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Ammianus Marcellinus, Roman History. London: Bohn (1862) Book 27. pp. 435-466.


[Translated by C.D.YONGE]

A.D. 307.

§ 1. While these events which we have related were taking place with various consequences in the east, the Allemanni, after the many disasters and defeats which they had received in their frequent contests with the emperor Julian, at length, having recruited their strength, though not to a degree equal to their former condition, for the reason which has been already set forth, crossed the frontier of Gaul in formidable numbers. And immediately after the beginning of the year, while winter was still in its greatest severity in those frozen districts, a vast multitude poured forth in a solid column, plundering all the places around in the most licentious manner. |436 

2.  Their first division was met by Charietto, who at, that time had the authority of count in both the German provinces, and who marched against them with his most active troops, having with him as a colleague count Severianus, a man of great age and feeble health, who had the legions Divitensis and Tungricana under his command, near Cabillonum (Chalons).

3.   Then having formed the whole force into one solid body, and having with great rapidity thrown a bridge over a small stream, the Romans assailed the barbarians from a distance with arrows and light javelins, which they shot back at us with great vigour.

4.  But when the battalions met and fought with drawn swords, our line was shaken by the vehement onset of the enemy, and could neither resist nor do any valorous deeds by way of attack, but were all put to flight as soon as they saw Severianus struck down from his horse and severely wounded by an arrow.

5.  Charietto, too, while labouring by the exposure of his own person, and with bitter reproaches, to encourage his men, who were giving way, and while by the gallantry with which he maintained his own position he strove to efface the disgrace they were incurring, was slain by a mortal wound from a javelin.

6. And after his death the standard of the Heruli and of the Batavi was lost, and the barbarians raised it on high, insulting it, dancing round it, but after a fierce struggle it was recovered.

A.D. 367. 

§ 1. The news of this disaster was received with great sorrow, and Dagalaiphus was sent from Paris to restore affairs to order. But as he delayed some time, and made excuses, alleging that he was unable to attack the barbarians, who were dispersed over various districts, and as he was soon after sent for to receive the consulship with Gratian, who was still only a private individual, Jovinus was appointed commander of the cavalry: and he being well provided and fully prepared, attacked the fortress of |437 Churpeigne, protecting both his wings and flanks with great care. And at this place he fell on the barbarians unexpectedly, before they could arm themselves, and in a very short time utterly destroyed them.

2.  Then leading on the soldiers while exulting in the glory of this easy victory, to defeat the other divisions, and advancing slowly, he learnt from the faithful report of his scouts that a band of ravagers, after having plundered the villages around, were resting on the bank of the river. And as he approached, while his army was concealed by the lowness of the ground and the thickness of the trees, he saw some of them bathing, some adorning their hair after their fashion, and some carousing.

3.  And seizing this favourable opportunity, he suddenly bade the trumpet give the signal, and burst into the camp of the marauders. On the other hand, the Germans could do nothing but pour forth useless threats and shouts, not being allowed time to collect their scattered arms, or to form in any strength, so vigorously were they pressed by the conquerors. Thus numbers of them fell pierced with javelins and swords, and many took to flight, and were saved by the winding and narrow paths.

4.  After this success, which was won by valour and good fortune, Jovinus struck his camp without delay, and led on his soldiers with increased confidence (sending out a body of careful scouts in advance) against the third division. And arriving at Chalons by forced marches, he there formed the whole body ready for battle.

5.   And having constructed a rampart with seasonable haste, and refreshed his men with food and sleep as well as the time permitted, at daybreak he arranged his army in an open plain, extending his line with admirable skill, in order that by occupying an extensive space of ground the Romans might appear to be equal in number to the enemy: being in fact inferior in that respect though equal in strength.

6. Accordingly, when the trumpet gave the signal and the battle began to rage at close quarters, the Germans stood amazed, alarmed at the well-known appearance of the shining standards. But though they were checked for a moment, they presently recovered themselves, and the conflict was protracted till the close of the day, when our |438 valorous troops would have reaped the fruit of their gallantry without any loss if it had not been for Balchobaudes, a tribune of the legions, who being as sluggish as he was boastful, at the approach of evening retreated in disorder to the camp. And if the rest of the cohorts had followed his example and had also retired, the affair would have turned out so ruinous that not one of our men would have been left alive to tell what had happened.

7.   But our soldiers, persisting with energy and courage, showed such a superiority in personal strength that they wounded four thousand of the enemy and slew six thousand, while they did not themselves lose more than twelve hundred killed and two hundred wounded.

8.  At the approach of night the battle terminated, and our weary men having recruited their strength, a little before dawn our skilful general led forth his army in a square, and found that the barbarians had availed themselves of the darkness to escape. And having no fear there of ambuscade, he pursued them over the open plain, trampling on the dying and the dead, many of whom had perished from the effect of the severity of the cold on their wounds.

9.   After he had advanced some way further, without finding any of the enemy he returned, and then he learnt that the king of the hostile army had been taken prisoner, with a few followers, by the Ascarii, whom he himself had sent by another road to plunder the tents of the Allemanni, and they had hanged him. But the general being angry at this, ordered the punishment of the tribune who had ventured on such an act without consulting his superior officer, and he would have condemned him if he had not been able to establish by manifest proof that the atrocious act had been committed by the violent impulse of the soldiers.

10.   After this, when he returned to Paris with the glory of this success, the emperor met him with joy, and appointed him to be consul the next year, being additionally rejoiced because at the very same time he received the head of Procopius, which had been sent to him by Valens.

11.  Besides these events, many other battles of inferior |439 interest and importance took place in Gaul, which it would be superfluous to recount, since they brought no results worth mentioning, and it is not fit to spin out history with petty details.


§ 1. At this time, or a little before, a new kind of prodigy appeared in the corn district of Tuscany; those who were skilful in interpreting such things being wholly ignorant of what it portended. For in the town of Pistoja, at about the third hour of the day, in the sight of many persons, an ass mounted the tribunal, where he was heard to bray loudly. All the bystanders were amazed, as were all those who heard of the occurrence from the report of others, as no one could conjecture what was to happen.

2.   But soon afterwards the events showed what was portended, for a man of the name of Terence, a person of low birth and a baker by trade, as a reward for having given information against Orsitus, who had formerly been prefect, which led to his being convicted of peculation, was intrusted with the government of this same province. And becoming elated and confident, he threw affairs into great disorder, till he was convicted of fraud on transactions relating to some ship-masters, as was reported, and was executed while Claudius was prefect of Rome.

