Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

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


[56] These troops, having no head-quarters in Rome, were put
up in a piazza built by M. Vipsanius Agrippa, and decorated
with paintings of Neptune and of the Argonauts.  Cp. ii. 93,
where troops are quartered in collonades or temples.

[57] The term primipilaris denotes one who had been the
centurion commanding the first maniple (pilani) of the first
cohort of a legion.  He was an officer of great importance,
highly paid, and often admitted to the general’s council. 
Otho’s expedition to Narbonese Gaul (chap. 87) was commanded
by two such ‘senior centurions’.

[58] See chap. 6, note 11.

[59] See chap. 6.

[60] Nero was meditating an Ethiopian campaign when the revolt
of Vindex broke out.  Cp. chap. 6.

[61] Probably the colours of the different maniples as
distinct from the standards of the cohorts.

[62] Cp. chap. 6.

[63] Freedmen who had curried favour with Nero.  Polyclitus was
sent to inquire into Suetonius Paulinus’ administration of
Britain after the revolt of Boadicea in A.D. 61.  Vatinius was
a deformed cobbler from Beneventum who became a sort of court
buffoon, and acquired great wealth and bad influence.

[64] The cohort on guard seem to have been in mufti, without
helmets and shields or their military cloaks, but armed with
swords and javelins.

[65] The legionaries armed themselves with lances (hastae),
and the auxiliaries with javelins (pila).

[66] The word basilica refers to the buildings round the
Forum, used for legal, financial, and commercial purposes. 
Most of them had cloisters.

[67] The Parthian royal family:  Vologaesus was king of
Parthia, and his brother Pacorus viceroy of Media Atropatene.

[68] Cp. chap. 29.

[69] Attached to the pole of the standard.

[70] An enclosed pond in the middle of the Forum, supposed to
be the spot where Curtius leapt on horseback into the chasm,
or by others the spot where a Sabine chieftain was engulfed in
the days of Romulus.

[71] The word here used usually means a veteran re-enlisted in
a special corps after his term had expired.  It was also
applied at this time in a special sense to a corps of young
knights, who, without losing their status, acted as Galba’s
special body-guard in the imperial palace.  One of these may
have been the murderer.


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