At first Valerius Festus, the legate, loyally seconded the zeal
of the provincials. Soon he began to waver, supporting Vitellius in his
public dispatches and edicts, Vespasian in his secret correspondence, and
intending to hold by the one or the other according as they might succeed.
Some soldiers and centurions, coming through Rhætia
REINFORCEMENTS FROM PROVINCES
were seized with letters and edicts from Vespasian, and on being sent to
Vitellius were put to death. More, however, eluded discovery, escaping
either through the faithful protection of friends or by their own tact. Thus
the preparations of Vitellius became known, while the plans of Vespasian
were for the most part kept secret. At first the supineness of Vitellius was
in fault; afterwards the occupation of the Pannonian
with troops stopped all intelligence. And on the sea the prevalent
Etesian winds favoured an eastward voyage, but hindered all return.