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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 42: Otho versus Vitellius. The battle of Bedriacum. The start[AD 69]
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From the consternation of panic their feelings passed under the influence of a groundless joy into languid indifference, some persons spreading the lie that Vitellius' army had revolted. Whether this rumour was circulated by the spies of Vitellius, or originated in treachery or in accident among the partisans of Otho, has never been clearly ascertained. Forgetting their warlike ardour, the Othonianists at once greeted the foe; as they were answered by an angry murmur, they caused apprehensions of treachery in many of their own side, who did not know what the greeting meant. Then the enemy's line charged with its ranks unbroken, in strength and in numbers superior; the Othonianists, scattered and weary as they were, met the attack with spirit. The ground was so entangled with trees and vineyards that the battle assumed many forms. They met in close and in distant conflict, in line and in column. On the raised road they stood foot to foot, they pushed with their bodies and their shields, and ceasing to throw their javelins, they struck through helmets and breastplates with swords and battle-axes. Recognising each other and distinctly seen by the rest of the combatants, they were fighting to decide the whole issue of the war. |
Event: Otho versus Vitellius
Foot:a. part of the body (3379). b. infantry (6534).