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history_of_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_roman_empire_edward_gibbon_volume_2 [2018/04/21 03:41] (current)
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 +====== History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire ======
  
 +{{ :​edward-gibbon-2-sized.jpg?​nolink|Edward Gibbon}}
 +
 +===== Edward Gibbon, Esq. =====
 +
 +With notes by the Rev. H. H. Milman
 +
 +1782 (Written), 1845 (Revised)
 +
 +==== Volume 2 (of 6) Chapter 16,17,18 ====
 +
 +[[history_of_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_roman_empire_edward_gibbon|]]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +Note: The sixteenth chapter I cannot help considering as a very ingenious and specious, but very disgraceful extenuation of the cruelties perpetrated by the Roman magistrates against the Christians. ​ It is written in the most contemptibly factious spirit of prejudice against the sufferers; it is unworthy of a philosopher and of humanity. ​ Let the narrative of Cyprian'​s death be examined. ​ He had to relate the murder of an innocent man of advanced age, and in a station deemed venerable by a considerable body of the provincials of Africa, put to death because he refused to sacrifice to Jupiter. ​ Instead of pointing the indignation of posterity against such an atrocious act of tyranny, he dwells, with visible art, on the small circumstances of decorum and politeness which attended this murder, and which he relates with as much parade as if they were the most important particulars of the event.
 +
 +The Conduct Of The Roman Government Towards The Christians, From The Reign Of Nero To That Of Constantine.
 +
 +Dr. Robertson has been the subject of much blame for his real or supposed lenity towards the Spanish murderers and tyrants in America. ​ That the sixteenth chapter of Mr. G. did not excite the same or greater disapprobation,​ is a proof of the unphilosophical and indeed fanatical animosity against Christianity,​ which was so prevalent during the latter part of the eighteenth century. - Mackintosh: see Life, i. p. 244, 245.]
 +
 +If we seriously consider the purity of the Christian religion, the sanctity of its moral precepts, and the innocent as well as austere lives of the greater number of those who during the first ages embraced the faith of the gospel, we should naturally suppose, that so benevolent a doctrine would have been received with due reverence, even by the unbelieving world; that the learned and the polite, however they may deride the miracles, would have esteemed the virtues, of the new sect; and that the magistrates,​ instead of persecuting,​ would have protected an order of men who yielded the most passive obedience to the laws, though they declined the active cares of war and government. ​ If, on the other hand, we recollect the universal toleration of Polytheism, as it was invariably maintained by the faith of the people, the incredulity of philosophers,​ and the policy of the Roman senate and emperors, we are at a loss to discover what new offence the Christians had committed, what new provocation could exasperate the mild indifference of antiquity, and what new motives could urge the Roman princes, who beheld without concern a thousand forms of religion subsisting in peace under their gentle sway, to inflict a severe punishment on any part of their subjects, who had chosen for themselves a singular but an inoffensive mode of faith and worship. The religious policy of the ancient world seems to have assumed a more stern and intolerant character, to oppose the progress of Christianity. About fourscore years after the death of Christ, his innocent disciples were punished with death by the sentence of a proconsul of the most amiable and philosophic character, and according to the laws of an emperor distinguished by the wisdom and justice of his general administration. ​ The apologies which were repeatedly addressed to the successors of Trajan are filled with the most pathetic complaints, that the Christians, who obeyed the dictates, and solicited the liberty, of conscience, were alone, among all the subjects of the Roman empire, excluded from the common benefits of their auspicious government. ​ The deaths of a few eminent martyrs have been recorded with care; and from the time that Christianity was invested with the supreme power, the governors of the church have been no less diligently employed in displaying the cruelty, than in imitating the conduct, of their Pagan adversaries. ​ To separate (if it be possible) a few authentic as well as interesting facts from an undigested mass of fiction and error, and to relate, in a clear and rational manner, the causes, the extent, the duration, and the most important circumstances of the persecutions to which the first Christians were exposed, is the design of the present chapter. ^*
 +
 +[Footnote *: The history of the first age of Christianity is only found in the Acts of the Apostles, and in order to speak of the first persecutions experienced by the Christians, that book should naturally have been consulted; those persecutions,​ then limited to individuals and to a narrow sphere, interested only the persecuted, and have been related by them alone. ​ Gibbon making the persecutions ascend no higher than Nero, has entirely omitted those which preceded this epoch, and of which St. Luke has preserved the memory. The only way to justify this omission was, to attack the authenticity of the Acts of the Apostles; for, if authentic, they must necessarily be consulted and quoted. Now, antiquity has left very few works of which the authenticity is so well established as that of the Acts of the Apostles. ​ (See Lardner'​s Cred. of Gospel Hist. part iii.) It is therefore, without sufficient reason, that Gibbon has maintained silence concerning the narrative of St. Luke, and this omission is not without importance. - G.]
 +
 +The sectaries of a persecuted religion, depressed by fear animated with resentment, and perhaps heated by enthusiasm, are seldom in a proper temper of mind calmly to investigate,​ or candidly to appreciate, the motives of their enemies, which often escape the impartial and discerning view even of those who are placed at a secure distance from the flames of persecution. ​ A reason has been assigned for the conduct of the emperors towards the primitive Christians, which may appear the more specious and probable as it is drawn from the acknowledged genius of Polytheism. ​ It has already been observed, that the religious concord of the world was principally supported by the implicit assent and reverence which the nations of antiquity expressed for their respective traditions and ceremonies. ​ It might therefore be expected, that they would unite with indignation against any sect or people which should separate itself from the communion of mankind, and claiming the exclusive possession of divine knowledge, should disdain every form of worship, except its own, as impious and idolatrous. ​ The rights of toleration were held by mutual indulgence: they were justly forfeited by a refusal of the accustomed tribute. ​ As the payment of this tribute was inflexibly refused by the Jews, and by them alone, the consideration of the treatment which they experienced from the Roman magistrates,​ will serve to explain how far these speculations are justified by facts, and will lead us to discover the true causes of the persecution of Christianity.
 +
 +Without repeating what has already been mentioned of the reverence of the Roman princes and governors for the temple of Jerusalem, we shall only observe, that the destruction of the temple and city was accompanied and followed by every circumstance that could exasperate the minds of the conquerors, and authorize religious persecution by the most specious arguments of political justice and the public safety. ​ From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. ​ Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives; ^1 and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. ^2 The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported by the opinion, that it was unlawful for them to pay taxes to an idolatrous master; and by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters, and to invest the favorites of heaven with the empire of the earth. ​ It was by announcing himself as their long-expected deliverer, and by calling on all the descendants of Abraham to assert the hope of Israel, that the famous Barchochebas collected a formidable army, with which he resisted during two years the power of the emperor Hadrian. ^3
 +
 +[Footnote 1: In Cyrene, they massacred 220,000 Greeks; in Cyprus, 240,000; in Egypt, a very great multitude. ​ Many of these unhappy victims were sawn asunder, according to a precedent to which David had given the sanction of his example. ​ The victorious Jews devoured the flesh, licked up the blood, and twisted the entrails like a girdle round their bodies. ​ See Dion Cassius, l. lxviii. p. 1145.
 +
 +Note: Some commentators,​ among them Reimar, in his notes on Dion Cassius think that the hatred of the Romans against the Jews has led the historian to exaggerate the cruelties committed by the latter. ​ Don. Cass. lxviii. p. 1146. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 2: Without repeating the well-known narratives of Josephus, we may learn from Dion, (l. lxix. p. 1162,) that in Hadrian'​s war 580,000 Jews were cut off by the sword, besides an infinite number which perished by famine, by disease, and by fire.]
 +
 +[Footnote 3: For the sect of the Zealots, see Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, l. i. c. 17; for the characters of the Messiah, according to the Rabbis, l. v. c. 11, 12, 13; for the actions of Barchochebas,​ l. vii. c. 12.  (Hist. of Jews iii. 115, &c.) - M.]
 +
 +Notwithstanding these repeated provocations,​ the resentment of the Roman princes expired after the victory; nor were their apprehensions continued beyond the period of war and danger. ​ By the general indulgence of polytheism, and by the mild temper of Antoninus Pius, the Jews were restored to their ancient privileges, and once more obtained the permission of circumcising their children, with the easy restraint, that they should never confer on any foreign proselyte that distinguishing mark of the Hebrew race. ^4 The numerous remains of that people, though they were still excluded from the precincts of Jerusalem, were permitted to form and to maintain considerable establishments both in Italy and in the provinces, to acquire the freedom of Rome, to enjoy municipal honors, and to obtain at the same time an exemption from the burdensome and expensive offices of society. ​ The moderation or the contempt of the Romans gave a legal sanction to the form of ecclesiastical police which was instituted by the vanquished sect.  The patriarch, who had fixed his residence at Tiberias, was empowered to appoint his subordinate ministers and apostles, to exercise a domestic jurisdiction,​ and to receive from his dispersed brethren an annual contribution. ^5 New synagogues were frequently erected in the principal cities of the empire; and the sabbaths, the fasts, and the festivals, which were either commanded by the Mosaic law, or enjoined by the traditions of the Rabbis, were celebrated in the most solemn and public manner. ^6 Such gentle treatment insensibly assuaged the stern temper of the Jews.  Awakened from their dream of prophecy and conquest, they assumed the behavior of peaceable and industrious subjects. ​ Their irreconcilable hatred of mankind, instead of flaming out in acts of blood and violence, evaporated in less dangerous gratifications. ​ They embraced every opportunity of overreaching the idolaters in trade; and they pronounced secret and ambiguous imprecations against the haughty kingdom of Edom. ^7
 +
 +[Footnote 4: It is to Modestinus, a Roman lawyer (l. vi. regular.) that we are indebted for a distinct knowledge of the Edict of Antoninus. ​ See Casaubon ad Hist. August. p. 27.]
 +
 +[Footnote 5: See Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, l. iii. c. 2, 3. The office of Patriarch was suppressed by Theodosius the younger.]
 +
 +[Footnote 6: We need only mention the Purim, or deliverance of the Jews from he rage of Haman, which, till the reign of Theodosius, was celebrated with insolent triumph and riotous intemperance. ​ Basnage, Hist. des Juifs, l. vi. c. 17, l. viii. c. 6.]
 +
 +[Footnote 7: According to the false Josephus, Tsepho, the grandson of Esau, conducted into Italy the army of Eneas, king of Carthage. ​ Another colony of Idumaeans, flying from the sword of David, took refuge in the dominions of Romulus. ​ For these, or for other reasons of equal weight, the name of Edom was applied by the Jews to the Roman empire.
 +
 +Note: The false Josephus is a romancer of very modern date, though some of these legends are probably more ancient. ​ It may be worth considering whether many of the stories in the Talmud are not history in a figurative disguise, adopted from prudence. The Jews might dare to say many things of Rome, under the significant appellation of Edom, which they feared to utter publicly. ​ Later and more ignorant ages took literally, and perhaps embellished,​ what was intelligible among the generation to which it was addressed. ​ Hist. of Jews, iii. 131.
 +
 +The false Josephus has the inauguration of the emperor, with the seven electors and apparently the pope assisting at the coronation! ​ Pref. page xxvi. - M.]
 +
 +Since the Jews, who rejected with abhorrence the deities adored by their sovereign and by their fellow-subjects,​ enjoyed, however, the free exercise of their unsocial religion, there must have existed some other cause, which exposed the disciples of Christ to those severities from which the posterity of Abraham was exempt. ​ The difference between them is simple and obvious; but, according to the sentiments of antiquity, it was of the highest importance. ​ The Jews were a nation; the Christians were a sect: and if it was natural for every community to respect the sacred institutions of their neighbors, it was incumbent on them to persevere in those of their ancestors. The voice of oracles, the precepts of philosophers,​ and the authority of the laws, unanimously enforced this national obligation. ​ By their lofty claim of superior sanctity the Jews might provoke the Polytheists to consider them as an odious and impure race.  By disdaining the intercourse of other nations, they might deserve their contempt. The laws of Moses might be for the most part frivolous or absurd; yet, since they had been received during many ages by a large society, his followers were justified by the example of mankind; and it was universally acknowledged,​ that they had a right to practise what it would have been criminal in them to neglect. But this principle, which protected the Jewish synagogue, afforded not any favor or security to the primitive church. ​ By embracing the faith of the gospel, the Christians incurred the supposed guilt of an unnatural and unpardonable offence. ​ They dissolved the sacred ties of custom and education, violated the religious institutions of their country, and presumptuously despised whatever their fathers had believed as true, or had reverenced as sacred. ​ Nor was this apostasy (if we may use the expression) merely of a partial or local kind; since the pious deserter who withdrew himself from the temples of Egypt or Syria, would equally disdain to seek an asylum in those of Athens or Carthage. Every Christian rejected with contempt the superstitions of his family, his city, and his province. ​ The whole body of Christians unanimously refused to hold any communion with the gods of Rome, of the empire, and of mankind. It was in vain that the oppressed believer asserted the inalienable rights of conscience and private judgment. ​ Though his situation might excite the pity, his arguments could never reach the understanding,​ either of the philosophic or of the believing part of the Pagan world. ​ To their apprehensions,​ it was no less a matter of surprise, that any individuals should entertain scruples against complying with the established mode of worship, than if they had conceived a sudden abhorrence to the manners, the dress, or the language of their native country. ^8 ^*
 +
 +[Footnote 8: From the arguments of Celsus, as they are represented and refuted by Origen, (l. v. p. 247 - 259,) we may clearly discover the distinction that was made between the Jewish people and the Christian sect. See, in the Dialogue of Minucius Felix, (c. 5, 6,) a fair and not inelegant description of the popular sentiments, with regard to the desertion of the established worship.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: In all this there is doubtless much truth; yet does not the more important difference lie on the surface? ​ The Christians made many converts the Jews but few.  Had the Jewish been equally a proselyting religion would it not have encountered as violent persecution?​ - M.]
 +
 +The surprise of the Pagans was soon succeeded by resentment; and the most pious of men were exposed to the unjust but dangerous imputation of impiety. Malice and prejudice concurred in representing the Christians as a society of atheists, who, by the most daring attack on the religious constitution of the empire, had merited the severest animadversion of the civil magistrate. ​ They had separated themselves (they gloried in the confession) from every mode of superstition which was received in any part of the globe by the various temper of polytheism: but it was not altogether so evident what deity, or what form of worship, they had substituted to the gods and temples of antiquity. ​ The pure and sublime idea which they entertained of the Supreme Being escaped the gross conception of the Pagan multitude, who were at a loss to discover a spiritual and solitary God, that was neither represented under any corporeal figure or visible symbol, nor was adored with the accustomed pomp of libations and festivals, of altars and sacrifices. ^9 The sages of Greece and Rome, who had elevated their minds to the contemplation of the existence and attributes of the First Cause, were induced by reason or by vanity to reserve for themselves and their chosen disciples the privilege of this philosophical devotion. ^10 They were far from admitting the prejudices of mankind as the standard of truth, but they considered them as flowing from the original disposition of human nature; and they supposed that any popular mode of faith and worship which presumed to disclaim the assistance of the senses, would, in proportion as it receded from superstition,​ find itself incapable of restraining the wanderings of the fancy, and the visions of fanaticism. The careless glance which men of wit and learning condescended to cast on the Christian revelation, served only to confirm their hasty opinion, and to persuade them that the principle, which they might have revered, of the Divine Unity, was defaced by the wild enthusiasm, and annihilated by the airy speculations,​ of the new sectaries. ​ The author of a celebrated dialogue, which has been attributed to Lucian, whilst he affects to treat the mysterious subject of the Trinity in a style of ridicule and contempt, betrays his own ignorance of the weakness of human reason, and of the inscrutable nature of the divine perfections. ^11
 +
 +[Footnote 9: Cur nullas aras habent? ​ templa nulla? ​ nulla nota simulacra! - Unde autem, vel quis ille, aut ubi, Deus unicus, solitarius, desti tutus? Minucius Felix, c. 10.  The Pagan interlocutor goes on to make a distinction in favor of the Jews, who had once a temple, altars, victims, &c.] [Footnote 10: It is difficult (says Plato) to attain, and dangerous to publish, the knowledge of the true God.  See the Theologie des Philosophes,​ in the Abbe d'​Olivet'​s French translation of Tully de Natura Deorum, tom. i. p. 275.]
 +
 +[Footnote 11: The author of the Philopatris perpetually treats the Christians as a company of dreaming enthusiasts,​ &c.; and in one place he manifestly alludes to the vision in which St. Paul was transported to the third heaven. In another place, Triephon, who personates a Christian, after deriding the gods of Paganism, proposes a mysterious oath.]
 +
 +It might appear less surprising, that the founder of Christianity should not only be revered by his disciples as a sage and a prophet, but that he should be adored as a God.  The Polytheists were disposed to adopt every article of faith, which seemed to offer any resemblance,​ however distant or imperfect, with the popular mythology; and the legends of Bacchus, of Hercules, and of Aesculapius,​ had, in some measure, prepared their imagination for the appearance of the Son of God under a human form. ^12 But they were astonished that the Christians should abandon the temples of those ancient heroes, who, in the infancy of the world, had invented arts, instituted laws, and vanquished the tyrants or monsters who infested the earth, in order to choose for the exclusive object of their religious worship an obscure teacher, who, in a recent age, and among a barbarous people, had fallen a sacrifice either to the malice of his own countrymen, or to the jealousy of the Roman government. The Pagan multitude, reserving their gratitude for temporal benefits alone, rejected the inestimable present of life and immortality,​ which was offered to mankind by Jesus of Nazareth. His mild constancy in the midst of cruel and voluntary sufferings, his universal benevolence,​ and the sublime simplicity of his actions and character, were insufficient,​ in the opinion of those carnal men, to compensate for the want of fame, of empire, and of success; and whilst they refused to acknowledge his stupendous triumph over the powers of darkness and of the grave, they misrepresented,​ or they insulted, the equivocal birth, wandering life, and ignominious death, of the divine Author of Christianity. ^13
 +
 +[Footnote 12: According to Justin Martyr, (Apolog. Major, c. 70-85,) the daemon who had gained some imperfect knowledge of the prophecies, purposely contrived this resemblance,​ which might deter, though by different means, both the people and the philosophers from embracing the faith of Christ.] [Footnote 13: In the first and second books of Origen, Celsus treats the birth and character of our Savior with the most impious contempt. ​ The orator Libanius praises Porphyry and Julian for confuting the folly of a sect., which styles a dead man of Palestine, God, and the Son of God. Socrates, Hist. Ecclesiast. iii. 23.]
 +
 +The personal guilt which every Christian had contracted, in thus preferring his private sentiment to the national religion, was aggravated in a very high degree by the number and union of the criminals. ​ It is well known, and has been already observed, that Roman policy viewed with the utmost jealousy and distrust any association among its subjects; and that the privileges of private corporations,​ though formed for the most harmless or beneficial purposes, were bestowed with a very sparing hand. ^14 The religious assemblies of the Christians who had separated themselves from the public worship, appeared of a much less innocent nature; they were illegal in their principle, and in their consequences might become dangerous; nor were the emperors conscious that they violated the laws of justice, when, for the peace of society, they prohibited those secret and sometimes nocturnal meetings. ^15 The pious disobedience of the Christians made their conduct, or perhaps their designs, appear in a much more serious and criminal light; and the Roman princes, who might perhaps have suffered themselves to be disarmed by a ready submission, deeming their honor concerned in the execution of their commands, sometimes attempted, by rigorous punishments,​ to subdue this independent spirit, which boldly acknowledged an authority superior to that of the magistrate. ​ The extent and duration of this spiritual conspiracy seemed to render it everyday more deserving of his animadversion. ​ We have already seen that the active and successful zeal of the Christians had insensibly diffused them through every province and almost every city of the empire. ​ The new converts seemed to renounce their family and country, that they might connect themselves in an indissoluble band of union with a peculiar society, which every where assumed a different character from the rest of mankind. Their gloomy and austere aspect, their abhorrence of the common business and pleasures of life, and their frequent predictions of impending calamities, ^16 inspired the Pagans with the apprehension of some danger, which would arise from the new sect, the more alarming as it was the more obscure. "​Whatever,"​ says Pliny, "may be the principle of their conduct, their inflexible obstinacy appeared deserving of punishment."​ ^17
 +
 +[Footnote 14: The emperor Trajan refused to incorporate a company of 150 firemen, for the use of the city of Nicomedia. ​ He disliked all associations. See Plin. Epist. x. 42, 43.]
 +
 +[Footnote 15: The proconsul Pliny had published a general edict against unlawful meetings. ​ The prudence of the Christians suspended their Agapae; but it was impossible for them to omit the exercise of public worship.] [Footnote 16: As the prophecies of the Antichrist, approaching conflagration,​ &c., provoked those Pagans whom they did not convert, they were mentioned with caution and reserve; and the Montanists were censured for disclosing too freely the dangerous secret. ​ See Mosheim, 413.]
 +
 +[Footnote 17: Neque enim dubitabam, quodcunque esset quod faterentur, (such are the words of Pliny,) pervicacian certe et inflexibilem obstinationem lebere puniri.]
 +
 +The precautions with which the disciples of Christ performed the offices of religion were at first dictated by fear and necessity; but they were continued from choice. ​ By imitating the awful secrecy which reigned in the Eleusinian mysteries, the Christians had flattered themselves that they should render their sacred institutions more respectable in the eyes of the Pagan world. ^18 But the event, as it often happens to the operations of subtile policy, deceived their wishes and their expectations. It was concluded, that they only concealed what they would have blushed to disclose. ​ Their mistaken prudence afforded an opportunity for malice to invent, and for suspicious credulity to believe, the horrid tales which described the Christians as the most wicked of human kind, who practised in their dark recesses every abomination that a depraved fancy could suggest, and who solicited the favor of their unknown God by the sacrifice of every moral virtue. ​ There were many who pretended to confess or to relate the ceremonies of this abhorred society. It was asserted, "that a new-born infant, entirely covered over with flour, was presented, like some mystic symbol of initiation, to the knife of the proselyte, who unknowingly inflicted many a secret and mortal wound on the innocent victim of his error; that as soon as the cruel deed was perpetrated,​ the sectaries drank up the blood, greedily tore asunder the quivering members, and pledged themselves to eternal secrecy, by a mutual consciousness of guilt. It was as confidently affirmed, that this inhuman sacrifice was succeeded by a suitable entertainment,​ in which intemperance served as a provocative to brutal lust; till, at the appointed moment, the lights were suddenly extinguished,​ shame was banished, nature was forgotten; and, as accident might direct, the darkness of the night was polluted by the incestuous commerce of sisters and brothers, of sons and of mothers."​ ^19
 +
 +[Footnote 18: See Mosheim'​s Ecclesiastical History, vol. i. p. 101, and Spanheim, Remarques sur les Caesars de Julien, p. 468, &c.] [Footnote 19: See Justin Martyr, Apolog. i. 35, ii. 14. Athenagoras,​ in Legation, c. 27.  Tertullian, Apolog. c. 7, 8, 9. Minucius Felix, c. 9, 10, 80, 31.  The last of these writers relates the accusation in the most elegant and circumstantial manner. ​ The answer of Tertullian is the boldest and most vigorous.]
 +
 +But the perusal of the ancient apologies was sufficient to remove even the slightest suspicion from the mind of a candid adversary. ​ The Christians, with the intrepid security of innocence, appeal from the voice of rumor to the equity of the magistrates. ​ They acknowledge,​ that if any proof can be produced of the crimes which calumny has imputed to them, they are worthy of the most severe punishment. ​ They provoke the punishment, and they challenge the proof. ​ At the same time they urge, with equal truth and propriety, that the charge is not less devoid of probability,​ than it is destitute of evidence; they ask, whether any one can seriously believe that the pure and holy precepts of the gospel, which so frequently restrain the use of the most lawful enjoyments, should inculcate the practice of the most abominable crimes; that a large society should resolve to dishonor itself in the eyes of its own members; and that a great number of persons of either sex, and every age and character, insensible to the fear of death or infamy, should consent to violate those principles which nature and education had imprinted most deeply in their minds. ^20 Nothing, it should seem, could weaken the force or destroy the effect of so unanswerable a justification,​ unless it were the injudicious conduct of the apologists themselves, who betrayed the common cause of religion, to gratify their devout hatred to the domestic enemies of the church. ​ It was sometimes faintly insinuated, and sometimes boldly asserted, that the same bloody sacrifices, and the same incestuous festivals, which were so falsely ascribed to the orthodox believers, were in reality celebrated by the Marcionites,​ by the Carpocratians,​ and by several other sects of the Gnostics, who, notwithstanding they might deviate into the paths of heresy, were still actuated by the sentiments of men, and still governed by the precepts of Christianity. ^21 Accusations of a similar kind were retorted upon the church by the schismatics who had departed from its communion, ^22 and it was confessed on all sides, that the most scandalous licentiousness of manners prevailed among great numbers of those who affected the name of Christians. ​ A Pagan magistrate, who possessed neither leisure nor abilities to discern the almost imperceptible line which divides the orthodox faith from heretical pravity, might easily have imagined that their mutual animosity had extorted the discovery of their common guilt. It was fortunate for the repose, or at least for the reputation, of the first Christians, that the magistrates sometimes proceeded with more temper and moderation than is usually consistent with religious zeal, and that they reported, as the impartial result of their judicial inquiry, that the sectaries, who had deserted the established worship, appeared to them sincere in their professions,​ and blameless in their manners; however they might incur, by their absurd and excessive superstition,​ the censure of the laws. ^23
 +
 +[Footnote 20: In the persecution of Lyons, some Gentile slaves were compelled, by the fear of tortures, to accuse their Christian master. ​ The church of Lyons, writing to their brethren of Asia, treat the horrid charge with proper indignation and contempt. ​ Euseb. Hist. Eccles. v. i.]
 +
 +[Footnote 21: See Justin Martyr, Apolog. i. 35.  Irenaeus adv. Haeres. i. 24. Clemens. Alexandrin. Stromat. l. iii. p. 438. Euseb. iv. 8.  It would be tedious and disgusting to relate all that the succeeding writers have imagined, all that Epiphanius has received, and all that Tillemont has copied. M. de Beausobre (Hist. du Manicheisme,​ l. ix. c. 8, 9) has exposed, with great spirit, the disingenuous arts of Augustin and Pope Leo I.] [Footnote 22: When Tertullian became a Montanist, he aspersed the morals of the church which he had so resolutely defended. "Sed majoris est Agape, quia per hanc adolescentes tui cum sororibus dormiunt, appendices scilicet gulae lascivia et luxuria."​ De Jejuniis c. 17.  The 85th canon of the council of Illiberis provides against the scandals which too often polluted the vigils of the church, and disgraced the Christian name in the eyes of unbelievers.] [Footnote 23: Tertullian (Apolog. c. 2) expatiates on the fair and honorable testimony of Pliny, with much reason and some declamation.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +History, which undertakes to record the transactions of the past, for the instruction of future ages, would ill deserve that honorable office, if she condescended to plead the cause of tyrants, or to justify the maxims of persecution. ​ It must, however, be acknowledged,​ that the conduct of the emperors who appeared the least favorable to the primitive church, is by no means so criminal as that of modern sovereigns, who have employed the arm of violence and terror against the religious opinions of any part of their subjects. ​ From their reflections,​ or even from their own feelings, a Charles V. or a Lewis XIV. might have acquired a just knowledge of the rights of conscience, of the obligation of faith, and of the innocence of error. ​ But the princes and magistrates of ancient Rome were strangers to those principles which inspired and authorized the inflexible obstinacy of the Christians in the cause of truth, nor could they themselves discover in their own breasts any motive which would have prompted them to refuse a legal, and as it were a natural, submission to the sacred institutions of their country. ​ The same reason which contributes to alleviate the guilt, must have tended to abate the vigor, of their persecutions. ​ As they were actuated, not by the furious zeal of bigots, but by the temperate policy of legislators,​ contempt must often have relaxed, and humanity must frequently have suspended, the execution of those laws which they enacted against the humble and obscure followers of Christ. ​ From the general view of their character and motives we might naturally conclude: I.  That a considerable time elapsed before they considered the new sectaries as an object deserving of the attention of government. ​ II.  That in the conviction of any of their subjects who were accused of so very singular a crime, they proceeded with caution and reluctance. ​ III.  That they were moderate in the use of punishments;​ and, IV. That the afflicted church enjoyed many intervals of peace and tranquility. Notwithstanding the careless indifference which the most copious and the most minute of the Pagan writers have shown to the affairs of the Christians, ^24 it may still be in our power to confirm each of these probable suppositions,​ by the evidence of authentic facts.
 +
 +[Footnote 24: In the various compilation of the Augustan History, (a part of which was composed under the reign of Constantine,​) there are not six lines which relate to the Christians; nor has the diligence of Xiphilin discovered their name in the large history of Dion Cassius.
 +
 +Note: The greater part of the Augustan History is dedicated to Diocletian. ​ This may account for the silence of its authors concerning Christianity. ​ The notices that occur are almost all in the lives composed under the reign of Constantine. ​ It may fairly be concluded, from the language which he had into the mouth of Maecenas, that Dion was an enemy to all innovations in religion. ​ (See Gibbon, infra, note 105.) In fact, when the silence of Pagan historians is noticed, it should be remembered how meagre and mutilated are all the extant histories of the period -M.]
 +
 +1. By the wise dispensation of Providence, a mysterious veil was cast over the infancy of the church, which, till the faith of the Christians was matured, and their numbers were multiplied, served to protect them not only from the malice but even from the knowledge of the Pagan world. ​ The slow and gradual abolition of the Mosaic ceremonies afforded a safe and innocent disguise to the more early proselytes of the gospel. ​ As they were, for the greater part, of the race of Abraham, they were distinguished by the peculiar mark of circumcision,​ offered up their devotions in the Temple of Jerusalem till its final destruction,​ and received both the Law and the Prophets as the genuine inspirations of the Deity. ​ The Gentile converts, who by a spiritual adoption had been associated to the hope of Israel, were likewise confounded under the garb and appearance of Jews, ^25 and as the Polytheists paid less regard to articles of faith than to the external worship, the new sect, which carefully concealed, or faintly announced, its future greatness and ambition, was permitted to shelter itself under the general toleration which was granted to an ancient and celebrated people in the Roman empire. ​ It was not long, perhaps, before the Jews themselves, animated with a fiercer zeal and a more jealous faith, perceived the gradual separation of their Nazarene brethren from the doctrine of the synagogue; and they would gladly have extinguished the dangerous heresy in the blood of its adherents. ​ But the decrees of Heaven had already disarmed their malice; and though they might sometimes exert the licentious privilege of sedition, they no longer possessed the administration of criminal justice; nor did they find it easy to infuse into the calm breast of a Roman magistrate the rancor of their own zeal and prejudice. ​ The provincial governors declared themselves ready to listen to any accusation that might affect the public safety; but as soon as they were informed that it was a question not of facts but of words, a dispute relating only to the interpretation of the Jewish laws and prophecies, they deemed it unworthy of the majesty of Rome seriously to discuss the obscure differences which might arise among a barbarous and superstitious people. The innocence of the first Christians was protected by ignorance and contempt; and the tribunal of the Pagan magistrate often proved their most assured refuge against the fury of the synagogue. ^26 If indeed we were disposed to adopt the traditions of a too credulous antiquity, we might relate the distant peregrinations,​ the wonderful achievements,​ and the various deaths of the twelve apostles: but a more accurate inquiry will induce us to doubt, whether any of those persons who had been witnesses to the miracles of Christ were permitted, beyond the limits of Palestine, to seal with their blood the truth of their testimony. ^27 From the ordinary term of human life, it may very naturally be presumed that most of them were deceased before the discontent of the Jews broke out into that furious war, which was terminated only by the ruin of Jerusalem. ​ During a long period, from the death of Christ to that memorable rebellion, we cannot discover any traces of Roman intolerance,​ unless they are to be found in the sudden, the transient, but the cruel persecution,​ which was exercised by Nero against the Christians of the capital, thirty-five years after the former, and only two years before the latter, of those great events. ​ The character of the philosophic historian, to whom we are principally indebted for the knowledge of this singular transaction,​ would alone be sufficient to recommend it to our most attentive consideration.
 +
 +[Footnote 25: An obscure passage of Suetonius (in Claud. c. 25) may seem to offer a proof how strangely the Jews and Christians of Rome were confounded with each other.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: See, in the xviiith and xxvth chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, the behavior of Gallio, proconsul of Achaia, and of Festus, procurator of Judea.]
 +
 +[Footnote 27: In the time of Tertullian and Clemens of Alexandria, the glory of martyrdom was confined to St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. James. ​ It was gradually bestowed on the rest of the apostles, by the more recent Greeks, who prudently selected for the theatre of their preaching and sufferings some remote country beyond the limits of the Roman empire. ​ See Mosheim, p. 81; and Tillemont, Memoires Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. i. part iii.]
 +
 +In the tenth year of the reign of Nero, the capital of the empire was afflicted by a fire which raged beyond the memory or example of former ages. ^28 The monuments of Grecian art and of Roman virtue, the trophies of the Punic and Gallic wars, the most holy temples, and the most splendid palaces, were involved in one common destruction. ​ Of the fourteen regions or quarters into which Rome was divided, four only subsisted entire, three were levelled with the ground, and the remaining seven, which had experienced the fury of the flames, displayed a melancholy prospect of ruin and desolation. ​ The vigilance of government appears not to have neglected any of the precautions which might alleviate the sense of so dreadful a calamity. ​ The Imperial gardens were thrown open to the distressed multitude, temporary buildings were erected for their accommodation,​ and a plentiful supply of corn and provisions was distributed at a very moderate price. ^29 The most generous policy seemed to have dictated the edicts which regulated the disposition of the streets and the construction of private houses; and as it usually happens, in an age of prosperity, the conflagration of Rome, in the course of a few years, produced a new city, more regular and more beautiful than the former. ​ But all the prudence and humanity affected by Nero on this occasion were insufficient to preserve him from the popular suspicion. ​ Every crime might be imputed to the assassin of his wife and mother; nor could the prince who prostituted his person and dignity on the theatre be deemed incapable of the most extravagant folly. ​ The voice of rumor accused the emperor as the incendiary of his own capital; and as the most incredible stories are the best adapted to the genius of an enraged people, it was gravely reported, and firmly believed, that Nero, enjoying the calamity which he had occasioned, amused himself with singing to his lyre the destruction of ancient Troy. ^30 To divert a suspicion, which the power of despotism was unable to suppress, the emperor resolved to substitute in his own place some fictitious criminals. ​ "With this view," continues Tacitus, "he inflicted the most exquisite tortures on those men, who, under the vulgar appellation of Christians, were already branded with deserved infamy. ​ They derived their name and origin from Christ, who in the reign of Tiberius had suffered death by the sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate. ^31 For a while this dire superstition was checked; but it again burst forth; ^* and not only spread itself over Judaea, the first seat of this mischievous sect, but was even introduced into Rome, the common asylum which receives and protects whatever is impure, whatever is atrocious. ​ The confessions of those who were seized discovered a great multitude of their accomplices,​ and they were all convicted, not so much for the crime of setting fire to the city, as for their hatred of human kind. ^32 They died in torments, and their torments were imbittered by insult and derision. ​ Some were nailed on crosses; others sewn up in the skins of wild beasts, and exposed to the fury of dogs; others again, smeared over with combustible materials, were used as torches to illuminate the darkness of the night. ​ The gardens of Nero were destined for the melancholy spectacle, which was accompanied with a horse-race and honored with the presence of the emperor, who mingled with the populace in the dress and attitude of a charioteer. ​ The guilt of the Christians deserved indeed the most exemplary punishment, but the public abhorrence was changed into commiseration,​ from the opinion that those unhappy wretches were sacrificed, not so much to the public welfare, as to the cruelty of a jealous tyrant."​ ^33 Those who survey with a curious eye the revolutions of mankind, may observe, that the gardens and circus of Nero on the Vatican, which were polluted with the blood of the first Christians, have been rendered still more famous by the triumph and by the abuse of the persecuted religion. ​ On the same spot, ^34 a temple, which far surpasses the ancient glories of the Capitol, has been since erected by the Christian Pontiffs, who, deriving their claim of universal dominion from an humble fisherman of Galilee, have succeeded to the throne of the Caesars, given laws to the barbarian conquerors of Rome, and extended their spiritual jurisdiction from the coast of the Baltic to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
 +
 +[Footnote 28: Tacit. Annal. xv. 38 - 44.  Sueton in Neron. c. 38. Dion Cassius, l. lxii. p. 1014. Orosius, vii. 7.]
 +
 +[Footnote 29: The price of wheat (probably of the modius,) was reduced as low as terni Nummi; which would be equivalent to about fifteen shillings the English quarter.]
 +
 +[Footnote 30: We may observe, that the rumor is mentioned by Tacitus with a very becoming distrust and hesitation, whilst it is greedily transcribed by Suetonius, and solemnly confirmed by Dion.]
 +
 +[Footnote 31: This testimony is alone sufficient to expose the anachronism of the Jews, who place the birth of Christ near a century sooner. (Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, l. v. c. 14, 15.) We may learn from Josephus, (Antiquitat. xviii. 3,) that the procuratorship of Pilate corresponded with the last ten years of Tiberius, A. D. 27 - 37.  As to the particular time of the death of Christ, a very early tradition fixed it to the 25th of March, A. D. 29, under the consulship of the two Gemini. (Tertullian adv. Judaeos, c. 8.) This date, which is adopted by Pagi, Cardinal Norris, and Le Clerc, seems at least as probable as the vulgar aera, which is placed (I know not from what conjectures) four years later.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: This single phrase, Repressa in praesens exitiabilis superstitio rursus erumpebat, proves that the Christians had already attracted the attention of the government; and that Nero was not the first to persecute them.  I am surprised that more stress has not been laid on the confirmation which the Acts of the Apostles derive from these words of Tacitus, Repressa in praesens, and rursus erumpebat. - G.
 +
 +I have been unwilling to suppress this note, but surely the expression of Tacitus refers to the expected extirpation of the religion by the death of its founder, Christ. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 32: Odio humani generis convicti. ​ These words may either signify the hatred of mankind towards the Christians, or the hatred of the Christians towards mankind. ​ I have preferred the latter sense, as the most agreeable to the style of Tacitus, and to the popular error, of which a precept of the gospel (see Luke xiv. 26) had been, perhaps, the innocent occasion. ​ My interpretation is justified by the authority of Lipsius; of the Italian, the French, and the English translators of Tacitus; of Mosheim, (p. 102,) of Le Clerc, (Historia Ecclesiast. p. 427,) of Dr. Lardner, (Testimonies,​ vol. i. p. 345,) and of the Bishop of Gloucester, (Divine Legation, vol. iii. p. 38.) But as the word convicti does not unite very happily with the rest of the sentence, James Gronovius has preferred the reading of conjuncti, which is authorized by the valuable MS. of Florence.]
 +
 +[Footnote 33: Tacit. Annal xv. 44.]
 +
 +[Footnote 34: Nardini Roma Antica, p. 487. Donatus de Roma Antiqua, l. iii. p. 449.]
 +
 +But it would be improper to dismiss this account of Nero's persecution,​ till we have made some observations that may serve to remove the difficulties with which it is perplexed, and to throw some light on the subsequent history of the church.
 +
 +1. The most sceptical criticism is obliged to respect the truth of this extraordinary fact, and the integrity of this celebrated passage of Tacitus. The former is confirmed by the diligent and accurate Suetonius, who mentions the punishment which Nero inflicted on the Christians, a sect of men who had embraced a new and criminal superstition. ^35 The latter may be proved by the consent of the most ancient manuscripts;​ by the inimitable character of the style of Tacitus by his reputation, which guarded his text from the interpolations of pious fraud; and by the purport of his narration, which accused the first Christians of the most atrocious crimes, without insinuating that they possessed any miraculous or even magical powers above the rest of mankind. ^36 2. Notwithstanding it is probable that Tacitus was born some years before the fire of Rome, ^37 he could derive only from reading and conversation the knowledge of an event which happened during his infancy. Before he gave himself to the public, he calmly waited till his genius had attained its full maturity, and he was more than forty years of age, when a grateful regard for the memory of the virtuous Agricola extorted from him the most early of those historical compositions which will delight and instruct the most distant posterity. After making a trial of his strength in the life of Agricola and the description of Germany, he conceived, and at length executed, a more arduous work; the history of Rome, in thirty books, from the fall of Nero to the accession of Nerva. ​ The administration of Nerva introduced an age of justice and propriety, which Tacitus had destined for the occupation of his old age; ^38 but when he took a nearer view of his subject, judging, perhaps, that it was a more honorable or a less invidious office to record the vices of past tyrants, than to celebrate the virtues of a reigning monarch, he chose rather to relate, under the form of annals, the actions of the four immediate successors of Augustus. ​ To collect, to dispose, and to adorn a series of fourscore years, in an immortal work, every sentence of which is pregnant with the deepest observations and the most lively images, was an undertaking sufficient to exercise the genius of Tacitus himself during the greatest part of his life.  In the last years of the reign of Trajan, whilst the victorious monarch extended the power of Rome beyond its ancient limits, the historian was describing, in the second and fourth books of his annals, the tyranny of Tiberius; ^39 and the emperor Hadrian must have succeeded to the throne, before Tacitus, in the regular prosecution of his work, could relate the fire of the capital, and the cruelty of Nero towards the unfortunate Christians. ​ At the distance of sixty years, it was the duty of the annalist to adopt the narratives of contemporaries;​ but it was natural for the philosopher to indulge himself in the description of the origin, the progress, and the character of the new sect, not so much according to the knowledge or prejudices of the age of Nero, as according to those of the time of Hadrian. ​ 3 Tacitus very frequently trusts to the curiosity or reflection of his readers to supply those intermediate circumstances and ideas, which, in his extreme conciseness,​ he has thought proper to suppress. ​ We may therefore presume to imagine some probable cause which could direct the cruelty of Nero against the Christians of Rome, whose obscurity, as well as innocence, should have shielded them from his indignation,​ and even from his notice. The Jews, who were numerous in the capital, and oppressed in their own country, were a much fitter object for the suspicions of the emperor and of the people: nor did it seem unlikely that a vanquished nation, who already discovered their abhorrence of the Roman yoke, might have recourse to the most atrocious means of gratifying their implacable revenge. ​ But the Jews possessed very powerful advocates in the palace, and even in the heart of the tyrant; his wife and mistress, the beautiful Poppaea, and a favorite player of the race of Abraham, who had already employed their intercession in behalf of the obnoxious people. ^40 In their room it was necessary to offer some other victims, and it might easily be suggested that, although the genuine followers of Moses were innocent of the fire of Rome, there had arisen among them a new and pernicious sect of Galilaeans, which was capable of the most horrid crimes. ​ Under the appellation of Galilaeans, two distinctions of men were confounded, the most opposite to each other in their manners and principles; the disciples who had embraced the faith of Jesus of Nazareth, ^41 and the zealots who had followed the standard of Judas the Gaulonite. ^42 The former were the friends, the latter were the enemies, of human kind; and the only resemblance between them consisted in the same inflexible constancy, which, in the defence of their cause, rendered them insensible of death and tortures. ​ The followers of Judas, who impelled their countrymen into rebellion, were soon buried under the ruins of Jerusalem; whilst those of Jesus, known by the more celebrated name of Christians, diffused themselves over the Roman empire. ​ How natural was it for Tacitus, in the time of Hadrian, to appropriate to the Christians the guilt and the sufferings, ^* which he might, with far greater truth and justice, have attributed to a sect whose odious memory was almost extinguished! ​ 4. Whatever opinion may be entertained of this conjecture, (for it is no more than a conjecture,​) it is evident that the effect, as well as the cause, of Nero's persecution,​ was confined to the walls of Rome, ^43 ^! that the religious tenets of the Galilaeans or Christians, were never made a subject of punishment, or even of inquiry; and that, as the idea of their sufferings was for a long time connected with the idea of cruelty and injustice, the moderation of succeeding princes inclined them to spare a sect, oppressed by a tyrant, whose rage had been usually directed against virtue and innocence.
 +
 +[Footnote 35: Sueton. in Nerone, c. 16.  The epithet of malefica, which some sagacious commentators have translated magical, is considered by the more rational Mosheim as only synonymous to the exitiabilis of Tacitus.] [Footnote 36: The passage concerning Jesus Christ, which was inserted into the text of Josephus, between the time of Origen and that of Eusebius, may furnish an example of no vulgar forgery. ​ The accomplishment of the prophecies, the virtues, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus, are distinctly related. Josephus acknowledges that he was the Messiah, and hesitates whether he should call him a man.  If any doubt can still remain concerning this celebrated passage, the reader may examine the pointed objections of Le Fevre, (Havercamp. Joseph. tom. ii. p. 267-273, the labored answers of Daubuz, (p. 187-232, and the masterly reply (Bibliotheque Ancienne et Moderne, tom. vii. p. 237-288) of an anonymous critic, whom I believe to have been the learned Abbe de Longuerue.
 +
 +Note: The modern editor of Eusebius, Heinichen, has adopted, and ably supported, a notion, which had before suggested itself to the editor, that this passage is not altogether a forgery, but interpolated with many additional clauses. ​ Heinichen has endeavored to disengage the original text from the foreign and more recent matter. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 37: See the lives of Tacitus by Lipsius and the Abbe de la Bleterie, Dictionnaire de Bayle a l'​article Particle Tacite, and Fabricius, Biblioth. Latin tem. Latin. tom. ii. p. 386, edit. Ernest. Ernst.]
 +
 +[Footnote 38: Principatum Divi Nervae, et imperium Trajani, uberiorem, securioremque materiam senectuti seposui. ​ Tacit. Hist. i.] [Footnote 39: See Tacit. Annal. ii. 61, iv. 4.
 +
 +Note: The perusal of this passage of Tacitus alone is sufficient, as I have already said, to show that the Christian sect was not so obscure as not already to have been repressed, (repressa,) and that it did not pass for innocent in the eyes of the Romans. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 40: The player'​s name was Aliturus. ​ Through the same channel, Josephus, (de vita sua, c. 2,) about two years before, had obtained the pardon and release of some Jewish priests, who were prisoners at Rome.] [Footnote 41: The learned Dr. Lardner (Jewish and Heathen Testimonies,​ vol ii. p. 102, 103) has proved that the name of Galilaeans was a very ancient, and perhaps the primitive appellation of the Christians.]
 +
 +[Footnote 42: Joseph. Antiquitat. xviii. 1, 2.  Tillemont, Ruine des Juifs, p. 742 The sons of Judas were crucified in the time of Claudius. ​ His grandson Eleazar, after Jerusalem was taken, defended a strong fortress with 960 of his most desperate followers. ​ When the battering ram had made a breach, they turned their swords against their wives their children, and at length against their own breasts. ​ They dies to the last man.
 +
 +[Footnote *: This conjecture is entirely devoid, not merely of verisimilitude,​ but even of possibility. ​ Tacitus could not be deceived in appropriating to the Christians of Rome the guilt and the sufferings which he might have attributed with far greater truth to the followers of Judas the Gaulonite, for the latter never went to Rome.  Their revolt, their attempts, their opinions, their wars, their punishment, had no other theatre but Judaea (Basn. Hist. des. Juifs, t. i. p. 491.) Moreover the name of Christians had long been given in Rome to the disciples of Jesus; and Tacitus affirms too positively, refers too distinctly to its etymology, to allow us to suspect any mistake on his part. - G.
 +
 +M. Guizot'​s expressions are not in the least too strong against this strange imagination of Gibbon; it may be doubted whether the followers of Judas were known as a sect under the name of Galilaeans. - M.] [Footnote 43: See Dodwell. Paucitat. Mart. l. xiii.  The Spanish Inscription in Gruter. p. 238, No. 9, is a manifest and acknowledged forgery contrived by that noted imposter. ​ Cyriacus of Ancona, to flatter the pride and prejudices of the Spaniards. See Ferreras, Histoire D'​Espagne,​ tom. i. p. 192.] [Footnote !: M. Guizot, on the authority of Sulpicius Severus, ii. 37, and of Orosius, viii. 5, inclines to the opinion of those who extend the persecution to the provinces. ​ Mosheim rather leans to that side on this much disputed question, (c. xxxv.) Neander takes the view of Gibbon, which is in general that of the most learned writers. ​ There is indeed no evidence, which I can discover, of its reaching the provinces; and the apparent security, at least as regards his life, with which St. Paul pursued his travels during this period, affords at least a strong inference against a rigid and general inquisition against the Christians in other parts of the empire. - M.] It is somewhat remarkable that the flames of war consumed, almost at the same time, the temple of Jerusalem and the Capitol of Rome; ^44 and it appears no less singular, that the tribute which devotion had destined to the former, should have been converted by the power of an assaulting victor to restore and adorn the splendor of the latter. ^45 The emperors levied a general capitation tax on the Jewish people; and although the sum assessed on the head of each individual was inconsiderable,​ the use for which it was designed, and the severity with which it was exacted, were considered as an intolerable grievance. ^46 Since the officers of the revenue extended their unjust claim to many persons who were strangers to the blood or religion of the Jews, it was impossible that the Christians, who had so often sheltered themselves under the shade of the synagogue, should now escape this rapacious persecution. ​ Anxious as they were to avoid the slightest infection of idolatry, their conscience forbade them to contribute to the honor of that daemon who had assumed the character of the Capitoline Jupiter. ​ As a very numerous though declining party among the Christians still adhered to the law of Moses, their efforts to dissemble their Jewish origin were detected by the decisive test of circumcision;​ ^47 nor were the Roman magistrates at leisure to inquire into the difference of their religious tenets. ​ Among the Christians who were brought before the tribunal of the emperor, or, as it seems more probable, before that of the procurator of Judaea, two persons are said to have appeared, distinguished by their extraction, which was more truly noble than that of the greatest monarchs. These were the grandsons of St. Jude the apostle, who himself was the brother of Jesus Christ. ^48 Their natural pretensions to the throne of David might perhaps attract the respect of the people, and excite the jealousy of the governor; but the meanness of their garb, and the simplicity of their answers, soon convinced him that they were neither desirous nor capable of disturbing the peace of the Roman empire. They frankly confessed their royal origin, and their near relation to the Messiah; but they disclaimed any temporal views, and professed that his kingdom, which they devoutly expected, was purely of a spiritual and angelic nature. ​ When they were examined concerning their fortune and occupation, they showed their hands, hardened with daily labor, and declared that they derived their whole subsistence from the cultivation of a farm near the village of Cocaba, of the extent of about twenty-four English acres, ^49 and of the value of nine thousand drachms, or three hundred pounds sterling. ​ The grandsons of St. Jude were dismissed with compassion and contempt. ^50
 +
 +[Footnote 44: The Capitol was burnt during the civil war between Vitellius and Vespasian, the 19th of December, A. D. 69.  On the 10th of August, A. D. 70, the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed by the hands of the Jews themselves, rather than by those of the Romans.]
 +
 +[Footnote 45: The new Capitol was dedicated by Domitian. ​ Sueton. in Domitian. c. 5.  Plutarch in Poplicola, tom. i. p. 230, edit. Bryant. ​ The gilding alone cost 12,000 talents (above two millions and a half.) It was the opinion of Martial, (l. ix. Epigram 3,) that if the emperor had called in his debts, Jupiter himself, even though he had made a general auction of Olympus, would have been unable to pay two shillings in the pound.]
 +
 +[Footnote 46: With regard to the tribute, see Dion Cassius, l. lxvi. p. 1082, with Reimarus'​s notes. ​ Spanheim, de Usu Numismatum, tom. ii. p. 571; and Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, l. vii. c. 2.]
 +
 +[Footnote 47: Suetonius (in Domitian. c. 12) had seen an old man of ninety publicly examined before the procurator'​s tribunal. This is what Martial calls, Mentula tributis damnata.]
 +
 +[Footnote 48: This appellation was at first understood in the most obvious sense, and it was supposed, that the brothers of Jesus were the lawful issue of Joseph and Mary.  A devout respect for the virginity of the mother of God suggested to the Gnostics, and afterwards to the orthodox Greeks, the expedient of bestowing a second wife on Joseph. ​ The Latins (from the time of Jerome) improved on that hint, asserted the perpetual celibacy of Joseph, and justified by many similar examples the new interpretation that Jude, as well as Simon and James, who were styled the brothers of Jesus Christ, were only his first cousins. ​ See Tillemont, Mem. Ecclesiat. tom. i. part iii.: and Beausobre, Hist. Critique du Manicheisme,​ l. ii. c. 2.]
 +
 +[Footnote 49: Thirty-nine,​ squares of a hundred feet each, which, if strictly computed, would scarcely amount to nine acres.]
 +
 +[Footnote 50: Eusebius, iii. 20.  The story is taken from Hegesippus.] But although the obscurity of the house of David might protect them from the suspicions of a tyrant, the present greatness of his own family alarmed the pusillanimous temper of Domitian, which could only be appeased by the blood of those Romans whom he either feared, or hated, or esteemed. Of the two sons of his uncle Flavius Sabinus, ^51 the elder was soon convicted of treasonable intentions, and the younger, who bore the name of Flavius Clemens, was indebted for his safety to his want of courage and ability. ^52 The emperor for a long time, distinguished so harmless a kinsman by his favor and protection, bestowed on him his own niece Domitilla, adopted the children of that marriage to the hope of the succession, and invested their father with the honors of the consulship.
 +
 +[Footnote 51: See the death and character of Sabinus in Tacitus, (Hist. iii. 74 ) Sabinus was the elder brother, and, till the accession of Vespasian, had been considered as the principal support of the Flavium family] [Footnote 52: Flavium Clementem patruelem suum contemptissimoe inertice . . ex tenuissima suspicione interemit. ​ Sueton. in Domitian. c. 15.] But he had scarcely finished the term of his annual magistracy, when, on a slight pretence, he was condemned and executed; Domitilla was banished to a desolate island on the coast of Campania; ^53 and sentences either of death or of confiscation were pronounced against a great number of who were involved in the same accusation. ​ The guilt imputed to their charge was that of Atheism and Jewish manners; ^54 a singular association of ideas, which cannot with any propriety be applied except to the Christians, as they were obscurely and imperfectly viewed by the magistrates and by the writers of that period. ​ On the strength of so probable an interpretation,​ and too eagerly admitting the suspicions of a tyrant as an evidence of their honorable crime, the church has placed both Clemens and Domitilla among its first martyrs, and has branded the cruelty of Domitian with the name of the second persecution. ​ But this persecution (if it deserves that epithet) was of no long duration. ​ A few months after the death of Clemens, and the banishment of Domitilla, Stephen, a freedman belonging to the latter, who had enjoyed the favor, but who had not surely embraced the faith, of his mistress, ^* assassinated the emperor in his palace. ^55 The memory of Domitian was condemned by the senate; his acts were rescinded; his exiles recalled; and under the gentle administration of Nerva, while the innocent were restored to their rank and fortunes, even the most guilty either obtained pardon or escaped punishment. ^56
 +
 +[Footnote 53: The Isle of Pandataria, according to Dion. Bruttius Praesens (apud Euseb. iii. 18) banishes her to that of Pontia, which was not far distant from the other. ​ That difference, and a mistake, either of Eusebius or of his transcribers,​ have given occasion to suppose two Domitillas, the wife and the niece of Clemens. ​ See Tillemont, Memoires Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. ii. p. 224.]
 +
 +[Footnote 54: Dion. l. lxvii. p. 1112.  If the Bruttius Praesens, from whom it is probable that he collected this account, was the correspondent of Pliny, (Epistol. vii. 3,) we may consider him as a contemporary writer.] [Footnote *: This is an uncandid sarcasm. ​ There is nothing to connect Stephen with the religion of Domitilla. ​ He was a knave detected in the malversation of money - interceptarum pecuniaram reus. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 55: Suet. in Domit. c. 17.  Philostratus in Vit. Apollon. l. viii.] [Footnote 56: Dion. l. lxviii. p. 1118.  Plin. Epistol. iv. 22.] II.  About ten years afterwards, under the reign of Trajan, the younger Pliny was intrusted by his friend and master with the government of Bithynia and Pontus. ​ He soon found himself at a loss to determine by what rule of justice or of law he should direct his conduct in the execution of an office the most repugnant to his humanity. ​ Pliny had never assisted at any judicial proceedings against the Christians, with whose lame alone he seems to be acquainted; and he was totally uninformed with regard to the nature of their guilt, the method of their conviction, and the degree of their punishment. ​ In this perplexity he had recourse to his usual expedient, of submitting to the wisdom of Trajan an impartial, and, in some respects, a favorable account of the new superstition,​ requesting the emperor, that he would condescend to resolve his doubts, and to instruct his ignorance. ^57 The life of Pliny had been employed in the acquisition of learning, and in the business of the world. Since the age of nineteen he had pleaded with distinction in the tribunals of Rome, ^58 filled a place in the senate, had been invested with the honors of the consulship, and had formed very numerous connections with every order of men, both in Italy and in the provinces. ​ From his ignorance therefore we may derive some useful information. ​ We may assure ourselves, that when he accepted the government of Bithynia, there were no general laws or decrees of the senate in force against the Christians; that neither Trajan nor any of his virtuous predecessors,​ whose edicts were received into the civil and criminal jurisprudence,​ had publicly declared their intentions concerning the new sect; and that whatever proceedings had been carried on against the Christians, there were none of sufficient weight and authority to establish a precedent for the conduct of a Roman magistrate. [Footnote 57: Plin. Epistol. x. 97.  The learned Mosheim expresses himself (p. 147, 232) with the highest approbation of Pliny'​s moderate and candid temper. Notwithstanding Dr. Lardner'​s suspicions (see Jewish and Heathen Testimonies,​ vol. ii. p. 46,) I am unable to discover any bigotry in his language or proceedings.
