The History, 21.3

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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3While these events were proceeding, and spring was coming on, Julian was suddenly smitten with grief and sorrow by unexpected intelligence. For he learnt that the Allemanni had poured forth from the district of Vadomarius, in which quarter, after the treaty which had been made with him, no troubles had been anticipated, and were laying waste the borders of the Tyrol, pouring their predatory bands over the whole frontier, and leaving nothing unravaged.

2He feared that if this were passed over it might rekindle the flames of war; and so at once sent a count named Libino, with the Celtic and Petulantes legions, who were in winter quarters with him, to put a decided and immediate end to this affair.

3Libino marched with speed, and arrived at Seckingen; but was seen while at a distance by the barbarians, who had already hidden themselves in the valleys with the intention of giving him battle. His soldiers were inferior in number, but very eager for battle; and he, after haranguing them, rashly attacked the Germans, and at the very beginning of the fight was slain among the first. At his death the confidence of the barbarians increased, while the Romans were excited to avenge their general; and so the conflict proceeded with great obstinacy, but our men were overpowered by numbers, though their loss in killed and wounded was but small.

4Constantius, as has been related, had made peace with this Vadomarius, and his brother Gundomadus, who was also a king. And when afterwards Gundomadus died, thinking that Vadomarius would be faithful to him, and a silent and vigorous executor of his secret orders (if one may believe what is only report), he gave him directions by letter to harass the countries on his borders, as if he had broken off the treaty of peace, in order to keep Julian, through his fears of him, from ever abandoning the protection of Gaul.

5In obedience to these directions, it is fair to believe that Vadomarius committed this and other similar actions; being a man from his earliest youth marvellously skilled in artifice and deceit, as he afterwards showed when he enjoyed the dukedom of Phœnice.

6But now, being discovered, he desisted from his hostilities. For one of his secretaries, whom he had sent to Constantius, was taken prisoner by Julian’s outposts, and when he was searched to see if he was the bearer of anything, a letter was found on him, which contained these words among others, “Your Cæsar is not submissive.” But when he wrote to Julian he always addressed him as lord, and emperor, and god.

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