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The two Gallieni

This webpage reproduces part of the
Historia Augusta

published in the Loeb Classical Library,

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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(Vol. III) Historia Augusta

 p65  The Lives of the Thirty Pretenders

1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After having written many books in the style of neither an historian nor a scholar but only that of a layman, we have now reached the series of years in which the thirty pretenders1 arose — the years when the Empire was ruled by Gallienus and Valerian, when Valerian was busied with the great demands of the Persian War and Gallienus, as will be shown in the proper place, was held in contempt not only by men but by women as well. 2 But since so obscure were these men, who flocked in from divers parts of the world to seize the imperial power, that not much concerning them can be either related by scholars or demanded of them, and since all those historians who have written  p67 in Greek or in Latin have passed over some of them without dwelling even on their names, and, finally, since certain details related about them by many have varied so widely, I have therefore gathered them all into a single book, and that a short one, especially as it is evident that much concerning them has already been told in the Lives of Valerian and Gallienus and need not be repeated here.


2Legamen ad paginam Latinam This man,2 rich and well born, fled from his father Cyriades when, by his excesses and profligate ways, he had become a burden to the righteous old man, and after robbing him of a great part of his gold and an enormous amount of silver he departed to the Persians. 2 Thereupon he joined King Sapor and became his ally, and after urging him to make war on the Romans, he brought first Odomastes3 and then Sapor himself into the Roman dominions; and also by capturing Antioch and Caesarea4 he won for himself the name of Caesar. 3 Then, when he had been hailed Augustus, after he had caused all the Orient to tremble in terror at his strength or his daring, and when, moreover, he had slain his father (which some historians deny), he himself, at the time that Valerian was on his way to the Persian War, was put to death by the treachery of his followers. 4 Nor has anything more that seems worthy of mention been committed to history about this man, who has obtained a place  p69 in letters solely by reason of his famous flight, his act of parricide, his cruel tyranny, and his boundless excesses.


3Legamen ad paginam Latinam This man,5 most valiant in war and most steadfast in peace, was so highly respected for his whole manner of life that he was even entrusted by Gallienus with the care of his son Saloninus (whom he had placed in command of Gaul) as the guardian of his life and conduct and his instructor in the duties of a ruler.6 2 Nevertheless, as some writers assert — though it does not accord with his character — he afterwards broke faith and after slaying Saloninus7 seized the imperial power. 3 As others, however, have related with greater truth, the Gauls themselves, hating Gallienus most bitterly and being unwilling to endure a boy as their emperor, hailed as their ruler the man who was holding the rule in trust for another, and despatching soldiers they slew the boy. 4 When he was slain, Postumus was gladly accepted by the entire army and by all the Gauls, and for seven  p71 years8 he performed such exploits that he completely restored the provinces of Gaul, while Gallienus spent his time in debauchery and taverns and grew weak in loving a barbarian woman.9 5 Gallienus, however, was warring against him at that time when he himself was wounded by an arrow.10 6 Great, indeed, was the love felt for Postumus in the hearts of all the people of Gaul because he had thrust back all the German tribes and had restored the Roman Empire to its former security. 7 But when he began to conduct himself with the greatest sternness, the Gauls, following their custom of always desiring a change of government,11 at the instigation of Lollianus put him to death.

8 If anyone, indeed, desires to know the merits of Postumus, he may learn Valerian's opinion concerning him from the following letter which he wrote to the Gauls: 9 "As general in charge of the Rhine frontier and governor of Gaul we have named Postumus, a man most worthy of the stern discipline of the Gauls. He by his presence will safeguard the soldiers in the camp, civil rights in the forum, law-suits at the bar of judgement, and the dignity of the council-chamber, and he will preserve for each one his own personal possessions; he is a man at whom I marvel above all others and well deserving of the office of prince, and for him, I hope, you will render me thanks. 10 If, however, I have erred in my judgement concerning him, you may rest assure days that nowhere in the world will a man be found who can win complete approval. 11 Upon his son, Postumus by name, a young man who will show himself worthy of his father's character, I have bestowed the tribuneship of the Vocontii."  p73 

Postumus the Younger

4Legamen ad paginam Latinam Concerning this man12 there is naught to relate save that after receiving the name of Caesar from his father and later, as a mark of honour to him, that of Augustus, he was killed, it is said, together with his father at the time when Lollianus, who was put in Postumus' place, took the imperial power offered to him by the Gauls. 2 He was, moreover — and only this is worthy of mention — so skilled in rhetorical exercises that his Controversies are said to have been inserted among those of Quintilian,13 who, as the reading of even a single chapter will show at the first glance,14 was the sharpest rhetorician of the Roman race.


5Legamen ad paginam Latinam In consequence of this man's15 rebellion in Gaul, Postumus, the bravest of all men, was put to death after he had brought back the power of Rome into its ancient condition at the time when Gaul was on the brink of ruin because of Gallienus' excesses. 2 Lollianus was, indeed, a very brave man, but in the face of rebellion his strength was insufficient to give him authority over the Gauls. 3 He was killed, moreover, by Victorinus, son of Vitruvia, or rather Victoria,16 who was later entitled Mother of the Camp and honoured by the name of Augusta, though she herself, doing her utmost to escape the weight of so great a burden,  p75 had bestowed the imperial power first on Marius and then on Tetricus together with his son.17 4 Lollianus, in fact, did to some extent benefit the commonwealth; for many of the communes of Gaul and also some of the camps, built on barbarian soil by Postumus during his seven years,18 but after his murder plundered and burned during an incursion of Germans, were restored by him to their ancient condition. Then he was slain by his soldiers because he exacted too much labour.

5 And so, while Gallienus was bringing ruin on the commonwealth, there arose in Gaul first Postumus, then Lollianus, next Victorinus, and finally Tetricus (for of Marius we will make no mention), all of them defenders of the renown of Rome. 6 All of these, I believe, were given by gift of the gods, in order that, while that pestiferous fellow was caught in the toils of unheard-of excesses, no opportunity might be afforded the Germans for seizing Roman soil. 7 For if they had broken forth then in the same manner as did the Goths and the Persians, these foreign nations, acting together in Roman territory, would have put an end to this venerable empire of the Roman nation. 8 As for Lollianus, his life is obscure in many details, as is also that of Postumus, too — but only their private lives; for while they lived they were famed for their valour, not for their importance in rank.


6Legamen ad paginam Latinam When the elder Postumus saw that Gallienus was marching against him with great forces, and that he needed the aid not only of soldiers but also of a second prince, he called Victorinus,19 a man of soldierly  p77 energy, to share in the imperial power, and in company with him he fought against Gallienus. 2 Having summoned to their aid huge forces of Germans, they protracted the war for a long time, but at last they were conquered. 3 Then, when Lollianus, too, had been slain, Victorinus alone remained in command. He also, because he devoted his time to seducing the wives of his soldiers and officers, was slain at Agrippina20 through a conspiracy formed by a certain clerk, whose wife he had debauched; his mother Vitruvia, or rather Victoria,21 who was later called Mother of the Camp, had given his son Victorinus the title of Caesar, but the boy, too, was immediately killed after his father was slain at Agrippina.

4 Concerning Victorinus, because he was most valiant and, save for his lustfulness, an excellent emperor, many details have been related by many writers. 5 We, however, deem it sufficient to insert a portion of the book of a certain Julius Atherianus,22 in which he writes of Victorinus as follows: 6 "With regard to Victorinus, who ruled the provinces of Gaul after Julius23 Postumus, I consider that no one should be given a higher place, not Trajan for his courage, or Antoninus for his kindness, or Nerva for his noble dignity, or Vespasian for his care of the treasury, or yet Pertinax or Severus for the strictness of their whole lives or the severity of their military discipline. 7 All these qualities, however, were offset to such an extent by his lustfulness and his desire for the pleasures gotten from women that no one would dare to set forth in writing the virtues of one who, all are agreed, deserved to be punished." 8 And so, since this is the judgement that writers have given concerning Victorinus, I consider that I have said enough regarding his character.


Victorinus the Younger

7Legamen ad paginam Latinam Concerning him24 nothing has been put into writing save that he was the grandson of Victoria and the son of Victorinus and that he was entitled Caesar by his father or grandmother on the eve of his father's murder and was at once slain in anger by the soldiers. 2 Their tombs, indeed, are still to be seen near Agrippina, humble monuments covered with common marble, and on them is carved the inscription,a "Here lie the two Victorini, pretenders."


8Legamen ad paginam Latinam After Victorinus, Lollianus and Postumus were slain, Marius,25 formerly a worker in iron, so it is said, held the imperial power, but only for three days. 2 What more can be asked concerning him I know not, save that he was made more famous by the shortness of his rule. For, just as that consul26 who held the office as a substitute for six hours at midday was ridiculed by Cicero in the jest, "We have had a consul so stern and severe that during his term of office no one has breakfasted, no one has dined, and no one has slept," so the same, it would seem, can be said of Marius, who on the first day was made emperor, on the second seemed to rule, and on the third was slain.

3 He was, indeed, an active man and rose through the various grades of military service to the imperial  p81 power itself — this one whom many called Mamurius and some Veturius,27 because, forsooth, he was a worker in iron. 4 But we have already said too much about this man, concerning whom it will be sufficient to add that there was no one whose hands were stronger, for either striking or thrusting, since he seemed to have not veins in his fingers, but sinews. 5 For he is said to have thrust back on-coming waggons by means of his forefinger and with a single finger to have struck the strongest men so hard that they felt as much pain as though hit by a blow from wood or blunted iron; and he crushed many objects by the mere pressure of two of his fingers. 6 He was slain by a soldier whom, because he had once been a worker in his smithy, he had treated with scorn either when he commanded troops or after he had taken the imperial power. 7 His slayer is said to have added the words, "This is a sword which you yourself have forged."

