Marcus Salvius Otho

AD32 ~ AD69

Otho’s family descended from princes of Etruria and were an ancient and noble line. Once Nero’s best friend, this friendship was brought to a halt once Otho was to find out about the romantic affair between Nero and Otho’s wife Poppaea.


Poppaea divorced Otho to wed Nero and then had Otho sent away to the remote province of Lusitania where he remained for 10 years.

In 68 Otho accompanied Galba to Rome to form a revolt against Nero, what Galba didn’t know was that after this revolt, Otho intended to succeed his as emperor. When Galba adopted Piso as the future heir to his throne Otho was enraged and bribed 23 soldiers of the Praetorian Guard to help him in his quest. These guards soon influenced the rest of their camp who then returned to the Forum with Otho as their leader and slaughtered Galba, Piso and any supporters.  

Soon Otho found himself preparing for war with rumours of the German population and other regions supporting Vitellius. The Battle of Bedriacum followed. Even though his troops were a formidable force Otho was forced to accept that his army was no match for the combination of Vitellius' supporters. In the early hours of the morning he stabbed himself reportedly saying as his farewell “it is far more just to perish one for all, than many for one”.

Back to top