Grolier Club.

The Scriptores historiae augustae with an English translation (Volume 3) online

. (page 17 of 42)
Online LibraryGrolier ClubThe Scriptores historiae augustae with an English translation (Volume 3) → online text (page 17 of 42)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

seem possible that some such thing might occur
again, as had happened under Gallienus, after asking
advice from the senate, he extended the walls of the
city of Rome. 1 The pomerium, 2 however, he did not
extend at that time, but later. For no emperor may
extend the pomerium save one who has added to the
empire of Rome some portion of foreign territory.
It was, indeed, extended by Augustus, by Trajan,
and by Nero, under whom the districts of Pontus
Polemoniacus 3 and the Cottian Alps 4 were brought
under the sway of Rome.

XXII. And so, having arranged for all that had to
do with the fortifications and the general state of
the city and with civil affairs as a whole, he directed
his march against the Palmyrenes, or rather against
Zenobia, who, in the name of her sons, was wielding
the imperial power in the East. 5 On this march he
ended many great wars of various kinds. For in

(Embrun) on the south-west. It was made a province by Nero
and put under a procurator et praises.

5 See note to Tyr. Trig., xxx. 1. After the death of Odae-
nathus she had, while acting as regent for her son (c. xxxviii.
1), developed an imperialistic policy, sending an army to Egypt,
which succeeded in holding most of that country (see Claud.,
xi. 1 and note), and extending her sway northward over Syria,
including Antioch, and Asia Minor as far as Ancyra (Angora).
Without actually rebelling against Roman rule, she had created
what seems to have been virtually an independent kingdom.
Encouraged, however, by Aurelian's ill-success against the
Alamanni, she determined on a definite break with Rome, and
in the spring or early summer of 271 coins were issued iu
Antioch and Alexandria, bearing the portrait of her son Vabal-
lathus, with the titles of Imperator and Augustus. She seems
to have now formed the plan of setting up in the East a rival
power after the pattern of the independent empire in Gaul, and
a war with Aurelian was inevitable.



in Illyrico occurrentes barbaros vicit, Gothorum quin

etiam ducem Caiinaban sive Cannabaudem cum

quinque milibus hominum trans Danuvium interemit.

Satque inde per Byzantium in Bithyniam transitum

4 fecit eamque nullo certamine obtinuit. multa eius
magna et praeclara tam facta quam dicta sunt, sed
omnia libro innectere nee possumus fastidii evita-
tione nee volumus, sed ad intellegendos mores atque

5 virtutem pauca libanda sunt. nam cum Tyanam ve-
nisset eamque obclusam repperisset, iratus dixisse fer-

6tur: "Canem in hoc oppido non relinquam." tune
et militibus acrius incumbentibus spe praedae, et
Heraclammone quodam timore, lie inter ceteros occi-
XXIII. deretur, patriam suam prodente civitas capta est. sed
Aurelianus duo statim praecipua, quod unum severi-
tatem ostenderet, alterum lenitatem, ex imperatoria

2mente monstravit. nam et Heraclammonem pro-
ditorem patriae suae sapiens victor occidit et, cum
milites iuxta illud dictum, quo canem se relicturum
apud Tyanos negarat, eversionem urbis exposcerent,
respondit his : " Canem," inquit, "negavi in hac urbe

8 me relicturum ; canes omnes occidite." grande prin-

1 i.e. , the Goths, who invaded the country south of the
Danube in the summer of 271. On the spoils and captives
taken by Aurelian see c. xxxiii. 3-4 and xxxiv. 1. He com-
memorated the victory by assuming the name Gothicus
Maxim us and by coins with the legend Victoria Gothica ; see
Matt.-Syd. v. p. 303, no. 339. It was probably at this time
that the districts north of the Danube were evacuated ; see note
to c. xxxix. 7.

2 Meanwhile the Palmyrenes were driven out of Egypt by
Probus, according to Prob., ix. 5. This happened after 11 Mar.,
271 (of which date there is a papyrus dated in the joint reign of
Aurelian and Vaballathus) and before 29 Aug., 271, after which
there are no Alexandrian coins of Vaballathus.



