User Tools

Site Tools


history_of_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_roman_empire_edward_gibbon_volume_3_pg1

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

history_of_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_roman_empire_edward_gibbon_volume_3_pg1 [2018/04/21 03:41] (current)
Line 1: Line 1:
 +====== 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 3 (of 6) Chapter 27,28,29 ====
 +
 +[[history_of_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_roman_empire_edward_gibbon|]]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +Death Of Gratian. - Ruin Of Arianism. - St. Ambrose. - First Civil War, Against Maximus. - Character, Administration,​ And Penance Of Theodosius. - Death Of Valentinian II. - Second Civil War, Against Eugenius. - Death Of Theodosius.
 +
 +The fame of Gratian, before he had accomplished the twentieth year of his age, was equal to that of the most celebrated princes. ​ His gentle and amiable disposition endeared him to his private friends, the graceful affability of his manners engaged the affection of the people: the men of letters, who enjoyed the liberality, acknowledged the taste and eloquence, of their sovereign; his valor and dexterity in arms were equally applauded by the soldiers; and the clergy considered the humble piety of Gratian as the first and most useful of his virtues. The victory of Colmar had delivered the West from a formidable invasion; and the grateful provinces of the East ascribed the merits of Theodosius to the author of his greatness, and of the public safety. ​ Gratian survived those memorable events only four or five years; but he survived his reputation; and, before he fell a victim to rebellion, he had lost, in a great measure, the respect and confidence of the Roman world. The remarkable alteration of his character or conduct may not be imputed to the arts of flattery, which had besieged the son of Valentinian from his infancy; nor to the headstrong passions which the that gentle youth appears to have escaped. ​ A more attentive view of the life of Gratian may perhaps suggest the true cause of the disappointment of the public hopes. ​ His apparent virtues, instead of being the hardy productions of experience and adversity, were the premature and artificial fruits of a royal education. ​ The anxious tenderness of his father was continually employed to bestow on him those advantages, which he might perhaps esteem the more highly, as he himself had been deprived of them; and the most skilful masters of every science, and of every art, had labored to form the mind and body of the young prince. ^1 The knowledge which they painfully communicated was displayed with ostentation,​ and celebrated with lavish praise. ​ His soft and tractable disposition received the fair impression of their judicious precepts, and the absence of passion might easily be mistaken for the strength of reason. ​ His preceptors gradually rose to the rank and consequence of ministers of state: ^2 and, as they wisely dissembled their secret authority, he seemed to act with firmness, with propriety, and with judgment, on the most important occasions of his life and reign. ​ But the influence of this elaborate instruction did not penetrate beyond the surface; and the skilful preceptors, who so accurately guided the steps of their royal pupil, could not infuse into his feeble and indolent character the vigorous and independent principle of action which renders the laborious pursuit of glory essentially necessary to the happiness, and almost to the existence, of the hero.  As soon as time and accident had removed those faithful counsellors from the throne, the emperor of the West insensibly descended to the level of his natural genius; abandoned the reins of government to the ambitious hands which were stretched forwards to grasp them; and amused his leisure with the most frivolous gratifications. A public sale of favor and injustice was instituted, both in the court and in the provinces, by the worthless delegates of his power, whose merit it was made sacrilege to question. ^3 The conscience of the credulous prince was directed by saints and bishops; ^4 who procured an Imperial edict to punish, as a capital offence, the violation, the neglect, or even the ignorance, of the divine law. ^5 Among the various arts which had exercised the youth of Gratian, he had applied himself, with singular inclination and success, to manage the horse, to draw the bow, and to dart the javelin; and these qualifications,​ which might be useful to a soldier, were prostituted to the viler purposes of hunting. ​ Large parks were enclosed for the Imperial pleasures, and plentifully stocked with every species of wild beasts; and Gratian neglected the duties, and even the dignity, of his rank, to consume whole days in the vain display of his dexterity and boldness in the chase. The pride and wish of the Roman emperor to excel in an art, in which he might be surpassed by the meanest of his slaves, reminded the numerous spectators of the examples of Nero and Commodus, but the chaste and temperate Gratian was a stranger to their monstrous vices; and his hands were stained only with the blood of animals. ^6 The behavior of Gratian, which degraded his character in the eyes of mankind, could not have disturbed the security of his reign, if the army had not been provoked to resent their peculiar injuries. ​ As long as the young emperor was guided by the instructions of his masters, he professed himself the friend and pupil of the soldiers; many of his hours were spent in the familiar conversation of the camp; and the health, the comforts, the rewards, the honors, of his faithful troops, appeared to be the objects of his attentive concern. ​ But, after Gratian more freely indulged his prevailing taste for hunting and shooting, he naturally connected himself with the most dexterous ministers of his favorite amusement. ​ A body of the Alani was received into the military and domestic service of the palace; and the admirable skill, which they were accustomed to display in the unbounded plains of Scythia, was exercised, on a more narrow theatre, in the parks and enclosures of Gaul.  Gratian admired the talents and customs of these favorite guards, to whom alone he intrusted the defence of his person; and, as if he meant to insult the public opinion, he frequently showed himself to the soldiers and people, with the dress and arms, the long bow, the sounding quiver, and the fur garments of a Scythian warrior. ​ The unworthy spectacle of a Roman prince, who had renounced the dress and manners of his country, filled the minds of the legions with grief and indignation. ^7 Even the Germans, so strong and formidable in the armies of the empire, affected to disdain the strange and horrid appearance of the savages of the North, who, in the space of a few years, had wandered from the banks of the Volga to those of the Seine. ​ A loud and licentious murmur was echoed through the camps and garrisons of the West; and as the mild indolence of Gratian neglected to extinguish the first symptoms of discontent, the want of love and respect was not supplied by the influence of fear.  But the subversion of an established government is always a work of some real, and of much apparent, difficulty; and the throne of Gratian was protected by the sanctions of custom, law, religion, and the nice balance of the civil and military powers, which had been established by the policy of Constantine. ​ It is not very important to inquire from what cause the revolt of Britain was produced. ​ Accident is commonly the parent of disorder; the seeds of rebellion happened to fall on a soil which was supposed to be more fruitful than any other in tyrants and usurpers; ^8 the legions of that sequestered island had been long famous for a spirit of presumption and arrogance; ^9 and the name of Maximus was proclaimed, by the tumultuary, but unanimous voice, both of the soldiers and of the provincials. ​ The emperor, or the rebel, - for this title was not yet ascertained by fortune, - was a native of Spain, the countryman, the fellow-soldier,​ and the rival of Theodosius whose elevation he had not seen without some emotions of envy and resentment: the events of his life had long since fixed him in Britain; and I should not be unwilling to find some evidence for the marriage, which he is said to have contracted with the daughter of a wealthy lord of Caernarvonshire. ^10 But this provincial rank might justly be considered as a state of exile and obscurity; and if Maximus had obtained any civil or military office, he was not invested with the authority either of governor or general. ^11 His abilities, and even his integrity, are acknowledged by the partial writers of the age; and the merit must indeed have been conspicuous that could extort such a confession in favor of the vanquished enemy of Theodosius. ​ The discontent of Maximus might incline him to censure the conduct of his sovereign, and to encourage, perhaps, without any views of ambition, the murmurs of the troops. ​ But in the midst of the tumult, he artfully, or modestly, refused to ascend the throne; and some credit appears to have been given to his own positive declaration,​ that he was compelled to accept the dangerous present of the Imperial purple. ^12
 +
 +[Footnote 1: Valentinian was less attentive to the religion of his son; since he intrusted the education of Gratian to Ausonius, a professed Pagan. (Mem. de l'​Academie des Inscriptions,​ tom. xv. p. 125 - 138.  The poetical fame of Ausonius condemns the taste of his age.]
 +
 +[Footnote 2: Ausonius was successively promoted to the Praetorian praefecture of Italy, (A.D. 377,) and of Gaul, (A.D. 378;) and was at length invested with the consulship, (A.D. 379.) He expressed his gratitude in a servile and insipid piece of flattery, (Actio Gratiarum, p. 699 - 736,) which has survived more worthy productions.]
 +
 +[Footnote 3: Disputare de principali judicio non oportet. Sacrilegii enim instar est dubitare, an is dignus sit, quem elegerit imperator. ​ Codex Justinian, l. ix. tit. xxix. leg. 3. This convenient law was revived and promulgated,​ after the death of Gratian, by the feeble court of Milan.] [Footnote 4: Ambrose composed, for his instruction,​ a theological treatise on the faith of the Trinity: and Tillemont, (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 158, 169,) ascribes to the archbishop the merit of Gratian'​s intolerant laws.] [Footnote 5: Qui divinae legis sanctitatem nesciendo omittunt, aut negligende violant, et offendunt, sacrilegium committunt. Codex Justinian. l. ix. tit. xxix. leg. 1.  Theodosius indeed may claim his share in the merit of this comprehensive law.]
 +
 +[Footnote 6: Ammianus (xxxi. 10) and the younger Victor acknowledge the virtues of Gratian; and accuse, or rather lament, his degenerate taste. The odious parallel of Commodus is saved by "licet incruentus;"​ and perhaps Philostorgius (l. x. c. 10, and Godefroy, p. 41) had guarded with some similar reserve, the comparison of Nero.]
 +
 +[Footnote 7: Zosimus (l. iv. p. 247) and the younger Victor ascribe the revolution to the favor of the Alani, and the discontent of the Roman troops Dum exercitum negligeret, et paucos ex Alanis, quos ingenti auro ad sa transtulerat,​ anteferret veteri ac Romano militi.]
 +
 +[Footnote 8: Britannia fertilis provincia tyrannorum, is a memorable expression, used by Jerom in the Pelagian controversy,​ and variously tortured in the disputes of our national antiquaries. ​ The revolutions of the last age appeared to justify the image of the sublime Bossuet, "sette ile, plus orageuse que les mers qui l'​environment."​]
 +
 +[Footnote 9: Zosimus says of the British soldiers.]
 +
 +[Footnote 10: Helena, the daughter of Eudda. ​ Her chapel may still be seen at Caer-segont,​ now Caer-narvon. ​ (Carte'​s Hist. of England, vol. i. p. 168, from Rowland'​s Mona Antiqua.) The prudent reader may not perhaps be satisfied with such Welsh evidence.]
 +
 +[Footnote 11: Camden (vol. i. introduct. p. ci.) appoints him governor at Britain; and the father of our antiquities is followed, as usual, by his blind progeny. ​ Pacatus and Zosimus had taken some pains to prevent this error, or fable; and I shall protect myself by their decisive testimonies. Regali habitu exulem suum, illi exules orbis induerunt, (in Panegyr. Vet. xii. 23,) and the Greek historian still less equivocally,​ (Maximus) (l. iv. p. 248.)] [Footnote 12: Sulpicius Severus, Dialog. ii. 7.  Orosius, l. vii. c. 34. p. 556.  They both acknowledge (Sulpicius had been his subject) his innocence and merit. ​ It is singular enough, that Maximus should be less favorably treated by Zosimus, the partial adversary of his rival.]
 +
 +But there was danger likewise in refusing the empire; and from the moment that Maximus had violated his allegiance to his lawful sovereign, he could not hope to reign, or even to live, if he confined his moderate ambition within the narrow limits of Britain. ​ He boldly and wisely resolved to prevent the designs of Gratian; the youth of the island crowded to his standard, and he invaded Gaul with a fleet and army, which were long afterwards remembered, as the emigration of a considerable part of the British nation. ^13 The emperor, in his peaceful residence of Paris, was alarmed by their hostile approach; and the darts which he idly wasted on lions and bears, might have been employed more honorably against the rebels. ​ But his feeble efforts announced his degenerate spirit and desperate situation; and deprived him of the resources, which he still might have found, in the support of his subjects and allies. ​ The armies of Gaul, instead of opposing the march of Maximus, received him with joyful and loyal acclamations;​ and the shame of the desertion was transferred from the people to the prince. ​ The troops, whose station more immediately attached them to the service of the palace, abandoned the standard of Gratian the first time that it was displayed in the neighborhood of Paris. The emperor of the West fled towards Lyons, with a train of only three hundred horse; and, in the cities along the road, where he hoped to find refuge, or at least a passage, he was taught, by cruel experience, that every gate is shut against the unfortunate. ​ Yet he might still have reached, in safety, the dominions of his brother; and soon have returned with the forces of Italy and the East; if he had not suffered himself to be fatally deceived by the perfidious governor of the Lyonnese province. Gratian was amused by protestations of doubtful fidelity, and the hopes of a support, which could not be effectual; till the arrival of Andragathius,​ the general of the cavalry of Maximus, put an end to his suspense. ​ That resolute officer executed, without remorse, the orders or the intention of the usurper. ​ Gratian, as he rose from supper, was delivered into the hands of the assassin: and his body was denied to the pious and pressing entreaties of his brother Valentinian. ^14 The death of the emperor was followed by that of his powerful general Mellobaudes,​ the king of the Franks; who maintained, to the last moment of his life, the ambiguous reputation, which is the just recompense of obscure and subtle policy. ^15 These executions might be necessary to the public safety: but the successful usurper, whose power was acknowledged by all the provinces of the West, had the merit, and the satisfaction,​ of boasting, that, except those who had perished by the chance of war, his triumph was not stained by the blood of the Romans. ^16
 +
 +[Footnote 13: Archbishop Usher (Antiquat. Britan. Eccles. p. 107, 108) has diligently collected the legends of the island, and the continent. ​ The whole emigration consisted of 30,000 soldiers, and 100,000 plebeians, who settled in Bretagne. ​ Their destined brides, St. Ursula with 11,000 noble, and 60,000 plebeian, virgins, mistook their way; landed at Cologne, and were all most cruelly murdered by the Huns.  But the plebeian sisters have been defrauded of their equal honors; and what is still harder, John Trithemius presumes to mention the children of these British virgins.] [Footnote 14: Zosimus (l. iv. p. 248, 249) has transported the death of Gratian from Lugdunum in Gaul (Lyons) to Singidunum in Moesia. ​ Some hints may be extracted from the Chronicles; some lies may be detected in Sozomen (l. vii. c. 13) and Socrates, (l. v. c. 11.) Ambrose is our most authentic evidence, (tom. i. Enarrat. in Psalm lxi. p. 961, tom ii. epist. xxiv. p. 888 &c., and de Obitu Valentinian Consolat. Ner. 28, p. 1182.)] [Footnote 15: Pacatus (xii. 28) celebrates his fidelity; while his treachery is marked in Prosper'​s Chronicle, as the cause of the ruin of Gratian. Ambrose, who has occasion to exculpate himself, only condemns the death of Vallio, a faithful servant of Gratian, (tom. ii. epist. xxiv. p. 891, edit. Benedict.)
 +
 +Note: Le Beau contests the reading in the chronicle of Prosper upon which this charge rests. ​ Le Beau, iv. 232. - M. Note: According to Pacatus, the Count Vallio, who commanded the army, was carried to Chalons to be burnt alive; but Maximus, dreading the imputation of cruelty, caused him to be secretly strangled by his Bretons. ​ Macedonius also, master of the offices, suffered the death which he merited. ​ Le Beau, iv. 244. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 16: He protested, nullum ex adversariis nisi in acissie occubu. Sulp. Jeverus in Vit. B. Martin, c. 23.  The orator Theodosius bestows reluctant, and therefore weighty, praise on his clemency. ​ Si cui ille, pro ceteris sceleribus suis, minus crudelis fuisse videtur, (Panegyr. Vet. xii. 28.)]
 +
 +The events of this revolution had passed in such rapid succession, that it would have been impossible for Theodosius to march to the relief of his benefactor, before he received the intelligence of his defeat and death. ​ During the season of sincere grief, or ostentatious mourning, the Eastern emperor was interrupted by the arrival of the principal chamberlain of Maximus; and the choice of a venerable old man, for an office which was usually exercised by eunuchs, announced to the court of Constantinople the gravity and temperance of the British usurper. The ambassador condescended to justify, or excuse, the conduct of his master; and to protest, in specious language, that the murder of Gratian had been perpetrated,​ without his knowledge or consent, by the precipitate zeal of the soldiers. ​ But he proceeded, in a firm and equal tone, to offer Theodosius the alternative of peace, or war.  The speech of the ambassador concluded with a spirited declaration,​ that although Maximus, as a Roman, and as the father of his people, would choose rather to employ his forces in the common defence of the republic, he was armed and prepared, if his friendship should be rejected, to dispute, in a field of battle, the empire of the world. ​ An immediate and peremptory answer was required; but it was extremely difficult for Theodosius to satisfy, on this important occasion, either the feelings of his own mind, or the expectations of the public. ​ The imperious voice of honor and gratitude called aloud for revenge. ​ From the liberality of Gratian, he had received the Imperial diadem; his patience would encourage the odious suspicion, that he was more deeply sensible of former injuries, than of recent obligations;​ and if he accepted the friendship, he must seem to share the guilt, of the assassin. ​ Even the principles of justice, and the interest of society, would receive a fatal blow from the impunity of Maximus; and the example of successful usurpation would tend to dissolve the artificial fabric of government, and once more to replunge the empire in the crimes and calamities of the preceding age. But, as the sentiments of gratitude and honor should invariably regulate the conduct of an individual, they may be overbalanced in the mind of a sovereign, by the sense of superior duties; and the maxims both of justice and humanity must permit the escape of an atrocious criminal, if an innocent people would be involved in the consequences of his punishment. ​ The assassin of Gratian had usurped, but he actually possessed, the most warlike provinces of the empire: the East was exhausted by the misfortunes,​ and even by the success, of the Gothic war; and it was seriously to be apprehended,​ that, after the vital strength of the republic had been wasted in a doubtful and destructive contest, the feeble conqueror would remain an easy prey to the Barbarians of the North. ​ These weighty considerations engaged Theodosius to dissemble his resentment, and to accept the alliance of the tyrant. ​ But he stipulated, that Maximus should content himself with the possession of the countries beyond the Alps.  The brother of Gratian was confirmed and secured in the sovereignty of Italy, Africa, and the Western Illyricum; and some honorable conditions were inserted in the treaty, to protect the memory, and the laws, of the deceased emperor. ^17 According to the custom of the age, the images of the three Imperial colleagues were exhibited to the veneration of the people; nor should it be lightly supposed, that, in the moment of a solemn reconciliation,​ Theodosius secretly cherished the intention of perfidy and revenge. ^18
 +
 +[Footnote 17: Ambrose mentions the laws of Gratian, quas non abrogavit hostia (tom. ii epist. xvii. p. 827.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 18: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 251, 252.  We may disclaim his odious suspicions; but we cannot reject the treaty of peace which the friends of Theodosius have absolutely forgotten, or slightly mentioned.] The contempt of Gratian for the Roman soldiers had exposed him to the fatal effects of their resentment. ​ His profound veneration for the Christian clergy was rewarded by the applause and gratitude of a powerful order, which has claimed, in every age, the privilege of dispensing honors, both on earth and in heaven. ^19 The orthodox bishops bewailed his death, and their own irreparable loss; but they were soon comforted by the discovery, that Gratian had committed the sceptre of the East to the hands of a prince, whose humble faith and fervent zeal, were supported by the spirit and abilities of a more vigorous character. ​ Among the benefactors of the church, the fame of Constantine has been rivalled by the glory of Theodosius. ​ If Constantine had the advantage of erecting the standard of the cross, the emulation of his successor assumed the merit of subduing the Arian heresy, and of abolishing the worship of idols in the Roman world. Theodosius was the first of the emperors baptized in the true faith of the Trinity. ​ Although he was born of a Christian family, the maxims, or at least the practice, of the age, encouraged him to delay the ceremony of his initiation; till he was admonished of the danger of delay, by the serious illness which threatened his life, towards the end of the first year of his reign. ​ Before he again took the field against the Goths, he received the sacrament of baptism ^20 from Acholius, the orthodox bishop of Thessalonica:​ ^21 and, as the emperor ascended from the holy font, still glowing with the warm feelings of regeneration,​ he dictated a solemn edict, which proclaimed his own faith, and prescribed the religion of his subjects. ​ "It is our pleasure (such is the Imperial style) that all the nations, which are governed by our clemency and moderation, should steadfastly adhere to the religion which was taught by St. Peter to the Romans; which faithful tradition has preserved; and which is now professed by the pontiff Damasus, and by Peter, bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. ​ According to the discipline of the apostles, and the doctrine of the gospel, let us believe the sole deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; under an equal majesty, and a pious Trinity. ​ We authorize the followers of this doctrine to assume the title of Catholic Christians; and as we judge, that all others are extravagant madmen, we brand them with the infamous name of Heretics; and declare that their conventicles shall no longer usurp the respectable appellation of churches. Besides the condemnation of divine justice, they must expect to suffer the severe penalties, which our authority, guided by heavenly wisdom, shall think proper to inflict upon them." ^22 The faith of a soldier is commonly the fruit of instruction,​ rather than of inquiry; but as the emperor always fixed his eyes on the visible landmarks of orthodoxy, which he had so prudently constituted,​ his religious opinions were never affected by the specious texts, the subtle arguments, and the ambiguous creeds of the Arian doctors. ​ Once indeed he expressed a faint inclination to converse with the eloquent and learned Eunomius, who lived in retirement at a small distance from Constantinople. ​ But the dangerous interview was prevented by the prayers of the empress Flaccilla, who trembled for the salvation of her husband; and the mind of Theodosius was confirmed by a theological argument, adapted to the rudest capacity. ​ He had lately bestowed on his eldest son, Arcadius, the name and honors of Augustus, and the two princes were seated on a stately throne to receive the homage of their subjects. ​ A bishop, Amphilochius of Iconium, approached the throne, and after saluting, with due reverence, the person of his sovereign, he accosted the royal youth with the same familiar tenderness which he might have used towards a plebeian child. ​ Provoked by this insolent behavior, the monarch gave orders, that the rustic priest should be instantly driven from his presence. ​ But while the guards were forcing him to the door, the dexterous polemic had time to execute his design, by exclaiming, with a loud voice, "Such is the treatment, O emperor! ​ which the King of heaven has prepared for those impious men, who affect to worship the Father, but refuse to acknowledge the equal majesty of his divine Son." Theodosius immediately embraced the bishop of Iconium, and never forgot the important lesson, which he had received from this dramatic parable. ^23
 +
 +[Footnote 19: Their oracle, the archbishop of Milan, assigns to his pupil Gratian, a high and respectable place in heaven, (tom. ii. de Obit. Val. Consol p. 1193.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 20: For the baptism of Theodosius, see Sozomen, (l. vii. c. 4,) Socrates, (l. v. c. 6,) and Tillemont, (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 728.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 21: Ascolius, or Acholius, was honored by the friendship, and the praises, of Ambrose; who styles him murus fidei atque sanctitatis,​ (tom. ii. epist. xv. p. 820;) and afterwards celebrates his speed and diligence in running to Constantinople,​ Italy, &c., (epist. xvi. p. 822.) a virtue which does not appertain either to a wall, or a bishop.]
