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1 Despite the imposing array of offices which this " pre-
tender " is said to have held, no trace of him is found in any
record of any kind, and, if he existed at all, he was certainly
not the man of importance that the writer would have ua

2 Apparently a pun on claudus = " lame."



we have seen still standing in the Temple of Venus,
its head, hands and feet made of marble but the rest
of it gilded. 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.

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. Where-
fore 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.


XXXIII. 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.

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. 2 But when he
proceeded to act with the greatest severity and be-
came intolerable to the soldiers because of his rigid
discipline, he was put to death by the very men
who had made him emperor. His tomb is still in



circa Bononiam, 1 in quo grandibus litteris incisi sunt
omnes eius honores ; ultimo tamen versu adscriptum

5 est 2 : " Felix omnia, infelicissimus imperator." exstat
eius familia, Censorinorum nomine frequentata, cuius
pars Thracias odio rerum Romanarum, pars Bithyniam

6 petiit. exstat etiam domus pulcherrima, adiuncta
Gentibus Flaviis, quae quondam Titi principis fuisse

7 Habes integrum triginta numerum tyrannorum, qui

8 cum malevolis quidem sed bono animo causabaris. da
nunc cuivis libellum, non tam diserte quam fideliter 3
scriptum. neque ego eloquentiam mini videor polli-
citus esse, sed rem, qui hos libellos, quos de vita
principum edidi, non scribo sed dicto, et dicto cum ea
festinatione, quam, si quid vel ipse promisero vel tu
petieris, sic perurges ut respirandi non habeam

1 circa Bononiam transp. by Eyssenhardt, foil, by Peter ;
after litteris in P. 2 adscriptum est Hohl ; asscri2Jt'nsest Z\
adseripext P 1 ; adseri potest P corr., Peter. 3 fideliter 2,
Peter ; ft-liciter P.

1 See note to c. xiv. 3.

2 The Templum Gentis Flaviae, originally the private house
of Vespasian, was converted into a temple by Domitian (Suet.,
Dotn., i. 1) and was used as the burial-place of the Flavian



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." His family is still in exist-
ence, 1 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. His
house, too, is still in existence, and a most beautiful
one it is, adjacent to the Flavian House, 2 which is said
to have once belonged to the Emperor Titus.

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

emperors. It stood on the Quirinal Hill close to the modern
Quattro Fpntane. The term Oentes Flaviae used in the text
to denote this building is given as Gentem Flaviam in the
Notitia Regionum and the Curiosum.




I. Ventum est ad principem Claudium, qui nobis
intuitu Constant!! Caesaris cum cura in litteras dige-
rendus est. de quo ego idcirco recusare non potui
quod alios, tumultuarios videlicet imperatores ac
regulos, scripseram eo libro quern de triginta tyrannis
edidi, qui Cleopatranam etiam stirpem Victoriamque l

2 mine detinet ; si quidem eo res processit ut mulierum

3 etiam vitas scribi Gallieni comparatio effecerit. neque
enim fas erat eum tacere principem, qui tantam generis
sui prolem reliquit, 2 qui bellum Gothicum sua virtute

1 Victoriamque Peter; Victor ianamgue P, Hohl.
" reliquit ins. by Salm. foil, by Peter ; om. in P.


*M. Aurelius Claudius Augustus (268-270). The names
Flavius (c. vii. 8 ; Aur., xvii. 2) and Valerius (c. xviii. 3) are
incorrectly given to him by the biographer for the purpose of
connecting him more closely with Flavius Valerius Constantius
(Chlorus), his reputed descendant; see note to c. xiii. 2. He
seems to have been born in Illyricum (c. xi. 9), probably in
214, and to have served under Gallienus in the wars against
Postumus (Gall., vii. 1) and against the Goths; see c. vi. 1;
xviii. 1. For his accession to power and his victory over
Aureolus, see c. v. 1-3 ; Gail., xiv. 2 f . ; xv. 3 ; Tyr. Trig.,
xi. 4. The biographer omits from this hysterical panegyric all





I. I have now come to the Emperor Claudius, 1
whose life 1 must set forth in writing with all due
care, out of respect for Constantius Caesar. I could
not, indeed, refuse to write of him, inasmuch as I had
already written of others, emperors created in tumult,
I mean, and princes of no importance, all in that book
which I composed about the thirty pretenders and
which now includes even a descendant of Cleopatra 2
and a Victoria ; 3 for things had come to such a pass
that, for the sake of comparison with Gallienus, I was
forced to write even the lives of women. 4 And, in
fact, it would not be right to leave unmentioned an
emperor who left us such a scion of his race, 5 who
ended the war against the Goths by his own valour,

mention of his great victory in 268 over the Alamanni, near
Lake Garda, recorded by Epit., 34, 2 and an inscription in
which he has the cognomen Germanicus, as well as by his
coins with the legend Victoria Germanica (Matt.-Syd., v. p. 232,
nos. 247-250).

