The History, 18.10

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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10While the first onset of the Persians was by its unexpected vehemence throwing these troops into disorder, the king, with his native and foreign troops, having after leaving Bebase turned his march to the right, according to the advice of Antoninus, passed by Horre and Meiacarire and Charcha, as if he meant also to pass by Amida. And when he had come near the Roman forts, one of which is called Reman, and the other Busan, he learnt from some deserters that many persons had removed their treasures there for protection, trusting to their lofty and strong walls; and it was also added that there was there, with a great many valuables, a woman of exquisite beauty, the wife of a citizen of Nisibis named Craugasius, of great consideration by birth, character, and influence; with her little daughter.

2Sapor, eager to seize what belonged to another, hastened on, and attacked the castle with force; and the garrison, being seized with a sudden panic at the variety of arms of the assailants, surrendered themselves, and all who had fled to them for protection; and at the first summons gave up the keys of the gates. Possession being taken, all that was stored there was ransacked; women bewildered with fear were dragged forth; and children clinging to their mothers were taught bitter suffering at the very beginning of their infancy.

3And when Sapor, by asking each whose wife she was, had found that of Craugasius trembling with fear of violence, he allowed her to come in safety to him, and when he saw her, veiled as she was with a black veil to her lips, he kindly encouraged her with a promise that she should recover her husband, and that her honour should be preserved inviolate. For hearing that her husband was exceedingly devoted to her, he thought that by this bribe he might win him over to betray Nisibis.

4And he also extended his protection to other virgins who, according to Christian rites, had been formally consecrated to the service of God, ordering that they should be kept uninjured, and be allowed to perform the offices of religion as they had been accustomed. Affecting clemency for a time, in order that those who were alarmed at his former ferocity and cruelty might now discard their fears, and come to him of their own accord, learning from these recent examples that he tempered the greatness of his success with humanity and courtesy.

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