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Hordeonius Flaccus, the consular legate, was present and witnessed this outrage, but he dared neither check the furious mutineers, nor keep the wavering to their duty, nor encourage the well affected. Indolent and timid, he was preserved from guilt only by his sloth. Four Centurions of the 18th legion, Nonius Receptus, Donatius Valens, Romilius Marcellus, Calpurnius Repentinus, striving to protect the images of Galba, were swept away by a rush of the soldiers and put in irons. After this no one retained any sense of duty, any recollection of his late allegiance, but, as usually happens in mutinies, the side of the majority became the side of all. In the course of the night of the 1st of January, the standard-bearer of the 4th legion, coming to the Colonia Agrippinensis, announced to Vitellius, who was then at dinner, the news that the 4th and 18th legions had thrown down the images of Galba, and had sworn allegiance to the Senate and people of Rome. Such a form of oath appeared meaningless. It was determined to seize the doubtful fortune of the hour, and to offer an Emperor to their choice, Vitellius sent envoys to the legions and their legates, who were to say that the army of Upper Germany had revolted from Galba, that it was consequently necessary for them, either to make war on the revolters, or, if they preferred peace and harmony, to create an Emperor, and who were to suggest, that it would be less perilous to accept than to look for a chief.