Plutarch's Lives (Volume 11) online

. (page 17 of 45)
Online LibraryPlutarchPlutarch's Lives (Volume 11) → online text (page 17 of 45)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



XXIV. 'Ev Se TOVTOLS Overovpios KOL Ba/
o fjLv OTTTLCW, o Be re(Tcrpdpio<>' ovT(o <ydp KCL-
\ovvrai ol Bt,a<y<y\(ov teal -

<rro? 6iTi()OiTWv rovs fj,ev pyvpw, TOU?
$i<f)(}ipev rjSrj craOpovs 6Wa9 fcal SeoyLteVou? Trpo-
(/>aa"ft)9. ov yap rjv rj/JLepcov recradpayv epyov
vyiaivovros (rrpaTOTreSov fjL r ra(7Tr)crai Trlcrriv, ocrai
fjiera^v T?}? tV7rot7;<je&)9 t&yevovro fcal rrj<f cr^ay?)?.
e/crrj jdp dv^peOrja-av, r)v dyovcrt, 'Pw/jialoi irpb
Se/caoKTco Ka\av8wv Qeftpovapiwv.

2 'ILfceLi'T) yap JiwOev evOvs o yuet^ FaX/Sa? e
ei> YIa\aria) rwv <f)i\a)v Trapovrwv, o Be
'O/z/^yOtV^o? ayaa TW \a/3eiv eh ra? ^elpa<; rov
lepeiou rd cnrXdy^a KOI Trpo&iSeiv ov Si alviy-
fj,wv, aXX* avTLKpvs e</; arjfieia ^eyaX^? rapa^rj^,
/cat //.era SoXou KLVO'VVOI> ex Are^aX?}? 7rtKei/j,evov
TU> avrofcpdropt, ^ovovov^l TOV "Q6wva rov deov

3 X 1 P^ X^TTTOI' TrapaS^o^ro?. 7rap?]V yap OTTio~0ev
rov TaX/3a, tcai rrpoael^e rot? Xeyo/xeVoi? :al

VTTO rov 'O/j,/3piKiov.

1 January loth (A.D. xviii. Cal. Feb.), 68 A.I>.


GALBA xxni. 4-xxiv. 3

should not despair of the second part). Above all,
Otho was encouraged by those who secretly shared
his resentment and chagrin on the ground that he
had been thanklessly treated. Moreover, most ot
the adherents of Tigellinus and Nymphidius, men
who had once been in high honour, but were now
cast aside and of no account, treacherously went over
to Otho, shared his resentment, and spurred him on
to action.

XXIV. Among these were Veturius and Barbius,
the one an "optic," the other a " tesserarius " (these
are the Roman names for scout and messenger). In
company with these Onomastus, a freedman of
Otho's, went round corrupting the soldiers, some
with money, and others with fair promises. The
soldiers were already disaffected and wanted only a
pretext for treachery. For four days would not have
sufficed to change the allegiance of a loyal army, and
only so many days intervened between the act of
adoption and the murder, since on the sixth day
after the adoption (the Romans call it the eighteenth
before the Calends of February x ), Galba and Piso
were slain.

On that day, shortly after dawn, Galba was
sacrificing in the Palatium in the presence of his
friends ; and as soon as Umbricius, the officiating
priest, had taken the entrails of the victim in his
hands and inspected them, he declared not am-
biguously, but in so many words, that there were
signs of a great commotion, and that peril mixed
with treachery hung over the emperor's head.
Thus the god all but delivered Otho over to arrest.
For Otho was standing behind Galba, and noted
what was said and pointed out by Umbricius. But



