Talk:Year of the Four Emperors

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This entry on Vespasian needs work. It was featured today, 12/20/05, as a feature article on the Wikipedia welcome page. Thus its quality reflects on the reputation of the compendium generally. Vespasian's life and career needs to be fleshed out more beyond the facts of the struggle for the throne in 68-69. His earlier life, his career in the army and his overall rise to power, his role in the suppression of the Judean revolt and his career as Emperor need to be detailed. Recently on NPR it was stated that Wikipedia articles are closely comparable to those in Encyclopedia Brittanica. At this point this article falls far short of that standard.

  1. This article is not about Vespasian. It is about the Year of the Four Emperors.
  2. Sign your comments if you expect them to be taken seriously.
-Ikkyu2 17:23, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm a little confused. Why is this period defined as a year when it takes place over a period longer than a year?

-Cerise 22:57, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

It means the year 69. Nero who dies in 68 is not one of the four. I have added a new sentence at the beginning of the article to make this clear. Richard75 19:11, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

"The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in AD 68"[edit]

"The forced suicide of emperor Nero, in AD 68"

I disagree with this. Nero was not forced to commit suicide. He stabbed himself in the throat among his loyal servants. He had wanted to kill himself as his career was destroyed anyways (when he was in the Rome palace, and asked for a gladiator to kill him).

It is true that Nero was declared a public enemy and it was ordered that he be beaten to death, but he was never FORCED to commit suicide as a way of execution. Although it was not uncommon for leaders to commit suicide when they had been defeated, it was still not forced upon Nero.

Usually, I would describe forced suicide as a way of execution. --Zybez (talk) 15:15, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

"See also" list[edit]

A summary of some discussion held elsewhere regarding the cricket element of the Seealso list.

The appropriate guideline on the topic is WP:SEEALSO. It includes the following relevant text:

"Links ... should be used in moderation, as always. These may be useful for readers looking to read as much about a topic as possible, including subjects only peripherally related to the one in question."

The first three bullets correspond to the first half of the bolded sentence and the cricket-related one, the second half. And with just four links in total, the article's still in line with the "in moderation" aspect. Furthermore, the guideline says:

"Also provide a brief explanatory sentence when the relevance of the added links is not immediately apparent."

Hence, the slightly clunky explanation that follows the bullet.

Cheers --Dweller (talk) 12:20, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


i give up! if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! i wonder how many "peripherally related" but entirely fucking useless and philistine links i can think of to add to academic articles. i'm sure there's some link between the tang dynasty and the fresh prince of bel air!
Actually, if you could discuss this constructively rather than resorting to swearing about it, we may get somewhere in achieving a consensus. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:31, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Glad to see you here. OK, this isn't an "academic article". It is, like all of Wikipedia's mainspace content, an encyclopedia article. That means everything here is encyclopedic, or should be deleted. Whether it's Roman history, the Simpsons or cricket. This is a topic peripherally related - the topic takes one of its notable names from this one. It's appropriate for a See also link. It does no harm, no reader will be offended by it, and it's within policy and guideline. Take a look around our articles, you'll find all kinds of weird and wonderful connections made through See also wikilinks - it's part of the charm and ease of use of a wiki-enabled encyclopedia. --Dweller (talk) 10:01, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

it's a dumb arbitrary policy probably only slightly better than "in popular culture" sections and i'm just going to constantly edit it so it's permanently semi-protected imho —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.14.111.61 (talk) 20:28, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

That's a sad admission of defeat, but it's your choice. --Dweller (talk) 11:11, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

i'm only admitting the futility of seriously discussing the "see also" policy on a site this poorly administered. i'm just a realist, bro. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.24.38.169 (talk) 15:28, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

The only way the site can become better administered is by people like you contributing and making it better. You're clearly intelligent and have a lot to offer. Lots of Wikipedia editors begin with being irate about something and trying to change it. Some succeed. If you seriously dislike the way the See also works, you can try changing the policy. I'm not sure I'll agree with you, but others may. If you're interested, drop me a line on my talk page and I'll help you happily. But we're going off topic for this particular page now. Cheers --Dweller (talk) 15:36, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Unless you can cite a source which indicates that the Summer of the Four Captains was intentionally named after the Year of the Four Emperors, and not just a coincidence, I would suggest that the two topics are not even peripherally related. They simply have nothing to do with each other, and to link from an Ancient Roman history article to a contemporary sports article looks flippant and makes Wikipedia look a bit silly. I'll try to get a consensus to undo it rather than remove it again by myself, but really do consider for a moment just why it is that you feel so strongly that this belongs here at all. WP:SEEALSO is all very well, but another relevant policy here is use common sense. Richard75 (talk) 22:06, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Interesting. And interestingly, I can't currently find a source explaining the origins of the summer of four captains name, perhaps because it's self-evident. Anyhoo, without a source, I tend to agree it should go from both this article and as speculation bordering on OR from the main article. If a source turns up, it belongs in both. The whole point of Seealso is to signpost the way to articles not otherwise linked from the article, ones that a reader may find interesting ... or may not. All the most obvious links will, of course, already be in the article. --Dweller (talk) 12:52, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

justice is done imho. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.71.139.172 (talk) 04:27, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

error in map[edit]