8 His first public harangue, it is said, was as follows: "I know well, fellow-soldiers, that I can be taunted with my former trade, of which all of you are my witnesses. 9 However, let anyone say what he wishes. As for me, may I always labour with steel rather than ruin myself with wine and garlands and harlots and gluttony, as does Gallienus, unworthy of his father and the noble rank of his house. 10 Let men taunt me with working with steel as long as foreign nations shall know from their losses that I have handled the steel. 11 In short, I will strive to the utmost that all Alamannia and Germany and the nations round about shall deem the Roman people a steel-clad folk and  p83 that it shall be most of all the steel that they fear in us. 12 But as for you, I wish you to rest assured that you have chosen as emperor one who will never know how to deal with aught but the steel. 13 And this I say because I know that no charge can be brought against me by that pestiferous profligate save this, that I have been a forger of swords and armour."


9Legamen ad paginam Latinam In the consulship of Tuscus and Bassus,28 while Gallienus was spending his time in wine and gluttony and giving himself up to pimps and actors and harlots, and by continued debauchery was destroying the gifts of nature, Ingenuus, then ruler of the Pannonian provinces, was acclaimed emperor by the legions of Moesia, and those in Pannonia assented thereto. And, in fact, it appeared that in no other case had the soldiers taken better counsel for the commonwealth than when, in the face of an inroad of the Sarmatians, they chose as their emperor one who by his valour could bring a remedy to the exhausted state. 2 His reason, moreover, for seizing the power at that time was his fear of becoming an object of suspicion to the emperors, because he was both very brave and necessary to the commonwealth, and also — a cause which rouses rulers most of all — well beloved by the soldiers. 3 Gallienus, however, worthless and degraded though he was, could still, when necessity demanded, show himself quick in action, courageous, vigorous and cruel, and finally, meeting Ingenuus in battle,29 he defeated him and, after slaying him, vented his anger most fiercely on all the Moesians, soldiers and civilians alike. For he left  p85 none exempt from his cruelty,30 and so brutal and savage was he, that in many communities he left not a single male alive. 4 It is said of Ingenuus, indeed, that when the city was captured, he threw himself into the water, and so put an end to his life,31 that he might not fall into the power of the brutal tyrant.

5 There is, indeed, still in existence a letter of Gallienus, written to Celer Verianus,32 which shows his excessive brutality. This I have inserted, in order that all may learn that a profligate, if necessity demand, can be the most brutal of men:

6 "From Gallienus to Verianus. You will not satisfy me if you kill only armed combatants, for these even chance could have killed in the war. 7 You must slay every male, that is, if old men and immature boys can be put to death without bringing odium upon us. 8 You must slay all who have wished me ill, slay all who have spoken ill of me, the son of Valerian, the father and brother of so many princes. 9 Ingenuus has been created emperor! Therefore mutilate, kill, slaughter, see that you understand my purpose and show your anger with that spirit which I am showing, I who have written these words with my own hand."


10Legamen ad paginam Latinam It was the public destiny that in the time of Gallienus whosoever could, sprang up to seize the  p87 imperial power. And so Regalianus,33 who held the command in Illyricum, was declared emperor, the prime movers being the Moesians, who had previously been defeated with Ingenuus and on whose kinsmen Gallienus had vented his anger severely. 2 He, indeed, performed many brave deeds against the Sarmatians, but nevertheless, at the instigation of the Roxolani34 and with the consent of the soldiers and the provincials, who feared that Gallienus might, on a second occasion, act even more cruelly, he was put to death.

3 It may perhaps seem a matter for wonder if I relate the origin of his rule, for it was all because of a notable jest that he gained the royal power. 4 For when some soldiers were dining with him and a certain acting-tribune arose and said, "Whence shall we suppose that Regalianus gets his name?" another replied at once, "I suppose from his regal power." 5 Then a schoolmaster who was present among them began, as it seemed, to decline grammatically, saying, "Rex, regis, regi, Regalianus," 6 whereupon among the soldiers — a class of men who are quick to express what they have in mind — one cried out, "So, then, can he be regal?" another, "So, then, can he hold regal sway over us?" and again another, "God has given you a regent's name." 7 Why should I then say more? The next day after these words were spoken, on going forth in the morning he was greeted as emperor by the front-line troops. Thus what was offered to others through daring or reasoned choice was offered to him through a clever jest.

8 It cannot, indeed, be denied that he had always  p89 won approbation in warfare and had long been suspected by Gallienus because he seemed worthy to rule; he was, moreover, a Dacian by birth and a kinsman, so it was said, of Decebalus35 himself. 9 There is still in existence a letter written by the Deified Claudius, then still a commoner, in which he expresses his thanks to Regalianus, as general in command of Illyricum, for recovering this district, at a time when Gallienus' slothfulness was bringing all things to ruin. This letter, which I have found in the original form, I think should be inserted here, for it was written officially:

10 "From Claudius to Regalianus many greetings. Fortunate is the commonwealth, which has deserved to have such a man as yourself in its military camps, and fortunate is Gallienus, though no one tells him the truth about either good men or bad. 11 Word has been brought to me by Bonitus and Celsus, the attendants of our emperor, how you conducted yourself in fighting at Scupi36 and how many battles you fought in a single day and with what great speed. You were worthy of a triumph, did but the olden times still remain. 12 But why say more? I could wish that you might be mindful of a certain person and therefore be more cautious in gaining victories. I should like you to send me some Sarmatian bows and two military cloaks, but provided with clasps, for I am sending you some of my own."

13 This letter shows what opinion of Regalianus was held by Claudius, whose judgement was without doubt most weighty in his own time.

14 It was not, indeed, from Gallienus that Regalianus received his promotion, but from his father, Valerian, as did also Claudius, Macrianus, Ingenuus, Postumus  p91 and Aureolus, who all were slain while they held the imperial power, although they deserved to hold it. 15 It was, moreover, a matter for marvel in Valerian as emperor, that all who were appointed commanders by him, afterwards, by the voice of the soldiers, obtained the imperial rule, so that it is clear that the aged emperor, in choosing the generals of the commonwealth, was, in fact, such an one as the felicity of Rome — could it only have permitted by fate to continue under a worthy prince — ever required. 16 Oh that it might have been possible either for those who seized the imperial power to rule for a longer time, or for this man's son to rule less long, that somehow our commonwealth might have kept itself in its proper position! 17 But Fortune claimed for herself too much indulgence, when with Valerian she took away our righteous princes, and preserved Gallienus for the commonwealth longer than was meet.


11Legamen ad paginam Latinam This man37 also, while commanding the Illyrian armies, was urged on by the soldiers in their contempt for Gallienus (as were all others at that time) and so seized the imperial power. 2 And when Macrianus and his son Macrianus marched against Gallienus with very large forces, he took their troops, and some he won over to his cause by bribery. 3 When Aureolus had thus become a mighty emperor, Gallienus, after trying in vain to conquer so brave a man and being  p93 now on the point of beginning a war against Postumus, made peace with him — of which events many have already been related and many are still to be told.

4 This same Aureolus, after Gallienus was slain, Claudius met in battle and killed at the bridge which now bears the name of Aureolus' Bridge,38 and there he bestowed upon him a tomb, but a lowly one as became a pretender. 5 There is even now in existence an epigram in Greek39 of the following purport:

"Sepulture's gift, after many a battle against the pretender,

Claudius, flushed with success, gives to Aureolus now,

Doing him honour in death, himself the rightful survivor.

Fain had he kept him alive, only his glorious troops

Suffered it not in their love; for they put out of life very rightly

All who deserved not to live — why not Aureolus more?

Merciful, though, was that prince, who preserved what was left of his body,

And in Aureolus' name built both a bridge and a tomb."

6 These verses, translated by a certain teacher of grammar, I have given in such a way that their accuracy is retained, although they could be translated more elegantly; but I do it with the purpose of preserving historical truth, which I have thought should be guarded above all else, and caring nought for considerations of literary style. 7 For, indeed, it is fact that I have determined to put before you and not mere words, especially when we have such an  p95 abundance of facts as in the lives of the thirty pretenders taken together.


12Legamen ad paginam Latinam After the capture of Valerian, long a most noble prince in the state, then a most valiant emperor, but at the last the most unfortunate of all men (either because in his old age he pined away among the Persians or because he left behind him unworthy descendants), Ballista,41 Valerian's prefect, and Macrianus, the foremost of his generals, since they knew that Gallienus was worthy only of contempt and since the soldiers, too, were seeking an emperor, withdrew together to a certain place, to consider what should be done. 2 They then agreed that, since Gallienus was far away and Aureolus was usurping the imperial power, some emperor ought to be chosen, and, indeed, the best man, lest there should arise some pretender. 3 Therefore Ballista (or so Maeonius Astyanax,42 who took part in their council, relates) spoke as follows: 4 "As for myself, my age and my calling and my desires are all far removed from the imperial office, and so, as I cannot deny, I am searching for a worthy prince. 5 But who, pray, is there who can fill the place of Valerian except such a man as yourself, brave, steadfast, honourable, well proved in public affairs, and — what is of the highest importance for holding the imperial office — possessed of great wealth?  p97 6 Therefore, take this post which your merits deserve. My services as prefect shall be yours as long as you wish. Do you only serve the commonwealth well, so that the Roman world may rejoice that you have been made its prince." 7 To this Macrianus replied: "I admit, Ballista, that to the wise man the imperial office is no light thing. For I wish, indeed, to come to the aid of the commonwealth and to remove that pestiferous fellow from administering the laws, but I am not of an age for this; I am now an old man, I cannot ride as an example to others, I must bathe too often and eat too carefully, and my very riches have long since kept me away from practicing war. 8 We must seek out some young men, and not one alone, but two or three of the bravest, who in different parts of the world of mankind can restore the commonwealth, which Valerian and Gallienus have brought to ruin, the one by his fate, the other by his mode of life." 9 Whereupon Ballista, perceiving that Macrianus, in so speaking, seemed to have in mind his own two sons, answered him as follows: "To your wisdom, then, we entrust the commonwealth. 10 And so give us your sons Macrianus and Quietus, most valiant young men, long since made tribunes by Valerian, for, under the rule of Gallienus, for the very reason that they are good men, they cannot remain unharmed." 11 Then Macrianus, finding out that his thoughts had been understood, replied: "I will yield, and from my own funds I will present to the soldiers a double bounty. Do you but give me your zealous service as prefect and furnish rations in the needful places. I will now do my best that Gallienus, more contemptible than any woman, may come to know his father's generals." 12 And so, with the consent of all  p99 the soldiers, Macrianus was made emperor, together with his two sons Macrianus and Quietus, and he immediately proceeded to march against Gallienus, leaving affairs in the East in whatever state he could. 13 But while he was on the march, having with him a force of forty-five thousand soldiers, he met Aureolus in Illyricum or on the borders of Thrace, and there he was defeated and together with his son was slain. 14 Then thirty thousand of his men yielded to Aureolus' power. It was Domitianus,43 indeed, who won this victory, the bravest and most active of Aureolus' leaders, who claimed to be the descendant of the Emperor Domitian and Domitilla.