 +
 +Note: Yet the humane Pliny put two female attendants, probably deaconesses to the torture, in order to ascertain the real nature of these suspicious meetings: necessarium credidi, ex duabus ancillis, quae ministrae dicebantor quid asset veri et per tormenta quaerere. - M.] [Footnote 58: Plin. Epist. v. 8.  He pleaded his first cause A. D. 81; the year after the famous eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, in which his uncle lost his life.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part III. =====
 +
 +The answer of Trajan, to which the Christians of the succeeding age have frequently appealed, discovers as much regard for justice and humanity as could be reconciled with his mistaken notions of religious policy. ^59 Instead of displaying the implacable zeal of an inquisitor, anxious to discover the most minute particles of heresy, and exulting in the number of his victims, the emperor expresses much more solicitude to protect the security of the innocent, than to prevent the escape of the guilty. ​ He acknowledged the difficulty of fixing any general plan; but he lays down two salutary rules, which often afforded relief and support to the distressed Christians. ​ Though he directs the magistrates to punish such persons as are legally convicted, he prohibits them, with a very humane inconsistency,​ from making any inquiries concerning the supposed criminals. Nor was the magistrate allowed to proceed on every kind of information. Anonymous charges the emperor rejects, as too repugnant to the equity of his government; and he strictly requires, for the conviction of those to whom the guilt of Christianity is imputed, the positive evidence of a fair and open accuser. ​ It is likewise probable, that the persons who assumed so invidiuous an office, were obliged to declare the grounds of their suspicions, to specify (both in respect to time and place) the secret assemblies, which their Christian adversary had frequented, and to disclose a great number of circumstances,​ which were concealed with the most vigilant jealousy from the eye of the profane. ​ If they succeeded in their prosecution,​ they were exposed to the resentment of a considerable and active party, to the censure of the more liberal portion of mankind, and to the ignominy which, in every age and country, has attended the character of an informer. ​ If, on the contrary, they failed in their proofs, they incurred the severe and perhaps capital penalty, which, according to a law published by the emperor Hadrian, was inflicted on those who falsely attributed to their fellow-citizens the crime of Christianity. ​ The violence of personal or superstitious animosity might sometimes prevail over the most natural apprehensions of disgrace and danger but it cannot surely be imagined, that accusations of so unpromising an appearance were either lightly or frequently undertaken by the Pagan subjects of the Roman empire. ^60 ^* [Footnote 59: Plin. Epist. x. 98.  Tertullian (Apolog. c. 5) considers this rescript as a relaxation of the ancient penal laws, "quas Trajanus exparte frustratus est: " and yet Tertullian, in another part of his Apology, exposes the inconsistency of prohibiting inquiries, and enjoining punishments.] [Footnote 60: Eusebius (Hist. Ecclesiast. l. iv. c. 9) has preserved the edict of Hadrian. ​ He has likewise (c. 13) given us one still more favorable, under the name of Antoninus; the authenticity of which is not so universally allowed. ​ The second Apology of Justin contains some curious particulars relative to the accusations of Christians.
 +
 +Note: Professor Hegelmayer has proved the authenticity of the edict of Antoninus, in his Comm. Hist. Theol. in Edict. Imp. Antonini. Tubing. 1777, in 4to. - G.
 +
 +Neander doubts its authenticity,​ (vol. i. p. 152.) In my opinion, the internal evidence is decisive against it. - M]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The enactment of this law affords strong presumption,​ that accusations of the "crime of Christianity,"​ were by no means so uncommon, nor received with so much mistrust and caution by the ruling authorities,​ as Gibbon would insinuate. - M.]
 +
 +The expedient which was employed to elude the prudence of the laws, affords a sufficient proof how effectually they disappointed the mischievous designs of private malice or superstitious zeal.  In a large and tumultuous assembly, the restraints of fear and shame, so forcible on the minds of individuals,​ are deprived of the greatest part of their influence. ​ The pious Christian, as he was desirous to obtain, or to escape, the glory of martyrdom, expected, either with impatience or with terror, the stated returns of the public games and festivals. ​ On those occasions the inhabitants of the great cities of the empire were collected in the circus or the theatre, where every circumstance of the place, as well as of the ceremony, contributed to kindle their devotion, and to extinguish their humanity. ​ Whilst the numerous spectators, crowned with garlands, perfumed with incense, purified with the blood of victims, and surrounded with the altars and statues of their tutelar deities, resigned themselves to the enjoyment of pleasures, which they considered as an essential part of their religious worship, they recollected,​ that the Christians alone abhorred the gods of mankind, and by their absence and melancholy on these solemn festivals, seemed to insult or to lament the public felicity. ​ If the empire had been afflicted by any recent calamity, by a plague, a famine, or an unsuccessful war; if the Tyber had, or if the Nile had not, risen beyond its banks; if the earth had shaken, or if the temperate order of the seasons had been interrupted,​ the superstitious Pagans were convinced that the crimes and the impiety of the Christians, who were spared by the excessive lenity of the government, had at length provoked the divine justice. ​ It was not among a licentious and exasperated populace, that the forms of legal proceedings could be observed; it was not in an amphitheatre,​ stained with the blood of wild beasts and gladiators, that the voice of compassion could be heard. ​ The impatient clamors of the multitude denounced the Christians as the enemies of gods and men, doomed them to the severest tortures, and venturing to accuse by name some of the most distinguished of the new sectaries, required with irresistible vehemence that they should be instantly apprehended and cast to the lions. ^61 The provincial governors and magistrates who presided in the public spectacles were usually inclined to gratify the inclinations,​ and to appease the rage, of the people, by the sacrifice of a few obnoxious victims. ​ But the wisdom of the emperors protected the church from the danger of these tumultuous clamors and irregular accusations,​ which they justly censured as repugnant both to the firmness and to the equity of their administration. ​ The edicts of Hadrian and of Antoninus Pius expressly declared, that the voice of the multitude should never be admitted as legal evidence to convict or to punish those unfortunate persons who had embraced the enthusiasm of the Christians. ^62
 +
 +[Footnote 61: See Tertullian, (Apolog. c. 40.) The acts of the martyrdom of Polycarp exhibit a lively picture of these tumults, which were usually fomented by the malice of the Jews.]
 +
 +[Footnote 62: These regulations are inserted in the above mentioned document of Hadrian and Pius.  See the apology of Melito, (apud Euseb. l iv 26)] III.  Punishment was not the inevitable consequence of conviction, and the Christians, whose guilt was the most clearly proved by the testimony of witnesses, or even by their voluntary confession, still retained in their own power the alternative of life or death. ​ It was not so much the past offence, as the actual resistance, which excited the indignation of the magistrate. ​ He was persuaded that he offered them an easy pardon, since, if they consented to cast a few grains of incense upon the altar, they were dismissed from the tribunal in safety and with applause. ​ It was esteemed the duty of a humane judge to endeavor to reclaim, rather than to punish, those deluded enthusiasts. ​ Varying his tone according to the age, the sex, or the situation of the prisoners, he frequently condescended to set before their eyes every circumstance which could render life more pleasing, or death more terrible; and to solicit, nay, to entreat, them, that they would show some compassion to themselves, to their families, and to their friends. ^63 If threats and persuasions proved ineffectual,​ he had often recourse to violence; the scourge and the rack were called in to supply the deficiency of argument, and every art of cruelty was employed to subdue such inflexible, and, as it appeared to the Pagans, such criminal, obstinacy. ​ The ancient apologists of Christianity have censured, with equal truth and severity, the irregular conduct of their persecutors who, contrary to every principle of judicial proceeding, admitted the use of torture, in order to obtain, not a confession, but a denial, of the crime which was the object of their inquiry. ^64 The monks of succeeding ages, who, in their peaceful solitudes, entertained themselves with diversifying the deaths and sufferings of the primitive martyrs, have frequently invented torments of a much more refined and ingenious nature. ​ In particular, it has pleased them to suppose, that the zeal of the Roman magistrates,​ disdaining every consideration of moral virtue or public decency, endeavored to seduce those whom they were unable to vanquish, and that by their orders the most brutal violence was offered to those whom they found it impossible to seduce. It is related, that females, who were prepared to despise death, were sometimes condemned to a more severe trial, ^! and called upon to determine whether they set a higher value on their religion or on their chastity. ​ The youths to whose licentious embraces they were abandoned, received a solemn exhortation from the judge, to exert their most strenuous efforts to maintain the honor of Venus against the impious virgin who refused to burn incense on her altars. Their violence, however, was commonly disappointed,​ and the seasonable interposition of some miraculous power preserved the chaste spouses of Christ from the dishonor even of an involuntary defeat. ​ We should not indeed neglect to remark, that the more ancient as well as authentic memorials of the church are seldom polluted with these extravagant and indecent fictions. ^65
 +
 +[Footnote 63: See the rescript of Trajan, and the conduct of Pliny. ​ The most authentic acts of the martyrs abound in these exhortations. Note: Pliny'​s test was the worship of the gods, offerings to the statue of the emperor, and blaspheming Christ - praeterea maledicerent Christo. - M.] [Footnote 64: In particular, see Tertullian, (Apolog. c. 2, 3,) and Lactantius, (Institut. Divin. v. 9.) Their reasonings are almost the same; but we may discover, that one of these apologists had been a lawyer, and the other a rhetorician.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: The more ancient as well as authentic memorials of the church, relate many examples of the fact, (of these severe trials,) which there is nothing to contradict. ​ Tertullian, among others, says, Nam proxime ad lenonem damnando Christianam,​ potius quam ad leonem, confessi estis labem pudicitiae apud nos atrociorem omni poena et omni morte reputari, Apol. cap. ult. Eusebius likewise says, "Other virgins, dragged to brothels, have lost their life rather than defile their virtue."​ Euseb. Hist. Ecc. viii. 14. - G. The miraculous interpositions were the offspring of the coarse imaginations of the monks. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 65: See two instances of this kind of torture in the Acta Sincere Martyrum, published by Ruinart, p. 160, 399. Jerome, in his Legend of Paul the Hermit, tells a strange story of a young man, who was chained naked on a bed of flowers, and assaulted by a beautiful and wanton courtesan. ​ He quelled the rising temptation by biting off his tongue.]
 +
 +The total disregard of truth and probability in the representation of these primitive martyrdoms was occasioned by a very natural mistake. ​ The ecclesiastical writers of the fourth or fifth centuries ascribed to the magistrates of Rome the same degree of implacable and unrelenting zeal which filled their own breasts against the heretics or the idolaters of their own times. It is not improbable that some of those persons who were raised to the dignities of the empire, might have imbibed the prejudices of the populace, and that the cruel disposition of others might occasionally be stimulated by motives of avarice or of personal resentment. ^66 But it is certain, and we may appeal to the grateful confessions of the first Christians, that the greatest part of those magistrates who exercised in the provinces the authority of the emperor, or of the senate, and to whose hands alone the jurisdiction of life and death was intrusted, behaved like men of polished manners and liberal education, who respected the rules of justice, and who were conversant with the precepts of philosophy. ​ They frequently declined the odious task of persecution,​ dismissed the charge with contempt, or suggested to the accused Christian some legal evasion, by which he might elude the severity of the laws. ^67 Whenever they were invested with a discretionary power, ^68 they used it much less for the oppression, than for the relief and benefit of the afflicted church. ​ They were far from condemning all the Christians who were accused before their tribunal, and very far from punishing with death all those who were convicted of an obstinate adherence to the new superstition. ​ Contenting themselves, for the most part, with the milder chastisements of imprisonment,​ exile, or slavery in the mines, ^69 they left the unhappy victims of their justice some reason to hope, that a prosperous event, the accession, the marriage, or the triumph of an emperor, might speedily restore them, by a general pardon, to their former state. ​ The martyrs, devoted to immediate execution by the Roman magistrates,​ appear to have been selected from the most opposite extremes. ​ They were either bishops and presbyters, the persons the most distinguished among the Christians by their rank and influence, and whose example might strike terror into the whole sect; ^70 or else they were the meanest and most abject among them, particularly those of the servile condition, whose lives were esteemed of little value, and whose sufferings were viewed by the ancients with too careless an indifference. ^71 The learned Origen, who, from his experience as well as reading, was intimately acquainted with the history of the Christians, declares, in the most express terms, that the number of martyrs was very inconsiderable. ^72 His authority would alone be sufficient to annihilate that formidable army of martyrs, whose relics, drawn for the most part from the catacombs of Rome, have replenished so many churches, ^73 and whose marvellous achievements have been the subject of so many volumes of Holy Romance. ^74 But the general assertion of Origen may be explained and confirmed by the particular testimony of his friend Dionysius, who, in the immense city of Alexandria, and under the rigorous persecution of Decius, reckons only ten men and seven women who suffered for the profession of the Christian name. ^75 [Footnote 66: The conversion of his wife provoked Claudius Herminianus,​ governor of Cappadocia, to treat the Christians with uncommon severity. Tertullian ad Scapulam, c. 3.]
 +
 +[Footnote 67: Tertullian, in his epistle to the governor of Africa, mentions several remarkable instances of lenity and forbearance,​ which had happened within his knowledge.]
 +
 +[Footnote 68: Neque enim in universum aliquid quod quasi certam formam habeat, constitui potest; an expression of Trajan, which gave a very great latitude to the governors of provinces.
 +
 +Note: Gibbon altogether forgets that Trajan fully approved of the course pursued by Pliny. ​ That course was, to order all who persevered in their faith to be led to execution: perseverantes duci jussi. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 69: In Metalla damnamur, in insulas relegamur. Tertullian, Apolog. c. 12.  The mines of Numidia contained nine bishops, with a proportionable number of their clergy and people, to whom Cyprian addressed a pious epistle of praise and comfort. See Cyprian. Epistol. 76, 77.]
 +
 +[Footnote 70: Though we cannot receive with entire confidence either the epistles, or the acts, of Ignatius, (they may be found in the 2d volume of the Apostolic Fathers,) yet we may quote that bishop of Antioch as one of these exemplary martyrs. ​ He was sent in chains to Rome as a public spectacle, and when he arrived at Troas, he received the pleasing intelligence,​ that the persecution of Antioch was already at an end.
 +
 +Note: The acts of Ignatius are generally received as authentic, as are seven of his letters. ​ Eusebius and St. Jerome mention them: there are two editions; in one, the letters are longer, and many passages appear to have been interpolated;​ the other edition is that which contains the real letters of St. Ignatius; such at least is the opinion of the wisest and most enlightened critics. ​ (See Lardner. Cred. of Gospel Hist.) Less, uber dis Religion, v. i. p. 529.  Usser. ​ Diss. de Ign. Epist. Pearson, Vindic, Ignatianae. ​ It should be remarked, that it was under the reign of Trajan that the bishop Ignatius was carried from Antioch to Rome, to be exposed to the lions in the amphitheatre,​ the year of J. C. 107, according to some; of 116, according to others. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 71: Among the martyrs of Lyons, (Euseb. l. v. c. 1,) the slave Blandina was distinguished by more exquisite tortures. Of the five martyrs so much celebrated in the acts of Felicitas and Perpetua, two were of a servile, and two others of a very mean, condition.]
 +
 +[Footnote 72: Origen. advers. Celsum, l. iii. p. 116.  His words deserve to be transcribed.
 +
 +Note: The words that follow should be quoted. ​ "God not permitting that all his class of men should be exterminated:​ " which appears to indicate that Origen thought the number put to death inconsiderable only when compared to the numbers who had survived. ​ Besides this, he is speaking of the state of the religion under Caracalla, Elagabalus, Alexander Severus, and Philip, who had not persecuted the Christians. ​ It was during the reign of the latter that Origen wrote his books against Celsus. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 73: If we recollect that all the Plebeians of Rome were not Christians, and that all the Christians were not saints and martyrs, we may judge with how much safety religious honors can be ascribed to bones or urns, indiscriminately taken from the public burial-place. ​ After ten centuries of a very free and open trade, some suspicions have arisen among the more learned Catholics. ​ They now require as a proof of sanctity and martyrdom, the letters B.M., a vial full of red liquor supposed to be blood, or the figure of a palm-tree. ​ But the two former signs are of little weight, and with regard to the last, it is observed by the critics, 1. That the figure, as it is called, of a palm, is perhaps a cypress, and perhaps only a stop, the flourish of a comma used in the monumental inscriptions. ​ 2. That the palm was the symbol of victory among the Pagans. 3. That among the Christians it served as the emblem, not only of martyrdom, but in general of a joyful resurrection. ​ See the epistle of P. Mabillon, on the worship of unknown saints, and Muratori sopra le Antichita Italiane, Dissertat. lviii.]
 +
 +[Footnote 74: As a specimen of these legends, we may be satisfied with 10,000 Christian soldiers crucified in one day, either by Trajan or Hadrian on Mount Ararat. ​ See Baronius ad Martyrologium Romanum; Tille mont, Mem. Ecclesiast. tom. ii. part ii. p. 438; and Geddes'​s Miscellanies,​ vol. ii. p. 203.  The abbreviation of Mil., which may signify either soldiers or thousands, is said to have occasioned some extraordinary mistakes.]
 +
 +[Footnote 75: Dionysius ap. Euseb l. vi. c. 41 One of the seventeen was likewise accused of robbery.
 +
 +Note: Gibbon ought to have said, was falsely accused of robbery, for so it is in the Greek text.  This Christian, named Nemesion, falsely accused of robbery before the centurion, was acquitted of a crime altogether foreign to his character, but he was led before the governor as guilty of being a Christian, and the governor inflicted upon him a double torture. ​ (Euseb. loc. cit.) It must be added, that Saint Dionysius only makes particular mention of the principal martyrs, [this is very doubtful. - M.] and that he says, in general, that the fury of the Pagans against the Christians gave to Alexandria the appearance of a city taken by storm. [This refers to plunder and ill usage, not to actual slaughter. - M.] Finally it should be observed that Origen wrote before the persecution of the emperor Decius. - G.] During the same period of persecution,​ the zealous, the eloquent, the ambitious Cyprian governed the church, not only of Carthage, but even of Africa. ​ He possessed every quality which could engage the reverence of the faithful, or provoke the suspicions and resentment of the Pagan magistrates. His character as well as his station seemed to mark out that holy prelate as the most distinguished object of envy and danger. ^76 The experience, however, of the life of Cyprian, is sufficient to prove that our fancy has exaggerated the perilous situation of a Christian bishop; and the dangers to which he was exposed were less imminent than those which temporal ambition is always prepared to encounter in the pursuit of honors. Four Roman emperors, with their families, their favorites, and their adherents, perished by the sword in the space of ten years, during which the bishop of Carthage guided by his authority and eloquence the councils of the African church. ​ It was only in the third year of his administration,​ that he had reason, during a few months, to apprehend the severe edicts of Decius, the vigilance of the magistrate and the clamors of the multitude, who loudly demanded, that Cyprian, the leader of the Christians, should be thrown to the lions. ​ Prudence suggested the necessity of a temporary retreat, and the voice of prudence was obeyed. ​ He withdrew himself into an obscure solitude, from whence he could maintain a constant correspondence with the clergy and people of Carthage; and, concealing himself till the tempest was past, he preserved his life, without relinquishing either his power or his reputation. ​ His extreme caution did not, however, escape the censure of the more rigid Christians, who lamented, or the reproaches of his personal enemies, who insulted, a conduct which they considered as a pusillanimous and criminal desertion of the most sacred duty. ^77 The propriety of reserving himself for the future exigencies of the church, the example of several holy bishops, ^78 and the divine admonitions,​ which, as he declares himself, he frequently received in visions and ecstacies, were the reasons alleged in his justification. ^79 But his best apology may be found in the cheerful resolution, with which, about eight years afterwards, he suffered death in the cause of religion. ​ The authentic history of his martyrdom has been recorded with unusual candor and impartiality. ​ A short abstract, therefore, of its most important circumstances,​ will convey the clearest information of the spirit, and of the forms, of the Roman persecutions. ^80
 +
 +[Footnote 76: The letters of Cyprian exhibit a very curious and original picture both of the man and of the times. ​ See likewise the two lives of Cyprian, composed with equal accuracy, though with very different views; the one by Le Clerc (Bibliotheque Universelle,​ tom. xii. p. 208-378,) the other by Tillemont, Memoires Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. iv part i. p. 76-459.] [Footnote 77: See the polite but severe epistle of the clergy of Rome to the bishop of Carthage. ​ (Cyprian. Epist. 8, 9.) Pontius labors with the greatest care and diligence to justify his master against the general censure.] [Footnote 78: In particular those of Dionysius of Alexandria, and Gregory Thaumaturgus,​ of Neo-Caesarea. ​ See Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiast. l. vi. c. 40; and Memoires de Tillemont, tom. iv. part ii. p. 685.]
 +
 +[Footnote 79: See Cyprian. Epist. 16, and his life by Pontius.] [Footnote 80: We have an original life of Cyprian by the deacon Pontius, the companion of his exile, and the spectator of his death; and we likewise possess the ancient proconsular acts of his martyrdom. ​ These two relations are consistent with each other, and with probability;​ and what is somewhat remarkable, they are both unsullied by any miraculous circumstances.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part IV. =====
 +
 +When Valerian was consul for the third, and Gallienus for the fourth time, Paternus, proconsul of Africa, summoned Cyprian to appear in his private council-chamber. ​ He there acquainted him with the Imperial mandate which he had just received, ^81 that those who had abandoned the Roman religion should immediately return to the practice of the ceremonies of their ancestors. Cyprian replied without hesitation, that he was a Christian and a bishop, devoted to the worship of the true and only Deity, to whom he offered up his daily supplications for the safety and prosperity of the two emperors, his lawful sovereigns. With modest confidence he pleaded the privilege of a citizen, in refusing to give any answer to some invidious and indeed illegal questions which the proconsul had proposed. ​ A sentence of banishment was pronounced as the penalty of Cyprian'​s disobedience;​ and he was conducted without delay to Curubis, a free and maritime city of Zeugitania, in a pleasant situation, a fertile territory, and at the distance of about forty miles from Carthage. ^82 The exiled bishop enjoyed the conveniences of life and the consciousness of virtue. His reputation was diffused over Africa and Italy; an account of his behavior was published for the edification of the Christian world; ^83 and his solitude was frequently interrupted by the letters, the visits, and the congratulations of the faithful. ​ On the arrival of a new proconsul in the province the fortune of Cyprian appeared for some time to wear a still more favorable aspect. ​ He was recalled from banishment; and though not yet permitted to return to Carthage, his own gardens in the neighborhood of the capital were assigned for the place of his residence. ^84 [Footnote 81: It should seem that these were circular orders, sent at the same time to all the governors. ​ Dionysius (ap. Euseb. l. vii. c. 11) relates the history of his own banishment from Alexandria almost in the same manner. ​ But as he escaped and survived the persecution,​ we must account him either more or less fortunate than Cyprian.]
 +
 +[Footnote 82: See Plin. Hist. Natur. v. 3. Cellarius, Geograph. Antiq. part iii. p. 96.  Shaw's Travels, p. 90; and for the adjacent country, (which is terminated by Cape Bona, or the promontory of Mercury,) l'​Afrique de Marmol. tom. ii. p. 494. There are the remains of an aqueduct near Curubis, or Curbis, at present altered into Gurbes; and Dr. Shaw read an inscription,​ which styles that city Colonia Fulvia. ​ The deacon Pontius (in Vit. Cyprian. c. 12) calls it "​Apricum et competentem locum, hospitium pro voluntate secretum, et quicquid apponi eis ante promissum est, qui regnum et justitiam Dei quaerunt."​]
 +
 +[Footnote 83: See Cyprian. Epistol. 77, edit. Fell.]
 +
 +[Footnote 84: Upon his conversion, he had sold those gardens for the benefit of the poor.  The indulgence of God (most probably the liberality of some Christian friend) restored them to Cyprian. ​ See Pontius, c. 15.] At length, exactly one year ^85 after Cyprian was first apprehended,​ Galerius Maximus, proconsul of Africa, received the Imperial warrant for the execution of the Christian teachers. The bishop of Carthage was sensible that he should be singled out for one of the first victims; and the frailty of nature tempted him to withdraw himself, by a secret flight, from the danger and the honor of martyrdom; ^* but soon recovering that fortitude which his character required, he returned to his gardens, and patiently expected the ministers of death. ​ Two officers of rank, who were intrusted with that commission, placed Cyprian between them in a chariot, and as the proconsul was not then at leisure, they conducted him, not to a prison, but to a private house in Carthage, which belonged to one of them. An elegant supper was provided for the entertainment of the bishop, and his Christian friends were permitted for the last time to enjoy his society, whilst the streets were filled with a multitude of the faithful, anxious and alarmed at the approaching fate of their spiritual father. ^86 In the morning he appeared before the tribunal of the proconsul, who, after informing himself of the name and situation of Cyprian, commanded him to offer sacrifice, and pressed him to reflect on the consequences of his disobedience. ​ The refusal of Cyprian was firm and decisive; and the magistrate, when he had taken the opinion of his council, pronounced with some reluctance the sentence of death. ​ It was conceived in the following terms: "That Thascius Cyprianus should be immediately beheaded, as the enemy of the gods of Rome, and as the chief and ringleader of a criminal association,​ which he had seduced into an impious resistance against the laws of the most holy emperors, Valerian and Gallienus."​ ^87 The manner of his execution was the mildest and least painful that could be inflicted on a person convicted of any capital offence; nor was the use of torture admitted to obtain from the bishop of Carthage either the recantation of his principles or the discovery of his accomplices. [Footnote 85: When Cyprian; a twelvemonth before, was sent into exile, he dreamt that he should be put to death the next day. The event made it necessary to explain that word, as signifying a year.  Pontius, c. 12.] [Footnote *: This was not, as it appears, the motive which induced St. Cyprian to conceal himself for a short time; he was threatened to be carried to Utica; he preferred remaining at Carthage, in order to suffer martyrdom in the midst of his flock, and in order that his death might conduce to the edification of those whom he had guided during life.  Such, at least, is his own explanation of his conduct in one of his letters: Cum perlatum ad nos fuisset, fratres carissimi, frumentarios esse missos qui me Uticam per ducerent, consilioque carissimorum persuasum est, ut de hortis interim recederemus,​ justa interveniente causa, consensi; eo quod congruat episcopum in ea civitate, in qua Ecclesiae dominicae praeest, illie. Dominum confiteri et plebem universam praepositi praesentis confessione clarificari Ep. 83. - G] [Footnote 86: Pontius (c. 15) acknowledges that Cyprian, with whom he supped, passed the night custodia delicata. ​ The bishop exercised a last and very proper act of jurisdiction,​ by directing that the younger females, who watched in the streets, should be removed from the dangers and temptations of a nocturnal crowd. ​ Act. Preconsularia,​ c. 2.]
 +
 +[Footnote 87: See the original sentence in the Acts, c. 4; and in Pontius, c. 17 The latter expresses it in a more rhetorical manner.]
 +
 +As soon as the sentence was proclaimed, a general cry of "We will die with him," arose at once among the listening multitude of Christians who waited before the palace gates. ​ The generous effusions of their zeal and their affection were neither serviceable to Cyprian nor dangerous to themselves. ​ He was led away under a guard of tribunes and centurions, without resistance and without insult, to the place of his execution, a spacious and level plain near the city, which was already filled with great numbers of spectators. ​ His faithful presbyters and deacons were permitted to accompany their holy bishop. ^* They assisted him in laying aside his upper garment, spread linen on the ground to catch the precious relics of his blood, and received his orders to bestow five-and-twenty pieces of gold on the executioner. ​ The martyr then covered his face with his hands, and at one blow his head was separated from his body.  His corpse remained during some hours exposed to the curiosity of the Gentiles: but in the night it was removed, and transported in a triumphal procession, and with a splendid illumination,​ to the burial-place of the Christians. ​ The funeral of Cyprian was publicly celebrated without receiving any interruption from the Roman magistrates;​ and those among the faithful, who had performed the last offices to his person and his memory, were secure from the danger of inquiry or of punishment. ​ It is remarkable, that of so great a multitude of bishops in the province of Africa, Cyprian was the first who was esteemed worthy to obtain the crown of martyrdom. ^88
 +
 +[Footnote *: There is nothing in the life of St. Cyprian, by Pontius, nor in the ancient manuscripts,​ which can make us suppose that the presbyters and deacons in their clerical character, and known to be such, had the permission to attend their holy bishop. ​ Setting aside all religious considerations,​ it is impossible not to be surprised at the kind of complaisance with which the historian here insists, in favor of the persecutors,​ on some mitigating circumstances allowed at the death of a man whose only crime was maintaining his own opinions with frankness and courage. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 88: Pontius, c. 19.  M. de Tillemont (Memoires, tom. iv. part i. p. 450, note 50) is not pleased with so positive an exclusion of any former martyr of the episcopal rank.
 +
 +Note: M. de. Tillemont, as an honest writer, explains the difficulties which he felt about the text of Pontius, and concludes by distinctly stating, that without doubt there is some mistake, and that Pontius must have meant only Africa Minor or Carthage; for St. Cyprian, in his 58th (69th) letter addressed to Pupianus, speaks expressly of many bishops his colleagues, qui proscripti sunt, vel apprehensi in carcere et catenis fuerunt; aut qui in exilium relegati, illustri itinere ed Dominum profecti sunt; aut qui quibusdam locis animadversi,​ coeleses coronas de Domini clarificatione sumpserunt. - G.] It was in the choice of Cyprian, either to die a martyr, or to live an apostate; but on the choice depended the alternative of honor or infamy. Could we suppose that the bishop of Carthage had employed the profession of the Christian faith only as the instrument of his avarice or ambition, it was still incumbent on him to support the character he had assumed; ^89 and if he possessed the smallest degree of manly fortitude, rather to expose himself to the most cruel tortures, than by a single act to exchange the reputation of a whole life, for the abhorrence of his Christian brethren, and the contempt of the Gentile world. But if the zeal of Cyprian was supported by the sincere conviction of the truth of those doctrines which he preached, the crown of martyrdom must have appeared to him as an object of desire rather than of terror. ​ It is not easy to extract any distinct ideas from the vague though eloquent declamations of the Fathers, or to ascertain the degree of immortal glory and happiness which they confidently promised to those who were so fortunate as to shed their blood in the cause of religion. ^90 They inculcated with becoming diligence, that the fire of martyrdom supplied every defect and expiated every sin; that while the souls of ordinary Christians were obliged to pass through a slow and painful purification,​ the triumphant sufferers entered into the immediate fruition of eternal bliss, where, in the society of the patriarchs, the apostles, and the prophets, they reigned with Christ, and acted as his assessors in the universal judgment of mankind. ​ The assurance of a lasting reputation upon earth, a motive so congenial to the vanity of human nature, often served to animate the courage of the martyrs. The honors which Rome or Athens bestowed on those citizens who had fallen in the cause of their country, were cold and unmeaning demonstrations of respect, when compared with the ardent gratitude and devotion which the primitive church expressed towards the victorious champions of the faith. ​ The annual commemoration of their virtues and sufferings was observed as a sacred ceremony, and at length terminated in religious worship. Among the Christians who had publicly confessed their religious principles, those who (as it very frequently happened) had been dismissed from the tribunal or the prisons of the Pagan magistrates,​ obtained such honors as were justly due to their imperfect martyrdom and their generous resolution. ​ The most pious females courted the permission of imprinting kisses on the fetters which they had worn, and on the wounds which they had received. ​ Their persons were esteemed holy, their decisions were admitted with deference, and they too often abused, by their spiritual pride and licentious manners, the preeminence which their zeal and intrepidity had acquired. ^91 Distinctions like these, whilst they display the exalted merit, betray the inconsiderable number of those who suffered, and of those who died, for the profession of Christianity.
 +
 +[Footnote 89: Whatever opinion we may entertain of the character or principles of Thomas Becket, we must acknowledge that he suffered death with a constancy not unworthy of the primitive martyrs. ​ See Lord Lyttleton'​s History of Henry II. vol. ii. p. 592, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 90: See in particular the treatise of Cyprian de Lapsis, p. 87- 98, edit. Fell.  The learning of Dodwell (Dissertat. Cyprianic. xii. xiii.,) and the ingenuity of Middleton, (Free Inquiry, p. 162, &c.,) have left scarcely any thing to add concerning the merit, the honors, and the motives of the martyrs.]
 +
 +[Footnote 91: Cyprian. Epistol. 5, 6, 7, 22, 24; and de Unitat. Ecclesiae. The number of pretended martyrs has been very much multiplied, by the custom which was introduced of bestowing that honorable name on confessors. Note: M. Guizot denies that the letters of Cyprian, to which he refers, bear out the statement in the text.  I cannot scruple to admit the accuracy of Gibbon'​s quotation. ​ To take only the fifth letter, we find this passage: Doleo enim quando audio quosdam improbe et insolenter discurrere, et ad ineptian vel ad discordias vacare, Christi membra et jam Christum confessa per concubitus illicitos inquinari, nec a diaconis aut presbyteris regi posse, sed id agere ut per paucorum pravos et malos mores, multorum et bonorum confessorum gloria honesta maculetur. Gibbon'​s misrepresentation lies in the ambiguous expression "too often."​ Were the epistles arranged in a different manner in the edition consulted by M. Guizot? - M.]
 +
 +The sober discretion of the present age will more readily censure than admire, but can more easily admire than imitate, the fervor of the first Christians, who, according to the lively expressions of Sulpicius Severus, desired martyrdom with more eagerness than his own contemporaries solicited a bishopric. ^92 The epistles which Ignatius composed as he was carried in chains through the cities of Asia, breathe sentiments the most repugnant to the ordinary feelings of human nature. ​ He earnestly beseeches the Romans, that when he should be exposed in the amphitheatre,​ they would not, by their kind but unseasonable intercession,​ deprive him of the crown of glory; and he declares his resolution to provoke and irritate the wild beasts which might be employed as the instruments of his death. ^93 Some stories are related of the courage of martyrs, who actually performed what Ignatius had intended; who exasperated the fury of the lions, pressed the executioner to hasten his office, cheerfully leaped into the fires which were kindled to consume them, and discovered a sensation of joy and pleasure in the midst of the most exquisite tortures. ​ Several examples have been preserved of a zeal impatient of those restraints which the emperors had provided for the security of the church. ​ The Christians sometimes supplied by their voluntary declaration the want of an accuser, rudely disturbed the public service of paganism, ^94 and rushing in crowds round the tribunal of the magistrates,​ called upon them to pronounce and to inflict the sentence of the law.  The behavior of the Christians was too remarkable to escape the notice of the ancient philosophers;​ but they seem to have considered it with much less admiration than astonishment. Incapable of conceiving the motives which sometimes transported the fortitude of believers beyond the bounds of prudence or reason, they treated such an eagerness to die as the strange result of obstinate despair, of stupid insensibility,​ or of superstitious frenzy. ^95 "​Unhappy men!" exclaimed the proconsul Antoninus to the Christians of Asia; "​unhappy men! if you are thus weary of your lives, is it so difficult for you to find ropes and precipices?"​ ^96 He was extremely cautious (as it is observed by a learned and picus historian) of punishing men who had found no accusers but themselves, the Imperial laws not having made any provision for so unexpected a case: condemning therefore a few as a warning to their brethren, he dismissed the multitude with indignation and contempt. ^97 Notwithstanding this real or affected disdain, the intrepid constancy of the faithful was productive of more salutary effects on those minds which nature or grace had disposed for the easy reception of religious truth. ​ On these melancholy occasions, there were many among the Gentiles who pitied, who admired, and who were converted. ​ The generous enthusiasm was communicated from the sufferer to the spectators; and the blood of martyrs, according to a well-known observation,​ became the seed of the church.
 +
 +[Footnote 92: Certatim gloriosa in certamina ruebatur; multique avidius tum martyria gloriosis mortibus quaerebantur,​ quam nunc Episcopatus pravis ambitionibus appetuntur. ​ Sulpicius Severus, l. ii.  He might have omitted the word nunc.]
 +
 +[Footnote 93: See Epist. ad Roman. c. 4, 5, ap. Patres Apostol. tom. ii. p. 27.  It suited the purpose of Bishop Pearson (see Vindiciae Ignatianae, part ii. c. 9) to justify, by a profusion of examples and authorities,​ the sentiments of Ignatius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 94: The story of Polyeuctes, on which Corneille has founded a very beautiful tragedy, is one of the most celebrated, though not perhaps the most authentic, instances of this excessive zeal.  We should observe, that the 60th canon of the council of Illiberis refuses the title of martyrs to those who exposed themselves to death, by publicly destroying the idols.] [Footnote 95: See Epictetus, l. iv. c. 7, (though there is some doubt whether he alludes to the Christians.) Marcus Antoninus de Rebus suis, l. xi. c. 3 Lucian in Peregrin.]
 +
 +[Footnote 96: Tertullian ad Scapul. c. 5.  The learned are divided between three persons of the same name, who were all proconsuls of Asia.  I am inclined to ascribe this story to Antoninus Pius, who was afterwards emperor; and who may have governed Asia under the reign of Trajan.] [Footnote 97: Mosheim, de Rebus Christ, ante Constantin. p. 235.] But although devotion had raised, and eloquence continued to inflame, this fever of the mind, it insensibly gave way to the more natural hopes and fears of the human heart, to the love of life, the apprehension of pain, and the horror of dissolution. The more prudent rulers of the church found themselves obliged to restrain the indiscreet ardor of their followers, and to distrust a constancy which too often abandoned them in the hour of trial. ^98 As the lives of the faithful became less mortified and austere, they were every day less ambitious of the honors of martyrdom; and the soldiers of Christ, instead of distinguishing themselves by voluntary deeds of heroism, frequently deserted their post, and fled in confusion before the enemy whom it was their duty to resist. ​ There were three methods, however, of escaping the flames of persecution,​ which were not attended with an equal degree of guilt: first, indeed, was generally allowed to be innocent; the second was of a doubtful, or at least of a venial, nature; but the third implied a direct and criminal apostasy from the Christian faith.
 +
 +[Footnote 98: See the Epistle of the Church of Smyrna, ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccles. Liv. c. 15
 +
 +Note: The 15th chapter of the 10th book of the Eccles. History of Eusebius treats principally of the martyrdom of St. Polycarp, and mentions some other martyrs. ​ A single example of weakness is related; it is that of a Phrygian named Quintus, who, appalled at the sight of the wild beasts and the tortures, renounced his faith. ​ This example proves little against the mass of Christians, and this chapter of Eusebius furnished much stronger evidence of their courage than of their timidity. - G
 +
 +This Quintus had, however, rashly and of his own accord appeared before the tribunal; and the church of Smyrna condemn "his indiscreet ardor,"​ coupled as it was with weakness in the hour of trial. - M.]
 +
 +I.  A modern inquisitor would hear with surprise, that whenever an information was given to a Roman magistrate of any person within his jurisdiction who had embraced the sect of the Christians, the charge was communicated to the party accused, and that a convenient time was allowed him to settle his domestic concerns, and to prepare an answer to the crime which was imputed to him. ^99 If he entertained any doubt of his own constancy, such a delay afforded him the opportunity of preserving his life and honor by flight, of withdrawing himself into some obscure retirement or some distant province, and of patiently expecting the return of peace and security. ​ A measure so consonant to reason was soon authorized by the advice and example of the most holy prelates; and seems to have been censured by few except by the Montanists, who deviated into heresy by their strict and obstinate adherence to the rigor of ancient discipline. ^100 II. The provincial governors, whose zeal was less prevalent than their avarice, had countenanced the practice of selling certificates,​ (or libels, as they were called,) which attested, that the persons therein mentioned had complied with the laws, and sacrificed to the Roman deities. ​ By producing these false declarations,​ the opulent and timid Christians were enabled to silence the malice of an informer, and to reconcile in some measure their safety with their religion. A slight penance atoned for this profane dissimulation. ^101 ^* III.  In every persecution there were great numbers of unworthy Christians who publicly disowned or renounced the faith which they had professed; and who confirmed the sincerity of their abjuration, by the legal acts of burning incense or of offering sacrifices. Some of these apostates had yielded on the first menace or exhortation of the magistrate; whilst the patience of others had been subdued by the length and repetition of tortures. ​ The affrighted countenances of some betrayed their inward remorse, while others advanced with confidence and alacrity to the altars of the gods. ^102 But the disguise which fear had imposed, subsisted no longer than the present danger. ​ As soon as the severity of the persecution was abated, the doors of the churches were assailed by the returning multitude of penitents who detested their idolatrous submission, and who solicited with equal ardor, but with various success, their readmission into the society of Christians. ^103 ^!
 +
 +[Footnote 99: In the second apology of Justin, there is a particular and very curious instance of this legal delay. ​ The same indulgence was granted to accused Christians, in the persecution of Decius: and Cyprian (de Lapsis) expressly mentions the "Dies negantibus praestitutus."​
 +
 +Note: The examples drawn by the historian from Justin Martyr and Cyprian relate altogether to particular cases, and prove nothing as to the general practice adopted towards the accused; it is evident, on the contrary, from the same apology of St. Justin, that they hardly ever obtained delay. ​ "A man named Lucius, himself a Christian, present at an unjust sentence passed against a Christian by the judge Urbicus, asked him why he thus punished a man who was neither adulterer nor robber, nor guilty of any other crime but that of avowing himself a Christian."​ Urbicus answered only in these words: "Thou also hast the appearance of being a Christian."​ "Yes, without doubt,"​ replied Lucius. ​ The judge ordered that he should be put to death on the instant. ​ A third, who came up, was condemned to be beaten with rods.  Here, then, are three examples where no delay was granted. [Surely these acts of a single passionate and irritated judge prove the general practice as little as those quoted by Gibbon. - M.] There exist a multitude of others, such as those of Ptolemy, Marcellus, &c. Justin expressly charges the judges with ordering the accused to be executed without hearing the cause. ​ The words of St. Cyprian are as particular, and simply say, that he had appointed a day by which the Christians must have renounced their faith; those who had not done it by that time were condemned. - G.  This confirms the statement in the text. - M.] [Footnote 100: Tertullian considers flight from persecution as an imperfect, but very criminal, apostasy, as an impious attempt to elude the will of God, &c., &​c. ​ He has written a treatise on this subject, (see p. 536 - 544, edit. Rigalt.,) which is filled with the wildest fanaticism and the most incoherent declamation. It is, however, somewhat remarkable, that Tertullian did not suffer martyrdom himself.]
 +
 +[Footnote 101: The libellatici,​ who are chiefly known by the writings of Cyprian, are described with the utmost precision, in the copious commentary of Mosheim, p. 483 - 489.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The penance was not so slight, for it was exactly the same with that of apostates who had sacrificed to idols; it lasted several years. ​ See Fleun Hist. Ecc. v. ii. p. 171. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 102: Plin. Epist. x. 97.  Dionysius Alexandrin. ap. Euseb. l. vi. c. 41.  Ad prima statim verba minantis inimici maximus fratrum numerus fidem suam prodidit: nec prostratus est persecutionis impetu, sed voluntario lapsu seipsum prostravit. Cyprian. Opera, p. 89.  Among these deserters were many priests, and even bishops.]
 +
 +[Footnote 103: It was on this occasion that Cyprian wrote his treatise De Lapsis, and many of his epistles. ​ The controversy concerning the treatment of penitent apostates, does not occur among the Christians of the preceding century. ​ Shall we ascribe this to the superiority of their faith and courage, or to our less intimate knowledge of their history!]
 +
 +[Footnote !: Pliny says, that the greater part of the Christians persisted in avowing themselves to be so; the reason for his consulting Trajan was the periclitantium numerus. ​ Eusebius (l. vi. c. 41) does not permit us to doubt that the number of those who renounced their faith was infinitely below the number of those who boldly confessed it.  The prefect, he says and his assessors present at the council, were alarmed at seeing the crowd of Christians; the judges themselves trembled. ​ Lastly, St. Cyprian informs us, that the greater part of those who had appeared weak brethren in the persecution of Decius, signalized their courage in that of Gallius. Steterunt fortes, et ipso dolore poenitentiae facti ad praelium fortiores Epist. lx. p. 142. - G.]
 +
 +IV.  Notwithstanding the general rules established for the conviction and punishment of the Christians, the fate of those sectaries, in an extensive and arbitrary government, must still in a great measure, have depended on their own behavior, the circumstances of the times, and the temper of their supreme as well as subordinate rulers. ​ Zeal might sometimes provoke, and prudence might sometimes avert or assuage, the superstitious fury of the Pagans. ​ A variety of motives might dispose the provincial governors either to enforce or to relax the execution of the laws; and of these motives the most forcible was their regard not only for the public edicts, but for the secret intentions of the emperor, a glance from whose eye was sufficient to kindle or to extinguish the flames of persecution. ​ As often as any occasional severities were exercised in the different parts of the empire, the primitive Christians lamented and perhaps magnified their own sufferings; but the celebrated number of ten persecutions has been determined by the ecclesiastical writers of the fifth century, who possessed a more distinct view of the prosperous or adverse fortunes of the church, from the age of Nero to that of Diocletian. ​ The ingenious parallels of the ten plagues of Egypt, and of the ten horns of the Apocalypse, first suggested this calculation to their minds; and in their application of the faith of prophecy to the truth of history, they were careful to select those reigns which were indeed the most hostile to the Christian cause. ^104 But these transient persecutions served only to revive the zeal and to restore the discipline of the faithful; and the moments of extraordinary rigor were compensated by much longer intervals of peace and security. ​ The indifference of some princes, and the indulgence of others, permitted the Christians to enjoy, though not perhaps a legal, yet an actual and public, toleration of their religion.
 +
 +[Footnote 104: See Mosheim, p. 97.  Sulpicius Severus was the first author of this computation;​ though he seemed desirous of reserving the tenth and greatest persecution for the coming of the Antichrist.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part V. =====
 +
 +The apology of Tertullian contains two very ancient, very singular, but at the same time very suspicious, instances of Imperial clemency; the edicts published by Tiberius, and by Marcus Antoninus, and designed not only to protect the innocence of the Christians, but even to proclaim those stupendous miracles which had attested the truth of their doctrine. ​ The first of these examples is attended with some difficulties which might perplex a sceptical mind. ^105 We are required to believe, that Pontius Pilate informed the emperor of the unjust sentence of death which he had pronounced against an innocent, and, as it appeared, a divine, person; and that, without acquiring the merit, he exposed himself to the danger of martyrdom; that Tiberius, who avowed his contempt for all religion, immediately conceived the design of placing the Jewish Messiah among the gods of Rome; that his servile senate ventured to disobey the commands of their master; that Tiberius, instead of resenting their refusal, contented himself with protecting the Christians from the severity of the laws, many years before such laws were enacted, or before the church had assumed any distinct name or existence; and lastly, that the memory of this extraordinary transaction was preserved in the most public and authentic records, which escaped the knowledge of the historians of Greece and Rome, and were only visible to the eyes of an African Christian, who composed his apology one hundred and sixty years after the death of Tiberius. ​ The edict of Marcus Antoninus is supposed to have been the effect of his devotion and gratitude for the miraculous deliverance which he had obtained in the Marcomannic war.  The distress of the legions, the seasonable tempest of rain and hail, of thunder and of lightning, and the dismay and defeat of the barbarians, have been celebrated by the eloquence of several Pagan writers. If there were any Christians in that army, it was natural that they should ascribe some merit to the fervent prayers, which, in the moment of danger, they had offered up for their own and the public safety. ​ But we are still assured by monuments of brass and marble, by the Imperial medals, and by the Antonine column, that neither the prince nor the people entertained any sense of this signal obligation, since they unanimously attribute their deliverance to the providence of Jupiter, and to the interposition of Mercury. ​ During the whole course of his reign, Marcus despised the Christians as a philosopher,​ and punished them as a sovereign. ^106 ^*
 +
 +[Footnote 105: The testimony given by Pontius Pilate is first mentioned by Justin. ​ The successive improvements which the story acquired (as if has passed through the hands of Tertullian, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Orosius, Gregory of Tours, and the authors of the several editions of the acts of Pilate) are very fairly stated by Dom Calmet Dissertat. sur l'​Ecriture,​ tom. iii. p. 651, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 106: On this miracle, as it is commonly called, of the thundering legion, see the admirable criticism of Mr. Moyle, in his Works, vol. ii. p. 81 - 390.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Gibbon, with this phrase, and that below, which admits the injustice of Marcus, has dexterously glossed over one of the most remarkable facts in the early Christian history, that the reign of the wisest and most humane of the heathen emperors was the most fatal to the Christians. ​ Most writers have ascribed the persecutions under Marcus to the latent bigotry of his character; Mosheim, to the influence of the philosophic party; but the fact is admitted by all.  A late writer (Mr. Waddington, Hist. of the Church, p. 47) has not scrupled to assert, that "this prince polluted every year of a long reign with innocent blood;"​ but the causes as well as the date of the persecutions authorized or permitted by Marcus are equally uncertain. Of the Asiatic edict recorded by Melito. the date is unknown, nor is it quite clear that it was an Imperial edict. ​ If it was the act under which Polycarp suffered, his martyrdom is placed by Ruinart in the sixth, by Mosheim in the ninth, year of the reign of Marcus. ​ The martyrs of Vienne and Lyons are assigned by Dodwell to the seventh, by most writers to the seventeenth. In fact, the commencement of the persecutions of the Christians appears to synchronize exactly with the period of the breaking out of the Marcomannic war, which seems to have alarmed the whole empire, and the emperor himself, into a paroxysm of returning piety to their gods, of which the Christians were the victims. ​ See Jul, Capit. Script. Hist August. p. 181, edit. 1661.  It is remarkable that Tertullian [Apologet. c. v.) distinctly asserts that Verus (M. Aurelius) issued no edicts against the Christians, and almost positively exempts him from the charge of persecution. - M.
 +
 +This remarkable synchronism,​ which explains the persecutions under M Aurelius, is shown at length in Milman'​s History of Christianity,​ book ii. v. - M. 1845.]
 +
 +By a singular fatality, the hardships which they had endured under the government of a virtuous prince, immediately ceased on the accession of a tyrant; and as none except themselves had experienced the injustice of Marcus, so they alone were protected by the lenity of Commodus. ​ The celebrated Marcia, the most favored of his concubines, and who at length contrived the murder of her Imperial lover, entertained a singular affection for the oppressed church; and though it was impossible that she could reconcile the practice of vice with the precepts of the gospel, she might hope to atone for the frailties of her sex and profession by declaring herself the patroness of the Christians. ^107 Under the gracious protection of Marcia, they passed in safety the thirteen years of a cruel tyranny; and when the empire was established in the house of Severus, they formed a domestic but more honorable connection with the new court. ​ The emperor was persuaded, that in a dangerous sickness, he had derived some benefit, either spiritual or physical, from the holy oil, with which one of his slaves had anointed him.  He always treated with peculiar distinction several persons of both sexes who had embraced the new religion. ​ The nurse as well as the preceptor of Caracalla were Christians; ^* and if that young prince ever betrayed a sentiment of humanity, it was occasioned by an incident, which, however trifling, bore some relation to the cause of Christianity. ^108 Under the reign of Severus, the fury of the populace was checked; the rigor of ancient laws was for some time suspended; and the provincial governors were satisfied with receiving an annual present from the churches within their jurisdiction,​ as the price, or as the reward, of their moderation. ^109 The controversy concerning the precise time of the celebration of Easter, armed the bishops of Asia and Italy against each other, and was considered as the most important business of this period of leisure and tranquillity. ^110 Nor was the peace of the church interrupted,​ till the increasing numbers of proselytes seem at length to have attracted the attention, and to have alienated the mind of Severus. ​ With the design of restraining the progress of Christianity,​ he published an edict, which, though it was designed to affect only the new converts, could not be carried into strict execution, without exposing to danger and punishment the most zealous of their teachers and missionaries. ​ In this mitigated persecution we may still discover the indulgent spirit of Rome and of Polytheism, which so readily admitted every excuse in favor of those who practised the religious ceremonies of their fathers. ^111
 +
 +[Footnote 107: Dion Cassius, or rather his abbreviator Xiphilin, l. lxxii. p. 1206.  Mr. Moyle (p. 266) has explained the condition of the church under the reign of Commodus.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The Jews and Christians contest the honor of having furnished a nurse is the fratricide son of Severus Caracalla. Hist. of Jews, iii. 158. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 108: Compare the life of Caracalla in the Augustan History, with the epistle of Tertullian to Scapula. ​ Dr. Jortin (Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. ii. p. 5, &c.) considers the cure of Severus by the means of holy oil, with a strong desire to convert it into a miracle.] [Footnote 109: Tertullian de Fuga, c. 13.  The present was made during the feast of the Saturnalia; and it is a matter of serious concern to Tertullian, that the faithful should be confounded with the most infamous professions which purchased the connivance of the government.]
 +
 +[Footnote 110: Euseb. l. v. c. 23, 24.  Mosheim, p. 435 - 447.] [Footnote 111: Judaeos fieri sub gravi poena vetuit. ​ Idem etiam de Christianis sanxit. ​ Hist. August. p. 70.]
 +
 +But the laws which Severus had enacted soon expired with the authority of that emperor; and the Christians, after this accidental tempest, enjoyed a calm of thirty-eight years. ^112 Till this period they had usually held their assemblies in private houses and sequestered places. ​ They were now permitted to erect and consecrate convenient edifices for the purpose of religious worship; ^113 to purchase lands, even at Rome itself, for the use of the community; and to conduct the elections of their ecclesiastical ministers in so public, but at the same time in so exemplary a manner, as to deserve the respectful attention of the Gentiles. ^114 This long repose of the church was accompanied with dignity. ​ The reigns of those princes who derived their extraction from the Asiatic provinces, proved the most favorable to the Christians; the eminent persons of the sect, instead of being reduced to implore the protection of a slave or concubine, were admitted into the palace in the honorable characters of priests and philosophers;​ and their mysterious doctrines, which were already diffused among the people, insensibly attracted the curiosity of their sovereign. When the empress Mammaea passed through Antioch, she expressed a desire of conversing with the celebrated Origen, the fame of whose piety and learning was spread over the East.  Origen obeyed so flattering an invitation, and though he could not expect to succeed in the conversion of an artful and ambitious woman, she listened with pleasure to his eloquent exhortations,​ and honorably dismissed him to his retirement in Palestine. ^115 The sentiments of Mammaea were adopted by her son Alexander, and the philosophic devotion of that emperor was marked by a singular but injudicious regard for the Christian religion. ​ In his domestic chapel he placed the statues of Abraham, of Orpheus, of Apollonius, and of Christ, as an honor justly due to those respectable sages who had instructed mankind in the various modes of addressing their homage to the supreme and universal Deity. ^116 A purer faith, as well as worship, was openly professed and practised among his household. ​ Bishops, perhaps for the first time, were seen at court; and, after the death of Alexander, when the inhuman Maximin discharged his fury on the favorites and servants of his unfortunate benefactor, a great number of Christians of every rank and of both sexes, were involved the promiscuous massacre, which, on their account, has improperly received the name of Persecution. ^117 ^*
 +
 +[Footnote 112: Sulpicius Severus, l. ii. p. 384.  This computation (allowing for a single exception) is confirmed by the history of Eusebius, and by the writings of Cyprian.]
 +
 +[Footnote 113: The antiquity of Christian churches is discussed by Tillemont, (Memoires Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. iii. part ii. p. 68-72,) and by Mr. Moyle, (vol. i. p. 378-398.) The former refers the first construction of them to the peace of Alexander Severus; the latter, to the peace of Gallienus.] [Footnote 114: See the Augustan History, p. 130.  The emperor Alexander adopted their method of publicly proposing the names of those persons who were candidates for ordination. ​ It is true that the honor of this practice is likewise attributed to the Jews.]
 +
 +[Footnote 115: Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiast. l. vi. c. 21.  Hieronym. de Script. Eccles. c. 54.  Mammaea was styled a holy and pious woman, both by the Christians and the Pagans. ​ From the former, therefore, it was impossible that she should deserve that honorable epithet.]
 +
 +[Footnote 116: See the Augustan History, p. 123.  Mosheim (p. 465) seems to refine too much on the domestic religion of Alexander. ​ His design of building a public temple to Christ, (Hist. August. p. 129,) and the objection which was suggested either to him, or in similar circumstances to Hadrian, appear to have no other foundation than an improbable report, invented by the Christians, and credulously adopted by an historian of the age of Constantine.]
 +
 +[Footnote 117: Euseb. l. vi. c. 28.  It may be presumed that the success of the Christians had exasperated the increasing bigotry of the Pagans. ​ Dion Cassius, who composed his history under the former reign, had most probably intended for the use of his master those counsels of persecution,​ which he ascribes to a better age, and to and to the favorite of Augustus. Concerning this oration of Maecenas, or rather of Dion, I may refer to my own unbiased opinion, (vol. i. c. 1, note 25,) and to the Abbe de la Bleterie (Memoires de l'​Academie,​ tom. xxiv. p. 303 tom xxv. p. 432.)
 +
 +Note: If this be the case, Dion Cassius must have known the Christians they must have been the subject of his particular attention, since the author supposes that he wished his master to profit by these "​counsels of persecution."​ How are we to reconcile this necessary consequence with what Gibbon has said of the ignorance of Dion Cassius even of the name of the Christians? (c. xvi. n. 24.) [Gibbon speaks of Dion's silence, not of his ignorance. - M] The supposition in this note is supported by no proof; it is probable that Dion Cassius has often designated the Christians by the name of Jews.  See Dion Cassius, l. lxvii. c 14, lxviii. l - G.
 +
 +On this point I should adopt the view of Gibbon rather than that of M Guizot. - M]
 +
 +[Footnote *: It is with good reason that this massacre has been called a persecution,​ for it lasted during the whole reign of Maximin, as may be seen in Eusebius. (l. vi. c. 28.) Rufinus expressly confirms it: Tribus annis a Maximino persecutione commota, in quibus finem et persecutionis fecit et vitas Hist. l. vi. c. 19. - G.]
