Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



383
Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 23.5.10


nanHowever, the Etruscan soothsayers, who accompanied the other adepts in interpreting prodigies, since they were not believed when they often tried to prevent this campaign, now brought out their books on war, and showed that this sign was adverse and prohibitory to a prince invading another’s territory, even though he was in the right.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

4 results
1. Tacitus, Histories, 3.56 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3.56.  While Vitellius was addressing the troops an incredible prodigy appeared — such a flock of birds of ill omen flew above him that they obscured the sky with a black cloud. Another dire omen was given by a bull which overthrew the preparations for sacrifice, escaped from the altar, and was then despatched some distance away and in an unusual fashion. But the most outstanding portent was Vitellius himself; unskilled in war, without foresight, unacquainted with the proper order of march, the use of scouts, the limits within which a general should hurry on a campaign or delay it, he was constantly questioning others; at the arrival of every messenger his face and gait betrayed his anxiety; and then he would drink heavily. Finally, weary of the camp and hearing of the defection of the fleet at Misenum, he returned to Rome, panic-stricken as ever by the latest blow and with no thought for the supreme issue. For when the way was open to him to cross the Apennines while the strength of his forces was unimpaired, and to attack his foes who were still exhausted by the winter and lack of supply, by scattering his forces he delivered over to death and captivity his best troops, who were loyal to the last extremity, although his most experienced centurions disapproved, and if consulted, would have told him the truth. But the most intimate friends of Vitellius kept them away from him, and so inclined the emperor's ears that useful counsel sounded harsh, and he would hear nothing but what flattered and was to be fatal.
2. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 18.3.1, 20.2.4, 20.8.20, 21.1.6-21.1.14, 22.12.6-22.12.7, 22.14.3, 23.2.7, 23.3.2-23.3.3, 23.5.4-23.5.5, 23.5.12-23.5.14, 24.8.4, 25.2.3-25.2.8, 25.3.19, 25.4.17, 25.10.1-25.10.3, 26.1.5, 28.1.7, 29.1.32, 29.1.42, 31.1.2 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

18.3.1. While in Gaul the providence of Heaven was reforming these abuses, in the court of Augustus a tempest of sedition arose, which from small beginnings proceeded to grief and lamentation. In the house of Barbatio, then commander of the infantry forces, bees made a conspicuous swarm; and when he anxiously consulted men skilled in prodigies about this, they replied that it portended great danger, 1 This was not always true. Cf. Pliny, N. H. xi. 55 ff.: Tunc (apes) ostenta faciunt privata ac publica, uva dependente in domibus templisque, saepe expiata magnis eventibus. Sedere in ore infantis turn etiam Platonis, suavitatem illam praedulcis eloqui portendentes. Sedere in castris Drusi imperatoris cum prosperrime pugnatum apud Arbalonem est, haud quaquam perpetua haruspicum coniectura, qui dirum id ostentum existimant semper. obviously inferring this from the belief, that when these insects have made their homes and gathered their treasures, they are only driven out by smoke and the wild clashing of cymbals. 20.2.4. The accused, exasperated at this injustice, said: Although the emperor despises me, the importance of the present business is such, that it cannot be examined into and punished, except by the judgement of the prince; yet let him know, as if from the words of a seer, that so long as he grieves over what he has learned on no good authority to have happened at Amida, and so long as he is swayed by the will of eunuchs, not even he in person with all the flower of his army will be able next spring to prevent the dismemberment of Mesopotania. 20.8.20. Meanwhile the odium of the enterprise had been increased by the flight of the prefect Florentius, who, as if anticipating the disturbances that would arise from the summoning of the soldiers To serve in the Orient; cf. 4, 2, above. (which was the subject of common talk) had purposely withdrawn to Vienne, alleging the need of provisions as his excuse for parting from Caesar, whom he had often treated rudely and consequently feared. 21.1.6. Moreover, now that Gaul was quieted, his desire of first attacking Constantius was sharpened and fired, since he inferred from many prophetic signs (in which he was an adept) and from dreams, that Constantius would shortly depart from life. 21.1.7. And since to an emperor both learned and devoted to all knowledge malicious folk attribute evil arts for divining future events, we must briefly consider how this important kind of learning also may form part of a philosopher’s equipment. 