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During the whole time of his seclusion at Capri, twice only he made an effort to visit Rome. Once he came in a galley as far as the gardens near the Naumachia, but placed guards along the banks of the Tiber, to keep off all who should offer to come to meet him. The second time he travelled on the Appian way, 1 as far as the seventh mile-stone from the city, but he immediately returned, without entering it, having only taken a view of the walls at a distance. For what reason he did not disembark in his first excursion, is uncertain; but in the last, he was deterred from entering the city by a prodigy. He was in the habit of diverting himself with a snake, and upon going to feed it with his own hand, according to custom, he found it devoured by ants: from which he was advised to beware of the fury of the mob. On this account, returning in all haste to Campania, he fell ill at Astura ; 2 but recovering a little, went on to Circeii. 3 And to obviate any suspicion of his being in a bad state of health, he was not only present at the sports in the camp, but encountered, with javelins, a wild boar, which was let loose in the arena. Being immediately seized with a pain in the side, and catching cold upon his overheating himself in the exercise, he relapsed into a worse condition than he was before. He held out, however, for some time; and sailing as far as Misenum,4 omitted no thing in his usual mode of life, not even in his entertainments, and other gratifications, partly from an ungovernable appetite, and partly to conceal his condition. For Charicles, a physician, having obtained leave of absence, on his rising from table, took his hand to kiss it; upon which Tiberius, supposing he did it to feel his pulse, desired him to stay and resume his place, and continued the entertainment longer than usual. Nor did he omit his usual custom of taking his station in the centre of the apartment, a lictor standing by him, while he took leave of each of the party by name.
1 So called from Appius Claudius, the Censor, one of Tiberius's ancestors, who constructed it. It took a direction southward from Rome, through Campania to 'Brundusium, starting from what is the present Porta di San Sebastiano, from which the road to Naples takes its departure.
4 Misenum, a promontory to which Aeneas is said to have given its name from one of his followers. (Aen. ii. 234.) It is now called Capo di Misino, and shelters the harbour of Mola di Galeta, belonging to Naples. This was one of the stations of the Roman fleet.
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