Thrace and Illyricum he defeated the barbarians 1
who came against him, and on the other side of the
Danube he even slew the leader of the Goths,
Cannabas, or Cannabaudes as he is also called, and
with him five thousand men. From there he crossed
over by way of Byzantium into Bithynia, and took
possession of it without a struggle. 2 Many were the
great and famous things that he said and did, but we
cannot include them all in our book without causing a
surfeit, nor, indeed, do we wish to do so, but for the
better understanding of his character and valour a
few of them must be selected. For instance, when
he came to Tyana 3 and found its gates closed against
him, he became enraged and exclaimed, it is said :
" In this town I will not leave even a dog alive."
Then, indeed, the soldiers, in the hope of plunder,
pressed on with greater vigour, but a certain Hera-
clammon, fearing that he would be killed along with
the rest, betrayed his native-place, and so the city
was captured. XXI IL Aurelian, however, with the
true spirit of an emperor, at once performed two
notable deeds, one of which showed his severity, the
other his leniency. For, like a wise victor, he put
to death Heraclammon, the betrayer of his native-
place, and when the soldiers clamoured for the
destruction of the city in accordance with the words
in which he had declared that he would not leave a
dog alive in Tyana, he answered them, saying : " I
did, indeed, declare that I would not leave a dog
alive in this city; well, then, kill all the dogs."
Notable, indeed, were the prince's words, but more

3 Mod. Kizli-Hissar in S.W. Cappadocia, whence led the
route over the Taurus into Cilicia.



cipis dictum, grandius militum factum 1 ; nam iocatum
principis, quo praeda negabatur, civitas servabatur,
totus exercitus ita quasi ditaretur accepit.

4 Epistula de Hera clam mone : " Aurelianus Augustus
Mallio Chiloni. occidi passus sum cuius quasi bene-
ficio Tyanam recepi. ego vero proditorem amare non
potui, et libenter tuli quod eum milites occiderunt ;
neque enim mihi fidem servare potuisset, qui patriae

6 non pepercit. solum denique ex omnibus, qui oppug-
nabantur, campus accepit. divitem hominem negare
non possum, sed cuius bona eius liberis reddidi, ne
quis me causa pecuniae locupletem hominem occidi
passum esse criminaretur."

XXIV. Capta autem civitas est miro modo. nam
cum Heraclammon locum osteiidisset aggeris naturali
specie tumentem, qua posset Aurelianus cultus ascen-
dere, ille conscendit atque elata purpurea chlamyde
intus civibus foris militibus se ostendit, et ita civitas
capta est, quasi totus in muris Aureliani fuisset exer-

2 Taceri non debet res quae ad famam venerabilis

3viri pertiiiet. iertur enim Aurelianum de Tyanae
civitatis eversione vere dixisse, vere cogitasse ; verum
Apollonium Tyanaeum, celeberrimae famae auctorita-
tisque sapientem, veterem philosophum, amicum
verum 2 deorum, ipsum etiam pro numirie frequentan-
dum, recipienti se in tentorium ea forma qua videtur

1 factum Gruter, Peter ; uocatumP. ' 2 uerum editors;

uir P 1 ; uirum P corr.

1 Aurelian apparently wished to appear as the deliverer of
Asia Minor and Syria from the Falmyrenes, for he followed a
similar policy at Antioch ; see c. xxv. 1.

- Otherwise unknown. 3 See note to Alex., xxix. 2.



notable still was the deed of the soldiers ; for the
entire army, just as though it were gaining riches
thereby, took up the prince's jest, by which both
booty was denied them and the city preserved intact. 1

The letter concerning Heraclammon : " From
Aurelian Augustus to Mallius Chilo. 2 I have suffered
the man to be put to death by whose kindness, as it
were, I recovered Tyana. But never have I been
able to love a traitor and I was pleased that the
soldiers killed him ; for he who spared not his native
city would not have been able to keep faith with me.
He, indeed, is the only one of all who opposed me
that the earth now holds. The fellow was rich, I
cannot deny it, but the property I have restored to
the children of him to whom it belonged, that no one
may charge me with having permitted a man who
was rich to be slain for the sake of his money."

