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Flashcards in 20 marker paras Deck (12)
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1

CHAOS 9

- Otho’s whole policy is based on exploiting chaos
- Otho’s servants tempt him with the benefits of a tyranny like that of Nero, and even taunt that they’ll go to someone else if he doesn’t act
- Tacitus notes that it means it is two non-commissioned officers (i.e. nobodies) who are to take down the empire two bodyguards, Barbius Proculus and Veturius- interviewed by Otho
- The rot spreads to legionaries and auxiliaries- demoralised by hearing of the revolt in Germany, and even the better men among the troops
- The revolt snowballs as soldiers join, some out of curiosity or intending to choose allegiance based on the outcome
- Tacitus zooms in the tribune Julius Martialis; he allows the revolt into the camp out of surprise and fear
- The common soldiers mistrust the higher ranking officers in an inversion of order
- All order by rank goes by the board as the soldiers grab any weapon without encouragement from anu tribune or centurion, Tacitus notes that each man follows his own lead and vice is allowed to run free
- The senators and people completely switch sides, racing each other to the barracks, as do the soldiers- Atilius Vergilio standard bearer

2

THE ARMY 12

- The barracks are chosen over the senate and rostra as the location for an official proclamation of the adoption, and the public crowds around the palace to hear the news
- Tacitus muses on Galba’s miserliness and its anachronistically high standards and its role in his own downfall
- The senate organises an embassy to the revolt in Germany
- But Otho had in fact been angling for the support of the troops for some time- on the march back from Spain had been cosying up to the higher ranking soldiers- being matey, giving assistance in the form of money or favours, dropping critical remarks about Galba and “all the other incitements of the mob agitator”
- Pudens begins to give money to fan the smouldering discontent of the troops- gives out money to the cohort on guard whenever Otho dined with Galba
- Otho also gives money to individuals- in inventive ways e.g. a member of the bodyguard, Cocceius Proculus in dispute with a neighbour over boundaries, so Otho buys up the entire farm and gives it to Proculus
- Piso’s speech; he asserts his ambivalence towards his adoption, that his fate rests on the loyalty of the soldiers, and his worry for the republic and his family
- Flatters and reassures the soldiers by saying that their loyalty is untarnished
- Centurions are sent to gain the support of the Illyrian and German troops
- Otho says that everyone opposes Piso as successor- the gods, the senate, the Roman people- however only the troops have the power to enact a better policy
- The troops get their way in everything; they choose the praetorian prefects and the city prefect (the latter Tacitus notes many already have their eye on as the brother of Vespasian)
- The soldiers call for a remission of a burdensome payment to the centurions for exemption; Otho doesn’t wish to alienate the centurions, so the payment is made by imperial exchequer

3

EMPERORS IN CONTROL 6

- Galba gives a stark speech (brevity befitting a supreme commander according to Tacitus) justifying his adoption as in accordance with precedent, plays down the revolt in Germany but not trying to ingratiate himself with bribes
- Four tribunes are dismissed, increasing paranoia among those remaining
- A soldier claims to have killed Otho, and Galba asks who gave the order, as Tacitus notes his unwavering moral strictness
- Otho is told the crowd are being armed, so he orders his soldiers to rush on the crowd and kill Galba
- Otho has to restrain his men- they demand the head of Celsus Marius, who was loyal to Galba to the last
- Otho sends a veteran to kill Laco, who thinks he’s to be exiled to an island, and Icelus is killed publicly as a freedman

4

GALBA ROLE IN DOWNFALL 12

- Galba gives a stark speech (brevity befitting a supreme commander according to Tacitus) justifying his adoption as in accordance with precedent, plays down the revolt in Germany but not trying to ingratiate himself with bribes
- Tacitus notes the differing reactions within the body of troops; most important soldiers pleased but rank and file feel deprived of a reward they get in peacetime when they’ve been in active service
- Tacitus muses on Galba’s miserliness and its anachronistically high standards and its role in his own downfall
- Four tribunes are dismissed, increasing paranoia among those remaining [for involvement with Nymphibius Sabinus?]
- The soldiers are not used to the harsh conditions under Galba of marching through mountains after being used to attending Nero and travelling by boat
- Tacitus notes this bribery is only possible due to the inefficiency of Laco, blind to even matters of common knowledge
- Proculus and Veturius exploit the fear of the senior NCO’s that they’re in disfavour because Nymphibius had promoted them, and whip up anger in the rank and file about lack of donative
- All are terrified of being posted to less favourable units
- Clear what is happening night before, but it’s hushed up and Laco suppresses any idea of it on account of his stubborn disregard for others’ opinion
- Galba is obliviously concerned with his sacrifices, when he is at last told of the revolt
- They decide to get Piso to test the spirit of the cohort who is on guard- clearly underestimating the threat as they don’t consider it worth using Galba’s authority
- Forbearing but so much so as to be blind to the dishonesty of friends and freedmen- however times were so bad that this seemed like wisdom
- “was by all accounts equal to imperial office, had he never held it”- has an anachronistic strictness

