It chanced that some merchants who left Syria while Germanicus was
still alive, brought more cheering tidings about his health. These
were instantly believed, instantly published. Every one passed on
to others whom he met the intelligence, ill-authenticated as it was,
and they again to many more, with joyous exaggeration. They ran to
and fro through the city and broke open the doors of the temples.
Night assisted their credulity, and amid the darkness confident assertion
was comparatively easy. Nor did Tiberius check the false reports till
by lapse of time they died away.

And so the people grieved the more bitterly as though Germanicus was
again lost to them. New honours were devised and decreed, as men were
inspired by affection for him or by genius. His name was to be celebrated
in the song of the Salii; chairs of state with oaken garlands over
them were to be set up in the places assigned to the priesthood of
the Augustales; his image in ivory was to head the procession in the
games of the circus; no flamen or augur, except from the Julian family,
was to be chosen in the room of Germanicus. Triumphal arches were
erected at Rome, on the banks of the Rhine, and on mount Amanus in
Syria, with an inscription recording his achievements, and how he
had died in the public service. A cenotaph was raised at Antioch,
where the body was burnt, a lofty mound at Epidaphna, where he had
ended his life. The number of his statues, or of the places in which
they were honoured, could not easily be computed. When a golden shield
of remarkable size was voted him as a leader among orators, Tiberius
declared that he would dedicate to him one of the usual kind, similar
to the rest, for in eloquence, he said, there was no distinction of
rank, and it was a sufficient glory for him to be classed among ancient
writers. The knights called the seats in the theatre known as “the
juniors,” Germanicus’s benches, and arranged that their squadrons
were to ride in procession behind his effigy on the fifteenth of July.
Many of these honours still remain; some were at once dropped, or
became obsolete with time.

While men’s sorrow was yet fresh, Germanicus’s sister Livia, who was
married to Drusus, gave birth to twin sons. This, as a rare event,
causing joy even in humble homes, so delighted the emperor that he
did not refrain from boasting before the senators that to no Roman
of the same rank had twin offspring ever before been born. In fact,
he would turn to his own glory every incident, however casual. But
at such a time, even this brought grief to the people, who thought
that the increase of Drusus’s family still further depressed the house
of Germanicus.

That same year the profligacy of women was checked by stringent enactments,
and it was provided that no woman whose grandfather, father, or husband
had been a Roman knight should get money by prostitution. Vistilia,
born of a praetorian family, had actually published her name with
this object on the aedile’s list, according to a recognised custom
of our ancestors, who considered it a sufficient punishment on unchaste
women to have to profess their shame. Titidius Labeo, Vistilia’s husband,
was judicially called on to say why with a wife whose guilt was manifest
he had neglected to inflict the legal penalty. When he pleaded that
the sixty days given for deliberation had not yet expired, it was
thought sufficient to decide Vistilia’s case, and she was banished
out of sight to the island of Seriphos.

There was a debate too about expelling the Egyptian and Jewish worship,
and a resolution of the Senate was passed that four thousand of the
freedmen class who were infected with those superstitions and were
of military age should be transported to the island of Sardinia, to
quell the brigandage of the place, a cheap sacrifice should they die
from the pestilential climate. The rest were to quit Italy, unless
before a certain day they repudiated their impious rites.

Next the emperor brought forward a motion for the election of a Vestal
virgin in the room of Occia, who for fifty-seven years had presided
with the most immaculate virtue over the Vestal worship. He formally
thanked Fonteius Agrippa and Domitius Pollio for offering their daughters
and so vying with one another in zeal for the commonwealth. Pollio’s
daughter was preferred, only because her mother had lived with one
and the same husband, while Agrippa had impaired the honour of his
house by a divorce. The emperor consoled his daughter, passed over
though she was, with a dowry of a million sesterces.
The Annals by Tacitus