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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Histories


published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition of Tacitus, 1925

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. II) Tacitus

Book I (end)

 p83  50 1 Rome was in a state of excitement and horror-stricken not only at the recent outrageous crime,  p85 but also at the thought of Otho's former character. Now it was terrified in addition by news with regard to Vitellius, which had been suppressed before Galba's death, so that the citizens believed that only the army of Upper Germany had mutinied.​1 Then the thought that two men, the worst in the world for their shamelessness, indolence, and profligacy, had been apparently chosen by fate to ruin the empire, caused open grief not only to the senators and knights who had some share and interest in the state, but even to the common people. Their talk was no longer of the recent horrors of a bloody peace, but they recalled memories of the civil wars and spoke of the many times the city had been captured by Roman armies, of the devastation of Italy, of the plundering of the provinces, of Pharsalia, Philippi, Perusia, and Mutina, names notorious for public disaster. They said that the world had been well-nigh overturned, even when the principate was the prize of honest men; but yet the empire had remained when Julius Caesar won, and had likewise remained when Augustus won; the republic would have remained if Pompey and Brutus had been successful; but now — should they go to the temples to pray for an Otho or a Vitellius? Prayers for either would be impious and vows for either detestable when, in the struggle between the two, the only thing of which men were certain was that the victor would be the worse. There were some who had forebodings of Vespasian and the armies in the East, and yet although Vespasian was a better man than Otho or Vitellius, they shuddered at another war and another massacre. Indeed Vespasian's reputation was uncertain; he,  p87 unlike all his predecessors, was the only emperor who was changed for the better by his office.

51 1 I will now relate the origin and causes of the revolt of Vitellius. After Julius Vindex had been slain and all his forces with him, the army, flushed with joy over the booty and glory it had won, as was natural since it had secured a very rich victory without effort or danger, preferred to advance and fight, to secure rewards rather than mere pay. The soldiers had long endured a profitless service which was severe because of the character of the district and of the climate, and also because discipline was strict. But discipline which is stern in time of peace is broken down by civil strife, for there are men on both sides ready to corrupt, and treachery goes unpunished. The army had men, weapons, and horses in abundance for use and for show, but before the war the soldiers had been acquainted with only their own centuries and squadrons, for the armies were then separated by the boundaries of the provinces. But at that time the legions had been mobilized against Vindex, so that they had become acquainted with their own strength and that of the Gallic provinces. Therefore they were again looking for war and new quarrels; they no longer called the Gauls "allies" as before, but "enemies" and "the defeated." In fact that part of the Gallic provinces which borders the Rhine had not failed to attach itself to the same party and at this time was most vigorous in urging the soldiers on against "the Galbans," for they had given them this name in scorn of Vindex. Accordingly, being hostile first of all towards the Sequani and the Aeduans,​2 and then towards other states in proportion  p89 to their wealth, their souls thirsted for the storming of cities, the ravaging of fields, and the looting of houses. Their irritation arose not simply from greed and arrogance — faults especially common to the stronger — but also from the insolent spirit of the Gauls, who as an insult to the army boasted that Galba had remitted a quarter of their tribute and had rewarded them as communities. There was, too, a rumour cleverly spread abroad and rashly believed, that the legions were being decimated and the most active centurions dismissed. From every side came alarming messages and from Rome disturbing reports; the colony of Lyons was hostile and, owing to its persistent loyalty to Nero, was filled with rumours; but the amplest material for imagination and credulity was to be found within the camp itself in the soldiers' hatreds, in their fears, and also, when they considered their own strength, in their self-confidence.

52 1 About the first of December in the preceding year Aulus Vitellius had entered Lower Germany and carefully inspected the winter quarters of the legions. Many of the troops had their ranks restored, their disgrace removed, the marks against them cancelled. He did much for his selfish ends, but some things with sound judgment; among these was the honest change he made from the meanness and greed which Fonteius Capito had shown in taking away or bestowing military rank. The acts of Vitellius were not regarded as those simply of a consular legate, but without exception were taken to be more significant; and while the strict thought Vitellius demeaned himself, his partisans called it affability and kindness where he gave away his own  p91 property without limit and without judgment and squandered what belonged to others; at the same time their greed for power made them translate his very faults into virtues. There were many in both armies obedient and law-abiding, as well as many unprincipled and energetic. But the commanders of the legions, Alienus Caecina and Fabius Valens, were men of boundless greed and extraordinary recklessness.​3 Valens was hostile to Galba, because Galba had treated with ingratitude his disclosure of Verginius's hesitation​4 and his crushing of Capito's plans. He began to urge Vitellius on and to point out to him the eager spirit of the soldiers, saying that he enjoyed great fame everywhere, that Flaccus Hordeonius​5 would give no occasion for delay, that Britain would join him, the German auxiliaries follow his standard; the loyalty of the provinces he declared weak, the old emperor's rule precarious and sure soon to pass; let him but open his arms and hurry to meet approaching fortune. He maintained that Verginius had hesitated with good reason, for he was of equestrian family, his father was unknown and he would have been unequal to the office if he had got the imperial power, but safe if he refused it; but to Vitellius, his father's three consul­ships and the censor­ship in which he had Caesar as colleague​6 had long since given him imperial dignity and had taken away from him the security of a subject. These arguments stirred his sluggish nature to covetousness rather than to hope.

53 1 But in Upper Germany, Caecina, a handsome young man of towering stature and boundless ambition, had won over the support of the soldiers  p93 by his clever speech and dignified carriage. This youth Galba had put in command of a legion, for when he was quaestor in Baetica, he had not hesitated to join Galba's party. But later, when Galba found that he had embezzled public money, he ordered him to be prosecuted for peculation. Caecina took this hard and decided to embroil everything and conceal his private wounds amid the misfortunes of the state. And there were not lacking seeds of discord in the army, because it had taken part in full force in the war against Vindex and had not gone over to Galba until Nero had been killed, and then had been anticipated in taking the oath of allegiance to Galba by some detachments from Lower Germany. The Treviri, too, and Lingones,​7 as well as other states which Galba had punished with harsh edicts or loss of territory, were closely associated with the legions' winter quarters, with the result that there were seditious conferences and the soldiers were demoralized by mixing with the civilian inhabitants, and the attachment that they apparently showed Verginius was ready to be given to anyone else.

