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Book XXIX

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Roman History

of
Ammianus Marcellinus

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

The text is in the public domain.

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


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Book XXXI

(Vol. III) Ammianus Marcellinus
Roman Antiquities

p295 Book XXX

1 1 Papa,1 king of the Armenians, called to the court by Valens and held prisoner at Tarsus under pretence of doing him honour, flees with 300 of his countrymen, and, eluding those who were watching the roads, returns to his kingdom on horseback, and shortly afterwards is killed at a banquet by the general Trajanus.

1 Amid these troublesome disturbances, which the treachery of a general brought about by the atrocious murder of the king of the Quadi, a terrible crime was committed in the Orient, where Papa,2 king of the Armenians, was killed by secret plots. Of this matter, which was conceived by a nefarious plan, the following (as we have learned) was the original3 cause. 2 Some crafty men, who had often fattened themselves through losses sustained by the public, brought before Valens and maliciously exaggerated a patchwork of charges against this kind, even then only just come to manhood. Among these was the general Terentius,4 a man who walked humbly and always wore a somewhat sad expression, but so long as he lived was a zealous abettor of dissensions. 3 He formed a cabal with a few of the gentiles5 who were in fear and suspense because of their misdeeds, and writing constantly to the court harped on the death of Cylaces and Arrabanes,6 adding that this same young king was aroused to acts of arrogance and was excessively cruel to his subjects. 4 Accordingly, under pretence that he was to take part in a consultation to p297be held at the time with regard to the present situation of affairs, the said Papa was summoned with the courtesy due to his royal rank; but at Tarsus in Cilicia he was put under guard as if it were doing him honour.7 And when he could neither get access to the emperor's quarters, nor learn the reason for his urgent coming, since all kept silence, he finally found out through secret information, that Terentius by letters was advising the Roman ruler at once to appoint another king of Armenia, to prevent a nation that was useful to us from going over to the side of the Persians through hatred of Papa and the expectation that he would return; for they were burning with the desire of seizing Armenia by force, or threats, or flattery.

5 The king, thinking over the matter, foresaw that he was threatened by a sad end. And being now aware of the plot, and seeing no other way to save himself except by a swift departure, at the advice of trusted friends he got together three hundred companions who had followed him from his native country; and when the greater part of the day had passed they mounted swift horses and set out with more boldness than discretion, as is usual under pressing and doubtful alarms, and fearlessly hastened away in close order. 6 The governor of the province, aroused by a message from the officer who guarded the gate, proceeded in eager haste and overtook the king in the suburbs. He earnestly besought him to remain; but since this request was not granted, he turned his back through fear of his life. 7 More than that, when a legion p299followed him a little later and overtook him, Papa charged back with his bravest men, pouring in his arrows like a shower of sparks. He missed intentionally but put them to flight, so that the whole legion with its tribune was terrified and they all returned to the walls more briskly than they had come. 8 Then, freed from all fear, after completing two days and two nights of very toilsome marching, he came to the bank of the Euphrates; but since he had no boats he could not ford the eddying stream, so that many of his men, being unable to swim, were terrified, and the king himself hesitated most of all. Indeed, he would have remained there, if he had not, amid the various plans suggested by all, been able to find an expedient which seemed safest in their dire necessity. 9 They took the beds which they found in the farmhouses and supported each of them upon two bladders,8 of which there was an abundant supply in the vine-producing fields. The prince himself and his most distinguished followers seated themselves upon one of these, led their horses behind them, and by taking oblique courses avoided the high waves of the onrushing waters; and by this device, after extreme dangers, they at length reached the opposite bank. 10 All the rest, carried by their swimming horses, and often submerged and tossed about by the flood swirling around them, exhausted by the danger and the wetting, were thrown out on the opposite bank. There they refreshed themselves with a brief rest and went on more rapidly than on the days just past.

p301 11 When this was reported, the emperor, greatly troubled by the flight of the king, and thinking that after escaping this snare he would break faith, sent Danielus and Barzimeres (the one a general, the other tribune of the targeteers) with a thousand nimble and light-armed archers, to call him back. 12 They, trusting to their knowledge of the region, since the king, though in haste, yet being a foreigner and unacquainted with the neighbourhood, kept making meanders and circles,9 got ahead of him by short cuts through the valleys. Then, dividing their forces, they beset the two nearest roads, which were separated by a distance of three miles, in order that, through whichever of the two he should pass, he might be caught off his guard; but the plan came to nothing through this chance event: 13 A wayfarer who was hastening towards the nearer10 bank of the river, seeing the ascent filled with armed soldiers, in order to avoid them took to a bypath between the two roads, rough with thickets and brambles; falling in with the wearied Armenians, and being led before the king, he told him in a private interview what he had seen; he was then detained, but not harmed. 14 Presently the king, pretending that there was nothing to fear, secretly sent a horseman on the road to the right with orders to secure lodging and food; but after he had gone a little way, another was ordered to go with all speed towards the left on a similar errand, but without knowing that the other horseman had been sent in a different direction. 15 After these helpful precautions, the king himself, with his followers — the wayfarer tracing his way back amongst the thickets p303through which he had come and showing a rough path very narrow indeed for a loaded pack-animal — left the soldiers11 behind him, and made his escape. They, after capturing his messengers, who had been sent merely to confuse the minds of those who were lying in wait for the king, were almost expecting him to rush into their open arms, like a wild beast at a hunt.12 But while they were waiting for his coming, he was restored safe and sound to his kingdom, where he was received with the greatest joy by his subjects; but thereafter he remained unmoved in true allegiance, bearing in silence all the wrongs that he had suffered.

16 After this, as soon as Danielus and Barzimeres, baffled, had returned, they were assailed with shameful reproaches as blunderers and slothful, and like venomous serpents whose bite had been blunted by the first attack, they sharpened their deadly fangs, intending as soon as they could and to the extent of their powers to injure him who had given them the slip. 17 And to palliate their fault or the deception which they had suffered from greater cleverness, they bombarded the ears of the emperor (most retentive of all gossip) with false charges against Papa, alleging that he was wonderfully skilled through the incantations of Circe13 in changing and weakening men's bodies; and they added that, having by arts of that kind spread darkness round himself,14 and by changing his own form and that of his followers, having passed through their lines, p305if he survived this trickery, he would cause sad troubles.

18 In this way the irreconcilable hatred of the emperor for Papa was increased, and plots were devised every day for taking his life either by violence or secretly; and to Trajanus,15 who was then in Armenia in command of the military forces, this work was entrusted through secret letters. 19 That general sought to win the king by treacherous flattery, now showing him letters of Valens as tokens of his calm state of mind, and now forcing himself upon his banquets; finally, when his plot was matured, he invited him with great respect to a luncheon. The king came, fearing no hostility, and took his place in the seat of honour granted him. 20 And when choice dainties were set before him, and the great building rang with the music of strings, songs, and wind-instruments,16 the host himself, already heated with wine, went out, under pretence of a call of nature. Then a rude barbarian, fiercely glaring with savage eyes and brandishing a drawn sword, one of the class called scurrae,17 was sent in to kill the young man, who had already been cut off from any possibility of escape. 21 At this sight the young king, who, as it happened, was leaning forward beyond his couch, drew his dagger and was rising to defend his life by every possible means, but fell disfigured, pierced through the breast like some victim at the altar, foully slain by repeated strokes. 22 By such treachery was credulity basely deceived, and at a banquet, which ought to be respected even on the Euxine Sea,18 p307before the eyes of the god of hospitality19 a stranger's blood was shed, which bespattered the splendidº linen cloths with foaming gore, was more than enough to sate the guests, who scattered in utmost horror. If the dead can feel grief,20 the famous Fabricius Luscinus might groan at this arrogant act, when he recalled with what greatness of soul he rejected the promise of Demochares or (as some write)21 Nicias, the king's attendant, made in a secret conference; for he said that he would kill king Pyrrhus, who at that time was reducing Italy to ashes22 in cruel warfare, by mixing poison with his cups; but Fabricius warned the king in a letter to beware of his more intimate servants. Such a place of respect in those days of old-time justice was held by the conviviality even of an enemy's table. 23 True, some sought to excuse this recent extraordinary and shameful deed by the example of the assassination of Sertorius,23 but those flatterers perhaps did not know that no act which is proved to be contrary to law is justified because another crime was similar or went unpunished, as Demosthenes, eternal glory of Greece, declares.24

2 1 The deputations of Valens Augustus and Sapor, king of the Persians, in their contest for the rule of Armenia and Hiberia.

