Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 447 pages of information about Tacitus.
of him, he was without employment in the war.  When Vitellius’ cause began to decline, he joined Vespasian and proved an acquisition.  He was a man of great physical energy and a ready tongue; an artist in calumny, invaluable in riots and sedition.  Light-fingered and free-handed, he was intolerable in peace, but by no means contemptible in war.  The union of the Moesian and Pannonian armies soon attracted the troops in Dalmatia to the cause.  Tampius Flavianus and Pompeius Silvanus, the two ex-consuls who governed respectively Pannonia and Dalmatia,[420] were wealthy old gentlemen who had no thought of rising.  But the imperial agent in Pannonia, Cornelius Fuscus, was a vigorous young man of good family.  In his early youth a desire to make money[421] had led him to resign his senatorial rank.  He had headed the townsmen of his colony in declaring for Galba, and his services had won him a position as imperial agent.[422] Then he joined Vespasian’s party, giving a keen stimulus to the war; for, being attracted more by danger itself than by its prizes, he always disliked what was certain and long established, preferring everything that was new and dangerous and doubtful.  So the Vespasian party used all their efforts to fan every spark of discontent throughout the empire.  Letters were sent to the Fourteenth in Britain and to the First in Spain,[423] since both these legions had stood for Otho against Vitellius.  In Gaul, too, letters were scattered broadcast.  All in an instant the war was in full flame.  The armies of Illyricum openly revolted, and all the others were ready to follow the first sign of success.


    [391] i.e. he was crucified.

    [392] See note 30.

    [393] Cp. i. 79.

    [394] This hope was fulfilled (chap. 85).

    [395] See i. 89.

    [396] Under Nero, after brilliant service in Armenia and
          Parthia.  Nero was jealous and afraid of him.  So is Vitellius
          jealous of Vespasian.

    [397] Against the Jews.

    [398] From the Pontus.  Cp. ii. 83.

    [399] See note 216; and cp. chap. 81.

    [400] For his victories in Britain under the auspices of
          Claudius, who nominally shared with him the command of the
          expedition, A.D. 43.

    [401] Titus, who was now thirty, had served as Tribunus
under his father in Germany and in Britain.

    [402] More exactly of Galilee and Phoenicia.

    [403] This is of course from the Roman point of view.  Caesarea
          was the seat of the procurator.  That Jerusalem was the
          national capital Tacitus recognizes in Book V.

    [404] See note 216.

    [405] He had started for Rome with Titus (chap. 1), and
          continued his journey when Titus turned back.

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