21.1.8. The spirit pervading all the elements, seeing that they are eternal bodies, is always and everywhere strong in the power of prescience, and as the result of the knowledge which we acquire through varied studies makes us also sharers in the gifts of divina- tion; and the elemental powers, Demons, in the Greek sense of the word δαίμονες; of. xiv. 11, 25, substantialis tutela. when propitiated by divers rites, supply mortals with words of prophecy, as if from the veins of inexhaustible founts. These prophecies are said to be under the control of the divine Themis, so named because she reveals in advance decrees determined for the future by the law of the fates, which the Greeks call τεθειμένα; Things fixed and immutable. and therefore the ancient theologians gave her a share in the bed and throne of Jupiter, the life-giving power. 21.1.9. Auguries and auspices are not gained from the will of the fowls of the air which have no knowledge of future events (for that not even a fool will maintain), but a god so directs the flight of birds that the sound of their bills or the passing flight of their wings in disturbed or in gentle passage foretells future events. For the goodness of the deity, either because men deserve it, or moved by his affection for them, loves by these arts also to reveal impending events. 21.1.10. Those, too, who give attention to the prophetic entrails of beasts, which are wont to assume innumerable forms, know of impending events. And the teacher of this branch of learning is one named Tages, who (as the story goes) was seen suddenly to spring from the earth in the regions of Etruria. See xvii. 10, 2, note. 21.1.11. Future events are further revealed when men’s hearts are in commotion, but speak divine words. For (as the natural philosophers say) the Sun, the soul of the universe, sending out our minds from himself after the manner of sparks, when he has fired men mightily, makes them aware of the future. And it is for this reason that the Sibyls often say that they are burning, since they are fired by the mighty power of the flames. Besides these, the loud sounds of voices give many signs, as well as the phenomena which meet our eyes, thunder even and lightning, and the gleam of a star’s train of light. 21.1.12. The faith in dreams, too, would be sure and indubitable, were it not that their interpreters are sometimes deceived in their conjectures. And dreams (as Aristotle declares) are certain and trustworthy, when the person is in a deep sleep and the pupil of his eye is inclined to neither side but looks directly forward. 21.1.13. And because the silly commons oftentimes object, ignorantly muttering such things as these: If there were a science of prophecy, why did one man not know that he would fall in battle, or another that he would suffer this or that : it will be enough to say, that a grammarian has sometimes spoken ungrammatically, a musician sung out of tune, and a physician been ignorant of a remedy, but for all that grammar, music, and the medical art have not come to a stop. 21.1.14. Wherefore Cicero has this fine saying, among others: The gods, says he, show signs of coming events. With regard to these if one err, it is not the nature of the gods that is at fault, but man’s interpretation. Cic., De Nat. Deorum, ii. 4, 12; De Div. i. 52, 118. Therefore, that my discourse may not run beyond the mark (as the saying is) and weary my future reader, let us return and unfold the events that were foreseen. 22.12.6. Nevertheless, he drenched the altars with the blood of an excessive number of victims, sometimes offering up a hundred oxen at once, with countless flocks of various other animals, and with white birds A colour of good omen; cf. Juv. xiii. 141, gallinae filius albae ; Suet., Galba, 1; Hor., Sat. i. 7, 8, equis albis ; etc. hunted out by land and sea; to such a degree that almost every day his soldiers, who gorged themselves on the abundance of meat, living boorishly and corrupted by their eagerness for drink, were carried through the squares to their lodgings on the shoulders of passers-by from the public temples, where they indulged in banquets I.e. sacrificial feasts. that deserved punishment rather than indulgence; especially the Petulantes Cf. xx. 4, 2, note. and the Celts, whose wilfulness at that time had passed all bounds. 22.12.7. Moreover, the ceremonial rites were excessively increased, with an expenditure of money hitherto unusual and burdensome. And, as it was now allowed without hindrance, everyone who professed a knowledge of divination, alike the learned and the ignorant, without limit or prescribed rules, were permitted to question the oracles and the entrails, which sometimes disclose the future; and from the notes of birds, from their flight, and from omens, the truth was sought with studied variety, if anywhere it might be found. 