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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10591
Tacitus, Histories, 5.8.2-5.8.3


nan At the beginning of this same year Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judea, and who had already won distinction as a soldier while both were still private citizens, began to enjoy greater power and reputation, for provinces and armies and vied with one another in enthusiasm for him. Moreover, in his own conduct, wishing to be thought greater than his fortune, he always showed himself dignified and energetic in the field; by his affable address he called forth devotion, and he often mingled with the common soldiers both at work or on the march without impairing his position as general. He found awaiting him in Judea three legions, Vespasian's old troops, the Fifth, the Tenth, and the Fifteenth. He reinforced these with the Twelfth from Syria and with some soldiers from the Twenty-second and the Third which he brought from Alexandria; these troops were accompanied by twenty cohorts of allied infantry, eight squadrons of cavalry, as well as by the princes Agrippa and Sohaemus, the auxiliaries sent by King Antiochus, and by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with all that hatred that is common among neighbours; there were besides many Romans who had been prompted to leave the capital and Italy by the hope that each entertained of securing the prince's favour while he was yet free from engagements. With these forces Titus entered the enemy's land: his troops advanced in strict order, he reconnoitred at every step and was always ready for battle; not far from Jerusalem he pitched camp., However, as I am about to describe the last days of a famous city, it seems proper for me to give some account of its origin. It is said that the Jews were originally exiles from the island of Crete who settled in the farthest parts of Libya at the time when Saturn had been deposed and expelled by Jove. An argument in favour of this is derived from the name: there is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida, and hence the inhabitants were called the Idaei, which was later lengthened into the barbarous form Iudaei. Some hold that in the reign of Isis the superfluous population of Egypt, under the leadership of Hierosolymus and Iuda, discharged itself on the neighbouring lands; many others think that they were an Egyptian stock, which in the reign of Cepheus was forced to migrate by fear and hatred. Still others report that they were Assyrian refugees, a landless people, who first got control of a part of Egypt, then later they had their own cities and lived in the Hebrew territory and the nearer parts of Syria. Still others say that the Jews are of illustrious origin, being the Solymi, a people celebrated in Homer's poems, who founded a city and gave it the name Hierosolyma, formed from their own., Most authors agree that once during a plague in Egypt which caused bodily disfigurement, King Bocchoris approached the oracle of Ammon and asked for a remedy, whereupon he was told to purge his kingdom and to transport this race into other lands, since it was hateful to the gods. So the Hebrews were searched out and gathered together; then, being abandoned in the desert, while all others lay idle and weeping, one only of the exiles, Moses by name, warned them not to hope for help from gods or men, for they were deserted by both, but to trust to themselves, regarding as a guide sent from heaven the one whose assistance should first give them escape from their present distress. They agreed, and then set out on their journey in utter ignorance, but trusting to chance. Nothing caused them so much distress as scarcity of water, and in fact they had already fallen exhausted over the plain nigh unto death, when a herd of wild asses moved from their pasturage to a rock that was shaded by a grove of trees. Moses followed them, and, conjecturing the truth from the grassy ground, discovered abundant streams of water. This relieved them, and they then marched six days continuously, and on the seventh seized a country, expelling the former inhabitants; there they founded a city and dedicated a temple., To establish his influence over this people for all time, Moses introduced new religious practices, quite opposed to those of all other religions. The Jews regard as profane all that we hold sacred; on the other hand, they permit all that we abhor. They dedicated, in a shrine, a statue of that creature whose guidance enabled them to put an end to their wandering and thirst, sacrificing a ram, apparently in derision of Ammon. They likewise offer the ox, because the Egyptians worship Apis. They abstain from pork, in recollection of a plague, for the scab to which this animal is subject once afflicted them. By frequent fasts even now they bear witness to the long hunger with which they were once distressed, and the unleavened Jewish bread is still employed in memory of the haste with which they seized the grain. They say that they first chose to rest on the seventh day because that day ended their toils; but after a time they were led by the charms of indolence to give over the seventh year as well to inactivity. Others say that this is done in honour of Saturn, whether it be that the primitive elements of their religion were given by the Idaeans, who, according to tradition, were expelled with Saturn and became the founders of the Jewish race, or is due to the fact that, of the seven planets that rule the fortunes of mankind, Saturn moves in the highest orbit and has the greatest potency; and that many of the heavenly bodies traverse their paths and courses in multiples of seven., Whatever their origin, these rites are maintained by their antiquity: the other customs of the Jews are base and abominable, and owe their persistence to their depravity. For the worst rascals among other peoples, renouncing their ancestral religions, always kept sending tribute and contributions to Jerusalem, thereby increasing the wealth of the Jews; again, the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity. They sit apart at meals, and they sleep apart, and although as a race, they are prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; yet among themselves nothing is unlawful. They adopted circumcision to distinguish themselves from other peoples by this difference. Those who are converted to their ways follow the same practice, and the earliest lesson they receive is to despise the gods, to disown their country, and to regard their parents, children, and brothers as of little account. However, they take thought to increase their numbers; for they regard it as a crime to kill any late-born child, and they believe that the souls of those who are killed in battle or by the executioner are immortal: hence comes their passion for begetting children, and their scorn of death. They bury the body rather than burn it, thus following the Egyptians' custom; they likewise bestow the same care on the dead, and hold the same belief about the world below; but their ideas of heavenly things are quite the opposite. The Egyptians worship many animals and monstrous images; the Jews conceive of one god only, and that with the mind alone: they regard as impious those who make from perishable materials representations of gods in man's image; that supreme and eternal being is to them incapable of representation and without end. Therefore they set up no statues in their cities, still less in their temples; this flattery is not paid their kings, nor this honour given to the Caesars. But since their priests used to chant to the accompaniment of pipes and cymbals and to wear garlands of ivy, and because a golden vine was found in their temple, some have thought that they were devotees of Father Liber, the conqueror of the East, in spite of the incongruity of their customs. For Liber established festive rites of a joyous nature, while the ways of the Jews are preposterous and mean., Their land is bounded by Arabia on the east, Egypt lies on the south, on the west are Phoenicia and the sea, and toward the north the people enjoy a wide prospect over Syria. The inhabitants are healthy and hardy. Rains are rare; the soil is fertile; its products are like ours, save that the balsam and the palm also grow there. The palm is a tall and handsome tree; the balsam a mere shrub: if a branch, when swollen with sap, is pierced with steel, the veins shrivel up; so a piece of stone or a potsherd is used to open them; the juice is employed by physicians. Of the mountains, Lebanon rises to the greatest height, and is in fact a marvel, for in the midst of the excessive heat its summit is shaded by trees and covered with snow; it likewise is the source and supply of the river Jordan. This river does not empty into the sea, but after flowing with volume undiminished through two lakes is lost in the third. The last is a lake of great size: it is like the sea, but its water has a nauseous taste, and its offensive odour is injurious to those who live near it. Its waters are not moved by the wind, and neither fish nor water-fowl can live there. Its lifeless waves bear up whatever is thrown upon them as on a solid surface; all swimmers, whether skilled or not, are buoyed up by them. At a certain season of the year the sea throws up bitumen, and experience has taught the natives how to collect this, as she teaches all arts. Bitumen is by nature a dark fluid which coagulates when sprinkled with vinegar, and swims on the surface. Those whose business it is, catch hold of it with their hands and haul it on shipboard: then with no artificial aid the bitumen flows in and loads the ship until the stream is cut off. Yet you cannot use bronze or iron to cut the bituminous stream; it shrinks from blood or from a cloth stained with a woman's menses. Such is the story told by ancient writers, but those who are acquainted with the country aver that the floating masses of bitumen are driven by the winds or drawn by hand to shore, where later, after they have been dried by vapours from the earth or by the heat of the sun, they are split like timber or stone with axes and wedges., Not far from this lake is a plain which, according to report, was once fertile and the site of great cities, but which was later devastated by lightning; and it is said that traces of this disaster still exist there, and that the very ground looks burnt and has lost its fertility. In fact, all the plants there, whether wild or cultivated, turn black, become sterile, and seem to wither into dust, either in leaf or in flower or after they have reached their usual mature form. Now for my part, although I should grant that famous cities were once destroyed by fire from heaven, I still think that it is the exhalations from the lake that infect the ground and poison the atmosphere about this district, and that this is the reason that crops and fruits decay, since both soil and climate are deleterious. The river Belus also empties into the Jewish Sea; around its mouth a kind of sand is gathered, which when mixed with soda is fused into glass. The beach is of moderate size, but it furnishes an inexhaustible supply., A great part of Judea is covered with scattered villages, but there are some towns also; Jerusalem is the capital of the Jews. In it was a temple possessing enormous riches. The first line of fortifications protected the city, the next the palace, and the innermost wall the temple. Only a Jew might approach its doors, and all save the priests were forbidden to cross the threshold. While the East was under the dominion of the Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, the Jews were regarded as the meanest of their subjects: but after the Macedonians gained supremacy, King Antiochus endeavoured to abolish Jewish superstition and to introduce Greek civilization; the war with the Parthians, however, prevented his improving this basest of peoples; for it was exactly at that time that Arsaces had revolted. Later on, since the power of Macedon had waned, the Parthians were not yet come to their strength, and the Romans were far away, the Jews selected their own kings. These in turn were expelled by the fickle mob; but recovering their throne by force of arms, they banished citizens, destroyed towns, killed brothers, wives, and parents, and dared essay every other kind of royal crime without hesitation; but they fostered the national superstition, for they had assumed the priesthood to support their civil authority., The first Roman to subdue the Jews and set foot in their temple by right of conquest was Gnaeus Pompey; thereafter it was a matter of common knowledge that there were no representations of the gods within, but that the place was empty and the secret shrine contained nothing. The walls of Jerusalem were razed, but the temple remained standing. Later, in the time of our civil wars, when these eastern provinces had fallen into the hands of Mark Antony, the Parthian prince, Pacorus, seized Judea, but he was slain by Publius Ventidius, and the Parthians were thrown back across the Euphrates: the Jews were subdued by Gaius Sosius. Antony gave the throne to Herod, and Augustus, after his victory, increased his power. After Herod's death, a certain Simon assumed the name of king without waiting for Caesar's decision. He, however, was put to death by Quintilius Varus, governor of Syria; the Jews were repressed; and the kingdom was divided into three parts and given to Herod's sons. Under Tiberius all was quiet. Then, when Caligula ordered the Jews to set up his statue in their temple, they chose rather to resort to arms, but the emperor's death put an end to their uprising. The princes now being dead or reduced to insignificance, Claudius made Judea a province and entrusted it to Roman knights or to freedmen; one of the latter, Antonius Felix, practised every kind of cruelty and lust, wielding the power of king with all the instincts of a slave; he had married Drusilla, the grand-daughter of Cleopatra and Antony, and so was Antony's grandson-in‑law, while Claudius was Antony's grandson., Still the Jews' patience lasted until Gessius Florus became procurator: in his time war began. When Cestius Gallus, governor of Syria, tried to stop it, he suffered varied fortunes and met defeat more often than he gained victory. On his death, whether in the course of nature or from vexation, Nero sent out Vespasian, who, aided by his good fortune and reputation as well as by his excellent subordinates, within two summers occupied with his victorious army the whole of the level country and all the cities except Jerusalem. The next year was taken up with civil war, and thus was passed in inactivity so far as the Jews were concerned. When peace had been secured throughout Italy, foreign troubles began again; and the fact that the Jews alone had failed to surrender increased our resentment; at the same time, having regard to all the possibilities and hazards of a new reign, it seemed expedient for Titus to remain with the army., Therefore, as I have said above, Titus pitched his camp before the walls of Jerusalem and displayed his legions in battle array: the Jews formed their line close beneath their walls, being thus ready to advance if successful, and having a refuge at hand in case they were driven back. Some horse and light-armed foot were sent against them, but fought indecisively; later the enemy retired, and during the following days they engaged in many skirmishes before their gates until at last their continual defeats drove them within their walls. The Romans now turned to preparations for an assault; for the soldiers thought it beneath their dignity to wait for the enemy to be starved out, and so they began to clamour for danger, part being prompted by bravery, but many were moved by their savage natures and their desire for booty. Titus himself had before his eyes a vision of Rome, its wealth and its pleasures, and he felt that if Jerusalem did not fall at once, his enjoyment of them was delayed. But the city stands on an eminence, and the Jews had defended it with works and fortifications sufficient to protect even level ground; for the two hills that rise to a great height had been included within walls that had been skillfully built, projecting out or bending in so as to put the flanks of an assailing body under fire. The rocks terminated in sheer cliffs, and towers rose to a height of sixty feet where the hill assisted the fortifications, and in the valleys they reached one hundred and twenty; they presented a wonderful sight, and appeared of equal height when viewed from a distance. An inner line of walls had been built around the palace, and on a conspicuous height stands Antony's Tower, so named by Herod in honour of Mark Antony., The temple was built like a citadel, with walls of its own, which were constructed with more care and effort than any of the rest; the very colonnades about the temple made a splendid defence. Within the enclosure is an ever-flowing spring; in the hills are subterraneous excavations, with pools and cisterns for holding rain-water. The founders of the city had foreseen that there would be many wars because the ways of their people differed so from those of the neighbours: therefore they had built at every point as if they expected a long siege; and after the city had been stormed by Pompey, their fears and experience taught them much. Moreover, profiting by the greed displayed during the reign of Claudius, they had bought the privilege of fortifying the city, and in time of peace had built walls as if for war. The population at this time had been increased by streams of rabble that flowed in from the other captured cities, for the most desperate rebels had taken refuge here, and consequently sedition was the more rife. There were three generals, three armies: the outermost and largest circuit of the walls was held by Simon, the middle of the city by John, and the temple was guarded by Eleazar. John and Simon were strong in numbers and equipment, Eleazar had the advantage of position: between these three there was constant fighting, treachery, and arson, and a great store of grain was consumed. Then John got possession of the temple by sending a party, under pretence of offering sacrifice, to slay Eleazar and his troops. So the citizens were divided into two factions until, at the approach of the Romans, foreign war produced concord., Prodigies had indeed occurred, but to avert them either by victims or by vows is held unlawful by a people which, though prone to superstition, is opposed to all propitiatory rites. Contending hosts were seen meeting in the skies, arms flashed, and suddenly the temple was illumined with fire from the clouds. Of a sudden the doors of the shrine opened and a superhuman voice cried: "The gods are departing": at the same moment the mighty stir of their going was heard. Few interpreted these omens as fearful; the majority firmly believed that their ancient priestly writings contained the prophecy that this was the very time when the East should grow strong and that men starting from Judea should possess the world. This mysterious prophecy had in reality pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, as is the way of human ambition, interpreted these great destinies in their own favour, and could not be turned to the truth even by adversity. We have heard that the total number of the besieged of every age and both sexes was six hundred thousand; there were arms for all who could use them, and the number ready to fight was larger than could have been anticipated from the total population. Both men and women showed the same determination; and if they were to be forced to change their home, they feared life more than death. Such was the city and people against which Titus Caesar now proceeded; since the nature of the ground did not allow him to assault or employ any sudden operations, he decided to use earthworks and mantlets; the legions were assigned to their several tasks, and there was a respite of fighting until they made ready every device for storming a town that the ancients had ever employed or modern ingenuity invented., But meantime Civilis, after his reverse among the Treviri, recruited his army in Germany and encamped at Vetera, where he was protected by his position, and he also wished to inspire his barbarian troops with new courage from the memory of their former success there. Cerialis followed after him, having had his forces doubled by the arrival of the Second, Sixth, and Fourteenth legions; moreover, the auxiliary foot and horse that he had ordered up long before had hurried to join him after his victory. Neither general was given to delay, but they were separated by a wide plain that was naturally marshy; moreover, Civilis had built a dam obliquely into the Rhine, so that the river, thrown from its course by this obstacle, flooded the adjacent fields. Such was the nature of the ground, which was treacherous for our men because the shallows were uncertain and therefore dangerous: for the Roman soldier is heavily weighted with arms and afraid of swimming, but the Germans are accustomed to streams, are lightly armed, and their great stature keeps their heads above water., Therefore when the Batavians attacked our men, the bravest of our troops engaged; but a panic soon followed as arms and horses were swallowed up in the deep marshes. The Germans, knowing the shallows, leaped through the waters, and frequently, leaving our front, surrounded our men on the flanks and rear; there was no fighting at close quarters, as is usual in an engagement between infantry, but the struggle was rather like a naval fight, for the men floundered about in the water, or, if they found firm ground, they exerted all their strength to secure it; so the wounded and the uninjured, those who could swim and those who could not, struggled together to their common destruction. Yet our loss was not in proportion to the confusion, because the Germans, not daring to come out of the marshes on to firm ground, returned to their camp. The outcome of this engagement encouraged both leaders from different motives to hasten the final struggle. Civilis wished to follow up his good fortune; Cerialis to wipe out his disgrace: the Germans were emboldened by their success; the Romans were stirred by shame. The barbarians spent the night in singing or shouting; our men in rage and threats of vengeance., The next day Cerialis stationed his cavalry and auxiliary infantry in his front line and placed his legions in the second, while he reserved some picked troops under his own leadership to meet emergencies. Civilis did not oppose him with an extended front, but ranged his troops in columns: the Batavi and Cugerni were on his right; the left wing, nearer the river, was held by tribes from across the Rhine. The generals did not encourage their troops in formal appeals to the whole body, but they addressed each division as they rode along the line. Cerialis recalled the ancient glories of the Roman name, their victories old and new; he urged them to destroy for ever these treacherous and cowardly foes whom they had already beaten; it was vengeance rather than battle that was needed. "You have recently fought against superior numbers, and yet you routed the Germans, and their picked troops at that: those who survive carry terror in their hearts and wounds on their backs." He applied the proper spur to each of the legions, calling the Fourteenth the "Conquerors of Britain," reminding the Sixth that it was by their influence that Galba had been made emperor, and telling the Second that in the battle that day they would dedicate their new standards, and their new eagle. Then he rode toward the German army, and stretching out his hands begged these troops to recover their own river-bank and their camp at the expense of the enemy's blood. An enthusiastic shout arose from all, for some after their long peace were eager for battle, others weary of war desired peace; and they all hoped for rewards and rest thereafter., Nor did Civilis form his lines in silence, but called on the place of battle to bear witness to his soldiers' bravery: he reminded the Germans and Batavians that they were standing on the field of glory, that they were trampling underfoot the bones and ashes of Roman legions. "Wherever the Roman turns his eyes," he cried, "captivity, disaster, and dire omens confront him. You must not be alarmed by the adverse result of your battle with the Treviri: there their very victory hampered the Germans, for they dropped their arms and filled their hands with booty: but everything since has gone favourably for us and against the Romans. Every provision has been made that a wise general should make: the fields are flooded, but we know them well; the marshes are fatal to our foes. Before you are the Rhine and the gods of Germany: engage under their divine favour, remembering your wives, parents, and fatherland: this day shall crown the glories of our sires or be counted the deepest disgrace by our descendants!" When the Germans had applauded these words with clashing arms and wild dancing according to their custom, they opened battle with a volley of stones, leaden balls, and other missiles, and since our soldiers did not enter the marsh, the foe tried to provoke them and so lure them on., When they had spent their missiles, as the battle grew hotter, the enemy charged fiercely: their huge stature and their extremely long spears allowed them to wound our men from a distance as they slipped and floundered in the water; at the same time a column of the Bructeri swam across from the dam that, as I have said, had been built out into the Rhine. This caused some confusion and the line of allied infantry was being driven back, when the legions took up the fight, checked the enemy's savage advance, and so equalised the contest. Meantime a Batavian deserter approached Cerialis, promising him a chance to attack the enemy's rear if he would send some cavalry along the edge of the marsh; for there, he said, was solid ground and the Cugerni, who guarded at that spot, were careless. Two troops of horse were despatched with the deserter and succeeded in outflanking the unsuspecting enemy. When this was made evident by a shout, the legions charged in front, and the Germans were routed and fled towards the Rhine. The war would have been ended on that day if the Roman fleet had hurried to follow after them: as it was, not even the cavalry pressed forward, for rain suddenly began to fall and night was close at hand., The next day the Fourteenth legion was sent to Gallus Annius in the upper province: the Tenth, coming from Spain, took its place in the army of Cerialis: Civilis was reinforced by some auxiliaries from the Chauci. Yet he did not dare to defend the capital of the Batavians, but seizing everything that was portable, he burned the rest and retired into the island, for he knew that Cerialis did not have the boats to build a bridge, and that the Roman army could not be got across the river in any other way; moreover, he destroyed the dike that Drusus Germanicus had built, and so by demolishing the barriers that checked it, he let the Rhine pour in full flow into Gaul along an unencumbered channel. Thus the Rhine was virtually drawn off, and the shallow channel that was left between the island and Germany made the lands seem uninterrupted. Tutor also and Classicus crossed the Rhine, with one hundred and thirteen Treviran senators, among whom was Alpinius Montanus, who had been sent into Gaul by Primus Antonius, as we stated above. He was accompanied by his brother, Decimus Alpinius; at the same time the others also were trying to raise reinforcements among these bold and adventurous tribes by appeals to their pity and by gifts., In fact the war was so far from being over that in a single day Civilis attacked the standing camps of the auxiliary foot and horse and of the regular legions as well, at four several points, assailing the Tenth legion at Arenacum, the Second at Batavodurum, and the camp of the auxiliary foot and horse at Grinnes and Vada; he so divided his troops that he and Verax, his nephew, Classicus and Tutor, each led his own force; they did not expect to be successful everywhere, but they trusted that by making many ventures they would be successful in some one point; besides, they thought that Cerialis was not very cautious and that, as he hurried from place to place on receiving various reports, he might be cut off. The force that was to assail the camp of the Tenth legion, thinking that it was a difficult task to storm a legion, cut off some troops that had left their fortifications and were busy felling timber, and succeeded in killing the prefect of the camp, five centurions of the first rank, and a few common soldiers; the rest defended themselves in the fortifications. Meanwhile a force of Germans at Batavodurum tried to destroy a bridge that had been begun there; the indecisive struggle was ended by the coming of night., There was greater danger at Grinnes and Vada. Civilis tried to capture Vada by assault, Classicus, Grinnes; and they could not be checked, for the bravest of our men had fallen, among them Briganticus, captain of a squadron of cavalry, who, as we have said, was loyal to the Romans and hostile to his uncle Civilis. But the arrival of Cerialis with a picked body of horse changed the fortunes of the day and the Germans were driven headlong into the river. As Civilis was trying to rally the fugitives he was recognized and made a target for our weapons, but he abandoned his horse and swam across the river; Verax escaped in the same way; Tutor and Classicus were carried over by some boats that were brought up for the purpose. Not even on this occasion was the Roman fleet at hand; the order had indeed been given, but fear and also the dispersal of the rowers among other military duties prevented its execution. Indeed, Cerialis commonly gave insufficient time for the execution of his orders, being hasty in planning, but brilliant in his successes: good fortune attended him even when he had lacked skill; and the result was that both he and his troops paid too little regard to discipline. A few days later he narrowly avoided being taken prisoner, but he did not escape the attendant disgrace., He had gone to Novaesium and Bonn to inspect the camps that were being built for the legions' winter quarters, and was now returning with the fleet, while his escort straggled and his sentries were careless. The Germans noticed this and planned an ambuscade; they selected a night black with clouds, and slipping down-stream got within the camp without opposition. Their onslaught was helped at first by cunning, for they cut the tent ropes and massacred the soldiers as they lay buried beneath their own shelters. Another force put the fleet into confusion, throwing grappling-irons on board and dragging the boats away; while they acted in silence at first to avoid attracting attention, after the slaughter had begun they endeavoured to increase the panic by their shouts. Roused by their wounds the Romans looked for their arms and ran up and down the streets of the camp; few were properly equipped, most with their garments wrapped around their arms and their swords drawn. Their general, half-asleep and almost naked, was saved only by the enemy's mistake; for the Germans dragged away his flagship, which was distinguished by a standard, thinking that he was there. But Cerialis had spent the night elsewhere, as many believe, on account of an intrigue with Claudia Sacrata, a Ubian woman. The sentries tried to use the scandalous behaviour of their general to shield their own fault, claiming that they had been ordered to keep quiet that his rest might not be disturbed; that was the reason that trumpet-call and the challenges had been omitted, and so they had dropped to sleep themselves. The enemy sailed off in broad daylight on the ships that they had captured; the flagship they took up the Lippe as a gift to Veleda., Civilis was now seized with a desire to make a naval demonstration; he therefore manned all the biremes and all the ships that had but a single bank of oars; to this fleet he added a vast number of boats, [putting in each] thirty or forty men, the ordinary complement of a Liburnian cruiser; and at the same time the boats that he had captured were fitted with particoloured plaids for sails, which made a fine show and helped their movement. The place chosen for the display was a small sea, so to speak, formed at the point where the mouth of the Maas discharges the water of the Rhine into the ocean. Now his purpose in marshalling this fleet, apart from the native vanity of a Batavian, was to frighten away the convoys of supplies that were coming from Gaul. Cerialis, more surprised than frightened by this action of Civilis, drew up his fleet, which, although inferior in numbers, was superior in having more experienced rowers, more skilful pilots, and larger ships. His vessels were helped by the current, his opponents enjoyed a favourable wind; so they sailed past each other and separated, after trying some shots with light missiles. Civilis dared attempt nothing further, but withdrew across the Rhine; Cerialis devastated the island of the Batavians in relentless fashion, but, adopting a familiar device of generals, he left untouched the farms and buildings of Civilis. In the meantime the turn of autumn and the frequent equinoctial rains that followed caused the river to overflow and made the low marshy island look like a swamp. Neither fleet nor supplies were on hand, and the Roman camp, being situated on flat ground, began to be washed away by the current., That the legions could then have been crushed, and that the Germans wished to do so but were craftily dissuaded by him, were claims afterwards made by Civilis; and in fact his claim seems not far from the truth, since his surrender followed a few days later. For while Cerialis by secret messengers was holding out to the Batavians the prospect of peace and to Civilis of pardon, he was also advising Veleda and her relatives to change the fortunes of a war, which repeated disasters had shown to be adverse to them, by rendering a timely service to the Roman people: he reminded them that the Treviri had been cut to pieces, the Ubii had returned to their allegiance, and the Batavians had lost their native land; they had gained nothing from their friendship with Civilis but wounds, banishment, and grief. An exile and homeless he would be only a burden to any who harboured him, and they had already done wrong enough in crossing the Rhine so many times. If they transgressed further, the wrong and guilt would be theirs, but vengeance and the favour of heaven would belong to the Romans., These promises were mingled with threats; and when the fidelity of the tribes across the Rhine had been shaken, debates began among the Batavians as well: "We must not extend our ruin further; no single nation can avert the enslavement of the whole world. What have we accomplished by destroying legions with fire and sword except to cause more legions and stronger forces to be brought up? If we have fought for Vespasian, Vespasian is now master of the world; if we are challenging the whole Roman people in arms, we must recognize what a trifling part of mankind we Batavians are. Look at the Raetians, the Noricans, and consider the burdens Rome's other allies bear: we are not required to pay tribute, but only to furnish valour and men. This is a condition next to freedom; and if we are to choose our masters, we can more honourably bear the rule of Roman emperors than of German women." So the common people; the chiefs spoke more violently: "We have been drawn into arms by the madness of Civilis; he wished to avert his own misfortunes by the ruin of his country. The gods were hostile to the Batavians on the day when we besieged the legions, murdered their commanders, and began this war that was a necessity only to Civilis, but to us fatal. There is nothing left us, unless we begin to come to our senses and show our repentance by punishing the guilty individual.", Civilis was not unaware of this change of feeling and he decided to anticipate it, not only because he was weary of suffering, but also for the hope of life, which often breaks down high courage. When he asked for a conference, the bridge over the Nabalia was cut in two and the leaders advanced to the broken ends; then Civilis began thus: "If I were defending myself before a legate of Vitellius, my acts would deserve no pardon nor my words any credence; there was nothing but hatred between him and me — he began the quarrel, I increased it; toward Vespasian my respect is of long standing, and when he was still a private citizen we were called friends. Primus Antonius knew this when he sent me a letter calling me to arms to keep the legions of Germany and the young men of Gaul from crossing the Alps. What Antonius advised by letter, Hordeonius urged in person; I have begun the same war in Germany that Mucianus began in Syria, Aponius in Moesia, Flavianus in Pannonia." . . .


