Iphicrates on Vigilance

Iphicrates, the Athenian general, was holding Corinth with a garrison, and on the approach of their enemies, he himself was keeping watch. A guard was sleeping, so he pierced him through with a spear; some rebuked this act as though it were cruel, but he said, “As I found him, so I left him.”

Iphicrates, dux Atheniensium, cum praesidio Corinthum teneret et sub adventum hostium ipse vigilias circumiret, vigilem, quem dormientem invenerat, transfixit cuspide; quod factum quibusdam tamquam saevum increpantibus “qualem inveni”, inquit, “talem reliqui.”

—Frontinus, Strategemata 3.12.2

The Value of a Good Education?

He was voracious when it came to wine and food, sometimes to the point of drunkenness, but only in the evening hours. Though he would eat a very small breakfast, even in private, he would be very extravagant at dinner. He would bring intellectuals to his feasting, as though he would be more moderate by necessity when talking about liberal studies.

vini cibique avidissimus, nonnumquam usque ad ebrietatem, sed vespertinis horis. nam si prandisset vel privatim parcissimus, in cena effusissimus. adhibuit convivio litteratos, ut loquens de studiis liberalibus necessario abstemius.

Historia Augusta, Macrinus 13.4–5

Seneca on Authority

How difficult it is to bend a mind away from anger
Once aroused to it, and how royal anyone thinks it is,
After he has moved his proud hands to the scepter,
To go on as he began, I have learned in my royal home.

Difficile quam sit animum ab ira flectere
iam concitatum quamque regale hoc putet
sceptris superbas quisquis admouit manus,
qua coepit ire, regia didici mea.

—Seneca, Medea 203–206

Claudian on Spain

Let distant Spain hear—
Where the origin of the court flows from,
Where a home filled with laurels,
Pregnant with empire,
Can scarcely number its triumphs.
The husband’s father is from here,
The wife’s mother is from here,
And from both sides, the pedigree
Of the Caesars runs back,
Led to the river’s source.
Let the grasslands adorn Baetica,
Let the Tagus swell with gold,
And let the ancestor of their race,
Ocean, revel
In his crystal grottoes.

procul audiant Hiberi,
fluit unde semen aulae,
ubi plena laurearum
imperio feta domus
vix numerat triumphos.
habet hinc patrem maritus,
habet hinc puella matrem
geminaque parte ductum
Caesareum flumineo
stemma recurrit ortu.
decorent virecta Baetim,
Tagus intumescat auro
generisque procreator
sub vitreis Oceanus
luxurietur antris.

—Claudian, Fescennina de Nuptiis Honorii Augusti 2.22–36

Scipio after Midnight

There is no reason to hesitate in saying this, too, which those people that I named earlier wrote down. Scipio Africanus was accustomed to go into the Capitolium really late at night, before daylight shone. He would order that the shrine of Jupiter be opened and would linger there by himself for a long time, as though he were consulting with Jupiter about the Republic. The custodians of that temple were often amazed that when he approached the Capitolium alone at that particular time, the dogs that went wild against others would neither bark at him or run up to him.

Id etiam dicere haut piget, quod idem illi, quos supra nominavi, litteris mandaverint Scipionem hunc Africanum solitavisse noctis extremo, priusquam dilucularet, in Capitolium ventitare ac iubere aperiri cellam Iovis atque ibi solum diu demorari quasi consultantem de republica cum Iove, aeditumosque eius templi saepe esse demiratos, quod solum id temporis in Capitolium ingredientem canes semper in alios saevientes neque latrarent eum neque incurrerent.

—Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 6.1.6

Constantine II Dies

Not long after this, Constantine the younger, who was the brother of Emperor Constantius and was named after their father, invaded the territory of his younger brother Constans and engaged with his soldiers. He was killed by them in the consulship of Akindynos and Proklos [340 C.E.].

Μετ΄ οὐ πολὺ δὲ ὁ τοῦ βασιλέως Κωνσταντίου ἀδελφὸς ὃς ἦν ὁμώνυμος τῷ πατρὶ͵ ὁ νέος Κωνσταντῖνος͵ ἐπιὼν τοῖς μέρεσι τοῦ νέου ἀδελφοῦ Κώνσταντος͵ συμβαλών τε τοῖς στρατιώταις αὐτοῦ͵ ἀναιρεῖται ὑπ΄ αὐτῶν ἐν ὑπατείᾳ Ἀκινδύνου καὶ Πρόκλου.

—Socrates Scholasticus, Historia ecclesiastica 2.5

Interesting to specify the soldiers in particular; Constantine died in a minor action outside Aquileia, not a pitched battle between armies, and his body was thrown into the nearby Alsa River.

The Party Begins

And so, however our weariness was cast aside, we retrieved our dinner clothes and were led into the next room. In it, three couches were laid out and the remaining preparation for magnificent things was most splendidly on show. So after we were asked to, we lied down, and after a marvelous first course started, we were flooded by wine—and it was Falernian.

Vtcunque ergo lassitudine abiecta cenatoria repetimus et in proximam cellam ducti sumus, in qua tres lecti strati erant et reliquus lautitiarum apparatus splendidissime expositus. Iussi ergo discubuimus, et gustatione mirifica initiati vino etiam Falerno inundamur.

—Petronius, Satyricon 21