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Galba, Chapter 10: Galba revolts
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|Accordingly, pretending that he was going to attend to the manumitting of slaves, he mounted the tribunals, on the front of which he had set up as many images as he could find of those who had been condemned and put to death by Nero; and having by his side a boy of noble family, whom he had summoned for that very purpose from his place of exile hard by in the Balearic Isles, he deplored the state of the times; being thereupon hailed as emperor, he declared that he was their governor, representing the Senate and People of Rome [Instead of the emperor, as before]. Then proclaiming a holiday, he enrolled from the people of the province into legions and auxiliaries in addition to his former force of one legion, two divisions of cavalry, and three cohorts. But from the oldest and most experienced of the nobles he chose a kind of Senate, to whom he might refer matters of special importance whenever it was necessary. He also chose young men of the ordo equester, who were to have the title of volunteers [ Evocati were soldiers who, after serving their time, were invited to continue their service. It is here an honorary title] and keep guard before his bed chamber in place of the regular soldiers, without losing their right to wear the gold ring. He also sent proclamations broadcast throughout the province, urging all men individually and collectively to join the revolution and aid the common cause in every possible way. At about this same time, during the fortification of a town which he had chosen as the seat of war, a ring of ancient workmanship was found, containing a precious stone engraved with a Victory and a trophy. Immediately afterwards a ship from Alexandria loaded with arms arrived at Dertosa without a pilot, without a single sailor or passenger, removing all doubt in anyone's mind that the war was just and holy and undertaken with the approval of the gods. Then suddenly and unexpectedly the whole plan was almost brought to naught. One of the two divisions of cavalrymen, repenting of its change of allegiance, attempted to desert Galba as he was approaching his camp, and was with difficulty prevented. Some slaves too, whom one of Nero's freedmen had given Galba with treachery in view, all but slew him as he was going to the bath through a narrow passageway. In fact they would have succeeded, had they not conjured one another not to miss the opportunity and so been questioned as to what the opportunity was to which they referred; for when they were put to the torture, a confession was wrung from them.||
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Evocati:Soldiers, who, after having served their time, were called upon as volunteers.