54 1 The community of the Lingones, according to their ancient custom, had sent clasped right hands, an emblem of friendship, as gifts to the legions. Their envoys, assuming the appearance of poverty and sorrow, complained both at headquarters and in the messes of the common soldiers, now of their wrongs, again of the rewards given to neighbouring communities, and, when the soldiers were ready to lend a listening ear, of the dangers and the insults suffered by the army itself, and so inflamed the temper of the troops. In fact, they were not far  p95 from mutiny when Hordeonius Flaccus ordered the envoys to leave and told them to go out of camp by night that their departure might be less noticeable. From this arose a disturbing report, for many maintained that the envoys had been killed; and it was urged that if the soldiers did not take thought for themselves, the most energetic among them and those who complained of present conditions would be put to death under the cover of darkness without the knowledge of their fellows. Thereupon the legions bound themselves by a secret oath; the auxiliary soldiers joined them. These had been at first suspected of planning to attack the legions, because their infantry and cavalry had surrounded the camp; but presently they showed themselves more zealous in the same cause; for the wicked conspire more readily to make war than to preserve harmony in time of peace.

55 1 Yet the legions of Lower Germany had taken the usual oath of allegiance to Galba on the first of January, although there was great hesitation and only a few in the front ranks repeated it, while the rest silently waited, each on the courage of his neighbour, it being human nature to follow eagerly a course that one hesitates to begin. But there was a diversity of sentiment in the legions themselves. The First and Fifth​8 were so mutinous that some stoned Galba's images. The Fifteenth and Sixteenth legions,​9 while daring to do nothing worse than murmur and threaten, were seeking some opening for an outbreak. In the Upper army, however, the Fourth and Twenty-second legions, who were wintering in the same camp,​10 on the very first of January tore down the  p97 images of Galba, the Fourth legion with greater readiness, the Twenty-second with hesitation at first, but presently in full accord; and they called in their oath on the now forgotten names of the senate and Roman people that they might not seem to give up reverence for the empire. No one of the legates or tribunes made any effort in Galba's behalf; some, as is usual in an uproar, were conspicuous in causing trouble. Yet no one addressed the soldiers in formal speech or from the tribunal, for there was no one as yet to whom claim for such service could be made.

56 1 Hordeonius Flaccus, the consular legate, was a spectator of this disgraceful scene. He did not dare to check those who were in a fury or to restrain the doubtful or even to exhort the loyal, but he was slow to act, timid, and innocent only because of his sloth. Four centurions of the Twenty-second legion, Nonius Receptus, Donatius Valens, Romilius Marcellus, Calpurnius Repentinus, were swept away by the onrush of the soldiers when they tried to protect Galba's images, and were thrown into chains. No man had any loyalty or thought for his former oath, but as happens in mutinies all joined the majority.

On the night which followed January first, an eagle-bearer of the Fourth legion came to Cologne​11 and reported to Vitellius at table that the Fourth and Twenty-second legions had thrown down Galba's statues and taken the oath of allegiance to the senate and the Roman people. Such an oath seemed idle; they decided to seize fortune while in the balance and to offer an emperor to the soldiery. Vitellius sent men to the legions and legates to  p99 announce that the Upper army had mutinied against Galba: therefore they must either fight against the mutineers or, if they preferred harmony and peace, must take an emperor. There was less danger, he added, in accepting an emperor than in looking for one.

57 1 The winter quarters of the First legion were nearest, and the most energetic of the commanders was Fabius Valens. The next day he entered Cologne with the horsemen of the legion and the auxiliary troops and saluted Vitellius as emperor. The legions of the same province showed the greatest rivalry in following this example; and the Upper army, abandoning the specious names of the senate and the Roman people, came over to Vitellius on the third of January, so that it was easy to realize that during the two preceding days it had never been faithful to the state. The citizens of Cologne, the Treviri, the Lingones, showed the same enthusiasm as the army. Individuals offered their personal services, horses, arms, or money, according to the physical strength, wealth, or talent that each possessed. Not only the chief men of the colonies and camps who had present wealth in abundance and great hopes should they secure a victory, but also whole companies and common soldiers, prompted by excitement and enthusiasm and also by greed, contributed their own spending money, or in place of money their belts and bosses, and the decorations of their armour​12 adorned with silver.

58 1 Therefore Vitellius praised the eager spirit of the soldiers and then distributed the imperial offices which had been usually held by freedmen among Roman knights; he also paid the fees for  p101 furloughs to the centurions out of his own purse.​13 He frequently gave his approval to the savagery of the soldiers who demanded that many be given up to punishment; in some rare instances he evaded it by throwing the accused into chains. Pompeius Propinquus,​14 imperial agent in Belgian Gaul, was immediately put to death; Julius Burdo, commander of the German fleet, he saved by a clever ruse. The army's anger had blazed out against Burdo, because he had invented a charge against Fonteius Capito, and later had plotted against him.​15 The soldiers remembered Capito with gratitude, and while Vitellius might kill openly before the angry mob, he could not pardon except by deceit. And so Burdo was kept under guard and released only after the victory of Vitellius, when the hatred of the soldiers for him was now appeased. In the meantime the centurion Crispinus was offered as a scapegoat. Capito's blood was on his hands, and that made him the more obvious victim of the soldiers' demands and the cheaper sacrifice in the eyes of the executioner.

59 1 Next Julius Civilis was saved from danger.​16 He had great influence with the Batavians​17 so that Vitellius did not wish to alienate this savage people by punishing him. Moreover there were in the country of the Lingones eight cohorts of Batavians, auxiliaries belonging to the Fourteenth legion, who at that time, owing to the discord of the moment, had withdrawn from the legion; and, whichever way they inclined, these eight cohorts would have great weight as allies or opponents. The centurions Nonius, Donatius, Romilius, and Calpurnius, of whom we have spoken above, he ordered to be executed,  p103 for they had been pronounced guilty of loyalty — the worst of charges among rebels. He also now gained the adherence of Valerius Asiaticus, governor of the Belgic province, whom he later made his son-in‑law; likewise of Junius Blaesus​18 who was in charge of Gallia Lugdunensis, together with the Italic legion​19 and the Taurian squadron of horse​20 who were stationed at Lyons. The forces in Raetia did not delay joining his side at once; nor was there any hesitation even in Britain.

60 1 The governor of Britain was Trebellius Maximus, whose greed and meanness made him despised and hated by his soldiers. Their hostility towards him was increased by Roscius Coelius, the commander of the Twentieth legion, who had long been at odds with him; but now, on the occasion of civil war, the hostility between the two broke out with great violence. Trebellius charged Coelius with stirring up mutiny and destroying discipline; Coelius reproached Trebellius with robbing the legions and leaving them poor, while meantime the discipline of the army was broken down by this shameful quarrel between the commanders; and the trouble reached such a point that Trebellius was openly insulted by the auxiliary soldiers as well as by the legions, and when deserted by the auxiliary foot and horse who joined Coelius, fled to Vitellius. The province remained quiet, although the consular governor had been removed: control was in the hands of the commanders of the legions, who were equal in authority; but Coelius actually had the greater power because of his audacity.

