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The mob and the people generally, whose vast numbers cut them off from all interest in the state, began by degrees to feel the evils of war, now that all the currency had been diverted to the purposes of the army, and the prices of provisions were raised. These evils had not equally distressed the common people during the insurrection of Vindex; the capital was safe, and the war was in the provinces, and, fought as it was between the legions and Gaul, it seemed but a foreign campaign. Indeed from the time that the Divine Augustus consolidated the power of the Cæsars, the wars of the Roman people had been in remote places, and had caused anxiety or brought honour to but one man. Under Tiberius and Caius men dreaded for the Commonwealth only the miseries of peace. The rising of Scribonianus against Claudius was crushed as soon as heard of. Nero was driven from power by evil tidings and rumours rather than by the sword. Now the legions and the fleets were brought into action, and with them a force used but on few other occasions, the Prætorian and city soldiery. In their rear were the provinces of the East and of the West with all their forces; had they fought under other generals there was all the material for a protracted war. Many suggested to Otho, as he was setting out, a religious obstacle in the fact that the sacred shields had not been restored to their place. He spurned all delay, as having been Nero's fatal mistake; and the fact that Cæcina had now crossed the Alps urged him to action.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SALII
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