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source, that he had been killed by the lightning,
whereas, as far as we can tell, it seems sure that he
died of his illness."

IX. This letter I have inserted for the reason that
many declare that there is a certain decree of Fate
that no Roman emperor may advance beyond Ctesi-
phon, and that Carus was struck by the lightning
because he desired to pass beyond the bounds which
Fate has set up. 1 But let cowardice, on which
courage should set its heel, keep its devices for itself.
For clearly it is granted to us and will always be
granted, as our most venerated Caesar Maximian has
shown, 2 to conquer the Persians and advance beyond
them, and methinks this will surely come to pass if
only our men fail not to live up to the promised
favour of Heaven.

That Carus was a good emperor is evident from
many of his deeds but especially from this, that as
soon as he received the imperial power he crushed
the Sarmatians, who were so emboldened by Probus*
death that they threatened to invade not only Illy-
ricum but Thrace and Italy as well, and he showed
such skill in breaking up the war that in a very few
days he made the provinces of Pannonia free from all
fear, having killed sixteen thousand Sarmatians and
captured twenty thousand of both sexes.

2 An allusion to the successes of Galeriua Maximianus against
Narses, the Persian king, in 296-297.



X. Haec de Caro satis esse credo, veniamus ad
Numerianum. huius et iunctior patri et admirabilior
per socerum suum facta videtur historia. et quamvis
Carinus maior aetate fuerit, prior etiam Caesar quam
hie l sit nuncupatus, tamen necesse est ut prius de
Numeriano loquamur, qui patris secutus est mortem,
post de Carino, quern vir rei publicae necessarius
Augustus Diocletianus habitis conflictibus interemit.

XI. Numerianus, Cari films, moratus egregie et vere
dignus imperio, eloquentia etiam prae pollens, adeo ut
puer publice declamaverit feranturque illius scripta
nobilia, declamationi tamen magis quam Tulliano ad-

2commodiora stilo. versu autem talis fuisse praedi-
catur ut omnes poetas sui temporis vicerit. nam et
cum Olympio Nemesiano contendit, qui 'AA-teim/ca,
KvvyycTLKa et NauTiKa scripsit quique in 2 omnibus
coloniis inlustratus emicuit, et Aurelium Apollinarem
iamborum scriptorem, qui patris eius gesta in litteras
rettulit, iisdem quae recitaverat editis veluti radio

3solis obtexit. huius oratio fertur ad senatum missa
tantum habuisse eloquentiae ut illi statua non quasi

l quam hie Editor; qua* P; quam Numerianus Peter 2 , Hohl.
2 quique P corr., Hohl ; quinque P 1 ; inque Peter.

1 Coins with the legends Divo Caro and Consecratio show
that he was deified ; see Cohen, vi 2 . pp. 352-353, nos. 14-24.

2 M. Aurelius Numerius Numerianus Augustus (283-284).
He seems not to have borne the title of Augustus until after
Cams' death, when he and Carinus held it conjointly ; see
Cohen, vi 2 . p. 404.

3 The author of four Eclogues written in the manner of
Vergil. Of the poems cited here we have only 325 lines of his



X. This I believe to be enough about Carus l ; let
us now pass on to Numerian. His history seems to
be more closely connected with that of his father and
to have become more noteworthy because of his
father-in-law ; and although Carinus was older than
he and received the title of Caesar before him, it is
necessary, nevertheless, for us to tell first of Numerian,
whose death followed that of his father, and after-
wards of Carinus, whom Diocletian Augustus, a man
indispensable to the state, met in battle and put to

XI. Numerian, 2 the son of Carus, was of excellent
character and truly worthy to rule ; he was notable,
moreover, for his eloquence, so much so, in fact, that
even as a boy he declaimed in public, and his writings
came to be famous, though more suitable for declama-
tion than in keeping with Cicero's style. In verse,
furthermore, he is said to have had such skill that he
surpassed all the poets of his time. In fact, he com-
peted with Olympius Nemesianus, 3 who wrote On
Fishing, On Hunting, and On Seamanship, and shone
with conspicuous lustre in all the colonial towns ; and
as for Aurelius Apollinaris, 4 the writer of iambics,
who had composed an account of his father's deeds,
Numerian, when he published what he had recited,
cast him into the shade like a ray of the sun. The
speech, moreover, which he sent to the senate is said
to have been so eloquent that a statue was voted him
not as a Caesar but as a rhetorician, to be set up in

Cynegetica, composed after the death of Carus but before that
of either of his sons, whose deeds he promises to recount (see
1. 63 f.).

