Annals IV: 1 translation

The year when Gaius Asinius and Gaius Antistius were consuls, the ninth of Tiberius’ reign, was one of an orderly state, a flourishing house (for he considered the death of Germanicus a fortuitous event), when suddenly fortune began to run riot, and the emperor himself began to rage, and to provide strength to raging men. The beginning and the cause was down to Aelius Seianus, prefect of the praetorian cohorts, about whose power I mentioned above; now I will set out his lineage, his character and by what wickedness he came to seize power. He was born at Vulsinii, his father being Seius Strabo, a Roman knight, and in his early youth he attached himself to Gaius Caesar, grandson of the divine Augustus, and the rumour went that he sold depravity to Apicius, a rich and prodigal man; soon he bound fast Tiberius with his multifarious arts, to the extent that he caused a man, who was unintelligible to others, to be unguarded and open to him alone, not as much due to his shrewdness (in fact, he was defeated by the selfsame arts) as by the anger of the gods against the Roman state, which met with the same destruction when he flourished and when he fell. His body could withstand toil, his spirit was fearless; whilst hiding himself, he was an accuser against others; he was sycophantic and arrogant at the same time; outwardly composed and modest, on the inside he desired the heights of achievement, for the sake of which he was sometimes lavish and extravagant, but more often industrious and vigilant, qualities not less harmful when they are assumed to prepare royal power.