FANDOM


The Year of the Four Emperors, also known as the Roman Civil War of 68 -- 69, occurred primarily in the year 69 AD. The death of the emperor Nero signaled the end of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, and throughout the year, four different men reigned. The first, named Galba, was a general and proclaimed himself emperor. He was seventy-five when this occurred. However, he believed that soldiers should do what they are told because they want to help their country, rather than the customary bonus pay that previous emperors bequeathed them. He also angered Otho, who was his only friend, by choosing another man as his heir. Because of this, Otho turned his soldiers against Galba and the old man was killed on January 16, 69. However, as soon as he became emperor, he was attacked by a revolt from German legions who supported a man named Vitellius to be the next emperor rather than Otho. Otho sent troops to fight Vitellius, but was defeated badly, and upon hearing of the defeat, committed suicide. Vitellius immediately took up a life of luxury and quickly forgot the "little people." He reportedly did not want to be emperor and had attempted to make peace with Otho's troops, who ignored him because they wanted a bonus for defeating him. Vitellius heard that a rival named Vespasian was approaching Rome to challenge him, so he asked the Roman senate to allow him to abdicate. This disgusted them, so when Vespasian approached, Vitellius hid in the bedroom until he was found and tortured by Vespasian's troops. Vespasian then became emperor, beginning the Flavian dynasty and a new era of peace and stability in the Roman empire.

http://library.thinkquest.org/26907/emperors/4emp.htm