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By the elder Antonia he had Nero's father, a man of execrable character in every part of his life. During his attendance upon Caius Caesar in the East, he killed a freedman of his own, for refusing to drink as much as he ordered him. Being dismissed for this from Caesar's society, he did not mend his habits, for, in a village upon the Appian road, he suddenly whipped his horses, and drove his chariot, on purpose, over a poor boy, crushing him to pieces. At Rome, he struck out the eye of a Roman knight in the Forum, only for some free language in a dispute between them. He was likewise so fraudulent, that he not only cheated some silversmiths1 of the price of goods he had bought of them, but, during his praetorship, defrauded the owners of chariots in the Circensian games of the prizes due to them for their victory. His sister, jeering him for the complaints made by the leaders of the several parties, he agreed to sanction a law, " That, for the future, the prizes should be immediately paid." A little before the death of Tiberius, he was prosecuted for treason, adulteries, and incest with his sister T.picla, hut escaped in the timely change of affairs, and died of a dropsy, at Pyrgi;2 leaving behind him his son, Nero, whom he had by Agrippina, the daughter of Germanicus.
1 The suggestion offered (note, p. 138), that the Argentarii, like the goldsmiths of the middle ages, combined the business of bankers, or money changers, with dealings in gold and silver plate, is confirmed by this passage. It does not, however, appear that they were artificers of the precious metals, though they dealt in old and current coins, sculptured vessels, gems, and precious stones.
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