Be avrti) KOL ^poa9 dfteiffovn TravroBaTras vrro
Seovs rrapacrras 'Oi^o/^acrTO? arrekevOepos
e(j)rj Kal rrepifJLeveiv avrov oitcoi TOi>9 a
rjv Be avfiftdKov Kaipov, 777)09 bv eBet
4 TOV "[email protected](ova rot? crrpaTKOTais. eiTrwv ovv, on
Tra\aiav ecovij/jievos OIKICLV /3ov\erai ra
Bel^ai T0t9 7ra>X77Ta?9, aTrrjXBe, KCU Sia 77)
piov KoX-ov^evr]^ oltcias Karaftas efid&i^ev e/9

ayopdv, ov %pvcrov<; eicnrjKei fcicov, et9 bv at


XXV. ^vravOa roi'9 Trpwrovs e
avrov Kai TrpocreiTTOvras avro/cpdropd (facial
TT \6tou9 rpiwv KOI eiKoat jevecrOai. Sio, Kaijrep
ov Kara rijv TOV crcafjLaTO? fjia\aKiav Kal d)j\vTt]Ta

r V "^ v XfJ M*T0/Dl)/Lt/Ai'O9j dXXa tTa/109 WI^ 7T/3O9

2 ra ^etva al aTpemo^, cure&i\iaav. ol Be
TrapovTes OVK eia)v, a\Xa rot9

Trepiiovres avrov TO cfaopeiov Ke\evov
Trapaffrdeyyo/jievov TTo\\dKi<; avroXcoXeVai KOL roi>9
<f)opeia(f)6povs 7riTa%vvovTO$. e^Kovov yap evioi
Oavfjid^ovres yLtaXXor 17 raparro/jievoL Bia rrjv
oXiyorrjra rwv aTroTeroX^yLteVd)^. <f)pOfj,ev(t> Be
ovra) BS ayopas dTrijvrrjcrav erepoi roaovroi, Kal
7rd\iv Kara rpeis Kal rerrapas aXXot TrpocreTre-

3 Xa^oi^. elra avvavecrrpefyov arravres a

Katcrapa Kal yv^va ra ^iffaij

Be %t\idp'XQ)V 6 ri}v (f>v\aKr)V %a)v rov
crrparoTreBov Maprla\i<;, W9 (fracri, j^i) avveiB(t)<;,
eKTrXayelv Be rw CLTrpocrBoK/frM Kal

GALBA xxiv. 3~xxv. 3

as he stood there in confusion and with a countenance
changing to all sorts of colours through fear, Ono-
mastus his freedman came up and told him that the
builders were come and were waiting for him at his
house. Now, this was a token that the time was at
hand when Otho was to meet the soldiers. With
the remark, then, that he had bought an old house
and wished to show its defects to the vendors, he
went away, and passing through what was called
the house of Tiberius, went down into the forum, to
where a gilded column stood, at which all the roads
that intersect Italy terminate.

XXV. Here, as we are told, the soldiers who first
welcomed him and saluted him as emperor were no
more than twenty-three. Therefore, although he
was not sunken in spirit to match the weakness and
effeminacy of his body, but was bold and adventurous
in presence of danger, he began to be afraid. The
soldiers who were there, however, would not suffer
him to desist, but surrounding his litter with their
swords drawn, ordered it to be taken up, while Otho
urged the bearers to hasten, saying to himself many
times that he was a lost man. For he was overheard
by some of the bystanders, and they were astonished
rather than disturbed, owing to the small number of
those who had ventured upon the deed. But as he
was thus borne through the forum, he was met by as
many more soldiers, and others again kept joining
the party by threes and fours. Then all crowded
around the litter, saluting Otho as emperor and
brandishing their drawn swords. At the camp,
Martialis, the military tribune in charge of the
watch at the time, who was not privy to the plot, as
they say, but was confounded by their unexpected



(f>fJKv elff\0iv, yevofjievw Be eWo? ovBels
dvrerreaev. ol yap dyvoovvres rd rrparroueva
TO?? elBoai Kol <Tuvecrrw(Tiv etc rrapaarfeevrj^ e'/iTre-
pie%6/jLvoi Kad" eva KOI Bv<> (TTropdBes, vrrb Beovs
TO rrpwrov, etTa rrei&devres eTr7)reo\ov0r)O'av.

