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Title: History of the Wars, Books I and II (of 8) - The Persian War
Author: Procopius
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the Wars, Books I and II (of 8) - The Persian War" ***

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II (OF 8)***


PROCOPIUS

With an English Translation by H. B. Dewing

In Seven Volumes

I

HISTORY OF THE WARS, BOOKS I AND II

London
William Heinemann Ltd
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Harvard University Press

MCMLXXI

First Printed 1914



CONTENTS

  HISTORY OF THE WARS--
                                          PAGE
  INTRODUCTION                             vii

  BIBLIOGRAPHY                              xv

  BOOK I.--THE PERSIAN WAR                   1

  BOOK II.--THE PERSIAN WAR (_continued_)  259



INTRODUCTION

Procopius is known to posterity as the historian of the eventful reign
of Justinian (527-565 A.D.), and the chronicler of the great deeds of
the general Belisarius. He was born late in the fifth century in the
city of Caesarea in Palestine. As to his education and early years we
are not informed, but we know that he studied to fit himself for the
legal profession. He came as a young man to Constantinople, and seems to
have made his mark immediately. For as early as the year 527 he was
appointed legal adviser and private secretary[1] to Belisarius, then a
very young man who had been serving on the staff of the general
Justinian, and had only recently been advanced to the office of general.
Shortly after this Justinian was called by his uncle Justinus to share
the throne of the Roman Empire, and four months later Justinus died,
leaving Justinian sole emperor of the Romans. Thus the stage was set for
the scenes which are presented in the pages of Procopius. His own
activity continued till well nigh the end of Justinian's life, and he
seems to have outlived his hero, Belisarius.

During the eventful years of Belisarius' campaigning in Africa, in
Italy, and in the East, Procopius was moving about with him and was an
eye-witness of the events he describes in his writings. In 527 we find
him in Mesopotamia; in 533 he accompanied Belisarius to Africa; and in
536 he journeyed with him to Italy. He was therefore quite correct in
the assertion which he makes rather modestly in the introduction of his
history, that he was better qualified than anyone else to write the
history of that period. Besides his intimacy with Belisarius it should
be added that his position gave him the further advantage of a certain
standing at the imperial court in Constantinople, and brought him the
acquaintance of many of the leading men of his day. Thus we have the
testimony of one intimately associated with the administration, and
this, together with the importance of the events through which he lived,
makes his record exceedingly interesting as well as historically
important. One must admit that his position was not one to encourage
impartiality in his presentation of facts, and that the imperial favour
was not won by plain speaking; nevertheless we have before us a man who
could not obliterate himself enough to play the abject flatterer always,
and he gives us the reverse, too, of his brilliant picture, as we shall
see presently.

Procopius' three works give us a fairly complete account of the reign of
Justinian up till near the year 560 A.D., and he has done us the favour
of setting forth three different points of view which vary so widely
that posterity has sometimes found it difficult to reconcile them. His
greatest work, as well as his earliest, is the _History of the Wars_, in
eight books. The material is not arranged strictly according to
chronological sequence, but so that the progress of events may be traced
separately in each one of three wars. Thus the first two books are given
over to the Persian wars, the next two contain the account of the war
waged against the Vandals in Africa, the three following describe the
struggle against the Goths in Italy. These seven books were published
together first, and the eighth book was added later as a supplement to
bring the history up to about the date of 554, being a general account
of events in different parts of the empire. It is necessary to bear in
mind that the wars described separately by Procopius overlapped one
another in time, and that while the Romans were striving to hold back
the Persian aggressor they were also maintaining armies in Africa and in
Italy. In fact the Byzantine empire was making a supreme effort to
re-establish the old boundaries, and to reclaim the territories lost to
the barbarian nations. The emperor Justinian was fired by the ambition
to make the Roman Empire once more a world power, and he drained every
resource in his eagerness to make possible the fulfilment of this dream.
It was a splendid effort, but it was doomed to failure; the fallen
edifice could not be permanently restored.

The history is more general than the title would imply, and all the
important events of the time are touched upon. So while we read much of
the campaigns against the nations who were crowding back the boundaries
of the old empire, we also hear of civic affairs such as the great Nika
insurrection in Byzantium in 532; similarly a careful account is given
of the pestilence of 540, and the care shewn in describing the nature of
the disease shews plainly that the author must have had some
acquaintance with the medical science of the time.

After the seventh book of the _History of the Wars_ Procopius wrote the
_Anecdota_, or _Secret History_. Here he freed himself from all the
restraints of respect or fear, and set down without scruple everything
which he had been led to suppress or gloss over in the _History_ through
motives of policy. He attacks unmercifully the emperor and empress and
even Belisarius and his wife Antonina, and displays to us one of the
blackest pictures ever set down in writing. It is a record of wanton
crime and shameless debauchery, of intrigue and scandal both in public
and in private life. It is plain that the thing is overdone, and the
very extravagance of the calumny makes it impossible to be believed;
again and again we meet statements which, if not absolutely impossible,
are at least highly improbable. Many of the events of the _History_ are
presented in an entirely new light; we seem to hear one speaking out of
the bitterness of his heart. It should be said, at the same time, that
there are very few contradictions in statements of fact. The author has
plainly singled out the empress Theodora as the principal victim of his
venomous darts, and he gives an account of her early years which is both
shocking and disgusting, but which, happily, we are not forced to regard
as true. It goes without saying that such a work as this could not have
been published during the lifetime of the author, and it appears that it
was not given to the world until after the death of Justinian in 565.

Serious doubts have been entertained in times past as to the
authenticity of the _Anecdota_, for at first sight it seems impossible
that the man who wrote in the calm tone of the _History_ and who
indulged in the fulsome praise of the panegyric _On the Buildings_ could
have also written the bitter libels of the _Anecdota_. It has come to be
seen, however, that this feeling is not supported by any unanswerable
arguments, and it is now believed to be highly probable at least, that
the _Anecdota_ is the work of Procopius. Its bitterness may be extreme
and its calumnies exaggerated beyond all reason, but it must be regarded
as prompted by a reaction against the hollow life of the Byzantine
court.

The third work is entitled _On the Buildings_, and is plainly an attempt
to gain favour with the emperor. We can only guess as to what the
immediate occasion was for its composition. It is plain, however, that
the publication of the _History_ could not have aroused the enthusiasm
of Justinian; there was no attempt in it to praise the emperor, and one
might even read an unfavourable judgment between the lines. And it is
not at all unlikely that he was moved to envy by the praises bestowed
upon his general, Belisarius. At any rate the work _On the Buildings_ is
written in the empty style of the fawning flatterer. It is divided into
six short books and contains an account of all the public buildings of
Justinian's reign in every district of the empire. The subject was well
chosen and the material ample, and Procopius lost no opportunity of
lauding his sovereign to the skies. It is an excellent example of the
florid panegyric style which was, unfortunately, in great favour with
the literary world of his own as well as later Byzantine times. But in
spite of its faults, this work is a record of the greatest importance
for the study of the period, since it is a storehouse of information
concerning the internal administration of the empire.

The style of Procopius is in general clear and straightforward, and
shews the mind of one who endeavours to speak the truth in simple
language wherever he is not under constraint to avoid it. At the same
time he is not ignorant of the arts of rhetoric, and especially in the
speeches he is fond of introducing sounding phrases and sententious
statements. He was a great admirer of the classical writers of prose,
and their influence is everywhere apparent in his writing; in particular
he is much indebted to the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, and he
borrows from them many expressions and turns of phrase. But the Greek
which he writes is not the pure Attic, and we find many evidences of the
influence of the contemporary spoken language.

Procopius writes at times as a Christian, and at times as one imbued
with the ideas of the ancient religion of Greece. Doubtless his study of
the classical writers led him into this, perhaps unconsciously. At any
rate it seems not to have been with him a matter in which even
consistency was demanded. It was politic to espouse the religion of the
state, but still he often allows himself to speak as if he were a
contemporary of Thucydides.

The text followed is that of Haury, issued in the Teubner series,
1905-1913.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

The _editio princeps_ of Procopius was published by David Hoeschel,
Augsburg, 1607; the _Secret History_ was not included, and only
summaries of the six books of the work _On the Buildings_ were given.
The edition is not important except as being the first.

The _Secret History_ was printed for the first time separately with a
Latin translation by Alemannus, Lyon, 1623.

The first complete edition was that of Maltretus, Paris, 1661-63,
reprinted in Venice, 1729; the edition included a Latin translation of
all the works, which was taken over into the edition of Procopius in the
_Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae_ by Dindorf, Bonn, 1833-38.

Two editions of recent years are to be mentioned: Domenico Comparetti,
_La Guerra Gotica di Procopio di Cesarea_; testo Greco emendato sui
manoscritti con traduxione Italiana, Rome, 1895-98; 3 vols. Jacobus
Haury, _Procopii Caesariensis Opera Omnia_, Leipzig, 1905-13; 3 vols.
(Bibl. Teub.).

Among a number of works on Procopius or on special subjects connected
with his writings the following may be mentioned:

Felix Dahn: _Procopius von Cäsarea_, Berlin, 1865.

Julius Jung: _Geographisch-Historisches bei Procopius von Caesarea_,
Wiener Studien 5 (1883) 85-115.

W. Gundlach: _Quaestiones Procopianae_, Progr. Hanau, 1861, also
Dissert. Marburg, 1861.

J. Haury: _Procopiana_, Progr. Augsburg, 1891.

B. Pancenko: _Ueber die Geheimgeschichte des Prokop_, Viz. Vrem. 2
(1895).

J. Haury: _Zur Beurteilung des Geschichtschreibers Procopius von
Caesarea_, Munich, 1896-97.

 1971. The Teubner edition in 4 volumes by J. Haury (1905-1913) has been
re-edited by G. Wirth.


FOOTNOTE:

[1]

[Greek: xymboulos], _Proc. Bell._ I. xii. 24. He is elsewhere referred
to as [Greek: paredros] or [Greek: hypographeus].



PROCOPIUS OF CAESAREA

HISTORY OF THE WARS: BOOK I

THE PERSIAN WAR



PROCOPIUS OF CAESAREA



HISTORY OF THE WARS:

BOOK I



THE PERSIAN WAR


I

Procopius of Caesarea has written the history of the wars which
Justinian, Emperor of the Romans, waged against the barbarians of the
East and of the West, relating separately the events of each one, to the
end that the long course of time may not overwhelm deeds of singular
importance through lack of a record, and thus abandon them to oblivion
and utterly obliterate them. The memory of these events he deemed would
be a great thing and most helpful to men of the present time, and to
future generations as well, in case time should ever again place men
under a similar stress. For men who purpose to enter upon a war or are
preparing themselves for any kind of struggle may derive some benefit
from a narrative of a similar situation in history, inasmuch as this
discloses the final result attained by men of an earlier day in a
struggle of the same sort, and foreshadows, at least for those who are
most prudent in planning, what outcome present events will probably
have. Furthermore he had assurance that he was especially competent to
write the history of these events, if for no other reason, because it
fell to his lot, when appointed adviser to the general Belisarius, to be
an eye-witness of practically all the events to be described. It was his
conviction that while cleverness is appropriate to rhetoric, and
inventiveness to poetry, truth alone is appropriate to history. In
accordance with this principle he has not concealed the failures of even
his most intimate acquaintances, but has written down with complete
accuracy everything which befell those concerned, whether it happened to
be done well or ill by them.

It will be evident that no more important or mightier deeds are to be
found in history than those which have been enacted in these
wars,--provided one wishes to base his judgment on the truth. For in
them more remarkable feats have been performed than in any other wars
with which we are acquainted; unless, indeed, any reader of this
narrative should give the place of honour to antiquity, and consider
contemporary achievements unworthy to be counted remarkable. There are
those, for example, who call the soldiers of the present day "bowmen,"
while to those of the most ancient times they wish to attribute such
lofty terms as "hand-to-hand fighters," "shield-men," and other names of
that sort; and they think that the valour of those times has by no means
survived to the present,--an opinion which is at once careless and
wholly remote from actual experience of these matters. For the thought
has never occurred to them that, as regards the Homeric bowmen who had
the misfortune to be ridiculed by this term[1] derived from their art,
they were neither carried by horse nor protected by spear or shield[2].
In fact there was no protection at all for their bodies; they entered
battle on foot, and were compelled to conceal themselves, either
singling out the shield of some comrade[3], or seeking safety behind a
tombstone on a mound[4], from which position they could neither save
themselves in case of rout, nor fall upon a flying foe. Least of all
could they participate in a decisive struggle in the open, but they
always seemed to be stealing something which belonged to the men who
were engaged in the struggle. And apart from this they were so
indifferent in their practice of archery that they drew the bowstring
only to the breast[5], so that the missile sent forth was naturally
impotent and harmless to those whom it hit[6]. Such, it is evident, was
the archery of the past. But the bowmen of the present time go into
battle wearing corselets and fitted out with greaves which extend up to
the knee. From the right side hang their arrows, from the other the
sword. And there are some who have a spear also attached to them and, at
the shoulders, a sort of small shield without a grip, such as to cover
the region of the face and neck. They are expert horsemen, and are able
without difficulty to direct their bows to either side while riding at
full speed, and to shoot an opponent whether in pursuit or in flight.
They draw the bowstring along by the forehead about opposite the right
ear, thereby charging the arrow with such an impetus as to kill whoever
stands in the way, shield and corselet alike having no power to check
its force. Still there are those who take into consideration none of
these things, who reverence and worship the ancient times, and give no
credit to modern improvements. But no such consideration will prevent
the conclusion that most great and notable deeds have been performed in
these wars. And the history of them will begin at some distance back,
telling of the fortunes in war of the Romans and the Medes, their
reverses and their successes.


II

[408 A.D.] When the Roman Emperor Arcadius was at the point of death in
Byzantium, having a malechild, Theodosius, who was still unweaned, he
felt grave fears not only for him but for the government as well, not
knowing how he should provide wisely for both. For he perceived that, if
he provided a partner in government for Theodosius, he would in fact be
destroying his own son by bringing forward against him a foe clothed in
the regal power; while if he set him alone over the empire, many would
try to mount the throne, taking advantage, as they might be expected to
do, of the helplessness of the child. These men would rise against the
government, and, after destroying Theodosius, would make themselves
tyrants without difficulty, since the boy had no kinsman in Byzantium to
be his guardian. For Arcadius had no hope that the boy's uncle,
Honorius, would succour him, inasmuch as the situation in Italy was
already troublesome. And he was equally disturbed by the attitude of the
Medes, fearing lest these barbarians should trample down the youthful
emperor and do the Romans irreparable harm. When Arcadius was confronted
with this difficult situation, though he had not shewn himself sagacious
in other matters, he devised a plan which was destined to preserve
without trouble both his child and his throne, either as a result of
conversation with certain of the learned men, such as are usually found
in numbers among the advisers of a sovereign, or from some divine
inspiration which came to him. For in drawing up the writings of his
will, he designated the child as his successor to the throne, but
appointed as guardian over him Isdigerdes, the Persian King, enjoining
upon him earnestly in his will to preserve the empire for Theodosius by
all his power and foresight. So Arcadius died, having thus arranged his
private affairs as well as those of the empire. But Isdigerdes, the
Persian King, when he saw this writing which was duly delivered to him,
being even before a sovereign whose nobility of character had won for
him the greatest renown, did then display a virtue at once amazing and
remarkable. For, loyally observing the behests of Arcadius, he adopted
and continued without interruption a policy of profound peace with the
Romans, and thus preserved the empire for Theodosius. Indeed, he
straightway dispatched a letter to the Roman senate, not declining the
office of guardian of the Emperor Theodosius, and threatening war
against any who should attempt to enter into a conspiracy against him.

[441 A.D.] When Theodosius had grown to manhood and was in the prime of
life, and Isdigerdes had been taken from the world by disease,
Vararanes, the Persian King, invaded the Roman domains with a mighty
army; however he did no damage, but returned to his home without
accomplishing anything. This came about in the following way. Anatolius,
General of the East, had, as it happened, been sent by the Emperor
Theodosius as ambassador to the Persians, alone and unaccompanied; as he
approached the Median army, solitary as he was, he leapt down from his
horse, and advanced on foot toward Vararanes. And when Vararanes saw
him, he enquired from those who were near who this man could be who was
coming forward. And they replied that he was the general of the Romans.
Thereupon the king was so dumbfounded by this excessive degree of
respect that he himself wheeled his horse about and rode away, and the
whole Persian host followed him. When he had reached his own territory,
he received the envoy with great cordiality, and granted the treaty of
peace on the terms which Anatolius desired of him; one condition,
however, he added, that neither party should construct any new
fortification in his own territory in the neighbourhood of the boundary
line between the two countries. When this treaty had been executed, both
sovereigns then continued to administer the affairs of their respective
countries as seemed best to them.


III

At a later time the Persian King Perozes became involved in a war
concerning boundaries with the nation of the Ephthalitae Huns, who are
called White Huns, gathered an imposing army, and marched against them.
The Ephthalitae are of the stock of the Huns in fact as well as in name;
however they do not mingle with any of the Huns known to us, for they
occupy a land neither adjoining nor even very near to them; but their
territory lies immediately to the north of Persia; indeed their city,
called Gorgo, is located over against the Persian frontier, and is
consequently the centre of frequent contests concerning boundary lines
between the two peoples. For they are not nomads like the other Hunnic
peoples, but for a long period have been established in a goodly land.
As a result of this they have never made any incursion into the Roman
territory except in company with the Median army. They are the only ones
among the Huns who have white bodies and countenances which are not
ugly. It is also true that their manner of living is unlike that of
their kinsmen, nor do they live a savage life as they do; but they are
ruled by one king, and since they possess a lawful constitution, they
observe right and justice in their dealings both with one another and
with their neighbours, in no degree less than the Romans and the
Persians. Moreover, the wealthy citizens are in the habit of attaching
to themselves friends to the number of twenty or more, as the case may
be, and these become permanently their banquet-companions, and have a
share in all their property, enjoying some kind of a common right in
this matter. Then, when the man who has gathered such a company together
comes to die, it is the custom that all these men be borne alive into
the tomb with him.

Perozes, marching against these Ephthalitae, was accompanied by an
ambassador, Eusebius by name, who, as it happened, had been sent to his
court by the Emperor Zeno. Now the Ephthalitae made it appear to their
enemy that they had turned to flight because they were wholly terrified
by their attack, and they retired with all speed to a place which was
shut in on every side by precipitous mountains, and abundantly screened
by a close forest of wide-spreading trees. Now as one advanced between
the mountains to a great distance, a broad way appeared in the valley,
extending apparently to an indefinite distance, but at the end it had no
outlet at all, but terminated in the very midst of the circle of
mountains. So Perozes, with no thought at all of treachery, and
forgetting that he was marching in a hostile country, continued the
pursuit without the least caution. A small body of the Huns were in
flight before him, while the greater part of their force, by concealing
themselves in the rough country, got in the rear of the hostile army;
but as yet they desired not to be seen by them, in order that they might
advance well into the trap and get as far as possible in among the
mountains, and thus be no longer able to turn back. When the Medes began
to realize all this (for they now began to have a glimmering of their
peril), though they refrained from speaking of the situation themselves
through fear of Perozes, yet they earnestly entreated Eusebius to urge
upon the king, who was completely ignorant of his own plight, that he
should take counsel rather than make an untimely display of daring, and
consider well whether there was any way of safety open to them. So he
went before Perozes, but by no means revealed the calamity which was
upon them; instead he began with a fable, telling how a lion once
happened upon a goat bound down and bleating on a mound of no very great
height, and how the lion, bent upon making a feast of the goat, rushed
forward with intent to seize him, but fell into a trench exceedingly
deep, in which was a circular path, narrow and endless (for it had no
outlet anywhere), which indeed the owners of the goat had constructed
for this very purpose, and they had placed the goat above it to be a
bait for the lion. When Perozes heard this, a fear came over him lest
perchance the Medes had brought harm upon themselves by their pursuit of
the enemy. He therefore advanced no further, but, remaining where he
was, began to consider the situation. By this time the Huns were
following him without any concealment, and were guarding the entrance of
the place in order that their enemy might no longer be able to withdraw
to the rear. Then at last the Persians saw clearly in what straits they
were, and they felt that the situation was desperate; for they had no
hope that they would ever escape from the peril. Then the king of the
Ephthalitae sent some of his followers to Perozes; he upbraided him at
length for his senseless foolhardiness, by which he had wantonly
destroyed both himself and the Persian people, but he announced that
even so the Huns would grant them deliverance, if Perozes should consent
to prostrate himself before him as having proved himself master, and,
taking the oaths traditional among the Persians, should give pledges
that they would never again take the field against the nation of the
Ephthalitae. When Perozes heard this, he held a consultation with the
Magi who were present and enquired of them whether he must comply with
the terms dictated by the enemy. The Magi replied that, as to the oath,
he should settle the matter according to his own pleasure; as for the
rest, however, he should circumvent his enemy by craft. And they
reminded him that it was the custom among the Persians to prostrate
themselves before the rising sun each day; he should, therefore, watch
the time closely and meet the leader of the Ephthalitae at dawn, and
then, turning toward the rising sun, make his obeisance. In this way,
they explained, he would be able in the future to escape the ignominy of
the deed. Perozes accordingly gave the pledges concerning the peace, and
prostrated himself before his foe exactly as the Magi had suggested, and
so, with the whole Median army intact, gladly retired homeward.


IV

Not long after this, disregarding the oath he had sworn, he was eager to
avenge himself upon the Huns for the insult done him. He therefore
straightway gathered together from the whole land all the Persians and
their allies, and led them against the Ephthalitae; of all his sons he
left behind him only one, Cabades by name, who, as it happened, was just
past the age of boyhood; all the others, about thirty in number, he took
with him. The Ephthalitae, upon learning of his invasion, were aggrieved
at the deception they had suffered at the hands of their enemy, and
bitterly reproached their king as having abandoned them to the Medes.
He, with a laugh, enquired of them what in the world of theirs he had
abandoned, whether their land or their arms or any other part of their
possessions. They thereupon retorted that he had abandoned nothing,
except, forsooth, the one opportunity on which, as it turned out,
everything else depended. Now the Ephthalitae with all zeal demanded
that they should go out to meet the invaders, but the king sought to
restrain them at any rate for the moment. For he insisted that as yet
they had received no definite information as to the invasion, for the
Persians were still within their own boundaries. So, remaining where he
was, he busied himself as follows. In the plain where the Persians were
to make their irruption into the land of the Ephthalitae he marked off a
tract of very great extent and made a deep trench of sufficient width;
but in the centre he left a small portion of ground intact, enough to
serve as a way for ten horses. Over the trench he placed reeds, and upon
the reeds he scattered earth, thereby concealing the true surface. He
then directed the forces of the Huns that, when the time came to retire
inside the trench, they should draw themselves together into a narrow
column and pass rather slowly across this neck of land, taking care that
they should not fall into the ditch[7]. And he hung from the top of the
royal banner the salt over which Perozes had once sworn the oath which
he had disregarded in taking the field against the Huns. Now as long as
he heard that the enemy were in their own territory, he remained at
rest; but when he learned from his scouts that they had reached the city
of Gorgo which lies on the extreme Persian frontier, and that departing
thence they were now advancing against his army, remaining himself with
the greater part of his troops inside the trench, he sent forward a
small detachment with instructions to allow themselves to be seen at a
distance by the enemy in the plain, and, when once they had been seen,
to flee at full speed to the rear, keeping in mind his command
concerning the trench as soon as they drew near to it. They did as
directed, and, as they approached the trench, they drew themselves into
a narrow column, and all passed over and joined the rest of the army.
But the Persians, having no means of perceiving the stratagem, gave
chase at full speed across a very level plain, possessed as they were by
a spirit of fury against the enemy, and fell into the trench, every man
of them, not alone the first but also those who followed in the rear.
For since they entered into the pursuit with great fury, as I have said,
they failed to notice the catastrophe which had befallen their leaders,
but fell in on top of them with their horses and lances, so that, as was
natural, they both destroyed them, and were themselves no less involved
in ruin. Among them were Perozes and all his sons. And just as he was
about to fall into this pit, they say that he realized the danger, and
seized and threw from him the pearl which hung from his right ear,--a
gem of wonderful whiteness and greatly prized on account of its
extraordinary size--in order, no doubt, that no one might wear it after
him; for it was a thing exceedingly beautiful to look upon, such as no
king before him had possessed. This story, however, seems to me
untrustworthy, because a man who found himself in such peril would have
thought of nothing else; but I suppose that his ear was crushed in this
disaster, and the pearl disappeared somewhere or other. This pearl the
Roman Emperor then made every effort to buy from the Ephthalitae, but
was utterly unsuccessful. For the barbarians were not able to find it
although they sought it with great labour. However, they say that the
Ephthalitae found it later and sold it to Cabades.

The story of this pearl, as told by the Persians, is worth recounting,
for perhaps to some it may not seem altogether incredible. For they say
that it was lodged in its oyster in the sea which washes the Persian
coast, and that the oyster was swimming not far from the shore; both its
valves were standing open and the pearl lay between them, a wonderful
sight and notable, for no pearl in all history could be compared with it
at all, either in size or in beauty. A shark, then, of enormous size and
dreadful fierceness, fell in love with this sight and followed close
upon it, leaving it neither day nor night; even when he was compelled to
take thought for food, he would only look about for something eatable
where he was, and when he found some bit, he would snatch it up and eat
it hurriedly; then overtaking the oyster immediately, he would sate
himself again with the sight he loved. At length a fisherman, they say,
noticed what was passing, but in terror of the monster he recoiled from
the danger; however, he reported the whole matter to the king, Perozes.
Now when Perozes heard his account, they say that a great longing for
the pearl came over him, and he urged on this fisherman with many
flatteries and hopes of reward. Unable to resist the importunities of
the monarch, he is said to have addressed Perozes as follows: "My
master, precious to a man is money, more precious still is his life, but
most prized of all are his children; and being naturally constrained by
his love for them a man might perhaps dare anything. Now I intend to
make trial of the monster, and hope to make thee master of the pearl.
And if I succeed in this struggle, it is plain that henceforth I shall
be ranked among those who are counted blessed. For it is not unlikely
that thou, as King of Kings, wilt reward me with all good things; and
for me it will be sufficient, even if it so fall out that I gain no
reward, to have shewn myself a benefactor of my master. But if it must
needs be that I become the prey of this monster, thy task indeed it will
be, O King, to requite my children for their father's death. Thus even
after my death I shall still be a wage-earner among those closest to me,
and thou wilt win greater fame for thy goodness,--for in helping my
children thou wilt confer a boon upon me, who shall have no power to
thank thee for the benefit--because generosity is seen to be without
alloy only when it is displayed towards the dead." With these words he
departed. And when he came to the place where the oyster was accustomed
to swim and the shark to follow, he seated himself there upon a rock,
watching for an opportunity of catching the pearl alone without its
admirer. As soon as it came about that the shark had happened upon
something which would serve him for food, and was delaying over it, the
fisherman left upon the beach those who were following him for this
service, and made straight for the oyster with all his might; already he
had seized it and was hastening with all speed to get out of the water,
when the shark noticed him and rushed to the rescue. The fisherman saw
him coming, and, when he was about to be overtaken not far from the
beach, he hurled his booty with all his force upon the land, and was
himself soon afterwards seized and destroyed. But the men who had been
left upon the beach picked up the pearl, and, conveying it to the king,
reported all that had happened. Such, then, is the story which the
Persians relate, just as I have set it down, concerning this pearl. But
I shall return to the previous narrative.

[484 A.D.] Thus Perozes was destroyed and the whole Persian army with
him. For the few who by chance did not fall into the ditch found
themselves at the mercy of the enemy. As a result of this experience a
law was established among the Persians that, while marching in hostile
territory, they should never engage in any pursuit, even if it should
happen that the enemy had been driven back by force. Thereupon those who
had not marched with Perozes and had remained in their own land chose as
their king Cabades, the youngest son of Perozes, who was then the only
one surviving. At that time, then, the Persians became subject and
tributary to the Ephthalitae, until Cabades had established his power
most securely and no longer deemed it necessary to pay the annual
tribute to them. And the time these barbarians ruled over the Persians
was two years.


V

But as time went on Cabades became more high-handed in the
administration of the government, and introduced innovations into the
constitution, among which was a law which he promulgated providing that
Persians should have communal intercourse with their women, a measure
which by no means pleased the common people. [486 A.D.] Accordingly they
rose against him, removed him from the throne, and kept him in prison in
chains. They then chose Blases, the brother of Perozes, to be their
king, since, as has been said, no male offspring of Perozes was left,
and it is not lawful among the Persians for any man by birth a common
citizen to be set upon the throne, except in case the royal family be
totally extinct. Blases, upon receiving the royal power, gathered
together the nobles of the Persians and held a conference concerning
Cabades; for it was not the wish of the majority to put the man to
death. After the expression of many opinions on both sides there came
forward a certain man of repute among the Persians, whose name was
Gousanastades, and whose office that of "chanaranges" (which would be
the Persian term for general); his official province lay on the very
frontier of the Persian territory in a district which adjoins the land
of the Ephthalitae. Holding up his knife, the kind with which the
Persians were accustomed to trim their nails, of about the length of a
man's finger, but not one-third as wide as a finger, he said: "You see
this knife, how extremely small it is; nevertheless it is able at the
present time to accomplish a deed, which, be assured, my dear Persians,
a little later two myriads of mail-clad men could not bring to pass."
This he said hinting that, if they did not put Cabades to death, he
would straightway make trouble for the Persians. But they were
altogether unwilling to put to death a man of the royal blood, and
decided to confine him in a castle which it is their habit to call the
"Prison of Oblivion." For if anyone is cast into it, the law permits no
mention of him to be made thereafter, but death is the penalty for the
man who speaks his name; for this reason it has received this title
among the Persians. On one occasion, however, the History of the
Armenians relates that the operation of the law regarding the Prison of
Oblivion was suspended by the Persians in the following way.

There was once a truceless war, lasting two and thirty years, between
the Persians and the Armenians, when Pacurius was king of the Persians,
and of the Armenians, Arsaces, of the line of the Arsacidae. And by the
long continuance of this war it came about that both sides suffered
beyond measure, and especially the Armenians. But each nation was
possessed by such great distrust of the other that neither of them could
make overtures of peace to their opponents. In the meantime it happened
that the Persians became engaged in a war with certain other barbarians
who lived not far from the Armenians. Accordingly the Armenians, in
their eagerness to make a display to the Persians of their goodwill and
desire for peace, decided to invade the land of these barbarians, first
revealing their plan to the Persians. Then they fell upon them
unexpectedly and killed almost the whole population, old and young
alike. Thereupon Pacurius, who was overjoyed at the deed, sent certain
of his trusted friends to Arsaces, and giving him pledges of security,
invited him to his presence. And when Arsaces came to him he shewed him
every kindness, and treated him as a brother on an equal footing with
himself. Then he bound him by the most solemn oaths, and he himself
swore likewise, that in very truth the Persians and Armenians should
thenceforth be friends and allies to each other; thereafter he
straightway dismissed Arsaces to return to his own country.

Not long after this certain persons slandered Arsaces, saying that he
was purposing to undertake some seditious enterprise. Pacurius was
persuaded by these men and again summoned him, intimating that he was
anxious to confer with him on general matters. And he, without any
hesitation at all, came to the king, taking with him several of the most
warlike among the Armenians, and among them Bassicius, who was at once
his general and counsellor; for he was both brave and sagacious to a
remarkable degree. Straightway, then, Pacurius heaped reproach and abuse
upon both Arsaces and Bassicius, because, disregarding the sworn
compact, they had so speedily turned their thoughts toward secession.
They, however, denied the charge, and swore most insistently that no
such thing had been considered by them. At first, therefore, Pacurius
kept them under guard in disgrace, but after a time he enquired of the
Magi what should be done with them. Now the Magi deemed it by no means
just to condemn men who denied their guilt and had not been explicitly
found guilty, but they suggested to him an artifice by which Arsaces
himself might be compelled to become openly his own accuser. They bade
him cover the floor of the royal tent with earth, one half from the land
of Persia, and the other half from Armenia. This the king did as
directed. Then the Magi, after putting the whole tent under a spell by
means of some magic rites, bade the king take his walk there in company
with Arsaces, reproaching him meanwhile with having violated the sworn
agreement. They said, further, that they too must be present at the
conversation, for in this way there would be witnesses of all that was
said. Accordingly Pacurius straightway summoned Arsaces, and began to
walk to and fro with him in the tent in the presence of the Magi; he
enquired of the man why he had disregarded his sworn promises, and was
setting about to harass the Persians and Armenians once more with
grievous troubles. Now as long as the conversation took place on the
ground which was covered with the earth from the land of Persia, Arsaces
continued to make denial, and, pledging himself with the most fearful
oaths, insisted that he was a faithful subject of Pacurius. But when, in
the midst of his speaking, he came to the centre of the tent where they
stepped upon Armenian earth, then, compelled by some unknown power, he
suddenly changed the tone of his words to one of defiance, and from then
on ceased not to threaten Pacurius and the Persians, announcing that he
would have vengeance upon them for this insolence as soon as he should
become his own master. These words of youthful folly he continued to
utter as they walked all the way, until turning back, he came again to
the earth from the Persian land. Thereupon, as if chanting a
recantation, he was once more a suppliant, offering pitiable
explanations to Pacurius. But when he came again to the Armenian earth,
he returned to his threats. In this way he changed many times to one
side and the other, and concealed none of his secrets. Then at length
the Magi passed judgment against him as having violated the treaty and
the oaths. Pacurius flayed Bassicius, and, making a bag of his skin,
filled it with chaff and suspended it from a lofty tree. As for Arsaces,
since Pacurius could by no means bring himself to kill a man of the
royal blood, he confined him in the Prison of Oblivion.

After a time, when the Persians were marching against a barbarian
nation, they were accompanied by an Armenian who had been especially
intimate with Arsaces and had followed him when he went into the Persian
land. This man proved himself a capable warrior in this campaign, as
Pacurius observed, and was the chief cause of the Persian victory. For
this reason Pacurius begged him to make any request he wished, assuring
him that he would be refused nothing by him. The Armenian asked for
nothing else than that he might for one day pay homage to Arsaces in the
way he might desire. Now it annoyed the king exceedingly, that he should
be compelled to set aside a law so ancient; however, in order to be
wholly true to his word, he permitted that the request be granted. When
the man found himself by the king's order in the Prison of Oblivion, he
greeted Arsaces, and both men, embracing each other, joined their voices
in a sweet lament, and, bewailing the hard fate that was upon them, were
able only with difficulty to release each other from the embrace. Then,
when they had sated themselves with weeping and ceased from tears, the
Armenian bathed Arsaces, and completely adorned his person, neglecting
nothing, and, putting on him the royal robe, caused him to recline on a
bed of rushes. Then Arsaces entertained those present with a royal
banquet just as was formerly his custom. During this feast many speeches
were made over the cups which greatly pleased Arsaces, and many
incidents occurred which delighted his heart. The drinking was prolonged
until nightfall, all feeling the keenest delight in their mutual
intercourse; at length they parted from each other with great
reluctance, and separated thoroughly imbued with happiness. Then they
tell how Arsaces said that after spending the sweetest day of his life,
and enjoying the company of the man he had missed most of all, he would
no longer willingly endure the miseries of life; and with these words,
they say, he dispatched himself with a knife which, as it happened, he
had purposely stolen at the banquet, and thus departed from among men.
Such then is the story concerning this Arsaces, related in the Armenian
History just as I have told it, and it was on that occasion that the law
regarding the Prison of Oblivion was set aside. But I must return to the
point from which I have strayed.


VI

While Cabades was in the prison he was cared for by his wife, who went
in to him constantly and carried him supplies of food. Now the keeper of
the prison began to make advances to her, for she was exceedingly
beautiful to look upon. And when Cabades learned this from his wife, he
bade her give herself over to the man to treat as he wished. In this way
the keeper of the prison came to be familiar with the woman, and he
conceived for her an extraordinary love, and as a result permitted her
to go in to her husband just as she wished, and to depart from there
again without interference from anyone. Now there was a Persian notable,
Seoses by name, a devoted friend of Cabades, who was constantly in the
neighbourhood of this prison, watching his opportunity, in the hope that
he might in some way be able to effect his deliverance. And he sent word
to Cabades through his wife that he was keeping horses and men in
readiness not far from the prison, and he indicated to him a certain
spot. Then one day as night drew near Cabades persuaded his wife to give
him her own garment, and, dressing herself in his clothes, to sit
instead of him in the prison where he usually sat. In this way,
therefore, Cabades made his escape from the prison. For although the
guards who were on duty saw him, they supposed that it was the woman,
and therefore decided not to hinder or otherwise annoy him. At daybreak
they saw in the cell the woman in her husband's clothes, and were so
completely deceived as to think that Cabades was there, and this belief
prevailed during several days, until Cabades had advanced well on his
way. As to the fate which befell the woman after the stratagem had come
to light, and the manner in which they punished her, I am unable to
speak with accuracy. For the Persian accounts do not agree with each
other, and for this reason I omit the narration of them.

Cabades, in company with Seoses, completely escaped detection, and
reached the Ephthalitae Huns; there the king gave him his daughter in
marriage, and then, since Cabades was now his son-in-law, he put under
his command a very formidable army for a campaign against the Persians.
This army the Persians were quite unwilling to encounter, and they made
haste to flee in every direction. And when Cabades reached the territory
where Gousanastades exercised his authority, he stated to some of his
friends that he would appoint as chanaranges the first man of the
Persians who should on that day come into his presence and offer his
services. But even as he said this, he repented his speech, for there
came to his mind a law of the Persians which ordains that offices among
the Persians shall not be conferred upon others than those to whom each
particular honour belongs by right of birth. For he feared lest someone
should come to him first who was not a kinsman of the present
chanaranges, and that he would be compelled to set aside the law in
order to keep his word. Even as he was considering this matter, chance
brought it about that, without dishonouring the law, he could still keep
his word. For the first man who came to him happened to be
Adergoudounbades, a young man who was a relative of Gousanastades and an
especially capable warrior. He addressed Cabades as "Lord," and was the
first to do obeisance to him as king, and besought him to use him as a
slave for any service whatever. [488 A.D.] So Cabades made his way into
the royal palace without any trouble, and, taking Blases destitute of
defenders, he put out his eyes, using the method of blinding commonly
employed by the Persians against malefactors, that is, either by heating
olive oil and pouring it, while boiling fiercely, into the wide-open
eyes, or by heating in the fire an iron needle, and with this pricking
the eyeballs. Thereafter Blases was kept in confinement, having ruled
over the Persians two years. Gousanastades was put to death and
Adergoudounbades was established in his place in the office of
chanaranges, while Seoses was immediately proclaimed "adrastadaran
salanes,"--a title designating the one set in authority over all
magistrates and over the whole army. Seoses was the first and only man
who held this office in Persia; for it was conferred on no one before or
after that time. And the kingdom was strengthened by Cabades and guarded
securely; for in shrewdness and activity he was surpassed by none.


VII.

A little later Cabades was owing the king of the Ephthalitae a sum of
money which he was not able to pay him, and he therefore requested the
Roman emperor Anastasius to lend him this money. Whereupon Anastasius
conferred with some of his friends and enquired of them whether this
should be done; and they would not permit him to make the loan. For, as
they pointed out, it was inexpedient to make more secure by means of
their money the friendship between their enemies and the Ephthalitae;
indeed it was better for the Romans to disturb their relations as much
as possible. It was for this reason, and for no just cause, that Cabades
decided to make an expedition against the Romans. [502 A.D.] First he
invaded the land of the Armenians, moving with such rapidity as to
anticipate the news of his coming, and, after plundering the greater
part of it in a rapid campaign, he unexpectedly arrived at the city of
Amida, which is situated in Mesopotamia, and, although the season was
winter, he invested the town. Now the citizens of Amida had no soldiers
at hand, seeing that it was a time of peace and prosperity, and in other
respects were utterly unprepared; nevertheless they were quite unwilling
to yield to the enemy, and shewed an unexpected fortitude in holding out
against dangers and hardships.

Now there was among the Syrians a certain just man, Jacobus by name, who
had trained himself with exactitude in matters pertaining to religion.
This man had confined himself many years before in a place called
Endielon, a day's journey from Amida, in order that he might with more
security devote himself to pious contemplation. The men of this place,
assisting his purpose, had surrounded him with a kind of fencing, in
which the stakes were not continuous, but set at intervals, so that
those who approached could see and hold converse with him. And they had
constructed for him a small roof over his head, sufficient to keep off
the rain and snow. There this man had been sitting for a long time,
never yielding either to heat or cold, and sustaining his life with
certain seeds, which he was accustomed to eat, not indeed every day, but
only at long intervals. Now some of the Ephthalitae who were overrunning
the country thereabout saw this Jacobus and with great eagerness drew
their bows with intent to shoot at him. But the hands of every one of
them became motionless and utterly unable to manage the bow. When this
was noised about through the army and came to the ears of Cabades, he
desired to see the thing with his own eyes; and when he saw it, both he
and the Persians who were with him were seized with great astonishment,
and he entreated Jacobus to forgive the barbarians their crime. And he
forgave them with a word, and the men were released from their distress.
Cabades then bade the man ask for whatever he wished, supposing that he
would ask for a great sum of money, and he also added with youthful
recklessness that he would be refused nothing by him. But he requested
Cabades to grant to him all the men who during that war should come to
him as fugitives. This request Cabades granted, and gave him a written
pledge of his personal safety. And great numbers of men, as might be
expected, came flocking to him from all sides and found safety there;
for the deed became widely known. Thus, then, did these things take
place.

Cabades, in besieging Amida, brought against every part of the defences
the engines known as rams; but the townspeople constantly broke off the
heads of the rams by means of timbers thrown across them[8]. However,
Cabades did not slacken his efforts until he realized that the wall
could not be successfully assailed in this way. For, though he battered
the wall many times, he was quite unable to break down any portion of
the defence, or even to shake it; so secure had been the work of the
builders who had constructed it long before. Failing in this, Cabades
raised an artificial hill to threaten the city, considerably overtopping
the wall; but the besieged, starting from the inside of their defences,
made a tunnel extending under the hill, and from there stealthily
carried out the earth, until they hollowed out a great part of the
inside of the hill. However, the outside kept the form which it had at
first assumed, and afforded no opportunity to anyone of discovering what
was being done. Accordingly many Persians mounted it, thinking it safe,
and stationed themselves on the summit with the purpose of shooting down
upon the heads of those inside the fortifications. But with the great
mass of men crowding upon it with a rush, the hill suddenly fell in and
killed almost all of them. Cabades, then, finding no remedy for the
situation, decided to raise the siege, and he issued orders to the army
to retreat on the morrow. Then indeed the besieged, as though they had
no thought of their danger, began laughingly from the fortifications to
jeer at the barbarians. Besides this some courtesans shamelessly drew up
their clothing and displayed to Cabades, who was standing close by,
those parts of a woman's body which it is not proper that men should see
uncovered. This was plainly seen by the Magi, and they thereupon came
before the king and tried to prevent the retreat, declaring as their
interpretation of what had happened that the citizens of Amida would
shortly disclose to Cabades all their secret and hidden things. So the
Persian army remained there.

Not many days later one of the Persians saw close by one of the towers
the mouth of an old underground passage, which was insecurely concealed
with some few small stones. In the night he came there alone, and,
making trial of the entrance, got inside the circuit-wall; then at
daybreak he reported the whole matter to Cabades. The king himself on
the following night came to the spot with a few men, bringing ladders
which he had made ready. And he was favoured by a piece of good fortune;
for the defence of the very tower which happened to be nearest to the
passage had fallen by lot to those of the Christians who are most
careful in their observances, whom they call monks. These men, as chance
would have it, were keeping some annual religious festival to God on
that day. When night came on they all felt great weariness[9] on account
of the festival, and, having sated themselves with food and drink beyond
their wont, they fell into a sweet and gentle sleep, and were
consequently quite unaware of what was going on. So the Persians made
their way through the passage inside the fortifications, a few at a
time, and, mounting the tower, they found the monks still sleeping and
slew them to a man. When Cabades learned this, he brought his ladders up
to the wall close by this tower. It was already day. And those of the
townsmen who were keeping guard on the adjoining tower became aware of
the disaster, and ran thither with all speed to give assistance. Then
for a long time both sides struggled to crowd back the other, and
already the townsmen were gaining the advantage, killing many of those
who had mounted the wall, and throwing back the men on the ladders, and
they came very near to averting the danger. But Cabades drew his sword
and, terrifying the Persians constantly with it, rushed in person to the
ladders and would not let them draw back, and death was the punishment
for those who dared turn to leave. As a result of this the Persians by
their numbers gained the upper hand and overcame their antagonists in
the fight. So the city was captured by storm on the eightieth day after
the beginning of the siege. [Jan. 11, 503 A.D.] There followed a great
massacre of the townspeople, until one of the citizens--an old man and a
priest--approached Cabades as he was riding into the city, and said that
it was not a kingly act to slaughter captives. Then Cabades, still moved
with passion, replied: "But why did you decide to fight against me?" And
the old man answered quickly: "Because God willed to give Amida into thy
hand not so much because of our decision as of thy valour." Cabades was
pleased by this speech, and permitted no further slaughter, but he bade
the Persians plunder the property and make slaves of the survivors, and
he directed them to choose out for himself all the notables among them.

A short time after this he departed, leaving there to garrison the place
a thousand men under command of Glones, a Persian, and some few
unfortunates among the citizens of Amida who were destined to minister
as servants to the daily wants of the Persians; he himself with all the
remainder of the army and the captives marched away homeward. These
captives were treated by Cabades with a generosity befitting a king; for
after a short time he released all of them to return to their homes, but
he pretended that they had escaped from him by stealth[10]; and the
Roman Emperor, Anastasius, also shewed them honour worthy of their
bravery, for he remitted to the city all the annual taxes for the space
of seven years, and presented all of them as a body and each one of them
separately with many good things, so that they came fully to forget the
misfortunes which had befallen them. But this happened in later years.


VIII

At that time the Emperor Anastasius, upon learning that Amida was being
besieged, dispatched with all speed an army of sufficient strength. But
in this army there were general officers in command of every
symmory[11], while the supreme command was divided between the following
four generals: Areobindus, at that time General of the East, the
son-in-law of Olyvrius, who had been Emperor in the West not long
before; Celer, commander of the palace troops (this officer the Romans
are accustomed to call "magister"); besides these still, there were the
commanders of troops in Byzantium, Patricias, the Phrygian, and
Hypatius, the nephew of the emperor; these four, then, were the
generals. With them also was associated Justinus, who at a later time
became emperor upon the death of Anastasius, and Patriciolus with his
son Vitalianus, who raised an armed insurrection against the Emperor
Anastasius not long afterwards and made himself tyrant; also
Pharesmanes, a native of Colchis, and a man of exceptional ability as a
warrior, and the Goths Godidisklus and Bessas, who were among those
Goths who had not followed Theoderic when he went from Thrace into
Italy, both of them men of the noblest birth and experienced in matters
pertaining to warfare; many others, too, who were men of high station,
joined this army. For such an army, they say, was never assembled by the
Romans against the Persians either before or after that time. However,
all these men did not assemble in one body, nor did they form a single
army as they marched, but each commander by himself led his own division
separately against the enemy. And as manager of the finances of the army
Apion, an Aegyptian, was sent, a man of eminence among the patricians
and extremely energetic; and the emperor in a written statement declared
him partner in the royal power, in order that he might have authority to
administer the finances as he wished.

Now this army was mustered with considerable delay, and advanced with
little speed. As a result of this they did not find the barbarians in
the Roman territory; for the Persians had made their attack suddenly,
and had immediately withdrawn with all their booty to their own land.
Now no one of the generals desired for the present to undertake the
siege of the garrison left in Amida, for they learned that they had
carried in a large supply of provisions; but they made haste to invade
the land of the enemy. However they did not advance together against the
barbarians but they encamped apart from one another as they proceeded.
When Cabades learned this (for he happened to be close by), he came with
all speed to the Roman frontier and confronted them. But the Romans had
not yet learned that Cabades was moving against them with his whole
force, and they supposed that some small Persian army was there.
Accordingly the forces of Areobindus established their camp in a place
called Arzamon, at a distance of two days' journey from the city of
Constantina, and those of Patricius and Hypatius in a place called
Siphrios, which is distant not less than three hundred and fifty stades
from the city of Amida. As for Celer, he had not yet arrived.

Areobindus, when he ascertained that Cabades was coming upon them with
his whole army, abandoned his camp, and, in company with all his men,
turned to flight and retired on the run to Constantina. And the enemy,
coming up not long afterwards, captured the camp without a man in it and
all the money it contained. From there they advanced swiftly against the
other Roman army. Now the troops of Patricius and Hypatius had happened
upon eight hundred Ephthalitae who were marching in advance of the
Persian army, and they had killed practically all of them. Then, since
they had learned nothing of Cabades and the Persian army, supposing that
they had won the victory, they began to conduct themselves with less
caution. At any rate they had stacked their arms and were preparing
themselves a lunch; for already the appropriate time of day was drawing
near. Now a small stream flowed in this place and in it the Romans began
to wash the pieces of meat which they were about to eat; some, too,
distressed by the heat, were bathing themselves in the stream; and in
consequence the brook flowed on with a muddy current. But while Cabades,
learning what had befallen the Ephthalitae, was advancing against the
enemy with all speed, he noticed that the water of the brook was
disturbed, and divining what was going on, he came to the conclusion
that his opponents were unprepared, and gave orders to charge upon them
immediately at full speed. [Aug., 503 A.D.] Straightway, then, they fell
upon them feasting and unarmed. And the Romans did not withstand their
onset, nor did they once think of resistance, but they began to flee as
each one could; and some of them were captured and slain, while others
climbed the hill which rises there and threw themselves down the cliff
in panic and much confusion. And they say that not a man escaped from
there; but Patricius and Hypatius had succeeded in getting away at the
beginning of the onset. After this Cabades retired homeward with his
whole army, since hostile Huns had made an invasion into his land, and
with this people he waged a long war in the northerly portion of his
realm. In the meantime the other Roman army also came, but they did
nothing worth recounting, because, it seems, no one was made
commander-in-chief of the expedition; but all the generals were of equal
rank, and consequently they were always opposing one another's opinions
and were utterly unable to unite. However Celer, with his contingent,
crossed the Nymphius River and made some sort of an invasion into
Arzanene. This river is one very close to Martyropolis, about three
hundred stades from Amida. So Celer's troops plundered the country
thereabout and returned not long after, and the whole invasion was
completed in a short time.


IX

After this Areobindus went to Byzantium at the summons of the emperor,
while the other generals reached Amida, and, in spite of the winter
season, invested it. And although they made many attempts they were
unable to carry the fortress by storm, but they were on the point of
accomplishing their object by starvation; for all the provisions of the
besieged were exhausted. The generals, however, had ascertained nothing
of the straits in which the enemy were; but since they saw that their
own troops were distressed by the labour of the siege and the wintry
weather, and at the same time suspected that a Persian army would be
coming upon them before long, they were eager to quit the place on any
terms whatever. The Persians, on their part, not knowing what would
become of them in such terrible straits, continued to conceal
scrupulously their lack of the necessities of life, and made it appear
that they had an abundance of all provisions, wishing to return to their
homes with the reputation of honour. So a proposal was discussed between
them, according to which the Persians were to deliver over the city to
the Romans upon receipt of one thousand pounds of gold. Both parties
then gladly executed the terms of the agreement, and the son of Glones,
upon receiving the money, delivered over Amida to the Romans. For Glones
himself had already died in the following manner.

When the Romans had not yet encamped before the city of Amida but were
not far from its vicinity, a certain countryman, who was accustomed to
enter the city secretly with fowls and loaves and many other delicacies,
which he sold to this Glones at a great price, came before the general
Patricius and promised to deliver into his hands Glones and two hundred
Persians, if he should receive from him assurance of some requital. And
the general promised that he should have everything he desired, and thus
dismissed the fellow. He then tore his garments in a dreadful manner,
and, assuming the aspect of one who had been weeping, entered the city.
And coming before Glones, and tearing his hair he said: "O Master, I
happened to be bringing in for you all the good things from my village,
when some Roman soldiers chanced upon me (for, as you know, they are
constantly wandering about the country here in small bands and doing
violence to the miserable country-folk), and they inflicted upon me
blows not to be endured, and, taking away everything, they
departed,--the robbers, whose ancient custom it is to fear the Persians
and to beat the farmers. But do you, O Master, take thought to defend
yourself and us and the Persians. For if you go hunting into the
outskirts of the city, you will find rare game. For the accursed rascals
go about by fours or fives to do their robbery." Thus he spoke. And
Glones was persuaded, and enquired of the fellow about how many Persians
he thought would be sufficient for him to carry out the enterprise. He
said that about fifty would do, for they would never meet more than five
of them going together; however, in order to forestall any unexpected
circumstance, it would do no harm to take with him even one hundred men;
and if he should double this number it would be still better from every
point of view; for no harm could come to a man from the larger number.
Glones accordingly picked out two hundred horsemen and bade the fellow
lead the way for them. But he insisted that it was better for him to be
sent first to spy out the ground, and, if he should bring back word that
he had seen Romans still going about in the same districts, that then
the Persians should make their sally at the fitting moment. Accordingly,
since he seemed to Glones to speak well, he was sent forward by his own
order. Then he came before the general Patricius and explained
everything; and the general sent with him two of his own body-guard and
a thousand soldiers. These he concealed about a village called
Thilasamon, forty stades distant from Amida, among valleys and woody
places, and instructed them to remain there in this ambush; he himself
then proceeded to the city on the run, and telling Glones that the prey
was ready, he led him and the two hundred horsemen upon the ambush of
the enemy. And when they passed the spot where the Romans were lying in
wait, without being observed by Glones or any of the Persians, he roused
the Romans from their ambuscade and pointed out to them the enemy. And
when the Persians saw the men coming against them, they were astounded
at the suddenness of the thing, and were in much distress what to do.
For neither could they retire to the rear, since their opponents were
behind them, nor were they able to flee anywhere else in a hostile land.
But as well as they could under the circumstances, they arrayed
themselves for battle and tried to drive back their assailants; but
being at a great disadvantage in numbers they were vanquished, and all
of them together with Glones were destroyed. Now when the son of Glones
learned of this, being deeply grieved and at the same time furious with
anger because he had not been able to defend his father, he fired the
sanctuary of Symeon, a holy man, where Glones had his lodging. It must
be said, however, that with the exception of this one building, neither
Glones nor Cabades, nor indeed any other of the Persians, saw fit either
to tear down or to destroy in any other way any building in Amida at any
rate, or outside this city. But I shall return to the previous
narrative.

[504 A.D.] Thus the Romans by giving the money recovered Amida two years
after it had been captured by the enemy. And when they got into the
city, their own negligence and the hardships under which the Persians
had maintained themselves were discovered. For upon reckoning the amount
of grain left there and the number of barbarians who had gone out, they
found that rations for about seven days were left in the city, although
Glones and his son had been for a long time doling out provisions to the
Persians more sparingly than they were needed. For to the Romans who had
remained with them in the city, as I have stated above, they had decided
to dispense nothing at all from the time when their enemy began the
siege; and so these men at first resorted to unaccustomed foods and laid
hold on every forbidden thing, and at the last they even tasted each
other's blood. So the generals realized that they had been deceived by
the barbarians, and they reproached the soldiers for their lack of
self-control, because they had shewn themselves wanting in obedience to
them, when it was possible to capture as prisoners of war such a
multitude of Persians and the son of Glones and the city itself, while
they had in consequence attached to themselves signal disgrace by
carrying Roman money to the enemy, and had taken Amida from the Persians
by purchasing it with silver. [506 A.D.] After this the Persians, since
their war with the Huns kept dragging on, entered into a treaty with the
Romans, which was arranged by them for seven years, and was made by the
Roman Celer and the Persian Aspebedes; both armies then retired homeward
and remained at peace. Thus, then, as has been told, began the war of
the Romans and the Persians, and to this end did it come. But I shall
now turn to the narration of the events touching the Caspian Gates.


