The History, 21.15

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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15Constantius therefore, having hastened to Antioch, according to his wont, at the first movement of a civil war which he was eager to encounter, as soon as he had made all his preparations, was in amazing haste to march, though many of his court were so unwilling as even to proceed to murmurs. For no one dare openly to remonstrate or object to his plan.

2He set forth towards the end of autumn; and when he reached the suburb called Hippocephalus, which is about three miles from the town, as soon as it was daylight he saw on his right the corpse of a man who had been murdered, lying with his head torn off from the body, stretched out towards the west—and though alarmed at the omen, which seemed as if the Fates were preparing his end, he went on more resolutely, and came to Tarsus, where he caught a slight fever; and thinking that the motion of his journey would remove the distemper, he went on by bad roads; directing his course by Mopsucrenæ, the farthest station in Cilicia for those who travel from hence, at the foot of Mount Taurus.

3But when he attempted to proceed the next day he was prevented by the increasing violence of his disorder, and the fever began gradually to inflame his veins, so that his body felt like a little fire, and could scarcely be touched; and as all remedies failed, he began in the last extremity to bewail his death; and while his mental faculties were still entire, he is said to have indicated Julian as the successor to his power. Presently the last struggle of death came on, and he lost the power of speech. And after long and painful agony he died on the fifth of October, having lived and reigned forty years and a few months.

4After bewailing his death with groans, lamentations, and mourning, those of the highest rank in the royal palace deliberated what to do or to attempt; and having secretly consulted a few persons about the election of an emperor, at the instigation, as it is said, of Eusebius, who was stimulated by his consciousness of guilt (since Julian was approaching who was prepared to oppose his attempts at innovation), they sent Theolaiphus and Aligildus, who at that time were counts, to him, to announce the death of his kinsman; and to entreat him to lay aside all delay and hasten to take possession of the East, which was prepared to obey him.

5But fame and an uncertain report whispered that Constantius had left a will, in which, as we have already mentioned, he had named Julian as his heir; and had given commissions and legacies to his friends. But he left his wife in the family way, who subsequently had a daughter, who received the same name, and was afterwards married to Gratianus.

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