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4. He, being given to talking in a boastful manner, after having seduced that easily deluded woman (the wife of Dames) into an illicit connection with him, allured her into a perilous fraud, and persuaded her by an accumulation of lies to accuse her innocent husband of treason. and to invent a story that he had stolen a purple garment from the sepulchre of Diocletian, and, by the help of some accomplices, still ke t it concealed.
5. When this story h been thus devised in a way to cause the destruction of many persons, Rufinus himself, full of hopes of some advantage, hastened to the camp of the emperor, to spread his customary calumnies. And when the transaction had been divulged, Manlius, at that time the commander of the praetorian camp, a man of admirable integrity, received orders to make a strict inquiry into the charge, having united to him, as a colleague inthe examination, Ursulus, the chief paymaster, a man likewise of praiseworthy equity and strictness.
6. There, after the matter had been rigorously investigated according to the fashion of that period, and when, after many persons had been put to the torture, nothing was found out, and the judges were in doubt and perplexity; at length truth, long suppressed, found a respite, and, under the compulsion of a rigorous examination, the woman confessed that Rufinus was the author of the whole plot, nor did she even conceal the fact of her adultery with him. Reference was immediately ‘made to the law, and as order and justice required, the judges con
demned them both to death. 7. But as soon as this was known, Constantius became
greatly enraged, and lamenting Rufinus as if the champion of his safety had been destroyed, he sent couriers on horseback express, with threatening orders to Ursulus, commanding him to return to court. Ursulus, disregarding the remonstrances of those who advised him to disobey, hastened fearlessly to the presence; and having entered the emperor’s council-chambers, with undaunted heart and voice related the whole transaction; and this confident behaviour of his shut the mouths of the flatterers, and delivered. both the prefect and himself from serious
danger. 8. It was at this time also that an event took place in Aqui
A.D. 356." INFLUENCE OF INFORMERS. 97
tania which was more extensively talked about. A certain cunning person being invited to a splendid and sumptuous banquet, which are frequent in that province, having seen a pair of coverlets, with two purple borders of such width, that y the skill of those who waited they seemed to be but one; and beholding the table also covered with a similar cloth, he took up one in each hand, and arranged them so as to resemble the front of a cloak, representing them as having formed the ornament of the imperial robe; and then searching over the whole house in order to find the robe which he affirmed must be hidden there, he thus caused the ruin of a wealthy estate. 9. With similar malignity, a certain secretary in Spain, who was likewise invited to a supper, hearing the servants, while bringing in the evening candles, cry “let us conquer,” affixing a malignant interpretation to that common exclamation, in like manner ruined a noble family. 10. These and other evils increasing more and more, because Constantius, being a man of a very timorous disposition, was always thinking that blows were being aimed at him, like the celebrated tyrant of Sicily, Dionysius, who, because of this vice of his, taught his daughters to shave him, in order that he might not have to put his face in a stranger's power; and surrounded the small chamber in which he was accustomed to sleep with a deep ditch, so placed that it could only be entered by a drawbridge; the loose beams and axles of which when he went to bed he removed into his own chamber, replacing them when about to go forth at daybreak. 11. Moreover, those who had influence in the court promoted the spread of these evils, with the hope of joining to their own estates the forfeited possessions of those who should be condemned; and thus becoming rich by the ruin of their neighbours. 12. For, as clear evidence has shown, if Constantine was the first to excite the appetites of his followers, Constantius was the prince who fattened them on the marrow of the provinces. 13. For under him the principal persons of every rank burnt with an insatiable desire of riches, without any regard for justice or right. And among the ordinary judges, Rufinus, the chief prefect of the praetorium, was H
conspicuous for this avarice. And among the military officers Arbetio, the master of the horse, and Eusebius, the high chamberlain, . . . Ard . . . anus, the quaestor, and in the city, the two Anicii, whose posterity, treading in the steps of their fathers, could not be satisfied even with possessions much larger than they themselves had enjoyed.
