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Emperor Otho. From Musei Capitolini, Rome
Emperor Otho. From Musei Capitolini, Rome

Marcus Salvius Otho (April 25, 32 - April 16, 69) was Roman Emperor from January 15 to April 16, in 69 AD, the second emperor of the Year of the four emperors. Roman Imperator Marcus Otho Caesar Augustus. ... Roman Imperator Marcus Otho Caesar Augustus. ... Jump to: navigation, search April 25 is the 115th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (116th in leap years). ... For alternate uses, see Number 32. ... Jump to: navigation, search April 16 is the 106th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (107th in leap years). ... ... This is a list of Roman Emperors with the dates they controlled the Roman Empire. ... Jump to: navigation, search January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search April 16 is the 106th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (107th in leap years). ... ... The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in 68 AD, was followed by a brief period of civil war (the first Roman civil war since Antonys death in 31 BC) known as the Year of the four emperors. ...

Contents


Origin and rise to power

Otho belonged to an ancient and noble Etruscan family settled at Ferentinum (modern Ferento, near Viterbo) in Etruria. He appears first as one of the most reckless and extravagant of the young nobles who surrounded Nero. This friendship was brought to an end in 58 because of a woman, Poppea Sabina. Otho introduced his beautiful wife to the Emperor upon the insistence of his wife, who then began an affair that would eventually be the death of her. After securely establishing this position as his mistress, she divorced Otho and had the emperor send him away to the remote province of Lusitania. Jump to: navigation, search Map showing the extent of the Etruscan civilization and the twelve Etruscan League cities. ... Viterbo is an ancient town and comune in the Lazio region of central Italy, the capital of Viterbo province, 42°25 12°06E, at 326 m (1070 ft) above sea-level. ... Jump to: navigation, search Nero Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (December 15, 37–June 9, 68), born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called (50–54) Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. ... For other uses, see number 58. ... Poppaea Poppaea Sabina (died 65) was the second wife of the Roman Emperor Nero. ... Roman province of Lusitania, 120 AD Lusitania, an ancient Roman province approximately including current Portugal and part of western current Spain (specifically the present autonomous community Extremadura), named after the Lusitani or Lusitanian people. ...


Otho remained in Lusitania for the next ten years, administrating the province with a moderation unusual at the time. When in 68 his neighbour Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, rose in revolt against Nero, Otho accompanied him to Rome. Resentment at the treatment he had received from Nero may have impelled him to this course, but to this motive was added before long that of personal ambition. Galba was childless and far advanced in years, and Otho, encouraged by the predictions of astrologers, aspired to succeed him. But in January 69 his hopes were dissipated by Galba's formal adoption of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus, who Galba had previously named a recipient in his will. For other uses, see number 68. ... Jump to: navigation, search Head of Galba at the Louvre. ... Jump to: navigation, search Roman Imperial province of Hispania Tarraconensis, 120 AD Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. ... Jump to: navigation, search City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC mythical, 1st millennium BC Region Latium Mayor Walter Veltroni (Left-Wing Democrats) Area  - City Proper  1290 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2,546,807 almost... An astrological chart (or horoscope) _ Y2K Chart — This particular chart is calculated for January 1, 2000 at 12:01:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time in New York City, New York, USA. (Longitude: 074W0023 - Latitude: 40N4251) Astrology (from Greek: αστρολογία = άστρον, astron, star + λόγος, logos, word) is... ...


Nothing remained for Otho but to strike a bold blow. Desperate as was the state of his finances, thanks to his previous extravagance, he found money to purchase the services of some twenty-three soldiers of the Praetorian Guard. On the morning of January 15, only five days after the adoption of Piso, Otho attended as usual to pay his respects to the emperor, and then hastily excusing himself on the score of private business hurried from the Palatine to meet his accomplices. He was then escorted to the Pretorian camp, where, after a few moments of surprise and indecision, he was saluted imperator. The Praetorian Guard of Augustus - 1st century A.D. Depicted in a marble bas-relief. ... Jump to: navigation, search January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... See Palatine Hill for geography of Rome. ...


