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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10328
Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 3.1-3.2


nanBOOK III To his friend Avitus [c. 472 CE] FROM our earliest boyhood and through our youth you and I have been linked by many bonds of mutual affection. To begin with, our mothers were very near relations. Then we were born about the same time and were contemporaries at school; we were together initiated into the study of the arts and employed our leisure in the same amusements; we were promoted by the same imperial favour; we were colleagues in the service of the state. Lastly, in personal likings and antipathies our judgement has always agreed — perhaps a stronger and more efficient factor this, in widening the scope of friendship than all the rest together. [2] The outward resemblance of our careers drew us together by the bond of similar occupation; inwardly we were less alike, for yours was by far the higher and more excellent nature. And now I gladly recognize that yours is the hand to crown the edifice of our long mutual regard by this most timely endowment of the church in our poor town of Arvernis, whose unworthy bishop I am. In this estate of Cutiacum, lying almost at its gates, you have indeed made an important addition to its property; to the members of our sacred profession whom your generosity has thus enriched, the convenience of access counts for almost as much as the revenue which the place yields. [3] Under your late sister's will, you were only a co-heir, but the example of your piety has already moved your surviving sister to emulate your good works. And heaven has already repaid you as you deserve for your own deed and its effect upon her; God has chosen you out to be exalted by unusual good fortune in inheritances. He did not long delay to reward your devotion a hundredfold, and it is our sure belief that these earthly gifts will be followed by heavenly gifts hereafter. I may tell you, if you are really unaware of it, that the Nicetian succession is heaven's repayment for Cutiacum surrendered. [4] We pray you in the future to extend to the city itself the interest you have already shown its church; henceforward it should be more than ever the object of your protection since you have inherited a property there. You may conclude from the attitude of the Goths how valuable the place might become if you would only make it frequent visits; they are always depreciating their own Septimania, and even talking of returning it to the empire, all because they covet this land of yours, which they would like to annex even if everything upon it were laid waste. [5] But by God's grace and your mediation a more tranquil outlook lies before us. For though the Goths have broken their old bounds, though their valour and the impetus of a vague greed have pushed their frontiers to the Rhone and Loire, yet the esteem in which you are held and the weight your opinion carries, should so influence both sides that we shall learn to refuse when we ought, and they to refrain from further demands when met with a firm denial. Farewell.


nanII To his friend Constantius [474 CE] THE people of Arvernis salute you, a great guest in their lowly homes, coming without ambitious retinue and simply environed by their love. Merciful God, what joy they felt amid their tribulation when you set your venerated foot within their half-ruined walls. How dense was the crowd of both sexes, and of every rank and age about you; how impartially you gave a cheering word to one and all; how kind the small boys found you, how considerate the young men, how helpful in advice the older among us. What tears you shed over our buildings ruined by the flames and our homes half burned to the ground, as if you had been the father of us all. What grief you showed at the sight of fields buried under the bones of the unburied dead. And afterwards what a power of encouragement you were, with what spirit you urged the people to repair their loss. [2] Over and above this, you found the city no less desolated by internal dissension than by the barbarian onslaught; but you conciliated all; you renewed their harmony; you gave the country back her sons. The walls are re-manned, the people restored to them at unity, all thanks to you; your counsel it was which brought them back into one mind as into one city. They all regard you as their father and themselves as your children; they perceive with an infallible eye wherein lies your greatest title to praise. [3] For day by day it is borne in upon their minds what a magnificent thing this is that you have done at so advanced an age and in so delicate and infirm a state of health. Despite your noble birth and the veneration with which you are regarded, you broke down every barrier by sheer force of love; all the difficulties of the journey were nothing to you, long ways and short days, thick snows and thin fare, wide wastes and narrow lodging, roads full of holes, now sodden with rain, now ribbed with frost, highways covered with rough stones, rivers slippery with ice; you had steep hills to climb, valleys choked with continual landslides to pass; through every discomfort you came triumphant with the love of a whole people for your reward because your own comfort was the last thing of which you thought. [4] And now we beseech the Lord that he may hear our prayer and set far the term of your life; that the friendship of all good men may be yours to have and hold; that our affection which you seem to be leaving behind may ever be about your path; and finally, that the fair structure of our concord which you began to restore, may be regarded from foundation to summit as your peculiar work. Farewell.


