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last Caesarea was betrayed by the perfidy of a physician, he cut his way through the Persians, who had been ordered to exert their utmost diligence to take him alive. This heroic chief escaped the power of a foe, who might either have honoured or punished his obstinate valour; but many thousands of his fellow-citizens were involved in a general massacre, and Sapor is accused of treating his prisoners with wanton and unrelenting §§ Much should undoubtedly be allowed for national animosity, much for humbled pride and impotent revenge; yet, upon the whole, it is certain, that the same prince, who, in Armenia, had displayed the mild aspect of a legislator, showed himself to the Romans, under the stern features of a conqueror. He despaired of making any permanent establishment in the empire, and sought only to leave behind him a wasted desert, while he transported into Persia the people and the treasures of the provinces,(145) At the time when the East trembled at the name of Sapor, he received a present not unworthy of the greatest kings; a long train of camels laden with ihe most rare and valuable merchandise. The rich offering was accompanied with an epistle, respectful but not servile, from Odenathus, one of the noblest and most opulent senators of Palmyra. “Who is this Odenathus (said the haughty victor, and he commanded that the presents should be cast into the Euphrates) that he thus insolently presumes to write to his lord? If he entertains a hope of mitigating his punishments, let him fall prostrate before the foot of our throne, with his hands bound behind his back. Should he hesitate, swift destruction shall be poured on his head, on his whole race, and on his country.”(146). The desperate extremity to which the Palmyrenian was reduced, called into action all the latent powers of his soul. He met Sapor; but he met him in arms. Infusing his own spirit into a little arm collected from the villages of Syria,(147) and the tents of the desert,(148 he hovered round the Persian host, harassed their retreat, carried off part of the treasure, and, what was dearer than any treasure, several of the women of the Great King; who was at last obliged to repass the Euphrates with some marks of haste and confusion.(149). By this exploit, Odenathus laid the foundations of his future fame and fortuñes. The majesty of Rome, oppressed by a Persian, was protected by a Syrian or Arab of Palmyra. The voice of history, which is often little more than the organ of hatred or flattery, reproaches Sapor with a proud abuse of the rights of conquest. We are told that Valerian, in chains, but invested with the imperial purple, was exposed to the multitude, a constant spectacle of fallen greatness; and that whenever the Persian monarch mounted on horseback, he placed his foot on the neck of a Roman emperor. . Notwithstanding all the remonstrances of his allies, who repeatedly advised him to remember the vicissitudes of fortune, to dread the returning power of Rome, and to make his illustrious captive the o of peace, not the object of insult, Sapor still remained inflexible When Valerian sunk under the weight of shame and grief, his skin, stuffed with straw, and formed into the likeness of a human figure, was preserved for ages in the most celebrated temple of Persia; a more real monument of triumph, than the fancied trophies of brass and marble so often erected by Roman vanity;(159) The tale is moral and pathetic, but the truth"of it may very fairly be called in question. The letters still extant from the princes of the East to
(144). Zonaras.I. oil. p. 630, Deep valleys were filled up with the slain Crowds of prisoners were driven to water like beasts, and many perished for want of food.
(145), Zosimus, l. i. p. 25, asserts, that Sapor, had he not preferred spoil to conquest, might have remained master of Asia.
(146) Peter Patricius in Excerpt. Leg. p. 29.
(147) Syrorum agrestium in mand. Sextus Rufus, c. 23 Rufus Victor, the Augustan History (p. 192), and several inscriptions agree in making Odenathus a citizen of Palmyra.
(148). He possessed so powerful an interest among the wandering tribes, that Procopius (Bell. Persic. l. ii. c. 5) and John Malala (tom. i. p. 891,) style him prince of the Saracens.
§ Peter Patricius, p. 25.