Ei? Be TO Y[a\aTiov evOvs /^ev a7njyye\r) TW
irapovTOs en rov Ovrov real ra>v iepwv ev

TOiavra vaTreiws real

adai teal 0avp,d^iv TO 06LOV o%\ov Be TravroBa-
rrov avppeovTOS e^ dyopas, avTw fjiev Qvivio? teal
Adtcayv teal T&V tnreXevOepwv evtoi yvp,va TO,
f;i<f)'r) 7rpo'icr^6/jLvot TrapecrTrjaav, 6 Be Qetcr wv
TTpoekOcw Tot? (f)V\drTOV(TL rrjv ai)\r)V Bopv(f)6poi<}
6 eveTvy^ave. rov 8' *I\\vpiteov Tay/zaTO? ev TIJ
Ka\ovfJievr) iracnd^t, ^L^ravia a-rparoTreBevovTos
dTreard\tj Map<o? KeXao?, dvrjp dyaOos, Trpo-

XXVI. }$ov\evouev ov Be rov FaXySa TT poe\0 elv t
real Oviviov p,ev ovrc ewj^TO?, KeXaou Be real Aa-
rrapopfjiaivrwv real crcfroBporepov rov Oviviov

ToO "OOwvos ev rw crrparoTreBq) 1 real
LLIKOOV wdtOv 'louXfo? "ATT^/CO? ra)v ovrc

' I I '

ev Tot? Bopvtyopois arparevofievo^ yv/jivq*
7rpoa<f)ep6fj.evos /cat jBo&v dvriprjxevai rov Kaicra-
po<i rro\e/jiiov awd/jievos Be Bid rwv rrpoearwrwv 106t F
eBei^e rto FX/3a TO ^t^>o? rjfjLayfjievov. 6 Be
/SXe'-v/ra? 7T/30? avrov, " Tt? ere" elrrev, "erce\ev(T6 ; '
ToO Be dvOpo)7rov TT)I> rricrriv elrrovros /cal rov


GALBA xxv. 3-xxvi. 2

appearance and terrified, permitted them to enter.
And after Otho was inside the camp, no one opposed
him. For those who were ignorant of what was
going on, scattered about as they were by ones and
twos, were designedly enveloped by those who knew
and were privy to the plot, and so gave in their
adherence, at first through fear, and then under

News of this was carried at once to Galba in the
Palatium and the priest was still standing there with
the entrails in his hands, so that even men who
were altogether indifferent and sceptical about such
matters were confounded and filled with wonder at
the divine portent. And now a motley crowd came
streaming out from the forum ; Vinius and Laco
and some of the freedmen stood at Galba's side
brandishing their naked swords ; Piso went out and
held conference with the guards on duty in the
court ; and Marius Celsus, a man of worth, was sent
off to secure the allegiance of the Illy nan legion
encamped in what was called the Vipsanian portico.
XXVI. And now, as Galba purposed to go forth,
and Vinius would not permit it, while Celsus arid
Laco urged it and vehemently chided Vinius, a
rumour spread insistently that Otho had been slain
in the camp; and after a little, Julius Atticus, a
soldier of distinction among the guards, was seen
rushing up with his sword drawn, and crying out
that he had slain the enemy of Caesar ; and forcing
his way through the crowd about Galba, he showed
him his sword all stained with blood. Then Galba
fixed his eyes upon him and said, " Who gave thee
thy orders ? " Whereupon the man replied that it
was his fidelity and the oath that he had sworn, at



opKov ov a>fjLO(T, KOi TOV 7r\r)0ovs eTTifiocovTOs to?
i>, fcal KpoTovvTos, e/u,/3a? et? TO (fropeiov CKO/JLL-