61 1 Now that the army in Britain had joined his standard, Vitellius, who had enormous strength  p105 and resources at his command, selected two leaders and two lines of advance for the war. He ordered Fabius Valens to win over the Gallic provinces, or, if they refused his advances, to lay them waste and then break into Italy by the Cottian Alps.​21 Caecina was to descend by the nearer route over the Pennine range.​22 Valens was given picked soldiers from the Lower army together with the eagle of the Fifth legion and auxiliary foot and horse, the whole force numbering about 40,000 armed men. Caecina took from the Upper army 30,000; but his real strength lay in the Twenty-first legion. Both were given in addition German auxiliaries with whom Vitellius completed his own forces also, as he was prepared to follow with his whole strength.

62 1 There was a marked contrast between army and general. The soldiers were eager; they demanded battle, while the Gallic provinces were still timid and the Spanish hesitant. "Neither winter," they declared, "nor the delay caused by a peace which only a coward would make is an obstacle to us. We must invade Italy, seize Rome. In civil strife, where one must act rather than debate, nothing is more safe than haste." Vitellius, however, was sunk in sloth and was already enjoying a foretaste of his imperial fortune by indolent luxury and extravagant dinners; at midday he was tipsy and gorged with food. Still the soldiers in their eagerness and vigour actually performed the duties of a general, so that they inspired the energetic with hope or the indolent with fear, exactly as if the commander-in‑chief were there in person. They were drawn up in line and eager for action; they demanded the signal for the start. Vitellius was at  p107 once given the additional name of Germanicus; the appellation Caesar he forbade even after he was victorious. It was a happy augur to the mind of Fabius Valens and the army which he was leading to war that, on the very day they started, an eagle flew gently along before the advancing army apparently to guide their march; and for a long distance such were the exultant cries of the troops, such the undisturbed calm of the bird, that it was welcomed as a certain omen of a great and successful issue.

63 1 The army approached the Treviri with a sense of security which they naturally felt among allies. But at Divodurum,​23 a town of the Mediomatrici, though received with all courtesy, the army was struck with sudden panic; the soldiers hurriedly seized their arms to massacre the innocent citizens, not for booty or from a desire to loot, but prompted by wild fury, the cause of which was uncertain and the remedies therefore more difficult. Finally, however, they were quieted by their general's appeals and refrained from completely destroying the community; still about 4,000 had been massacred, and such terror spread over the Gallic provinces that later on, as the army advanced, entire communities headed by their magistrates came out to meet it with appeals, women and children prostrating themselves along the roads, while everything else that can appease an enemy's wrath was offered to secure peace, although there was no war.

64 1 Fabius Valens heard the news of Galba's death and the accession of Otho in the state of the Leuci.​24 The soldiers were neither moved to joy nor stirred by fear; they thought only of war. The Gauls no longer hesitated; though they hated Otho  p109 and Vitellius equally, they also feared Vitellius. The next state was that of the Lingones, which was faithful to his party. There the Roman soldiers enjoyed a kindly reception and vied with one another in good behaviour. Yet the joy over this was short-lived, because of the violence of the auxiliary infantry, which, as we said above, had detached themselves from the Fourteenth legion and been incorporated by Fabius Valens in his force. At first a quarrel arose between the Batavians and the legionaries, and then a brawl. Finally, as the soldiers took sides with one or the other, they broke out almost into open battle, and in fact would have done so had not Valens, by the punishment of a few men, reminded the Batavians of the authority which they had forgotten. It was in vain that the Roman troops tried to find an excuse for war against the Aeduans; when ordered to furnish money and arms, the Aeduans went so far as to provide the army with supplies without cost, and what the Aeduans had done from fear the people of Lyons did from joy. The Italic legion and the Taurian squadron of horse were withdrawn from the city; it was decided, however, to leave the Eighteenth cohort there,​25 for that was their usual winter quarters. Manlius Valens, commander of the Italic legion, enjoyed no honour with Vitellius, though he had done good service to his party. Fabius had defamed him by secret charges of which Manlius knew nothing, but praised him openly that, being off his guard, he might be more easily deceived.

65 1 The old feud between the people of Lyons and Vienne had been inflamed by the last war.​26 They had inflicted many losses on each other and  p111 had done this too frequently and savagely for anyone to believe that they were fighting only for Nero or Galba. Galba too had taken advantage of his displeasure to divert the revenues of Lyons into his own treasury; on the other hand he had shown great honour to the people of Vienne. Hence arose rivalry and envy and a bond of hatred between the peoples who were separated only by a single river. Therefore the people of Lyons began to stir up individual soldiers and spur them on to destroy Vienne by reminding them that its inhabitants had besieged their own colony, aided Vindex in his attempts, and had lately enrolled legions for the defence of Galba. More, after they had put forward these pretexts for hating Vienne, they began to point out the large booty to be obtained, no longer exhorting them in secret, but making public appeals. "Advance as avengers," they said; "destroy the home of war in Gaul. At Vienne there is nothing that is not foreign and hostile. We, a Roman colony and a part of your army, have shared your successes and reverses. Do not abandon us to an angry foe, should fortune prove adverse."

66 1 By these and similar appeals, they had brought the soldiers to the point where not even the commanders and leaders of the party thought it possible to check the army's hostile fury, when the people of Vienne, well aware of their danger, diverted the soldiers from their purpose by coming out along the line of advance, bearing veils and fillets, and clasping the soldiers' weapons, knees, and feet. Valens too gave each soldier three hundred sesterces. The age also and the dignity of the colony prevailed; and the words of Fabius,  p113 as he urged the soldiers to leave the Viennese in safety and unharmed, received a favourable hearing. Still the people were all deprived of their weapons, and they assisted the soldiers with private means of every sort. Yet report has always consistently said that Valens himself was bribed with a large sum. He had long been poor; now suddenly becoming rich, he hardly concealed his change of fortune. His desires had been increased by long poverty, so that he now put no restraint upon himself, and after a youth of poverty became a prodigal old man. Next he led his army slowly through the lands of the Allobroges and Vocontii,​27 the very length of each day's advance and the choice of encampment being sold by the general, who drove shameless bargains to the detriment of the owners of the land and the local magistrates. Indeed he acted so threateningly that he was on the point of applying the torch to Lucus,​28 a town of the Vocontii, until he was soothed by money. Whenever money was not available, he was appeased by sacrifices to his lust. In this way they reached the Alps.

