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Marcus Salvius Otho
(April 28, 32 - April 15, 69 AD) Rome




OthoOtho belonged to an ancient and noble Etruscan family settled at Ferentinum in Etruria. He appears first as one of the most reckless and extravagant of the young nobles who surrounded Nero.

Friend of Nero, he had the emperor Galba killed by the pretorians, and was made emperor by them on January 15, 69. But he had to face Vitellius, who already was proclaimed emperor. Defeated near Cremona, Otho killed himself. At the time of his death he was in his thirty-eighth year, and had reigned just three months.

In all his life nothing became him so well as his manner of leaving it; but the fortitude he then showed, even if it was not merely the courage of despair, cannot blind us to the fact that he was little better than a reckless and vicious spendthrift, who was not the less dangerous because his fiercer passions were concealed beneath an affectation of effeminate dandyism.


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