4 Unknown.



Caesari sed quasi rhetori decerneretur, ponenda in
Bibliotheca Ulpia, cui subscriptum est : " Numeriano
Caesari, oratori temporibus suis potentissimo."

XII. Hie patri comes fuit bello Persico. quo
mortuo, cum oculos dolere coepisset, quod illud
aegritudinis genus nimia utpote vigilia 1 confecto
familiarissimum fuit, ac lectica portaretur, factione
Apri soceri sui, qui invadere conabatur imperium,
2occisus est. sed cum per plurimos dies de impera-
toris salute quaereretur a milite, contionareturque
Aper idcirco ilium videri non posse, quod oculos
invalidos a vento ac sole subtraheret, foetore tamen
cadaveris res esset prodita, omnes invaserunt Aprum,
cuius factio latere non potuit, eumque ante signa et
principia protraxere. tune habita est ingens contio,
XIII. factum etiam tribunal. et cum quaereretur quis
vindex Numeriani iustissimus fieret, quis daretur rei
publicae bonus princeps, Diocletianum omnes divino
consensu, cui multa iam signa facta dicebantur imperii,
Augustum 2 appellaverunt, domesticos tune regentem,
virum insignem, callidum, amantem rei publicae,
amantem suorum et ad omnia quae tempus quaesiverat

1 uigilia added in P corr. 2 In P the portion of the vita
which begins with Augustum and ends with fuisse in c. xv. 5
is transposed and inserted in c. ii. 2 ; in the Z codices it is in
its proper place.

1 See note to Aur., i. 7.

2 He was defeated by the Persians, according to Zonaras, xii.
30. The biographer omits the account of his homeward march
across Asia Minor, in the course of which he was killed. His
death seems to have been discovered at the Bosphorus ; as thei-e
are Alexandrian coins of his third year, it could not have taken



the Ulpian Library l with the following inscription :
" To Numerian Caesar, the most powerful orator of his

XII. He accompanied his father in the Persian
war, and after his father's death, when he had begun
to suffer from a disease of the eyes for that kind of
ailment is most frequent with those exhausted, as he
was, by too much loss of sleep and was being carried
in a litter, he was slain 2 by the treachery of his
father-in-law Aper, who was attempting to seize the
rule. But the soldiers continued for several days to
ask after the emperor's health, and Aper kept ha-
ranguing them, saying that he could not appear before
them for the reason that he must protect his weakened
eyes from the wind and the sun, but at last the stench
of his body revealed the facts. Then all fell upon
Aper, whose treachery could no longer be hidden, and
they dragged him before the standards in front of the
general's tent. Then a huge assembly was held and
a tribunal, too, was constructed. XIII. And when
the question was asked who would be the most lawful
avenger of Numerian and who could be given to the
commonwealth as a good emperor, then all, with a
heaven-sent unanimity, conferred the title of Augustus
on Diocletian, 3 who, it was said, had already received
many omens of future rule. He was at this time in
command of the household- troops, an outstanding man
and wise, devoted to the commonwealth, devoted to
his kindred, duly prepared to face whatever the

place until after 29 August, 284. He was deified, evidently by
order of Carinus ; for there are coins of his with the legends
Divo Numeriano and Consecratio ; see Cohen, vi 2 . p. 369. nos.