15 In writing of Macrianus, moreover, it would seem to me wrong to leave out the opinion of Valerian, which he expressed in the message he sent to the senate from the frontier of Persia. A portion of the message of the Deified Valerian: 16 "Being now engaged in the war with the Persians, Conscript Fathers, I have entrusted all public affairs, and even those which concern the war, to Macrianus. He is faithful to you, loyal to me, and both beloved and feared by the soldiers. He with his army will act as the case shall demand. 17 And in this, Conscript Fathers, there is nothing new or unexpected by us. For while a boy in Italy, while a youth in Gaul, while a mature man in Africa, and, finally, while well advanced in years in Illyricum and Dalmatia, his valour has been well proved, for in divers battles he has done brave deeds which may serve as a pattern to others. 18 I will add, besides, that he has young sons, worthy of being our associates  p101 in Rome and worthy, too, of our friendship," and so forth.

Macrianus the Younger

13Legamen ad paginam Latinam I have already given a foretaste, in the account of his father's rule, of many details about this man,44 who would never have been chosen emperor, had it not seemed well to trust to his father's wisdom. 2 Many marvellous stories, it is true, are related concerning him, all of which have to do with the bravery of youthful years. But what, after all, does one single man's bravery avail against fate or how much does it profit in war? 3 For, though active himself and accompanied by the wisest of fathers (through whose merits he had begun to rule), he was defeated by Domitianus, and despoiled, as I have previously said, of an army of thirty thousand soldiers, being himself of noble birth through his mother, for his father was merely brave and ready for war, and had risen from the lowest rank in the army with exalted distinction to the highest command.


14Legamen ad paginam Latinam This man,45 as we have said,46 was the son of Macrianus and was made emperor, along with his father and brother, in accordance with the judgement of Ballista. But when Odaenathus, who had now for some time held the East, learned that the two Macriani, the father and brother of Quietus, had been  p103 defeated by Aureolus, and that their soldiers had yielded to his power in the belief that he was upholding the cause of Gallienus, he put the young man to death and with him Ballista, for a long time prefect. 2 This young man, too, was worthy to hold the power at Rome, so that he seemed to be truly the son of Macrianus and also the brother of Macrianus, who together were well able to govern the commonwealth in its stricken state.

3 It does not seem to me, in telling of the family of the Macriani (which is still flourishing to‑day),47 that I should fail to speak of a peculiar custom which they have always observed. 4 For an embossed head of Alexander the Great of Macedonia was always used by the men on their rings and their silver plate, and by the women on their head-dresses, their bracelets, their rings and ornaments of every kind, so that even to‑day there are still in that family tunics and fillets and women's cloaks which show the likeness of Alexander in threads of divers colours. 5 We, ourselves, recently saw Cornelius Macer, a man of that same family, while giving a dinner in the Temple of Hercules,48 drink the health of a pontiff from a bowl made of electrum,49 which had in the centre the face of Alexander and contained on the circumference his whole history in small and minute figures, and this he caused to be passed around to all the most ardent admirers of that great hero. 6 All this I have included because it is said that those who wear the likeness of Alexander carved in either gold or silver are aided in all that they do.  p105 


15Legamen ad paginam Latinam Had not Odaenathus,50 prince of the Palmyrenes, seized the imperial power after the capture of Valerian, with the strength of the Roman state was exhausted, all would have been lost in the East. 2 He assumed, therefore, as the first of his line, the title of King, and after gathering together an army he set out against the Persians, having with him his wife Zenobia,51 his elder son, whose name was Herodes, and his younger sons, Herennianus and Timolaus.52 3 First of all, he brought under his power Nisibis and most of the East together with the whole of Mesopotamia, next, he defeated the king himself and compelled him to flee. 4 Finally, he pursued Sapor and his children even as far as Ctesiphon, and captured his concubines and also a great amount of booty; then he turned to the oriental provinces, hoping to be able to crush Macrianus,53 who had begun to rule in opposition to Gallienus, but he had already set out against Aureolus and Gallienus. After Macrianus was slain, Odaenathus killed his son Quietus also, while Ballista, many assert, usurped the imperial power54 in order that he, too, might not be slain. 5 Then, after he had for the most part put in order the affairs of the East, he was killed by his cousin  p107 Maeonius55 (who had also seized the imperial power), together with his son Herodes, who, also, after returning from Persia along with his father, had received the title of emperor. 6 Some god, I believe, was angry with the commonwealth, who, after Valerian's death, was unwilling to preserve Odaenathus alive. 7 For of a surety he, with his wife Zenobia, would have restored not only the East, which he had already brought back to its ancient condition, but also all parts of the whole world everywhere, since he was fierce in warfare and, as most writers relate, ever famous for his memorable hunts; for from his earliest years he expended his sweat, as is the duty of a man, in taking lions and panthers and bears and other beasts of the forest, and always lived in the woods and the mountains, enduring heat and rain and all other hardships which pleasures of hunting entail. 8 Hardened by these he was able to bear the sun and the dust in the wars with the Persians; and his wife, too, was inured to hardship and in the opinion of many was held to be more brave than her husband, being, indeed, the noblest of all the women of the East, and, as Cornelius Capitolinus56 declares, the most beautiful.


16Legamen ad paginam Latinam Herodes,57 who was the son, not of Zenobia, but of a former wife of Odaenathus, received the imperial power along with his father, though he was the most effeminate of men, wholly oriental and given over to Grecian luxury, for he had embroidered tents  p109 and pavilions made out of cloth of gold and everything in the manner of the Persians. 2 In fact, Odaenathus, complying with his ways and moved by the promptings of a father's indulgence, gave him all the king's concubines58 and the riches and jewels that he captured. 3 Zenobia, indeed, treated him in a step-mother's way, and this made him all the more dear to his father. Nothing more remains to be said concerning Herodes.


17Legamen ad paginam Latinam This man,59 the cousin of Odaenathus, murdered that excellent emperor, being moved thereto by nothing else than contemptible envy, for he could bring no charge against him save that Herodes was his son. 2 It is said, however, that previously he had entered into a conspiracy with Zenobia, who could not bear that her stepson Herodes should be called a prince in a higher rank than her own two sons, Herennianus and Timolaus. But Maeonius, too, was a filthy fellow, 3 and so, after being saluted as emperor through some blunder, he was shortly thereafter killed by the soldiers, as his excesses deserved.


18Legamen ad paginam Latinam As to whether this man60 held the imperial power or not historians do not agree. For many  p111 assert that when Quietus was killed by Odaenathus, Ballista was pardoned, but nevertheless took the imperial power, putting no trust in either Gallienus or Aureolus or Odaenathus. 2 Others, again, declare that while still a commoner he was killed on the lands which he had bought for himself near Daphne.61 3 Many, indeed, have said that he assumed the purple in order to rule in the Roman fashion, and that he took command of the army and made many promises on his own account, but was killed by those despatched by Aureolus for the purpose of seizing Quietus, Macrianus' son, who, Aureolus averred, was his own due prey. 4 He was a notable man, skilled in administering the commonwealth, vehement in counsel, winning fame in campaigns, without an equal in providing for rations, and so highly esteemed by Valerian that in a certain letter he honoured him with the following testimony:

5 "From Valerian to Ragonius Clarus,62 prefect of Illyricum and the provinces of Gaul. If you are a man of good judgement, my kinsman Clarus, as I know that you are, you will carry out the arrangements of Ballista. Model your government on them. 6 Do you see how he refrains from burdening the provincials, how he keeps the horses in places where there is fodder and exacts the rations for his soldiers in places where there is grain, how he never compels the provincials or the land-holders to furnish grain where they have no supply, or horses where they have no pasture? 7 There is no arrangement better than to exact in each place what is there produced, so that the commonwealth may not be burdened by transport or other expenses. 8 Galatia is rich in grain, Thrace is well stocked, and Illyricum is filled with  p113 it; so let the foot-soldiers be quartered in these regions, although in Thrace cavalry, too, can winter without damage to the provincials, since plenty of hay can be had from the fields. 9 As for wine and bacon and other forms of food, let them be handed out in those places in which they abound in plenty. 10 All this is the policy of Ballista, who gave orders that any province should furnish only one form of food, namely that in which it abounded, and that from it the soldiers should be kept away. This, in fact, has been officially decreed."

11 There is also another letter, in which he gives thanks to Ballista, showing that he himself had received from him instruction in governing the state, and expressing his pleasure that he had on his staff no supernumerary tribune (that is, one unassigned to some duty), no one in attendance who did not truly perform some office, and no soldier who was not truly a fighter.