67 1 Caecina gained even more booty and shed more blood. His reckless spirit had been provoked by the Helvetii, a Gallic people once famous for their deeds in arms and for their heroes, later only for the memory of their name. Of Galba's murder they knew nothing and they refused to recognize the authority of Vitellius. The origin of the war was due to the greed and haste of the Twenty-first legion, which had embezzled the money sent to pay the garrison of a fort once defended by the Helvetians with their own forces and at their own expense.  p115 This angered the Helvetians, who intercepted some letters which were being carried in the name of the army in Germany to the legions in Pannonia,​29 and they kept the centurions and certain soldiers in custody. Caecina, eager for war, always moved to punish every fault instantly before there was a chance for repentance: he immediately shifted camp, devastated the fields, and ravaged a place that during the long peace had been built up into the semblance of a town and was much resorted to for its beauty and healthful waters.​30 Messages were sent to the auxiliaries in Raetia, directing them to attack in the rear the Helvetians who were facing the Roman legion.

68 1 The Helvetians were bold before the crisis came, but timid in the face of danger; and although at the beginning of the trouble they had chosen Claudius Severus leader, they had not learned the use of arms, did not keep their ranks, or consult together. Battle against veterans would be destructive to them; a siege would be dangerous, for their walls had fallen into ruin from lapse of time. On the one side was Caecina with a strong force, on the other the Raetian horse and foot, and the young men of Raetia itself, who were accustomed to arms and trained in warfare. Everywhere were rapine and slaughter. Wandering about between the two armies, the Helvetians threw away their arms and fled for life to Mt. Vocetius,​31 the majority of them wounded or straggling. A cohort of Thracian infantry was immediately dispatched against them and dislodged them. Then, pursued by Germans and Raetians through their forests, they were cut down even in their hiding places.  p117 Many thousands were massacred, many thousands sold into slavery. After all had been destroyed, when the Roman army was advancing to attack Aventicum,​32 the capital of the tribe, the people of that town sent envoys to offer surrender and this was accepted. Caecina punished Julius Alpinus, one of the leading men, as the promoter of the war: the rest he left to the mercy or the cruelty of Vitellius.

69 1 It is not easy to say whether the envoys of the Helvetians found the general or the soldiers less merciful. The soldiers demanded the destruction of the state, shaking their weapons, and fists in the faces of the envoys. Even Vitellius did not refrain from threatening words, till Claudius Cossus, one of the envoys, assuaged the anger of the soldiers; Cossus was a man of well-known eloquence, but at this time he concealed his skill as an orator under an appropriate trepidation which made him all the more effective. Like all mobs, the common soldiers were given to sudden change and were as ready to show pity as they had been extravagant in cruelty. By floods of tears and persistent prayers for a milder decision, the envoys obtained safety and protection for their state.

70 1 While Caecina delayed a few days among the Helvetians until he should learn the views of Vitellius, being engaged at the same time in preparations for the passage of the Alps, he received the joyful news from Italy that the Silian detachment​33 of horse that was operating along the Po had taken the oath of allegiance to Vitellius. This detachment had served under Vitellius when he was proconsul in Africa; later Nero had removed it to send it to Egypt,  p119 but it had been recalled because of the war with Vindex and was at this time in Italy. Prompted by the decurions​34 who, being wholly unacquainted with Otho but bound to Vitellius, kept extolling the strength of the approaching legions and the reputation of the army in Germany, the members of the troop came over to the side of Vitellius, and as a kind of gift to the new emperor, they secured for him the strongest of the transpadane towns, Mediolanum, Novaria, Eporedia, and Vercellae.​35 This fact Caecina learned from the inhabitants of these towns, and since a single squadron of horse could not protect the broadest part of Italy, he sent in advance infantry, made up of Gauls, Lusitanians, and Britons, and some German detachments with the squadron of Petra's horse,​36 while he himself delayed a little to see whether he should turn aside over the Raetian range​37 to Noricum to oppose the imperial agent Petronius Urbicus, who was regarded as faithful to Otho since he had called out auxiliary troops and broken down the bridges over the stream. But Caecina was afraid that he might lose the infantry and cavalry which he had already dispatched before him, and, at the same time, he realized that there was more glory in securing Italy, and that wherever the decisive struggle took place, the people of Noricum would come with the other prizes of victory. He accordingly led his reserve troops and the heavy armed legions over the Pennine Pass​38 while the Alps were still covered with the winter's snow.

71 1 Otho, meanwhile, contrary to everyone's expectation made no dull surrender to luxury or ease: he put off his pleasures, concealed his profligacy, and ordered his whole life as befitted the  p121 imperial position; with the result that these simulated virtues and the sure return of his vices only inspired still greater dread. Marius Celsus, consul-elect, whom he had saved from the fury of the soldiers by pretending to imprison him, he had called to the Capitol, for he wished to obtain the credit of being merciful by his treatment of a distinguished man whom his party hated. Celsus boldly pleaded guilty of constant loyalty to Galba and went so far as to claim that his example was to Otho's advantage. Otho did not act toward him as if he were pardoning a criminal, but to avoid having to fear him as an enemy took steps to be reconciled to him and immediately began to treat him as one of his intimate friends; he later chose him as one of the leaders for the war. But Celsus, on his side, as by a fatal impulse, maintained a loyalty to Otho which was unbroken and ill-starred. His safety, which gave joy to the chief men of the state and which was commented on favourably by the common people, was not unpopular even with the soldiers, who admired the same virtue which roused their anger.

72 1 Equal delight, but for different reasons, was felt when the destruction of Tigellinus was secured. Ofonius Tigellinus was of obscure parentage; his youth had been infamous and in his old age he was profligate. Command of the city watch and of the praetorians and other prizes which belong to virtue he had obtained by vices as the quicker course; then, afterwards, he practised cruelty and later greed, offences which belong to maturity. He also corrupted Nero so that he was ready for any wickedness; he dared certain acts without Nero's knowledge and finally deserted and betrayed him.  p123 So no one was more persistently demanded for punishment from different motives, both by those who hated Nero and by those who regretted him. Under Galba Tigellinus had been protected by the influence of Titus Vinius, who claimed that Tigellinus had saved his daughter. He undoubtedly had saved her, not, however, prompted by mercy (he had killed so many victims!) but to secure a refuge for the future, since the worst of rascals in their distrust of the present and fear of a change always try to secure private gratitude as an off-set to public detestation, having no regard for innocence, but wishing to obtain mutual impunity in wrong-doing. These facts made the people more hostile toward him, and their old hatred was increased by their recent dislike for Titus Vinius. They rushed from every part of the city to the Palatine and the fora, and, pouring into the circus and theatres where the common people have the greatest licence, they broke out into seditious cries, until finally Tigellinus, at the baths of Sinuessa,​39 receiving the message that the hour of his supreme necessity had come, amid the embraces and kisses of his mistresses, shamefully delaying his end, finally cut his throat with a razor, still further defiling a notorious life by a tardy and ignominious death.

