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dants are even now in Rome. For Aurelianus, 1
proconsul of Cilicia, a most excellent senator in his
own true right and venerated for his manner of life,
who now is living in Sicily, is a grandson of hers.

Now what shall I say of this, that whereas so many
have borne the name of Caesar, there have appeared
among them so few good emperors ? For the list of
those who have worn the purple from Augustus to
the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian is contained
in the public records. Among them, however, the
best were Augustus himself, Flavius Vespasian, Titus
Flavius, Cocceius Nerva, the Deified Trajan, the
Deified Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Anto-
ninus, Severus the African, Alexander the son of

was a mature man in 306, when this vita purports to have been



Alexander Mamaeae, divus Claudius et divus Aureli-
anus. Valerianum enim, cum optimus fuerit, ab om-

5nibus infelicttas sepaiavit. 1 vide, quaeso, quam pauci
sint principes boni, ut bene dictum sit a quodam
mimico scurra Claudii huius temporibus in uno anulo

Gbonos principes posse perscribi atque depingi. at
contra quae series malorum ! ut enim omittamus
Vitellios, Caligulas et Nerones, quis ferat Maximinos
et Philippos atque illam inconditae multitudinis fae-
cem? tametsi Decios excerpere debeam, quorum et
vita et mors veteribus comparanda est.

XLIII. Et quaeritur quidem quae res malos prin-
cipes faciat ; iam primum, mi amice, licentia, deinde
rerum copia, amici praeterea improbi, satellites detes-
tandi, eunuchi avarissimi, aulici vel stulti vel detes-
tabiles et, quod negari non potest, rerum publicarum

2 ignorantia. sed ego a patre meo audivi Diocletianum
principem iam privatum dixisse nihil esse difficilius

3 quam bene imperare. colligunt se quattuor vel
quinque atque unum consilium ad decipiendum im-

4peratorem capiunt, dicunt quid probandum sit. im-
perator, qui domi clausus est, vera non novit. cogitur
hoc tantum scire quod illi loquuntur, facit iudices
quos fieri non oportet, arnovet a re publica quos de-
beat obtinerc. quid multa ? ut Diocletianus ipse
dicebat, bonus, cautus, optimus, venditur imperator.

1 separauit Gruter ; paruit P.

1 i.e., Gallienus ; see note to Gall., i. 1.
8 See note to Tyr. Trig., xxv. 3.



Mamaea, the Deified Claudius, and the Deified Aure-
liaii. For Valerian, though a most excellent man,
was by his misfortune set apart from them all. Ob-
serve, I pray you, how few in number are the good
emperors, so that it has well been said by a jester on
the stage in the tune of this very Claudius that the
names and the portraits of the good emperors could
be engraved on a single ring. But, on the other
hand, what a list of the evil ! For, to sav naught of

* o

a Vitellius, a Caligula, or a Nero, who could endure a
Maximimis, a Philip, or the lowest dregs l of that dis-
orderly crew? I should, however, except the Decii,
who in their lives and their deaths should be likened
to the ancients.

XLIII. The question, indeed, is often asked what
it is that makes emperors evil ; first of all, my friend,
it is freedom from restraint, next, abundance of wealth,
furthermore, unscrupulous friends, pernicious atten-
dants, the greediest eunuchs, courtiers who are fools
or knaves, and it cannot be denied ignorance of
public affairs. And yet I have heard from my father 2
that the emperor Diocletian, while still a commoner,
declared that nothing was harder than to rule welL
Four or five men gather together and form one plan
for deceiving the emperor, and then they tell him to
what he must give his approval. Now the emperor,
who is shut up in his palace, cannot know the truth.
He is forced to know oiilv what these men tell him,

/ *

he appoints as judges those who should not be ap-
pointed, and removes from public office those whom
he ought to retain. Why say more ? As Diocletian
himself was wont to say, the favour of even a good
and wise and righteous emperor is often sold. These
were Diocletian's own words, and I have inserted



6 haec Diocletiani verba sunt, quae idcirco inserui ut

prudentia tua sciret nihil esse difficilius bono principe.

