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The Anonymus Valesianus

p531 Latter Part

The History of King Theodoric1

7 36 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now during the reign of Zeno Augustus2 at Constantinople, the patrician3 Nepos came to the Port of the city of Rome,4 deposed Glycerius,5 who was made a bishop, while Nepos himself became emperor at Rome. Presently Nepos came6 to Ravenna; he was followed by the patrician Orestes with an army,7 and in fear of his coming Nepos embarked on board a ship and fled to Salona,8 where he remained for five years; but later he was slain by his own men. Soon after Nepos left Rome Augustulus was made emperor and ruled for ten years.

p533 8 37 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Augustulus,9 who was called Romulus by his parents before he mounted the throne, was made emperor by his father, the patrician Orestes. Then Odoacar made his appearance with a force of Sciri10 and killed the patrician Orestes at Placentia, and his brother Paulus at the Pine Grove,11 outside the Classis12 at Ravenna. 38 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then he entered Ravenna, deposed Augustulus from his throne, but in pity for his tender years, granted him his life; and because of his beauty he also gave him an income of six thousand gold-pieces13 and sent him to Campania,14 to live there a free man with his relatives. Now his father Orestes was a Pannonian, who joined with Attila at the time when he came to Rome, and was made his secretary, a position from which he had advanced to the rank of patrician.

9 39 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then, after Zeno was made emperor by his son Leo,15 who was the offspring of the daughter of Leo the Great, Ariagne by name, he reigned for a year with his son Leo, and it was through Leo's merit that Zeno retained his power. But after sharing the rule with his son for one year, Zeno was emperor for fourteen years more; he was an Isaurian of high rank, trained to arms, and worthy to receive an emperor's daughter in marriage. 40 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] It is said of him that he was of even superhuman speed as a p535swift runner,16 since his kneepans were not attached to his knees, but moved freely. In the administration of the State he was in general most wise, but inclined to favour his own people.17

41 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A plot was made against him by Basiliscus, himself a senator of high distinction.18 As soon as Zeno learned of the plot, he took some of his wealth and went to Isauria. But soon after his departure Basiliscus, who, as was said, was plotting against him, seized upon the imperial power.

42 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Basiliscus ruled for two years. Zeno strengthened the Isaurians within the province; then he sent to the city of Nova,19 where Theoderic, the general of the Goths and son of Walamericus, was stationed, and invited him to render him relief against Basiliscus. Then he came back20 to Constantinople after two years, brought an attacking force against the city, and laid siege to it. 43 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But because the senate and people feared Zeno, to prevent the city from suffering any harm they deserted Basiliscus, opened the gates, and all surrendered to Zeno. Basiliscus fled to a church and took refuge within the baptistery with his wife and his sons. After Zeno had given him a pledge confirmed by oath that his blood would not be shed,21 he came out and was shut up with his wife and children in a dry cistern,22 where they all died of cold. 44 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Zeno remembered the affection felt for him by the senate and people; p537and therefore showed himself so generous to all that he earned the gratitude of every one. He upheld so well the senate and people of Rome, that statues were even erected to him in various parts of the city. His times were peaceful.

10 45 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Odoacer, of whom we have made mention above,23 presently deposed Augustulus from the rule and was made king; he remained on the throne for thirteen years. His father was named Edico,24 and Odoacer is also mentioned in the books25 on The Life of Saint Severinus, a Pannonian monk, who gave him advice and predicted his future royal power. 46 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] In that place you will find the following words: "When some barbarians26 were on their way to Italy, they turned aside and went to Severinus' abode with a view to earning his benediction; among them also came Odoacer, who afterwards ruled in Italy, a youth of tall stature, but very poorly clad; and when he bowed his head, in order that it might not touch the roof of the very low cell, he learned from the man of God that he would attain glory. And as Odoacer bade him farewell, Severinus said: 'Go on to Italy; go of, now clad in paltry skins, but soon to be able to give great gifts to many'." 47 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Meanwhile, as the servant of God had predicted to him, as soon as Odoacer entered Italy he received the royal power. At that same time, after becoming king, Odoacer recalled the prophecy which he had heard from the holy man, and at once addressed to him a friendly letter, "wherein he respectfully offered to grant his wish, should he think there was anything worth while to ask. Accordingly the man p539of God, encouraged by so cordial a letter of the king, asked for the pardon of a certain Ambrosius, who was living in exile, and Odoacer gratefully granted his request."

