Next, Lucius Arruntius, who differed but little from the speech of
Gallus, gave like offence, though Tiberius had no old grudge against
him, but simply mistrusted him, because he was rich and daring, had
brilliant accomplishments, and corresponding popularity. For Augustus,
when in his last conversations he was discussing who would refuse
the highest place, though sufficiently capable, who would aspire to
it without being equal to it, and who would unite both the ability
and ambition, had described Marcus Lepidus as able but contemptuously
indifferent, Gallus Asinius as ambitious and incapable, Lucius Arruntius
as not unworthy of it, and, should the chance be given him, sure to
make the venture. About the two first there is a general agreement,
but instead of Arruntius some have mentioned Cneius Piso, and all
these men, except Lepidus, were soon afterwards destroyed by various
charges through the contrivance of Tiberius. Quintus Haterius too
and Mamercus Scaurus ruffled his suspicious temper, Haterius by having
said- “How long, Caesar, will you suffer the State to be without a
head?” Scaurus by the remark that there was a hope that the Senate’s
prayers would not be fruitless, seeing that he had not used his right
as Tribune to negative the motion of the Consuls. Tiberius instantly
broke out into invective against Haterius; Scaurus, with whom he was
far more deeply displeased, he passed over in silence. Wearied at
last by the assembly’s clamorous importunity and the urgent demands
of individual Senators, he gave way by degrees, not admitting that
he undertook empire, but yet ceasing to refuse it and to be entreated.
It is known that Haterius having entered the palace to ask pardon,
and thrown himself at the knees of Tiberius as he was walking, was
almost killed by the soldiers, because Tiberius fell forward, accidentally
or from being entangled by the suppliant’s hands. Yet the peril of
so great a man did not make him relent, till Haterius went with entreaties
to Augusta, and was saved by her very earnest intercessions.

Great too was the Senate’s sycophancy to Augusta. Some would have
her styled “parent”; others “mother of the country,” and a majority
proposed that to the name of Caesar should be added “son of Julia.”
The emperor repeatedly asserted that there must be a limit to the
honours paid to women, and that he would observe similar moderation
in those bestowed on himself, but annoyed at the invidious proposal,
and indeed regarding a woman’s elevation as a slight to himself, he
would not allow so much as a lictor to be assigned her, and forbade
the erection of an altar in memory of her adoption, and any like distinction.
But for Germanicus Caesar he asked pro-consular powers, and envoys
were despatched to confer them on him, and also to express sympathy
with his grief at the death of Augustus. The same request was not
made for Drusus, because he was consul elect and present at Rome.
Twelve candidates were named for the praetorship, the number which
Augustus had handed down, and when the Senate urged Tiberius to increase
it, he bound himself by an oath not to exceed it.

It was then for the first time that the elections were transferred
from the Campus Martius to the Senate. For up to that day, though
the most important rested with the emperor’s choice, some were settled
by the partialities of the tribes. Nor did the people complain of
having the right taken from them, except in mere idle talk, and the
Senate, being now released from the necessity of bribery and of degrading
solicitations, gladly upheld the change, Tiberius confining himself
to the recommendation of only four candidates who were to be nominated
without rejection or canvass. Meanwhile the tribunes of the people
asked leave to exhibit at their own expense games to be named after
Augustus and added to the Calendar as the Augustales. Money was, however,
voted from the exchequer, and though the use of the triumphal robe
in the circus was prescribed, it was not allowed them to ride in a
chariot. Soon the annual celebration was transferred to the praetor,
to whose lot fell the administration of justice between citizens and

This was the state of affairs at Rome when a mutiny broke out in the
legions of Pannonia, which could be traced to no fresh cause except
the change of emperors and the prospect it held out of license in
tumult and of profit from a civil war. In the summer camp three legions
were quartered, under the command of Junius Blaesus, who on hearing
of the death of Augustus and the accession of Tiberius, had allowed
his men a rest from military duties, either for mourning or rejoicing.
This was the beginning of demoralization among the troops, of quarreling,
of listening to the talk of every pestilent fellow, in short, of craving
for luxury and idleness and loathing discipline and toil. In the camp
was one Percennius, who had once been a leader of one of the theatrical
factions, then became a common soldier, had a saucy tongue, and had
learnt from his applause of actors how to stir up a crowd. By working
on ignorant minds, which doubted as to what would be the terms of
military service after Augustus, this man gradually influenced them
in conversations at night or at nightfall, and when the better men
had dispersed, he gathered round him all the worst spirits.

At last, when there were others ready to be abettors of a mutiny,
he asked, in the tone of a demagogue, why, like slaves, they submitted
to a few centurions and still fewer tribunes. “When,” he said, “will
you dare to demand relief, if you do not go with your prayers or arms
to a new and yet tottering throne? We have blundered enough by our
tameness for so many years, in having to endure thirty or forty campaigns
till we grow old, most of us with bodies maimed by wounds. Even dismissal
is not the end of our service, but, quartered under a legion’s standard
we toil through the same hardships under another title. If a soldier
survives so many risks, he is still dragged into remote regions where,
under the name of lands, he receives soaking swamps or mountainous
wastes. Assuredly, military service itself is burdensome and unprofitable;
ten as a day is the value set on life and limb; out of this, clothing,
arms, tents, as well as the mercy of centurions and exemptions from
duty have to be purchased. But indeed of floggings and wounds, of
hard winters, wearisome summers, of terrible war, or barren peace,
there is no end. Our only relief can come from military life being
entered on under fixed conditions, from receiving each the pay of
a denarius, and from the sixteenth year terminating our service. We
must be retained no longer under a standard, but in the same camp
a compensation in money must be paid us. Do the praetorian cohorts,
which have just got their two denarii per man, and which after sixteen
years are restored to their homes, encounter more perils? We do not
disparage the guards of the capital; still, here amid barbarous tribes
we have to face the enemy from our tents.”

The throng applauded from various motives, some pointing with indignation
to the marks of the lash, others to their grey locks, and most of
them to their threadbare garments and naked limbs. At, last, in their
fury they went so far as to propose to combine the three legions into
one. Driven from their purpose by the jealousy with which every one
sought the chief honour for his own legion, they turned to other thoughts,
and set up in one spot the three eagles, with the ensigns of the cohorts.
At the same time they piled up turf and raised a mound, that they
might have a more conspicuous meeting-place. Amid the bustle Blaesus
came up. He upbraided them and held back man after man with the exclamation,
“Better imbrue your hands in my blood: it will be less guilt to slay
your commander than it is to be in revolt from the emperor. Either
living I will uphold the loyalty of the legions, or Pierced to the
heart I will hasten on your repentance.”
The Annals by Tacitus