At the gates of the Roman Empire / At the gates of Europe
The History does not repeat itself but sometimes some events occur at different times and the have some similarity. See article http://en.antiquitatem.com/cervantes-world-book-day. In these present times they appear occasionally comparisons of the fall of the Roman Empire with the present time of tensions between East and West. More specifically similarities are seen between the events of the year 378 which end with the defeat of the Romans at Adrianople, present-day Edirne in Turkey at the current borders of Greece and Bulgaria and the death of Emperor Valens in battle and the wars in Iraq and Syria, which move millions of displaced fugitives from one place to another.
I do not intend to take the comparison to the extent that some "ideologues", certainly interested, intended saying that so as the admission of the "barbarians" ended with the Roman Empire, just so the admission of many fugitives and immigrants, almost all Muslims, will end with the "Western civilization". Is this an exaggerated conclusion, in many cases xenophobic, rejecting the different. I do not will follow this path, without ignoring therefore the serious problems that a little thoughtful intervention by the West in the East, intervention, in the background selfish and imperialistic, has caused.
I will just transcribe some texts of the History of Ammianus, covering the years cited, in which the erratic and selfish policy of the Roman emperors concerning the admission of immigrants and fugitives from the war, produces effects that remind us with all clarity to some current events.
The borders of the Empire are on the Danube, the called Ister, that from the center of Europe flows to the Black Sea. On the other side they inhabit several Goths peoples and further east unknown tribes, of which unlimited cruelties and ways of life far removed from Western civilization are counted. One of these tribes is the Alans and another the Huns; all kinds of rumors about his savagery and cruelty are narrated.
Well, the Huns are allied with the Alans, no less rough and wild, and push the Goths, more civilized and Christianized even (arrians), to the border of the Danube, river of enormous flow that difficult to cross.
The Goths ask the emperor that allows them to enter the Empire and settle them in this privileged area of peace and wealth.
It would be easy to translate all of this into modern language: the Huns and their cruelty are the ISIS or DAESH and its vileness, the Goths are the immigrants or refugees fleeing from the war, the Roman Empire is the European Union, the indecisive, contradictory and selfish policy of the emperor is this of the Brussels and other European countries, some specific details, such as transport, claims control runaways and corruption in the management of aid, are so similar to current than they produce certainly astonishment.
It matters little that these events occur a little further north than the current ones, in Thrace, in a territory that is now part correspond to Turkey and part to Bulgaria. Now they occur a little further south and east, between Syria and Turkey and the nearby Greek islands like Lesbos.
I leave it to the reader's consideration the draw any conclusion, if it is to be drawn, but history should serve to avoid making the same mistakes in similar situations and to better understand some facts and their causes.
Ancient Thrace projected on the current political map. The red blue corresponds to the Danube and red point to the situation of Adrianople, in modern Turkey, point very close to the Greek and Bulgarian borders, ie at the gates of Europe; the green point Greek is the island of Lesbos
Who best tells it us is Ammianus, Greek writer who was born about 330, although he writes in Latin, in his “The Roman history”, Res Gestae (Rerum gestarum Libri XXXI), Book 31
The book begins with a paragraph that lightened of Roman fondness for omens, is certainly prescient:
31.1.1: Meanwhile Fortune's rapid wheel, which is always interchanging adversity and prosperity, armed Bellona in the company of her attendant Furies, and transferred to the Orient melancholy events, the coming of which was foreshadowed by the clear testimony of omens and portents.
31.2.1 'However, the seed and origin of all the ruin and various disasters that the wrath of Mars aroused, putting in turmoil all places with unwonted fires, we have found to be this. The people of the Huns, but little known from ancient records, dwelling beyond the Maeotic Sea near the ice-bound ocean, exceed every degree of savagery.
Ammianus, collecting the popular opinion, paints the Huns with the most terrifying features:
31.2.3 But although they have the form of men, however ugly, they are so hardy in their mode of life that they have no need of fire nor of savory food, but eat the roots of wild plants and the half-raw flesh of any kind of animal whatever, which they put between their thighs and the backs of their horses, and thus warm it a little.
31.2.5 They dress in linen cloth or in the skins of field-mice sewn together, and they wear the same clothing indoors and out. ..
