Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

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

Thus the senate quarrelled; the defeated party nursed their 11 grievances; the winners had no power to enforce their will; law was in abeyance and the emperor absent.  This state of things continued until Mucianus arrived in Rome and took everything into his own hands.  This shattered the supremacy of Antonius and Varus, for, though Mucianus tried to show a friendly face towards them, he was not very successful in concealing his dislike.  But the people of Rome, having acquired great skill in detecting strained relations, had already transferred their allegiance.  Mucianus was now the sole object of their flattering attentions.  And he lived up to them.  He surrounded himself with an armed escort, and kept changing his house and gardens.  His display, his public appearances, the night-watch that guarded him, all showed that he had adopted the style of an emperor while forgoing the title.  The greatest alarm was aroused by his execution of Calpurnius Galerianus, a son of Caius Piso.[260] He had attempted no treachery, but his distinguished name and handsome presence had made the youth a subject of common talk, and the country was full of turbulent spirits who delighted in revolutionary rumours and idly talked of his coming to the throne.  Mucianus gave orders that he should be arrested by a body of soldiers, and to avoid a conspicuous execution in the heart of the city, they marched him forty miles along the Appian road, where they severed his veins and let him bleed to death.  Julius Priscus, who had commanded the Guards under Vitellius, committed suicide, more from shame than of necessity.  Alfenus Varus survived the disgrace of his cowardice.[261] Asiaticus,[262] who was a freedman, paid for his malign influence by dying the death of a slave.[263]


    [228] Because they were taken for members of Vitellius’ German
          auxiliary cohorts.

    [229] Cp. iii. 86 sub fin.

    [230] Cp. iii. 6.

    [231] See iii. 76.

    [232] These three towns are all on the Appian Way, Bovillae
          ten miles from Rome, Aricia sixteen, Tarracina fifty-nine, on
          the coast.

    [233] Cp. iii. 12.

    [234] Gallica.

    [235] Capua had adhered to Vitellius.  Tarracina had been held
          for Vespasian (cp. iii. 57).

    [236] See iii. 77.

    [237] The insignia of equestrian rank (cp. i. 13).

    [238] The chief of these were the powers of tribune,
          pro-consul, and censor, and the title of Augustus (cp. i. 47,
          ii. 55).

    [239] Vindex had risen in Gaul; Galba in Spain; Vitellius in
          Germany; Antonius Primus in the Danube provinces (Illyricum);
          Vespasian and Mucianus in Judaea, Syria, and Egypt.

    [240] This was necessary in the absence of Vespasian and Titus.

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