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He invented besides a new kind of spectacle, such as had never been heard of before. For he made a bridge, of about three miles and a half in length, from Baiae to the mole of Puteoli, 1 collecting trading vessels from all quarters, mooring them in two rows by their anchors, and spreading earth upon them to form a viaduct, after the fashion of the Appian way. 2 This bridge he crossed and recrossed for two days together; the first day mounted on a horse richly caparisoned, wearing on his head a crown of oak leaves, armed with a battle-axe, a Spanish buckler and a sword, and in a cloak made of cloth of gold; the, day following, in the habit of a charioteer, standing in a chariot, drawn by two high-bred horses, having with him a young boy, Darius by name, one of the Parthian hostages, with a cohort of the pretorian guards attending him, and- a party of his friends in ,cars of Gaulish make. 3 Most people, I know, are of opinion, that this bridge was designed by Caius, in imitation of Xerxes, who, to the astonishment of the world, laid a bridge over the Hellespont, which is somewhat narrower than the distance betwixt Baiae and Puteoli. Others, however, thought that he did it to strike terror in Germany and Britain, which he was upon the point of invading, by the fame of some prodigious work. But for myself, when I was a boy, I heard my grandfather say, 4 that the reason assigned by some courtiers who were in habits of the greatest intimacy with him, was this; when Tiberius was in some anxiety about the nomination of a successor, and rather inclined to pitch upon his grandson, Thrasyllus the astrologer had assured him, "That Caius would no more be emperor, than he would ride on horseback across the gulf of Baiae."
1 Now Puzzuoli, on the shore of the bay of Naples. Every one knows what wealth was lavished here and at Baiae, on public works and the marine villas of the luxurious Romans, in the times of the emperors.
2 The original terminus of the Appian way was at Brundusium. This mole formed what we should call a nearer station to Rome, on the same road, the ruins of which are still to be seen. St. Paul landed there.
3 Essedis: they were light cars, on two wheels, constructed to carry only one person; invented, it is supposed, by the Belgians, and by them introduced into Britain, where they were used in war. The Romans, after their expeditions in Gaul and Britain, adopted this useful vehicle instead of their more cumbrous RHEDA, not only for journies where dispatch was required, but in solemn processions, and for ordinary purposes. They seem to have become the fashion, for Ovid tells us that these little carriages were driven by young ladies, themselves holding the reins, Amor. xi. 16. 49.
4 Suetonius flourished about seventy years after this, in the reign of Adrian, and derived many of the anecdotes which give interest to his history from cotemporary persons. See CLAUDIUS, c. xv. c.
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