hy departing with all speed by a road lying between the lake Sunon and the winding course of the river Gallus. And through this circumstance Bithynia also fell into the hands of Procopius.

4. When Valens had returned by forced marches from this city to Ancyra, and had learnt that Lupicinus was approaching with no inconsiderable force from the East, he began to entertain better hopes, and sent Arinthaeus as his most approved general to encounter the enemy.

5. And when A1-inthaeus reached Dadastana, where we have mentioned that Jovian died, he suddenly saw in his front, Hyperechius, who had previously been only a subaltern, but who now, as a trusty friend, had received from Procopius the command of the auxiliary forces. And thinking it no credit to defeat in battle a man of no renown, relying on his authority and on his lofty personal stature, he shouted out a command to the enemy themselves to take and hind their commander; they obeyed, and so this mere shadow of a general was arrested by the hands of his own men.

6. In the interim, a man of the name of Venustus, who had been an ofiicer of the treasury under Valens, and who had some time before been sent to Nicomedia, to distribute pay to the soldiers who were scattered over the East, when he heard of this disaster, perceived that the time was unfavourable for the execution of his commission, and repaired in haste to Cyzicus with the money which he had with him.

7. There, as it happened, he met Serenianus, who was at that time the count of the guards, and who had been sent to protect the treasury, and who now, with a garrison collected in a hurry, had undertaken the defence of the city, which was impregnable in its walls, and celebrated also for many ancient monuments, though Procopius, in order, now that he had got possession of Bithynia, to make himself master of the Hellespont, had sent a strong force to besiege it.

8. The siege went on slowly; often numbers of the besiegers were wounded by arrows and bullets, and other missiles ; and by the skill of the garrison a barrier of the strongest iron chain was thrown across the mouth of the harbour, fastened strongly to the land on each side, to

an ass.)

prevent the ships of the enemy, which were armed with eaks, from forcing their way in.

9. This boom, however, after great exertions on the part of both soldiers and generals, who were all exhausted by the fierce nature of the struggle, a tribune of the name of Aliso, an experienced and skilful warrior, cut through in the following manner :—He fastened together three vessels, and placed upon them a kind of testudo, thus,-on the benches stood a body of armed men, united together by their shields, which joined above their heads; behind them was another row, who stooped, so as to be lower; a third rank bent lower still, so as to form a regular gradation ; so that the last row of all, resting on their haunches, gave the whole formation t-he appearance of an arch. This kind oi machine is employed in contests under the walls of towns, in order that while the blows of missiles and stones fall on the slippery descent they may pass oti" like so much rain.

10. Aliso then, being for a while defended from the shower of missiles, by his own vast strength held a log under this chain, while with a mighty blow of his axe he cut it through, so that being driven asunder, it left the broad entrance open, and thus the city was laid open unprotected to the assault of the enemy. And on this account, when, after the death of the originator of all this confusion, cruel vengeance was taken on the members of his party, the same tribune, from a recollection of his gallant action, was granted his life and allowed to retain

his commission, and a long time afterwards fell in Isauria '

in a conflict with a band of ravagers.

11. When Oyzicus was thus opened to him, Procopius hastened thither, and pardoned all who had opposed him, except Serenianus, whom be put in irons, and sent to Nicaaa, to be kept in close confinement.

12. And immediately he appointed the young Hormisdas (the son of the former Prince Hormisdas proconsul intrusting him in the ancient fashion with e command both in civil and military affairs. He conducted himself, as his natural disposition prompted him, with moderation, but was almost seized by the soldiers whom Valens had sent by the difiicult passes of Phrygia; he saved himself, however, by great energy, embarking on board a vessel which he kept in readiness for any emergency, carrying

[ocr errors]

off also his wife, who followed him, and was nearly taken prisoner, had he not protected her under a shower of arrows. She was a lady of high family and great wealth, whose modesty and the glorious destiny reserved for her subsequently saved her husband from great dangers.

13. In consequence of this victory Procopius was elated beyond measure, and not knowing that a man, however happy, if Fortune turns her wheel may become most miserable before evening, he ordered the house of Arbetio, which he had previously spared as that of one of his own partisans, to be rifled, and it was full of furniture of countless value. The reason of his indignation against A1-betio was, that though he had summoned him several times to come to him, he had deferred his audience, pleading old age and sickness.

14. And this presumptuous man might, from the uncertainty in human affairs, have feared some great change; but though without any resistance he could have overrun the provinces of the East with the willing consent of the natives themselves, who, from weariness of the severe rule under which they then were, were eager for any change whatever, he indolently lingered, hoping to gain over some cities of Asia Minor, and to collect some men who were skilful in procuring gold, and who would be of use to him in future battles, which he expected would be both numerous and severe.