XLIV. Et Aurelianum quidem multi neque inter

bonos neque inter malos principes ponunt, idcirco

quod ei dementia, imperatorum dos 1 prima, defuerit.

2Verconnius Herennianus praefectus praetorii Diocle-
tiani teste Asclepiodoto saepe dicebat Diocletianum
frequenter dixisse, cum Maximiani asperitatem repre-
henderet, Aurelianum magis ducem esse debuisse
quam principem. nam eius nimia ferocitas eidem

3 Mirabile fortasse videtur quod compertum Dio-
cletiano Asclepiodotus Celsino consiliario suo dixisse

4perhibetur, sed de hoc posteri iudicabunt. dicebat
enim quodam tempore Aurelianum Gallicanas con-
suluisse Druiadas, sciscitantem utrum apud eius pos-
teros imperium permaneret, cum illas respondisse dixit
nullius clarius in re publica nomen quam Claudii pos-

5terorum futurum. et est quidem iam Constantius
imperator, eiusdem vir sanguinis, cuius puto posteros
ad earn gloriam quae a Druiadibus proiiuntiata sit
per venire, quod idcirco ego in Aureliani vita con-
stitui quia haec ipsi Aureliano consulenti responsa

XLV. Vectigal ex Aegypto urbi Romae Aurelianus
vitri, chartae, lini, stuppae, atque anabolicas species

1 dos 2 ; om. in P.

1 See Prob., xxii. 3.

2 See note to Prob., xxii. 8. Nothing is known of any history
written by him. Celsinus is unknown.

3 Other prophecies by Druid women are given in Alex., be. 6,
and Car., xiv. 3 f.


them here for the very purpose that your wisdom
might understand that nothing is harder than to be a
good ruler.

XL IV. Now Aurelian, indeed, is placed by many
among neither the good nor the evil emperors for the
reason that he lacked the quality of mercy, that fore-
most dower of an emperor. In fact, Verconnius
Herennianus, 1 Diocletian's prefect of the guard, used
often to say or so Asclepiodotus 2 bears witness
that Diocletian, in finding fault with Maxim ian's
harshness, frequently said that Aurelian ought to
have been a general rather than an emperor. So
displeasing to Diocletian was Aurelian's excessive

This may perhaps seem a marvellous thing that
was learned by Diocletian and is said to have been
related by Asclepiodotus to Celsinus his counsellor,
but concerning it posterity will be the judge. For
he used to relate that on a certain occasion Aurelian
consulted the Druid priestesses 3 in Gaul and inquired
of them whether the imperial power would remain
with his descendants, but they replied, he related,
that none would have a name more illustrious in the
commonwealth than the descendants of Claudius.
And, in fact, Constantius is now our emperor, a man
of Claudius' blood, 4 whose descendants, I ween, will
attain to that glory which the Druids foretold. And
this I have put in the Life of Aurelian for the reason
that this response was made to him when he inquired
in person.

XLV. Aurelian set aside for the city of Rome the
revenues from Egypt, consisting of glass, paper, linen,
and hemp, in fact, the products on which a perpetual

4 See Claud., xiii. 2.



2 aeternas constituit. thermas in Transtiberina regione
Aurelianus facere paravit hiemales, quod aquae frigidi-
oris copia illic deesset. forum nominis sui in Ostiensi
ad mare fundare coepit, in quo postea praetorium pub-

Slicum constitutum est. amicos suos honeste ditavit et
modice, ut miserias paupertatis effugerent et diviti-

4 arum invidiam patrimonii moderatione vitarent. ves-
tem holosericam neque ipse in vestiario suo habuit

5neque alteri utendam dedit. et cum ab eo uxor sua
peteret, ut unico pallio blatteo serico uteretur, ille
respondit, " Absit ut auro fila pensentur." libra enim
XLVI. auri tune libra serici fuit. habuit in animo ut au-
rum neque in cameras neque in tunicas neque in pelles
neque in argent um mitteretur, dicens plus auri esse in
rerum natura quam argenti, sed aurum per varies brat-
tearum, filorum et liquationum usus perire, argentum

2autem in suo usu manere. idem dederat facultatem,
ut aureis qui vellent et vasis uterentur et poculis.

