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phrurium, 5 a station between Heraclea and Byzantium,
through the hatred of his clerk but by the hand of
Mucapor. 6

XXXVI. Both the reason for his murder and the
manner in which he was slain I will set forth briefly,
that a matter of such moment may not remain con-
cealed. Aurelian it cannot be denied was a stern,
a savage, and a blood-thirsty prince. And so, when
he pushed his sternness to the length of slaying his
sister's daughter 7 without any good or sufficient
reason, he incurred, first of all, the hate of his own

2 The Pontlfices Soils, modelled on the ancient college of the
Pontifices and equal to it in rank ; see Wissowa, p. 307.

3 Early in 275. These invaders are also mentioned in
c. xli. 8, but it is not known who they were. The statement
in Tac., iii. 4 (cf. Prob., xiii. 5), that the barbarians, after
Aurelian's death, broke through the Limes Transrhenamis
suggests that he entered Germany and restored this boundary.

4 See note to c. xxx. 4.

5 Near the modern station of Sinekli, about 50 m. W. of

6 Addressed in the fictitious letter in c. xxvi. 2-5. In Aur.
Victor, Goes., 36, 2, he is called dux and is said to have been
tortured to death by Tacitus.

7 Sde o. xxxix. 9.



4 causa, iam primum in odium suorura venit. incidit
autem, ut se res fataliter agunt, ut Mnestheum quen-
dam, quern pro notario secretorum habuerat, libertum,
ut quidam dicunt, suum, infensiorem sibi minando
redderet, quod nescio quid de eo l suspicatus esset.

5 Mnestheus, qui sciret Aurelianum neque frustra
minari solere neque, si minaretur, ignoscere, brevem
nominum conscripsit mixtis iis quibus Aurelianus vere
irascebatur cum iis de quibus nihil asperum cogitabat,
addito etiam suo nomine, quo magis fidem faceret
ingestae sollicitudinis, ac brevem legit singulis quorum
nomina continebat, addens disposuisse Aurelianum
eos omnes occidere, illos vero debere suae vitae, si

6viri sint, subvenire. hi 2 cum exarsissent, timore qui
merebantur offensam, dolore innocentes, quod 3 bene-
ficiis atque officiis Aurelianus videbatur ingratus, in
supra dicto loco iter facientem principem subito adorti

XXXVII. Hie finis Aureliano fuit, principi neces-
sario magis quam bono. quo interfecto cum esset res
prodita, et sepulchrum ingens et templum illi detu-

2lerunt ii a quibus interemptus est. sane Mnestheus
postea subreptus ad stipitern bestiis obiectus est, quod
statuae marmoreae positae in eodem loco utrimque

1 60 Peter, Hohl ; quo P, 27, def . by Purser. a hi 27, Hohl ;
hie P, Peter. 3 quod ins. by Salm. and Hohl ; om. in P and
by Peter.

1 In Zosimus, i. 62, 1, and Zonaras, xii. 27, he is called Eros.
The name Mnestheus, found only here, has been supposed to
be an error for ^wr^s, which occurs in the expression ruiv
e|a>Cei/ (pfpo/uLevow airoKpi<rf(ai> fjurivvr^s, by which both Zosimus
and Zonaras (and consequently their source) describe his office.


kinsmen. It came to pass, moreover, as things do
happen by decree of fate, that he roused the anger
of a certain Mnestheus l his freedman, some say
whom he had employed as his confidential clerk,
because he had threatened him, suspecting him on
some ground or other. Now Mnestheus, knowing
that Aurelian neither threatened in vain nor pardoned
when he had threatened, drew up a list of names, in
which he mixed together both those at whom Aurelian
was truly angry and those toward whom he bore no
ill-will, including his own name also, in order there-
by to lend greater credence to the fear that he sought
to inspire. This list he read to the various persons
whose names were contained therein, adding that
Aurelian had made arrangements to have them all
put to death, and that, if they really were men, they
should save their lives. Thereupon all were aroused,
those who had deserved his anger being moved by
fear, and those who were innocent by sorrow, since
Aurelian seemed ungrateful for their services and
their fidelity, and so they suddenly attacked the
Emperor while on the march in the aforesaid place,
and put him to death.

