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He generally prolonged the sufferings of his victims by causing them to be inflicted by slight and frequently repeated strokes; this being his well-known and constant order: "Strike so that he may feel himself die." Having punished one person for another, by mistaking his name, he said "he deserved it quite as much." He had frequently in his mouth these words of the tragedian: “Oderint dum metuant.1” I scorn their hatred, if they do but fear me. He would often inveigh against all the senators writhout exception, as clients of Sejanus, and informers against his mother and brothers, producing the memorials which he had pretended to burn, and excusing the cruelty of Tiberius as necessary, since it was impossible to question the veracity of such a number of accusers.2 He continually reproached the whole equestrian order, as devoting themselves to nothing but acting on the stage, and fighting as gladiators. Being incensed at the people's applauding a party at the Circensian games in opposition to him, he exclaimed, "I wish the Roman people had but one neck."3 When Tetrinius, the highwayman, was denounced, he said his persecutors too were all Tetrinius's. Five Retiarii, 4 in tunics, fighting in a company, yielded without a struggle to the same number of opponents; and being ordered to be slain, one of them taking up his lance again, killed all the conquerors. This he lamented in a proclamation as a most cruel butchery, and cursed all those who had borne the sight of it.
1 A quotation from the tragedy of Atreus, by L. Attius, mentioned by Cicero. Off. i. 28.
2 See before, AUGUSTUS, c. Ixxi.
4 Gladiators were distinguished by their armour and manner of fighting. Some were called Secutores, whose arms were a helmet, a shield, a sword, or a leaden ball. Others, the usual antagonists of the former, were named Reiani. A combatant of this class was dressed in a short tunic, but wore nothing on his head. He carried in his left hand a three-pointed lance, called Tridens or Fuscina, and in his right, a net, with which he attempted to entangle his adversary, by casting it over his head, and suddenly drawing it together; when with his trident he usually slew him. But if he missed his aim, by throwing the net either too short or too far, he instantly betook himself to flight, and endeavoured to prepare his net for a second cast. His antagonist, in the mean time, pursued, to prevent his design, by dispatching him.
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