Julian: The Heroic Deeds of the Emperor Constantius, or, On Kingship

Introduction to Oration II

The Second Oration is a panegyric of the Emperor Constantius, written while Julian, after his elevation to the rank of Caesar, was campaigning in Gaul.[1] It closely resembles and often echoes the First, and was probably never delivered. In his detailed and forced analogies of the achievements of Constantius with those of the Homeric heroes, always to the advantage of the former, Julian follows a sophistic practice that he himself condemns,[2] and though he more than once contrasts himself with the “ingenious rhetoricians” he is careful to observe all their rules, even in his historical descriptions of the Emperor’s campaigns. The long Platonic digression on Virtue and the ideal ruler is a regular feature of a panegyric of this type, though Julian neglects to make the direct application to Constantius. In the First Oration he quoted Homer only once, but while the Second contains the usual comparisons with the Persian monarchs and Alexander, its main object is to prove, by direct references to the Iliad, that Constantius surpassed Nestor in strategy, Odysseus in eloquence, and in courage Hector, Sarpedon and Achilles.

The Heroic Deeds of the Emperor Constantius, or, On Kingship

Achilles, as the poet tells us, when his wrath was kindled and he quarrelled with the king,[3] let fall from his hands his spear and shield; then he strung his harp and lyre and sang and chanted the deeds of the demi-gods, making this the pastime of his idle hours, and in this at least he chose wisely. For to fall out with the king and affront him was excessively rash and violent. But perhaps the son of Thetis is not free from this criticism either, that he spent in song and music the hours that called for deeds, though at such a time he might have retained his arms and not laid them aside, but later, at his leisure, he could have sung the praises of the king and chanted his victories. Though indeed the author of that tale tells us that [50] Agamemnon also did not behave to his general either temperately or with tact, but first used threats and proceeded to insolent acts, when he robbed Achilles of his prize of valour. Then Homer brings them, penitent now, face to face in the assembly, and makes the son of Thetis exclaim “Son of Atreus, verily it had been better on this wise for both thee and me!”[4]

Later on he makes him curse the cause of their quarrel, and recount the disasters due to his own wrath, and we see the king blaming Zeus and Fate and Erinys. And here, I think, he is pointing a moral, using those heroes whom he sets before us, like types in a tragedy, and the moral is that kings ought never to behave insolently, nor use their power without reserve, nor be carried away by their anger like a spirited horse that runs away for lack of the bit and the driver; and then again he is warning generals not to resent the insolence of kings but to endure their censure with self-control and serenely, so that their whole life may not be filled with remorse.[5]

When I reflect on this, my beloved Emperor, and behold you displaying in all that you do the result of your study of Homer, and see you so eager to benefit every citizen in the community in every way, and devising for me individually such honours and privileges one after another, then I think that you desire to be nobler than the king of the Greeks, to such a degree, that, whereas he insulted his bravest men, you, I believe, grant forgiveness to many even of the undeserving, since you approve the maxim of Pittacus which set mercy before vengeance. And so I should be ashamed not to appear more reasonable than the son of Peleus, or to fail to praise, as far as in me lies, what appertains to you, I do not mean gold, or a robe of purple, nay by Zeus, nor raiment embroidered all over, the work of Sidonian women,[6] nor beautiful Nisaean horses,[7] nor the gleam and glitter of gold-mounted chariots, [51] nor the precious stone of India, so beautiful and lovely to look upon. And yet if one should choose to devote his attention to these and think fit to describe every one of them, he would have to draw on almost the whole stream of Homer’s poetry and still he would be short of words, and the panegyrics that have been composed for all the demi-gods would be inadequate for your sole praise. First, then, let me begin, if you please, with your sceptre and your sovereignty itself. For what does the poet say when he wishes to praise the antiquity of the house of the Pelopids and to exhibit the greatness of their sovereignty? “Then uprose their lord Agamemnon and in his hand was the sceptre that Hephaistos made and fashioned.”[8]

and gave to Zeus; then Zeus gave it to his own and Maia’s son, and Hermes the prince gave it to Pelops, and Pelops “Gave it to Atreus, shepherd of the host, and Atreus at his death left it to Thyestes, rich in flocks; and he in turn gave it into the hands of Agamemnon, so that he should rule over many islands and all Argos.”

Here then you have the genealogy of the house of Pelops, which endured for barely three generations. But the story of our family began with Claudius; then its supremacy ceased for a short time, till your two grandfathers succeded to the throne. And your mother’s father[9] governed Rome and Italy and Libya besides, and Sardinia and Sicily, an empire not inferior certainly to Argos and Mycenae. Your father’s father[10] ruled the most warlike of all the tribes of Galatia,[11] the Western Iberians[12] and the islands that lie in the Ocean,[13] which are as much larger than those that are to be seen in our seas as the sea that rolls beyond the pillars of Heracles is larger than the inner sea.[14] These countries your grandfathers entirely cleared of our foes, now joining forces for a campaign, when occasion demanded, [52] now making separate expeditions on their own account, and so they annihilated the insolent and lawless barbarians on their frontiers. These, then, are the distinctions that they won. Your father inherited his proper share of the Empire with all piety and due observance, waiting till his father reached his appointed end. Then he freed from intolerable slavery the remainder, which had sunk from empire to tyranny, and so governed the whole, appointing you and your brothers, his three sons, as his colleagues. Now can I fairly compare your house with the Pelopids in the extent of their power, the length of their dynasty, or the number of those who sat on the throne? Or is that really foolish, and must I instead go on to describe your wealth, and admire your cloak and the brooch that fastens it, the sort of thing on which even Homer loved to linger? Or must I describe at length the mares of Tros that numbered three thousand, and “pastured in the marsh-meadow”[15] and the theft that followed?[16] Or shall I pay my respects to your Thracian horses, whiter than snow and faster than the storm winds, and your Thracian chariots? For in your case also we can extol all these, and as for the palace of Alcinous and those halls that dazzled even the son of prudent Odysseus and moved him to such foolish expressions of wonder,[17] shall I think it worth while to compare them with yours, for fear that men should one day think that you were worse off than he in these respects, or shall I not rather reject such trifling? Nay, I must be on my guard lest someone accuse and convict me of using frivolous speech and ignoring what is really admirable. So I had better leave it to the Homerids to spend their energies on such themes, and proceed boldly to what is more closely allied to virtue, and things to which you yourself pay more attention, I mean bodily strength and experience in the use of arms.

And now which one of those heroes to whom Homer devotes his enchanting strains shall I admit to be superior to you? [53] There is the archer Pandaros in Homer, but he is treacherous and yields to bribes;[18] moreover his arm was weak and he was an inferior hoplite: then there are besides, Teucer and Meriones. The latter employs his bow against a pigeon[19] while Teucer, though he distinguished himself in battle, always needed a sort of bulwark or wall. Accordingly he keeps a shield in front of him,[20] and that not his own but his brother’s, and aims at the enemy at his ease, cutting an absurd figure as a soldier, seeing that he needed a protector taller than himself and that it was not in his weapons that he placed his hopes of safety. But I have seen you many a time, my beloved Emperor, bringing down bears and panthers and lions with the weapons hurled by your hand, and using your bow both for hunting and for pastime, and on the field of battle you have your own shield and cuirass and helmet. And I should not be afraid to match you with Achilles when he was exulting in the armour that Hephaistos made, and testing himself and that armour to see “Whether it fitted him and whether his glorious limbs ran free therein;”[21]

for your successes proclaim to all men your proficiency.

As for your horsemanship and your agility in running, would it be fair to compare with you any of those heroes of old who won a name and great reputation? Is it not a fact that horsemanship had not yet been invented? For as yet they used only chariots and not riding-horses. And as for their fastest runner, it is an open question how he compares with you. But in drawing up troops and forming a phalanx skilfully Menestheus[22] seems to have excelled, and on account of his greater age the Pylian[23] is his equal in proficiency. But the enemy often threw their line into disorder, and not even at the wall[24] could they hold their ground when they encountered the foe. You, however, engaged in countless battles, not only with hostile barbarians in great numbers, but with just as many of your own subjects, who had revolted and were fighting on the side of one who was ambitious of grasping the imperial power; yet your phalanx remained unbroken and never wavered or yielded an inch. [54] That this is not an idle boast and that I do not make a pretension in words that goes beyond the actual facts, I will demonstrate to my hearers. For I think it would be absurd to relate to you your own achievements. I should be like a stupid and tasteless person who, on seeing the works of Pheidias should attempt to discuss with Pheidias himself the Maiden Goddess on the Acropolis, or the statue of Zeus at Pisa. But if I publish to the rest of the world your most distinguished achievements, I shall perhaps avoid that blunder and not lay myself open to criticism. So I will hesitate no more but proceed with my discourse.

I hope no one will object if, when I attempt to deal with exploits that are so important, my speech should become proportionately long, and that though I desire to limit and restrain it lest my feeble words overwhelm and mar the greatness of your deeds; like the gold which when it was laid over the wings of the Eros at Thespiae[25] took something, so they say, from the delicacy of its workmanship. For your triumphs really call for the trumpet of Homer himself, far more than did the achievements of the Macedonian.[26] This will be evident as I go on to use the same method of argument which I adopted when I began. It then became evident that there is a strong affinity between the Emperor’s exploits and those of the heroes, and I claimed that while one hero excelled the others in one accomplishment only, the Emperor excels them all in all those accomplishments. That he is more kingly than the king himself[27] I proved, if you remember, in what I said in my introduction, and again and again it will be evident. But now let us, if you please, consider his battles and campaigns. What Greeks and barbarians did Homer praise above their fellows? I will read you those of his verses that are most to the point. [55] “Tell me, Muse, who was foremost of those warriors and horses that followed the sons of Atreus. Of warriors far the best was Ajax, son of Telamon, so long as the wrath of Achilles endured. For he was far the foremost.”[28]

And again he says of the son of Telamon: “Ajax who in beauty and in the deeds he wrought was of a mould above all the other Danaans, except only the blameless son of Peleus.”[29]

These two, he says, were the bravest of the Greeks who came to the war, and of the Trojan army Hector and Sarpedon. Do you wish, then, that I should choose out their most brilliant feats and consider what they amounted to? And, in fact, the fighting of Achilles at the river resembles in some respects certain of the Emperor’s achievements, and so does the battle of the Achaeans about the wall. Or Ajax again, when, in his struggle to defend the ships, he goes up on to their decks, might be allowed some just resemblance to him. But now I wish to describe to you the battle by the river which the Emperor fought not long ago. You know the causes of the outbreak of the war, and that he carried it through, not from desire of gain, but with justice on his side. There is no reason why I should not briefly remind you of the facts.

