[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Roman History

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!

[image ALT: link to next section]
Book XXX

(Vol. III) Ammianus Marcellinus
Roman Antiquities

p187 Book XXIX

1 1 Theodorus, a notary, aspires to the throne, and being accused of treason at Antioch before Valens and convicted, along with many accomplices of his crime he is put to death.

1 At the end of the winter Sapor, king of the Persian nations, made immoderately arrogant by the confidence inspired by his former battles, having filled up the number of his army and greatly strengthened it, had sent his mailed horsemen, archers, and mercenary soldiers to invade our territories. 2 To meet these forces the general Trajanus and Vadomarius, the former king of the Alamanni, p189advanced with very powerful forces, appointed by the emperor's order to observe the policy of keeping off the Persians rather than attacking them. 3 When they had come to Vagabanta,1 a favourable place for the legions, they met unwillingly the swift attacks of the enemy's cavalry fiercely rushing upon them, and purposely retreated, in order not to be first to wound anyone of their adversaries and thus be judged guilty of violating the treaty; but at last, driven by extreme necessity, they engaged in battle, and, after slaying many of the Persians, came off victorious. 4 But during the delay which followed, several skirmishes were tried by both sides, which ended with varying results; and an armistice having been concluded by common consent, and the summer having ended, the leaders of both sides departed in different directions, still at enmity with each other. Now the king2 of the Parthians returned home, to spend the winter in Ctesiphon; but the Roman emperor entered Antioch. And while the latter was staying there, he almost fell victim to domestic treason, as an account of the series of events will show.

5 A certain Procopius, a turbulent man, always given over to a lust for disturbance, had charged two courtiers named Anatolius and Spudasius, about whom orders had been given that money of which they had defrauded the treasury be exacted of them, with having attempted the life of Count Fortunatianus, notorious as being a tiresome dunner. He, being hot-tempered, was immediately aroused to a mad degree of wrath, and by the authority of the office p191which he held,3 handed over a certain Palladius, a man of low birth, as one who had been hired as a poisoner by the afore-mentioned courtiers, and an interpreter of the fates by horoscope, Heliodorus by name, to the court of the praetorian prefecture, in order that they might be forced to tell what they knew about the matter. 6 But when they came to a vigorous investigation of the deed, or the attempt, Palladius boldly cried out that those matters about which they were inquiring were trivial and negligible; that if he were allowed to speak, he would tell of other things more important and fearful, which had already been plotted with great preparations, and unless foresight were used would upset the whole state. And on being bidden to tell freely what he knew, he uncoiled an endless cable of crimes,4 declaring that the ex-governor Fidustius, and Pergamius, with Irenaeus, by detestable arts of divination, had secretly learned the name of the man who was to succeed Valens. 7 Fidustius was seized on the spot — for he chanced to be near by — and was brought up secretly, and on being faced with the informer, he did not attempt to veil with any denial a matter already publicly known, but disclosed the deadly details of the whole plot; he freely admitted that he had, with Hilarius and Patricius, men skilled in divination, of whom the former had served in the household troops, sought information about the succession, and that the predictions inspired by secret arts had both foretold the naming of an excellent prince, and for the questioners themselves a sad end. 8 And while they were in doubt who there was at the time p193that was superior to all in strength of character, it seemed to them that Theodorus5 surpassed all others; he had already gained second rank among the secretaries, and was in fact such a man as they thought him. For he was born of a clan famous in olden times in Gaul, liberally educated from earliest childhood, and so eminent for his modesty, good sense, refinement, charm, and learning that he always seemed superior in to every office and rank that he was holding,6 and was dear like to high and low. He was also almost the only man whose mouth was closed by no fear of danger, since he bridled his tongue and reflected on what he was going to say. 9 Fidustius, already tortured almost to death, also added to this that Theodorus had learned all these prophecies from information which he himself had given him through Euserius, a man of remarkable learning and highly honoured; for shortly before that he had governed Asia with the rank of vice-prefect. 10 When Euserius also was put in prison, and the record of what had been done had been read to the emperor as usual, Valens' monstrous savagery spread everywhere like a fiercely blazing torch, and was increased by the base flattery of many men, and in particular by that of Modestus,7 who was then praetorian prefect. 11 This man, being daily terrified by the thought of a successor, by tricking Valens, who was somewhat simple-minded, with veiled but clever flattery tried to wheedle over the emperor's favour in various ways, calling his rough, crude words p195'choice Ciceronian posies'; and to increase his vanity he declared that, if Valens should order it, even the stars could be brought down and displayed for him.

12 Accordingly, orders were given that Theodorus also should be with swift dispatch hurried there8 from Constantinople, to which he had gone on domestic business, and while he was being brought back, as the result of sundry preliminary trials, which were carried on day and night, a number of men, conspicuous for their rank and high birth, were brought from widely separated places. 13 And, since neither the public dungeons, already full to overflowing, nor private houses could contain the throngs of prisoners, although they were crammed together in hot and stifling crowds, and since the greater number of them were in irons, they all dreaded their own fate and that of their nearest relatives. 14 Finally Theodorus himself also arrived, half dead with fear and in mourning garb, and when he had been hidden in a remote part of the country,9 and everything was ready that the coming inquiries required, the trumpets were already sounding the signal for the murder of citizens.

15 And because that man does not seem less deceitful who knowingly passes over what has been done, than one who invents things that never happened, I do not deny — and in fact there is no doubt about it — that Valens' life, not only often before through secret conspiracies, but also on this occasion, was plunged into extreme danger, and that a sword was almost driven into his throat by the soldiers; it was thrust away and turned aside by the hand of Fate only because she had destined him to p197suffer lamentable disasters in Thrace.10 16 For when he was quietly sleeping after midday in a wooded spot between Antioch and Seleucia, he was attacked by Sallustius, then one of the targeteers; but although at other times many men often eagerly made plots against his life, he escaped them all, since the limits of life assigned him at his very birth curbed these monstrous attempts. 17 The same thing sometimes happened during the reigns of Commodus and Severus, whose life was often attempted with extreme violence, until finally the one, after escaping many varied dangers within the palace, as he was entering the pit of the amphitheatre to attend the games, was dangerously wounded with a dagger by the senator Quintianus, a man of unlawful ambition, and almost disabled;11 the other, when far advanced in years, would have been stabbed by the centurion Saturninus (who at the instigation of the prefect Plautianus made an unexpected attack on him as he lay in bed) had not his young son borne him aid. 18 Therefore Valens also deserved excuse for taking every precaution to protect his life, which treacherous foes were trying in haste to take from him. But it was inexcusable that, with despotic anger, he was swift to assail with malicious persecution guilty and innocent under one and the same law, making no distinction in their deserts; so that while there was still doubt about the crime, the emperor had made up his mind about the penalty, and some learned that they had been condemned to death before knowing that they were under suspicion. 19 This persistent purpose of his increased, spurred on as it was both by his own greed and that of persons who frequented the court at that time, and opened the way to fresh p199desires, and if any mention of mercy was made — which rarely happened — called it slackness. These men through their bloodthirsty flatteries perverted in the worst possible direction the character of a man who carried death at the tip of his tongue,12 and blew everything down with an untimely hurricane, hastening to overturn utterly the richest houses. 20 For he was exposed and open to the approach of plotters through his dangerous tendency to two faults: first, he was more prone to intolerable anger, when to be angry at all was shameful; secondly, in his princely pride he did not condescend to sift the truth of what, with the readiness of access of a man in private life, he had heard in secret whispers, but accepted as true and certain. 21 The result was that many innocent persons under the appearance of mercy were thrust forth from their homes, and driven headlong into exile; and their property, which was consigned to the treasury, the emperor himself turned to his own profit,13 while the condemned, worn out by the privations of fearful poverty, were reduced to beggary — and that is a fate to avoid which the wise old poet Theognis advises us actually to hurl ourselves into the sea.14 22 And even if anyone should admit that these things were right, yet their excess alone was harmful. Whence it was observed that the maxim is true, that no sentence p201is more cruel than the one which conceals great severity under the guise of mercy.

23 Accordingly, when the highest officials, to whom the investigations had been entrusted together with the praetorian prefect, had been called together, the racks were made taut, the leaden weights15 were brought out along with the cords and the scourges. The whole place echoed with the horrible cries of a savage voice, as those who did the awful work shouted amid the clanking of chains: "Hold him; clamp; tighten; away with him."16 24 And, since I have seen many condemned after horrible tortures, but everything is a jumble of confusion as in times of darkness, I shall, since the complete recollection of what was done has escaped me, give a brief and summary account of what I can recall.

25 First, after some unimportant questions, Pergamius was called in, betrayed (as has been said)17 by Palladius of having foreknowledge of certain things through criminal incantations. Since he was very eloquent and was prone to say dangerous things, while the judges were in doubt what ought to be asked first and what last, he began to speak boldly, and shouted out in an endless flood the names of a very large number of men as accomplices, demanding that some be produced from all but the ends of the earth, to be accused of great crimes. He, as the contriver of too hard a task,18 was punished with death; and after him others were executed p203in flocks; then finally they came to the case of Theodorus himself, as if to the dusty arena of an Olympic contest. 26 And that same day, among very many others, this sad event also happened, that Salia, shortly before the master of the treasures19 in Thrace, when he was brought out of prison to be heard, just as he was putting his foot into his shoe, as if under the stroke of great terror suddenly falling upon him, breathed his last in the arms of those who held him.

27 Well then, when the court was ready to act, while the judges called attention to the provisions of the laws, but nevertheless regulated their handling of the cases according to the wish of the ruler, terror seized upon all. For Valens had entirely swerved from the high-way of justice, and had now learned better how to hurt; so he broke out into frenzied fits of rage, like a wild beast trained for the arena if it sees that anyone brought near to the barrier has made his escape.