TO) re Au Qvcrai KOI (fravfjvai rot? TroXtra/?
os. eyn/^aXo^TO? e et? T^ dyopdv,
rpoTraia irvev yLtaro?, dTrrjvrrjcre <f>rf/J>Tj tcpa-
3 Tew rov "Qdbjva TOV (TT/oaTet'/uiTO?. ola 5e eV
7r\r}0ei TOCTOVTM, TWV pev avaaTpefyeiv, TWV 8e
Trpoievai, TMV & Qappelv, ran' Be cnricrTeiv ftowv-
rwv, Kal TOV (fropeiov, KaOdjrep ev K\vSa)Vi, Bevpo


VOVTO Trp&TOv tTTTret?, elra oTrXtrai Sia T% 11 av-

\ov /3a(ri\ifcf)<; TrpocrfyepofJievoi, /ua (pcavfj fjieya

4 /Soco^re? K7roSo)i> La-Tacrdat TOV IBiWTrjv. TMV


aXX,' TTL ra? crroa? Kal ra fj,6Tcopa TT)? d

Oeav KaTdXa^^avovTWv. 'Ar^XXtou Be
elKova FaX/^a TrpocrovBia-avTOS, dp-
TOV 7ro\e/jLov TToiijcrd/j.ei'Oi TrepirjKOVTHrav TO
(fropeiov a>? B* OVK TV%OV ai/TOv, Trpoarjyov
ecrTraa-jj-evois roZ? %L(f)ea-iv. rj^vve Be ovBels ovBe
v7reo~Tr) ir\r]V evbs dvBpos, ov fj,6vou ^Xto? eTrelStv
ev fjivpidcri TOcravTais diov T^9 f Pa>/xat&)^ rjye-
5 /jLOvias' IZe/jiTrpoovios fjv AT}^<JO? eKaTOVTapxrjs,
ovBev IBia xprjcrTov VTTO FaX/3a 7T67rov0(t)S, TW Be
KO\U> Kal TW VO/JLO) ftorjOwv TTpoeffTtj TOV
l TO K\i)fj,a TrpwTov, o5 Ko\d%ovo~iv e
TOI)? 7r\r)ja)v Beo/jievovs, eirapdfievos

eftoa Kal Bt,eKe\evTO (ei&eadai TOV


GALBA xxvi. 2-5

which the multitude cried out that he had done well,
and gave him their applause. Then Galba got into
his litter and was carried forth, wishing to sacrifice
to Jupiter and show himself to the citizens. But
when he was come into the forum, there met him,
like a change of wind, a report that Otho was master
of the army. Then, as might be expected in so
great a crowd, some cried out to him to turn back,
others to go forward ; some bade him to be of good
courage, others urged him to be cautious ; and so,
while his litter was swept hither and thither, as in a
surging sea, and often threatened to capsize, there
came into view, first horsemen, and then men-at-
arms, charging through the basilica of Paulus, and
with one voice loudly ordering all private citizens
out of their way. The multitude, accordingly, took
to their heels, not scattering in flight, but seeking
the porticoes and eminences of the forum, as if to
get a view of a spectacle. Hostilities began with
the overthrow of a statue of Galba by Attilius
Vergilio, and then the soldiers hurled javelins at the
litter; and since they failed to strike it, they
advanced upon it with their swords drawn. No one
opposed them or tried to defend the emperor, except
one man, and he was the only one, among all the
thousands there on whom the sun looked down, who
was worthy of the Roman empire. This was Sem-
pronius Densus, a centurion, and though he had
received no special favours from Galba, yet in
defence of honour and the law he took his stand in
front of the litter. And first, lifting up the switch
with which centurions punish soldiers deserving of
stripes, he cried out to the assailants and ordered
them to spare the emperor. Then, as they came to




s TO.? iyvvas
XXVII. Toy Be Yd\(3av, a7roK\iQevTOS rov

Trepl rov Kou/m'ofc Ka\oi>{ievov \UKKOV,

o 3e Tt]V a-^ayrjv TTporetVa?, " A/jare,"
" et rovro TO) >;/tt&) 'Pajf^aiwv a^eivov ecrn.
2 TroXXa? ii/ ou/' e\a/3e vrX^^a? et9 T6 ra