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

12 results
1. Cicero, Letters, 1.14, 1.16, 1.19-1.20 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2. Cicero, Letters, 1.14, 1.16, 1.19-1.20 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Cicero, Letters, 1.14, 1.16, 1.19-1.20 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Cicero, Letters, 1.14, 1.16, 1.19-1.20 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.12, 4.11, 6.16 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.12. To Calestrius Tiro. I have suffered a most grievous loss, if loss is a word that can be applied to my being bereft of so distinguished a man. Corellius Rufus is dead, and what makes my grief the more poigt is that he died by his own act. Such a death is always most lamentable, since neither natural causes nor Fate can be held responsible for it. When people die of disease there is a great consolation in the thought that no one could have prevented it; when they lay violent hands on themselves we feel a pang which nothing can assuage in the thought that they might have lived longer. Corellius, it is true, felt driven to take his own life by Reason - and Reason is always tantamount to Necessity with philosophers - and yet there were abundant inducements for him to live. His conscience was stainless, his reputation beyond reproach; he stood high in men's esteem. Moreover, he had a daughter, a wife, a grandson, and sisters, and, besides all these relations, many genuine friends. But his battle against ill-health had been so long and hopeless that all these splendid rewards of living were outweighed by the reasons that urged him to die. I have heard him say that he was first attacked by gout in the feet when he was thirty-three years of age. He had inherited the complaint, for it often happens that a tendency to disease is handed down like other qualities in a sort of succession. While he was in the prime of life he overcame his malady and kept it well in check by abstemious and pure living, and when it became sharper in its attacks as he grew old he bore up against it with great fortitude of mind. Even when he suffered incredible torture and the most horrible agony - for the pain was no longer confined, as before, to the feet, but had begun to spread over all his limbs - I went to see him in the time of Domitian when he was staying at his country house. His attendants withdrew from his chamber, as they always did whenever one of his more intimate friends entered the room. Even his wife, a lady who might have been trusted to keep any secret, also used to retire. Looking round the room, he said His malady had become worse, though he tried to moderate it by his careful diet, and then, as it still continued to grow, he escaped from it by a fixed resolve. Two, three, four days passed and he refused all food. Then his wife Hispulla sent our mutual friend Caius Geminius to tell me the sad news that Corellius had determined to die, that he was not moved by the entreaties of his wife and daughter, and that I was the only one left who might possibly recall him to life. I rushed to see him, and had almost reached the house when Hispulla sent me another message by Julius Atticus, saying that now even I could do nothing, for his resolve had become more and more fixed. When the doctor offered him nourishment he said, "My mind is made up" {Κέκρικα}, and the word has awakened within me not only a sense of loss, but of admiration. I keep thinking what a friend, what a manly friend is now lost to me. He was at the end of his seventy-sixth year, an age long enough even for the stoutest of us. True. He has escaped a lifelong illness; he has died leaving children to survive him, and knowing that the State, which was dearer to him than anything else, was prospering well. Yes, yes, I know all this. And yet I grieve at his death as I should at the death of a young man in the full vigour of life; I grieve - you may think me weak for so doing - on my own account too. For I have lost, lost for ever, the guide, philosopher, and friend of my life. In short, I will say again what I said to my friend Calvisius, when my grief was fresh 4.11. To Cornelius Minicianus. Have you heard that Valerius Licinianus is teaching rhetoric in Sicily? I do not think you can have done, for the news is quite fresh. He is of praetorian rank, and he used at one time to be considered one of our most eloquent pleaders at the bar, but now he has fallen so low that he is an exile instead of being a senator, and a mere teacher of rhetoric instead of being a prominent advocate. Consequently in his opening remarks he exclaimed, sorrowfully and solemnly You will say that this is all very sad and pitiful, but that a man who defiled his profession of letters by the guilt of incest deserves to suffer. It is true that he confessed his guilt, but it is an open question whether he did so because he was guilty or because he feared an even heavier punishment if he denied it. For Domitian was in a great rage and was boiling over with fury because his witnesses had left him in the lurch. His mind was set upon burying alive Cornelia, the chief of the Vestal Virgins, as he thought to make his age memorable by such an example of severity, and, using his authority as pontifex maximus, or rather