nan Fortune was already, in an opposite quarter of the world, founding and making ready for a new dynasty, which from its varying destinies brought to the state joy or misery, to the emperors themselves success or doom. Titus Vespasianus had been dispatched by his father from Judea while Galba was still alive. The reason given out for his journey was a desire to pay his respects to the emperor, and the fact that Titus was now old enough to begin his political career. But the common people, who are always ready to invent, had spread the report that he had been summoned to Rome to be adopted. This gossip was based on the emperor's age and childlessness, and was due also to the popular passion for designating many successors until one is chosen. The report gained a readier hearing from the nature of Titus himself, which was equal to the highest fortune, from his personal beauty and a certain majesty which he possessed, as well as from Vespasian's good fortune, from prophetic oracles, and even from chance occurrences which, amid the general credulity, were regarded as omens. When Titus received certain information with regard to Galba's death he was at Corinth, a city of Achaia, and met men there who positively declared that Vitellius had taken up arms and begun war; in his anxiety he called a few of his friends and reviewed fully the two possible courses of action: if he should go on to Rome, he would enjoy no gratitude for an act of courtesy intended for another emperor, and he would be a hostage in the hands of either Vitellius or Otho; on the other hand, if he returned to his father, the victor would undoubtedly feel offence; yet, if his father joined the victor's party, while victory was still uncertain, the son would be excused; but if Vespasian should assume the imperial office, his rivals would be concerned with war and have to forget offences., These considerations and others like them made him waver between hope and fear; but hope finally won. Some believed that he turned back because of his passionate longing to see again Queen Berenice; and the young man's heart was not insensible to Berenice, but his feelings towards her proved no obstacle to action. He spent his youth in the delights of self-indulgence, but he showed more restraint in his own reign than in that of his father. So at this time he coasted along the shores of Achaia and Asia, leaving the land on the left, and made for the islands of Rhodes and Cyprus; from Cyprus he struck out boldly for Syria. While he was in Cyprus, he was overtaken by a desire to visit and examine the temple of Paphian Venus, which was famous both among natives and strangers. It may not prove a wearisome digression to discuss briefly the origin of this cult, the temple ritual, and the form under which the goddess is worshipped, for she is not so represented elsewhere., The founder of the temple, according to ancient tradition, was King Aerias. Some, however, say that this was the name of the goddess herself. A more recent tradition reports that the temple was consecrated by Cinyras, and that the goddess herself after she sprang from the sea, was wafted hither; but that the science and method of divination were imported from abroad by the Cilician Tamiras, and so it was agreed that the descendants of both Tamiras and Cinyras should preside over the sacred rites. It is also said that in a later time the foreigners gave up the craft that they had introduced, that the royal family might have some prerogative over foreign stock. Only a descendant of Cinyras is now consulted as priest. Such victims are accepted as the individual vows, but male ones are preferred. The greatest confidence is put in the entrails of kids. Blood may not be shed upon the altar, but offering is made only with prayers and pure fire. The altar is never wet by any rain, although it is in the open air. The representation of the goddess is not in human form, but it is a circular mass that is broader at the base and rises like a turning-post to a small circumference at the top. The reason for this is obscure., After Titus had examined the treasures, the gifts made by kings, and all those other things which the Greeks from their delight in ancient tales attribute to a dim antiquity, he asked the oracle first with regard to his voyage. On learning that his path was open and the sea favourable, he slew many victims and then questioned indirectly about himself. When Sostratus, for such was the priest's name, saw that the entrails were uniformly favourable and that the goddess favoured great undertakings, he made at the moment a brief reply in the usual fashion, but asked for a private interview in which he disclosed the future. Greatly encouraged, Titus sailed on to his father; his arrival brought a great accession of confidence to the provincials and to the troops, who were in a state of anxious uncertainty. Vespasian had almost put an end to the war with the Jews. The siege of Jerusalem, however, remained, a task rendered difficult and arduous by the character of the mountain-citadel and the obstinate superstition of the Jews rather than by any adequate resources which the besieged possessed to withstand the inevitable hardships of a siege. As we have stated above, Vespasian himself had three legions experienced in war. Mucianus was in command of four in a peaceful province, but a spirit of emulation and the glory won by the neighbouring army had banished from his troops all inclination to idleness, and just as dangers and toils had given Vespasian's troops power of resistance, so those of Mucianus had gained vigour from unbroken repose and that love of war which springs from inexperience. Both generals had auxiliary infantry and cavalry, as well as fleets and allied kings; while each possessed a famous name, though a different reputation., Vespasian was energetic in war. He used to march at the head of his troops, select a place for camp, oppose the enemy night and day with wise strategy and, if occasion demanded, with his own hands. His food was whatever chance offered; in his dress and bearing he hardly differed from the common soldier. He would have been quite equal to the generals of old if he had not been avaricious. Mucianus, on the other hand, was eminent for his magnificence and wealth and by the complete superiority of his scale of life to that of a private citizen. He was the readier speaker, experienced in civil administration and in statesmanship. It would have been a rare combination for an emperor if the faults of the two could have been done away with and their virtues only combined in one man. But Mucianus was governor of Syria, Vespasian of Judea. They had quarrelled through jealousy because they governed neighbouring provinces. Finally at Nero's death they had laid aside their hostilities and consulted together, at first through friends as go-betweens; and then Titus, the chief bond of their concord, had ended their dangerous feud by pointing out their common interests; both by his nature and skill he was well calculated to win over even a person of the character of Mucianus. Tribunes, centurions, and the common soldiers were secured for the cause by industry or by licence, by virtues or by pleasures, according to the individual's character., Before Titus arrived, both armies had taken the oath of allegiance to Otho, for news came quickly as usual, while it was a slow and laborious task to set in motion civil war, for which the Orient, after its long period of quiet and peace, was then for the first time preparing. For in former times the most violent civil struggles had been begun in Italy or Gaul with the resources of the West, and Pompey, Cassius, Brutus, and Anthony, all of whom had been followed over-sea by civil strife, had come to no happy ends; and in Syria and Judea the Caesars had been oftener heard of than seen. There was no mutiny on the part of the legions, only some threatening demonstrations against the Parthians which met with varied success. In the last civil struggle, while other provinces had been shaken, in the East peace was undisturbed, and then adhesion to Galba followed. Presently, now the news spread abroad that Otho and Vitellius were proceeding with their impious arms to make spoil of the imperial power, the soldiers began to murmur and examine their own resources, that the rewards of empire might not fall to the rest, to them only the necessity of servitude. They could count at once on seven legions, and they had besides Syria and Judea with the great auxiliary forces that they could furnish; immediately on the one side there was Egypt with two legions, on the other Cappadocia and Pontus and all the garrisons stationed along the Armenian border. Asia and the rest of the provinces were not poor in men of military age and were rich in money. Besides there were all the islands of the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean itself, which was convenient and a source of safety to them in the interval while they were preparing for war., The generals did not fail to notice the ardour of the soldiers, but they decided, while others fought, to await the issue. They knew that the victors and the vanquished in civil war never united in any complete good faith, and that it made no difference whether it was Vitellius or Otho whom Fortune allowed to survive. In prosperity, they reflected, even great generals degenerate; here one of the contestants would perish in the field from the mutiny, sloth, and luxury of the soldiers, as well as from his own faults; the other contestant would meet his doom through success. Therefore Vespasian and Mucianus postponed the war until a more favourable opportunity, having recently agreed to act in concert, while the others had come to an agreement long since: the best were moved by love for the state, many by the attractions of spoil, others by their private embarrassments. So all, both good and bad, were eager for war with equal zeal but for different reasons., About this time Achaia and Asia were terrified by a false rumour of Nero's arrival. The reports with regard to his death had been varied, and therefore many people imagined and believed that he was alive. The forces and attempts of other pretenders we shall tell as we proceed; but at this time, a slave from Pontus or, as others have reported, a freedman from Italy, who was skilled in playing on the cithara and in singing, gained the readier belief in his deceit through these accomplishments and his resemblance to Nero. He recruited some deserters, poor tramps whom he had bribed by great promises, and put to sea. A violent storm drove him to the island of Cythnus, where he called to his standard some soldiers who were returning from the East on leave, or ordered them to be killed if they refused. Then he robbed the merchants, and armed all the ablest-bodied of their slaves. A centurion, Sisenna, who was carrying clasped right hands, the symbol of friendship, to the praetorians in the name of the army in Syria, the pretender approached with various artifices, until Sisenna in alarm and fearing violence secretly left the island and made his escape. Then the alarm spread far and wide. Many came eagerly forward at the famous name, prompted by their desire for a change and their hatred of the present situation. The fame of the pretender was increasing from day to day when a chance shattered it., The provinces of Galatia and Pamphylia had been entrusted by Galba to Calpurnius Asprenas, who had been given as escort two triremes from the fleet at Misenum. With these Calpurnius reached the island of Cythnus, where there were many who tried to win over the captains in Nero's name. The pretender, assuming a look of sorrow and calling on the soldiers, once his own, for protection, begged them to land him in Syria or Egypt. The captains, either hesitating or acting with craft, declared that they must address their soldiers and that they would return after they had prepared the minds of all. But they faithfully reported everything to Asprenas, at whose bidding they captured the pretender's ship and killed him, whoever he was. His body, which was remarkable for its eyes, hair, and grim face, was carried to Asia and from there to Rome., In a state distracted by civil strife and wavering between liberty and licence because of the frequent changes of emperors, even smaller matters caused excitement. Vibius Crispus, whose money, power, and ability caused him to be ranked with the prominent rather than among the good, summoned for trial before the senate Annius Faustus, a knight, who had been an informer under Nero; for the senate had voted recently in the reign of Galba that informers might be brought to trial. This vote of the senate had had various fortunes and had been weak or effective according to the power or poverty of the defendant; yet it still retained some of its terror. Moreover, Crispus had used his own power to the uttermost to ruin the man who had informed against his brother, and had prevailed upon a large part of the senate to demand that Annius should be given over for execution without defence and unheard. But, on the other hand, nothing helped the defendant with other senators so much as the excessive power of his accuser. They voted that time be allowed, the charges published, and that no matter how odious and guilty the defendant might be, yet he must be heard according to precedent. They prevailed at first and the case was put off for a few days. Later Faustus was condemned, but by no means with that unanimity of feeling on the part of the citizens which he had deserved by his infamous character; for they remembered that Crispus had likewise been an informer to his own profit, and they felt displeasure not at the penalty but at the would‑be avenger., In the meantime the war had begun favourably for Otho. At his command the armies had moved from Dalmatia and Pannonia. There were four legions in all; two thousand of each were sent in advance of the main body. The legions proper followed at no long interval. The Seventh had been enrolled by Galba, but the Eleventh, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth were veterans; the last enjoyed great reputation for crushing the revolt in Britain. Nero had added to their fame by selecting them as his best soldiers, so that they had long been loyal towards him and were enthusiastic for Otho. But their power and strength were matched by a self-confidence that made their advance slow. The main line of the legion was preceded by allied cavalry and infantry. There was also a force drawn from Rome itself which was not to be despised, five praetorian cohorts and detachments of cavalry with the First legion. Besides these, there was a disreputable kind of auxiliary force — two thousand gladiators — but it was a means resorted to even by strict generals in civil war. Over these troops Annius Gallus was put in command. He had been sent on with Vestricius Spurinna to seize the banks of the Po, since Otho's first plans had come to naught, for Caecina had already crossed the Alps, whereas Otho had hoped he could be stopped in Gaul. Otho himself was accompanied by a selected bodyguard together with the rest of the praetorian cohorts, as well as by veteran praetorians and a great number of marines. He did not march slowly or disgrace his advance by luxury, but wearing an iron breastplate he preceded the standards on foot, rough, negligent of his person, and the opposite of his reputation., At first fortune smiled upon his undertaking. Since his fleets, which controlled the sea, made him master of the greater part of Italy up to the point where the maritime Alps begin, he had allotted the task of forcing the Alps and attacking the province of Narbonensis to the generals Suedius Clemens, Antonius Novellus, and Aemilius Pacensis. But Pacensis was put in chains by his mutinous soldiers; Antonius Novellus had no authority; and Suedius Clemens used his office to secure popularity, being as reckless toward maintaining discipline as he was eager to fight. It did not seem as if it were Italy and the haunts and homes of their native land that Otho's troops were approaching. They burned, devastated, and looted, as if they were on foreign shores and in an enemy's cities; and their action was the more horrible, for no provision had been made anywhere to oppose their terrifying advance. The fields were filled with workers, the houses open. The owners of estates who hurried to meet them with their wives and children, in the security which peace warrants, were overwhelmed by the horrors of war. At this time the Maritime Alps were governed by the procurator Marius Maturus. Summoning to arms the people, among whom there is no lack of vigorous men, he proposed to keep Otho's troops from entering his province; but the mountaineers were cut to pieces and scattered at the first onset, as was natural with men who had been hastily collected and were not accustomed to a military camp or a regular leader, and so saw no glory in victory and no disgrace in flight., Provoked by this battle, Otho's troops vented their rage on the town of Albintimilium, for on the field of battle they had gained no booty, since the rustics were poor and their arms of no value; nor had they been able to make captives, since the people were fleet of foot and familiar with the locality. But the invaders satisfied their greed with the misfortunes of the innocent. The horror of their action was aggravated by the glorious example of a woman of Liguria, who had hidden her son. Since the soldiers believed that she had concealed her son; she pointed to her womb, answering, "Here is his hiding-place." Thereafter neither terrors nor death itself made her falter or change her noble reply., Meanwhile panic-stricken messengers brought news to Fabius Valens that Otho's fleet was threatening the province of Gallia Narbonensis, which had sworn allegiance to Vitellius; envoys from the colonies also came, asking help. He therefore despatched two cohorts of Tungrian infantry, four squadrons of cavalry, and the whole detachment of the cavalry of the Treviri with Julius Classicus as commander. A part of these troops were kept in the colony of Forum Julii to prevent Otho's fleet from making a hasty descent on an unprotected coast, as it might do if all their forces were sent by an inland road. Twelve squadrons of cavalry and picked infantry advanced to meet the enemy. Their numbers were reinforced by a cohort of Ligurians, a local auxiliary force long existing, and by five hundred Pannonians not yet formally enrolled. The battle was begun without delay. But Otho's line was so drawn up that part of the marines with peasants in their ranks stood on the higher ground of the hills near the sea. The praetorians filled all the level ground between the hills and the shore, while on the sea itself, the fleet moved close to the shore; cleared for action, facing the land, it offered a threatening front. The Vitellians, who were less powerful in infantry but strong in cavalry, placed their Alpine troops on the neighbouring heights, and ranged their infantry in close ranks behind the cavalry. The squadrons of the Treviri charged the enemy without due caution, for they were received in front by veteran troops and at the same time were hard pressed on the flank by showers of stones thrown by a company of peasants who were skilled in hurling. These peasants, being distributed among the regular soldiers, showed, whether brave or cowardly, the same daring when victorious. The consternation of the Vitellians was increased by the alarm caused by the fleet which attacked their rear while they were in action. So they were shut in on all sides, and their entire force would have been wiped out if the obscurity of night had not checked the victorious army and given protection to the fugitives., Yet the Vitellians, though defeated, did not rest. They brought up auxiliary forces and attacked the enemy, who thought themselves secure and were less on their guard because of their success. The Vitellians cut down their opponents' pickets, broke into their camp, and caused alarm on the ships, until Otho's troops, as their fear gradually subsided, found defence on a neighbouring hill which they seized, and from which they presently assailed the Vitellians. Then there was terrible slaughter, and the prefects of the Tungrian infantry were overwhelmed by a shower of weapons after maintaining their line unbroken for a long time. Even Otho's troops did not find their victory a bloodless one, for when some of their number followed their enemy without due caution the Vitellian cavalry wheeled and surrounded them. Finally, as if they had completed an armistice to the effect that neither the fleet on the one side nor the cavalry on the other should cause any sudden panic, the Vitellians withdrew to Antipolis, a town of Narbonese Gaul, while Otho's troops retired to Albingaunum in the interior of Liguria., Corsica, Sardinia, and the other islands in the neighbouring sea were kept faithful to Otho's side by the report that his fleet was victorious. But Corsica was almost brought to disaster by the rash action of Decumus Pacarius, the procurator, an action which would have contributed nothing to the sum total in so great a war, and which was fatal to Decumus himself. For, hating Otho, he decided to use the strength of Corsica to help Vitellius — an assistance of no value even if he had succeeded. Accordingly he summoned the leading men of the island and disclosed his pupil when Claudius Pyrrichus, commander of the Liburnian ships there, and Quintius Certus, a Roman knight, dared to oppose him, he ordered them to be killed. This execution terrified those who were present; and along with them the uninstructed populace, sharing in its ignorance the fears of others, swore allegiance to Vitellius. But when Pacarius began to raise a levy and put the exhausting burdens of military service on undisciplined men, disgusted with their unfamiliar labour, they thought of their own weakness; they realized that their land was an island and that Germany and the strength of its legions were far away, while even those who were protected by auxiliary infantry and cavalry had suffered rapine and robbery from the fleet. They suddenly repented their action, but yet did not resort to open violence; they selected a fitting time for treachery. When the attendants of Pacarius had left him, they killed him in his bath, naked and helpless. They slaughtered his attendants also. The murderers themselves carried the heads of the slain to Otho, as if they were the heads of enemies. Yet Otho did not reward them or Vitellius punish them, lost as they were in such a medley of foul acts and greater crimes., The road into Italy had already been opened and the war transferred there by Silius's cavalry, as we have said above. Although no one favoured Otho there, this success was not due to the preference of the people for Vitellius; but long peace had broken their spirits, so that they were ready for any kind of servitude, an easy prey to the first comer and careless as to who had the better cause. The richest district of Italy, all the plains and cities between the Po and the Alps, were now in the possession of the forces of Vitellius; for the auxiliary infantry which Caecina had sent on in advance had already arrived. A company of Pannonian infantry was captured at Cremona; a hundred horsemen and a thousand marines were intercepted between Placentia and Ticinum. Encouraged by this success, the troops of Vitellius were no longer checked by the banks of a river. On the contrary the Po itself roused to fury the Batavians and those from beyond the Rhine; they suddenly crossed the stream by Placentia, captured some scouts, and so terrified the rest that, in their alarm, they spread the false report that Caecina's whole army was close at hand., Spurinna (for he was the commander at Placentia) was sure that Caecina had not yet come and had decided, in case he were approaching, to keep his soldiers within the fortifications and not to oppose to a veteran army three praetorian cohorts, a thousand reservists and a few cavalry. But the soldiers were not to be restrained, and in their ignorance of war they seized the standards and colours and rushed out. When their commander tried to restrain them, they threatened him with their weapons and scorned the centurions and tribunes. More than that, they kept shouting that Otho was being betrayed and that Caecina had been sent for. Spurinna joined the folly that others started, at first under compulsion, later pretending that it was his wish, for he desired to have his advice possess greater weight in case the mutiny subsided., After the Po was in sight and night was at hand, Spurinna decided to entrench camp. The work involved was strange to the town troops and broke their spirit. Then all the older soldiers began to blame their own credulity and to point out their dangerous and critical situation if Caecina with his army should surround so few cohorts in the open country. Presently throughout the camp more temperate speech was heard, while the centurions and tribunes made their way among the common soldiers and praised the foresight of their general for selecting as a strong base of operations a colony which possessed great natural strength and resources. In the end Spurinna himself, not so much reproving their faults as showing the reasons for his action, left some scouts and led the rest back to Placentia. They were now less mutinous and more ready to accept orders. The walls of the town were strengthened, battlements added, towers built higher, arms were provided and prepared, and steps were taken to secure good discipline and a ready obedience, which were the only things that side lacked, for there was no reason to be dissatisfied with the soldiers' bravery., But Caecina seemed to have left behind the Alps his cruelty and licence, and now advanced through Italy in well-disciplined order. His manner of dress the towns and colonies interpreted as a mark of haughtiness, because he addressed civilians wearing a parti-coloured cloak and breeches. They seemed to feel offence and annoyance over the fact that his wife Salonina also rode a fine horse with purple trappings, though it did no one any harm. But they were prompted by that inveterate trait of human nature, which makes men look with unfavourable eyes upon the recent good fortune of others and to demand moderation from none more than from those whom they have recently seen their equals. Caecina, having crossed to Po, tried to break down the loyalty of Otho's followers by a conference and promises, and was himself assailed by the same devices. Finally, when in vain and empty phrases they had bandied back and forth the words "peace and concord," he turned his purpose and thoughts to storming Placentia with terrific force, well aware that the success he made in the beginning of the war would determine his reputation thereafter., The first day was spent in a furious onslaught rather than in skilful attacks appropriate to a veteran army. The troops, heavy with food and wine, came under the walls without protection and without caution. During the struggle the handsome amphitheatre, which was situated outside the walls, was burned, being set on fire either by the besiegers as they threw firebrands, hot bullets, and burning missiles against the besieged, or by the besieged themselves as they directed their return fire. The common people of the town, being given to suspicion, believed that inflammable material had been treacherously brought into the amphitheatre by some persons from the neighbouring colonies, who looked on it with envy and jealousy, since no other building in Italy was so large. However it happened, the loss was regarded as slight, so long as they feared more awful disasters; but when a sense of security returned, they grieved as if they could have suffered nothing worse. Nevertheless Caecina was repulsed with great loss to his troops, and the night was spent in the preparation of siege-works. The Vitellians made ready mantlets, fascines, and sheds to undermine the walls and protect the assailants. Otho's followers prepared stakes and huge masses of stones and lead and bronze to break through and overwhelm the enemy. On both sides was a feeling of shame; on both an ambition for glory. Different exhortations were heard: one side exalted the strength of the legions and the army from Germany, while the other praised the high renown of the town soldiery and the praetorian cohorts. The Vitellians assailed their opponents as lazy and indolent, soldiers corrupted by the circus and the theatre; those within the town accounted the Vitellians as foreigners and barbarians. At the same time, while they thus lauded or blamed Otho and Vitellius, their mutual insults were more productive of enthusiasm than their praise., Almost before dawn the walls were filled with defenders, the plains all agleam with armed men. The legionary forces in close array, auxiliaries in open order, assailed the higher parts of the walls with arrows or stones and attacked at close quarters the parts of the walls that were neglected or weak from age. Otho's soldiers poured a shower of javelins from above with more deliberate and certain aim upon the German infantry who approached with little caution, singing their wild songs and brandishing their shields above their shoulders, while their bodies, according to a native custom, were unprotected. The legionary soldiers, defended by mantlets and fascines, undermined the walls, built an earthwork, and assailed the gates, while the praetorians on their side rolled down upon them millstones of great weight, arranged for the purpose, which fell with a mighty crash. Many of the assailants under the walls were thus crushed, many were pierced and bleeding or mangled; since their panic increased their demoralization, and the weapons rained upon them more fiercely from the walls, they began to withdraw, thus injuring the prestige of their side. Caecina, however, prompted by shame at his rash attempt to carry the town by storm and desiring to avoid appearing ridiculous and useless by remaining in the same camp, crossed the Po again and hurried to attack Cremona. As he was leaving, Turullius Cerialis, with a large number of marines, and Julius Briganticus, with a few horsemen, surrendered to him. Briganticus, a Batavian by birth, was commander of a squadron of cavalry; Cerialis was a centurion of first rank and no stranger to Caecina, for he had served in Germany., When Spurinna learned of the enemy's route, he informed Annius Gallus of everything that had happened, of the defence of Placentia, and of Caecina's purpose. Gallus was at the time bringing the First legion to help Placentia, for he feared that the few cohorts there might not be able to withstand a long siege and the force of the German army. When the news came that Caecina had been repulsed and was marching on Cremona, he had difficulty in restraining his legion which, in its enthusiasm for battle, had reached the point of mutiny, but he succeeded in stopping them at Bedriacum. This is a village which lies between Verona and Cremona, and two Roman disasters have given it an unhappy celebrity. During these same days, Martius Macer had had a successful engagement not far from Cremona; for by a prompt decision he had transferred gladiators to the opposite bank of the Po, and suddenly hurled them at the enemy. This had thrown the auxiliaries of Vitellius into confusion and, while most fled to Cremona, those who resisted were cut down. But Macer checked the enthusiastic advance of his victorious troops, prompted by fear that the enemy might be reinforced and change the fortune of battle. This roused suspicion in the minds of Otho's troops, who put a bad construction upon every act of their leaders. Blustering in speech to match their cowardice at heart, they vied with one another in bringing various charges against Annius Gallus and Suetonius Paulinus and Marius Celsus, for Otho had appointed the latter two also as generals. The murderers of Galba were the most ardent promoters of mutiny and discord, for, driven mad by guilt and fear, they sought to cause utter confusion, now by openly seditious expressions, now by secret letters to Otho, who, between his readiness to trust the meanest and his fear of honest men, was in a state of trepidation, hesitating in prosperity and yet showing himself the better man in adversity. Therefore he sent for his brother Titianus and appointed him to the chief command., In the meantime the generals Paulinus and Celsus had met with brilliant success. Caecina was distressed by the failure of all his efforts and by the waning reputation of his army. Driven from Placentia, he had lately had his auxiliaries cut to pieces, and, even when his scouts engaged in skirmishes which were frequent but not worth recording, he was worsted. Therefore, as Fabius Valens was approaching, he feared that all the honour in the campaign would fall to him, and hurried to recover his reputation with more impetuosity than wisdom. Twelve miles from Cremona, at a place called "The Castors," he concealed the bravest of his auxiliary troops in some woods which overhung the road. His cavalry he ordered to advance and provoke battle, then to feign fright and draw the enemy into a hasty pursuit until the troops in ambuscade could assail them. This plan was betrayed to Otho's generals, and Paulinus took command of the foot, Celsus of the horse; they stationed a detachment of the Thirteenth legion, four auxiliary cohorts of infantry, and five hundred auxiliary cavalry on the left flank; the causeway three praetorian cohorts occupied in deep formation; on the right front the First legion advanced with two cohorts of auxiliary infantry and five hundred cavalry. In addition to these they were accompanied by a thousand praetorian and auxiliary horse to give them additional weight if victorious, or to act as a reserve if they were in difficulties., Before the lines engaged the Vitellians fled; but Celsus, aware of the tricky stratagem, held his men back. The Vitellians rashly left their ambuscade, while Celsus gradually withdrew. They pursued too far and themselves fell into a trap; for the auxiliary infantry hemmed them in on the flanks, the legions opposed them in front, and their rear the cavalry cut off by a sudden manoeuvre. Suetonius Paulinus did not at once give his infantry the signal to engage, for he was naturally inclined to delay, and a man who preferred cautious and well-reasoned plans to chance success. So he kept issuing orders to fill up the ditches, clear the fields, and extend the line, thinking that it was soon enough to begin to conquer when they had made provision against defeat. This delay gave the Vitellians time to retreat into some vineyards which were obstructed by the intertwining vines. There was a small wood also near at hand, from which they dared to issue again and killed the boldest of the praetorian horse. Prince Epiphanes was wounded as he was enthusiastically cheering the soldiers on for Otho., Then Otho's soldiers charged; they crushed the enemy's line and routed also those who were coming to their assistance. For Caecina had not brought up his cohorts of auxiliary infantry all at once, but one by one, an action which increased the confusion while they were engaged, inasmuch as the bodies of troops which were thus scattered and nowhere strong were swept away by the panic of the fugitives. Even in the camp the soldiers mutinied because they were not all taken out together. They threw into chains Julius Gratus, the prefect of the camp, on the charge that he was having treacherous dealings with his brother who was serving under Otho, while Otho's troops had put that same brother, the tribune Julius Fronto, into fetters on the same charge. But there was universal panic both among the troops who were fleeing and those who were advancing, in the lines and in front of the camp, so that on both sides it was commonly said that Caecina could have been annihilated with his whole force if Suetonius Paulinus had not given the signal to retire. Paulinus offered as excuse that he had been afraid of the effect of such great additional effort and the long march, lest the soldiers of Vitellius, fresh from camp, should attack his weary forces, and then, when they were demoralized, they should have no place of retreat. A few approved of the general's plan, but it caused adverse comment among the mass of the soldiers., Their disaster did not so much drive the Vitellians into a panic as bring them back to a state of obedience. This was true both among the troops with Caecina, who blamed the soldiers, saying that they were readier for mutiny than for battle; and likewise among the forces under Fabius Valens, who had now reached Ticinum. They gave up their scorn of their opponents, and, prompted by a desire to recover their former reputation, began to obey their commander with more respect and regularity. A serious mutiny had broken out among them on another occasion, the history of which I shall now trace from an early point, since before I could not properly interrupt my account of Caecina's operations. I have