KOI TOI)? (3pa%iovas, aTrecr^a^e Se avrov, a)? o/
TrXetcTTOi \eyovcri, Ka/xoupto? Ti? eV TOU Trevrercai-
Setcdrov rdy/uaros. evioi 5e Tepevriov, ol Be Ae/ca-
icrropovcriv, ol B Qdftiov <&d/3ov\ov, bv

aTTOKo^ravra rrjv /ce4)a\r)v
i'to (TV\\aftovTa, Bid. TTJ
3 \r)7TTOi> ovaav evre/ra TW^ cri;^ avru)

OVK ecuv-rcov, a\X' K<f>dVTf Trdcri Troielv rrjv dv-
BpayaOiav, TrepnreipavTa Trepl A-07%
ttJ'a7r>;\ayTa Trpe&fivTOv Trpocrwirov, a
re Kocr/j-iov teal ap^fepeto? /tat virdrov,

coaTrep at iSd/c^ai, 7roXA,a/a? /A6racrrpe(/>o-
, Kul /cpaSaivovra Trjv ^OJ^TJV ai^aii fcarap-

Toy ' "O0a)va, T/}? K(f)a\f)<$ K0/jiicr0ia-r)<;, dva-
Kpayelv \6yovffiv " OuSeV eVrt rovro, co ffvcrrpa-
4 riwrai, TrjV Heiawvos /AO* /ce0aA,r;^ Sei^are" /uer'
6\Lyov B rj/ce Ko^i^ofJievr]' TpayOtis yap efavyev
6 veavLG/cos, Kal KaraSLa)^0ei^ VTTO blovp/cov rivds
dTT(T$dyr) vrpo? TO> /ep<w TT}? 'Ecrrta?. aTrec^dr-
rero Be Kal Qvivtd? 6/j,o\oywv KOLVWVOS yeyorevai
Yd\ftav fTfyco/zocri'a?' ey9oa yap


GALBA xxvi. 5 -xxvii. 4

close quarters with him, he drew his sword, and
fought them off a long time, until he fell with a
wound in the groin.

XXVII. The litter was upset at the place called
Lacus Curtius, and there Galba tumbled out and lay
in his corselet, while the soldiers ran up and struck
at him. But he merely presented his neck to their
swords, saying : " Do your work, if this is better for
the Roman people." So, then, after receiving many
wounds in his legs and arms, he was slain, as most
writers state, by a certain Camurius, of the fifteenth
legion. Some, however, ascribe his death to Teren-
tius, others to Lecanius, and others still to Fabius
Fabulus, who, they say, cut off Galba's head and was
carrying it wrapped in his cloak, since its baldness
made it difficult to grasp ; then, since his companions
would not suffer him to hide his deed of valour, but
insisted on his displaying it to all eyes, he impaled
on his spear and thrust on high the head of an aged
man, who had been a temperate ruler, a high priest,
and a consul, and ran with it, like a bacchanal, 1
whirling about often, and brandishing the spear all
dripping with blood.

But Otho, as they say, when the head was brought
to him, cried out : " This is nothing, fellow-soldiers ;
show me the head of Piso." And after a little it
was brought to him ; for the young man had been
wounded and tried to escape, and a certain M ureas
ran him down and slew him at the temple of Vesta
Vinius also was slain, and he admitted himself a
party to the conspiracy against Galba by crying out
that he was put to death contrary to the wishes ot

1 So the Bacchanals with the head of Pentheus (Euripides,
Bacchae, 1153 ff.).



jap Kal TOVTOV TYJV K<pa\rjv dTTOTe/novTes Kal

AaKcovos eKo/jiicrav TT/JO? TOV "Qdwva 5&>/3ea? al-

5 TOLWT69. &)? be

jap vetcpuv TrecrovTw, ou?

