The History, 18.1

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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1These events took place in the different parts of the world in one and the same year. But while the affairs in Gaul were in a better state; and while titles of consul were ennobling the brothers Eusebius and Hypatius, Julian, illustrious for his uninterrupted successes, now in his winter quarters, being relieved for a while from his warlike anxieties, was devoting equal care to many points connected with the welfare of the provinces. Taking anxious care that no one should be oppressed by the burden of taxation; that the power of the officers should not be stretched into extortion; that those who increase their property by the public distresses, should have no sanction, and that no judge should violate justice with impunity.

2And he found it easy to correct what was wrong on this head, because he himself decided all causes in which the persons concerned were of any great importance; and showed himself a most impartial discerner of right and wrong.

3And although there are many acts of his in deciding these disputes worthy of praise, it will be sufficient to mention one, on the model of which all his other words and actions were framed.

4Numerius, a native of Narbonne, had a little time before been accused before the governor as a thief, and Julian, by an unusual exercise of the censor’s power, heard his cause in public; admitting into the court all who sought entrance. And when Numerius denied all that was charged against him, and could not be convicted on any point, Delphidius the orator, who was assailing him with great bitterness, being enraged at the failure of his charges, exclaimed, “But, great Cæsar, will any one ever be found guilty if it be enough to deny the charge?” To whom Julian, with seasonable wisdom, replied, “Can any one be judged innocent if it be enough to make a charge?” And he did many similar actions in his civil capacity.

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