already related how the Batavian cohorts that had withdrawn from the Fourteenth legion in the uprising against Nero, on hearing of the revolt of Vitellius while they were on their way to Britain, had joined Fabius Valens in the country of the Lingones. These cohorts then began to be insolent, going up to the quarters of each legion and boasting that it was they who had checked the regulars of the Fourteenth legion, they who had taken Italy away from Nero, and that in their hands lay the whole fortune of the war. Such action was insulting to the legionaries, bitterly offensive to the commander; discipline was ruined by quarrels and brawls; finally their insolence began to make Valens suspect even their loyalty., So when news came that the squadron of Treviran cavalry and the Tungrian foot had been defeated by Otho's fleet, and that the province of Gallia Narbonensis was blockaded, Valens, prompted by his desire to protect the allies and, like a wise commander, to scatter the auxiliary cohorts which were now mutinous and which, if united, would prove too strong, ordered a part of the Batavians to march to the aid of the province. When the report of this action became common knowledge, the allied troops were dissatisfied, the legionaries angry. They declared that they were losing the help of their bravest troops; that it looked as if the Batavians, veterans in so many victorious campaigns, were being withdrawn from the line after the enemy was in sight. If the province was of more account than Rome and the safety of the empire, then all ought to follow thither; but if the main support of victory depended on Italy, the strongest limbs must not be torn, as it were, from the body of the army., While the soldiers were thus savagely criticizing his action, Valens sent his lictors among them and tried to check the mutiny. Thereupon the troops attacked Valens himself, stoned him, and pursued him when he fled. Declaring that he was concealing the spoils of the Gallic provinces and the gold taken from the people of Vienne, the rewards of their own toil, they began to ransack his baggage and explore the walls of his quarters and even the ground with their spears and javelins. Valens, disguised in a slave's clothes, hid in the quarters of a cavalry officer. Then, as the mutiny began gradually to lose its force, Alfenus Varus, prefect of the camp, helped the situation by the device of forbidding the centurions to make the rounds of the pickets and of omitting the usual trumpet call to summon the soldiers to their military duties. The result was that all were amazed, they began to look at one another in perplexity, frightened by the simple fact that no one issued orders. In silence and submission, finally with prayers and tears, they begged forgiveness. When Valens appeared in sorry plight and weeping, but unexpectedly safe, there came joy, pity, and even popularity. In their revulsion from anxiety to delight — mobs are always extravagant in both directions — they praised and congratulated him, surrounded him with the eagles and colours, and carried him to the tribunal. Valens showed a wise moderation: he did not demand the punishment of any man; at the same time, that an assumption of ignorance might not arouse suspicion, he blamed a few severely. He was well aware that in civil wars the soldiers have more liberty than the leaders., While the soldiers were fortifying their camp at Ticinum, word of Caecina's defeat arrived; the troops almost mutinied again, for they suspected that their absence from the battle was due to treachery and delay on the part of Valens. They refused to rest; they would not wait for their general; they advanced before the standards, and spurred on the standard-bearers; and they quickly marched and joined Caecina. Valens did not enjoy a good reputation with Caecina's troops; they complained that in spite of their great inferiority in numbers Valens had exposed them to an enemy whose strength was unimpaired, and at the same time, to excuse themselves, they praised and flattered the strength of the troops that joined them, for they did not wish these to despise them as defeated and cowardly soldiers. Moreover, although Valens had the larger army, in fact almost twice as many legionaries and auxiliaries, the troops were inclined to favour Caecina, not only for his kindness of heart, which he was thought to display more readily than Valens, but also because of his vigorous youth, his tall person, and a certain unwarranted popularity. This caused rivalry between the generals. Caecina made sport of Valens as a shameful and disgraceful character; Valens ridiculed Caecina as a conceited and vain person. Yet they laid aside their hatred and devoted themselves to the common interest; in many communications, sacrificing all hope of pardon, they heaped insults on Otho, while the generals of Otho's party refrained from using the abundant material they had at hand for attacking Vitellius., In fact, before these two met their deaths, in which Otho won a glorious reputation while Vitellius gained infamy, the indolent pleasures of Vitellius were less feared than the fiery passions of Otho. Moreover the murder of Galba had made men stand in terror of Otho and hate him; but no one blamed Vitellius for beginning the war. The sensuality and gluttony of Vitellius were regarded as disgracing him alone; Otho's luxury, cruelty and daring seemed more dangerous to the state. After Caecina and Valens had joined forces, the Vitellians no longer hesitated to engage with all their forces. Otho, however, took counsel as to whether it was better to protract the war or to try his fortune now., Then Suetonius Paulinus, who was regarded as the most skilful general of the time, thought it consonant with his reputation to express his views with regard to the whole conduct of the war, maintaining that the enemy's advantage lay in haste, their own in delay. He spoke to this effect; "The whole army of Vitellius has now arrived, and there are no strong reserves behind them, for the Gallic provinces are growing reckless, and it would be unwise to abandon the bank of the Rhine when so many hostile tribes are ready to rush across it. The troops in Britain are kept away by their enemies' assaults and by the sea; the Spanish provinces have no forces to spare; Gallia Narbonensis has been badly frightened by the attacks of our fleet and by defeat; Italy north of the Po, shut in by the Alps, can look to no relief by sea, and in fact has been devastated by the mere passage of an army. Our opponents have no supplies anywhere for their troops, and they cannot maintain their forces without supplies; then the Germans, who are the fiercest warriors in their army, if the war be protracted into summer, will soon lose their strength and be unable to endure the change of country and climate. Many wars, formidable in their first onset, have shrunk to nothing through the tedium caused by inaction. On the other hand, our own resources are rich and certain: Pannonia, Moesia, Dalmatia and the East are with us; their armies are undiminished; we have also Italy and Rome, the capital of the empire, the Senate and the People — names never insignificant, even if they be sometimes obscured. We have also on our side public and private resources and an enormous amount of money, which in time of civil strife is more powerful than the sword. Physically our soldiers are inured to Italy, or, at least, to heat. The Po is our defence; our cities are well protected by their garrisons and walls, and we have learned from the defence of Placentia that none will surrender to the foe. Your policy therefore is to prolong the war. In a few days the Fourteenth legion itself, a force of great renown, will be here with troops from Moesia besides; then you may again consider the question, and if we decide to fight we shall engage with increased strength.", Marius Celsus supported the opinion of Paulinus. Annius Gallus did likewise; he had been incapacitated a few days before by a fall from his horse, but a delegation which had been sent to consult him reported back his views. Otho was inclined to fight. His brother Titianus and the praetorian prefect, Proculus, impatient as they were through inexperience, declared that fortune, the gods, and Otho's good genius favoured his policy and would favour its execution; in fact they had taken refuge in flattery to prevent anyone from daring to oppose their views. When they had decided on an engagement, they debated whether it was better for the emperor to take part in the battle in person or to withdraw. Paulinus and Celsus now offered no opposition for fear that they might seem to expose the emperor to danger; so the same councillors urged on him the baser course and persuaded him to withdraw to Brixellum and there, safe from the risks of battle, to reserve himself for the supreme control of the empire. This day first brought doom to Otho's side, for with him went a strong force of praetorians, of his bodyguard, and of horse, and the spirit of those who remained was broken; they suspected their generals; and Otho, in whom alone the troops had confidence, while he trusted no one but his soldiers, had left the authority of his generals in doubt., None of these facts escaped the knowledge of the Vitellians, for there were many desertions, as is always the case in civil wars; and spies, in their anxiety to inquire into the purposes of the other side, failed to conceal their own. Caecina and Valens quietly watched for their enemy's imprudence to end in ruin, and, employing a common substitute for wisdom, waited to profit by their opponents' folly. They began a bridge and made a feint of crossing the Po in the face of a band of gladiators; they also wished to keep their own men from spending their time in idleness. They arranged some boats at equal intervals, heading upstream, and fastened them together with strong beams at prow and stern. They also cast out anchors to make the bridges more secure; the cables they did not draw taut, but let them hang loose, so that when the river rose the line of boats was lifted without being disturbed. At the end of the bridge a tower was built and raised aloft on the last boat, that they might repulse the enemy by artillery and machines. Otho's troops had built a tower on the opposite bank and kept shooting stones and firebrands at the Vitellians., In the middle of the river was an island, which the gladiators were trying to reach in boats, but the Germans swam across and anticipated them. When a considerable number of Germans had crossed, Macer filled some light Liburnian vessels and attacked them with the bravest of his gladiators. But gladiators have not the same steadfast courage in battle as regular soldiers, and now in their unsteady boats they could not shoot so accurately as the Germans, who had firm footing on the shore; and when the gladiators in their fright began to move about in confusion so that rowers and fighters were commingled and got in another's way, the Germans actually jumped into the shallow water, held back the boats, and boarded them, or sank them with their hands. All this went on under the eyes of both armies, and the keener the delight it gave the Vitellians, the greater the indignation which Otho's followers felt toward Macer, who was the cause and author of their defeat., In fact the battle ended in flight, after the gladiators had succeeded in dragging off the boats that were left. Then they began to clamour for Macer's life. Wounded as he was by a lance thrown from a distance, they had already attacked him with drawn swords, when he was saved by the intervention of the tribunes and centurions. Shortly after, at Otho's orders, Vestricius Spurinna left a small garrison at Placentia and came with his cohorts of auxiliaries, Then Otho sent Flavius Sabinus, consul designate, to take command of Macer's forces. The soldiers were delighted at the change of generals, but the numerous mutinies had made the generals dislike so troublesome a command., In certain authorities I find it stated that, prompted by their fear of war or by their disgust with both emperors, whose shameful wickedness was becoming better known and more notorious every day, the armies debated whether they should not give up fighting and either consult together themselves or allow the senate to choose an emperor. This, it is urged, was the reason why the generals on Otho's side advised delay, and it is said that Paulinus had great hope of being chosen, since he was the senior ex-consul and by his distinguished service had won fame and reputation in his British campaigns. Now while I can grant that there were a few who silently prayed for peace instead of civil strife, and who wished a good and upright emperor instead of the worst rascals alive, still I do not believe that Paulinus, with his practical good sense, ever hoped for such moderation on the part of the people in that most corrupt age that the very men whose passion for war had destroyed peace would now abandon war from love of peace. Nor can I think that the two armies, whose habits and speech were so different, could ever have come to such an agreement or that the lieutenants and generals, most of whom were well aware of their own extravagance, poverty, and crimes, would ever have endured an emperor unless he was foul with vice and under obligations to them., The old greed for power, long ingrained in mankind, came to full growth and broke bounds as the empire became great. When resources were moderate, equality was easily maintained; but when the world had been subjugated and rival states or kings destroyed, so that men were free to covet wealth without anxiety, then the first quarrels between patricians and plebeians broke out. Now the tribunes made trouble, again the consuls usurped too much power; in the city and forum the first essays at civil war were made. Later Gaius Marius, who had sprung from the dregs of the people, and that most cruel of nobles, Lucius Sulla, defeated liberty with arms and turned it into tyranny. After them came Gnaeus Pompey, no better man than they, but one who concealed his purpose more cleverly; and thenceforth there was never any aim but supreme power. The legions made up of Roman citizens did not lay down their arms at Pharsalia or Philippi; much less were the armies of Otho and Vitellius likely to abandon war voluntarily. The same divine wrath, the same human madness, the same motives to crime drove them on to strife. The fact that these wars were ended by a single blow, so to speak, was due to the worthlessness of the emperors. However, my reflections on the character of antiquity and of modern times have taken me too far afield; now I return to my narrative., When Otho left for Brixellum the nominal command fell to his brother Titianus, but the real authority was in the hands of the prefect Proculus. As for Celsus and Paulinus, none made any use of their practical knowledge; with the empty title of generals they only served to cloak the faults of others. The tribunes and centurions knew not what to do, because the better men were thrust aside and the worst held the power; the soldiers were enthusiastic, but they preferred to criticize their generals' orders rather than to execute them. It was decided to move camp to the fourth milestone from Bedriacum, but the advance was made in such ignorance that, in spite of the fact that it was spring and there were many rivers all about them, the troops were distressed by lack of water. There they discussed the question of a battle, for Otho kept sending dispatches urging them to hurry, while the soldiers kept demanding that the emperor take part in the engagement; many insisted that the troops operating across the Po be called in. It is not so easy to decide what they should have done as it is to be sure that the action they took was the worst possible., Setting out as if they were starting on a campaign and not going into battle, they aimed to reach the confluence of the Po and the Adua, sixteen miles away. Celsus and Paulinus refused to expose their soldiers, weary as they were with their march and weighed down with baggage, to the enemy, who, unencumbered with baggage, after marching hardly four miles, would not lose the opportunity to attack them either while in disorder on the march or while scattered and engaged in fortifying camp. Thereupon Titianus and Proculus, being defeated in council, sought refuge in the imperial authority. And it is true that a Numidian arrived post-haste with imperative commands from Otho, who, sick of delay and too impatient to rest on hope, rebuked his generals for their inaction and ordered them to bring matters to an issue., On the same day, while Caecina was busy with the construction of his bridge, two tribunes of the praetorian cohorts came to him and asked for an interview. Caecina was preparing to hear their proposals and to make counter propositions when suddenly scouts reported that the enemy was upon them. The conversation with the tribunes was broken off, and so it remained uncertain whether they were attempting some plot or treachery, or rather had in mind some honest purpose. Caecina, dismissing the tribunes, rode back into camp, where he found that Fabius Valens had ordered the signal for battle to be given and that the troops were under arms. While the legions were casting lot for positions in the line, the cavalry charged, but, strange to relate, they were kept from being driven back within their entrenchments by an inferior force of Otho's troops only through the courageous action of the Italian legion. This at the point of the sword compelled the beaten cavalry to wheel about and renew the battle. The legions of Vitellius formed in line without disorder, for although the enemy were close by, dense thickets made it impossible to see their arms. On Otho's side the generals were nervous, the soldiers disaffected towards the generals, wagons and camp-followers were mixed in confusion with the troops; moreover, the road, with deep ditches on either side, was narrow even for an army which was advancing quietly. Some of the troops were gathered about their proper standards, others were hunting to find theirs. From every side rose confused shouts of those running to their places or calling their comrades; soldiers rushed to the front or slunk to the rear as courage or fear prompted in each case., The sudden consternation and fright of Otho's men were changed to indifference by an unwarranted joy, for some men were found who spread the false report that the army of Vitellius had deserted him. It was never discovered whether this rumour was spread by Vitellian scouts or whether it started on Otho's side through treachery or by chance. In any case Otho's men lost all enthusiasm for battle and actually cheered their foes; but the Vitellians received their cheers with hostile murmurings, and this made Otho's men fear treachery, for most of them did not know the reason for the cheering. Then the Vitellians charged: their lines were intact; they were superior in strength and in numbers. However, Otho's troops put up a brave resistance in spite of their disordered ranks, their inferior numbers, and their fatigue. The fact that in places the ground was encumbered by trees and vineyards gave the battle many aspects: the troops fought now hand to hand, again at a distance; they charged now in detachments, again in column. On the raised road they struggled at close quarters, pressing with the weight of their bodies behind their shields; they threw no spears, but crashed swords and axes through helmets and breastplates. They could recognize one another, they could be seen by all the rest, and they were fighting to decide the issue of the whole war., In the open plain between the Po and the road two legions happened to engage. On the side of Vitellius was the Twenty-first, also called the Rapax, a legion long renowned; on Otho's was the First Adjutrix which had never been in an engagement before, but which was enthusiastic and eager to win its first success. The First cut down the front ranks of the Twenty-first and captured their eagle; thereupon shame at this loss so fired the Twenty-first that they drove back the First, killed their commander, Orfidius Benignus, and captured many colours and standards. In another part of the field the Fifth charged and routed the Thirteenth legion; the Fourteenth was surrounded by a superior force which attacked it. Otho's generals had long before fled. Caecina and Valens began to strengthen their forces by bringing up reserves; and a new reinforcement came when Varus Alfenus arrived with the Batavians. They had routed the gladiators who had crossed the river in boats, by meeting them with cohorts which cut them down while still in the water. So in the full flush of victory they assailed the enemy's flank., The Othonians' centre was now broken and they fled in disorder, making for Bedriacum. The distance to be covered was vast; the roads were blocked with dead, and so the carnage was greater: for in civil wars captives are not turned to profit. Suetonius Paulinus and Licinius Proculus took different roads and avoided the camp. Vedius Aquila, commander of the Thirteenth legion, was so terrified that he thoughtlessly exposed himself to the angry troops. It was still broad day when he entered camp and was surrounded by a shouting mob of mutinous fugitives. They spared no insult or violence; they greeted him with cries of "deserter" and "traitor," not because of any crime of his own, but, after the habit of mobs, every man imputed to him his own shame. Night assisted Titianus and Celsus, for Annius Gallus had already placed sentinels and got the soldiers under control. By advice, appeals, and commands he had induced the men not to add to the cruelty of their defeat by massacring their own leaders; he urged that whether the end of the war had come or whether they preferred to resume hostilities, their sole resource in defeat lay in concord. The spirit of the rest was broken; but the praetorians angrily declared that they had been defeated by treachery, not by the valour of their foes. "The troops of Vitellius," they maintained, "have not won a bloodless victory; we routed their cavalry, and captured the legion's eagle. Otho and the force with him on the other side of the Po are still left us; the legions from Moesia are on their way hither; a large part of the army is still at Bedriacum. These surely have not been defeated, and, if occasion require, they will consider it more honourable to die in open battle." Such reflections now roused them to exasperation, or again depressed them; in their utter despair they were more often goaded to fury than to fear., But the army of Vitellius halted at the fifth milestone from Bedriacum, for the commanders did not dare to try to carry their opponents' camp by storm on the same day; and at the same time they hoped that Otho's troops would surrender voluntarily; but, although they had set out without their heavy equipment, and with no other purpose than to give battle, their arms and their victory served them as a rampart. The next day the wishes of Otho's troops were clear beyond doubt; even those who had been most determined were inclined to change their views. Accordingly they sent a deputation, and the generals of Vitellius did not long hesitate to grant terms. But the deputation was detained for a time, and this action disturbed those who did not know whether they had secured terms or not; presently, however, the delegates were let go and the gates of the camp were opened. Then vanquished and victors alike burst into tears, cursing, amid their melancholy joy, the fate of civil war. In the same tents some nursed the wounds of brothers, others of relatives. Their hopes of reward were doubtful; but they knew for certainties the bereavements and sorrows that they suffered, and none of them was so free from misfortune as not to mourn some loss. The body of the legate Orfidius was discovered and burned with the usual honours, a few others were buried by their relatives, but the majority of the fallen were left lying on the ground., Otho was waiting for a report of the battle without anxiety and with determined purpose. First there came a distressing rumour; then fugitives from the field showed clearly that the day was lost. But the troops in their zeal did not wait for the emperor to speak; they urged him to keep up his courage, for there were fresh troops left; and they declared that they were ready themselves to dare and suffer anything. Nor was this flattery: they were fired by an almost passionate desire to go into action and raise again the fortunes of their party. The soldiers who were not near him stretched out their hands to him appealingly, those near him clasped his knees. The most zealous of all was Plotius Firmus, the prefect of the praetorian guard, who constantly begged him not to fail an army which was absolutely loyal, and soldiers who had served him so well. He reminded Otho that it called for greater courage to endure adversity than to yield to it; that brave and courageous men press on even against ill fortune to attain their hopes; the timid and cowardly are quickly moved to despair by fear. During these appeals the soldiers cheered or broke into groans as Otho's face showed signs of giving way to their appeals or grew hard. The praetorians, Otho's personal force, were not the only ones who encouraged him. The advance detachments from Moesia declared that the troops which were on their way were just as determined, and they reported that the legions had entered Aquileia, so that no one can doubt that it would have been quite possible to renew this cruel and awful war, with uncertain results for both the victors and the vanquished., Otho himself was opposed to the plan of continuing the war. "To expose such courageous and brave men as you to further dangers," he said, "I reckon too great a price for my life. The greater the hope you offer me, if it were my wish to live, so much the more glorious will be my death. Fortune and I know each other well. Do not reckon up the short duration of my rule; it is all the harder to make a moderate use of a good fortune which you do not expect to enjoy long. Vitellius began civil war; it was he who initiated the armed contest between us for the imperial power; but we shall not contend more than once, for it is in my power to set a precedent for that. I would have posterity thus judge Otho. Vitellius shall enjoy his brother, his wife, and his children; I require neither vengeance nor solace. Others may hold the power longer than I; none shall give it up more bravely. Would you have me suffer so many of Rome's young men, such noble armies, to be again cut down and lost to the state? Let me carry with me the thought of your willingness to die for me; but you must live. Now there must be no more delay; let me not interfere with your safety, or you with my determination. To talk at length about the end is cowardice. Regard as the chief proof of my resolve the fact that I complain of no man. It is for him to blame gods or men who has the wish to live.", After Otho had spoken thus, he addressed all courteously as befitted the age or rank of the individual, and urged them to go quickly and not to incite the victor's wrath by remaining. The young men he persuaded by his authority, the older by his appeals; his face was calm, his words showed no fear; but he checked the unseasonable tears of his friends. He gave orders that boats and carriages should be furnished those who were leaving. Every document or letter which was marked by loyalty towards him or by abuse of Vitellius he destroyed. He distributed money, but sparingly and not as if he were about to die. Then he took pains to console his nephew, Salvius Cocceianus, who was very young, frightened, and sad, praising his dutiful affection, but reproving his fear. He asked him if he thought Vitellius would prove so cruel as not to grant him even such a return as this for saving the whole house. "By my quick end," said he, "I can earn the clemency of the victor. For it is not in the extremity of despair, but while my army is still demanding battle that I have saved the state this last misfortune. I have won enough fame for myself, enough high rank for my descendants. After the Julii, the Claudii, and the Servii, I have been the first to confer the imperial rank on a new family. Therefore face life with a brave heart; never forget or too constantly remember that Otho was your uncle.", After this he sent all away and rested for a time. As he was already pondering in his heart the last cares of life, he was interrupted by a sudden uproar and received word that the soldiers in their dismay had become mutinous and were out of control. In fact they were threatening with death all who wished to depart; they were most violent against Verginius, whom they had shut up in his house and were now besieging. Otho reproved the ringleaders and then returned to his quarters, where he gave himself up to interviews with those who were departing, until all had left unharmed. As evening approached he slaked his thirst with a draught of cold water. Then two daggers were brought him; he tried the points of both and placed one beneath his head. After learning that his friends had gone, he passed a quiet night, and indeed, as is affirmed, he even slept somewhat. At dawn he fell on the steel. At the sound of his dying groans his freedmen and slaves entered, and with them Plotius Firmus, the prefect of the praetorian guard; they found but a single wound. His funeral was hurriedly accomplished. He had earnestly begged that this be done, that his head might not be cut off to be an object of insult. Praetorians bore his body to the pyre, praising him amid their tears and kissing his wound and his hands. Some soldiers slew themselves near his pyre, not because of any fault or from fear, but prompted by a desire to imitate his glorious example and moved by affection for their emperor. Afterwards many of every rank chose this form of death at Bedriacum, Placentia, and in other camps as well. The tomb erected for Otho was modest and therefore likely to endure. So he ended his life in the thirty-seventh year of his age., Otho was born in the municipal town of Ferentum; • his father had held the consulship, his grandfather had been praetor. His mother's family was not the equal of his father's, but still it was respectable. His boyhood and youth were such as we have already described. By two bold deeds, the one most outrageous, the other glorious, he gained with posterity as much fame as evil reputation. While I must hold it inconsistent with the dignity of the work I have undertaken to collect fabulous tales and to delight my readers with fictitious stories, I cannot, however, dare to deny the truth of common tradition. On the day of the battle at Bedriacum, according to the account given by the people of that district, a bird of unusual appearance settled in a much-frequented grove near Regium Lepidum, neither the concourse of people nor the other birds which flew about it frightened it or drove it away, until Otho had committed suicide; then it disappeared from view. And they add that when people reckoned up the time, they found that the beginning and end of this marvel coincided with Otho's death., At his funeral the soldiers' grief and sorrow caused the mutiny to break out afresh, and there was none to check it. The soldiers turned to Verginius and threateningly besought him, now to accept the imperial office, again to act as their envoy to Caecina and Valens. Verginius slipped away by stealth through the rear of his house and so escaped them when they burst in the doors. Rubrius Gallus brought the appeals of the cohorts who had been quartered at Brixellum. They were at once forgiven, and the troops that Flavius Sabinus had commanded made known through him their adhesion to the victor., Although fighting had now ceased at every point, a large part of the senate, which had set out from Rome with Otho and then been left at Mutina, encountered extreme danger. News of the defeat was brought to Mutina; but the soldiers treated the report with scorn, believing it false, and since they thought the senate hostile to Otho, they began to watch the senators' conversation and to put an unfavourable interpretation on their looks and bearing. Finally, resorting to abuse and insults, they looked for an excuse to start a massacre, while in addition the senators were weighed down by the further fear that, now the party of Vitellius was dominant, they might be held to have been slow in accepting the victory. Thus they assembled, frightened and distressed by a double anxiety; none was ready with any plan of his own, but each felt the safer in sharing his guilt with many. The local senate of Mutina added to the distress of the terrified company by offering them arms and money, and with an untimely compliment addressed them as "Conscript Fathers.", There was a remarkable quarrel when Licinius Caecina attacked Marcellus Eprius for making ambiguous proposals. Yet the other senators did not disclose their opinions; but the name of Marcellus was hateful and exposed to odium, because men remembered that he had been an informer; it consequently roused in Caecina, who was a new man, recently enrolled in the senate, a desire to win fame by making enemies of the great. The two were separated, however, by the moderate and wiser senators. They all returned to Bononia to take counsel together again there; and they also hoped for fuller news in the meantime. At Bononia they posted men on the different roads to question every newcomer. One of Otho's freedmen who was asked why he had left, replied that he had Otho's last commands. He also said that Otho was still alive when he left, but that his sole anxiety was for posterity and that he had rejected all the allurements of life. This answer filled the senators with admiration and made them ashamed to question further; and then the hearts of all inclined toward Vitellius., His brother Lucius Vitellius was now sharing their councils and was already offering himself as an object of their flattery, when suddenly Coenus, one of Nero's freedmen, by a bold falsehood succeeded in terrifying them all. He declared that by the arrival of the Fourteenth legion and by its union with the forces from Brixellum, the victors had been crushed and the fortune of the two parties reversed. He had invented this tale to secure by such good news a renewed validity for Otho's passports which were being disregarded. Now Coenus hurried to Rome, where a few days later, at the orders of Vitellius, he paid the penalty due; the senators, however, were in still greater danger, for Otho's soldiers believed that the story was the truth. Their alarm was increased also by the fact that their departure from Mutina and their abandonment of Otho's cause had the appearance of a formal and public act. They no longer met together, but each took thought for his own safety until letters from Fabius Valens did away with their fears. Moreover the laudable character of Otho's death made the news of it spread all the quicker., Yet at Rome there was no disorder. The festival of Ceres was celebrated in the usual manner. When it was announced in the theatre on good authority that Otho was no more and that Flavius Sabinus, the city prefect, had administered to all the soldiers in the city the oath of allegiance to Vitellius, the audience greeted the name of Vitellius with applause. The people, bearing laurel and flowers, carried busts of Galba from temple to temple, and piled garlands high in the form of a burial mound by the Lacus Curtius, which the dying Galba had stained with his blood. The senate at once voted for Vitellius all the honours that had been devised during the long reigns of other emperors; besides they passed votes of praise and gratitude to the troops from Germany and dispatched a delegation to deliver this expression of their joy. Letters from Fabius Valens to the consuls were read, written in quite moderate style; but greater satisfaction was felt at Caecina's modesty in not writing at all., But the distress of Italy was now heavier and more terrible than that inflicted by war. The troops of Vitellius, scattering among the municipalities and colonies, indulged in every kind of robbery, theft, violence and debauchery. Their greed and venality knew no distinction between right and wrong; they respected nothing, whether sacred or profane. There were cases too where, under the disguise of soldiers, men murdered their personal enemies; and the soldiers in their turn, being acquainted with the country, marked out the best-stocked farms and the richest owners for booty or destruction, in case any resistance was made. The generals were subject to their troops and did not dare to forbid them. Caecina was less avaricious, but more eager for popularity; Valens, notorious for his greed and sordid gains, was more inclined to overlook the crimes of others. Italy, whose wealth had long before been exhausted, now found all these troops, foot and horse, all this violence, loss, and suffering, an intolerable burden., In the meantime, Vitellius, quite