X

The Taurus mountain range of Cilicia passes first Cappadocia and Armenia
and the land of the so-called Persarmenians, then also Albania and
Iberia and all the other countries in this region, both independent and
subject to Persia. For it extends to a great distance, and as one
proceeds along this range, it always spreads out to an extraordinary
breadth and rises to an imposing height. And as one passes beyond the
boundary of Iberia there is a sort of path in a very narrow passage,
extending for a distance of fifty stades. This path terminates in a
place cut off by cliffs and, as it seems, absolutely impossible to pass
through. For from there no way out appears, except indeed a small gate
set there by nature, just as if it had been made by the hand of man,
which has been called from of old the Caspian Gates. From there on there
are plains suitable for riding and extremely well watered, and extensive
tracts used as pasture land for horses, and level besides. Here almost
all the nations of the Huns are settled, extending as far as the Maeotic
lake. Now if these Huns go through the gate which I have just mentioned
into the land of the Persians and the Romans, they come with their
horses fresh and without making any detour or encountering any
precipitous places, except in those fifty stades over which, as has been
said, they pass to the boundary of Iberia. If, however, they go by any
other passes, they reach their destination with great difficulty, and
can no longer use the same horses. For the detours which they are forced
to make are many and steep besides. When this was observed by Alexander,
the son of Philip, he constructed gates in the aforesaid place and
established a fortress there. And this was held by many men in turn as
time went on, and finally by Ambazouces, a Hun by birth, but a friend of
the Romans and the Emperor Anastasius. Now when this Ambazouces had
reached an advanced age and was near to death, he sent to Anastasius
asking that money be given him, on condition that he hand over the
fortress and the Caspian Gates to the Romans. But the Emperor Anastasius
was incapable of doing anything without careful investigation, nor was
it his custom to act thus: reasoning, therefore, that it was impossible
for him to support soldiers in a place which was destitute of all good
things, and which had nowhere in the neighbourhood a nation subject to
the Romans, he expressed deep gratitude to the man for his good-will
toward him, but by no means accepted this proposition. So Ambazouces
died of disease not long afterwards, and Cabades overpowered his sons
and took possession of the Gates.

The Emperor Anastasius, after concluding the treaty with Cabades, built
a city in a place called Daras, exceedingly strong and of real
importance, bearing the name of the emperor himself. Now this place is
distant from the city of Nisibis one hundred stades lacking two, and
from the boundary line which divides the Romans from the Persians about
twenty-eight. And the Persians, though eager to prevent the building,
were quite unable to do so, being constrained by the war with the Huns
in which they were engaged. But as soon as Cabades brought this to an
end, he sent to the Romans and accused them of having built a city hard
by the Persian frontier, though this had been forbidden in the agreement
previously made between the Medes and the Romans[12]. At that time,
therefore, the Emperor Anastasius desired, partly by threats, and partly
by emphasizing his friendship with him and by bribing him with no mean
sum of money, to deceive him and to remove the accusation. And another
city also was built by this emperor, similar to the first, in Armenia,
hard by the boundaries of Persarmenia; now in this place there had been
a village from of old, but it had taken on the dignity of a city by the
favour of the Emperor Theodosius even to the name, for it had come to be
named after him[13]. But Anastasius surrounded it with a very
substantial wall, and thus gave offence to the Persians no less than by
the other city; for both of them are strongholds menacing their country.


XI

[Aug. 1, 518 A.D.] And when a little later Anastasius died, Justinus
received the empire, forcing aside all the kinsmen of Anastasius,
although they were numerous and also very distinguished. Then indeed a
sort of anxiety came over Cabades, lest the Persians should make some
attempt to overthrow his house as soon as he should end his life; for it
was certain that he would not pass on the kingdom to any one of his sons
without opposition. For while the law called to the throne the eldest of
his children Caoses by reason of his age, he was by no means pleasing to
Cabades; and the father's judgment did violence to the law of nature and
of custom as well. And Zames, who was second in age, having had one of
his eyes struck out, was prevented by the law. For it is not lawful for
a one-eyed man or one having any other deformity to become king over the
Persians. But Chosroes, who was born to him by the sister of Aspebedes,
the father loved exceedingly; seeing, however, that all the Persians,
practically speaking, felt an extravagant admiration for the manliness
of Zames (for he was a capable warrior), and worshipped his other
virtues, he feared lest they should rise against Chosroes and do
irreparable harm to the family and to the kingdom. Therefore it seemed
best to him to arrange with the Romans to put an end both to the war and
the causes of war, on condition that Chosroes be made an adopted son of
the Emperor Justinus; for only in this way could he preserve stability
in the government. Accordingly he sent envoys to treat of this matter
and a letter to the Emperor Justinus in Byzantium. And the letter was
written in this wise: "Unjust indeed has been the treatment which we
have received at the hands of the Romans, as even you yourself know, but
I have seen fit to abandon entirely all the charges against you, being
assured of this, that the most truly victorious of all men would be
those who, with justice on their side, are still willingly overcome and
vanquished by their friends. However I ask of you a certain favour in
return for this, which would bind together in kinship and in the
good-will which would naturally spring from this relation not only
ourselves but also all our subjects, and which would be calculated to
bring us to a satiety of the blessings of peace. My proposal, then, is
this, that you should make my son Chosroes, who will be my successor to
the throne, your adopted son."

When this message was brought to the Emperor Justinus, he himself was
overjoyed and Justinian also, the nephew of the emperor, who indeed was
expected to receive from him the empire. And they were making all haste
to perform the act of setting down in Writing the adoption, as the law
of the Romans prescribes--and would have done so, had they not been
prevented by Proclus, who was at that time a counsellor to the emperor,
holding the office of quaestor, as it is called, a just man and one whom
it was manifestly impossible to bribe; for this reason he neither
readily proposed any law, nor was he willing to disturb in any way the
settled order of things; and he at that time also opposed the
proposition, speaking as follows: "To venture on novel projects is not
my custom, and indeed I dread them more than any others; for where there
is innovation security is by no means preserved. And it seems to me
that, even if one should be especially bold in this matter, he would
feel reluctance to do the thing and would tremble at the storm which
would arise from it; for I believe that nothing else is before our
consideration at the present time than the question how we may hand over
the Roman empire to the Persians on a seemly pretext. For they make no
concealment nor do they employ any blinds, but explicitly acknowledging
their purpose they claim without more ado to rob us of our empire,
seeking to veil the manifestness of their deceit under a shew of
simplicity, and hide a shameless intent behind a pretended unconcern.
And yet both of you ought to repel this attempt of the barbarians with
all your power; thou, O Emperor, in order that thou mayst not be the
last Emperor of the Romans, and thou, O General, that thou mayst not
prove a stumbling block to thyself as regards coming to the throne. For
other crafty devices which are commonly concealed by a pretentious shew
of words might perhaps need an interpreter for the many, but this
embassy openly and straight from the very first words means to make this
Chosroes, whoever he is, the adopted heir of the Roman Emperor. For I
would have you reason thus in this matter: by nature the possessions of
fathers are due to their sons and while the laws among all men are
always in conflict with each other by reason of their varying nature, in
this matter both among the Romans and among all barbarians they are in
agreement and harmony with each other, in that they declare sons to be
masters of their fathers' inheritance. Take this first resolve if you
choose: if you do you must agree to all its consequences."

Thus spoke Proclus; and the emperor and his nephew gave ear to his words
and deliberated upon what should be done. In the meantime Cabades sent
another letter also to the Emperor Justinus, asking him to send men of
repute in order to establish peace with him, and to indicate by letter
the manner in which it would be his desire to accomplish the adoption of
his son. And then, indeed, still more than before Proclus decried the
attempt of the Persians, and insisted that their concern was to make
over to themselves as securely as possible the Roman power. And he
proposed as his opinion that the peace should be concluded with them
with all possible speed, and that the noblest men should be sent by the
emperor for this purpose; and that these men must answer plainly to
Cabades, when he enquired in what manner the adoption of Chosroes should
be accomplished, that it must be of the sort befitting a barbarian, and
his meaning was that the barbarians adopt sons, not by a document, but
by arms and armour[14]. Accordingly the Emperor Justinus dismissed the
envoys, promising that men who were the noblest of the Romans would
follow them not long afterwards, and that they would arrange a
settlement regarding the peace and regarding Chosroes in the best
possible way. He also answered Cabades by letter to the same effect.
Accordingly there were sent from the Romans Hypatius, the nephew of
Anastasius, the late emperor, a patrician who also held the office of
General of the East, and Rufinus, the son of Silvanus, a man of note
among the patricians and known to Cabades through their fathers; from
the Persians came one of great power and high authority, Seoses by name,
whose title was adrastadaran salanes, and Mebodes, who held the office
of magister. These men came together at a certain spot which is on the
boundary line between the land of the Romans and the Persians: there
they met and negotiated as to how they should do away with their
differences and settle effectually the question of the peace. Chosroes
also came to the Tigris River, which is distant from the city of Nisibis
about two days journey, in order that, when the details of the peace
should seem to both parties to be as well arranged as possible, he might
betake himself in person to Byzantium. Now many words were spoken on
both sides touching the differences between them, and in particular
Seoses made mention of the land of Colchis, which is now called Lazica,
saying that it had been subject to the Persians from of old and that the
Romans had taken it from them by violence and held it on no just
grounds. When the Romans heard this, they were indignant to think that
even Lazica should be disputed by the Persians. And when they in turn
stated that the adoption of Chosroes must take place just as is proper
for a barbarian, it seemed to the Persians unbearable. The two parties
therefore separated and departed homeward, and Chosroes with nothing
accomplished was off to his father, deeply injured at what had taken
place and vowing vengeance on the Romans for their insult to him.

After this Mebodes began to slander Seoses to Cabades, saying that he
had proposed the discussion of Lazica purposely, although he had not
been instructed to do so by his master, thereby frustrating the peace,
and also that he had had words previously with Hypatius, who was by no
means well-disposed toward his own sovereign and was trying to prevent
the conclusion of peace and the adoption of Chosroes; and many other
accusations also were brought forward by the enemies of Seoses, and he
was summoned to trial. Now the whole Persian council gathered to sit in
judgment moved more by envy than by respect for the law. For they were
thoroughly hostile to his office, which was unfamiliar to them, and also
were embittered by the natural temper of the man. For while Seoses was a
man quite impossible to bribe, and a most exact respecter of justice, he
was afflicted with a degree of arrogance not to be compared with that of
any other. This quality, indeed, seems to be inbred in the Persian
officials, but in Seoses even they thought that the malady had developed
to an altogether extraordinary degree. So his accusers said all those
things which have been indicated above, and added to this that the man
was by no means willing to live in the established fashion or to uphold
the institutions of the Persians. For he both reverenced strange
divinities, and lately, when his wife had died, he had buried her,
though it was forbidden by the laws of the Persians ever to hide in the
earth the bodies of the dead. The judges therefore condemned the man to
death, while Cabades, though seeming to be deeply moved with sympathy as
a friend of Seoses, was by no means willing to rescue him. He did not,
on the other hand, make it known that he was angry with him, but, as he
said, he was not willing to undo the laws of the Persians, although he
owed the man the price of his life, since Seoses was chiefly responsible
both for the fact that he was alive and also that he was king. Thus,
then, Seoses was condemned and was removed from among men. And the
office which began with him ended also with him. For no other man has
been made adrastadaran salanes. Rufinus also slandered Hypatius to the
emperor. As a result of this the emperor reduced him from his office,
and tortured most cruelly certain of his associates only to find out
that this slander was absolutely unsound; beyond this, however, he did
Hypatius no harm.


XII

Immediately after this, Cabades, though eager to make some kind of an
invasion into the land of the Romans, was utterly unable to do so on
account of the following obstacle which happened to arise. The Iberians,
who live in Asia, are settled in the immediate neighbourhood of the
Caspian Gates, which lie to the north of them. Adjoining them on the
left towards the west is Lazica, and on the right towards the east are
the Persian peoples. This nation is Christian and they guard the rites
of this faith more closely than any other men known to us, but they have
been subjects of the Persian king, as it happens, from ancient times.
And just then Cabades was desirous of forcing them to adopt the rites of
his own religion. And he enjoined upon their king, Gourgenes, to do all
things as the Persians are accustomed to do them, and in particular not
under any circumstances to hide their dead in the earth, but to throw
them all to the birds and dogs. For this reason, then, Gourgenes wished
to go over to the Emperor Justinus, and he asked that he might receive
pledges that the Romans would never abandon the Iberians to the
Persians. And the emperor gave him these pledges with great eagerness,
and he sent Probus, the nephew of the late emperor Anastasius, a man of
patrician rank, with a great sum of money to Bosporus, that he might win
over with money an army of Huns and send them as allies to the Iberians.
This Bosporus is a city by the sea, on the left as one sails into the
so-called Euxine Sea, twenty days journey distant from the city of
Cherson, which is the limit of the Roman territory. Between these cities
everything is held by the Huns. Now in ancient times the people of
Bosporus were autonomous, but lately they had decided to become subject
to the Emperor Justinus. Probus, however, departed from there without
accomplishing his mission, and the emperor sent Peter as general with
some Huns to Lazica to fight with all their strength for Gourgenes.
Meanwhile Cabades sent a very considerable army against Gourgenes and
the Iberians, and as general a Persian bearing the title of "varizes,"
Boes by name. Then it was seen that Gourgenes was too weak to withstand
the attack of the Persians, for the help from the Romans was
insufficient, and with all the notables of the Iberians he fled to
Lazica, taking with him his wife and children and also his brothers, of
whom Peranius was the eldest. And when they had reached the boundaries
of Lazica, they remained there, and, sheltering themselves by the
roughness of the country, they took their stand against the enemy. And
the Persians followed after them but did nothing deserving even of
mention since the circumstance of the rough country was against them.

Thereafter the Iberians presented themselves at Byzantium and Petrus
came to the emperor at his summons; and from then on the emperor
demanded that he should assist the Lazi to guard their country, even
against their will, and he sent an army and Eirenaeus in command of it.
Now there are two fortresses in Lazica[15] which one comes upon
immediately upon entering their country from the boundaries of Iberia,
and the defence of them had been from of old in charge of the natives,
although they experienced great hardship in this matter; for neither
corn nor wine nor any other good thing is produced there. Nor indeed can
anything be carried in from elsewhere on account of the narrowness of
the paths, unless it be carried by men. However, the Lazi were able to
live on a certain kind of millet which grows there, since they were
accustomed to it. These garrisons the emperor removed from the place and
commanded that Roman soldiers should be stationed there to guard the
fortresses. And at first the Lazi with difficulty brought in provisions
for these soldiers, but later they gave up the service and the Romans
abandoned these forts, whereupon the Persians with no trouble took
possession of them. This then happened in Lazica.

And the Romans, under the leadership of Sittas and Belisarius, made an
inroad into Persarmenia, a territory subject to the Persians, where they
plundered a large tract of country and then withdrew with a great
multitude of Armenian captives. These two men were both youths and
wearing their first beards[16], body-guards of the general Justinian,
who later shared the empire with his uncle Justinus. But when a second
inroad had been made by the Romans into Armenia, Narses and Aratius
unexpectedly confronted them and engaged them in battle. These men not
long after this came to the Romans as deserters, and made the expedition
to Italy with Belisarius; but on the present occasion they joined battle
with the forces of Sittas and Belisarius and gained the advantage over
them. An invasion was also made near the city of Nisibis by another
Roman army under command of Libelarius of Thrace. This army retired
abruptly in flight although no one came out against thorn. And because
of this the emperor reduced Libelarius from his office and appointed
Belisarius commander of the troops in Daras. It was at that time that
Procopius, who wrote this history, was chosen as his adviser. [527 A.D.]


XIII

[Apr. 1, 527] Not long after this Justinus, who had declared his nephew
Justinian emperor with him, died, and thus the empire came to Justinian
alone. [Aug. 1, 527] This Justinian commanded Belisarius to build a
fortress in a place called Mindouos, which is over against the very
boundary of Persia, on the left as one goes to Nisibis. He accordingly
with great haste began to carry out the decision of the emperor, and the
fort was already rising to a considerable height by reason of the great
number of artisans. But the Persians forbade them to build any further,
threatening that, not with words alone but also with deeds, they would
at no distant time obstruct the work. When the emperor heard this,
inasmuch as Belisarius was not able to beat off the Persians from the
place with the army he had, he ordered another army to go thither, and
also Coutzes and Bouzes, who at that time commanded the soldiers in
Libanus[17]. These two were brothers from Thrace, both young and
inclined to be rash in engaging with the enemy. So both armies were
gathered together and came in full force to the scene of the building
operations, the Persians in order to hinder the work with all their
power, and the Romans to defend the labourers. And a fierce battle took
place in which the Romans were defeated, and there was a great slaughter
of them, while some also were made captive by the enemy. Among these was
Coutzes himself. All these captives the Persians led away to their own
country, and, putting them in chains, confined them permanently in a
cave; as for the fort, since no one defended it any longer, they razed
what had been built to the ground.

After this the Emperor Justinian appointed Belisarius General of the
East and bade him make an expedition against the Persians. And he
collected a very formidable army and came to Daras. Hermogenes also came
to him from the emperor to assist in setting the army in order, holding
the office of magister; this man was formerly counsellor to Vitalianus
at the time when he was at war with the Emperor Anastasius. The emperor
also sent Rufinus as ambassador, commanding him to remain in Hierapolis
on the Euphrates River until he himself should give the word. For
already much was being said on both sides concerning peace. Suddenly,
however, someone reported to Belisarius and Hermogenes that the Persians
were expected to invade the land of the Romans, being eager to capture
the city of Daras. And when they heard this, they prepared for the
battle as follows. [July, 530] Not far from the gate which lies opposite
the city of Nisibis, about a stone's throw away, they dug a deep trench
with many passages across it. Now this trench was not dug in a straight
line, but in the following manner. In the middle there was a rather
short portion straight, and at either end of this there were dug two
cross trenches at right angles to the first; and starting from the
extremities of the two cross trenches, they continued two straight
trenches in the original direction to a very great distance. Not long
afterwards the Persians came with a great army, and all of them made
camp in a place called Ammodios, at a distance of twenty stades from the
city of Daras. Among the leaders of this army were Pityaxes and the
one-eyed Baresmanas. But one general held command over them all, a
Persian, whose title was "mirranes" (for thus the Persians designate
this office), Perozes by name. This Perozes immediately sent to
Belisarius bidding him make ready the bath: for he wished to bathe there
on the following day. Accordingly the Romans made the most vigorous
preparations for the encounter, with the expectation that they would
fight on the succeeding day.

At sunrise, seeing the enemy advancing against them, they arrayed
themselves as follows[18]. The extremity of the left straight trench
which joined the cross trench, as far as the hill which rises here, was
held by Bouzes with a large force of horsemen and by Pharas the Erulian
with three hundred of his nation. On the right of these, outside the
trench, at the angle formed by the cross trench and the straight section
which extended from that point, were Sunicas and Aigan, Massagetae by
birth, with six hundred horsemen, in order that, if those under Bouzes
and Pharas should be driven back, they might, by moving quickly on the
flank, and getting in the rear of the enemy, be able easily to support
the Romans at that point. On the other wing also they were arrayed in
the same manner; for the extremity of the straight trench was held by a
large force of horsemen, who were commanded by John, son of Nicetas, and
by Cyril and Marcellus; with them also were Germanus and Dorotheus;
while at the angle on the right six hundred horsemen took their stand,
commanded by Simmas and Ascan, Massagetae, in order that, as has been
said, in case the forces of John should by any chance be driven back,
they might move out from there and attack the rear of the Persians. Thus
all along the trench stood the detachments of cavalry and the infantry.
And behind these in the middle stood the forces of Belisarius and
Hermogenes. Thus the Romans arrayed themselves, amounting to
five-and-twenty thousand; but the Persian army consisted of forty
thousand horse and foot, and they all stood close together facing the
front, so as to make the front of the phalanx as deep as possible. Then
for a long time neither side began battle with the other, but the
Persians seemed to be wondering at the good order of the Romans, and
appeared at a loss what to do under the circumstances.

In the late afternoon a certain detachment of the horsemen who held the
right wing, separating themselves from the rest of the army, came
against the forces of Bouzes and Pharas. And the Romans retired a short
distance to the rear. The Persians, however, did not pursue them, but
remained there, fearing, I suppose, some move to surround them on the
part of the enemy. Then the Romans who had turned to flight suddenly
rushed upon them. And the Persians did not withstand their onset and
rode back to the phalanx, and again the forces of Bouzes and Pharas
stationed themselves in their own position. In this skirmish seven of
the Persians fell, and the Romans gained possession of their bodies;
thereafter both armies remained quietly in position. But one Persian, a
young man, riding up very close to the Roman army, began to challenge
all of them, calling for whoever wished to do battle with him. And no
one of the whole army dared face the danger, except a certain Andreas,
one of the personal attendants of Bouzes, not a soldier nor one who had
ever practised at all the business of war, but a trainer of youths in
charge of a certain wrestling school in Byzantium. Through this it came
about that he was following the army, for he cared for the person of
Bouzes in the bath; his birthplace was Byzantium. This man alone had the
courage, without being ordered by Bouzes or anyone else, to go out of
his own accord to meet the man in single combat. And he caught the
barbarian while still considering how he should deliver his attack, and
hit him with his spear on the right breast. And the Persian did not bear
the blow delivered by a man of such exceptional strength, and fell from
his horse to the earth. Then Andreas with a small knife slew him like a
sacrificial animal as he lay on his back, and a mighty shout was raised
both from the city wall and from the Roman army. But the Persians were
deeply vexed at the outcome and sent forth another horseman for the same
purpose, a manly fellow and well favoured as to bodily size, but not a
youth, for some of the hair on his head already shewed grey. This
horseman came up along the hostile army, and, brandishing vehemently the
whip with which he was accustomed to strike his horse, he summoned to
battle whoever among the Romans was willing. And when no one went out
against him, Andreas, without attracting the notice of anyone, once more
came forth, although he had been forbidden to do so by Hermogenes. So
both rushed madly upon each other with their spears, and the weapons,
driven against their corselets, were turned aside with mighty force, and
the horses, striking together their heads, fell themselves and threw off
their riders. And both the two men, falling very close to each other,
made great haste to rise to their feet, but the Persian was not able to
do this easily because his size was against him, while Andreas,
anticipating him (for his practice in the wrestling school gave him this
advantage), smote him as he was rising on his knee, and as he fell again
to the ground dispatched him. Then a roar went up from the wall and from
the Roman army as great, if not greater, than before; and the Persians
broke their phalanx and withdrew to Ammodios, while the Romans, raising
the pæan, went inside the fortifications; for already it was growing
dark. Thus both armies passed that night.


XIV

On the following day ten thousand soldiers arrived who had been summoned
by the Persians from the city of Nisibis, and Belisarius and Hermogenes
wrote to the mirranes as follows: "The first blessing is peace, as is
agreed by all men who have even a small share of reason. It follows that
if any one should be a destroyer of it, he would be most responsible not
only to those near him but also to his whole nation for the troubles
which come. The best general, therefore, is that one who is able to
bring about peace from war. But you, when affairs were well settled
between the Romans and the Persians, have seen fit to bring upon us a
war without cause, although the counsels of each king are looking toward
peace, and although our envoys are already present in the neighbourhood,
who will at no distant time settle all the points of dispute in talking
over the situation together, unless some irreparable harm coming from
your invasion proves sufficient to frustrate for us this hope. But lead
away as soon as possible your army to the land of the Persians, and do
not stand in the way of the greatest blessings, lest at some time you be
held responsible by the Persians, as is probable, for the disasters
which will come to pass." When the mirranes saw this letter brought to
him, he replied as follows: "I should have been persuaded by what you
write, and should have done what you demand, were the letter not, as it
happens, from Romans, for whom the making of promises is easy, but the
fulfilment of the promises in deed most difficult and beyond hope,
especially if you sanction the agreement by any oaths. We, therefore,
despairing in view of your deception, have been compelled to come before
you in arms, and as for you, my dear Romans, consider that from now on
you will be obliged to do nothing else than make war against the
Persians. For here we shall be compelled either to die or grow old until
you accord to us justice in deed." Such was the reply which the mirranes
wrote back. And again Belisarius and his generals wrote as follows: "O
excellent mirranes, it is not fitting in all things to depend upon
boasting, nor to lay upon one's neighbours reproaches which are
justified on no grounds whatever. For we said with truth that Rufinus
had come to act as an envoy and was not far away, and you yourself will
know this at no remote time. But since you are eager for deeds of war,
we shall array ourselves against you with the help of God, who will, we
know, support us in the danger, being moved by the peaceful inclination
of the Romans, but rebuking the boastfulness of the Persians and your
decision to resist us when we invite you to peace. And we shall array
ourselves against you, having prepared for the conflict by fastening the
letters written by each of us on the top of our banners." Such was the
message of this letter. And the mirranes again answered as follows:
"Neither are we entering upon the war without our gods, and with their
help we shall come before you, and I expect that on the morrow they will
bring the Persians into Daras. But let the bath and lunch be in
readiness for me within the fortifications." When Belisarius and his
generals read this, they prepared themselves for the conflict.

On the succeeding day the mirranes called together all the Persians at
about sunrise and spoke as follows: "I am not ignorant that it is not
because of words of their leaders, but because of their individual
bravery and their shame before each other that the Persians are
accustomed to be courageous in the presence of dangers. But seeing you
considering why in the world it is that, although the Romans have not
been accustomed heretofore to go into battle without confusion and
disorder, they recently awaited the advancing Persians with a kind of
order which is by no means characteristic of them, for this reason I
have decided to speak some words of exhortation to you, so that it may
not come about that you be deceived by reason of holding an opinion
which is not true. For I would not have you think that the Romans have
suddenly become better warriors, or that they have acquired any more
valour or experience, but that they have become more cowardly than they
were previously; at any rate they fear the Persians so much that they
have not even dared to form their phalanx without a trench. And not even
with this did they begin any fighting, but when we did not join battle
with them at all, joyfully and considering that matters had gone better
for them than they had hoped, they withdrew to the wall. For this reason
too it happened that they were not thrown into confusion, for they had
not yet come into the dangers of battle. But if the fighting comes to
close quarters, fear will seize upon them, and this, together with their
inexperience, will throw them, in all probability, into their customary
disorder. Such, therefore, is the case with regard to the enemy; but do
you, O men of Persia, call to mind the judgment of the King of Kings.
For if you do not play the part of brave men in the present engagement,
in a manner worthy of the valour of the Persians, an inglorious
punishment will fall upon you." With this exhortation the mirranes began
to lead his army against the enemy. Likewise Belisarius and Hermogenes
gathered all the Romans before the fortifications, and encouraged them
with the following words: "You know assuredly that the Persians are not
altogether invincible, nor too strong to be killed, having taken their
measure in the previous battle; and that, although superior to them in
bravery and in strength of body, you were defeated only by reason of
being rather heedless of your officers, no one can deny. This thing you
now have the opportunity to set right with no trouble. For while the
adversities of fortune are by no means such as to be set right by an
effort, reason may easily become for a man a physician for the ills
caused by himself. If therefore you are willing to give heed to the
orders given, you will straightway win for yourselves the superiority in
battle. For the Persians come against us basing their confidence on
nothing else than our disorder. But this time also they will be
disappointed in this hope, and will depart just as in the previous
encounter. And as for the great numbers of the enemy, by which more than
anything else they inspire fear, it is right for you to despise them.
For their whole infantry is nothing more than a crowd of pitiable
peasants who come into battle for no other purpose than to dig through
walls and to despoil the slain and in general to serve the soldiers. For
this reason they have no weapons at all with which they might trouble
their opponents, and they only hold before themselves those enormous
shields in order that they may not possibly be hit by the enemy.
Therefore if you shew yourselves brave men in this struggle, you will
not only conquer the Persians for the present, but you will also punish
them for their folly, so that they will never again make an expedition
into the Roman territory."

When Belisarius and Hermogenes had finished this exhortation, since they
saw the Persians advancing against them, they hastily drew up the
soldiers in the same manner as before. And the barbarians, coming up
before them, took their stand facing the Romans. But the mirranes did
not array all the Persians against the enemy, but only one half of them,
while he allowed the others to remain behind. These were to take the
places of the men who were fighting and to fall upon their opponents
with their vigour intact, so that all might fight in constant rotation.
But the detachment of the so-called Immortals alone he ordered to remain
at rest until he himself should give the signal. And he took his own
station at the middle of the front, putting Pityaxes in command on the
right wing, and Baresmanas on the left. In this manner, then, both
armies were drawn up. Then Pharas came before Belisarius and Hermogenes,
and said: "It does not seem to me that I shall do the enemy any great
harm if I remain here with the Eruli; but if we conceal ourselves on
this slope, and then, when the Persians have begun the fight, if we
climb up by this hill and suddenly come upon their rear, shooting from
behind them, we shall in all probability do them the greatest harm."
Thus he spoke, and, since it pleased Belisarius and his staff, he
carried out this plan.

But up to midday neither side began battle. As soon, however, as the
noon hour was passed, the barbarians began the fight, having postponed
the engagement to this time of the day for the reason that they are
accustomed to partake of food only towards late afternoon, while the
Romans have their meal before noon; and for this reason they thought
that the Romans would never hold out so well, if they assailed them
while hungry. At first, then, both sides discharged arrows against each
other, and the missiles by their great number made, as it were, a vast
cloud; and many men were falling on both sides, but the missiles of the
barbarians flew much more thickly. For fresh men were always fighting in
turn, affording to their enemy not the slightest opportunity to observe
what was being done; but even so the Romans did not have the worst of
it. For a steady wind blew from their side against the barbarians, and
checked to a considerable degree the force of their arrows. Then, after
both sides had exhausted all their missiles, they began to use their
spears against each other, and the battle had come still more to close
quarters. On the Roman side the left wing was suffering especially. For
the Cadiseni, who with Pityaxes were fighting at this point, rushing up
suddenly in great numbers, routed their enemy, and crowding hard upon
the fugitives, were killing many of them. When this was observed by the
men under Sunicas and Aigan, they charged against them at full speed.
But first the three hundred Eruli under Pharas from the high ground got
in the rear of the enemy and made a wonderful display of valorous deeds
against all of them and especially the Cadiseni. And the Persians,
seeing the forces of Sunicas too already coming up against them from the
flank, turned to a hasty flight. And the rout became complete, for the
Romans here joined forces with each other, and there was a great
slaughter of the barbarians. On the Persian right wing not fewer than
three thousand perished in this action, while the rest escaped with
difficulty to the phalanx and were saved. And the Romans did not
continue their pursuit, but both sides took their stand facing each
other in line. Such was the course of these events.

But the mirranes stealthily sent to the left a large body of troops and
with them all the so-called Immortals. And when these were noticed by
Belisarius and Hermogenes, they ordered the six hundred men under
Sunicas and Aigan to go to the angle on the right, where the troops of
Simmas and Ascan were stationed, and behind them they placed many of
Belisarius men. So the Persians who held the left wing under the
leadership of Baresmanas, together with the Immortals, charged on the
run upon the Romans opposite them, who failed to withstand the attack
and beat a hasty retreat. Thereupon the Romans in the angle, and all who
were behind them, advanced with great ardour against the pursuers. But
inasmuch as they came upon the barbarians from the side, they cut their
army into two parts, and the greater portion of them they had on their
right, while some also who were left behind were placed on their left.
Among these happened to be the standard bearer of Baresmanas, whom
Sunicas charged and struck with his spear. And already the Persians who
were leading the pursuit perceived in what straits they were, and,
wheeling about, they stopped the pursuit and went against their
assailants, and thus became exposed to the enemy on both sides. For
those in flight before them understood what was happening and turned
back again. The Persians, on their part, with the detachment of the
Immortals, seeing the standard inclined and lowered to the earth, rushed
all together against the Romans at that point with Baresmanas. There the
Romans held their ground. And first Sunicas killed Baresmanas and threw
him from his horse to the ground. As a result of this the barbarians
were seized with great fear and thought no longer of resistance, but
fled in utter confusion. And the Romans, having made a circle as it were
around them, killed about five thousand. Thus both armies were all set
in motion, the Persians in retreat, and the Romans in pursuit. In this
part of the conflict all the foot-soldiers who were in the Persian army
threw down their shields and were caught and wantonly killed by their
enemy. However, the pursuit was not continued by the Romans over a great
distance. For Belisarius and Hermogenes refused absolutely to let them
go farther, fearing lest the Persians through some necessity should turn
about and rout them while pursuing recklessly, and it seemed to them
sufficient to preserve the victory unmarred. For on that day the
Persians had been defeated in battle by the Romans, a thing which had
not happened for a long time. Thus the two armies separated from each
other. And the Persians were no longer willing to fight a pitched battle
with the Romans. However, some sudden attacks were made on both sides,
in which the Romans were not at a disadvantage. Such, then, was the
fortune of the armies in Mesopotamia.


XV

And Cabades sent another army into the part of Armenia which is subject
to the Romans. This army was composed of Persarmenians and Sunitae,
whose land adjoins that of the Alani. There were also Huns with them, of
the stock called Sabiri, to the number of three thousand, a most warlike
race. And Mermeroes, a Persian, had been made general of the whole
force. When this army was three days' march from Theodosiopolis, they
established their camp and, remaining in the land of the Persarmenians,
made their preparations for the invasion. Now the general of Armenia
was, as it happened, Dorotheus, a man of discretion and experienced in
many wars. And Sittas held the office of general in Byzantium, and had
authority over the whole army in Armenia. These two, then, upon learning
that an army was being assembled in Persarmenia, straightway sent two
body-guards with instructions to spy out the whole force of the enemy
and report to them. And both of these men got into the barbarian camp,
and after noting everything accurately, they departed. And they were
travelling toward some place in that region, when they happened
unexpectedly upon hostile Huns. By them one of the two, Dagaris by name,
was made captive and bound, while the other succeeded in escaping and
reported everything to the generals. They then armed their whole force
and made an unexpected assault upon the camp of their enemy; and the
barbarians, panic-stricken by the unexpected attack, never thought of
resistance, but fled as best each one could. Thereupon the Romans, after
killing a large number and plundering the camp, immediately marched
back.

Not long after this Mermeroes, having collected the whole army, invaded
the Roman territory, and they came upon their enemy near the city of
Satala. There they established themselves in camp and remained at rest
in a place called Octava, which is fifty-six stades distant from the
city. Sittas therefore led out a thousand men and concealed them behind
one of the many hills which surround the plain in which the city of
Satala lies. Dorotheus with the rest of the army he ordered to stay
inside the fortifications, because they thought that they were by no
means able to withstand the enemy on level ground, since their number
was not fewer than thirty thousand, while their own forces scarcely
amounted to half that number. On the following day the barbarians came
up close to the fortifications and busily set about closing in the town.
But suddenly, seeing the forces of Sittas who by now were coming down
upon them from the high ground, and having no means of estimating their
number, since owing to the summer season a great cloud of dust hung over
them, they thought they were much more numerous than they were, and,
hurriedly abandoning their plan of closing in the town, they hastened to
mass their force into a small space. But the Romans anticipated the
movement and, separating their own force into two detachments, they set
upon them as they were retiring from the fortifications; and when this
was seen by the whole Roman army, they took courage, and with a great
rush they poured out from the fortifications and advanced against their
opponents. They thus put the Persians between their own troops, and
turned them to flight. However, since the barbarians were greatly
superior to their enemy in numbers, as has been said, they still offered
resistance, and the battle had become a fierce fight at close quarters.
And both sides kept making advances upon their opponents and retiring
quickly, for they were all cavalry. Thereupon Florentius, a Thracian,
commanding a detachment of horse, charged into the enemy's centre, and
seizing the general's standard, forced it to the ground, and started to
ride back. And though he himself was overtaken and fell there, hacked to
pieces, he proved to be the chief cause of the victory for the Romans.
For when the barbarians no longer saw the standard, they were thrown
into great confusion and terror, and retreating, got inside their camp,
and remained quiet, having lost many men in the battle; and on the
following day they all returned homeward with no one following them up,
for it seemed to the Romans a great and very noteworthy thing that such
a great multitude of barbarians in their own country had suffered those
things which have just been narrated above, and that, after making an
invasion into hostile territory, they should retire thus without
accomplishing anything and defeated by a smaller force.

At that time the Romans also acquired certain Persian strongholds in
Persarmenia, both the fortress of Bolum and the fortress called
Pharangium, which is the place where the Persians mine gold, which they
take to the king. It happened also that a short time before this they
had reduced to subjection the Tzanic nation, who had been settled from
of old in Roman territory as an autonomous people; and as to these
things, the manner in which they were accomplished will be related here
and now.

As one goes from the land of Armenia into Persarmenia the Taurus lies on
the right, extending into Iberia and the peoples there, as has been said
a little before this[19], while on the left the road which continues to
descend for a great distance is overhung by exceedingly precipitous
mountains, concealed forever by clouds and snow, from which the Phasis
River issues and flows into the land of Colchis. In this place from the
beginning lived barbarians, the Tzanic nation, subject to no one, called
Sani in early times; they made plundering expeditions among the Romans
who lived round about, maintaining a most difficult existence, and
always living upon what they stole; for their land produced for them
nothing good to eat. Wherefore also the Roman emperor sent them each
year a fixed amount of gold, with the condition that they should never
plunder the country thereabout. And the barbarians had sworn to observe
this agreement with the oaths peculiar to their nation, and then,
disregarding what they had sworn, they had been accustomed for a long
time to make unexpected attacks and to injure not only the Armenians,
but also the Romans who lived next to them as far as the sea; then,
after completing their inroad in a short space of time, they would
immediately betake themselves again to their homes. And whenever it _so_
happened that they chanced upon a Roman army, they were always defeated
in the battle, but they proved to be absolutely beyond capture owing to
the strength of their fastnesses. In this way Sittas had defeated them
in battle before this war; and then by many manifestations of kindness
in word and in deed he had been able to win them over completely. For
they changed their manner of life to one of a more civilized sort, and
enrolled themselves among the Roman troops, and from that time they have
gone forth against the enemy with the rest of the Roman army. They also
abandoned their own religion for a more righteous faith, and all of them
became Christians. Such then was the history of the Tzani.

Beyond the borders of this people there is a cañon whose walls are both
high and exceedingly steep, extending as far as the Caucasus mountains.
In it are populous towns, and grapes and other fruits grow plentifully.
And this canon for about the space of a three days' journey is tributary
to the Romans, but from there begins the territory of Persarmenia; and
here is the gold-mine which, with the permission of Cabades, was worked
by one of the natives, Symeon by name. When this Symeon saw that both
nations were actively engaged in the war, he decided to deprive Cabades
of the revenue. Therefore he gave over both himself and Pharangium to
the Romans, but refused to deliver over to either one the gold of the
mine. And as for the Romans, they did nothing, thinking it sufficient
for them that the enemy had lost the income from there, and the Persians
were not able against the will of the Romans to force the inhabitants of
the place to terms, because they were baffled by the difficult country.

At about the same time Narses and Aratius who at the beginning of this
war, as I have stated above,[20] had an encounter with Sittas and
Belisarius in the land of the Persarmenians, came together with their
mother as deserters to the Romans; and the emperor's steward, Narses,
received them (for he too happened to be a Persarmenian by birth), and
he presented them with a large sum of money. When this came to the
knowledge of Isaac, their youngest brother, he secretly opened
negotiations with the Romans, and delivered over to them the fortress of
Bolum, which lies very near the limits of Theodosiopolis. For he
directed that soldiers should be concealed somewhere in the vicinity,
and he received them into the fort by night, opening stealthily one
small gate for them. Thus he too came to Byzantium.


XVI

Thus matters stood with the Romans. But the Persians, though defeated by
Belisarius in the battle at Daras, refused even so to retire from there,
until Rufinus, coming into the presence of Cabades, spoke as follows: "O
King, I have been sent by thy brother, who reproaches thee with a just
reproach, because the Persians for no righteous cause have come in arms
into his land. But it would be more seemly for a king who is not only
mighty, but also wise as thou art, to secure a peaceful conclusion of
war, rather than, when affairs have been satisfactorily settled, to
inflict upon himself and his people unnecessary confusion. Wherefore
also I myself have come here with good hopes, in order that from now on
both peoples may enjoy the blessings which come from peace." So spoke
Rufinus. And Cabades replied as follows: "O son of Silvanus, by no means
try to reverse the causes, understanding as you do best of all men that
you Romans have been the chief cause of the whole confusion. For we have
taken the Caspian Gates to the advantage of both Persians and Romans,
after forcing out the barbarians there, since Anastasius, the Emperor of
the Romans, as you yourself doubtless know, when the opportunity was
offered him to buy them with money, was not willing to do so, in order
that he might not be compelled to squander great sums of money in behalf
of both nations by keeping an army there perpetually. And since that
time we have stationed that great army there, and have supported it up
to the present time, thereby giving you the privilege of inhabiting the
land unplundered as far as concerns the barbarians on that side, and of
holding your own possessions with complete freedom from trouble. But as
if this were not sufficient for you, you have also made a great city,
Daras, as a stronghold against the Persians, although this was
explicitly forbidden in the treaty which Anatolius arranged with the
Persians; and as a result of this it is necessary for the Persian state
to be afflicted with the difficulties and the expense of two armies, the
one in order that the Massagetae may not be able fearlessly to plunder
the land of both of us, and the other in order that we may check your
inroads. When lately we made a protest regarding these matters and
demanded that one of two things should be done by you, either that the
army sent to the Caspian Gates should be sent by both of us, or that the
city of Daras should be dismantled, you refused to understand what was
said, but saw fit to strengthen your plot against the Persians by a
greater injury, if we remember correctly the building of the fort in
Mindouos[21]. And even now the Romans may choose peace, or they may
elect war, by either doing justice to us or going against our rights.
For never will the Persians lay down their arms, until the Romans either
help them in guarding the gates, as is just and right, or dismantle the
city of Daras." With these words Cabades dismissed the ambassador,
dropping the hint that he was willing to take money from the Romans and
have done with the causes of the war. This was reported to the emperor
by Rufinus when he came to Byzantium. [531 A.D.] Hermogenes also came
thither not long afterwards, and the winter came to a close; thus ended
the fourth year of the reign of the Emperor Justinian.


XVII

At the opening of spring a Persian army under the leadership of
Azarethes invaded the Roman territory. They were fifteen thousand
strong, all horsemen. With them was Alamoundaras, son of Saccice, with a
very large body of Saracens. But this invasion was not made by the
Persians in the customary manner; for they did not invade Mesopotamia,
as formerly, but the country called Commagene of old, but now
Euphratesia, a point from which, as far as we know, the Persians never
before conducted a campaign against the Romans. But why the land was
called Mesopotamia and why the Persians refrained from making their
attack at this point is what I now propose to relate.

There is a mountain in Armenia which is not especially precipitous,
two-and-forty stades removed from Theodosiopolis and lying toward the
north from it. From this mountain issue two springs, forming immediately
two rivers, the one on the right called the Euphrates, and the other the
Tigris. One of these, the Tigris, descends, with no deviations and with
no tributaries except small ones emptying into it, straight toward the
city of Amida. And continuing into the country which lies to the north
of this city it enters the land of Assyria. But the Euphrates at its
beginning flows for a short distance, and is then immediately lost to
sight as it goes on; it does not, however, become subterranean, but a
very strange thing happens. For the water is covered by a bog of great
depth, extending about fifty stades in length and twenty in breadth; and
reeds grow in this mud in great abundance. But the earth there is of
such a hard sort that it seems to those who chance upon it to be nothing
else than solid ground, so that both pedestrians and horsemen travel
over it without any fear. Nay more, even wagons pass over the place in
great numbers every day, but they are wholly insufficient to shake the
bog or to find a weak spot in it at any point. The natives burn the
reeds every year, to prevent the roads being stopped up by them, and
once, when an exceedingly violent wind struck the place, it came about
that the fire reached the extremities of the roots, and the water
appeared at a small opening; but in a short time the ground closed
again, and gave the spot the same appearance which it had had before.
From there the river proceeds into the land called Celesene, where was
the sanctuary of Artemis among the Taurians, from which they say
Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, fled with Orestes and Pylades, bearing
the statue of Artemis. For the other temple which has existed even to my
day in the city of Comana is not the one "Among the Taurians." But I
shall explain how this temple came into being.

When Orestes had departed in haste from the Taurians with his sister, it
so happened that he contracted some disease. And when he made inquiry
about the disease they say that the oracle responded that his trouble
would not abate until he built a temple to Artemis in a spot such as the
one among the Taurians, and there cut off his hair and named the city
after it. So then Orestes, going about the country there, came to
Pontus, and saw a mountain which rose steep and towering, while below
along the extremities of the mountain flowed the river Iris. Orestes,
therefore, supposing at that time that this was the place indicated to
him by the oracle, built there a great city and the temple of Artemis,
and, shearing off his hair, named after it the city which even up to the
present time has been called Comana. The story goes on that after
Orestes had done these things, the disease continued to be as violent as
before, if not even more so. Then the man perceived that he was not
satisfying the oracle by doing these things, and he again went about
looking everywhere and found a certain spot in Cappadocia very closely
resembling the one among the Taurians. I myself have often seen this
place and admired it exceedingly, and have imagined that I was in the
land of the Taurians. For this mountain resembles the other remarkably,
since the Taurus is here also and the river Sarus is similar to the
Euphrates there. So Orestes built in that place an imposing city and two
temples, the one to Artemis and the other to his sister Iphigenia, which
the Christians have made sanctuaries for themselves, without changing
their structure at all. This is called even now Golden Comana, being
named from the hair of Orestes, which they say he cut off there and thus
escaped from his affliction. But some say that this disease from which
he escaped was nothing else than that of madness which seized him after
he had killed his own mother. But I shall return to the previous
narrative.

From Tauric Armenia and the land of Celesene the River Euphrates,
flowing to the right of the Tigris, flows around an extensive territory,
and since many rivers join it and among them the Arsinus, whose copious
stream flows down from the land of the so-called Persarmenians, it
becomes naturally a great river, and flows into the land of the people
anciently called White Syrians but now known as the Lesser Armenians,
whose first city, Melitene, is one of great importance. From there it
flows past Samosata and Hierapolis and all the towns in that region as
far as the land of Assyria, where the two rivers unite with each other
into one stream which bears the name of the Tigris. The land which lies
outside the River Euphrates, beginning with Samosata, was called in
ancient times Commagene, but now it is named after the river[22]. But
the land inside the river, that namely which is between it and the
Tigris, is appropriately named Mesopotamia; however, a portion of it is
called not only by this name, but also by certain others. For the land
as far as the city of Amida has come to be called Armenia by some, while
Edessa together with the country around it is called Osroene, after
Osroes, a man who was king in that place in former times, when the men
of this country were in alliance with the Persians. After the time,
therefore, when the Persians had taken from the Romans the city of
Nisibis and certain other places in Mesopotamia, whenever they were
about to make an expedition against the Romans, they disregarded the
land outside the River Euphrates, which was for the most part unwatered
and deserted by men, and gathered themselves here with no trouble, since
they were in a land which was their own and which lay very close to the
inhabited land of their enemy, and from here they always made their
invasions.

When the mirranes[23], defeated in battle[24] and with the greater part
of his men lost, came back to the Persian land with the remainder of his
army, he received bitter punishment at the hands of King Cabades. For he
took away from him a decoration which he was accustomed to bind upon the
hair of his head, an ornament wrought of gold and pearls. Now this is a
great dignity among the Persians, second only to the kingly honour. For
there it is unlawful to wear a gold ring or girdle or brooch or anything
else whatsoever, except a man be counted worthy to do so by the king.

Thereafter Cabades began to consider in what manner he himself should
make an expedition against the Romans. For after the mirranes had failed
in the manner I have told, he felt confidence in no one else. While he
was completely at a loss as to what he should do, Alamoundaras, the king
of the Saracens, came before him and said: "Not everything, O Master,
should be entrusted to fortune, nor should one believe that all wars
ought to be successful. For this is not likely and besides it is not in
keeping with the course of human events, but this idea is most
unfortunate for those who are possessed by it. For when men who expect
that all the good things will come to them fail at any time, if it so
happen, they are distressed more than is seemly by the very hope which
wrongly led them on. Therefore, since men have not always confidence in
fortune, they do not enter into the danger of war in a straightforward
way, even if they boast that they surpass the enemy in every respect,
but by deception and divers devices they exert themselves to circumvent
their opponents. For those who assume the risk of an even struggle have
no assurance of victory. Now, therefore, O King of Kings, neither be
thus distressed by the misfortune which has befallen Mirranes, nor
desire again to make trial of fortune. For in Mesopotamia and the land
of Osroene, as it is called, since it is very close to thy boundaries,
the cities are very strong above all others, and now they contain a
multitude of soldiers such as never before, so that if we go there the
contest will not prove a safe one; but in the land which lies outside
the River Euphrates, and in Syria which adjoins it, there is neither a
fortified city nor an army of any importance. For this I have often
heard from the Saracens sent as spies to these parts. There too, they
say, is the city of Antioch, in wealth and size and population the first
of all the cities of the Eastern Roman Empire; and this city is
unguarded and destitute of soldiers. For the people of this city care
for nothing else than fêtes and luxurious living, and their constant
rivalries with each other in the theatres. Accordingly, if we go against
them unexpectedly, it is not at all unlikely that we shall capture the
city by a sudden attack, and that we shall return to the land of the
Persians without having met any hostile army, and before the troops in
Mesopotamia have learned what has happened. As for lack of water or of
any kind of provisions, let no such thought occur to thee; for I myself
shall lead the army wherever it shall seem best."

When Cabades heard this he could neither oppose nor distrust the plan.
For Alamoundaras was most discreet and well experienced in matters of
warfare, thoroughly faithful to the Persians, and unusually
energetic,--a man who for a space of fifty years forced the Roman state
to bend the knee. For beginning from the boundaries of Aegypt and as far
as Mesopotamia he plundered the whole country, pillaging one place after
another, burning the buildings in his track and making captives of the
population by the tens of thousands on each raid, most of whom he killed
without consideration, while he gave up the others for great sums of
money. And he was confronted by no one at all. For he never made his
inroad without looking about, but so suddenly did he move and so very
opportunely for himself, that, as a rule, he was already off with all
the plunder when the generals and the soldiers were beginning to learn
what had happened and to gather themselves against him. If, indeed, by
any chance, they were able to catch him, this barbarian would fall upon
his pursuers while still unprepared and not in battle array, and would
rout and destroy them with no trouble; and on one occasion he made
prisoners of all the soldiers who were pursuing him together with their
officers. These officers were Timostratus, the brother of Rufinus, and
John, the son of Lucas, whom he gave up indeed later, thereby gaining
for himself no mean or trivial wealth. And, in a word, this man proved
himself the most difficult and dangerous enemy of all to the Romans. The
reason was this, that Alamoundaras, holding the position of king, ruled
alone over all the Saracens in Persia, and he was always able to make
his inroad with the whole army wherever he wished in the Roman domain;
and neither any commander of Roman troops, whom they call "duces," nor
any leader of the Saracens allied with the Romans, who are called
"phylarchs," was strong enough with his men to array himself against
Alamoundaras; for the troops stationed in the different districts were
not a match in battle for the enemy. [531 A.D.] For this reason the
Emperor Justinian put in command of as many clans as possible Arethas,
the son of Gabalas, who ruled over the Saracens of Arabia, and bestowed
upon him the dignity of king, a thing which among the Romans had never
before been done. However Alamoundaras continued to injure the Romans
just as much as before, if not more, since Arethas was either extremely
unfortunate in every inroad and every conflict, or else he turned
traitor as quickly as he could. For as yet we know nothing certain about
him. In this way it came about that Alamoundaras, with no one to stand
against him, plundered the whole East for an exceedingly long time, for
he lived to a very advanced age.


XVIII

This man's suggestion at that time therefore pleased Cabades, and he
chose out fifteen thousand men, putting in command of them Azarethes, a
Persian, who was an exceptionally able warrior, and he bade Alamoundaras
lead the expedition. So they crossed the River Euphrates in Assyria,
and, after passing over some uninhabited country, they suddenly and
unexpectedly threw their forces into the land of the so-called
Commagenae. This was the first invasion made by the Persians from this
point into Roman soil, as far as we know from tradition or by any other
means, and it paralyzed all the Romans with fear by its unexpectedness.
And when this news came to the knowledge of Belisarius, at first he was
at a loss, but afterwards he decided to go to the rescue with all speed.
So he established a sufficient garrison in each city in order that
Cabades with another hostile army might not come there and find the
towns of Mesopotamia utterly unguarded, and himself with the rest of the
army went to meet the invasion; and crossing the River Euphrates they
moved forward in great haste. Now the Roman army amounted to about
twenty thousand foot and horse, and among them not less than two
thousand were Isaurians. The commanders of cavalry were all the same
ones who had previously fought the battle at Daras with Mirranes and the
Persians, while the infantry were commanded by one of the body-guards of
the Emperor Justinian, Peter by name. The Isaurians, however, were under
the command of Longinus and Stephanacius. Arethas also came there to
join them with the Saracen army. When they reached the city of Chalcis,
they encamped and remained there, since they learned that the enemy were
in a place called Gabboulon, one hundred and ten stades away from
Chalcis. When this became known to Alamoundaras and Azarethes, they were
terrified at the danger, and no longer continued their advance, but
decided to retire homeward instantly. Accordingly they began to march
back, with the River Euphrates on the left, while the Roman army was
following in the rear. And in the spot where the Persians bivouacked
each night the Romans always tarried on the following night. For
Belisarius purposely refused to allow the army to make any longer march
because he did not wish to come to an engagement with the enemy, but he
considered that it was sufficient for them that the Persians and
Alamoundaras, after invading the land of the Romans, should retire from
it in such a fashion, betaking themselves to their own land without
accomplishing anything. And because of this all secretly mocked him,
both officers and soldiers, but not a man reproached him to his face.

Finally the Persians made their bivouac on the bank of the Euphrates
just opposite the city of Callinicus. From there they were about to
march through a country absolutely uninhabited by man, and thus to quit
the land of the Romans; for they purposed no longer to proceed as
before, keeping to the bank of the river. The Romans had passed the
night in the city of Sura, and, removing from there, they came upon the
enemy just in the act of preparing for the departure. [Ap. 19, 531] Now
the feast of Easter was near and would take place on the following day;
this feast is reverenced by the Christians above all others, and on the
day before it they are accustomed to refrain from food and drink not
only throughout the day, but for a large part of the night also they
continue the fast. Then, therefore, Belisarius, seeing that all his men
were passionately eager to go against the enemy, wished to persuade them
to give up this idea (for this course had been counselled by Hermogenes
also, who had come recently on an embassy from the emperor); he
accordingly called together all who were present and spoke as follows:
"O Romans, whither are you rushing? and what has happened to you that
you are purposing to choose for yourselves a danger which is not
necessary? Men believe that there is only one victory which is
unalloyed, namely to suffer no harm at the hands of the enemy, and this
very thing has been given us in the present instance by fortune and by
the fear of us that overpowers our foes. Therefore it is better to enjoy
the benefit of our present blessings than to seek them when they have
passed. For the Persians, led on by many hopes, undertook an expedition
against the Romans, and now, with everything lost, they have beaten a
hasty retreat. So that if we compel them against their will to abandon
their purpose of withdrawing and to come to battle with us, we shall win
no advantage whatsoever if we are victorious,--for why should one rout a
fugitive?--while if we are unfortunate, as may happen, we shall both be
deprived of the victory which we now have, not robbed of it by the
enemy, but flinging it away ourselves, and also we shall abandon the
land of the emperor to lie open hereafter to the attacks of the enemy
without defenders. Moreover this also is worth your consideration, that
God is always accustomed to succour men in dangers which are necessary,
not in those which they choose for themselves. And apart from this it
will come about that those who have nowhere to turn will play the part
of brave men even against their will, while the obstacles which are to
be met by us in entering the engagement are many; for a large number of
you have come on foot and all of us are fasting. I refrain from
mentioning that some even now have not arrived." So spoke Belisarius.

