Sejanus meanwhile, dazed by his extravagant prosperity and urged on
too by a woman’s passion, Livia now insisting on his promise of marriage,
addressed a memorial to the emperor. For it was then the custom to
apply to him by writing, even though he was at Rome. This petition
was to the following effect:- The kindness of Augustus, the father,
and then the many favourable testimonies of Tiberius, the son, had
engendered the habit of confiding his hopes and wishes to the ears
of emperors as readily as to those of the gods. The splendour of high
distinctions he had never craved; he had rather chosen watchings and
hardships, like one of the common soldiers, for the emperor’s safety.
But there was one most glorious honour he had won, the reputation
of being worthy of an alliance with a Caesar. This was the first motive
of his ambition. As he had heard that Augustus, in marrying his daughter,
had even entertained some thoughts of Roman knights, so if a husband
were sought for Livia, he hoped Tiberius would bear in mind a friend
who would find his reward simply in the glory of the alliance. He
did not wish to rid himself of the duties imposed on him; he thought
it enough for his family to be secured against the unjust displeasure
of Agrippina, and this for the sake of his children. For, as for himself,
enough and more than enough for him would be a life completed while
such a sovereign still reigned.

Tiberius, in reply, after praising the loyal sentiments of Sejanus
and briefly enumerating the favours he had bestowed on him, asked
time for impartial consideration, adding that while other men’s plans
depended on their ideas of their own interest, princes, who had to
regulate their chief actions by public opinion, were in a different
position. “Hence,” he said, “I do not take refuge in an answer which
it would be easy to return, that Livia can herself decide whether
she considers that, after Drusus, she ought again to marry or rather
to endure life in the same home, and that she has in her mother and
grandmother counsellors nearer and dearer to her. I will deal more
frankly. First, as to the enmity of Agrippina, I maintain that it
will blaze out more fiercely if Livia’s marriage rends, so to say,
the house of the Caesars into two factions. Even as it is, feminine
jealousies break out, and my grandsons are torn asunder by the strife.
What will happen if the rivalry is rendered more intense by such a
marriage? For you are mistaken, Sejanus, if you think that you will
then remain in the same position, and that Livia, who has been the
wife of Caius Caesar and afterwards of Drusus, will have the inclination
to pass her old age with a mere Roman knight. Though I might allow
it, do you imagine it would be tolerated by those who have seen her
brother, her father, and our ancestors in the highest offices of state?
You indeed desire to keep within your station; but those magistrates
and nobles who intrude on you against your wishes and consult you
on all matters, openly give out that you have long overstepped the
rank of a knight and gone far beyond my father’s friendships, and
from their dislike of you they also condemn me. But, you say, Augustus
had thoughts of giving his daughter to a Roman knight. Is it surprising
that, with so many distracting cares, foreseeing too the immense elevation
to which a man would be raised above others by such an alliance, he
talked of Caius Proculeius and certain persons of singularly quiet
life, wholly free from political entanglements? Still, if the hesitation
of Augustus is to influence us, how much stronger is the fact that
he bestowed his daughter on Marcus Agrippa, then on myself. All this,
as a friend, I have stated without reserve, but I will not oppose
your plans or those of Livia. My own earnest thoughts and the ties
with which I am still purposing to unite you to myself, I shall for
the present forbear to explain. This only I will declare, that nothing
is too grand to be deserved by your merits and your goodwill towards
me. When an opportunity presents itself, either in the Senate, or
in a popular assembly, I shall not be silent.”

Sejanus, no longer thinking of his marriage but filled with a deeper
alarm, rejoined by deprecating the whispers of suspicion, popular
rumour and the gathering storm of odium. That he might not impair
his influence by closing his doors on the throngs of his many visitors
or strengthen the hands of accusers by admitting them, he made it
his aim to induce Tiberius to live in some charming spot at a distance
from Rome. In this he foresaw several advantages. Access to the emperor
would be under his own control, and letters, for the most part being
conveyed by soldiers, would pass through his hands. Caesar too, who
was already in the decline of life, would soon, when enervated by
retirement, more readily transfer to him the functions of empire;
envy towards himself would be lessened when there was an end to his
crowded levies and the reality of power would be increased by the
removal of its empty show. So he began to declaim against the laborious
life of the capital, the bustling crowds and streaming multitudes,
while he praised repose and solitude, with their freedom from vexations
and misunderstandings, and their special opportunities for the study
of the highest questions.

It happened that the trial at this time of Votienus Montanus, a popular
wit, convinced the hesitating Tiberius that he ought to shun all assemblies
of the Senate, where speeches, often true and offensive, were flung
in his very face. Votienus was charged with insulting expressions
towards the emperor, and while the witness, Aemilius, a military man,
in his eagerness to prove the case, repeated the whole story and amid
angry clamour struggled on with loud assertion, Tiberius heard the
reproaches by which he was assailed in secret, and was so deeply impressed
that he exclaimed that he would clear himself either at once or on
a legal inquiry, and the entreaties of friends, with the flattery
of the whole assembly, hardly restored his composure. As for Votienus,
he suffered the penalty of treason; but the emperor, clinging all
the more obstinately to the harshness with which he had been reproached
in regard to accused persons, punished Aquilia with exile for the
crime of adultery with Varius Ligur, although Lentulus Gaetulicus,
the consul-elect, had proposed that she should be sentenced under
the Julian law. He next struck off Apidius Merula from the register
of the Senate for not having sworn obedience to the legislation of
the Divine Augustus.

Then a hearing was given to embassies from the Lacedaemonians and
Messenians on the question of the temple of Diana in the Marshes.
The Lacedaemonians asserted that it had been dedicated by their ancestors
and in their territory, and appealed to the records of their history
and the hymns of poets, but it had been wrested from, they said, by
the arms of the Macedonian Philip, with whom they had fought, and
subsequently restored by the decision of Caius Caesar and Marcus Antonius.
The Messenians, on the contrary, alleged the ancient division of the
Peloponnesus among the descendants of Hercules, in which the territory
of Denthelia (where the temple stood) had fallen to their king. Records
of this event still existed, engraven on stone and ancient bronze.
But if they were asked for the testimony of poetry and of history,
they had it, they said, in greater abundance and authenticity. Philip
had not decided arbitrarily, but according to fact, and king Antigonus,
as also the general Mummius, had pronounced the same judgment. Such
too had been the award of the Milesians to whom the arbitration had
been publicly entrusted, and, finally, of Atidius Geminus, the praetor
of Achaia. And so the question was decided in favour of the Messenians.
The Annals by Tacitus