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Quote of the day: Lucius Tarquitius, a member of a patrici
Notes
Display Latin text
Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book I Chapter 30: Revolt of Otho. Piso continues[AD 69]
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I [note 1] will lay no claim to nobleness, or moderation, for indeed, to count up virtues in comparing oneself with Otho is needless. The vices, of which alone he boasts, overthrew the empire, even when he was but the Emperor's friend. Shall he earn that empire now by his manner and his gait, or by those womanish adornments? They are deceived, on whom luxury imposes by its false show of liberality; he will know how to squander, he will not know how to give. Already he is thinking of debaucheries, of revels, of tribes of mistresses. These things he holds to be the prizes of princely power, things, in which the wanton enjoyment will be for him alone, the shame and the disgrace for all. Never yet has any one exercised for good ends the power obtained by crime. The unanimous will of mankind gave to Galba the title of Caesar, and you consented when he gave it to me. Were the Senate, the country, the People, but empty names, yet, comrades, it is your interest that the most worthless of men should not create an Emperor. We have occasionally heard of legions mutinying against their generals, but your loyalty, your character, stand unimpeached up to this time. Even with Nero, it was he that deserted you, not you that deserted him. Shall less than thirty runaways and deserters whom no one would allow to choose a tribune or centurion for themselves, assign the empire at their pleasure? Do you tolerate the precedent? Do you by your inaction make the crime your own? This lawless spirit will pass into the provinces, and though we shall suffer from this treason, you will suffer from the wars that will follow. Again, no more is offered you for murdering your Prince, than you will have if you shun such guilt. We shall give you a donative for your loyalty, as surely as others can give it for your treason."

Note 1: I = Piso

Event: Revolt of Otho