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Quote of the day: Nero however, that he might not be known
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 13: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus. Treason of Caecina[AD 69]
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On the revolt of the fleet becoming known, Caecina called together to head-quarters, which he purposely selected as being the most retired part of the camp, the chief centurions and some few soldiers, while the rest were dispersed on various military duties. Then he extolled the valour of Vespasian, and the strength of his party; he told them that the fleet had changed sides, that they were straitened for supplies, that Gaul and Spain were against them, that in the capital there was nothing on which to rely, thus making the worst of everything that concerned Vitellius. Then, the conspirators present setting the example, and the rest being paralysed by the strangeness of the proceeding, he made them swear allegiance to Vespasian. At the same time the images of Vitellius were torn down, and persons were despatched to convey the intelligence to Antonius. But when this treason became noised abroad throughout the camp, when the soldiers, hurrying back to head-quarters, saw the name of Vespasian written on the colours, and the images of Vitellius thrown upon the ground, first there was a gloomy silence, then all their rage burst out at once. "What," they cried, "has the glory of the army of Germany fallen so low, that without a battle, even without a wound, they should yield up hands ready bound and arms resigned to surrender? What legions indeed are these against us? Only the conquered. The first and the twelfth, the sole strength of the Othonianist army, are not there, and even them we routed and crushed on these very plains, only that so many thousands of armed men, like a herd of slaves for sale, might be given as a present to the exile Antonius. Thus, forsooth, the adhesion of one fleet would be worth eight legions. So it pleases Bassus and Caecina, after robbing the Emperor of palaces, gardens, and money, to rob the soldiers of their Emperor. But we, who have seen nothing of toil and bloodshed, we, who must be contemptible even to the Flavianists, what shall we answer to those who shall ask us of our victories and our defeats?"

Event: Vitellius versus Antonius Primus

At Caecina, defectione classis vulgata, primores centurionum et paucos militum, ceteris per militiae munera dispersis, secretum castrorum adfectans in principia vocat. ibi Vespasiani virtutem virisque partium extollit: transfugisse classem, in arto commeatum, adversas Gallias Hispaniasque, nihil in urbe fidum; atque omnia de Vitellio in deterius. mox incipientibus qui conscii aderant, ceteros re nova attonitos in verba Vespasiani adigit; simul Vitellii imagines dereptae et missi qui Antonio nuntiarent. sed ubi totis castris in fama proditio, recurrens in principia miles praescriptum Vespasiani nomen, proiectas Vitellii effigies aspexit, vastum primo silentium, mox cuncta simul erumpunt. huc cecidisse Germanici exercitus gloriam ut sine proelio, sine vulnere vinctas manus et capta traderent arma? quas enim ex diverso legiones? nempe victas; et abesse unicum Othoniani exercitus robur, primanos quartadecimanosque, quos tamen isdem illis campis fuderint straverintque. ut tot armatorum milia, velut grex venalium, exuli Antonio donum darentur? octo nimirum legiones unius classis accessionem fore. id Basso, id Caecinae visum, postquam domos hortos opes principi abstulerint, etiam militem auferre. integros incruentosque, Flavianis quoque partibus vilis, quid dicturos reposcentibus aut prospera aut adversa?