Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/511

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A.D. 370.] THE CITIZENS IMPLORE THE EMPOROR'S AID. 499

14. Then a certain citizen named Mychon, a man of high station and great influence, was taken prisoner in the district outside of the city; but before they could bind him he gave them the slip, and because an attack of gout rendered him unable to effect his escape, he threw himself down a dry well, from which he was drawn up by the barbarians with his ribs broken, and was conducted near to i he gates of the city, where he was ransomed by the affection of his wife, and was drawn up to the battlements of the wall by a rope; but two days afterwards he died.

15. These events encouraged the pertinacity of the invaders, so that they advanced and attacked the very walls of Leptis, which resounded with the mournful wailings of the women, who were terrified in an extraordinary manner and quite bewildered, because they had never before been blockaded by an enemy. And after the city had been besieged for eight days continuously, during which many of the besiegers were wounded, while they made no progress, they retired much discouraged to their own country.

16. In consequence of these events, the citizens, being still doubtful of their safety, and desirous of trying every possible resource, before the ambassadors who had been first sent had returned, sent Jovinus and Pane rat his to lay before the emperor a faithful account of the sufferings which they had endured, and which they themselves had seen: these envoys found the former ambassadors, Severus and Flaccianus, at Carthage; and on asking them what they had done, they learnt that they had been referred for a hearing to the deputy and the count. And immediately after this Severus was attacked by a dangerous illness and died; but notwithstanding what they had heard, the new ambassadors proceeded on their journey to the court.

17. After this, when Palladius arrived in Africa, the count, who knew on what account he had come, and who had been warned before to take measures for his own safety, sent orders to the principal officers of the army by certain persons who were in his secrets, to pay over to him, as being a person of great influence, and being the person most nearly connected with the principal nobles of