12 This man, then, while resting in his tent was slain, it is said, by a certain common soldier, in order to gain the favour of Odaenathus and Gallienus. 13 I, however, have not been able to find out sufficiently the truth concerning him, because the writers of his time have related much about his prefecture but little about his rule.


19Legamen ad paginam Latinam This man,63 a warrior and at the same time excelling in glory for his qualities as a citizen, was holding the proconsulship of Achaea, an honour conferred on him by Gallienus. 2 Macrianus feared him greatly, both because he had learned that he was distinguished for his whole manner of life and because  p115 he knew him to be his enemy out of hatred for his virtues. He therefore despatched Piso, a member of a family then most noble and, in fact, of consular rank, with orders to put him to death. 3 Valens, however, who kept a most careful watch, foreseeing the future and believing that there was no other means of protecting himself, seized the imperial power and soon was slain by the soldiers.

Valens the Elder

20Legamen ad paginam Latinam It has fortunately occurred to us that, in speaking of this Valens, we should make some mention also of the Valens64 who was killed in the time of the earlier emperors. 2 For he, it is said, was the great-uncle of the Valens who seized the power under Gallienus. Others, however, assert that he was only his uncle. 3 But the fate of them both was alike, for he, too, was killed after he had ruled for a few days in Illyricum.


21Legamen ad paginam Latinam This man65 was despatched by Macrianus to kill Valens, but on learning that he, foreseeing the future, had declared himself emperor, he withdrew into Thessaly; there by consent of a few he assumed the imperial power, taking the surname Thessalicus, but was then slain by violence. He was a man of the utmost righteousness and during his life-time he  p117 was given the name Frugi, and he was said to derive his descent from that family of Pisos with which Cicero had formed an alliance for the purpose of entering the nobility.66 2 He was highly esteemed by all the emperors; in fact, Valens himself, who is said to have sent the assassins against him, declared, it is told, that never could he render account to the gods of the lower world for having given an order to put Piso to death, albeit his enemy, for his like the Roman commonwealth did not contain.

3 I have gladly inserted the senate's decree67 which was passed concerning Piso, in order that his honours may be made known: On the seventh day before the Kalends of July, when word had been brought that Piso was slain by Valens and Valens himself by his own soldiers, Arellius Fuscus,68 the consular whose right it was to give his opinion first, said: "Consul, consult us." 4 And on being asked his opinion, he said, "I propose divine honours for Piso, Conscript Fathers, and I firmly believe that this will be approved by our emperors, Gallienus, Valerian, and Saloninus; for never was there a better man or a braver." 5 After him the others also on being consulted voted Piso a statue among the triumphant generals and also a four-horse chariot. 6 His statue is still to be seen, but the chariot which they decreed was erected only to be moved elsewhere, and it has not yet been brought back. 7 For it was set up in the place where the Bath of Diocletian69 was afterwards built, destined to have a name as undying as it is revered.  p119 


22Legamen ad paginam Latinam It is the wont of the people of Egypt that like madmen and fools they are led by the most trivial matters to become highly dangerous to the commonwealth;71 2 for merely because a greeting was omitted, or a place in the baths refused, or meat and vegetables withheld, or on account of the boots of slaves or some other such things, they have broken out into riots, even to the point of becoming highly dangerous to the state, so that troops have been armed to quell them. 3 With their wonted madness, accordingly, on a certain occasion, when the slave of the chief magistrate72 then governing Alexandria had been killed by a soldier for asserting that his sandals were better than the soldier's, a mob gathered together, and, coming to the house of the general Aemilianus, it assailed him with all the implements and the frenzy usual in riots; he was pelted with stones and attacked with swords, and no kind of weapon used in a riot was lacking. 4 And so Aemilianus was constrained to assume the imperial power, knowing well that he would have to die in any event. 5 To this step the army in Egypt agreed, chiefly out of hatred for Gallienus. 6 He did not, indeed, lack energy for administering public affairs. For he marched through the district of Thebes and, in fact, the whole of  p121 Egypt, and to the best of his powers drove back the barbarians with courage and firmness. 7 Finally, he won by his merits the name of Alexander, or else Alexandrinus — for this is considered uncertain. 8 But when he was making ready for a campaign against the people of India, the general Theodotus was sent against him by order of Gallienus, and so he suffered punishment, for it is related that, like the captives of old,73 he was strangled in prison.

9 Now, since I am speaking of Egypt, I think I must not fail to relate what the history of former times has suggested and, in connection therewith, a deed of Gallienus. 10 For when he wished to confer proconsular power on Theodotus, the priests forbade it, saying that it was not lawful for the consular fasces to be brought into Alexandria. 11 This, we know well enough, was mentioned by Cicero in his speech against Gabinius,74 and, in fact, it is still remembered that this practice was maintained. 12 Therefore, your75 kinsman Herennius Celsus,76 in seeking the consulship, ought to know that what he desires is not lawful. 13 For at Memphis, they say, it was written on a golden column in Egyptian letters that Egypt would at last regain its freedom when the Roman fasces and the Roman bordered toga had been brought into the land. 14 This may be found in Proculus77 the grammarian, the most learned man of his time, in the place where he tells of foreign countries.  p123 


23Legamen ad paginam Latinam The best of the generals of the time of Gallienus, though, in fact, he was chosen by Valerian, was Saturninus.78 2 He also, being unable to endure the loose ways of Gallienus, who revelled all night in public places, and preferring to command the soldiers in his own way rather than in that of his emperor, accepted the imperial power from the army. He was a man unequalled in wisdom, outstanding in dignity, lovable in his ways, and because of his victories well known everywhere, even among the barbarians. 3 On the day on which the soldiers clothed him with the imperial robe he called together an assembly, it is related, and said: Fellow-soldiers, you have lost a good general and made a bad emperor." 4 Finally, after doing many vigorous deeds during his rule, merely because he was too severe and too harsh to the soldiers he was killed by those very men who had made him emperor. 5 He is famous for having commanded the soldiers, when reclining at table, to wear military cloaks in order that their lower limbs might not be bared, heavy ones in winter and very light ones in summer.

Tetricus the Elder79

24Legamen ad paginam Latinam After Victorinus80 and his son were slain, his mother Victoria (or Vitruvia) urged Tetricus, a Roman senator then holding the governorship of  p125 Gaul,81 to take the imperial power, for the reason, many relate, that he was her kinsman; she then caused him to be entitled Augustus and bestowed on his son the name of Caesar. 2 But after Tetricus had done many deeds with success and had ruled for a long time he was defeated82 by Aurelian, and, being unable to bear the impudence and shamelessness of his soldiers, he surrendered of his own free will to this prince most harsh and severe. 3 In fact, a quotation of his is cited, which he secretly sent in writing to Aurelian:—

"Save me, O hero unconquered, from these my misfortunes."83

4 And so Aurelian, who did not readily plan aught that was guileless or merciful or peaceful, led this man, though he was a senator of the Roman people and a consular and had ruled the provinces of Gaul with a governor's powers, in his triumphal procession at the same time84 as Zenobia, the wife of Odaenathus, and the younger sons of Odaenathus, Herennianus and Timolaus.85 5 Aurelian, nevertheless, exceedingly stern though he was, overcome by a sense of shame, made Tetricus, whom he had led in triumph, supervisor over the whole of Italy,86 that is, over Campania, Samnium, Lucania, Bruttium, Apulia, Calabria, Etruria and Umbria, Picenum and the Flaminian district, and the entire grain-bearing region, and suffered him not only to retain his life  p127 but also to remain in the highest position, calling him frequently colleague, sometimes fellow-soldier, and sometimes even emperor.

Tetricus the Younger

25Legamen ad paginam Latinam He,87 when a little lad, received the name of Caesar from Victoria when she herself had been entitled by the army Mother of the Camp. 2 He was, furthermore, led in triumph along with his father, but later he enjoyed all the honours of a senator; nor was his inheritance diminished, and, indeed, he passed it on to his descendants, and was ever, as Arellius Fuscus88 reports, a man of distinction. 3 My grandfather89 used to declare that he was a friend of his own, and that never was any one given preference over him either by Aurelian or by any of the later emperors. 4 The house of the Tetrici is still standing to‑day, situated on the Caelian Hill between the two groves and facing the Temple of Isis built by Metellus;90 and a most beautiful one it is, and in it Aurelian is depicted bestowing on both the Tetrici the bordered toga and the rank of senator and receiving from them a sceptre, a chaplet, and an embroidered robe. This picture is in mosaic, and it is said that the two Tetrici, when they dedicated it, invited Aurelian himself to a banquet.  p129 


26Legamen ad paginam Latinam I am by this time ashamed to tell how many tyrants there were in the reign of Gallienus, all on account of the vices of that pestiferous man, for such, indeed, were his excesses that he deserved to have many rebels rise up against him, and such his cruelty that he was rightly regarded with fear. 2 This cruelty he showed also toward Trebellianus,91 who was made ruler in Isauria92 — for the Isaurians desired a leader for themselves. He, though others dubbed him archpirate, gave himself the title of emperor. He even gave orders to strike coins93 and he set up an imperial palace in a certain Isaurian stronghold. 3 Then, when he had betaken himself into the inmost and safest parts of Isauria, where he was protected by the natural difficulty of the ground and by the mountains, he ruled for some time among the Cilicians. 4 Camsisoleus,94 however, Gallienus' general and an Egyptian by race, the brother of that Theodotus who had captured Aemilianus, brought him down to the plains and then defeated and slew him. 5 Never afterwards, however, was it possible to persuade the Isaurians, fearing that Gallienus might vent his anger upon them, to come down to the level ground, not even by any offer of kindness on the part of the emperors. 6 In fact, since the time of Trebellianus they have been considered barbarians; for indeed their district, though in the midst of lands belonging to the Romans, is guarded by a novel kind of defence, comparable to a frontier-wall, for it is protected not by men but by the nature of the country. 7 For the Isaurians are not of noble stature or distinguished courage, not well provided with arms or wise in counsel, but they are kept  p131 safe by this alone that, dwelling, as they do, on the heights, no one can approach them. The Deified Claudius did, it is true, almost persuade them to leave their native lands and settle in Cilicia,95 planning to give the entire possessions of the Isaurians to one of his most loyal friends in order that never again might a rebellion arise therein.