With an imposing force he returned to the Forum, and at the foot of the Capitol encountered Galba, who, alarmed by vague rumours of treachery, was making his way through a dense crowd of wondering citizens towards the barracks of the guard. The cohort on duty at the Palatine, which had accompanied the emperor, instantly deserted him. Galba, his newly adopted son Piso and others were brutally murdered by the Praetorians. The brief struggle over, Otho returned in triumph to the camp, and on the same day was duly invested by the senators with the name of Augustus, the tribunician power and the other dignities belonging to the principate. Otho had owed his success to the resentment felt by the Pretorian guards and the rest of the army at Galba's refusal to pay the promised gold to the ones who supported his accession to the throne. The population of the city was also unhappy with Galba and cherished the memory of Nero. Otho's first acts as emperor showed that he was not unmindful of the facts. Piazza del Campidoglio, on the top of Capitoline Hill The Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus Mons), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the famous and highest of the seven hills of Rome, the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad: the gods Jupiter, his wife Juno and... Cohort can mean any of the following: 1. ... The Roman Senate (Latin, Senatus) was a deliberative body which was important in the government of both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. ... Augustus (plural Augusti) is Latin for majestic or venerable. The greek equivalent is sebastos, or a mere grecization (by changing of the ending) augustos. ...


Decline and fall

Denarius of Otho
Denarius of Otho

He accepted, or appeared to accept, the cognomen of Nero conferred upon him by the shouts of the populace, whom his comparative youth and the effeminacy of his appearance reminded of their lost favourite. Nero's statues were again set up, his freedmen and household officers reinstalled, and the intended completion of the Golden House announced. At the same time the fears of the more sober and respectable citizens were allayed by Otho's liberal professions of his intention to govern equitably, and by his judicious clemency towards Marius Celsus, consul-designate, a devoted adherent of Galba. Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links OthoDen. ... Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links OthoDen. ... The Roman currency system included the denarius (plural: denarii), a small silver coin, as the most common coin in circulation. ... The cognomen (name known by in English) was originally the third name of a Roman in the Roman naming convention. ...


But any further development of Otho's policy was checked once Otho read through Galba's private correspondence and realized the extent of the revolution in Germany, where several legions had declared for Vitellius, the commander of the legions on the lower Rhine, and were already advancing upon Italy. After a vain attempt to conciliate Vitellius by the offer of a share in the empire, Otho, with unexpected vigour, prepared for war. From the remoter provinces, which had acquiesced in his accession, little help was to be expected; but the legions of Dalmatia, Pannonia and Moesia were eager in his cause, the pretorian cohorts were in themselves a formidable force and an efficient fleet gave him the mastery of the Italian seas. Vitellius, Museo Nazionale della Cività Romana, Rome Aulus Vitellius Germanicus (September 24 AD 15–December 22, 69) was Roman Emperor from April 17 69 to December 22 of the same year, one of the emperors in the Year of the four emperors. He was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who... Jump to: navigation, search At 1,320 km (820 miles), the Rhine (German Rhein, French Rhin, Dutch Rijn, Romansch: Rein) is one of the longest rivers in Europe. ... Jump to: navigation, search Dalmatia (Croatian Dalmacija, Italian Dalmazia, Serbian Далмација) is a region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, mostly in modern Croatia, spreading between the island of Pag in the northwest and the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. ... Jump to: navigation, search Position of the Roman province of Pannonia Pannonia is an ancient country bounded north and east by the Danube, conterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. ... In ancient geography, Moesia was a district inhabited chiefly by Thracian peoples. ... The Roman Navy (Latin: Classis) operated between the First Punic war and the end of the Western Roman Empire. ...


