Year of the Five Emperors
The Year of the Five Emperors refers to the year 193 AD, in which there were five claimants for the title of Roman Emperor. The five were Pertinax, Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus and Septimius Severus and this year started a period of civil war where multiple rulers vied for the chance to become Caesar. The political unrest began with the murder of Commodus on New Year’s Eve 192 AD, once Commodus was assassinated, Pertinax was named emperor but immediately had aroused opposition from the Praetorian Guard. They plotted and carried out his assassination and he was only emperor for three months. Didius Julianus, who purchased the title of emperor from the Praetorian Guard, succeeded Pertinax, Severus was declared Caesar by the Senate but Pescennius Niger was hostile when he declared himself emperor. This started the war between Niger and Severus as both gathered troops and fought throughout the territory of the empire. Due to this war, Severus allowed Clodius Albinus, who he suspected as a threat to him and this move allowed him to concentrate on waging the war against Niger.
Most historians count Severus and Albinus as two emperors even though they ruled simultaneously, the Severan dynasty was created out of the chaos of 193 AD. Commodus’ sane rule began to fail when a close advocate, was assassinated and this made Commodus start to fear for his life. He dealt with this fear through massacre of the nobles and aristocracy and he began removing himself from his identity as ruler ideologically by resuming his birth name instead of keeping the names that his father gave him when he succeeded to imperial rule. His behavior decayed further as he became more paranoid and he planned a huge massacre in Rome for New Year’s Eve 192 AD, in which he killed many of the nobles so that he could become the sole consul. Three nobles, Eclectus and Laetus, trying to survive and save their lives, the assassins named Pertinax the new Caesar. The person who planned the murder of Commodus is still a debated topic, some sources name Pertinax as the mastermind of the assassination because he obtained imperial rule once Commodus was killed.
The reason for this is that Pertinax’s enemies wanted to create enmity for Pertinax within Rome so they blamed him when they really had no idea who planned it, Pertinax gained his political clout by moving his way up the military ranks. He was proconsul of Africa, making him the first of several emperors who began their roles in Africa. Since most of the nobles had been murdered in the New Year’s Eve massacre, Pertinax had a tough road to climb when he became Caesar because Commodus left his regime with major financial difficulties. However, Pertinax had his own troubles right away when he was accused of planning the death of Commodus and he may have been accused of the murder of Cleander, Commodus’ advocate, whose murder had triggered Commodus’ paranoia. Pertinax was a great contrast to Commodus and he was disciplined but lost the favor of the troops early since he took away all of the favors that Commodus gave them
A member of the equestrian order was known as an eques. During the Roman kingdom and the 1st century of the Republic, legionary cavalry was recruited exclusively from the ranks of the patricians, around 400 BC,12 more centuriae of cavalry were established and these included non-patricians. Around 300 BC the Samnite Wars obliged Rome to double the annual military levy from two to four legions, doubling the cavalry levy from 600 to 1,200 horses. Legionary cavalry started to recruit wealthier citizens from outside the 18 centuriae and these new recruits came from the First Class of commoners in the centuriate organisation and were not granted the same privileges. By the time of the Second Punic War, all the members of the First Class of commoners were required to serve as cavalrymen. After c.88 BC, equites were no longer drafted into the legionary cavalry and they continued to supply the senior officers of the army throughout the Principate. With the exception of the purely hereditary patricians, the equites were originally defined by a property threshold, in the Republican period, Roman Senators and their offspring became an unofficial elite within the equestrian order.
As senators ability to engage in commerce was limited by law. As well as holding large landed estates, equites came to dominate mining and manufacturing industry, in particular, tax farming companies were almost all in the hands of equites. Under Augustus, the elite was given formal status with a higher wealth threshold and superior rank. During the Principate, equites filled the senior administrative and military posts of the imperial government, there was a clear division between jobs reserved for senators and those reserved for non-senatorial equites. Senators and equites formed an elite of under 10,000 members who monopolised political, military. This effectively reduced the Italian aristocracy to an idle, but immensely wealthy group of large landowners, during the 4th century, the status of equites was debased to insignificance by excessive grants of the rank. At the same time the ranks of senators were swollen to over 4,000 by the establishment of a second senate in Constantinople, the senatorial order of the 4th century was thus the equivalent of the equestrian order of the Principate.
