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he had now stated he had communicated to Theodorus by the intervention of Eucaerius, a man of great literary accomplishments, and of very high reputation; indeed, he had a little time before governed Asia with the title of proprefect.
10. Eucaerius was now thrown into prison; and when a report of all that had taken place was, as usual, laid before the emperor, his amazing ferocity burst out more unrestrainedly than ever, like a burning firebrand, being fed by the base adulation of many persons, and especially of Modestus, at that time prefect of the praetorium.
11. He, being every day alarmed at the prospect of a successor, addressed himself to the task of conciliating Valens, who was of a rustic and rather simple character, by tickling him with all kinds of disguised flattery and caresses, calling his uncouth language and rude expres sions “ flowers of Ciceronian eloquence.” Indeed, to raise his vanity higher, he would have promised to raise him up to the stars if he had desired it.
12. So Theodorus also was ordered to be arrested with all speed at Constantinople, to which city he had repaired on some private business, and to be brought to the court. And while he was on his way back, in consequence of various informations and trials which were carried on day and night, numbers of people were dragged away from the most widely separated countries—men eminent for their birth and high authority.
13. The public prisons, being now completely filled, could no longer contain the crowds which were confined in them, while private houses were equally crammed to suffocation, for nearly every one was a prisoner, and every man shuddered to think when it might be his tum or that of his nearest relations.
14. At last Theodorus himself arrived, in deep mourning, and half dead through fear. And while he was kept concealed in some obscure place in the vicinity, and all things were being got ready for his intended examination, the trumpet of civil discord suddenly sounded.
15. And because that man who knowingly passes over faots appears to be an equally unfaithful historian with him who invents circumstances which never happened, we do not deny (what, in fact, is quite undoubted) that the
A.D. 311.] SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER 01-‘ VALENS. 507
safety of Valens had often before been attacked by secret machinations, and was nowin the greatest possible danger. And that a sword, as one may say, was presented to his throat by the oificers of the army, and only averted by Fate, which was reserving him for lamentable misfortunes in Thrace.
16. For one day as he was taking a gentle nap in the aftemoon, in a shady spot between Antioch and Seleucia, he was attacked by Sallust, at that time an oflicer of the Scutarii; and on various other occasions he was plotted against by many other persons, from whose treacherous designs he only escaped because the precise moment of his death had been determined at his birth by Destiny.
17. As sometimes happened in the times of the em~ perors Commodus and Severus, whose safety was continually assailed with extreme violence, so that after many various dangers at the hands of their countrymen, the one was dangerously wounded by a dagger in the amphitheatre, as he entered it for the purpose of witnessing an entertainment, by a senator named Quintianus, a man of wicked ambition. The other, when extremely old, was assailed as he was lying in his bed-chamber, by a centurion of the name of Saturninus, who was instigated to the act by Plautian the prefect, and would have been killed if his youthful son had not come to his assistance.
1'8. Valens, therefore, was to be excused for taking every precaution to defend his life, which traitors were endeavouring to take. But it was an unpardonable fault in him that, through tyrannical pride, he, with haste and with inconsiderate and malicious persecution, inflicted the same severities on the innocent as on the guilty, making no distinction between their deserts ; so that while the judges were still doubting about their guilt, the emperor had made up his mind about their punishment, and men learnt that they were condemned before they knew that they were suspected.
19. But his obstinate resolution was strengthened since it received a spur from his own avarice, and that also of those who at that time were about the palace, and were constantly seeking new sources of gain: while if on any rare occasion any mention was made of humanity, they styled it slackness; and by their bloodthirsty flatter-ies
perverted the resolution of a man who bore men's lives on the tip of his tongue, guiding it in the worst direction, and assailing everything with unseemly confusion, while seeking to accomplish the total ruin of the most opulent houses. 20. For Valens was a man who was especially exposed and open to the approaches of treacherous advisers, being tainted with two vices of a most mischievous character: one, that when he was ashamed of being angry, that very shame only rendered him the more intolerably furious; and secondly, that the stories which, with the easiness of access of a private individual, he heard in secret whispers, he took at once to be true and certain, because his haughty idea of the imperial dignity did not permit him to examine whether they were true or not. 21. The consequence was that, under an appearance of clemency, numbers of innocent men were driven from their homes, and sent into exile; and their property was confiscated to the public treasury, and then seized by himself for his private uses; so that the owners, after their condemnation, had no means of subsistence but such as they could beg; and were worn out with the distresses of the most miserable poverty. For fear of which that wise old poet Theognis advises a man to rush even into the sea.' 22. And even if any one should grant that these sentences were in some instances right, yet it surely was an odious severity; and from this conduct of his it was remarked that the maxim was sound which says, “that there is no sentence more cruel than that which, while seeming to spare, is still harsh.” 23. Therefore all the chief magistrates and the prefect of the praetorium, to whom the conduct of these investigations was committed, having been assembled together, the
* The lines of Theognis are– “”Avöp d'yaôöv Trevin Trávrov 5duvmori udAuora Kal yhpa's Troxioi, Kūpwe, kal hirićAov *Hv 5h Xph petryovra kal es ueyakhrea Trovrov ‘Pirreiv, kal retpāv Küpwe, kar' hAiédraw.” Which may be thus translated:— “Want crushes a brave man far worse than age, O Cyrnus ! or than fever's fiery rage; Flee, should thy flight beneath the greedy wave, Or from steep rocks but ope a milder grave.”
