[The remainder of the fifth book and the beginning of the sixth, recounting
Sejanus’ marriage and fall and covering a space of nearly three years,
are lost. Newer editions of Tacitus mark the division between the
fifth and sixth books at this point rather than at the end of section
11; but references are regularly made to the older numbering, and
so it has been retained here. The beginning of section 6 is obviously

…. forty-four speeches were delivered on this subject, a few of
which were prompted by fear, most by the habit of flattery…

“There is now a change of fortune, and even he who chose Sejanus to
be his colleague and his son-in-law excuses his error. As for the
rest, the man whom they encouraged by shameful baseness, they now
wickedly revile. Which is the most pitiable, to be accused for friendship’s
sake or to have to accuse a friend, I cannot decide. I will not put
any man’s cruelty or compassion to the test, but, while I am free
and have a clear conscience, I will anticipate peril. I implore you
to cherish my memory with joy rather than with sorrow, numbering me
too with those who by noble death have fled from the miseries of our

Then detaining those of his friends who were minded to stay with him
and converse, or, if otherwise, dismissing them, he thus spent part
of the day, and with a numerous circle yet round him, all gazing on
his fearless face, and imagining that there was still time to elapse
before the last scene, he fell on a sword which he had concealed in
his robe. The emperor did not pursue him after his death with either
accusation or reproach, although he had heaped a number of foul charges
on Blaesus.

Next were discussed the cases of Publius Vitellius and Pomponius Secundus.
The first was charged by his accusers with having offered the keys
of the treasury, of which he was prefect, and the military chest in
aid of a revolution. Against the latter, Considius, an ex-praetor,
alleged intimacy with Aelius Gallus, who, after the punishment of
Sejanus, had fled to the gardens of Pomponius, as his safest refuge.
They had no resource in their peril but in the courageous firmness
of their brothers who became their sureties. Soon, after several adjournments,
Vitellius, weary alike of hope and fear, asked for a penknife, avowedly,
for his literary pursuits, and inflicted a slight wound in his veins,
and died at last of a broken heart. Pomponius, a man of refined manners
and brilliant genius, bore his adverse fortune with resignation, and
outlived Tiberius.

It was next decided to punish the remaining children of Sejanus, though
the fury of the populace was subsiding, and people generally had been
appeased by the previous executions. Accordingly they were carried
off to prison, the boy, aware of his impending doom, and the little
girl, who was so unconscious that she continually asked what was her
offence, and whither she was being dragged, saying that she would
do so no more, and a childish chastisement was enough for her correction.
Historians of the time tell us that, as there was no precedent for
the capital punishment of a virgin, she was violated by the executioner,
with the rope on her neck. Then they were strangled and their bodies,
mere children as they were, were flung down the Gemoniae.
The Annals by Tacitus