A rash and traitorous man[30] tried to grasp at power to which he had no right, and assassinated the Emperor’s brother and partner in empire. Then he began to be uplifted and dazzled by his hopes, as though he was about to imitate Poseidon and to prove that Homer’s story was not mere fiction but absolutely true, where he says about the god “Three strides did he make, and with the fourth came to his goal, even to Aegae,”[31]

and how he took thence all his armour and harnessed his horses and drove through the waves: [56] “And with gladness the sea parted before him, and the horses fared very swiftly, and the bronze axle was not wetted beneath,”

for nothing stood in his way, but all things stood aside and made a path for him in their joy. Even so the usurper thought that he had left behind him nothing hostile or opposed to him, and that there was nothing at all to hinder him from taking up a position at the mouth of the Tigris. And there followed him a large force of heavy infantry and as many cavalry, yes, and good fighters they were, Celts, Iberians and Germans from the banks of the Rhine and from the coasts of the western sea. Whether I ought to call that sea the Ocean or the Atlantic, or whether it is proper to use some other name for it, I am not sure. I only know that its coasts are peopled by tribes of barbarians who are not easy to subdue and are far more energetic than any other race, and I know it not merely from hearsay, on which it is never safe to rely, but I have learned it from personal experience. From these tribes, then, he mustered an army as large as that which marched with him from home, or rather many followed him because they were his own people, allied to him by the ties of race, but our subjects — for so we must call them — I mean all his Roman troops followed from compulsion and not from choice, like mercenary allies, and their position and role was like that of the proverbial Carian,[32] since they were naturally ill-disposed to a barbarian and a stranger who had conceived the idea of ruling and embarked on the enterprise at the time of a drunken debauch, and was the sort of leader that one might expect from such a preface and prelude as that. He led them in person, not indeed like Typho, who, as the poet tells us,[33] in his wonder tale, was brought forth by the earth in her anger against Zeus, nor was he like the strongest of the Giants, but he was like that Vice incarnate which the wise Prodicus created in his fable,[34] making her compete with Virtue and attempt to win over the son of Zeus,[35] contending that he would do well to prize her above all else. And as he led them to battle he outdid the behaviour of Capaneus,[36] [57] like the barbarian that he was, in his insensate folly, though he did not, like Capaneus, trust to the energy of his soul or his physical strength, but to the numbers of his barbarian followers; and he boasted that he would lay everything at their feet to plunder, that every general and captain and common soldier of his should despoil an enemy of corresponding rank of his baggage and belongings, and that he would enslave the owners as well. He was confirmed in this attitude by the Emperor’s clever strategy, and led his army out from the narrow passes to the plains in high spirits and little knowing the truth, since he decided that the Emperor’s march was merely flight and not a manoeuvre. Thus he was taken unawares, like a bird or fish in the net. For when he reached the open country and the plains of Paeonia, and it seemed advantageous to fight it out there, then and not before the Emperor drew up his cavalry separately on both wings.

Of these troops some carry lances and are protected by cuirasses and helmets of wrought iron mail. They wear greaves that fit the legs closely, and knee-caps, and on their thighs the same sort of iron covering. They ride their horses exactly like statues, and need no shield. In the rear of these was posted a large body of the rest of the cavalry, who carried shields, while others fought on horseback with bows and arrows. Of the infantry the hoplites occupied the centre and supported the cavalry on either wing. In their rear were the slingers and archers and all troops that shoot their missiles from the hand and have neither shield nor cuirass. This, then, was the disposition of our phalanx. The left wing slightly outflanked the enemy, whose whole force was thereby thrown into confusion, and their line broke. When our cavalry made a charge and maintained it stubbornly, he who had so shamefully usurped the imperial power disgraced himself by flight, and left there his cavalry commander and his numerous chiliarchs and taxiarchs, who continued to fight bravely, and in command of all these the real author[37] of that monstrous and unholy drama, [58] who had been the first to suggest to him that he should pretend to the imperial power and rob us of our royal privilege.

For a time indeed he enjoyed success, and at his first attempt met with no repulse or failure, but on that day he provoked the punishment that justice had in store for his misdeeds, and had to pay a penalty that is hardly credible. For all the others who abetted the usurper in that war met death openly or their flight was evident to all, as was the repentance of others. For many came as suppliants, and all obtained forgiveness, since the Emperor surpassed the son of Thetis in generosity. For Achilles, after Patroclus fell, refused any longer even to sell those whom he took captive, but slew them as they clasped his knees and begged for mercy. But the Emperor proclaimed an amnesty for those who should renounce the conspiracy, and so not only freed them from the fear of death or exile or some other punishment, but, as though their association with the usurper had been due to some misadventure or unhappy error, he deigned to reinstate them and completely cancel the past. I shall have occasion to refer to this again.

But what I must now state is that the man who had trained and tutored the usurper was neither among the fallen nor the fugitives. It was indeed natural that he should not even hope for pardon, since his schemes had been so wicked, his actions so infamous, and he had been responsible for the slaughter of so many innocent men and women, of whom many were private citizens, and of almost all who were connected with the imperial family. And he had done this not with shrinking nor with the sentiments of one who sheds the blood of his own people, and because of that stain of guilt fears and is on the watch for the avenger and those who will exact a bloody reckoning, but, with a kind of purification that was new and unheard of, he would wash his hands of the blood of his first victims, and then go on to murder man after man, and then, after those whom they held dear, he slew the women as well. So he naturally abandoned the idea of appealing for mercy. But likely as it is that he should think thus, yet it may well be otherwise. [59] For the fact is that we do not know what he did or suffered before he vanished out of sight, out of our ken. Whether some avenging deity snatched him away, as Homer says of the daughters of Pandareos,[38] and even now is carrying him to the very verge of the world to punish him for his evil designs, or whether the river[39] has received him and bids him feed the fishes, has not yet been revealed. For till the battle actually began, and while the troops were forming the phalanx, he was full of confidence and went to and fro in the centre of their line. But when the battle was ended as was fitting, he vanished completely, taken from our sight by I know not what god or supernatural agency, only it is quite certain that the fate in store for him was far from enviable. At any rate he was not destined to appear again, and, after insulting us with impunity, live prosperous and secure as he thought he should; but he was doomed to be completely blotted out and to suffer a punishment that for him indeed was fatal, but to many was beneficial and gave them a chance of recovery.

Now though it would be well worth while to devote more of my speech to this man who was the author of that whole enterprise, yet it breaks the thread of my narrative, which had reached the thick of the action. So I must leave that subject for the present, and going back to the point where I digressed, describe how the battle ended. For though their generals showed such cowardice, the courage of the soldiers was by no means abated. When their line was broken, which was due not to their cowardice but to the ignorance and inexperience of their leader, they formed into companies and kept up the fight. And what happened then was beyond all expectation; for the enemy refused altogether to yield to those who were defeating them, while our men did their utmost to achieve a signal victory, and so there arose the wildest confusion, loud shouts mingled with the din of weapons, as swords were shattered against helmets and shields against spears. It was a hand to hand fight, in which they discarded their shields and attacked with swords only, while, indifferent to their own fate, and devoting the utmost ardour to inflicting severe loss on the foe, they were ready to meet even death if only they could make our victory seem doubtful and dearly bought. [60] It was not only the infantry who behaved thus to their pursuers, but even the cavalry, whose spears were broken and were now entirely useless. Their shafts are long and polished, and when they had broken them they dismounted and transformed themselves into hoplites. So for some time they held their own against the greatest odds. But since our cavalry kept shooting their arrows from a distance as they rode after them, while the cuirassiers made frequent charges, as was easy on that unobstructed and level plain, and moreover night overtook them, the enemy were glad at last to take to flight, while our men kept up a vigorous pursuit as far as the camp and took it by assault, together with the baggage and slaves and baggage animals. Directly the rout of the enemy had begun, as I have described, and while we kept up a hot pursuit, they were driven towards the left, where the river was on the right of the victors. And there the greatest slaughter took place, and the river was choked with the bodies of men and horses, indiscriminately. For the Drave was not like the Scamander, nor so kind to the fugitives; it did not put ashore and cast forth from its waters the dead in their armour, nor cover up and hide securely in its eddies those who escaped alive. For that is what the Trojan river did,[40] perhaps out of kindness, perhaps it was only that it was so small that it offered an easy crossing to one who tried to swim or walk. In fact, when a single poplar was thrown into it, it formed a bridge,[41] and the whole river roared with foam and blood and beat upon the shoulders of Achilles,[42] if indeed we may believe even this, but it never did anything more violent. When a slight fire scorched it, it gave up fighting at once and swore not to play the part of ally. However this, too, was probably a jest on Homer’s part, when he invented that strange and unnatural sort of duel. For in the rest of the poem also he evidently favours Achilles, and he sets the army there as mere spectators [61] while he brings Achilles on to the field as the only invincible and resistless warrior, and makes him slay all whom he encounters and put every one of the foe to flight, simply by his voice and bearing and the glance of his eyes, both when the battle begins and on the banks of the Scamander, till the fugitives were glad to gather within the wall of the city. Many verses he devotes to relating this, and then he invents the battles of the gods, and by embellishing his poem with such tales he corrupts his critics and prevents us from giving a fair and honest vote. But if there be any one who refuses to be beguiled by the beauty of the words and the fictions that are imported into the poem . . . [43]), then, though he is as strict as a member of the Areopagus, I shall not dread his decision. For we are convinced by the poem that the son of Peleus is a brave soldier. He slays twenty men; then “He chose twelve youths alive out of the river and led them forth amazed like fawns to atone for the death of Patroclus, son of Menoitius.”[44]

But his victory, though it had some influence on the fortunes of the Achaeans, was not enough to inspire any great fear in the enemy, nor did it make them wholly despair of their cause. On this point shall we set Homer aside and demand some other witness? Or is it not enough to recall the verses in which he describes how Priam came to the ships bringing his son’s ransom? For after he had made the truce for which he had come, and the son of Thetis asked: “For how many days dost thou desire to make a funeral for noble Hector?”

He told him not only that, but concerning the war he said: “And on the twelfth day we will fight again, if fight we must.”[45]

[62] You see he does not hesitate to announce that war will be resumed after the armistice. But the unmanly and cowardly usurper sheltered his flight behind lofty mountains and built forts on them; nor did he trust even to the strength of the position, but begged for forgiveness. And he would have obtained it had he deserved it, and not proved himself on many occasions both treacherous and insolent, by heaping one crime on another.

And now with regard to the battle, if there be anyone who declines to heed either the opinion expressed in my narrative or those admirably written verses, but prefers to consider the actual facts, let him judge from those. Accordingly we will next, if you please, compare the fighting of Ajax in defence of the ships and of the Achaeans at the wall with the Emperor’s achievements at that famous city. I mean the city to which the Mygdonius, fairest of rivers, gives its name, though it has also been named after King Antiochus. Then, too, it has another, a barbarian name[46] which is familiar to many of you from your intercourse with the barbarians of those parts. This city was besieged by an overwhelming number of Parthians with their Indian allies, at the very time when the Emperor was prepared to march against the usurper. And like the sea crab which they say engaged Heracles in battle when he sallied forth to attack the Lernaean monster,[47] the King of the Parthians, crossing the Tigris from the mainland, encircled the city with dykes. Then he let the Mygdonius flow into these, and transformed all the space about the city into a lake, and completely hemmed it in as though it were an island, so that only the ramparts stood out and showed a little above the water. Then he besieged it by bringing up ships with siege-engines on board. This was not the work of a day, but I believe of almost four months. But the defenders within the wall continually repulsed the barbarians by burning the siege-engines with their fire-darts. And from the wall they hauled up many of the ships, while others were shattered by the force of the engines when discharged and the weight of the missiles. [63] For some of the stones that were hurled on to them weighed as much as seven Attic talents.[48] When this had been going on for many days in succession, part of the dyke gave way and the water flowed in in full tide, carrying with it a portion of the wall as much as a hundred cubits long.[49]

Thereupon he arrayed the besieging army in the Persian fashion. For they keep up and imitate Persian customs, I suppose, because they do not wish to be considered Parthians, and so pretend to be Persians. That is surely the reason why they prefer the Persian manner of dress. And when they march to battle they look like them, and take pride in wearing the same armour, and raiment adorned with gold and purple. By this means they try to evade the truth and to make it appear that they have not revolted from Macedon, but are merely resuming the empire that was theirs of old. Their king, therefore, imitating Xerxes, sat on a sort of hill that had been artificially made, and his army advanced accompanied by their beasts.[50] These came from India and carried iron towers full of archers. First came the cavalry who wore cuirasses, and the archers, and then the rest of the cavalry in huge numbers. For infantry they find useless for their sort of fighting and it is not highly regarded by them. Nor, in fact, is it necessary to them, since the whole of the country that they inhabit is flat and bare. For a military force is naturally valued or slighted in proportion to its actual usefulness in war. Accordingly, since infantry is, from the nature of the country, of little use to them, it is granted no great consideration in their laws. This happened in the case of Crete and Caria as well, and countless nations have a military equipment like theirs. For instance the plains of Thessaly have proved suitable for cavalry engagements and drill. Our state, on the other hand, since it has had to encounter adversaries of all sorts, and has won its pre-eminence by good judgment combined with good luck, has naturally adapted itself to every kind of armour, and to a varying equipment.