28 Then Patricius and Hilarius were brought in and ordered to give a connected account of what had happened. In the beginning they were at variance with each other, but when their sides had been furrowed and the tripod which they were in the habit of using was brought in, they were driven into a corner, and gave a true account of the whole business, which they unfolded from its very beginning. First Hilarius said:

29 "O most honoured judges, we constructed from laurel twigs under dire auspices this unlucky little table which you see, in the likeness of the Delphic tripod, and having duly consecrated it by p205secret incantations, after many long-continued rehearsals we at length made it work. Now the manner of its working, whenever it was consulted about hidden matters, was as follows. 30 It was placed in the middle of a house purified thoroughly with Arabic perfumes; on it was placed a perfectly round plate made of various metallic substances. Around its outer rim the written forms of the twenty-four letters of the alphabet were skillfully engraved, separated from one another by carefully measured spaces. 31 Then a man clad in linen garments, shod also in linen sandals and having a fillet wound about his head, carrying twigs from a tree of good omen, after propitiating in a set formula the divine power from whom predictions come, having full knowledge of the ceremonial, stood over the tripod as priest and set swinging a hanging ring fitted to a very fine linen thread20 and consecrated with mystic arts. This ring, passing over the designated intervals in a series of jumps, and falling upon this and that letter which detained it, made hexameters corresponding with the questions and completely finished in feet and rhythm, like the Pythian verses which we read, or those given out from the oracles of the Branchidae.21 32 When we then and there inquired, 'what man will succeed the present emperor'?, since it was said that he would be perfect in every particular, p207and the ring leaped forward and lightly touched the two syllables ΘΕΟ, adding the next letter,22 then one of those present cried out that by the decision of inevitable fate Theodorus was meant. And there was no further investigation of the matter; for it was agreed among us that he was the man who was sought."

33 And when Hilarius had laid the knowledge of the whole matter so clearly before the eyes of the judges, he kindly added that Theodorus was completely ignorant of what was done. After this, being asked whether they had, from belief in the oracles which they practised, known beforehand what they were now suffering, they uttered those familiar verses which clearly announced that this work of inquiring into the superhuman would soon be fatal to them, but that nevertheless the Furies, breathing out death and fire, threatened also the emperor himself and his judges. Of these verses it will suffice to quote the last three:

"Avenged will be your blood. Against them too

Tisiphonê's deep wrath arms evil fate,

While Ares ranges on the plain of Mimas."

When these verses had been read, both were terribly torn by the hooks of the torturers and taken away senseless. 34 Later, in order wholly to lay bare this factory of the crimes that had been meditated, a group of distinguished men was led in, comprising the very heads of the undertaking. But since each one had regard for nothing but himself, and tried to shift his ruin to another, by permission of the inquisitors Theodorus p209began to speak; at first lying prostrate in a humble prayer for pardon, but then, when compelled to talk more to the point, he declared that he had learned of the affair through Euserius and tried more than once to report it to the emperor, but was prevented by his informant, who assured him that no illicit attempt to usurp the throne, but some inevitable will of fate, would realize their hopes without effort on their part. 35 Then Euserius, under bloody torture, made the same confession, but Theodorus was convicted by a letter of his own written in ambiguous and tortuous language to Hilarius, in which he did not hesitate about the matter, but only sought an opportunity to attain his desire, having already a strong confidence begotten from the soothsayers.

36 When these had been removed after this information, Eutropius,23 then governing Asia with proconsular authority, was summoned on the charge of complicity in the plot. But he escaped without harm, saved by the philosopher Pasiphilus, who, although cruelly tortured to induce him to bring about the ruin of Eutropius through a false charge, could not be turned from the firmness of a steadfast mind. 37 There was, besides these, the philosopher Simonides, a young man, it is true, but of anyone within our memory the strictest in his principles. When he was charged with having heard of the affair through Fidustius and saw that the trial depended, not on the truth, but on the nod of one man, he said that he had learned of the predictions, but as a man of firm purpose he kept the secret which had been confided to him.

p211 38 After all these matters had been examined with sharp eye, the emperor, in answer to the question put by the judges, under one decree ordered the execution of all of the accused; and in the presence of a vast throng, who could hardly look upon the dreadful sight without inward shuddering and burdening the air with laments — for the woes of individuals were regarded as common to all — they were all led away and wretchedly strangled except Simonides; him alone that cruel author of the verdict, maddened by his steadfast firmness, had ordered to be burned alive. 39 Simonides, however, ready to escape from life as from a cruel tyrant, and laughing at the sudden disasters of human destiny, stood unmoved amid the flames; imitating that celebrated philosopher Peregrinus, surnamed Proteus,24 who, when he had determined to depart from life, at the quinquenniala Olympic festival, in the sight of all Greece, mounted a funeral pyre which he himself had constructed and was consumed by the flames. 40 And after him, in the days that followed, a throng of men of almost all ranks, whom it would be difficult to enumerate by name, involved in the snares of calumny, wearied the arms of the executioners after being first crippled by rack, lead, and scourge. Some were punished without breathing-space or delay, while inquiry was being made whether they deserved punishment; everywhere the scene was like a slaughtering of cattle.

41 Then, innumerable writings and many heaps of volumes were hauled out from various houses and under the eyes of the judges were burned in heaps as being unlawful, to allay the indignation at the p213executions, although the greater number were treatises on the liberal arts and on jurisprudence.

42 And not so very long afterward that famous philosopher Maximus, a man with a great reputation for learning, through whose rich discourses Julian stood out as an emperor well stored as regards knowledge,25 was alleged to have heard the verses of the aforesaid oracle. And he admitted that he had learnt of them, but out of regard for his philosophical principles had not divulged secrets, although he had volunteered the prediction that the consultors of the future would themselves perish by capital punishment. Thereupon he was taken to his native city of Ephesus and there beheaded;26 and taught by his final danger he came to know that the injustice of a judge was more formidable than any accusation. 43 Diogenes also was entangled in the snares of an impious falsehood. He was a man born of noble stock, eminent for his talent, his fearless eloquence, and his charm; he was a former governor of Bithynia, but was now punished with death in order that his rich patrimony might be plundered. 44 Lo! even Alypius also, former vice-governor of Britain,27 a man amiable and gentle, after living in leisure and retirement — since even as far as this had injustice stretched her hand — was made to wallow in utmost wretchedness; he was accused with his son Hierocles, a young man of good character, as guilty of magic, on the sole evidence of a certain Diogenes, a man of low origin, who was tortured with every degree of butchery, to lead him to give testimony agreeable to the emperor, or rather to the instigator p215of the charge. Diogenes, when not enough of his body was left for torture, was burned alive; Alypius himself also, after confiscation of his goods, was condemned to exile, but recovered his son, who was already being led to a wretched death,28 but by a lucky chance was reprieved.

2 1 Many in the Orient, accused of magic and other crimes and condemned, are put to death, some justly, other unjustly.

1 During all this time, the notorious Palladius, the fomenter29 of all these troubles, who, as we said at first,30 was taken in custody by Fortunatianus, being by the very lowness of his condition ready to plunge into anything, by heaping disaster on disaster, had drenched the whole empire with grief and tears. 2 For having gained leave to name all whom he desired, without distinction of fortune, as dabbling in forbidden practices, like a hunter skilled in observing the secret tracks of wild beasts, he entangled many persons in his lamentable nets, some of them on the ground of having stained themselves with the knowledge of magic, others as accomplices of those who were aiming at treason. 3 And in order that even wives should have no time to weep over the misfortunes of their husbands, men were immediately sent to put the seal31 on the houses, and during the examination of the furniture of the householder who had been condemned, to introduce privily old-wives' incantations or unbecoming p217love-potions, contrived for the ruin of innocent people. And when these were in a court where there was no law or scruple or justice to distinguish truth from falsehood, without opportunity for defence young and old without discrimination were robbed of their goods and, although they were found stained by no fault, after being maimed in all their limbs were carried off in litters to execution. 4 As a result, throughout the oriental provinces owners of books, through fear of a like fate, burned their entire libraries; so great was the terror that had seized upon all.32 Indeed, to speak briefly, at that time we all crept about as if in Cimmerian darkness,33 feeling the same fears as the guests of the Sicilian Dionysius, who, while filled to repletion with banquets more terrible than any possible hunger, saw with a shudder the swords hanging over their heads from the ceilings of the rooms in which they reclined and held only by single horsehairs.34

5 At that time Bassianus also, one of a most illustrious family and serving as a secretary of the first class,35 was accused of trying to gain foreknowledge of higher power, although he himself declared that he had merely inquired about the sex of a child which his wife expected; but by the urgent efforts of the kinsfolk by whom he was defended, he was saved from death; but he was stripped of his rich patrimony.

p219 6 Amid the crash of so many ruins Heliodorus, that hellish contriver with Palladius of all evils, being a mathematician36 (in the parlance of the vulgar) and pledged by secret instructions from the imperial court, after he had been cajoled by every enticement of kindness to induce him to reveal what he knew or could invent, now put forth his deadly stings. 7 For he was most solicitously pampered with the choicest foods, and earned a great amount of contributed money for presents to his concubines; and so he strode about anywhere and everywhere, displaying his grim face, which struck fear into all. And his assurance was the greater because, in his capacity as chamberlain, he constantly and openly visited the women's apartments, to which, as he himself desired, he freely resorted, displaying the warrants37 of the Father of his People,38 which were to be a cause of grief to many. 8 And through these warrants Heliodorus instructed Palladius (as though he were an advocate in public law-suits) what to put at the beginning of his speech, in order the more easily to make it effective and strong, or with which figures of rhetoric he ought to aim at brilliant passages.39