XXXVII. Such was the end of Aurelian, a prince
who was necessary rather than good. After he was
slain and the facts became known, those very men
who had killed him gave him a mighty tomb and
a temple. Mnestheus, however, was afterward haled
away to a stake and exposed to wild beasts, as is
shown by the marble statues set up on either hand
in that same place, where also statues were erected

According to Aur. Victor, Goes., 35, 7-8, the conspiracy was due
to Aurelian's sternness in repressing the extortion practised
by the officials in the provinces.



significant, ubi et in columnis divo Aureliano statuae

3 'constitutae sunfc. senatus mortem eius graviter tulit,
gravius tamen populus Romanus, qui vulgo dicebat

4Aurelianum paedagogum esse senatorum. imperavit
annis sex minus paucis diebus, ac rebus magnis gestis
inter divos relatus est.

5 Quia pertinet ad Aurelianum, id quod in historia
relatum est tacere non debui. nam multi ferunt
Quintillum, fratrem Claudii, cum in praesidio Italico
esset, audita morte Claudii sumpsisse imperium.

gverum postea, ubi Aurelianum comperit imperare, a
toto exercitu eum derelictum l ; cumque contra eum
contionaretur nee a militibus audiretur, incisis sibimet
venis die vicesimo imperil sui perisse.

7 Quidquid sane scelerum fuit, quidquid malae con-
scientiae vel artium funestarum, quidquid denique

. factionum, Aurelianus toto penitus orbe purgavit. hoc
quoque ad rem pertinere arbitror, Vaballathi filii
nomine Zenobiam, non Timolai et Herenniani, im-
perium tenuisse quod tenuit.

2 Fuit sub Aureliano etiam monetariorum bellum

1 eum derelictum Peter; ea delectum P.

1 5 yrs. 6 mos., according to Epit., 35, 1 ; 5 yrs. 4 mos.
20 days, according to the " Chronographer of 354." He was
killed probably in October or November, 275 ; see Stein in
Arch. /. Pap.-Forsch., vii. p. 46.



on columns in honour of the Deified Aurelian. The
senate mourned his death greatly, but the Roman
people still more, for they commonly used to say
that Aurelian was the senators' task-master. He
ruled six years save for a few days/ and because of
his great exploits he was given a place among the
deified princes. 2

An incident related in history I must not fail to
include, inasmuch as it has to do with Aurelian. For
it is told by many that Quint illus, Claudius' brother,
in command of a garrison in Italy, on hearing of
Claudius' death seized the imperial power. 3 But
later, when it was known that Aurelian was emperor,
he was abandoned by all his army ; and when he had
made a speech attacking Aurelian and the soldiers
refused to listen, he severed his veins and died on
the twentieth day of his rule.

Now whatever crimes there were, whatever guilty
plans or harmful practices, and, lastly, whatever plots
all these Aurelian purged away throughout the
entire world. XXXVIII. This also, I think, has to
do with my theme, namely, that it was in the name
of her son Vaballathus and not in that of Timolaus or
Herennianus that Zenobia held the imperial power, 4
which she did really hold.

There was also during the rule of Aurelian a revolt
among the mint-workers, under the leadership of

2 The portion of the vita that follows (co. xxxvii. 5 xli. 15)
seems to be a sort of appendix, containing many instances of
repetition of what has been already told. Much of it shows
a close resemblance to the material in Eutropius and Aurelius
Victor and seems to have been taken from a common source.

3 See c. xvii. 5 and Gland., xii. 3-5 and notes.

4 See c. xxii. 2 and Tyr. Trig., xxx. 1 and notes.



Felicissimo rational! auctore. quod acerrime severis-
simeque compescuit, septem tamen milibus 1 suorum
militum interemptis, ut epistula docet missa ad Ulpium
Crinitum ter consulem, qui eum ante adoptaverat :

3 " Aurelianus Augustus Ulpio patri. quasi fatale
quiddam mihi sit, utomnia bella quaecumque gessero,
omnes motus ingravescant, ita etiam seditio intra-
murana bellum mihi gravissimum peperit. monetarii
auctore Felicissimo, ultimo servorum, cui procura-
tionem fisci mandaveram, rebelles spiritus extulerunt.