3.   But some time before this happened Symmachus succeeded Apronianus; a man deserving to be named among the most eminent examples of learning and moderation; under whose government the most sacred city enjoyed peace and plenty in an unusual degree; being also adorned with a magnificent and solid bridge which he constructed, and opened amid the great joy of his ungrateful fellow-citizens, as the result very plainly showed.

4.   For they some years afterwards burnt his beautiful house on the other side of the Tiber, being enraged because some worthless plebeian had invented a story, which there was no evidence or witness to support, that he had said that he would prefer putting out the limekilns with his own wine, to selling the lime at the price expected of him. |440 

5. After him the prefect of the city was Lampadius, who had been prefect of the praetorium, a man of such boundless arrogance, that he grew very indignant if he were not praised even when he spat, as if he did that with more grace than any one else; but still a man of justice, virtue, and economy.

6. When as praetor he was celebrating some splendid games, and giving abundant largesses, being unable to bear the tumult of the populace, which was often urgent to have gifts distributed to those who were unworthy, in order to show his liberality and his contempt for the multitude, he sent for a crowd of beggars from the Vatican, and enriched them with great presents.

7.  But, not to digress too much, it will be sufficient to record one instance of his vanity, which, though of no great importance, may serve as a warning to judges. In every quarter of the city which had been adorned at the expense of different emperors he inscribed his own name, and that, not as if he were the restorer of old works, but their founder. This same fault is said to have characterized the emperor Trajan, from which the people in jest named him "The Pellitory of the wall."

8.  While he was prefect he was disturbed by frequent commotions, the most formidable being when a vast mob of the lowest of the people collected, and with firebrands and torches would have burnt his house near the baths of Constantine, if they had not been driven away by the prompt assistance of his friends and neighbours, who pelted them with stones and tiles from the tops of the houses.

9.   And he himself, being alarmed at a sedition, which on this occasion had become so violent, retired to the Mulvian bridge (which the elder Scaurus is said to have built), and waited there till the discontent subsided, which indeed had been excited by a substantial grievance.

10.  For when he began to construct some new buildings, he ordered the cost to be defrayed, not from the customary sources of revenue, but if iron, or lead, or copper, or anything of that kind was required, he sent officers who, pretending to try the different articles, did in fact seize them without paying any price for them. This so enraged the poor, since they suffered repeated losses from such a |441 practice, that it was all he could do to escape from them by a rapid retreat.

11.  His successor had formerly been a quaestor of the palace, his name was Juventius, a man of integrity and prudence, a Pannonian by birth. His administration was tranquil and undisturbed, and the people enjoyed plenty under it. Yet he also was alarmed by fierce seditions raised by the discontented populace, which arose from the following occurrence.

12.  Damasus and Ursinus, being both immoderately eager to obtain the bishopric, formed parties and carried on the conflict with great asperity, the partisans of each carrying their violence to actual battle, in which men were wounded and killed. And as Juventius was unable to put an end to, or even to soften these disorders, he was at last by their violence compelled to withdraw to the suburbs.

13.  Ultimately Damasus got the best of the strife by the strenuous efforts of his partisans. It is certain that on one day one hundred and thirty-seven dead bodies were found in the Basilica of Sicininus, which is a Christian church. And the populace who had been thus roused to a state of ferocity were with great difficulty restored to order.

14.  I do not deny, when I consider the ostentation that reigns at Rome, that those who desire such rank and power may be justified in labouring with all possible exertion and vehemence to obtain their wishes; since after they have succeeded, they will be secure for the future, being enriched by offerings from matrons, riding in carriages, dressing splendidly, and feasting luxuriously, so that their entertainments surpass even royal banquets.

15.  And they might be really happy if, despising the vastness of the city, which they excite against themselves by their vices, they were to live in imitation of some of the priests in the provinces, whom the most rigid abstinence in eating and drinking, and plainness of apparel, and eyes always cast on the ground, recommend to the everlasting Deity and his true worshippers as pure and sober-minded men. This is a sufficient digression on this subject: let us now return to our narrative. |442 


§ 1. While the events above mentioned were taking place in Gaul and Italy, a new campaign was being prepared in Thrace. For Valens, acting on the decision of his brother, by whose will he was entirely governed, marched against the Goths, having a just cause of complaint against them, because at the beginning of the late civil war they had sent assistance to Procopius. It will here be desirable to say a few words of the origin of this people, and the situation of their country.

2.  The description of Thrace would be easy if the pens of ancient authors agreed on the subject; but as the obscurity and variety of their accounts is of but little assistance to a work which professes to tell the truth, it will be sufficient for us to record what we remember to have seen ourselves.

3.  The undying authority of Homer informs us that these countries were formerly extended over an immense space of tranquil plains and high rising grounds; since that poet represents both the north and the west wind as blowing from thence: a statement which is either fabulous, or else which shows that the extensive district inhabited by all those savage tribes was formerly included under the single name of Thrace.

4.  Part of this region was inhabited by the Scordisci, who now live at a great distance from these provinces: a race formerly savage and uncivilized, as ancient history proves, sacrificing their prisoners to Bellona and Mars, and drinking with eagerness human blood out of skulls. Their ferocity engaged the Roman republic in many wars; |443 and on one occasion led to the destruction of an entire army with its general.

5.  But we see that the country now, the district being in the form of a crescent, resembles a splendid theatre; it is bounded on the west by mountains, on the abrupt summit of which are the thickly wooded, passes of the Succi, which separate Thrace from Dacia.

6.  On the left, or northern side, the heights of the Balkan form the boundary, as in one part does the Danube also, where it touches the Roman territory: a river with many cities, fortresses, and castles on its banks.

7.  On the right, or southern side, lies Mount Rhodope; on the east, the country is bounded by a strait, which becomes more rapid from being swollen by the waters of the Euxine sea, and proceeds onwards with its tides towards the Aegean, separating the continents of Europe and Asia by a narrow space.

8.  At a confined corner on the eastward it joins the frontier of Macedonia by a strait and precipitous defile named Acontisma; near to which are the valley and station of Arethusa, where one may see the tomb of Euripides, illustrious for his sublime tragedies; and Stagira, where we are told that Aristotle, who as Cicero says pours from his mouth a golden stream, was born.

9.  In ancient times, tribes of barbarians occupied these countries, differing from each other in customs and language. The most formidable of which, from their exceeding ferocity, were the Odrysaeans, men so accustomed to shed human blood, that when they could not find enemies enough, they would, at their feasts, when they had eaten and drunk to satiety, stab their own bodies as if they belonged to others.

