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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. His body was devoured by
dogs, for such was the command of the people of
Sicca, 3 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.



133



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

ZENOBIA

XXX. Omnis iam consumptus est pudor, si qui-
dem fatigata re publica eo usque perventum est ut
Galliano nequissime agente optime etiam mulieres

2 imperarent. et quidem peregrina enim, 1 nomine
Zenobia, de qua raulta iam dicta sunt, quae se de
Cleopatrarum Ptolemaeorumque gente iactaret, post
Odaenathum maritum imperiali sagulo perfuso per
umeros, habitu Didonis 2 ornata, diademate etiam
accepto, nomine filiorum Herenniani et Timolai diutius

3 quam femineus sexus patiebatur imperavit. si quidem
Gallieno adhuc regente rem publicam regale mulier
superba munus obtinuit et Claudio bellis Gothicis
occupato vix denique ab Aureliano victa et triumphata
concessit in iura Romana.

4 Exstat epistula Aureliani, quae captivae mulieri testi-
monium fert. nam cum a quibusdam reprehenderetur,
quod mulierem veluti ducem aliquem vir fortissimus
triumphasset, missis ad senatumpopulumque Romanum

6 litteris hac se adtestatione defendit : " Audio, patres

1 enim P, def . by Tidner ; etiam Peter; < per 'egrina^> enim,
Petschenig, Hohl. 2 Didonis Salm. ; donis P.



1 Septimia Zenobia, wife of Septirnius Odaeuathus. Iii the
inscriptions erected to her during her rule at Palmyra she is
called TJ \afj.TrpoTo.Tri fia<ri\HT<ra (O.G.I. 648-650) and in one (O.G.I.
647) she actually has the title of 2e8a<rr7] (Augusta), but, as has
been pointed out by Mommsen, this is probably an honorary
designation, and her son and co-ruler Vaballathus Atheuodorus
(see note to c. xxvii. 1) bore, at first, only the titles of consul, rex
and dux imperator Rovianorum, and there is no reason to believe
that she actually claimed the imperial power. For her invasion



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS XXX. 1-5

ZENOBIA

XXX. Now all shame is exhausted, for in the
weakened state of the commonwealth things came
to such a pass that, while Gallienus conducted him-
self in the most evil fashion, even women ruled most
excellently. For, in fact, even a foreigner, Zenobia l
by name, about whom much has already been said,
boasting herself to be of the family of the Cleopatras
and the Ptolemies, 2 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, 3 ruling longer than could be endured from
one of the female sex. For this proud woman per-
formed the functions of a monarch both while Gal-
lienus was ruling and afterwards when Claudius was
busied with the war against the Goths, 4 and in the
end could scarcely be .conquered by Aurelian himself,
under whom she was led in triumph and submitted to
the sway of Rome.

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 : " I have heard,

of Egypt, see Claud., xi. 1. On Aurelian's campaign against
her and his subsequent triumph, see Aur., xxii.-xxx. ; xxxiii-
xxxiv.

a So also c. xxvii. 2. It was, of course, a fiction.

3 See note to c. xxvii. 1. 4 See Claud n vi. xi.

135



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

conscript!, mihi obici, quod non virile munus im-
pleverim Zenobiam triumphando. ne illi, qui me
reprehendunt, satis laudarent, si scirent quae ilia sit 1
mulier, quam prudens in consiliis, quam constans in
dispositionibus, quam erga milites gravis, quam larga,
cum necessitas postulet, quam tristis, cum severitas

6 poscat. possum dicere illius esse quod Odaenathus
Persas vicit ac fugato Sapore Ctesiphonta usque per-

7venit. possum adserere tanto apud orientales et
Aegyptiorum populos timori mulierem fuisse ut se non
Arabes, non Saraceni, non Armenii commoverent.

8 nee ego illi vitam conservassem, nisi earn scissem
multum Romanae rei publicae profuisse, cum sibi vel

9 liberis suis orientis servaret imperium. sibi ergo
habeant propriarum venena linguarum ii quibus nihil

10 placet, nam si vicisse ac triumphasse feminam non
est decorum, quid de Gallieno loquuntur, in cuius

11 contemptu haec bene rexit imperium ? quid de divo
Claudio, sancto ac venerabili duce, qui earn, quod ipse
Gothicis esset expeditionibus occupatus, passus esse
dicitur imperare ? idque consulte a ac prudenter, ut
ilia servante orientalis fines imperii ipse securius quae

12instituerat perpetraret." haec oratio indicat quid
iudicii Aurelianus habuerit de Zenobia.

Cuius ea castitas fuisse dicitur ut ne virum suum
quidem scierit nisi temptandis 3 conceptionibus. nam



1 -ilia sit Peter, Hohl ; illas P. 2 consulte Paucker, Corne-
lissen, Peter '^ ; occulte P, Peter 1 . 3 temptandis Cornelissen,
Hohl ; temi'tatls P, Peter.



