Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/35

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A.D. 353.]

as we have already related, that Celse in Phoenicia was laid waste, was deservedly and legally accused of treason, and no one saw how he could possibly be acquitted. He was also manifestly proved to have sent an intimate friend with a cap (with which he used to cover his own head) which had been enchanted by forbidden acts to the temple of prophecy,[1] on purpose to ask expressly whether, according to his wish, a firm enjoyment of the whole empire was portended for him.

8. And in these days a twofold misfortune occurred: first, that a heavy penalty had fallen upon Theophilus who was innocent; and, secondly, that Serenianus who deserved universal execration, was acquitted without the general feeling being able to offer any effectual remonstrance.

9. Constantius then hearing from time to time of these transactions, and having been further informed of some particular occurrences by Thalassius, who however had now died by the ordinary course of nature, wrote courteous letters to the Cæsar, but at the same time gradually withdrew from him his support, pretending to be uneasy, least as the leisure of soldiers is usually a disorderly time, the troops might be conspiring to his injury: and he desired him to content himself with the schools of the Palatine,[2] and with those of the Protectors, with the Scutarii, and Gentiles. And he ordered Domitianus, who had formerly been the Superintendent of the Treasury, but who was now promoted to be a prefect, as soon as he arrived in Syria, to address Gallus in persuasive and respectful language, exhorting him to repair with all speed to Italy, to which province the emperor had repeatedly summoned him.

  1. Constantine, on his conversion to Christianity, had issued an edict forbidding the consultation of oracles; but the practice was not wholly abandoned till the time of Theodosius.
  2. Schools was the name given at Rome to buildings where men were wont to meet for any purpose, whether of study, of traffic, or of the practice of any art. The schools of the Palatine were the station of the cohorts of the guard. The "Protectors or Guards" were a body of soldiers of higher rank, receiving also higher pay; called also "Domestici or household troops," as especially set apart for the protection of the imperial palace and person. The "Scutarii" (shield-bearers belonged to the Palatine schools; and the Gentiles were troops enlisted from among those nations which were still accounted barbarous.