Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/76

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
[BK. XV. CH. VI.

desiring at all times to destroy them by every act of opposition.

36. And he was so far from praising even his act of diligence and fidelity, that he recorded in writing a charge that Ursicinus had embezzled a part of the Gallic treasures, which no one had ever touched. And he ordered strict inquiry to be made into the fact, by an examination of Remigius, who was at that time accountant-general to Ursicinus in his capacity of commander of the heavy troops. And long afterwards, in the time of Valentinian, this Remigius hanged himself on account of the trouble into which he fell in the matter of his appointment as legate in Tripolis.

37. And after this business was terminated, Constantius, thinking his prosperity had now raised him to an equality with the gods, and had bestowed on him entire sovereignty over human affairs, gave himself up to elation at the praises of his flatterers, whom he himself encouraged, despising and trampling under foot all who were unskilled in that kind of court. As we read that Croesus, when he was king, drove Solon headlong from his court because he would not fawn on him; and that Dionysius threatened the poet Philoxenus with death because, when the king recited his absurd and unrhythmical verses, he alone refused to fall into an ecstasy while all the rest of the courtiers praised them.

38. And this mischievous taste is the nurse of vices; for praise ought only to be acceptable in high places, where blame also is permitted when things are not sufficiently performed.


§1. And now, after the re-establishment of security, investigations as usual were set on foot, and many persons were put in prison as guilty. For that infernal informer Paulus, boiling over with delight, arose to exercise his poisonous employment with increased freedom, and while the members of the emperor's council and the military officers were employed in the investigation of these affairs, as they were commanded, Proculus was put to the torture, who had been a servant of Silvanus, a man of weak body and of ill health; so that every one was afraid lest the exceed-