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Quote of the day: Lucius Icilius, who had been tribune, an
Notes
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 32: Otho versus Vitellius. The strategy of Otho (cont.)[AD 69]
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"The entire army of Vitellius," he [note 1] said, "has already arrived. Nor have they much strength in their rear, since Gaul is ready to rise, and to abandon the banks of the Rhine, when such hostile tribes are ready to burst in, would not answer his purpose. A hostile people and an intervening sea keep from him the army of Britain; Spain is not over full of troops; Gallia Narbonensis has been cowed by the attack of our ships and by a defeat; Italy beyond the Padus is shut in by the Alps, cannot be relieved from the sea, and has been exhausted by the passage of his army. For that army there is no where any corn, and without supplies an army cannot be kept together. Then the Germans, the most formidable part of the enemy's forces, should the war be protracted into the summer, will sink with enfeebled frames under the change of country and climate. Many a war, formidable in its first impetuosity, has passed into nothing through the weariness of delay. We, on the other hand, have on all sides abundant resources and loyal adherents. We have Pannonia, Moesia, Dalmatia, the East with its armies yet intact, we have Italy and Rome, the capital of the empire, the Senate, and the people, names that never lose their splendour, though they may sometimes be eclipsed. We have the wealth of the State and of private individuals. We have a vast supply of money, which in a civil war is a mightier weapon than the sword. Our soldiers are inured to the climate of Italy or to yet greater heat. We have the river Padus on our front, and cities strongly garrisoned and fortified, none of which will surrender to the enemy, as the defence of Placentia has proved. Let Otho therefore protract the war. In a few days the 14th legion, itself highly renowned, will arrive with the troops from Moesia. He may then again consider the question, and should a battle be resolved on, we shall fight with increased strength."

Note 1: he = Suetonius

Event: Otho versus Vitellius