Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus [Suetonius]
Latin (Imperial Era)
SVETONI TRANQVILII VITA OTHONIS
I. Maiores Othonis orti sunt oppidio Ferentio,
[Otho's ancestors arose from the town of Ferentium,]
familia vetere et honorata atque ex principibus Etruriae.
[from a long-standing and greatly honored family, one sprung also from the leading men of Etruria.]
Avus M. Salvius Otho, patre equite R.,
[His grandfather, Marcus Salvius Otho, was a Roman knight,]
matre humili incertum an ingenua,
[his mother perhaps from a lowly, or at least common stock,]
per gratiam Liviae Augustae, in cuius domo creverat, senator est factus
[but through the kind favor of the emperess Livia, in whose mansion she had entered, he was appointed a senator]
nec praeturae gradum excessit.
[but he never reached any office higher than praetor.]
Pater L. Otho, materno genere praeclaro multarumque et magnarum propinquitatum, tam carus tamque non absimilis facie Tiberio principi fuit,
[His father, Lucius Otho, whose maternal lineage was greatly distinguished by many great relatives, was so beloved by the emperor Tiberius and so similar in appearance to him]
ut plerique procreatum ex eo crederent.
[that a great many people believed that he was fathered by the man.]
Vrbanos honores, proconsulatum Africae et extraordinaria imperia severissime administravit.
[He ran administrations in offices over the City, a proconsulship in Africa, and unusually prestigious commands, all in the most severe manners one can imagine.]
Ausus etiam est in Illyrico milites quosdam,
[He even tried his hand against several soldiers in Illyria,]
quod motu Camilli ex paenitentia praepositos suos quasi defectionis adversus Claudium auctores occiderant,
[because they, as though defecting from Claudius, had previously killed the men he had appointed to remedy the mutiny of Camillus,]
capite punire et quidem ante principia se coram,
[that is, he dared to sentence them to death, and indeed, before his own eyes, in the commander's quarters,]
quamvis ob id ipsum promotos in ampliorem gradum a Claudio sciret.
[even though he knew that, as a consequence of this same action, they would be compelled to even fuller disgust of Claudius.]
Quo facto sicut gloriam auxit,
[So it was accomplished, the very moment he increased his reputation,]
ita gratiam minuit;
[he likewise killed his popularity.]
quam tamen mature reciperavit detecta equitis R. fraude,
[And yet, he soon cut that in half after he had detected the scandal of a Roman knight]
quem prodentibus servis necem Claudio parere compererat.
[whom he had discovered had order his slaves to assassinate Claudius.]
Namque et senatus honore rarissimo, statua in Palatio posita, prosecutus est eum et Claudius adlectum inter patricios,
[So by that token, he was allowed the rarest honor in the Senate: his statue placed on the Palatine Hill, and Claudius followed after him and enrolled him into the order of the patricians,]
conlaudans amplissimis verbis, hoc quoque adiecit:
[and as he praised him with the most complimentary words he could find, he also added this comment:]
Vir, quo meliores liberos habere ne opto quidem.
["A man, for whom I truly wish to have no superior sons."]
Ex Albia Terentia splendida femina duos filios tulit,
[From a splendid woman, Albia Terentia, he fathered two sons,]
L. Titianum et minorem M. cognominem sibi;
[Lucius Titianus and the younger one Marcus, named after himself;]
tulit et filiam,
[he fathered a daughter,]
quam vixdum nubilem Druso Germanici filio despondit.
[whom he soon married off as a young bride to Germanicus' son, Drusus.]
II. Otho imperator IIII. Kal. Mai. natus est Domitio Ahenobarbo cons.Camillo Arruntio,
[The emperor Otho was born on the 4th Kalends of May in the consul year of Domitius Ahenobarbus and Camillus Arruntius,]
A prima adulescentia prodigus ac procax,
[From the very first stage of youth, he was a prodigy, and very talkative,]
adeo ut saepe flagris obiurgaretur a patre,
[so much so that he often used to be beaten with whippings by his father,]
ferebatur et vagari
noctibus solitus atque invalidum quemque obviorum vel potulentum
corripere ac distento sago impositum in sublime iactare.
[it was rumored that he used to wander around in the nights, laying his hands on any weakling or drunkard he met, and after putting him into a stretched out sack, toss him into the air.]
patris deinde mortem libertinam aulicam gratiosam, quo efficacius
coleret, etiam diligere simulavit quamvis anum ac paene
[After his father's passing, he even pretended to have a crush on a charming flute-player, a freedwoman, about which he adored her too thoroughly, even though she was an old woman and almost in the last stage of her life:]
per hanc insinuatus Neroni,
[through her, he was introduced to Nero,]
facile summum inter amicos
locum tenuit congruentia morum,
[with ease, he held the highest priority in his leisurely events among his friends,]
ut vero quidam tradunt,
[at least, in truth, as certain men tell it,]
consuetudine mutui stupri.
[and from the habit of the scandals they shared.]
consuetudine mutui stupri.
[and in the habit of the disgrace they shared.]
Ac tantum potentia valuit,
[And so great did his power thrive,]
repetundis consularem virum, ingens praemium pactus,
[that he demanded an immense bribe from a man already found guilty of corruption,]
plene restitutionem ei impetrasset non dubitaret in senatum ad
agendas gratias introducere.
[and no sooner had he gained gained
his full acquittal than did he not even hesitate to bring into the
presence of the Senate in order to give thanks.]
Omnium autem consiliorum secretorumque particeps die, quem
necandae matri Nero destinarat,
[However, he was a conspirator in all plans and secrets, and the one whom Nero put in charge of assassinating his mother,]
ad avertendas suspicionem cenam
utrique exquisitissimae comitatis dedit;
[and in order to avert her suspicion, he gave her a feast with her as the honored guest;]
item Poppaeam Sabinam
tunc adhuc amicam eius, abductam marito demandatamque interim
sibi, nuptiarum specie recepit,
[and then, he received Poppaea Sabina, at that time one of her allies, with the grandeur of a wedding ceremony, even though she has been abducted from her husband and demanded back to him in the meantime,]