10.  But as the republic grew in strength while the authority of the consular form of government prevailed, Marcus Didius, with great perseverance, attacked these tribes which had previously been deemed invincible, and had roved about without any regard either to divine or human laws. Drusus compelled them to confine themselves |444 to their own territories; Minucius defeated them in a great battle on the river Maritza, which flows down from the lofty mountains of the Odrysaeans; and after those exploits, the rest of the tribes were almost destroyed in a terrible battle by Appius Claudius the proconsul. And the Roman fleets made themselves masters of the towns on the Bosporus, and on the coast of the Sea of Marmora.

11.  After these generals came Lucullus; who was the first of all our commanders who fought with the warlike nation of the Bessi: and with similar vigour he crushed the mountaineers of the district of the Balkan, in spite of their obstinate resistance. And while he was in that country the whole of Thrace was brought under the power of our ancestors, and in this way, after many doubtful campaigns, six provinces were added, to the republic.

12.   Of these provinces the first one comes to, that which borders on the illyrians, is called by the especial name of Thrace: its chief cities are Philippopolis, the ancient Eumolpias, and Beraea; both splendid cities. Next to this the province of the Balkan boasts of Hadrianople, which used, to be called Uscudama, and Anchialos, both great cities. Next comes Mysia, in which is Marcianopolis, so named from the sister of the emperor Trajan, also Dorostorus, and Nicopolis, Odyssus.

13.  Noxt comes Scythia, in which the chief towns are Dionysiopolis, Tomis, and Calatis. The last of all is Europa; which besides many municipal towns has two principal cities, Apri and Perinthus, which in later times has received the name of Heraclea. Beyond this is Rhodope, in which are the cities of Maximianopolis, Maronea. and Aenus, after founding and leaving which, it was thought Aeneas proceeded onwards to Italy, of which, after long wanderings, he became master, expecting by the auspices to enjoy there perpetual prosperity.

14.  But it is certain, as the invariable accounts of all writers represent, that these tribes were nearly all agricultural, and, that living on the high mountains in these regions above mentioned, they are superior to us in health, vigour, and length of life: and they believe that this superiority arises from the fact, that in their food they for the most part abstain from all that is hot; also that the constant dews besprinkle their persons with a cold and |445 bracing moisture, and that they enjoy the freshness of a purer atmosphere; and that they are the first of all tribes to feel the rays of the morning sun, which are instinct with life, before they become tainted with any of the foulness arising from human things. Having discussed this matter let us now return to our original narrative.


§ 1. After Procopius had been overpowered in Phrygia, and all material for domestic discords had thus been removed, Victor, the commander of the cavalry, was sent to the Goths to inquire, without disguise, why a nation friendly to the Romans, and bound to it by treaties of equitable peace, had given the support of its arms to a man who was waging war against their lawful emperor. And they, to excuse their conduct by a valid defence, produced the letters from the above-mentioned Procopius, in which he alleged that he had assumed the sovereignty as his due, as the nearest relation to Constantine's family; and they asserted that this was a fair excuse for their error.

2.  When Victor reported this allegation of theirs, Valens disregarding it as a frivolous excuse, marched against them, they having already got information of his approach. And at the beginning of spring he assembled his army in a great body, and pitched his camp near a fortress named Daphne, where having made a bridge of boats he crossed the Danube without meeting any resistance.

3.  And being now full of elation and confidence, as while traversing the country in every direction he met with no enemy to be either defeated or even alarmed by his advance; they having all been so terrified at the approach of so formidable a host, that they had fled to the high mountains of the Serri, which were inaccessible to all except those who knew the country.

4.  Therefore, that he might not waste the whole summer, and return without having effected anything, he sent forward Arinthaeus, the captain of the infantry, with some light forces, who seized on a portion of their families, which were overtaken as they were wandering over the plains before coming to the steep and winding defiles of the mountains. And having obtained this advantage, which chance put in his way, he returned with his men without |446 having suffered any loss, and indeed without having inflicted any.

5. The next year he attempted with equal vigour again to invade the country of the enemy; but being checked in his advance by the inundations of the Danube, which covered a wide extent of country, he remained near the town of Capri, where he pitched a camp in which he remained till the autumn. And from thence, as he was prevented from undertaking any operations on account of the magnitude of the floods, he retired to Marcianopolis into winter quarters.

6.  With similar perseverance he again invaded the land of the barbarians a third year, having crossed the river by a bridge of boats at Nivors; and by a rapid march he attacked the Gruthungi, a warlike and very remote tribe, and after some trivial skirmishes, he defeated Athanaric, at that time the most powerful man of the tribe, who dared to resist him with what he fancied an adequate force, but was compelled to flee for his life. And then he returned himself with his army to Marcianopolis to spend the winter there, as the cold was but slight in that district.

7.  After many various events in the campaigns of time years, there arose at last some very strong reasons in the minds of the barbarians for terminating the war. In the first place, because the fear of the enemy was increased by the continued stay made by the emperor in that country. Secondly, because as all their commerce was cut off they began to feel great want of necessaries. So that they sent several embassies with submissive entreaties for pardon and peace.

8.  The emperor was as yet inexperienced, but still he was a very just observer of events, till having been captivated by the pernicious allurements of flattery, he subsequently involved the republic in an ever-to-be-lamented disaster; and now taking counsel for the common good, he determined that it was right to grant them peace.

9.  And in his turn he sent to them Victor and Arinthaeus, who at that time were the commanders of his infantry and cavalry; and when they sent him letters truly stating that the Goths were willing to agree to the conditions which they had proposed, he appointed a suitable place for finally |447 settling the terms of the peace. And since Athanaric alleged that he was bound by a most dreadful oath, and also forbidden by the strict commands of his father ever to set foot on the Roman territory, and as he could not be brought to do so, while, on the other hand, it would be unbecoming and degrading for the emperor to cross over to him, it was decided by negotiation that some boats should be rowed into the middle of the river, on which the emperor should embark with an armed guard, and that there also the chief of the enemy should meet him with bis people, and conclude a peace as had been arranged.

10. When this had been arranged, and hostages had been given, Valens returned to Constantinople, whither afterwards Athanaric fled, when he was driven from his native land by a faction among his kinsmen; and he died in that city, and was buried with splendid ceremony according to the Roman fashion.


§ 1. In the mean time, Valentinian being attacked with a violent sickness and at the point of death, at a secret entertainment of the Gauls who were present in the emperor's army, Rusticus Julianus, at that time master of the records, was proposed as the future emperor; a man as greedy of human blood as a wild beast, seeming to be smitten with some frenzy, as had been shown while governing Africa as proconsul.