3 i.e., Zenobia ; see Tyr. Trig., xxx. 2.

See Tyr. Trig., xxxi. 1-4. 4 Cf. Tyr. Trig., xxi. 1.

'Constantius Ghlorus ; see c. xiii. 2 and note.



coiifecit, qui manum publicis cladibus victor imposuit,
qui Gallienum, prodigiosum imperatorem, etiamsi
non auctor consilii fuit, tamen ipse imperaturus bono
generis humani, a gubernaculis publicis depulit, qui,
si diutius in hac esset commoratus re publica, Sci-
piones nobis l et Camillos omnesque illos veteres suis
viribus, suis consiliis, sua providentia reddidisset

II. Breve illius, negare 2 non possum, in impeno fuit
tempus, sed breve fuisset, etiamsi quantum hominum
vita suppetit, tantum vir talis imperare potuisset.

2 quid enim in illo non mirabile ? quid lion con-
spicuum ? quid non triumphalibus vetustissimis prae-

3 ferendum ? in quo Traiani virtus, Antonini pietas,
Augusti moderatio, et magnorum principum bona sic
fuerunt, ut non ille 3 ab aliis exemplum caperet, sed,
etiamsi illi non fuissent, hie ceteris reliquisset ex-

4 emplum. doctissimi mathematicorum centum viginti
annos homini ad vivendum datos iudicant neque
amplius cuiquam iactitant esse concessos, etiam illud
addentes Mosen solum, dei, ut ludaeorum libri lo-
quuntur, familiarem, centum viginti quinque annos
vixisse ; qui cum quereretur quod iuvenis interiret,
responsum ei ab incerto ferunt numine neminem plus

6 esse victurum. quare etiamsi centum et viginti quinque
annos Claudius vixisset, ne necessarian! quidem mortem
eius exspectandam fuisse, ut Tullius de Scipione

1 nobis Salin. ; bonis P. . 2 negare Eyssenhardt, Peter ;
genere P, 27. 3 ille Salm. ; nihil P, Z.

1 See note to Gall., xiv. 1.

2 Usually applied to Abraham ; but cf. Exodus, xxxiii. 11 and
EcclesiasticuSt xliv. 1.

3 120 years, according to Deuteronomy, xxxiv. 11.

4 Cicero, pro Milone, 16, of the younger Scipio Africanus.



who as victor laid a healing hand upon the public
miseries, who, though not the contriver of the plan, 1
nevertheless thrust Gallienus, that monstrous emperor,
from the helm of the state, himself destined to rule
for the good of the human race, who, finally, had he
but tarried longer in this commonwealth, would by
his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have re-
stored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those
men of old.

II. Short, indeed, was the time of his rule I can-
not deny it but too short would it have been, could
such a man as he have ruled even as long as human
life may last. For what was there in him that was
not admirable ? that was not pre-eminent ? that was
not superior to the triumphant generals of remote
antiquity ? The valour of Trajan, the righteousness
of Antoninus, the self-restraint of Augustus, and the
good qualities of all the great emperors, all these
were his to such a degree that he did not merely take
others as examples, but, even if these others had
never existed, he himself would have left an example
to all who came after. Now the most learned of the
astrologers hold that one hundred and twenty years
have been allotted to man for living and assert that
no one has ever been granted a longer span ; they
even tell, us that Moses alone, the friend of God, 2
as he is called in the books of the Jews, lived for one
hundred and twenty-five years, 3 and that when he
complained that he was dying in his prime, he re-
ceived from an unknown god, so they say, the reply
that no one should ever live longer. But even if
Claudius had lived for one hundred and twenty-five
years as his life, so marvellous and admirable, shows
us we need not, as Tullius says of Scipio, 4 have


6 loquitur, 1 stupenda et mirabilis docet vita, quid enim
magnum vir ille domi forisque non habuit ? amavit
parentes ; quid mirum ? amavit et fratres ; iam potest 2
dignum esse miraculo. amavit propinquos ; res nostris
temporibus comparanda miraculo. invidit nulli, malos

7persecutus est. fures iudices palam aperteque dam-
navit ; stultis quasi neglegenter indulsit. leges

8 optim/> s dedit. talis in re publica fuit, ut eius stirpem
ad imperium summi principes eligerent, emendatior
senatus optaret.

