The Lives of the Thirty Tyrants


Historia Augusta


1

1

After having written many books in the style of neither an historian nor a scholar but only that of a layman, we have now reached the series of years in which the thirty pretenders arose — the years when the Empire was ruled by Gallienus and Valerian, when Valerian was busied with the great demands of the Persian War and Gallienus, as will be shown in the proper place, was held in contempt not only by men but by women as well.

2

But since so obscure were these men, who flocked in from divers parts of the world to seize the imperial power, that not much concerning them can be either related by scholars or demanded of them, and since all those historians who have written in Greek or in Latin have passed over some of them without dwelling even on their names, and, finally, since certain details related about them by many have varied so widely, I have therefore gathered them all into a single book, and that a short one, especially as it is evident that much concerning them has already been told in the Lives of Valerian and Gallienus and need not be repeated here.


Cyriades



2

1

This man, rich and well born, fled from his father Cyriades when, by his excesses and profligate ways, he had become a burden to the righteous old man, and after robbing him of a great part of his gold and an enormous amount of silver he departed to the Persians.

2

Thereupon he joined King Sapor and became his ally, and after urging him to make war on the Romans, he brought first Odomastes and then Sapor himself into the Roman dominions; and also by capturing Antioch and Caesarea he won for himself the name of Caesar.

3

Then, when he had been hailed Augustus, after he had caused all the Orient to tremble in terror at his strength or his daring, and when, moreover, he had slain his father (which some historians deny), he himself, at the time that Valerian was on his way to the Persian War, was put to death by the treachery of his followers.

4

Nor has anything more that seems worthy of mention been committed to history about this man, who has obtained a place in letters solely by reason of his famous flight, his act of parricide, his cruel tyranny, and his boundless excesses.


Postumus



3

1

This man, most valiant in war and most steadfast in peace, was so highly respected for his whole manner of life that he was even entrusted by Gallienus with the care of his son Saloninus (whom he had placed in command of Gaul) as the guardian of his life and conduct and his instructor in the duties of a ruler.

2

Nevertheless, as some writers assert — though it does not accord with his character — he afterwards broke faith and after slaying Saloninus seized the imperial power.

3

As others, however, have related with greater truth, the Gauls themselves, hating Gallienus most bitterly and being unwilling to endure a boy as their emperor, hailed as their ruler the man who was holding the rule in trust for another, and despatching soldiers they slew the boy.

4

When he was slain, Postumus was gladly accepted by the entire army and by all the Gauls, and for seven years he performed such exploits that he completely restored the provinces of Gaul, while Gallienus spent his time in debauchery and taverns and grew weak in loving a barbarian woman.

5

Gallienus, however, was warring against him at that time when he himself was wounded by an arrow.

6

Great, indeed, was the love felt for Postumus in the hearts of all the people of Gaul because he had thrust back all the German tribes and had restored the Roman Empire to its former security.

7

But when he began to conduct himself with the greatest sternness, the Gauls, following their custom of always desiring a change of government, at the instigation of Lollianus put him to death.

8

If anyone, indeed, desires to know the merits of Postumus, he may learn Valerian's opinion concerning him from the following letter which he wrote to the Gauls:

9

"As general in charge of the Rhine frontier and governor of Gaul we have named Postumus, a man most worthy of the stern discipline of the Gauls. He by his presence will safeguard the soldiers in the camp, civil rights in the forum, law-suits at the bar of judgement, and the dignity of the council-chamber, and he will preserve for each one his own personal possessions; he is a man at whom I marvel above all others and well deserving of the office of prince, and for him, I hope, you will render me thanks.

10

If, however, I have erred in my judgement concerning him, you may rest assure days that nowhere in the world will a man be found who can win complete approval.

11

Upon his son, Postumus by name, a young man who will show himself worthy of his father's character, I have bestowed the tribuneship of the Vocontii."


Postumus the Younger



4

1

Concerning this man there is naught to relate save that after receiving the name of Caesar from his father and later, as a mark of honour to him, that of Augustus, he was killed, it is said, together with his father at the time when Lollianus, who was put in Postumus' place, took the imperial power offered to him by the Gauls.

2

He was, moreover — and only this is worthy of mention — so skilled in rhetorical exercises that his Controversies are said to have been inserted among those of Quintilian, who, as the reading of even a single chapter will show at the first glance, was the sharpest rhetorician of the Roman race.


Lollianus



5

1

In consequence of this man's rebellion in Gaul, Postumus, the bravest of all men, was put to death after he had brought back the power of Rome into its ancient condition at the time when Gaul was on the brink of ruin because of Gallienus' excesses.

2

Lollianus was, indeed, a very brave man, but in the face of rebellion his strength was insufficient to give him authority over the Gauls.

3

He was killed, moreover, by Victorinus, son of Vitruvia, or rather Victoria, who was later entitled Mother of the Camp and honoured by the name of Augusta, though she herself, doing her utmost to escape the weight of so great a burden, had bestowed the imperial power first on Marius and then on Tetricus together with his son.

4

Lollianus, in fact, did to some extent benefit the commonwealth; for many of the communes of Gaul and also some of the camps, built on barbarian soil by Postumus during his seven years, but after his murder plundered and burned during an incursion of Germans, were restored by him to their ancient condition. Then he was slain by his soldiers because he exacted too much labour.

5

And so, while Gallienus was bringing ruin on the commonwealth, there arose in Gaul first Postumus, then Lollianus, next Victorinus, and finally Tetricus (for of Marius we will make no mention), all of them defenders of the renown of Rome.

6

All of these, I believe, were given by gift of the gods, in order that, while that pestiferous fellow was caught in the toils of unheard-of excesses, no opportunity might be afforded the Germans for seizing Roman soil.

7

For if they had broken forth then in the same manner as did the Goths and the Persians, these foreign nations, acting together in Roman territory, would have put an end to this venerable empire of the Roman nation.

8

As for Lollianus, his life is obscure in many details, as is also that of Postumus, too — but only their private lives; for while they lived they were famed for their valour, not for their importance in rank.


Victorinus



6

1

When the elder Postumus saw that Gallienus was marching against him with great forces, and that he needed the aid not only of soldiers but also of a second prince, he called Victorinus, a man of soldierly energy, to share in the imperial power, and in company with him he fought against Gallienus.

2

Having summoned to their aid huge forces of Germans, they protracted the war for a long time, but at last they were conquered.

