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Book XXVI

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Roman History

of
Ammianus Marcellinus

published in Vol. III
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1939

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 XXVIII

(Vol. III) Ammianus Marcellinus
Roman Antiquities

p3 Book XXVII

1 1 The Alamanni route the Romans in battle and kill the generals Charietto and Severianus.

1 While throughout the Orient the changing course of events was developing as we have narrated, the Alamanni, after the sad losses and wounds which they had suffered from their frequent battles with Julianus Caesar, having at last renewed their strength (which yet did not equal its old vigour), and being an object of dread for the reasons which we have mentioned above,1 were already overleaping the frontiers of Gaul. And immediately after the first of January, while throughout those ice-bound regions the grim season of winter bristled, they hurried forth in divisions,2 and, without restraint a host was ranging everywhere. 2 Charietto,3 who was then commanding general throughout both Germanies, along with soldiers eager for war, set out to meet their first division, taking as a partner in the campaign Severianus, who was also a general, an aged and feeble man, who at Cabillona4 commanded the p5Divitenses and Tungricani.5 3 Accordingly, when the force had been more closely united in one, and with the speed of haste they had built a bridge over a small stream, the Romans, on seeing the savages at a distance, assailed them with arrows and other light missiles, which the enemy vigorously returned throw for throw. 4 But when the forces came to close quarters and fought with drawn swords, our men's lines were broken by the foe's fiercer onset, and found no means either of resisting or of acting bravely. And when they sawº Severianus, who had been thrown from his horse and pierced through by a missile, they were all terrified and put to flight. 5 Lastly Charietto himself, by boldly opposing his body and by reproachful words, held back his retreating men, and by confidence caused by his long stand, tried to wipe out shame and disgrace; but fell pierced by a fatal shaft. 6 After his death the standard of the Eruli and Batavians was taken, which the barbarians with insulting cries and dancing with joy frequently raised on high and displayed, until after hard struggles it was recovered.

2 1 Jovinus, commander of the cavalry in Gaul, unexpectedly attacks two companies of the Alamanni and cuts them to pieces. He vanquishes a third part of the savages in a battle at Châlons-sur‑Marne, where 6000 of the enemy were killed and 4000 wounded.

1 The news of this disaster was received with extreme grief, and Dagalaifus was sent from Paris to p7make good the defeat; but since he delayed for a long time under pretext that it was impossible for him to attack the barbarians while they were scattered over various places, he was recalled a little later in order to receive the consular insignia with Gratianus,6 who was still a private citizen. Then Jovinus, commander of the cavalry, was appointed to the task, and after being most thoroughly equipped and prepared, carefully guarding both wings of his army, he arrived near a place called Scarponna;7 there he suddenly fell upon a great throng of the savages, took them by surprise before they could arm themselves, and in a short time utterly annihilated them. 2 Then he led on his soldiers, rejoicing in the glory of this bloodless victory, to destroy the second division of the enemy; and the glorious leader was advancing slowly, when he learned from a trustworthy scouting party, that after plundering the neighbouring farmhouses a predatory band was resting near the river.8 On coming nearer, and being hidden in a valley concealed by a thick growth of trees, he saw that some were bathing, others were reddening their hair after their national custom,9 and still others were drinking. 3 So taking advantage of this most favourable time, he suddenly gave the signal with the clarions and broke into the robbers' camp, while on the other hand the Germans, merely uttering boastfully vain threats and shouts, were pressed so hard by the victor that they could not gather up their arms, which were lying about here and there, nor form in line, nor rally for a stout resistance. Therefore most of them fell, run through by pikes and swords, except such as took to their p9heels and found shelter on the winding and narrow paths.

4 His confidence now increased by this successful stroke, the result of both valour and good fortune, Jovinus led on his soldiers, sending ahead an efficient scouting party, and hastily advanced against the remaining third division; and when by a rapid march he came near Châlons,10 he found the enemy fully ready for battle. 5 Having measured off a stockade to suit the conditions, and refreshed his men with food and sleep, so far as time allowed, at the first coming of dawn he drew up his line of battle in the open plain; and he extended it with such skilful art, that the Romans, who were inferior in number (though equal in strength), by occupying a greater space appeared to be as numerous as the enemy.11 6 And so, when the signal had been given by the trumpet and they began to engage at close quarters, the Germans stood amazed, terrified by the fearful sight of the gleaming standards. For a while their ardour was blunted, but they quickly recovered and prolonged the fighting to the end of the day; and our vigorously attacking soldiers would have gained the fruit of victory without loss, had not Balchobaudes, tribune of the heavy-armed guard, a man by nature both boastful and cowardly, withdrawn in disorder at the approach of evening. And if the rest of the cohorts had followed his example and left the field, the affair would have come to such a sad ending that not one of our number could have survived to tell what had happened. 7 But the soldiers resisted with bold energy and courage, and were so superior in strength that they wounded 4000 of the enemy and p11killed 6000 more, while they themselves lost not more than 1200, and had only 200 wounded. 8 When therefore the battle was now broken off by the coming of night, and the wearied soldiers had recovered their strength, their distinguished general towards daybreak led forward his army in square formation;12 and finding that the savages had slipped away under cover of darkness, free from worry about ambuscades he followed them over the open and easy plains, trampling underfoot the dying, and the contracted bodies of those whom, since the severity of the cold had drawn their wounds together, the extreme pain had taken off. 9 Then, after advancing farther but returning on finding none of the enemy, he learned that the Ascarii13 (whom he himself had sent by another route to plunder the tents of the Alamanni) had captured a king of the hostile army with a few of his followers, and had gibbeted him. Angered at this, he decided to punish the tribune who had ventured to take this action without consulting higher authority; and he would have condemned him to death, if it had not been clear from convincing evidence that the cruel deed had been committed through passion to which soldiers are prone.14

10 When Jovinus returned to Paris after these brilliant victories, Valentinian went out joyfully to meet him, and shortly afterwards made him consul;15 and, you may be sure it added to his great happiness that he had received at that same time the head of Procopius, sent to him by Valens. p1311 Besides these battles, many others less worthy of mention were fought in various parts of Gaul, which it would be superfluous to describe, both because their results led to nothing worth while, and because it is not fitting to spin out a history with insignificant details.

3 1 Of the three prefects of the City, Symmachus, Lampadius, and Iuventius;16 and of the contest under the last-named of Damasus and Ursinus for the Bishopric of Rome.

1 At this time or a little earlier17 a new form of portent appeared in Annonarian Tuscany,18 and how it would turn out even those who were skilled in interpreting prodigies were wholly at a loss to know. For in the town of Pistoria,19 at about the third hour of the day, in the sight of many persons, an ass mounted the tribunal and was heard to bray persistently, to the amazement both of all who were present and of those who heard of it from the reports of others; and no one could guess what was to come, until later the portended event came to pass. 2 For one Terentius, born in that city, a fellow of low origin and a baker by trade, by way of reward because he had brought Orfitus, an ex-prefect, into court on the charge of embezzlement, held the position of governor in that province. Emboldened by this, he proceeded to stir up many disturbances, and being convicted of cheating in a matter of business with some ship-captains,20 as was reported, p15he met death at the hands of the executioner when Claudius was city-prefect.21

3 However, long before this happened, Apronianus was succeeded by Symmachus,22 a man worthy to be classed among the conspicuous examples of learning and moderation, through whose efforts the sacred city enjoyed an unusual period of quiet and prosperity, and prides itself on a handsome bridge,23 which Symmachus himself, by the decision of our mighty emperors, dedicated, and to the great joy of the citizens, who proved ungrateful, as the result most clearly showed. 4 For after some years had passed, they set fire to Symmachus' beautiful house in the Transtiberine district, spurred on by the fact that a common fellow among the plebeians had alleged, without any informant or witness, that the prefect had said that he would rather use his own wine for quenching lime-kilns24 than sell it at the price which the people hoped for.

