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Quote of the day: Vitellius, on the contrary, was sunk in
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 44: Otho versus Vitellius. The battle of Bedriacum (cont.)[AD 69]
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The centre of their line had been penetrated, and the Othonianists fled on all sides in the direction of Bedriacum. The distance was very great, and the roads were blocked up with heaps of corpses; thus the slaughter was the greater, for captives taken in civil war can be turned to no profit. Suetonius Paullinus and Licinius Proculus, taking different roads, avoided the camp. Vedius Aquila, legate of the 13th legion, in the blindness of fear, fell in the way of the furious soldiery. Late in the day he entered the entrenchments, and found himself the centre of a mob of clamorous and mutinous fugitives. They did not refrain from abuse or actual violence; they reviled him as a deserter and traitor, not having any specific charge against him, but all, after the fashion of the mob, imputing to him their own crimes. Titianus and Celsus were favoured by the darkness. By that time the sentries had been posted, and the soldiers reduced to order. Annius Gallus had prevailed upon them by his prayers, his advice, and his personal influence, not to aggravate the disaster of their defeat by mutual slaughter. Whether the war was at an end, or whether they might choose to resume the conflict, the vanquished would find in union the sole mitigation of their lot. The spirit of the rest of the army was broken, but the Praetorians angrily complained that they had been vanquished, not by valour, but by treachery. "The Vitellianists indeed," they said, "gained no bloodless victory; their cavalry was defeated, a legion lost its eagle. We have still the troops beyond the Padus, and Otho himself. The legions of Moesia are coming; a great part of the army remained at Bedriacum; these certainly were never vanquished; and if it must be so, it is on the battle-field that we shall fall with most honour." Amid all the exasperation or terror of these thoughts, the extremity of despair yet roused them to fury rather than to fear.

Event: Otho versus Vitellius

Et media acie perrupta fugere passim Othoniani, Bedriacum petentes. immensum id spatium, obstructae strage corporum viae, quo plus caedis fuit; neque enim civilibus bellis capti in praedam vertuntur. Suetonius Paulinus et Licinius Proculus diversis itineribus castra vitavere. Vedium Aquilam tertiae decimae legionis legatum irae militum inconsultus pavor obtulit. multo adhuc die vallum ingressus clamore seditiosorum et fugacium circumstrepitur; non probris, non manibus abstinent; desertorem proditoremque increpant, nullo proprio crimine eius sed more vulgi suum quisque flagitium aliis obiectantes. Titianum et Celsum nox iuvit, dispositis iam excubiis conpressisque militibus, quos Annius Gallus consilio precibus auctoritate flexerat, ne super cladem adversae pugnae suismet ipsi caedibus saevirent: sive finis bello venisset seu resumere arma mallent, unicum victis in consensu levamentum. ceteris fractus animus: praetorianus miles non virtute se sed proditione victum fremebat: ne Vitellianis quidem incruentam fuisse victoriam, pulso equite, rapta legionis aquila; superesse cum ipso Othone militum quod trans Padum fuerit, venire Moesicas legiones, magnam exercitus partem Bedriaci remansisse: hos certe nondum victos et, si ita ferret, honestius in acie perituros. his cogitationibus truces aut pavidi extrema desperatione ad iram saepius quam in formidinem stimulabantur.