1 These are the noteworthy events that took place in Armenia. But Sapor, after the former disaster to his men, on learning of the murder of p309Papa, whom he was making great efforts to enlist on his side, overwhelmed with heavy grief and with his fear increased by the activity of our army, sowed the seeds of greater troubles for himself. 2 Accordingly, he sent Arraces as an envoy to the emperor, advising him to withdraw entirely from Armenia, since it was a continual source of troubles; or if that was not acceptable, proposing as an alternative that abandoning the division of Hiberia25 and withdrawing the garrisons of the Roman part, he should allow Aspacures, whom Sapor had made ruler of that nation, to reign alone. 3 To this Valens made answer to this effect: that he could not repeal anything of that which had been agreed upon by common consent, but would maintain it with the utmost vigour. In reply to this noble utterance a letter was brought from the king when the winter was already nearly ended,26 giving trivial and arrogant reasons. For he asserted that the weeds of discord could not be pruned away by the roots except in the presence of those who had been witnesses to the conclusion of the peace with Jovian, some of whom (as he had learned) had since died.

4 After this the emperor's cares grew heavier. Now he was in condition rather to make a choice of plans than to discover any; and so, thinking it to be to the advantage of the State, he ordered Victor, commander of the cavalry, and Urbicius, general in Mesopotamia, to go quickly to the Persians, bearing an ultimatum in plain language: that it was criminal of a king who was just and contented with his own (as he boasted) wrongfully to covet Armenia, whose people had been granted permission to live independently; p311and that, unless the guard of soldiers given to Sauromaces27 should return without hindrance at the beginning of the following year (as had been agreed), Sapor would be forced to do against his will what he had refrained from doing of his own accord. 5 This embassy was indeed straightforward and frank, had its members not erred in one particular; for they accepted without orders some small territories that offered themselves to them in that same Armenia.

On their return the Surena, who ranked next to the king, came and offered to the emperor these same lands that our envoys had recklessly taken. 6 He was received courteously and handsomely entertained, but was sent back without obtaining what he asked, and in consequence great preparations were made for war, in the expectation that when the winter grew milder the emperor would invade Persia with three armies and for that purpose was in great haste hiring mercenaries from the Scythians.

7 Accordingly Sapor, having failed to gain that for which he had vainly hoped, and exasperated even more than usual because he had learned that our ruler was preparingº for a campaign, defied Valens' anger and instructed the Surena to recover by arms, in case anyone made opposition, the lands which Count Victor and Urbicius had taken over; also to do all possible harm to the soldiers appointed for the protection of Sauromaces. 8 These instructions were hastily carried out, as he had ordered, and could not be remedied or punished, since the Roman state was encompassed by another danger from all the Gothic peoples, who were lawlessly overrunning p313Thrace; these disasters can briefly be set forth, when I come also to that part of my narrative.28

9 This is what happened in the eastern regions. During the course of these events the eternal power of Justice, the judge, sometimes tardy, but always strict, of right or wrong actions, avenged the disasters in Africa and the still unsatisfied and wandering shades of the envoys of Tripolis,29 in the following manner. 10 Remigius, who (as we have said)30 favoured the general Romanus in his oppression of the provinces, after Leo had been appointed chief marshal of the court in his place, was now resting from public duties and gave himself up to rural life in his native place near Mayence. 11 While he was there passing a care-free life, Maximinus,31 the praetorian prefect, scorning him, now that he turned back to a life of leisure, and being wont to overrun all things like a dire pestilence, aspired to injure him in every possible manner. And in his desire to discover more secrets, he seized Caesarius, who had formerly been in the service of Remigius and later a secretary of the emperor, and tried by cruel tortures to learn what Remigius had done, and how much he had received for aiding the criminal acts of Romanus. 12 When Remigius (who, as has been said, was in retirement) learned of this, either driven by the consciousness of guilt or because the dread of false charges overcame his reason, he strangled himself, and so died.

p315 3 1 Valentinian Augustus, after devastating some cantons of the Alamanni, has a conference with their king Macrianus, and makes peace.

1 In the year following these events, Gratianus was made consul as the colleague of Aequitius; and Valentinian, who after devastating several cantons of the Alamanni was building a fortification near Basle, which the neighbours call Robur,32 received the report of the prefect Probus, telling of the devastation in Illyricum.33 2 On reading this with careful attention, as became a cautious general, he was distracted by anxious reflections and sending the secretary Paternianus, gave the matter the most searching investigation. As soon as he received through him a true account of what had happened, he hastened to set out at once, in order (as he intended) to crush by the first clash of his arms the savages who had ventured to violate our frontier. 3 But since autumn was waning and many difficulties stood in the way, all the principal men at the court strove by entreaties and prayers34 to hold him back until the beginning of spring. In the first place, they urged that the roads, hardened with frost, where neither any growth of grass would be found for fodder nor anything else fit for the use of the army, could not be penetrated. In the second place, they set before him the alleged savagery of the kings bordering on Gaul, and most of all of Macrianus, who was formidable, and (as was well known) had been left p317unsubdued,35 and would actually attack even fortified cities. 4 Calling to mind these things and adding other salutary advice, they led the emperor to a better opinion, and at once (as was for the advantage of the state) the said king was courteously summoned to the vicinity of Mayence, being himself also inclined (as was evident) to accepting a treaty. And he arrived enormously puffed up in every way, as if he expected to be the supreme arbiter of peace, and on the day set for the conference, with head high uplifted, he stood at the very edge of the Rhine while the clashing shields of his countrymen thundered all about him. 5 On the other side the Augustus embarked on some river-boats,36 himself also hedged by a throng of military officers and conspicuous amid the brilliance of flashing standards, and cautiously37 approached the shore. Finally, the savages ceased their immoderate gesticulation and barbaric tumult, and after much had been said and heard on both sides, friendship was confirmed between them38 by the sanctity of an oath. 6 When this was accomplished, the king who had caused the disturbances withdrew pacified, henceforth to be our ally; and after that up to the very end his life he gave proof by noble conduct of a spirit of steadfast loyalty. 7 He found his death later in the land of the Franks; for while amid murderous devastation he penetrated that country too eagerly, he was lured into an ambush by the warlike king Mallobaudes and perished. But after p319the solemn ratification of the treaty Valentinian retired to Treves for winter quarters.

4 1 Modestus, the praetorian prefect, leads Valens to give up the administration of justice; a discussion of the pleader's profession, of jurisconsults, and of various classes of advocates.