 +
 +Notwithstanding the cruel disposition of Maximin, the effects of his resentment against the Christians were of a very local and temporary nature, and the pious Origen, who had been proscribed as a devoted victim, was still reserved to convey the truths of the gospel to the ear of monarchs. ^118 He addressed several edifying letters to the emperor Philip, to his wife, and to his mother; and as soon as that prince, who was born in the neighborhood of Palestine, had usurped the Imperial sceptre, the Christians acquired a friend and a protector. ​ The public and even partial favor of Philip towards the sectaries of the new religion, and his constant reverence for the ministers of the church, gave some color to the suspicion, which prevailed in his own times, that the emperor himself was become a convert to the faith; ^119 and afforded some grounds for a fable which was afterwards invented, that he had been purified by confession and penance from the guilt contracted by the murder of his innocent predecessor. ^120 the fall of Philip introduced, with the change of masters, a new system of government, so oppressive to the Christians, that their former condition, ever since the time of Domitian, was represented as a state of perfect freedom and security, if compared with the rigorous treatment which they experienced under the short reign of Decius. ^121 The virtues of that prince will scarcely allow us to suspect that he was actuated by a mean resentment against the favorites of his predecessor;​ and it is more reasonable to believe, that in the prosecution of his general design to restore the purity of Roman manners, he was desirous of delivering the empire from what he condemned as a recent and criminal superstition. ​ The bishops of the most considerable cities were removed by exile or death: the vigilance of the magistrates prevented the clergy of Rome during sixteen months from proceeding to a new election; and it was the opinion of the Christians, that the emperor would more patiently endure a competitor for the purple, than a bishop in the capital. ^122 Were it possible to suppose that the penetration of Decius had discovered pride under the disguise of humility, or that he could foresee the temporal dominion which might insensibly arise from the claims of spiritual authority, we might be less surprised, that he should consider the successors of St. Peter, as the most formidable rivals to those of Augustus.
 +
 +[Footnote 118: Orosius, l. vii. c. 19, mentions Origen as the object of Maximin'​s resentment; and Firmilianus,​ a Cappadocian bishop of that age, gives a just and confined idea of this persecution,​ (apud Cyprian Epist. 75.)] [Footnote 119: The mention of those princes who were publicly supposed to be Christians, as we find it in an epistle of Dionysius of Alexandria, (ap. Euseb. l. vii. c. 10,) evidently alludes to Philip and his family, and forms a contemporary evidence, that such a report had prevailed; but the Egyptian bishop, who lived at an humble distance from the court of Rome, expresses himself with a becoming diffidence concerning the truth of the fact.  The epistles of Origen (which were extant in the time of Eusebius, see l. vi. c. 36) would most probably decide this curious rather than important question.] [Footnote 120: Euseb. l. vi. c. 34.  The story, as is usual, has been embellished by succeeding writers, and is confuted, with much superfluous learning, by Frederick Spanheim, (Opera Varia, tom. ii. p. 400, &c.)] [Footnote 121: Lactantius, de Mortibus Persecutorum,​ c. 3, 4. After celebrating the felicity and increase of the church, under a long succession of good princes, he adds, "​Extitit post annos plurimos, execrabile animal, Decius, qui vexaret Ecclesiam."​]
 +
 +[Footnote 122: Euseb. l. vi. c. 39.  Cyprian. Epistol. 55.  The see of Rome remained vacant from the martyrdom of Fabianus, the 20th of January, A. D. 259, till the election of Cornelius, the 4th of June, A. D. 251 Decius had probably left Rome, since he was killed before the end of that year.] The administration of Valerian was distinguished by a levity and inconstancy ill suited to the gravity of the Roman Censor. In the first part of his reign, he surpassed in clemency those princes who had been suspected of an attachment to the Christian faith. ​ In the last three years and a half, listening to the insinuations of a minister addicted to the superstitions of Egypt, he adopted the maxims, and imitated the severity, of his predecessor Decius. ^123 The accession of Gallienus, which increased the calamities of the empire, restored peace to the church; and the Christians obtained the free exercise of their religion by an edict addressed to the bishops, and conceived in such terms as seemed to acknowledge their office and public character. ^124 The ancient laws, without being formally repealed, were suffered to sink into oblivion; and (excepting only some hostile intentions which are attributed to the emperor Aurelian ^125) the disciples of Christ passed above forty years in a state of prosperity, far more dangerous to their virtue than the severest trials of persecution.
 +
 +[Footnote 123: Euseb. l. vii. c. 10.  Mosheim (p. 548) has very clearly shown that the praefect Macrianus, and the Egyptian Magus, are one and the same person.]
 +
 +[Footnote 124: Eusebius (l. vii. c. 13) gives us a Greek version of this Latin edict, which seems to have been very concise. ​ By another edict, he directed that the Coemeteria should be restored to the Christians.] [Footnote 125: Euseb. l. vii. c. 30.  Lactantius de M. P. c. 6. Hieronym. in Chron. p. 177.  Orosius, l. vii. c. 23.  Their language is in general so ambiguous and incorrect, that we are at a loss to determine how far Aurelian had carried his intentions before he was assassinated. ​ Most of the moderns (except Dodwell, Dissertat. Cyprian. vi. 64) have seized the occasion of gaining a few extraordinary martyrs.
 +
 +Note: Dr. Lardner has detailed, with his usual impartiality,​ all that has come down to us relating to the persecution of Aurelian, and concludes by saying, "Upon more carefully examining the words of Eusebius, and observing the accounts of other authors, learned men have generally, and, as I think, very judiciously,​ determined, that Aurelian not only intended, but did actually persecute: but his persecution was short, he having died soon after the publication of his edicts."​ Heathen Test. c. xxxvi. - Basmage positively pronounces the same opinion: Non intentatum modo, sed executum quoque brevissimo tempore mandatum, nobis infixum est in aniasis. ​ Basn. Ann. 275, No. 2 and compare Pagi Ann. 272, Nos. 4, 12, 27 - G.]
 +
 +The story of Paul of Samosata, who filled the metropolitan see of Antioch, while the East was in the hands of Odenathus and Zenobia, may serve to illustrate the condition and character of the times. ​ The wealth of that prelate was a sufficient evidence of his guilt, since it was neither derived from the inheritance of his fathers, nor acquired by the arts of honest industry. ​ But Paul considered the service of the church as a very lucrative profession. ^126 His ecclesiastical jurisdiction was venal and rapacious; he extorted frequent contributions from the most opulent of the faithful, and converted to his own use a considerable part of the public revenue. ​ By his pride and luxury, the Christian religion was rendered odious in the eyes of the Gentiles. ​ His council chamber and his throne, the splendor with which he appeared in public, the suppliant crowd who solicited his attention, the multitude of letters and petitions to which he dictated his answers, and the perpetual hurry of business in which he was involved, were circumstances much better suited to the state of a civil magistrate, ^127 than to the humility of a primitive bishop. ​ When he harangued his people from the pulpit, Paul affected the figurative style and the theatrical gestures of an Asiatic sophist, while the cathedral resounded with the loudest and most extravagant acclamations in the praise of his divine eloquence. ​ Against those who resisted his power, or refused to flatter his vanity, the prelate of Antioch was arrogant, rigid, and inexorable; but he relaxed the discipline, and lavished the treasures of the church on his dependent clergy, who were permitted to imitate their master in the gratification of every sensual appetite. ​ For Paul indulged himself very freely in the pleasures of the table, and he had received into the episcopal palace two young and beautiful women as the constant companions of his leisure moments. ^128 [Footnote 126: Paul was better pleased with the title of Ducenarius, than with that of bishop. ​ The Ducenarius was an Imperial procurator, so called from his salary of two hundred Sestertia, or 1600l. a year.  (See Salmatius ad Hist. August. p. 124.) Some critics suppose that the bishop of Antioch had actually obtained such an office from Zenobia, while others consider it only as a figurative expression of his pomp and insolence.]
 +
 +[Footnote 127: Simony was not unknown in those times; and the clergy some times bought what they intended to sell.  It appears that the bishopric of Carthage was purchased by a wealthy matron, named Lucilla, for her servant Majorinus. ​ The price was 400 Folles. ​ (Monument. Antiq. ad calcem Optati, p. 263.) Every Follis contained 125 pieces of silver, and the whole sum may be computed at about 2400l.]
 +
 +[Footnote 128: If we are desirous of extenuating the vices of Paul, we must suspect the assembled bishops of the East of publishing the most malicious calumnies in circular epistles addressed to all the churches of the empire, (ap. Euseb. l. vii. c. 30.)]
 +
 +Notwithstanding these scandalous vices, if Paul of Samosata had preserved the purity of the orthodox faith, his reign over the capital of Syria would have ended only with his life; and had a seasonable persecution intervened, an effort of courage might perhaps have placed him in the rank of saints and martyrs. ^* Some nice and subtle errors, which he imprudently adopted and obstinately maintained, concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, excited the zeal and indignation of the Eastern churches. ^129 From Egypt to the Euxine Sea, the bishops were in arms and in motion. ​ Several councils were held, confutations were published, excommunications were pronounced, ambiguous explanations were by turns accepted and refused, treaties were concluded and violated, and at length Paul of Samosata was degraded from his episcopal character, by the sentence of seventy or eighty bishops, who assembled for that purpose at Antioch, and who, without consulting the rights of the clergy or people, appointed a successor by their own authority. ​ The manifest irregularity of this proceeding increased the numbers of the discontented faction; and as Paul, who was no stranger to the arts of courts, had insinuated himself into the favor of Zenobia, he maintained above four years the possession of the episcopal house and office. ^* The victory of Aurelian changed the face of the East, and the two contending parties, who applied to each other the epithets of schism and heresy, were either commanded or permitted to plead their cause before the tribunal of the conqueror. ​ This public and very singular trial affords a convincing proof that the existence, the property, the privileges, and the internal policy of the Christians, were acknowledged,​ if not by the laws, at least by the magistrates,​ of the empire. As a Pagan and as a soldier, it could scarcely be expected that Aurelian should enter into the discussion, whether the sentiments of Paul or those of his adversaries were most agreeable to the true standard of the orthodox faith. His determination,​ however, was founded on the general principles of equity and reason. ​ He considered the bishops of Italy as the most impartial and respectable judges among the Christians, and as soon as he was informed that they had unanimously approved the sentence of the council, he acquiesced in their opinion, and immediately gave orders that Paul should be compelled to relinquish the temporal possessions belonging to an office, of which, in the judgment of his brethren, he had been regularly deprived. But while we applaud the justice, we should not overlook the policy, of Aurelian, who was desirous of restoring and cementing the dependence of the provinces on the capital, by every means which could bind the interest or prejudices of any part of his subjects. ^130
 +
 +[Footnote *: It appears, nevertheless,​ that the vices and immoralities of Paul of Samosata had much weight in the sentence pronounced against him by the bishops. ​ The object of the letter, addressed by the synod to the bishops of Rome and Alexandria, was to inform them of the change in the faith of Paul, the altercations and discussions to which it had given rise, as well as of his morals and the whole of his conduct. ​ Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. vii c. xxx - G.] [Footnote 129: His heresy (like those of Noetus and Sabellius, in the same century) tended to confound the mysterious distinction of the divine persons. See Mosheim, p. 702, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: "Her favorite, (Zenobia'​s,​) Paul of Samosata, seems to have entertained some views of attempting a union between Judaism and Christianity;​ both parties rejected the unnatural alliance."​ Hist. of Jews, iii. 175, and Jost. Geschichte der Israeliter, iv. 167.  The protection of the severe Zenobia is the only circumstance which may raise a doubt of the notorious immorality of Paul. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 130: Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiast. l. vii. c. 30.  We are entirely indebted to him for the curious story of Paul of Samosata.] Amidst the frequent revolutions of the empire, the Christians still flourished in peace and prosperity; and notwithstanding a celebrated aera of martyrs has been deduced from the accession of Diocletian, ^131 the new system of policy, introduced and maintained by the wisdom of that prince, continued, during more than eighteen years, to breathe the mildest and most liberal spirit of religious toleration. ​ The mind of Diocletian himself was less adapted indeed to speculative inquiries, than to the active labors of war and government. ​ His prudence rendered him averse to any great innovation, and though his temper was not very susceptible of zeal or enthusiasm, he always maintained an habitual regard for the ancient deities of the empire. ​ But the leisure of the two empresses, of his wife Prisca, and of Valeria, his daughter, permitted them to listen with more attention and respect to the truths of Christianity,​ which in every age has acknowledged its important obligations to female devotion. ^132 The principal eunuchs, Lucian ^133 and Dorotheus, Gorgonius and Andrew, who attended the person, possessed the favor, and governed the household of Diocletian, protected by their powerful influence the faith which they had embraced. ​ Their example was imitated by many of the most considerable officers of the palace, who, in their respective stations, had the care of the Imperial ornaments, of the robes, of the furniture, of the jewels, and even of the private treasury; and, though it might sometimes be incumbent on them to accompany the emperor when he sacrificed in the temple, ^134 they enjoyed, with their wives, their children, and their slaves, the free exercise of the Christian religion. ​ Diocletian and his colleagues frequently conferred the most important offices on those persons who avowed their abhorrence for the worship of the gods, but who had displayed abilities proper for the service of the state. ​ The bishops held an honorable rank in their respective provinces, and were treated with distinction and respect, not only by the people, but by the magistrates themselves. ​ Almost in every city, the ancient churches were found insufficient to contain the increasing multitude of proselytes; and in their place more stately and capacious edifices were erected for the public worship of the faithful. The corruption of manners and principles, so forcibly lamented by Eusebius, ^135 may be considered, not only as a consequence,​ but as a proof, of the liberty which the Christians enjoyed and abused under the reign of Diocletian. ​ Prosperity had relaxed the nerves of discipline. ​ Fraud, envy, and malice prevailed in every congregation. ​ The presbyters aspired to the episcopal office, which every day became an object more worthy of their ambition. The bishops, who contended with each other for ecclesiastical preeminence,​ appeared by their conduct to claim a secular and tyrannical power in the church; and the lively faith which still distinguished the Christians from the Gentiles, was shown much less in their lives, than in their controversial writings.
 +
 +[Footnote 131: The Aera of Martyrs, which is still in use among the Copts and the Abyssinians,​ must be reckoned from the 29th of August, A. D. 284; as the beginning of the Egyptian year was nineteen days earlier than the real accession of Diocletian. ​ See Dissertation Preliminaire a l'Art de verifier les Dates.
 +
 +Note: On the aera of martyrs see the very curious dissertations of Mons Letronne on some recently discovered inscriptions in Egypt and Nubis, p. 102, &c. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 132: The expression of Lactantius, (de M. P. c. 15,) "​sacrificio pollui coegit,"​ implies their antecedent conversion to the faith, but does not seem to justify the assertion of Mosheim, (p. 912,) that they had been privately baptized.]
 +
 +[Footnote 133: M. de Tillemont (Memoires Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. v. part i. p. 11, 12) has quoted from the Spicilegium of Dom Luc d'​Archeri a very curious instruction which Bishop Theonas composed for the use of Lucian.] [Footnote 134: Lactantius, de M. P. c. 10.]
 +
 +[Footnote 135: Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiast. l. viii. c. 1.  The reader who consults the original will not accuse me of heightening the picture. Eusebius was about sixteen years of age at the accession of the emperor Diocletian.] Notwithstanding this seeming security, an attentive observer might discern some symptoms that threatened the church with a more violent persecution than any which she had yet endured. ​ The zeal and rapid progress of the Christians awakened the Polytheists from their supine indifference in the cause of those deities, whom custom and education had taught them to revere. The mutual provocations of a religious war, which had already continued above two hundred years, exasperated the animosity of the contending parties. ​ The Pagans were incensed at the rashness of a recent and obscure sect, which presumed to accuse their countrymen of error, and to devote their ancestors to eternal misery. ​ The habits of justifying the popular mythology against the invectives of an implacable enemy, produced in their minds some sentiments of faith and reverence for a system which they had been accustomed to consider with the most careless levity. The supernatural powers assumed by the church inspired at the same time terror and emulation. ​ The followers of the established religion intrenched themselves behind a similar fortification of prodigies; invented new modes of sacrifice, of expiation, and of initiation; ^136 attempted to revive the credit of their expiring oracles; ^137 and listened with eager credulity to every impostor, who flattered their prejudices by a tale of wonders. ^138 Both parties seemed to acknowledge the truth of those miracles which were claimed by their adversaries;​ and while they were contented with ascribing them to the arts of magic, and to the power of daemons, they mutually concurred in restoring and establishing the reign of superstition. ^139 Philosophy, her most dangerous enemy, was now converted into her most useful ally. The groves of the academy, the gardens of Epicurus, and even the portico of the Stoics, were almost deserted, as so many different schools of scepticism or impiety; ^140 and many among the Romans were desirous that the writings of Cicero should be condemned and suppressed by the authority of the senate. ^141 The prevailing sect of the new Platonicians judged it prudent to connect themselves with the priests, whom perhaps they despised, against the Christians, whom they had reason to fear. These fashionable Philosophers prosecuted the design of extracting allegorical wisdom from the fictions of the Greek poets; instituted mysterious rites of devotion for the use of their chosen disciples; recommended the worship of the ancient gods as the emblems or ministers of the Supreme Deity, and composed against the faith of the gospel many elaborate treatises, ^142 which have since been committed to the flames by the prudence of orthodox emperors. ^143 [Footnote 136: We might quote, among a great number of instances, the mysterious worship of Mythras, and the Taurobolia; the latter of which became fashionable in the time of the Antonines, (see a Dissertation of M. de Boze, in the Memoires de l'​Academie des Inscriptions,​ tom. ii. p. 443.) The romance of Apuleius is as full of devotion as of satire.
 +
 +Note: On the extraordinary progress of the Mahriac rites, in the West, see De Guigniaud'​s translation of Creuzer, vol. i. p. 365, and Note 9, tom. i. part 2, p. 738, &c. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 137: The impostor Alexander very strongly recommended the oracle of Trophonius at Mallos, and those of Apollo at Claros and Miletus, (Lucian, tom. ii. p. 236, edit. Reitz.) The last of these, whose singular history would furnish a very curious episode, was consulted by Diocletian before he published his edicts of persecution,​ (Lactantius,​ de M. P. c. 11.)] [Footnote 138: Besides the ancient stories of Pythagoras and Aristeas, the cures performed at the shrine of Aesculapius,​ and the fables related of Apollonius of Tyana, were frequently opposed to the miracles of Christ; though I agree with Dr. Lardner, (see Testimonies,​ vol. iii. p. 253, 352,) that when Philostratus composed the life of Apollonius, he had no such intention.] [Footnote 139: It is seriously to be lamented, that the Christian fathers, by acknowledging the supernatural,​ or, as they deem it, the infernal part of Paganism, destroy with their own hands the great advantage which we might otherwise derive from the liberal concessions of our adversaries.] [Footnote 140: Julian (p. 301, edit. Spanheim) expresses a pious joy, that the providence of the gods had extinguished the impious sects, and for the most part destroyed the books of the Pyrrhonians and Epicuraeans,​ which had been very numerous, since Epicurus himself composed no less than 300 volumes. ​ See Diogenes Laertius, l. x. c. 26.]
 +
 +[Footnote 141: Cumque alios audiam mussitare indignanter,​ et dicere opportere statui per Senatum, aboleantur ut haec scripta, quibus Christiana Religio comprobetur,​ et vetustatis opprimatur auctoritas. ​ Arnobius adversus Gentes, l. iii. p. 103, 104.  He adds very properly, Erroris convincite Ciceronem . . . nam intercipere scripta, et publicatam velle submergere lectionem, non est Deum defendere sed veritatis testificationem timere.]
 +
 +[Footnote 142: Lactantius (Divin. Institut. l. v. c. 2, 3) gives a very clear and spirited account of two of these philosophic adversaries of the faith. The large treatise of Porphyry against the Christians consisted of thirty books, and was composed in Sicily about the year 270.]
 +
 +[Footnote 143: See Socrates, Hist. Ecclesiast. l. i. c. 9, and Codex Justinian. l. i. i. l. s.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part VI. =====
 +
 +Although the policy of Diocletian and the humanity of Constantius inclined them to preserve inviolate the maxims of toleration, it was soon discovered that their two associates, Maximian and Galerius, entertained the most implacable aversion for the name and religion of the Christians. The minds of those princes had never been enlightened by science; education had never softened their temper. ​ They owed their greatness to their swords, and in their most elevated fortune they still retained their superstitious prejudices of soldiers and peasants. ​ In the general administration of the provinces they obeyed the laws which their benefactor had established;​ but they frequently found occasions of exercising within their camp and palaces a secret persecution,​ ^144 for which the imprudent zeal of the Christians sometimes offered the most specious pretences. ​ A sentence of death was executed upon Maximilianus,​ an African youth, who had been produced by his own father ^* before the magistrate as a sufficient and legal recruit, but who obstinately persisted in declaring, that his conscience would not permit him to embrace the profession of a soldier. ^145 It could scarcely be expected that any government should suffer the action of Marcellus the Centurion to pass with impunity. ​ On the day of a public festival, that officer threw away his belt, his arms, and the ensigns of his office, and exclaimed with a loud voice, that he would obey none but Jesus Christ the eternal King, and that he renounced forever the use of carnal weapons, and the service of an idolatrous master. ​ The soldiers, as soon as they recovered from their astonishment,​ secured the person of Marcellus. ​ He was examined in the city of Tingi by the president of that part of Mauritania; and as he was convicted by his own confession, he was condemned and beheaded for the crime of desertion. ^146 Examples of such a nature savor much less of religious persecution than of martial or even civil law; but they served to alienate the mind of the emperors, to justify the severity of Galerius, who dismissed a great number of Christian officers from their employments;​ and to authorize the opinion, that a sect of enthusiastics,​ which avowed principles so repugnant to the public safety, must either remain useless, or would soon become dangerous, subjects of the empire.
 +
 +[Footnote 144: Eusebius, l. viii. c. 4, c. 17.  He limits the number of military martyrs, by a remarkable expression, of which neither his Latin nor French translator have rendered the energy. Notwithstanding the authority of Eusebius, and the silence of Lactantius, Ambrose, Sulpicius, Orosius, &c., it has been long believed, that the Thebaean legion, consisting of 6000 Christians, suffered martyrdom by the order of Maximian, in the valley of the Pennine Alps.  The story was first published about the middle of the 5th century, by Eucherius, bishop of Lyons, who received it from certain persons, who received it from Isaac, bishop of Geneva, who is said to have received it from Theodore, bishop of Octodurum. The abbey of St. Maurice still subsists, a rich monument of the credulity of Sigismund, king of Burgundy. See an excellent Dissertation in xxxvith volume of the Bibliotheque Raisonnee, p. 427-454.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: M. Guizot criticizes Gibbon'​s account of this incident. ​ He supposes that Maximilian was not "​produced by his father as a recruit,"​ but was obliged to appear by the law, which compelled the sons of soldiers to serve at 21 years old.  Was not this a law of Constantine? ​ Neither does this circumstance appear in the acts.  His father had clearly expected him to serve, as he had bought him a new dress for the occasion; yet he refused to force the conscience of his son. and when Maximilian was condemned to death, the father returned home in joy, blessing God for having bestowed upon him such a son. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 145: See the Acta Sincera, p. 299.  The accounts of his martyrdom and that of Marcellus, bear every mark of truth and authenticity.] [Footnote 146: Acta Sincera, p. 302.
 +
 +Note: M. Guizot here justly observes, that it was the necessity of sacrificing to the gods, which induced Marcellus to act in this manner. - M.] After the success of the Persian war had raised the hopes and the reputation of Galerius, he passed a winter with Diocletian in the palace of Nicomedia; and the fate of Christianity became the object of their secret consultations. ^147 The experienced emperor was still inclined to pursue measures of lenity; and though he readily consented to exclude the Christians from holding any employments in the household or the army, he urged in the strongest terms the danger as well as cruelty of shedding the blood of those deluded fanatics. Galerius at length extorted ^!! from him the permission of summoning a council, composed of a few persons the most distinguished in the civil and military departments of the state. The important question was agitated in their presence, and those ambitious courtiers easily discerned, that it was incumbent on them to second, by their eloquence, the importunate violence of the Caesar. ​ It may be presumed, that they insisted on every topic which might interest the pride, the piety, or the fears, of their sovereign in the destruction of Christianity. ​ Perhaps they represented,​ that the glorious work of the deliverance of the empire was left imperfect, as long as an independent people was permitted to subsist and multiply in the heart of the provinces. The Christians, (it might specially be alleged,) renouncing the gods and the institutions of Rome, had constituted a distinct republic, which might yet be suppressed before it had acquired any military force; but which was already governed by its own laws and magistrates,​ was possessed of a public treasure, and was intimately connected in all its parts by the frequent assemblies of the bishops, to whose decrees their numerous and opulent congregations yielded an implicit obedience. ​ Arguments like these may seem to have determined the reluctant mind of Diocletian to embrace a new system of persecution;​ but though we may suspect, it is not in our power to relate, the secret intrigues of the palace, the private views and resentments,​ the jealousy of women or eunuchs, and all those trifling but decisive causes which so often influence the fate of empires, and the councils of the wisest monarchs. ^148
 +
 +[Footnote 147: De M. P. c. 11.  Lactantius (or whoever was the author of this little treatise) was, at that time, an inhabitant of Nicomedia; but it seems difficult to conceive how he could acquire so accurate a knowledge of what passed in the Imperial cabinet.
 +
 +Note: Lactantius, who was subsequently chosen by Constantine to educate Crispus, might easily have learned these details from Constantine himself, already of sufficient age to interest himself in the affairs of the government, and in a position to obtain the best information. - G. This assumes the doubtful point of the authorship of the Treatise. - M.] [Footnote !!: This permission was not extorted from Diocletian; he took the step of his own accord. ​ Lactantius says, in truth, Nec tamen deflectere potuit (Diocletianus) praecipitis hominis insaniam; placuit ergo amicorum sententiam experiri. ​ (De Mort. Pers. c. 11.) But this measure was in accordance with the artificial character of Diocletian, who wished to have the appearance of doing good by his own impulse and evil by the impulse of others. Nam erat hujus malitiae, cum bonum quid facere decrevisse sine consilio faciebat, ut ipse laudaretur. ​ Cum autem malum. quoniam id reprehendendum sciebat, in consilium multos advocabat, ut alioram culpao adscriberetur quicquid ipse deliquerat. ​ Lact. ib. Eutropius says likewise, Miratus callide fuit, sagax praeterea et admodum subtilis ingenio, et qui severitatem suam aliena invidia vellet explere. Eutrop. ix. c. 26. - G.
 +
 +The manner in which the coarse and unfriendly pencil of the author of the Treatise de Mort. Pers. has drawn the character of Diocletian, seems inconsistent with this profound subtilty. ​ Many readers will perhaps agree with Gibbon. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 148: The only circumstance which we can discover, is the devotion and jealousy of the mother of Galerius. ​ She is described by Lactantius, as Deorum montium cultrix; mulier admodum superstitiosa. ​ She had a great influence over her son, and was offended by the disregard of some of her Christian servants.
 +
 +Note: This disregard consisted in the Christians fasting and praying instead of participating in the banquets and sacrifices which she celebrated with the Pagans. ​ Dapibus sacrificabat poene quotidie ac vicariis suis epulis exhibebat. ​ Christiani abstinebant,​ et illa cum gentibus epulante, jejuniis hi et oratiomibus insisteban; hine concepit odium Lact de Hist. Pers. c. 11. - G.]
 +
 +The pleasure of the emperors was at length signified to the Christians, who, during the course of this melancholy winter, had expected, with anxiety, the result of so many secret consultations. ​ The twenty-third of February, which coincided with the Roman festival of the Terminalia, ^149 was appointed (whether from accident or design) to set bounds to the progress of Christianity. ​ At the earliest dawn of day, the Praetorian praefect, ^150 accompanied by several generals, tribunes, and officers of the revenue, repaired to the principal church of Nicomedia, which was situated on an eminence in the most populous and beautiful part of the city.  The doors were instantly broke open; they rushed into the sanctuary; and as they searched in vain for some visible object of worship, they were obliged to content themselves with committing to the flames the volumes of the holy Scripture. The ministers of Diocletian were followed by a numerous body of guards and pioneers, who marched in order of battle, and were provided with all the instruments used in the destruction of fortified cities. ​ By their incessant labor, a sacred edifice, which towered above the Imperial palace, and had long excited the indignation and envy of the Gentiles, was in a few hours levelled with the ground. ^151
 +
 +[Footnote 149: The worship and festival of the god Terminus are elegantly illustrated by M. de Boze, Mem. de l'​Academie des Inscriptions,​ tom. i. p. 50.]
 +
 +[Footnote 150: In our only MS. of Lactantius, we read profectus; but reason, and the authority of all the critics, allow us, instead of that word, which destroys the sense of the passage, to substitute proefectus.] [Footnote 151: Lactantius, de M. P. c. 12, gives a very lively picture of the destruction of the church.]
 +
 +The next day the general edict of persecution was published; ^152 and though Diocletian, still averse to the effusion of blood, had moderated the fury of Galerius, who proposed, that every one refusing to offer sacrifice should immediately be burnt alive, the penalties inflicted on the obstinacy of the Christians might be deemed sufficiently rigorous and effectual. ​ It was enacted, that their churches, in all the provinces of the empire, should be demolished to their foundations;​ and the punishment of death was denounced against all who should presume to hold any secret assemblies for the purpose of religious worship. ​ The philosophers,​ who now assumed the unworthy office of directing the blind zeal of persecution,​ had diligently studied the nature and genius of the Christian religion; and as they were not ignorant that the speculative doctrines of the faith were supposed to be contained in the writings of the prophets, of the evangelists,​ and of the apostles, they most probably suggested the order, that the bishops and presbyters should deliver all their sacred books into the hands of the magistrates;​ who were commanded, under the severest penalties, to burn them in a public and solemn manner. ​ By the same edict, the property of the church was at once confiscated;​ and the several parts of which it might consist were either sold to the highest bidder, united to the Imperial domain, bestowed on the cities and corporations,​ or granted to the solicitations of rapacious courtiers. ​ After taking such effectual measures to abolish the worship, and to dissolve the government of the Christians, it was thought necessary to subject to the most intolerable hardships the condition of those perverse individuals who should still reject the religion of nature, of Rome, and of their ancestors. ​ Persons of a liberal birth were declared incapable of holding any honors or employments;​ slaves were forever deprived of the hopes of freedom, and the whole body of the people were put out of the protection of the law.  The judges were authorized to hear and to determine every action that was brought against a Christian. ​ But the Christians were not permitted to complain of any injury which they themselves had suffered; and thus those unfortunate sectaries were exposed to the severity, while they were excluded from the benefits, of public justice. ​ This new species of martyrdom, so painful and lingering, so obscure and ignominious,​ was, perhaps, the most proper to weary the constancy of the faithful: nor can it be doubted that the passions and interest of mankind were disposed on this occasion to second the designs of the emperors. ​ But the policy of a well-ordered government must sometimes have interposed in behalf of the oppressed Christians; ^* nor was it possible for the Roman princes entirely to remove the apprehension of punishment, or to connive at every act of fraud and violence, without exposing their own authority and the rest of their subjects to the most alarming dangers. ^153 [Footnote 152: Mosheim, (p. 922 - 926,) from man scattered passages of Lactantius and Eusebius, has collected a very just and accurate notion of this edict though he sometimes deviates into conjecture and refinement.] [Footnote *: This wants proof. ​ The edict of Diocletian was executed in all its right during the rest of his reign. ​ Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l viii. c. 13. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 153: Many ages afterwards, Edward J. practised, with great success, the same mode of persecution against the clergy of England. ​ See Hume's History of England, vol. ii. p. 300, last 4to edition.]
 +
 +This edict was scarcely exhibited to the public view, in the most conspicuous place of Nicomedia, before it was torn down by the hands of a Christian, who expressed at the same time, by the bitterest invectives, his contempt as well as abhorrence for such impious and tyrannical governors. His offence, according to the mildest laws, amounted to treason, and deserved death. ​ And if it be true that he was a person of rank and education, those circumstances could serve only to aggravate his guilt. ​ He was burnt, or rather roasted, by a slow fire; and his executioners,​ zealous to revenge the personal insult which had been offered to the emperors, exhausted every refinement of cruelty, without being able to subdue his patience, or to alter the steady and insulting smile which in his dying agonies he still preserved in his countenance. ​ The Christians, though they confessed that his conduct had not been strictly conformable to the laws of prudence, admired the divine fervor of his zeal; and the excessive commendations which they lavished on the memory of their hero and martyr, contributed to fix a deep impression of terror and hatred in the mind of Diocletian. ^154
 +
 +[Footnote 154: Lactantius only calls him quidam, et si non recte, magno tamer animo, &c., c. 12. Eusebius (l. viii. c. 5) adorns him with secular honora Neither have condescended to mention his name; but the Greeks celebrate his memory under that of John. See Tillemont, Memones Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. v. part ii. p. 320.]
 +
 +His fears were soon alarmed by the view of a danger from which he very narrowly escaped. ​ Within fifteen days the palace of Nicomedia, and even the bed-chamber of Diocletian, were twice in flames; and though both times they were extinguished without any material damage, the singular repetition of the fire was justly considered as an evident proof that it had not been the effect of chance or negligence. ​ The suspicion naturally fell on the Christians; and it was suggested, with some degree of probability,​ that those desperate fanatics, provoked by their present sufferings, and apprehensive of impending calamities, had entered into a conspiracy with their faithful brethren, the eunuchs of the palace, against the lives of two emperors, whom they detested as the irreconcilable enemies of the church of God. Jealousy and resentment prevailed in every breast, but especially in that of Diocletian. ​ A great number of persons, distinguished either by the offices which they had filled, or by the favor which they had enjoyed, were thrown into prison. ​ Every mode of torture was put in practice, and the court, as well as city, was polluted with many bloody executions. ^155 But as it was found impossible to extort any discovery of this mysterious transaction,​ it seems incumbent on us either to presume the innocence, or to admire the resolution, of the sufferers. ​ A few days afterwards Galerius hastily withdrew himself from Nicomedia, declaring, that if he delayed his departure from that devoted palace, he should fall a sacrifice to the rage of the Christians. The ecclesiastical historians, from whom alone we derive a partial and imperfect knowledge of this persecution,​ are at a loss how to account for the fears and dangers of the emperors. Two of these writers, a prince and a rhetorician,​ were eye- witnesses of the fire of Nicomedia. ​ The one ascribes it to lightning, and the divine wrath; the other affirms, that it was kindled by the malice of Galerius himself. ^156 [Footnote 155: Lactantius de M. P. c. 13, 14.  Potentissimi quondam Eunuchi necati, per quos Palatium et ipse constabat. Eusebius (l. viii. c. 6) mentions the cruel executions of the eunuchs, Gorgonius and Dorotheus, and of Anthimius, bishop of Nicomedia; and both those writers describe, in a vague but tragical manner, the horrid scenes which were acted even in the Imperial presence.]
 +
 +[Footnote 156: See Lactantius, Eusebius, and Constantine,​ ad Coetum Sanctorum, c. xxv.  Eusebius confesses his ignorance of the cause of this fire. Note: As the history of these times affords us no example of any attempts made by the Christians against their persecutors,​ we have no reason, not the slightest probability,​ to attribute to them the fire in the palace; and the authority of Constantine and Lactantius remains to explain it.  M. de Tillemont has shown how they can be reconciled. ​ Hist. des Empereurs, Vie de Diocletian, xix. - G.  Had it been done by a Christian, it would probably have been a fanatic, who would have avowed and gloried in it. Tillemont'​s supposition that the fire was first caused by lightning, and fed and increased by the malice of Galerius, seems singularly improbable. - M.] As the edict against the Christians was designed for a general law of the whole empire, and as Diocletian and Galerius, though they might not wait for the consent, were assured of the concurrence,​ of the Western princes, it would appear more consonant to our ideas of policy, that the governors of all the provinces should have received secret instructions to publish, on one and the same day, this declaration of war within their respective departments. ​ It was at least to be expected, that the convenience of the public highways and established posts would have enabled the emperors to transmit their orders with the utmost despatch from the palace of Nicomedia to the extremities of the Roman world; and that they would not have suffered fifty days to elapse, before the edict was published in Syria, and near four months before it was signified to the cities of Africa. ^157 This delay may perhaps be imputed to the cautious temper of Diocletian, who had yielded a reluctant consent to the measures of persecution,​ and who was desirous of trying the experiment under his more immediate eye, before he gave way to the disorders and discontent which it must inevitably occasion in the distant provinces. ​ At first, indeed, the magistrates were restrained from the effusion of blood; but the use of every other severity was permitted, and even recommended to their zeal; nor could the Christians, though they cheerfully resigned the ornaments of their churches, resolve to interrupt their religious assemblies, or to deliver their sacred books to the flames. ​ The pious obstinacy of Felix, an African bishop, appears to have embarrassed the subordinate ministers of the government. ​ The curator of his city sent him in chains to the proconsul. ​ The proconsul transmitted him to the Praetorian praefect of Italy; and Felix, who disdained even to give an evasive answer, was at length beheaded at Venusia, in Lucania, a place on which the birth of Horace has conferred fame. ^158 This precedent, and perhaps some Imperial rescript, which was issued in consequence of it, appeared to authorize the governors of provinces, in punishing with death the refusal of the Christians to deliver up their sacred books. ​ There were undoubtedly many persons who embraced this opportunity of obtaining the crown of martyrdom; but there were likewise too many who purchased an ignominious life, by discovering and betraying the holy Scripture into the hands of infidels. ​ A great number even of bishops and presbyters acquired, by this criminal compliance, the opprobrious epithet of Traditors; and their offence was productive of much present scandal and of much future discord in the African church. ^159
 +
 +[Footnote 157: Tillemont, Memoires Ecclesiast. tom. v. part i. p. 43.] [Footnote 158: See the Acta Sincera of Ruinart, p. 353; those of Felix of Thibara, or Tibiur, appear much less corrupted than in the other editions, which afford a lively specimen of legendary license.]
 +
 +[Footnote 159: See the first book of Optatus of Milevis against the Donatiste, Paris, 1700, edit. Dupin. ​ He lived under the reign of Valens.] The copies as well as the versions of Scripture, were already so multiplied in the empire, that the most severe inquisition could no longer be attended with any fatal consequences;​ and even the sacrifice of those volumes, which, in every congregation,​ were preserved for public use, required the consent of some treacherous and unworthy Christians. ​ But the ruin of the churches was easily effected by the authority of the government, and by the labor of the Pagans. ​ In some provinces, however, the magistrates contented themselves with shutting up the places of religious worship. ​ In others, they more literally complied with the terms of the edict; and after taking away the doors, the benches, and the pulpit, which they burnt as it were in a funeral pile, they completely demolished the remainder of the edifice. ^160 It is perhaps to this melancholy occasion that we should apply a very remarkable story, which is related with so many circumstances of variety and improbability,​ that it serves rather to excite than to satisfy our curiosity. In a small town in Phrygia, of whose names as well as situation we are left ignorant, it should seem that the magistrates and the body of the people had embraced the Christian faith; and as some resistance might be apprehended to the execution of the edict, the governor of the province was supported by a numerous detachment of legionaries. ​ On their approach the citizens threw themselves into the church, with the resolution either of defending by arms that sacred edifice, or of perishing in its ruins. ​ They indignantly rejected the notice and permission which was given them to retire, till the soldiers, provoked by their obstinate refusal, set fire to the building on all sides, and consumed, by this extraordinary kind of martyrdom, a great number of Phrygians, with their wives and children. ^161
 +
 +[Footnote 160: The ancient monuments, published at the end of Optatus, p. 261, &c. describe, in a very circumstantial manner, the proceedings of the governors in the destruction of churches. They made a minute inventory of the plate, &c., which they found in them.  That of the church of Cirta, in Numidia, is still extant. ​ It consisted of two chalices of gold, and six of silver; six urns, one kettle, seven lamps, all likewise of silver; besides a large quantity of brass utensils, and wearing apparel.]
 +
 +[Footnote 161: Lactantius (Institut. Divin. v. 11) confines the calamity to the conventiculum,​ with its congregation. ​ Eusebius (viii. 11) extends it to a whole city, and introduces something very like a regular siege. His ancient Latin translator, Rufinus, adds the important circumstance of the permission given to the inhabitants of retiring from thence. ​ As Phrygia reached to the confines of Isauria, it is possible that the restless temper of those independent barbarians may have contributed to this misfortune. Note: Universum populum. ​ Lact. Inst. Div. v. 11. - G.] Some slight disturbances,​ though they were suppressed almost as soon as excited, in Syria and the frontiers of Armenia, afforded the enemies of the church a very plausible occasion to insinuate, that those troubles had been secretly fomented by the intrigues of the bishops, who had already forgotten their ostentatious professions of passive and unlimited obedience. ^162 The resentment, or the fears, of Diocletian, at length transported him beyond the bounds of moderation, which he had hitherto preserved, and he declared, in a series of cruel edicts, ^! his intention of abolishing the Christian name.  By the first of these edicts, the governors of the provinces were directed to apprehend all persons of the ecclesiastical order; and the prisons, destined for the vilest criminals, were soon filled with a multitude of bishops, presbyters, deacons, readers, and exorcists. ​ By a second edict, the magistrates were commanded to employ every method of severity, which might reclaim them from their odious superstition,​ and oblige them to return to the established worship of the gods.  This rigorous order was extended, by a subsequent edict, to the whole body of Christians, who were exposed to a violent and general persecution. ^163 Instead of those salutary restraints, which had required the direct and solemn testimony of an accuser, it became the duty as well as the interest of the Imperial officers to discover, to pursue, and to torment the most obnoxious among the faithful. Heavy penalties were denounced against all who should presume to save a prescribed sectary from the just indignation of the gods, and of the emperors. ​ Yet, notwithstanding the severity of this law, the virtuous courage of many of the Pagans, in concealing their friends or relations, affords an honorable proof, that the rage of superstition had not extinguished in their minds the sentiments of nature and humanity. ^164
 +
 +[Footnote 162: Eusebius, l. viii. c. 6.  M. de Valois (with some probability) thinks that he has discovered the Syrian rebellion in an oration of Libanius; and that it was a rash attempt of the tribune Eugenius, who with only five hundred men seized Antioch, and might perhaps allure the Christians by the promise of religious toleration. ​ From Eusebius, (l. ix. c. 8,) as well as from Moses of Chorene, (Hist. Armen. l. ii. 77, &c.,) it may be inferred, that Christianity was already introduced into Armenia.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: He had already passed them in his first edict. ​ It does not appear that resentment or fear had any share in the new persecutions:​ perhaps they originated in superstition,​ and a specious apparent respect for its ministers. ​ The oracle of Apollo, consulted by Diocletian, gave no answer; and said that just men hindered it from speaking. ​ Constantine,​ who assisted at the ceremony, affirms, with an oath, that when questioned about these men, the high priest named the Christians. ​ "The Emperor eagerly seized on this answer; and drew against the innocent a sword, destined only to punish the guilty: he instantly issued edicts, written, if I may use the expression, with a poniard; and ordered the judges to employ all their skill to invent new modes of punishment. ​ Euseb. Vit Constant. l. ii c 54." - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 163: See Mosheim, p. 938: the text of Eusebius very plainly shows that the governors, whose powers were enlarged, not restrained, by the new laws, could punish with death the most obstinate Christians as an example to their brethren.]
 +
 +[Footnote 164: Athanasius, p. 833, ap. Tillemont, Mem. Ecclesiast. tom v part i. 90.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part VII. =====
 +
 +Diocletian had no sooner published his edicts against the Christians, than, as if he had been desirous of committing to other hands the work of persecution,​ he divested himself of the Imperial purple. ​ The character and situation of his colleagues and successors sometimes urged them to enforce and sometimes inclined them to suspend, the execution of these rigorous laws; nor can we acquire a just and distinct idea of this important period of ecclesiastical history, unless we separately consider the state of Christianity,​ in the different parts of the empire, during the space of ten years, which elapsed between the first edicts of Diocletian and the final peace of the church.
 +
 +The mild and humane temper of Constantius was averse to the oppression of any part of his subjects. ​ The principal offices of his palace were exercised by Christians. ​ He loved their persons, esteemed their fidelity, and entertained not any dislike to their religious principles. ​ But as long as Constantius remained in the subordinate station of Caesar, it was not in his power openly to reject the edicts of Diocletian, or to disobey the commands of Maximian. ​ His authority contributed,​ however, to alleviate the sufferings which he pitied and abhorred. ​ He consented with reluctance to the ruin of the churches; but he ventured to protect the Christians themselves from the fury of the populace, and from the rigor of the laws. The provinces of Gaul (under which we may probably include those of Britain) were indebted for the singular tranquillity which they enjoyed, to the gentle interposition of their sovereign. ^165 But Datianus, the president or governor of Spain, actuated either by zeal or policy, chose rather to execute the public edicts of the emperors, than to understand the secret intentions of Constantius;​ and it can scarcely be doubted, that his provincial administration was stained with the blood of a few martyrs. ^166 The elevation of Constantius to the supreme and independent dignity of Augustus, gave a free scope to the exercise of his virtues, and the shortness of his reign did not prevent him from establishing a system of toleration, of which he left the precept and the example to his son Constantine. ​ His fortunate son, from the first moment of his accession, declaring himself the protector of the church, at length deserved the appellation of the first emperor who publicly professed and established the Christian religion. ​ The motives of his conversion, as they may variously be deduced from benevolence,​ from policy, from conviction, or from remorse, and the progress of the revolution, which, under his powerful influence and that of his sons, rendered Christianity the reigning religion of the Roman empire, will form a very interesting and important chapter in the present volume of this history. ​ At present it may be sufficient to observe, that every victory of Constantine was productive of some relief or benefit to the church. [Footnote 165: Eusebius, l. viii. c. 13.  Lactantius de M. P. c. 15. Dodwell (Dissertat. Cyprian. xi. 75) represents them as inconsistent with each other. But the former evidently speaks of Constantius in the station of Caesar, and the latter of the same prince in the rank of Augustus.]
 +
 +[Footnote 166: Datianus is mentioned, in Gruter'​s Inscriptions,​ as having determined the limits between the territories of Pax Julia, and those of Ebora, both cities in the southern part of Lusitania. ​ If we recollect the neighborhood of those places to Cape St. Vincent, we may suspect that the celebrated deacon and martyr of that name had been inaccurately assigned by Prudentius, &c., to Saragossa, or Valentia. ​ See the pompous history of his sufferings, in the Memoires de Tillemont, tom. v. part ii. p. 58-85. ​ Some critics are of opinion, that the department of Constantius,​ as Caesar, did not include Spain, which still continued under the immediate jurisdiction of Maximian.]
 +
 +The provinces of Italy and Africa experienced a short but violent persecution. ​ The rigorous edicts of Diocletian were strictly and cheerfully executed by his associate Maximian, who had long hated the Christians, and who delighted in acts of blood and violence. ​ In the autumn of the first year of the persecution,​ the two emperors met at Rome to celebrate their triumph; several oppressive laws appear to have issued from their secret consultations,​ and the diligence of the magistrates was animated by the presence of their sovereigns.,​ After Diocletian had divested himself of the purple, Italy and Africa were administered under the name of Severus, and were exposed, without defence, to the implacable resentment of his master Galerius. Among the martyrs of Rome, Adauctus deserves the notice of posterity. ​ He was of a noble family in Italy, and had raised himself, through the successive honors of the palace, to the important office of treasurer of the private Jemesnes. Adauctus is the more remarkable for being the only person of rank and distinction who appears to have suffered death, during the whole course of this general persecution. ^167
 +
 +[Footnote 167: Eusebius, l. viii. c. 11.  Gruter, Inscrip. p. 1171, No. 18. Rufinus has mistaken the office of Adauctus, as well as the place of his martyrdom.
 +
 +Note: M. Guizot suggests the powerful cunuchs of the palace. Dorotheus, Gorgonius, and Andrew, admitted by Gibbon himself to have been put to death, p. 66.]
 +
 +The revolt of Maxentius immediately restored peace to the churches of Italy and Africa; and the same tyrant who oppressed every other class of his subjects, showed himself just, humane, and even partial, towards the afflicted Christians. ​ He depended on their gratitude and affection, and very naturally presumed, that the injuries which they had suffered, and the dangers which they still apprehended from his most inveterate enemy, would secure the fidelity of a party already considerable by their numbers and opulence. ^168 Even the conduct of Maxentius towards the bishops of Rome and Carthage may be considered as the proof of his toleration, since it is probable that the most orthodox princes would adopt the same measures with regard to their established clergy. ​ Marcellus, the former of these prelates, had thrown the capital into confusion, by the severe penance which he imposed on a great number of Christians, who, during the late persecution,​ had renounced or dissembled their religion. ​ The rage of faction broke out in frequent and violent seditions; the blood of the faithful was shed by each other'​s hands, and the exile of Marcellus, whose prudence seems to have been less eminent than his zeal, was found to be the only measure capable of restoring peace to the distracted church of Rome. ^169 The behavior of Mensurius, bishop of Carthage, appears to have been still more reprehensible. ​ A deacon of that city had published a libel against the emperor. ​ The offender took refuge in the episcopal palace; and though it was somewhat early to advance any claims of ecclesiastical immunities, the bishop refused to deliver him up to the officers of justice. ​ For this treasonable resistance, Mensurius was summoned to court, and instead of receiving a legal sentence of death or banishment, he was permitted, after a short examination,​ to return to his diocese. ^170 Such was the happy condition of the Christian subjects of Maxentius, that whenever they were desirous of procuring for their own use any bodies of martyrs, they were obliged to purchase them from the most distant provinces of the East.  A story is related of Aglae, a Roman lady, descended from a consular family, and possessed of so ample an estate, that it required the management of seventy-three stewards. ​ Among these Boniface was the favorite of his mistress; and as Aglae mixed love with devotion, it is reported that he was admitted to share her bed.  Her fortune enabled her to gratify the pious desire of obtaining some sacred relics from the East. She intrusted Boniface with a considerable sum of gold, and a large quantity of aromatics; and her lover, attended by twelve horsemen and three covered chariots, undertook a remote pilgrimage, as far as Tarsus in Cilicia. ^171
 +
 +[Footnote 168: Eusebius, l. viii. c. 14.  But as Maxentius was vanquished by Constantine,​ it suited the purpose of Lactantius to place his death among those of the persecutors.
 +
 +Note: M. Guizot directly contradicts this statement of Gibbon, and appeals to Eusebius. ​ Maxentius, who assumed the power in Italy, pretended at first to be a Christian, to gain the favor of the Roman people; he ordered his ministers to cease to persecute the Christians, affecting a hypocritical piety, in order to appear more mild than his predecessors;​ but his actions soon proved that he was very different from what they had at first hoped."​ The actions of Maxentius were those of a cruel tyrant,but not those of a persecutor: the Christians, like the rest of his subjects, suffered from his vices, but they were not oppressed as a sect.  Christian females were exposed to his lusts, as well as to the brutal violence of his colleague Maximian, but they were not selected as Christians. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 169: The epitaph of Marcellus is to be found in Gruter, Inscrip. p 1172, No. 3, and it contains all that we know of his history. Marcellinus and Marcellus, whose names follow in the list of popes, are supposed by many critics to be different persons; but the learned Abbe de Longuerue was convinced that they were one and the same.
 +
 +Veridicus rector lapsis quia crimina flere Praedixit miseris, fuit omnibus hostis amarus. Hinc furor, hinc odium; sequitur discordia, lites, Seditio, caedes; solvuntur foedera pacis. Crimen ob alterius, Christum qui in pace negavit Finibus expulsus patriae est feritate Tyranni. Haec breviter Damasus voluit comperta referre: Marcelli populus meritum cognoscere posset.
 +
 +We may observe that Damasus was made Bishop of Rome, A. D. 366.] [Footnote 170: Optatus contr. Donatist. l. i. c. 17, 18.
 +
 +Note: The words of Optatus are, Profectus (Roman) causam dixit; jussus con reverti Carthaginem;​ perhaps, in pleading his cause, he exculpated himself, since he received an order to return to Carthage. - G.] [Footnote 171: The Acts of the Passion of St. Boniface, which abound in miracles and declamation,​ are published by Ruinart, (p. 283 - 291,) both in Greek and Latin, from the authority of very ancient manuscripts. Note: We are ignorant whether Aglae and Boniface were Christians at the time of their unlawful connection. ​ See Tillemont. ​ Mem, Eccles. ​ Note on the Persecution of Domitian, tom. v. note 82.  M. de Tillemont proves also that the history is doubtful. - G.
 +
 +Sir D. Dalrymple (Lord Hailes) calls the story of Aglae and Boniface as of equal authority with our popular histories of Whittington and Hickathrift. Christian Antiquities,​ ii. 64. - M.]
 +
 +The sanguinary temper of Galerius, the first and principal author of the persecution,​ was formidable to those Christians whom their misfortunes had placed within the limits of his dominions; and it may fairly be presumed that many persons of a middle rank, who were not confined by the chains either of wealth or of poverty, very frequently deserted their native country, and sought a refuge in the milder climate of the West. ^! As long as he commanded only the armies and provinces of Illyricum, he could with difficulty either find or make a considerable number of martyrs, in a warlike country, which had entertained the missionaries of the gospel with more coldness and reluctance than any other part of the empire. ^172 But when Galerius had obtained the supreme power, and the government of the East, he indulged in their fullest extent his zeal and cruelty, not only in the provinces of Thrace and Asia, which acknowledged his immediate jurisdiction,​ but in those of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, where Maximin gratified his own inclination,​ by yielding a rigorous obedience to the stern commands of his benefactor. ^173 The frequent disappointments of his ambitious views, the experience of six years of persecution,​ and the salutary reflections which a lingering and painful distemper suggested to the mind of Galerius, at length convinced him that the most violent efforts of despotism are insufficient to extirpate a whole people, or to subdue their religious prejudices. ​ Desirous of repairing the mischief that he had occasioned, he published in his own name, and in those of Licinius and Constantine,​ a general edict, which, after a pompous recital of the Imperial titles, proceeded in the following manner: -
 +
 +[Footnote !: A little after this, Christianity was propagated to the north of the Roman provinces, among the tribes of Germany: a multitude of Christians, forced by the persecutions of the Emperors to take refuge among the Barbarians, were received with kindness. ​ Euseb. de Vit. Constant. ii. 53. Semler Select. cap. H. E. p. 115.  The Goths owed their first knowledge of Christianity to a young girl, a prisoner of war; she continued in the midst of them her exercises of piety; she fasted, prayed, and praised God day and night. ​ When she was asked what good would come of so much painful trouble she answered, "It is thus that Christ, the Son of God, is to be honored."​ Sozomen, ii. c. 6. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 172: During the four first centuries, there exist few traces of either bishops or bishoprics in the western Illyricum. It has been thought probable that the primate of Milan extended his jurisdiction over Sirmium, the capital of that great province. ​ See the Geographia Sacra of Charles de St. Paul, p. 68-76, with the observations of Lucas Holstenius.] [Footnote 173: The viiith book of Eusebius, as well as the supplement concerning the martyrs of Palestine, principally relate to the persecution of Galerius and Maximin. ​ The general lamentations with which Lactantius opens the vth book of his Divine Institutions allude to their cruelty.] "Among the important cares which have occupied our mind for the utility and preservation of the empire, it was our intention to correct and reestablish all things according to the ancient laws and public discipline of the Romans. ​ We were particularly desirous of reclaiming into the way of reason and nature, the deluded Christians who had renounced the religion and ceremonies instituted by their fathers; and presumptuously despising the practice of antiquity, had invented extravagant laws and opinions, according to the dictates of their fancy, and had collected a various society from the different provinces of our empire. ​ The edicts, which we have published to enforce the worship of the gods, having exposed many of the Christians to danger and distress, many having suffered death, and many more, who still persist in their impious folly, being left destitute of any public exercise of religion, we are disposed to extend to those unhappy men the effects of our wonted clemency. ​ We permit them therefore freely to profess their private opinions, and to assemble in their conventicles without fear or molestation,​ provided always that they preserve a due respect to the established laws and government. ​ By another rescript we shall signify our intentions to the judges and magistrates;​ and we hope that our indulgence will engage the Christians to offer up their prayers to the Deity whom they adore, for our safety and prosperity for their own, and for that of the republic."​ ^174 It is not usually in the language of edicts and manifestos that we should search for the real character or the secret motives of princes; but as these were the words of a dying emperor, his situation, perhaps, may be admitted as a pledge of his sincerity.
 +
 +[Footnote 174: Eusebius (l. viii. c. 17) has given us a Greek version, and Lactantius (de M. P. c. 34) the Latin original, of this memorable edict. Neither of these writers seems to recollect how directly it contradicts whatever they have just affirmed of the remorse and repentance of Galerius. Note: But Gibbon has answered this by his just observation,​ that it is not in the language of edicts and manifestos that we should search * * for the secre motives of princes. - M.]
 +
 +When Galerius subscribed this edict of toleration, he was well assured that Licinius would readily comply with the inclinations of his friend and benefactor, and that any measures in favor of the Christians would obtain the approbation of Constantine. ​ But the emperor would not venture to insert in the preamble the name of Maximin, whose consent was of the greatest importance, and who succeeded a few days afterwards to the provinces of Asia. In the first six months, however, of his new reign, Maximin affected to adopt the prudent counsels of his predecessor;​ and though he never condescended to secure the tranquillity of the church by a public edict, Sabinus, his Praetorian praefect, addressed a circular letter to all the governors and magistrates of the provinces, expatiating on the Imperial clemency, acknowledging the invincible obstinacy of the Christians, and directing the officers of justice to cease their ineffectual prosecutions,​ and to connive at the secret assemblies of those enthusiasts. ​ In consequence of these orders, great numbers of Christians were released from prison, or delivered from the mines. ​ The confessors, singing hymns of triumph, returned into their own countries; and those who had yielded to the violence of the tempest, solicited with tears of repentance their readmission into the bosom of the church. ^175 [Footnote 175: Eusebius, l. ix. c. 1.  He inserts the epistle of the praefect.]