1 See c. xv. 3-4.
136



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS XXX. 6-12

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 abun-
dance, 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. 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. 1 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. 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. Therefore let those whom nothing pleases
keep the venom of their own tongues to themselves.
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 ? 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."
This speech shows what opinion Aureliaii held con-
cerning Zenobia.

Such was her continence, it is said, that she would
not know even her own husband save for the purpose

137



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

cuin semel concubuisset, exspectatis menstruis con-
tinebat se, si praegnans esset, sin minus, iterum

ISpotestatem quaerendis liberis dabat. vixit regali
pompa. more magis Persico adorata est, regum

14 more Persarum convivata est. imperatorum more
Romanorum ad contiones galeata processit cum limbo
purpureogemmis dependentibus per ultimam fimbriam,
media etiam cochlide veluti fibula muliebri adstricta,

15bracchio saepe nudo. fuit vultu subaquilo, fusci
colons, oculis supra modum vigentibus l nigris, spiritus
divini, venustatis incredibilis. tantus candor in
dentibus ut margaritas earn plerique putarent habere,

16 noil dentes. vox clara et virilis. severitas, ubi
iiecessitas postulabat, tyrannorum, bonorum prin-
cipum dementia, ubi pietas requirebat. larga
prudenter, conservatrix thesaurorum ultra femineum

17 modum. usa vehiculo carpentario, raro pilento, equo
saepius. fertur autem vel tria vel quattuor milia

18 frequenter cum peditibus ambulasse. venata 2 est
Hispanorum cupiditate. bibit saepe cum ducibus,
cum esset alias sobria ; bibit et cum Persis atque

19 Armeniis, ut eos vinceret. usa est vasis aureis
gemmatis ad convivia, iam usa 3 Cleopatranis. in
ministerio eunuchos gravioris aetatis habuit, puellas

1 uigentibus 2, Peter; ingentibus P. 2 uenata Kiessling,
Peter ; nata P. 3 So Editor ; conuiuicimusa Pb ; conuiuia
non nisi Peter ; conuiuia, usa Hohl.



1 Found in Arabia, according to Pliny, Nat. Hist., xxxvii.
194, and often of such great size that they were used by eastern
kings on the frontals of their horses and as ornamental
pendants.

J38



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS XXX. 13-19

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. 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 ; 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, 1 used instead of the
brooch worn by women, and her arms were frequently
bare. 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. Her voice was clear
and like that of a man. Her sternness, when neces-
sity 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. 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. 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. 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

139



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

20 nimis raras. filios Latine loqui iusserat, ita l ut Graece

21 vel difficile vel raro loquerentur. ipsa Latini ser-
monis non usque quaque gnara, sed ut loqueretur
pudore cohibito 2 ; loquebatur et Aegyptiace ad per-

22 fectum modum. historiae Alexandrinae atque orieii-
talis ita perita ut earn epitomasse dicatur ; Latinam
autem Graece legerat.

23 Cum ilJam Aurelianus cepisset atque in conspectum
suum adductam sic appellasset, " Quid est, 3 Zenobia ?
ausa es insultare Romanis imperatoribus ? " ilia dixisse
fertur : " Imperatorem te esse cognosce, qui vincis,
Gallienurn et Aureolum et ceteros principes non
putavi. Victoriam mei similem credens in consortium
regni venire, si facultas locorum pateretur, optavi."

24 ducta est igitur per triumphum ea specie ut nihil
pompabilius populo Romano videretur. iam primum
ornata gemmis ingeiitibus, ita ut ornamentorum onere

25 laboraret. fertur enim mulier fortissima saepissime
restitisse, cum diceret se gemmarum onera ferre non

26 posse. vincti erant praeterea pedes auro, manus
etiam catenis aureis, nee collo aureum vinculum

27 deerat, quod scurra Persicus praeferebat. huic vita 4
ab Aureliano concessa est, ferturque vixisse cum
liberis matronae iam more Romanae data sibi posses-

1 ita Peter; id P. -cohibito Peter; cohibita P, Hohl.

*est Z", Mommsen, Hohl ; es P corr. ; Peter. *ui tains.

by Walter and Hohl ; om. in P.



1 See c. xxxi. a Of. Aur. t xxxiv. 3.

140



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS XXX. 20-27

very few maidens. She ordered her sons to talk
Latin, so that, in fact, they spoke Greek but rarely
and with difficulty. She herself was not wholly con-
versant with the Latin tongue, but nevertheless,
mastering her timidity she would speak it ; Egyptian,
on the other hand, she spoke very well. 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.