 +
 +[Footnote 22: Codex Theodos. l. xvi. tit. i. leg. 2, with Godefroy'​s Commentary, tom. vi. p. 5 - 9.  Such an edict deserved the warmest praises of Baronius, auream sanctionem, edictum pium et salutare. - Sic itua ad astra.] [Footnote 23: Sozomen, l. vii. c. 6.  Theodoret, l. v. c. 16. Tillemont is displeased (Mem. Eccles. tom. vi. p. 627, 628) with the terms of "​rustic bishop,"​ "​obscure city." Yet I must take leave to think, that both Amphilochius and Iconium were objects of inconsiderable magnitude in the Roman empire.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +Constantinople was the principal seat and fortress of Arianism; and, in a long interval of forty years, ^24 the faith of the princes and prelates, who reigned in the capital of the East, was rejected in the purer schools of Rome and Alexandria. The archiepiscopal throne of Macedonius, which had been polluted with so much Christian blood, was successively filled by Eudoxus and Damophilus. ​ Their diocese enjoyed a free importation of vice and error from every province of the empire; the eager pursuit of religious controversy afforded a new occupation to the busy idleness of the metropolis; and we may credit the assertion of an intelligent observer, who describes, with some pleasantry, the effects of their loquacious zeal. "This city," says he, "is full of mechanics and slaves, who are all of them profound theologians;​ and preach in the shops, and in the streets. ​ If you desire a man to change a piece of silver, he informs you, wherein the Son differs from the Father; if you ask the price of a loaf, you are told by way of reply, that the Son is inferior to the Father; and if you inquire, whether the bath is ready, the answer is, that the Son was made out of nothing."​ ^25 The heretics, of various denominations,​ subsisted in peace under the protection of the Arians of Constantinople;​ who endeavored to secure the attachment of those obscure sectaries, while they abused, with unrelenting severity, the victory which they had obtained over the followers of the council of Nice.  During the partial reigns of Constantius and Valens, the feeble remnant of the Homoousians was deprived of the public and private exercise of their religion; and it has been observed, in pathetic language, that the scattered flock was left without a shepherd to wander on the mountains, or to be devoured by rapacious wolves. ^26 But, as their zeal, instead of being subdued, derived strength and vigor from oppression, they seized the first moments of imperfect freedom, which they had acquired by the death of Valens, to form themselves into a regular congregation,​ under the conduct of an episcopal pastor. ​ Two natives of Cappadocia, Basil, and Gregory Nazianzen, ^27 were distinguished above all their contemporaries,​ ^28 by the rare union of profane eloquence and of orthodox piety. These orators, who might sometimes be compared, by themselves, and by the public, to the most celebrated of the ancient Greeks, were united by the ties of the strictest friendship. ​ They had cultivated, with equal ardor, the same liberal studies in the schools of Athens; they had retired, with equal devotion, to the same solitude in the deserts of Pontus; and every spark of emulation, or envy, appeared to be totally extinguished in the holy and ingenuous breasts of Gregory and Basil. ​ But the exaltation of Basil, from a private life to the archiepiscopal throne of Caesarea, discovered to the world, and perhaps to himself, the pride of his character; and the first favor which he condescended to bestow on his friend, was received, and perhaps was intended, as a cruel insult. ^29 Instead of employing the superior talents of Gregory in some useful and conspicuous station, the haughty prelate selected, among the fifty bishoprics of his extensive province, the wretched village of Sasima, ^30 without water, without verdure, without society, situate at the junction of three highways, and frequented only by the incessant passage of rude and clamorous wagoners. ​  ​Gregory submitted with reluctance to this humiliating exile; he was ordained bishop of Sasima; but he solemnly protests, that he never consummated his spiritual marriage with this disgusting bride. ​ He afterwards consented to undertake the government of his native church of Nazianzus, ^31 of which his father had been bishop above five-and-forty years. ​ But as he was still conscious that he deserved another audience, and another theatre, he accepted, with no unworthy ambition, the honorable invitation, which was addressed to him from the orthodox party of Constantinople. ​ On his arrival in the capital, Gregory was entertained in the house of a pious and charitable kinsman; the most spacious room was consecrated to the uses of religious worship; and the name of Anastasia was chosen to express the resurrection of the Nicene faith. ​ This private conventicle was afterwards converted into a magnificent church; and the credulity of the succeeding age was prepared to believe the miracles and visions, which attested the presence, or at least the protection, of the Mother of God. ^32 The pulpit of the Anastasia was the scene of the labors and triumphs of Gregory Nazianzen; and, in the space of two years, he experienced all the spiritual adventures which constitute the prosperous or adverse fortunes of a missionary. ^33 The Arians, who were provoked by the boldness of his enterprise, represented his doctrine, as if he had preached three distinct and equal Deities; and the devout populace was excited to suppress, by violence and tumult, the irregular assemblies of the Athanasian heretics. ​ From the cathedral of St. Sophia there issued a motley crowd "of common beggars, who had forfeited their claim to pity; of monks, who had the appearance of goats or satyrs; and of women, more terrible than so many Jezebels."​ The doors of the Anastasia were broke open; much mischief was perpetrated,​ or attempted, with sticks, stones, and firebrands; and as a man lost his life in the affray, Gregory, who was summoned the next morning before the magistrate, had the satisfaction of supposing, that he publicly confessed the name of Christ. ​ After he was delivered from the fear and danger of a foreign enemy, his infant church was disgraced and distracted by intestine faction. A stranger who assumed the name of Maximus, ^34 and the cloak of a Cynic philosopher,​ insinuated himself into the confidence of Gregory; deceived and abused his favorable opinion; and forming a secret connection with some bishops of Egypt, attempted, by a clandestine ordination, to supplant his patron in the episcopal seat of Constantinople. ​ These mortifications might sometimes tempt the Cappadocian missionary to regret his obscure solitude. But his fatigues were rewarded by the daily increase of his fame and his congregation;​ and he enjoyed the pleasure of observing, that the greater part of his numerous audience retired from his sermons satisfied with the eloquence of the preacher, ^35 or dissatisfied with the manifold imperfections of their faith and practice. ^36
 +
 +[Footnote 24: Sozomen, l. vii. c. v. Socrates, l. v. c. 7. Marcellin. in Chron. ​ The account of forty years must be dated from the election or intrusion of Eusebius, who wisely exchanged the bishopric of Nicomedia for the throne of Constantinople.] [Footnote 25: See Jortin'​s Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv. p. 71.  The thirty-third Oration of Gregory Nazianzen affords indeed some similar ideas, even some still more ridiculous; but I have not yet found the words of this remarkable passage, which I allege on the faith of a correct and liberal scholar.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: See the thirty-second Oration of Gregory Nazianzen, and the account of his own life, which he has composed in 1800 iambics. ​ Yet every physician is prone to exaggerate the inveterate nature of the disease which he has cured.]
 +
 +[Footnote 27: I confess myself deeply indebted to the two lives of Gregory Nazianzen, composed, with very different views, by Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. ix. p. 305 - 560, 692 - 731) and Le Clerc, (Bibliotheque Universelle,​ tom. xviii. p. 1 - 128.)] [Footnote 28: Unless Gregory Nazianzen mistook thirty years in his own age, he was born, as well as his friend Basil, about the year 329.  The preposterous chronology of Suidas has been graciously received, because it removes the scandal of Gregory'​s father, a saint likewise, begetting children after he became a bishop, (Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. ix. p. 693 - 697.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 29: Gregory'​s Poem on his own Life contains some beautiful lines, (tom. ii. p. 8,) which burst from the heart, and speak the pangs of injured and lost friendship.
 +
 +In the Midsummer Night'​s Dream, Helena addresses the same pathetic complaint to her friend Hermia: -
 +
 +Is all the counsel that we two have shared. The sister'​s vows, &c.
 +
 +Shakspeare had never read the poems of Gregory Nazianzen; he was ignorant of the Greek language; but his mother tongue, the language of Nature, is the same in Cappadocia and in Britain.] [Footnote 30: This unfavorable portrait of Sasimae is drawn by Gregory Nazianzen, (tom. ii. de Vita sua, p. 7, 8.) Its precise situation, forty- nine miles from Archelais, and thirty-two from Tyana, is fixed in the Itinerary of Antoninus, (p. 144, edit. Wesseling.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 31: The name of Nazianzus has been immortalized by Gregory; but his native town, under the Greek or Roman title of Diocaesarea,​ (Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. ix. p. 692,) is mentioned by Pliny, (vi. 3,) Ptolemy, and Hierocles, (Itinerar. Wesseling, p. 709).  It appears to have been situate on the edge of Isauria.]
 +
 +[Footnote 32: See Ducange, Constant. Christiana, l. iv. p. 141, 142.  The Sozomen (l. vii. c. 5) is interpreted to mean the Virgin Mary.] [Footnote 33: Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. ix. p. 432, &c.) diligently collects, enlarges, and explains, the oratorical and poetical hints of Gregory himself.]
 +
 +[Footnote 34: He pronounced an oration (tom. i. Orat. xxiii. p. 409) in his praise; but after their quarrel, the name of Maximus was changed into that of Heron, (see Jerom, tom. i. in Catalog. Script. Eccles. p. 301).  I touch slightly on these obscure and personal squabbles.]
 +
 +[Footnote 35: Under the modest emblem of a dream, Gregory (tom. ii. Carmen ix. p. 78) describes his own success with some human complacency. ​ Yet it should seem, from his familiar conversation with his auditor St. Jerom, (tom. i. Epist. ad Nepotian. p. 14,) that the preacher understood the true value of popular applause.] [Footnote 36: Lachrymae auditorum laudes tuae sint, is the lively and judicious advice of St. Jerom.]
 +
 +The Catholics of Constantinople were animated with joyful confidence by the baptism and edict of Theodosius; and they impatiently waited the effects of his gracious promise. ​ Their hopes were speedily accomplished;​ and the emperor, as soon as he had finished the operations of the campaign, made his public entry into the capital at the head of a victorious army. The next day after his arrival, he summoned Damophilus to his presence, and offered that Arian prelate the hard alternative of subscribing the Nicene creed, or of instantly resigning, to the orthodox believers, the use and possession of the episcopal palace, the cathedral of St. Sophia, and all the churches of Constantinople. ​ The zeal of Damophilus, which in a Catholic saint would have been justly applauded, embraced, without hesitation, a life of poverty and exile, ^37 and his removal was immediately followed by the purification of the Imperial city. The Arians might complain, with some appearance of justice, that an inconsiderable congregation of sectaries should usurp the hundred churches, which they were insufficient to fill; whilst the far greater part of the people was cruelly excluded from every place of religious worship. ​ Theodosius was still inexorable; but as the angels who protected the Catholic cause were only visible to the eyes of faith, he prudently reenforced those heavenly legions with the more effectual aid of temporal and carnal weapons; and the church of St. Sophia was occupied by a large body of the Imperial guards. If the mind of Gregory was susceptible of pride, he must have felt a very lively satisfaction,​ when the emperor conducted him through the streets in solemn triumph; and, with his own hand, respectfully placed him on the archiepiscopal throne of Constantinople. ​ But the saint (who had not subdued the imperfections of human virtue) was deeply affected by the mortifying consideration,​ that his entrance into the fold was that of a wolf, rather than of a shepherd; that the glittering arms which surrounded his person, were necessary for his safety; and that he alone was the object of the imprecations of a great party, whom, as men and citizens, it was impossible for him to despise. ​ He beheld the innumerable multitude of either sex, and of every age, who crowded the streets, the windows, and the roofs of the houses; he heard the tumultuous voice of rage, grief, astonishment,​ and despair; and Gregory fairly confesses, that on the memorable day of his installation,​ the capital of the East wore the appearance of a city taken by storm, and in the hands of a Barbarian conqueror. ^38 About six weeks afterwards, Theodosius declared his resolution of expelling from all the churches of his dominions the bishops and their clergy who should obstinately refuse to believe, or at least to profess, the doctrine of the council of Nice.  His lieutenant, Sapor, was armed with the ample powers of a general law, a special commission, and a military force; ^39 and this ecclesiastical revolution was conducted with so much discretion and vigor, that the religion of the emperor was established,​ without tumult or bloodshed, in all the provinces of the East. The writings of the Arians, if they had been permitted to exist, ^40 would perhaps contain the lamentable story of the persecution,​ which afflicted the church under the reign of the impious Theodosius; and the sufferings of their holy confessors might claim the pity of the disinterested reader. Yet there is reason to imagine, that the violence of zeal and revenge was, in some measure, eluded by the want of resistance; and that, in their adversity, the Arians displayed much less firmness than had been exerted by the orthodox party under the reigns of Constantius and Valens. ​ The moral character and conduct of the hostile sects appear to have been governed by the same common principles of nature and religion: but a very material circumstance may be discovered, which tended to distinguish the degrees of their theological faith. ​ Both parties, in the schools, as well as in the temples, acknowledged and worshipped the divine majesty of Christ; and, as we are always prone to impute our own sentiments and passions to the Deity, it would be deemed more prudent and respectful to exaggerate, than to circumscribe,​ the adorable perfections of the Son of God.  The disciple of Athanasius exulted in the proud confidence, that he had entitled himself to the divine favor; while the follower of Arius must have been tormented by the secret apprehension,​ that he was guilty, perhaps, of an unpardonable offence, by the scanty praise, and parsimonious honors, which he bestowed on the Judge of the World. ​ The opinions of Arianism might satisfy a cold and speculative mind: but the doctrine of the Nicene creed, most powerfully recommended by the merits of faith and devotion, was much better adapted to become popular and successful in a believing age.
 +
 +[Footnote 37: Socrates (l. v. c. 7) and Sozomen (l. vii. c. 5) relate the evangelical words and actions of Damophilus without a word of approbation. He considered, says Socrates, that it is difficult to resist the powerful, but it was easy, and would have been profitable, to submit.] [Footnote 38: See Gregory Nazianzen, tom. ii. de Vita sua, p. 21, 22.  For the sake of posterity, the bishop of Constantinople records a stupendous prodigy. ​ In the month of November, it was a cloudy morning, but the sun broke forth when the procession entered the church.]
 +
 +[Footnote 39: Of the three ecclesiastical historians, Theodoret alone (l. v. c. 2) has mentioned this important commission of Sapor, which Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 728) judiciously removes from the reign of Gratian to that of Theodosius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 40: I do not reckon Philostorgius,​ though he mentions (l. ix. c. 19) the explosion of Damophilus. ​ The Eunomian historian has been carefully strained through an orthodox sieve.] The hope, that truth and wisdom would be found in the assemblies of the orthodox clergy, induced the emperor to convene, at Constantinople,​ a synod of one hundred and fifty bishops, who proceeded, without much difficulty or delay, to complete the theological system which had been established in the council of Nice.  The vehement disputes of the fourth century had been chiefly employed on the nature of the Son of God; and the various opinions which were embraced, concerning the Second, were extended and transferred,​ by a natural analogy, to the Third person of the Trinity. ^41 Yet it was found, or it was thought, necessary, by the victorious adversaries of Arianism, to explain the ambiguous language of some respectable doctors; to confirm the faith of the Catholics; and to condemn an unpopular and inconsistent sect of Macedonians;​ who freely admitted that the Son was consubstantial to the Father, while they were fearful of seeming to acknowledge the existence of Three Gods.  A final and unanimous sentence was pronounced to ratify the equal Deity of the Holy Ghost: the mysterious doctrine has been received by all the nations, and all the churches of the Christian world; and their grateful reverence has assigned to the bishops of Theodosius the second rank among the general councils. ^42 Their knowledge of religious truth may have been preserved by tradition, or it may have been communicated by inspiration;​ but the sober evidence of history will not allow much weight to the personal authority of the Fathers of Constantinople. ​ In an age when the ecclesiastics had scandalously degenerated from the model of apostolic purity, the most worthless and corrupt were always the most eager to frequent, and disturb, the episcopal assemblies. ​ The conflict and fermentation of so many opposite interests and tempers inflamed the passions of the bishops: and their ruling passions were, the love of gold, and the love of dispute. Many of the same prelates who now applauded the orthodox piety of Theodosius, had repeatedly changed, with prudent flexibility,​ their creeds and opinions; and in the various revolutions of the church and state, the religion of their sovereign was the rule of their obsequious faith. ​ When the emperor suspended his prevailing influence, the turbulent synod was blindly impelled by the absurd or selfish motives of pride, hatred, or resentment. ​ The death of Meletius, which happened at the council of Constantinople,​ presented the most favorable opportunity of terminating the schism of Antioch, by suffering his aged rival, Paulinus, peaceably to end his days in the episcopal chair. ​ The faith and virtues of Paulinus were unblemished. ​ But his cause was supported by the Western churches; and the bishops of the synod resolved to perpetuate the mischiefs of discord, by the hasty ordination of a perjured candidate, ^43 rather than to betray the imagined dignity of the East, which had been illustrated by the birth and death of the Son of God.  Such unjust and disorderly proceedings forced the gravest members of the assembly to dissent and to secede; and the clamorous majority which remained masters of the field of battle, could be compared only to wasps or magpies, to a flight of cranes, or to a flock of geese. ^44
 +
 +[Footnote 41: Le Clerc has given a curious extract (Bibliotheque Universelle,​ tom. xviii. p. 91 - 105) of the theological sermons which Gregory Nazianzen pronounced at Constantinople against the Arians, Eunomians, Macedonians,​ &​c. ​ He tells the Macedonians,​ who deified the Father and the Son without the Holy Ghost, that they might as well be styled Tritheists as Ditheists. ​ Gregory himself was almost a Tritheist; and his monarchy of heaven resembles a well-regulated aristocracy.] [Footnote 42: The first general council of Constantinople now triumphs in the Vatican; but the popes had long hesitated, and their hesitation perplexes, and almost staggers, the humble Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. ix. p. 499, 500.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 43: Before the death of Meletius, six or eight of his most popular ecclesiastics,​ among whom was Flavian, had abjured, for the sake of peace, the bishopric of Antioch, (Sozomen, l. vii. c. 3, 11.  Socrates, l. v. c. v.) Tillemont thinks it his duty to disbelieve the story; but he owns that there are many circumstances in the life of Flavian which seem inconsistent with the praises of Chrysostom, and the character of a saint, (Mem. Eccles. tom. x. p. 541.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 44: Consult Gregory Nazianzen, de Vita sua, tom. ii. p. 25 - 28. His general and particular opinion of the clergy and their assemblies may be seen in verse and prose, (tom. i. Orat. i. p. 33.  Epist. lv. p. 814, tom. ii. Carmen x. p. 81.) Such passages are faintly marked by Tillemont, and fairly produced by Le Clerc.]
 +
 +A suspicion may possibly arise, that so unfavorable a picture of ecclesiastical synods has been drawn by the partial hand of some obstinate heretic, or some malicious infidel. ​ But the name of the sincere historian who has conveyed this instructive lesson to the knowledge of posterity, must silence the impotent murmurs of superstition and bigotry. ​ He was one of the most pious and eloquent bishops of the age; a saint, and a doctor of the church; the scourge of Arianism, and the pillar of the orthodox faith; a distinguished member of the council of Constantinople,​ in which, after the death of Meletius, he exercised the functions of president; in a word - Gregory Nazianzen himself. ​ The harsh and ungenerous treatment which he experienced,​ ^45 instead of derogating from the truth of his evidence, affords an additional proof of the spirit which actuated the deliberations of the synod. ​ Their unanimous suffrage had confirmed the pretensions which the bishop of Constantinople derived from the choice of the people, and the approbation of the emperor. ​ But Gregory soon became the victim of malice and envy.  The bishops of the East, his strenuous adherents, provoked by his moderation in the affairs of Antioch, abandoned him, without support, to the adverse faction of the Egyptians; who disputed the validity of his election, and rigorously asserted the obsolete canon, that prohibited the licentious practice of episcopal translations. ​ The pride, or the humility, of Gregory prompted him to decline a contest which might have been imputed to ambition and avarice; and he publicly offered, not without some mixture of indignation,​ to renounce the government of a church which had been restored, and almost created, by his labors. ​ His resignation was accepted by the synod, and by the emperor, with more readiness than he seems to have expected. ​ At the time when he might have hoped to enjoy the fruits of his victory, his episcopal throne was filled by the senator Nectarius; and the new archbishop, accidentally recommended by his easy temper and venerable aspect, was obliged to delay the ceremony of his consecration,​ till he had previously despatched the rites of his baptism. ^46 After this remarkable experience of the ingratitude of princes and prelates, Gregory retired once more to his obscure solitude of Cappadocia; where he employed the remainder of his life, about eight years, in the exercises of poetry and devotion. The title of Saint has been added to his name: but the tenderness of his heart, ^47 and the elegance of his genius, reflect a more pleasing lustre on the memory of Gregory Nazianzen.
