Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/542
archers, who had revolted to the rebels, and in order to show himself content with lenient punishments, he degraded them all to the lowest class of the service, and ordered them, and a portion of the infantry of the Constantian legion, to come to Tigaviae with their tribunes, one of whom was the man who, for want of a diadem, had placed a neck-chain on the head of Firmus.
21. While these events were proceeding, Gildo and Maximus returned, and brought with them Bellenes, one of the princes of the Mazices, and Fericius, prefect of that nation, both of whom had espoused the faction of the disturber of the public peace, leading them forth in chains.
22. When this order had been executed, Theodosius himself came forth from his camp at daybreak, and on seeing those men surrounded by his army, said, "What, my trusty comrades, do you think ought to be done to these nefarious traitors?" And then, in compliance with the acclamations of the whole army, who demanded that their treason should be expiated by their blood, he, according to the ancient fashion, handed over those of them who had served in the Constantian legion to the soldiers to be put to death by them. The officers of the archers he sentenced to lose their hands, and the rest he condemned to death, in imitation of Curio, that most vigorous and severe general, who by this kind of punishment crushed the ferocity of the Dardanians, when it was reviving like the Lernaean hydra.
23. But malignant detractors, though they praise the ancient deed, vituperate this one as terrible and inhuman, affirming that the Dardanians were implacable enemies, and therefore justly suffered the punishment inflicted on them; but that those soldiers, who belonged to our own standards, ought to have been corrected with more lenity, for falling into one single error. But we will remind these cavillers, of what perhaps they know already, namely, that this cohort was not only an enemy by its own conduct, but also by the example which it set to others.
24. He also commanded Bellenes and Fericius, who have been mentioned above, and whom Gildo brought with him, to be put to death; and likewise Curandius, a