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Filling the great offices before the age required for it by law, during his praetorship, at the celebration of games in honour of the goddess Flora, he presented the new spectacle of elephants walking upon ropes. He was then governor of the province of Aquitania for near a year, and soon afterwards took the consulship in the usual course, and held it for six months.1 It so happened that he succeeded L. Domitius, the father of Nero, and was succeeded by Salvius Otho, father to the emperor of that name; so that his holding it between the sons of these two men, looked like a presage of his future advancement to the empire. Being appointed by Caius Caesar2 to supersede Gaetulicus in his command, the day after his joining the legions, he put a stop to their plaudits in a public spectacle, by issuing an order, "That they should keep their hands under their cloaks." Immediately upon which, the following verse became very common in the camp: “Disce, miles, militare: Galba est, non Gaetulicus.
” “Learn, soldier, now in arms to use your hands,
'Tis Galba, not Getulicus, commands.
” With equal strictness, he would allow of no petitions for leave of absence from the camp. He hardened the soldiers, both old and young, by constant exercise; and having quickly reduced within their own limits the barbarians who had made inroads into Gaul, upon Caius's coming into Germany, he so far recommended himself and his army to that emperor's approbation, that, amongst the innumerable troops drawn from all the provinces of the empire, none met with higher commendation, or greater rewards from him. He likewise distinguished himself by heading an escort, with a shield in his hand;3 and running at the side of the emperor's chariot twenty miles together.

1 A.U.C. 786

2 Caius Caesar Caligula. He gave the command of the legions in Germany to Galba.

3 "Scuto moderatus;" another reading in the parallel passage of Tacitus is scuto immodice oneratus, burdened with the heavy weight of a shield.

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