 +
 +But this treacherous calm was of short duration; nor could the Christians of the East place any confidence in the character of their sovereign. ​ Cruelty and superstition were the ruling passions of the soul of Maximin. ​ The former suggested the means, the latter pointed out the objects of persecution. ​ The emperor was devoted to the worship of the gods, to the study of magic, and to the belief of oracles. ​ The prophets or philosophers,​ whom he revered as the favorites of Heaven, were frequently raised to the government of provinces, and admitted into his most secret councils. ​ They easily convinced him that the Christians had been indebted for their victories to their regular discipline, and that the weakness of polytheism had principally flowed from a want of union and subordination among the ministers of religion. A system of government was therefore instituted, which was evidently copied from the policy of the church. ​ In all the great cities of the empire, the temples were repaired and beautified by the order of Maximin, and the officiating priests of the various deities were subjected to the authority of a superior pontiff destined to oppose the bishop, and to promote the cause of paganism. ​ These pontiffs acknowledged,​ in their turn, the supreme jurisdiction of the metropolitans or high priests of the province, who acted as the immediate vicegerents of the emperor himself. ​ A white robe was the ensign of their dignity; and these new prelates were carefully selected from the most noble and opulent families. ​ By the influence of the magistrates,​ and of the sacerdotal order, a great number of dutiful addresses were obtained, particularly from the cities of Nicomedia, Antioch, and Tyre, which artfully represented the well-known intentions of the court as the general sense of the people; solicited the emperor to consult the laws of justice rather than the dictates of his clemency; expressed their abhorrence of the Christians, and humbly prayed that those impious sectaries might at least be excluded from the limits of their respective territories. ​ The answer of Maximin to the address which he obtained from the citizens of Tyre is still extant. ​ He praises their zeal and devotion in terms of the highest satisfaction,​ descants on the obstinate impiety of the Christians, and betrays, by the readiness with which he consents to their banishment, that he considered himself as receiving, rather than as conferring, an obligation. ​ The priests as well as the magistrates were empowered to enforce the execution of his edicts, which were engraved on tables of brass; and though it was recommended to them to avoid the effusion of blood, the most cruel and ignominious punishments were inflicted on the refractory Christians. ^176
 +
 +[Footnote 176: See Eusebius, l. viii. c. 14, l. ix. c. 2 - 8. Lactantius de M. P. c. 36.  These writers agree in representing the arts of Maximin; but the former relates the execution of several martyrs, while the latter expressly affirms, occidi servos Dei vetuit.
 +
 +Note: It is easy to reconcile them; it is sufficient to quote the entire text of Lactantius: Nam cum clementiam specie tenus profiteretur,​ occidi servos Dei vetuit, debilitari jussit. Itaque confessoribus effodiebantur oculi, amputabantur manus, nares vel auriculae desecabantur. Haec ille moliens Constantini litteris deterretur. Dissimulavit ergo, et tamen, si quis inciderit. ​ mari occulte mergebatur. This detail of torments inflicted on the Christians easily reconciles Lactantius and Eusebius. ​ Those who died in consequence of their tortures, those who were plunged into the sea, might well pass for martyrs. ​ The mutilation of the words of Lactantius has alone given rise to the apparent contradiction. - G.
 +
 +Eusebius. ch. vi., relates the public martyrdom of the aged bishop of Emesa, with two others, who were thrown to the wild beasts, the beheading of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, with several others, and the death of Lucian, presbyter of Antioch, who was carried to Numidia, and put to death in prison. The contradiction is direct and undeniable, for although Eusebius may have misplaced the former martyrdoms, it may be doubted whether the authority of Maximin extended to Nicomedia till after the death of Galerius. ​ The last edict of toleration issued by Maximin and published by Eusebius himself, Eccl. Hist. ix. 9. confirms the statement of Lactantius. - M.]
 +
 +The Asiatic Christians had every thing to dread from the severity of a bigoted monarch who prepared his measures of violence with such deliberate policy. ​ But a few months had scarcely elapsed before the edicts published by the two Western emperors obliged Maximin to suspend the prosecution of his designs: the civil war which he so rashly undertook against Licinius employed all his attention; and the defeat and death of Maximin soon delivered the church from the last and most implacable of her enemies. ^177 [Footnote 177: A few days before his death, he published a very ample edict of toleration, in which he imputes all the severities which the Christians suffered to the judges and governors, who had misunderstood his intentions.See the edict of Eusebius, l. ix. c. 10.]
 +
 +In this general view of the persecution,​ which was first authorized by the edicts of Diocletian, I have purposely refrained from describing the particular sufferings and deaths of the Christian martyrs. ​ It would have been an easy task, from the history of Eusebius, from the declamations of Lactantius, and from the most ancient acts, to collect a long series of horrid and disgustful pictures, and to fill many pages with racks and scourges, with iron hooks and red-hot beds, and with all the variety of tortures which fire and steel, savage beasts, and more savage executioners,​ could inflict upon the human body.  These melancholy scenes might be enlivened by a crowd of visions and miracles destined either to delay the death, to celebrate the triumph, or to discover the relics of those canonized saints who suffered for the name of Christ. ​ But I cannot determine what I ought to transcribe, till I am satisfied how much I ought to believe. ​ The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses, that he has related whatever might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion. ^178 Such an acknowledgment will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history, has not paid a very strict regard to the observance of the other; and the suspicion will derive additional credit from the character of Eusebius, ^* which was less tinctured with credulity, and more practised in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries. ​ On some particular occasions, when the magistrates were exasperated by some personal motives of interest or resentment, the rules of prudence, and perhaps of decency, to overturn the altars, to pour out imprecations against the emperors, or to strike the judge as he sat on his tribunal, it may be presumed, that every mode of torture which cruelty could invent, or constancy could endure, was exhausted on those devoted victims. ^179 Two circumstances,​ however, have been unwarily mentioned, which insinuate that the general treatment of the Christians, who had been apprehended by the officers of justice, was less intolerable than it is usually imagined to have been. 1. The confessors who were condemned to work in the mines were permitted by the humanity or the negligence of their keepers to build chapels, and freely to profess their religion in the midst of those dreary habitations. ^180 2. The bishops were obliged to check and to censure the forward zeal of the Christians, who voluntarily threw themselves into the hands of the magistrates. Some of these were persons oppressed by poverty and debts, who blindly sought to terminate a miserable existence by a glorious death. ​ Others were allured by the hope that a short confinement would expiate the sins of a whole life; and others again were actuated by the less honorable motive of deriving a plentiful subsistence,​ and perhaps a considerable profit, from the alms which the charity of the faithful bestowed on the prisoners. ^181 After the church had triumphed over all her enemies, the interest as well as vanity of the captives prompted them to magnify the merit of their respective sufferings. ​ A convenient distance of time or place gave an ample scope to the progress of fiction; and the frequent instances which might be alleged of holy martyrs, whose wounds had been instantly healed, whose strength had been renewed, and whose lost members had miraculously been restored, were extremely convenient for the purpose of removing every difficulty, and of silencing every objection. The most extravagant legends, as they conduced to the honor of the church, were applauded by the credulous multitude, countenanced by the power of the clergy, and attested by the suspicious evidence of ecclesiastical history.
 +
 +[Footnote 178: Such is the fair deduction from two remarkable passages in Eusebius, l. viii. c. 2, and de Martyr. ​ Palestin. c. 12.  The prudence of the historian has exposed his own character to censure and suspicion. ​ It was well known that he himself had been thrown into prison; and it was suggested that he had purchased his deliverance by some dishonorable compliance. ​ The reproach was urged in his lifetime, and even in his presence, at the council of Tyre.  See Tillemont, Memoires Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. viii. part i. p. 67.] [Footnote *: Historical criticism does not consist in rejecting indiscriminately all the facts which do not agree with a particular system, as Gibbon does in this chapter, in which, except at the last extremity, he will not consent to believe a martyrdom. ​ Authorities are to be weighed, not excluded from examination. ​ Now, the Pagan historians justify in many places the detail which have been transmitted to us by the historians of the church, concerning the tortures endured by the Christians. Celsus reproaches the Christians with holding their assemblies in secret, on account of the fear inspired by their sufferings, "for when you are arrested,"​ he says, "you are dragged to punishment: and, before you are put to death, you have to suffer all kinds of tortures."​ Origen cont. Cels. l. i. ii. vi. viii. passing. Libanius, the panegyrist of Julian, says, while speaking of the Christians. Those who followed a corrupt religion were in continual apprehensions;​ they feared lest Julian should invent tortures still more refined than those to which they had been exposed before, as mutilation, burning alive, &c.; for the emperors had inflicted upon them all these barbarities."​ Lib. Parent in Julian. ap. Fab. Bib. Graec. No. 9, No. 58, p. 283 - G.] [Footnote *: This sentence of Gibbon has given rise to several learned dissertation:​ Moller, de Fide Eusebii Caesar, &c., Havniae, 1813.  Danzius, de Eusebio Caes. Hist. Eccl.  Scriptore, ejusque tide historica recte aestimanda, &c., Jenae, 1815. Kestner Commentatio de Eusebii Hist. Eccles. conditoris auctoritate et fide, &​c. ​ See also Reuterdahl, de Fontibus Historiae Eccles. Eusebianae, Lond. Goth., 1826.  Gibbon'​s inference may appear stronger than the text will warrant, yet it is difficult, after reading the passages, to dismiss all suspicion of partiality from the mind. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 179: The ancient, and perhaps authentic, account of the sufferings of Tarachus and his companions, (Acta Sincera Ruinart, p. 419 - 448,) is filled with strong expressions of resentment and contempt, which could not fail of irritating the magistrate. The behavior of Aedesius to Hierocles, praefect of Egypt, was still more extraordinary. Euseb. de Martyr. Palestin. c. 5.
 +
 +Note: M. Guizot states, that the acts of Tarachus and his companion contain nothing that appears dictated by violent feelings, (sentiment outre.) Nothing can be more painful than the constant attempt of Gibbon throughout this discussion, to find some flaw in the virtue and heroism of the martyrs, some extenuation for the cruelty of the persecutors. ​ But truth must not be sacrificed even to well-grounded moral indignation. Though the language of these martyrs is in great part that of calm de fiance, of noble firmness, yet there are many expressions which betray "​resentment and contempt."​ "​Children of Satan, worshippers of Devils,"​ is their common appellation of the heathen. One of them calls the judge another, one curses, and declares that he will curse the Emperors, as pestilential and bloodthirsty tyrants, whom God will soon visit in his wrath. ​ On the other hand, though at first they speak the milder language of persuasion, the cold barbarity of the judges and officers might surely have called forth one sentence of abhorrence from Gibbon. On the first unsatisfactory answer, "Break his jaw," is the order of the judge. ​ They direct and witness the most excruciating tortures; the people, as M. Guizot observers, were so much revolted by the cruelty of Maximus that when the martyrs appeared in the amphitheatre,​ fear seized on all hearts, and general murmurs against the unjust judge rank through the assembly. ​ It is singular, at least, that Gibbon should have quoted "as probably authentic,"​ acts so much embellished with miracle as these of Tarachus are, particularly towards the end. - M.
 +
 +Note: Scarcely were the authorities informed of this, than the president of the province, a man, says Eusebius, harsh and cruel, banished the confessors, some to Cyprus, others to different parts of Palestine, and ordered them to be tormented by being set to the most painful labors. ​ Four of them, whom he required to abjure their faith and refused, were burnt alive. Euseb. de Mart. Palest. c. xiii. - G.  Two of these were bishops; a fifth, Silvanus, bishop of Gaza, was the last martyr; another, named John was blinded, but used to officiate, and recite from memory long passages of the sacred writings - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 180: Euseb. de Martyr. Palestin. c. 13.]
 +
 +[Footnote 181: Augustin. Collat. Carthagin. Dei, iii. c. 13, ap. Tillanant, Memoires Ecclesiastiques,​ tom. v. part i. p. 46.  The controversy with the Donatists, has reflected some, though perhaps a partial, light on the history of the African church.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVI: Conduct Towards The Christians, From Nero To Constantine. ======
 +
 +===== Part VIII. =====
 +
 +The vague descriptions of exile and imprisonment,​ of pain and torture, are so easily exaggerated or softened by the pencil of an artful orator, ^* that we are naturally induced to inquire into a fact of a more distinct and stubborn kind; the number of persons who suffered death in consequence of the edicts published by Diocletian, his associates, and his successors. The recent legendaries record whole armies and cities, which were at once swept away by the undistinguishing rage of persecution. ​ The more ancient writers content themselves with pouring out a liberal effusion of loose and tragical invectives, without condescending to ascertain the precise number of those persons who were permitted to seal with their blood their belief of the gospel. From the history of Eusebius, it may, however, be collected, that only nine bishops were punished with death; and we are assured, by his particular enumeration of the martyrs of Palestine, that no more than ninety-two Christians were entitled to that honorable appellation. ^182 ^! As we are unacquainted with the degree of episcopal zeal and courage which prevailed at that time, it is not in our power to draw any useful inferences from the former of these facts: but the latter may serve to justify a very important and probable conclusion. According to the distribution of Roman provinces, Palestine may be considered as the sixteenth part of the Eastern empire: ^183 and since there were some governors, who from a real or affected clemency had preserved their hands unstained with the blood of the faithful, ^184 it is reasonable to believe, that the country which had given birth to Christianity,​ produced at least the sixteenth part of the martyrs who suffered death within the dominions of Galerius and Maximin; the whole might consequently amount to about fifteen hundred, a number which, if it is equally divided between the ten years of the persecution,​ will allow an annual consumption of one hundred and fifty martyrs. ​ Allotting the same proportion to the provinces of Italy, Africa, and perhaps Spain, where, at the end of two or three years, the rigor of the penal laws was either suspended or abolished, the multitude of Christians in the Roman empire, on whom a capital punishment was inflicted by a judicia, sentence, will be reduced to somewhat less than two thousand persons. ​ Since it cannot be doubted that the Christians were more numerous, and their enemies more exasperated,​ in the time of Diocletian, than they had ever been in any former persecution,​ this probable and moderate computation may teach us to estimate the number of primitive saints and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the important purpose of introducing Christianity into the world.
 +
 +[Footnote *: Perhaps there never was an instance of an author committing so deliberately the fault which he reprobates so strongly in others. ​ What is the dexterous management of the more inartificial historians of Christianity,​ in exaggerating the numbers of the martyrs, compared to the unfair address with which Gibbon here quietly dismisses from the account all the horrible and excruciating tortures which fell short of death? ​ The reader may refer to the xiith chapter (book viii.) of Eusebius for the description and for the scenes of these tortures. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 182: Eusebius de Martyr. Palestin. c. 13.  He closes his narration by assuring us that these were the martyrdoms inflicted in Palestine, during the whole course of the persecution. ​ The 9th chapter of his viiith book, which relates to the province of Thebais in Egypt, may seem to contradict our moderate computation;​ but it will only lead us to admire the artful management of the historian. ​ Choosing for the scene of the most exquisite cruelty the most remote and sequestered country of the Roman empire, he relates that in Thebais from ten to one hundred persons had frequently suffered martyrdom in the same day.  But when he proceeds to mention his own journey into Egypt, his language insensibly becomes more cautious and moderate. ​ Instead of a large, but definite number, he speaks of many Christians, and most artfully selects two ambiguous words, which may signify either what he had seen, or what he had heard; either the expectation,​ or the execution of the punishment. Having thus provided a secure evasion, he commits the equivocal passage to his readers and translators;​ justly conceiving that their piety would induce them to prefer the most favorable sense. There was perhaps some malice in the remark of Theodorus Metochita, that all who, like Eusebius, had been conversant with the Egyptians, delighted in an obscure and intricate style. (See Valesius ad loc.)
 +
 +[Footnote !: This calculation is made from the martyrs, of whom Eusebius speaks by name; but he recognizes a much greater number. Thus the ninth and tenth chapters of his work are entitled, "Of Antoninus, Zebinus, Germanus, and other martyrs; of Peter the monk.  of Asclepius the Maroionite, and other martyrs."​ [Are these vague contents of chapters very good authority? - M.] Speaking of those who suffered under Diocletian, he says, "I will only relate the death of one of these, from which, the reader may divine what befell the rest." Hist. Eccl. viii. 6.  [This relates only to the martyrs in the royal household. - M.] Dodwell had made, before Gibbon, this calculation and these objections; but Ruinart (Act. Mart. Pref p. 27, et seq.) has answered him in a peremptory manner: Nobis constat Eusebium in historia infinitos passim martyres admisisse. ​ quamvis revera paucorum nomina recensuerit. ​ Nec alium Eusebii interpretem quam ipsummet Eusebium proferimus, qui (l. iii. c. 33) ait sub Trajano plurimosa ex fidelibus martyrii certamen subiisse (l. v. init.) sub Antonino et Vero innumerabiles prope martyres per universum orbem enituisse affirmat. ​ (L. vi. c. 1.) Severum persecutionem concitasse refert, in qua per omnes ubique locorum Ecclesias, ab athletis pro pietate certantibus,​ illustria confecta fuerunt martyria. ​ Sic de Decii, sic de Valeriani, persecutionibus loquitur, quae an Dodwelli faveant conjectionibus judicet aequus lector. Even in the persecutions which Gibbon has represented as much more mild than that of Diocletian, the number of martyrs appears much greater than that to which he limits the martyrs of the latter: and this number is attested by incontestable monuments. ​ I will quote but one example. We find among the letters of St. Cyprian one from Lucianus to Celerinus, written from the depth of a prison, in which Lucianus names seventeen of his brethren dead, some in the quarries, some in the midst of tortures some of starvation in prison. Jussi sumus (he proceeds) secundum prae ceptum imperatoris,​ fame et siti necari, et reclusi sumus in duabus cellis, ta ut nos afficerent fame et siti et ignis vapore. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 183: When Palestine was divided into three, the praefecture of the East contained forty-eight provinces. ​ As the ancient distinctions of nations were long since abolished, the Romans distributed the provinces according to a general proportion of their extent and opulence.]
 +
 +[Footnote 184: Ut gloriari possint nullam se innocentium poremisse, nam et ipse audivi aloquos gloriantes, quia administratio sua, in hac paris merit incruenta. ​ Lactant. Institur. Divin v. 11.]
 +
 +We shall conclude this chapter by a melancholy truth, which obtrudes itself on the reluctant mind; that even admitting, without hesitation or inquiry, all that history has recorded, or devotion has feigned, on the subject of martyrdoms, it must still be acknowledged,​ that the Christians, in the course of their intestine dissensions,​ have inflicted far greater severities on each other, than they had experienced from the zeal of infidels. During the ages of ignorance which followed the subversion of the Roman empire in the West, the bishops of the Imperial city extended their dominion over the laity as well as clergy of the Latin church. ​ The fabric of superstition which they had erected, and which might long have defied the feeble efforts of reason, was at length assaulted by a crowd of daring fanatics, who from the twelfth to the sixteenth century assumed the popular character of reformers. The church of Rome defended by violence the empire which she had acquired by fraud; a system of peace and benevolence was soon disgraced by proscriptions,​ war, massacres, and the institution of the holy office. ​ And as the reformers were animated by the love of civil as well as of religious freedom, the Catholic princes connected their own interest with that of the clergy, and enforced by fire and the sword the terrors of spiritual censures. ​ In the Netherlands alone, more than one hundred thousand of the subjects of Charles V. are said to have suffered by the hand of the executioner;​ and this extraordinary number is attested by Grotius, ^185 a man of genius and learning, who preserved his moderation amidst the fury of contending sects, and who composed the annals of his own age and country, at a time when the invention of printing had facilitated the means of intelligence,​ and increased the danger of detection. If we are obliged to submit our belief to the authority of Grotius, it must be allowed, that the number of Protestants,​ who were executed in a single province and a single reign, far exceeded that of the primitive martyrs in the space of three centuries, and of the Roman empire. But if the improbability of the fact itself should prevail over the weight of evidence; if Grotius should be convicted of exaggerating the merit and sufferings of the Reformers; ^186 we shall be naturally led to inquire what confidence can be placed in the doubtful and imperfect monuments of ancient credulity; what degree of credit can be assigned to a courtly bishop, and a passionate declaimer, ^* who, under the protection of Constantine,​ enjoyed the exclusive privilege of recording the persecutions inflicted on the Christians by the vanquished rivals or disregarded predecessors of their gracious sovereign.
 +
 +[Footnote 185: Grot. Annal. de Rebus Belgicis, l. i. p. 12, edit. fol.] [Footnote 186: Fra Paola (Istoria del Concilio Tridentino, l. iii.) reduces the number of the Belgic martyrs to 50,​000. ​ In learning and moderation Fra Paola was not inferior to Grotius. The priority of time gives some advantage to the evidence of the former, which he loses, on the other hand, by the distance of Venice from the Netherlands.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Eusebius and the author of the Treatise de Mortibus Persecutorum. It is deeply to be regretted that the history of this period rest so much on the loose and, it must be admitted, by no means scrupulous authority of Eusebius. ​ Ecclesiastical history is a solemn and melancholy lesson that the best, even the most sacred, cause will eventually the least departure from truth! - M.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +Foundation Of Constantinople. - Political System Constantine,​ And His Successors. - Military Discipline. - The Palace. - The Finances.
 +
 +The unfortunate Licinius was the last rival who opposed the greatness, and the last captive who adorned the triumph, of Constantine. ​ After a tranquil and prosperous reign, the conquerer bequeathed to his family the inheritance of the Roman empire; a new capital, a new policy, and a new religion; and the innovations which he established have been embraced and consecrated by succeeding generations. ​ The age of the great Constantine and his sons is filled with important events; but the historian must be oppressed by their number and variety, unless he diligently separates from each other the scenes which are connected only by the order of time.  He will describe the political institutions that gave strength and stability to the empire, before he proceeds to relate the wars and revolutions which hastened its decline. ​ He will adopt the division unknown to the ancients of civil and ecclesiastical affairs: the victory of the Christians, and their intestine discord, will supply copious and distinct materials both for edification and for scandal.
 +
 +After the defeat and abdication of Licinius, his victorious rival proceeded to lay the foundations of a city destined to reign in future times, the mistress of the East, and to survive the empire and religion of Constantine. ​ The motives, whether of pride or of policy, which first induced Diocletian to withdraw himself from the ancient seat of government, had acquired additional weight by the example of his successors, and the habits of forty years. ​ Rome was insensibly confounded with the dependent kingdoms which had once acknowledged her supremacy; and the country of the Caesars was viewed with cold indifference by a martial prince, born in the neighborhood of the Danube, educated in the courts and armies of Asia, and invested with the purple by the legions of Britain. ​ The Italians, who had received Constantine as their deliverer, submissively obeyed the edicts which he sometimes condescended to address to the senate and people of Rome; but they were seldom honored with the presence of their new sovereign. ​ During the vigor of his age, Constantine,​ according to the various exigencies of peace and war, moved with slow dignity, or with active diligence, along the frontiers of his extensive dominions; and was always prepared to take the field either against a foreign or a domestic enemy. ​ But as he gradually reached the summit of prosperity and the decline of life, he began to meditate the design of fixing in a more permanent station the strength as well as majesty of the throne. In the choice of an advantageous situation, he preferred the confines of Europe and Asia; to curb with a powerful arm the barbarians who dwelt between the Danube and the Tanais; to watch with an eye of jealousy the conduct of the Persian monarch, who indignantly supported the yoke of an ignominious treaty. With these views, Diocletian had selected and embellished the residence of Nicomedia: but the memory of Diocletian was justly abhorred by the protector of the church: and Constantine was not insensible to the ambition of founding a city which might perpetuate the glory of his own name.  During the late operations of the war against Licinius, he had sufficient opportunity to contemplate,​ both as a soldier and as a statesman, the incomparable position of Byzantium; and to observe how strongly it was guarded by nature against a hostile attack, whilst it was accessible on every side to the benefits of commercial intercourse. ​ Many ages before Constantine,​ one of the most judicious historians of antiquity ^1 had described the advantages of a situation, from whence a feeble colony of Greeks derived the command of the sea, and the honors of a flourishing and independent republic. ^2 [Footnote 1: Polybius, l. iv. p. 423, edit. Casaubon. ​ He observes that the peace of the Byzantines was frequently disturbed, and the extent of their territory contracted, by the inroads of the wild Thracians.] [Footnote 2: The navigator Byzas, who was styled the son of Neptune, founded the city 656 years before the Christian aera. His followers were drawn from Argos and Megara. ​ Byzantium was afterwards rebuild and fortified by the Spartan general Pausanias. ​ See Scaliger Animadvers. ad Euseb. p. 81. Ducange, Constantinopolis,​ l. i part i.  cap 15, 16.  With regard to the wars of the Byzantines against Philip, the Gauls, and the kings of Bithynia, we should trust none but the ancient writers who lived before the greatness of the Imperial city had excited a spirit of flattery and fiction.] If we survey Byzantium in the extent which it acquired with the august name of Constantinople,​ the figure of the Imperial city may be represented under that of an unequal triangle. ​ The obtuse point, which advances towards the east and the shores of Asia, meets and repels the waves of the Thracian Bosphorus. ​ The northern side of the city is bounded by the harbor; and the southern is washed by the Propontis, or Sea of Marmara. The basis of the triangle is opposed to the west, and terminates the continent of Europe. ​ But the admirable form and division of the circumjacent land and water cannot, without a more ample explanation,​ be clearly or sufficiently understood. The winding channel through which the waters of the Euxine flow with a rapid and incessant course towards the Mediterranean,​ received the appellation of Bosphorus, a name not less celebrated in the history, than in the fables, of antiquity. ^3 A crowd of temples and of votive altars, profusely scattered along its steep and woody banks, attested the unskilfulness,​ the terrors, and the devotion of the Grecian navigators, who, after the example of the Argonauts, explored the dangers of the inhospitable Euxine. ​ On these banks tradition long preserved the memory of the palace of Phineus, infested by the obscene harpies; ^4 and of the sylvan reign of Amycus, who defied the son of Leda to the combat of the cestus. ^5 The straits of the Bosphorus are terminated by the Cyanean rocks, which, according to the description of the poets, had once floated on the face of the waters; and were destined by the gods to protect the entrance of the Euxine against the eye of profane curiosity. ^6 From the Cyanean rocks to the point and harbor of Byzantium, the winding length of the Bosphorus extends about sixteen miles, ^7 and its most ordinary breadth may be computed at about one mile and a half.  The new castles of Europe and Asia are constructed,​ on either continent, upon the foundations of two celebrated temples, of Serapis and of Jupiter Urius. ​ The old castles, a work of the Greek emperors, command the narrowest part of the channel in a place where the opposite banks advance within five hundred paces of each other. ​ These fortresses were destroyed and strengthened by Mahomet the Second, when he meditated the siege of Constantinople:​ ^8 but the Turkish conqueror was most probably ignorant, that near two thousand years before his reign, continents by a bridge of boats. ^9 At a small distance from the old castles we discover the little town of Chrysopolis,​ or Scutari, which may almost be considered as the Asiatic suburb of Constantinople. ​ The Bosphorus, as it begins to open into the Propontis, passes between Byzantium and Chalcedon. The latter of those cities was built by the Greeks, a few years before the former; and the blindness of its founders, who overlooked the superior advantages of the opposite coast, has been stigmatized by a proverbial expression of contempt. ^10
 +
 +[Footnote 3: The Bosphorus has been very minutely described by Dionysius of Byzantium, who lived in the time of Domitian, (Hudson, Geograph Minor, tom. iii.,) and by Gilles or Gyllius, a French traveller of the XVIth century. Tournefort (Lettre XV.) seems to have used his own eyes, and the learning of Gyllius. [Add Von Hammer, Constantinopolis und der Bosphoros, 8vo. - M.] [Footnote 4: There are very few conjectures so happy as that of Le Clere, (Bibliotehque Universelle,​ tom. i. p. 148,) who supposes that the harpies were only locusts. ​ The Syriac or Phoenician name of those insects, their noisy flight, the stench and devastation which they occasion, and the north wind which drives them into the sea, all contribute to form the striking resemblance.]
 +
 +[Footnote 5: The residence of Amycus was in Asia, between the old and the new castles, at a place called Laurus Insana. ​ That of Phineus was in Europe, near the village of Mauromole and the Black Sea.  See Gyllius de Bosph. l. ii. c. 23.  Tournefort, Lettre XV.]
 +
 +[Footnote 6: The deception was occasioned by several pointed rocks, alternately sovered and abandoned by the waves. ​ At present there are two small islands, one towards either shore; that of Europe is distinguished by the column of Pompey.]
 +
 +[Footnote 7: The ancients computed one hundred and twenty stadia, or fifteen Roman miles. ​ They measured only from the new castles, but they carried the straits as far as the town of Chalcedon.]
 +
 +[Footnote 8: Ducas. Hist. c. 34.  Leunclavius Hist.  Turcica Mussulmanica,​ l. xv. p. 577.  Under the Greek empire these castles were used as state prisons, under the tremendous name of Lethe, or towers of oblivion.] [Footnote 9: Darius engraved in Greek and Assyrian letters, on two marble columns, the names of his subject nations, and the amazing numbers of his land and sea forces. ​ The Byzantines afterwards transported these columns into the city, and used them for the altars of their tutelar deities. Herodotus, l. iv. c. 87.]
 +
 +[Footnote 10: Namque arctissimo inter Europam Asiamque divortio Byzantium in extrema Europa posuere Greci, quibus, Pythium Apollinem consulentibus ubi conderent urbem, redditum oraculum est, quaererent sedem oecerum terris adversam. ​ Ea ambage Chalcedonii monstrabantur quod priores illuc advecti, praevisa locorum utilitate pejora legissent Tacit. Annal. ​ xii. 63.] The harbor of Constantinople,​ which may be considered as an arm of the Bosphorus, obtained, in a very remote period, the denomination of the Golden Horn.  The curve which it describes might be compared to the horn of a stag, or as it should seem, with more propriety, to that of an ox. ^11 The epithet of golden was expressive of the riches which every wind wafted from the most distant countries into the secure and capacious port of Constantinople. ​ The River Lycus, formed by the conflux of two little streams, pours into the harbor a perpetual supply of fresh water, which serves to cleanse the bottom, and to invite the periodical shoals of fish to seek their retreat in that convenient recess. ​ As the vicissitudes of tides are scarcely felt in those seas, the constant depth of the harbor allows goods to be landed on the quays without the assistance of boats; and it has been observed, that in many places the largest vessels may rest their prows against the houses, while their sterns are floating in the water. ^12 From the mouth of the Lycus to that of the harbor, this arm of the Bosphorus is more than seven miles in length. ​ The entrance is about five hundred yards broad, and a strong chain could be occasionally drawn across it, to guard the port and city from the attack of a hostile navy. ^13
 +
 +[Footnote 11: Strabo, l. vii. p. 492, [edit. Casaub.] Most of the antlers are now broken off; or, to speak less figuratively,​ most of the recesses of the harbor are filled up.  See Gill.  de Bosphoro Thracio, l. i. c. 5.] [Footnote 12: Procopius de Aedificiis, l. i. c. 5.  His description is confirmed by modern travellers. ​ See Thevenot, part i. l. i. c. 15. Tournefort, Lettre XII.  Niebuhr, Voyage d'​Arabie,​ p. 22.] [Footnote 13: See Ducange, C. P. l. i. part i. c. 16, and his Observations sur Villehardouin,​ p. 289.  The chain was drawn from the Acropolis near the modern Kiosk, to the tower of Galata; and was supported at convenient distances by large wooden piles.]
 +
 +Between the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, the shores of Europe and Asia, receding on either side, enclose the sea of Marmara, which was known to the ancients by the denomination of Propontis. ​ The navigation from the issue of the Bosphorus to the entrance of the Hellespont is about one hundred and twenty miles. Those who steer their westward course through the middle of the Propontis, amt at once descry the high lands of Thrace and Bithynia, and never lose sight of the lofty summit of Mount Olympus, covered with eternal snows. ^14 They leave on the left a deep gulf, at the bottom of which Nicomedia was seated, the Imperial residence of Diocletian; and they pass the small islands of Cyzicus and Proconnesus before they cast anchor at Gallipoli; where the sea, which separates Asia from Europe, is again contracted into a narrow channel.
 +
 +[Footnote 14: Thevenot (Voyages au Levant, part i. l. i. c. 14) contracts the measure to 125 small Greek miles. ​ Belon (Observations,​ l. ii. c. 1.) gives a good description of the Propontis, but contents himself with the vague expression of one day and one night'​s sail.  When Sandy'​s (Travels, p. 21) talks of 150 furlongs in length, as well as breadth we can only suppose some mistake of the press in the text of that judicious traveller.] The geographers who, with the most skilful accuracy, have surveyed the form and extent of the Hellespont, assign about sixty miles for the winding course, and about three miles for the ordinary breadth of those celebrated straits. ^15 But the narrowest part of the channel is found to the northward of the old Turkish castles between the cities of Sestus and Abydus. ​ It was here that the adventurous Leander braved the passage of the flood for the possession of his mistress. ^16 It was here likewise, in a place where the distance between the opposite banks cannot exceed five hundred paces, that Xerxes imposed a stupendous bridge of boats, for the purpose of transporting into Europe a hundred and seventy myriads of barbarians. ^17 A sea contracted within such narrow limits may seem but ill to deserve the singular epithet of broad, which Homer, as well as Orpheus, has frequently bestowed on the Hellespont. ^* But our ideas of greatness are of a relative nature: the traveller, and especially the poet, who sailed along the Hellespont, who pursued the windings of the stream, and contemplated the rural scenery, which appeared on every side to terminate the prospect, insensibly lost the remembrance of the sea; and his fancy painted those celebrated straits, with all the attributes of a mighty river flowing with a swift current, in the midst of a woody and inland country, and at length, through a wide mouth, discharging itself into the Aegean or Archipelago. ^18 Ancient Troy, ^19 seated on a an eminence at the foot of Mount Ida, overlooked the mouth of the Hellespont, which scarcely received an accession of waters from the tribute of those immortal rivulets the Simois and Scamander. The Grecian camp had stretched twelve miles along the shore from the Sigaean to the Rhaetean promontory; and the flanks of the army were guarded by the bravest chiefs who fought under the banners of Agamemnon. ​ The first of those promontories was occupied by Achilles with his invincible myrmidons, and the dauntless Ajax pitched his tents on the other. ​ After Ajax had fallen a sacrifice to his disappointed pride, and to the ingratitude of the Greeks, his sepulchre was erected on the ground where he had defended the navy against the rage of Jove and of Hector; and the citizens of the rising town of Rhaeteum celebrated his memory with divine honors. ^20 Before Constantine gave a just preference to the situation of Byzantium, he had conceived the design of erecting the seat of empire on this celebrated spot, from whence the Romans derived their fabulous origin. ​ The extensive plain which lies below ancient Troy, towards the Rhaetean promontory and the tomb of Ajax, was first chosen for his new capital; and though the undertaking was soon relinquished the stately remains of unfinished walls and towers attracted the notice of all who sailed through the straits of the Hellespont. ^21
 +
 +[Footnote 15: See an admirable dissertation of M. d'​Anville upon the Hellespont or Dardanelles,​ in the Memoires tom. xxviii. p. 318 - 346.  Yet even that ingenious geographer is too fond of supposing new, and perhaps imaginary measures, for the purpose of rendering ancient writers as accurate as himself. ​ The stadia employed by Herodotus in the description of the Euxine, the Bosphorus, &c., (l. iv. c. 85,) must undoubtedly be all of the same species; but it seems impossible to reconcile them either with truth or with each other.]
 +
 +[Footnote 16: The oblique distance between Sestus and Abydus was thirty stadia. ​ The improbable tale of Hero and Leander is exposed by M. Mahudel, but is defended on the authority of poets and medals by M. de la Nauze. See the Academie des Inscriptions,​ tom. vii. Hist. p. 74. elem. p. 240. Note: The practical illustration of the possibility of Leander'​s feat by Lord Byron and other English swimmers is too well known to need particularly reference - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 17: See the seventh book of Herodotus, who has erected an elegant trophy to his own fame and to that of his country. The review appears to have been made with tolerable accuracy; but the vanity, first of the Persians, and afterwards of the Greeks, was interested to magnify the armament and the victory. ​ I should much doubt whether the invaders have ever outnumbered the men of any country which they attacked.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Gibbon does not allow greater width between the two nearest points of the shores of the Hellespont than between those of the Bosphorus; yet all the ancient writers speak of the Hellespontic strait as broader than the other: they agree in giving it seven stadia in its narrowest width, (Herod. in Melp. c. 85.  Polym. c. 34.  Strabo, p. 591.  Plin. iv. c. 12.) which make 875 paces. ​ It is singular that Gibbon, who in the fifteenth note of this chapter reproaches d'​Anville with being fond of supposing new and perhaps imaginary measures, has here adopted the peculiar measurement which d'​Anville has assigned to the stadium. ​ This great geographer believes that the ancients had a stadium of fifty-one toises, and it is that which he applies to the walls of Babylon. ​ Now, seven of these stadia are equal to about 500 paces, 7 stadia = 2142 feet: 500 paces = 2135 feet 5 inches. - G. See Rennell, Geog. of Herod. p. 121.  Add Ukert, Geographie der Griechen und Romer, v. i. p. 2, 71. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 18: See Wood's Observations on Homer, p. 320.  I have, with pleasure, selected this remark from an author who in general seems to have disappointed the expectation of the public as a critic, and still more as a traveller. ​ He had visited the banks of the Hellespont; and had read Strabo; he ought to have consulted the Roman itineraries. ​ How was it possible for him to confound Ilium and Alexandria Troas, (Observations,​ p. 340, 341,) two cities which were sixteen miles distant from each other?
 +
 +Note: Compare Walpole'​s Memoirs on Turkey, v. i. p. 101. Dr. Clarke adopted Mr. Walpole'​s interpretation of the salt Hellespont. ​ But the old interpretation is more graphic and Homeric. Clarke'​s Travels, ii. 70. - M.] [Footnote 19: Demetrius of Scepsis wrote sixty books on thirty lines of Homer'​s catalogue. ​ The XIIIth Book of Strabo is sufficient for our curiosity.]
 +
 +[Footnote 20: Strabo, l. xiii. p. 595, [890, edit. Casaub.] The disposition of the ships, which were drawn upon dry land, and the posts of Ajax and Achilles, are very clearly described by Homer. See Iliad, ix. 220.] [Footnote 21: Zosim. l. ii. [c. 30,] p. 105.  Sozomen, l. ii. c. 3. Theophanes, p. 18.  Nicephorus Callistus, l. vii. p. 48. Zonaras, tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 6.  Zosimus places the new city between Ilium and Alexandria, but this apparent difference may be reconciled by the large extent of its circumference. ​ Before the foundation of Constantinople,​ Thessalonica is mentioned by Cedrenus, (p. 283,) and Sardica by Zonaras, as the intended capital. ​ They both suppose with very little probability,​ that the emperor, if he had not been prevented by a prodigy, would have repeated the mistake of the blind Chalcedonians.]
 +
 +We are at present qualified to view the advantageous position of Constantinople;​ which appears to have been formed by nature for the centre and capital of a great monarchy. ​ Situated in the forty-first degree of latitude, the Imperial city commanded, from her seven hills, ^22 the opposite shores of Europe and Asia; the climate was healthy and temperate, the soil fertile, the harbor secure and capacious; and the approach on the side of the continent was of small extent and easy defence. ​ The Bosphorus and the Hellespont may be considered as the two gates of Constantinople;​ and the prince who possessed those important passages could always shut them against a naval enemy, and open them to the fleets of commerce. ​ The preservation of the eastern provinces may, in some degree, be ascribed to the policy of Constantine,​ as the barbarians of the Euxine, who in the preceding age had poured their armaments into the heart of the Mediterranean,​ soon desisted from the exercise of piracy, and despaired of forcing this insurmountable barrier. ​ When the gates of the Hellespont and Bosphorus were shut, the capital still enjoyed within their spacious enclosure every production which could supply the wants, or gratify the luxury, of its numerous inhabitants. ​ The sea-coasts of Thrace and Bithynia, which languish under the weight of Turkish oppression, still exhibit a rich prospect of vineyards, of gardens, and of plentiful harvests; and the Propontis has ever been renowned for an inexhaustible store of the most exquisite fish, that are taken in their stated seasons, without skill, and almost without labor. ^23 But when the passages of the straits were thrown open for trade, they alternately admitted the natural and artificial riches of the north and south, of the Euxine, and of the Mediterranean. ​ Whatever rude commodities were collected in the forests of Germany and Scythia, and far as the sources of the Tanais and the Borysthenes;​ whatsoever was manufactured by the skill of Europe or Asia; the corn of Egypt, and the gems and spices of the farthest India, were brought by the varying winds into the port of Constantinople,​ which for many ages attracted the commerce of the ancient world. ^24
 +
 +[See Basilica Of Constantinople]
 +
 +[Footnote 22: Pocock'​s Description of the East, vol. ii. part ii. p. 127. His plan of the seven hills is clear and accurate. ​ That traveller is seldom unsatisfactory.]
 +
 +[Footnote 23: See Belon, Observations,​ c. 72 - 76.  Among a variety of different species, the Pelamides, a sort of Thunnies, were the most celebrated. ​ We may learn from Polybius, Strabo, and Tacitus, that the profits of the fishery constituted the principal revenue of Byzantium.] [Footnote 24: See the eloquent description of Busbequius, epistol. i. p. 64. Est in Europa; habet in conspectu Asiam, Egyptum. Africamque a dextra: quae tametsi contiguae non sunt, maris tamen navigandique commoditate veluti junguntur. ​ A sinistra vero Pontus est Euxinus, &c.]
 +
 +The prospect of beauty, of safety, and of wealth, united in a single spot, was sufficient to justify the choice of Constantine. ​ But as some decent mixture of prodigy and fable has, in every age, been supposed to reflect a becoming majesty on the origin of great cities, ^25 the emperor was desirous of ascribing his resolution, not so much to the uncertain counsels of human policy, as to the infallible and eternal decrees of divine wisdom. ​ In one of his laws he has been careful to instruct posterity, that in obedience to the commands of God, he laid the everlasting foundations of Constantinople:​ ^26 and though he has not condescended to relate in what manner the celestial inspiration was communicated to his mind, the defect of his modest silence has been liberally supplied by the ingenuity of succeeding writers; who describe the nocturnal vision which appeared to the fancy of Constantine,​ as he slept within the walls of Byzantium. ​ The tutelar genius of the city, a venerable matron sinking under the weight of years and infirmities,​ was suddenly transformed into a blooming maid, whom his own hands adorned with all the symbols of Imperial greatness. ^27 The monarch awoke, interpreted the auspicious omen, and obeyed, without hesitation, the will of Heaven The day which gave birth to a city or colony was celebrated by the Romans with such ceremonies as had been ordained by a generous superstition;​ ^28 and though Constantine might omit some rites which savored too strongly of their Pagan origin, yet he was anxious to leave a deep impression of hope and respect on the minds of the spectators. ​ On foot, with a lance in his hand, the emperor himself led the solemn procession; and directed the line, which was traced as the boundary of the destined capital: till the growing circumference was observed with astonishment by the assistants, who, at length, ventured to observe, that he had already exceeded the most ample measure of a great city. "I shall still advance,"​ replied Constantine,​ "till He, the invisible guide who marches before me, thinks proper to stop." ^29 Without presuming to investigate the nature or motives of this extraordinary conductor, we shall content ourselves with the more humble task of describing the extent and limits of Constantinople. ^30
 +
 +[Footnote 25: Datur haec venia antiquitati,​ ut miscendo humana divinis, primordia urbium augustiora faciat. ​ T. Liv. in prooem.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: He says in one of his laws, pro commoditate urbis quam aeteras nomine, jubente Deo, donavimus. ​ Cod. Theodos. l. xiii. tit. v. leg. 7.] [Footnote 27: The Greeks, Theophanes, Cedrenus, and the author of the Alexandrian Chronicle, confine themselves to vague and general expressions. For a more particular account of the vision, we are obliged to have recourse to such Latin writers as William of Malmesbury. ​ See Ducange, C. P. l. i. p. 24, 25.]
 +
 +[Footnote 28: See Plutarch in Romul. tom. i. p. 49, edit. Bryan. Among other ceremonies, a large hole, which had been dug for that purpose, was filled up with handfuls of earth, which each of the settlers brought from the place of his birth, and thus adopted his new country.]
 +
 +[Footnote 29: Philostorgius,​ l. ii. c. 9.  This incident, though borrowed from a suspected writer, is characteristic and probable.]
 +
 +[Footnote 30: See in the Memoires de l'​Academie,​ tom. xxxv p. 747 - 758, a dissertation of M. d'​Anville on the extent of Constantinople. ​ He takes the plan inserted in the Imperium Orientale of Banduri as the most complete; but, by a series of very nice observations,​ he reduced the extravagant proportion of the scale, and instead of 9500, determines the circumference of the city as consisting of about 7800 French toises.]
 +
 +In the actual state of the city, the palace and gardens of the Seraglio occupy the eastern promontory, the first of the seven hills, and cover about one hundred and fifty acres of our own measure. ​ The seat of Turkish jealousy and despotism is erected on the foundations of a Grecian republic; but it may be supposed that the Byzantines were tempted by the conveniency of the harbor to extend their habitations on that side beyond the modern limits of the Seraglio. ​ The new walls of Constantine stretched from the port to the Propontis across the enlarged breadth of the triangle, at the distance of fifteen stadia from the ancient fortification;​ and with the city of Byzantium they enclosed five of the seven hills, which, to the eyes of those who approach Constantinople,​ appear to rise above each other in beautiful order. ^31 About a century after the death of the founder, the new buildings, extending on one side up the harbor, and on the other along the Propontis, already covered the narrow ridge of the sixth, and the broad summit of the seventh hill. The necessity of protecting those suburbs from the incessant inroads of the barbarians engaged the younger Theodosius to surround his capital with an adequate and permanent enclosure of walls. ^32 From the eastern promontory to the golden gate, the extreme length of Constantinople was about three Roman miles; ^33 the circumference measured between ten and eleven; and the surface might be computed as equal to about two thousand English acres. ​ It is impossible to justify the vain and credulous exaggerations of modern travellers, who have sometimes stretched the limits of Constantinople over the adjacent villages of the European, and even of the Asiatic coast. ^34 But the suburbs of Pera and Galata, though situate beyond the harbor, may deserve to be considered as a part of the city; ^35 and this addition may perhaps authorize the measure of a Byzantine historian, who assigns sixteen Greek (about fourteen Roman) miles for the circumference of his native city. ^36 Such an extent may not seem unworthy of an Imperial residence. ​ Yet Constantinople must yield to Babylon and Thebes, ^37 to ancient Rome, to London, and even to Paris. ^38
 +
 +[Footnote 31: Codinus, Antiquitat. Const. p. 12.  He assigns the church of St. Anthony as the boundary on the side of the harbor. It is mentioned in Ducange, l. iv. c. 6; but I have tried, without success, to discover the exact place where it was situated.]
 +
 +[Footnote 32: The new wall of Theodosius was constructed in the year 413. In 447 it was thrown down by an earthquake, and rebuilt in three months by the diligence of the praefect Cyrus. ​ The suburb of the Blanchernae was first taken into the city in the reign of Heraclius Ducange, Const. l. i. c. 10, 11.]
 +
 +[Footnote 33: The measurement is expressed in the Notitia by 14,075 feet. It is reasonable to suppose that these were Greek feet, the proportion of which has been ingeniously determined by M. d'​Anville. ​ He compares the 180 feet with 78 Hashemite cubits, which in different writers are assigned for the heights of St. Sophia. ​ Each of these cubits was equal to 27 French inches.] [Footnote 34: The accurate Thevenot (l. i. c. 15) walked in one hour and three quarters round two of the sides of the triangle, from the Kiosk of the Seraglio to the seven towers. ​ D'​Anville examines with care, and receives with confidence, this decisive testimony, which gives a circumference of ten or twelve miles. The extravagant computation of Tournefort (Lettre XI) of thirty-tour or thirty miles, without including Scutari, is a strange departure from his usual character.]
 +
 +[Footnote 35: The sycae, or fig-trees, formed the thirteenth region, and were very much embellished by Justinian. ​ It has since borne the names of Pera and Galata. ​ The etymology of the former is obvious; that of the latter is unknown. ​ See Ducange, Const. l. i. c. 22, and Gyllius de Byzant. l. iv. c. 10.]
 +
 +[Footnote 36: One hundred and eleven stadia, which may be translated into modern Greek miles each of seven stadia, or 660, sometimes only 600 French toises. ​ See D'​Anville,​ Mesures Itineraires,​ p. 53.]
 +
 +[Footnote 37: When the ancient texts, which describe the size of Babylon and Thebes, are settled, the exaggerations reduced, and the measures ascertained,​ we find that those famous cities filled the great but not incredible circumference of about twenty-five or thirty miles. ​ Compare D'​Anville,​ Mem. de l'​Academie,​ tom. xxviii. p. 235, with his Description de l'​Egypte,​ p. 201, 202.]
 +
 +[Footnote 38: If we divide Constantinople and Paris into equal squares of 50 French toises, the former contains 850, and the latter 1160, of those divisions.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +The master of the Roman world, who aspired to erect an eternal monument of the glories of his reign could employ in the prosecution of that great work, the wealth, the labor, and all that yet remained of the genius of obedient millions. ​ Some estimate may be formed of the expense bestowed with Imperial liberality on the foundation of Constantinople,​ by the allowance of about two millions five hundred thousand pounds for the construction of the walls, the porticos, and the aqueducts. ^39 The forests that overshadowed the shores of the Euxine, and the celebrated quarries of white marble in the little island of Proconnesus,​ supplied an inexhaustible stock of materials, ready to be conveyed, by the convenience of a short water carriage, to the harbor of Byzantium. ^40 A multitude of laborers and artificers urged the conclusion of the work with incessant toil: but the impatience of Constantine soon discovered, that, in the decline of the arts, the skill as well as numbers of his architects bore a very unequal proportion to the greatness of his designs. ​ The magistrates of the most distant provinces were therefore directed to institute schools, to appoint professors, and by the hopes of rewards and privileges, to engage in the study and practice of architecture a sufficient number of ingenious youths, who had received a liberal education. ^41 The buildings of the new city were executed by such artificers as the reign of Constantine could afford; but they were decorated by the hands of the most celebrated masters of the age of Pericles and Alexander. ​ To revive the genius of Phidias and Lysippus, surpassed indeed the power of a Roman emperor; but the immortal productions which they had bequeathed to posterity were exposed without defence to the rapacious vanity of a despot. ​ By his commands the cities of Greece and Asia were despoiled of their most valuable ornaments. ^42 The trophies of memorable wars, the objects of religious veneration, the most finished statues of the gods and heroes, of the sages and poets, of ancient times, contributed to the splendid triumph of Constantinople;​ and gave occasion to the remark of the historian Cedrenus, ^43 who observes, with some enthusiasm, that nothing seemed wanting except the souls of the illustrious men whom these admirable monuments were intended to represent. But it is not in the city of Constantine,​ nor in the declining period of an empire, when the human mind was depressed by civil and religious slavery, that we should seek for the souls of Homer and of Demosthenes.
 +
 +[Footnote 39: Six hundred centenaries,​ or sixty thousand pounds'​ weight of gold.  This sum is taken from Codinus, Antiquit. Const. p. 11; but unless that contemptible author had derived his information from some purer sources, he would probably have been unacquainted with so obsolete a mode of reckoning.]
 +
 +[Footnote 40: For the forests of the Black Sea, consult Tournefort, Lettre XVI. for the marble quarries of Proconnesus,​ see Strabo, l. xiii. p. 588, (881, edit. Casaub.) The latter had already furnished the materials of the stately buildings of Cyzicus.]
 +
 +[Footnote 41: See the Codex Theodos. l. xiii. tit. iv. leg. 1. This law is dated in the year 334, and was addressed to the praefect of Italy, whose jurisdiction extended over Africa. ​ The commentary of Godefroy on the whole title well deserves to be consulted.]
 +
 +[Footnote 42: Constantinopolis dedicatur poene omnium urbium nuditate. Hieronym. Chron. p. 181.  See Codinus, p. 8, 9.  The author of the Antiquitat. Const. l. iii. (apud Banduri Imp. Orient. tom. i. p. 41) enumerates Rome, Sicily, Antioch, Athens, and a long list of other cities. The provinces of Greece and Asia Minor may be supposed to have yielded the richest booty.] [Footnote 43: Hist. Compend. p. 369.  He describes the statue, or rather bust, of Homer with a degree of taste which plainly indicates that Cadrenus copied the style of a more fortunate age.]
 +
 +During the siege of Byzantium, the conqueror had pitched his tent on the commanding eminence of the second hill.  To perpetuate the memory of his success, he chose the same advantageous position for the principal Forum; ^44 which appears to have been of a circular, or rather elliptical form.  The two opposite entrances formed triumphal arches; the porticos, which enclosed it on every side, were filled with statues; and the centre of the Forum was occupied by a lofty column, of which a mutilated fragment is now degraded by the appellation of the burnt pillar. ​ This column was erected on a pedestal of white marble twenty feet high; and was composed of ten pieces of porphyry, each of which measured about ten feet in height, and about thirty-three in circumference. ^45 On the summit of the pillar, above one hundred and twenty feet from the ground, stood the colossal statue of Apollo. ​ It was a bronze, had been transported either from Athens or from a town of Phrygia, and was supposed to be the work of Phidias. ​ The artist had represented the god of day, or, as it was afterwards interpreted,​ the emperor Constantine himself, with a sceptre in his right hand, the globe of the world in his left, and a crown of rays glittering on his head. ^46 The Circus, or Hippodrome, was a stately building about four hundred paces in length, and one hundred in breadth. ^47 The space between the two metoe or goals were filled with statues and obelisks; and we may still remark a very singular fragment of antiquity; the bodies of three serpents, twisted into one pillar of brass. ​ Their triple heads had once supported the golden tripod which, after the defeat of Xerxes, was consecrated in the temple of Delphi by the victorious Greeks. ^48 The beauty of the Hippodrome has been long since defaced by the rude hands of the Turkish conquerors; ^! but, under the similar appellation of Atmeidan, it still serves as a place of exercise for their horses. ​ From the throne, whence the emperor viewed the Circensian games, a winding staircase ^49 descended to the palace; a magnificent edifice, which scarcely yielded to the residence of Rome itself, and which, together with the dependent courts, gardens, and porticos, covered a considerable extent of ground upon the banks of the Propontis between the Hippodrome and the church of St. Sophia. ^50 We might likewise celebrate the baths, which still retained the name of Zeuxippus, after they had been enriched, by the munificence of Constantine,​ with lofty columns, various marbles, and above threescore statues of bronze. ^51 But we should deviate from the design of this history, if we attempted minutely to describe the different buildings or quarters of the city.  It may be sufficient to observe, that whatever could adorn the dignity of a great capital, or contribute to the benefit or pleasure of its numerous inhabitants,​ was contained within the walls of Constantinople. ​ A particular description,​ composed about a century after its foundation, enumerates a capitol or school of learning, a circus, two theatres, eight public, and one hundred and fifty-three private baths, fifty-two porticos, five granaries, eight aqueducts or reservoirs of water, four spacious halls for the meetings of the senate or courts of justice, fourteen churches, fourteen palaces, and four thousand three hundred and eighty-eight houses, which, for their size or beauty, deserved to be distinguished from the multitude of plebeian inhabitants. ^52 [Footnote 44: Zosim. l. ii. p. 106.  Chron. Alexandrin. vel Paschal. p. 284, Ducange, Const. l. i. c. 24.  Even the last of those writers seems to confound the Forum of Constantine with the Augusteum, or court of the palace. ​ I am not satisfied whether I have properly distinguished what belongs to the one and the other.]
 +
 +[Footnote 45: The most tolerable account of this column is given by Pocock. Description of the East, vol. ii. part ii. p. 131. But it is still in many instances perplexed and unsatisfactory.]
 +
 +[Footnote 46: Ducange, Const. l. i. c. 24, p. 76, and his notes ad Alexiad. p. 382.  The statue of Constantine or Apollo was thrown down under the reign of Alexius Comnenus.
 +
 +Note: On this column (says M. von Hammer) Constantine,​ with singular shamelessness,​ placed his own statue with the attributes of Apollo and Christ. He substituted the nails of the Passion for the rays of the sun.  Such is the direct testimony of the author of the Antiquit. Constantinop. apud Banduri. Constantine was replaced by the "great and religious"​ Julian, Julian, by Theodosius. A. D. 1412, the key stone was loosened by an earthquake. ​ The statue fell in the reign of Alexius Comnenus, and was replaced by the cross. The Palladium was said to be buried under the pillar. ​ Von Hammer, Constantinopolis und der Bosporos, i. 162. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 47: Tournefort (Lettre XII.) computes the Atmeidan at four hundred paces. ​ If he means geometrical paces of five feet each, it was three hundred toises in length, about forty more than the great circus of Rome.  See D'​Anville,​ Mesures Itineraires,​ p. 73.]