But perhaps those who watch over the rules for writing panegyric as though they were laws, may say that all this is irrelevant to my speech. Now whether what I have been saying partly concerns you I shall consider at the proper time. [64] But at any rate I can easily clear myself from the accusation of such persons. For I declare that I make no claim to be an expert in their art, and one who has not agreed to abide by certain rules has the right to neglect them. And it may be that I shall prove to have other convincing excuses besides. But it is not worth while to interrupt my speech and digress from my theme any longer when there is no need. Let me, then, retrace my steps to the point at which I digressed.

Now when the Parthians advanced to attack the wall in their splendid accoutrements, men and horses, supported by the Indian elephants, it was with the utmost confidence that they would at once take it by assault. And at the signal to charge they all pressed forward, since every man of them was eager to be the first to scale the wall[51] and win the glory of that exploit. They did not imagine that there was anything to fear, nor did they believe that the besieged would resist their assault. Such was the exaggerated confidence of the Parthians. The besieged, however, kept their phalanx unbroken at the gap in the wall, and on the portion of the wall that was still intact they posted all the non-combatants in the city, and distributed among them an equal number of soldiers. But when the enemy rode up and not a single missile was hurled at them from the wall, their confidence that they would completely reduce the city was strengthened, and they whipped and spurred on their horses so that their flanks were covered with blood, until they had left the dykes behind them. These dykes they had made earlier to dam the mouth of the Mygdonius, and the mud thereabouts was very deep, †in fact there was hardly any ground at all because of the wood,[52]† and because the soil was so rich, and of the sort that conceals springs under its surface Moreover there was in that place a wide moat that had been made long ago to protect the town, and had become filled up with a bog of considerable depth. [65] Now when the enemy had already reached this moat and were trying to cross it, a large lorce of the besieged made a sally, while many others hurled stones from the walls. Then many of the besiegers were slain, and all with one accord turned their horses in flight, though only from their gestures could it be seen that flight was what they desired and intended. For, as they were in the act of wheeling them about, their horses fell and bore down the riders with them. Weighed down as they were by their armour, they floundered still deeper in the bog, and the carnage that ensued has never yet been paralleled in any siege of the same kind.

Since this fate had overtaken the cavalry, they tried the elephants, thinking that they would be more likely to overawe us by that novel sort of fighting. For surely they had not been stricken so blind as not to see that an elephant is heavier than a horse, since it carries the load, not of two horses or several, but what would, I suppose, require many waggons, I mean archers and javelin men and the iron tower besides. All this was a serious hindrance, considering that the ground was artificially made and had been converted into a bog. And this the event made plain. Hence it is probable that they were not advancing to give battle, but rather were arrayed to overawe the besieged. They came on in battle line at equal distances from one another, in fact the phalanx of the Parthians resembled a wall, with the elephants carrying the towers, and hoplites filling up the spaces between. But drawn up as these were they were of no great use to the barbarian. It was, however, a spectacle which gave the defenders on the wall great pleasure and entertainment, and when they had gazed their fill at what resembled a splendid and costly pageant in procession, they hurled stones from their engines, and, shooting their arrows, challenged the barbarians to fight for the wall. Now the Parthians are naturally quick-tempered, and they could not endure to incur ridicule and lead back this imposing force without striking a blow; so by the king’s express command they charged at the wall and received a continuous fire of stones and arrows, [66] while some of the elephants were wounded, and perished by sinking into the mud. Thereupon, in fear for the others also, they led them back to the camp.

Having failed in this second attempt as well, the Parthian king divided his archers into companies and ordered them to relieve one another and to keep shooting at the breach in the wall, so that the beseiged could not rebuild it and thus ensure the safety of the town. For he hoped by this means either to take it by surprise, or by mere numbers to overwhelm the garrison. But the preparations that had been made by the Emperor made it clear that the barbarian’s plan was futile. For in the rear of the hoplites a second wall was being built, and while he thought they were using the old line of the wall for the foundations and that the work was not yet in hand, they had laboured continuously for a whole day and night till the wall had risen to a height of four cubits. And at daybreak it became visible, a new and conspicuous piece of work. Moreover the besieged did not for a moment yield their ground, but kept relieving one another and shooting their javelins at those who were attacking the fallen wall, and all this terribly dismayed the barbarian. Nevertheless he did not at once lead off his army but employed the same efforts over again. But when he had done as before, and as before suffered repulse, he did lead his army back, having lost many whole tribes through famine, and squandered many lives over the dykes and in the siege. He had also put to death many satraps one after another, on various charges, blaming one of them because the dykes had not been made strong enough, but gave way and were flooded by the waters of the river, another because when fighting under the walls he had not distinguished himself; and others he executed for one offence or another. This is in fact the regular custom among the barbarians in Asia, to shift the blame of their ill-success on to their subjects. Thus then the king acted on that occasion, and afterwards took himself off. And from that time he has kept the peace with us and has never asked for any covenant or treaty, [67] but he stays at home and is thankful if only the Emperor does not march against him and exact vengeance for his audacity and folly.

And now am I justified in comparing this battle with those that were fought in defence of the Greek ships and the wall? Observe the following points of similarity, and note also the difference. Of the Greeks the two Ajaxes, the Lapithae and Menestheus fell back from the wall and looked on helplessly while the gates were battered down by Hector, and Sarpedon scaled the battlements. But our garrison did not give way even when the wall fell in of itself, but they fought and won, and repulsed the Parthians, aided though these were by their Indian allies. Then again Hector went up on to the ships and fought from their decks on foot, and as though from behind a rampart, whereas our garrison first had to fight a naval battle from the walls, and finally, while Hector and Sarpedon had to retreat from the battlements and the ships, the garrison routed not only the forces that brought ships to the attack but the land force as well. Now it is appropriate that by some happy chance my speech should have alluded to Hector and Sarpedon, and to what I may call the very crown of their achievements, I mean the destruction of that wall which Homer tells us the Achaeans built only the day before, on the advice of the princely orator[53] of Pylos “to be an impregnable bulwark for the ships and the army.”[54]

For that I think was almost the proudest of Hector’s achievements, and he did not need the craft of Glaucus to help him, or any wiser plan, for Homer says plainly that the moment Achilles appeared “He shrank back into the crowd of men.”[55]

Again, when Agamemnon attacked the Trojans and pursued them to the wall, Zeus stole away[56] Hector so that he might escape at his leisure. And the poet is mocking him and ridiculing his cowardice when he says that as he was sitting under the oak-tree, being already near the gate, Iris came to him with this message from Zeus: “So long as thou seest Agamemnon, shepherd of the host, raging among the foremost fighters and cutting down the ranks of men, [68] so long do thou keep back from the fight.”[57]

For is it likely that Zeus would give such base and cowardly advice, especially to one who was not even fighting, but was standing there very much at his ease? And while the son of Tydeus, on whose head Athene kindled a mighty flame, was slaying many and forcing to flight all who stayed to encounter him, Hector stood far away from the battle. Though he had to endure many taunts, he despaired of making a stand against the Achaeans, but made a specious excuse for going to the city to advise his mother to propitiate Athene in company with the Trojan women. And yet if in person he had besought the goddess before the temple, with the elders, he would have had good reason for that, for it is only proper, in my opinion, that a general or king should always serve the god with the appointed ritual, like a priest or prophet, and not neglect this duty nor think it more fitting for another, and depute it as though he thought such a service beneath his own dignity.

For here I think I may without offence adapt slightly Plato’s language where he says that the man, and especially the king, best equipped for this life is he who depends on God for all that relates to happiness, and does not hang in suspense on other men, whose actions, whether good or bad, are liable to force him and his affairs out of the straight path.[58] And though no one should allow me to paraphrase or change that passage or alter that word,[59] and though I should be told that I must leave it undisturbed like something holy and consecrated by time, even in that case I shall maintain that this is what that wise man meant. For when he says “depends on himself,” assuredly he does not refer to a man’s body or his property, or long descent, or distinguished ancestors. For these are indeed his belongings, but they are not the man himself; his real self is his mind, his intelligence, [69] and, in a word, the god that is in us. As to which, Plato elsewhere calls it “the supreme form of the soul that is within us,” and says that “God has given it to each one of us as a guiding genius, even that which we say dwells in the summit of our body and raises us from earth towards our celestial affinity.”[60] It is on this that he plainly says every man ought to depend, and not on other men, who have so often succeeded when they wish to harm and hinder us in other respects. Indeed it has happened before now that even without such a desire men have deprived us of certain of our possessions. But this alone cannot be hindered or harmed, since “Heaven does not permit the bad to injure what is better than itself.”[61] This saying also is from Plato. But it may be that I am wearying you with these doctrines of his with which I sprinkle my own utterances in small quantities, as with salt or gold dust. For salt makes our food more agreeable, and gold enhances an effect to the eye. But Plato’s doctrines produce both effects. For as we listen to them they give more pleasure than salt to the sense, and they have a wonderful power of sweetly nourishing and cleansing the soul. So that I must not hesitate or be cautious of criticism if someone reproaches me with being insatiable and grasping at everything, like persons at a banquet who, in their greed to taste every dish, cannot keep their hands from what is set before them.[62] For something of this sort seems to happen in my case when, in the same breath, I utter panegyric and philosophic theories, and, before I have done justice to my original theme, break off in the middle to expound the sayings of philosophers. I have had occasion before now to reply to those who make such criticisms as these, and perhaps I shall have to do so again.

