2. T. Vinius
, consul in A. D. 69 with the emperor Galba. Tacitus says that his father was of a praetorian family, and that his maternal
grandfather was one of the proscribed; but as he bears the same name as No. I, it is probable that the historian has made a mistake, unless he had by adoption taken the name of his maternal grandfather.
He first served under Calvisius Sabinus; and one night he accompanied the wife of his commander, who was dressed as a common soldier, through the camp, and committed adultery with her in the Principia, which was reckoned a sacred spot by the Romans, because the eagles and standards were deposited there. For that offence he was put in irons by order of Caligula, but by the change of times was released and obtained successively the praetorship and the command of a legion.
He was subsequently exposed to the imputation of having stolen a gold goblet at the table of the emperor Claudius.
He was notwithstanding appointed, probably during the reign of. Nero, to the government of Gallia Narbonensis, with the title of proconsul, where he ruled with justice and integrity, and he was afterwards in Spain as the legatus of Galba. Through his friendship with Galba he was raised to the consulship on the accession of the latter to the empire. During the short reign of Galba the government devolved almost entirely upon Vinius and Cornelius Laco, the praefect of the praetorian troops.
The possession of such great power developed his evil passions, and he is called by Tacitus "deterrimus mortalium." Vinius recommended Galba to choose Otho as his successor, and he was supposed by some to have been privy to the conspiracy against Galba.
He was notwithstanding killed by Otho's soldiers after the death of Galba, his head cut off and carried in triumph to Otho.
He was buried by his daughter Crispina, who purchased his head of his murderers; but his testament was disregarded on account of the large wealth which he left behind him. (Tac. Hist. 1.1
; Suet. Galb.
7; Plut. Galb. 12
, foll., 27.)