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Galba Chapter 22: Revolt of Vitellius[69 AD]
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But the forces in Germany broke out into their mutiny whilst he was yet deliberating, and anticipated his design. All the soldiers in general felt much resentment against Galba for not having given them their expected largess but these troops made a pretense of a more particular concern, that Verginius Rufus was cast off dishonorably, and that the Gauls who had fought with them were well rewarded, while those who had refused to take part with Vindex were punished; and Galba's thanks seemed all to be for him, to whose memory he had done honor after his death with public solemnities as though he had been made emperor by his means only. Whilst these discourses passed openly throughout the army, on the first day of the first month of the year, the Kalends of January, as they call it, Flaccus summoning them to take the usual anniversary oath of fealty to the emperor, they overturned and pulled down Galba's statues, and having sworn in the name of the senate and people of Rome, departed. But the officers now feared anarchy and confusion, as much as rebellion; and one of them came forward and said: "What will become of us, my fellow-soldiers, if we neither set up another general, nor retain the present one? This will be not so much to desert from Galba as to decline all subjection and command. It is useless to try and maintain Flaccus Hordeonius, who is but a mere shadow and image of Galba. But Vitellius, commander of the other Germany, is but one day's march distant, whose father was censor and thrice consul, and in a manner co-emperor with Claudius Caesar; and he himself has the best proof to show of his bounty and largeness of mind, in the poverty with which some reproach him. Him let us make choice of that all may see we know how to choose an emperor better than either Spaniards or Lusitanians." Which motion whilst some assented to, and others gainsaid, a certain standard-bearer slipped out and carried the news to Vitellius, who was entertaining much company by night. This, taking air, soon passed through the troops, and Fabius Valens, who commanded one legion, riding up next day with a large body of horse, saluted Vitellius emperor. He had hitherto seemed to decline it, professing a dread he had to undertake the weight of the government; but on this day, being fortified, they say, by wine and a plentiful noonday repast, he began to yield, and submitted to take on him the title of Germanicus they gave him, but desired to be excused as to that of Caesar. And immediately the army under Flaccus also, putting away their fine and popular oaths in the name of the senate, swore obedience to Vitellius as emperor, to observe whatever he commanded. |
Event: Revolt of Vitellius
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Horse:a. the animal. b. cavalry.