The map shows Arabia Petraea as a Roman province - however Arabia was only added under Trajan about 40 year after the battles of Bedriacum.--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:24, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

See the map key, by clicking on the map. If you still think it's inaccurate, you can contact its draughtsman at User talk:Steerpike --Dweller (talk) 14:04, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this map is far from perfect. The article certainly deserves better but at the time I could not find a free alternative or for that matter any map that gave a clear indication of who was where during 69, so I just kind of "improvised" this. I really call upon more experienced mappers on Wikipedia to improve this image. Ideally, the map would show how the allegiance of the different provinces changed over time, as well as major battles and the exact movement of the legions. If anyone's up for it... --Steerpike (talk) 21:07, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Well yes, the error regarding Arabia is still there and i agree with with the posting above that the map has other issues as well. Instead of one map for the whole year it might be easier to simply have a several maps (i.e. series) showing the different allegiances of the provinces and legions at a certain time and as well several uprisings that took place in parallel (Jewish revolt, Batavian in norther Rhine regions, etc.) Personally i'd suggest at least 2-3 maps, before Vespasian entered the scene (july) and after and the situation after he had won the emperorship.--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:21, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm also wondering whether it might be useful to start a historical map project for antiquity (or do we have some already ?), because it might be a good idea to provide several vectorized geographical base maps (such as the mediterranean), which that can be used to easily create maps for various battles, kingdoms and empires. Also useful in that connection would be to store some statistical/geogrpahical/archeological data at a common place, which helps to establish borders at a certain pint in time. In particular the nature of the southern and eastern borders seems of sketchy and various maps printed in literature are often very not very precise in that area. There might be also some university projects out there dealing with that (no idea). Anyhow if somebody is interested of starting such project, i'd be interested to help out.--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:21, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Cricket trivia[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg This article is about the history of the Roman Empire. References to West Indian cricket teams have no place here and to continually insert them after they are removed amounts to vandalism and will be reported to an administrator. Stop it. Richard75 (talk) 19:45, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

See above. --Dweller (talk) 21:14, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, to continually remove it amounts to vandalism. Please seek consensus to remove the link. Cheers. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:15, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Richard, the above two users are admins. Despite the way it makes Wikipedia look, there is a long-standing consensus to include the link. Nev1 (talk) 21:21, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
And despite the way "it makes Wikipedia look", we act here by discussion and agreement, not unilateral decision-making and threat. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:24, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, I was agreeing with you. In this instance, consensus reigns over common sense because it's policy. Nev1 (talk) 21:32, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Yep. If it needs discussion (and Dweller tried this a couple of threads above), then let's start another discussion. Flicking "nuvola apps important.svg" in people's faces is a little too much. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:37, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I'll make my argument in the section above. Richard75 (talk) 22:02, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Three errors[edit]

1. Galba marched into Rome at the head of a single legion, VII Galbiana (later Gemina). As for the other legions mentioned, VI Victix was the legion Galba left behind in Spain, I Macriana liberatrix was in Africa, and I Adiutrix did not exist at that point - Galba instituted it shortly afterwards from the remnants of a body of marines he massacred at the Milvian Bridge before entering Rome. (Gwyn Morgan,'69AD The Year of the Four Emperors' 2006)

2. Galba did not promise the Praetorian Guard any donative - the promise was made without his authority by the Guards prefect Nymphidius Sabinus.

3. Otho invited Vitellius to become his father-in-law, not his son-in-law. Otho was unmarried and childless; Vitellius had a grown daughter. (Suetonius, Otho:8 and Tacitus,The Histories:13)

The Morgan book is the most authoritative modern source. Tacitus 'The Histories', the key ancient source, should also be referred to and listed as a source for this page.

Fredceedobbs (talk) 13:26, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Well in the time it took you to say all that on the talk page, you could have put it in the article. Richard75 (talk) 18:30, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I prefer to settle any disputes beforehand rather than having an undignified tug-of-war with the text - I can see that's happened before with this article. Whoever listed those legions - unless he/she was just making it up - may have a source that contradicts mine. I am confident enough that my facts are correct and will change the article soon unless someone proves them wrong. Fredceedobbs (talk) 08:37, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Map caption edit[edit]

Once again, I've changed this caption from "generals" to "noblemen". Otho was not a general. He held no military command before becoming emperor. His province, Lusitania, had no legions. He suborned the Guards illegally - he was not their commander. It's thus inaccurate to refer to "four generals" in the caption. Fredceedobbs (talk) 15:17, 27 November 2012 (UTC)