The History, 22.6

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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6About the same time many Egyptians, excited by various rumours, arrived at Constantinople; a race given to controversy, and extremely addicted to habits of litigation, covetous, and apt to ask payment of debts due to them over and over again; and also, by way of escaping from making the payments due to them, to accuse the rich of embezzlement, and the tax-gatherers of extortion.

2These men, collecting into one body, came screeching like so many jackdaws, claiming in a rude manner the attention of the emperor himself, and of the prefects of the prætorium, and demanding the restoration of the contributions which they had been compelled to furnish, justly or unjustly, for the last seventy years.

3And as they hindered the transaction of any other business, Julian issued an edict in which he ordered them all to go to Chalcedon, promising that he himself also would soon come there, and settle all their business.

4And when they had gone, an order was given to all the captains of ships which go to and fro, that none of them should venture to take an Egyptian for a passenger. And as this command was carefully observed, their obstinacy in bringing false accusations came to an end, and they all, being disappointed in their object, returned home.

5After which, as if at the dictation of justice herself, a law was published forbidding any one to exact from any officer the restitution of things which that officer had legally received.

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