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The general odium in which he was held received an increase by the great scarcity of corn, and an occurrence connected with it. For, as it happened just at that time, there arrived from Alexandria a ship, which was said to be freighted with dust for the wrestlers belonging to the emperor. 1 This so much inflamed the public rage, that he was treated with the utmost abuse and scurrility. Upon the top of one of his statues was placed the figure of a chariot with a Greek inscription, that " Now indeed he had a race to run; let him begone." A little bag was tied about another, with a ticket containing these words: "What could I do?"-"Truly thou hast merited the sack." 2 Some person likewise wrote on the pillars in the forum, " that he had even woke the cocks3 with his singing." And many, in the night-time, pretending to find fault with their servants, frequently called for a Vindex. 4
2 The words on the ticket about the emperor's neck, are supposed, by a prosopopea, to be spoken by him. The reply is Agrippina's or the people's. It alludes to the punishment due to him for his parricide. By the Roman law, a person who had murdered a parent or any near relation, after being severely scourged, was sewed up in a sack, with a dog, a cock, a viper, and an ape, and then thrown into the sea, or a deep river.
3 Gallos, which signifies both cocks and Gauls.
4 Vndex, it need hardly be observed, was the name of the propraetor who had set up the standard of rebellion in Gaul. The word also signifies an avenger of wrongs, redresser of grievances; hence vindicate, vindictive, etc.
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