48 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] After that, King Odoacer made war on the Rugi,27 and in a second campaign vanquished and utterly destroyed them. Then, since he was a man of good intentions and favoured the Arian28 sect, "it happened that once, when in the presence of the holy man many nobles, as often happens, were praising and flattering the said king, as men will do, he asked what king they had extolled with such high commendations. And when they replied 'Odoacar,' he said 'Odoacer is safe for between thirteen and fourteen years,' thus, of course, indicating the years of his safe reign."

11 49 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Zeno accordingly rewarded Theoderic for his support, made him a patrician29 and a consul, gave him a great sum of money, and sent him to Italy. Theoderic stipulated with him, that if Odoacer should be vanquished, in return for his own labours in Odoacer's place he should rule in his stead only until the arrival of Zeno. Therefore, when the patrician Theoderic came from the city of Nova with the Gothic people, he was sent by the emperor Zeno from the regions of the Orient, in order to defend Italy for him.

50 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] As Theoderic was on his way, Odoacer met him at the river Sontius,30 engaged in battle with him p541there, and was defeated and put to flight; he withdrew to Verona, and on the 27th of September made a fortified camp on a plain of moderate extent before the city. Theoderic followed him there, and joined battle with him; numbers fell on both sides: Odoacer, however, was overcome, and on the 30th of September fled to Ravenna.

51 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Theoderic the patrician went on to Mediolanum, and the most of Odoacer's army surrendered to him, including Tufa, his general-in‑chief, whom Odoacer had appointed, along with his other high officials, on the 1st of April. In that same year Tufa, the commanding general, was sent by Theoderic to Ravenna against Odoacer. 52 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Tufa came to Faventia,31 and with the army with which he had been sent besieged Odoacer. The latter left Ravenna and came to Faventia, where Tufa handed over to him the high officers of the patrician Theoderic, who were put in irons and taken to Ravenna.

53 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The consulship of Faustus and Longinus.32 When these were consuls, King Odoacer marched out from Cremona and went to Mediolanum. Then the Visigoths came to the help of Theoderic, and a battle was fought on the 11th of August on the bank of the river Addua,33 where many fell on both sides; Pierius, commander of the household troops, was slain, and Odoacer fled to Ravenna. The patrician Theoderic soon followed him, came to the Pine Grove,34 and made a camp there; then he kept Odoacer in a state of siege for three p543years in Ravenna, where the value of a modius of wheat rose to the price of six gold-pieces.35 And Theoderic sent Festus, the head of the senate,36 as an envoy to the emperor Zeno, hoping to be invested by him with the royal robe.

54 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The consulship37 of Olybrius, vir clarissimus. In his consulship King Odoacer sallied forth from Ravenna by night, entered into the Pine Grove with the Heruli, and attacked the fortified camp of the patrician Theoderic. The losses were great on both sides, and Levila, Odoacer's commander-in‑chief, fled and lost his life in the river Bedens;38 Odoacer was defeated and fled to Ravenna on the 15th of July. Then Odoacer was forced to give his son Thelanes to Theoderic as a hostage, first receiving a pledge that his blood would be spared.39 55 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] So Theoderic entered Ravenna, and after several days Odoacer laid a snare for him: but Theoderic discovered him in the palace and forestalled him, then caught him off his guard and with his own hand slew him with a sword as he was coming into the Laurel Grove.40 56 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the same day, all of Odoacer's army who could be found anywhere were killed by order of the Theoderic, as well as all of his family. This same year the emperor Zeno died at Constantinople, and Anastasius was made emperor.

