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Tacitus: Annals Book 5 [10]

10. About the same time Asia and Achaia were alarmed by a prevalent but short-lived rumour that Drusus, the son of Germanicus, had been seen in the Cyclades and subsequently on the mainland. There was indeed a young man of much the same age, whom some of the emperor's freedmen pretended to recognise, and to whom they attached themselves with a treacherous intent. The renown of the name attracted the ignorant, and the Greek mind eagerly fastens on what is new and marvellous. The story indeed, which they no sooner invented than believed, was that Drusus had escaped from custody, and was on his way to the armies of his father, with the design of invading Egypt or Syria. And he was now drawing to himself a multitude of young men and much popular enthusiasm, enjoying the present and cherishing idle hopes of the future, when Poppaeus Sabinus heard of the affair. At the time he was chiefly occupied with Macedonia, but he also had the charge of Achaia. So, to forestall the danger, let the story be true or false, he hurried by the bays of Torone and Thermae, then passed on to Euboea, an island of the Aegaean, to Piraeus, on the coast of Attica, thence to the shores of Corinth and the narrow Isthmus, and having arrived by the other sea at Nicopolis, a Roman colony, he there at last ascertained that the man, when skilfully questioned, had said that he was the son of Marcus Silanus, and that, after the dispersion of a number of his followers' he had embarked on a vessel, intending, it seemed, to go to Italy. Sabinus sent this account to Tiberius, and of the origin and issue of the affair nothing more is known to me.

10. Per idem tempus Asia atque Achaia exterritae sunt acri magis quam diuturno rumore, Drusum Germanici filium apud Cycladas insulas mox in continenti visum. et erat iuvenis haud dispari aetate, quibusdam Caesaris libertis velut adgnitus; per dolumque comitantibus adliciebantur ignari fama nominis et promptis Graecorum animis ad nova et mira: quippe elapsum custodiae pergere ad paternos exercitus, Aegyptum aut Syriam invasurum, fingebant simul credebantque. iam iuventutis concursu, iam publicis studiis frequentabatur, laetus praesentibus et inanium spe, cum auditum id Poppaeo Sabino: is Macedoniae tum intentus Achaiam quoque curabat. igitur quo vera seu falsa antiret Toronaeum Thermaeumque sinum praefestinans, mox Euboeam Aegaei maris insulam et Piraeum Atticae orae, dein Corinthiense litus angustiasque Isthmi evadit; marique alio Nicopolim Romanam coloniam ingressus, ibi demum cognoscit sollertius interrogatum quisnam foret dixisse M. Silano genitum et multis sectatorum dilapsis ascendisse navem tamquam Italiam peteret. scripsitque haec Tiberio neque nos originem finemve eius rei ultra comperimus.

11. At the close of the year a long growing feud between the consuls broke out. Trio, a reckless man in incurring enmities and a practised lawyer, had indirectly censured Regulus as having been half-hearted in crushing the satellites of Sejanus. Regulus, who, unless he was provoked, loved quietness, not only repulsed his colleague's attack, but was for dragging him to trial as a guilty accomplice in the conspiracy. And though many of the senators implored them to compose a quarrel likely to end fatally, they continued their enmity and their mutual menaces till they retired from office. 11. Exitu anni diu aucta discordia consulum erupit. nam Trio, facilis capessendis inimicitiis et foro exercitus, ut segnem Regulum ad opprimendos Seiani ministros oblique perstrinxerat: ille nisi lacesseretur modestiae retinens non modo rettudit collegam sed ut noxium coniurationis ad disquisitionem trahebat. multisque patrum orantibus ponerent odia in perniciem itura, mansere infensi ac minitantes donec magistratu abirent.

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