It was too optimistic, or too modest, of Giovanni Forni to declare, in a recent study of matters connected with Bedriacum and the two battles of Cremona in A.D. 69: ‘Dopo che acuti ingegni di studiosi illustri hanno raccolto a manelle il grano nel campo della tradizione relativa alle due battaglie di Bedriaco, non resta che la spigolatura di sviste e di osservazioni sfuggite.’ In fact the labourers have been few, and their harvest meagre. Others have undoubtedly been deterred by the all too obvious tares in Tacitus' Histories. Of these the ugliest patch is that presented by, and associated with, the passage quoted. Upon the textual crux hinges our understanding of a number of inter-related problems to which no satisfying answers have as yet been found, and an attempt is now made to deal with these seriatim. Indeed, so much depends on the single word †Aduae† that Syme was fully justified in describing it as ‘the most notorious crux in the whole of Tacitus”. Unless we know the goal of the Othonian advance, we cannot reconstruct or evaluate the strategy that selected it; nor can we judge the meaning of Otho's great renunciation or the validity of Tacitus' praise of it. The various hypotheses of Mommsen, Henderson and Hardy have evoked serious objection, and Syme concluded his Tacitus, Appendix 30 (‘The Strategy of Otho’) with the declaration, ‘The puzzle remains.’ Ten years later Heubner comes to the same despairing conclusion.