marcus salvius otho caesar augustus

Otho (Marcus Salvius Otho Caesar Augustus) was sent from Rome to Lusitania by Emperor Nero, when Nero took Otho’s wife for a mistress. Otho ruled Lusitania for 10 years before joining the rebellion against Nero, led by Galba.  Otho then organized the murder of Galba and was made Emperor in January 69.  His reign would only last 3 months.

Otho quickly learned that legions of the army who had declared allegiance to Vitellius were marching toward Rome. Otho quickly dispatched troops, but they were defeated. Otho spoke to his troops and said, “It is far more just to perish one for all, than many for one.” He then asked for two daggers.

Otho then retired and slept through the night, then in the morning of 16 April 69, Otho stabbed himself with a dagger and died. According to historian Cornelius Tacitus, “Some of the troops committed suicide beside the funeral pyre, not because they were beholden to [Otho] or feared his successor but because they loved their emperor and wished to share his glory.”