3 dedit praeterea potestatem, ut argentatas privati car-
ruchas haberent, cum antea aerata et eburata vehicula

4 fuissent. idem concessit, ut blatteas matronae tunicas
haberent et l ceteras vestes, cum antea coloreas ha-

5buissent et ut multum oxypaederotinas. ut fibulas

1 et om. in P.

1 The anabolicum, mentioned frequently in papyri, seems to
have been a tax in kind on products (especially those enumerated
here), in the manufacture of which the State had a monopoly.
On the distribution of food in Rome, see c. xxxv. 1-2 and note.

2 See Heiiog., xxvi. 1 and note.

-According to the Edict of Diocletian a pound of blatta
seric.a (\a.TTr), raw silk dyed purple) was worth 150,000



tax was paid in kind. 1 He planned to erect a public
bath, in the Transtiberine district as a winter bath
^ince here there was no supply of fairly cold water. He
>egan to construct a forum, named after himself, at
Ostia on the sea, in the place where, later, the public
magistrates' office was built. He gave wealth to his
friends with wisdom and moderation, in order that
they might avoid the ills of poverty and yet, because
of the moderate size of their fortunes, escape the
envy that riches bring. Clothing made wholly of
silk 2 he would neither keep in his own wardrobe nor
present to anyone else for his use ; and when his wife
besought him to keep a single robe of purple silk, he
replied, " God forbid that a fabric should be worth its
weight in gold." For at that time a pound of silk
was worth a pound of gold. 3 XLVI. He had in
mind to forbid the use of gold on ceilings and tunics
and leather and also the gilding of silver, saying that
nature had provided more gold than silver, but the
gold was wasted by being used variously as gold-leaf,
spun gold, and gold that is melted down, while the
silver was kept for its proper use. He had, indeed,
given permission that those who wished might use
golden vessels and goblets. He furthermore granted
permission to commoners to have coaches adorned
with silver, 4 whereas they had previously had only
carriages ornamented with bronze or ivory. He also
allowed matrons to have tunics and other garments
of purple, whereas they had had before only fabrics
of changeable colours, or, as frequently, of a bright
pink. He also was the first to allow private soldiers

denarii (approximately $940) ; according to his system of coin-
age, 1 Ib. of gold = 50,000 denarii.

4 See A lex. t xliii. 1, and Heliog., xxix. 1 and note.



aureas gregarii milites haberent idem primus conces-

6 sit, cum antea argenteas habuissent. paragaudas
vestes ipse primus militibus dedit, cum ante non nisi
rectas purpureas l accepissent, et quidem aliis mono-
lores, aliis dilores, trilores aliis et usque ad pentelores,
quales hodie lineae sunt.

XLVII. Panibus urbis 2 Romae unciam de Aegyptio
vectigali auxit, ut quadam epistula data ad praefectum
annonae urbis etiam ipse gloriatur :

2 " Aurelianus Augustus Flavio Arabiano praefecto
annonae. inter cetera, quibus dis faventibus Romanam
rem publicam iuvimus, nihil mihi est magnificentius
quam quod additamento unciae omne annonarum urbi-

Scarum genus iuvi. quod ut esset perpetuum, navi-
cularios Niliacos apud Aegyptum novos et Romae
amnicos posui, Tiberinas exstruxi ripas, vadum alvei
tumentis effodi, dis et Perennitati vota constitui, almam

4 Cererem consecravi. nunc tuum est officium, Arabiane
iucundissime, elaborare ne meae dispositiones in irri-
tum veniant. neque enim populo Romano saturo
quicquam potest esse laetius."

XL VI II. Statuerat et vinum gratuitum populo
Romano dare, ut, quemadmodum oleum et panis et
porcina gratuita praebentur, sic etiam vinum daretur,

1 rectas purpureas editors ; rectis purpureis P, Hohl. 2 urbis
2 ; uerbis P.