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 r " 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 em-
perors. Believing Victoria l to be a woman like me,
I desired to become a partner in the royal power,
should the supply of lands permit." 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 ; 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. 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. 2 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

141



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

sione in Tiburti, quae hodieque Zenobia dicitur, noil
longe ab Hadrian! palatio atque ab eo loco cui nomen
est Conchae.

VICTORIA

XXXI. Non tarn digna res erat ut etiam Vitruvia
sive Victoria in litteras mitteretur, nisi Gallieni mores
hoc facerent ut memoria dignae etiam mulieres cen-

2serentur. Victoria enim, ubi filium ac nepotem a
militibus vidit occisos, Postumum, deinde Lollianum,
Marium etiam, quern principem milites nuncupave-
rant, interemptos, Tetricum, de quo superius dictum
est, ad imperium hortata est, ut virile semper facinus
auderet. insignita est praeterea hoc titulo, ut cas-

Strorum se diceret matrem. cusi sunt eius nummi
aerei, aurei et argentei, quorum hodieque forma

4exstat apud Treviros. quae quidem non diutius vixit.
nam Tetrico imperante, ut plerique loquuntur, occisa,
ut alii adserunt, fatal! necessitate consumpta.

5 Haec sunt quae de triginta tyrannis dicenda vide-
bantur. quos ego in unum volumen idcirco contuli,
ne, de singulis si 1 singula quaeque narrarem, nasce-
rentur indigna fastidia et ea quae ferre lector non

2 si ins. by Peter; om. in P.



1 See note to Hadr., xxvi. 5.

2 Frequently mentioned as responsible, after the death of
her son Victorinus, for the bestowal of the imperial power, first
on her grandson, then on the various pretenders in Gaul ; see
c. v. 3 ; vi. 3 ; vii. 1 ; xxiv. 1 ; xxv. 1 ; Aur. Victor, Caes.,
xxxiii. 14. The name Vitruvia, given as an alternate form in
the Tyranni Triginta and in Claud., iv. 4, seems to have no
warrant.

142



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS XXXI. 2-5

this day is still called Zenobia, not far from the palace
of Hadrian l or from that place which bears the name
of Concha.

VICTORIA

XXXI. It would, indeed, be an unworthy thing
that Vitruvia also, or rather Victoria, 2 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. For Victoria, after seeing her son and
grandson slain by the soldiers, and also Postumus,
then Lollianus, and Marius 3 too (whom the soldiers
had named emperor) all put to death, urged Tetricus,
of whom I have spoken above, 4 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. 5
Coins, too, were struck in her name, 6 of bronze and
gold and silver, and even to-day the type is still in
existence among the Treviri. 7 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.

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

3 See c. iii. ; v. ; viii. 4 See c. xxiv.

5 The title Mater Castrorum, first borne by Faustina (see
Marc., xxvi. 8), was regularly used by the later empresses.

6 None are known ; see note to c. xxvi. 2.

7 Their capital was the modern Trier (Augusta Trevirorum).

148



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

6 posset. mine ad Claudium principem redeo. de
quo speciale mihi volumen quamvis breve merito vitae
illius videtur edendum addito fratre singular! viro, ita
ut de familia tarn sancta et tarn nobili saltern 1 pauca
referantur.

7 Studiose in medio feminas posui ad ludibrium
Gallieni, quo nihil prodigiosius passa est Romana res
publica, duos etiam nunc tyrannos quasi extra
numerum, quod alieni essent temporis, additurus,
unum qui fuit Maximini temporibus, alterum qui
Claudii, ut tyrannorum triginta vitae 2 hoc volumine

8 teiierentur. quaeso, qui expletum iam librum ac-
ceperas, boni consulas atque hos volumini tuo volens
addas, quos ego, queni ad modum Valentem supe-
riorem huic volumini, sic post Claudium et Aurelianum
iis qui inter Taciturn et Diocletianum fuerunt addere

9 destinaveram. sed errorem meum memor historiae
lOdiligentia tuae eruditionis avertit. habeo igitur

gratiam, quod titulum meum prudentiae tuae benig-

nitas implevit. nemo in Templo Pacis dicturus est

me feminas inter tyrannos, tyrannas videlicet vel

tyrannides, ut ipsi de me solent cum risu et ioco 3

11 iactitare, posuisse. habent integrum numerum ex

12arcanis historiae in meas litteras datum. Titus enim

et Censorinus addentur, 4 quorum unus, ut dixi, sub

l saltim S\ saluti P. - nitae Peter; uiri P, Hohl.

9 cum risu et ioco transp. by Peter; after tyrannos in P.
4 addentur sugg. by Peter 2 ; om. in P.

1 Quintillus ; see Claud., xii.

2 See c. xx.

3 Built, with an enclosing forum, by Vespasian, N.E. of the
Forum Romanum. Adjacent to it was the Bibliotheca Templi
Pacis, apparently a resort of critics.