1 This is what took place throughout Gaul and the northern part of the empire. But in the regions of the East, amid the profound quiet of foreign affairs, destructive internal corruption was increasing through the friends and intimates of Valens, with whom advantage prevailed over honour. For diligent efforts were exerted to turn the emperor, as a severe man and eager to hear cases at law, from his desire to act as judge; for fear that as in the times of Julian,39 if the defence of innocence should revive, the arrogance of powerful men, which under the licence that they had assumed was in the habit of always reaching out farther, might be checked. 2 On these and similar grounds many united in a common attempt at dissuasion and in particular the praetorian prefect Modestus,40 a man wholly subjected to the influence of the eunuchs of the court, of a boorish nature refined by no reading of the ancient writers. He, wearing a forced and deceptive expression, declared that the trivialities of private cases at law were beneath the dignity of the imperial majesty. Accordingly Valens, thinking that the examination of swarms41 of legal cases was devised to humble42 the loftiness of the royal power, in accordance with the advice of Modestus, abstained from it p321wholly, thereby opening the doors to robbery; and this grew stronger day by day through the wickedness of judges and advocates in collusion; for they sold their decisions of the cases of poorer people to officers in the army, or to powerful men within the palace, and thus gained either wealth or high position.

3 This trade of forensic oratory the great Plato defined as πολιτικῆς μορίου εἴδωλον (that is, the shadow of a small part of the science of government)43 or as the fourth part of flattery;44 but Epicurus counts it among evil arts, calling it κακοτεχνία.45 Tisias46 says that it is the artist of persuasion, and Gorgias of Leontini agrees with him. 4 This art, thus defined by the men of old, the cunning of certain Orientals raised to a degree hateful to good men, for which reason it is even confined by the restraints of a time fixed beforehand.47 Therefore after having described in a very few words its unworthiness, with which I became acquainted while I was living in those parts, I shall return to the course of the narrative with which I began.

5 Formerly judgment-seats gained glory through the support of old-time refinement, when orators of fiery eloquence,48 devoted to learned studies, were eminent for talent and justice, and for the fluency and many adornments of their diction; for example Demosthenes, to hear whom, when he was going to speak, as the Attic records testify, the people were wont to flock together from all Greece;49 and p323Callistratus,50 to whom, when he pleaded in that celebrated case in defence of Oropos (which is a place in Euboea)51 that same Demosthenes attached himself, forsaking the Academy and Plato; also, Hyperides, Aeschines, Andocides, Dinarchus, and the famous Antiphon of Rhamnus,a who, according to the testimony of antiquity, was the first of all to accept a fee for conducting a defence. 6 Not less eminent among the Romans were men like Rutilius, Galba, and Scaurus, conspicuous for their life, their character, and their uprightness; and later in the various epochs of subsequent times many former censors and consuls, and men who had been honoured with triumphs, such as Crassus, Antonius, Philippus, Scaevola,52 and many others, after successful campaigns, after victories and trophies, distinguished themselves by civic services to the State, and winning laurels in the glorious contests of the Forum, enjoyed Fame's highest honours. 7 After these Cicero, the most eminent of them all, by the floods of his all-conquering oratory often saved the oppressed from the fiery ordeal of the courts, and declared: "It might perhaps be pardonable to refuse to defend some men, but to defend them negligently could be nothing but criminal."53

8 But now it is possible to see in all the regions of the Orient powerful and rapacious classes of men flitting from one forum to another, besieging the homes of the wealthy, and like Spartan or Cretan p325hounds54 sagaciously picking up the tracks until they come to the very lairs of lawsuits.

9 Among these the first class consists of those who, by sowing the seeds of all sorts of quarrels, busy themselves with thousands of recognisances, wearing out the doors of widows and the thresholds of childless men; and if they have found even slight retreats55 of secret enmity, they rouse deadly hatred among discordant friends, kinsfolk, or relatives. And in these men their vices do not cool down in course of time, as do those of others, but grow stronger and stronger. Poor amid insatiable robbery, they draw the dagger56 of their talent to lead astray by crafty speeches the good faith of the judges, whose title is derived from justice. 10 By their persistence rashness tries to pass itself off as freedom of speech; and reckless audacity as firmness of purpose; a kind of empty flow of words as eloquence. By the perversity of these arts, as Cicero insists, it is a sin for the conscientiousness of a judge57 to be deceived. For he says: "And since nothing in a state ought to be so free from corruption as the suffrage and judicial decisions, I do not understand why one who corrupts them by his eloquence is even praised. For my part, I think that he does more evil who corrupts a judge by a speech than one who does so by money; for no one can corrupt a sensible man by money, but he can do so by words."58

11 A second class consists of those who profess a knowledge of law, which, however, the self-contradictory statutes have destroyed, and reticent p327as if they were muzzled, in never-ending silence they are like their own shadows. These men, as though revealing destinies by nativities or interpreting a Sibyl's oracles, assume a solemn expression of severe bearing and try to make even their yawning saleable.59 12 In order to seem to have a deeper knowledge of the law, they talk of Trebatius,60 Cascellius,61 and Alfenus,62 and of the laws of the Aurunci and Sicani,63 which were long since forgotten and buried many ages ago along with Evander's mother.64 And if you pretend that you have purposely murdered your mother, they promise, if they have observed that you are a moneyed man,65 that their many recondite studies will secure an acquittal for you.

13 A third group consists of those who, in order to gain glory by their troublous profession, sharpen their venal tongues66 to attack the truth, and with shameless brow and base yelping often gain entrance wherever they wish. When the anxious judges are distracted by many cares, they tie up the business in an inexplicable tangle, and do their best to involve all peace and quiet in lawsuits and purposely by knotty inquisitions they deceive the courts, which, when their procedure is right, are temples of justice, when corrupted, are deceptive and hidden pits: and if anyone is deluded and falls into those pits, he will not get out except after many a term of years, when he has been sucked dry to his very marrow.

p329 14 The fourth and last class, shameless, headstrong, and ignorant, consists of those who have broken away too soon from the elementary schools, run to and fro through the corners of the cities, think out mimiambic lines,67 rather than speeches suitable to win law-suits, wearing out the doors of the rich, and hunting for banquets and fine choice food. 15 When they have once devoted themselves to shady gain and to eagerness for money from any and every source, they urge all kinds of innocent people to involve themselves in vain litigations. And when they are allowed to defend suits, which rarely happens, amidst the very turning-points of the disputes they learn the name of their client and the purport of the business in hand from the mouth of the judge, and they so overflow with disarranged circumlocutions that in the foul hotchpotch you would think you were hearing a Thersites68 with his howling din. 16 But when they find themselves in the end unable to defend the charges, they turn to unbridled licence in abuse; and on this account, because of their constant insults of persons of rank, they are prosecuted and often condemned; and among them are some who are so ignorant that they cannot remember that they ever possessed a law-book. 17 And if in a circle of learned men the name of an ancient writer happens to be mentioned, they think it is a foreign word for some fish or other edible; but if any stranger asks for the orator Marcianus (for example),69 who was p331before unknown to him, at once they all pretend that their own name is Marcianus. 18 And they no longer have before their eyes any right, but as if sold to and enslaved by avarice, they understand nothing except endless licence in making demands. And if once they have caught anyone in their nets, they entangle him in a thousand toils, purposely defaulting by pretending sicknesses one after another; and they prepare seven plausible preambles in order that the useless reading of well-known law may be introduced, thus weaving swarms70 of long delays. 19 And when the contending parties are stripped of everything, and days, months and years are used up, at last the case, now worn out with age, is introduced, and those brilliant principals71 come forth, bringing with them other shadows of advocates. And when they have come within the barriers72 of the court, and the fortunes or safety of some one begins to be discussed, and they ought to work to turn the sword or ruinous loss from an innocent person, the advocates on both sides wrinkling their brows and waving their arms in semblance of the gestures of actors (so that they lack only the oratorical pipe73 of Gracchus behind them) stand for a long time opposite each other. At last, in accordance with a prearranged agreement, the one who is more confident in speech utters a kind of a sweet prologue, promising to emulate the ornamental language of p333a speech for Cluentius74 or Ctesiphon;75 and when all are wishing for the end, such is the method of his peroration that the advocates, after the semblance of a trial has gone on for three years, allege that they are not yet fully informed; and after they have obtained a further postponement, as if they had struggled with Antaeus76 of old, they persistently demand the pay for their danger and toil.

