Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: Buried in the shades of his gardens, lik
Do not display Latin text
Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 31: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Cremona falls[AD 69]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
The legions now began to form themselves into a testudo," and the other troops to discharge volleys of stones and darts, when the courage of the Vitellianists began to flag. The higher their rank,the more readily they succumbed to fortune, fearing that when Cremona had fallen quarter could no longer be expected, and that all the fury of the conqueror would be turned, not on the penniless crowd, but on the tribunes and centurions, by whose slaughter something was to be gained. The common soldiers, careless of the future and safer in their obscurity, still held out. Roaming through the streets or concealed in the houses, they would not sue for peace even when they had abandoned the contest. The principal officers of the camp removed the name and images of Vitellius; Caecina, who was still in confinement, they released from his chains, imploring him to plead their cause. When he haughtily rejected their suit, they entreated him with tears; and it was indeed the last aggravation of misery, that many valiant men should invoke the aid of a traitor. Then they displayed from the walls the olive branches and chaplets of suppliants, and when Antonius had ordered that the discharge of missiles should cease, they brought out the eagles and standards. Then followed, with eyes bent on the ground, a dismal array of unarmed men. The conquerors had gathered round; at first they heaped reproaches on them and pointed at them their weapons; then seeing how they offered their cheeks to insulting blows, how, with all their high spirit departed, they submitted, as vanquished men, to every indignity, it suddenly occurred to their recollection, that these were the very soldiers who but shortly before had used with moderation their victory at Bedriacum. Yet, when Caecina the consul, conspicuous in his robes of state and with his train of lictors, came forward thrusting aside the crowd, the victors were fired with indignation, and reproached him with his tyranny, his cruelty, and, so hateful are such crimes, even with his treason. Antonius checked them, gave him an escort, and sent him to Vespasian.

Event: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus

Iam legiones in testudinem glomerabantur, et alii tela saxaque incutiebant, cum languescere paulatim Vitellianorum animi. ut quis ordine anteibat, cedere fortunae, ne Cremona quoque excisa nulla ultra venia omnisque ira victoris non in vulgus inops, sed in tribunos centurionesque, ubi pretium caedis erat, reverteretur. gregarius miles futuri socors et ignobilitate tutior perstabat: vagi per vias, in domibus abditi pacem ne tum quidem orabant, cum bellum posuissent. primores castrorum nomen atque imagines Vitellii amoliuntur; catenas Caecinae (nam etiam tunc vinctus erat) exolvunt orantque ut causae suae deprecator adsistat. aspernantem tumentemque lacrimis fatigant, extremum malorum, tot fortissimi viri proditoris opem invocantes; mox velamenta et infulas pro muris ostentant. cum Antonius inhiberi tela iussisset, signa aquilasque extulere; maestum inermium agmen deiectis in terram oculis sequebatur. circumstiterant victores et primo ingerebant probra, intentabant ictus: mox, ut praeberi ora contumeliis et posita omni ferocia cuncta victi patiebantur, subit recordatio illos esse qui nuper Bedriaci victoriae temperassent. sed ubi Caecina praetexta lictoribusque insignis, dimota turba, consul incessit, exarsere victores: superbiam saevitiamque (adeo invisa scelera sunt), etiam perfidiam obiectabant. obstitit Antonius datisque defensoribus ad Vespasianum dimisit.