He also describes them as extraordinary horsemen and hardened warriors without fear for their own life and naturally, faithless, fickle, irrational and without respect for the gods:
31.2.11 In truces they are faithless and unreliable, strongly inclined to sway to the motion of every breeze of new hope that presents itself, and sacrificing every feeling to the mad impulse of the moment. Like unreasoning beasts, they are utterly ignorant of the difference between right and wrong; they are deceitful and ambiguous in speech, never bound by any reverence for religion or for superstition. …
31.2.12 This race of untamed men, without encumbrances, aflame with an inhuman desire for plundering others' property, made their violent way amid the rapine and slaughter of the neighbouring peoples as far as the Halani, once known as the Massagetae.
He describes below the many peoples who live across the Ister, especially the Alans, who extend to eastward and "they are divided into large and populous nations" wandering from place to place with their cattle and wagons, without a fixed place to stand them.
The following paragraph can give us an idea of the fierceness of the "Alans" in war:
31.2.22 …. and there is nothing in which they take more pride than in killing any man whatever: as glorious spoils of the slain they tear off their heads, then strip off their skins 1 and hang them upon their war-horses as trappings.
Well, according to Ammianus, it occurs an alliance of the Huns with the Alans and they attack the Goths and expel them from their territory. These people cause mass movements of Goths (who already maintained relations with the Romans and even some of them had been Christianized) to the Roman frontiers:
31.3.8 … But while this well-planned work was being pushed on, the Huns swiftly fell upon him, and would have crushed him at once on their arrival had they not been so loaded down with booty that they gave up the attempt.
And now it begins the story of the terrible exodus which has many similarities with today:
Most of the Goths known as Tervingi, expelled from their lands, are driven by the Romans to Thrace with the consent of the emperor Valens after they promise to deliver rewards and military aid. The Gretungs Goths also secretly cross the Ister with their ships.
31.4.1 Therefore, under the lead of Alavivus, they took possession of the banks of the Danube, and sending envoys to Valens, with humble entreaty begged to be received, promising that they would not only lead a peaceful life but would also furnish auxiliaries, if circumstances required.
31.4.2 While this was happening in foreign parts, terrifying rumours spread abroad that the peoples of the north were stirring up new and uncommonly great commotions: that throughout the entire region which extends from the Marcomanni and the Quadi to the Pontus, a savage horde of unknown peoples, driven from their abodes by sudden violence, were roving about the river Hister in scattered [p. 403] bands with their families.
31.4.3. In the very beginning this news was viewed with contempt by our people, because wars in those districts were not ordinarily heard of by those living at a distance until they were ended or at least quieted for a time.
31.4.4 But when the belief in what had taken place gained strength, and was confirmed by the coming of the foreign envoys, who begged with prayers and protestations that an exiled race might be received on our side of the river, the affair caused more joy than fear; and experienced flatterers immoderately praised the good fortune of the prince, which unexpectedly brought him so many young recruits from the ends of the earth, that by the union of his own and foreign forces he would have an invincible army; also that instead of the levy of soldiers which was contributed annually by each province, there would accrue to the treasuries a vast amount of gold.
31.4.5. In this expectation various officials were sent with vehicles to transport the savage horde, and diligent care was taken that no future destroyer of the Roman state should be left behind, even if he were smitten with a fatal disease. Accordingly, having by the emperor's permission obtained the privilege of crossing the Danube and settling in parts of Thrace, they were ferried over for some nights and days embarked by companies in boats, on rafts, and in hollowed tree-trunks ; and because the river is by far the most dangerous of all and was then swollen by frequent rains, some who, because of the great crowd, struggled against the force of the waves and tried to swim were drowned; and they were a good many.
31.4.6 With such stormy eagerness on the part of insistent men was the ruin of the Roman world brought in. This at any rate is neither obscure nor uncertain, that the ill-omened officials who ferried the barbarian hordes often tried to reckon their number, but gave up their vain attempt; as the most distinguished of poets says:
Who wishes to know this would wish to know
How many grains of sand on Libyan plain By Zephyrus are swept. (Virg., Georg. II, 106 ff.)
31.4.7 Well then, let the old tales revive of bringing the Medic hordes to Greece; for while they describe the bridging of the Hellespont, the quest of a sea at the foot of Mount Athos by a kind of mechanical severing, * and the numbering of the armies by squadrons at Doriscus, 2 later times have unanimously regarded all this as fabulous reading.