III. In gratiam me quispiam p utet Constantii Caesaris
loqu', sed testis est et tua conscientia et vita mea me
nihil umquam cogitasse, dixisse, fecisse gratiosum.

2Claudium principem loquor, cuius vita, probitas, et
omnia quae in re publica gessit tantam posteris famam
dedere ut senatus populusque Romanus novis eum

3 honoribus post mortem adfecerit : illi clipeus aureus,
vel, ut grammatici loquuntur, clipeum aureum, senatus
totius iudicio in Romana Curia conlocatum est, et
etiam nunc videtur expresso 3 thorace vultus eius.

4 illi, quod nulli antea, populus Romanus sumptu suo
in Capitolio ante lovis Optimi Maximi Templum

6 statuam auream decem pedum conlocavit. illi totius
orbis iudicio in Rostris posita est columna palmata

1 So Gas. foil, by Peter ; sic loquitur pro Milone P.
8 potest 27; post P. * expresso Salm. ; expressa P, Peter,


1 The author protests frequently and in vain against the
imputation of flattery ; see c. vi. 5 ; viii. 2 ; xi. 5.

2 See note to Pius, v. 2.

3 As a matter of fact, the masculine form is the more



expected for him even a natural death. For what
great quality did not that man exhibit both at home
and abroad ? He loved his parents ; what wonder in
that ? He loved also his brothers ; that, indeed, may
seem worthy of wonder. He loved his kinsmen ;
and that, in these times of ours, may well be com-
pared to a wonder. He envied none, but he punished
evil-doers. Judges guilty of theft he condemned
openly and in public ; but to the stupid he extended
a sort of careless indulgence. He enacted most excel-
lent laws. Indeed, so great a man did he show
himself in public affairs, that the greatest princes
chose a descendant of his to hold the imperial power,
and a bettered senate desired him.

III. Some one perhaps may believe that I am speak-
ing thus to win the favour of Constant! us Caesar, but
your sense of justice and my own past life will bear
me witness that never have I thought or said or done
anything to curry favour. 1 I am speaking of the
Emperor Claudius, whose manner of life, whose up-
rightness, and whose whole career in the state have


brought him such fame among later generations that
after his death the senate and people of Rome be-
stowed on him unprecedented rewards : in his honour
there was set up in the Senate-house at Rome, by
desire of the entire senate, a golden c/ipeus 2 or
clipeum, as the grammarians say 3 and even at the
present time his likeness may be seen in the bust that
stands out in relief; in his honour and to none
before him the Roman people at their own expense
erected a golden statue ten feet high on the Capitol
in front of the Temple of Jupiter, Best and Greatest ;
in his honour by action of the entire world there was
placed on the Rostra a column bearing a silver statue



statua superfixa librarum argenti mille quingeniarum.

6ille, velut futurorum memor, Gentes Flavias, quae
Vespasian! quoque 1 et Titi, nolo autem dicere Domi-
tiani, fuerant, propagavit. ille bellum Gothicum brevi

7tempore implevit. adulator igitur senatus, adulator
populus Romanus, adulatrices exterae gentes, adula-
trices provinciae, si quidem omnes ordhies, omnis
aetas, omnis civitas statuis, vexillis, coronis, fanis,
arcubus, aris ac templis 2 bonum principem hono-

IV. Interest et eorum qui bonos imitantur principes
et totius orbis humani cognoscere quae de illo viro
senatus consulta sint condita, ut omnes iudicium pub-

2licae mentis adnoscant. nam cum esset nuntiatum
IX kal. Aprilis ipso in Sacrario Matris sanguinis die
Claudium imperatorem factum, neque cogi senatus
sacrorum celebrandorum causa posset, sumptis togis
itum est ad Apollinis Templum, ac lectis litteris

3 Claudi? principis haec in Claudium dicta sunt : " Au-
guste Claudi, di te praestent," dictum sexagies.
"Claudi Auguste, te principem aut qualis tu es
semper optavimus," dictum quadragies. "Claudi

1 Vespasiani quoque 2, Hohl ; om. in P. 2 aris ac

transp. by Klotz ; after principem in P, Peter.

1 See note to Gord., iv. 4.

a See note to Tyr. Trig., xxxiii. 6.

