By Jacob Burckhardt
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Additional resources for Age of Constantine the Great
The senators sacrificed whIte VICtims, went about in white togas, and m therr palace halls opened WIde the cabmets whIch held the imagines of their forebears Tacitus, however, regarded himself as a doomed man, bestowed his enonnous wealth on the state, and went to join the army. Out of a purely legalistic vagary the Senate inconsiderately refused Tacitus permissIOn to name his brother Florian consul. This mark of renewed constitutional awareness is said to have pleased the Emperor, comment is idle.
The Senate POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE 53 had long exercised the right of canonization of deceased Emperors; in point of fact the same honor was shown livmg Emperors in sacrifices and oaths before their statues, upon whicb occasion the ambisuous and hence untranslatable expression numen imperat01"is might he used. Maximian, indeed, had himself represented on coins 'in the hon-skin of his divine patron, a weakness which he shared with Commodus and similar predecessors in the imperial office. A man of Diocletian's importance and experience does not assume the burden of so exalted 'a representation without a sufficient cause.
Of Bahram Ill, who ruled for only a few months in 293, our authorIties tell us for the first time that the King of Persia had made a certam son or brother, whom he designated as his successor, provisionally prince of a province, with the title Shah; Bahram hinIself, as long as his father Bahram II was alive, was called merely Shah of Segan or Sistan. " Possibly the Magi foretold the precise hour of his death, and thus banished his joy III Ille. But it is also suggested that Narsi wished to aVOld the vicissitudes of a royal destmy, of which his wars with the Romans had gIven hun abundant experience.