27Legamen ad paginam Latinam Odaenathus, when he died, left two little sons, Herennianus and his brother Timolaus,96 in whose name Zenobia seized the imperial power, holding the government longer than was meet for a woman. These boys she displayed clad in the purple robe of a Roman emperor and she brought them to public gatherings which she attended in the fashion of a man, holding up, among other examples, Dido and Semiramis, and Cleopatra, the founder of her family.97 2 The manner of their death, however, is uncertain; for many maintain that they were killed by Aurelian, and many that they died a natural death, since Zenobia's descendants still remain among the nobles of Rome.


28Legamen ad paginam Latinam With regard to him we consider only those things to be worth knowing which have been told concerning his brother. 2 One thing there is,  p133 however, which distinguishes him from his brother, that is, that such was his eagerness for Roman studies that in a short time, it is said, he made good the statement of his teacher of letters, who had said that he was in truth able to make him the greatest of Latin rhetoricians.


29Legamen ad paginam Latinam When the various parts of the empire were seized, namely Gaul, the Orient, and even Pontus, Thrace and Illyricum, and while Gallienus was spending his time in public-houses and giving up his life to bathing and pimps, the Africans also, at the instance of Vibius Passienus, the proconsul of Africa, and Fabius Pomponianus, the general in command of the Libyan frontier, created an emperor, namely Celsus,98 decking him with the robe of the goddess Caelestis.99 2 This man, a commoner and formerly a tribune stationed in Africa, was then living on his own estates, but such was his reputation for justice and such the size of his body that he seemed worthy of the imperial power. 3 Therefore he was made emperor, but on the seventh day of his rule he was killed by a woman named Galliena, a cousin of Gallienus, and so he has scarcely found a place even among the least known of the emperors. 4 His body was devoured by dogs, for such was the command of the people of Sicca,100 who had remained faithful to Gallienus, and then with a new kind of insult his image was set up on a cross, while the mob pranced about, as though they were looking at Celsus himself affixed to a gibbet.  p135 


30Legamen ad paginam Latinam Now all shame is exhausted, for in the weakened state of the commonwealth things came to such a pass that, while Gallienus conducted himself in the most evil fashion, even women ruled most excellently. 2 For, in fact, even a foreigner, Zenobia101 by name, about whom much has already been said, boasting herself to be of the family of the Cleopatras and the Ptolemies,102 proceeded upon the death of her husband Odaenathus to cast about her shoulders the imperial mantle; and arrayed in the robes of Dido and even assuming the diadem, she held the imperial power in the name of her sons Herennianus and Timolaus,103 ruling longer than could be endured from one of the female sex. 3 For this proud woman performed the functions of a monarch both while Gallienus was ruling and afterwards when Claudius was busied with the war against the Goths,104 and in the end could scarcely by conquered by Aurelian himself, under whom she was led in triumph and submitted to the sway of Rome.

4 There is still in existence a letter of Aurelian's which bears testimony concerning this woman, then in captivity. For when some found fault with him, because he, the bravest of men, had led a woman in triumph, as though she were a general, he sent a letter to the senate and the Roman people, defending himself by the following justification: 5 "I have heard,  p137 Conscript Fathers, that men are reproaching me for having performed an unmanly deed in leading Zenobia in triumph. But in truth those very persons who find fault with me now would accord me praise in abundance, did they but know what manner of woman she is, how wise in counsels, how steadfast in plans, how firm toward the soldiers, how generous when necessity calls, and how stern when discipline demands. 6 I might even say that it was her doing that Odaenathus defeated the Persians and, after putting Sapor to flight, advanced all the way to Ctesiphon.105 7 I might add thereto that such was the fear that this woman inspired in the peoples of the East and also the Egyptians that neither Arabs nor Saracens nor Armenians ever moved against her. 8 Nor would I have spared her life, had I not known that she did a great service to the Roman state when she preserved the imperial power in the East for herself, or for her children. 9 Therefore let those whom nothing pleases keep the venom of their own tongues to themselves. 10 For if it is not meet to vanquish a woman and lead her in triumph, what are they saying of Gallienus, in contempt of whom she ruled the empire well? 11 What of the Deified Claudius, that revered and honoured leader? For he, because he was busied with his campaigns against the Goths, suffered her, or so it is said, to hold the imperial power, doing it of purpose and wisely, in order that he himself, while she kept guard over the eastern frontier of the empire, might the more safely complete what he had taken in hand." 12 This speech shows what opinion Aurelian held concerning Zenobia.

Such was her continence, it is said, that she would not know even her own husband save for the purpose  p139 of conception. For when once she had lain with him, she would refrain until the time of menstruation to see if she were pregnant; if not, she would again grant him an opportunity of begetting children. 13 She lived in regal pomp. It was rather in the manner of the Persians that she received worship and in the manner of the Persian kings that she banqueted; 14 but it was in the manner of a Roman emperor that she came forth to public assemblies, wearing a helmet and girt with a purple fillet, which had gems hanging from the lower edge, while its centre was fastened with the jewel called cochlis,106 used instead of the brooch worn by women, and her arms were frequently bare. 15 Her face was dark and of a swarthy hue, her eyes were black and powerful beyond the usual wont, her spirit divinely great, and her beauty incredible. So white were her teeth that many thought that she had pearls in place of teeth. 16 Her voice was clear and like that of a man. Her sternness, when necessity demanded, was that of a tyrant, her clemency, when her sense of right called for it, that of a good emperor. Generous with prudence, she conserved her treasures beyond the wont of women. 17 She made use of a carriage, and rarely of a woman's coach, but more often she rode a horse; it is said, moreover, that frequently she walked with her foot-soldiers for three or four miles. 18 She hunted with the eagerness of a Spaniard. She often drank with her generals, though at other times she refrained, and she drank, too, with the Persians and the Armenians, but only for the purpose of getting the better of them. 19 At her banquets she used vessels of gold and jewels, and she even used those that had been Cleopatra's. As servants she had eunuchs of advanced age and but  p141 very few maidens. 20 She ordered her sons to talk Latin, so that, in fact, they spoke Greek but rarely and with difficulty. 21 She herself was not wholly conversant with the Latin tongue, but nevertheless, mastering her timidity she would speak it; Egyptian, on the other hand, she spoke very well. 22 In the history of Alexandria and the Orient she was so well versed that she even composed an epitome, so it is said; Roman history, however, she read in Greek.

23 When Aurelian had taken her prisoner, he caused her to be led into his presence and then addressed her thus: "Why is it, Zenobia, that you dared to show insolence to the emperors of Rome?" To this she replied, it is said: "You, I know, are an emperor indeed, for you win victories, but Gallienus and Aureolus and the others I never regarded as emperors. Believing Victoria107 to be a woman like me, I desired to become a partner in the royal power, should the supply of lands permit." 24 And so she was led in triumph with such magnificence that the Roman people had never seen a more splendid parade. For, in the first place, she was adorned with gems so huge that she laboured under the weight of her ornaments; 25 for it is said that this woman, courageous though she was, halted very frequently, saying that she could not endure the load of her gems. 26 Furthermore, her feet were bound with shackles of gold and her hands with golden fetters, and even on her neck she wore a chain of gold, the weight of which was borne by a Persian buffoon.108 27 Her life was granted her by Aurelian, and they say that thereafter she lived with her children in the manner of a Roman matron on an estate that had been presented to her at Tibur, which even to  p143 this day is still called Zenobia, not far from the palace of Hadrian109 or from that place which bears the name of Concha.


31Legamen ad paginam Latinam It would, indeed, be an unworthy thing that Vitruvia also, or rather Victoria,110 should be given a place in letters, had not the ways of Gallienus brought it about that women, too, should be deemed worthy of mention. 2 For Victoria, after seeing her son and grandson slain by the soldiers, and also Postumus, then Lollianus, and Marius111 too (whom the soldiers had named emperor) all put to death, urged Tetricus, of whom I have spoken above,112 to seize the power, solely that she might always be daring the deeds of a man. She was distinguished, furthermore, by her title, for she called herself Mother of the Camp.113 3 Coins, too, were struck in her name,114 of bronze and gold and silver, and even to‑day the type is still in existence among the Treviri.115 4 She did not, indeed, live long; for during Tetricus' rule she was slain, some say, while others assert that she succumbed to the destiny of fate.

5 This is all that I have deemed worthy of being related concerning the thirty pretenders, all of whom I have gathered into one book, lest the telling of each single detail about each one singly might bring about an aversion that is undeserved and not to be  p145 borne by my readers. 6 Now I will return to the Emperor Claudius. Concerning him I think I should publish a special book, short though it be, for his manner of life deserves it, and I must say something, besides, about that peerless man, his brother,116 in order that at least a few facts may be told of so righteous and noble a family.