3 C. Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus (284-805).



temperatum, consilii semper alti, nonnumquam tamen
effrontis l sed prudentia et nimia pervicacia motus

2inquieti pectoris comprimentis. hie cum tribunal
conscendisset atque Augustus esset appellatus, et
quaereretur quemadmodum Numerianus esset occisus,
educto gladio Aprum praefectum praetorii ostentans
percussit, addens verbis suis, " Hie est auctor necis
Numeriani." sic Aper foeda vita 2 et deformibus con-

Ssiliis agens dignum moribus suis exitum dedit. avus
meus rettulit interfuisse contioiii, cum Diocletiani
manu esset Aper occisus ; dixisse autem dicebat Dio-
cletianum, cum Aprum percussisset : " Gloriare, Aper,

4'Aeneae magni dextra cadis.' quod ego miror de
homine militari, quamvis plurimos plane sciam 3 mili-
tares vel Graece vel Latine vel comicorum usurpare

5 dicta vel talium poetarum. ipsi denique comici ple-
rumque sic milites inducunt ut eos faciant vetera dicta
usurpare. nam et "Lepus tute es, pulpamentum
quaeris ? " Livii Andronici dictum est, multa aliaque 4
Plautus Caeciliusque posuerunt.

XIV. Curiosum non puto neque satis vulgare fabel-
lam de Diocletiano Augusto ponere hoc convenientem
loco, quae illi data est ad omen imperil, avus meus

1 effrontis editors; frantic P; efrontis Z. ^ foeda uita

Eyssenhardt, Hohl ; foedauit P; foeditate Peter. s platie

sciam Paucker, Peter 2 ; plus quam P, Z". 4 aliaque Peter 2 ;
alia quae P.

1 See note to Tyr. Trig., xxv. 3. 2 Aeneid, x. 830.

3 The quotation is from Terence, Eunuchus, 426, but as it is
described in the context as a vetus dictum, it may well have
come from a comedy of Livius Andronicus. It is evidently
an adaptation of the saying recorded by Diogenianus (in



occasion demanded, forming plans that were always
deep though sometimes over-bold, and one who could
by prudence and exceeding firmness hold in check
the impulses of a restless spirit. This man, then,
having ascended the tribunal was hailed as Augustus,
and when someone asked how Numerian had been
slain, he drew his sword and pointing to Aper, the
prefect of the guard, he drove it through him, saying
as he did so, " It is he who contrived Numerian's
death.'' So Aper, a man who lived an evil life and
in accordance with vicious counsels, met with the end
that his ways deserved. My grandfather used to
relate 1 that he was present at this assembly when
Aper was slain by the hand of Diocletian ; and he
used to say that Diocletian, after slaying him, shouted,
" Well may you boast, Aper, ' "Tis by the hand of the
mighty Aeneas you perish.' "' ' 2 I do, indeed, wonder
at this in a military man, although I know perfectly
well that very many soldiers use sayings in both Greek
and Latin taken from the writers of comedy and other
such poets. In fact, the comic poets themselves fre-
quently introduce soldiers in such a way as to make
them use familiar sayings ; for " You are a hare your-
self and yet are you looking for game ? '' is a saying
which is taken from Livius Andronicus, 3 and many
others were given by Plautus and Caecilius.

XIV. I do not consider it too painstaking or yet
too much in the ordinary manner to insert a stoiy
about Diocletian Augustus that seems not out of place
here an incident which he regarded as an omen of

Corpus Paroemiographorum Oraecorum), iv. 12 : Aaa-tJirovs
Kpecav iri0vfjLf'i ' firl rS>v Trap' &\\<av 4irir)TOvvT<ov & Trap'



2 mihi rettulit ab ipso Diocletiano compertum. " Cum/'
inquitj " Diocletianus apud Tungros in Gallia in qua-
darn caupona moraretur, in minoribus adhuc locis
militans, et cum Druiade quadam muliere rationem 1
convictus sui cottidiani faceret, atque ilia diceret,
' Diocletiane, nimium avarus, nimium parcus es,' ioco
non serio Diocletianus respondisse fertur, 'Tune ero

Slargus, cum fuero imperator.' post quod verbum
Druias dixisse fertur, ' Diocletiane. iocari noli, nam
XV. eris imperator cum Aprum occideris.' : semper in
animo Diocletianus habuit imperil cupiditatem, idque
Maximiano conscio atque avo meo, cui hoc dictum
a Druiade ipse rettulerat. denique, ut erat altus, risit