3

Then, when Lollianus, too, had been slain, Victorinus alone remained in command. He also, because he devoted his time to seducing the wives of his soldiers and officers, was slain at Agrippina through a conspiracy formed by a certain clerk, whose wife he had debauched; his mother Vitruvia, or rather Victoria, who was later called Mother of the Camp, had given his son Victorinus the title of Caesar, but the boy, too, was immediately killed after his father was slain at Agrippina.

4

Concerning Victorinus, because he was most valiant and, save for his lustfulness, an excellent emperor, many details have been related by many writers.

5

We, however, deem it sufficient to insert a portion of the book of a certain Julius Atherianus, in which he writes of Victorinus as follows:

6

"With regard to Victorinus, who ruled the provinces of Gaul after Julius Postumus, I consider that no one should be given a higher place, not Trajan for his courage, or Antoninus for his kindness, or Nerva for his noble dignity, or Vespasian for his care of the treasury, or yet Pertinax or Severus for the strictness of their whole lives or the severity of their military discipline.

7

All these qualities, however, were offset to such an extent by his lustfulness and his desire for the pleasures gotten from women that no one would dare to set forth in writing the virtues of one who, all are agreed, deserved to be punished."

8

And so, since this is the judgement that writers have given concerning Victorinus, I consider that I have said enough regarding his character.


Victorinus the Younger



7

1

Concerning him nothing has been put into writing save that he was the grandson of Victoria and the son of Victorinus and that he was entitled Caesar by his father or grandmother on the eve of his father's murder and was at once slain in anger by the soldiers.

2

Their tombs, indeed, are still to be seen near Agrippina, humble monuments covered with common marble, and on them is carved the inscription, "Here lie the two Victorini, pretenders."


Marius



8

1

After Victorinus, Lollianus and Postumus were slain, Marius, formerly a worker in iron, so it is said, held the imperial power, but only for three days.

2

What more can be asked concerning him I know not, save that he was made more famous by the shortness of his rule. For, just as that consul who held the office as a substitute for six hours at midday was ridiculed by Cicero in the jest, "We have had a consul so stern and severe that during his term of office no one has breakfasted, no one has dined, and no one has slept," so the same, it would seem, can be said of Marius, who on the first day was made emperor, on the second seemed to rule, and on the third was slain.

3

He was, indeed, an active man and rose through the various grades of military service to the imperial power itself — this one whom many called Mamurius and some Veturius, because, forsooth, he was a worker in iron.

4

But we have already said too much about this man, concerning whom it will be sufficient to add that there was no one whose hands were stronger, for either striking or thrusting, since he seemed to have not veins in his fingers, but sinews.

5

For he is said to have thrust back on-coming waggons by means of his forefinger and with a single finger to have struck the strongest men so hard that they felt as much pain as though hit by a blow from wood or blunted iron; and he crushed many objects by the mere pressure of two of his fingers.

6

He was slain by a soldier whom, because he had once been a worker in his smithy, he had treated with scorn either when he commanded troops or after he had taken the imperial power.

7

His slayer is said to have added the words, "This is a sword which you yourself have forged."

8

His first public harangue, it is said, was as follows: "I know well, fellow-soldiers, that I can be taunted with my former trade, of which all of you are my witnesses.

9

However, let anyone say what he wishes. As for me, may I always labour with steel rather than ruin myself with wine and garlands and harlots and gluttony, as does Gallienus, unworthy of his father and the noble rank of his house.

10

Let men taunt me with working with steel as long as foreign nations shall know from their losses that I have handled the steel.

11

In short, I will strive to the utmost that all Alamannia and Germany and the nations round about shall deem the Roman people a steel-clad folk and that it shall be most of all the steel that they fear in us.

12

But as for you, I wish you to rest assured that you have chosen as emperor one who will never know how to deal with aught but the steel.

13

And this I say because I know that no charge can be brought against me by that pestiferous profligate save this, that I have been a forger of swords and armour."


Ingenuus



9

1

In the consulship of Tuscus and Bassus, while Gallienus was spending his time in wine and gluttony and giving himself up to pimps and actors and harlots, and by continued debauchery was destroying the gifts of nature, Ingenuus, then ruler of the Pannonian provinces, was acclaimed emperor by the legions of Moesia, and those in Pannonia assented thereto. And, in fact, it appeared that in no other case had the soldiers taken better counsel for the commonwealth than when, in the face of an inroad of the Sarmatians, they chose as their emperor one who by his valour could bring a remedy to the exhausted state.

2

His reason, moreover, for seizing the power at that time was his fear of becoming an object of suspicion to the emperors, because he was both very brave and necessary to the commonwealth, and also — a cause which rouses rulers most of all — well beloved by the soldiers.

3

Gallienus, however, worthless and degraded though he was, could still, when necessity demanded, show himself quick in action, courageous, vigorous and cruel, and finally, meeting Ingenuus in battle, he defeated him and, after slaying him, vented his anger most fiercely on all the Moesians, soldiers and civilians alike. For he left none exempt from his cruelty, and so brutal and savage was he, that in many communities he left not a single male alive.

4

It is said of Ingenuus, indeed, that when the city was captured, he threw himself into the water, and so put an end to his life, that he might not fall into the power of the brutal tyrant.

5

There is, indeed, still in existence a letter of Gallienus, written to Celer Verianus, which shows his excessive brutality. This I have inserted, in order that all may learn that a profligate, if necessity demand, can be the most brutal of men:

6

From Gallienus to Verianus. You will not satisfy me if you kill only armed combatants, for these even chance could have killed in the war.

7

You must slay every male, that is, if old men and immature boys can be put to death without bringing odium upon us.

8

You must slay all who have wished me ill, slay all who have spoken ill of me, the son of Valerian, the father and brother of so many princes.

9

Ingenuus has been created emperor! Therefore mutilate, kill, slaughter, see that you understand my purpose and show your anger with that spirit which I am showing, I who have written these words with my own hand."


Regalianus



10

1

It was the public destiny that in the time of Gallienus whosoever could, sprang up to seize the imperial power. And so Regalianus, who held the command in Illyricum, was declared emperor, the prime movers being the Moesians, who had previously been defeated with Ingenuus and on whose kinsmen Gallienus had vented his anger severely.

2

He, indeed, performed many brave deeds against the Sarmatians, but nevertheless, at the instigation of the Roxolani and with the consent of the soldiers and the provincials, who feared that Gallienus might, on a second occasion, act even more cruelly, he was put to death.

3

It may perhaps seem a matter for wonder if I relate the origin of his rule, for it was all because of a notable jest that he gained the royal power.