According to Roman legend, Rome was founded by its first king, however, archaeological evidence suggests that Rome did not acquire the character of a unified city-state until ca.625 BC. This cavalry regiment was supposedly doubled in size to 600 men by King Tarquinius Priscus and that the cavalry was increased to 600 during the regal era is plausible, as in the early Republic the cavalry fielded remained 600-strong. However, according to Livy, king Servius Tullius established a further 12 centuriae of equites, equites were originally provided with a sum of money by the state to purchase a horse for military service and for its fodder. This was known as an equus publicus, mommsen argues that the royal cavalry was drawn exclusively from the ranks of the Patricians, the aristocracy of early Rome, which was purely hereditary
Nero was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, during his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a revolt in Britain, Nero annexed the Bosporan Kingdom to the empire and may have begun the First Jewish–Roman War. In 64 AD, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, writing a generation later, claims that many Romans believed Nero himself had started the fire, in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. In 68, the rebellion of Vindex in Gaul and the acclamation of Galba in Hispania drove Nero from the throne, facing a false report of being denounced as a public enemy who was to be executed, he committed suicide on 9 June 68. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Neros rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance and he is known for many executions, including that of his mother, and the probable murder by poison of his stepbrother Britannicus. Nero was rumored to have had captured Christians dipped in oil and this view is based on the writings of Tacitus and Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Neros reign, but a few sources paint Nero in a more favourable light. Some sources, including some mentioned above, portray him as an emperor who was popular with the common Roman people, some modern historians question the reliability of ancient sources when reporting on Neros tyrannical acts. Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, was born on 15 December 37 in Antium and he was the only son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, sister of Emperor Caligula. Neros father, was the son of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, Gnaeus was thus the grandson of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and probably Aemilia Lepida on his fathers side, and the grandson of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor on his mothers side.
Thus, Nero had as his paternal grandmother Antonia Major, through Octavia, Nero was the great-nephew of Caesar Augustus. Neros father had employed as a praetor and was a member of Caligulas staff when the latter travelled to the East. Neros father was described by Suetonius as a murderer and a cheat who was charged by Emperor Tiberius with treason, Tiberius died, allowing him to escape these charges. Neros father died of edema in 39 when Nero was two, Neros mother was Agrippina the Younger, a great-granddaughter of Caesar Augustus and his wife Scribonia through their daughter Julia the Elder and her husband Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Agrippinas father, was a grandson of Augustuss wife, Livia, on one side and Mark Antony, Germanicus mother Antonia Minor was a daughter of Octavia Minor and Mark Antony. Germanicus was the son of Tiberius. Agrippina poisoned her second husband Passienus Crispus, so many ancient historians accuse her of murdering her third husband, the emperor Claudius
Legio I Adiutrix
Legio prima adiutrix, was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in AD68, possibly by Galba when he rebelled against emperor Nero. The last record mentioning the Adiutrix is in 344, when it was stationed at Brigetio, the emblem of the legion was a capricorn, used along with the winged horse Pegasus, on the helmets the symbol used by I Adiutrix legionaries was a dolphin. The legion probably originated from the I Classica, a legion levied by Nero among the marines of the Classis Misenensis, the legion was stationed near Rome. The city of Moguntiacum is the legions first known base camp, shared with Legio XIV Gemina, in 83, they fought the Germanic wars against the Chatti, a German tribe living across the Rhine, under the command of Emperor Domitian. After that they were transferred to the Danubian army stationed in the Roman province of Pannonia, following the murder of Domitian in 96, the Adiutrix, along with the Danubian army, played an important role in Roman politics, forcing Nerva to adopt Trajan as his successor.
When Trajan became emperor, he gave the legion the cognomen Pia Fidelis to acknowledge their support, between 101 and 106, under the new emperors command, I Adiutrix, along with IV Flavia Felix and XIII Gemina, conquered Dacia and occupied the newly formed province. Trajan used his Pia Fidelis in the campaign against Parthia, during the next decades, I Adiutrix remained in the Danube frontier. Under Marcus Aurelius, I Adiutrix fought the war against Marcomanni commanded by Marcus Valerius Maximianus, between 171 and 175, the commander was Pertinax, emperor for a brief period in 193. When Septimius Severus became emperor, I Adiutrix was among his supporters and it took part in the battle of Mediolanum. The legion received the cognomen Pia Fidelis Bis and Constans, sometime in the 3rd century, Gabara was a three-meter tall Arabian giant that, according to the historian Pliny the Elder, served in the Adiutrix legion under the Roman emperor Claudius. According to the story, Gabara was so admired by his soldiers that some worshipped him like a god.