§ 1. BUT in the East, the Persians now practising predatory inroads and forays, in preference to engaging in pitched battles, as they had been wont to do before, carried off continually great numbers of men and cattle: sometimes making great booty, owing to the unexpectedness of their incursions, but at other times being overpowered by superior numbers, they suffered losses. Sometimes, also, the inhabitants of the districts which they had invaded had removed everything which could be carried off. 2. But Musonianus, the prefect of the praetorium, a man, as we have already said, of many liberal accomplishments but corrupt, and a person easily turned from the truth by a bribe, acquired, by means of some emissaries who were skilful in deceiving and obtaining information, a knowledge of the plans of the Persians; taking to his counsels on this subject Cassianus, duke of Mesopotamia, a veteran who had served many campaigns, and had become hardened by all kinds of dangers. 3. And when, by the concurrent report of spies, these officers had become certain that Sapor was occupied in the most remote frontier of his kingdom in repelling the hostilities of the bordering tribes, which he could not accomplish without great difficulty and bloodshed, they sought to tamper with Tamsapor, the general in command in the district nearest our border. Accordingly they sent soldiers of no renown to confer with him secretly, to engage him, if opportunity served, to write to the king to persuade him to make peace with the Roman emperor; whereby he, being then secure on every side, might be the better able to subdue the rebels who were never weary of exciting disturbances. 4. Tamsapor coincided with these wishes, and, trusting to them, reported to the king that Constantius,
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being involved in very formidable wars, was a suppliant for peace. But it took a long time for these letters to reach the country of the Chionites and the Euseni, on whose borders Sapor had taken up his winter quarters.
§ 1. WHILE matters were thus proceeding in the eastern regions and in the Gauls, Constantius, as if the temple of Janus were now shut and hostilities everywhere at an end, became desirous of visiting Rome, with the intention of celebrating his triumph over Magnentius, to which he could give no name, since the blood that he had spilt was that of Roman foes. 2. For indeed, neither by his own exertions, nor by those of his generals did he ever conquer any nation that made war upon him; nor did he make any additions to the empire; nor at critical moments was he ever seen to be the foremost or even among the foremost; but still he was eager to exhibit to the people, now in the enjoyment of peace, a vast procession, and standards heavy with gold, and a splendid train of guards and followers, though the citizens themselves neither expected nor desired any such spectacle. 3. He was ignorant, probably, that some of the ancient emperors were, in time of peace, contented with their lictors, and that when the ardour of war forbade all inactivity, one, in a violent storm, had trusted himself to a fisherman's boat; another, following the example of the Decii, had sacrificed his life for the safety of the republic; another” had by himself, accompanied by only a few soldiers of the lowest rank, gone as a spy into the camp of the enemy: in short, that many of them had rendered themselves illustrious by splendid exploits, in order to hand down to posterity a glorious memory of themselves, earned by their achievements.
* Julius Caesar: the story of the frightened fisherman being encouraged by the assurance that he was carrying “Caesar and his fortunes" is universally known.
* Claudius, who devoted himself in the Gothic war.
* Galerius Maximianus, who reconnoitred in person the camp of the king of Persia.
4. Accordingly, after long and sumptuous preparation, - in the second prefecture of Orfitus, Constantius, elated with his great honours, and escorted by a formidable array of troops, marching in order of battle, passed through Ocricoli, attracting towards himself the astonished gaze of all the citizens.
5. And when he drew near to the city, contemplating the salutations offered him by the senators, and the whole body of fathers venerable from their likeness to their ancestors, he thought, not like Cineas, the ambassador of Pyrrhus, that a multitude of kings was here assembled together, but that the city was the asylum of the whole world.
6. And when from them he had turned his eyes upon the citizens, he marvelled to think with what rapidity the whole race of mankind upon earth had come from all quarters to Rome; and, as if he would have terrified the Euphrates or the Rhine with a show of armed men, he himself came on, preceded by standards on both sides, sit ting alone in a golden chariot, shining with all kinds of brilliant precious stones, which seemed to spread a flickering light all around.
7. Numbers also of the chief officers who went before him were surrounded by dragons embroidered on various kinds of tissue, fastened to the golden or jewelled points of spears, the mouths of the dragons being open so as to catch the wind, which made them hiss as though they were inflamed with anger; while the coils of their tails were also contrived to be agitated by the breeze.
8. After these marched a double row of heavy-armed soldiers, with shields and crested helmets, glittering with brilliant light, and clad in radiant breast-plates; and among these were scattered cavalry with cuirasses, whom the Persians call Clibanarii, protected by coverings of iron breast-plates, and girdled with belts of iron, so that you would fancy them statues polished by the hand of Praxiteles, rather than men. And the light circular plates of iron which surrounded their bodies, and covered all their limbs, were so well fitted to all their motions, that in whatever direction they had occasion to move, the joints
* The word is derived from k\igavov, an oven, and seems to mean entirely clothed in iron.