Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/81

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A.D. 355.]
69
PROMOTION OF JULIAN.

after many undecided deliberations and long discussions, his resolution was at last taken decidedly, and having discarded all further vain debate, he resolved on associating Julian with him in the empire.

4. He was therefore summoned; and when he had arrived, on a fixed day, the whole of his fellow-comrades who were in the city were ordered to attend, and a tribunal was erected on a lofty scaffolding, surrounded by the eagles and standards. And Augustus, mounting it, and holding Julian by the right hand, made this conciliatory speech:—

5. "We stand here before you, most excellent defenders of the republic, to avenge with one unanimous spirit the common dangers of the state. And how I propose to provide for it I will briefly explain to you, as impartial judges.

6. "After the death of those rebellious tyrants whom rage and madness prompted to engage in the enterprises which they undertook, the barbarians, as if they meant to sacrifice unto their wicked manes with Roman blood, having violated the peace and invaded the territories of the Gauls, are encouraged by this consideration, that our empire, being spread over very remote countries, causes us to be beset with great difficulties.

7. "If, then, your decision and mine are mutual to encounter this evil, already progressing beyond the barriers which were opposed to it, while there is still time to check it, the necks of these haughty nations will learn to humble their pride, and the holders of the empire will remain inviolate. It remains for you to give, by your strength, prosperous effect to the hopes which I entertain.

8. "You all know my cousin Julian, whom I here present to you; a youth endeared to us by his modesty as well as by his relationship; a youth of virtue already proved, and of conspicuous industry and energy. Him I have determined to raise to the rank of Cæsar, and hope, if this seems expedient to you, to have my decision confirmed by your consent."

9. He was proceeding to say more, but was prevented by the whole assembly interrupting him with friendly shouts, declaring that his decision was the judgment of the Supreme Deity, and not of any human mind; with