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Quote of the day: He was a man who masked a savage temper
Notes
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 91: Revolt of Vespasian. Vitellius rules[AD 69]
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The country, ready to find a meaning in every circumstance, regarded it as an omen of gloomy import that Vitellius, on obtaining the office of supreme Pontiff, should have issued a proclamation concerning the public religious ceremonial on the 18th of July, a day which from old times the disasters of Cremera and Allia had marked as unlucky. Thus utterly regardless of all law human and divine, with freedmen and friends as reckless as himself, he lived as if he were among a set of drunkards. Still at the consular elections he was present in company with the candidates like an ordinary citizen, and by shewing himself as a spectator in the theatre, as a partisan in the circus, he courted every breath of applause from the lowest rabble. Agreeable and popular as this conduct would have been, had it been prompted by noble qualities, it was looked upon as undignified and contemptible from the remembrance of his past life. He habitually appeared in the Senate even when unimportant matters were under discussion; and it once happened that Priscus Helvidius, the praetor-elect, had spoken against his wishes. Though at the moment provoked, he only called on the tribunes of the people to support his insulted authority, and then, when his friends, who feared his resentment was deeper than it appeared, sought to appease him, he replied that it was nothing strange that two senators in a common-wealth should disagree: he had himself been in the habit of opposing Thrasea. Most of them laughed at the effrontery of such a comparison, though some were pleased at the very circumstance of his having selected, not one of the most influential men of the time, but Thrasea, as his model of true glory.

Event: Revolt of Vespasian

Apud civitatem cuncta interpretantem funesti ominis loco acceptum est quod maximum pontificatum adeptus Vitellius de caerimoniis publicis XV kalendas Augustas edixisset, antiquitus infausto die Cremerensi Alliensique cladibus: adeo omnis humani divinique iuris expers, pari libertorum amicorum socordia, velut inter temulentos agebat. sed comitia consulum cum candidatis civiliter celebrans omnem infimae plebis rumorem in theatro ut spectator, in circo ut fautor adfectavit: quae grata sane et popularia, si a virtutibus proficiscerentur, memoria vitae prioris indecora et vilia accipiebantur. ventitabat in senatum, etiam cum parvis de rebus patres consulerentur. ac forte Priscus Helvidius praetor designatus contra studium eius censuerat. commotus primo Vitellius, non tamen ultra quam tribunos plebis in auxilium spretae potestatis advocavit; mox mitigantibus amicis, qui altiorem iracundiam eius verebantur, nihil novi accidisse respondit quod duo senatores in re publica dissentirent; solitum se etiam Thraseae contra dicere. inrisere plerique impudentiam aemulationis; aliis id ipsum placebat quod neminem ex praepotentibus, sed Thraseam ad exemplar verae gloriae legisset.