Haters Gonna Hate the Apostate

Ammianus Marcellinus, Histories XVII:

“Just when these things were learned among the retinue of Constantius – for it was necessary to bring all matters to the attention of the Augustus, the Caesar being in something like the station of a lieutenant – all of those who possessed power in the palace, all of the reverend and learned professors were turning all of the well planned and prosperously accomplished actions of Julian into a joke, croaking out endlessly in a rather witless way that ‘he came into hatred with his victories – a goat, not a man’, carping at Julian for being hairy, and calling him the chatty mole and the royal ape and the Greek language wizard. They would say these and similar things over and over again to Constantius as though ringing a chime in his ears; he rejoiced in hearing these and similar things, while his ministers tried to cover over his virtues with their impudent words, accusing Julian of being lazy, timid, withdrawn, but inclined to hype up his own deeds with polished speeches. This was not the first time that this had happened. For, as it happens that all the most ample glory is always subject to envy, we read vices and crimes imputed even to ancient and magnificent generals; and if such vices could not be discovered, malignity hostile to their most renowned deeds has contrived to fabricate them.”


 Haec cum in comitatu Constantii subinde noscerentur — erat enim necesse tamquam apparitorem Caesarem super omnibus gestis ad Augusti referre scientiam — omnes qui plus poterant in palatio, adulandi professores iam docti recte consulta prospereque conpleta vertebant in deridiculum: talia sine modo strepentes insulse “in odium venit cum victoriis suis capella, non homo” ut hirsutum Iulianum carpentes appellantesque loquacem talpam et purpuratam simiam et litterionem Graecum: et his congruentia plurima aeque ut tintinnabula principi resonantes, audire haec taliaque gestienti, virtutes eius obruere verbis inpudentibus conabantur ut segnem incessentes et timidum et umbratilem gestaque secus verbis comptioribus exornantem: quod non tunc primitus accidit. Namque ut solet amplissima quaeque gloria obiecta esse semper invidiae, legimus in veteres quoque magnificos duces vitia criminaque, etiam si inveniri non poterant, finxisse malignitatem spectatissimis actibus eorum offensam.

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