exercising the cruelty of a tyrant and the wanton caprice of a ruler, he summoned the rest of the pontiffs not to the Palace but to his Villa at Alba. There, with a wickedness just as monstrous as the crime which he pretended to be punishing, he declared her guilty of incest, without summoning her before him and giving her a hearing, though he himself had not only committed incest with his brother's daughter but had even caused her death, for she died of abortion during her widowhood. He immediately despatched some of the pontiffs to see that his victim was buried alive and put to death. Cornelia invoked in turns the aid of Vesta and of the rest of the deities, and amid her many cries this was repeated most frequently Moreover, when Celer, the Roman knight who was accused of having intrigued with Cornelia, was being scourged with rods in the forum, he did nothing but cry out, "What have I done? I have done nothing." Consequently Domitian's evil reputation for cruelty and injustice blazed up on all hands. He fastened upon Licinianus for hiding a freedwoman of Cornelia on one of his farms. Licinianus was advised by his friends who interested themselves on his behalf to take refuge in making a confession and beg for pardon, if he wished to escape being flogged in the forum, and he did so. Herennius Senecio spoke for him in his absence very much in the words of Homer, "Patroclus is fallen;" ** for he said, "Instead of being an advocate, I am the bearer of news You see how careful I am to obey your wishes, as I not only give you the news of the town, but news from abroad, and minutely trace a story from its very beginning. I took for granted that, as you were away from Rome at the time, all you heard of Licinianus was that he had been banished for incest. For rumour only gives one the gist of the matter, not the various stages through which it passes. Surely I deserve that you should return the compliment and write and tell me what is going on in your town and neighbourhood, for something worthy of note is always happening. But say what you will, provided you give me the news in as long a letter as I have written to you. I shall count up not only the pages, but the lines and the syllables. Farewell. 6.16. To Tacitus. You ask me to send you an account of my uncle's death, so that you may be able to give posterity an accurate description of it. I am much obliged to you, for I can see that the immortality of his fame is well assured, if you take in hand to write of it. For although he perished in a disaster which devastated some of the fairest regions of the land, and though he is sure of eternal remembrance like the peoples and cities that fell with him in that memorable calamity, though too he had written a large number of works of lasting value, yet the undying fame of which your writings are assured will secure for his a still further lease of life. For my own part, I think that those people are highly favoured by Providence who are capable either of performing deeds worthy of the historian's pen or of writing histories worthy of being read, but that they are peculiarly favoured who can do both. Among the latter I may class my uncle, thanks to his own writings and to yours. So I am all the more ready to fulfil your injunctions, nay, I am even prepared to beg to be allowed to undertake them. My uncle was stationed at Misenum, where he was in active command of the fleet, with full powers. On the 24th of August *, about the seventh hour, my mother drew his attention to the fact that a cloud of unusual size and shape had made its appearance. He had been out in the sun, followed by a cold bath, and after a light meal he was lying down and reading. Yet he called for his sandals, and climbed up to a spot from which he could command a good view of the curious phenomenon. Those who were looking at the cloud from some distance could not make out from which mountain it was rising - it was afterwards discovered to have been Mount Vesuvius - but in likeness and form it more closely resembled a pine-tree than anything else, for what corresponded to the trunk was of great length and height, and then spread out into a number of branches, the reason being, I imagine, that while the vapour was fresh, the cloud was borne upwards, but when the vapour became wasted, it lost its motion, or even became dissipated by its own weight, and spread out laterally. At times it looked white, and at other times dirty and spotted, according to the quantity of earth and cinders that were shot up. To a man of my uncle's learning, the phenomenon appeared one of great importance, which deserved a closer study. He ordered a Liburnian galley to be got ready, and offered to take me with him, if I desired to accompany him, but I replied that I preferred to go on with my studies, and it so happened that he had assigned me some writing to do. He was just leaving the house when he received a written message from Rectina, the wife of Tascus, who was terrified at the peril threatening her - for her villa lay just beneath the mountain, and there were no means of escape save by shipboard - begging him to save her from her perilous position. So he changed his plans, and carried out with the greatest fortitude the task, which he had started as a scholarly inquiry. He had the