racks were got ready, and the weights, and lead, and scourges, and other engines of torture. And all places resounded with the honors of the cruel voice of the executioners, and the cries uttered amid the clanking of chains: “ Hold him!” “ Shut him up l” “ Squeeze him!” “ Hide him!" and other yells uttered by the ministers of those hateful duties.
24. And since we saw numbers condemned to death after having endured cruel torture, everything being thrown into complete confusion as if in perfect darkness, because the complete recollection of everything which then took place has in some degree escaped me, I will mention briefly what I do remember.
25. Among the first who were summoned before the bench, was Pergamius, who, as we have already mentioned, was betrayed by Palladius, who accused him of having arrived at a foreknowledge of certain events through wicked incantations. As he was a man of exceeding eloquence, and very likely to say dangerous things, and after some very trivial interrogatories had been put to him, seeing that the judges were hesitating what questions to put first and what last, he began himself to harangue them boldly, and shouting out the names with a loud voice and without any cessation, he named several thousand persons as accomplices with himself, demanding that people should be brought forward to be accused of great crimes from every part of the empire, up to the very shores of the great Atlantic. The task that he thus seemed to be putting together for them was too arduous; so they comdemned him to death ; and afterwards put whole troops of others to death, till they came to the case of Theodorus, which was regarded, after the manner of the Olympian games, as a crowning of the whole.
26. The same day, among other circumstances, this melancholy event took place, that Salia, who a little while before had been the chief treasurer in Thrace, when he was about to be brought out of his piison to have his cause heard, and was putting on his shoes, as if suddenly overwhelmed by the dread of his impending destruction, died in the hands of his gaolers.
27. So when the court was opened, and when the judges exhibited the decrees of the law, though, in accordance
with the desire of the emperor, they moderated the severity of the charges brought before them, one general alarm seized all people. For Valens had now so wholly departed from justice, and had become so accomplished in the inflic. tion of injury, that he was like a wild beast in an amphitheatre; and if any one who had been brought before the court escaped, he grew furious beyond all restraint. 28. Presently Patricius and Hilarius were brought before the court, and were ordered to enumerate the whole series of their actions: and as they differed a little at the beginning of their statement, they were both put to the torture, and presently the tripod which they had used was brought in; and they, being reduced now to the greatest extremity, gave a true account of the whole affair from the very beginning. And first Hilarius spoke as follows:– 29. “We did construct, most noble judges, under most unhappy auspices, this little unfortunate tripod which you see, in the likeness of that at Delphi, making it of laurel twigs: and having consecrated it with imprecations of mysterious verses, and with many decorations and repeated ceremonies, in all proper order, we at last moved it; and the manner in which we moved it as often as we consulted it upon any secret affair, was as follows:– 30. “It was placed in the middle of a building, carefully purified on all sides by Arabian perfumes; and a plain round dish was placed upon it, made of different metals. On the outer side of which the four-and-twenty letters of the alphabet were engraved with great skill, being separated from one another by distances measured with great precision. 31. “Then a person clothed in linen garments, and shod with slippers of linen, with a small linen cap on his head, bearing in his hand sprigs of vervain as a plant of good omen, in set verses, propitiated the deity who presides over foreknowledge, and thus took his station by this dish, according to all the rules of the ceremony. Then over the tripod he balanced a ring which he held suspended by a flaxen thread of extreme fineness, and which had also been consecrated with mystic ceremonies. And as this ring touched and bounded off from the different letters which still preserved their distances distinct, he made * For the purposes of divination.