|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 12: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Desertation of the fleet[AD 69]
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|Nor indeed was there less restlessness among the partisans of Vitellius, who were distracted by yet more fatal dissensions, springing, not from the suspicions of the common men, but from the treachery of the generals. Lucilius Bassus, prefect of the Ravenna fleet, finding that the troops wavered in purpose, from the fact that many were natives of Dalmatia and Pannonia, provinces held for Vespasian, had attached them to the Flavianist party. The night-time was chosen for accomplishing the treason, because then, unknown to all the rest, the ringleaders alone might assemble at head-quarters. Bassus, moved by shame, or perhaps by fear, awaited the issue in his house. The captains of the triremes rushed with a great outcry on the images of Vitellius; a few, who attempted to resist, were cut down; the great majority, with the usual love of change, were ready to join Vespasian. Then Bassus came forward and openly sanctioned the movement. The fleet appointed Cornelius Fuscus to be prefect, and he hastened to join them. Lucilius was put under honourable arrest, and conveyed as far as Adria by the Liburnian ships; there he was thrown into prison by Vivennius Rufinus, prefect of a squadron of cavalry, which was there in garrison. His chains, however, were immediately struck off on the interference of Hormus, one of the emperor's freedmen, for he too ranked among the generals.