150) The pagan writers lament, the Christians insult, the misfortunes of Valerian. Their various testimonies are accurately collected by Tillemont, tom. iii. p. 739, &c. So little has been preserved of eastern history before Mahonet, that the modern Persians are totally ignorant of the Victory of Sapor. an event so glorious to their nation. See Bibliothèque Orientale.f
Sapor, are manifest forgeries;(151) nor is it natural to suppose that a jealous monarch should, even in the person of a rival, thus publicly degrade the majesty of kings. Whatever treatment the unfortunate Valerian might experience, in Persia, it is at least certain, that the only emperor of Rome who had ever fallen into the hands of the enemy languished away his life in hopeless captivity. The emperor Gallienus, who had long supported with impatience the censorial ...'. of his father and colleague, received the intelligence of his misfortunes with secret pleasure and avowed indifference. “I knew that my father was a mortal,” said he, “and since he has acted as becomes a brave man, I am satisfied.” While Rome lamented the fate of her sovereign, the savage coldness of his son was extolled by the servile courtiers, as the perfect firmness of a hero and a stoic.(152) It is difficult to paint the light, the various, the inconstant character of Gallienus, which he displayed without constraint, as soon as he became sole possessor of the empire. In every art that he attempted, his lively genius enabled him to succeed; and as his genius was destitute of judgment, he attempted every art except the importantones of war and government. He was master of several curious, but useless sciences, a ready orator, and elegant poet,(153) a skilful gardener, an excellent cook, and most contemptible prince. When the great emergencies of the state required his presence and attention, he was engaged in conversation with the philosopher Plotinus,(154) wasting his time in trifling or licentious pleasures, preparing his initiation to the Grecian mysteries, or soliciting a place in the Areopagus of Athens. His profuse magnificence insulted the general poverty; the solemn ridicule of his triumphs impressed a deeper sense of the publi; dis#.) The repeated intelligence of invasions, defeats, and rebellions, e received with a careless smile; and singling out, with affected contempt, some particular production of the lost province, he carelessly asked whether Rome must be ruined, unless it was supplied with linen from Egypt, and Arras cloth from Gaul ? There were, however, a few short moments in the life of Gallienus, when, exasperated by some recent injury, he suddenly appeared the intrepid soldier and the cruel tyrant; till satiated with blood, or fatigued by resistance, he insensibly sunk into the natural mildness and indolence of his character.(156) At a time when the reins of government were held with so loose a hand, it is not surprising, that a crowd of usurpers should start up in every province of the empire against the son of Valerian. It was probably some ingenious fancy, of .."; the thirty tyrants of Rome with the thirty tyrants of Athens, that induced the writers of the Augustan history to select that celebrated number, which has been gradually received into a popular appellation.(157) But in
(151). One of these epistles is from Artavasdes, king of Armenia: since Armenia was then a province in Persia, the king, the kingdom, and the epistle, must be fictitious.
(152) See his life in the Augustan History.
§: There is still extant a very pretty Epithalamium, composed by Gallienus for the nuptials of his nephews.
Ite ait, O Juvenes, pariter sudate medullis
(154) He was on the point of giving Plotinus, a ruined city of Campania, to try the experiment of realizing Plato's Republic. See the Life of Plotinus, by Porphyry, in Fabricius's Biblioth. Graec. l. iv. (155) A medal which bears the head of Gallienus has perplexed the antiquarians by its legend and reverse; the former Galliena, Augustae, the latter Ubique Par. M. Spanheim supposes that the coin was struck by some of the enemies of Gallienus, and was designed as a severe satire on that effeminate prince. But as the use of irony may seem unworthy of the gravity of the Roman mint, M. De Vallemont has deduced from a passage of Trebellius Pollio (Hist. August. !. 198,) an ingenious and natural solution. Galliena was first cousin to the emperor. By delivering Africa from the usurper Cellus, she deserved the title of Augusta. On a medal in the French king's collection, we read a similar inscription of Faustina Augusta round the head of Marcus Aurelius. With regurd to the Ubique Paz, it is easily explained by the vanity of Gallienus, who seized, perhaps, the occasion of some momentary calm. See Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres, Janvier, 1700, p. 21–34. (156) This singular character has, I believe, been fairiy transmitted to us. The reign of his immediate successor was short and busy; and the historians wind wrote before the elevation of the family of Constantine, could not have the most remote interest to misrepresent the character of Gallienus. (157) Pollio expresses the most minute anxiety to complete the number."
