better days for the arts

“Tiberius also paid Asellius Sabinus 2,000 gold pieces, to show his appreciation of a dialogue in which a mushroom, a fig-picker, an oyster, and a thrush took part in a competition; and established a new office, Comptroller of Pleasures, first held by a knight named Titus Caesonius Priscus.”

(Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, “Tiberius” 41, p. 135 in the Robert Graves/Michael Grant translation.)

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