XXIV. The city, moreover, was captured in a
wonderful way. For after Heraclammon had shown
Aurelian a place where the ground sloped upward by
nature in the form of a siege-mound, up which he
could climb in full attire, the emperor ascended there,
and holding aloft his purple cloak he showed himself
to the towns-folk within and the soldiers without, and
so the city was captured, just as though Aurelian's
entire army had been within the walls.

We must not omit one event which enhances the
fame of a venerated man. For, it is said, Aurelian
did indeed truly speak and truly think of destroying
the city of Tyana ; but Apollonius of Tyana, 3 a sage
of the greatest renown and authority, a philosopher
of former days, the true friend of the gods, and him-
self even to be regarded as a supernatural being,
as Aurelian was withdrawing to his tent, suddenly



subito adstitisse, atque haec Latine, ut homo Pan-

4 nonius intellegeret, verba dixisse : " Aureliane, si vis
vincere, nihil est quod de civium meorum nece cogites.
Aureliane, si vis imperare, a cruore innocentium
abstine. Aureliane, clementer te age, si vis vivere."

5 norat vultum philosophi venerabilis Aurelianus atque

6 in multis eius imaginem viderat templis. denique
statim adtonitus et imaginem et statuas et templum
eidem promisit atque in meliorem rediit mentem.

7 haec ego et a gravibus viris comperi et 1 in Ulpiae
Bibliothecae libris relegi et pro maiestate Apollonii

Smagis credidi. quid enim illo viro sanctius, venera
bilius, antiquius diviniusque inter homines fuit ? ille
mortuis reddidit vitam, ille multa ultra homines et
fecit et dixit. quae qui velit nosse, Graecos legat

9libros qui de eius vita conscript! sunt. ipse autem, si
vita suppetit, atque ipsius viri favori usque placuerit, 2
breviter saltern tanti viri facta in litteras mittanr, non
quo illius viri gesta munere mei sermonis iiidigeant,
sed ut ea quae miranda sunt omnium voce praedi-

XXV. Recepta Tyana Antiochiam proposita om-
nibus impunitate brevi apud Daphnem certamine

1 et 2, om. in P. ^fauori usque quaque placuerit P

corr. ; favor iuscuerit P 1 ; favor nos iuverit Peter.

1 The only one extant is the biography written by Flavins
Philostratus early in the Third Century (trans, by F. C. Cony-
beare in the L.C.L.).

2 The best account of the war against Zenobia is in Zosiuius,
i. 50-56. According to this, the battle took place on the
Orontes, whereas the engagement at Daphne occurred during
the retreat of the Palmyrenes. Zenobia herself was present
at the main battle, the victory at which was due to a skilful



appeared to him in the form in which he is usually
portrayed, and spoke to him as follows, using Latin in
order that he might be understood by a man from Pan-
nonia : " Aurelian ,, if you wish to conquer, there is
no reason why you should plan the death of my
fellow-citizens. Aurelian, if you wish to rule, abstain
from the blood of the innocent. Aurelian, act with
mercy if you wish to live long." Aurelian recog-
nized the countenance of the venerated philosopher,
and, in fact, he had seen his portrait in many a
temple. And so, at once stricken with terror, he
promised him a portrait and statues and a temple,
and returned to his better self. This incident I have
learned from trustworthy men and read over again in
the books in the Ulpian Library, and I have been the
more ready to believe it because of the reverence in
which Apollonius is held. For who among men has
ever been more venerated, more revered, more re-
nowned, or more holy than that very man ? He
brought back the dead to life, he said and did many
things beyond the power of man. If any one should
wish to learn these, let him read the Greek books
which have been composed concerning his life. 1 I
myself, moreover, if the length of my life shall permit
and the plan shall continue to meet with his favour,
will put into writing the deeds of this great man,
even though it be briefly, not because his achieve-
ments need the tribute of my discourse, but in order
that these wondrous things may be proclaimed by the
voice of every man.

