Sidebilder
PDF

A.D. 370.] FXECUTION OF JOVINUS. 501

that Jovinus himself was compelled by them to confess, to his own great danger, that he had made a false report to the emperor. 22. When these events were learnt from Palladius on his return, Valentinian, being always inclined to severe measures, commanded the execution of Jovinus as the author of such a report, and of Caelestinus, Concordius, and Lucius, as privy to it, and partners in it. He also commanded Ruricius, the president, to be put to death for falsehood; the charge against him being aggravated by the circumstance that his report contained some violent and intemperate expressions. 23. Ruricius was executed at Sitifis; the rest were condemned at Utica by the sentence of the deputy Crescens. But before the death of the ambassadors, Flaccianus, while being examined by the deputy and the count, and while resolutely defending his own safety, was assailed with abuse, and then attacked with loud outcries and violence by the angry soldiers, and was nearly killed; the charge which they made against him being that the cause which had prevented the people of Tripoli from being defended was, that they had refused to furnish necessaries for the use of any expedition. 24. On this account he was thrown into prison, till the emperor could be consulted on his case, and should decide what ought to be done; but his gaolers were tampered with, as was believed, and he escaped from prison and fled

to Rome, where he concealed himself for some time, till his

death. 25. In consequence of this memorable catastrophe, Tripoli, which had been often harassed by external and domestic calamities, brought forward no further accusations against those who had left it undefended, knowing that the eternal eye of justice was awake, as well as the avenging furies of the ambassadors and the president. And a long time afterwards the following event took place:—Palladius, having been dismissed from the military service, and stript of all that nourished his pride, retired into private life. 26. And when Theodosius, that magnificent commander of armies, came into Africa to put down Firmus, who was entertaining some permicious designs, and, as he was ordered, began to examine the moveable effects of Romanus, he found among his papers a letter of a certain person named Meterius, containing this passage: “Meterius, to his lord and patron, Romanus;” and at the end of the letter many expressions unconnected with its general subject. “Palladius, who has been cashiered, salutes you. He who says he was cashiered for no other reason than that in the case of the people of Tripoli he made a false report to the sacred ears.” 27. When this letter was sent to the court and read, Meterius was arrested by order of Valentinian, and confessed that the letter was his writing. Therefore Palladius also was ordered to appear, and reflecting on all the crimes he had committed, while at a halting place on the road, he watched an opportunity afforded him by the absence of his guards, as soon as it got dark (for, as it was a festival of the Christian religion, they passed the whole night in the church), and hanged himself. 28. The news of this propitious event—the death of the principal cause of their sad troubles—being known, Erecthius and Aristomenes, who when they first heard that their tongues were ordered to be cut out for sedition, had escaped, now issued from their hiding-places. And when the emperor Gratian was informed of the wicked deceit that had been practised (for by this time Walentinian was dead), their fears vanished, and they were sent to have their cause heard before Hesperus the proconsul and Flavian the deputy, men whose justice was supported by the righteous authority of the emperor, and who, after putting Caecilius to the torture, learnt from his clear confession that he himself had persuaded the citizens to bring false accusations against the ambassadors. These actions were followed by a report which gave the fullest possible account of all that had taken place, to which no answer was given. 29. And that the whole story might want nothing of tragic interest, the following occurrence also took place after the curtain had fallen. Romanus went to court, taking with him Caecilius, with the intent to accuse the judges as having been unduly biassed in favour of the province; and being received graciously by Merobaudes, he demanded that some more necessary witnesses should

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

be summoned. And when they had come to Milan, and had shown by proofs which sel med correct, though these were false, that they had been falsely accused, they were acquitted, and returned home. Valentinian was still alive, when after these events which we have related, Remigius also retired from public life, and afterwards hanged himself, as we shall relate in the proper plaoe.

BOOK XXIX.

