|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 49: Otho versus Vitellius. Death of Otho[AD 69]
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After this he dismissed every one, and took some repose. He was now pondering in his heart the last cares of life, when his attention was distracted by a sudden tumult and he was told of the confusion and outrageous conduct of the soldiers. They were threatening with death all who attempted to depart, and were extreme in their violence against Verginius, whose house they had blockaded and were besieging. After rebuking the ringleaders of the tumult, he returned and employed himself in granting interviews to those who were departing, till all had left in safety. Towards evening he quenched his thirst with a draught of cold water. Two daggers were brought to him; he tried the edge of each, and then put one under his head. After satisfying himself that his friends had set out, he passed a tranquil night, and it is even said that he slept. At dawn he fell with his breast upon the steel. Hearing a groan from the dying man, his freedmen and slaves, and Plotius Firmus, prefect of the Praetorian Guard, came in. They found but one wound. His funeral was hastily performed. He had made this the subject of earnest entreaties, anxious that his head might not be cut off and subjected to indignities. The Praetorian cohorts carried his body with praises and tears, covering his wound and his hands with kisses. Some of the soldiers killed themselves near the funeral pile, not moved by remorse or by fear, but by the desire to emulate his glory, and by love of their prince. Afterwards this kind of death became a common practice among all ranks at Bedriacum, at Placentia, and in the other camps. Over Otho was built a tomb unpretending and therefore likely to stand.
Event: Otho versus Vitellius
|Post quae dimotis omnibus paulum requievit. atque illum supremas iam curas animo volutantem repens tumultus avertit, nuntiata consternatione ac licentia militum; namque abeuntibus exitium minitabantur, atrocissima in Verginium vi, quem clausa domo obsidebant. increpitis seditionis auctoribus regressus vacavit abeuntium adloquiis, donec omnes inviolati digrederentur. vesperascente die sitim haustu gelidae aquae sedavit. tum adlatis pugionibus duobus, cum utrumque pertemptasset, alterum capiti subdidit. et explorato iam profectos amicos, noctem quietam, utque adfirmatur, non insomnem egit: luce prima in ferrum pectore incubuit. ad gemitum morientis ingressi liberti servique et Plotius Firmus praetorii praefectus unum vulnus invenere. funus maturatum; ambitiosis id precibus petierat ne amputaretur caput ludibrio futurum. tulere corpus praetoriae cohortes cum laudibus et lacrimis, vulnus manusque eius exosculantes. quidam militum iuxta rogum interfecere se, non noxa neque ob metum, sed aemulatione decoris et caritate principis. ac postea promisce Bedriaci, Placentiae aliisque in castris celebratum id genus mortis. Othoni sepulchrum extructum est modicum et mansurum. hunc vitae finem habuit septimo et tricensimo aetatis anno.