7 It was with deliberate purpose that I included the women, namely that I might make a mock of Gallienus, a greater monster than whom the Roman state has never endured; now I will add two pretenders besides, supernumeraries, so to speak, for they lived each at a different period, since one was of the time of Maximinus, the other of the time of Claudius, my purpose being to include in this book the lives of thirty pretenders. 8 I ask you, accordingly, you who have received this book now completed, to look on my plan with favour and to consent to add to your volume these two, whom I had purposed to include after Claudius and Aurelian among those who lived between Tacitus and Diocletian, just as I included the elder Valens117 in this present book. 9 This error on my part, however, your accurate learning, mindful of history, prevented. 10 And so I am grateful that the kindliness of your wisdom has filled out my title. Now no one in the Temple of Peace118 will say that among the pretenders I included women, female pretenders, forsooth, or, rather, pretendresses — for this they are wont to bandy about concerning me with merriment and jests. 11 They have now the number complete, gathered into my writings from the secret stores of history. For 12 I will add to my work Titus and Censorinus, the former of whom, as  p147 I have said, lived under Maximinus and the latter under Claudius, but both were slain by the very soldiers who clothed them with the purple.


32Legamen ad paginam Latinam It is related by Dexippus120 and not left unmentioned by Herodian121 or any of those who have recorded such things for posterity to read, that Titus, once a tribune of the Moors but reduced by Maximinus to the position of a civilian, fearing a violent death, as they narrate, but reluctantly, so most assert, and compelled by the soldiers, seized the imperial power. But within a few days, after the revolt was put down which Magnus,122 a man of consular rank, led against Maximinus, he was slain by his own troops. He reigned, however, for the space of six months. 2 He was one who especially deserved the praise of the commonwealth both at home and abroad, but in his ruling he had ill-fortune. 3 Some say, on the other hand, that he was made emperor by the Armenian123 bowmen, whom Maximinus hated as devoted to Alexander and to whom he had given offence. 4 You will not, indeed, wonder that there is such diversity of statement about this man, for even his name is scarcely known. 5 His wife was Calpurnia, a revered and venerated woman of the stock of the Caesonini (that is, of the Pisos),124 to whom our fathers did reverence as a priestess married but once and among the most holy of women, and whose statue  p149 we have seen still standing in the Temple of Venus, its head, hands and feet made of marble but the rest of it gilded. 6 She is said to have owned the pearls that once belonged to Cleopatra and a silver platter weighing a hundred pounds, of which many poets have made mention and on which was shown wrought in relief the history of her forefathers.

7 I seem to have gone on further than the matter demanded. But what am I to do? For knowledge is ever wordy through a natural inclination. 8 Wherefore I shall now return to Censorinus, a man of noble birth, but said to have ruled for seven days not so much to the welfare as to the hurt of the state.


33Legamen ad paginam Latinam He was a soldier, indeed, and a man of old-time dignity in the senate-house, having been twice consul, twice prefect of the guard, three times prefect of the city, four times proconsul, three times legate of consular rank, twice of praetorian, four times of aedilician, three times of quaestorian, and having held the post of envoy extraordinary to the Persians and also to the Sarmatians.

2 Nevertheless, after all these offices, while living on his own estates, now an old man and lame in one foot from a wound received in the Persian War under Valerian, he was created emperor and by a jester's witticism given the name of Claudius.126 3 But when he proceeded to act with the greatest severity and became intolerable to the soldiers because of his rigid discipline, he was put to death by the very men who had made him emperor. 4 His tomb is still in  p151 existence near Bologna, and on it are inscribed in large letters all the honours he had held, but in the last line there is added: "Happy in all things, as emperor most hapless." 5 His family is still in existence,127 well known by the name of Censorini, some of whom, in their hatred of all things Roman, have departed to Thrace, and some to Bithynia. 6 His house, too, is still in existence, and a most beautiful one it is, adjacent to the Flavian House,128 which is said to have once belonged to the Emperor Titus.

7 You have now the complete number of the thirty tyrants, you who used to dispute with those ill disposed to me, though always in a kindly spirit. 8 Now bestow on any one you wish this little book, written not with elegance but with fidelity to truth. Nor, in fact, do I seem to myself to have made any promise of literary style, but only of facts, for these little works which I have composed on the lives of the emperors I do not write down but only dictate, and I dictate them, indeed, with that speed, which, whether I promise aught of my own accord or you request it, you urge with such insistence that I have not even the opportunity of drawing breath.

The Editor's Notes:

1 The collection actually contains 32 names, of which the last two form a sort of appendix containing two men admittedly not of the time of Gallienus. The author's original plan, according to Gall. xvi.1; xix.6; xxi.1, was to include 20, but as Peter has pointed out (Abh. Sächs. Ges., XXVII. p190 f.), this number was raised to that of the Thirty Tyrants of Athens by padding with ten additional names. If we take from the list the names of the two women and the six youths who never held the imperial power, the list is reduced to 22. Of these it may be definitely asserted of Cyriades, Odaenathus, Maeonius and Ballista that they never assumed the purple, (p65)and the same may be said with almost equal certainly of Valens, Piso and Aemilianus. Saturninus, Trebellianus and Celsus may be regarded as inventions of the author. Of the twelve remaining names, Valens "Superior" was of the time of Decius and Victorinus and Tetricus of the time of Claudius and Aurelian. The list, then, of the authentic pretenders under Gallienus reduces itself to nine, viz., Postumus (258‑268), Laelianus, Marius, Ingenuus (258), Regalianus (258?), Aureolus (268), and Macrianus and his two sons (260‑261).

2 To be identified with the adventurer Mareades, or Mariades, a native of Antioch in Syria, who, after being banished from his native city for embezzling public funds, brought over into Syria the army of Sapor, which captured and plundered Antioch. He was later put to death by Sapor; see Ammianus Marcellinus, XXIII.5.3 and Malalas, xii p295 f. There is no reason to suppose that he was ever proclaimed Caesar or Augustus.

3 Perhaps an error for Oromastes (Hormizd), Sapor's son and successor.

4 Mod. Kaisarîyeh in Cappadocia, taken by Sapor after the capture of Valerian.

5 M. Cassianus Latinius Postumus Augustus; the name Iulius given to him in c. vi is accordingly incorrect, like practically all that is said of him in this vita; see Mommsen, Hist. Rom. Provinces (Eng. Trans.), i pp178‑179.

6 After successful campaigns against the Germans he was left in command of the Rhine frontier by Gallienus when he departed to put down the revolt of Ingenuus (see c. ix), but rivalry broke out between him and Silvanus (or Albanus), to whose care Gallienus had entrusted his son — perhaps as the nominal ruler of the West. In consequence of this rivalry Postumus seized Cologne and caused Silvanus and the prince to be put to death; see Zosimus, I.38.2 and Zonaras, XII.24. Thereupon he declared himself emperor and, despite the efforts (p69)of Gallienus (see Gall. iv.4‑5; vii.1), remained practically independent ruler of Gaul until his death at Mainz in 268 or 269.

7 The question of the date of Postumus' assumption of the imperial power is bound up with that of the name of this murdered prince, also given as Saloninus in Zosimus, I.38.2 Saloninus, however, Gallienus' younger son (cf. Gall. xix.1 and note) seems to have been alive as late as 260‑261. Moreover, according to Epit. 32.3; 33.1, it was the elder son (Valerian) who was put to death at Cologne; he is shown by the evidence of papyri to have died in 258. This accords with the evidence of c. ix.1, that the revolt of Ingenuus was in 258.

8 So also Gall. iv.5. As a matter of fact he ruled for ten years, according to his coins with trib. pot. X (Cohen VI2 p45, nos. 284‑286) and Eutropius, IX.10.

9 See Gall. xxi.3.

10 Cf. Gall. iv.4.

11 Cf. Firm. vii.1.

12 There is no other evidence of his participation in the imperial power or even of his existence.

13 Presumably the extant collection of Declamationes (or controversiae, i.e. imaginary law-cases used in the schools of rhetoric) attributed to Quintilian, the famous author of the Institutio Oratoria, but probably not his work.

14 The expression prima statim fronte is used in just this sense by Quintilian in Inst. Orat. XII.7.8.

15 His correct name was C. Ulpius Cornelius Laelianus Augustus, according to his coins; see Cohen VI2 p66 f. He rebelled against Postumus and seized the imperial power at Mainz, but (despite the statements in §§ 1‑4) he was defeated by Postumus; see Aurelius Victor, Caes. 33.8, and Eutropius, IX.9.

16 See c. xxxi.

17 See c. xxiv‑xxv.

18 See note to c. iii.4.

19 M. Piavonius Victorinus Augustus, according to his inscriptions and coins; see Cohen VI2 pp68‑84. He served as general under Postumus, but the statement of the vita and of Gall. vii.1 that he was made co-ruler by Postumus is probably false, for, according to Aur. Victor, Caes. 33.12 and Eutropius, IX.9 he seems to have held the power after Marius (c. viii) for (p75)two years, apparently under Claudius (so Epit. 34.3) and so probably 270‑271.

20 i.e., Cologne.

21 See c. xxxi.

22 Not otherwise known and probably an invention of the biographer's.

23 See note to c. iii.1.

24 The head of a son of Victorinus appears on a coin of the pretender (Cohen VI2 p84), but the boy is included here, like Postumus Iunior in c. iv, merely for the purpose of increasing the number of the Tyranni.

25 M. Aurelius Marius Augustus. He held the imperial power before Victorinus; see note to c. vi.1. The length of his rule given here as three days (two days by Aurelius Victor and Eutropius) is certainly wrong, for the large number of his (p79)coins is sufficient evidence of a longer reign; see Cohen VI2 pp87‑89.

26 C. Caninius Rebilus, consul on 31 Dec. 45 B.C. A jest of Cicero's concerning him, differing somewhat from the following quotation is contained in Epist. ad Fam. VII.30.1.

27 Mamurius Veturius was the legendary forger of the ancilia, the shields of the Salii; his name was inserted in (p81)Carmen Saliare as a reward for his labour; see Festus, p131 M.; Ovid, FastiIII.383 f.

28 The correctness of this date has been questioned, for Aurelius Victor (Caes. 33.2) places the revolt of Ingenuus after the capture of Valerian, i.e. in 260. It occurred, however, shortly before the revolt of Postumus, and there is reason to believe that this was in 258 or 259; see note to c. iii.2.

