Priscus, C. Luto'rius
a Roman eques, composed a poem on the death of Germanicus, which obtained great celebrity, and for which he was liberally paid by Tiberius. When Drusus fell ill, in A. D. 21, Priscus composed another poem on his death, anticipating, if he died, a still more handsome present from the emperor, as Drusus was his own son, while Germanicus had been only his son by adoption. Priscus was led by his vanity to recite this poem in a private house in presence of a distinguished company of women of rank.
He was denounced in consequence to the senate; and this body, anxious to punish the insult to the imperial family, condemned Priscus to death, without consulting Tiberius, and had him executed forthwith.
The proceeding, however, displeased Tiberius, not through any wish to save the life of Priscus, but because the senate had presumed to put a person to death without asking his opinion.
He therefore caused a decree of the senate to be passed, that no decrees of the body should be deposited in the aerarium till ten days had elapsed; and as they could not be carried into execution till this was done, no one could in future be executed till ten days after his condemnation. (Tac. Ann. 3.49
; D. C. 57.20
It is recorded of this Lutorius Priscus that he paid Sejanus the enormous sum of 50,000,000 sesterces (quinquenties sestertium
) for an eunuch of the name of Paezon. (Plin. Nat. 7.39. s. 40