20 But yet, in spite of this, advocates suffer many inconveniences, not easy to be endured by a man who would live rightly. For, allured by the profits of their sedentary77 trade, they differ among themselves and become enemies, and they offend many by their outbursts of abusive ferocity (as has been said), which they blab out in a torrent when they have no arguments strong enough to fortify the weakness of the cases which have been entrusted to them. 21 And they have to deal with judges who sometimes are taught by the sophisms of Philistion or Aesopus,78 rather than just reared in the discipline of your Aristides the Just or Cato. Such men, having bought public office for large sums of money, like tiresome creditors prying into the resources of every kind of fortune, shake out booty from other men's bosoms. 22 Finally, the profession of advocate has, with the rest, this serious and dangerous evil, which is native to almost all litigants, that although their cases may be lost by a thousand accidents, they p335think their ill-success lies wholly in the ability of their advocates, and they are accustomed to attribute the outcome of every contest to them; and they vent their anger not on the weakness of their case or the frequent injustice of the magistrate who decides it, but only on their defenders. But let us return to the point from which we made the digression.

5 1 Valentinian goes to Illyricum to make war on the Sarmatians and the Quadi, who are devastating Pannonia. Crossing the Danube he lays waste the cantons of the Quadi, burns their villages, and massacres savages of all ages.

1 When spring was already ripening,79 Valentinian moved from Trier and hastened by quick marches along the familiar roads; and when he came to the regions for which he was aiming, he was met by a deputation of the Sarmatians,80 who threw themselves at his feet and begged in peaceful terms that his visit might be favourable and merciful to them, since he would find that their countrymen were neither participants in, nor aware of, any outrage. 2 When they often repeated these same statements, after mature deliberation the emperor made his answer: that these acts must be investigated, in the place where they were said to have been committed, and punished in the light of the most reliable evidence. And when thereafter he entered Carnuntum,81 a town of the prefecture of Illyricum, now indeed deserted and in ruins, but very convenient for the leader of an army, he proceeded (whenever chance or design gave p337the opportunity) to check the attacks of the savages from a station near by.

3 And though he was a terror to all while his arrival was waited for, since he was likely in bitter anger to order at once the punishment of officials who through perfidy or desertion had exposed that side of Pannonia, yet on his arrival he became so mild that he neither made inquiry into the murder of King Gabinius,82 nor carefully investigated the wounds branded on the body of the state to learn through whose negligence or guilt they had come about. And indeed it was his way to be severe in punishing common people, but more lenient towards personages of higher rank, even when they deserved a severe rebuke in harsh words. 4 Probus alone he attacked with bitter83 hatred, never ceasing to threaten him from the first time he had seen him, nor showing him any mildness; and for this conduct there were obvious weighty reasons. Probus had then, not for the first time, attained the rank of praetorian prefect, and in his longing to prolong his tenure of office in many ways (I only wish that they had been justifiable), he relied more on flattery than on worth otherwise than the glory of his stock84 admonished him. 5 For considering the emperor's inclination to seek out ways of getting money from every quarter without distinction between right and wrong, he did not call him back when he strayed from the path of justice (as peace-loving counsellors have often done), but himself also followed the emperor on his devious and perverse course. 6 Hence resulted the grievous p339troubles of his subjects, and the ruinous items of imposts85 that had been instituted, long-continued practice in oppression finding one pretext after another, each more effective than the others, enfeebled and cut the sinews of the fortunes of rich and poor alike. Finally, the burden of tributes and the repeated increase in taxes compelled some of the most distinguished families, hounded by the fear of the worst, to leave the country; others, crushed by the severity of the dunning tax-collectors, having nothing to give, became permanent inmates of the prisons; and some of these, now weary of life and light, died by the noose as a welcome release. 7 These things, as persistent rumour maintained, went on thus with increasing treachery86 and ruthlessness; but Valentinian knew nothing of them, as if his ears were stopped with wax, being eager for indiscriminate gain even from the slightest things, and taking into consideration only what was offered. Yet perhaps he would have spared Pannonia,87 if he had known earlier of these lamentable sources of profit, of which he learned all too late from the following chance occurrence. 8 After the example of the rest of the provincials the Epirotes also were compelled by the prefect to send envoys to the emperor to offer him their thanks,88 and forced a philosopher called Iphicles,89 a man renowned for his strength of soul, against his own desire to go and perform that duty. 9 And he, when he came into the emperor's presence, being recognized and asked the reason for his coming, p341replied in Greek; and when the emperor asked explicitly whether those who sent him thought well of the prefect in their hearts, he said, as became a philosopher who made a profession of truth: "With groans and against their will." 10 By these words the emperor was struck as by a dagger, and like a keen-scented hound he searched into all the conduct of the prefect, asking Iphicles in his native tongue about people whom he personally knew: where in the world, for example, was so and so who excelled his countrymen in honour and reputation; or another, who was rich; or still another of high rank. And when he learned that one had fallen victim to the noose, that another had gone across the sea, that a third had committed suicide or had died under the blows of the knout,90 he burned with tremendous rage, to which Leo, who was then chief marshal of the Court (oh, horror!), added blazing fuel, a man who himself aspired to the prefecture, in order to fall from a greater height.91 And if he had attained and ruled the office, in comparison with what he would have dared, the administration of a Probus would be praised to the skies!

11 And so the emperor remained at Carnuntum, where throughout the entire three summer months he was preparing arms and supplies, intending, if in any wayº fortune favoured, to find opportunity to attack the Quadi, the instigators of the terrible uprising. It was in that town that Faustinus, nephew of Viventius,92 the praetorian prefect, when p343serving as a state-secretary, after an investigation conducted by Probus, was first tortured and then put to death by the hand of the executioner. The charge was that he had killed an ass, as some of his accusers alleged, for use in secret arts, but as he himself declared, to strengthen the weakness of his hair, which was falling out.93 12 According to another, who was also suborned to ruin him, when one Nigrinus in jest asked for an appointment as state-secretary, Faustinus laughed at the man and said: "Make me emperor, if you want to get that office." Since this jest was unjustly interpreted, Faustinus himself, as well as Nigrinus and others, were put to death.

13 Valentinian now sent Merobaudes94 on ahead with a division of foot-soldiers under his command, and in company with Count Sebastianus, to plunder and burn the cantons of the barbarians; the emperor himself quickly moved his camp to Acincum,95 joined together boats for the sudden emergency, and having with swift energy made a bridge of planks upon them, crossed through another quarter into the territory of the Quadi. They indeed were watching for his coming from the steep mountains, to which most of them, in doubt and uncertain what was happening, had withdrawn with their families; but they were overcome with amazement when, contrary to their expectation, they saw the imperial standards in their territories. 14 Valentinian then advanced forcing the pace as far as occasion demanded, put to death without distinction of age all those who were still roaming about and were taken unawares p345by his sudden onset, burned the dwellings, and returned without losing a man of those whom he had led with him. He also lingered at Acincum, since the autumn was swiftly passing on, and being in lands where the cold weather always covered everything with ice, he looked about for suitable winter quarters; and he could find no convenient place except Savaria,96 although that town was then weak and had suffered from repeated misfortunes. 15 Therefore, setting this97 aside for a time, in spite of the great need for a halt,98 he quickly moved from there, marched along the banks of the river, and having protected his camp with an adequate force and with castles came to Bregitio.99 There the fate which had long been designed to end the emperor's labours foretold his approaching end by a repeated series of portents. 16 For a very few days before his arrival comets blazed in the heavens; these foreshadow the downfall of men of high position, and of their origin I have already given an account.100 Before that, at Sirmium, with sudden crash of the clouds, a thunderbolt fell and set fire to a part of the palace, the senate house, and the forum. Also at Savaria, where the emperor was still settled, an owl perched on the top of the imperial bath, and uttered notes foretelling death; and no skilful101 hand could bring it down with arrows or with stones, although many vied with one another in eager attacks upon it. 17 Again, when he was on his way from the aforesaid city to a campaign, he wished to go out through the same gate by which he had entered, in order to gain an omen that he would quickly return to Gaul; but while the neglected p347place was being cleared of accumulated débris, the iron-clad door which barred the exit was found to have fallen, and could not be removed by the greatest efforts of a large number of men; and to avoid wasting a day there, he was forced to go out by another gate. 18 And on the night before the day which was to deprive him of life, he had a vision (as men often do in their sleep); he saw his absent wife sitting with disordered hair and dressed in mourning attire; and it was possible to infer that she was his own Fortune, on the point of leaving him in the garb of sorrow. 19 Then the next morning, when he came out somewhat gloomy and with frowning brow, the horse that was brought to him would not allow him to mount, but reared its fore feet high in the air contrary to its usual manner; whereupon the emperor fell into one of his innate fits of anger and, being naturally cruel, ordered the groom's102 right hand, which as usual had supported him in leaping on to the animal, to be cut off. And the guiltless young man would have suffered a cruel fate, had not Cerealis, the tribune in charge of the stable, at the risk of his own life postponed the terrible wrong.103

