Front Matter The First Settlers Escape from the Burning City The Clever Trick The Boards Are Eaten The Wolf and the Twins Romulus Builds Rome The Maidens Carried Off Union of Sabines and Romans Death of Romulus Strange Signs of the Romans The Quarrel with Alba The Horatii and Curiatii Tarquin and the Eagle The Roman Youths The King Outwitted The Murder of Tarquin The Ungrateful Children The Mysterious Books Tarquin's Poppies The Oracle of Delphi The Death of Lucretia The Stern Father A Roman Triumph A Roman Triumph (Cont.) Defense of the Bridge The Burnt Hand The Twin Gods The Wrongs of the Poor Fable of the Stomach The Story of Coriolanus The Farmer Hero The New Laws Death of Virginia Plans of a Traitor A School-Teacher Punished Invasion of the Gauls The Sacred Geese Two Heroes of Rome Disaster at Caudine Forks Pyrrhus and His Elephants The Elephants Routed Ancient Ships Regulus and the Snake Hannibal Crosses the Alps The Romans Defeated The Inventor Archimedes The Roman Conquests Destruction of Carthage Roman Amusements The Jewels of Cornelia Death of Tiberius Gracchus Caius Gracchus Jugurtha, King of Numidia The Barbarians The Social War The Flight of Marius The Proscription Lists Sertorius and His Doe Revolt of the Slaves Pompey's Conquests Conspiracy of Catiline Caesar's Conquests Crossing of the Rubicon Battle of Pharsalia The Death of Caesar The Second Triumvirate The Vision of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra The Poisonous Snake The Augustan Age Death of Augustus Varus Avenged Death of Germanicus Tiberius Smothered The Wild Caligula Wicked Wives of Claudius Nero's First Crimes Christians Persecuted Nero's Cruelty Two Short Reigns The Siege of Jerusalem The Buried Cities The Terrible Banquet The Emperor's Tablets The Good Trajan Trajan's Column The Great Wall Hadrian's Death Antoninus Pius The Model Pagan Another Cruel Emperor An Unnatural Son The Senate of Women The Gigantic Emperor Invasion of the Goths Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra A Prophecy Fulfulled First Christian Emperor Roman Empire Divided An Emperor's Penance Sieges of Rome End of the Western Empire

Story of the Romans - Helene Guerber

Death of Germanicus

Soon after the return of Germanicus from the north, the news came that the Parthians were threatening an invasion. Tiberius at once bade his adopted son go to Asia and fight them; but he still felt very jealous of Germanicus, and it was said that he sent secret orders to his agent, Piso, to kill the young prince.

Poor Germanicus, who little dreamed of these evil intentions, took the cup of poison which Piso offered him, and died soon after drinking it. His soldiers were so furious at his death that they would have killed the traitor had he not fled.

All the people at Antioch, where the noble prince had died, mourned him. A solemn funeral was held, and his ashes were placed in an urn, and given to Agrippina, so that she might carry them back to Italy. Even the enemies of Germanicus were sorry when they heard that he had perished, and they showed their respect for his memory by not fighting for several days.

Agrippina now sadly returned to Rome, carrying her husband's ashes, and followed by her six young children. She was met and escorted by crowds of people, and all wept as she passed slowly by on her way from the ship to the tomb of Augustus, where the ashes of Germanicus were placed.

Even Tiberius made believe to be sorry. When Agrippina came before him and accused Piso and his wife of poisoning her husband, the emperor basely deserted them both. A few days later Piso was found dead, his heart pierced by a sword; and, although no one ever knew exactly how this had happened, many of the Romans believed that he had been killed by order of Tiberius.

After the death of Germanicus, Tiberius threw aside all restraint and showed himself, as he was, a monster of cruelty and vice. He chose servants who were as wicked as he, and Sejanus, the captain of the Pretorian Guard (as his bodyguard was called), was a man after his own heart. This Sejanus, however, was ungrateful enough to have Drusus, the emperor's son, secretly poisoned; but everybody thought that the young prince had died a natural death.

Sejanus, you must know, was as ambitious as he was cruel. While he pretended to be very devoted to Tiberius, he wished to be rid of the emperor so that he might reign in his stead. He therefore began by persuading his master to retire to the island of Capri, where the climate was delightful, and from whence the emperor could easily send his orders to Rome.

Sejanus, being left in Rome with full powers, then killed all the people who would be likely to be in his way. Among his victims were many friends of Germanicus and some of the dead hero's children. Agrippina, the widow of Germanicus, was banished to a barren and rocky island, in the Mediterranean, where she is said to have died of hunger and thirst.