73 1 At the same time the people demanded the punishment of Calvia Crispinilla. She was saved from danger, however, through various artifices on the part of the emperor, who brought ill-reputation upon himself by his duplicity. Crispinilla had taught Nero profligacy; then she had crossed to Africa to stir up Clodius Macer to rebellion,​40 and had openly tried to bring famine on the Roman people. Afterwards she secured popularity with  p125 the entire city by her marriage with a former consul, and so was unharmed under Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. Still later she became powerful through her wealth and childlessness, which have equal weight both in good and evil times.41

74 1 Meantime Otho sent Vitellius many letters, disfigured by unmanly flattery, offering him money and favour and granting him any quiet place he chose wherein to spend his profligate life.​42 Vitellius made similar proposals. At first both wrote in genial tones, resorting to pretence which was at once foolish and unbecoming: later, as if engaged in a common brawl, they each charged the other with debaucheries and low practices, neither of them falsely. Otho, after recalling the delegates that Galba had dispatched,​43 sent them again in the name of the senate to the two armies in Germany, to the Italic legion, and to the troops that were stationed at Lyons. The envoys remained with Vitellius, too readily for men to think they were detained. The praetorians that Otho had sent with the delegation to show it honour were sent back before they could mix with the legions. Fabius Valens also sent letters in the name of the army in Germany to the praetorian and city cohorts, boasting of the strength of his party and offering terms of agreement. He even reproached them for diverting to Otho the imperial power that had been given to Vitellius so long before.

 p127  75 1 Thus the praetorians were plied at the same time with promises and threats. They were told that they were unequal to war but would lose nothing in peace; and yet they did not give up their loyalty. Otho sent secret agents to Germany, and Vitellius sent his agents to Rome. Neither accomplished anything, but the agents of Vitellius got off safely, since amid the great multitude they neither knew people nor were themselves known; Otho's agents, however, were betrayed by their strange faces, since in the army everyone knew everyone else. Vitellius wrote a letter to Otho's brother, Titianus, in which he threatened him and his son with death if his own mother and children were not kept unharmed. As a matter of fact both families were uninjured: under Otho this was probably due to fear; Vitellius, when victor, got the credit for mercy.

76 1 The first message that gave Otho confidence came from Illyricum, to the effect that the legions of Dalmatia and Pannonia and Moesia had sworn allegiance to him. The same news was brought from Spain, whereupon Otho extolled Cluvius Rufus in a proclamation; but immediately afterwards word was brought that Spain had gone over to Vitellius. Not even Aquitania long remained faithful, although it had been made to swear allegiance to Otho by Julius Cordus. Nowhere was there loyalty or affection. Fear and necessity made men shift now to one side, now to the other. The same terror brought the province of Narbonensis over to Vitellius, it being easy to pass to the side of the nearest and the stronger. The distant provinces and all the armed forces across the sea  p129 remained on Otho's side, not from any enthusiasm for his party, but because the name of the city and the splendour of the senate had great weight; moreover the emperor of whom they first heard preëmpted their regard. The oath of allegiance to Otho was administered to the army in Judea by Vespasian, to the legions in Syria by Mucianus. At the same time Egypt and all the provinces to the East were governed in Otho's name. Africa showed the same ready obedience, led by Carthage, without waiting for the authority of Vipstanius Apronianus, the proconsul; Crescens, one of Nero's freedmen — for in evil times even freedmen take part in the government — had given the commonfolk a feast in honour of the recent accession; and the people hurried on with extravagant zeal the usual demonstrations. The rest of the communities followed Carthage.44

77 1 Since the armies and provinces were thus divided, Vitellius for his part needed to fight to gain the imperial fortune; but Otho was performing the duties of an emperor as if in profound peace. Some things he did in accordance with the dignity of the state, but often he acted contrary to its honour in the haste that was prompted by present need. He himself was consul with his brother Titianus until the first of March. The next months were allotted to Verginius as a sop to the army in Germany. With Verginius he associated Pompeius Vopiscus under the pretext of their ancient friendship; but most interpreted the act as an honour shown the people of Vienne. The  p131 rest of the consul­ships for the year remained as Nero and Galba had assigned them: Caelius Sabinus and Flavius Sabinus​45 until July; Arrius Antoninus​46 and Marius Celsus till September; their honours not even Vitellius vetoed when he became victor.​47 But Otho assigned pontificates and augur­ships as a crowning distinction to old men who had already gone through the list of offices, or solaced young nobles recently returned from exile with priesthoods which their fathers and ancestors had held. Cadius Rufus, Pedius Blaesus, and Saevinus P. . . were restored to senatorial rank, which they had lost under Claudius and Nero on account of charges of bribery made against them; those who pardoned them decided to shift the name so that what had really been greed should seem treason, which was now so odious that it made even good laws null and useless.

78 1 With the same generosity Otho tried to win over the support of communities and provinces. To the colonies of Hispalis and Emerita​48 he sent additional families. To the whole people of the Lingones he gave Roman citizen­ship and presented the province Baetica with towns in Mauritania. New constitutions were given Cappadocia and Africa, more for display than to the lasting advantage of the provinces. Even while engaged in these acts, which found their excuse in the necessity of the situation and the anxieties that were forced upon him, he did not forget his loves and had the statues of Poppaea replaced by a vote of the senate. It was believed that he also brought up the question of celebrating Nero's memory with the hope of winning over the Roman people; and in fact some set  p133 up statues of Nero; moreover on certain days the people and soldiers, as if adding thereby to Otho's nobility and distinction, acclaimed him as Nero Otho; he himself remained undecided, from fear to forbid or shame to acknowledge the title.

79 1 While all men's thoughts were thus absorbed in civil war, there was no interest in foreign affairs. This inspired the Rhoxolani,​49 a people of Sarmatia who had massacred two cohorts the previous winter, to invade Moesia with great hopes. They numbered nine thousand horse, and their restive temper along with their success made them more intent on booty than on fighting. Consequently, when they were straggling and off their guard, the Third legion with some auxiliary troops suddenly attacked them. On the Roman side everything was ready for battle. The Sarmatians were scattered or in their greed for booty had weighted themselves down with heavy burdens, and since the slippery roads deprived them of the advantage of their horses' speed, they were cut down as if they were in fetters. For it is a strange fact that the whole courage of the Sarmatians is, so to speak, outside themselves. No people is so cowardly when it comes to fighting on foot, but when they attack the foe on horseback, hardly any line can resist them. On this occasion, however, the day was wet and the snow melting: they could not use their pikes or the long swords which they wield with both hands, for their horses fell and they were weighted down by their coats of mail. This armour is the defence of their princes and all the nobility: it is made of scales of iron or hard hide, and though impenetrable to blows, nevertheless it makes it difficult for the wearer to get up  p135 when overthrown by the enemy's charge;​50 at the same time they were continually sinking deep in the soft and heavy snow. The Roman soldier with his breast-plate moved readily about, attacking the enemy with his javelin, which he threw, or with his lances; when the situation required he used his short sword and cut down the helpless Sarmatians at close quarters, for they do not use the shield for defensive purposes. Finally the few who escaped battle hid themselves in the swamps, where they lost their lives from the cruel winter or the severity of their wounds. When the news of this reached Rome, Marcus Aponius, governor of Moesia, was given a triumphal statue; Fulvius Aurelius, Julianus Tettius, and Numisius Lupus, commanders of the legions, were presented with the decorations of a consul; for Otho was pleased and took the glory to himself, saying that he was lucky in war and had augmented the State through his generals and his armies.