List of Roman legions Tacitus, keppie, The Origins and Early History of the Second Augustan Legion, in L. J. F. Keppie and Veterans, Roman Army Papers 1971-2000, Stuttgart,2000, pp. 123–160
It covered an area of 190,800 sq mi. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts, Gallia Celtica and Aquitania, during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule, Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, Gallia remains a name of France in modern Greek and modern Latin. The Greek and Latin names Galatia, and Gallia are ultimately derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the supposedly milk-white skin of the Gauls, modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, power, thus meaning powerful people. The English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, as adjectives, English has the two variants and Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls, although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish.
The Germanic w- is regularly rendered as gu- / g- in French, unrelated in spite of superficial similarity is the name Gael. The Irish word gall did originally mean a Gaul, i. e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to foreigner, to describe the Vikings, and still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, by 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads rapidly across the territory of Gaul. The La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia, farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans described Gallia Transalpina as distinct from Gallia Cisalpina, while some scholars believe the Belgae south of the Somme were a mixture of Celtic and Germanic elements, their ethnic affiliations have not been definitively resolved.
One of the reasons is political interference upon the French historical interpretation during the 19th century, in addition to the Gauls, there were other peoples living in Gaul, such as the Greeks and Phoenicians who had established outposts such as Massilia along the Mediterranean coast. Also, along the southeastern Mediterranean coast, the Ligures had merged with the Celts to form a Celto-Ligurian culture, the prosperity of Mediterranean Gaul encouraged Rome to respond to pleas for assistance from the inhabitants of Massilia, who were under attack by a coalition of Ligures and Gauls. The Romans intervened in Gaul in 154 BC and again in 125 BC, whereas on the first occasion they came and went, on the second they stayed. Massilia was allowed to keep its lands, but Rome added to its territories the lands of the conquered tribes. The direct result of conquests was that by now, Rome controlled an area extending from the Pyrenees to the lower Rhône river
The Germanic Wars is a name given to a series of wars between the Romans and various Germanic tribes between 113 BC and 596 AD. The nature of these wars varied through time between Roman conquest, Germanic uprisings and Germanic invasions in the Roman Empire that started in the late 2nd century BC. The series of conflicts, which began in the 5th century under the Western Roman Emperor Honorius,112 BC, Battle of Noreia, Suicide of Consul Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. 107 BC, Helvetii defeat the Romans in the Battle of Agen, Consul Lucius Cassius Longinus dies in battle,105 BC, Battle of Arausio, Execution of Roman General Marcus Aurelius Scaurus, Proconsul Quintus Servilius Caepio and Consul Gnaeus Mallius Maximus exiled. 101 BC, Roman consuls Gaius Marius and Manius Aquillius defeat the Cimbri in the Battle of Vercellae, King Boiorix dies in battle,57 BC, Battle of the Sabis. 54 BCE, Destruction of the legion Legio XIV Gemina by the Eburones led by Cativolcus and Ambiorix, Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta dies in battle,53 BC, Caesars retaliation against the Eburones second crossing of the Rhine, Extermination of the Eburones.
52 BC, Fall of Celtic Gaul, Gaul becomes a Roman province,46 BC, Execution of Vercingetorix the Celt. 20 BC, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Construction of military roads,16 BC, clades Lolliana, Destruction of the legion Legio V Alaudae by Sicambri and their allies, Fall of the Kingdom of Noricum. 9 BC, Creation of Magna Germania, Pacification campaigns against the Germanic tribes by the Roman Empire, 6–2 BC, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus invasions to the Elbe. 1–4 AD, Rise of the Chatti and Bructeri suppressed by Tiberius, 6–9, Uprising in Illyricum, which cancels the major Roman project of war against Suevic Marcomanni. 6, Varus succeeds Saturninus as governor of Germania with the mission of peacekeeping,9, clades Variana, Destruction of the legions XVII, XVIII and XIX by Arminius in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, Suicide of Administrator Varus, Loss of military camps east of the Rhine. Roman Empire is forced to withdraw from Germania. 10–13, Military command of Tiberius in Germania and interventions in the valley of the Lippe, replaced by Germanicus,14, Mutiny of the legions of Germania.
