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gyrations, while representing innumerable groups and figures which the theatrical plays contain.
21. It is a truth beyond all question, that, when at one time Home was the abode of all the virtues, many of the nobles, like the Lotophagi, celebrated in Homer, who detained men by the deliciousness of their fruit, allured foreigners of free birth by manifold attentions of courtesy and kindness.
22. But now, in their empty arrogance, some persons look upon everything as worthless which is born outside of
‘ the walls of the city, except only the childless and the un
married. Nor can it be conceived with what a variety of obsequious observance men without children are courted at Rome.
23. And since among them, as is natural in a city so great as to be the metropolis of the world, diseases attain to such an insurmountable degree of violence, that all the skill of the physician is ineffectual even to mitigate them ; a certain assistance and means of safety has been devised, in the rule that no one should go to see a friend in such a, condition, and to a few precautionary measures a further remedy of suflicient potency has been added, that men should not readmit into their houses servants who have been sent to inquire how a man’s friends who may have been seized with an illness of this kind are, until they have cleansed and purified their persons in the bath. So that a taint is feared, even when it has only been seen with the eyes of another.
24. But nevertheless, when these rules are observed thus stringently, some persons, if they be invited to a wedding, though the vigour of their limbs be much diminished, yet, when gold is offered‘ in the hollow palm of the right hand, will go actively as far as Spoletum. These are the customs of the nobles. '
25. But of the lower and most indigent class of the populace some spend the whole night in the wine shops. Some lie concealed in the shady arcades of the theatres; which Catulus was in his aedileship the first person to m. 353.] CRUELTY or GALLUS. 21
1 It was customary on such solemnities, as also on the occasion of assuming the toga virilis, or entering on any important magistracy, to make small presents of money to the guests who were invited to celebrate the occasion. Cf. Plin. Epist. x. 117.
raise, in imitation of the lascivious manners of Campania, or
else they play at dice so eagerly as to quarrel over them ; snufling up their nostrils and making unseemly noises by drawing back their breath into their noses; or (and this is their favourite pursuit of all others) from sunrise to evening they stay gaping through sunshine or rain, examining in the most careful manner the most sterling good or bad qualities of the chariotcers and horses.
26. And it is very wonderful to see an innumerable multitude of people with great eagerness of mind intent upon the event of the contests in the chariot race. These pursuits, and others of like character, prevent anything worth mentioning or important from being done at Rome. Therefore we must return to our original subject.
§ 1. Hrs licentiousness having now become more unbounded, the Caesar began to be burdensome to all virtuous men; and discarding all moderation, he harassed every part of the East, sparing neither those who had received public honours, nor the chief citizens of the different cities ; nor the common people.
2. At last by one single sentence he ordered all the principal persons at Antioch to be put to death; being exasperated because when he recommended that a low price should be established in the market at an unseasonable time, when the city was threatened with a scarcity, they answered him with objections, urged with more force than he approved; and they would all have been put to death to a man, if Honoratus, who was at that time count of the East, had not resisted him with pertinacious constancy.
3. This circumstance was also a proof, and that no doubtful or concealed one, of the cruelty of his nature, that he took delight in cruel sports, and in the circus he would rejoice as if he had made some great gain, to see six or seven gladiators killing one another in combats which have often been forbidden.
4. In addition to these things a certain worthless woman inflamed his purpose of inflicting misery; for she, having obtained admission to the palace, as she had requested, gave him information that a plot was secretly laid against him by a few soldiers of the lowest rank. And Constantina, in her exultation, thinking that her husband’s safety was now fully secured, rewarded and placed this woman, in a carriage, and in this way sent her out into the public street through the great gate of the palace, in order, by such a temptation, to allure others also to give similar or more important information.
5. After these events, Gallu being about to set out for Hierapolis, in order, as far as appearance went, to take part in the expedition, the common people of Antioch entreated him in a suppliant manner to remove their fear of a famine which for many reasons (some of them difficult to explain) it was believed was impending; Gallus, however, did not, as is the custom of princes whose power, by the great extent of country over which it is diffused, is able continually to remedy local distresses, order any distribution of food to be made, or any supplies to be brought from the neighbouring countries; but he pointed out to them a man of consular rank, named Theophilus, the governor of Syria, who happened to be standing by, replying to the repeated appeals of the multitude, who were trembling with apprehensions of the last extremities, that no one could possibly want food if the governor were not willing that they should be in want of it.