80 1 In the meantime, from a slight beginning which caused no fear, a mutiny arose which almost destroyed the city. Otho had given orders that Seventeenth cohort be brought from the colony of Ostia to Rome. Varius Crispinus, one of the praetorian tribunes, had been charged with equipping these troops. That he might be the freer to carry out his orders, when the camp was quiet, he ordered the armoury to be opened and the wagons belonging to the cohort to be loaded at nightfall. The hour gave rise to suspicion; his motive became the basis of a charge against him; and his attempt to secure quiet resulted in an uproar, while the sight of arms in the hands of drunken men roused  p137 a desire to use them. The soldiers began to murmur and charged the tribunes and centurions with treachery, saying that the slaves of the senators were being armed for Otho's destruction. A part of the soldiers were ignorant of the circumstances and heavy with wine; the worst of them wished to make this an opportunity for looting; the great mass, as is usual, were ready for any new movement, and the natural obedience of the better disposed was rendered ineffective by the night. When the tribune attempted to stay the mutiny, they killed him and the strictest of the centurions. Then they seized their arms, drew their swords, and jumping on their horses, hurried to Rome and to the Palace.

81 1 Otho was giving a great banquet to men and women of the nobility. In terror as to whether this was some chance frenzy on the part of the soldiers or some treachery on the part of the emperor, the guests did not know whether it was more dangerous to stay and be caught or to flee and scatter. Now they pretended courage, now they were unmasked by their fears; at the same time they watched Otho's face; and as generally happens when men's minds are inclined to suspicion, it was just when Otho felt fear that he made others fear him. Yet he was terrified as much by the danger to the senate as to himself; he had sent at once the prefects of the praetorian guard to calm the soldiers' anger and he told all to leave the banquet quickly. Then in every direction went officers of the state, throwing away their insignia of office and avoiding the attendance of their friends and slaves; old men and women stole in the darkness along different streets, few of them trying to  p139 reach their homes, but most of them hurrying to the houses of their friends and the obscurest hiding-place of the humblest dependent each had.

82 1 The excited soldiers were not kept even by the doors of the palace from bursting into the banquet. They demanded to be shown Otho, and they wounded Julius Martialis, the tribune, and Vitellius Saturninus, prefect of the legion, when they opposed their onrush. On every side were arms and threats directed now against the centurions and tribunes, now against the whole senate, for all were in a state of blind panic, and since they could not fix upon any individual as the object of their wrath, they claimed licence to proceed against all. Finally Otho, disregarding the dignity of his imperial position, stood on his couch and barely succeeded in restraining them with appeals and tears. Then they returned to camp neither willingly nor with guiltless hands. The next day private houses were closed as if the city were in the hands of the enemy; few respectable people were seen in the streets; the rabble was downcast. The soldiers turned their eyes to the ground, but were sorrowful rather than repentant. Licinius Proculus and Plotius Firmus, the prefects, addressed their companies, the one mildly, the other severely, each according to his nature. They ended with the statement that five thousand sesterces were to be paid to each soldier.​51 Only then did Otho dare to enter the camp. He was surrounded by tribunes and centurions, who tore away the insignia of their rank and demanded discharge and safety from their dangerous service.  p141 The common soldiers perceived the bad impression that their action had made and settled down to obedience, demanding of their own accord that the ringleaders of the mutiny should be punished.

83 1 Otho was in a difficult position owing to the general disturbance and the divergences of sentiment among the soldiers; for the best of them demanded that some check be put on the present licence, while the larger mob delighted in mutinies and in an emperor whose power depended on popular favour, and were easily driven on to civil war by riots and rapine. He realized, however, that a throne gained by crime cannot be maintained by sudden moderation and old-fashioned dignity; but being distressed by the crisis that had befallen the city and the danger of the senate, he finally spoke as follows: "Fellow soldiers, I have not come to kindle your sentiments into love for me, nor to exhort your hearts to courage, for both these qualities you have in marked abundance; but I have come to ask you to put some check to your bravery and some limit to your regard for me. The recent disturbances owed their beginning not to any greed or hate, which are the sentiments that drive most armies to revolt, or even to any shirking or fear of danger; it was your excessive loyalty that spurred you to an action more violent than wise. Very often honourable motives have a fatal end, unless men employ judgment. We are proceeding to war. Do the exigencies of events or the rapid changes in the situation allow every report to be heard openly, every plan to be discussed in the presence of all? It is as proper that soldiers should not know certain things as that they should know them. The authority of the  p143 leaders and strict discipline are maintained only by holding it wise that in many cases even centurions and tribunes should simply receive orders. For if individuals may inquire the reason for the orders given them, then discipline is at an end and authority also ceases. Suppose in the field you have to take your arms in the dead of night, shall one or two worthless and drunken men — for I cannot believe that the recent madness was due to the panic of more than that — stain their hands in the blood of a centurion or tribune? Shall they burst into the tent of their general?

84 1 "You, it is true, did that for me. But in time of riot, in the darkness and general confusion, an opportunity may also be given for an attack on me. Suppose Vitellius and his satellites should have an opportunity to choose the spirit and sentiment with which they would pray you to be inspired, what will they prefer to mutiny and strife? Will they not wish that soldier should not obey centurion or centurion tribune, so that we may all, foot and horse, in utter confusion rush to ruin? It is rather by obedience, fellow-soldiers, than by questioning the commands of the leaders, that success in war is obtained, and that is the bravest army in time of crisis which has been most orderly before the crisis. Yours be the arms and spirit; leave to me the plan of campaign and the direction of your valour. Few were at fault; two shall pay the penalty: do all the rest of you blot out the memory of that awful night. And I pray that no army may ever hear such cries against the senate. That is the head of the empire and the glory of all the provinces; good heavens, not even those  p145 Germans whom Vitellius at this moment is stirring up against us would dare to call it to punishment. Shall any child of Italy, any true Roman youth, demand the blood and murder of that order through whose splendid glory we outshine the meanness and base birth of the partisans of Vitellius? Vitellius has won over some peoples; he has a certain shadow of an army, but the senate is with us. And so it is that on our side stands the state, on theirs the enemies of the state. Tell me, do you think that this fairest city consists of houses and buildings and heaps of stone? Those dumb and inanimate things can perish and readily be replaced. The eternity of our power, the peace of the world, my safety and yours, are secured by the welfare of the senate. This senate, which was established under auspices by the Father and Founder of our city and which has continued in unbroken line from the time of the kings even down to the time of the emperors, let us hand over to posterity even as we received it from our fathers. For as senators spring from your number, so emperors spring from senators."