6 1 Valentinian, while making an angry reply to the envoys of the Quadi, who were trying to excuse their fellow-countrymen, dies of apoplexy.

1 After this, envoys of the Quadi appeared, humbly begging for peace and forgetfulness of their past offences; and in order to obtain this without p349hindrance, they promised to provide recruits and some other things helpful to the Roman state. 2 When it was decided that the envoys be received and allowed to return home with the grant of the truce for which they were asking (for neither lack of supplies nor the unfavourable time of year allowed further attacks upon them), on the advice of Aequitius104 they were admitted to the council-chamber. And as they stood there with bended limbs weak and stricken with fear, on being bidden to tell their mission, they gave the usual series of excuses and supported them by adding the pledge of an oath. They declared that there had been no common consent of the chiefs of their race in any wrong that had been done us, but that the hostile acts had been committed by bands of foreign brigands dwelling near the river; and they added, and maintained that it was a valid excuse for their conduct, that the building of a barrier,105 which was begun both unjustly and without due occasion, roused their rude spirits to anger. 3 At this the emperor burst into a mighty fit of wrath, and being particularly incensed during the first part of his reply, he railed at the whole nation in noisy and abusive language, as ungrateful and forgetful of acts of kindness. Then he gradually calmed himself and seemed more inclined to mildness, when, as if struck by a bolt from the sky, he was seen to be speechless and suffocating,106 and his face was tinged with a fiery flush.107 On a sudden his blood was checked108 and the sweat of death broke out upon him. Then, that he might not fall before the eyes of a throng of the common sort, his body-servants rushed to him p351and led him into an inner chamber. 4 There he was laid upon a bed; but although he was drawing more feeble remnants of breath, the vigour of his mind was not yet lessened, and he recognized all those who stood about him, whom the chamberlains had summoned with all speed, in order to avert any suspicion that he had been murdered. And since all parts of his body were burning hot, it was necessary to open a vein, but no physician could be found, since he had sent them to various places, to give attention to the soldiers who were attacked by the plague. 5 At last however one was found, but although he repeatedly pierced a vein, he could not draw even a single drop of blood, since the emperor's inner parts were consumed by excessive heat, or (as some thought) because his body was dried up, since some passages for the blood (which we now call haemorrhoidae) were closed and incrusted by the cold chills. 6 He felt the disease crushing him with a mighty force, and knew that the fated end of his life was at hand; and he tried to speak or give some orders, as was indicated by the gasps that often heaved his sides,109 by the grinding of his teeth, and by movements of his arms as if of men fighting with the cestus; but finally his strength failed him, his body was covered with livid spots, and after a long struggle for life he breathed his last, in the fifty-fifth year of his age and the twelfth of his reign, less a hundred days.110

p353 7 1 Valentinian's parentage and his deeds as a ruler.

1 It is now in place to go back and (as we have often done) in a brief epilogue run through the deeds of this emperor, from the very birth of his father to his own decease, without omitting to distinguish his faults or his good qualities, brought to light as they were by greatness of power, which is always wont to lay bare a man's inmost character.

2 His father, the elder Gratianus, was born at Cibalae, a town of Pannonia, of a humble family, and from his early boyhood was surnamed Funarius,111 because when he was not yet grown up and was carrying around a rope for sale, and five soldiers tried with all their might to tear it from him, he gave way not an inch; he thus rivalled Milo of Croton, from whom no possible exercise of strength could ever take an apple, when he held it tightly in his left or his right hand, as he often did. 3 Hence, because of his mighty strength of body and his skill in wrestling in the soldiers' fashion112 he became widely known, and after holding position of one of the bodyguard and of a tribune, he commanded the army in Africa with the title of count. There he incurred the suspicion of theft, but he departed long afterwards and commanded the army in Britain with the same rank; and at last, after being honourably discharged, he returned to his home. While he was living there far from the noise and bustle, his property was confiscated by Constantius, on the ground that when civil discord was raging he was said to have shown hospitality to Magnentius when the usurper p355was hastening through Gratianus's land to carry out his designs.

4 Because of his father's services Valentinian was favoured from early youth, and being commended also by the addition of his own merits, he was clad in the insignia of imperial majesty at Nicaea. He took as his imperial colleague his brother Valens, to whom he was greatly attached both by the tie of fraternity and by sympathy, a man with an equal amount of excellent and bad qualities, as we shall point out in the proper place. 5 Valentinian, then, after suffering many annoyances and dangers while he was a private citizen,113 had no sooner begun to reign than he went to Gaul, to fortify the strongholds and cities lying near the rivers; for these were exposed to the raids of the Alamanni, who were raising their heads higher after learning of the death of the emperor Julian, who was absolutely the only one whom they feared after the death of Constans. 6 But Valentinian also was rightly dreaded by them, both because he increased the armies with a strong reinforcement and because he so fortified both banks of the Rhine with lofty castles and strongholds, that nowhere should an enemy be able to hurl himself at our territories unobserved.114

7 And to pass over many things which he did with the authority of an established ruler, and the reforms that he effected either personally or through energetic generals, after admitting his son Gratianus to a share in his power, he secretly, since he could not do so openly, caused Vithicabius, king of the Alamanni,115 son of Vadomarius, a young man in the first bloom of manhood, to be stabbed, because he p357was rousing his people to rebellion and war. And joining battle with the Alamanni near a place called Solicinium,116 where, after falling into an ambuscade and all but losing his life, he could have utterly destroyed the entire army, had not swift flight saved a few of them under cover of darkness.

8 While he was accomplishing these exploits with due caution, the Saxons,117 who had already broken out into formidable madness and were always rushing wherever they pleased without reconnaissances,º had then invaded the maritime districts, and had almost returned enriched with the spoils which they took; but by a device which was treacherous but expedient he overwhelmed and stripped of their booty the robbers thus forcibly crushed.

9 Again, when the Britons could not resist the hordes of enemies that were overrunning their country, he restored them to freedom and quiet peace with the hope of better conditions, and allowed almost none of the plunderers to return to his home.118

10 With like effectiveness he also crushed Valentinus, the exile from Pannonia, who was trying to disturb the public peace in that province, before his design came to a head.119

Next, he saved Africa from great dangers, when that country was in the throes of an unexpected disaster; for Firmus was unable to endure the greed and arrogance of the military officials and had aroused the Moorish tribes, whose ardour can always easily be fanned to any plan of dissension.120

With equal courage he would have avenged the lamentable catastrophes in Illyricum, had he not p359been overtaken by death and left that important matter unfinished.121

11 And although these successes which I have mentioned were brought about by his admirable generals, yet it is also well known that he himself, being a man of nimble mind and hardened by long experience in military life, performed very many exploits; and among these it would have been a most glorious feat122 if have had been able to take King Macrianus alive, who was at that time formidable. He had made great efforts to do so after he learned with grief and sorrow that the king had escaped from the Burgundians, whom Valentinian himself had aroused against the Alamanni.