2 et tacuit. apros tamen in venatibus, ubi fuit facultas,

3manu sua semper occidit. denique cum Aurelianus
imperium accepisset, cum Probus, cum Tacitus, cum
ipse Carus, Diocletianus dixit, " Ego semper apros

4occido, sed alter utitur pulpamento." iam illud
notum est atque vulgatum, quod, cum occidisset
Aprum praefectum praetorii, dixisse fertur, " Tandem

Soccidi Aprum fatalem." ipsum Diocletianum idem
avus meus dixisse dicebat nullam aliam sibi causam
occidendi manu sua fuisse 2 nisi ut impleret Druiadis

6 dictum et suum firmaret imperium. non enim tarn
crudelem se innotescere cuperet, primis maxime
diebus imperii, nisi ilium necessitas ad hanc atroci-
tatem occisionis adtraheret.

1 curationem P. 2 With fuisse ends the portion of the vita
transposed in P to c. ii. 2.

] Around mod. Tongres in eastern Belgium.

5 For prophecies by Druid women see Aur. t xliv. 4 and note.



his future rule. This story my grandfather related to
me, having heard it from Diocletian himself. "When
Diocletian," he said, "while still serving in a minor
post, was stopping at a certain tavern in the land of
the Tungri l in Gaul, and was making up his daily
reckoning with a woman, who was a Druidess, she said
to him, ' Diocletian, you are far too greedy and far too
stingy,' to which Diocletian replied, it is said, not in
earnest but only in jest, ' I shall be generous enough
when I become emperor.' At this the Druidess said, 2
so he related, ' Do not jest, Diocletian, for you will
become emperor when you have slain a Boar (Aper).'
XV. Now Diocletian always had in his mind a desire
to rule, as Maximian 3 knew and my grandfather
also, to whom he himself told these words of the
Druidess. Then, however, reticent, as was his wont,
he laughed and said nothing. Nevertheless, in his
hunting, whenever there was opportunity, he always
killed the boars with his very own hand. In fact,
when Aurelian received the imperial power, then
Probus, then Tacitus, and then Carus himself, Diocle-
tian remarked, " I am always killing boars, but the
other man enjoys the meat." It is now well known
and a common story that when he had killed Aper,
the prefect of the guard, he declared, it is said, " At
last I have killed my fated Boar." My grandfather
also used to say that Diocletian himself declared
that he had no other reason for killing him with his
own hand than to fulfil the Druidess' prophecy and
to ensure his own rule. For he would not have
wished to become known for such cruelty, especially
in the first few days of his power, if Fate had not
impelled him to this brutal act of murder.

3 i.e., Diocletian's co-ruler.



1 Dictum est de Caro, dictum etiam de Numeriano,
XVI. superest nobis Carinus, homo omnium contaminatissi-

mus, adulter, frequens corruptor iuventutis (pudet
dicere quod in litteras Onesimus rettulit), ipse quoque

2 male usus genio sexus sui. hie cum Caesar decretis
sibi Galliis atque Italia, Illyrico, Hispaniis ac Britan-
niis et Africa relictus a patre Caesareanum teneret
imperium, sed ea lege ut omnia faceret quae Augusti
faciunt, enormibus se vitiis et ingenti foeditate macu-

3 lavit, amicos optimos quosque relegavit, pessimum
quemque elegit aut teiiuit, praefectum urbi uiium ex
cancellariis suis fecit, quo foedius nee cogitari potuit

4aliquando nee dici. praefectum praetorii quern habe-

5 bat occidit ; in eius locum Matronianum, veterem
conciliatorem, fecit, unum ex suis l notariis, quern
stuprorum et libidinum conscium semper atque

6 adiutorem habuerat. invito patre consul processit.
superbas ad senatum litteras declit. vulgo urbis
Romae, quasi populo Romano, bona senatus promisit.

1 suis suggested by Peter ; his P, Hohl.