ignorant of his success, was bringing with him all the remaining forces from Germany, as if he had to face a war whose issue was undecided. He had left only a few veterans in the winter quarters and was now hurrying forward levies in the Gallic provinces to fill up the empty ranks of the legions that were left behind. The duty of guarding the Rhine he assigned to Hordeonius Flaccus. He supplemented his own forces with eight thousand men picked from the army in Britain. After he had advanced a few days, he heard of the success at Bedriacum and learned that at Otho's death the war had collapsed; then he assembled his troops and spoke in the highest praise of his brave army. When his soldiers demanded that he give his freedman Asiaticus the rank of knight, he checked this shameful adulation; but later, prompted by his fickle nature, in the privacy of a dinner he granted that which he had refused in public, and honoured with the golden ring this Asiaticus, a servile, shameful creature, who owed his popularity to his wicked arts., During these days word arrived that both Mauretanias had come over to the side of Vitellius after the imperial governor Albinus had been killed. Lucceius Albinus, who had been appointed governor of Mauretania Caesariensis by Nero, had been charged by Galba with the administration of the province of Tingitana as well, and had forces at his command which were not to be despised. Nineteen cohorts of infantry, five squadrons of cavalry were at his disposal as well as a great number of Mauri, forming a band which robbery and brigandage had trained for war. After the assassination of Galba, Albinus had favoured Otho, and not satisfied with Africa, began preparations to threaten Spain, which is separated from Africa by only a narrow strait. This action frightened Cluvius Rufus, and he ordered the Tenth legion to advance towards the coast as if he planned to transport it across; and he dispatched centurions ahead to win the Mauri to the cause of Vitellius. This was not hard, for the army from Germany enjoyed a great reputation in the provinces; besides, gossip spread the report that Albinus, despising the name of imperial governor, was adopting the insignia of royalty and the name of Juba., The sentiments of the Mauretanians were changed, and this reversal of feeling led to the assassination of the prefect of the cavalry, Asinius Pollio, one of the most devoted friends of Albinus, and of the commanders of the cohorts, Festus and Scipio. Albinus, who was trying to reach Mauretania Caesariensis by sea from Tingitana, was killed as he disembarked; his wife offered herself to the assassins and was slain with him. Vitellius made no investigation of all these acts; however important matters were, he dismissed them after a brief hearing; he was quite unequal to serious business. His army he ordered to advance by land; but he himself sailed down the Arar, distinguished by no imperial show, but rather by the same poverty that he had displayed of old; until finally Junius Blaesus, governor of Gallia Lugudunensis — a man of illustrious family, whose wealth matched his liberal spirit, — surrounded him with all the service that an emperor should have and gave him generous escort, earning dislike by that very act, although the emperor concealed his hatred under servile flattery. At Lugudunum the generals of both sides, the victors and the defeated, awaited him. Vitellius spoke in praise of Valens and Caecina in public assembly and placed them on either side of his own curule chair. Then he ordered the entire army to parade before his infant son, whom he brought out and, wrapping him in a general's cloak, held in his arms; he called him Germanicus, and surrounded him with all the attributes of imperial rank. These excessive honours in prosperity presently became a solace in misfortune., Then the centurions who had been most active in supporting Otho were put to death, an action which more than anything else turned the forces in Illyricum against Vitellius; at the same time the contagion spread to the rest of the legions, who were jealous of the forces from Germany, and they began to think of war. Suetonius Paulinus and Licinius Proculus were kept in anxiety and distress by a long delay, until at last, when admitted to audience, they resorted to a defence which necessity rather than honour dictated: they actually charged themselves with treachery towards Otho, declaring that their own bad faith was responsible for the long march before the battle, for the exhaustion of his forces, for the baggage train becoming involved with the marching troops and the resulting confusion, and finally for many things which were due to mere chance. Vitellius believed in their treachery and acquitted them of the crime of loyalty towards Otho. Salvius Titianus, Otho's brother, was in no danger, being forgiven because of his duty towards his brother and his own incapacity. Marius Celsus did not lose his consulship. But gossip, which was widely believed, gave rise to the charge made later in the senate against Caecilius Simplex to the effect that he had wished to purchase the consulship, even at the cost of the life of Celsus. Vitellius opposed this rumour and later gave Simplex a consulship which cost neither crime nor money. Trachalus was protected against his accusers by Galeria, the wife of Vitellius., While men of high distinction were thus endangered, it raises a blush to record how a certain Mariccus, a common Boian, dared to take a hand in Fortune's game, and, pretending the authority of heaven, to challenge the Roman arms. And this liberator of the Gallic provinces, this god — for he had given himself that honour — after collecting eight thousand men, was already plundering the Aeduan cantons nearest him, when that most important state, with the best of its youth and the cohorts which Vitellius gave, dispersed the fanatic crowd. Mariccus was taken prisoner in the battle. Later, when he was exposed to the beasts and the animals did not rend him, the stupid rabble believed him inviolable, until he was executed before the eyes of Vitellius., No other severe measures were taken against the rebels; there were no further confiscations. The wills of those who fell in Otho's ranks were allowed to stand, and if the soldiers died intestate, the law took its regular course. In fact, if Vitellius had only moderated his luxurious mode of life, there would have been no occasion to fear his avarice. But his passion for elaborate banquets was shameful and insatiate. Dainties to tempt his palate were constantly brought from Rome and all Italy, while the roads from both the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas hummed with hurrying vehicles. The preparation of banquets for him ruined the leading citizens of the communities through which he passed; the communities themselves were devastated; and his soldiers lost their energy and their valour as they became accustomed to pleasure and learned to despise their leader. Vitellius sent a proclamation to Rome in advance of his arrival, deferring the title Augustus and declining the name Caesar, although he rejected none of an emperor's powers. The astrologers were banished from Italy; strict measures were taken to prevent Roman knights from degrading themselves in gladiatorial schools and the arena. Former emperors had driven knights to such actions by money or more often by force; and most municipal towns and colonies were in the habit of rivalling the emperors in bribing the worst of their young men to take up these disgraceful pursuits., But Vitellius was moved to greater arrogance and cruelty by the arrival of his brother and by the cunning approaches of his teachers in the imperial art; he ordered the execution of Dolabella, whose banishment by Otho to the colony of Aquinum we have previously related. Dolabella, on hearing of Otho's death, had entered Rome. For this he was accused before the city-prefect, Flavius Sabinus, by Plancius Varus, an ex-praetor, one of Dolabella's most intimate friends. To the charge of escaping from custody and offering himself as leader to the defeated party Varus added that Dolabella had tampered with the cohort stationed at Ostia, but being unable to present any proofs for his grave charges, he repented of his action and sought pardon for his friend — too late, for the outrage had been done. While Flavius Sabinus was hesitating — for the matter was serious — Triaria, the wife of Lucius Vitellius, violent beyond her sex, frightened Sabinus from any attempt to secure a reputation for clemency at the expense of the emperor. Sabinus was by nature gentle, but ready to change his decision when alarmed, and now being afraid for himself when the danger was another's, and wishing to avoid seeming to have helped him, he precipitated Dolabella's fall., So Vitellius, who not only feared but also hated Dolabella, because Dolabella had married his former wife, Petronia, summoned him by letter, directing him to avoid the crowded Flaminian Road and go to Interamnium, where he ordered that he should be killed. The executioner thought the journey too long; at a tavern on the way he struck Dolabella to the ground and cut his throat, to the great discredit of the new principate, of whose character this was regarded as the first indication. The bold nature of Triaria was made odious by comparison with an example of modesty within her own family, for the Emperor's wife Galeria never took a hand in such horrors, while Sextilia, the mother of the two Vitellii, showed herself a woman of the same high character, an example of ancient ways. Indeed it was said that when she received the first letter from her son, she declared that she had borne a Vitellius, not a Germanicus. And never later was she moved to joy by the allurements of fortune or by popular favour: it was only the misfortunes of her house that she felt., After Vitellius left Lugdunum, he was overtaken by Cluvius Rufus, who had left Spain. Rufus had an air of joy and congratulation, but in his heart he was anxious, for he knew that charges had been laid against him. Hilarus, one of the imperial freedmen, had denounced him, claiming that when Rufus had heard of the elevation of Vitellius and of Otho, he had made an attempt to gain power and possession of the Spanish provinces for himself, and for that reason had not prefixed the name of any emperor to his public documents; moreover, Hilarus interpreted some parts of his public speeches as derogatory to Vitellius and calculated to win popularity for himself. The influence of Cluvius was strong enough to move Vitellius so far as to order the punishment of his own freedman. Cluvius was added to the emperor's train but not deprived of his province of Spain; he continued to govern it from a distance, after the precedent of Lucius Arruntius. But the emperor Tiberius had kept Arruntius with him because he was afraid of him; Vitellius had no fear of Cluvius. Trebellius Maximus did not receive the same honour. He had fled from Britain to escape the resentment of his army; Vettius Bolanus, one of the suite of Vitellius, was sent out in his place., Vitellius found cause for anxiety in the spirit of the defeated legions, which was by no means conquered. Scattered about Italy and mingling with the victorious troops, their talk was constantly hostile; the soldiers of the Fourteenth legion were particularly bold, declaring that they never had been defeated, for in the battle at Bedriacum it was only some veterans who had been beaten; the strength of the legion had not been there at all. Vitellius decided to send them back to Britain, from which Nero had withdrawn them, and in the meantime to have the Batavian cohorts camp with them, because the Batavians had had a difference of long standing with the Fourteenth. Peace did not last long among armed men who hated one another so violently. At Turin a Batavian charged a workman with being a thief, while a legionary defended the workman as his host; thereupon their fellow-soldiers rallied to the support of each and matters soon passed from words to blows. In fact there would have been a bloody battle if two Praetorian cohorts had not taken the side of the soldiers of the Fourteenth and inspired them with courage while they frightened the Batavians. Vitellius directed that the Batavians, as being trustworthy, should join his train, while the Fourteenth was to be conducted over the Graian Alps by a circuitous route to avoid Vienna, for the people of Vienna also gave him alarm. On the night in which the legion set out, the soldiers left fires burning everywhere, and a part of the colony of the Taurini was consumed; but the loss, like most of the misfortunes of war, was obscured by the greater disasters that befell other cities. After the Fourteenth had descended the Alps, the most mutinous were for advancing on Vienna, but they were restrained by the common action of the better soldiers, and the legion was got over to Britain., The next alarm of Vitellius arose from the praetorian cohorts. At first they had been kept apart; later the offer of an honourable discharge was employed to soothe their feelings, and they started to turn their arms over to their tribunes, until the report that Vespasian had begun war became common; then they resumed their service and formed the backbone of the Flavian party. The First legion of marines was sent to Spain to have their savage temper softened by peace and quiet; the Eleventh and Seventh legions were sent back to winter quarters, while the members of the Thirteenth were ordered to build amphitheatres, for Caecina was preparing to exhibit gladiators at Cremona, Valens at Bononia. Vitellius was never so absorbed in serious business that he forgot his pleasures., The conquered party Vitellius had thus succeeded in scattering without an outbreak. But among the victors a mutiny broke out; the mutiny originated in sport; only, the number of the slain aggravated the unpopularity of Vitellius. The emperor was dining at Ticinum, and Verginius was his guest. According to the character of their commanders, legati and tribuni either imitate their strictness or find pleasure in extravagant dinners; and in the same way the soldiers exhibit devotion or licence. In the army of Vitellius complete disorder and drunkenness prevailed — things which belong rather to night revels and bacchanalian routs than to the discipline appropriate to an armed camp. So it happened that two soldiers, one from the Fifth legion and the other a Gallic auxiliary, in sport challenged each other to a wrestling match. When the legionary was thrown and the Gaul began to mock him, the crowd of spectators that had gathered took sides and the legionaries suddenly started to kill the auxiliaries, and in fact two cohorts were wiped out. The remedy for this disturbance was a second riot. A cloud of dust and arms were seen in the distance. A general cry was at once raised that the Fourteenth legion was retracing its steps and coming to fight; but in fact it was the rear-guard, and when they were recognized the general panic ceased. In the meantime the soldiers accused a slave of Verginius who happened to be passing with being an assassin of Vitellius; they rushed to the dinner, demanding that Verginius be put to death. Even Vitellius, who was timid and ready to entertain any suspicion, had no doubt of his innocence. Still it was with difficulty that the troops were kept from insisting on the execution of this ex-consul who had once been their own general. In fact no man was endangered by every riot so often as Verginius. Admiration for him and his reputation continued unimpaired; but the troops hated him, for he had despised their offer., The next day Vitellius first received the delegation from the senate, which he had directed to wait for him here; then he went to the camp and took occasion to praise the loyal devotion of the soldiers. This action made the auxiliaries complain that the legionaries were allowed to enjoy such impunity and to display such impudence. Then, to keep the Batavian cohorts from undertaking some bold deed of vengeance, he sent them back to Germany, for the Fates were already preparing the sources from which both civil and foreign war was to spring. The Gallic auxiliaries were dismissed to their homes. Their number was enormous, for at the very outbreak of the rebellion they had been taken into the army as part of the empty parade of war. Furthermore, that the resources of the empire, which had been impaired by donatives, might be sufficient for the needs of the state, Vitellius ordered that the legionary and auxiliary troops should be reduced and forbade further recruiting, besides offering discharges freely. This policy was destructive to the state and unpopular with the soldiers, for the same tasks were now distributed among fewer men, so that dangers and toil fell more often on the individual. Their strength also was corrupted by luxury in contrast to the ancient discipline and maxims of our forefathers, in whose day valour formed a better foundation for the Roman state than money., Vitellius next turned aside to Cremona, and after witnessing the exhibition of gladiators provided by Caecina, conceived a desire to tread the plains of Bedriacum and to see with his own eyes the traces of his recent victory. It was a revolting and ghastly sight: not forty days had passed since the battle, and on every side were mutilated corpses, severed limbs, rotting bodies of men and horses, the ground soaked with filth and gore, trees overthrown and crops trampled down in appalling devastation. No less barbarous was the sight presented by that part of the road which the people of Cremona strewed with laurel and roses, while they erected altars and slew victims as if they were greeting an eastern king; but their present joy was later the cause of their ruin. Valens and Caecina attended Vitellius and explained the scene of the battle; they showed that at this point the legions had rushed to the attack; there the cavalry had charged; and there the auxiliary forces had surrounded the foe. Tribunes too and prefects, each extolling his own deeds, mingled truth with falsehood or at least with exaggeration of the truth. The common soldiers also with shouts of joy turned from the road, recognized the stretches over which the battle had raged, and looked with wonder on the heaps of arms and the piles of bodies. Some among them were moved to tears and pity by the vicissitudes of fortune on which they gazed. But Vitellius never turned away his eyes or showed horror at the sight of so many citizens deprived of the rites of burial. Indeed he was filled with joy, and, ignorant of his own fate which was so near, he offered sacrifice to the local divinities., Thereafter at Bononia Fabius Valens presented his gladiatorial exhibition for which the equipment had been brought from Rome. As Vitellius drew nearer to the capital, his train exhibited the greater corruption; actors, crowds of eunuchs, and every other kind of creature that belonged to Nero's court mixed with his soldiers. For Vitellius cherished great admiration for Nero himself, whom he had been in the habit of accompanying on his singing tours, not under compulsion, as so many honourable men were forced to do, but because he was the slave and chattel of luxury and gluttony. To secure free months in which to honour Valens and Caecina with consulships, he shortened the terms of others and passed over Marcus Macer in silence as having been a leader of Otho's party. He put off the consulship of Valerius Marinus, who had been selected by Galba, not because of any offence, but because Marinus was of a mild nature and would put up with the injury. Pedanius Costa was omitted from the list; he was unpopular with the emperor because he had dared to move against Nero and to urge Verginius to action, although other reasons were alleged. Vitellius received the usual thanks, for the habit of servility was well established., A deception, which had a lively success at first, prevailed for only a few days. A man appeared who gave himself out as Scribonianus Camerinus, alleging that he had remained concealed in Istria during Nero's reign, for there the ancient Crassi still possessed clients, lands, and popularity. He accordingly associated with himself, to develop this comedy, a company made up of the dregs of mankind; the credulous common people and some of the soldiers, either deceived by the falsehood or led on by a desire for trouble, were rapidly rallying about him, when he was dragged before Vitellius and questioned as to his identity. No faith was put in his answers; and after he had been recognized by his master as a runaway slave, Geta by name, he suffered the punishment usually inflicted on slaves., The degree to which the insolent pride of Vitellius increased after couriers arrived from Syria and Judea and reported that the East had sworn allegiance to him is almost past belief. For although the grounds for the gossip were as yet vague and uncertain, rumour had much to say of Vespasian, and his name frequently excited Vitellius. But now both emperor and army, believing that they had no rival, broke out into cruelty, lust, and rapine, equalling all the excesses of barbarians., As for Vespasian, he now began to reflect on the possibilities of war and armed combat and to review the strength of the forces near and far. His own soldiers were so ready that when he administered the oath and made vows for the success of Vitellius, they listened in complete silence. The sentiments of Mucianus were not hostile to him and indeed were favourable to Titus; Tiberius Alexander, the prefect of Egypt, had already cast his lot with his side; he could count on the loyalty of the Third legion, which had been transferred from Syria to Moesia; and he had hopes that the legions in Illyricum would follow the Third. There was reason for this expectation, for all the eastern forces had been fired with rage over the arrogance of the soldiers of Vitellius who came to them, because though savage in appearance and barbarous in speech, they constantly mocked at all the others as their inferiors. But a war of such scope can never be undertaken without hesitation; and Vespasian, at one moment inspired with hope, would at time ponder over the obstacles — what could that day be on which he should entrust his sixty years and his two young sons to the fortune of war? He reflected that private plans allow one to advance or retreat and permit the individual to take that measure of Fortune's gifts that he will; but when a man aims at the imperial power, there is no mean between the heights and the abyss., He pictured to himself the strength of the army from Germany, which as a soldier he well understood. He realized that his own legions were untried in civil war, and that there was more discontent than strength in the ranks of the defeated. In time of discord the fidelity of an army is uncertain and danger may come from individuals. "For what will cohorts and squadrons avail me," he asked himself, "if some one or two assassins go red-handed to demand the reward which my opponents will always be ready to pay? Thus Scribonianus was killed under Claudius; thus his assassin Volaginius won advancement from the lowest to the highest rank. It is easier to move whole armies than to avoid individuals.", While he was hesitating, moved by such fears as these, his mind was confirmed by his officers and friends and especially by Mucianus, who first had long private conversations with him and then spoke openly before the rest: "All who are debating high emprises ought to consider whether their purpose is useful to the state, glorious for themselves, easy of accomplishment, or at least not difficult. At the same time they must take into account the character of their adviser. Is he ready to share the risks involved as well as to give advice? If Fortune favours the undertaking, who is the man for whom the highest honour is sought? I call you, Vespasian, to the throne. How advantageous to the state, how glorious for you this may prove, are questions which depend, after the gods, on your own acts. Have no fear that I may appear to flatter you. It is rather a disgrace than a glory to be chosen emperor after Vitellius. It is not against the keen mind of the deified Augustus, nor the cautious nature of the aged Tiberius, nor against the long-established imperial house of even a Gaius or a Claudius, or, if you like, of a Nero, that we are rising. You respected the ancestry even of Galba. But to remain longer inactive and to leave the state to corruption and ruin would appear nothing but sloth and cowardice on your part, even if subservience should prove as safe for you as it certainly would be disgraceful. The time is already past and gone when you could seem to have no desires for supreme power. Your only refuge is the throne. Have you forgotten the murder of Corbulo? He was of more splendid family than I am, I grant you, but Nero also was superior to Vitellius in point of noble birth. Anyone who is feared is noble enough in the eyes of the man who fears him. Moreover you have proof in the case of Vitellius himself that an army can make an emperor, for Vitellius owes his elevation to no campaigns or reputation as a soldier, but solely to men's hatred of Galba. Even Otho, who owed his defeat, not to his rival's skill as general or to the force of the opposing army, but to his own hasty despair, Vitellius has already made seem a great emperor whom men regret; and in the meantime he is scattering his legions, disarming his cohorts, and every day sowing new seeds of war. All the enthusiasm and courage that his soldiers ever had is being dissipated in taverns, in debauches, and in imitation of their emperor. You have in Syria, Judea, and Egypt nine legions at their full strength, not worn out by fighting, not infected by mutiny, but troops who have gained strength by experience and proved themselves victorious over a foreign foe. You have strong fleets, cavalry, and cohorts, princes wholly loyal to you, and an experience greater than all others., "For myself I shall make no claim save not to be reckoned second to Valens and Caecina; yet I beg you not to despise Mucianus as partner in your enterprise because you do not find in him a rival. I count myself superior to Vitellius and you superior to me. Your house has the honour of a triumphal name; it possesses two young men, one of whom is already equal to ruling the empire; he also enjoys a high reputation with the forces in Germany because his first years of service were spent there. It would be absurd for me not to bow before the throne of a man whose son I should adopt if I myself held it. Besides, you and I shall not stand on the same footing in success as in failure, for if we win, I shall have simply the position you choose to give; but risks and dangers we shall share alike. Rather — and this is better — do you command your forces here; leave to me the conduct of the actual war and the risks of battle. There is stricter discipline to‑day in the ranks of the defeated than among the victors. The former are fired to brave action by rage, hatred, and eager desire for revenge; the latter are losing their vigour because they scorn and disdain their opponents. War will inevitably open and lay bare the angry wounds which the victorious party now conceals; nor is the confidence that I have in your vigilance, frugality, and wisdom greater than that I feel in the sloth, ignorance, and cruelty of Vitellius. Besides, our situation is better in war than in peace, for they who plan revolt have already revolted.", After Mucianus had spoken, the rest became bolder; they gathered about Vespasian, encouraged him, and recalled the prophecies of seers and the movements of the stars. Nor indeed was he wholly free from such superstitious belief, as was evident later when he had obtained supreme power, for he openly kept at court an astrologer named Seleucus, whom he regarded as his guide and oracle. Old omens came back to his mind: once on his country estate a cypress of conspicuous height suddenly fell, but the next day it rose again on the selfsame spot fresh, tall, and with wider expanse than before. This occurrence was a favourable omen of great significance, as the haruspices all agreed, and promised the highest distinctions for Vespasian, who was then still a young man. At first, however, the insignia of a triumph, his consulship, and his victory over Judea appeared to have fulfilled the promise given by the omen; yet after he had gained these honours, he began to think that it was the imperial throne that was foretold. Between Judea and Syria lies Carmel: this is the name given to both the mountain and the divinity. The god has no image or temple — such is the rule handed down by the fathers; there is only an altar and the worship of the god. When Vespasian was sacrificing there and thinking over his secret hopes in his heart, the priest Basilides, after repeated inspection of the victim's vitals, said to him: "Whatever you are planning, Vespasian, whether to build a house, or to enlarge your holdings, or to increase the number of your slaves, the god grants you a mighty home, limitless bounds, and a multitude of men." This obscure oracle rumour had caught up at the time, and now was trying to interpret; nothing indeed was more often on men's lips. It was discussed even more in Vespasian's presence — for men have more to say to those who are filled with hope. The two leaders now separated with clear purposes before them, Mucianus going to Antioch, Vespasian to Caesarea. Antioch is the capital of Syria, Caesarea of Judea., The transfer of the imperial power to Vespasian began at Alexandria, where Tiberius Alexander acted quickly, administering to his troops the oath of allegiance on the first of July. This day has been celebrated in later times as the first of Vespasian's reign, although it was on the third of July that the army in Judea took the oath before Vespasian himself, and did it with such enthusiasm that they did not wait even for his son Titus, who was on his way back from Syria and was the medium of communication between Mucianus and his father. The whole act was carried through by the enthusiastic soldiery without any formal speech or regular parade of the legions., While the time, the place, and — what is in such case the most difficult thing — the person to speak the first word were being discussed, while hope and fear, plans and possibilities filled every mind, as Vespasian stepped from his quarters, a few soldiers who were drawn up in their usual order to salute him as their Legate, saluted him as Emperor. Then the rest ran up and began to call him Caesar and Augustus; they heaped on him all the titles of an emperor. Their minds suddenly turned from fears to confidence in Fortune's favour. In Vespasian himself there was no arrogance or pride, no novelty of conduct in his new estate. The moment that he had dispelled the mist which his elevation to such a height spread before his eyes, he spoke as befitted a soldier; then he began to receive favourable reports from every quarter; for Mucianus, who was waiting only for this action, now administered to his own eager troops the oath of allegiance to Vespasian. Then he entered the theatre at Antioch, where the people regularly hold their public assemblies, and addressed the crowd which hurried there, and expressed itself in extravagant adulation. His speech was graceful enough although he spoke in Greek, for he knew how to give a certain air to all he said and did. There was nothing that angered the province and the army so much as the assertion of Mucianus that Vitellius had decided to transfer the legions of Germany to Syria, where they could enjoy a profitable and easy service, while in exchange he would assign to the troops in Syria the wintry climate and the laborious duties of Germany. For the provincials were accustomed to live with the soldiers, and enjoyed association with them; in fact, many civilians were bound to the soldiers by ties of friendship and of marriage, and the soldiers from their long service had come to love their old familiar camps as their very hearths and homes., Before the fifteenth of July all Syria had sworn the same allegiance. Vespasian's cause was now joined also by Sohaemus with his entire kingdom, whose strength was not to be despised, and by Antiochus who had enormous ancestral wealth, and was in fact the richest of the subject princes. Presently Agrippa, summoned from Rome by private messages from his friends, while Vitellius was still unaware of his action, quickly crossed the sea and joined the cause. Queen Berenice showed equal spirit in helping Vespasian's party: she had great youthful beauty, and commended herself to Vespasian for all his years by the splendid gifts she made him. All the provinces on the coast to the frontiers of Achaia and Asia, as well as all the inland provinces as far as Pontus and Armenia, took the oath of allegiance; but their governors had no armed forces, since Cappadocia had as yet no legions. A grand council was held at Berytus. Mucianus came there with all his lieutenants and tribunes, as well as his most distinguished centurions and soldiers; the army in Judea also sent its best representatives. This great concourse of foot and horse, with princes who rivalled one another in splendid display, made a gathering that befitted the high fortune of an emperor., The first business of the war was to hold levies and to recall the veterans to the colours. The strong towns were selected to manufacture arms; gold and silver were minted at Antioch; and all these preparations, each in its proper place, were quickly carried forward by expert agents. Vespasian visited each place in person, encouraged the workmen, spurring on the industrious by praise and the slow by his example, concealing his friends' faults rather than their virtues. Many he rewarded with prefectures and procuratorships; large numbers of excellent men who later attained the highest positions he raised to senatorial rank; in the case of some good fortune took the place of merit. In his first speech Mucianus had held out hopes of only a moderate donative to the soldiers; even Vespasian did not offer more for civil war than others did in time of peace. He was firmly opposed to extravagant gifts to the soldiers and therefore had a better army. Embassies were dispatched to the Parthians and Armenians, and provision made to avoid leaving their rear exposed when the legions were drawn off to civil war. It was decided that Titus should follow up the war in Judea, Vespasian hold the keys to Egypt; and it was agreed that a part of the troops, if led by Mucianus, would be enough to deal with Vitellius, aided as they would be by the prestige of Vespasian's name and by the fact that all things are easy for Fate. Letters were addressed to all the armies and to all their commanders, directing them to try to win over the praetorians, who hated Vitellius, by holding out to them the hope of re-entering the service., Mucianus, bearing himself rather as a partner in empire than as a subordinate, advanced with a force in light marching order, not indeed slowly, for fear of seeming to hesitate, nor yet in haste, for he wished to let distance increase his renown, being well aware that he had only moderate forces at his disposal and conscious that men magnify what is far away. Yet the Sixth legion and thirteen thousand veterans followed after him in imposing array. He had directed the fleet in the Black Sea to concentrate at Byzantium, for he was undecided whether he should not leave Moesia to one side and occupy Dyrrachium with his foot and horse, establishing meantime a blockade in the waters around Italy with his ships-of‑war. In that way he would protect Achaia and Asia in his rear, whereas they would be without protection and exposed to Vitellius, unless he left forces to guard them. He believed also that Vitellius himself would be at a loss what part of Italy to protect if he prepared to attack with his fleet Brundisium, Tarentum, and the coasts of Calabria and Lucania., So then the provinces were filled with din as ships, soldiers, and arms were made ready for their needs; but nothing troubled them so much as the exaction of money. "Money," Mucianus kept saying, "is the sinews of civil war." And in deciding cases which came before him as judge he had an eye not for justice or truth, but only for the size of the defendants' fortunes. Delation was rife, and all wealthy men were seized as prey. Such proceedings are an intolerable burden; nevertheless, though at the time excused by the necessities of war, they continued later in time of peace. It is true that Vespasian for his part at the beginning of his reign was not so insistent on carrying through such unjust actions; but finally, schooled by an indulgent fortune and wicked teachers, he learned and dared the like. Mucianus contributed generously to the war from his own force also; his liberality with his private means corresponding, as men remarked, to the excessive greed he showed in taking from the state. The rest of the leaders followed his example in making contributions; but only the fewest enjoyed