The History, 16.9

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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9But in the East, the Persians now practising predatory inroads and forays, in preference to engaging in pitched battles, as they had been wont to do before, carried off continually great numbers of men and cattle: sometimes making great booty, owing to the unexpectedness of their incursions, but at other times being overpowered by superior numbers, they suffered losses. Sometimes, also, the inhabitants of the districts which they had invaded had removed everything which could be carried off.

2But Musonianus, the prefect of the prætorium, a man, as we have already said, of many liberal accomplishments but corrupt, and a person easily turned from the truth by a bribe, acquired, by means of some emissaries who were skilful in deceiving and obtaining information, a knowledge of the plans of the Persians; taking to his counsels on this subject Cassianus, duke of Mesopotamia, a veteran who had served many campaigns, and had become hardened by all kinds of dangers.

3And when, by the concurrent report of spies, these officers had become certain that Sapor was occupied in the most remote frontier of his kingdom in repelling the hostilities of the bordering tribes, which he could not accomplish without great difficulty and bloodshed, they sought to tamper with Tamsapor, the general in command in the district nearest our border. Accordingly they sent soldiers of no renown to confer with him secretly, to engage him, if opportunity served, to write to the king to persuade him to make peace with the Roman emperor; whereby he, being then secure on every side, might be the better able to subdue the rebels who were never weary of exciting disturbances.

4Tamsapor coincided with these wishes, and, trusting to them, reported to the king that Constantius, being involved in very formidable wars, was a suppliant for peace. But it took a long time for these letters to reach the country of the Chionites and the Euseni, on whose borders Sapor had taken up his winter quarters.

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