 +
 +[Footnote 45: See Gregory, tom. ii. de Vita sua, p. 28 - 31.  The fourteenth, twenty-seventh,​ and thirty-second Orations were pronounced in the several stages of this business. ​ The peroration of the last, (tom. i. p. 528,) in which he takes a solemn leave of men and angels, the city and the emperor, the East and the West, &c., is pathetic, and almost sublime.] [Footnote 46: The whimsical ordination of Nectarius is attested by Sozomen, (l. vii. c. 8;) but Tillemont observes, (Mem. Eccles. tom. ix. p. 719,) Apres tout, ce narre de Sozomene est si honteux, pour tous ceux qu'il y mele, et surtout pour Theodose, qu'il vaut mieux travailler a le detruire, qu'a le soutenir; an admirable canon of criticism!]
 +
 +[Footnote 47: I can only be understood to mean, that such was his natural temper when it was not hardened, or inflamed, by religious zeal.  From his retirement, he exhorts Nectarius to prosecute the heretics of Constantinople.]
 +
 +It was not enough that Theodosius had suppressed the insolent reign of Arianism, or that he had abundantly revenged the injuries which the Catholics sustained from the zeal of Constantius and Valens. ​ The orthodox emperor considered every heretic as a rebel against the supreme powers of heaven and of earth; and each of those powers might exercise their peculiar jurisdiction over the soul and body of the guilty. ​ The decrees of the council of Constantinople had ascertained the true standard of the faith; and the ecclesiastics,​ who governed the conscience of Theodosius, suggested the most effectual methods of persecution. ​ In the space of fifteen years, he promulgated at least fifteen severe edicts against the heretics; ^48 more especially against those who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity; and to deprive them of every hope of escape, he sternly enacted, that if any laws or rescripts should be alleged in their favor, the judges should consider them as the illegal productions either of fraud or forgery. ​ The penal statutes were directed against the ministers, the assemblies, and the persons of the heretics; and the passions of the legislator were expressed in the language of declamation and invective. ​ I.  The heretical teachers, who usurped the sacred titles of Bishops, or Presbyters, were not only excluded from the privileges and emoluments so liberally granted to the orthodox clergy, but they were exposed to the heavy penalties of exile and confiscation,​ if they presumed to preach the doctrine, or to practise the rites, of their accursed sects. ​ A fine of ten pounds of gold (above four hundred pounds sterling) was imposed on every person who should dare to confer, or receive, or promote, an heretical ordination: and it was reasonably expected, that if the race of pastors could be extinguished,​ their helpless flocks would be compelled, by ignorance and hunger, to return within the pale of the Catholic church. ​ II.  The rigorous prohibition of conventicles was carefully extended to every possible circumstance,​ in which the heretics could assemble with the intention of worshipping God and Christ according to the dictates of their conscience. Their religious meetings, whether public or secret, by day or by night, in cities or in the country, were equally proscribed by the edicts of Theodosius; and the building, or ground, which had been used for that illegal purpose, was forfeited to the Imperial domain. ​ III.  It was supposed, that the error of the heretics could proceed only from the obstinate temper of their minds; and that such a temper was a fit object of censure and punishment. ​ The anathemas of the church were fortified by a sort of civil excommunication;​ which separated them from their fellow- citizens, by a peculiar brand of infamy; and this declaration of the supreme magistrate tended to justify, or at least to excuse, the insults of a fanatic populace. The sectaries were gradually disqualified from the possession of honorable or lucrative employments;​ and Theodosius was satisfied with his own justice, when he decreed, that, as the Eunomians distinguished the nature of the Son from that of the Father, they should be incapable of making their wills or of receiving any advantage from testamentary donations. ​ The guilt of the Manichaean heresy was esteemed of such magnitude, that it could be expiated only by the death of the offender; and the same capital punishment was inflicted on the Audians, or Quartodecimans,​ ^49 who should dare to perpetrate the atrocious crime of celebrating on an improper day the festival of Easter. Every Roman might exercise the right of public accusation; but the office of Inquisitors of the Faith, a name so deservedly abhorred, was first instituted under the reign of Theodosius. Yet we are assured, that the execution of his penal edicts was seldom enforced; and that the pious emperor appeared less desirous to punish, than to reclaim, or terrify, his refractory subjects. ^50 [Footnote 48: See the Theodosian Code, l. xvi. tit. v. leg. 6 - 23, with Godefroy'​s commentary on each law, and his general summary, or Paratitlon, tom vi. p. 104 - 110.]
 +
 +[Footnote 49: They always kept their Easter, like the Jewish Passover, on the fourteenth day of the first moon after the vernal equinox; and thus pertinaciously opposed the Roman Church and Nicene synod, which had fixed Easter to a Sunday. ​ Bingham'​s Antiquities,​ l. xx. c. 5, vol. ii. p. 309, fol. edit.]
 +
 +[Footnote 50: Sozomen, l. vii. c. 12.]
 +
 +The theory of persecution was established by Theodosius, whose justice and piety have been applauded by the saints: but the practice of it, in the fullest extent, was reserved for his rival and colleague, Maximus, the first, among the Christian princes, who shed the blood of his Christian subjects on account of their religious opinions. ​ The cause of the Priscillianists,​ ^51 a recent sect of heretics, who disturbed the provinces of Spain, was transferred,​ by appeal, from the synod of Bordeaux to the Imperial consistory of Treves; and by the sentence of the Praetorian praefect, seven persons were tortured, condemned, and executed. ​ The first of these was Priscillian ^52 himself, bishop of Avila, in Spain; who adorned the advantages of birth and fortune, by the accomplishments of eloquence and learning. ​ Two presbyters, and two deacons, accompanied their beloved master in his death, which they esteemed as a glorious martyrdom; and the number of religious victims was completed by the execution of Latronian, a poet, who rivalled the fame of the ancients; and of Euchrocia, a noble matron of Bordeaux, the widow of the orator Delphidius. ^54 Two bishops who had embraced the sentiments of Priscillian,​ were condemned to a distant and dreary exile; ^55 and some indulgence was shown to the meaner criminals, who assumed the merit of an early repentance. ​ If any credit could be allowed to confessions extorted by fear or pain, and to vague reports, the offspring of malice and credulity, the heresy of the Priscillianists would be found to include the various abominations of magic, of impiety, and of lewdness. ^56 Priscillian,​ who wandered about the world in the company of his spiritual sisters, was accused of praying stark naked in the midst of the congregation;​ and it was confidently asserted, that the effects of his criminal intercourse with the daughter of Euchrocia had been suppressed, by means still more odious and criminal. ​ But an accurate, or rather a candid, inquiry will discover, that if the Priscillianists violated the laws of nature, it was not by the licentiousness,​ but by the austerity, of their lives. ​ They absolutely condemned the use of the marriage-bed;​ and the peace of families was often disturbed by indiscreet separations. ​ They enjoyed, or recommended,​ a total abstinence from all anima food; and their continual prayers, fasts, and vigils, inculcated a rule of strict and perfect devotion. ​ The speculative tenets of the sect, concerning the person of Christ, and the nature of the human soul, were derived from the Gnostic and Manichaean system; and this vain philosophy, which had been transported from Egypt to Spain, was ill adapted to the grosser spirits of the West.  The obscure disciples of Priscillian suffered languished, and gradually disappeared:​ his tenets were rejected by the clergy and people, but his death was the subject of a long and vehement controversy;​ while some arraigned, and others applauded, the justice of his sentence. ​ It is with pleasure that we can observe the humane inconsistency of the most illustrious saints and bishops, Ambrose of Milan, ^57 and Martin of Tours, ^58 who, on this occasion, asserted the cause of toleration. ​ They pitied the unhappy men, who had been executed at Treves; they refused to hold communion with their episcopal murderers; and if Martin deviated from that generous resolution, his motives were laudable, and his repentance was exemplary. ​ The bishops of Tours and Milan pronounced, without hesitation, the eternal damnation of heretics; but they were surprised, and shocked, by the bloody image of their temporal death, and the honest feelings of nature resisted the artificial prejudices of theology. ​ The humanity of Ambrose and Martin was confirmed by the scandalous irregularity of the proceedings against Priscillian and his adherents. ​ The civil and ecclesiastical ministers had transgressed the limits of their respective provinces. ​ The secular judge had presumed to receive an appeal, and to pronounce a definitive sentence, in a matter of faith, and episcopal jurisdiction. ​ The bishops had disgraced themselves, by exercising the functions of accusers in a criminal prosecution. The cruelty of Ithacius, ^59 who beheld the tortures, and solicited the death, of the heretics, provoked the just indignation of mankind; and the vices of that profligate bishop were admitted as a proof, that his zeal was instigated by the sordid motives of interest. ​ Since the death of Priscillian,​ the rude attempts of persecution have been refined and methodized in the holy office, which assigns their distinct parts to the ecclesiastical and secular powers. The devoted victim is regularly delivered by the priest to the magistrate, and by the magistrate to the executioner;​ and the inexorable sentence of the church, which declares the spiritual guilt of the offender, is expressed in the mild language of pity and intercession.
 +
 +[Footnote 51: See the Sacred History of Sulpicius Severus, (l. ii. p. 437 - 452, edit. Ludg. Bat. 1647,) a correct and original writer. ​ Dr. Lardner (Credibility,​ &c., part ii. vol. ix. p. 256 - 350) has labored this article with pure learning, good sense, and moderation. ​ Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. viii. p. 491 - 527) has raked together all the dirt of the fathers; a useful scavenger!]
 +
 +[Footnote 52: Severus Sulpicius mentions the arch-heretic with esteem and pity Faelix profecto, si non pravo studio corrupisset optimum ingenium prorsus multa in eo animi et corporis bona cerneres. ​ (Hist. Sacra, l ii. p. 439.) Even Jerom (tom. i. in Script. Eccles. p. 302) speaks with temper of Priscillian and Latronian.]
 +
 +[Footnote 53: The bishopric (in Old Castile) is now worth 20,000 ducats a year, (Busching'​s Geography, vol. ii. p. 308,) and is therefore much less likely to produce the author of a new heresy.]
 +
 +[Footnote 54: Exprobrabatur mulieri viduae nimia religio, et diligentius culta divinitas, (Pacat. in Panegyr. Vet. xii. 29.) Such was the idea of a humane, though ignorant, polytheist.] [Footnote 55: One of them was sent in Sillinam insulam quae ultra Britannianest. ​ What must have been the ancient condition of the rocks of Scilly? ​ (Camden'​s Britannia, vol. ii. p. 1519.)] [Footnote 56: The scandalous calumnies of Augustin, Pope Leo, &c., which Tillemont swallows like a child, and Lardner refutes like a man, may suggest some candid suspicions in favor of the older Gnostics.]
 +
 +[Footnote 57: Ambros. tom. ii. Epist. xxiv. p. 891.]
 +
 +[Footnote 58: In the Sacred History, and the Life of St. Martin, Sulpicius Severus uses some caution; but he declares himself more freely in the Dialogues, (iii. 15.) Martin was reproved, however, by his own conscience, and by an angel; nor could he afterwards perform miracles with so much ease.] [Footnote 59: The Catholic Presbyter (Sulp. Sever. l. ii. p. 448) and the Pagan Orator (Pacat. in Panegyr. Vet. xii. 29) reprobate, with equal indignation,​ the character and conduct of Ithacius.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius. ======
 +
 +===== Part III. =====
 +
 +Among the ecclesiastics,​ who illustrated the reign of Theodosius, Gregory Nazianzen was distinguished by the talents of an eloquent preacher; the reputation of miraculous gifts added weight and dignity to the monastic virtues of Martin of Tours; ^60 but the palm of episcopal vigor and ability was justly claimed by the intrepid Ambrose. ^61 He was descended from a noble family of Romans; his father had exercised the important office of Praetorian praefect of Gaul; and the son, after passing through the studies of a liberal education, attained, in the regular gradation of civil honors, the station of consular of Liguria, a province which included the Imperial residence of Milan. ​ At the age of thirty-four,​ and before he had received the sacrament of baptism, Ambrose, to his own surprise, and to that of the world, was suddenly transformed from a governor to an archbishop. ​ Without the least mixture, as it is said, of art or intrigue, the whole body of the people unanimously saluted him with the episcopal title; the concord and perseverance of their acclamations were ascribed to a praeternatural impulse; and the reluctant magistrate was compelled to undertake a spiritual office, for which he was not prepared by the habits and occupations of his former life.  But the active force of his genius soon qualified him to exercise, with zeal and prudence, the duties of his ecclesiastical jurisdiction;​ and while he cheerfully renounced the vain and splendid trappings of temporal greatness, he condescended,​ for the good of the church, to direct the conscience of the emperors, and to control the administration of the empire. ​ Gratian loved and revered him as a father; and the elaborate treatise on the faith of the Trinity was designed for the instruction of the young prince. ​ After his tragic death, at a time when the empress Justina trembled for her own safety, and for that of her son Valentinian,​ the archbishop of Milan was despatched, on two different embassies, to the court of Treves. He exercised, with equal firmness and dexterity, the powers of his spiritual and political characters; and perhaps contributed,​ by his authority and eloquence, to check the ambition of Maximus, and to protect the peace of Italy. ^62 Ambrose had devoted his life, and his abilities, to the service of the church. ​ Wealth was the object of his contempt; he had renounced his private patrimony; and he sold, without hesitation, the consecrated plate, for the redemption of captives. ​ The clergy and people of Milan were attached to their archbishop; and he deserved the esteem, without soliciting the favor, or apprehending the displeasure,​ of his feeble sovereigns.
 +
 +[Footnote 60: The Life of St. Martin, and the Dialogues concerning his miracles contain facts adapted to the grossest barbarism, in a style not unworthy of the Augustan age.  So natural is the alliance between good taste and good sense, that I am always astonished by this contrast.] [Footnote 61: The short and superficial Life of St. Ambrose, by his deacon Paulinus, (Appendix ad edit. Benedict. p. i. - xv.,) has the merit of original evidence. ​ Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. x. p. 78 - 306) and the Benedictine editors (p. xxxi. - lxiii.) have labored with their usual diligence.] [Footnote 62: Ambrose himself (tom. ii. Epist. xxiv. p. 888 - 891) gives the emperor a very spirited account of his own embassy.]
 +
 +The government of Italy, and of the young emperor, naturally devolved to his mother Justina, a woman of beauty and spirit, but who, in the midst of an orthodox people, had the misfortune of professing the Arian heresy, which she endeavored to instil into the mind of her son.  Justina was persuaded, that a Roman emperor might claim, in his own dominions, the public exercise of his religion; and she proposed to the archbishop, as a moderate and reasonable concession, that he should resign the use of a single church, either in the city or the suburbs of Milan. ​ But the conduct of Ambrose was governed by very different principles. ^63 The palaces of the earth might indeed belong to Caesar; but the churches were the houses of God; and, within the limits of his diocese, he himself, as the lawful successor of the apostles, was the only minister of God.  The privileges of Christianity,​ temporal as well as spiritual, were confined to the true believers; and the mind of Ambrose was satisfied, that his own theological opinions were the standard of truth and orthodoxy. The archbishop, who refused to hold any conference, or negotiation,​ with the instruments of Satan, declared, with modest firmness, his resolution to die a martyr, rather than to yield to the impious sacrilege; and Justina, who resented the refusal as an act of insolence and rebellion, hastily determined to exert the Imperial prerogative of her son.  As she desired to perform her public devotions on the approaching festival of Easter, Ambrose was ordered to appear before the council. ​ He obeyed the summons with the respect of a faithful subject, but he was followed, without his consent, by an innumerable people they pressed, with impetuous zeal, against the gates of the palace; and the affrighted ministers of Valentinian,​ instead of pronouncing a sentence of exile on the archbishop of Milan, humbly requested that he would interpose his authority, to protect the person of the emperor, and to restore the tranquility of the capital. ​ But the promises which Ambrose received and communicated were soon violated by a perfidious court; and, during six of the most solemn days, which Christian piety had set apart for the exercise of religion, the city was agitated by the irregular convulsions of tumult and fanaticism. ​ The officers of the household were directed to prepare, first, the Portian, and afterwards, the new, Basilica, for the immediate reception of the emperor and his mother. The splendid canopy and hangings of the royal seat were arranged in the customary manner; but it was found necessary to defend them. by a strong guard, from the insults of the populace. ​ The Arian ecclesiastics,​ who ventured to show themselves in the streets, were exposed to the most imminent danger of their lives; and Ambrose enjoyed the merit and reputation of rescuing his personal enemies from the hands of the enraged multitude.
 +
 +[Footnote 63: His own representation of his principles and conduct (tom. ii. Epist. xx xxi. xxii. p. 852 - 880) is one of the curious monuments of ecclesiastical antiquity. ​ It contains two letters to his sister Marcellina, with a petition to Valentinian and the sermon de Basilicis non madendis.] But while he labored to restrain the effects of their zeal, the pathetic vehemence of his sermons continually inflamed the angry and seditious temper of the people of Milan. ​ The characters of Eve, of the wife of Job, of Jezebel, of Herodias, were indecently applied to the mother of the emperor; and her desire to obtain a church for the Arians was compared to the most cruel persecutions which Christianity had endured under the reign of Paganism. The measures of the court served only to expose the magnitude of the evil.  A fine of two hundred pounds of gold was imposed on the corporate body of merchants and manufacturers:​ an order was signified, in the name of the emperor, to all the officers, and inferior servants, of the courts of justice, that, during the continuance of the public disorders, they should strictly confine themselves to their houses; and the ministers of Valentinian imprudently confessed, that the most respectable part of the citizens of Milan was attached to the cause of their archbishop. ​ He was again solicited to restore peace to his country, by timely compliance with the will of his sovereign. The reply of Ambrose was couched in the most humble and respectful terms, which might, however, be interpreted as a serious declaration of civil war.  "His life and fortune were in the hands of the emperor; but he would never betray the church of Christ, or degrade the dignity of the episcopal character. ​ In such a cause he was prepared to suffer whatever the malice of the daemon could inflict; and he only wished to die in the presence of his faithful flock, and at the foot of the altar; he had not contributed to excite, but it was in the power of God alone to appease, the rage of the people: he deprecated the scenes of blood and confusion which were likely to ensue; and it was his fervent prayer, that he might not survive to behold the ruin of a flourishing city, and perhaps the desolation of all Italy."​ ^64 The obstinate bigotry of Justina would have endangered the empire of her son, if, in this contest with the church and people of Milan, she could have depended on the active obedience of the troops of the palace. ​ A large body of Goths had marched to occupy the Basilica, which was the object of the dispute: and it might be expected from the Arian principles, and barbarous manners, of these foreign mercenaries,​ that they would not entertain any scruples in the execution of the most sanguinary orders. ​ They were encountered,​ on the sacred threshold, by the archbishop, who, thundering against them a sentence of excommunication,​ asked them, in the tone of a father and a master, whether it was to invade the house of God, that they had implored the hospitable protection of the republic. ​ The suspense of the Barbarians allowed some hours for a more effectual negotiation;​ and the empress was persuaded, by the advice of her wisest counsellors,​ to leave the Catholics in possession of all the churches of Milan; and to dissemble, till a more convenient season, her intentions of revenge. ​ The mother of Valentinian could never forgive the triumph of Ambrose; and the royal youth uttered a passionate exclamation,​ that his own servants were ready to betray him into the hands of an insolent priest.