22.14.3. For he was ridiculed as a Cercops, One of a people living in an island near Sicily, changed by Jupiter into apes; Ov., Metam. xiv. 91, and Suidas, s.v. κέρκωπες. as a dwarf, spreading his narrow shoulders and displaying a billy-goat’s beard, Cf. xxv. 4, 22. taking mighty strides as if he were the brother of Otus and Ephialtes, whose height Homer describes as enormous. Two giants, the Aloidae; cf. Odyss. xi. 307 ff. He was also called by many a slaughterer The victimarius slew the animal that was offered up. instead of high-priest, in jesting allusion to his many offerings; and in fact he was fittingly criticised because for the sake of display he improperly took pleasure in carrying the sacred emblems in place of the priests, and in being attended by a company of women. But although he was indigt for these and similar reasons, he held his peace, kept control of his feelings, and continued to celebrate the festivals. 23.2.7. Then, uniting all his forces, he marched to Mesopotamia so rapidly that, since no report of his coming had preceded him (for he had carefully guarded against that), he came upon the Assyrians unawares. Finally, having crossed the Euphrates on a bridge of boats, he arrived with his army and his Scythian auxiliaries at Batnae, Cf. xiv. 3, 3. a town of Osdroëne, where he met with a sad portent. 23.3.2. Having delayed there several days for necessary preparations, and to offer sacrifices according to the native rites to the Moon, which is religiously venerated in that region, before the altar, with no witness present, Julian is said secretly to have handed his purple mantle to his relative Procopius, and to have ordered him boldly to assume the rule, if he learned that the emperor had died among the Parthians. 23.3.3. Here, as Julian slept, his mind was disturbed by dreams, which made him think that some sorrow would come to him. Therefore, both he himself and the interpreters of dreams, considering the present conditions, declared that the following day, which was the nineteenth of March, ought to be carefully watched. But, as was afterwards learned, it was on that same night that the temple of the Palatine Apollo, under the prefecture of Apronianus, was burned in the eternal city; and if it had not been for the employment of every possible help, the Cumaean books These Sibylline books had been kept in the pedestal of the statue of Apollo, in accordance with the desire of Augustus, who built the temple. See Suet., Aug. xxxi. 1 ( L.C.L., i. 170). also would have been destroyed by the raging flames. 23.5.4. But while Julian was lingering at Cercusium, to the end that his army with all its followers might cross the Abora on a bridge of boats, he received a sorrowful letter from Sallustius, prefect of Gaul, begging that the campaign against the Parthians might be put off, and that Julian should not thus prematurely, without having yet prayed for the protection of the gods, expose himself to inevitable destruction. 23.5.5. But the emperor, disregarding his cautious counsellor, pushed confidently on, since no human power or virtue has ever been great enough to turn aside what the decrees of fate had ordained. Immediately upon crossing the bridge he ordered it to be destroyed, so that no soldier in his own army might entertain hope of a return. 23.5.12. Likewise, on the following day, which was the seventh of April, as the sun was already sloping towards its setting, starting with a little cloud thick darkness suddenly filled the air and daylight was removed; and after much menacing thunder and lightning a soldier named Jovian, with two horses which he was bringing back after watering them at the river, was struck dead by a bolt from the sky. 23.5.13. Upon seeing this, Julian again called in the interpreters of omens, and on being questioned they declared emphatically that this sign also forbade the expedition, pointing out that the thunderbolt was of the advisory kind; On this kind of thunderbolt see Seneca, Nat. Quaest. ii. 39, 1 ff. for so those are called which either recommend or dissuade any act. And so much the more was it necessary to guard against this one. because it killed a soldier of lofty name Since Jovianus is connected with Jupiter. as well as war-horses, and because places which were struck in that manner—so the books on lightning These prescribed the rites and taboos connected with thunderbolts. The expression libri fulgurales seems to occur only here and in Cic., Div. i. 33, 72, where we have haruspicini et fulgurales et rituales libri. declare— must neither be looked upon nor trodden. 23.5.14. The philosophers, on the other hand, maintained that the brilliance of the sacred fire which suddenly appeared signified nothing at all, but was merely the course of a stronger mass of air sent downward from the aether by some force; or if it did give any sign, it foretold an increase in renown for the emperor, as he was beginning a glorious enterprise, since it is well known that flames by their very nature mount on high without opposition. 24.8.4. And since human wisdom availed nothing, after long wavering and hesitation we built altars and slew victims, in order to learn the purpose of the gods, whether they advised us to return through Assyria, or to march slowly along the foot of the mountains and unexpectedly lay waste Chiliocomum, situated near Corduena; but on inspection of the organs it was announced that neither course would suit the signs. 