5 Symmachus was succeeded as prefect of the city by Lampadius,25 a former praetorian prefect, a man who took it very ill if even his manner of spitting was not praised, on the ground that he did that also with greater skill than anyone else; but yet he was sometimes strict and honest. 6 When this man, in his praetorship, gave magnificent games and made very rich largesses, being unable to endure p17the blustering of the commons, who often urged that many things should be given to those who were unworthy of them,26 in order to show his generosity and his contempt of the mob, he summoned some beggars from the Vatican27 and presented them with valuable gifts. 7 But of his vanity, not to digress too far, it will suffice to give this single instance, insignificant indeed, but something to be shunned by high officials. For through all quarters of the city which had been adorned at the expenses of various emperors, he had his own name inscribed, not as the restorer of old buildings, but as their founder. From this fault the emperor Trajan also is said to have suffered, and for that reason he was jestingly called "wall-wort."28

8 As prefect, Lampadius was disturbed by frequent outbreaks, the greatest of all being when a mob, composed of the dregs of the populace, by throwing fire-brands and fire-darts upon his house near the Baths of Constantine would have burned it, had not his friends and neighbors quickly rushed to the spot and driven them off by pelting them with stones and tiles from the house-tops. 9 He himself, terrified by such violence in the first stages of a growing tumult, fled to the Mulvian bridge29 — which the elder Scaurus30 is said to have built — as though to wait there for the cessation of the tumult, p19which a serious cause had aroused. 10 For when preparing to erect new buildings or restoring old ones, he did not order materials to be obtained from the usual taxes,31 but if there was need of iron, lead, bronze, or anything of the kind, attendants were set on, in order that they might, under pretence of buying the various articles, seize them without paying anything. In consequence, he was barely able by swift flight to avoid the anger of the incensed poor, who had repeated losses to lament.

11 As his successor came Viventius, a former court-chancellor, a just and prudent man of Pannonia, whose administration was quiet and mild, rich in an abundance of everything. But he, too, was alarmed by sanguinary outbreaks of the factions of the people, which were caused by the following affair. 12 Damasus and Ursinus, burning with a superhuman desire of seizing the bishopric, engaged in bitter strife because of their opposing interests; and the supporters of both parties went even so far as conflicts ending in bloodshed and death. Since Viventius was able neither to end nor to diminish this strife, he was compelled to yield to its great violence, and retired to the suburbs. 13 And in the struggle Damasus was victorious through the efforts of the party which favoured him.a It is a well-known fact that in the basilica of Sicininus,32 where the assembly of the Christian sect is held, in a single day a hundred and thirty-seven corpses of the slain were found, and that it was only with difficulty that the p21long-continued frenzy of the people was afterwards quieted.

14 Bearing in mind the ostentation in city life, I do not deny that those who are desirous of such a thing ought to struggle with the exercise of all their strength to gain what they seek; for when they attain it, they will be so free from care that they are enriched from the offerings of matrons, ride seated in carriages, wearing clothing chosen with care, and serve banquets so lavish that their entertainments outdo the tables of kings. 15 These men might be truly happy, if they would disregard the greatness of the city behind which they hide their faults, and live after the manner of some provincial bishops, whose moderation in food and drink, plain apparel also, and gaze fixed upon the earth, commend them to the eternal Deity and to his true servants as pure and reverent men. But this will be a sufficient digression; let me now return to the course of events.

4 1 A description of the six provinces of Thrace and their peoples, and of the famous cities in each.

1 While the above-mentioned events were taking place in Gaul and Italy, a new campaign was set on foot in Thrace. For Valens, in accordance with the desire of his brother, whom he consulted and by whose will he was guided, took up arms against the Goths, influenced by a just reason, namely, that they had sent aid to Procopius, when he began his civil war. It will be fitting, then, to sketch hastily in a brief digression the early history and the topography of those regions.

p23 2 A description of Thrace would be easy, if the pens of the earlier writers agreed; but since their obscurity and their differences lend no aid to a work whose aim is truth, it will suffice to set forth what I myself remember to have seen. 3 That this land formerly consisted of a boundless expand of gentle plains and lofty mountains, we know from the immortal testimony of Homer, who imagines that the north and west winds begin to blow from there;33 but this is either a fable, or else in former times the widely extended tracts marked out to be the home of barbarian tribes were all included under the name of Thrace. 4 A part of these were inhabited by the Scordisci,34 who are now widely separated from those same provinces: a people formerly cruel and savage, and, as ancient history declares, accustomed to offer up their prisoners as victims to Bellona and Mars, and from their hollowed skulls greedily to drink human blood. By their savageness the Roman state was often sorely troubled and after many lamentable calamities finally lost a whole army with its commander.35

5 But, as we now see them, those same places, formed in the shape of a crescent moon, present the appearance of a beautiful theatre. At its western summit are the steep mountains through which the narrow pass of Succi opens, separating Thrace from Dacia. 6 The left side,36 towards the northern stars, is shut in by the lofty heights of Mount Haemus and the Hister,37 which, where it washes Roman soil, p25borders on many cities, fortresses, and castles. 7 On the right, which is the south side, extend the cliffs of Rhodope, and where the morning star rises it is bounded by the strait which flows with an abundance of water from the Euxine, and going on with alternating current to the Aegaean, opens a narrow cleft38 between the lands. 8 But on the eastern corner the land is connected with the frontiers of Macedonia by a steep and narrow pass, which is called Acontisma.39 Next to this is the posting-station of Arethusa, in which is to be seen the tomb of Euripides,40 noted for his lofty tragedies, and Stagira, known as the birthplace of Aristotle, who, as Cicero says,41 poured forth a golden stream. 9 These regions also were occupied in former times by barbarians, who differed from one another in customs and language. Of these the Odrysae are noted for their savage cruelty beyond all others, being so habituated to the shedding of human blood that when there were no enemies at hand, at their feasts, after a satiety of food and drink they plunged the sword into the bodies of their own countrymen, as if they were those of foreigners.

10 But when our country increased in power, and the rule of consuls was in full sway, Marcus Didius, with great determination, checked these tribes that before had been always invincible and were roaming about without civilization or laws. Drusus confined them within their own bounds. Minucius utterly defeated them in a battle near the river Hebrus, which flows from the high mountains p27of the Odrysae, and after these the survivors were completely annihilated by the proconsul Appius Claudius in a hot fight.42 Indeed, the Roman fleets took possession of the towns situated on the Bosphorus and the Propontis. 11 After these came General Lucullus,43 who was the first of all to encounter the savage tribe of the Bessi and in the same onslaught overcame the Haemimontani in spite of their stout resistance.44 While he threatened that region, all parts of Thrace passed under the sway of our forefathers, and in this way, after dangerous campaigns, six provinces were won for the republic.

12 The first of these on the side bordering on Illyricum is called Thrace in the narrower sense, and is adorned by the splendid cities of Philippopolis, formerly Eumolpias,45 and Beroea. After this, Haemimontus46 has Hadrianopolis,47 also once called Uscudama, and Anchialos,48 both great and rich cities. Then comes Mysia,49 with Marcianopolis (so named from the sister of the emperor Trajan), Dorostorus, Nicopolis, and Odessus. Hard by is Scythia, in which the more famous towns are Dionysopolis, Tomi, and Callatia. Europa, the remotest province of all, in addition to various towns, is conspicuous for two cities, Apri and Perinthus, in later times called Heraclea.50 13 Rhodopa,51 next to this, has Maximianopolis, Maronea and Aenus, which Aeneas p29founded and abandoned,52 and after long wanderings under continued good auspices, reached Italy.

14 Now it is well known, as constant reports have spread abroad, that almost all the country folk who dwell in the high mountains throughout the lands just described surpass us in health and strength, and in the prerogative (so to speak) of prolonging life; and it is thought that this is due to abstinence from a conglomeration of diet and from hot baths,53 and a lasting freshness knits their bodies through cold sprinklings with dew; and they enjoy the sweetness of a purer air; further they are first of all to feel the rays of the sun, which are by their own nature life-giving, before they are infected with any stains from human affairs. After having thus given an account of these matters, let us return to our task.

