Another sign of interpolation of the entire Testimonium Taciteum: the eyes of Nero

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Giuseppe
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Another sign of interpolation of the entire Testimonium Taciteum: the eyes of Nero

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:26 pm


But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good but rather to glut the cruelty of one man that they were being destroyed.


Agricola did not see the senate-house besieged, or the senate hemmed in by armed men, or so many of Rome's noblest ladies exiles and fugitives. Carus Metius had as yet the distinction of but one victory, and the noisy counsels of Messalinus were not heard beyond the walls of Alba, and Massa Baebius was then answering for his life. It was not long before our hands dragged Helvidius to prison, before we gazed on the dying looks of Manricus and Rusticus, before we were steeped in Senecio's innocent blood. Even Nero turned his eyes away, and did not gaze upon the atrocities which he ordered; with Domitian it was the chief part of our miseries to see and to be seen, to know that our sighs were being recorded, to have, ever ready to note the pallid looks of so many faces, that savage countenance reddened with the hue with which he defied shame.

(Tacitus, Life of Agricola XLV)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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MrMacSon
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Another sign of interpolation in the Testimonium Taciteum: Tacitus' account of Nero in 'Life of Agricola'

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:29 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:26 pm

Agricola did not see the senate-house besieged, or the senate hemmed in by armed men, or so many of Rome's noblest ladies exiles and fugitives. Carus Metius had as yet the distinction of but one victory, and the noisy counsels of Messalinus were not heard beyond the walls of Alba, and Massa Baebius was then answering for his life. It was not long before our hands dragged Helvidius to prison, before we gazed on the dying looks of Manricus and Rusticus, before we were steeped in Senecio's innocent blood. Even Nero turned his eyes away, and did not gaze upon the atrocities which he ordered; with Domitian it was the chief part of our miseries to see and to be seen, to know that our sighs were being recorded, to have, ever ready to note the pallid looks of so many faces, that savage countenance reddened with the hue with which he defied shame.

= Tacitus, Life of Agricola XLV

Tacitus was Agricola's son-in-law (which may mean more veracity and accuracy of Tacitus' account of Agricola).

Also Chapter VI

.
From Britain [Agricola] went to Rome, to go through the regular course of office ... Appointed Quaestor, the ballot gave him Asia for his province, Salvius Titianus for his proconsul. Neither the one nor the other corrupted him, though the province was rich and an easy prey to the wrongdoer, while the proconsul, a man inclined to every species of greed, was ready by all manner of indulgence to purchase a mutual concealment of guilt.

The year between his quaestorship and tribunate, as well as the year of the tribunate itself, he passed in retirement and inaction, for [Agricola] knew those times of Nero when indolence stood for wisdom. His praetorship was passed in the same consistent quietude, for the usual judicial functions did not fall to his lot. The games and the pageantry of his office he ordered according to the mean between strictness and profusion, avoiding extravagance, but not missing distinction. He was afterwards appointed by Galba to draw up an account of the temple offerings, and his searching scrutiny relieved the conscience of the [state] from the burden of all sacrileges but those committed by Nero.

https://www.unrv.com/tacitus/tacitusagricola.php
.

(I'm trying to work out what 'stte' is almost certainly a misspelling of: Senate? site? 'committee'?) - state

Do we know what sacrileges Nero committed with / to the temple offerings?
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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MrMacSon
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Re: Tacitus' Accounts of Nero in his 'Life of Agricola'

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:35 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:29 am
Tacitus was Agricola's son-in-law (which may mean more veracity and accuracy of Tacitus' account of Agricola).
fwiw, Chapters IX and XLIII, -

.
IX
... He was consul, and I but a youth, when he betrothed to me his daughter, a maiden even then of noble promise. After his consulate he gave her to me in marriage, and was then at once appointed to the government of Britain, with the addition of the sacred office of the pontificate.

XLIII
"The end of his life, a deplorable calamity to us and a grief to his friends, was regarded with concern even by strangers and those who knew him not. The common people and this busy population continually inquired at his house, and talked of him in public places and in private gatherings. No man when he heard of Agricola's death could either be glad or at once forget it ..."

https://www.unrv.com/tacitus/tacitusagricola.php


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MrMacSon
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Re: Another sign of interpolation in the Testimonium Taciteum: Tacitus' account of Nero in 'Life of Agricola'

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:03 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:29 am
Do we know what sacrileges Nero committed with / to the temple offerings?
Various acts in various temples it seems: taking 'votive offerings'; taking cult statues and treasures; etc.

Indeed, Tacitus documents them in Annals XV, 45 -

1 Meanwhile, Italy had been laid waste for contributions of money; the provinces, the federate communities, and the so‑called free states, were ruined. The gods themselves formed part of the plunder, as the ravaged temples of the capital were drained of the gold dedicated in the triumphs or the vows, the prosperity or the fears, of the Roman nation at every epoch. But in Asia and Achaia, not offerings alone but the images of deity were being swept away, since Acratus and Carrinas Secundus had been despatched into the two provinces. The former was a freedman prepared for any enormity; the latter, as far as words went, was a master of Greek philosophy, but his character remained untinctured by the virtues.

Seneca, it was rumoured, to divert the odium of sacrilege from himself, had asked leave to retire to a distant estate in the country, and, when it was not accorded, had feigned illness — a neuralgic affection, he said — and declined to leave his bedroom. Some have put it on record that, by the orders of Nero, poison had been prepared for him by one of his freedmen, Cleonicus by name; and that, owing either to the man's revelations or to his own alarms, it was avoided by Seneca, who supported life upon an extremely simple diet of field fruits and, if thirst was insistent, spring water.


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Re: Another sign of interpolation in the Testimonium Taciteum: Tacitus' account of Nero in 'Life of Agricola'

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:32 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:29 am
(I'm trying to work out what 'stte' is almost certainly a misspelling of: Senate? site? 'committee'?)
That would be "state."
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

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MrMacSon
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Re: Another sign of interpolation in the Testimonium Taciteum: Tacitus' account of Nero in 'Life of Agricola'

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:36 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:32 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:29 am
(I'm trying to work out what 'stte' is almost certainly a misspelling of: Senate? site? 'committee'?)
That would be "state."
ah, of course. Cheers Ben.

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