2. For in his prefecture of the city, a post which he was filling when he died, fearing a change in the tyranny through the exercise of which he, as if in a dearth of worthy men, had been raised to that dignity, he was compelled to appear more gentle and merciful.

3. Against his partisans others with higher aims were exerting themselves in favour of Severus, who at that time was captain of the infantry, as a man very fit for such a dignity, who, although rough and unpopular, seemed yet more tolerable than the other, and worthy of being preferred to him by any means that could be devised.

4. But all these plans were formed to no purpose; for in the mean time, the emperor, through the variety of remedies applied, recovered, and would scarcely believe that his |448 life had been saved with difficulty. And he proposed to invest his son Gratian, who was now on the point of arriving at manhood, with the ensigns of the imperial authority.

5. And when everything was prepared, and the consent of the soldiers secured, in order that all men might willingly accept the new emperor, immediately upon the arrival of Gratian, Valentinian advancing into the open space, mounted the tribune, and surrounded by a splendid circle of nobles and princes, and holding the boy by his right hand, showed him to them all, and in the following formal harangue recommended their intended sovereign to the army.

6. "This imperial robe which I wear is a happy indication of your good will towards me when you adjudged me superior to many illustrious men. Now, with you as the partners of my counsels and the favourers of my wishes, I will proceed to a seasonable work of affection, relying on the protecting promises of God, to whose eternal assistance it is owing that the Roman state stands and ever shall stand unshaken.

7.   "Listen, I beseech you, O most gallant men, with willing minds to my desire, recollecting that these things which the laws of natural affection sanction, we have in this instance not only wished to accomplish with your perfect cognizance, but we have also desired to have them confirmed by you as what is proper for us and likely to prove beneficial.

8.   This, my grown-up son Gratian, to whom all of you bear affection as a common pledge, who has long lived among your own children, I am, for the sake of securing the public tranquillity on all sides, about to take as my colleague in the imperial authority, if the propitious will of the ruler of heaven and of your dignity, shall co-operate with a parent's affection. He has not been trained by a rigid education from his very cradle as we ourselves have: nor has he been equally taught to endure hardships; nor is he as yet, as you see, able to endure the toils of war; but in his disposition he is not unworthy of the glorious; reputation of his family, or the mighty deeds of his ancestors, and, I venture to say, he is likely to grow up equal to still greater actions.

9.   "For as I often think when contemplating, as I am |449 wont to do, his manners and passions though not yet come to maturity, he is so furnished with the liberal sciences, and in all accomplishments and graces, that even now, while only entering on manhood, he will be able to form an accurate judgment of virtuous and vicious actions. He will so conduct himself that virtuous men may see that they are appreciated; he will be eager in the performance of noble actions; he will never desert the military standards and eagles; he will cheerfully bear heat, snow, frost, and thirst; he will, if necessity should arise, never shrink from fighting in defence of his country; he will expose his life to save his comrades from danger, and (and this is the highest and greatest work of piety) he will love the republic as his own paternal and ancestral home."

10.  Before he had finished his speech, every soldier hastened to anticipate his comrades as well as his position permitted him, in showing that these words of the emperor met with their cheerful assent. And so, as partakers in his joy, and as convinced of the advantage of his proposal, they declared Gratian emperor, mingling the propitious clashing of their arms with the loud roar of the trumpets.

11.  When Valentinian saw this, his confidence increased; he adorned his son with a crown and with the robes befitting his now supreme rank, and kissed him; and then thus addressed him, brilliant as he appeared, and giving careful attention to all his words:—

12.   "You wear now," said he, "my Gratian, the imperial robe, as we have all desired, which has been conferred on you with favourable auspices by my will and that of our comrades. Therefore now, considering the weight of the affairs which press upon us, gird yourself up as the colleague of your father and your uncle; and accustom yourself to pass fearlessly with the infantry over the Danube and the Rhine, which are made passable by the frost, to keep close to your soldiers, to devote your blood and your very life with all skill and deliberation for the safety of those under your command; to think nothing unworthy of your attention which concerns any portion of the Roman empire.

13.  "This is enough by way of admonition to you at the present moment, at other times I will not fail to give |450 further advice. Now you who remain, the defenders of the state, I entreat, I beseech you to preserve with a steady affection and loyalty your youthful emperor thus intrusted to your fidelity."

14.  These words of the emperor were accepted and ratified with all possible solemnity; Eupraxius, a native of Mauritania Caesariensis, at that time master of the records, led the way by the exclamation, "The family of Gratian deserves this." And being at once promoted to be quaestor, he set an example of judicious confidence worthy of being imitated by all wise men; especially as he in no wise departed from the habits of his fearless nature, but was at all times a man of consistency and obedient to the laws, which, as we have remarked, speak to all men with one and the same voice under the most varied circumstances. He at this time was the more steady in adhering to the side of justice which he always espoused, because on one occasion when he had given good advice, the emperor had attacked him with violence and threats.

15.   After this, the whole assembly broke out into praises of both emperors, the elder and the new one; and especially of the boy, whose brilliant eyes, engaging countenance and person, and apparent sweetness of disposition, recommended him to their favour. And these qualities would have rendered him an emperor worthy to be compared to the most excellent princes of former times, if fate had permitted, and his relations who even then began to overshadow his virtue, before it was firmly rooted, with their own wicked actions.

16.  But in this affair, Valentinian went beyond the custom which had been established for several generations. in making his brother and his son, not Caesar, but emperors; acting indeed in this respect with great kindness. Nor had any one yet ever created a colleague with powers equal to his own, except the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who made his adopted brother Verus his colleague in the empire without any inferiority of power. |451 

A.D. 368.

§ 1. After these transactions had been thus settled to the delight both of the prince and of the soldiers, but a few days intervened; and then Avitianus, who had been deputy, accused Mamertinus, the prefect, of the praetorium, of peculation, on his return from the city whither he had gone to correct some abuses.

2.  And in consequence of this accusation he was replaced by Rufinus, a man accomplished in every respect, who had attained the dignity of an honourable old age, though it is true that he never let slip any opportunity of making money when he thought he could do so secretly.

3.  He now availed himself of his access to the emperor to obtain permission for Orfitus, who had been prefect of the city, but who was now banished, to receive back his property which had been confiscated, and return home.