25.2.3. Moreover, when he was forced for a time to indulge in an anxious and restless sleep, he threw it off in his usual manner, and, following the example of Julius Caesar, did some writing in his tent. Once when in the darkness of night he was intent upon the lofty thought of some philosopher, he saw somewhat dimly, as he admitted to his intimates, that form of the protecting deity of the state which he had seen in Gaul when he was rising to Augustan dignity, Cf. xx. 5, 10 but now with veil over both head and horn of plenty, sorrowfully passing out through the curtains of his tent. 25.2.4. And although for a moment he remained sunk in stupefaction, yet rising above all fear, he commended his future fate to the decrees of heaven, and now fully awake, the night being now far advanced, he left his bed, which was spread on the ground, and prayed to the gods with rites designed to avert their displeasure. Then he thought he saw a blazing torch of fire, like a falling star, which furrowed part of the air and disappeared. And he was filled with fear lest the threatening star of Mars had thus visibly shown itself. Cf. xxiv. 6, 17. 25.2.5. That fiery brilliance was of the kind that we call διάσσων, ἀστὴρ διαίσσων, a shooting star ; of. Iliad, iv. 75-77. which never falls anywhere or touches the earth; for anyone who believes that bodies can fall from heaven is rightly considered a layman, I.e. not versed in astronomy. or a fool. But this sort of thing happens in many ways, and it will be enough to explain a few of them. 25.2.6. Some believe that sparks glowing from the ethereal force, are not strong enough to go very far and then are extinguished; or at least that beams of light are forced into thick clouds, and because of the heavy clash throw out sparks, or when some light has come in contact with a cloud. For this takes the form of a star, and falls downward, so long as it is sustained by the strength of the fire; but, exhausted by the greatness of the space which it traverses, it loses itself in the air, passing back into the substance whose friction gave it all that heat. Cf. Seneca, Nat. Quaest. ii. 14. 25.2.7. Accordingly, before dawn the Etruscan soothsayers were hastily summoned, and asked what this unusual kind of star portended. Their reply was, that any undertaking at that time must be most carefully avoided, pointing out that in the Tarquitian books, So-called from their author Tarquitius, whom some identify with Tages; cf. xvii. 10, 2; xxi. 1, 10. under the rubric On signs from heaven it was written, that when a meteor was seen in the sky, battle ought not to be joined, or anything similar attempted. 25.2.8. When the emperor scorned this also, as well as many other signs, the soothsayers begged that at least he would put off his departure for some hours; but even this they could not gain, since the emperor was opposed to the whole science of divination, I.e. when it opposed his plans. As Montaigne (Book II, ch. 19) rightly says, he was besotted with the art of divination cf. xxii. 1, 1; xxiii. 3, 3; xxv. 4, 17. but since day had now dawned, camp was broken. 25.3.19. And I shall not be ashamed to admit, that I learned long ago through the words of a trustworthy prophecy, that I should perish by the sword. And therefore I thank the eternal power that I meet my end, not from secret plots, nor from the pain of a tedious illness, nor by the fate of a criminal, but that in the mid-career of glorious renown I have been found worthy of so noble a departure from this world. For he is justly regarded as equally weak and cowardly who desires to die when he ought not, or he who seeks to avoid death when his time has come. 25.4.17. He was somewhat talkative, and very seldom silent; also too much given to the consideration of omens and portents, so that in this respect he seemed to equal the emperor Hadrian. Superstitious rather than truly religious, he sacrificed innumerable victims without regard to cost, so that one might believe that if he had returned from the Parthians, there would soon have been a scarcity of cattle; like the Caesar Marcus, Marcus Aurelius. of whom (as we learn) the following Greek distich was written: We the white steers do Marcus Caesar greet. Win once again, and death we all must meet. 25.10.1. After this business had been thus attended to, we came by long marches to Antioch; where for successive days, as though the divinity were angered, many fearful portents were seen, which those skilled in such signs declared would have sad results. 25.10.2. For the statue of the Caesar Maximianus, which stood in the vestibule of the royal palace, suddenly dropped the brazen ball, in the form of the globe of heaven, which it was holding, Cf. xxi. 14, 1, note. the beams of the council hall gave forth an awful creaking, and in broad daylight comets were seen, about which the views of those versed in natural history are at variance. Cf. Pliny, N.H. ii. 91 ff. 25.10.3. For some think that they are so called because they are numerous stars united in one body, Democritus and Anaxagoras, cf. Arist., Meteor. 