 +
 +[Footnote 48: The guardians of the most holy relics would rejoice if they were able to produce such a chain of evidence as may be alleged on this occasion. See Banduri ad Antiquitat. ​ Const. p. 668.  Gyllius de Byzant. l. ii. c. 13. 1. The original consecration of the tripod and pillar in the temple of Delphi may be proved from Herodotus and Pausanias. ​ 2. The Pagan Zosimus agrees with the three ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius, Socrates, and Sozomen, that the sacred ornaments of the temple of Delphi were removed to Constantinople by the order of Constantine;​ and among these the serpentine pillar of the Hippodrome is particularly mentioned. ​ 3. All the European travellers who have visited Constantinople,​ from Buondelmonte to Pocock, describe it in the same place, and almost in the same manner; the differences between them are occasioned only by the injuries which it has sustained from the Turks. ​ Mahomet the Second broke the under jaw of one of the serpents with a stroke of his battle axe Thevenot, l. i. c. 17.
 +
 +Note: See note 75, ch. lxviii. for Dr. Clarke'​s rejection of Thevenot'​s authority. ​ Von Hammer, however, repeats the story of Thevenot without questioning its authenticity. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: In 1808 the Janizaries revolted against the vizier Mustapha Baisactar, who wished to introduce a new system of military organization,​ besieged the quarter of the Hippodrome, in which stood the palace of the viziers, and the Hippodrome was consumed in the conflagration. - G.] [Footnote 49: The Latin name Cochlea was adopted by the Greeks, and very frequently occurs in the Byzantine history. ​ Ducange, Const. i. c. l, p. 104.] [Footnote 50: There are three topographical points which indicate the situation of the palace. ​ 1. The staircase which connected it with the Hippodrome or Atmeidan. ​ 2. A small artificial port on the Propontis, from whence there was an easy ascent, by a flight of marble steps, to the gardens of the palace. ​ 3. The Augusteum was a spacious court, one side of which was occupied by the front of the palace, and another by the church of St. Sophia.] [Footnote 51: Zeuxippus was an epithet of Jupiter, and the baths were a part of old Byzantium. ​ The difficulty of assigning their true situation has not been felt by Ducange. ​ History seems to connect them with St. Sophia and the palace; but the original plan inserted in Banduri places them on the other side of the city, near the harbor. ​ For their beauties, see Chron. Paschal. p. 285, and Gyllius de Byzant. l. ii. c. 7. Christodorus (see Antiquitat. Const. l. vii.) composed inscriptions in verse for each of the statues. ​ He was a Theban poet in genius as well as in birth: -
 +
 +Baeotum in crasso jurares aere natum.
 +
 +Note: Yet, for his age, the description of the statues of Hecuba and of Homer are by no means without merit. ​ See Antholog. Palat. (edit. Jacobs) i. 37 - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 52: See the Notitia. ​ Rome only reckoned 1780 large houses, domus; but the word must have had a more dignified signification. ​ No insulae are mentioned at Constantinople. ​ The old capital consisted of 42 streets, the new of 322.]
 +
 +The populousness of his favored city was the next and most serious object of the attention of its founder. ​ In the dark ages which succeeded the translation of the empire, the remote and the immediate consequences of that memorable event were strangely confounded by the vanity of the Greeks and the credulity of the Latins. ^53 It was asserted, and believed, that all the noble families of Rome, the senate, and the equestrian order, with their innumerable attendants, had followed their emperor to the banks of the Propontis; that a spurious race of strangers and plebeians was left to possess the solitude of the ancient capital; and that the lands of Italy, long since converted into gardens, were at once deprived of cultivation and inhabitants. ^54 In the course of this history, such exaggerations will be reduced to their just value: yet, since the growth of Constantinople cannot be ascribed to the general increase of mankind and of industry, it must be admitted that this artificial colony was raised at the expense of the ancient cities of the empire. ​ Many opulent senators of Rome, and of the eastern provinces, were probably invited by Constantine to adopt for their country the fortunate spot, which he had chosen for his own residence. ​ The invitations of a master are scarcely to be distinguished from commands; and the liberality of the emperor obtained a ready and cheerful obedience. ​ He bestowed on his favorites the palaces which he had built in the several quarters of the city, assigned them lands and pensions for the support of their dignity, ^55 and alienated the demesnes of Pontus and Asia to grant hereditary estates by the easy tenure of maintaining a house in the capital. ^56 But these encouragements and obligations soon became superfluous,​ and were gradually abolished. ​ Wherever the seat of government is fixed, a considerable part of the public revenue will be expended by the prince himself, by his ministers, by the officers of justice, and by the domestics of the palace. ​ The most wealthy of the provincials will be attracted by the powerful motives of interest and duty, of amusement and curiosity. ​ A third and more numerous class of inhabitants will insensibly be formed, of servants, of artificers, and of merchants, who derive their subsistence from their own labor, and from the wants or luxury of the superior ranks. ​ In less than a century, Constantinople disputed with Rome itself the preeminence of riches and numbers. ​ New piles of buildings, crowded together with too little regard to health or convenience,​ scarcely allowed the intervals of narrow streets for the perpetual throng of men, of horses, and of carriages. ​ The allotted space of ground was insufficient to contain the increasing people; and the additional foundations,​ which, on either side, were advanced into the sea, might alone have composed a very considerable city. ^57 [Footnote 53: Liutprand, Legatio ad Imp. Nicephornm, p. 153.  The modern Greeks have strangely disfigured the antiquities of Constantinople. ​ We might excuse the errors of the Turkish or Arabian writers; but it is somewhat astonishing,​ that the Greeks, who had access to the authentic materials preserved in their own language, should prefer fiction to truth, and loose tradition to genuine history. ​ In a single page of Codinus we may detect twelve unpardonable mistakes; the reconciliation of Severus and Niger, the marriage of their son and daughter, the siege of Byzantium by the Macedonians,​ the invasion of the Gauls, which recalled Severus to Rome, the sixty years which elapsed from his death to the foundation of Constantinople,​ &c.] [Footnote 54: Montesquieu,​ Grandeur et Decadence des Romains, c. 17.] [Footnote 55: Themist. Orat. iii. p. 48, edit. Hardouin. Sozomen, l. ii. c. 3.  Zosim. l. ii. p. 107.  Anonym. Valesian. p. 715.  If we could credit Codinus, (p. 10,) Constantine built houses for the senators on the exact model of their Roman palaces, and gratified them, as well as himself, with the pleasure of an agreeable surprise; but the whole story is full of fictions and inconsistencies.]
 +
 +[Footnote 56: The law by which the younger Theodosius, in the year 438, abolished this tenure, may be found among the Novellae of that emperor at the end of the Theodosian Code, tom. vi. nov. 12.  M. de Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 371) has evidently mistaken the nature of these estates. ​ With a grant from the Imperial demesnes, the same condition was accepted as a favor, which would justly have been deemed a hardship, if it had been imposed upon private property.]
 +
 +[Footnote 57: The passages of Zosimus, of Eunapius, of Sozomen, and of Agathias, which relate to the increase of buildings and inhabitants at Constantinople,​ are collected and connected by Gyllius de Byzant. l. i. c. 3. Sidonius Apollinaris (in Panegyr. Anthem. 56, p. 279, edit. Sirmond) describes the moles that were pushed forwards into the sea, they consisted of the famous Puzzolan sand, which hardens in the water.]
 +
 +The frequent and regular distributions of wine and oil, of corn or bread, of money or provisions, had almost exempted the poorest citizens of Rome from the necessity of labor. ​ The magnificence of the first Caesars was in some measure imitated by the founder of Constantinople:​ ^58 but his liberality, however it might excite the applause of the people, has in curred the censure of posterity. ​ A nation of legislators and conquerors might assert their claim to the harvests of Africa, which had been purchased with their blood; and it was artfully contrived by Augustus, that, in the enjoyment of plenty, the Romans should lose the memory of freedom. ​ But the prodigality of Constantine could not be excused by any consideration either of public or private interest; and the annual tribute of corn imposed upon Egypt for the benefit of his new capital, was applied to feed a lazy and insolent populace, at the expense of the husbandmen of an industrious province. ^59 ^* Some other regulations of this emperor are less liable to blame, but they are less deserving of notice. ​ He divided Constantinople into fourteen regions or quarters, ^60 dignified the public council with the appellation of senate, ^61 communicated to the citizens the privileges of Italy, ^62 and bestowed on the rising city the title of Colony, the first and most favored daughter of ancient Rome.  The venerable parent still maintained the legal and acknowledged supremacy, which was due to her age, her dignity, and to the remembrance of her former greatness. ^63
 +
 +[Footnote 58: Sozomen, l. ii. c. 3.  Philostorg. l. ii. c. 9. Codin. Antiquitat. Const. p. 8.  It appears by Socrates, l. ii. c. 13, that the daily allowance of the city consisted of eight myriads of which we may either translate, with Valesius, by the words modii of corn, or consider us expressive of the number of loaves of bread.
 +
 +Note: At Rome the poorer citizens who received these gratuities were inscribed in a register; they had only a personal right. ​ Constantine attached the right to the houses in his new capital, to engage the lower classes of the people to build their houses with expedition. ​ Codex Therodos. l. xiv. - G.] [Footnote 59: See Cod. Theodos. l. xiii. and xiv., and Cod. Justinian. Edict. xii. tom. ii. p. 648, edit. Genev. ​ See the beautiful complaint of Rome in the poem of Claudian de Bell. Gildonico, ver. 46-64.
 +
 +Cum subiit par Roma mihi, divisaque sumsit Aequales aurora togas; Aegyptia rura In partem cessere novam.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: This was also at the expense of Rome.  The emperor ordered that the fleet of Alexandria should transport to Constantinople the grain of Egypt which it carried before to Rome: this grain supplied Rome during four months of the year. Claudian has described with force the famine occasioned by this measure: -
 +
 +Haec nobis, haec ante dabas; nunc pabula tantum Roma precor: miserere tuae; pater optime, gentis: Extremam defende famem.
 +
 +Claud. de Bell. Gildon. v. 34.
 +
 +- G.
 +
 +It was scarcely this measure. ​ Gildo had cut off the African as well as the Egyptian supplies. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 60: The regions of Constantinople are mentioned in the code of Justinian, and particularly described in the Notitia of the younger Theodosius; but as the four last of them are not included within the wall of Constantine,​ it may be doubted whether this division of the city should be referred to the founder.]
 +
 +[Footnote 61: Senatum constituit secundi ordinis; Claros vocavit. Anonym Valesian. p. 715.  The senators of old Rome were styled Clarissimi. ​ See a curious note of Valesius ad Ammian. Marcellin. xxii. 9.  From the eleventh epistle of Julian, it should seem that the place of senator was considered as a burden, rather than as an honor; but the Abbe de la Bleterie (Vie de Jovien, tom. ii. p. 371) has shown that this epistle could not relate to Constantinople. ​ Might we not read, instead of the celebrated name of the obscure but more probable word Bisanthe or Rhoedestus, now Rhodosto, was a small maritime city of Thrace. See Stephan. Byz. de Urbibus, p. 225, and Cellar. Geograph. tom. i. p. 849.]
 +
 +[Footnote 62: Cod. Theodos. l. xiv. 13.  The commentary of Godefroy (tom. v. p. 220) is long, but perplexed; nor indeed is it easy to ascertain in what the Jus Italicum could consist, after the freedom of the city had been communicated to the whole empire.
 +
 +Note: "This right, (the Jus Italicum,) which by most writers is referred with out foundation to the personal condition of the citizens, properly related to the city as a whole, and contained two parts. ​ First, the Roman or quiritarian property in the soil, (commercium,​) and its capability of mancipation,​ usucaption, and vindication;​ moreover, as an inseparable consequence of this, exemption from land-tax. ​ Then, secondly, a free constitution in the Italian form, with Duumvirs, Quinquennales. and Aediles, and especially with Jurisdiction."​ Savigny, Geschichte des Rom. Rechts i. p. 51 - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 63: Julian (Orat. i. p. 8) celebrates Constantinople as not less superior to all other cities than she was inferior to Rome itself. ​ His learned commentator (Spanheim, p. 75, 76) justifies this language by several parallel and contemporary instances. ​ Zosimus, as well as Socrates and Sozomen, flourished after the division of the empire between the two sons of Theodosius, which established a perfect equality between the old and the new capital.]
 +
 +As Constantine urged the progress of the work with the impatience of a lover, the walls, the porticos, and the principal edifices were completed in a few years, or, according to another account, in a few months; ^64 but this extraordinary diligence should excite the less admiration, since many of the buildings were finished in so hasty and imperfect a manner, that under the succeeding reign, they were preserved with difficulty from impending ruin. ^65 But while they displayed the vigor and freshness of youth, the founder prepared to celebrate the dedication of his city. ^66 The games and largesses which crowned the pomp of this memorable festival may easily be supposed; but there is one circumstance of a more singular and permanent nature, which ought not entirely to be overlooked. ​ As often as the birthday of the city returned, the statute of Constantine,​ framed by his order, of gilt wood, and bearing in his right hand a small image of the genius of the place, was erected on a triumphal car.  The guards, carrying white tapers, and clothed in their richest apparel, accompanied the solemn procession as it moved through the Hippodrome. ​ When it was opposite to the throne of the reigning emperor, he rose from his seat, and with grateful reverence adored the memory of his predecessor. ^67 At the festival of the dedication, an edict, engraved on a column of marble, bestowed the title of Second or New Rome on the city of Constantine. ^68 But the name of Constantinople ^69 has prevailed over that honorable epithet; and after the revolution of fourteen centuries, still perpetuates the fame of its author. ^70
 +
 +[Footnote 64: Codinus (Antiquitat. p. 8) affirms, that the foundations of Constantinople were laid in the year of the world 5837, (A. D. 329,) on the 26th of September, and that the city was dedicated the 11th of May, 5838, (A. D. 330.) He connects those dates with several characteristic epochs, but they contradict each other; the authority of Codinus is of little weight, and the space which he assigns must appear insufficient. The term of ten years is given us by Julian, (Orat. i. p. 8;) and Spanheim labors to establish the truth of it, (p. 69-75,) by the help of two passages from Themistius, (Orat. iv. p. 58,) and of Philostorgius,​ (l. ii. c. 9,) which form a period from the year 324 to the year 334.  Modern critics are divided concerning this point of chronology and their different sentiments are very accurately described by Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 619-625.]
 +
 +[Footnote 65: Themistius. Orat. iii. p. 47.  Zosim. l. ii. p. 108. Constantine himself, in one of his laws, (Cod. Theod. l. xv. tit. i.,) betrays his impatience.]
 +
 +[Footnote 66: Cedrenus and Zonaras, faithful to the mode of superstition which prevailed in their own times, assure us that Constantinople was consecrated to the virgin Mother of God.]
 +
 +[Footnote 67: The earliest and most complete account of this extraordinary ceremony may be found in the Alexandrian Chronicle, p. 285.  Tillemont, and the other friends of Constantine,​ who are offended with the air of Paganism which seems unworthy of a Christian prince, had a right to consider it as doubtful, but they were not authorized to omit the mention of it.] [Footnote 68: Sozomen, l. ii. c. 2.  Ducange C. P. l. i. c. 6. Velut ipsius Romae filiam, is the expression of Augustin. de Civitat. Dei, l. v. c. 25.] [Footnote 69: Eutropius, l. x. c. 8.  Julian. Orat. i. p. 8. Ducange C. P. l. i. c. 5.  The name of Constantinople is extant on the medals of Constantine.] [Footnote 70: The lively Fontenelle (Dialogues des Morts, xii.) affects to deride the vanity of human ambition, and seems to triumph in the disappointment of Constantine,​ whose immortal name is now lost in the vulgar appellation of Istambol, a Turkish corruption of.  Yet the original name is still preserved, 1. By the nations of Europe. ​ 2. By the modern Greeks. ​ 3. By the Arabs, whose writings are diffused over the wide extent of their conquests in Asia and Africa. ​ See D'​Herbelot,​ Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 275.  4. By the more learned Turks, and by the emperor himself in his public mandates Cantemir'​s History of the Othman Empire, p. 51.]
 +
 +The foundation of a new capital is naturally connected with the establishment of a new form of civil and military administration. ​ The distinct view of the complicated system of policy, introduced by Diocletian, improved by Constantine,​ and completed by his immediate successors, may not only amuse the fancy by the singular picture of a great empire, but will tend to illustrate the secret and internal causes of its rapid decay. ​ In the pursuit of any remarkable institution,​ we may be frequently led into the more early or the more recent times of the Roman history; but the proper limits of this inquiry will be included within a period of about one hundred and thirty years, from the accession of Constantine to the publication of the Theodosian code; ^71 from which, as well as from the Notitia ^* of the East and West, ^72 we derive the most copious and authentic information of the state of the empire. ​ This variety of objects will suspend, for some time, the course of the narrative; but the interruption will be censured only by those readers who are insensible to the importance of laws and manners, while they peruse, with eager curiosity, the transient intrigues of a court, or the accidental event of a battle.
 +
 +[Footnote 71: The Theodosian code was promulgated A. D. 438.  See the Prolegomena of Godefroy, c. i. p. 185.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The Notitia Dignitatum Imperii is a description of all the offices in the court and the state, of the legions, &c. It resembles our court almanacs, (Red Books,) with this single difference, that our almanacs name the persons in office, the Notitia only the offices. ​ It is of the time of the emperor Theodosius II., that is to say, of the fifth century, when the empire was divided into the Eastern and Western. ​ It is probable that it was not made for the first time, and that descriptions of the same kind existed before. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 72: Pancirolus, in his elaborate Commentary, assigns to the Notitia a date almost similar to that of the Theodosian Code; but his proofs, or rather conjectures,​ are extremely feeble. ​ I should be rather inclined to place this useful work between the final division of the empire (A. D. 395) and the successful invasion of Gaul by the barbarians, (A. D. 407.) See Histoire des Anciens Peuples de l'​Europe,​ tom. vii. p. 40.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople. ======
 +
 +===== Part III. =====
 +
 +The manly pride of the Romans, content with substantial power, had left to the vanity of the East the forms and ceremonies of ostentatious greatness. ^73 But when they lost even the semblance of those virtues which were derived from their ancient freedom, the simplicity of Roman manners was insensibly corrupted by the stately affectation of the courts of Asia. The distinctions of personal merit and influence, so conspicuous in a republic, so feeble and obscure under a monarchy, were abolished by the despotism of the emperors; who substituted in their room a severe subordination of rank and office from the titled slaves who were seated on the steps of the throne, to the meanest instruments of arbitrary power. This multitude of abject dependants was interested in the support of the actual government from the dread of a revolution, which might at once confound their hopes and intercept the reward of their services. ​ In this divine hierarchy (for such it is frequently styled) every rank was marked with the most scrupulous exactness, and its dignity was displayed in a variety of trifling and solemn ceremonies, which it was a study to learn, and a sacrilege to neglect. ^74 The purity of the Latin language was debased, by adopting, in the intercourse of pride and flattery, a profusion of epithets, which Tully would scarcely have understood, and which Augustus would have rejected with indignation. ​ The principal officers of the empire were saluted, even by the sovereign himself, with the deceitful titles of your Sincerity, your Gravity, your Excellency, your Eminence, your sublime and wonderful Magnitude, your illustrious and magnificent Highness. ^75 The codicils or patents of their office were curiously emblazoned with such emblems as were best adapted to explain its nature and high dignity; the image or portrait of the reigning emperors; a triumphal car; the book of mandates placed on a table, covered with a rich carpet, and illuminated by four tapers; the allegorical figures of the provinces which they governed; or the appellations and standards of the troops whom they commanded Some of these official ensigns were really exhibited in their hall of audience; others preceded their pompous march whenever they appeared in public; and every circumstance of their demeanor, their dress, their ornaments, and their train, was calculated to inspire a deep reverence for the representatives of supreme majesty. ​ By a philosophic observer, the system of the Roman government might have been mistaken for a splendid theatre, filled with players of every character and degree, who repeated the language, and imitated the passions, of their original model. ^76
 +
 +[Footnote 73: Scilicet externae superbiae sueto, non inerat notitia nostri, (perhaps nostroe;) apud quos vis Imperii valet, inania transmittuntur. Tacit. Annal. xv. 31.  The gradation from the style of freedom and simplicity, to that of form and servitude, may be traced in the Epistles of Cicero, of Pliny, and of Symmachus.]
 +
 +[Footnote 74: The emperor Gratian, after confirming a law of precedency published by Valentinian,​ the father of his Divinity, thus continues: Siquis igitur indebitum sibi locum usurpaverit,​ nulla se ignoratione defendat; sitque plane sacrilegii reus, qui divina praecepta neglexerit. Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. v. leg. 2.]
 +
 +[Footnote 75: Consult the Notitia Dignitatum at the end of the Theodosian code, tom. vi. p. 316.
 +
 +Note: Constantin, qui remplaca le grand Patriciat par une noblesse titree et qui changea avec d'​autres institutions la nature de la societe Latine, est le veritable fondateur de la royaute moderne, dans ce quelle conserva de Romain. Chateaubriand,​ Etud. Histor. Preface, i. 151. Manso, (Leben Constantins des Grossen,) p. 153, &c., has given a lucid view of the dignities and duties of the officers in the Imperial court. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 76: Pancirolus ad Notitiam utriusque Imperii, p. 39. But his explanations are obscure, and he does not sufficiently distinguish the painted emblems from the effective ensigns of office.]
 +
 +All the magistrates of sufficient importance to find a place in the general state of the empire, were accurately divided into three classes. 1. The Illustrious. ​ 2. The Spectabiles,​ or Respectable. ​ And, 3. the Clarissimi; whom we may translate by the word Honorable. ​ In the times of Roman simplicity, the last-mentioned epithet was used only as a vague expression of deference, till it became at length the peculiar and appropriated title of all who were members of the senate, ^77 and consequently of all who, from that venerable body, were selected to govern the provinces. ​ The vanity of those who, from their rank and office, might claim a superior distinction above the rest of the senatorial order, was long afterwards indulged with the new appellation of Respectable;​ but the title of Illustrious was always reserved to some eminent personages who were obeyed or reverenced by the two subordinate classes. ​ It was communicated only, I.  To the consuls and patricians; II.  To the Praetorian praefects, with the praefects of Rome and Constantinople;​ III. To the masters-general of the cavalry and the infantry; and IV.  To the seven ministers of the palace, who exercised their sacred functions about the person of the emperor. ^78 Among those illustrious magistrates who were esteemed coordinate with each other, the seniority of appointment gave place to the union of dignities. ^79 By the expedient of honorary codicils, the emperors, who were fond of multiplying their favors, might sometimes gratify the vanity, though not the ambition, of impatient courtiers. ^80
 +
 +[Footnote 77: In the Pandects, which may be referred to the reigns of the Antonines, Clarissimus is the ordinary and legal title of a senator.] [Footnote 78: Pancirol. p. 12-17. ​ I have not taken any notice of the two inferior ranks, Prefectissimus and Egregius, which were given to many persons who were not raised to the senatorial dignity.]
 +
 +[Footnote 79: Cod. Theodos. l. vi. tit. vi.  The rules of precedency are ascertained with the most minute accuracy by the emperors, and illustrated with equal prolixity by their learned interpreter.]
 +
 +[Footnote 80: Cod. Theodos. l. vi. tit. xxii.]
 +
 +I.  As long as the Roman consuls were the first magistrates of a free state, they derived their right to power from the choice of the people. ​ As long as the emperors condescended to disguise the servitude which they imposed, the consuls were still elected by the real or apparent suffrage of the senate. ​ From the reign of Diocletian, even these vestiges of liberty were abolished, and the successful candidates who were invested with the annual honors of the consulship, affected to deplore the humiliating condition of their predecessors. ​ The Scipios and the Catos had been reduced to solicit the votes of plebeians, to pass through the tedious and expensive forms of a popular election, and to expose their dignity to the shame of a public refusal; while their own happier fate had reserved them for an age and government in which the rewards of virtue were assigned by the unerring wisdom of a gracious sovereign. ^81 In the epistles which the emperor addressed to the two consuls elect, it was declared, that they were created by his sole authority. ^82 Their names and portraits, engraved on gilt tables of ivory, were dispersed over the empire as presents to the provinces, the cities, the magistrates,​ the senate, and the people. ^83 Their solemn inauguration was performed at the place of the Imperial residence; and during a period of one hundred and twenty years, Rome was constantly deprived of the presence of her ancient magistrates. ^84
 +
 +[Footnote 81: Ausonius (in Gratiarum Actione) basely expatiates on this unworthy topic, which is managed by Mamertinus (Panegyr. Vet. xi. [x.] 16, 19) with somewhat more freedom and ingenuity.]
 +
 +[Footnote 82: Cum de Consulibus in annum creandis, solus mecum volutarem .... te Consulem et designavi, et declaravi, et priorem nuncupavi; are some of the expressions employed by the emperor Gratian to his preceptor, the poet Ausonius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 83: Immanesque. . . dentes
 +
 +Qui secti ferro in tabulas auroque micantes, Inscripti rutilum coelato Consule nomen Per proceres et vulgus eant.
 +
 +Claud. in ii. Cons. Stilichon. 456.
 +
 +Montfaucon has represented some of these tablets or dypticks see Supplement a l'​Antiquite expliquee, tom. iii. p. 220.]
 +
 +[Footnote 84: Consule laetatur post plurima seculo viso
 +
 +Pallanteus apex: agnoscunt rostra curules Auditas quondam proavis: desuetaque cingit Regius auratis Fora fascibus Ulpia lictor.
 +
 +Claud. in vi. Cons. Honorii, 643.
 +
 +From the reign of Carus to the sixth consulship of Honorius, there was an interval of one hundred and twenty years, during which the emperors were always absent from Rome on the first day of January. ​ See the Chronologie de Tillemonte, tom. iii. iv. and v.]
 +
 +On the morning of the first of January, the consuls assumed the ensigns of their dignity. ​ Their dress was a robe of purple, embroidered in silk and gold, and sometimes ornamented with costly gems. ^85 On this solemn occasion they were attended by the most eminent officers of the state and army, in the habit of senators; and the useless fasces, armed with the once formidable axes, were borne before them by the lictors. ^86 The procession moved from the palace ^87 to the Forum or principal square of the city; where the consuls ascended their tribunal, and seated themselves in the curule chairs, which were framed after the fashion of ancient times. ​ They immediately exercised an act of jurisdiction,​ by the manumission of a slave, who was brought before them for that purpose; and the ceremony was intended to represent the celebrated action of the elder Brutus, the author of liberty and of the consulship, when he admitted among his fellow-citizens the faithful Vindex, who had revealed the conspiracy of the Tarquins. ^88 The public festival was continued during several days in all the principal cities in Rome, from custom; in Constantinople,​ from imitation in Carthage, Antioch, and Alexandria, from the love of pleasure, and the superfluity of wealth. ^89 In the two capitals of the empire the annual games of the theatre, the circus, and the amphitheatre,​ ^90 cost four thousand pounds of gold, (about) one hundred and sixty thousand pounds sterling: and if so heavy an expense surpassed the faculties or the inclinations of the magistrates themselves, the sum was supplied from the Imperial treasury. ^91 As soon as the consuls had discharged these customary duties, they were at liberty to retire into the shade of private life, and to enjoy, during the remainder of the year, the undisturbed contemplation of their own greatness. ​ They no longer presided in the national councils; they no longer executed the resolutions of peace or war. Their abilities (unless they were employed in more effective offices) were of little moment; and their names served only as the legal date of the year in which they had filled the chair of Marius and of Cicero. ​ Yet it was still felt and acknowledged,​ in the last period of Roman servitude, that this empty name might be compared, and even preferred, to the possession of substantial power. ​ The title of consul was still the most splendid object of ambition, the noblest reward of virtue and loyalty. ​ The emperors themselves, who disdained the faint shadow of the republic, were conscious that they acquired an additional splendor and majesty as often as they assumed the annual honors of the consular dignity. ^92
 +
 +[Footnote 85: See Claudian in Cons. Prob. et Olybrii, 178, &c.; and in iv. Cons. Honorii, 585, &c.; though in the latter it is not easy to separate the ornaments of the emperor from those of the consul. ​ Ausonius received from the liberality of Gratian a vestis palmata, or robe of state, in which the figure of the emperor Constantius was embroidered.
 +
 +Cernis et armorum proceres legumque potentes: Patricios sumunt habitus; et more Gabino Discolor incedit legio, positisque parumper Bellorum signis, sequitur vexilla Quirini. Lictori cedunt aquilae, ridetque togatus Miles, et in mediis effulget curia castris.
 +
 +Claud. in iv. Cons. Honorii, 5.
 +
 +- strictaque procul radiare secures.
 +
 +In Cons. Prob. 229]
 +
 +[Footnote 87: See Valesius ad Ammian. ​ Marcellin. l. xxii. c. 7.] [Footnote 88:  Auspice mox laeto sonuit clamore tribunal; Te fastos ineunte quater; solemnia ludit Omina libertas; deductum Vindice morem Lex servat, famulusque jugo laxatus herili Ducitur, et grato remeat securior ictu.
 +
 +Claud. in iv Cons. Honorii, 611]
 +
 +[Footnote 89: Celebrant quidem solemnes istos dies omnes ubique urbes quae sub legibus agunt; et Roma de more, et Constantinopolis de imitatione, et Antiochia pro luxu, et discincta Carthago, et domus fluminis Alexandria, sed Treviri Principis beneficio. ​ Ausonius in Grat. Actione.]
 +
 +[Footnote 90: Claudian (in Cons. Mall. Theodori, 279-331) describes, in a lively and fanciful manner, the various games of the circus, the theatre, and the amphitheatre,​ exhibited by the new consul. ​ The sanguinary combats of gladiators had already been prohibited.]
 +
 +[Footnote 91: Procopius in Hist. Arcana, c. 26.]
 +
 +[Footnote 92: In Consulatu honos sine labore suscipitur. (Mamertin. in Panegyr. ​ Vet. xi. [x.] 2.) This exalted idea of the consulship is borrowed from an oration (iii. p. 107) pronounced by Julian in the servile court of Constantius. ​ See the Abbe de la Bleterie, (Memoires de l'​Academie,​ tom. xxiv. p. 289,) who delights to pursue the vestiges of the old constitution,​ and who sometimes finds them in his copious fancy]
 +
 +The proudest and most perfect separation which can be found in any age or country, between the nobles and the people, is perhaps that of the Patricians and the Plebeians, as it was established in the first age of the Roman republic. ​ Wealth and honors, the offices of the state, and the ceremonies of religion, were almost exclusively possessed by the former who, preserving the purity of their blood with the most insulting jealousy, ^93 held their clients in a condition of specious vassalage. ​ But these distinctions,​ so incompatible with the spirit of a free people, were removed, after a long struggle, by the persevering efforts of the Tribunes. The most active and successful of the Plebeians accumulated wealth, aspired to honors, deserved triumphs, contracted alliances, and, after some generations,​ assumed the pride of ancient nobility. ^94 The Patrician families, on the other hand, whose original number was never recruited till the end of the commonwealth,​ either failed in the ordinary course of nature, or were extinguished in so many foreign and domestic wars, or, through a want of merit or fortune, insensibly mingled with the mass of the people. ^95 Very few remained who could derive their pure and genuine origin from the infancy of the city, or even from that of the republic, when Caesar and Augustus, Claudius and Vespasian, created from the body of the senate a competent number of new Patrician families, in the hope of perpetuating an order, which was still considered as honorable and sacred. ^96 But these artificial supplies (in which the reigning house was always included) were rapidly swept away by the rage of tyrants, by frequent revolutions,​ by the change of manners, and by the intermixture of nations. ^97 Little more was left when Constantine ascended the throne, than a vague and imperfect tradition, that the Patricians had once been the first of the Romans. ​ To form a body of nobles, whose influence may restrain, while it secures the authority of the monarch, would have been very inconsistent with the character and policy of Constantine;​ but had he seriously entertained such a design, it might have exceeded the measure of his power to ratify, by an arbitrary edict, an institution which must expect the sanction of time and of opinion. ​ He revived, indeed, the title of Patricians, but he revived it as a personal, not as an hereditary distinction. ​ They yielded only to the transient superiority of the annual consuls; but they enjoyed the pre-eminence over all the great officers of state, with the most familiar access to the person of the prince. ​ This honorable rank was bestowed on them for life; and as they were usually favorites, and ministers who had grown old in the Imperial court, the true etymology of the word was perverted by ignorance and flattery; and the Patricians of Constantine were reverenced as the adopted Fathers of the emperor and the republic. ^98
 +
 +[Footnote 93: Intermarriages between the Patricians and Plebeians were prohibited by the laws of the XII Tables; and the uniform operations of human nature may attest that the custom survived the law.  See in Livy (iv. 1-6) the pride of family urged by the consul, and the rights of mankind asserted by the tribune Canuleius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 94: See the animated picture drawn by Sallust, in the Jugurthine war, of the pride of the nobles, and even of the virtuous Metellus, who was unable to brook the idea that the honor of the consulship should be bestowed on the obscure merit of his lieutenant Marius. ​ (c. 64.) Two hundred years before, the race of the Metelli themselves were confounded among the Plebeians of Rome; and from the etymology of their name of Coecilius, there is reason to believe that those haughty nobles derived their origin from a sutler.] [Footnote 95: In the year of Rome 800, very few remained, not only of the old Patrician families, but even of those which had been created by Caesar and Augustus. ​ (Tacit. Annal. xi. 25.) The family of Scaurus (a branch of the Patrician Aemilii) was degraded so low that his father, who exercised the trade of a charcoal merchant, left him only teu slaves, and somewhat less than three hundred pounds sterling. ​ (Valerius Maximus, l. iv. c. 4, n. 11.  Aurel. Victor in Scauro.) The family was saved from oblivion by the merit of the son.]
 +
 +[Footnote 96: Tacit. Annal. xi. 25.  Dion Cassius, l. iii. p. 698.  The virtues of Agricola, who was created a Patrician by the emperor Vespasian, reflected honor on that ancient order; but his ancestors had not any claim beyond an Equestrian nobility.]
 +
 +[Footnote 97: This failure would have been almost impossible if it were true, as Casaubon compels Aurelius Victor to affirm (ad Sueton, in Caesar v. 24. See Hist. August p. 203 and Casaubon Comment., p. 220) that Vespasian created at once a thousand Patrician families. ​ But this extravagant number is too much even for the whole Senatorial order. unless we should include all the Roman knights who were distinguished by the permission of wearing the laticlave.]
 +
 +[Footnote 98: Zosimus, l. ii. p. 118; and Godefroy ad Cod. Theodos. l. vi. tit. vi.]
 +
 +II.  The fortunes of the Praetorian praefects were essentially different from those of the consuls and Patricians. The latter saw their ancient greatness evaporate in a vain title. The former, rising by degrees from the most humble condition, were invested with the civil and military administration of the Roman world. ​ From the reign of Severus to that of Diocletian, the guards and the palace, the laws and the finances, the armies and the provinces, were intrusted to their superintending care; and, like the Viziers of the East, they held with one hand the seal, and with the other the standard, of the empire. ​ The ambition of the praefects, always formidable, and sometimes fatal to the masters whom they served, was supported by the strength of the Praetorian bands; but after those haughty troops had been weakened by Diocletian, and finally suppressed by Constantine,​ the praefects, who survived their fall, were reduced without difficulty to the station of useful and obedient ministers. ​ When they were no longer responsible for the safety of the emperor'​s person, they resigned the jurisdiction which they had hitherto claimed and exercised over all the departments of the palace. They were deprived by Constantine of all military command, as soon as they had ceased to lead into the field, under their immediate orders, the flower of the Roman troops; and at length, by a singular revolution, the captains of the guards were transformed into the civil magistrates of the provinces. According to the plan of government instituted by Diocletian, the four princes had each their Praetorian praefect; and after the monarchy was once more united in the person of Constantine,​ he still continued to create the same number of Four Praefects, and intrusted to their care the same provinces which they already administered. ​ 1. The praefect of the East stretched his ample jurisdiction into the three parts of the globe which were subject to the Romans, from the cataracts of the Nile to the banks of the Phasis, and from the mountains of Thrace to the frontiers of Persia. ​ 2. The important provinces of Pannonia, Dacia, Macedonia, and Greece, once acknowledged the authority of the praefect of Illyricum. ​ 3. The power of the praefect of Italy was not confined to the country from whence he derived his title; it extended over the additional territory of Rhaetia as far as the banks of the Danube, over the dependent islands of the Mediterranean,​ and over that part of the continent of Africa which lies between the confines of Cyrene and those of Tingitania. ​ 4. The praefect of the Gauls comprehended under that plural denomination the kindred provinces of Britain and Spain, and his authority was obeyed from the wall of Antoninus to the foot of Mount Atlas. ^99 [Footnote 99: Zosimus, l. ii. p. 109, 110.  If we had not fortunately possessed this satisfactory account of the division of the power and provinces of the Praetorian praefects, we should frequently have been perplexed amidst the copious details of the Code, and the circumstantial minuteness of the Notitia.]
 +
 +After the Praetorian praefects had been dismissed from all military command, the civil functions which they were ordained to exercise over so many subject nations, were adequate to the ambition and abilities of the most consummate ministers. ​ To their wisdom was committed the supreme administration of justice and of the finances, the two objects which, in a state of peace, comprehend almost all the respective duties of the sovereign and of the people; of the former, to protect the citizens who are obedient to the laws; of the latter, to contribute the share of their property which is required for the expenses of the state. The coin, the highways, the posts, the granaries, the manufactures,​ whatever could interest the public prosperity, was moderated by the authority of the Praetorian praefects. ​ As the immediate representatives of the Imperial majesty, they were empowered to explain, to enforce, and on some occasions to modify, the general edicts by their discretionary proclamations. They watched over the conduct of the provincial governors, removed the negligent, and inflicted punishments on the guilty. From all the inferior jurisdictions,​ an appeal in every matter of importance, either civil or criminal, might be brought before the tribunal of the praefect; but his sentence was final and absolute; and the emperors themselves refused to admit any complaints against the judgment or the integrity of a magistrate whom they honored with such unbounded confidence. ^100 His appointments were suitable to his dignity; ^101 and if avarice was his ruling passion, he enjoyed frequent opportunities of collecting a rich harvest of fees, of presents, and of perquisites. ​ Though the emperors no longer dreaded the ambition of their praefects, they were attentive to counterbalance the power of this great office by the uncertainty and shortness of its duration. ^102
 +
 +[Footnote 100: See a law of Constantine himself. ​ A praefectis autem praetorio provocare, non sinimus. ​ Cod. Justinian. l. vii. tit. lxii. leg. 19. Charisius, a lawyer of the time of Constantine,​ (Heinec. Hist. Romani, p. 349,) who admits this law as a fundamental principle of jurisprudence,​ compares the Praetorian praefects to the masters of the horse of the ancient dictators. ​ Pandect. l. i. tit. xi.]
 +
 +[Footnote 101: When Justinian, in the exhausted condition of the empire, instituted a Praetorian praefect for Africa, he allowed him a salary of one hundred pounds of gold.  Cod. Justinian. l. i. tit. xxvii. leg. i.] [Footnote 102: For this, and the other dignities of the empire, it may be sufficient to refer to the ample commentaries of Pancirolus and Godefroy, who have diligently collected and accurately digested in their proper order all the legal and historical materials. ​ From those authors, Dr. Howell (History of the World, vol. ii. p. 24-77) has deduced a very distinct abridgment of the state of the Roman empire]
 +
 +From their superior importance and dignity, Rome and Constantinople were alone excepted from the jurisdiction of the Praetorian praefects. The immense size of the city, and the experience of the tardy, ineffectual operation of the laws, had furnished the policy of Augustus with a specious pretence for introducing a new magistrate, who alone could restrain a servile and turbulent populace by the strong arm of arbitrary power. ^103 Valerius Messalla was appointed the first praefect of Rome, that his reputation might countenance so invidious a measure; but, at the end of a few days, that accomplished citizen ^104 resigned his office, declaring, with a spirit worthy of the friend of Brutus, that he found himself incapable of exercising a power incompatible with public freedom. ^105 As the sense of liberty became less exquisite, the advantages of order were more clearly understood; and the praefect, who seemed to have been designed as a terror only to slaves and vagrants, was permitted to extend his civil and criminal jurisdiction over the equestrian and noble families of Rome. The praetors, annually created as the judges of law and equity, could not long dispute the possession of the Forum with a vigorous and permanent magistrate, who was usually admitted into the confidence of the prince. Their courts were deserted, their number, which had once fluctuated between twelve and eighteen, ^106 was gradually reduced to two or three, and their important functions were confined to the expensive obligation ^107 of exhibiting games for the amusement of the people. ​ After the office of the Roman consuls had been changed into a vain pageant, which was rarely displayed in the capital, the praefects assumed their vacant place in the senate, and were soon acknowledged as the ordinary presidents of that venerable assembly. They received appeals from the distance of one hundred miles; and it was allowed as a principle of jurisprudence,​ that all municipal authority was derived from them alone. ^108 In the discharge of his laborious employment, the governor of Rome was assisted by fifteen officers, some of whom had been originally his equals, or even his superiors. ​ The principal departments were relative to the command of a numerous watch, established as a safeguard against fires, robberies, and nocturnal disorders; the custody and distribution of the public allowance of corn and provisions; the care of the port, of the aqueducts, of the common sewers, and of the navigation and bed of the Tyber; the inspection of the markets, the theatres, and of the private as well as the public works. ​ Their vigilance insured the three principal objects of a regular police, safety, plenty, and cleanliness;​ and as a proof of the attention of government to preserve the splendor and ornaments of the capital, a particular inspector was appointed for the statues; the guardian, as it were, of that inanimate people, which, according to the extravagant computation of an old writer, was scarcely inferior in number to the living inhabitants of Rome.  About thirty years after the foundation of Constantinople,​ a similar magistrate was created in that rising metropolis, for the same uses and with the same powers. ​ A perfect equality was established between the dignity of the two municipal, and that of the four Praetorian praefects. ^109
 +
 +[Footnote 103: Tacit. Annal. vi. 11. Euseb. in Chron. p. 155. Dion Cassius, in the oration of Maecenas, (l. lvii. p. 675,) describes the prerogatives of the praefect of the city as they were established in his own time.] [Footnote 104: The fame of Messalla has been scarcely equal to his merit. In the earliest youth he was recommended by Cicero to the friendship of Brutus. He followed the standard of the republic till it was broken in the fields of Philippi; he then accepted and deserved the favor of the most moderate of the conquerors; and uniformly asserted his freedom and dignity in the court of Augustus. ​ The triumph of Messalla was justified by the conquest of Aquitain. As an orator, he disputed the palm of eloquence with Cicero himself. ​ Messalla cultivated every muse, and was the patron of every man of genius. ​ He spent his evenings in philosophic conversation with Horace; assumed his place at table between Delia and Tibullus; and amused his leisure by encouraging the poetical talents of young Ovid.]
 +
 +[Footnote 105: Incivilem esse potestatem contestans, says the translator of Eusebius. ​ Tacitus expresses the same idea in other words; quasi nescius exercendi.]
 +
 +[Footnote 106: See Lipsius, Excursus D. ad 1 lib. Tacit. Annal.] [Footnote 107: Heineccii. Element. Juris Civilis secund ordinem Pandect i. p. 70.  See, likewise, Spanheim de Usu. Numismatum, tom. ii. dissertat. x. p. 119.  In the year 450, Marcian published a law, that three citizens should be annually created Praetors of Constantinople by the choice of the senate, but with their own consent. ​ Cod. Justinian. li. i. tit. xxxix. leg. 2.] [Footnote 108: Quidquid igitur intra urbem admittitur, ad P. U. videtur pertinere; sed et siquid intra contesimum milliarium. Ulpian in Pandect l. i. tit. xiii. n. 1.  He proceeds to enumerate the various offices of the praefect, who, in the code of Justinian, (l. i. tit. xxxix. leg. 3,) is declared to precede and command all city magistrates sine injuria ac detrimento honoris alieni.]
 +
 +[Footnote 109: Besides our usual guides, we may observe that Felix Cantelorius has written a separate treatise, De Praefecto Urbis; and that many curious details concerning the police of Rome and Constantinople are contained in the fourteenth book of the Theodosian Code.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople. ======
 +
 +===== Part IV. =====
 +
 +Those who, in the imperial hierarchy, were distinguished by the title of Respectable,​ formed an intermediate class between the illustrious praefects, and the honorable magistrates of the provinces. ​ In this class the proconsuls of Asia, Achaia, and Africa, claimed a preeminence,​ which was yielded to the remembrance of their ancient dignity; and the appeal from their tribunal to that of the praefects was almost the only mark of their dependence. ^110 But the civil government of the empire was distributed into thirteen great Dioceses, each of which equalled the just measure of a powerful kingdom. ​ The first of these dioceses was subject to the jurisdiction of the count of the east; and we may convey some idea of the importance and variety of his functions, by observing, that six hundred apparitors, who would be styled at present either secretaries,​ or clerks, or ushers, or messengers, were employed in his immediate office. ^111 The place of Augustal proefect of Egypt was no longer filled by a Roman knight; but the name was retained; and the extraordinary powers which the situation of the country, and the temper of the inhabitants,​ had once made indispensable,​ were still continued to the governor. ​ The eleven remaining dioceses, of Asiana, Pontica, and Thrace; of Macedonia, Dacia, and Pannonia, or Western Illyricum; of Italy and Africa; of Gaul, Spain, and Britain; were governed by twelve vicars or vice-proefects,​ ^112 whose name sufficiently explains the nature and dependence of their office. ​ It may be added, that the lieutenant-generals of the Roman armies, the military counts and dukes, who will be hereafter mentioned, were allowed the rank and title of Respectable.
 +
 +[Footnote 110: Eunapius affirms, that the proconsul of Asia was independent of the praefect; which must, however, be understood with some allowance. the jurisdiction of the vice-praefect he most assuredly disclaimed. Pancirolus, p. 161.]
 +
 +[Footnote 111: The proconsul of Africa had four hundred apparitors; and they all received large salaries, either from the treasury or the province See Pancirol. p. 26, and Cod. Justinian. l. xii. tit. lvi. lvii.] [Footnote 112: In Italy there was likewise the Vicar of Rome.  It has been much disputed whether his jurisdiction measured one hundred miles from the city, or whether it stretched over the ten thousand provinces of Italy.] As the spirit of jealousy and ostentation prevailed in the councils of the emperors, they proceeded with anxious diligence to divide the substance and to multiply the titles of power. ​ The vast countries which the Roman conquerors had united under the same simple form of administration,​ were imperceptibly crumbled into minute fragments; till at length the whole empire was distributed into one hundred and sixteen provinces, each of which supported an expensive and splendid establishment. ​ Of these, three were governed by proconsuls, thirty-seven by consulars, five by correctors, and seventy-one by presidents. ​ The appellations of these magistrates were different; they ranked in successive order, the ensigns of and their situation, from accidental circumstances,​ might be more or less agreeable or advantageous. ​ But they were all (excepting only the pro-consuls) alike included in the class of honorable persons; and they were alike intrusted, during the pleasure of the prince, and under the authority of the praefects or their deputies, with the administration of justice and the finances in their respective districts. ​ The ponderous volumes of the Codes and Pandects ^113 would furnish ample materials for a minute inquiry into the system of provincial government, as in the space of six centuries it was approved by the wisdom of the Roman statesmen and lawyers. It may be sufficient for the historian to select two singular and salutary provisions, intended to restrain the abuse of authority. 1. For the preservation of peace and order, the governors of the provinces were armed with the sword of justice. ​ They inflicted corporal punishments,​ and they exercised, in capital offences, the power of life and death. ​ But they were not authorized to indulge the condemned criminal with the choice of his own execution, or to pronounce a sentence of the mildest and most honorable kind of exile. ​ These prerogatives were reserved to the praefects, who alone could impose the heavy fine of fifty pounds of gold: their vicegerents were confined to the trifling weight of a few ounces. ^114 This distinction,​ which seems to grant the larger, while it denies the smaller degree of authority, was founded on a very rational motive. The smaller degree was infinitely more liable to abuse. ​ The passions of a provincial magistrate might frequently provoke him into acts of oppression, which affected only the freedom or the fortunes of the subject; though, from a principle of prudence, perhaps of humanity, he might still be terrified by the guilt of innocent blood. ​ It may likewise be considered, that exile, considerable fines, or the choice of an easy death, relate more particularly to the rich and the noble; and the persons the most exposed to the avarice or resentment of a provincial magistrate, were thus removed from his obscure persecution to the more august and impartial tribunal of the Praetorian praefect. ​ 2. As it was reasonably apprehended that the integrity of the judge might be biased, if his interest was concerned, or his affections were engaged, the strictest regulations were established,​ to exclude any person, without the special dispensation of the emperor, from the government of the province where he was born; ^115 and to prohibit the governor or his son from contracting marriage with a native, or an inhabitant; ^116 or from purchasing slaves, lands, or houses, within the extent of his jurisdiction. ^117 Notwithstanding these rigorous precautions,​ the emperor Constantine,​ after a reign of twenty-five years, still deplores the venal and oppressive administration of justice, and expresses the warmest indignation that the audience of the judge, his despatch of business, his seasonable delays, and his final sentence, were publicly sold, either by himself or by the officers of his court. ​ The continuance,​ and perhaps the impunity, of these crimes, is attested by the repetition of impotent laws and ineffectual menaces. ^118 [Footnote 113: Among the works of the celebrated Ulpian, there was one in ten books, concerning the office of a proconsul, whose duties in the most essential articles were the same as those of an ordinary governor of a province.]
 +
 +[Footnote 114: The presidents, or consulars, could impose only two ounces; the vice-praefects,​ three; the proconsuls, count of the east, and praefect of Egypt, six.  See Heineccii Jur. Civil. tom. i. p. 75.  Pandect. l. xlviii. tit. xix. n. 8.  Cod. Justinian. l. i. tit. liv. leg. 4, 6.] [Footnote 115: Ut nulli patriae suae administratio sine speciali principis permissu permittatur. ​ Cod. Justinian. l. i. tit. xli. This law was first enacted by the emperor Marcus, after the rebellion of Cassius. ​ (Dion. l. lxxi.) The same regulation is observed in China, with equal strictness, and with equal effect.]
 +
 +[Footnote 116: Pandect. l. xxiii. tit. ii. n. 38, 57, 63.] [Footnote 117: In jure continetur, ne quis in administratione constitutus aliquid compararet. ​ Cod. Theod. l. viii. tit. xv. leg. l.  This maxim of common law was enforced by a series of edicts (see the remainder of the title) from Constantine to Justin. ​ From this prohibition,​ which is extended to the meanest officers of the governor, they except only clothes and provisions. The purchase within five years may be recovered; after which on information,​ it devolves to the treasury.]
 +
 +[Footnote 118: Cessent rapaces jam nunc officialium manus; cessent, inquam nam si moniti non cessaverint,​ gladiis praecidentur,​ &c. Cod. Theod. l. i. tit. vii. leg. l.  Zeno enacted that all governors should remain in the province, to answer any accusations,​ fifty days after the expiration of their power. Cod Justinian. l. ii. tit. xlix. leg. l.]
 +
 +All the civil magistrates were drawn from the profession of the law. The celebrated Institutes of Justinian are addressed to the youth of his dominions, who had devoted themselves to the study of Roman jurisprudence;​ and the sovereign condescends to animate their diligence, by the assurance that their skill and ability would in time be rewarded by an adequate share in the government of the republic. ^119 The rudiments of this lucrative science were taught in all the considerable cities of the east and west; but the most famous school was that of Berytus, ^120 on the coast of Phoenicia; which flourished above three centuries from the time of Alexander Severus, the author perhaps of an institution so advantageous to his native country. ​ After a regular course of education, which lasted five years, the students dispersed themselves through the provinces, in search of fortune and honors; nor could they want an inexhaustible supply of business great empire, already corrupted by the multiplicity of laws, of arts, and of vices. ​ The court of the Praetorian praefect of the east could alone furnish employment for one hundred and fifty advocates, sixty-four of whom were distinguished by peculiar privileges, and two were annually chosen, with a salary of sixty pounds of gold, to defend the causes of the treasury. ​ The first experiment was made of their judicial talents, by appointing them to act occasionally as assessors to the magistrates;​ from thence they were often raised to preside in the tribunals before which they had pleaded. ​ They obtained the government of a province; and, by the aid of merit, of reputation, or of favor, they ascended, by successive steps, to the illustrious dignities of the state. ^121 In the practice of the bar, these men had considered reason as the instrument of dispute; they interpreted the laws according to the dictates of private interest and the same pernicious habits might still adhere to their characters in the public administration of the state. ​ The honor of a liberal profession has indeed been vindicated by ancient and modern advocates, who have filled the most important stations, with pure integrity and consummate wisdom: but in the decline of Roman jurisprudence,​ the ordinary promotion of lawyers was pregnant with mischief and disgrace. The noble art, which had once been preserved as the sacred inheritance of the patricians, was fallen into the hands of freedmen and plebeians, ^122 who, with cunning rather than with skill, exercised a sordid and pernicious trade. ​ Some of them procured admittance into families for the purpose of fomenting differences,​ of encouraging suits, and of preparing a harvest of gain for themselves or their brethren. ​ Others, recluse in their chambers, maintained the dignity of legal professors, by furnishing a rich client with subtleties to confound the plainest truths, and with arguments to color the most unjustifiable pretensions. ​ The splendid and popular class was composed of the advocates, who filled the Forum with the sound of their turgid and loquacious rhetoric. Careless of fame and of justice, they are described, for the most part, as ignorant and rapacious guides, who conducted their clients through a maze of expense, of delay, and of disappointment;​ from whence, after a tedious series of years, they were at length dismissed, when their patience and fortune were almost exhausted. ^123
 +
 +[Footnote 119: Summa igitur ope, et alacri studio has leges nostras accipite; et vosmetipsos sic eruditos ostendite, ut spes vos pulcherrima foveat; toto legitimo opere perfecto, posse etiam nostram rempublicam in par tibus ejus vobis credendis gubernari. Justinian in proem. Institutionum.] [Footnote 120: The splendor of the school of Berytus, which preserved in the east the language and jurisprudence of the Romans, may be computed to have lasted from the third to the middle of the sixth century Heinecc. Jur. Rom. Hist. p. 351-356.]
 +
 +[Footnote 121: As in a former period I have traced the civil and military promotion of Pertinax, I shall here insert the civil honors of Mallius Theodorus. ​ 1. He was distinguished by his eloquence, while he pleaded as an advocate in the court of the Praetorian praefect. ​ 2. He governed one of the provinces of Africa, either as president or consular, and deserved, by his administration,​ the honor of a brass statue. ​ 3. He was appointed vicar, or vice-praefect,​ of Macedonia. ​ 4. Quaestor. ​ 5. Count of the sacred largesses. 6. Praetorian praefect of the Gauls; whilst he might yet be represented as a young man.  7. After a retreat, perhaps a disgrace of many years, which Mallius (confounded by some critics with the poet Manilius; see Fabricius Bibliothec. Latin. Edit. Ernest. tom. i.c. 18, p. 501) employed in the study of the Grecian philosophy he was named Praetorian praefect of Italy, in the year 397.  8. While he still exercised that great office, he was created, it the year 399, consul for the West; and his name, on account of the infamy of his colleague, the eunuch Eutropius, often stands alone in the Fasti. ​ 9. In the year 408, Mallius was appointed a second time Praetorian praefect of Italy. Even in the venal panegyric of Claudian, we may discover the merit of Mallius Theodorus, who, by a rare felicity, was the intimate friend, both of Symmachus and of St. Augustin. ​ See Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. tom. v. p. 1110-1114.]
 +
 +[Footnote 122: Mamertinus in Panegyr. Vet. xi. [x.] 20.  Asterius apud Photium, p. 1500.]
 +
 +[Footnote 123: The curious passage of Ammianus, (l. xxx. c. 4,) in which he paints the manners of contemporary lawyers, affords a strange mixture of sound sense, false rhetoric, and extravagant satire. ​ Godefroy (Prolegom. ad. Cod. Theod. c. i. p. 185) supports the historian by similar complaints and authentic facts. In the fourth century, many camels might have been laden with law-books. ​ Eunapius in Vit. Aedesii, p. 72.]
 +
 +III.  In the system of policy introduced by Augustus, the governors, those at least of the Imperial provinces, were invested with the full powers of the sovereign himself. Ministers of peace and war, the distribution of rewards and punishments depended on them alone, and they successively appeared on their tribunal in the robes of civil magistracy, and in complete armor at the head of the Roman legions. ^124 The influence of the revenue, the authority of law, and the command of a military force, concurred to render their power supreme and absolute; and whenever they were tempted to violate their allegiance, the loyal province which they involved in their rebellion was scarcely sensible of any change in its political state. ​ From the time of Commodus to the reign of Constantine,​ near one hundred governors might be enumerated, who, with various success, erected the standard of revolt; and though the innocent were too often sacrificed, the guilty might be sometimes prevented, by the suspicious cruelty of their master. ^125 To secure his throne and the public tranquillity from these formidable servants, Constantine resolved to divide the military from the civil administration,​ and to establish, as a permanent and professional distinction,​ a practice which had been adopted only as an occasional expedient. ​ The supreme jurisdiction exercised by the Praetorian praefects over the armies of the empire, was transferred to the two masters-general whom he instituted, the one for the cavalry, the other for the infantry; and though each of these illustrious officers was more peculiarly responsible for the discipline of those troops which were under his immediate inspection, they both indifferently commanded in the field the several bodies, whether of horse or foot, which were united in the same army. ^126 Their number was soon doubled by the division of the east and west; and as separate generals of the same rank and title were appointed on the four important frontiers of the Rhine, of the Upper and the Lower Danube, and of the Euphrates, the defence of the Roman empire was at length committed to eight masters-general of the cavalry and infantry. Under their orders, thirty-five military commanders were stationed in the provinces: three in Britain, six in Gaul, one in Spain, one in Italy, five on the Upper, and four on the Lower Danube; in Asia, eight, three in Egypt, and four in Africa. ​ The titles of counts, and dukes, ^127 by which they were properly distinguished,​ have obtained in modern languages so very different a sense, that the use of them may occasion some surprise. ​ But it should be recollected,​ that the second of those appellations is only a corruption of the Latin word, which was indiscriminately applied to any military chief. ​ All these provincial generals were therefore dukes; but no more than ten among them were dignified with the rank of counts or companions, a title of honor, or rather of favor, which had been recently invented in the court of Constantine. ​ A gold belt was the ensign which distinguished the office of the counts and dukes; and besides their pay, they received a liberal allowance sufficient to maintain one hundred and ninety servants, and one hundred and fifty-eight horses. ​ They were strictly prohibited from interfering in any matter which related to the administration of justice or the revenue; but the command which they exercised over the troops of their department, was independent of the authority of the magistrates. ​ About the same time that Constantine gave a legal sanction to the ecclesiastical order, he instituted in the Roman empire the nice balance of the civil and the military powers. The emulation, and sometimes the discord, which reigned between two professions of opposite interests and incompatible manners, was productive of beneficial and of pernicious consequences. ​ It was seldom to be expected that the general and the civil governor of a province should either conspire for the disturbance,​ or should unite for the service, of their country. While the one delayed to offer the assistance which the other disdained to solicit, the troops very frequently remained without orders or without supplies; the public safety was betrayed, and the defenceless subjects were left exposed to the fury of the Barbarians. ​ The divided administration which had been formed by Constantine,​ relaxed the vigor of the state, while it secured the tranquillity of the monarch.
