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54

(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 - 3. Caligula

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54 ROMAN DA YS.
tirely different stamp from that of Tiberius. One, in his
cruelty, is sly and calculating ; the other, thoughtless
and naughty. Out of pure mischief, he defies the wrath
of all classes, not seeking support in any. Senators in
their togas, he allows to run thousands of steps by the
side of his wagon ; at his feasts with actors and loose
women, senators in the guise of slaves wait at table.
He does not deem the knighthood worthy such humilia-
tion ; but a part of his amusement is to put blackguards
on the knight’s benches at the circus and the amphi-
theatre, and watch the quarrels that arise from this pro-
ceeding. He squeezes the wealthy citizens like sponges,
after having emptied in less than a year the treasury
of Tiberius. Sometimes he gives this method of acquir-
ing money a humorous turn ; as when old Aponius
Saturninus, who at an auction arranged by the emperor
has chanced to fall asleep and in his sleep to nod at
the auctioneer, finds himself on awaking owner of thir-
teen of Caesar’s gladiators, in exchange for the price of a
million and a half crowns. They who were not bled in
their lifetime, were forced to make Caesar their heir, and
look to death by poison. His avarice, like his ugliness,
struck even at the poor. The porter had to give up an
eighth of his daily gain to the emperor. When the
granaries were full, it amused him to close them and
let the masses starve. He did not hesitate, either, to
defy the legions. When Caligula was a child, and lived
with his parents in the camp by the Rhine, the German
legions had revolted. Now, about twenty years after,
he wanted to cut them down, to the last man ; but at
the earnest entreaties of those around him, he changed
his purpose into decimating them. According to Dio
Cassius, he carried out his idea ; according to Suetonius

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