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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Servility of the Senate
By Tacitus (56–c. 120 A.D.)
 
From the ‘Annals’

AS for the Senate, it was no part of their anxiety whether dishonor fell on the extreme frontiers of the empire. Fear at home had filled their hearts; and for this they sought relief in sycophancy. And so, although their advice was asked on totally different subjects, they decreed an altar to Clemency; an altar to Friendship; and statues round them to Cæsar and Sejanus, both of whom they earnestly begged with repeated entreaties to allow themselves to be seen in public. Still, neither of them would visit Rome or even the neighborhood of Rome: they thought it enough to quit the island and show themselves on the opposite shores of Campania. Senators, knights, a number of the city populace, flocked thither, anxiously looking to Sejanus, approach to whom was particularly difficult, and was consequently sought by intrigue and by complicity in his counsels. It was sufficiently clear that his arrogance was increased by gazing on this foul and openly displayed servility. At Rome indeed hurrying crowds are a familiar sight, and from the extent of the city no one knows on what business each citizen is bent; but there, as they lounged in promiscuous crowds in the fields or on the shore, they had to bear day and night alike the patronizing smiles and the supercilious insolence of hall-porters, till even this was forbidden them; and those whom Sejanus had not deigned to accost or to look on, returned to the capital in alarm, while some felt an evil joy, though there hung over them the dreadful doom of that ill-starred friendship.  1
 
 
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