 +
 +[Footnote 124: See a very splendid example in the life of Agricola, particularly c. 20, 21.  The lieutenant of Britain was intrusted with the same powers which Cicero, proconsul of Cilicia, had exercised in the name of the senate and people.]
 +
 +[Footnote 125: The Abbe Dubos, who has examined with accuracy (see Hist. de la Monarchie Francoise, tom. i. p. 41-100, edit. 1742) the institutions of Augustus and of Constantine,​ observes, that if Otho had been put to death the day before he executed his conspiracy, Otho would now appear in history as innocent as Corbulo.]
 +
 +[Footnote 126: Zosimus, l. ii. p. 110.  Before the end of the reign of Constantius,​ the magistri militum were already increased to four.  See Velesius ad Ammian. l. xvi. c. 7.]
 +
 +[Footnote 127: Though the military counts and dukes are frequently mentioned, both in history and the codes, we must have recourse to the Notitia for the exact knowledge of their number and stations. ​ For the institution,​ rank, privileges, &c., of the counts in general see Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. xii. - xx., with the commentary of Godefroy.]
 +
 +The memory of Constantine has been deservedly censured for another innovation, which corrupted military discipline and prepared the ruin of the empire. ​ The nineteen years which preceded his final victory over Licinius, had been a period of license and intestine war.  The rivals who contended for the possession of the Roman world, had withdrawn the greatest part of their forces from the guard of the general frontier; and the principal cities which formed the boundary of their respective dominions were filled with soldiers, who considered their countrymen as their most implacable enemies. ​ After the use of these internal garrisons had ceased with the civil war, the conqueror wanted either wisdom or firmness to revive the severe discipline of Diocletian, and to suppress a fatal indulgence, which habit had endeared and almost confirmed to the military order. ​ From the reign of Constantine,​ a popular and even legal distinction was admitted between the Palatines ^128 and the Borderers; the troops of the court, as they were improperly styled, and the troops of the frontier. The former, elevated by the superiority of their pay and privileges, were permitted, except in the extraordinary emergencies of war, to occupy their tranquil stations in the heart of the provinces. ​ The most flourishing cities were oppressed by the intolerable weight of quarters. The soldiers insensibly forgot the virtues of their profession, and contracted only the vices of civil life.  They were either degraded by the industry of mechanic trades, or enervated by the luxury of baths and theatres. ​ They soon became careless of their martial exercises, curious in their diet and apparel; and while they inspired terror to the subjects of the empire, they trembled at the hostile approach of the Barbarians. ^129 The chain of fortifications which Diocletian and his colleagues had extended along the banks of the great rivers, was no longer maintained with the same care, or defended with the same vigilance. ​ The numbers which still remained under the name of the troops of the frontier, might be sufficient for the ordinary defence; but their spirit was degraded by the humiliating reflection, that they who were exposed to the hardships and dangers of a perpetual warfare, were rewarded only with about two thirds of the pay and emoluments which were lavished on the troops of the court. ​ Even the bands or legions that were raised the nearest to the level of those unworthy favorites, were in some measure disgraced by the title of honor which they were allowed to assume. ​ It was in vain that Constantine repeated the most dreadful menaces of fire and sword against the Borderers who should dare desert their colors, to connive at the inroads of the Barbarians, or to participate in the spoil. ^130 The mischiefs which flow from injudicious counsels are seldom removed by the application of partial severities; and though succeeding princes labored to restore the strength and numbers of the frontier garrisons, the empire, till the last moment of its dissolution,​ continued to languish under the mortal wound which had been so rashly or so weakly inflicted by the hand of Constantine.
 +
 +[Footnote 128: Zosimus, l ii. p. 111.  The distinction between the two classes of Roman troops, is very darkly expressed in the historians, the laws, and the Notitia. ​ Consult, however, the copious paratitlon, or abstract, which Godefroy has drawn up of the seventh book, de Re Militari, of the Theodosian Code, l. vii. tit. i. leg. 18, l. viii. tit. i. leg. 10.]
 +
 +[Footnote 129: Ferox erat in suos miles et rapax, ignavus vero in hostes et fractus. ​ Ammian. l. xxii. c. 4.  He observes, that they loved downy beds and houses of marble; and that their cups were heavier than their swords.] [Footnote 130: Cod. Theod. l. vii. tit. i. leg. 1, tit. xii. leg. i.  See Howell'​s Hist. of the World, vol. ii. p. 19.  That learned historian, who is not sufficiently known, labors to justify the character and policy of Constantine.]
 +
 +The same timid policy, of dividing whatever is united, of reducing whatever is eminent, of dreading every active power, and of expecting that the most feeble will prove the most obedient, seems to pervade the institutions of several princes, and particularly those of Constantine. The martial pride of the legions, whose victorious camps had so often been the scene of rebellion, was nourished by the memory of their past exploits, and the consciousness of their actual strength. ​ As long as they maintained their ancient establishment of six thousand men, they subsisted, under the reign of Diocletian, each of them singly, a visible and important object in the military history of the Roman empire. ​ A few years afterwards, these gigantic bodies were shrunk to a very diminutive size; and when seven legions, with some auxiliaries,​ defended the city of Amida against the Persians, the total garrison, with the inhabitants of both sexes, and the peasants of the deserted country, did not exceed the number of twenty thousand persons. ^131 From this fact, and from similar examples, there is reason to believe, that the constitution of the legionary troops, to which they partly owed their valor and discipline, was dissolved by Constantine;​ and that the bands of Roman infantry, which still assumed the same names and the same honors, consisted only of one thousand or fifteen hundred men. ^132 The conspiracy of so many separate detachments,​ each of which was awed by the sense of its own weakness, could easily be checked; and the successors of Constantine might indulge their love of ostentation,​ by issuing their orders to one hundred and thirty-two legions, inscribed on the muster-roll of their numerous armies. ​ The remainder of their troops was distributed into several hundred cohorts of infantry, and squadrons of cavalry. ​ Their arms, and titles, and ensigns, were calculated to inspire terror, and to display the variety of nations who marched under the Imperial standard. ​ And not a vestige was left of that severe simplicity, which, in the ages of freedom and victory, had distinguished the line of battle of a Roman army from the confused host of an Asiatic monarch. ^133 A more particular enumeration,​ drawn from the Notitia, might exercise the diligence of an antiquary; but the historian will content himself with observing, that the number of permanent stations or garrisons established on the frontiers of the empire, amounted to five hundred and eighty-three;​ and that, under the successors of Constantine,​ the complete force of the military establishment was computed at six hundred and forty-five thousand soldiers. ^134 An effort so prodigious surpassed the wants of a more ancient, and the faculties of a later, period.
 +
 +[Footnote 131: Ammian. l. xix. c. 2.  He observes, (c. 5,) that the desperate sallies of two Gallic legions were like a handful of water thrown on a great conflagration.]
 +
 +[Footnote 132: Pancirolus ad Notitiam, p. 96.  Memoires de l'​Academie des Inscriptions,​ tom. xxv. p. 491.]
 +
 +[Footnote 133: Romana acies unius prope formae erat et hominum et armorum genere. - Regia acies varia magis multis gentibus dissimilitudine armorum auxiliorumque erat.  T. Liv. l. xxxvii. c. 39, 40.  Flaminius, even before the event, had compared the army of Antiochus to a supper in which the flesh of one vile animal was diversified by the skill of the cooks. ​ See the Life of Flaminius in Plutarch.]
 +
 +[Footnote 134: Agathias, l. v. p. 157, edit. Louvre.]
 +
 +In the various states of society, armies are recruited from very different motives. ​ Barbarians are urged by the love of war; the citizens of a free republic may be prompted by a principle of duty; the subjects, or at least the nobles, of a monarchy, are animated by a sentiment of honor; but the timid and luxurious inhabitants of a declining empire must be allured into the service by the hopes of profit, or compelled by the dread of punishment. ​ The resources of the Roman treasury were exhausted by the increase of pay, by the repetition of donatives, and by the invention of new emolument and indulgences,​ which, in the opinion of the provincial youth might compensate the hardships and dangers of a military life.  Yet, although the stature was lowered, ^135 although slaves, least by a tacit connivance, were indiscriminately received into the ranks, the insurmountable difficulty of procuring a regular and adequate supply of volunteers, obliged the emperors to adopt more effectual and coercive methods. ​ The lands bestowed on the veterans, as the free reward of their valor were henceforward granted under a condition which contain the first rudiments of the feudal tenures; that their sons, who succeeded to the inheritance,​ should devote themselves to the profession of arms, as soon as they attained the age of manhood; and their cowardly refusal was punished by the lose of honor, of fortune, or even of life. ^136 But as the annual growth of the sons of the veterans bore a very small proportion to the demands of the service, levies of men were frequently required from the provinces, and every proprietor was obliged either to take up arms, or to procure a substitute, or to purchase his exemption by the payment of a heavy fine.  The sum of forty-two pieces of gold, to which it was reduced ascertains the exorbitant price of volunteers, and the reluctance with which the government admitted of this alterative. ^137 Such was the horror for the profession of a soldier, which had affected the minds of the degenerate Romans, that many of the youth of Italy and the provinces chose to cut off the fingers of their right hand, to escape from being pressed into the service; and this strange expedient was so commonly practised, as to deserve the severe animadversion of the laws, ^138 and a peculiar name in the Latin language. ^139
 +
 +[Footnote 135: Valentinian (Cod. Theodos. l. vii. tit. xiii. leg. 3) fixes the standard at five feet seven inches, about five feet four inches and a half, English measure. ​ It had formerly been five feet ten inches, and in the best corps, six Roman feet.  Sed tunc erat amplior multitude se et plures sequebantur militiam armatam. ​ Vegetius de Re Militari l. i. c. v.] [Footnote 136: See the two titles, De Veteranis and De Filiis Veteranorum,​ in the seventh book of the Theodosian Code.  The age at which their military service was required, varied from twenty-five to sixteen. ​ If the sons of the veterans appeared with a horse, they had a right to serve in the cavalry; two horses gave them some valuable privileges]
 +
 +[Footnote 137: Cod. Theod. l. vii. tit. xiii. leg. 7.  According to the historian Socrates, (see Godefroy ad loc.,) the same emperor Valens sometimes required eighty pieces of gold for a recruit. ​ In the following law it is faintly expressed, that slaves shall not be admitted inter optimas lectissimorum militum turmas.]
 +
 +[Footnote 138: The person and property of a Roman knight, who had mutilated his two sons, were sold at public auction by order of Augustus. (Sueton. in August. c. 27.) The moderation of that artful usurper proves, that this example of severity was justified by the spirit of the times. ​ Ammianus makes a distinction between the effeminate Italians and the hardy Gauls. (L. xv. c. 12.) Yet only 15 years afterwards, Valentinian,​ in a law addressed to the praefect of Gaul, is obliged to enact that these cowardly deserters shall be burnt alive. ​ Cod. Theod. l. vii. tit. xiii. leg. 5.) Their numbers in Illyricum were so considerable,​ that the province complained of a scarcity of recruits. ​ (Id. leg. 10.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 139: They were called Murci. ​ Murcidus is found in Plautus and Festus, to denote a lazy and cowardly person, who, according to Arnobius and Augustin, was under the immediate protection of the goddess Murcia. From this particular instance of cowardice, murcare is used as synonymous to mutilare, by the writers of the middle Latinity. ​ See Linder brogius and Valesius ad Ammian. ​ Marcellin, l. xv. c. 12]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople. ======
 +
 +===== Part V. =====
 +
 +The introduction of Barbarians into the Roman armies became every day more universal, more necessary, and more fatal. ​ The most daring of the Scythians, of the Goths, and of the Germans, who delighted in war, and who found it more profitable to defend than to ravage the provinces, were enrolled, not only in the auxiliaries of their respective nations, but in the legions themselves, and among the most distinguished of the Palatine troops. As they freely mingled with the subjects of the empire, they gradually learned to despise their manners, and to imitate their arts. They abjured the implicit reverence which the pride of Rome had exacted from their ignorance, while they acquired the knowledge and possession of those advantages by which alone she supported her declining greatness. ​ The Barbarian soldiers, who displayed any military talents, were advanced, without exception, to the most important commands; and the names of the tribunes, of the counts and dukes, and of the generals themselves, betray a foreign origin, which they no longer condescended to disguise. They were often intrusted with the conduct of a war against their countrymen; and though most of them preferred the ties of allegiance to those of blood, they did not always avoid the guilt, or at least the suspicion, of holding a treasonable correspondence with the enemy, of inviting his invasion, or of sparing his retreat. ​ The camps and the palace of the son of Constantine were governed by the powerful faction of the Franks, who preserved the strictest connection with each other, and with their country, and who resented every personal affront as a national indignity. ^140 When the tyrant Caligula was suspected of an intention to invest a very extraordinary candidate with the consular robes, the sacrilegious profanation would have scarcely excited less astonishment,​ if, instead of a horse, the noblest chieftain of Germany or Britain had been the object of his choice. The revolution of three centuries had produced so remarkable a change in the prejudices of the people, that, with the public approbation,​ Constantine showed his successors the example of bestowing the honors of the consulship on the Barbarians, who, by their merit and services, had deserved to be ranked among the first of the Romans. ^141 But as these hardy veterans, who had been educated in the ignorance or contempt of the laws, were incapable of exercising any civil offices, the powers of the human mind were contracted by the irreconcilable separation of talents as well as of professions. ​ The accomplished citizens of the Greek and Roman republics, whose characters could adapt themselves to the bar, the senate, the camp, or the schools, had learned to write, to speak, and to act with the same spirit, and with equal abilities. [Footnote 140: Malarichus - adhibitis Francis quorum ea tempestate in palatio multitudo florebat, erectius jam loquebatur tumultuabaturque. Ammian. l. xv. c. 5.]
 +
 +[Footnote 141: Barbaros omnium primus, ad usque fasces auxerat et trabeas consulares. ​ Ammian. l. xx. c. 10.  Eusebius (in Vit. Constantin. l. iv c.7) and Aurelius Victor seem to confirm the truth of this assertion yet in the thirty-two consular Fasti of the reign of Constantine cannot discover the name of a single Barbarian. ​ I should therefore interpret the liberality of that prince as relative to the ornaments rather than to the office, of the consulship.]
 +
 +IV.  Besides the magistrates and generals, who at a distance from the court diffused their delegated authority over the provinces and armies, the emperor conferred the rank of Illustrious on seven of his more immediate servants, to whose fidelity he intrusted his safety, or his counsels, or his treasures. ​ 1. The private apartments of the palace were governed by a favorite eunuch, who, in the language of that age, was styled the proepositus,​ or praefect of the sacred bed-chamber. His duty was to attend the emperor in his hours of state, or in those of amusement, and to perform about his person all those menial services, which can only derive their splendor from the influence of royalty. ​ Under a prince who deserved to reign, the great chamberlain (for such we may call him) was a useful and humble domestic; but an artful domestic, who improves every occasion of unguarded confidence, will insensibly acquire over a feeble mind that ascendant which harsh wisdom and uncomplying virtue can seldom obtain. ​ The degenerate grandsons of Theodosius, who were invisible to their subjects, and contemptible to their enemies, exalted the praefects of their bed- chamber above the heads of all the ministers of the palace; ^142 and even his deputy, the first of the splendid train of slaves who waited in the presence, was thought worthy to rank before the respectable proconsuls of Greece or Asia.  The jurisdiction of the chamberlain was acknowledged by the counts, or superintendents,​ who regulated the two important provinces of the magnificence of the wardrobe, and of the luxury of the Imperial table. ^143 2. The principal administration of public affairs was committed to the diligence and abilities of the master of the offices. ^144 He was the supreme magistrate of the palace, inspected the discipline of the civil and military schools, and received appeals from all parts of the empire, in the causes which related to that numerous army of privileged persons, who, as the servants of the court, had obtained for themselves and families a right to decline the authority of the ordinary judges. ​ The correspondence between the prince and his subjects was managed by the four scrinia, or offices of this minister of state. ​ The first was appropriated to memorials, the second to epistles, the third to petitions, and the fourth to papers and orders of a miscellaneous kind.  Each of these was directed by an inferior master of respectable dignity, and the whole business was despatched by a hundred and forty-eight secretaries,​ chosen for the most part from the profession of the law, on account of the variety of abstracts of reports and references which frequently occurred in the exercise of their several functions. ​ From a condescension,​ which in former ages would have been esteemed unworthy the Roman majesty, a particular secretary was allowed for the Greek language; and interpreters were appointed to receive the ambassadors of the Barbarians; but the department of foreign affairs, which constitutes so essential a part of modern policy, seldom diverted the attention of the master of the offices. ​ His mind was more seriously engaged by the general direction of the posts and arsenals of the empire. There were thirty-four cities, fifteen in the East, and nineteen in the West, in which regular companies of workmen were perpetually employed in fabricating defensive armor, offensive weapons of all sorts, and military engines, which were deposited in the arsenals, and occasionally delivered for the service of the troops. ​ 3. In the course of nine centuries, the office of quaestor had experienced a very singular revolution. ​ In the infancy of Rome, two inferior magistrates were annually elected by the people, to relieve the consuls from the invidious management of the public treasure; ^145 a similar assistant was granted to every proconsul, and to every praetor, who exercised a military or provincial command; with the extent of conquest, the two quaestors were gradually multiplied to the number of four, of eight, of twenty, and, for a short time, perhaps, of forty; ^146 and the noblest citizens ambitiously solicited an office which gave them a seat in the senate, and a just hope of obtaining the honors of the republic. ​ Whilst Augustus affected to maintain the freedom of election, he consented to accept the annual privilege of recommending,​ or rather indeed of nominating, a certain proportion of candidates; and it was his custom to select one of these distinguished youths, to read his orations or epistles in the assemblies of the senate. ^147 The practice of Augustus was imitated by succeeding princes; the occasional commission was established as a permanent office; and the favored quaestor, assuming a new and more illustrious character, alone survived the suppression of his ancient and useless colleagues. ^148 As the orations which he composed in the name of the emperor, ^149 acquired the force, and, at length, the form, of absolute edicts, he was considered as the representative of the legislative power, the oracle of the council, and the original source of the civil jurisprudence. ​ He was sometimes invited to take his seat in the supreme judicature of the Imperial consistory, with the Praetorian praefects, and the master of the offices; and he was frequently requested to resolve the doubts of inferior judges: but as he was not oppressed with a variety of subordinate business, his leisure and talents were employed to cultivate that dignified style of eloquence, which, in the corruption of taste and language, still preserves the majesty of the Roman laws. ^150 In some respects, the office of the Imperial quaestor may be compared with that of a modern chancellor; but the use of a great seal, which seems to have been adopted by the illiterate barbarians, was never introduced to attest the public acts of the emperors. ​ 4. The extraordinary title of count of the sacred largesses was bestowed on the treasurer-general of the revenue, with the intention perhaps of inculcating,​ that every payment flowed from the voluntary bounty of the monarch. ​ To conceive the almost infinite detail of the annual and daily expense of the civil and military administration in every part of a great empire, would exceed the powers of the most vigorous imagination. The actual account employed several hundred persons, distributed into eleven different offices, which were artfully contrived to examine and control their respective operations. ​ The multitude of these agents had a natural tendency to increase; and it was more than once thought expedient to dismiss to their native homes the useless supernumeraries,​ who, deserting their honest labors, had pressed with too much eagerness into the lucrative profession of the finances. ^151 Twenty-nine provincial receivers, of whom eighteen were honored with the title of count, corresponded with the treasurer; and he extended his jurisdiction over the mines from whence the precious metals were extracted, over the mints, in which they were converted into the current coin, and over the public treasuries of the most important cities, where they were deposited for the service of the state. ​ The foreign trade of the empire was regulated by this minister, who directed likewise all the linen and woollen manufactures,​ in which the successive operations of spinning, weaving, and dyeing were executed, chiefly by women of a servile condition, for the use of the palace and army.  Twenty-six of these institutions are enumerated in the West, where the arts had been more recently introduced, and a still larger proportion may be allowed for the industrious provinces of the East. ^152 5. Besides the public revenue, which an absolute monarch might levy and expend according to his pleasure, the emperors, in the capacity of opulent citizens, possessed a very extensive property, which was administered by the count or treasurer of the private estate. ​ Some part had perhaps been the ancient demesnes of kings and republics; some accessions might be derived from the families which were successively invested with the purple; but the most considerable portion flowed from the impure source of confiscations and forfeitures. ​ The Imperial estates were scattered through the provinces, from Mauritania to Britain; but the rich and fertile soil of Cappadocia tempted the monarch to acquire in that country his fairest possessions,​ ^153 and either Constantine or his successors embraced the occasion of justifying avarice by religious zeal. They suppressed the rich temple of Comana, where the high priest of the goddess of war supported the dignity of a sovereign prince; and they applied to their private use the consecrated lands, which were inhabited by six thousand subjects or slaves of the deity and her ministers. ^154 But these were not the valuable inhabitants:​ the plains that stretch from the foot of Mount Argaeus to the banks of the Sarus, bred a generous race of horses, renowned above all others in the ancient world for their majestic shape and incomparable swiftness. These sacred animals, destined for the service of the palace and the Imperial games, were protected by the laws from the profanation of a vulgar master. ^155 The demesnes of Cappadocia were important enough to require the inspection of a count; ^156 officers of an inferior rank were stationed in the other parts of the empire; and the deputies of the private, as well as those of the public, treasurer were maintained in the exercise of their independent functions, and encouraged to control the authority of the provincial magistrates. ^157 6, 7. The chosen bands of cavalry and infantry, which guarded the person of the emperor, were under the immediate command of the two counts of the domestics. ​ The whole number consisted of three thousand five hundred men, divided into seven schools, or troops, of five hundred each; and in the East, this honorable service was almost entirely appropriated to the Armenians. ​ Whenever, on public ceremonies, they were drawn up in the courts and porticos of the palace, their lofty stature, silent order, and splendid arms of silver and gold, displayed a martial pomp not unworthy of the Roman majesty. ^158 From the seven schools two companies of horse and foot were selected, of the protectors, whose advantageous station was the hope and reward of the most deserving soldiers. ​ They mounted guard in the interior apartments, and were occasionally despatched into the provinces, to execute with celerity and vigor the orders of their master. ^159 The counts of the domestics had succeeded to the office of the Praetorian praefects; like the praefects, they aspired from the service of the palace to the command of armies.
 +
 +[Footnote 142: Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. 8.]
 +
 +[Footnote 143: By a very singular metaphor, borrowed from the military character of the first emperors, the steward of their household was styled the count of their camp, (comes castrensis.) Cassiodorus very seriously represents to him, that his own fame, and that of the empire, must depend on the opinion which foreign ambassadors may conceive of the plenty and magnificence of the royal table. ​ (Variar. l. vi. epistol. 9.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 144: Gutherius (de Officiis Domus Augustae, l. ii. c. 20, l. iii.) has very accurately explained the functions of the master of the offices, and the constitution of the subordinate scrinia. ​ But he vainly attempts, on the most doubtful authority, to deduce from the time of the Antonines, or even of Nero, the origin of a magistrate who cannot be found in history before the reign of Constantine.]
 +
 +[Footnote 145: Tacitus (Annal. xi. 22) says, that the first quaestors were elected by the people, sixty-four years after the foundation of the republic; but he is of opinion, that they had, long before that period, been annually appointed by the consuls, and even by the kings. ​ But this obscure point of antiquity is contested by other writers.]
 +
 +[Footnote 146: Tacitus (Annal. xi. 22) seems to consider twenty as the highest number of quaestors; and Dion (l. xliii. p 374) insinuates, that if the dictator Caesar once created forty, it was only to facilitate the payment of an immense debt of gratitude. ​ Yet the augmentation which he made of praetors subsisted under the succeeding reigns.]
 +
 +[Footnote 147: Sueton. in August. c. 65, and Torrent. ad loc. Dion. Cas. p. 755.]
 +
 +[Footnote 148: The youth and inexperience of the quaestors, who entered on that important office in their twenty-fifth year, (Lips. Excurs. ad Tacit. l. iii. D.,) engaged Augustus to remove them from the management of the treasury; and though they were restored by Claudius, they seem to have been finally dismissed by Nero.  (Tacit Annal. xiii. 29. Sueton. in Aug. c. 36, in Claud. c. 24.  Dion, p. 696, 961, &​c. ​ Plin. Epistol. x. 20, et alibi.) In the provinces of the Imperial division, the place of the quaestors was more ably supplied by the procurators,​ (Dion Cas. p. 707.  Tacit. in Vit. Agricol. c. 15;) or, as they were afterwards called, rationales. ​ (Hist. August. p. 130.) But in the provinces of the senate we may still discover a series of quaestors till the reign of Marcus Antoninus. ​ (See the Inscriptions of Gruter, the Epistles of Pliny, and a decisive fact in the Augustan History, p. 64.) From Ulpian we may learn, (Pandect. l. i. tit. 13,) that under the government of the house of Severus, their provincial administration was abolished; and in the subsequent troubles, the annual or triennial elections of quaestors must have naturally ceased.]
 +
 +[Footnote 149: Cum patris nomine et epistolas ipse dictaret, et edicta conscrib eret, orationesque in senatu recitaret, etiam quaestoris vice. Sueton, in Tit. c. 6.  The office must have acquired new dignity, which was occasionally executed by the heir apparent of the empire. ​ Trajan intrusted the same care to Hadrian, his quaestor and cousin. ​ See Dodwell, Praelection. Cambden, x. xi. p. 362-394.]
 +
 +[Footnote 150: Terris edicta daturus; Supplicibus responsa. - Oracula regis Eloquio crevere tuo; nec dignius unquam Majestas meminit sese Romana locutam.
 +
 +Claudian in Consulat. Mall. Theodor. 33.  See likewise Symmachus (Epistol. i. 17) and Cassiodorus. ​ (Variar. iv. 5.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 151: Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. 30.  Cod. Justinian. l. xii. tit. 24.] [Footnote 152: In the departments of the two counts of the treasury, the eastern part of the Notitia happens to be very defective. ​ It may be observed, that we had a treasury chest in London, and a gyneceum or manufacture at Winchester. ​ But Britain was not thought worthy either of a mint or of an arsenal. ​ Gaul alone possessed three of the former, and eight of the latter.] [Footnote 153: Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. xxx. leg. 2, and Godefroy ad loc.] [Footnote 154: Strabon. Geograph. l. xxii. p. 809, [edit. Casaub.] The other temple of Comana, in Pontus, was a colony from that of Cappadocia, l. xii. p. 835.  The President Des Brosses (see his Saluste, tom. ii. p. 21, [edit. Causub.]) conjectures that the deity adored in both Comanas was Beltis, the Venus of the east, the goddess of generation; a very different being indeed from the goddess of war.]
 +
 +[Footnote 155: Cod. Theod. l. x. tit. vi. de Grege Dominico. Godefroy has collected every circumstance of antiquity relative to the Cappadocian horses. One of the finest breeds, the Palmatian, was the forfeiture of a rebel, whose estate lay about sixteen miles from Tyana, near the great road between Constantinople and Antioch.]
 +
 +[Footnote 156: Justinian (Novell. 30) subjected the province of the count of Cappadocia to the immediate authority of the favorite eunuch, who presided over the sacred bed-chamber.]
 +
 +[Footnote 157: Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. xxx. leg. 4, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 158: Pancirolus, p. 102, 136.  The appearance of these military domestics is described in the Latin poem of Corippus, de Laudibus Justin. l. iii. 157-179. p. 419, 420 of the Appendix Hist. Byzantin. Rom. 177.] [Footnote 159: Ammianus Marcellinus,​ who served so many years, obtained only the rank of a protector. ​ The first ten among these honorable soldiers were Clarissimi.]
 +
 +The perpetual intercourse between the court and the provinces was facilitated by the construction of roads and the institution of posts. ​ But these beneficial establishments were accidentally connected with a pernicious and intolerable abuse. Two or three hundred agents or messengers were employed, under the jurisdiction of the master of the offices, to announce the names of the annual consuls, and the edicts or victories of the emperors. They insensibly assumed the license of reporting whatever they could observe of the conduct either of magistrates or of private citizens; and were soon considered as the eyes of the monarch, ^160 and the scourge of the people. Under the warm influence of a feeble reign, they multiplied to the incredible number of ten thousand, disdained the mild though frequent admonitions of the laws, and exercised in the profitable management of the posts a rapacious and insolent oppression. These official spies, who regularly corresponded with the palace, were encouraged by favor and reward, anxiously to watch the progress of every treasonable design, from the faint and latent symptoms of disaffection,​ to the actual preparation of an open revolt. ​ Their careless or criminal violation of truth and justice was covered by the consecrated mask of zeal; and they might securely aim their poisoned arrows at the breast either of the guilty or the innocent, who had provoked their resentment, or refused to purchase their silence. ​ A faithful subject, of Syria perhaps, or of Britain, was exposed to the danger, or at least to the dread, of being dragged in chains to the court of Milan or Constantinople,​ to defend his life and fortune against the malicious charge of these privileged informers. ​ The ordinary administration was conducted by those methods which extreme necessity can alone palliate; and the defects of evidence were diligently supplied by the use of torture. ^161
 +
 +[Footnote 160: Xenophon, Cyropaed. l. viii.  Brisson, de Regno Persico, l. i No 190, p. 264.  The emperors adopted with pleasure this Persian metaphor.] [Footnote 161: For the Agentes in Rebus, see Ammian. l. xv. c. 3, l. xvi. c. 5, l. xxii. c. 7, with the curious annotations of Valesius. ​ Cod. Theod. l. vi. tit. xxvii. xxviii. xxix.  Among the passages collected in the Commentary of Godefroy, the most remarkable is one from Libanius, in his discourse concerning the death of Julian.]
 +
 +The deceitful and dangerous experiment of the criminal quaestion, as it is emphatically styled, was admitted, rather than approved, in the jurisprudence of the Romans. ​ They applied this sanguinary mode of examination only to servile bodies, whose sufferings were seldom weighed by those haughty republicans in the scale of justice or humanity; but they would never consent to violate the sacred person of a citizen, till they possessed the clearest evidence of his guilt. ^162 The annals of tyranny, from the reign of Tiberius to that of Domitian, circumstantially relate the executions of many innocent victims; but, as long as the faintest remembrance was kept alive of the national freedom and honor, the last hours of a Roman were secured from the danger of ignominions torture. ^163 The conduct of the provincial magistrates was not, however, regulated by the practice of the city, or the strict maxims of the civilians. ​ They found the use of torture established not only among the slaves of oriental despotism, but among the Macedonians,​ who obeyed a limited monarch; among the Rhodians, who flourished by the liberty of commerce; and even among the sage Athenians, who had asserted and adorned the dignity of human kind. ^164 The acquiescence of the provincials encouraged their governors to acquire, or perhaps to usurp, a discretionary power of employing the rack, to extort from vagrants or plebeian criminals the confession of their guilt, till they insensibly proceeded to confound the distinction of rank, and to disregard the privileges of Roman citizens. ​ The apprehensions of the subjects urged them to solicit, and the interest of the sovereign engaged him to grant, a variety of special exemptions, which tacitly allowed, and even authorized, the general use of torture. ​ They protected all persons of illustrious or honorable rank, bishops and their presbyters, professors of the liberal arts, soldiers and their families, municipal officers, and their posterity to the third generation, and all children under the age of puberty. ^165 But a fatal maxim was introduced into the new jurisprudence of the empire, that in the case of treason, which included every offence that the subtlety of lawyers could derive from a hostile intention towards the prince or republic, ^166 all privileges were suspended, and all conditions were reduced to the same ignominious level. As the safety of the emperor was avowedly preferred to every consideration of justice or humanity, the dignity of age and the tenderness of youth were alike exposed to the most cruel tortures; and the terrors of a malicious information,​ which might select them as the accomplices,​ or even as the witnesses, perhaps, of an imaginary crime, perpetually hung over the heads of the principal citizens of the Roman world. ^167
 +
 +[Footnote 162: The Pandects (l. xlviii. tit. xviii.) contain the sentiments of the most celebrated civilians on the subject of torture. ​ They strictly confine it to slaves; and Ulpian himself is ready to acknowledge that Res est fragilis, et periculosa, et quae veritatem fallat.]
 +
 +[Footnote 163: In the conspiracy of Piso against Nero, Epicharis (libertina mulier) was the only person tortured; the rest were intacti tormentis. ​ It would be superfluous to add a weaker, and it would be difficult to find a stronger, example. ​ Tacit. Annal. xv. 57.]
 +
 +[Footnote 164: Dicendum . . . de Institutis Atheniensium,​ Rhodiorum, doctissimorum hominum, apud quos etiam (id quod acerbissimum est) liberi, civesque torquentur. ​ Cicero, Partit. Orat. c. 34.  We may learn from the trial of Philotas the practice of the Macedonians. ​ (Diodor. Sicul. l. xvii. p. 604. Q. Curt. l. vi. c. 11.]
 +
 +[Footnote 165: Heineccius (Element. Jur. Civil. part vii. p. 81) has collected these exemptions into one view.]
 +
 +[Footnote 166: This definition of the sage Ulpian (Pandect. l. xlviii. tit. iv.) seems to have been adapted to the court of Caracalla, rather than to that of Alexander Severus. ​ See the Codes of Theodosius and ad leg. Juliam majestatis.]
 +
 +[Footnote 167: Arcadius Charisius is the oldest lawyer quoted to justify the universal practice of torture in all cases of treason; but this maxim of tyranny, which is admitted by Ammianus with the most respectful terror, is enforced by several laws of the successors of Constantine. ​ See Cod. Theod. l. ix. tit. xxxv. majestatis crimine omnibus aequa est conditio.] These evils, however terrible they may appear, were confined to the smaller number of Roman subjects, whose dangerous situation was in some degree compensated by the enjoyment of those advantages, either of nature or of fortune, which exposed them to the jealousy of the monarch. ​ The obscure millions of a great empire have much less to dread from the cruelty than from the avarice of their masters, and their humble happiness is principally affected by the grievance of excessive taxes, which, gently pressing on the wealthy, descend with accelerated weight on the meaner and more indigent classes of society. ​ An ingenious philosopher ^168 has calculated the universal measure of the public impositions by the degrees of freedom and servitude; and ventures to assert, that, according to an invariable law of nature, it must always increase with the former, and diminish in a just proportion to the latter. ​ But this reflection, which would tend to alleviate the miseries of despotism, is contradicted at least by the history of the Roman empire; which accuses the same princes of despoiling the senate of its authority, and the provinces of their wealth. Without abolishing all the various customs and duties on merchandises,​ which are imperceptibly discharged by the apparent choice of the purchaser, the policy of Constantine and his successors preferred a simple and direct mode of taxation, more congenial to the spirit of an arbitrary government. ^169
 +
 +[Footnote 168: Montesquieu,​ Esprit des Loix, l. xii. c. 13.] [Footnote 169: Mr. Hume (Essays, vol. i. p. 389) has seen this importance with some degree of perplexity.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVII: Foundation Of Constantinople. ======
 +
 +===== Part VI. =====
 +
 +The name and use of the indictions, ^170 which serve to ascertain the chronology of the middle ages, were derived from the regular practice of the Roman tributes. ^171 The emperor subscribed with his own hand, and in purple ink, the solemn edict, or indiction, which was fixed up in the principal city of each diocese, during two months previous to the first day of September. And by a very easy connection of ideas, the word indiction was transferred to the measure of tribute which it prescribed, and to the annual term which it allowed for the payment. ​ This general estimate of the supplies was proportioned to the real and imaginary wants of the state; but as often as the expense exceeded the revenue, or the revenue fell short of the computation,​ an additional tax, under the name of superindiction,​ was imposed on the people, and the most valuable attribute of sovereignty was communicated to the Praetorian praefects, who, on some occasions, were permitted to provide for the unforeseen and extraordinary exigencies of the public service. ​ The execution of these laws (which it would be tedious to pursue in their minute and intricate detail) consisted of two distinct operations: the resolving the general imposition into its constituent parts, which were assessed on the provinces, the cities, and the individuals of the Roman world; and the collecting the separate contributions of the individuals,​ the cities, and the provinces, till the accumulated sums were poured into the Imperial treasuries. But as the account between the monarch and the subject was perpetually open, and as the renewal of the demand anticipated the perfect discharge of the preceding obligation, the weighty machine of the finances was moved by the same hands round the circle of its yearly revolution. ​ Whatever was honorable or important in the administration of the revenue, was committed to the wisdom of the praefects, and their provincia. representatives;​ the lucrative functions were claimed by a crowd of subordinate officers, some of whom depended on the treasurer, others on the governor of the province; and who, in the inevitable conflicts of a perplexed jurisdiction,​ had frequent opportunities of disputing with each other the spoils of the people. ​ The laborious offices, which could be productive only of envy and reproach, of expense and danger, were imposed on the Decurions, who formed the corporations of the cities, and whom the severity of the Imperial laws had condemned to sustain the burdens of civil society. ^172 The whole landed property of the empire (without excepting the patrimonial estates of the monarch) was the object of ordinary taxation; and every new purchaser contracted the obligations of the former proprietor. ​ An accurate census, ^173 or survey, was the only equitable mode of ascertaining the proportion which every citizen should be obliged to contribute for the public service; and from the well-known period of the indictions, there is reason to believe that this difficult and expensive operation was repeated at the regular distance of fifteen years. ​ The lands were measured by surveyors, who were sent into the provinces; their nature, whether arable or pasture, or vineyards or woods, was distinctly reported; and an estimate was made of their common value from the average produce of five years. ​ The numbers of slaves and of cattle constituted an essential part of the report; an oath was administered to the proprietors,​ which bound them to disclose the true state of their affairs; and their attempts to prevaricate,​ or elude the intention of the legislator, were severely watched, and punished as a capital crime, which included the double guilt of treason and sacrilege. ^174 A large portion of the tribute was paid in money; and of the current coin of the empire, gold alone could be legally accepted. ^175 The remainder of the taxes, according to the proportions determined by the annual indiction, was furnished in a manner still more direct, and still more oppressive. According to the different nature of lands, their real produce in the various articles of wine or oil, corn or barley, wood or iron, was transported by the labor or at the expense of the provincials ^* to the Imperial magazines, from whence they were occasionally distributed for the use of the court, of the army, and of two capitals, Rome and Constantinople. ​ The commissioners of the revenue were so frequently obliged to make considerable purchases, that they were strictly prohibited from allowing any compensation,​ or from receiving in money the value of those supplies which were exacted in kind.  In the primitive simplicity of small communities,​ this method may be well adapted to collect the almost voluntary offerings of the people; but it is at once susceptible of the utmost latitude, and of the utmost strictness, which in a corrupt and absolute monarchy must introduce a perpetual contest between the power of oppression and the arts of fraud. ^176 The agriculture of the Roman provinces was insensibly ruined, and, in the progress of despotism which tends to disappoint its own purpose, the emperors were obliged to derive some merit from the forgiveness of debts, or the remission of tributes, which their subjects were utterly incapable of paying. According to the new division of Italy, the fertile and happy province of Campania, the scene of the early victories and of the delicious retirements of the citizens of Rome, extended between the sea and the Apennine, from the Tiber to the Silarus. ​ Within sixty years after the death of Constantine,​ and on the evidence of an actual survey, an exemption was granted in favor of three hundred and thirty thousand English acres of desert and uncultivated land; which amounted to one eighth of the whole surface of the province. As the footsteps of the Barbarians had not yet been seen in Italy, the cause of this amazing desolation, which is recorded in the laws, can be ascribed only to the administration of the Roman emperors. ^177 [Footnote 170: The cycle of indictions, which may be traced as high as the reign of Constantius,​ or perhaps of his father, Constantine,​ is still employed by the Papal court; but the commencement of the year has been very reasonably altered to the first of January. ​ See l'Art de Verifier les Dates, p. xi.; and Dictionnaire Raison. de la Diplomatique,​ tom. ii. p. 25; two accurate treatises, which come from the workshop of the Benedictines.] [Footnote *: It does not appear that the establishment of the indiction is to be at tributed to Constantine:​ it existed before he had been created Augustus at Rome, and the remission granted by him to the city of Autun is the proof. He would not have ventured while only Caesar, and under the necessity of courting popular favor, to establish such an odious impost. ​ Aurelius Victor and Lactantius agree in designating Diocletian as the author of this despotic institution. ​ Aur. Vict. de Caes. c. 39. Lactant. de Mort. Pers. c. 7 - G.] [Footnote 171: The first twenty-eight titles of the eleventh book of the Theodosian Code are filled with the circumstantial regulations on the important subject of tributes; but they suppose a clearer knowledge of fundamental principles than it is at present in our power to attain.] [Footnote 172: The title concerning the Decurions (l. xii. tit. i.) is the most ample in the whole Theodosian Code; since it contains not less than one hundred and ninety-two distinct laws to ascertain the duties and privileges of that useful order of citizens.
 +
 +Note: The Decurions were charged with assessing, according to the census of property prepared by the tabularii, the payment due from each proprietor. This odious office was authoritatively imposed on the richest citizens of each town; they had no salary, and all their compensation was, to be exempt from certain corporal punishments,​ in case they should have incurred them. The Decurionate was the ruin of all the rich.  Hence they tried every way of avoiding this dangerous honor; they concealed themselves, they entered into military service; but their efforts were unavailing; they were seized, they were compelled to become Decurions, and the dread inspired by this title was termed Impiety. - G.
 +
 +The Decurions were mutually responsible;​ they were obliged to undertake for pieces of ground abandoned by their owners on account of the pressure of the taxes, and, finally, to make up all deficiencies. ​ Savigny chichte des Rom. Rechts, i. 25. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 173: Habemus enim et hominum numerum qui delati sunt, et agrun modum. Eumenius in Panegyr. Vet. viii. 6.  See Cod. Theod. l. xiii. tit. x. xi., with Godefroy'​s Commentary.]
 +
 +[Footnote 174: Siquis sacrilega vitem falce succiderit, aut feracium ramorum foetus hebetaverit,​ quo delinet fidem Censuum, et mentiatur callide paupertatis ingenium, mox detectus capitale subibit exitium, et bona ejus in Fisci jura migrabunt. ​ Cod. Theod. l. xiii. tit. xi. leg. 1.  Although this law is not without its studied obscurity, it is, however clear enough to prove the minuteness of the inquisition,​ and the disproportion of the penalty.] [Footnote 175: The astonishment of Pliny would have ceased. Equidem miror P. R. victis gentibus argentum semper imperitasse non aurum. ​ Hist Natur. xxxiii. 15.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The proprietors were not charged with the expense of this transport in the provinces situated on the sea-shore or near the great rivers, there were companies of boatmen, and of masters of vessels, who had this commission, and furnished the means of transport at their own expense. In return, they were themselves exempt, altogether, or in part, from the indiction and other imposts. ​ They had certain privileges; particular regulations determined their rights and obligations. ​ (Cod. Theod. l. xiii. tit. v. ix.) The transports by land were made in the same manner, by the intervention of a privileged company called Bastaga; the members were called Bastagarii Cod. Theod. l. viii. tit. v. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 176: Some precautions were taken (see Cod. Theod. l. xi. tit. ii. and Cod. Justinian. l. x. tit. xxvii. leg. 1, 2, 3) to restrain the magistrates from the abuse of their authority, either in the exaction or in the purchase of corn: but those who had learning enough to read the orations of Cicero against Verres, (iii. de Frumento,) might instruct themselves in all the various arts of oppression, with regard to the weight, the price, the quality, and the carriage. ​ The avarice of an unlettered governor would supply the ignorance of precept or precedent.]
 +
 +[Footnote 177: Cod. Theod. l. xi. tit. xxviii. leg. 2, published the 24th of March, A. D. 395, by the emperor Honorius, only two months after the death of his father, Theodosius. ​ He speaks of 528,042 Roman jugera, which I have reduced to the English measure. ​ The jugerum contained 28,800 square Roman feet.]
 +
 +Either from design or from accident, the mode of assessment seemed to unite the substance of a land tax with the forms of a capitation. ^178 The returns which were sent of every province or district, expressed the number of tributary subjects, and the amount of the public impositions. ​ The latter of these sums was divided by the former; and the estimate, that such a province contained so many capita, or heads of tribute; and that each head was rated at such a price, was universally received, not only in the popular, but even in the legal computation. ​ The value of a tributary head must have varied, according to many accidental, or at least fluctuating circumstances;​ but some knowledge has been preserved of a very curious fact, the more important, since it relates to one of the richest provinces of the Roman empire, and which now flourishes as the most splendid of the European kingdoms. ​ The rapacious ministers of Constantius had exhausted the wealth of Gaul, by exacting twenty-five pieces of gold for the annual tribute of every head.  The humane policy of his successor reduced the capitation to seven pieces. ^179 A moderate proportion between these opposite extremes of extraordinary oppression and of transient indulgence, may therefore be fixed at sixteen pieces of gold, or about nine pounds sterling, the common standard, perhaps, of the impositions of Gaul. ^180 But this calculation,​ or rather, indeed, the facts from whence it is deduced, cannot fail of suggesting two difficulties to a thinking mind, who will be at once surprised by the equality, and by the enormity, of the capitation. ​ An attempt to explain them may perhaps reflect some light on the interesting subject of the finances of the declining empire. [Footnote 178: Godefroy (Cod. Theod. tom. vi. p. 116) argues with weight and learning on the subject of the capitation; but while he explains the caput, as a share or measure of property, he too absolutely excludes the idea of a personal assessment.]
 +
 +[Footnote 179: Quid profuerit (Julianus) anhelantibus extrema penuria Gallis, hinc maxime claret, quod primitus partes eas ingressus, pro capitibusingulis tributi nomine vicenos quinos aureos reperit flagitari; discedens vero septenos tantum numera universa complentes. ​ Ammian. l. xvi. c. 5.] [Footnote 180: In the calculation of any sum of money under Constantine and his successors, we need only refer to the excellent discourse of Mr. Greaves on the Denarius, for the proof of the following principles; 1. That the ancient and modern Roman pound, containing 5256 grains of Troy weight, is about one twelfth lighter than the English pound, which is composed of 5760 of the same grains. ​ 2. That the pound of gold, which had once been divided into forty-eight aurei, was at this time coined into seventy-two smaller pieces of the same denomination. ​ 3. That five of these aurei were the legal tender for a pound of silver, and that consequently the pound of gold was exchanged for fourteen pounds eight ounces of silver, according to the Roman, or about thirteen pounds according to the English weight. ​ 4. That the English pound of silver is coined into sixty-two shillings. ​ From these elements we may compute the Roman pound of gold, the usual method of reckoning large sums, at forty pounds sterling, and we may fix the currency of the aureus at somewhat more than eleven shillings.
 +
 +Note: See, likewise, a Dissertation of M. Letronne, "​Considerations Generales sur l'​Evaluation des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines"​ Paris, 1817 - M.]
 +
 +I.  It is obvious, that, as long as the immutable constitution of human nature produces and maintains so unequal a division of property, the most numerous part of the community would be deprived of their subsistence,​ by the equal assessment of a tax from which the sovereign would derive a very trifling revenue. ​ Such indeed might be the theory of the Roman capitation; but in the practice, this unjust equality was no longer felt, as the tribute was collected on the principle of a real, not of a personal imposition. ^* Several indigent citizens contributed to compose a single head, or share of taxation; while the wealthy provincial, in proportion to his fortune, alone represented several of those imaginary beings. ​ In a poetical request, addressed to one of the last and most deserving of the Roman princes who reigned in Gaul, Sidonius Apollinaris personifies his tribute under the figure of a triple monster, the Geryon of the Grecian fables, and entreats the new Hercules that he would most graciously be pleased to save his life by cutting off three of his heads. ^181 The fortune of Sidonius far exceeded the customary wealth of a poet; but if he had pursued the allusion, he might have painted many of the Gallic nobles with the hundred heads of the deadly Hydra, spreading over the face of the country, and devouring the substance of a hundred families. II.  The difficulty of allowing an annual sum of about nine pounds sterling, even for the average of the capitation of Gaul, may be rendered more evident by the comparison of the present state of the same country, as it is now governed by the absolute monarch of an industrious,​ wealthy, and affectionate people. ​ The taxes of France cannot be magnified, either by fear or by flattery, beyond the annual amount of eighteen millions sterling, which ought perhaps to be shared among four and twenty millions of inhabitants. ^182 Seven millions of these, in the capacity of fathers, or brothers, or husbands, may discharge the obligations of the remaining multitude of women and children; yet the equal proportion of each tributary subject will scarcely rise above fifty shillings of our money, instead of a proportion almost four times as considerable,​ which was regularly imposed on their Gallic ancestors. ​ The reason of this difference may be found, not so much in the relative scarcity or plenty of gold and silver, as in the different state of society, in ancient Gaul and in modern France. ​ In a country where personal freedom is the privilege of every subject, the whole mass of taxes, whether they are levied on property or on consumption,​ may be fairly divided among the whole body of the nation. ​ But the far greater part of the lands of ancient Gaul, as well as of the other provinces of the Roman world, were cultivated by slaves, or by peasants, whose dependent condition was a less rigid servitude. ^183 In such a state the poor were maintained at the expense of the masters who enjoyed the fruits of their labor; and as the rolls of tribute were filled only with the names of those citizens who possessed the means of an honorable, or at least of a decent subsistence,​ the comparative smallness of their numbers explains and justifies the high rate of their capitation. ​ The truth of this assertion may be illustrated by the following example: The Aedui, one of the most powerful and civilized tribes or cities of Gaul, occupied an extent of territory, which now contains about five hundred thousand inhabitants,​ in the two ecclesiastical dioceses of Autun and Nevers; ^184 and with the probable accession of those of Chalons and Macon, ^185 the population would amount to eight hundred thousand souls. ​ In the time of Constantine,​ the territory of the Aedui afforded no more than twenty-five thousand heads of capitation, of whom seven thousand were discharged by that prince from the intolerable weight of tribute. ^186 A just analogy would seem to countenance the opinion of an ingenious historian, ^187 that the free and tributary citizens did not surpass the number of half a million; and if, in the ordinary administration of government, their annual payments may be computed at about four millions and a half of our money, it would appear, that although the share of each individual was four times as considerable,​ a fourth part only of the modern taxes of France was levied on the Imperial province of Gaul.  The exactions of Constantius may be calculated at seven millions sterling, which were reduced to two millions by the humanity or the wisdom of Julian.
 +
 +[Footnote *: Two masterly dissertations of M. Savigny, in the Mem. of the Berlin Academy (1822 and 1823) have thrown new light on the taxation system of the Empire. ​ Gibbon, according to M. Savigny, is mistaken in supposing that there was but one kind of capitation tax; there was a land tax, and a capitation tax, strictly so called. ​ The land tax was, in its operation, a proprietor'​s or landlord'​s tax.  But, besides this, there was a direct capitation tax on all who were not possessed of landed property. ​ This tax dates from the time of the Roman conquests; its amount is not clearly known. Gradual exemptions released different persons and classes from this tax.  One edict exempts painters. ​ In Syria, all under twelve or fourteen, or above sixty-five, were exempted; at a later period, all under twenty, and all unmarried females; still later, all under twenty-five,​ widows and nuns, soldiers, veterani and clerici - whole dioceses, that of Thrace and Illyricum. Under Galerius and Licinius, the plebs urbana became exempt; though this, perhaps, was only an ordinance for the East.  By degrees, however, the exemption was extended to all the inhabitants of towns; and as it was strictly capitatio plebeia, from which all possessors were exempted it fell at length altogether on the coloni and agricultural slaves. These were registered in the same cataster (capitastrum) with the land tax.  It was paid by the proprietor, who raised it again from his coloni and laborers. - M.] [Footnote 181:      Geryones nos esse puta, monstrumque tributum, Hic capita ut vivam, tu mihi tolle tria. Sidon. Apollinar. Carm. xiii.
 +
 +The reputation of Father Sirmond led me to expect more satisfaction than I have found in his note (p. 144) on this remarkable passage. ​ The words, suo vel suorum nomine, betray the perplexity of the commentator.] [Footnote 182: This assertion, however formidable it may seem, is founded on the original registers of births, deaths, and marriages, collected by public authority, and now deposited in the Controlee General at Paris. ​ The annual average of births throughout the whole kingdom, taken in five years, (from 1770 to 1774, both inclusive,) is 479,649 boys, and 449,269 girls, in all 928,918 children. ​ The province of French Hainault alone furnishes 9906 births; and we are assured, by an actual enumeration of the people, annually repeated from the year 1773 to the year 1776, that upon an average, Hainault contains 257,097 inhabitants. ​ By the rules of fair analogy, we might infer, that the ordinary proportion of annual births to the whole people, is about 1 to 26; and that the kingdom of France contains 24,151,868 persons of both sexes and of every age.  If we content ourselves with the more moderate proportion of 1 to 25, the whole population will amount to 23,​222,​950. ​ From the diligent researches of the French Government, (which are not unworthy of our own imitation,) we may hope to obtain a still greater degree of certainty on this important subject
 +
 +Note: On no subject has so much valuable information been collected since the time of Gibbon, as the statistics of the different countries of Europe but much is still wanting as to our own - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 183: Cod. Theod. l. v. tit. ix. x. xi.  Cod. Justinian. l. xi. tit. lxiii. ​ Coloni appellantur qui conditionem debent genitali solo, propter agriculturum sub dominio possessorum. Augustin. de Civitate Dei, l. x. c. i.] [Footnote 184: The ancient jurisdiction of (Augustodunum) Autun in Burgundy, the capital of the Aedui, comprehended the adjacent territory of (Noviodunum) Nevers. ​ See D'​Anville,​ Notice de l'​Ancienne Gaule, p. 491. The two dioceses of Autun and Nevers are now composed, the former of 610, and the latter of 160 parishes. ​ The registers of births, taken during eleven years, in 476 parishes of the same province of Burgundy, and multiplied by the moderate proportion of 25, (see Messance Recherches sur la Population, p. 142,) may authorizes us to assign an average number of 656 persons for each parish, which being again multiplied by the 770 parishes of the dioceses of Nevers and Autun, will produce the sum of 505,120 persons for the extent of country which was once possessed by the Aedui.]
 +
 +[Footnote 185: We might derive an additional supply of 301,750 inhabitants from the dioceses of Chalons (Cabillonum) and of Macon, (Matisco,) since they contain, the one 200, and the other 260 parishes. ​ This accession of territory might be justified by very specious reasons. ​ 1. Chalons and Macon were undoubtedly within the original jurisdiction of the Aedui. ​ (See D'​Anville,​ Notice, p. 187, 443.) 2. In the Notitia of Gaul, they are enumerated not as Civitates, but merely as Castra. ​ 3. They do not appear to have been episcopal seats before the fifth and sixth centuries. ​ Yet there is a passage in Eumenius (Panegyr. Vet. viii. 7) which very forcibly deters me from extending the territory of the Aedui, in the reign of Constantine,​ along the beautiful banks of the navigable Saone.
 +
 +Note: In this passage of Eumenius, Savigny supposes the original number to have been 32,000: 7000 being discharged, there remained 25,000 liable to the tribute. ​ See Mem. quoted above. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 186: Eumenius in Panegyr Vet. viii. 11.]