1 See note to Ciaud., xvii. 6. ' 2 See c. xlv. 1 and note.
3 Otherwise unknown. 4 See o. xxxv. 1-2 and note.



to have clasps of gold, whereas formerly they had had
them of silver. He, too, was the first to give tunics
having bands of embroidery 1 to his troops, whereas
previously they had received only straight-woven
tunics of purple, and to some he presented tunics
with one band, to others those having two bands or
three bands and even up to five bands, like the tunics
to-day made of linen.

XL VI I. To the loaves of bread for the city of
Rome he added one ounce, which he got from the
revenues from Egypt, 2 as he himself boasts in a
certain letter addressed to the prefect of the city's
supply of grain :

"From Aurelian Augustus to Flavius Arabianus, 3
the prefect of the grain supply. Among the various
ways in which, with the aid of the gods, we have
benefited the Roman commonwealth, there is noth-
ing in which I take greater pride than that by adding
an ounce I have increased every kind of grain for the
city. And to the end that this may be lasting, I
have appointed additional boatmen on the Nile in
Egypt and on the river in Rome, I have built up the
banks of the Tiber, I have dug out the shallow places
in its rising bed, I have taken vows to the gods and
the Goddess of Perpetual Harvests, and I have con-
secrated a statue of fostering Ceres. It is now your
task, my dearest Arabianus, to make every effort that
my arrangements may not be in vain. For nothing
can be more joyous than the Roman people when
sufficiently fed."

XLVIII. He had planned also to give free wine to
the people of Rome, in order that they might be sup-
plied with it as they were with oil and bread and
pork, 4 all free of cost, and he had designed to make



2 quod perpetuum hac dispositione conceperat. Etruriae
per Aureliam usque ad Alpes maritimas ingentes agri
sunt iique fertiles ac silvosi. statuerat igitur dominis
locorum incultorum, qui tamen vellent, pretia 1 dare
atque illic familias captivas constituere, vitibus montes
conserere atque ex eo opere vinum dare, ut nihil
redituum fiscus acciperet, sed totum populo Romano
concederet. facta erat ratio dogae, cuparum, naviura

3 et operum. sed multi dicunt Aurelianum ne id faceret
praeventum, alii a praefecto praetorii suo prohibitum,
qui dixisse fertur : " Si et vinum populo Romano
damus, superest ut et pullos et anseres demus."

^argumento est id vere Aurelianum cogitasse, immo
etiam facere disposuisse vel ex aliqua parte fecisse,
quod in porticibus Templi Solis fiscalia vina ponuntur,

5 non gratuita populo eroganda sed pretio. sciendum
tamen congiaria ilium ter dedisse, donasse etiam populo
Romano tunicas albas manicatas ex diversis provinciis
et lineas Afras atque Aegyptias puras, ipsumque
primum donasse oraria populo Romano, quibus ute-
retur populus ad favorem.

XLIX. Displicebat ei, cum esset Romae, habitare
in Palatio, ac magis placebat in Hortis Sallustii vel in

1 pretia editors ; gratia P ; gratis 2, Hohl.

1 The Via Aurelia ran along the coast of Etruria to Pisa and
was continued thence to Genoa by the Via Aemilii Scauri.

2 This attempt to revive viticulture in Italy was made on
a wider scale in the provinces by Probus ; see Prob., xviii. 8.

