However, the emperor received formal thanks, and still more elaborate
flattery was paid to Domitius. A law was passed, adopting him into
the Claudian family with the name of Nero. Agrippina too was honoured
with the title of Augusta. When this had been done, there was not
a person so void of pity as not to feel keen sorrow at the position
of Britannicus. Gradually forsaken by the very slaves who waited on
him, he turned into ridicule the ill-timed attentions of his stepmother,
perceiving their insincerity. For he is said to have had by no means
a dull understanding; and this is either a fact, or perhaps his perils
won him sympathy, and so he possessed the credit of it, without actual

Agrippina, to show her power even to the allied nations, procured
the despatch of a colony of veterans to the chief town of the Ubii,
where she was born. The place was named after her. Agrippa, her grandfather,
had, as it happened, received this tribe, when they crossed the Rhine,
under our protection.

During the same time, there was a panic in Upper Germany through an
irruption of plundering bands of Chatti. Thereupon Lucius Pomponius,
who was in command, directed the Vangiones and Nemetes, with the allied
cavalry, to anticipate the raid, and suddenly to fall upon them from
every quarter while they were dispersed. The general’s plan was backed
up by the energy of the troops. These were divided into two columns;
and those who marched to the left cut off the plunderers, just on
their return, after a riotous enjoyment of their spoil, when they
were heavy with sleep. It added to the men’s joy that they had rescued
from slavery after forty years some survivors of the defeat of Varus.

The column which took the right-hand and the shorter route, inflicted
greater loss on the enemy who met them, and ventured on a battle.
With much spoil and glory they returned to Mount Taunus, where Pomponius
was waiting with the legions, to see whether the Chatti, in their
eagerness for vengeance, would give him a chance of fighting. They
however fearing to be hemmed in on one side by the Romans, on the
other by the Cherusci, with whom they are perpetually at feud, sent
envoys and hostages to Rome. To Pomponius was decreed the honour of
a triumph; a mere fraction of his renown with the next generation,
with whom his poems constitute his chief glory.

At this same time, Vannius, whom Drusus Caesar had made king of the
Suevi, was driven from his kingdom. In the commencement of his reign
he was renowned and popular with his countrymen; but subsequently,
with long possession, he became a tyrant, and the enmity of neighbours,
joined to intestine strife, was his ruin. Vibillius, king of the Hermunduri,
and Vangio and Sido, sons of a sister of Vannius, led the movement.
Claudius, though often entreated, declined to interpose by arms in
the conflict of the barbarians, and simply promised Vannius a safe
refuge in the event of his expulsion. He wrote instructions to Publius
Atellius Hister, governor of Pannonia, that he was to have his legions,
with some picked auxiliaries from the province itself, encamped on
the riverbank, as a support to the conquered and a terror to the conqueror,
who might otherwise, in the elation of success, disturb also the peace
of our empire. For an immense host of Ligii, with other tribes, was
advancing, attracted by the fame of the opulent realm which Vannius
had enriched during thirty years of plunder and of tribute. Vannius’s
own native force was infantry, and his cavalry was from the Iazyges
of Sarmatia; an army which was no match for his numerous enemy. Consequently,
he determined to maintain himself in fortified positions, and protract
the war.

But the Iazyges, who could not endure a siege, dispersed themselves
throughout the surrounding country and rendered an engagement inevitable,
as the Ligii and Hermunduri had there rushed to the attack. So Vannius
came down out of his fortresses, and though he was defeated in battle,
notwithstanding his reverse, he won some credit by having fought with
his own hand, and received wounds on his breast. He then fled to the
fleet which was awaiting him on the Danube, and was soon followed
by his adherents, who received grants of land and were settled in
Pannonia. Vangio and Sido divided his kingdom between them; they were
admirably loyal to us, and among their subjects, whether the cause
was in themselves or in the nature of despotism, much loved, while
seeking to acquire power, and yet more hated when they had acquired
The Annals by Tacitus