Whenever he sought counsel on
such matters, he would make use of the top of the house and of the
confidence of one freedman, quite illiterate and of great physical strength.
The man always walked in front of the person whose science Tiberius had
determined to test, through an unfrequented
and precipitous path (for the house stood on rocks), and
then, if any suspicion had arisen of imposture or of trickery, he hurled the
astrologer, as he returned, into the sea beneath, that no one might live to
betray the secret. Thrasyllus accordingly was led up the same cliffs, and
when he had deeply impressed his questioner by cleverly revealing his
imperial destiny and future career, he was asked whether he had also
thoroughly ascertained his own horoscope, and the character of that
particular year and day. After surveying the positions and relative
distances of the stars, he first paused, then trembled, and the longer he
gazed, the more was he agitated by amazement and terror, till at last he
exclaimed that a perilous and well-nigh fatal crisis impended over him.
Tiberius then embraced him and congratulated him on foreseeing his dangers
and on being quite safe. Taking what he had said as an oracle, he retained
him in the number of his intimate friends.