 +
 +[Footnote 187: L'Abbe du Bos, Hist. Critique de la M. F. tom. i. p. 121] But this tax, or capitation, on the proprietors of land, would have suffered a rich and numerous class of free citizens to escape. ​ With the view of sharing that species of wealth which is derived from art or labor, and which exists in money or in merchandise,​ the emperors imposed a distinct and personal tribute on the trading part of their subjects. ^188 Some exemptions, very strictly confined both in time and place, were allowed to the proprietors who disposed of the produce of their own estates. Some indulgence was granted to the profession of the liberal arts: but every other branch of commercial industry was affected by the severity of the law.  The honorable merchant of Alexandria, who imported the gems and spices of India for the use of the western world; the usurer, who derived from the interest of money a silent and ignominious profit; the ingenious manufacturer,​ the diligent mechanic, and even the most obscure retailer of a sequestered village, were obliged to admit the officers of the revenue into the partnership of their gain; and the sovereign of the Roman empire, who tolerated the profession, consented to share the infamous salary, of public prostitutes. ^! As this general tax upon industry was collected every fourth year, it was styled the Lustral Contribution:​ and the historian Zosimus ^189 laments that the approach of the fatal period was announced by the tears and terrors of the citizens, who were often compelled by the impending scourge to embrace the most abhorred and unnatural methods of procuring the sum at which their property had been assessed. ​ The testimony of Zosimus cannot indeed be justified from the charge of passion and prejudice; but, from the nature of this tribute it seems reasonable to conclude, that it was arbitrary in the distribution,​ and extremely rigorous in the mode of collecting. The secret wealth of commerce, and the precarious profits of art or labor, are susceptible only of a discretionary valuation, which is seldom disadvantageous to the interest of the treasury; and as the person of the trader supplies the want of a visible and permanent security, the payment of the imposition, which, in the case of a land tax, may be obtained by the seizure of property, can rarely be extorted by any other means than those of corporal punishments. The cruel treatment of the insolvent debtors of the state, is attested, and was perhaps mitigated by a very humane edict of Constantine,​ who, disclaiming the use of racks and of scourges, allots a spacious and airy prison for the place of their confinement. ^190
 +
 +[Footnote 188: See Cod. Theod. l. xiii. tit. i. and iv.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: The emperor Theodosius put an end, by a law. to this disgraceful source of revenue. ​ (Godef. ad Cod. Theod. xiii. tit. i. c. 1.) But before he deprived himself of it, he made sure of some way of replacing this deficit. ​ A rich patrician, Florentius, indignant at this legalized licentiousness,​ had made representations on the subject to the emperor. ​ To induce him to tolerate it no longer, he offered his own property to supply the diminution of the revenue. ​ The emperor had the baseness to accept his offer - G.] [Footnote 189: Zosimus, l. ii. p. 115.  There is probably as much passion and prejudice in the attack of Zosimus, as in the elaborate defence of the memory of Constantine by the zealous Dr. Howell. ​ Hist. of the World, vol. ii. p. 20.]
 +
 +[Footnote 190: Cod. Theod. l. xi. tit vii. leg. 3.]
 +
 +These general taxes were imposed and levied by the absolute authority of the monarch; but the occasional offerings of the coronary gold still retained the name and semblance of popular consent. ​ It was an ancient custom that the allies of the republic, who ascribed their safety or deliverance to the success of the Roman arms, and even the cities of Italy, who admired the virtues of their victorious general, adorned the pomp of his triumph by their voluntary gifts of crowns of gold, which after the ceremony were consecrated in the temple of Jupiter, to remain a lasting monument of his glory to future ages.  The progress of zeal and flattery soon multiplied the number, and increased the size, of these popular donations; and the triumph of Caesar was enriched with two thousand eight hundred and twenty-two massy crowns, whose weight amounted to twenty thousand four hundred and fourteen pounds of gold. This treasure was immediately melted down by the prudent dictator, who was satisfied that it would be more serviceable to his soldiers than to the gods: his example was imitated by his successors; and the custom was introduced of exchanging these splendid ornaments for the more acceptable present of the current gold coin of the empire. ^191 The spontaneous offering was at length exacted as the debt of duty; and instead of being confined to the occasion of a triumph, it was supposed to be granted by the several cities and provinces of the monarchy, as often as the emperor condescended to announce his accession, his consulship, the birth of a son, the creation of a Caesar, a victory over the Barbarians, or any other real or imaginary event which graced the annals of his reign. ​ The peculiar free gift of the senate of Rome was fixed by custom at sixteen hundred pounds of gold, or about sixty-four thousand pounds sterling. ​ The oppressed subjects celebrated their own felicity, that their sovereign should graciously consent to accept this feeble but voluntary testimony of their loyalty and gratitude. ^192 [Footnote 191: See Lipsius de Magnitud. Romana, l. ii. c. 9.  The Tarragonese Spain presented the emperor Claudius with a crown of gold of seven, and Gaul with another of nine, hundred pounds weight. ​ I have followed the rational emendation of Lipsius.
 +
 +Note: This custom is of still earlier date, the Romans had borrowed it from Greece. ​ Who is not acquainted with the famous oration of Demosthenes for the golden crown, which his citizens wished to bestow, and Aeschines to deprive him of? - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 192: Cod.  Theod. l. xii. tit. xiii.  The senators were supposed to be exempt from the Aurum Coronarium; but the Auri Oblatio, which was required at their hands, was precisely of the same nature.]
 +
 +A people elated by pride, or soured by discontent, are seldom qualified to form a just estimate of their actual situation. ​ The subjects of Constantine were incapable of discerning the decline of genius and manly virtue, which so far degraded them below the dignity of their ancestors; but they could feel and lament the rage of tyranny, the relaxation of discipline, and the increase of taxes. ​ The impartial historian, who acknowledges the justice of their complaints, will observe some favorable circumstances which tended to alleviate the misery of their condition. ​ The threatening tempest of Barbarians, which so soon subverted the foundations of Roman greatness, was still repelled, or suspended, on the frontiers. The arts of luxury and literature were cultivated, and the elegant pleasures of society were enjoyed, by the inhabitants of a considerable portion of the globe. ​ The forms, the pomp, and the expense of the civil administration contributed to restrain the irregular license of the soldiers; and although the laws were violated by power, or perverted by subtlety, the sage principles of the Roman jurisprudence preserved a sense of order and equity, unknown to the despotic governments of the East.  The rights of mankind might derive some protection from religion and philosophy; and the name of freedom, which could no longer alarm, might sometimes admonish, the successors of Augustus, that they did not reign over a nation of Slaves or Barbarians. ^193
 +
 +[Footnote 193: The great Theodosius, in his judicious advice to his son, (Claudian in iv. Consulat. Honorii, 214, &c.,) distinguishes the station of a Roman prince from that of a Parthian monarch. ​ Virtue was necessary for the one; birth might suffice for the other.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. ======
 +
 +Character Of Constantine. - Gothic War. - Death Of Constantine. - Division Of The Empire Among His Three Sons. - Persian War. - Tragic Deaths Of Constantine The Younger And Constans. - Usurpation Of Magnentius. - Civil War. - Victory Of Constantius.
 +
 +The character of the prince who removed the seat of empire, and introduced such important changes into the civil and religious constitution of his country, has fixed the attention, and divided the opinions, of mankind. By the grateful zeal of the Christians, the deliverer of the church has been decorated with every attribute of a hero, and even of a saint; while the discontent of the vanquished party has compared Constantine to the most abhorred of those tyrants, who, by their vice and weakness, dishonored the Imperial purple. ​ The same passions have in some degree been perpetuated to succeeding generations,​ and the character of Constantine is considered, even in the present age, as an object either of satire or of panegyric. ​ By the impartial union of those defects which are confessed by his warmest admirers, and of those virtues which are acknowledged by his most-implacable enemies, we might hope to delineate a just portrait of that extraordinary man, which the truth and candor of history should adopt without a blush. ^1 But it would soon appear, that the vain attempt to blend such discordant colors, and to reconcile such inconsistent qualities, must produce a figure monstrous rather than human, unless it is viewed in its proper and distinct lights, by a careful separation of the different periods of the reign of Constantine. [Footnote 1: On ne se trompera point sur Constantin, en croyant tout le mal ru'en dit Eusebe, et tout le bien qu'en dit Zosime. Fleury, Hist. Ecclesiastique,​ tom. iii. p. 233.  Eusebius and Zosimus form indeed the two extremes of flattery and invective. The intermediate shades are expressed by those writers, whose character or situation variously tempered the influence of their religious zeal.]
 +
 +The person, as well as the mind, of Constantine,​ had been enriched by nature with her choices endowments. ​ His stature was lofty, his countenance majestic, his deportment graceful; his strength and activity were displayed in every manly exercise, and from his earliest youth, to a very advanced season of life, he preserved the vigor of his constitution by a strict adherence to the domestic virtues of chastity and temperance. ​ He delighted in the social intercourse of familiar conversation;​ and though he might sometimes indulge his disposition to raillery with less reserve than was required by the severe dignity of his station, the courtesy and liberality of his manners gained the hearts of all who approached him.  The sincerity of his friendship has been suspected; yet he showed, on some occasions, that he was not incapable of a warm and lasting attachment. ​ The disadvantage of an illiterate education had not prevented him from forming a just estimate of the value of learning; and the arts and sciences derived some encouragement from the munificent protection of Constantine. ​ In the despatch of business, his diligence was indefatigable;​ and the active powers of his mind were almost continually exercised in reading, writing, or meditating, in giving audiences to ambassadors,​ and in examining the complaints of his subjects. ​ Even those who censured the propriety of his measures were compelled to acknowledge,​ that he possessed magnanimity to conceive, and patience to execute, the most arduous designs, without being checked either by the prejudices of education, or by the clamors of the multitude. ​ In the field, he infused his own intrepid spirit into the troops, whom he conducted with the talents of a consummate general; and to his abilities, rather than to his fortune, we may ascribe the signal victories which he obtained over the foreign and domestic foes of the republic. ​ He loved glory as the reward, perhaps as the motive, of his labors. The boundless ambition, which, from the moment of his accepting the purple at York, appears as the ruling passion of his soul, may be justified by the dangers of his own situation, by the character of his rivals, by the consciousness of superior merit, and by the prospect that his success would enable him to restore peace and order to tot the distracted empire. ​ In his civil wars against Maxentius and Licinius, he had engaged on his side the inclinations of the people, who compared the undissembled vices of those tyrants with the spirit of wisdom and justice which seemed to direct the general tenor of the administration of Constantine. ^2
 +
 +[Footnote 2: The virtues of Constantine are collected for the most part from Eutropius and the younger Victor, two sincere pagans, who wrote after the extinction of his family. ​ Even Zosimus, and the Emperor Julian, acknowledge his personal courage and military achievements.]
 +
 +Had Constantine fallen on the banks of the Tyber, or even in the plains of Hadrianople,​ such is the character which, with a few exceptions, he might have transmitted to posterity. ​ But the conclusion of his reign (according to the moderate and indeed tender sentence of a writer of the same age) degraded him from the rank which he had acquired among the most deserving of the Roman princes. ^3 In the life of Augustus, we behold the tyrant of the republic, converted, almost by imperceptible degrees, into the father of his country, and of human kind.  In that of Constantine,​ we may contemplate a hero, who had so long inspired his subjects with love, and his enemies with terror, degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch, corrupted by his fortune, or raised by conquest above the necessity of dissimulation. ​ The general peace which he maintained during the last fourteen years of his reign, was a period of apparent splendor rather than of real prosperity; and the old age of Constantine was disgraced by the opposite yet reconcilable vices of rapaciousness and prodigality. ​ The accumulated treasures found in the palaces of Maxentius and Licinius, were lavishly consumed; the various innovations introduced by the conqueror, were attended with an increasing expense; the cost of his buildings, his court, and his festivals, required an immediate and plentiful supply; and the oppression of the people was the only fund which could support the magnificence of the sovereign. ^4 His unworthy favorites, enriched by the boundless liberality of their master, usurped with impunity the privilege of rapine and corruption. ^5 A secret but universal decay was felt in every part of the public administration,​ and the emperor himself, though he still retained the obedience, gradually lost the esteem, of his subjects. ​ The dress and manners, which, towards the decline of life, he chose to affect, served only to degrade him in the eyes of mankind. The Asiatic pomp, which had been adopted by the pride of Diocletian, assumed an air of softness and effeminacy in the person of Constantine. ​ He is represented with false hair of various colors, laboriously arranged by the skilful artists to the times; a diadem of a new and more expensive fashion; a profusion of gems and pearls, of collars and bracelets, and a variegated flowing robe of silk, most curiously embroidered with flowers of gold.  In such apparel, scarcely to be excused by the youth and folly of Elagabalus, we are at a loss to discover the wisdom of an aged monarch, and the simplicity of a Roman veteran. ^6 A mind thus relaxed by prosperity and indulgence, was incapable of rising to that magnanimity which disdains suspicion, and dares to forgive. ​ The deaths of Maximian and Licinius may perhaps be justified by the maxims of policy, as they are taught in the schools of tyrants; but an impartial narrative of the executions, or rather murders, which sullied the declining age of Constantine,​ will suggest to our most candid thoughts the idea of a prince who could sacrifice without reluctance the laws of justice, and the feelings of nature, to the dictates either of his passions or of his interest. [Footnote 3: See Eutropius, x. 6.  In primo Imperii tempore optimis principibus,​ ultimo mediis comparandus. ​ From the ancient Greek version of Poeanius, (edit. Havercamp. p. 697,) I am inclined to suspect that Eutropius had originally written vix mediis; and that the offensive monosyllable was dropped by the wilful inadvertency of transcribers. Aurelius Victor expresses the general opinion by a vulgar and indeed obscure proverb. Trachala decem annis praestantissimds;​ duodecim sequentibus latro; decem novissimis pupillus ob immouicas profusiones.]
 +
 +[Footnote 4: Julian, Orat. i. p. 8, in a flattering discourse pronounced before the son of Constantine;​ and Caesares, p. 336. Zosimus, p. 114, 115. The stately buildings of Constantinople,​ &c., may be quoted as a lasting and unexceptionable proof of the profuseness of their founder.] [Footnote 5: The impartial Ammianus deserves all our confidence. Proximorum fauces aperuit primus omnium Constantinus. ​ L. xvi. c. 8. Eusebius himself confesses the abuse, (Vit. Constantin. l. iv. c. 29, 54;) and some of the Imperial laws feebly point out the remedy. ​ See above, p. 146 of this volume.] [Footnote 6: Julian, in the Caesars, attempts to ridicule his uncle. ​ His suspicious testimony is confirmed, however, by the learned Spanheim, with the authority of medals, (see Commentaire,​ p. 156, 299, 397, 459.) Eusebius (Orat. c. 5) alleges, that Constantine dressed for the public, not for himself. ​ Were this admitted, the vainest coxcomb could never want an excuse.] The same fortune which so invariably followed the standard of Constantine,​ seemed to secure the hopes and comforts of his domestic life. Those among his predecessors who had enjoyed the longest and most prosperous reigns, Augustus Trajan, and Diocletian, had been disappointed of posterity; and the frequent revolutions had never allowed sufficient time for any Imperial family to grow up and multiply under the shade of the purple. But the royalty of the Flavian line, which had been first ennobled by the Gothic Claudius, descended through several generations;​ and Constantine himself derived from his royal father the hereditary honors which he transmitted to his children. ​ The emperor had been twice married. Minervina, the obscure but lawful object of his youthful attachment, ^7 had left him only one son, who was called Crispus. ​ By Fausta, the daughter of Maximian, he had three daughters, and three sons known by the kindred names of Constantine,​ Constantius,​ and Constans. ​ The unambitious brothers of the great Constantine,​ Julius Constantius,​ Dalmatius, and Hannibalianus,​ ^8 were permitted to enjoy the most honorable rank, and the most affluent fortune, that could be consistent with a private station. ​ The youngest of the three lived without a name, and died without posterity. ​ His two elder brothers obtained in marriage the daughters of wealthy senators, and propagated new branches of the Imperial race.  Gallus and Julian afterwards became the most illustrious of the children of Julius Constantius,​ the Patrician. The two sons of Dalmatius, who had been decorated with the vain title of Censor, were named Dalmatius and Hannibalianus. ​ The two sisters of the great Constantine,​ Anastasia and Eutropia, were bestowed on Optatus and Nepotianus, two senators of noble birth and of consular dignity. ​ His third sister, Constantia, was distinguished by her preeminence of greatness and of misery. ​ She remained the widow of the vanquished Licinius; and it was by her entreaties, that an innocent boy, the offspring of their marriage, preserved, for some time, his life, the title of Caesar, and a precarious hope of the succession. ​ Besides the females, and the allies of the Flavian house, ten or twelve males, to whom the language of modern courts would apply the title of princes of the blood, seemed, according to the order of their birth, to be destined either to inherit or to support the throne of Constantine. ​ But in less than thirty years, this numerous and increasing family was reduced to the persons of Constantius and Julian, who alone had survived a series of crimes and calamities, such as the tragic poets have deplored in the devoted lines of Pelops and of Cadmus. [Footnote 7: Zosimus and Zonaras agree in representing Minervina as the concubine of Constantine;​ but Ducange has very gallantly rescued her character, by producing a decisive passage from one of the panegyrics: "Ab ipso fine pueritiae te matrimonii legibus dedisti."​]
 +
 +[Footnote 8: Ducange (Familiae Byzantinae, p. 44) bestows on him, after Zosimus, the name of Constantine;​ a name somewhat unlikely, as it was already occupied by the elder brother. ​ That of Hannibalianus is mentioned in the Paschal Chronicle, and is approved by Tillemont. ​ Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 527.]
 +
 +Crispus, the eldest son of Constantine,​ and the presumptive heir of the empire, is represented by impartial historians as an amiable and accomplished youth. ​ The care of his education, or at least of his studies, was intrusted to Lactantius, the most eloquent of the Christians; a preceptor admirably qualified to form the taste, and the excite the virtues, of his illustrious disciple. ^9 At the age of seventeen, Crispus was invested with the title of Caesar, and the administration of the Gallic provinces, where the inroads of the Germans gave him an early occasion of signalizing his military prowess. In the civil war which broke out soon afterwards, the father and son divided their powers; and this history has already celebrated the valor as well as conduct displayed by the latter, in forcing the straits of the Hellespont, so obstinately defended by the superior fleet of Lacinius. This naval victory contributed to determine the event of the war; and the names of Constantine and of Crispus were united in the joyful acclamations of their eastern subjects; who loudly proclaimed, that the world had been subdued, and was now governed, by an emperor endowed with every virtue; and by his illustrious son, a prince beloved of Heaven, and the lively image of his father'​s perfections. The public favor, which seldom accompanies old age, diffused its lustre over the youth of Crispus. ​ He deserved the esteem, and he engaged the affections, of the court, the army, and the people. ​ The experienced merit of a reigning monarch is acknowledged by his subjects with reluctance, and frequently denied with partial and discontented murmurs; while, from the opening virtues of his successor, they fondly conceive the most unbounded hopes of private as well as public felicity. ^10
 +
 +[Footnote 9: Jerom. in Chron. ​ The poverty of Lactantius may be applied either to the praise of the disinterested philosopher,​ or to the shame of the unfeeling patron. ​ See Tillemont, Mem. Ecclesiast. tom. vi. part 1. p. 345. Dupin, Bibliotheque Ecclesiast. tom. i. p. 205.  Lardner'​s Credibility of the Gospel History, part ii. vol. vii. p. 66.]
 +
 +[Footnote 10: Euseb. Hist.  Ecclesiast. l. x. c. 9.  Eutropius (x. 6) styles him "​egregium virum;"​ and Julian (Orat. i.) very plainly alludes to the exploits of Crispus in the civil war.  See Spanheim, Comment. p. 92.] This dangerous popularity soon excited the attention of Constantine,​ who, both as a father and as a king, was impatient of an equal. ​ Instead of attempting to secure the allegiance of his son by the generous ties of confidence and gratitude, he resolved to prevent the mischiefs which might be apprehended from dissatisfied ambition. ​ Crispus soon had reason to complain, that while his infant brother Constantius was sent, with the title of Caesar, to reign over his peculiar department of the Gallic provinces, ^11 he, a prince of mature years, who had performed such recent and signal services, instead of being raised to the superior rank of Augustus, was confined almost a prisoner to his father'​s court; and exposed, without power or defence, to every calumny which the malice of his enemies could suggest. ​ Under such painful circumstances,​ the royal youth might not always be able to compose his behavior, or suppress his discontent; and we may be assured, that he was encompassed by a train of indiscreet or perfidious followers, who assiduously studied to inflame, and who were perhaps instructed to betray, the unguarded warmth of his resentment. ​ An edict of Constantine,​ published about this time, manifestly indicates his real or affected suspicions, that a secret conspiracy had been formed against his person and government. ​ By all the allurements of honors and rewards, he invites informers of every degree to accuse without exception his magistrates or ministers, his friends or his most intimate favorites, protesting, with a solemn asseveration,​ that he himself will listen to the charge, that he himself will revenge his injuries; and concluding with a prayer, which discovers some apprehension of danger, that the providence of the Supreme Being may still continue to protect the safety of the emperor and of the empire. ^12
 +
 +[Footnote 11: Compare Idatius and the Paschal Chronicle, with Ammianus, (l, xiv. c. 5.) The year in which Constantius was created Caesar seems to be more accurately fixed by the two chronologists;​ but the historian who lived in his court could not be ignorant of the day of the anniversary. ​ For the appointment of the new Caesar to the provinces of Gaul, see Julian, Orat. i. p. 12, Godefroy, Chronol. Legum, p. 26. and Blondel, de Primaute de l'​Eglise,​ p. 1183.]
 +
 +[Footnote 12: Cod. Theod. l. ix. tit. iv.  Godefroy suspected the secret motives of this law.  Comment. tom. iii. p. 9.]
 +
 +The informers, who complied with so liberal an invitation, were sufficiently versed in the arts of courts to select the friends and adherents of Crispus as the guilty persons; nor is there any reason to distrust the veracity of the emperor, who had promised an ample measure of revenge and punishment. ​ The policy of Constantine maintained, however, the same appearances of regard and confidence towards a son, whom he began to consider as his most irreconcilable enemy. ​ Medals were struck with the customary vows for the long and auspicious reign of the young Caesar; ^13 and as the people, who were not admitted into the secrets of the palace, still loved his virtues, and respected his dignity, a poet who solicits his recall from exile, adores with equal devotion the majesty of the father and that of the son. ^14 The time was now arrived for celebrating the august ceremony of the twentieth year of the reign of Constantine;​ and the emperor, for that purpose, removed his court from Nicomedia to Rome, where the most splendid preparations had been made for his reception. Every eye, and every tongue, affected to express their sense of the general happiness, and the veil of ceremony and dissimulation was drawn for a while over the darkest designs of revenge and murder. ^15 In the midst of the festival, the unfortunate Crispus was apprehended by order of the emperor, who laid aside the tenderness of a father, without assuming the equity of a judge. The examination was short and private; ^16 and as it was thought decent to conceal the fate of the young prince from the eyes of the Roman people, he was sent under a strong guard to Pola, in Istria, where, soon afterwards, he was put to death, either by the hand of the executioner,​ or by the more gentle operations of poison. ^17 The Caesar Licinius, a youth of amiable manners, was involved in the ruin of Crispus: ^18 and the stern jealousy of Constantine was unmoved by the prayers and tears of his favorite sister, pleading for the life of a son, whose rank was his only crime, and whose loss she did not long survive. ​ The story of these unhappy princes, the nature and evidence of their guilt, the forms of their trial, and the circumstances of their death, were buried in mysterious obscurity; and the courtly bishop, who has celebrated in an elaborate work the virtues and piety of his hero, observes a prudent silence on the subject of these tragic events. ^19 Such haughty contempt for the opinion of mankind, whilst it imprints an indelible stain on the memory of Constantine,​ must remind us of the very different behavior of one of the greatest monarchs of the present age.  The Czar Peter, in the full possession of despotic power, submitted to the judgment of Russia, of Europe, and of posterity, the reasons which had compelled him to subscribe the condemnation of a criminal, or at least of a degenerate son. ^20
 +
 +[Footnote 13: Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 28.  Tillemont, tom. iv. p. 610.] [Footnote 14: His name was Porphyrius Optatianus. ​ The date of his panegyric, written, according to the taste of the age, in vile acrostics, is settled by Scaliger ad Euseb. p. 250, Tillemont, tom. iv. p. 607, and Fabricius, Biblioth. Latin, l. iv. c. 1.]
 +
 +[Footnote 15: Zosim. l. ii. p. 103.  Godefroy, Chronol. Legum, p. 28.] [Footnote 16: The elder Victor, who wrote under the next reign, speaks with becoming caution. ​ "Natu grandior incertum qua causa, patris judicio occidisset."​ If we consult the succeeding writers, Eutropius, the younger Victor, Orosius, Jerom, Zosimus, Philostorgius,​ and Gregory of Tours, their knowledge will appear gradually to increase, as their means of information must have diminished - a circumstance which frequently occurs in historical disquisition.]
 +
 +[Footnote 17: Ammianus (l. xiv. c. 11) uses the general expression of peremptum Codinus (p. 34) beheads the young prince; but Sidonius Apollinaris (Epistol. v. 8,) for the sake perhaps of an antithesis to Fausta'​s warm bath, chooses to administer a draught of cold poison.]
 +
 +[Footnote 18: Sororis filium, commodae indolis juvenem. Eutropius, x. 6 May I not be permitted to conjecture that Crispus had married Helena the daughter of the emperor Licinius, and that on the happy delivery of the princess, in the year 322, a general pardon was granted by Constantine?​ See Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 47, and the law (l. ix. tit. xxxvii.) of the Theodosian code, which has so much embarrassed the interpreters. ​ Godefroy, tom. iii. p. 267 Note: This conjecture is very doubtful. ​ The obscurity of the law quoted from the Theodosian code scarcely allows any inference, and there is extant but one meda which can be attributed to a Helena, wife of Crispus.] [Footnote 19: See the life of Constantine,​ particularly l. ii. c. 19, 20. Two hundred and fifty years afterwards Evagrius (l. iii. c. 41) deduced from the silence of Eusebius a vain argument against the reality of the fact.] [Footnote 20: Histoire de Pierre le Grand, par Voltaire, part ii. c. 10.] The innocence of Crispus was so universally acknowledged,​ that the modern Greeks, who adore the memory of their founder, are reduced to palliate the guilt of a parricide, which the common feelings of human nature forbade them to justify. ​ They pretend, that as soon as the afflicted father discovered the falsehood of the accusation by which his credulity had been so fatally misled, he published to the world his repentance and remorse; that he mourned forty days, during which he abstained from the use of the bath, and all the ordinary comforts of life; and that, for the lasting instruction of posterity, he erected a golden statue of Crispus, with this memorable inscription:​ To my son, whom I unjustly condemned. ^21 A tale so moral and so interesting would deserve to be supported by less exceptionable authority; but if we consult the more ancient and authentic writers, they will inform us, that the repentance of Constantine was manifested only in acts of blood and revenge; and that he atoned for the murder of an innocent son, by the execution, perhaps, of a guilty wife.  They ascribe the misfortunes of Crispus to the arts of his step-mother Fausta, whose implacable hatred, or whose disappointed love, renewed in the palace of Constantine the ancient tragedy of Hippolitus and of Phaedra. ^22 Like the daughter of Minos, the daughter of Maximian accused her son-in-law of an incestuous attempt on the chastity of his father'​s wife; and easily obtained, from the jealousy of the emperor, a sentence of death against a young prince, whom she considered with reason as the most formidable rival of her own children. ​ But Helena, the aged mother of Constantine,​ lamented and revenged the untimely fate of her grandson Crispus; nor was it long before a real or pretended discovery was made, that Fausta herself entertained a criminal connection with a slave belonging to the Imperial stables. ^23 Her condemnation and punishment were the instant consequences of the charge; and the adulteress was suffocated by the steam of a bath, which, for that purpose, had been heated to an extraordinary degree. ^24 By some it will perhaps be thought, that the remembrance of a conjugal union of twenty years, and the honor of their common offspring, the destined heirs of the throne, might have softened the obdurate heart of Constantine,​ and persuaded him to suffer his wife, however guilty she might appear, to expiate her offences in a solitary prison. ​ But it seems a superfluous labor to weigh the propriety, unless we could ascertain the truth, of this singular event, which is attended with some circumstances of doubt and perplexity. ​ Those who have attacked, and those who have defended, the character of Constantine,​ have alike disregarded two very remarkable passages of two orations pronounced under the succeeding reign. The former celebrates the virtues, the beauty, and the fortune of the empress Fausta, the daughter, wife, sister, and mother of so many princes. ^25 The latter asserts, in explicit terms, that the mother of the younger Constantine,​ who was slain three years after his father'​s death, survived to weep over the fate of her son. ^26 Notwithstanding the positive testimony of several writers of the Pagan as well as of the Christian religion, there may still remain some reason to believe, or at least to suspect, that Fausta escaped the blind and suspicious cruelty of her husband. ^* The deaths of a son and a nephew, with the execution of a great number of respectable,​ and perhaps innocent friends, ^27 who were involved in their fall, may be sufficient, however, to justify the discontent of the Roman people, and to explain the satirical verses affixed to the palace gate, comparing the splendid and bloody reigns of Constantine and Nero. ^28
 +
 +[Footnote 21: In order to prove that the statue was erected by Constantine,​ and afterwards concealed by the malice of the Arians, Codinus very readily creates (p. 34) two witnesses, Hippolitus, and the younger Herodotus, to whose imaginary histories he appeals with unblushing confidence.] [Footnote 22: Zosimus (l. ii. p. 103) may be considered as our original. The ingenuity of the moderns, assisted by a few hints from the ancients, has illustrated and improved his obscure and imperfect narrative.] [Footnote 23: Philostorgius,​ l. ii. c. 4. Zosimus (l. ii. p. 104, 116) imputes to Constantine the death of two wives, of the innocent Fausta, and of an adulteress, who was the mother of his three successors. ​ According to Jerom, three or four years elapsed between the death of Crispus and that of Fausta. The elder Victor is prudently silent.]
 +
 +[Footnote 24: If Fausta was put to death, it is reasonable to believe that the private apartments of the palace were the scene of her execution. ​ The orator Chrysostom indulges his fancy by exposing the naked desert mountain to be devoured by wild beasts.]
 +
 +[Footnote 25: Julian. Orat. i.  He seems to call her the mother of Crispus. She might assume that title by adoption. ​ At least, she was not considered as his mortal enemy. ​ Julian compares the fortune of Fausta with that of Parysatis, the Persian queen. ​ A Roman would have more naturally recollected the second Agrippina: -
 +
 +Et moi, qui sur le trone ai suivi mes ancetres: Moi, fille, femme, soeur, et mere de vos maitres.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: Monod. in Constantin. Jun. c. 4, ad Calcem Eutrop. edit. Havercamp. ​ The orator styles her the most divine and pious of queens [Footnote *: Manso (Leben Constantins,​ p. 65) treats this inference o:  Gibbon, and the authorities to which he appeals, with too much contempt, considering the general scantiness of proof on this curious question. - M.] [Footnote 27: Interfecit numerosos amicos. ​ Eutrop. xx. 6.] [Footnote 28: Saturni aurea saecula quis requirat? Sunt haec gemmea, sed Neroniana.
 +
 +Sidon. Apollinar. v. 8.
 +
 +It is somewhat singular that these satirical lines should be attributed, not to an obscure libeller, or a disappointed patriot, but to Ablavius, prime minister and favorite of the emperor. ​ We may now perceive that the imprecations of the Roman people were dictated by humanity, as well as by superstition. Zosim. l. ii. p. 105.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +By the death of Crispus, the inheritance of the empire seemed to devolve on the three sons of Fausta, who have been already mentioned under the names of Constantine,​ of Constantius,​ and of Constans. ​ These young princes were successively invested with the title of Caesar; and the dates of their promotion may be referred to the tenth, the twentieth, and the thirtieth years of the reign of their father. ^29 This conduct, though it tended to multiply the future masters of the Roman world, might be excused by the partiality of paternal affection; but it is not so easy to understand the motives of the emperor, when he endangered the safety both of his family and of his people, by the unnecessary elevation of his two nephews, Dalmatius and Hannibalianus. ​ The former was raised, by the title of Caesar, to an equality with his cousins. ​ In favor of the latter, Constantine invented the new and singular appellation of Nobilissimus;​ ^30 to which he annexed the flattering distinction of a robe of purple and gold. But of the whole series of Roman princes in any age of the empire, Hannibalianus alone was distinguished by the title of King; a name which the subjects of Tiberius would have detested, as the profane and cruel insult of capricious tyranny. ​ The use of such a title, even as it appears under the reign of Constantine,​ is a strange and unconnected fact, which can scarcely be admitted on the joint authority of Imperial medals and contemporary writers. ^31
 +
 +[Footnote 29: Euseb. Orat. in Constantin. c. 3.  These dates are sufficiently correct to justify the orator.]
 +
 +[Footnote 30: Zosim. l. ii. p. 117.  Under the predecessors of Constantine,​ No bilissimus was a vague epithet, rather than a legal and determined title.]
 +
 +[Footnote 31: Adstruunt nummi veteres ac singulares. ​ Spanheim de Usu Numismat. ​ Dissertat. xii. vol. ii. p. 357.  Ammianus speaks of this Roman king (l. xiv. c. l, and Valesius ad loc.) The Valesian fragment styles him King of kings; and the Paschal Chronicle acquires the weight of Latin evidence.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Hannibalianus is always designated in these authors by the title of king.  There still exist medals struck to his honor, on which the same title is found, Fl. Hannibaliano Regi. See Eckhel, Doct. Num. t. viii. 204. Armeniam nationesque circum socias habebat, says Aur. Victor, p. 225.  The writer means the Lesser Armenia. ​ Though it is not possible to question a fact supported by such respectable authorities,​ Gibbon considers it inexplicable and incredible. ​ It is a strange abuse of the privilege of doubting, to refuse all belief in a fact of such little importance in itself, and attested thus formally by contemporary authors and public monuments. ​ St. Martin note to Le Beau i. 341. - M.]
 +
 +The whole empire was deeply interested in the education of these five youths, the acknowledged successors of Constantine. The exercise of the body prepared them for the fatigues of war and the duties of active life. Those who occasionally mention the education or talents of Constantius,​ allow that he excelled in the gymnastic arts of leaping and running that he was a dexterous archer, a skilful horseman, and a master of all the different weapons used in the service either of the cavalry or of the infantry. ^32 The same assiduous cultivation was bestowed, though not perhaps with equal success, to improve the minds of the sons and nephews of Constantine. ^33 The most celebrated professors of the Christian faith, of the Grecian philosophy, and of the Roman jurisprudence,​ were invited by the liberality of the emperor, who reserved for himself the important task of instructing the royal youths in the science of government, and the knowledge of mankind. ​ But the genius of Constantine himself had been formed by adversity and experience. ​ In the free intercourse of private life, and amidst the dangers of the court of Galerius, he had learned to command his own passions, to encounter those of his equals, and to depend for his present safety and future greatness on the prudence and firmness of his personal conduct. ​ His destined successors had the misfortune of being born and educated in the imperial purple. ​ Incessantly surrounded with a train of flatterers, they passed their youth in the enjoyment of luxury, and the expectation of a throne; nor would the dignity of their rank permit them to descend from that elevated station from whence the various characters of human nature appear to wear a smooth and uniform aspect. ​ The indulgence of Constantine admitted them, at a very tender age, to share the administration of the empire; and they studied the art of reigning, at the expense of the people intrusted to their care.  The younger Constantine was appointed to hold his court in Gaul; and his brother Constantius exchanged that department, the ancient patrimony of their father, for the more opulent, but less martial, countries of the East.  Italy, the Western Illyricum, and Africa, were accustomed to revere Constans, the third of his sons, as the representative of the great Constantine. ​ He fixed Dalmatius on the Gothic frontier, to which he annexed the government of Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece. ​ The city of Caesarea was chosen for the residence of Hannibalianus;​ and the provinces of Pontus, Cappadocia, and the Lesser Armenia, were destined to form the extent of his new kingdom. ​ For each of these princes a suitable establishment was provided. ​ A just proportion of guards, of legions, and of auxiliaries,​ was allotted for their respective dignity and defence. ​ The ministers and generals, who were placed about their persons, were such as Constantine could trust to assist, and even to control, these youthful sovereigns in the exercise of their delegated power. ​ As they advanced in years and experience, the limits of their authority were insensibly enlarged: but the emperor always reserved for himself the title of Augustus; and while he showed the Caesars to the armies and provinces, he maintained every part of the empire in equal obedience to its supreme head. ^34 The tranquillity of the last fourteen years of his reign was scarcely interrupted by the contemptible insurrection of a camel-driver in the Island of Cyprus, ^35 or by the active part which the policy of Constantine engaged him to assume in the wars of the Goths and Sarmatians.
 +
 +[Footnote 32: His dexterity in martial exercises is celebrated by Julian, (Orat. i. p. 11, Orat. ii. p. 53,) and allowed by Ammianus, (l. xxi. c. 16.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 33: Euseb. in Vit. Constantin. l. iv. c. 51.  Julian, Orat. i. p. 11-16, with Spanheim'​s elaborate Commentary. Libanius, Orat. iii. p. 109. Constantius studied with laudable diligence; but the dulness of his fancy prevented him from succeeding in the art of poetry, or even of rhetoric.] [Footnote 34: Eusebius, (l. iv. c. 51, 52,) with a design of exalting the authority and glory of Constantine,​ affirms, that he divided the Roman empire as a private citizen might have divided his patrimony. ​ His distribution of the provinces may be collected from Eutropius, the two Victors and the Valesian fragment.]
 +
 +[Footnote 35: Calocerus, the obscure leader of this rebellion, or rather tumult, was apprehended and burnt alive in the market-place of Tarsus, by the vigilance of Dalmatius. ​ See the elder Victor, the Chronicle of Jerom, and the doubtful traditions of Theophanes and Cedrenus.]
 +
 +Among the different branches of the human race, the Sarmatians form a very remarkable shade; as they seem to unite the manners of the Asiatic barbarians with the figure and complexion of the ancient inhabitants of Europe. ​ According to the various accidents of peace and war, of alliance or conquest, the Sarmatians were sometimes confined to the banks of the Tanais; and they sometimes spread themselves over the immense plains which lie between the Vistula and the Volga. ^36 The care of their numerous flocks and herds, the pursuit of game, and the exercises of war, or rather of rapine, directed the vagrant motions of the Sarmatians. ​ The movable camps or cities, the ordinary residence of their wives and children, consisted only of large wagons drawn by oxen, and covered in the form of tents. The military strength of the nation was composed of cavalry; and the custom of their warriors, to lead in their hand one or two spare horses, enabled them to advance and to retreat with a rapid diligence, which surprised the security, and eluded the pursuit, of a distant enemy. ^37 Their poverty of iron prompted their rude industry to invent a sort of cuirass, which was capable of resisting a sword or javelin, though it was formed only of horses'​ hoofs, cut into thin and polished slices, carefully laid over each other in the manner of scales or feathers, and strongly sewed upon an under garment of coarse linen. ^38 The offensive arms of the Sarmatians were short daggers, long lances, and a weighty bow vow with a quiver of arrows. ​ They were reduced to the necessity of employing fish- bones for the points of their weapons; but the custom of dipping them in a venomous liquor, that poisoned the wounds which they inflicted, is alone sufficient to prove the most savage manners, since a people impressed with a sense of humanity would have abhorred so cruel a practice, and a nation skilled in the arts of war would have disdained so impotent a resource. ^39 Whenever these Barbarians issued from their deserts in quest of prey, their shaggy beards, uncombed locks, the furs with which they were covered from head to foot, and their fierce countenances,​ which seemed to express the innate cruelty of their minds, inspired the more civilized provincials of Rome with horror and dismay.
 +
 +[Footnote 36: Cellarius has collected the opinions of the ancients concerning the European and Asiatic Sarmatia; and M. D'​Anville has applied them to modern geography with the skill and accuracy which always distinguish that excellent writer.]
 +
 +[Footnote 37: Ammian. l. xvii. c. 12.  The Sarmatian horses were castrated to prevent the mischievous accidents which might happen from the noisy and ungovernable passions of the males.]
 +
 +[Footnote 38: Pausanius, l. i. p. 50,. edit. Kuhn.  That inquisitive traveller had carefully examined a Sarmatian cuirass, which was preserved in the temple of Aesculapius at Athens.]
 +
 +[Footnote 39: Aspicis et mitti sub adunco toxica ferro, Et telum causas mortis habere duas.
 +
 +Ovid, ex Ponto, l. iv. ep. 7, ver. 7.
 +
 +See in the Recherches sur les Americains, tom. ii. p. 236 - 271, a very curious dissertation on poisoned darts. ​ The venom was commonly extracted from the vegetable reign: but that employed by the Scythians appears to have been drawn from the viper, and a mixture of human blood. The use of poisoned arms, which has been spread over both worlds, never preserved a savage tribe from the arms of a disciplined enemy.] The tender Ovid, after a youth spent in the enjoyment of fame and luxury, was condemned to a hopeless exile on the frozen banks of the Danube, where he was exposed, almost without defence, to the fury of these monsters of the desert, with whose stern spirits he feared that his gentle shade might hereafter be confounded. ​ In his pathetic, but sometimes unmanly lamentations,​ ^40 he describes in the most lively colors the dress and manners, the arms and inroads, of the Getae and Sarmatians, who were associated for the purposes of destruction;​ and from the accounts of history there is some reason to believe that these Sarmatians were the Jazygae, one of the most numerous and warlike tribes of the nation. ​ The allurements of plenty engaged them to seek a permanent establishment on the frontiers of the empire. ​ Soon after the reign of Augustus, they obliged the Dacians, who subsisted by fishing on the banks of the River Teyss or Tibiscus, to retire into the hilly country, and to abandon to the victorious Sarmatians the fertile plains of the Upper Hungary, which are bounded by the course of the Danube and the semicircular enclosure of the Carpathian Mountains. ^41 In this advantageous position, they watched or suspended the moment of attack, as they were provoked by injuries or appeased by presents; they gradually acquired the skill of using more dangerous weapons, and although the Sarmatians did not illustrate their name by any memorable exploits, they occasionally assisted their eastern and western neighbors, the Goths and the Germans, with a formidable body of cavalry. ​ They lived under the irregular aristocracy of their chieftains: ^42 but after they had received into their bosom the fugitive Vandals, who yielded to the pressure of the Gothic power, they seem to have chosen a king from that nation, and from the illustrious race of the Astingi, who had formerly dwelt on the hores of the northern ocean. ^43 [Footnote 40: The nine books of Poetical Epistles which Ovid composed during the seven first years of his melancholy exile, possess, beside the merit of elegance, a double value. ​ They exhibit a picture of the human mind under very singular circumstances;​ and they contain many curious observations,​ which no Roman except Ovid, could have an opportunity of making. ​ Every circumstance which tends to illustrate the history of the Barbarians, has been drawn together by the very accurate Count de Buat. Hist. Ancienne des Peuples de l'​Europe,​ tom. iv. c. xvi. p. 286-317] [Footnote 41: The Sarmatian Jazygae were settled on the banks of Pathissus or Tibiscus, when Pliny, in the year 79, published his Natural History. See l. iv. c. 25.  In the time of Strabo and Ovid, sixty or seventy years before, they appear to have inhabited beyond the Getae, along the coast of the Euxine.]
 +
 +[Footnote 42: Principes Sarmaturum Jazygum penes quos civitatis regimen plebem quoque et vim equitum, qua sola valent, offerebant. ​ Tacit. Hist. iii. p. 5.  This offer was made in the civil war between Vitellino and Vespasian.]
 +
 +[Footnote 43: This hypothesis of a Vandal king reigning over Sarmatian subjects, seems necessary to reconcile the Goth Jornandes with the Greek and Latin historians of Constantine. ​ It may be observed that Isidore, who lived in Spain under the dominion of the Goths, gives them for enemies, not the Vandals, but the Sarmatians. ​ See his Chronicle in Grotius, p. 709. Note: I have already noticed the confusion which must necessarily arise in history, when names purely geographical,​ as this of Sarmatia, are taken for historical names belonging to a single nation. ​ We perceive it here; it has forced Gibbon to suppose, without any reason but the necessity of extricating himself from his perplexity, that the Sarmatians had taken a king from among the Vandals; a supposition entirely contrary to the usages of Barbarians Dacia, at this period, was occupied, not by Sarmatians, who have never formed a distinct race, but by Vandals, whom the ancients have often confounded under the general term Sarmatians. See Gatterer'​s Welt-Geschiehte p. 464 - G.] This motive of enmity must have inflamed the subjects of contention, which perpetually arise on the confines of warlike and independent nations. The Vandal princes were stimulated by fear and revenge; the Gothic kings aspired to extend their dominion from the Euxine to the frontiers of Germany; and the waters of the Maros, a small river which falls into the Teyss, were stained with the blood of the contending Barbarians. ​ After some experience of the superior strength and numbers of their adversaries,​ the Sarmatians implored the protection of the Roman monarch, who beheld with pleasure the discord of the nations, but who was justly alarmed by the progress of the Gothic arms.  As soon as Constantine had declared himself in favor of the weaker party, the haughty Araric, king of the Goths, instead of expecting the attack of the legions, boldly passed the Danube, and spread terror and devastation through the province of Maesia. To oppose the inroad of this destroying host, the aged emperor took the field in person; but on this occasion either his conduct or his fortune betrayed the glory which he had acquired in so many foreign and domestic wars.  He had the mortification of seeing his troops fly before an inconsiderable detachment of the Barbarians, who pursued them to the edge of their fortified camp, and obliged him to consult his safety by a precipitate and ignominious retreat. ^* The event of a second and more successful action retrieved the honor of the Roman name; and the powers of art and discipline prevailed, after an obstinate contest, over the efforts of irregular valor. The broken army of the Goths abandoned the field of battle, the wasted province, and the passage of the Danube: and although the eldest of the sons of Constantine was permitted to supply the place of his father, the merit of the victory, which diffused universal joy, was ascribed to the auspicious counsels of the emperor himself.
 +
 +[Footnote *: Gibbon states, that Constantine was defeated by the Goths in a first battle. ​ No ancient author mentions such an event. ​ It is, no doubt, a mistake in Gibbon. ​ St Martin, note to Le Beau. i. 324. - M.] He contributed at least to improve this advantage, by his negotiations with the free and warlike people of Chersonesus,​ ^44 whose capital, situate on the western coast of the Tauric or Crimaean peninsula, still retained some vestiges of a Grecian colony, and was governed by a perpetual magistrate, assisted by a council of senators, emphatically styled the Fathers of the City. The Chersonites were animated against the Goths, by the memory of the wars, which, in the preceding century, they had maintained with unequal forces against the invaders of their country. ​ They were connected with the Romans by the mutual benefits of commerce; as they were supplied from the provinces of Asia with corn and manufactures,​ which they purchased with their only productions,​ salt, wax, and hides. ​ Obedient to the requisition of Constantine,​ they prepared, under the conduct of their magistrate Diogenes, a considerable army, of which the principal strength consisted in cross-bows and military chariots. ​ The speedy march and intrepid attack of the Chersonites,​ by diverting the attention of the Goths, assisted the operations of the Imperial generals. ​ The Goths, vanquished on every side, were driven into the mountains, where, in the course of a severe campaign, above a hundred thousand were computed to have perished by cold and hunger Peace was at length granted to their humble supplications;​ the eldest son of Araric was accepted as the most valuable hostage; and Constantine endeavored to convince their chiefs, by a liberal distribution of honors and rewards, how far the friendship of the Romans was preferable to their enmity. ​ In the expressions of his gratitude towards the faithful Chersonites,​ the emperor was still more magnificent. The pride of the nation was gratified by the splendid and almost royal decorations bestowed on their magistrate and his successors. ​ A perpetual exemption from all duties was stipulated for their vessels which traded to the ports of the Black Sea.  A regular subsidy was promised, of iron, corn, oil, and of every supply which could be useful either in peace or war.  But it was thought that the Sarmatians were sufficiently rewarded by their deliverance from impending ruin; and the emperor, perhaps with too strict an economy, deducted some part of the expenses of the war from the customary gratifications which were allowed to that turbulent nation. [Footnote 44: I may stand in need of some apology for having used, without scruple, the authority of Constantine Porphyrogenitus,​ in all that relates to the wars and negotiations of the Chersonites. ​ I am aware that he was a Greek of the tenth century, and that his accounts of ancient history are frequently confused and fabulous. ​ But on this occasion his narrative is, for the most part, consistent and probable nor is there much difficulty in conceiving that an emperor might have access to some secret archives, which had escaped the diligence of meaner historians. ​ For the situation and history of Chersone, see Peyssonel, des Peuples barbares qui ont habite les Bords du Danube, c. xvi.  84-90.]
 +
 +[Footnote !: Gibbon has confounded the inhabitants of the city of Cherson, the ancient Chersonesus,​ with the people of the Chersonesus Taurica. If he had read with more attention the chapter of Constantius Porphyrogenitus,​ from which this narrative is derived, he would have seen that the author clearly distinguishes the republic of Cherson from the rest of the Tauric Peninsula, then possessed by the kings of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, and that the city of Cherson alone furnished succors to the Romans. ​ The English historian is also mistaken in saying that the Stephanephoros of the Chersonites was a perpetual magistrate; since it is easy to discover from the great number of Stephanephoroi mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogenitus,​ that they were annual magistrates,​ like almost all those which governed the Grecian republics. ​ St. Martin, note to Le Beau i. 326. - M.]
 +
 +Exasperated by this apparent neglect, the Sarmatians soon forgot, with the levity of barbarians, the services which they had so lately received, and the dangers which still threatened their safety. ​ Their inroads on the territory of the empire provoked the indignation of Constantine to leave them to their fate; and he no longer opposed the ambition of Geberic, a renowned warrior, who had recently ascended the Gothic throne. Wisumar, the Vandal king, whilst alone, and unassisted, he defended his dominions with undaunted courage, was vanquished and slain in a decisive battle, which swept away the flower of the Sarmatian youth. ^* The remainder of the nation embraced the desperate expedient of arming their slaves, a hardy race of hunters and herdsmen, by whose tumultuary aid they revenged their defeat, and expelled the invader from their confines. ​ But they soon discovered that they had exchanged a foreign for a domestic enemy, more dangerous and more implacable. ​ Enraged by their former servitude, elated by their present glory, the slaves, under the name of Limigantes, claimed and usurped the possession of the country which they had saved. ​ Their masters, unable to withstand the ungoverned fury of the populace, preferred the hardships of exile to the tyranny of their servants. ​ Some of the fugitive Sarmatians solicited a less ignominious dependence, under the hostile standard of the Goths. ​ A more numerous band retired beyond the Carpathian Mountains, among the Quadi, their German allies, and were easily admitted to share a superfluous waste of uncultivated land.  But the far greater part of the distressed nation turned their eyes towards the fruitful provinces of Rome.  Imploring the protection and forgiveness of the emperor, they solemnly promised, as subjects in peace, and as soldiers in war, the most inviolable fidelity to the empire which should graciously receive them into its bosom. ​ According to the maxims adopted by Probus and his successors, the offers of this barbarian colony were eagerly accepted; and a competent portion of lands in the provinces of Pannonia, Thrace, Macedonia, and Italy, were immediately assigned for the habitation and subsistence of three hundred thousand Sarmatians. ^45
 +
 +[Footnote *: Gibbon supposes that this war took place because Constantine had deducted a part of the customary gratifications,​ granted by his predecessors to the Sarmatians. ​ Nothing of this kind appears in the authors. ​ We see, on the contrary, that after his victory, and to punish the Sarmatia is for the ravages they had committed, he withheld the sums which it had been the custom to bestow. ​ St. Martin, note to Le Beau, i. 327. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 45: The Gothic and Sarmatian wars are related in so broken and imperfect a manner, that I have been obliged to compare the following writers, who mutually supply, correct, and illustrate each other. ​ Those who will take the same trouble, may acquire a right of criticizing my narrative. ​ Ammianus, l. xvii. c. 12.  Anonym. Valesian. p. 715. Eutropius, x. 7.  Sextus Rufus de Provinciis, c. 26.  Julian Orat. i. p. 9, and Spanheim, Comment. p. 94.  Hieronym. in Chron. Euseb. in Vit. Constantin. l. iv. c. 6.  Socrates, l. i. c. 18.  Sozomen, l. i. c. 8. Zosimus, l. ii. p. 108.  Jornandes de Reb. Geticis, c. 22. Isidorus in Chron. p. 709; in Hist. Gothorum Grotii. ​ Constantin. Porphyrogenitus de Administrat. Imperii, c. 53, p. 208, edit. Meursii.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Compare, on this very obscure but remarkable war, Manso, Leben Coa xantius, p. 195 - M.]
 +
 +By chastising the pride of the Goths, and by accepting the homage of a suppliant nation, Constantine asserted the majesty of the Roman empire; and the ambassadors of Aethiopia, Persia, and the most remote countries of India, congratulated the peace and prosperity of his government. ^46 If he reckoned, among the favors of fortune, the death of his eldest son, of his nephew, and perhaps of his wife, he enjoyed an uninterrupted flow of private as well as public felicity, till the thirtieth year of his reign; a period which none of his predecessors,​ since Augustus, had been permitted to celebrate. ​ Constantine survived that solemn festival about ten months; and at the mature age of sixty-four, after a short illness, he ended his memorable life at the palace of Aquyrion, in the suburbs of Nicomedia, whither he had retired for the benefit of the air, and with the hope of recruiting his exhausted strength by the use of the warm baths. The excessive demonstrations of grief, or at least of mourning, surpassed whatever had been practised on any former occasion. Notwithstanding the claims of the senate and people of ancient Rome, the corpse of the deceased emperor, according to his last request, was transported to the city, which was destined to preserve the name and memory of its founder. ​ The body of Constantine adorned with the vain symbols of greatness, the purple and diadem, was deposited on a golden bed in one of the apartments of the palace, which for that purpose had been splendidly furnished and illuminated. ​ The forms of the court were strictly maintained. ​ Every day, at the appointed hours, the principal officers of the state, the army, and the household, approaching the person of their sovereign with bended knees and a composed countenance,​ offered their respectful homage as seriously as if he had been still alive. ​ From motives of policy, this theatrical representation was for some time continued; nor could flattery neglect the opportunity of remarking that Constantine alone, by the peculiar indulgence of Heaven, had reigned after his death. ^47
 +
 +[Footnote 46: Eusebius (in Vit. Const. l. iv. c. 50) remarks three circumstances relative to these Indians. ​ 1. They came from the shores of the eastern ocean; a description which might be applied to the coast of China or Coromandel. ​ 2. They presented shining gems, and unknown animals. 3. They protested their kings had erected statues to represent the supreme majesty of Constantine.]
 +
 +[Footnote 47: Funus relatum in urbem sui nominis, quod sane P. R. aegerrime tulit. ​ Aurelius Victor. ​ Constantine prepared for himself a stately tomb in the church of the Holy Apostles. Euseb. l. iv. c. 60.  The best, and indeed almost the only account of the sickness, death, and funeral of Constantine,​ is contained in the fourth book of his Life by Eusebius.] But this reign could subsist only in empty pageantry; and it was soon discovered that the will of the most absolute monarch is seldom obeyed, when his subjects have no longer anything to hope from his favor, or to dread from his resentment. ​ The same ministers and generals, who bowed with such referential awe before the inanimate corpse of their deceased sovereign, were engaged in secret consultations to exclude his two nephews, Dalmatius and Hannibalianus,​ from the share which he had assigned them in the succession of the empire. ​ We are too imperfectly acquainted with the court of Constantine to form any judgment of the real motives which influenced the leaders of the conspiracy; unless we should suppose that they were actuated by a spirit of jealousy and revenge against the praefect Ablavius, a proud favorite, who had long directed the counsels and abused the confidence of the late emperor. ​ The arguments, by which they solicited the concurrence of the soldiers and people, are of a more obvious nature; and they might with decency, as well as truth, insist on the superior rank of the children of Constantine,​ the danger of multiplying the number of sovereigns, and the impending mischiefs which threatened the republic, from the discord of so many rival princes, who were not connected by the tender sympathy of fraternal affection. ​ The intrigue was conducted with zeal and secrecy, till a loud and unanimous declaration was procured from the troops, that they would suffer none except the sons of their lamented monarch to reign over the Roman empire. ^48 The younger Dalmatius, who was united with his collateral relations by the ties of friendship and interest, is allowed to have inherited a considerable share of the abilities of the great Constantine;​ but, on this occasion, he does not appear to have concerted any measure for supporting, by arms, the just claims which himself and his royal brother derived from the liberality of their uncle. ​ Astonished and overwhelmed by the tide of popular fury, they seem to have remained, without the power of flight or of resistance, in the hands of their implacable enemies. ​ Their fate was suspended till the arrival of Constantius,​ the second, and perhaps the most favored, of the sons of Constantine.
 +
 +[Footnote 48: Eusebius (l. iv. c. 6) terminates his narrative by this loyal declaration of the troops, and avoids all the invidious circumstances of the subsequent massacre.]
 +
 +[Footnote 49: The character of Dalmatius is advantageously,​ though concisely ​ drawn by Eutropius. ​ (x. 9.) Dalmatius Ceasar prosperrima indole, neque patrou absimilis, haud multo post oppressus est factione militari. ​ As both Jerom and the Alexandrian Chronicle mention the third year of the Ceasar, which did not commence till the 18th or 24th of September, A. D. 337, it is certain that these military factions continued above four months.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons. ======
 +
 +===== Part III. =====
 +
 +The voice of the dying emperor had recommended the care of his funeral to the piety of Constantius;​ and that prince, by the vicinity of his eastern station, could easily prevent the diligence of his brothers, who resided in their distant government of Italy and Gaul.  As soon as he had taken possession of the palace of Constantinople,​ his first care was to remove the apprehensions of his kinsmen, by a solemn oath which he pledged for their security. ​ His next employment was to find some specious pretence which might release his conscience from the obligation of an imprudent promise. ​ The arts of fraud were made subservient to the designs of cruelty; and a manifest forgery was attested by a person of the most sacred character. ​ From the hands of the Bishop of Nicomedia, Constantius received a fatal scroll, affirmed to be the genuine testament of his father; in which the emperor expressed his suspicions that he had been poisoned by his brothers; and conjured his sons to revenge his death, and to consult their own safety, by the punishment of the guilty. ^50 Whatever reasons might have been alleged by these unfortunate princes to defend their life and honor against so incredible an accusation, they were silenced by the furious clamors of the soldiers, who declared themselves, at once, their enemies, their judges, and their executioners. ​ The spirit, and even the forms of legal proceedings were repeatedly violated in a promiscuous massacre; which involved the two uncles of Constantius,​ seven of his cousins, of whom Dalmatius and Hannibalianus were the most illustrious,​ the Patrician Optatus, who had married a sister of the late emperor, and the Praefect Ablavius, whose power and riches had inspired him with some hopes of obtaining the purple. ​ If it were necessary to aggravate the horrors of this bloody scene, we might add, that Constantius himself had espoused the daughter of his uncle Julius, and that he had bestowed his sister in marriage on his cousin Hannibalianus. ​ These alliances, which the policy of Constantine,​ regardless of the public prejudice, ^51 had formed between the several branches of the Imperial house, served only to convince mankind, that these princes were as cold to the endearments of conjugal affection, as they were insensible to the ties of consanguinity,​ and the moving entreaties of youth and innocence. Of so numerous a family, Gallus and Julian alone, the two youngest children of Julius Constantius,​ were saved from the hands of the assassins, till their rage, satiated with slaughter, had in some measure subsided. ​ The emperor Constantius,​ who, in the absence of his brothers, was the most obnoxious to guilt and reproach, discovered, on some future occasions, a faint and transient remorse for those cruelties which the perfidious counsels of his ministers, and the irresistible violence of the troops, had extorted from his unexperienced youth. ^52 [Footnote 50: I have related this singular anecdote on the authority of Philostorgius,​ l. ii. c. 16.  But if such a pretext was ever used by Constantius and his adherents, it was laid aside with contempt, as soon as it served their immediate purpose. Athanasius (tom. i. p. 856) mention the oath which Constantius had taken for the security of his kinsmen.] [Footnote *: The authority of Philostorgius is so suspicious, as not to be sufficient to establish this fact, which Gibbon has inserted in his history as certain, while in the note he appears to doubt it. - G.]