 +
 +[Footnote 64: Retz had a similar message from the queen, to request that he would appease the tumult of Paris. ​ It was no longer in his power, &​c. ​ A quoi j'​ajoutai tout ce que vous pouvez vous imaginer de respect de douleur, de regret, et de soumission, &​c. ​ (Memoires, tom. i. p. 140.) Certainly I do not compare either the causes or the men yet the coadjutor himself had some idea (p. 84) of imitating St. Ambrose]
 +
 +The laws of the empire, some of which were inscribed with the name of Valentinian,​ still condemned the Arian heresy, and seemed to excuse the resistance of the Catholics. ​ By the influence of Justina, an edict of toleration was promulgated in all the provinces which were subject to the court of Milan; the free exercise of their religion was granted to those who professed the faith of Rimini; and the emperor declared, that all persons who should infringe this sacred and salutary constitution,​ should be capitally punished, as the enemies of the public peace. ^65 The character and language of the archbishop of Milan may justify the suspicion, that his conduct soon afforded a reasonable ground, or at least a specious pretence, to the Arian ministers; who watched the opportunity of surprising him in some act of disobedience to a law which he strangely represents as a law of blood and tyranny. ​ A sentence of easy and honorable banishment was pronounced, which enjoined Ambrose to depart from Milan without delay; whilst it permitted him to choose the place of his exile, and the number of his companions. ​ But the authority of the saints, who have preached and practised the maxims of passive loyalty, appeared to Ambrose of less moment than the extreme and pressing danger of the church. He boldly refused to obey; and his refusal was supported by the unanimous consent of his faithful people. ^66 They guarded by turns the person of their archbishop; the gates of the cathedral and the episcopal palace were strongly secured; and the Imperial troops, who had formed the blockade, were unwilling to risk the attack, of that impregnable fortress. The numerous poor, who had been relieved by the liberality of Ambrose, embraced the fair occasion of signalizing their zeal and gratitude; and as the patience of the multitude might have been exhausted by the length and uniformity of nocturnal vigils, he prudently introduced into the church of Milan the useful institution of a loud and regular psalmody. ​ While he maintained this arduous contest, he was instructed, by a dream, to open the earth in a place where the remains of two martyrs, Gervasius and Protasius, ^67 had been deposited above three hundred years. ​ Immediately under the pavement of the church two perfect skeletons were found, ^68 with the heads separated from their bodies, and a plentiful effusion of blood. ​ The holy relics were presented, in solemn pomp, to the veneration of the people; and every circumstance of this fortunate discovery was admirably adapted to promote the designs of Ambrose. ​ The bones of the martyrs, their blood, their garments, were supposed to contain a healing power; and the praeternatural influence was communicated to the most distant objects, without losing any part of its original virtue. ​ The extraordinary cure of a blind man, ^69 and the reluctant confessions of several daemoniacs, appeared to justify the faith and sanctity of Ambrose; and the truth of those miracles is attested by Ambrose himself, by his secretary Paulinus, and by his proselyte, the celebrated Augustin, who, at that time, professed the art of rhetoric in Milan. ​ The reason of the present age may possibly approve the incredulity of Justina and her Arian court; who derided the theatrical representations which were exhibited by the contrivance,​ and at the expense, of the archbishop. ^70 Their effect, however, on the minds of the people, was rapid and irresistible;​ and the feeble sovereign of Italy found himself unable to contend with the favorite of Heaven. ​ The powers likewise of the earth interposed in the defence of Ambrose: the disinterested advice of Theodosius was the genuine result of piety and friendship; and the mask of religious zeal concealed the hostile and ambitious designs of the tyrant of Gaul. ^71
 +
 +[Footnote 65: Sozomen alone (l. vii. c. 13) throws this luminous fact into a dark and perplexed narrative.]
 +
 +[Footnote 66: Excubabat pia plebs in ecclesia, mori parata cum episcopo suo .... Nos, adhuc frigidi, excitabamur tamen civitate attonita atque curbata. Augustin. Confession. l. ix. c. 7] [Footnote 67: Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. ii. p. 78, 498.  Many churches in Italy, Gaul, &c., were dedicated to these unknown martyrs, of whom St. Gervaise seems to have been more fortunate than his companion.] [Footnote 68: Invenimus mirae magnitudinis viros duos, ut prisca aetas ferebat, tom. ii. Epist. xxii. p. 875.  The size of these skeletons was fortunately,​ or skillfully, suited to the popular prejudice of the gradual decrease of the human stature, which has prevailed in every age since the time of Homer.
 +
 +Grandiaque effossis mirabitur ossa sepulchris.]
 +
 +[Footnote 69: Ambros. tom. ii. Epist. xxii. p. 875.  Augustin. Confes, l. ix. c. 7, de Civitat. Dei, l. xxii. c. 8.  Paulin. in Vita St. Ambros. c. 14, in Append. Benedict. p. 4.  The blind man's name was Severus; he touched the holy garment, recovered his sight, and devoted the rest of his life (at least twenty-five years) to the service of the church. ​ I should recommend this miracle to our divines, if it did not prove the worship of relics, as well as the Nicene creed.]
 +
 +[Footnote 70: Paulin, in Tit. St. Ambros. c. 5, in Append. Benedict. p. 5.] [Footnote 71: Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. x. p. 190, 750.  He partially allow the mediation of Theodosius, and capriciously rejects that of Maximus, though it is attested by Prosper, Sozomen, and Theodoret.]
 +
 +The reign of Maximus might have ended in peace and prosperity, could he have contented himself with the possession of three ample countries, which now constitute the three most flourishing kingdoms of modern Europe. But the aspiring usurper, whose sordid ambition was not dignified by the love of glory and of arms, considered his actual forces as the instruments only of his future greatness, and his success was the immediate cause of his destruction. The wealth which he extorted ^72 from the oppressed provinces of Gaul, Spain, and Britain, was employed in levying and maintaining a formidable army of Barbarians, collected, for the most part, from the fiercest nations of Germany. ​ The conquest of Italy was the object of his hopes and preparations:​ and he secretly meditated the ruin of an innocent youth, whose government was abhorred and despised by his Catholic subjects. ​ But as Maximus wished to occupy, without resistance, the passes of the Alps, he received, with perfidious smiles, Domninus of Syria, the ambassador of Valentinian,​ and pressed him to accept the aid of a considerable body of troops, for the service of a Pannonian war.  The penetration of Ambrose had discovered the snares of an enemy under the professions of friendship; ^73 but the Syrian Domninus was corrupted, or deceived, by the liberal favor of the court of Treves; and the council of Milan obstinately rejected the suspicion of danger, with a blind confidence, which was the effect, not of courage, but of fear. The march of the auxiliaries was guided by the ambassador; and they were admitted, without distrust, into the fortresses of the Alps. But the crafty tyrant followed, with hasty and silent footsteps, in the rear; and, as he diligently intercepted all intelligence of his motions, the gleam of armor, and the dust excited by the troops of cavalry, first announced the hostile approach of a stranger to the gates of Milan. ​ In this extremity, Justina and her son might accuse their own imprudence, and the perfidious arts of Maximus; but they wanted time, and force, and resolution, to stand against the Gauls and Germans, either in the field, or within the walls of a large and disaffected city.  Flight was their only hope, Aquileia their only refuge; and as Maximus now displayed his genuine character, the brother of Gratian might expect the same fate from the hands of the same assassin. Maximus entered Milan in triumph; and if the wise archbishop refused a dangerous and criminal connection with the usurper, he might indirectly contribute to the success of his arms, by inculcating,​ from the pulpit, the duty of resignation,​ rather than that of resistance. ^74 The unfortunate Justina reached Aquileia in safety; but she distrusted the strength of the fortifications:​ she dreaded the event of a siege; and she resolved to implore the protection of the great Theodosius, whose power and virtue were celebrated in all the countries of the West.  A vessel was secretly provided to transport the Imperial family; they embarked with precipitation in one of the obscure harbors of Venetia, or Istria; traversed the whole extent of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas; turned the extreme promontory of Peloponnesus;​ and, after a long, but successful navigation, reposed themselves in the port of Thessalonica. ​ All the subjects of Valentinian deserted the cause of a prince, who, by his abdication, had absolved them from the duty of allegiance; and if the little city of Aemona, on the verge of Italy, had not presumed to stop the career of his inglorious victory, Maximus would have obtained, without a struggle, the sole possession of the Western empire.
 +
 +[Footnote 72: The modest censure of Sulpicius (Dialog. iii. 15) inflicts a much deeper wound than the declamation of Pacatus, (xii. 25, 26.)] [Footnote 73: Esto tutior adversus hominem, pacis involurco tegentem, was the wise caution of Ambrose (tom. ii. p. 891) after his return from his second embassy.]
 +
 +[Footnote 74: Baronius (A.D. 387, No. 63) applies to this season of public distress some of the penitential sermons of the archbishop.] Instead of inviting his royal guests to take the palace of Constantinople,​ Theodosius had some unknown reasons to fix their residence at Thessalonica;​ but these reasons did not proceed from contempt or indifference,​ as he speedily made a visit to that city, accompanied by the greatest part of his court and senate. After the first tender expressions of friendship and sympathy, the pious emperor of the East gently admonished Justina, that the guilt of heresy was sometimes punished in this world, as well as in the next; and that the public profession of the Nicene faith would be the most efficacious step to promote the restoration of her son, by the satisfaction which it must occasion both on earth and in heaven. The momentous question of peace or war was referred, by Theodosius, to the deliberation of his council; and the arguments which might be alleged on the side of honor and justice, had acquired, since the death of Gratian, a considerable degree of additional weight. ​ The persecution of the Imperial family, to which Theodosius himself had been indebted for his fortune, was now aggravated by recent and repeated injuries. Neither oaths nor treaties could restrain the boundless ambition of Maximus; and the delay of vigorous and decisive measures, instead of prolonging the blessings of peace, would expose the Eastern empire to the danger of a hostile invasion. ​ The Barbarians, who had passed the Danube, had lately assumed the character of soldiers and subjects, but their native fierceness was yet untamed: and the operations of a war, which would exercise their valor, and diminish their numbers, might tend to relieve the provinces from an intolerable oppression. Notwithstanding these specious and solid reasons, which were approved by a majority of the council, Theodosius still hesitated whether he should draw the sword in a contest which could no longer admit any terms of reconciliation;​ and his magnanimous character was not disgraced by the apprehensions which he felt for the safety of his infant sons, and the welfare of his exhausted people. ​ In this moment of anxious doubt, while the fate of the Roman world depended on the resolution of a single man, the charms of the princess Galla most powerfully pleaded the cause of her brother Valentinian. ^75 The heart of Theodosius wa softened by the tears of beauty; his affections were insensibly engaged by the graces of youth and innocence: the art of Justina managed and directed the impulse of passion; and the celebration of the royal nuptials was the assurance and signal of the civil war.  The unfeeling critics, who consider every amorous weakness as an indelible stain on the memory of a great and orthodox emperor, are inclined, on this occasion, to dispute the suspicious evidence of the historian Zosimus. For my own part, I shall frankly confess, that I am willing to find, or even to seek, in the revolutions of the world, some traces of the mild and tender sentiments of domestic life; and amidst the crowd of fierce and ambitious conquerors, I can distinguish,​ with peculiar complacency,​ a gentle hero, who may be supposed to receive his armor from the hands of love.  The alliance of the Persian king was secured by the faith of treaties; the martial Barbarians were persuaded to follow the standard, or to respect the frontiers, of an active and liberal monarch; and the dominions of Theodosius, from the Euphrates to the Adriatic, resounded with the preparations of war both by land and sea.  The skilful disposition of the forces of the East seemed to multiply their numbers, and distracted the attention of Maximus. ​ He had reason to fear, that a chosen body of troops, under the command of the intrepid Arbogastes, would direct their march along the banks of the Danube, and boldly penetrate through the Rhaetian provinces into the centre of Gaul.  A powerful fleet was equipped in the harbors of Greece and Epirus, with an apparent design, that, as soon as the passage had been opened by a naval victory, Valentinian and his mother should land in Italy, proceed, without delay, to Rome, and occupy the majestic seat of religion and empire. ​ In the mean while, Theodosius himself advanced at the head of a brave and disciplined army, to encounter his unworthy rival, who, after the siege of Aemona, ^* had fixed his camp in the neighborhood of Siscia, a city of Pannonia, strongly fortified by the broad and rapid stream of the Save.
 +
 +[Footnote 75: The flight of Valentinian,​ and the love of Theodosius for his sister, are related by Zosimus, (l. iv. p. 263, 264.) Tillemont produces some weak and ambiguous evidence to antedate the second marriage of Theodosius, (Hist. des Empereurs, to. v. p. 740,) and consequently to refute ces contes de Zosime, qui seroient trop contraires a la piete de Theodose.] [Footnote *: Aemonah, Laybach. ​ Siscia Sciszek. - M.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius. ======
 +
 +===== Part IV. =====
 +
 +The veterans, who still remembered the long resistance, and successive resources, of the tyrant Magnentius, might prepare themselves for the labors of three bloody campaigns. ​ But the contest with his successor, who, like him, had usurped the throne of the West, was easily decided in the term of two months, ^76 and within the space of two hundred miles. ​ The superior genius of the emperor of the East might prevail over the feeble Maximus, who, in this important crisis, showed himself destitute of military skill, or personal courage; but the abilities of Theodosius were seconded by the advantage which he possessed of a numerous and active cavalry. ​ The Huns, the Alani, and, after their example, the Goths themselves, were formed into squadrons of archers; who fought on horseback, and confounded the steady valor of the Gauls and Germans, by the rapid motions of a Tartar war.  After the fatigue of a long march, in the heat of summer, they spurred their foaming horses into the waters of the Save, swam the river in the presence of the enemy, and instantly charged and routed the troops who guarded the high ground on the opposite side.  Marcellinus,​ the tyrant'​s brother, advanced to support them with the select cohorts, which were considered as the hope and strength of the army. The action, which had been interrupted by the approach of night, was renewed in the morning; and, after a sharp conflict, the surviving remnant of the bravest soldiers of Maximus threw down their arms at the feet of the conqueror. Without suspending his march, to receive the loyal acclamations of the citizens of Aemona, Theodosius pressed forwards to terminate the war by the death or captivity of his rival, who fled before him with the diligence of fear.  From the summit of the Julian Alps, he descended with such incredible speed into the plain of Italy, that he reached Aquileia on the evening of the first day; and Maximus, who found himself encompassed on all sides, had scarcely time to shut the gates of the city.  But the gates could not long resist the effort of a victorious enemy; and the despair, the disaffection,​ the indifference of the soldiers and people, hastened the downfall of the wretched Maximus. ​ He was dragged from his throne, rudely stripped of the Imperial ornaments, the robe, the diadem, and the purple slippers; and conducted, like a malefactor, to the camp and presence of Theodosius, at a place about three miles from Aquileia. ​ The behavior of the emperor was not intended to insult, and he showed disposition to pity and forgive, the tyrant of the West, who had never been his personal enemy, and was now become the object of his contempt. ​ Our sympathy is the most forcibly excited by the misfortunes to which we are exposed; and the spectacle of a proud competitor, now prostrate at his feet, could not fail of producing very serious and solemn thoughts in the mind of the victorious emperor. ​ But the feeble emotion of involuntary pity was checked by his regard for public justice, and the memory of Gratian; and he abandoned the victim to the pious zeal of the soldiers, who drew him out of the Imperial presence, and instantly separated his head from his body.  The intelligence of his defeat and death was received with sincere or well-dissembled joy: his son Victor, on whom he had conferred the title of Augustus, died by the order, perhaps by the hand, of the bold Arbogastes; and all the military plans of Theodosius were successfully executed. ​ When he had thus terminated the civil war, with less difficulty and bloodshed than he might naturally expect, he employed the winter months of his residence at Milan, to restore the state of the afflicted provinces; and early in the spring he made, after the example of Constantine and Constantius,​ his triumphal entry into the ancient capital of the Roman empire. ^77 [Footnote 76: See Godefroy'​s Chronology of the Laws, Cod. Theodos, tom l. p. cxix.]
 +
 +[Footnote 77: Besides the hints which may be gathered from chronicles and ecclesiastical history, Zosimus (l. iv. p. 259 - 267,) Orosius, (l. vii. c. 35,) and Pacatus, (in Panegyr. Vet. xii. 30 - 47,) supply the loose and scanty materials of this civil war.  Ambrose (tom. ii. Epist. xl. p. 952, 953) darkly alludes to the well-known events of a magazine surprised, an action at Petovio, a Sicilian, perhaps a naval, victory, &c., Ausonius (p. 256, edit. Toll.) applauds the peculiar merit and good fortune of Aquileia.] The orator, who may be silent without danger, may praise without difficulty, and without reluctance; ^78 and posterity will confess, that the character of Theodosius ^79 might furnish the subject of a sincere and ample panegyric. ​ The wisdom of his laws, and the success of his arms, rendered his administration respectable in the eyes both of his subjects and of his enemies. He loved and practised the virtues of domestic life, which seldom hold their residence in the palaces of kings. ​ Theodosius was chaste and temperate; he enjoyed, without excess, the sensual and social pleasures of the table; and the warmth of his amorous passions was never diverted from their lawful objects. ​ The proud titles of Imperial greatness were adorned by the tender names of a faithful husband, an indulgent father; his uncle was raised, by his affectionate esteem, to the rank of a second parent: Theodosius embraced, as his own, the children of his brother and sister; and the expressions of his regard were extended to the most distant and obscure branches of his numerous kindred. ​ His familiar friends were judiciously selected from among those persons, who, in the equal intercourse of private life, had appeared before his eyes without a mask; the consciousness of personal and superior merit enabled him to despise the accidental distinction of the purple; and he proved by his conduct, that he had forgotten all the injuries, while he most gratefully remembered all the favors and services, which he had received before he ascended the throne of the Roman empire. ​ The serious or lively tone of his conversation was adapted to the age, the rank, or the character of his subjects, whom he admitted into his society; and the affability of his manners displayed the image of his mind.  Theodosius respected the simplicity of the good and virtuous: every art, every talent, of a useful, or even of an innocent nature, was rewarded by his judicious liberality; and, except the heretics, whom he persecuted with implacable hatred, the diffusive circle of his benevolence was circumscribed only by the limits of the human race.  The government of a mighty empire may assuredly suffice to occupy the time, and the abilities, of a mortal: yet the diligent prince, without aspiring to the unsuitable reputation of profound learning, always reserved some moments of his leisure for the instructive amusement of reading. History, which enlarged his experience, was his favorite study. The annals of Rome, in the long period of eleven hundred years, presented him with a various and splendid picture of human life: and it has been particularly observed, that whenever he perused the cruel acts of Cinna, of Marius, or of Sylla, he warmly expressed his generous detestation of those enemies of humanity and freedom. ​ His disinterested opinion of past events was usefully applied as the rule of his own actions; and Theodosius has deserved the singular commendation,​ that his virtues always seemed to expand with his fortune: the season of his prosperity was that of his moderation; and his clemency appeared the most conspicuous after the danger and success of a civil war. The Moorish guards of the tyrant had been massacred in the first heat of the victory, and a small number of the most obnoxious criminals suffered the punishment of the law.  But the emperor showed himself much more attentive to relieve the innocent than to chastise the guilty. ​ The oppressed subjects of the West, who would have deemed themselves happy in the restoration of their lands, were astonished to receive a sum of money equivalent to their losses; and the liberality of the conqueror supported the aged mother, and educated the orphan daughters, of Maximus. ^80 A character thus accomplished might almost excuse the extravagant supposition of the orator Pacatus; that, if the elder Brutus could be permitted to revisit the earth, the stern republican would abjure, at the feet of Theodosius, his hatred of kings; and ingenuously confess, that such a monarch was the most faithful guardian of the happiness and dignity of the Roman people. ^81 [Footnote 78: Quam promptum laudare principem, tam tutum siluisse de principe, (Pacat. in Panegyr. Vet. xii. 2.) Latinus Pacatus Drepanius, a native of Gaul, pronounced this oration at Rome, (A.D. 388.) He was afterwards proconsul of Africa; and his friend Ausonius praises him as a poet second only to Virgil. See Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 303.]
 +
 +[Footnote 79: See the fair portrait of Theodosius, by the younger Victor; the strokes are distinct, and the colors are mixed. ​ The praise of Pacatus is too vague; and Claudian always seems afraid of exalting the father above the son.] [Footnote 80: Ambros. tom. ii. Epist. xl. p. 55.  Pacatus, from the want of skill or of courage, omits this glorious circumstance.]
 +
 +[Footnote 81: Pacat. in Panegyr. Vet. xii. 20.]
 +
 +Yet the piercing eye of the founder of the republic must have discerned two essential imperfections,​ which might, perhaps, have abated his recent love of despostism. ​ The virtuous mind of Theodosius was often relaxed by indolence, ^82 and it was sometimes inflamed by passion. ^83 In the pursuit of an important object, his active courage was capable of the most vigorous exertions; but, as soon as the design was accomplished,​ or the danger was surmounted, the hero sunk into inglorious repose; and, forgetful that the time of a prince is the property of his people, resigned himself to the enjoyment of the innocent, but trifling, pleasures of a luxurious court. ​ The natural disposition of Theodosius was hasty and choleric; and, in a station where none could resist, and few would dissuade, the fatal consequence of his resentment, the humane monarch was justly alarmed by the consciousness of his infirmity and of his power. ​ It was the constant study of his life to suppress, or regulate, the intemperate sallies of passion and the success of his efforts enhanced the merit of his clemency. ​ But the painful virtue which claims the merit of victory, is exposed to the danger of defeat; and the reign of a wise and merciful prince was polluted by an act of cruelty which would stain the annals of Nero or Domitian. ​ Within the space of three years, the inconsistent historian of Theodosius must relate the generous pardon of the citizens of Antioch, and the inhuman massacre of the people of Thessalonica. [Footnote 82: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 271, 272.  His partial evidence is marked by an air of candor and truth. ​ He observes these vicissitudes of sloth and activity, not as a vice, but as a singularity in the character of Theodosius.] [Footnote 83: This choleric temper is acknowledged and excused by Victor Sed habes (says Ambrose, in decent and many language, to his sovereign) nature impetum, quem si quis lenire velit, cito vertes ad misericordiam:​ si quis stimulet, in magis exsuscitas, ut eum revocare vix possis, (tom. ii. Epist. li. p. 998.) Theodosius (Claud. in iv. Hon. 266, &c.) exhorts his son to moderate his anger.]
