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Aurelian or, Rome in the Third Century   By: (1797-1852)

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AURELIAN;

OR,

ROME IN THE THIRD CENTURY

IN LETTERS OF LUCIUS M. PISO, FROM ROME, TO FAUSTA, THE DAUGHTER OF GRACCHUS, AT PALMYRA.

BY

WILLIAM WARE,

AUTHOR OF "ZENOBIA," "JULIAN," ETC.

FIFTH EDITION.

TWO VOLUMES COMPLETE IN ONE.

VOL. I.

NEW YORK: PUBLISHED BY JAMES MILLER, (SUCCESSOR TO C. S. FRANCIS & CO.) 647 BROADWAY. 1874.

Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1838, By CHARLES S. FRANCIS, in the Clerk's office of the Southern District of New York.

Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1866, By MARY WARE, in the Clerk's office of the Southern District of New York.

NOTICE.

This book a sequel to Zenobia published nearly ten years ago under the name of 'Probus,' was soon republished, in several places abroad, under that of 'Aurelian.' So far from complaining of the innovation, I could not but regard it as a piece of good fortune, as I had myself long thought the present a more appropriate title than the one originally chosen. Add to this, that the publisher of the work, on lately proposing a new edition, urgently advised the adoption of the foreign name, and I have thought myself sufficiently warranted in an alteration which circumstances seemed almost to require, or, at least, to excuse.

W. W.

AURELIAN.

The record which follows, is by the hand of me, NICOMACHUS, once the happy servant of the great Queen of Palmyra, than whom the world never saw a queen more illustrious, or a woman adorned with brighter virtues. But my design is not to write her eulogy, or to recite the wonderful story of her life. That task requires a stronger and a more impartial hand than mine. The life of Zenobia by Nicomachus, would be the portrait of a mother and a divinity, drawn by the pen of a child and a worshipper.

My object is a humbler, but perhaps also a more useful one. It is to collect and arrange, in their proper order, such of the letters of the most noble LUCIUS MANLIUS PISO, as shall throw most light upon his character and times, supplying all defects of incident, and filling up all chasms that may occur, out of the knowledge which more exactly than any one else, I have been able to gather concerning all that relates to the distinguished family of the Pisos, after its connection with the more distinguished one still, of the Queen of Palmyra.

It is in this manner that I propose to amuse the few remaining days of a green old age, not without hope both to amuse and benefit others also. This is a labor, as those will discover who read, not unsuitable to one who stands trembling on the verge of life, and whom a single rude blast may in a moment consign to the embraces of the universal mother. I will not deny that my chief satisfaction springs from the fact, that in collecting these letters, and binding them together by a connecting narrative, I am engaged in the honorable task of tracing out some of the steps by which the new religion has risen to its present height of power. For whether true or false, neither friend nor foe, neither philosopher nor fool, can refuse to admit the regenerating and genial influences of its so wide reception upon the Roman character and manners. If not the gift of the gods, it is every way worthy a divine origin; and I cannot but feel myself to be worthily occupied in recording the deeds, the virtues, and the sufferings, of those who put their faith in it, and, in times of danger and oppression, stood forth to defend it. Age is slow of belief. The thoughts then cling with a violent pertinacity to the fictions of its youth, once held to be the most sacred realities. But for this I should, I believe, myself long ago have been a Christian. I daily pray to the Supreme Power that my stubborn nature may yet so far yield, that I may be able, with a free and full assent, to call myself a follower of Christ... Continue reading book >>




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