29 At Mursa (mod. Eszek) or at Sirmium (Mitrovitz) in Pannonia; see Aur. Victor, Caes. 33.2; Eutropius, IX.8.1; Zonaras, XII.24.

30 On the other hand, Gallienus' clemency is noted by the Continuator of Cassius Dio, frg. 163 (ed. Boissevain, III p743) and Zonaras, XII.25, and, in other instances, by Ammianus Marcellinus, XXI.16.10.

31 According to Zonaras, XII.24, he was killed by his attendant soldiers during his flight. It is difficult to reconcile this with any of the suggested readings of § 4.

32 Unknown and probably fictitious.

33 P. C. . . . . . . Regalianus Augustus, according to his coins; see Cohen VI2p10. The form Regilianus in which his name appears in the MSS. of this vita (except § 5) and also in Gall. ix.1 and Claud. vii.4 seems to owe its origin to the desire to make the pun contained in § 3 f. Aur. Victor (33.2) agrees with the biographer in relating that he rallied the remains of Ingenuus' army and renewed the war against Gallienus.

34 See note to Hadr. vi.6.

35 The formidable king of the Dacians who was finally overcome by Trajan, after two wars, in 107.

36 Probably Zlokuchan near Usküb (Skoplje) in Jugoslavia.

37 Despite the assurance contained in §§ 6‑7, practically our only information concerning this really important man comes from Zonaras (XII.24). Aureolus as commander of Gallienus' cavalry contributed greatly to the successful battle against Ingenuus. Later he was sent to Thrace to oppose the advance of Macrianus (c. xii.13‑14; Gall. ii.6‑7), whose troops he persuaded to surrender without a battle. In 268 he declared himself emperor and advanced on Milan. Here Gallienus (p91)besieged him but fell during the siege (see Gall. xiv.6‑9). After his death Aureolus submitted to Claudius but again planned a revolt, at the outset of which he was killed by his soldiers (Claud. v.1‑3).

38 Mod. Pontirolo on the Adda, about 20 miles NE of Milan.

Thayer's Note: Now (2005) Pontirolo Nuovo, in Bergamo province.

39 The epigram is given in a Greek version, apparently by Andrea Alciatus, in I. G., xiv no. 355* (p32*).

40 M. Fulvius Macrianus Augustus. As Valerian's κόμης τῶν θησαυρῶν καὶ ἐφεστὼν τῇ ἀγορᾳ τοῦ σίτου he was not present when the Emperor was captured; later he succeeded in rallying the soldiers at Samosata; see Continuator of Cassius Dio, frg. 159 (ed. Boissevain, iii p742). Further details of his revolt in 261, as described here, are given in Gall. i‑ii and in Zonaras, XII.24. His coins show that the correct form of his name and his son's is Macrianus, and not (p95)Macrinus, as it frequently appears in the MSS. of the Historia Augusta and in other authors; see Cohen VI2 pp2‑3. Papyri dated in the first year of Macrianus and Quietus (c. xiv) show that they were accepted in Egypt as emperors in 260.

41 See c. xviii.

42 Otherwise unknown.

43 Mentioned also in c. xiii.3 and Gall. ii.6. He is probably the pretender of this name who arose under Aurelian; see Zosimus, I.49.2. A coin of his has been found in France on which he bears the titles Caesar and Augustus; see Babelon in Comptes Rendus de l'Acad. des Inscrs., 1901, p200. His descent is evidently a fabrication of the biographer's, for (p99)Domitilla was Domitian's niece, not his wife; the latter was Domitia Longina.

44 T. Fulvius Iunius Macrianus Augustus, according to his coins; see Cohen VI2 pp3‑6.

45 T. Fulvius Iunius Quietus Augustus, according to his coins; see Cohen VI2 pp6‑8. For his death, see c. xv.4 and Gall. iii.2. According to Zonaras (XII.24), he was defeated near (p101)Emesa (Homs) by Odaenathus and then put to death by the people of the city.

46 c. xii.12.

47 These writers have a liking for representing descendants of emperors or pretenders as alive in their own day; see c. xxxiii.5; Gord. xx.6; Max.‑Balb. xvi.1; Aur. i.3; xlii.1; Prob. xxiv.1; Firm. xiii.5. Most of these persons are probably fictitious.

48 There were several temples of Hercules in Rome.

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources on all of those known in 1929, see pp251‑258 of Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

49 An alloy of gold and silver; a somewhat similar bowl is described in Martial, VIII.51.

Thayer's Note: Actually, the word electrum is not at all so clear-cut; for full details, see the article Electrum in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

50 Septimius Odaenathus, son of Septimius Hairanes. A member of the most important family of Palmyra, he received from the Roman government the title of consularis, which he bears in an inscription of 258 (Lebas-Wad. 2602) and on his coins. Later he received from Gallienus the office of στρατηγὸς τῆς Ἐώλας or πάσης Ἀνατολῆς; see Zonaras, XII.23‑24 and Syncellus, I, p716 (cf. Gall. iii.3; x.1). This indicates a general imperium over all the Asiatic provinces and Egypt, but subject to that of the Roman Emperor. He afterwards took the title of King of Palmyra (§ 2), and on a Palmyrene inscription set up in 271 after his death he is called "King of Kings." There is no evidence that he ever received the title of Augustus (p105)from Gallienus (Gall. xii.1), or assumed it himself, or in any way formally rebelled against the power of Rome, although in fact his position was almost that of an independent prince. On his suppression of the revolt of Quietus see also c. xiv.1 and Gall. iii.1‑5, and on his invasion of Mesopotamia after the capture of Valerian see Val. iv.2‑4; Gall. x.3‑8; xii.1.

51 See c. xxx.

52 See c. xxvii‑xxviii.

53 See c. xii.

54 See note to c. xviii.1.

55 See also Gall. xiii.1. On Maeonius, see note to c. xvii.1. According to Zosimus, I.39.2, the murder took place at Emesa (Homs); it can be dated in 266‑267, as Alexandrian coins show this to be the first year of Vaballathus, Odaenathus' son and successor.

56 Otherwise unknown and perhaps fictitious.

57 Mentioned also in c. xv.2 and 5; xvii.1; Gall. xiii.1. The statement that he was killed with his father seems to (p107)be borne out by Zonaras (XII.24), who says that Odaenathus' older son was killed with him.

58 Cf. c. xv.4; Val. iv.3.

59 He is represented here, as well as in c. xv.5 and Gall. xiii.1, as Odaenathus' cousin, but in Zonaras (XII.24) as his nephew. Here and in c. xv.5 his name is given as Maeonius, while Syncellus (I p717) knows him as Odaenathus, and the Continuator of Cassius Dio frg. 166 (ed. Boissevain, iii p744) as Rufinus. The statement that he was vested with the imperial power and not killed until later seems to be an invention of the biographer's, due to his desire to swell the (p109)number of his "Thirty." According to Zonaras he was killed immediately after the murder.

60 On his services in aiding Odaenathus to repel the Persians after Valerian's capture, see Val. iv.4; Zonaras, XII.23 (where he is called Callistus). On his co-operation with Macrianus and his sons and his death, see c. xii.1‑3; xiv.1; xv.4; Gall. i.2‑4; iii.2. There is no evidence for the statement that he assumed the purple.

61 Presumably Daphne near Antioch.

62 Otherwise unknown and probably, like the letter, fictitious.

63 See also c. xxi.2 and Gall. ii.2‑4. He is also said in Epit. 32.4 to have declared himself emperor in Macedonia, and he is listed with Aureolus, Postumus and Ingenuus as an opponent of Gallienus by Ammianus Marcellinus, XXI.16.10, but no coins of his are known.

64 Probably Iulius Valens Licinianus is meant, who proclaimed himself emperor in Rome during the absence of the Emperor Decius in the war against the Goths in 250, but was promptly put to death; see Aur. Victor, Caes. 29.3; Epit. 29.5. As the biographer himself admits in c. xxxi.8, he has no place among the rivals of Gallienus, and he is inserted solely for the purpose of increasing the number of Tyranni.

65 Known also from c. xix.2 and Gall. ii.2‑4, but unmentioned by any other author. That Macrianus during his march through the Balkan Peninsula (see c. xii.12‑14) sent a force into Macedonia (Achaea) is not improbable; but no coins of Piso's are known, and the story of his assumption of the power, like the "senatus consultum" conferring honours on a rebel (!), must be regarded as fiction.

66 Cicero's daughter Tullia was married to C. Calpurnius Piso Frugi. They were betrothed in 67 B.C. after Cicero had been elected praetor.

67 On such "senatus consulta" see note to Val. v.3.

68 A writer of this name (if Salmasius' conjecture be correct) is cited in c. xxv.2, but he may well be fictitious. Also an (p117)Arellius Fuscus was proconsul of Asia in 274‑275, according to Aur. xl.4.

69 Now the Museo Nazionale delle Terme.

70 See also c. xxvi.4; Gall. iv.1‑2; v.6; ix.1. He is also mentioned in Epit. 32.4. It is known from papyri that L. Mussius Aemilianus and Aurelius Theodotos (§ 8) were prefects of Egypt, the former as late as Oct. 259, the latter in August 262. Aemilianus would seem to have held central Egypt (the Thebais) for Gallienus against Macrianus and Quietus, who were acknowledged as emperors in lower Egypt in 260. However, no genuine coins of his are known, and it is unlikely that he ever assumed the imperial power; therefore it (p119)is hard to understand why he should have been arrested by order of Gallienus; see Milne in Journ. Egypt. Arch., Xº p80 f.

71 See also Firm. vii.4.

Thayer's Note: also Ammian, XXII.11.4.