1 M. Aurelius Carinus Augustus (283-285). His debauchery
and cruelty are emphasised by all the sources, but this judge-
ment may be due, at least in part, to the desire to flatter the
dynasty which succeeded him ; cf. note to Gall., i. 1.

He held the title officially during Cams' lifetime, for it
appears in their inscriptions and on coins issued under their
joint names ; see Cohen, vi' 2 , p. 364 f., nos. 2 and 5-11. The
division of the empire between the two seems similar to that
between Valerian and Gallienus, and it probably was not with-
out influence on the subsequent similar partition of powers by
Diocletian and Maximian.

3 The title of an official of considerable importance at the



We have written of Cams, we have written, too, of
Numerian, and now there still remains Carinus. 1
XVI. He was the most polluted of men, an adulterer
and a constant corrupter of youth (I am ashamed to
relate what Onesimus has put into writing), and he
even made evil use of the enjoyment of his own sex.
He was left by his father as Caesar in Gaul and Italy
and in Illyricum, Spain, Britain, and Africa, all of
which had been voted to him, and he exercised there
a Caesar's powers, but with the permission to perform
all the duties of an Augustus. 2 Then he defiled him-
self by unwonted vices and inordinate depravity, he
set aside all the best among his friends and retained
or picked out all the vilest, and he appointed as city-
prefect one of his doorkeepers, 3 a baser act than
which no one can conceive or relate. He slew the
prefect of the guard whom he found in office and put
in his place Matronianus, one of his clerks and an old
procurer, whom he had always kept with him as
accomplice and assistant in debaucheries and lusts.
He appeared in public as consul contrary to his
father's wish. 4 He wrote arrogant letters to the
senate, and he even promised the senate's property
to the mob of the city of Rome, as though it, forsooth,
were the Roman people. By marrying and divorcing

Byzantine court. The fact that there is no mention of an
imperial cancellarius prior to the fifth century has been used
by Seeck as an argument for his theory that the Hist. Aug.
is the work of a fifth-century "forger"; see Vol. ii. Intro.,
p. x. The point of the present passage, however, seems to Jie
in the low position of the cancellarius, i.e., as actually a door-

4 Since he was consul ordinarius conjointly with Cai'us in
283, this statement is hardly credible.



7 uxores ducendo ac reiciendo novem duxit pulsis
plerisque praegnantibus. mimis, meretricibus, panto-
mimis, cantoribus atque lenonibus Palatium replevit.

Sfastidium subscribendi tantum habuit lit impurum
quendam, cum quo semper meridie iocabatur, ad sub-
scribendum poneret, quern obiurgabat plerumque
XVII. quod bene suam imitaretur manum. habuit gemmas
in calceis, nisi gemmata fibula usus non est, balteo
etiam saepe gemmato. 1 regem denique ilium Illyrici

2 plerique vocitarunt. praefectis numquam, numquam 2
consulibus obviam processit. hominibus improbis
plurimum detulit eosque ad convivium semper vocavit.

3 centum libras avium, centum piscium, mille diversae
carnis in convivio suo frequenter exhibuit. vini pluri-
mum effudit. inter poma et melones natavit. rosis

4 Mediolanensibus et triclinia et cubicula stravit. bal-
neis ita frigidis usus est, ut solent esse cellae supposi-

5 toriae, frigidariis semper nivalibus. cum hiemis tern-
pore ad quendam locum venisset, in quo fontana esset
pertepida, ut adsolet per hiemem naturaliter, eaque
in piscina usus esset, dixisse balneatoribus fertur,
"Aquam mihi muliebrem praeparastis." 3 atque hoc

6 eius clarissimum dictum effertur. audiebat pater eius
quae ille faceret, et clamabat, " Non est meus."

1 So Petschenig, Hohl ; balteum . . . gemmatum P, Peter.
3 numquam ins. by Gruter; om. in P. 3 praeparastis

Petschenig, Hohl ; praeparatis P, 27, Peter.

