Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: Titus Vinius and Cornelius Laco, one the
Do not display Latin text
Twelve Emperors by Suetonius

Vespasian, Chapter 6: Revolt of Vespasian[AD 69]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
Yet he made no move, although his followers were quite ready and even urgent, until he was roused to it by the accidental support of men unknown to him and at a distance. Two thousand soldiers of the three legions that made up the army in Moesia had been sent to help Otho. When word came to them after they had begun their march that he had been defeated and had taken his own life, they none the less kept on as far as Aquileia, because they did not believe the report. There, taking advantage of the lawless state of the times, they indulged in every kind of pillage; then, fearing that if they went back, they would have to give an account and suffer punishment, they took it into their heads to select and appoint an emperor, saying that they were just as good as the Army of Hispania which had appointed Galba, or the Praetorian Guard which had elected Otho, or the Army of Germania which had chosen Vitellius. Accordingly, the names of all the consular governors who were serving anywhere were taken up, and since objection was made to the rest for one reason or another, while some members of the third legion, which had been transferred from Syria to Moesia just before the death of Nero, highly commended Vespasian, they unanimously agreed on him and forthwith inscribed his name on all their banners. At the time, however, the movement was checked and the soldiers recalled to their allegiance for a season. But when their action became known, Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, was the first to compel his legions to take the oath for Vespasian on the Kalends of July, the day which was afterwards celebrated as that of his accession; then the army in Judaea swore allegiance to him personally on the fifth day before the Ides of July [July 11; according to Tac. Hist. 2.79, it was the fifth day before the Nones, July 3]. The enterprise was greatly forwarded by the circulation of a copy of a letter of the late emperor Otho to Vespasian, whether genuine or forged, urging him with the utmost earnestness to vengeance, and expressing the hope that he would come to the aid of his country; further, by a rumor which spread abroad that Vitellius had planned, after his victory, to change the winter-quarters of the legions and to transfer those in Germania to the Orient, to a safer and milder service; and finally, among the governors of provinces, by the support of Licinius Mucianus [ Governor of the neighboring province of Syria], and among the kings, by that of Vologaesus, the Parthian. The former, laying aside the hostility with which up to that time jealousy had obviously inspired him, promised the Syrianarmy, and the latter forty thousand bowmen.

Event: Revolt of Vespasian

iter nuntiatum est victum eum ac vim vitae suae attulisse, nihilo setius Aquileiam usque perseveraverunt, quasi rumori minus crederent. Ibi per occasionem ac licentiam omni rapinarum genere grassati, cum timerent ne sibi reversis reddenda ratio ac subeunda poena esset, consilium inierunt eligendi creandique imperatoris; neque enim deteriores esse aut Hispaniensi exercitu qui Galbam, aut praetoriano qui Othonem, aut Germaniciano qui Vitellium fecissent. Propositis itaque nominibus legatorum consularium, quot ubique tunc erant, cum ceteros alium alia de causa improbarent, et quidam e legione tertia, quae sub exitu Neronis translata ex Syria in Moesiam fuerat, Vespasianum laudibus ferrent, assensere cuncti nomenque eius vexillis omnibus sine mora inscripserunt. Et tunc quidem compressa res est, revocatis ad officium numeris parumper. Ceterum divulgato facto, Tiberius Alexander praefectus Aegypti primus in verba Vespasiani legiones adegit Kal. Iul., qui principatus dies in posterum observatus est. Iudaicus deinde exercitus V. Idus Iul. apud ipsum iuravit. Plurimum coeptis contulerunt iactatum exemplar epistulae verae sive falsae defuncti Othonis ad Vespasianum, extrema obtestatione ultionem mandatus et ut rei p. subveniret optantis; simul rumor dissipatus, destinasse victorem Vitellium permutate hiberna legionum et Germanicas transferre in Orientem ad securiorem mollioremque militiam, praeterea ex praesidibus provinciarum Licinius Mucianus et e regibus Vologaesus Parthus; ille deposita simultate, quam in id tempus ex aemulatione non obscure gerebat, Syriacum promisit exercitum, hic quadraginta milia sagittariorum.