72 On the curator rei publicae in the second century see note to Marc. xi.2. In the third century he became a regular official, chosen by the local curia but ratified by the emperor and charged with the general administration of the city with control over the finances and the power to veto municipal legislation.

73 e.g., Jugurtha and Vercingetorix, strangled in the Tullianum at Rome.

74 Aulus Gabinius, who had restored Ptolemy Auletes to his throne, was, on his return to Rome in 54, attacked by Cicero in a speech now lost; see Cassius Dio, XXXIX.62.2.

75 On the person addressed see Vol. I, Intro., p. xiv.

76 Otherwise unknown.

77 Possibly either Eutychius Proculus (Marc. ii.3) or Proklos, the author of a χρηστομάξεια γραμματική cited by Photios, but more probably, like the "inscription," fictitious.

78 Mentioned in Gall. ix.1 and also in Firm. xi.1, where a careful distinction is made between him and the historical Saturninus, a pretender of the time of Probus. In the lack of any evidence for his existence he may be supposed to be merely an invention of the biographer's.

79 C. Pius Esuvius Tetricus Augustus, according to his inscriptions and coins; see Cohen, VI2 pp91‑115. His elevation to power after the death of Victorinus is mentioned also in c. v.3 and xxxi.2, and Aur. Victor, Caes. 33.14, and further details (p123)of his career are given by Eutropius and Aurelius Victor. The story concerning him is fairly consistent and in the main perhaps correct, but he does not belong in the list of the pretenders of the time of Gallienus, for he assumed the imperial power in 270 at the earliest.

80 See c. vi.

81 More correctly, Aquitania, according to Aur. Victor, Caes. 33.14 and Eutropius, IX.10; according to the latter he was acclaimed emperor by the soldiers at Bordeaux.

82 Apud Catalaunos (Châlons-sur‑Marne) according to Eutropius, IX.13.1, who tells the same story of his surrender. Further details are given by Aur. Victor, Caes. 35.4‑5.

83 AeneidVI.365.

84 In 274; cf. c. xxx.24‑26; Aur. xxxii.4; xxxiv.2‑3.

85 See c. xxvii‑xxviii.

86 Corrector Lucaniae, according to Aur. xxxix.1; Aur. Victor, Caes. 35.5; Epit. 35.7; Eutropius, IX.13.2. It (p125)seems probable that this is the more correct version and that the statement in the text is exaggerated, like that in § 4, although the earliest corrector of a district in Italy is found in an inscription of 283‑284 and occasional instances of correctores of all Italy are found earlier; see Pauly-Wissowa, Realencycl., IV.1651 f.

87 C. Pius Esuvius Tetricus Caesar, according to his inscriptions and coins; see Cohen, VI2 pp118‑129. According to Aur. xxxiv.2 he was acclaimed imperator, and some of his coins bear the title Augustus, but as none of these portrays him with the laurel it is not probable that he ever had this title.

88 See note to c. xxi.3.

89 The citation from the writer's father or grandfather, found here and in Aur. 43.2; Firm. ix.4; xv.4; Car. xiii.3; xiv.1; (p127)xv.1, is merely a device modelled after similar citations made by Suetonius, Otho, x.1 and Cal. xix.3.

90 A temple of Isis stood on the northern side of the Caelian Hill near the modern Via Labicana, and, although we know of no connection between it and any Metellus, it may be the temple which the author has in mind.

91 Trebellianus is known only from this "vita," for the Trebellianus mentioned briefly in Eutropius, IX.8.1 is evidently an error for Regalianus. It is hardly likely that this "archipirata" ever assumed the purple.

92 A mountainous district in southern Asia Minor, NW of Cilicia, and notorious as the haunt of brigands.

93 No coins of his are known. It appears to have been a favourite device of these biographers to increase the importance of pretenders by asserting that they issued coins; cf. c. xxxi.3; Firm. ii.1.

94 Otherwise unknown. On Theodotus see c. xxii.8.

95 There is no mention of this in connection with Claudius, but a similar measure was employed by Probus; see Prob. xvi.6.

96 Herennianus and Timolaus, mentioned in this series of vitae as the sons of Odaenathus and Zenobia and as ruling with their mother (Gall. xiii.2; c. xxx.2), are known from no other source. The son of Odaenathus who succeeded him in 266‑267, and reigned jointly with Zenobia, was Vaballathus Athenodorus; (p131)see note to c. xxx.2. Even the author of the vita of Aurelian (see xxxviii.1) knew of him as his father's successor. If these two princes existed at all, they were younger sons who never ruled.

97 See c. xxx.2.

98 Mentioned nowhere else except in the spurious letter in Claud. vii.4, and probably an invention of the biographer's. Nothing is known of either Passienus or Pomponianus, or the alleged murderess, whose existence Hubert Goltzius attempted to prove by forging coins bearing the legend Licin. Galliena Aug.; see Eckhel, D. N. vii p412 f.

99 See note to Pert. iv.2.

100 Mod. el‑Kef in western Tunisia.

101 Septimia Zenobia, wife of Septimius Odaenathus. In the inscriptions erected to her during her rule at Palmyra she is called ἡ λαμπροτάτη βασίλισσα (OGI 648‑650) and in one (OGI 647) she actually has the title of Σεβαστή (Augusta), but, as has been pointed out by Mommsen, this is probably an honorary designation, and her son and co-ruler Vaballathus Athenodorus (see note to c. xxvii.1) bore, at first, only the titles of consul, rex and dux imperator Romanorum, and there is no reason to believe that she actually claimed the imperial power. For her invasion (p135)of Egypt, see Claud. xi.1. On Aurelian's campaign against her and his subsequent triumph, see Aur. xxii‑xxx; xxxiii‑xxxiv.

102 So also c. xxvii.2. It was, of course, a fiction.

Thayer's Note, or more properly Chris Bennett's note, to whom thanks for the thumbs-up: I dislike the Historia Augusta as much as the next guy, but even this cesspit of lies has patches of truth to it here and there, and this looks like one of them. Maybe Zenobia was indeed descended from Cleopatra: read Chris's careful argument.

This goes to the crux of the Historia Augusta, by the way: once you start telling lies, no one will believe you unless it's corroborated elsewhere — the equivalent of saying that you've just doomed yourself to being ignored. How stupid, then, must our author have been to shoot himself in the foot like this? Yet what a vast expenditure of effort and energy! So what on earth might the point of it have been? Or, to phrase it differently, who paid the author to spend years of his life doing it? That I might impishly write a short piece of this kind for my own amusement, I can well understand — but not 700 pages of fine print. The mystery remains entire.

103 See note to c. xxvii.1.

104 See Claud. vi, xi.

105 See c. xv.3‑4.

106 Found in Arabia, according to Pliny, Nat. Hist. XXXVII.194, and often of such great size that they were used by eastern kings on the frontals of their horses and as ornamental pendants.

107 See c. xxxi.

108 Cf. Aur. xxxiv.3.

109 See note to Hadr. xxvi.5.

110 Frequently mentioned as responsible, after the death of her son Victorinus, for the bestowal of the imperial power, first on her grandson, then on the various pretenders in Gaul; see c. v.3; vi.3; vii.1; xxiv.1; xxv.1; Aur. Victor, Caes. XXXIII.14. The name Vitruvia, given as an alternate form in the Tyranni Triginta and in Claud. iv.4, seems to have no warrant.

111 See c. iii; v; viii.

112 See c. xxiv.

113 The title Mater Castrorum, first borne by Faustina (see Marc. xxvi.8), was regularly used by the later empresses.

114 None are known; see note to c. xxvi.2.

115 Their capital was the modern Trier (Augusta Trevirorum).

116 Quintillus; see Claud. xii.

117 See c. xx.

118 Built, with an enclosing forum, by Vespasian, NE of the Forum Romanum. Adjacent to it was the Bibliotheca Templi Pacis, apparently a resort of critics.

119 On this "pretender," called Quartinus by Herodian, VII.1.9‑10, see Maxim. xi.1‑4 and note.

120 See note to Alex. xlix.3.

121 Herodian, VII.1.9.

122 See Maxim. x.

123 According to Maxim. xi.1 and Herodian l.c., they were Osroënians.

124 L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, consul in 148 B.C., bequeathed his second surname to his descendants, among whom was the consul of 58 B.C., made famous by Cicero's invective, (p147)but there is no reason for believing that the family was in existence in the third century, and this Calpurnia is probably an invention of the author's, due to his desire to ornament his work with great names.

125 Despite the imposing array of offices which this "pretender" is said to have held, no trace of him is found in any record of any kind, and, if he existed at all, he was certainly not the man of importance that the writer would have us believe.

126 Apparently a pun on claudus = "lame."

127 See note to c. xiv.3.

128 The Templum Gentis Flaviae, originally the private house of Vespasian, was converted into a temple by Domitian (Suet. Dom. i.1) and was used as the burial-place of the Flavian (p151)emperors. It stood on the Quirinal Hill close to the modern Quattro Fontane. The term Gentes Flaviae used in the text to denote this building is garden as Gentem Flaviam in the Notitia Regionum and the Curiosum.

Thayer's Note:

a Here the Latin text reads sepulchra . . . brevi marmore impressa humilia, in quibus titulus est inscriptus. Our translator's "common marble" is a curious rendering of brevi marmore; the normal meaning of brevis is "short, small, narrow, reduced", the word speaking to quantity not quality. Also, imprimere is not to cover with a revetment but "to stamp", "to imprint", "to mark"; and the specific technical meaning of titulus, the inscription on a tomb that bears the name of the deceased, could be better brought out in translation. Taking these points together, we can improve the translation: "humble monuments marked with a bit of marble, on which the plaque is inscribed. . . ." The author is probably imagining a small brick enclosure with a marble plaque and maybe a bit of marble coping; if you've visited the 1c‑2c tombs under St. Peter's you may remember one just like this.

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