Piso in Syria
But Gnaeus Piso, in order to begin his plans more quickly, after he reached Syria and the legions, started helping the most disreputable of the soldiers with generous gifts (largesse) and bribery. When he had removed the senior centurions and the strict tribunes, and he had handed over their posts to his clientes, he allowed idleness in the camp, wild behaviour in the cities, and soldiers running riot through the countryside. And Plancina, the wife of Piso, did not behave as a woman should, but she attended the exercises of the cavalry, and threw insults at Agrippina and at Germanicus. These things were known to Germanicus, but a more pressing care was to attend first (prae-) to the Armenians ?.
The Death of Germanicus
The belief that poison had been received from Piso increased the terrible force of the illness; and there were found, dug up from the floor and the walls, remains of human bodies, spells (in verse) and curses and the name of
Germanicus inscribed on tablets made of lead, ashes half burnt and smeared with rotten flesh and other evil objects with which it is believed that souls are dedicated to the spirits of the underworld. At the same time people sent by Piso were criticised for waiting for signs of unfavourable health. These things were received by Germanicus with no less anger than fear (i.e. he was obviously afraid but he was also very angry). He wrote a letter known in which he broke off his (official) friendship with him.
Germanicus for a short time believed that he was getting better; then his body started becoming tired. When the end was near, he spoke to friends standing there as follows: “There will be an opportunity to complain before the Senate and to appeal to the laws. It is proper for friends not to escort the dead man with pointless lamentation, but to remember what he wanted, to carry out what he ordered. You will avenge me if you loved me rather than my status.” The friends, grasping the right hand of the dying man, swore that they would abandon their life before their revenge.
Not long after this he died (A.D.19), with great grief in the province and the surrounding peoples (i.e. in the empire). Foreign peoples and kings mourned: so great had been his friendliness to provincials, and his mercy towards enemies; because of his looks and eloquence he had earned the respect of everyone. And there were people who compared him with
Alexander the Great because of his appearance, his age, the manner of and the place of his death; for they claimed that each of them was endowed with a handsome body, was descended from a noble family, and had died when hardly 30 years old. (Alexander: Germanicus: )
Meanwhile Agrippina, although exhausted by grief and her sick body, nevertheless was impatient of all the things which delayed revenge. She boarded a ship with the ashes of Germanicus and…