15. Thus he was allowing himself to grow blunt, like a rusty sword; just as formerly Pescennius Niger, when repeatedly urged by the Roman people to come to their aid at a time of great extremity, lost a great deal of time in Syria, and at last was defeated by Severus in the Gulf of Issus (Which is a town in Cilicia, where Alexander conquered Darius), and was put to death by a. common soldier in a. suburb of Antioch.

[ocr errors]

§ 1. Tursn events took place in the depth of winter, in the consulship of Valentinian and Valens. But this high ofiice of consul was transferred to Gratian, who was as yet only a private individual, and to Dagalaiphus. And then,

1.1>.m.] MEASURES TAKEN er vamms. 429

having collected his forces at the approach of spring, Valens, having united Lupicinus’s troops, which werea numerous body, to his own, marched with all speedtowards Pessinus, which was formerly reckoned a town of Phrygia, but was now considered to belong to Galatia.

2. Having speedily secured it with a garrison, to prevent any unforeseen danger from arising in that district, he proceeded along the foot of Mount Olympus by very difficult passes to Lyoia, intending to attack Gomoarius, who was loitering in that province.

3. Many vehemently opposed this project from this consideration, that his enemy, as has been already mentioned, always bore with him on a litter the little daughter of -Uonstantius, with her mother Faustina, both when marching and when preparing for battle, thus exciting the soldiers to fight more resolutely for the imperial family, with which, as he told them, he himself was connected. -So formerly, when the Macedonians were on the point of

-engaging in battle with the Illyrians, they placed their

king, who was still an infant,‘ in his cradle behind the line of battle, and the fear lest he should be taken prisoner made them exert themselves the more so as to defeat their enemies.

4. To counteract this crafty manoeuvre the emperor, in the critical state of his affairs, devised asagacious remedy, and summoned Arbetio, formerly consul, but who was now living in privacy, to join him, in order that the fierce minds of the soldiers might be awed by the presence of a general who had served under Constantine. And it happened as he expected.

5. For when that oficer, who was older in years than all around him, and superior in rank, showed his venerable gray hairs to the numbers who were inclined to violate their oaths, and accused Procofiius as a public robber, and addressing the soldiers who fo owed his guilty leadership as his own sons and the partners of his former toils, entreated them rather to follow him as a. parent known to them before as a successful leader than obey a profiigate spendthrift who ought to be abandoned, and who would soon fall.

6. And when Gomoarius heard this, though he might

l The young king's name was Eropus, v.-Justin. vii. .122.

have escaped from the enemy and returned in safety to the place from whence he came, yet, availing himself of the proximity of the emperor’s camp, he passed over under the guise of a prisoner, as if he had been surrounded by the sudden advance of a. superior force.

7. Encouraged by this, Valens quickly moved his camp to Phrygia, and engaged the enemy near N acolia, and the battle was doubtful till Agile, the leader of Procopius’s forces, betrayed his side bya sudden desertion of his ranks; and he was followed by many who, brandishing their javelins and their swords, crossed over to the emperor, bearin g their standards and their shields reversed, which is the most manifest sign of defection.

8. When this unexpected event took place, Procopius abandoning all hope of safety, dismounted, and sought a hiding-place on foot in the groves and hills. He was followed by Florentius and the tribune Barchalbas, who having been known ever since the time of Constantine in all the terrible wars which had taken place, was now driven into treason by necessity not by inclination.

9. So when the greater part of the night was passed, as the moon, which had risen in the evening, by continuing her light till dawn increased their fear, Procopius, finding it impossible to escape, and having no resources, as is often the case in moments of extreme danger, began to blame his mournful and disastrous fortune. And being overwhelmed with care, he was on a sudden taken and bound by his own comrades, and at daybreak led to the camp, and brought, silent and downcast, before the emperor. He was immediately beheaded; and his death put an end to the increasing disturbances of civil war. His fate resembled that of Perpenna of old, who, after Sertorius had been slain at a banquet, enjoyed the power for a. short time, but was dragged out of the thicket where he was concealed, and brought to Pompey, by whose orders he was put to death.

10. Giving way to equal indignation against Florentius and Barchalbas, though they delivered up Procopius, he instantly ordered them also to be slain, without listening to reason. For if they had betrayed their legitimate

rince, Justice herself would pronounce them justly slain; but if he whom they betrayed was a rebel and an enemy to the tranquillity of the state, as was alleged, then they ought

« ForrigeFortsett »