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3. For the opinion of theologians is, that all men when
they are born (without prejudice to the power of destiny).
are connected with a superior power of this kind, who, as it were, guides their actions; but who is seen by very few, and only by those who are endued with great and various virtues.
4. This may be collected both from oracles and from eminent writers. Among whom is the comic poet Menander, in whose works these two verses are found :—
“A spirit is assigned to every man
5. It may also be gathered from the immortal poetry of Homer, that they were not really the gods of heaven who conversed with his heroes, or stood by them and aided them in their combats; but the familiar genii who belonged to them; to whom also, as their principal support, Pythagoras owes his eminence, and Socrates and Numa Pompilius and the elder Scipio. And, as some fancy, Marius, and Octavianus the first, who took the name of Augustus. And Hermes Trismegistus, and Apollonius of Tyana, and Plotinus, who ventured upon some very mystical discussions of this point; and endeavoured to show by profound reasoning what is the original cause why these genii, being thus connected with the souls of mortals, protect them as if they had been nursed in their own bosoms, as far as they are permitted; and, if they find them pure, preserving the body untainted by any connection with vice, and free from all taint of sin, instruct them in loftier mysteries.
§ 1. Constantius therefore, having hastened to Antioch, according to his wont, at the first movement of a civil war which he was eager to encounter, as soon as he had made all his preparations, was in amazing haste to march, though many of his court were so unwilling as even to proceed to murmurs. For no one dare openly to remonstrate or object to his plan.
2. He set forth towards the end of autumn; and when
' he reached the suburb called Hippocephalus, which is
about three miles from the town, as soon as it was daylight
‘.11. 351.; nmrn or oonsrmrms. 271
he saw on his right the corpse of a man who had been murdered, lying with his head torn ofl' from the body, stretched out towards the west—and though alarmed at the omen, which seemed as if the Fates were preparing his end, he went on more resolutely, and came to Tarsus, where he caught a slight fever; and thinking that the motion of his journey would remove the distemper, he went on by bad roads; directing his course by Mopsucrenae, the farthest station in Cilieia for those who travel from hence, at the foot of Mount Taurus.
3. But when he attempted to proceed the next day he was prevented by the increasing violence of his disorder, and the fever began gradually to inflame his veins, so that his body felt like a little fire, and could scarcely be touched; and as all remedies failed, he began in the last extremity to bewail his death; and while his mental faculties were still entire, he is said to have indicated Julian as the successor to his power. Presently the last struggle of death came on, and he lost the power of speech. And after long and painful agony he died on the fifth of October, having lived and reigned forty years and a few months.
4. After bewailing his death with groans, lamentations, and mourning, those of the highest rank in the royal palace deliberated what to do or to attempt; and having secretly consulted a few persons about the election of an emperor, at the instigation, as it is said, of Eusebius, who was stimulated by his consciousness of guilt (since Julian was approaching who was prepared to oppose his attempts at innovation), they sent Thcolaiphus and Aligildus, who at that time were counts, to him, to announce the death of his kinsman ; and to entreat him to lay aside
all delay and hasten to take possession of the East, which was prepared to obey him.
5. But fame and an uncertain report whispered that Constantius had left a will, in which, as we have already mentioned, he had named Julian as his heir; and had given commissions and legacies to his friends. But he left his wife in the family way, who subsequently had a daughter, who received the same name, and was afterwards married to Gratianus.
§ 1. In accurately distinguishing the virtues and vices of Constantius, it will be well to take the virtues first. Always preserving the dignity of the imperial authority, he proudly and magnanimously disdained popularity. In conferring the higher dignities he was very sparing, and allowed very few changes to be made in the administration of the finances. Nor did he ever encourage the arrogance of the soldiers.
2. Nor under him was any general promoted to the title of most illustrious.‘ For there was also, as we have already mentioned, the title of most perfect.’ Nor had the governor of a province occasion to court a commander of cavalry; as Constantius never allowed those officers to
'meddle with civil affairs. But all oflicers, both military
and civil, were according to the respectful usages of old, inferior to that of the prefect of the praetorium, which was the most honourable of all.
3. In taking care of the soldiers he was very cautious: an examiner into their merits, sometimes. over-scrupulous, giving dignities about the palace as if with scales. Under him no one who was not well known to him, or who was favoured merely by some sudden impulse, ever received any high appointment in the palace. But only such as had served ten years in some capacity or other could look for such appointments as master of the ceremonies or treasurer. The successful candidates could always be known beforehand ; and it very seldom happened that any military oflficer was transferred to a civil office; while on the other hand none but veteran soldiers were appointed to command troops.