4

For when some soldiers were dining with him and a certain acting-tribune arose and said, "Whence shall we suppose that Regalianus gets his name?" another replied at once, "I suppose from his regal power."

5

Then a schoolmaster who was present among them began, as it seemed, to decline grammatically, saying, "Rex, regis, regi, Regalianus,"

6

whereupon among the soldiers — a class of men who are quick to express what they have in mind — one cried out, "So, then, can he be regal?" another, "So, then, can he hold regal sway over us?" and again another, "God has given you a regent's name."

7

Why should I then say more? The next day after these words were spoken, on going forth in the morning he was greeted as emperor by the front-line troops. Thus what was offered to others through daring or reasoned choice was offered to him through a clever jest.

8

It cannot, indeed, be denied that he had always won approbation in warfare and had long been suspected by Gallienus because he seemed worthy to rule; he was, moreover, a Dacian by birth and a kinsman, so it was said, of Decebalus himself.

9

There is still in existence a letter written by the Deified Claudius, then still a commoner, in which he expresses his thanks to Regalianus, as general in command of Illyricum, for recovering this district, at a time when Gallienus' slothfulness was bringing all things to ruin. This letter, which I have found in the original form, I think should be inserted here, for it was written officially:

10

"From Claudius to Regalianus many greetings. Fortunate is the commonwealth, which has deserved to have such a man as yourself in its military camps, and fortunate is Gallienus, though no one tells him the truth about either good men or bad.

11

Word has been brought to me by Bonitus and Celsus, the attendants of our emperor, how you conducted yourself in fighting at Scupi and how many battles you fought in a single day and with what great speed. You were worthy of a triumph, did but the olden times still remain.

12

But why say more? I could wish that you might be mindful of a certain person and therefore be more cautious in gaining victories. I should like you to send me some Sarmatian bows and two military cloaks, but provided with clasps, for I am sending you some of my own."

13

This letter shows what opinion of Regalianus was held by Claudius, whose judgement was without doubt most weighty in his own time.

14

It was not, indeed, from Gallienus that Regalianus received his promotion, but from his father, Valerian, as did also Claudius, Macrianus, Ingenuus, Postumus and Aureolus, who all were slain while they held the imperial power, although they deserved to hold it.

15

It was, moreover, a matter for marvel in Valerian as emperor, that all who were appointed commanders by him, afterwards, by the voice of the soldiers, obtained the imperial rule, so that it is clear that the aged emperor, in choosing the generals of the commonwealth, was, in fact, such an one as the felicity of Rome — could it only have permitted by fate to continue under a worthy prince — ever required.

16

Oh that it might have been possible either for those who seized the imperial power to rule for a longer time, or for this man's son to rule less long, that somehow our commonwealth might have kept itself in its proper position!

17

But Fortune claimed for herself too much indulgence, when with Valerian she took away our righteous princes, and preserved Gallienus for the commonwealth longer than was meet.


Aureolus



11

1

This man also, while commanding the Illyrian armies, was urged on by the soldiers in their contempt for Gallienus (as were all others at that time) and so seized the imperial power.

2

And when Macrianus and his son Macrianus marched against Gallienus with very large forces, he took their troops, and some he won over to his cause by bribery.

3

When Aureolus had thus become a mighty emperor, Gallienus, after trying in vain to conquer so brave a man and being now on the point of beginning a war against Postumus, made peace with him — of which events many have already been related and many are still to be told.

4

This same Aureolus, after Gallienus was slain, Claudius met in battle and killed at the bridge which now bears the name of Aureolus' Bridge, and there he bestowed upon him a tomb, but a lowly one as became a pretender.

5

There is even now in existence an epigram in Greek of the following purport:

"Sepulture's gift, after many a battle against the pretender,

Claudius, flushed with success, gives to Aureolus now,

Doing him honour in death, himself the rightful survivor.

Fain had he kept him alive, only his glorious troops

Suffered it not in their love; for they put out of life very rightly

All who deserved not to live — why not Aureolus more?

Merciful, though, was that prince, who preserved what was left of his body,

And in Aureolus' name built both a bridge and a tomb." And in Aureolus' name built both a bridge and a tomb."

6

These verses, translated by a certain teacher of grammar, I have given in such a way that their accuracy is retained, although they could be translated more elegantly; but I do it with the purpose of preserving historical truth, which I have thought should be guarded above all else, and caring nought for considerations of literary style.

7

For, indeed, it is fact that I have determined to put before you and not mere words, especially when we have such an abundance of facts as in the lives of the thirty pretenders taken together.

Macrianus



12

1

After the capture of Valerian, long a most noble prince in the state, then a most valiant emperor, but at the last the most unfortunate of all men (either because in his old age he pined away among the Persians or because he left behind him unworthy descendants), Ballista, Valerian's prefect, and Macrianus, the foremost of his generals, since they knew that Gallienus was worthy only of contempt and since the soldiers, too, were seeking an emperor, withdrew together to a certain place, to consider what should be done.

2

They then agreed that, since Gallienus was far away and Aureolus was usurping the imperial power, some emperor ought to be chosen, and, indeed, the best man, lest there should arise some pretender.

3

Therefore Ballista (or so Maeonius Astyanax, who took part in their council, relates) spoke as follows:

4

"As for myself, my age and my calling and my desires are all far removed from the imperial office, and so, as I cannot deny, I am searching for a worthy prince.

5

But who, pray, is there who can fill the place of Valerian except such a man as yourself, brave, steadfast, honourable, well proved in public affairs, and — what is of the highest importance for holding the imperial office — possessed of great wealth?

6

Therefore, take this post which your merits deserve. My services as prefect shall be yours as long as you wish. Do you only serve the commonwealth well, so that the Roman world may rejoice that you have been made its prince."

7

To this Macrianus replied: "I admit, Ballista, that to the wise man the imperial office is no light thing. For I wish, indeed, to come to the aid of the commonwealth and to remove that pestiferous fellow from administering the laws, but I am not of an age for this; I am now an old man, I cannot ride as an example to others, I must bathe too often and eat too carefully, and my very riches have long since kept me away from practicing war.

8

We must seek out some young men, and not one alone, but two or three of the bravest, who in different parts of the world of mankind can restore the commonwealth, which Valerian and Gallienus have brought to ruin, the one by his fate, the other by his mode of life."

9

Whereupon Ballista, perceiving that Macrianus, in so speaking, seemed to have in mind his own two sons, answered him as follows: "To your wisdom, then, we entrust the commonwealth.