1, 1; opposed by Sen. Nat., Quaest. vii. 7. and send out writhing fires resembling hair. The view of Aristotle and the Peripatetics; cometa is from coma (Greek κομη ), hair. This opinion, which is nearest the truth, is attributed by Aristotle and Plutarch to Pythagoras. Others believe that they take fire from the dryer exhalations of the earth, which gradually rise higher. Others again think that the rays streaming from the sun are prevented by the interposition of a heavier cloud from going downward, and when the brightness is suffused through the thick substance, it presents to men’s eyes a kind of star-spangled light. Yet others have formed the opinion that this phenomenon occurs when an unusually high cloud is lit up by the nearness of the eternal fires, or at any rate, that comets are stars like the rest, the appointed times of whose rising and setting I.e. their appearance and disappearance. are not understood by human minds. Many other theories about comets are to be found in the writings of those who are skilled in knowledge of the universe; but from discussing these I am prevented by my haste to continue my narrative. 26.1.5. He also was rejected because he was living far away, and under the inspiration of the powers of heaven Valentinian was chosen without a dissenting voice, as being fully up to the requirements and suitable; he was commander of the second division of the targeteers, and had been left behind at Ancyra, to follow later according to orders. And as it was agreed without contradiction that this was to the advantage of the state, envoys were sent to urge him to hasten his coming; but for ten days no one held the helm of the empire, which the soothsayer Marcus, on inspection of the entrails at Rome, had declared to have happened at that time. Cf. Gellius, xv. 18. 28.1.7. First, because the prophecies of his father were still warm Cf. xxii. 12, 2; xxii. 16, 17. in his ears, a man exceedingly skilful in interpreting omens from the flight or the notes of birds, who declared he would attain to high power, but would die by the sword of the executioner; secondly, because he had got hold of a man from Sardinia who was highly skilled in calling up baneful spirits and eliciting predictions from the ghosts of the dead. This man he himself afterwards put to death, so the rumour went, in a treacherous fashion,—so long as he survived, Maximinus was more yielding and mild, for fear that he might be betrayed—finally, because while creeping through low places like a serpent under ground I.e., while holding offices of minor importance. he could not yet stir up causes for death on a larger scale. 29.1.32. When we then and there inquired, what man will succeed the present emperor ?, since it was said that he would be perfect in every particular, and the ring leaped forward and lightly touched the two syllables θεο, adding the next letter, of the name, i.e. δ. The prediction would apply equally well to Theodosius, who actually succeeded Valens. then one of those present cried out that by the decision of inevitable fate Theodorus was meant. And there was no further investigation of the matter; for it was agreed among us that he was the man who was sought. 29.1.42. And not so very long afterward that famous philosopher Maximus, a man with a great reputation for learning, through whose rich discourses Julian stood out as an emperor well stored as regards knowledge, Cf. xxii. 7, 3; xxv. 3, 23; he plays a prominent part in Ibsen’s Emperor and Galilean. was alleged to have heard the verses of the aforesaid oracle. And he admitted that he had learnt of them, but out of regard for his philosophical principles had not divulged secrets, although he had volunteered the prediction that the consultors of the future would themselves perish by capital punishment. Thereupon he was taken to his native city of Ephesus and there beheaded; By order of Festus, proconsul of Asia. and taught by his final danger he came to know that the injustice of a judge was more formidable than any accusation. 31.1.2. For after many true predictions of seers and augurs, dogs leaped back when wolves howled, night birds rang out a kind of doleful lament, the sun rose in gloom and dimmed the clear morning light; at Antioch, in quarrels and riots of the common people, it became usual that whoever thought that he was suffering wrong shouted without restraint: Let Valens be burned alive! and the words of public criers were continually heard, directing the people to gather firewood, to set fire to the baths of Valens, in the building of which the emperor himself had taken such interest.
3. Julian (Emperor), Against The Galileans, None (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4. Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, 3.20-3.21 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

