Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

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

    [194] The capital town of the Volscians.  This early history is
          told in the first book of Livy.

    [195] 507 B.C.

    [196] 83 B.C.  The interval is really 425 years.

    [197] This, according to Pliny, was Sulla’s own saying.

    [198] Consul in 69 B.C.  He took the title of Capitolinus.

    [199] On the monument which details his exploits Augustus says
          that he restored the Capitol at immense cost without
          inscribing his name on it.

    [200] Flavius Sabinus.

    [201] Cp. chap. 70.

    [202] Cp. i. 20, 87; ii. 12.

    [203] Consul for November and December.  His colleague,
          Caecilius Simplex, was on the other side (see chap. 68).

    [204] The dress of the worshippers of the Egyptian goddess
          Isis, who considered woollen clothes unclean.

    [205] A flight of steps leading down from the Capitol to the
          Forum.  On them the bodies of criminals were exposed after

    [206] Mucianus.


About this same time Lucius Vitellius,[207] who had pitched his 76 camp at the Temple of Feronia,[208] made every effort to destroy Tarracina, where he had shut up the gladiators and sailors, who would not venture to leave the shelter of the walls or to face death in the open.  The gladiators were commanded, as we have already seen,[209] by Julianus, and the sailors by Apollinaris, men whose dissolute inefficiency better suited gladiators than general officers.  They set no watch, and made no attempt to repair the weak places in the walls.  Day and night they idled loosely; the soldiers were dispatched in all directions to find them luxuries; that beautiful coast rang with their revelry; and they only spoke of war in their cups.  A few days earlier, Apinius Tiro[210] had started on his mission, and, by rigorously requisitioning gifts of money in all the country towns, was winning more unpopularity than assistance for the cause.

In the meantime, one of Vergilius Capito’s slaves deserted to 77 Lucius Vitellius, and promised that, if he were provided with men, he would put the abandoned castle into their hands.  Accordingly, at dead of night he established a few lightly armed cohorts on the top of the hills which overlooked the enemy.  Thence the soldiers came charging down more to butchery than battle.  They cut down their victims standing helpless and unarmed or hunting for their weapons, or perhaps newly startled from their sleep—­all in a bewildering confusion of darkness, panic, bugle-calls, and savage cries.  A few of the gladiators resisted and sold their lives dearly.  The rest rushed to the ships; and there the same panic and confusion reigned, for the villagers were all mixed up with the troops, and the Vitellians slaughtered them too, without distinction.  Just

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