Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 352 pages of information about Tacitus.

FOOTNOTES: 

    [160] See chap. 55.

    [161] See chap. 56.

    [162] A distinguished officer, who successfully crushed the
          rebellion on the Rhine (Book IV), and became governor of
          Britain in 71.

    [163] Vespasian’s brother and younger son were both in Rome,
          the former still holding the office of city prefect (cp. i. 46).

    [164] Casigliano.

    [165] From Verona (see chap. 52).

    [166] Terni.

    [167] At Narnia.

    [168] The two prefects of the guard.

    [169] See chap. 43.

    [170] Properly a festival to celebrate the first cutting of
          the beard.  Nero forced high officials and their wives to take
          part in unseemly performances (ii. 62), and the festivities
          became a public scandal, culminating in Nero’s own appearance
          as a lyrist.

    [171] See i. 7, 8.

THE ABDICATION OF VITELLIUS AND THE BURNING OF THE CAPITOL

During these days Antonius and Varus kept sending messages to Vitellius, in which they offered him his life, a gift of money, and the choice of a safe retreat in Campania, if he would stop the war and surrender himself and his children to Vespasian.  Mucianus wrote him letters to the same effect.  Vitellius usually took these offers seriously and talked about the number of slaves he would have and the choice of a seaside place.  He had sunk, indeed, into such mental torpor that, if other people had not remembered that he was an emperor, he was certainly beginning to forget it himself.  However, 64 it was to Flavius Sabinus, the City Prefect, that the leading men at Rome addressed themselves.  They urged him secretly not to lose all share in the glory of victory.  They pointed out that the City Garrison was under his own command, and that he could count on the police and their own bands of slaves, to say nothing of the good fortune of the party and all the advantage that victory gives.  He must not leave all the glory to Antonius and Varus.  Vitellius had nothing left but a few regiments of guards, who were seriously alarmed at the bad news which came from every quarter.  As for the populace, their feelings soon changed, and if he put himself at their head, they would be just as loud in their flattery of Vespasian.  Vitellius himself could not even cope with success, and disaster had positively paralysed him.  The credit of ending the war would go to the man who seized the city.  It was eminently fitting that Sabinus should secure the throne for his brother, and that Vespasian should hold him higher than any one else.

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