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Quote of the day: It had been the ancient policy of the fo
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 99: Revolt of Vespasian. Caecina and Valens march[AD 69]
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At length Vitellius, appalled by the irruption of the enemy and by the menacing intelligence from every quarter, ordered Caecina and Valens to take the field. Caecina was sent on in advance; Valens, who was just recovering from a severe illness, was delayed by weakness. Far different was the appearance of the German army as it marched out of the capital. All strength had departed from their bodies, all energy from their spirits. Slowly, and with thin ranks, the column moved along, their weapons feebly grasped, their horses spiritless. The soldiers, impatient of the heat, the dust, and the weather, in proportion as they were less capable of enduring toil, were more ready for mutiny. All this was aggravated by the old vanity of Caecina, and by the indolence that had of late crept over him; presuming on the excessive favour of fortune, he had abandoned himself to luxury. Perhaps he meditated perfidy, and it was part of his policy to enervate the courage of the army. Many believe that his fidelity had been shaken by the suggestions of Flavius Sabinus, who employed Rubrius Gallus as the bearer of communications intimating that the conditions of desertion would be held binding by Vespasian. At the same time he was reminded of his hatred and jealousy of Fabius Valens. Being inferior to his rival in influence with Vitellius, he should seek to secure favour and power with the new emperor.

Event: Revolt of Vespasian

Tandem inruptione hostium atrocibus undique nuntiis exterritus Caecinam ac Valentem expedire ad bellum iubet. praemissus Caecina, Valentem e gravi corporis morbo tum primum adsurgentem infirmitas tardabat. longe alia proficiscentis ex urbe Germanici exercitus species: non vigor corporibus, non ardor animis; lentum et rarum agmen, fluxa arma, segnes equi; impatiens solis pulveris tempestatum, quantumque hebes ad sustinendum laborem miles, tanto ad discordias promptior. accedebat huc Caecinae ambitio vetus, torpor recens, nimia fortunae indulgentia soluti in luxum, seu perfidiam meditanti infringere exercitus virtutem inter artis erat. credidere plerique Flavii Sabini consiliis concussam Caecinae mentem, ministro sermonum Rubrio Gallo: rata apud Vespasianum fore pacta transitionis. simul odiorum invidiaeque erga Fabium Valentem admonebatur ut impar apud Vitellium gratiam virisque apud novum principem pararet.