9 And since it would be a long story to tell all this gallows-bird40 contrived, I will recount this one case, showing with what audacious confidence he smote the very pillars of the patriciate. For made enormously insolent by secret conferences p221with people of the court, as has been said, and through his very worthlessness easy to be hired to commit any and every crime, he accused that admirable pair of consuls, the two brothers Eusebius and Hypatius41 (connections by marriage of the late emperor Constantius) of having aspired to a desire for higher fortune, and of having made inquiries and formed plans about the sovereignty; and he added to the path42 which he had falsely devised for his fabrication that royal robes had even been made ready for Eusebius. 10 Eagerly drinking this in, the menacing madman,43 to whom nothing ought to have been permitted, since he thought that everything, even what was unjust, was allowed him,44 inexorably summoned from the farthest boundaries of the empire all those whom the accuser, exempt from the laws, with profound assurance had insisted ought to be brought before him, and ordered a calumnious trial to be set on foot. 11 And when in much-knotted bonds of constriction justice had long been trodden down and tied tightly, and the wretched scoundrel persisted in his strings of assertions, severe tortures could force no confession, but showed that these distinguished men were far removed even from any knowledge of anything of the kind. Nevertheless, the calumniator was as highly honoured as before, while the accused were punished with exile and with fines; but shortly afterwards they were recalled, had their fines remitted, and were restored to their former rank and honour unimpaired.

p223 12 Yet after these so lamentable events Valens acted with no more restraint or shame; since excessive power does not reflect that it is unworthy for men of right principles, even to the disadvantage of their enemies, willingly to plunge into crime, and that nothing is so ugly as for a cruel nature to be joined to lofty pride of power.45 13 But when Heliodorus died (whether naturally or through some deliberate violence46 is uncertain; I would rather not say "too late": I only wish that even the facts did not speak to that effect!) his body was carried out by the undertakers, and many men of rank, clad in mourning, were ordered to precede it, including the brothers who had been consuls.47 14 Thereby the entire rottenness of the folly of the empire's ruler was then completely revealed; for although he was earnestly besought to refrain from this inexcusable insult,48 yet he remained so inflexible that he seemed to have stopped his ears with wax,49 as if he were going to pass the rocks of the Sirens. 15 At last, however, he yielded to insistent prayers, and ordered that some persons should precede the ill-omened bier of the body-snatcher50 to the tomb, marching with bare heads and feet,51 some also with folded hands.52 My mind shrinks from recalling, during that suspension of justice,53 how many men of the highest rank, especially ex-consuls, after having carried the staves of honour and worn purple robes, and having their names made known to all the world54 in the Roman calendar, were p225seen exposed to humiliation. 16 Conspicuous among all of these was our Hypatius, a man recommended from his youth by noble virtues, of quiet and calm discretion, and of a nobility and gentleness measured as it were by the plumb-line;55 he conferred honour on the fame of his ancestors56 and himself gave glory to posterity by the admirable acts of his two prefectures.57

17 At the time Valens added this also to the rest of his glories, that while in other instances he was so savagely cruel as to grieve that the great pain of his punishments could not continue after death,58 yet he spared the tribune Numerius, a man of surpassing wickedness! This man was convicted at that same time on his own confession of having dared to cut open the womb of a living woman and take out her unripe offspring, in order to evoke the ghosts of the dead and consult them about a change of rulers; yet Valens, who looked on him with the eye of an intimate friend, in spite of the murmurs of the whole Senate gave orders that he should escape unpunished, and retain his life, his enviable wealth, and his military rank unimpaired.

18 O noble system of wisdom, by heaven's gift bestowed upon the fortunate, thou who hast often ennobled even sinful natures! How much wouldst thou have corrected in those dark days, if it had been permitted Valens to learn through you that royal power — as the philosophers declare — is nothing else than the care for others' welfare;59 that p227it is the duty of a good ruler to restrain his power, to resist unbounded desire and implacable anger, and to know — as the dictator Caesar used to say — that the recollection of cruelty is a wretched support60 for old age. And therefore, if he is going to pass judgment affecting the life and breath of a human being, who forms a part of the world and completes the number of living things, he ought to hesitate long and greatly and not be carried away by headlong passion to a point where what is done cannot be undone;61 of which we have a very well-known instance in olden times. 19 A woman of Smyrna confessed before Dolabella,62 the proconsul of Asia, that she had poisoned her husband and her own son by him, because (as she said) she had discovered that they had killed her son by a former marriage; but she was ordered to appear again two days later.63 Since the council, to which according to custom the matter was referred, uncertain what distinction ought to be made between revenge and crimes, hesitated to decide, she was sent before the Areopagites, those strict judges at Athens, whose justice is said to have decided disputes even among the gods.64 They, after p229having considered the case, ordered the woman to appear before them with her accuser a hundred years later, since they did not wish either to acquit a poisoner or punish an avenger of her kindred; for that is never thought late which is the last of all things.

20 After these various deeds of injustice which have already been mentioned, and the marks of torture shamefully branded upon the bodies of such free men as had survived, the never-closing eye of Justice, the eternal witness and avenger of all things, was watchfully attentive. For the last curses of the murdered, moving the eternal godhead through the just ground of their complaints, had kindled the firebrands of Bellona; so that the truth of the oracle was confirmed, which had predicted that no crimes would go unpunished.

21 While these events, which have just been described, during the cessation of the Parthian storm were being spread abroad at Antioch in the form of internal troubles, the awful band of the Furies, after making a rolling flood of manifold disasters, left that city and settled on the shoulders of all Asia, in the following way. 22 A certain Festinus of Tridentum, a man of the lowest and most obscure parentage, was admitted by Maximinus65 even into the ties of affection which true brothers show, for he had been his boon companion and with him had assumed the manly gown. By decree of the fates this man passed over to the Orient, and there in the administration of Syria, and after serving as master of the rolls,66 he left behind him praiseworthy examples of mildness and of respect for law; and when later he was advanced p231to the governorship of Asia with proconsular authority, he sailed to glory with a fair wind, as the saying is. 23 But hearing that Maximinus planned to wipe out all decent men, from that time on he decried his actions as dangerous and shameful. But when he learned that Maximinus, merely through the recommendation of the deaths of those whom he had impiously slain, had attained the honour of prefect contrary to his deserts, he was aroused to similar deeds and hopes. Like an actor, suddenly changing his mask, he conceived the desire of doing harm and stalked about with intent and cruel eyes, imagining that the prefecture would soon be his if he also should have stained himself with the punishment of the innocent. 24 And although many of the various acts which he committed were very harsh, to express it mildly, yet it will suffice to mention a few which are familiar and generally known, and done in emulation of those which had taken place in Rome. For the principle of good or bad deeds is the same everywhere, even if the greatness of the situation is not the same.67 25 He executed a philosopher called Coeranius, a man of no slight merit, after he had resisted tortures of savage cruelty, because in a letter to his wife of a personal nature he had added in Greek: "But do you take note and crown the house door," which is a common proverbial expression, used in order that the hearer may know that something of greater importance than usual is to be done. 26 There was a simple-minded old woman who was in the habit of curing intermittent fevers with a harmless charm. He caused her to be put to death as a criminal, after p233she had been called in with his own knowledge and had treated his daughter. 27 Among the papers of a distinguished townsman, of which an examination had been ordered for some business reason, the horoscope of a certain Valens was found; when the person concerned was asked why he had cast the nativity of the emperor, he defended himself against the false charge by saying that he had had a brother named Valens, and that he had died long ago. He promised to show this by proofs of full credibility, but they did not wait for the truth to be discovered, and he was tortured and butchered.b 28 In the bath a young man was seen to touch alternately with the fingers of either hand first the marble68 and then his breast, and to count the seven vowels,69 thinking it a helpful remedy for a stomach trouble. He was haled into court, tortured and beheaded.

3 1 Various instances of the ferocity and savage cruelty of Valentinianus Augustus in the western regions.

1 At this point, as I turn my pen to Gaul, the order and series of events is a turmoil, since we find Maximus, who is now prefect, in the midst of many cruel deeds; for being in possession of extensive power, he was added as an ill-omened incentive to the emperor,70 who united with the majesty of his position unendurable tyranny. Therefore, whoever ponders what I have told, should also carefully weigh the rest which are passed over in silence; and, like a reasonable person, he will pardon me for not p235including everything which deliberate wickedness committed by exaggerating the importance of the charges. 2 For Valentinian, who was naturally savage, as bitterness (which is a foe to righteous conduct) increased in him after the coming of the aforesaid Maximinus, having no one to give better advice or to restrain him, was carried as if by surging waves and tempests from one cruel act to another; to such a degree that, when he was in a passion, often his voice and expression, his gait and his colour, were changed. For his cruelty we have the testimony of various sure pieces of evidence, of which it will suffice to set down a few.

3 A well-grown youth of the class called pages71 was posted, holding in leash a Spartan hound, to watch for game at a hunt; but he let the dog loose before the designated time, because the animal in an effort to escape leaped at him in a rush and bit him; for that he was beaten to death with cudgels and buried the same day. 4 A man in charge of a smithy brought to the emperor a breastplate artistically embellished, and expected a reward for it; but Valentinian ordered him to be put to death with equal cruelty because the piece72 of iron armour had a little less weight than he had stipulated. An elder of the Christian faith from Epirus, who was a favourite of Octavianus,73 the former proconsul, . . . and the author of the charges was sent back, although somewhat tardily, to his home.74 5 Constantianus, an p237officer of the stable,75 was sent to Sardinia to test horses to be used for military service, and because he had dared to exchange a few of them, he was stoned to death by the emperor's order. Athanasius, a favourite charioteer of the day, so suspected by him for his general light-mindedness that he was ordered to be burned alive if he should try anything of the kind,76 not long afterward used magic arts and was charged therewith; and without indulgence being granted to a man who was an artist in entertainments, he was condemned to be burned to death. 6 Africanus, a busy pleader of cases at law in the city, after governing a province, aspired to the rule of another; but when Theodosius, general of the cavalry, supported him in his request, the kind emperor gave this somewhat boorish reply: "Go, general, and change his head for him, since he wants a change in his province." And by this pronouncement77 an eloquent man lost his life merely for hastening, like many, for advancement. 7 Claudius and Sallustius, of the Jovian legion, who had advanced as far as the rank of tribune, were accused by a fellow whose low origin in itself made him an object of contempt, on the ground that when Procopius had aspired to the imperial power they had spoken some good words for him; but although constant inquisitions revealed nothing, the emperor ordered the generals of the cavalry, who were hearing the case, to drive Claudius into exile and condemn Sallustius to death, promising to pardon the latter on his way to execution. But when this had p239been done according to the directions, Sallustius' life was not spared and Claudius was not freed from the sorrow of banishment until after the death of the aforesaid Valentinian78 . . . decidedly refused, although they were repeatedly tortured. 8 Accordingly, although inquisitions followed thick and fast, and some died in consequence of excessive torture, not even a trace of the alleged crimes was found. In this business even the bodyguards who had been sent to arrest persons . . .79 were beaten to death with cudgels, contrary to all precedent.