14–16, Roman retaliation against Cherusci, Chatti and Marsi,17, Cessation of military offensives east of the Rhine by Tiberius, Civil war between Germanic tribes. 28, Revolt of the Frisii, Tax collectors hanged, Romans defeated in the Battle of Baduhenna Wood,41, Raid against the Chauci under Emperor Claudius, Recovery of third legionary standard lost in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. 50, Raid against the Chatti under Emperor Claudius, Liberation of Roman prisoners, 69–70, Revolt of the Batavi, Destruction of 2 Roman legions by the Batavi. 82–83, Raids against the Chatti under Emperor Domitian,89, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XXI Rapax revolt against Rome with aid of the Chatti. 165, Invasion of Pannonia by Lombards and Ubii, 166–180, Germanic tribes invade the frontiers of the Roman Empire, specifically the provinces of Raetia and Moesia, Marcomannic Wars
Vitellius was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December AD69. Vitellius was proclaimed emperor following the succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho. His claim to the throne was challenged by legions stationed in the eastern provinces. War ensued, leading to a defeat for Vitellius at the Second Battle of Bedriacum in northern Italy. Once he realised his support was wavering, Vitellius prepared to abdicate in favor of Vespasian but was executed in Rome by Vespasians soldiers on 22 December 69 and he was the son of Lucius Vitellius Veteris and his wife Sextilia, and had one brother, Lucius Vitellius the Younger. Suetonius recorded two different accounts of the origins of the Vitellia, one making them descendants of past rulers of Latium, Suetonius makes the sensible remark that both accounts might have been made by either flatterers or enemies of Vitellius—except that both were in circulation before Vitellius became emperor. Suetonius recorded that when Vitellius was born his horoscope so horrified his parents that his father tried to prevent Aulus from becoming a consul.
He married secondly, around the year 50, a woman named Galeria Fundana, perhaps the granddaughter of Gaius Galerius, Prefect of Egypt in 23. They had two children, a son called Aulus Vitellius Germanicus or Novis, the Younger, and a daughter, who married the Legatus Decimus Valerius Asiaticus. He was Consul in 48, and assumed Proconsul of Africa in either 60 or 61 and he owed his elevation to the throne to Caecina and Fabius Valens, commanders of two legions on the Rhine. More accurately, he was proclaimed Emperor of the armies of Germania Inferior and Superior, the armies of Gaul and Raetia sided with them shortly afterwards. By the time that they marched on Rome, however, it was Otho, and not Galba, in fact, he was never acknowledged as Emperor by the entire Roman world, though at Rome the Senate accepted him and decreed to him the usual Imperial honours. He advanced into Italy at the head of a licentious and rough soldiery, to reward his victorious legionaries, Vitellius disbanded the existing Praetorian Guard and installed his own men instead.
For these banquets, he had himself invited over to a different nobles house for each one, other writers, namely Tacitus and Cassius Dio, disagree with some of Suetonius assertions, even though their own accounts of Vitellius are scarcely positive ones. Despite his short reign he made two important contributions to Roman government which outlasted him and he expanded the offices of the Imperial Administration beyond the imperial pool of Freedmen allowing those of the Equites to take up positions in the Imperial Civil Service. Vitellius banned astrologers from Rome and Italy on 1 October,69, some astrologers responded to his decree by anonymously publishing a decree of their own, Decreed by all astrologers in blessing on our State Vitellius will be no more on the appointed date. In response, Vitellius executed any astrologers he came across, in July 69, Vitellius learned that the armies of the eastern provinces had proclaimed a rival emperor, their commander, Titus Flavius Vespasianus. As soon as it was known that the armies of the East, Tacitus Histories state that Vitellius awaited Vespasians army at Mevania
Revolt of the Batavi
The Revolt of the Batavi took place in the Roman province of Germania Inferior between AD69 and 70. After these initial successes, a massive Roman army led by the Roman general Quintus Petillius Cerialis eventually defeated the rebels. Following peace talks, the Batavi submitted again to Roman rule, but were forced to accept humiliating terms and a legion stationed permanently on their territory, at Noviomagus. The Batavi were a sub-tribe of the Germanic Chatti tribal group who had migrated to the region between the Old Rhine and Waal rivers in what became the Roman province of Germania Inferior. Their land, though potentially fertile alluvial deposits, was largely uncultivable, thus the Batavi population it could support was tiny, not more than 35,000 at this time. They were a people, skilled horsemen and swimmers. In return for the privilege of exemption from tributum, they supplied a disproportionate number of recruits to the Julio-Claudian auxilia. They provided most of the emperor Augustus elite regiment of German Bodyguards, the Batavi auxilia amounted to about 5,000 men, implying that for the entire Julio-Claudian period, over 50% of all Batavi males reaching military age may have enlisted in the auxilia.
