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Quote of the day: Caesar rivalled the greatest orators
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 29: Otho versus Vitellius. The Batavian mutiny (cont.)[AD 69]
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In the midst of these fierce exclamations, Valens, sending his lictors into the crowd, attempted to quell the mutiny. On this they attacked the general himself, hurled stones at him, and, when he fled, pursued him. Crying out that he was concealing the spoil of Gaul, the gold of the men of Vienna, the hire of their own toils, they ransacked his baggage, and probed with javelins and lances the walls of the general's tent and the very ground beneath. Valens, disguised in the garb of a slave, found concealment with a subaltern officer of cavalry. After this, Alfenius Varus, prefect of the camp, seeing that the mutiny was gradually subsiding, promoted the reaction by the following device. He forbade the centurions to visit the sentinels, and discontinued the trumpet calls by which the troops are summoned to their usual military duties. Thereupon all stood paralysed, and gazed at each other in amazement, panic-stricken by the very fact that there was no one to direct them. By their silence, by their submission, finally by their tears and entreaties, they craved forgiveness. But when Valens, thus unexpectedly preserved, came forward in sad plight, shedding tears, they were moved to joy, to pity, even to affection. Their revulsion to delight was just that of a mob, always extreme in either emotion. They greeted him with praises and congratulations, and surrounding him with the eagles and standards, carried him to the tribunal. With a politic prudence he refrained from demanding capital punishment in any case; yet, fearing that he might lay himself more open to suspicion by concealment of his feelings, he censured a few persons, well aware that in civil wars the soldiers have more license than the generals.

Event: Otho versus Vitellius

Haec ferociter iactando, postquam immissis lictoribus Valens coercere seditionem coeptabat, ipsum invadunt, saxa iaciunt, fugientem sequuntur. spolia Galliarum et Viennensium aurum, pretia laborum suorum, occultare clamitantes, direptis sarcinis tabernacula ducis ipsamque humum pilis et lanceis rimabantur; nam Valens servili veste apud decurionem equitum tegebatur. tum Alfenus Varus praefectus castrorum, deflagrante paulatim seditione, addit consilium, vetitis obire vigilias centurionibus, omisso tubae sono, quo miles ad belli munia cietur. igitur torpere cuncti, circumspectare inter se attoniti et id ipsum quod nemo regeret paventes; silentio, patientia, postremo precibus ac lacrimis veniam quaerebant. ut vero deformis et flens et praeter spem incolumis Valens processit, gaudium miseratio favor: versi in laetitiam, ut est vulgus utroque immodicum, laudantes gratantesque circumdatum aquilis signisque in tribunal ferunt. ille utili moderatione non supplicium cuiusquam poposcit, ac ne dissimulans suspectior foret, paucos incusavit, gnarus civilibus bellis plus militibus quam ducibus licere.