5 1 Valens Augustus makes war on the Goths, who had sent aid to Procopius against him, and after three years concludes peace with them.

1 After Procopius had been vanquished in Phrygia, and the source of internal strife lulled to rest, Victor, commander of the cavalry, was sent to the Goths,54 in order to get clear information why a people friendly to the Romans and bound by the treaties of a long-continued peace had lent support to a usurper who was making war on the legitimate emperors. They, in order to excuse their action by a strong defence, presented a letter from the said p31Procopius, in which he asserted that he had assumed the sovereignty that was due him as nearly related to the family of Constantine;55 and they maintained that their error was pardonable.

2 When this was learned from the report of the aforesaid Victor, Valens, taking little account of so trivial an excuse, marched against the Goths, who already knew of the coming activity. Getting his army together at the beginning of spring, he measured off a camp near the fortress called Daphne;56 and having made a bridge of planks over the gangways of ships, he crossed the river Hister without any opposition. 3 And now he was exalted in confidence, since, as he hastened hither and thither, he found no one whom he could conquer or terrify; for all had been struck with fear at the approach of the soldiers with their splendid equipment, and made for the mountains of the Serri, which are lofty and inaccessible except to those who are thoroughly familiar with them. 4 Therefore, to avoid wasting the whole summer and returning without accomplishing anything, he sent Arintheus, commander of the infantry, with plundering bands and seized some of the families which could be captured before they reached the steep and winding mountain-regions and while they were still wandering over the level plains. And after having attained only this, which was what chance offered him, he returned harmlessly with his men, without having inflicted or suffered serious harm.

5 In the following year, having attempted with equal energy to invade the enemy's territory, he was prevented by extensive floods of the Danube p33and remained inactive, near a village of the Carpi in a permanent camp which he had made, until the end of autumn. And since he was cut off by the extent of the waters from doing anything, he returned from there to Marcianopolis for winter quarters.

6 With like persistence in the third year also he made a bridge of boats to cross the river at Novidunum and forced his way into the barbarian territory; and after continuous marches he attacked the warlike people of the Greuthungi, who lived very far off, and after some slight contests Athanaricus,57 at that time their most powerful ruler,58 who dared to resist with a band which he believed to be more than sufficient for himself, was forced to flee, in fear of utter destruction. Then he himself with all his men returned to Marcianopolis as a suitable place (considering that region) for passing the winter.

7 After the many vicissitudes of these three years timely opportunities arose for ending the war. First, because the long stay of the emperor was increasing the enemy's fears; secondly, because the savages, since commerce was cut off, were so distressed by extreme scarcity of the necessities of life that they often sent suppliant deputations to beg for pardon and peace. 8 The emperor was indeed inexperienced, but very reasonable as yet in his judgment of conditions, until he was led astray by the fatal blandishments of his flatterers and inflicted on his country losses ever to be lamented; therefore, p35consulting for the common welfare, he decided that peace ought to be granted. 9 Accordingly, he in his turn sent as envoys Victor and Arintheus, of whom one then commanded the cavalry and the other the infantry, and when their trustworthy report had informed him that the Goths agreed to the conditions which he offered, a convenient place was appointed for concluding peace. But since Athanaricus declared that he was bound by an oath accompanied by a fearful imprecation, and thus prevented by his father's orders from ever setting foot on Roman soil, and since he could not be induced to do so, and it was unbecoming and degrading for the emperor to cross to him, it was decided by those of good judgment that ships should be rowed into mid-stream, one carrying the emperor with his guard, the other the Gothic ruler with his men, and that thus a treaty of peace should be struck, as had been agreed. 10 When this had been arranged and hostages received, Valens returned to Constantinople, where later Athanaricus, driven from his native land by a faction of his kinsmen, died a natural death and was buried after our fashion with splendid rites.59

6 1 Valentinian with the consent of the army appoints his son Gratianus an Augustus, exhorts the boy, who is clad in the purple, to brave deeds, and commends him to the care of the soldiers.

1 Meanwhile, when Valentinian was attacked by a severe illness and was at the point of death, the Gauls who were at court in the emperor 's service, p37at a secret conference demanded that Rusticus Julianus, then master of the rolls, should be made emperor: a man who, as if smitten by a blast of madness, was as greedy for human blood as a wild beast, as he showed when governing Africa with proconsular power. 2 For as prefect of the city,60 in the administration of which office he died, through fear of the precarious situation of the tyrant,61 through whose choice he had risen to that high position as if for the lack of worthy men, he was compelled to assume the appearance of mildness and clemency. 3 Against these Gauls some with higher aims strove in the cause of Severus, then commander of the infantry, as a man fitted for attaining that rank; and, although he was strict and feared, yet he was more endurable and in every way to be preferred to the aforenamed aspirant.

4 But while these designs were being agitated to no purpose, the emperor was restored with the help of numerous remedies; and observing that he was hardly yet rescued from the danger of death,62 he purposed to bestow the imperial insignia upon his son Gratianus, who had by this time nearly reached the age of puberty.63 5 And when everything was ready, when the soldiers had been won over to accept this with willing minds, and Gratianus had appeared, the emperor advanced into the plain and mounted the tribunal; then, surrounded by a brilliant assemblage of men of high rank, he took the boy by the hand, led him into their midst, and commended the future emperor to the army in the following public address:—

p39 6 "It is a propitious sign of your devotion to me that I parade this robe of imperial rank, by which I have been judged preferable to other men, many and distinguished; so taking you as partners in my plans and favourers of my wishes, I shall proceed to an act of dutiful affection, which is timely since the god, through whose eternal aid the Roman state will endure unshaken, now promises success. 7 Therefore, my valiant men, accept I pray you with friendly minds my heart's desire, convinced that we have wished this action, which the duties of affection sanction, not only to be brought to your knowledge, but also to be confirmed by your approval as agreeable to you and likely to be advantageous. 8 This son of mine, Gratianus, now become a man, has long lived among your children, and you love him as a tie between you and me; therefore, in order to secure the public peace on all sides, I plan to take him as my associate in the imperial power, if the propitious will of the god of heaven and of your dignity shall support what a father's love suggests. He has not been, as we have been, brought up in severe school from his very cradle, nor trained in the endurance of adversity, and (as you see) he is not yet able to endure the dust of Mars; but, in harmony with the glory of his family and the great deeds of his forefathers, he will forthwith rise (I speak with moderation, in fear of Nemesis) to greater heights. 9 For as I am wont to think, when I consider, as I often do, his character and his inclinations, although they are not yet fully developed: when he enters on the years of youth, since he has been instructed in the liberal arts and in the pursuit of skilful accomplishments, he will p41weigh with impartial justice the value of right and wrong actions; he will so conduct himself that good men will know that he understands them; he will rush forward to noble deeds and cling close to the military standards and eagles; he will endure sun and snow, frost and thirst, and wakeful hours; he will defend his camp, if necessity ever requires it; he will risk his life for the companions of his dangers; and, what is the first and highest duty of loyalty, he will know how to love his country as he loves the home of his father and grandfather."

