Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/453
tice that it was all he could do to escape from them by a rapid retreat.
11. His successor had formerly been a quaestor of the palace, his name was Juventius, a man of integrity and prudence, a Pannonian by birth. His administration was tranquil and undisturbed, and the people enjoyed plenty under it. Yet he also was alarmed by fierce seditions raised by the discontented populace, which arose from the following occurrence.
12. Damasus and Ursinus, being both immoderately eager to obtain the bishopric, formed parties and carried on the conflict with great asperity, the partisans of each carrying their violence to actual battle, in which men were wounded and killed. And as Juventius was unable to put an end to, or even to soften these disorders, he was at last by their violence compelled to withdraw to the suburbs.
13. Ultimately Damasus got the best of the strife by the strenuous efforts of his partisans. It is certain that on one day one hundred and thirty-seven dead bodies were found in the Basilica of Sicininus, which is a Christian church. And the populace who had been thus roused to a state of ferocity were with great difficulty restored to order.
14. I do not deny, when I consider the ostentation that reigns at Rome, that those who desire such rank and power may be justified in labouring with all possible exertion and vehemence to obtain their wishes; since after they have succeeded, they will be secure for the future, being enriched by offerings from matrons, riding in carriages, dressing splendidly, and feasting luxuriously, so that their entertainments surpass even royal banquets.
15. And they might be really happy if, despising the vastness of the city, which they excite against themselves by their vices, they were to live in imitation of some of the priests in the provinces, whom the most rigid abstinence in eating and drinking, and plainness of apparel, and eyes always cast on the ground, recommend to the everlasting Deity and his true worshippers as pure and sober-minded men. This is a sufficient digression on this subject: let us now return to our narrative.
1. While the events