Marcus Salvius Otho Caesar Augustus
April 28, 32 CE – April 16, 69 CE
Marcus Salvius Otho was Emperor of Rome for three months, from January 15 to April 16,69 CE. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors.
Otho’s family achieved political prominence under Augustus and he himself was a companion of Nero until 58 CE, when he fell out of favor due to issues involving his wife, Poppaea Sabina–namely, Nero’s interest in her.
Otho was appointed governor of Lusitania, leaving Nero free to marry Poppaea. He was among the first to join Galba’s revolt. Otho hoped to be Galba’s successor by choice but instead engineered that outcome through assassination.
He organized a conspiracy by bribing members of the Praetorian Guard, who murdered Galba and his chosen successor, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus, in the Roman Forum. Otho declared himself Roman Emperor but had to deal with the fact that another, Aulus Vitellius, was declared Emperor by the Rhine legions. As Vietllius’ troops moved toward Rome, a showdown was inevitable. Famously, Otho is said to have considered the damage to Rome of further conflict and committed suicide.