Page:Dio's Roman History, tr. Cary - Volume 1.djvu/113

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
BOOK II

especially when he is of a distinguished family, becomes an object of suspicion to tyrants. And when once he had set out on this course, he acted his part with the greatest precision, and for that reason was also called Brutus; for this was the name that the Latins gave to idiots. When sent along with Titus and Arruns as a butt, he carried a kind of staff as a votive offering, he said, to the god, though it had no great value so far as one could see.

Dio, Book II. "After that he was found in the Pythian god's temple."

They made sport of Brutus, not only for his gift, but also because, when the oracle replied to the

Zonaras 7, 11.

employing this means of safety as a screen for his life. Hence he was nicknamed Brutus, for the Latins were accustomed to give this name to idiots. While acting the fool he was taken along by the sons of Tarquin as a butt, when they journeyed to Delphi. And he said that he was carrying a votive offering to the god; this was a kind of staff, apparently possessing no point of excellence, so that he became a laughing-stock for it all the more. It furnished a sort of image of the affliction that he feigned. For he had hollowed it out and had secretly poured in gold, indicating thereby that there was likewise concealed behind the disesteem which he suffered for his stupidity a sound and estimable intelligence. Now when the sons of Tarquin inquired