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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Roman History

of
Ammianus Marcellinus

published in Vol. I
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1935

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book XV

(Vol. I) Ammianus Marcellinus
Roman Antiquities

p3 Book XIV

Constantius and Gallus

11 The cruelty of Gallus Caesar.2

1 After the survival of the events of an unendurable campaign,3 when the spirits of both parties, broken by the variety of their dangers and hardships, were still drooping, before the blare of the trumpets had ceased or the soldiers been assigned to their winter quarters, the gusts of raging Fortune brought new storms upon the commonwealth through the misdeeds, many and notorious, of Gallus Caesar.4 He had been raised, at the very beginning of mature p5manhood, by an unexpected promotion from the utmost depths of wretchedness to princely heights, and overstepping the bounds of the authority conferred upon him, by excess of violence was causing trouble everywhere. For by his relationship to the imperial stock, and the affinity which he even then had with the name of Constantius,5 he was raised to such a height of presumption that, if he had been more powerful, he would have ventured (it seemed) upon a course hostile to the author of his good fortune. 2 To his cruelty his wife was besides a serious incentive, a woman beyond measure presumptuous because of her kinship to the emperor, and previously joined in marriage by her father Constantine with his brother's son, King Hanniballianus.6 She, a Megaera7 in mortal guise, constantly aroused the savagery of Gallus, being as insatiable as he in her thirst for human blood. The pair in process of time gradually became more expert in doing harm, and through underhand and crafty eavesdroppers, who had the evil habit of lightly adding to their information and wanting to learn only what was false and agreeable to them, they fastened upon innocent victims false charges of aspiring to royal power or of practising magic. 3 There stood out among their lesser atrocities, when their unbridled power had already surpassed the limits of unimportant delinquencies, the sudden and awful death of one Clematius, a nobleman of Alexandria. This man's mother-in‑law, it was said, had a violent passion for her son-in‑law, but p7was unable to seduce him; whereupon, gaining entrance to the palace by a back door, she presented the queen with a valuable necklace, and thus secured the dispatch of his death-warrant to Honoratus, at that time Count of the East;8 and so Clematius, a man contaminated by no guilt, was put to death without being allowed to protest or even to open his lips.

4 After the perpetration of this impious deed, which now began to arouse the fears of others also, as if cruelty were given free rein, some persons were adjudged guilty on the mere shadow of suspicion and condemned. Of these some were put to death, others punished by the confiscation of their property and driven from their homes into exile, where, having nothing left save tears and complaints, they lived on the doles of charity; and since constitutional and just rule had given place to cruel caprice, wealthy and famous houses were being closed. 5 And no words of an accuser, even though bribed, were required amid these accumulations of evils, in order that these crimes might be committed, at least ostensibly, under the forms of law, as has sometimes been done by cruel emperors; but whatever the implacable Caesar had resolved upon was rushed to fulfilment, as if it had been carefully weighed and determined to be right and lawful. 6 It was further devised that sundry low-born men, whose very insignificance made them little to be feared, should be appointed to gather gossip in all p9quarters of Antioch and report what they had heard. Then, as if travellers, and in disguise, attended the gatherings of distinguished citizens, and gained entrance to the houses of the wealthy in the guise of needy clients; then, being secretly admitted to the palace by a back door, they reported whatever they had been able to hear or learn, with one accord making it a rule to add inventions of their own and make doubly worse what they had learned, but suppressing the praise of Caesar which the fear of impending evils extorted from some against their will. 7 And sometimes it happened that if the head of a household, in the seclusion of his private apartments, with no confidential servant present, had whispered something in the ear of his wife, the emperor learned it on the following day, as if it were reported by Amphiaraus or Marcius, those famous seers of old.9 And so even the walls, the only sharers of secrets, were feared. 8 Moreover, his fixed purpose of ferreting out these and many similar things increased, spurred on by the queen, who pushed her husband's fortunes headlong to sheer ruin, when she ought rather, with womanly gentleness, to have recalled him by helpful counsel to the path of truth and mercy, after the manner of the wife10 of that savage emperor Maximinus, as we have related in our account of the acts of the Gordians.

p11 9 Finally, following an unprecedented and destructive course, Gallus also ventured to commit the atrocious crime which, to his utter disgrace, Gallienus is said to have once hazarded at Rome. Taking with him a few attendants with concealed weapons, he used to roam at evening about the inns and street-corners, inquiring of every one in Greek, of which he had remarkable command, what he thought of the Caesar. And this he did boldly in a city11 where the brightness of the lights at night commonly equals the resplendence of day. At last, being often recognized, and reflecting that if he continued that course he would be conspicuous, he appeared only in broad daylight, to attend to matters which he considered important. And all this conduct of his caused very deep sorrow to many.

10 Now at that time Thalassius was the Praetorian Prefect at court,12 a man who was himself of an imperious character. He, perceiving that Gallus' temper was rising, to the peril of many, did not try to soothe it by ripe counsel, as sometimes high officials have moderated the ire of princes; but rather roused the Caesar to fury by opposing and reproving him at unseasonable times; very frequently he informed the emperor of Gallus' doings, exaggerating them and taking pains — whatever his motive may have been — to do it openly. Through this conduct the Caesar was soon still more violently enraged, p13and as if raising higher, as it were, the standard of his obstinacy, with no regard for his own life or that of others, he rushed on with uncontrollable impetuosity, like a swift torrent, to overthrow whatever opposed him.

2 1 Inroads of the Isaurians.

1 And indeed this was not the only calamity to afflict the Orient with various disasters. For the Isaurians13 too, whose way it is now to keep the peace and now put everything in turmoil by sudden raids, abandoned their occasional secret plundering expeditions and, as impunity stimulated for the worse their growing boldness, broke out in a serious war. For a long time they had been inflaming their warlike spirits by reckless outbreaks, but they were now especially exasperated, as they declared, by the indignity of some of their associates, who had been taken prisoner, having been thrown to beasts of prey in the shows of the amphitheatre at Iconium, a town of Pisidia — an outrage without precedent. 2 And, in the words of Cicero,14 as even wild animals, when warned by hunger, generally return to the place where they were once fed, so they all, swooping like a whirlwind down from their steep and rugged mountains, made for the districts near the sea; and hiding themselves there in pathless lurking-places and defiles as the dark nights were coming on — the moon being still crescent and so not shining with full brilliance — they watched the sailors. And when they saw that they were buried in sleep, creeping on all fours along the anchor-ropes and making their p15way on tiptoe into the boats, they came upon the crew all unawares, and since their natural ferocity was fired by greed, they spared no one, even of those who surrendered, but massacred them all and without resistance carried off the cargoes, led either by their value or by their usefulness. 3 This however did not continue long; for when the fate of those whom they had butchered and plundered became known, no one afterwards put in at those ports, but avoiding them as they would the deadly cliffs of Sciron,15 they coasted along the shores of Cyprus, which lie opposite to the crags of Isauria. 4 Then presently, as time went on and nothing came their way from abroad, they left the sea-coast and withdrew to that part of Lycaonia that borders on Isauria; and there, blocking the roads with close barricades, they lived on the property of the provincials and of travellers. 5 Anger at this aroused the soldiers quartered in the numerous towns and fortresses which lie near those regions, and each division strove to the best of its power to check the marauders as they ranged more widely, now in solid bodies, sometimes even in isolated bands. But the soldiers were defeated by their strength and numbers; for since the Isaurians were born and brought up amid the steep and winding defiles of the mountains, they bounded over them as if they were a smooth and level plain, attacking the enemy with savage howls. 6 And sometimes our infantry in pursuing them were forced to scale lofty slopes, and when they lost their footing, even if they reached the very summits by catching hold of underbrush or briars, p17the narrow and pathless tracts allowed them neither to take order of battle nor with mighty effort to keep a firm footing; and while the enemy, running here and there, tore off and hurled down masses of rock from above, they made their perilous way down over steep slopes; or if, compelled by dire necessity, they made a brave fight, they were overwhelmed by falling boulders of enormous weight. 7 Therefore extreme caution was shown after that and when the marauders began to make for the mountain heights, the soldiers yielded to the unfavourable position. When, however, the Isaurians could be found on level ground, as constantly happened, they were allowed neither to stretch out their right arms nor poise their weapons, of which each carried two or three, but they were slaughtered like defenceless sheep.