3 See c. xxxv. 3.

4 According to the " Chronographer of 354," there was only
one distribution, 500 denarii to each person. There was an



this perpetual by means of the following arrange-
ment. In Etruria, all along the Aurelian Way 1 as
far as the Maritime Alps, there are vast tracts of
land, rich and well wooded. He planned, therefore,
to pay their price to the owners of these uncultivated
lands, provided they wished to sell, and to settle
thereon families of slaves captured in war, and then
to plant the hills with vines,' 2 and by this means to
produce wine, which was to yield no profit to the
privy-purse but to be given entirely to the people of
Rome. He had also made provision for the vats,
the casks, the ships, and the labour. Many, how-
ever, say that Aurelian was cut off before he carried
this out, others that he was restrained by his prefect
of the guard, who is said to have remarked : "If we
give wine to the Roman people, it only remains for
us to give them also chickens and geese." There is,
indeed, proof that Aurelian really considered this
measure, or, rather, made arrangements for carrying
it out and even did so to some extent ; for wine be-
longing to the privy-purse is stored in the porticos of
the Temple of the Sun, 3 which the people could
obtain, not free of cost but at a price. It should
be known, however, that he thrice distributed largess 4
among them, and that he gave to the Roman people
white tunics with long sleeves, brought from the
various provinces, and pure linen ones from Africa
and Egypt, and that he was the first to give hand-
kerchiefs to the Roman people, to be waved in show-
ing approval.

XLIX. He disliked, when at Rome, to reside in
the Palace, and preferred to live in the Gardens of

issue of coins with the legend Liberalitas Aug. ; see Matt-Syd.,
v. p. 290, no. 229.



2Domitiae vivere. milliarensem denique porticum in
Hortis Sallustii ornavit, in qua cottidie et equos et se

3 fatigabat, quamvis esset non bonae valetudinis. servos
et ministros peccantes coram se caedi iubebat, ut
plerique dicunt, causa tenendae severitatis, ut alii,

4 studio crudelitatis. ancillam suam, quae adulterium

5 cum conserve suo fecerat, capita punivit. multos
servos ex familia propria qui peccaverant legibus
audiendos iudiciis publicis dedit.

6 Senatum sive senaculum matron is reddi voluerat, ita
ut primae illic quae sacerdotia senatu auctore meruis-

7 sent, calceos mulleos et cereos et albos et hederacios
viris omnibus tulit, mulieribus reliquit. cursores eo

Shabitu quo ipse habebat senatoribus concessit. con-
cubinas ingenuas haberi vetuit. eunuchorum modum
pro senatoriis professionibus statuit, idcirco quod ad

Qingentia pretia pervenissent. vas argenti eius num-

quam triginta libras transiit. convivium de assaturis

maxime fuit. vino russo maxime delectatus est.

L. medicum ad se, cum aegrotaret, numquam vocavit,

2 sed ipse se inedia praecipue curabat. uxori et filiae

3 annuum sigillaricium quasi privatus instituit. servis
suis vestes easdem imperator quas et privatus dedit
praeter duos senes, quibus quasi libertis plurimum

1 On the northern slope of the Quirinal Hill, extending north-
ward as far as Aurelian's wall, and bounded on the east by the
Via Salaria Vetus (Via di Porta Salaria). Laid out by Sallust
the historian, they became imperial property, probably under
Tiberius. Only scanty ruins of the buildings in them are

2 On the right bank of the Tiber, containing the Mausoleum
of Hadrian (Castel S. Angelo) ; see Pius, v. 1.



Sallust l or the Gardens of Domitia. 2 In fact, he
built a portico in the Gardens of Sallust one thousand
feet long, in which he would exercise daily both him-
self and his horses, even though he were not in good
health. His slaves and attendants who were guilty
of crime he would order to be slain in his own pres-
ence, for the purpose, some say, of keeping up dis-
cipline, or, according to others, through sheer love of
cruelty. One of his maid-servants, who had com-
mitted adultery with a fellow-slave, he punished with
death, and many slaves from his own household, who
had committed offences, he delivered over to public
courts to be heard according to law.

