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Quote of the day: One of them, Ptolemaeus, had attended Ot
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 39: Otho versus Vitellius. The army of Otho[AD 69]
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Otho having started for Brixellum, the honours of supreme command devolved on his brother Titianus, while the real power and control were in the hands of the prefect Proculus. Celsus and Paullinus, as no one made any use of their skill, did but screen with their idle title of general the blunders of others. The tribunes and centurions were perplexed to see that better men were despised, and that the most worthless carried the day. The common soldiers were full of eagerness, but liked to criticise rather than to obey the orders of their officers. It was resolved to move the camp forward to the fourth milestone from Bedriacum, but it was done so unskilfully, that though it was spring, and there were so many rivers in the neighbourhood, the troops were distressed for want of water. Then the subject of giving battle was discussed, Otho in his despatches ever urging them to make haste, and the soldiers demanding that the Emperor should be present at the conflict; many begged that the troops quartered beyond the Padus should be brought up. It is not so easy to determine what was best to be done, as it is to be sure that what was done was the very worst.

Event: Otho versus Vitellius

Profecto Brixellum Othone honor imperii penes Titianum fratrem, vis ac potestas penes Proculum praefectum; Celsus et Paulinus, cum prudentia eorum nemo uteretur, inani nomine ducum alienae culpae praetendebantur; tribuni centurionesque ambigui quod spretis melioribus deterrimi valebant; miles alacer, qui tamen iussa ducum interpretari quam exequi mallet. promoveri ad quartum a Bedriaco castra placuit, adeo imperite ut quamquam verno tempore anni et tot circum amnibus penuria aquae fatigarentur. ibi de proelio dubitatum, Othone per litteras flagitante ut maturarent, militibus ut imperator pugnae adesset poscentibus: plerique copias trans Padum agentis acciri postulabant. nec proinde diiudicari potest quid optimum factu fuerit, quam pessimum fuisse quod factum est.