avery light the parallel is idle and defective. What resemblance can we dia cover between a council of thirty persons, the united oppressors of a single city, and an uncertain list of independent rivals, who rose and fell in ir at succession through the extent of a vast empire 7 -Nor can the number of thirty be completed, unless we include in the account the women and children who were honoured with the imperial title. The . of Gallienus, distracted as it was, produced only nineteen pretenders to the throne; Cyriades, Macrianus, Balista, Odenathus, and Zenobia, in the east; in Gaul and in the western provinces, Posthumus, Lollianus, Victorinus, and his mother Victoria, Marius, and Tetricus. In Illyricum and the confines of the Danube, lngenuus, Regilianus, and Aureolus; in Pontus,(158) Saturninus; in Isauria, Trebellianus: Piso.in Thessaly; Valens in Achaia; Æmilianus in Egypt; and Celsus in Africa. To illustrate the obscure monuments of the life and death of each individual, would prove a laborious task, alike barren of instruction and of amusement. We may content ourselves with investigating some general characters, that most strongly mark the condition of the times, and the manners of the men, their pretensions, their motives, their fate, and the destructive consequences of their "...o. It is sufficiently known, that the odious appellation of Tyrant, was often *. by the ancients to express the illegal seizure of supreme power, without any reference to the abuse of it. Several of the pretenders, who raised the standard of rebellion against the emperor Gallienus, were shining models of virtue, and almost all possessed a considerable share of vigour and ...; Their.merit had recommended them to the favour of Valerian, and gradually promoted them to the most important commands of the empire. The generals, who assumed the title of Augustus, were either respected by their troops for their able conduct and severe discipline, or admired for valour and success in war, or beloved for frankness and generosity. The field of victory was often the scene of their election; and even the armourer Marius, the most contemptible of all the candidates for the pur le, was distinguished however by intrepid courage, matchless strength, and blunt honesty.(160). His mean and recent trade cast indeed an air of ridicule on his elevation; but his birth could not be more obscure than was that of the greater part of his rivals, who were born of peasants, and enlisted in the army as private soldiers. In times of confusion, every active genius finds the place assigned him by Nature : in a general state of war, military merit is the road to #: and to greatness. Of the nineteen tyrants, Tretricus only was a senator; Piso alone was a noble. The blood of Numa, through twenty-eight successive generations, ran in the veins of Calhurnius Piso,(161) who, by female alliances, claimed a right of exhibiting, in is house, the images of Crassus and of the great Pompey.(162). His ancestors had been repeatedly dignified with all the honours which the commonwealth could bestow; and of all the ancient families of Rome, the Calphurnian alone had survived the tyranny of the Cesars. The personal qualities of Piso added new lustre to his race. The usurper Valens, by whose order he was killed, confessed with deep remorse, that even an enemy ought to have respected the ..". of Piso ; and although he died in arms against Gallienus, the senate, with the emperor's generous permission, decreed the triumphal ornaments to the memory of so virtuous a rebel.(163)
(158) The place of his reign is somewhat doubtful; but there was a tyrant in Pontus, and we are acquainted with the seat of all the others.
(159) Tillemont, tom. *# 1163, reckons them somewhat differently.
(160) See the speech of Marius, in the Augustan History, p. 197. #he accidental identity of names was the only circumstance that could tempt Pollio to imitate Sallust.
(161). Vos, O Pompilius sanguis! is Horace's address to the Pisos. See Art. Poet. v. 292, with Dacier's and Sanadon's notes.
(162) Tacit. Annal. xv. 48. Hist. i. 15. In the former of these passages we may venture to change paterna into materna. In every generation from Augustus to Alexander Severus, one or more Pisos appear as consuls. A Piso was deemed worthy of the throne by Augustus Tacit. Annal. i. 13). A : beade a formidable conspiracy against Nero; and a third was adopted, and declared Cesar by
(163) Pist. August. p. 195. The senate, in a moment of enthusiasm, seems to have presumed on the approbation of Gallienus.