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the money needed for his consulship, I have thought
I should tell why I inserted a detail apparently trivial.
We have recently beheld the consulship of Furius
Placidus l celebrated in the Circus with so much dis-
play that the chariot-drivers seemed to receive not
prizes but patrimonies, for they were presented with
tunics of part-silk, with embroidered tunics 2 made of
fine linen, and even with horses, while right-thinking
men groaned aloud. For it has come to pass that
the consulship is now a matter of wealth, not of men,
because, of course, if it is offered to merit, it ought
not to impoverish the holder. Gone are those former
days of integrity, destined to disappear still further
through the currying of popular favour. But this
question, too, as is our wont, we shall leave un-

XVI. So then, raised to a high position by these
many expressions of approval and these rewards,
Aurelian became so illustrious during the time of
Claudius 3 that, after this emperor's death and the
murder of his brother Quintillus, 4 he alone received
the imperial power ; for Aureolus, with whom
Gallienus had made peace, had been put to death.
Concerning this matter there is great diversity of
opinion among the historians, even among the Greeks,
for some say that Aureolus was killed by Aurelian
against Claudius' will, 5 others that it was by his

to do with the death of Aureolus, who was killed by his
soldiers ; see Claud., v. 1-3.



alii mandante ac volente, alii ab imperatore iam
Aureliano eundem occisum, alii vero adhuc a private.

3 sed haec quoque media reliuquemus, ab ipsis petenda,

4 per quos in litteras missa sunt. illud tamen constat
omne contra Maeotidas bellum divum Claudium nulli
magis quam Aureliano credidisse.

XVII. Exstat epistula, quam ego, ut soleo, fidei
causa, immo ut alios annalium scriptores fecisse video,
inserendam putavi :

2 " Flavius Claudius Valeric Aureliano suo salutem.
expetit a te munus solitum nostra res publica.
adgredere. quid moraris ? tuo magisterio milites
uti volo, tuo ductu tribunos. Gothi oppugnandi sunt,
Gothi a Thraciis amovendi. eorum enim plerique
Haemimontum Europamque vexant, qui te pugnante

3 lugerunt. omnes exercitus Thracicos, omnes Illyrici-
anos, totumque limitem in tua potestate constituo ;
solitam en nobis ede virtutem. tecum erit etiam

4frater Quintillus, cum recurrent, ego aliis rebus
occupatus summam belli illius virtutibus tuis credo,
misi sane equos decem, loricas duas et cetera quibus
munire ad bellum euntem necessitas cogit."

5 Secundis igitur proeliis usus auspiciis Claudianis
rein publicam in integrum reddidit atque ipse statim,

1 i.e., the Eruli, thus called because they came from the
shores of Lake Maeotis (the Sea of Azov) ; on their invasion see
Claud., vi.-xi. Aurelian seems to have distinguished himself
in the course of this war (see also c. xvii. 5), and alter a serious
disaster to the cavalry toward its close (Claud., xi. 6-8) to have
been appointed by Claudius to the command of the whole
cavalry (c. xviii. 1) and thereupon to have avenged the previous

- These urines were never borne by Claudius and Aurelian ; see
note to Claud., i. 1.


command and desire, others again that he was killed
by Aurelian after assuming the imperial power, and
still others that it was while he was yet a commoner.
But these things, too, we shall leave undiscussed, to
be learned from those who have put them in writing.
This much, however, is agreed among all, namely,
that the Deified Claudius entrusted the whole conduct
of the war against the Maeotidae l to no one in pre-
ference to Aurelian.

