A.N. 355.]



so that

[ocr errors]

of affection, or will join you in the labours of war,
we may govern together the whole world in peace, if
only God will grant us, as we pray he may, to govern
with equal moderation and piety. You will everywhere
represent me, and I also will never desert you in what:
ever task you may be engaged. To sum up: Go forth;
go forth supported by the friendly prayers of men of ali
ranks, to defend with watchful care the station assigned
to you, it may be said, by the republic itself."

15. After the emperor had thus ended his speech, no one held his peace, but all the soldiers, with a tremendous crash, rattled their shields against their knees (which is an abundant indication of applause ; while on the other hand to strike the shield with the spear is a testimony of anger and indignation), and it was marvellous with what excessive joy they all, except a very few, showed their approbation of the judgment of Augustus : and they received the Cæsar with well-deserved admiration, brilliant as he was with the splendour of the imperial purple.

16. And while they gazed earnestly, on his eyes, terrible in their beauty, and his countenance more attractive than ever by reason of his present excitement, they augured from his looks what kind of ruler he was likely to prove, as if they had been searching into those ancient volumes which teach how to judge of a man's moral disposition by the external signs on his person. And that he might be regarded with the greater reverence, they neither praised him above measure, nor yet below his desert. And so the voices raised in his favour were looked upon as the judg. ment of censors, not of soldiers.

17. After the ceremony was over, Julian was taken up into the imperial chariot and received into the palace, and was heard to whisper to himself this verse of Homer

“ Now purple death bath seized on me,

And powerful strength of destiny." These transactions took place on the sixth of November, in the year of the consulship of Arbetio and Lollianus.

18. A few days afterwards, Helen, the maiden sister of Constantius, was also given in marriage to the Cæsar. And everything being got ready which the journey required, he started on the first of December with a small retinue ;

and having been escorted on his way by Augustus himself as far as the spot, marked by two pillars, which lies between Laumellum and Ticinum, he proceeded straight on to the country of the Taurini, where he received disastrous intelligence, which had recently reached the emperor's court, but still had been intentionally kept back, lest all the preparations made for his journey should be wasted.

19. And this intelligence was that Colonia Agrippina,' a city of great renown in lower Germany, bad been carried by a vigorous siege of the barbarians, who appeared before it in great force, and had utterly destroyed it.

20. Julian being greatly distressed at this news, looking on it as a kind of omen of misfortunes to come, was often heard to murmur in querulous tones,

" that he had gained nothing except the fate of dying amid greater trouble and employment than before."

21. But when he arrived at Vienne, people of every age and class went forth to meet hiin on his entrance to the city, with a view to do him honour by their reception of him as one who had been long wished for, and was now granted to their prayers. And when he was seen in the distance the whole population of the city and of the adjacent neighbourhood, going before his chariot, celebrated his praises, saluting him as Emperor, clement and prosperous, greeting with eager joy this royal procession in honour of a lawful prince. And they placed all their hopes of a remedy for the evils which affected the whole province on his arrival, thinking that now, when their affairs wer in a most desperate condition, some friendly genius had come to shine


them. 22. And a blind old woman, when in reply to her question

Who was entering the city ?" she received for

“ Julian the Cæsar,” cried out that “He would restore the temples of the gods."


IX. ☺ § 1. Now then, since, as the sublime poet of Mantaa bas sung, “A greater series of incident rises to my view; in a more arduous task I engage,”– I think it a proper oppor

· Cologne.

A.D. 35.]



tunity to describe the situation and different countries of the Gauls, lest, among the narration of fiery preparations and the various chances of battles, I should seem, while speaking of matters not understood by every one, to resemble those negligent sailors, who, when tossed about by dangerous waves and storms, begin to repair their sails and ropes which they might have attended to in calmı weather.

2. Ancient writers, pursuing their investigations into the earliest origin of the Gauls, left our knowledge of the truth very imperfect; but at a later period, T'imagenes, a thorough Greek both in diligence and language, collected from various writings facts which had been long unknown, and guided by his faithful statements, we, dispelling all obscurity, will now give a plain and intelligible relation of them.

3. Some persons affirm that the first inhabitants ever seen in these regions were called Celts, after the name of their king, who was very popular among them, and sometimes also Galatæ, after the name of his mother. For Galatæ is the Greek translation of the Roman term Galli. Others affirm that they are Dorians, who, following a more ancient Hercules, selected for their home the districts bordering on the ocean.

