The Orations of Julian, III

τεκμηρίων δηλοῦν, ὡς ἔνδοξος μὲν ἡ ΜακεδονίαD καὶ μεγάλη τὸ πρόσθεν γένοιτο; ταύτης δὲ αὐτῆς τὸ κράτιστον ἡ πόλις ἐκείνη, ἣν ἀνέστησαν, πεσόντων, οἶμαι, Θετταλῶν, τῆς κατ᾿ ἐκείνων ἐπώνυμον νίκης. καὶ περὶ μὲν τούτων οὐδὲν ἔτι δέομαι μακρότερα λέγειν.

Εὐγενείας γε μὴν τί ἂν ἔχοιμεν ἔτι πράγματα ἐπιζητοῦντες φανερώτερον καὶ ἐναργὲς μᾶλλον τεκμήριον; θυγάτηρ γάρ ἐστιν ἀνδρὸς ἀξίου νομισθέντος τὴν ἐπώνυμον τοῦ ἔτους ἀρχὴν ἄρχειν,1 πάλαι μὲν ἰσχυρὰν καὶ βασιλείαν ἀτεχνῶς ὀνομαζομένην,108 μεταβαλοῦσαν δὲ διὰ τοὺς οὐκ ὀρθῶς χρωμένους τῇ δυνάμει τὸ ὄνομα· νῦν δὲ ἤδη τῆς δυνάμεως ἐπιλειπούσης, ἐπειδὴ πρὸς μοναρχίαν τὰ τῆς πολιτείας μεθέστηκε, τιμὴ καθ᾿ αὑτὴν τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων στερομένη πρὸς πᾶσαν ἰσχὺν ἀντίρροπος εἶναι δοκεῖ, τοῖς μὲν ἰδιώταις οἷον ἆθλον ἀποκειμένη καὶ γέρας ἀρετῆς ἢ πίστεως ἤ τινος εὐνοίας καὶ ὑπηρεσίας περὶ τοὺς τῶν ὅλων ἄρχοντας ἢ πράξεως λαμπρᾶς, τοῖς βασιλεῦσιB δὲ πρὸς οἷς ἔχουσιν ἀγαθοῖς οἷον ἄγαλμα καὶ κόσμος ἐπιτιθεμένη· τῶν μὲν γὰρ ἄλλων ὀνομάτων τε καὶ ἔργων, ὁπόσα τῆς παλαιᾶς ἐκείνης πολιτείας διασώζει τινὰ φαύλην καὶ ἀμυδρὰν εἰκόνα, ἢ παντάπασιν ὑπεριδόντες διὰ τὴν ἰσχὺν κατέγνωσαν, ἢ προσιέμενοί γε διὰ βίου καρποῦνται τὰς ἐπωνυμίας· μόνης δέ, οἶμαι, ταύτης οὔτε τὴν ἀρχὴν ὑπερεῖδον, χαίρουσί τε2 καὶ πρὸς ἐνιαυτὸν τυγχάνοντες· καὶ οὔτεC


Panegyric in Honour of Eusebia

necessary to show by stronger proofs that Macedonia was famous and great of old? And the most important place in Macedonia is that city which they restored, after, I think, the fall of the Thessalians, and which is called after their victory over them.1 But concerning all this I need not speak at greater length.

And of her noble birth why should I take any further trouble to seek for clearer or more manifest proof than this? I mean that she is the daughter of a man who was considered worthy to hold the office that gives its name to the year,2 an office that in the past was powerful and actually called royal, but lost that title because of those who abused their power. But now that in these days its power has waned, since the government has changed to a monarchy, the bare honour, though robbed of all the rest, is held to counterbalance all power, and for private citizens is set up as a sort of prize and a reward of virtue, or loyalty, or of some favour done to the ruler of the empire, or for some brilliant exploit, while for the emperors, it is added to the advantages they already possess as the crowning glory and adornment. For all the other titles and functions that still retain some feeble and shadowy resemblance to the ancient constitution they either altogether despised and rejected, because of their absolute power, or they attached them to themselves and enjoy the titles for life. But this office alone, I think, they from the first did not despise, and it still gratifies them when they obtain it for the year. Indeed there is no private citizen or emperor, nor has ever

  • 1Thessalonica.
  • 2The consulship.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.emperor_julian-oration_iii_panegyric_honour_empress_eusebia.1913