9 My mind shrinks from enumerating all the cases, and at the same time I dread seeming to give the impression of purposely having sought out merely the defects of a prince who was a very proper man in other ways. Yet one thing it is just neither to pass over nor to leave unmentioned, namely this, that having two savage, man-eating she-bears, one called Goldflake and the other Innocence, he looked after them with such extreme care that he placed their cages near his own bedroom, and appointed trustworthy keepers, who were to take particular care that the beasts' lamentable savageness should not by any chance be destroyed. Finally, after he had seen the burial of many corpses of those whom Innocence had torn to pieces, he allowed her to return to the forest unhurt, as a good and faithful servant, in the hope that she would have cubs like herself . . .

p241 4 1 Valentinianus Augustus crosses the Rhine on a bridge of boats, but although Macrianus, king of the Alamanni, was off his guard, he was prevented from capturing him through the fault of the soldiers.

1 These, then, are undeniable indications of Valentinian's character and his blood-thirsty tendency. But, on the other hand, no one, not even one of his persistent detractors, will reproach him with lack of ingenuity in behalf of the state, especially if one bears in mind that it was a more valuable service to check the barbarians by frontier defences than to defeat them in battle. And when he had given80 . . . if any of the enemy made a move, he was seen from above from the watch-towers, and overcome.

2 But among many other cares, his first and principal aim was to capture alive by violence or by craft King Macrianus,81 just as, long before, Julian took Vadomarius; for Macrianus, amid the frequent changes in the policy followed towards him, had increased in power, and now was rising against our countrymen with full-grown strength. Accordingly, having first provided what the circumstances and the time demanded, and having learned from the reports of deserters where the said king, who expected no hostile move, could be seized, Valentinian threw a pontoon across the Rhine as quietly as his means allowed, lest anyone should interfere with the bridge while it was being put together. 3 And p243first Severus, who commanded the infantry forces, took the lead by marching against Mattiacae Aquae;82 but alarmed when he considered the small number of his soldiers, he halted, fearing that he might be unable to resist the onrushing hordes of the enemy, and so might be overcome by them. 4 There he chanced to find some of the traders83 loading slaves intended for sale, and because he suspected that they would quickly run off and report what they had seen, he took their wares84 from them and killed them all. 5 Then the generals,85 encouraged by the arrival of additional troops, encamped, with a view to a very short stay, since no one had a pack-animal or a tent, except the emperor, for whom a rug and a rough blanket86 sufficed for such a shelter. Then, after delaying for a time on account of the darkness of night, as soon as the morning-star uprose, since the campaign called for haste, they advanced farther, led by guides who knew the roads; and a large force of cavalry was ordered to precede them under command of Theodosius, that nothing might be unobserved87 . . . was lying at the time; but he was prevented by the continuous noise made by his men; for although he constantly commanded them to abstain p245from plundering and setting fires, he could not make them obey. For the crackling flames and the dissonant shouts awakened the king's attendants, and suspecting what had happened, they placed him in a swift wagon and hid him in a narrow pass of the precipitous hills. 6 Valentinian was robbed of this glory,88 not by his own fault or that of his generals, but by the indiscipline of the soldiers, which has often caused the Roman state heavy losses; so, after reducing the enemy's territory to ashes for fifty miles,89 he returned sadly to Treves. 7 There, as a lion, because he has lost a deer or a goat, gnashes his empty jaws, just when the forces of the enemy were broken and scattered by fear, in place of Macrianus he made Fraomarius king of the Bucinobantes, a tribe of the Alamanni dwelling opposite Mainz. And soon afterwards, since a recent invasion had utterly devastated that canton, he transferred him to Britain with the rank of tribune, and gave him command of a troop90 of the Alamanni which at that time was distinguished for its numbers and its strength. Bitheridus, indeed, and Hortarius (chiefs of the same nation) he appointed to commands in the army; but of these Hortarius was betrayed by a report of Florentius, commander in Germany, of having written certain things to the detriment of the state to Macrianus and the chiefs of the barbarians, and after the truth was wrung from him by torture he suffered the penalty of death by burning.

p247 5 1 Theodosius, commander of the cavalry in Gaul, in many battles exhausts the Moor Firmus, son of prince Nubel, who had revolted from Valentinian, and after finally driving him to suicide restores peace to Africa.

1 Then amid91 . . . it has seemed best to give an account, without a break, of what happened next, lest while, amongst matters and places widely separated, others are intruded, the survey of many varying events may inevitably be confused.

2 Nubel, as a petty king, had great power among the Moorish peoples; on departing from life, besides legitimate sons he left some that were the offspring of concubines. Of the latter Zammac, who was beloved by the general called Romanus,92 was secretly murdered by his brother Firmus, an act which occasioned dissensions and wars. For Romanus, hastening with extreme zeal to avenge his death, resorted to many formidable means for the destruction of the assassin; and, as persistent rumours divulged, even at court vigorous measures were taken to make sure that the reports of Romanus, which heaped up many serious charges against Firmus, should be gladly received and read out to the emperor; and many voices united in supporting these reports. But, on the contrary, the arguments which Firmus through his friends frequently presented in his defence for the purpose of saving his life, although they were received, were long concealed; for Remigius, at that time marshal of the court, a relative and friend of Romanus, declared that amid the more important and pressing p249business of the emperor such trivial and superfluous communications could not be read until opportunity offered.

3 When the Moor perceived that these things were being done to break down his defence, he was now in dread of the worst; and fearing that the rebuttal which he offered would be set aside and he would be executed without a trial as dangerous and unruly, he revolted from the rule of the empire, and sought the help of neighbouring peoples . . . for devastating93 . . . 4 To avert this danger before an implacable enemy should increase in strength, Theodosius, commander of the cavalry, was sent with the aid of a small body of the court troops, since in his merits (as a man efficient in accomplishing his ends) he surpassed all others of his time. He might well be compared with Domitius Corbulo and Lusius94 of old, of whom the former under Nero, the latter during Trajan's reign, were famed for many brave deeds. 5 Then setting out from Arles under favourable auspices and crossing the sea with the fleet under his command, preceded by no report of his coming he landed on the coast of Sitifian95 Mauritania, which the natives call Igilgilitanum. There he chanced upon Romanus, whom he addressed courteously, and sent him to take charge of the guards and frontier defences, with a very p251slight rebuke for the conduct96 which made him apprehensive. 6 When Theodorus had departed to Caesarean Mauritania, he sent Gildo,97 the brother of Firmus, and Maximus to arrest Vincentius, who as second in command to Romanus participated in his insolence and thefts. 7 Then, after being joined by his troops somewhat tardily, since they were delayed by the long sea-voyage, he hastened to Sitifis, and gave orders that Romanus should, with his attendants, be handed over to the guard, to be kept in custody. During his stay in that town Theodosius was torn with twofold anxiety and turned over many things in his mind, considering by what way and by what devices he might lead his soldiers, who were accustomed to a cold climate, through lands parched with heat, or might capture an enemy who was a runabout, making sudden moves and trusting rather to secret ambuscades than to stand-up fights.

8 When this became known to Firmus, at first through uncertain rumour and then through definite information, overcome by the arrival of so brilliant a general, he sent envoys with a letter to ask pardon and indulgence for what had happened, declaring that he had not of his own volition taken a hasty step which he knew to be criminal, but because of unjust and outrageous treatment by Romanus, as he promised to show. 9 When the general had read the letter, he accepted hostages and promised peace; he then proceeded to the station called Pancharia, in order to review the legions which were p253guarding Africa and had been bidden to assemble in that place. There he aroused the hope of all by a lofty, but discreet, address, and returned to Sitifis, where he united the native troops and those which he himself had brought; then, impatient of further delay, he hastened with all speed to open the campaign. 10 But among many other excellent measures he made himself immensely more beloved by this — that he did not allow the provincials to furnish supplies for the army, declaring with splendid confidence that the harvests and stores of the enemy were the granaries of our valorous troops.98

11 After these arrangements had thus been made to the joy of the land-owners, he marched to Tubusuptum, a town near Mount Ferratus, but declined to receive a second deputation from Firmus, because, contrary to the previous agreement, it had brought no hostages with it. From there he carefully examined into everything, so far as present circumstances allowed, and then advanced rapidly against the peoples of the Tyndenses and the Masinissenses, who were provided only with light arms and were led by Mascizel99 and Dius, brothers of Firmus. 12 When the enemy, active in all their limbs, were in sight, a fierce battle began after volleys of missiles from both sides; amid the groans of the dying and the wounded the mournful howls of the barbarians were heard, as they were taken prisoner or killed; and when the contest was ended, p255many fields were plundered and burned. 13 Among such disasters conspicuous were those to an estate called Petrensis, which its owner, Salmaces, a brother of Firmus had built up in the manner of a city,100 and which was utterly destroyed. The victor, elated by this success, with remarkable speed seized the town of Lamfoctum, situated among the aforesaid peoples, where he caused an abundance of provisions to be stored, so that if on penetrating farther into the country he met with a scarcity of food, he might order it to be brought from near at hand. 14 During the course of these events Mascizel, having recovered his strength by bringing in helpers from neighbouring tribes, engaged with our men; but when very many of his troops were routed, he himself barely escaped the danger of death through the swiftness of his horse.