4.  And although Valentinian was a man of undisguised ferocity, he nevertheless, at the beginning of his reign, in order to lessen the opinion of his cruelty, took all possible pains to restrain the fierce impetuosity of his disposition. But this defect increasing gradually, from having been checked for some time, presently broke out more unrestrained to the ruin of many persons; and his severity was increased by the vehemence of his anger. For wise men define passion as a lasting ulcer of the mind, and sometimes an incurable one, usually engendered from a weakness of the intellect; and they have a plausible argument for asserting this in the fact that people in bad health are more passionate than those who are well; women, than men; old men, than youths; and people in bad circumstances than the prosperous.

5.  About this time, among the deaths of many persons of low degree, that of Diodes, who had previously been a treasurer of Illyricum, was especially remarked; the emperor having had him burnt alive for some very slight offence, as was also the execution of Diodorus, who had previously had an honourable employment in the provinces, and also that of three officers of the vicar prefect |452 of Italy, who were all put to death with great cruelty because the count of Italy had complained to the emperor that Diodorus had, though in a constitutional manner, implored the aid of the law against him; and that the officers, by command of the judge, served a summons on him as he was setting out on a journey, commanding him to answer to the action according to law. And the Christians at Milan to this day cherish their memory, and call the place where they were buried, the tomb of the innocents.

6.  Afterwards, in the affair of a certain Pannonian, named Maxentius, on account of the execution of a sentence very properly commanded by the judge to be earned out immediately, he ordered all the magistrates of these towns to be put to death, when Eupraxius, who at that time was quaestor, interposed, saying, "Be more sparing, O most pious of emperors, for those whom you command to be put to death as criminals, the Christian religion honours as martyrs, that is as persons acceptable to the deity."

7.  And the prefect Florentius, imitating the salutary boldness of Eupraxius, when he heard that the emperor was in a similar manner very angry about some trifling and pardonable matter, and that he had ordered the execution of three of the magistrates in each of several cities, said to him, "And what is to be done if any town has not got so many magistrates? It will be necessary to suspend the execution there till there are a sufficient number for the purpose."

8.  And besides this cruel conduct there was another circumstance horrible even to speak of, that if any one came before him protesting against being judged by a powerful enemy, and requiring that some other judge might hear his case, he always refused it; and however just the arguments of the man might be, he remitted his cause to the decision of the very judge whom he feared. And there was another very bad thing much spoken of; namely, that when it was urged, that any debtor was in such absolute want as to be unable to pay anything, he used to pronounce sentence of death on him.

9.  But some princes do these and other similar actions with the more lofty arrogance, because they never allow their friends any opportunity of setting them right in any |453 mistake they make, either in a plan or in its execution; while they terrify their enemies by the greatness of their power. There can be no question of mistake or error raised before men who consider whatever they choose to do to be in itself the greatest of virtues.


§ 1. Valentinian having left Amiens, and being on his way to Treves in great haste, received the disastrous intelligence that Britain was reduced by the ravages of the united barbarians to the lowest extremity of distress; that Nectaridus, the count of the sea-coast, had been slain in battle, and the duke Fullofaudes had been taken prisoner by the enemy in an ambuscade.

2.  This news struck him with great consternation, and he immediately sent Severus, the count of the domestic guards, to put an end to all these disasters if he could find a desirable opportunity. Severus was soon recalled, and Jovinus, who then went to that country, sent forward Trovertuides with great expedition to ask for the aid of a powerful army; for they both affirmed that the imminence of the danger required such a reinforcement.

3.  Last of all, on account of the many formidable reports which a continual stream of messengers brought from that island, Theodosius was appointed to proceed thither, and ordered to make great haste. He was an officer already distinguished for his prowess in war, and having collected a numerous force of cavalry and infantry, he proceeded to assume the command in full confidence.

4.  And since when I was compiling my account of the acts of the emperor Constantine, I explained as well as I could the movement of the sea in those parts at its ebb and flow, and the situation of Britain, I look upon it as superfluous to return to what has been once described; as the Ulysses of Homer when among the Phaeacians hesitated to repeat his adventures by reason of the sufferings they brought to mind. 

5.  It will be sufficient here to mention that at that time the Picts, who were divided into two nations, the Dicalidones and the Vecturiones, and likewise the Attacotti, a very warlike people, and the Scots were all roving over |454 different parts of the country and committing great ravages. While the Franks and the Saxons who are on the frontiers of the Gauls were ravaging their country wherever they could effect an entrance by sea or land, plundering and burning, and murdering all the prisoners they could take.

6.  To put a stop to these evils, if a favourable fortune should afford an opportunity, the new and energetic general repaired to that island situated at the extreme corner of the earth; and when he had reached the coast of Boulogne, which is separated from the opposite coast by a very narrow strait of the sea, which there rises and falls in a strange manner, being raised by violent tides, and then again sinking to a perfect level like a plain, without doing any injury to the sailors. From Boulogne he crossed the strait in a leisurely manner, and reached Richborough, a very tranquil station on the opposite coast.

7.   And when the Batavi, and Heruli, and the Jovian and Victorian legions who followed from the same place, had also arrived, he then, relying on their number and power, landed and marched towards Londinium, an ancient town which has since been named Augusta; and dividing his army into several detachments, he attacked the predatory and straggling bands of the enemy who were loaded with the weight of their plunder, and having speedily routed them while driving prisoners in chains and cattle before them, he deprived them of their booty which they had carried off from these miserable tributaries of Rome.

8.   To whom he restored the whole except a small portion which he allotted to his own weary soldiers: and then joyful and triumphant he made his entry into the city which had just before been overwhelmed by disasters, but was now suddenly re-established almost before it could have hoped for deliverance.

9.   This success encouraged him to deeds of grenter daring, and after considering what counsels might be the safest, he hesitated, being full of doubts as to the future, and convinced by the confession of his prisoners and the information given him by deserters that so vast a multitude, composed of various nations, all incredibly savage, could only be vanquished by secret stratagems and unexpected attacks.

10.   Then, by the publication of several edicts, in which |455 he promised them impunity, he invited deserters and others who were straggling about the country on furlough, to repair to his camp. At this summons numbers came in, and he, though eager to advance, being detained by anxious cares, requested to have Civilis sent to him, to govern Britain, with the rank of pro-prefect, a man of quick temper, but just and upright; and he asked at the same time for Dulcitius, a general eminent for his military skill.


§ 1. These were the events which occurred in Britain. But in another quarter, from the very beginning of Valentinian's reign, Africa had been overrun by the fury of the barbarians, intent on bloodshed and rapine, which they sought to carry on by audacious incursions. Their licentiousness was encouraged by the indolence and general covetousness of the soldiers, and especially by the conduct of Count Romanus.