I will now, however, resume the thread of my discourse and go back to my starting-point, like those who, when a race is being started, run ahead out of the line. Well, I was saying, a moment ago, that Plato declares that a man’s real self is his mind and soul, [70] whereas his body and his estate are but his possessions. This is the distinction made in that marvellous work, the Laws. And so if one were to go back to the beginning and say “That man is best equipped for life who makes everything that relates to happiness depend on his mind and intelligence and not on those outside himself who, by doing or faring well or ill force him out of the straight path,” he is not changing or perverting the sense of the words, but expounds and interprets them correctly. And if for Plato’s word “genius”[63] he substitutes the word “God” he has a perfect right to do so. For if Plato gives the control of our whole life to the presiding “genius” within us which is by nature unaffected by sensation and akin to God, but must endure and suffer much because of its association with the body, and therefore gives the impression to the crowd that it also is subject to sensation and death; and if he says that this is true of every man who wishes to be happy, what must we suppose is his opinion about pure intelligence unmixed with earthly substance, which is indeed synonymous with God? To this I say every man, whether he be a private citizen or a king, ought to entrust the reins of his life, and by a king I mean one who is really worthy of the name, and not counterfeit or falsely so called, but one who is aware of God and discerns his. nature because of his affinity with him, and being truly wise bows to the divine authority and yields the supremacy to God. For it is senseless and arrogant indeed for those who cultivate virtue not to submit to God once and for all, as far as possible. For we must believe that this above all else is what God approves. Again, no man must neglect the traditional form of worship or lightly regard this method of paying honour to the higher power, but rather consider that to be virtuous is to be scrupulously devout. For Piety is the child of Justice, and that justice is a characteristic of the more divine type of soul is obvious to all who discuss such matters.

For this reason, then, while I applaud Hector for refusing to make a libation because of the bloodstains on his hands, [71] he had, as I said, no right to go back to the city or forsake the battle, seeing that the task he was about to perform was not that of a general or of a king, but of a messenger and underling, and that he was ready to take on himself the office of an Idaeus or Talthybius. However, as I said at first, this seems to have been simply a specious excuse for flight. And indeed when he obeyed the bidding of the seer and fought a duel with the son of Telamon,[64] he was very ready to make terms and to give presents, and rejoiced to have escaped death. In short, as a rule, he is brave when in pursuit of the retreating foe, but in no case has he the credit of a victory or of turning the tide of battle, except when “He was the first to leap within the wall of the Achaeans”[65]

together with Sarpedon. Shall I therefore shrink from competition as though I could not cite on behalf of the Emperor any such exploit, and must therefore avoid seeming to compare the trivial with the important and things of little account with what deserves more serious consideration, or shall I venture to enter the lists even against an achievement so famous? Now that wall was to protect the beach, and was a palisade such as we are wont to construct, and was completed in less than a morning. But the wall that was on the Alps was an ancient fort, and the usurper used it after his flight, converting it into a defence as strong as though it had been newly built, and he left there an ample garrison of seasoned troops. But he did not himself march all the way there, but remained in the neighbouring city.[66] This is a trading centre of the Italians on the coast, very prosperous and teeming with wealth, since the Mysians and Paeonians and all the Italian inhabitants of the interior procure their merchandise thence. These last used, I think, to be called Heneti in the past, but now that the Romans are in possession of these cities they preserve the original name, but make the trifling addition of one letter at the beginning of the word. [72] Its sign is a single character[67] and they call it “oo,” and they often use it instead of “b,” to serve, I suppose, as a sort of breathing, and to represent some peculiarity of their pronunciation. The nation as a whole is called by this name, but at the time of the founding of the city an eagle from Zeus flew past on the right, and so bestowed on the place the omen derived from the bird.[68] It is situated at the foot of the Alps, which are very high mountains with precipices in them, and they hardly allow room for those who are trying to force their way over the passes to use even a single waggon and a pair of mules. They begin at the sea which we call Ionian, and form a barrier between what is now Italy and the Illyrians and Galatians, and extend as far as the Etruscan sea. For when the Romans conquered the whole of this country, which includes the tribe of the Heneti and some of the Ligurians and a considerable number of Galatians besides, they did not hinder them from retaining their ancient names, but compelled them to acknowledge the dominion of the Italian republic. And, in our day, all the territory that lies within the Alps and is bounded by the Ionian and the Etruscan seas has the honour of being called Italy. On the other side of the Alps, on the west, dwell the Galatians, and the Rhaetians to the north where the Rhine and the Danube have their sources hard by in the neighbouring country of the barbarians. And on the east, as I said, the Alps fortify the district where the usurper stationed his garrison. In this way, then, Italy is contained on all sides, partly by mountains that are very hard to cross, partly by a shallow sea into which countless streams empty and form a morass like the marshlands of Egypt. But the Emperor by his skill gained control of the whole of that boundary of the sea, and forced his way inland.

I will now relate how the city was actually taken, lest you should think I am wasting time by describing once more the difficulties of the ground, and how it was impossible to plant a camp or even a palisade near the city or to bring up siege-engines or devices for storming it, [73] because the country all about was terribly short of water, and there were not even small pools. And if you wish to grasp the main point of my narrative in a few words, remember the Macedonian’s[69] expedition against those Indians who lived on the famous rock[70] up to which not even the lightest birds could wing their flight, and how he took it by storm, and you will be content to hear no more from me. However I will add this merely, that Alexander in storming the rock lost many of his Macedonians, whereas our ruler and general lost not a single chiliarch or a captain, nay not even a legionary from the muster-roll, but achieved an unsullied and “tearless”[71] victory. Now Hector and Sarpedon, no doubt, hurled down many men from the w’all, but when they encountered Patroclus in all his glory Sarpedon was slain near the ships, while Hector, to his shame, fled without even recovering the body of his friend. Thus without intelligence and emboldened by mere physical strength they ventured to attack the wall. But the Emperor, when strength and daring are required, employs force of arms and good counsel together, and so wins the day, but where good judgment alone is necessary it is by this that he steers his course, and thus achieves triumphs such, as not even iron could ever avail to erase.[72]

But since my speech has of its own accord reached this point in its course and has long been eager to praise the Emperor’s wisdom and wise counsel, I allow it to do so. And in fact I spoke briefly on this subject some time ago, and all the cases where there seemed to me to be any affinity between the heroes of Homer and the Emperor, I described because of that resemblance, comparing great things with small. And indeed if one considers the size of their armaments, the superiority of his forces also becomes evident. For in those days all Greece was set in motion,[73] and part of Thrace and Paeonia, and all the subject allies of Priam, “All that Lesbos, the seat of Makar, contains within, and Phrygia on the north and the boundless Hellespont.”[74]

[74] But to try to count up the nations who lately marched with the Emperor and fought on his side in the war, would be idle talk, superfluous verbiage, and absurd simplicity. And it is natural that, in proportion as the armies are larger, their achievements are more important. So it follows of necessity that, in this respect as well, the Emperor’s army surpassed Homer’s heroes. In mere numbers, at any rate, at what point, I ask, could one justly compare them? For the Greeks fought all along for a single city, and the Trojans when they prevailed were not able to drive away the Greeks, nor were the Greeks strong enough, when they won a victory, to destroy and overthrow the power and the royal sway of the house of Priam, and yet the time they spent over it was ten years long. But the Emperor’s wars and undertakings have been numerous. He has been described as waging war against the Germans across the Rhine, and then there was his bridge of boats over the Tigris, and his exposure of the power and arrogance of the Parthians[75] was no trivial thing, on that occasion when they did not venture to defend their country while he was laying it waste, but had to look on while the whole of it was devastated between the Tigris and the Lycus. Then, when the war against the usurper was concluded, there followed the expeditions to Sicily and Carthage, and that stratagem of occupying beforehand the mouth of the Po, which deprived the usurper of all his forces in Italy, and finally that third and last fall[76] at the Cottian Alps, which secured for the Emperor the pleasure of a victory that was sure, and carried with it no fears for the future, while it compelled the defeated man to inflict on himself a just penalty wholly worthy of his misdeeds.

I have given this brief account of the Emperor’s achievements, not adding anything in flattery and trying to exaggerate things that are perhaps of no special importance, nor dragging in what is farfetched and unduly pressing points of resemblance with those achievements, like those who interpret the myths of the poets and analyse them into plausible versions which allow them to introduce fictions of their own, though they start out from very slight analogies, [75] and having recourse to a very shadowy basis, try to convince us that this is the very thing that the poets intended to’ say. But in this case if anyone should take out of Homer’s poems merely the names of the heroes, and insert and fit in the Emperor’s, the epic of the Iliad would be seen to have been composed quite as much in his honour as in theirs.

But that you may not think, if you hear only about his achievements and successes in war, that the Emperor is less well endowed for pursuits that are loftier and rightly considered of more importance, I mean public speaking and deliberations and all those affairs in which judgment combined with intelligence and prudence* take the helm, consider the case of Odysseus and Nestor, who are so highly praised in the poem; and if you find that the Emperor is inferior to them in any respect, put that down to his panegyrists, but we should rather in fairness concede that he is far superior. Nestor, for instance, when they began to disagree and quarrel about the captive damsel,[77] tried to address them, and he did persuade the king and the son of Thetis, but only to this extent that Achilles broke up the assembly in disorder, while Agamemnon did not even wait to complete his expiation to the god, but while he was still performing the rite and the sacred ship was in view, he sent heralds to the tent of Achilles, just as though, it seems to me, he were afraid that he would forget his anger, and, once free from that passion, would repent and avoid his error. Again, the far-travelled orator from Ithaca, when he tried to persuade Achilles to make peace, and offered him many gifts and promised him countless others, so provoked the young warrior that, though he had not before planned to sail home, he now began to make preparations.[78] Then there are those wonderful proofs of their intelligence, their exhortations to battle and Nestor’s building of the wall, a cowardly notion and worthy indeed of an old man. Nor in truth did the Achaeans benefit much from that device. For it was after they had finished the wall that they were worsted by the Trojans, and naturally enough. [76] For before that, they thought that they were themselves protecting the ships, like a noble bulwark. But when they realised that a wall lay in front of them, built with a deep moat and set at intervals with sharp stakes, they grew careless and slackened their valour, because they trusted to the fortification. Yet it is not anyone who blames them and shows that they were in the wrong who is therefore a fit and proper person to praise the Emperor. But he who, in a worthy manner, recounts the Emperor’s deeds, which were done not idly or automatically, or from an irrational impulse, but were skilfully planned beforehand and carried through, he alone praises adequately the Emperor’s keen intelligence.

