Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

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

With the capture of Valens the tide had now fully turned in favour 44 of Vespasian.  The movement had been begun in Spain by the First legion Adjutrix,[114] whose reverence for Otho’s memory made them hate Vitellius.  They carried the Tenth and the Sixth[115] with them.  The provinces of Gaul soon followed suit.  Britain was bound to his cause by the favour felt for one who had been sent there by Claudius in command of the Second legion, and had fought with great distinction in the war.  But the adherence of the province was to some extent opposed by the other legions, in which many of the centurions and soldiers had been promoted by Vitellius.  They were used to their emperor and felt some doubt about the change.  This quarrel between the legions and 45 the constant rumours of civil war, encouraged the Britons to take heart.  Their chief instigator was one Venutius.  He was of a ferocious disposition and hated the name of Rome, but his strongest motive was a private quarrel with Queen Cartimandua, a member of a powerful family, who ruled the Brigantes.[116] Her authority had lately increased, since she had betrayed King Caratacus into the hands of the Romans, and was thus considered to have provided Claudius Caesar with material for his triumph.[117] Thus she had grown rich, and with prosperity came demoralization.  She threw over Venutius, who was her husband, and gave her hand and kingdom to his squire, Vellocatus.  This crime soon proved the ruin of her house.  The people supported her husband:  she defended her lover with passionate ferocity.  Venutius therefore summoned assistance and, aided by the simultaneous revolt of the Brigantes, brought Cartimandua into dire straits.  She petitioned for troops from Rome.  Our auxiliaries, both horse and foot, then fought several engagements with varying success, but eventually rescued the queen.  Thus the kingdom was left in the hands of Venutius and the war in ours.

Almost simultaneously a disturbance broke out in Germany, where 46 the inefficiency of the generals, the disaffection of the troops, the strength of the enemy, and the treachery of our allies all combined to bring the Roman government into serious danger.  The causes and history of this protracted struggle—­for such it proved—­we must leave to a later chapter.[118] Amongst the Dacians[119] also there was trouble.  They could never be trusted, and now that the army was moved from Moesia they were no longer under the restraint of fear.  At first they remained quiet and awaited developments.  But when they saw Italy in the flames of war, and found the whole empire divided into hostile camps, they fell upon the winter-quarters of the auxiliary infantry and cavalry and began to occupy both banks of the Danube.  They were on the point of storming the Roman camp as well, when Mucianus, who knew of the victory at Cremona, sent the Sixth legion[120] against them.  For the empire was in danger of a double foreign invasion,

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