I. Ventum est ad principem Claudium, qui nobis intuitu Constantii Caesaris cum cura in litteras digerendus est. de quo ego idcirco recusare non potui quod alios, tumultuarios videlicet imperatores ac regulos, scripseram eo libro quem de triginta tyrannis edidi, qui Cleopatranam etiam stirpem Victoriamque1 2nunc detinet; si quidem eo res processit ut mulierum 3etiam vitas scribi Gallieni comparatio effecerit. neque enim fas erat eum tacere principem, qui tantam generis sui prolem reliquit,2 qui bellum Gothicum sua virtute
The Deified Claudius
by Trebellius Pollio
I. I have now come to the Emperor Claudius,1 whose life I must set forth in writing with all due care, out of respect for Constantius Caesar. I could not, indeed, refuse to write of him, inasmuch as I had already written of others, emperors created in tumult, I mean, and princes of no importance, all in that book which I composed about the thirty pretenders and which now includes even a descendant of Cleopatra2 and a Victoria;3 for things had come to such a pass that, for the sake of comparison with Gallienus, I was forced to write even the lives of women.4 And, in fact, it would not be right to leave unmentioned an emperor who left us such a scion of his race,5 who ended the war against the Goths by his own valour,
- 1M. Aurelius Claudius Augustus (268–270). The names Flavius (c. vii. 8; Aur., xvii. 2) and Valerius (c. xviii. 3) are incorrectly given to him by the biographer for the purpose of connecting him more closely with Flavius Valerius Constantius (Chlorus), his reputed descendant; see note to c. xiii. 2. He seems to have been born in Illyricum (c. xi. 9), probably in 214, and to have served under Gallienus in the wars against Postumus (Gall., vii. 1) and against the Goths; see c. vi. 1; xviii. 1. For his accession to power and his victory over Aureolus, see c. v. 1–3; Gall., xiv. 2 f.; xv. 3; Tyr. Trig., xi. 4. The biographer omits from this hysterical panegyric all mention of his great victory in 268 over the Alamanni, near Lake Garda, recorded by Epit., 34, 2 and an inscription in which he has the cognomen Germanicus, as well as by his coins with the legend Victoria Germanica (Matt.-Syd., v. p. 232, nos. 247–250).
- 2i.e., Zenobia; see Tyr. Trig., xxx. 2.
- 3 See Tyr. Trig., xxxi. 1–4.
- 4Cf. Tyr. Trig., xxi. 1.
- 5Constantius Chlorus; see c. xiii. 2 and note.