But to report to you those speeches which he made at every public gathering to the armies and the common people and the councils, demands too long a narrative, though it is perhaps not too much to ask you to hear about one of these. Pray then think once more of the son of Laertes when the Greeks were rushing to set sail and he checked the rush and diverted their zeal back to the war,[79] and then of the Emperor’s assembly in Illyria, when that old man,[80] persuaded by mere youths to think childish thoughts, forgot his treaties and obligations and proved to be the enemy of his preserver and benefactor, and came to terms with one against whom the Emperor was waging a war that allowed no truce nor herald of a truce,[81] and who was not only getting an army together, but came to meet the Emperor on the border of the country, because he was anxious to hinder him from advancing further. And when those two armies met, and it was necessary to hold an assembly in the presence of the hoplites, a high platform was set up and it was surrounded by a crowd of hoplites, javelin-men and archers and cavalry equipped with their horses and the standards of the divisions. Then the Emperor, accompanied by him who for the moment was his colleague, mounted the platform, [77] carrying no sword or shield or helmet, but wearing his usual dress. And not even one of his bodyguard followed him, but there he stood alone on the platform, trusting to that speech which was so impressively appropriate. For of speeches too he is a good craftsman, though he does not plane down and polish his phrases nor elaborate his periods like the ingenious rhetoricians, but is at once dignified and simple, and uses the right words on every occasion, so that they sink into the souls not only of those who claim to be cultured and intelligent, but many unlearned persons too understand and give hearing to his words. And so he won over many tens of thousands of hoplites and twenty thousand cavalry and most warlike nations, and at the same time a country that is extremely fertile, not seizing it by force, or carrying off captives, but by winning over men who obeyed him of their own free will and were eager to carry out his orders. This victory I judge to be far more splendid than that for which Sparta is famous.[82] For that was “tearless” for the victors only, but the Emperor’s did not cause even the defeated to shed tears, but he who was masquerading as Emperor came down from the platform when he had pleaded his cause, and handed over to the Emperor the imperial purple[83] as though it were an ancestral debt. And all else the Emperor gave him in abundance, more than they say Cyrus gave to his grandfather, and arranged that he should live and be maintained in the manner that Homer recommends for men who are past their prime: — “For it is fitting that such a one, when he has bathed and fed, should sleep soft, for that is the manner of the aged.”[84]

Now for my part I should have been glad to repeat to you the words that the Emperor used, and no fear would overtake me when handling words so noble. But modesty restrains me and does not permit me to change or interpret his words to you. For it would be wrong of me to tamper with them, and I should blush to have my ignorance exposed, if someone who had read the Emperor’s composition or heard it at the time should remember it by heart, [78] and demand from me not only the ideas in it but all the excellences with which they are adorned, though they are composed in the language of our ancestors.[85] Now this at any rate Homer had not to fear when, many generations later, he reported his speeches, since his speakers left no record of what they said in their assemblies, and I think he was clearly confident that he was able to relate and report what they said in a better style. But to make an inferior copy is absurd and unworthy of a generous and noble soul. Now as to the marvellous portion of his achievements and those of which the great multitude was spectator and hence preserves their memory and commends them, since it looks to the result and is there to judge whether they turn out well or ill, and eulogises them in language that is certainly not elegant, — as to all this I say you have often heard from the ingenious sophists, and from the race of poets inspired by the Muses themselves, so that, as far as these are concerned, I must have wearied you by speaking about them at too great length. For you are already surfeited with them, your ears are filled with them, and there will always be a supply of composers of such discourses to sing of battles and proclaim victories with a loud clear voice, after the manner of the heralds at the Olympic games. For you yourselves, since you delight to listen to them, have produced an abundance of these men. And no wonder. For their conceptions of what is good and bad are akin to your own, and they do but report to you your own opinions and depict them in fine phrases, like a dress of many colours, and cast them into the mould of agreeable rhythms and forms, and bring them forth for you as though they had invented something new. And you welcome them eagerly, and think that this is the correct way to eulogise, and you say that these deeds have received their due. And this is perhaps true, but it may well be otherwise, since you do not really know what the correct way should be.

[79] For I have observed that Socrates the Athenian — you know the man by hearsay and that his reputation for wisdom was proclaimed aloud by the Pythian oracle[86] — I say I have observed that he did not praise that sort of thing, nor would he admit[87] that they are happy and fortunate who are masters of a great territory and many nations, with many Greeks too among them, and still more numerous and powerful barbarians, such men as are able to cut a canal through Athos and join continents[88] by a bridge of boats whenever they please, and who subdue nations and reduce islands by sweeping the inhabitants into a net,[89] and make offerings of a thousand talents’ worth of frankincense.[90] Therefore he never praised Xerxes or any other king of Persia or Lydia or Macedonia, and not even a Greek general, save only a very few, whomsoever he knew to delight in virtue and to cherish courage with temperance and to love wisdom with justice. But those whom he saw to be cunning, or merely clever, or generals and nothing more, or ingenious, or able, though each one could lay claim to only one small fraction of virtue, to impose on the masses, these too he would not praise without reserve. And his judgment is followed by a host of wise men who reverence virtue, but as for all those wonders and marvels that I have described, some say of them that they are worth little, others that they are worth nothing.

Now if you also are of their opinion, I feel no inconsiderable alarm for what I said earlier, and for myself, lest possibly you should declare that my words are mere childishness, and that I am an absurd and ignorant sophist and make pretensions to an art in which I confess that I have no skill, as indeed I must confess to you when I recite eulogies that are really deserved, and such as you think it worth while to listen to, even though they should seem to most of you somewhat uncouth and far inferior to what has been already uttered. But if, as I said before, you accept the authors of those other eulogies, then my fear is altogether allayed. For then I shall not seem wholly out of place, but though, as I admit, inferior to many others, yet judged by my own standard, [80] not wholly unprofitable nor attempting what is out of place. And indeed it is probably not easy for you to disbelieve wise and inspired men who have much to say, each in his own manner, though the sum and substance of all their speeches is the praise of virtue. And virtue they say is implanted in the soul and makes it happy and kingly, yes, by Zeus, and statesmanlike and gifted with true generalship, and generous and truly wealthy, not because it possesses the Colophonian[91] treasures of gold, “Nor all that the stone threshold of the Far-Darter contained within,”[92]

“in the old days, in times of peace,”[93] when the fortunes of Greece had not yet fallen; nay nor costly clothing and precious stones from India and many tens of thousands of acres of land, but that which is superior to all these things together and more pleasing to the gods; which can keep us safe even in shipwreck, in the market-place, in the crowd, in the house, in the desert, in the midst of robbers, and from the violence of tyrants.

For there is nothing at all superior to it, nothing that can constrain and control it, or take it from him who has once possessed it. Indeed it seems to me that this possession bears the same relation to the soul as its light to the sun. For often men have stolen the votive offerings of the Sun and destroyed his temples and gone their way, and some have been punished, and others let alone as not worthy of the punishment that leads to amendment. But his light no one ever takes from the sun, not even the moon when in their conjunctions she oversteps his disc, or when she takes his rays to herself, and often, as the saying is, turns midday into night.[94] Nor is he deprived of his light when he illumines the moon in her station opposite to himself and shares with her his own nature, nor when he fills with light and day this great and wonderful universe. Just so no good man who imparts his goodness to another was ever thought to have less virtue by as much as he had bestowed. [81] So divine and excellent is that possession, and most true is the saying of the Athenian stranger, whoever that inspired man may have been: “All the gold beneath the earth and above ground is too little to give in exchange for virtue.”[95] Let us therefore now boldly call its possessor wealthy, yes and I should say well-born also, and the only king among them all,[96] if anyone agree to this. For as noble birth is better than a lowly pedigree, so virtue is better than a character not in all respects admirable. And let no one say that this statement is contentious and too strong, judging by the ordinary use of words. For the multitude are wont to say that the sons of those who have long been rich are well-born. And yet is it not extraordinary that a cook or cobbler, yes, by Zeus, or some potter who has got money together by his craft, or by some other means, is not considered well-born nor is given that title by the many, whereas if this man’s son inherit his estate and hand it on to his sons, they begin to give themselves airs and compete on the score of noble birth with the Pelopids and the Heraclids? Nay, even a man who is born of noble ancestors, but himself sinks down in the opposite scale of life, could not justly claim kinship with those ancestors, seeing that no one could be enrolled among the Pelopids who had not on his shoulder the birth-mark[97] of that family. And in Boeotia it was said that there was the impression of a spear on the Sown-men[98] from the clod of earth that bore and reared them, and that hence the race long preserved that distinguishing mark. And can we suppose that on men’s souls no mark of that sort is engraved, which shall tell us accurately who their fathers were and vindicate their birth as legitimate? They say that the Celts also have a river[99] which is an incorruptible judge of offspring, and neither can the mothers persuade that river by their laments to hide and conceal their fault for. them, [82] nor the fathers who are afraid for their wives and sons in this trial, but it is an arbiter that never swerves or gives a false verdict. But we are corrupted by riches, by physical strength in its prime, by powerful ancestors, an influence from without that overshadows and does not permit us to see clearly or discern the soul; for we are unlike all other living things in this, that by the soul and by nothing else, we should with reason make our decision about noble birth. And it seems to me that the ancients, employing a wondrous sagacity of nature, since their wisdom was not like ours a thing acquired, but they were philosophers by nature, not manufactured,[100] perceived the truth of this, and so they called Heracles the son of Zeus, and Leda’s two sons also, and Minos the law-giver, and Rhadamanthus of Cnossus they deemed worthy of the same distinction. And many others they proclaimed to be the children of other gods, because they so surpassed their mortal parents. For they looked at the soul alone and their actual deeds, and not at wealth piled high and hoary with age, nor at the power that had come down to them from some grandfather or great-grandfather. And yet some of them were the sons of fathers not wholly inglorious. But because of the superabundance in them of that virtue which men honoured and cherished., they were held to be the sons of the gods themselves. This is clear from the following fact. In the case of certain others, though they did not know those who were by nature their sires, they ascribed that title to a divinity, to recompense the virtue of those men. And we ought not to say that they were deceived, and that in ignorance they told lies about the gods. For even if in the case of other gods or deities it was natural that they should be so deceived, when they clothed them in human forms and human shapes, though those deities possess a nature not to be perceived or attained by the senses, but barely recognisable by means of pure intelligence, by reason of their kinship with it; nevertheless in the case of the visible gods it is not probable that they were deceived, for instance, when they entitled Aeetes “son of Helios” and another[101] “son of the Dawn,” and so on with others. [83] But, as I said, we must in these cases believe them, and make our enquiry about noble birth accordingly. And when a man has virtuous parents and himself resembles them, we may with confidence call him nobly born. But when, though his parents lack virtue, he himself can claim to possess it, we must suppose that the father who begat him is Zeus, and we must not pay less respect to him than to those who are the sons of virtuous fathers and emulate their parents. But when a bad man comes of good parents, we ought to enrol him among the bastards, while as for those who come of a bad stock and resemble their parents, never must we call them well-born, not even though their wealth amounts to ten thousand talents, not though they reckon among their ancestors twenty rulers, or, by Zeus, twenty tyrants, not though they can prove that the victories they won at Olympia or Pytho or in the encounters of war — which are in every way more brilliant than victories in the games — were more than the first Caesar’s, or can point to excavations in Assyria[102] or to the walls of Babylon and the Egyptian pyramids besides, and to all else that is a proof of wealth and great possessions and luxury and a soul that is inflamed by ambition and, being at a loss how to use money, lavishes on things of that sort all those abundant supplies of wealth. For you are well aware that it is not wealth, either ancestral or newly acquired and pouring in from some source or other, that makes a king, nor his purple cloak nor his tiara and sceptre and diadem and ancestral throne, nay nor numerous hoplites and ten thousand cavalry; not though all men should gather together and acknowledge him for their king, because virtue they cannot bestow on him, but only power, ill-omened indeed for him that receives it, but still more for those that bestow it. For once he has received such power, a man of that sort is altogether raised aloft in the clouds, and in nowise differs from the legend of Phaethon and his fate. And there is no need of other instances to make us believe this saying, [84] for the whole of life is full of such disasters and tales about them. And if it seems surprising to you that the title of king, so honourable, so favoured by the gods, cannot justly be claimed by men who, though they rule over a vast territory and nations without number, nevertheless settle questions that arise by an autocratic decision, without intelligence or wisdom or the virtues that go with wisdom, believe me they are not even free men; I do not mean if they merely possess what they have with none to hinder them and have their fill of power, but even though they conquer all who make war against them, and, when they lead an invading army, appear invincible and irresistible. And if any of you doubt this statement, I have no lack of notable witnesses, Greek and barbarian, who fought and won many mighty battles, and became the masters of whole nations and compelled them to pay tribute, and yet were themselves slaves in a still more shameful degree of pleasure, money and wantonness, insolence and injustice. And no man of sense would call them even powerful, not though greatness should shine upon and illumine all that they achieved. For he alone is strong whose virtue aids him to be brave and magnanimous. But he who is the slave of pleasure and cannot control his temper and appetites of all sorts, but is compelled to succumb to trivial things, is neither brave himself nor strong with a man’s strength, though we may perhaps allow him to exult like a bull or lion or leopard[103] in his brute ‘force, if indeed he do not lose even this and, like a drone, merely superintend the labours of others, himself a “feeble warrior,”[104] and cowardly and dissolute. And if that be his character, he is lacking not only in true riches, but in that wealth also which men so highly honour and reverence and desire, on which hang the souls of men of all sorts, [85] so that they undergo countless toils and labours for the sake of daily gain, and endure to sail the sea and to trade and rob and grasp at tyrannies. For they live ever acquiring but ever in want, though I do not say of necessary food and drink and clothes; for the limit of this sort of property has been clearly denned by nature, and none can be deprived of it, neither birds nor fish nor wild beasts, much less prudent men. But those who are tortured by the desire and fatal passion for money must suffer a lifelong hunger,[105] and depart from life more miserably than those who lack daily food. For these, once they have filled their bellies, enjoy perfect peace and respite from their torment, but for those others no day is sweet that does not bring them gain, nor does night with her gift of sleep that relaxes the limbs and frees men from care[106] bring for them any remission of their raging madness, but distracts and agitates their souls as they reckon and count up their money. And not even the wealth of Tantalus and Midas, should they possess it, frees those men from their desire and their hard toil therewith, nay nor to gain “the most great and grievous tyranny of heaven,”[107] should they become possessed of this also. For have you not heard that Darius, the ruler of Persia, a man not wholly base, but insatiably and shamefully covetous of money, dug up in his greed even the tombs of the dead[108] and exacted the most costly tribute? And hence he acquired the title[109] that is famous among all mankind. For the notables of Persia called him by the name that the Athenians gave to Sarambos.[110]

