Unnamed Journal Volume 2 Issue 6 - Page 25

die. This leaves me, by my own estimation, tenth in line to the Principate on the day of my birth, and that by adoption. Yet here I am, bending Senators to my will and commanding the very seas to part for me. Will you continue to pretend that something other than Providence watched over me? To look at me, my humanity I mean, more closely, only proves it further. I came to power six months before my 25th birthday. I had no accomplishments to recommend me to it. I had not, like the Divine Julius, forced the Roman world to submit to the ravishing strides of my genius. I had not, like Augustus, masterfully absorbed all legal power into my hands, without seeming to do so, and made Egypt of the Pharoahs my slave in the act. I had not, like Tiberius, spent a lifetime commanding the legions, serving with bitter loyalty the imperium. I had, in short, done nothing. Yet on the day Tiberius died the empire fell at my feet with rapturous devotion. Sidus, they called me, their star, Pullum, their chick. 160,000 beasts were sacrificed in my honor, before I could even think of ordering it. The King of the Parthians who had ravaged our eastern frontier with impunity in Tiberius' last miserous years made peace without a javelin being flung at the rising sun. Any wonder that so many saluted me with the title of Jupiter Latiaris? What had I done to earn this, or to make it be? Nothing. I am a handsome enough fellow, I grant, but not more so than others. How could I have so terrified an old Parthian bull? How could I have evoked the oldest epithet of Jupiter, from a cult that was old and forgotten when the Republic was born?