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(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 - 5. Nero

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I 30 ROMAN DA YS.
ceived, from a freed slave who had succeeded in getting
before the messengers of Nero, information that his exe-
cutioners were to be expected. A conversation with the
philosophers Ceraunus and Musonius strengthened him
in the resolve rather to submit to the tyrant’s will, than
seek his rescue in rebellion. When the soldiers who
were to execute the sentence of death, entered his house,
they found him naked and busied with gymnastic exer-
cises. His head was severed from his body and sent to
Rome. Two years after, Torquatus Silanus, a descend-
ant of Augustus, killed himself, rather than wait for an
expected indictment for treasonable plots.
Such were undoubtedly in progress. But what the
opponents of the Neronic government wanted, was a man
to place at the head. They agreed at last upon Caius
Calpurnius Piso. Endowed with genius, birth, riches
and engaging manners, Piso was nevertheless not one
whom the best elements of the opposing party could
with enthusiasm raise upon their shields. He lacked,
says Tacitus, moral earnestness. He, too, was an Epicu-
rean, and the old Romans remarked that like Nero he
had lowered himself by acting. In the conspiracy, some
of Rome’s better men took part ; some, too, of its very
worst. While some of them had the salvation of their
country as an aim, others had the gratification of private
rancor. So the low-minded voluptuary, Claudius Sene-
cio, who had belonged to the circle of Nero’s most inti-
mate friends, and still went to court, and Quintianus,
whom the emperor had provoked by a lampoon. These
wished for another man, not another system, upon the
throne ; and they had the majority with them. The
minority, to which belonged many officers of the life-
guard, of the stern school of Burrus, had wished the system

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