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(IV.) HISTORY - The Imperial Planets

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Author Topic: (IV.) HISTORY - The Imperial Planets  (Read 986 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 03:37:50 pm »


Balbillus may have died at about the same time as Vespasian; had he survived there is no reason why the new Emperor, Vespasian's son Titus, could not have retained him, but his name vanished from record. Titus reigned for only two years, and in 81 was succeeded by his younger brother Domitian, who himself was so convinced by an astrologer's prediction that he would die by iron that he refused the senate's offer of a guard of honour to escort him with spears. For safety's sake, he appears to have believed all astrological predictions on principle.

He executed Mettius Pompusianus, believing the prophesy that he would one day be Emperor, and Suetonius says that 'he had not failed to take careful note of the days and hours when the foremost men had been born, and as a result was destroying in advance not a few who did not feel the least hope of gaining power.'

At least two astrologers seem to have predicted the hour of Domitian's death, and Suetonius says that as the stated hour approached the Emperor became more and more nervous. On 17 September 96, he told his servants to set aside some truffles for him until next day - in case he was around to eat them, for his death had been foretold for the 18th, when 'the Moon in Aquarius will be stained with blood'.

He summoned the astrologer Ascletarius-Asclation and asked him if he could foresee his own death. The astrologer replied that he would be torn to pieces by dogs. Domitian had him executed immediately; but as the body was awaiting cremation, a sudden rainstorm put out the fire, the undertaker took shelter, and a pack of dogs destroyed the corpse. Early next morning the second astrologer, Larginus Proculus, was brought before Domitian in chains. Domitian ordered his execution, too, but following Caligula's example postponed this for twenty-four hours, in order that Larginus should see how wrong he had been.

It was at the fifth hour that the two astrologers had said Domitian would die. Nervously, Domitian again and again sent to know the time. Finally his bored servants assured him that the hour had passed, and the Emperor; much relieved, decided to bathe. A conspirator, Stephanus, asked if he could read to him for a while in the bath. Domitian agreed.

Whereupon Stephanus produced a dagger and stabbed him, a number of other conspirators rushing in to join the execution.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 07:51:47 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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