|Do not fly Iberia
Translated by Wilmer Cave Wright
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|The 'Chi,'" say the citizens, "never harmed the city in any way, nor did the 'Kappa.'" Now the meaning of this riddle which your wisdom has invented is hard to understand, but I [Note 1] obtained interpreters from your city and I was informed that these are the first letters of names, and that the former is intended to represent Christ, the latter Constantius. Bear with me, then, if I speak frankly. In one thing Constantius did harm you, in that when he had appointed me as Caesar he did not put me to death. Now for the rest may the gods grant to you alone out of all the many citizens of Rome to have experience of the avarice of many a Constantius, or I should say rather, of the avarice of his friends. For the man was my cousin and dear to me; but after he had chosen enmity with me instead of friendship, and then the gods with the utmost benevolence arbitrated our contention with one another, I proved myself a more loyal friend to him than he had expected to find me before I became his enemy. Then why do you think that you are annoying me by your praises of him, when I am really angry with those who slander him? But as for Christ you love him, you say, and adopt him as the guardian of your city instead of Zeus and the god of Daphne [Note 2] and Calliope who revealed your clever intention? Did those citizens of Emesa long for Christ who set fire to the tombs of the Galilaeans? But what citizens of Emesa have I ever annoyed? I have however annoyed many of you, I may almost say all, the Senate, the wealthy citizens, the common people. The latter indeed, since they have chosen atheism, hate me for the most part, or rather all of them hate me because they see that I adhere to the ordinances of the sacred rites which our forefathers observed; the powerful citizens hate me because they are prevented from selling everything at a high price; but all of you hate me on account of the dancers and the theatres. Not because I deprive others of these pleasures, but because I care less for things of that sort than for frogs croaking in a pond. Then is it not natural for me to accuse myself, when I have furnished so many handles for your hatred?