8 1 His cruelty, greed, jealousy, and cowardice.

1 This is a brief account of the emperor's deeds. Now, in the belief that posterity, being bound neither by fear nor by base flattery, is usually an uncorrupted judge of the past, I shall give a summary of his defects, to be followed by an account of his excellent qualities. 2 He sometimes assumed an appearance of mildness, although his hot temper made him more inclined to severity; for he evidently forgot that a ruler should avoid all excess, as he would a precipice. 3 For he was never found to be content with a mild punishment, but he continually ordered blood-thirsty investigations one after the other; and in his cruel inquisitions some were tortured even to the danger of their lives; in fact, he was so prone to cruelty that he never rescued from p361death any of those who had been capitally condemned, by merciful terms in a warrant which was presented for his subscription, although sometimes this has been done even by the most savage of princes. 4 And yet he could have contemplated many examples of the men of old, and might have imitated native and foreign instances of humanity and righteous mercy, which philosophers call the kind sisters of the virtues. Of these it will suffice to mention the following. Artaxerxes, that mighty king of the Persians, whom the length of one of his limbs made known as Macrochir,123 with inborn mildness corrected various punishments which that cruel nation had always practised, by sometimes cutting off the turbans of the guilty, in lieu of124 their heads; and instead of cutting off men's ears for various offences, as was the habit of the kings, he sheared off threads hanging from their head-coverings. This moderation of character so won for him the contentment and respect of his subjects, that through their unanimous support he accomplished many noteworthy deeds, which are celebrated by the Greek writers. 5 A general of Praeneste in one of the Samnite wars had been ordered to hasten to his post, but had been slow to obey, and was summoned to expiate that misdeed; Papirius Cursor, who was dictator at the time, ordered the lictor to make ready his axe, and in sight of the man, who was overcome with terror and had given up hope of excusing himself, he gave orders that a bush seen near should be cut down, by a jest of this kind125 at the same time punishing and acquitting the man; and thereby he suffered no loss of respect, and he p363brought to an end the long and difficult wars of his fathers and was considered the only man capable of resisting Alexander the Great, if that king should have set foot on Italian soil.126

6 Valentinian, who perhaps knew nothing of these instances, and did not consider that slowness to anger in rulers is always a solace for unhappy circumstances, increased the number of punishments by fire and sword, which a righteous spirit regards as the last resort in times of stress, as the splendid writer Isocrates says;127 there is an utterance of his for all time whereby he teaches that sometimes a ruler who has been overcome by arms ought to be pardoned, more than one who did not know what is just. 7 I think it was under the influence of this that Cicero made the glorious statement in his defence of Oppius:128 "and indeed, to have great power for the salvation of another has brought honour to many; to have had too little power to destroy him has never been a reproach to anyone."

8 The greed for greater possessions without distinguishing right from wrong, and of seeking advantages of various kinds through the shipwreck of others' lives, grew ever greater and became excessive in this emperor. This fault some tried to excuse by offering the example of the emperor Aurelian, declaring that as, when the treasury was p365exhausted after Gallienus and the lamentable disasters to the state, he fell upon the rich like a torrent, so Valentinian, after the losses of the Parthian campaign, feeling the need of a vast quantity of expenditure in order to provide reinforcements and pay for his troops, mingled with cruelty the desire to amass excessive wealth, affecting not to know that there are some things which ought not to be done, even if one has the power to do them. In this he was quite unlike the famous Themistocles, for when after the fight with the Persians and the annihilation of their army129 the Athenian was aimlessly strolling about, and saw golden bracelets and a neck-chain lying on the ground, he turned to one of his attendants who stood near by and said: "Pick up these, since you are not Themistocles," thus showing his scorn of any love of money in a noble leader. 9 Like instances of this same self-restraint are found in abundance in Roman generals. Passing these by, since they are no indication of perfect virtue (for not to seize the property of others deserves no praise), I will give one certain indication (among many) of the integrity of the common people of early days. When Marius and Cinna130 had turned over to the Roman plebeians the rich dwellings of the proscribed to be plundered, the rough spirit of the commons, wont however to respect human misfortunes, so spared what had been gained by the toil of others that no one of the poor or of the lowest class was found who allowed himself, though permission was given him, to handle profits from the woes of his country.131

p367 10 Besides this there was a fire of envy in the very marrow of this same emperor, and knowing that most vices are wont to assume the appearance of virtues,132 he had ever upon his lips the saying, that malice of severity is the inseparable associate of rightful power. And as men of the highest position always think that everything is allowed them, and they are strongly inclined to suspect those who oppose them and to overthrow better men than themselves, so he hated the well dressed, the learned, the rich, and the high-born; and he depreciated brave men, in order to give the appearance of surpassing all men in good qualities, a fault, as we read, by which the emperor Hadrian was inflamed.133

11 This same prince often denounced cowards, calling such men sullied, unclean, and deserving to be thrust down below the humblest estate; and yet he himself, in the presence of empty terrors, sometimes turned abjectly pale and dreaded in his inmost soul something that did not exist at all. 12 It was the knowledge of this that led Remigius, marshal of the court, when he perceived that the emperor was boiling with anger at something which had occurred, to hint among other things that some outbreaks of the barbarians threatened; and when Valentinian heard this, immediately he was so overcome with fear that he became as calm and mild as Antoninus the Good134 himself. 13 He never intentionally chose cruel judges, but if he had learned that those whom he had once advanced135 were acting cruelly, p369he maintained that he had found men like Lycurgus136 and Cassius,137 those ancient pillars of justice; and he often urged them in writing to punish even light offences with all severity. 14 Those in trouble, whom a reverse of fortune had befallen, found no refuge in the kindness of their prince, which has always been a longed-for haven, as it were, for those tossed on a stormy sea. For the purpose of a just rule (as the philosophers teach) is supposed to be the advantage and safety of its subjects.

9 1 His virtues.

1 It is fitting after this to pass to those acts of his which were praiseworthy and to be imitated by right-thinking men; and if he had regulated the rest of his conduct in accordance with these, his career would have been that of a Trajan or a Marcus.138 He was very indulgent towards the provincials and everywhere lightened the burden of their tributes; he was always timely in founding towns and establishing frontier defences. He was an excellent critic of military discipline, failing only in this, that while he punished even slight offences of the common soldiers, he suffered the serious offences of his higher commanders to go to excess, often turning a deaf ear to the complaints made against them.139 The result of this was turmoil in Britain, disaster in Africa, and the devastation of Illyricum.

2 In every observance of chastity he was pure at home and abroad; he was stained by the foul touch of no obscene feelings or lewdness; and for p371that reason he controlled the wantonness of the imperial court as if by a curb; and this course he could easily keep; he showed no indulgence to his own kindred, whom he either restrained in retirement or honoured with unimportant posts, with the exception of his brother, whom, compelled by press of circumstances, he admitted to a share in his own eminence.

3 He was most cautious in bestowing high official positions: under his rule no money-changer140 governed a province, no office was ever sold, except at the beginning of his reign, a time when it is usual for some crimes to be committed with impunity through reliance on the distractions of a new ruler.141

4 In war, whether offensive or defensive, he was most skilful and careful, a veteran in the heat and dust of the battlefield. In council he was a foresighted persuader of what was right and a dissuader of wrong, most strict in examining all ranks of the military service. He wrote a neat hand, was an elegant painter and modeller, and an inventor of new kinds of arms.142 His memory was lively; so was his speech (although he spoke seldom), and he was vigorous therein, almost to the point of eloquence. He loved neatness, and enjoyed banquets that were choice but not extravagant.