10

And so give us your sons Macrianus and Quietus, most valiant young men, long since made tribunes by Valerian, for, under the rule of Gallienus, for the very reason that they are good men, they cannot remain unharmed."

11

Then Macrianus, finding out that his thoughts had been understood, replied: "I will yield, and from my own funds I will present to the soldiers a double bounty. Do you but give me your zealous service as prefect and furnish rations in the needful places. I will now do my best that Gallienus, more contemptible than any woman, may come to know his father's generals."

12

And so, with the consent of all the soldiers, Macrianus was made emperor, together with his two sons Macrianus and Quietus, and he immediately proceeded to march against Gallienus, leaving affairs in the East in whatever state he could.

13

But while he was on the march, having with him a force of forty-five thousand soldiers, he met Aureolus in Illyricum or on the borders of Thrace, and there he was defeated and together with his son was slain.

14

Then thirty thousand of his men yielded to Aureolus' power. It was Domitianus, indeed, who won this victory, the bravest and most active of Aureolus' leaders, who claimed to be the descendant of the Emperor Domitian and Domitilla.

15

In writing of Macrianus, moreover, it would seem to me wrong to leave out the opinion of Valerian, which he expressed in the message he sent to the senate from the frontier of Persia. A portion of the message of the Deified Valerian:

16

"Being now engaged in the war with the Persians, Conscript Fathers, I have entrusted all public affairs, and even those which concern the war, to Macrianus. He is faithful to you, loyal to me, and both beloved and feared by the soldiers. He with his army will act as the case shall demand.

17

And in this, Conscript Fathers, there is nothing new or unexpected by us. For while a boy in Italy, while a youth in Gaul, while a mature man in Africa, and, finally, while well advanced in years in Illyricum and Dalmatia, his valour has been well proved, for in divers battles he has done brave deeds which may serve as a pattern to others.

18

I will add, besides, that he has young sons, worthy of being our associates in Rome and worthy, too, of our friendship," and so forth.


Macrianus the Younger



13

1

I have already given a foretaste, in the account of his father's rule, of many details about this man, who would never have been chosen emperor, had it not seemed well to trust to his father's wisdom.

2

Many marvellous stories, it is true, are related concerning him, all of which have to do with the bravery of youthful years. But what, after all, does one single man's bravery avail against fate or how much does it profit in war?

3

For, though active himself and accompanied by the wisest of fathers (through whose merits he had begun to rule), he was defeated by Domitianus, and despoiled, as I have previously said, of an army of thirty thousand soldiers, being himself of noble birth through his mother, for his father was merely brave and ready for war, and had risen from the lowest rank in the army with exalted distinction to the highest command.


Quietus



14

1

This man, as we have said, was the son of Macrianus and was made emperor, along with his father and brother, in accordance with the judgement of Ballista. But when Odaenathus, who had now for some time held the East, learned that the two Macriani, the father and brother of Quietus, had been defeated by Aureolus, and that their soldiers had yielded to his power in the belief that he was upholding the cause of Gallienus, he put the young man to death and with him Ballista, for a long time prefect.

2

This young man, too, was worthy to hold the power at Rome, so that he seemed to be truly the son of Macrianus and also the brother of Macrianus, who together were well able to govern the commonwealth in its stricken state.

3

It does not seem to me, in telling of the family of the Macriani (which is still flourishing to‑day), that I should fail to speak of a peculiar custom which they have always observed.

4

For an embossed head of Alexander the Great of Macedonia was always used by the men on their rings and their silver plate, and by the women on their head-dresses, their bracelets, their rings and ornaments of every kind, so that even to‑day there are still in that family tunics and fillets and women's cloaks which show the likeness of Alexander in threads of divers colours.

5

We, ourselves, recently saw Cornelius Macer, a man of that same family, while giving a dinner in the Temple of Hercules, drink the health of a pontiff from a bowl made of electrum, which had in the centre the face of Alexander and contained on the circumference his whole history in small and minute figures, and this he caused to be passed around to all the most ardent admirers of that great hero.

6

All this I have included because it is said that those who wear the likeness of Alexander carved in either gold or silver are aided in all that they do.


Odaenathus



15

1

Had not Odaenathus, prince of the Palmyrenes, seized the imperial power after the capture of Valerian, with the strength of the Roman state was exhausted, all would have been lost in the East.

2

He assumed, therefore, as the first of his line, the title of King, and after gathering together an army he set out against the Persians, having with him his wife Zenobia, his elder son, whose name was Herodes, and his younger sons, Herennianus and Timolaus.

3

First of all, he brought under his power Nisibis and most of the East together with the whole of Mesopotamia, next, he defeated the king himself and compelled him to flee.

4

Finally, he pursued Sapor and his children even as far as Ctesiphon, and captured his concubines and also a great amount of booty; then he turned to the oriental provinces, hoping to be able to crush Macrianus, who had begun to rule in opposition to Gallienus, but he had already set out against Aureolus and Gallienus. After Macrianus was slain, Odaenathus killed his son Quietus also, while Ballista, many assert, usurped the imperial power in order that he, too, might not be slain.

5

Then, after he had for the most part put in order the affairs of the East, he was killed by his cousin Maeonius (who had also seized the imperial power), together with his son Herodes, who, also, after returning from Persia along with his father, had received the title of emperor.

6

Some god, I believe, was angry with the commonwealth, who, after Valerian's death, was unwilling to preserve Odaenathus alive.

7

For of a surety he, with his wife Zenobia, would have restored not only the East, which he had already brought back to its ancient condition, but also all parts of the whole world everywhere, since he was fierce in warfare and, as most writers relate, ever famous for his memorable hunts; for from his earliest years he expended his sweat, as is the duty of a man, in taking lions and panthers and bears and other beasts of the forest, and always lived in the woods and the mountains, enduring heat and rain and all other hardships which pleasures of hunting entail.

8

Hardened by these he was able to bear the sun and the dust in the wars with the Persians; and his wife, too, was inured to hardship and in the opinion of many was held to be more brave than her husband, being, indeed, the noblest of all the women of the East, and, as Cornelius Capitolinus declares, the most beautiful.


Herodes



16

1

Herodes, who was the son, not of Zenobia, but of a former wife of Odaenathus, received the imperial power along with his father, though he was the most effeminate of men, wholly oriental and given over to Grecian luxury, for he had embroidered tents and pavilions made out of cloth of gold and everything in the manner of the Persians.

