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Honorary Otho

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Marcus Salvius Otho
Marcus Salvius Otho

Marcus Salvius Otho went down in history as a ruler who would rather give his life than compete for the throne when it would involve a fratricidal war Romans. In a situation where his troops suffered heavy losses but were not destroyed by Vitellius, Oton decided to pierce his heart with a dagger he hid under a pillow in his tent. In this way, Othon wanted to save the country from further shedding of fratricidal blood. He did it despite the fact that his soldiers showed a willingness to continue the fight.

He died on April 16, 69 CE. Despite his short rule (3 months), he turned out to be a Roman of “flesh and blood”. His corpse was honoured by Vitellius himself, who organized a solemn funeral for him. Apparently, some soldiers were so moved by Otho’s decision that they threw themselves at the stake and burned alive with the emperor.

Sources
  • Martial, Epigrams VI.32

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