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Quote of the day: That two men, who for shamelessness, ind
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 6: The situation in the East[AD 69]
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Long before the arrival of Titus, both armies had taken the oath of allegiance to Otho. The news had come, as is usual, with great speed, while there was much to delay the gigantic undertaking of a civil war, for which the East after a long period of repose was then for the first time preparing. In former times the mightiest civil conflicts had been begun in Gaul or Italy with the resources of the West. Pompey, Brutus, Cassius, and Antony, all of whom had been followed across the sea by civil war, had met with a disastrous end, and the emperors had been oftener heard of than seen in Syria and Judaea. There had been no mutiny among the legions, nothing indeed but some demonstrations against the Parthians, attended with various success. In the last civil war, though other provinces had been disturbed, peace had been here unshaken. Then had followed a loyal adherence to Galba. But when it became notorious that Otho and Vitellius, opposed in impious strife, were ready to make a spoil of the empire, the thought that others would engross the rewards of power, while they would have nothing left for themselves but a compulsory submission, made the soldiers murmur and take a survey of their own strength. There were close at hand seven legions; there were Syria and Judaea, with a vast number of auxiliaries. Then, without any interval of separation, there was Egypt and its two legions, and on the other side Cappadocia, Pontus, and all the garrisons along the frontier of Armenia. There was Asia Minor; there were the other provinces, not without a military population, and well furnished with money. There were all the islands of the Mediterranean. And there was the sea itself, which during the interval of preparation for war would be both a convenience and a protection. Antequam Titus adventaret sacramentum Othonis acceperat uterque exercitus, praecipitibus, ut adsolet, nuntiis et tarda mole civilis belli, quod longa concordia quietus Oriens tunc primum parabat. namque olim validissima inter se civium arma in Italia Galliave viribus Occidentis coepta; et Pompeio, Cassio, Bruto, Antonio, quos omnis trans mare secutum est civile bellum, haud prosperi exitus fuerant; auditique saepius in Syria Iudaeaque Caesares quam inspecti. nulla seditio legionum, tantum adversus Parthos minae, vario eventu; et proximo civili bello turbatis aliis inconcussa ibi pax, dein fides erga Galbam. mox, ut Othonem ac Vitellium scelestis armis res Romanas raptum ire vulgatum est, ne penes ceteros imperii praemia, penes ipsos tantum servitii necessitas esset, fremere miles et viris suas circumspicere. septem legiones statim et cum ingentibus auxiliis Syria Iudaeaque; inde continua Aegyptus duaeque legiones, hinc Cappadocia Pontusque et quicquid castrorum Armeniis praetenditur. Asia et ceterae provinciae nec virorum inopes et pecunia opulentae. quantum insularum mari cingitur, et parando interim bello secundum tutumque ipsum mare.