He had planned to restore to the matrons their
senate, or rather senacitlum, 3 with the provision that
those should rank first therein who had attained to
priesthoods with the senate's approval. He forbade
men to wear boots of purple or wax-colour or white
or the colour of ivy, but allowed them to women.
He permitted the senators to have runners dressed
like his own. He forbade the keeping of free-born
women as concubines, and limited the possession of
eunuchs to those who had a senator's rating, for the
reason that they had reached inordinate prices. His
silver vessels never went beyond thirty pounds in
weight, and his banquets consisted mainly of roasted
meats. He took most pleasure in red wine. L. When
ill he never summoned a physician, but always
cured himself, chiefly by abstaining from food. He
held a yearly celebration of the Sigillaria 4 for his
wife and daughter, like any private citizen. To his
slaves he gave when emperor the same kind of cloth-
ing that he had given them when a commoner, save

3 See Heliog., iv. 3 and note. 4 See Hadr., xvii. 3.


detulit, Antistiuni et Gillonem ; qui l post eum ex
4senatus sententia manu missi sunt. erat quidem rarus
in voluptatibus, sed miro modo mimis delectabatur,
vehementissime autem delectatus est phagone, qui
usque eo raultum comedit ut uno die ante mensam
eius aprum integrum, centum panes, vervecera et
porcellum comederet, biberet autem infundibulo ad-
posito plus orca.

6 Habuit tempus praeter seditiones quasdam domesti-
cas fortunatissimum. populus eum Romanus amavit,
senatus et timuit.

1 qui om. in P.



for two old men, Antistius and Gillo, wlio received
many privileges from him, just as though they were
ireedmen, and who after his death were set free by
vote of the senate. His amusements, indeed, were
few, but he took marvellous pleasure in actors and
had the greatest delight in a gourmand, 1 who could
eat vast amounts to such an extent that in one single
day he devoured, in front of Aurelian's own table, an
entire wild boar, one hundred loaves of bread, a sheep
and a pig and, putting a funnel to his mouth, drank
more than a caskful.

Except for certain internal riotings his reign was
most prosperous. The Roman people loved him,
while the senate held him in fear.

1 i.e., Qayuv, " an eater."




T. Quod post excessum Romuli novello adhuc
RDmanae urbis imperio factum pontifices, penes quos
scribendae historiae potestas fuit, in litteras ret-
tulerunt, ut interregnum, dum post bonura principem
bonus alius quaeritur, iniretur, hoc post Aurelianum
habito inter senatum exercitumque Romanum non
invido non tristi sed grato religiosoque certamine sex
2totis mensibus factum est. multis tamen mod's haec
ab illo negotio causa separata est. iam primum enim,

1 According to the official version Romulus disappeared from
the earth during an eclipse or a storm ; see Cicero, de- Re Publica,
ii. 17, and Livy i. 16. Excessus is similarl}* used to denote his
"disappearance" by Cicero in de Re PnbL, ii. 23 and 52.

2 The proclamation of an interregnum was the regular practice
of the Roman Republic on those occasions when there were no
magistrates with consular or dictatorial power iu office, i.0.
when both consuls died during their year's term or this term
expired before their successors were elected. The practice is
also said by the historians to have beeu in vogue during the
time of the kings, and a full account of the institution is given
in connection with the choice of Numa Pompilius as Romulus'
successor; see Livy, i. 17. This serves as the basis for the




I. A certain measure adopted after the departure of
Romulus, 1 during the infancy of Rome's power, and
recorded by the pontiffs, the duly authorized writers
of history, namely, the proclamation of a regency
for the interval in which one good prince was being
sought for to succeed another 2 was also adopted after
the death of Aurelian for the space of six whole months, 3
while the senate and the army of Rome were engaged
in a contest, one that was marked not by envy and un-
happiness but rather by good feeling and sense of duty.
This occasion, however, differed in many ways from that
former undertaking. For originally, when the regency

description given here. Despite the suspicions aroused by the
biographer's love of antiquarian lore and his tendency to exalt
the rule of the senate, we may believe that an interregnum was
actually proclaimed at this time, though only in the sense that
the government was carried on by the senate; it is mentioned
also in Aur. Victor, Caes., 35, 9-12 ; 36, 1, and Epit., 35, 9, and
seems to be attested by coins bearing the legend Genius P. R.
and Int. Urb. (Interregnum Urbis ?) S. C. ; see Matt.-Syd. v.

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