnt the falsehoods of hypocrisy under the loving care of his grandfather.

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