1. There is no valid way of setting up equivalencies between Roman and modern money, but I have attempted to convey orders of magnitude by converting every specific sum into sesterces (abbreviated HS). For sesterces the reader can substitute dollars, pounds, or euros to get the general effect.
2. Romans cut off the heads of prominent enemies for two reasons. First, there was identification. Before photography, this was the easiest way to ensure that the man in question had been killed. Hence Dio's story of the aristocrat who evaded the clutches of the emperor Commodus and was never found, “even though many heads said to be his were sent to Rome.” Second, there was the humiliation of having one's corpse mutilated. This was redoubled if the victim's head became an object of sport, as happened not only to Galba. Gaius Trebonius was the first of the Liberators to be caught and killed by Julius Caesar's heirs. The soldiery cut off his head and “for amusement bowled it from one to another along the city streets like a ball, until it was wholly unrecognizable.” Fabia's comment is taken from his paper “La journée du 15 janvier 69 à Rome,” Revue de Philologie 36 (1912), 102–3.
3. For a striking example of the widespread failure to grasp what Tacitus is saying and how he says it see my “Greed for Power? Tacitus, Histories 1, 52, 2,” Philologus 146 (2002), 339–49.
4. Many of the horrendous errors of fact in Suetonius' Life of Vitellius are the result of an attempt to arrange and present the material artistically. See Paola Venini, “Sulle vite svetoniane di Galba, Otone e Vitellio,” Rendiconti dell'Istituto Lombardo, classe di lettere 108 (1974), 991–1014.
1. Under the imperial system, the two consuls who took office on 1 January, still gave the year its name, no matter how briefly they served, and were known as consules ordinarii. The rest were consules suffecti (replacements). The evidence for the senate under the emperors has been assembled by R. J. A. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (Oxford: University Press, 1984).
2. On the seven cohorts of the watch (cohortes vigilum) see P. K. Baillie Reynolds, The Vigiles of Imperial Rome (London: Oxford University Press, 1926); J. S. Rainbird, “The Fire Stations of Imperial Rome,” Papers of the