But the army began to insult him, not in silence nor with any
concealment, but they came shouting into his presence, and called him
weak and a destroyer of their zeal; and even some of the officers joined
with the soldiers in this offence, thus displaying the extent of their
daring. And Belisarius, in astonishment at their shamelessness, changed
his exhortation and now seemed to be urging them on against the enemy
and drawing them up for battle, saying that he had not known before
their eagerness to fight, but that now he was of good courage and would
go against the enemy with a better hope. He then formed the phalanx with
a single front, disposing his men as follows: on the left wing by the
river he stationed all the infantry, while on the right where the ground
rose sharply he placed Arethas and all his Saracens; he himself with the
cavalry took his position in the centre. Thus the Romans arrayed
themselves. And when Azarethes saw the enemy gathering in battle line,
he exhorted his men with the following words: "Persians as you are, no
one would deny that you would not give up your valour in exchange for
life, if a choice of the two should be offered. But I say that not even
if you should wish, is it within your power to make the choice between
the two. For as for men who have the opportunity to escape from danger
and live in dishonour it is not at all unnatural that they should, if
they wish, choose what is most pleasant instead of what is best; but for
men who are bound to die, either gloriously at the hands of the enemy or
shamefully led to punishment by your Master, it is extreme folly not to
choose what is better instead of what is most shameful. Now, therefore,
when things stand thus, I consider that it befits you all to bear in
mind not only the enemy but also your own Lord and so enter this
battle."

After Azarethes also had uttered these words of exhortation, he
stationed the phalanx opposite his opponents, assigning the Persians the
right wing and the Saracens the left. Straightway both sides began the
fight, and the battle was exceedingly fierce. For the arrows, shot from
either side in very great numbers, caused great loss of life in both
armies, while some placed themselves in the interval between the armies
and made a display of valorous deeds against each other, and especially
among the Persians they were falling by the arrows in great numbers. For
while their missiles were incomparably more frequent, since the Persians
are almost all bowmen and they learn to make their shots much more
rapidly than any other men, still the bows which sent the arrows were
weak and not very tightly strung, so that their missiles, hitting a
corselet, perhaps, or helmet or shield of a Roman warrior, were broken
off and had no power to hurt the man who was hit. The Roman bowmen are
always slower indeed, but inasmuch as their bows are extremely stiff and
very tightly strung, and one might add that they are handled by stronger
men, they easily slay much greater numbers of those they hit than do the
Persians, for no armour proves an obstacle to the force of their arrows.
Now already two-thirds of the day had passed, and the battle was still
even. Then by mutual agreement all the best of the Persian army advanced
to attack the Roman right wing, where Arethas and the Saracens had been
stationed. But they broke their formation and moved apart, so that they
got the reputation of having betrayed the Romans to the Persians. For
without awaiting the oncoming enemy they all straightway beat a hasty
retreat. So the Persians in this way broke through the enemy's line and
immediately got in the rear of the Roman cavalry. Thus the Romans, who
were already exhausted both by the march and the labour of the
battle,--and besides this they were all fasting so far on in the
day,--now that they were assailed by the enemy on both sides, held out
no longer, but the most of them in full flight made their way to the
islands in the river which were close by, while some also remained there
and performed deeds both amazing and remarkable against the enemy. Among
these was Ascan who, after killing many of the notables among the
Persians, was gradually hacked to pieces and finally fell, leaving to
the enemy abundant reason to remember him. And with him eight hundred
others perished after shewing themselves brave men in this struggle, and
almost all the Isaurians fell with their leaders, without even daring to
lift their weapons against the enemy. For they were thoroughly
inexperienced in this business, since they had recently left off farming
and entered into the perils of warfare, which before that time were
unknown to them. And yet just before these very men had been most
furious of all for battle because of their ignorance of warfare, and
were then reproaching Belisarius with cowardice. They were not in fact
all Isaurians but the majority of them were Lycaones.

Belisarius with some few men remained there, and as long as he saw Ascan
and his men holding out, he also in company with those who were with him
held back the enemy; but when some of Ascan's troops had fallen, and the
others had turned to flee wherever they could, then at length he too
fled with his men and came to the phalanx of infantry, who with Peter
were still fighting, although not many in number now, since the most of
them too had fled. There he himself gave up his horse and commanded all
his men to do the same thing and on foot with the others to fight off
the oncoming enemy. And those of the Persians who were following the
fugitives, after pursuing for only a short distance, straightway
returned and rushed upon the infantry and Belisarius with all the
others. Then the Romans turned their backs to the river so that no
movement to surround them might be executed by the enemy, and as best
they could under the circumstances were defending themselves against
their assailants. And again the battle became fierce, although the two
sides were not evenly matched in strength; for foot-soldiers, and a very
few of them, were fighting against the whole Persian cavalry.
Nevertheless the enemy were not able either to rout them or in any other
way to overpower them. For standing shoulder to shoulder they kept
themselves constantly massed in a small space, and they formed with
their shields a rigid, unyielding barricade, so that they shot at the
Persians more conveniently than they were shot at by them. Many a time
after giving up, the Persians would advance against them determined to
break up and destroy their line, but they always retired again from the
assault unsuccessful. For their horses, annoyed by the clashing of the
shields, reared up and made confusion for themselves and their riders.
Thus both sides continued the struggle until it had become late in the
day. And when night had already come on, the Persians withdrew to their
camp, and Belisarius accompanied by some few men found a freight-boat
and crossed over to the island in the river, while the other Romans
reached the same place by swimming. On the following day many
freight-boats were brought to the Romans from the city of Callinicus and
they were conveyed thither in them, and the Persians, after despoiling
the dead, all departed homeward. However they did not find their own
dead less numerous than the enemy's.

When Azarethes reached Persia with his army, although he had prospered
in the battle, he found Cabades exceedingly ungrateful, for the
following reason. It is a custom among the Persians that, when they are
about to march against any of their foes, the king sits on the royal
throne, and many baskets are set there before him; and the general also
is present who is expected to lead the army against the enemy; then the
army passes along before the king, one man at a time, and each of them
throws one weapon into the baskets; after this they are sealed with the
king's seal and preserved; and when this army returns to Persia, each
one of the soldiers takes one weapon out of the baskets. A count is then
made by those whose office it is to do so of all the weapons which have
not been taken by the men, and they report to the king the number of the
soldiers who have not returned, and in this way it becomes evident how
many have perished in the war. Thus the law has stood from of old among
the Persians. Now when Azarethes came into the presence of the king,
Cabades enquired of him whether he came back with any Roman fortress won
over to their side, for he had marched forth with Alamoundaras against
the Romans, with the purpose of subduing Antioch. And Azarethes said
that he had captured no fortress, but that he had conquered the Romans
and Belisarius in battle. So Cabades bade the army of Azarethes pass by,
and from the baskets each man took out a weapon just as was customary.
But since many weapons were left, Cabades rebuked Azarethes for the
victory and thereafter ranked him among the most unworthy. So the
victory had this conclusion for Azarethes.


XIX

At that time the idea occurred to the Emperor Justinian to ally with
himself the Aethiopians and the Homeritae, in order to injure the
Persians. I shall now first explain what part of the earth these nations
occupy, and then I shall point out in what manner the emperor hoped that
they would be of help to the Romans. The boundaries of Palestine extend
toward the east to the sea which is called the Red Sea. Now this sea,
beginning at India, comes to an end at this point in the Roman domain.
And there is a city called Aelas on its shore, where the sea comes to an
end, as I have said, and becomes a very narrow gulf. And as one sails
into the sea from there, the Egyptian mountains lie on the right,
extending toward the south; on the other side a country deserted by men
extends northward to an indefinite distance; and the land on both sides
is visible as one sails in as far as the island called Iotabe, not less
than one thousand stades distant from the city of Aelas. On this island
Hebrews had lived from of old in autonomy, but in the reign of this
Justinian they have become subject to the Romans. From there on there
comes a great open sea. And those who sail into this part of it no
longer see the land on the right, but they always anchor along the left
coast when night comes on. For it is impossible to navigate in the
darkness on this sea, since it is everywhere full of shoals. But there
are harbours there and great numbers of them, not made by the hand of
man, but by the natural contour of the land, and for this reason it is
not difficult for mariners to find anchorage wherever they happen to be.

This coast[25] immediately beyond the boundaries of Palestine is held by
Saracens, who have been settled from of old in the Palm Groves. These
groves are in the interior, extending over a great tract of land, and
there absolutely nothing else grows except palm trees. The Emperor
Justinian had received these palm groves as a present from Abochorabus,
the ruler of the Saracens there, and he was appointed by the emperor
captain over the Saracens in Palestine. And he guarded the land from
plunder constantly, for both to the barbarians over whom he ruled and no
less to the enemy, Abochorabus always seemed a man to be feared and an
exceptionally energetic fellow. Formally, therefore, the emperor holds
the Palm Groves, but for him really to possess himself of any of the
country there is utterly impossible. For a land completely destitute of
human habitation and extremely dry lies between, extending to the
distance of a ten days' journey; moreover the Palm Groves themselves are
by no means worth anything, and Abochorabus only gave the form of a
gift, and the emperor accepted it with full knowledge of the fact. So
much then for the Palm Groves. Adjoining this people there are other
Saracens in possession of the coast, who are called Maddeni and who are
subjects of the Homeritae. These Homeritae dwell in the land on the
farther side of them on the shore of the sea. And beyond them many other
nations are said to be settled as far as the man-eating Saracens. Beyond
these are the nations of India. But regarding these matters let each one
speak as he may wish.

About opposite the Homeritae on the opposite mainland dwell the
Aethiopians who are called Auxomitae, because their king resides in the
city of Auxomis. And the expanse of sea which lies between is crossed in
a voyage of five days and nights, when a moderately favouring wind
blows. For here they are accustomed to navigate by night also, since
there are no shoals at all in these parts; this portion of the sea has
been called the Red Sea by some. For the sea which one traverses beyond
this point as far as the shore and the city of Aelas has received the
name of the Arabian Gulf, inasmuch as the country which extends from
here to the limits of the city of Gaza used to be called in olden times
Arabia, since the king of the Arabs had his palace in early times in the
city of Petrae. Now the harbour of the Homeritae from which they are
accustomed to put to sea for the voyage to Aethiopia is called Bulicas;
and at the end of the sail across the sea they always put in at the
harbour of the Adulitae. But the city of Adulis is removed from the
harbour a distance of twenty stades (for it lacks only so much of being
on the sea), while from the city of Auxomis it is a journey of twelve
days.

All the boats which are found in India and on this sea are not made in
the same manner as are other ships. For neither are they smeared with
pitch, nor with any other substance, nor indeed are the planks fastened
together by iron nails going through and through, but they are bound
together with a kind of cording. The reason is not as most persons
suppose, that there are certain rocks there which draw the iron to
themselves (for witness the fact that when the Roman vessels sail from
Aelas into this sea, although they are fitted with much iron, no such
thing has ever happened to them), but rather because the Indians and the
Aethiopians possess neither iron nor any other thing suitable for such
purposes. Furthermore, they are not even able to buy any of these things
from the Romans since this is explicitly forbidden to all by law; for
death is the punishment for one who is caught. Such then is the
description of the so-called Red Sea[26] and of the land which lies on
either side of it.

From the city of Auxomis to the Aegyptian boundaries of the Roman
domain, where the city called Elephantine is situated, is a journey of
thirty days for an unencumbered traveller. Within that space many
nations are settled, and among them the Blemyes and the Nobatae, who are
very large nations. But the Blemyes dwell in the central portion of the
country, while the Nobatae possess the territory about the River Nile.
Formerly this was not the limit of the Roman empire, but it lay beyond
there as far as one would advance in a seven days' journey; but the
Roman Emperor Diocletian came there, and observed that the tribute from
these places was of the smallest possible account, since the land is at
that point extremely narrow (for rocks rise to an exceedingly great
height at no great distance from the Nile and spread over the rest of
the country), while a very large body of soldiers had been stationed
there from of old, the maintenance of which was an excessive burden upon
the public; and at the same time the Nobatae who formerly dwelt about
the city of Oasis used to plunder the whole region; so he persuaded
these barbarians to move from their own habitations, and to settle along
the River Nile, promising to bestow upon them great cities and land both
extensive and incomparably better than that which they had previously
occupied. For in this way he thought that they would no longer harass
the country about Oasis at least, and that they would possess themselves
of the land given them, as being their own, and would probably beat off
the Blemyes and the other barbarians. And since this pleased the
Nobatae, they made the migration immediately, just as Diocletian
directed them, and took possession of all the Roman cities and the land
on both sides of the river beyond the city of Elephantine. Then it was
that this emperor decreed that to them and to the Blemyes a fixed sum of
gold should be given every year with the stipulation that they should no
longer plunder the land of the Romans. And they receive this gold even
up to my time, but none the less they overrun the country there. Thus it
seems that with all barbarians there is no means of compelling them to
keep faith with the Romans except through the fear of soldiers to hold
them in check. And yet this emperor went so far as to select a certain
island in the River Nile close to the city of Elephantine and there
construct a very strong fortress in which he established certain temples
and altars for the Romans and these barbarians in common, and he settled
priests of both nations in this fortress, thinking that the friendship
between them would be secure by reason of their sharing the things
sacred to them. And for this reason he named the place Philae. Now both
these nations, the Blemyes and the Nobatae, believe in all the gods in
which the Greeks believe, and they also reverence Isis and Osiris, and
not least of all Priapus. But the Blemyes are accustomed also to
sacrifice human beings to the sun. These sanctuaries in Philae were kept
by these barbarians even up to my time, but the Emperor Justinian
decided to tear them down. Accordingly Narses, a Persarmenian by birth,
whom I have mentioned before as having deserted to the Romans[27], being
commander of the troops there, tore down the sanctuaries at the
emperor's order, and put the priests under guard and sent the statues to
Byzantium. But I shall return to the previous narrative.


XX

At about the time of this war Hellestheaeus, the king of the
Aethiopians, who was a Christian and a most devoted adherent of this
faith, discovered that a number of the Homeritae on the opposite
mainland were oppressing the Christians there outrageously; many of
these rascals were Jews, and many of them held in reverence the old
faith which men of the present day call Hellenic. He therefore collected
a fleet of ships and an army and came against them, and he conquered
them in battle and slew both the king and many of the Homeritae. He then
set up in his stead a Christian king, a Homerite by birth, by name
Esimiphaeus, and, after ordaining that he should pay a tribute to the
Aethiopians every year, he returned to his home. In this Aethiopian army
many slaves and all who were readily disposed to crime were quite
unwilling to follow the king back, but were left behind and remained
there because of their desire for the land of the Homeritae; for it is
an extremely goodly land.

These fellows at a time not long after this, in company with certain
others, rose against the king Esimiphaeus and put him in confinement in
one of the fortresses there, and established another king over the
Homeritae, Abramus by name. Now this Abramus was a Christian, but a
slave of a Roman citizen who was engaged in the business of shipping in
the city of Adulis in Aethiopia. When Hellestheaeus learned this, he was
eager to punish Abramus together with those who had revolted with him
for their injustice to Esimiphaeus, and he sent against them an army of
three thousand men with one of his relatives as commander. This army,
once there, was no longer willing to return home, but they wished to
remain where they were in a goodly land, and so without the knowledge of
their commander they opened negotiations with Abramus; then when they
came to an engagement with their opponents, just as the fighting began,
they killed their commander and joined the ranks of the enemy, and so
remained there. But Hellestheaeus was greatly moved with anger and sent
still another army against them; this force engaged with Abramus and his
men, and, after suffering a severe defeat in the battle, straightway
returned home. Thereafter the king of the Aethiopians became afraid, and
sent no further expeditions against Abramus. After the death of
Hellestheaeus, Abramus agreed to pay tribute to the king of the
Aethiopians who succeeded him, and in this way he strengthened his rule.
But this happened at a later time.

At that time, when Hellestheaeus was reigning over the Aethiopians, and
Esimiphaeus over the Homeritae, the Emperor Justinian sent an
ambassador, Julianus, demanding that both nations on account of their
community of religion should make common cause with the Romans in the
war against the Persians; for he purposed that the Aethiopians, by
purchasing silk from India and selling it among the Romans, might
themselves gain much money, while causing the Romans to profit in only
one way, namely, that they be no longer compelled to pay over their
money to their enemy. (This is the silk of which they are accustomed to
make the garments which of old the Greeks called Medic, but which at the
present time they name "seric"[28]). As for the Homeritae, it was
desired that they should establish Caïsus, the fugitive, as captain over
the Maddeni, and with a great army of their own people and of the
Maddene Saracens make an invasion into the land of the Persians. This
Caïsus was by birth of the captain's rank and an exceptionally able
warrior, but he had killed one of the relatives of Esimiphaeus and was a
fugitive in a land which is utterly destitute of human habitation. So
each king, promising to put this demand into effect, dismissed the
ambassador, but neither one of them did the things agreed upon by them.
For it was impossible for the Aethiopians to buy silk from the Indians,
for the Persian merchants always locate themselves at the very harbours
where the Indian ships first put in, (since they inhabit the adjoining
country), and are accustomed to buy the whole cargoes; and it seemed to
the Homeritae a difficult thing to cross a country which was a desert
and which extended so far that a long time was required for the journey
across it, and then to go against a people much more warlike than
themselves. Later on Abramus too, when at length he had established his
power most securely, promised the Emperor Justinian many times to invade
the land of Persia, but only once began the journey and then straightway
turned back. Such then were the relations which the Romans had with the
Aethiopians and the Homeritae.


XXI

Hermogenes, as soon as the battle on the Euphrates had taken place, came
before Cabades to negotiate with him, but he accomplished nothing
regarding the peace on account of which he had come, since he found him
still swelling with rage against the Romans; for this reason he returned
unsuccessful. And Belisarius came to Byzantium at the summons of the
emperor, having been removed from the office which he held, in order
that he might march against the Vandals; but Sittas, as had been decreed
by the Emperor Justinian, went to the East in order to guard that
portion of the empire. And the Persians once more invaded Mesopotamia
with a great army under command of Chanaranges and Aspebedes and
Mermeroes. Since no one dared to engage with them, they made camp and
began the siege of Martyropolis, where Bouzes and Bessas had been
stationed in command of the garrison. This city lies in the land called
Sophanene, two hundred and forty stades distant from the city of Amida
toward the north; it is just on the River Nymphius which divides the
land of the Romans and the Persians. So the Persians began to assail the
fortifications, and, while the besieged at first withstood them
manfully, it did not seem likely that they would hold out long. For the
circuit-wall was quite easily assailable in most parts, and could be
captured very easily by a Persian siege, and besides they did not have a
sufficient supply of provisions, nor indeed had they engines of war nor
anything else that was of any value for defending themselves. Meanwhile
Sittas and the Roman army came to a place called Attachas, one hundred
stades distant from Martyropolis, but they did not dare to advance
further, but established their camp and remained there. Hermogenes also
was with them, coming again as ambassador from Byzantium. At this point
the following event took place.

It has been customary from ancient times both among the Romans and the
Persians to maintain spies at public expense; these men are accustomed
to go secretly among the enemy, in order that they may investigate
accurately what is going on, and may then return and report to the
rulers. Many of these men, as is natural, exert themselves to act in a
spirit of loyalty to their nation, while some also betray their secrets
to the enemy. At that time a certain spy who had been sent from the
Persians to the Romans came into the presence of the Emperor Justinian
and revealed many things which were taking place among the barbarians,
and, in particular, that the nation of the Massagetae, in order to
injure the Romans, were on the very point of going out into the land of
Persia, and that from there they were prepared to march into the
territory of the Romans, and unite with the Persian army. When the
emperor heard this, having already a proof of the man's truthfulness to
him, he presented him with a handsome sum of money and persuaded him to
go to the Persian army which was besieging the Martyropolitans, and
announce to the barbarians there that these Massagetae had been won over
with money by the Roman emperor, and were about to come against them
that very moment. The spy carried out these instructions, and coming to
the army of the barbarians he announced to Chanaranges and the others
that an army of Huns hostile to them would at no distant time come to
the Romans. And when they heard this, they were seized with terror, and
were at a loss how to deal with the situation.

At this juncture it came about that Cabades became seriously ill, and he
called to him one of the Persians who were in closest intimacy with him,
Mebodes by name, and conversed with him concerning Chosroes and the
kingdom, and said he feared the Persians would make a serious attempt to
disregard some of the things which had been decided upon by him. But
Mebodes asked him to leave the declaration of his purpose in writing,
and bade him be confident that the Persians would never dare to
disregard it. So Cabades set it down plainly that Chosroes should become
king over the Persians. The document was written by Mebodes himself, and
Cabades immediately passed from among men. [Sept. 13, 531] And when
everything had been performed as prescribed by law in the burial of the
king, then Caoses, confident by reason of the law, tried to lay claim to
the office, but Mebodes stood in his way, asserting that no one ought to
assume the royal power by his own initiative but by vote of the Persian
notables. So Caoses committed the decision in the matter to the
magistrates, supposing that there would be no opposition to him from
there. But when all the Persian notables had been gathered together for
this purpose and were in session, Mebodes read the document and stated
the purpose of Cabades regarding Chosroes, and all, calling to mind the
virtue of Cabades, straightway declared Chosroes King of the Persians.

Thus then Chosroes secured the power. But at Martyropolis, Sittas and
Hermogenes were in fear concerning the city, since they were utterly
unable to defend it in its peril, and they sent certain men to the
enemy, who came before the generals and spoke as follows: "It has
escaped your own notice that you are becoming wrongfully an obstacle to
the king of the Persians and to the blessings of peace and to each
state. For ambassadors sent from the emperor are even now present in
order that they may go to the king of the Persians and there settle the
differences and establish a treaty with him; but do you as quickly as
possible remove from the land of the Romans and permit the ambassadors
to act in the manner which will be of advantage to both peoples. For we
are ready also to give as hostages men of repute concerning these very
things, to prove that they will be actually accomplished at no distant
date." Such were the words of the ambassadors of the Romans. It happened
also that a messenger came to them from the palace, who brought them
word that Cabades had died and that Chosroes, son of Cabades, had become
king over the Persians, and that in this way the situation had become
unsettled. And as a result of this the generals heard the words of the
Romans gladly, since they feared also the attack of the Huns. The Romans
therefore straightway gave as hostages Martinus and one of the
body-guards of Sittas, Senecius by name; so the Persians broke up the
siege and made their departure promptly. And the Huns not long afterward
invaded the land of the Romans, but since they did not find the Persian
army there, they made their raid a short one, and then all departed
homeward.


XXII

Straightway Rufinus and Alexander and Thomas came to act as ambassadors
with Hermogenes, and they all came before the Persian king at the River
Tigris. And when Chosroes saw them, he released the hostages. Then the
ambassadors coaxed Chosroes, and spoke many beguiling words most
unbecoming to Roman ambassadors. By this treatment Chosroes became
tractable, and agreed to establish a peace with them that should be
without end for the price of one hundred and ten "centenaria," on
condition that the commander of troops in Mesopotamia should be no
longer at Daras, but should spend all his time in Constantina, as was
customary in former times; but the fortresses in Lazica he refused to
give back, although he himself demanded that he should receive back from
the Romans both Pharangium and the fortress of Bolum. (Now the
"centenarium" weighs one hundred pounds, for which reason it is so
called; for the Romans call one hundred "centum"). He demanded that this
gold be given him, in order that the Romans might not be compelled
either to tear down the city of Daras or to share the garrison at the
Caspian Gates with the Persians[29]. However the ambassadors, while
approving the rest, said that they were not able to concede the
fortresses, unless they should first make enquiry of the emperor
concerning them. It was decided, accordingly, that Rufinus should be
sent concerning them to Byzantium, and that the others should wait until
he should return. And it was arranged with Rufinus that seventy days'
time be allowed until he should arrive. When Rufinus reached Byzantium
and reported to the emperor what Chosroes' decision was concerning the
peace, the emperor commanded that the peace be concluded by them on
these terms.

In the meantime, however, a report which was not true reached Persia
saying that the Emperor Justinian had become enraged and put Rufinus to
death. Chosroes indeed was much perturbed by this, and, already filled
with anger, he advanced against the Romans with his whole army. But
Rufinus met him on the way as he was returning not far from the city of
Nisibis. Therefore they proceeded to this city themselves, and, since
they were about to establish the peace, the ambassadors began to convey
the money thither. But the Emperor Justinian was already repenting that
he had given up the strong holds of Lazica, and he wrote a letter to the
ambassadors expressly commanding them by no means to hand them over to
the Persians. For this reason Chosroes no longer saw fit to make the
treaty; and then it came to the mind of Rufinus that he had counselled
more speedily than safely in bringing the money into the land of Persia.
Straightway, therefore, he threw himself on the earth, and lying prone
he entreated Chosroes to send the money back with them and not march
immediately against the Romans, but to put off the war to some other
time. And Chosroes bade him rise from the ground, promising that he
would grant all these things. So the ambassadors with the money came to
Daras and the Persian army marched back.

Then indeed the fellow-ambassadors of Rufinus began to regard him with
extreme suspicion themselves, and they also denounced him to the
emperor, basing their judgment on the fact that Chosroes had been
persuaded to concede him everything which he asked of him. However, the
emperor showed him no disfavour on account of this. At a time not long
after this Rufinus himself and Hermogenes were again sent to the court
of Chosroes, and they immediately came to agreement with each other
concerning the treaty, subject to the condition that both sides should
give back all the places which each nation had wrested from the other in
that war, and that there should no longer be any military post in Daras;
as for the Iberians, it was agreed that the decision rested with them
whether they should remain there in Byzantium or return to their own
fatherland. And there were many who remained, and many also who returned
to their ancestral homes. [532 A.D.] Thus, then, they concluded the
so-called "endless peace," when the Emperor Justinian was already in the
sixth year of his reign. And the Romans gave the Persians Pharangium and
the fortress of Bolum together with the money, and the Persians gave the
Romans the strongholds of Lazica. The Persians also returned Dagaris to
the Romans, and received in return for him another man of no mean
station. This Dagaris in later times often conquered the Huns in battle
when they had invaded the land of the Romans, and drove them out; for he
was an exceptionally able warrior. Thus both sides in the manner
described made secure the treaty between them.


XXIII

Straightway it came about that plots were formed against both rulers by
their subjects; and I shall now explain how this happened. Chosroes, the
son of Cabades, was a man of an unruly turn of mind and strangely fond
of innovations. For this reason he himself was always full of excitement
and alarms, and he was an unfailing cause of similar feelings in all
others. All, therefore, who were men of action among the Persians, in
vexation at his administration, were purposing to establish over
themselves another king from the house of Cabades. And since they longed
earnestly for the rule of Zames, which was made impossible by the law by
reason of the disfigurement of his eye, as has been stated, they found
upon consideration that the best course for them was to establish in
power his child Cabades, who bore the same name as his grandfather,
while Zames, as guardian of the child, should administer the affairs of
the Persians as he wished. So they went to Zames and disclosed their
plan, and, urging him on with great enthusiasm, they endeavoured to
persuade him to undertake the thing. And since the plan pleased him,
they were purposing to assail Chosroes at the fitting moment. But the
plan was discovered and came to the knowledge of the king, and thus
their proceedings were stopped. For Chosroes slew Zames himself and all
his own brothers and those of Zames together with all their male
offspring, and also all the Persian notables who had either begun or
taken part in any way in the plot against him. Among these was
Aspebedes, the brother of Chosroes' mother.

Cabades, however, the son of Zames, he was quite unable to kill; for he
was still being reared under the chanaranges, Adergoudounbades. But he
sent a message to the chanaranges, bidding him himself kill the boy he
had reared; for he neither thought it well to shew mistrust, nor yet had
he power to compel him. The chanaranges, therefore, upon hearing the
commands of Chosroes, was exceedingly grieved and, lamenting the
misfortune, he communicated to his wife and Cabades' nurse all that the
king had commanded. Then the woman, bursting into tears and seizing the
knees of her husband, entreated him by no means to kill Cabades. They
therefore consulted together, and planned to bring up the child in the
most secure concealment, and to send word in haste to Chosroes that
Cabades had been put out of the world for him. And they sent word to the
king to this effect, and concealed Cabades in such a way that the affair
did not come to the notice of any one, except Varrames, their own child,
and one of the servants who seemed to them to be in every way most
trustworthy. But when, as time went on, Cabades came of age, the
chanaranges began to fear lest what had been done should be brought to
light; he therefore gave Cabades money and bade him depart and save
himself by flight wherever he could. At that time, then, Chosroes and
all the others were in ignorance of the fact that the chanaranges had
carried this thing through.

At a later time Chosroes was making an invasion into the land of Colchis
with a great army, as will be told in the following narrative[30]. And
he was followed by the son of this same chanaranges, Varrames, who took
with him a number of his servants, and among them the one who shared
with him the knowledge of what had happened to Cabades; while there
Varrames told the king everything regarding Cabades, and he brought
forward the servant agreeing with him in every particular. When Chosroes
learned this he was forthwith exceedingly angry, and he counted it a
dreadful thing that he had suffered such things at the hand of a man who
was his slave; and since he had no other means of getting the man under
his hand he devised the following plan. When he was about to return
homeward from the land of Colchis, he wrote to this chanaranges that he
had decided to invade the land of the Romans with his whole army, not,
however, by a single inroad into the country, but making two divisions
of the Persian army, in order that the attack might be made upon the
enemy on both sides of the River Euphrates. Now one division of the army
he himself, as was natural, would lead into the hostile land, while to
no one else of his subjects would he grant the privilege of holding
equal honour with the king in this matter, except to the chanaranges
himself on account of his valour. It was necessary, therefore, that the
chanaranges should come speedily to meet him as he returned, in order
that he might confer with him and give him all the directions which
would be of advantage to the army, and that he should bid his attendants
travel behind him on the road. When the chanaranges received this
message, he was overjoyed at the honour shown him by the king, and in
complete ignorance of his own evil plight, he immediately carried out
the instructions. But in the course of this journey, since he was quite
unable to sustain the toil of it (for he was a very old man), he relaxed
his hold on the reins and fell off his horse, breaking the bone in his
leg. It was therefore necessary for him to remain there quietly and be
cared for, and the king came to that place and saw him. And Chosroes
said to him that with his leg in such a plight it was not possible that
he make the expedition with them, but that he must go to one of the
fortresses in that region and receive treatment there from the
physicians. Thus then Chosroes sent the man away on the road to death,
and behind him followed the very men who were to destroy him in the
fortress,--a man who was in fact as well as in name an invincible
general among the Persians, who had marched against twelve nations of
barbarians and subjected them all to King Cabades. After
Adergoudounbades had been removed from the world, Varrames, his son,
received the office of chanaranges. Not long after this either Cabades
himself, the son of Zames, or someone else who was assuming the name of
Cabades came to Byzantium; certainly he resembled very closely in
appearance Cabades, the king. And the Emperor Justinian, though in doubt
concerning him, received him with great friendliness and honoured him as
the grandson of Cabades. So then fared the Persians who rose against
Chosroes.

Later on Chosroes destroyed also Mebodes for the following reason. While
the king was arranging a certain important matter, he directed
Zaberganes who was present to call Mebodes. Now it happened that
Zaberganes was on hostile terms with Mebodes. When he came to him, he
found him marshalling the soldiers under his command, and he said that
the king summoned him to come as quickly as possible. And Mebodes
promised that he would follow directly as soon as he should have
arranged the matter in hand; but Zaberganes, moved by his hostility to
him, reported to Chosroes that Mebodes did not wish to come at present,
claiming to have some business or other. Chosroes, therefore, moved with
anger, sent one of his attendants commanding Mebodes to go to the
tripod. Now as to what this is I shall explain forthwith. An iron tripod
stands always before the palace; and whenever anyone of the Persians
learns that the king is angry with him, it is not right for such a man
to flee for refuge to a sanctuary nor to go elsewhere, but he must seat
himself by this tripod and await the verdict of the king, while no one
at all dares protect him. There Mebodes sat in pitiable plight for many
days, until he was seized and put to death at the command of Chosroes.
Such was the final outcome of his good deeds to Chosroes.


XXIV


[Jan. 1, 532] At this same time an insurrection broke out unexpectedly
in Byzantium among the populace, and, contrary to expectation, it proved
to be a very serious affair, and ended in great harm to the people and
to the senate, as the following account will shew. In every city the
population has been divided for a long time past into the Blue and the
Green factions; but within comparatively recent times it has come about
that, for the sake of these names and the seats which the rival factions
occupy in watching the games, they spend their money and abandon their
bodies to the most cruel tortures, and even do not think it unworthy to
die a most shameful death. And they fight against their opponents
knowing not for what end they imperil themselves, but knowing well that,
even if they overcome their enemy in the fight, the conclusion of the
matter for them will be to be carried off straightway to the prison, and
finally, after suffering extreme torture, to be destroyed. So there
grows up in them against their fellow men a hostility which has no
cause, and at no time does it cease or disappear, for it gives place
neither to the ties of marriage nor of relationship nor of friendship,
and the case is the same even though those who differ with respect to
these colours be brothers or any other kin. They care neither for things
divine nor human in comparison with conquering in these struggles; and
it matters not whether a sacrilege is committed by anyone at all against
God, or whether the laws and the constitution are violated by friend or
by foe; nay even when they are perhaps ill supplied with the necessities
of life, and when their fatherland is in the most pressing need and
suffering unjustly, they pay no heed if only it is likely to go well
with their "faction"; for so they name the bands of partisans. And even
women join with them in this unholy strife, and they not only follow the
men, but even resist them if opportunity offers, although they neither
go to the public exhibitions at all, nor are they impelled by any other
cause; so that I, for my part, am unable to call this anything except a
disease of the soul. This, then, is pretty well how matters stand among
the people of each and every city.

But at this time the officers of the city administration in Byzantium
were leading away to death some of the rioters. But the members of the
two factions, conspiring together and declaring a truce with each other,
seized the prisoners and then straightway entered the prison and
released all those who were in confinement there, whether they had been
condemned on a charge of stirring up sedition, or for any other unlawful
act. And all the attendants in the service of the city government were
killed indiscriminately; meanwhile, all of the citizens who were
sane-minded were fleeing to the opposite mainland, and fire was applied
to the city as if it had fallen under the hand of an enemy. The
sanctuary of Sophia and the baths of Zeuxippus, and the portion of the
imperial residence from the propylaea as far as the so-called House of
Ares were destroyed by fire, and besides these both the great colonnades
which extended as far as the market place which bears the name of
Constantine, in addition to many houses of wealthy men and a vast amount
of treasure. During this time the emperor and his consort with a few
members of the senate shut themselves up in the palace and remained
quietly there. Now the watch-word which the populace passed around to
one another was Nika[31], and the insurrection has been called by this
name up to the present time.

The praetorian prefect at that time was John the Cappadocian, and
Tribunianus, a Pamphylian by birth, was counsellor to the emperor; this
person the Romans call "quaestor." One of these two men, John, was
entirely without the advantages of a liberal education; for he learned
nothing while attending the elementary school except his letters, and
these, too, poorly enough; but by his natural ability he became the most
powerful man of whom we know. For he was most capable in deciding upon
what was needful and in finding a solution for difficulties. But he
became the basest of all men and employed his natural power to further
his low designs; neither consideration for God nor any shame before man
entered into his mind, but to destroy the lives of many men for the sake
of gain and to wreck whole cities was his constant concern. So within a
short time indeed he had acquired vast sums of money, and he flung
himself completely into the sordid life of a drunken scoundrel; for up
to the time of lunch each day he would plunder the property of his
subjects, and for the rest of the day occupy himself with drinking and
with wanton deeds of lust. And he was utterly unable to control himself,
for he ate food until he vomited, and he was always ready to steal money
and more ready to bring it out and spend it. Such a man then was John.
Tribunianus, on the other hand, both possessed natural ability and in
educational attainments was inferior to none of his contemporaries; but
he was extraordinarily fond of the pursuit of money and always ready to
sell justice for gain; therefore every day, as a rule, he was repealing
some laws and proposing others, selling off to those who requested it
either favour according to their need.

Now as long as the people were waging this war with each other in behalf
of the names of the colours, no attention was paid to the offences of
these men against the constitution; but when the factions came to a
mutual understanding, as has been said, and so began the sedition, then
openly throughout the whole city they began to abuse the two and went
about seeking them to kill. Accordingly the emperor, wishing to win the
people to his side, instantly dismissed both these men from office. And
Phocas, a patrician, he appointed praetorian prefect, a man of the
greatest discretion and fitted by nature to be a guardian of justice;
Basilides he commanded to fill the office of quaestor, a man known among
the patricians for his agreeable qualities and a notable besides.
However, the insurrection continued no less violently under them. Now on
the fifth day of the insurrection in the late afternoon the Emperor
Justinian gave orders to Hypatius and Pompeius, nephews of the late
emperor, Anastasius, to go home as quickly as possible, either because
he suspected that some plot was being matured by them against his own
person, or, it may be, because destiny brought them to this. But they
feared that the people would force them to the throne (as in fact fell
out), and they said that they would be doing wrong if they should
abandon their sovereign when he found himself in such danger. When the
Emperor Justinian heard this, he inclined still more to his suspicion,
and he bade them quit the palace instantly. Thus, then, these two men
betook themselves to their homes, and, as long as it was night, they
remained there quietly.

But on the following day at sunrise it became known to the people that
both men had quit the palace where they had been staying. So the whole
population ran to them, and they declared Hypatius emperor and prepared
to lead him to the market-place to assume the power. But the wife of
Hypatius, Mary, a discreet woman, who had the greatest reputation for
prudence, laid hold of her husband and would not let go, but cried out
with loud lamentation and with entreaties to all her kinsmen that the
people were leading him on the road to death. But since the throng
overpowered her, she unwillingly released her husband, and he by no will
of his own came to the Forum of Constantine, where they summoned him to
the throne; then since they had neither diadem nor anything else with
which it is customary for a king to be clothed, they placed a golden
necklace upon his head and proclaimed him Emperor of the Romans. By this
time the members of the senate were assembling,--as many of them as had
not been left in the emperor's residence,--and many expressed the
opinion that they should go to the palace to fight. But Origenes, a man
of the senate, came forward and spoke as follows: "Fellow Romans, it is
impossible that the situation which is upon us be solved in any way
except by war. Now war and royal power are agreed to be the greatest of
all things in the world. But when action involves great issues, it
refuses to be brought to a successful conclusion by the brief crisis of
a moment, but this is accomplished only by wisdom of thought and energy
of action, which men display for a length of time. Therefore if we
should go out against the enemy, our cause will hang in the balance, and
we shall be taking a risk which will decide everything in a brief space
of time; and, as regards the consequences of such action, we shall
either fall down and worship Fortune or reproach her altogether. For
those things whose issue is most quickly decided, fall, as a rule, under
the sway of fortune. But if we handle the present situation more
deliberately, not even if we wish shall we be able to take Justinian in
the palace, but he will very speedily be thankful if he is allowed to
flee; for authority which is ignored always loses its power, since its
strength ebbs away with each day. Moreover we have other palaces, both
Placillianae and the palace named from Helen, which this emperor should
make his headquarters and from there he should carry on the war and
attend to the ordering of all other matters in the best possible way."
So spoke Origenes. But the rest, as a crowd is accustomed to do,
insisted more excitedly and thought that the present moment was
opportune, and not least of all Hypatius (for it was fated that evil
should befall him) bade them lead the way to the hippodrome. But some
say that he came there purposely, being well-disposed toward the
emperor.

Now the emperor and his court were deliberating as to whether it would
be better for them if they remained or if they took to flight in the
ships. And many opinions were expressed favouring either course. And the
Empress Theodora also spoke to the following effect: "As to the belief
that a woman ought not to be daring among men or to assert herself
boldly among those who are holding back from fear, I consider that the
present crisis most certainly does not permit us to discuss whether the
matter should be regarded in this or in some other way. For in the case
of those whose interests have come into the greatest danger nothing else
seems best except to settle the issue immediately before them in the
best possible way. My opinion then is that the present time, above all
others, is inopportune for flight, even though it bring safety. For
while it is impossible for a man who has seen the light not also to die,
for one who has been an emperor it is unendurable to be a fugitive. May
I never be separated from this purple, and may I not live that day on
which those who meet me shall not address me as mistress. If, now, it is
your wish to save yourself, O Emperor, there is no difficulty. For we
have much money, and there is the sea, here the boats. However consider
whether it will not come about after you have been saved that you would
gladly exchange that safety for death. For as for myself, I approve a
certain ancient saying that royalty is a good burial-shroud." When the
queen had spoken thus, all were filled with boldness, and, turning their
thoughts towards resistance, they began to consider how they might be
able to defend themselves if any hostile force should come against them.
Now the soldiers as a body, including those who were stationed about the
emperor's court, were neither well disposed to the emperor nor willing
openly to take an active part in fighting, but were waiting for what the
future would bring forth. All the hopes of the emperor were centred upon
Belisarius and Mundus, of whom the former, Belisarius, had recently
returned from the Persian war bringing with him a following which was
both powerful and imposing, and in particular he had a great number of
spearmen and guards who had received their training in battles and the
perils of warfare. Mundus had been appointed general of the Illyrians,
and by mere chance had happened to come under summons to Byzantium on
some necessary errand, bringing with him Erulian barbarians.

When Hypatius reached the hippodrome, he went up immediately to where
the emperor is accustomed to take his place and seated himself on the
royal throne from which the emperor was always accustomed to view the
equestrian and athletic contests. And from the palace Mundus went out
through the gate which, from the circling descent, has been given the
name of the Snail. Belisarius meanwhile began at first to go straight up
toward Hypatius himself and the royal throne, and when he came to the
adjoining structure where there has been a guard of soldiers from of
old, he cried out to the soldiers commanding them to open the door for
him as quickly as possible, in order that he might go against the
tyrant. But since the soldiers had decided to support neither side,
until one of them should be manifestly victorious, they pretended not to
hear at all and thus put him off. So Belisarius returned to the emperor
and declared that the day was lost for them, for the soldiers who
guarded the palace were rebelling against him. The emperor therefore
commanded him to go to the so-called Bronze Gate and the propylaea
there. So Belisarius, with difficulty and not without danger and great
exertion, made his way over ground covered by ruins and half-burned
buildings, and ascended to the stadium. And when he had reached the Blue
Colonnade which is on the right of the emperor's throne, he purposed to
go against Hypatius himself first; but since there was a small door
there which had been closed and was guarded by the soldiers of Hypatius
who were inside, he feared lest while he was struggling in the narrow
space the populace should fall upon him, and after destroying both
himself and all his followers, should proceed with less trouble and
difficulty against the emperor. Concluding, therefore, that he must go
against the populace who had taken their stand in the hippodrome--a vast
multitude crowding each other in great disorder--he drew his sword from
its sheath and, commanding the others to do likewise, with a shout he
advanced upon them at a run. But the populace, who were standing in a
mass and not in order, at the sight of armoured soldiers who had a great
reputation for bravery and experience in war, and seeing that they
struck out with their swords unsparingly, beat a hasty retreat. Then a
great outcry arose, as was natural, and Mundus, who was standing not far
away, was eager to join in the fight,--for he was a daring and energetic
fellow--but he was at a loss as to what he should do under the
circumstances; when, however, he observed that Belisarius was in the
struggle, he straightway made a sally into the hippodrome through the
entrance which they call the Gate of Death. Then indeed from both sides
the partisans of Hypatius were assailed with might and main and
destroyed. When the rout had become complete and there had already been
great slaughter of the populace, Boraedes and Justus, nephews of the
Emperor Justinian, without anyone daring to lift a hand against them,
dragged Hypatius down from the throne, and, leading him in, handed him
over together with Pompeius to the emperor. And there perished among the
populace on that day more than thirty thousand. But the emperor
commanded the two prisoners to be kept in severe confinement. Then,
while Pompeius was weeping and uttering pitiable words (for the man was
wholly inexperienced in such misfortunes), Hypatius reproached him at
length and said that those who were about to die unjustly should not
lament. For in the beginning they had been forced by the people against
their will, and afterwards they had come to the hippodrome with no
thought of harming the emperor. And the soldiers killed both of them on
the following day and threw their bodies into the sea. The emperor
confiscated all their property for the public treasury, and also that of
all the other members of the senate who had sided with them. Later,
however, he restored to the children of Hypatius and Pompeius and to all
others the titles which they had formerly held, and as much of their
property as he had not happened to bestow upon his friends. This was the
end of the insurrection in Byzantium.


XXV

Tribunianus and John were thus deprived of office, but at a later time
they were both restored to the same positions. And Tribunianus lived on
in office many years and died of disease, suffering no further harm from
anyone. For he was a smooth fellow and agreeable in every way and well
able by the excellence of his education to throw into the shade his
affliction of avarice. But John was oppressive and severe alike with all
men, inflicting blows upon those whom he met and plundering without
respect absolutely all their money; consequently in the tenth year of
his office he rightly and justly atoned for his lawless conduct in the
following manner.

The Empress Theodora hated him above all others. And while he gave
offence to the woman by the wrongs he committed, he was not of a mind to
win her by flattery or by kindness in any way, but he openly set himself
in opposition to her and kept slandering her to the emperor, neither
blushing before her high station nor feeling shame because of the
extraordinary love which the emperor felt for her. When the queen
perceived what was being done, she purposed to slay the man, but in no
way could she do this, since the Emperor Justinian set great store by
him. And when John learned of the purpose of the queen regarding him, he
was greatly terrified. And whenever he went into his chamber to sleep,
he expected every night that some one of the barbarians would fall upon
him to slay him; and he kept peeping out of the room and looking about
the entrances and remained sleepless, although he had attached to
himself many thousands of spearmen and guards, a thing which had been
granted to no prefect before that time. But at daybreak, forgetting all
his fears of things divine and human, he would become again a plague to
all the Romans both in public and in private. And he conversed commonly
with sorcerers, and constantly listened to profane oracles which
portended for him the imperial office, so that he was plainly walking on
air and lifted up by his hopes of the royal power. But in his rascality
and the lawlessness of his conduct there was no moderation or abatement.
And there was in him absolutely no regard for God, and even when he went
to a sanctuary to pray and to pass the night, he did not do at all as
the Christians are wont to do, but he clothed himself in a coarse
garment appropriate to a priest of the old faith which they are now
accustomed to call Hellenic, and throughout that whole night mumbled out
some unholy words which he had practised, praying that the mind of the
emperor might be still more under his control, and that he himself might
be free from harm at the hands of all men.

At this time Belisarius, after subjugating Italy, came to Byzantium at
the summons of the emperor with his wife Antonina, in order to march
against the Persians[32]. And while in the eyes of all others he was an
honoured and distinguished person, as was natural, John alone was
hostile to him and worked actively against him, for no other reason than
that he drew the hatred of all to himself, while Belisarius enjoyed an
unequalled popularity. And it was on him that the hope of the Romans
centred as he marched once more against the Persians, leaving his wife
in Byzantium. Now Antonina, the wife of Belisarius, (for she was the
most capable person in the world to contrive the impossible,) purposing
to do a favour to the empress, devised the following plan. John had a
daughter, Euphemia, who had a great reputation for discretion, but a
very young woman and for this reason very susceptible; this girl was
exceedingly loved by her father, for she was his only child. By treating
this young woman kindly for several days Antonina succeeded most
completely in winning her friendship, and she did not refuse to share
her secrets with her. And on one occasion when she was present alone
with her in her room she pretended to lament the fate which was upon
her, saying that although Belisarius had made the Roman empire broader
by a goodly measure than it had been before, and though he had brought
two captive kings and so great an amount of wealth to Byzantium, he
found Justinian ungrateful; and in other respects she slandered the
government as not just. Now Euphemia was overjoyed by these words, for
she too was hostile to the present administration by reason of her fear
of the empress, and she said: "And yet, dearest friend, it is you and
Belisarius who are to blame for this, seeing that, though you have
opportunity, you are not willing to use your power." And Antonina
replied quickly: "It is because we are not able, my daughter, to
undertake revolutions in camp, unless some of those here at home join
with us in the task. Now if your father were willing, we should most
easily organize this project and accomplish whatever God wills." When
Euphemia heard this, she promised eagerly that the suggestion would be
carried out, and departing from there she immediately brought the matter
before her father. And he was pleased by the message (for he inferred
that this undertaking offered him a way to the fulfilment of his
prophecies and to the royal power), and straightway without any
hesitation he assented, and bade his child arrange that on the following
day he himself should come to confer with Antonina and give pledges.
When Antonina learned the mind of John, she wished to lead him as far as
possible astray from the understanding of the truth, so she said that
for the present it was inadvisable that he should meet her, for fear
lest some suspicion should arise strong enough to prevent proceedings;
but she was intending straightway to depart for the East to join
Belisarius. When, therefore, she had quit Byzantium and had reached the
suburb (the one called Rufinianae which was the private possession of
Belisarius), there John should come as if to salute her and to escort
her forth on the journey, and they should confer regarding matters of
state and give and receive their pledges. In saying this she seemed to
John to speak well, and a certain day was appointed to carry out the
plan. And the empress, hearing the whole account from Antonina,
expressed approval of what she had planned, and by her exhortations
raised her enthusiasm to a much higher pitch still.

When the appointed day was at hand, Antonina bade the empress farewell
and departed from the city, and she went to Rufinianae, as if to begin
on the following day her journey to the East; hither too came John at
night in order to carry out the plan which had been agreed upon.
Meanwhile the empress denounced to her husband the things which were
being done by John to secure the tyranny, and she sent Narses, the
eunuch, and Marcellus, the commander of the palace guards to Rufinianae
with numerous soldiers, in order that they might investigate what was
going on, and, if they found John setting about a revolution, that they
might kill the man forthwith and return. So these departed for this
task. But they say that the emperor got information of what was being
done and sent one of John's friends to him forbidding him on any
condition to meet Antonina secretly. But John (since it was fated that
he should fare ill), disregarding the emperor's warning, about midnight
met Antonina, close by a certain wall behind which she had stationed
Narses and Marcellus with their men that they might hear what was said.
There, while John with unguarded tongue was assenting to the plans for
the attack and binding himself with the most dread oaths, Narses and
Marcellus suddenly set upon him. But in the natural confusion which
resulted the body-guards of John (for they stood close by) came
immediately to his side. And one of them smote Marcellus with his sword,
not knowing who he was, and thus John was enabled to escape with them,
and reached the city with all speed. And if he had had the courage to go
straightway before the emperor, I believe that he would have suffered no
harm at his hand; but as it was, he fled for refuge to the sanctuary,
and gave the empress opportunity to work her will against him at her
pleasure.

[May, 541] Thus, then, from being prefect he became a private citizen,
and rising from that sanctuary he was conveyed to another, which is
situated in the suburb of the city of Cyzicus called by the Cyzicenes
Artace. There he donned the garb of a priest, much against his will, not
a bishop's gown however, but that of a presbyter, as they are called.
But he was quite unwilling to perform the office of a priest lest at
some time it should be a hindrance to his entering again into office;
for he was by no means ready to relinquish his hopes. All his property
was immediately confiscated to the public treasury, but a large
proportion of this the emperor remitted to him, for he was still
inclined to spare him. There it was possible for John to live,
disregarding all dangers and enjoying great wealth, both that which he
himself had concealed and that which by the decision of the emperor
remained with him, and to indulge in luxury at his pleasure, and, if he
had reasoned wisely, to consider his present lot a happy one. For this
reason all the Romans were exceedingly vexed with the man, because,
forsooth, after proving himself the basest of all demons, contrary to
his deserts he was leading a life happier than before. But God, I think,
did not suffer John's retribution to end thus, but prepared for him a
greater punishment. And it fell out thus.

There was in Cyzicus a certain bishop named Eusebius, a man harsh to all
who came in his way, and no less so than John; this man the Cyzicenes
denounced to the emperor and summoned to justice. And since they
accomplished nothing inasmuch as Eusebius circumvented them by his great
power, certain youths agreed together and killed him in the market-place
of Cyzicus. Now it happened that John had become especially hostile to
Eusebius, and hence the suspicion of the plot fell upon him. Accordingly
men were sent from the senate to investigate this act of pollution. And
these men first confined John in a prison, and then this man who had
been such a powerful prefect, and had been inscribed among the
patricians and had mounted the seat of the consuls, than which nothing
seems greater, at least in the Roman state, they made to stand naked
like any robber or footpad, and thrashing him with many blows upon his
back, compelled him to tell his past life. And while John had not been
clearly convicted as guilty of the murder of Eusebius, it seemed that
God's justice was exacting from him the penalties of the world.
Thereafter they stripped him of all his goods and put him naked on board
a ship, being wrapped in a single cloak, and that a very rough one
purchased for some few obols; and wherever the ship anchored, those who
had him in charge commanded him to ask from those he met bread or obols.
Thus begging everywhere along the way he was conveyed to the city of
Antinous in Aegypt. And this is now the third year during which they
have been guarding him there in confinement. As for John himself,
although he has fallen into such troubles, he has not relinquished his
hope of royal power, but he made up his mind to denounce certain
Alexandrians as owing money to the public treasury. Thus then John the
Cappadocian ten years afterward was overtaken by this punishment for his
political career.


XXVI

At that time the Emperor again designated Belisarius General of the
East, and, sending him to Libya, gained over the country, as will be
told later on in my narrative. When this information came to Chosroes
and the Persians, they were mightily vexed, and they already repented
having made peace with the Romans, because they perceived that their
power was extending greatly. And Chosroes sent envoys to Byzantium, and
said that he rejoiced with the Emperor Justinian, and he asked with a
laugh to receive his share of the spoils from Libya, on the ground that
the emperor would never have been able to conquer in the war with the
Vandals if the Persians had not been at peace with him. So then
Justinian made a present of money to Chosroes, and not long afterwards
dismissed the envoys.

In the city of Daras the following event took place. There was a certain
John there serving in a detachment of infantry; this man, in conspiracy
with some few of the soldiers, but not all, took possession of the city,
essaying to make himself tyrant. Then he established himself in a palace
as if in a citadel, and was strengthening his tyranny every day. And if
it had not happened that the Persians were continuing to keep peace with
the Romans, irreparable harm would have come from this affair to the
Romans. But as it was, this was prevented by the agreement which had
already been reached, as I have said. On the fourth day of the tyranny
some soldiers conspired together, and by the advice of Mamas, the priest
of the city, and Anastasius, one of the notable citizens, they went up
to the palace at high noon, each man hiding a small sword under his
garment. And first at the door of the courtyard they found some few of
the body-guards, whom they slew immediately. Then they entered the men's
apartment and laid hold upon the tyrant; but some say that the soldiers
were not the first to do this, but that while they were still hesitating
in the courtyard and trembling at the danger, a certain sausage-vendor
who was with them rushed in with his cleaver and meeting John smote him
unexpectedly. But the blow which had been dealt him was not a fatal one,
this account goes on to say, and he fled with a great outcry and
suddenly fell among these very soldiers. Thus they laid hands upon the
man and immediately set fire to the palace and burned it, in order that
there might be left no hope from there for those making revolutions; and
John they led away to the prison and bound. And one of them, fearing
lest the soldiers, upon learning that the tyrant survived, might again
make trouble for the city, killed John, and in this way stopped the
confusion. Such, then, was the progress of events touching this tyranny.


FOOTNOTES:

[1]

Cf. _Iliad_ xi. 385 [Greek: toxota, lôbêtêr, kerai aglae, parthenopipa],
the only place where [Greek: toxotês] occurs in Homer.

[2]

Cf. _Iliad_ v. 192.

[3]

Cf. _Iliad_ viii. 267; xi. 371.

[4]

Cf. _Iliad_ iv. 113.

[5]

Cf. _Iliad_ iv. 123.

[6]

Cf. _Iliad_ xi. 390.

[7]

The trench crossed the plain in an approximately straight line. The army
of the Ephthalitae were drawn up behind it, facing the advancing
Persians, while a few of them went out beyond the trench to draw the
attack of the Persians.

[8]

Cf. Thuc. ii. 76, 4.

[9]

Cf. Book VII. xxvi. 4.

[10]

Cf. Thuc. i. 128.

[11]

A division of no fixed number.

[12]

Cf. Book I. ii. 15.

[13]

Modern Erzeroum.