5

GALBA AT THE MERCY OF THE ARMY 4

- barracks are chosen
- The senate organises an embassy to the revolt in Germany
- Piso Offers a donative- says they don’t gain any more monetarily from treachery anyway
- According to some offers donative when he’s about to die

6

GALBA OVERLY STRICT 8

- Galba gives a stark speech (brevity befitting a supreme commander according to Tacitus) justifying his adoption as in accordance with precedent, plays down the revolt in Germany but not trying to ingratiate himself with bribes
- Tacitus notes the differing reactions within the body of troops; most important soldiers pleased but rank and file feel deprived of a reward they get in peacetime when they’ve been in active service
- Tacitus muses on Galba’s miserliness and its anachronistically high standards and its role in his own downfall
- Four tribunes are dismissed, increasing paranoia among those remaining [for involvement with Nymphibius Sabinus?]
- The soldiers are not used to the harsh conditions under Galba of marching through mountains after being used to attending Nero and travelling by boat
- Proculus and Veturius exploit the fear of the senior NCO’s that they’re in disfavour because Nymphibius had promoted them, and whip up anger in the rank and file about lack of donative
- All are terrified of being posted to less favourable units
- “was by all accounts equal to imperial office, had he never held it”- has an anachronistic strictness

7

GALBA OBLIVIOUS 8

- Tacitus notes this is only possible due to the inefficiency of Laco, blind to even matters of common knowledge- bribery of cohort on duty at dinner and Otho
- Clear what is happening, but it’s hushed up and Laco suppresses any idea of it on account of his stubborn disregard for others’ opinion- men consider revolt the night before
- Galba is obliviously concerned with his sacrifices, when he is at last told of the revolt
- They decide to get Piso to test the spirit of the cohort who is on guard- clearly underestimating the threat as they don’t consider it worth using Galba’s authority
- lets himself be convinced and so Piso is sent (possibly out of personal hatred for Vinius)
- Laco considers killing Titus Vinius without Galba knowing- either to appease the angry soldiers, because he suspected him of conspiring with Otho, or just out of hatred
- However Laco decides not to for fear he won’t be able to control the massacre if he begins and is distracted by reports of defections
- Forbearing but so much so as to be blind to the dishonesty of friends and freedmen- however times were so bad that this seemed like wisdom

8

GALBA AS INDECISIVE 2

- The senate organises an embassy to the revolt in Germany- Laco vetoes his own participation, Galba shows scandalous indecision in his selection of other candidates, and senators get themselves in or out according to their own motivations
- Galba is indecisive; lets himself be convinced and so Piso is sent (possibly out of personal hatred for Vinius)

9

OTHO ROLE IN DOWNFALL 11

- Otho’s whole policy is based on exploiting chaos
- Multiple factors motivating him; dissipation fit for an emperor, poverty, malice towards Galba and jealousy of Piso
- But Otho had in fact been angling for the support of the troops for some time- on the march back from Spain had been cosying up to the higher ranking soldiers- being matey, giving assistance in the form of money or favours, dropping critical remarks about Galba and “all the other incitements of the mob agitator”
- Pudens begins to give money to fan the smouldering discontent of the troops- gives out money to the cohort on guard whenever Otho dined with Galba
- Otho also gives money to individuals- in inventive ways e.g. a member of the bodyguard, Cocceius Proculus in dispute with a neighbour over boundaries, so Otho buys up the entire farm and gives it to Proculus
- Proculus and Veturius exploit the fear of the senior NCO’s that they’re in disfavour because Nymphibius had promoted them, and whip up anger in the rank and file about lack of donative
- Huge excitement- bringing soldiers in to swear allegiance
- Tacitus doesn’t seem impressed- says that Otho is playing slave to obtain power
- Otho’s speech: highlights the precariousness of their situation, and that Galba will kill them if they don’t strike first- invokes the Massacre at the Milvian Bridge, and the executions Galba had made in the name of discipline
- Otho says that everyone opposes Piso as successor- the gods, the senate, the Roman people- however only the troops have the power to enact a better policy
- The soldiers will not even have to risk their lives and Otho paints an image of the easy glory of them storming the palace

