81. The sensual appetites of Maximin were gratified at the expense of his subjects. His eunuchs, who forced away wives and virgins, examined their naked charms with anxious curiosity, lest any part of their body should be found unworthy of the royal embraces. Coyness and disdain were considered as treason, and the obstinate fair one was condemned to be drowned. A custom was gradually introduced that no person should marry a wife without the permission of the emperor, "ut ipse in omnibus nuptis praegustator esset". Lactantius de M. P. c. 38.