Giovanni Muzzioli, La vendetta di Poppea (1876)

Ac puella vicesimo aetatis anno inter centuriones et milites, praesagio malorum iam vitae exempta, nondum tamen morte acquiescebat. paucis dehinc interiectis diebus mori iubetur, cum iam viduam se et tantum sororem testaretur communesque Germanicos et postremo Agrippinae nomen cieret, qua incolumi infelix quidem matrimonium, sed sine exitio pertulisset. restringitur vinclis venaeque eius per omnes artus exsolvuntur; et quia pressus pavore sanguis tardius labebatur, praefervidi balnei vapore enecatur. additurque atrocior saevitia, quod caput amputatum latumque in urbem Poppaea vidit. dona ob haec templis decreta quem ad finem memorabimus?
(Tacitus, Ann. 14.64.1-5)

And the girl*, in the twentieth year of her age, amid centurions and soldiers, already released from life by the presentiment of evil, could nevertheless not yet rest in death. Subsequently, after an interval of a few days, she was ordered to die, although she testified that she was now a widow and no more than a sister, and she invoked the Germanici, whom they had in common, and finally the name of Agrippina, during whose lifetime she had sustained a marriage admittedly unhappy but exempt from extermination. She was restrained with bonds, and the veins in all her limbs were severed; and because her blood, staunched by panic, trickled too slowly, she was executed by means of the steam from an extra-hot bath. And there was the addition of a more frightful savagery, in that her head, amputated and carried into the City, was seen by Poppaea. Gifts were decreed to the temples for this; and for how long shall I be recalling them?

* sc. Octavia.

(tr. Anthony John Woodman)


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