XVII. There is still in existence a letter, which,
for the sake of accuracy, as is my wont, or rather
because I see that other writers of annals have done
so, I have thought I should insert : " From Flavins
Claudius to his dear Valerius 2 Aurelian greeting :
Our commonwealth demands of you your wonted
services. Up then ! Why this delay ? I wish the
soldiers to reap the benefit of your command, the
tribunes of your leadership. The Goths must be
crushed, they must be driven from Thrace. For large
numbers of them are, ravaging Haemimontum 3 and
Europe, those very ones who fled when you fought
against them. I now place under your command all
the armies in Thrace, all in Illyricum, and, in fact,
the whole frontier ; come now, show us your wonted
prowess. My brother Quintillus, as soon as he meets
you, will also give you his aid. Busied as I am with
other tasks, I am entrusting to your valour the whole
of this war. I am sending you, moreover, ten horses,
two cuirasses, and all else with which necessity bids
me equip one going out to fight."

So, making use of success won in battles fought
under Claudius' auspices, he brought back the empire

8 See Claud. , xi. 3 and note.



ut supra diximus, consensu omnium legionum factus
est imperator.

XVIII. Equites sane omnes ante imperium s..b
Claudio Aurelianus gubernavit, cum offensam magistri
eorum incurrissent, quod temere Claudio non iubente

2 Item Aurelianus contra Suebos et Sarmatas iisdem
temporibus vehementissime dimicavit ac florentissi-

3 mam victoriam rettulit. accepta est sane clades sub
Aureliano a Marcomannis per errorem. nam dum iis
a fronte non curat occurrere subito erumpentibus,
dumque illos a dorso persequi parat, omnia circa
Mediolanum graviter evastata sunt. postea tamen
ipsi quoque Marcomanni snperati sunt.

4 In illo autem timore, quo Marcomanni cuncta vas-
tabant, ingentes Romae seditiones motae sunt paven-

1 Before 25 May, 270, on which day he appears in a papyrus
as emperor. Immediately after Claudius' death, in the spring
of 270, Quintillus was proclaimed emperor in Italy; see Claud.,
xii. 2-5 and notes. According to Zonaras, xii. 26, Quintillus
and Aurelian were proclaimed simultaneously, the former by
the senate and the latter by the army. This would seem to
mean that the army, recently victorious over the Goths, refused
to acknowledge the unwarlike Quintillus and bestowed the im-
perial power on its most competent general, then in Pannonia,
whereupon Quintillus committed suicide (cf. c. xxxvii. 6).

2 See Claud., xi. 6-8.

3 More correctly, Juthungi, akin to the Alamanni and, like
them, living north of the upper Danube. Taking advantage of
the disturbances folllowing Claudius' death, the}' invaded Raetia
in 270 and seem even to have entered northern Italy. On the
news of Aurelian's approach from Pannonia they withdrew,
but were overtaken south of the Danube by Aurelian and de-
feated in a great battle. A speech, supposedly delivered by
Aurelian to their envoys after this battle, is preserved from the
EwQiKo. of Dexippus; see Fragm. Hist. Graec., iii. p. 682 f.



to its previous condition and was at once, as we have
related before, declared emperor by the unanimous
voice of all the legions. 1

XVIII. Aurelian, in fact, commanded all the cavalry
before he received the power and while Claudius was
still ruling, after the leaders of the horse had incurred
reproach for having fought rashly and without the
Emperor's orders. 2

Aurelian, too, during that same time, fought with
the greatest vigour against the Suebi 3 and the Sarma-
tians 4 and won a most splendid victory. 5 Under him,
it is true, a disaster was inflicted by the Marcomanni 6
as the result of his blunder. For, while he was making
no plan to meet them face to face during a sudden
invasion, but was preparing to pursue them from the
rear, they wrought great devastation in all the region
around Milan. Later on, however, he conquered even
the Marcomanni also.

During that panic, moreover, while the Marcomanni
were devastating far and wide, great revolts arose at
Rome, 7 for all were afraid that what had happened

4 This invasion seems to have necessitated Aurelian's return
to Pannonia immediately after his defeat of the Juthungi.

5 The biographer here omits any mention of Aurelian's journey
to Rome, in the late summer of 270, and his reception by the
senate, which was soon followed by a rapid return to Pannonia
in order to repel an invasion of Vandals ; see Zosimus, i. 48.