10 The emperor had not yet ended his address when his words were received with joyful acclaim, and the soldiers, each according to his rank and feeling, striving to outdo the others, as though sharers in this prosperity and joy, hailed Gratianus as Augustus, with loud shouts mingled with the favouring clash of arms. 11 On perceiving this, Valentinian, filled with greater joy and confidence, adorned his son with the crown and the robes of supreme rank, and kissed him; then, resplendent as Gratianus was and listening attentively to his father's words, Valentinian addressed him as follows:—

12 "Behold, my dear Gratian, you now wear, as we have all hoped, the imperial robes, bestowed upon you under favourable auspices by my will and that of our fellow-soldiers. Therefore prepare yourself, considering the weight of your urgent duties, to be the colleague of your father and your uncle and accustom yourself fearlessly to make your way with the infantry over the ice of the Danube and the Rhine, to keep your place close beside your soldiers, to give your life's blood, with all thoughtfulness, for p43those under your command, and to think nothing alien to your duty, which affects the interests of the Roman Empire. 13 This will suffice for the present by way of admonition; for the future I shall not cease to advise you. And for the rest I turn to you, great defenders of our country, whom I beg and implore with firm affection to watch over your emperor, not yet grown up, thus entrusted to your loyalty."

14 After these words had been ratified with all solemnity, Eupraxius, a Moor of Caesariensis, then master of the rolls, was the first of all to cry out: "The house of Gratianus is worthy of this"; whereupon he was at once advanced to the quaestorship. He was a man who left many proofs of noble self-confidence worthy of imitation by sensible men, one who never deviated from the principles of a fearless nature, but was always firm and resembled the laws, which, as we know, in the manifold cases in court speak with one and the same voice;64 and he then remained truer to the side of justice which he had espoused, even when the emperor, becoming arbitrary, assailed him with threats when he gave him good advice. 15 After this, all rose up to praise the boy, who was recommended by the fiercer gleam of his eyes, the delightful charm of his face and his whole body, and the noble nature of his heart; these qualities would have completed an emperor fit to be compared with the choicest rulers of the olden time, had this been allowed by the fates p45and by his intimates, who, by evil actions, cast a cloud over his virtue, which was even then not firmly steadfast.

16 However, in this affair Valentinian overstepped the usage established of old, in that he named his brother and his son, not Caesar, but Augustus, generously enough. For before that no one had appointed a colleague of equal power with himself except the emperor Marcus,65 who made his adopted brother Verus his partner, but without any impairment of his own imperial majesty.

7 1 The propensity to anger, savageness, and cruelty of Valentinianus Augustus.

1 Scarcely had a few days passed since these affairs were settled according to the desire of the emperor and the soldiers,66 when Mamertinus, the praetorian prefect,67 on his return from Rome, to which he had gone to correct certain abuses, was charged with peculation68 by Avitianus, a former deputy governor.69 2 Therefore he was displaced by Vulcatius Rufinus, a man excellent in all respects, who seemed to be displaying the crown of an honoured old age,70 except that he never let slip a favourable opportunity for gain, if there was hope of concealment. 3 As soon as he gained the imperial ear, he brought it about that Orfitus, a former prefect of Rome, was freed from banishment,71 and, after restoration of his lost patrimony, was restored to his home.

4 Valentinian was known to be a cruel man, and although in the early part of his reign, in order to p47lessen his reputation for harshness, he sometimes strove to keep his savage impulses under his mind's control, yet the fault, as yet lurking and postponed, little by little broke forth without restraint and caused the destruction of many men; and was increased by fierce outbreaks of hot anger. For the philosophers define anger as a long-continued, sometimes permanent, ulcer of the mind, usually caused by weakness of the intellect; and they give for their opinion the plausible ground that the sickly are more inclined to anger than the sound, women than men, the old than the young, and the wretched than the fortunate.72

5 Most conspicuous, however, at that time was the death (among the executions of other persons of low rank)73 of Diocles, former head of the state treasury in Illyricum, whom the emperor ordered to be burned to death because of some small offences; and also that of Diodorus, former state agent, and of three attendants of the deputy-governor of Italy; all these suffered cruel execution because the commanding general complained to the emperor that Diodorus had implored the aid of the law against him, as was his right,74 and that the officials,75 by order of the judge, had ventured to summon him as he was going on a journey, to answer to the action according to law. The memory of these victims is still honoured by the Christians in Milan,76 who call the place where they are buried "The Place of the Innocents".

p49 6 Later, in the affair of a certain Maxentius of Pannonia, when the judge had rightly commanded a speedy execution, the emperor ordered the death of the decurions of three towns; but Eupraxius, who was then quaestor, intervened, saying: "Act more mercifully, most dutiful emperor, for these men whom you order to be put to death as criminals the Christian religion will honour as martyrs (that is to say, as beloved of God)."77 7 Eupraxius' helpful self-confidence was imitated by the prefect Florentius78 when he heard that, because of some pardonable offence, the emperor had flown into a passion and ordered the execution likewise of three decurions in each of a number of cities; for he said: "What is to be done, then, if any town does not have so many decurions?79 To the rest this also should be added,80 that they shall be killed, when the town has them." 8 To this ruthlessness was added another thing, dreadful to do or even to tell of, namely, that if anyone came before him to avoid being tried before some powerful enemy, and asked that another judge be assigned him, the request was denied and the man was sent back to the person whom he feared, however many just reasons for the change he might present. Still another horrible thing was talked about; for when he learned that any debtor81 could pay nothing because of the pressure of want, the emperor ruled that he ought to be put to death.82

p51 9 That some princes commit these and similar arbitrary acts with lofty arrogance is because they do not allow their friends the opportunity of dissuading them from unjust designs or deeds, and that because of their great power they make their enemies afraid to speak. No correction is possible of the perverse actions of those who believe that what they desire to do must be the highest virtue.83

8 1 When the Picts, Attacotti, and Scots, after killing a general and a count, were devastating Britain without resistance, Count Theodosius routed them and took their booty from them.

1 Having set out then from Amiens and hastening to Treves,84 Valentinian was alarmed by serious news which showed that Britain was brought into a state of extreme need by a conspiracy of the savages, that Nectaridus, the commanding general of the seacoast region, had been killed, and that another general, Fullofaudes, had been ambushed by the enemy and taken prisoner. 2 This report aroused great horror, and the emperor sent Severus, who at that time was still commander of the household troops, to set right the disasters, if chance should offer the desired opportunity. But he was recalled a little later, and Jovinus . . . having set out for the same regions, allowed them to return at quick step, intending to seek the support of a strong army; for he declared that this was demanded by the pressing necessities of the situation.85 3 Finally, because of the many p53alarming things which constant rumours reported about that same island, Theodosius, a man most favourably known for his services in war, was chosen to be sent there with all speed, and having enrolled legions and cohorts of courageous young men, he hastened to depart, preceded by brilliant expectations.

4 And, since in giving an account of the history of the emperor Constans I described the ebb and flow of the ocean86 and the situation of Britain, as well as my powers permitted, I have thought it superfluous to unfold again what has once been set forth, just as Homer's Ulysses among the Phaeacians87 shrinks from repeating the details of his adventures because of the excessive difficulty of the task.

5 It will, however, be in place to say, that at that time the Picts, divided into two tribes, called Dicalydones88 and Verturiones, as well as the Attacotti, a warlike race of men, and the Scots, were ranging widely and causing great devastation; while the Gallic regions,89 wherever anyone could break in by land or by sea, were harassed by the Franks and their neighbours, the Saxons, with cruel robbery, fire, and the murder of all who were taken prisoners.

6 In order to prevent these outrages, if favourable fortune gave an opportunity, that most energetic leader hastened to the world's end, and reached the coast of Bononia,90 which from the spacious lands opposite is separated only by a narrow space of sea wont in turn to swell with dreadful surges, and again, without any danger for sailors, to sink to the form of a level plain. From there he quietly crossed p55the strait and landed at Rutupiae,91 a quiet haven on the opposite coast. 7 When the Batavi, Heruli, Jovii, and Victores, who followed him, had arrived, troops confident in their strength, he began his march and came to the old town of Lundinium,92 which later times called Augusta.93 There he divided his troops into many parts and attacked the predatory bands of the enemy, which were ranging about and were laden with heavy packs; quickly routing those who were driving along prisoners and cattle, he wrested from them the booty which the wretched tribute-paying people had lost. 8 And when all this had been restored to them, except for a small part which was allotted to the wearied soldiers, he entered the city, which had previously been plunged into the greatest difficulties, but had been restored more quickly than rescue could have been expected, rejoicing and as if celebrating an ovation.

