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Vespasian, Chapter 8: Vespasian emperor[AD 69-79]
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Returning to Rome under such auspices and attended by so great renown, after celebrating a triumph over the Jews, he added eight consulships to his former one [74-77, 78] he also assumed the censorship, and during the whole period of his rule he considered nothing more essential than first to strengthen the State, which was tottering and almost overthrown, and then to embellish it as well. The soldiery, some emboldened by their victory, and some resenting their humiliating defeat, had abandoned themselves to every form of licence and recklessness; the provinces, too, and the free cities, as well as some of the kingdoms, were in a state of internal dissension. Therefore, he discharged many of the soldiers of Vitellius and punished many; but so far from showing any special indulgence to those who had shared in his victory, he was even tardy in paying them their lawful rewards. To let slip no opportunity of improving military discipline, when a young man reeking with perfumes came to thank him for a commission which had been given him, Vespasian drew back his head in disgust, adding the stern reprimand: "I would rather you had smelt of garlic"; and he revoked the appointment. When the marines who march on foot by turns from Ostia and Puteoli to Rome [They were stationed at Ostia and Puteoli as a fire brigade (see Claud. xxv.2), and the various divisions were on duty now in one town, now in the other, and again in Rome], asked that an allowance be made them under the head of shoe money, not content with sending them away without a reply, he ordered that in future they should make the run barefooted; and they have done so ever since. He made provinces of Achaia, Lycia, Rhodes, Byzantium and Samos, taking away their freedom, and likewise of Trachian Cilicia and Commagene, which up to that time had been ruled by kings. He sent additional legions to Cappadocia because of the constant inroads of the barbarians, and gave it a consular governor in place of a Roman eques. As the city was unsightly from fires and fallen buildings, he allowed anyone to take possession of vacant sites and build upon them, in case the owners failed to do so. He began the restoration of the Capitol in person, was the first to lend a hand in clearing away the debris, and carried some of it off on his own head. He undertook to restore the three thousand bronze tablets which were destroyed with the temple, making a thorough search for copies: priceless and most ancient records of the empire, containing the decrees of the Senate and the acts of the People almost from the foundation of the city, regarding alliances, treaties, and special privileges granted to individuals. |
Event: Vespasian emperor
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Auspicium:Type of divination
Triumph:The highest honour to a general: clad like Jupiter he drove in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Before him walked the prisoners taken in the war, and the spoils of the captured cities, and in later times pictures of the conquered territories were carried before the general's chariot. He was followed by his troops, who sung songs, often extempore effusions, in honour of their commander.
Foot:a. part of the body (3379). b. infantry (6534).