Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/168
24. While our affairs were thus prospering, Illyricum was put in a state of twofold security, since the emperor, in endeavouring by two means to accomplish this object, succeeded in both. He brought back and established in their ancient homes the people who had been banished, whom, although they were objects of suspicion from their natural fickleness, he believed would go on more moderately than of old. And to crown this kindness, he set over them as a king, not one of low birth, but the very man whom they themselves had formerly chosen, as eminent for all the virtues of mind and body.
25. After such a wise action, Constantius, being now raised above all fear, and having received from the unanimous consent of his soldiers the title of Sarmaticus, from the name of the nation which he had subdued; and being now about to leave the army, summoned all his cohorts and centuries and maniples, and mounting the tribune, surrounded by the standards and eagles, and by a great number of soldiers of all ranks, he addressed the troops in these words, choosing his topics as usual so as to gain the favour of all.
26. "The recollection of our glorious exploits, the dearest of all feelings to brave men, encourages me to repeat, though with great moderation, what, in our heaven-granted victories, and before battle, and in the very heat of the strife, we, the most faithful champions of the Roman state, have conducted to a deservedly prosperous issue. For what can be so honourable or so justly worthy to be handed down to the recollection of posterity as the exultation of the soldier in his brave deeds, and of the general in his wise plans?
27. "The rage of our enemies, in their arrogant pride thinking to profit by our absence, while we were protecting Italy and Gaul, was overrunning Illyricum, and with continual sallies they were ravaging even the districts beyond our frontiers; crossing the rivers, sometimes in boats made of hollow trees, sometimes on foot; not relying on combats, nor on their arms and strength, but being accustomed to secret forays, and having been from the very earliest era of their nation an object of fear to our ancestors, from their cunning and the variety of their manoeuvres, which we indeed, being at a great distance, bore