The History, 26.4

Ammian  translated by C. D. Yonge

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4But in Bithynia, Valentinian, as we have already mentioned, having been declared emperor, having fixed the next day but one for beginning his march, assembled his chief officers, and, as if the course which he preferred was to follow their advice, inquired whom they recommended him to take for his colleague; and when no one made him any answer, Dagalaiphus, who at that time was commander of the cavalry, boldly answered “If, O excellent emperor, you love your own kindred, you have a brother; if you love the republic, then seek the fittest man to invest.”

2Valentinian was offended with this speech, but kept silence, and dissembled his displeasure and his intentions. And having made a rapid journey he reached Nicomedia on the first of March, where he appointed his brother Valens master of the horse with the rank of tribune.

3And after that, when he reached Constantinople, revolving many considerations in his mind, and considering that he himself was already overwhelmed with the magnitude of pressing business, he thought that the emergency would admit of no delay; and on the 28th of March he led Valens into the suburbs, where, with the consent of all men (and indeed no one dared to object), he declared him emperor, had him clothed in the imperial robes, and crowned with a diadem, and then brought him back in the same carriage with himself as the legitimate partner of his power, though in fact he was to be more like an obedient servant, as the remainder of my narrative will show.

4After these matters had been thus settled without any interruption, the two emperors suffered a long time from a violent fever; but when out of danger (as they were more active in the investigation of evils than in removing them) they intrusted the commission to investigate the secret causes of this malady to Ursatius the master of the offices, a fierce Dalmatian, and to Juventius Siscianus the quæstor, their real motive, as was constantly reported, being to bring the memory of Julian and that of his friends into odium, as if their illness had been owing to their secret malpractices. But this insinuation was easily disposed of, since not a word could be adduced to justify any imputation of such treason.

5At this time the trumpet as it were gave signal for war throughout the whole Roman world; and the barbarian tribes on our frontier were moved to make incursion on those territories which lay nearest to them. The Allemanni laid waste Gaul and Rhætia at the same time. The Sarmatians and Quadi ravaged Pannonia. The Picts, Scots, Saxons, and Atacotti harassed the Britons with incessant invasions; the Austoriani and other Moorish tribes attacked Africa with more than usual violence. Predatory bands of the Goths plundered Thrace.

6The king of the Persians poured troops into Armenia, exerting all his power to reduce that people again into subjection to his authority; without any just cause, arguing, that after the death of Julian, with whom he had made a treaty of peace, there was nothing that ought to hinder him from recovering those lands which he could prove to have belonged in former times to his ancestors.

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