* I.e., cutting a canal through the isthmus of the peninsula on which the mountain stands.
31.4.8 For after the countless swarms of nations were poured through the provinces, spreading over a great extent of plain and filling all regions and every mountain height, by this new evidence the trustworthiness also of old stories was confirmed. First Fritigern and Alavivus were received, and the emperor gave orders that they should be given food for their present needs and fields to cultivate.
31.4.9 During this time, when the barriers of our frontier were unlocked and the realm of savagery was spreading far and wide columns of armed men like glowing ashes from Aetna, when our difficulties and imminent dangers called for military reformers who were most distinguished for the fame of their exploits: then it was, as if at the choice of some adverse deity, that men were gathered together and given command of armies who bore stained reputations. At their head were two rivals in recklessness: one was Lupicinus, commanding general in Thrace, the other Maximus, a pernicious leader.
31.4.10 Their treacherous greed was the source of all our evils. I say nothing of other crimes which these two men, or at least others with their permission, with the worst of motives committed against the foreign new-comers, who were as yet blameless; but one melancholy and unheard-of act shall be mentioned, of which, even if they were their own judges of their own case, they could not be acquitted by any excuse.
31.4.11 When the barbarians after their crossing were harassed by lack of food, those most hateful generals devised a disgraceful traffic; they exchanged every dog that their insatiability could gather from far and wide for one slave each, and among these were carried off also sons of the chieftains.
31.4.12 During these days also Vithericus, king of the Greuthungi, accompanied by Alatheus and Saphrax, by whose will he was ruled, and also by Farnobius, coming near to the banks of the Danube, hastily sent envoys and besought the emperor that he might be received with like kindness.
31.4.13 ….. When these envoys were rejected, as the interests of the state seemed to demand, and were in doubt what course to take, ….
Tervingi, driven by hunger, insecurity and ill-treatment, and commanded by Alavivus and Frigiternus, rebel against Valents and join to Lupicinus.
31.5.1. But now the Theruingi, who had long since been permitted to cross, were still roaming about near the banks of the river, detained by a twofold obstacle, both because, through the ruinous negligence of the generals, they were not supplied with the necessaries of life, and also because they were purposely held back by an abominable kind of traffic.
31.5.2 When this became clear to them, they muttered that they were being forced to disloyalty as a remedy for the evils that threatened them, and Lupicinus, fearing that they might soon revolt, sent soldiers and compelled them to move out more quickly.
31.5.3 The Greuthungi took advantage of this favourable opportunity, and when they saw that our soldiers were busy elsewhere, and that the boats that usually went up and down the river and prevented them from crossing were inactive, they passed over the stream in badly made craft and pitched their camp at a long distance from Fritigern.
31.5.4 But he with his natural cleverness in foresight protecting himself against anything that might happen, in order to obey the emperor's commands and at the same time join with the powerful Gothic kings, advanced slowly and in leisurely marches arrived late at Marcianopolis. There another, and more atrocious, thing was done, which kindled the frightful torches that were to burn for the destruction of the state.
31.5.5. Having invited Alavivus and Fritigern to a dinner-party, Lupicinus posted soldiers against the main body of the barbarians and kept them at a distance from the walls of the town; and when they asked with continual entreaties that they might, as friendly people submissive to our rule, be allowed to enter and obtain what they needed for food, great wrangling arose between the inhabitants and those who were shut out, which finally reached a point where fighting was inevitable. Whereupon the barbarians, becoming wildly excited when they perceived that some of their kindred were being carried off by force, killed and despoiled a great troop of soldiers.
Well, Ammianus continues to describe the situation of misery and despair that causes riots and clashes.
31.5.8 When report, that spiteful nurse of rumours, spread abroad what had happened, the whole nation of the Theruingi was fired with ardour for battle, and amid many fearful scenes, portentous of extreme dangers, after the standards had been raised according to their custom and the doleful sound of the trumpets had been heard, predatory bands were already rushing about, pillaging and burning the country-houses and making whatever places they could find a confusion of awful devastation.