1 These and other titles, such as “ respectable" (spectabiles), " illustrious" (egregrie, illustres), were invented by the en erors of this century. They none of them appear to have conferred : y substantive
p 2 This oflice had been first established by Augustlis, who created two prefects of the Praetorian cohorts, under whose command also all the soldiers in Italy were placed. Commodus raised the number to three, and Constantine to four, whom (when be abolished the Praetorian cohort), he made, in fact, governors of provinces. 7 There was one przefectus prmtorio for Gaul, one for Italy, one for Lllyricum, and one for the East. I .
A.D. 361.] crmnscrrzn or CONSTANTIUS. 273
4.. He was a diligent cultivator of learning, but, as his blunted talent was not suited to rhetoric, he devoted himself to versification; in which, however, he did nothing worth speaking of.
5. In his way of life he was economical and temperate, and by moderation in eating and drinking he preserved such robust health that he was rarely ill, though when ill dangerously so. For repeated experience and proof has shown that this is the case with persons who avoid licentiousness and luxury.
6. He was contented with very little sleep, which he took when time and season allowed; and throughout his long life he was so extremely chaste that no suspicion was ever cast on him in this respect, though it is a charge which, even when it can find no ground, malignity is apt to fasten on princes.
7. In riding and throwing the javelin, in shooting with the bow, and in all the accomplishments of military exercises, he was admirably skilful. That he never blew his nose in public, never spat, never was seen to change countenance, and that he never in all his life ate any fruit I pass over, as what has been often related before.
8. Having now briefly enumerated his good qualities with which we have been able to become acquainted, let us now proceed to speak of his vices. In other respects he was equal to average princes, but if he had the slightest
. reason (even if founded on wholly false information) for
suspecting any one of aiming at supreme power, he would at once institute the most rigorous inquiry, trampling down right and wrong alike, and outdo the cruelty of Caligula, Domitian, or Commodus, whose barharity he rivalled at the very beginning of his reign, when he shamefully put to death his own connections and relations.
9. And his cruelty and morose suspicions, which were directed against everything of the kind, were a cruel addition to the sufferings of the unhappy persons who were accused of sedition or treason.
10. And if anything of the kind got wind, he instituted investigations of a more terrible nature than the law sanctioned, appointing men of known cruelty as judges in such cases; and in punishing offenders he endeavoured to proh'act their deaths as long as nature would allow, being in
such cases more savage than even Gallienus. For he, though assailed by incessant and real plots of rebels, such as Aureolus, Posthuinus, Ingenuus, and Valens who was surnamed the Thessalonian, and many others, often miti gated the penalty of crimes liable to sentence of death; while Constantius caused facts which were really unques— tionable to be looked upon as doubtful by the excessive inhumanity of his tortures.
11. In such cases he had a mortal hatred of justice, even though his great object was to be accounted just and merciful: and as sparks flying from a dry wood, by a mere breath of wind are sometimes carried on with unrestrained course to the danger of the country villages around, so he also from the most trivial causes kindled heaps of evils , being very unlike that wise emperor Marcus Aurelius, who, when Cassius in Syria aspired to the supreme power, and when a bundle of letters which he had written to his accomplices, was taken with their bearer, and brought to him, ordered them at once to be burned, while he was still in Illyricum, in order that he might not know who had plotted against him, and so against his will be obliged to consider some persons as his enemies.
12. And, as some right-thinking people are of opinion, it was rather an indication of great virtue in Constantius to have quelled the empire without shedding more blood, than to have revenged himself with such cruelty.
13. As Cicero also teaches us, when in one of his letters to Nepos he accuses Caesar of cruelty, “ For,” says he, “ felicity is nothing else but success in what is honourable ;” or to define it in another way, “ Felicity is fortune assisting good counsels, and he who is not guided by such cannot be happy. Therefore in wicked and impious designs such as those of Caesar there could be no felicity; and in my judgment Camillus when in exile was happier than Manlius at the same time, even if Manlius had been able to make himself king, as he wished.”
14. The same is the language of Heraclitus of Ephesus, when he remarks that men of eminent capacity and virtue, through the caprice of fortune, have often been overcome by men destitute of either talent or energy. But that that glory is the best when power, existing with high rank, forces, as it were, its inclinations to be angry and cruel,