Front Matter The First Settlers Escape from the Burning City The Clever Trick The Boards Are Eaten The Wolf and the Twins Romulus Builds Rome The Maidens Carried Off Union of Sabines and Romans Death of Romulus Strange Signs of the Romans The Quarrel with Alba The Horatii and Curiatii Tarquin and the Eagle The Roman Youths The King Outwitted The Murder of Tarquin The Ungrateful Children The Mysterious Books Tarquin's Poppies The Oracle of Delphi The Death of Lucretia The Stern Father A Roman Triumph A Roman Triumph (Cont.) Defense of the Bridge The Burnt Hand The Twin Gods The Wrongs of the Poor Fable of the Stomach The Story of Coriolanus The Farmer Hero The New Laws Death of Virginia Plans of a Traitor A School-Teacher Punished Invasion of the Gauls The Sacred Geese Two Heroes of Rome Disaster at Caudine Forks Pyrrhus and His Elephants The Elephants Routed Ancient Ships Regulus and the Snake Hannibal Crosses the Alps The Romans Defeated The Inventor Archimedes The Roman Conquests Destruction of Carthage Roman Amusements The Jewels of Cornelia Death of Tiberius Gracchus Caius Gracchus Jugurtha, King of Numidia The Barbarians The Social War The Flight of Marius The Proscription Lists Sertorius and His Doe Revolt of the Slaves Pompey's Conquests Conspiracy of Catiline Caesar's Conquests Crossing of the Rubicon Battle of Pharsalia The Death of Caesar The Second Triumvirate The Vision of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra The Poisonous Snake The Augustan Age Death of Augustus Varus Avenged Death of Germanicus Tiberius Smothered The Wild Caligula Wicked Wives of Claudius Nero's First Crimes Christians Persecuted Nero's Cruelty Two Short Reigns The Siege of Jerusalem The Buried Cities The Terrible Banquet The Emperor's Tablets The Good Trajan Trajan's Column The Great Wall Hadrian's Death Antoninus Pius The Model Pagan Another Cruel Emperor An Unnatural Son The Senate of Women The Gigantic Emperor Invasion of the Goths Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra A Prophecy Fulfulled First Christian Emperor Roman Empire Divided An Emperor's Penance Sieges of Rome End of the Western Empire

Story of the Romans - Helene Guerber

Two Short Reigns

Galba, the new emperor, was more than seventy years old at the time of his election; and he soon discovered that he could not do all that he wished. He tried very hard to curb the insolence of the soldiers, to punish vice, and to fill the empty state treasury; but he was not able to accomplish any of these ends.

He had several favorites, and according to their advice he was either too severe or too lenient. His lack of firmness soon gave rise to discontent and revolts. As he had no son to succeed him, Galba wished to adopt a fine young man named Piso Licinianus, but the senate and soldiers did not approve of this choice.

Otho, a favorite of Galba, had hoped to be adopted as heir; but when he saw that another would be selected, he bribed the soldiers to uphold him, with money which he stole from Galba's treasury. The mob believed all that Otho told them, and declared that he should be emperor in Galba's stead.

Rushing off to the Forum, they met the emperor, and struck off his head. This was then placed on a lance, and carried around the camp in triumph, while the deserted body was carried away and buried by a faithful slave.

After a very brief reign, Otho heard that the Roman legions on the Rhine had elected their commander Vitellius as emperor, and were coming to attack him. He bravely hastened northward to meet them, and in the first encounters his army had the advantage.

In the great battle at Bedriacum, however, his troops were completely defeated, and two days later Otho killed himself to avoid falling into the enemy's hands. Soon Vitellius entered Rome as emperor, and as the successor of Galba and Otho, whose combined reigns had not lasted even one year.