2

In fact, Odaenathus, complying with his ways and moved by the promptings of a father's indulgence, gave him all the king's concubines and the riches and jewels that he captured.

3

Zenobia, indeed, treated him in a step-mother's way, and this made him all the more dear to his father. Nothing more remains to be said concerning Herodes.


Maeonius



17

1

This man, the cousin of Odaenathus, murdered that excellent emperor, being moved thereto by nothing else than contemptible envy, for he could bring no charge against him save that Herodes was his son.

2

It is said, however, that previously he had entered into a conspiracy with Zenobia, who could not bear that her stepson Herodes should be called a prince in a higher rank than her own two sons, Herennianus and Timolaus. But Maeonius, too, was a filthy fellow,

3

and so, after being saluted as emperor through some blunder, he was shortly thereafter killed by the soldiers, as his excesses deserved.


Ballista



18

1

As to whether this man held the imperial power or not historians do not agree. For many assert that when Quietus was killed by Odaenathus, Ballista was pardoned, but nevertheless took the imperial power, putting no trust in either Gallienus or Aureolus or Odaenathus.

2

Others, again, declare that while still a commoner he was killed on the lands which he had bought for himself near Daphne.

3

Many, indeed, have said that he assumed the purple in order to rule in the Roman fashion, and that he took command of the army and made many promises on his own account, but was killed by those despatched by Aureolus for the purpose of seizing Quietus, Macrianus' son, who, Aureolus averred, was his own due prey.

4

He was a notable man, skilled in administering the commonwealth, vehement in counsel, winning fame in campaigns, without an equal in providing for rations, and so highly esteemed by Valerian that in a certain letter he honoured him with the following testimony:

5

"From Valerian to Ragonius Clarus, prefect of Illyricum and the provinces of Gaul. If you are a man of good judgement, my kinsman Clarus, as I know that you are, you will carry out the arrangements of Ballista. Model your government on them.

6

Do you see how he refrains from burdening the provincials, how he keeps the horses in places where there is fodder and exacts the rations for his soldiers in places where there is grain, how he never compels the provincials or the land-holders to furnish grain where they have no supply, or horses where they have no pasture?

7

There is no arrangement better than to exact in each place what is there produced, so that the commonwealth may not be burdened by transport or other expenses.

8

Galatia is rich in grain, Thrace is well stocked, and Illyricum is filled with it; so let the foot-soldiers be quartered in these regions, although in Thrace cavalry, too, can winter without damage to the provincials, since plenty of hay can be had from the fields.

9

As for wine and bacon and other forms of food, let them be handed out in those places in which they abound in plenty.

10

All this is the policy of Ballista, who gave orders that any province should furnish only one form of food, namely that in which it abounded, and that from it the soldiers should be kept away. This, in fact, has been officially decreed."

11

There is also another letter, in which he gives thanks to Ballista, showing that he himself had received from him instruction in governing the state, and expressing his pleasure that he had on his staff no supernumerary tribune (that is, one unassigned to some duty), no one in attendance who did not truly perform some office, and no soldier who was not truly a fighter.

12

This man, then, while resting in his tent was slain, it is said, by a certain common soldier, in order to gain the favour of Odaenathus and Gallienus.

13

I, however, have not been able to find out sufficiently the truth concerning him, because the writers of his time have related much about his prefecture but little about his rule.


Valens



19

1

This man, a warrior and at the same time excelling in glory for his qualities as a citizen, was holding the proconsulship of Achaea, an honour conferred on him by Gallienus.

2

Macrianus feared him greatly, both because he had learned that he was distinguished for his whole manner of life and because he knew him to be his enemy out of hatred for his virtues. He therefore despatched Piso, a member of a family then most noble and, in fact, of consular rank, with orders to put him to death.

3

Valens, however, who kept a most careful watch, foreseeing the future and believing that there was no other means of protecting himself, seized the imperial power and soon was slain by the soldiers.


Valens the Elder



20

1

It has fortunately occurred to us that, in speaking of this Valens, we should make some mention also of the Valens who was killed in the time of the earlier emperors.

2

For he, it is said, was the great-uncle of the Valens who seized the power under Gallienus. Others, however, assert that he was only his uncle.

3

But the fate of them both was alike, for he, too, was killed after he had ruled for a few days in Illyricum.


Piso



21

1

This man was despatched by Macrianus to kill Valens, but on learning that he, foreseeing the future, had declared himself emperor, he withdrew into Thessaly; there by consent of a few he assumed the imperial power, taking the surname Thessalicus, but was then slain by violence. He was a man of the utmost righteousness and during his life-time he was given the name Frugi, and he was said to derive his descent from that family of Pisos with which Cicero had formed an alliance for the purpose of entering the nobility.

2

He was highly esteemed by all the emperors; in fact, Valens himself, who is said to have sent the assassins against him, declared, it is told, that never could he render account to the gods of the lower world for having given an order to put Piso to death, albeit his enemy, for his like the Roman commonwealth did not contain.

3

I have gladly inserted the senate's decree which was passed concerning Piso, in order that his honours may be made known: On the seventh day before the Kalends of July, when word had been brought that Piso was slain by Valens and Valens himself by his own soldiers, Arellius Fuscus, the consular whose right it was to give his opinion first, said: "Consul, consult us."

4

And on being asked his opinion, he said, "I propose divine honours for Piso, Conscript Fathers, and I firmly believe that this will be approved by our emperors, Gallienus, Valerian, and Saloninus; for never was there a better man or a braver."

5

After him the others also on being consulted voted Piso a statue among the triumphant generals and also a four-horse chariot.

6

His statue is still to be seen, but the chariot which they decreed was erected only to be moved elsewhere, and it has not yet been brought back.

7

For it was set up in the place where the Bath of Diocletian was afterwards built, destined to have a name as undying as it is revered.


Aemilianus



22

1

It is the wont of the people of Egypt that like madmen and fools they are led by the most trivial matters to become highly dangerous to the commonwealth;

2

for merely because a greeting was omitted, or a place in the baths refused, or meat and vegetables withheld, or on account of the boots of slaves or some other such things, they have broken out into riots, even to the point of becoming highly dangerous to the state, so that troops have been armed to quell them.

3

With their wonted madness, accordingly, on a certain occasion, when the slave of the chief magistrate then governing Alexandria had been killed by a soldier for asserting that his sandals were better than the soldier's, a mob gathered together, and, coming to the house of the general Aemilianus, it assailed him with all the implements and the frenzy usual in riots; he was pelted with stones and attacked with swords, and no kind of weapon used in a riot was lacking.