9 While he lingered there, encouraged by the successful outcome to dare greater deeds, he carefully considered what plans would be safe; and he was in doubt about his future course, since he learned from the confessions of the captives and the reports of deserters that the widely scattered enemy, a mob of various natives and frightfully savage, could be overcome only by secret craft and unforeseen attacks. 10 Finally, he issued proclamations, and under promise of pardon summoned the deserters to return to service, as well as many others who were wandering about in various places on furlough. In consequence of this demand and strongly moved by his p57offer, most returned, and Theodosius, relieved of his anxious cares, asked that Civilis be sent to him to govern Britain as deputy-prefect, a man of somewhat fiery temper, but steadfast in justice and uprightness, and also Dulcitius, a general distinguished for his knowledge of the art of war.

9 1 The Moorish tribes devastate Africa. Valens checks the brigandage of the Isaurians. Of the city prefecture of Praetextatus.

1 This is what was happening in Britain. But Africa from the very beginning of Valentinian's reign was sore distressed by the madness of the savages, who made daring forays, and were eager for wholesome bloodshed and robbery. This evil was increased by the slackness of the army and its greed for seizing the property of others; and especially by the conduct of the governor, Romanus by name. 2 He, having an eye to the future and being an adept in shifting odium to others, was hated by many because of his savage disposition, but especially for his haste to outdo the enemy in devastating the provinces. He relied especially on his relationship with Remigius, then chief marshal of the court, who sent in false and contradictory reports; hence the emperor, in spite of the great caution which in his own opinion he exhibited, for a long time remained unaware of the lamentable losses of the people of Africa.

3 The complete series of events in those regions, the death of the governor Ruricius and of the ambassadors and the other mournful occurrences I shall set forth carefully when my plan calls for it. p594 But since I have a free opportunity of saying what I think, I shall declare openly that Valentinian was the first of all emperors to increase the arrogance of the military,94 to the injury of the commonwealth, by raising their rank and power to excess; moreover (a thing equally to be deplored, both publicly and privately), he punished the peccadilloes of the common soldiers with unbending severity, while sparing those of higher rank; so that these assumed that they had complete licence for their sins, and were aroused to shameful and monstrous crimes. In consequence, they are so arrogant as to believe that the fortunes of all without distinction are dependent on their nod. 5 In order to diminish their bluster and self-importance, the lawgivers of old were of the opinion that sometimes even some innocent persons should be punished with death. And this often happens when, because of the wrongdoings of any multitude, through the injustice of fate, some guiltless persons suffer; for that sometimes has applied to the trials of private citizens.

6 Now in Isauria bands of brigands were overrunning the neighbouring places,95 harassing towns and rich villas with unrestrained pillage, and inflicting great losses on Pamphylia and the Cilicians.96 Musonius, the deputy-governor97 of Asia at that time, who had formerly been a teacher of rhetoric in Attic Athens, perceived that, since no one resisted them, they were devastating everything with utter destruction; so at last, finding the situation deplorable and that the luxury of the soldiers made their aid p61feeble, he gathered together a few half-armed troops, whom they call Diogmitae,98 and attempted to attack one band of the marauders, if the opportunity should offer. But in passing down through a narrow and winding pass he came into an ambuscade from which he could not escape, and was slain there with those whom he was leading. 7º When the brigands, highly elated by this success, with greater confidence extended their raids in various directions, at last our troops were called out and after killing some of them drove the rest to the rocky retreats in the mountains where they live. Then, since no opportunity was revealed there for taking rest or finding anything fit for food, they called a truce and asked that peace be granted them, following the advice of the Germanicopolitani,99 whose opinions were always decisive with them, as if they were those of the standard-bearers in battle. Then they gave the hostages that were demanded, and remained quiet for a long time, without venturing on any hostile act.

8 Meanwhile Praetextatus, who with high distinction acted as prefect of the city of Rome,100 through repeated acts of honesty and uprightness, for which he was famous from early youth, attained what rarely falls to a man's lot; for although he was feared by his fellow-citizens, he did not lose their love, which as a rule is apt to be less strong towards officials who are dreaded. 9 Through his authority and his decisions based upon justice and truth the outbreak which was stirred up by the quarrels of the Christians101 was quelled, and after the banishment of Ursinus profound quiet reigned, which p63most suited the wish102 of the citizens of Rome; and the fame of this illustrious ruler increased because of his many salutary measures. 10 For he removed all the Maeniana,103 the building of which in Rome was forbidden by early laws also, and he separated from the sacred buildings the walls of private houses, which had been irreverently built against them.b He established standard weights in every quarter of the city, since otherwise the greed of many, who rigged up their balances after their own inclination, could not be dealt with. And in the examination of legal cases he deserved above all others the distinction which Cicero mentions in the commendation of Brutus,104 that although he did nothing to gain favour, yet everything that he did was looked upon with favour.

10 1 Valentinianus Augustus, after crossing the Rhine, routs and puts to flight the Alamanni, who had fled to the mountain heights; but not, however, without bloodshed on both sides.

1 At about this same time, Valentinian had begun his campaign with wariness,105 as he himself thought, when a prince of the Alamanni called Rando, after long preparation for his design, with a light-armed band equipped for plundering, secretly made his way into Mogontiacus,106 which had no garrison. 2 And since he chanced to find that a festival of the Christian religion107 was being celebrated, he was not hindered in carrying off defenceless men p65and women of every kind of station along with no small amount of household goods.

3 Then, after a brief interval, the hope of better fortune unexpectedly dawned upon the Roman state. For since King Vithicabius, son of Vadomarius, who was somewhat weak and sickly in appearance, but valiant and vigorous, again and again kindled the flames of war against us, no efforts were spared to dispose of him by any possible manner of death. 4 And because after several attempts he could in no way be overcome or treacherously surrendered, he was slain by the perfidy of an attendant on his private life108 through the earnest solicitation of our men; and after his death the enemy's raids slackened somewhat. But the assassin, through fear of the punishment which he dreaded in case the affair should become known, hastened to take refuge on Roman soil.

5 After this, with especially diligent care and with troops of various kinds, a more serious campaign than common was prepared against the Alamanni, since the public safety imperiously demanded it; for from a race that so easily recovered its strength treacherous attacks were to be feared; and the soldiers were equally incensed against them, since the untrustworthy nature of an enemy who was at one time abject and suppliant and soon afterwards threatening the worst, allowed them no rest or cessation from warfare.