 +
 +The lively impatience of the inhabitants of Antioch was never satisfied with their own situation, or with the character and conduct of their successive sovereigns. ​ The Arian subjects of Theodosius deplored the loss of their churches; and as three rival bishops disputed the throne of Antioch, the sentence which decided their pretensions excited the murmurs of the two unsuccessful congregations. ​ The exigencies of the Gothic war, and the inevitable expense that accompanied the conclusion of the peace, had constrained the emperor to aggravate the weight of the public impositions;​ and the provinces of Asia, as they had not been involved in the distress were the less inclined to contribute to the relief, of Europe. The auspicious period now approached of the tenth year of his reign; a festival more grateful to the soldiers, who received a liberal donative, than to the subjects, whose voluntary offerings had been long since converted into an extraordinary and oppressive burden. ​ The edicts of taxation interrupted the repose, and pleasures, of Antioch; and the tribunal of the magistrate was besieged by a suppliant crowd; who, in pathetic, but, at first, in respectful language, solicited the redress of their grievances. ​ They were gradually incensed by the pride of their haughty rulers, who treated their complaints as a criminal resistance; their satirical wit degenerated into sharp and angry invectives; and, from the subordinate powers of government, the invectives of the people insensibly rose to attack the sacred character of the emperor himself. Their fury, provoked by a feeble opposition, discharged itself on the images of the Imperial family, which were erected, as objects of public veneration, in the most conspicuous places of the city.  The statues of Theodosius, of his father, of his wife Flaccilla, of his two sons, Arcadius and Honorius, were insolently thrown down from their pedestals, broken in pieces, or dragged with contempt through the streets; and the indignities which were offered to the representations of Imperial majesty, sufficiently declared the impious and treasonable wishes of the populace. The tumult was almost immediately suppressed by the arrival of a body of archers: and Antioch had leisure to reflect on the nature and consequences of her crime. ^84 According to the duty of his office, the governor of the province despatched a faithful narrative of the whole transaction:​ while the trembling citizens intrusted the confession of their crime, and the assurances of their repentance, to the zeal of Flavian, their bishop, and to the eloquence of the senator Hilarius, the friend, and most probably the disciple, of Libanius; whose genius, on this melancholy occasion, was not useless to his country. ^85 But the two capitals, Antioch and Constantinople,​ were separated by the distance of eight hundred miles; and, notwithstanding the diligence of the Imperial posts, the guilty city was severely punished by a long and dreadful interval of suspense. ​ Every rumor agitated the hopes and fears of the Antiochians,​ and they heard with terror, that their sovereign, exasperated by the insult which had been offered to his own statues, and more especially, to those of his beloved wife, had resolved to level with the ground the offending city; and to massacre, without distinction of age or sex, the criminal inhabitants;​ ^86 many of whom were actually driven, by their apprehensions,​ to seek a refuge in the mountains of Syria, and the adjacent desert. ​ At length, twenty-four days after the sedition, the general Hellebicus and Caesarius, master of the offices, declared the will of the emperor, and the sentence of Antioch. That proud capital was degraded from the rank of a city; and the metropolis of the East, stripped of its lands, its privileges, and its revenues, was subjected, under the humiliating denomination of a village, to the jurisdiction of Laodicea. ^87 The baths, the Circus, and the theatres were shut: and, that every source of plenty and pleasure might at the same time be intercepted,​ the distribution of corn was abolished, by the severe instructions of Theodosius. ​ His commissioners then proceeded to inquire into the guilt of individuals;​ of those who had perpetrated,​ and of those who had not prevented, the destruction of the sacred statues. The tribunal of Hellebicus and Caesarius, encompassed with armed soldiers, was erected in the midst of the Forum. ​ The noblest, and most wealthy, of the citizens of Antioch appeared before them in chains; the examination was assisted by the use of torture, and their sentence was pronounced or suspended, according to the judgment of these extraordinary magistrates. ​ The houses of the criminals were exposed to sale, their wives and children were suddenly reduced, from affluence and luxury, to the most abject distress; and a bloody execution was expected to conclude the horrors of the day, ^88 which the preacher of Antioch, the eloquent Chrysostom, has represented as a lively image of the last and universal judgment of the world. But the ministers of Theodosius performed, with reluctance, the cruel task which had been assigned them; they dropped a gentle tear over the calamities of the people; and they listened with reverence to the pressing solicitations of the monks and hermits, who descended in swarms from the mountains. ^89 Hellebicus and Caesarius were persuaded to suspend the execution of their sentence; and it was agreed that the former should remain at Antioch, while the latter returned, with all possible speed, to Constantinople;​ and presumed once more to consult the will of his sovereign. ​ The resentment of Theodosius had already subsided; the deputies of the people, both the bishop and the orator, had obtained a favorable audience; and the reproaches of the emperor were the complaints of injured friendship, rather than the stern menaces of pride and power. ​ A free and general pardon was granted to the city and citizens of Antioch; the prison doors were thrown open; the senators, who despaired of their lives, recovered the possession of their houses and estates; and the capital of the East was restored to the enjoyment of her ancient dignity and splendor. ​ Theodosius condescended to praise the senate of Constantinople,​ who had generously interceded for their distressed brethren: he rewarded the eloquence of Hilarius with the government of Palestine; and dismissed the bishop of Antioch with the warmest expressions of his respect and gratitude. ​ A thousand new statues arose to the clemency of Theodosius; the applause of his subjects was ratified by the approbation of his own heart; and the emperor confessed, that, if the exercise of justice is the most important duty, the indulgence of mercy is the most exquisite pleasure, of a sovereign. ^90
 +
 +[Footnote 84: The Christians and Pagans agreed in believing that the sedition of Antioch was excited by the daemons. ​ A gigantic woman (says Sozomen, l. vii. c. 23) paraded the streets with a scourge in her hand.  An old man, says Libanius, (Orat. xii. p. 396,) transformed himself into a youth, then a boy, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 85: Zosimus, in his short and disingenuous account, (l. iv. p. 258, 259,) is certainly mistaken in sending Libanius himself to Constantinople. His own orations fix him at Antioch.] [Footnote 86: Libanius (Orat. i. p. 6, edit. Venet.) declares, that under such a reign the fear of a massacre was groundless and absurd, especially in the emperor'​s absence, for his presence, according to the eloquent slave, might have given a sanction to the most bloody acts.]
 +
 +[Footnote 87: Laodicea, on the sea-coast, sixty-five miles from Antioch, (see Noris Epoch. ​ Syro-Maced. Dissert. iii. p. 230.) The Antiochians were offended, that the dependent city of Seleucia should presume to intercede for them.]
 +
 +[Footnote 88: As the days of the tumult depend on the movable festival of Easter, they can only be determined by the previous determination of the year. The year 387 has been preferred, after a laborious inquiry, by Tillemont (Hist. des. Emp. tom. v. p. 741 - 744) and Montfaucon, (Chrysostom,​ tom. xiii. p. 105 - 110.)] [Footnote 89: Chrysostom opposes their courage, which was not attended with much risk, to the cowardly flight of the Cynics.] [Footnote 90: The sedition of Antioch is represented in a lively, and almost dramatic, manner by two orators, who had their respective shares of interest and merit. ​ See Libanius (Orat. xiv. xv. p. 389 - 420, edit. Morel. Orat. i. p. 1 - 14, Venet. 1754) and the twenty orations of St. John Chrysostom, de Statuis, (tom. ii. p. 1 - 225, edit. Montfaucon.) I do not pretend to much personal acquaintance with Chrysostom but Tillemont (Hist. des. Empereurs, tom. v. p. 263 - 283) and Hermant (Vie de St. Chrysostome,​ tom. i. p. 137 - 224) had read him with pious curiosity and diligence.]
 +
 +The sedition of Thessalonica is ascribed to a more shameful cause, and was productive of much more dreadful consequences. That great city, the metropolis of all the Illyrian provinces, had been protected from the dangers of the Gothic war by strong fortifications and a numerous garrison. Botheric, the general of those troops, and, as it should seem from his name, a Barbarian, had among his slaves a beautiful boy, who excited the impure desires of one of the charioteers of the Circus. ​ The insolent and brutal lover was thrown into prison by the order of Botheric; and he sternly rejected the importunate clamors of the multitude, who, on the day of the public games, lamented the absence of their favorite; and considered the skill of a charioteer as an object of more importance than his virtue. The resentment of the people was imbittered by some previous disputes; and, as the strength of the garrison had been drawn away for the service of the Italian war, the feeble remnant, whose numbers were reduced by desertion, could not save the unhappy general from their licentious fury.  Botheric, and several of his principal officers, were inhumanly murdered; their mangled bodies were dragged about the streets; and the emperor, who then resided at Milan, was surprised by the intelligence of the audacious and wanton cruelty of the people of Thessalonica. ​ The sentence of a dispassionate judge would have inflicted a severe punishment on the authors of the crime; and the merit of Botheric might contribute to exasperate the grief and indignation of his master. The fiery and choleric temper of Theodosius was impatient of the dilatory forms of a judicial inquiry; and he hastily resolved, that the blood of his lieutenant should be expiated by the blood of the guilty people. ​ Yet his mind still fluctuated between the counsels of clemency and of revenge; the zeal of the bishops had almost extorted from the reluctant emperor the promise of a general pardon; his passion was again inflamed by the flattering suggestions of his minister Rufinus; and, after Theodosius had despatched the messengers of death, he attempted, when it was too late, to prevent the execution of his orders. The punishment of a Roman city was blindly committed to the undistinguishing sword of the Barbarians; and the hostile preparations were concerted with the dark and perfidious artifice of an illegal conspiracy. The people of Thessalonica were treacherously invited, in the name of their sovereign, to the games of the Circus; and such was their insatiate avidity for those amusements, that every consideration of fear, or suspicion, was disregarded by the numerous spectators. ​ As soon as the assembly was complete, the soldiers, who had secretly been posted round the Circus, received the signal, not of the races, but of a general massacre. ​ The promiscuous carnage continued three hours, without discrimination of strangers or natives, of age or sex, of innocence or guilt; the most moderate accounts state the number of the slain at seven thousand; and it is affirmed by some writers that more than fifteen thousand victims were sacrificed to the names of Botheric. ​ A foreign merchant, who had probably no concern in his murder, offered his own life, and all his wealth, to supply the place of one of his two sons; but, while the father hesitated with equal tenderness, while he was doubtful to choose, and unwilling to condemn, the soldiers determined his suspense, by plunging their daggers at the same moment into the breasts of the defenceless youths. ​ The apology of the assassins, that they were obliged to produce the prescribed number of heads, serves only to increase, by an appearance of order and design, the horrors of the massacre, which was executed by the commands of Theodosius. The guilt of the emperor is aggravated by his long and frequent residence at Thessalonica. ​ The situation of the unfortunate city, the aspect of the streets and buildings, the dress and faces of the inhabitants,​ were familiar, and even present, to his imagination;​ and Theodosius possessed a quick and lively sense of the existence of the people whom he destroyed. ^91 [Footnote 91: The original evidence of Ambrose, (tom. ii. Epist. li. p. 998.) Augustin, (de Civitat. Dei, v. 26,) and Paulinus, (in Vit. Ambros. c. 24,) is delivered in vague expressions of horror and pity.  It is illustrated by the subsequent and unequal testimonies of Sozomen, (l. vii. c. 25,) Theodoret, (l. v. c. 17,) Theophanes, (Chronograph. p. 62,) Cedrenus, (p. 317,) and Zonaras, (tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 34.) Zosimus alone, the partial enemy of Theodosius, most unaccountably passes over in silence the worst of his actions.] The respectful attachment of the emperor for the orthodox clergy, had disposed him to love and admire the character of Ambrose; who united all the episcopal virtues in the most eminent degree. ​ The friends and ministers of Theodosius imitated the example of their sovereign; and he observed, with more surprise than displeasure,​ that all his secret counsels were immediately communicated to the archbishop; who acted from the laudable persuasion, that every measure of civil government may have some connection with the glory of God, and the interest of the true religion. The monks and populace of Callinicum, ^* an obscure town on the frontier of Persia, excited by their own fanaticism, and by that of their bishop, had tumultuously burnt a conventicle of the Valentinians,​ and a synagogue of the Jews.  The seditious prelate was condemned, by the magistrate of the province, either to rebuild the synagogue, or to repay the damage; and this moderate sentence was confirmed by the emperor. ​ But it was not confirmed by the archbishop of Milan. ^92 He dictated an epistle of censure and reproach, more suitable, perhaps, if the emperor had received the mark of circumcision,​ and renounced the faith of his baptism. Ambrose considers the toleration of the Jewish, as the persecution of the Christian, religion; boldly declares that he himself, and every true believer, would eagerly dispute with the bishop of Callinicum the merit of the deed, and the crown of martyrdom; and laments, in the most pathetic terms, that the execution of the sentence would be fatal to the fame and salvation of Theodosius. ​ As this private admonition did not produce an immediate effect, the archbishop, from his pulpit, ^93 publicly addressed the emperor on his throne; ^94 nor would he consent to offer the oblation of the altar, till he had obtained from Theodosius a solemn and positive declaration,​ which secured the impunity of the bishop and monks of Callinicum. ​ The recantation of Theodosius was sincere; ^95 and, during the term of his residence at Milan, his affection for Ambrose was continually increased by the habits of pious and familiar conversation.
 +
 +[Footnote *: Raeca, on the Euphrates - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 92: See the whole transaction in Ambrose, (tom. ii. Epist. xl. xli. p. 950 - 956,) and his biographer Paulinus, (c. 23.) Bayle and Barbeyrac (Morales des Peres, c. xvii. p. 325, &c.) have justly condemned the archbishop.]
 +
 +[Footnote 93: His sermon is a strange allegory of Jeremiah'​s rod, of an almond tree, of the woman who washed and anointed the feet of Christ. ​ But the peroration is direct and personal.]
 +
 +[Footnote 94: Hodie, Episcope, de me proposuisti. ​ Ambrose modestly confessed it; but he sternly reprimanded Timasius, general of the horse and foot, who had presumed to say that the monks of Callinicum deserved punishment.] [Footnote 95: Yet, five years afterwards, when Theodosius was absent from his spiritual guide, he tolerated the Jews, and condemned the destruction of their synagogues. ​ Cod. Theodos. l. xvi. tit. viii. leg. 9, with Godefroy'​s Commentary, tom. vi. p. 225.]
 +
 +When Ambrose was informed of the massacre of Thessalonica,​ his mind was filled with horror and anguish. ​ He retired into the country to indulge his grief, and to avoid the presence of Theodosius. ​ But as the archbishop was satisfied that a timid silence would render him the accomplice of his guilt, he represented,​ in a private letter, the enormity of the crime; which could only be effaced by the tears of penitence. ​ The episcopal vigor of Ambrose was tempered by prudence; and he contented himself with signifying ^96 an indirect sort of excommunication,​ by the assurance, that he had been warned in a vision not to offer the oblation in the name, or in the presence, of Theodosius; and by the advice, that he would confine himself to the use of prayer, without presuming to approach the altar of Christ, or to receive the holy eucharist with those hands that were still polluted with the blood of an innocent people. ​ The emperor was deeply affected by his own reproaches, and by those of his spiritual father; and after he had bewailed the mischievous and irreparable consequences of his rash fury, he proceeded, in the accustomed manner, to perform his devotions in the great church of Milan. ​ He was stopped in the porch by the archbishop; who, in the tone and language of an ambassador of Heaven, declared to his sovereign, that private contrition was not sufficient to atone for a public fault, or to appease the justice of the offended Deity. Theodosius humbly represented,​ that if he had contracted the guilt of homicide, David, the man after God's own heart, had been guilty, not only of murder, but of adultery. ​ "You have imitated David in his crime, imitate then his repentance,"​ was the reply of the undaunted Ambrose. ​ The rigorous conditions of peace and pardon were accepted; and the public penance of the emperor Theodosius has been recorded as one of the most honorable events in the annals of the church. According to the mildest rules of ecclesiastical discipline, which were established in the fourth century, the crime of homicide was expiated by the penitence of twenty years: ^97 and as it was impossible, in the period of human life, to purge the accumulated guilt of the massacre of Thessalonica,​ the murderer should have been excluded from the holy communion till the hour of his death. ​ But the archbishop, consulting the maxims of religious policy, granted some indulgence to the rank of his illustrious penitent, who humbled in the dust the pride of the diadem; and the public edification might be admitted as a weighty reason to abridge the duration of his punishment. ​ It was sufficient, that the emperor of the Romans, stripped of the ensigns of royalty, should appear in a mournful and suppliant posture; and that, in the midst of the church of Milan, he should humbly solicit, with sighs and tears, the pardon of his sins. ^98 In this spiritual cure, Ambrose employed the various methods of mildness and severity. After a delay of about eight months, Theodosius was restored to the communion of the faithful; and the edict which interposes a salutary interval of thirty days between the sentence and the execution, may be accepted as the worthy fruits of his repentance. ^99 Posterity has applauded the virtuous firmness of the archbishop; and the example of Theodosius may prove the beneficial influence of those principles, which could force a monarch, exalted above the apprehension of human punishment, to respect the laws, and ministers, of an invisible Judge. "The prince,"​ says Montesquieu,​ "who is actuated by the hopes and fears of religion, may be compared to a lion, docile only to the voice, and tractable to the hand, of his keeper."​ ^100 The motions of the royal animal will therefore depend on the inclination,​ and interest, of the man who has acquired such dangerous authority over him; and the priest, who holds in his hands the conscience of a king, may inflame, or moderate, his sanguinary passions. The cause of humanity, and that of persecution,​ have been asserted, by the same Ambrose, with equal energy, and with equal success. [Footnote 96: Ambros. tom. ii. Epist. li. p. 997 - 1001.  His epistle is a miserable rhapsody on a noble subject. ​ Ambrose could act better than he could write. ​ His compositions are destitute of taste, or genius; without the spirit of Tertullian, the copious elegance of Lactantius the lively wit of Jerom, or the grave energy of Augustin.]
 +
 +[Footnote 97: According to the discipline of St. Basil, (Canon lvi.,) the voluntary homicide was four years a mourner; five a hearer; seven in a prostrate state; and four in a standing posture. ​ I have the original (Beveridge, Pandect. tom. ii. p. 47 - 151) and a translation (Chardon, Hist. des Sacremens, tom. iv. p. 219 - 277) of the Canonical Epistles of St. Basil.] [Footnote 98: The penance of Theodosius is authenticated by Ambrose, (tom. vi. de Obit. Theodos. c. 34, p. 1207,) Augustin, (de Civitat. Dei, v. 26,) and Paulinus, (in Vit. Ambros. c. 24.) Socrates is ignorant; Sozomen (l. vii. c. 25) concise; and the copious narrative of Theodoret (l. v. c. 18) must be used with precaution.]
 +
 +[Footnote 99: Codex Theodos. l. ix. tit. xl. leg. 13.  The date and circumstances of this law are perplexed with difficulties;​ but I feel myself inclined to favor the honest efforts of Tillemont (Hist. des Emp. tom. v. p. 721) and Pagi, (Critica, tom. i. p. 578.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 100: Un prince qui aime la religion, et qui la craint, est un lion qui cede a la main qui le flatte, ou a la voix qui l'​appaise. ​ Esprit des Loix, l. xxiv. c. 2.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVII: Civil Wars, Reign Of Theodosius. ======
 +
 +===== Part V. =====
 +
 +After the defeat and death of the tyrant of Gaul, the Roman world was in the possession of Theodosius. ​ He derived from the choice of Gratian his honorable title to the provinces of the East: he had acquired the West by the right of conquest; and the three years which he spent in Italy were usefully employed to restore the authority of the laws, and to correct the abuses which had prevailed with impunity under the usurpation of Maximus, and the minority of Valentinian. ​ The name of Valentinian was regularly inserted in the public acts: but the tender age, and doubtful faith, of the son of Justina, appeared to require the prudent care of an orthodox guardian; and his specious ambition might have excluded the unfortunate youth, without a struggle, and almost without a murmur, from the administration,​ and even from the inheritance,​ of the empire. ​ If Theodosius had consulted the rigid maxims of interest and policy, his conduct would have been justified by his friends; but the generosity of his behavior on this memorable occasion has extorted the applause of his most inveterate enemies. ​ He seated Valentinian on the throne of Milan; and, without stipulating any present or future advantages, restored him to the absolute dominion of all the provinces, from which he had been driven by the arms of Maximus. ​ To the restitution of his ample patrimony, Theodosius added the free and generous gift of the countries beyond the Alps, which his successful valor had recovered from the assassin of Gratian. ^101 Satisfied with the glory which he had acquired, by revenging the death of his benefactor, and delivering the West from the yoke of tyranny, the emperor returned from Milan to Constantinople;​ and, in the peaceful possession of the East, insensibly relapsed into his former habits of luxury and indolence. Theodosius discharged his obligation to the brother, he indulged his conjugal tenderness to the sister, of Valentinian;​ and posterity, which admires the pure and singular glory of his elevation, must applaud his unrivalled generosity in the use of victory.