OI/T&)? rare 7roXA,ol TOV <f)6vov
fjievoi, ^et/oa? Be KOL ^i(f>rj tcaOaLfjidcrcrovTes eVe-
BCLKVVVTO Kal 5&)/9a? grow j3ifi\ia BiSovres TO)
"OOcovi. eiKOcri <yovv teal e/carov evpedrjcrav
vcfrepov CK TWV jpafJLfjLaTiwv, oO? 6 Ovire\\io<f
Q ai/a^V;T7;cra? avrayra? aTreicTeivev. r/tce Be Kal
M.dpio<; KeXao? et? rr^i/ 7rape/jL{3o\ijv. Kal TTO\-
\wv aurov Kartiyopovvrwv on rou?
7TiOe TW Td\jBa ftoriOelv, KOI TOV

ocoiro?, "Qdwv OVK e/3ov\TO'
Be dvTi\e.jeiv ov^ OUTCOS e(f>r)
diroKTevelv avTov elvai jap a Bel TrpoTepov eKirv-
OecrOai Trapa TOV dvBpos. efceXevaev ovv BrjcravTas
<f)v\aTTeiv, Kal 7rapeBa>K rot? /j,d\iaTa

XXVIII. EL^LJ? oe /3ou\rj (TvveKoXelTo. KOI
Kaddirep d\\oi jejovoTes 1} Oewv d\\a)v jejovo-
T(0v avve\6 ovTes W/JLVVOV opKov virep TOV "
ov auro? Oyttocra? OVK eTrjprjcre- Kal Kaicrapa
^efiacTTov dvrjjopevov, GTI TWV veKpwv
ev rat? uTrart/cai? e.crQr}aiv eppi/n/Aevwv eVt r/;?
2 djopds. rai? Be KecpaXals a>? ovBev el^ov Tt
)(py}crdaL, TTJV /j,ev Qviviov Trj

1 Bergk, Lyr. Or. Frag, ii. 4 p. 398.

GALBA xxvu. 4-xxvin. 2

Otho. However, they cut off his head, and Laco's
too, and brought them to Otho, of whom they
demanded largess. And as Archilochus says x that,

" Only seven lay dead on the ground, where we
trod their bodies under foot. But we who slew are
a thousand,"

so in this case, many who had no part in the murder
smeared their hands and swords with blood and
showed them to Otho, as they presented him with
written petitions for largess. At any rate, a hundred
and twenty were afterwards discovered by means of
these petitions, all of whom were sought out and
put to death by Vitellius. Marius Celsus also came
into the camp. There many denounced him for
trying to persuade the soldiers to defend Galba, and
the majority clamoured for his death, but Otho
did not wish it ; however, since he was afraid to
oppose them, he said he would not put Celsus to
death so quickly, since there were matters about
which he must first question him. He therefore
ordered that he be fettered and kept under guard,
and handed over to those in whom he put most

XXVIII. A senate was at once convened. And
as if thev were now other men, or had other gods to
swear by, they united in swearing an oath to support
Otho an oath which he himself had sworn in
support of Galba, but had not kept. Moreover,
they gave him the titles of Caesar and Augustus,
while the dead bodies, all headless in their consular
robes, were still strewn over the forum. And as for
the heads, when they had no further use for them,
that of Vinius they sold to his daughter for twenty-



teal rrevraKoaiwv Bpax/j,a)v drreBovro, rrjv Be
Heicrcovos r) yvvrj ekaftev Qvepavia Ber)0el(ra, rrjv
Be rd\/3a Tot9 Tlarpoftiov Bov\oi$ eBwprjaavro.
3 Xa/3oWe9 Be eKeivoi teal rrdvra rporrov aiicicra-
Kal [email protected]{3pi<Tavres eppi^av y TOI/? VTTO TWV
dpwv Ko\a^o}jievov<$ Oavarovcriv 6 Be TOTTO?

