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Nero and Suetonius Paullinus

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  • Mary Harrsch
    I was rewatching Boudicca: Warrior Queen on the History Channel last night and since I had seen it before I wasn t paying close attention until towards the
    Message 1 of 1 , 1 Apr 06:56
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      I was rewatching "Boudicca: Warrior Queen" on the History Channel
      last night and since I had seen it before I wasn't paying close
      attention until towards the end the narrator said that Paullinus'
      retribution against the Britons after his defeat of Boudicca was so
      brutal that even the emperor Nero thought it was excessive and
      recalled him to Rome.

      I was surprised at this display of compassion so I tried to find a
      reference to it. I finally found this passage in a Wikipedia article
      about Paullinus:

      "Suetonius reinforced his army with legionaries and auxiliaries from
      Germania and conducted punitive operations against any remaining
      pockets of resistance, but this proved counterproductive. The new
      procurator, Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus, expressed concern to
      the Emperor Nero that Suetonius's activities would only lead to
      continued hostilities. An inquiry was set up under Nero's freedman,
      Polyclitus, and an excuse, that Suetonius had lost some ships, was
      found to relieve him of his command. He was replaced by the more
      conciliatory Publius Petronius Turpilianus."

      This article also goes on to briefly describe the rest of Paullinus'
      career that I found interesting:

      "Suetonius became consul ordinarius in 66. In 69, during the year of
      civil wars that followed the death of Nero (see Year of four
      emperors), he was one of Otho's senior generals and military advisors.
      He and Publius Marius Celsus defeated Aulus Caecina Alienus, one of
      Vitellius's generals, near Cremona, but Suetonius would not allow his
      men to follow up their advantage and was accused of treachery as a
      result. When Caecina joined his forces with those of Fabius Valens,
      Suetonius advised Otho not to risk a battle but was overruled, leading
      to Otho's decisive defeat at Bedriacum. Suetonius was captured by
      Vitellius and obtained a pardon by claiming that he had deliberately
      lost the battle for Otho, although this was almost certainly untrue.
      His eventual fate remains unknown."

      I guess the next time I lose a battle, I'll have to claim I did it on
      purpose so the victor could be victorious!
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