Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/635
A. D. 378.] 623
RETREAT OF THE GOTHS FROM CONSTANTINOPLE.
accessible beauties of the city, and the immensity of its population; also the vicinity of the strait which divides the Black Sea from the Aegean. Then after destroying the works which they had constructed, having sustained greater losses than they had inflicted, they raised the siege, and roamed at random over the northern provinces, which they traversed without restraint as far as the Julian Alps, which the ancients used to call the Venetian Alps.
8. At this time the energy and promptitude of Julius, the commander of the forces on the other side of Mount Taurus, was particularly distinguished; for when he learnt what had happened in Thrace, he sent secret letters to all the governors of the different cities and forts, who were all Romans (which at this time is not very common), requesting them, on one and the same day, as at a concerted signal, to put to death all the Goths who had previously been admitted into the places under their charge; first luring them into the suburbs, in expectation of receiving the pay which had been promised to them. This wise plan was carried out without any disturbance or any delay; and thus the Eastern provinces were delivered from great dangers.9. Thus have I, a Greek by birth, and formerly a soldier, related all the events from the accession of Nerva to the death of Valens, to the best of my abilities; professing above all things to tell the truth, which, as I believe, I have never knowingly perverted, either by silence or by falsehood. Let better men in the flower of their age, and of eminent accomplishments, relate the subsequent events. But if it should please them to undertake the task, I warn them to sharpen their tongues to a loftier style.