the same licence in recovering them., Meantime Vespasian's enterprise received a favourable impulse from the enthusiasm with which the army in Illyricum came over to his side. The Third legion set a precedent for the other legions in Moesia: these were the Eighth and the Seventh Claudiana, both loyal to the memory of Otho, although they had not taken part in the battle of Bedriacum. Having advanced as far as Aquileia, by driving off with violence the messengers who brought the news of Otho's defeat, tearing in pieces the standards that displayed the name of Vitellius, and finally seizing the camp treasury and dividing it among themselves, they had acted like enemies. Their conduct filled them with fear, and then fear brought the reflection that acts might win them credit with Vespasian for which they would have to apologize to Vitellius. So the three legions in Moesia tried to win over the army in Pannonia by letter; at the same time they prepared to use force if the Pannonian troops refused. In this undertaking Aponius Saturninus, the governor of Moesia, tried a bold and shameful act: prompted by private hatred which he tried to conceal behind political motives, he sent a centurion to murder Tettius Julianus, legate of the Seventh legion. Julianus, however, learning of his danger, took some men who knew the country and escaped through the pathless stretches of Moesia to the district beyond Mt. Haemus. Thereafter he took no part in civil war, for although he started to join Vespasian, he kept hesitating or hurrying according to the news he received, and found various pretexts for delay., But in Pannonia the Thirteenth legion and the Seventh Galbiana, which still felt deep resentment over the battle at Bedriacum, did not delay to join Vespasian's cause, influenced by the conspicuous violence of Primus Antonius. He had been found guilty and condemned for fraud in Nero's reign, but, as one of the evil effects of the war, he had recovered his senatorial rank. Although Galba had put him in command of the Seventh legion, it was believed that he had written to Otho, offering his services as a leader of his cause. Since Otho paid no attention to him, he rendered no service in the war. Now that the fortunes of Vitellius began to totter, Primus followed Vespasian and gave his cause a great impulse; for he was vigorous in action, ready of speech, skilful in sowing differences among his enemies, powerful in stirring up discord and strife, ever ready to rob or to bribe — in short, he was the worst of mortals in peace, but in war a man not to be despised. Then the union of the forces in Moesia and Pannonia drew the troops in Dalmatia to follow their example, although the ex-consuls who governed the provinces took no lead in the revolt. Tampius Flavianus was the governor of Pannonia, Pompeius Silvanus of Dalmatia, both rich and old. But with them was the imperial agent Cornelius Fuscus, who was in the full vigour of life and of high birth. In his youth his desire to lead a quiet life had led him to give up his senatorial rank. Yet he had brought his own colony over to Galba's side, and by this service had secured a procuratorship. He now adopted Vespasian's cause and contributed all the fire of his enthusiasm to the war; he found his satisfaction in danger itself rather than in the rewards of danger, and preferred to certainty and advantages long secured whatever was new, uncertain, and in doubt. Therefore the leaders set to work to stir up the discontented throughout the entire empire. They addressed communications to the Fourteenth legion in Britain and to the First in Spain, for both these legions had been for Otho and opposed to Vitellius; letters were scattered broadcast through the Gallic provinces, and in a moment a great war burst into flame, as the armies in Illyricum openly revolted and all the rest prepared to follow Fortune's lead., While Vespasian and the leaders of his party were accomplishing this in the provinces, Vitellius became from day to day the more despised as he grew the more indolent. He stopped at every attractive town and villa on his way, and so gradually approached Rome with his cumbrous army. Sixty thousand armed men were in his train, all corrupted by lack of discipline; still greater was the number of camp-followers, and even among the slaves the soldiers' servants were the most unruly. There was also a great train of officers and courtiers, a company incapable of obedience even if they had been subject to the strictest discipline. The unwieldiness of this great crowd was increased by senators and knights who came out from Rome to meet him, some moved by fear, many from a desire to flatter, the majority, and then gradually everyone, prompted by a desire not to stay behind while others went. From the dregs of the people came hordes, well known to Vitellius by their shameful and obsequious services — buffoons, actors, jockeys, in whose disgraceful friendship he took extraordinary pleasure. Not only the colonies and municipal towns with their stores of supplies, but the very farmers and their fields in which the grain stood ready for the harvest, were despoiled as if the land were an enemy's., The soldiers often fought among themselves with sad and fatal effect, for after the outbreak at Ticinum the differences between the legionaries and the auxiliaries had continued. When, however, they had to deal with the country people, there was complete unanimity. But the worst massacre was perpetrated seven miles from Rome. There Vitellius was distributing cooked rations to each soldier, as if he were fattening gladiators; and crowds of people pouring out from Rome had filled the whole camp. While the soldiers were off their guard, some of the civilians, indulging in a servile pleasantry, disarmed them by cutting their belts without their knowledge; then they asked them if they had their swords. The soldiers were not accustomed to ridicule, so that their tempers could not brook the insult; they drew their weapons and attacked the civilians, who were unarmed. Among others, the father of one of the soldiers was killed while with his son; later on he was recognized, and, the news of his death spreading, this slaughter of the innocent ceased. Yet in Rome no less alarm was caused by the soldiers who everywhere preceded the main army; these tried to find the forum first of all, for they wanted to see the place where Galba's body had lain. They themselves presented a sight that was equally savage, dressed as they were in shaggy skins of wild beasts and armed with enormous spears; while, in their ignorance, they failed to avoid the crowds, or, when they got a fall from the slippery streets or ran into a civilian, broke out in curses and soon went on to use their fists and swords. Even tribunes and prefects hurried up and down the streets spreading terror with their armed bands., Vitellius, mounted on a handsome horse and wearing a general's cloak and arms, had set out from the Mulvian bridge, driving the senate and people before him; but he was dissuaded by his courtiers from entering Rome as if it were a captured city, and so he changed to a senator's toga, ranged his troops in good order, and made his entry on foot. The eagles of four legions were at the head of the line, while the colours of four other legions were to be seen on either side; then came the standards of twelve troops of cavalry, and after them foot and horse; next marched thirty-four cohorts distinguished by the names of their countries or by their arms. Before the eagles marched the prefects of camp, the tribunes, and the chief centurions, dressed in white; the other centurions, with polished arms and decorations gleaming, marched each with his century. The common soldiers' medals and collars were likewise bright and shining. It was an imposing sight and an army which deserved a better emperor than Vitellius. With this array he mounted the Capitol, where he embraced his mother and bestowed on her the name of Augusta., The next day, as if he were speaking to the senate and people of an alien state, Vitellius made a boastful speech about himself, extolling his own industry and restraint, although his crimes were well known to his hearers and indeed to all Italy, through which he had come in shameful sloth and luxury. Yet the populace, careless and unable to distinguish between truth and falsehood, shouted loud the usual flattery, as it had been taught to do; in spite of his refusal they forced him to take the name of Augustus — but his acceptance proved as useless as his refusal., A city which found a meaning in everything naturally regarded as an evil omen the fact that on becoming pontifex maximus Vitellius issued a proclamation concerning public religious ceremonies on the eighteenth of July, a day which for centuries had been held to be a day of ill-omen because of the disasters suffered at the Cremera and Allia: thus, wholly ignorant of law both divine and human, his freedmen and courtiers as stupid as himself, he lived as if among a set of drunkards. Yet at the time of the consular elections he canvassed with his candidates like an ordinary citizen; he eagerly caught at every murmur of the lowest orders in the theatre where he merely looked on, but in the circus he openly favoured his colours. All this no doubt gave pleasure and would have won him popularity, if it had been prompted by virtue; but as it was, the memory of his former life made men regard these acts as unbecoming and base. He frequently came to the senate, even when the senators were discussing trivial matters. Once it happened that Helvidius Priscus, being then praetor-elect, expressed a view which was opposed to his wishes. Vitellius was at first excited, but he did nothing more than call the tribunes of the people to support his authority that had been slighted. Later, when his friends, fearing that his anger might be deep-seated, tried to calm him, he replied that it was nothing strange for two senators to hold different views in the state; indeed he had usually opposed even Thrasea. Many regarded this impudent comparison as absurd; others were pleased with the very fact that he had selected, not one of the most influential, but Thrasea, to serve as a model of true glory., Vitellius had appointed as prefects of the praetorian guard Publilius Sabinus, who was prefect of a cohort, and Julius Priscus, a centurion at the time. Priscus owed his position to the favour of Valens, Sabinus to that of Caecina. When these two disagreed Vitellius had no authority. The emperor's duties were actually performed by Caecina and Valens. These had long hated each other with a hatred which had been hardly concealed during the war and in camp, and which was now increased by base friends and by civic life, always prolific in breeding enemies. In their efforts to have a great entourage, many courtiers, and long lines at their receptions they rivalled each other and provoked comparison, while the favour of Vitellius inclined now to one and again to the other; when a man has excessive power, he never can have complete trust: at the same time Vitellius himself, with his fickle readiness to take sudden offence or to resort to unseasonable flattery, was the object of their contempt and fears. This had not, however, made them slow to seize houses, gardens, and the wealth of the empire, while a pathetic and poverty-stricken crowd of nobles, whom with their children Galba had restored to their native city, received no pity or help from the emperor. An act which pleased the great and found approval even among the plebeians was that which gave those who returned from exile the rights of patrons over their freedmen; yet the freedmen by their servile cunning avoided the consequences of this act in every way, concealing their money by depositing it with obscure friends or with people of high position; some of them passed into Caesar's household and became more powerful even than their masters., But the soldiers, whose number was far too great for the crowded camp, wandered about in the colonnades, the temples, and in fact throughout the city; they did no guard-duty and were not kept in condition by service. Giving themselves up to the allurements of the capital and to excesses too shameful to name, they constantly weakened their physical strength by inactivity, their courage by debaucheries. Finally, with no regard even for their very lives, a large proportion camped in the unhealthy districts of the Vatican, which resulted in many deaths among the common soldiery; and the Tiber being close by, the inability of the Gauls and Germans to bear the heat and the consequent greed with which they drank from the stream weakened their bodies, which were already an easy prey to disease. Besides this, the different classes of service were thrown into confusion by corruption and self-seeking: sixteen praetorian, four city cohorts were enrolled with a quota of a thousand men each. In organizing these bodies Valens put himself forward as having rescued Caecina himself from peril. It was true that his arrival had enabled the party of Vitellius to prevail, and that by the victory he had got rid of the ugly rumour that he had delayed his advance; and all the troops of lower Germany were his enthusiastic followers, which gives us reason to think that this was the moment when Caecina's fidelity to Vitellius began to waver., However, the indulgences of Vitellius to his generals did not equal the licence he granted to his soldiers. Everyone selected the branch of the service he desired: no matter how unworthy a soldier might be, he was enrolled for service at Rome, if he preferred it. On the other hand, the good soldiers were allowed to remain with the legions or the cavalry if they wished; and there were some who did so desire, for they were exhausted by disease and cursed the climate of Rome. Nevertheless the strength was drawn off from the legions and cavalry, and the high prestige of the praetorian camp was shaken, for these twenty thousand men were not a picked body but only a confused mob taken from the whole army. When Vitellius was addressing his troops, the soldiers demanded the punishment of Asiaticus, Flavius, and Rufinus, Gallic chiefs who had fought for Vindex. Vitellius did not try to check demands of this sort, for not only was he naturally without energy, but he was well aware that the time was close at hand when he must pay his soldiers a donative and that he had not the necessary money: therefore he indulged his troops in everything else. The freedmen of the imperial house were ordered to pay a tribute proportionate to the number of their slaves; but the emperor, whose only care was to spend money, kept building stables for jockeys, filling the arena with exhibitions of gladiators and wild beasts, and fooling away money as if his treasuries were filled to overflowing., Moreover, Caecina and Valens celebrated his birthday by giving gladiatorial shows in every precinct of the city on an enormous scale unheard of up to that time. The worst element were delighted but the best citizens were scandalized by the act of Vitellius in erecting altars on the Campus Martius and sacrificing to the shades of Nero. The victims were killed and burned in the name of the state. The torch was applied to the sacrifices by the Augustales, a sacred college which Tiberius Caesar had dedicated to the Julian gens, as Romulus had dedicated a college to King Tatius. Four months had not yet passed since his victory, and yet Asiaticus, a freedman of Vitellius, already equalled a Polyclitus, a Patrobius, and the other detested names of the past. In his court no one tried to win a reputation through honesty or industry: there was one single road to power, and that was by satisfying the emperor's boundless greed with extravagant banquets and expensive orgies. He himself was more than content to enjoy the present hour with no thought beyond: and he is believed to have squandered nine hundred million sesterces in a very few months. At once great and wretched, the state was forced to endure within a single year an Otho and Vitellius, and to suffer all the vicissitudes of a shameful fate at the hands of a Vinius, a Fabius, an Icelus, and an Asiaticus, until at last they were succeeded by a Mucianus and a Marcellus — other men rather than other characters., The first defection reported to Vitellius was that of the Third legion. The news came in a letter sent by Aponius Saturninus before he also joined Vespasian's side. But Aponius, in his excitement over the sudden change, had not written the whole truth, and the flattery of courtiers gave a less serious interpretation to the news. They said that this was the mutiny of only one legion; that the rest of the troops were faithful. It was to the same effect that Vitellius himself spoke to the soldiers: he attacked the praetorians who had lately been discharged, blaming them for spreading false rumours, and declared that there was no occasion to fear civil war, keeping back Vespasian's name and sending soldiers round through the city to check the people's talk. Nothing furnished rumour with more food., Nevertheless he summoned auxiliaries from Germany, Britain, and the Spains; but he did this slowly and tried to conceal the necessity of his action. The governors and the provinces moved as slowly as he. Hordeonius Flaccus already suspected the Batavians and was disturbed by the possibility of having a war of his own; Vettius Bolanus never enjoyed entire peace in Britain, and both of them were wavering in their allegiance. Nor did troops hurry from the Spains, for at that moment there was no governor there. The commanders of the three legions, who were equal in authority and who would have vied with each other in obedience to Vitellius if his affairs had been prosperous, now all alike shrank from sharing his adversity. In Africa the legion and the cohorts raised by Clodius Macer, but afterwards dismissed by Galba, resumed their service by order of Vitellius; at the same time the young civilians as well enlisted with enthusiasm. For the government of Vitellius as proconsul had been honest and popular, while that of Vespasian had been notorious and hated; from such memories the allies formed their conjectures as to what each would be as emperor; but experience proved exactly the opposite., At first the commander, Valerius Festus, loyally supported the wishes of the provincials. But presently he began to waver; in his public letters and documents he favoured Vitellius, but by secret messages he fostered Vespasian's interest and was ready to take whichever side prevailed. Some soldiers and centurions who had been dispatched through Raetia and the Gallic provinces were arrested with letters and proclamations of Vespasian on their persons, sent to Vitellius, and put to death. The majority of the messengers, however, escaped arrest, being concealed by faithful friends or escaping by their own wits. In this way the preparations of Vitellius became known while most of Vespasian's plans remained secret. This was due first of all to the stupidity of Vitellius, and secondly to the fact that the guards stationed in the Pannonian Alps blocked the messengers. Moreover, as this was the season of the etesian winds, the sea was favourable for vessels sailing to the East, but unfavourable to those coming from that quarter., Finally Vitellius became alarmed by the oncoming of the enemy and by the terrifying messages which reached him from every side, and ordered Caecina and Valens to prepare for war. Caecina was sent on in advance; Valens, who was at that moment just getting up from a serious sickness, was delayed by physical weakness. As the army from Germany left the city it presented a very different appearance from that which it had displayed on entering Rome: the soldiers had no vigour, no enthusiasm; they marched in a slow and ragged column, dragging their weapons, while their horses were without spirit; but the troops who could not endure sun, dust, or storm and who had no heart to face toil, were all the more ready to quarrel. Another factor in the situation was furnished by Caecina's old ambition and his newly acquired sloth, for an excess of Fortune's favours had made him give way to luxury; or he may have been already planning to turn traitor and so have made it part of his plan to break the morale of his army. It has been generally believed that it was the arguments of Flavius Sabinus that made Caecina's loyalty waver, and that the go-between was Rubrius Gallus, who assured him that Vespasian would approve the conditions on which Caecina was to come over. At the same time he was reminded of his hatred and jealousy towards Fabius Valens and was urged, since his influence with Vitellius was not equal to that of his rival, to seek favour and support from the new emperor., Caecina, departing from the embraces of Vitellius with great honours, sent a part of his horse ahead to occupy Cremona. Presently detachments of the First, Fourth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth legions followed; then the Fifth and Twenty-second; in the rear marched the Twenty-first Rapax and the First Italic with detachments from the three legions in Britain and with picked auxiliary troops. After Caecina had gone, Fabius Valens wrote to the troops which he had earlier commanded, and ordered them to wait for him on the way, saying that he and Caecina had agreed to this effect. But Caecina, being with the troops and therefore having the advantage over Valens, pretended that the plan had been changed that they might meet the rising tide of war with their whole strength. So the legions were ordered to press on, part to Cremona, part to Hostilia; he himself turned aside to Ravenna under the pretext of addressing the fleet; but presently he retired to the secrecy of Padua to arrange the conditions of betrayal. For Lucilius Bassus, who had previously been only a prefect of a squadron of cavalry, had been placed by Vitellius in command of the fleet of Ravenna along with that of Misenum; but his failure to receive promptly the prefecture of the praetorian guard had roused in him an unjust resentment, which he was now satisfying by a shameful and treacherous act of vengeance. It is impossible to determine whether Bassus drew Caecina on, or whether, since it often happens that there is a likeness between bad men, the same villainy impelled them both. The contemporary historians, who wrote their accounts of this war while the Flavian house occupied the throne, have indeed recorded their anxiety for peace and devotion to the State, falsifying motives in order to flatter; but to me it seems that both men, in addition to their natural fickleness and the fact that after betraying Galba they then held their honour cheap, were moved by mutual rivalry and a jealous fear that they would be surpassed by others in the imperial favour, and so overthrew Vitellius himself. Caecina caught up with his legions and began by various devices to undermine the unshaken loyalty of the centurions and soldiers towards Vitellius; Bassus found less difficulty when he attempted the same with the fleet, for the sailors, remembering their recent service to Otho, were ready to shift their allegiance.


nan The generals of the Flavian party were planning their campaign with better fortune and greater loyalty. They had come together at Poetovio, the winter quarters of the Thirteenth legion. There they discussed whether they should guard the passes of the Pannonian Alps until the whole mass of their forces could be raised behind them, or whether it would not be a bolder stroke to engage the enemy at once and struggle with him for the possession of Italy. Those who favoured waiting for the auxiliaries and prolonging the war, emphasized the strength and reputation of the German legions and dwelt on the fact that the flower of the army in Britain had recently arrived with Vitellius; they pointed out that they had on their side an inferior number of legions, and at best legions which had lately been beaten, and that although the soldiers talked boldly enough, the defeated always have less courage. But while they meantime held the Alps, Mucianus, they said, would arrive with the troops from the east; Vespasian had besides full control of the sea and his fleets, and he could count on the enthusiastic support of the provinces, through whose aid he could raise the storm of almost a second war. Therefore they declared that delay would favour them, that new forces would join them, and that they would lose none of their present advantages., In answer Antonius Primus, the most enthusiastic partisan of war, argued that haste was helpful to them, ruinous to Vitellius. "The victorious side," he said, "has gained a spirit of sloth rather than confidence, for their soldiers have not been kept within the bounds of camp; they have been loafing about all the municipal towns of Italy, fearful only to their hosts; the savagery that they once displayed has been matched by the greed with which they have drunk deep of their new pleasures. They have been weakened, too, by the circus, by the theatres, and by the delights of Rome, or else exhausted by disease; but if they are given time, even they will recover their strength by preparing for war; Germany, from which they draw their strength, is not far away; Britain is separated only by a strait; the provinces of Gaul and Spain are near: from both they receive men, horses, and tribute; they hold Italy itself and the wealth of Rome; and if they wish to attack they have two fleets and the Illyrian Sea is open. In that case, what will the mountain barriers avail us? What profit shall we find in prolonging the war into another summer? Where shall we meantime find money and supplies? Rather let us take advantage of the fact that the Pannonian legions, which were deceived rather than defeated, are eager to rise in revenge; that the troops in Moesia have contributed their strength, which is quite unimpaired. If we reckon the number of soldiers rather than of legions, we see that we have on our side the greater force and no debauchery; the very shame of the defeat at Bedriacum has helped our discipline. Moreover, the cavalry were not beaten even then, but in spite of the disaster they broke the forces of Vitellius. On that day two squadrons from Pannonia and Moesia pierced the enemy's line; now sixteen squadrons charging in a body, by the very noise they make and the cloud of dust they raise, will overwhelm and bury the horsemen and horses of our foes, for they have forgotten what a battle is. Unless someone restrains me, I who advise will also perform. Do you, whose fortune is still unblemished, hold back your legions, if you will; for me light cohorts will be enough. Presently you shall hear that the gates of Italy are open, that the power of Vitellius is overthrown. Yours will be the delight of following the victor and of treading in his footsteps.", Thus and in like strain, with flashing eyes and in fierce tones that he might be more widely heard (for the centurions and some of the common soldiers had made their way into the council) did he pour forth his words so that he moved even men of caution and foresight, while the general throng, and after them the rest, scorning the cowardly inaction of the other officers, extolled him as the one man and the one leader. This reputation Primus had won in that assembly from the moment in his harangue when, after reading out the letter of Vespasian, he did not talk in equivocal terms, ready to put this or that interpretation on Vespasian's words to his own advantage, as the others had done; but he seemed to have openly joined Vespasian's cause; therefore he carried the greater weight with the soldiers, for he was now an accomplice in their fault or a partner in their glory., After Primus the procurator Cornelius Fuscus had the greatest influence. He also had been in the habit of assailing Vitellius violently and so had left himself no hope in case of failure. Tampius Flavianus, whose nature and years had made him more hesitant, roused the suspicions of the soldiers; they thought that he still remembered the family ties that bound him to Vitellius. Furthermore, since he had fled at the first movement of the legions and then had come back of his own accord, the troops believed that he had treacherous designs. There was some basis for this suspicion, since Flavianus had abandoned Pannonia and withdrawn to Italy, where he was not involved in the crisis; but later his desire for a revolution had impelled him to resume his title of governor and to bear a hand in civil war. Cornelius Fuscus urged him to take this present step, not because he needed the assistance of Flavianus, but because he wished to display a consular name to give credit and prestige to his party which was just then rising to view., But in order to be able to enter Italy without danger and with advantage, word was sent Aponius Saturninus to hurry with the army then in Moesia. To avoid exposing the provinces in their unprotected condition to barbarous nations, the ruling chiefs of the Sarmatian Iazuges were called into service with the army. These chiefs offered their people also and their force of cavalry, which constitutes their sole effective strength; but this offer was declined for fear that in the midst of civil troubles they might undertake some hostile enterprise, or that, if a larger reward should be offered by the other side, they might abandon all sense of right and justice. Vespasian's officers further drew to their side Sido and Italicus, princes of the Suebi, who had long been loyal to the Romans and whose people were more inclined to remain faithful to Rome than to take orders from others. They protected their flank with auxiliary troops, for Raetia was hostile to Vespasian's party, its procurator Porcius Septiminus being unshaken in his loyalty to Vitellius. This was the reason that Sextilius Felix with the Aurian squadron of horse and eight cohorts of infantry was dispatched to occupy the bank of the river Inn, which flows between Raetia and Noricum. Neither side wished to test the fortunes of battle, and the fate of the parties was decided elsewhere., As Antonius hurried forward some detachments from the cohorts and part of the cavalry to invade Italy, he was accompanied by Arrius Varus, a vigorous fighter, whose fame had been increased by his service under Corbulo and by his successes in Armenia. This same Varus, according to common report, had in secret conference with Nero brought serious charges against Corbulo's good character; by this means he had won, as a reward of shame, the rank of chief centurion, and this ill gain, which delighted him at the time, later proved to be his ruin. However, Antonius and Varus occupied Aquileia, and then advancing through the adjacent districts were received with joy at Opitergium and Altinum. A force was left at Altinum to block any attempt on the part of the fleet at Ravenna, of whose defection they had not yet heard. Next they drew Padua and Ateste to their side. At Ateste they heard that three cohorts of Vitellian forces and the squadron of cavalry called Sebosian had occupied Forum Alieni and built a bridge over the stream there. Primus and Varus decided that this was a good opportunity to attack the Vitellians, who were wholly off their guard; for this fact also had been reported. At daybreak they cut down many of them quite unarmed. They had been advised that if they killed a few, they could force the rest by fear to change their allegiance; and there were some who surrendered at once. The larger part, however, broke down the bridge and so, by cutting off the road, blocked their foes' advance. The opening of the campaign was favourable to Vespasian's side., When the news of the victory was noised abroad, two legions, the Seventh Galliana and the Tenth Gemina, marched with all speed to Padua under their commander Vedius Aquila. There they rested for a few days during which Minicius Justus, prefect of the camp of the Seventh legion, whose discipline had been somewhat too strict for civil war, was withdrawn from the soldiers' resentment by being sent to Vespasian. An act long desired was now received with delight and given a flattering interpretation beyond its deserts, when Antonius gave orders that in all the towns Galba's statues, which had been thrown down in the disorders of the times, should again be honoured. His real motive was that he believed that it would dignify Vespasian's cause if this were accounted an approval of Galba's principate and a revival of his party., Then Vespasian's commanders considered what place they should select as the seat of war. They decided on Verona because there are open plains about it suited to the operations of cavalry, in which their chief strength lay; and at the same time to take away from Vitellius so strong a colony seemed likely to contribute to their own cause and reputation. As they advanced they seized Vicetia. This was no great thing in itself, for the town had but moderate resources, yet its capture had great significance in the minds of those who considered that it was Caecina's birthplace and that the enemy's general had seen his native town snatched from him. But Verona was a real gain: the example and resources of its inhabitants were helpful, and the army's position between Raetia and the Julian Alps blocked the entrance at that point of the forces from Germany. All these operations were unknown to Vespasian or had been forbidden by him. He had directed that his forces should not carry their operations beyond Aquileia, but should wait there for Mucianus; and he had also given the reasons for his orders, pointing out that since they held Egypt, controlled the grain supply of Italy, and possessed the revenues of the richest provinces, the army of Vitellius could be forced to surrender by lack of pay and food. Mucianus wrote frequent warnings to the same effect, giving as his reason his desire for a victory which would cost no blood or sorrow; in reality he was ambitious for personal fame and wished to keep for himself all the glory of the war. However, the distances were so great that the advice arrived after the events., So then Antonius suddenly attacked the enemy's posts; but after testing his foe's courage in a trifling skirmish, he withdrew his troops with no advantage to either side. Presently Caecina established his camp between Hostilia, a village in the district of the Veronese, and the marshes of the river Tartarus. Here he was protected by the situation itself, his rear being covered by the river and his flanks by the marshes. If he had only been loyal to Vitellius, with the combined forces of the Vitellians he might have crushed the two legions at Verona, for the troops from Moesia had not yet joined them; or at least he could have driven them back and made them abandon Italy in disgraceful flight. But as it was, by various delays he betrayed to his opponents the first advantages of the campaign, spending his time in writing letters, reproving those whom he might easily have routed with his arms, until he could through messengers conclude the terms of his own treason. In the meantime Aponius Saturninus arrived with the Seventh or Claudian legion. This legion was commanded by the tribune Vipstanus Messala, a man of eminent family and of personal distinction; indeed he was the only one who had brought with him to the war some honourable pursuits. To these forces, which were by no means a match for those of Vitellius, since thus far only three legions had concentrated at Verona, Caecina now wrote, reproving them for their rashness in taking up arms after defeat. At the same time he praised the valour of the German army, but made only slight and casual reference to Vitellius, with no derogatory mention of Vespasian; and he said nothing that was calculated to win over or frighten his opponents. The chiefs of the Flavian party in reply made no apology for their past misfortunes, but they spoke out boldly for Vespasian; displaying confidence in their cause and faith in the security of their army, they assailed Vitellius as if they were his personal enemies, and gave the tribunes and centurions reason to hope that they might keep the indulgences that Vitellius had granted them. Caecina himself they urged in no ambiguous terms to come over to their side. This correspondence the Flavian leaders read to their soldiers in assembly and thereby inspired their troops with additional confidence; for Caecina had written in humble terms, as if afraid of offending Vespasian, while their generals had written in scorn and with the evident desire to insult Vitellius., Then two other legions arrived, the Third in command of Dillius Aponianus, the Eighth under Numisius Lupus. The Flavian party now decided to show their strength and to surround Verona with a rampart. It happened that the Galbian legion was assigned to work on that part of the lines that faced the enemy; seeing in the distance some allied cavalry, they became panic-stricken, for they thought that the enemy was coming. They seized their arms, fearing that they had been betrayed. The soldiers' wrath fell on Tampius Flavianus, of whose guilt there was not the slightest