/caXetrat. TO Be aw^a rou
II pier/cos r EX/3tSio? avei\eTo, rov "O^wyo?
eda^re Be VVKTOS 'Apyelos

XXIX. Toiavra ra Kara rov Td\ftav, avBpa
yevet, fMjre TrXovrw TroXXwi/ d7ro\i<f)@VTa
fjiov Be TrXourw Kal <yevei Trpwrev-
<ravra irdvTwv TWV icaff* avrov, irevre avro/cpa-
ropwv rjye/jLOVLais e/jL/Sicocravra fjuerd ri/jif)s /cal
Bo^rjs, ware rfj B6$;r) /jiaX\ov rj rfj BvvdfJiei xa6-

2 e\elv Ne/?o)2'a. rwv yap l crvv7n,Ti6eaeva)v rore
rot/? iiev ovBels rj$;i(ocre rr}? 7776/^01/^9, ol B' eav-
TOi/9 dir^^iwcraVt FaX/8a9 ^e Kal K\i)Qels Kal

avroKparajp Kal rfj OvtvBiKOS e^rra-
ovo^a roX/z?;, Kii'Tj^a Kal
avrov \yof.iV7]v rrjv aTToaracnv eVot^cre

3 e/ji(f)v\iov } dvBpos rjyefJLOviKov rv\ovcrav. oOev oir
eavrw ra irpdy^iara \afjL/3dvei,v, aXXa /j.d\\ov
eavrov olofJLevos BiBovai, rofc rrpdyfAacnv, ap%eiv

rwv vrro Tiye\\ii>ov Kal Nvfju^iBiou rerida-

4 Kayu,^XXo9 rwv rore r Pu>/jLaicov. vTrepeLrrofMevos Be
rw yijpa, a\pi rwv O7r\a)v Kal rwv crrparevfid-
rwv aKparos r]v Kal dp%aio<; avroKpdrwp,

1 Ka.df\flv Nepa)fa. TWV yap .T,\, Bekker, aft^r Coraes :
Kade\au> Ne'pw^a rwv /c. T. \.


GALBA xxviii. 2-xxix. 4

five hundred drachmas ; that of Piso was given to
his wife Verania in answer to her prayers ; and that
of Galba was bestowed upon the servants of Patrobius.
They took it, and after heaping all manner of insult
and outrage upon it, cast it into a place called
Sessorium, where those under condemnation of the
emperors are put to death. The body of Galba was
taken up by Priscus Helvidius, with the permission
of Otho ; and it was buried at night by Argivus, a
freed man.

XXIX. Such were the fortunes of Galba, a man
surpassed by few Romans in lineage and wealth, and
both in wealth and lineage the foremost of his time.
During the reigns of five emperors he lived with
honour and high repute, so that it was by his
high repute, rather than by his military power,
that he overthrew Nero. For of his partners in
the task, some were by all men deemed unworthy
of the imperial dignity, and others deemed them-
selves unworthy. But to Galba the imperial title
was offered and by him it was accepted ; and by
simply lending his name to the bold measures of
Vindex, he gave to his revolt (as his rebellious
agitation was called) the character of a civil war,
because it had acquired a man who was worthy to
rule. Wherefore, in the belief that he was not
seizing the conduct of affairs for himself, but rather
giving himself for the conduct of affairs, he set out
with the idea of commanding the petted creatures
of Tigellinusand Nymphidius as Scipio and Fabricius
and Camillus used to command the Romans of their
time. But being gradually weighed down by his
years, in arms and camps, indeed, he was an
" imperator " of a severe and ancient type ; but



& KOI Adtctovi KOI rot? d7re\evdepoi<; jravra ra
7ro)\ov<Ti 7rape~)(wv eavrov, olov Nepwv
TOi? d7r\tjcrTOTdroi<;, ov&eva TroOovvra
rr)v ap^rjv, oiKTeioavras Be TOU? TroXXovs rov


GALBA xxix. 4

just as Nero put himself in the hands of his most
insatiate favourites, so Galba put himself in the
hands of Vinius and Laco and their freedmen, and
they made merchandise of everything, so that he
left behind him no one who wished him still in
power, but very many who were moved to pity at
his death.




