[32-69 CE; suicide]
Son of a Roman consul, who briefly became emperor of
Rome in the political chaos that followed the suicide of Nero.
Marcus Salvius Otho was an unremarkable senator who had the misfortune of
having a beautiful wife [Poppea] whom the
emperor [Nero] wanted as a mistress. Otho was made governor of Lusitania
(58 CE). A decade later he aided Galba's rebellion that
precipitated Nero's suicide. But when Galba chose another heir, Otho
rebelled with the support of the Praetorian guard. No sooner was he
proclaimed emperor (Jan 15) than he had to organize an expedition to face
the Roman legions in Germany who had proclaimed Vitellius emperor.
Outmatched by superior forces, he insisted on attacking, against the
advice of his generals. Witnessing the decisive defeat of his army, he
committed suicide just three months after claiming the imperial title for
References: Josephus, War
4.494-499, 546-548, 634.
1.1, 13, 21-38, 42-50, 64, 70-71, 73-90; 2.11-18, 30-50.
Plutarch, Parallel Lives: Otho.
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