XXV. After thus recovering Tyana, Aurelian, by
means of a brief engagement near Daphne, 2 gained

manoeuvre of the Roman cavalry, the infantry taking no part
in the fight.



obtinuit atque inde praeceptis, quantum probatur,
venerabilis viri Apollonii parens humanior atque

2clementior fuit. pugnatum est post haec de sum-
ma rerum contra Zenobiam et Zabam eius socium

3apud Emesam magno certamine. cumque Aureliani
equites fatigati iam paene discederent ac terga darent,
subito vi numinis, quod postea est proditum, hortante
quadam divina forma per pedites etiam equites resti-
tuti sunt. fugata est Zenobia cum Zaba, et plenissime

4 parta victoria, recepto igitur orientis statu Emesam
victor Aurelianus ingressus est ac statim ad Templum
Heliogabali tetendit, quasi commuiii officio vota solu-

5 turns. verum illic earn formam numinis repperit
6quam in bello sibi faventem vidit. quare et illic

templa fundavit doiiariis ingentibus positis et Romae
Soli templum posuit maiore honorificentia consecra-
tum, ut suo dicemus loco.

XXVI. Post haec Palmyram iter flexit, ut ea op-
pugnata laborum terminus fieret. sed in itinere a
latronibus Syris male accepto frequenter exercitu
multa perpessus est et in obsidione usque ad ictum
sagittae periclitatus est.
2 Epistula ipsius exstat ad Mucaporem missa, in qua

1 Septimius Zabdas (Zaba, see Claud., xi. 1), who had com-
manded in the battle near Antioch, after abandoning the city
to Aurelian, fell back to the south along the Orontes to Emesa
(Horns), where the great battle of the war was fought.
Z*enobia's troops, 70,000 strong, greatly outnumbered the
Romans, and her cavalry drove the Roman horse from the
field, but her infantry was badly defeated by Aurelian. The
defeated remnants of the Queen's army took refuge in the city,
but the hostility of the towns-folk forced her to retreat across
the desert to Palmyra, 90 miles distant, leaving behind a great
amount of treasure.



possession of Antioch, having promised forgiveness
to all ; and thereupon, obeying, as far as is known,
the injunctions of that venerated man, Apollonius,
he acted with greater kindness and mercy. After
this, the whole issue of the war was decided near
Emesa in a mighty battle fought against Zenobia and
Xaba, 1 her ally. When Aurelian's horsemen, now
exhausted, were on the point of breaking their ranks
and turning their backs, suddenly by the power of
a supernatural agency, as was afterwards made known,
a divine form spread encouragement throughout the
foot-soldiers and rallied even the horsemen. Zenobia
and Zaba were put to flight, and a victory was won
in full. And so, having reduced the East to its
former state, Aurelian entered Emesa as a conqueror,
and at once made his way to the Temple of Elaga-
balus, 2 to pay his vows as if by a duty common to all.
But there he beheld that same divine form which he
had seen supporting his cause in the battle. Where-
fore he not only established temples there, dedicating
gifts of great value, but he also built a temple to the
Sun at Rome, which he consecrated with still greater
pomp, as we shall relate in the proper place. 3

XXVI. After this he directed his march toward
Palmyra, 4 in order that, by storming it, he might put
an end to his labours. But frequently on the march
his army met with a hostile reception from the
brigands of Syria, and after suffering many mishaps
he incurred great danger during the siege, being
even wounded by an arrow.

A letter of his is still in existence, addressed to

2 See note to Heliog., i. 5.
3 See c. xxxv. 3. 4 Early in 272.



de huius belli difficultate ultra pudorem imperialem

8 fatetur : " Romani me modo dicunt bellum contra

feminam gerere, quasi sola mecum Zenobia et suis

viribus pugnet, atque hostiura quantum si vir a me

oppugnandus esset, ilia 1 conscientia et timore longe

4deteriore. dici non potest quantum hie sagittarum

est, qui belli apparatus, quantum telorum, quantum

lapidum ; nulla pars muri est quae non binis et ternis

ballistis occupata sit ; ignes etiam tormentis iaciuntur.