I. 'O Be ^eoorepo? avroKpdrwp d/ji ^fjiepa Trpo-
e\6(t)v /? TO Ka7riTa)\iov eOvcre' KOI K\evcra<;
Mdptov KeXcroi/ d^drjvai TT/OO? avrbv rjffTrdcraTO
Kal 8i\'0r <f)i\av0pd)7ra)<;, KOL TrapefcdXeee TT}?

rov Be KeXcrof ft7;r' cvyevvws

, d\\d <>i]cravTOS avro

rov TpOTrov SiSovai TO eyK\Tj/j,a TTICTTLV,
yap on, Yd\ftq fteftaiov eavrov
v$ep.iav oy$ei\ev, rjydcrQyjcrav ol

2 d/j.(j)orepcov KOL TO arpaTKOTiKov eTrrjvecrev. ev Be

7roA,X.a BijfjLOTiKa Kal <fii\[email protected] ] po)7ra Bia-
, oz; [lev avro<$ VTrareveiv %povov ?j/jL\\e,
TOVTOV /ie/oo? evei/iev Ovepyivbfp 'Poixfxp, Tot? be
a7roSe8ei7//.eVoi? t'Tro Ne/owi'o? 77 Td\/3a
errjprjcre T? inrareia^. iepwcrvvais Be

3 r)\iKiav TrpoijKovras rj Sogav eKocr^cre. Tot? Be 1067
eVl Nepwi'o? (frvyovai real K.a-re\6oi)criv eVl Td\/3a
ffv<yK\rjTiKoi<; Trdaiv ajreBw/cev oaa JAIJ TreTrpa/jieva

TWV KT7]fjidTwv etcdcTTOV l egevpicrfcev. oOev ol
irpwroi /cal KpdricrTOi TreffrpiKores irporepov a>?

1 eK<i<TTov Coraes and Bekker, after Stephanus, for the
fKacrrov of the MSS. : i/ca



I. AT daybreak the new emperor went forth to
the Capitol and sacrificed ; then, having ordered
Marias Celsus to be brought to him, he greeted that
officer, conversed with him kindly, and urged him to
forget the cause of his imprisonment rather than
to remember his release. Celsus replied in a manner
that was neither ignoble nor ungrateful, saying that
the very charge made against him afforded proof of
his character, for the charge was that he had been
loyal to Galba, from whom he had received no
special favours. Both speakers were admired by
those who were present, and the soldiery gave their
approval. In the senate Otho spoke at length in a
kindly strain and like a popular leader. For part of
the time during which he himself was to have been
consul, he assigned the office to Verginius Rufus,
and all those who had been designated as future
consuls by Nero or Galba he confirmed in their
appointment. To the priesthoods he promoted those
who were preeminent in age or reputation. More-
over, to all the men of senatorial rank who had been
exiled under Nero and restored under Galba, he
restored whatever portions of each man's property
he found to be unsold. Wherefore the citizens of
highest birth and greatest influence, who before this

1 With Plutarch's Otho may be compared Suetonius, Otho ;
Dion Cassius, Ixiv. 10 15 ; Tacitus, Hist. i. 46 ii. 49.



OVK dvBpos, aXXa rivos r) Tloivijs r) 7ra\a/j,vaiov
Batfjiovos d(pvd) rot? Trpdy/nacriv eTrnreTrroyKoro^,
rjBiov? eyevovro rat? e\,7rl(Tl Trpbs rrjv r)yjJioviav
wonrep Bia/j,eiBi(t)(Tav.

II. 'Ofjiov Be 'Pft)/^atoi'9 Trai^ra? ov&i> evtypavev
ovSe to/ceictxraTO TT/?O? avrbv a>? ra

avry TO) <)oq) T7<; fcodcrQ)<; rjv

Online LibraryPlutarchPlutarch's Lives (Volume 11) → online text (page 17 of 45)