6 Therefore a mighty mass of troops was assembled from all quarters and carefully provided with arms and supplies of food, Count Sebastianus109 was summoned with the Illyrian and Italian legions p67which he commanded, and as soon as the warm season began, Valentinian with Gratianus crossed the Main. Seeing no one, the emperor divided his army and advanced in square formation with himself in the centre and the generals110 Jovinus and Severus guarding the flanks on both sides, in order that they might not be exposed to a sudden attack. 7 Then, guided by men who knew the roads, and carefully reconnoitring the approaches, they at once marched slowly onward, through a widely extended tract of country, while the soldiers, more and more eager for battle, ground their teeth in a threatening way, as if they had already come upon the savages. But since after the lapse of several days no one could be found to oppose them, all the cornfieldsº and dwellings which they saw were laid waste by devouring flames kindled by a band of the cohorts, with the exception of such foodstuffs as doubt about the outcome of affairs forced them to gather and keep. 8 After this the emperor went on at slower pace, and when he had com near a place called Solicinium,111 he halted as if checked by some barrier, since he was reliably informed by the scouting troops in the van that the savages had been seen at a distance. 9 And, in fact, the enemy, seeing no way left to save their lives except to defend themselves by a swift onset, trusting to their knowledge of the ground and in general agreement with one another, had stationed themselves on a lofty mountain,112 surrounded on all sides by rocky and precipitous heights and inaccessible except on the northern side, where it has an easy and gentle slope. At once our standards were planted in the usual p69manner, while everywhere the call to arms was sounded; but, at the command of the emperor and his generals, the well-disciplined113 soldiers stood fast, waiting for the raising of the banner, which was the signal that it was the fit time to begin the battle. 10 Therefore, because little or no time for deliberation was given, since on one side the impatience of our soldiers were alarming, and on the other the Alamanni were yelling dreadfully all round, need for quick action made this plan advisable: that Sebastianus with his men should seize the northern part of the mountains, which (as we have said) had a gentle slope, in order that, if fortune should so decree, they might with little trouble strike down the Germans as they fled. The plan thus agreed upon was hastily carried out, and Gratianus, whose youth was even then unequal to battles and toil, was kept back with the legion of the Joviani, while Valentinian, as a deliberate and cautious leader, with uncovered head surveyed the centuries and maniples; and without taking anyone of the higher officers into his confidence he dismissed his throng of attendants, and with a few companions, known to him for their energy and fidelity, hastened off to inspect the foot of the hills, declaring (for he had a lofty opinion of his own judgment) that another way besides that which the scouts had seen could be found leading to the steep heights. 11 Then, as he was making his way by devious paths over unknown places and marshy bogs, a band of the enemy placed in ambush in a hidden spot would have slain him by a sudden attack, had he not resorted to the last means of safety, put spurs to his horse, ridden away through the slippery mud, and p71taken refuge in the bosom of his legions after an imminent danger to which he was so very close that the chamberlain who carried the emperor's helmet, adorned with gold and precious stones, completely disappeared together with the helmet itself, and could be found later neither alive nor dead.

12 Then, after the troops had been given a rest for recovering their strength, and the standard had been raised, which is accustomed to rouse men to battle, urged on by the menacing blare of trumpets they advanced to attack with bold confidence. Two choice young warriors, Salvius and Lupicinus, the one a targeteer, the other belonging to the troop of gentiles,114 at the very beginning of the struggle,115 at once dashed forward before the others, urging on the battle with terrifying shouts. Brandishing their lances, they came to the opposing mass of rocks, and while the Alamanni were trying to push them back and they were striving to mount higher, the whole weight of our army came up, and, led by the same champions through places rough and shaggy with thickets, by a mighty effort scrambled up to the lofty heights. 13 Then with bitterness of spirit on both sides the conflict was essayed with levelled lances; on one side soldiers more skilled in the art of war, on the other the savages, fierce but reckless, joined in hand-to‑hand conflict. Finally, our army, extending its lines and encircling the enemy on both flanks, began to cut them down, terrified as they were by the din, by the neighing of horses, and by the blare of trumpets. 14 Nevertheless, the foe took courage and resisted, and the contest continued with mighty struggles, the fortune of battle p73being for a long time undecided, while dire death and mutual destruction accompanied the fighting. 15 But at last the Alamanni were thrown into confusion by the impetuosity of the Romans, and, disordered from fear, the foremost were mingled with the hindermost, and as they turned and fled they were pierced through by our javelins and pikes. At last, in panting and exhausted flight they exposed to their pursuers their hams, calves and backs. Then, after many had been laid low, Sebastianus, who had been posted with his reserve troops at the back of the mountains, surrounded a part of the fugitives on their exposed flank and slaughtered them; the rest in scattered flight took refuge in their haunts in the forests.

16 In this battle some of our fathers also were not insignificant persons. Among them were Valentinianus, first officer of all the household troops, and Natuspardo, one of the targeteers, a warrior so distinguished that he may be compared with Sicinius and Sergius116 of old. After finishing the campaign with these varied fortunes, the soldiers returned to their winter quarters, and the emperors to Treves.

11 Of the noble birth, wealth, honours, and character of Probus.

1 In the course of this time Vulcacius Rufinus ended his life while still in office,117 and Probus118 was summoned from Rome to fill the office of praetorian prefect, a man known for the distinction of his family, his influence, and his great wealth, throughout the whole Roman world, in almost all parts of which he possessed estates here and there, whether justly or unjustly is not a question for my humble p75judgement. 2 This man was carried on the swift wings — as the poets' fancy expresses it — of a kind of congenital good fortune, which showed him to be now generous and ready to advance his friends, but sometimes a cruel schemer, working harm by his deadly jealousies. And although he had great power so long as he lived, because of the sums that he gave away119 and his constant resumption of offices, yet he was sometimes timid when boldly confronted, though arrogant against those who feared him; so that in his moments of confidence he seemed to thunder from tragic buskin, and when he was afraid, to be more humble than any wearer of the slipper.120 3 And as the finny tribe,121 when removed from its own element, does not breathe very long on dry land, so he pined away when not holding prefectures; these he was compelled to seek because of the constant lawlessness of certain families which on account of their boundless avarice were never free from guilt, and in order to carry out their many evil designs with impunity, plunged their patron into affairs of state.122 4 Now it must be admitted that he had such natural greatness of spirit that he never ordered a client or a slave to do anything illegal; but, on the other hand, if he learned that any one of them had committed any crime, even though Justice herself cried out against the man, without investigating the matter and without regard to honour and virtue, he defended him. That is a fault which Cicero123 censures in the following words: "For what difference p77is there between one who advises an act and one who approves it? Or what does it matter whether I wished anything to happen or rejoice that it has happened?" 5 Yet he was suspicious, and fortified by his own character; he could smile rather bitterly and sometimes resorted to flattery in order to work harm. 6 He had, moreover, what is a conspicuous evil in such characters, especially when one thinks to be able to conceal it, in that he was so merciless and unbending, that if he had made up his mind to injure anyone, he could not be made to relent nor induced to pardon errors; indeed, his ears seemed to be stopped, not with wax,124 but with lead. At the very height of riches and honours he was worried and anxious, and hence always troubled with slight illnesses. This was the course of events throughout the western regions.

12 1 The Romans and the Persians fight with each other over Armenia and Hiberia.

1 Now the king of the Persians, the famous Sapor, now aged,125 and from the very outset of his reign given over to the pleasure of plunder, after the death of the emperor Julian and the shameful treaty of peace that was struck,126 for a time appeared with his subjects to be friendly to us. But then, trampling under foot the promise of the pact made under Jovian,127 he laid his hand on Armenia, with the intention of bringing the country under his sway, as if all force of the agreements that had been made was at an end. 2 At first he tried to accomplish his purpose through various arts of deception, and he inflicted slight losses on this powerfully populous nation, by p79soliciting some of the grandees and satraps and surprising others by unexpected forays. 3 Then, by carefully calculated flattery mingled with perjury, King Arsaces himself was tricked; for after being invited to a banquet he was taken according to orders to a secret rear-door; there after his eyes had been gouged out, he was bound in silver chains, which among that people is regarded as a consolation, though an empty one, for the punishment of men of rank,128 and then he was banished to a fortress called Agabana, where after being tortured he was slain by the penal steel. 4 After this, in order to leave nothing unstained by treachery, Sapor drove out Sauromaces, who by Rome's authority had been given the rule of Hiberia, and appointed a certain Aspacures129 to govern that same people; and besides he bestowed on him the crown, in order to show his contempt of our authority. 5 After thus effecting these abominable designs, he entrusted Armenia to Cylaces, a eunuch, and to Arrabannes, both of whom he had long before received as deserters — of these the former was said to have been previously a governor in that nation, the latter, a commander-in‑chief — giving them orders to use all care to destroy Artogerassa, a powerful town with strong walls, which guarded the treasury of Arsaces, as well as his son and his wife.130 6 These leaders began the siege according to their orders. And since they could not gain access to the fortress, which was situated on a rough mountain, because the weather was then stiff with snow and frost, Cylaces, being a eunuch and skilled in cajoling like a woman, in company with Arrabannes, having first obtained a pledge that p81their lives would be spared, came quickly up to the very walls; and when at his request he was allowed to enter with his colleague, he persuaded the defenders and the queen, also using threats, that by a speedy surrender they should try to mollify the violent nature of Sapor, who was a man of unexampled cruelty. 7 After this there was much discussion pro and con and the queen lamented the cruel fate of her husband; whereupon the most zealous inciters to the act of perfidy were turned to pity and changed their plan. Encouraged by the hope of greater rewards,131 in secret conferences they arranged that at an appointed hour of the night the gates should suddenly be thrown open and a strong force should sally forth and suddenly attack the enemy's camp with murderous intent; and they promised to see to it that their attempt should not be known. 8 When this promise had been confirmed by an oath, they left the city, and by asserting that the besieged had asked that two days be allowed them to consider what course they ought to take, they brought over the besiegers into inaction. Then, in the watches of the night when all men, free from care, are in deep sleep, and snoring, the gate of the city was unbarred, young warriors rushed quickly out, with noiseless step and drawn swords crept up to the camp, where men were in no fear of danger, then rushed in, and without opposition butchered a great many as they lay asleep. 9 This unexpected treachery and the unforeseen slaughter of the Persians aroused reasons for frightful hatred between ourselves and Sapor, which was made still worse because Papa, son of Arsaces,132 at the persuasion of his mother, p83had departed with a few followers from the fortified town133 and been received by the emperor Valens, who advised that he stay a while at Neocaesarea, a well-known city of Pontus Polemoniacus,134 where he was to receive liberal support and education.

