Some authors relate, that upon their first approach he cried out, "What do you mean, fellow-soldiers ? I am yours, and you are mine," and promised them a donative: but the generality of writers relate, that he offered his throat to them, saying, " Do your work, and strike, since you are resolved upon it." It is remarkable, that not one of those who were at hand, ever made any attempt to assist the emperor; and all who were sent for, disregarded the summons, except a troop of Germans. They, in consideration of his late kindness in showing them particular attention during a sickness which prevailed in the camp, flew to his aid, but came too late: for, being not well acquainted with the town, they had taken a circuitous route. He was slain near the Curtian Lake,1 and there left, until a common soldier returning from the receipt of his allowance of corn, throwing down the load which he carried, cut off his head. There being upon it no hair, by which he might hold it, he hid it in the bosom of his dress; but afterwards thrusting his thumb into the mouth, he carried it in that manner to Otho, who gave it to the drudges and slaves who attended the soldiers; and they, fixing it upon the point of a spear, carried it in derision round the camp, crying out as they went along, "You take your fill of joy in your old age." They were irritated to this pitch of rude banter, by a report spread a few days before, that, upon some one's commending his person as still florid and vigorous, he replied,
“My strength, as yet, has suffered no decay.
” A freedman of Patrobius's, who himself had belonged to Nero's family, purchased the head from them at the price of a hundred gold pieces, and threw it into the place where, by Galba's order, his patron had been put to death. At last, after some time, his steward Argius buried it, with the rest of his body, in his own gardens near the Aurelian Way.