8 Accordingly these same marauders, distrusting Lycaonia, which is for the most part level, and having learned by repeated experience that they would be no match for our soldiers in a stand-up fight, made their way by retired by-paths into Pamphylia, long unmolested, it is true, but through fear of raids and massacres protected everywhere by strong garrisons, while troops were spread all over the neighbouring country. 9 Therefore they made great haste, in order by extreme swiftness to anticipate the reports of their movements, trusting in their bodily strength and activity; but they made their way somewhat slowly to the summits of the hills over winding trails. And when, after overcoming extreme difficulties, they came to the steep banks of the Melas, a deep and eddying stream, which surrounds the inhabitants like a wall and p19protects them, the lateness of the night increased their alarm, and they halted for a time, waiting for daylight. They thought, indeed, to cross without opposition and by their unexpected raid to lay waste all before them; but they endured the greatest hardships to no purpose. 10 For when the sun rose, they were prevented from crossing by the size of the stream, which was narrow but deep. And while they were hunting for fishermen's boats or preparing to cross on hastily woven hurdles, the legions that were then wintering at Side poured out and fell upon them in swift attack. And having set up their standards near the river-bank, the legions drew themselves up most skilfully for fighting hand to hand with a close formation of shields; and with perfect ease they slew some, who had even dared to cross the river secretly, trusting to swimming, or in hollowed out tree trunks. 11 From there, after trying the skill of our soldiers even to a final test without gaining anything, dislodged by fear and the strength of the legions, and not knowing what direction to take, they came to the neighborhood of the town of Laranda. 12 There they were refreshed with food and rest, and after their fear had left them, they attacked some rich villages; but since they were aided by some cohorts of cavalry, which chanced to come up, the enemy withdrew without attempting any resistance on the level plain; but as they retreated, they summoned all the flower of their youth that had been left at home. 13 And since they were distressed by severe hunger, they made for a place called Palaea, near the sea, which was protected by a strong wall. There supplies are p21regularly stored even to‑day, for distribution to the troops that defend the whole frontier of Isauria. Therefore they invested the fortress for three days and three nights; but since the steep slope itself could not be approached without deadly peril, and nothing could be effected by mines, and no method of siege was successful, they withdrew in dejection, ready, under the pressure of extreme necessity, to undertake even tasks beyond their powers. 14 Accordingly, filled with still greater fury, to which despair and famine added fuel, with increased numbers and irresistible energy they rushed on to destroy Seleucia, the metropolis of the province, which Count Castricius was holding with three legions steeled by hard service. 15 Warned of their approach by trusty scouts, the officers of the garrison gave the watchword, according to regulations, and in a swift sally led out the entire force; and having quickly crossed the bridge over the river Calycadnus, whose mighty stream washes the towers of the city walls, they drew up their men in order of battle. And yet no one charged or was allowed to fight; for they feared that band on fire with madness, superior in numbers, and ready to rush upon the sword, regardless of their lives. 16 Consequently, when the army came into view afar off, and the notes of the trumpeters were heard, the marauders stopped and halted for a while; then, drawing their formidable swords, they came on at a slower pace. 17 And when the unperturbed soldiers made ready to meet them, deploying their ranks and striking their shields with their spears, an action which rouses the wrath and resentment of the combatants, they p23intimidated the nearest of the enemy by their very gestures. But as they were eagerly rushing to the fray, their leaders called them back, thinking it inadvisable to risk a doubtful combat when fortifications were not far distant, under the protection of which the safety of all could be put on a solid foundation. 18 In this conviction, then, the warriors were led back within the walls, the entrances to the gates on all sides were barred, and they took their place on the battlements and pinnacles with rocks gathered from every hand and weapons in readiness, so that, if anyone should force his way near to the walls, he might be overwhelmed by a shower of spears and stones. 19 Still, the besieged were greatly troubled by the fact that the Isaurians, having captured some boats which were carrying grain on the river, were abundantly supplied with provisions, while they themselves had already exhausted the regular stores and were dreading the deadly pangs of approaching famine. 20 When the news of this situation spread abroad, and repeated messages dispatched to Gallus Caesar had roused him to action, since the Master of the Horse16 was at the time too far removed from the spot, orders were given to Nebridius, Count of the East.17 He quickly got together troops from every side and with the greatest energy was hastening to rescue this great and strategically important city from danger. On learning this, the freebooters departed without accomplishing anything more of consequence, and scattering (after their usual fashion) made for the trackless wastes of the high mountains.

p25 3 1 An unsuccessful plot of the Persians.

1 When affairs had reached this stage in Isauria, the king of Persia,18 involved in war with his neighbours, was driving back from his frontiers a number of very wild tribes which, with inconsistent policy, often make hostile raids upon his territories and sometimes aid him when he makes war upon us. One of his grandees, Nohodares by name, having received orders to invade Mesopotamia whenever occasion offered, was carefully reconnoitring our territory, intending a sudden incursion in case he found any opening. 2 And as all the districts of Mesopotamia, being exposed to frequent raids, were protected by frontier-guards and country garrisons, Nohodares, having turned his course to the left, had beset the remotest parts of Osdroene, attempting a novel and all but unprecedented manoeuvre; and if he had succeeded, he would have devastated the whole region like a thunderbolt. Now what he planned was the following.

3 The town of Batne, founded in Anthemusia in early times by a band of Macedonians, is separated by a short space from the river Euphrates; it is filled with wealthy traders when, at the yearly festival, near the beginning of the month of September, a great crowd of every condition gathers for the fair, to traffic in the wares sent from India and China, and in other articles that are regularly brought there in great abundance by land and sea. 4 This district the above-mentioned leader made ready to invade, on the days set for this celebration, through the wilderness and the grass-covered banks of the river Abora; but he was betrayed by information p27given by some of his own soldiers, who, fearing punishment for a crime which they had committed, deserted to the Roman garrison. Therefore, withdrawing without accomplishing anything, he languished thereafter in inaction.

4 1 Inroads of the Saracens; their customs.

1 The Saracens, however, whom we never found desirable either as friends or as enemies, ranging up and down the country, in a brief space of time laid waste whatever they could find, like rapacious kites which, whenever they have caught sight of any prey from on high, seize it with swift swoop, and directly they have seized it make off. 2 Although I recall having told of their customs in my history of the emperor Marcus,19 and several times after that, yet I will now briefly relate a few more particulars about them. 3 Among those tribes whose original abode extends from the Assyrians to the cataracts of the Nile and the frontiers of the Blemmyae all alike are warriors of equal rank, half-nude, clad in dyed cloaks as far as the loins, ranging widely with the help of swift horses and slender camels in times of peace or of disorder. No man ever grasps a plough-handle or cultivates a tree, none seeks a living by tilling the soil, but they rove continually over wide and extensive tracts without a home, without fixed abodes or laws; they cannot long endure the same sky, nor does the sun of a single district ever content them. 4 Their life is always on the move, and they have mercenary wives, hired under a temporary contract. But in order that there may be some semblance of matrimony, the future wife, by way of dower, offers p29her husband a spear and a tent, with the right to leave him after a stipulated time, if she so elect: and it is unbelievable with what ardour both sexes give themselves up to passion. 5 Moreover, they wander so widely as long as they live, that a woman marries in one place, gives birth in another, and rears her children far away, without being allowed an opportunity for rest. 6 They all feed upon game and an abundance of milk, which is their main sustenance, on a variety of plants, as well as on such birds as they are able to take by fowling; and I have seen many of them who were wholly unacquainted with grain and wine. 7 So much for this dangerous tribe. Let us now return to our original theme.

5 1 The torture of the followers of Magnentius.

1 While this was happening in the East, Constantius was passing the winter at Arelate, where he gave entertainments in the theatre and the circus with ostentatious magnificence. Then, on the 10th of October, which completed the thirtieth year of his reign,20 giving greater weight to his arrogance and accepting every false or doubtful charge as evident and proven, among other atrocities he tortured Gerontius, a count of the party of Magnentius,21 and visited him with the sorrow of exile. 2 And, as an ailing body is apt to be affected even by slight annoyances, so his narrow and sensitive mind, thinking that every sound indicated something done or planned at the expense of his safety, made his p31victory22 lamentable through the murder of innocent men. 3 For if anyone of the military commanders or ex-officials,23 or one of high rank in his own community, was accused even by rumour of having favoured the party of the emperor's opponent, he was loaded with chains and dragged about like a wild beast. And whether a personal enemy pressed the charge or no one at all, as though it was enough that he had been named, informed against, or accused, he was condemned to death, or his property confiscated, or he was banished to some desert island.

4 Moreover his harsh cruelty, whenever the majesty of the empire was said to be insulted, and his angry passions and unfounded suspicions were increased by the bloodthirsty flattery of his courtiers, who exaggerated everything that happened and pretended to be greatly troubled by the thought of an attempt on the life of a prince on whose safety, as on a thread, they hypocritically declared that the condition of the whole world depended. 5 And he is even said to have given orders that no one who had ever been punished for these or similar offences should be given a new trial after a writ of condemnation24 had once been presented to him in the usual manner, which even the most inexorable emperors commonly allowed. And this fatal fault of cruelty, which in others sometimes grew less with advancing age, in his case became more violent, since a group of flatterers intensified his stubborn resolution.

p33 6 Prominent among these was the state secretary25 Paulus, a native of Spain, a kind of viper, whose countenance concealed his character, but who was extremely clever in scenting out hidden means of danger for others. When he had been sent to Britain to fetch some officers who had dared to conspire with Magnentius, since they could make no resistance he autocratically exceeded his instructions and, like a flood, suddenly overwhelmed the fortunes of many, making his way amid manifold slaughter and destruction, imprisoning freeborn men and even degrading some with handcuffs; as a matter of fact, he patched together many accusations with utter disregard of the truth, and to him was due an impious crime, which fixed an eternal stain upon the time of Constantius. 7 Martinus, who was governing those provinces as substitute for the prefects, deeply deplored the woes suffered by innocent men; and after often begging that those who were free from any reproach should be spared, when he failed in his appeal he threatened to retire, in the hope that, at least through fear of this, that malevolent man-hunter might finally cease to expose to open danger men naturally given to peace. 8 Paulus thought that this would interfere with his profession, and being a formidable artist in devising complications, for which reason he was nicknamed "The Chain," since the substitute continued to defend those whom he was appointed to govern, Paulus involved even him in the common peril, threatening to bring him also in chains to the emperor's court, along with the tribunes and many others. Thereupon Martinus, alarmed at this threat, and thinking p35swift death imminent, drew his sword and attacked that same Paulus. But since the weakness of his hand prevented him from dealing a fatal blow, he plunged the sword which he had already drawn into his own side. And by that most ignominious death there passed from life a most just ruler, who had dared to lighten the unhappy lot of many. 9 After perpetrating these atrocious crimes, Paulus, stained with blood, returned to the emperor's camp, bringing with him many men almost covered with chains and in a state of pitiful filth and wretchedness. On their arrival, the racks were made ready and the executioner prepared his hooks and other instruments of torture. Many of the prisoners were proscribed, others driven into exile; to some the sword dealt the penalty of death. For no one easily recalls the acquittal of anyone in the time of Constantius when an accusation against him had even been whispered.