Ammianus tells how the Goths, who had been taken earlier, rebel, kill the inhabitants of Adrianople, join Frigitern and rush to plunder Thrace. In the looting they are joining them all who had a bad situation:
31.6.5. They approved the counsel of the king, who they knew would be an active participator in the plan, and advancing cautiously they spread over every quarter of Thrace, while their prisoners or those who surrendered to them pointed out the rich villages, especially those in which it was said that abundant supplies of food were to be found. Besides their native self-confidence, they were encouraged especially by this help, that day by day great numbers of their countrymen flocked to them, including those who had been sold some time before by the traders, as well as many other persons, whom those who were half-dead with hunger when they first crossed into the country had bartered for a drink of bad wine or bits of the poorest of bread.
31.6.7. With such guides nothing that was not [p. 425] inaccessible and out of the way remained untouched. For without distinction of age or sex all places were ablaze with slaughter and great fires, sucklings were torn from the very breasts of their mothers and slain, matrons and widows whose husbands had been killed before their eyes were carried off, boys of tender or adult age were dragged away over the dead bodies of their parents.
31.6.8. Finally many aged men, crying that they had lived long enough after losing their possessions and their beautiful women, were led into exile with their arms pinioned behind their backs, and weeping over the glowing ashes of their ancestral homes.
Ammianus tells us yet colorful the atrocities of the war and how mercilessly and indiscriminately hits people and their families:
31.8.7. Then there were to be seen and to lament acts most frightful to see and to describe: women driven along by cracking whips, and stupified with fear, still heavy with their unborn children, which before coming into the world endured many horrors; little children too 1 clinging to their mothers. Then could be heard the laments of high-born boys and maidens, whose hands were fettered incruel captivity.
31.8.8. Behind these were led last of all grown-up girls and chaste wives, weeping and with downcast faces, longing even by a death of torment to forestall the imminent violation of their modesty. Among these was a freeborn man, not long ago rich and independent, dragged along like some wild beast and railing at thee, Fortune, as merciless and blind, since thou hadst in a brief moment deprived him of his possessions, and of the sweet society of his dear ones; had driven him from his home, which he saw fallen to ashes and ruins, and sacrificed him to a bloodthirsty victor, either to be torn limb from limb or amid blows and tortures to serve as a slave.
I think that nothing detracts the story of Ammianus from the chronic and visual reports that reporters today offer us about episodes of the war in Syria.
I invite the reader to complete reading the rest of the book 31 of the History of Ammianus, where wars and battles of enormous cruelty are reported in this and other areas of borders, until the end with the account of the episode more serious and echo in antiquity:
There comes a time when he is the emperor himself, Augustus Valens, who is directly involved in the fight and precipitates the battle of Adrianople to not share the victory with his nephew Gratian, who victorious comes to aid. Valens loses the battle and dies burned refuged in a cabin. For many historians this is the evidence of the beginning of the inexorable "fall of the Empire."
We can read how tells how the death of Valens on 9 August 378:
31.13.11 To these ever irreparable losses, so costly to the Roman state, a night without the bright light of the moon put an end.
31.13.12 At the first coming of darkness the emperor, amid the common soldiers as was supposed (for no one asserted that he had seen him or been with him), fell mortally wounded by an arrow, and presently breathed his last breath; and he was never afterwards found anywhere. For since a few of the foe were active for long in the neighbourhood for the purpose of robbing the dead, no one of the fugitives or of the natives ventured to approach the spot.
31.13.14 Others say that Valens did not give up the ghost at once, but with his bodyguard and a few eunuchs was taken to a peasant's cottage near by, well fortified in its second storey; and while he was being treated by unskilful hands, he was surrounded by the enemy, who did not know who he was, but was saved from the shame of captivity.
31.13.15 For while the pursuers were trying to break open the bolted doors, they were assailed with arrows from a balcony of the house; and fearing through the inevitable delay to lose the opportunity for pillage, they piled bundles of straw and firewood about the house, set fire to them, and burned it men and all.
(An English Translation. John C. Rolfe, Ph.D., Litt.D. Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1935)
The consequences were that in the year 382, four years after the Battle of Adrianople, Theodosius signed a treaty guaranteeing the Goths to enjoy autonomy within the Empire, and yet in 395 they attacked Constantinople; between 395 and 397 they invaded Greece, Thessaly, Macedonia; between 401 and 402 they invade Italy and sack Rome in 410. In the year 456 they entered Hispania, at the western end of the Empire. In the year 475 Romulus Augustulus (Little Augustus, he was only 15 years old) was deposed by Odoacer king of the Heruli and with him just the Western Empire ends.