6 More correctly, Alamanni and Juthungi. They invaded
Italy in the winter of 270-271, while Aurelian was absent fight-
ing against the Vandals. Aurelian hurried to meet them, but
the vita fails to make his tactics clear ; it would seem that he
tried to attack them from the north as they were advancing.
He then followed them and was badly defeated at Placentia
(c. xxi. 1-3), while the invaders continued their advance.

7 See c. xxi. 5-6.



tibus cunctis, ne eadera quae sub Gallieno fuerant

5provenirent. quare etiam Libri Sibyllini noti bene-

ficiis publicis inspect! sunt, inventumque ut in certis

locis sacrificia fierent, quae barbari transire non possent.

6 facta denique sunt ea quae praecepta fuerant in di-
verso caerimoniarum genere, atque ita barbari re-
stiterunt, quos omnes Aureliaiius carptim vagantes

7 Libet ipsius seiiatus consulti formam exponere, quo
libros inspici clarissimi ordinis iussit auctoritas :

XIX. Die tertio iduum lanuariarum Fulvius Sabinus
praetor urbanus dixit : " Referimus ad vos, p itres con-
scripti, pontificum suggestionera et Aureliani principis
litteras, quibus iubetur ut inspiciantur fatales libri,
quibus spes belli terminandi sacrato deorum iniperio

2 concinetur. scitis enim ipsi, quotiescumque gravior ali-
quis exstitit motus, eos semper inspectos, neque prius
mala publica esse finita quam ex iis sacrificiorum pro-

Scessit auctoritas." tune surrexit primae sententiae
Ulpius Silanus atque ita locutus est : " Sero nimis,
patres conscripti, de rei publicae salute consulimur,
sero ad fatalia iussa respicimus more languentium, qui
ad summos medicos nisi in summa desperatione non
mittunt, proinde quasi peritioribus viris maior facienda

1 i.e,, an invasion by Alamanni; see note to Gall., iv. 6.

2 They advanced south-eastward along the Via Aemilia as far
as the mouth of the Metaurus, where Aurelian defeated them in
a great battle at Fano, forcing them to retreat. Thereupon he
followed them and again defeated them near the river Ticinus ;
see Epit. t xxxv. 2. After this victory the title Germanicus
Maximus was conferred on him by the senate, and coins were
issued with the legend Victoria Germanica; see Matt.-Syd., v.
p. 305, no 355.

3 On such " senatus oonsulta," see note to Vol., v. 3.



under Gallienus l might occur once more. Therefore
they even consulted the Sibylline Books, famed for
their benefits to the State, and in these it was found
that sacrifices should be made in certain places, which
the barbarians then would not be able to pass. And
so all those measures which were ordered were carried
out with divers kinds of ceremonies, and thus the bar-
barians were checked, all of whom, as they wandered
about in small divisions, Aurelian later destroyed. 2

It is my desire to give in full the text of the senate's
decree 3 itself, in which the authority of that most
illustrious body ordained that the Books should be
consulted :

XIX. On the third day before the Ides of January 11 Jan.
Fulvius Sabinus, 4 the city-praetor, spoke as follows : ( 27 '
"We bring before you, Conscript Fathers, the recom-
mendation of the pontiffs and a message from Aurelian
our prince, bidding us consult the Books of Fate, in
which, by the sacred command of the gods, are con-
tained our hopes of ending the war. For you your-
selves are aware that, whenever any serious commotion
arose, they were always consulted, and that never
have the public ills been brought to an end until
there issued from them the command to make sacri-
fice." Then Ulpius Silanus, whose right it was to
give his opinion first, arose and spoke as follows : " It
is over late, Conscript Fathers, for us to be consulted
now concerning the safety of the commonwealth, and
over late for us to look to the commands of Fate,
even as do the sick who do not send for the great-
est physicians save when in the greatest despair,
exactly as though more skilful men must needs give