10

OTHO AT THE MERCY OF THE ARMY 14

- But Otho had in fact been angling for the support of the troops for some time- on the march back from Spain had been cosying up to the higher ranking soldiers- being matey, giving assistance in the form of money or favours, dropping critical remarks about Galba and “all the other incitements of the mob agitator”
- Pudens begins to give money to fan the smouldering discontent of the troops- gives out money to the cohort on guard whenever Otho dined with Galba
- Otho also gives money to individuals- in inventive ways e.g. a member of the bodyguard, Cocceius Proculus in dispute with a neighbour over boundaries, so Otho buys up the entire farm and gives it to Proculus
- Proculus and Veturius exploit the fear of the senior NCO’s that they’re in disfavour because Nymphibius had promoted them, and whip up anger in the rank and file about lack of donative
- Huge excitement- bringing soldiers in to swear allegiance
- Tacitus doesn’t seem impressed- says that Otho is playing slave to obtain power
- Otho’s speech: highlights the precariousness of their situation, and that Galba will kill them if they don’t strike first- invokes the Massacre at the Milvian Bridge, and the executions Galba had made in the name of discipline
- Otho says that everyone opposes Piso as successor- the gods, the senate, the Roman people- however only the troops have the power to enact a better policy
- The soldiers will not even have to risk their lives and Otho paints an image of the easy glory of them storming the palace
- Otho has to restrain his men- they demand the head of Celsus Marius, who was loyal to Galba to the last
- However the troops are obviously just thirsty for bloodshed- Tacitus notes they want to annihilate every decent Roman
- Otho therefore pretends to be angry with him and delays his death
- The troops get their way in everything; they choose the praetorian prefects and the city prefect (the latter Tacitus notes many already have their eye on as the brother of Vespasian)
- The soldiers call for a remission of a burdensome payment to the centurions for exemption; Otho doesn’t wish to alienate the centurions, so the payment is made by imperial exchequer

11

OTHO AS DECEITFUL 5

- But Otho had in fact been angling for the support of the troops for some time- on the march back from Spain had been cosying up to the higher ranking soldiers- being matey, giving assistance in the form of money or favours, dropping critical remarks about Galba and “all the other incitements of the mob agitator”
- Pudens begins to give money to fan the smouldering discontent of the troops- gives out money to the cohort on guard whenever Otho dined with Galba
- Otho also gives money to individuals- in inventive ways e.g. a member of the bodyguard, Cocceius Proculus in dispute with a neighbour over boundaries, so Otho buys up the entire farm and gives it to Proculus
- Galba gets bad omens, which Otho interprets as is his favour
- Onomastus comes and gives the signal that the plot is afoot, Otho leaves under a pretext about surveying some farms

12

OTHO AS POWER HUNGRY 9

- Otho’s whole policy is based on exploiting chaos
- Multiple factors motivating him; dissipation fit for an emperor, poverty, malice towards Galba and jealousy of Piso
- Otho’s servants tempt him with the benefits of a tyranny like that of Nero, and even taunt that they’ll go to someone else if he doesn’t act
- Otho interviews them and finds them a perfect fit- competent and unscrupulous- so bribes them massively- Barbius Proculus and Veturius
- Galba gets bad omens, which Otho interprets as is his favour
- Otho is told the crowd are being armed, so he orders his soldiers to rush on the crowd and kill Galba
- Tacitus doesn’t seem impressed- notes that the force is excessive for an aged and defenceless emperor, and that no thought of sanctity or the republic stops the soldiers even though the crime will have to be avenged
- However he only delays his death which Otho is eager for- he is dragged out and slaughtered at the doors of the temple
- Otho is overjoyed to see the body of Piso; Tacitus conjectures whether it was because he was finally free from all threat, or whether he felt no qualms about his death as he might have done with Galba
- Otho sends a veteran to kill Laco, who thinks he’s to be exiled to an island, and Icelus is killed publicly as a freedman