Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

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

     [32] Vicenza.

     [33] The Brenner.

     [34] i.e.  Alexandria.

     [35] i.e.  Egypt, Syria, Asia.

     [36] Ostiglia.

     [37] From Moesia (cp. chap. 5).

     [38] The legate Tettius Julianus had fled (see ii. 85).

     [39] He also wrote a history of the period, which Tacitus
          found useful (see ii. 101, note 459).  He is one of the
          characters in the Dialogue on Oratory, and many passages
          show that Tacitus admired him greatly, both for his character
          and his eloquence.

     [40] The text here is doubtful.  There seems to be no exact
          parallel to the absolute use of praesumpsere.  In the
          Medicean MS. the whole passage, from revirescere at the end
          of chap. 7 down to inimici here, has been transposed to the
          beginning of chap. 5, where it stands between the second and
          third syllables of the word Saturnino.  Thus in M.
          praesumpsere stands immediately after partes.  It is
          possible that the word partes may belong to this passage as
          well as to the end of chap. 7. Praesumpsere partes would
          mean ‘they took their own cause for granted’ (cp.  Quintilian
          xi. 1. 27).  The addition of ut inimici would add the sense
          of ‘hostile prejudice’.

     [41] Gallica.

     [42] See chap. 4, note 15.

     [43] Saturninus.

     [44] We have seen this trick before (cp. i. 45).

     [45] Mars, Bellona, Victoria, Pavor, &c., whose images were
          wrought in medallion on the shafts of the standards, which
          themselves too were held sacred.

     [46] i.e.  Vedius, Dillius, Numisius, Vipstanus Messala.


[47]Vitellius’ party was equally a prey to disquiet, and there the 12 dissension was the more fatal, since it was aroused not by the men’s suspicions but by the treachery of the generals.  The sailors of the fleet at Ravenna were mostly drawn from the provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia, which were both held for Vespasian, and while they were still wavering, the admiral, Lucilius Bassus, decided them in favour of the Flavian party.  Choosing the night-time for their treason, the conspirators assembled at head-quarters without the knowledge of the other sailors.  Bassus, who was either ashamed or uncertain of their success, awaited developments in his house.  Amid great disturbance the ships’ captains attacked the images of Vitellius and cut down the few men who offered any resistance.  The rest of the fleet were glad enough of a change, and their sympathies soon came round to Vespasian.  Then Lucilius appeared and publicly claimed responsibility.  The fleet appointed

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