AD69: Emperors, Armies and Anarchy by Nic Fields

By Nic Fields

With the demise of Nero by way of his personal shaky hand, the ill-sorted, ill-starred Iulio-Claudian dynasty got here to an ignominious finish, and Rome used to be up for the taking. This was once nine June, advert sixty eight. the next 12 months, generally called the 'Year of the 4 Emperors', was once most likely one in every of Rome's worst. 

Nero's dying threw up a serious query for the Empire. How may perhaps a brand new guy occupy the vacant throne in Rome and identify a brand new dynasty? this example had by no means arisen prior to, considering the fact that in all past successions the recent emperor had a few relation to his predecessor, however the psychotic and paranoid Nero had performed away with any eligible kin. and the way may a brand new emperor safe his criminal place and authority almost about the Senate and to the military, in addition to to those that had a vested curiosity within the method, the Praetorian defend? the end result was once that formidable and unscrupulous generals of the empire fell right into a bloody strength fight to choose who had the perfect to put on the imperial purple.

Tacitus, in his acid manner, feedback that 'one of the secrets and techniques of ruling have been printed: an emperor will be created outdoor Rome'. This used to be simply because imperial authority was once finally in keeping with regulate of the army. therefore, to preserve strength a participant within the online game of thrones needed to achieve an unshakable keep an eye on over the legions, which have been dotted alongside the fringes of the empire. after all, this in flip intended that the warriors themselves may perhaps impose their very own selection. certainly, it became out that whether an emperor received popularity in Rome, this counted for not anything within the face of competition from the armies out within the frontier provinces. It used to be to take a tumultuous yr of civil struggle and the dying of 3 imperial applicants earlier than a fourth candidate may pop out on most sensible, stay there, and identify for himself a brand new dynasty. Nic Fields narrates the twists and turns and the army occasions of this brief yet bloody interval of Roman background.

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