[2] Tradit Cluvius ardore retinendae Agrippinam potentiae eo usque provectam, ut medio diei, cum id temporis Nero per vinum et epulas incalesceret, offerret se saepius temulento comptam in incesto paratam; iamque lasciva oscula et praenuntias flagitii blanditias adnotantibus proximis, Senecam contra muliebris inlecebras subsidium a femina petivisse, immissamque Acten libertam, quae simul suo periculo et infamia Neronis anxia deferret pervulgatum esse incestum gloriante matre, nec toleraturos milites profani principis imperium. Fabius Rusticus non Agrippinae sed Neroni cupitum id memorat eiusdemque libertae astu disiectum. sed quae Cluvius, eadem ceteri quoque auctores prodidere, et fama huc inclinat, seu concepit animo tantum immanitatis Agrippina, seu credibilior novae libidinis meditatio in ea visa est, quae puellaribus annis stuprum cum [M.] Lepido spe dominationis admiserat, pari cupidine usque ad libita Pallantis provoluta et exercita ad omne flagitium patrui nuptiis.

provectam: proveho: ‘to carry forwards’, ‘to promote’
incalesco, -ere: ‘to become hot’, ‘to glow’ temulentus, -a, um: ‘drunk’
comptam: como, comare: ‘to adorn’
lasciva: ‘lascivious’
praenuntia, -ae: ‘indication’, ‘prediction’
flagitium, -i: ‘disgrace’
blanditia, -ae: ‘caress’, ‘flattery’
adnotantibus: adnoto: ‘to remark’, ‘note down’
mulieber, -bris: ‘female’, ‘feminine’
inlecebra, -ae: ‘charm’, ‘allurement’, ‘enticement’
subsidium, -i: ‘help’, ‘defence’
glorior, -are: ‘to boast’
profanus, -i: ‘unholy’, ‘impious’, ‘wicked’
memoro, -are: ‘to record’, ‘to recall’
astu: astus: ‘sly’, ‘cunning’, ‘crafty’
disiectum: disicio: ‘drive apart’, ‘scatter’
prodido, -ere: ‘to relate’, ‘to betray’
immanitas, -atis: ‘enormity’
puellaris, -e: ‘girlish’, ‘maidenly’, ‘girl-like’
par, paris: ‘equal’
libitus, -a, -um: ‘will’, ‘liking’
provoluta: provolvo: ‘to roll forwards’
exercito, -are: ‘to exercise’
patruus, -i: ‘uncle’

 

Notes

Tradit Cluvius: Tacitus distances himself from the reported stories by using other authors who claim them  to be true. He does not advocate a particular stance but they had authority to the scurrilous accusations against Agrippina and Nero.

Cluvius: Cluvius Rufus, a historian (consul before AD 41) who wrote historiae from Gaius to Otho.

Seneca: L. Annaeus Seneca (the Younger). B. c. 4 BC – AD 1. A prolific writer but just as famous as the tutor and political adviser (along with Burrus) of the young Nero. After retiring  from public life in AD 62, Seneca was forced to commit suicide in AD 65 as an alleged participant in the Pisonian conspiracy.

Fabius Rusticus: A historian from Spain whose History was famous in its day.

M. Lepidus: The last of the patrician Aemilii Lepidi, a famous Republican family.  He married Julia Drusilla, the sister of Gaius (Caligula).

Pallas: M. Antonius Pallas. Freedman of Antonia and financial secretary (a rationibus) to her son, the emperor Claudius. Alleged to be the lover of Agrippina, he had hastened Nero’s adoption by Claudius. After the demise of Agrippina he too fell out of favour ans was put to death by Nero in AD 62.

Key Points

Again notice the way in which women are portrayed here and the interactions in ‘power’; the role of Nero’s advisers and how they manipulate or guard  the situation. Watch out for references e.g. to fama and the juxtaposition of that with the historical sources employed by Tacitus here. What impression are we beginning to get of Nero’s character?

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