Meanwhile Domitius having landed at Laodicea, a city of Syria, as
he was on his way to the winter-quarters of the sixth legion, which
was, he believed, particularly open to revolutionary schemes, was
anticipated by its commander Pacuvius. Of this Sentius informed Piso
in a letter, and warned him not to disturb the armies by agents of
corruption or the province by war. He gathered round him all whom
he knew to cherish the memory of Germanicus, and to be opposed to
his enemies, dwelling repeatedly on the greatness of the general,
with hints that the State was being threatened with an armed attack,
and he put himself at the head of a strong force, prepared for battle.

Piso, too, though his first attempts were unsuccessful, did not omit
the safest precautions under present circumstances, but occupied a
very strongly fortified position in Cilicia, named, Celenderis. He
had raised to the strength of a legion the Cilician auxiliaries which
the petty kings had sent, by mixing with them some deserters, and
the lately intercepted recruits with his own and Plancina’s slaves.
And he protested that he, though Caesar’s legate, was kept out of
the province which Caesar had given him, not by the legions (for he
had come at their invitation) but by Sentius, who was veiling private
animosity under lying charges. “Only,” he said, “stand in battle array,
and the soldiers will not fight when they see that Piso whom they
themselves once called ‘father,’ is the stronger, if right is to decide;
if arms, is far from powerless.”

He then deployed his companies before the lines of the fortress on
a high and precipitous hill, with the sea surrounding him on every
other side. Against him were the veteran troops drawn up in ranks
and with reserves, a formidable soldiery on one side, a formidable
position on the other. But his men had neither heart nor hope, and
only rustic weapons, extemporised for sudden use. When they came to
fighting, the result was doubtful only while the Roman cohorts were
struggling up to level ground; then, the Cilicians turned their backs
and shut themselves up within the fortress.

Meanwhile Piso vainly attempted an attack on the fleet which waited
at a distance; he then went back, and as he stood before the walls,
now smiting his breast, now calling on individual soldiers by name,
and luring them on by rewards, sought to excite a mutiny. He had so
far roused them that a standard bearer of the sixth legion went over
to him with his standard. Thereupon Sentius ordered the horns and
trumpets to be sounded, the rampart to be assaulted, the scaling ladders
to be raised, all the bravest men to mount on them, while others were
to discharge from the engines spears, stones, and brands. At last
Piso’s obstinacy was overcome, and he begged that he might remain
in the fortress on surrendering his arms, while the emperor was being
consulted about the appointment of a governor to Syria. The proposed
terms were refused, and all that was granted him were some ships and
a safe return to Rome.

There meantime, when the illness of Germanicus was universally known,
and all news, coming, as it did, from a distance, exaggerated the
danger, there was grief and indignation. There was too an outburst
of complaint. “Of course this was the meaning,” they said, “of banishing
him to the ends of the earth, of giving Piso the province; this was
the drift of Augusta’s secret interviews with Plancina. What elderly
men had said of Drusus was perfectly true, that rulers disliked a
citizen-like temper in their sons, and the young princes had been
put out of the way because they had the idea of comprehending in a
restored era of freedom the Roman people under equal laws.”

This popular talk was so stimulated by the news of Germanicus’s death
that even before the magistrate’s proclamation or the Senate’s resolution,
there was a voluntary suspension of business, the public courts were
deserted, and private houses closed. Everywhere there was a silence
broken only by groans; nothing was arranged for mere effect. And though
they refrained not from the emblems of the mourner, they sorrowed
yet the more deeply in their hearts.
The Annals by Tacitus