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The year of the four emperors

After the suicide of Nero, comes the year 69 A.D., well remembered as the year of the four emperors, peculiar and unique in the history of Rome. The frailty of institutions and even more their conflictuality are more evident than ever, with the army apparently being the only "community" capable of imposing its choice but that, in such a vast empire, is divided in fractions just like the rest of the organizations.

Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian all sit on the throne one after the other (in the given order, the last one in december), but Vespasian ruled for ten years.
When the old man Galba came to Rome, the city was in chaos, and Nero's supporters were actually raiding and looting all around.

Galba took the power yet his counselors couldn't handle the situation, actually they were only interested in personal gain. The bad management alienated many and created new enemies for Galba, including his friend Otho, this last one because Galba decided to adopt Piso, -the nephew of the Piso who was killed by the will of Nero-, when it was Otho himself who wished to be adopted by the new emperor.

So, Otho had Galba killed and was nominated emperor by the Senate, that nevertheless regretted the loss of the predecessor; anyway, Otho was defeated in a battle by the legions of Inferior Germania, led by Vitellius: the clash, the battle of Bedriacum, represents an authentic episode of civil war.

Also Otho committed suicide, and Vithellius soon found himself confronting the legions of Iudaea (Judea, currently Palestine) and Syria, who elected Vespasian imperator.

The emperor Vespasian
Vespasian, fourth emperor in year 69

Between the battle of Bedriacum and the one in Cremona (that suffered a devasting loot) the defeat of the third emperor took place, and he tried to find a shelter in Rome. But here, as soon as the pretorians knew about the outcome of the fights, killed him. Vespasian's forces were entering the Eternal City: on december 22th of 69 A.D., the first of the Flavii was incoronated.

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