8 See c. vi.-xi.

4 The date is incorrect, for Gallienus was killed probably in
July ; see note to Gall., xiv. 1.

5 March 24 was the second day of the great four-day festival
held in honour of the Magna Mater, whose temple stood on the
Palatine Hill. Originally the day of the castration of the Galli,



arrayed in the palm- embroidered tunic 1 and weigh-
ing fifteen hundred pounds. It was he who, as
though mindful of the future, enlarged the Flavian
House, 2 which had also belonged to Vespasian and
Titus, and I say it reluctantly of Domitian as well.
It was he who, in a brief space of time, put an end
to the war against the Goths. 3 Therefore the senate
and people of Rome, foreign nations and provinces,
too, must all be his flatterers, for indeed all ranks, all
ages, and all communities have honoured this noble
emperor with statues, banners, and crowns, shrines
and arches, altars and temples.

IV. It will be of interest, both to those who imitate
righteous princes and to the whole world of mankind
as well, to learn the decrees of the senate that were
passed about this man, in order that all may know
the official opinion concerning him. For when it was
announced in the shrine of the Great Mother on the
ninth day before the Kalends of April, 4 the day of
the shedding of blood, 5 that Claudius had been
created emperor, the senators could not be held to-
gether for performing the sacred rites, but donning
their togas they set forth to the Temple of Apollo, 6
and there, when the letter of the Emperor Claudius
was read, the following acclamations were shouted in
his honour 7 : " Claudius Augustus, may the gods pre-
serve you !" said sixty times. " Claudius Augustus,
you or such as you we have ever desired for our
emperor," said forty times. " Claudius Augustus, the

or priests of the goddess, it was later the occasion of a ceremony
in which the Archigallus cut his arm and so shed blood

6 The great temple on the Palatine Hill, built by Augustus.

7 See note to Val., v. 4.



Auguste, te res publica requirebat/' dictum quad-
ragies. ft Claudi Auguste, tu frater, tu pater, tu
amicus, tu bonus senator, tu vere princeps," dictum

4octogies. "Claudi Auguste, tu nos ab Aureolo vin-
dica," dictum quinquies. "Claudi Auguste, tu nos a
Palmyrenis vindica," dictum quinquies. " Claudi Au-
guste, tu nos a Zenobia et a Vitruvia libera," dictum
septies. " Claudi Auguste, Tetricus iiihil fecit,"
dictum septies.

V. Qui primum ut factus est imperator, Aureolum,
qui gravior rei publicae fuerat, quod Gallieno multum
placebat, conflictu habito a rei publicae gubernaculis
depulit tyrannumque missis ad populum edictis, datis

2 etiam ad senatum orationibus, iudicavit. his accedit
quod rogantem Aureolum et foedus petentem impera-
tor gravis et serius non audivit, response tali re-
pudiatum : " Haec a Gallieno petenda fuerant ; qui

Sconsentiret moribus, poterat et timere." denique
iudicio suorum militum apud Mediolanum Aureolus
dignum exitum vita ac moribus suis habuit. et hunc
tamen quidam historici laudare conati sunt, et ridicule

4 quidem. nam Gallus Antipater, ancilla honorum et his-
toricorum dehonestamentum, principium de Aureolo
habuit: " Venimus ad imperatorem nominis sui."

5 magiia videlicet virtus ab auro nomen accipere. at
ego scio saepius inter gladiatores bonis propugnatori-

1 See T ; >/r. Trig., xi. 2 Otherwise unknown.

3 Probably imitated from Sallust (Historiae i. frg. 55, 22) :
ancilla liirpis, bonornm omnium deJionestamentum.



state was in need of you," said forty times. " Claudius
Augustus, you are brother, father, friend, righteous
senator, and truly prince," said eighty times.
" Claudius Augustus, deliver us from Aureolus," said
five times. " Claudius Augustus, deliver us from the
men of Palmyra," said five times. "Claudius
Augustus, set us free from Zenobia and from Vrt-
ruvia," said seven times. " Claudius Augustus,
nothing has Tetricus accomplished," said seven

V. As soon as he was made emperor, entering
into battle against Aureolus, 1 who was the more
dangerous to the commonwealth because he had
found great favour with Gallienus, he thrust him
from the helm of the state ; then he pronounced him
a pretender, sending proclamations to the people and
also despatching messages to the senate. It must be
told in addition that when Aureolus pleaded with him
and sought to make terms, this stern and unbending
emperor refused to hearken, but rejected him with
a reply as follows : " This should have been sought
from Gallienus ; for his character was like your own,
he, too, could feel fear." Finally, near Milan, by the
judgement of his own soldiers Aureolus met with an
end worthy of his life and character. And yet certain
historians have tried to praise him, though indeed
most absurdly. For Gallus Antipater, 2 the hand-
maiden of honours and the dishonour of historians, 3
composed a preface about Aureolus, beginning as
follows : " We have now come to an emperor who
resembled his own name." Great virtue, forsooth, to
get one's name from gold ! I, however, know well
that among gladiators this name has often been given
to courageous fighters. Indeed, only recently your



bus hoc nomen adpositum. habuit proxime tuus libel-
lus munerarius hoc nomen in indice ludiorum.

