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In the East there was as yet no movement. Syria and its four legions were under the command of Licinius Mucianus, a man whose good and bad fortune were equally famous. In his youth he had cultivated with many intrigues the friendship of the great. His resources soon failed, and his position became precarious, and as he also suspected that Claudius had taken some offence, he withdrew into a retired part of Asia, and was as like an exile, as he was aft-
POSITION OF MUCIANUS AND VESPASIAN
erwards like an emperor. He was a compound of dissipation and energy, of arrogance and courtesy, of good and bad qualities. His self-indulgence was excessive, when he had leisure, yet whenever he had served, he had shown great qualities. In his public capacity he might be praised; his private life was in bad repute. Yet over subjects, friends, and colleagues, he exercised the influence of many fascinations. He was a man who would find it easier to transfer the imperial power to another, than to hold it for himself. Flavius Vespasian, a general of Nero's appointment, was carrying on the war in Judæa with three legions, and he had no wish or feeling adverse to Galba. He had in fact sent his son Titus to acknowledge his authority and bespeak his favour, as in its proper place I shall relate. As for the hidden decrees of fate, the omens and the oracles that marked out Vespasian and his sons for imperial power, we believed in them only after his success.

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