31.1.1: Inter haec Fortunae volucris rota, adversa prosperis semper alternans, Bellonam furiis in societatem adscitis, armabat, maestosque transtulit ad Orientem eventus, quos adventare praesagiorum fides clara monebat, et portentorum.
31.2.1 Totius autem sementem exitii et cladum originem diversarum, quas Martius furor incendio insolito 1 miscendo cuncta concivit, hanc comperimus causam. Hunorum gens monumentis veteribus leviter nota, ultra paludes Maeoticas glacialem oceanum accolens, omnem modum feritatis excedit.
31.2.3 In hominum autem figura, licet insuavi, ita victu sunt asperi, ut neque igni neque saporatis indigeant cibis, sed radicibus herbarum agrestium, et semicruda cuiusvis pecoris carne vescantur, quam inter femora sua equorumque terga subsertam, fotu calefaciunt brevi.
31.2.5 Indumentis operiuntur linteis vel ex pellibus silvestrium murum consarcinatis; nec alia illis domestica vestis est, alia forensis.
31.2.11 Per indutias infidi et inconstantes, ad omnem auram incidentis spei novae perquam mobiles, totum furori incitatissimo tribuentes. Inconsultorum animalium ritu, quid honestum inhonestumve sit, penitus ignorantes, flexiloqui et obscuri, nullius religionis vel superstitionis reverentia aliquando districti, …
31.2.12 Hoc expeditum indomitumque hominum genus, externa praedandi aviditate flagrans immani, per rapinas finitimorum grassatum et caedes, ad usque Halanos pervenit, veteres Massagetas, …
31.2.22 …nec quicquam est quod elatius iactent, quam homine quolibet occiso, proque exuviis gloriosis interfectorum, avulsis capitibus, detractas pelles pro phaleris iumentis accommodant bellatoriis.
31.3.8 … Fama tamen late serpente per Gothorum reliquas gentes, quod invisitatum antehac hominum genus, modo, nivium ut turbo montibus celsis, ex abdito sinu coortum apposita quaeque convellit et corrumpit: populi pars maior, quae Athanaricum attenuata necessariorum penuria deseruerat, quaeritabat domicilium remotum ab omni notitia barbarorum, diuque deliberans, quas eligeret sedes, cogitavit Thraciae receptaculum gemina ratione sibi conveniens, quod et caespitis est feracissimi, et amplitudine fluentorum Histri distinguitur ab arvis patentibus iam peregrini fulminibus Martis: hoc quoque idem residui velut mente cogitavere communi.
31.4.1 Itaque duce Alavivo ripas occupavere Danubii, missisque oratoribus ad Valentem, suscipi se humili prece poscebant, et quiete victuros se pollicentes, et daturos (si res flagitasset) auxilia.
31.4.2 Dum aguntur haec in externis, novos maioresque solitis casus versare gentes arctoas, rumores terribiles diffuderunt: per omne quicquid ad Pontum a Marcomannis praetenditur et Quadis, multitudinem barbaram abditarum nationum, vi subita sedibus pulsam, circa flumen Histrum, vagari cum caritatibus suis disseminantes.
31.4.3. Quae res aspernanter a nostris inter initia ipsa accepta est, hanc ob causam, quod illis tractibus non nisi peracta aut sopita audiri procul agentibus consueverant bella.
31.4.4 Verum pubescente fide gestorum, cui robur adventus gentilium addiderat legatorum, precibus et obtestatione petentium, citra flumen suscipi plebem extorrem: negotium laetitiae fuit potius quam timori, eruditis adulatoribus in maius fortunam principis extollentibus, quae ex ultimis terris tot tirocinia trahens, ei nec opinanti offerret, ut collatis in unum suis et alienigenis viribus, invictum haberet exercitum, et pro militari supplemento, quod provinciatim annuum pendebatur, thesauris accederet auri cumulus magnus.
