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Vindex, C. Ju'lius

was the son of a Roman senator, but was descended from a royal family in Aquitanian Gaul. He was appointed propraetor of Gallia Celtica towards the latter end of the reign of Nero; and there he resolved to make an effort to get rid of the tyrant, of whose oppressive rule the Roman world had become weary. Accordingly, he called together the people of his province about the month of March, A. D. 68, and after describing their grievances and the despicable character of their oppressor, he urged them to revolt. His call was eagerly responded to by the greater part of Gaul, and he soon found himself at the head of a formidable army. He did not, however, aspire to the empire himself, but wrote to Galba, who was governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, to offer his assistance in raising him to the throne. Galba, however, would not assume the title of emperor, but nevertheless took up arms against Nero, contenting himself with the title of legatus of the senate and of the Roman people.

Most of the governors of the Roman provinces in Europe now declared in favour of Galba; Virginius Rufus, however, the governor of Upper Germany, who had been offered the sovereignty by his own soldiers, not only refused it himself, but said that he would not acknowledge any one as emperor except the person upon whom the senate had conferred the title. He accordingly marched with his army against Vindex, and proceeded to lay siege to the town of Vesontio (Besançon). Vindex marched to its relief; and the two generals had a conference, in which they appear to have come to some agreement; but as Vindex was going to enter the town, the soldiers of Rufus, thinking that he was about to attack them, fell upon him. Many of his troops were killed, and Vindex, who believed that it was a plot for his destruction, put an end to his own life. (D. C. 63.22-26; Tac. Ann. 15.74, Hist. 1.6, 8, 51, 4.17, 57; Plut. Galb. 4-6; Suet. Nero 40, 41, 45, Galb. 9, 11; Plin. Ep. 9.19.)

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68 AD (1)
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