7. Nevertheless, while engaged in amassing knowledge of this kind in all its fullness and power, he did not despise the humbler accomplishments. He was tolerably fond of poetry and rhetoric, as is shown by the invariable and pure elegance, mingled with dignity, of all his speeches and letters. And he likewise studied the varied history of our own state and of foreign countries. To all these accomplishments was added a very tolerable degree of eloquence in the Latin language.

8. Therefore, if it be true, as many writers aflirm, that Cyrus the king, and F'monides the lyric poet, and Hippias of Elis, the most acuu, of the Sophists, excelled as they did in memory because they had obtained that faculty through drinking a particular medicine, we must also believe that Julian in his early manhood had drunk the whole cask of memory, if such a thing could ever be found. And these are the nocturnal signs of his chastity and virtue.

9. But as for the manner in which he passed his days, whether in conversing with eloquence and wit, or in making preparations for war, or in actual conflict of battle, or in his administration of affairs of the state, correcting all defects with magnanimity and liberality, these things shall all be set forth in their proper place.

10. When he was compelled, as being a prince, to apply himself to the study of military discipline, having been previously confined to lessons of philosophy, and when he was learning the art of marching in time while the pipes were playing the Pyrrhic air, he often,'calling upon the name of Plato, ironically quoted that old proverb, “ A packsaddle is placed on an ox; this is clearly a burden which does not belong to me.”

11. On one occasion, when some secretaries were introduced into the council-chamber, with solemn ceremony, to receive some gold, one of their company did not, as is the usual custom, open his robe to receive it, but took it in the hollow of both his hands joined together ; on which Julian said, secretaries only know how to seize things, not how to accept them.

12. Having been approached by the parents of a virgin who had been ravished, seeking for justice, he gave sentence that the ravisher, on conviction, should be banished; and when the parents complained of this sentence as un


equal to the crime, because the criminal had not been condemned to death, he replied, “ Let the laws blame my clemency ; but it is fitting that an emperor of a most merciful disposition should be superior to all other laws.”

13. Once when he was about to set forth on an expedition, he was interrupted by several people complaining of injuries which they had received, whom he referred for a hearing to the governors of their respective provinces. And after he had returned, he inquired what had been done in each case, and with genuine clemency mitigated the punishments which had been assigned to the offences.

14. Last of all, without here making any mention of the victories in which he repeatedly defeated the barbarians, and the vigilance with which he protected his army from all harm, the benefits which he conferred on the Galli, previously exhausted by extreme want, are most especially evident from this fact, that when he first entered the country he found that four-and-twenty pieces of gold were exacted, under the name of tribute, in the way of poll-tax, from each individual. But when he quitted the country seven pieces only were required, which made up all the payments due from them to the state. On which account they rejoiced with festivals and dances, looking upon him as a serene sun which had shone upon them after melancholy darkness.

15. Moreover we know that up to the very end of his reign and of his life, he carefully and with great benefit observed this rule, not to remit the arrears of tribute by edicts which they call indulgeuces. For he knew that by such conduct he should be giving something to the rich, whilst it is notorious everywhere that, the moment that taxes are imposed, the poor are compelled to pay them all at once without any relief.

16. But while he was thus regulating and governing the country in a manner deserving the imitation of all virtuous princes, the rage of the barbarians again broke out more violently than ever.

17. And as wild beasts, which, owing to the carelessness of the shepherds, have been wont to plunder their flocks, even when these careless keepers are exchanged for more watchful ones, still cling to their habit, and being furious with hunger, will, without any regard for their own safety, again attack the flocks and herds; so also the barbarians, having consumed all their plunder, continued, under the pressure of hunger, repeatedly to make inroads for the sake of booty, though sometimes they died of want before they could obtain any.


§ 1. These were the events which took place in Gaul during this year; at first of doubtful issue, but in the end successful. Meanwhile in the emperor's court envy constantly assailed Arbetio, accusing him of having already assumed the ensigns of imperial rank, as if designing soon to attain the supreme dignity itself. And especially was he attacked by a count named Verissimus, who with great vehemence brought forth terrible charges against him, openly alleging that although he had been raised from the rank of a common soldier to high military oflice, he was not contented, thinking little of what he had obtained, and aiming at the highest place.

2. And he was also vigorously attacked by a man named Dorus, who had formerly been surgeon of the Scutarii, and of whom we have spoken, when promoted in the time of Magnentius to be inspector of the works of art at Rome, as having brought accusations against Adelphius, the prefect of the city, as forming ambitious designs.