2.  Who, foreseeing what was likely to happen, and being very skilful in transferring to others the odium which he himself deserved, was detested by men in general for the savageness of his temper, and also because it seemed as if his object was to outrun even our enemies in ravaging the provinces. He greatly relied on his relationship to Remigius, at that time master of the offices, who sent all kinds of false and confused statements of the condition of the country, so that the emperor, cautious and wary as he plumed himself on being, was long kept in ignorance of the terrible sufferings of the Africans.

3.  I will explain with great diligence the complete series of all the transactions which took place in those regions, the death of Ruricius the governor, and of his lieutenants, and all the other mournful events which took place, when the proper opportunity arrives.

4.  And since we are able here to speak freely, let us openly say what we think, that this emperor was the first of all our princes who raised the arrogance of the soldiers to so great a height, to the great injury of the state, by increasing their rank, dignity, and riches. And (which was a lamentable thing, both on public and private |456 accounts) while he punished the errors of the common soldiers with unrelenting severity, he spared the officers, who, as if complete licence were given to their misconduct, proceeded to all possible lengths of rapacity and cruelty for the acquisition of riches, and acting as if they thought that the fortunes of all persons depended directly on their nod.

5.  The framers of our ancient laws had sought to repress their pride and power, sometimes even condemning the innocent to death, as is often done in cases when, from the multitude concerned in some atrocity, some innocent men, owing to their ill luck, suffer for the whole. And this has occasionally extended even to the case of private persons.

6.   But in Isauria the banditti formed into bodies and roamed through the villages, laying waste and plundering the towns and wealthy country houses; and by the magnitude of their ravages they also greatly distressed Pamphylia and Cilicia. And when Musonius, who at that time was the deputy of Asia Minor, having previously been a master of rhetoric at Athens, had heard that they were spreading massacre and rapine in every direction, being filled with grief at the evil of which he had just heard, and perceiving that the soldiers were rusting in luxury and inactivity, he took with him a few light-armed troops, called Diogmitae, and resolved to attack the first body of plunderers he could find. His way led through a narrow and most difficult defile, and thus he fell into an ambuscade, which he had no chance of escaping, and was slain, with all the men under his command.

7.  The robber bands became elated at this advantage, and roamed over the whole country with increased boldness, slaying many, till at last our army was aroused, and drove them to take refuge amid the recesses of the rocks and mountains they inhabit. And then, as they were not allowed to rest, and were cut off from all means of obtaining necessary supplies, they at last begged for a truce, as a prelude to peace, being led to this step by the advice of the people of Germanicopolis, whose opinions always had as much weight with them as standard-bearers have with an army. And after giving hostages as they were |457 desired, they remained for a long time quiet, without venturing on any hostilities.

8.   While these events were taking place Praetextatus was administering the prefecture of the city in a noble manner, exhibiting numerous instances of integrity and probity, virtues for which he had been eminent from his earliest youth; and thus he obtained what rarely happens to any one, that while he was feared, he did not at the same time lose the affection of his fellow-citizens, which is seldom strongly felt for those whom they fear as judges.

9.  By his authority, impartiality, and just decisions, a tumult was appeased, which the quarrels of the Christians had excited, and after Ursinus was expelled complete tranquillity was restored, which best corresponded to the wishes of the Roman people; while the glory of their illustrious governor, who performed so many useful actions, continually increased.

10.  For he also removed all the balconies, which the ancient laws of Rome had forbidden to be constructed, and separated from the sacred temples the walls of private houses which had been improperly joined to them; and established one uniform and proper weight in every quarter, for by no other means could he check the covetousness of those who made their scales after their own pleasure. And in the adjudication of lawsuits he exceeded all men in obtaining that praise which Cicero mentions in his panegyric of Brutus, that while he did nothing with a view to please anybody, everything which he did pleased everybody.


§ 1. About the same time, when Valentinian had gone forth on an expedition very cautiously as he fancied, a prince of the Allemanni, by name Rando, who had been for some time preparing for the execution of a plan which he had conceived, with a body of light-armed troops equipped only for a predatory expedition, surprised and stormed Mayence, which was wholly destitute of a garrison.

2. And as he arrived at the time when a great solemnity of the Christian religion was being celebrated, he found |458 no obstacle whatever to carrying off a vast multitude of both men and women as prisoners, with no small quantity of goods as booty.

3.  After this, for a short interval a sudden hope of brighter fortune shone upon the affairs of Rome. For as king Vithicabius, the son of Vadomarius, a bold and warlike man, though in appearance effeminate and diseased, was continually raising up the troubles of war against us, great pains were taken to have him removed by some means or other.

4.  And because after many attempts it was found impossible to defeat him or to procure his betrayal, his most confidential servant was tampered with by one of our men, and by his hand he lost his life; and after his death, all hostile attacks upon us were laid aside for a while. But his murderer, fearing punishment if the truth should get abroad, without delay took refuge in the Roman territory.

5.  After this an expedition on a larger scale than usual was projected with great care and diligence against the Allemanni, to consist of a great variety of troops: the public safety imperatively required such a measure, since the treacherous movements of that easily recruited nation were regarded with continual apprehension, while our soldiers were the more irritated because, on account of the constant suspicion which their character awakened, at one time abject and suppliant, at another arrogant and threatening, they were never allowed to rest in peace.

6.  Accordingly, a vast force was collected from all quarters, well furnished with arms and supplies of provisions, and the count Sebastian having been sent for with the Illyrian and Italian legions which he commanded, as soon as the weather got warm, Valentinian, accompanied by Gratian, crossed the Rhine without resistance. Having divided the whole army into four divisions, he himself marched with the centre, while Jovinus and Severus, the two captains of the camp, commanded the divisions on each side, thus protecting the army from any sudden attack.

7.  And immediately under the guidance of men who knew the roads, all the approaches having been reconnoitered, the army advanced slowly through a most |459 extensive district, the soldiers by the slowness of their march being all the more excited to wish for battle, and gnashing their teeth in a threatening manner, as if they had already found the barbarians. And as, after many days had passed, no one could be found who offered any resistance, the troops applied the devouring flame to all the houses and all the crops which were standing, with the exception of such supplies for their own magazines as the doubtful events of war compelled them to collect and store up.

8.  After this the emperor advanced further, with no great speed, till he arrived at a place called Solicinium, where he halted, as if he had suddenly come upon some barrier, being informed by the accurate report of his advanced guard that the barbarians were seen at a distance.

