Flavii Vopisci Syracusii
I. Hilaribus, quibus omnia festa et fieri debere scimus et dici, impletis sollemnibus vehiculo suo me et iudiciali carpento praefectus urbis, vir inlustris ac praefata reverentia nominandus, Iunius Tiberianus accepit. 2ibi cum animus a causis atque a negotiis publicis solutus ac liber vacaret, sermonem multum a Palatio usque ad Hortos Varianos instituit et in eo 3praecipue de vita principum. cumque ad Templum Solis venissemus ab Aureliano principe consecratum, quod ipse non nihilum ex eius origine sanguinem duceret, quaesivit a me quis vitam eius in litteras rettulisset. 4cui cum ego respondissem neminem a me Latinorum, Graecorum aliquos lectitatos, dolorem
The Deified Aurelian
by Flavius Vopiscus of Syracuse
I. At the festival of the Hilaria1—when, as we know, everything that is said and done should be of a joyous nature—when the ceremonies had been completed, Junius Tiberianus,2 the prefect of the city, an illustrious man and one to be named only with a prefix of deep respect, took me up into his carriage, that is to say, his official coach. There, his mind being now at leisure, relaxed and freed from law-pleas and public business, he engaged in much conversation all the way from the Palatine Hill to the Gardens of Varius,3 his theme being chiefly the lives of the emperors. And when we had reached the Temple of the Sun,4 consecrated by the Emperor Aurelian, he asked me—for he derived his descent in some degree from him—who had written down the record of the life of that prince. When I replied that I had read none in Latin, though several in
- 1Celebrated in honour of the Magna Mater on 25 March.
- 2Junius Tiberianus was consul in 281 and 291. He was prefect of the city, according to the list of the “Chronographer of 354,” from 18 Feb., 291, to 3 Aug., 292, and again from 12 Sept., 303, to 4 Jan., 304. Since neither this group of biographies nor those ascribed to Trebellius Pollio was written as early as 292, it must be his second prefecture that is meant here. This, however, did not include the Hilaria, and one is forced to the conclusion that, unless the feast of Isis on 3 Nov., sometimes also referred to as the Hilaria, is meant, the episode described here is merely a literary device.
- 3Otherwise unknown.
- 4See c. xxxv. 3 and note.