15 Firmus, weakened by the losses of two battles and chafing in his inmost heart, in order not to neglect even one last measure, sent priests of the Christian sect with hostages to beg for peace. These were received courteously and, on their promise to furnish the necessities of life for the soldiers, as was ordered, they brought back a favourable reply and peace; whereupon the Moor himself, after sending presents, went with some confidence to the Roman general, mounted upon a horse that would prove useful in times of danger; and when he had come near, dazzled by the gleaming standards and the fear-inspiring expression of Theodorus, he sprang from his mount, and with bowed neck almost prostrate on the ground blamed with tears his rashness, and begged for pardon and p257peace. 16 Being received with a kiss, since the interests of the state so demanded, he was now filled with joyful hope, furnished a sufficient amount of provisions, left some of his relatives by way of hostages, and went away, after agreeing to fulfil his promise and return the captives which he had taken at the very beginning of the rebellion. Two days later, without hesitation, he restored, as had been ordered, the town of Icosium, of whose founders I spoke before,101 the military standards, and the priestly crown,102 as well as the rest of the booty which he had taken.

17 When after this our general had hurried through long marches and was now entering Tipasa, to envoys from the Mazices, who had joined with Firmus, and humbly begged for pardon, he replied with lofty spirit that he would at once take the field against them as traitors. 18 And when they, paralysed with fear of the imminent danger, had been ordered to return to their homes, he went on to Caesarea,103 formerly a powerful and famous city, the origin of which I have also fully discussed in my description of the topography104 of Africa.105 On entering the city, and finding it almost wholly burned down from widespread fires, and the paving-stones white with mould,c he decided to station the first and second legions there for a time, with p259orders to clear away the heaps of ashes and keep guard there, to prevent the place for being devastated by a renewed attack of the savages.

19 When these events had been spread abroad by frequent and trustworthy rumours, the officials of the province and the tribune Vincentius106 came out of the hiding-places in which they had taken refuge, and at last, free from fear, quickly appeared before the general. He, after having seen and received them gladly, being then still at Caesarea, inquired carefully about the true state of affairs; he learned that Firmus, under pretence of fear and submission, was secretly forming the plan of throwing our army into confusion, as if by a sudden tempest, while it feared no hostile demonstration. 20 Therefore he turned from there and came to the municipal town of Sugabarritanum, on the slope of the Transcellian mountain, where he found the horsemen of the fourth cohort of archers, which had gone over to the rebel; and to show that he was content with a somewhat mild punishment, he degraded them all to the lowest class of the service; then he ordered them and a part of the Constantian107 infantry, with their tribunes, one of whom had placed his neck-chain, in place of a diadem, on Firmus' head, to come to Tigaviae. 21 While this was going on, Gildo and Maximus returned, bringing Belles, one of the chiefs of the Mazices, and Fericius, prefect108 of the tribe, who had aided the party of the disturber of the public peace109 . . . 22 When this p261had been done according to order, at daybreak he himself came out, and finding the rebels surrounded by his army, he said: "What think you, my devoted comrades, ought to be done with these abominable traitors?" And acceding to the acclamation of those who asked that they should pay for it with their blood, he turned over those who served among the Constantiani to the soldiers, seem to be slain in the old-fashioned way.110 But he had the hands of the leaders of the archers cut off and punished the rest with death, following the example of that strictest of leaders Curio,111 who put an end by a punishment of that kind to the wildness of the Dardani, when, like the Lernaean hydra, they constantly gained new life. 23 But malevolent detractors, while praising that act of the olden time, find fault with this one as cruel and inhuman, declaring that the Dardani were murderous enemies and justly suffered the punishment which befell them, while these, on the contrary, were soldiers under the flag who had allowed themselves to commit a single fault and deserved to have been punished more leniently. But such folk we remind of what they perhaps do not know, that this cohort was harmful, not only in its action, but also in the example which it set. 24 The aforesaid Belles and Fericius, whom Gildo had brought, and Curandius, tribune of the archers, he ordered to be put to death, the last named on the ground that he never wished either to engage with the enemy himself or to encourage his men to fight. Moreover, Theodorus did this bearing in mind the saying p263of Cicero: "Wholesome strength is better than a vain show of mercy."112

25 Setting out from there, he came to an estate called Gaionatis, surrounded by a strong wall and hence a very safe refuge for the Moors. Against this he brought up his battering-rams and destroyed it, including all the inhabitants and levelling the walls; then advancing over the Ancorarian mountain to Castellum Tingitanum, he attacked the Mazices, who were gathered together into one body and replied with missiles which came flying like hail. 26 And after both sides had rushed in to the attack, the Mazices, though a warlike and hardy race, could not resist the columns of our men, charging with all their strength and weapons, but involved in heavy losses at various points fled in shameful terror; and as they rushed to escape all were cut down except those who found a means of getting away, and later by abject prayers obtained the pardon which circumstances made it advisable to grant. 27 Suggen, when their leader113 . . . had succeeded Romanus, was ordered to go to Mauritania Sitifensis, in order to keep guard and prevent the province from being overrun, while he himself, encouraged by past successes, marched against the tribe of the Musones, which consciousness of their deeds of plunder and blood had joined with the enterprise of Firmus, since they hoped he would soon attain greater power.

28 Having advanced some distance, near the municipal town of Adda Theodosius learned that a great number of tribes, differing in civilization and in variety of language, but united in their purpose, were stirring up the beginnings of cruel wars, instigated p265and abetted through very great hope of rewards by a sister of Firmus named Cyria, who, abounding in wealth and in feminine persistence, had resolved to make great efforts to aid her brother. 29 Therefore Theodosius, fearing lest he should involve himself in an unequal contest, and if he confronted a vast horde with only a few troops — for he had under his command only 2500 armed men — might lose them all, wavered between the shame of retreat and the desire for battle; but at last he gradually withdrew and made off, with the horde pressing at his heels. 30 The foe, tremendously elated by this success, followed persistently114 . . . so that he found it necessary to fight; but he himself would have been killed and his army utterly annihilated, had not the enemy, attacking in disorder, seen afar off the auxiliaries of the Mazices, in the van of which were some Romans; so thinking that they were attacked by many columns, they turned in flight and opened to our men ways of escape which before had been blocked. 31 From there, leading his army safe and sound, Theodosius came to an estate called Mazucanus, where he burned a few deserters alive and mutilated the rest as he had the archers whose hands were cut off;115 and in the month of February he reached Tipasa. 32 There he made a long halt, and after the manner of the famous Lingerer116 of old took counsel with himself as the circumstances demanded, planning, if chance gave the opportunity, rather through strategy and discretion than by the p267danger of battle, to overthrow an enemy who was pugnacious and effective in the use of missiles. 33 Nevertheless he constantly sent men experienced in persuasion to the surrounding tribes, the Baiurae, Cantauriani, Avastomates, Cafaves, Bavares, and other neighbours, to entice them to an alliance, now by fear, now by bribes, and sometimes by promising pardon for their impudence with117 . . . intending by subterfuges and delays to overcome an enemy who foiled his attacks, as Pompey once vanquished Mithridates.

34 Therefore Firmus, to avoid imminent destruction, although he was protected by a strong body of troops, abandoned the army which he had got together at great expense; and when the quiet of night gave him the opportunity of concealment, he made his way into the far distant Caprariensian mountains, which are inaccessible because of their steep crags. 35 In consequence of his secret departure his army scattered and roamed about in small bands without a leader, thus giving our men the opportunity of invading their camp. After this was plundered and those who resisted were killed or received in surrender, the greater part of the country was devastated and our prudent leader put prefects of tried fidelity in charge of the peoples through whose country he was marching. 36 The public enemy, terrified by this unexpected confidence of the pursuit, quickly departed, accompanied by a few slaves, in order to provide for his safety; and to p269prevent being impeded by any hindrance, he threw away packs containing valuable articles which he had carried off with him. For his wife, worn out by continual hardships and by dangers118 37 . . . Theodosius,119 sparing none of the enemy who came near, after refreshing his soldiers with better food and their pay, as well as disposing of the Caprarienses and their neighbours the Abanni in a slight skirmish, hastened to the municipal town of Audia.120 But having learned from trustworthy sources that the savages had already taken possession of hills which extended upwards in all directions in winding masses, and could be penetrated by no one except natives who were thoroughly acquainted with the locality, he retreated and thereby during the cessation of hostilities, brief though it was, gave the enemy an opportunity of being strengthened by very numerous auxiliaries from the Aethiopians who dwelt near by. 38 When the foe, with united forces and threatening uproar, taking no thought for their own lives, rushed to battle, they drove off Theodosius in great terror at the fearful sight of their countless throngs. But he took courage and at once returned, bringing an abundance of provisions, and with his men in close order and brandishing their shields in a terrifying posture, met the enemy hand to hand. 39 Then, although the bands of raging savages, blaring some ferocious tune on their barbaric trumpets and also clashing their bucklers against their knees, were close p271upon him, nevertheless, like a careful and discreet warrior, though distrusting the small number of his men, he formed a hollow square121 and then advanced boldly. Then he fearlessly turned aside to a city called Conta, where Firmus, since it was a concealed and lofty fortress, had placed those of our men whom he had captured. But Theodosius recovered them all, and severely punished the traitors and the attendants of Firmus, as was his custom.

40 While he was thus most successful, with the aid of the mighty godhead, a trustworthy scout informed him that Firmus had fled to the Isaflenses; whereupon he invaded their lands, to demand the traitor as well as his brother Mazuca and the rest of his kinsfolk; and when his demand was refused, he declared war upon that race. 41 A fierce battle followed, since the savages were uncommonly ferocious; but he opposed his army to them in circular formation122 and the Isaflenses were so overcome by the weight of the onrushing troops that many of them were slain. Firmus himself, after fighting bravely and often risking his life, was carried off in headlong flight by his horse, which was accustomed to run swiftly over rocks and crags; but his brother Mazuca was fatally wounded and taken prisoner. 42 Theodosius gave orders to send Mazuca to Caesarea, a city on which the Moor had branded the savage marks of his evil deeds; but he tore open his wound123 and died. However, his head was torn off, leaving the rest of his body intact, and to the great joy of p273all who saw it was brought into the aforesaid city. 43 After this our famous general overcame the race of the Isaflenses, who still resisted, and, as justice demanded, inflicted many vexatious penalties upon them. There Evasius, an important citizen, Florus his son, and some others, who were clearly convicted of having aided the violator of peace by secret counsel, were burned alive.