144



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS XXXT. 6-12

borne by my readers. Now 1 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, 1 in order
that at least a few facts may be told of so righteous
and noble a family.

It was with deliberate purpose that I included the
women, namely that I might make a mock of Gal-
lienus, a greater monster than whom the Roman
state has never endured ; now I will add two pre-
tenders 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 Clau-
dius, my purpose being to include in this book the
lives of thirty pretenders. 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 in-
cluded the elder Valens 2 in this present book. This
error on my part, however, your accurate learning,
mindful of history, prevented. And so I am grateful
that the -kindliness of your wisdom has filled out my
title. Now no one in the Temple of Peace 3 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. They have now the
number complete, gathered into my writings from
the secret stores of history. For I will add to my
work Titus and Censorinus, the former of whom, as

145



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

Maximino, alter sub Claudio fuit, qui ambo ab iisdem
militibus a quibus purpura velati fuerant interempti
sunt.

TITUS

XXXII. Docet Dexippus, nee Herodianus tacet
omnesque qui talia legenda posteris tradiderunt,
Titum, tribunum Maurorum, qui a Maximino inter
privates relictus fuerat, timore violentae mortis, ut
illi l dicunt, invitum vero et a militibus coactum,
ut plerique adserunt, imperasse, atque hunc intra
paucos dies post vindicatam defectionem, quam
consularis vir Magnus Maximino paraverat, a suis
militibus interemptum. imperasse autem mensibus

2 sex. fuit hie vir de primis erga rem publicam
domi forisque laudabilis, sed in imperio parum

3 felix. alii dicunt ab Armeniis sagittariis, quos
Maximinus ut Alexandrinos et oderat et offenderat,

4 principem factum. nee mireris tantam esse varie-

5 tatem de homine, cuius vix nomen agnoscitur. huius
uxor Calpurnia fuit, sancta et venerabilis femina de
genere Caesoninorum, id est Pisonum, quam maiores
nostri univiriam sacerdotem inter sacratissimas feminas

1 alii P, def. by Lenze.



1 On this " pretender," called Quartinus by Herodian, vii. 1,
9-10, see Maxim., xi. 1-4 and note.

2 See note to Alex., xlix. 3.

3 Herodian, vii. 1, 9.

4 See Maxim., x.

5 According to Maxim., xi. 1 and Herodian I.e., they were
Osroenians.

6 L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, consul in 148 B.C., be-
queathed his second surname to his descendants, among whom
was the consul of 58 B.C., made famous by Cicero's invective,

146



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS XXXII. 1-5

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 i

XXXII. It is related by Dexippus 2 and not left
immentioned by Herodian 3 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, 4 a man of consular rank, led against
Maximinus, he was slain by his own troops. He
reigned, however, for the space of six months. He
was one who especially deserved the praise of the
commonwealth both at home and abroad, but in
his ruling he had ill-fortune. Some say, on the
other hand, that he was made emperor by the
Armenian 5 bowmen, whom Maximinus hated as
devoted to Alexander and to whom he had given
offence. You will not, indeed, wonder that there is
such diversity of statement about this man, for even
his name is scarcely known. His wife was Calpurnia,
a revered and venerated woman of the stock of the
Caesonini (that is, of the Pisos), 6 to whom our fathers
did reverence as a priestess married but once and
among the most holy of women, and whose statue

but there is no reason for believing tbat tbe family was in
existence in tbe tbird century, and tbis Calpurnia is probably
an invention of tbe author's, due to bis desire to ornament his
work with great names.

147



THE THIRTY PRETENDERS

adorarunt, cuius statuam in Templo Veneris adhuc

6 vidimus acrolitham sed auratam. haec uniones Cleo-
patranos habuisse perhibetur, haec lancem centum
librarum argenti, cuius plerique poetae meminerunt }
in qua maiorum eius expressa ostenderetur historia.

7 Longius mihi videor processisse quam res postulabat.
sed quid faciam ? scientia naturae facilitate verbosa

8 est. quare ad Censorinum revertar, hominem nobilem
sed qui non tarn bono quam malo rei publicae septem
diebus dicitur imperasse.

CENSORINUS

XXXIII. Vir plane militaris et antiquae in curia
dignitatis, bis consul, bis praefectus praetorii, ter
praefectus urbi, quarto pro coiisule, tertio consularis,
legatus praetorius secundo, quarto aedilicius, tertio
quaestorius, extra ordinem quoque legatione Persica
functus, etiam Sarmatica.

2 Post omnes tamen honores cum in agro suo degeret
senex atque uno pede claudicans vulnere, quod bello
Persico Valeriani temporibus acceperat, factus est
imperator et scurrarum ioco Claudius appellatus est.

3 cumque se gravissime gereret neque a militibus ob
disciplinam censoriam ferri posset, ab iis ipsis a quibus

4 factus fuerat interemptus est. exstat eius sepulchrum



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