In the consulship of Faustus Sulla and Salvius Otho, Furius Scribonianus
was banished on the ground that he was consulting the astrologers
about the emperor’s death. His mother, Junia, was included in the
accusation, as one who still resented the misfortune of exile which
she had suffered in the past. His father, Camillus, had raised an
armed insurrection in Dalmatia, and the emperor in again sparing a
hostile family sought the credit of clemency. But the exile did not
live long after this; whether he was cut off by a natural death, or
by poison, was matter of conflicting rumours, according to people’s

A decree of the Senate was then passed for the expulsion of the astrologers
from Italy, stringent but ineffectual. Next the emperor, in a speech,
commended all who, from their limited means, voluntarily retired from
the Senatorian order, while those were degraded from it who, by retaining
their seats, added effrontery to poverty.

During these proceedings he proposed to the Senate a penalty on women
who united themselves in marriage to slaves, and it was decided that
those who had thus demeaned themselves, without the knowledge of the
slave’s master, should be reduced to slavery; if with his consent,
should be ranked as freedwomen. To Pallas, who, as the emperor declared,
was the author of this proposal, were offered on the motion of Barea
Soranus, consul-elect, the decorations of the praetorship and fifteen
million sesterces. Cornelius Scipio added that he deserved public
thanks for thinking less of his ancient nobility as a descendant from
the kings of Arcadia, than of the welfare of the State, and allowing
himself to be numbered among the emperor’s ministers. Claudius assured
them that Pallas was content with the honour, and that he limited
himself to his former poverty. A decree of the Senate was publicly
inscribed on a bronze tablet, heaping the praises of primitive frugality
on a freedman, the possessor of three hundred million sesterces.

Not equally moderate was his brother, surnamed Felix, who had for
some time been governor of Judaea, and thought that he could do any
evil act with impunity, backed up as he was by such power. It is true
that the Jews had shown symptoms of commotion in a seditious outbreak,
and when they had heard of the assassination of Caius, there was no
hearty submission, as a fear still lingered that any of the emperors
might impose the same orders. Felix meanwhile, by ill-timed remedies,
stimulated disloyal acts; while he had, as a rival in the worst wickedness,
Ventidius Cumanus, who held a part of the province, which was so divided
that Galilea was governed by Cumanus, Samaria by Felix. The two peoples
had long been at feud, and now less than ever restrained their enmity,
from contempt of their rulers. And accordingly they plundered each
other, letting loose bands of robbers, forming ambuscades, and occasionally
fighting battles, and carrying the spoil and booty to the two procurators,
who at first rejoiced at all this, but, as the mischief grew, they
interposed with an armed force, which was cut to pieces. The flame
of war would have spread through the province, but it was saved by
Quadratus, governor of Syria. In dealing with the Jews, who had been
daring enough to slay our soldiers, there was little hesitation about
their being capitally punished. Some delay indeed was occasioned by
Cumanus and Felix; for Claudius on hearing the causes of the rebellion
had given authority for deciding also the case of these procurators.
Quadratus, however, exhibited Felix as one of the judges, admitting
him to the bench with the view of cowing the ardour of the prosecutors.
And so Cumanus was condemned for the crimes which the two had committed,
and tranquillity was restored to the province.

Not long afterwards some tribes of the wild population of Cilicia,
known as the Clitae, which had often been in commotion, established
a camp, under a leader Troxobor, on their rocky mountains, whence
rushing down on the coast, and on the towns, they dared to do violence
to the farmers and townsfolk, frequently even to the merchants and
shipowners. They besieged the city Anemurium, and routed some troopers
sent from Syria to its rescue under the command of Curtius Severus;
for the rough country in the neighbourhood, suited as it is for the
fighting of infantry, did not allow of cavalry operations. After a
time, Antiochus, king of that coast, having broken the unity of the
barbarian forces, by cajolery of the people and treachery to their
leader, slew Troxobor and a few chiefs, and pacified the rest by gentle

About the same time, the mountain between Lake Fucinus and the river
Liris was bored through, and that this grand work might be seen by
a multitude of visitors, preparations were made for a naval battle
on the lake, just as formerly Augustus exhibited such a spectacle,
in a basin he had made this side the Tiber, though with light vessels,
and on a smaller scale. Claudius equipped galleys with three and four
banks of oars, and nineteen thousand men; he lined the circumference
of the lake with rafts, that there might be no means of escape at
various points, but he still left full space for the strength of the
crews, the skill of the pilots, the impact of the vessels, and the
usual operations of a seafight. On the raft stood companies of the
praetorian cohorts and cavalry, with a breastwork in front of them,
from which catapults and balistas might be worked. The rest of the
lake was occupied by marines on decked vessels. An immense multitude
from the neighbouring towns, others from Rome itself, eager to see
the sight or to show respect to the emperor, crowded the banks, the
hills, and mountain tops, which thus resembled a theatre. The emperor,
with Agrippina seated near him, presided; he wore a splendid military
cloak, she, a mantle of cloth of gold. A battle was fought with all
the courage of brave men, though it was between condemned criminals.
After much bloodshed they were released from the necessity of mutual
The Annals by Tacitus