proof; but the troops already hated him and now in a whirlwind of rage demanded his death. They cried out that he was a kinsman of Vitellius, that he had betrayed Otho, and had diverted the donative intended for them. Flavianus had no opportunity to defend himself, although he raised his hands in supplication, grovelled repeatedly on the ground, tore his garments, while the tears ran down his face and his breast was convulsed with sobs. These very acts increased the rage of the soldiers, for they regarded his excessive terror as proof of his guilt. When Aponius began to speak, he was interrupted by the soldiers' cries; they expressed their scorn of the other commanders by groans and howls. Antonius was the only one to whom they would lend an ear, for he was eloquent, had influence, and possessed the art of quieting a mob. When he saw that the mutiny was gaining strength and the soldiers were about to pass from reproaches and insults to armed force, he ordered Flavianus to be put in chains. But the troops saw through the ruse, thrust aside those who guarded the tribunal, and prepared to use extreme violence. Antonius drew his sword and pointed it at his breast, declaring that he would die by his soldiers' hand or by his own; at the same time he called by name to his assistance every soldier in sight whom he knew or who had some military decoration. Presently he turned toward the standards and the gods of war, praying them to inspire rather the enemy's force with this madness and this discord. At last the mutiny gradually spent itself, and as the day was now near its end, the soldiers slipped away, each to his quarters. The same night Flavianus set out from camp, but was met by a letter from Vespasian which saved him from danger., Then the legions, as if smitten with a mad contagion, assailed Aponius Saturninus, the commander of the army from Moesia. They attacked him with the greater violence, for they were not as before tired by severe labour, but their anger blazed up suddenly in the middle of the day on the publication of some letters which Saturninus was believed to have written to Vitellius. While once the soldiers had vied with one another in bravery and good discipline, they now strove to excel in insolence and audacity, for they did not wish to be less violent in the demands for the punishment of Aponius than they had been for that of Flavianus. The legions from Moesia remembered that they had supported the troops from Pannonia in the vengeance that they had taken, and the latter, as if freed from guilt by the mutiny of others, found delight in repeating their fault. They hurried to the gardens where Saturninus had his quarters; and in spite of all their efforts, it was not so much Primus and Aponius and Messala who saved Saturninus as it was the obscurity of his hiding-place. He concealed himself in the furnace of a bath that happened to be unused. Presently he dismissed his lictors and fled to Padua. Now that the ex-consuls had gone, all power and authority over both armies fell into the hands of Antonius alone, for his fellow-officers gave way to him, and the soldiers had regard only for him. There were some who believed that he had treacherously fostered both mutinies that he alone might profit by the war., Nor on the side of Vitellius were men's minds at ease; their distress, however, arose from more fatal discord, due not to the suspicions of the common soldiers, but to the treachery of the commanders. Lucilius Bassus, prefect of the fleet at Ravenna, taking advantage of the irresolution of his forces caused by the fact that most of them came from the provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia, which were then in Vespasian's hands, had won them to his side. Night was selected as the time to consummate the treason, in order that the accomplices might meet at headquarters alone without the knowledge of the rest. Bassus waited in his quarters, prompted by shame or by fear as to the outcome. The trierarchs with loud shouts attacked the statues of Vitellius; and after a few of those who resisted had been killed, the rest of the crowd, eager for a change, began to favour Vespasian. Then Lucilius appeared and showed himself openly as the ringleader. But the fleet chose Cornelius Fuscus as their prefect, who came to Ravenna with all speed. Bassus was taken to Adria with an escort of light vessels under an honourable guard. He was put in chains by the prefect of cavalry, Vibennius Rufinus, a freedman of Vespasian. Hormas also was counted among the leaders of the Flavian party., But as soon as the revolt of the fleet was known, Caecina sent away most of his troops on various military duties, and then, taking advantage of the empty camp, called the leading centurions and a few of the common soldiers to headquarters. There he spoke in high terms of Vespasian's courage and the strength of his party. "The fleet has revolted," he said, "we are hard pressed for supplies, the Gallic and Spanish provinces are hostile, and no dependence can be put on Rome." All that he had to say concerning Vitellius was derogatory to his cause. Then while the majority of those present were still dazed by this sudden turn of affairs, he administered to them the oath of allegiance to Vespasian, those who were privy to the plan being the first to take it. At the same time they tore down the statues of Vitellius and sent a committee to inform Antonius of what they had done. But when the news of the treason spread through the whole camp, the soldiers ran to headquarters, where they saw Vespasian's name put up on the standards and the statues of Vitellius overthrown; at first there was utter silence, and then all their rage burst out. "Has the glory of the German troops sunk to this," they cried, "that without a struggle and without a wound they will offer their hands to fetters and surrender their weapons to the foe? What are these legions that are opposed to us? Those we defeated! And yet the chief strength of Otho's army, the First and Fourteenth legions, are not here; still those legions too we routed and overthrew on the same fields. Shall all these thousands of armed men be presented to that exile Antonius, as if they were a herd of slaves on the block? No doubt eight legions are to go over to one poor fleet! Bassus and Caecina have now decided, after having robbed the emperor of palaces, gardens, and treasure, to take away his soldiers also. Uninjured and with no mark of blood upon us, we shall be cheap in the eyes even of the Flavian party; and what shall we say to those who ask us about our successes and defeats?", With such cries, now separately, now in a body, as indignation moved each, the Fifth legion taking the lead, they replaced the statues of Vitellius and threw Caecina into chains. They chose as their commanders Fabius Fabullus, legate of the Fifth legion, and Cassius Longus, prefect of the camp. Happening to meet the marines from three light galleys who had no knowledge or complicity in what had happened, they slew them. Leaving their camp, they broke down the bridge and hurried back to Hostilia, and then moved toward Cremona to join the two legions that Caecina had despatched with part of the cavalry to occupy the town. These were the First Italian and the Twenty-first Rapax., When Antonius heard of this, he decided to attack his opponents' troops while they were still distracted in purpose and while their strength was divided, and not to give time for the leaders to recover their authority, the troops their spirit of obedience, and the legions the confidence that they would feel when once more united. For he suspected that Fabius Valens had already left Rome and would make all haste when he heard of Caecina's treachery; and in fact Fabius was both faithful to Vitellius and not ignorant of war. At the same time Antonius feared a great invasion of Germans through Raetia. Moreover, Vitellius had summoned auxiliaries from Britain, Gaul, and Spain, who would indeed have been utter ruin to the war, if Antonius, fearing this very thing, had not precipitated an engagement and gained the victory before their arrival. He now moved in two days with his entire army from Verona to Bedriacum. The next day, keeping his legionaries to fortify his position, he sent his cohorts of auxiliaries into the district around Cremona to let the soldiers have a taste of the booty to be gained from civilians, although his pretext was to secure supply. Antonius himself with four thousand horse advanced eight miles beyond Bedriacum that they might pillage with greater freedom. His scouts, as usual, watched the country still further from camp., About eleven o'clock a horseman rode up at full speed and reported that the enemy was coming; that a small number preceded the main body, but that the movement and noise of their advance could be heard over a wide area. While Antonius was considering what course to pursue, Arrius Varus, prompted by his eagerness to do something important, rushed forward with the boldest of the cavalry and drove back the Vitellians; but he inflicted only a slight loss, for when larger forces came up, the fortune of battle was reversed; and those who had been pursuing the Vitellians most vigorously now were the last to retreat. Antonius had not desired this hasty attack and he expected the result to be what it actually proved. He now urged his men to engage with all courage and withdrew his squadrons to the flanks, leaving an open path in the centre for the reception of Varus and his cavalry. He directed the legions to arm, and gave the signal through the fields for his men to leave their booty and quickly form for battle, each joining the company nearest him. In the meantime Varus in a panic regained the main body of his comrades and communicated his terror to them. The uninjured and the wounded alike were forced back in the confusion caused by their own fright and the narrow roads., In this panic Antonius failed in no duty that a determined general or a brave soldier should perform. He ran to those who were terrified, held back those who were fleeing; wherever there was the greatest danger, wherever there was some hope, there his counsel, his action, and his words of encouragement made him a mark for the enemy and conspicuous before his men. Finally, he was carried to such a pitch of excitement that he transfixed with a spear a colour-bearer who was running away, then seized the standard, and turned it towards the foe. Struck with shame some horsemen — not over one hundred in all — made a stand against the enemy. The character of the ground favoured them, the road at this point being narrower and the bridge broken down across a stream which came in the way and with its unknown depths and steep banks made flight difficult. It was such necessity or good luck that restored the fortunes of a side that was already well nigh lost. The troops reformed in firm and solid ranks and received the Vitellians, who, coming on in disorder, were thrown back in confusion. Antonius pursued those who were panic-stricken, cut down those who resisted, while the rest of his troops, each following his own nature, robbed the dead, took prisoners, or carried off arms and horses. The soldiers, who a moment before were fleeing through open fields, were attracted by the shouts of success and joined in the victory., Four miles from Cremona the gleam of the standards of the legions Rapax and Italica was suddenly seen; for, hearing of the early success of their cavalry, they had hurried on to this point. But when fortune opposed them, they did not open out their lines, receive the fugitives, or advance and take the initiative in attacking their opponents, who were exhausted with their long advance and with fighting. Being now guided by chance, in their adversity they realized their lack of a leader as they had never missed him in success. When their line wavered, the enemy's victorious horse suddenly attacked; the tribune Vipstanus Messala also came up bringing some auxiliary troops from Moesia with whom many legionaries had kept pace in spite of their rapid advance; and so the Flavian foot and horse combined broke through the line of the two legions. The neighbouring walls of Verona, while offering hope of a refuge, gave them less courage for resistance. Still Antonius did not press on further, for he realized that his soldiers were exhausted by their efforts and by the wounds with which the struggle, so long uncertain in spite of its successful end, had afflicted both horsemen and horses., As evening fell, the great mass of the Flavian troops arrived in a body. As they marched over the heaps of the dead where the signs of the bloody conflict were still fresh, imagining that the war was over, they demanded to go on to Cremona and receive the surrender of their defeated opponents, or else to storm the town. Thus they spoke openly — fine words indeed; but what each said to himself was that the colony situated in the plain could be carried by storm; they would have as much courage if they broke in during the dark, and they would have a greater licence to plunder. But if they waited for the light, there would be at once appeals and prayers for peace, and in return for toil and wounds the common soldiers would bear off such empty prizes as clemency and glory, while the wealth of Cremona would fill the purses of the prefects and commanders. "The booty of a city," they said, "always falls to the soldiers if it is captured, to the officers if it surrenders." They treated with scorn their centurions and tribunes, rattling their arms to avoid hearing anyone's words, and they were ready to defy their officers if not led to the assault., Then Antonius made his way among the companies, and when by his appearance and influence he had secured silence, he addressed them to this effect: "I have no desire to take away either honour or reward from soldiers who have deserved so well, but there is a division of duties between soldiers and generals: to soldiers belongs the eager enthusiasm for battle, but generals must help by foresight, by counsel, and more often by delay than by rash action. As I have done my full part to secure victory with my arms and my personal efforts, I will now help by wise counsel, which is the quality proper to a leader. For there can be no question as to the obstacles before us — night and the situation of this strange city, the fact that the enemy is within, and that everything is favourable for an ambuscade. Even if the gates were open, we ought not to enter except after reconnaissance and by day. Or will you begin a siege when wholly cut off from seeing what ground is level, how high the walls, whether to attack with artillery and weapons or with siege works and protecting sheds?" Then turning to one and another, he asked them whether they had brought with them axes, picks, and the other implements for storming cities. When they said that they had not, he asked: "Can any troops break through walls and undermine them with swords and javelins? If we need to build a mound, or protect ourselves with mantlets and fascines, shall we stand here useless like an improvident mob, gaping with wonder at the lofty towers and fortifications of others? Shall we not rather at the expense of a single night fetch up artillery and engines, and so bring with us the force to secure victory?" At the same time he sent the sutlers, servants, and the freshest of the cavalry to Bedriacum to fetch supplies and all else they needed., But the soldiers found inaction hard; in fact they were near a mutiny when a body of horsemen who had ridden up under the very walls of Cremona caught some stragglers from the town and learned from them that six Vitellian legions and all the force that had been stationed at Hostilia, after marching thirty miles that day, had heard of the losses that their associates had suffered, and that they were now preparing for battle — in fact would soon be there. This alarming danger opened their obstinate ears to the plans of their general. He ordered the Thirteenth legion to take its position on the actual causeway of the Postumian Road. Immediately on the Thirteenth's left the Seventh Galbian stood in open country, next the Seventh Claudian, protected, as the ground ran, by a ditch. On the right was the Eighth legion on an open cross-road, and then the Third, distributed among dense thickets. This was the order of the eagles and standards; the soldiers took their places in the darkness without order, wherever chance set them. The praetorians' standard was next the Third legion; the cohorts of the auxiliaries were on the wings; and the cavalry covered their flanks and rear. The Suebian princes Sido and Italicus with picked troops from their tribes were in the front ranks., The wise policy for the troops of Vitellius was to revive their strength by food and sleep at Cremona and then to put to flight and crush their opponents, who would be exhausted by cold and lack of food. But being without a leader, destitute of a plan, at about nine o'clock in the evening they flung themselves on the Flavian troops, who were ready and in their stations. I should not dare to state definitely the order in which they advanced, for their line was thrown into confusion by the soldiers' fury and by the darkness. Some writers, however, have said that the Fourth Macedonian legion was on their extreme right, the Fifth and Fifteenth with detachments from the Ninth, Second, and Twentieth British formed their centre, while the Sixteenth, Twenty-second, and First constituted their left. The troops of the two legions known as the Rapax and the Italica had joined companies in every part of the line; the cavalry and auxiliaries selected their own positions. The battle lasted the entire night with varied fortune, uncertain as to its outcome, savage, and fatal now to one side, now to the other. Neither courage nor arms, nor even their eyes, which might have foreseen danger, were of any avail. The weapons in both lines were the same, the watchwords for battle became known, for they were constantly asked; the standards were confused as some band or other carried off in this direction or that those they had captured from their foes. The Seventh legion, lately enrolled by Galba, was hardest pressed: it lost six centurions of the first rank; some of its standards were captured; its eagle was finally saved by Atilius Verus, a centurion of the first rank, who in his efforts killed many of the enemy, only finally to fall dying himself., Antonius strengthened his wavering line by bringing up the praetorians. On engaging they drove back the enemy, only to be driven back themselves, for the Vitellians had concentrated their artillery on the raised road that they might have free and open ground from which to fire; their earlier shots had been scattered and had struck the trees without injuring the enemy. A ballista of enormous size belonging to the Fifteenth legion began to do great harm to the Flavians' line with the huge stones that it hurled; and it would have caused wide destruction if it had not been for the splendid bravery of two soldiers, who, taking some shields from the dead and so disguising themselves, cut the ropes and springs of the machine. They were at once run through and thus their names were lost; but there is no doubt about their deed. Fortune inclined to neither side until, as the night wore on, the rising moon illuminated the lines with its deceptive light. But this was more favourable to the Flavian forces, for the moon was behind them and so magnified the shadows of horses and men; while their opponents, deceived by the shadows, aimed at them as if they were the actual bodies, and therefore their spears fell short; but the Vitellians, having the moonlight in their faces and thus being clearly seen, unconsciously presented a mark to their enemies, who shot, so to speak, from concealment., When Antonius could recognize his soldiers and be recognized by them, he began to urge them on, some by shame and reproaches, more by praise and encouragement, but all by hope and promises. He asked the Pannonian legions why they had taken up their arms again; he reminded them that this was the field on which they could blot out the stain of their earlier disgrace, where they could regain their former glory. Then turning to the soldiers from Moesia he appealed to them as the authors and promoters of this war. He told them that it had been useless to challenge the Vitellians with threats and words, if they could not endure their hands and looks. This he said as he came to each division; but he spoke at greater length to the troops of the Third legion, reminding them of their ancient glory as well as of their later achievements, of their victory over the Parthians when Mark Antony was their leader, over the Armenians when Corbulo commanded, and of their recent defeat of the Sarmatians. Then he indignantly said to the praetorians: "As for you, clowns that you are, if you do not win to‑day, what other general or other camp will take you in? Yonder are your standards and your arms, and, if defeated, death; for dishonour you have exhausted." A shout arose from the entire army; and the soldiers of the Third legion, according to the Syrian custom, hailed the rising sun., This action gave rise to a vague rumour, which perhaps the general started with intention, to the effect that Mucianus had arrived and that the two armies had greeted each other. The Flavian forces then advanced as if reinforced by fresh troops; the Vitellian line was now more ragged, as was natural with troops who had no commander, but closed or opened out their ranks as courage or fear moved individuals. After Antonius saw that they were shaken, he assailed them in mass formation. Their weakened lines were broken and could not be reformed, because they were entangled among the supply-wagons and artillery. The victorious troops in their hasty pursuit were strung out along the sides of the road. The carnage was peculiarly marked by the fact that in it a son killed his own father. The story and the names I shall give on the authority of Vipstanus Messala. Julius Mansuetus of Spain, when enrolled with the legion known as Rapax, had left behind him a young son. Later, when this son had grown up, he had been conscripted into the Seventh legion by Galba. Now he happened to meet his father, whom he wounded and struck down; then, as he looked closely at the dying man, the father and son recognized each other; the son embraced his expiring father and prayed with tears in his voice that his father's spirit would forgive him and not abhor him as a patricide. "The crime," he cried, "is the State's; and what does a single soldier count for in a civil war?" At the same time he lifted up the body and began to dig a grave, performing the last duties toward a father. The soldiers near first noticed it, presently more; then through the whole line were heard cries of wonder, of pity, and of cursing against this most horrible war. Yet not one whit did they slacken their murder of relatives, kinsmen, and brothers. They called the deed a crime but did it., When they reached Cremona they found a new task of enormous difficulty before them. In the war against Otho the troops from Germany had pitched their camp around the walls of Cremona and then had built a rampart around their camp; these defences they had later strengthened. At the sight of the fortifications the victorious troops hesitated, for their leaders were in doubt what orders to give. To begin an attack on the town with troops that were exhausted by fighting an entire day and night was a difficult undertaking and one of doubtful issue, when there were no reserves at hand; but if they returned to Bedriacum, their victory shrank to nothing, not to speak of the intolerable burden of such a long march. To fortify a camp even, with the enemy close at hand, involved the danger that the foe might by a sudden sortie cause them serious difficulty while their troops were scattered and busy with the work. But beyond all these things the Flavian leaders feared their own soldiers, who were more ready to face danger than delay; the troops detested safe measures and put all their hope in rash action. Every disaster, all wounds and blood, were outweighed by their greed for booty., Antonius inclined to meet his troops' desires and ordered the investment of the enemy's camp. At first they fought at a distance with arrows and stones; but in this context the Flavians suffered the greater loss, for their opponent shot down upon them. Then Antonius assigned to each legion a gate or a part of the wall, that the division of labour might show who was brave and who cowardly, and thus fire the enthusiasm of his troops by making them rivals for glory. The sections next the road to Bedriacum the Third and Seventh legions took, the fortification farther to the right the Eighth and the Seventh Claudiana; the Thirteenth assailed the gate toward Brixia. Then there followed a brief delay while some of the soldiers gathered from the neighbouring fields mattocks and picks and others brought hooks and ladders. Then the soldiers, raising their shields above their heads, advanced under the wall in a close "tortoise" formation. Both sides used the familiar artifices of Roman warfare: the Vitellians rolled down heavy stones, and when they had separated and loosened the cover of compact shields, they searched its joints with lances and pikes until they broke up the close structure of the "tortoise," and hurled their dead and mangled foes to the ground with great slaughter. The soldiers would have slackened their assault, for they were weary and ready to reject exhortations as idle, had not the leaders pointed to Cremona., Whether this was the inspiration of Hormus, as Messala says, or whether Gaius Pliny, who blames Antonius, is the better authority, I cannot easily decide; all I can say is that whether it was Antonius or Hormus, this most monstrous crime was not unworthy of the life and reputation of either. Blood and wounds no longer delayed the soldiers in their attempts to undermine the wall and shatter the gates; they renewed the "tortoise," and climbing on their comrades' shoulders, they mounted on it and seized their foes' weapons and arms. The unharmed and the wounded, the half-dead and the dying all rolled in one mass; men perished in many ways and death took every form., The Third and Seventh legions made the most violent assault; and their general, Antonius, attacked at the same point with picked auxiliaries. When the Vitellian troops could no longer sustain this combined and persistent attack, finding that their shots slipped off the "tortoise" without doing harm, they finally pushed over their ballista itself on the heads of their assailants beneath. This for the moment scattered and crushed those on whom it fell, but in its fall it dragged down the parapet and the upper part of the rampart; at the same time a neighbouring tower gave way before the volleys of stones. While men of the Seventh legion pressed forward in wedge formation, the Third broke down a gate with axes and swords. All authorities agree that the first man to rush in was Gaius Volusius, a private of the Third legion. He mounted the rampart, flung down those who resisted, and before the eyes of all, with uplifted hand and voice, cried that the camp had been captured; thereupon the rest burst in, while the Vitellians, already in a panic, threw themselves from the rampart. All the open space between the camp and the walls of Cremona were covered with the dead., Now a new difficulty again confronted the Flavian troops in the city's high walls, its towers of masonry, its iron-barred gates, and the soldiers who were brandishing their weapons. Furthermore the civil population of Cremona was large and attached to the party of Vitellius, while a great part of Italy had gathered there to attend a market which fell at this time. This great number strengthened the defenders, but the possible booty encouraged the assailants. Antonius ordered his troops quickly to set fire to the finest buildings outside the town, in the hope that the people of Cremona might be moved by the loss of their property to change their allegiance. The roofs of the houses near the walls, and particularly those which rose above the city ramparts, he filled with his bravest troops; these dislodged the defenders with beams, tiles, and firebrands., The legions were already forming a "tortoise," while others were beginning to hurl spears and stones, when the spirit of the Vitellians gradually slackened. The higher a man's rank, the readier he was to yield to fortune for fear that if Cremona also were captured by assault, there would be no more pardon, but that the whole rage of the victors would fall not on the penniless mob, but on the tribunes and centurions, whose murder meant gain. The common soldiers, however, having no thought for the future and being better protected by their humble position, continued their resistance. They wandered through the streets or concealed themselves in houses, but did not beg for peace even when they had given up fighting. The chief officers removed the name and statues of Vitellius from headquarters; they took off Caecina's fetters — for even at that time he was kept a prisoner â€” and begged him to plead their cause. When he haughtily refused they besought him with tears; all these brave men, and this was the uttermost of their ills, invoked the aid of a traitor. Presently they displayed hangings and fillets on the walls as signs of their submission. After Antonius had ordered his men to cease firing, they brought out their standards and eagles; a sad line of unarmed men followed, their eyes cast upon the ground. The victorious troops stood about, heaping insults upon them and threatening them with blows; later when the defeated troops offered their faces to every indignity, and without a spark of courage left in them were ready to suffer anything, the victors began to remember that these were the troops who had recently shown moderation after they had won at Bedriacum. Yet when Caecina appeared, in the rôle of consul, dressed in the toga praetexta and escorted by his lictors who put aside the crowd before him, the victors' rage blazed forth: they taunted him with arrogance, cruelty, and — so hateful are crimes — even with perfidy. Antonius interposed, gave him a guard, and sent him to Vespasian., In the meantime the people of Cremona were buffeted about among the troops, and there came near being a massacre, when the commanders by their appeals succeeded in calming the soldiers. Then Antonius called them together and spoke in warmest eulogy of the victors; the conquered he addressed in kindly terms; but he said nothing for or against Cremona. The troops, prompted not only by their ingrained desire for plunder, but also by their old hatred, were bent on destroying the people of the town. They believed that they had helped the party of Vitellius in the war with Otho as well; and later the common people of the town (for the mob always has an insolent nature) had insulted and taunted the soldiers of the Thirteenth legion who had been left behind to finish the amphitheatre. The troops' anger was increased by other causes as well: Caecina had given an exhibition of gladiators there; the town had twice been the seat of war; the townspeople had provided food for the Vitellians when they were actually in battle-line; and some women had been killed who had been carried by their zeal for Vitellius's side into the very battle; besides this the market season had filled the colony, always rich, with a greater show of wealth. Now the other commanders were little noticed; but fame and fortune had made Antonius conspicuous to the eyes of all. He hurried to some baths to wash away the blood with which he was covered. When he complained of the temperature, a voice was heard saying that they would soon be hot enough. This answer of some slave turned all the odium of what followed on Antonius, as if he had given the signal to burn Cremona, which was indeed at that moment in flames., Forty thousand armed men burst into the town; the number of camp-followers and servants was even greater; and they were more ready to indulge in lust and cruelty. Neither rank nor years protected anyone; their assailants debauched and killed without distinction. Aged men and women near the end of life, though despised as booty, were dragged off to be the soldiers' sport. Whenever a young woman or a handsome youth fell into their hands, they were torn to pieces by the violent struggles of those who tried to secure them, and this in the end drove the despoilers to kill one another. Individuals tried to carry off for themselves money or the masses of gold dedicated in the temples, but they were assailed and slain by others stronger than themselves. Some, scorning the booty before their eyes, flogged and tortured the owners to discover hidden wealth and dug up buried treasure. They carried firebrands in their hands, and when they had secured their loot, in utter wantonness they threw these into the vacant houses and empty temples. In this army there were many passions corresponding to the variety of speech and customs, for it was made up of citizens, allies, and foreigners; no two held the same thing sacred and there was no crime which was held unlawful. For four days did Cremona supply food for destruction. When everything sacred and profane sank into the flames, there stood solitary outside the walls the temple of Mefitis, protected by either its position or its deity., Such was the fate of Cremona in the two hundred and eighty-sixth year after its foundation. It was established in the consulship of Tiberius Sempronius and Publius Cornelius, at the time when Hannibal was threatening Italy, to be a bulwark of defence against the Transpadane Gauls and to prevent any possible invasion over the Alps. The large number of colonists sent there, the advantages given by its navigable streams, the fertility of its land, as well as the connections established with other peoples by intermarriage and alliance, all combined to make the colony increase and prosper; untouched in foreign wars, it found misfortune in civil strife. Antonius, ashamed of his atrocious crime, as public indignation grew, issued a proclamation forbidding anyone to keep a citizen of Cremona captive. In fact, the common feeling of all Italy had already made the soldiers' booty valueless, for all Italians loathed the idea of buying slaves like these. The soldiers then began to kill their captives; when this became known, they were secretly ransomed by their relatives and kin. Later the remnant of the people returned to Cremona; the fora and the temples were restored by the munificence of its citizens; and Vespasian encouraged such action., However, the infection that pervaded the bloodstained ground did not allow the army to encamp long by the ruins of this dead city. The Flavian forces moved to the third milestone; the straggling and terrified Vitellians were reorganized, each man under his own colours; and the defeated legions were distributed through Illyricum to keep them from any doubtful action, for civil war was not yet over. The Flavian leaders then despatched messengers to carry the news to Britain and to Spain; to Gaul they sent Julius Calenus, a tribune, and to Germany Alpinius Montanus, a prefect of a cohort. The latter being a Trevir and Calenus an Aeduan, but both Vitellians, they were despatched to advertise the Flavians' victory. At the same time the Flavian forces occupied the passes of the Alps, for they suspected Germany of preparing to help Vitellius., A few days after Caecina had left Rome, Vitellius, having succeeded in driving Fabius Valens to the war, began to conceal his anxieties by giving himself up to pleasures. He took no steps to provide weapons, he did not try to inspire his troops by addressing them or by having them drilled, nor did he appear before the people. He kept hidden in the shade of his gardens, like those lazy animals that lie inactive and never move so long as you give them abundant food. The past, the present, and the future alike he had dismissed completely from his mind. He was actually lounging in indolence in the woods at Aricia when he was startled by the report of the treachery of Lucilius Bassus and of the revolt of the fleet at Ravenna. Shortly afterwards the report that Caecina had gone over to Vespasian but had been arrested by his troops caused Vitellius both delight and sorrow. It was the joy rather than the anxiety that had the greater influence on his sluggish spirit. In high exultation he rode back to the city, and in a crowded assembly extolled to the skies the devoted loyalty of his soldiers; then he ordered the arrest of Publilius Sabinus, prefect of the Praetorian guard, because he was Caecina's friend, appointing Alfenus Varus in his place., Later he addressed the senate in a grandiloquent speech, and was himself extolled by the senate with most elaborate flattery. Lucius Vitellius took the lead in proposing severe measures directed against Caecina; then the rest with feigned indignation, because, "as consul he had betrayed the State, as general his emperor, as