The History, 15.13

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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13After Domitianus had perished by a cruel death, Musonianus his successor governed the East with the rank of prætorian prefect; a man celebrated for his eloquence and thorough knowledge of both the Greek and Latin languages; from which he reaped a loftier glory than he expected.

2For when Constantine was desirous of obtaining a more accurate knowledge of the different sects in the empire, the Manicheans and other similar bodies, and no one could be found able sufficiently to explain them, Musonianus was chosen for the task, having been recommended as competent; and when he had discharged this duty with skill, the emperor gave him the name of Musonianus, for he had been previously called Strategius. After that he ran through many degrees of rank and honour, and soon reached the dignity of prefect; being in other matters also a man of wisdom, popular in the provinces, and of a mild and courteous disposition. But at the same time, whenever he could find an opportunity, especially in any controversies or lawsuits (which is most shameful and wicked), he was greatly devoted to sordid gain. Not to mention many other instances, this was especially exemplified in the investigations which were made into the death of Theophilus, the governor of Syria, a man of consular rank, who gave information against the Cæsar Gallus, and who was torn to pieces in a tumult of the people; for which several poor men were condemned, who, it was clearly proved, were at a distance at the time of the transaction, while certain rich men who were the real authors of the crime were spared from all punishment, except the confiscation of their property.

3In this he was equalled by Prosper, at that time master of the horse in Gaul; a man of abject spirit and great inactivity; and, as the comic poet has it, despising the acts of secret robbing he plundered openly.

4And, while these two officers were conniving together, and reciprocally helping each other to many means of acquiring riches, the chiefs of the Persian nation who lived nearest to the river, profiting by the fact that the king was occupied in the most distant parts of his dominions, and that these commanders were occupied in plundering the people placed under their authority, began to harass our territories with predatory bands, making audacious inroads, sometimes into Armenia, often also into Mesopotamia.

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