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Quote of the day: Augustus had an easy and fluent way of s
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 20: Otho versus Vitellius. Caecina attacks[AD 69]
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Caecina, who seemed to have left his cruelty and profligacy on the other side of the Alps, advanced through Italy with his army under excellent discipline. The towns and colonies, however, found indications of a haughty spirit in the general's dress, when they saw the cloak of various colours, and the trews, a garment of foreign fashion, clothed in which he was wont to speak to their toga-clad citizens. And they resented, as if with a sense of personal wrong, the conduct of his wife Salonina, though it injured no one that she presented a conspicuous figure as she rode through their towns on horseback in a purple habit. They were acting on the instincts of human nature, which prompt men to scrutinize with keen eyes the recent elevation of their fellows, and to demand a temperate use of prosperity from none more rigorously than from those whom they have seen on a level with themselves. Caecina, after crossing the Padus, sought to tamper with the loyalty of the Othonianists at a conference in which he held out hopes of reward, and he was himself assailed with the same arts. After the specious but meaningless names of peace and concord had been thus bandied to and fro, Caecina turned all his thoughts and plans on the capture of Placentia, making a formidable show of preparation, as he knew that according to the success of his opening operations would be the subsequent prestige of his arms. At Caecina, velut relicta post Alpis saevitia ac licentia, modesto agmine per Italiam incessit. ornatum ipsius municipia et coloniae in superbiam trahebant, quod versicolori sagulo, bracas [barbarum tecgmen] indutus togatos adloqueretur. uxorem quoque eius Saloninam, quamquam in nullius iniuriam insignis equo ostroque veheretur, tamquam laesi gravabantur, insita mortalibus natura recentem aliorum felicitatem acribus oculis introspicere modumque fortunae a nullis magis exigere quam quos in aequo viderunt. Caecina Padum transgressus, temptata Othonianorum fide per conloquium et promissa, isdem petitus, postquam pax et concordia speciosis et inritis nominibus iactata sunt, consilia curasque in obpugnationem Placentiae magno terrore vertit, gnarus ut initia belli provenissent famam in cetera fore.