4. The Druids affirm that a portion of the people was really indigenous to the soil, but that other inhabitants poured in from the islands on the coast, and from the districts across the Rhine, having been driven from their former abodes by frequent wars, and sometimes by inroads of the tempestuous sea.

5. Some again maintain that after the destruction of Troy, a few Trojans fleeing from the Greeks, who were then scattered over the whole world, occupied these districts, which at that time had no inhabitants at all.

6. But the natives of these countries affirm this more positively than any other fact (and, indeed, we ourselves have read it engraved on their monuments), that Hercules, the son of Amphitryon, hastening to the destruction of those cruel tyrants, Geryon and Tauriscus, one of whom was oppressing the Gauls, and the other Spain, after be had conquered both of them, took to wife some women of noble birth in those countries, and became the father of

many children; and that his sons called the districts of which they became the kings after their own names.

7. Also an Asiatic tribe coming from Phocæa in order to escape the cruelty of Harpalus, the lieutenant of Cyrus the king, sought to sail to Italy.' And a part of them founded Velia, in Lucania, others settled a colony at Marseilles, in the territory of Vienne; and then, in subsequent ages, these towns increasing in strength and importance, founded other cities. But we must avoid a variety of details which are commonly apt to weary.

8. Throughout these provinces, the people gradually becoming civilized, the study of liberal accomplishments flourished, having been first introduced by the Bards, the Eubages, and the Druids. The Bards were accustomed to employ themselves in celebrating the brave achievements of their illustrious men, in epic verse, accompanied with .sweet airs on the lyre. The Eubages investigated the system and sublime secrets of nature, and sought to explain them to their followers. Between these two came the Druids, men of loftier genius, bound in brotherhoods according to the precepts and example of Pythagoras; and their minds were elevated by investigations into secret and sublime matters, and from the contempt which they entertained for human affairs they pronounced the soul immortal.


§ 1. This country then of the Gauls was by reason of its lofty mountain ranges perpetually covered with terrible Bn0ws, almost unknown to the inhabitants of the rest of the world, except where it borders on the ocean ;

vast fortresses raised by nature, in the place of art, surrounding it on all sides.

2. On the southern side it is washed by the Etruscan and Gallic sea : where it looks towards the north it is separated from the tribes of the barbarians by the river Rhine; where it is placed under the western star it is bounded by the ocean, and the lofty chain of the Pyrenees;

| This story of the Phocæenses is told by Herodotus, i. 166, and alluded to by Horace, Epod. xv. 10.

2 The Eubages, or Ovareîs, as Strabo calls them, appear to have been a tribe of priests.

A.D. 365.)



where it has an eastern aspect it is bounded by the Cottian' Alps. In these mountains King Cottius, after the Gauls had been subdued, lying by himself in their defiles, and relying on the rugged and pathless character of the country, long maintained his independence; though afterwards he abated his pride, and was admitted to the friendship of the Emperor Octavianus. And subsequently he constructed immense works to serve as a splendid gift to the emperor, making roads over them, short, and convenient for travellers, between other ancient passes of the Alps; on which subject we will presently set forth what discoveries have been made.

3. In these Cottian Alps, which begin at the town of Susa, one vast ridge rises up, scarcely passable by any one without danger.

4. For to travellers who reach it from the side of Ganl it descends with a steepness almost precipitous, being terrible to behold, in consequence of the bulk of its overhanging rocks. In the spring, when the ice is melting, and the snow beginning to give way from the warm spring breezes, if any one seeks to descend along the mountain, men and beasts and wagons all fall together through the fissures and clefts in the rocks, which yawn


direc. tion, though previously hidden by the frost. And the only remedy ever found to ward off entire destruction is to have many vehicles bound together with enormous ropes, with men or oxen hanging on behind, to hold them back with great efforts ; and so with a crouching step they get down with some degree of safety. And this, as I have said, is what happens in the spring.

5. But in winter, the ground being covered over with a smooth crust of ice, and therefore slippery under foot, the traveller is often plunged headlong; and the valleys, which seem to open here and there into wide plains, which are merely a covering of treacherous ice, sometimes swallow up those who try to pass over them. . On account of which danger those who are acquainted with the country fix projecting wooden piles over the safest spots, in order that a series of them may conduct the

1 The Cottian Alps are Mont Genevre. It is unnecessary to point out how Ammianus mistakes the true bearing of these fruntiers of Gaul.

« ForrigeFortsett »