44 Then Theodosius marched further into the country, and with great courage attacked the tribe of the Iubaleni, to which he had learned that Nubel, the father of Firmus, belonged; but he was brought to a halt by the high mountains and the circuitous passes; and although he attacked the enemy and after killing many of them opened a way, yet dreading the high hills, so well adapted to ambuscades, he led his men back in safety to the fortress of Audia. There the wild race of the Iesalenses voluntarily surrendered, promising to furnish aid and provisions.

45 The mighty leader, exulting in these and similar glorious actions, then went in quest of the disturber of peace himself with a mighty effort of strength. To that end he made a long halt near the castle of Medianum, hoping that through many carefully devised plans Firmus might be betrayed into his hands. 46 While he was looking forward to this with perplexed thoughts and deep care, he found that his enemy had returned to the Isaflenses; whereupon he did not delay, as before, but attacked them with all the speed he could. Their king, Igmazen by name, who was highly regarded in those parts and notable for his resources, boldly came forward to meet him. "What is your rank," said p275he, "or what have you come here to do? Tell me." Theodosius, with stern glance and resolute mind, replied: "I am the general124 of Valentinian, lord of the world, sent to destroy a murderous robber. Unless you give him up at once, as the invincible emperor has ordered, you will perish utterly with the race over which you rule." On hearing this, Igmazen, after heaping a flood of abuse upon the general, departed, full of wrath and resentment. 47 At the first appearance of the following daylight both armies, with threatening mien, advanced to meet each other in battle. Nearly 20,000 savages were stationed in the very van, with bands of reserves concealed behind them, in order that they might gradually rise up and surround our men with their unexpected numbers. Besides these there were a great many auxiliaries from the Iesalenses, who, as we have pointed out, had promised help and provisions to our side. 48 On the other hand, the Romans, although very few in number, nevertheless brave in spirit and encouraged by their former victories, pressed side to side in close order and with shields closely held together in the tortoise-formation,125 stood fast and resisted them; and the battle was continued from sunrise to the end of the day. A little before evening Firmus was seen, mounted on a tall horse, his purple cloak126 trailing out and spreading wide, urging our soldiers with loud shouts to take advantage of the opportunity and give up Theodosius, if they wished to be saved from the dangers to which they were exposed, calling him a fierce savage and a cruel deviser of inhuman punishments. 49 These unexpected words roused p277some to fight more fiercely but induced others to abandon the battle. Accordingly, when the first quiet of night came, and the landscape was wrapped in fear-inspiring darkness, the general returned to the stronghold of Duodia, and, reviewing his soldiers, rid himself by various forms of punishment of those whom panic and the words of Firmus had turned from their duty in the battle; some had their right hands cut off, others were burned alive. 50 And keeping watch by night with most vigilant care, he repulsed some of the barbarians who ventured to make an attempt on his camp after the setting of the moon, when they thought they could not be seen, or took prisoners those who rushed in table. Then departing by quick marches and following bypaths, he attacked the Iesalenses from a quarter where they could least expect it, believing them to be of doubtful loyalty, and so devastated their lands that they were reduced to dire need; then he returned by way of the towns of Mauritania Caesariensis to Sitifis, where he tortured to the verge of death and then burned alive Castor and Martinianus, as sharers in the robberies and atrocities of Romanus.

51 After this the war with the Isaflenses was renewed; and when in the first engagement great numbers of the savages were put to flight or killed, their king Igmazen, who had before been accustomed to victory, wavering through fear of the present danger, and thinking that because of his unlawful associations127 no hope of life was left him if he made obstinate resistance, rushed forth alone and with all possible caution and secrecy from the scene of the battle. When he came into the presence of p279Theodosius, he humbly begged that the general would order Masilla, a chief of the Mazices, to appear before him. 52 When Masilla had been sent to Theodosius, as he had asked, the king through him, in a secret interview, urged the general, who by his own nature was inclined to resolution, that in order to provide himself with the means of accomplishing his desires, he should vigorously assail his fellow-countrymen, and by constant fighting reduce them to fear; he said that they were indeed inclined to favour the public enemy, but were wearied by their many losses. 53 Theodosius did as he was advised, and so wore out the Isaflenses by frequent contests, that they were falling like cattle; and Firmus for this secretly escaped, intending to hide in remote and lasting retreats; but while he was there planning flight, he was taken prisoner by Igmazen and kept in custody. 54 And since he had learned through Masilla of the secret negotiations, he saw that in his extremity only one remedy was left, and decided by a voluntary death to spurn with his foot the desire to live. Accordingly, having purposely filled his guards and made them drunk, and in the silence of the night they were buried in sound sleep, he himself, kept awake by fear of the trouble which hung over him, with noiseless steps128a left his bed, by creeping on hands and knees128b got himself some distance off, and finding a rope which he had procured for the calamity of ending his life, he hung it from a nail fastened in the wall, and putting his neck in it breathed his last without the torments of a painful death.129

p281 55 This event troubled Igmazen, who lamented that he had been robbed of glory, in not having had the good fortune of bringing the usurper alive to the Roman camp. Therefore, after gaining a public pledge of safety through Masilla he placed the corpse of the dead man on his camel to bring it in; and on reaching the tents of the army, which were pitched near the fortress of Subicara, he transferred the body to a pack-animal and himself offered it to the exultant Theodosius. 56 The latter called together his soldiers and with them the populace, and asked them whether they recognized the features; and when he had learned beyond any doubt that it was the face of Firmus, after a brief stay there he returned to Sitifis in the guise of a triumphing general, where he was received with applause and commendation by all, of every age and rank.130

6 1 The Quadi, aroused by the ruthless murder of their king Gabinius, with the Sarmatians lay waste Pannonia and Valeria with fire and sword, and almost wholly destroyed two legions. Of the city prefecture of Claudius.

1 While the said general was panting through this dust of Mars throughout Mauritania and Africa, the Quadi, who had long been quiet, were suddenly aroused to an outbreak; they are a nation now not greatly to be feared,131 but were formerly immensely warlike and powerful, as is shown by their swift and sudden swoops in former times, their p283siege of Aquileia in company with the Marcomanni, the destruction of Opitergium,132 and many other bloody deeds performed in rapid campaigns; so that when they broke through the Julian Alps, the emperor Marcus Pius,133 of whom we have previously written,134 could with difficulty check them. And, for savages, they had a just cause of complaint. 2 For Valentinian from the very beginning of his reign burned with a desire of protecting his frontiers, which was indeed praiseworthy, but carried too far; for he ordered the building of a garrison-camp across the Danube in the very territories of the Quadi, as if they were already claimed for Roman rule. The natives, being indignant at this and cautious for their own interests, tried to prevent them for a time merely by a deputation and by whispered complaints. 3 But Maximinus,135 being prone to every kind of wickedness and unable to control his native arrogance, which was swollen still more by his prefecture, upbraided Aequitius, who was at the time commander of the cavalry in Illyricum, as rebellious and slothful in not yet having finished the work the earlier construction of which had been arranged; and he added, as if having regard for the general welfare, that if the rank of general136 in Valeria137 were given to his own son138 Marcellianus,139 the fortification would rise without any excuses. 4 Both objects were presently attained. When the newly appointed general had set out and had reached the spot, with unreasonable arrogance, as was to be expected of p285the son of such a father, without any words to soothe those whom the dreams of a design never actually carried out was driving from their country, he took up the work which had been begun a short time before, but was suspended because of the opportunity given for protesting. 5 Finally, when king Gabinius mildly asked that no new step should be taken, he pretended that he would assent, and with feigned kindness invited140 the king with others to a banquet. But as Gabinius was departing after the feast and suspected no treachery, Marcellianus, with abominable violation of the sacred duties of hospitality, had him murdered.

6 The report of so atrocious a deed at once spread abroad on all sides and roused the Quadi and the tribes around them to madness. Weeping for the death of the king, they mustered and sent out devastating bands, which crossed the Danube while no hostility was anticipated, and fell upon the country people, who were busy with their harvest; most of them they killed, the survivors they led home as prisoners, along with a quantity of all kinds of domestic animals. 7 Surely at that time an irreparable crime would have been committed, to be numbered among the shameful disasters of Roman history; for the daughter of Constantius, when being conducted to marry Gratianus, was very nearly captured while she was taking food in a public villa called Pristensis, but (by the favour of the propitious godhead) Messalla, the governor of the province, was at hand and placed her in a state-carriage141 and took her in all haste back to Sirmium, twenty-six miles away.

p287 8 After the princess was saved by this fortunate chance from the danger of wretched slavery, which, if it had been impossible to ransom the captive, would have branded the state with the greatest disaster, the Quadi, in company with the Sarmatians, ranged more widely; and being peoples most skilled in rapine and brigandage, they drove off as booty human beings of both sexes142 as well as cattle, exulting in the ashes of burned farmhouses and the sufferings of the slain inhabitants, whom they took by surprise and destroyed without any mercy. 9 So, when the dread of similar evils spread over the whole neighbouring country, Probus, the praetorian prefect,143 then at Sirmium, being accustomed to no horrors of war144 and so overcome by the sorrowful and unusual sights that he barely raised his eyes, hesitated for a long time in doubt what action to take. And after he had equipped swift horses and determined on flight the next night, he thought of a safer plan and remained where he was. 10 For he had learnt that all those who were shut up within the walls would at once follow him, in order to take refuge in convenient hiding-places; and that if this should happen, the city, being without defenders, would fall into the hands of the enemy. 11 Therefore, soon calming his fear, he roused himself with vigorous effort to meet the urgent situation. He cleared out145 the moats, which were choked with rubbish, and being naturally inclined to building, since the walls through long-continued peace had in great part been neglected and had fallen, he raised them p289even to the completion of pinnacles of lofty towers. And the work was quickly finished, because he found that the materials146 which had long been collected for the purpose of building a theatre were sufficient for what he was hastening to accomplish. Also to this excellent plan he added another equally useful by summoning a cohort of bowmen from the nearest station, to aid them in a siege, if one should come.