3.20. The emperor in another attempt to molest the Christians exposed his superstition. Being fond of sacrificing, he not only himself delighted in the blood of victims, but considered it an indignity offered to him, if others did not do likewise. And as he found but few persons of this stamp, he sent for the Jews and enquired of them why they abstained from sacrificing, since the law of Moses enjoined it? On their replying that it was not permitted them to do this in any other place than Jerusalem, he immediately ordered them to rebuild Solomon's temple. Meanwhile he himself proceeded on his expedition against the Persians. The Jews who had been long desirous of obtaining a favorable opportunity for rearing their temple afresh in order that they might therein offer sacrifice, applied themselves very vigorously to the work. Moreover, they conducted themselves with great insolence toward the Christians, and threatened to do them as much mischief, as they had themselves suffered from the Romans. The emperor having ordered that the expenses of this structure should be defrayed out of the public treasury, all things were soon provided, such as timber and stone, burnt brick, clay, lime, and all other materials necessary for building. On this occasion Cyril bishop of Jerusalem, called to mind the prophecy of Daniel, which Christ also in the holy gospels has confirmed, and predicted in the presence of many persons, that the time had indeed come 'in which one stone should not be left upon another in that temple,' but that the Saviour's prophetic declaration should have its full accomplishment. Such were the bishop's words: and on the night following, a mighty earthquake tore up the stones of the old foundations of the temple and dispersed them all together with the adjacent edifices. Terror consequently possessed the Jews on account of the event; and the report of it brought many to the spot who resided at a great distance: when therefore a vast multitude was assembled, another prodigy took place. Fire came down from heaven and consumed all the builders' tools: so that the flames were seen preying upon mallets, irons to smooth and polish stones, saws, hatchets, adzes, in short all the various implements which the workmen had procured as necessary for the undertaking; and the fire continued burning among these for a whole day. The Jews indeed were in the greatest possible alarm, and unwillingly confessed Christ, calling him God: yet they did not do his will; but influenced by inveterate prepossessions they still clung to Judaism. Even a third miracle which afterwards happened failed to lead them to a belief of the truth. For the next night luminous impressions of a cross appeared imprinted on their garments, which at daybreak they in vain attempted to rub or wash out. They were therefore 'blinded' as the apostle says, and cast away the good which they had in their hands: and thus was the temple, instead of being rebuilt, at that time wholly overthrown. 3.21. The emperor meanwhile invaded the country of the Persians a little before spring, having learned that the races of Persia were greatly enfeebled and totally spiritless in winter. For from their inability to endure cold, they abstain from military service at that season, and it has become a proverb that 'a Mede will not then draw his hand from underneath his cloak.' And well knowing that the Romans were inured to brave all the rigors of the atmosphere he let them loose on the country. After devastating a considerable tract of country, including numerous villages and fortresses, they next assailed the cities; and having invested the great city Ctesiphon, he reduced the king of the Persians to such straits that the latter sent repeated embassies to the emperor, offering to surrender a portion of his dominions, on condition of his quitting the country, and putting an end to the war. But Julian was unaffected by these submissions, and showed no compassion to a suppliant foe: nor did he think of the adage, 'To conquer is honorable, but to be more than conqueror gives occasion for envy.' Giving credit to the divinations of the philosopher Maximus, with whom he was in continual intercourse, he was deluded into the belief that his exploits would not only equal, but exceed those of Alexander of Macedon; so that he spurned with contempt the entreaties of the Persian monarch. He even supposed in accordance with the teachings of Pythagoras and Plato on 'the transmigration of souls,' that he was possessed of Alexander's soul, or rather that he himself was Alexander in another body. This ridiculous fancy deluded and caused him to reject the negotiations for peace proposed by the king of the Persians. Wherefore the latter convinced of the uselessness of them was constrained to prepare for conflict, and therefore on the next day after the rejection of his embassy, he drew out in order of battle all the forces he had. The Romans indeed censured their prince, for not avoiding an engagement when he might have done so with advantage: nevertheless they attacked those who opposed them, and again put the enemy to flight. The emperor was present on horseback, and encouraged his soldiers in battle; but confiding simply in his hope of success, he wore no armor. In this defenceless state, a dart cast by some one unknown, pierced through his arm and entered his side, making a wound. In consequence of this wound he died. Some