[14]

_i.e._ "by force."

[15]

Cf. Book VIII. xiii. 15.

[16]

Cf. _Iliad_ xxiv. 348; _Odyssey_ x. 279.

[17]

Lebanon.

[18]

Roman formation.

_a--a, trench._

1. Bouzes and Pharas.

2. Sunicas and Aigan.

3. John, Cyril, Marcellus, Germanus, and Dorotheus.

4. Simmas and Ascan.

5. Belisarius and Hermogenes.

[Illustration: Roman formation.]

      1.                                    3.
  (h)=======           |----|         ===========
  hill             2.--| 5. |--4.
            a__________|    |__________a
                  =================

[19]

Cf. Book I. x. 2.

[20]

Cf. Book I. xii. 21.

[21]

Cf. Book I. xiii. 2.

[22]

"Euphratesia"; cf. section 2.

[23]

Title meaning a patrician. See Index.

[24]

Ch. xiv. 28-54.

[25]

The coast described here is that of Arabia.

[26]

Rather the "Arabian Gulf."

[27]

Cf. ch. xv. 31.

[28]

In Latin _serica_, as coming from the Chinese (Seres).

[29]

Cf. chap. xvi. 7.

[30]

Cf. Book II. xvii.

[31]

_i.e._ "Conquer."

[32]

Book VI. xxx. 30.



HISTORY OF THE WARS: BOOK II



THE PERSIAN WAR (_Continued_)


HISTORY OF THE WARS: BOOK II

THE PERSIAN WAR (_Continued_)


I

Not long after this Chosroes, upon learning that Belisarius had begun to
win Italy also for the Emperor Justinian, was no longer able to restrain
his thoughts but he wished to discover pretexts, in order that he might
break the treaty on some grounds which would seem plausible. And he
conferred with Alamoundaras concerning this matter and commanded him to
provide causes for war. So Alamoundaras brought against Arethas, the
charge that he, Arethas, was doing him violence in a matter of boundary
lines, and he entered into conflict with him in time of peace, and began
to overrun the land of the Romans on this pretext. And he declared that,
as for him, he was not breaking the treaty between the Persians and
Romans, for neither one of them had included him in it. And this was
true. For no mention of Saracens was ever made in treaties, on the
ground that they were included under the names of Persians and Romans.
Now this country which at that time was claimed by both tribes of
Saracens[1] is called Strata, and extends to the south of the city of
Palmyra; nowhere does it produce a single tree or any of the useful
growth of corn-lands, for it is burned exceedingly dry by the sun, but
from of old it has been devoted to the pasturage of some few flocks. Now
Arethas maintained that the place belonged to the Romans, proving his
assertion by the name which has long been applied to it by all (for
Strata signifies "a paved road" in the Latin tongue), and he also
adduced the testimonies of men of the oldest times. Alamoundaras,
however, was by no means inclined to quarrel concerning the name, but he
claimed that tribute had been given him from of old for the pasturage
there by the owners of the flocks. The Emperor Justinian therefore
entrusted the settlement of the disputed points to Strategius; a
patrician and administrator of the royal treasures, and besides a man of
wisdom and of good ancestry, and with him Summus, who had commanded the
troops in Palestine. This Summus was the brother of Julian, who not long
before had served as envoy to the Aethiopians and Homeritae. And the one
of them, Summus, insisted that the Romans ought not to surrender the
country, but Strategius begged of the emperor that he should not do the
Persians the favour of providing them with pretexts for the war which
they already desired, for the sake of a small bit of land and one of
absolutely no account, but altogether unproductive and unsuitable for
crops. The Emperor Justinian, therefore, took the matter under
consideration, and a long time was spent in the settlement of the
question.

But Chosroes, the King of the Persians, claimed that the treaty had been
broken by Justinian, who had lately displayed great opposition to his
house, in that he had attempted in time of peace to attach Alamoundaras
to himself. For, as he said, Summus, who had recently gone to the
Saracen ostensibly to arrange matters, had hoodwinked him by promises of
large sums of money on condition that he should join the Romans, and he
brought forward a letter which, he alleged, the Emperor Justinian had
written to Alamoundaras concerning these things. He also declared that
he had sent a letter to some of the Huns, in which he urged them to
invade the land of the Persians and to do extensive damage to the
country thereabout. This letter he asserted to have been put into his
hands by the Huns themselves who had come before him. So then Chosroes,
with these charges against the Romans, was purposing to break off the
treaty. But as to whether he was speaking the truth in these matters, I
am not able to say.


II

At this point Vittigis, the leader of the Goths, already worsted in the
war, sent two envoys to him to persuade him to march against the Romans;
but the men whom he sent were not Goths, in order that the real
character of the embassy might not be at once obvious and so make
negotiations useless, but Ligurian priests who were attracted to this
enterprise by rich gifts of money. One of these men, who seemed to be
the more worthy, undertook the embassy assuming the pretended name of
bishop which did not belong to him at all, while the other followed as
his attendant. And when in the course of the journey they came to the
land of Thrace, they attached to themselves a man from there to be an
interpreter of the Syriac and the Greek tongues, and without being
detected by any of the Romans, they reached the land of Persia. For
inasmuch as they were at peace, they were not keeping a strict guard
over that region. And coming before Chosroes they spoke as follows: "It
is true, O King, that all other envoys undertake their task for the sake
of advantages to themselves as a rule, but we have been sent by
Vittigis, the king of the Goths and the Italians, in order to speak in
behalf of thy kingdom; and consider that he is now present before thee
speaking these words. If anyone should say, O King, putting all in a
word, that thou hast given up thy kingdom and all men everywhere to
Justinian, he would be speaking correctly. For since he is by nature a
meddler and a lover of those things which in no way belong to him, and
is not able to abide by the settled order of things, he has conceived
the desire of seizing upon the whole earth, and has become eager to
acquire for himself each and every state. Accordingly (since he was
neither able alone to assail the Persians, nor with the Persians
opposing him to proceed against the others), he decided to deceive thee
with the pretence of peace, and by forcing the others to subjection to
acquire mighty forces against thy state. Therefore, after having already
destroyed the kingdom of the Vandals and subjugated the Moors, while the
Goths because of their friendship stood aside for him, he has come
against us bringing vast sums of money and many men. Now it is evident
that, if he is able also to crush the Goths utterly, he will with us and
those already enslaved march against the Persians, neither considering
the name of friendship nor blushing before any of his sworn promises.
While, therefore, some hope of safety is still left thee, do not do us
any further wrong nor suffer it thyself, but see in our misfortunes what
will a little later befall the Persians; and consider that the Romans
could never be well-disposed to thy kingdom, and that when they become
more powerful, they will not hesitate at all to display their enmity
toward the Persians. Use, therefore, this good chance while the time
fits, lest thou seek for it after it has ceased. For when once the time
of opportunity has passed, it is not its nature to return again. And it
is better by anticipating to be in security, than by delaying beyond the
opportune time to suffer the most miserable fate possible at the hands
of the enemy."

When Chosroes heard this, it seemed to him that Vittigis advised well,
and he was still more eager to break off the treaty. For, moved as he
was by envy toward the Emperor Justinian, he neglected completely to
consider that the words were spoken to him by men who were bitter
enemies of Justinian. But because he wished the thing he willingly
consented to be persuaded. And he did the very same thing a little later
in the case of the addresses of the Armenians and of the Lazi, which
will be spoken of directly. And yet they were bringing as charges
against Justinian the very things which would naturally be encomiums for
a worthy monarch, namely that he was exerting himself to make his realm
larger and much more splendid. For these accusations one might make also
against Cyrus, the King of the Persians, and Alexander, the Macedonian.
But justice is never accustomed to dwell together with envy. For these
reasons, then, Chosroes was purposing to break off the treaty.


III

At this same time another event also occurred; it was as follows. That
Symeon who had given Pharangium into the hands of the Romans persuaded
the Emperor Justinian, while the war was still at its height, to present
him with certain villages of Armenia. And becoming master of these
places, he was plotted against and murdered by those who had formerly
possessed them. After this crime had been committed, the perpetrators of
the murder fled into the land of Persia. They were two brothers, sons of
Perozes. And when the Emperor heard this, he gave over the villages to
Amazaspes, the nephew of Symeon, and appointed him ruler over the
Armenians. This Amazaspes, as time went on, was denounced to the Emperor
Justinian by one of his friends, Acacius by name, on the ground that he
was abusing the Armenians and wished to give over to the Persians
Theodosiopolis and certain other fortresses. After telling this,
Acacius, by the emperor's will, slew Amazaspes treacherously, and
himself secured the command over the Armenians by the gift of the
emperor. And being base by nature, he gained the opportunity of
displaying his inward character, and he proved to be the most cruel of
all men toward his subjects. For he plundered their property without
excuse and ordained that they should pay an unheard-of tax of four
centenaria[2]. But the Armenians, unable to bear him any longer,
conspired together and slew Acacius and fled for refuge to Pharangium.

Therefore the emperor sent Sittas against them from Byzantium. For
Sittas had been delaying there since the time when the treaty was made
with the Persians. So he came to Armenia, but at first he entered upon
the war reluctantly and exerted himself to calm the people and to
restore the population to their former habitations, promising to
persuade the emperor to remit to them the payment of the new tax. But
since the emperor kept assailing him with frequent reproaches for his
hesitation, led on by the slanders of Adolius, the son of Acacius,
Sittas at last made his preparations for the conflict. First of all he
attempted by means of promises of many good things to win over some of
the Armenians by persuasion and to attach them to his cause, in order
that the task of overpowering the others might be attended with less
difficulty and toil. And the tribe called the Aspetiani, great in power
and in numbers, was willing to join him. And they went to Sittas and
begged him to give them pledges in writing that, if they abandoned their
kinsmen in the battle and came to the Roman army, they should remain
entirely free from harm, retaining their own possessions. Now Sittas was
delighted and wrote to them in tablets, giving them pledges just as they
desired of him; he then sealed the writing and sent it to them. Then,
confident that by their help he would be victorious in the war without
fighting, he went with his whole army to a place called Oenochalakon,
where the Armenians had their camp. But by some chance those who carried
the tablets went by another road and did not succeed at all in meeting
the Aspetiani. Moreover a portion of the Roman army happened upon some
few of them, and not knowing the agreement which had been made, treated
them as enemies. And Sittas himself caught some of their women and
children in a cave and slew them, either because he did not understand
what had happened or because he was angry with the Aspetiani for not
joining him as had been agreed.

But they, being now possessed with anger, arrayed themselves for battle
with all the rest. But since both armies were on exceedingly difficult
ground where precipices abounded, they did not fight in one place, but
scattered about among the ridges and ravines. So it happened that some
few of the Armenians and Sittas with not many of his followers came
close upon each other, with only a ravine lying between them. Both
parties were horsemen. Then Sittas with a few men following him crossed
the ravine and advanced against the enemy; the Armenians, after
withdrawing to the rear, stopped, and Sittas pursued no further but
remained where he was. Suddenly someone from the Roman army, an Erulian
by birth, who had been pursuing the enemy, returning impetuously from
them came up to Sittas and his men. Now as it happened Sittas had
planted his spear in the ground; and the Erulian's horse fell upon this
with a great rush and shattered it. And the general was exceedingly
annoyed by this, and one of the Armenians, seeing him, recognized him
and declared to all the others that it was Sittas. For it happened that
he had no helmet on his head. Thus it did not escape the enemy that he
had come there with only a few men. Sittas, then, upon hearing the
Armenian say this, since his spear, as has been said, lay broken in two
on the ground, drew his sword and attempted immediately to recross the
ravine. But the enemy advanced upon him with great eagerness, and a
soldier overtaking him in the ravine struck him a glancing blow with his
sword on the top of his head; and he took off the whole scalp, but the
steel did not injure the bone at all. And Sittas continued to press
forward still more than before, but Artabanes, son of John of the
Arsacidae, fell upon him from behind and with a thrust of his spear
killed him. Thus Sittas was removed from the world after no notable
fashion, in a manner unworthy of his valour and his continual
achievements against the enemy, a man who was extremely handsome in
appearance and a capable warrior, and a general second to none of his
contemporaries. But some say that Sittas did not die at the hand of
Artabanes, but that Solomon, a very insignificant man among the
Armenians, destroyed him.

After the death of Sittas the emperor commanded Bouzes to go against the
Armenians; and he, upon drawing near, sent to them promising to effect a
reconciliation between the emperor and all the Armenians, and asking
that some of their notables should come to confer with him on these
matters. Now the Armenians as a whole were unable to trust Bouzes nor
were they willing to receive his proposals. But there was a certain man
of the Arsacidae who was especially friendly with him, John by name, the
father of Artabanes, and this man, trusting in Bouzes as his friend came
to him with his son-in-law, Bassaces, and a few others; but when these
men had reached the spot where they were to meet Bouzes on the following
day, and had made their bivouac there, they perceived that they had come
into a place surrounded by the Roman army. Bassaces, the son-in-law,
therefore earnestly entreated John to fly. And since he was not able to
persuade him, he left him there alone, and in company with all the
others eluded the Romans, and went back again by the same road. And
Bouzes found John alone and slew him; and since after this the Armenians
had no hope of ever reaching an agreement with the Romans, and since
they were unable to prevail over the emperor in war, they came before
the Persian king led by Bassaces, an energetic man. And the leading men
among them came at that time into the presence of Chosroes and spoke as
follows: "Many of us, O Master, are Arsacidae, descendants of that
Arsaces who was not unrelated to the Parthian kings when the Persian
realm lay under the hand of the Parthians, and who proved himself an
illustrious king, inferior to none of his time. Now we have come to
thee, and all of us have become slaves and fugitives, not, however, of
our own will, but under most hard constraint, as it might seem by reason
of the Roman power, but in truth, O King, by reason of thy
decision,--if, indeed, he who gives the strength to those who wish to do
injustice should himself justly bear also the blame of their misdeeds.
Now we shall begin our account from a little distance back in order that
you may be able to follow the whole course of events. Arsaces, the last
king of our ancestors, abdicated his throne willingly in favour of
Theodosius, the Roman Emperor, on condition that all who should belong
to his family through all time should live unhampered in every respect,
and in particular should in no case be subject to taxation. And we have
preserved the agreement, until you, the Persians, made this much-vaunted
treaty, which, as we think, one would not err in calling a sort of
common destruction. For from that time, disregarding friend and foe, he
who is in name thy friend, O King, but in fact thy enemy, has turned
everything in the world upside down and wrought complete confusion. And
this thou thyself shalt know at no distant time, as soon as he is able
to subdue completely the people of the West. For what thing which was
before forbidden has he not done? or what thing which was well
established has he not disturbed? Did he not ordain for us the payment
of a tax which did not exist before, and has he not enslaved our
neighbours, the Tzani, who were autonomous, and has he not set over the
king of the wretched Lazi a Roman magistrate?--an act neither in keeping
with the natural order of things nor very easy to explain in words. Has
he not sent generals to the men of Bosporus, the subjects of the Huns,
and attached to himself the city which in no way belongs to him, and has
he not made a defensive alliance with the Aethiopian kingdoms, of which
the Romans had never even heard? More than this he has made the
Homeritae his possession and the Red Sea, and he is adding the Palm
Groves to the Roman dominion. We omit to speak of the fate of the
Libyans and of the Italians. The whole earth is not large enough for the
man; it is too small a thing for him to conquer all the world together.
But he is even looking about the heavens and is searching the retreats
beyond the ocean, wishing to gain for himself some other world. Why,
therefore, O King, dost thou still delay? Why dost thou respect that
most accursed peace, in order forsooth that he may make thee the last
morsel of all? If it is thy wish to learn what kind of a man Justinian
would shew himself toward those who yield to him, the example is to be
sought near at hand from ourselves and from the wretched Lazi; and if
thou wishest to see how he is accustomed to treat those who are unknown
to him and who have done him not the least wrong, consider the Vandals
and the Goths and the Moors. But the chief thing has not yet been
spoken. Has he not made efforts in time of peace to win over by
deception thy slave, Alamoundaras, O most mighty King, and to detach him
from thy kingdom, and has he not striven recently to attach to himself
the Huns who are utterly unknown to him, in order to make trouble for
thee? And yet an act more strange than this has not been performed in
all time. For since he perceived, as I think, that the overthrow of the
western world would speedily be accomplished, he has already taken in
hand to assail you of the East, since the Persian power alone has been
left for him to grapple with. The peace, therefore, as far as concerns
him, has already been broken for thee, and he himself has set an end to
the endless peace. For they break the peace, not who may be first in
arms, but they who may be caught plotting against their neighbours in
time of peace. For the crime has been committed by him who attempts it,
even though success be lacking. Now as for the course which the war will
follow, this is surely clear to everyone. For it is not those who
furnish causes for war, but those who defend themselves against those
who furnish them, who are accustomed always to conquer their enemies.
Nay more, the contest will not be evenly matched for us even in point of
strength. For, as it happens, the majority of the Roman soldiers are at
the end of the world, and as for the two generals who were the best they
had, we come here having slain the one, Sittas, and Belisarius will
never again be seen by Justinian. For disregarding his master, he has
remained in the West, holding the power of Italy himself. So that when
thou goest against the enemy, no one at all will confront thee, and thou
wilt have us leading the army with good will, as is natural, and with a
thorough knowledge of the country." When Chosroes heard this he was
pleased, and calling together all who were of noble blood among the
Persians, he disclosed to all of them what Vittigis had written and what
the Armenians had said, and laid before them the question as to what
should be done. Then many opinions were expressed inclining to either
side, but finally it was decided that they must open hostilities against
the Romans at the beginning of spring. [539 A.D.] For it was the late
autumn season, in the thirteenth year of the reign of the Emperor
Justinian. The Romans, however, did not suspect this, nor did they think
that the Persians would ever break the so-called endless peace, although
they heard that Chosroes blamed their emperor for his successes in the
West, and that he preferred against him the charges which I have lately
mentioned.


IV

[539 A.D.] At that time also the comet appeared, at first about as long
as a tall man, but later much larger. And the end of it was toward the
west and its beginning toward the east, and it followed behind the sun
itself. For the sun was in Capricorn and it was in Sagittarius. And some
called it "the swordfish" because it was of goodly length and very sharp
at the point, and others called it "the bearded star"; it was seen for
more than forty days. Now those who were wise in these matters disagreed
utterly with each other, and one announced that one thing, another that
another thing was indicated by this star; but I only write what took
place and I leave to each one to judge by the outcome as he wishes.
Straightway a mighty Hunnic army crossing the Danube River fell as a
scourge upon all Europe, a thing which had happened many times before,
but which had never brought such a multitude of woes nor such dreadful
ones to the people of that land. For from the Ionian Gulf these
barbarians plundered everything in order as far as the suburbs of
Byzantium. And they captured thirty-two fortresses in Illyricum, and
they carried by storm the city of Cassandria (which the ancients called
Potidaea, as far as we know), never having fought against walls before.
And taking with them the money and leading away one hundred and twenty
thousand captives, they all retired homeward without encountering any
opposition. In later times too they often came there and brought upon
the Romans irreparable calamity. This same people also assailed the wall
of the Chersonesus, where they overpowered those who were defending
themselves from the wall, and approaching through the surf of the sea,
scaled the fortifications on the so-called Black Gulf; thus they got
within the long wall, and falling unexpectedly upon the Romans in the
Chersonesus they slew many of them and made prisoners of almost all the
survivors. Some few of them also crossed the strait between Sestus and
Abydus, and after plundering the Asiatic country, they returned again to
the Chersonesus, and with the rest of the army and all the booty betook
themselves to their homes. In another invasion they plundered Illyricum
and Thessaly and attempted to storm the wall at Thermopylae; and since
the guards on the walls defended them most valiantly, they sought out
the ways around and unexpectedly found the path which leads up the
mountain which rises there[3]. In this way they destroyed almost all the
Greeks except the Peloponnesians, and then withdrew. And the Persians
not long afterwards broke off the treaty and wrought such harm to the
Romans of the East as I shall set forth immediately.

Belisarius, after humbling Vittigis, the king of the Goths and Italians,
brought him alive to Byzantium. And I shall now proceed to tell how the
army of the Persians invaded the land of the Romans. When the Emperor
Justinian perceived that Chosroes was eager for war, he wished to offer
him some counsel and to dissuade him from the undertaking. Now it
happened that a certain man had come to Byzantium from the city of
Daras, Anastasius by name, well known for his sagacity; he it was who
had broken the tyranny which had been established recently in Daras.
Justinian therefore wrote a letter and sent it by this Anastasius to
Chosroes; and the message of the letter was as follows: "It is the part
of men of discretion and those by whom divine things are treated with
due respect, when causes of war arise, and in particular against men who
are in the truest sense friends, to exert all their power to put an end
to them; but it belongs to foolish men and those who most lightly bring
on themselves the enmity of Heaven to devise occasions for war and
insurrection which have no real existence. Now to destroy peace and
enter upon war is not a difficult matter, since the nature of things is
such as to make the basest activities easy for the most dishonourable
men. But when they have brought about war according to their intention,
to return again to peace is for men, I think, not easy. And yet thou
chargest me with writing letters which were not written with any dark
purpose, and thou hast now made haste to interpret these with arbitrary
judgment, not in the sense in which we conceived them when we wrote
them, but in a way which will be of advantage to thee in thy eagerness
to carry out thy plans not without some pretext. But for us it is
possible to point out that thy Alamoundaras recently overran our land
and performed outrageous deeds in time of peace, to wit, the capture of
towns, the seizure of property, the massacre and enslavement of such a
multitude of men, concerning which it will be thy duty not to blame us,
but to defend thyself. For the crimes of those who have done wrong are
made manifest to their neighbours by their acts, not by their thoughts.
But even with these things as they are, we have still decided to hold to
peace, but we hear that thou in thy eagerness to make war upon the
Romans art fabricating accusations which do not belong to us at all.
Natural enough, this; for while those who are eager to preserve the
present order of things repel even those charges against their friends
which are most pressing, those who are not satisfied with established
friendships exert themselves to provide even pretexts which do not
exist. But this would not seem to be becoming even to ordinary men, much
less to kings. But leaving aside these things do thou consider the
number of those who will be destroyed on both sides in the course of the
war, and consider well who will justly bear the blame for those things
which will come to pass, and ponder upon the oaths which thou didst take
when thou didst carry away the money, and consider that if, after that,
thou wrongly dishonour them by some tricks or sophistries, thou wouldst
not be able to pervert them; for Heaven is too mighty to be deceived by
any man." When Chosroes saw this message, he neither made any immediate
answer nor did he dismiss Anastasius, but he compelled him to remain
there.


V

[540 A.D.] When the winter was already reaching its close, and the
thirteenth year of the reign of the Emperor Justinian was ending,
Chosroes, son of Cabades, invaded the land of the Romans at the opening
of spring with a mighty army, and openly broke the so-called endless
peace. But he did not enter by the country between the rivers, but
advanced with the Euphrates on his right. On the other side of the river
stands the last Roman stronghold which is called Circesium, an
exceedingly strong place, since the River Aborras, a large stream, has
its mouth at this point and mingles with the Euphrates, and this
fortress lies exactly in the angle which is made by the junction of the
two rivers. And a long second wall outside the fortress cuts off the
land between the two rivers, and completes the form of a triangle around
Circesium. Chosroes, therefore, not wishing to make trial of so strong a
fortress and not having in mind to cross the River Euphrates, but rather
to go against the Syrians and Cilicians, without any hesitation led his
army forward, and after advancing for what, to an unencumbered
traveller, is about a three-days' journey along the bank of the
Euphrates, he came upon the city of Zenobia; this place Zenobia had
built in former times, and, as was natural, she gave her name to the
city. Now Zenobia was the wife of Odonathus, the ruler of the Saracens
of that region, who had been on terms of peace with the Romans from of
old. This Odonathus rescued for the Romans the Eastern Empire when it
had come under the power of the Medes; but this took place in former
times. Chosroes then came near to Zenobia, but upon learning that the
place was not important and observing that the land was untenanted and
destitute of all good things, he feared lest any time spent by him there
would be wasted on an affair of no consequence and would be a hindrance
to great undertakings, and he attempted to force the place to surrender.
But meeting with no success, he hastened his march forward.

After again accomplishing a journey of equal extent, he reached the city
of Sura, which is on the River Euphrates, and stopped very close to it.
There it happened that the horse on which Chosroes was riding neighed
and stamped the ground with his foot. And the Magi considered the
meaning of this incident and announced that the place would be captured.
Chosroes then made camp and led his army against the fortifications to
assail the wall. Now it happened that a certain Arsaces, an Armenian by
birth, was commander of the soldiers in the town; and he made the
soldiers mount the parapets, and fighting from there most valiantly slew
many of the enemy, but was himself struck by an arrow and died. And
then, since it was late in the day, the Persians retired to their camp
in order to assail the wall again on the following day; but the Romans
were in despair since their leader was dead, and were purposing to make
themselves suppliants of Chosroes. On the following day, therefore, they
sent the bishop of the city to plead for them and to beg that the town
be spared; so he took with him some of his attendants, who carried fowls
and wine and clean loaves, and came before Chosroes; there he threw
himself on the ground, and with tears supplicated him to spare a
pitiable population and a city altogether without honour in the eyes of
the Romans, and one which in past times had never been of any account to
the Persians, and which never would be such thereafter; and he promised
that the men of Sura would give him ransom worthy of themselves and the
city which they inhabited. But Chosroes was angry with the townsmen
because, being the first he had met of all the Romans, they had not
willingly received him into their city, but even daring to raise their
arms against him had slain a large number of Persian notables. However
he did not disclose his anger, but carefully concealed it behind a
smooth countenance, in order that by carrying out the punishment of the
inhabitants of Sura he might make himself in the eyes of the Romans a
fearful person and one not to be resisted. For by acting in this way he
calculated that those who would from time to time come in his way would
yield to him without trouble. Accordingly with great friendliness he
caused the bishop to rise, and receiving the gifts, gave the impression,
in a way, that he would immediately confer with the notables of the
Persians concerning the ransom of the townsmen, and would settle their
request favourably. Thus he dismissed the bishop and his following
without any suspicion of the plot, and he sent with him certain of the
men of note among the Persians, who were to be ostensibly an escort.
These men he secretly commanded to go with him as far as the wall,
encouraging him and cheering him with fair hopes, so that he and all
those with him should be seen by those inside rejoicing and fearing
nothing. But when the guards had set the gate open and were about to
receive them into the city, they were to throw a stone or block of wood
between the threshold and the gate and not allow them to shut it, but
should themselves for a time stand in the way of those who wished to
close it; for not long afterwards the army would follow them.

After giving these directions to the men Chosroes made ready the army,
and commanded them to advance upon the city on the run whenever he
should give the signal. So when they came close to the fortifications,
the Persians bade farewell to the bishop and remained outside, and the
townsmen, seeing that the man was exceedingly happy and that he was
being escorted in great honour by the enemy, forgetting all their
difficulties opened the gate wide, and received the priest and his
following with clapping of hands and much shouting. And when all got
inside, the guards began to push the gate in order to close it, but the
Persians flung down a stone, which they had provided, between it and the
threshold. And the guards pushed and struggled still more, but were
quite unable to get the gate back to the threshold. On the other hand
they dared not open it again, since they perceived that it was held by
the enemy. But some say that it was not a stone but a block of wood
which the Persians threw into the gateway. When the townsmen had as yet
scarcely realized the plot, Chosroes was at hand with his whole army,
and the barbarians forced back and flung open the gate, which was soon
carried by storm. Straightway, then, Chosroes, filled with wrath,
plundered the houses and put to death great numbers of the population;
all the remainder he reduced to slavery, and setting fire to the whole
city razed it to the ground. Then he dismissed Anastasius, bidding him
announce to the Emperor Justinian where in the world he had left
Chosroes, son of Cabades.

Afterwards either through motives of humanity or of avarice, or as
granting a favour to a woman whom he had taken as a captive from the
city, Euphemia by name, Chosroes decided to shew some kindness to the
inhabitants of Sura; for he had conceived for this woman an
extraordinary love (for she was exceedingly beautiful to look upon), and
had made her his wedded wife. He sent, accordingly, to Sergiopolis, a
city subject to the Romans, named from Sergius, a famous saint, distant
from the captured city one hundred and twenty-six stades and lying to
the south of it in the so-called Barbarian Plain, and bade Candidus, the
bishop of the city, purchase the captives, twelve thousand in number,
for two centenaria. But the bishop, alleging that he had no money,
refused absolutely to undertake the matter. Chosroes therefore requested
him to set down in a document the agreement that he would give the money
at a later time, and thus to purchase for a small sum such a multitude
of slaves. Candidus did as directed, promising to give the money within
a year, and swore the most dire oaths, specifying that he should receive
the following punishment if he should not give the money at the time
agreed upon, that he should pay double the amount and should himself be
no longer a priest, as one who had neglected his sworn promise. And
after setting down these things in writing, Candidus received all the
inhabitants of Sura. And some few among them survived, but the majority,
unable to support the misery which had fallen to their lot, succumbed
soon afterwards. After the settlement of this affair Chosroes led his
army forward.


VI

It had happened a little before this that the emperor had divided into
two parts the military command of the East, leaving the portion as far
as the River Euphrates under the control of Belisarius who formerly held
the command of the whole, while the portion from there as far as the
Persian boundary he entrusted to Bouzes, commanding him to take charge
of the whole territory of the East until Belisarius should return from
Italy. Bouzes therefore at first remained at Hierapolis, keeping his
whole army with him; but when he learned what had befallen Sura, he
called together the first men of the Hierapolitans and spoke as follows:
"Whenever men are confronted with a struggle against an assailant with
whom they are evenly matched in strength, it is not at all unreasonable
that they should engage in open conflict with the enemy; but for those
who are by comparison much inferior to their opponents it will be more
advantageous to circumvent their enemy by some kind of tricks than to
array themselves openly against them and thus enter into foreseen
danger. How great, now, the army of Chosroes is you are assuredly
informed. And if, with this army, he wishes to capture us by siege, and
if we carry on the fight from the wall, it is probable that, while our
supplies will fail us, the Persians will secure all they need from our
land, where there will be no one to oppose them. And if the siege is
prolonged in this way, I believe too that the fortification wall will
not withstand the assaults of the enemy, for in many places it is most
susceptible to attack, and thus irreparable harm will come to the
Romans. But if with a portion of the army we guard the wall of the city,
while the rest of us occupy the heights about the city, we shall make
attacks from there at times upon the camp of our antagonists, and at
times upon those who are sent out for the sake of provisions, and thus
compel Chosroes to abandon the siege immediately and to make his retreat
within a short time; for he will not be at all able to direct his attack
without fear against the fortifications, nor to provide any of the
necessities for so great an army." So spoke Bouzes; and in his words he
seemed to set forth the advantageous course of action, but of what was
necessary he did nothing. For he chose out all that portion of the Roman
army which was of marked excellence and was off. And where in the world
he was neither any of the Romans in Hierapolis, nor the hostile army was
able to learn. Such, then, was the course of these events.

But the Emperor Justinian, upon learning of the inroad of the Persians,
immediately sent his nephew Germanus with three hundred followers in
great disorder, promising that after no great time a numerous army would
follow. And Germanus, upon reaching Antioch, went around the whole
circuit of the wall; and the greater part of it he found secure, for
along that portion of it which lies on the level ground the River
Orontes flows, making it everywhere difficult of access, and the portion
which is on higher ground rises upon steep hills and is quite
inaccessible to the enemy; but when he attained the highest point, which
the men of that place are accustomed to call Orocasias, he noticed that
the wall at that point was very easy to assail. For there happens to be
in that place a rock, which spreads out to a very considerable width,
and rises to a height only a little less than the fortifications. He
therefore commanded that they should either cut off the rock by making a
deep ditch along the wall, lest anyone should essay to mount from there
upon the fortifications, or that they should build upon it a great tower
and connect its structure with the wall of the city. But to the
architects of public buildings it seemed that neither one of these
things should be done. For, as they said, the work would not be
completed in a short time with the attack of the enemy so imminent,
while if they began this work and did not carry it to completion, they
would do nothing else than shew to the enemy at what point in the wall
they should make their attack. Germanus, though disappointed in this
plan, had some hope at first because he expected an army from Byzantium.
But when, after considerable time had passed, no army arrived from the
emperor nor was expected to arrive, he began to fear lest Chosroes,
learning that the emperor's nephew was there, would consider it more
important than any other thing to capture Antioch and himself, and for
this reason would neglect everything else and come against the city with
his whole army. The natives of Antioch also had these things in mind,
and they held a council concerning them, at which it seemed most
advisable to offer money to Chosroes and thus escape the present danger.

Accordingly they sent Megas, the bishop of Beroea, a man of discretion
who at that time happened to be tarrying among them, to beg for mercy
from Chosroes; and departing from there he came upon the Median army not
far from Hierapolis. And coming into the presence of Chosroes, he
entreated him earnestly to have pity upon men who had committed no
offence against him and who were not able to hold out against the
Persian army. For it was becoming to a king least of all men to trample
upon and do violence to those who retreated before him and were quite
unwilling to array themselves against him; for not one of the things
which he was then doing was a kingly or honourable act, because, without
affording any time for consideration to the Roman emperor, so that he
might either make the peace secure as might seem well to both
sovereigns, or make his preparations for war in accordance with a mutual
agreement, as was to be expected, he had thus recklessly advanced in
arms against the Romans, while their emperor did not as yet know what
had come upon them. When Chosroes heard this, he was utterly unable by
reason of his stupidity to order his mind with reason and discretion,
but still more than before he was lifted up in spirit. He therefore
threatened to destroy all the Syrians and Cilicians, and bidding Megas
follow him, he led his army to Hierapolis. When he had come there and
established his camp, since he saw that the fortifications were strong
and learned that the city was well garrisoned with soldiers, he demanded
money from the Hierapolitans, sending to them Paulus as interpreter.
This Paulus had been reared in Roman territory and had gone to an
elementary school in Antioch, and besides he was said to be by birth of
Roman extraction. But in spite of everything the inhabitants were
exceedingly fearful for the fortifications, which embraced a large tract
of land as far as the hill which rises there, and besides they wished to
preserve their land unplundered; accordingly they agreed to give two
thousand pounds of silver. Then indeed Megas entreated Chosroes in
behalf of all the inhabitants of the East, and would not cease his
entreaty, until Chosroes promised him that he would accept ten
centenaria of gold and depart from the whole Roman empire.


VII

Thus, then, on that day Megas departed thence and went on the way to
Antioch, while Chosroes after receiving the ransom was moving toward
Beroea. This city lies between Antioch and Hierapolis, at a distance
from both of two-days' journey for an unencumbered traveller. Now while
Megas, who travelled with a small company, advanced very quickly, the
Persian army was accomplishing only one half of the distance which he
travelled each day. And so on the fourth day he reached Antioch, while
the Persians came to the suburb of Beroea. And Chosroes immediately sent
Paulus and demanded money of the Beroeans, not only as much as he had
received from the Hierapolitans, but double the amount, since he saw
that their wall in many places was very vulnerable. As for the Beroeans,
since they could by no means place confidence in their fortifications,
they gladly agreed to give all, but after giving two thousand pounds of
silver, they said that they were not able to give the remainder. And
since Chosroes pressed them on this account, on the following night all
of them fled for refuge into the fortress which is on the acropolis
together with the soldiers who had been stationed there to guard the
place. And on the following day men were sent to the city by Chosroes in
order to receive the money; but on coming near the fortifications they
found all the gates closed, and being unable to discover any man, they
reported the situation to the king. And he commanded them to set ladders
against the wall and to make trial of mounting it, and they did as
directed. Then since no one opposed them, they got inside the
fortifications and opened the gates at their leisure, and received into
the city the whole army and Chosroes himself. By this time the king was
furious with anger and he fired nearly the whole city. He then mounted
the acropolis and decided to storm the fortress. There indeed the Roman
soldiers while valiantly defending themselves slew some of the enemy;
but Chosroes was greatly favoured by fortune by reason of the folly of
the besieged, who had not sought refuge in this fortress by themselves,
but along with all their horses and other animals, and by this
inconsiderate act they were placed at a great disadvantage and began to
be in danger. For since there was only one spring there and the horses
and mules and other animals drank from it when they should not have done
so, it came about that the water was exhausted. Such, then, was the
situation of the Beroeans.

Megas, upon reaching Antioch and announcing the terms arranged by him
with Chosroes, failed utterly to persuade them to carry out this
agreement. For it happened that the Emperor Justinian had sent John, the
son of Rufinus, and Julian, his private[4] secretary, as ambassadors to
Chosroes. The person holding this office is styled "a secretis" by the
Romans; for secrets they are accustomed to call "secreta." These men had
reached Antioch and were remaining there. Now Julian, one of the
ambassadors, explicitly forbade everybody to give money to the enemy, or
to purchase the cities of the emperor, and besides he denounced to
Germanus the chief priest Ephraemius, as being eager to deliver over the
city to Chosroes. For this reason Megas returned unsuccessful. But
Ephraemius, the bishop of Antioch, fearing the attack of the Persians,
went into Cilicia. There too came Germanus not long afterwards, taking
with him some few men but leaving the most of them in Antioch.

Megas then came in haste to Beroea, and in vexation at what had taken
place, he charged Chosroes with having treated the Beroeans
outrageously; for while, as it seemed, he had sent him to Antioch to
arrange the treaty, he had both plundered the property of the citizens,
though they had committed no wrong at all, and had compelled them to
shut themselves up in that fortress, and had then set fire to the city
and razed it to the ground in defiance of right. To this Chosroes
replied as follows: "Verily, my friend, you yourself are responsible for
these things, in having compelled us to delay here; for as it is, you
have arrived, not at the appointed time, but far behind it. And as for
the strange conduct of your fellow-citizens, my most excellent sir, why
should one make speeches of great length? For after agreeing to give us
a fixed amount of silver for their own safety, they even now do not
think it necessary to fulfil the agreement, but placing such complete
confidence in the strength of their position, they are disregarding us
absolutely, while we are compelled to undertake the siege of a fortress,
as you surely see. But for my part, I have hope that with the help of
the gods I shall have vengeance upon them shortly, and execute upon the
guilty the punishment for the Persians whom I have lost wrongfully
before this wall." So spoke Chosroes, and Megas replied as follows: "If
one should consider that as king thou art making these charges against
men who are in pitiable and most dishonoured plight, he would be
compelled without a word of protest to agree with what thou hast said;
for authority which is unlimited is bound by its very nature to carry
with it also supremacy in argument; but if one be permitted to shake off
all else and to espouse the truth of the matter, thou wouldst have, O
King, nothing with which justly to reproach us; but mayst thou hear all
mildly. First, as for me, since the time when I was sent to declare to
the men of Antioch the message which thou didst send them, seven days
have passed (and what could be done more quickly than this?) and now
coming into thy presence I find these things accomplished by thee
against my fatherland; but these men, having already lost all that is
most valuable, thereafter have only one struggle to engage in--that for
life--and have come, I think, so to be masters of the situation that
they can no longer be compelled to pay thee any of the money. For to pay
a thing which one does not possess could not be made possible for a man
by any device. From of old indeed have the names of things been well and
suitably distinguished by men; and among these distinctions is this,
that want of power is separated from want of consideration. For when the
latter by reason of intemperance of mind proceeds to resistance, it is
accustomed to be detested, as is natural, but when the former, because
of the impossibility of performing a service, is driven to the same
point, it deserves to be pitied. Permit, therefore, O King, that, while
we receive as our portion all the direst misfortunes, we may take with
us this consolation at least, that we should not seem to have been
ourselves responsible for the things which have befallen us. And as for
money, consider that what thou hast taken into thy possession is
sufficient for thee, not weighing this by thy position, but with regard
to the power of the Beroeans. But beyond this do not force us in any
way, lest perchance thou shouldst seem unable to accomplish the thing to
which thou hast set thy hand; for excess is always punished by meeting
obstacles that cannot be overcome, and the best course is not to essay
the impossible. Let this, then, be my defence for the moment in behalf
of these men. But if I should be able to have converse with the
sufferers, I should have something else also to say which has now
escaped me." So spoke Megas, and Chosroes permitted him to go into the
acropolis. And when he had gone there and learned all that had happened
concerning the spring, weeping he came again before Chosroes, and lying
prone on the ground insisted that no money at all was left to the
Beroeans, and entreated him to grant him only the lives of the men.
Moved by the tearful entreaties of the man Chosroes fulfilled his
request, and binding himself by an oath, gave pledges to all on the
acropolis. Then the Beroeans, after coming into such great danger, left
the acropolis free from harm, and departing went each his own way. Among
the soldiers some few followed them, but the majority came as willing
deserters to Chosroes, putting forth as their grievance that the
government owed them their pay for a long time; and with him they later
went into the land of Persia.


VIII

[June 540 A.D.] Then Chosroes (since Megas said that he had by no means
persuaded the inhabitants of Antioch to bring him the money) went with
his whole army against them. Some of the population of Antioch thereupon
departed from there with their money and fled as each one could. And all
the rest likewise were purposing to do the same thing, and would have
done so had not the commanders of the troops in Lebanon, Theoctistus and
Molatzes, who arrived in the meantime with six thousand men, fortified
them with hope and thus prevented their departure. Not long after this
the Persian army also came. There they all pitched their tents and made
camp fronting on the River Orontes and not very far from the stream.
Chosroes then sent Paulus up beside the fortifications and demanded
money from the men of Antioch, saying that for ten centenaria[5] of gold
he would depart from there, and it was obvious that he would accept even
less than this for his withdrawal. And on that day their ambassadors
went before Chosroes, and after speaking at length concerning the
breaking of the peace and hearing much from him, they retired. But on
the morrow the populace of Antioch (for they are not seriously disposed,
but are always engaged in jesting and disorderly performance) heaped
insults upon Chosroes from the battlements and taunted him with unseemly
laughter; and when Paulus came near the fortifications and exhorted them
to purchase freedom for themselves and the city for a small sum of
money, they very nearly killed him with shots from their bows, and would
have done so if he had not seen their purpose in time and guarded
against it. On account of this Chosroes, boiling with anger, decided to
storm the wall.

On the following day, accordingly, he led up all the Persians against
the wall and commanded a portion of the army to make assaults at
different points along the river, and he himself with the most of the
men and best troops directed an attack against the height. For at this
place, as has been stated by me above, the wall of fortification was
most vulnerable. Thereupon the Romans, since the structure on which they
were to stand when fighting was very narrow, devised the following
remedy. Binding together long timbers they suspended them between the
towers, and in this way they made these spaces much broader, in order
that still more men might be able to ward off the assailants from there.
So the Persians, pressing on most vigorously from all sides, were
sending their arrows thickly everywhere, and especially along the crest
of the hill. Meanwhile the Romans were fighting them back with all their
strength, not soldiers alone, but also many of the most courageous
youths of the populace. But it appeared that those who were attacking
the wall there were engaged in a battle on even terms with their enemy.
For the rock which was broad and high and, as it were, drawn up against
the fortifications caused the conflict to be just as if on level ground.
And if anyone of the Roman army had had the courage to get outside the
fortifications with three hundred men and to anticipate the enemy in
seizing this rock and to ward off the assailants from there, never, I
believe, would the city have come into any danger from the enemy. For
the barbarians had no point from which they could have conducted their
assault, for they would be exposed to missiles from above both from the
rock and from the wall; but as it was (for it was fated that Antioch be
destroyed by this army of the Medes), this idea occurred to no one. So
then while the Persians were fighting beyond their power, since Chosroes
was present with them and urging them on with a mighty cry, giving their
opponents not a moment in which to look about or guard against the
missiles discharged from their bows, and while the Romans, in great
numbers and with much shouting, were defending themselves still more
vigorously, the ropes with which the beams had been bound together,
failing to support the weight, suddenly broke asunder and the timbers
together with all those who had taken their stand on them fell to the
ground with a mighty crash. When this was heard by other Romans also,
who were fighting from the adjoining towers, being utterly unable to
comprehend what had happened, but supposing that the wall at this point
had been destroyed, they beat a hasty retreat. Now many young men of the
populace who in former times had been accustomed to engage in factional
strife with each other in the hippodromes descended into the city from
the fortification wall, but they refused to flee and remained where they
were, while the soldiers with Theoctistus and Molatzes straightway
leaped upon the horses which happened to be ready there and rode away to
the gates, telling the others a tale to the effect that Bouzes had come
with an army and they wished to receive them quickly into the city, and
with them to ward off the enemy. Thereupon many of the men of Antioch
and all the women with their children made a great rush toward the
gates; but since they were crowded by the horses, being in very narrow
quarters, they began to fall down. The soldiers, however, sparing
absolutely no one of those before them, all kept riding over the fallen
still more fiercely than before, and a great many were killed there,
especially about the gates themselves.

But the Persians, with no one opposing them, set ladders against the
wall and mounted with no difficulty. And quickly reaching the
battlements, for a time they were by no means willing to descend, but
they seemed like men looking about them and at a loss what to do,
because, as it seems to me, they supposed that the rough ground was
beset with some ambuscades of the enemy. For the land inside the
fortifications which one traverses immediately upon descending from the
height is an uninhabited tract extending for a great distance and there
are found there rocks which rise to a very great height, and steep
places. But some say that it was by the will of Chosroes that the
Persians hesitated. For when he observed the difficulty of the ground
and saw the soldiers fleeing, he feared lest by reason of some necessity
they should turn back from their retreat and make trouble for the
Persians, and thus become an obstacle, as might well happen, in the way
of his capturing a city which was both ancient and of great importance
and the first of all the cities which the Romans had throughout the East
both in wealth and in size and in population and in beauty and in
prosperity of every kind. Hence it was that, considering everything else
of less account, he wished to allow the Roman soldiers freely to avail
themselves of the chance for flight. For this reason too the Persians
also made signs to the fugitives with their hands, urging them to flee
as quickly as possible. So the soldiers of the Romans together with
their commanders took a hasty departure, all of them, through the gate
which leads to Daphne, the suburb of Antioch; for from this gate alone
the Persians kept away while the others were seized; and of the populace
some few escaped with the soldiers. Then when the Persians saw that all
the Roman soldiers had gone on, they descended from the height and got
into the middle of the city. There, however, many of the young men of
Antioch engaged in battle with them, and at first they seemed to have
the upper hand in the conflict. Some of them were in heavy armour, but
the majority were unarmed and using only stones as missiles. And pushing
back the enemy they raised the paean, and with shouts proclaimed the
Emperor Justinian triumphant, as if they had won the victory.

At this point Chosroes, seated on the tower which is on the height,
summoned the ambassadors, wishing to say something. And one of his
officers, Zaberganes, thinking that he wished to have words with the
ambassadors concerning a settlement, came quickly before the king and
spoke as follows: "Thou dost not seem to me, O Master, to think in the
same way as do the Romans concerning the safety of these men. For they
both before fighting offer insults to thy kingdom, and when they are
defeated dare the impossible and do the Persians irreparable harm, as if
fearing lest some reason for shewing them humanity should be left in
thee; but thou art wishing to pity those who do not ask to be saved, and
hast shewn zeal to spare those who by no means wish it. Meanwhile these
men have set an ambush in a captured city and are destroying the victors
by means of snares, although all the soldiers have long since fled from
them." When Chosroes heard this, he sent a large number of the best
troops against them, and these not long afterwards returned and
announced that nothing untoward had come to pass. For already the
Persians had forced back the citizens by their numbers and turned them
to flight, and a great slaughter took place there. For the Persians did
not spare persons of any age and were slaying all whom they met, old and
young alike. At that time they say that two women of those who were
illustrious in Antioch got outside the fortifications, but perceiving
that they would fall into the hands of the enemy (for they were already
plainly seen going about everywhere), went running to the River Orontes,
and, fearing lest the Persians should do them some insult, they covered
their faces with their veils and threw themselves into the river's
current and were carried out of sight. Thus the inhabitants of Antioch
were visited with every form of misfortune.


IX

Then Chosroes spoke to the ambassadors as follows: "Not far from the
truth, I think, is the ancient saying that God does not give blessings
unmixed, but He mingles them with troubles and then bestows them upon
men. And for this reason we do not even have laughter without tears, but
there is always attached to our successes some misfortune, and to our
pleasures pain, not permitting anyone to enjoy in its purity such good
fortune as is granted. For this city, which is of altogether preeminent
importance in fact as well as in name in the land of the Romans I have
indeed succeeded in capturing with the least exertion, since God has
provided the victory all at once for us, as you doubtless see. But when
I behold the massacre of such a multitude of men, and the victory thus
drenched with blood, there arises in me no sense of the delight that
should follow my achievement. And for this the wretched men of Antioch
are to blame, for when the Persians were storming the wall they did not
prove able to keep them back, and then when they had already triumphed
and had captured the city at the first cry these men with unreasoned
daring sought to die fighting against them in close combat. So while all
the notables of the Persians were harassing me unceasingly with their
demand that I should drag the city as with a net and destroy all the
captives, I was commanding the fugitives to press on still more in their
flight, in order that they might save themselves as quickly as possible.
For to trample upon captives is not holy." Such high-sounding and airy
words did Chosroes speak to the ambassadors, but nevertheless it did not
escape them why he gave time to the Romans in their flight.

For he was the cleverest of all men at saying that which was not, and in
concealing the truth, and in attributing the blame for the wrongs which
he committed to those who suffered the wrong; besides he was ready to
agree to everything and to pledge the agreement with an oath, and much
more ready to forget completely the things lately agreed to and sworn to
by him, and for the sake of money to debase his soul without reluctance
to every act of pollution--a past master at feigning piety in his
countenance, and absolving himself in words from the responsibility of
the act. This man well displayed his own peculiar character on a certain
occasion at Sura; for after he had hoodwinked the inhabitants of the
city by a trick and had destroyed them in the manner which I have
described, although they had previously done him no wrong at all, he
saw, while the city was being captured, a comely woman and one not of
lowly station being dragged by her left hand with great violence by one
of the barbarians; and the child, which she had only lately weaned, she
was unwilling to let go, but was dragging it with her other hand,
fallen, as it was, to the ground since it was not able to keep pace with
that violent running. And they say that he uttered a pretended groan,
and making it appear to all who were present at that time including
Anastasius the ambassador that he was all in tears, he prayed God to
exact vengeance from the man who was guilty of the troubles which had
come to pass. Now Justinian, the Emperor of the Romans, was the one whom
he wished to have understood, though he knew well that he himself was
most responsible for everything. Endowed with such a singular nature
Chosroes both became King of the Persians (for ill fortune had deprived
Zames of his eye, he who in point of years had first right to the
kingdom, at any rate after Caoses, whom Cabades for no good reason
hated), and with no difficulty he conquered those who revolted against
him, and all the harm which he purposed to do the Romans he accomplished
easily. For every time when Fortune wishes to make a man great, she does
at the fitting times those things which she has decided upon, with no
one standing against the force of her will; and she neither regards the
man's station, nor purposes to prevent the occurrence of things which
ought not to be, nor does she give heed that many will blaspheme against
her because of these things, mocking scornfully at that which has been
done by her contrary to the deserts of the man who receives her favour;
nor does she take into consideration anything else at all, if only she
accomplish the thing which has been decided upon by her. But as for
these matters, let them be as God wishes.

Chosroes commanded the army to capture and enslave the survivors of the
population of Antioch, and to plunder all the property, while he himself
with the ambassadors descended from the height to the sanctuary which
they call a church. There Chosroes found stores of gold and silver so
great in amount that, though he took no other part of the booty except
these stores, he departed possessed of enormous wealth. And he took down
from there many wonderful marbles and ordered them to be deposited
outside the fortifications, in order that they might convey these too to
the land of Persia. When he had finished these things, he gave orders to
the Persians to burn the whole city. And the ambassadors begged him to
withhold his hand only from the church, for which he had carried away
ransom in abundance. This he granted to the ambassadors, but gave orders
to burn everything else; then, leaving there a few men who were to fire
the city, he himself with all the rest retired to the camp where they
had previously set up their tents.


X

A short time before this calamity God displayed a sign to the
inhabitants of that city, by which He indicated the things which were to
be. For the standards of the soldiers who had been stationed there for a
long time had been standing previously toward the west, but of their own
accord they turned and stood toward the east, and then returned again to
their former position untouched by anyone. This the soldiers shewed to
many who were near at hand and among them the manager of finances in the
camp, while the standards were still trembling. This man, Tatianus by
name, was an especially discreet person, a native of Mopsuestia. But
even so those who saw this sign did not recognize that the mastery of
the place would pass from the western to the eastern king, in order,
evidently, that escape might be utterly impossible for those who were
bound to suffer those things which came to pass.

But I become dizzy as I write of such a great calamity and transmit it
to future times, and I am unable to understand why indeed it should be
the will of God to exalt on high the fortunes of a man or of a place,
and then to cast them down and destroy them for no cause which appears
to us. For it is wrong to say that with Him all things are not always
done with reason, though he then endured to see Antioch brought down to
the ground at the hands of a most unholy man, a city whose beauty and
grandeur in every respect could not even so be utterly concealed.

So, then, after the city had been destroyed, the church was left
solitary, thanks to the activity and foresight of the Persians to whom
this work was assigned. And there were also left about the so-called
Cerataeum many houses, not because of the foresight of any man, but,
since they were situated at the extremity of the city, and not connected
with any other building, the fire failed entirely to reach them. The
barbarians burned also the parts outside the fortifications, except the
sanctuary which is dedicated to St. Julianus and the houses which stand
about this sanctuary. For it happened that the ambassadors had taken up
their lodgings there. As for the fortifications, the Persians left them
wholly untouched.

A little later the ambassadors again came to Chosroes and spoke as
follows: "If our words were not addressed to thee in thy presence, O
King, we should never believe that Chosroes, the son of Cabades, had
come into the land of the Romans in arms, dishonouring the oaths which
have recently been sworn by thee--for such pledges are regarded as the
last and most firm security of all things among men to guarantee mutual
trust and truthfulness--and breaking the treaty, though hope in treaties
is the only thing left to those who are living in insecurity because of
the evil deeds of war. For one might say of such a state of affairs that
it is nothing else than the transformation of the habits of men into
those of beasts. For in a time when no treaties at all are made, there
will remain certainly war without end, and war which has no end is
always calculated to estrange from their proper nature those who engage
in it. With what intent, moreover, didst thou write to thy brother not
long ago that he himself was responsible for the breaking of the treaty?
Was it not obviously with the admission that the breaking of treaties is
an exceedingly great evil? If therefore he has done no wrong, thou art
not acting justly now in coming against us; but if it happen that thy
brother has done any such thing, yet let thy complaint have its
fulfilment thus far, and go no farther, that thou mayst shew thyself
superior. For he who submits to be worsted in evil things would in
better things justly be victorious. And yet we know well that the
Emperor Justinian has never gone contrary to the treaty, and we entreat
thee not to do the Romans such harm, from which there will be no
advantage to the Persians, and thou wilt gain only this, that thou wilt
have wrongfully wrought deeds of irreparable harm upon those who have
recently made peace with thee." So spoke the ambassadors.

And Chosroes, upon hearing this, insisted that the treaty had been
broken by the Emperor Justinian; and he enumerated the causes of war
which the Emperor afforded, some of them of real importance and others
idle and fabricated without any reason; most of all he wished to shew
that the letters written by him to Alamoundaras and the Huns were the
chief cause of the war, just as I have stated above[6]. But as for any
Roman who had invaded the land of Persia, or who had made a display of
warlike deeds, he was unable either to mention or to point out such a
one. The ambassadors, however, referred the charges in part not to
Justinian but to certain of those who had served him, while in the case
of others they took exception to what he had said on the ground that the
things had not taken place as stated. Finally Chosroes made the demand
that the Romans give him a large sum of money, but he warned them not to
hope to establish peace for all time by giving money at that moment
only. For friendship, he said, which is made by men on terms of money is
generally spent as fast as the money is used up. It was necessary,
therefore, that the Romans should pay some definite annual sum to the
Persians. "For thus," he said, "the Persians will keep the peace secure
for them, guarding the Caspian Gates themselves and no longer feeling
resentment at them on account of the city of Daras, in return for which
the Persians themselves will be in their pay forever." "So," said the
ambassadors, "the Persians desire to have the Romans subject and
tributary to themselves." "No," said Chosroes, "but the Romans will have
the Persians as their own soldiers for the future, dispensing to them a
fixed payment for their service; for you give an annual payment of gold
to some of the Huns and to the Saracens, not as tributary subjects to
them, but in order that they may guard your land unplundered for all
time." After Chosroes and the ambassadors had spoken thus at length with
each other, they at last came to terms, agreeing that Chosroes should
forthwith take from the Romans fifty centenaria[7], and that, receiving
a tribute of five more centenaria annually for all time, he should do
them no further harm, but taking with him hostages from the ambassadors
to pledge the keeping of the agreement, should make his departure with
the whole army to his native land, and that there ambassadors sent from
the Emperor Justinian should arrange on a firm basis for the future the
compact regarding the peace.


