VII After this had been done, Constantinople was full of the news of the Emperor’s successes. For in very truth, to what an extent had fate involved him in difficult affairs which were adverse to him and the Roman state, and in general by what a number of misfortun es was he encompassed! Yet his valour and vigilant and energetic nature resisted and struggled manfully against every misfortune.
The case with regard to this Emperor
For not one of the former Emperors right down to the present day were ever met by such a complication of affairs and such wickedness from all kinds of men, both at home and abroad, as we have found to be the case with regard to this Emperor. For either it was decreed by God’s permission that the Roman state should be oppressed by ills (for I should never consider our fate as dependent upon the revolution of the stars) or the Roman dynasty had been reduced to such a state by the foolishness of the previous Emperors that a crowd of business and a heavy swell of confusion was accumulated on the time of my father’s reign.
For at one and the same moment the Scythian rose against him from the North, the Frank from the West, and the Ishmaelite from the East, to say nothing of the dangers of the sea, and the barbarians who ruled the sea, and the countless pirate-ships, some of which were built by the wrath of the Saracens, and others by the covetousness of the Vetones and their dislike to the Roman Empire. For all cast envious glances at it. For being by nature mistress of the other nations the Roman Empire is regarded as an enemy by her subjects, and, whenever an opportunity offers, either the one or the other rushes upon her either from the land or from the sea.
Now the difficulties during the reigns before our time were very slight and fairly tolerable; but -in the case of my father directly he mounted the imperial chariot dangers of every kind streamed down upon him from all quarters at the same time. For the Frank was moving and shewing the tip of his spear, the Ishmaelite was stretching his bow, and all the nomadic and Scythian tribes with their myriad wagons were rushing upon him. But perhaps someone who has lighted upon this history and read so far will say that my tongue has been corrupted by nature.
Read More about A Wagner Matinee part 2