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Po'llio, Ve'dius

a Roman eques and a friend of Augnstus, was by birth a freedman, and has obtained a place in history on account of his riches and his cruelty. He was accustomed to feed his lampreys with human flesh, and when-ever a slave displeased him, the unfortunate wretch was forthwith thrown into the pond as food for the fish. On one occasion Augustus was supping with him, when a slave had the misfortune to break a crystal goblet, and his master immediatelv ordered him to be thrown to the fishes. The slave fell at the feet of Augustus, praying for mercy; the emperor interceded with his master on his behalf, but when he could not prevail upon Pollio to pardon him, he dismissed the slave of his own accord, and commanded all Pollio's crystal goblets to be broken and the fish-pond to be filled up. Pollio died B. C. 15, leaving a large part of his property to Augustus. (D. C. 54.23 ; Senec. de Ira, 3.40, de Clem. 1.18; Plin. H. N> 9.23. s. 39, 53. s. 78; Tac. Ann. 1.10, 12.60.) This Pollio appears to be the same as the one against whom Augustus wrote fescennine verses. (Macr. 2.4.)

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15 BC (1)
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