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Valentinian appoints his brother Valens tribune of the stable at Nicomedia; then in the Hebdomum 1 at Constantinople, with the consent of the army, he takes him as colleague in the imperial power.

Now Valentinian was chosen emperor in Bithynia (as we have said before). He gave the signal for the march for the next day but one, and assembling the chief civil and military officials, as if ready to follow safe and sound advice rather than his own inclination, inquired who ought to be chosen as partner in the rule. When all the rest were silent, Dagalaifus, at that time commander of the cavalry, boldly answered: “If you love your relatives, most excellent emperor, you have a brother; if it is the state that you love, seek out another man to clothe with the purple.” [2] The emperor, angered by this, but keeping silence and concealing his thoughts, forcing the pace, entered Nicomedia on the first of March, and appointed his brother Valens chief of his stable with the rank of tribune. [3] Then, on his arrival in Constantinople, after much counsel with himself, considering that he was already unequal to [p. 587] the amount of pressing business and believing that there was no room for delay, on the twenty-eighth of March he brought the aforesaid Valens into one of the suburbs 2 and with the consent of all (for no one ventured to oppose) proclaimed him Augustus. Then he adorned him with the imperial insignia and put a diadem on his head, and brought him back in his own carriage, thus having indeed a lawful partner in his power, but, as the further course of our narrative will show, one who was as compliant as a subordinate.

[4] No sooner were these arrangements perfected without disturbance than both emperors were seized with violent and lingering fevers; but as soon as their hope of life was assured, being more successful m investigating various matters than in settling them, they commissioned Ursatius, the chief-marshal of the court, a rough Dalmatian, and Viventius of Siscia, 3 who was then quaestor, to make a strict investigation of what they suspected to be the cause of these diseases. Persistent rumour had it, that their purpose was, by asserting that they had been harmed by secret sorcery, to rouse hatred of the memory of the emperor Julian and his friends. But this charge was easily shown to have nothing in it, since no evidence of such plots was found, even in a single word. 4

[5] At this time, as if trumpets were sounding the war-note throughout the whole Roman world, the most savage peoples roused themselves and poured across [p. 589] the nearest frontiers. At the same time the Alamanni were devastating Gaul and Raetia, the Sarmatae and Quadi Pannonia, while the Picts, Saxons, Scots, and Attacotti 5 were harassing the Britons with con- stant disasters. The Austoriani and other Moorish tribes raided Africa more fiercely than ever and predatory bands of Goths were plundering Thrace and Pannonia. [6] The king of the Persians was laying hands on Armenia, hastening with mighty efforts to bring that country again under his sway, under the false pretext that after the death of Jovian, with whom he had concluded a treaty of peace, nothing ought to prevent his recovery of what he claimed had formerly belonged to his forefathers.

1 A suburb of Constantinople (see § 3, below).

2 See note 2, p. 585; it was called Hebdomum, and also Septimum, because it was distant seven miles from the city. Later, other emperors were proclaimed there.

3 In Pannonia.

4 According to Zosimus (xiii. 14, 15 f.), these designs were frustrated by the activity of the praetorian prefect Salutius.

5 Cf. xxvii. 8, 5.

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load focus Introduction (John C. Rolfe, Ph.D., Litt.D., 1940)
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load focus Introduction (John C. Rolfe, Ph.D., Litt.D., 1935)
load focus Latin (John C. Rolfe, Ph.D., Litt.D., 1935)
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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PICTI
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