6 1 The faults of the Roman Senate and People.

1 Meanwhile Orfitus was governing the eternal city with the rank of Prefect, and with an arrogance beyond the limit of the power that had been conferred upon him. He was a man of wisdom, it is true, and highly skilled in legal practice, but less equipped with the adornment of the liberal arts than became a man of noble rank. During his term of office serious riots broke out because of the scarcity of wine; for the people, eager for an unrestrained use of this commodity, are roused to frequent and violent disturbances.

p37 2 Now I think that some foreigners26 who will perhaps read this work (if I shall be so fortunate) may wonder why it is that when the narrative turns to the description of what goes on at Rome, I tell of nothing save dissensions, taverns, and other similar vulgarities. Accordingly, I shall briefly touch upon the reasons, intending nowhere to depart intentionally from the truth.

3 At the time when Rome first began to rise into a position of world-wide splendour, in order that she might grow to a towering stature, Virtue and Fortune, ordinarily at variance, formed a pact of eternal peace; for if either one of them had failed her, Rome had not come to complete supremacy. 4 Her people, from the very cradle to the end of their childhood,27 a period of about three hundred years, carried on wars about her walls. Then, entering adult life, after many toilsome wars, they crossed the Alps and the sea. Grown to youth and manhood, from every region which the vast globe includes, they brought back laurels and triumphs. And now, declining into old age, and often owing victory to its name alone, it has come to a quieter period of life. 5 Thus the venerable city, after humbling the proud necks of savage nations, and making laws, the everlasting foundations and moorings of liberty, like a thrifty parent, wise and wealthy, has entrusted the management of her inheritance to the Caesars, as to her children. 6 And p39although for some time the tribes28 have been inactive and the centuries29 at peace, and there are no contests for votes but the tranquillity of Numa's time has returned, yet throughout all regions and parts of the earth she is accepted as mistress and queen; everywhere the white hair of the senators and their authority are revered and the name of the Roman people is respected and honoured.

7 But this magnificence and splendour of the assemblies is marred by the rude worthlessness of a few, who do not consider where they were born, but, as if licence were granted to vice, descend to sin and wantonness. For as the lyric poet Simonides tells us,30 one who is going to live happy and in accord with perfect reason ought above all else to have a glorious fatherland. 8 Some of these men eagerly strive for statues, thinking that by them they can be made immortal, as if they would gain a greater reward from senseless brazen images than from the consciousness of honourable and virtuous conduct. And they take pains to have them overlaid with gold, a fashion first introduced by Acilius Glabrio,31 after his skill and his arms had overcome King Antiochus.32 But how noble it is, scorning these slight and trivial honours, to aim to read the long and steep ascent to true glory, as the bard of Ascra expresses it,33 is made clear by Cato the Censor. For when he was asked why he alone among many did not have a p41statue, he replied: "I would rather that the good men should wonder why I did not deserve one than (which is much worse) should mutter 'Why was he given one?' "

9 Other men, taking great pride in the coaches higher than common and in ostentatious finery of apparel, sweat under heavy cloaks, which they fasten about their necks and bind around their very throats, while the air blows through them because of the excessive lightness of the material; and they lift them up with both hands and wave them with many gestures, especially with their left hands,34 in order that the over-long fringes and the tunics embroidered with party-coloured threads in multiform figures of animals may be conspicuous. 10 Others, though no one questions them, assume a grave expression and greatly exaggerate their wealth, doubling the annual yield of their fields, well cultivated (as they think), of which they assert that they possess a great number from the rising to the setting sun; they are clearly unaware that their forefathers, through whom the greatness of Rome was so far flung, gained renown, not by riches, but by fierce wars, and not differing from the common soldiers in wealth, mode of life, or simplicity of attire, overcame all obstacles by valour. 11 For that reason the eminent Valerius Publicola was buried by a contribution of money,35 and through the aid of her husband's friends36 the needy wife of p43Regulus and her children were supported. And the daughter of Scipio37 received her dowry from the public treasury, since the nobles blushed to look upon the beauty of this marriageable maiden long unsought because of the absence of a father of modest means.

12 But now-a‑days, if as a stranger38 of good position you enter for the first time to pay your respects to some man who is well-to‑do39 and therefore puffed up, at first you will be greeted as if you were an eagerly expected friend, and after being asked many questions and forced to lie, you will wonder, since the man never saw you before, that a great personage should pay such marked attention to your humble self as to make you regret, because of such special kindness, that you did not see Rome ten years earlier. 13 When, encouraged by this affability, you make the same call on the following day, you will hang about unknown and unexpected, while the man who the day before urged you to call again counts up his clients, wondering who you are or whence you came. But when you are at last recognized and admitted to his friendship, if you devote yourself to calling upon for three years without interruption, then are away for the same number of days, and return to go through with a similar course, you will not be asked where you were, and unless you abandon the quest in sorrow, you will waste your whole life to no purpose in paying court to the blockhead.

p45 14 And when, after a sufficient interval of time, the preparation of those tedious and unwholesome banquets begins, or the distribution of the customary doles, it is debated with anxious deliberation whether it will be suitable to invite a stranger, with the exception of those to whom a return of hospitality is due; and if, after full and mature deliberation, the decision is in the affirmative, the man who is invited is one who watches all night before the house of the charioteers,40 or who is a professional dicer, or who pretends to the knowledge of certain secrets. 15 For they avoid learned and serious everyone as unlucky and useless, in addition to which the announcers of names, who are wont to traffic in these and similar favours, on receiving a bribe, admit to the doles and the dinners obscure and low-born intruders.

16 But I pass over the gluttonous banquets and the various allurements of pleasures, lest I should go too far, and I shall pass to the fact that certain persons hasten without fear of danger through the broad streets of the city and over the upturned stones of the pavements as if they were driving post-horses with hoofs of fire (as the saying is), dragging after them armies of slaves like bands of brigands and not leaving even Sannio at home, as the comic writer says.41 And many matrons, imitating them, rush about through all quarters of the city with covered heads and in closed litters. 17 And as skilful directors of battles place in the van dense throngs of brave soldiers, then light-armed troops, after them the javelin-throwers, and p47last of all the reserve forces, to enter the action in case chance makes it needful, just so those who have charge of a city household, made conspicuous by wands grasped in their right hands, carefully and diligently draw up the array; then, as if the signal had been given in camp, close to the front of the carriage all weavers march; next to these the blackened service of the kitchen, then all the rest of the slaves without distinction, accompanied by the idle plebeians of the neighbourhood; Italy, the throng of eunuchs, beginning with the old men and ending with the boys, sallow and disfigured by the distorted form of their members; so that, wherever anyone goes, beholding the troops of mutilated men, he would curse the memory of that Queen Samiramis of old, who was the first of all to castrate young males, thus doing violence, as it were, to Nature and wresting her from her intended course, since she at the very beginning of life, through the primitive founts of the seed, by a kind of secret law, shows the ways to propagate posterity.

18 In consequence of this state of things, the few houses that were formerly famed for devotion to serious pursuits now teem with the sports of sluggish indolence, re-echoing to the sound of singing and the tinkling of flutes and lyres. In short, in place of the philosopher the singer is called in, and in place of the orator the teacher of stagecraft, and while the libraries are shut up forever like tombs, water-organs are manufactured and lyres as large as carriages, and flutes and instruments heavy for gesticulating actors.

p49 19 At last we have reached such a state of baseness, that whereas not so very long ago, when there was fear of a scarcity of food, foreigners were driven neck and crop from the city,42 and those who practised the liberal arts (very few in number) were thrust out without a breathing space, yet the genuine attendants upon actresses of the mimes, and those who for the time pretended to be such, were kept with us, while three thousand dancing girls, without even being questioned, remained here with their choruses, and an equal number of dancing masters. 20 And, wherever you turn your eyes, you may see a throng of women with curled hair, who might, if they had married, by this time, so far as age goes, have already produced three children, sweeping the pavements43 with their feet to the point of weariness and whirling in rapid gyrations, while they represent the innumerable figures that the stage-plays have devised.

21 Furthermore, there is no doubt that when once upon a time Rome was the abode of all the virtues, many of the nobles detained here foreigners of free birth by various kindly attentions, as the Lotus-eaters of Homer44 did by the sweetness of their fruits. 22 But now the vain arrogance of some men regards everything born outside the pomerium45 of our city as worthless, except the childless and unwedded; and it is beyond belief with what various kinds of obsequiousness men without children are courted at p51Rome.46 23 And since among them, as is natural in the capital of the world, cruel disorders gain such heights that all the healing art is powerless even to mitigate them, it has been provided, as a means of safety, that no one shall visit a friend suffering from such a disease, and by a few who are more cautious another sufficiently effective remedy has been added, namely, that servants sent to inquire after the condition of a man's acquaintances who have been attacked by that disorder should not be readmitted to their masters' house until they have purified their persons by a bath. So fearful are they of a contagion seen only by the eyes of others. 24 But yet, although these precautions are so strictly observed, some men, when invited to a wedding, where gold is put into their cupped right hands, although the strength of their limbs is impaired, will run even all the way to Spoletium.47 Such are the habits of the nobles.

25 But of the multitude of lowest condition and greatest poverty some spend the entire night in wineshops, some lurk in the shade of the awnings of the theatres,a which Catulus48 in his aedileship, imitating Campanian wantonness, was the first to spread, or they quarrel with one another in their games at dice, making a disgusting sound by drawing back the breath into their resounding nostrils; or, which is the favourite among all amusements, from sunrise until evening, in sunshine and in rain, they stand open-mouthed, examining minutely the good p53points or the defects of charioteers and their horses. 26 And it is most remarkable to see an innumerable crowd of plebeians, their minds filled with a kind of eagerness, hanging on the outcome of the chariot races. These and similar things prevent anything memorable or serious from being done in Rome. Accordingly, I must return to my subject.