4

And so Aemilianus was constrained to assume the imperial power, knowing well that he would have to die in any event.

5

To this step the army in Egypt agreed, chiefly out of hatred for Gallienus.

6

He did not, indeed, lack energy for administering public affairs. For he marched through the district of Thebes and, in fact, the whole of Egypt, and to the best of his powers drove back the barbarians with courage and firmness.

7

Finally, he won by his merits the name of Alexander, or else Alexandrinus — for this is considered uncertain.

8

But when he was making ready for a campaign against the people of India, the general Theodotus was sent against him by order of Gallienus, and so he suffered punishment, for it is related that, like the captives of old, he was strangled in prison.

9

Now, since I am speaking of Egypt, I think I must not fail to relate what the history of former times has suggested and, in connection therewith, a deed of Gallienus.

10

For when he wished to confer proconsular power on Theodotus, the priests forbade it, saying that it was not lawful for the consular fasces to be brought into Alexandria.

11

This, we know well enough, was mentioned by Cicero in his speech against Gabinius, and, in fact, it is still remembered that this practice was maintained.

12

Therefore, your kinsman Herennius Celsus, in seeking the consulship, ought to know that what he desires is not lawful.

13

For at Memphis, they say, it was written on a golden column in Egyptian letters that Egypt would at last regain its freedom when the Roman fasces and the Roman bordered toga had been brought into the land.

14

This may be found in Proculus the grammarian, the most learned man of his time, in the place where he tells of foreign countries.

Saturninus



23

1

The best of the generals of the time of Gallienus, though, in fact, he was chosen by Valerian, was Saturninus.

2

He also, being unable to endure the loose ways of Gallienus, who revelled all night in public places, and preferring to command the soldiers in his own way rather than in that of his emperor, accepted the imperial power from the army. He was a man unequalled in wisdom, outstanding in dignity, lovable in his ways, and because of his victories well known everywhere, even among the barbarians.

3

On the day on which the soldiers clothed him with the imperial robe he called together an assembly, it is related, and said: Fellow-soldiers, you have lost a good general and made a bad emperor."

4

Finally, after doing many vigorous deeds during his rule, merely because he was too severe and too harsh to the soldiers he was killed by those very men who had made him emperor.

5

He is famous for having commanded the soldiers, when reclining at table, to wear military cloaks in order that their lower limbs might not be bared, heavy ones in winter and very light ones in summer.


Tetricus the Elder



24

1

After Victorinus and his son were slain, his mother Victoria (or Vitruvia) urged Tetricus, a Roman senator then holding the governorship of Gaul, to take the imperial power, for the reason, many relate, that he was her kinsman; she then caused him to be entitled Augustus and bestowed on his son the name of Caesar.

2

But after Tetricus had done many deeds with success and had ruled for a long time he was defeated by Aurelian, and, being unable to bear the impudence and shamelessness of his soldiers, he surrendered of his own free will to this prince most harsh and severe.

3

In fact, a quotation of his is cited, which he secretly sent in writing to Aurelian:—

"Save me, O hero unconquered, from these my misfortunes."

4

And so Aurelian, who did not readily plan aught that was guileless or merciful or peaceful, led this man, though he was a senator of the Roman people and a consular and had ruled the provinces of Gaul with a governor's powers, in his triumphal procession at the same time as Zenobia, the wife of Odaenathus, and the younger sons of Odaenathus, Herennianus and Timolaus.

5

Aurelian, nevertheless, exceedingly stern though he was, overcome by a sense of shame, made Tetricus, whom he had led in triumph, supervisor over the whole of Italy, that is, over Campania, Samnium, Lucania, Bruttium, Apulia, Calabria, Etruria and Umbria, Picenum and the Flaminian district, and the entire grain-bearing region, and suffered him not only to retain his life but also to remain in the highest position, calling him frequently colleague, sometimes fellow-soldier, and sometimes even emperor.


Tetricus the Younger



25

1

He, when a little lad, received the name of Caesar from Victoria when she herself had been entitled by the army Mother of the Camp.

2

He was, furthermore, led in triumph along with his father, but later he enjoyed all the honours of a senator; nor was his inheritance diminished, and, indeed, he passed it on to his descendants, and was ever, as Arellius Fuscus reports, a man of distinction.

3

My grandfather used to declare that he was a friend of his own, and that never was any one given preference over him either by Aurelian or by any of the later emperors.

4

The house of the Tetrici is still standing to‑day, situated on the Caelian Hill between the two groves and facing the Temple of Isis built by Metellus; and a most beautiful one it is, and in it Aurelian is depicted bestowing on both the Tetrici the bordered toga and the rank of senator and receiving from them a sceptre, a chaplet, and an embroidered robe. This picture is in mosaic, and it is said that the two Tetrici, when they dedicated it, invited Aurelian himself to a banquet.


Trebellianus



26

1

I am by this time ashamed to tell how many tyrants there were in the reign of Gallienus, all on account of the vices of that pestiferous man, for such, indeed, were his excesses that he deserved to have many rebels rise up against him, and such his cruelty that he was rightly regarded with fear.

2

This cruelty he showed also toward Trebellianus, who was made ruler in Isauria — for the Isaurians desired a leader for themselves. He, though others dubbed him archpirate, gave himself the title of emperor. He even gave orders to strike coins and he set up an imperial palace in a certain Isaurian stronghold.

3

Then, when he had betaken himself into the inmost and safest parts of Isauria, where he was protected by the natural difficulty of the ground and by the mountains, he ruled for some time among the Cilicians.

4

Camsisoleus, however, Gallienus' general and an Egyptian by race, the brother of that Theodotus who had captured Aemilianus, brought him down to the plains and then defeated and slew him.

5

Never afterwards, however, was it possible to persuade the Isaurians, fearing that Gallienus might vent his anger upon them, to come down to the level ground, not even by any offer of kindness on the part of the emperors.

6

In fact, since the time of Trebellianus they have been considered barbarians; for indeed their district, though in the midst of lands belonging to the Romans, is guarded by a novel kind of defence, comparable to a frontier-wall, for it is protected not by men but by the nature of the country.

7

For the Isaurians are not of noble stature or distinguished courage, not well provided with arms or wise in counsel, but they are kept safe by this alone that, dwelling, as they do, on the heights, no one can approach them. The Deified Claudius did, it is true, almost persuade them to leave their native lands and settle in Cilicia, planning to give the entire possessions of the Isaurians to one of his most loyal friends in order that never again might a rebellion arise therein.