 +
 +[Footnote 101: It is the niggard praise of Zosimus himself, (l. iv. p. 267.) Augustin says, with some happiness of expression, Valentinianum .... misericordissima veneratione restituit.] The empress Justina did not long survive her return to Italy; and, though she beheld the triumph of Theodosius, she was not allowed to influence the government of her son. ^102 The pernicious attachment to the Arian sect, which Valentinian had imbibed from her example and instructions,​ was soon erased by the lessons of a more orthodox education. His growing zeal for the faith of Nice, and his filial reverence for the character and authority of Ambrose, disposed the Catholics to entertain the most favorable opinion of the virtues of the young emperor of the West. ^103 They applauded his chastity and temperance, his contempt of pleasure, his application to business, and his tender affection for his two sisters; which could not, however, seduce his impartial equity to pronounce an unjust sentence against the meanest of his subjects. ​ But this amiable youth, before he had accomplished the twentieth year of his age, was oppressed by domestic treason; and the empire was again involved in the horrors of a civil war. Arbogastes, ^104 a gallant soldier of the nation of the Franks, held the second rank in the service of Gratian. ​ On the death of his master he joined the standard of Theodosius; contributed,​ by his valor and military conduct, to the destruction of the tyrant; and was appointed, after the victory, master-general of the armies of Gaul.  His real merit, and apparent fidelity, had gained the confidence both of the prince and people; his boundless liberality corrupted the allegiance of the troops; and, whilst he was universally esteemed as the pillar of the state, the bold and crafty Barbarian was secretly determined either to rule, or to ruin, the empire of the West.  The important commands of the army were distributed among the Franks; the creatures of Arbogastes were promoted to all the honors and offices of the civil government; the progress of the conspiracy removed every faithful servant from the presence of Valentinian;​ and the emperor, without power and without intelligence,​ insensibly sunk into the precarious and dependent condition of a captive. ^105 The indignation which he expressed, though it might arise only from the rash and impatient temper of youth, may be candidly ascribed to the generous spirit of a prince, who felt that he was not unworthy to reign. ​ He secretly invited the archbishop of Milan to undertake the office of a mediator; as the pledge of his sincerity, and the guardian of his safety. He contrived to apprise the emperor of the East of his helpless situation, and he declared, that, unless Theodosius could speedily march to his assistance, he must attempt to escape from the palace, or rather prison, of Vienna in Gaul, where he had imprudently fixed his residence in the midst of the hostile faction. ​ But the hopes of relief were distant, and doubtful: and, as every day furnished some new provocation,​ the emperor, without strength or counsel, too hastily resolved to risk an immediate contest with his powerful general. ​ He received Arbogastes on the throne; and, as the count approached with some appearance of respect, delivered to him a paper, which dismissed him from all his employments. ​ "My authority,"​ replied Arbogastes, with insulting coolness, "does not depend on the smile or the frown of a monarch;"​ and he contemptuously threw the paper on the ground. ​ The indignant monarch snatched at the sword of one of the guards, which he struggled to draw from its scabbard; and it was not without some degree of violence that he was prevented from using the deadly weapon against his enemy, or against himself. A few days after this extraordinary quarrel, in which he had exposed his resentment and his weakness, the unfortunate Valentinian was found strangled in his apartment; and some pains were employed to disguise the manifest guilt of Arbogastes, and to persuade the world, that the death of the young emperor had been the voluntary effect of his own despair. ^106 His body was conducted with decent pomp to the sepulchre of Milan; and the archbishop pronounced a funeral oration to commemorate his virtues and his misfortunes. ^107 On this occasion the humanity of Ambrose tempted him to make a singular breach in his theological system; and to comfort the weeping sisters of Valentinian,​ by the firm assurance, that their pious brother, though he had not received the sacrament of baptism, was introduced, without difficulty, into the mansions of eternal bliss. ^108
 +
 +[Footnote 102: Sozomen, l. vii. c. 14.  His chronology is very irregular.] [Footnote 103: See Ambrose, (tom. ii. de Obit. Valentinian. c. 15, &c. p. 1178. c. 36, &c. p. 1184.) When the young emperor gave an entertainment,​ he fasted himself; he refused to see a handsome actress, &​c. ​ Since he ordered his wild beasts to to be killed, it is ungenerous in Philostor (l. xi. c. 1) to reproach him with the love of that amusement.]
 +
 +[Footnote 104: Zosimus (l. iv. p. 275) praises the enemy of Theodosius. But he is detested by Socrates (l. v. c. 25) and Orosius, (l. vii. c. 35.)] [Footnote 105: Gregory of Tours (l. ii. c. 9, p. 165, in the second volume of the Historians of France) has preserved a curious fragment of Sulpicius Alexander, an historian far more valuable than himself.]
 +
 +[Footnote 106: Godefroy (Dissertat. ad. Philostorg. p. 429 - 434) has diligently collected all the circumstances of the death of Valentinian II. The variations, and the ignorance, of contemporary writers, prove that it was secret.]
 +
 +[Footnote 107: De Obitu Valentinian. tom. ii. p. 1173 - 1196.  He is forced to speak a discreet and obscure language: yet he is much bolder than any layman, or perhaps any other ecclesiastic,​ would have dared to be.] [Footnote 108: See c. 51, p. 1188, c. 75, p. 1193.  Dom Chardon, (Hist. des Sacramens, tom. i. p. 86,) who owns that St. Ambrose most strenuously maintains the indispensable necessity of baptism, labors to reconcile the contradiction.]
 +
 +The prudence of Arbogastes had prepared the success of his ambitious designs: and the provincials,​ in whose breast every sentiment of patriotism or loyalty was extinguished,​ expected, with tame resignation,​ the unknown master, whom the choice of a Frank might place on the Imperial throne. ​ But some remains of pride and prejudice still opposed the elevation of Arbogastes himself; and the judicious Barbarian thought it more advisable to reign under the name of some dependent Roman. ​ He bestowed the purple on the rhetorician Eugenius; ^109 whom he had already raised from the place of his domestic secretary to the rank of master of the offices. ​ In the course, both of his private and public service, the count had always approved the attachment and abilities of Eugenius; his learning and eloquence, supported by the gravity of his manners, recommended him to the esteem of the people; and the reluctance with which he seemed to ascend the throne, may inspire a favorable prejudice of his virtue and moderation. The ambassadors of the new emperor were immediately despatched to the court of Theodosius, to communicate,​ with affected grief, the unfortunate accident of the death of Valentinian;​ and, without mentioning the name of Arbogastes, to request, that the monarch of the East would embrace, as his lawful colleague, the respectable citizen, who had obtained the unanimous suffrage of the armies and provinces of the West. ^110 Theodosius was justly provoked, that the perfidy of a Barbarian, should have destroyed, in a moment, the labors, and the fruit, of his former victory; and he was excited by the tears of his beloved wife, ^111 to revenge the fate of her unhappy brother, and once more to assert by arms the violated majesty of the throne. ​ But as the second conquest of the West was a task of difficulty and danger, he dismissed, with splendid presents, and an ambiguous answer, the ambassadors of Eugenius; and almost two years were consumed in the preparations of the civil war.  Before he formed any decisive resolution, the pious emperor was anxious to discover the will of Heaven; and as the progress of Christianity had silenced the oracles of Delphi and Dodona, he consulted an Egyptian monk, who possessed, in the opinion of the age, the gift of miracles, and the knowledge of futurity. Eutropius, one of the favorite eunuchs of the palace of Constantinople,​ embarked for Alexandria, from whence he sailed up the Nile, as far as the city of Lycopolis, or of Wolves, in the remote province of Thebais. ^112 In the neighborhood of that city, and on the summit of a lofty mountain, the holy John ^113 had constructed,​ with his own hands, an humble cell, in which he had dwelt above fifty years, without opening his door, without seeing the face of a woman, and without tasting any food that had been prepared by fire, or any human art.  Five days of the week he spent in prayer and meditation; but on Saturdays and Sundays he regularly opened a small window, and gave audience to the crowd of suppliants who successively flowed from every part of the Christian world. ​ The eunuch of Theodosius approached the window with respectful steps, proposed his questions concerning the event of the civil war, and soon returned with a favorable oracle, which animated the courage of the emperor by the assurance of a bloody, but infallible victory. ^114 The accomplishment of the prediction was forwarded by all the means that human prudence could supply. ​ The industry of the two master-generals,​ Stilicho and Timasius, was directed to recruit the numbers, and to revive the discipline of the Roman legions. The formidable troops of Barbarians marched under the ensigns of their national chieftains. ​ The Iberian, the Arab, and the Goth, who gazed on each other with mutual astonishment,​ were enlisted in the service of the same prince; ^* and the renowned Alaric acquired, in the school of Theodosius, the knowledge of the art of war, which he afterwards so fatally exerted for the destruction of Rome. ^115
 +
 +[Footnote 109: Quem sibi Germanus famulam delegerat exul, is the contemptuous expression of Claudian, (iv. Cons. Hon. 74.) Eugenius professed Christianity;​ but his secret attachment to Paganism (Sozomen, l. vii. c. 22, Philostorg. l. xi. c. 2) is probable in a grammarian, and would secure the friendship of Zosimus, (l. iv. p. 276, 277.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 110: Zosimus (l. iv. p. 278) mentions this embassy; but he is diverted by another story from relating the event.]
 +
 +[Footnote 111: Zosim. l. iv. p. 277.  He afterwards says (p. 280) that Galla died in childbed; and intimates, that the affliction of her husband was extreme but short.]
 +
 +[Footnote 112: Lycopolis is the modern Siut, or Osiot, a town of Said, about the size of St. Denys, which drives a profitable trade with the kingdom of Senaar, and has a very convenient fountain, "cujus potu signa virgini tatis eripiuntur."​ See D'​Anville,​ Description de l'​Egypte,​ p. 181 Abulfeda, Descript. Egypt. p. 14, and the curious Annotations,​ p. 25, 92, of his editor Michaelis.]
 +
 +[Footnote 113: The Life of John of Lycopolis is described by his two friends, Rufinus (l. ii. c. i. p. 449) and Palladius, (Hist. Lausiac. c. 43, p. 738,) in Rosweyde'​s great Collection of the Vitae Patrum. ​ Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. x. p. 718, 720) has settled the chronology.]
 +
 +[Footnote 114: Sozomen, l. vii. c. 22.  Claudian (in Eutrop. l. i. 312) mentions the eunuch'​s journey; but he most contemptuously derides the Egyptian dreams, and the oracles of the Nile.] [Footnote *: Gibbon has embodied the picturesque verses of Claudian: - .... Nec tantis dissona linguis Turba, nec armorum cultu diversion unquam]
 +
 +[Footnote 115: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 280.  Socrates, l. vii. 10. Alaric himself (de Bell.  Getico, 524) dwells with more complacency on his early exploits against the Romans.
 +
 +.... Tot Augustos Hebro qui teste fugavi.
 +
 +Yet his vanity could scarcely have proved this plurality of flying emperors.] The emperor of the West, or, to speak more properly, his general Arbogastes, was instructed by the misconduct and misfortune of Maximus, how dangerous it might prove to extend the line of defence against a skilful antagonist, who was free to press, or to suspend, to contract, or to multiply, his various methods of attack. ^116 Arbogastes fixed his station on the confines of Italy; the troops of Theodosius were permitted to occupy, without resistance, the provinces of Pannonia, as far as the foot of the Julian Alps; and even the passes of the mountains were negligently,​ or perhaps artfully, abandoned to the bold invader. ​ He descended from the hills, and beheld, with some astonishment,​ the formidable camp of the Gauls and Germans, that covered with arms and tents the open country which extends to the walls of Aquileia, and the banks of the Frigidus, ^117 or Cold River. ^118 This narrow theatre of the war, circumscribed by the Alps and the Adriatic, did not allow much room for the operations of military skill; the spirit of Arbogastes would have disdained a pardon; his guilt extinguished the hope of a negotiation;​ and Theodosius was impatient to satisfy his glory and revenge, by the chastisement of the assassins of Valentinian. ​ Without weighing the natural and artificial obstacles that opposed his efforts, the emperor of the East immediately attacked the fortifications of his rivals, assigned the post of honorable danger to the Goths, and cherished a secret wish, that the bloody conflict might diminish the pride and numbers of the conquerors. ​ Ten thousand of those auxiliaries,​ and Bacurius, general of the Iberians, died bravely on the field of battle. ​ But the victory was not purchased by their blood; the Gauls maintained their advantage; and the approach of night protected the disorderly flight, or retreat, of the troops of Theodosius. ​ The emperor retired to the adjacent hills; where he passed a disconsolate night, without sleep, without provisions, and without hopes; ^119 except that strong assurance, which, under the most desperate circumstances,​ the independent mind may derive from the contempt of fortune and of life.  The triumph of Eugenius was celebrated by the insolent and dissolute joy of his camp; whilst the active and vigilant Arbogastes secretly detached a considerable body of troops to occupy the passes of the mountains, and to encompass the rear of the Eastern army.  The dawn of day discovered to the eyes of Theodosius the extent and the extremity of his danger; but his apprehensions were soon dispelled, by a friendly message from the leaders of those troops who expressed their inclination to desert the standard of the tyrant. ​ The honorable and lucrative rewards, which they stipulated as the price of their perfidy, were granted without hesitation; and as ink and paper could not easily be procured, the emperor subscribed, on his own tablets, the ratification of the treaty. ​ The spirit of his soldiers was revived by this seasonable reenforcement;​ and they again marched, with confidence, to surprise the camp of a tyrant, whose principal officers appeared to distrust, either the justice or the success of his arms. In the heat of the battle, a violent tempest, ^120 such as is often felt among the Alps, suddenly arose from the East.  The army of Theodosius was sheltered by their position from the impetuosity of the wind, which blew a cloud of dust in the faces of the enemy, disordered their ranks, wrested their weapons from their hands, and diverted, or repelled, their ineffectual javelins. ​ This accidental advantage was skilfully improved, the violence of the storm was magnified by the superstitious terrors of the Gauls; and they yielded without shame to the invisible powers of heaven, who seemed to militate on the side of the pious emperor. ​ His victory was decisive; and the deaths of his two rivals were distinguished only by the difference of their characters. ​ The rhetorician Eugenius, who had almost acquired the dominion of the world, was reduced to implore the mercy of the conqueror; and the unrelenting soldiers separated his head from his body as he lay prostrate at the feet of Theodosius. ​ Arbogastes, after the loss of a battle, in which he had discharged the duties of a soldier and a general, wandered several days among the mountains. ​ But when he was convinced that his cause was desperate, and his escape impracticable,​ the intrepid Barbarian imitated the example of the ancient Romans, and turned his sword against his own breast. ​ The fate of the empire was determined in a narrow corner of Italy; and the legitimate successor of the house of Valentinian embraced the archbishop of Milan, and graciously received the submission of the provinces of the West.  Those provinces were involved in the guilt of rebellion; while the inflexible courage of Ambrose alone had resisted the claims of successful usurpation. With a manly freedom, which might have been fatal to any other subject, the archbishop rejected the gifts of Eugenius, ^* declined his correspondence,​ and withdrew himself from Milan, to avoid the odious presence of a tyrant, whose downfall he predicted in discreet and ambiguous language. The merit of Ambrose was applauded by the conqueror, who secured the attachment of the people by his alliance with the church; and the clemency of Theodosius is ascribed to the humane intercession of the archbishop of Milan. ^121 [Footnote 116: Claudian (in iv. Cons. Honor. 77, &c.) contrasts the military plans of the two usurpers: -
 +
 +.... Novitas audere priorem Suadebat; cautumque dabant exempla sequentem. Hic nova moliri praeceps: hic quaerere tuta Providus. ​ Hic fusis; colectis viribus ille. Hic vagus excurrens; hic intra claustra reductus Dissimiles, sed morte pares ......]
 +
 +[Footnote 117: The Frigidus, a small, though memorable, stream in the country of Goretz, now called the Vipao, falls into the Sontius, or Lisonzo, above Aquileia, some miles from the Adriatic. ​ See D'​Anville'​s ancient and modern maps, and the Italia Antiqua of Cluverius, (tom. i. c. 188.)] [Footnote 118: Claudian'​s wit is intolerable:​ the snow was dyed red; the cold ver smoked; and the channel must have been choked with carcasses the current had not been swelled with blood. Confluxit populus: totam pater undique secum Moverat Aurorem; mixtis hic Colchus Iberis, Hic mitra velatus Arabs, hic crine decoro Armenius, hic picta Saces, fucataque Medus, Hic gemmata tiger tentoria fixerat Indus. - De Laud. Stil. l. 145. - M.] [Footnote 119: Theodoret affirms, that St. John, and St. Philip, appeared to the waking, or sleeping, emperor, on horseback, &c. This is the first instance of apostolic chivalry, which afterwards became so popular in Spain, and in the Crusades.] [Footnote 120: Te propter, gelidis Aquilo de monte procellis Obruit adversas acies; revolutaque tela Vertit in auctores, et turbine reppulit hastas O nimium dilecte Deo, cui fundit ab antris Aeolus armatas hyemes; cui militat Aether, Et conjurati veniunt ad classica venti.
 +
 +These famous lines of Claudian (in iii. Cons. Honor. 93, &c. A.D. 396) are alleged by his contemporaries,​ Augustin and Orosius; who suppress the Pagan deity of Aeolus, and add some circumstances from the information of eye-witnesses. ​ Within four months after the victory, it was compared by Ambrose to the miraculous victories of Moses and Joshua.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Arbogastes and his emperor had openly espoused the Pagan party, according to Ambrose and Augustin. ​ See Le Beau, v. 40.  Beugnot (Histoire de la Destruction du Paganisme) is more full, and perhaps somewhat fanciful, on this remarkable reaction in favor of Paganism, but compare p 116. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 121: The events of this civil war are gathered from Ambrose, (tom. ii. Epist. lxii. p. 1022,) Paulinus, (in Vit. Ambros. c. 26 - 34,) Augustin, (de Civitat. Dei, v. 26,) Orosius, (l. vii. c. 35,) Sozomen, (l. vii. c. 24,) Theodoret, (l. v. c. 24,) Zosimus, (l. iv. p. 281, 282,) Claudian, (in iii. Cons. Hon. 63 - 105, in iv. Cons. Hon. 70 - 117,) and the Chronicles published by Scaliger.]
 +
 +After the defeat of Eugenius, the merit, as well as the authority, of Theodosius was cheerfully acknowledged by all the inhabitants of the Roman world. ​ The experience of his past conduct encouraged the most pleasing expectations of his future reign; and the age of the emperor, which did not exceed fifty years, seemed to extend the prospect of the public felicity. His death, only four months after his victory, was considered by the people as an unforeseen and fatal event, which destroyed, in a moment, the hopes of the rising generation. ​ But the indulgence of ease and luxury had secretly nourished the principles of disease. ^122 The strength of Theodosius was unable to support the sudden and violent transition from the palace to the camp; and the increasing symptoms of a dropsy announced the speedy dissolution of the emperor. ​ The opinion, and perhaps the interest, of the public had confirmed the division of the Eastern and Western empires; and the two royal youths, Arcadius and Honorius, who had already obtained, from the tenderness of their father, the title of Augustus, were destined to fill the thrones of Constantinople and of Rome.  Those princes were not permitted to share the danger and glory of the civil war; ^123 but as soon as Theodosius had triumphed over his unworthy rivals, he called his younger son, Honorius, to enjoy the fruits of the victory, and to receive the sceptre of the West from the hands of his dying father. ​ The arrival of Honorius at Milan was welcomed by a splendid exhibition of the games of the Circus; and the emperor, though he was oppressed by the weight of his disorder, contributed by his presence to the public joy.  But the remains of his strength were exhausted by the painful effort which he made to assist at the spectacles of the morning. ​ Honorius supplied, during the rest of the day, the place of his father; and the great Theodosius expired in the ensuing night. Notwithstanding the recent animosities of a civil war, his death was universally lamented. ​ The Barbarians, whom he had vanquished and the churchmen, by whom he had been subdued, celebrated, with loud and sincere applause, the qualities of the deceased emperor, which appeared the most valuable in their eyes.  The Romans were terrified by the impending dangers of a feeble and divided administration,​ and every disgraceful moment of the unfortunate reigns of Arcadius and Honorius revived the memory of their irreparable loss.
 +
 +[Footnote 122: This disease, ascribed by Socrates (l. v. c. 26) to the fatigues of war, is represented by Philostorgius (l. xi. c. 2) as the effect of sloth and intemperance;​ for which Photius calls him an impudent liar, (Godefroy, Dissert. p. 438.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 123: Zosimus supposes, that the boy Honorius accompanied his father, (l. iv. p. 280.) Yet the quanto flagrabrant pectora voto is all that flattery would allow to a contemporary poet; who clearly describes the emperor'​s refusal, and the journey of Honorius, after the victory (Claudian in iii. Cons. 78 - 125.)]
 +
 +In the faithful picture of the virtues of Theodosius, his imperfections have not been dissembled; the act of cruelty, and the habits of indolence, which tarnished the glory of one of the greatest of the Roman princes. ​ An historian, perpetually adverse to the fame of Theodosius, has exaggerated his vices, and their pernicious effects; he boldly asserts, that every rank of subjects imitated the effeminate manners of their sovereign; and that every species of corruption polluted the course of public and private life; and that the feeble restraints of order and decency were insufficient to resist the progress of that degenerate spirit, which sacrifices, without a blush, the consideration of duty and interest to the base indulgence of sloth and appetite. ^124 The complaints of contemporary writers, who deplore the increase of luxury, and depravation of manners, are commonly expressive of their peculiar temper and situation. There are few observers, who possess a clear and comprehensive view of the revolutions of society; and who are capable of discovering the nice and secret springs of action, which impel, in the same uniform direction, the blind and capricious passions of a multitude of individuals. ​ If it can be affirmed, with any degree of truth, that the luxury of the Romans was more shameless and dissolute in the reign of Theodosius than in the age of Constantine,​ perhaps, or of Augustus, the alteration cannot be ascribed to any beneficial improvements,​ which had gradually increased the stock of national riches. ​ A long period of calamity or decay must have checked the industry, and diminished the wealth, of the people; and their profuse luxury must have been the result of that indolent despair, which enjoys the present hour, and declines the thoughts of futurity. ​ The uncertain condition of their property discouraged the subjects of Theodosius from engaging in those useful and laborious undertakings which require an immediate expense, and promise a slow and distant advantage. ​ The frequent examples of ruin and desolation tempted them not to spare the remains of a patrimony, which might, every hour, become the prey of the rapacious Goth. And the mad prodigality which prevails in the confusion of a shipwreck, or a siege, may serve to explain the progress of luxury amidst the misfortunes and terrors of a sinking nation. [Footnote 124: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 244.]