85 1 Both this speech, well adapted as it was to reprove and quiet the soldiers, and also his moderation (for he had not ordered the punishment of more than two) were gratefully received, and in this way those who could not be checked by force were calmed for the present. But the city was not yet quiet; there was the din of weapons and the face of war, for while the troops did not engage in any general riot, they nevertheless distributed themselves in disguise among the houses and suspiciously kept watch on all whom high birth or wealth or some distinction had made the object of gossip.  p147 Most of them believed that soldiers of Vitellius, too, had come to Rome to learn the sentiments of the different parties, so that there was suspicion everywhere, and the intimacy of the home was hardly free from fear. But there was the greatest terror in public, where men changed their spirit and looks according to the message that rumour brought at the moment, that they might not seem to lose heart over doubtful news or show too much joy over favourable report. Moreover, when the senate had assembled in the chamber, it was hard to maintain the proper measure in anything, that silence might not seem sullen or open speech suspicious; while Otho, who had so recently been a subject and had used the same terms, fully understood flattery. So the senators turned and twisted their proposals to mean this or that, many calling Vitellius an enemy and traitor; but the most foreseeing attacked him only with ordinary terms of abuse, although some made the truth the basis of their insults. Still they did this when there was an uproar and many speaking, or else they obscured their own meaning by a riot of words.

86 1 Prodigies which were reported on various authorities also contributed to the general terror. It was said that in the vestibule of the Capitol the reins of the chariot in which Victory stood had fallen from the goddess's hands, that a superhuman form had rushed out of Juno's chapel,​52 that a statue of the deified Julius on the island of the Tiber had turned from west to east on a bright calm day, that an ox had spoken in Etruria, that animals had given birth to strange young, and that many other things had happened which in barbarous  p149 ages used to be noticed even during peace, but which now are only heard of in seasons of terror. Yet the chief anxiety which was connected with both present disaster and future danger was caused by a sudden overflow of the Tiber which, swollen to a great height, broke down the wooden bridge​53 and then was thrown back by the ruins of the bridge which dammed the stream, and overflowed not only the low-lying level parts of the city, but also parts which are normally free from such disasters. Many were swept away in the public streets, a larger number cut off in shops and in their beds. The common people were reduced to famine by lack of employment and failure of supplies. Apartment houses had their foundations undermined by the standing water and then collapsed when the flood withdrew. The moment people's minds were relieved of this danger, the very fact that when Otho was planning a military expedition, the Campus Martius and the Flaminian Way, over which he was to advance, were blocked against him was interpreted as a prodigy and an omen of impending disaster rather than as the result of chance or natural causes.

87 1 Otho purified the city and then considered his plan for a campaign. Since the Pennine and Cottian Alps and the other passes into Gaul were closed by the forces of Vitellius, he decided to attack Narbonese Gaul with his fleet, which was strong and loyal, for he had enrolled as a legion those who had survived the massacre at the Mulvian Bridge and who had been kept in prison by Galba's cruelty;​54 and so he had given the rest reason to hope for an honourable service hereafter.​55 He  p151 added to the fleet the city cohorts and many of the praetorians to be the strength and back-bone of the army and also to advise and control the leaders themselves. At the head of the expedition he placed Antonius Novellus, Suedius Clemens, centurions of the first rank, and Aemilius Pacensis, to whom he had restored the tribunate which Galba had taken away. His freedman Moschus, however, retained command of the fleet, no change being made in his rank, that he might keep watch over the fidelity of men more honourable than himself.​56 As commanders of the foot and horse he named Suetonius Paulinus, Marius Celsus, Annius Gallus, but he trusted most in Licinius Proculus, prefect of the praetorian guard. Indefatigable on home service, inexperienced in war, Proculus, in strict accordance with their individual characters, made the "influence" of Paulinus, the "energy" of Celsus, the "proved ability" of Gallus the bases of his accusations, and thus — nothing is easier — by dishonesty and cunning outdid the virtuous and modest.

88 1 About this time Cornelius Dolabella was banished to the colony of Aquinum.​57 He was not kept under close or secret watch, and no charge was made against him; but he had been made prominent by his ancient name and his close relation­ship to Galba. Many of the magistrates and a large part of the ex-consuls Otho directed to join his expedition, not to share or help in the war but simply as a suite. Among these was Lucius Vitellius, who was treated in the same way as the others and not at all as the brother of an emperor or as an enemy. This action caused anxiety at Rome. No class was free from fear or danger. The leading men  p153 of the senate were weak from old age and had grown inactive through a long peace; the nobility was indolent and had forgotten the art of war; the knights were ignorant of military service; the more all tried to hide and conceal their fear, the more evident they made their terror. Yet, on the other hand, there were some who with absurd ostentation brought splendid arms and fine horses; some made extravagant preparations for banquets and provided incentives to their lust as equipment for war. The wise had thought for peace and for the state; the foolish, careless of the future, were puffed up with idle hopes; many who had been distressed by loss of credit during peace were now enthusiastic in this time of disturbance and felt safest in uncertainty.

89 1 But the mob and the mass of the people, whose vast numbers kept them aloof from cares of state, gradually began to feel the evils of war, for all money was now diverted to the use of the soldiers, and the prices of provisions rose. Such things had not affected the common people so much during the revolt of Vindex, because the city at that time was safe and the war was in a province; since it was between the legions and the Gauls, it was regarded as a foreign war. In fact, from the time when the deified Augustus had established the power of the Caesars, the wars of the Roman people had been far from Rome and had caused anxiety or brought honour to a single individual alone; under Tiberius and Gaius only the misfortunes of peace affected the state; the attempt of Scribonianus against Claudius was checked the moment it was known;​58 Nero had been driven from his throne rather by messages and rumours than by arms. But now,  p155 legions and fleets and, by an act almost without precedent, the soldiers of the praetorian and city cohorts were led away to action; the East and the West and all the forces that both have behind them formed material for a long war had there been other leaders. There were some who attempted to delay Otho's departure by bringing forward the religious consideration that the sacred shields had not yet been restored to their place.​59 Yet he scorned every delay, for delay had proved ruinous to Nero also; and the fact that Caecina had already crossed the Alps spurred him on.

