« ForrigeFortsett »
A.D. 366.] MOVEMENTS OF MARCELLUS. 431
to have received an ample reward for so memorable an action.
11. Procopius perished at the age of forty years and ten months. He was of a goodly appearance, tall, inclined to stoop, always looking on the ground as he walked, and in his reserved and melancholy manners like Crassus, whom Lucillius and Cicero record never to have smiled but once in his life; and what is very remarkable, as long as he lived he never shed blood.
§ 1. ABOUT the same time, his kinsman Marcellus, an officer of the guard, who commanded the garrison of Nicaea, hearing of the treachery of the soldiers and the death of Procopius, attacked. Serenianus, who was confined in the palace, unexpectedly at midnight, and put him to death. And his death was the safety of many. 2. For if he, a man of rude manners, bitter temper, and a love of injuring people, had survived Valens's victory, having also great influence with Valens from the similarity of his disposition and the proximity of their birthplaces, he would have studied the secret inclinations of a prince always inclined to cruelty, and would have shed the blood of many innocent persons. 3. Having killed him, Marcellus by a rapid march seized on Chalcedon, and with the aid of a few people, whom the lowness of their condition and despair urged to crime, obtained a shadow of authority which proved fatal to him, being deceived by two circumstances, because he thought that the three thousand Goths who, after their kings had been conciliated, had been sent to aid Procopius, who had prevailed on them to support him by pleading his relationship to Constantine, would at a small cost be easily won over to support him, and also because he was ignorant of what had happened in Illyricum. 4. While these alarming events were taking place, Equitius, having learnt by trustworthy reports from his scouts that the whole stress of the war was now to be found in Asia, passed through the Succi, and made a vigorous attempt to take Philippopolis, the ancient Eumolpias," * Called also Trimontium, from standing on three hills; the modern name is Philippopoli. See Smith's ‘Anc. Geography, p. 333
which was occupied by a garrison of the enemy. It was a city in a most favourable position, and likely to prove an obstacle to his approach if left in his rear, and if he, -while conducting reinforcements to Valens (for he was not yet acquainted with what had happened at Nacolia), should be compelled to-hasten to the district around Mount Haamus.
5. But when, a few days later, he heard of the foolish usurpation of Marcellus, he sent against him a body of bold and active troops, who seized him as a mischievous slave, and threw him into prison. From which, some days afterwards, he was brought forth, scourged severely with his accomplices, and put to death, having deserved‘ favour by no action of his life except that he had slain Serenianus, a man as cruel as Phalaris, and faithful only in barbarity, which he displayed on the slightest pretext.
6. The war being now at an end by the death of the leader, many were treated with much greater severity than their errors or faults required, especially the defenders of Philippopolis, who would not surrender the city or themselves till they saw the head of Procopius, which was conveyed to Gaul.
7. Some, however, by the influence of intercessors, received mercy, the most eminent of whom was Araxius, who, when the crisis was at its height, had applied for and obtained the office of prefect. He, -by the intercession of his son-in-law Agilo, was punished only by banishment to an island, from which he soon afterwards escaped.
8. But Euphrasius and Phronemius were sent to the west to be at the disposal of Valentinian. Euphrasius was acquitted, but Phronemius was transported to the Chersonesus, being punished more severely than the other, though their case was the same, because he had been a favourite with the late emperor Julian, whose memorable virtues the two brothers now on the throne joined in disparaging, though they were neither like nor equal to him.
