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44

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 2. Tiberius

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44 ROMAN DA YS.
does homage to the tyrant, and—does homage to his
system ! At the foot of a statue of Tiberius in the Villa
Borghese, is to be seen an ear. The artist wished to ex-
press that Caesar is a god who hears even the most secret
whisper.
Tiberius does not spare his own kindred when he
sacrifices that of others. Has the reader seen the sitting
statue of Agrippina, ornament of the Emperor’s Hall of
the Capitoline gallery, without remembering the scene
when the centurion, her guard, lifts the staff against that
noble head and strikes out one of her eyes ? Under such
ill usage, Agrippina carries out her resolve to die of hun-
ger. And when she is dead, the senate renders thanks
to Caesar for his clemency towards her
!
Did any one at that time chance to speak of Brutus
and Cassius, safety demanded he should call them/^rrz-
cidcB, a word as good as two, for it may be interpreted
both as father-slayers and traitors to the country. Zeal
was ready to add latrones, robbers. The contrast between
the free state and the empire, which Augustus would not
allow even to himself, was now clear as the day ; and no
one wondered that Caesarism was frightened at the mem-
ories of the republic. Yet they were harmless, these
memories ;
phantoms that seldom appeared, except by a
grave. The night the ashes of Germanicus were buried,
there sounded upon the torch-lighted field of Mars, one
unanimous cry, from army, public officers and people
;
The republic has fallen ! All hope is over I And when
the dust of Junia, Cato’s niece, is carried to the pyre, in
the funeral escort hundreds of statues of illustrious fore-
fathers are borne ; but Brutus and Cassius—says the
greatest of Roman chroniclers—outshone them all, for
their statues were not to be seen. They shone by absence.

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