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Some adherents of Constantius are condemned to death, a part justly, others unjustly.

Shortly after this Salutius Secundus was raised to the rank of praetorian prefect, 1 and given, as a trustworthy official, the chief oversight of the inquisitions that were to be set on foot; and with him were associated Mamertinus, 2 Arbitio, 3 Agilo, 4 and Nevitta, 5 and also Jovinus, 6 lately advanced to be commander of the cavalry in Illyricum. [2] These [p. 193] crossed all to Chalcedon, and in the presence of the generals and tribunes of the Joviani and the Herculiani 7 examined the cases with more passion than was just and right, 8 with the exception of a few, in which the evidence showed that the accused were most guilty. [3] At first they banished to Britain Palladius, formerly chief marshal of the court, who was brought before them merely on the suspicion of having made certain charges to Constantius against Gallus, when he held the same office under the said Gallus, who was at the time Caesar. [4] Then Taurus, 9 who had been praetorian prefect, was exiled to Vercellum, 10 although before judges who could distinguish justice from injustice his action might have appeared deserving of pardon. For what sin did he commit, if in fear of a storm that had arisen he fled to the protection of his emperor? And the decisions that were passed upon him were read not without great horror in the public protocol, which contained this beginning: “In the consulate of Taurus and Florentius, when Taurus was summoned to court by the criers.” [5] Pentadius also was threatened with the same fate, against whom the charge was made, that, being sent by Constantius he took down in shorthand the answers that Gallus had made to the many questions put to him when his ruin was approaching. But since he justified himself, he finally got off unpunished. [6] With like injustice Florentius (son of Nigrinianus), then chief marshal of the court, was imprisoned in 11 the [p. 195] Dalmatian island of Boae. 12 For a second Florentius, 13 a former praetorian prefect and consul at the time, being alarmed by the sudden change in the state, saved himself from danger with his wife, lay hid for a long time, and could not return until after the death of Julian; yet he was condemned to death in his absence. [7] In like manner Euagrius, count of the privy purse, and Saturninus, former steward of the Household, and Cyrinus, a former secretary, were all exiled. But for the death of Ursulus, count of the sacred largesses, Justice herself seems to me to have wept, and to have accused the emperor of ingratitude. For when Julian was sent as Caesar to the western regions, to be treated with extreme niggardliness, being granted no power of making any donative to the soldiers to the end that he might be exposed to more serious mutinies of the army, this very Ursulus wrote to the man in charge of the Gallic treasury, ordering that whatever the Caesar asked for should be given him without hesitation. [8] After Ursulus' death Julian found himself the object of the reproaches and curses of many men, and thinking that he could excuse himself for the unpardonable crime, he declared that the man had been put to death without his knowledge, alleging that his taking off was due to the anger of the soldiers, who remembered his words (which we have reported before 14 ) when he saw the ruins of Amida.

[9] From this it was clear that Julian was timorous, or that he did not know what was fitting, when he put Arbitio, who was always untrustworthy and excessively haughty, in charge of these inquisitions, while the others, including the officers of the legions, were [p. 197] present merely for show; for Arbitio was a man whom he knew above all others to be a threat to his own safety, 15 as was to be expected of one who had taken a valiant part in the victories of the civil wars.

[10] But, although these acts which I have mentioned displeased even Julian's supporters, yet those which follow were executed with proper vigour and severity. [11] For Apodemius, of the imperial secret service, who, as we have said, 16 showed unbridled eagerness for the death of Silvanus and Gallus, was burned alive, as well as Paulus the notary, surnamed Catena, 17 a man to be mentioned by many with groans, who thus met the fate which was to have been hoped for. [12] Eusebius besides, who had been made Constantius' grand chamberlain, a man full of pride and cruelty, was condemned to death by the judges. This man, who had been raised from the lowest station to a position which enabled him almost to give orders like those of the emperor himself, 18 and in consequence had become intolerable, Adrastia, the judge of human acts, 19 had plucked by the ear (as the saying is) and warned him to live with more restraint; and when he demurred, she threw him headlong, as if from a lofty cliff.

1 Of the Orient.

2 xxi. 10, 8.

3 xvi. 6, 1; xx. 2, 2.

4 xx. 2, 5.

5 xxi. 10, 8.

6 xxi. 8, 3; 12, 2.

7 See Index II., vol. i.

8 Julian excuses himself in a Letter to Hermogenes, p. 390, vol. iii., p. 33, L.C.L., τούτους δὲ ἀδίκως τι παθεῖν οὐκ ἂν ἐθέλοιμι ἴστω ζευς. ἐπειδὰν δὲ αὐτοῖς ἐπανίστανται πολλοὶ κατήγοροι, δικαστήριον ἀποκεκλήρωται: “nor would I wish, Zeus be my witness, that these others should be punished unjustly; but since many accusers are rising up against them, I have appointed a court to judge them.”

9 xxi. 6, 5.

10 Perhaps for Vercellae.

11 Lit. “thrust off to.”

12 Modern Bua.

13 Cf. xx. 8, 20.

14 xx. 11, 6.

15 Cf. xv. 2, 4.

16 Cf. xv. 5, 8; xiv. 11, 19.

17 The Chain, or Fetter; cf. xiv. 5, 6.

18 See xviii. 4, 3, and Introd., p. xxxvi.

19 Cf. xiv. 11, 25.

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load focus Introduction (John C. Rolfe, Ph.D., Litt.D., 1940)
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load focus Latin (John C. Rolfe, Ph.D., Litt.D., 1935)
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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), MAGISTER
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BAVO
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