Sidebilder
PDF
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

15. £ of their approach by their own trusty scouts, having, ac

cording to custom, given out the watchword to the troops,

led forth all their forces in a rapi ing with great activity passed the bridge over the river Calicadnus, .

the mighty waters of which wash the turrets of the walls,

they drew out their men as if prepared for battle. - But as yet no man left the ranks, and the army was not allowed to engage; for the band of the Isaurians was dreaded, £ as they were desperate with rage, and superior in number, and likely to rush upon the aims of the legions without any regaid to their lives. Therefore as soon as the army was beheld at a distance, ta 6 music ol the trumpetors was near nditti £ J: ening swords, and after a time they marc _On #"####' deploy, preparing to encounter them, beating their shields with their spears (a custom which rouses the fury of the combatants, and strikes terror into their enemies), they filled the front ranks of the Isaurians with consternation. But TETRO troops were £ forward eagerly to the combat their generals recalled them, thinking it inopportune to enter upon a contest of doubtful issue, when their walls were not far distant, under protection of which the safety of the whole army could be placed on a solid foundation. • . 16. Therefore the soldiers were brought back inside the walls in accordance with this resolution, and all the approaches and gates were strongly barred; and the men were placed on the battlements and bulwarks, having vast stones and weapons of all kinds £ if any one forced his way inside he might be overwhelmed with a multitude of missiles and stones. 17. TXut those who were shut up in the walls were at the same time greatly afflicted, because the Isaurians having taken * --> ich were conveying grain down the river, were well provided with abundance of £win they themselves, aving almost consumed the

usual stores of food, were in a state of alarm dreading the fatal agonies of approaching famine. When the news of

this distress got abroad, and when repeated messages

[graphic]

|

III.

[graphic]

. The leader before named, preparing to invade this district on the days set apart for this solemnity, marching through the deserts and along the grassy banks of the

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

river Abora, was betrayed by information given by some of bis own men, wbo being alarmed at tbo discovery of certain crimes which tbey had committed, deserted to the Koman garrisons, and accordingly ho retired again without having accomplished anything; and after that remained quiet without undertaking any further enterprise.

IV.

§ ]. At this timo also tho Saracens, a race whom it is never desirable to have either for friend* nr enemies, ranging up and down the country, if eyer they found nny11 img, "plundered it in a moment, like rapacious hawks who, if from on high they behold any prey, carry it off with rapid swoop, or, if they fail in their attempt, do not tarry.

2. And although, in recounting the career of tho Princo Marcus, and once or twice subsequently, I remember having discussed the manners of this people, nevertheless I will now briefly enumerate a few more particulars concerning them.

3. Arnong^ these tribes, whose primary origin is derived from tho cataracts of the Nile~a'nd tho borders of thoUlemmyiw, all tho men are warriors of equal rank; half naked,

I [clad in coloured cloaks down to Uio waist, overrunning Idliferent countries, with tho aid of swift and (ictivo hordes j and speedy camels, alike in times of peace and war. ~Nor does any~membbr~bf their tribes ever take plough in 17a ml or cultivate a tree, or seek food by the tillage of the land; but they are perpetually wanderipg over various and extensive districts, having no home, no fifod abodn or laws; nor can tlioy endure to remain long in the same climate, no one district or country pleasing them for a continuance.

4. Their life is one continued wandering: their wives aro hired, on special covenant, for a fixed timo; and that there may be some appearance of marriage in the business, the intended wife, under the name of a dowry, offers a spear and a tent to her husband, with a right to quit him after a fixed day, if she should choose to do so. And it is inconceivable with what eagerness the individuals of both sexes give themselves up to matrimonial pleasures.

[graphic]

5. But as long as they live they wander about with such extensive and perpetual migrations, that the woman is married in one place, brings forth her children in another, and rears them at a distance from either place, no opportunity of remaining quiet being ever granted to her.

6. They all live on venison, and are further supported on a great abundance of milk, and on many £ and on whatever birds the teh by lowling. And '#' ignorant of the use of either corr or wine.

7. So much for this most mischievous nation. Now let us return to the subject we originally proposed to our selves.

[ocr errors]

§ 1. WHILE these events were taking place in the East, Constantius was passing the winter at Arles; and after an exhibition of games in the theatre and in the circus, which were displayed with most sumptuous magnificence, on the tenth of October, the day which completed the thirtieth year of his reign, he began to give the reins more freely to his insolence, believing every information which was laid before him as proved, however doubtful or false it might bo; and among other acts of cruelty, he put Gerontius, a count of the party of Magnentius, to the torture, and then condemned him to banishment. 2. And as the body of a sick man is apt to be agitated by even trifling grievances, so his narrow and sensitive mind, thinking every sound that stirred something either done or planned to the injury of his safety, made his victory' mournful by the slaughter of innocent men. 3. For if any one of his military officers, or of those who had ever received marks of honour, or if any one of high rank was accused, on the barest rumour, of having favoured the faction of his enemy, he was loaded with chains and dragged about like a beast. And whether any enemy of the accused man pressed him or not, as if the

* His victory over Magnentius, whom ha defeated at Mursa, on the Doave, in the year 351. Magnentius fled to Aquileia, but was pursued, and again defeated the next year, at a place called Mons Seleuci, in the neighbounhood of Gap, and threw himself on his own sword to avoid falling into the hands of Constantius.

« ForrigeFortsett »