Pauli'nus, C. Sueto'nius
is first mentioned in the reign of the emperor Claudius, A. D. 42, in which year he was propraetor in Mauritania ; he conquered the Moors who had revolted, and advanced as far as Mount Atlas (D. C. 60.9
; Plin. Nat. 5.1
In the reign of Nero, A. D. 59, Paulinus was appointed to the command of Britain. For the first two years all his undertakings were successful; he subdued several nations, and erected forts in various parts of the country; but when at length in A. D. 61 he crossed over to Mona (Anglesey), which was the great strong-hold of the Britons who still resisted the Roman arms, the other Britons took advantage of his absence to rise in open rebellion, and led on by Boadicea, the heroic queen of the Iceni, they captured the Roman colony or Camalodunum and defeated Petilius Cerealis, the legate of the ninth legion.
The return of Paulinus, however, soon changed matters; and he at length finally defeated Boadicea with great slaughter, though not till Londinium and Verulamium had also fallen into the hands of the Britons. For further details see BOADICEA. He returned to Rome in the following year, and was succeeded by Petronius Turpilianus. (Tac. Ann. 14.29
5, 14.--16 ; D. C. 62.1
; Suet. Nero 39
In A. D. 66 Sentonius Paulinus was consul with C. Lucius Telesinus (Tac. Ann. 16.14
; D. C. 63.1
.) Paulinus was now looked upon as one of the first generals of the time, and while in Britain he was regarded by the people as the rival of Corbulo in military glory. His services were accordingly called into exercise in the civil wars which followed Nero's death.
He was one of Otho's generals and chief military advisers, although he was not able to overcome the intrigues and influence of Licinius Proculus, in whom Otho placed most reliance. The German legions, who had proclaimed Vitellius, were advancing into Italy, and Otho set out to meet them in the spring of A. D. 69, taking with him Paulinus and other generals of experience.
The plain of the Po was the field of operation; an account of which is given under OTHO, p. 67.
As far as respects Paulinus, it is only necessary to mention here, that he and Marius Celsus defeated Caecina, one of the Vitellian generals, near Cremona; but as Paulinus would not allow his men to follow up their advantage, he was accused of treachery by his troops, though his conduct was probably the result of prudence. When Valens, the other general of Vitellius, had joined his forces to those of Caecina, Paulinus strongly recommended Otho not to risk a battle; but his advice was overruled, and the result was the defeat at Bedriacum, and the ruin of Otho's cause.
After the battle Paulinus did not venture to return to his own camp.
He fell into the hands of Vitellius, and obtained his pardon by pleading, says Tacitus, "the necessary but not honourable excuse," that the defeat of Otho's army was owing to his treachery; for which selfaccusation, however, there was certainly no foundation.
This is the last time that the name of Suetonius Paulinus occurs. (Tac. Hist. 1.87