After much stress I managed to actually grab a picture of one of the birds. These brutes sit in the trees above me singing away yet I cannot see them! They know this and sing louder for spite! Then if I get a good idea of where the brute is it moves to another branch. The leaves are small still and only some blossom is around yet it is so hard to see these songbirds. This one came down twice and moved so fast the camera failed to focus on him. I'll get a decent shot one day.
Well that's another Tacitus finished. 'The Histories', detailing the year 69 A.D. when three men, Galba, Otho and Vitellius, became emperor for a wee while. All ends nicely with the three men dead and Vespasian on the throne and he was the only one never to reach Rome during the crisis.
His armies, and those Legions quick to support him, overcame the Legions and individuals who did not. The oath taking for one and then another Emperor became confusing to me and I think to many soldiers. Add to this the peoples dominated by Rome, the Germans, Gauls, English,Africans and the rest sometimes came to support Rome sometimes attempted rebellion. As always individuals took their opportunities, the losers usually dying, and money was made and lost.
In the end it was just like today but with war involved.
Tacitus was not at his best when writing this book, his 'Annals' is much better written and in this book he spends too much time informing us of the bad guys bad actions and glorifying Vespasian and his men. It was a wee bit like reading the 'Daily Mail' from that point of view. He may have been right but it is not quite 'History.'
I enjoyed this as the three Emperors were merely names to me, now I have one impression of their nature. Tacitus also reveals how the Romans saw the Jews. They, and the Egyptians, were considered to reject true belief in the 'gods' and the Jews did not even have a statue of their God in the Temple! The Romans thought the Jewish morals very strange indeed.
Tacitus reveals something of the Roman outlook, the common people he refers to as 'riff-raff' and has no faith in them in any way. His attitude is denigration at its best, 'snob' would be a good term for him, I wonder if he went to Eton with David Cameron? Slaves were the lowest of the low, his opponents, or at least Vespasian's opponents were always immoral, the senate full of flattery and hypocrisy and few there were regarded by Tacitus as noble. The army, that highly disciplined organisation was very much falling apart much of the time. The leaders were corrupt, the officers either failures or killed by their men and it all appears to be exaggeration by the author to make his men look good.
Still it was worth a read.