5 Finally, his reign was distinguished by toleration, in that he remained neutral in religious differences neither troubling anyone on that ground nor ordering him to reverence this or that. He did p373not bend the necks of his subjects to his own belief by threatening edicts, but left such matters undisturbed as he found them.

6 His strong and muscular body, the gleam of his hair, his brilliant complexion, his grey eyes, with a gaze that was always sidelong and stern, his fine stature, and his regular features143 completed a figure of regal charm and majesty.

10 1 The younger Valentinian, son of the late emperor, is hailed as Augustus in the camp at Bregetio.

1 After the last invocation of the emperor144 his body was prepared for burial, in order to be sent to Constantinople and interred among the remains of the deified rulers. Meanwhile the campaign that was approaching was suspended, and an uncertain outcome of the situation was feared, because of the cohorts serving in Gaul, which were not always of devoted loyalty to legitimate emperors, and regarded themselves as arbiters of the imperial power;145 and it was suspected that they might take the opportunity to venture on some new step; and this fact added some hopes of attempting a revolution — that Gratianus was still at Trier (where his father, when he was on the point of beginning his march, had arranged for him to stay) and even then knew nothing of what had happened. 2 When affairs were in this critical state, and all p375were equally in dread, and likely to share in whatever dangers that might arise, as if in the same boat,146 it was agreed147 in accordance with the advice of the highest officers, after having torn down the bridge, which they had previously built under necessity when invading the enemy's territory, that Merobaudes at once148 should be summoned by order of Valentinian when he was still alive. 3 He, being a sharp-witted man, either guessing what had happened, or perhaps having learned it from the messenger who summoned him, and suspecting that the Gallic troops would violate the terms of peace, pretended that an order-ticket had been sent to him to return with the messenger, in order to guard the banks of the Rhine because the barbarians were getting wilder. And Sebastianus, who was still unaware of the emperor's death, he sent to a more distant post, which had been secretly ordered; for although Sebastianus was a quiet and peace-loving man, he stood in high favour with the troops, and hence he was particularly to be feared at that time.

4 Accordingly, after Merobaudes turned back, the matter of succession was carefully considered and the plan was unfolded that the boy Valentinianus,149 son of the deceased emperor and then four years old, should be summoned and given a share in the rule. He was at the time a hundred miles distant, living with his mother Justina150 at the country house called Murocincta. 5 When this had been approved by unanimous consent, the boys' uncle p377Cerealis was immediately sent to the place, put him in a litter, and brought him to the camp; and on the sixth day after the passing of his father he was in due form declared emperor, and after the customary manner hailed as Augustus.151 6 And although, while this was being done, there was some thought that Gratianus would take it amiss that another emperor was chosen without his permission, this fear later vanished and men lived free from care, since Gratianus, besides being a kindly and righteous man, loved his kinsman with great affection and saw to his education.152


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Clark reads Papa throughout with V; A and G have Para.

2 Son of Arsaces; cf. XXVII.12.9.

3 Cf. labes primordialis, XXVIII.6.24.

4 General in Armenia.

5 See XIV.7.9.

6 Cf.  XXVII.12.14.

7 That is, he was given a so‑called guard of honour, which kept him prisoner.

8 For holding wine.

9 I.e., went in circles and made slow progress.

10 I.e., from the Roman point of view; the western bank.

11 Those who were lying in wait for him.

12 I.e., being driven into a net.

13 Cf. Odyss. X.233 ff.

14 Offusa sibi caligine refers to Papa, meaning that he had wrapped himself in a cloud.

15 Cf. XXIX.1.2.

16 For this combination, cf.  XIV.6.18; Cic., Pro Rosc. Amer. 46.134.

17 "Guards"; cf. XXIX.4.4, note.

18 Cf. XXII.8.33 f.

19 Cf. Cic., Pro Deiot. 6.18.

20 Cf. Livy XXI.53.5.

21 Gell. III.8; Cic., Off. III.22.86.

22 Cf. Sil. Ital. XV.537 (of Italy to Hasdrubal), miseras quaerentem exurere belli reliquias.

23 Slain by his lieutenant-general Perperna at a banquet; Plut., Sert. 26; Flor. II.10.9; Vell. II.30.1.

24 In Androt. 7, quoted by Quint. V.14.4; cf. Gell. X.19.

25 Cf. XXVII.12.16 f.

26 377‑8.

27 Cf.  XXVII.12.16.

28 Cf. XXXI.2‑5.

29 Cf.  XXVIII.6.25.

30 Cf.  XXVIII.6.8; XXIX.5.2.

31 Cf.  XXVIII.1.5 ff.

32 Near modern Hüningen.

33 By the Quadi; XXIX.6.68.

34 Cf. Ter., Andr., 592, gnatam ut det oro, vixque id exoro.

35 Cf.  XXIX.4.2.

36 Perhaps the same as the lusoriae naves of XVII.2.3, note; XVIII.2.12.

37 Cf. cunctator et tutus, XXVII.10.10.

38 Cf. in medio, XVIII.5.7, quodam medio fetiali.

39 Cf. XXII.9.9 ff.

40 Cf.  XIX.12.6. He was general in the Orient under Constantius and was made praetorian prefect by Julian.

41 See p330, note 1.

42 Cf. humilitati, XXIX.2.15.

43 Plato, Gorgias, 463B. For amplitudo Platonis, cf. XXII.16.22, sermonum amplitudine Iovis aemulus Platon.

44 I.e., the lowest of the four parts.

45 The art of deceiving; cf. Quintilian, II.15.2; 20.2. Epicurus denied that it was an art.

46 One of the earliest rhetoricians, a teacher of Gorgias; see Cic., Brut. 12.46.

47 So, at Athens, to a space of time marked by the emptying of the clepsydra, or water-clock.

48 Cf. concitatus orator, XIV.7.18.

49 Cf. Cic., Brutus, 84.289.

50 According to Xen., Hell. VI.2.39; cf. 3.3; and Diod. Sic., XV.29.6, he flourished shortly before the battle of Leuctra (371 B.C.).

51 It is really on the frontier of Attica and Boeotia opposite Euboea. The words are probably a gloss.

52 All these men are mentioned in Cicero's Brutus; see Index.

53 Preserved only here; cf. In Caec. 18.60.

54 Cf.  XXIX.3.3; these were famous breeds; see Virg., Georg. III.405; Aelian, De Natura Animalium, III.2.

55 For receptacula, cf.  XXVIII.1.48.

56 Called by Wagner insipida translatio.

57 Cf. Quint. IV.1.9, iudex religiosus.

58 De Re Pub. V.11, preserved by Ammianus.

59 Or, refer ipsum to silentio. They make no pleas, only promise them, and boast of their recondite studies of the law.

60 Hor. Serm. II.1; Cicero, Ad Fam. VII.5.8, 17.

61 Of the time of the first triumvirate; cf.  Val. Max., VI.2.12; Hor., A.P. 371.

62 Alfenus Varus, cf. Hor. Serm. I.3.130.

63 Typical of antiquity; cf. Virg. Aen. VIII.51 ff.; Hor. Serm. I.3.91; Gell. I.10.1.2.

64 A humorous superlative of antiquus. Evander is typical of antiquity (Hor. Serm. I.3.91; etc.), and his mother carries us back a generation.

65 Cf. XIV.6.12, note 3; Cic., Agr., II.22.59.

66 Cf. ingenium procudere, XV.2.8; procudere linguas, XXXI.16.9.

67 By mimiambi are meant either farces or songs written in iambics. See Pliny, Epist. VI.21.4; Gell. XX.9.1 ff.

68 Here a typical name for a foul-mouthed rascal; Iliad, II.211 ff.

69 Here a typical name.

70 A favourite word of Ammianus, used literally in XVIII.3.1; figuratively in XVI.12.11; XX.7.15; XXI.5.4. Wagner takes examina here in the sense of investigations (examina: a stateris ducta metaphora).