4 hi compressi sunt septem milibus l lembariorum et
ripariensium et castrianorum et Daciscorum inter-
emptis. unde apparet nullam mihi a dis inmortalibus
datam sine difficultate victoriam."

XXXIX. Tetricum triumphatum correctorem
2 Lucaniae fecit, filio eius in senatu manente. Tern-
plum Solis magnificentissimum constituit. muros
urbis Romae sic ampliavit, ut quinquaginta prope

1 militibus P.

1 This revolt is described also in Aur. Victor, Goes., 35, 6;
Epit., 35, 2, and Eutropius, ix. 14. According to these authors,
the mint-workers, who, with the connivance of Felicissimus,
had adulterated the metal appropriated for the coinage, fearing
punishment, broke out into open war. It would appear that
they had been keeping a part of the silver that was to have
been used for the billon (i.e., adulterated) coins. Though the
number of soldiers said to have fallen is, of course, greatly
exaggerated, a battle seems to have been fought on the Caelian
Hill, near the mint, which was on the Via Labicana. The
date is uncertain ; it may have been on the occasion of the
German invasion of 270-271 (see c. xxi. 5) or in 27-4, just prior
to the reform of the currency (see note to c. xxxv. 3).

2 See c. x. 2 and note.



Felicissimus, the supervisor of the privy-purse. 1 This
revolt he crushed with the utmost vigour and harsh-
ness, but still seven thousand of his soldiers were
slain, as is shown by a letter addressed to Ulpius
Crinitus, 2 thrice consul, by whom he had formerly
been adopted :

" From Aurelian Augustus to Ulpius his father.
Just as though it were ordained for me by Fate that
all the wars that I wage and all commotions only
become more difficult, so also a revolt within the city
has stirred up for me a most grievous struggle. For
under the leadership of Felicissimus, the lowest of
all my slaves, to whom I had committed the care of
the privy-purse, the mint-workers have shown the
spirit of rebellion. They have indeed been crushed,
but with the loss of seven thousand men, boatmen, 8
bank-troops, camp-troops 4 and Dacians. Hence it is
clear that the immortal gods have granted me no
victory without some hardship."

XXXIX. Tetricus, whom he had led in triumph, he
created supervisor of Lucania, 5 and his son he retained
in the senate. The Temple of the Sun 6 he founded
with great magnificence. He so extended the wall
of the city of Rome 7 that its circuit was nearly fifty

3 i.e., from the fleets on the Danube.

4 Terms applied in the fourth century to troops stationed in
permanent garrisons along the bank of the Danube or in the
castra on the frontier.

5 See Tyr. Trig., xxiv. 5 and note.

6 See c. xxxv. 3 and note.

7 Begun in 271 after the war against the Marcomanni (see
c. xxi. 9) and finished by Probus (Zosimus, i. 49). Most of it,
though frequently restored and increased in height, still remains,
encircling the ancient city. Its actual length is about twelve
miles; but perhaps the "50 milia" means 50,000 feet.



Smilia murorum eius ambitus teneant. idem quadru-
platores ac delatores ingenti severitate persecutus est.
tabulas publicas ad privatorum securitatem 1 exuri in

4Foro Traiani semel iussit. amnestia etiam sub eo
delictorum publicorum decreta est de exemplo Athe-
niensium, cuius rei etiam Tullius in Plrlippicis

Bmeminit. fures provinciales repetundarum ac pecu-
latus reos ultra militarem modum est persecutus, ut

6eos ingentibus suppliers cruciatibusque puniret. in
Templo Solis multum auri gemmarumque constituit.

7 cum vastatum Illyricum ac Moesiam deperditam
videret, provinciam Traiisdanuvinam Daciam a Traiano
constitutam sublato exercitu et provincialibus reliquit,
desperans earn posse retineri, abductosque ex ea
populos in Moesia conlocavit appellavitque earn 2
Daciam, quae nunc duas Moesias dividit.

