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Quote of the day: Those who are nearest to the Gauls are a
Notes
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 70: Vitellius emperor. He visits the battle-field[AD 69]
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Vitellius then directed his course to Cremona, and after witnessing the spectacle exhibited by Caecina, he conceived a desire to visit the plains of Bedriacum and to survey the scene of the recent victory. It was a hideous and terrible sight. Not forty days had passed since the battle, and there lay mangled corpses, severed limbs, the putrefying forms of men and horses; the soil was saturated with gore, and, what with levelled trees and crops, horrible was the desolation. Not less revolting was that portion of the road which the people of Cremona had strewed with laurel leaves and roses, and on which they had raised altars, and sacrificed victims as if to greet some barbarous despot, festivities in which they delighted for the moment, but which were afterwards to work their ruin. Valens and Caecina were present, and pointed out the various localities of the field of battle; shewing how from one point the columns of the legions had rushed to the attack; how from another the cavalry had charged; how from a third the auxiliary troops had turned the flank of the enemy. The tribunes and prefects extolled their individual achievements, and mixed together fictions, facts, and exaggerations. The common soldiers also turned aside from the line of march with joyful shouts, and recognized the various scenes of conflict, and gazed with wonder on the piles of weapons and the heaps of slain. Some indeed there were whom all this moved to thoughts of the mutability of fortune, to pity, and to tears. Vitellius did not turn away his eyes, did not shudder to behold the unburied corpses of so many thousands of his countrymen; nay, in his exultation, in his ignorance of the doom which was so close upon himself, he actually instituted a religious ceremony in honour of the tutelary gods of the place.

Event: Vitellius emperor

Inde Vitellius Cremonam flexit et spectato munere Caecinae insistere Bedriacensibus campis ac vestigia recentis victoriae lustrare oculis concupivit, foedum atque atrox spectaculum. intra quadragensimum pugnae diem lacera corpora, trunci artus, putres virorum equorumque formae, infecta tabo humus, protritis arboribus ac frugibus dira vastitas. nec minus inhumana pars viae quam Cremonenses lauru rosaque constraverant, extructis altaribus caesisque victimis regium in morem; quae laeta in praesens mox perniciem ipsis fecere. aderant Valens et Caecina, monstrabantque pugnae locos: hinc inrupisse legionum agmen, hinc equites coortos, inde circumfusas auxiliorum manus: iam tribuni praefectique, sua quisque facta extollentes, falsa vera aut maiora vero miscebant. vulgus quoque militum clamore et gaudio deflectere via, spatia certaminum recognoscere, aggerem armorum, strues corporum intueri mirari; et erant quos varia sors rerum lacrimaeque et misericordia subiret. at non Vitellius flexit oculos nec tot milia insepultorum civium exhorruit: laetus ultro et tam propinquae sortis ignarus instaurabat sacrum dis loci.