Dio’s Roman History

Epitome of Book LXIV

LXV 1Οἱ δ᾿ ἐν τῇ Ῥώμῃ ὡς ἤκουσαν τὸ τοῦ Ὄθωνος πάθος, παραχρῆμα, ὥσπερ εἰκὸς ἦν, μετεβάλοντο· τόν τε γὰρ Ὄθωνα, ὃν πρότερον ἐπῄνουν καὶ νικᾶν ηὔχοντο, ἐλοιδόρουν ὡς πολέμιον, καὶ τὸν Οὐιτέλλιον, ᾧ κατηρῶντο, καὶ ἐπῄνουν καὶ αὐτοκράτορα 2ἀνηγόρευον. οὕτω που οὐδὲν πάγιόν ἐστι τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων, ἀλλ᾿ ὁμοίως οἵ τε ἐς τὰ μάλιστα ἀνθοῦντες καὶ οἱ ἐν τῷ ταπεινοτάτῳ ὄντες ἀστάθμητά τε αἱροῦνται, καὶ πρὸς τὰς τύχας σφῶν καὶ τοὺς ἐπαίνους καὶ τοὺς ψόγους τάς τε τιμὰς καὶ τὰς ἀτιμίας λαμβάνουσι.—Xiph. 193, 1–23 R. St.

2aὌντι δ᾿ ἐν τῇ Γαλατίᾳ ὁ θάνατος ἠγγέλθη τοῦ Ὄθωνος. ἦλθε δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ ἡ γυνὴ καὶ τὸ παιδίον, καὶ ἐπὶ βήματος Γερμανικόν τε καὶ αὐτοκράτορα ἐπωνόμασεν, ἑξάετες ὄν.—Zon. 11, 16, p. 47, 3–7 D.

3Ὅτι ὁ Οὐιτέλλιος εἶδεν ἐν Λουγδούνῳ μονομάχων ἀγῶνας καὶ ἐν Κρεμῶνι, ὥσπερ οὐκ ἀρκοῦντος τοῦ πλήθους τῶν ἐν ταῖς μάχαις ἀπολωλότων καὶ τότε καὶ ἔτι ἀτάφων ἐρριμμένων, ὡς καὶ αὐτὸς ἐθεάσατο· διεξῆλθε γὰρ διὰ παντὸς τοῦ χωρίου ἐν ᾧ ἔκειντο, ἐμπιμπλάμενος τῆς θέας ὥσπερ τότε νικῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἐκέλευσέ σφας οὐδ᾿ ὣς ταφῆναι.—Exc. Val. 264a (p. 698).

4Οὐιτέλλιος δὲ ἐπεὶ ἐν τῇ Ῥώμῃ ἐγένετο, τἆλλά


Epitome of Book LXIV

Epitome of Book LXIV

When the people in Rome heard of the fate of a.d. 69 Otho, they naturally transferred their allegiance forthwith. And so Otho, whom they had previously been lauding and for whose victory they had been praying, was now abused as an enemy, whereas Vitellius, upon whom they had been invoking curses, was lauded and proclaimed emperor. So true is it that there is nothing constant in human affairs; but alike those who are most prosperous and those who are in the humblest station make an unstable choice and receive praise or blame, honour or dishonour, according as their fortunes shift.

News of Otho’s death was brought to him [Vitellius] while he was in Gaul. There he was joined by his wife and son; and he placed the boy on a tribunal and gave him the titles of Germanicus and imperator, though he was only six years old.

Vitellius witnessed gladiatorial combats at Lugdunum and again at Cremona., as if the crowds of men who had perished in the battles and were even then lying unburied where they had been cast did not suffice. He beheld the slain with his own eyes, for he traversed all the ground where they lay and gloated over the spectacle as if it were still the moment of his victory; and not even then did he order them to be buried.

Vitellius, upon reaching Rome and arranging affairs

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dio_cassius-roman_history.1914