Scanned text contains errors.
in every kind of rapacity (Tac. Agric. 6). On the death of Galba in January a. d. 69, Titianus was a second time made consul, with his brother Otho, the emperor. When the latter set out from Rome against the generals of Vitellius, he left Titianus in charge of the city, but he soon afterwards sent for him and gave him the chief command in the war. It was partly through his eagerness to engage with the Vitellian troops, that his brother lost the empire ; and on the downfall of the latter Titianus was so little dreaded, that he was pardoned by Vitellius—pietate et ignavia excusatus^ says Tacitus. (Tac. Hist. i. 75, 77. ii. 23, 33, 39, 60.)
OTHO, M. SA'LVIUS, Roman emperor a. d. 69, was descended from an ancient Etruscan family. His father L. Otho, who was consul in a. d. 33, had two sons, Marcus and L. Salvius Titianus. [See above, No. 2.] Marcus Otho was born in the early part of a. d. 32. He was of moderate stature, ill-made in the legs, and had an effeminate appearance. He was one of the companions of Nero in his debaucheries, till he was sent as governor to Lusitania, which he administered with credit during the last ten years of Nero's life [nero, p. 1163, a.]. Otho attached himself to Galba when he revolted against Nero, in the hope of being adopted by him and succeeding to the empire. But Galba, who knew Otho's character, and wished to have a worthy successor, adopted L. Piso, on the tenth of January, a. d. 69, and designated him as the future emperor. (Tacit. Hist. i. 15.)
Otho thus saw his hopes disappointed. His private affairs also were in a ruinous condition, and he resolved to seize the power which an astrologer had foretold him that he would one day possess. He enlisted in his design a few soldiers, and on the fifteenth of January he was proclaimed emperor by a mere handful of men, who, with their swords drawn, carried him in a litter to the camp, where he was saluted emperor. Otho was ready to promise any thing and to stoop to any thing to extricate himself from his dangerous position, and to receive the prize at which he aimed (Tacit. Hist. i. 36). A little vigour and decision on the part of Galba might have checked the rising. The matter was at last decided by Otho and the soldiers making their way into the forum, upon which the standard-bearer of the cohort that accompanied Galba snatched from it the emperor's effigy, and threw it on the ground. This was the signal for deserting Galba, who received his death-blow from a common soldier.
The soldiers showed they were the masters of the emperor by choosing as praefecti praetorio, Plotius Firmus and Licinius Proculus ; Flavius Sabinus, the brother of Vespasian, was made prae-fectus urbi. On the evening of the day in which Galba was murdered the senate took the oath of fidelity to Otho, who afterwards offered a sacrifice in the Capitol, with no favourable omens. The new emperor showed his moderation or his prudence by protecting against the fury of the soldiers, Marius Celsus, who had maintained his fidelity to Galba, and who showed the same devotion afterwards to the cause of Otho. The punishment of Tigellinus, the guilty encourager of Nero's crimes, and the first to desert him, was demanded by the people, and granted. This abominable wretch received the news of his death being required while he was enjoying the waters of Sinuessae, and he cut his throat with a razor. The indulgence of Otho
towards those who were his personal enemies, and the change in his habits shown by devoting himself to the administration of affairs, gave people hopes that the emperor would turn out better than was expected. Still these appearances were by many considered deceptive, and there was little confidence in a man who owed his elevation to the murder of Galba, and the violence of the soldiers, whom he was compelled to keep in good humour. Otho was acknowledged emperor by Luceius Albinus, governor of Mauritania (Tacit. Hist. ii. 58), and by Carthage and the rest of Africa. The legions in Dalrnatia, Pannonia, and Maesia took the oath of fidelity to the emperor. He was also recognised by Egypt, by Mucianus in Syria, and by Vespasian in Palestine ; by Gallia Narbonensis, Aquitania, and by Spain. But he had a formidable opposition in the legions stationed in Germany on the Rhine, whither Vitellius had been sent to take the command by Galba, in the month of December, a. d. 68. Vitellius was a glutton, a drunkard, and a man of no capacity, but by his affable manners and his liberality he gained the good will of the soldiers who were dissatisfied with Galba. Vitellius had the command of four legions on the Lower Rhine, and two other legions on the upper course of the river were under Hordeonius Flaccus. Some of the Gallic towns also were ill disposed to Galba.
Neither Flaccus nor Vitellius had energy enough to commence a movement: it was begun by Fa-bius Valens, who commanded a legion in Lower Germany, and stimulated Vitellius to aim at the supreme power. Alienus Caecina, who also commanded a legion in Upper Germany, and was an officer of ability, hated Galba; and thus, before the murder of the aged emperor, every thing was ripe for a revolt in Germany.
Vitellius, who was in the town of Cologne (colonia Agrippinensis), was greeted with the title of imperator, on the third of January, a. d. 69. He accepted the title of Germanicus, but he would not assume that of Caesar. There was a striking contrast between the ardour of the soldiers, who wished to march for Italy in the midst of the winter, and the sluggishness of their newly-elected emperor, who even by midday was drunk and stupified with his gluttonous excesses. But every thing favoured Vitellius. Valerius Asiaticus, governor of Belgica, declared for him, and Junius Blaesus, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. The troops in Rhaetia and Britain were also on his side. Valens and Caecina were sent forward, each at the head of a large army. The lazy emperor followed at his leisure. Valens had advanced as far as Toul (civitas Leucorum, Tacit. Hist. i. 64 ; D'An-ville, Notice de la Gaule, "Tullum"), when he heard of Galba's death, the news of which determined Gallia Narbonensis and Aquitania to declare for Vitellius, though they had taken the oath to Otho. Cluvius Rufus, the governor of Spain, did the same.
Valens advanced by the route of Autun, Lyon, Vienne, and Lucus (Luc), to the foot of the Alps, plundering, and robbing all the way. The march of Caecina was still more disastrous to the country through which he made his way. He readily picked a quarrel with the Helvetii, many of whom were slaughtered, and others were sold as slaves. Aven-ticum (Avenche), their capital, surrendered, and its fate was left to the mercy of Vitellius, who yielded to the eloquent entreaty of Claudius Cossus, one of the legati who were sent to mollify the