Saturday, July 31, 2010
Nicomedia, May 1, 305 A.D. Diocletian of his own free will abdicates in the presence of the army, and withdraws as a private citizen to Salona (Lactantius, mort. pers. 19). Three years later, Herculius and Galerius try to convince him to reassume the office of emperor. His reaction to the proposal has been preserved in Aurelius Victor: "If only you could see at Salona the vegetables I have cultivated with my own hands, you would undoubtedly never have decided to make this attempt" (epit. 39,6), after which, one presumes, he resumed his life as a private citizen in perfect tranquillity.Aurelius Victor, Epitome 39.6 (tr. Thomas M. Banich):
It was he who, when solicited by Herculius and Galerius for the purpose of resuming control, responded in this way, as though avoiding some kind of plague: "If you could see at Salonae the cabbages raised by our hands, you surely would never judge that a temptation."
Qui dum ab Herculio atque Galerio ad recipiendum imperium rogaretur, tamquam pestem aliquam detestans in hunc modum respondit: "Utinam Salonae possetis visere olera nostris manibus instituta, profecto numquam istud temptandum iudicaretis".
My son, with beans from his garden