Thus the Batavi, although just about 0. 05% of the population of the empire in AD23. They were regarded by the Romans as the best and bravest of their auxiliary, in Roman service, they had perfected a unique technique for swimming across rivers wearing full armour and weapons. Gaius Julius Civilis was a prince of the Batavi and the prefect of a Batavi cohort. By 69, Civilis, the Batavi regiments and the Batavi people had become disaffected from Rome. After the Batavi regiments were withdrawn from Britain in 66, Civilis and his brother were arrested by the governor of Germania Inferior on false accusations of treason, the governor ordered the brothers execution, and sent Civilis to Rome in chains for judgement by the Roman emperor Nero. While Civilis was in prison awaiting trial, Nero was overthrown in AD68 by an army led into Italy by the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, Nero committed suicide, ending the rule of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, founded a century earlier by Augustus. He acquitted Civilis of the charge and allowed him to return home.
Meanwhile, Galba disbanded the German Bodyguards Regiment, which he distrusted due to the loyalty they had given to Nero in the final days. This alienated several hundred crack Batavi troops, and indeed the whole Batavi nation, at the same time, relations collapsed between the 8 Batavi cohorts and their parent-legion XIV Gemina, to which they had been attached since the invasion of Britain 25 years earlier. The seething hatred between the Roman legionaries and their German auxiliaries erupted in serious fighting on at least two occasions, at this juncture, the Roman empire was convulsed by its first major civil war for a century, the Year of the Four Emperors
Legio XXI Rapax
Legio vigesima prima rapax was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. It was founded in 31 BC by the emperor Augustus, probably from men previously enlisted in other legions, the XXI Rapax was destroyed in 92 by the Sarmatians. The symbol of the legion is thought to have been a capricorn, Augustus probably sent his new XXIst legion to Hispania Tarraconensis to fight the campaign against the Cantabrians. XXI Rapax was one of the five used by Drusus to suppress the rebellion of the Raetians. From 15 BC, the legion was stationed in Castra Regina, after the disaster of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the legion was sent as reinforcements to Germania Inferior, where they shared the base camp of Castra Vetera with V Alaudae. Both Legio V and Legio XXI were involved in a mutiny in AD14, in 43, they were relocated in Vindonissa, in the province of Germania Superior. The legion occupied Vindonissa from 46 to 69 with two cohorts, first the III Hispanorum and VI Raetorum, and the VII Raetorum equitata.
Along with the rest of the German border army, the XXI Rapax supported its commander, Vitellius, in the Year of the Four Emperors, Vitellius was, defeated by Vespasian before the end of the year. In 70, the legion was part of the army sent to deal with the Batavian rebellion, after that they were sent to Germania Superior, where they shared the castrum of Moguntiacum with XIV Gemina. In 89, the legions in Moguntiacum supported their commander, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, after the end of this unsuccessful insurrection, the legions were separated and XXI Rapax sent to Pannonia. The legion was destroyed in 92, while fighting on the Lower Danube against Sarmatians. List of Roman legions Roman legion Legio XXI Rapax --- re-enactment group livius. org account
The term Julio-Claudian dynasty refers to the first five Roman emperors—Augustus, Caligula and Nero—or the family to which they belonged. They ruled the Roman Empire from its formation under Augustus in the half of the 1st century BC, until AD68 when the last of the line, Nero. Primogeniture is notably absent in the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, adoption ultimately became a tool that most Julio-Claudian emperors utilized in order to promote their chosen heir to the front of the succession. Augustus, himself a son of his great-uncle, the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, adopted his stepson and son-in-law Tiberius as his son. Tiberius was, in turn, required to adopt his nephew Germanicus, the ancient historians who dealt with this period—chiefly Suetonius and Tacitus —write in generally negative terms about their reign. The histories of Tiberius, Caius and Nero, while they were in power, were falsified through terror and Claudius were two Roman family names, in classical Latin, they came second.
