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Quote of the day: Fabius was looked upon as more inclined
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 46: Nearly a mutiny[AD 70]
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Amidst all this a mutiny in the army all but broke out. The troops who, having been disbanded by Vitellius, had flocked to support Vespasian, asked leave to serve again in the Praetorian Guard, and the soldiers who had been selected from the legions with the same prospect now clamoured for their promised pay. Even the Vitellianists could not be got rid of without much bloodshed. But the money required for retaining in the service so vast a body of men was immensely large. Mucianus entered the camp to examine more accurately the individual claims. The victorious army, wearing their proper decorations and arms, he drew up with moderate intervals of space between the divisions; then the Vitellianists, whose capitulation at Bovillae I have already related, and the other troops of the party, who had been collected from the capital and its neighbourhood, were brought forth almost naked. Mucianus ordered these men to be drawn up apart, making the British, the German, and any other troops that there were belonging to other armies, take up separate positions. The very first view of their situation paralysed them. They saw opposed to them what seemed a hostile array, threatening them with javelin and sword. They saw themselves hemmed in, without arms, filthy and squalid. And when they began to be separated, some to be marched to one spot, and some to another, a thrill of terror ran through them all. Among the troops from Germany the panic was particularly great; for they believed that this separation marked them out for slaughter. They embraced their fellow soldiers, clung to their necks, begged for parting kisses, and entreated that they might not be deserted, or doomed in a common cause to suffer a different lot. They invoked now Mucianus, now the absent Emperor, and, as a last resource, heaven and the Gods, till Mucianus came forward, and calling them "soldiers bound by the same oath and servants of the same Emperor," stopped the groundless panic. And indeed the victorious army seconded the tears of the vanquished with their approving shouts. This terminated the proceedings for that day. But when Domitian harangued them a few days afterwards, they received him with increased confidence. The land that was offered them they contemptuously rejected, and begged for regular service and pay. Theirs were prayers indeed, but such as it was impossible to reject. They were therefore received into the Praetorian camp. Then such as had reached the prescribed age, or had served the proper number of campaigns, received an honourable discharge; others were dismissed for misconduct; but this was done by degrees and in detail, always the safest mode of reducing the united strength of a multitude.