But it seems that my argument, as though it had reached some steep descent, is glutting itself with unsparing abuse, and is chastising the manners of these men beyond what is fitting, so that I must not allow it to travel further. [86] But now I must demand from it an account, as far as is possible, of the man who is good and kingly and great-souled. In the first place, then, he is devout and does not neglect the worship of the gods, and secondly he is pious and ministers to his parents, both when they are alive and after their death, and he is friendly to his brothers, and reverences the gods who protect the family, while to suppliants and strangers he is mild and gentle; and he is anxious to gratify good citizens, and governs the masses with justice and for their benefit. And wealth he loves, but not that which fs heavy with gold and silver, but that which is full of the true good-will of his friends,[111] and service without flattery. Though by nature he is brave and gallant, he takes no pleasure in war, and detests civil discord, though when men do attack him, whether from some chance, or by reason of their own wickedness, he resists them bravely and defends himself with energy, and carries through his enterprises to the end, not desisting till he has destroyed the power of the foe and made it subject to himself. But after he has conquered by force of arms, he makes his sword cease from slaughter, because he thinks that for one who is no longer defending himself to go on killing and laying waste is to incur pollution. And being by nature fond of work, and great of soul, he shares in the labours of all; and claims the lion’s share of those labours, then divides with the others the rewards for the risks which he has run, and is glad and rejoices, not because he has more gold and silver treasure than other men, and palaces adorned with costly furniture, but because he is able to do good to many, and to bestow on all men whatever they may chance to lack. This is what he who is truly a king claims for himself. And since he loves both the city and the soldiers,[112] he cares for the citizens as a shepherd for his flock, planning how their young may flourish and thrive, eating their full of abundant and undisturbed pasture; and his soldiers he oversees and keeps together, training them in courage, strength and mercy, like well-bred dogs, noble guardians of the flock,[113] [87]regarding them both as the partners of his exploits and the protectors of the masses, and not as spoilers and pillagers of the flock, like wolves and mongrel dogs which, forgetting their own nature and nuture, turn out to be marauders instead of preservers and defenders. Yet on the other hand, he will not suffer them to be sluggish, slothful and unwarlike, lest the guardians should themselves need others to watch them, nor disobedient to their officers, because he knows that obedience above all else, and sometimes alone, is the saving discipline in war. And he will train them to be hardy and not afraid of any labour, and never indolent, for he knows that there is not much use in a guardian who shirks his task and cannot hold out or endure fatigue. And not only by exhorting, or by his readiness to praise the deserving or by rewarding and punishing severely and inexorably, does he win them over to this and coerce them; but far rather does he show that he is himself what he would have them be, since he refrains from all pleasure, and as for money desires it not at all, much or little, nor robs his subjects of it; and since he abhors indolence he allows little time for sleep, For in truth no one who is asleep is good for anything,[114] nor if, when awake he resembles those who are asleep. And he will, I think, succeed in keeping them wonderfully obedient to himself and to their officers, since he himself will be seen to obey the wisest laws and to live in accordance with right precepts, and in short to be under the guidance of that part of the soul which is naturally kingly and worthy to take the lead, and not of the emotional or undisciplined part. For how could one better persuade men to endue and undergo fatigue, not only in a campaign and under arms, but also in all those exercises that have been invented in times of peace to give men practice for conflicts abroad, than by being clearly seen to be oneself strong as adamant? [88] For in truth the most agreeable sight for a soldier, when he is fighting hard, is a prudent commander who takes an active part in the work in hand, himself zealous while exhorting his men, who is cheerful and calm in what seems to be a dangerous situation, but on occasion stem and severe whenever they are over confident. For in the matter of caution or boldness the subordinate naturally imitates his leader. And he must plan as well, no less than for what I have mentioned, that they may have abundant provisions and run short of none of the necessaries of life. For often the most loyal guardians and protectors of the flock are driven by want to become fierce towards the shepherds, and when they see them from afar they bark at them and do not even spare the sheep.[115] Such then is the good king at the head of his legions, but to his city he is a saviour and protector, not only when he is warding off dangers from without or repelling barbarian neighbours or invading them; but also by putting down civil discord, vicious morals, luxury and profligacy, he will procure relief from the greatest evils. And by excluding insolence, lawlessness, injustice and greed for boundless wealth, he will not permit the feuds that arise from these causes and the dissensions that end in disaster to show even the first sign of growth, and if they do arise he will abolish them as quickly as possible and expel them from his city. And no one who transgresses and violates the law will escape his notice, no more than would an enemy in the act of scaling his defences. But though he is a good guardian of the laws, he will be still better at framing them, if ever occasion and chance call on him to do so. And no device can persuade one of his character to add to the statutes a false and spurious and bastard law, any more than he would introduce among his own sons a servile and vulgar strain. For he cares for justice and the right, and neither parents nor kinsfolk nor friends can persuade him to do them a favour and betray the cause of justice. [89] For he looks upon his fatherland as the common hearth and mother of all, older and more reverend than his parents, and more precious than brothers or friends or comrades; and to defraud or do violence to her laws he regards as a greater impiety than sacrilegious robbery of the money that belongs to the gods. For law is the child of justice, the sacred and truly divine adjunct of the most mighty god, and never will the man who is wise make light of it or set it at naught. But since all that he does will have justice in view, he will be eager to honour the good, and the vicious he will, like a good physician, make every effort to cure. But there are two kinds of error, for in one type of sinner may dimly be discerned a hope of improvement, nor do they wholly reject a cure, while the vices of others are incurable. And for the latter the laws have contrived the penalty of death as a release from evil, and this not only for the benefit of the criminal, but quite as much in the interest of others. Accordingly there must needs be two kinds of trials. For when men are not incurable the king will hold it to be his duty to investigate and to cure. But with the others he will firmly refuse to interfere, and will never willingly have anything to do with a trial when death is the penalty that has been ordained by the laws for the guilty. However, in making laws for such offences, lie will do away with violence and harshness and cruelty of punishment, and will elect by lot, to judge them, a court of staid and sober men who throughout their lives have admitted the most rigid scrutiny of their own virtue, men who will not rashly, or led by some wholly irrational impulse, after deliberating for only a small part of the day, or it may be without even debating, cast the black voting-tablet in the case of a fellow-citizen. But in his own hand no sword should lie ready to slay a citizen, even though he has committed the blackest crimes, nor should a sting lurk in his soul, considering that, as we see, nature has made even the queen-bee free from a sting. [90] However it is not to bees that we must look for our analogy, but in my opinion to the king of the gods himself, whose prophet and vice-regent the genuine ruler ought to be. For wherever good exists wholly untainted by its opposite, and for the benefit of mankind in common and the whole universe, of this good God was and is the only creator .? But evil he neither created nor ordered to be,[116] but he banished it from heaven, and as it moves upon earth and has chosen for its abode our souls, that colony which was sent down from heaven, he has enjoined on his sons and descendants to judge and cleanse men from it. Now of these some are the friends and protectors of the human race, but others are inexorable judges who inflict on men harsh and terrible punishment for their misdeeds, both while they are alive and after they are set free from their bodies, and others again are as it were executioners and avengers who carry out the sentence, a different race of inferior and unintelligent demons. Now the king who is good and a favourite of the gods must imitate this example, and share his own excellence with many of his subjects, whom, because of his regard for them, he admits into this partnership; and he must entrust them with offices suited to the character and principles of each; military command for him who is brave and daring and high-spirited, but discreet as well, so that when he lias need he may use his spirit and energy; and for him who is just and kind and humane and easily prone to pity, that office in the service of the state that relates to contracts, devising this means of protection for the weaker and more simple citizens and for the poor against the powerful, fraudulent and wicked and those who are so buoyed up by their riches that they try to violate and despise justice; but to the man who combines both these temperaments he must assign still greater honour and power in the state, [91] and if he entrust to him the trials of offences for which are enacted just pains and penalties with a view to recompensing the injured, that would be a fair and wise measure. For a man of this sort, together with his colleagues, will give an impartial decision, and then hand over to the public official the carrying out of the verdict, nor will he through excess of anger or tender-heartedness fall short of what is essentially just. Now the ruler in our state will be somewhat like this, possessing only what is good in both those qualities and in every quality that I mentioned earlier avoiding a fatal excess.[117] And though he will in person oversee and direct and govern the whole, he will see to it that those of his officials who are in charge of the most important works and management and who share his councils for the general good, are virtuous men and as far as possible like himself. And he will choose them, not carelessly or at random, nor will he consent to be a less rigorous judge than a lapidary or one who tests gold plate or purple dye. For such men are not satisfied with one method of testing, but since they know, I suppose, that the wickedness and devices of those who are trying to cheat them are various and manifold, they try to meet all these as far as possible, and they oppose to them the tests derived from their art. So too our ruler apprehends that evil changes its face and is apt to deceive, and that the cruellest thing that it does is that it often takes men in by putting on the garb of virtue, and hoodwinks those who are not keen sighted enough, or who in course of time grow weary of the length of the investigation, and therefore he will rightly be on his guard against any such deception. But when once he has chosen them, and has about him the worthiest men, he will entrust to them the choice of the minor officials.