6 quid plura ? timet quasi femina, pugnat quasi poenam

timens. sed credo adiuturos Romanam rem publicam

vere 2 deos, qui numquam nostris conatibus defuerunt."

6 Denique fatigatus ac pro malis fessus litteras ad
Zenobiam misit deditionem illius petens, vitam pro-
mittens, quarum exemplum indidi :

7 "Aurelianus imperator Romani orbis et receptor
orientis Zenobiae ceterisque quos societas tenet bellica.

gsponte facere debuistis id quod meis litteris nunc iu-
betur. deditionem enim praecipio impunitate vitae
proposita, ita ut illic, Zenobia, cum tuis agas vitam ubi

9te ex senatus amplissimi sententia conlocavero. gem-
mas, aurum, argentum, sericum, equos, camelos in
Romanum aerarium conferatis. Palmyrenis ius suum

l illa Editor; in P, Peter. *uere Petschenig; uir P;

ueros Salm., Peter.

1 See c. xxxv. 5.


Mucapor, 1 in which, without the wonted reserve of
an emperor he confesses the difficulty of this war :
" The Romans are saying that I am merely waging
a war with a woman, just as if Zenobia alone and
with her own forces only were fighting against me,
and yet, as a matter of fact, there is as great a force
of the enemy as if I had to make war against a man,
while she, because of her fear and her sense of guilt,
is a much baser foe. It cannot be told what a store
of arrows is here, what great preparations for war,
what a store of spears and of stones ; there is no
section of the wall that is not held by two or three
engines of war, and their machines can even hurl fire.
Why say more ? She fears like a woman, and fights
as one who fears punishment. I believe, however, that
the gods will truly bring aid to the Roman common-
wealth, for they have never failed our endeavours."

Finally, exhausted and worn out by reason of
ill-success, he despatched a letter to Zenobia, asking
her to surrender and promising to spare her life ; of
this letter I have inserted a copy :

" From Aurelian, Emperor of the Roman world and
recoverer of the East, to Zenobia and all others who
are bound to her by alliance in war. You should
have done of your own free will what I now command
in my letter. For I bid you surrender, promising
that your lives shall be spared, and with the condition
that you, Zenobia, together with your children shall
dwell wherever I, acting in accordance with the wish
of the most noble senate, shall appoint a place. Your
jewels, your gold, your silver, your silks, your horses,
your camels, you shall all hand over to the Roman
treasury. As for the people of Palmyra, their rights
shall be preserved."



XXVII. Hac epistula accepta Zenobia superbius
insolentiusque rescripsit quam eius fortuna poscebat,
credo ad terrorem ; nam eius quoque epistulae exem-

2 plum indidi : "Zenobia regina orientis Aureliano
Augusto. Nemo adhuc praeter te hoc quod poscis
litteris petiit. virtute faciendum est quidquid in

3 rebus bellicis est gerendum. deditionem meam petis,
quasi nescias Cleopatram reginam perire maluisse

4 quam in qualibet vivere dignitate. nobis Persarum
auxilia non desunt, quae iam speramus, pro nobis

5sunt Saraceni, pro nobis Armenii. latrones Syri
exercitum tuum, Aureliane, vicerunt. quid si igitur
ilia venerit manus quae undique speratur, pones pro-
fecto supercilium, quo iiunc mihi deditionem, quasi
omnifariam victor, imperas."

6 Hanc epistulam Nicomachus se transtulisse in
Graecum ex lingua Syrorum dicit ab ipsa Zenobia
dictatam. nam ilia superior Aureliani Graeca missa

XXVIII. His acceptis litteris Aurelianus non eru-
buit sed iratus est statimque collecto exercitu ac
ducibus suis undique Palmyram obsedit ; neque quic-
quam vir fortis reliquit quod aut imperfectum videre-

2tur aut incuratum. nam et auxilia, quae a Persis
missa fuerant, iiitercepit et alas Saracenas Armenias-
que corrupit atque ad se modo ferociter rnodo subti-
liter traiistulit. denique multa vi mulierem poten-