12 By these stumbling-blocks (so to speak)147 the barbarians were turned from attacking the city, having little skill in such refinements of warfare as well as being impeded by their packs of booty, and turned to the pursuit of Aequitius. And when they learned from the information of prisoners that he had gone to the remote spaces of Valeria, they quickly made their way thither, grinding their teeth and bent upon cutting his throat for this reason — that they believed that it was he who had brought their guiltless king to destruction. 13 When this became known, at headlong speed two legions were sent to meet them in battle, the Pannonica and the Moesiaca, a strong combination for fighting, which, if they had acted in harmony, would undoubtedly have come off victorious. But while they were hastening to attack the bands of plunderers separately, they were made ineffective by quarrels that broke out between them, and contended for honour and prestige. 14 When the Sarmatians, who were very keen-witted, learned of this, without waiting for the usual signal for battle, they attacked the Moesiaca first; and while the soldiers were somewhat slow in getting their arms ready because of the confusion, they killed a great number of them, and p291then with increased confidence broke through the line of the Pannonica. They thus threw the whole army into disorder, and with repeated attacks would almost have annihilated it, had not speedy flight saved some from the danger of death.

15 At the time of these losses due to a harsher fortune, Theodosius the younger, general in Moesia, a young man whose beard was then only just beginning to appear, afterwards a most glorious emperor,148 worn out by frequent engagements, drove back and defeated the Free Sarmatians (so called to distinguish them from their rebellious slaves)149 who were invading our territories from the other side, crushing them in densely packed conflicts; and so thoroughly did he overwhelm the hordes which converged in floods and resisted most bravely, that he sated the birds and beasts of prey with a veritable feast of many slain.150 16 Therefore, the remainder, their arrogance now cooling down, feared lest the same leader, a man of ready valour (as was evident), on his first entrance into their territories should lay low or put to flight the invading hordes, or should lay ambuscades for them in the dark woods; so, after making many vain attempts from time to time to break through, they lost their confidence for battle and begged for indulgence and pardon for the past. And after being thus conquered for the time, they did nothing in violation of the conditions of the peace that was granted them, being especially struck with fear because a strong force of Gallic troops had been added to the defence of Illyricum.

17 At the time when these storms, so many and so terrible, were causing constant disturbances, while Claudius was governing the Eternal City,151 the p293Tiber, which cuts through the midst of our walled town and, with many drains and streams pouring into it, mingles with the Tyrrenian Sea, was swollen by an excessive rainfall, and extending beyond the appearance of a river, covered almost the whole place.152 18 While all the remaining quarters of the city, which extend down to a gentler level,153 were under water, the mountains alone, and such buildings154 as were especially high, were protected from present danger. And since the height of the waters prevented movement anywhere on foot, a supply of food was furnished in abundance by boats and skiffs, for fear that many people might starve to death. But, in fact, when the stormy weather moderated, and the river, which had broken its bonds,155 returned to its usual course, all fear was dispelled and no further trouble was looked for. 19 This prefect himself156 passed his term of office in complete quiet, allowing no public discord over and above reasonable remonstrance;157 and he restored many old buildings. Among others he built a huge colonnade near the Baths of Agrippa and called it the Portico of Good Outcome, because there is a temple158 to that deity to be seen near by.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 In Mesopotamia.

2 Sapor.

3 He was comes rei privatae in charge of the privy-purse.

4 Cf. Cic., De Div. I.56.127, est quasi rudentis explicatio.

5 St. John Chrysostom, Ad Vid. Ux. (Opera, I.343 4B ff.), speaks highly of him, adding that he was born in Sicily, and that after his execution his widow was robbed of her property and made a servant at the court.

6 Cf. Tac. Hist. I.49, of Galba, maior privato visus dum privatus fuit, et omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset, and Socrates, Eccl. Hist., IV.1 of Valentinian.

7 Because of his services in these inquiries he was made consul by Valens in the following year. Greg. Naz. also charges him with servile flattery of the emperor.

8 That is, to Antioch, where Valens was.

9 I.e., the country about Antioch.

10 Cf. XXXI.13.

11 Ammianus agrees with Herodian, I.8.5, but Dio, Epit., LXXIII.4.1‑5; Lamprid., Comm., 4.2‑4, and Zonaras, XII.41 (p598) call him Claudius Pompeianus. Apparently his name was Quintianus Pompeianus.

12 Cf. XVIII.3.7, vitae potestatem et necis in acie linguae portantem.

13 Hadrian and Septimius Severus put such money into the public treasury; see Spart., Hadr. 7.7; Capitolinus, Albinus, 12.4.

14 Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, I p248, 175 ff., L. C. L.:—

Ἄνδρ᾽ ἀγαθὸν πενίη πάντων δάμνησι μάλιστα,

καὶ γήρως πολιοῦ, Κύρνε, καὶ ἠπιάλου.

ἣν δὴ χρὴ φεύγοντα καὶ ἐς βαθυκήτεα πόντον

ῥιπτεῖν, καὶ πετρέων, Κύρνε, κατ᾽ ἠλιβάτων.

15 Not lead balls on the scourges (cf. XXVIII.1.29, note), but actual weights, which were hung to the feet of those who sat on the eculeus, or rack.

16 Cf. Aeschylus, Prom. 58.

17 Cf. 1.6, above.

18 In calling for the trial of so many men, and from remote places.

19 There were two classes of comites thesaurorum: one (comitatenses), located at the court, had charge of the imperial wardrobe, table-furnishings, etc.; the other (provinciarum et urbium), of the revenues and the equipment of the soldiers.

20 Valerius read carbasio, which would correspond to the linen garments and sandals; the Thes. Ling. Lat. reads carpathiolinteo.

21 The descendants of a certain Branchus, a favourite of Apollo, who were at first in charge of the oracle at Branchidae, later called oraculum Apollinis Didymei (Mela, I.17.86), in the Milesian territory; cf. Hdt. I.157. The rings had magic powers, cf. Cic., De Off. III.9.38; Plin. N. H. XXXIII.8. Some writers give a different account of the method of divination used by the conspirators.

22 Of the name, i.e. Δ. The prediction would apply equally well to Theodosius, who actually succeeded Valens.

23 Praetorian prefect in 380 and 381; whether he was the same as the author of the Epitome of Roman History is uncertain.

24 According to Lucian, who wrote his biography, he was a Cynic; he was born at Pari on the Hellespont, and died in Olympiad 236 (A.D. 165).

25 Cf. XXI.7.3; XXV.3.23; he plays a prominent part in Ibsen's Emperor and Galilean.

26 By order of Festus, proconsul of Asia.

27 Cf. XXIII.1.2, end.

28 According to St. John Chrysostom, Orat. 3, De Incomprehensibili Dei Natura, Hierocles was being led to the Hippodrome, when all the people, who had gathered before the emperor's palace, cried out for his pardon.

29 Or "curdler." Literally "the rennet."

30 1.5.

31 Until the owner should be acquitted or condemned; in the latter case his house and property went to the fiscus.

32 Cf. also Zos. IV.14. In this way Valens greatly diminished our knowledge of the ancient writers, in particular of the philosophers.

33 See XXVIII.4.18, note.

34 Cf. Cic., Tusc. Disp. V.21.61 f.

35 See Index II, Vol. I, s.v. notarii.

36 I.e., an astrologer, a caster of nativities.

37 See XIV.5.5, note 3.

38 Ironical, for the emperor.

39 Text and exact meaning are uncertain. It is not clear what the subject of praemonebat is. G reads Valens for et valere and praemonebatur.

40 The word may mean "one who crucifies " or "one who deserves to be crucified" — hence "hangman" or "gallows-bird." The latter seems preferable.

41 See XVII.1.1; XXI.6.4; they were consuls in 359. Constantius married their sister Eusebia.

42 That is, the path which he alleged that they had made for carrying out their designs.

43 Valens.

44 Cf. Seneca, De Ira, III.12.7, nihil tibi liceat, dum irasceris. Quare? Quia vis omnia licere; and Consol. ad Polybium, 7.2.

45 Cf. Cic., Ad Quint. Frat. I.1.13, 37, nihil est tam deforme quam ad summum imperium etiam acerbitatem naturae adiungere.

46 Doubtless through his enemies, who were numerous.

47 Hypatius and Eusebius; see 2.9, above.

48 I.e., of subjecting men of rank to such an indignity.

49 Cf. XXVII.11.6.

50 Cf. XXVIII.1.12.

51 Cf. Suet. Aug. 100.4.

52 A sign of mourning; cf. Apul., Metam. III.1.

53 Cf. XXVIII.1.15.

54 Cf. mundanum fulgorem, XIV.6.3.

55 See XIV.8.11, note 2; XXI.16.3, note 4.

56 Cf. CIL I part 2, ed. 2, 15 (epitaph of Scipio Hispanus), virtutes generis mieis moribus accumulavi.

57 At a later time; Flavius Hypatius was prefect of Rome in 397, praetorian prefect in 382 and 383.

58 ferret . . . dolores, hexameter rhythm.

59 Cf. XXV.3.18; Cic., De Off. I.25.85.

60 instrumentum here = ἐφόδιον (viaticum). Valesius quotes Stobaeus, De Senec. (Florilegium, 117.8, p595), τί ἂν εἴη γήρως ἐφόδιον ἄριστον; Ammianus uses instrumentum in the general sense of "cost, expense," e.g. in XXVIII.6.6; cf. also XIX.11.4; XXI.6.6, and XXVI.7.12, where this meaning is perhaps implied. No such saying of Caesar's is elsewhere known.

61 Cf.  Cassiod., Varia, VII.1, cunctator esse debet qui iudicat de salute; alia sententia potest corrigi, de vita transactum non patitur immutari; Juv. VI.221, nulla umquam de morte hominis cunctatio longa est.

