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As Pætus's despatch contradicted this letter from Vologeses and implied that matters were unchanged, the centurion who had arrived with the envoys was questioned as to the state of Armenia. He replied that all the Romans had quitted it. Then was perceived the mockery of the barbarians in petitioning for what they had wrested from us, and Nero consulted with the chief men of the State whether they should accept a dangerous war or a disgraceful peace. There was no hesitation about war. Corbulo, who had known our soldiers and the enemy for so many years, was appointed to conduct it, that there might be no more blunders through any other officer's incapacity; for people were utterly disgusted with Pætus.

So the envoys were sent back without an answer, but with

some presents, in order to inspire a hope that Tiridates would not make the same request in vain, if only he presented his petition in person. The administration of Syria was intrusted to Caius Itius, and the military forces to Corbulo, to which was added the fifteenth legion, under the leadership of Marius Celsus, from Pannonia. Written orders were sent to the tetrarchs, the tributaries, kings, prefects and procurators, and all the prætors who governed the neighbouring provinces, to obey Corbulo's commands, as his powers were enlarged on much the same scale as that which the Roman people had granted to Cneius Pompeius on the eve of his war against the Pirates. When Pætus returned and dreaded something worse, the emperor thought it enough to reproach him with a jest, to the effect that he pardoned him at once, lest one so ready to take fright might sink under prolonged suspense.

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