4 Neither he nor Ulpius Silauus ( 3) is otherwise known.



4 sit cura, cum omnibus morbis occurri sit melius. me-
ministis enim, patres conscripti, me in hoc ordine
saepe dixisse, iam turn cum primum nuntiatum est
Marcomannos erupisse, consulenda Sibyllae decreta,
utendum Apollinis beneficiis, inserviendum deorum
inmortalium praeceptis, 1 recusasse vero quosdam, et
cum ingenti calumnia recusasse, cum adulando dice-
rent tan tarn principis Aureliani esse virtutem ut opus
non sit deos consuli, proinde quasi et ipse vir magnus

6 non deos colat, non de dis inmortalibus speret. quid
plura ? audivimus litteras, quibus rogavit opem deorum,
quae numquam cuiquam turpis est. 2 ut vir fortissi-

6 mus adiuvetur. agite igitur, pontifices, qua puri, qua
mundi, qua sancti, qua vestitu animisque sacris corn-
modi, templum ascendite, subsellia laureata con-
struite, 3 velatis 4 manibus libros evolvite, fata rei
publicae, quae sunt aeterna, perquirite. patrimis matri-
tnisque pueris carmen indicite. nos sumptum sacris,
nos apparatum sacrificiis, nos arvis Ambarvalia indice-
XX. mus." 5 post haec interrogati plerique senatores sen-

2tentias dixerunt, quas longum est innectere. deinde

1 inseruiendum . . . praeceptis ins. from Z by Hohl ; om. in
P and by Peter. ^deorum . . . est ins. from S by Hohl;
del, the rest om. in P and by Peter. s construite S;

constuite P ; consti'uite editors. *uelatis Salm. ; uetanis
PJ; ueteranis P corr. 5 patrimis . . . indicemus ins. from

27 by von Winterfeld and Hohl ; om. in P and by Peter.

J The expression (also used in Heliog., viii. 1) means pro-
perly " with both parents living " ; this was a pre-requisite for
service at the sacrifices, sacred meals, and other temple-
ceremonies. A similar chorus sang the Carmen Saeculare of



a more certain cure, whereas it were better far to
meet every disease at the outset. For you re-
member, Conscript Fathers, that I often said in this
body, when the invasion of the Marcomanni was first
announced, that we should consult the commands of
the Sibyl, make use of the benefits of Apollo, and
submit ourselves to the bidding of the immortal gods ;
but some objected, and objected, too, with cruel guile,
saying in flattery that such was the valour of the
Emperor Aurelian that there was no need to consult
the deities, just as though that great man does not
himself revere the gods and found his hopes on the
dwellers in Heaven. Why say more ? We have
heard his message asking for the help of the gods,
which never causes shame to any. Now let this most
courageous man receive our assistance. Therefore
come, ye pontiffs, and do ye, pure and cleansed and
holy, attired as is meet and with spirits sanctified,
ascend to the temple, deck the benches with laurel,
and with veiled hands unroll the volumes, and inquire
into the fate of the commonwealth, that fate which is
unchanging. And finally, do ye also enjoin a sacred
song upon those boys who may lawfully aid in the
ceremonies. 1 We, for our part, will decree the money
to be expended for the sacred rites and all that is
needful for the sacrifices, and we will proclaim for the
fields the festival of the Ambarvalia." 2 XX. After
this speech many of the senators were asked for their
opinions and gave them, but these it would be too
long to include. Then, while some raised their

2 An ancient ceremony of purification held in May, in which
a bull, a ram, and a pig were conducted about the Kornan terri-
tory and then sacrificed to Mars. It was entrusted by Augustus
to the revived priestly college of the Fratres Arvales.



aliis manus porrigentibus, aliis pedibus in sententias
euntibus, plerisque verbo consentientibus conditum

3 est senatus consultum. itum deinde ad templum, in-
spect! Libri, proditi versus, lustrata urbs, cantata car-
mina, Amburbium celebratum, Ambarvalia promissa,
atque ita sollemnitas, quae iubebatur, expleta est.