say that a certain Persian hurled the javelin, and then fled; others assert that one of his own men was the author of the deed, which indeed is the best corroborated and most current report. But Callistus, one of his body-guards, who celebrated this emperor's deeds in heroic verse, says in narrating the particulars of this war, that the wound of which he died was inflicted by a demon. This is possibly a mere poetical fiction, or perhaps it was really the fact; for vengeful furies have undoubtedly destroyed many persons. Be the case however as it may, this is certain, that the ardor of his natural temperament rendered him incautious, his learning made him vain, and his affectation of clemency exposed him to contempt. Thus Julian ended his life in Persia, as we have said, in his fourth consulate, which he bore with Sallust his colleague. This event occurred on the 26th of June, in the third year of his reign, and the seventh from his having been created C sar by Constantius, he being at that time in the thirty-first year of his age.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alamanni Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
ammianus, philosophers Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 255
anger, divine Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
antioch Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
apollo, julian dreams of Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
aprunculus gallus Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
augury Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251, 253
authority, of ammianus, priestly Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 255
constantius ii Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
digressions, indicate mood of gods Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
digressions, validate sign Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
divination Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251, 253, 267
dream, prognosticatory Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
excursus (or digression) Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
exempla, in ammianus Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253, 255
expiation, abandoned Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
gods, mood deduced Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
gods, negotiation with Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
haruspices Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251, 253, 255, 267
historiography Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 255
interpretation, mistaken Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
ira deorum Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
jovian Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
julian (emperor) Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
julian (the apostate), generally Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1260
julian (the apostate), life Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1260
julians centrality in ammianus narrative Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
justin martyr, themes of his contra galileos Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 1260
lightning, strikes soldier (omen) Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
magi, religious exemplum Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
magi Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
marcus (haruspex) Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
mars Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
maximian Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
monotheism Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
narrative Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
narratology Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
numen, indicates mood of gods Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
numen Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
omens Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251, 253; Ruiz and Puertas, Emperors and Emperorship in Late Antiquity: Images and Narratives (2021) 125
oracles, reliable Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
pax deorum Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
philosophers Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251, 255
pollux Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
rationality Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
religio, religio, ritual, of Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
rome, as centre of narrative Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
scepticism Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
tarquitius (haruspex) Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 251
tertullus, prays to castor and pollux Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 267
uelut, and interpretation' Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
valens, rage Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253
valentinian, appointment Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 253, 267