Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 447 pages of information about Tacitus.

Such then at Rome was the variety of feeling natural in so vast a 8 population.  To turn to the provinces abroad:  Spain was under the command of Cluvius Rufus, a man of great eloquence, and more skilled in the arts of peace than of war.[19] The Gallic provinces had not forgotten Vindex:  moreover, they were bound to Galba by his recent grant of Roman citizenship and his rebate of their tribute for the future.  The tribes, however, which lay nearest to the armies stationed in Germany had not received these honours:  some even had lost part of their territory and were equally aggrieved at the magnitude of their own injuries and of their neighbours’ benefits.  The troops in Germany were proud of their recent victory, indignant at their treatment and perplexed by a nervous consciousness that they had supported the wrong side:  a very dangerous state for so strong a force to be in.  They had been slow to desert Nero, and Verginius[20] did not immediately declare for Galba.  Whether he really did not want the throne is doubtful:  without question his soldiers made him the offer.  The death of Fonteius Capito aroused the indignation even of those who had no right to complain.  However, they still lacked a leader:  Galba had sent for Verginius under a pretence of friendship, and, when he was not allowed to return and was even charged with treachery, the soldiers considered his case their own.

The army of Upper Germany felt no respect for their commander, 9 Hordeonius Flaccus.[21] Weakened by age and an affection of the feet he was without resolution or authority, and could not have controlled the mildest troops.  These fiery spirits were only the further inflamed when they felt such a weak hand on the reins.  The legions of Lower Germany had been for some time without a commander,[22] until Aulus Vitellius appeared.  He was the son of the Lucius Vitellius who had been censor and thrice consul,[23] and Galba thought this sufficient to impress the troops.  The army in Britain showed no bad feeling.  All through the disturbance of the civil wars no troops kept cleaner hands.  This may have been because they were so far away and severed by the sea, or perhaps frequent engagements had taught them to keep their rancour for the enemy.  Quiet ruled in Illyricum also, although the legions, which had been summoned by Nero,[24] while lingering in Italy had made overtures to Verginius.  But the armies lay far apart, always a sound assistance to the maintenance of military discipline, since the men could neither share vices nor join forces.

The East was still untroubled.  Licinius Mucianus held Syria with 10 four legions.[25] He was a man who was always famous, whether in good fortune or in bad.  As a youth he was ambitious and cultivated the friendship of the great.  Later he found himself in straitened circumstances and a very ambiguous position, and, suspecting Claudius’ displeasure, he withdrew into the wilds of Asia, where he came as near to being

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Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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