Tiberius had however removed from Syria Creticus Silanus, who was
connected by a close tie with Germanicus, his daughter being betrothed
to Nero, the eldest of Germanicus’s children. He appointed to it Cneius
Piso, a man of violent temper, without an idea of obedience, with
indeed a natural arrogance inherited from his father Piso, who in
the civil war supported with the most energetic aid against Caesar
the reviving faction in Africa, then embraced the cause of Brutus
and Cassius, and, when suffered to return, refrained from seeking
promotion till, he was actually solicited to accept a consulship offered
by Augustus. But beside the father’s haughty temper there was also
the noble rank and wealth of his wife Plancina, to inflame his ambition.
He would hardly be the inferior of Tiberius, and as for Tiberius’s
children, he looked down on them as far beneath him. He thought it
a certainty that he had been chosen to govern Syria in order to thwart
the aspirations of Germanicus. Some believed that he had even received
secret instructions from Tiberius, and it was beyond a question that
Augusta, with feminine jealousy, had suggested to Plancina calumnious
insinuations against Agrippina. For there was division and discord
in the court, with unexpressed partialities towards either Drusus
or Germanicus. Tiberius favoured Drusus, as his. son and born of his
own blood. As for Germanicus, his uncle’s estrangement had increased
the affection which all others felt for him, and there was the fact
too that he had an advantage in the illustrious rank of his mother’s
family, among whom he could point to his grandfather Marcus Antonius
and to his great-uncle Augustus. Drusus, on the other hand, had for
his great-grandfather a Roman knight, Pomponius Atticus, who seemed
to disgrace the ancestral images of the Claudii. Again, the consort
of Germanicus, Agrippina, in number of children and in character,
was superior to Livia, the wife of Drusus. Yet the brothers were singularly
united, and were wholly unaffected by the rivalries of their kinsfolk.

Soon afterwards Drusus was sent into Illyricum to be familiarised
with military service, and to win the goodwill of the army. Tiberius
also thought that it was better for the young prince, who was being
demoralised by the luxury of the capital, to serve in a camp, while
he felt himself the safer with both his sons in command of legions.
However, he made a pretext of the Suevi, who were imploring help against
the Cherusci. For when the Romans had departed and they were free
from the fear of an invader, these tribes, according to the custom
of the race, and then specially as rivals in fame, had turned their
arms against each other. The strength of the two nations, the valour
of their chiefs were equal. But the title of king rendered Maroboduus
hated among his countrymen, while Arminius was regarded with favour
as the champion of freedom.

Thus it was not only the Cherusci and their allies, the old soldiers
of Arminius, who took up arms, but even the Semnones and Langobardi
from the kingdom of Maroboduus revolted to that chief. With this addition
he must have had an overwhelming superiority, had not Inguiomerus
deserted with a troop of his dependants to Maroboduus, simply for
the reason that the aged uncle scorned to obey a brother’s youthful
son. The armies were drawn up, with equal confidence on both sides,
and there were not those desultory attacks or irregular bands, formerly
so common with the Germans. Prolonged warfare against us had accustomed
them to keep close to their standards, to have the support of reserves,
and to take the word of command from their generals. On this occasion
Arminius, who reviewed the whole field on horseback, as he rode up
to each band, boasted of regained freedom, of slaughtered legions,
of spoils and weapons wrested from the Romans, and still in the hands
of many of his men. As for Maroboduus, he called him a fugitive, who
had no experience of battles, who had sheltered himself in the recesses
of the Hercynian forest and then with presents and embassies sued
for a treaty; a traitor to his country, a satellite of Caesar, who
deserved to be driven out, with rage as furious as that with which
they had slain Quintilius Varus. They should simply remember their
many battles, the result of which, with the final expulsion of the
Romans, sufficiently showed who could claim the crowning success in

Nor did Maroboduus abstain from vaunts about himself or from revilings
of the foe. Clasping the hand of Inguiomerus, he protested “that in
the person before them centred all the renown of the Cherusci, that
to his counsels was due whatever had ended successfully. Arminius
in his infatuation and ignorance was taking to himself the glory which
belonged to another, for he had treacherously surprised three unofficered
legions and a general who had not an idea of perfidy, to the great
hurt of Germany and to his own disgrace, since his wife and his son
were still enduring slavery. As for himself, he had been attacked
by twelve legions led by Tiberius, and had preserved untarnished the
glory of the Germans, and then on equal terms the armies had parted.
He was by no means sorry that they had the matter in their own hands,
whether they preferred to war with all their might against Rome, or
to accept a bloodless peace.”

To these words, which roused the two armies, was added the stimulus
of special motives of their own. The Cherusci and Langobardi were
fighting for ancient renown or newly-won freedom; the other side for
the increase of their dominion. Never at any time was the shock of
battle more tremendous or the issue more doubtful, as the right wings
of both armies were routed. Further fighting was expected, when Maroboduus
withdrew his camp to the hills. This was a sign of discomfiture. He
was gradually stripped of his strength by desertions, and, having
fled to the Marcomanni, he sent envoys to Tiberius with entreaties
for help. The answer was that he had no right to invoke the aid of
Roman arms against the Cherusci, when he had rendered no assistance
to the Romans in their conflict with the same enemy. Drusus, however,
was sent as I have related, to establish peace.

That same year twelve famous cities of Asia fell by an earthquake
in the night, so that the destruction was all the more unforeseen
and fearful. Nor were there the means of escape usual in, such a disaster,
by rushing out into the open country, for there people were swallowed
up by the yawning earth. Vast mountains, it is said, collapsed; what
had been level ground seemed to be raised aloft, and fires blazed
out amid the ruin. The calamity fell most fatally on the inhabitants
of Sardis, and it attracted to them the largest share of sympathy.
The emperor promised ten million sesterces, and remitted for five
years all they paid to the exchequer or to the emperor’s purse. Magnesia,
under Mount Sipylus, was considered to come next in loss and in need
of help. The people of Temnus, Philadelpheia, Aegae, Apollonis, the
Mostenians, and Hyrcanian Macedonians, as they were called, with the
towns of Hierocaesarea, Myrina, Cyme, and Tmolus, were; it was decided,
to be exempted from tribute for the same time, and some one was to
be sent from the Senate to examine their actual condition and to relieve
them. Marcus Aletus, one of the expraetors, was chosen, from a fear
that, as an exconsul was governor of Asia, there might be rivalry
between men of equal rank, and consequent embarrassment.
The Annals by Tacitus