a friend the one who had loaded him wealth and honours," under the form of complaints in behalf of Vitellius expressed their own resentment. But in no speech was there any attack on the Flavian leaders. While the senators blamed the troops for their errors and lack of wisdom, they carefully and cautiously avoided mentioning Vespasian's name; and indeed there was one senator found to wheedle from Vitellius the one day of Caecina's consulship that was left — a thing which brought many a sneer on both giver and receiver. On the thirty-first of October Rosius Regulus entered and gave up his office. The learned noted that never before had one consul succeeded another unless the office had first been declared vacant or a law duly passed. There had indeed been a consul for a single day once before: that was the case of Caninius Rebilus in the dictatorship of Gaius Caesar, when Caesar was in haste to pay the rewards of civil war., The death of Junius Blaesus, becoming known at the time, caused much gossip. The story, as we learn it, is this. When Vitellius was seriously ill in the gardens of Servilius, he noticed that a tower near by was brilliantly lighted at night. On asking the reason he was told that Caecina Tuscus was giving a large dinner at which Junius Blaesus was the guest of honour; and his informants went on to exaggerate the elaborate preparations made for this dinner and to speak of the guests' extravagant enjoyment. There was no lack of men ready to accuse Tuscus and others; but they blamed Blaesus most severely because he spent his days in pleasure while his emperor was sick. When the people, who have a keen eye for the angry moods of princes, saw that Vitellius was exasperated and that Blaesus could be destroyed, Lucius Vitellius was assigned the rôle of informant. His hatred for Blaesus sprang from base jealousy, for, stained as he was by every infamy, Blaesus surpassed him by his eminent reputation. So now, bursting into the emperor's bedroom, Lucius embraced the son of Vitellius and fell on his knees. When Vitellius asked the reason for his trepidation, Lucius replied that he had no personal fear and was not anxious for himself, but that it was on behalf of his brother and his brother's children that he brought his prayers and tears. "There is no point," he said, "in fearing Vespasian, whose approach is blocked by all the German legions, by all the brave and loyal provinces, and in short by boundless stretches of sea and land. The enemy against whom you must be on your guard is in the city, in your own bosom: he boasts that the Junii and Antonii are his ancestors; and, claiming imperial descent, he parades before the soldiers his courtesy and magnificence. Everyone's thoughts are attracted to him, while you, failing to distinguish between friend and foe, cherish a rival who watches his emperor's distress from a dinner-table. To pay him for his unseasonable joy, he should suffer a night of sorrow and doom, that he may know and feel that Vitellius is alive and emperor, and furthermore that, if any misfortune happens to him, he still has a son.", Anxiously hesitating between crime and the fear that, if delayed, the death of Blaesus might bring prompt ruin or, if openly ordered, a storm of hate, Vitellius decided to resort to poison. He gave the public reason to believe in his guilt by his evident joy when he went to see Blaesus. Moreover, he was heard to make a brutal remark, boasting — and I shall quote his very words — that he had "feasted his eyes on the sight of his enemy's death-bed." Blaesus was a man not only of distinguished family and of refinement, but also of resolute loyalty. Even while the position of Vitellius was still unshaken, he had been solicited by Caecina and the party leaders who already despised the emperor, but he persisted in rejecting their advances. Honourable, opposed to revolution, moved by no desire for sudden honours, least of all for the principate, he could not escape being regarded as worthy of it., Fabius Valens in the meantime, with his long effeminate train of concubines and eunuchs, moved on too slowly for a general going out to war. On his way he heard from messengers who came in haste, that Lucius Bassus had betrayed the fleet at Ravenna to the Flavians. Yet if he had hurried, he might have stopped Caecina, who was still wavering; or at least he could have reached the legions before the decisive battle. Some advised him to take his most trusty men and, avoiding Ravenna, to push on by secret roads to Hostilia or Cremona; others favoured summoning the praetorian cohorts from Rome and then breaking through with a strong force. But Valens by useless delay wasted in discussion the time for action; later he rejected both the plans proposed, and in following a middle course — the worst of all policies in times of doubt — he showed neither adequate courage nor foresight., He wrote to Vitellius asking for help. Three cohorts and a squadron of cavalry from Britain came in response, a force whose size was ill-suited either to escape observation or to force a passage. But even in such a crisis Valens did not avoid the infamy of snatching illicit pleasures and polluting with adulteries and debaucheries the homes of those who entertained him: he had power, money, and, as fortune failed, the lust of the last hour. When the foot and horse finally arrived, the folly of his plan became evident, because he could not make his way through the enemy's lines with so small a band, no matter how faithful, and, in fact, they did not bring a loyalty that was wholly unshaken. Still shame and awe in the presence of their commander held them back; but these are weak restraints over men who are fearful of danger and regardless of disgrace. Accordingly, in his alarm, he sent the cohorts on to Ariminum, and ordered the squadron of cavalry to protect his rear. He himself turned aside into Umbria with a few companions whose loyalty had not been changed by adversity, and from Umbria he moved into Etruria. There, hearing the result of the battle at Cremona, he formed a plan which was not cowardly and which would have been formidable if it had only succeeded: he proposed to seize some ships, land somewhere on the coast of the province of Narbonne, and then rouse the Gallic provinces, the armies, and the tribes of Germany — in fact to begin a new war., Valens' departure made the troops at Ariminum anxious and timid. Cornelius Fuscus brought up his land forces and sent light men-of‑war along the neighbouring coast and thereby cut the garrison off by land and sea. The Flavians now held the plains of Umbria and that part of Picenum that is washed by the Adriatic; in fact, all Italy was divided between Vespasian and Vitellius by the range of the Apennines. Fabius Valens sailed from the harbour of Pisa, but was forced by calm or by head winds to put in at the port of Hercules Monoecus. Marius Maturus, procurator of the Maritime Alps, was not far from here; he was still faithful to Vitellius, not having yet abandoned his oath of allegiance to him although all the districts round about were hostile. He received Valens kindly, and persuaded him by his advice not to risk entering Narbonese Gaul. At the same time the fidelity of the rest was shaken by their fears., There was reason for this, since the imperial agent, Valerius Paulinus, a vigorous soldier and a friend of Vespasian even before his great fortune befell him, had bound the neighbouring communities by an oath of allegiance to him. Paulinus had also called out all the veterans who had been discharged by Vitellius, but now freely took up arms again; and he kept a garrison in Forum Julii, which controls the sea here, while his authority was increased by the fact that Forum Julii was his native city and that he was esteemed by the praetorians, whose tribune he had once been. Also the people of the district, moved by zeal for a fellow-townsman and by hope of his future power, did their best to help his party. When these preparations, which were effective and were exaggerated by rumour, were reported again and again to the Vitellians, whose minds were already in doubt, Fabius Valens returned to his ships with four soldiers of the bodyguard, three friends, and three centurions; Maturus and the rest chose to remain and take the oath of fidelity to Vespasian. But while the sea seemed to Valens safer than shores or cities, he was still doubtful of the future and saw more clearly what to avoid than what to trust. An adverse storm drove him to the Stoechadae islands belonging to the Massilians, where he was captured by some light galleys which Paulinus sent after him., Now that Valens was captured everything turned to the victor's advantage. The movement in Spain was begun by the First legion Adjutrix, which was devoted to the memory of Otho and so hostile to Vitellius. This legion drew the Tenth and Sixth after it. The Gallic provinces did not hesitate. In Britain a favourable sentiment inclined toward Vespasian, because he had been put in command of the Second legion there by Claudius and had distinguished himself in the field. This secured the island for him, but only after some resistance on the part of the other legions, in which there were many centurions and soldiers who owed their promotions to Vitellius, and so hesitated to change from an emperor of whom they had already had some experience., Inspired by these differences between the Roman forces and by the many rumours of civil war that reached them, the Britons plucked up courage under the leadership of Venutius, who, in addition to his natural spirit and hatred of the Roman name, was fired by his personal resentment toward Queen Cartimandua. She was ruler over the Brigantes, having the influence that belongs to high birth, and she had later strengthened her power when she was credited with having captured King Caratacus by treachery and so furnished an adornment for the triumph of Claudius Caesar. From this came her wealth and the wanton spirit which success breeds. She grew to despise her husband Venutius, and took as her consort his squire Vellocatus, whom she admitted to share the throne with her. Her house was at once shaken by this scandalous act. Her husband was favoured by the sentiments of all the citizens; the adulterer was supported by the queen's passion for him and by her savage spirit. So Venutius, calling in aid from outside and at the same time assisted by a revolt of the Brigantes themselves, put Cartimandua into an extremely dangerous position. Then she asked the Romans for protection, and in fact some companies of our foot and horse, after meeting with indifferent success in a number of engagements, finally succeeded in rescuing the queen from danger. The throne was left to Venutius; the war to us., At the same time there was trouble in Germany. Indeed the Roman cause almost suffered disaster because of the negligence of the generals, the mutinous spirit of the legions, the assaults from without the empire, and the treachery of our allies. The history of this war with its causes and results we shall give later, for the struggle was a long one. The Dacians also, never trustworthy, became uneasy and now had no fear, for our army had been withdrawn from Moesia. They watched the first events without stirring; but when they heard that Italy was aflame with war and that the whole empire was divided into hostile camps, they stormed the winter quarters of our auxiliary foot and horse and put themselves in possession of both banks of the Danube. They were already preparing to destroy the camps of the legions, and would have succeeded in their purpose if Mucianus had not placed the Sixth legion across their path. He took this step because he had learned of the victory at Cremona, and he also feared that two hordes of foreigners might come down upon the empire, if the Dacians and the Germans should succeed in breaking in at different points. As so often before, the fortune of the Roman people attended them, bringing, as it had, Mucianus and the forces of the East to that point and securing meantime the success at Cremona. Fonteius Agrippa was transferred from Asia, where, as proconsul, he had governed the province for a year, and put in charge of Moesia; there he was given additional troops from the army of Vitellius, which it was wise from the point of view of both policy and peace to distribute in the provinces and to involve in war with a foreign foe., Nor were the other nations quiet. There was a sudden armed uprising in Pontus led by a barbarian slave who had once been prefect of the royal fleet. This was a certain Anicetus, a freedman of Polemo, who, having been once very powerful, was impatient of the change after the kingdom was transformed into a province. So he stirred up the people of Pontus in the name of Vitellius, bribing the poorest among them with hope of plunder. Then at the head of a band, which was far from being negligible, he suddenly attacked Trapezus, a city of ancient fame, founded by Greeks at the extreme end of the coast of Pontus. There he massacred a cohort, which originally consisted of auxiliaries furnished by the king; later its members had been granted Roman citizenship and had adopted Roman standards and arms, but retained the indolence and licence of the Greeks. He also set fire to the fleet and escaped by sea, which was unpatrolled since Mucianus had concentrated the best light galleys and all the marines at Byzantium. Moreover, the barbarians had hastily built vessels and now roamed the sea at will, despising the power of Rome. Their boats they call camarae; they have a low freeboard but are broad of beam, and are fastened together without spikes of bronze or iron. When the sea is rough the sailors build up the bulwarks with planks to match the height of the waves, until they close in the hull like the roof of a house. Thus protected these vessels roll about amid the waves. They have a prow at both ends and their arrangement of oars may be shifted, so that they can be safely propelled in either direction at will., These events attracted Vespasian's attention, so that he sent detachments from his legions under the command of Virdius Geminus, whose military skill had been well tested. He attacked the enemy's troops when they were off their guard and were scattered in their greed for booty, and forced them to their boats; afterwards he quickly built some light galleys and caught up with Anicetus at the mouth of the river Chobus, where he had sought shelter under the protection of the king of the Sedochezi, whose alliance he had secured by bribes and gifts. At first the king sheltered his suppliant with the aid of threats and arms; but after the reward for treachery and the alternative of war were set before him, with the unstable loyalty of a barbarian he bargained away the life of Anicetus, gave up the refugees, and so an end was put to this servile war. While Vespasian was rejoicing over this victory, for everything was succeeding beyond his hopes and prayers, the news of the battle at Cremona reached him in Egypt. He moved with all the more speed to Alexandria, that he might impose the burden of famine on the broken armies of Vitellius and on Rome, which always needs help from outside. For he was now preparing to invade Africa also by land and sea, situated as it is in the same quarter of the world, his purpose being to shut off Italy's supplies of grain and so cause need and discord among his foes., While the imperial power was shifting with these world-wide convulsions, Primus Antonius did not behave so blamelessly after the battle of Cremona as before, whether it was that he thought that he had done enough for the war and that everything else would easily follow, or whether success in the case of a nature like his brought to the surface the avarice, arrogance, and other evils that had remained hidden hitherto. He stalked through Italy as it were captured territory; he courted the legions as if they were his own; he used his every word and act to pave his way to power. To inspire the soldiers with a spirit of licence, he offered to the rank and file the places of the centurions who had fallen. The soldiers chose the most turbulent of their number. The ranks were no longer directed by the will of their leaders, but the leaders were at the mercy of the common soldiers' whims. These acts, which made for mutinies and the ruin of discipline, Antonius presently turned to his own profit. He had no fear of the arrival of Mucianus, although in the event this was more fatal for him than the fact that he had treated Vespasian with little respect., Meantime, since winter was approaching and the plains were inundated by the Po, the Flavian troops moved without their heavy baggage. They left at Verona the eagles and standards of the victorious legions, such soldiers as were incapacitated by wounds or years, and also a number who were in good condition; the auxiliary foot and horse with selected legionaries seemed sufficient now that the worst of the war was over. The Eleventh legion had joined them; at first it had hesitated, but, now that the Flavians were succeeding, it became apprehensive because it had not joined them before. Six thousand Dalmatians, a new levy, accompanied them, led by Pompeius Silvanus, an ex-consul. The actual guiding spirit was Annius Bassus, the legionary legate. Silvanus displayed no energy in war, but wasted in mere talk the days for action. Bassus directed him by pretending to defer to him, and continually attended to all necessary operations with unobtrusive activity. The marines at Ravenna now demanded service with the legions, and the best of them were enrolled among them; Dalmatians replaced them in the fleet. The troops and commanders halted at Fanum Fortunae, being uncertain as to the proper course of action, for they had received a report that six praetorian cohorts had left Rome, and they supposed that the passes in the Apennines were guarded. The commanders, too, were alarmed by the lack of supplies, being now in a district completely devastated by the war, as well as by the mutinous demands of the soldiers for the clavarium, as they call the donative. They had provided neither money nor provisions; moreover, their haste and greed in seizing as private booty what might have been stores to draw upon now proved embarrassing., I have it from the best authorities that the victors had come to disregard the difference between right and wrong so completely that a common soldier declared that he had killed his brother in the last battle and actually asked the generals for a reward. The common dictates of humanity did not permit them to honour such a murder or military policy to punish it. They put off the soldier on the ground that he deserved a reward greater than could be repaid at once; nor is anything further told concerning the case. And yet a similar crime had happened in civil war before. In the struggle against Cinna on the Janiculum, as Sisenna relates, one of Pompey's soldiers killed his own brother and then, on realizing his crime, committed suicide. So much livelier among our ancestors was repentance for guilt as well as glory in virtuous action. Such deeds as this and others like them, drawn from our earlier history, I shall not improperly insert in my work whenever the theme or situation demands examples of the right or solace for the wrong., Antonius and the other Flavian commanders decided to send their cavalry on ahead and to reconnoitre throughout Umbria, to see if they could approach the Apennines at any point without danger; they proposed also to bring up the eagles and standards with all the soldiers then at Verona, and to fill the Po and the sea with convoys of provisions. There were some among the commanders who devised reasons for delay; they felt that Antonius was becoming too pretentious, and they hoped to get more certain advantages from Mucianus. For Mucianus, disturbed by the speed with which the victory had been won, and believing that he would have no share in the glory to be gained by the war unless he took Rome in person, kept writing to Primus and Varus in ambiguous terms, saying in one letter that they must follow up their successes and in another dwelling on the advantages of proceeding slowly, so trimming his course that according to the event he might at will repudiate all responsibility for failure or take the credit for success. To Plotius Grypus, whom Vespasian had lately elevated to senatorial rank and put in command of a legion, and to all other officers who were loyal, he wrote admonishing them more frankly; and they all replied, putting the haste of Primus and Varus in an unfavourable light and saying what was likely to please Mucianus. By sending these letters to Vespasian, Mucianus succeeded in preventing the plans and acts of Antonius from being estimated so highly as the latter had hoped., At this Antonius was indignant, and put the blame on Mucianus, whose base insinuations, as he maintained, had made the dangers that he had run seem trifling; nor did he pick and choose his words, being as he was immoderate in speech and unaccustomed to defer to another. He drew up a letter to Vespasian in a strain too boastful to use to an emperor; and he did not fail to attack Mucianus covertly: "It was I who armed the Pannonian legions. It was I who roused the commanders in Moesia and spurred them on. It was my bold action that broke through the Alps, seized Italy, and blocked the road against any assistance to Vitellius from Germany and Raetia." As for the disaster inflicted on the discordant and scattered legions of Vitellius by a whirlwind of cavalry and the rout of those troops by a great force of infantry which pursued them for a day and a night, Antonius claimed that these were glorious achievements of which he deserved all the credit. The fate of Cremona he charged up to the chances of war; and pointed out that civil discord in earlier days had caused greater loss and had destroyed more cities. He declared that he did not fight for his emperor with despatches and letters, but with deeds and arms; he made no attempt to dim the glory of those who meantime had quieted Dacia; their desire had been to give Moesia peace, his to give Italy safety and security. It was due to his exhortations that the Gauls and Spains, the strongest part of the world, had turned to Vespasian's side. "But," he added, "my efforts will come to nothing if the rewards for dangers run are to be gained only by those who did not face the dangers." Of all this Mucianus was fully aware, and the result was bitter enmity, fostered more openly by Antonius, with cunning and therefore the more implacably by Mucianus., Vitellius, however, after the loss of his cause at Cremona, concealed the news of the disaster, and by foolish dissimulation delayed the remedies for his misfortunes rather than the misfortunes themselves. For if he had only acknowledged the truth and sought counsel, he had still some hope and resources left; but when, on the contrary, he pretended that all was well, he made his situation worse by his falsehoods. A strange silence concerning the war was observed in his presence; discussion in the city was forbidden, with the result that more people talked. If they had been allowed to speak, they would have told only the truth; but as they were forbidden, they spread abroad more frightful reports. The generals of the Flavian forces did not fail to increase the rumours by escorting round their camp the Vitellian spies whom they had captured, showing them the strength of the victorious army and then sending them back to Rome. All these Vitellius questioned in secret and promptly had them put to death. Julius Agrestis, a centurion, exhibited notable courage. After many conversations, in which he tried in vain to rouse Vitellius to bold action, he persuaded the emperor to send him to see in person the enemy's forces and to observe what had happened at Cremona. He did not try to deceive Antonius by any secret investigation, but frankly made known his emperor's orders and his own purpose, and demanded to see everything. Men were despatched to show him the battle-ground, the ruins of Cremona, and the captive legions. Agrestis returned to Vitellius; and when the emperor denied the truth of his report, and even went so far as to charge him with having been bribed, he said, "Since I must give you a convincing proof of my statements, and you can have no other advantage from my life or death, I will give you evidence that will make you believe." With these words he left the emperor's presence, and made good his words by suicide. Some have reported that he was put to death by the orders of Vitellius, but all agree as to his fidelity and courage., Vitellius was like a man wakened from a deep sleep. He ordered Julius Priscus and Alfenus Avarus to block the passes of the Apennines with fourteen praetorian cohorts and all the cavalry. A legion of marines followed them later. These thousands of armed forces, consisting too of picked men and horses, were equal to taking the offensive if they had had another leader. The rest of the cohorts Vitellius gave to his brother Lucius for the defence of Rome, while he, abating in no degree his usual life of pleasure and urged on by his lack of confidence in the future, held the comitia before the usual time, and designated the consuls for many years to come. He granted special treaties to allies and bestowed Latin rights on foreigners with a generous hand; he reduced the tribute for some provincials, he relieved others from all obligations — in short, with no regard for the future he crippled the empire. But the mob attended in delight on the great indulgences that he bestowed; the most foolish citizens bought them, while the wise regarded as worthless privileges which could neither be granted nor accepted if the state was to stand. Finally Vitellius listened to the demands of his army which had stopped at Mevania, and left Rome, accompanied by a long line of senators, many of whom were drawn in his train by their desire to secure his favour, most however by fear. So he came to camp with no clear purpose in mind, an easy prey to treacherous advice., While Vitellius was addressing the troops an incredible prodigy appeared — such a flock of birds of ill omen flew above him that they obscured the sky with a black cloud. Another dire omen was given by a bull which overthrew the preparations for sacrifice, escaped from the altar, and was then despatched some distance away and in an unusual fashion. But the most outstanding portent was Vitellius himself; unskilled in war, without foresight, unacquainted with the proper order of march, the use of scouts, the limits within which a general should hurry on a campaign or delay it, he was constantly questioning others; at the arrival of every messenger his face and gait betrayed his anxiety; and then he would drink heavily. Finally, weary of the camp and hearing of the defection of the fleet at Misenum, he returned to Rome, panic-stricken as ever by the latest blow and with no thought for the supreme issue. For when the way was open to him to cross the Apennines while the strength of his forces was unimpaired, and to attack his foes who were still exhausted by the winter and lack of supply, by scattering his forces he delivered over to death and captivity his best troops, who were loyal to the last extremity, although his most experienced centurions disapproved, and if consulted, would have told him the truth. But the most intimate friends of Vitellius kept them away from him, and so inclined the emperor's ears that useful counsel sounded harsh, and he would hear nothing but what flattered and was to be fatal., The action of the fleet at Misenum is an illustration of the weight that a bold stroke on the part of a single individual may have in time of civil strife. It was Claudius Faventinus, a centurion dishonourably discharged by Galba, who brought the fleet to revolt by forging letters from Vespasian in which he held out to the men a reward for their treason. The fleet was commanded by Claudius Apollinaris, who was neither strong in loyalty nor determined in treachery; and Apinius Tiro, an ex-praetor who at that time happened to be at Minturnae, offered himself to lead the rebels. These moved the municipal towns and colonies to action. The people of Puteoli became ardent supporters of Vespasian; Capua, on the other hand, was faithful to Vitellius; and so rivalry between communities became a part of the civil war. Vitellius selected Claudius Julianus to reconcile the troops, for when Julianus shortly before had commanded the fleet at Misenum, he had exercised his authority in a mild fashion. The emperor gave him to support his efforts one of the city cohorts and the gladiators that Julianus then commanded. When the two forces were encamped over against each other, Julianus did not long hesitate to join Vespasian's party; then the combined forces occupied Tarracina, a town which was better defended by its walls and situation than by any ability on the part of the soldiers., On hearing this, Vitellius left part of his troops at Narnia with the prefects of the praetorian guard; his brother Lucius Vitellius he sent with six cohorts and five hundred horse to oppose the threatened outbreak in Campania. He himself was sick at heart, but the enthusiasm of the soldiers and the shouts of the people demanding arms gave him fresh spirit, while he addressed the cowardly rabble, whose courage would not extend beyond words, under the unreal and pretentious names of an army and legions. On the advice of his freedmen (for the more distinguished his friends were, the less he trusted them), he ordered the people to assemble in tribes, and administered the oath to the members as they enrolled. Since the numbers were too great, he divided between the consuls the selection of the recruits. On the senators he imposed a contribution of slaves and cash. The knights offered assistance and money, while even the freedmen demanded to be allowed the same privilege. This pretended devotion, which was in reality prompted by fear, resulted in enthusiasm for the emperor; yet most men felt sorry not so much for Vitellius as for the unfortunate position to which the principate had fallen. Nor did he fail personally to appeal to their pity by look, voice, and tears; he was generous and even prodigal in his promises, after the manner of the timid. Nay, he even went so far as to wish to be called Caesar, a title which he had rejected before, but now accepted from a superstitious feeling with regard to the name, and because in time of fear the counsels of the wise and the words of the crowd obtain a like hearing. However, since all movements that arise from thoughtless impulses are strong at first but slacken with time, the senators and knights gradually began to fall away, at first with hesitation and when Vitellius was not present, later in open scorn and indifference, until in shame at the failure of his attempts he excused them from the services which they would not render., While the occupation of Mevania had terrified Italy and had seemed to start a new war, it was also true that the timid retreat of Vitellius had increased the favourable feeling toward the Flavian party. The Samnites, Paelignians, and Marsians were jealous because Campania had anticipated them, and eagerly undertook all services required by war with the enthusiasm that attaches to every new devotion. Nevertheless, the army had been greatly exhausted by a severe winter storm while crossing the Apennines, and when the troops, though undisturbed by any enemy, found difficulty in struggling through the snow, the leaders realized what risks they would have run, had not that fortune which often served the Flavian commanders quite as much as wisdom turned Vitellius back. In the mountains they met Petilius Cerialis, who had escaped the pickets of Vitellius by disguising himself as a peasant and using his knowledge of the district. Cerialis was closely connected with Vespasian, and being himself not without reputation in war, was made one of the commanders. Many have reported that Flavius Sabinus also and Domitian had an opportunity to escape opened to them. Emissaries of Antonius by various cunning arts made their way to them and showed them the place to which to flee and the protection that they would have. Sabinus offered the excuse that his health was not fitted to stand fatigue or to engage in a bold enterprise; Domitian had the courage, but, in spite of the fact that the guards Vitellius set over him promised to join him in flight, he feared that they were planning treachery. And yet Vitellius himself out of regard for his own relatives, cherished no cruel purpose against Domitian., On arriving at Carsulae, the leaders of the Flavian party rested a few days and waited for the eagles and standards of the legions to come up. They also regarded with favour the actual situation of their camp, which had a wide outlook, and secured their supply of stores, because of the prosperous towns behind them; and at the same time, as the troops of Vitellius were only ten miles away, they hoped to have conferences with them and to bring them over. The soldiers objected to this policy and preferred a victory to peace; they were opposed to waiting even for their own legions, which would share in the booty as well as the dangers. Antonius assembled his troops and pointed out that Vitellius still had an army whose allegiance to him would be doubtful if the soldiers were given a chance to deliberate, but which would be dangerous if driven to despair. "The beginning of civil war," he said, "is necessarily left to fortune; but victory is always secured by strategy and wise counsel. The fleet at Misenum and the lovely district of Campania have already deserted Vitellius, and he now has nothing left out of the whole world but the land that lies between Tarracina and Narnia. We gained a full measure of glory in the battle of Cremona, but by the destruction of Cremona won greater unpopularity than we could wish. Therefore we should not long to capture Rome so much as to save it. You will have greater rewards and the greatest possible fame if you aim to secure without bloodshed the safety of the senate and the Roman people." These arguments and others to the same effect quieted the soldiers' impatience., Not much later the legions arrived at Carsulae. The terrifying report that the Flavian army had been reinforced caused the cohorts of Vitellius to waver: no officer urged them to fight, but many to desert, rivalling one another in handing over their centuries and squadrons as a gift to the victors and as a security for their own reward later. From them the Flavians learned that Interamna in the neighbouring plain was defended by four hundred horse. Varus was despatched at once with a force in light marching order. He killed a few of the garrison when they resisted; the majority threw down their arms and begged for pardon. Some, escaping to the main camp, caused utter consternation there by exaggerated accounts of the bravery and the numbers of their enemies, which they gave to mitigate their own disgrace for having failed to hold their post. With the Vitellians there was no punishment for cowardice; those who went over to the Flavians received the rewards of their treachery; the only rivalry left was in perfidy. Among the tribunes and centurions desertions were frequent; for the common soldiers had remained steadfastly loyal to Vitellius until now; Priscus and Alfenus by abandoning the camp and returning to Vitellius set them all free from any shame of treachery., During these same days Fabius Valens was killed at Urbinum, where he was under guard. His head was exhibited to the cohorts of Vitellius to keep them from cherishing any further hope, for hitherto they had believed that Valens had made his way to the German provinces, where he was setting in motion the old forces and enrolling new. The sight of his head turned them to despair; and it was extraordinary with what an enormous increase of courage the execution of Valens inspired the Flavian troops, who regarded it as the end of the war. Valens was born at Anagnia of an equestrian family. He was a man of loose morals but not without natural ability, save that he sought a reputation for wit by buffoonery. At the Festival of Youth under Nero he appeared in mimes, at first apparently under compulsion, but later of his own free will, acting in a manner more clever than decent. As a legate of a legion he courted Verginius and then defamed him. He put Fonteius Capito to death after corrupting him — or it may have been because he could not corrupt him. A traitor to Galba, he was faithful to Vitellius and gained glory from the perfidy of others., Now that every possible hope from any source was destroyed, the troops of Vitellius were ready to come over to Vespasian's side; but they wished to do it with honour, and some came down into the plain below Narnia with their ensigns and standards. The Flavian troops, all equipped and ready for the battle, were drawn up in close order along the sides of the road. The Vitellians were allowed to advance between the Flavian lines; then Antonius drew his forces about