31.4.5. Hacque spe mittuntur diversi, qui cum vehiculis plebem transferant truculentam. Et navabatur opera diligens, nequi Romanam rem eversurus relinqueretur, vel quassatus morbo letali. Proinde permissu imperatoris transeundi Danubium copiam, colendique adepti Thraciae partes, transfretabantur in dies et noctes, navibus ratibusque et cavatis arborum alveis agminatim impositi, atque per amnem longe omnium difficillimum, imbriumque crebritate tunc auctum, ob densitatem nimiam contra ictus aquarum nitentes quidam, et natare conati, hausti sunt plures.
31.4.6 Ita turbido instantium studio orbis Romani pernicies ducebatur. Illud sane neque obscurum est neque incertum, infaustos transvehendi barbaram plebem ministros, numerum eius comprehendere calculo saepe temptantes, conquievisse frustratos, ut eminentissimus memorat vates,
‘Quem qui scire velit, Libyci velit aequoris idem
Discere, quam multae zephyro truduntur 2 harenae. (Virg., Georg. II, 106 ff.)
31.4.7 Resipiscant tandem memoriae veteres, Medicas acies ductantes ad Graeciam: quae dum Hellespontiacos pontes, et discidio quodam fabrili, mare sub imo Athonis pede quaesitum exponunt et turmatim apud Doriscum exercitus recensitos, concordante omni posteritate, ut fabulosae sunt lectae.
31.4.8 Nam postquam innumerae gentium multitudines, per provincias circumfusae, pandentesque se in spatia ampla camporum, regiones omnes et cuncta opplevere montium iuga, fides quoque vetustatis recenti documento firmata est. Et primus cum Alavivo suscipitur Fritigernus, quibus et alimenta pro tempore, et subigendos agros tribui statuerat imperator.
31.4.9 Per id tempus nostri limitis reseratis obicibus, atque (ut Aetnaeas favillas armatorum agmina diffundente barbaria), cum difficiles necessitatum articuli correctores rei militaris poscerent aliquos claritudine gestarum rerum notissimos: quasi laevo quodam numine deligente, in unum quaesiti potestatibus praefuere castrensibus homines maculosi: quibus Lupicinus antistabat et Maximus, alter per Thracias comes, dux alter exitiosus, aemulae ambo temeritatis.
31.4.10 Quorum insidiatrix aviditas materia malorum omnium fuit. Nam (ut alia omittamus, quae memorati vel certe, sinentibus eisdem, alii perditis rationibus in commeantes peregrinos adhuc innoxios deliquerunt) illud dicetur, quod nec apud sui periculi iudices absolvere ulla poterat venia, triste et inauditum.
31.4.11 Cum traducti barbari victus inopia vexarentur, turpe commercium duces invisissimi cogitarunt, et quantos undique insatiabilitas colligere potuit canes, pro singulis dederunt mancipiis, inter quae et filii ducti sunt optimatum.
31.4.12 Per hos dies interea etiam Vithericus Greuthungorum rex cum Alatheo et Saphrace, quorum arbitrio regebatur, itemque Farnobio, propinquans Histri marginibus, ut simili susciperetur humanitate, obsecravit imperatorem legatis propere missis.
31.4.13 …..Quibus (ut communi rei conducere videbatur) repudiatis, et quid capesserent anxiis, …
31.5.1. At vero Theruingi, iam dudum transire permissi, prope ripas etiam tum vagabantur, duplici impedimento adstricti, quod ducum dissimulatione perniciosa, nec victui congruis sunt adiuti, et tenebantur consulto nefandis nundinandi commerciis.
31.5.2 Quo intellecto, ad perfidiam instantium malorum subsidium verti mussabant, et Lupicinus ne iam deficerent pertimescens, eos admotis militibus adigebat ocius proficisci.
31.5.3 Id tempus opportunum nancti Greuthungi, cum alibi militibus occupatis, navigia ultro citroque discurrere solita, transgressum eorum prohibentia, quiescere perspexissent, ratibus transiere male contextis, castraque a Fritigerno locavere longissime.
31.5.4 At ille genuina praevidendi sollertia, venturos muniens casus, ut et imperiis oboediret, et regibus validis iungeretur, incedens segnius, Marcianopolim tarde pervenit itineribus lentis. Ubi aliud accessit atrocius, quod arsuras in commune exitium faces furiales accendit.