This act of clemency encouraged Cylaces and Arrabannes to send envoys to Valens to ask that he aid them and give them the said Papa as their king. 10 The aid, however, was denied them for the time, but Papa was sent back to Armenia through the general Terentius,135 that he might rule the land for a time, but without any emblems of royal rank; a condition which was complied with for a legitimate reason, namely, that we might not be charged with breaking the treaty and violating the peace.

11 On learning of this course of events, Sapor was filled with superhuman wrath, and mustering greater forces began to devastate Armenia with open pillage. By his coming Papa, as well as Cylaces and Arrabannes, were seized with such fear that, after looking about and seeing no help from any source, they sought the refuge of the high mountains which separate our territory from Lazica.136 There they remained concealed in the deep woods and defiles of the hills for five months, and eluded the many attempts which the king made to find them. 12 Since Sapor saw, as the winter stars were galling,137 that he was wasting his labour to no purpose, after burning the fruit-bearing trees and the fortified castles and strongholds that he had taken by force or by betrayal, he blockaded Artogerassa with the whole weight of his forces and after some battles of p85varying result and the exhaustion of the defenders, forced his way into the city and set it on fire, dragging out and carrying off the wife and the treasures of Arsaces.

13 For these reasons Count Arintheus138 was sent to those parts with an army, to render aid to the Armenians in case the Persians should try to harass them in a second campaign.

14 Meanwhile Sapor, who was immensely crafty and according to his advantage either humble or arrogant, under pretence of a future alliance, upbraided Papa through secret messengers as regardless of his own interests in being the slave of Cylaces and Arrabannes under the semblance of royal power. Papa, in headlong haste, and using the allurements of flattering blandishments, had the two men killed, and, when they were slain, sent their heads to Sapor as a sign of his submission.

15 The news of this disaster spread widely and all Armenia would have been lost for lack of defenders, had not the Persians, terrified by the coming of Arintheus, postponed a second invasion of the land. For the present they contented themselves with merely sending envoys to the emperor, asking that, in accordance with the agreement that Jovian had made with Sapor,139 he should not defend that nation. 16 This proposal was rejected, and Sauromaces, who (as I have already said)140 had been driven from the throne of Hiberia, was sent back there with Terentius and twelve legions. And when he had nearly reached the river Cyrus,141 Aspacures begged him that they should, being cousins,142 rule the country with conjoint authority, pleading that p87he could not withdraw or go over to the Roman side, for the reason that his son Ultra was still held in the condition of a hostage by the Persians.

17 When the emperor learned of this, in order by a prudent plan to appease the disturbances that would be aroused from this affair also, he consented to a division of Hiberia with the river Cyrus as the boundary line. Sauromaces was to hold the part of that country bordering on Armenia and the Lazi, and Aspacures the part next to Albania and the Persians.143

18 At this Sapor was greatly incensed, declaring that he was shamefully treated in that help was given to the Armenians contrary to the provisions of the treaties, and that the deputation which he had sent to remonstrate against this had come to nothing; also, because without his consent or knowledge it had been decided to divide the kingdom of Hiberia. Accordingly, having bolted, as it were, the door to friendship, he sought aid from the neighbouring nations and got his own army ready, in order that with the opening of mild weather he might overturn everything that the Romans had contrived to their own interests.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 The ill-treatment of their envoys; see XXVI.5.7.

2 There were three divisions; see 2.2 and 4.

3 Cf. XVII.10.5.

4 To‑day Châlon-sur‑Saône; cf. XIV.10.3, 5; XV.11.11.

5 See XXVI.6.12.

6 Cf. XXVI.9.1.

7 Now Charpeigne on the Moselle.

8 The Moselle.

9 Cf. Suet. Calig. 47. So also the Roman women of early times, Val. Max. II.1.5; Diod. Sic. V.28.1.

10 Châlons-sur‑Marne.

11 Cf. XXIV.1.3.

12 I.e., ready for battle; see note, p270.

13 Named, with the Eruli and the Batavi, among the court troops: (erant) inter auxilia Palatina sexaginta quinque (Not. Imper. Occid. v.157, Seeck).

14 That is, without the tribune's knowledge and giving him no chance to intervene.

15 In 367.

16 See crit. note 1.

17 360‑363.

18 Tuscia, or Etruria, was divided into Tuscia Annonaria ("grain-bearing") and Tuscia Urbicaria or Suburbicaria ("near the city," i.e. Rome).

19 Modern Pistoia.

20 The navicularii brought grain from abroad.

21 A.D. 374. The omen seems to have been that of an unfit person making trouble in a high position; there is perhaps a connection with the asses used to turn the mills in a bakery.

22 City-prefect in 364 and 365, father of the Symmachus from whom we have a collection of letters.

23 The Pons Aurelius, later called Pons Antoninus, now the Ponte Sisto (see Top. Dict. Anc. Rome, s.v. Pons Aurelius). It was restored by Valentinian in 365‑6 and bore his name for a time. It was not built (condidit) by Symmachus (see crit. note), but he dedicated by the emperors' orders after his prefecture. See Dessau, Inscr. 769; CIL VI.31402.

24 Cf. Pliny, N. H. XXXVI.181.

25 In 365.

26 Such as minors, actors, and charioteers; cf. XIV.6.14.

27 The Vatican hill, where there was an Apostles' Church before whose doors the people begged for alms.

28 Pseud.-Aurel. Victor, Epit. 41.13, says that Constantine gave this name to Trajan, because he had his name put on many buildings (ob titulos multis aedibus inscriptos).

29 See Livy, XXVII.51.2, for the first reference to this bridge (207 B.C.).

30 So also Pseud.-Aur. Vict., De Viris Ill. 72.8. This is M. Aemilius Scaurus, censor in 110 B.C., but the Pons Mulvius (Ponte Molle) must have been built as early as 220 B.C., to carry the Via Flaminia across the Tiber, and Scaurus restored it. Mulvius is unknown.

31 I.e., a fund set aside for such purposes; see Exc. 67. For tituli see XXX.5.6.

32 In the Fifth Region, also called Basilica Liberii (see Val. in Wagner-Erfurdt); now Santa Maria Maggiore.

33 Iliad, IX.5.

34 In the time of Ammianus included in Pannonia.

35 The consul of 114 B.C., M. Porcius Cato; Dio, XXVI.88 (vol. II LCL); Florus I.39.3 f.; Eutr. IV.24. Nothing is said of Cato's death by these writers.