 +
 +[Footnote 51: Conjugia sobrinarum diu ignorata, tempore addito percrebuisse. Tacit. Annal. xii. 6, and Lipsius ad loc.  The repeal of the ancient law, and the practice of five hundred years, were insufficient to eradicate the prejudices of the Romans, who still considered the marriages of cousins-german as a species of imperfect incest. ​ (Augustin de Civitate Dei, xv. 6;) and Julian, whose mind was biased by superstition and resentment, stigmatizes these unnatural alliances between his own cousins with the opprobrious epithet (Orat. vii. p. 228.). The jurisprudence of the canons has since received and enforced this prohibition,​ without being able to introduce it either into the civil or the common law of Europe. ​ See on the subject of these marriages, Taylor'​s Civil Law, p. 331.  Brouer de Jure Connub. l. ii. c. 12.  Hericourt des Loix Ecclesiastiques,​ part iii. c. 5. Fleury, Institutions du Droit Canonique, tom. i. p. 331.  Paris, 1767, and Fra Paolo, Istoria del Concilio Trident, l. viii.]
 +
 +[Footnote 52: Julian (ad S. P.. Q. Athen. p. 270) charges his cousin Constantius with the whole guilt of a massacre, from which he himself so narrowly escaped. ​ His assertion is confirmed by Athanasius, who, for reasons of a very different nature, was not less an enemy of Constantius,​ (tom. i. p. 856.) Zosimus joins in the same accusation. ​ But the three abbreviators,​ Eutropius and the Victors, use very qualifying expressions:​ "​sinente potius quam jubente;"​ "​incertum quo suasore;"​ "vi militum."​] The massacre of the Flavian race was succeeded by a new division of the provinces; which was ratified in a personal interview of the three brothers. ​ Constantine,​ the eldest of the Caesars, obtained, with a certain preeminence of rank, the possession of the new capital, which bore his own name and that of his father. ​ Thrace, and the countries of the East, were allotted for the patrimony of Constantius;​ and Constans was acknowledged as the lawful sovereign of Italy, Africa, and the Western Illyricum. ​ The armies submitted to their hereditary right; and they condescended,​ after some delay, to accept from the Roman senate the title of Augustus. ​ When they first assumed the reins of government, the eldest of these princes was twenty-one, the second twenty, and the third only seventeen, years of age. ^53
 +
 +[Footnote 53: Euseb. in Vit. Constantin. l. iv. c. 69.  Zosimus, l. ii. p. 117. Idat. in Chron. ​ See two notes of Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 1086-1091. ​ The reign of the eldest brother at Constantinople is noticed only in the Alexandrian Chronicle.]
 +
 +While the martial nations of Europe followed the standards of his brothers, Constantius,​ at the head of the effeminate troops of Asia, was left to sustain the weight of the Persian war.  At the decease of Constantine,​ the throne of the East was filled by Sapor, son of Hormouz, or Hormisdas, and grandson of Narses, who, after the victory of Galerius, had humbly confessed the superiority of the Roman power. ​ Although Sapor was in the thirtieth year of his long reign, he was still in the vigor of youth, as the date of his accession, by a very strange fatality, had preceded that of his birth. ​ The wife of Hormouz remained pregnant at the time of her husband'​s death; and the uncertainty of the sex, as well as of the event, excited the ambitious hopes of the princes of the house of Sassan. ​ The apprehensions of civil war were at length removed, by the positive assurance of the Magi, that the widow of Hormouz had conceived, and would safely produce a son.  Obedient to the voice of superstition,​ the Persians prepared, without delay, the ceremony of his coronation. A royal bed, on which the queen lay in state, was exhibited in the midst of the palace; the diadem was placed on the spot, which might be supposed to conceal the future heir of Artaxerxes, and the prostrate satraps adored the majesty of their invisible and insensible sovereign. ^54 If any credit can be given to this marvellous tale, which seems, however, to be countenanced by the manners of the people, and by the extraordinary duration of his reign, we must admire not only the fortune, but the genius, of Sapor. ​ In the soft, sequestered education of a Persian harem, the royal youth could discover the importance of exercising the vigor of his mind and body; and, by his personal merit, deserved a throne, on which he had been seated, while he was yet unconscious of the duties and temptations of absolute power. ​ His minority was exposed to the almost inevitable calamities of domestic discord; his capital was surprised and plundered by Thair, a powerful king of Yemen, or Arabia; and the majesty of the royal family was degraded by the captivity of a princess, the sister of the deceased king.  But as soon as Sapor attained the age of manhood, the presumptuous Thair, his nation, and his country, fell beneath the first effort of the young warrior; who used his victory with so judicious a mixture of rigor and clemency, that he obtained from the fears and gratitude of the Arabs the title of Dhoulacnaf, or protector of the nation. ^55
 +
 +[Footnote 54: Agathias, who lived in the sixth century, is the author of this story, (l. iv. p. 135, edit. Louvre.) He derived his information from some extracts of the Persian Chronicles, obtained and translated by the interpreter Sergius, during his embassy at that country. ​ The coronation of the mother of Sapor is likewise mentioned by Snikard, (Tarikh. p. 116,) and D'​Herbelot (Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 703.)]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The author of the Zenut-ul-Tarikh states, that the lady herself affirmed her belief of this from the extraordinary liveliness of the infant, and its lying on the right side.  Those who are sage on such subjects must determine what right she had to be positive from these symptoms. ​ Malcolm, Hist. of Persia, i 83. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 55: D'​Herbelot,​ Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 764.] [Footnote *: Gibbon, according to Sir J. Malcolm, has greatly mistaken the derivation of this name; it means Zoolaktaf, the Lord of the Shoulders, from his directing the shoulders of his captives to be pierced and then dislocated by a string passed through them.  Eastern authors are agreed with respect to the origin of this title. ​ Malcolm, i. 84.  Gibbon took his derivation from D'​Herbelot,​ who gives both, the latter on the authority of the Leb. Tarikh. - M.]
 +
 +The ambition of the Persian, to whom his enemies ascribe the virtues of a soldier and a statesman, was animated by the desire of revenging the disgrace of his fathers, and of wresting from the hands of the Romans the five provinces beyond the Tigris. The military fame of Constantine,​ and the real or apparent strength of his government, suspended the attack; and while the hostile conduct of Sapor provoked the resentment, his artful negotiations amused the patience of the Imperial court. ​ The death of Constantine was the signal of war, ^56 and the actual condition of the Syrian and Armenian frontier seemed to encourage the Persians by the prospect of a rich spoil and an easy conquest. ​ The example of the massacres of the palace diffused a spirit of licentiousness and sedition among the troops of the East, who were no longer restrained by their habits of obedience to a veteran commander. ​ By the prudence of Constantius,​ who, from the interview with his brothers in Pannonia, immediately hastened to the banks of the Euphrates, the legions were gradually restored to a sense of duty and discipline; but the season of anarchy had permitted Sapor to form the siege of Nisibis, and to occupy several of the mo st important fortresses of Mesopotamia. ^57 In Armenia, the renowned Tiridates had long enjoyed the peace and glory which he deserved by his valor and fidelity to the cause of Rome. ^! The firm alliance which he maintained with Constantine was productive of spiritual as well as of temporal benefits; by the conversion of Tiridates, the character of a saint was applied to that of a hero, the Christian faith was preached and established from the Euphrates to the shores of the Caspian, and Armenia was attached to the empire by the double ties of policy and religion. ​ But as many of the Armenian nobles still refused to abandon the plurality of their gods and of their wives, the public tranquillity was disturbed by a discontented faction, which insulted the feeble age of their sovereign, and impatiently expected the hour of his death. ​ He died at length after a reign of fifty- six years, and the fortune of the Armenian monarchy expired with Tiridates. His lawful heir was driven into exile, the Christian priests were either murdered or expelled from their churches, the barbarous tribes of Albania were solicited to descend from their mountains; and two of the most powerful governors, usurping the ensigns or the powers of royalty, implored the assistance of Sapor, and opened the gates of their cities to the Persian garrisons. ​ The Christian party, under the guidance of the Archbishop of Artaxata, the immediate successor of St. Gregory the Illuminator,​ had recourse to the piety of Constantius. ​ After the troubles had continued about three years, Antiochus, one of the officers of the household, executed with success the Imperial commission of restoring Chosroes, ^* the son of Tiridates, to the throne of his fathers, of distributing honors and rewards among the faithful servants of the house of Arsaces, and of proclaiming a general amnesty, which was accepted by the greater part of the rebellious satraps. ​ But the Romans derived more honor than advantage from this revolution. ​ Chosroes was a prince of a puny stature and a pusillanimous spirit. ​ Unequal to the fatigues of war, averse to the society of mankind, he withdrew from his capital to a retired palace, which he built on the banks of the River Eleutherus, and in the centre of a shady grove; where he consumed his vacant hours in the rural sports of hunting and hawking. ​ To secure this inglorious ease, he submitted to the conditions of peace which Sapor condescended to impose; the payment of an annual tribute, and the restitution of the fertile province of Atropatene, which the courage of Tiridates, and the victorious arms of Galerius, had annexed to the Armenian monarchy. ^58
 +
 +[Footnote 56: Sextus Rufus, (c. 26,) who on this occasion is no contemptible authority, affirms, that the Persians sued in vain for peace, and that Constantine was preparing to march against them: yet the superior weight of the testimony of Eusebius obliges us to admit the preliminaries,​ if not the ratification,​ of the treaty. ​ See Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 420.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Constantine had endeavored to allay the fury of the prosecutions,​ which, at the instigation of the Magi and the Jews, Sapor had commenced against the Christians. ​ Euseb Vit. Hist. Theod. i. 25.  Sozom. ii. c. 8, 15. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 57: Julian. Orat. i. p. 20.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Tiridates had sustained a war against Maximin. caused by the hatred of the latter against Christianity. ​ Armenia was the first nation which embraced Christianity. ​ About the year 276 it was the religion of the king, the nobles, and the people of Armenia. ​ From St. Martin, Supplement to Le Beau, v. i. p. 78. Compare Preface to History of Vartan by Professor Neumann, p ix. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Chosroes was restored probably by Licinius, between 314 and 319. There was an Antiochus who was praefectus vigilum at Rome, as appears from the Theodosian Code, (l. iii. de inf. his quae sub ty.,) in 326, and from a fragment of the same work published by M. Amedee Peyron, in 319.  He may before this have been sent into Armenia. ​ St. M. p. 407.  [Is it not more probable that Antiochus was an officer in the service of the Caesar who ruled in the East? - M.] Chosroes was succeeded in the year 322 by his son Diran. Diran was a weak prince, and in the sixteenth year of his reign. ​ A. D. 337. was betrayed into the power of the Persians by the treachery of his chamberlain and the Persian governor of Atropatene or Aderbidjan. ​ He was blinded: his wife and his son Arsaces shared his captivity, but the princes and nobles of Armenia claimed the protection of Rome; and this was the cause of Constantine'​s declaration of war against the Persians. - The king of Persia attempted to make himself master of Armenia; but the brave resistance of the people, the advance of Constantius,​ and a defeat which his army suffered at Oskha in Armenia, and the failure before Nisibis, forced Shahpour to submit to terms of peace. Varaz-Shahpour,​ the perfidious governor of Atropatene, was flayed alive; Diran and his son were released from captivity; Diran refused to ascend the throne, and retired to an obscure retreat: his son Arsaces was crowned king of Armenia. ​ Arsaces pursued a vacillating policy between the influence of Rome and Persia, and the war recommenced in the year 345.  At least, that was the period of the expedition of Constantius to the East.  See St. Martin, additions to Le Beau, i. 442.  The Persians have made an extraordinary romance out of the history of Shahpour, who went as a spy to Constantinople,​ was taken, harnessed like a horse, and carried to witness the devastation of his kingdom. ​ Malcolm. 84 - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 58: Julian. Orat. i. p. 20, 21.  Moses of Chorene, l. ii. c. 89, l. iii. c. 1 - 9, p. 226 - 240.  The perfect agreement between the vague hints of the contemporary orator, and the circumstantial narrative of the national historian, gives light to the former, and weight to the latter. For the credit of Moses, it may be likewise observed, that the name of Antiochus is found a few years before in a civil office of inferior dignity. ​ See Godefroy, Cod. Theod. tom. vi. p. 350.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Gibbon has endeavored, in his History, to make use of the information furnished by Moses of Chorene, the only Armenian historian then translated into Latin. ​ Gibbon has not perceived all the chronological difficulties which occur in the narrative of that writer. ​ He has not thought of all the critical discussions which his text ought to undergo before it can be combined with the relations of the western writers. ​ From want of this attention, Gibbon has made the facts which he has drawn from this source more erroneous than they are in the original. ​ This judgment applies to all which the English historian has derived from the Armenian author. ​ I have made the History of Moses a subject of particular attention; and it is with confidence that I offer the results, which I insert here, and which will appear in the course of my notes. ​ In order to form a judgment of the difference which exists between me and Gibbon, I will content myself with remarking, that throughout he has committed an anachronism of thirty years, from whence it follows, that he assigns to the reign of Constantius many events which took place during that of Constantine. ​ He could not, therefore, discern the true connection which exists between the Roman history and that of Armenia, or form a correct notion of the reasons which induced Constantine,​ at the close of his life, to make war upon the Persians, or of the motives which detained Constantius so long in the East; he does not even mention them.  St. Martin, note on Le Beau, i. 406.  I have inserted M. St. Martin'​s observations,​ but I must add, that the chronology which he proposes, is not generally received by Armenian scholars, not, I believe, by Professor Neumann. - M.] During the long period of the reign of Constantius,​ the provinces of the East were afflicted by the calamities of the Persian war. ^! The irregular incursions of the light troops alternately spread terror and devastation beyond the Tigris and beyond the Euphrates, from the gates of Ctesiphon to those of Antioch; and this active service was performed by the Arabs of the desert, who were divided in their interest and affections; some of their independent chiefs being enlisted in the party of Sapor, whilst others had engaged their doubtful fidelity to the emperor. ^59 The more grave and important operations of the war were conducted with equal vigor; and the armies of Rome and Persia encountered each other in nine bloody fields, in two of which Constantius himself commanded in person. ^60 The event of the day was most commonly adverse to the Romans, but in the battle of Singara, heir imprudent valor had almost achieved a signal and decisive victory. ​ The stationary troops of Singara ^* retired on the approach of Sapor, who passed the Tigris over three bridges, and occupied near the village of Hilleh an advantageous camp, which, by the labor of his numerous pioneers, he surrounded in one day with a deep ditch and a lofty rampart. His formidable host, when it was drawn out in order of battle, covered the banks of the river, the adjacent heights, and the whole extent of a plain of above twelve miles, which separated the two armies. ​ Both were alike impatient to engage; but the Barbarians, after a slight resistance, fled in disorder; unable to resist, or desirous to weary, the strength of the heavy legions, who, fainting with heat and thirst, pursued them across the plain, and cut in pieces a line of cavalry, clothed in complete armor, which had been posted before the gates of the camp to protect their retreat. ​ Constantius,​ who was hurried along in the pursuit, attempted, without effect, to restrain the ardor of his troops, by representing to them the dangers of the approaching night, and the certainty of completing their success with the return of day.  As they depended much more on their own valor than on the experience or the abilities of their chief, they silenced by their clamors his timid remonstrances;​ and rushing with fury to the charge, filled up the ditch, broke down the rampart, and dispersed themselves through the tents to recruit their exhausted strength, and to enjoy the rich harvest of their labors. ​ But the prudent Sapor had watched the moment of victory. ​ His army, of which the greater part, securely posted on the heights, had been spectators of the action, advanced in silence, and under the shadow of the night; and his Persian archers, guided by the illumination of the camp, poured a shower of arrows on a disarmed and licentious crowd. ​ The sincerity of history ^61 declares, that the Romans were vanquished with a dreadful slaughter, and that the flying remnant of the legions was exposed to the most intolerable hardships. ​ Even the tenderness of panegyric, confessing that the glory of the emperor was sullied by the disobedience of his soldiers, chooses to draw a veil over the circumstances of this melancholy retreat. ​ Yet one of those venal orators, so jealous of the fame of Constantius,​ relates, with amazing coolness, an act of such incredible cruelty, as, in the judgment of posterity, must imprint a far deeper stain on the honor of the Imperial name. The son of Sapor, the heir of his crown, had been made a captive in the Persian camp.  The unhappy youth, who might have excited the compassion of the most savage enemy, was scourged, tortured, and publicly executed by the inhuman Romans. ^62
 +
 +[Footnote *: It was during this war that a bold flatterer (whose name is unknown) published the Itineraries of Alexander and Trajan, in order to direct the victorious Constantius in the footsteps of those great conquerors of the East.  The former of these has been published for the first time by M. Angelo Mai (Milan, 1817, reprinted at Frankfort, 1818.) It adds so little to our knowledge of Alexander'​s campaigns, that it only excites our regret that it is not the Itinerary of Trajan, of whose eastern victories we have no distinct record - M]
 +
 +[Footnote 59: Ammianus (xiv. 4) gives a lively description of the wandering and predatory life of the Saracens, who stretched from the confines of Assyria to the cataracts of the Nile.  It appears from the adventures of Malchus, which Jerom has related in so entertaining a manner, that the high road between Beraea and Edessa was infested by these robbers. ​ See Hieronym. tom. i. p. 256.]
 +
 +[Footnote 60: We shall take from Eutropius the general idea of the war. A Persis enim multa et gravia perpessus, saepe captis, oppidis, obsessis urbibus, caesis exercitibus,​ nullumque ei contra Saporem prosperum praelium fuit, nisi quod apud Singaram, &​c. ​ This honest account is confirmed by the hints of Ammianus, Rufus, and Jerom. ​ The two first orations of Julian, and the third oration of Libanius, exhibit a more flattering picture; but the recantation of both those orators, after the death of Constantius,​ while it restores us to the possession of the truth, degrades their own character, and that of the emperor. ​ The Commentary of Spanheim on the first oration of Julian is profusely learned. ​ See likewise the judicious observations of Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 656.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Now Sinjar, or the River Claboras. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 61: Acerrima nocturna concertatione pugnatum est, nostrorum copiis ngenti strage confossis. ​ Ammian. xviii. 5.  See likewise Eutropius, x. 10, and S. Rufus, c. 27.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The Persian historians, or romancers, do not mention the battle of Singara, but make the captive Shahpour escape, defeat, and take prisoner, the Roman emperor. ​ The Roman captives were forced to repair all the ravages they had committed, even to replanting the smallest trees. Malcolm. i. 82. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 62: Libanius, Orat. iii. p. 133, with Julian. Orat. i. p. 24, and Spanneism'​s Commentary, p. 179.]
 +
 +Whatever advantages might attend the arms of Sapor in the field, though nine repeated victories diffused among the nations the fame of his valor and conduct, he could not hope to succeed in the execution of his designs, while the fortified towns of Mesopotamia,​ and, above all, the strong and ancient city of Nisibis, remained in the possession of the Romans. ​ In the space of twelve years, Nisibis, which, since the time of Lucullus, had been deservedly esteemed the bulwark of the East, sustained three memorable sieges against the power of Sapor; and the disappointed monarch, after urging his attacks above sixty, eighty, and a hundred days, was thrice repulsed with loss and ignominy. ^63 This large and populous city was situate about two days' journey from the Tigris, in the midst of a pleasant and fertile plain at the foot of Mount Masius. ​ A treble enclosure of brick walls was defended by a deep ditch; ^64 and the intrepid resistance of Count Lucilianus, and his garrison, was seconded by the desperate courage of the people. ​ The citizens of Nisibis were animated by the exhortations of their bishop, ^65 inured to arms by the presence of danger, and convinced of the intentions of Sapor to plant a Persian colony in their room, and to lead them away into distant and barbarous captivity. The event of the two former sieges elated their confidence, and exasperated the haughty spirit of the Great King, who advanced a third time towards Nisibis, at the head of the united forces of Persia and India. The ordinary machines, invented to batter or undermine the walls, were rendered ineffectual by the superior skill of the Romans; and many days had vainly elapsed, when Sapor embraced a resolution worthy of an eastern monarch, who believed that the elements themselves were subject to his power. ​ At the stated season of the melting of the snows in Armenia, the River Mygdonius, which divides the plain and the city of Nisibis, forms, like the Nile, ^66 an inundation over the adjacent country. ​ By the labor of the Persians, the course of the river was stopped below the town, and the waters were confined on every side by solid mounds of earth. ​ On this artificial lake, a fleet of armed vessels filled with soldiers, and with engines which discharged stones of five hundred pounds weight, advanced in order of battle, and engaged, almost upon a level, the troops which defended the ramparts. ^* The irresistible force of the waters was alternately fatal to the contending parties, till at length a portion of the walls, unable to sustain the accumulated pressure, gave way at once, and exposed an ample breach of one hundred and fifty feet.  The Persians were instantly driven to the assault, and the fate of Nisibis depended on the event of the day. The heavy-armed cavalry, who led the van of a deep column, were embarrassed in the mud, and great numbers were drowned in the unseen holes which had been filled by the rushing waters. The elephants, made furious by their wounds, increased the disorder, and trampled down thousands of the Persian archers. The Great King, who, from an exalted throne, beheld the misfortunes of his arms, sounded, with reluctant indignation,​ the signal of the retreat, and suspended for some hours the prosecution of the attack. But the vigilant citizens improved the opportunity of the night; and the return of day discovered a new wall of six feet in height, rising every moment to fill up the interval of the breach. ​ Notwithstanding the disappointment of his hopes, and the loss of more than twenty thousand men, Sapor still pressed the reduction of Nisibis, with an obstinate firmness, which could have yielded only to the necessity of defending the eastern provinces of Persia against a formidable invasion of the Massagetae. ^67 Alarmed by this intelligence,​ he hastily relinquished the siege, and marched with rapid diligence from the banks of the Tigris to those of the Oxus.  The danger and difficulties of the Scythian war engaged him soon afterwards to conclude, or at least to observe, a truce with the Roman emperor, which was equally grateful to both princes; as Constantius himself, after the death of his two brothers, was involved, by the revolutions of the West, in a civil contest, which required and seemed to exceed the most vigorous exertion of his undivided strength. [Footnote 63: See Julian. Orat. i. p. 27, Orat. ii. p. 62, &c., with the Commentary of Spanheim, (p. 188-202,) who illustrates the circumstances,​ and ascertains the time of the three sieges of Nisibis. ​ Their dates are likewise examined by Tillemont, (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 668, 671, 674.) Something is added from Zosimus, l. iii. p. 151, and the Alexandrine Chronicle, p. 290.]
 +
 +[Footnote 64: Sallust. Fragment. lxxxiv. edit. Brosses, and Plutarch in Lucull. tom. iii. p. 184.  Nisibis is now reduced to one hundred and fifty houses: the marshy lands produce rice, and the fertile meadows, as far as Mosul and the Tigris, are covered with the ruins of towns and allages. ​ See Niebuhr, Voyages, tom. ii. p. 300-309.]
 +
 +[Footnote 65: The miracles which Theodoret (l. ii. c. 30) ascribes to St. James, Bishop of Edessa, were at least performed in a worthy cause, the defence of his couutry. ​ He appeared on the walls under the figure of the Roman emperor, and sent an army of gnats to sting the trunks of the elephants, and to discomfit the host of the new Sennacherib.] [Footnote 66: Julian. ​ Orat. i. p. 27.  Though Niebuhr (tom. ii. p. 307) allows a very considerable swell to the Mygdonius, over which he saw a bridge of twelve arches: it is difficult, however, to understand this parallel of a trifling rivulet with a mighty river. ​ There are many circumstances obscure, and almost unintelligible,​ in the description of these stupendous water-works.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Macdonald Kinnier observes on these floating batteries, "As the elevation of place is considerably above the level of the country in its immediate vicinity, and the Mygdonius is a very insignificant stream, it is difficult to imagine how this work could have been accomplished,​ even with the wonderful resources which the king must have had at his disposal"​ Geographical Memoir. p. 262. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 67: We are obliged to Zonaras (tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 11) for this invasion of the Massagetae, which is perfectly consistent with the general series of events to which we are darkly led by the broken history of Ammianus.]
 +
 +After the partition of the empire, three years had scarcely elapsed before the sons of Constantine seemed impatient to convince mankind that they were incapable of contenting themselves with the dominions which they were unqualified to govern. ​ The eldest of those princes soon complained, that he was defrauded of his just proportion of the spoils of their murdered kinsmen; and though he might yield to the superior guilt and merit of Constantius,​ he exacted from Constans the cession of the African provinces, as an equivalent for the rich countries of Macedonia and Greece, which his brother had acquired by the death of Dalmatius. ​ The want of sincerity, which Constantine experienced in a tedious and fruitless negotiation,​ exasperated the fierceness of his temper; and he eagerly listened to those favorites, who suggested to him that his honor, as well as his interest, was concerned in the prosecution of the quarrel. ​ At the head of a tumultuary band, suited for rapine rather than for conquest, he suddenly broke onto the dominions of Constans, by the way of the Julian Alps, and the country round Aquileia felt the first effects of his resentment. ​ The measures of Constans, who then resided in Dacia, were directed with more prudence and ability. ​ On the news of his brother'​s invasion, he detached a select and disciplined body of his Illyrian troops, proposing to follow them in person, with the remainder of his forces. ​ But the conduct of his lieutenants soon terminated the unnatural contest. By the artful appearances of flight, Constantine was betrayed into an ambuscade, which had been concealed in a wood, where the rash youth, with a few attendants, was surprised, surrounded, and slain. ​ His body, after it had been found in the obscure stream of the Alsa, obtained the honors of an Imperial sepulchre; but his provinces transferred their allegiance to the conqueror, who, refusing to admit his elder brother Constantius to any share in these new acquisitions,​ maintained the undisputed possession of more than two thirds of the Roman empire. ^68
 +
 +[Footnote 68: The causes and the events of this civil war are related with much perplexity and contradiction. ​ I have chiefly followed Zonaras and the younger Victor. ​ The monody (ad Calcem Eutrop. edit. Havercamp.) pronounced on the death of Constantine,​ might have been very instructive;​ but prudence and false taste engaged the orator to involve himself in vague declamation.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XVIII: Character Of Constantine And His Sons. ======
 +
 +===== Part IV. =====
 +
 +The fate of Constans himself was delayed about ten years longer, and the revenge of his brother'​s death was reserved for the more ignoble hand of a domestic traitor. ​ The pernicious tendency of the system introduced by Constantine was displayed in the feeble administration of his sons; who, by their vices and weakness, soon lost the esteem and affections of their people. The pride assumed by Constans, from the unmerited success of his arms, was rendered more contemptible by his want of abilities and application. ​ His fond partiality towards some German captives, distinguished only by the charms of youth, was an object of scandal to the people; ^69 and Magnentius, an ambitious soldier, who was himself of Barbarian extraction, was encouraged by the public discontent to assert the honor of the Roman name. ^70 The chosen bands of Jovians and Herculians, who acknowledged Magnentius as their leader, maintained the most respectable and important station in the Imperial camp.  The friendship of Marcellinus,​ count of the sacred largesses, supplied with a liberal hand the means of seduction. ​ The soldiers were convinced by the most specious arguments, that the republic summoned them to break the bonds of hereditary servitude; and, by the choice of an active and vigilant prince, to reward the same virtues which had raised the ancestors of the degenerate Constans from a private condition to the throne of the world. ​ As soon as the conspiracy was ripe for execution, Marcellinus,​ under the pretence of celebrating his son's birthday, gave a splendid entertainment to the illustrious and honorable persons of the court of Gaul, which then resided in the city of Autun. ​ The intemperance of the feast was artfully protracted till a very late hour of the night; and the unsuspecting guests were tempted to indulge themselves in a dangerous and guilty freedom of conversation. ​ On a sudden the doors were thrown open, and Magnentius, who had retired for a few moments, returned into the apartment, invested with the diadem and purple. ​ The conspirators instantly saluted him with the titles of Augustus and Emperor. The surprise, the terror, the intoxication,​ the ambitious hopes, and the mutual ignorance of the rest of the assembly, prompted them to join their voices to the general acclamation. ​ The guards hastened to take the oath of fidelity; the gates of the town were shut; and before the dawn of day, Magnentius became master of the troops and treasure of the palace and city of Autun. ​ By his secrecy and diligence he entertained some hopes of surprising the person of Constans, who was pursuing in the adjacent forest his favorite amusement of hunting, or perhaps some pleasures of a more private and criminal nature. The rapid progress of fame allowed him, however, an instant for flight, though the desertion of his soldiers and subjects deprived him of the power of resistance. ​ Before he could reach a seaport in Spain, where he intended to embark, he was overtaken near Helena, ^71 at the foot of the Pyrenees, by a party of light cavalry, whose chief, regardless of the sanctity of a temple, executed his commission by the murder of the son of Constantine. ^72
 +
 +[Footnote 69: Quarum (gentium) obsides pretio quaesitos pueros venustiore quod cultius habuerat libidine hujusmodi arsisse pro certo habet. ​ Had not the depraved taste of Constans been publicly avowed, the elder Victor, who held a considerable office in his brother'​s reign, would not have asserted it in such positive terms.]
 +
 +[Footnote 70: Julian. Orat. i. and ii.  Zosim. l. ii. p. 134. Victor in Epitome. ​ There is reason to believe that Magnentius was born in one of those Barbarian colonies which Constantius Chlorus had established in Gaul, (see this History, vol. i. p. 414.) His behavior may remind us of the patriot earl of Leicester, the famous Simon de Montfort, who could persuade the good people of England, that he, a Frenchman by birth had taken arms to deliver them from foreign favorites.]
 +
 +[Footnote 71: This ancient city had once flourished under the name of Illiberis (Pomponius Mela, ii. 5.) The munificence of Constantine gave it new splendor, and his mother'​s name.  Helena (it is still called Elne) became the seat of a bishop, who long afterwards transferred his residence to Perpignan, the capital of modern Rousillon. ​ See D'​Anville. ​ Notice de l'​Ancienne Gaule, p. 380.  Longuerue, Description de la France, p. 223, and the Marca Hispanica, l. i. c. 2.]
 +
 +[Footnote 72: Zosimus, l. ii. p. 119, 120.  Zonaras, tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 13, and the Abbreviators.]
 +
 +As soon as the death of Constans had decided this easy but important revolution, the example of the court of Autun was imitated by the provinces of the West.  The authority of Magnentius was acknowledged through the whole extent of the two great praefectures of Gaul and Italy; and the usurper prepared, by every act of oppression, to collect a treasure, which might discharge the obligation of an immense donative, and supply the expenses of a civil war.  The martial countries of Illyricum, from the Danube to the extremity of Greece, had long obeyed the government of Vetranio, an aged general, beloved for the simplicity of his manners, and who had acquired some reputation by his experience and services in war. ^73 Attached by habit, by duty, and by gratitude, to the house of Constantine,​ he immediately gave the strongest assurances to the only surviving son of his late master, that he would expose, with unshaken fidelity, his person and his troops, to inflict a just revenge on the traitors of Gaul.  But the legions of Vetranio were seduced, rather than provoked, by the example of rebellion; their leader soon betrayed a want of firmness, or a want of sincerity; and his ambition derived a specious pretence from the approbation of the princess Constantina. ​ That cruel and aspiring woman, who had obtained from the great Constantine,​ her father, the rank of Augusta, placed the diadem with her own hands on the head of the Illyrian general; and seemed to expect from his victory the accomplishment of those unbounded hopes, of which she had been disappointed by the death of her husband Hannibalianus. ​ Perhaps it was without the consent of Constantina,​ that the new emperor formed a necessary, though dishonorable,​ alliance with the usurper of the West, whose purple was so recently stained with her brother'​s blood. ^74
 +
 +[Footnote 73: Eutropius (x. 10) describes Vetranio with more temper, and probably with more truth, than either of the two Victors. ​ Vetranio was born of obscure parents in the wildest parts of Maesia; and so much had his education been neglected, that, after his elevation, he studied the alphabet.]
 +
 +[Footnote 74: The doubtful, fluctuating conduct of Vetranio is described by Julian in his first oration, and accurately explained by Spanheim, who discusses the situation and behavior of Constantina.]
 +
 +The intelligence of these important events, which so deeply affected the honor and safety of the Imperial house, recalled the arms of Constantius from the inglorious prosecution of the Persian war.  He recommended the care of the East to his lieutenants,​ and afterwards to his cousin Gallus, whom he raised from a prison to a throne; and marched towards Europe, with a mind agitated by the conflict of hope and fear, of grief and indignation. ​ On his arrival at Heraclea in Thrace, the emperor gave audience to the ambassadors of Magnentius and Vetranio. ​ The first author of the conspiracy Marcellinus,​ who in some measure had bestowed the purple on his new master, boldly accepted this dangerous commission; and his three colleagues were selected from the illustrious personages of the state and army.  These deputies were instructed to soothe the resentment, and to alarm the fears, of Constantius. ​ They were empowered to offer him the friendship and alliance of the western princes, to cement their union by a double marriage; of Constantius with the daughter of Magnentius, and of Magnentius himself with the ambitious Constantina;​ and to acknowledge in the treaty the preeminence of rank, which might justly be claimed by the emperor of the East.  Should pride and mistaken piety urge him to refuse these equitable conditions, the ambassadors were ordered to expatiate on the inevitable ruin which must attend his rashness, if he ventured to provoke the sovereigns of the West to exert their superior strength; and to employ against him that valor, those abilities, and those legions, to which the house of Constantine had been indebted for so many triumphs. ​ Such propositions and such arguments appeared to deserve the most serious attention; the answer of Constantius was deferred till the next day; and as he had reflected on the importance of justifying a civil war in the opinion of the people, he thus addressed his council, who listened with real or affected credulity: "Last night,"​ said he, "after I retired to rest, the shade of the great Constantine,​ embracing the corpse of my murdered brother, rose before my eyes; his well-known voice awakened me to revenge, forbade me to despair of the republic, and assured me of the success and immortal glory which would crown the justice of my arms." The authority of such a vision, or rather of the prince who alleged it, silenced every doubt, and excluded all negotiation. ​ The ignominious terms of peace were rejected with disdain. ​ One of the ambassadors of the tyrant was dismissed with the haughty answer of Constantius;​ his colleagues, as unworthy of the privileges of the law of nations, were put in irons; and the contending powers prepared to wage an implacable war. ^75
 +
 +[Footnote 75: See Peter the Patrician, in the Excerpta Legationem p. 27.] Such was the conduct, and such perhaps was the duty, of the brother of Constans towards the perfidious usurper of Gaul.  The situation and character of Vetranio admitted of milder measures; and the policy of the Eastern emperor was directed to disunite his antagonists,​ and to separate the forces of Illyricum from the cause of rebellion. ​ It was an easy task to deceive the frankness and simplicity of Vetranio, who, fluctuating some time between the opposite views of honor and interest, displayed to the world the insincerity of his temper, and was insensibly engaged in the snares of an artful negotiation. ​ Constantius acknowledged him as a legitimate and equal colleague in the empire, on condition that he would renounce his disgraceful alliance with Magnentius, and appoint a place of interview on the frontiers of their respective provinces; where they might pledge their friendship by mutual vows of fidelity, and regulate by common consent the future operations of the civil war.  In consequence of this agreement, Vetranio advanced to the city of Sardica, ^76 at the head of twenty thousand horse, and of a more numerous body of infantry; a power so far superior to the forces of Constantius,​ that the Illyrian emperor appeared to command the life and fortunes of his rival, who, depending on the success of his private negotiations,​ had seduced the troops, and undermined the throne, of Vetranio. The chiefs, who had secretly embraced the party of Constantius,​ prepared in his favor a public spectacle, calculated to discover and inflame the passions of the multitude. ^77 The united armies were commanded to assemble in a large plain near the city. In the centre, according to the rules of ancient discipline, a military tribunal, or rather scaffold, was erected, from whence the emperors were accustomed, on solemn and important occasions, to harangue the troops. ​ The well-ordered ranks of Romans and Barbarians, with drawn swords, or with erected spears, the squadrons of cavalry, and the cohorts of infantry, distinguished by the variety of their arms and ensigns, formed an immense circle round the tribunal; and the attentive silence which they preserved was sometimes interrupted by loud bursts of clamor or of applause. ​ In the presence of this formidable assembly, the two emperors were called upon to explain the situation of public affairs: the precedency of rank was yielded to the royal birth of Constantius;​ and though he was indifferently skilled in the arts of rhetoric, he acquitted himself, under these difficult circumstances,​ with firmness, dexterity, and eloquence. ​ The first part of his oration seemed to be pointed only against the tyrant of Gaul; but while he tragically lamented the cruel murder of Constans, he insinuated, that none, except a brother, could claim a right to the succession of his brother. ​ He displayed, with some complacency,​ the glories of his Imperial race; and recalled to the memory of the troops the valor, the triumphs, the liberality of the great Constantine,​ to whose sons they had engaged their allegiance by an oath of fidelity, which the ingratitude of his most favored servants had tempted them to violate. ​ The officers, who surrounded the tribunal, and were instructed to act their part in this extraordinary scene, confessed the irresistible power of reason and eloquence, by saluting the emperor Constantius as their lawful sovereign. ​ The contagion of loyalty and repentance was communicated from rank to rank; till the plain of Sardica resounded with the universal acclamation of "Away with these upstart usurpers! ​ Long life and victory to the son of Constantine! Under his banners alone we will fight and conquer."​ The shout of thousands, their menacing gestures, the fierce clashing of their arms, astonished and subdued the courage of Vetranio, who stood, amidst the defection of his followers, in anxious and silent suspense. ​ Instead of embracing the last refuge of generous despair, he tamely submitted to his fate; and taking the diadem from his head, in the view of both armies fell prostrate at the feet of his conqueror. ​ Constantius used his victory with prudence and moderation; and raising from the ground the aged suppliant, whom he affected to style by the endearing name of Father, he gave him his hand to descend from the throne. ​ The city of Prusa was assigned for the exile or retirement of the abdicated monarch, who lived six years in the enjoyment of ease and affluence. ​ He often expressed his grateful sense of the goodness of Constantius,​ and, with a very amiable simplicity, advised his benefactor to resign the sceptre of the world, and to seek for content (where alone it could be found) in the peaceful obscurity of a private condition. ^78
 +
 +[Footnote 76: Zonaras, tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 16.  The position of Sardica, near the modern city of Sophia, appears better suited to this interview than the situation of either Naissus or Sirmium, where it is placed by Jerom, Socrates, and Sozomen.]
 +
 +[Footnote 77: See the two first orations of Julian, particularly p. 31; and Zosimus, l. ii. p. 122.  The distinct narrative of the historian serves to illustrate the diffuse but vague descriptions of the orator.] [Footnote 78: The younger Victor assigns to his exile the emphatical appellation of "​Voluptarium otium."​ Socrates (l. ii. c. 28) is the voucher for the correspondence with the emperor, which would seem to prove that Vetranio was indeed, prope ad stultitiam simplicissimus.]
 +
 +The behavior of Constantius on this memorable occasion was celebrated with some appearance of justice; and his courtiers compared the studied orations which a Pericles or a Demosthenes addressed to the populace of Athens, with the victorious eloquence which had persuaded an armed multitude to desert and depose the object of their partial choice. ^79 The approaching contest with Magnentius was of a more serious and bloody kind. The tyrant advanced by rapid marches to encounter Constantius,​ at the head of a numerous army, composed of Gauls and Spaniards, of Franks and Saxons; of those provincials who supplied the strength of the legions, and of those barbarians who were dreaded as the most formidable enemies of the republic. The fertile plains ^80 of the Lower Pannonia, between the Drave, the Save, and the Danube, presented a spacious theatre; and the operations of the civil war were protracted during the summer months by the skill or timidity of the combatants. ^81 Constantius had declared his intention of deciding the quarrel in the fields of Cibalis, a name that would animate his troops by the remembrance of the victory, which, on the same auspicious ground, had been obtained by the arms of his father Constantine. ​ Yet by the impregnable fortifications with which the emperor encompassed his camp, he appeared to decline, rather than to invite, a general engagement. It was the object of Magnentius to tempt or to compel his adversary to relinquish this advantageous position; and he employed, with that view, the various marches, evolutions, and stratagems, which the knowledge of the art of war could suggest to an experienced officer. ​ He carried by assault the important town of Siscia; made an attack on the city of Sirmium, which lay in the rear of the Imperial camp, attempted to force a passage over the Save into the eastern provinces of Illyricum; and cut in pieces a numerous detachment, which he had allured into the narrow passes of Adarne. ​ During the greater part of the summer, the tyrant of Gaul showed himself master of the field. ​ The troops of Constantius were harassed and dispirited; his reputation declined in the eye of the world; and his pride condescended to solicit a treaty of peace, which would have resigned to the assassin of Constans the sovereignty of the provinces beyond the Alps.  These offers were enforced by the eloquence of Philip the Imperial ambassador; and the council as well as the army of Magnentius were disposed to accept them. But the haughty usurper, careless of the remonstrances of his friends, gave orders that Philip should be detained as a captive, or, at least, as a hostage; while he despatched an officer to reproach Constantius with the weakness of his reign, and to insult him by the promise of a pardon if he would instantly abdicate the purple. ​ "That he should confide in the justice of his cause, and the protection of an avenging Deity,"​ was the only answer which honor permitted the emperor to return. ​ But he was so sensible of the difficulties of his situation, that he no longer dared to retaliate the indignity which had been offered to his representative. ​ The negotiation of Philip was not, however, ineffectual,​ since he determined Sylvanus the Frank, a general of merit and reputation, to desert with a considerable body of cavalry, a few days before the battle of Mursa. [Footnote 79: Eum Constantius . . . . . facundiae vi dejectum Imperio in pri vatum otium removit. ​ Quae gloria post natum Imperium soli proces sit eloquio clementiaque,​ &​c. ​ Aurelius Victor, Julian, and Themistius (Orat. iii. and iv.) adorn this exploit with all the artificial and gaudy coloring of their rhetoric.]
 +
 +[Footnote 80: Busbequius (p. 112) traversed the Lower Hungary and Sclavonia at a time when they were reduced almost to a desert, by the reciprocal hostilities of the Turks and Christians. ​ Yet he mentions with admiration the unconquerable fertility of the soil; and observes that the height of the grass was sufficient to conceal a loaded wagon from his sight. ​ See likewise Browne'​s Travels, in Harris'​s Collection, vol ii. p. 762 &c.] [Footnote 81: Zosimus gives a very large account of the war, and the negotiation,​ (l. ii. p. 123-130.) But as he neither shows himself a soldier nor a politician, his narrative must be weighed with attention, and received with caution.]
 +
 +The city of Mursa, or Essek, celebrated in modern times for a bridge of boats, five miles in length, over the River Drave, and the adjacent morasses, ^82 has been always considered as a place of importance in the wars of Hungary. ​ Magnentius, directing his march towards Mursa, set fire to the gates, and, by a sudden assault, had almost scaled the walls of the town.  The vigilance of the garrison extinguished the flames; the approach of Constantius left him no time to continue the operations of the siege; and the emperor soon removed the only obstacle that could embarrass his motions, by forcing a body of troops which had taken post in an adjoining amphitheatre. ​ The field of battle round Mursa was a naked and level plain: on this ground the army of Constantius formed, with the Drave on their right; while their left, either from the nature of their disposition,​ or from the superiority of their cavalry, extended far beyond the right flank of Magnentius. ^83 The troops on both sides remained under arms, in anxious expectation,​ during the greatest part of the morning; and the son of Constantine,​ after animating his soldiers by an eloquent speech, retired into a church at some distance from the field of battle, and committed to his generals the conduct of this decisive day. ^84 They deserved his confidence by the valor and military skill which they exerted. ​ They wisely began the action upon the left; and advancing their whole wing of cavalry in an oblique line, they suddenly wheeled it on the right flank of the enemy, which was unprepared to resist the impetuosity of their charge. ​ But the Romans of the West soon rallied, by the habits of discipline; and the Barbarians of Germany supported the renown of their national bravery. ​ The engagement soon became general; was maintained with various and singular turns of fortune; and scarcely ended with the darkness of the night. ​ The signal victory which Constantius obtained is attributed to the arms of his cavalry. ​ His cuirassiers are described as so many massy statues of steel, glittering with their scaly armor, and breaking with their ponderous lances the firm array of the Gallic legions. ​ As soon as the legions gave way, the lighter and more active squadrons of the second line rode sword in hand into the intervals, and completed the disorder. ​ In the mean while, the huge bodies of the Germans were exposed almost naked to the dexterity of the Oriental archers; and whole troops of those Barbarians were urged by anguish and despair to precipitate themselves into the broad and rapid stream of the Drave. ^85 The number of the slain was computed at fifty-four thousand men, and the slaughter of the conquerors was more considerable than that of the vanquished; ^86 a circumstance which proves the obstinacy of the contest, and justifies the observation of an ancient writer, that the forces of the empire were consumed in the fatal battle of Mursa, by the loss of a veteran army, sufficient to defend the frontiers, or to add new triumphs to the glory of Rome. ^87 Notwithstanding the invectives of a servile orator, there is not the least reason to believe that the tyrant deserted his own standard in the beginning of the engagement. ​ He seems to have displayed the virtues of a general and of a soldier till the day was irrecoverably lost, and his camp in the possession of the enemy. Magnentius then consulted his safety, and throwing away the Imperial ornaments, escaped with some difficulty from the pursuit of the light horse, who incessantly followed his rapid flight from the banks of the Drave to the foot of the Julian Alps. ^88
 +
 +[Footnote 82: This remarkable bridge, which is flanked with towers, and supported on large wooden piles, was constructed A. D. 1566, by Sultan Soliman, to facilitate the march of his armies into Hungary.] [Footnote 83: This position, and the subsequent evolutions, are clearly, though concisely, described by Julian, Orat. i. p. 36.] [Footnote 84: Sulpicius Severus, l. ii. p. 405.  The emperor passed the day in prayer with Valens, the Arian bishop of Mursa, who gained his confidence by announcing the success of the battle. ​ M. de Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 1110) very properly remarks the silence of Julian with regard to the personal prowess of Constantius in the battle of Mursa. The silence of flattery is sometimes equal to the most positive and authentic evidence.]
 +
 +[Footnote 85: Julian. Orat. i. p. 36, 37; and Orat. ii. p. 59, 60. Zonaras, tom ii. l. xiii. p. 17.  Zosimus, l. ii. p. 130-133. The last of these celebrates the dexterity of the archer Menelaus, who could discharge three arrows at the same time; an advantage which, according to his apprehension of military affairs, materially contributed to the victory of Constantius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 86: According to Zonaras, Constantius,​ out of 80,000 men, lost 30,000; and Magnentius lost 24,000 out of 36,​000. ​ The other articles of this account seem probable and authentic, but the numbers of the tyrant'​s army must have been mistaken, either by the author or his transcribers. Magnentius had collected the whole force of the West, Romans and Barbarians, into one formidable body, which cannot fairly be estimated at less than 100,000 men.  Julian. Orat. i. p. 34, 35.]
 +
 +[Footnote 87: Ingentes R. I. vires ea dimicatione consumptae sunt, ad quaelibet bella externa idoneae, quae multum triumphorum possent securitatisque conferre. ​ Eutropius, x. 13.  The younger Victor expresses himself to the same effect.]
 +
 +[Footnote 88: On this occasion, we must prefer the unsuspected testimony of Zosimus and Zonaras to the flattering assertions of Julian. ​ The younger Victor paints the character of Magnentius in a singular light: "​Sermonis acer, animi tumidi, et immodice timidus; artifex tamen ad occultandam audaciae specie formidinem."​ Is it most likely that in the battle of Mursa his behavior was governed by nature or by art should incline for the latter.] The approach of winter supplied the indolence of Constantius with specious reasons for deferring the prosecution of the war till the ensuing spring. ​ Magnentius had fixed his residence in the city of Aquileia, and showed a seeming resolution to dispute the passage of the mountains and morasses which fortified the confines of the Venetian province. ​ The surprisal of a castle in the Alps by the secret march of the Imperialists,​ could scarcely have determined him to relinquish the possession of Italy, if the inclinations of the people had supported the cause of their tyrant. ^89 But the memory of the cruelties exercised by his ministers, after the unsuccessful revolt of Nepotian, had left a deep impression of horror and resentment on the minds of the Romans. ​ That rash youth, the son of the princess Eutropia, and the nephew of Constantine,​ had seen with indignation the sceptre of the West usurped by a perfidious barbarian. ​ Arming a desperate troop of slaves and gladiators, he overpowered the feeble guard of the domestic tranquillity of Rome, received the homage of the senate, and assuming the title of Augustus, precariously reigned during a tumult of twenty-eight days.  The march of some regular forces put an end to his ambitious hopes: the rebellion was extinguished in the blood of Nepotian, of his mother Eutropia, and of his adherents; and the proscription was extended to all who had contracted a fatal alliance with the name and family of Constantine. ^90 But as soon as Constantius,​ after the battle of Mursa, became master of the sea-coast of Dalmatia, a band of noble exiles, who had ventured to equip a fleet in some harbor of the Adriatic, sought protection and revenge in his victorious camp.  By their secret intelligence with their countrymen, Rome and the Italian cities were persuaded to display the banners of Constantius on their walls. ​ The grateful veterans, enriched by the liberality of the father, signalized their gratitude and loyalty to the son.  The cavalry, the legions, and the auxiliaries of Italy, renewed their oath of allegiance to Constantius;​ and the usurper, alarmed by the general desertion, was compelled, with the remains of his faithful troops, to retire beyond the Alps into the provinces of Gaul.  The detachments,​ however, which were ordered either to press or to intercept the flight of Magnentius, conducted themselves with the usual imprudence of success; and allowed him, in the plains of Pavia, an opportunity of turning on his pursuers, and of gratifying his despair by the carnage of a useless victory. ^91
 +
 +[Footnote 89: Julian. Orat. i. p. 38, 39.  In that place, however, as well as in Oration ii. p. 97, he insinuates the general disposition of the senate, the people, and the soldiers of Italy, towards the party of the emperor.]
 +
 +[Footnote 90: The elder Victor describes, in a pathetic manner, the miserable condition of Rome: "Cujus stolidum ingenium adeo P. R. patribusque exitio fuit, uti passim domus, fora, viae, templaque, cruore, cadaveri busque opplerentur bustorum modo." Athanasius (tom. i. p. 677) deplores the fate of several illustrious victims, and Julian (Orat. ii p 58) execrates the cruelty of Marcellinus,​ the implacable enemy of the house of Constantine.]
 +
 +[Footnote 91: Zosim. l. ii. p. 133.  Victor in Epitome. ​ The panegyrists of Constantius,​ with their usual candor, forget to mention this accidental defeat.]
 +
 +The pride of Magnentius was reduced, by repeated misfortunes,​ to sue, and to sue in vain, for peace. ​ He first despatched a senator, in whose abilities he confided, and afterwards several bishops, whose holy character might obtain a more favorable audience, with the offer of resigning the purple, and the promise of devoting the remainder of his life to the service of the emperor. ​ But Constantius,​ though he granted fair terms of pardon and reconciliation to all who abandoned the standard of rebellion, ^92 avowed his inflexible resolution to inflict a just punishment on the crimes of an assassin, whom he prepared to overwhelm on every side by the effort of his victorious arms.  An Imperial fleet acquired the easy possession of Africa and Spain, confirmed the wavering faith of the Moorish nations, and landed a considerable force, which passed the Pyrenees, and advanced towards Lyons, the last and fatal station of Magnentius. ^93 The temper of the tyrant, which was never inclined to clemency, was urged by distress to exercise every act of oppression which could extort an immediate supply from the cities of Gaul. ^94 Their patience was at length exhausted; and Treves, the seat of Praetorian government, gave the signal of revolt, by shutting her gates against Decentius, who had been raised by his brother to the rank either of Caesar or of Augustus. ^95 From Treves, Decentius was obliged to retire to Sens, where he was soon surrounded by an army of Germans, whom the pernicious arts of Constantius had introduced into the civil dissensions of Rome. ^96 In the mean time, the Imperial troops forced the passages of the Cottian Alps, and in the bloody combat of Mount Seleucus irrevocably fixed the title of rebels on the party of Magnentius. ^97 He was unable to bring another army into the field; the fidelity of his guards was corrupted; and when he appeared in public to animate them by his exhortations,​ he was saluted with a unanimous shout of "Long live the emperor Constantius!"​ The tyrant, who perceived that they were preparing to deserve pardon and rewards by the sacrifice of the most obnoxious criminal, prevented their design by falling on his sword; ^98 a death more easy and more honorable than he could hope to obtain from the hands of an enemy, whose revenge would have been colored with the specious pretence of justice and fraternal piety. ​ The example of suicide was imitated by Decentius, who strangled himself on the news of his brother'​s death. ​ The author of the conspiracy, Marcellinus,​ had long since disappeared in the battle of Mursa, ^99 and the public tranquillity was confirmed by the execution of the surviving leaders of a guilty and unsuccessful faction. ​ A severe inquisition was extended over all who, either from choice or from compulsion, had been involved in the cause of rebellion. ​ Paul, surnamed Catena from his superior skill in the judicial exercise of tyranny, ^* was sent to explore the latent remains of the conspiracy in the remote province of Britain. ​ The honest indignation expressed by Martin, vice-praefect of the island, was interpreted as an evidence of his own guilt; and the governor was urged to the necessity of turning against his breast the sword with which he had been provoked to wound the Imperial minister. The most innocent subjects of the West were exposed to exile and confiscation,​ to death and torture; and as the timid are always cruel, the mind of Constantius was inaccessible to mercy. ^100 [Footnote 92: Zonaras, tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 17.  Julian, in several places of the two orations, expatiates on the clemency of Constantius to the rebels.]
 +
 +[Footnote 93: Zosim. l. ii. p. 133.  Julian. Orat. i. p. 40, ii. p. 74.] [Footnote 94: Ammian. xv. 6.  Zosim. l. ii. p. 123.  Julian, who (Orat. i. p. 40) unveighs against the cruel effects of the tyrant'​s despair, mentions (Orat. i. p. 34) the oppressive edicts which were dictated by his necessities,​ or by his avarice. ​ His subjects were compelled to purchase the Imperial demesnes; a doubtful and dangerous species of property, which, in case of a revolution, might be imputed to them as a treasonable usurpation.]
 +
 +[Footnote 95: The medals of Magnentius celebrate the victories of the two Augusti, and of the Caesar. ​ The Caesar was another brother, named Desiderius. ​ See Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 757.] [Footnote 96: Julian. ​ Orat. i. p. 40, ii. p. 74; with Spanheim, p. 263. His Commentary illustrates the transactions of this civil war.  Mons Seleuci was a small place in the Cottian Alps, a few miles distant from Vapincum, or Gap, an episcopal city of Dauphine. ​ See D'​Anville,​ Notice de la Gaule, p. 464; and Longuerue, Description de la France, p. 327.] [Footnote *: the Itinerary of Antoninus (p. 357, ed. Wess.) places Mons Seleucu twenty-four miles from Vapinicum, (Gap,) and twenty-six from Lucus. (le Luc,) on the road to Die, (Dea Vocontiorum.) The situation answers to Mont Saleon, a little place on the right of the small river Buech, which falls into the Durance. ​ Roman antiquities have been found in this place. ​ St. Martin. ​ Note to Le Beau, ii. 47. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 97: Zosimus, l. ii. p. 134.  Liban. Orat. x. p. 268, 269.  The latter most vehemently arraigns this cruel and selfish policy of Constantius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 98: Julian. Orat. i. p. 40.  Zosimus, l. ii. p. 134. Socrates, l. ii. c. 32.  Sozomen, l. iv. c. 7.  The younger Victor describes his death with some horrid circumstances:​ Transfosso latere, ut erat vasti corporis, vulnere naribusque et ore cruorem effundens, exspiravit. ​ If we can give credit to Zonaras, the tyrant, before he expired, had the pleasure of murdering, with his own hand, his mother and his brother Desiderius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 99: Julian (Orat. i. p. 58, 59) seems at a loss to determine, whether he inflicted on himself the punishment of his crimes, whether he was drowned in the Drave, or whether he was carried by the avenging daemons from the field of battle to his destined place of eternal tortures.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: This is scarcely correct, ut erat in complicandis negotiis artifex dirum made ei Catenae inditum est cognomentum. Amm. Mar. loc. cit. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 100: Ammian. xiv. 5, xxi. 16.]
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