XI

Then Chosroes went to Seleucia, a city on the sea, one hundred and
thirty stades distant from Antioch; and there he neither met nor harmed
a single Roman, and he bathed himself alone in the sea-water, and after
sacrificing to the sun and such other divinities as he wished, and
calling upon the gods many times, he went back. And when he came to the
camp, he said that he had a desire to see the city of Apamea which was
in the vicinity for no other reason than that of his interest in the
place. And the ambassadors unwillingly granted this also, but only on
condition that after seeing the city and taking away with him from there
one thousand pounds of silver, he should, without inflicting any further
injury, march back. But it was evident to the ambassadors and to all the
others that Chosroes was setting out for Apamea with this sole purpose,
that he might lay hold upon some pretext of no importance and plunder
both the city and the land thereabout. Accordingly he first went up to
Daphne, the suburb of Antioch, where he expressed great wonder at the
grove and at the fountains of water; for both of these are very well
worth seeing. And after sacrificing to the nymphs he departed, doing no
further damage than burning the sanctuary of the archangel Michael
together with certain other buildings, for the following reason. A
Persian gentleman of high repute in the army of the Persians and well
known to Chosroes, the king, while riding on horseback came in company
with some others to a precipitous place near the so-called Tretum, where
is a temple of the archangel Michael, the work of Evaris. This man,
seeing one of the young men of Antioch on foot and alone concealing
himself there, separated from the others and pursued him. Now the young
man was a butcher, Aeimachus by name. When he was about to be overtaken,
he turned about unexpectedly and threw a stone at his pursuer which hit
him on the forehead and penetrated to the membrane by the ear. And the
rider fell immediately to the ground, whereupon the youth drew out his
sword and slew him. Then at his leisure he stripped him of his weapons
and all his gold and whatever else he had on his person, and leaping
upon his horse rode on. And whether by the favour of fortune or by his
knowledge of the country, he succeeded completely in eluding the
Persians and making good his escape. When Chosroes learned this, he was
deeply grieved at what had happened, and commanded some of his followers
to burn the sanctuary of the archangel Michael which I have mentioned
above. And they, thinking that the sanctuary at Daphne was the one in
question, burned it with the buildings about it, and they supposed that
the commands of Chosroes had been executed. Such, then, was the course
of these events.

But Chosroes with his whole army proceeded on the way to Apamea. Now
there is a piece of wood one cubit in length in Apamea, a portion of the
cross on which the Christ in Jerusalem once endured the punishment not
unwillingly, as is generally agreed, and which in ancient times had been
conveyed there secretly by a man of Syria. And the men of olden times,
believing that it would be a great protection both for themselves and
for the city, made for it a sort of wooden chest and deposited it there;
and they adorned this chest with much gold and with precious stones and
they entrusted it to three priests who were to guard it in all security;
and they bring it forth every year and the whole population worship it
during one day. Now at that time the people of Apamea, upon learning
that the army of the Medes was coming against them, began to be in great
fear. And when they heard that Chosroes was absolutely untruthful, they
came to Thomas, the chief priest of the city, and begged him to shew
them the wood of the cross, in order that after worshipping it for the
last time they might die. And he did as they requested. Then indeed it
befell that a sight surpassing both description and belief was there
seen. For while the priest was carrying the wood and shewing it, above
him followed a flame of fire, and the portion of the roof over him was
illuminated with a great and unaccustomed light. And while the priest
was moving through every part of the temple, the flame continued to
advance with him, keeping constantly the place above him in the roof. So
the people of Apamea, under the spell of joy at the miracle, were
wondering and rejoicing and weeping, and already all felt confidence
concerning their safety. And Thomas, after going about the whole temple,
laid the wood of the cross in the chest and covered it, and suddenly the
light had ceased. Then upon learning that the army of the enemy had come
close to the city, he went in great haste to Chosroes. And when the king
enquired of the priest whether it was the will of the citizens of Apamea
to marshal themselves on the wall against the army of the Medes, the
priest replied that no such thing had entered the minds of the men.
"Therefore," said Chosroes, "receive me into the city accompanied by a
few men with all the gates opened wide." And the priest said "Yes, for I
have come here to invite thee to do this very thing." So the whole army
pitched their tents and made camp before the fortifications.

Then Chosroes chose out two hundred of the best of the Persians and
entered the city. But when he had got inside the gates, he forgot
willingly enough what had been agreed upon between himself and the
ambassadors, and he commanded the bishop to give not only one thousand
pounds of silver nor even ten times that amount, but whatsoever
treasures were stored there, being all of gold and silver and of
marvellous great size. And I believe that he would not have shrunk from
enslaving and plundering the whole city, unless some divine providence
had manifestly prevented him; to such a degree did avarice overpower him
and the desire of fame turn his mind. For he thought the enslavement of
the cities a great glory for himself, considering it absolutely nothing
that disregarding treaties and compacts he was performing such deeds
against the Romans. This attitude of Chosroes will be revealed by what
he undertook to do concerning the city of Daras during his withdrawal at
this same time, when he treated his agreements with absolute disregard,
and also by what he did to the citizens of Callinicus a little later in
time of peace, as will be told by me in the following narrative[8]. But
God, as has been said, preserved Apamea. Now when Chosroes had seized
all the treasures, and Thomas saw that he was already intoxicated with
the abundance of the wealth, then bringing out the wood of the cross
with the chest, he opened the chest and displaying the wood said: "O
most mighty King, these alone are left me out of all the treasures. Now
as for this chest (since it is adorned with gold and precious stones),
we do not begrudge thy taking it and keeping it with all the rest, but
this wood here, it is our salvation and precious to us, this, I beg and
entreat thee, give to me." So spoke the priest. And Chosroes yielded and
fulfilled the request.

Afterwards, being filled with a desire for popular applause, he
commanded that the populace should go up into the hippodrome and that
the charioteers should hold their accustomed contests. And he himself
went up there also, eager to be a spectator of the performances. And
since he had heard long before that the Emperor Justinian was
extraordinarily fond of the Venetus[9] colour, which is blue, wishing to
go against him there also, he was desirous of bringing about victory for
the green. So the charioteers, starting from the barriers, began the
contest, and by some chance he who was clad in the blue happened to pass
his rival and take the lead. And he was followed in the same tracks by
the wearer of the green colour. And Chosroes, thinking that this had
been done purposely, was angry, and he cried out with a threat that the
Caesar had wrongfully surpassed the others, and he commanded that the
horses which were running in front should be held up, in order that from
then on they might contend in the rear; and when this had been done just
as he commanded, then Chosroes and the green faction were accounted
victorious. At that time one of the citizens of Apamea came before
Chosroes and accused a Persian of entering his house and violating his
maiden daughter. Upon hearing this, Chosroes, boiling with anger,
commanded that the man should be brought. And when he came before him,
he directed that he should be impaled in the camp. And when the people
learned this, they raised a mighty shout as loud as they could,
demanding that the man be saved from the king's anger. And Chosroes
promised that he would release the man to them, but he secretly impaled
him not long afterwards. So after these things had been thus
accomplished, he departed and marched back with the whole army.


XII

And when he came to the city of Chalcis, eighty-four stades distant from
the city of Beroea, he again seemed to forget the things which had been
agreed upon, and encamping not far from the fortifications he sent
Paulus to threaten the inhabitants of Chalcis, saying that he would take
the city by siege, unless they should purchase their safety by giving
ransom, and should give up to the Persians all the soldiers who were
there together with their leader. And the citizens of Chalcis were
seized with great fear of both sovereigns, and they swore that, as for
soldiers, there were absolutely none of them in the city, although they
had hidden Adonachus, the commander of the soldiers, and others as well
in some houses, in order that they might not be seen by the enemy; and
with difficulty they collected two centenaria[10] of gold, for the city
they inhabited was not very prosperous, and they gave them to Chosroes
as the price of their lives and thus saved both the city and themselves.

From there on Chosroes did not wish to continue the return journey by
the road he had come, but to cross the River Euphrates and gather by
plunder as much money as possible from Mesopotamia. He therefore
constructed a bridge at the place called Obbane, which is forty stades
distant from the fortress in Barbalissum; then he himself went across
and gave orders to the whole army to cross as quickly as possible,
adding that he would break up the bridge on the third day, and he
appointed also the time of the day. And when the appointed day was come,
it happened that some of the army were left who had not yet crossed, but
without the least consideration for them he sent the men to break up the
bridge. And those who were left behind returned to their native land as
each one could.

Then a sort of ambition came over Chosroes to capture the city of
Edessa. For he was led on to this by a saying of the Christians, and it
kept irritating his mind, because they maintained that it could not be
taken, for the following reason. There was a certain Augarus in early
times, toparch of Edessa (for thus the kings of the different nations
were called then). Now this Augarus was the most clever of all men of
his time, and as a result of this was an especial friend of the Emperor
Augustus. For, desiring to make a treaty with the Romans, he came to
Rome; and when he conversed with Augustus, he so astonished him by the
abundance of his wisdom that Augustus wished never more to give up his
company; for he was an ardent lover of his conversation, and whenever he
met him, he was quite unwilling to depart from him. A long time,
therefore, was consumed by him in this visit. And one day when he was
desirous of returning to his native land and was utterly unable to
persuade Augustus to let him go, he devised the following plan. He first
went out to hunt in the country about Rome; for it happened that he had
taken considerable interest in the practice of this sport. And going
about over a large tract of country, he captured alive many of the
animals of that region, and he gathered up and took with him from each
part of the country some earth from the land; thus he returned to Rome
bringing both the earth and the animals. Then Augustus went up into the
hippodrome and seated himself as was his wont, and Augarus came before
him and displayed the earth and the animals, telling over from what
district each portion of earth was and what animals they were. Then he
gave orders to put the earth in different parts of the hippodrome, and
to gather all the animals into one place and then to release them. So
the attendants did as he directed. And the animals, separating from each
other, went each to that portion of earth which was from the district in
which it itself had been taken. And Augustus looked upon the performance
carefully for a very long time, and he was wondering that nature
untaught makes animals miss their native land. Then Augarus, suddenly
laying hold upon his knees, said: "But as for me, O Master, what
thoughts dost thou think I have, who possess a wife and children and a
kingdom, small indeed, but in the land of my fathers?" And the emperor,
overcome and compelled by the truth of his saying, granted not at all
willingly that he should go away, and bade him ask besides whatever he
wished. And when Augarus had secured this, he begged of Augustus to
build him a hippodrome in the city of Edessa. And he granted also this.
Thus then Augarus departed from Rome and came to Edessa. And the
citizens enquired of him whether he had come bringing any good thing for
them from the Emperor Augustus. And he answering said he had brought to
the inhabitants of Edessa pain without loss and pleasure without gain,
hinting at the fortune of the hippodrome.

At a later time when Augarus was well advanced in years, he was seized
with an exceedingly violent attack of gout. And being distressed by the
pains and his inability to move in consequence of them, he carried the
matter to the physicians, and from the whole land he gathered all who
were skilled in these matters. But later he abandoned these men (for
they did not succeed in discovering any cure for the trouble), and
finding himself helpless, he bewailed the fate which was upon him. But
about that time Jesus, the Son of God, was in the body and moving among
the men of Palestine, shewing manifestly by the fact that he never
sinned at all, and also by his performing even things impossible, that
he was the Son of God in very truth; for he called the dead and raised
them up as if from sleep, and opened the eyes of men who had been born
blind, and cleansed those whose whole bodies were covered with leprosy,
and released those whose feet were maimed, and he cured all the other
diseases which are called by the physicians incurable. When these things
were reported to Augarus by those who travelled from Palestine to
Edessa, he took courage and wrote a letter to Jesus, begging him to
depart from Judaea and the senseless people there, and to spend his life
with him from that time forward. When the Christ saw this message, he
wrote in reply to Augarus, saying distinctly that he would not come, but
promising him health in the letter. And they say that he added this also
that never would the city be liable to capture by the barbarians. This
final portion of the letter was entirely unknown to those who wrote the
history of that time; for they did not even make mention of it anywhere;
but the men of Edessa say that they found it with the letter, so that
they have even caused the letter to be inscribed in this form on the
gates of the city instead of any other defence. The city did in fact
come under the Medes a short time afterwards, not by capture however,
but in the following manner. A short time after Augarus received the
letter of the Christ, he became free from suffering, and after living on
in health for a long time, he came to his end. But that one of his sons
who succeeded to the kingdom shewed himself the most unholy of all men,
and besides committing many other wrongs against his subjects, he
voluntarily went over to the Persians, fearing the vengeance which was
to come from the Romans. But long after this the citizens of Edessa
destroyed the barbarian guards who were dwelling with them, and gave the
city into the hands of the Romans. * * *[11] he is eager to attach it to
his cause, judging by what has happened in my time, which I shall
present in the appropriate place. And the thought once occurred to me
that, if the Christ did not write this thing just as I have told it,
still, since men have come to believe in it, He wishes to guard the city
uncaptured for this reason, that He may never give them any pretext for
error. As for these things, then, let them be as God wills, and so let
them be told.

For this reason it seemed to Chosroes at that time a matter of moment to
capture Edessa. And when he came to Batne, a small stronghold of no
importance, one day's journey distant from Edessa, he bivouacked there
for that night, but at early dawn he was on the march to Edessa with his
whole army. But it fell out that they lost their way and wandered about,
and on the following night bivouacked in the same place; and they say
that this happened to them a second time also. When with difficulty
Chosroes reached the neighbourhood of Edessa, they say that suppuration
set in in his face and his jaw became swollen. For this reason he was
quite unwilling to make an attempt on the city, but he sent Paulus and
demanded money from the citizens. And they said that they had absolutely
no fear concerning the city, but in order that he might not damage the
country they agreed to give two centenaria of gold. And Chosroes took
the money and kept the agreement.


XIII

At that time also the Emperor Justinian wrote a letter to Chosroes,
promising to carry out the agreement which had been made by him and the
ambassadors regarding the peace[12]. When this message was received by
Chosroes, he released the hostages and made preparations for his
departure, and he wished to sell off all the captives from Antioch. And
when the citizens of Edessa learned of this, they displayed an
unheard-of zeal. For there was not a person who did not bring ransom for
the captives and deposit it in the sanctuary according to the measure of
his possessions. And there were some who even exceeded their
proportionate amount in so doing. For the harlots took off all the
adornment which they wore on their persons, and threw it down there, and
any farmer who was in want of plate or of money, but who had an ass or a
sheep, brought this to the sanctuary with great zeal. So there was
collected an exceedingly great amount of gold and silver and money in
other forms, but not a bit of it was given for ransom. For Bouzes
happened to be present there, and he took in hand to prevent the
transaction, expecting that this would bring him some great gain.
Therefore Chosroes moved forward, taking with him all the captives. And
the citizens of Carrhae met him holding out to him great sums of money;
but he said that it did not belong to him because the most of them are
not Christians but are of the old faith.

But when, likewise, the citizens of Constantina offered money, he
accepted it, although he asserted that the city belonged to him from his
fathers. [503 A.D.] For at the time when Cabades took Amida, he wished
also to capture Edessa and Constantina. But when he came near to Edessa
he enquired of the Magi whether it would be possible for him to capture
the city, pointing out the place to them with his right hand. But they
said that the city would not be captured by him by any device, judging
by the fact that in stretching out his right hand to it he was not
giving thereby the sign of capture or of any other grievous thing, but
of salvation. And when Cabades heard this, he was convinced and led his
army on to Constantina. And upon arriving there, he issued orders to the
whole army to encamp for a siege. Now the priest of Constantina was at
that time Baradotus, a just man and especially beloved of God, and his
prayers for this reason were always effectual for whatever he wished;
and even seeing his face one would have straightway surmised that this
man was most completely acceptable to God. This Baradotus came then to
Cabades bearing wine and dried figs and honey and unblemished loaves,
and entreated him not to make an attempt on a city which was not of any
importance and which was very much neglected by the Romans, having
neither a garrison of soldiers nor any other defence, but only the
inhabitants, who were pitiable folk. Thus spoke the priest; and Cabades
promised that he would grant him the city freely, and he presented him
with all the food-supplies which had been prepared by him for the army
in anticipation of the siege, an exceedingly great quantity; and thus he
departed from the land of the Romans. For this reason it was that
Chosroes claimed that the city belonged to him from his fathers.

And when he reached Daras, he began a siege; but within the city the
Romans and Martinus, their general (for it happened that he was there),
made their preparations for resistance. Now the city is surrounded by
two walls, the inner one of which is of great size and a truly wonderful
thing to look upon (for each tower reaches to a height of a hundred
feet, and the rest of the wall to sixty), while the outer wall is much
smaller, but in other respects strong and one to be reckoned with
seriously. And the space between has a breadth of not less than fifty
feet; in that place the citizens of Daras are accustomed to put their
cattle and other animals when an enemy assails them. At first then
Chosroes made an assault on the fortifications toward the west, and
forcing back his opponents by overwhelming numbers of missiles, he set
fire to the gates of the small wall. However no one of the barbarians
dared to get inside. Next he decided to make a tunnel secretly at the
eastern side of the city. For at this point alone can the earth be dug,
since the other parts of the fortifications were set upon rock by the
builders. So the Persians began to dig, beginning from their trench. And
since this was very deep, they were neither observed by the enemy nor
did they afford them any means of discovering what was being done. So
they had already gone under the foundations of the outer wall, and were
about to reach the space between the two walls and soon after to pass
also the great wall and take the city by force; but since it was not
fated to be captured by the Persians, someone from the camp of Chosroes
came alone about midday close to the fortifications, whether a man or
something else greater than man, and he made it appear to those who saw
him that he was collecting the weapons which the Romans had a little
before discharged from the wall against the barbarians who were
assailing them. And while doing this and holding his shield before him,
he seemed to be bantering those who were on the parapet and taunting
them with laughter. Then he told them of everything and commanded them
all to be on the watch and to take all possible care for their safety.
After revealing these things he was off, while the Romans with much
shouting and confusion were ordering men to dig the ground between the
two walls. The Persians, on the other hand, not knowing what was being
done, were pushing on the work no less than before. So while the
Persians were making a straight way underground to the wall of the city,
the Romans by the advice of Theodoras, a man learned in the science
called mechanics, were constructing their trench in a cross-wise
direction and making it of sufficient depth, so that when the Persians
had reached the middle point between the two circuit-walls they suddenly
broke into the trench of the Romans. And the first of them the Romans
killed, while those in the rear by fleeing at top speed into the camp
saved themselves. For the Romans decided by no means to pursue them in
the dark. So Chosroes, failing in this attempt and having no hope that
he would take the city by any device thereafter, opened negotiations
with the besieged, and carrying away a thousand pounds of silver he
retired into the land of Persia. When this came to the knowledge of the
Emperor Justinian, he was no longer willing to carry the agreement into
effect, charging Chosroes with having attempted to capture the city of
Daras during a truce. Such were the fortunes of the Romans during the
first invasion of Chosroes; and the summer drew to its close.


XIV

Now Chosroes built a city in Assyria in a place one day's journey
distant from the city of Ctesiphon, and he named it the Antioch of
Chosroes and settled there all the captives from Antioch, constructing
for them a bath and a hippodrome and providing that they should have
free enjoyment of their other luxuries besides. For he brought with him
charioteers and musicians both from Antioch and from the other Roman
cities. Besides this he always provisioned these citizens of Antioch at
public expense more carefully than in the fashion of captives, and he
required that they be called king's subjects, so as to be subordinate to
no one of the magistrates, but to the king alone. And if any one else
too who was a Roman in slavery ran away and succeeded in escaping to the
Antioch of Chosroes, and if he was called a kinsman by any one of those
who lived there, it was no longer possible for the owner of this captive
to take him away, not even if he who had enslaved the man happened to be
a person of especial note among the Persians.

Thus, then, the portent which had come to the citizens of Antioch in the
reign of Anastasius reached this final fulfilment for them. For at that
time a violent wind suddenly fell upon the suburb of Daphne, and some of
the cypresses which were there of extraordinary height were overturned
from the extremities of their roots and fell to the earth--trees which
the law forbade absolutely to be cut down. [526 A.D.] Accordingly, a
little later, when Justinus was ruling over the Romans, the place was
visited by an exceedingly violent earthquake, which shook down the whole
city and straightway brought to the ground the most and the finest of
the buildings, and it is said that at that time three hundred thousand
of the population of Antioch perished. And finally in this capture the
whole city, as has been said, was destroyed. Such, then, was the
calamity which befell the men of Antioch.

And Belisarius came to Byzantium from Italy, summoned by the emperor;
and after he had spent the winter in Byzantium, the emperor sent him as
general against Chosroes and the Persians at the opening of spring,
together with the officers who had come with him from Italy, one of
whom, Valerianus, he commanded to lead the troops in Armenia. [541 A.D.]
For Martinus had been sent immediately to the East, and for this reason
Chosroes found him at Daras, as has been stated above. And among the
Goths, Vittigis remained in Byzantium, but all the rest marched with
Belisarius against Chosroes. At that time one of the envoys of Vittigis,
he who was assuming the name of bishop, died in the land of Persia, and
the other one remained there. And the man who followed them as
interpreter withdrew to the land of the Romans, and John, who was
commanding the troops in Mesopotamia, arrested him near the boundaries
of Constantina, and bringing him into the city confined him in a prison;
there the man in answer to his enquiries related everything which had
been done. Such, then, was the course of these events. And Belisarius
and his followers went in haste, since he was eager to anticipate
Chosroes' making any second invasion into the land of the Romans.


XV

But in the meantime Chosroes was leading his army against Colchis, where
the Lazi were calling him in for the following reason. The Lazi at first
dwelt in the land of Colchis as subjects of the Romans, but not to the
extent of paying them tribute or obeying their commands in any respect,
except that, whenever their king died, the Roman emperor would send
emblems of the office to him who was about to succeed to the throne. And
he, together with his subjects, guarded strictly the boundaries of the
land in order that hostile Huns might not proceed from the Caucasus
mountains, which adjoin their territory, through Lazica and invade the
land of the Romans. And they kept guard without receiving money or
troops from the Romans and without ever joining the Roman armies, but
they were always engaged in commerce by sea with the Romans who live on
the Black Sea. For they themselves have neither salt nor grain nor any
other good thing, but by furnishing skins and hides and slaves they
secured the supplies which they needed. But when the events came to pass
in which Gourgenes, the king of the Iberians, was concerned, as has been
told in the preceding narrative[13], Roman soldiers began to be
quartered among the Lazi; and these barbarians were annoyed by the
soldiers, and most of all by Peter, the general, a man who was prone to
treat insolently those who came into contact with him. This Peter was a
native of Arzanene, which is beyond the River Nymphius, a district
subject to the Persians from of old, but while still a child he had been
captured and enslaved by the Emperor Justinus at the time when Justinus,
after the taking of Amida, was invading the land of the Persians with
Celer's army.[14] And since his owner showed him great kindness, he
attended the school of a grammatist. And at first he became secretary to
Justinus, but when, after the death of Anastasius, Justinus took over
the Roman empire, Peter was made a general, and he degenerated into a
slave of avarice, if anyone ever did, and shewed himself very fatuous in
his treatment of all.

And later the Emperor Justinian sent different officers to Lazica, and
among them John, whom they called Tzibus, a man of obscure and ignoble
descent, but who had climbed to the office of general by virtue of no
other thing than that he was the most accomplished villain in the world
and most successful in discovering unlawful sources of revenue. This man
unsettled and threw into confusion all the relations of the Romans and
the Lazi. He also persuaded the Emperor Justinian to build a city on the
sea in Lazica, Petra by name; and there he sat as in a citadel and
plundered the property of the Lazi. For the salt, and all other cargoes
which were considered necessary for the Lazi, it was no longer possible
for the merchants to bring into the land of Colchis, nor could they
purchase them elsewhere by sending for them, but he set up in Petra the
so-called "monopoly" and himself became a retail dealer and overseer of
all the handling of these things, buying everything and selling it to
the Colchians, not at the customary rates, but as dearly as possible. At
the same time, even apart from this, the barbarians were annoyed by the
Roman army quartered upon them, a thing which had not been customary
previously. Accordingly, since they were no longer able to endure these
things, they decided to attach themselves to the Persians and Chosroes,
and immediately they sent to them envoys who were to arrange this
without the knowledge of the Romans. These men had been instructed that
they should take pledges from Chosroes that he would never give up the
Lazi against their will to the Romans, and that with this understanding
they should bring him with the Persian army into the land.

Accordingly the envoys went to the Persians, and coming secretly before
Chosroes they said: "If any people in all time have revolted from their
own friends in any manner whatsoever and attached themselves wrongfully
to men utterly unknown to them, and after that by the kindness of
fortune have been brought back once more with greatest rejoicing to
those who were formerly their own, consider, O Most mighty King, that
such as these are the Lazi. For the Colchians in ancient times, as
allies of the Persians, rendered them many good services and were
themselves treated in like manner; and of these things there are many
records in books, some of which we have, while others are preserved in
thy palace up to the present time. But at a later time it came about
that our ancestors, whether neglected by you or for some other reason
(for we are unable to ascertain anything certain about this matter),
became allies of the Romans. And now we and the king of Lazica give to
the Persians both ourselves and our land to treat in any way you may
desire. And we beg of you to think thus concerning us: if, on the one
hand, we have suffered nothing outrageous at the hands of the Romans,
but have been prompted by foolish motives in coming to you, reject this
prayer of ours straightway, considering that with you likewise the
Colchians will never be trustworthy (for when a friendship has been
dissolved, a second friendship formed with others becomes, owing to its
character, a matter of reproach); but if we have been in name friends of
the Romans, but in fact their loyal slaves, and have suffered impious
treatment at the hands of those who have tyrannized over us, receive us,
your former allies, and acquire as slaves those whom you used to treat
as friends, and shew your hatred of a cruel tyranny which has risen thus
on our borders, by acting worthily of that justice which it has always
been the tradition of the Persians to defend. For the man who himself
does no wrong is not just, unless he is also accustomed to rescue those
who are wronged by others when he has it in his power. But it is worth
while to tell a few of the things which the accursed Romans have dared
to do against us. In the first place they have left our king only the
form of royal power, while they themselves have appropriated the actual
authority, and he sits a king in the position of a servant, fearing the
general who issues the orders; and they have put upon us a multitude of
soldiery, not in order to guard the land against those who harass us
(for not one of our neighbours except, indeed, the Romans has disturbed
us), but in order that they may confine us as in a prison and make
themselves masters of our possessions. And purposing to make more speedy
the robbery of what we have, behold, O King, what sort of a design they
have formed; the supplies which are in excess among them they compel the
Lazi to buy against their will, while those things which are most useful
to them among the products of Lazica these fellows demand to buy, as
they put it, from us, the price being determined in both cases by the
judgment of the stronger party. And thus they are robbing us of all our
gold as well as of the necessities of life, using the fair name of
trade, but in fact oppressing us as thoroughly as they possibly can. And
there has been set over us as ruler a huckster who has made our
destitution a kind of business by virtue of the authority of his office.
The cause of our revolt, therefore, being of this sort, has justice on
its side; but the advantage which you yourselves will gain if you
receive the request of the Lazi we shall forthwith tell. To the realm of
Persia you will add a most ancient kingdom, and as a result of this you
will have the power of your sway extended, and it will come about that
you will have a part in the sea of the Romans through our land, and
after thou hast built ships in this sea, O King, it will be possible for
thee with no trouble to set foot in the palace in Byzantium. For there
is no obstacle between. And one might add that the plundering of the
land of the Romans every year by the barbarians along the boundary will
be under your control. For surely you also are acquainted with the fact
that up till now the land of the Lazi has been a bulwark against the
Caucasus mountains. So with justice leading the way, and advantage added
thereto, we consider that not to receive our words with favour would be
wholly contrary to good judgment." So spoke the envoys.

And Chosroes, delighted by their words, promised to protect the Lazi,
and enquired of the envoys whether it was possible for him to enter the
land of Colchis with a large army. For he said that previously he had
heard many persons report that the land was exceedingly hard to traverse
even for an unimpeded traveller, being extremely rugged and covered very
extensively by thick forests of wide-spreading trees. But the envoys
stoutly maintained to him that the way through the country would be easy
for the whole Persian army, if they cut the trees and threw them into
the places which were made difficult by precipices. And they promised
that they themselves would be guides of the route, and would take the
lead in this work for the Persians. Encouraged by this suggestion,
Chosroes gathered a great army and made his preparations for the inroad,
not disclosing the plan to the Persians except those alone to whom he
was accustomed to communicate his secrets, and commanding the envoys to
tell no one what was being done; and he pretended that he was setting
out into Iberia, in order to settle matters there; for a Hunnic tribe,
he kept saying in explanation, had assailed the Persian domain at that
point.


XVI

At this time Belisarius had arrived in Mesopotamia and was gathering his
army from every quarter, and he also kept sending men into the land of
Persia to act as spies. And wishing himself to encounter the enemy
there, if they should again make an incursion into the land of the
Romans, he was organizing on the spot and equipping the soldiers, who
were for the most part without either arms or armour, and in terror of
the name of the Persians. Now the spies returned and declared that for
the present there would be no invasion of the enemy; for Chosroes was
occupied elsewhere with a war against the Huns. And Belisarius, upon
learning this, wished to invade the land of the enemy immediately with
his whole army. Arethas also came to him with a large force of Saracens,
and besides the emperor wrote a letter instructing him to invade the
enemy's country with all speed. He therefore called together all the
officers in Daras and spoke as follows: "I know that all of you, my
fellow officers, are experienced in many wars, and I have brought you
together at the present time, not in order to stir up your minds against
the enemy by addressing to you any reminder or exhortation (for I think
that you need no speech that prompts to daring), but in order that we
may deliberate together among ourselves, and choose rather the course
which may seem fairest and best for the cause of the emperor. For war is
wont to succeed by reason of careful planning more than by anything
else. Now it is necessary that those who gather for deliberation should
make their minds entirely free from modesty and from fear. For fear, by
paralyzing those who have fallen into it, does not allow the reason to
choose the nobler part, and modesty obscures what has been seen to be
the better course and leads investigation the opposite way. If,
therefore, it seems to you that any purpose has been formed either by
our mighty emperor or by me concerning the present situation, let no
thought of this enter your minds. For, as for him, he is altogether
ignorant of what is being done, and is therefore unable to adapt his
moves to opportune moments; there is therefore no fear but that in going
contrary to him we shall do that which will be of advantage to his
cause. And as for me, since I am human, and have come here from the West
after a long interval, it is impossible that some of the necessary
things should not escape me. So it behoves you, without any too modest
regard for my opinion, to say outright whatever is going to be of
advantage for ourselves and for the emperor. Now in the beginning,
fellow officers, we came here in order to prevent the enemy from making
any invasion into our land, but at the present time, since things have
gone better for us than we had hoped, it is possible for us to make his
land the subject of our deliberation. And now that you have been
gathered together for this purpose, it is fair, I think, that you should
tell without any concealment what seems to each one best and most
advantageous." Thus spoke Belisarius.

And Peter and Bouzes urged him to lead the army without any hesitation
against the enemy's country. And their opinion was followed immediately
by the whole council. Rhecithancus, however, and Theoctistus, the
commanders of the troops in Lebanon, said that, while they too had the
same wish as the others concerning the invasion, they feared that if
they abandoned the country of Phoenicia and Syria, Alamoundaras would
plunder it at his leisure, and that the emperor would be angry with them
because they had not guarded and kept unplundered the territory under
their command, and for this reason they were quite unwilling to join the
rest of the army in the invasion. But Belisarius said that the opinion
of these two men was not in the least degree true; for it was the season
of the vernal equinox, and at this season the Saracens always dedicated
about two months to their god, and during this time never undertook any
inroad into the land of others. Agreeing, therefore, to release both of
them with their followers within sixty days, he commanded them also to
follow with the rest of the army. So Belisarius was making his
preparation for the invasion with great zeal.


XVII

But Chosroes and the Median army, after crossing Iberia, reached the
territory of Lazica under the leadership of the envoys; there with no
one to withstand them they began to cut down the trees which grow
thickly over that very mountainous region, rising to a great height, and
spreading out their branches remarkably, so that they made the country
absolutely impassable for the army; and these they threw into the rough
places, and thus rendered the road altogether easy. And when they
arrived in the centre of Colchis (the place where the tales of the poets
say that the adventure of Medea and Jason took place), Goubazes, the
king of the Lazi, came and did obeisance to Chosroes, the son of
Cabades, as Lord, putting himself together with his palace and all
Lazica into his hand.

Now there is a coast city named Petra in Colchis, on the sea which is
called the Euxine, which in former times had been a place of no
importance, but which the Emperor Justinian had rendered strong and
otherwise conspicuous by means of the circuit-wall and other buildings
which he erected. When Chosroes ascertained that the Roman army was in
that place with John, he sent an army and a general, Aniabedes, against
them in order to capture the place at the first onset. But John, upon
learning of their approach, gave orders that no one should go outside
the fortifications nor allow himself to be seen from the parapet by the
enemy, and he armed the whole army and stationed them in the vicinity of
the gates, commanding them to keep silence and not allow the least sound
of any kind to escape from them. So the Persians came close to the
fortifications, and since nothing of the enemy was either seen or heard
by them they thought that the Romans had abandoned the city and left it
destitute of men. For this reason they closed in still more around the
fortifications, so as to set up ladders immediately, since no one was
defending the wall. And neither seeing nor hearing anything of the
enemy, they sent to Chosroes and explained the situation. And he sent
the greater part of the army, commanding them to make an attempt upon
the fortifications from all sides, and he directed one of the officers
to make use of the engine known as a ram around the gate, while he
himself, seated on the hill which lies very close to the city, became a
spectator of the operations. And straightway the Romans opened the gates
all of a sudden, and unexpectedly fell upon and slew great numbers of
the enemy, and especially those stationed about the ram; the rest with
difficulty made their escape together with the general and were saved.
And Chosroes, filled with rage, impaled Aniabedes, since he had been
outgeneralled by John, a tradesman and an altogether unwarlike man. But
some say that not Aniabedes, but the officer commanding the men who were
working the ram was impaled. And he himself broke camp with the whole
army, and coming close to the fortifications of Petra, made camp and
began a siege. On the following day he went completely around the
fortifications, and since he suspected that they could not support a
very strong attack, he decided to storm the wall. And bringing up the
whole army there, he opened the action, commanding all to shoot with
their bows against the parapet. The Romans, meanwhile, in defending
themselves, made use of their engines of war and all their bows. At
first, then, the Persians did the Romans little harm, although they were
shooting their arrows thick and fast, while at the same time they
suffered severely at the hands of the Romans, since they were being shot
at from an elevation. But later on (since it was fated that Petra be
captured by Chosroes), John by some chance was shot in the neck and
died, and as a result of this the other Romans ceased to care for
anything. Then indeed the barbarians withdrew to their camp; for it was
already growing dark; but on the following day they planned to assail
the fortifications by an excavation, as follows.

The city of Petra is on one side inaccessible on account of the sea, and
on the other on account of the sheer cliffs which rise there on every
hand; indeed it is from this circumstance that the city has received the
name it bears. And it has only one approach on the level ground, and
that not very broad; for exceedingly high cliffs overhang it on either
side. At that point those who formerly built the city provided that that
portion of the wall should not be open to attack by making long walls
which ran along beside either cliff and guarded the approach for a great
distance. And they built two towers, one in each of these walls, not
following the customary plan, but as follows. They refused to allow the
space in the middle of the structure to be empty, but constructed the
entire towers from the ground up to a great height of very large stones
which fitted together, in order that they might never be shaken down by
a ram or any other engine. Such, then, are the fortifications of Petra.
But the Persians secretly made a tunnel into the earth and got under one
of the two towers, and from there carried out many of the stones and in
their place put wood, which a little later they burned. And the flame,
rising little by little, weakened the stones, and all of a sudden shook
the whole tower violently and straightway brought it down to the ground.
And the Romans who were on the tower perceived what was being done in
sufficient time so that they did not fall with it to the ground, but
they fled and got inside the city wall. And now it was possible for the
enemy to storm the wall from the level, and thus with no trouble to take
the city by force. The Romans, therefore, in terror, opened negotiations
with the barbarians, and receiving from Chosroes pledges concerning
their lives and their property, they surrendered to him both themselves
and the city. [541 A.D.] Thus Chosroes captured Petra. And finding the
treasures of John, which were extremely rich, he took them himself, but
besides this neither he himself nor anyone else of the Persians touched
anything, and the Romans, retaining their own possessions, mingled with
the Median army.


XVIII

Meantime Belisarius and the Roman army, having learned nothing of what
was being done there, were going in excellent order from the city of
Daras toward Nisibis. And when they had reached the middle of their
journey, Belisarius led the army to the right where there were abundant
springs of water and level ground sufficient for all to camp upon. And
there he gave orders to make a camp at about forty-two stades from the
city of Nisibis. But all the others marvelled greatly that he did not
wish to camp close to the fortifications, and some were quite unwilling
to follow him. Belisarius therefore addressed those of the officers who
were about him thus: "It was not my wish to disclose to all what I am
thinking. For talk carried about through a camp cannot keep secrets, for
it advances little by little until it is carried out even to the enemy.
But seeing that the majority of you are allowing yourselves to act in a
most disorderly manner, and that each one wishes to be himself supreme
commander in the war, I shall now say among you things about which one
ought to keep silence, mentioning, however, this first, that when many
in an army follow independent judgments it is impossible that anything
needful be done. Now I think that Chosroes, in going against other
barbarians, has by no means left his own land without sufficient
protection, and in particular this city which is of the first rank and
is set as a defence to his whole land. In this city I know well that he
has stationed soldiers in such number and of such valour as to be
sufficient to stand in the way of our assaults. And the proof of this
you have near at hand. For he put in command of these men the general
Nabedes, who, after Chosroes himself at least, seems to be first among
the Persians in glory and in every other sort of honour. This man, I
believe, will both make trial of our strength and will permit of our
passing by on no other condition than that he be defeated by us in
battle. If, therefore, the conflict should be close by the city, the
struggle will not be even for us and the Persians. For they, coming out
from their stronghold against us, in case of success, should it so
happen, will feel unlimited confidence in assailing us, and in case of
defeat they will easily escape from our attack. For we shall only be
able to pursue them a short distance, and from this no harm will come to
the city, which you surely see cannot be captured by storming the wall
when soldiers are defending it. But if the enemy engage with us here and
we conquer them, I have great hopes, fellow officers, of capturing the
city. For while our antagonists are fleeing a long way, we shall either
mingle with them and rush inside the gates with them, as is probable, or
we shall anticipate them and compel them to turn and escape to some
other place, and thus render Nisibis without its defenders easy of
capture for us."

When Belisarius had said this, all the others except Peter were
convinced, and they made camp and remained with him. He, however,
associating with himself John, who commanded the troops in Mesopotamia
and had no small part of the army, came up to a position not far removed
from the fortifications, about ten stades away, and remained quietly
there. But Belisarius marshalled the men who were with him as if for
combat, and sent word to Peter and his men also to hold themselves in
array for battle, until he himself should give the signal; and he said
that he knew well that the barbarians would attack them about midday,
remembering, as they surely would, that while they themselves are
accustomed to partake of food in the late afternoon, the Romans do so
about midday. So Belisarius gave this warning; but Peter and his men
disregarded his commands, and about midday, being distressed by the sun
(for the place is exceedingly dry and hot), they stacked their arms, and
with never a thought of the enemy began to go about in disorderly
fashion and eat gourds which grew there. And when this was observed by
Nabedes, he led the Persian army running at full speed against them. And
the Romans, since they did not fail to observe that the Persians were
coming out of the fortifications (for they were seen clearly because
moving over a level plain), sent to Belisarius urging him to support
them, and they themselves snatched up their arms, and in disorder and
confusion confronted their foe. But Belisarius and his men, even before
the messenger had reached them, discovered by the dust the attack of the
Persians, and went to the rescue on the run. And when the Persians came
up, the Romans did not withstand their onset, but were routed without
any difficulty, and the Persians, following close upon them, killed
fifty men, and seized and kept the standard of Peter. And they would
have slain them all in this pursuit, for the Romans had no thought of
resistance, if Belisarius and the army with him had not come upon them
and prevented it. For as the Goths, first of all, came upon them with
long spears in close array, the Persians did not await their attack but
beat a hasty retreat. And the Romans together with the Goths followed
them up and slew a hundred and fifty men. For the pursuit was only of
short duration, and the others quickly got inside the fortifications.
Then indeed all the Romans withdrew to the camp of Belisarius, and the
Persians on the following day set up on a tower instead of a trophy the
standard of Peter, and hanging sausages from it they taunted the enemy
with laughter; however, they no longer dared to come out against them,
but they guarded the city securely.


XIX

And Belisarius, seeing that Nisibis was exceedingly strong, and having
no hope regarding its capture, was eager to go forward, in order that he
might do the enemy some damage by a sudden inroad. Accordingly he broke
camp and moved forward with the whole army. And after accomplishing a
day's journey, they came upon a fortress which the Persians call
Sisauranon. There were in that place besides the numerous population
eight hundred horsemen, the best of the Persians, who were keeping guard
under command of a man of note, Bleschames by name. And the Romans made
camp close by the fortress and began a siege, but, upon making an
assault upon the fortifications, they were beaten back, losing many men
in the fight. For the wall happened to be extremely strong, and the
barbarians defended it against their assailants with the greatest
vigour. Belisarius therefore called together all the officers and spoke
as follows: "Experience in many wars, fellow officers, has made it
possible for us in difficult situations to foresee what will come to
pass, and has made us capable of avoiding disaster by choosing the
better course. You understand, therefore, how great a mistake it is for
an army to proceed into a hostile land, when many strongholds and many
fighting men in them have been left in the rear. Now exactly this has
happened to us in the present case. For if we continue our advance, some
of the enemy from this place as well as from the city of Nisibis will
follow us secretly and will, in all probability, handle us roughly in
places which are for them conveniently adapted for an ambuscade or some
other sort of attack. And if, by any chance, a second army confronts us
and opens battle, it will be necessary for us to array ourselves against
both, and we should thus suffer irreparable harm at their hands. And in
saying this I do not mention the fact that if we fail in the engagement,
should it so happen, we shall after that have absolutely no way of
return left to the land of the Romans. Let us not therefore by reason of
most ill-considered haste seem to have been our own despoilers, nor by
our eagerness for strife do harm to the cause of the Romans. For stupid
daring leads to destruction, but discreet hesitation is well adapted
always to save those who adopt such a course. Let us therefore establish
ourselves here and endeavour to capture this fortress, and let Arethas
with his forces be sent into the country of Assyria. For the Saracens
are by nature unable to storm a wall, but the cleverest of all men at
plundering. And some of the soldiers who are good fighters will join
them in the invasion, so that, if no opposition presents itself to them,
they may overwhelm those who fall in their way, and if any hostile force
encounters them, they may be saved easily by retiring to us. And after
we have captured the fortress, if God wills, then with the whole army
let us cross the River Tigris, without having to fear mischief from
anyone in our rear, and knowing well how matters stand with the
Assyrians."

These words of Belisarius seemed to all well spoken, and he straightway
put the plan into execution. Accordingly he commanded Arethas with his
troops to advance into Assyria, and with them he sent twelve hundred
soldiers, the most of whom were from among his own guard, putting two
guardsmen in command of them, Trajan and John who was called the
Glutton, both capable warriors. These men he directed to obey Arethas in
everything they did, and he commanded Arethas to pillage all that lay
before him and then return to the camp and report how matters stood with
the Assyrians with regard to military strength. So Arethas and his men
crossed the River Tigris and entered Assyria. There they found a goodly
land and one which had been free from plunder for a long time, and
undefended besides; and moving rapidly they pillaged many of the places
there and secured a great amount of rich plunder. And at that time
Belisarius captured some of the Persians and learned from them that
those who were inside the fortress were altogether out of provisions.
For they do not observe the custom which is followed in the cities of
Daras and Nisibis, where they put away the annual food-supply in public
store-houses, and now that a hostile army had fallen upon them
unexpectedly they had not anticipated the event by carrying in any of
the necessities of life. And since a great number of persons had taken
refuge suddenly in the fortress, they were naturally hard pressed by the
want of provisions. When Belisarius learned this, he sent George, a man
of the greatest discretion with whom he shared his secrets, to test the
men of the place, in the hope that he might be able to arrange some
terms of surrender and thus take the place. And George succeeded, after
addressing to them many words of exhortation and of kindly invitation,
in persuading them to take pledges for their safety and to deliver
themselves and the fortress to the Romans. Thus Belisarius captured
Sisauranon, and the inhabitants, all of whom were Christians and of
Roman origin, he released unscathed, but the Persians he sent with
Bleschames to Byzantium, and razed the fortification wall of the
fortress to the ground. And the emperor not long afterwards sent these
Persians and Bleschames to Italy to fight against the Goths. Such, then,
was the course of events which had to do with the fortress of
Sisauranon.

But Arethas, fearing lest he should be despoiled of his booty by the
Romans, was now unwilling to return to the camp. So he sent some of his
followers ostensibly for the purpose of reconnoitring, but secretly
commanding them to return as quickly as possible and announce to the
army that a large hostile force was at the crossing of the river. For
this reason, then, he advised Trajan and John to return by another route
to the land of the Romans. So they did not come again to Belisarius, but
keeping the River Euphrates on the right they finally arrived at the
Theodosiopolis which is near the River Aborrhas. But Belisarius and the
Roman army, hearing nothing concerning this force, were disturbed, and
they were filled with fear and an intolerable and exaggerated suspicion.
And since much time had been consumed by them in this siege, it came
about that many of the soldiers were taken there with a troublesome
fever; for the portion of Mesopotamia which is subject to the Persians
is extremely dry and hot. And the Romans were not accustomed to this and
especially those who came from Thrace; and since they were living their
daily life in a place where the heat was excessive and in stuffy huts in
the summer season, they became so ill that the third part of the army
were lying half-dead. The whole army, therefore, was eager to depart
from there and return as quickly as possible to their own land, and most
of all the commanders of the troops in Lebanon, Rhecithancus and
Theoctistus, who saw that the time which was the sacred season of the
Saracens had in fact already passed. They came, indeed, frequently to
Belisarius and entreated him to release them immediately, protesting
that they had given over to Alamoundaras the country of Lebanon and
Syria, and were sitting there for no good reason.

Belisarius therefore called together all the officers and opened a
discussion. Then John, the son of Nicetas, rose first and spoke as
follows: "Most excellent Belisarius, I consider that in all time there
has never been a general such as you are either in fortune or in valour.
And this reputation has come to prevail not alone among the Romans, but
also among all barbarians. This fair name, however, you will preserve
most securely, if you should be able to take us back alive to the land
of the Romans; for now indeed the hopes which we may have are not
bright. For I would have you look thus at the situation of this army.
The Saracens and the most efficient soldiers of the army crossed the
River Tigris, and one day, I know not how long since, they found
themselves in such a plight that they have not even succeeded in sending
a messenger to us, and Rhecithancus and Theoctistus will depart, as you
see surely, believing that the army of Alamoundaras is almost at this
very moment in the midst of Phoenicia, pillaging the whole country
there. And among those who are left the sick are so numerous that those
who will care for them and convey them to the land of the Romans are
fewer in number than they are by a great deal. Under these
circumstances, if it should fall out that any hostile force should come
upon us, either while remaining here or while going back, not a man
would be able to carry back word to the Romans in Daras of the calamity
which had befallen us. For as for going forward, I consider it
impossible even to be spoken of. While, therefore, some hope is still
left, it will be of advantage both to make plans for the return and to
put the plans into action. For when men have come into danger and
especially such danger as this, it is downright folly for them to devote
their thoughts not to safety, but to opposition to the enemy." So spoke
John, and all the others expressed approval, and becoming disorderly,
they demanded that the retreat be made with all speed. Accordingly
Belisarius laid the sick in the carts and let them lead the way, while
he led the army behind them. And as soon as they got into the land of
the Romans, he learned everything which had been done by Arethas, but he
did not succeed in inflicting any punishment upon him, for he never came
into his sight again. So ended the invasion of the Romans.

And after Chosroes had taken Petra, it was announced to him that
Belisarius had invaded the Persian territory, and the engagement near
the city of Nisibis was reported, as also the capture of the fortress of
Sisauranon, and all that the army of Arethas had done after crossing the
River Tigris. Straightway, then, he established a garrison in Petra, and
with the rest of the army and those of the Romans who had been captured
he marched away into the land of Persia. Such, then, were the events
which took place in the second invasion of Chosroes. And Belisarius went
to Byzantium at the summons of the emperor, and passed the winter there.


XX

[542 A.D.] At the opening of spring Chosroes, the son of Cabades, for
the third time began an invasion into the land of the Romans with a
mighty army, keeping the River Euphrates on the right. And Candidus, the
priest of Sergiopolis, upon learning that the Median army had come near
there, began to be afraid both for himself and for the city, since he
had by no means carried out at the appointed time the agreement which he
had made[15]; accordingly he went into the camp of the enemy and
entreated Chosroes not to be angry with him because of this. For as for
money, he had never had any, and for this reason he had not even wished
in the first place to deliver the inhabitants of Sura, and though he had
supplicated the Emperor Justinian many times on their behalf, he had
failed to receive any help from him. But Chosroes put him under guard,
and, torturing him most cruelly, claimed the right to exact from him
double the amount of money, just as had been agreed. And Candidus
entreated him to send men to Sergiopolis to take all the treasures of
the sanctuary there. And when Chosroes followed this suggestion,
Candidus sent some of his followers with them. So the inhabitants of
Sergiopolis, receiving into the city the men sent by Chosroes, gave them
many of the treasures, declaring that nothing else was left them. But
Chosroes said that these were by no means sufficient for him, and
demanded that he should receive others still more than these.
Accordingly he sent men, ostensibly to search out with all diligence the
wealth of the city, but in reality to take possession of the city. But
since it was fated that Sergiopolis should not be taken by the Persians,
one of the Saracens, who, though a Christian, was serving under
Alamoundaras, Ambrus by name, came by night along the wall of the city,
and reporting to them the whole plan, bade them by no means receive the
Persians into the city. Thus those who were sent by Chosroes returned to
him unsuccessful, and he, boiling with anger, began to make plans to
capture the city. He accordingly sent an army of six thousand,
commanding them to begin a siege and to make assaults upon the
fortifications. And this army came there and commenced active
operations, and the citizens of Sergiopolis at first defended themselves
vigorously, but later they gave up, and in terror at the danger, they
were purposing to give over the city to the enemy. For, as it happened,
they had not more than two hundred soldiers. But Ambrus, again coming
along by the fortifications at night, said that within two days the
Persians would raise the siege since their water supply had failed them
absolutely. For this reason they did not by any means open negotiations
with the enemy, and the barbarians, suffering with thirst, removed from
there and came to Chosroes. However, Chosroes never released Candidus.
For it was necessary, I suppose, that since he had disregarded his sworn
agreement, he should be a priest no longer. Such, then, was the course
of these events.

But when Chosroes arrived at the land of the Commagenae which they call
Euphratesia, he had no desire to turn to plundering or to the capture of
any stronghold, since he had previously taken everything before him as
far as Syria, partly by capture and partly by exacting money, as has
been set forth in the preceding narrative. And his purpose was to lead
the army straight for Palestine, in order that he might plunder all
their treasures and especially those in Jerusalem. For he had it from
hearsay that this was an especially goodly land and peopled by wealthy
inhabitants. And all the Romans, both officers and soldiers, were far
from entertaining any thought of confronting the enemy or of standing in
the way of their passage, but manning their strongholds as each one
could, they thought it sufficient to preserve them and save themselves.

The Emperor Justinian, upon learning of the inroad of the Persians,
again sent Belisarius against them. And he came with great speed to
Euphratesia since he had no army with him, riding on the government
post-horses, which they are accustomed to call "veredi," while Justus,
the nephew of the emperor, together with Bouzes and certain others, was
in Hierapolis where he had fled for refuge. And when these men heard
that Belisarius was coming and was not far away, they wrote a letter to
him which ran as follows: "Once more Chosroes, as you yourself doubtless
know, has taken the field against the Romans, bringing a much greater
army than formerly; and where he is purposing to go is not yet evident,
except indeed that we hear he is very near, and that he has injured no
place, but is always moving ahead. But come to us as quickly as
possible, if indeed you are able to escape detection by the army of the
enemy, in order that you yourself may be safe for the emperor, and that
you may join us in guarding Hierapolis." Such was the message of the
letter. But Belisarius, not approving the advice given, came to the
place called Europum, which is on the River Euphrates. From there he
sent about in all directions and began to gather his army, and there he
established his camp; and the officers in Hierapolis he answered with
the following words: "If, now, Chosroes is proceeding against any other
peoples, and not against subjects of the Romans, this plan of yours is
well considered and insures the greatest possible degree of safety; for
it is great folly for those who have the opportunity of remaining quiet
and being rid of trouble to enter into any unnecessary danger; but if,
immediately after departing from here, this barbarian is going to fall
upon some other territory of the Emperor Justinian, and that an
exceptionally good one, but without any guard of soldiers, be assured
that to perish valorously is better in every way than to be saved
without a fight. For this would justly be called not salvation but
treason. But come as quickly as possible to Europum, where, after
collecting the whole army, I hope to deal with the enemy as God
permits." And when the officers saw this message, they took courage, and
leaving there Justus with some few men in order to guard Hierapolis, all
the others with the rest of the army came to Europum.


XXI

But Chosroes, upon learning that Belisarius with the whole Roman army
had encamped at Europum, decided not to continue his advance, but sent
one of the royal secretaries, Abandanes by name, a man who enjoyed a
great reputation for discretion, to Belisarius, in order to find out by
inspection what sort of a general he might be, but ostensibly to make a
protest because the Emperor Justinian had not sent the ambassadors to
the Persians at all in order that they might settle the arrangements for
the peace as had been agreed. When Belisarius learned this, he did as
follows. He himself picked out six thousand men of goodly stature and
especially fine physique, and set out to hunt at a considerable distance
from the camp. Then he commanded Diogenes, the guardsman, and Adolius,
the son of Acacius, to cross the river with a thousand horsemen and to
move about the bank there, always making it appear to the enemy that if
they wished to cross the Euphrates and proceed to their own land, they
would never permit them to do so. This Adolius was an Armenian by birth,
and he always served the emperor while in the palace as privy counsellor
(those who enjoy this honour are called by the Romans "silentiarii"),
but at that time he was commander of some Armenians. And these men did
as directed.