71 The heads of the knighthood (ordo splendidus); cf.  XXIII.6.83, nobilitas omnis et splendor.

72fori cancelli; cf. Cic., Sest. 58.124, tantus est ex omnibus spectaculis usque a Capitolio, tantus ex fori cancellis plausus excitatus.

73 See Cic., De Orat. III.60.225; Plut., Tib. Gracch. 2.4‑5; Gaius Gracchus is said to have had a player on a pipe stationed behind him, when he made a speech, to regulate the force of his delivery; Val. Max. VIII.10.1; Quint. I.10.27; Gell. I.11.10 ff.

74 Of Cicero.

75 Demosthenes' Oration on the Crown.

76 Cf. XXVIII.1.46, note.

77 With the underlying sense of "base, contemptible."

78 Lindenbrog thought Aesopus was the famous tragic actor, but that seems doubtful because of the connection; cf.  XXVI.6.15, mimicam cavillationem; Solinus, ch. x (on Sicily). Valesius took him to be the celebrated writer of fables; Wagner believed that both Philistion and Aesopus were writers of mimes contemporary with Cicero.

79 Ammianus takes up his narrative from the end of chapter 3.

80 Cf.  XXVI.4.5; XXIX.6.15.

81 Modern Haimburg, in Pannonia, on the Danube; near Vienna.

82 Cf.  XXIX.6.5.

83 Cf. furori incitatissimo, XXXI.2.11.

84 He was descendedº from the family of the Anicii; cf.  XVI.8.13.

85 For tituli in this sense see XXVII.3.10.

86 Cf. illecebrosis insidiis, XXX.1.19.

87 As his native land; cf. 7.2, below.

88 For the merits of the governor.

89 A Cynic, formerly intimate with Julian.

90 plumbo probably refers to a lash with balls of lead fastened to it; cf. XXVIII.1.29, note; Erfurdt-Wagner say "in eculeo", which seems to mean that the victim was lashed as he bestrode the eculeus; or it may refer to weights attached to the victim's feet; see XXVI.10.13, note 3.

91 A common idea; see Juv. X.105 ff., numerosa parabat excelsae tabulata, unde altior esset casus, and Mayor's note on 106.

92 See XXVII.3.11. He succeeded Florentius in Gaul.

93 For this meaning of fluentium, cf. Celsus, VI.1; fluor capillorum, Seren. Samm. 6; and on remedies from asses, Plin., N. H. XXVIII.180; cf. XXIX.106.

94 Cf. Zos., IV.17.

95 Modern Ofen.

96 In Pannonia, modern Stein-am‑Anger.

97 I.e., selecting winter quarters.

98 That is, the need of rest for his soldiers.

99 Szoeny near Comorn.

100 See XXV.10.3.

101 Lit. "by taking aim."

102 See XXIX.3.5, note.

103 And since the death of Valentinian gave Valens other things to think of, the sentence was, as the language implies, probably not carried out.

104 Chief marshal of the court, XXXI.12.15.

105 See XXIX.6.2.

106 Cf.  XXIV.4.30.

107 On the death of Valentinian see Zos. IV.17.

108 Cf. § 5, below.

109 Cf. Virg. Aen. IX.415.

110 He was made Augustus A.D. VIIIº Kal. Mart. (Feb. 23), 364, and died A.D. XV Kal. Dec. (Nov. 18), 375.

111 Cf. Pseud.-Aurel. Vict., Epit., 45.2.

112 On this see Capit., Max. Duo, 6.5 ff.

113 I.e., not yet emperor (cf. Lucan, V.666, of Julius Caesar, quoted on p520, n1).

114 XXVIII.2.1.

115 Cf.  XXVII.10.3.

116 Part of Schwetzingen; cf.  XXVII.10.8.

117 Cf.  XXVIII.5.1.

118 Cf.  XXVII.8.5.

119 Cf. XXVIII.3.4 ff.

120 Cf. XXIX.5.3, 15, 25.

121 XXIX.6.12 ff.

122 Cf. XXIX.4.2, 5.

123 Μακρόχειρ, Longhand.

124 For this meaning of ad vicem, cf.  XV.10.2; XXVII.3.2.

125 Cf. Livy, IX.16, 17 ff.; Plin. N. H. XVII.81; Pseud.-Aur. Vict., De Viris Illustr., 31.4 ff.º

126 Cf. Livy, IX.172 ff.

127 Panath. 185, θαυμάζω δ᾽, εἴ τινες μάχας καὶ τὰς νίκας παρὰ τὸ δίκαιον γιγνομένας μὴ νομίζουσιν αἰσχίους εἶναι καὶ πλειόνων ὀνειδῶν μεστὰς ἢ τὰς ἥττας τὰς ἄνευ κακίας συμβαινούσας.

128 This speech of Cicero has not survived.

129 Probably at Plataea.

130 87 B.C.

131 Cf.  Val. Max. IV.3.14. At the time of Sulla's proscription (82‑81 B.C.), the conduct of the commons was different.

132 Cf. Cicero, Part. orat., 81 cernenda autem sunt diligenter, ne fallant ea nos vitia quae virtutem videntur imitari; Seneca, Epist. 45.7; Juv. XIV.109.

133 See Spartianus, Hadrian, 15, summed up in 15.13, "non recte suadetis, familiares, qui non patimini me illum doctiorem omnibus credere, qui habet triginta legiones"; so also Caligula; see Suet., Calig. 35.

134 I.e., Antoninus Pius; cf.  XVI.1.4.

135 To that rank.

136 Not the Spartan lawgiver, but a contemporary of Demosthenes; see XXII.9.9, note.

137 Cf. XXII.9.9, note; and for Cato and Cassius, XXVI.10.10.

138 Marcus Aurelius.

139 Cf. 5.3, and Zos. IV.16.

140 Nummularius is used in a broad sense, including bankers; for a dishonest money-changer, see Suet., Galba, 9.

141 Text and exact meaning are uncertain; the sense apparently is that some persons commit crimes, hoping that amid the press of business by which the new emperor is overwhelmed he will be forced to overlook them.

142 Cf. Pseud.-Aurel. Vict., Epit. 45.6: pingere venustissime . . . fingere cero seu limo simulacra, nova arma meditari.

143 Cf. membrorum recta compage, XIV.11.28.

144 The conclamatio, or last call to the dead, to see whether any life remained. Or it may mean, after the public lamentations for his death, the completion of his funeral rites.

145 Cf. Vopiscus, Saturninus, 7.1: Gallus, ex gente hominum inquietissima et avida semper vel faciendi principis vel imperii.

146 A common proverb; cf. Cic., Ad Fam. II.5.1; Livy, XLIV.22.12.

147 For this meaning of sedit, cf.  XIV.1.5; XIX.7.6, sedit consilium.

148 Cf. 5.13.

149 This Valentinianus is not to be confounded with another boy of the same name, then nine years old and the son of Valens, although the ancient writers often confuse them. This Valentinian, son of the emperor of the same name, met a violent death in 392, according to Hieronymus.

150 According to Zos. IV.43, she was formerly the wife of Magnentius. Cerealis was her brother.

151 A distinction seems to be made between declaratio and the ceremonial nuncupatio; the former perhaps took place at Murocincta, the latter in the camp.

152 Cf.  Ausonius, Gratiarum actio ad Gratianum, 7: "piissimo: huius vero laudis . . . testimonium est . . . instar filii ad imperium frater adscitus."


Thayer's Note:

a The lives and works of several of these Greek orators are very thoroughly treated in Dobson's Greek Orators.


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