12 57 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now Theoderic had sent Faustus Niger as an envoy to Zeno. But when the news of the latter's p545death came, before the envoy returned, but after Theoderic had entered Ravenna and killed Odoacer, the Goths, without waiting for the command of the new emperor, made Theoderic their king. 58 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] For he was a most brave and warlike man, whose father, Walamir, was called King of the Goths; but Theoderic was his natural son; his mother was called in Gothic Ereriliva,41 but being a Catholic received at her baptism the name Eusebia. 59 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Hence Theoderic was a man of great distinction and of good-will towards all men, and he ruled for thirty-three years. In his times Italy for thirty years enjoyed such good fortune that his successors also inherited peace. 60 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] For whatever he did was good. He so governed two races at the same time, Romans and Goths, that although he himself was of the Arian42 sect, he nevertheless made no assault on the Catholic religion; he gave games in the circus and the amphitheatre, so that even by the Romans he was called a Trajan or a Valentinian, whose times he took as a model; and by the Goths, because of his edict, in which he established justice, he was judged to be in all respects their best king. Military service for the Romans he kept on the same footing as under the emperors. He was generous with gifts and the distribution of grain, and although he had found the public treasury nothing but a haystack,43 by his efforts it was restored and made rich.

61 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Although untrained in letters, he was nevertheless so wise that even now some of his sayings p547are regarded among the people as aphorisms, and for that reason I am glad to place on record a few out of many. He said, "One who has gold and a demon cannot hide the demon."a Also, "A poor Roman plays the Goth, a rich44 Goth the Roman."

62 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A certain man died, leaving a wife and a little son who did not know his mother. Her son, when a small boy, was taken from her by some one, carried to another province, and there brought up. When he became a youth, he somehow returned to his mother, who had now become betrothed to another man. When the mother saw her son, she embraced him, thanking God that she had seen her son again, and he lived with her for a month. And behold! the mother's betrothed came, and seeing the young man, asked who he was. She replied that he was her son. But when her betrothed learned that the youth was her son, he began to ask the return of the earnest-money45 and to say: "Either deny that he is your son, or I certainly depart hence." The mother yielded to her betrothed and began to deny her son, whom she herself had before acknowledged, saying: "Leave my house, young man, since I took you up as a stranger." But he kept saying that he had come back to his mother and to the house of his father. To make a long story short, while this was going on the son appealed against his mother to the king, who ordered her to appear before him. And he said to her: "Woman, your son appeals against you; what have you to say? Is he your son, or not?" She replied: "He is not my son, but I p549took him up as a stranger." And when the woman's son had told the whole story in order to the king, he again said to the woman: "Is he your son, or not?" She said: "He is not my son." The king said to her: "How much property have you, woman?" She replied: "As much as a thousand gold-pieces." And when the king declared with an oath that he would not make anyone else than the young man himself her husband, and that she should receive no other husband, then the woman was disconcerted and confessed that the young man was her son.46 And there are many other things told of the king.

63 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Afterwards Theoderic took to wife47 a Frankish woman named Augoflada. For before he began to reign he had a wife,48 who had borne him daughters. One of these, called Areaagni, he gave in marriage in Gaul to Alaric, king of the Visigoths, and another daughter of his, Theodegunda, to Sigismund, son of King Gundebadus.49 64 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Theoderic, through Festus, made peace with the emperor Anastasius with regard to his assumption of the rule, and Anastasius sent back to him all the ornaments of the Palace, which Odoacer had transferred to Constantinople.

65 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] At that same time a dispute arose in the city of Rome between Symmachus and Laurentius;50 for both had been consecrated. But through God's ordinance Symmachus, who also deserved it, got the upper hand. After peace was made in the city of the Church, King Theoderic went to Rome51 and met Saint Peter with as much reverence as if he p551himself were a Catholic. The Pope Symmachus, and the entire senate and52 people of Rome amid general rejoicing met him outside the city. 66 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then coming to Rome and entering it, he appeared in the senate, and addressed the people at The Palm,53 promising that with God's help he would keep inviolate whatever the former Roman emperors had decreed.

