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The two Vegetii
This passage is Mulomedicina, II, 79, 16. The whole chapter deals with disorders of the bladder, nothing to do with gelding. The very old (1748) and, as far as I know, only English translation has the passage as III, 15 and renders it as:

But among the Sarmatians, whose Horses were greatly valued by the Ancients, use found out that if Animals be wrapped up in Cloaths from the Neck to the Feet, and be fumigated with live Coals put under them with Castor added to them, that so the Smoak of the Castor may with its Steam warm the whole Body and their Testicles, and if after the Coals are withdrawn, they presently walk up and down all covered, they will stale.

'Stale' means 'urinate'.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Thank you gentlemen, the dangers of relying on Google Translate for Latin, not anymore. Somewhere in there google translated some of the text as a clean cut and testicles.
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
Nathan Ross wrote:
 I now see that his footnote mentions that Goffart (1977) 'assumes that V was comes sacri stabuli under Valentinian III, c.440, without argument.'

Hi Nathan I have Goffart’s 1977 paper and after scanning it all he says on the subject of Vegetius and the post “comes sacri stabuli” is, It might as plausibly be held (on the basis of the Mulomedicina) that his office had been that of count of the sacred stables. 

Ralf Scharf on the other hand who is also in Milner's footnotes on page XXXV just after Goffart was the one who in his paper Der comes sacri stabuli in der Spätantike or The comes sacri stabuli in late Antiquity who claimed that Vegetius served in this position under Valentinian III.
My rough Google translation of some revelant paragraphs in his paper which is in German. 

 In the Notitia Dignitatum the office of comes sacri stabuli was not mentioned. It was probably so insignificant that it did not have its own chapter, but again significant enough that it is no longer mentioned as a subordinate office in other chapters of the Notitia.

 Around the year 440, the rank of a vir illustris was already associated with the comitiva sacri stabuli in the west. However, every message about the office is missing for the next few decades. After Vegetius, held the office probably under Valentinian III, there is only the brief report on the death of a comes stabuli in the fight against the Visigoths 471.

 This particular comes stabuli  who died in 471 would have been Hermianus who served under Anthemius against Euric. 

 He then lists a few people, some who are below, who have held the post or a similar one including Valens, before he became Eastern Emperor, Stilicho, Vegetius and also the eastern Flavius Aetius who held the post under Marcian in 451.  Smile


Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
(04-15-2018, 04:36 PM)Michael Kerr Wrote: It might as plausibly be held... that his office had been that of count of the sacred stables.

Hi Michael - apologies for the delay in answering this.

Some interesting points, but I think the extra information would seem to count against the idea that Vegetius was comes sacri stabuli.

One thing we do know about V is that he was not a military man, or had no military experience anyway. Of the known C.S.S listed, however, Stilicho and Aetius were certainly soldiers, Valerianus died in battle at Adrianople and Hermianus was killed fighting the Visigoths. Cerealis is not specifically noted as a soldier, but seems to have taken a rather active role in the promotion of Valentinian II. I'm not sure that Ptolemaus was ever a comes - Claudian just called him miles stabuli - a soldier, again.

So it seems like the position was principally a military one, perhaps a sort of senior staff officer or quartermaster-general, rather than a civilian post having to do with horses!
Nathan Ross

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