36 This reverses the directions usual on our maps; but it is correct, since he begins at the west.

37 The Danube.

38 The Thracian Bosphorus, separating Europe (Thrace) from Asia (Mysia). It has a central surface-current flowing from the Euxine, and a deeper one, and also along-shore currents, flowing towards the Euxine.

39 Cf. XXVI.7.12.

40 Pliny, N. H. XXXI.28.

41 Acad. II.38.119.

42 Florus, I.39.5, 6; Ruf. Fest. 9.2.

43 M. Lucullus, Eutr. VI.10.

44 Ruf. Fest. 9.2‑3.

45 Cf. XXII.2.2; XXVI.10.4. See Map 1, Vol. II.

46 Also called Thracia Secunda.

47 Cf. XIV.11.15.

48 Cf. XXII.8.43.

49 Here for Mysia (or Moesia) Secunda, or Inferior; Mysia Prima belonged to Illyricum.

50 Cf. XXII.2.3.

51 Cf. XXII.8.4.

52 Cf. XXII.8.3, note.

53 With calidis sc. aquis.

54 The Moeso-Goths in Dacia. Zos. IV.10.11, calls them Scythians.

55 See XXVI.6.1; 7.10.

56 In Moesia Secunda, a province formed by Constantine the Great to oppose the Goths, and therefore called on coins by the name of Constantiniana Daphne.

57 When Fritigern with the Goths crossed the Danube and planned to war upon Achaia, they feared to leave Athanaricus behind, since he had remained true to the Romans. He was received at Constantinople by Theodosius in a friendly manner and died in 381. The Goths who had come with Athanaricus were so pleased by his royal funeral that they fought bravely for Theodosius. Cf. Zosimus, IV.34.

58 See Introd., Vol. I, p. xxvi, note 2, for this use of iudex.

59 See p32, note 1.

60 This was later. He was proconsul in 371 and 372, and city prefect in 388.

61 Maximus, who slew Gratian and ruled for five years. His rise and fall are vividly described by Kipling in Puck of Pooke's Hill.

62 And so might be left without a successor.

63 He was nine years old.

64 Cf. Cic., De Off. II.12.41 f., eademque constituendarum legum fuit causa quae regum. Ius enim semper est quaesitum aequabile . . . id si ab uno iusto et bono viro consequebantur, erant eo contenti; cum id minus contingeret, leges sunt inventae, quae cum omnibus semper una atque eadem voce loquerentur.

65 Marcus Aurelius. Titus is not an exception; see Trans. Amer. Phil. Assoc. XLV (1914), pp43 f.

66 At Amiens, Aug. 24, 367.

67 In Illyricum, Africa, and Italy; cf. XXVI.5.5.

68 In 365.

69 In Africa.

70 Cf. Cic., De Sen. 17.61, apex est autem senectutis auctoritas.

71 Cf. 3.2.

72 Cf. Sen., De Ira, I.13.5; II.19.4.

73 Diocles was not a person of low rank; for this use of alius, which is fairly frequent in Ammianus, see XXIII.3.9, crit. note 5. The same is perhaps true of Diodorus.

74 I.e., as was the right of a citizen cf. Apul., Metam. X.6. civiliter, if it is the correct reading, gives the opinion of Ammianus, not of the accuser; see crit. note.

75 The attendants of the deputy-governor.

76 The seat of the deputy-governor of Italy.

77 An incorrect definition of martyres, which is correctly defined by Ammianus in XXII.11.10; id est . . . acceptos is probably a gloss, as Valesius and Wagner thought.

78 Praetorian prefect in Gaul.

79 For the reluctance of citizens to serve as decurions see XXII.9.8, note 5.

80 I.e., this provision should be added to the law; suspendi seems to mean "posted" ("hung up"), cf. legem figere.

81 To the fiscus.

82 This was in accordance with a law of the XII Tables, which was nominally rescinded by the Lex Poetelia of 326 B.C. or later.

83 For other examples of Valentinian's cruelty see XXIX.3.2 ff.

84 In order to make war on the Alamanni; cf. 10.

85 Text and meaning are very uncertain; see crit. notes.

86 In a lost book; the same expressions are used by Gellius, XIV.1.3, but in the order usual in English, senescit adolescitque.

87 Odyss. XII.452 f.

88 Called Caledonians by Tacitus, Dio, and others.

89 The coast of Gaul opposite Britain.

90 Boulogne.

91 Modern Richborough, cf. XX.1.3.

92 London.

93 Probably in honour of some emperor, but the date is uncertain.

94 I.e., of the officers.

95 Cf. XIV.2.1 ff.; XIX.13.1.

96 Cf. Zos. IV.20.

97 The lieutenant-governor was a subordinate of the pretorian prefect. In so far as the latter could not himself administer all the parts (dioceses) of his province, the vicarius took his place.

98 From διωγμός, "pursuit," so‑called because they were employed as light-armed troops to pursue the enemy; cf. Capit., Ant. Phil., 21.7.

99 Germanicopolis was the principal city of the free Isaurians; Seleucia, of Roman Isauria.

100 In A.D. 367; he was formerly proconsular governor in Achaia; cf. XXI.7.6.

101 Cf. 3.11 ff.

102 propositiovotis, Wagner.

103 Balconies on houses, or colonnades, at first constructed for viewing the games in the Forum by a certain Maenius, and named from him; cf. Pseud.-Asconius on Cic. in Caecilium, 16.50.

104 Orat. 10.34.

105 The narrative returns to the war with the Alamanni; see 2. The date is 368.

106 Mainz.

107 Perhaps Easter.

108 Cf. XIV.1.7; XXI.16.6.

109 Cf. XXVI.6.2.

110 See Vol. I, p. xxxiv.

111 Perhaps Schwetzingen, near Heidelberg.

112 In XXVIII.2.5, Pirus, apparently the Heilige Berg at Heidelberg.

113 Cf. XVI.12.10; XIX.6.3; XXIV.3.8.

114 Cf. XIV.7.9, note 3.

115 Or; "among the very first to encounter danger."

116 Cf. XXV.3.13, notes.

117 Cf. XXVII.7.2.

118 His full name was C. Anicius Petronius Probus.

119 Cf. Claud., in cons. Olyb. et Prob. 42 f.,

hic non divitias nigrantibus abdidit antris,

nec tenebris damnavit opes; sed largior imbre

sueverat innumeras hominum ditare catervas.

120 Of an actor of comedy.

121 Cf. XXVI.10.16.

122 That is, they used their power secretly by controlling a high magistrate; mergentium suits the metaphor of "the finny tribe."

123 Philipp. II.12.29.

124 Cf. Odyss. XII.47‑9.

125 He was now 70 years old.

126 Cf. XXV.7.9 ff.

127 Cf. XXV.7.14.

128 Cf. Curtius, V.12.20, ne tamen honos regi non haberetur, aureis compedibus Dareum vinciunt; Hdt. III.130.

129 Cf. XXX.2.2, and p86, note 1.

130 She was called Olympias.

131 From the Romans.

132 See § 3, above.

133 Artogerassa; see § 5, above.

134 A Roman province, a division of the Diocese of Pontus; see Map 1, Vol. I.

135 Cf. XXX.1.24.

136 The name given at the time to what was formerly Colchis.

137 With cold; cf. urente, XVI.12.15.

138 Called magister peditum in 5.4; cf. equitum et peditum in 5.9.

139 Cf. XXV.7.12.

140 XXVII.12.4.

141 Modern Kur.

142 I.e., Sauromaces and Aspacures.

143 Hiberia lay north of Armenia, between the Lazi and the Albani, allies of the Persians. On the east was Albania; on the west, Colchis, or Lazica.


Thayer's Notes:

a A different view of the matter, understandably, is presented in the Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v.  Pope St. Damasus I.

b Removing wooden balconies and restoring space between adjacent buildings: both are fire prevention measures.


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