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Quote of the day: He had been induced by Augustus, on the
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 66: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. The last Vitellianists do not want to surrender[AD 69]
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Could Vitellius have swayed the feelings of his partisans as easily as he had himself yielded, the army of Vespasian might have entered the capital without bloodshed. But the more loyal his adherents, the more did they protest against peace and negotiation. They pointed out the danger and disgrace of a submission in which the caprice of the conqueror would be their sole guarantee. "And Vespasian," they said, "is not so arrogant as to tolerate such a subject as Vitellius. Even the vanquished would not endure it. Their pity would be dangerous to him. You certainly are an old man, and have had enough both of prosperity and of adversity, but think what a name, what a position, you will leave to your son Germanicus. Now indeed they promise you wealth, and a large establishment, and a luxurious retreat in Campania; but when Vespasian has once seized the throne, neither he, nor his friends, nor even his armies, will feel themselves secure till all rivalry has been extinguished. Fabius Valens, captive as he was, and reserved against the chance of disaster, was yet too formidable to them; and certainly Primus, Fuscus, and Mucianus, who exhibits the temper of his party, will not be allowed power over Vitellius except to put him to death. Caesar did not leave Pompey, Augustus did not leave Antony in safety, though, perhaps, Vespasian may show a more lofty spirit, Vespasian, who was a dependant of Vitellius, when Vitellius was the colleague of Claudius. If you would act as becomes the censorship, the thrice-repeated consulate of your father, and all the honours of your illustrious house, let despair at any rate arm you to courageous action. The troops are still firm, and among the people there is abundant zeal. Lastly, nothing can happen to us more terrible than that upon which we are voluntarily rushing. If we are conquered, we must die; we must die, if we capitulate. All that concerns us is this; shall we draw our last breath amidst scorn and insult, or in a valiant struggle?"

Event: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus

Quod si tam facile suorum mentis flexisset Vitellius, quam ipse cesserat, incruentam urbem Vespasiani exercitus intrasset. ceterum ut quisque Vitellio fidus, ita pacem et condiciones abnuebant, discrimen ac dedecus ostentantes et fidem in libidine victoris. nec tantam Vespasiano superbiam ut privatum Vitellium pateretur, ne victos quidem laturos: ita periculum ex misericordia. ipsum sane senem et prosperis adversisque satiatum, sed quod nomen, quem statum filio eius Germanico fore? nunc pecuniam et familiam et beatos Campaniae sinus promitti: set ubi imperium Vespasianus invaserit, non ipsi, non amicis eius, non denique exercitibus securitatem nisi extincto aemulo redituram. Fabium illis Valentem, captivum et casibus dubiis reservatum, praegravem fuisse, nedum Primus ac Fuscus et specimen partium Mucianus ullam in Vitellium nisi occidendi licentiam habeant. non a Caesare Pompeium, non ab Augusto Antonium incolumis relictos, nisi forte Vespasianus altiores spiritus gerat, Vitellii cliens, cum Vitellius collega Claudio foret. quin, ut censuram patris, ut tris consulatus, ut tot egregiae domus honores deceret, desperatione saltem in audaciam accingeretur. perstare militem, superesse studia populi; denique nihil atrocius eventurum quam in quod sponte ruant. moriendum victis, moriendum deditis: id solum referre, novissimum spiritum per ludibrium et contumelias effundant an per virtutem.