9.  They, seeing no way of preserving their safety unless they defended themselves by a speedy battle, trusting in their acquaintance, with the country, with one consent occupied a lofty hill, abrupt and inaccessible in its rugged heights on every side except the north, where the ascent was gentle and easy. Our standards were fixed in the usual manner, and the cry, "To arms!" was raised; and the soldiers, by the command of the emperor and his generals, rested in quiet obedience, waiting for the raising of the emperor's banner as the signal for engaging in battle.

10.  And because little or no time could be spared for deliberation, since on one side the impatience of the soldiers was formidable, and on the other the Allemanni were shouting out their horrid yells all around, the necessity for rapid operations led to the plan that Sebastian with his division should seize the northern side of the hill, where we have said the ascent was gentle, in which position it was expected that, if fortune favoured him, he would be able easily to destroy the flying barbarians. And when he, as had been arranged, had moved forward first, while Gratian was kept behind with the Jovian legion, that young prince being as yet of an age unfit for battle or for hard toil, Valentinian, like a deliberate and prudent general, took off his helmet, and reviewed his centuries and maniples, and not having informed any |460 of the nobles of his secret intentions, and having sent back his numerous body of guards, went forward himself with a very small escort, whose courage and fidelity he could trust, to reconnoitre the foot of the hill, declaring (as he was always apt to think highly of his own skill) that it must be possible to find another path which led to the summit besides that which the advanced guard had reported.

11.  He then, as he advanced by a devious track over ground strange to him, and across pathless swamps, was very nearly being killed by the sudden attack of a band placed in an ambuscade on his flank, and being driven to extremities, only escaped by spurring his horse to a gallop in a different direction over a deep swamp, so at last, after being in the most imminent danger, he rejoined his legions. But so great had been his peril that his chamberlain, who was carrying his helmet, which was adorned with gold and precious stones, disappeared, helmet and all, while the man's body could never be found, so that it could be known positively whether he were alive or dead.

12.  Then, when the men had been refreshed by rest, and the signal for battle was raised, and the clang of warlike trumpets roused their courage, two youths of prominent valour, eager to be the first to encounter the danger, dashed on with fearless impetuosity before the line of their comrades. One was of the band of Scutarii, by name Salvius, the other, Lupicinus, belonging to the Gentiles. They raised a terrible shout, brandished their spears, and when they reached the foot of the rocks, in spite of the efforts of the Allemanni to repel them, pushed steadily onto the higher ground; while behind them came the main body of the army, which following their lead over places rough with brambles and rugged, at last, after vast exertions, reached the very summit of the heights.

13.   Then again, with great spirit on both sides, the conflict raged with spears and swords. On our side the soldiers were more skilful in the art of war; on the other side the barbarians, ferocious but incautious, closed with them in the mighty fray; while our army extending itself, outflanked them on both sides with its overlapping |461 wings, the enemy's alarm being increased by our shouts, the neighing of the horses, and the clang of trumpets.

14.  Nevertheless they resisted with indomitable courage, and the battle was for some time undecided; both sides exerted themselves to the utmost, and death was scattered almost equally.

15.  At last the barbarians were beaten down by the ardour of the Romans, and being disordered and broken, were thrown into complete confusion; and as they began to retreat they were assailed with great effect by the spears and javelins of their enemies. Soon the retreat became a flight, and panting and exhausted, they exposed their backs and the back sinews of their legs and thighs to their pursuers. After many had been slain, those who fled fell into the ambuscade laid for them by Sebastian, who was posted with his reserve at the back of the mountain, and who now fell unexpectedly on their flank, and slew numbers of them, while the rest who escaped concealed themselves in the recesses of the woods.

16.  In this battle we also suffered no inconsiderable loss. Among those who fell was Valerian, the first officer of the domestic guards, and one of the Scutarii, named Natuspardo, a warrior of such pre-eminent courage that he might be compared to the ancient Sicinius or Sergius.

17.  After these transactions, accompanied with this diversity of fortune, the army went into winter quarters, and the emperor returned to Treves.


§ 1. About this time, Vulcatius Rufinus died, while filling the office of prefect of the praetorium, and Probus was summoned from Rome to succeed him, a man well known to the whole Roman world for the eminence of his family, and his influence, as well as for his vast riches, for he possessed a patrimonial inheritance which was scattered over the whole empire; whether acquired justly or unjustly it is not for us to decide.

2. A certain good fortune, as the poets would represent it, attended him from his birth, and bore him on her rapid wings, exhibiting him sometimes as a man of beneficent |462 character, promoting the interests of his friends, though often also a formidable intriguer, and cruel and mischievous in the gratification of his enmities. As long as he lived he had great power, owing to the magnificence of his gifts and to his frequent possession of office, and yet he was at times timid towards the bold, though domineering over the timid; so that when full of self-confidence he appeared to be spouting in the tragic buskin, and when he was afraid he seemed more abased than the most abject character in comedy.

3.  And as fishes, when removed from their natural element, cannot live long on the land, so he began to pine when not in some post of authority which he was driven to be solicitous for by the squabbles of his troops of clients, whose boundless cupidity prevented their ever being innocent, and who thrust their patron forward into affairs of state in order to be able to perpetrate all sorts of crimes with impunity.

4.  For it must be confessed that though he was a man of such magnanimity that he never desired any dependent or servant of his to do an unlawful thing, yet if he found that any one of them had committed a crime, he laid aside all consideration of justice, would not allow the case to be inquired into, but defended the man without the slightest regard for right or wrong. Now this is a fault expressly condemned by Cicero, who thus speaks: "For what difference is there between one who has advised an action, and one who approves of it after it is performed? or what difference does it make whether I wished it be done, or am glad that it is done?"

5.   He was a man of a suspicious temper, self-relying, often wearing a bitter smile, and sometimes caressing a man the more effectually to injure him.

6.  This vice is a very conspicuous one in dispositions of that kind, and mostly so when it is thought possible to conceal it. He was also so implacable and obstinate in his enmities, that if he ever resolved to injure any one he would never be diverted from his purpose by any entreaties, nor be led to pardon any faults, so that his ears seemed to be stopped not with wax but with lead.

7.  Even when at the very summit of wealth and dignity |463 he was always anxious and watchful, and therefore he was continually subject to trifling illnesses.