galleys launched and went on board himself, in the hope of succouring, not only Rectina, but many others, for there were a number of people living along the shore owing to its delightful situation. He hastened, therefore, towards the place whence others were fleeing, and steering a direct course, kept the helm straight for the point of danger, so utterly devoid of fear that every movement of the looming portent and every change in its appearance he described and had noted down by his secretary, as soon as his eyes detected it. Already ashes were beginning to fall upon the ships, hotter and in thicker showers as they approached more nearly, with pumice-stones and black flints, charred and cracked by the heat of the flames, while their way was barred by the sudden shoaling of the sea bottom and the litter of the mountain on the shore. He hesitated for a moment whether to turn back, and then, when the helmsman warned him to do so, he exclaimed, "Fortune favours the bold ; try to reach Pomponianus." The latter was at Stabiae, separated by the whole width of the bay, for the sea there pours in upon a gently rounded and curving shore. Although the danger was not yet close upon him, it was none the less clearly seen, and it travelled quickly as it came nearer, so Pomponianus had got his baggage together on shipboard, and had determined upon flight, and was waiting for the wind which was blowing on shore to fall. My uncle sailed in with the wind fair behind him, and embraced Pomponianus, who was in a state of fright, comforting and cheering him at the same time. Then in order to calm his friend's fears by showing how composed he was himself, he ordered the servants to carry him to the bath, and, after his ablutions, he sat down and had dinner in the best of spirits, or with that assumption of good spirits which is quite as remarkable as the reality. In the meantime broad sheets of flame, which rose high in the air, were breaking out in a number of places on Mount Vesuvius and lighting up the sky, and the glare and brightness seemed all the more striking owing to the darkness of the night. My uncle, in order to allay the fear of his companions, kept declaring that the country people in their terror had left their fires burning, and that the conflagration they saw arose from the blazing and empty villas. Then he betook himself to rest and enjoyed a very deep sleep, for his breathing, which, owing to his bulk, was rather heavy and loud, was heard by those who were waiting at the door of his chamber. But by this time the courtyard leading to the room he occupied was so full of ashes and pumice-stones mingled together, and covered to such a depth, that if he had delayed any longer in the bedchamber there would have been no means of escape. So my uncle was aroused, and came out and joined Pomponianus and the rest who had been keeping watch. They held a consultation whether they should remain indoors or wander forth in the open; for the buildings were beginning to shake with the repeated and intensely severe shocks of earthquake, and seemed to be rocking to and fro as though they had been torn from their foundations. Outside again there was danger to be apprehended from the pumice-stones, though these were light and nearly burnt through, and thus, after weighing the two perils, the latter course was determined upon. With my uncle it was a choice of reasons which prevailed, with the rest a choice of fears. They placed pillows on their heads and secured them with cloths, as a precaution against the falling bodies. Elsewhere the day had dawned by this time, but there it was still night, and the darkness was blacker and thicker than any ordinary night. This, however, they relieved as best they could by a number of torches and other kinds of lights. They decided to make their way to the shore, and to see from the nearest point whether the sea would enable them to put out, but it was still running high and contrary. A sheet was spread on the ground, and on this my uncle lay, and twice he called for a draught of cold water, which he drank. Then the flames, and the smell of sulphur which gave warning of them, scattered the others in flight and roused him. Leaning on two slaves, he rose to his feet and immediately fell down again, owing, as I think, to his breathing being obstructed by the thickness of the fumes and congestion of the stomach, that organ being naturally weak and narrow, and subject to inflammation. When daylight returned - two days after the last day he had seen - his body was found untouched, uninjured, and covered, dressed just as he had been in life. The corpse suggested a person asleep rather than a dead man. Meanwhile my mother and I were at Misenum. But that is of no consequence for the purposes of history, nor indeed did you express a wish to be told of anything except of my uncle's death. So I will say no more, except to add that I have given you a full account both of the incidents which I myself witnessed and of those narrated to me immediately afterwards, when, as a rule, one gets the truest account of what has happened. You will pick out what you think will answer your purpose best, for to write a letter is a different thing from writing a history, and to write to a friend is not like writing to all and sundry. Farewell.
6. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.12, 4.11, 6.16 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.12. To Calestrius Tiro. I have suffered a most grievous loss, if loss is a word that can be applied to my being bereft of so distinguished a man. Corellius Rufus is dead, and what makes my grief the more poigt is that he died by his own act. Such a death is always most lamentable, since neither natural causes nor Fate can be held responsible for it. When people die of disease there is a great consolation in the thought that no one could have prevented it; when they lay violent hands on themselves we feel a pang which nothing can assuage in the thought that they might have lived longer. Corellius, it is true, felt driven to take his own life by Reason - and Reason is always tantamount to Necessity with philosophers - and yet there were abundant inducements for him to live. His conscience was stainless, his reputation beyond reproach; he stood high in men's esteem. Moreover, he had a daughter, a wife, a grandson, and sisters, and, besides all these relations, many genuine friends. But his battle against ill-health had been so long and hopeless that all these splendid rewards of living were outweighed by the reasons that urged him to die. I have heard him say that he was first attacked by gout in the feet when he was thirty-three years of age. He had inherited the complaint, for it often happens that a tendency to disease is handed down like other qualities in a sort of succession. While he was in the prime of life he overcame his malady and kept it well in check by abstemious and pure living, and when it became sharper in its attacks as he grew old he bore up against it with great fortitude of mind. Even when he suffered incredible torture and the most horrible agony - for the pain was no longer confined, as before, to the feet, but had begun to spread over all his limbs - I went to see him in the time of Domitian when he was staying at his country house. His attendants withdrew from his chamber, as they always did whenever one of his more intimate friends entered the room. Even his wife, a lady who might have been trusted to keep any secret, also used to retire. Looking round the room, he said His malady had become worse, though he tried to moderate it by his careful diet, and then, as it still continued to grow, he escaped from it by a fixed resolve. Two, three, four days passed and he refused all food. Then his wife Hispulla sent our mutual friend Caius Geminius to tell me the sad news that Corellius had determined to die, that he was not moved by the entreaties of his wife and daughter, and that I was the only one left who might possibly recall him to life. I rushed to see him, and had almost reached the house when Hispulla sent me another message by Julius Atticus, saying that now even I could do nothing, for his resolve had become more and more fixed. When the doctor offered him nourishment he said, "My mind is made up" {Κέκρικα}, and the word has awakened within me not only a sense of loss, but of admiration. I keep thinking what a friend, what a manly friend is now lost to me. He was at the end of his seventy-sixth year, an age long enough even for the stoutest of us. True. He has escaped a lifelong illness; he has died leaving children to survive him, and knowing that the State, which was dearer to him than anything else, was prospering well. Yes, yes, I know all this. And yet I grieve at his death as I should at the death of a young man in the full vigour of life; I grieve - you may think me weak for so doing - on my own account too. For I have lost, lost for ever, the guide, philosopher, and friend of my life. In short, I will say again what I said to my friend Calvisius, when my grief was fresh 4.11. To Cornelius Minicianus. Have you heard that Valerius Licinianus is teaching rhetoric in Sicily? I do not think you can have done, for the news is quite fresh. He is of praetorian rank, and he used at one time to be considered one of our most eloquent pleaders at the bar, but now he has fallen so low that he is an exile instead of being a senator, and a mere teacher of rhetoric instead of being a prominent advocate. Consequently in his opening remarks he exclaimed, sorrowfully and solemnly You will say that this is all very sad and pitiful, but that a man who defiled his profession of letters by the guilt of incest deserves to suffer. It is true that he confessed his guilt, but it is an open question whether he did so because he was guilty or because he feared an even heavier punishment if he denied it. For Domitian was in a great rage and was boiling over with fury because his witnesses had left him in the lurch. His mind was set upon burying alive Cornelia, the chief of the Vestal Virgins, as he thought to make his age memorable by such an example of severity, and, using his authority as pontifex maximus, or rather exercising the cruelty of a tyrant and the wanton caprice of a ruler, he summoned the rest of the pontiffs not to the Palace but to his Villa at Alba. There, with a wickedness just as monstrous as the crime which he pretended to be punishing, he declared her guilty of incest, without summoning her before him and giving her a hearing, though he himself had not only committed incest with his brother's daughter but had even caused her death, for she died of abortion during her widowhood. He immediately despatched some of the pontiffs to see that his victim was buried alive and put to death. Cornelia invoked in turns the aid of Vesta and of the rest of the deities, and amid her many cries this was repeated most frequently Moreover, when Celer, the Roman knight who was accused of having intrigued with Cornelia, was being scourged with rods in the forum, he did nothing but cry out, "What have I done? I have done nothing." Consequently Domitian's evil reputation for cruelty and injustice blazed up on all hands. He fastened upon Licinianus for hiding a freedwoman of Cornelia on one of his farms. Licinianus was advised by his friends who interested themselves on his behalf to take refuge in making a confession and beg for pardon, if he wished to escape being flogged in the forum, and he did so. Herennius Senecio spoke for him in his absence very much in the words of Homer, "Patroclus is fallen;" ** for he said, "Instead of being an advocate, I am the bearer of news You see how careful I am to obey your wishes, as I not only give you the news of the town, but news from abroad, and minutely trace a story from its very beginning. I took for granted that, as you were away from Rome at the time, all you heard of Licinianus was that he had been banished for incest. For rumour only gives one the gist of the matter, not the various stages through which it passes. Surely I deserve that you should return the compliment and write and tell me what is going on in your town and neighbourhood, for something worthy of note is always happening. But say what you will, provided you give me the news in as long a letter as I have written to you. I shall count up not only the pages, but the lines and the syllables. Farewell. 