69 A.D: The Year of Four Emperors

By Gwyn Morgan | Go to book overview

5
Otho Prepares for War
(January and February)

When Otho assassinated Galba on 15 January, he may have had no idea how serious the situation in Germany had become. Galba, from 9 January on, tried to restrict the information he was receiving to his immediate entourage, and—despite Plutarch—Otho cannot have been invited to their meetings. In public, before the guard and in the senate, Galba talked only of a mutiny by two legions. Since mutinies had been brought under control fairly easily in the past, Otho had no more reason than anybody else outside the charmed circle to imagine that this outbreak would be different, especially once he began planning to remove the man everybody thought the source of the troops' grievances. No doubt he heard the rumors circulating through the city, but he could discount them. Hence Suetonius can tell a story about his own father: Suetonius Laetus served as a military tribune in the war against Vitellius, and he asserted repeatedly that during the campaign “Otho had stated that he would not have made away with Galba, had he not been confident that he could carry through the business without a war.”

Still, there is another way of taking Suetonius Laetus' story. It is possible that Vinius was leaking the information from Germany to Otho as fast as it came in. This would not contradict Tacitus' statement that the messages became common knowledge only after Galba's death. But even if we assume that Otho knew of Vitellius' activities, it would not follow that his seizure of power was “an act of consummate and suicidal folly.”1 Vitellius was notoriously a glutton and a sluggard, and the correspondence between the two men suggests that Otho started from the assumption that Vitellius would back down when presented with a fait accompli, perhaps pleading as a face-saving measure that his quarrel had been only with Galba. What apparently occurred neither to Otho nor to anybody else for that matter is that gluttons and sluggards do not start revolts, and can hardly be expected to halt them once they get under way. Otho, that is, assessed his rival correctly, but failed to allow for— and without more information could not have allowed for—the influence of Caecina and Valens.

-91-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
69 A.D: The Year of Four Emperors
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 322

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.