The History, 20.9

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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9The envoys whom I have mentioned took equal care to discharge their orders; but while eager to pursue their journey they were unjustly detained by some of the superior magistrates on their road; and having been long and vexatiously delayed in Italy and Illyricum, they at last passed the Bosphorus, and advancing by slow journeys, they found Constantius still staying at Cæsarea in Cappadocia, a town formerly known as Mazaca, admirably situated at the foot of Mount Argæus, and of high reputation.

2Being admitted to the presence, they received permission to present their letters; but when they were read the emperor became immoderately angry, and looking askance at them so as to make them fear for their lives, he ordered them to be gone without asking them any questions or permitting them to speak.

3But in spite of his anger he was greatly perplexed to decide whether to move those troops whom he could trust against the Persians, or against Julian; and while he was hesitating, and long balancing between the two plans, he yielded to the useful advice of some of his counsellors, and ordered the army to march to the East.

4Immediately also he dismissed the envoys, and ordered his quæstor Leonas to go with all speed with letters from him to Julian; in which he asserted that he himself would permit no innovators, and recommended Julian, if he had any regard for his own safety or that of his relations, to lay aside his arrogance, and resume the rank of Cæsar.

5And, in order to alarm him by the magnitude of his preparations, as if he really was possessed of great power, he appointed Nebridius, who was at that time Julian’s quæstor, to succeed Florentius as prefect of the prætorium, and made Felix the secretary, master of the ceremonies, with several other appointments. Gumoharius, the commander of the heavy infantry, he had already appointed to succeed Lupicinus, before any of these events were known.

6Accordingly Leonas reached Paris, and was there received as an honourable and discreet man; and the next day, when Julian had proceeded into the plain in front of the camp with a great multitude of soldiers and common people, which he had ordered to assemble on purpose, he mounted a tribune, in order from that high position to be more conspicuous, and desired Leonas to present his letters; and when he had opened the edict which had been sent, and began to read it, as soon as he arrived at the passage that Constantius disapproved of all that had been done, and desired Julian to be content with the power of a Cæsar, a terrible shout was raised on all sides,

7“Julian emperor, as has been decreed by the authority of the province, of the army, and of the republic, which is indeed re-established, but which still dreads the renewed attacks of the barbarians.”

8Leonas heard this, and, after receiving letters from Julian, stating what had occurred, was dismissed in safety: the only one of the emperor’s appointments which was allowed to take effect was that of Nebridius, which Julian in his letters had plainly said would be in accordance with his wishes. For he himself had some time before appointed Anatolius to be master of the ceremonies, having been formerly his private secretary; and he had also made such other appointments as seemed useful and safe.

9And since, while matters were going on in this matter, Lupicinus, as being a proud and arrogant man, was an object of fear, though absent and still in Britain; and since there was a suspicion that if he heard of these occurrences while on the other side of the channel, he might cause disorders in the island, a secretary was sent to Boulogne to take care that no one should be allowed to cross; and as that was contrived, Lupicinus returned without hearing of any of these matters, and so had no opportunity of giving trouble.

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