Thursday, 2 August 2012

Aulus Caecina Alienus and Salonina

Caecina was one of Vitellius' two subordinates, and commanded an independent column that unexpectedly invaded Italy from Switzerland over passes that the Othonians had considered blocked by snow.   He commanded at the battle of Ad Castores, that Phil Hendry, Craig Davey and I will refight at Partizan.

Tacitus describes his scandalous arrival in History Book 2: 20. "Caecina, who seemed to have left his cruelty and profligacy on the other side of the Alps, advanced through Italy with his army under excellent discipline. The towns and colonies, however, found indications of a haughty spirit in the general's dress, when they saw the cloak of various colours, and the trews, a garment of foreign fashion, clothed in which he was wont to speak to their toga-clad citizens. And they resented, as if with a sense of personal wrong, the conduct of his wife Salonina, though it injured no one that she presented a conspicuous figure as she rode through their towns on horseback in a purple habit."

Caecina is an Aventine general, with lightly converted cloak and trews.   Salonina is heavily converted from a Lady Godiva!  I've a few more commanders to post over the next week...

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