67 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] In celebration of his tricennalia54 he entered the Palace in a triumphal procession for the entertainment of the people, and exhibited games in the Circus for the Romans. To the Roman people and to the poor of the city he gave each year a hundred and twenty thousand measures of grain, and for the restoration of the Palace and55 the rebuilding of the walls of the city he ordered two hundred pounds to be given each year from the chest that contained the tax on wine. 68 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] He also gave his own sister Amalafrigda in marriage to Transimundus, king of the Vandals. Liberius, whom he had appointed praetorian prefect at the beginning of his reign, he made a patrician, and appointed for him a successor.56 Now his successor in the administration of the prefecture was Theodorus, son of Basilus. Odoin, his general, made a plot against the king. 69 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] When Theoderic learned of it, he had Odoin beheaded in the palace which is called the Sessorium.57 p553At the request of the people he gave orders that the words of the promise which he had made to them should be inscribed upon a bronze tablet and set up in a public place.

70 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then returning to Ravenna, five months later, he gave Amalabirga, another sister of his,58 in marriage to Herminifred, king of the Turingi, and in that way gained peace with all the nations round about. He was besides a lover of building and restorer of cities. 71 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] At Ravenna he repaired the aqueduct which the emperor Trajan had constructed, and thus brought water into the city after a long time. He completely finished the palace, but did not dedicate it. He completed the colonnades around the palace. He also built baths and a palace at Verona, and added a colonnade extending all the way from the gate to the Palace; besides that, he restored the aqueduct at Verona, which had long since been destroyed, and brought water into the city, as well as59 surrounding60 the city with new walls. Also at Ticinum61 he built a palace, baths, and an amphitheatre, besides62 new city walls.

72 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] He also showed many favours to the other cities. And he so won the good-will of the neighbouring nations, that they offered to make treaties with him, in the hope that he would be their king. Indeed, merchants flocked to him from the various provinces, for his organization was such that if anyone p555wished to send consignments of gold or silver in his domain, it was deemed as good as if he were within the walls of a city. 73 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] And he followed this principle so fully throughout all Italy, that he gave no city a gate; and where there were already gates, they were never shut; and every one could carry on his business at whatever hour he chose, as if it were in daylight. In his time sixty measures of wheat were bought for a single gold-piece,63 and thirty amphorae of wine for the same price.

13 74 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now at that same time the emperor Anastasius had three grandsons, namely, Pompeius, Probus, and Hypatius. Considering which one of them he should make his successor, he invited them to have luncheon with him one day, and after luncheon to take their midday siesta within the palace, where he had a couch prepared for each of them. Under the pillow on one couch he ordered the symbol of royalty to be put, and decided that whichever of them chose that couch for his nap, in him he ought to recognise the one to whom he should later turn over the rule. One of the grandsons threw himself down on one couch, but the other two, from brotherly affection, took their places together on another, and so it happened that none of them slept on the couch where the emblem of royalty had been placed. 75 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] When Anastasius saw this, he began to ponder, and learning from it that none of them should rule, he began to pray to God that He would show him a sign, so that while he still lived he might know who should receive the royal power after his death. While he was considering the question with fasting and p557prayer, one night in a dream he saw a man, who advised him as follows: "The person whose arrival shall first be announced to you tomorrow in your bedroom will be the one to receive your throne after you." 76 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now it chanced that Justinus, who was commander of the watch, on coming to a place whither he had been directed to go64 by the emperor, was the first to be announced to him by his head-chamberlain. And when the king knew this, he began to thank God for having deigned to reveal to him who his successor should be.

77 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] These words65 he kept to himself, but one day, when the emperor was in a procession, and Justinus wished to pass along quickly on one side of the emperor, in order to put his followers in line, he trod on the emperor's cloak. 78 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But the emperor only said to him: "What is your hurry?"66 Then in the last days of his reign the devil tempted him, wishing him to follow the Eunomian sect;67 but the people of the faith checked him and even cried out to him in the church: "You shall not hurl your puny lance against the Trinity." Not long afterwards Anastasius was taken ill and confined to his bed in the city of Constantinople, and ended his last day.