6.16. To Tacitus. You ask me to send you an account of my uncle's death, so that you may be able to give posterity an accurate description of it. I am much obliged to you, for I can see that the immortality of his fame is well assured, if you take in hand to write of it. For although he perished in a disaster which devastated some of the fairest regions of the land, and though he is sure of eternal remembrance like the peoples and cities that fell with him in that memorable calamity, though too he had written a large number of works of lasting value, yet the undying fame of which your writings are assured will secure for his a still further lease of life. For my own part, I think that those people are highly favoured by Providence who are capable either of performing deeds worthy of the historian's pen or of writing histories worthy of being read, but that they are peculiarly favoured who can do both. Among the latter I may class my uncle, thanks to his own writings and to yours. So I am all the more ready to fulfil your injunctions, nay, I am even prepared to beg to be allowed to undertake them. My uncle was stationed at Misenum, where he was in active command of the fleet, with full powers. On the 24th of August *, about the seventh hour, my mother drew his attention to the fact that a cloud of unusual size and shape had made its appearance. He had been out in the sun, followed by a cold bath, and after a light meal he was lying down and reading. Yet he called for his sandals, and climbed up to a spot from which he could command a good view of the curious phenomenon. Those who were looking at the cloud from some distance could not make out from which mountain it was rising - it was afterwards discovered to have been Mount Vesuvius - but in likeness and form it more closely resembled a pine-tree than anything else, for what corresponded to the trunk was of great length and height, and then spread out into a number of branches, the reason being, I imagine, that while the vapour was fresh, the cloud was borne upwards, but when the vapour became wasted, it lost its motion, or even became dissipated by its own weight, and spread out laterally. At times it looked white, and at other times dirty and spotted, according to the quantity of earth and cinders that were shot up. To a man of my uncle's learning, the phenomenon appeared one of great importance, which deserved a closer study. He ordered a Liburnian galley to be got ready, and offered to take me with him, if I desired to accompany him, but I replied that I preferred to go on with my studies, and it so happened that he had assigned me some writing to do. He was just leaving the house when he received a written message from Rectina, the wife of Tascus, who was terrified at the peril threatening her - for her villa lay just beneath the mountain, and there were no means of escape save by shipboard - begging him to save her from her perilous position. So he changed his plans, and carried out with the greatest fortitude the task, which he had started as a scholarly inquiry. He had the galleys launched and went on board himself, in the hope of succouring, not only Rectina, but many others, for there were a number of people living along the shore owing to its delightful situation. He hastened, therefore, towards the place whence others were fleeing, and steering a direct course, kept the helm straight for the point of danger, so utterly devoid of fear that every movement of the looming portent and every change in its appearance he described and had noted down by his secretary, as soon as his eyes detected it. Already ashes were beginning to fall upon the ships, hotter and in thicker showers as they approached more nearly, with pumice-stones and black flints, charred and cracked by the heat of the flames, while their way was barred by the sudden shoaling of the sea bottom and the litter of the mountain on the shore. He hesitated for a moment whether to turn back, and then, when the helmsman warned him to do so, he exclaimed, "Fortune favours the bold ; try to reach Pomponianus." The latter was at Stabiae, separated by the whole width of the bay, for the sea there pours in upon a gently rounded and curving shore. Although the danger was not yet close upon him, it was none the less clearly seen, and it travelled quickly as it came nearer, so Pomponianus had got his baggage together on shipboard, and had determined upon flight, and was waiting for the wind which was blowing on shore to fall. My uncle sailed in with the wind fair behind him, and embraced Pomponianus, who was in a state of fright, comforting and cheering him at the same time. Then in order to calm his friend's fears by showing how composed he was himself, he ordered the servants to carry him to the bath, and, after his ablutions, he sat down and had dinner in the best of spirits, or with that assumption of good spirits which is quite as remarkable as the reality. In the meantime broad sheets of flame, which rose high in the air, were breaking out in a number of places on Mount Vesuvius and lighting up the sky, and the glare and brightness seemed all the more striking owing to the darkness of the night. My uncle, in order to allay the fear of his companions, kept declaring that the country people in their terror had left their fires burning, and that the conflagration they saw arose from the blazing and empty villas. Then he betook himself to rest and enjoyed a very deep sleep, for his breathing, which, owing to his bulk, was rather heavy and loud, was heard by those who were waiting at the door