Such is his policy with regard to the laws and magistrates. As for the common people, those who live in the towns he will not allow to be idle or impudent, but neither will he permit them to be without the necessaries of life. [92] And the farming class who live in the country, ploughing and sowing to furnish food for their protectors and guardians, will receive in return payment in money, and the clothes that they need. But as for Assyrian palaces and costly and extravagant public services, they will have nothing to do with them, and will end their lives in the utmost peace as regards enemies at home and abroad, and will adore the cause of their good fortune as though he were a kindly deity, and praise God for him when they pray, not hypocritically or with the lips only, but invoking blessings on him from the bottom of their hearts. But the gods do not wait for their prayers, and unasked they give him celestial rewards, but they do not let him lack human blessings either; and if fate should compel him to fall into any misfortune, I mean one of those incurable calamities that people are always talking about, then the gods make him their follower and associate, and exalt his fame among all mankind. All this I have often heard from the wise, and in their account of it I have the firmest faith. And so I have repeated it to you, perhaps making a longer speech than the occasion called for, but too short in my opinion for the theme. And he to whom it has been given to hear such arguments and reflect on them, knows well that I speak the truth. But there is another reason for the length of my speech, less forcible, but I think more akin to the present argument. And perhaps you ought not to miss hearing this also.

In the first place, then, let me remind you briefly of what I said before, when I broke off my discourse for the sake of this digression. What I said was that, when serious-minded people listen to sincere panegyrics, they ought not to look to those things of which fortune often grants a share even to the wicked, but to the character of the man and his virtues, which belong only to those who are good and by nature estimable; [93] and, taking up my tale at that point, I pursued the arguments that followed, guiding myself as it were by the rule and measure to which one ought to adjust the eulogies of good men and good kings. And when one of them harmonises exactly and without variation with this model, he is himself happy and truly fortunate, and happy are those who have a share in such a government as his. And he who comes near to being like him is better and more fortunate than those who fall further short of him. But those who fail altogether to resemble him, or who follow an opposite course, are ill-fated, senseless and wicked, and cause the greatest disasters to themselves and others.

And now if you are in any way of my opinion, it is time to proceed to those achievements that we have so admired. And lest any should think that my argument is running alone, like a horse in a race that has lost its competitor and for that reason wins and carries off the prizes, I will try to show in what way my encomium differs from that of clever rhetoricians. For they greatly admire the fact that a man is born of ancestors who had power or were kings, since they hold that the sons of the prosperous and fortunate are themselves blest. But the question that next arises they neither think of nor investigate, I mean how they employed their advantages throughout their lives. And yet, after all, this is the chief cause of that happiness, and of almost all external goods. Unless indeed someone objects to this statement that it is only by wise use of it that property becomes a good, and that it is harmful when the opposite use is made. So that it is not a great thing, as they think, to be descended from a king who was wealthy and “rich in gold,” but it is truly great, while surpassing the virtue of one’s ancestors, to behave to one’s parents in a manner beyond reproach in all respects.

Do you wish to learn whether this is true of the Emperor? I will offer you trustworthy evidence, and I know well that you will not convict me of false witness. [94] For I shall but remind you of what you know already. And perhaps you understand even now what I mean, but if it is not yet evident you very soon will, when you call to mind that the Emperor’s father loved him more than the others, though he was by no means over-indulgent to his children, for it was character that he favoured rather than the ties of blood; but he was, I suppose, won over by the Emperor’s dutiful service to him, and as he had nothing to reproach him with, he made his affection for him evident. And a proof of his feeling is, first, that he chose for Constantius that portion of the empire which he had formerly thought best suited to himself, and, secondly, that when he was at the point of death he passed over his eldest[118] and youngest[119] sons, though they were at leisure, and summoned Constantius, who was not at leisure, and entrusted him with the whole government. And when he had become master of the whole, he behaved to his brothers at once so justly and with such moderation, that, while they who had neither been summoned nor had come of themselves quarrelled and fought with one another, they showed no resentment against Constantius, nor ever reproached him. And when their feud reached its fatal issue,[120] though he might have laid claim to a greater share of empire, he renounced it of his own free will, because he thought that many nations or few called for the exercise of the same virtues, and also, perhaps, that the more a man has to look after and care for the greater are the anxieties beset him. For he does not think that the imperial power is a means of procuring luxury, nor that, as certain men who have wealth and misapply it for drink and other pleasures set their hearts on lavish and ever-increasing revenues, this ought to be an emperor’s policy, nor that he ought ever to embark on a war except only for the benefit of his subjects. And so he allowed his brother[121] to have the lion’s share, and thought that if he himself possessed the smaller share with honour, he had the advantage in what was most worth having. And that it was not rather from fear of his brother’s resources that he preferred peace, [95] you may consider clearly proved by the war that broke out later. For he had recourse to arms later on against his brother’s forces, but it was to avenge him.[122] And here again there are perhaps some who have admired him merely for having won the victory. But I admire far more the fact that it was with justice that he undertook the war, and that he carried it through with great courage and skill, and, when fortune gave him a favourable issue, used his victory with moderation and in imperial fashion, and showed himself entirely worthy to overcome.

Now do you wish that, as though I were in a law-court, I should summon before you by name witnesses of this also? But it is plain even to a child that no war ever yet arose that had so good an excuse, not even of the Greeks against Troy or of the Macedonians[123] against the Persians, though these wars, at any rate, are thought to have been justified, since the latter was to exact vengeance in more recent times for very ancient offences, and that not on sons or grandsons, but on him[124] who had robbed and deprived of their sovereignty the descendants of those very offenders. And Agamemnon set forth “To avenge the strivings and groans of Helen,”[125]

for it was because he desired to avenge one woman that he went to war with the Trojans. But the wrongs done to Constantius were still fresh, and he[126] who was in power was not, like Darius or Priam, a man of royal birth who, it may be, laid claim to an empire that belonged to him by reason of his birth or his family, but a shameless and savage barbarian who not long before had been among the captives of war.[127] But all that he did and how he governed is neither agreeable for me to tell nor would it be well-timed. And that the Emperor was justified in making war on him you have heard, and of his skill and courage what I said earlier is proof enough, but deeds are, I think, more convincing than words. But what happened after the victory, and how he no longer made use of the sword, not even against those who were under suspicion of serious crimes, [96] or who had been familiar friends of the usurper, nay not even against anyone who, to curry favour with the latter, had stooped to win a tale-bearer’s fee by slandering the Emperor, consider, in the name of Zeus the god of friendship, that not even these paid the penalty of their audacity, except when they were guilty of other crimes. And yet what a terrible thing is slander! How truly does it devour the heart and wound the soul as iron cannot wound the body! This it was that goaded Odysseus to defend himself by word and deed. At any rate it was for this reason that he quarrelled with his host[128] when he was himself a wanderer and a guest, and though he knew that “Foolish and of nothing worth is that man who provokes a violent quarrel with his host.”[129]

And so it was with Alexander, Philip’s son, and Achilles, son of Thetis, and others who were not worthless or ignoble men. But only to Socrates, I think, and a few others who emulated him, men who were truly fortunate and happy, was it given to put off the last garment that man discards — the love of glory.[130] For resentment of calumny is due to the passion for glory, and for this reason it is implanted most deeply in the noblest souls. For they resent it as their deadliest foe, and those who hurl at them slanderous language they hate more than men who attack them with the sword or plot their destruction; and they regard them as differing from themselves, not merely in their acquired habits, but in their essential nature, seeing that they love praise and honour, and the slanderer not only robs them of these, but also manufactures false accusations against them. They say that even Heracles and certain other heroes were swayed by these emotions. But for my part I do not believe this account of them, and as for the Emperor I have seen him repelling calumny with great self-restraint, [97] which in my judgment is no slighter achievement than “to take Troy”[131] or rout a powerful phalanx. And if anyone does not believe me, and thinks it no great achievement nor worth all these praises, let him observe himself when a misfortune of this sort happens to him, and then let him decide; and I am convinced that he will not think that I am talking with exceeding folly.

Now since this was and is the Emperor’s behaviour after the war, he is naturally loved and “longed for by his friends,”[132] since he has admitted many of them to honour and power and freedom of speech, and has bestowed on them as well vast sums of money, and permits them to use their wealth as they please; but even to his enemies he is the same. The following may serve as a clear proof of this. Those members of the Senate who were of any account and surpassed the rest in reputation and wealth and wisdom, fled to the shelter of his right hand as though to a harbour, and, leaving behind their hearths and homes and children, preferred Paeonia[133] to Rome, and to be with him rather than with their dearest. Again, a division of the choicest of the cavalry together with their standards, and bringing their general[134] with them, chose to share danger with him rather than success with the usurper. And all this took place before the battle on the banks of the Drave, which the earlier part of my speech described to you. For after that they began to feel perfect confidence, though before that it looked as though the usurper’s cause was getting the upper hand, when he gained some slight advantage in the affair of the Emperor’s scouts,[135] which indeed made the usurper beside himself with joy and greatly agitated those who were incapable of grasping or estimating generalship. But the Emperor was unperturbed and heroic, like a good pilot when a tempest has suddenly burst from the clouds, and next moment, the god shakes the depths and the shores. Then a terrible and dreadful panic seizes on those who are inexperienced, but the pilot begins to rejoice, and is glad, [98] because he can now hope for a perfect and windless calm. For it is said that Poseidon, when he makes the earth quake, calms the waves. And just so fortune deceives the foolish and deludes them about more important things by allowing them some small advantage, but in the wise she inspires unshaken confidence about more serious affairs even when she disconcerts them in the case of those that are less serious. This was what happened to the Lacedaemonians at Pylae,[136] but they did not despair nor fear the onset of the Mede because they had lost three hundred Spartans and their king[137] at the entrance into Greece. This often happened to the Romans, but they achieved more important successes later on . Wherefore, since the Emperor knew this and counted on it, he in no way wavered in his purpose. But seeing that my argument has, of its own accord, once reached this point and is describing the affection that the Emperor inspires in the common people, the magistrates, and the garrisons who aid him to protect the empire and repulse its enemies, are you willing that I should relate to you a signal proof of this, which happened, one may say, yesterday or the day before? A certain man[138] who had been given the command of the garrisons in Galatia — you probably know his name and character — left his son behind him as a hostage for his friendship and loyalty to the Emperor, though not at the Emperor’s request. Then he proved to be more treacherous than “lions who have no faithful covenants with man,”[139] as the poet says, and plundered the cities of their wealth and distributed it among the invading barbarians, paying it down as a sort of ransom, though he was well able to take measures to win security by the sword rather than by money. But he tried to win them over to friendliness by means of money. And finally he took from the women’s apartments a purple dress, and showed himself truly a tyrant and tragical indeed. Then the soldiers, resenting his treachery, would not tolerate the sight of him thus dressed up in women’s garb,[140] and they set on the miserable wretch and tore him limb from limb,[141] [99] nor would they endure either that the crescent moon[142] should rule over them. Now it was the affection of his garrison that gave the Emperor this guerdon, a wonderful recompense for his just and blameless rule. But you are eager to hear how he behaved after this. This too, however, you cannot fail to know, that he chose neither to be harsh towards that man’s son[143] nor suspicious and formidable to his friends, but in the highest possible degree he was merciful and kindly to them all, though many desired to bring false accusations[144] and had raised their stings to strike the innocent. But though many were perhaps really involved in the crimes of which they were suspected, he was merciful to all alike, provided they had not been convicted or proved to be partners in the usurper’s monstrous and abominable schemes. And shall we not declare that the forbearance shown by him towards the son of one who had broken the laws and trampled on loyalty and sworn covenants was truly royal and godlike; or shall we rather approve Agamemnon, who vented his rage and cruelty not only on those Trojans who had accompanied Paris and had outraged the hearth of Menelaus, but even on those who were yet unborn, and whose mothers even were perhaps not yet born when Paris plotted the rape? Anyone therefore who thinks that cruelty and harshness and inhumanity ill become a king, and that mercy and goodness and human kindness befit one who takes no pleasure in acts of vengeance, but grieves at the misfortunes of his subjects, however they may arise, whether from their own wickedness and ignorance or aimed at them from without by fate, will, it is evident, award to the Emperor the palm of victory. For bear in mind that he was kinder and more just to the boy than his own father, [100] and to the usurper’s friends he was more loyal than he who acknowledged the tie of friendship. For the usurper forsook them all, but the Emperor saved them all. And if the usurper, knowing all this about the Emperor’s character, since he had for a long time been able to observe it, was entirely confident that his son was safely at anchor and his friends securely also, then he did indeed understand him aright, but he was many times over criminal and base and accursed for desiring to be at enmity with such a man, and for hating one whom he knew to be so excellent and so surpassingly mild, and for plotting against him and trying to rob him of what it was a shame to take from him. But if, on the other hand, his son’s safety was something that he had never hoped for, and the safety of his friends and kinsfolk he had thought difficult or impossible, and he nevertheless chose to be disloyal, this is yet another proof that he was wicked and infatuated and fiercer than a wild beast, and that the Emperor was gentle and mild and magnanimous, since he took pity on the youth of the helpless child, and was merciful to those who were not proved guilty, and ignored and despised the crimes of the usurper. For he who grants what not one of his enemies expects, because the guilt that is on their conscience is so great, beyond a doubt carries off the prize for virtue; for while he tempers justice with what is nobler and more merciful, in self-restraint he surpasses those who are merely moderate in their vengeance; and in courage he excels because he thinks no enemy worthy of notice; and his wisdom he displays by suppressing enmities and by not handing them down to his sons and descendants on the pretext of strict justice, or of wishing, and very reasonably too, to blot out the seed of the wicked like the seed of a pine-tree.[145] For this is the way of those trees, and in consequence an ancient tale[146] gave rise to this simile. But the good Emperor, closely imitating God, [101] knows that even from rocks swarms of bees fly forth, and that sweet fruits grow even from the bitterest wood, pleasant figs, for instance, and from thorns the pomegranate, and there are other instances where things are produced entirely unlike the parents that begat them and brought them forth. Therefore he thinks that we ought not to destroy these before they have reached maturity, but to wait for time to pass, and to trust them to cast off the folly and madness of their fathers and become good and temperate, but that, if they should turn out to emulate their fathers’ practices, they will in good time suffer punishment, but they will not have been uselessly sacrificed because of the deeds and misfortunes of others.

