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Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb) 2 0 Browse Search
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Cornelius Tacitus, The History (ed. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb), BOOK III, chapter 86 (search)
Luceria was his native place. He had nearly completed his 57th year. His consulate, his priesthood, his high reputation, his place among the first men of the State, he owed, not to any energy of his own, but to the renown of his father. The throne was offered him by men who did not know him. Seldom have the affections of the army attached themselves to any man who sought to gain them by his virtues as firmly as they did to him from the indolence of his character. Yet he had a certain frankness and generosity, qualities indeed which turn to a man's ruin, unless tempered with discretion. Believing that friendship may be retained by munificent gifts rather than by consistency of character, he deserved more of it than he secured. Doubtless it was good for the State that Vitellius should be overthrown, but they who betrayed Vitellius to Vespasian cannot make a merit of their treachery, since they had themselves revolted from Galba. The day was now fast drawing to a close, and