Firmus was an Alexandrian merchant who is said to have
been declared emperor in the aftermath of the defeat of
the Palmyrene Queen Zenobia by the emperor Aurelian.
Firmus was said to be immensely rich, and had such huge
physical appetites that he could consume a whole ostrich
in a single day, and drain two buckets of wine at a
sitting in a drinking contest. The visible signs of his
wealth are that the windows in his house were set with
glass set in pitch. Also, he owned so many books that he
could supply an army on paper, and that his ships sailed
to India, as a result of which he owned two twelve-foot
elephant tusks. Firmus represents the wealth of Egypt to
its fullest. Though much or all of these things may be
fiction, the details do not lose their significance.