of his chamber. But by this time the courtyard leading to the room he occupied was so full of ashes and pumice-stones mingled together, and covered to such a depth, that if he had delayed any longer in the bedchamber there would have been no means of escape. So my uncle was aroused, and came out and joined Pomponianus and the rest who had been keeping watch. They held a consultation whether they should remain indoors or wander forth in the open; for the buildings were beginning to shake with the repeated and intensely severe shocks of earthquake, and seemed to be rocking to and fro as though they had been torn from their foundations. Outside again there was danger to be apprehended from the pumice-stones, though these were light and nearly burnt through, and thus, after weighing the two perils, the latter course was determined upon. With my uncle it was a choice of reasons which prevailed, with the rest a choice of fears. They placed pillows on their heads and secured them with cloths, as a precaution against the falling bodies. Elsewhere the day had dawned by this time, but there it was still night, and the darkness was blacker and thicker than any ordinary night. This, however, they relieved as best they could by a number of torches and other kinds of lights. They decided to make their way to the shore, and to see from the nearest point whether the sea would enable them to put out, but it was still running high and contrary. A sheet was spread on the ground, and on this my uncle lay, and twice he called for a draught of cold water, which he drank. Then the flames, and the smell of sulphur which gave warning of them, scattered the others in flight and roused him. Leaning on two slaves, he rose to his feet and immediately fell down again, owing, as I think, to his breathing being obstructed by the thickness of the fumes and congestion of the stomach, that organ being naturally weak and narrow, and subject to inflammation. When daylight returned - two days after the last day he had seen - his body was found untouched, uninjured, and covered, dressed just as he had been in life. The corpse suggested a person asleep rather than a dead man. Meanwhile my mother and I were at Misenum. But that is of no consequence for the purposes of history, nor indeed did you express a wish to be told of anything except of my uncle's death. So I will say no more, except to add that I have given you a full account both of the incidents which I myself witnessed and of those narrated to me immediately afterwards, when, as a rule, one gets the truest account of what has happened. You will pick out what you think will answer your purpose best, for to write a letter is a different thing from writing a history, and to write to a friend is not like writing to all and sundry. Farewell.
7. Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina, 2 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

8. Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 1.7, 1.9, 2.1, 3.10, 3.12, 4.3, 4.9, 5.3, 6.1 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

9. John of Antioch, Fragments, 202 (6th cent. CE - 7th cent. CE)

10. John of Antioch, Fragments, 202 (6th cent. CE - 7th cent. CE)

11. John of Antioch, Fragments, 202 (6th cent. CE - 7th cent. CE)

12. Fronto, Ad M. Caesarem Et Invicem, 5.27-5.30, 5.32



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
altman, j. Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 178; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 178
amicitia Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 6, 90; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 6, 90
anthemius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 6; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 6
arvandus Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 6, 77; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 6, 77
augustine Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 6; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 6
avitus, reign Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 106; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 106
cicero Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 24; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 24
claudianus mamertus Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 178; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 178
controversy, leadership Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 6; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 6
dating' Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 106
dating Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 106
majorian Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 24; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 24
petronius maximus (emperor) Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 106; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 106
pliny, allusions Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 178; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 178
pliny, and domitian Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 24; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 24
pliny, as a model Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 24, 178; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 24, 178
pliny, epistulae Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 77, 178; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 77, 178
pliny the elder Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 77; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 77
rome (city) Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 6; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 6
seneca Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 24, 178; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 24, 178
sidonius, episcopacy Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 77, 90; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 77, 90
sidonius, praefectus urbis Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 6; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 6
theodorus Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 24; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 24
visigoths Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 106; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 106