them and addressed them in kindly terms. Half of them were ordered to stay at Narnia, the other half at Interamna. At the same time some of the victorious legions were left behind, not to oppress the Vitellians if they remained quiet, but in sufficient strength to meet any rebellious movement. During this time Antonius and Varus did not fail to send frequent messages to Vitellius offering him safety, money, and a retreat in Campania, provided he would lay down his arms and give himself and his children up to Vespasian. Mucianus also wrote to him to the same effect; and Vitellius was often inclined to trust these proposals and spoke of the number of slaves he should take with him and the place he should choose for his retreat. Such a lethargy had fallen on his spirit that, but for others remembering that he had been emperor, he would have forgotten it himself., On the other hand, the leading citizens began secretly to urge Flavius Sabinus, the city prefect, to claim his share of victory and glory. "You have," they said, "your own military force in the city cohorts, and the cohorts of the police also will not fail you, nor will our slaves; in your favour are the good fortune of the Flavian party and the readiness with which all things become easy for the winning side. Do not yield in glory to Antonius and Varus. Vitellius has only a few cohorts, and those are in a panic because of the gloomy news from every quarter. The people are fickle, and if you but offer yourself as their leader, they will bestow the same flattery on Vespasian that they have bestowed on Vitellius, while Vitellius himself, unable to bear even success, is still more enfeebled by disaster. Gratitude for ending the war will belong to the man who seizes the city. It is for you to guard the imperial power for your brother, for Vespasian to put you before all others.", Sabinus, however, listened to such appeals without enthusiasm, for he was impaired by old age. Indeed there were some who attacked him, covertly insinuating that, prompted by ill-will and envy, he was inclined to delay his brother's success. For Sabinus was the elder, and so long as they were both private citizens, he was superior to Vespasian in influence and fortune; moreover, there was a report that once, when Vespasian's credit had been affected, Sabinus had given him some scanty assistance and taken a mortgage on his city house and farms for security. So then, in spite of the apparent cordial feeling between them, there was a fear of secret misunderstandings. A kinder explanation of his hesitation is that he was a gentle spirit who shrank from blood and slaughter, and for this reason he discussed many times with Vitellius the question of peace and of laying down his arms under terms. They had frequent private interviews; finally, as the story went, they came to an agreement in the temple of Apollo. Only two men, Cluvius Rufus and Silius Italicus, actually witnessed their words and statements; but those who were at a distance marked their faces and noted that Vitellius seemed downcast and humiliated, while Sabinus had a look of pity rather than triumph., Now if Vitellius could have persuaded his followers to withdraw as easily as he brought himself to do so, Vespasian's army would have entered the city without bloodshed. But as it was, his most faithful adherents rejected peace and terms with their opponents, pointing out that in such a policy lay danger and disgrace, and that they had only the victor's caprice as guarantee. "Vespasian has not self-assurance enough," they said, "to endure Vitellius as a private citizen, and not even the defeated party will allow it: their pity will be a source of danger. It is true that you are an old man yourself, who has had his fill of success and adversity; but what name and position is your son Germanicus to have? At this moment they promise you money, slaves, and delightful retreats in Campania. But when Vespasian has once grasped the imperial power, neither he nor his friends nor even his army will feel that they have any security until his rival is destroyed. Fabius Valens, though a captive, reserved as a hostage for a possible crisis, has proved too great a burden for his captors. Will Primus and Fuscus or that leading representative of their party, Mucianus, have any liberty in dealing with you except the liberty of killing? Caesar did not leave Pompey unharmed or Augustus Antony. What hope is there now for you, unless perchance Vespasian has a loftier soul — this Vespasian, who was once a client of a Vitellius, when a Vitellius was colleague of Claudius. No. You must prove yourself worthy of your father's censorship, of the three consulships, and all the honours belonging to your famous house. In desperation at least you must gird yourself to bold action. The soldiers are loyal, the people enthusiastic in their support. Finally, nothing worse can happen than that to which we are rushing of our free will. We must die if conquered; die likewise if we surrender. The only question is whether we shall breathe our last breath amid mockery and insults or in valorous action.", Vitellius's ears were deaf to all sterner counsels. His mind was overwhelmed by pity and anxiety for his wife and children, since he feared that if he made an obstinate struggle, he might leave the victor less mercifully disposed toward them. He had also his mother, who was bowed with years; but through an opportune death she anticipated by a few days the destruction of her house, having gained nothing from the elevation of her son to the principate but sorrow and good repute. On December eighteenth, when Vitellius heard of the defection of the legion and cohorts that had given themselves up at Narnia, he put on mourning and came down from his palace, surrounded by his household in tears; his little son was carried in a litter as if in a funeral procession. The voices of the people were flattering and untimely; the soldiers maintained an ominous silence., There was no one so indifferent to human fortunes as not to be moved by the sight. Here was a Roman emperor who, but yesterday lord of all mankind, now, abandoning the seat of his high fortune, was going through the midst of his people and the heart of the city to give up his imperial power. Men had never seen or heard the like before. A sudden violent act had crushed the dictator Caesar, a secret plot the emperor Gaius; night and the obscurity of the country had concealed the flight of Nero; Piso and Galba had fallen, so to say, on the field of battle. But now Vitellius, in an assembly called by himself, surrounded by his own soldiers, while even women looked on, spoke briefly and in a manner befitting his present sad estate, saying that he withdrew for the sake of peace and his country; he asked the people simply to remember him and to have pity on his brother, his wife, and his innocent young children. As he spoke, he held out his young son in his arms, commending him now to one or another, again to the whole assembly; finally, when tears choked his voice, taking his dagger from his side he offered it to the consul who stood beside him, as if surrendering his power of life and death over the citizens. The consul's name was Caecilius Simplex. When he refused it and the assembled people cried out in protest, Vitellius left them with the intention of depositing the imperial insignia in the Temple of Concord and after that going to his brother's home. Thereupon the people with louder cries opposed his going to a private house, but called him to the palace. Every other path was blocked against him; the only road open was along the Sacred Way. Then in utter perplexity he returned to the palace., The rumour had already spread abroad that he was abdicating, and Flavius Sabinus had written to the tribunes of the cohorts to hold the troops in check. Therefore, as if the entire state had fallen into Vespasian's arms, the leading senators, a majority of the equestrian order, and all the city guards and watchmen crowded the house of Flavius Sabinus. Word was brought there concerning the temper of the people and the threats of the German cohorts; but by this time Sabinus had already gone too far to retreat; and everyone, fearing for himself lest the Vitellian troops should attack the Flavians when scattered and therefore weak, urged the hesitating prefect to armed action. But, as generally happens in such cases, while all gave advice, few faced danger. As Sabinus and his armed retinue were coming down by the reservoir of Fundanus, they were met by the most eager of the supporters of Vitellius. The conflict was of trifling importance, for the encounter was unforeseen, but it was favourable to the Vitellian forces. In his uncertainty Sabinus chose the easiest course under the circumstances and occupied the citadel on the Capitoline with a miscellaneous body of soldiers, and with some senators and knights, whose names it is not easy to report, since after Vespasian's victory many claimed to have rendered this service to his party. Some women even faced the siege; the most prominent among them was Verulana Gratilla, who was not following children or relatives but was attracted by the fascination of war. While the Vitellians besieged Sabinus and his companions they kept only a careless watch; therefore in the depth of night Sabinus called his own sons and his nephew Domitian into the Capitol. He succeeded also in sending a messenger through his opponents' slack pickets to the Flavian generals to report that they were besieged and in a difficult situation unless help came. In fact the night was so quiet that Sabinus could have escaped himself without danger; for the soldiers of Vitellius, while ready to face dangers, had little regard for hard work and picket duty; besides a sudden downpour of winter rain rendered seeing and hearing difficult., At daybreak, before hostilities could begin on either side, Sabinus sent Cornelius Martialis, a centurion of the first rank, to Vitellius with orders to complain that he had broken their agreement. This was his message: "You have made simply a pretence and show of abdicating in order to deceive all these eminent men. For why did you go from the rostra to your brother's house which overlooks the Forum and invites men's eyes, rather than to the Aventine and to your wife's home there? That was the action proper to a private citizen who wished to avoid all the show that attaches to the principate. On the contrary, you went back to the palace, to the very citadel of the imperial power. From there an armed band has issued; the most crowded part of the city has been strewn with the bodies of innocent men; even the Capitol is not spared. I, Sabinus, am of course only a civilian and a single senator. So long as the question between Vespasian and Vitellius was being adjudged by battles between the legions, by the capture of cities and the surrender of cohorts, although the Spains, the Germanies, and Britain fell away, I, Vespasian's own brother, still remained faithful to you until I was invited to a conference. Peace and concord are advantageous to the defeated; to the victors they are only glorious. If you regret your agreement, you should not attack me whom your treachery has deceived, or Vespasian's son, who is as yet hardly more than a child. What is the advantage in killing one old man and one youth? You should rather go and face the legions and fight in the field for the supremacy. Everything else will follow the issue of the battle." Vitellius was disturbed by these words and made a brief reply to excuse himself, putting the blame on his soldiers, with whose excessive ardour, he declared, his own moderation could not cope. At the same time he advised Martialis to go away privately through a secret part of the palace, that the soldiers might not kill him as the mediator of a peace which they detested. As for himself, he was powerless to order or to forbid; he was no longer emperor, but only a cause of war., Martialis had hardly returned to the Capitol when the soldiers arrived in fury. They had no leader; each directed his own movements. Rushing through the Forum and past the temples that rise above it, they advanced in column up the hill, as far as the first gates of the Capitoline citadel. There were then some old colonnades on the right as you go up the slopes; the defenders came out on the roofs of these and showered stones and tiles on their assailants. The latter had no arms except their swords, and they thought that it would cost too much time to send for artillery and missiles; consequently they threw firebrands on a projecting colonnade, and then followed in the path of the flames; they actually burned the gates of the Capitol and would have forced their way through, if Sabinus had not torn down all the statues, memorials to the glory of our ancestors, and piled them up across the entrance as a barricade. Then the assailants tried different approaches to the Capitol, one by the grove of the asylum and another by the hundred steps that lead up to the Tarpeian Rock. Both attacks were unexpected; but the one by the asylum was closer and more threatening. Moreover, the defenders were unable to stop those who climbed through neighbouring houses, which, built high in time of peace, reached the level of the Capitol. It is a question here whether it was the besiegers or the besieged who threw fire on the roofs. The more common tradition says this was done by the latter in their attempts to repel their assailants, who were climbing up or had reached the top. From the houses the fire spread to the colonnades adjoining the temple; then the "eagles" which supported the roof, being of old wood, caught and fed the flames. So the Capitol burned with its doors closed; none defended it, none pillaged it., This was the saddest and most shameful crime that the Roman state had ever suffered since its foundation. Rome had no foreign foe; the gods were ready to be propitious if our characters had allowed; and yet the home of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, founded after due auspices by our ancestors as a pledge of empire, which neither Porsenna, when the city gave itself up to him, nor the Gauls when they captured it, could violate — this was the shrine that the mad fury of emperors destroyed! The Capitol had indeed been burned before in civil war, but the crime was that of private individuals. Now it was openly besieged, openly burned — and what were the causes that led to arms? What was the price paid for this great disaster? This temple stood intact so long as we fought for our country. King Tarquinius Priscus had vowed it in the war with the Sabines and had laid its foundations rather to match his hope of future greatness than in accordance with what the fortunes of the Roman people, still moderate, could supply. Later the building was begun by Servius Tullius with the enthusiastic help of Rome's allies, and afterwards carried on by Tarquinius Superbus with the spoils taken from the enemy at the capture of Suessa Pometia. But the glory of completing the work was reserved for liberty: after the expulsion of the kings, Horatius Pulvillus in his second consulship dedicated it; and its magnificence was such that the enormous wealth of the Roman people acquired thereafter adorned rather than increased its splendour. The temple was built again on the same spot when after an interval of four hundred and fifteen years it had been burned in the consulship of Lucius Scipio and Gaius Norbanus. The victorious Sulla undertook the work, but still he did not dedicate it; that was the only thing that his good fortune was refused. Amid all the great works built by the Caesars the name of Lutatius Catulus kept its place down to Vitellius's day. This was the temple that then was burned., However, the fire terrified the besieged more than the besiegers, for the Vitellian troops lacked neither skill nor courage in the midst of danger. But on the opposing side, the soldiers were frightened, the commander, as if stricken, could neither speak nor hear; he would not be guided by others' advice or plan for himself; swayed this way and that by the enemies' shouts, he forbade what he had just ordered, ordered what he had just forbidden. Presently, as happens in time of desperation, all gave commands, none obeyed them; finally they threw away their arms and began to look about for an opportunity to flee and a way to hide from their foes. The Vitellians broke in and wrought utter carnage with fire and sword. A few experienced soldiers, among whom Cornelius Martialis, Aemilius Pacensis, Casperius Niger, and Didius Scaeva were the most distinguished, dared to fight and were killed. Flavius Sabinus, who was unarmed and did not attempt to flee, the Vitellians surrounded; they likewise took Quintus Atticus, the consul. He was marked out by his empty title and his own folly, for he had issued proclamations to the people, in which he had spoken in eulogistic terms of Vespasian, but had insulted Vitellius. The rest of the defenders escaped in a variety of ways, some dressed as slaves, others protected by their faithful clients and hidden among the baggage; there were some who caught the password by which the Vitellians recognised one another, and then, taking the lead in asking it or giving it on demand, found a refuge in audacity., Domitian was concealed in the lodging of a temple attendant when the assailants broke into the citadel; then through the cleverness of a freedman he was dressed in a linen robe and so was able to join a crowd of devotees without being recognized and to escape to the house of Cornelius Primus, one of his father's clients, near the Velabrum, where he remained in concealment. When his father came to power, Domitian tore down the lodging of the temple attendant and built a small chapel to Jupiter the Preserver with an altar on which his escape was represented in a marble relief. Later, when he had himself gained the imperial throne, he dedicated a great temple of Jupiter the Guardian, with his own effigy in the lap of the god. Sabinus and Atticus were loaded with chains and taken before Vitellius, who received them with no angry word or look, although the crowd cried out in rage, asking for the right to kill them and demanding rewards for accomplishing this task. Those who stood nearest were the first to raise these cries, and then the lowest plebeians with mingled flattery and threats began to demand the punishment of Sabinus. Vitellius stood on the steps of the palace and was about to appeal to them, when they forced him to withdraw. Then they ran Sabinus through, mutilated him, and cut off his head, after which they dragged his headless body to the Gemonian stairs., Thus died a man who was far from being despicable. He had served the state for thirty-five years, winning distinction in both civil and military life. His upright character and justice were above criticism; but he talked too easily. This was the only thing that mischievous gossip could say against him in the seven years during which he governed Moesia or in the twelve years while he was prefect of the city. At the end of his life some thought that he lacked energy, many believed him moderate and desirous of sparing the blood of his fellow-citizens. In any case all agree that up to the time that Vespasian became emperor the reputation of the house depended on Sabinus. According to report his death gave Mucianus pleasure. Most men felt that his death was in the interests of peace also, for it disposed of the rivalry between the two men, one of whom thought of himself as the brother of the emperor, the other as a partner in the imperial power. But Vitellius resisted the people when they demanded the punishment of the consul, since he felt kindly toward Atticus, and wished, as it were, to repay him; for when people asked who had set fire to the Capitol, Atticus had assumed the guilt, and by this confession — or possibly it was a falsehood to meet the situation — seemed to have accepted the odium of the crime and to have freed the party of Vitellius., During these days Lucius Vitellius, who had pitched camp at Feronia, threatened to destroy Tarracina, where he had shut up the gladiators and seamen, who did not dare to leave their walls or to run any risks in open ground. As I have stated above, Julianus commanded the gladiators, Apollinaris the crews, but the profligate habits and lazy characters of both these made them seem more like gladiators than leaders. No watch was kept; no effort made to strengthen the weak parts of the walls. Day and night they wandered about, making the pleasant parts of the shore echo with the noise of their festivals; their soldiers were scattered to seek materials for their pleasures, while the leaders talked of war only at their dinners. A few days earlier Apinius Tiro had left Tarracina, and now was gaining more unpopularity than strength for his cause by the harsh way in which he collected gifts and money in the towns., In the meantime a slave of Verginius Capito escaped to Lucius Vitellius and promised that if he could have a force, he would hand over the citadel, which was empty. Accordingly, late at night he guided some light cohorts and got them on the heights above their foes; from this position they poured down to massacre rather than to fight. They slew their opponents, some unarmed, others just taking up their arms, and some just roused from sleep, while all were confused by the darkness, the terror, the sound of the trumpets, and the shouts of their enemies. A few of the gladiators resisted and fell not without vengeance on their foes. The rest rushed to the ships; but there an equal panic caused utter confusion, for the Vitellians slew without distinction the townspeople who joined the soldiers in their flight. Six Liburnian galleys escaped at the first alarm with Apollinaris the prefect of the fleet on board; the rest of the ships were captured at the shore, or else were swamped by the excessive weight of those who rushed on board. Julianus was taken before Lucius Vitellius, flogged, and slain before his eyes. Some accused Triaria, wife of Lucius Vitellius, with girding on a soldier's sword and behaving haughtily and cruelly in the horrible massacre that followed the capture of Tarracina. Vitellius himself sent laurels to his brother to announce his success, and at the same time asked whether he directed him to return or to press on to the conquest of Campania. The consequent delay helped not only Vespasian's party but the state, for if the troops had hurried to Rome while fresh from their victory and with their natural stubbornness confirmed by their pride over their success, the struggle which would have ensued could not have been slight, and indeed would have destroyed the city. For all his infamous nature, Lucius Vitellius possessed industry, and drew strength not like good men from their virtues, but like the basest from his vices., While these things were happening on the side of Vitellius, Vespasian's forces left Narnia and quietly celebrated the Saturnalia at Ocriculum. The excuse given for such unseemly delay was that they were waiting for Mucianus. There were also some who suspected Antonius, alleging that a treasonable purpose made him delay, after he had secretly received letters from Vitellius offering him a consulship, the hand of his daughter, and a great dowry as rewards for treachery on his part. Others, however, regarded these tales as sheer inventions devised for the advantage of Mucianus; some held that all the leaders proposed to threaten Rome with war rather than make war on her, since the strongest cohorts had already abandoned Vitellius, and it seemed probable that if all his resources were cut off, he would give up the imperial power. "But all plans," they said, "had been spoiled first by the haste of Sabinus and then by his weakness; for he had rashly taken up arms, and later had been unable to defend against even three cohorts the citadel of the Capitoline, which, with its strong fortifications, could have resisted the attacks of even great armies." But it would not be easy to fix on any individual the fault that was common to all. Mucianus held back the victors by ambiguous letters, while Antonius, by his untimely compliance or in his efforts to shift the blame to him, rendered himself culpable, and the rest of the commanders, by assuming that the war was over, made its close notorious. Not even Petilius Cerialis, who had been sent on in advance with a thousand horse under orders to proceed by the roads across the Sabine country and to enter Rome by the Salarian Way, advanced with proper speed until the report that the Capitol was besieged spurred all to action at the same time., Antonius, advancing along the Flaminian Road, reached Rubra Saxa late at night; but the assistance he brought was not in time. At Rubra Saxa he heard only the sad news that Sabinus had been killed, the Capitol burned, that the city was in a panic; it was further reported that the common people even and the slaves were arming to support Vitellius. Moreover, the horsemen of Petilius Cerialis had been worsted in an engagement, for when he advanced carelessly and in haste, as if he were proceeding against a defeated foe, the Vitellians met him with a force in which foot and horse were ranged together. The battle took place not far from the city among buildings and gardens and winding streets, which were familiar to the Vitellians but strange to their opponents, who were consequently frightened. Moreover, not all of Cerialis's horsemen had the same sentiments, for some had been assigned to his troop who had lately surrendered at Narnia and who consequently were watching the fortunes of the two parties. Julius Flavianus, prefect of a squadron, was captured; all the rest fled in shameful flight, but the victors did not pursue them beyond Fidenae., This success increased the enthusiasm of the people. The populace at Rome took up arms. A few had shields; the majority hastily seized whatever weapons came to hand and demanded the signal for battle. Vitellius thanked them and ordered them to sally forth to defend the city. Later the senate was convened and selected representatives to go to the armies and to persuade them in the interests of the state to agree on peace. The fortunes of these envoys varied. Those who met Petilius Cerialis ran the greatest dangers, for his soldiers scorned all terms of peace. They actually wounded the praetor Arulenus Rusticus. His high personal character increased the indignation naturally felt at this violence done to an envoy and this insult inflicted on a praetor. His attendants were driven off; the lictor nearest him was killed when he dared to try to make a way through the crowd; and in fact if Cerialis had not given the envoys a guard to protect them, the persons of ambassadors, whose sanctity is respected even among foreign nations, would have been violated in the madness of civil strife, and the envoys killed before the very walls of their native city. A fairer hearing was given the delegates who went to Antonius, not because the soldiers were less violent, but because the general had more authority., Musonius Rufus had joined these delegates. He was a member of the equestrian order, a man devoted to the study of philosophy and in particular to the Stoic doctrine. Making his way among the companies, he began to warn those in arms, discoursing on the blessings of peace and the dangers of war. Many were moved to ridicule by his words, more were bored; and there were some ready to jostle him about and to trample on him, if he had not listened to the warnings of the quieter soldiers and the threats of others and give up his untimely moralizing. The troops were also met by Vestals who brought letters from Vitellius to Antonius. Vitellius asked that the decisive conflict be put off for one day only, and urged that if they only delayed, they could come more easily to a complete agreement. The Vestals were sent back with honour; the reply to Vitellius was that by killing Sabinus and burning the Capitol he had made all communication between the two sides impossible., None the less, Antonius assembled his legions and tried to calm and persuade them to camp by the Mulvian bridge and enter the city the next day. He desired this delay, for he feared that his troops, exasperated by battle, might have no regard for the people, the senate, or even for the temples and shrines of the gods. But his men suspected every delay as inimical to their victory; at the same time the standards which gleamed among the hills, although followed by an unarmed crowd, had presented the appearance of a hostile army. The Flavian forces advanced in three columns: part continued in their course along the Flaminian Way, part along the bank of the Tiber; the third column approached the Colline gate by the Salarian Way. The mass of civilians was dispersed by a cavalry charge; but the troops of Vitellius also advanced in three columns to defend the city. There were many engagements before the walls with varied results, yet the Flavian forces, being more ably led, were more often successful. The only troops that met with serious trouble were those who had moved through narrow and slippery streets toward the left quarter of the city and the gardens of Sallust. The Vitellian forces, climbing on top of the walls that surrounded the gardens, blocked their opponents' approach with a shower of stones and javelins until late in the day, when they were finally surrounded by the cavalry that had broken in through the Colline gate. The hostile forces met also in the Campus Martius. The Flavians had good fortune and many victories on their side; the Vitellians rushed forward, prompted only by despair, and even though beaten, they kept forming again within the city., The populace stood by watching the combatants, as if they were games in the circus; by their shouts and applause they encouraged first one party and then the other. If one side gave way and the soldiers hid in shops or sought refuge in some private house, the onlookers demanded that they be dragged out and killed; for so they gained a larger share of booty, since the troops were wholly absorbed in their bloody work of slaughter, while the spoils fell to the rabble. Horrible and hideous sights were to be seen everywhere in the city: here battles and wounds, there open baths and drinking shops; blood and piles of corpses, side by side with harlots and the compeers of harlots. There were all the debauchery and passion that obtain in a dissolute peace, every crime that can be committed in the most savage conquest, so that men might well have believed that the city was at once mad with rage and drunk with pleasure. It is true that armed forces had fought before this in the city, twice when Lucius Sulla gained his victories and once when Cinna won. There was no less cruelty then than now; but now men showed inhuman indifference and never relaxed their pleasures for a single moment. As if this were a new delight added to their holidays, they gave way to exultation and joy, wholly indifferent to either side, finding pleasure in public misfortune., The greatest difficulty was met in taking the Praetorian Camp, which the bravest soldiers defended as their last hope. The resistance made the victors only the more eager, the old praetorian cohorts being especially determined. They employed at the same time every device that had ever been invented for the destruction of the strongest cities — the "tortoise," artillery, earthworks, and firebrands — shouting that all the labour and danger that they had suffered in all their battles would be crowned by this achievement. "We have given back the city to the senate and the Roman people," they cried; "we have restored the temples to the gods. The soldier's glory is in his camp: that is his native city, that his penates. If the camp is not at once recovered, we must spend the night under arms." On their side the Vitellians, unequal though they were in numbers and in fortune, by striving to spoil the victory, to delay peace, and to defile the houses and altars of the city with blood, embraced the last solace left to the conquered. Many, mortally wounded, breathed their last on the towers and battlements; when the gates were broken down, the survivors in a solid mass opposed the victors and to a man fell giving blow for blow, dying with faces to the foe; so anxious were they, even at the moment of death, to secure a glorious end. On the capture of the city Vitellius was carried on a chair through the rear of the palace to his wife's house on the Aventine, so that, in case he succeeded in remaining undiscovered during the day, he might escape to his brother and the cohorts at Tarracina. But his fickle mind and the very nature of terror, which makes the present situation always seem the worst to one who is fearful of everything, drew him back to the palace. This he found empty and deserted, for even the meanest of his slaves had slipped away or else avoided meeting him. The solitude and the silent spaces filled him with fright: he tried the rooms that were closed and shuddered to find them empty. Exhausted by wandering forlornly about, he concealed himself in an unseemly hiding-place; but Julius Placidus, tribune of a cohort, dragged him to the light. With his arms bound behind his back, his garments torn, he presented a grievous sight as he was led away. Many cried out against him, not one shed a tear; the ugliness of the last scene had banished pity. One of the soldiers from Germany met him and struck at him in rage, or else his purpose was to remove him the quicker from insult, or he may have been aiming at the tribune — no one could tell. He cut off the tribune's ear and was at once run through., Vitellius was forced at the point of the sword now to lift his face and offer it to his captors' insults, now to see his own statues falling, and to look again and again on the rostra or the place where Galba had been killed. Finally, the soldiers drove him to the Gemonian stairs where the body of Flavius Sabinus had recently been lying. His only utterance marked his spirit as not ignoble, for when the tribune insulted him, he replied, "Yet I was your Emperor." Then he fell under a shower of blows; and the people attacked his body after he was dead with the same base spirit with which they had fawned on him while he lived., His native city was Luceria. He had nearly completed the fifty-seventh year of his age. The consulate, priesthoods, a name and place among the first men of his day, he acquired by no merit of his own but wholly through his father's eminence. The men who gave him the principate did not know him. Seldom has the support of the army been gained by any man through honourable means to the degree that he won it through his worthlessness. Yet his nature was marked by simplicity and liberality — qualities which, if unchecked, prove the ruin of their possessor. Thinking, as he did, that friendships are cemented by greater gifts rather than by high character, he bought more friends than he kept. Undoubtedly it was to the advantage of the state that Vitellius should fall, but those who betrayed him to Vespasian cannot make a virtue of their own treachery, for they had already deserted Galba. The day hurried to its close. It was impossible to summon the senate because the senators had stolen away from the city or were hiding in their clients' houses. Now that he had no enemies to fear, Domitian presented himself to the leaders of his father's party, and was greeted by them as Caesar; then crowds of soldiers, still in arms, escorted him to his ancestral hearth.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

4 results
1. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 14.110 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2. Martial, Epigrams, 11.94 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Martial, Epigrams, 11.94 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Tacitus, Histories, 5.5.1-5.5.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
ausgangstext Doble and Kloha, Texts and Traditions: Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott (2014) 65
circumcision, as the crucial indicator of conversion Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 206
conversion, circumcision as the crucial indicator of Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 206
conversion, conversion/adherence in josephus' Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 206
conversion, juvenal on Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 206
conversion, tacitus on Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 206
initial text Doble and Kloha, Texts and Traditions: Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott (2014) 65
israel Rizzi, Hadrian and the Christians (2010) 94
jerusalem (zion) Rizzi, Hadrian and the Christians (2010) 94
martial, roman poet Rizzi, Hadrian and the Christians (2010) 94
rome Rizzi, Hadrian and the Christians (2010) 94
tacitus, roman historian Rizzi, Hadrian and the Christians (2010) 94
tibur, hadrians villa, canopus Rizzi, Hadrian and the Christians (2010) 94
tibur, hadrians villa, piazza doro Rizzi, Hadrian and the Christians (2010) 94