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: As for you, the exile of your father, an
Parallel Lives by Plutarchus

Otho Chapter 4: Otho versus Vitellius; letters and omens[69 AD]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
Such conduct, so little expected from him, was rewarded by some with gratitude and confidence; others looked upon his behavior as a course to which necessity drove him, to gain the people to the support of the war. For now there were certain tidings that Vitellius had assumed the sovereign title and authority, and frequent expresses brought accounts of new accessions to him; others, however, came, announcing that the Pannonian, Dalmatian, and Moesian legions, with their officers, adhered to Otho. Erelong also came favorable letters from Mucianus and Vespasian, generals of two formidable armies, the one in Syria, the other in Judaea, to assure him of their firmness to his interest: in confidence whereof he was so exalted, that he wrote to Vitellius not to attempt anything beyond his post; and offered him large sums of money and a city, where he might live his time out in pleasure and ease. These overtures at first were responded to by Vitellius with equivocating civilities; which soon, however, turned into an interchange of angry words; and letters passed between the two, conveying bitter and shameful terms of reproach, which were not false indeed, for that matter, only it was senseless and ridiculous for each to assail the other with accusations to which both alike must plead guilty. For it were hard to determine which of the two had been most profuse, most effeminate, which was most a novice in military affairs, and most involved in debt through previous want of means. As to the prodigies and apparitions that happened about this time, there were many reported which none could answer for, or which were told in different ways, but one which everybody actually saw with their eyes was the statue of Victory in the capitol, carried in a chariot, with the reins dropped out of her hands, as if she were grown too weak to hold them any longer; and a second, that Gaius Caesar's statue in the island of Tiber, without any earthquake or wind to account for it, turned round from west to east; and this they say, happened about the time when Vespasian and his party first openly began to put themselves forward. Another incident, which the people in general thought an evil sign, was the inundation of the Tiber; for though it happened at a time when rivers are usually at their fullest, yet such height of water and so tremendous a flood had never been known before, nor such a destruction of property, great part of the city being under water, and especially the corn-market, so that it occasioned a great dearth for several days.

Event: Otho versus Vitellius