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force against the foreign enemy. The contest then became too unequal; nor was the valour of the hero able to withstand the power of th'e mo. narch. Tiridates, a second time expelled from the throne of Armenia, once more took refuge in the court of the emperors. Narses soon reestablished his authority over the revolted province; and loudly complaining of the protection afforded by the Romans to rebels and fugitives, aspired to the conquest of the Eastsi 61.
Neither prudence nor honour could permit the emperors to forsake the cause of the Armenian king, and it was resolved' to exert the force of the empire in the Persian war. Diocletian, with the calm dignity which he constantly assumed, fixed his own station in the city of Antioch, from whence he prepared and directed the military operations "3. The conduct of the legions was intrusted to the 'intrepid valour of Galerius, who,
, for that important purpose, was removed from the
banks of the Danube to those of the Euphrates. The armies soon encountered each other in the plains of Mesopotamia, and two battles were fought with vvarious and doubtful success: but the third engagement was of a more decifive na
derable body of Gothic auxiliaries were taken into the Imperial pay "9. At the head of a chosen army of twenty-five thousand men, Galerius again passed the Euphrates; but, instead of exposing his legions in the open plains of 'Mesopotamia, he advanced through the mountains of Armenia, where he found the inhabitants devoted to his cause, and the country as favourable to the ope
69 Aurelius Victor. Jornandes de Rebus Geticis, c. zr.
nage, and, in the general confusion, the wounded monarch (for Narses commanded his armies in person) fled towards the deserts of Media. His sumptuous tents, and those of his satraps, afforded an immense booty to the conqueror; and ansi accident is mentioned, which proves the rustic but martial ignorance of the legions in the elegant superfluities of life. A bag of shining leather filled with pearls, fell into the hands of a private soldier; he carefully preserved the bag, but he threw away its contents, judging, that whatever was of no use could not poffibly be of any value ". The principal loss of Narses was of a much more affecting nature. Several of his wives, his sisters, and children, who had attended the army, were made captives in the defeat. But though the character of Galerius had in general very little affinityi with that of Alexander, he imitated, after his victory, the amiable behaviour of the Macedonian towards the family of Darius." The wives and children of Narses were vprotected from violence- and rapine, conveyed to a place of safety, and treated with every mark of respect and tenderness, sithat was due from a generous ehemy, to their age, their sex, and their royal dignity 73.
While the East anxiously expected the decision of this great contest, the emperor Diocletian,