called TIMESICLES (Τιμησικλῆς
) by Zosimus (1.16, 17), apparently a Greek, by extraction at least, was distinguished for learning, eloquence, and virtue, and his daughter Sabinia Tranquiliina became the wife of the third Gordian.
That amiable prince appointed his father-in-law praefect of the praetorians, and acting in obedience to his wise counsels, effected Many important reforms in the royal household, more especially by discarding the eunuchs, who, since the days of Elagabalus, had exercised most foul and corrupt influence in the palace, being notoriously in the habit of disposing of all the highest appointments, both civil and military, to the best bidder.
The admirable arrangements for the support of the imperial troops on the exposed frontiers, the judicious regulations introduced with regard to various details in the service, and the success which attended the operations in the East against Sapor, until Misitheus was cut off by disease, or by the treachery of his successor Philippus, seem to indicate that he must have been trained as a soldier and accustomed to important commands, but we know nothing positively of his early history. Even his name, as it stands repeatedly in Capitolinus, is a matter of doubt, for scholars have, not without reason, hesitated to believe that such an ill-omened appellation (God-hater
) could ever have been borne by any individual of eminence, in an age when superstition upon such points was so strong.
The inscription (Gruter, ccccxxxix. 4) quoted to uphold the text of the Augustan historian, but which seems in reality to have been copied from his pages, is open to strong suspicion, in addition to which Zosimus, as we have marked above, twice terms this personage Τιμηθικλῆς
. Among various conjectures, the substitution of Timesitheus,
a name found both in Herodotus and Xenophon, and, under its Doric form, Timasitheus,
in Livy and Valerius Maximus, seems to be the most probable. (Capitolin. (Gordian. Tres,
23, &c.; GORDIANUS III.; PHILIPPUS I.)