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to this effect had moved Gallus Caesar, because the master of the horse was kept away longer than usual at that season, N ebridius the count of the East was ordered to collect a military force from all quarters, and hastened forward with exceeding zeal to deliver the city, so wealthy and important, from such a peril. And when this was known the banditti retired, without having performed any memorable exploit, and dispersing, according to their wont, they sought the trackless recesses of the lofty mountains.
5' l. WHILE affairs were in this state in Isauria, and while the king of Persia was involved in wars upon his frontier, repnlsing from his borders a set of ferocious tribes which, being full of fickleness, were continually either attacking him in a hostile manner, or, as often happens, aiding him when he turned his arms against us, a certain noble, by name Nohodares, having been appointed to invade Mesopotamia, whenever occasion might serve, was anxiously exploring our territories with a view to some sudden incursion, if he could anywhere find an opportunity.
2. And because since every part of Mesopotamia is accuso tomed to be disturbed continually, the lands were protected by frequent barriers, and military stations in the rural districts, Nohodares, having directed his march to the left. had occupied the most remote parts of the Osdroene, having devised a novel plan of operations which had never hitherto been tried. And if he had succeeded he would have laid waste the whole country like a thunderbolt.
3. Now the plan which he had conceived was of this kind. There is a town in Anthemusia called Batne, built by the ancient Macedonians, a short distance from the river Euphrates, thickly peopled by wealthy merchants. To this city, about the beginning of the month of September, a, great multitude of all ranks throng to a fair, in order to buy the wares which the Indians and Chinese send thither, and many other articles which are usually brought to this fair by land and sea.
4. 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 Am. 3534 rHn SARACENS. 1 1
river Abora, was betrayed by information given by some of his own men, who being alarmed at the discovery of certain crimes which they had committed, deserted to the Roman garrisons, and accordingly he retired again without having accomplished anything; and after that remained quiet without undertaking any further enterprise.
§ 1. Ar this time also the Saracens, a race whom it is never desirable to have either for friends or enemies, ranging up and down the country, if ever they found anything, 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 the Prince 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. Among these tribes, whose primary origin is derived from the cataracts of the Nile and the borders of the Blemmyae, all the men are warriors of equal rank; half naked, clad in coloured cloaks down to the waist, overrunning different countries, with the aid of swift and active horses and speedy camels, alike in times of peace and war. Nor does any member of their tribes ever take plough in hand or cultivate a tree, or seek food by the tillage of the land; but they are perpetually wandering over various and extensive districts, having no home, no fixed abode or laws; nor can they 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 are hired, on special covenant, for a fixed time; and that there may be some appearance of marriage in the business, the intended wife, under the name of a dowry, ofl'ers 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.
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 kinds of herbs, and on whatever birds they can catch by fowllng. And we have seen a great many of them wholly ignorant of the use of either corn or wine.
7. So much for this most mischievous nation. Now let us return to the subject we originally proposed to our selves.
§ 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 be; and among ofher 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 oflicers, 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 A.D. 353.] CRUELTY or cous'murws. . 13
1 His victory over Magnentius, whom he 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 neighbourhood of Gap, and threw himself on his own sword to avoid falling into the hands of Constantine.
mere fact that his name had been mentioned was sufficient, every one who was informed against or in any way called in question, was condemned either to death, or to confiscation of his property, or to confinement in a desert island.
4. For his ferocity was excited to a still further degree when any mention was made of treason or sedition; and the bloodthirsty insinuations of those around him, exaggerating everything that happened, and pretending great concern at any danger which might threaten the life of the emperor, on whose safety, as on a thread, they hypocritically exclaimed the whole world depended, added daily to his suspicions and watchful anger.
5. And therefore it is reported he gave orders that no one who was at any time sentenced to punishment for these or similar offences should he readmitted to his presence for the purpose of offering the usual testimonies to his character, a thing which the most implacable princes have been wont to permit. And thus deadly cruelty, which in all other men at times grows cool, in him only became more violent as he advanced in years, because the court of flatterers which attended on him added continual fuel to his stern obstinacy.
6. Of this court a most conspicuous member was Paulus, the secretary, a native of Spain, a man keeping his objects hidden beneath a smooth countenance, and acute beyond all men in smelling out secret ways to bring others into danger. He, having been sent into Britain to arrest some military officers who had dared to favour the conspiracy of Magnentius, as they could not resist, licentiously exceeded his commands, and like a flood poured with sudden violence upon the fortunes of a great number of people, making his path through manifold slaughter and destruction, loading the bodies of free-born men with chains, and crushing some with fetters, while patching up all kinds of accusations far removed from the truth. And to this man is owing one especial atrocit which has branded the time of Constantius with indelible infamy.
7. Martinus, who at that time governed these provinces as deputy, being greatly concerned for the sufferings inflicted on innocent men, and making frequent entreaties that those who were free from all guilt might be spared, when he found that he could not prevail, threatened to withdraw from the province, in the hope that this malevolent inquisitor, Paulus, might be afraid of his doing so, and so give over exposing to open danger men who had combined only in a wish for tranquillity.
8. Paulus, thinking that this conduct of Martinus was a hindrance to his own zeal, being, as he was, a formidable artist in involving matters, from which people gave him the nickname of “the Chain,” attacked the deputy himself while still engaged in defending the people whom he was set to govern, and involved him in the dangers which surrounded every one else, threatening that he would carry him, with his tribunes and many other persons. as a prisoner to the emperor’s court. Martinus, alarmed at this threat, and seeing the imminent danger in which his life was, drew his sword and attacked l’aulus. But because from want of strength in his hand he was unable to give him a mortal wound, he then plunged his drawn sword into his own side. And by this unseemly kind of death that most just man departed from life, merely for having dared to interpose some delay to the miserable calamities of many citizens.
9. And when these wicked deeds had been perpetrated, Paulus, covered with blood, returned to the emperor’s camp, bringing with him a crowd of prisoners almost covered with chains, in the lowest condition of squalor and misery; on whose arrival the racks were prepared, and the executioner began to prepare his hooks and other engines of torture. Of these prisoners, many of them had their property confiscated, others were sentenced to banishment, some were given over to the sword of the executioner. Nor is it easy to cite the acquittal of a single person in the time of Constantius, where the slightest whisper of accusation had been brought against him.
§ 1. AT this time Orfitus was the governor of the Eternal
City, with the rank of prefect; and he behaved with a degree of insolence beyond the proper limits of the dignity thus conferred upon him.. A man of prudence indeed, and