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Moreover Cæcina and Valens celebrated the birthday of Vitellius by exhibiting in every quarter of the city shows of gladiators on a vast and hitherto unparalleled scale. He pleased the most infamous characters, but utterly disgusted all the respectable citizens, by building altars in the Campus Martius, and performing funeral rites to Nero. Victims were slaughtered and burnt in the name of the State; the pile was kindled by the Augustales, an order of the priesthood dedicated by the Emperor Tiberius to the Julian family, just as Romulus had dedicated one to king Tatius. Within four months from the victory of Bedriacum, Asiaticus, the emperor's freedman, was rivalling the Polycleti, the Patrobii, and all the old hateful names. No one sought promotion in that court by integrity or diligence; the sole road to power was to glut the insatiable appetites of Vitellius by prodigal entertainments, extravagance, and riot. The Emperor himself, thinking it enough to enjoy the present, and without a thought for the future, is believed to have squandered nine hundred million sesterces in a very few months. Rome, as miserable as she was great, afflicted in one year by an Otho and a Vitellius, what with the Vinii, the Fabii, the Iceli, and the Asiatici, passed through all vicissitudes of infamy, till there came Mucianus and Marcellus, and different men rather than a different morality.

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