Among the insinuations that Tacitus bequeaths to posterity in the negative segment of his post mortem of Augustus (Ann. 1.10) is the emperor's putative role as machinator doli in the death of the consul Hirtius during the fighting at Mutina in the spring of 43. The historian is thinking of a focal moment in the Aeneid when Sinon releases his fellow Greeks from within the wooden horse. I quote Aen. 2.264–7. Among the heroes who descend from the animal's belly are Ulixes, Neoptolemus
et Menelaus et ipse doli fabricator Epeos.
invadunt urbem somno vinoque sepultam;
caeduntur vigiles, portisque patentibus omnis
accipiunt socios atque agmina conscia iungunt.
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