Now when Belisarius had ascertained that the envoy was close at hand, he
set up a tent of some heavy cloth, of the sort which is commonly called
a "pavilion," and seated himself there as one might in a desolate place,
seeking thus to indicate that he had come without any equipment. And he
arranged the soldiers as follows. On either side of the tent were
Thracians and Illyrians, with Goths beyond them, and next to these
Eruli, and finally Vandals and Moors. And their line extended for a
great distance over the plain. For they did not remain standing always
in the same place, but stood apart from one another and kept walking
about, looking carelessly and without the least interest upon the envoy
of Chosroes. And not one of them had a cloak or any other outer garment
to cover the shoulders, but they were sauntering about clad in linen
tunics and trousers, and outside these their girdles. And each one had
his horse-whip, but for weapons one had a sword, another an axe, another
an uncovered bow. And all gave the impression that they were eager to be
off on the hunt with never a thought of anything else. So Abandanes came
into the presence of Belisarius and said that the king Chosroes was
indignant because the agreement previously made had not been kept, in
that the envoys had not been sent to him by Caesar (for thus the
Persians call the emperor of the Romans), and as a result of this
Chosroes had been compelled to come into the land of the Romans in arms.
But Belisarius was not terrified by the thought that such a multitude of
barbarians were encamped close by, nor did he experience any confusion
because of the words of the man, but with a laughing, care-free
countenance he made answer, saying: "This course which Chosroes has
followed on the present occasion is not in keeping with the way men
usually act. For other men, in case a dispute should arise between
themselves and any of their neighbours, first carry on negotiations with
them, and whenever they do not receive reasonable satisfaction, then
finally go against them in war. But he first comes into the midst of the
Romans, and then begins to offer suggestions concerning peace." With
such words as these he dismissed the ambassador.

And when Abandanes came to Chosroes, he advised him to take his
departure with all possible speed. For he said he had met a general who
in manliness and sagacity surpassed all other men, and soldiers such as
he at least had never seen, whose orderly conduct had roused in him the
greatest admiration. And he added that the contest was not on an even
footing as regards risk for him and for Belisarius, for there was this
difference, that if he conquered, he himself would conquer the slave of
Caesar, but if he by any chance were defeated, he would bring great
disgrace upon his kingdom and upon the race of the Persians; and again
the Romans, if conquered, could easily save themselves in strongholds
and in their own land, while if the Persians should meet with any
reverse, not even a messenger would escape to the land of the Persians.
Chosroes was convinced by this admonition and wished to turn back to his
own country, but he found himself in a very perplexing situation. For he
supposed that the crossing of the river was being guarded by the enemy,
and he was unable to march back by the same road, which was entirely
destitute of human habitation, since the supplies which they had at the
first when they invaded the land of the Romans had already entirely
failed them. At last after long consideration it seemed to him most
advantageous to risk a battle and get to the opposite side, and to make
the journey through a land abounding in all good things. Now Belisarius
knew well that not even a hundred thousand men would ever be sufficient
to check the crossing of Chosroes. For the river at many places along
there can be crossed in boats very easily, and even apart from this the
Persian army was too strong to be excluded from the crossing by an enemy
numerically insignificant. But he had at first commanded the troops of
Diogenes and Adolius, together with the thousand horsemen, to move about
the bank at that point in order to confuse the barbarian by a feeling of
helplessness. But after frightening this same barbarian, as I have said,
Belisarius feared lest there should be some obstacle in the way of his
departing from the land of the Romans. For it seemed to him a most
significant achievement to have driven away from there the army of
Chosroes, without risking any battle against so many myriads of
barbarians with soldiers who were very few in number and who were in
abject terror of the Median army. For this reason he commanded Diogenes
and Adolius to remain quiet.

Chosroes, accordingly, constructed a bridge with great celerity and
crossed the River Euphrates suddenly with his whole army. For the
Persians are able to cross all rivers without the slightest difficulty
because when they are on the march they have in readiness hook-shaped
irons with which they fasten together long timbers, and with the help of
these they improvise a bridge on the spur of the moment wherever they
may desire. And as soon as he had reached the land on the opposite side,
he sent to Belisarius and said that he, for his part, had bestowed a
favour upon the Romans in the withdrawal of the Median army, and that he
was expecting the envoys from them, who ought to present themselves to
him at no distant time. Then Belisarius also with the whole Roman army
crossed the River Euphrates and immediately sent to Chosroes. And when
the messengers came into his presence, they commended him highly for his
withdrawal and promised that envoys would come to him promptly from the
emperor, who would arrange with him that the terms which had previously
been agreed upon concerning the peace should be put into effect. And
they asked of him that he treat the Romans as his friends in his journey
through their land. This too he agreed to carry out, if they should give
him some one of their notable men as a hostage to make this compact
binding, in order that they might carry out their agreement. So the
envoys returned to Belisarius and reported the words of Chosroes, and he
came to Edessa and chose John, the son of Basilius, the most illustrious
of all the inhabitants of Edessa in birth and in wealth, and straightway
sent him, much against his will, as a hostage to Chosroes. And the
Romans were loud in their praises of Belisarius and he seemed to have
achieved greater glory in their eyes by this affair than when he brought
Gelimer or Vittigis captive to Byzantium. For in reality it was an
achievement of great importance and one deserving great praise, that, at
a time when all the Romans were panic-stricken with fear and were hiding
themselves in their defences, and Chosroes with a mighty army had come
into the midst of the Roman domain, a general with only a few men,
coming in hot haste from Byzantium just at that moment, should have set
his camp over against that of the Persian king, and that Chosroes
unexpectedly, either through fear of fortune or of the valour of the man
or even because deceived by some tricks, should no longer continue his
advance, but should in reality take to flight, though pretending to be
seeking peace.

But in the meantime Chosroes, disregarding the agreement, took the city
of Callinicus which was entirely without defenders. For the Romans,
seeing that the wall of this city was altogether unsound and easy of
capture, were tearing down portions of it in turn and restoring them
with new construction. Now just at that time they had torn down one
section of it and had not yet built in this interval; when, therefore,
they learned that the enemy were close at hand, they carried out the
most precious of their treasures, and the wealthy inhabitants withdrew
to other strongholds, while the rest without soldiers remained where
they were. And it happened that great numbers of farmers had gathered
there. These Chosroes enslaved and razed everything to the ground. A
little later, upon receiving the hostage, John, he retired to his own
country. And the Armenians who had submitted to Chosroes received
pledges from the Romans and came with Bassaces to Byzantium. Such was
the fortune of the Romans in the third invasion of Chosroes. And
Belisarius came to Byzantium at the summons of the emperor, in order to
be sent again to Italy, since the situation there was already full of
difficulties for the Romans.


XXII

[542 A.D.] During these times there was a pestilence, by which the whole
human race came near to being annihilated. Now in the case of all other
scourges sent from Heaven some explanation of a cause might be given by
daring men, such as the many theories propounded by those who are clever
in these matters; for they love to conjure up causes which are
absolutely incomprehensible to man, and to fabricate outlandish theories
of natural philosophy, knowing well that they are saying nothing sound,
but considering it sufficient for them, if they completely deceive by
their argument some of those whom they meet and persuade them to their
view. But for this calamity it is quite impossible either to express in
words or to conceive in thought any explanation, except indeed to refer
it to God. For it did not come in a part of the world nor upon certain
men, nor did it confine itself to any season of the year, so that from
such circumstances it might be possible to find subtle explanations of a
cause, but it embraced the entire world, and blighted the lives of all
men, though differing from one another in the most marked degree,
respecting neither sex nor age. For much as men differ with regard to
places in which they live, or in the law of their daily life, or in
natural bent, or in active pursuits, or in whatever else man differs
from man, in the case of this disease alone the difference availed
naught. And it attacked some in the summer season, others in the winter,
and still others at the other times of the year. Now let each one
express his own judgment concerning the matter, both sophist and
astrologer, but as for me, I shall proceed to tell where this disease
originated and the manner in which it destroyed men.

It started from the Aegyptians who dwell in Pelusium. Then it divided
and moved in one direction towards Alexandria and the rest of Aegypt,
and in the other direction it came to Palestine on the borders of
Aegypt; and from there it spread over the whole world, always moving
forward and travelling at times favourable to it. For it seemed to move
by fixed arrangement, and to tarry for a specified time in each country,
casting its blight slightingly upon none, but spreading in either
direction right out to the ends of the world, as if fearing lest some
corner of the earth might escape it. For it left neither island nor cave
nor mountain ridge which had human inhabitants; and if it had passed by
any land, either not affecting the men there or touching them in
indifferent fashion, still at a later time it came back; then those who
dwelt round about this land, whom formerly it had afflicted most sorely,
it did not touch at all, but it did not remove from the place in
question until it had given up its just and proper tale of dead, so as
to correspond exactly to the number destroyed at the earlier time among
those who dwelt round about. And this disease always took its start from
the coast, and from there went up to the interior. And in the second
year it reached Byzantium in the middle of spring, where it happened
that I was staying at that time. And it came as follows. Apparitions of
supernatural beings in human guise of every description were seen by
many persons, and those who encountered them thought that they were
struck by the man they had met in this or that part of the body, as it
happened, and immediately upon seeing this apparition they were seized
also by the disease. Now at first those who met these creatures tried to
turn them aside by uttering the holiest of names and exorcising them in
other ways as well as each one could, but they accomplished absolutely
nothing, for even in the sanctuaries where the most of them fled for
refuge they were dying constantly. But later on they were unwilling even
to give heed to their friends when they called to them, and they shut
themselves up in their rooms and pretended that they did not hear,
although their doors were being beaten down, fearing, obviously, that he
who was calling was one of those demons. But in the case of some the
pestilence did not come on in this way, but they saw a vision in a dream
and seemed to suffer the very same thing at the hands of the creature
who stood over them, or else to hear a voice foretelling to them that
they were written down in the number of those who were to die. But with
the majority it came about that they were seized by the disease without
becoming aware of what was coming either through a waking vision or a
dream. And they were taken in the following manner. They had a sudden
fever, some when just roused from sleep, others while walking about, and
others while otherwise engaged, without any regard to what they were
doing. And the body shewed no change from its previous colour, nor was
it hot as might be expected when attacked by a fever, nor indeed did any
inflammation set in, but the fever was of such a languid sort from its
commencement and up till evening that neither to the sick themselves nor
to a physician who touched them would it afford any suspicion of danger.
It was natural, therefore, that not one of those who had contracted the
disease expected to die from it. But on the same day in some cases, in
others on the following day, and in the rest not many days later, a
bubonic swelling developed; and this took place not only in the
particular part of the body which is called "boubon,"[16] that is, below
the abdomen, but also inside the armpit, and in some cases also beside
the ears, and at different points on the thighs.

Up to this point, then, everything went in about the same way with all
who had taken the disease. But from then on very marked differences
developed; and I am unable to say whether the cause of this diversity of
symptoms was to be found in the difference in bodies, or in the fact
that it followed the wish of Him who brought the disease into the world.
For there ensued with some a deep coma, with others a violent delirium,
and in either case they suffered the characteristic symptoms of the
disease. For those who were under the spell of the coma forgot all those
who were familiar to them and seemed to be sleeping constantly. And if
anyone cared for them, they would eat without waking, but some also were
neglected, and these would die directly through lack of sustenance. But
those who were seized with delirium suffered from insomnia and were
victims of a distorted imagination; for they suspected that men were
coming upon them to destroy them, and they would become excited and rush
off in flight, crying out at the top of their voices. And those who were
attending them were in a state of constant exhaustion and had a most
difficult time of it throughout. For this reason everybody pitied them
no less than the sufferers, not because they were threatened by the
pestilence in going near it (for neither physicians nor other persons
were found to contract this malady through contact with the sick or with
the dead, for many who were constantly engaged either in burying or in
attending those in no way connected with them held out in the
performance of this service beyond all expectation, while with many
others the disease came on without warning and they died straightway);
but they pitied them because of the great hardships which they were
undergoing. For when the patients fell from their beds and lay rolling
upon the floor, they, kept patting them back in place, and when they
were struggling to rush headlong out of their houses, they would force
them back by shoving and pulling against them. And when water chanced to
be near, they wished to fall into it, not so much because of a desire
for drink (for the most of them rushed into the sea), but the cause was
to be found chiefly in the diseased state of their minds. They had also
great difficulty in the matter of eating, for they could not easily take
food. And many perished through lack of any man to care for them, for
they were either overcome by hunger, or threw themselves down from a
height. And in those cases where neither coma nor delirium came on, the
bubonic swelling became mortified and the sufferer, no longer able to
endure the pain, died. And one would suppose that in all cases the same
thing would have been true, but since they were not at all in their
senses, some were quite unable to feel the pain; for owing to the
troubled condition of their minds they lost all sense of feeling.

Now some of the physicians who were at a loss because the symptoms were
not understood, supposing that the disease centred in the bubonic
swellings, decided to investigate the bodies of the dead. And upon
opening some of the swellings, they found a strange sort of carbuncle
that had grown inside them.

Death came in some cases immediately, in others after many days; and
with some the body broke out with black pustules about as large as a
lentil and these did not survive even one day, but all succumbed
immediately. With many also a vomiting of blood ensued without visible
cause and straightway brought death. Moreover I am able to declare this,
that the most illustrious physicians predicted that many would die, who
unexpectedly escaped entirely from suffering shortly afterwards, and
that they declared that many would be saved, who were destined to be
carried off almost immediately. So it was that in this disease there was
no cause which came within the province of human reasoning; for in all
cases the issue tended to be something unaccountable. For example, while
some were helped by bathing, others were harmed in no less degree. And
of those who received no care many died, but others, contrary to reason,
were saved. And again, methods of treatment shewed different results
with different patients. Indeed the whole matter may be stated thus,
that no device was discovered by man to save himself, so that either by
taking precautions he should not suffer, or that when the malady had
assailed him he should get the better of it; but suffering came without
warning and recovery was due to no external cause.

And in the case of women who were pregnant death could be certainly
foreseen if they were taken with the disease. For some died through
miscarriage, but others perished immediately at the time of birth with
the infants they bore. However, they say that three women in confinement
survived though their children perished, and that one woman died at the
very time of child-birth but that the child was born and survived.

Now in those cases where the swelling rose to an unusual size and a
discharge of pus had set in, it came about that they escaped from the
disease and survived, for clearly the acute condition of the carbuncle
had found relief in this direction, and this proved to be in general an
indication of returning health; but in cases where the swelling
preserved its former appearance there ensued those troubles which I have
just mentioned. And with some of them it came about that the thigh was
withered, in which case, though the swelling was there, it did not
develop the least suppuration. With others who survived the tongue did
not remain unaffected, and they lived on either lisping or speaking
incoherently and with difficulty.


XXIII

Now the disease in Byzantium ran a course of four months, and its
greatest virulence lasted about three. And at first the deaths were a
little more than the normal, then the mortality rose still higher, and
afterwards the tale of dead reached five thousand each day, and again it
even came to ten thousand and still more than that. Now in the beginning
each man attended to the burial of the dead of his own house, and these
they threw even into the tombs of others, either escaping detection or
using violence; but afterwards confusion and disorder everywhere became
complete. For slaves remained destitute of masters, and men who in
former times were very prosperous were deprived of the service of their
domestics who were either sick or dead, and many houses became
completely destitute of human inhabitants. For this reason it came about
that some of the notable men of the city because of the universal
destitution remained unburied for many days.

And it fell to the lot of the emperor, as was natural, to make provision
for the trouble. He therefore detailed soldiers from the palace and
distributed money, commanding Theodorus to take charge of this work;
this man held the position of announcer of imperial messages, always
announcing to the emperor the petitions of his clients, and declaring to
them in turn whatever his wish was. In the Latin tongue the Romans
designate this office by the term "referendarius." So those who had not
as yet fallen into complete destitution in their domestic affairs
attended individually to the burial of those connected with them. But
Theodorus, by giving out the emperor's money and by making further
expenditures from his own purse, kept burying the bodies which were not
cared for. And when it came about that all the tombs which had existed
previously were filled with the dead, then they dug up all the places
about the city one after the other, laid the dead there, each one as he
could, and departed; but later on those who were making these trenches,
no longer able to keep up with the number of the dying, mounted the
towers of the fortifications in Sycae[17], and tearing off the roofs
threw the bodies in there in complete disorder; and they piled them up
just as each one happened to fall, and filled practically all the towers
with corpses, and then covered them again with their roofs. As a result
of this an evil stench pervaded the city and distressed the inhabitants
still more, and especially whenever the wind blew fresh from that
quarter.

At that time all the customary rites of burial were overlooked. For the
dead were not carried out escorted by a procession in the customary
manner, nor were the usual chants sung over them, but it was sufficient
if one carried on his shoulders the body of one of the dead to the parts
of the city which bordered on the sea and flung him down; and there the
corpses would be thrown upon skiffs in a heap, to be conveyed wherever
it might chance. At that time, too, those of the population who had
formerly been members of the factions laid aside their mutual enmity and
in common they attended to the burial rites of the dead, and they
carried with their own hands the bodies of those who were no connections
of theirs and buried them. Nay, more, those who in times past used to
take delight in devoting themselves to pursuits both shameful and base,
shook off the unrighteousness of their daily lives and practised the
duties of religion with diligence, not so much because they had learned
wisdom at last nor because they had become all of a sudden lovers of
virtue, as it were--for when qualities have become fixed in men by
nature or by the training of a long period of time, it is impossible for
them to lay them aside thus lightly, except, indeed, some divine
influence for good has breathed upon them--but then all, so to speak,
being thoroughly terrified by the things which were happening, and
supposing that they would die immediately, did, as was natural, learn
respectability for a season by sheer necessity. Therefore as soon as
they were rid of the disease and were saved, and already supposed that
they were in security, since the curse had moved on to other peoples,
then they turned sharply about and reverted once more to their baseness
of heart, and now, more than before, they make a display of the
inconsistency of their conduct, altogether surpassing themselves in
villainy and in lawlessness of every sort. For one could insist
emphatically without falsehood that this disease, whether by chance or
by some providence, chose out with exactitude the worst men and let them
go free. But these things were displayed to the world in later times.

During that time it seemed no easy thing to see any man in the streets
of Byzantium, but all who had the good fortune to be in health were
sitting in their houses, either attending the sick or mourning the dead.
And if one did succeed in meeting a man going out, he was carrying one
of the dead. And work of every description ceased, and all the trades
were abandoned by the artisans, and all other work as well, such as each
had in hand. Indeed in a city which was simply abounding in all good
things starvation almost absolute was running riot. Certainly it seemed
a difficult and very notable thing to have a sufficiency of bread or of
anything else; so that with some of the sick it appeared that the end of
life came about sooner than it should have come by reason of the lack of
the necessities of life. And, to put all in a word, it was not possible
to see a single man in Byzantium clad in the chlamys[18], and especially
when the emperor became ill (for he too had a swelling of the groin),
but in a city which held dominion over the whole Roman empire every man
was wearing clothes befitting private station and remaining quietly at
home. Such was the course of the pestilence in the Roman empire at large
as well as in Byzantium. And it fell also upon the land of the Persians
and visited all the other barbarians besides.


XXIV

[545 A.D.] Now it happened that Chosroes had come from Assyria to a
place toward the north called Adarbiganon, from which he was planning to
make an invasion into the Roman domain through Persarmenia. In that
place is the great sanctuary of fire, which the Persians reverence above
all other gods. There the fire is guarded unquenched by the Magi, and
they perform carefully a great number of sacred rites, and in particular
they consult an oracle on those matters which are of the greatest
importance. This is the fire which the Romans worshipped under the name
of Hestia[19] in ancient times. There someone who had been sent from
Byzantium to Chosroes announced that Constantianus and Sergius would
come before him directly as envoys to arrange the treaty. Now these two
men were both trained speakers and exceedingly clever; Constantianus was
an Illyrian by birth, and Sergius was from the city of Edessa in
Mesopotamia. And Chosroes remained quiet expecting these men. But in the
course of the journey thither Constantianus became ill and much time was
consumed; in the meantime it came about that the pestilence fell upon
the Persians. For this reason Nabedes, who at that time held the office
of general in Persarmenia, sent the priest of the Christians in Dubios
by direction of the king to Valerianus, the general in Armenia, in order
to reproach the envoys for their tardiness and to urge the Romans with
all zeal toward peace. And he came with his brother to Armenia, and,
meeting Valerianus, declared that he himself, as a Christian, was
favourably disposed toward the Romans, and that the king Chosroes always
followed his advice in every matter; so that if the ambassadors would
come with him to the land of Persia, there would be nothing to prevent
them from arranging the peace as they wished. Thus then spoke the
priest; but the brother of the priest met Valerianus secretly and said
that Chosroes was in great straits: for his son had risen against him in
an attempt to set up a tyranny, and he himself together with the whole
Persian army had been taken with the plague; and this was the reason why
he wished just now to settle the agreement with the Romans. When
Valerianus heard this, he straightway dismissed the bishop, promising
that the envoys would come to Chosroes at no distant time, but he
himself reported the words which he had heard to the Emperor Justinian.
This led the emperor immediately to send word to him and to Martinus and
the other commanders to invade the enemy's territory as quickly as
possible. For he knew well that no one of the enemy would stand in their
way. And he commanded them to gather all in one place and so make their
invasion into Persarmenia. When the commanders received these letters,
all of them together with their followers began to gather into the land
of Armenia.

And already Chosroes had abandoned Adarbiganon a little before through
fear of the plague and was off with his whole army into Assyria, where
the pestilence had not as yet become epidemic. Valerianus accordingly
encamped close by Theodosiopolis with the troops under him; and with him
was arrayed Narses, who had with him Armenians and some of the Eruli.
And Martinus, the General of the East, together with Ildiger and
Theoctistus, reached the fortress of Citharizon, and fixing his camp
there, remained on the spot. This fortress is separated from
Theodosiopolis by a journey of four days. There too Peter came not long
afterwards together with Adolius and some other commanders. Now the
troops in this region were commanded by Isaac, the brother of Narses.
And Philemouth and Beros with the Eruli who were under them came into
the territory of Chorzianene, not far from the camp of Martinus. And
Justus, the emperor's nephew, and Peranius and John, the son of Nicetas,
together with Domentiolus and John, who was called the Glutton, made
camp near the place called Phison, which is close by the boundaries of
Martyropolis. Thus then were encamped the Roman commanders with their
troops; and the whole army amounted to thirty thousand men. Now all
these troops were neither gathered into one place, nor indeed was there
any general meeting for conference. But the generals sent to each other
some of their followers and began to make enquiries concerning the
invasion. Suddenly, however, Peter, without communicating with anyone,
and without any careful consideration, invaded the hostile land with his
troops. And when on the following day this was found out by Philemouth
and Beros, the leaders of the Eruli, they straightway followed. And when
this in turn came to the knowledge of Martinus and Valerianus and their
men, they quickly joined in the invasion. And all of them a little later
united with each other in the enemy's territory, with the exception of
Justus and his men, who, as I have said, had encamped far away from the
rest of the army, and learned later of their invasion; then, indeed,
they also invaded the territory of the enemy as quickly as possible at
the point where they were, but failed altogether to unite with the other
commanders. As for the others, they proceeded in a body straight for
Doubios, neither plundering nor damaging in any other way the land of
the Persians.


XXV

Now Doubios is a land excellent in every respect, and especially blessed
with a healthy climate and abundance of good water; and from
Theodosiopolis it is removed a journey of eight days. In that region
there are plains suitable for riding, and many very populous villages
are situated in very close proximity to one another, and numerous
merchants conduct their business in them. For from India and the
neighbouring regions of Iberia and from practically all the nations of
Persia and some of those under Roman sway they bring in merchandise and
carry on their dealings with each other there. And the priest of the
Christians is called "Catholicos" in the Greek tongue, because he
presides alone over the whole region. Now at a distance of about one
hundred and twenty stades from Doubios on the right as one travels from
the land of the Romans, there is a mountain difficult of ascent and
moreover precipitous, and a village crowded into very narrow space by
the rough country about, Anglon by name. Thither Nabedes withdrew with
his whole army as soon as he learned of the inroad of the enemy, and,
confident in his strength of position, he shut himself in. Now the
village lies at the extremity of the mountain, and there is a strong
fortress bearing the same name as this village on the steep mountain
side. So Nabedes with stones and carts blocked up the entrances into the
village and thus made it still more difficult of access. And in front of
it he dug a sort of trench and stationed the army there, having filled
some old cabins with ambuscades of infantrymen Altogether the Persian
army amounted to four thousand men.

While these things were being done in this way, the Romans reached a
place one day's journey distant from Anglon, and capturing one of the
enemy who was going out as a spy they enquired where in the world
Nabedes was then. And he asserted that the man had retired from Anglon
with the whole Median army. And when Narses heard this, he was
indignant, and he heaped reproaches and abuse upon his fellow-commanders
for their hesitation. And others, too, began to do the very same thing,
casting insults upon one another; and from then on, giving up all
thought of battle and danger, they were eager to plunder the country
thereabout. The troops broke camp, accordingly, and without the guidance
of generals and without observing any definite formation, they moved
forward in complete confusion; for neither had they any countersign
among themselves, as is customary in such perilous situations, nor were
they arranged in their proper divisions. For the soldiers marched
forward, mixed in with the baggage train, as if going to the ready
plunder of great wealth. But when they came near to Anglon, they sent
out spies who returned to them announcing the array of the enemy. And
the generals were thunder-struck by the unexpectedness of it, but they
considered it altogether disgraceful and unmanly to turn back with an
army of such great size, and so they disposed the army in its three
divisions, as well as the circumstances permitted, and advanced straight
toward the enemy. Now Peter held the right wing and Valerianus the left,
while Martinus and his men arrayed themselves in the centre. And when
they came close to their opponents, they halted, preserving their
formation, but not without disorder. The cause for this was to be found
in the difficulty of the ground, which was very badly broken up, and in
the fact that they were entering battle in a formation arranged on the
spur of the moment. And up to this time the barbarians, who had gathered
themselves into a small space, were remaining quiet, considering the
strength of their antagonists, since the order had been given them by
Nabedes not under any circumstances to begin the fighting, but if the
enemy should assail them, to defend themselves with all their might.

And first Narses with the Eruli and those of the Romans who were under
him, engaged with the enemy, and after a hard hand-to-hand struggle, he
routed the Persians who were before him. And the barbarians in flight
ascended on the run to the fortress, and in so doing they inflicted
terrible injury upon one another in the narrow way. And then Narses
urged his men forward and pressed still harder upon the enemy, and the
rest of the Romans joined in the action. But all of a sudden the men who
were in ambush, as has been said[20], came out from the cabins along the
narrow alleys, and killed some of the Eruli, falling unexpectedly upon
them, and they struck Narses himself a blow on the temple. And his
brother Isaac carried him out from among the fighting men, mortally
wounded. And he died shortly afterwards, having proved himself a brave
man in this engagement. Then, as was to be expected, great confusion
fell upon the Roman army, and Nabedes let out the whole Persian force
upon his opponents. And the Persians, shooting into great masses of the
enemy in the narrow alleys, killed a large number without difficulty,
and particularly of the Eruli who had at the first fallen upon the enemy
with Narses and were fighting for the most part without protection. For
the Eruli have neither helmet nor corselet nor any other protective
armour, except a shield and a thick jacket, which they gird about them
before they enter a struggle. And indeed the Erulian slaves go into
battle without even a shield, and when they prove themselves brave men
in war, then their masters permit them to protect themselves in battle
with shields. Such is the custom of the Eruli.

And the Romans did not withstand the enemy and all of them fled as fast
as they could, never once thinking of resistance and heedless of shame
or of any other worthy motive. But the Persians, suspecting that they
had not turned thus to a shameless flight, but that they were making use
of some ambuscades against them, pursued them as far as the rough ground
extended and then turned back, not daring to fight a decisive battle on
level ground, a few against many. The Romans, however, and especially
all the generals, supposing that the enemy were continuing the pursuit
without pause, kept fleeing still faster, wasting not a moment; and they
were urging on their horses as they ran with whip and voice, and
throwing their corselets and other accoutrements in haste and confusion
to the ground. For they had not the courage to array themselves against
the Persians if they overtook them, but they placed all hope of safety
in their horses' feet, and, in short, the flight became such that
scarcely any one of their horses survived, but when they stopped
running, they straightway fell down and expired. And this proved a
disaster for the Romans so great as to exceed anything that had ever
befallen them previously. For great numbers of them perished and still
more fell into the hands of the enemy. And their weapons and draught
animals which were taken by the enemy amounted to such an imposing
number that Persia seemed as a result of this affair to have become
richer. And Adolius, while passing through a fortified place during this
retreat--it was situated in Persarmenia--was struck on the head by a
stone thrown by one of the inhabitants of the town, and died there. As
for the forces of Justus and Peranius, they invaded the country about
Taraunon, and after gathering some little plunder, immediately returned.


XXVI

[544 A.D.] And in the following year, Chosroes, the son of Cabades, for
the fourth time invaded the land of the Romans, leading his army towards
Mesopotamia. Now this invasion was made by this Chosroes not against
Justinian, the Emperor of the Romans, nor indeed against any other man,
but only against the God whom the Christians reverence. For when in the
first invasion he retired, after failing to capture Edessa[21], both he
and the Magi, since they had been worsted by the God of the Christians,
fell into a great dejection. Wherefore Chosroes, seeking to allay it,
uttered a threat in the palace that he would make slaves of all the
inhabitants of Edessa and bring them to the land of Persia, and would
turn the city into a pasture for sheep. Accordingly when he had
approached the city of Edessa with his whole army, he sent some of the
Huns who were following him against that portion of the fortifications
of the city which is above the hippodrome, with the purpose of doing no
further injury than seizing the flocks which the shepherds had stationed
there along the wall in great numbers: for they were confident in the
strength of the place, since it was exceedingly steep, and supposed that
the enemy would never dare to come so very close to the wall. So the
barbarians were already laying hold of the sheep, and the shepherds were
trying most valiantly to prevent them. And when a great number of
Persians had come to the assistance of the Huns, the barbarians
succeeded in detaching something of a flock from there, but Roman
soldiers and some of the populace made a sally upon the enemy and the
battle became a hand-to-hand struggle; meanwhile the flock of its own
accord returned again to the shepherds. Now one of the Huns who was
fighting before the others was making more trouble for the Romans than
all the rest. And some rustic made a good shot and hit him on the right
knee with a sling, and he immediately fell headlong from his horse to
the ground, which thing heartened the Romans still more. And the battle
which had begun early in the morning ended at midday, and both sides
withdrew from the engagement thinking that they had the advantage. So
the Romans went inside the fortifications, while the barbarians pitched
their tents and made camp in a body about seven stades from the city.

Then Chosroes either saw some vision or else the thought occurred to him
that if, after making two attempts, he should not be able to capture
Edessa, he would thereby cover himself with much disgrace. Accordingly
he decided to sell his withdrawal to the citizens of Edessa for a great
sum of money. On the following day, therefore, Paulus the interpreter
came along by the wall and said that some of the Roman notables should
be sent to Chosroes. And they with all speed chose out four of their
illustrious men and sent them. When these men reached the Median camp,
they were met according to the king's order by Zaberganes, who first
terrified them with many threats and then enquired of them which course
was the more desirable for them, whether that leading to peace, or that
leading to war. And when the envoys agreed that they would choose peace
rather than the dangers of war, Zaberganes replied: "Therefore it is
necessary for you to purchase this for a great sum of money." And the
envoys said that they would give as much as they had provided before,
when he came against them after capturing Antioch. And Zaberganes
dismissed them with laughter, telling them to deliberate most carefully
concerning their safety and then to come again to the Persians. And a
little later Chosroes summoned them, and when they came before him, he
recounted how many Roman towns he had previously enslaved and in what
manner he had accomplished it; then he threatened that the inhabitants
of Edessa would receive more direful treatment at the hands of the
Persians, unless they should give them all the wealth which they had
inside the fortifications; for only on this condition, he said, would
the army depart. When the envoys heard this, they agreed that they would
purchase peace from Chosroes, if only he would not prescribe impossible
conditions for them: but the outcome of a conflict, they said, was
plainly seen by no one at all before the struggle. For there was never a
war whose outcome might be taken for granted by those who waged it.
Thereupon Chosroes in anger commanded the envoys to be gone with all
speed.

On the eighth day of the siege he formed the design of erecting an
artificial hill against the circuit wall of the city; accordingly he cut
down trees in great numbers from the adjacent districts and, without
removing the leaves, laid them together in a square before the wall, at
a point which no missile from the city could reach; then he heaped an
immense amount of earth right upon the trees and above that threw on a
great quantity of stones, not such as are suitable for building, but cut
at random, and only calculated to raise the hill as quickly as possible
to a great height. And he kept laying on long timbers in the midst of
the earth and the stones, and made them serve to bind the structure
together, in order that as it became high it should not be weak. But
Peter, the Roman general (for he happened to be there with Martinus and
Peranius), wishing to check the men who were engaged in this work, sent
some of the Huns who were under his command against them. And they, by
making a sudden attack, killed a great number; and one of the guardsmen,
Argek by name, surpassed all others, for he alone killed twenty-seven.
From that time on, however, the barbarians kept a careful guard, and
there was no further opportunity for anyone to go out against them. But
when the artisans engaged in this work, as they moved forward, came
within range of missiles, then the Romans offered a most vigorous
resistance from the city wall, using both their slings and their bows
against them. Wherefore the barbarians devised the following plan. They
provided screens of goat's hair cloth, of the kind which are called
Cilician, making them of adequate thickness and height, and attached
them to long pieces of wood which they always set before those who were
working on the "agesta"[22] (for thus the Romans used to call in the
Latin tongue the thing which they were making). Behind this neither
ignited arrows nor any other weapon could reach the workmen, but all of
them were thrown back by the screens and stopped there. And then the
Romans, falling into a great fear, sent the envoys to Chosroes in great
trepidation, and with them Stephanus, a physician of marked learning
among those of his time at any rate, who also had once cured Cabades,
the son of Perozes, when ill, and had been made master of great wealth
by him. He, therefore, coming into the presence of Chosroes with the
others, spoke as follows: "It has been agreed by all from of old that
kindness is the mark of a good king. Therefore, most mighty King, while
busying thyself with murders and battles and the enslavement of cities
it will perhaps be possible for thee to win the other names, but thou
wilt never by any means have the reputation of being 'good.' And yet
least of all cities should Edessa suffer any adversity at thy hand. For
there was I born, who, without any foreknowledge of what was coming to
pass, fostered thee from childhood and counselled thy father to appoint
thee his successor in the kingdom, so that to thee I have proved the
chief cause of the kingship of Persia, but to my fatherland of her
present woes. For men, as a general thing, bring down upon their own
heads the most of the misfortunes which are going to befall them. But if
any remembrance of such benefaction comes to thy mind, do us no further
injury, and grant me this requital, by which, O King, thou wilt escape
the reputation of being most cruel." Such were the words of Stephanus.
But Chosroes declared that he would not depart from there until the
Romans should deliver to him Peter and Peranius, seeing that, being his
hereditary slaves, they had dared to array themselves against him. And
if it was not their pleasure to do this, the Romans must choose one of
two alternatives, either to give the Persians five hundred centenaria of
gold, or to receive into the city some of his associates who would
search out all the money, both gold and silver, as much as was there,
and bring it to him, allowing everything else to remain in the
possession of the present owners. Such then were the words which
Chosroes hurled forth, being in hopes of capturing Edessa with no
trouble. And the ambassadors (since all the conditions which he had
announced to them seemed impossible), in despair and great vexation,
proceeded to the city. And when they had come inside the city-wall, they
reported the message from Chosroes, and the whole city was filled with
tumult and lamentation.

Now the artificial hill was rising to a great height and was being
pushed forward with much haste. And the Romans, being at a loss what to
do, again sent off the envoys to Chosroes. And when they had arrived in
the enemy's camp, and said that they had come to make entreaty
concerning the same things, they did not even gain a hearing of any kind
from the Persians, but they were insulted and driven out from there with
a great tumult, and so returned to the city. At first, then, the Romans
tried to over-top the wall opposite the hill by means of another
structure. But since the Persian work was already rising far above even
this, they stopped their building and persuaded Martinus to make the
arrangements for a settlement in whatever way he wished. He then came up
close to the enemy's camp and began to converse with some of the Persian
commanders. But they, completely deceiving Martinus, said that their
king was desirous of peace, but that he was utterly unable to persuade
the Roman Emperor to have done with his strife with Chosroes and to
establish peace with him at last. And they mentioned as evidence of this
the fact that Belisarius, who in power and dignity was far superior to
Martinus, as even he himself would not deny, had recently persuaded the
king of the Persians, when he was in the midst of Roman territory, to
withdraw from there into Persia, promising that envoys from Byzantium
would come to him at no distant time and establish peace securely, but
that he had done none of the things agreed upon, since he had found
himself unable to overcome the determination of the Emperor Justinian.


XXVII

In the meantime the Romans were busying themselves as follows: They made
a tunnel from the city underneath the enemy's embankment, commanding the
diggers not to leave this work until they should get under the middle of
the hill. By this means they were planning to burn the embankment. But
as the tunnel advanced to about the middle of the hill, a sound of
blows, as it were, came to the ears of those Persians who were standing
above. And perceiving what was being done, they too began from above and
dug on both sides of the middle, so that they might catch the Romans who
were doing the damage there. But the Romans found it out and abandoned
this attempt, throwing earth into the place which had been hollowed out,
and then began to work on the lower part of the embankment at the end
which was next to the wall, and by taking out timbers and stones and
earth they made an open space just like a chamber; then they threw in
there dry trunks of trees of the kind which burn most easily, and
saturated them with oil of cedar and added quantities of sulphur and
bitumen. So, then, they were keeping these things in readiness; and
meanwhile the Persian commanders in frequent meetings with Martinus were
carrying on conversations with him in the same strain as the one I have
mentioned, making it appear that they would receive proposals in regard
to peace. But when at last their hill had been completed, and had been
raised to a great elevation, approaching the circuit-wall of the city
and rising far above it in height, then they sent Martinus away,
definitely refusing to arrange the treaty, and they intended from then
on to devote themselves to active warfare.

Accordingly the Romans straightway set fire to the tree-trunks which had
been prepared for this purpose. But when the fire had burned only a
certain portion of the embankment, and had not yet been able to
penetrate through the whole mass, the wood was already entirely
exhausted. But they kept throwing fresh wood into the pit, not
slackening their efforts for a moment. And when the fire was already
active throughout the whole embankment, some smoke appeared at night
rising from every part of the hill, and the Romans, who were not yet
willing to let the Persians know what was being done, resorted to the
following device: They filled small pots with coals and fire and threw
these and also ignited arrows in great numbers to all parts of the
embankment. And the Persians who were keeping guard there, began to go
about in great haste and extinguish these, and they supposed that the
smoke arose from them. But since the trouble increased, the barbarians
rushed up to help in great numbers, and the Romans, shooting them from
the wall, killed many. And Chosroes too came there about sunrise,
followed by the greater part of the army, and, upon mounting the hill,
he first perceived what the trouble was. For he disclosed the fact that
the cause of the smoke was underneath, not in the missiles which the
enemy were hurling, and he ordered the whole army to come to the rescue
with all speed. And the Romans, taking courage, began to insult them,
while the barbarians were at work, some throwing on earth, and others
water, where the smoke appeared, hoping thus to get the better of the
trouble; however, they were absolutely unable to accomplish anything.
For where the earth was thrown on, the smoke, as was natural, was
checked at that place, but not long afterwards it rose from another
place, since the fire compelled it to force its way out wherever it
could. And where the water fell most plentifully it only succeeded in
making the bitumen and the sulphur much more active, and caused them to
exert their full force upon the wood near by; and it constantly drove
the fire forward, since the water could not penetrate inside the
embankment in a quantity at all sufficient to extinguish the flame by
its abundance. And in the late afternoon the smoke became so great in
volume that it was visible to the inhabitants of Carrhae and to some
others who dwelt far beyond them. And since a great number of Persians
and of Romans had gone up on top of the embankment, a fight took place
and a hand-to-hand struggle to drive each other off, and the Romans were
victorious. Then even the flames rose and appeared clearly above the
embankment, and the Persians abandoned this undertaking.

On the sixth day after this, at early dawn, they made an assault
secretly upon a certain part of the circuit-wall with ladders, at the
point which is called the Fort. And since the Romans who were keeping
guard there were sleeping a quiet, peaceful sleep, as the night was
drawing to its close, they silently set the ladders against the wall and
were already ascending. But one of the rustics alone among the Romans
happened to be awake, and he with a shout and a great noise began to
rouse them all. And a hard struggle ensued in which the Persians were
worsted, and they retired to their camp, leaving the ladders where they
were; these the Romans drew up at their leisure. But Chosroes about
midday sent a large part of the army against the so-called Great Gate in
order to storm the wall. And the Romans went out and confronted them,
not only soldiers, but even rustics and some of the populace, and they
conquered the barbarians in battle decisively and turned them to flight.
And while the Persians were still being pursued, Paulus, the
interpreter, came from Chosroes, and going into the midst of the Romans,
he reported that Rhecinarius had come from Byzantium to arrange the
peace; and thus the two armies separated. Now it was already some days
since Rhecinarius had arrived at the camp of the barbarians. But the
Persians had by no means disclosed this fact to the Romans, plainly
awaiting the outcome of the attempts upon the wall which they had
planned, in order that, if they should be able to capture it, they might
seem in no way to be violating the treaty, while if defeated, as
actually happened, they might draw up the treaty at the invitation of
the Romans. And when Rhecinarius had gone inside the gates, the Persians
demanded that those who were to arrange the peace should come to
Chosroes without any delay, but the Romans said that envoys would be
sent three days later; for that just at the moment their general,
Martinus, was unwell.

And Chosroes, suspecting that the reason was not a sound one, prepared
for battle. And at that time he only threw a great mass of bricks upon
the embankment; but two days later he came against the fortifications of
the city with the whole army to storm the wall. And at every gate he
stationed some of the commanders and a part of the army, encircling the
whole wall in this way, and he brought up ladders and war-engines
against it. And in the rear he placed all the Saracens with some of the
Persians, not in order to assault the wall, but in order that, when the
city was captured, they might gather in the fugitives and catch them as
in a drag-net. Such, then, was the purpose of Chosroes in arranging the
army in this way. And the fighting began early in the morning, and at
first the Persians had the advantage. For they were in great numbers and
fighting against a very small force, since the most of the Romans had
not heard what was going on and were utterly unprepared. But as the
conflict advanced the city became full of confusion and tumult, and the
whole population, even women and little children, were going up on to
the wall. Now those who were of military age together with the soldiers
were repelling the enemy most vigorously, and many of the rustics made a
remarkable shew of valorous deeds against the barbarians. Meanwhile the
women and children, and the aged also, were gathering stones for the
fighters and assisting them in other ways. Some also filled numerous
basins with olive-oil, and after heating them over fire a sufficient
time everywhere along the wall, they sprinkled the oil, while boiling
fiercely, upon the enemy who were assailing the wall, using a sort of
whisk for the purpose, and in this way harassed them still more. The
Persians, therefore, soon gave up and began to throw down their arms,
and coming before the king, said that they were no longer able to hold
out in the struggle. But Chosroes, in a passion of anger, drove them all
on with threats and urged them forward against the enemy. And the
soldiers with much shouting and tumult brought up the towers and the
other engines of war to the wall and set the ladders against it, in
order to capture the city with one grand rush. But since the Romans were
hurling great numbers of missiles and exerting all their strength to
drive them off, the barbarians were turned back by force; and as
Chosroes withdrew, the Romans taunted him, inviting him to come and
storm the wall. Only Azarethes at the so-called Soinian Gate was still
fighting with his men, at the place which they call Tripurgia[23]. And
since the Romans at this point were not a match for them, but were
giving way before their assaults, already the outer wall, which they
call an outwork, had been torn down by the barbarians in many places,
and they were pressing most vigorously upon those who were defending
themselves from the great circuit-wall; but at last Peranius with a
large number of soldiers and some of the citizens went out against them
and defeated them in battle and drove them off. And the assault which
had begun early in the morning ended in the late afternoon, and both
sides remained quiet that night, the Persians fearing for their defences
and for themselves, and the Romans gathering stones and taking them to
the parapets and putting everything else in complete readiness, so as to
fight against the enemy on the morrow when they should attack the wall.
Now on the succeeding day not one of the barbarians came against the
fortifications; but on the day after that a portion of the army, urged
on by Chosroes, made an assault upon the so-called Gate of Barlaus; but
the Romans sallied forth and confronted them, and the Persians were
decisively beaten in the engagement, and after a short time retired to
the camp. And then Paulus, the interpreter of the Persians, came along
by the wall and called for Martinus, in order that he might make the
arrangements for the truce. Thus Martinus came to conference with the
commanders of the Persians, and they concluded an agreement, by which
Chosroes received five centenaria from the inhabitants of Edessa, and
left them, in writing, the promise not to inflict any further injury
upon the Romans; then, after setting fire to all his defences, he
returned homeward with his whole army.


XXVIII

At about this time two generals of the Romans died, Justus, the nephew
of the emperor, and Peranius, the Iberian, of whom the former succumbed
to disease, while Peranius fell from his horse in hunting and suffered a
fatal rupture. The emperor therefore appointed others in their places,
dispatching Marcellus, his own nephew who was just arriving at the age
of manhood, and Constantianus, who a little earlier had been sent as an
envoy with Sergius to Chosroes. Then the Emperor Justinian sent
Constantianus and Sergius a second time to Chosroes to arrange the
truce. And they overtook him in Assyria, at the place where there are
two towns, Seleucia and Ctesiphon, built by the Macedonians who after
Alexander, the son of Philip, ruled over the Persians and the other
nations there. These two towns are separated by the Tigris River only,
for they have nothing else between them. There the envoys met Chosroes,
and they demanded that he should give back to the Romans the country of
Lazica, and establish peace with them on a thoroughly secure basis. But
Chosroes said that it was not easy for them to come to terms with each
other, unless they should first declare an armistice, and then should
continue to go back and forth to each other without so much fear and
settle their differences and make a peace which should be on a secure
basis for the future. And it was necessary, he said, that in return for
this continued armistice the Roman Emperor should give him money and
should also send a certain physician, Tribunus by name, in order to
spend some specified time with him. For it happened that this physician
at a former time had rid him of a severe disease, and as a result of
this he was especially beloved and greatly missed by him. When the
Emperor Justinian heard this, he immediately sent both Tribunus and the
money, amounting to twenty centenaria. [545 A.D.] In this way the treaty
was made between the Romans and the Persians for five years, in the
nineteenth year of the reign of the Emperor Justinian.

And a little later Arethas and Alamoundaras, the rulers of the Saracens,
waged a war against each other by themselves, unaided either by the
Romans or the Persians. And Alamoundaras captured one of the sons of
Arethas in a sudden raid while he was pasturing horses, and straightway
sacrificed him to Aphrodite; and from this it was known that Arethas was
not betraying the Romans to the Persians. Later they both came together
in battle with their whole armies, and the forces of Arethas were
overwhelmingly victorious, and turning their enemy to flight, they
killed many of them. And Arethas came within a little of capturing alive
two of the sons of Alamoundaras; however, he did not actually succeed.
Such, then, was the course of events among the Saracens.

But it became clear that Chosroes, the Persian king, had made the truce
with the Romans with treacherous intent, in order that he might find
them remiss on account of the peace and inflict upon them some grave
injury. For in the third year of the truce he devised the following
schemes. There were in Persia two brothers, Phabrizus and Isdigousnas,
both holding most important offices there and at the same time reckoned
to be the basest of all the Persians, and having a great reputation for
their cleverness and evil ways. Accordingly, since Chosroes had formed
the purpose of capturing the city of Daras by a sudden stroke, and to
move all the Colchians out of Lazica and establish in their place
Persian settlers, he selected these two men to assist him in both
undertakings. For it seemed to him that it would be a lucky stroke and a
really important achievement to win for himself the land of Colchis and
to have it in secure possession, reasoning that this would be
advantageous to the Persian empire in many ways. In the first place they
would have Iberia in security forever afterwards, since the Iberians
would not have anyone with whom, if they revolted, they might find
safety; for since the most notable men of these barbarians together with
their king, Gourgenes, had looked towards revolt, as I have stated in
the preceding pages,[24] the Persians from that time on did not permit
them to set up a king over themselves, nor were the Iberians
single-minded subjects of the Persians, but there was much suspicion and
distrust between them. And it was evident that the Iberians were most
thoroughly dissatisfied and that they would attempt a revolution shortly
if they could only seize upon some favourable opportunity. Furthermore,
the Persian empire would be forever free from plunder by the Huns who
lived next to Lazica, and he would send them against the Roman domains
more easily and readily, whenever he should so desire. For he considered
that, as regards the barbarians dwelling in the Caucasus, Lazica was
nothing else than a bulwark against them. But most of all he hoped that
the subjugation of Lazica would afford this advantage to the Persians,
that starting from there they might overrun with no trouble both by land
and by sea the countries along the Euxine Sea, as it is called, and thus
win over the Cappadocians and the Galatians and Bithynians who adjoin
them, and capture Byzantium by a sudden assault with no one opposing
them. For these reasons, then, Chosroes was anxious to gain possession
of Lazica, but in the Lazi he had not the least confidence. For since
the time when the Romans had withdrawn from Lazica, the common people of
the country naturally found the Persian rule burdensome. For the
Persians are beyond all other men singular in their ways, and they are
excessively rigid as regards the routine of daily life. And their laws
are difficult of access for all men, and their requirements quite
unbearable. But in comparison with the Lazi the difference of their
thinking and living shews itself in an altogether exceptional degree,
since the Lazi are Christians of the most thorough-going kind, while all
the Persian views regarding religion are the exact opposite of theirs.
And apart from this, salt is produced nowhere in Lazica, nor indeed does
grain grow there nor the vine nor any other good thing. But from the
Romans along the coast everything is brought in to them by ship, and
even so they do not pay gold to the traders, but hides and slaves and
whatever else happens to be found there in great abundance; and when
they were excluded from this trade, they were, as was to be expected, in
a state of constant vexation. When, therefore, Chosroes perceived this,
he was eager to anticipate with certainty any move on their part to
revolt against him. And upon considering the matter, it seemed to him to
be the most advantageous course to put Goubazes, the king of the Lazi,
out of the way as quickly as possible, and to move the Lazi in a body
out of the country, and then to colonize this land with Persians and
certain other nations.

When Chosroes had matured these plans, he sent Isdigousnas to Byzantium,
ostensibly to act as an envoy, and he picked out five hundred of the
most valorous of the Persians and sent them with him, directing them to
get inside the city of Daras, and to take their lodgings in many
different houses, and at night to set these all on fire, and, while all
the Romans were occupied with this fire, as was natural, to open the
gates immediately, and receive the rest of the Persian army into the
city. For word had been sent previously to the commander of the city of
Nisibis to conceal a large force of soldiers near by and hold them in
readiness. For in this way Chosroes thought that they would destroy all
the Romans with no trouble, and seizing the city of Daras, would hold it
securely. But someone who knew well what was being arranged, a Roman who
had come to the Persians as a deserter a little earlier, told everything
to George, who was staying there at the time; now this was the same man
whom I mentioned in the preceding pages[25] as having persuaded the
Persians who were besieged in the fortress of Sisauranon to surrender
themselves to the Romans. George therefore met this ambassador at the
boundary line between Roman and Persian soil and said that this thing he
was doing was not after the fashion of an embassy, and that never had so
numerous a body of Persians stopped for the night in a city of the
Romans. For he ought, he said, to have left behind all the rest in the
town of Ammodios, and must himself enter the city of Daras with some few
men. Now Isdigousnas was indignant and appeared to take it ill, because
he had been insulted wrongfully, in spite of the fact that he was
dispatched on an embassy to the Roman emperor. But George, paying no
heed to him in his fury, saved the city for the Romans. For he received
Isdigousnas into the city with only twenty men.

So having failed in this attempt, the barbarian came to Byzantium as if
on an embassy, bringing with him his wife and two daughters (for this
was his pretext for the crowd which had been gathered about him); but
when he came before the emperor, he was unable to say anything great or
small about any serious matter, although he wasted no less than ten
months in Roman territory. However, he gave the emperor the gifts from
Chosroes, as is customary, and a letter, in which Chosroes requested the
Emperor Justinian to send word whether he was enjoying the best possible
health. Nevertheless the Emperor Justinian received this Isdigousnas
with more friendliness and treated him with greater honour than any of
the other ambassadors of whom we know. So true was this that, whenever
he entertained him, he caused Braducius, who followed him as
interpreter, to recline with him on the couch, a thing which had never
before happened in all time. For no one ever saw an interpreter become a
table-companion of even one of the more humble officials, not to speak
of a king. But he both received and dismissed this man in a style more
splendid than that which befits an ambassador, although he had
undertaken the embassy for no serious business, as I have said. For if
anyone should count up the money expended and the gifts which
Isdigousnas carried with him when he went away, he will find them
amounting to more than ten centenaria of gold. So the plot against the
city of Daras ended in this way for Chosroes.


XXIX

His first move against Lazica was as follows. He sent into the country a
great amount of lumber suitable for the construction of ships,
explaining to no one what his purpose was in so doing, but ostensibly he
was sending it in order to set up engines of war on the fortifications
of Petra. Next he chose out three hundred able warriors of the Persians,
and sent them there under command of Phabrizus, whom I have lately
mentioned, ordering him to make away with Goubazes as secretly as
possible; as for the rest, he himself would take care. Now when this
lumber had been conveyed to Lazica, it happened that it was struck
suddenly by lightning and reduced to ashes. And Phabrizus, upon arriving
in Lazica with the three hundred, began to contrive so that he might
carry out the orders received by him from Chosroes regarding Goubazes.
Now it happened that one of the men of note among the Colchians,
Pharsanses by name, had quarrelled with Goubazes and in consequence had
become exceedingly hostile to him, and now he did not dare at all to go
into the presence of the king. When this was learned by Phabrizus, he
summoned Pharsanses and in a conference with him disclosed the whole
project, and enquired of the man in what way he ought to go about the
execution of the deed. And it seemed best to them after deliberating
together that Phabrizus should go into the city of Petra, and should
summon Goubazes there, in order to announce to him what the king had
decided concerning the interests of the Lazi. But Pharsanses secretly
revealed to Goubazes what was being prepared. He, accordingly, did not
come to Phabrizus at all, but began openly to plan a revolt. Then
Phabrizus commanded the other Persians to attend as carefully as they
could to the guarding of Petra, and to make everything as secure as
possible against a siege, and he himself with the three hundred returned
homeward without having accomplished his purpose. And Goubazes reported
to the Emperor Justinian the condition in which they were, and begged
him to grant forgiveness for what the Lazi had done in the past, and to
come to their defence with all his strength, since they desired to be
rid of the Median rule. For if left by themselves the Colchians would
not be able to repel the power of the Persians.

[549 A.D.] When the Emperor Justinian heard this, he was overjoyed, and
sent seven thousand men under the leadership of Dagisthaeus and a
thousand Tzani to the assistance of the Lazi. And when this force
reached the land of Colchis, they encamped together with Goubazes and
the Lazi about the fortifications of Petra and commenced a siege. But
since the Persians who were there made a most stalwart defence from the
wall, it came about that much time was spent in the siege; for the
Persians had put away an ample store of victuals in the town. And
Chosroes, being greatly disturbed by these things, dispatched a great
army of horse and foot against the besiegers, putting Mermeroes in
command of them. And when Goubazes learned of this, he considered the
matter together with Dagisthaeus and acted in the manner which I shall
presently set forth.

The river Boas rises close to the territory of the Tzani among the
Armenians who dwell around Pharangium. And at first its course inclines
to the right for a great distance, and its stream is small and can be
forded by anyone with no trouble as far as the place where the territory
of the Iberians lies on the right, and the end of the Caucasus lies
directly opposite. In that place many nations have their homes, and
among them the Alani and Abasgi, who are Christians and friends of the
Romans from of old; also the Zechi, and after them the Huns who bear the
name Sabeiri. But when this river reaches the point which marks the
termination of the Caucasus and of Iberia as well, there other waters
also are added to it and it becomes much larger and from there flows on
bearing the name of Phasis instead of Boas[26]; and it becomes a
navigable stream as far as the so-called Euxine Sea into which it
empties; and on either side of it lies Lazica. Now on the right of the
stream particularly the whole country for a great distance is populated
by the people of Lazica as far as the boundary of Iberia. For all the
villages of the Lazi are here beyond the river, and towns have been
built there from of old, among which are Archaeopolis, a very strong
place, and Sebastopolis, and the fortress of Pitius, and Scanda and
Sarapanis over against the boundary of Iberia. Moreover there are two
cities of the greatest importance in that region, Rhodopolis and
Mocheresis. But on the left of the river, while the country belongs to
Lazica as far as one day's journey for an unencumbered traveller, the
land is without human habitation. Adjoining this land is the home of the
Romans who are called Pontic. Now it was in the territory of Lazica, in
the part which was altogether uninhabited, that the Emperor Justinian
founded the city of Petra in my own time. This was the place where John,
surnamed Tzibus, established the monopoly, as I have told in the
previous narrative[27], and gave cause to the Lazi to revolt. And as one
leaves the city of Petra going southward, the Roman territory commences
immediately, and there are populous towns there, and one which bears the
name of Rhizaeum, also Athens and certain others as far as Trapezus. Now
when the Lazi brought in Chosroes, they crossed the River Boas and came
to Petra keeping the Phasis on the right, because, as they said, they
would thus provide against being compelled to spend much time and
trouble in ferrying the men across the River Phasis, but in reality they
did not wish to display their own homes to the Persians. And yet Lazica
is everywhere difficult to traverse both to the right and to the left of
the River Phasis. For there are on both sides of the river exceedingly
high and jagged mountains, and as a result the passes are narrow and
very long. (The Romans call the roads through such passes "clisurae"
when they put their own word into a Greek form.[28]) But since at that
time Lazica happened to be unguarded, the Persians had reached Petra
very easily with the Lazi who were their guides.

