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[168] Now as the friendship which Agrippa had for Caius was come to a great height, there happened some words to pass between them, as they once were in a chariot together, concerning Tiberius; Agrippa praying [to God] (for they two sat by themselves) that Tiberius might soon go off the stage, and leave the government to Caius, who was in every respect more worthy of it. Now Eutychus, who was Agrippa's freed-man, and drove his chariot, heard these words, and at that time said nothing of them; but when Agrippa accused him of stealing some garments of his, (which was certainly true,) he ran away from him; but when he was caught, and brought before Piso, who was governor of the city, and the man was asked why he ran away, be replied, that he had somewhat to say to Caesar, that tended to his security and preservation: so Piso bound him, and sent him to Capreae. But Tiberius, according to his usual custom, kept him still in bonds, being a delayer of affairs, if ever there was any other king or tyrant that was so; for he did not admit ambassadors quickly, and no successors were despatched away to governors or procurators of the provinces that had been formerly sent, unless they were dead; whence it was that he was so negligent in hearing the causes of prisoners; insomuch that when he was asked by his friends what was the reason of his delay in such cases, he said that he delayed to hear ambassadors, lest, upon their quick dismission, other ambassadors should be appointed, and return upon him; and so he should bring trouble upon himself in their public reception and dismission: that he permitted those governors who had been sent once to their government [to stay there a long while], out of regard to the subjects that were under them; for that all governors are naturally disposed to get as much as they can; and that those who are not to fix there, but to stay a short time, and that at an uncertainty when they shall be turned out, do the more severely hurry themselves on to fleece the people; but that if their government be long continued to them; they are at last satiated with the spoils, as having gotten a vast deal, and so become at length less sharp in their pillaging; but that if successors are sent quickly, the poor subjects, who are exposed to them as a prey, will not be able to bear the new ones, while they shall not have the same time allowed them wherein their predecessors had filled themselves, and so grew more unconcerned about getting more; and this because they are removed before they have had time [for their oppressions]. He gave them an example to show his meaning: A great number of flies came about the sore places of a man that had been wounded; upon which one of the standers-by pitied the man's misfortune, and thinking he was not able to drive those flies away himself, was going to drive them away for him; but he prayed him to let them alone: the other, by way of reply, asked him the reason of such a preposterous proceeding, in preventing relief from his present misery; to which he answered, "If thou drivest these flies away, thou wilt hurt me worse; for as these are already full of my blood, they do not crowd about me, nor pain me so much as before, but are somewhat more remiss, while the fresh ones that come almost famished, and find me quite tired down already, will be my destruction. For this cause, therefore, it is that I am myself careful not to send such new governors perpetually to those my subjects, who are already sufficiently harassed by many oppressions, as may, like these flies, further distress them; and so, besides their natural desire of gain, may have this additional incitement to it, that they expect to be suddenly deprived of that pleasure which they take in it." And, as a further attestation to what I say of the dilatory nature of Tiberius, I appeal to this his practice itself; for although he was emperor twenty-two years, he sent in all but two procurators to govern the nation of the Jews, Gratus, and his successor in the government, Pilate. Nor was he in one way of acting with respect to the Jews, and in another with respect to the rest of his subjects. He further informed them, that even in the hearing of the causes of prisoners, he made such delays, because immediate death to those that must be condemned to die would be an alleviation of their present miseries, while those wicked wretches have not deserved any such favor; "but I do it, that, by being harassed with the present calamity, they may undergo greater misery."

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