8 Dicitur praeterea huius fuisse crudelitatis, ut
plerisque senatoribus simulatam ingereret factionem
coniurationis ac tyrannidis, quo 3 facilius eos posset

9 occidere. addunt nonnulli filium sororis, non filiam,
ab eodem interfectum, plerique autem etiam filium

1 seueritatem P. 2 eam sugg. by Peter, Purser (of.

Eutrop., ix. 15) ; suom P. 3 quo OEQ. in P.

1 In imitation of Hadrian ; see Hadr., vii. G and note.

2 Cicero, Philippics, i. 1 ; Cicero is speaking of the decree of
the senate on 17 March, 44 B.C., granting amnesty to all those
implicated in the murder of Caesar.

3 See note to c. xxxvi. 4.

4 The various Gothic invasions had shown that the districts
north of the Danube could no longer be held without constant
fighting, and this led to their evacuation, probably in 271.
The new province was formed out of portions of the two
Moesias, Thrace aud Dardania, with its capital at Serdica (mod.



miles long. He punished with inordinate harshness
both informers and false accusers. In order to in-
crease the sense of security of the citizens in general,
he gave orders that the records of debts due the State
should be burned once and for all in the Forum of
Trajan. 1 Under him also an " amnesty" for offences
against the State was decreed according to the example
of the Athenians, which Cicero also cites in his
Philippics?' Thieving officials in the provinces, accused
of extortion or embezzlement, he punished with more
than the usual military severity, 3 inflicting on them un-
wonted penalties and sufferings. He dedicated great
quantities of gold and jewels in the Temple of the
Sun. On seeing that Illyricum was devastated and
Moesia was in a ruinous state, he abandoned the
province of Trans- Danubian Dacia, which had been
formed by Trajan, and led away both soldiers and
provincials, giving up hope that it could be retained. 4
The people whom he moved out from it he established
in Moesia, and gave to this district, which now divides
the two provinces of Moesia, the name of Dacia.

It is said, furthermore, that so great was his cruelty
that he brought against many senators a false accusa-
tion of conspiracy and intention to seize the throne,
merely in order that it might be easier to put them
to death. 5 Some say, besides, that it was the son of
his sister, and not her daughter that he killed, 8 many,
however, that he slew the son as well.

Sofia). In order to avoid any loss of prestige, Aurelian assumed
the title Dacicus Maximus and issued coins with the legend
Dacia Felix ; see Matt.-Syd., v. p. 277, no. 108.

5 See note to c. xxi. 5.

6 The daughter, according to o. xxxvi. 3 ; the son, according
to Eutropius, ix. 14 ; EpiL, 35, 9.



XL. Quam difficile sit imperatorem in locum boni
principis legere, et senatus sanctioris gravitas probat

2et exercitus prudentis auctoritas ; occiso namque
severissimo principe de imperatore deligendo exercitus
rettulit ad senatum, idcirco quod nullum de iis facien-
dum putabat, qui tarn bonum priiicipem occiderant.

8 verum senatus hanc eandem electionem in exercitum
refudit, sciens non libenter iam milites accipere im-

4 peratores eos quos senatus elegerit. denique id tertio
faetum est, ita ut per sex menses imperatorem Romanus
orbis non habuerit, omnesque iudices ii permanerent,
quos aut senatus aut Aurelianus elegerat, nisi quod
pro consule Asiae Faltonius Probus in locum Arellii
Fusci delectus est. 1

XLI. Non iniucundum est ipsas inserere litteras
quas a senatum exercitus misit :

" Felices ac fortes exercitus senatui populoque
Romano. Aurelianus imperator noster per traudem
unius hominis et per errorem bonorum ac malorum

2 interemptus est. hunc inter deos referte, sancti domini
patres conscripti, et de vobis aliquem, sed dignum
vestro iudicio, principem mittite. nos enim de iis qui
vel errarunt vel 2 male fecerunt, imperare nobis
neminem patimur."