62 Cf.  Val. Max. VIII.1, Amb. 2; Gell. XII.7.4. Dolabella is probably the man who was consul with Antony, and after Caesar's death governed the province of Asia.

63 I.e., the case was adjourned for that time, as provided by the law of Ser. Sulpicius Galba; cf. Cic., Verr. II.1.7, 20.

64 There was a myth that Ares or Mars, to avenge an injury to his daughter, slew Halirrhothius, son of Posidon or Neptune, and that the case came before the Areopagus; cf. Aug., De Civ. Dei, XVIII.10.

65 Cf. XXVIII.1.5 ff.

66 Cf. XV.5.4, note 3.

67 That is, whether the place, the circumstances, and even the deed themselves are unlike.

68 Of the wall or perhaps the floor of the bath.

69 Of the Greek alphabet.

70 Valentinian.

71 Belonging to the paedagogium; see XXVI.6.15, note.

72 For species, cf. XIV.9.7.

73 Cf. XXIII.1.4.

74 The sentence is corrupt. The earlier editors inserted words from the Chronicle of Hieronymus of 372, meaning "was executed because he had concealed Octavianus . . . who had taken refuge at his house."

75strator was appointed in the provinces to buy choice horses. Another class of stratores were grooms; see Index of Officials, Vol. I.

76 I.e., use magic arts.

77 On elogium see also XIV.5.5, note.

78 A lacuna follows, see crit. note 1.

79 Since de fustibus caesi seems to be an impossible construction, there was probably a lacuna between de and fustibus; see crit. note 2.

80 There is a lacuna of five lines, doubtless containing a description of a line of fortifications with watch-towers.

81 King of the Alamanni, XVIII.2.15; XXVIII.5.8.

82 Cf. Plin. N. H. XXXI.20, sunt et Mattiaci in Germania fontes calidi trans Rhenum; Tac. Ann. 1.56. Perhaps Wiesbaden.

83 scurrae is used also of Germans serving in the Roman army. Cf. Lampr., Alex. Sev. 61.3, unus ex Germanis, qui scurrarum officium sustinebat. Here perhaps camp-followers.

84 I.e., the slaves.

85 Here iudices is used of military officials.

86 Cf. XVI.5.5.

87 Here there is a lacuna of 3½ lines. The general sense probably is, that the emperor went on to meet the king.

88 Of taking the king prisoner.

89 Some MSS. say five hundred.

90 For this meaning of numeri, applied both to cohorts and legions, cf., for example, militares numeros, XIV.7.19; numeris Moesiacorum duobus, XX.1.3; Suet. Aug. 17.3.

91 The words Abhinc inter are followed by a lacuna of 2½ lines. Ammianus takes up the narrative from XXVIII.6, disregarding the exact chronology; cf. Orosius, VII.33.6, who places the uprising of Firmus in the time of Valentinian and Valens.

92 See XXVIII.6.5.

93 The text is fragmentary. The idea seems to be that he sought auxiliary forces for devastating the province.

94 On Domitius see Index. Lusius Quietus served as legatus in the Dacian wars of Trajan, and in the East. Both men fell victims to the envy of the courtiers and emperors. The same fate overtook Theodosius; hence an additional reason for the comparison.

95 Sitifis, modern Setif, gave its name to one division of Mauritania; the others were Caesariensis and Tingitana.

96 I.e., his misconduct; Theodosius was well aware that Romanus was to blame for the revolt.

97 He, after the death of the emperor Theodosius, being then commander in Africa, revolted from Honorius.

98 Cf. XXIV.1.15, virtutis suae horrea.

99 At the command of Honorius he later invaded Africa with an army and killed his brother Gildo (see XXIX.5.6, note); cf. Claudian, Bell. Gild. I.389 ff.; Orosius, VII.36.4. Stilicho had him thrown from a bridge; cf. Zos. V.11, who calls him Masceledus.

100 An estate with the surrounding fields; cf. Macelli fundum, XV.2.7, note.

101 The book in which he spoke of this is lost. He perhaps drew his material from Solinus, Polyhist. 25.17, who ascribes its founding to twenty companions of Hercules, qui a comitatu eius desciverant . . . ac ne quis imposito a se nomine privatim gloriaretur, de condentium numero urbi nomen datum (i.e. from εἴκοσι, twenty).

102 The high priest of a province wore a golden crown (according to Tertullian). The reference is to XXVIII.6.10, where the death of the high priest, Rusticianus, is mentioned.

103 Orosius, VII.33.5, says that it was taken and destroyed by Firmus. It was formerly called Iol, but Juba changed the name to Caesarea in honour of Augustus Caesar: cf. Eutr. VII.10.3.

104 I.e., "descriptione situs." For this meaning of situ, cf. XXIII.6.10, and Ernesti, Indexs.v.

105 In a lost book.

106 See 5.6, above.

107 Cf. XXI.11.2.

108 A Roman title adopted by the Mazices.

109 A lacuna of four lines follows, after which are the words producerent vinctos, "to bring them in chains," or something similar.

110 Something like "running the gauntlet"; cf. Tac. Ann. I.44; Polyb. VI.37.3 ff.; Lamprid. Commodus, 6.2, hostis appellatus lacerandusque militibus est deditus.

111 He was proconsul in Thrace; see Livy, Epit. XCV; Flor. I.39.6; Front., Strateg. IV.1.43.

112 Epist. ad Brutum, I.2.5 (Cic. has severitas, not vigor).

113 A lacuna of three lines follows. The successor of Romanus is therefore unknown.

114 A brief lacuna follows which does not greatly affect the sense.

115 See § 22, above.

116 Q. Fabius Maximus in the Hannibalic war, nicknamed Cunctator because of his policy of caution.

117 Here there is a lacuna of three lines, perhaps telling that, strengthened through these tribes, he again took the field.

118 Another lacuna of three lines. Doubtless it is said that his wife lost her life during the flight.

119 nullique shows that Theodosius is really the subject of a missing verb, but there is no lacuna in V.

120 Or Duobia; both names occur below, but the lacuna of four letters in V suggests Audia here; cf. § 44, below.

121 quadrato agmine means with the soldiers in the form of a square (or rectangle), with the baggage in the middle. It was the usual marching order when an attack was looked for.

122 That is, facing the enemy on all sides.

123 So Wagner, dilatato ab ipso vulneris hiatu, which seems to fit the context and the situation.

124 He was really magister militum, which officer is called comes also in XVIII.8.6; cf. ducem, below, and Introd. Vol. I, p. xxxiv, n3.

125 See the illustration at XXIII.4.1.

126 For a similar use of the sagum see XVIII.6.13, XXV.6.14 (sagulum).

127 With Firmus. Ammianus has commerciis vetitis in a different sense in XXVII.5.7, which does not fit here.

128a 128b Cf. suspensis passibus and quadrupedoº gradu, XIV2.2.

129 Such as he might have expected if he fell into the hands of Theodosius.

130 This happened in 374. Theodosius, as Orosius, VII.33.7, tells us, was put to death at Carthage in 377 in consequence of court intrigue. His son, living in retirement, was called to court by Gratian and became magister militum, and later Augustus.

131 They had been conquered by Constantius; see XVII.12.9 ff.

132 Modern Oderzo.

133 I.e., Marcus Aurelius.

134 In a lost book.

135 See XXVIII.5 ff.

136 I.e.dux per Valeriam.

137 Cf. XIX.11.4.

138 For parvus meaning son cf. Statius, Silv. I.6.43 f.: una vescitur omnis ordo mensa: parvi, femina, plebs, eques, senatus; Theb. VII.520.

139 Called Celestius by Zos. XIV.16.

140 For corrogavit cf. XVIII.2.13.

141 A vehicle at the disposal of the officials of the province, the city prefect, and other high dignitaries (iudices).

142 For secus cf. XVI.11.9.

143 In Illyricum.

144 These prefects were civil officials.

145 For retersit cf. detersit, Suet. Aug. 18.2.

146 Wagner with considerable probability takes impensas as the materials for building the theatre, citing Juvenal, III.216, and other examples.

147 Ammianus uses obex without apology, e.g. XVI.12.36; XXI12.13; XXIV5.2; XXXI4.9; as here XXVII10.8.

148 379‑395.

149 The Limigantes; cf. XVII.13.1; XIX11.1.

150 For sagina, cf. XXII.12.6. On this victory see also Zos. IV.16.

151 As prefect of the city, in 374.

152 Floods of the Tiber were frequent; cf. Plin., N. H. III.55.

153 Cf. XVI.10.14; intra septem montium culmina . . . posita urbis membra.

154 I.e., blocks of houses.

155 Cf. XXIV.1.11; Livy, XXVII.28.10 (Wagner).

156 Claudius; see § 17, above.

157 That is, which the prefect could not quiet in that way. Querella is ambiguous; and the meaning may be: "except that caused by just complaints."

158 See Varro, R. R. I.1.6; cf. Cato, Agr. 141.3 (of Mars), utique tu fruges . . . grandire beneque evenire siris; Pliny, N. H. XXXIV.77, says that she was represented in Rome with a patera in her right hand and an ear of wheat and poppies in her left. Her temple was in the Ninth Region.

Thayer's Notes:

a Despite appearances, the Latin quinquennali means "every 4 years", and would really better be translated quadriennial; see my note to the article Augustalia of Smith's Dictionary.

b My guess is that there was something more to this than Ammian knew or is telling us, since it is, and was in Antiquity, very easy to look at a horoscope and determine the day of the year for which it is cast: the Sun position gives it away in an instant. (On the other hand, in this climate, I wonder if I would have admitted to knowing how to cast a chart.)

c A curious translation, or rather, an interpretation. The Latin text merely calls the stones horridasque canitie; at its most literal, this means bristling with a color like that of the hair of an old person, i.e. grey to white. While in some other context that might be a very good description of mold, here surely — this two-word descriptive vignette is preceded by fires and followed by ashes — we're talking about the powdery bloom found on calcined stone.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 17 Nov 12