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Quote of the day: He, incited by lust of sovereignty, form
Do not display Latin text
Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 19: Otho versus Vitellius. Back to Placentia[AD 69]
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When the Padus was in sight and night began to fall they judged it expedient to entrench a camp. The labour, new as it was to the soldiery of the capital, broke their spirits. All the oldest among them began to inveigh against their own credulity, and to point out the difficulty and danger of their position, if on those open plains Caecina and his army were to surround their scanty forces. By this time more temperate language was heard throughout the camp, and the tribunes and centurions, mixing with the troops, suggested commendations of the prudence of their general in selecting for the rallying point and basis of his operations a colony rich in military strength and resources. Finally, Spurinna himself, not so much reproaching them with their error as exposing it by his arguments, conducted them all back to Placentia, except some scouts whom he left, in a less turbulent temper and more amenable to command. The walls were strengthened, battlements were added, and the towers were raised in height. It was not only of the implements of war that provision and preparation were made, but of the spirit of subordination and the love of obedience. This was all that was wanting to the party, for they had no reason to be dissatisfied with their courage.

Event: Otho versus Vitellius

Postquam in conspectu Padus et nox adpetebat vallari castra placuit. is labor urbano militi insolitus contundit animos. tum vetustissimus quisque castigare credulitatem suam, metum ac discrimen ostendere si cum exercitu Caecina patentibus campis tam paucas cohortis circumfudisset. iamque totis castris modesti sermones, et inserentibus se centurionibus tribunisque laudari providentia ducis quod coloniam virium et opum validam robur ac sedem bello legisset. ipse postremo Spurinna, non tam culpam exprobrans quam rationem ostendens, relictis exploratoribus ceteros Placentiam reduxit minus turbidos et imperia accipientis. solidati muri, propugnacula addita, auctae turres, provisa parataque non arma modo sed obsequium et parendi amor, quod solum illis partibus defuit, cum virtutis haud paeniteret.