Lucius Otho

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Lucius Otho from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Lucius Salvius Otho was father of the Roman emperor Otho, he was born of a distinguished and well-connected family on his mother's side. His close friendship with Tiberius, and physical similarity to him, led to rumours that he was that emperor's son.

Otho was renowned for the severity of his command in the regular offices at Rome, the proconsulate of Africa, and several special military commands. He was made Consul Suffect in July 34. In Illyricum, in 42, some soldiers supported a rebellion against Claudius by Illyricum's governor, Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus. Afterwards, they tried to cover the revolt up by killing their officers, who were the revolt's ringleaders. Claudius promoted them for doing so, but Otho had them executed in his presence in the principia for killing their officers.

He rebuilt his reputation at court by forcing the slaves of an unnamed knight to betray their master's plot to kill the emperor. As a result, the Senate set up his statue in the palace, and Claudius enrolled him among the patricians, praising him in the highest terms and calling him "a man of greater loyalty than I can even pray for in my own children."

Marriage and issue[edit]

He married Albia Terentia (her name suggests descent from the Terentian gens) and had:

  • Titianus, consul in 52
  • Emperor Otho
  • a daughter, whom he betrothed to Tiberius' adoptive son and nephew Drusus Caesar at a very young age