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*(/Hlios), a freed-man of the emperor Claudius, and steward of the imperial demesnes in the province of Asia. He was one of Agrippina's agents in ridding herself of M. Junius Silanus, proconsul of that province in A. D. 55. During Nero's excursion into Greece, A. D. 67-68, Helius acted as prefect of Rome and Italy. He was worthy of the tyrant he represented. Dio Cassius (63.12) says the only difference between them was that the heir of the Caesars emulated the minstrels, and the freed-man aped the heir of the Caesars. The borrowed majesty of Helius was equally oppressive to the senate, the equites, and the populace. He put to death Sulpicius Camerinus [CAMERINUS] and his son, because they inherited the agnomen Pythicus, which Nero, since he had sung publicly at the Pythian games, arrogated to himself. He compelled the equestrian order to subscribe to a statue of himself, and his edicts of mulct, banishment, and death, were issued without any reference to the emperor. The universal hatred which he incurred secured the fidelity of Helius to his master. When his urgent despatches could not draw Nero from the spectacles and theatres of Greece, Helius precipitately quitted Rome, and personally remonstrated with the emperor on allowing conspiracies to spring up on all sides, and in the capital itself, unchecked. After Nero's death, Helius, by the command of Galba, was conducted in chains through the streets of Rome, and, with Locusta the poisoner, Patrobius, and other creatures of the late tyrant, put to death. (Tac. Ann. 13.1; Suet. Nero 23; Plut. Galb. 17; D. C. 63.12, 18, 19, 64.3.)


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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Tacitus, Annales, 13.1
    • Suetonius, Nero, 23
    • Plutarch, Galba, 17
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