« ForrigeFortsett »
AD. 353.] season OF CONSTANTIUS. 35.
deuce which I felt in you, that now although we are close to the villages of the barbarians, I have, as if I had suddenly changed my plans, adopted more peaceful counsels.
12. “ For if every one of you, having regard to his own position and his own feelings, considers the case, he will find this to be the truth: that the individual soldier in all cases, however strong and vigorous he may he, regards and defends nothing but himself and his own life; while the general, looking on all with impartiality as the guardian of their general safety, is aware that the common interest of the people cannot be separated from his own safety; and he is bound to seize with alacrity every remedy of which the condition of affairs admits, as being put into his hand by the favour of the gods.
13. “That therefore I may in a few words set before you and explain on what account I wished all of you, my most faithful comrades, to assemble here, I entreat you to listen attentively to what I will state with all the brevity possible. For the language of truth is always concise and simple.
14. “The kings and people of the Allemanni, viewing with apprehension the lofty steps of your glory (which fame, increasing in magnificence, has diffused throughout the most distant countries), now by their ambassadors humbly implore pardon for their past offences, and peace. And this indulgence l, as a cautious and prudent adviser of what is useful, think expedient to grant them, if your consent be not wanting: being led to this opinion by many considerations, in the first place that so we may avoid the doubtful issues of war; in the second place, that instead of enemies we may have allies, as they promise we shall find them; further, that without bloodshed we may pacify their haughty ferocity, a feeling which is often mischievous in our provinces; and last of all, recollecting that the man who falls in battle. overwhelmed by superior weapons or strength, is not the only enemy who has toqbe subdued; and that with much greater safety to the state, even while the trumpet of war is silent, he is subdued who makes voluntary submission, having learnt by experience that we lack neither courage against rebels, nor mercy towards suppliants.
1.5. “ To sum up, making you as it were the arbitrators, Iwait to see what you determine; having no doubt myself, as an emperor always desirous of peace, that it is best to employ moderation while prosperity descends upon us. For, believe me, this conduct which I recommend, and which is wisely chosen, will not be imputed to want of courage on your part, but to your moderation and humanity.” '” 16. As soon as he had finished speaking, the whole \ assembly being ready to agree to what the emperor de. sired, and praising his advice, gave their votes for peace ; being principally influenced by this consideration, that they had already learnt by frequent expeditions that the ' fortune of the emperor was only propitious in times of civil troubles; but that when foreign wars were undertaken they had often proved disastrous. On this, therefore, a treaty being made according to the customs of the Allemanni, and all the solemnities being completed, the emperor retired to Milan for the winter.
§ 1. AT Milan, having discarded the weight of other cares, the emperor took into his consideration that most difi‘icult gordian knot, how by a mighty effort to uproot the Caesar. And while he was deliberating on this matter with his friends in secret conference by night, and considering .what force, and what contrivances might be employed for the purpose, before Gallus in his audacity should more resolutely set himself to plunging affairs into confusion, it seemed best that Gallus should be invited by civil letters, under pretence of some public affairs of an urgent nature requiring his advice. so that, being deprived of all support, he might be put to death without any hindrance.
2. But as several knots of light-minded flatterers opposed this opinion, among whom was Arbetio, a man of keen wit and always inclined to treachery, and Eusebius, a man always disposed to mischief, at that time the principal chamherlain, they suggested that if the Caesar were to quit those countries it would be dangerous to leave U rsicinus in the East. with no one to check his designs, if he should cherish ambitious notions.
3. And these counsels were suppoited by the rest of the
u). 353.] JEALOUSY or CONSTANTIUS. 37
royal eunuchs, whose avarice and covetousness at that
period had risen to excess. These men, while performing ..
their private duties about the court, by secret whispers supplied food for false accusations; and by raising bitter suspicions of Ursicinus, ruined a most gallant man, creating by underhand means a belief that his grown-up sons began to aim at supreme power; intimating that they were youths in the flower of their age and of admirable personal beauty, skilful in the use of every kind of weapon. well trained in all athletic and. military exercises, and favourably known for prudence and wisdom. They insinuated also that Gallus himself, being by nature fierce and unmanageable, had been excited to acts of additional cruelty and ferocity by persons placed about him for that purpose, to the end that, when he had brought upon him. self universal detestation, the ensigns of power might be transferred to the children of the master of the horse.
4. When these and simliar suspicions were poured into the ears of Constantius, which were always open to reports of this kind, the emperor, revolving different plans in his mind, at last chose the following as the most advisable course. He commanded Ursicinus in a most complimentary manner to come to him, on the pretence that the urgent state of certain affairs required to be arranged by the aid of his counsel and concurrence, and that he had need of such additional support in order to crush the power of the Parthian tribes, who were threatening war.