6. These words'increased the audacity of the lower classes, and when the scarcity of provisions became more severe, urged by hunger and frenzy, they set fire to and burnt down the splendid house of a man of the name of Eubulus, a man of great reputation among his fellowcitizens; and they attacked the governor himself with blows and kicks as one especially made over to them by the judgment of the emperor, kicking him till he was half dead, and then tearing him to pieces in a miserable manner. And after his wretched death every one saw in the destruction of thi single individual a type of the danger to which he was himself exposed, and, taught by this recent example, feared a similar fate.
7. About the same time Serenianus, who had previously been dukel of Phoenicia, to whose inactivity it was owing,
‘ The Latin is Dux. It is about this period that the title Duke and ( ount, which we have already had, arose, indicating however at first
AA). 353.] CONSTANTIUS summons GALLUS. 23
as we have already related, that Celse in Phoenicia was laid waste, was deservedly and legally accused of treason, and no one saw how he could possibly be acquitted. He was also manifestly proved to have sent an intimate friend with a cap (with which he used to cover his own head) which had been enchanted by forbidden acts to the temple of prophecy,‘ on purpose to ask expressly whether, according to his wish, a firm enjoyment of the whole empire was pol-tended for him.
8. And in these days a twofold misfortune occurred: first, that a heavy penalty had fallen upon Theophilus who was innocent; and, secondly, that Serenianus who deserved universal execration, was acquitted without the general feeling being able to offer any effectual remonstrance.
9. Constantius then hearing from time to time of these transactions, and having been further informed of some particular occurrences by Thalassius, who however had now died by the ordinary course of nature, wrote courteous letters to the Caesar, but at the same time gradually withdrew from him his support, pretending to be uneasy, least as the leisure of soldiers is usually a disorderly time, the troops might be conspiring to his injury; and he desired him to content himself with the schools of the Palatine,“ and with those of the Protectors, with the Scutarii, and Gentiles. And he ordered Domitianus, who had formerly been the Superintendent of the Treasury, but who was now promoted to be a prefect, as soon as he arrived in Syria, to address Gallus in persuasive and respectful language, exhorting him to repair with all speed to Italy, to which province the emperor had repeatedly summoned him.
not territorial possessions, but military commands; and it is worth noticing that the rank of Count was the higher of the two.
' Constantine, on his conversion to Christianity, had issued an edict forbidding the consultation of oracles ; but the practice was not wholly abandoned till the time of Theodosius.
’ Schools was the name given at Rome to buildings where men were wont to meet for any purpose, whether of study, of traffic, or of the practice of any art. The schools of the Palatine were the station of the cohorts of the guard. The “ Protectors or Guards" were a body of 7 soldiers of higher rank, receiving also higher pay ; called also “Domestici or household troops,” as especially set apart for the protection of the g imperial palace and person. The “Scutarii " (shield-bearers) belonged to the Palatine schools; and the Gentiles were troops enlisted from among those nations which were still accounted barbarous.
10. And when, with this object, Domitianus had reached Antioch, having travelled express, he passed by the gates of the palace, in contempt of the Caesar, whom, however, he ought to have visited, and proceeded to the general’s camp with ostentatious pomp, and there pretended to be sick; be neither visited the palace, nor ever appeared in public, but keeping himself private, he devised many things to bring about the destruction of the Caesar, adding many superfluous circumstances to the relations which he was continually sending to the emperor.
11. At last, being expressly invited by the Caesar, and being admitted into the prince’s council-chamber, without making the slightest preface he began in this inconsiderate and light-minded manner: “ Depart,” said he, “ as you have been commanded, O Caesar, and know this, that if you make any delay I shall at once order all the provisions allotted for the support of yourself and your court to be carried away.” And then, having said nothing more than these insolent words, he departed with every appearance of rage; and would never afterwards come into his sight though frequently sent for.
12. The Caesar being indignant at this, as thinking he had been unworthily and unjustly treated, ordered his faithful protectors to take the prefect into custody; and when this became known, Montius, who at that time was quaestor, a man of deep craft indeed, but still inclined to moderate measures,‘ taking counsel for the common good, sent for the principal members of the Palatine schools and addressed them in pacific words, pointing out that it was neither proper nor expedient that such things should be done; and adding also in a reproving tone of voice, that if such conduct as this were approved of, then, after throwing down the statues of Constantius the prefect would begin to think how he might also with the greater security take his life also.
13. When this was known Gallus, like a serpent attacked with stones or darts, being new reduced to the extremity of despair, and eager to insure his safety by any possible
1 Gibbon here proposes for lenitatem to read lesitatem, fickleness ;
himself describing Montius as “ a statesman whose art and experience were frequently betrayed by the levity of his disposition."—Cap. xix., p. 298, vol. iii., Bohn’s edition.