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Otho, after publicly purifying the city and weighing various plans for the campaign, determined to march upon Gallia Narbonensis, as the passes of the Penine and Cottian Alps and all the other approaches to Gaul were held by the armies of Vitellius. His fleet was strong and loyal to his
PRODIGIES; OTHO PREPARES FORCES
cause, for he had enrolled in the ranks of the legion the survivors of the slaughter at the Milvian bridge, whom the stern policy of Galba had retained in custody, while to the rest he had held out hopes of a more honourable service for the future. To the fleet he had added some city cohorts, and many of the Prætorians, the stay and strength of his army, who might at once advise and watch the generals. The command of the expedition was entrusted to Antonius Novellus and Suedius Clemens, centurions of the first rank, and Æmilius Pacensis, to whom Otho had restored the rank of tribune, taken from him by Galba. Oscus, a freedman, retained the charge of the fleet, and went to watch the fidelity of men more honourable than himself. Suetonius Paullinus, Marius Celsus, and Annius Gallus, were appointed to command the infantry and cavalry. The Emperor, however, placed most confidence in Licinius Proculus, prefect of the Prætorian Guard; an active officer at home, without experience in war, he founded perpetual accusations on the high influence of Paullinus, on the energy of Celsus, on the mature judgment of Gallus, in fact, on each man's special excellence, a thing most easy to do; and thus the unscrupulous and the cunning were preferred before the modest and the good.

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Gallia Narbonensis (France) (1)

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