GLASGOW ARCH/EOLOGICAL SOCIETY.
the erection of any wall by Severus, although in describing the Emperor's north-
ward march he uses words capable of being construed as a reference to the
Herodian, lib. iii., xiv. 10. Mon. His army having passed beyond the
Hist. Brit., I., Ixiv. rivers and aggers which defended the
'TirepfSdvTos Se rod arparou rd irpo- Roman territory, there were frequent
fiefiXriixeva peufmrd re Kai xw^ara rrjs attacks and skirmishes, and routs of
l'w/xcutoi' apxvs &v[i8ohal Kai aKpoftoXiafiol the barbarians.
ttoWclkls e-yevovro, rpoirai re rwv fiapfSapuv.
But while the evidence of these two witnesses, Dio Cassius and Herodian,
who were contemporary or nearly contemporary with Severus, gives no counten-
ance to the erection of any wall or vallum by him, there is a body of later
evidence of uncertain value which ascribes to him the construction of some such
work. First in order of these testimonies is that of Spartian in the second and
much-debated passage referred to in the secoud paragraph of this note—a passage,
the conflict of which with the first passage attributed to the same author quoted
above appears hopeless and irreconcilable. It will be recollected, of course, that
the names of the Scriptores Historiao Augustae are not certain, and the lives
ascribed to Spartian may or may not be by the same writer.
Spartian de Severo, cap. IS. Mon. Severus [about a.d. 208] fortified
Hist. Brit., I., lxv. Britain—which fact is the chief glory
[Severus] Brittaniam, quod maxi- of his reign—by a wall drawn across
mum ejus imperii decus est, muro per the island to the very ocean on each
transversam insulam ducto utriinque side: whence he assumed the name
ad finem oceani munivit: undo etiam of Britannieus.
Brittanici nomen accepit.
This gives neither the situation nor the length of the wall. The passage which
follows is still more obscure.
Spartian de Severo, cap. 22. Mon. After the wall [?] beside the vallum had
Hist. Brit., I., lxv. been [ ?] in Britain, when Severus
Post maurum apud vallum missum was returning to his nearest residence,
[so the MSS.: various emendations have not only as a victor but as the founder
been proposed without much success] of an everlasting peace, and when he
in Brittania quum ad proximam mansi- was wondering what omen would pre-
onem rediret non solum victor sed sent itself to him, a certain African,
etiam in aeternum pace fundata volvens one of the soldiery, of great repute
ammo, quid ominis sibi occurreret, amongst the jesters and a maker of
Aethiops quidam o numero militari famous jokes, met him with a crown
clarae inter sourras faniae et celebra- made of cypress. When he, in anger
torum semper jocorum cum corona e and moved by the omen of his colour
cupressu facta eidem oecurrit. Quern and the crown [black being unlucky
quum ille iratus removeri ab oculis and cypress a symbol of death], had
praecepisset et coloris ejus tactus online ordered the man to be removed from
et coronae dixisse ille dicitur joci causa his sight, the man is reported to have
" Totum fuisti, totum vicisti, jam Deus said to him, for jest's sake, "Thou
esto victor." [For "fuisti" some read hast been all things: thou hast con-
"fudisti."] quered all things : now let God be the
[It must be observed that the words post maurum apud vallum missum give no
clear sense. Even if we alter maurum to murum, a slight and excusable change,
mittere murum remains a difficulty. If the phrase means anything, which I
doubt, it might mean to "give up a wall." No doubt it is corrupt. F. H.]
A medal of Severus found at Cramond, on the Firth of Forth, has on the
reverse the inscription "Fundator Pacis." Stuart, 164.
Aurelius Victor, who wrote about a.d. 360, is credited with two passages
concerning the alleged work of Severus. In the first, which is doubtless Victor's
own wilting, his phraseology closely resembles that of Spartian :—■