14 79 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now King Theoderic was without training in letters, and of such dull comprehension that for ten years of his reign he had been wholly unable to learn the four letters necessary for endorsing his edicts. For that reason he had a golden plate with p559slits made, containing the four letters "legi";68 then, if he wished to endorse anything, he placed the plate over the paper and drew his pen through the slits, so that only this subscription of his was seen.69

80 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then Theoderic made Eutharicus70 consul and celebrated triumphs at Rome and at Ravenna. This Eutharicus was an excessively rough man, and an enemy to the Catholic faith. 81 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] After this, while Theoderic was remaining at Verona through fear of the neighbouring peoples, strife arose between the Christians and the Jews of the city of Ravenna; accordingly the Jews, being unwilling to be baptised, often in sport threw the holy water that was offered to them into the water of the river. Because of this the people were fired with anger, and without respect for the king, for Eutharicus, or for Peter, who was bishop at the time, they rose against the synagogues and presently set them on fire. And this same thing happened in a similar affair at Rome.

82 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Presently the Jews hastened to Verona, where the king was, and there the head-chamberlain Triwane acted on their behalf; he, too, as a heretic favoured the Jews, and cajoled the king into taking action against the Christians. Accordingly Theoderic, on the presumption that they had resorted to arson, presently gave orders that the whole Roman71 population should furnish money for the rebuilding of the p561synagogues of Ravenna which had been burned; and that those who did not have anything from which they could give should be whipped72 through the streets of the city while a herald made proclamation of their offence. This was in substance the order given to Eutharicus, Cilliga, and the Bishop Peter, and thus it was carried out.

Shortly after that the devil found an opportunity to steal for his own a man who was ruling the state well and without complaint. For presently Theoderic gave orders that an oratory of St. Stephen, that is, a high altar, beside the springs in a suburb of the city of Verona, should be destroyed. He also forbade any Roman to carry arms, except a small pen-knife. 84 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Also a poor woman of the Gothic race, lying in a colonnade not far from the palace at Ravenna, gave birth to four snakes; two of these in the sight of the people were carried up on clouds from west to east and then fell into the sea; the two others, which had but a single head, were taken away. A star with a train of fire appeared, of the kind called a comet,73 and shone for fifteen days. There were frequent earthquakes.

85 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] After this the king began from time to time, when he found an opportunity, to vent his rage upon the Romans. Cyprianus, who was then a referee,74 afterwards count of the privy purse and a master,75 was led by avarice to make a charge against the patrician Albinus, to the effect that he had sent to the emperor Justinus a letter hostile to Theoderic's rule. When Albinus was summoned p563and denied this, the patrician Boethius, who was master of ceremonies, said in the king's presence: "The charge of Cyprianus is false, but if Albinus did that, so also have I and the whole senate with one accord done it; it is false, my Lord King." 86 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then Cyprianus, after some hesitation, produced false witnesses, not only against Albinus, but against his defender Boethius. Moreover, the king was plotting evil against the Romans and seeking an opportunity for killing them; hence he trusted the false witnesses rather than the senators. 87 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then Albinus and Boethius were imprisoned in the baptistery of a church. And the king summoned Eusebius, prefect of the city, to Ticinum, and pronounced sentence on Boethius without giving him a hearing. Presently at the Calventian estate,76 where Boethius was confined,77 he had him put to a wretched death. He was tortured for a long time with a cord bound about his forehead so tightly that his eyes cracked in their sockets, and finally, while under torture, he was beaten to death with a cudgel.

15 88 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then the king, on his return to Ravenna, acted no longer as a friend of God, but as an enemy to His law; forgetful of all His kindness and of the favour which He had shown him, trusting to his own arm, believing, too, that the emperor Justinus stood in great fear of him, he sent and summoned to Ravenna Johannes,78 who at that time sat upon the apostolic throne, and said to him: "Go to the emperor Justinus in Constantinople, and tell him p565among other things to restore79 those who have become reconciled and joined the Catholic Church." 89 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] To him the Pope Johannes replied: "What you will do, O king, do quickly. Lo! here I stand before you. But this thing I will not promise you to do, nor will I give the emperor your command. But anything else which you may enjoin upon me with God's help I shall be able to obtain from him." 90 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Thereupon the king in anger gave orders that a ship should be built, and that Johannes should be embarked on it with the other bishops; that is, Ecclesius of Ravenna, Eusebius of Fanum Fortunae,80 Sabinus of Campania, and two others; and with them the senators Theodorus, Importunus, and Agapitus, with another Agapitus. But God, who does not desert his faithful worshippers, conducted them in safety. 91 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The emperor Justinus received the Roman bishop on his arrival as he would have received Saint Peter, gave him audience, and promised that he would do everything that was asked, except that those who had become reconciled and returned to the Catholic faith could by no means be restored to the Arians.81