But on this occasion Goubazes, upon learning of the advance of the
Persians, directed Dagisthaeus to send some men to guard with all their
strength the pass which is below the River Phasis, and he bade him not
on any account to abandon the siege until they should be able to capture
Petra and the Persians in it. He himself meanwhile with the whole
Colchian army came to the frontier of Lazica, in order to devote all his
strength to guarding the pass there. Now it happened that long before he
had persuaded the Alani and Sabeiri to form an alliance with him, and
they had agreed for three centenaria not merely to assist the Lazi in
guarding the land from plunder, but also to render Iberia so destitute
of men that not even the Persians would be able to come in from there in
the future. And Goubazes had promised that the emperor would give them
this money. So he reported the agreement to the Emperor Justinian and
besought him to send this money for the barbarians and afford the Lazi
some consolation in their great distress. He also stated that the
treasury owed him his salary for ten years, for though he was assigned a
post among the privy counsellors in the palace, he had received no
payment from it since the time when Chosroes came into the land of
Colchis. And the Emperor Justinian intended to fulfil this request, but
some business came up to occupy his attention and he did not send the
money at the proper time. So Goubazes was thus engaged.

But Dagisthaeus, being a rather young man and by no means competent to
carry on a war against Persia, did not handle the situation properly.
For while he ought to have sent certainly the greater part of the army
to the pass, and perhaps should have assisted in person in this
enterprise, he sent only one hundred men, just as if he were managing a
matter of secondary importance. He himself, moreover, though besieging
Petra with the whole army, accomplished nothing, although the enemy were
few. For while they had been at the beginning not less than fifteen
hundred, they had been shot at by Romans and Lazi in their fighting at
the wall for a long time, and had made a display of valour such as no
others known to us have made, so that many were falling constantly and
they were reduced to an exceedingly small number. So while the Persians,
plunged in despair and at a loss what to do, were remaining quiet, the
Romans made a trench along the wall for a short space, and the
circuit-wall at this point fell immediately. But it happened that inside
this space there was a building which did not stand back at all from the
circuit-wall, and this reached to the whole length of the fallen
portion; thus, taking the place of the wall for the besieged, it
rendered them secure none the less. But this was not sufficient greatly
to disturb the Romans. For knowing well that by doing the same thing
elsewhere they would capture the city with the greatest ease, they
became still more hopeful than before. For this reason Dagisthaeus sent
word to the emperor of what had come to pass, and proposed that prizes
of victory should be in readiness for him, indicating what rewards the
emperor should bestow upon himself and his brother; for he would capture
Petra after no great time. So the Romans and the Tzani made a most
vigorous assault upon the wall, but the Persians unexpectedly withstood
them, although only a very few were left. And since the Romans were
accomplishing nothing by assaulting the wall, they again turned to
digging. And they went so far in this work that the foundations of the
circuit-wall were no longer on solid ground, but stood for the most part
over empty space, and, in the nature of things, would fall almost
immediately. And if Dagisthaeus had been willing immediately to apply
fire to the foundations, I think that the city would have been captured
by them straightway; but, as it was, he was awaiting encouragement from
the emperor, and so, always hesitating and wasting time, he remained
inactive. Such, then, was the course of events in the Roman camp.


XXX

But Mermeroes, after passing the Iberian frontier with the whole Median
army, was moving forward with the River Phasis on his right. For he was
quite unwilling to go through the country of Lazica, lest any obstacle
should confront him there. For he was eager to save the city of Petra
and the Persians in it, even though a portion of the circuit-wall had
fallen down suddenly. For it had been hanging in the air, as I have
said; and volunteers from the Roman army to the number of fifty got
inside the city, and raised the shout proclaiming the Emperor Justinian
triumphant. These men were led by a young man of Armenian birth, John by
name, the son of Thomas whom they used to call by the surname Gouzes.
This Thomas had built many of the strongholds about Lazica at the
direction of the emperor, and he commanded the soldiers there, seeming
to the emperor an intelligent person. Now John, when the Persians joined
battle with his men, was wounded and straightway withdrew to the camp
with his followers, since no one else of the Roman army came to support
him. Meanwhile the Persian Mirranes who commanded the garrison in Petra,
fearing for the city, directed all the Persians to keep guard with the
greatest diligence, and he himself went to Dagisthaeus, and addressed
him with fawning speeches and deceptive words, agreeing readily to
surrender the city not long afterwards. In this way he succeeded in
deceiving him so that the Roman army did not immediately enter the city.

Now when the army of Mermeroes came to the pass, the Roman garrison,
numbering one hundred men, confronted them there and offered a stalwart
resistance, and they held in check their opponents who were attempting
the entrance. But the Persians by no means withdrew, but those who fell
were constantly replaced by others, and they kept advancing, trying with
all their strength to force their way in. Among the Persians more than a
thousand perished, but at last the Romans were worn out with killing,
and, being forced back by the throng, they withdrew, and running up to
the heights of the mountain there were saved. Dagisthaeus, upon learning
this, straightway abandoned the siege without giving any commands to the
army, and proceeded to the River Phasis; and all the Romans followed
him, leaving their possessions behind in the camp. And when the Persians
observed what was being done, they opened their gates and came forth,
and approached the tents of the enemy in order to capture the camp. But
the Tzani, who had not followed after Dagisthaeus, as it happened,
rushed out to defend the camp, and they routed the enemy without
difficulty and killed many. So the Persians fled inside their
fortifications, and the Tzani, after plundering the Roman camp proceeded
straight for Rhizaeum. And from there they came to Athens and betook
themselves to their homes through the territory of the Trapezuntines.

And Mermeroes and the Median army came there on the ninth day after the
withdrawal of Dagisthaeus; and in the city they found left of the
Persian garrison three hundred and fifty men wounded and unfit for
fighting, and only one hundred and fifty men unhurt; for all the rest
had perished. Now the survivors had in no case thrown the bodies of the
fallen outside the fortifications, but though stifled by the evil
stench, they held out in a manner beyond belief, in order that they
might not afford the enemy any encouragement for the prosecution of the
siege, by letting them know that most of their number had perished. And
Mermeroes remarked by way of a taunt that the Roman state was worthy of
tears and lamentation, because they had come to such a state of weakness
that they had been unable by any device to capture one hundred and fifty
Persians without a wall. And he was eager to build up the portions of
the circuit-wall which had fallen down; but since at the moment he had
neither lime nor any of the other necessary materials for the building
ready at hand, he devised the following plan. Filling with sand the
linen bags in which the Persians had carried their provisions into the
land of Colchis, he laid them in the place of the stones, and the bags
thus arranged took the place of the wall. And choosing out three
thousand of his able fighting men, he left them there, depositing with
them victuals for no great length of time, and commanding them to attend
to the building of the fortifications; then he himself with all the rest
of the army turned back and marched away.

But since, if he went from there by the same road, no means of
provisioning his army was available, since he had left everything in
Petra which had been brought in by the army from Iberia, he planned to
go by another route through the mountains, where he learned that the
country was inhabited, in order that by foraging there he might be able
to live off the land. In the course of this journey one of the notables
among the Lazi, Phoubelis by name, laid an ambush for the Persians while
camping for the night, bringing with him Dagisthaeus with two thousand
of the Romans; and these men, making a sudden attack, killed some of the
Persians who were grazing their horses, and after securing the horses as
plunder they shortly withdrew. Thus, then, Mermeroes with the Median
army departed from there.

But Goubazes, upon learning what had befallen the Romans both at Petra
and at the pass, did not even so become frightened, nor did he give up
the guarding of the pass where he was, considering that their hope
centred in that place. For he understood that, even if the Persians had
been able by forcing back the Romans on the left of the River Phasis to
cross over the pass and get into Petra, they could thereby inflict no
injury upon the land of the Lazi, since they were utterly unable to
cross the Phasis, in particular because no ships were at their disposal.
For in depth this river is not inferior to the deepest rivers, and it
spreads out to a great width. Moreover it has such a strong current that
when it empties into the sea, it goes on as a separate stream for a very
great distance, without mingling at all with the sea-water. Indeed,
those who navigate in those parts are able to draw up drinking water in
the midst of the sea. Moreover, the Lazi have erected fortresses all
along the right bank of the river, in order that, even when the enemy
are ferried across in boats, they may not be able to disembark on the
land.

The Emperor Justinian at this time sent to the nation of the Sabeiri the
money which had been agreed upon, and he rewarded Goubazes and the Lazi
with additional sums of money. And it happened that long before this
time he had sent another considerable army also to Lazica, which had not
yet arrived there. The commander of this army was Rhecithancus, from
Thrace, a man of discretion and a capable warrior. Such then was the
course of these events.

Now when Mermeroes got into the mountains, as I have said, he was
anxious to fill Petra with provisions from there. For he did not by any
means think that the victuals which they had brought in with them would
suffice for the garrison there, amounting to three thousand men. But
since the supplies they found along the way barely sufficed for the
provisioning of that army, which numbered no less than thirty thousand,
and since on this account they were able to send nothing at all of
consequence to Petra, upon consideration he found it better for them
that the greater part of the army should depart from the land of
Colchis, and that some few should remain there, who were to convey to
the garrison in Petra the most of the provisions which they might find,
while using the rest to maintain themselves comfortably. He therefore
selected five thousand men and left them there, appointing as commanders
over them Phabrizus and three others. For it seemed to him unnecessary
to leave more men there, since there was no enemy at all. And he himself
with the rest of the army came into Persarmenia and remained quietly in
the country around Doubios.

Now the five thousand, upon coming nearer to the frontier of Lazica,
encamped in a body beside the Phasis River, and from there they went
about in small bands and plundered the neighbouring country. Now when
Goubazes perceived this, he sent word to Dagisthaeus to hasten there to
his assistance: for it would be possible for them to do the enemy some
great harm. And he did as directed, moving forward with the whole Roman
army with the River Phasis on the left, until he came to the place where
the Lazi where encamped on the opposite bank of the river. Now it
happened that the Phasis could be forded at this point, a fact which
neither the Romans nor the Persians suspected in the least because of
their lack of familiarity with these regions; but the Lazi knew it well,
and they made the crossing suddenly and joined the Roman army. And the
Persians chose out a thousand men of repute among them and sent them
forth, that no one might advance against the camp to harm it. And two of
this force, who had gone out ahead of their fellows to reconnoitre, fell
unexpectedly into the hands of the enemy and informed them of the whole
situation. The Romans, therefore, and the Lazi fell suddenly upon the
thousand men, and not one of them succeeded in escaping, but the most of
them were slain, while some also were captured; and through these the
men of Goubazes and Dagisthaeus succeeded in learning the numbers of the
Median army and the length of the journey to them and the condition in
which they then were. They therefore broke camp and marched against them
with their whole army, calculating so that they would fall upon them
well on in the night; their own force amounted to fourteen thousand men.
Now the Persians, having no thought of an enemy in their minds, were
enjoying a long sleep; for they supposed that the river was impassable,
and that the thousand men, with no one to oppose them, were making a
long march somewhere. But the Romans and Lazi at early dawn unexpectedly
fell upon them, and they found some still buried in slumber and others
just roused from sleep and lying defenceless upon their beds. Not one of
them, therefore, thought of resistance, and the majority were caught and
killed, while some also were captured by the enemy, among whom happened
to be one of the commanders; only a few escaped in the darkness and were
saved. And the Romans and Lazi captured the camp and all the standards,
and they also secured many weapons and a great deal of money as plunder,
besides great numbers of horses and mules. And pursuing them for a very
great distance they came well into Iberia. There they happened upon
certain others of the Persians also and slew a great number. Thus the
Persians departed from Lazica; and the Romans and Lazi found there all
the supplies, including great quantities of flour, which the barbarians
had brought in from Iberia, in order to transport them to Petra, and
they burned them all. And they left a large number of Lazi in the pass,
so that it might no longer be possible for the Persians to carry in
supplies to Petra, and they returned with all the plunder and the
captives. [549 A.D.] And the fourth year of the truce between the Romans
and Persians came to an end, being the twenty-third year of the reign of
the Emperor Justinian.

And John the Cappadocian one year before this came to Byzantium at the
summons of the emperor. For at that time the Empress Theodora had
reached the term of her life. However, he was quite unable to recover
any of his former dignities, but he continued to hold the priestly
honour against his will; and yet the vision had often come to the man
that he would arrive at royalty. For the divine power is accustomed to
tempt those whose minds are not solidly grounded by nature, by holding
before their vision, on great and lofty hopes, that which is counted
splendid among men. At any rate the marvel-mongers were always
predicting to this John many such imaginary things, and especially that
he was bound to be clothed in the garment of Augustus. Now there was a
certain priest in Byzantium, Augustus by name, who guarded the treasures
of the temple of Sophia. So when John had been shorn and declared worthy
of the priestly dignity by force, inasmuch as he had no garment becoming
a priest, he had been compelled by those who were in charge of this
business to put on the cloak and the tunic of this Augustus who was near
by, and in this, I suppose, his prophecy reached its fulfilment.


FOOTNOTES:

[1]

That is, the Saracens subject to the Romans and those subject to the
Persians.

[2]

Cf. Book I. xxii. 4.

[3]

The Huns placed a part of their force in the rear of the defenders of
the pass, which lies between the sea and the mountains, sending them
around by the same path, probably, as that used by Xerxes when he
destroyed Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans; see _Herod_. vii.
216-218.

[4]

"Secretary of secrets."

[5]

Cf. Book I. xxii. 4.

[6]

Cf. Book II. i. 13; iii. 47.

[7]

Cf. Book I. xxii. 4.

[8]

Cf. Book II. xxi. 30-32.

[9]

This term was applied to the "Blue Faction" in Byzantium and elsewhere.

[10]

Cf. Book I. xxii. 4.

[11]

Nine MS. lines are missing at this point.

[12]

Cf. Book II. x. 24.

[13]

Cf. Book I. xii. 4 ff.

[14]

Cf. Book I. viii. 21-22.

[15]

Cf. chap. v. 31.

[16]

_I.e._ "groin."

[17]

Modern Galata.

[18]

The official dress.

[19]

Vesta.

[20]

Cf. section 9 above.

[21]

Cf. Book II. xii. 31-34.

[22]

Latin _agger_, "mound."

[23]

"Three Towers."

[24]

Cf. Book I. xii. 5 ff.

[25]

Book II. xix. 23.

[26]

Procopius seems to have confused two separate and distinct rivers.

[27]

Cf. Book II. xv. 11.

[28]

Latin _clausura_, "a narrow shut-in road."

       *       *       *       *       *



 INDEX

Abandanes,
 secretary of Chosroes, sent to Belisarius, II. xxi. 1 ff.;
 his report, II. xxi. 13, 14

Abasgi, their location, II. xxix. 15;
 friends of the Romans, _ib._

Abochorabus, ruler of the Saracens of Arabia, presents the Palm Groves
    to Justinian, I. xix. 10 ff.

Aborrhas River, protects one side of Circesium, II. v. 2;
 near Theodosiopolis, II. xix. 29

Abramus, becomes king of the Homeritae, I. xx. 3;
 his servile origin, I. xx. 4;
 defeats two Aethiopian armies, I. xx. 5-7;
 pays tribute to the Aethiopians, I. xx. 8;
 his idle promises to Justinian to invade Persia, I. xx. 13

Abydus, city opposite Sestus on the Hellespont, II. iv. 9

Acacius, father of Adolius, II. xxi. 2;
 denounces Amazaspes to the emperor, II. iii. 4;
 slays him treacherously, II. iii. 5;
 his shameless career as governor of Armenia, II. iii. 6, 7;
 slain by the Armenians, II. iii. 7

Adarbiganon, Chosroes halts there with his army, II. xxiv. 1;
 the fire-sanctuary located there, II. xxiv. 2;
 abandoned by Chosroes, II. xxiv. 12

Adergoudounbades, made "chanaranges" by Chosroes, I. vi. 15, 18;
 saves Cabades from the hand of Chosroes, I. xxiii. 7 ff.;
 betrayed by his son, I. xxiii. 13;
 his death, I. xxiii. 21

Adolius, son of Acacius, an Armenian, urges severe treatment of Armenians,
    II. iii. 10;
 commander of Roman cavalry, II. xxi. 2, 18, 20;
 commands a detachment in an army to invade Persia, II. xxiv. 13;
 killed by a stone, II. xxv. 35

Adonachus, commander in Chalcis, II. xii. 2

Adrastadaran Salanes, an office in Persia of high authority
    (_lit._ "Leader of the Warriors"), I. vi 18, xi. 25;
 held only by Seoses, I. xi. 38

Adulis, in Aethiopia, the city and harbour, distance from Auxomis,
    I. xix. 22;
 home of a certain
 Roman trader, I. xx. 4

Aegypt, its topography, I. xix. 3;
 John the Cappadocian an exile there, I. xxv. 43;
 the pestilence there, II. xxii. 6

Aeimachus, a butcher of Antioch, his encounter with a Persian horseman,
    II. xi. 8 ff.

Aelas, on the "Red Sea," I. xix. 3, 19, 24

Aethiopians, location of their country, I. xix. 17;
 the ships used there, I. xix. 23;
 iron not produced there nor imported from elsewhere, I. xix. 24. 25;
 sought as allies by Justinian, I. xix. 1, xx. 9 ff., II. iii. 40;
 unable to buy silk from the Indians, I. xx. 12

Agamemnon, father of Iphigenia, I. xvii. II

Agesta, _i.e._, "agger," employed by the Persians in besieging Edessa,
    II. xxvi. 29

Aigan, Massagete chief, in the Roman army at the battle of Daras,
    I. xiii. 20, xiv. 39, 44

Alamoundaras, son of Saccice, king of the Saracens, marches with
 the Persian army, I. xvii. 1;
 his character and services to the Persians, I. xvii. 40 ff.;
 advises Cabades to invade Roman territory south of the Euphrates River,
    I. xvii. 30 ff.;
 retires with Azarethes before Belisarius, I. xviii. 9 ff.;
 brings charge against Arethas of violating boundary lines, II. i. 3;
 war with Arethas, II. xxviii. 12-14;
 sacrifices to Aphrodite the son of Arethas, II. xxviii. 13;
 sought as an ally by Justinian, II. i. 13, iii. 47;
 accused by Justinian of violating the treaty, II. iv. 21;
 a menace to Syria and Phoenicia, II. xvi. 17;
 also to Lebanon, II. xix. 34

Alani, their location, II. xxix. 15;
 friends of the Romans, _ib._;
 neighbours of the Sunitae, I. xv. 1;
 persuaded by Goubazes to ally themselves with him, II. xxix. 29

Albani, a people near the Taurus, I. x. 1

Alexander, son of Philip, fortified the Caspian Gates, I. x. 9;
 Justinian compared with him, II. ii. 15

Alexander, ambassador to the Persians, I. xxii. 1

Alexandria, visited by the pestilence, II. xxii. 6;
 citizens of, accused by John the Cappadocian, I. xxv. 44

Amazaspes, nephew of Symeon, made ruler of certain Armenian villages,
    II. iii. 3;
 denounced to the emperor, II. iii. 4;
 treacherously slain, II. iii. 5

Ambazouces, a Hun, offers to sell to Anastasius the control of the Caspian
    Gates, I. x. 10;
 his death, I. x. 12

Ambrus, a Saracen Christian, saves Sergiopolis from capture by Chosroes,
    II. xx. 10, 14

Amida, a city on the border between Armenia and Mesopotamia, I. xvii. 24;
 distance from Martyropolis, I. xxi. 6;
 distance from the Nymphius River, I. viii. 22;
 from Siphrios, I. viii. 10;
 from Endielon, I. vii. 5;
 from Thilasamon, I. ix. 14;
 besieged by Cabades, I. vii. 3, 12 ff.;
 bravely defended, I. vii. 4, 12 ff.;
 captured by Cabades, I. vii. 29;
 besieged by the Romans, I. ix. 1-4;
 recovered by the Romans by purchase, I. ix. 20, 23;
 captives of, generously treated by Chosroes, I. vii. 34;
 citizens relieved of taxes, I. vii. 35

Ammodios, a place near Daras, I. xiii. 15, 38; II. xxviii. 35

Anastasius, Roman emperor, uncle of Hypatius, I. viii. 2, xi. 24;
 of Probus, I. xii. 6;
 and of Pompeius, I. xxiv. 19;
 refuses to purchase from Ambazouces the control of the Caspian Gates,
    I. x. 10, 11, xvi. 4;
 insurrection raised against him by Vitalianus, I. viii. 3, xiii. 10;
 refuses request of Cabades for a loan, I. vii. 1, 2;
 shews favour to citizens of Amida, I. vii. 35;
 sends succour to Amida, I. viii. 1;
 fortifies Daras, I. x. 13;
 placates Cabades, I. x. 17;
 fortifies Theodosiopolis, I. x. 18, 19;
 his death, I. xi. 1

Anastasius of Daras, overthrows tyranny there, I. xxvi. 8, II. iv. 15;
 bears a letter from Justinian to Chosroes, II. iv. 15;
 detained by Chosroes, II. iv. 26;
 dismissed by Chosroes, II. v. 27;
 present with Chosroes at the sack of Sura, II. ix. 10

Anatolius, General of the East, averts danger to the empire by courtesy
    to the Persian king, I. ii. 12-15

Andreas, of Byzantium, his exploits in single combat, I. xiii. 30 ff.

Anglon, village in Persarmenia, II. xxv. 5;
 Roman armies routed there, II. xxv. 23 ff.

Aniabedes, sent by Chosroes to capture Petra, II. xvii. 4;
 impaled by Chosroes, II. xvii. 11

Antinous, city of, in Aegypt, John the Cappadocian imprisoned there,
    I. xxv. 43

Antioch, its importance, I. xvii. 36, II. viii. 23, ix. 3, x. 5;
 situation, II. vi. 10, viii. 21;
 ease with which it might be captured, I. xvii. 38;
 character of the inhabitants, I. xvii. 37, II. viii. 6;
 distance from Beroea, II. vii. 21;
 from Seleucia, II. xi. 1;
 visited by an earthquake, II. xiv. 6;
 the citizens propose to buy off Chosroes, II. vi. 16;
 besieged by Chosroes, II. viii. 1 ff.;
 the wall stormed by Chosroes, II. viii. 8 ff.;
 captured by Chosroes, II. viii. 20 ff.;
 plundered by Chosroes, II. ix. 14 ff.;
 burnt, II. ix. 17, 18;
 young men of, check the victorious Persians in a street fight,
    II. viii. 28, 29, 32, ix. 5;
 citizens of, massacred by the Persians, II. viii. 34;
 church of, robbed of great treasures by Chosroes, II. ix. 15, 16;
 spared in the burning of the city, II. ix. 18, x. 6;
 citizens of, receive portent of coming misfortunes, II. x. 1 ff.; xiv. 5;
 two women of, their sad fate at the capture of the city, II. viii. 35;
 captives of, offered for sale by Chosroes, II. xiii. 2 ff.;
 settled by Chosroes in a newly built city under
 special laws, II. xiv. 1 ff.

Antioch of Chosroes, special laws concerning it, II. xiv. 3, 4

Antonina, wife of Belisarius, brings about the downfall of John the
     Cappadocian, I. xxv. 13 ff.;
 departs to the East, I. xxv. 23

Apamea, city of Syria, II. xi. 2, 4;
 wood of the Cross preserved there, II. xi. 14;
 it gives forth a miraculous light in the church, II. xi. 17, 18;
 visited by Chosroes, II. xi. 14 ff.;
 entered by Chosroes and robbed of all its treasure, II. xi. 24 ff.;
 a citizen of, accuses a Persian of having violated his daughter,
    II. xi. 36

Aphrodite, son of Arethas sacrificed to, II. xxviii. 13

Apion, an Aegyptian, manager of finances in the Roman army, I. viii. 5

Arabia, its location, I. xix. 20

Arabian Gulf, called "Red Sea" by Procopius, I. xix. 2;
 its description, I. xix. 2 ff.

Aratius, in company with Narses defeats Sittas and Belisarius,
    I. xii. 21, 22;
 deserts to the Romans, I. xii. 22, xv. 31;
 sent to Italy, I. xii. 22

Arcadius, Roman emperor, when about to die makes provision for the
    safety of his heir, I. ii. 1 ff.

Archaeopolis, a strong city of Lazica, II. xxix. 18

Areobindus, son-in-law of Olyvrius,
 Roman general, I. viii. 1;
 flees with his army before Cabades, I. viii. 10, 11;
 summoned to Byzantium, I. ix. 1

Ares, House of, portion of the imperial residence in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 9

Arethas, son of Gabalas, made king of the Saracens of Arabia by Justinian
    and pitted against Alamoundaras, I. xvii. 47, 48;
 with the Roman army, I. xviii. 7;
 at the battle on the Euphrates, I. xviii. 26, 35;
 quarrels with Alamoundaras, II. i. 3-7;
 joins Belisarius in Mesopotamia, II. xvi. 5;
 sent by Belisarius to plunder Assyria, II. xix. 11, 15 ff.;
 returns another way, II. xix. 26 ff.;
 wages war against Alamoundaras, II. xxviii. 12-14;
 son of, sacrificed to Aphrodite, II. xxviii. 13

Argek, a guardsman, his effective fighting against the Persians at Edessa,
    II. xxvi. 26, 27

Armenia, considered by some to extend as far as Amida, I. xvii. 24;
 Armenians wage war with Persia, I. v. 10 ff.;
 History of the Armenians, I. v. 9, 40

Arsaces, king of Armenia, progenitor of the Arsacidae, II. iii. 32;
 his abdication, II. iii. 35

Arsaces, king of Armenia, wages a truceless war with Persia, I. v. 10 ff.;
 slandered to Pacurius, I. v. 16;
 victim of strategem of Magi, betrays himself to Pacurius, I. v. 19 ff.;
 confined in the Prison of Oblivion, I. v. 29 ff.;
 kills himself, I. v. 39

Arsaces, last king of Armenia, gives his kingdom to Theodosius, II. iii. 35

Arsaces, commander in Sura, killed while valiantly defending the city,
    II. v. 11

Arsacidae, descendants of the Armenian king, Arsaces, II. iii. 32;
  their privileges, II. iii. 35

Arsinus River, tributary to the Euphrates, I. xvii. 21

Artabanes, son of John, of the Arsacidae, slays Sittas, II. iii. 25

Artace, suburb of Cyzicus, I. xxv. 31

Artemis among the Taurians, sanctuary of, in Celesene, I. xvii. 11;
 a sanctuary of, founded by Orestes in Pontus, I. xvii. 15;
 another in Cappadocia, I. xvii. 18

Arzamon, in Mesopotamia, distance from Constantina, I. viii. 10

Arzanene, district of Armenia beyond the River Nymphius,
   I. viii. 21, II. xv. 7;
 invaded by Celer, I. viii. 21

Ascan, a Massagete chief, at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 21, xiv. 44;
 his exploits at the battle on the Euphrates and his death, I. xviii. 38

Asia, entered from the Hellespont by the Huns, II. iv. 9

Aspebedes, uncle of Chosroes, I. xi. 5, xxiii. 6;
 negotiates a treaty with Celer, I. ix. 24;
 shares command of invading army, I. xxi. 4;
 put to death by Chosroes, I. xxiii. 6

Aspetiani, their alliance with Sittas frustrated by a misunderstanding,
    II. iii. 12-18

Assyria, plundered by Arethas, II. xix. 15 ff.

Athens, a city near Lazica, II. xxix. 22, xxx. 14

Attachas, place in Armenia, distance from Martyropolis, I. xxi. 9

Augarus, toparch of Edessa, II. xii. 8;
 friend of Augustus, II. xii. 8, 9;
 his visit to Rome, II. xii. 9 ff.;
 with difficulty persuades Augustus to allow him to return,
    II. xii. 11 ff.;
 receives from Augustus the promise of a hippodrome for Edessa,
    II. xii. 18;
 his enigmatic reply to the
 enquiries of the citizens, II. xii. 19;
 stricken with gout, seeks relief from physicians, II. xii. 20, 21;
 invites Christ to come to Edessa, II. xii. 24;
 cured upon receiving the reply of Christ, II. xii. 28;
 son of, an unrighteous ruler, delivers over Edessa to Persia, II. xii. 28

Augustus, Roman emperor, his affection for Augarus, II. xii. 8-19

Augustus, priest in Byzantium, II. xxx. 53, 54

Auxomis, capital city of the Homeritae, I. xix. 17;
 distance from Adulis, I. xix. 22;
 from Elephantina and the Roman boundary, I. xix. 27

Auxomitae, name applied to some of the Aethiopians, I. xix. 17

Azarethes, Persian general, invades Roman territory, I. xvii. 1, xviii. 1;
 retires before Belisarius, I. xviii. 9 ff.;
 exhorts the Persian army, I. xviii. 27 ff.;
 arrays them for battle, I. xviii. 30;
 dishonoured by Cabades, I. xviii. 51 ff.;
 at the siege of Edessa, II. xxvii. 41


Baradotus, priest of Constantina,
 his godliness, II. xiii. 13;
 persuades Cabades to spare Constantina, II. xiii. 14, 15

Barbalissum, fortress on the Euphrates, distance from Obbane, II. xii. 4

Barbarian Plain, The, near Sergiopolis, II. v. 29

Baresmanas, Persian general, at the battle of Daras,
    I. xiii. 16, xiv. 32, 45;
 standard bearer of, attacked and killed by Sunicas, I. xiv. 47-50

Barlaus, Gate of, in the wall of Edessa, II. xxvii. 44

Basilides, appointed quaestor in place of Tribunianus, I. xxiv. 18

Basilius, father of John of Edessa, II. xxi. 27

Bassaces, son-in-law of John, accompanies him on a mission to Bouzes,
    II. iii. 29;
 escapes with his companions from an ambush, II. iii. 30;
 leads an embassy to the Persian king, II. iii. 31;
 comes with Armenians to Byzantium, II. xxi. 34

Bassicius, trusted friend of the Armenian king Arsaces, I. v. 17;
  flayed by Pacurius, I. v. 28

Batne, fortress one day's journey distant from Edessa, II. xii. 31

Belisarius, married to Antonina, I. xxv. 11;
 in company with Sittas invades Persarmenia, I. xii. 20, 21;
 defeated by Narses and Aratius, I. xii. 22;
 appointed commander of troops in Daras with Procopius his adviser,
    I. xii. 24;
 at the command of Justinian undertakes to build a fortress in Mindouos,
    I. xiii. 2, 3;
 prevented by the Persians, I. xiii. 4 ff.;
 made General of the East, I. xiii. 9;
 in company with Hermogenes prepares to meet the Persians at Daras,
    I. xiii. 12 ff.;
 at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 19 ff.;
 sends letters to Mirranes, I. xiv. 1 ff., 7;
 address to his soldiers, I. xiv. 20 ff.;
 arrays the army on the second day of the battle of Daras, I. xiv. 28;
 wins a brilliant victory, I. xiv. 47 ff.;
 recalls the Romans from the pursuit of the Persians, I. xiv. 53;
 hurries to meet the invading army of Azarethes I. xviii. 4;
 follows the retiring Persian army, I. xviii. 9 ff.;
 ridiculed by his army, I. xviii. 12;
 attempts to dissuade the Romans from battle, I. xviii. 16 ff.;
 insulted by his army, I. xviii. 24;
 arrays them for battle, I. xviii. 25, 26;
 fights valiantly after most of the Roman army had been routed,
    I. xviii. 41 ff.;
 returns to Byzantium in order to go against the Vandals, I. xxi. 2;
 his share in quelling the Nika insurrection, I. xxiv. 40 ff.;
 made General of the East and sent to Libya, I. xxvi. 1;
 victorious in Italy, II. i. 1;
 brings Vittigis to Byzantium, II. iv. 13;
 shares the command of the East with Bouzes, II. vi. 1;
 summoned from Italy to Byzantium, II. xiv. 8;
 sent against Chosroes, II. xiv. 8, 13;
 gathers an army in Mesopotamia, II. xvi. 1 ff.;
 invades Persia, II. xviii. 1 ff.;
 defeats Nabedes at Nisibis, II. xviii. 24, 25;
 sends Arethas into Assyria, II. xix. 15;
 attacks Sisauranon, II. xix. 4 ff.;
 captures it, II. xix. 24;
 holds consultation with commanders, II. xix. 35 ff.;
 returns to Roman territory, II. xix. 45;
 recalled to Byzantium, II. xix. 49;
 journeys swiftly to the East to confront Chosroes, II. xx. 20;
 gathers an army at Europum, II. xx. 24 ff.;
 receives Abandanes, the envoy of Chosroes, I. xxi. 2 ff.;
 forces Chosroes to retire, II. xxi. 21;
 gives John of Edessa as a hostage, II. xxi. 27;
 his great fame, II. xxi. 28, 29;
 summoned to Byzantium, II. xxi. 34

Beroea, a town of Syria between Hierapolis and Antioch, II. vii. 2;
 distance from Chalcis, II. xii. 1;
 Chosroes demands money from the inhabitants, II. vii. 5;
 the citizens retire to the acropolis, II. vii. 7;
 the lower city entered by Chosroes and a large part of it fired,
    II. vii. 10, 11;
 acropolis valiantly defended against Chosroes, II. vii. 12;
 miserable plight of the besieged, II. vii. 13;
 citizens capitulate to Chosroes, II. vii. 35

Beros, an Erulian leader, encamps near Martinus, II. xxiv. 14;
 with Philemouth follows Peter into Persia, II. xxiv. 18

Bessas, a Goth, officer in the Roman army, I. viii. 3;
 commander in Martyropolis, I. xxi. 5

Bithynians, on the Euxine Sea, II. xxviii. 23

Black Gulf, II. iv. 8

Black Sea, _See_ "Euxine."

Blases, brother of Perozes, chosen king in place of Cabades, deposed,
    I. v. 2;
 imprisoned and blinded by Cabades, I. vi. 17

Blemyes, a people of upper Aegypt, I. xix. 28;
 receive annual payment from the Roman emperor, I. xix. 32, 33;
 Diocletian purposes to hold them in check by means of the Nobatae,
    I. xix. 30;
 their religion, I. xix. 35, 36

Bleschames, commander of the Persian soldiers in Sisauranon, II. xix. 3;
 sent to Byzantium by Belisarius with Persian captives, II. xix. 24;
 sent to Italy by Justinian, II. xix. 25

Blue Faction, their struggles with the Green Faction, I. xxiv. 2-6;
 favoured by Justinian, II. xi. 32;
 in the Nika insurrection, I. xxiv. 7 ff.;
 also called the "Veneti"

Blue Colonnade, in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 49

Boas River, considered by Procopius the upper portion of the Phasis,
    II. xxix. 14-16

Boes, a Persian general, I. xii. 10

Bolum, fortress in Persarmenia, near which were the gold mines of the
    Persian king, I. xv. 18;
 betrayed to the Romans by Isaac, I. xv. 32, 33;
 its return demanded by Chosroes, I. xxii. 3;
 given up by the Romans, I. xxii. 18

Boraedes, nephew of Justinian, assists in making Hypatius prisoner,
    I. xxiv. 53

Bosporus, a city on the Euxine, I. xii. 7;
 citizens of, put themselves under the sway of Justinus, I. xii. 8;
 Justinian accused of seizing it, II. iii. 40

Bouzes, brother of Coutzes, commander in Lebanon, I. xiii. 5;
 sent to support Belisarius at Mindouos, _ib._;
 commander in Martyropolis, I. xxi. 5;
 at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 19, 25 ff.;
 sent against the Armenians, II. iii. 28;
 his offers of friendship distrusted by them, II. iii. 28, 29;
 slays John treacherously, II. iii. 31;
 shares the command of the East with Belisarius, II. vi. 1;
 makes suggestions as to the defence of Hierapolis, II. vi. 2 ff.;
 abandons the city, II. vi. 7, 8;
 prevents the citizens of Edessa from ransoming the captives of Antioch,
    II. xiii. 6;
 favours invasion of Persia by Belisarius, II. xvi. 16;
 takes refuge with Justus in Hierapolis, II. xx. 20;
 they invite Belisarius to join them, II. xx. 21 ff.;
 but later come to him at Europum, II. xx. 28

Braducius, interpreter of Isdigousnas, II. xxviii. 41

Bronze Gate, in the emperor's palace in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 47

Bulicas, harbour of the Homeritae, I. xix. 21

Byzantium, Nika insurrection, I. xxiv. 1 ff.;
 suburbs ravaged by Huns, II. iv. 4;
 visited by the pestilence, II. xxii. 9 ff.;
 Chosroes contemplates its capture by way of the Euxine, II. xxviii. 23


Cabades, youngest son of Perozes, I. iv. 2;
 chosen king of Persia, I. iv. 34;
 introduces innovations into the Persian government displeasing the people,
    I. v. 1;
 cast into the Prison of Oblivion, I. v. 7;
 escapes from it, I. vi. 7, 8, 10;
 enters Persia with an army of Ephthalitae, I. vi. 10-17;
 appoints Adergoudounbades "chanaranges" I. vi. 15, 18;
 deposes Blases, I. vi. 17;
 institutes a new office, I. vi. 18, 19;
 appeals to Anastasius for a loan, I. vii. 1;
 invades Roman territory, I. vii. 3;
 grants request of Jacobus, the hermit, I. vii. 9-11;
 besieges Amida, I. vii. 12-29;
 captures Amida, I. vii. 29;
 puts Glones in command of the city, I. vii. 33;
 his treatment of the captives of Amida, I. vii. 34;
 routs the Roman armies near Amida, I. viii. 8-19;
 shews kindness to Baradotus by sparing Constantina, II. xiii. 13;
 desirous of capturing Edessa and Constantina, II. xiii. 8;
 abandons his purpose of capturing Edessa, II. xiii. 9 ff.;
 retires in order to meet an invasion of the Huns, I. viii. 19;
 seizes the Caspian Gates, I. x. 12;
 protests at the fortification of Daras, I. x. 16;
 solicitude as to his successor, I. xi. 2 ff.;
 cured by Stephanus of Edessa, II. xxvi. 31;
 hates his oldest son Caoses, I. xi. 3, II. ix. 12;
 requests Justinus to adopt Chosroes, I. xi. 9, 20 ff.;
 unwilling to save Seoses, I. xi. 36, 37;
 tries to force the Iberians to adopt the Persian religion, I. xii. 2 ff.;
 sends an army against them, I. xii. 10;
 sends an army into Roman Armenia, I. xv. 1;
 his gold mine at Pharangium, I. xv. 27;
 deprived of the revenue therefrom, I. xv. 28, 29;
 treats with the ambassador Rufinus at Daras, I. xvi. 1 ff.;
 punishes Perozes, I. xvii. 26 ff.;
 plans a new campaign against the Romans, I. xvii. 29;
 advised by Alamoundaras, I. xvii. 30 ff.;
 adopts the suggestion of Alamoundaras, I. xviii. 1;
 dishonours Azarethes, I. xviii. 51 ff.;
 refuses to negotiate with Hermogenes, I. xxi. 1;
 bought pearl from the Ephthalitae, I. iv. 16;
 his last illness, I. xxi. 17 ff.;
 his ability as a ruler, I. vi. 19

Cabades, son of Zames, plot to set him on the Persian throne in place of
    Chosroes, I. xxiii. 4;
 ordered to be killed by Chosroes, I. xxiii. 7;
 escapes by the help of the chanaranges, I. xxiii. 9 ff.;
 one claiming this name entertained by Justinian in Byzantium,
    I. xxiii. 23, 24

Cadiseni, in the Persian army at the battle of Daras, I. xiv. 38, 39

Caesar, the title used by the Persians to designate the Roman emperor,
    II. xxi. 9, xi. 35

Caesarea, the home of Procopius, I. i. 1

Caisus, a Homerite, of captain's rank, a fugitive because of murder
    committed by him, I. xx. 9, 10

Callinicus, city of Mesopotamia, II. xi. 28;
 on the Euphrates, I. xviii. 13;
 Roman army conveyed thither by boats after the battle on the Euphrates,
    I. xviii. 50;
 taken by Chosroes, II. xxi. 30 ff.

Candidus, priest of Sergiopolis, makes agreement with Chosroes, II. v. 31;
 punished by Chosroes for failing to keep his agreement,
    II. xx. 2 ff., 15, 16

Caoses, oldest son of Cabades, I. xi. 3;
 hated by his father, II. ix. 12;
 claims the throne of Persia upon the death of Cabades, I. xxi. 20;
 prevented by Mebodes from becoming king, I. xxi. 22

Cappadocia, country of Asia embracing a portion of the Taurus, I. x. 1;
 desired by Chosroes, II. xxviii. 23;
 visited by Orestes, I. xvii. 16

Carrhae, city of Mesopotamia, citizens of, offer money to Chosroes,
    II. xiii. 7;
 able to see the smoke of the burning "agger" at Edessa, II. xxvii. 15

Caspian Gates, their location and strategic importance, I. x. 1 ff.;
 fortified by Alexander, I. x. 9;
 offered to Anastasius by Ambazouces, I. x. 10;
 seized by Cabades, I. x. 12, xvi. 4, 7, xxii. 5;
 guarded by the Persians, II. x. 21

Cassandria, known in ancient times as Potidaea, captured by the Huns,
    II. iv. 5

Catholicos, title of the priest of Doubios, II. xxv. 4

Caucasus Mountains, I. xv. 26;
 inhabited by Huns, II. xv. 3, 29, xxviii. 22;
 by Alani, etc., II. xxix. 15;
 barbarians in, held in check by Lazica, II. xxviii. 22

Celer, Roman general, I. viii. 2;
 invades Arzanene, I. viii. 21, II. xv. 7;
 with Patricius and Hypatius besieges Amida, I. ix. 1;
 negotiates a treaty with Aspebedes, I. ix. 24

Celesene, district in Armenia, I. xvii. 11, 21;
 sanctuary of Artemis there, I. xvii. 11

Cerataeum, a district of Antioch, II. x. 7

Chalcis, city in Syria, distance from Gabboulon, I. xviii. 8;
 from Beroea, II. xii. 1;
 saved from Chosroes by money payment, II. xii. 1, 2

Chanaranges (_lit._ "Commander of the Frontier Troops"), Persian
   term for "general," I. v. 4, vi. 12, xxiii. 7

Chanaranges, Persian general, shares command of invading army, I. xxi. 4;
 besieges Martyropolis, I. xxi. 14, 15;
 retires, I. xxi. 27

Cherson, a city at the limits of Roman territory on the Euxine, I. xii. 7

Chersonesus, its wall assailed by the Huns, II. iv. 8

Chorzianene, place in Armenia, Eruli encamp there, II. xxiv. 14

Chosroes, third son of Cabades, I. xi. 5;
 Cabades proposes to Justinus that he adopt Chosroes, I. xi. 6 ff.;
 Ch. awaits outcome of negotiations regarding his adoption by Justinus,
    I. xi. 27;
 retires in anger to Persia, I. xi. 30;
 declared by Cabades in his testament successor to the throne of Persia,
    I. xxi. 17 ff.;
 his election to the kingship, I. xxi. 22;
 meets Roman ambassadors on the Tigris, I. xxii. 1 ff.;
 failure of their negotiations, I. xxii. 12 ff.;
 grants the prayer of Rufinus, I. xxii. 15;
 concludes the "endless peace." I. xxii. 16, 17;
 his unpopularity among the Persians, I. xxiii. 1-3;
 plot to dethrone him, I. xxiii. 3 ff.;
 slays Zames and other male relatives, I. xxiii. 6;
 orders the chanaranges to slay Cabades, son of Zames, I. xxiii. 7;
 hears from Varrames how Cabades had been spared, I. xxiii. 13;
 his punishment of Adergoudounbades, I. xxiii. 14 ff.;
 destroys Mebodes, I. xxiii. 25 ff.;
 vexed at Roman successes in Libya, I. xxvi. 2;
 demands his share of the spoils, I. xxvi. 3;
 desires to break the treaty with the Romans, II. i. 1;
 charges Justinian with having broken the treaty, II. i. 12-14, x. 13, 16;
 hears with favour the ambassadors of Vittigis, II. ii. 12;
 receives an embassy from the Armenians, II. iii. 32 ff.;
 decides to open hostilities against the Romans, II. iii. 55;
 admonished by Justinian by letter, II. iv. 17 ff.;
 detains Anastasius, II. iv. 26;
 dismisses him, II. v. 27;
 first invasion of Roman territory, II. v. 1;
 marches towards Syria, II. v. 4;
 refrains from attacking Zenobia, II. v. 7;
 arriving at Sura, besieges the city, II. v. 8 ff.;
 captures it by a strategem, II. v. 22 ff.;
 marries Euphemia, II. v. 28;
 releases captives for ransom, II. v. 29;
 hears the plea of Megas, II. vi. 18 ff.;
 exacts money from the Hierapolitans, II. vi. 22-24;
 promises to depart from the East for ten centenaria of gold, II. vi. 25;
 demands money from the Beroeans, II. vii. 5;
 enters Beroea and fires a large portion of it, II. vii. 10, 11;
 besieges the acropolis, II. vii. 11 ff.;
 reproached by Megas, II. vii. 19;
 his reply, II. vii. 20 ff.;
 allows the Beroeans to capitulate, II. vii. 35;
 moves against Antioch, II. viii. 1;
 demands money from the citizens of Antioch, II. viii. 4;
 hears the ambassadors, II. viii. 5;
 insulted by the citizens, II. viii. 6;
 storms the city wall, II. viii. 8 ff.;
 captures Antioch, II. viii. 20;
 reproached by Zaberganes, II. viii. 30 ff.;
 addresses the ambassadors, II ix. 1 ff.;
 his hesitation in allowing the Persians to enter Antioch,
    II. viii. 22-24, ix. 7;
 his character II. ix. 8-12;
 orders the plunder of Antioch, II. ix. 14;
 burns the city, II. ix. 17, 18;
 addressed by the ambassadors, II. x. 10 ff.;
 demands money from them, II. x. 19 ff.;
 agrees upon terms for peace, II. x. 24;
 visits Seleucia, II. xi. 1;
 visits Daphne, II. xi. 5 ff.;
 burns the sanctuary of Michael at Daphne, II. xi. 12, 13;
 proceeds to Apamea, II xi. 14;
 enters the city and seizes its treasures, II. xi. 24 ff.;
 becomes a spectator in the hippodrome, II. xi. 31 ff.;
 impales a Persian adulterer, II. xi. 37, 38;
 exacts money from the citizens of Chalcis, II. xii. 1, 2;
 crosses the Euphrates by a bridge, II. xii. 3 ff.;
 eager to capture Edessa because of the belief of the
 Christians that it could not be captured, II. xii. 6 ff., 29, 31;
 demands and receives money from the citizens, II. xii. 33, 34;
 upon receipt of a letter from Justinian prepares for departure,
    II. xiii. 1, 2;
 protests at the offer of money by the citizens of Carrhae, II. xiii. 7;
 accepts money from the citizens of Constantina, II. xiii. 8;
 claims Constantina as his possession by inheritance, _ib._, II. xiii. 15;
 besieges Daras, II. xi. 28, xiii. 16;
 abandons the siege of Daras upon receipt of money, II. xiii. 28;
 charged by Justinian with breaking the treaty, II. xiii. 29;
 provides a home for the captives of Antioch, II. xiv. 1 ff.;
 called in by the Lazi, II. xv. 1, 12 ff.;
 prepares to invade Lazica, II. xv. 31-35;
 Belisarius sent against him, II. xiv. 8;
 invades Lazica, II. xvii. 1 ff.;
 commands an attack to be made on Petra, II. xvii. 4;
 impales Aniabedes, II. xvii. 11;
 besieges Petra, II. xvii. 13 ff.;
 captures Petra, II. xvii. 27;
 retires from Lazica, II. xix. 48;
 third invasion of Roman territory, II. xx. 1 ff.;
 besieges Sergiopolis in vain, II. xx. 11 ff.;
 punishes Candidus, the priest of Sergiopolis, II. xx. 2 ff., 15, 16;
 takes much treasure from Sergiopolis, II. xx. 7;
 sends envoy to Belisarius, II. xxi. 1, 23;
 retires before Belisarius, II. xxi. 15 ff.;
 crosses the Euphrates by a bridge, II. xxi. 21;
 takes Callinicus, II. xi. 28, xxi. 30-32;
 receives the hostage John, II. xxi. 27;
 awaits the Roman envoys at Adarbiganon, II. xxiv. 1 ff.;
 his army visited by the pestilence, II. xxiv. 8, 12;
 retires from Adarbiganon into Assyria, II. xxiv. 12;
 fourth invasion of Roman territory, II. xxvi. 1 ff.;
 makes an attempt upon Edessa, II. xxvi. 5 ff.;
 comes to terms with the citizens of Edessa, II. xxvii. 46;
 arranges a five-year truce with Constantianus and Sergius,
    II. xxviii. 7 ff.;
 lays plans to capture Daras and secure his possession of Lazica,
    II. xxviii. 15 ff.;
 attemps to capture Daras by a ruse, II. xxviii. 31 ff.;
 plans to build a fleet in the Euxine, II. xxix. 1;
 sends Phabrizus into Lazica to destroy Goubazes, II. xxix. 2 ff.;
 sends an army to relieve Petra, II. xxix. 13

Christ, suffered in Jerusalem, II. xi. 14.
 _See_ "Jesus."

Christians, converted two temples into churches, I. xvii. 18;
 boast that Edessa cannot be captured, II. xii. 7;
 reverence especially the feast of Easter, I. xviii. 15;
 the Lazi and Iberians devout Christians, I. xii. 3, II. xxviii. 26;
 among the Homeritae, abused by Jews, I. xx. 1

Cilicia, the refuge of Ephraemius, II. vii. 17;
 and Germanus, II. vii. 18

Cilicians, the objective of Chosroes' invasion, II. v. 4, vi. 21

Cilician screens, used at the siege of Edessa, II. xxvi. 29

Circesiurn, Roman stronghold on the Euphrates, II. v. 2;
 its excellent defences, II. v. 3

Citharizon, fortress in Armenia, four days from Theodosiopolis,
    II. xxiv. 13

Colchis, the old name for Lazica (_q.v._) I. xi. 28, etc.

Comana, called "Golden Comana," a city of Cappadocia founded by Orestes,
    I. xvii. 19

Comana, city in Pontus, founded by Orestes, not the one
    "Among the Taurians," I. xvii. 12

Comet, The, its appearance in the heavens, II. iv. 1, 2;
 various explanations of the meaning of the phenomenon, II. iv. 3

Commagene, old name for Euphratesia, I. xvii. 2, 23, II. xx. 17;
 invaded by the Persians, I. xviii. 2

Constantianus, an Illyrian, II. xxiv. 4;
 envoy to Chosroes with Sergius, II. xxiv. 3;
 appointed general, II. xxviii. 2;
 sent as envoy to Chosroes with Sergius a second time, II. xxviii. 3 ff.

Constantina, city in Mesopotamia, I. xxii. 3;
 distance from Arzamon, I. viii. 10;
 Cabades desirous of capturing the city, II. xiii. 8;
 spared by Cabades owing to the entreaties of Baradotus, II. xiii. 13 ff.;
 claimed by Chosroes as an inherited possession, II. xiii. 8, 15;
 citizens of, their offer of money accepted by Chosroes, II. xiii. 8

Constantine, Forum of, in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 9, 24

Coutzes, Roman general, brother of Bouzes, sent to support Belisarius at
    Mindouos, I. xiii. 5;
 captured by the Persians, I. xiii. 8

Ctesiphon, town on the Tigris, II. xxviii. 4-5;
 distance from the Antioch of Chosroes, II. xiv. 1

Cyril, Roman commander at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 21

Cyrus, king of the Persians, II. ii. 15

Cyzicus, John the Cappadocian exiled thither, I. xxv. 31


Dagaris, a Roman spy, captured by Huns, I. xv. 6;
 returned to the Romans, I. xxii. 18;
 his later services to the Romans, I. xxii. 19

Dagisthaeus, commands an army to succour the Lazi, II. xxix. 10;
 with Goubazes besieges Petra, II. xxix. 11 ff.;
 sends an insufficient force to guard the pass into Lazica,
    II. xxix. 33-34;
 his incompetent conduct of the siege of Petra, II. xxix. 34 ff.;
 deceived by Mirranes, II. xxx. 7;
 abandons Petra, II. xxx. 11;
 with Phoubelis attacks Mermeroes, II. xxx. 22;
 with Goubazes attacks and almost annihilates the Persians,
    II. xxx. 39 ff.

Daphne, suburb of Antioch, II viii. 25;
 visited by Chosroes, II. xi. 5 ff.;
 the portent of the uprooted cypresses, II. xiv. 5

Daras, a city in Mesopotamia, fortified by Anastasius, I. x. 13;
 distance from Nisibis and the Persian boundary, I. x. 14;
 from Ammodius, I. xiii. 15;
 its formidable defences, II. xiii. 17;
 a menace to the Persians, I. xvi. 6;
 battle of, I. xiii. 12 ff.;
 the Persians demand that its walls be demolished, I. xvi. 7;
 its abandonment by the Roman army a condition of the "endless peace,"
    I. xxii. 16;
 the tyranny of John, I. xxvi. 5-12;
 besieged by Chosroes, II. xi. 28, xiii. 16 ff.;
 citizens of, make a settlement with Chosroes, II. xiii. 28;
 Chosroes plans to capture it by a ruse, II. xxviii. 17;
 failure of the attempt, II. xxviii. 31 ff.

Death, Gate of, in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 52

Diocletian, Roman emperor, readjusts the Roman boundary in Aegypt,
    I. xix. 29 ff.;
 builds the fortress of Philae, I. xix. 34, 35

Diogenes, a guardsman, commander of cavalry, II. xxi. 2, 18, 20

Domentiolus commands a detachment of an army to invade Persia,
    II. xxiv. 15

Dorotheus, a Roman commander at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 21

Dorotheus, general of Armenia, attacks invading Persian army,
   I. xv. 3 ff.;
 makes a sally from Satala upon the Persian army, I. xv. 11 ff.