ARGUMENT

I. Theodorus, the secretary, aims at the imperial authority, and being accused of treason before Valens at Antioch, and convicted, is executed, with many of his accomplices.—II. In the East many persons are informed against as guilty of poisoning and other crimes; and being condemned (some rightly, some wrongfully), are executed.—1II. In the West many instances occur of the ferocity and insane cruelty of the emperor Valentinian.-—IV. Valentinian crosses the Rhine on a bridge of boats, but, through the fault of a soldier, fails in an attempt to surprise Maerlanus, the king of the Allemanni.—V. Theodosius, the commander of the cavalry in Gaul, in several battles defeats Forrnus Maorus, the son of Nubelis Regulus, who had revolted from Valentinian; and, after having driven him to kill himself, restores peace to Africa.VI. The Quadi, being provoked by the wicked murder of their king Galerius, in conjunction with the Sarmatians, luy waste both the Pannonias and Valeria with fire and sword, and destroy almost the whole of two legions—-A dissertation on the city prefecture of

Claudius
II

[ocr errors]

§ 1. AT the conclusion of the winter, Sapor, king of Persia, being full of cruelty and arrogance from the confidence engendered by his former battles, having completed his army to its full number, and greatly strengthened it, sent out a. force of cuirassiers, archers, and mercenary troops, to make an invasion of our territories.

2. Against this force, Count Trajan and Vadomarius, the ex-king of the Allemanni, advanced with a mighty army, having been enjoined by the emperor to remember his orders to act on the defensive rather than on the oflensive against the Persians.

3. When they arrived at Vagabanta, a place well suited for the manoeuvres of the legions, they supported against their will a rapid charge which was made upon them by the squadrons of the enemy, and retreated with the design not to be the first to slay any of the hostile soldiers, and not to be looked upon as guilty of having broken the treaty. At last, under the pressure of extreme necessity, they came to an engagement with the barbarians, and after having slain a great number of them, were victorious. 4. During the cessation of regular operations which ensued, several slight skirmishes occurred through the impatience of both armies, which ended with different results; and at last the summer ended, and a truce was agreed to by common consent, and the two armies separated, though the generals were violently inflamed against each other. The king of Parthia, intending to pass the winter at Ctesiphon, returned to his own home, and the Roman emperor went to Antioch; and while he tarried there, in complete security from foreign enemies, he had very nearly perished through domestic treachery, as shall be related in the coming narrative. 5. A certain Procopius, a restless man, at all times covetous and fond of disturbances, had persuaded Anatolius and Spudasius, officers about the palace, who had been ordered to restore what they had appropriated from the treasury, to bring a plot against the Count Fortunatianus, who was especially obnoxious as being represented to be the principal demander of this restitution. He, being a man of naturally harsh temper, was thereupon inflamed almost to insanity, and exercising the authority of the office which he filled, he delivered up to trial before the tribunal of the prefect a person of the lowest birth, named Palladius, for being a poisoner in the train of Anatolius and Spudasius; Helidorus, also an interpreter of the Fates from the events which happened at any one's birth; with the intent that they should be compelled by torture to relate all that they knew. 6. And when they came with rigid scrutiny to inquire into what had been done or attempted. Palladius boldly exclaimed, that the matters now under investigation were trivial, and such as might well be passed over: that he himself, if he might be allowed to speak, could bring

A.n. an.) ARREST or FIDUSTIUS. 505

forward some circumstances both formidable and more important, which, having been prepared with great exertion, would throw everything into confusion, if they were not provided against beforehand. Being ordered to explain without fear all he knew, he made a deposition at great length, affirming that Fidustius the president, and Pergamius and lrenzeus, had secretly learnt, by the detestable arts of magic, the name of the person who should become emperor after Valens.

7. Fidnstius was at once arrested (for he happened by chance be on the spot), and being brought secretly before the emperor, when confronted with the informer, he did not attempt by any denial to throw a doubt on what was already revealed, but laid open the whole of this wretched plot; confwsing in plain words, that he himself, with Hilarius and Patricius, men skilled in the art of soothsaying, of whom Hilarius had filled high ofiices in the palace, had held consultations about thefuture possessors of the empire; that by secretarts they had searched into the Fates. which had revealed to them the name of an excellent emperor, admonishing them at the same time that a miserable end awaited the investigators of these omens.‘

8. And while they were hesitating, unable to decide who at that moment was superior to all other men in vigour of mind. Theodorus appeared to excel all the rest, a man who had already arrived at the second class of secretaries. And in truth he deserved the opinion which they entertained of him; for he was descended from an ancient and illustrious family in Gaul; he had been liberally educated from his earliest childhood; he was eminent for modesty, prudence, humanity, courtesy, and literature. He always appeared superior to the post or place which he was filling. and was equally popular among high and low, and he was nearly the only man whose tongue was never unbridled, but who always reflected on what he was going to say, yet without ever being restrained by any fear of danger.

9. F idustius, who had been tortured so severely that he was at the point of death, added further, that all that

l For an account of this incantation, see Gibbon, Bohn's edition, vol. iii., p. 75, note.

« ForrigeFortsett »