92 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But while all this was going on, Symmachus, the head of the senate, whose daughter Boethius had married, was brought from Rome to Ravenna. There the king, fearing that through resentment at the death of his son-in‑law,82 Symmachus might take some step in opposition to his rule, ordered him p567to be put to death under a false accusation. 93 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then Pope Johannes returned from Justinus; Theoderic received him in a hostile spirit, and ordered him to be deemed as one of his enemies; a few days later Johannes died. When the people were marching before his dead body, suddenly one of the crowd was possessed by a devil and fell down; but when they had come, with the coffin in which Johannes was carried, to the place where the stricken man lay, he suddenly got up sound and well and took his place in the front of the funeral procession. When the people and the senators beheld this, they began to take relics83 from the Pope's garments. Then the body was escorted out of the city attended by the great rejoicing of the people.

16 94 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Then Symmachus, an advocate84 and a Jew, at the order of a tyrant rather than a king, announced on an appointed day, which was a Wednesday, the 26th of August, in the fourth indiction,85 under the consulship of Olybrius,86 that p569on the following Sabbath the Arians87 would take possession of the Catholic churches. 95 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But He who does not allow his faithful worshippers to be oppressed by unbelievers soon brought upon Theoderic the same punishment that Arius, the founder of his religion, had suffered; for the king was seized with a diarrhoea, and after three days of open bowels lost both his throne and his life on the very same day on which he rejoiced to attack the churches.88 96 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But before breathing his last he named his grandson Athalaric as his successor. During his lifetime he had made himself a mausoleum89 of squared blocks of stone, a work of extraordinary size, and sought out a huge rock to place upon it.


The Editor's Notes:

1 For other titles see Introduction; for spelling, Preface.

2 Emperor of the East, 474‑491.

3 See Vol. I, Introduction, p. xxviii; at this time a patricius outranked a praetorian prefect.

4 Portus Augusti, modern Porto; see Index I, Vol. I.

5 Emperor of the West, 473‑474. Nepos forced him to become a priest, and soon after that he was made a bishop at Salona. Julius Nepos was emperor from 474 to 475.

6 The present participle in this writer is often used as a finite verb.

7 Nepos had given him command of the troops in Gaul.

8 Or Salonae (Caes., B. C. III.9.1 f.), a Dalmatian seaport; modern Split (formerly Spalato) in Yugoslavia.

9 His title Augustus was changed to Augustulus in mockery of, or perhaps because of, his youth.

10 See Pliny, Plin. N. H. IV.97, and note 1, p507; they served as mercenaries in the Roman army, but revolted.

11 Pineta is a late form for Pinetum.

12 Classes, or Classis, was a part of Ravenna near the harbour of the praetorian fleet.

13 See Amm. XX.4.18, note 5.

14 Cf. Jordanes, 46, in Lucullano Campaniae castello exilii poena damnavit.

15 Leo the Thracian, also called Leo the Great, having no son, named his son-in‑law Zeno as his successor. Since the people of Constantinople did not approve the choice, Leo associated with himself his grandson Leo, who survived him a few months only.

16 Cf. Amm. XXI.16.19, of Constantius. Here Wagner has the pertinent note: rem ipsam ut admissuri sint Anatomici, vehementer vereor. The author must mean his kneepans were not fixed to the knees, but moved easily.

17 The Isaurians.

18 He was the brother of Varina, the widow of Leo the Great.

19 In Moesia on the Danube.

20 See § 36, note 9, where we have a sure example; sometimes, as here, the use is less obvious, though probable.

21 An evasive way of pretending to spare his life, which was kept in the letter, but not in the spirit.

22 According to others, in a fortress of Cappadocia.

23 8.37.

24 Jordanes calls him Edeko.

25 These are still extant.

. . . and online here.

26 They were Goths.

27 Living in what was in modern times Austria and Moravia.

28 The correct spelling is Arian, from Arius, but the ignotus auctor, as well as some other late writers, spelled it Arrius, (p539)after the analogy of numerous Roman gentile names (T.L.L. II.507.59). It seems best to use Arrius in the text, Arius in the translation. On his sect, see note, p569.