Now do you think I have made my sincere panegyric sufficiently thorough and complete? Or are you anxious to hear also about the Emperor’s powers of endurance and his august bearing, and that not only is he unconquerable by the enemy, but has never yet succumbed to any disgraceful appetite, and never coveted a fine house or a costly palace or a necklace of emeralds, and then robbed their owners of them either by violence or persuasion; and that he has never coveted any free-born woman or handmaid or pursued any dishonourable passion; and that he does not even desire an immoderate surfeit of the good things that the seasons produce, or care for ice in summer, or change his residence with the time of year; but is ever at hand to aid those portions of the empire that are in trouble, enduring both frost and extreme heat? But if you should bid me bring before you plain proofs of this, I shall merely say what is familiar to all, and I shall not lack evidence, but the account would be long, a monstrous speech, nor indeed have I leisure to cultivate the Muses to such an extent, for it is now time for me to turn to my work.[147] Footnotes

  1. 56 b and 101 d.
  2. 74 d.
  3. Agamemnon.
  4. Iliad 19. 56.
  5. Republic 577 e.
  6. Iliad 6. 289.
  7. Herodotus 7. 40; horses from the plain of Nisaea drew the chariot of Xerxes when he invaded Greece.
  8. Iliad 2. 101.
  9. Maximianus.
  10. Constantius Chlorus.
  11. Gaul.
  12. Julian is in error; according to Bury, in Gibbon, Vol. 2, p. 588, Spain was governed by Maximianus.
  13. The Atlantic.
  14. The Mediterranean.
  15. Iliad 20. 221.
  16. Iliad 5. 222.
  17. Odyssey 4. 69 foll.
  18. Iliad 4. 97.
  19. Iliad 23. 870.
  20. Iliad 8. 266.
  21. Iliad 19. 385.
  22. Iliad 2. 552.
  23. Nestor: Iliad 2. 555.
  24. The building of a wall with towers, to protect the ships, is described in Iliad 7. 436 foll.
  25. By Praxiteles.
  26. Alexander.
  27. Agamemnon.
  28. Iliad 2. 761 foll.
  29. Odyssey 11. 550
  30. Magnentius.
  31. Iliad 13. 20.
  32. The Carians were proverbially worthless; cf. 320 d.
  33. Hesiod, Theogony.
  34. Xenophon, Memorabilia 2. 1. 2.
  35. Heracles.
  36. Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes 440; Euripides, Phoenissae 1182.
  37. Marcellinus.
  38. Odyssey 20. 66.
  39. The Drave.
  40. Iliad 21. 325 foll.
  41. Iliad 21. 242.
  42. Iliad 21. 269.
  43. For eight words the text is hopelessly corrupt.
  44. Iliad 21. 27.
  45. Iliad 24. 657.
  46. Nisibis.
  47. Sapor becomes the ally of Magnentius as the crab was the ally of the Hydra in the conflict with Heracles.
  48. 400 lbs. in all.
  49. 150 feet.
  50. Elephants.
  51. Iliad 12. 438; cf. 71 b
  52. The text here is corrupt.
  53. Nestor.
  54. Iliad 14. 56.
  55. Iliad 20. 379.
  56. Iliad 11. 163.
  57. Iliad 11. 202.
  58. Menexenus 247 E.
  59. Plato says εἰς ἑαυτὸν ἀνήρτηται “who depends on himself.”
  60. Timaeus 90 a.
  61. Apology 30 d.
  62. Republic 354 b.
  63. δαίμων, cf. 69 A.
  64. Ajax.
  65. Iliad 12. 438.
  66. Aquileia.
  67. “v”.
  68. Because of this favourable omen the city was called Aquileia, “the city of the Eagle.”
  69. Alexander.
  70. A hill fort in Sogdiana where the Bactrian chief Oxyartes made his last stand against Alexander, 327 b.c.
  71. cf. 77 b., Plutarch, de Fort. Rom. c. 4.
  72. Julian refers to the triumph of Constantius over Vetranio, described in Or. 1. 31 foll, and echoes Euripides, Phoenissae 516, πᾶν γὰρ ἐξαιρεῖ λόγος | ὂ καὶ σίδηρος πολεμίων δράσειεν ἄν. Themistius, Or. 2, 37 b quotes these verses to illustrate the same incident.
  73. Isocrates, Evagoras 65, Panegyricus 83.
  74. Iliad 24. 544.
  75. cf. Oration 1. 22. 28.
  76. In wrestling the third fall was final: the phrase became proverbial, cf. Plato, Phaedrus 256 b, Aeschylus, Eumenides 592, Julian, Or. 1. 40 b.
  77. Briseis, Iliad 1. 247.
  78. Iliad 9. 260.
  79. Iliad 2. 188.
  80. Vetranio; Themistius, Or. 2. 37 b, who in a panegyric on Constantius describes this oratorical triumph.
  81. Demosthenes, De Corona 262, ἧν γὰρ ἄσπονδος καὶ ὰκήρυκτος . . . πόλεμος.
  82. The victory of Archidamus over the Arcadians Xenophon, Hellenica 7. 1. 32.
  83. cf. Oration 1. 32 a.
  84. Odyssey 24. 253.
  85. Latin; of which Julian had only a slight knowledge. The fourth century Sophists were content with Greek. Themistius never learned Latin, and Libanius needed an interpreter for a Latin letter, Epistle 956.
  86. cf. 191 a.
  87. Plato, Gorgias 470 d.
  88. Plato, Laws 699 a.
  89. Plato, Laws 698 d; Herodotus 6. 31.
  90. Herodotus 1. 183.
  91. The gold work of Colophon was proverbial for its excellence. Cf. Aristophanes, Cocalus fr. 8.
  92. Iliad 9. 404.
  93. Iliad 22. 156.
  94. First used by Archilochus, fr. 74, in a description of an eclipse of the sun.
  95. Plato, Laws 728 a.
  96. Horace, Epistles 1. 1. 106.
  97. One shoulder was white as ivory.
  98. The Sparti, sprung from the dragon’s teeth sown by Cadmus.
  99. The Rhine; cf. Julian, Epistle 16.
  100. Plato, Laws 642 c.
  101. Memnon.
  102. cf. Oration 3. 126.
  103. Iliad 17, 20.
  104. Homeric phrase: Iliad 17. 588.
  105. Plato, Laws 832 a.
  106. Odyssey 20. 56.
  107. Euripides, Phoenissae 506 and fr. 252, Nauck.
  108. Of Queen Nitocris, Herodotus 1. 187.
  109. “Huckster” (κάπηλος) Herodotus 3. 89.
  110. Or Sarabos, a Plataean wineseller at Athens; Plato, Gorgias 518 b; perhaps to be identified with the Vinarius Exaerambus in Plautus, Asinaria 436; cf. Themistius 297 d.
  111. A saying of Alexander, cf. Themistius 203 c; Stobaeus, Sermones 214; Isocrates, To Nicocles 21.
  112. Isocrates, To Nicocles 15; Dio Chrysostom, Oration i. 28.
  113. Republic 416 a.
  114. Plato, Laws 808 b.
  115. Republic 416 a.
  116. Plato, Theaetetus 176 a.
  117. Plato, Laws 937 d.
  118. Constantine II.
  119. Constans.
  120. Constantine II was slain while marching against Constans.
  121. Constans.
  122. Constans was slain by the soldiers of Magnentius.
  123. Under Alexander.
  124. Darius III.
  125. Iliad 2. 356.
  126. Magnentius.
  127. cf. Oration 1. 34 a.
  128. Alcinous.
  129. Odyssey 8. 209.
  130. Dioscorides in Athenaeus 507 d; Tacitus Hist. 4. 6; cf. Milton Lycidas,

“Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise “(That last infirmity of noble mind).”

  1. A proverb, cf. Euripides, Andromache 368.
  2. Aristophanes, Frogs 84.
  3. Pannonia.
  4. Silvanus, cf. Oration 1. 60.
  5. cf. Oration 1. 35 c.
  6. Thermopylae.
  7. Leonidas.
  8. Silvanus.
  9. Iliad 22. 262.
  10. Euripides, Bacchae 822.
  11. cf. Oration 1. 48 c.
  12. His Oriental dress suggested Persian rule, symbolised by the crescent.
  13. cf. Oration 1. 49 a.
  14. cf. Oration 1. 48 c, d.
  15. A proverb; the pine when cut down does not send up shoots again.
  16. Herodotus 6. 37.
  17. His campaign in Gaul.