. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I. . . . Sapori regi regum vel soli1: “Si scirem posse aliquando Romanos penitus vinci, gauderem tibi 2de victoria, quam praefers. sed quia vel fato vel virtute gens illa plurimum potest, vide ne, quod senem imperatorem cepisti et id quidem fraude, male tibi 3cedat et posteris tuis. cogita quantas gentes Romani ex hostibus suas fecerint, a quibus saepe2 victi sunt. 4audivimus certe quod Galli eos vicerint et ingentem illam civitatem incenderint; certe Romanis serviunt. quid Afri? eos non vicerunt? certe serviunt 5Romanis. de longioribus exemplis et fortasse
The Two Valerians1
By Trebellius Pollio
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I. . . . to Sapor, the King of Kings2 or, in fact, Sole King: “Did I but know for a certainty that the Romans could be wholly defeated, I should congratulate you on the victory of which you boast. But inasmuch as that nation, either through Fate or its own prowess, is all-powerful, look to it lest the fact that you have taken prisoner an aged emperor, and that indeed by guile, may turn out ill for yourself and your descendants. Consider what mighty nations the Romans have made their subjects instead of their enemies after they had often suffered defeat at their hands. We have heard, in fact, how the Gauls conquered them and burned that great city of theirs; it is a fact that the Gauls are now servants to the Romans. What of the Africans? Did they not conquer the Romans? It is a fact that they serve
- 1The biographies of the emperors Philippus Arabs (244–49), Decius (249–51), Trebonianus Gallus (251–253), Aemilianus (253), and perhaps of their sons also, presumably formed part of the series (see Aur., ii. 1), but are missing from the collection as extant. With them has disappeared a]so the greater part of the vita of Valerian (P. Licinius Valerianus), made emperor in 253 and taken prisoner by Sapor I., Sassanid king of the Persians (see note to Gord., xxvi. 3) in 259 or 260. The only extant portion of this vita is the close, containing chiefly the fabricated “documents” so greatly beloved by these authors; see Vol. I., Intro., p. xix f.
- 2The title “King of Kings” was used by Sapor on his coins and in his inscriptions (e.g., βασιλεὺσ βασιλέων in C.I.G., 4676 = O.G.I., 434).