29 See § 36, note 6.º

30 The modern Isonzo.

31 A town of Gallia Cispadana on the via Aemilia, modern Faenza.

32 490.

33 A large river of Gallia Transpadana, flowing through Lake Larius (Como) into the Po, modern Adda.

34 See § 37, note 3.

35 See Amm. XX.4.18, note 5.

36 That is, prefect of the city.

37 491.

38 Also called Bidens, the modern Bedese, or Ronco.

39 See § 43, note 6. Here neither spirit nor letter was kept.

40 Apparently in, or near, Ravenna; cf. Pinetam, and see § 57, below, which implies that Theoderic killed Odoacer in Ravenna. According to A. Sleumer, Kirchenlatein. Wörterbuch (1926), s.v., Lauretum was a city near Ancona, but he does not cite this passage.

Thayer's Note: Nor should he have. The Lauretum near Ancona — today's Loreto, the famous locale of the Virgin's House, a place of pilgrimage for many Catholics — is 179 kilometers from Ravenna (by modern roads), and is clearly not the same place. Place names in -etum ("-grove", as in "arboretum") were quite common: Lauretum, Pinetum, Carpinetum (hornbeam grove), Quercetum (oak grove), etc. and in modern Italian have become Loreto, Pineto or Pineta, etc. There are at least 6 sizable towns or villages in Italy today by the name of Loreto, and probably many other tiny hamlets and localities; and many other Laureta have changed name, or, as is more likely in the case of this small place in or near Ravenna, been absorbed into some urban sprawl of post-Roman times.

41 Jordanes calls her Erelieva. With Gothica sc. lingua.

42 See note on § 94 (p569), and for spelling, on § 48.

43 Literally, "consisting of hay"; i.e. he found nothing there but hay; cf. Catull. 13.7 f., Catulli plenus sacculus est aranearum.

44 For this meaning of utilis, cf. Gregory of Tours, IV.3 and passim. The rich Goth imitates the luxury of the wealthy Romans.

45 As his part of the agreement of betrothal; arra is derived from a Hebrew word.

46 Suet. Claud. 15.2 tells a similar story of Claudius.

47 accepta uxore is perhaps an example of the participle as a finite verb.

48 Her name was Ermenberga.

49 Jordanes mentions two natural daughters, Theudigotha and Ostrogotha, who also were married.

50 About the bishopric.

51 In the year 500.

52 vel often has the force of et in late Latin; cf. Dracontius, Satisfactio, 229 and 257; it has nearly, if not quite, that force in Virg., Aen. VI.769, pariter pietate vel armis egregius.

53 A name apparently used from the fifth or sixth century for the area at Rome lying between the Curia and the arch of Septimius Severus; undoubtedly the same as the Palma Aurea of Fulgentius, Acta S. Fulgenti, in Acta Sanctorum I. p37, ch. 13, Jan.

54 Theoderic was in the eighth year of his reign and the Decennalia were sometimes celebrated ahead of time. Hadr. Valesius proposed to read decennalem for tricennalem.

55 seu perhaps = et; see note 1.

56 A promotion; see § 36, note 6.

57 A building of unknown origin, situated at the extreme south-east of the Fifth Region, adjoining the Amphitheatrum Castrense. After the part outside the Aurelian wall was destroyed, the extensive inner section became an imperial residence by the beginning of the fourth century, and Helena, the mother of Constantine, lived there.

Thayer's Note: For fuller details, see the article Sessorium in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

58 Others call her his niece.

59 For this use of alius see Class. Phil. xxiii (1928), pp60 ff., and for its use in Ammianus, Amer. Jour. of Phil. lvii (1936), pp137 ff.

60 circuit, late Latin for circumdedit.

61 Modern Pavia.

62 See note 2.

63 Cf. 11.53.

64 Or: arriving when he had been summoned . . .

65 Of the man seen in his dream, see § 75.

66 Thus implying that Justinus would succeed him.

67 The followers of Eunomius, a native of Cappadocia (died about 392). He became Bishop of Cyzicus, and was an extreme Arian.

