Roman conflict with Parthia in the mid first century for control of Armenia and Domitius Corbulo's exploits in the East, culminating in the Parthian candidate for the throne, Tiridates, receiving his diadem from the hands of the Emperor Nero in Rome, have frequently been studied for what they reveal about military and diplomatic manoeuvres under the later Julio-Claudians. The historiographical investigation of our main source, Tacitus, particularly through comparison with the fragments of Cassius Dio, is also important for the light this sheds on the Roman senator's methods. The intention of this paper is to draw attention to the complexity of Tacitus’ account by indicating his use of multiple and sometimes contradictory viewpoints in his narration of Caesennius Paetus’ unsuccessful Armenian campaign of a.d. 62–63 (Ann. 15.1–17) and to highlight an unrecognized echoing of his predecessor Livy by the historian. The examination of a text that is as elusive as it is allusive will require a careful study of what must have been a debated incident, but, as I hope to show, will give a broader insight into the historian's methods and, perhaps, wider intentions. I begin with an outline of historical events and the sources available to the historian. Next, I present a narratological examination of the text to show how differing viewpoints are highlighted within a contested storyline. I then show how this confusion may appear to be dispelled by a strong plot-line that borrows heavily from Livy, wherein the actions of an older, experienced general are contrasted with those of his subordinate. However, aspects of this account suggest that the tensions within the narrative are not resolved and that this has wider implications for our understanding of the historian and his work.