Doubios, district in Persarmenia, II. xxv. 1, 2;
 its trade with India, II. xxv. 3;
 distance from Theodosiopolis, II. xxv. 1;
 Mermeroes stops there with his army II. xxx. 33;
 priest of, called Catholicos, II. xxv. 4;
 sent to urge the Romans to make peace, II. xxiv. 6, 7

Easter, its especial observance by the Christians, I. xviii. 15

Edessa, the centre of so-called Osroene, I. xvii. 24;
 in Mesopotamia, II. xxiv. 4;
 Augustus promises to build a hippodrome in the city, II. xii. 18;
 the story of its toparch Augarus, II. xii. 8 ff.;
 citizens of, convinced that the city could not be captured by barbarians,
    II. xii. 7, 26, 30;
 the letter of Christ to Augarus inscribed on the city wall, II. xii. 26;
 given over to the Persians by the son of Augarus, II. xii. 28;
 citizens of, destroy the Persian guards and give back the city to the
    Romans, II. xii. 29;
 citizens pay Chosroes two centenaria, II. xii. 34;
 their zeal to ransom the captives of Antioch frustrated by Bouzes,
    II. xiii. 3 ff.;
 Cabades desirous of capturing the city, II. xii. 6, 7, 31, xiii. 8;
 abandons his purpose upon reaching it, II. xiii. 9 ff.;
 attacked by Chosroes, II. xxvi. 5 ff.;
 the home of Sergius, II. xxiv. 4


Eirenaeus, Roman general, sent to Lazica, I. xii. 14

Elephantina, city in Aegypt, on the Roman boundary, I. xix. 27;
 near Philae, I. xix. 34, 35

Endielon, place near Amida, I. vii. 5

Ephraemius, chief priest of Antioch, accused of treason by
 Julian, II. vii. 16;
 retires to Cilicia, II. vii. 17

Ephthalitae Huns, called White Huns, their manners and customs,
    I. iii. 1, 2;
 wage war with Perozes, I. iii. 1 ff.;
 entrap the Persian army, I. iii. 8 ff.;
 in a second war with Perozes completely destroy his army, I. iv. 1 ff.;
 force the Persians to pay tribute, I. iv. 35;
 receive Cabades after his escape from the Prison of Oblivion, I. vi. 10;
 Cabades owes their king money, I. vii. 1, 2;
 punished for impiety towards Jacobus, the hermit, I. vii. 8;
 eight hundred Eph. killed by the Persians, I. viii. 13

Eruli, accustomed to fight without protective armour except a shield,
    II. xxv. 27, 28;
 in the Roman army, II. xxi. 4;
 in the Roman army at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 19, xiv. 33, 39;
 under Mundus, I. xxiv. 41;
 in the army of Valerianus, II. xxiv. 12;
 with the army of Martinus, II. xxiv. 14;
 follow Peter into Persia, II. xxiv. 18;
 in the battle of Anglon, II. xxv. 20 ff.

Esimiphaeus, established as king of the Homeritae, I. xx. 1;
 deposed by insurgents, I. xx. 3;
 makes idle promise to Justinian, I. xx. 9 ff.

Euphemia, daughter of John the Cappadocian I. xxv. 13

Euphemia, captive of Sura, married by Chosroes, II. v. 28

Euphratesia, ancient name of Commagene I. xvii. 2, 23, II. xx. 17, 20;
 chosen by Azarethes as the starting point for an invasion of Roman
    territory, I. xvii. 2

Euphrates River, its source in Armenia, I. xvii. 4;
 disappears in a strange marsh, I. xvii. 6 ff.;
 its course from Celesene as far as the junction with the Tigris,
    I. xvii. 21, 22;
 receives the waters of the Aborrhas, II. v. 2;
 protects one side of Circesium, _ib._;
 important battle on its banks, I. xviii. 30 ff.

Europe, invaded by the Huns, II. iv. 4 ff.

Europum, on the Euphrates, headquarters of Belisarius while
 recruiting his army, II. xx. 24, 27, 28

Eusebius, Roman ambassador to the Persian king Perozes, I. iii. 8;
 warns Perozes of the stratagem of the Ephthalitae I. iii. 13

Eusebius, bishop of Cyzicus, murdered by the citizens, I. xxv. 37, 38

Euxine Sea, receives the waters of the Phasis, II. xxix. 18;
 Chosroes desires an outlet to it, II. xxviii. 23

Evaris, builder of a temple of Michael at Tretum, near Antioch, II. xi. 7


Florentinus, a Thracian, distinguishes himself at the battle of Satala,
    I. xv. 15, 16


Gabalas, a Saracen, father of Arethas, I. xvii. 47

Galatians, on the Euxine, II. xxviii. 23

Gabboulon, distance from Chalcis, I. xviii. 8

Gaza, limit of Arabia in olden times, I. xix. 20

Gelimer, brought captive to Byzantium by Belisarius, II. xxi. 28

George, confidant of Belisarius, persuades the inhabitants of Sisauranon
   to capitulate, II. xix. 22, 23;
 saves the city of Daras, II. xxviii. 33 f.

Germanus, nephew of Justinian, II. vi. 9;
 commander at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 21;
 sent to meet the invasion of Chosroes, II. vi. 9;
 establishes himself In Antioch and inspects the fortifications,
    II. vi. 10;
 retires into Cilicia, II. vii. 18

Glones, a Persian, in command of the garrison in Amida, I. vii. 33;
 destroyed by a stratagem, I. ix. 5-17;
 son of, I. ix. 4, 18

Godidisklus, a Goth, an officer in the Roman army, I. viii. 3

Gorgo, city of the Ephthalitae, against the Persian frontier,
    I. iii. 2, iv. 10

Goths, march with Belisarius against Chosroes,
    II. xiv. 10, xviii. 24, xxi. 4

Goubazes, king of Lazica, privy councillor of Justinian _in absentia_,
    II. xxix. 31;
 gives himself and his people over to Chosroes, II. xvii. 2 ff.;
 plotted against by Phabrizus, II. xxix. 2 ff.;
 begs Justinian to succour the Lazi, II. xxix. 9;
 with Dagisthaeus besieges Petra, II. xxix. 11 ff.;
 defends one pass against the Persians, II. xxix. 28 ff.;
 asks Justinian to send money to the Alani and the Sabeiri, II. xxix. 30;
 Chosroes plans to put him out of the way, II. xxviii. 30, xxix. 2 ff.;
 rewarded with money by Justinian, II. xxx. 28;
 with Dagisthaeus attacks and almost annihilates the Persians,
    II. xxx. 39 ff.

Gourgenes, king of Iberia, revolts from the Persians,
    I. xii. 4 ff., II. xv. 6, xxviii. 20;
 retires before the Persian army into Lazica, I. xii. 11, 12

Gousanastades, "chanaranges," counsels the execution of Cabades, I. v. 4;
 put to death by Cabades, I. vi. 18

Greece, plundered by the Huns, II. iv. 11

Greeks, The, I. xix. 35

Green Faction, their struggles with the Blue Faction, I. xxiv. 2-6;
 in the Nika insurrection, I. xxiv. 7 ff.;
 favoured by Chosroes at Apamea, II. xi. 32

Hebrews, of Iotabe, formerly autonomous, become subject to the Romans,
    I. xix. 4

Helen, palace named from, in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 30

Hellenic faith, The, I. xx. 1, xxv. 10

Hellestheaeus, king of the Aethiopians, his expeditions against the
    Homeritae, I. xx. 1 ff.;
 his vain promises to Justinian, I. xx. 9 ff.

Hermogenes, Roman general, sent to assist Belisarius, I. xiii. 10;
 in company with Belisarius prepares to meet the Persians at Daras,
    I. xiii. 12 ff.;
 at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 19 ff.;
 forbids Andreas to engage in single combat, I. xiii. 35;
 interchange of letters with Perozes, I. xiv. 1 ff.;
 address to the troops, I. xiv. 20 ff.;
 arrays the army on the second day of the battle of Daras, I. xiv. 28;
 at the battle of Daras, I. xiv. 44;
 recalls Romans from pursuit of the Persians, I. xiv. 53;
 returns to Byzantium, I. xvi. 10;
 sent as ambassador by the emperor, I. xviii. 16;
 negotiates unsuccessfully with Chosroes, I. xxi. 1;
 accompanies the army of Sittas as ambassador, I. xxi. 10, 23;
 ambassador to Chosroes with Rufinus, I. xxii. 16

Hestia, _i.e._ Vesta, identified with the Persian
 fire-divinity, II. xxiv. 2

Hierapolis, city on the Euphrates, I. xiii. 11, xvii. 22;
 distance from Beroea and Antioch, II. vii. 2;
 Bouzes and the Roman army stationed there, II. vi. 2;
 suggested plan for its defence, II. vi. 3 ff.;
 deserted by Bouzes, II. vi. 7, 8;
 saved from Chosroes by payment of money, II. vi. 22-24;
 Justus and Bouzes take refuge there, II. xx. 20

Homeric bowmen, compared with bowmen of Procopius' time, I. i. 9-11

Homeritae, people of Arabia, sought as allies by Justinian,
    I. xix. 1, xx. 9 ff.;
 location of their country, I. xix. 15;
 domestic conflicts and intervention of Hellestheaeus, I. xx. 1 ff.

Honorius, Emperor of the West, uncle of Theodosius II. unable to assist
    him, I. ii. 4

Huns, a nomadic people, of ugly countenance, I. iii. 4;
 their homes, I. x. 6, xii. 7, II. xv. 3, xxviii. 22;
 their war with Cabades, I. viii. 19, ix. 24, x. 15, II. xvi. 3;
 Justinian attempts to win their support, II. i. 14, iii. 47, x. 16;
 capture a Roman spy I. xv. 6;
 attack of, feared by the Persians at Martyropolis, I. xxi. 27;
 invade Roman territory, I. xxi. 28;
 often defeated by Dagaris, I. xxii. 19;
 receiving annual payments from the Romans, II. x. 23;
 held back by the Lazi, II. xv. 3;
 in the army of Chosroes, II. xxvi. 5;
 assist the Romans in the defence of Edessa, II. xxvi. 25, 26;
 invade Europe, II. iv. 4 ff.;
 cross the Hellespont into Asia, II. iv. 9;
 plunder Illyricum and Thessaly and Greece as far as the Isthmus,
    II. iv. 10-12

Hypatius, nephew of Anastasius, I. viii. 2;
 army routed by Cabades, I. viii. 10-18;
 his escape, I. viii. 19;
 sent as envoy to the Persians, I. xi. 24;
 slandered by Rufinus, I. xi. 38;
 his punishment, I. xi. 39;
 sent from the palace by Justinian, I. xxiv. 19-21;
 declared emperor by the populace, and conducted to the hippodrome,
    I. xxiv. 22 f.;
 his wife Mary, I. xxiv. 23;
 takes the emperor's seat in the hippodrome, I. xxiv. 42;
 brought before Justinian as a prisoner, I. xxiv. 53;
 meets his death bravely, I. xxiv. 55, 56

Iberia, Iberians, a Christian people, side with the Romans,
    I. xii. 2 ff., II. xv. 6;
 come to Byzantium, I. xii. 14;
 given choice of remaining in Byzantium or returning to their homes,
    I. xxii. 16;
 dissatisfied with Persian rule, II. xxviii. 20, 21


Ildiger, in the army of Martinus, II. xxiv. 13

Illyricum, invaded by the Huns, II. iv. 5, 10

Immortals, a detachment of the Persian army, I. xiv. 31;
 at the battle of Daras, I. xiv. 44 ff.

India, washed by the "Red Sea," I. xix. 3;
 boats in, tale to account for their construction without iron,
    I. xix. 23, 24;
 iron not produced there nor imported from elsewhere, I. xix. 24-26;
 silk export, I. xx. 9, 12;
 its trade with Doubios, II. xxv. 3

Ionian Gulf, II. iv. 4

Iotabe, an Island In the "Red Sea," I. xix. 3

Iphigenia, the story of her flight from the sanctuary of Artemis,
    I. xvii. 11 ff.;
 temple dedicated to her by Orestes, I. xvii. 18

Iris River, in Pontus, I. xvii. 14

Isaac, brother of Narses, betrays Bolum to the Romans and comes as a
    deserter to Byzantium, I. xv. 32, 33;
 commander in Armenia, II. xxiv. 14;
 carries his brother Narses out of the battle of Anglon, II. xxv. 24

Isaurians, in the Roman army, I. xviii. 5;
 commanded by Longinus and Stephanacius, I. xviii. 7;
 at the battle on the Euphrates, I. xviii. 38;
 their inexperience in war, I. xviii. 39

Isdigerdes, Persian king, guardian of Theodosius I. ii. 7 ff.

Isdigousnas, high Persian official, II. xxviii. 16;
 employed by Chosroes for the furtherance of his plans, II. xxviii. 17;
 attempts to capture Daras for Chosroes by a ruse, II. xxviii. 31 ff.;
 continues to Byzantium as an envoy, II. xxviii. 38 ff.

Isis, worshipped by the Blemyes and Nobatae, I. xix. 35

Italy, subdued by Belisarius, II. i. 1


Jacobus, a holy man among the Syrians, I. vii. 5 ff.

Jason, the tale of his adventure with Medea in Colchis, II. xvii. 2

Jerusalem, the scene of Christ's suffering, II. xi. 14;
 its treasures desired by Chosroes, II. xx. 18

Jesus, his life and work in Palestine, II. xii. 22, 23;
 invited by Augarus to come to Edessa, II. xii. 24;
 his reply, in which he promises health to Augarus, II. xii. 25.
 _See also_ "Christ."

Jews, oppress the Christians among the Homeritae, I. xx. 1.
 _See also_ "Hebrews."

John, father of Artabanes, of the Arsacidae, II. iii. 25;
 treacherously slain by Bouzes, II. iii. 29-31

John, son of Basilius, a notable of Edessa, given as a hostage to Chosroes,
    I. xxi. 27, 33

John, an Armenian, son of Thomas Gouzes, in the Roman army, II. xxx. 4

John the Cappadocian, praetorian prefect, I. xxiv. 11;
 his character and ability, I. xxiv. 12-15, xxv. 8-10;
 highly esteemed by Justinian, I. xxv. 5, 25, 33;
 dismissed from office, I. xxiv. 17;
 restored to office, I. xxv. 1;
 hated by Theodora, I. xxv. 4-7;
 hostility to Belisarius, I. xxv. 12;
 entrapped by Antonina, I. xxv. 13 ff.;
 forced to become a priest and exiled to Cyzicus, I. xxv. 31;
 looks forward confidently to becoming emperor, I. xxv. 8, 19, 44,
    II. xxx. 50;
 his easy lot in Cyzicus, I. xxv. 34, 35;
 accused of the murder of Eusebius, I. xxv. 39;
 his treatment at the trial, I. xxv. 40;
 his punishment, I. xxv. 42, 43;
 imprisoned in the city of Antinous in Aegypt, I. xxv. 43;
 returns to Byzantium, II. xxx. 49, 50;
 the grotesque fulfilment of his dreams, II. xxx. 54;
 his daughter Euphemia, I. xxv. 13

John, son of Lucas, Roman officer, captured by Alamoundaras,
    I. xvii. 43, 44

John, commander of troops in Mesopotamia, arrests the interpreter of
    Vittigis' envoys, II. xiv. 12;
 attacked by the Persians before Nisibis, II. xviii. 16

John, son of Nicetas, Roman commander at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 21;
 urges Belisarius to retire from Mesopotamia, II. xix. 36 ff.;
 commands a detachment of an army to invade Persia, II. xxiv. 15

John, son of Rufinus, sent as ambassador to Chosroes,
  II. vii. 15, ix. 1, x. 10, 18 ff.

John Tzibus, governor of Lazica, his origin and character, II. xv. 9;
 persuades Justinian to build Petra, II. xv. 10;
 monopolises the retail trade, II. xv. 11, xxix. 21;
 valiantly defends Petra, II. xvii. 5 ff.;
 killed by a missile, II. xvii. 16

John, serving in the Roman infantry, his tyranny at Daras, I. xxvi. 5-12;
 his death, I. xxvi. 12

John the Glutton, a guardsman, sent with Arethas into Assyria,
    II. xix. 15 ff.;
 commands a detachment in an army to invade Persia, II. xxiv. 15

Julian, sanctuary of, in Antioch, II. x. 8

Julian, brother of Summas, envoy to the Aethiopians and Homeritae,
    I. xx. 9, II. i. 10;
 private secretary of Justinian, sent as ambassador to Chosroes,
    II. vii. 15;
 forbids giving money to Chosroes and denounces Ephraemius, II. vii. 16

Justinian, nephew of Justinus, I. xi. 10;
 his great love for his wife Theodora, I. xxv. 4;
 favours adoption of Chosroes by his uncle Justinus, I. xi. 10;
 as general, I. xi. 16, xii. 21;
 becomes emperor upon the death of Justinus, I. xiii. 1;
 orders the building of a fort in Mindouos, I. xiii. 2;
 appoints Belisarius General of the East, I. xiii. 9;
 makes Arethas commander of many tribes, I. xvii. 47;
 pits Arethas against Alamoundaras, I. xvii. 47, 48;
 orders demolition of Philae, I. xix. 36;
 endeavours to secure the alliance of the Aethiopians and Homeritae,
    I. xix. 1, xx. 9 ff.;
 receives the Palm Groves as a present from Abochorabus, I. xix. 10 ff.;
 recalls Belisarius and sends Sittas to the East, I. xxi. 2, 3;
 receives information from a Persian spy, I. xxi. 13;
 concludes the "endless peace," I. xxii. 16;
 receives in Byzantium the Cabades who claimed to be the son of Zames,
    I. xxiii. 24;
 his conduct during the Nika insurrection, I. xxiv. 10 ff.;
 his affection for John the Cappadocian, I. xxv. 5, 25, 33;
 denounced by the Armenian embassy before Chosroes, II. iii. 37 ff.;
 refuses to sanction treaty, II. xiii. 29;
 summons Belisarius from Italy and sends him against Chosroes, II. xiv. 8;
 commands Belisarius to invade Persia, II. xvi. 5;
 sends him again against Chosroes, II. xx. 20;
 summons Belisarius from the East in order to send him to Italy,
    II. xxi. 34;
 takes measures for the relief of the victims of the pestilence,
    II. xxiii. 5 ff.;
 attacked by the pestilence, II. xxiii. 20;
 orders Valerianus and Martinus with others to invade Persia,
    II. xxiv. 10;
 appoints Marcellus and Constantianus generals, II. xxviii. 2;
 sanctions the five-year peace, II. xxviii. 11;
 receives Isdigousnas with especial honour, II. xxviii. 38 ff.;
 sends succour to the Lazi, II. xxix. 10;
 neglects to send money requested by Goubazes, II. xxix. 30-32;
 finally sends the money for the Sabeiri, and gifts of money to Goubazes,
    II. xxx. 28;
 sends John Tzibus to Lazica, II. xv. 9;
 founds Petra in Lazica, II. xv. 10, xxix. 20;
 makes a present of money to Chosroes, I. xxvi. 4;
 considers the question of Strata, II. i. 7 ff.;
 accused of tampering with Alamoundaras, II. i. 12-14, iii. 47, x. 16;
 advises Chosroes not to wage war, II. iv. 17 ff.;
 sends Germanus to Syria, II. vi. 9;
 sends ambassadors to Chosroes, II. vii. 15;
 favours the Green Faction, II. xi. 32;
 writes to Chosroes, II. xiii. 1;
 the years of his reign noted, I. xvi. 10, xxii. 17,
   II. iii. 56, v. 1, xxviii. 11, xxx. 48

Justinus, uncle of Justinian, I. xi. 10;
 an officer in the Roman army, I. viii. 3;
 becomes emperor, I. xi. 1;
 declines to adopt Chosroes, I. xi. 6 ff.;
 reduces Hypatius from authority, I. xi. 39;
 captures Peter of Arzanene during Celer's invasion, II. xv. 7;
 supports the Iberians in their revolt from the Persians, I. xii. 5 ff.;
 makes Justinian partner in the royal power, I. xii. 21;
 appoints Procopius adviser to Belisarius, I. xii. 24;
 his death, I. xiii. 1

Justus, nephew of Justinian, assists in making Hypatius prisoner,
    I. xxiv. 53;
 takes refuge with Bouzes in Hierapolis II. xx. 20;
 they invite Belisarius to join them, II. xx. 21 ff.;
 but later come to him in Europum, II. xx. 28;
 commands a detachment of an army to invade Persia, II. xxiv. 15;
 invades Persia apart from the other commanders, II. xxiv. 20;
 invades the country about Taraunon with Peranius, II. xxv. 35;
 his death, II. xxviii. 1


Lazica, Lazi, later names for Colchis and Colchi (_q.v._), I. xi. 28;
 its cities, II. xxix. 18;
 an unproductive country, I. xii. 17 II. xxviii. 27;
 imported salt and other necessities of life, II. xv. 5, xxviii. 27;
 many fortresses there, II. xxx. 27;
 difficult to traverse, II. xxix. 24, 25;
 bulwark against the barbarians of the Caucasus, II. xxviii. 22;
 its importance to Persia, II. xxviii. 18 ff.;
 the scene of the story of Jason and Medea, II. xvii. 2;
 the Lazi in ancient times allies of the Persians, II. xv. 15;
 become allies of the Romans, II. xv. 16;
 the people Christian, II. xxviii. 26;
 Lazica claimed by the Persians, I. xi. 28;
 forts of, abandoned by the Romans and occupied by the Persians,
    I. xii. 19;
 Chosroes refuses to return them to the Romans, I. xxii. 3;
 finally given up by the Persians, I. xxii. 18;
 invaded by Chosroes, I. xxiii. 12, II. xv. 1, xvii. 1 ff.;
 limited subjection of the Lazi to the Romans, II. xv. 2-4;
 placed under a Roman magistrate, II. iii. 39;
 become discontented by reason of Roman misrule, II. xv. 6 ff.;
 appeal to Chosroes, II. xv. 1, 12 ff.;
 demanded from Chosroes by the Roman envoys, II. xxviii. 6;
 Chosroes plans to populate it with Persians, II. xxviii. 17;
 Lazi hostile to Persian rule, II. xxviii. 25

Lebanon, I. xiii. 5, II. viii. 2, xvi. 17, xix. 33

Libelarius of Thrace, Roman general, invades Mesopotamia, I. xii. 23;
 reduced from office, I. xii. 24

Libyans, II. iii. 42

Ligurians, envoys of Vittigis to Chosroes, II. ii. 1

Longinus, commander of Isaurians, I. xviii. 7

Lucas, father of John, I. xvii. 44

Lycaones, in the army of Belisarius, I. xviii. 40


Macedonians, founders of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, II. xxviii. 4

Maddeni, tribe of Saracens in Arabia, subject to the Homeritae,
    I. xix. 14, I. xx. 9

Magi, advise Perozes to deceive the Ephthalitae, I. iii. 18 ff.;
 entrap Arsaces, I. v. 19 ff.;
 advice to Cabades at the siege of Amida, I. vii. 19;
 announce to Chosroes that he will capture Sura, II. v. 9;
 answer Cabades' enquiry with regard to Edessa, II. xiii. 9, 10;
 guardians of the fire-sanctuary, II. xxiv. 2

Mamas, priest of Daras, assists in overthrowing the tyranny of John,
    I. xxvi. 8

Marcellus, nephew of Justinian, appointed general, II. xxviii. 2

Marcellus, Roman commander at the battle of Daras I. xiii. 21;
 commander of palace guards, sent by Theodora to assassinate John the
    Cappadocian, I. xxv. 24 ff.;
 wounded in the encounter, I. xxv. 29

Martinus, given as a hostage to the Persians, I. xxi. 27;
 sent to the East, II. xiv. 9;
 defends Daras against Chosroes, II. xiii. 16 ff.;
 ordered to invade Persia with Valerianus, II., xxiv. 10;
 General of the East, encamps at Citharizon, II. xxiv. 13;
 follows Peter in invading Persia, II. xxiv. 19;
 commands the centre at the battle of Anglon II. xxv. 17;
 with Peter and Peranius defends Edessa against Chosroes, II. xxvi. 25 ff.;
 deceived by the Persian commanders, II. xxvi. 44 ff., xxvii. 5, 6;
 arranges a settlement with Chosroes, II. xxvii. 45, 46

Martyropolis, near the River Nymphius, I. viii. 22;
 distance from Amida, I. xxi. 6;
 besieged by the Persians, I. xxi. 5 ff.;
 fears of Sittas and Hermogenes concerning its safety, I. xxi. 23;
 siege abandoned by the Persians, I. xxi. 27;
 near Phison, II. xxiv. 15

Mary, wife of Hypatius, tries to prevent her husband from going to the
    hippodrome, I. xxiv. 23, 24

Massagetae, reported to be preparing to join the Persians, I. xxi. 13.
 _See also_"Huns"

Mebodes, a Persian official, sent as envoy to the Romans, I. xi. 25;
 slanders Seoses, I. xi. 31;
 persuades Cabades to leave a written declaration concerning
 Chosroes, I. xxi. 17-19;
 opposes the claim of Caoses, I. xxi. 20;
 secures the election of Chosroes as king, I. xxi. 22;
 his tragic death, I. xxiii. 25 ff.

Medea, the tale of her adventure with Jason in Colchis, II. xvii. 2

Medes, the name used by Procopius as an equivalent for "Persians"
 (_q.v._)

Medic garments, called to Procopius' time "seric," I. xx. 9

Megas, bishop of Beroea, sent to Chosroes, II. vi. 17;
 begs him to spare the Roman cities, II. vi. 18 ff.;
 goes to Antioch, II. vii. 1;
 fails to persuade the citizens of Antioch to pay money to Chosroes,
    II. vii. 14;
 his conference with Chosroes at Beroea, II. vii. 19 ff.

Melitene, chief city of Armenia Minor, I. xvii. 22

Mermeroes, Persian general, invades Roman Armenia, I. xv. 1 ff.;
 driven back by Dorotheus and Sittas, I. xv. 8;
 invades Roman territory a second time, I. xv. 9;
 defeated at Satala, I. xv. 12 ff.;
 shares command of an invading army, I. xxi. 4;
 lends an army to the relief of Petra, II. xxix. 13, xxx. 1 ff.;
 forces the pass into Iberia, II. xxx. 8-10;
 reaches Petra, II. xxx. 15;
 taunts the Romans, II. xxx. 17;
 leaving a garrison in Petra, starts back, II. xxx. 20;
 attacked by Phoubelis and Goubazes, II. xxx. 22;
 departs from Lazica with the greater part of his army, II. xxx. 32, 33

Mesopotamia, bounded by the Tigris and the Euphrates, I. xvii. 23;
 its hot climate, II. xix. 31;
 Persians accustomed to invade Roman territory from here, I. xvii. 25;
 avoided by invading Persian army, I. xvii. 2;
 invaded by the Persians, I. xxi. 4 ff.

Michael, sanctuary of, in Daphne, burned by Chosroes, II. xi. 6, 12, 13;
 temple of, at Tretum, II. xi. 7, 13

Mindouos, place near the Persian border, Justinian attempts to fortify it,
  I. xiii. 2, xvi. 7

Mirranes, a Persian term (_lit._ "Mithra-son," denoting properly, not an
    office, but a patrician family); _see_ Perozes 2;
 also, commander in Petra, deceives Dagisthaeus, II. xxx. 7

Mocheresis, important city of Lazica, II. xxix. 18

Molatzes, commander of troops in Lebanon, brings succour to Antioch,
    II. viii. 2;
 flees precipitately with the soldiers, II. viii. 17-19

Monks, distinguished for piety, I. vii. 22, 24

Moors, II. ii. 8, iii. 46

Mopsuestia, a city of Cilicia, II. x. 2

Mundus, general in Illyricum, assists in quelling the Nika insurrection,
    I. xxiv. 40 ff.


Nabedes, commander of the Persian soldiers in Nisibis, II. xviii. 9;
 attacks the Roman troops before the city, II. xviii. 19 ff.;
 general in Persarmenia, takes measures to urge the Romans toward
   making peace, II. xxiv. 6;
 takes up his position in Anglon, II. xxv. 6;
 defeats the Roman armies, II. xxv. 20 ff.

Narses, a Persarmenian, the emperor's steward, receives
 Narses and Aratius when they desert to the Romans, I. xv. 31;
 a eunuch, I. xxv. 24;
 sent by Theodora to assist in the assassination of John the Cappadocian,
    _ib._;
 overhears his conversation with Antonina, I. xxv. 26

Narses, a Persarmenian, in company with Aratius defeats Sittas and
    Belisarius, I. xii. 21, 22;
 deserts to the Romans, I. xv. 31;
 dismantles the sanctuaries in Philae at Justinian's order, I. xix. 37;
 encamps with Valerianus near Theodosiopolis, II. xxiv. 12;
 leads the attack at Anglon, II. xxv. 20;
 dies bravely, II. xxv. 24;
 brother of Isaac, II. xxiv. 14

Nicetas, father of the general John, I. xiii. 21, II. xix. 36, xxiv. 15

Nika insurrection, in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 1 ff.;
 significance of the name, I. xxiv. 10

Nile River, the Nobatae dwell along its banks, I. xix. 28, 29;
 the island of Philae in it, I. xix. 34

Nisibis, distance from the Tigris, I. xi. 27;
 from Daras, I. x. 14;
 from Sisauranon, II. xix. 2;
 bulwark of the Persian empire, II. xviii. 7;
 its capture by the Persians, I. xvii. 25;
 its territory invaded by Libelarius, I. xii. 23;
 by Belisarius, II. xviii. 1 ff.;
 negotiations with Chosroes there, I. xxii. 10

Nobatae, a people of upper Aegypt, I. xix. 28;
 settled along the Nile by Diocletian, I. xix. 29 ff.;
 receive annual payment from the Roman emperor, I. xix. 32, 33;
 their religion, I. xix. 35

Nymphius River, near Martyropolis, I. viii. 22, xxi. 6;
 forms boundary between the Roman and Persian territory, I. xxi. 6;
 boundary of Arzanene, I. viii. 21, II. xv. 7


Oasis, city in upper Aegypt, former home of the Nobatae, I. xix. 30

Obbane, on the Euphrates, distance from Barbalissum, II. xii. 4

Octava, place in Armenia, distance from Satala, I. xv. 9

Odonathus, ruler of the Saracens, husband of Zenobia, II. v. 5;
 his services to the Romans, II. v. 6

Oenochalakon, place in Armenia, II. iii. 15

Olyvrius, emperor of the West, father-in-law of Areobindus, I. viii. 1

Orestes, the story of his flight from Tauris, I. xvii. 11 ff.

Origenes, a senator, counsels moderation, I. xxiv. 26 ff.

Orocasius, highest part of the city of Antioch, II. vi. 10

Orontes River, flows along by Antioch, II. vi. 10, viii. 3, 35

Osiris, worshipped by the Blemyes and Nobatae, I. xix. 35

Osroene, name applied to country about Edessa, I. xvii. 24;
 its strongly fortified cities, I. xvii. 34

Osroes, ancient king of Edessa, I. xvii. 24


Pacurius, king of Persia at the time of the truceless war with the
    Armenians, I. v. 10;
 entraps Arsaces, I. v. 16 ff.;
 confines Arsaces in the Prison of Oblivion, I. v. 29;
 flays Bassicius, I. v. 28;
 grants favour to a friend of Arsaces, I. v. 30 ff.

Palestine, bounded by the "Red Sea," I. xix. 2;
 Saracens dwelling in it, I. xix. 10;
 the objective of Chosroes' third invasion, II. xx. 18;
 visited by the pestilence, II. xxii. 6

Palm Groves, held by Saracens of Arabia, I. xix. 8, 9, II. iii. 41;
 presented to Justinian, I. xix. 10 ff.

Palmyra, city of Phoenicia, II. i. 6

Parthians, their connection with the first Arsaces, II. iii. 32

Patriciolus, an officer in the Roman army, I. viii. 3

Patricias, the Phrygian, Roman general, I. viii. 2;
 his army routed by Cabades, I. viii. 10-18;
 his escape, I. viii. 19;
 entraps Glones with two hundred Persians, I. ix. 5-18

Paulus, interpreter of Chosroes, II. vi. 22;
 a Roman reared in Antioch, II. vi. 23;
 presents the Persian demands at Hierapolis, II. vi. 22;
 at Beroea, II. vii. 5;
 at Antioch, II. viii. 4;
 where he exhorts the citizens to abstain from their folly, II. viii. 7;
 at Chalcis, II. xii. 1;
 at Edessa, II. xii. 33;
 a second time at Edessa, II. xxvi. 14, xxvii. 24, 45

Pearl, story of the, I. iv. 17-31

Peloponnesus, escapes plunder by the Huns, II. iv. 11

Pelusium, in Aegypt, the starting point of the pestilence, II. xxii. 6

Peranius, son of Gourgenes, king of Iberia, I. xii. 11;
 commands a detachment of an army to invade Persia, II. xxiv. 15;
 invades the country about Taraunon with Justus, II. xxv. 35;
 with Peter and Martinus defends Edessa against
 Chosroes, II. xxvi. 25 ff., xxvii. 42;
 Chosroes demands that he and Peter be surrendered to him, II. xxvi. 38;
 his death, II. xxviii. 1

Perozes, Persian king, wages war against the Ephthalitae, I. iii. 1, 8;
 entrapped by the Ephthalitae, I. iii. 10 ff.;
 escapes with his army, I. iii. 22;
 his second expedition, I. iv. 1 ff.;
 destroyed with his army by the Ephthalitae, I. iv. 14 ff.;
 his famous pearl, I. iv. 14

Perozes, Persian general, I. xiii. 16;
 interchange of letters with Belisarius and Hermogenes, I. xiv. 1 ff.;
 address to his troops, I. xiv. 13 ff.;
 defeated by Belisarius, I. xiv. 28 ff.;
 punished by Cabades, I. xvii. 26 ff.

Perozes, sons of, murder Symeon, II. iii. 3

Persarmenia, its trade with India, II. xxv. 3;
 devastated by Sittas and Belisarius, I. xii. 20

Persarmenians, in the Persian army, I. xv. 1

Persians, worship the rising sun, I. iii. 20;
 their fire-worship, II. xxiv. 2;
 do not bury the dead, I. xi. 35, xii. 4;
 their set character, II. xxviii. 25;
 their trade in Indian silk, I. xx. 9;
 the arrogance of their officials, I. xi. 33;
 their custom of counting an army before and after a campaign,
    I. xviii. 52 ff.;
 their infantry inefficient, I. xiv. 25;
 their bowmen quick, but inferior to those of the Romans, I. xviii. 32;
 their skill in bridging rivers, II. xxi. 22;
 maintain spies at public expense, I. xxi. 11;
 suffer a severe defeat at the hands of the Ephthalitae, I. iv. 13, 14;
 pay tribute to the Ephthalitae for two years, I. iv. 35;
 make peace with Theodosius, I. ii. 15;
 unable to prevent the fortification of Daras, I. x. 15;
 capture Amida, I. vii. 29;
 receive money from the Romans and give back Amida, I. ix. 4;
 wage war with the Huns during the seven-years' peace with the Romans,
    I. ix. 24;
 seize certain forts in Lazica, I. xii. 19;
 prevent the fortification of Mindouos, I. xiii. 7, 8;
 defeated in battle at Daras, I. xiv. 47 ff.;
 defeated in Persarmenia, I. xv. 8;
 and in Armenia, I. xv. 16;
 refrain from entering Roman territory by Mesopotamia, I. xvii. 25;
 victorious in the battle on the Euphrates, I. xviii. 37;
 invade Mesopotamia, I. xxi. 4;
 besiege Martyropolis in vain, I. xxi. 5 ff.;
 make peace with the Romans, I. xxii. 17, 18;
 capture Sura, II. v. 25;
 and Beroea, II. vii. 12 ff.;
 capture and destroy Antioch, II. viii. 20 ff.;
 capture Petra, II. xvii. 27;
 besiege Edessa in vain, II. xxvi. 5 ff., xxvii. 46;
 save Petra from capture by the Romans, II. xxix. 41 ff.;
 suffer a severe defeat in Lazica, II. xxx. 39 ff.

Pestilence, The, devastates the whole world, II. xxii. 1 ff.;
 in Byzantium, II. xxii. 9 ff.;
 in Persia, II. xxiv. 8, 12

Peter, captured as a boy in Arzanene by Justinus, II. xv. 7;
 Roman general, sent to Lazica, I. xii. 9;
 summoned to Byzantium, I. xii. 14;
 bodyguard of Justinian, commander of infantry, I. xviii. 6;
 at the battle on the Euphrates, I. xviii. 42;
 favours invasion of Persia by Belisarius, II. xvi. 16;
 attacked by the Persians before Nisibis, II. xviii. 16 ff.;
 commands a detachment in an army to invade Persia, II. xxiv. 13;
 precipitately enters Persia, II. xxiv. 18;
 commands the right wing at the battle of Anglon, II. xxv. 17;
 with Martinus and Peranius defends Edessa against Chosroes,
    II. xxvi. 25 ff.;
 Chosroes demands that he and Peranius be surrendered to him, II. xxvi. 38;
 his base character and misrule in Lazica, II. xv. 6-8

Petra, built by Justinian in Lazica, II. xv. 10, xvii. 3, xxix. 20;
 its impregnable defences, II. xvii. 18 ff.;
 attacked by the Persians, II. xvii. 4 ff.;
 besieged by Chosroes, II. xvii. 13 ff.;
 captured by Chosroes, II. xvii. 26;
 fortified with a garrison, II. xix. 48;
 besieged by the Romans and Lazi, II. xxix. 11 ff.;
 the siege abandoned, II. xxx. 11;
 valour of the Persian defenders, II. xxix. 35;
 monopoly established there by John Tzibus, II. xv. 11, xxix. 21

Petrae, ancient capital of the Arabs, I. xix. 20

Phabrizus, high Persian official, II. xxviii. 16;
 employed by Chosroes for the furtherance of his plans, II. xxviii. 17;
 attempts to destroy Goubazes, II. xxix. 2 ff.;
 left as commander in Lazica by Mermeroes, II. xxx. 32;
 his forces almost annihilated by the Lazi, II. xxx. 42 ff.

Pharangium, fortress in Persarmenia, occupied by the Romans, I. xv. 18;
 gold-mines of the Persians there, I. xv. 27, 29;
 given over to the Romans, I. xv. 29, II. iii. 1;
 its return demanded by Chosroes, I. xxii. 3;
 given up by the Romans, I. xxii. 18;
 near the source of the Boas River, II. xxix. 14

Pharas, an Erulian chief, at the battle of
 Daras, I. xiii. 19, 25 ff., xiv. 32, 33, 39

Pharesmanes, of Colchis, an officer
 in the Roman army, I. viii. 3

Pharsanses, a man of note in Lazica, II. xxix. 4;
 his friendship sought by Phabrizus, II. xxix. 5;
 saves Goubazes, II. xxix. 7

Phasis River, its source in the Taurus, I. xxv. 21;
 its course through Lazica, II. xxix. 16;
 its size and strong current, II. xxx. 25, 26;
 strongly defended by the Lazi, II. xxx. 27;
 forded by the Lazi, II. xxx. 37

Philae, fortress established by Diocletian on an island in the Nile
    near Elephantina, I. xix. 34-36;
 its temples dismantled by Justinian, I. xix. 36, 37

Philemouth, an Erulian chief, encamps near Martinus, I. xxiv. 14;
 with Beros follows Peter into Persia, II. xxiv. 18

Phison, place in Armenia near Martyropolis, II. xxiv. 15

Phocas, made pretorian prefect in place of John the Cappadocian,
    I. xxiv. 18

Phoenicia, II. xvi. 17

Phoubelis, a notable among the Lazi, with Dagisthaeus attacks Mermeroes,
    II. xxx. 22

Pitius, a fortress in Lazica, II. xxix. 18

Pityaxes, Persian general at the battle of Daras, I. xiii. 16, xiv. 32, 38

Placillianae, palace In Byzantium, I. xxiv. 30

Pompeius, nephew of Anastasius, sent from the palace by Justinian,
    I. xxiv. 19-21;
 brought before Justinian as a prisoner, I. xxiv. 53;
 his death, I. xxiv. 56

Pontic Romans, their location, II. xxix. 19

Pontus, visited by Orestes, I. xvii. 14

Potidaea, known in later times as Cassandria, captured by the Huns,
    II. iv. 5

Priapus, worshipped by the Blemyes and Nobatae, I. xix. 35

Prison of Oblivion, in Persia, reason for the name, I. v. 8;
 law regarding it suspended once in the case of Arsaces, I. v. 9-29;
 Cabades confined therein, I. v. 7

Probus, nephew of Anastasius, sent by Justinus to Bosporus to
 collect an army of Huns, I. xii. 6, 9

Proclus, quaestor, dissuades Justinus from adopting Chosroes, I. xi. 11 ff.

Procopius of Caesarea, author of the _History of the Wars_, I. i. 1;
 eye-witness of the events described, I. i. 3;
 chosen adviser to Belisarius, I. i. 3, xii. 24;
 in Byzantium at the time of the pestilence, II. xxii. 9;
 had seen Cappadocia and Armenia, I. xvii. 17;
 his frankness in writing, I. i. 5

Pylades, the story of the flight with Orestes from Tauris, I. xvii. 11 ff.


Red Sea, its location, extent, harbours, etc. (confused by Procopius with
    the Arabian Gulf), I. xix. 2 ff., II. iii. 41

Rhecinarius, envoy to Chosroes, II. xxvii. 24, 25

Rhecithancus, of Thrace, commander of troops in Lebanon, objects to
    invading Persia with Belisarius, II. xvi. 17 ff.;
 eager to return to Lebanon, II. xix. 33, 34;
 commands an army sent to Lazica, II. xxx. 29

Rhizaeum, a city near Lazica, II. xxix. 22, xxx. 14

Rhodopolis, important city of Lazica, II. xxix. 18

Romans, used by Procopius to designate the subjects of the empire of
    Byzantium, and mentioned constantly throughout;
 lack of discipline in Roman armies, I. xiv. 14;
 their bowmen more efficient than those of the Persians, I. xviii. 34;
 maintain spies at public expense, I. xxi. 11

Rufinianae, suburb of Byzantium, I. xxv. 21, 23

Rufinus, son of Silvanus, sent as an envoy to the Persians, I. xi. 24;
 slanders Hypatius, I. xi. 38;
 sent as ambassador to Hierapolis, I. xiii. 11;
 treats with Cabades at Daras, I. xvi. 1 ff.;
 reports to the emperor I. xvi. 10;
 meets Chosroes on the Tigris, I. xxii. 1;
 sent, to Byzantium, I. xxii. 7;
 false report of his death, I. xxii. 9;
 persuades Chosroes to give back the money brought by the ambassadors and
   postpone the war, I. xxii. 13, 14;
 slandered to the emperor, I. xxii. 15;
 sent again as ambassador to Chosroes, I. xxii. 16;
 brother of Timostratus, I. xvii. 44;
 father of John, the ambassador, II. vii. 15


Sabeiri Huns, their location, II. xxix. 15;
 in the Persian army, I. xv. 1;
 persuaded by Goubazes to form an alliance with him, II. xxix. 29;
 receive promised money from Justinian, II. xxx. 28

Saccice, mother of Alamoundaras, I. xvii. 1

Samosata, city on the Euphrates, I. xvii. 22;
 on the boundary of Euphratesia, I. xvii. 23

Saracens, experts at plundering, but not at storming cities, II. xix. 12;
 in Persia, all ruled by Alamoundaras, I. xvii. 45;
 some in alliance with the Romans, I. xviii. 46;
 their king Odonathus, II. v. 5;
 of Arabia, ruled by Arethas, I. xvii. 47;
 receiving annual payments from the Romans, II. x. 23;
 settled in the Palm Groves, I. xix. 7, 8;
 and in Palestine, I. xix. 10;
 cannibals in Arabia, I. xix. 15;
 never mentioned in treaties, II. i. 5;
 observe a religious holiday at the vernal equinox, II. xvi. 18;
 dispute possession of Strata, II. i. 6;
 in the army of Chosroes, II. xxvii. 30;
 in the army of Azarethes, I. xvii. 1, xviii. 30;
 with the army of Belisarius, I. xviii. 7, 26, 35, 36, II. xvi. 5;
 wage war among themselves, II. xxviii. 12-14

Sarapanis, a city of Lazica, II. xxix. 18

Sarus River, in Cappadocia, I. xvii. 17

Satala, city in Armenia, its location, I. xv. 9, 10;
 battle of, I. xv. 12 ff.

Scanda, a city in Lazica, II. xxix. 18

Sebastopolis, a fortress of Lazica, II. xxix. 18

Seleucia, city on the Tigris, founded by the Macedonians, II xxviii. 4

Seleucia, distance from Antioch, II. xi. 1;
 visited by Chosroes, _ib._

Senecius, body-guard of Sittas, given as a hostage to the Persians,
    I. xxi. 27

Seoses, rescues Cabades from the Prison of Oblivion, I. vi. 4. 10;
 receives the office of "adrastadaran salanes," I. vi 18, 19;
 sent as envoy to the Romans, I. vi. 25;
 slandered by Mebodes and brought to trial, I. xi. 31 ff.;
 condemned to death, I. xi 37

Sergiopolis, city in Mesopotamia, II. v. 29;
 citizens of, give much treasure to Chosroes, II. xx. 7;
 saved from capture by Ambrus, II. xx. 10;
 besieged In vain by Chosroes, II. xx. 11 ff.

Sergius, an illustrious saint, II. v. 29

Sergius, of Edessa, II. xxiv. 4;
 envoy to Chosroes with Constantianus, II. xxiv. 3;
 a second time envoy to Chosroes with Const., II. xxviii. 3 ff.

Sestus, city opposite Abydus on the Hellespont, II. iv. 9

Silentiarius, a title given to certain officials in the palace at
 Byzantium, "privy councillors," II. xxii. 1, II. xxix. 31

Silvanus, father of Rufinus, I. xi. 24, xvi. 4

Simmas, Massagete chief, in the Roman army, I. xiii. 21, xiv. 44

Siphrios, a fortress, distance from Amida, I. viii. 10

Sisauranon, fortress in Mesopotamia, II. xix. 2;
 attacked by Belisarius, II. xix. 4;
 capitulates to Belisarius, II. xix. 23, 24

Sittas, Roman general, in company with Belisarius invades Persarmenia,
    I. xii. 20, 21;
 defeated by Narses and Aratius, I. xii. 22;
 attacks the Persian army invading Armenia, I. xv. 3 ff.;
 occupies the hills about Satala, I. xv. 10;
 attacks the Persian army unexpectedly, I. xv. 12;
 defeats the Tzani in battle and then wins them over by kindness,
   I. xv. 24, 25;
 proceeds to the East, I. xxi. 3;
 awaits the Persian army at Attachas, I. xxi. 9;
 opens negotiations with the Persians before Martyropolis, I. xxi. 23 ff.;
 sent against the Armenians, II. iii. 8 ff.;
 his death, II. iii. 25;
 his valour and achievements, II. iii. 26

Snail, Gate of the, in the palace in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 43

Soinian Gate, in the wall of Edessa, II. xxvii. 41

Solomon, an Armenian, according to one report slew Sittas, II. iii. 27

Sophanene, district in Armenia, I. xxi. 6

Sophia, sanctuary of, destroyed by fire to the Nika insurrection,
    I. xxiv. 9;
 its treasures guarded by the priest Augustus, II. xxx. 53

Stephanacius, commander of Isaurians, I. xviii. 7

Stephanus, a physician of note, begs Chosroes to spare Edessa,
    II. xxvi. 31 ff.

Strata, its possession disputed by the Saracens, II. i. 6;
 meaning of the name, II. i. 7;
 unproductive, II. i. 11

Strategius, guardian of the royal treasures, sent as an envoy by Justinian,
    II. i. 9;
 his advice concerning Strata, II. i. 11

Summus, father of Julian, commander in Palestine, sent as an envoy by
    Justinian, II. i. 9, 10;
 his advice concerning Strata, II. i. 11

Sunicas, Massagete chief, in the Roman army, I. xiii. 20, xiv. 39. 40, 44;
 charges the standard bearer of Baresmanas, I. xiv. 47;
 kills Baresmanas, I. xiv. 60

Sunitae, march in the Persian army, I. xv. 1

Sura, a city on the Euphrates, I. xviii. 14, II. v. 8;
 distance from Sergiopolis, II. v. 29;
 besieged by Chosroes, II. v. 10 ff.;
 bishop of, begs Chosroes to spare the city, II. v. 13 ff.;
 captured by a stratagem and destroyed, II. v. 22 ff.;
 a woman of, made captive by a barbarian in sight of Chosroes,
    II. ix. 9, 10

Sycae, a suburb of Byzantium, modern "Galata," II. xxiii. 9

Symeon, Sanctuary of, at Amida, burned, I. ix. 18

Symeon, manager of the Persian gold-mine at Pharangium, I. xv. 27;
 goes over to the Romans, I. xv. 28, 29;
 presented with certain Armenian villages, II. iii. 1;
 murdered by the sons of Perozes, II. iii. 2;
 uncle of Amazaspes, II. iii. 3

Syria, open to invasion by the Persians, I. xvii. 34 ff.,
    II. xvi. 17, xix. 34;
 attacked by Chosroes, II. v. 4, vi. 21

Syriac tongue, II. ii. 3


Taraunon, a district In Persarmenia, invaded by Justus and Peranius,
    II. xxv. 35

Tatianus, of Mopsuestia, quarter-master of the camp in Antioch,
   witnesses the portent of the standards, II. x. 2

Taurians, The, in Celesene, I. xvii. 11 ff., 21

Taurus Mountains, The, their size and extent, I. x. 1, 2, xv. 20, xvii. 17

Theoctistus, commander of troops in Lebanon, brings succour to Antioch,
    II. viii. 2;
 flees precipitately with the soldiers, II. viii. 17-19;
 objects to invading Persia with Belisarius, II. xvi. 17 ff.;
 eager to return to Lebanon, II. xix. 33, 34;
 commands a detachment in an army to invade Persia, II. xxiv. 13

Theodoric, leader of the Goths, I. viii. 3

Theodora, wife of Justinian, greatly beloved by him, I. xxv. 4;
 her hatred of John the Cappadocian, _ib._;
 counsels firmness in dealing with the Nika insurrection, I. xxiv. 33 ff.;
 encourages Antonina in her plan to entrap John the Cappadocian,
    I. xxv. 22;
 succeeds in punishing him, I. xxv. 30;
 her death, II. xxx. 49

Theodoras, a citizen of Daras, skilled in mechanics, II. xiii. 26

Theodorus, an official in the palace in Byzantium, superintends the work of
    providing burial for the victims of the pestilence, II. xxiii. 6 ff.

Theodosiopolis, its location, I. x. 18, xv. 2, II. xxiv. 12;
 near the sources of the Euphrates and Tigris, I. xvii. 4;
 fortified by Anastasius, I. x. 19;
 near Bolum, I. xv. 32;
 distance from Doubios, II. xxv. 1;
 from Citharizon, II. xxiv. 13

Theodosiopolis, city near the Aborrhas River, II. xix. 29

Theodosius II., son of Arcadius, as a child is made the ward of the
 Persian king Isdigerdes, I. ii. 1 ff.;
 sends Anatolius as envoy to the Persians, I. ii. 12;
 makes peace with the Persians, I. ii. 15;
 Arsaces' abdication of the kingship of Armenia in his favour, II. iii. 35

Thermopylae, attacked by the Huns, II. iv. 10

Thessaly, plundered by the Huns, II. iv. 10

Thilasamon, village near Amida, I. ix. 14

Thomas, chief priest of Apamea, displays the wood of the cross,
    II. xi. 16 ff.;
 goes before Chosroes, II. xi. 20 ff.;
 saves the wood of the cross, II. xi. 29, 30

Thomas, ambassador to the Persians, meets Chosroes on the Tigris,
    I. xxii. 1

Thomas Gouzes, commander in Lazica, II. xxx. 5

Thrace, Thracians in the army of Belisarius, II. xix. 32, xxi. 4;
 home of Coutzes and Bouzes, I. xiii. 5

Timostratus, brother of Rufinus, Roman officer, captured by Alamoundaras,
    I. xvii. 43, 44

Tigris River, its source in Armenia, I. xvii. 4;
 its course into Assyria, I. xvii. 5, 6;
 distance from Nisibis, I. xi. 27;
 its junction with the Euphrates, I. xvii. 22;
 flows between Seleucia and Ctesiphon, II. xxviii. 5

Trajan, a guardsman, sent with Arethas into Assyria, II. xix. 15 ff.;
 they return by another route, II. xix. 28 ff.

Trapezus, city on the Euxine, II. xxix. 22, xxx. 14

Tretum, a place near Antioch where was a temple of Michael, II. xi. 7

Tribunianus, a Pamphylian, quaestor, I. xxiv. 11;
 his dexterity in manipulating laws, I. xxiv. 16;
 dismissed from office, I. xxiv. 17;
 restored to office, I. xxv. 1, 2;
 his death, I. xxv. 2

Tribunus, a physician, beloved by Chosroes, II. xxviii. 8 ff.

Tripod, before the palace of the Persian king, where all must
     sit who fell under the king's displeasure, I. xxiii. 28

Tripurgia, a place at Edessa, II. xxvii. 41

Tzani, called Sani in early times, I. xv. 21;
 the source of the Boas River among them, II. xxix. 14;
 conquered by the Romans, I. xv. 19 ff.;
 become Christian, I. xv. 25;
 reduced to subjection, II. iii. 39;
 with the Roman army at Petra, II. xxix. 10, 41;
 defend the Roman camp, II. xxx. 13;
 return to their homes, II. xxx. 14


Valerianus, appointed general of Armenia, II. xiv. 8;
 receives Persian envoys, II. xxiv. 6-8;
 reports to Justinian, II. xxiv. 9;
 ordered to invade Persia with Martinus, II. xxiv. 10;
 encamps near Theodosiopolis, II. xxiv. 12;
 follows Peter in invading Persia, II. xxiv. 19;
 commands the left wing at the battle of Anglon, II. xxv. 17

Vandals, II. ii. 8, iii. 46

Vararanes, Persian king, invades Roman territory, I. ii. 11 ff.;
 concludes peace with the Romans, I. ii. 15

Varizes, title of a Persian general (_lit._ "victorious," properly a
     family name), I. xii. 10

Varrames, son of Adergoudounbades, shares the secret of the sparing
     of Chosroes, I. xxiii. 10;
 reveals to Chosroes the true story, I. xxiii. 13;
 made chanaranges, I. xxiii. 22

Veneti, name of one of the factions, I. xxiv. 2-6;
 supported by Justinian, II. xi. 32;
 also called the Blue Faction, _ib._

Venetian Colonnade, The, in Byzantium, I. xxiv. 49

Veredi, the government post horses, II. xx. 20

Vesta, _see_ Hestia

Vitalianus, son of Patriciolus, an officer in the Roman army, I. viii. 3;
 becomes tyrant, _ib._
 his hostility to Anastasius, I. xiii. 10;
 his adviser Hermogenes, _ib._

Vittigis, king of the Goths, sends ambassadors to Chosroes, II. ii. 1;
 they address Chosroes, II. ii. 4 ff.;
 brought to Byzantium by Belisarius, II. iv. 13, xxi. 28;
 remains in Byzantium, II. xiv. 10;
 envoys of, one dies, the other remains in Persia, II. xiv. 11;
 their interpreter captured, II. xiv. 12


White Syrians, old name for the inhabitants of Armenia Minor, I. xvii. 21


Zaberganes, misrepresents Mebodes to Chosroes, I. xxiii. 25, 26;
 reproaches Chosroes, II. viii. 30 ff.;
 at the bidding of Chosroes receives the envoys of Edessa, II. xxvi. 16-19

Zames, son of Cabades, disqualified from succeeding his father, I. xi. 4;
    II. ix. 12;
 plot to put him in power in place of Chosroes, I. xxiii. 4, 5;
 slain by Chosroes, I. xxiii. 6

Zechi, their location, II. xxix. 15

Zeno, Roman emperor at the time of the Persian king Arsaces, I. iii. 8

Zenobia, city on the Euphrates, II. v. 4;
 founded by Zenobia, II. v. 5;
 Chosroes refrains from attacking it, II. v. 7

Zenobia, wife of Odonathus, founder of the city of Zenobia, II. v. 5

Zeuxippus, Baths of, destroyed by fire in the Nika insurrection, I. xxiv. 9



     *     *     *     *     *     *


Transcriber's Notes:

   Index errata:

   "Caisus" should read "Caïsus"

   Under Aigan "Massagete" should read "Massagetae" Also under: Ascan
   Simmas Sunicus

   Under Auxomis "Elephantina" should be "Elephantine" Also under:
   Elephantina Philae

   Under Darras "Ammodius" should be "Ammodios"

   "Florentinus" should be "Florentius"

   Under Julian "Summas" should be "Summus"

   "Orocasius" should read "Orocasias"

   Under Phocus "pretorian" should read "praetorian"]





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