#1. He made but one campaign and that of little importance. When the senate voted him the triumphal regalia, thinking the honour beneath the imperial dignity and desiring the glory of a legitimate triumph, he chose Britain as the best place for gaining it, a land that had been attempted by no one since the Deified Julius and was just at that time in a state of rebellion because of the refusal to return certain deserters.
#2. While serving as military tribune, the first office which was conferred on him by vote of the people after his return to Rome, he ardently supported the leaders in the attempt to re-establish the authority of the tribunes of the commons, the extent of which Sulla had curtailed. Furthermore, through a bill proposed by one Plotius, he effected the recall of his wife's brother Lucius Cinna, as well p9 as of the others who had taken part with Lepidus in his revolution and after the consul's death had fled to Sertorius; and he personally spoke in favour of the measure.
#3. There were some dreadful disasters during his reign, such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Campania, a fire at Rome which continued three days and as many nights, and a plague the like of which had hardly ever been known before. In these many great calamities he showed not merely the concern of an emperor, but even a father's surpassing love, now offering consolation in edicts.
#4. But his besetting sins were luxury and cruelty. He divided his feasts into three, sometimes into four a day, breakfast,lunch, dinner, and a drinking bout; and he was readily able to do justice to all of them through his habit of taking emetics. Moreover, he had himself invited to each of these meals by different men on the same day, and the materials for any one of them never cost less than four hundred thousand sesterces
#5. Now he had hoped to be adopted by Galba, and looked forward to it from day to day. But when Piso was preferred and he at last lost that hope, he resorted to force, spurred on not merely by feelings of resentment, but also by the greatness of his debts. For he flatly declared that he could not keep on his feet unless he became emperor, and that it made no difference whether he fell at the hands of the enemy in battle or at those of his creditors in the Forum
#6. He carried on but two foreign wars in person: in Dalmatia, when he was but a youth, and with the Cantabrians after the overthrow of Antony. He was wounded, too, in the former campaign, being struck on the right knee with a stone in one battle, and in another having a leg and both arms severely injured by the collapse of a bridge. His other wars he carried on through his generals, although he was either present at some of those in Pannonia and Germany, or was not far from the front, since he went from the city as far as Ravenna, Mediolanum, or Aquileia.
#7. The only thing for which he can fairly be censured was his love of money. For not content with reviving the imposts which had been repealed under Galba, he added new and heavy burdens, increasing the amount of tribute paid by the provinces, in some cases actually doubling it, and quite openly carrying on traffic which would be shameful even for a man in private life; for he would buy up certain commodities merely in order to distribute them at a profit.
#8. Finally, as if he intended to bring the war to an end, he drew up a line of battle on the shore of the Ocean, arranging his ballistas and other artillery; and when no one knew or could imagine what he was going to do, he suddenly bade them gather shells and fill their helmets and the folds of their gowns, calling them "spoils from the Ocean, due to the Capitol and Palatine." As a monument of his victory he erected a lofty tower, from which lights were to shine at night to guide the course of ships, as from the Pharos.
#9. His campaigns he undertook partly without provocation and partly of necessity. That against the Chatti was uncalled for, while the one against the Sarmatians was justified by the destruction of a legion with its commander. He made two against the Dacians, the first when Oppius Sabinus an ex-consul was defeated, and the second on the overthrow of Cornelius Fuscus, perfect of the praetorian guard, to whom he had entrusted the conduct of the war. After several battles of varying success he celebrated a double triumph over the Chatti and the Dacians.
#10. He met his death in the thirty-second year of his age, on the anniversary of the murder of Octavia, and such was the public rejoicing that the people put on liberty-caps and ran about all over the city. Yet there were some who for a long time decorated his tomb with spring and summer flowers…
#11. He issued an edict forbidding general kissing, as well as the exchange of New Year's gifts after the Kalends of January. It was his custom to return a gift of four-fold value, and in person; but annoyed at being interrupted all through the month by those who did not have access to him on the holiday, he did not continue it.
#12. Having thus incurred the hatred of almost all men of every class, he was especially detested by the soldiers; for although their officers had promised them a larger gift than common when they swore allegiance to … in his absence, so far from keeping the promise, he declared more than once that it was his habit to levy troops, not buy them; and on this account he embittered the soldiers all over the empire.
How well do you know Suetonius most famous book “The Twelve Caesars”? The book covers all important aspects of the lives of the Roman rulers, starting with Julius Caesar and finishing with Domitian. Test your knowledge about “The Twelve Caesars” by taking this quiz.