The History, 22.3

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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3His first step was to give to Secundus Sallustius, whom he promoted to be prefect of the prætorium, being well assured of his loyalty, a commission to conduct some important investigations, joining with him as colleagues Mamertinus, Arbetio, Agilo, and Nevitta, and also Jovinus, whom he had recently promoted to the command of the cavalry in Illyricum.

2They all went to Chalcedon, and in the presence of the chiefs and tribunes, the Jovian and Herculian legions, they tried several causes with too much rigour, though there were some in which it was undeniable that the accused were really guilty.

3They banished Palladius, the master of the ceremonies, to Britain, though there was but a suspicion that he had prejudiced Constantius against Gallus, while he was master of the ceremonies under that prince as Cæsar.

4They banished Taurus, who had been prefect of the prætorium, to Vercelli, who, to all persons capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, will appear very excusable in respect to the act for which he was condemned. For his offence was only that, fearing a violent disturbance which had arisen, he fled to the protection of his prince. And the treatment inflicted on him could not be read without great horror, when the preamble of the public accusation began thus:—“In the consulship of Taurus and Florentius, Taurus being brought before the criers—”

5Pentadius also was destined for a similar sentence; the charge against him being that, having been sent on a mission by Constantius, he had made notes of the replies given by Gallus when he was examined on several subjects before he was put to death. But as he defended himself with justice, he was at last discharged.

6With similar iniquity, Florentius, at that time master of the ceremonies, the son of Nigrinianus, was banished to Boæ, an island on the coast of Dalmatia. The other Florentius, who had been prefect of the prætorium, and was then consul, being alarmed at the sudden change in the aspect of affairs, in order to save himself from danger, hid himself and his wife for some time, and never returned during Julian’s life; still he was, though absent, condemned to death.

7In the same way, Evagrius, the comptroller of the private demesnes of the emperor, and Saturninus, late superintendent of the palace, and Cyrinus, late secretary, were all banished. But Justice herself seems to have mourned over the death of Ursulus, the treasurer, and to accuse Julian of ingratitude to him. For when, as Cæsar, he was sent to the west, with the intent that he was to be kept in great poverty, and without any power of making presents to any of his soldiers, in order to make them less inclined to favour any enterprise which he might conceive, this same Ursulus gave him letters to the superintendent of the Gallic treasury, desiring him to give the Cæsar whatever he might require.

8After his death, Julian, feeling that he was exposed to general reproach and execration, thinking that an unpardonable crime could be excused, affirmed that the man had been put to death without his being aware of it, pretending that he had been massacred by the fury of the soldiers, who recollected what he had said (as we mentioned before) when he saw the destruction of Amida.

9And therefore it seemed to be through fear, or else from a want of understanding what was proper, that he appointed Arbetio, a man always vacillating and arrogant, to preside over these investigations, with others of the chief officers of the legions present for the look of the thing, when he knew that he had been one of the chief enemies to his safety, as was natural in one who had borne, a distinguished share in the successes of the civil war.

10And though these transactions which I have mentioned vexed those who wished him well, those which came afterwards were carried out with a proper vigour and severity.

11It was only a deserved destiny which befel Apodemius, who had been the chief steward, and whose cruel machinations with respect to the deaths of Silvanus and Gallus we have already mentioned, and Paulus, the secretary, surnamed “The Chain,” men who are never spoken of without general horror, and who were now sentenced to be burnt alive.

12They also sentenced to death Eusebius, the chief chamberlain of Constantius, a man equally full of ambition and cruelty, who from the lowest rank had been raised so high as even almost to lord it over the emperor, and who had thus become wholly intolerable; and whom Nemesis, who beholds all human affairs, having often, as the saying is, plucked him by the ear, and warned to conduct himself with more moderation, now, in spite of his struggles, hurled headlong from his high position.

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