7 1 Atrocities and savagery of Gallus Caesar.

1 His lawlessness now more widely extended, Caesar became offensive to all good men, and henceforth showing no restraint, he harassed all parts of the East, sparing neither ex-magistrates nor the chief men of the cities, nor even the plebeians. 2 Finally, he ordered the death of the leaders of the senate of Antioch49 in a single writ, enraged because when he urged a prompt introduction of cheap prices at an unseasonable time, since scarcity threatened, they had made a more vigorous reply thanº was fitting. And they would have perished to a man, had not Honoratus, then count-governor50 of the East, opposed him with firm resolution. 3 This also was a sign of his savage nature which was neither obscure nor hidden, that he delighted in cruel sports; and sometimes in the Circus, absorbed in six or seven contests, he exulted in the sight of boxers pounding each other to death and drenched with blood, as if he had made some great gain. 4 Besides this, his propensity for doing harm was inflamed and incited by a worthless woman, who, on being admitted to the palace (as she had demanded) had betrayed a plot that was secretly p55being made against him by some soldiers of the lowest condition. Whereupon Constantina, exulting as if the safety of her husband were now assured, gave her a reward, and seating her in a carriage, sent her out through the palace gates into the public streets, in order that by such inducements she might tempt others to reveal similar or greater conspiracies.

5 After this, when Gallus was on the point of leaving for Hierapolis, ostensibly to take part in the campaign, and the commons of Antioch suppliantly besought him to save them from the fear of a famine, which, through many difficulties of circumstance, was then believed to be imminent, he did not, after the manner of princes whose widely extended power sometimes cures local troubles, make any arrangements or command the bringing of supplies from neighbouring provinces; but to the multitude, which was in fear of the direst necessity, he delivered up Theophilus, consular governor of Syria, who was standing near by, constantly repeating the statement, that no one could lack food if the governor did not wish it. 6 These words increased the audacity of the lowest classes, and when the lack of provisions became more acute, driven by hunger and rage, they set fire to the pretentious house of a certain Eubulus, a man of distinction among his own people; then, as if the governor had been delivered into their hands by an imperial edict, they assailed him with kicks and blows, and trampling him under foot when he was half-dead, with awful mutilation tore him to pieces. After his wretched death each man saw in the end of one person an image of his own p57peril and dreaded a fate like that which he had just witnessed. 7 At that same time Serenianus, a former general, through whose inefficiency Celse in Phoenicia had been pillaged, as we have described,51 was justly and legally tried for high treason, and it was doubtful by what favour he could be acquitted; for it was clearly proved that he had enchanted by forbidden arts a cap which he used to wear, and sent a friend of his with it to a prophetic shrine, to seek for omens as to whether the imperial power was destined to be firmly and safely his, as he desired. 8 At that time a twofold evil befell, in that an awful fate took off Theophilus who was innocent, and Serenianus, who was deserving of universal execration, got off scotfree, almost without any strong public protest.

9 Constantius, hearing of these events from time to time, and being informed of some things by Thalassius,52 who, as he had now learned, had died a natural death, wrote in flattering terms to Caesar, but gradually withdrew from him his means of defence. He pretended to be anxious, since soldiers are apt to be disorderly in times of inaction, lest they might conspire for Gallus' destruction, and bade him be satisfied with the palace troops only53 and those of the guards, besides the Targeteers and the Household troops. He further ordered Domitianus, a former state treasurer,54 and now prefect, that when he came into Syria, he should politely and respectfully urge Gallus, whom he had frequently p59summoned, to hasten to return to Italy. 10 But when Domitianus had quickened his pace because of these instructions and had come to Antioch, passing by the gates of the palace in contempt of the Caesar, on whom he ought to have called, he went to the general's quarters with the usual pomp, and having for a long time pleaded illness, he neither entered the palace nor appeared in public, but remaining in hiding he made many plots for Gallus' ruin, adding some superfluous details to the reports which from time to time he sent to the emperor. 11 At last, being invited to the palace and admitted to the council,55 without any preliminary remarks he said inconsiderately and coolly: "Depart, Caesar, and know that, if you delay, I shall at once order your supplies and those of your palace to be cut off." Having said only this in an insolent tone, he went off in a passion, and although often sent for, he never afterwards came into Gallus' presence. 12 Caesar, angered at this and feeling that such treatment was unjust and undeserved, ordered his faithful guards56 to arrest the prefect. When this became known, Montius, who was then quaestor,57 a spirited man but somewhat inclined to moderate measures, having in view the public welfare, sent for the foremost members of the palace troops and addressed them in mild terms, pointing out that such conduct was neither seemly nor expedient and adding in a tone of reproof that if they approved of this course, it would be fitting p61first to overthrow the statues of Constantius and then plan with less anxiety for taking the life of the prefect. 13 On learning this, Gallus, like a serpent attacked by darts or stones, waiting now for a last expedient and trying to save his life by any possible means, ordered all troops to be assembled under arms, and while they stood in amazement, he said, baring and gnashing his teeth, "Stand by me, my brave men, who are like myself in danger. 14 Montius with a kind of strange and unprecedented arrogance in this loud harangue of his accuses us of being rebels and as resisting the majesty of Augustus, no doubt in anger because I ordered an insolent prefect, who presumes to ignore what proper conduct requires, to be imprisoned, merely to frighten him." 15 With no further delay the soldiers, as often eager for disturbance, first attacked Montius, who lodged close by, an old man frail of body and ill besides, bound coarse ropes to his legs, and dragged him spread-eagle fashion without any breathing-space all the way to Caesar's headquarters. 16 And in the same access of rage they threw Domitianus down the steps, then bound him also with ropes, and tying the two together, dragged them at full speed through the broad streets of the city. And when finally their joints and limbs were torn asunder, leaping upon their dead bodies, they mutilated them in a horrible manner, and at last, as if glutted, threw them into the river. 17 Now these men, reckless to the point of madness, were roused to such atrocious deeds as they committed by a certain Luscus, curator of the city. He suddenly appeared and with repeated cries, like a bawling leader of porters, urged them to p63finish what they had begun. And for that not long afterwards he was burned alive.

18 And because Montius, when about to breathe his last in the hands of those who were rending him, cried out upon Epigonus and Eusebius, but without indicating their profession or rank, men of the same name were sought for with great diligence. And in order that the excitement might not cool, a philosopher Epigonus from Cilicia was arrested, and a Eusebius, surnamed Pittacas, a vehement orator, from Edessa, although it was not these that the quaestor had implicated, but some tribunes of forges,58 who had promised arms in case a revolution should be set on foot. 19 In those same days Apollinaris, son-in‑law of Domitianus, who a short time before had been in charge of Caesar's palace, being sent to Mesopotamia by his father-in‑law, inquired with excessive interest among the companies of soldiers whether they had received any secret messages from Gallus which indicated that he was aiming higher; but when he heard what had happened at Antioch, he slipped off through Lesser Armenia and made for Constantinople, but from there he was brought back by the guards and kept in close confinement.

20 Now, while these things were happening, attention was drawn at Tyre to a royal robe that had been made secretly, but it was uncertain who had ordered it or for whose use it was made. Consequently the governor of the province at that time, who was the father of Apollinaris and of the same name, was brought to trial as his accomplice; and many others p65were gathered together from various cities and were bowed down by the weight of charges of heinous crimes.

21 And now, when the clarions of internal disaster were sounding, the disordered mind of Caesar, turned from consideration of the truth, and not secretly as before, vented its rage; and since no one conducted the usual examination of the charges either made or invented, or distinguished the innocent from association with the guilty, all justice vanished from the courts as though driven out. And while the legitimate defence of cases was put to silence, the executioner (trustee of plunderings), hoodwinking for execution, and confiscation of property ranged everywhere through the eastern provinces. These I think it now a suitable time to review, excepting Mesopotamia, which has already been described in connection with the account of the Parthian wars,59 and Egypt, which we will necessarily postpone to another time.60

8 1 Description of the Eastern Provinces.

1 After one passes the summits of Mount Taurus, which on the east rise to a lofty height, Cilicia spreads out in widely extended plains, a land abounding in products of every kind; and adjoining its right side is Isauria, equally blest with fruitful vines and abundant grain, being divided in the middle by the navigable river Calycadnus. 2 This province too, in addition to many towns, is adorned by two cities; Seleucia, the work of king Seleucus, and Claudiopolis, p67which Claudius Caesar61 founded as a colony. For Isaura, which was formerly too powerful, was long ago overthrown as a dangerous rebel, and barely shows a few traces of its former glory. 3 Cilicia, however, which boasts of the river Cydnus, is ennobled by Tarsus, a fair city; this is said to have been founded by Perseus, son of Jupiter, and Danaë, or else by a wealthy and high-born man, Sandan by name, who came from Ethiopia. There is also Anazarbus, bearing the name of its founder, and Mobsuestia, the abode of that famous diviner Mobsus. He, wandering from his fellow-warriors the Argonauts when they were returning after carrying off the golden fleece, and being borne to the coast of Africa, met a sudden death. Thereafter his heroic remains, covered with Punic sod, have been for the most part effective in healing a variety of diseases. 4 These two provinces, crowded with bands of brigands, were long ago, during the war with the pirates, sent under the yoke by the proconsul Servilius62 and made to pay tribute. And these regions indeed, lying, as it were, upon a promontory, are separated from the eastern continent by Mount Amanus. 5 But the frontier of the East, extending a long distance in a straight line, reaches from the banks of the Euphrates to the borders of the Nile, being bounded on the left by the Saracenic races and on the right exposed to the waves of the sea. Of this district Nicator Seleucus took possession and greatly increased it in power, when by right of succession he was holding the rule of Persia after the death of Alexander of Macedon; and he was a successful and efficient p69king, as his surname Nicator indicates. 6 For by taking advantage of the great number of men whom he ruled for along time in peace, in place of their rustic dwellings he built cities of great strength and abundant wealth; and many of these, although they are now called by the Greek names which were imposed upon them by the will of their founder, nevertheless have not lost the old appellations in the Assyrian tongue which the original settlers gave them.