Roman family names were inherited from father to son, but a Roman aristocrat could – either during his life or in his will – adopt an heir if he lacked a natural son. In accordance with Roman naming conventions, the son would replace his original family name with the name of his adopted family. A famous example of this custom is Julius Caesars adoption of his great-nephew, Augustus, as Caesars adopted son and heir, discarded the family name of his natural father and initially renamed himself Gaius Julius Caesar after his adoptive father. It was customary for the son to acknowledge his original family by adding an extra name at the end of his new name. As such, Augustus adopted name would have been Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, there is no evidence that he ever used the name Octavianus. Following Augustus ascension as the first emperor of the Roman Empire in 27 BC, his became an de facto royal house. For various reasons, the Julio-Claudians followed in the example of Julius Caesar, the next four emperors were closely related through a combination of blood relation and adoption.
Tiberius, a Claudian by birth, became Augustus stepson after the marriage to Livia. Tiberius connection to the Julian side of the Imperial family grew closer when he married Augustus only daughter and he ultimately succeeded Augustus as emperor in AD14 after becoming his stepfathers adopted son and heir. Caligula was born into the Julian and Claudian branches of the Imperial family and his father, was the son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia Minor, the son of Livia and the daughter of Octavia Minor respectively. Germanicus was a great-nephew of Augustus on his mothers side and his wife, Agrippina the Elder, was a granddaughter of Augustus. Through Agrippina, Germanicus children – including Caligula – were Augustus great-grandchildren, when Augustus adopted Tiberius, the latter was required to adopt his brothers eldest son as well, thus allowing Germanicus side of the Imperial family to inherit the Julius nomen
Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, the Triumvirs defeated Caesars murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Romes eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, relations among the Triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavians sister, despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antonys relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs.
Their ongoing hostility erupted into war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavians direction, declared war on Cleopatra. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavians forces at the Battle of Actium and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide. With Antony dead, Octavian was the master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire. A member of the plebeian Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome on January 14,83 BC. His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by the name who had been murdered during the Marian Terror of the winter of 87–86 BC. His mother was Julia Antonia, a distant cousin of Julius Caesar, Antony was an infant at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sullas march on Rome in 82 BC. According to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, Antonys father was incompetent and corrupt, in 74 BC he was given military command to defeat the pirates of the Mediterranean, but he died in Crete in 71 BC without making any significant progress.
Lentulus, despite exploiting his political success for financial gain, was constantly in debt due to the extravagance of his lifestyle and he was a major figure in the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy and was summarily executed on the orders of the Consul Cicero in 63 BC for his involvement. His death resulted in a feud between the Antonia and the famous orator, Antonys early life was characterized by a lack of proper parental guidance. According to the historian Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering through Rome with his brothers and friends gambling, Antonys contemporary and enemy, claimed he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio. There is little information on his political activity as a young man, although it is known that he was an associate of Publius Clodius Pulcher. He may have involved in the Lupercal cult as he was referred to as a priest of this order in life
Otho was Roman Emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. Otho belonged to an ancient and noble Etruscan family, descended from the princes of Etruria, the future Emperor 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 AD because of his wife, Otho introduced his beautiful wife to the Emperor upon Poppaeas insistence, who began an affair that would eventually lead to her premature death. After securely establishing this position as his mistress, she divorced Otho and had the Emperor send him away as governor to the province of Lusitania. Otho remained in Lusitania for the ten years, administering the province with a moderation unusual at the time. When in 68 AD his neighbor the future Emperor 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, Galba was childless and far advanced in years, and Otho, encouraged by the predictions of astrologers, aspired to succeed him.
He came to an agreement with Galbas favourite, Titus Vinius. However, in January 69 AD, his hopes were dashed by Galbas formal adoption of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus, after this, Otho decided to strike a bold blow. Desperate as was the state of his finances, thanks to his previous extravagance and he was escorted to the Praetorian camp, after a few moments of surprise and indecision, he was saluted as Imperator. The cohort that was on duty at the Palatine, which had accompanied the Emperor, his newly adopted son Piso and others were brutally murdered by the Praetorians. The population of the city was unhappy with Galba and cherished the memory of Nero, Othos first acts as Emperor showed that he was not unmindful of these facts. Neros statues were set up, his freedmen and household officers reinstalled. Otho soon realized that it was easier to overthrow an Emperor than rule as one. After a vain attempt to conciliate Vitellius by the offer of a share in the Empire, with unexpected vigor, 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.
Othos advanced guard successfully defended Placentia against Aulus Caecina Alienus, but the arrival of Fabius Valens altered the aspect of affairs. Vitellius commanders now resolved to bring on a battle, the Battle of Bedriacum