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Stingy Vespasian

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Vespasian | Photo: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Emperor Vespasian was extremely stingy. This feature may seem bizarre and preposterous, considering that during his reign, construction began on the largest and certainly the most expensive public structure – Colosseum. Vespasian was once criticized for his excessive parsimony by an old shepherd who asked him for deliverance.

The emperor, however, did not want to agree and replied that he must pay an appropriate sum for his freedom. To this, the shepherd replied: “The fox changes his fur, but not his nature”.

  • Suetonius, Vespasian 16

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