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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 46: Otho versus Vitellius. Otho and the defeat[AD 69]
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Otho was awaiting news of the battle free from alarm and resolved in purpose. First came gloomy tidings, and then fugitives from the field, making known that all was lost. The zeal of the soldiers did not wait for the emperor to speak. They bade him be of good cheer, telling him that he had still fresh forces, and that they would themselves endure and dare to the last. This was no flattery; they were fired by a furious impulse to seek the battle-field, and raise again the fallen fortunes of their party. Those who stood at a distance stretched out their arms, those who were near clasped the Emperor's knees, and Plotius Firmus was the most zealous of them all. This man, who was prefect of the Praetorian Guard, repeatedly besought Otho not to desert an army so loyal and soldiers so deserving; "there was more courage in bearing trouble," he said, "than in escaping from it; the brave and the energetic cling to hope, even in spite of fortune; the cowardly and the indolent are hurried into despair by their fears." While he was thus speaking, as Otho assumed a relenting or a stern expression, the soldiers cheered or groaned. Nor was it only the Praetorians, who were peculiarly Otho's troops, that thus acted; those who had been sent on from Moesia declared that the approaching army was as firmly resolved, and that the legions had entered Aquileia. No one therefore can doubt that the war might have been renewed with its terrible disasters, and its uncertainties both for victors and vanquished.

Event: Otho versus Vitellius

Opperiebatur Otho nuntium pugnae nequaquam trepidus et consilii certus. maesta primum fama, dein profugi e proelio perditas res patefaciunt. non expectavit militum ardor vocem imperatoris; bonum haberet animum iubebant: superesse adhuc novas viris, et ipsos extrema passuros ausurosque. neque erat adulatio: ire in aciem, excitare partium fortunam furore quodam et instinctu flagrabant. qui procul adstiterant, tendere manus, et proximi prensare genua, promptissimo Plotio Firmo. is praetorii praefectus identidem orabat ne fidissimum exercitum, ne optime meritos milites desereret: maiore animo tolerari adversa quam relinqui; fortis et strenuos etiam contra fortunam insistere spei, timidos et ignavos ad desperationem formidine properare. quas inter voces ut flexerat vultum aut induraverat Otho, clamor et gemitus. nec praetoriani tantum, proprius Othonis miles, sed praemissi e Moesia eandem obstinationem adventantis exercitus, legiones Aquileiam ingressas nuntiabant, ut nemo dubitet potuisse renovari bellum atrox, lugubre, incertum victis et victoribus.