 +
 +The effeminate luxury, which infected the manners of courts and cities, had instilled a secret and destructive poison into the camps of the legions; and their degeneracy has been marked by the pen of a military writer, who had accurately studied the genuine and ancient principles of Roman discipline. ​ It is the just and important observation of Vegetius, that the infantry was invariably covered with defensive armor, from the foundation of the city, to the reign of the emperor Gratian. ​ The relaxation of discipline, and the disuse of exercise, rendered the soldiers less able, and less willing, to support the fatigues of the service; they complained of the weight of the armor, which they seldom wore; and they successively obtained the permission of laying aside both their cuirasses and their helmets. ​ The heavy weapons of their ancestors, the short sword, and the formidable pilum, which had subdued the world, insensibly dropped from their feeble hands. ​ As the use of the shield is incompatible with that of the bow, they reluctantly marched into the field; condemned to suffer either the pain of wounds, or the ignominy of flight, and always disposed to prefer the more shameful alternative. ​ The cavalry of the Goths, the Huns, and the Alani, had felt the benefits, and adopted the use, of defensive armor; and, as they excelled in the management of missile weapons, they easily overwhelmed the naked and trembling legions, whose heads and breasts were exposed, without defence, to the arrows of the Barbarians. ​ The loss of armies, the destruction of cities, and the dishonor of the Roman name, ineffectually solicited the successors of Gratian to restore the helmets and the cuirasses of the infantry. ​ The enervated soldiers abandoned their own and the public defence; and their pusillanimous indolence may be considered as the immediate cause of the downfall of the empire. ^125
 +
 +[Footnote 125: Vegetius, de Re Militari, l. i. c. 10.  The series of calamities which he marks, compel us to believe, that the Hero, to whom he dedicates his book, is the last and most inglorious of the Valentinians.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVIII: Destruction Of Paganism. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +Final Destruction Of Paganism. - Introduction Of The Worship Of Saints, And Relics, Among The Christians.
 +
 +The ruin of Paganism, in the age of Theodosius, is perhaps the only example of the total extirpation of any ancient and popular superstition;​ and may therefore deserve to be considered as a singular event in the history of the human mind.  The Christians, more especially the clergy, had impatiently supported the prudent delays of Constantine,​ and the equal toleration of the elder Valentinian;​ nor could they deem their conquest perfect or secure, as long as their adversaries were permitted to exist. The influence which Ambrose and his brethren had acquired over the youth of Gratian, and the piety of Theodosius, was employed to infuse the maxims of persecution into the breasts of their Imperial proselytes. ​ Two specious principles of religious jurisprudence were established,​ from whence they deduced a direct and rigorous conclusion, against the subjects of the empire who still adhered to the ceremonies of their ancestors: that the magistrate is, in some measure, guilty of the crimes which he neglects to prohibit, or to punish; and, that the idolatrous worship of fabulous deities, and real daemons, is the most abominable crime against the supreme majesty of the Creator. ​ The laws of Moses, and the examples of Jewish history, ^1 were hastily, perhaps erroneously,​ applied, by the clergy, to the mild and universal reign of Christianity. ^2 The zeal of the emperors was excited to vindicate their own honor, and that of the Deity: and the temples of the Roman world were subverted, about sixty years after the conversion of Constantine.
 +
 +[Footnote 1: St. Ambrose (tom. ii. de Obit. Theodos. p. 1208) expressly praises and recommends the zeal of Josiah in the destruction of idolatry The language of Julius Firmicus Maternus on the same subject (de Errore Profan. Relig. p. 467, edit. Gronov.) is piously inhuman. ​ Nec filio jubet (the Mosaic Law) parci, nec fratri, et per amatam conjugera gladium vindicem ducit, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 2: Bayle (tom. ii. p. 406, in his Commentaire Philosophique) justifies, and limits, these intolerant laws by the temporal reign of Jehovah over the Jews.  The attempt is laudable.]
 +
 +From the age of Numa to the reign of Gratian, the Romans preserved the regular succession of the several colleges of the sacerdotal order. ^3 Fifteen Pontiffs exercised their supreme jurisdiction over all things, and persons, that were consecrated to the service of the gods; and the various questions which perpetually arose in a loose and traditionary system, were submitted to the judgment of their holy tribunal Fifteen grave and learned Augurs observed the face of the heavens, and prescribed the actions of heroes, according to the flight of birds. ​ Fifteen keepers of the Sibylline books (their name of Quindecemvirs was derived from their number) occasionally consulted the history of future, and, as it should seem, of contingent, events. ​ Six Vestals devoted their virginity to the guard of the sacred fire, and of the unknown pledges of the duration of Rome; which no mortal had been suffered to behold with impunity. ^4 Seven Epulos prepared the table of the gods, conducted the solemn procession, and regulated the ceremonies of the annual festival. ​ The three Flamens of Jupiter, of Mars, and of Quirinus, were considered as the peculiar ministers of the three most powerful deities, who watched over the fate of Rome and of the universe. ​ The King of the Sacrifices represented the person of Numa, and of his successors, in the religious functions, which could be performed only by royal hands. ​ The confraternities of the Salians, the Lupercals, &c., practised such rites as might extort a smile of contempt from every reasonable man, with a lively confidence of recommending themselves to the favor of the immortal gods.  The authority, which the Roman priests had formerly obtained in the counsels of the republic, was gradually abolished by the establishment of monarchy, and the removal of the seat of empire. ​ But the dignity of their sacred character was still protected by the laws, and manners of their country; and they still continued, more especially the college of pontiffs, to exercise in the capital, and sometimes in the provinces, the rights of their ecclesiastical and civil jurisdiction. ​ Their robes of purple, chariotz of state, and sumptuous entertainments,​ attracted the admiration of the people; and they received, from the consecrated lands, and the public revenue, an ample stipend, which liberally supported the splendor of the priesthood, and all the expenses of the religious worship of the state. ​ As the service of the altar was not incompatible with the command of armies, the Romans, after their consulships and triumphs, aspired to the place of pontiff, or of augur; the seats of Cicero ^5 and Pompey were filled, in the fourth century, by the most illustrious members of the senate; and the dignity of their birth reflected additional splendor on their sacerdotal character. ​ The fifteen priests, who composed the college of pontiffs, enjoyed a more distinguished rank as the companions of their sovereign; and the Christian emperors condescended to accept the robe and ensigns, which were appropriated to the office of supreme pontiff. ​ But when Gratian ascended the throne, more scrupulous or more enlightened,​ he sternly rejected those profane symbols; ^6 applied to the service of the state, or of the church, the revenues of the priests and vestals; abolished their honors and immunities; and dissolved the ancient fabric of Roman superstition,​ which was supported by the opinions and habits of eleven hundred years. ​ Paganism was still the constitutional religion of the senate. ​ The hall, or temple, in which they assembled, was adorned by the statue and altar of Victory; ^7 a majestic female standing on a globe, with flowing garments, expanded wings, and a crown of laurel in her outstretched hand. ^8 The senators were sworn on the altar of the goddess to observe the laws of the emperor and of the empire: and a solemn offering of wine and incense was the ordinary prelude of their public deliberations. ​ The removal of this ancient monument was the only injury which Constantius had offered to the superstition of the Romans. ​ The altar of Victory was again restored by Julian, tolerated by Valentinian,​ and once more banished from the senate by the zeal of Gratian. ^10 But the emperor yet spared the statues of the gods which were exposed to the public veneration: four hundred and twenty-four temples, or chapels, still remained to satisfy the devotion of the people; and in every quarter of Rome the delicacy of the Christians was offended by the fumes of idolatrous sacrifice. ^11 [Footnote 3: See the outlines of the Roman hierarchy in Cicero, (de Legibus, ii. 7, 8,) Livy, (i. 20,) Dionysius Halicarnassensis,​ (l. ii. p. 119 - 129, edit. Hudson,) Beaufort, (Republique Romaine, tom. i. p. 1 - 90,) and Moyle, (vol. i. p. 10 - 55.) The last is the work of an English whig, as well as of a Roman antiquary.]
 +
 +[Footnote 4: These mystic, and perhaps imaginary, symbols have given birth to various fables and conjectures. ​ It seems probable, that the Palladium was a small statue (three cubits and a half high) of Minerva, with a lance and distaff; that it was usually enclosed in a seria, or barrel; and that a similar barrel was placed by its side to disconcert curiosity, or sacrilege. See Mezeriac (Comment. sur les Epitres d'​Ovide,​ tom i. p. 60 - 66) and Lipsius, (tom. iii. p. 610 de Vesta, &c. c 10.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 5: Cicero frankly (ad Atticum, l. ii. Epist. 5) or indirectly (ad Familiar. l. xv. Epist. 4) confesses that the Augurate is the supreme object of his wishes. ​ Pliny is proud to tread in the footsteps of Cicero, (l. iv. Epist. 8,) and the chain of tradition might be continued from history and marbles.] [Footnote 6: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 249, 250.  I have suppressed the foolish pun about Pontifex and Maximus.]
 +
 +[Footnote 7: This statue was transported from Tarentum to Rome, placed in the Curia Julia by Caesar, and decorated by Augustus with the spoils of Egypt.]
 +
 +[Footnote 8: Prudentius (l. ii. in initio) has drawn a very awkward portrait of Victory; but the curious reader will obtain more satisfaction from Montfaucon'​s Antiquities,​ (tom. i. p. 341.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 9: See Suetonius (in August. c. 35) and the Exordium of Pliny'​s Panegyric.]
 +
 +[Footnote 10: These facts are mutually allowed by the two advocates, Symmachus and Ambrose.]
 +
 +[Footnote 11: The Notitia Urbis, more recent than Constantine,​ does not find one Christian church worthy to be named among the edifices of the city.  Ambrose (tom. ii. Epist. xvii. p. 825) deplores the public scandals of Rome, which continually offended the eyes, the ears, and the nostrils of the faithful.]
 +
 +But the Christians formed the least numerous party in the senate of Rome: ^12 and it was only by their absence, that they could express their dissent from the legal, though profane, acts of a Pagan majority. ​ In that assembly, the dying embers of freedom were, for a moment, revived and inflamed by the breath of fanaticism. ​ Four respectable deputations were successively voted to the Imperial court, ^13 to represent the grievances of the priesthood and the senate, and to solicit the restoration of the altar of Victory. ​ The conduct of this important business was intrusted to the eloquent Symmachus, ^14 a wealthy and noble senator, who united the sacred characters of pontiff and augur with the civil dignities of proconsul of Africa and praefect of the city.  The breast of Symmachus was animated by the warmest zeal for the cause of expiring Paganism; and his religious antagonists lamented the abuse of his genius, and the inefficacy of his moral virtues. ^15 The orator, whose petition is extant to the emperor Valentinian,​ was conscious of the difficulty and danger of the office which he had assumed. ​ He cautiously avoids every topic which might appear to reflect on the religion of his sovereign; humbly declares, that prayers and entreaties are his only arms; and artfully draws his arguments from the schools of rhetoric, rather than from those of philosophy. Symmachus endeavors to seduce the imagination of a young prince, by displaying the attributes of the goddess of victory; he insinuates, that the confiscation of the revenues, which were consecrated to the service of the gods, was a measure unworthy of his liberal and disinterested character; and he maintains, that the Roman sacrifices would be deprived of their force and energy, if they were no longer celebrated at the expense, as well as in the name, of the republic. ​ Even scepticism is made to supply an apology for superstition. ​ The great and incomprehensible secret of the universe eludes the inquiry of man.  Where reason cannot instruct, custom may be permitted to guide; and every nation seems to consult the dictates of prudence, by a faithful attachment to those rites and opinions, which have received the sanction of ages.  If those ages have been crowned with glory and prosperity, if the devout people have frequently obtained the blessings which they have solicited at the altars of the gods, it must appear still more advisable to persist in the same salutary practice; and not to risk the unknown perils that may attend any rash innovations. ​ The test of antiquity and success was applied with singular advantage to the religion of Numa; and Rome herself, the celestial genius that presided over the fates of the city, is introduced by the orator to plead her own cause before the tribunal of the emperors. ​ "Most excellent princes,"​ says the venerable matron, "​fathers of your country! ​ pity and respect my age, which has hitherto flowed in an uninterrupted course of piety. ​ Since I do not repent, permit me to continue in the practice of my ancient rites. ​ Since I am born free, allow me to enjoy my domestic institutions. ​ This religion has reduced the world under my laws.  These rites have repelled Hannibal from the city, and the Gauls from the Capitol. ​ Were my gray hairs reserved for such intolerable disgrace? ​ I am ignorant of the new system that I am required to adopt; but I am well assured, that the correction of old age is always an ungrateful and ignominious office."​ ^16 The fears of the people supplied what the discretion of the orator had suppressed; and the calamities, which afflicted, or threatened, the declining empire, were unanimously imputed, by the Pagans, to the new religion of Christ and of Constantine.
 +
 +[Footnote 12: Ambrose repeatedly affirms, in contradiction to common sense (Moyle'​s Works, vol. ii. p. 147,) that the Christians had a majority in the senate.]
 +
 +[Footnote 13: The first (A.D. 382) to Gratian, who refused them audience; the second (A.D. 384) to Valentinian,​ when the field was disputed by Symmachus and Ambrose; the third (A.D. 388) to Theodosius; and the fourth (A.D. 392) to Valentinian. ​ Lardner (Heathen Testimonies,​ vol. iv. p. 372 - 399) fairly represents the whole transaction.]
 +
 +[Footnote 14: Symmachus, who was invested with all the civil and sacerdotal honors, represented the emperor under the two characters of Pontifex Maximus, and Princeps Senatus. ​ See the proud inscription at the head of his works.
 +
 +Note: Mr. Beugnot has made it doubtful whether Symmachus was more than Pontifex Major. ​ Destruction du Paganisme, vol. i. p. 459. - M.] [Footnote 15: As if any one, says Prudentius (in Symmach. i. 639) should dig in the mud with an instrument of gold and ivory. ​ Even saints, and polemic saints, treat this adversary with respect and civility.] [Footnote 16: See the fifty-fourth Epistle of the tenth book of Symmachus. In the form and disposition of his ten books of Epistles, he imitated the younger Pliny; whose rich and florid style he was supposed, by his friends, to equal or excel, (Macrob. Saturnal. l. v. c. i.) But the luxcriancy of Symmachus consists of barren leaves, without fruits, and even without flowers. ​ Few facts, and few sentiments, can be extracted from his verbose correspondence.]
 +
 +But the hopes of Symmachus were repeatedly baffled by the firm and dexterous opposition of the archbishop of Milan, who fortified the emperors against the fallacious eloquence of the advocate of Rome.  In this controversy,​ Ambrose condescends to speak the language of a philosopher,​ and to ask, with some contempt, why it should be thought necessary to introduce an imaginary and invisible power, as the cause of those victories, which were sufficiently explained by the valor and discipline of the legions. ​ He justly derides the absurd reverence for antiquity, which could only tend to discourage the improvements of art, and to replunge the human race into their original barbarism. ​ From thence, gradually rising to a more lofty and theological tone, he pronounces, that Christianity alone is the doctrine of truth and salvation; and that every mode of Polytheism conducts its deluded votaries, through the paths of error, to the abyss of eternal perdition. ^17 Arguments like these, when they were suggested by a favorite bishop, had power to prevent the restoration of the altar of Victory; but the same arguments fell, with much more energy and effect, from the mouth of a conqueror; and the gods of antiquity were dragged in triumph at the chariot-wheels of Theodosius. ^18 In a full meeting of the senate, the emperor proposed, according to the forms of the republic, the important question, Whether the worship of Jupiter, or that of Christ, should be the religion of the Romans. ^* The liberty of suffrages, which he affected to allow, was destroyed by the hopes and fears that his presence inspired; and the arbitrary exile of Symmachus was a recent admonition, that it might be dangerous to oppose the wishes of the monarch. ​ On a regular division of the senate, Jupiter was condemned and degraded by the sense of a very large majority; and it is rather surprising, that any members should be found bold enough to declare, by their speeches and votes, that they were still attached to the interest of an abdicated deity. ^19 The hasty conversion of the senate must be attributed either to supernatural or to sordid motives; and many of these reluctant proselytes betrayed, on every favorable occasion, their secret disposition to throw aside the mask of odious dissimulation. ​ But they were gradually fixed in the new religion, as the cause of the ancient became more hopeless; they yielded to the authority of the emperor, to the fashion of the times, and to the entreaties of their wives and children, ^20 who were instigated and governed by the clergy of Rome and the monks of the East. The edifying example of the Anician family was soon imitated by the rest of the nobility: the Bassi, the Paullini, the Gracchi, embraced the Christian religion; and "the luminaries of the world, the venerable assembly of Catos (such are the high-flown expressions of Prudentius) were impatient to strip themselves of their pontifical garment; to cast the skin of the old serpent; to assume the snowy robes of baptismal innocence, and to humble the pride of the consular fasces before tombs of the martyrs."​ ^21 The citizens, who subsisted by their own industry, and the populace, who were supported by the public liberality, filled the churches of the Lateran, and Vatican, with an incessant throng of devout proselytes. ​ The decrees of the senate, which proscribed the worship of idols, were ratified by the general consent of the Romans; ^22 the splendor of the Capitol was defaced, and the solitary temples were abandoned to ruin and contempt. ^23 Rome submitted to the yoke of the Gospel; and the vanquished provinces had not yet lost their reverence for the name and authority of Rome. ^*
 +
 +[Footnote 17: See Ambrose, (tom. ii. Epist. xvii. xviii. p. 825 - 833.) The former of these epistles is a short caution; the latter is a formal reply of the petition or libel of Symmachus. ​ The same ideas are more copiously expressed in the poetry, if it may deserve that name, of Prudentius; who composed his two books against Symmachus (A.D. 404) while that senator was still alive. It is whimsical enough that Montesquieu (Considerations,​ &c. c. xix. tom. iii. p. 487) should overlook the two professed antagonists of Symmachus, and amuse himself with descanting on the more remote and indirect confutations of Orosius, St. Augustin, and Salvian.] [Footnote 18: See Prudentius (in Symmach. l. i. 545, &c.) The Christian agrees with the Pagan Zosimus (l. iv. p. 283) in placing this visit of Theodosius after the second civil war, gemini bis victor caede Tyranni, (l. i. 410.) But the time and circumstances are better suited to his first triumph.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: M. Beugnot (in his Histoire de la Destruction du Paganisme en Occident, i. p. 483 - 488) questions, altogether, the truth of this statement. ​ It is very remarkable that Zosimus and Prudentius concur in asserting the fact of the question being solemnly deliberated by the senate, though with directly opposite results. ​ Zosimus declares that the majority of the assembly adhered to the ancient religion of Rome; Gibbon has adopted the authority of Prudentius, who, as a Latin writer, though a poet, deserves more credit than the Greek historian. ​ Both concur in placing this scene after the second triumph of Theodosius; but it has been almost demonstrated (and Gibbon - see the preceding note - seems to have acknowledged this) by Pagi and Tillemont, that Theodosius did not visit Rome after the defeat of Eugenius. ​ M. Beugnot urges, with much force, the improbability that the Christian emperor would submit such a question to the senate, whose authority was nearly obsolete, except on one occasion, which was almost hailed as an epoch in the restoration of her ancient privileges. ​ The silence of Ambrose and of Jerom on an event so striking, and redounding so much to the honor of Christianity,​ is of considerable weight. ​ M. Beugnot would ascribe the whole scene to the poetic imagination of Prudentius; but I must observe, that, however Prudentius is sometimes elevated by the grandeur of his subject to vivid and eloquent language, this flight of invention would be so much bolder and more vigorous than usual with this poet, that I cannot but suppose there must have been some foundation for the story, though it may have been exaggerated by the poet, or misrepresented by the historian. - M]
 +
 +[Footnote 19: Prudentius, after proving that the sense of the senate is declared by a legal majority, proceeds to say, (609, &c.) - Adspice quam pleno subsellia nostra Senatu Decernant infame Jovis pulvinar, et omne Idolum longe purgata ex urbe fugandum, Qua vocat egregii sententia Principis, illuc Libera, cum pedibus, tum corde, frequentia transit.
 +
 +Zosimus ascribes to the conscript feathers a heathenish courage, which few of them are found to possess.]
 +
 +[Footnote 20: Jerom specifies the pontiff Albinus, who was surrounded with such a believing family of children and grandchildren,​ as would have been sufficient to convert even Jupiter himself; an extraordinary proselyted (tom. i. ad Laetam, p. 54.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 21: Exultare Patres videas, pulcherrima mundi Lumina; Conciliumque senum gestire Catonum Candidiore toga niveum pietatis amictum Sumere; et exuvias deponere pontificales.
