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The first encouraging tidings came to Otho from Illyricum. He heard that the legions of Dalmatia, Pannonia, and Mœsia had sworn allegiance to him. Similar intelligence was received from Spain, and Cluvius Rufus was commended in an edict. Immediately afterwards it became known that Spain had gone over to Vitellius. Even Aquitania, bound though it was by the oath of allegiance to Otho which Julius Cordus had administered, did not long remain firm. Nowhere was there any loyalty or affection; men changed from one side to the other under the pressure of fear or necessity. It was this influence of fear that drew over to Vitellius the province of Gallia Narbonensis, which
PRAETORIANS LOYAL; PROVINCES WAVER
turned readily to the side that was at once the nearer and the stronger. The distant provinces, and all the armies beyond the sea, still adhered to Otho, not from any attachment to his party, but because there was vast weight in the name of the capital and the prestige of the Senate, and also because the claims which they had first heard had prepossessed their minds. The army of Judæa under Vespasian, and the legions of Syria under Mucianus, swore allegiance to Otho. Egypt and the Eastern provinces were also governed in his name. Africa displayed the same obedience, Carthage taking the lead. In that city Crescens, one of Nero's freedmen (for in evil times even this class makes itself a power in the State), without waiting for the sanction of the proconsul, Vipstanus Apronianus, had given an entertainment to the populace by way of rejoicings for the new reign, and the people, with extravagant zeal, hastened to make the usual demonstrations of joy. The example of Carthage was followed by the other cities of Africa.

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