7 And first after Osdroene, which, as has been said, I have omitted from this account, Commagene, now called Euphratensis, gradually lifts itself into eminence;63 it is famous for the great cities of Hierapolis, the ancient Ninus, and Samosata.

8 Next Syria spreads for a distance over a beautiful plain. This is famed for Antioch, a city known to all the world, and without a rival, so rich is it in imported and domestic commodities; likewise for Laodicia, Apamia, and also Seleucia, most flourishing cities from their very origin.

9 After this come Phoenicia, lying at the foot of Mount Libanus,64 a region full of charm and beauty, adorned with many great cities; among these in attractiveness and the renown of their names Tyre, Sidon and Berytus are conspicuous, and equal to these are Emissa and Damascus, founded in days long past. 10 Now these provinces, encircled by the river Orontes, which, after flowing past the foot of that lofty mountain Cassius, empties into the Parthenian Sea,65 were taken from the realms of the p71Armenians by Gnaeus Pompeius, after his defeat of Tigranes,66 and brought under Roman sway.

11 The last region of the Syrias is Palestine, extending over a great extent of territory and abounding in cultivated and well-kept lands; it also has some splendid cities, none of which yields to any of the others, but they rival one another, as it were, by plumb-line.67 These are Caesarea, which Herodes68 built in honour of the emperor Octavianus,69 Eleutheropolis, and Neapolis, along with Ascalon and Gaza, built in a former age. 12 In these districts no navigable river is anywhere to be seen, but in numerous places natural warm springs gush forth, adapted to many medicinal uses. But these regions also met with a like fate, being formed into a province by Pompey, after he had defeated the Jews and taken Jerusalem,70 but left to the jurisdiction of a governor.

13 Adjacent to this region is Arabia, which on one side adjoins the country of the Nabataei, a land producing a rich variety of wares and studded with strong castles and fortresses, which the watchful care of the early inhabitants reared in suitable and readily defended defiles, to check the inroads of neighbouring tribes. This region also has, in addition to some towns, great cities, Bostra, Gerasa and Philadelphia, all strongly defended by mighty walls. It was given the name of a province, assigned a governor, and compelled to obey our laws by the emperor Trajan,71 who, by frequent victories crushed the arrogance of its inhabitants when he was waging glorious war with Media and the Parthians.

p73 14 Cyprus, too, an island far removed from the mainland, and abounding in harbours, besides having numerous towns, is made famous by two cities, Salamis and Paphos, the one celebrated for its shrines of Jupiter, the other for its temple of Venus. This Cyprus is so fertile and abounds in products of every kind, that without the need of any help from without, by its native resources alone it builds cargo ships from the very keel to the topmast sails, and equipping them completely entrusts them to the deep. 15 Nor am I loth to say that the Roman people in invading that island showed more greed than justice; for King Ptolemy,72 our ally joined to us by a treaty, without any fault of his, merely because of the low state of our treasury was ordered to be proscribed, and in consequence committed suicide by drinking poison; whereupon the island was made tributary and its spoils, as though those of an enemy, were taken aboard our fleet and brought to Rome by Cato.73 I shall now resume the thread of my narrative.

9 1 Of Constantius Gallus Caesar.

1 Amid this variety of disasters Ursicinus, to whose attendance the imperial command had attached me, was summoned from Nisibis, of which he was in charge, and was compelled, in spite of his reluctance and his opposition to the clamorous troops of flatterers, to investigate the accusations in the deadly strife. He was in fact a warrior, having always been a soldier and a leader of soldiers, but far removed from the wranglings of the forum; p75accordingly, worried by fear of the danger which threatened him, seeing the corrupt accusers and judges with whom he was associated all coming forth from the same holes, he informed Constantius by secret letters of what was going on furtively or openly, and begged for aid, that through fear of it the well-known arrogance of the Caesar might subside. 2 But by too great caution he had fallen into worse snares, as we shall show later, since his rivals patched up dangerous plots with Constantius, who was in other respects a moderate emperor, but cruel and implacable if anyone, however obscure, had whispered in his ear anything of that kind, and in cases of that nature unlike himself.

3 Accordingly, on the day set for the fatal examinations the master of the horse took his seat, ostensibly as a judge, attended by others who had been told in advance what was to be done; and here and there shorthand writers were stationed who reported every question and every answer posthaste to Caesar; and by his cruel orders, instigated by the queen, who from time to time poked her face through a curtain, many were done to death without being allowed to clear themselves of the charges or to make any defence. 4 First of all, then, Epigonus and Eusebius were brought before them and ruined by the affinity of their names; for Montius, as I have said,74 at the very end of his life had accused certain tribunes of forges called by those names of having promised support to some imminent enterprise. 5 And Epigonus, for his part, was a philosopher only in his attire, as became evident; for when he had tried entreaties to no purpose, when his sides had been p77furrowed and he was threatened with death, by a shameful confession he declared that he was implicated in plans which never existed, whereas he had neither seen nor heard anything; he was wholly unacquainted with legal matters. Eusebius on the contrary, courageously denied the charges, and although he was put upon the rack, he remained firm in the same degree of constancy, crying out that it was the act of brigands and not of a court of justice. 6 And when, being acquainted with the law, he persistently called for his accuser and the usual formalities, Caesar, being informed of his demand and regarding his freedom of speech as arrogance, ordered that he be tortured as a reckless traducer. And when he had been so disembowelled that he had no parts left to torture, calling on Heaven for justice and smiling sardonically, he remained unshaken, with stout heart, neither deigning to according to himself nor anyone else; and at last, without having admitted his guilt or been convicted, he was condemned to death along with his abject associate. And he was led off to execution unafraid, railing at the wickedness of the time and imitating the ancient stoic Zeno, who, after being tortured for a long time, to induce him to give false witness, tore his tongue from its roots and hurled it with its blood and spittle into the eyes of the king of Cyprus, who was putting him to the question.

7 After this, the matter of the royal robe was investigated, and when those who were employed in dyeing purple were tortured and had confessed to making a short tunic to cover the chest, a man named Maras was brought in, a deacon, as p79the Christians call them. A letter of his was presented, written in Greek to the foreman of a weaving plant in Tyre, strongly urging him to speed up a piece of work; but what it was the letter did not say. But although finally Maras also was tortured within an inch of his life, he could not be forced to make any confession. 8 So when many men of various conditions had been put to the question, some things were found to be doubtful and others were obviously unimportant. And after many had been put to death, the two Apollinares, father and son, were exiled; but when they had come to a place called Craterae, namely, a villa of theirs distant twenty-four miles from Antioch, their legs were broken, according to orders, and they were killed. 9 After their death Gallus, no whit less ferocious than before, like a lion that had tasted blood, tried many cases of the kind; but of all these it is not worth while to give an account, for fear that I may exceed the limits which I have set myself, a thing which I certainly ought to avoid.

10 1 The Alamanni sue for peace, which is granted by Constantius Augustus.

1 While the East was enduring this long tyranny, as soon as the warm season began, Constantius, being in his seventh consulship with Gallus in his second,75 set out from Arelate for Valentia, to make war upon the brothers Gundomadus and Valomarius, kings of the Alamanni, whose frequent raids were devastating that part of Gaul which adjoined their frontiers. 2 And while he delayed there for a long time, p81waiting for supplies, the transport of which from Aquitania was hindered by spring rains of unusual frequency and by rivers in flood, Herculanus came there, one of his body-guard, the son of Hermogenes, formerly commander of the cavalry and, as we have before related,76 torn to pieces in a riot of the people at Constantinople. When this man gave a true account of what Gallus and his wife had done, the emperor, grieving over the past disasters and made anxious by fear of those to come, concealed the distress that he felt as long as he could. 3 The soldiers, however, who in the meantime had been assembled at Châlon,77 began to rage with impatience at the delay, being the more incensed because they lacked even the necessities of life, since the usual supplies had not yet been brought. 4 Therefore Rufinus, who was at that time praetorian prefect,78 was exposed to extreme danger; for he was forced to go in person before the troops, who were aroused both by the scarcity and by their natural savage temper, and besides were naturally inclined to be harsh and bitter towards men in civil positions,79 in order to pacify them and explain why the convoy of provisions was interrupted. 5 This was a shrewd plan, cunningly devised with set purpose, in order that by a plot of that kind the uncle of Gallus80 might perish, for fear that so very powerful a man might whet the boldness of his nephew and encourage his dangerous designs. But great precautions were taken, and when the design was postponed, Eusebius, the grand chamberlain,81 p83was sent to Châlon taking gold with him; when this had been secretly distributed among the turbulent inciters of rebellion, the rage of the soldiers abated and the safety of the prefect was assured. Then an abundant supply of food arrived and the camp was moved on the appointed day. 6 And so, after surmounting many difficulties, over paths many of which were heaped high with snow, they came near to Rauracum82 on the banks of the river Rhine. There a great force of the Alamanni opposed them, and hurling weapons from all sides like hail, by their superior numbers prevented the Romans from making a bridge by joining boats together. And when that was obviously impossible, the emperor was consumed with anxious thought and in doubt what course to take. 7 But lo! a guide acquainted with the region unexpectedly appeared, and, in return for money, pointed out by night a place abounding in shallows, where the river could be crossed. And there army might have been led over, while enemy's attention was turned elsewhere, had not a few men of that same race, who held military positions of high rank, informed their countrymen of the design by secret messengers, as some thought. 8 Now the shame of that suspicion fell upon Latinus, count in command of the bodyguard,83 Agilo, tribune84 in charge of the stable, and Scudilo, commander of the targeteers,85 who were then highly regarded as having in their hands the defence of the state.86 9 But the savages, taking such counsel as the immediate circumstances demanded, since the obstinacy which inspired a bold resistance was p85diminished perhaps because the auspices were unfavourable or because the authority of the sacrifices forbade an engagement, sent their chiefs to sue for peace and pardon for their offences. 10 Therefore the envoys of both kings were detained and the matter was discussed for a long time in secret; and since there was general agreement in the opinion that peace which was asked for on reasonable conditions ought to be granted, and that it would be expedient to do so under the present circumstances, the emperor summoned an assembly of the army, intending to say a few words appropriate to the occasion; and taking his place upon a tribunal, surrounded by a staff of high officials, he spoke after this fashion:

11 "Let no one, I pray, be surprised, if after going through the toil of long marches and getting together great quantities of supplies, I now, when approaching the abode of the savages, with my confidence in you leading the way, as if by a sudden change of plan have turned to milder designs. 12 For each one of you, according to his rank and judgment, upon consideration will find it to be true, that the soldier in all instances, however strong and vigorous of body, regards and defends only himself and his own life. The commander, on the other hand, has manifold duties, since he aims at fairness to all; and being the guardian of others' safety, he realises that the interests of the people look to him wholly for protection and that therefore he ought eagerly to seize upon all remedies which the condition of affairs allows, as though offered to him by the favour of Heaven. 13 To put the matter, then, in a few words, and to explain why I have wished you all to be present p87here together, my loyal fellow-soldiers, receive with favourable ears what I shall briefly set forth; for perfect87 truth is always simple. 14 The kings and peoples of the Alamanni, in dread of the rising progress of your glory, which fame, growing greatly, has spread abroad even among the dwellers in far off lands, through the envoys whom you see with bowed heads ask for peace and indulgence for past offences. This I, being cautious, prudent, and an advisor of what is expedient, think ought to be granted to them (if I have your consent), for many reasons. First, to avoid the doubtful issue of war; then, that we may gain friends in place of enemies, as they promise; again, that without bloodshed we may tame their haughty fierceness, which is often destructive to the provinces; finally, bearing in mind this thought, that not only is the enemy vanquished who falls in battle, borne down by weight of arms and strength, but much more safely he who, while the trumpet is silent, of his own accord passes under the yoke and learns by experience that Romans lack neither courage against rebels nor mildness towards suppliants. 15 In short, I await your decision as arbiters, as it were, being myself convinced as a peace-loving prince, that it is best temperately to show moderation while prosperity is with us. For, believe me, such righteous conduct will be attributed, not to lack of spirit, but to discretion and humanity."

16 No sooner had he finished speaking than the p89whole throng, fully in agreement with the emperor's wish, praised his purpose and unanimously voted for peace. They were influenced especially by the conviction, which they had formed from frequent campaigns, that his fortune watched over him only in civil troubles, but that when foreign wars were undertaken, they had often ended disastrously. After this a treaty was struck in accordance with the rites of the Alamanni, and when the ceremony had been concluded, the emperor withdrew to Mediolanum for his winter quarters.

11 Constantius Gallus Caesar is summoned by Constantius Augustus and executed.

1 There having laid aside the burden of other cares, Constantius began to consider, as his most difficult knot and stumbling-block, how to uproot the Caesar by a mighty effort. And as he deliberated with his closest friends, in secret conference and by night, by what force or by what devices that might be done before the Caesar's assurance should be more obstinately set upon throwing everything into disorder, it seemed best that Gallus should be summoned by courteous letters, under pretence of very urgent public business, to the end that, being deprived of support, he might be put to death without hindrance. 2 But this view was opposed by the groups of fickle flatterers, among whom was Arbitio, a man keen and eager in plotting treachery, and Eusebius, at that time grand chamberlain,88 who was sufficiently inclined to mischief, and it occurred to them to say that, if Caesar left the East, it would be dangerous to leave Ursicinus there, since he would p91be likely to think of a loftier station, if there were no one to restrain him. 3 And this faction was supported by the other royal eunuchs, whose love of gain at that time was growing beyond mortal limits. These, while performing duties of an intimate nature, by secret whispers supplied fuel for false accusations. They overwhelmed that most gallant man with the weight of a grave suspicion, muttering that his sons, who were now grown up, were beginning to have imperial hopes, being popular because of their youth and their handsome persons and through their knowledge of many kinds of weapons, and bodily activity gained amidst daily army exercises, besides being known to be of sound judgment; that Gallus, while naturally savage, had been incited to deeds of cruelty by persons attached to his person, to the end that, when he had incurred the merited detestation of all classes, the emblems of empire might be transferred to the children of the master of the horse.

4 When these and similar charges were dinned into the emperor's anxious ears, which were always attentive and open to such gossip, the turmoil of his mind suggesting many plans, he at last chose the following as the best. First, in the most complimentary terms he directed Ursicinus to come to him, under pretence that, because of the urgent condition of affairs at the time, they might consult together and decide what increase of forces was necessary in order to crush the attacks of the Parthian tribes, which were threatening war. 5 And that Ursicinus might not suspect any unfriendly action, in case he should come, Count Prosper was sent to be his substitute until his return. So, when the letter was p93received and abundant transportation facilities were furnished, we89 hastened at full speed to Mediolanum.

6 After this the next thing was to summon Caesar and induce him to make equal haste, and in order to remove suspicion, Constantius with many feigned endearments urged his sister, the Caesar's wife, at last to satisfy his longing and visit him. And although she hesitated, through fear of her brother's habitual cruelty, yet she set forth, hoping that, since he was her own brother, she might be able to pacify him. But after she had entered Bithynia, at the station called Caeni Gallicani, she was carried off by a sudden attack of fever. After her death the Caesar, considering that the support on which he thought he could rely had failed him, hesitated in anxious deliberation what to do. 7 For in the midst of his embarrassments and troubles his anxious mind dwelt on this one thought, that Constantius, who measured everything by the standard of his own opinion, was not one to accept any excuse or pardon mistakes; but, being especially inclined to the ruin of his kin, would secretly set a snare for him and punish him with death, if he caught him off his guard. 8 But in such a critical situation and anticipating the worst if he were not on the watch, he secretly aimed at the highest rank, if any chance should offer; but for a twofold reason he feared treachery on the part of those nearest to his person, both because they stood in dread of him as cruel and untrustworthy, and because they feared the fortune of Constantius which in civil discords usually had the upper hand.90 9 Amid this huge mass of anxieties he received constant letters from p95the emperor, admonishing and begging him to come to him and covertly hinting that the commonwealth could not be divided and ought not to be, but that each ought to the extent of his powers to lend it aid when it was tottering, doubtless referring to the devastation of Gaul. 10 To this he added an example of not so very great antiquity, that Diocletian and his colleague91 were obeyed by their Caesars as by attendants, who did not remain in one place but hastened about hither and thither, and that in Syria Galerius, clad in purple, walked for nearly a mile before the chariot of his Augustus92 when the latter was angry with him.

11 After many other messengers came Scudilo, tribune of the targeteers, a skilled artist in persuasion, under the cloak of a somewhat rough nature. He alone of all, by means of flattering words mingled with false oaths, succeeded in persuading Gallus to set out, constantly repeating with hypocritical expression that his cousin would ardently wish to see him, that being a mild and merciful prince he would overlap anything that was done through inadvertence; that he would make him a sharer in his rank, to be a partner also in the labours which the northern provinces, for a long time wearied, demanded. 12 And since, when the fates lay hands upon men, their senses are apt to be dulled and blunted, Gallus was roused by these blandishments to the hope of a better destiny, and leaving Antioch under the lead of an unpropitious power, he proceeded to go straight from the smoke into the fire, as the old proverb has p97it; and entering Constantinople as if in the height of prosperity and security, he exhibited horse-races and crowned Thorax the charioteer as victor.

13 On learning this Constantius was outraged beyond all human bounds, and lest by any chance Gallus should become uncertain as to the future and should try in the course of his journey to take measures for his own safety, all the soldiers in the towns through which he would pass were purposely removed. 14 And at that time Taurus, who had been sent to Armenia as quaestor, boldly passed that way without addressing him or going to see him. Others, however, visited him by the emperor's orders, under pretext of various matters of business, but really to take care that he should not be able to make any move or indulge in any secret enterprise; among these was Leontius, then quaestor and later prefect of the city, Lucillianus, as count commander of the household troops, and a tribune of the targeteers called Bainobaudes. 15 Thus, after covering long distances over level country, he had entered Hadrianopolis, a city in the region of Mt. Haemus, formerly called Uscudama, and for twelve days was recovering his strength, exhausted by his exertions. There he learned that certain Theban legions that were passing the winter in near-by towns had sent some of their comrades to encourage him by faithful and sure promises to remain there, since they were full of confidence in their strength and were posted in large numbers in neighbouring encampments; but owing to the watchful care of those about him, he could not steal an opportunity of seeing them or hearing the message that they brought. 16 Then, as p99letter followed letter, urging him to leave, making use of ten public vehicles, as was directed, and leaving behind all his attendants with the exception of a few whom he had brought with him to serve in his bedroom and at his table, he was driven to make haste, being without proper care of his person and urged on by many, railing from time to time at the rashness which had reduced him, now mean and abject, to submit to the will of the lowest of mankind. 17 Yet all this time, whenever nature allowed him sleep, his senses were wounded by frightful spectres that shrieked about him, and throng of those whom he had slain, led by Domitianus and Montius, would seize him and fling him to the claws of the Furies, as he imagined in his dreams. 18 For the mind, when freed from the bonds of the body, being always filled with tireless movement, from the underlying thoughts and worries which torment the minds of mortals, conjures up the nocturnal visions to which we93 give the name of phantasies.