1 Only one is known, Magnia Urbica Augusta, whose likeness
appears on Carinus' coins as well as on her own ; see Cohen
vi 2 . p. 405-408.



he took nine wives in all, 1 and he put away some
even while they were pregnant. He filled the Palace
with actors and harlots, pantomimists, singers and
pimps. He had such an aversion for the signing of
state-papers that he appointed for signing them a cer-
tain filthy fellow, with whom he used always to jest
at midday, and then he reviled him because he could
imitate his writing so well. XVII. He wore jewels
on his shoes, 2 used only a jewelled clasp and often
a jewelled belt also. In fact, in Illyricum most
people hailed him as king. He would never come
forward to meet the prefects or consuls. He granted
favours most of all to the base, and always invited
them to banquets. At one of his banquets he often
served one hundred pounds of birds, one hundred of
fish, and one thousand of meat of different kinds, and
he lavished on his guests vast quantities of wine.
He swam about among apples and melons and
strewed his banqueting-halls and bedrooms with
roses from Milan. The baths which he used were
as cold as the air of rooms that are under the
ground, and his plunge-baths were always cooled
by means of snow. Once, when he came in the
winter to a certain place in which the spring-water
was very tepid its wonted natural temperature dur-
ing the winter and he had bathed in it in the pool,
he shouted to the bath -attendants, it is said. " This
is water for a woman that you have given me " ; and
this is reported as his most famous saying. When his
father heard of all that he did, he exclaimed, " He is
no son of mine," and at last he determined to appoint

2 Also told to the discredit of Elagabalus, as it was to the
credit of Severus Alexander that he removed them ; see Heliog.,
xxiii, 4; Alex., iv. 2.



statuerat denique Constantium, qui postea Caesar est
factus, tune autera praesidatum Dalmatiae adminis-
trabat, in locum eius subrogare, quod nemo tune vir
melior videbatur, ilium vero, ut Onesimus dicit,
7 occidere. longum est si de eius luxuria plura velim
dicere. quicumque ostiatim cupit noscere, legat etiam
Fulvium Asprianum usque ad taedium gestorum eius
universa dicentem.

XVI II. Hie ubi patrem fulmine absumptum, fratrem
a socero interemptum, Diocletianum Augustum appel-
latum comperit, maiora vitia et scelera edidit, quasi
iam liber ac l frenis domesticae pietatis suorum

2 mortibus 2 absolutus. nee ei tamen defuit ad vindi-
candum sibimet imperium vigor mentis, nam contra
Diocletianum multis proeliis conflixit, sed ultima
pugna apud Margum commissa victus occubuit.

3 Hie trium principum fuit finis, Cari, Numeriani et
Carini. post quos Diocletianum et Maximianum prin-
cipes di 3 dederunt, iungentes talibus viris Galerium
atque Constantium, quorum alter natus est, qui

1 ac Lenze ; a P, Peter, Hohl. 2 mortibus Gas. ; moribus

P, 27. 8 di ins. by Egnatius ; om. in P and 27.

1 i e., Constantius I. (Chlorus). There seems to be no reason
to believe this statement.

2 Otherwise unknown.

3 The vita omits all mention of his campaigns against the
Germans and in Britain, as the result of which he assumed the
cognomina Germanicus Maximus and Britannicus Maximus.

4 After being called from Rome by the news of Diocletian's
assumption of the power he overthrew near Verona a usurper
named M. Aurelianus Julianus (so his coins, Cohen, vi 8 . pp. 410-
411 : Sabinus Julianus according to Epit., 38, 6 and Zosimus,
i. 73).



Constantius l afterwards made Caesar but at that
time serving as governor of Dalmatia in the place of
Carinus, for the reason that no one even then seemed
to be better, and he even planned, as Onesimus relates,
to put Carinus to death. It would be too long to tell
more, even if I should desire to do so, about his excesses.
If anyone wishes to learn all in detail, he should read
Fulvius Asprianus ' J also, who tells the whole tale of
his deeds even to the point of boredom. 3

XVIII. When he learned that his father had been
killed by lightning and his brother slain by his own
father-in-law, and that Diocletian had been hailed as
Augustus, Carinus committed acts of still greater vice
and crime, as though now set free and released by
the death of his kindred from all the restraints of

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