31.5.5. Alavivo et Fritigerno ad convivium corrogatis, Lupicinus ab oppidi moenibus barbaram plebem, opposito milite, procul arcebat, introire ad comparanda victui necessaria, ut dicioni nostrae obnoxiam et concordem, per preces assidue postulantem, ortisque maioribus iurgiis inter habitatores et vetitos, ad usque necessitatem pugnandi est ventum. Efferatique acrius barbari, cum necessitudines hostiliter rapi sentirent, spoliarunt interfectam militum magnam manum.
31.5.8 Haec ubi fama rumorum nutrix maligna dispersit, urebatur dimicandi studio Theruingorum natio omnis, et inter metuenda multa periculorumque praevia maximorum, vexillis de more sublatis, auditisque triste sonantibus classicis, iam turmae praedatoriae concursabant, pilando villas et incendendo, vastisque cladibus quicquid inveniri poterat permiscentes.
31.6.5. Laudato regis consilio, quem cogitatorum norant fore socium efficacem, per Thraciarum latus omne dispersi caute gradiebantur, dediticiis vel captivis vices uberes ostendentibus, eos praecipue, ubi alimentorum reperiri satias dicebatur, eo maxime adiumento, praeter genuinam erecti fiduciam, quod confluebat ad eos in dies ex eadem gente multitude, dudum a mercatoribus venundati, adiectis plurimis quos primo transgressu necati inedia vino exili vel panis frustis mutavere vilissimis.
31.6.7. Nec quicquam nisi inaccessum et devium praeeuntibus eisdem mansit intactum. Sine distantia enim aetatis vel sexus, caedibus incendiorumque magnitudine cuncta flagrabant, abstractisque ab ipso uberum suctu parvulis et necatis, raptae sunt matres et viduatae maritis coniuges ante oculos caesis, et puberes adultique pueri per parentum cadavera tracti sunt.
31.6.8. Senes denique multi, ad satietatem vixisse clamantes, post amissas opes cum speciosis feminis, manibus post terga contortis, defletisque gentilium favillis aedium ducebantur extorres.
31.8.7. tunc erat spectare cum gemitu facta dictu visuque praedira, attonitas metu feminas flagris concrepantibus agitari, fetibus gravidas adhuc immaturis, antequam prodirent in lucem, impia tolerantibus multa, implicatos alios matribus parvulos, et puberum audire lamenta, puellarumque nobilium, quarum stringebat fera captivitas manus.
31.8.8. Post quae adulta virginitas, castitasque nuptarum, ore abiecto, flens ultima ducebatur, mox profanandum pudorem optans morte (licet cruciabili) praevenire. Inter quae cum beluae ritu traheretur ingenuus paulo ante dives et liber, de te, Fortuna, ut inclementi querebatur et caeca, quae eum puncto temporis brevi opibus exutum et dulcedine caritatum, domoque extorrem, quam concidisse vidit in cinerem et ruinas, aut lacerandum membratim, aut serviturum sub verberibus et tormentis crudo devovisti victori.
31.13.11 … Diremit haec numquam pensabilia damna, quae magno rebus stetere Romanis, nullo splendore lunari nox fulgens.
31.13.12 Primaque caligine tenebrarum, inter gregarios imperator, ut opinari dabatur (neque enim vidisse se quisquam vel praesto fuisse adseveravit), sagitta perniciose saucius ruit, spirituque mox consumpto decessit, nec postea repertus est usquam. Hostium enim paucis spoliandi gratia mortuos per ea loca diu versatis, nullus fugatorum vel accolarum illuc adire est ausus.
31.13.14 Alii dicunt Valentem animam non exhalasse confestim, sed cum candidatis et spadonibus paucis, prope ad agrestem casam relatum, secunda contignatione fabre munitam, dum fovetur manibus imperitis, circumsessum ab hostibus, qui esset ignorantibus, dedecore captivitatis exemptum.
31.13.15 Cum enim oppessulatas ianuas perrumpere conati qui secuti sunt, a parte pensili domus sagittis incesserentur, ne per moras inexpedibiles populandi amitterent copiam, congestis stipulae fascibus et lignorum, flammaque supposita, aedificium cum hominibus torruerunt.