The same honours were decreed to the memory of Drusus as to that of
Germanicus, and many more were added. Such is the way with flattery,
when repeated. The funeral with its procession of statues was singularly
grand. Aeneas, the father of the Julian house, all the Alban kings,
Romulus, Rome’s founder, then the Sabine nobility, Attus Clausus,
and the busts of all the other Claudii were displayed in a long train.

In relating the death of Drusus I have followed the narrative of most
of the best historians. But I would not pass over a rumour of the
time, the strength of which is not even yet exhausted. Sejanus, it
is said, having seduced Livia into crime, next secured, by the foulest
means, the consent of Lygdus, the eunuch, as from his youth and beauty
he was his master’s favourite, and one of his principal attendants.
When those who were in the secret had decided on the time and place
of the poisoning, Sejanus, with the most consummate daring, reversed
his plan, and, whispering an accusation against Drusus of intending
to poison his father, warned Tiberius to avoid the first draught offered
him as he was dining at his son’s house. Thus deceived, the old emperor,
on sitting down to the banquet, took the cup and handed it to Drusus.
His suspicions were increased when Drusus, in perfect unconsciousness,
drank it off with youthful eagerness, apparently, out of fear and
shame, bringing on himself the death which he had plotted against
his father.

These popular rumours, over and above the fact that they are not vouched
for by any good writer, may be instantly refuted. For who, with moderate
prudence, far less Tiberius with his great experience, would have
thrust destruction on a son, without even hearing him, with his own
hand too, and with an impossibility of returning to better thoughts.
Surely he would rather have had the slave who handed the poison, tortured,
have sought to discover the traitor, in short, would have been as
hesitating and tardy in the case of an only son hitherto unconvicted
of any crime, as he was naturally even with strangers. But as Sejanus
had the credit of contriving every sort of wickedness, the fact that
he was the emperor’s special favourite, and that both were hated by
the rest of the world, procured belief for any monstrous fiction,
and rumour too always has a dreadful side in regard to the deaths
of men in power. Besides, the whole process of the crime was betrayed
by Apicata, Sejanus’s wife, and fully divulged, under torture, by
Eudemus and Lygdus. No writer has been found sufficiently malignant
to fix the guilt on Tiberius, though every circumstance was scrutinized
and exaggerated. My object in mentioning and refuting this story is,
by a conspicuous example, to put down hearsay, and to request all
into whose hands my work shall come, not to catch eagerly at wild
and improbable rumours in preference to genuine history which has
not been perverted into romance.

Tiberius pronounced a panegyric on his son before the Rostra, during
which the Senate and people, in appearance rather than in heart, put
on the expression and accents of sorrow, while they inwardly rejoiced
at the brightening future of the family of Germanicus. This beginning
of popularity and the ill-concealed ambition of their mother Agrippina,
hastened its downfall. Sejanus when he saw that the death of Drusus
was not avenged on the murderers and was no grief to the people, grew
bold in wickedness, and, now that his first attempt had succeeded,
speculated on the possibility of destroying the children of Germanicus,
whose succession to the throne was a certainty. There were three,
and poison could not be distributed among them, because of the singular
fidelity of their guardians and the unassailable virtue of Agrippina.
So Sejanus inveighed against Agrippina’s arrogance, and worked powerfully
on Augusta’s old hatred of her and on Livia’s consciousness of recent
guilt, and urged both these women to represent to the emperor that
her pride as a mother and her reliance on popular enthusiasm were
leading her to dream of empire. Livia availed herself of the cunning
of accusers, among whom she had selected Julius Postumus, a man well
suited to her purpose, as he had an intrigue with Mutilia Prisca,
and was consequently in the confidence of Augusta, over whose mind
Prisca had great influence. She thus made her aged grandmother, whose
nature it was to tremble for her power, irreconcilably hostile to
her grandson’s widow. Agrippina’s friends too were induced to be always
inciting her proud spirit by mischievous talk.

Tiberius meanwhile, who did not relax his attention to business, and
found solace in his work, occupied himself with the causes of citizens
at Rome and with petitions from allies. Decrees of the Senate were
passed at his proposal for relieving the cities of Cibyra and Aegium
in Asia and Achaia, which had suffered from earthquakes, by a remission
of three years’ tribute. Vibius Serenus too, proconsul of Further
Spain, was condemned for violence in his official capacity, and was
banished to the island of Amorgus for his savage temper. Carsidius
Sacerdos, accused of having helped our enemy Tacfarinas with supplies
of grain, was acquitted, as was also Caius Gracchus on the same charge.
Gracchus’s father, Sempronius, had taken him when a mere child to
the island of Cercina to be his companion in exile. There he grew
up among outcasts who knew nothing of a liberal education, and after
a while supported himself in Africa and Sicily by petty trade. But
he did not escape the dangers of high rank. Had not his innocence
been protected by Aelius Lamia and Lucius Apronius, successive governors
of Africa, the splendid fame of that ill-starred family and the downfall
of his father would have dragged him to ruin.

This year too brought embassies from the Greek communities. The people
of Samos and Cos petitioned for the confirmation of the ancient right
of sanctuary for the respective temples of Juno and Aesculapius. The
Samians relied on a decree of the Amphictyonic Council, which had
the supreme decision of all questions when the Greeks, through the
cities they had founded in Asia, had possession of the sea-coast.
Cos could boast equal antiquity, and it had an additional claim connected
with the place. Roman citizens had been admitted to the temple of
Aesculapius, when king Mithridates ordered a general massacre of them
throughout all the islands and cities of Asia.
The Annals by Tacitus