Misos

1280px-Portrait_of_family_of_Septimius_Severus_-_Altes_Museum_-_Berlin_-_Germany_2017

Τὸ δὲ μῖσος καὶ ἡ στάσις ηὔξετο. εἴτε γὰρ ἡγεμόνας ἢ ἄρχοντας ἔδει ποιεῖν, ἑκάτερος τὸν ἑαυτοῦ φίλον προάγειν ἤθελεν, εἴτε δικάζοιεν, τὰ ἐναντία ἐφρόνουν, ἐπ’ ὀλέθρῳ τῶν δικαζομένων ἔσθ’ ὅτε· πλέον γὰρ ἦν παῤ αὐτοῖς τοῦ δικαίου τὸ φιλόνεικον. ἔν τε θεάμασι περὶ τὰ ἐναντία ἐσπούδαζον. πάντα τε εἴδη ἐπιβουλῆς ἐξήρτυον, οἰνοχόους τε καὶ ὀψοποιοὺς ἀνέπειθον ἐμβαλεῖν δηλητήρια φάρμακα. οὐ ῥᾳδίως δὲ αὐτῶν οὐδετέρῳ προεχώρει, ἐπειδὴ μετὰ πολλῆς ἐπιμελείας καὶ φρουρᾶς διῃτῶντο. τέλος δὲ μὴ φέρων ὁ Ἀντωνῖνος, ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ τῆς περὶ τὴν μοναρχίαν ἐπιθυμίας ἐλαυνόμενος, διέγνω δρᾶσαί τι ἢ παθεῖν γενναῖον, διὰ ξίφους χωρήσας καὶ φόνου· μὴ προχωρούσης γὰρ τῆς λανθανούσης ἐπιβουλῆς ἀναγκαίαν ἡγήσατο τὴν κινδυνώδη τε καὶ ἀπεγνωσμένην  . . . τῆς μὲν διὰ στοργὴν τοῦ δὲ δἰ ἐπιβουλήν. Γέτας μὲν δὴ καιρίως τρωθείς, προσχέας τὸ αἷμα τοῖς τῆς μητρὸς στήθεσι, μετήλλαξε τὸν βίον· ὁ δ’ Ἀντωνῖνος κατεργασθέντος αὐτῷ τοῦ φόνου προπηδᾷ τοῦ δωματίου θέων, φερόμενός τε δι’ ὅλων τῶν βασιλείων ἐβόα μέγαν κίνδυνον ἐκπεφευγέναι μόλις τε σωθῆναι.

But the hatred and dissension between them continued to grow. If it became necessary to appoint a governor or a magistrate, each wished to select a friend for the post. If they sat as judges, they handed down dissenting opinions, often to the ruin of those on trial; for rivalry counted more than justice to these two. Even at the shows the brothers took opposite sides. They tried every sort of intrigue; each, for example, attempted to persuade the other’s cooks and cupbearers to administer some deadly poison. It was not easy for either one to succeed in these attempts, however: both were exceedingly careful and took many precautions. Finally, unable to endure the situation any longer and maddened by the desire for sole power, Caracalla decided to act and advance his cause by sword or slaughter or die in a manner befitting his birth. Since his plotting was unsuccessful, he thought he must try some desperate and dangerous scheme; [so he killed his brother in the arms of their mother, and by this act really killed them both]*, his mother dying of grief and his brother from treachery. Mortally wounded, Geta died, drenching his mother’s breast with his blood. Having succeeded in the murder, Caracalla ran from the room and rushed throughout the palace, shouting that he had escaped grave danger and had barely managed to save his life.

* There is a lacuna in the text.

(tr. Edward C. Echols)

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