4 Epistula Aureliani de Libris Sibyllinis nam ipsam

5 quoque indidi ad fidem rerum : " Miror vos, patres
sancti, tamdiu de aperiendis Sibyllinis dubitasse Libris,
proinde quasi in Christianorum ecclesia, non in templo

6 deorum omnium tractaretis. agite igitur et castimoiiia
pontificum caerimoniisque sollemnibus iuvate princi-

7 pern necessitate publica laborantem. inspiciantur
Libri ; si l quae facienda fuerint celebrentur ; quem-
libet sumptum, cuiuslibet gentis captos, quaelibet
animalia regia non abnuo sed libens offero, neque
enim indecorum est dis iuvantibus vincere. sic apud

8 maiores nostros multa finita sunt bella, sic coepta. si
quid est sumptuum, datis ad praefectum aerarii litteris
decerni iussi. est praeterea vestrae auctoritatis area
publica, quam magis refertam reperio esse quam

XXI. Cum autem Aurelianus vellet omnibus simul
facta exercitus sui constipation e concurrere, tanta
apud Placeiitiam clades accepta est ut Romanum

1 libri ; si Baehrens, Peter 2 ; libris P.

1 A festival held, apparently, on 2 Feb. for the purification of
the city, in which the sacrificial victims (as in the Ambarvalia)
were led around its confines.

2 See note to c. xviii. 3.



hands and others went on foot to give their votes
and others again expressed their assent in words, the
senate's decree was enacted. Then they went to the
temple, consulted the Books, brought forth the verses,
purified the city, chanted the hymns, celebrated the
Amburbium, 1 and proclaimed the Ambarvalia, and
thus the sacred ceremony which was commanded
was carried out.

Aurelian's letter concerning the Sibylline Books
for I have included it also as evidence for my state-
ments : " I marvel, revered Fathers, that you have
hesitated for so long a time to open the Sibylline
Books, just as though you were consulting in a gather-
ing of Christians and not in the temple of all the
gods. Come, therefore, and by means of the purity
of the pontiffs and the sacred ceremonies bring aid to
your prince who is harassed by the plight of the
commonwealth. Let the Books be consulted ; let
all that should be done be performed ; whatever ex-
penses are needful, whatever captives of any race,
whatever princely animals, I will riot refuse, but will
offer them gladly, for it is not an unseemly thing to
win victories by the aid of the gods. It was with
this that our ancestors brought many wars to an end
and with this that they began them. Whatever costs
there may be I have ordered to be paid by the prefect
of the treasury, to whom I have sent a letter. You
have, moreover, under your own control the money-
chest of the State, which I find more full than were
my desire."

XXI. Aurelian, however, since he wished, by
massing his forces together, to meet all the enemy
at once, suffered such a defeat near Placentia 2 that
the empire of Rome was almost destroyed. This



2paene solveretur imperium. et causa quidem huius
periculi perfidia et calliditas barbarici fuit motus.

3 nam cum congredi aperto Marte non possent, in silvas
se densissimas contulerunt atque ita nostros vespera

4incumbente turbarunt. denique nisi divina ope post
inspectionem Librorum sacrificiorumque curas mon-
stris quibusdam speciebusque divinis implicit! essent
barbari, Romana victoria non fuisset.

5 Finite proelio Marcomannico Aureliaiius, ut erat
natura ferocior, plenus irarum Romam petiit vindictae
cupidus, quam seditionum asperitas suggerebat. in-
civilius denique usus imperio, vir alias optimus, sedi-
tionum auctoribus interemptis cruentius ea quae

6 mollius fuerant curanda compescuit. interfecti sunt
enim nonnulli etiam nobiles senatores, cum his leve
quiddam et quod contemni a mitiore principe potuis-

7 set vel unus vel levis vel vilis testis obiceret. quid
multa ? magnum illud et quod iam fuerat et quod
noil frustra speratum est infamiae tristioris ictu con-

8 taminavit imperium. timeri coepit prmceps optimus,
non amari, cum alii dicerent perodiendum l talem
principem, non optandum, alii bonum quidem me-

9dicum, sed mala ratione curantem. his actis cum

1 perodiendum Salm., Hirschfeld, Hohl ; perfodiendum P,

1 The occasion of this revolt was the successful advance of
the Germans (see c. xviii. 4), but inasmuch as senators seem to
have been involved in it (so also c. xxxix. 8 and Zosimus, i.
49, 2), it may be that the opponents of this emperor created by
the army took advantage of the opportunity to attempt his
overthrow. It has been suggested that the revolt of the mint-
workers (c. xxxviii. 2-3) was a part of this movement.