Herennianus



27

1

Odaenathus, when he died, left two little sons, Herennianus and his brother Timolaus, in whose name Zenobia seized the imperial power, holding the government longer than was meet for a woman. These boys she displayed clad in the purple robe of a Roman emperor and she brought them to public gatherings which she attended in the fashion of a man, holding up, among other examples, Dido and Semiramis, and Cleopatra, the founder of her family.

2

The manner of their death, however, is uncertain; for many maintain that they were killed by Aurelian, and many that they died a natural death, since Zenobia's descendants still remain among the nobles of Rome.


Timolaus



28

1

With regard to him we consider only those things to be worth knowing which have been told concerning his brother.

2

One thing there is, however, which distinguishes him from his brother, that is, that such was his eagerness for Roman studies that in a short time, it is said, he made good the statement of his teacher of letters, who had said that he was in truth able to make him the greatest of Latin rhetoricians.


Celsus



29

1

When the various parts of the empire were seized, namely Gaul, the Orient, and even Pontus, Thrace and Illyricum, and while Gallienus was spending his time in public-houses and giving up his life to bathing and pimps, the Africans also, at the instance of Vibius Passienus, the proconsul of Africa, and Fabius Pomponianus, the general in command of the Libyan frontier, created an emperor, namely Celsus, decking him with the robe of the goddess Caelestis.

2

This man, a commoner and formerly a tribune stationed in Africa, was then living on his own estates, but such was his reputation for justice and such the size of his body that he seemed worthy of the imperial power.

3

Therefore he was made emperor, but on the seventh day of his rule he was killed by a woman named Galliena, a cousin of Gallienus, and so he has scarcely found a place even among the least known of the emperors.

4

His body was devoured by dogs, for such was the command of the people of Sicca, who had remained faithful to Gallienus, and then with a new kind of insult his image was set up on a cross, while the mob pranced about, as though they were looking at Celsus himself affixed to a gibbet.


Zenobia



30

1

Now all shame is exhausted, for in the weakened state of the commonwealth things came to such a pass that, while Gallienus conducted himself in the most evil fashion, even women ruled most excellently.

2

For, in fact, even a foreigner, Zenobia by name, about whom much has already been said, boasting herself to be of the family of the Cleopatras and the Ptolemies, proceeded upon the death of her husband Odaenathus to cast about her shoulders the imperial mantle; and arrayed in the robes of Dido and even assuming the diadem, she held the imperial power in the name of her sons Herennianus and Timolaus, ruling longer than could be endured from one of the female sex.

3

For this proud woman performed the functions of a monarch both while Gallienus was ruling and afterwards when Claudius was busied with the war against the Goths, and in the end could scarcely by conquered by Aurelian himself, under whom she was led in triumph and submitted to the sway of Rome.

4

There is still in existence a letter of Aurelian's which bears testimony concerning this woman, then in captivity. For when some found fault with him, because he, the bravest of men, had led a woman in triumph, as though she were a general, he sent a letter to the senate and the Roman people, defending himself by the following justification:

5

"I have heard, Conscript Fathers, that men are reproaching me for having performed an unmanly deed in leading Zenobia in triumph. But in truth those very persons who find fault with me now would accord me praise in abundance, did they but know what manner of woman she is, how wise in counsels, how steadfast in plans, how firm toward the soldiers, how generous when necessity calls, and how stern when discipline demands.

6

I might even say that it was her doing that Odaenathus defeated the Persians and, after putting Sapor to flight, advanced all the way to Ctesiphon.

7

I might add thereto that such was the fear that this woman inspired in the peoples of the East and also the Egyptians that neither Arabs nor Saracens nor Armenians ever moved against her.

8

Nor would I have spared her life, had I not known that she did a great service to the Roman state when she preserved the imperial power in the East for herself, or for her children.

9

Therefore let those whom nothing pleases keep the venom of their own tongues to themselves.

10

For if it is not meet to vanquish a woman and lead her in triumph, what are they saying of Gallienus, in contempt of whom she ruled the empire well?

11

What of the Deified Claudius, that revered and honoured leader? For he, because he was busied with his campaigns against the Goths, suffered her, or so it is said, to hold the imperial power, doing it of purpose and wisely, in order that he himself, while she kept guard over the eastern frontier of the empire, might the more safely complete what he had taken in hand."

12

This speech shows what opinion Aurelian held concerning Zenobia.

Such was her continence, it is said, that she would not know even her own husband save for the purpose of conception. For when once she had lain with him, she would refrain until the time of menstruation to see if she were pregnant; if not, she would again grant him an opportunity of begetting children.

13

She lived in regal pomp. It was rather in the manner of the Persians that she received worship and in the manner of the Persian kings that she banqueted;

14

but it was in the manner of a Roman emperor that she came forth to public assemblies, wearing a helmet and girt with a purple fillet, which had gems hanging from the lower edge, while its centre was fastened with the jewel called cochlis, used instead of the brooch worn by women, and her arms were frequently bare.

15

Her face was dark and of a swarthy hue, her eyes were black and powerful beyond the usual wont, her spirit divinely great, and her beauty incredible. So white were her teeth that many thought that she had pearls in place of teeth.

16

Her voice was clear and like that of a man. Her sternness, when necessity demanded, was that of a tyrant, her clemency, when her sense of right called for it, that of a good emperor. Generous with prudence, she conserved her treasures beyond the wont of women.

17

She made use of a carriage, and rarely of a woman's coach, but more often she rode a horse; it is said, moreover, that frequently she walked with her foot-soldiers for three or four miles.

18

She hunted with the eagerness of a Spaniard. She often drank with her generals, though at other times she refrained, and she drank, too, with the Persians and the Armenians, but only for the purpose of getting the better of them.

19

At her banquets she used vessels of gold and jewels, and she even used those that had been Cleopatra's. As servants she had eunuchs of advanced age and but very few maidens.

20

She ordered her sons to talk Latin, so that, in fact, they spoke Greek but rarely and with difficulty.

21

She herself was not wholly conversant with the Latin tongue, but nevertheless, mastering her timidity she would speak it; Egyptian, on the other hand, she spoke very well.

22

In the history of Alexandria and the Orient she was so well versed that she even composed an epitome, so it is said; Roman history, however, she read in Greek.