19 And thus with the way opened by the sad decree of fate, by which it was ordained that he should be stripped of life and rank, he hurried by the most direct way and with relays of horses and came to Petobio, a town of Noricum. There all the secret plots were revealed and Count Barbatio suddenly made his appearance — he had commanded the household troops under Gallus — accompanied by Apodemius, of the secret service,94 and at the head of soldiers whom Constantius had chosen because they were under obligation to him for favours and could p101not, he felt sure, be influenced by bribes or any feeling of pity.

20 And now the affair was being carried on with no disguised intrigue, but where the palace stood without the walls Barbatio surrounded with armed men. And entering when the light was now dim and removing the Caesar's royal robes, he put upon him a tunic and an ordinary soldier's cloak, assuring him with frequent oaths, as if by the emperor's command, that he would suffer no further harm. Then he said to him: "Get up at once," and having unexpectedly placed him in a private carriage, he took him to Histria, near the town of Pola, where in former times, as we are informed, Constantine's son Crispus was killed. 21 And while he was kept there in closest confinement, already as good as buried by fear of his approaching end, there hastened to him Eusebius, at that time grand chamberlain, Pentadius, the secretary, and Mallobaudes, tribune of the guard,95 to compel him by order of the emperor to inform them, case by case, why he had ordered the execution of all those whom he had put to death at Antioch. 22 At this, o'erspread with the pallor of Adrastus,96 he was able to say only that he had slain most of them at the instigation of his wife Constantina,97 assuredly not knowing that when the mother of Alexander the Great urged her son to put an innocent man to death and said again and again, in the hope of later gaining what she desired, that she had carried him for nine months in her womb, the king made this wise answer: "Ask some other reward, dear mother, for a man's life is not to be weighed against any favour." 23 On hearing this the emperor, smitten with p103implacable anger and resentment, rested all his hopes of securing his safety on destroying Gallus; and sending Serenianus, who, as I have before shown, had been charged with high treason and acquitted by some jugglery or other, and with him Pentadius the secretary and Apodemius of the secret service, he condemned him to capital punishment. Accordingly his hands were bound, after the fashion of some guilty robber, and he was beheaded. Then his face and head were mutilated, and the man who a little while before had been a terror to cities and provinces was left a disfigured corpse. 24 But the justice of the heavenly power was everywhere watchful; for not only did his cruel deeds prove the ruin of Gallus, but not long afterwards a painful death overtook both of those whose false blandishments and perjuries led him, guilty though he was, into the snares of destruction. Of these Scudilo, because of an abscess of the liver,98 vomited up his lungs and so died; Barbatio, who for a long time had invented false accusations against Gallus, charged by the whispers of certain men of aiming higher than the mastership of the infantry, was found guilty and by an unwept end made atonement to the shades of the Caesar, whom he had treacherously done to death.

25 These and innumerable other instances of the kind are sometimes (and would that it were always so!) the work of Adrastia,99 the chastiser of evil deeds and the rewarder of good actions, whom we also call by the second name of Nemesis. She is, as it were, the sublime jurisdiction of an efficient divine power, p105dwelling, as men think, above the orbit of the moon; or as others define her, an actual guardian presiding with universal sway over the destinies of individual men. The ancient theologians, regarding her as the daughter of Justice, say that from an unknown eternity she looks down upon all the creatures of earth. 26 She, as queen of causes and arbiter and judge100 of events, controls the urn with its lots and causes the changes of fortune,101 and sometimes she gives our plans a different result than that at which we aimed, changing and confounding many actions. She too, binding the vainly swelling pride of mortals with the indissoluble bond of fate, and tilting changeably, as she knows how to do, the balance of gain and loss, now bends and weakens the uplifted necks of the proud, and now, raising the good from the lowest estate, lifts them to a happy life. Moreover, the storied past has given her wings in order that she might be thought to come to all with swift speed; and it has given her a helm to hold and has put a wheel beneath her feet, in order that none may fail to know that she runs through all the elements and rules the universe.102

27 By this untimely death, although himself weary of his existence, the Caesar passed from life in the twenty-ninth year of his age, after a rule of four years. He was born in Etruria at Massa in the district of Vetulonia,b being the son of Constantius, the brother of the emperor Constantine, and Galla, the sister of Rufinus and Cerealis, who were distinguished by the p107vesture103 of consul and prefect. 28 He was conspicuous for his handsome person, being well proportioned, with well-knit limbs. He had soft golden hair, and although his beard was just appearing in the form of tender down, yet he was conspicuous for the dignity of greater maturity. But he differed as much from the disciplined character of his brother Julian as did Domitian, son of Vespasian, from his brother Titus. 29 Raised to the highest rank in Fortune's gift, he experienced her fickle changes, which make sport of mortals, now lifting some to the stars, now plunging them in the depths of Cocytus. But although instances of this are innumerable, I shall make cursory mention of only a few. 30 It was this mutable and fickle Fortune that changed the Sicilian Agathocles from a potter to a king, and Dionysius, once the terror of nations, to the head of an elementary school, at Corinth. 31 She it was that raised Andriscus104 of Adramyttium, who was born in a fullery, to the title of the Pseudo-Philip, and taught the legitimate son of Perseus the blacksmith's trade as a means of livelihood.105 32 She, too, delivered Mancinus, after his supreme command, to the Numantians, Veturius to the cruelty of the Samnites, and Claudius to the Corsicans, and she subjected Regulus to the savagery of the Carthaginians. Through her injustice Pompey, after he had gained the surname Great by his p109glorious deeds, was butchered in Egypt to give the eunuchs pleasure. 33 Eunus, too, a workhouse slave, commanded an army of runaways in Sicily. How many Romans of illustrious birth at the nod of that same arbiter of events embraced the knees of a Viriathus106 or a Spartacus!107 How many heads dreaded by all nations has the fatal executioner lopped off! One is led to prison, another is elevated to unlooked-for power, a third is cast down from the highest pinnacle of rank. 34 But if anyone should desire to know all these instances, varied and constantly occurring as they are, he will be mad enough to think of searching out the number of the sands and the weight of the mountains.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 These summaries, which are not the work of Ammianus but of some early editor, are put for convenience at the beginning of each chapter. Usually the summaries of each book are put all together at the beginning of that book or (e.g. by Eyssenhardt) the summaries of all the books are collected at the end of the entire text.

2 Flavius Claudius (Julius) Constantius Gallus, nephew of Constantine the Great and half-brother of Julian. He was made Caesar by Constantius II in 351.

3 Against Magnentius, who in 350 had assumed the rank of an Augustus in the west, with Veteranio; but was defeated, in 351, by Constantius at Mursa, on the river Drave, a tributary of the Danube and in the passes of the Cottian Alps in 353. His followers then abandoned him and he committed suicide. See Index.

4 The title of Augustus was lawfully held only by the reigning emperor, or emperors. Caesar was the title next in rank and was conferred by the emperor on one or more of the imperial family; see Introd. p. xxiv.

5 He was married to Constantia, daughter of Constantine the Great and Fausta, wrongly called Constantina, XIV.7.4, etc.

6 Constantine had given him the rule of Pontus, Armenia Minor, and Cappadocia, but Constantius II, soon after his accession, had caused his assassination.

7 One of the Furies.

8 Comites originally were companions of an official on his travels, as Catullus accompanied Memmius to Bithynia; cf. Horace, Epist. I.8.2, etc. They gradually became his advisers, and later they were appointed to various duties as his deputies. They differed in rank; the Comes Orientis was of the second grade (spectabilis), see Introd., p. xviii.

9 Amphiaraüs was a famous seer of the heroic age, who took part in the hunt of the Calydonian boar, the expedition of the Argonauts, and unwillingly, because he saw the outcome, in the war of the Seven against Thebes, in which he lost his life. The prophecies of Marcius, or as some say, of two brothers of that name, were discovered in 213 B.C. According to Livy, XXV.12.5, they foretold the defeat at Cannae. Cf. also Pausanias, I.34.4 ff. and II.13.7. At a later time these prophetic writings were preserved on the Capitol at Rome with the Sibylline books.

10 Her name is unknown; she was perhaps the diva Paulina whose name appears on a silver coin of the period.

11 That is, Antioch. The brilliant lighting of the city is mentioned also by Libanius and Hieronymus.

12 This office was originally a military one, but the praefectus praetorio under Constantine became the highest civil servant of the emperor. On praesens, see Introd. p. xxxiii. In this case the court of Gallus is referred to, and there would also be a praefectus praetorio praesens at the court of Constantius.

13 A people dwelling in the mountains of Pisidia in southern Asia Minor.

14 Pro Cluentio, 25.67.

15 A notorious robber slain by Theseus; he haunted the cliffs between Attica and Megara. He not only robbed travellers who came that way, but forced them to wash his feet, and while they were obeying kicked them off into the sea.

Thayer's Note: The story is found in Plutarch (Life of Theseus, 10); as often in that writer, with alternate information.