3 Rescriptum ex senatus consulto. cum die III
nonarum Februariarum senatus amplissimus in Curiam

1 delectus, est Salm. ; delegit P. 2 qui uel P.

1 On this incident, see Toe., ii.-vi.

3 Perhaps the consularls of this name in Tyr. Trig., xxi. 3.
Faltonius Probus is unknown.

3 On such " senatus consulta " see note to VaL, v. 3.

4 This date is certainly incorrect, for Aurelian was probably
killed in October or November ; see note to o. xxxvii. 4. The



XL. How difficult it is to choose an emperor in the
place of a good ruler is shown both by the dignified
action of a revered senate and by the power exerted
by a wise army. For when this sternest of princes
was slain, the army referred to the senate the busi-
ness of choosing an emperor, 1 for the reason that it
believed that no one of those should be chosen who
had slain such an excellent ruler. The senate, how-
ever, thrust this selection back on the army, knowing
well that the emperors whom the senate selected
were no longer gladly received by the troops.
Finally, for the third time, the choice was referred,
and so for the space of six months the Roman world
was without a ruler, and all those governors whom
either the senate or Aurelian had chosen remained
at their posts, save only that Faltonius Probus was
appointed proconsul of Asia in the place of Arellius
Fuscus. 2

XLI. It is not without interest to insert the letter
itself which the army sent to the senate :

" From the brave and victorious troops to the
senate and the people of Rome. Aurelian our em-
peror has been slain through the guile of one man and
the blunder of good and evil alike. Do you, now,
our revered lords and Conscript Fathers, place Aure-
lian among the gods and send us as prince one of
your own number, whom you deem a worthy man.
For none of those who have erred or committed crime
will we suffer to be our emperor."

To this a reply was made by decree of the senate. 3
When on the third day before the Nones of February *

consul Aurelius Gordianus is perhaps intended to be the same
as Velius Comificius Gordianus in Toe., iii. 2, but both are
equally unknown.



Pompilianam conveuisset, Aurelius Gordianus consul
dixit: " Referimus ad vos, patres conscript!, litteras

4 exercitus felicissimi. " quibus recitatis Aurelius Tacitus,
primae sententiae senator, ita locutus est (hie autem
est qui post Aurelianum sententia omnium imperator

5 est appellatus) : " Recte atque ordine consuluissent di
immortales, patres conscripti, si boiii principes ferro
inviolabiles exstitissent, ut longiorem ducerent vitam,
neque contra eos aliqua esset potestas iis qui neces

6 infandas tristissima mente coricipiunt. viveret enim
princeps Aureiianus, quo neque fortior l neque utilior

7 fuit quisquam. respirare certe post infelicitatem
Valerian!, post Gallieni mala imperante Claud io coep-
erat uostra res publica, at eadem reddita fuerat

SAureliano toto penitus orbe vincente. ille nobis
Gallias dedit, ille Italiam liberavit, ille' 2 Vindelicis
iugum barbaricae servitutis amovit. illo vincente Illy-
ricum restitutum est, redditae Romanis legibus
9 Thraciae. ille, pro pudor ! orientem femineo pressum
iugo in iiostra iura restituit, ille Persas, insultantes

lOadhuc Valerian! nece, fudit, fugavit, oppressit. ilium
Saraceni, Blemmyes, Axomitae, Bactriani, Seres,
Hiberi, Albani, Armenii, populi etiam Indorum veluti

11 praesentem paene venerati sunt deum. illius donis,

1 neque fortior ins. by Salm. ; om. in P. 2 inde P.

1 This name is applied to the Curia Julia only here and in
Tac. t iii. 2. It may be due to an attempt to attribute the
foundation of the earliest senate-house to Numa Pompilius
instead of Tullus Hostilius, but it is more probable that it i3
an invention of the author's.

