This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
But with regard to his own aggrandisement, he was sparing and modest, declining the title of emperor, an irefusing all excessive honours. He celebrated the marriage of his daughter and the birth-day of a grandson with great privacy, at home. He recalled none of those who had been banished, without a decree of the senate: and requested of them permission for the prefect of the military tribunes and pretorian guards to attend him in the senate-house;1 and also that they would be pleased to bestow upon his procurators judicial authority in the provinces.2 He asked of the consuls likewise the privilege of holding fairs upon his private estate. He frequently assisted the magistrates in the trial of causes, as one of their assessors. And when they gave public spectacles, he would rise up with the rest of the spectators, and salute them both by words and gestures. When the tribunes of the people came to him while he was on the tribunal, he excused himself, because, on account of the crowd, he could not hear them unless they stood. In a short time, by this conduct, he wrought himself so much into the favour and affection of the public, that when, upon his going to Ostia, a report was spread in the city that he had been waylaid and slain, the people never ceased cursing the soldiers for traitors, and the senate as parricides, until one or two persons, and presently after several others, were brought by the magistrates upon the rostra, who assured them that he was alive, and not far from the city, on his way home.
1 Tacitus informs us that the same application had been made by Tiberius. Annal. iii. The prefect of the pretorian guards, high and important as his office had now become, was not allowed to enter the senate-house, unless he belonged to the equestrian order.
2 The procurators had the administration of some of the less important provinces, with rank and authority inferior to that of the pro-consuls and prefects. Frequent mention of these officers is made by Josephus; and Pontius Pilate, who sentenced our Lord to crucifixion, held that office in Judaea, under Tiberius.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.