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Marcus Salvius Otho

Roman emperor. Born 32, died 69.

When Emperor Nero became enamored of Otho's wife, Poppaea Sabina, Nero appointed Otho governor of the province of Lusitania (Portugal), to get him out of Rome. In Lusitania, he became one of the first to join the revolt of Galba.

When Galba seized power, Otho expected to be adopted and made Galba's legal and political heir. When Galba instead preferred the slightly younger Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus, Otho mustered the digruntled praetorian guard, who (in 69) murdered Galba and proclaimed Otho emperor. The Roman Senate approved the selection - meanwhile, however, Vitellius had rebelled and was moving his legions south towards Italy. The decisive battle between the two came at Cremona on the Po river plain. Otho's troops, outnumbered and outfought, were soundly beaten, and Otho committed suicide.

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