90 1 On the fourteenth of March, after entrusting the interests of state to the senate, he granted to those who had been recalled from exile all that was left from the sales of property confiscated by Nero, so far as the monies had not yet been paid into the Imperial Treasury,​60 — a most just donation, and one that was generous in appearance; but it was worthless because the property had been hastily realized on long before.​61 Then he called an assembly, extolled the majesty of Rome, and praised the enthusiasm of the people and senate in his behalf. Against the party of Vitellius he spoke with moderation, blaming the legions for their ignorance rather than boldness, and making no mention of Vitellius. This omission may have been moderation on his part, or the man who wrote his speech may have omitted all insults towards Vitellius, fearing for himself. This is probable, because it was generally believed that Otho employed the ability of Galerius Trachalus in civil matters,​62 as he did that of Suetonius Paulinus and Marius Celsus in planning his military movements, and there were some who recognized the very  p157 style of Trachalus, which was well known, because he frequently appeared in court, and which was copious and sonorous in order to fill the ears of the people. The shouts and cries from the mob, according to their recognized fashion of flattering an emperor, were excessive and insincere. Men vied with one another in the expression of their enthusiasm and vows, as if they were applauding the Dictator Caesar or the Emperor Augustus. They did this, not from fear or affection, but from their passionate love of servitude. As happens in households of slaves, each one was spurred on by his private motive, and the honour of the state was held cheap. When Otho set out, he left the good order of the city and the cares of empire in the charge of his brother, Salvius Titianus.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Cf. chap. 14.

2 The Sequani lived in Franche-Comté, Burgundy, and part of Alsace, having as their capital Vensontioº (Besançon). The Aeduans were between the Saône and the Loire. Their capital was Augustodunum (Autun).

3 Caecina was stationed in Upper Germany, Valens in Lower.

4 See chaps. 8 and 9 above.

5 Hordeonius was commander in Upper Germany.

6 Vitellius's father had been consul in 34; under Claudius he was associated with the emperor in this office in 43 and 47, and also shared the censor­ship with Claudius in the last year.

7 The Treviri dwelt in the district about Trier, which preserves their name, as Langres recalls the Lingones.

8 Stationed at Bonn and Xanten (Vetera).

See the Xanten page at Livius.

9 At Xanten and Neuss (Novaesium).

See the Novaesium page at Livius.

10 At Mainz (Mogontiacum).

11 Agrippa had allowed the Ubii to move from the right to the left bank of the Rhine in 38 B.C. Their town, oppidum Ubiorum, became colonia Claudia Augusta Agrippinensis (or Agrippinensium) in 50 A.D. See Strabo IV.3.4 (194); Dio Cassius XLVIII.49.3; Tac. Ann. XII.27.

12 Corresponding to the medals of modern times.

13 Cf. chap. 46.

14 Cf. chap. 12.

15 Cf. chap. 7.

16 A few months later he raised a formidable revolt, as is narrated in Books IV and V below.

17 These people lived chiefly on the island between the Rhine, the Maas, and the Waal; they had long furnished auxiliary troops.

18 See III.38 f. for his alleged murder at Vitellius's orders.

19 The legio prima Italica.

20 Named from Statilius Taurus.

21 By Mt. Genèvre.

22 The Great St. Bernard.

23 Metz.

24 Living about the modern town of Toul.

25 Apparently a cohors civium Romanorum, an auxiliary force.

26 The rebellion of Vindex. See Introduction, p. xvii.º

27 The Allobroges lived in the districts known to‑day as Savoy and northern Dauphiné; the southern part of Dauphiné and Provence were occupied by the Vocontii, whose chief town was Vasio (Vaison).

28 Luc-en‑Diois.

29 Subdued by Caesar in 58 B.C.

30 Baden on the Limmat, north-west of Zurich.

31 The Bötzberg in the Swiss Jura.

32 Avenches near Freiburg.

33 Probably named from C. Silius, governor of Upper Germany under Tiberius, who had raised the squadron.

34 The commanders of the companies of horse.

35 Milan, Novara, Ivrea, Vercelli.

36 Named from a certain Petra who had organised the troop.

37 The Arlberg.

38 The Great St. Bernard.

39 The warm baths at Sinuessa in Campania were much visited. Cf. Ann. XII.66.

40 Cf. chap. 7.

41 The court paid by fortune-hunters to rich and childless men and women was one of the baser characteristics of this age and furnished a ready theme for the satirists. Cf. e.g.  Hor. Sat. II.5; Juvenal 3.126 ff.; 6.548 ff.; and often.

42 Suetonius (Otho 8) and Dio Cassius (LXIV.10) say that Otho offered to share the imperial office with him; and Suetonius adds that he proposed to marry Vitellius's daughter.

43 Cf. chap. 19.

44 At the beginning of this year, 69 A.D., the thirty legions of the Roman army were distributed as follows: Spanish Provinces, 3; Gallic Provinces, 1; Upper Germany, 3; Lower Germany, 4; Britain, 3; Dalmatia, 2; Pannonia, 2; Moesia, 3; Syria, 3; Judea, 3; Egypt, 2; Africa, 1.

To these were attached auxiliary troops and cavalry of about the same strength as the legions, so that the total land forces of the Roman Empire at this time approximated 300,000 men.

45 Not the brother of Vespasian.

46 The grandfather of the Emperor Antoninus Pius.

47 The terms of these men were later shortened, and in fact there were fifteen consuls in the year 69.

48 Seville and Merida.

49 Placed by Strabo, VII.III.17, between the Don and the Dnieper,º but by some modern scholars located in Bessarabia.

50 Such armour was worn by many of Rome's enemies in both Europe and Asia. Cf. Tac. Ann. III.43; Livy XXXV.48; XXXVII.4; Curtius IV.35, equitibus equisque tegumenta erant ex ferreis laminis serie inter se conexis (said with reference to the Scythians and Bactrians); and Amm. Mar. XVI.X.8.

51 A sum equivalent to about $225 to‑day; but its purchasing power was many times that sum.

52 That is in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which had three cellae, one each for Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.

53 The famous Pons Sublicius, the oldest bridge across the Tiber.

54 Cf. chaps. 6 and 37.

55 Service in a legion was regarded as more honourable than that in the fleet, and so those who were still serving in the fleet looked forward to being treated as their comrades had been.

56 Moschus had held this office under Nero and Galba.

57 Aquino.

58 Cf. II.75. M. Furius Camillus Scribonianus, governor of Dalmatia, had revolted in 42 A.D. but he had been crushed in five days.

59 The ancilia, that were used by the Salii throughout the month of March.

60 Cf. chap. 20.

61 Under Nero the confiscated properties of those who were sent into exile were hastily sold for what they would bring and the proceeds paid into the treasury, so that there was little left to be returned to the exiles.

62 Galerius Trachalus, cos. 68, is praised by Quintilian for his impressive appearance and effective delivery.

Thayer's Note: Institutio Oratoria, X.1.119, XII.5.5.

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