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Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb) 14 0 Browse Search
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Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb), BOOK III, chapter 58 (search)
Vitellius, when informed of these events, left a portion of his army at Narnia under the command of the prefect of the Prætorian Guard, and deputed his brother Lucius with six cohorts of infantry and 500 cavalry to encounter the danger that now threatened him on the side of Campania. Sick at heart, he found relief in the zeal of the soldiers and in the shouts with which the people clamoured for arms, while he gave the delusive name of an army and of Roman legions to a cowardly mob, that would not venture on any thing beyond words. At the instance of his freedmen (for his friends were the less faithful the more distinguished their rank) he ordered the tribes to be convoked, and to those who gave in their names administered the oath of service. As the numbers were excessive, he divided the business of enrolment between the consuls. He required the Senators to furnish a prescribed number of slaves and a certain weight of silver. The Roman Knights offered their services and m
Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb), BOOK III, chapter 60 (search)
om they looked upon as sharers in the spoil rather than in the dangers of the campaign. Antonius summoned them to an assembly, and explained to them that Vitellius had still forces, which would waver in their loyalty if they had time to reflect, but would be fierce foes if driven to despair. "The opening of a civil war must," he said, "be left to chance; the final triumph is perfected by wise counsels and skill. The fleet of Misenum and the fairest portion of Campania have already revolted, and out of the whole world Vitellius has nothing left but the country between Tarracina and Narnia. From our victory at Cremona sufficient glory has accrued to us, and from the destruction of that city only too much disgrace. Let us not be eager to capture rather than to preserve the capital. Greater will be our reward, far higher our reputation, if we secure without bloodshed the safety of the Senate and of the people of Rome." By this and similar language their impatience was allayed.
Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb), BOOK III, chapter 63 (search)
Finding all their hopes cut off, the troops of Vitellius, intending to pass over to the side of the conqueror, but to do so with honour, marched down with their standards and colours into the plains beneath Narnia. The army of Vespasian, prepared and equipped as if for action, was drawn up in dense array on both sides of the road. The Vitellianists were received between the two columns; when they were thus surrounded, Antonius addressed them kindly. One division was ordered to remain at Narnia, another at Interamna; with them were left some of the victorious legions, which would not be formidable to them if they remained quiet, but were strong enough to crush all turbulence. At the same time Primus and Varus did not neglect to forward continual messages to Vitellius, offering him personal safety, the enjoyment of wealth, and a quiet retreat in Campania, provided he would lay down his arms and surrender himself and his children to Vespasian. Mucianus also wrote to him to t
Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb), BOOK III, chapter 67 (search)
The ears of Vitellius were deaf to manly counsels. His whole soul was overwhelmed by a tender anxiety, lest by an obstinate resistance he might leave the conqueror less mercifully disposed to his wife and children. He had also a mother old and feeble, but she, expiring a few days before, escaped by her opportune death the ruin of her house, having gained from the Imperial dignity of her son nothing but sorrow and a good name. On the 18th of December, after hearing of the defection of the legion and the auxiliary infantry which had surrendered at Narnia, he left the palace, clad in mourning robes, and surrounded by his weeping household. With him went his little son, carried in a litter, as though in a funeral procession. The greetings of the people were flattering, but ill-suited to the time; the soldiers preserved an ominous silence.
Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb), BOOK III, chapter 78 (search)
While these successes were being achieved on the side of Vitellius, the army of Vespasian had left Narnia, and was passing the holiday of the Saturnalia in idleness at Ocriculum. The reason alleged for so injurious a delay was that they might wait for Mucianus. Some persons indeed there were who assailed Antonius with insinuations, that he lingered with treacherous intent, after receiving private letters from Vitellius, which conveyed to him the offer of the consulship and of the Emperor's daughter in marriage with a vast dowry, as the price of treason. Others asserted that this was all a fiction, invented to please Mucianus. Some again alleged that the policy agreed upon by all the generals was to threaten rather than actually to attack the capital, as Vitellius' strongest cohorts had revolted from him, and it seemed likely that, deprived of all support, he would abdicate the throne, but that the whole plan was ruined by the impatience and subsequent cowardice of Sabinus
Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb), BOOK III, chapter 79 (search)
he received nothing but gloomy intelligence, that Sabinus was dead, that the Capitol had been burnt to the ground, that Rome was in consternation, and also that the populace and the slaves were arming themselves for Vitellius. And Petilius Cerialis had been defeated in a cavalry skirmish. While he was hurrying on without caution, as against a vanquished enemy, the Vitellianists, who had disposed some infantry among their cavalry, met him. The conflict took place not far from the city among buildings, gardens, and winding lanes, which were well known to the Vitellianists, but disconcerting to their opponents, to whom they were strange. Nor indeed were all the cavalry one in heart, for there were with them some who had lately capitulated at Narnia, and who were anxiously watching the fortunes of the rival parties. Tullius Flavianus, commanding a squadron, was taken prisoner; the rest fled in disgraceful confusion, but the victors did not continue the pursuit beyond Fidenæ