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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Aulus Vitellius

  • [Emperor of Rome; born about 15 A.D.; commanded the German legions, and proclaimed emperor after the death of Galba; having defeated the partisans of Otho, was himself put to death by Vespasian’s general Antonius, A.D. 69.]
  • The dead body of an enemy always smells sweet.

  • Riding over the field of Bedriacum, a few days after the battle which gave him the empire, April 14, 69; to this detestable remark he added, “especially of a fellow-citizen” (et melius civis).—SUETONIUS: Life. His vices and cruelty having made him universally hated, he was dragged out of his palace and along the Via Sacra by the soldiery of Vespasian, subjected to the most contemptuous indignities, put to death by lingering tortures, and dragged by a horse into the Tiber. His last words were, “Yet I was once your emperor.”