9. To these severities other grievances of greater im
ortance, and more to be dreaded than any sufferings in ttle, were added. For the executioner, and the rack, and bloody modes of torture, now attacked men of every rank, class, or fortime, without distinction. Peace seemed as a pretext for establishing a detestable tribunal, while all men
A.L. 866.] CRUELTY OF THE EMPEROR. #433
cursed the ill-omened victory that had been gained as worse than the most deadly war. - . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10. For amid arms and trumpets the equality of every one's chance makes danger seem lighter; and often the might of martial valour obtains what it aims at; or else a sudden death, if it befalls a man, is attended by no feeling of ignominy, but brings an end to life and to suffering at the same time. When, however, laws and statutes are put forth as pretexts for wicked counsels, and judges, affecting the equity of Cato or Cassius, sit on the bench, though in fact everything is done at the discretion of over-arrogant power, on the whim of which every man's life or death depends, the mischief is fatal and incurable. . . . . . . 11. For at this time any one might go to the palace on any pretext, and if he were inflamed with a desire of appropriating the goods of others, though the person he accused might be notoriously innocent, he was received by the enlperor as a friend to be trusted and deserving to be enriched at the expense of others. . . . . . . . . . ... . 12. For the emperor was quick to inflict injury, always ready to listen to informers, admitting the most deadly accusations, and exulting unrestrainedly in the diversity of punishments devised; ignorant of the expression of Tully, which teaches us that those men are unhappy who think themselves privileged to do everything. 13. This implacability, unworthy of a just cause, and disgracing his victory, exposed many innocent men to the torturers, crushing them beneath the rack, or slaying them by the stroke of the fierce executioner.: Men who, if nature had permitted, would rather have lost ten lives in battle than be thus tortured while guiltless of all crime, having their estates confiscated, as if guilty of treason, and their bodies mutilated before death, which is the most bitter kind of death. . ... . . . . . 14. At last, when his ferocity was exhausted by his cruelties, men of the highest rank were still exposed to proscription, banishment, and other punishments which, though severe, appear lighter to some people. And in order to enrich some one else, men of noble birth, and perhaps still more richly endowed with virtues, were stripped of . their patrimony and driven into exile, where they were exhausted with misery, perhaps being even reduced to
subsist by beggary. Nor was any limit put to the cruelties which were inflicted till both the prince and those about him were satiated with plunder and bloodshed.
15. While the usurper, whose various acts and death we have been relating, was still alive, on the 2Ist of July, in the first consulship of Valentinian and his brother, fearful dangers suddenly overspread the whole world, such as are related in no ancient fables or histories. ' '
16. For a little before sunrise there was a terrible earthquake, preceded by incessant and furious lightning. The sea was driven backwards, so as to reoede from the land, and the very depths were uncovered, so that many marine animals were left sticking in the mud. And the depths of its valleys and the recesses of the hills, which from the very first origin of all things had been lying beneath the boundless waters, now beheld the beams of the sun.
17. Many ships were stranded on the dry shore, while people straggling about the shoal water picked up fishes and things of that kind in their hands. In another quarter the waves, as if raging against the violence with which they had been driven back, rose, and swelling over the boiling shallows, beat upon the islands and the extended coasts of the mainland, levelling cities and houses wherever they encountered them. All the elements were in furious discord, and the whole face of the world seemed turned upside down, revealing the most extraordinary sights.
18. For the vast waves subsided when it was least expected, and thus drowned many thousand men. Even ships were swallowed up in the furious currents of the returning tide, and were seen to sink when the fury of the sea was exhausted; and the bodies of those who perished by shipwreck floated about on their backs or faces.
19. Othervessels of great size were driven on shore by the violence of the wind, and cast upon the housetops, as happened at Alexandria; and some were even driven two miles inland, of which we ourselves saw one in Laconia, near the town of Mothone, which was lying and rotting where it had been driven.
I. The Allemanni having defeated the Romans, put the counts Chari" etto and Severianus to death.—II. Jovinus, the commander of the cavalry in Gaul, surprises and routs two divisions of the Allemanni; defeats a third army in the coun of the Oatalauni, the enemy losing six thousand killed an four thousand wounded. — III. About the three prefects of the city, Symmachus, Lampadins, and Juventins—The quarrels of Damasus and U1-sinus about the bishopric of Rome.—lV. The people and the six provinces oi Thrace are described, and the chief cities in each province.-— V. The emperor Valens attacks the Goths, who had sent Procopius’ auxiliary troops to he employed against him, and after three years makes peace with them.—VI. Valentinian, with thc consent of the army, makes his son Gratian emperor; and, after investing the boy with the purple, exhorts him to behave bravely, and recom~ mends him to the soldiers.-—VII. The passionate temper, ferocity, and cruelty of the emperor Valentinian.—VIII. Count Theodosius defeats the Picts, Attacotti, and Scots, who were ravaging Britain with impunity, after having slain the duke and count of that province, and makes them restore their plunder. — IX. The Moorish tribes ravage Africa—Valens checks the predatory incursions of the Isaurians-Concerning the ofice of city prefect.X. The emperor Valentinian crosses the Rhine, and in a battle, attended with heavy loss to both sides, defeats and routs the Allemanni, who had taken refuge in their highest mountains.;— XI. On the high family, wealth, dignity, and character of Probus. —XII. The Romans and Persians quarrel about the possession of Armenia and Iberia. '
§ 1. Warm-: 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, havingrecruited their strength, though not to la 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.