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Varus, Alfe'nus

or ALFE'NIUS, perhaps a descendant of the jurist, was one of the generals of Vitellius, in the civil war in A. D. 69. He served under Fabius Valens as prefect of the camp, when the latter marched with the Vitellian troops from Germany to Italy, and he fought at the decisive battle of Bedriacum, which secured the empire for Vitellius. When Caecina, who had been sent to oppose the generals of Vespasian, deserted the cause of Vitellius, the latter appointed Varus praefectus praetorio in place of P. Sabinus, who was a friend of the traitor Caecina. After the defeat of the Vitellian troops at Cremona, Varus was sent, along with Julius Priscus, at the head of the praetorian cohorts and some other troops to guard the passes of the Apennines; but on the approach of the Vespasian army, the soldiers of Varus and Priscus deserted in such numbers to the enemy, that they were obliged to abandon their camp and return to Rome. Varus survived the fall of his master, and also, according to the words of Tacitus, ignaviac infamiacque suae superfuit. (Tac. Hist. 2.29, 43, 3.36, 55, 61, 4.11.)

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69 AD (1)
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