23

When Aurelian had taken her prisoner, he caused her to be led into his presence and then addressed her thus: "Why is it, Zenobia, that you dared to show insolence to the emperors of Rome?" To this she replied, it is said: "You, I know, are an emperor indeed, for you win victories, but Gallienus and Aureolus and the others I never regarded as emperors. Believing Victoria to be a woman like me, I desired to become a partner in the royal power, should the supply of lands permit."

24

And so she was led in triumph with such magnificence that the Roman people had never seen a more splendid parade. For, in the first place, she was adorned with gems so huge that she laboured under the weight of her ornaments;

25

for it is said that this woman, courageous though she was, halted very frequently, saying that she could not endure the load of her gems.

26

Furthermore, her feet were bound with shackles of gold and her hands with golden fetters, and even on her neck she wore a chain of gold, the weight of which was borne by a Persian buffoon.

27

Her life was granted her by Aurelian, and they say that thereafter she lived with her children in the manner of a Roman matron on an estate that had been presented to her at Tibur, which even to this day is still called Zenobia, not far from the palace of Hadrian or from that place which bears the name of Concha.


Victoria



31

1

It would, indeed, be an unworthy thing that Vitruvia also, or rather Victoria, should be given a place in letters, had not the ways of Gallienus brought it about that women, too, should be deemed worthy of mention.

2

For Victoria, after seeing her son and grandson slain by the soldiers, and also Postumus, then Lollianus, and Marius too (whom the soldiers had named emperor) all put to death, urged Tetricus, of whom I have spoken above, to seize the power, solely that she might always be daring the deeds of a man. She was distinguished, furthermore, by her title, for she called herself Mother of the Camp.

3

Coins, too, were struck in her name, of bronze and gold and silver, and even to‑day the type is still in existence among the Treviri.

4

She did not, indeed, live long; for during Tetricus' rule she was slain, some say, while others assert that she succumbed to the destiny of fate.

5

This is all that I have deemed worthy of being related concerning the thirty pretenders, all of whom I have gathered into one book, lest the telling of each single detail about each one singly might bring about an aversion that is undeserved and not to be borne by my readers.

6

Now I will return to the Emperor Claudius. Concerning him I think I should publish a special book, short though it be, for his manner of life deserves it, and I must say something, besides, about that peerless man, his brother, in order that at least a few facts may be told of so righteous and noble a family.

7

It was with deliberate purpose that I included the women, namely that I might make a mock of Gallienus, a greater monster than whom the Roman state has never endured; now I will add two pretenders besides, supernumeraries, so to speak, for they lived each at a different period, since one was of the time of Maximinus, the other of the time of Claudius, my purpose being to include in this book the lives of thirty pretenders.

8

I ask you, accordingly, you who have received this book now completed, to look on my plan with favour and to consent to add to your volume these two, whom I had purposed to include after Claudius and Aurelian among those who lived between Tacitus and Diocletian, just as I included the elder Valens in this present book.

9

This error on my part, however, your accurate learning, mindful of history, prevented.

10

And so I am grateful that the kindliness of your wisdom has filled out my title. Now no one in the Temple of Peace will say that among the pretenders I included women, female pretenders, forsooth, or, rather, pretendresses — for this they are wont to bandy about concerning me with merriment and jests.

11

They have now the number complete, gathered into my writings from the secret stores of history. For

12

I will add to my work Titus and Censorinus, the former of whom, as I have said, lived under Maximinus and the latter under Claudius, but both were slain by the very soldiers who clothed them with the purple.


Titus



32

1

It is related by Dexippus and not left unmentioned by Herodian or any of those who have recorded such things for posterity to read, that Titus, once a tribune of the Moors but reduced by Maximinus to the position of a civilian, fearing a violent death, as they narrate, but reluctantly, so most assert, and compelled by the soldiers, seized the imperial power. But within a few days, after the revolt was put down which Magnus, a man of consular rank, led against Maximinus, he was slain by his own troops. He reigned, however, for the space of six months.

2

He was one who especially deserved the praise of the commonwealth both at home and abroad, but in his ruling he had ill-fortune.

3

Some say, on the other hand, that he was made emperor by the Armenian bowmen, whom Maximinus hated as devoted to Alexander and to whom he had given offence.

4

You will not, indeed, wonder that there is such diversity of statement about this man, for even his name is scarcely known.

5

His wife was Calpurnia, a revered and venerated woman of the stock of the Caesonini (that is, of the Pisos), to whom our fathers did reverence as a priestess married but once and among the most holy of women, and whose statue we have seen still standing in the Temple of Venus, its head, hands and feet made of marble but the rest of it gilded.

6

She is said to have owned the pearls that once belonged to Cleopatra and a silver platter weighing a hundred pounds, of which many poets have made mention and on which was shown wrought in relief the history of her forefathers.

7

I seem to have gone on further than the matter demanded. But what am I to do? For knowledge is ever wordy through a natural inclination.

8

Wherefore I shall now return to Censorinus, a man of noble birth, but said to have ruled for seven days not so much to the welfare as to the hurt of the state.


Censorinus



33

1

He was a soldier, indeed, and a man of old-time dignity in the senate-house, having been twice consul, twice prefect of the guard, three times prefect of the city, four times proconsul, three times legate of consular rank, twice of praetorian, four times of aedilician, three times of quaestorian, and having held the post of envoy extraordinary to the Persians and also to the Sarmatians.

2

Nevertheless, after all these offices, while living on his own estates, now an old man and lame in one foot from a wound received in the Persian War under Valerian, he was created emperor and by a jester's witticism given the name of Claudius.

3

But when he proceeded to act with the greatest severity and became intolerable to the soldiers because of his rigid discipline, he was put to death by the very men who had made him emperor.

4

His tomb is still in existence near Bologna, and on it are inscribed in large letters all the honours he had held, but in the last line there is added: "Happy in all things, as emperor most hapless."

5

His family is still in existence, well known by the name of Censorini, some of whom, in their hatred of all things Roman, have departed to Thrace, and some to Bithynia.

6

His house, too, is still in existence, and a most beautiful one it is, adjacent to the Flavian House, which is said to have once belonged to the Emperor Titus.

7

You have now the complete number of the thirty tyrants, you who used to dispute with those ill disposed to me, though always in a kindly spirit.

8

Now bestow on any one you wish this little book, written not with elegance but with fidelity to truth. Nor, in fact, do I seem to myself to have made any promise of literary style, but only of facts, for these little works which I have composed on the lives of the emperors I do not write down but only dictate, and I dictate them, indeed, with that speed, which, whether I promise aught of my own accord or you request it, you urge with such insistence that I have not even the opportunity of drawing breath.