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Drusus


1.

Claudius Nero, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and of Livia, was born B.C. 38. He served early in the army, and was sent, in B.C. 17, with his brother Tiberius, against the Rhaeti and the Vindelici, who had made an irruption into Italy. He defeated the invaders, pursued them across the Alps, and reduced their country. Horace has celebrated this victory in one of his finest odes (iv. 4). Drusus married Antonia Minor, daughter of Antony and Octavia, by whom he had Germanicus and Claudius, afterwards emperor, and Livia or Livilla. In B.C. 14, being sent to quell an insurrection in Gaul, he succeeded by his conciliatory address. In the following year he attacked the Germans, and, carrying the war beyond the Rhine, he obtained a series of victories over the Sicambri, Cherusci, Catti, and Tencteri, and advanced

Statue of Drusus from Pompeii. (Overbeck.)

as far as the Visurgis (Weser), for which the Senate bestowed on him and his posterity the surname of Germanicus. In B.C. 9, Drusus was made consul. He was soon after sent by Augustus against the Germans, crossed the Visurgis, and advanced as far as the Albis (Elbe). He imposed a moderate tribute on the Frisians, which, being afterwards aggravated by his successors, caused a revolt in the reign of Tiberius (Tac. Ann. iv. 72). He caused a canal to be cut, for the purpose of uniting the Rhine to the Yssel, which was known long after by the name of Fossa Drusi. Drusus did not cross the Albis, but retired towards the Rhine. Before he reached that river, he died, at the age of thirty, in consequence, as it was reported, of his horse falling upon him and fracturing his leg (Livy, Epit. 142). Tiberius, who was sent for in haste, and found his brother expiring, accompanied his body to Rome, where his funeral was performed with the greatest solemnity. Both Augustus and Tiberius delivered orations in his praise. Drusus was much regretted by both the army and the Romans in general, who had formed great expectations from his manly and generous character.


2.

The son of the emperor Tiberius by Vipsania, daughter of Agrippa. He served with distinction in Pannonia and Illyricum, and was consul with his father, A.D. 21. In a quarrel with the imperial favourite Seianus, he gave the latter a blow in the face. Seianus, in revenge, seduced his wife Livia or Livilla, daughter of Drusus the elder and of Antonia; and the guilty pair destroyed Drusus by poison, which was administered by the eunuch Lygdus. The crime remained a secret for eight years, when it was discovered after the death of Seianus, and Livia was put to death (Tac. Ann. i. 24, etc.; iv. 3 foll.).


3.

Caesar, son of Germanicus and Agrippina, and brother of Nero Caesar and Caligula. He married Aemilia Lepida, who was induced by Seianus to betray her husband. Deluded himself by the arts of that evil minister, he conspired against the life of his brother, Nero Caesar, and was starved to death by order of Tiberius (Tac. Ann. iv. 60).


4.

M. Livius. See Liviae Leges.

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