Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

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

    [287] Brescello.

    [288] No one knew for certain who was in command.  We are told
          in chap. 39 that he left Titianus in nominal command, though
          the real authority lay with Proculus.

    [289] Macer’s, see chap. 23.

    [290] See note 247.

    [291] i.e. of Macer’s gladiators on one bank and the
          detachment employed by Caecina for bridge-building, &c., on
          the other.  The main armies were Otho’s at Bedriacum and
          Vitellius’ at Cremona.

    [292] i.e. from the Germans who were trying to board or sink them.

    [293] See i. 77.

    [294] Plutarch, in his Life of Otho, after quoting the view of
          the emperor’s secretary, Secundus, that Otho was over-strained
          and desperate, goes on to give the explanation of ‘others’. 
          This agrees exactly with the story given here.  Plutarch and
          Tacitus are apparently quoting from the same authority,
          unknown to us, perhaps Cluvius Rufus.

    [295] e.g. the brothers Gracchus, Saturninus, and Drusus.

    [296] e.g.  Appius Claudius and L. Opimius, of whom Plutarch
          says that in suppressing C. Gracchus he used his consular
          authority like that of a dictator.

    [297] At Brixellum.

    [298] About seven miles below Cremona.  The Medicean MS. has
          Adua, but as the mouth of the Adua is seven miles west of
          Cremona and Bedriacum twenty-two miles east of Cremona, the
          figures given do not suit.  For Tacitus says that they marched
          first four miles and then sixteen.  Mr. Henderson proposes to
          solve the difficulty by reading quartum decimum for
          quartum in chap. 39.  But his reasons are purely a priori
          If the confluence was that of the Arda with the Po, Tacitus’
          quartum is still unsatisfactory, but the distances given in
          Plutarch’s Life of Otho would suit the facts.  He makes the
          first march a little over six miles.  From the camp then
          pitched to the mouth of the Arda would be by road about
          sixteen miles.  Thus Tacitus’ first figure may be a slight
          underestimate and his second figure correct.  The second day’s
          march, according to Plutarch, was rather more than twelve
          miles, so we may suppose that the armies met about four miles
          short of the confluence, which was the Othonians’ objective. 
          This suits Paulinus’ suggestion a few lines lower that the
          Vitellians need only march four miles to catch them in
          marching column.  The whole question is fully discussed by Mr.
          Henderson (op. cit.) and by Mr. E.G.  Hardy in the Journal of
          Philology
, vol. xxxi, no. 61.

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