The fleet was at once dispatched to secure Liguria, and on the March 14 Otho, undismayed by omens and prophecies, started northwards at the head of his troops in the hopes of preventing the entry of the Vitellius' troops into Italy. But for this he was too late, and all that could be done was to throw troops into Placentia and hold the line of the Po. Otho's advanced guard successfully defended Placentia against Alienus Caecina, and compelled that general to fall back on Cremona. But the arrival of Fabius Valens altered the aspect of affairs. Jump to: navigation, search Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. ... Jump to: navigation, search March 14 is the 73rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (74th in Leap years) with 292 days remaining in the year. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Po river The Po (Padus in Latin) flows 652 kilometers eastward across northern Italy, from Mount Monviso (in the Cottian Alps) to the Adriatic Sea near Venice. ... Placentia is the name of some places in the world: Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Placentia, California, United States of America The Palace of Placentia was a royal palace in Greenwich, London Piacenza in Italy was formerly called Placentia in Latin and English Placencia de las Armas and Plentzia are... Cremona, cathedral Cremona (45°08′ N 10°01′ E) is a city in Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left shore of Po river in the middle of Pianura padana (Po valley). ... Fabian Valens of Anagnia (? - 69 CE) Valens was a roman commander favoured by Nero who, in 69, commanded an army in Germany. ...


Vitellius' commanders now resolved to bring on a decisive battle, the Battle of Bedriacum, and their designs were assisted by the divided and irresolute counsels which prevailed in Otho's camp. The more experienced officers urged the importance of avoiding a battle, until at least the legions from Dalmatia had arrived. But the rashness of the emperor's brother Titianus and of Proculus, prefect of the pretorian guards, added to Otho's feverish impatience, overruled all opposition, and an immediate advance was decided upon, Otho himself remaining behind with a considerable reserve force at Brixellum, on the southern bank of the Po. When this decision was taken, Otho's army had already crossed the Po and were encamped at Bedriacum (or Betriacum), a small village on the Via Postumia, and on the route by which the legions from Dalmatia would naturally arrive. In the Year of the four emperors ( 69 C.E.),Marcus Salvius Otho, with the suport and aid of the Praetorian Guard had his predecessor Galba murdered and claimed the throne for himself. ... Jump to: navigation, search Dalmatia (Croatian Dalmacija, Italian Dalmazia, Serbian Далмација) is a region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, mostly in modern Croatia, spreading between the island of Pag in the northwest and the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. ... Proculus derived his origin from the Franks. ...


Leaving a strong detachment to hold the camp at Bedriacum, the Othonian forces advanced along the Via Postumia in the direction of Cremona. At a short distance from that city they unexpectedly encountered the Vitellian troops. The Othonians, though taken at a disadvantage, fought desperately, but were finally forced to fall back in disorder upon their camp at Bedriacum. There on the next day the victorious Vitellians followed them, but only to come to terms at once with their disheartened enemy, and to be welcomed into the camp as friends.


More unexpected still was the effect produced at Brixellum by the news of the battle. Otho was still in command of a formidable force: the Dalmatian legions had already reached Aquileia and the spirit of his soldiers and their officers was unbroken. But he was resolved to accept the verdict of the battle that his own impatience had hastened. In a dignified speech he bade farewell to those about him, and then retiring to rest slept soundly for some hours. Early in the morning he stabbed himself in the heart with a dagger, which he had concealed under his pillow, and died as his attendants entered the tent. His funeral was celebrated at once, as he had wished, and not a few of his soldiers followed their master's example by killing themselves at his pyre. A plain tomb was erected in his honour at Brixellum, with the simple inscription Diis Manibus Marci Othonis. Aquileia (Friulian Acuilee, Slovene Oglej), an ancient town of Italy, at the head of the Adriatic at the edge of the lagoons, about 6 to. ...


He was just thirty-seven at the time of his death, and had reigned just three months.


External links

Primary sources

  • Life of Otho (Suetonius; English translation and Latin original)
  • Life of Otho (Plutarch; English translation)
  • Cassius Dio, Book 64

References

Commons
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Otho
Preceded by:
Galba
Roman Emperor
69
Succeeded by:
Vitellius

  Results from FactBites:
 
Otho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1270 words)
Otho introduced his beautiful wife to the Emperor upon the insistence of his wife, who then began an affair that would eventually be the death of her.
Otho had owed his success to the resentment felt by the Pretorian guards and the rest of the army at Galba's refusal to pay the promised gold to the ones who supported his accession to the throne.
Otho was still in command of a formidable force: the Dalmatian legions had already reached Aquileia and the spirit of his soldiers and their officers was unbroken.
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