2 See Tac. t vii. 1. 3 See notes to c. xxxiii. 4.



the most high senate had assembled in the Senate-
house of Pompilius, 1 Aurelius Gordianus, the consul,
said : " We now lay before you, Conscript Fathers,
the letter from our most victorious army." When
this letter was read, Tacitus, whose right it was to
give his opinion first (it was he, moreover, who was
acclaimed as emperor after Aurelian by the voice of
all 2 ), spoke as follows : " Well and wisely would the
immortal gods have planned, Conscript Fathers, had
they but rendered good emperors invulnerable to
steel, for so would they have longer lives and those
have no power against them who with most grievous
intent contrive abominable murder. And if it were
so, our emperor Aurelian would still be alive, than
whom none was ever more brave or more beneficial.
For after the misfortune of Valerian and the evil
ways of Gallienus our commonwealth did indeed under
Claudius' rule begin to breathe once more, but
Aurelian it was who won victories throughout the
entire world and restored it again to its former state.
He it was who gave us back the provinces of Gaul,
he who set Italy free, he who removed from the
Vindelici the yoke of barbarian enslavement. He by
his victories won back Illyricum and brought again
the districts of Thrace under the laws of Rome. He
restored to our sway the Orient, crushed down (oh,
the shame of it !) beneath the yoke of a woman, he
defeated and routed and destroyed the Persians, still
vaunting themselves in the death of Valerian. He
was revered as a god, almost as though present in per-
son, by the Saracens, the Blemmyes, the Axomitae, 3
the Bactrians, the Seres, the Hiberians, the Albanians,
the Armenians, and even by the peoples of India.
His donations, won from barbarian tribes, fill the



quae a barbaris gentibus meruit, refertum est Capito-

lium. quindecim milia librarura auri ex eius liberalitate

unum tenet tern plum, omnia in urbe fana eius micant
12donis. quare, patres conscripti, vel deos ipsos iure

convenio, qui talem principem interire passi sunt, nisi
13 forte secum eum esse maluerunt. decerno igitur

divinos honores idque vos omnes aestimo esse facturos.

nam de imperatore deligendo ad eundem exercitum
14censeoesse referendum, etenim in tali genere sen-

tentiae nisi fiat quod dicitur, et electi periculum erit et
15 eligentis invidia." probata sententia est Taciti. atta-

men cum iterum atque iterum mitteretur, ex senatus

consulto, quod in Taciti vita dicemus, Tacitus fact us

est imperator.

XL11. Aurelianus filiam sol am reliquit, cuius pos-

2 teri etiam nunc Romae sunt. Aurelianus namque pro
consule Ciliciae, senator optimus sui vere iuris vitaeque
venerabilis, qui nunc in Sicilia vitam agit, eius est

3 Quid hoc esse dicam, tarn paucos bonos exstitisse
principes, cum iam tot Caesares fuerint ? nam ab
Augusto in Diocletianum Maximianumque principes
quae series purpuratorum sit, index publicus tenet.

4 sed in his optimi ipse Augustus, Flavius Vespasianus,
Flavius Titus, Cocceius Nerva, divus Traianus, divus
Hadrianus, Pius et Marcus Antonin^ Severus Afer,

1 Otherwise unknown ; see note to Tyr. Trig., xiv. 3. A
proconsul of Cilicia is mentioned also in Car., iv. 6, but no
such office had existed since the time of the Republic. During
the first three centuries of the Empire this province was
governed by an imperial legatus, after Diocletian by a procon-
sularis. Hence the title seems to be an invention of the
author's due to his desire to introduce antiquarian details.
Moreover, it is improbable that a great-grandson of Aurelian'a



Capitol ; by his liberality one temple alone contains
fifteen thousand pounds of gold, and with his gifts all
the shrines in the city are gleaming. Wherefore,
Conscript Fathers, I couldjustly bring charges against
even the very gods, who suffered such a prince to
perish, were it not that perchance they preferred to
have him among themselves. I therefore propose
divine honours, and these I believe you all will bestow.
With regard to the choice of an emperor, indeed,
you should refer it, I think, to this army. For in a
proposal of this kind, unless that which is urged be
done, there is both danger for those who are chosen
and odium for those who choose." The proposal of
Tacitus found favour ; but after the matter had been
referred back again and again, by decree of the senate
Tacitus, as we shall relate in his Life, was chosen as

XLII. Aurelian left only a daughter, whose descen-

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