8. Such was the course of events which took place in the western provinces of the empire.


§ 1. The King of Persia, the aged Sapor, who from the very commencement of his reign had been addicted to the love of plunder, after the death of the Emperor Julian, and the disgraceful treaty of peace subsequently made, for a short time seemed with his people to be friendly to us; but presently he trampled under foot the agreement which he had made with Jovian, and poured a body of troops into Armenia to annex that country to his own dominions, as if the whole of the former arrangements had been abolished.

2.   At first he contented himself with various tricks, intrigues, and deceits, inflicting some trifling injuries on the nation which unanimously resisted him, tampering with some of the nobles and satraps, and making sudden inroads into the districts belonging to others.

3.  Afterwards by a system of artful cajolery fortified by perjury, he got their king Arsaces into his hands, having invited him to a banquet, when he ordered him to be seized and conducted to a secret chamber behind, where his eyes were put out, and he was loaded with silver chains, which in that country is looked upon as a solace under punishment for men of rank, trifling though it be; then he removed him from his country to a fortress called Agabana, where he applied to him the torture, and finally put him to death.

4.   After this, in order that his perfidy might leave nothing unpolluted, having expelled Sauromaces, whom the authority of the Romans had made governor of Hiberia, he conferred the government of that district on a man of the name of Aspacuras, even giving him a diadem, to mark the insult offered to the decision of our emperors.

5.   And after these infamous actions he committed the charge of Armenia to an eunuch named Cylaces, and to Artabannes, a couple of deserters whom he had received some time before (one of them having been prefect of that |464 nation, and the other commander-in-chief); and he enjoined them to use every exertion to destroy the town of Artogerassa, a place defended by strong walls and a sufficient garrison, in which were the treasures, and the wife and son of Arsaces.

6. These generals commenced the siege as they were ordered. And as it is a fortress placed on a very rugged mountain height, it was inaccessible at that time, while the ground was covered with snow and frost: and so Cylaces being an eunuch, and, as such, suited to feminine manoeuvres, taking Artabannes with him, approached the walls; after having received a promise of safety, and he and his companion had been admitted into the city, he sought by a mixture of advice and threats to persuade the garrison and the queen to pacify the wrath of the implacable Sapor by a speedy surrender.

7.  And after many arguments had been urged on both sides, the woman bewailing the sad fortune of her husband, these men, who had been most active in wishing to compel her to surrender, pitying her distress, changed their views; and conceiving a hope of higher preferment, they in secret conferences arranged that at an appointed hour of the night the gates should be suddenly thrown open, and a strong detachment should sally forth and fall upon the ramparts of the enemy's camp, surprising it with sudden slaughter; the traitors promising that, to prevent any knowledge of what was going on, they would come forward to meet them.

8.   Having ratified this agreement with an oath, they quitted the town, and led the besiegers to acquiesce in inaction by representing that the besieged had required two days to deliberate on what course they ought to pursue. Then in the middle of the night, when they were all soundly asleep in fancied security, the gates of the city were thrown open, and a strong body of young men poured forth with great speed, creeping on with noiseless steps and drawn swords, till they entered the camp of the unsuspecting enemy, where they slew numbers of sleeping men, without meeting with any resistance.

9.   This unexpected treachery of his officers, and the loss thus inflicted on the Persians, caused a terrible quarrel between us and Sapor; and another cause for his anger |465 was added, as the Emperor Valens received Para, the son of Arsaces, who at his mother's instigation had quitted the fortress with a small escort, and had desired him to stay at Neo-Caesarea, a most celebrated city on the Black Sea, where he was treated with great liberality and high respect. Cylaces and Artabannes, being allured by this humanity of Valens, sent envoys to him to ask for assistance, and to request that Para might be given them for their king.

10.  However, for the moment assistance was refused them; but Para was conducted by the general Terentius back to Armenia, where he was to rule that nation without any of the insignia of royalty; which was a very wise regulation, in order that we might not be accused of breaking our treaty of peace.

11.   When this arrangement became known, Sapor was enraged beyond all bounds, and collecting a vast army, entered Armenia and ravaged it with the most ferocious devastation. Para was terrified at his approach, as were also Cylaces and Artabannes, and, as they saw no other resource, fled into the recesses of the lofty mountains which separate our frontiers from Lazica; where they hid in the depths of the woods and among the defiles of the hills for five months, eluding the various attempts of the king to discover them.

12.  And Sapor, when he saw that he was losing his labour in the middle of winter, burnt all the fruit trees, and all the fortified castles and camps, of which he had become master by force or treachery, and also burnt Artogerassa, which had long been blockaded by his whole army, and after many battles was taken through the exhaustion of the garrison; and he carried off from thence the wife of Arsaces and all his treasures.

13.  For these reasons, Arinthaeus was sent into these districts with the rank of count, to aid the Armenians if the Persians should attempt to harass them by a second campaign.

14.  At the same time, Sapor, with extraordinary cunning, being either humble or arrogant as best suited him, under pretence of an intended alliance, sent secret messengers to Para to reproach him as neglectful of his own dignity, since, with the appearance of royal majesty, he was really the slave of Cylaces and Artabannes. On which |466 Para, with great precipitation, cajoled them with caresses till he got thein in his power, and slew them, sending their heads to Sapor in proof of his obedience.

15.  When the death of these men became generally known, it caused such dismay that Armenia would have been ruined without striking a blow in its own defence, if the Persians had not been so alarmed at the approach of Arinthaeus that they forbore to invade it again, contenting themselves with sending ambassadors to the emperor, demanding of him not to defend that nation, according to the agreement made between them and Jovian.

16.  Their ambassadors were rejected, and Sauromaces, who, as we have said before, had been expelled from the kingdom of Hiberia, was sent back with twelve legions under the command of Terentius; and when he reached the river Cyrus, Aspacuras entreated him that they might both reign as partners, being cousins; alleging that he could not withdraw nor cross over to the side of the Romans, because his son Ultra was as a hostage in the hands of the Persians.

17.   The emperor learning this, in order by wisdom and prudence to put an end to the difficulties arising out of this affair, acquiesced in the division of Hiberia, allowing the Cyrus to be the boundary of the two divisions: Sauromaces to have the portion next to the Armenians and Lazians, and Aspacuras the districts which border on Albania and Persia.

18.   Sapor, indignant at this, exclaimed that he was unworthily treated, because we had assisted Armenia contrary to our treaty, and because the embassy had failed which he had sent to procure redress, and because the kingdom of Hiberia was divided without his consent or privity; and so, shutting as it were, the gates of friendship, he sought assistance among the neighbouring nations, and prepared his own army in order, with the return of fine weather, to overturn all the arrangements which the Romans had made with a view to their own interests.

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