3. And when the matter was brought forward for judicial inquiry, and all preliminary arrangements were made, proof of the accusations which had been confidently looked for was still delay ed; when suddenly, as if the business had been meant as a satire on the administration of justice, through the interposition of the chamberlains, as rumour aflirmed, the persons who had been imprisoned as accomplices were released from their confinement: Dorus disappeared, and Verissimus kept silence for the future, as if the curtain had dropped and the scene had been suddenly changed.


§ 1. ABOUT the same time, Constantius having learnt, from common report, that Marcellus had omitted to carry assistance to the Caesar when he was besieged at Sens, cashiered him, and ordered him to retire to his own house. And he, Lea-56.] MARCELLUS PLOTS Aclussr wuss. 93

as if he had received a great injury, began to plot against Julian, relying upon the disposition of the emperor to open his ears to every accusation.

2. Therefore, when he departed, Eutherius, the chief chamberlain, was immediately sent after him, that he might convict him before the emperor if be propagated any falsehoods. But Marcellus, unaware of this, as soon as he arrived at Milan, began talking loudly, and seeking to create alarm, like a vain chatterer half mad as he was. And when he was admitted into the council-chamber, he began to accuse Julian of being insolent, and of preparing for himself stronger wings in order to soar to a greater height. For this was his expression, agitating his body violently as he uttered it.

3. While he was thus uttering his imaginary charges with great freedom, Eutherius being, at his own request, introduced into the presence, and being commanded to say what he wished, speaking with great respect and moderation showed the emperor that the truth was being overlaid with falsehood. For that, while the commander of the heavyarmed troops had, as it was believed, held back on purpose, the Caesar having been long besieged at Sens, had by his vigilance and energy repelled the barbarians. . And he pledged his own life that the Caesar would, as long as he lived, be faithful to the author of his greatness.

4. The opportunity reminds me here to mention a few facts concerning this same Eutherius, which perhaps will hardly be believed ; because if Numa Pompilius or Socrates were to say anything good of a eunuch, and were to confirm what they said by an oath, they would be accused of having departed from the truth. But roses grow up among thorns, and among wild beasts some are of gentle disposition. And therefore I will briefly mention a few of his most important acts which are well ascertained. .

5. He was born in Armenia, of a respectable family, and having while a very little child been taken prisoner by the enemies on the border, he was castrated and sold to some Roman merchants, and by them conducted to the palace of Constantine, where, while growing up to manhood, he began to display good principles and good talents, becoming accomplished in literature to a degree quite suflicient for his fortune, displaying extraordinary acuteness in dis

covering matters of a doubtful and diflicult complexion; being remarkable also for a marvellous memory, always eager to do good, and full of wise and honest counsel. A man, in short, who, if the Emperor Constantius had listened to his advice, which, whether he gave it in youth or manhood, was always honourable and upright, would have been prevented from committing any errors, or at least any that were not pardonable.

6. When he became high chamberlain he sometimes also found fault even with Julian, who, as being tainted with Asiatic manners, was apt to be capricious. Finally, when he quitted oflice for private life, and again when he was recalled to court, he was always sober and consistent, cultivating those excellent virtues of good faith and constancy to such a degree that he never betrayed any secret, except for the purpose of securing another’s safety; nor was he ever accused of covetous or grasping conduct, as the other courtiers were.

7. From which it arose that, when at a late period he retired to Rome, and fixed there the abode of his old age, bearing with him the company of a good conscience, he was loved and respected by men of all ranks, though men of that class generally, after having amassed riches by iniquity, love to seek secret places of retirement, just as owls or moths, and avoid the sight of the multitude whom they have injured.

8. Though I have often ransacked the accounts of antiquity, I do not find any' ancient eunuch to whom I can compare him. There were indeed among the ancients some, though very few, faithful and economical, but still they were stained by some vice or other; and among the chief faults which they had either by nature or habit, they were apt to be either rapacious or else boorish, and on that account contemptible ; or else ill-natured and mischievous ; or fawning too much on the powerful ; or too elated with power, and therefore arrogant. But of any one so universally accomplished and prudent, I confess I have neither ever read nor heard, relying for the truth of this judgment on the general testimony of the age.

9. But if any careful reader of ancient histories should oppose to us Menophilus, the eunuch of King Mithridates, I would warn him to recollect that nothing is really known

« ForrigeFortsett »