VI. Sed redeamus ad Claudium. nam, ut superius
diximus, 1 illi Gothi, qui evaserant eo tempore quo illcs
Marcianus est persecutus, quosque Claudius emitti
non siverat, ne id 2 fieret quod effectum est, omnes
gentes suorum ad Romanas incitaverunt praedas.

2denique Scytharum diversi populi, Peucini, Greu-
thungi, Austrogothi, Tervingi, Visi, 3 Gepedes, Celtae
etiam et Eruli, praedae cupiditate in Romanura solum
inruperunt 4 atque illic pleraque vastarunt, dum aliis
occupatus est Claudius dumque se ad id bellum quod
confecit imperatorie instruit, ut videantur fata Romana

3boni principis occupatione lentata, sed credo, ut
Claudii gloria adcresceret eiusque fieret gloriosior toto

4penitus orbe victoria, armatarum denique gentium

6 trecenta viginti milia tune fuere. dicat nunc qui nos
adulationis accusat Claudium minus esse amabilem.
armatorum trecenta viginti milia. quis tandem

1 So Gruter, foil, by Peter ; diximus triginta P. 2 id Peter,
quid P. 5 Names corr. by Muellenhoff; virtingui sigypedes P.
4 inruperunt Peter, Hohl ; in tep. uenerunt P.

1 See Gall., vi. 1 ; xiii. 10 and notes.

z i.e., under Gallienus; see note to c. i. 1.

3 Cc. vi.-xi. describe the great Gothic invasion of 269-270, the
most important event of Claudius' reign. The account, padded
with fabricated letters and rhetorical questions, is hopelessly
inadequate. A fuller description is given by Zosimus, i. 42-43 ;
45. The East and West Gothic tribes, Greuthungi-Austrogothi
and Tervingi-Visi (the author has made four out of two), and
the Gepidae, led, apparently, by the Eruli (see Gall. xiii. 6-10)



own announcement of games contained in the list of
the combatants this very name.

VI. But let us return to Claudius. For, as we have
said before, those Goths who had escaped when
Marcianus chastised them 1 and those whom Claudius,
hoping to prevent what actually came to pass, had not
allowed to break forth, 2 fired all the tribes of their
fellow-countrymen with the hope of Roman booty. 3
Finally, the various tribes of the Scythians, the
Peucini, Greuthungi, Austrogothi, Tervingi, Visi, and
Gepedes, and also the Celts and the Eruli, in their
desire for plunder burst into Roman territory and
there proceeded to ravage many districts ; for mean-
while Claudius was busied with other things and was
making preparation, like a true commander, for that
war which he finally brought to an end ; and so it
may seem that the destiny of Rome was retarded by
the diligence of an excellent prince, but I, for my
part, believe that it so came to pass in order that the
glory of Claudius might be enhanced and his victory
have a greater renown throughout the whole world.
There were then, in fact, three hundred and twenty
thousand men of these tribes under arms. Now let
him who accuses us of flattery 4 say that Claudius was
not worthy of being beloved ! Three hundred and

and accompanied by some of the Peucini from the mouth of the
Danube invaded Thrace and Macedonia and the Propontis by
land and sea. After a vain attempt to take Byzantium and
Cyzicus they laid siege to Thessalouica and Cassandrea but
were called away by the arrival of Claudius, who completely
defeated and scattered their forces at Naissus (modern Nish in
Jugoslavia). The figures of 320,000 men ( 4) and 2000 ships
(c. viii. 1) are, of course, gross exaggerations, like the number
of Germans in Prob. t xiii. 7.
4 See c. iii. 1 and note.



Xerxes hoc habuit ? quae fabella istum numerum ad-
finxit ? quis poeta composuit ? trecenta viginti milia

6armatorum fuerunt. adde servos, adde familias, adde
carraginem et epotata flumina consumptasque silvas,
laborasse denique terram ipsam, quae tantum barbaric!
tumoris excepit.

VII. Exstat ipsius epistula missa ad senatum le-

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