68 "I have read (it)." Or perhaps ΘΕΟΔ; see regis, crit. note 2, and supply nominis.

69 The same story is told by Procopius, Anecdota, 6.16, of the emperor Justinus.

70 He was the king's son-in‑law, husband of Amalasuntha.

71 The Gothic population was not included, since they had taken no part in the burning.

72 The form frustati for fustati occurs in the edict Langob. Luitpr. ch. 141, facit eas declavari et frustari per vicos vicinantes (Mommsen, who reads it here, with B).

73 See Amm. XXV.10.2 ff.

74 See Index II, Vol. I.

75 Perhaps magister militum.

76 Apparently named from an otherwise unrecorded Calventius, modern Calvenzeno.

Thayer's Note: Calvenzeno is a typo in the Loeb edition for Calvenzano. There are several places in Italy by this name, but consensus places it at the tiny hamlet of Calvenzano Milanese (MI), which being only 15 km NE of Pavia, is also the nearest one to that city. Consensus is not unanimity, however; for another candidate and an interesting discussion, see this page.

77 The sentence of death had been changed to exile.

78 The first Roman pope of that name, successor to Hormisdas.

79 To the Arians; see note 1, § 94, p569.

80 On the Metaurus river, in Umbria; cf. Tac. Hist. III.50. Also called Fanum, Caes., B. C. I.11.4 (modern Fano) and Colonia Julia Fanestris; cf. Mela, II.4.64; Dessau, Inscrr. 6651, 6652; C.I.L. XI.5238, 6240.

81 See note 1.

82 Boethius; see 85‑87, above.

83 Cf. Amm. XXII.11.10.

84 At this time called scholasticus.

85 When the price of grain at Rome seemed likely to rise too high, contributions of grain were demanded of the provinces in addition to the regular tribute. These were called annonae (Dig. XXVI.7.32.6), indictiones temporariae (Dig. XXXIII.2.28) or indictiones (Pliny, Paneg. 29). Their scope was extended in the fourth century and regulated by a census of 289. Diocletian made them annual, and after 297 held a new census, to be repeated every five years, and combined every three census-periods into a fifteen-year cycle, counting the years from one to fifteen and then beginning again. This arrangement was wrongly said to have begun in 312, for papyrus receipts show that the cycle began in 297‑298, coinciding with Diocletian's stay in Egypt, when he personally conducted the siege of Alexandria, which ended early in 297 (Eutr. IX.23). The fifteen-year cycle probably had some connection with Egypt. Augustus, or at latest Tiberius, established a rating (p567)there every fourteen years, because the fourteenth year was the end of puberty and the beginning of liability to taxation. The system was extended from Egypt to other provinces before the middle of the fourth century. In Italy the cycle began on September 1st (Ambros. Noë et arca 17.60, Migne 14.390, a Septembri mense annus videatur incipere, sicut indictionum praesentium usus ostendit). An inscr. of 552 gives August 11th as in fine ind(ictionis) xv, De Rossi, Inscr. Christ. urbis Romae, I.979; and it was the same for the greater part (if not the whole) of the empire. September 1st was chosen as nearest to the beginning of the month in Egypt (Aug. 29). The indictiones were used as a means of dating in 307, at first in Egypt. In other provinces first in 359. In Italy first about 380 (Seeck in Pauly-Wiss., IX. (1916), 1327 ff.)

86 See 11.54, note 3.

87 A sect founded by Arius, an elder of Alexandria in the fourth century. He held that the Son was created by the Father, and subordinate to the Father, although possessing a similar nature; thus he practically denied the divinity of Christ. Although this doctrine was condemned by the council of Nicaea in 325, it nevertheless had many adherents for a long time thereafter. On spelling, see note on § 48, above.

88 A.D. 526.

89 This is still in existence at Ravenna, although stripped of its external decorations.


Thayer's Note:

a The English translation is bizarre, because it is wrong; inexplicably so since the passage is easy, if in very awkward Latin. Read instead: "He who has gold and (he who has) a demon, cannot hide it." In smoother modern English: "Two things are impossible to hide: gold and a demon."


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