Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 352 pages of information about Tacitus.
had had a trivial origin in thefts of fruit and cattle by the peasants, but they were now trying to settle them in open warfare.  Oea, being inferior in numbers, had called in the aid of the Garamantes,[372] an invincible tribe, who were always a fruitful source of damage to their neighbours.  Thus the people of Lepcis were in great straits.  Their fields had been wasted far and wide, and they had fled in terror under shelter of their walls, when the Roman auxiliaries, both horse and foot, arrived on the scene.  They routed the Garamantes and recovered all the booty, except what the nomads had already sold among the inaccessible hut-settlements of the far interior.

After the battle of Cremona and the arrival of good news from 51 every quarter, Vespasian now heard of Vitellius’ death.  A large number of people of all classes, who were as lucky as they were adventurous, successfully braved the winter seas on purpose to bring him the news.[373] There also arrived envoys from King Vologaesus offering the services of forty thousand Parthian cavalry.[374] It was, indeed, a proud and fortunate situation to be courted with such splendid offers of assistance, and to need none of them.  Vologaesus was duly thanked and instructed to send his envoys to the senate and to understand that peace had been made.  Vespasian now devoted his attention to the affairs of Italy and the Capitol, and received an unfavourable report of Domitian, who seemed to be trespassing beyond the natural sphere of an emperor’s youthful son.  He accordingly handed over the flower of his army to Titus, who was to finish off the war with the Jews.[375]

It is said that before his departure Titus had a long talk with 52 his father and begged him not to be rash and lose his temper at these incriminating reports, but to meet his son in a forgiving and unprejudiced spirit, ‘Neither legions nor fleets,’ he is reported to have said, ’are such sure bulwarks of the throne as a number of children.  Time, chance and often, too, ambition and misunderstanding weaken, alienate or extinguish friendship:  a man’s own blood cannot be severed from him; and above all is this the case with a sovereign, for, while others enjoy his good fortune, his misfortunes only concern his nearest kin.  Nor again are brothers likely to remain good friends unless their father sets them an example.’  These words had the effect of making Vespasian rather delighted at Titus’ goodness of heart than inclined to forgive Domitian.  ‘You may ease your mind,’ he said to Titus, ’It is now your duty to increase the prestige of Rome on the field:  I will concern myself with peace at home.’  Though the weather was still very rough, Vespasian at once launched his fastest corn-ships with a full cargo.  For the city was on the verge of famine.[376] Indeed, there were not supplies for more than ten days in the public granaries at the moment when Vespasian’s convoy brought relief.

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