16 See Introd., pp. xxxiv f.

17 See Introd., pp. xxviii f.

18 Sapor, see Index.

19 In one of the lost books.

20 This dates his reign from A.D. 323, when he and his brothers Constantine and Crispus were appointed Caesars by Constantine the Great. He became an Augustus with Constantine II and Constans in 337, and reigned alone, after the death of Magnentius, from 353 to 361. The actual date seems to have been November 8th, 323; see Dessau, Inscr.º Lat. 708, note 2, and cf. De Jonge, p124, citing Seeck.

21 See note, p3º and Index.

22 Over Magnentius. See note, p3.

23 The honorati were former civil officials; cf. XXIX.1.9, abunde honoratum; Asiam quippe rexerat pro praefectis.

24 That is, a tablet on which the charge and the punishment were recorded. This was sometimes handed to the emperor by a judge, cf. Suet. Calig. 27.1, sometimes issued by the emperor himself; see Amm. XIV.7.2; XIX.12.9.

25 See Introd., p. xxx.

26 Here Ammianus, writing his History at Rome, classes himself as a Roman; see note on 6.12, below, and Introd., p. xiv.

27 The same figure is used by Florus, Introd. 4 ff. (L. C. L., pp6 ff.).

28 The thirty-five tribes into which the Roman citizens were divided.

29 The comitia centuriata.

30 The passage does not occur in the surviving fragments. Plutarch, Demosthenes, 1, attributes the same saying to Euripides, "or whoever it was."

31 See Livy, XL.34.5.

32 At Thermopylae in 191 B.C.

33 Hesiod, Works and Days, 289 ff.

τῆς δ᾽ ἀρετῆς ἱδρῶτα θεοὶ προπάροιθεν ἔθηκαν

Ἀθάνατοι· μακρὸς δὲ καὶ ὄρθιος οἶμος ἐπ᾽ αὐτὴν,

καὶ τρηχὺς τὸ πρῶτον· ἐπὴν δ᾽ εἰς ἄκρον ἵκηται,

Ῥηιδίη δὴ ἔπειτα πέλει, χαλεπή περ᾽ ἐοῦσα.

34 Probably to display their rings; cf. Plin. N. H. XXXIII.9, manus et prorsus sinistrae maximam auctoritatem conciliavere auro.

35 In 503 B.C.; see Livy, II.16.7.

36 Valerius Maximus, IV.4.6, says that it was the senate that came to their aid.

37 Cn. Cornelius Scipio, who wrote from Spain in the second Punic war, asking to be recalled, that he might provide a dowry for his daughter; see Valerius Maximus, IV.4.10.

38 Ensslin, p7 (see Bibliography), refers this to Ammianus; cf. note on 6.2, above.

39 For bene nummatum, cf. Horace, Epist. I.6.38.

40 Referring to a plebeian (cf. XXVIII.4.29), a partisan of one of the colours. Cf. also Suet. Calig. 55.3.

41 Terence, Eun., 780, solus Sannio servat domi.

42 This happened in 383; see Introd., p. xiii.

43 I.e. dancing on the mosaic pavements of great houses.

44 Odyssey, IX.84 ff.

45 Originally, the line within the city wall, marking the limit within which the auspices could be taken; the term pomerium was soon transferred to the strip of land between this line and the actual city wall. Here it means merely the wall of the city.

Thayer's Note: This is an approximation, a great simplification of a subject which in every particular, carefully examined, dissolves into uncertainty. Those interested in the details should start with the article Pomoerium in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, then follow the links to Platner, George Dennis, and the various journal articles.

46 This "legacy hunting," by paying court to childless men and women, is satirized by Horace (Sat. II.5). The "art" was in vogue as early as Plautus' time (see Miles, 705 ff.) but became a "profession" at the end of the Republic (cf. Cic., Paradoxa, V.39) and under the Empire, followed even by some of the emperors (see Suet., Calig. 38.2; Nero, 32.2).

Thayer's Note: One of the oldest of professions, and still "in vogue" today; when I was a young teenager in Tangier, Morocco, there was a notorious horde of "visitors" hanging on poor Barbara Hutton, the heiress to the Woolworth fortune — friendless, frequently drunk, living alone (except for servants) in a house by the golf course — for whatever fur coats or jewels she might cast off.

47 In Umbria. On aurum see Pliny, Epist. X.116.

Thayer's Note: Why this town, the modern Spoleto, occurred to Ammian is the interesting question. Without being able to pinpoint it satisfactorily, I suspect it has to do with its location on the Via Flaminia, where it was the last town of any importance — let's put it this way, the last place where an amphitheatre has been found — on that road before the hundred-mile mark from Rome, which in some senses, (the jurisdiction of the city prefect, Dio, LII.21.2; the beginning of a zone to which one might be restricted or banished, XLVI.44.4; LV.26; the beginning of Italy as opposed to Rome, LV.22.1) was the extended boundary of the City; either that, or Ammian is alluding to something, and we're missing an interesting story.

48 See Index, and Val. Max. II.4.6. Q. Catulus primus spectantium consessum velorum umbraculis texit.

49 The great Syrian city; see Index.

50 See Introd., pp. xxviii f.º

51 In a lost book.

52 See ch. i.10, above.

53 The Scholae Palatinae were the divisions of the household or court troops, a corps of 3500 men; protectores, domestici, gentiles, scutarii and armaturae. The protectores, guards, were a body of troops with the rank of officers, also called domestici. The scutarii (targeteers) took their name from their equipment. The gentiles were a cavalry troop enlisted from foreigners Scythians, Goths, Franks, Germans, etc.

54 See Introd., p. xl.

55 I.e. the local consistorium of Gallus.

56 See note, p56.

57 Corresponding in the court of Gallus to the quaestor sacri palatii of the emperor.

58 I.e. in charge of workshops for making arms. Fabrica is applied to Vulcan's forge in Cic., De Nat. Deo. III.22.55.

59 In a lost book.

60 See XXII.15‑16.

61 The Emperor Claudius, A.D. 41‑54.

62 P. Servilius Isauricus, in 74 B.C.

63 Above the surrounding country.

64 Lebanon.

65 Near the Gulf of Issos, in south-eastern Cilicia.

66 In 64 B.C.

67 I.e. exactly.

68 Herod the Great.

69 Augustus.

70 In 63 B.C.

71 In A.D. 105.

72 Brother of Ptolemy Auletes, King of Egypt from 80 B.C.

73 Cato Uticensis in 58 B.C.

74 See 7.18, with note.

75 It was Gallus' third Consulship: Valesius proposed to read tertium or ter.

76 In a lost book.

77 Châlon-sur‑Saône.

78 That is, praetorian prefect in Gaul.

79 Praefectus praetorio at this time was a civil, not a military, official.

80 Rufinus was his mother's brother.

81 In charge of the imperial household. At this time a very important official; see Introd. pp. xxxv f.

82 Augusta Rauricorum, modern Augst.

83 See Introd. p. xlii, and note 3, p56.

84 See Introd. p. xliii f.

85 See note 3, p56.

86 Cf.  Val. Max. II.8.5, humeris suis salutem patriae gestantes (of Scipio and Marcellus).

87 Cf. Cic., De Fin., V.14.38, ex qua virtus est, quae rationis absolutio definitur, "virtue which is defined as the perfection of reason" (L. C. L. p437).

88 See Ch. 10.5, and note 6.

89 Ammianus was attached to the suite of Ursicinus; see ch. 9.1.

90 Cf. ch. 10.16, above.

91 Maximianus.

92 Diocletian.

93 I.e. we Greeks.

94 The agentes in rebus constituted the imperial secret service under the direction of the magister officiorum. These were the original frumentarii, who at first had charge of the grain supply of the troops, but towards the beginning of the second century A.D. became secret police agents. It was Diocletian who changed the name frumentarii to agentes in rebus.

95 See note 3, p56.

96 Proverbial; cf. Virgil, Aen. VI.480, Adrasti pallentis imago. Adrastus turned pale at the death of his sons-in‑law Tydeus and Polynices (when the seven champions attacked Thebes), and never recovered his colour.

97 See note 1, p4.

98 Augustus was cured of this disease by Antonius Musa Suet., Aug. 81.1).

99 See Index.

100 Cf. Cic., Acad. II.28.91, veri et falsi quasi disceptatricem et iudicem.

101 Cf. Ovid, Metam. XV.409, alternare vices.

102 With this description cf. that of Fortune in Pacuvius, inc. xiv., Ribbeck (p144), and Horace, OdesI.34.

103 The trabea was a toga, or robe, in white, ornamented with horizontal stripes of purple. It was worn by the knights on public occasions and by the early kings and consuls. In the classical period it was, in that form, the distinctive garb of the equites (see Tac., Ann. III.2; Val. Max., II.2.9), but it varied in its colour and its use at different periods. One form, wholly of purple, was worn by the kings and later emperors; another, of purple and saffron, by the augurs.

104 From Andriscus and other names in 31‑33, see Index.

105 Cf. Plutarch, Aem. 37.

106 Flor., I.33.15 ff.

107 Flor., II.8.3 ff.


Thayer's Notes:

a Americans of a certain age may think of this as the upper balcony in a movie theater; we've gone way past that now.

b The Loeb edition here reads "Veternum", translating the supposed Veternensi of the Latin. I find no independent trace of such a place anywhere, and I would emend the Latin to Vetulonensi or Vetuloniensi. The emendation does not appear to have been suggested by the scholars referred to Clark's edition, or at least is not to be found in his apparatus criticus, but I'm not the first to think of it: see George Dennis's commentary on place and the passage, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, Ch. 42, p218 with his note. As it turns out, Dennis appears to have been mistaken as to the site of Vetulonia, but he is right that (a) it is very nearby, yet (b) it is not Massa itself; current scholarly consensus places it at a tiny hamlet, rich in Etruscan tombs and even possessed of what has been identified as an arx: see my pages on the place.


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