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date: 03 July 2022

Antonius Pallas, Marcuslocked

Antonius Pallas, Marcuslocked

  • Ronald Syme

Extract

Antonius Pallas, Marcus, freedman of *Antonia (3) and financial secretary (a rationibus) of her son, the emperor Claudius; brother of (?Claudius) *Felix. His wealth, success, and arrogant temper made him deservedly unpopular. Devoted to *Iulia Agrippina and alleged to be her lover, he successfully promoted her candidature in the competition after the execution of Messalina; he also hastened Claudius' adoption of her son. The senate voted him *ornamentapraetoria and a sum of money: he refused the money and received public commemoration for virtue and frugality (Tac. Ann. 12. 53; cf. Plin. Ep. 7. 29. 2; 8. 6. 1, who indignantly quotes the senatorial decree inscribed on the tomb of Pallas on the via Tiburtina). After the accession of Nero, Pallas, like Agrippina, was gradually and firmly thrust aside from power. Compelled to resign his office, he stipulated that no questions should be asked, that his accounts be regarded as balanced. Finally, he was put to death by Nero, because of his wealth, it is said (ce 62).

Subjects

  • Roman History and Historiography

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