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The person and appearance of Otho no way corresponded to the great spirit he displayed on this occasion; for he is said to have been of low stature, splayfooted, and bandy-legged. He was, however, effeminately nice in the care of his person: the hair on his body he plucked out by the roots; and because he was somewhat bald, he wore a kind of peruke, so exactly fitted to his head, that nobody could have known it for such. He used to shave every day, and rub his face with soaked bread; the use of which he began when the down first appeared upon his chin, to prevent his having any beard. It is said likewise that he celebrated publicly the sacred rites of Isis, 1 clad in a linen garment, such as is used by the worshippers of that goddess. These circumstances, I imagine, caused the world to wonder the more that his death was so little in character with his life. Many of the soldiers who were present, kissing and bedewing with their tears his hands and feet as he lay dead, and celebrating him as "a most gallant man, and an incomparable emperor," immediately put an end to their own lives upon the spot, not far from his funeral pile. Many of those likewise who were at a distance, upon hearing the news of his death, in the anguish of their hearts, began fighting amongst themselves, until they dispatched one another. To conclude: the generality of mankind, though they hated him whilst living, yet highly extolled him after his death; insomuch that it was the common talk and opinion, "that Galba had been driven to destruction by his rival, not so much for the sake of reigning himself, as of restoring Rome to its ancient liberty."
1 Jupiter, to prevent the discovery of his amour with Io, the daughter of the river Inachus, transformed her into a heifer, in which metamorphosis she was placed by Juno under the watchful inspection of Argus; but flying into Egypt, and her keeper being killed by Mercury, she recovered her human shape, and was married to Osiris. Her husband afterwards became a god of the Egyptians, and she a goddess, under the name of Isis. She was represented with a mural crown on her head, a cornucopia in one hand, and a sistrum (a musical instrument) in the other.
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