1 Otherwise unknown.

2 These were probably not very numerous, for the old enemy
of the Romans, Sapor L, was nearing his end; he died in the
autumn of 272, after making his son Hormizd I. king in his



XXVII. On receiving this letter Zenobia responded
with more pride and insolence than befitted her
fortunes, I suppose with a view to inspiring fear ; for
a copy of her letter, too, I have inserted :

" From Zenobia, Queen of the East, to Aurelian
Augustus. None save yourself has ever demanded
by letter what you now demand. Whatever must be
accomplished in matters of war must be done by
valour alone. You demand my surrender as though
you were not aware that Cleopatra preferred to die
a Queen rather than remain alive, however high
her rank. We shall not lack reinforcements from
Persia, which we are even now expecting. On our
side are the Saracens, on our side, too, the Armenians.
The brigands of Syria have defeated your army,
Aurelian. What more need be said ? If those forces,
then, which we are expecting from every side, shall
arrive, you will, of a surety, lay aside that arrogance
with which you now command my surrender, as
though victorious on every side."

This letter, Nicomachus 1 says, was dictated by
Zenobia herself and translated by him into Greek
from the Syrian tongue. For that earlier letter of
Aurelian's was written in Greek.

XXVIII. On receiving this letter Aurelian felt no
shame, but rather was angered, and at once he
gathered together from every side his soldiers and
leaders and laid siege to Palmyra ; and that brave
man gave his attention to everything that seemed
incomplete or neglected. For he cut off the rein-
forcements which the Persians had sent, 2 and he
tampered with the squadrons of Saracens and Ar-
menians, bringing them over to his own side, some by
forcible means and some by cunning. Finally, by



Stissimam vicit. victa igitur Zenobia cum fugeret
camelis, quos dromedas vocitant, atque ad Persas iter
tenderet, equitibus missis est capta atque in Aureliani
potestatem deducta.

4 Victor itaque Aurelianus totiusque iam orientis
possessor, cum in vinculis Zenobiam teneret, cum
Persis, Armeniis, Saracenis superbior l atque insolen-

5 tior egit ea quae ratio temporis postulabat. tune
illatae illae 2 vestes, quas in Templo Solis videmus,
consertae gemmis, tune Persici dracones et tiarae,
tune 3 genus purpurae, quod postea nee ulla gens
detulit nee Romanus orbis vidit.

XXIX. De qua pauca saltern libet dicere. memi-
nistis enim fuisse in Templo lovis Optimi Maximi Cap-
itolini pallium breve purpureum lanestre, ad quod cum
matronae atque ipse Aurelianus iungerent purpuras
suas, cineris specie decolorari videbantur ceterae divini

2 comparatione fulgoris. hoc munus rex Persarum ab
Indis interioribus sumptum Aureliano dedisse per-
hibetur, scribens : " Sume purpuram, qualis apud nos

8 est." sed hoc falsum fuit. 4 nam postea diligent issime
et Aurelianus et Probus et proxime Diocletianus missis
diligentissimis confectoribus requisiverunt tale genus

1 superbior Salm., editors; superior P. 2 illatae illae

Purser ; illae P ; allatae Peter ; illatae Eyssenhardt, Hohl.
3 tune Peter; turn P. 4 sed . . . fuit 2, Hohl ; om. in P

and by Peter.

1 According to Zosimus, the supplies of the Palmyrenes were
exhausted and it was decided that Zenobia should go in person
to the Persians to seek aid, but she was captured after crossing
the Euphrates. Soon afterwards the peace-party in Palmyra
gained the upper hand and surrendered the city after exacting
from Aurelian the promise that no punishment should be



a mighty effort he conquered that most powerful
woman. 1 Zenobia, then, conquered, fled away on
camels (which they call dromedaries), but while seek-
ing to reach the Persians she was captured by the
horsemen sent after her, and thus she was brought
into the power of Aurelian.

And so Aurelian, victorious and in possession of the
entire East, more proud and insolent now that he

Online LibraryGrolier ClubThe Scriptores historiae augustae with an English translation (Volume 3) → online text (page 17 of 42)