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The Roman empresses

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Pages: 258

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Jacques Roergas de Serviez

Excerpt from book: LUCILLA, WIFE OF LUCIUS VERUS. Virtue and merit are not hereditary : from a mild and good father often are born children who are wicked and depraved : and the more the good qualities of the parent are remarkable, so much the more does the degeneracy of the son appear in an odious light. Vice is so ingrained in the constitution of some people that nothing can correct or alter it, so that one often sees the best education, example and instruction, thrown away when cast upon an ungrateful soil. Marcus Aurelius, as we have seen, was a most accomplished prince: in him was to be admired a collection of all the virtues, civil, military, and political: but unfortunately his children had nothing of the kind to boast of. His son Commodus was one of the most vicious princes that ever lived—a heap of tyranny, cruelty, and everything that was diabolical. In Lucilla, eldest daughter of Marcus Aurelius, ambition and lasciviousness were predominant qualities: his other children dishonoured their high birth and dignity by themost infamous actions : and it was observed that even those who died in their childhood had discovered a strong propensity to vice. So true it is,1 that children bring into the world with them the good or bad seeds which brighten or tarnish their lives, and which are brought to maturity as occasions and opportunities occur. Lucilla was born at Rome, in the first year of the marriage of Marcus Aurelius with Faustina. Her birth,1 which filled the town with joy, also furnished the Emperor Antoninus with an opportunity of distributing his bounty to the people, and of honouring his son-in-law with the most important dignities. He gave him the tribunate and pro-consular power, and raised him so high that he left him nothing to wish for but the empire, which he also inherite...  

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