5. And that he who was thus invited might not suspect anything unfriendly, the Count Prosper was sent to act as his deputy till he returned. Accordingly, when Ursicinus had received the letters, and had obtained a suflicient supply of carriages, and means of travelling, wel hastened to Milan with all speed.
6. The next thing was to contrive to summon theCaesar, and to induce him to make the like haste. And to remove all suspicion in his mind, Constantius used many hypocritical endearments to persuade his own sister, Gallus’s wife, whom he pretended he had long been wishing to see, to accompany him. And although she hesitated
' It will be observed that Ammianus here speaks of himself as in attendance upon Ursicinus.
' from fear of her brother's habitual cruelty, yet, from a
hope that, as he was her brother, she might be able to pacify him, she set out; but when she reached Bithynia, at the station named Caeni Gallici, she was seized with a sudden fever and died. And after her death, her husband, considering that he had lost his greatest security and the chief support on which he relied, hesitated, taking anxious thought what he should do.
7. For amid the multiplicity of embarrassing affairs which distracted his attention, this point especially filled his mind with apprehension, that Constantius, determining everything according to his own sole judgment, was not a man to admit of any excuse, or to pardon any error; but being, as he was, more inclined to severity towards his kinsmen than towards others, would be sure to put him to death if he could get him into his power.
8. Being therefore in this critical situation, and feeling that he had to expect the worst unless he took vigilant care, be embraced the idea of seizing on the supreme power if he could find any opportunity: but for two reasons he distrusted the good faith of his most intimate councillors; both because they dreaded him as at once cruel and fickle, and also because amid civil dissensions they looked with awe upon the loftier fortune of Constantius.
9. While perplexed with these vast and weighty anxieties he received continual letters from the emperor, advising and entreating him to come to him ; and giving him hints that the republic neither could nor ought to be divided ; but that every one was bound to the utmost of his power to bring aid to it when it was tottering; alluding in this to the devastations of the Gauls.
10. And to this suggestion he added an example of no great antiquity, that in the time of Diocletian and his colleague,‘ the Caesars obeyed them as their officers, not remaining stationary, but hastening to execute their orders in every direction. And that even Galerius went in his purple robe on foot for nearly a mile before the chariot of Augustus’ when he was offended with him.
11. After many other messengers had been despatched to him, Scudilo the tribune of the Scutarii arrived, a very cunning master of persuasion under the cloak of a rude, blunt
1 Maximianus Herculius. . 2 Diocletian.
mass 1 GALLUS REAcurs CON'STANTIXOPLE. 39
disposition. He, by mixing flattering language with his serious conversation, induced him to proceed, when no one else could do so, continually assuring him, with a hypocritical countenance, that his cousin was extremely desirous to see him; that, like a clement and merciful prince, he would pardon whatever errors had been committed through thoughtlessness ; that he would make him a partner in his own royal rank, and take him for his associate in those toils which the northern provinces, long in a disturbed state, imposed upon him.
12. And as when the Fates lay their hand upon a man his senses are wont to be blunted and dimmed, so Gallus,
being led on by these alluring persuasions to the expectation ’
of a better fortune, quitted Antioch under the guidance of an unfriendly star, and hurried, as 'the old proverb has it, out of the smoke into the flame;l and having arrived at Constantinople as if in great prosperity and security, at the celebration of the equestrian games, he with his own hand placed the crown on the head of the charioteer Corax, when he obtained the victory.
13. When Constantius heard this he became exasperated beyond all bounds of moderation; and lest by any chance Gallus, feeling uncertain of the future, should attempt to consult his safety by flight, all the garrisons stationed in the towns which lay in his road were carefully removed.
14. And at the same time Taurus, who was sent as quaestor into Armenia, passed by without visiting or seeing him. Some persons, however, by the command of H10 emperor, arrived under the pretence of one duty or another, in order to take care that he should not be able to move, or make any secret attempt of any kind. Among whom was Leontius, afterwards prefect of the city, who was sent as quaestor ; and Lucillianus, as count of the domestic guards, and a tribune of the Scutarii named Bainobaudes
15. Therefore after a long journey through the level country, when he had reached Hadrianopolis, a city in the district of Mount Haemus, which had been formerly called Uscudama, where he stayed twelve days to recover from his fatigue, he found that the Theban legions, who were in winter quarters in the neighbouring towns of those parts, ' 1 As we say, Out of the frying-pan into the fire.