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It would be of little importance, as well as disgusting, to add to all this an account of the manner in which he treated his relations and friends; as Ptolemy, king Juba's son, his cousin (for he was the grandson of Mark Antony by his daughter Selene1), and especially Macro himself, and Ennia likewise,2 by whose assistance he had obtained the empire; all of whom, for their alliance and eminent services, he rewarded with violent deaths. Nor was he more mild or respectful in his behaviour towards the senate. Some who had borne the highest offices in the government, he suffered to run by his litter in their togas for several miles together, and to attend him at supper, sometimes at the head of his couch, sometimes at his feet, with napkins. Others of them, after he had privately put them to death, he nevertheless continued to send for, as if they were still alive, and after a few days pretended that they had laid violent hands upon themselves. The consuls having forgotten to give public notice of his birth-day, he displaced them; and the republic was three days without any one in that high office. A quaestor who was said to be concerned in a conspiracy against him, he scourged severely, having first stripped off his clothes, and spread them under the feet of the soldiers employed in the work, that they might stand the more firm. The other orders likewise he treated with the same insolence and violence. Being disturbed by the noise of people taking their places at midnight in the circus, as they were to have free admission, he drove them all away with cubs. In this tumult, above twenty Roman knights were squeezed to death, with as many matrons, with a great crowd besides. - When stage-plays were acted, to occasion disputes between the people and the knights, he distributed the money-tickets sooner than usual, that the seats assigned to the knights might be all occupied by the mob. In the spectacles of gladiators, sometimes, when the sun was violently hot, he would order the curtains, which covered the amphitheatre, to be drawn aside,3 and forbad any person to be let out; withdrawing at the same time the usual apparatus for the entertainment, and presenting wild beasts almost pined to death, the most sorry gladiators, decrepit with age, and fit only to work the machinery, and decent house-keepers, who were remarkable for some bodily infirmity. Sometimes shutting up the public granaries, he would oblige thepeople to starve for a while.

1 Selene was the daughter of Mark Antony by Cleopatra.

2 See c. xii.

3 The vast area of the Roman amphitheatres had no roof, but the audience were protected against the sun and bad weather by temporary hangings stretched over it.

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