2 According to Ammianus Marcellinus, xxx. 8, 8, he con-



peril, in fact, was caused by the cunning and perfidy
of the barbarians' mode of attack. For, being unable
to meet him in open battle, they fell back into the
thickest forests, and thus as evening came on they
routed our forces. And, indeed, if the power of the
gods, after the Books had been consulted and the
sacrifices performed, had not confounded the bar-
barians by means of certain prodigies and heaven-
sent visions, there would have been no victory for

When the war with the Marcomanni was ended,
Aurelian, over-violent by nature, and now filled with
rage, advanced to Rome eager for the revenge which
the bitterness of the revolts had prompted. 1 Though
at other times a most excellent man, he did, in fact,
employ his power too much like a tyrant, for in slay-
ing the leaders of the revolts he used too bloody a
method of checking what should have been cured by
milder means. For he even killed some senators of
noble birth, 2 though the charges against them were
trivial and could have been held in disdain by a more
lenient prince, and they were attested either by a
single witness or by one who was himself trivial or
held in but little esteem. Why say more ? By the
blow of a graver ill-repute he then marred that rule
which had previously been great and of which high
hopes were cherished, and not without reason. Then
men ceased to love and began to fear an excellent
prince, some asserting that such an emperor should
be hated and not desired, others that he was a good
physician indeed, but the methods he used for healing
were bad. Then, since all that happened made it

fiscated much property ; this was perhaps to provide money for
the war against Palmyra.



videret posse fieri ut aliquid tale iterum, quale
sub Gallieno evenerat, proveniret, adhibito consilio
senatus muros urbis Romae dilatavit. nee tamen

lOpomerio addidit eo tempore sed postea. pomerio
autem neminem principum licet addere nisi eum qui
agri barbarici aliqua parte Romanam rem publicam

11 locupletaverit. addidit autem Augustus, addidit
Traianus, addidit Nero, sub quo Pontus Polemoniacus
et Alpes Cottiae Romano nomini sunt 1 tributae.

XXII. Transactis igitur quae ad saeptiones atque

urbis statum et civilia pertinebant contra Palmyrenos,

id est contra Zenobiam, quae filiorum nomine orientale

2tenebat imperium, iter flexit. multa in itinere ac

magna bellorum genera confecit. nam in Thraciis et

1 nomini sunt Salm., Peter; nominis P, 2.

1 See c. xxxix. 2 and note.

2 The ancient ceremonial boundary-line of the city, enclosing
the area within which auspices could be taken. Originally
surrounding the Palatine Hill only, it was extended to include
the Septimontium and then the four Regions. Sulla extended
it on the principle stated here (see Aulus Gellius, xiii. 14, 3-4),
as did, apparently, Julius Caesar and Augustus and, certainly,
Claudius, some of whose boundary-stones are extant, and
Vespasian also. No extensions made by Nero or Trajan are

3 The kingdom of Polemo I. and his descendants, annexed to
the Empire in 63 and incorporated, first, in the province of
Galatia and later in Cappadocia. It consisted of a district
along the southern coast of the Black Sea, extending eastward
from the mouth of the river Iris (Yeshil Irmak) to Cotyora
(Ordu) and as far south as Sebasteia (Sivas).

4 Named from Cottius, who ruled the district under Augustus.
It lay on both sides of the present Franco-Italian boundary,
including Seguaio (Susa) on the north-east and Ebrodunum



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