 +
 +The fancy of Prudentius is warmed and elevated by victory] [Footnote 22: Prudentius, after he has described the conversion of the senate and people, asks, with some truth and confidence, Et dubitamus adhuc Romam, tibi, Christe, dicatam In leges transisse tuas?]
 +
 +[Footnote 23: Jerom exults in the desolation of the Capitol, and the other temples of Rome, (tom. i. p. 54, tom. ii. p. 95.)] [Footnote *: M. Beugnot is more correct in his general estimate of the measures enforced by Theodosius for the abolition of Paganism. ​ He seized (according to Zosimus) the funds bestowed by the public for the expense of sacrifices. ​ The public sacrifices ceased, not because they were positively prohibited, but because the public treasury would no longer bear the expense. ​ The public and the private sacrifices in the provinces, which were not under the same regulations with those of the capital, continued to take place. ​ In Rome itself, many pagan ceremonies, which were without sacrifice, remained in full force. ​ The gods, therefore, were invoked, the temples were frequented, the pontificates inscribed, according to ancient usage, among the family titles of honor; and it cannot be asserted that idolatry was completely destroyed by Theodosius. ​ See Beugnot, p. 491. - M.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVIII: Destruction Of Paganism. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +The filial piety of the emperors themselves engaged them to proceed, with some caution and tenderness, in the reformation of the eternal city. Those absolute monarchs acted with less regard to the prejudices of the provincials. The pious labor which had been suspended near twenty years since the death of Constantius,​ ^24 was vigorously resumed, and finally accomplished,​ by the zeal of Theodosius. ​ Whilst that warlike prince yet struggled with the Goths, not for the glory, but for the safety, of the republic, he ventured to offend a considerable party of his subjects, by some acts which might perhaps secure the protection of Heaven, but which must seem rash and unseasonable in the eye of human prudence. ​ The success of his first experiments against the Pagans encouraged the pious emperor to reiterate and enforce his edicts of proscription:​ the same laws which had been originally published in the provinces of the East, were applied, after the defeat of Maximus, to the whole extent of the Western empire; and every victory of the orthodox Theodosius contributed to the triumph of the Christian and Catholic faith. ^25 He attacked superstition in her most vital part, by prohibiting the use of sacrifices, which he declared to be criminal as well as infamous; and if the terms of his edicts more strictly condemned the impious curiosity which examined the entrails of the victim, ^26 every subsequent explanation tended to involve in the same guilt the general practice of immolation, which essentially constituted the religion of the Pagans. ​ As the temples had been erected for the purpose of sacrifice, it was the duty of a benevolent prince to remove from his subjects the dangerous temptation of offending against the laws which he had enacted. ​ A special commission was granted to Cynegius, the Praetorian praefect of the East, and afterwards to the counts Jovius and Gaudentius, two officers of distinguished rank in the West; by which they were directed to shut the temples, to seize or destroy the instruments of idolatry, to abolish the privileges of the priests, and to confiscate the consecrated property for the benefit of the emperor, of the church, or of the army. ^27 Here the desolation might have stopped: and the naked edifices, which were no longer employed in the service of idolatry, might have been protected from the destructive rage of fanaticism. ​ Many of those temples were the most splendid and beautiful monuments of Grecian architecture;​ and the emperor himself was interested not to deface the splendor of his own cities, or to diminish the value of his own possessions. ​ Those stately edifices might be suffered to remain, as so many lasting trophies of the victory of Christ. In the decline of the arts they might be usefully converted into magazines, manufactures,​ or places of public assembly: and perhaps, when the walls of the temple had been sufficiently purified by holy rites, the worship of the true Deity might be allowed to expiate the ancient guilt of idolatry. ​ But as long as they subsisted, the Pagans fondly cherished the secret hope, that an auspicious revolution, a second Julian, might again restore the altars of the gods: and the earnestness with which they addressed their unavailing prayers to the throne, ^28 increased the zeal of the Christian reformers to extirpate, without mercy, the root of superstition. ​ The laws of the emperors exhibit some symptoms of a milder disposition:​ ^29 but their cold and languid efforts were insufficient to stem the torrent of enthusiasm and rapine, which was conducted, or rather impelled, by the spiritual rulers of the church. ​ In Gaul, the holy Martin, bishop of Tours, ^30 marched at the head of his faithful monks to destroy the idols, the temples, and the consecrated trees of his extensive diocese; and, in the execution of this arduous task, the prudent reader will judge whether Martin was supported by the aid of miraculous powers, or of carnal weapons. ​ In Syria, the divine and excellent Marcellus, ^31 as he is styled by Theodoret, a bishop animated with apostolic fervor, resolved to level with the ground the stately temples within the diocese of Apamea. ​ His attack was resisted by the skill and solidity with which the temple of Jupiter had been constructed. ​ The building was seated on an eminence: on each of the four sides, the lofty roof was supported by fifteen massy columns, sixteen feet in circumference;​ and the large stone, of which they were composed, were firmly cemented with lead and iron.  The force of the strongest and sharpest tools had been tried without effect. ​ It was found necessary to undermine the foundations of the columns, which fell down as soon as the temporary wooden props had been consumed with fire; and the difficulties of the enterprise are described under the allegory of a black daemon, who retarded, though he could not defeat, the operations of the Christian engineers. ​ Elated with victory, Marcellus took the field in person against the powers of darkness; a numerous troop of soldiers and gladiators marched under the episcopal banner, and he successively attacked the villages and country temples of the diocese of Apamea. ​ Whenever any resistance or danger was apprehended,​ the champion of the faith, whose lameness would not allow him either to fight or fly, placed himself at a convenient distance, beyond the reach of darts. ​ But this prudence was the occasion of his death: he was surprised and slain by a body of exasperated rustics; and the synod of the province pronounced, without hesitation, that the holy Marcellus had sacrificed his life in the cause of God.  In the support of this cause, the monks, who rushed with tumultuous fury from the desert, distinguished themselves by their zeal and diligence. ​ They deserved the enmity of the Pagans; and some of them might deserve the reproaches of avarice and intemperance;​ of avarice, which they gratified with holy plunder, and of intemperance,​ which they indulged at the expense of the people, who foolishly admired their tattered garments, loud psalmody, and artificial paleness. ^32 A small number of temples was protected by the fears, the venality, the taste, or the prudence, of the civil and ecclesiastical governors. ​ The temple of the Celestial Venus at Carthage, whose sacred precincts formed a circumference of two miles, was judiciously converted into a Christian church; ^33 and a similar consecration has preserved inviolate the majestic dome of the Pantheon at Rome. ^34 But in almost every province of the Roman world, an army of fanatics, without authority, and without discipline, invaded the peaceful inhabitants;​ and the ruin of the fairest structures of antiquity still displays the ravages of those Barbarians, who alone had time and inclination to execute such laborious destruction.
 +
 +[Footnote 24: Libanius (Orat. pro Templis, p. 10, Genev. 1634, published by James Godefroy, and now extremely scarce) accuses Valentinian and Valens of prohibiting sacrifices. ​ Some partial order may have been issued by the Eastern emperor; but the idea of any general law is contradicted by the silence of the Code, and the evidence of ecclesiastical history. Note: See in Reiske'​s edition of Libanius, tom. ii. p. 155. Sacrific was prohibited by Valens, but not the offering of incense. - M.] [Footnote 25: See his laws in the Theodosian Code, l. xvi. tit. x. leg. 7 - 11.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: Homer'​s sacrifices are not accompanied with any inquisition of entrails, (see Feithius, Antiquitat. Homer. l. i. c. 10, 16.) The Tuscans, who produced the first Haruspices, subdued both the Greeks and the Romans, (Cicero de Divinatione,​ ii. 23.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 27: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 245, 249.  Theodoret. l. v. c. 21. Idatius in Chron. Prosper. Aquitan. l. iii. c. 38, apud Baronium, Annal. Eccles. A.D. 389, No. 52.  Libanius (pro Templis, p. 10) labors to prove that the commands of Theodosius were not direct and positive.
 +
 +Note: Libanius appears to be the best authority for the East, where, under Theodosius, the work of devastation was carried on with very different degrees of violence, according to the temper of the local authorities and of the clergy; and more especially the neighborhood of the more fanatican monks. Neander well observes, that the prohibition of sacrifice would be easily misinterpreted into an authority for the destruction of the buildings in which sacrifices were performed. (Geschichte der Christlichen religion ii. p. 156.) An abuse of this kind led to this remarkable oration of Libanius. ​ Neander, however, justly doubts whether this bold vindication or at least exculpation,​ of Paganism was ever delivered before, or even placed in the hands of the Christian emperor. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 28: Cod. Theodos, l. xvi. tit. x. leg. 8, 18.  There is room to believe, that this temple of Edessa, which Theodosius wished to save for civil uses, was soon afterwards a heap of ruins, (Libanius pro Templis, p. 26, 27, and Godefroy'​s notes, p. 59.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 29: See this curious oration of Libanius pro Templis, pronounced, or rather composed, about the year 390.  I have consulted, with advantage, Dr. Lardner'​s version and remarks, (Heathen Testimonies,​ vol. iv. p. 135 - 163.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 30: See the Life of Martin by Sulpicius Severus, c. 9 - 14.  The saint once mistook (as Don Quixote might have done) a harmless funeral for an idolatrous procession, and imprudently committed a miracle.] [Footnote 31: Compare Sozomen, (l. vii. c. 15) with Theodoret, (l. v. c. 21.) Between them, they relate the crusade and death of Marcellus.] [Footnote 32: Libanius, pro Templis, p. 10 - 13.  He rails at these black- garbed men, the Christian monks, who eat more than elephants. ​ Poor elephants! ​ they are temperate animals.]
 +
 +[Footnote 33: Prosper. Aquitan. l. iii. c. 38, apud Baronium; Annal. Eccles. A.D. 389, No. 58, &​c. ​ The temple had been shut some time, and the access to it was overgrown with brambles.] [Footnote 34: Donatus, Roma Antiqua et Nova, l. iv. c. 4, p. 468. This consecration was performed by Pope Boniface IV.  I am ignorant of the favorable circumstances which had preserved the Pantheon above two hundred years after the reign of Theodosius.] In this wide and various prospect of devastation,​ the spectator may distinguish the ruins of the temple of Serapis, at Alexandria. ^35 Serapis does not appear to have been one of the native gods, or monsters, who sprung from the fruitful soil of superstitious Egypt. ^36 The first of the Ptolemies had been commanded, by a dream, to import the mysterious stranger from the coast of Pontus, where he had been long adored by the inhabitants of Sinope; but his attributes and his reign were so imperfectly understood, that it became a subject of dispute, whether he represented the bright orb of day, or the gloomy monarch of the subterraneous regions. ^37 The Egyptians, who were obstinately devoted to the religion of their fathers, refused to admit this foreign deity within the walls of their cities. ^38 But the obsequious priests, who were seduced by the liberality of the Ptolemies, submitted, without resistance, to the power of the god of Pontus: an honorable and domestic genealogy was provided; and this fortunate usurper was introduced into the throne and bed of Osiris, ^39 the husband of Isis, and the celestial monarch of Egypt. ​ Alexandria, which claimed his peculiar protection, gloried in the name of the city of Serapis. ​ His temple, ^40 which rivalled the pride and magnificence of the Capitol, was erected on the spacious summit of an artificial mount, raised one hundred steps above the level of the adjacent parts of the city; and the interior cavity was strongly supported by arches, and distributed into vaults and subterraneous apartments. ​ The consecrated buildings were surrounded by a quadrangular portico; the stately halls, and exquisite statues, displayed the triumph of the arts; and the treasures of ancient learning were preserved in the famous Alexandrian library, which had arisen with new splendor from its ashes. ^41 After the edicts of Theodosius had severely prohibited the sacrifices of the Pagans, they were still tolerated in the city and temple of Serapis; and this singular indulgence was imprudently ascribed to the superstitious terrors of the Christians themselves; as if they had feared to abolish those ancient rites, which could alone secure the inundations of the Nile, the harvests of Egypt, and the subsistence of Constantinople. ^42
 +
 +[Footnote 35: Sophronius composed a recent and separate history, (Jerom, in Script. Eccles. tom. i. p. 303,) which has furnished materials to Socrates, (l. v. c. 16.) Theodoret, (l. v. c. 22,) and Rufinus, (l. ii. c. 22.) Yet the last, who had been at Alexandria before and after the event, may deserve the credit of an original witness.]
 +
 +[Footnote 36: Gerard Vossius (Opera, tom. v. p. 80, and de Idoloaltria,​ l. i. c. 29) strives to support the strange notion of the Fathers; that the patriarch Joseph was adored in Egypt, as the bull Apis, and the god Serapis.
 +
 +Note: Consult du Dieu Serapis et son Origine, par J D. Guigniaut, (the translator of Creuzer'​s Symbolique,​) Paris, 1828; and in the fifth volume of Bournouf'​s translation of Tacitus. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 37: Origo dei nondum nostris celebrata. ​ Aegyptiorum antistites sic memorant, &c., Tacit. Hist. iv. 83.  The Greeks, who had travelled into Egypt, were alike ignorant of this new deity.]
 +
 +[Footnote 38: Macrobius, Saturnal, l. i. c. 7.  Such a living fact decisively proves his foreign extraction.]
 +
 +[Footnote 39: At Rome, Isis and Serapis were united in the same temple. The precedency which the queen assumed, may seem to betray her unequal alliance with the stranger of Pontus. ​ But the superiority of the female sex was established in Egypt as a civil and religious institution,​ (Diodor. Sicul. tom. i. l. i. p. 31, edit. Wesseling,) and the same order is observed in Plutarch'​s Treatise of Isis and Osiris; whom he identifies with Serapis.] [Footnote 40: Ammianus, (xxii. 16.) The Expositio totius Mundi, (p. 8, in Hudson'​s Geograph. Minor. tom. iii.,) and Rufinus, (l. ii. c. 22,) celebrate the Serapeum, as one of the wonders of the world.] [Footnote 41: See Memoires de l'​Acad. des Inscriptions,​ tom. ix. p. 397 - 416.  The old library of the Ptolemies was totally consumed in Caesar'​s Alexandrian war.  Marc Antony gave the whole collection of Pergamus (200,000 volumes) to Cleopatra, as the foundation of the new library of Alexandria.]
 +
 +[Footnote 42: Libanius (pro Templis, p. 21) indiscreetly provokes his Christian masters by this insulting remark.]
 +
 +At that time ^43 the archiepiscopal throne of Alexandria was filled by Theophilus, ^44 the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue; a bold, bad man, whose hands were alternately polluted with gold and with blood. ​ His pious indignation was excited by the honors of Serapis; and the insults which he offered to an ancient temple of Bacchus, ^* convinced the Pagans that he meditated a more important and dangerous enterprise. ​ In the tumultuous capital of Egypt, the slightest provocation was sufficient to inflame a civil war.  The votaries of Serapis, whose strength and numbers were much inferior to those of their antagonists,​ rose in arms at the instigation of the philosopher Olympius, ^45 who exhorted them to die in the defence of the altars of the gods.  These Pagan fanatics fortified themselves in the temple, or rather fortress, of Serapis; repelled the besiegers by daring sallies, and a resolute defence; and, by the inhuman cruelties which they exercised on their Christian prisoners, obtained the last consolation of despair. ​ The efforts of the prudent magistrate were usefully exerted for the establishment of a truce, till the answer of Theodosius should determine the fate of Serapis. ​ The two parties assembled, without arms, in the principal square; and the Imperial rescript was publicly read.  But when a sentence of destruction against the idols of Alexandria was pronounced, the Christians set up a shout of joy and exultation, whilst the unfortunate Pagans, whose fury had given way to consternation,​ retired with hasty and silent steps, and eluded, by their flight or obscurity, the resentment of their enemies. ​ Theophilus proceeded to demolish the temple of Serapis, without any other difficulties,​ than those which he found in the weight and solidity of the materials: but these obstacles proved so insuperable,​ that he was obliged to leave the foundations;​ and to content himself with reducing the edifice itself to a heap of rubbish, a part of which was soon afterwards cleared away, to make room for a church, erected in honor of the Christian martyrs. ​ The valuable library of Alexandria was pillaged or destroyed; and near twenty years afterwards, the appearance of the empty shelves excited the regret and indignation of every spectator, whose mind was not totally darkened by religious prejudice. ^46 The compositions of ancient genius, so many of which have irretrievably perished, might surely have been excepted from the wreck of idolatry, for the amusement and instruction of succeeding ages; and either the zeal or the avarice of the archbishop, ^47 might have been satiated with the rich spoils, which were the reward of his victory. ​ While the images and vases of gold and silver were carefully melted, and those of a less valuable metal were contemptuously broken, and cast into the streets, Theophilus labored to expose the frauds and vices of the ministers of the idols; their dexterity in the management of the loadstone; their secret methods of introducing a human actor into a hollow statue; ^* and their scandalous abuse of the confidence of devout husbands and unsuspecting females. ^48 Charges like these may seem to deserve some degree of credit, as they are not repugnant to the crafty and interested spirit of superstition. ​ But the same spirit is equally prone to the base practice of insulting and calumniating a fallen enemy; and our belief is naturally checked by the reflection, that it is much less difficult to invent a fictitious story, than to support a practical fraud. The colossal statue of Serapis ^49 was involved in the ruin of his temple and religion. ​ A great number of plates of different metals, artificially joined together, composed the majestic figure of the deity, who touched on either side the walls of the sanctuary. The aspect of Serapis, his sitting posture, and the sceptre, which he bore in his left hand, were extremely similar to the ordinary representations of Jupiter. ​ He was distinguished from Jupiter by the basket, or bushel, which was placed on his head; and by the emblematic monster which he held in his right hand; the head and body of a serpent branching into three tails, which were again terminated by the triple heads of a dog, a lion, and a wolf.  It was confidently affirmed, that if any impious hand should dare to violate the majesty of the god, the heavens and the earth would instantly return to their original chaos. ​ An intrepid soldier, animated by zeal, and armed with a weighty battle-axe, ascended the ladder; and even the Christian multitude expected, with some anxiety, the event of the combat. ^50 He aimed a vigorous stroke against the cheek of Serapis; the cheek fell to the ground; the thunder was still silent, and both the heavens and the earth continued to preserve their accustomed order and tranquillity. ​ The victorious soldier repeated his blows: the huge idol was overthrown, and broken in pieces; and the limbs of Serapis were ignominiously dragged through the streets of Alexandria. ​ His mangled carcass was burnt in the Amphitheatre,​ amidst the shouts of the populace; and many persons attributed their conversion to this discovery of the impotence of their tutelar deity. ​ The popular modes of religion, that propose any visible and material objects of worship, have the advantage of adapting and familiarizing themselves to the senses of mankind: but this advantage is counterbalanced by the various and inevitable accidents to which the faith of the idolater is exposed. ​ It is scarcely possible, that, in every disposition of mind, he should preserve his implicit reverence for the idols, or the relics, which the naked eye, and the profane hand, are unable to distinguish from the most common productions of art or nature; and if, in the hour of danger, their secret and miraculous virtue does not operate for their own preservation,​ he scorns the vain apologies of his priests, and justly derides the object, and the folly, of his superstitious attachment. ^51 After the fall of Serapis, some hopes were still entertained by the Pagans, that the Nile would refuse his annual supply to the impious masters of Egypt; and the extraordinary delay of the inundation seemed to announce the displeasure of the river-god. ​ But this delay was soon compensated by the rapid swell of the waters. ​ They suddenly rose to such an unusual height, as to comfort the discontented party with the pleasing expectation of a deluge; till the peaceful river again subsided to the well-known and fertilizing level of sixteen cubits, or about thirty English feet. ^52 [Footnote 43: We may choose between the date of Marcellinus (A.D. 389) or that of Prosper, ( A.D. 391.) Tillemont (Hist. des Emp. tom. v. p. 310, 756) prefers the former, and Pagi the latter.] [Footnote 44: Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. xi. p. 441 - 500.  The ambiguous situation of Theophilus - a saint, as the friend of Jerom a devil, as the enemy of Chrysostom - produces a sort of impartiality;​ yet, upon the whole, the balance is justly inclined against him.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: No doubt a temple of Osiris. ​ St. Martin, iv 398 - M.] [Footnote 45: Lardner (Heathen Testimonies,​ vol. iv. p. 411) has alleged beautiful passage from Suidas, or rather from Damascius, which show the devout and virtuous Olympius, not in the light of a warrior, but of a prophet.]
 +
 +[Footnote 46: Nos vidimus armaria librorum, quibus direptis, exinanita ea a nostris hominibus, nostris temporibus memorant. Orosius, l. vi. c. 15, p. 421, edit. Havercamp. ​ Though a bigot, and a controversial writer. ​ Orosius seems to blush.]
 +
 +[Footnote 47: Eunapius, in the Lives of Antoninus and Aedesius, execrates the sacrilegious rapine of Theophilus. ​ Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. xiii. p. 453) quotes an epistle of Isidore of Pelusium, which reproaches the primate with the idolatrous worship of gold, the auri sacra fames.] [Footnote *: An English traveller, Mr. Wilkinson, has discovered the secret of the vocal Memnon. ​ There was a cavity in which a person was concealed, and struck a stone, which gave a ringing sound like brass. ​ The Arabs, who stood below when Mr. Wilkinson performed the miracle, described sound just as the author of the epigram. - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 48: Rufinus names the priest of Saturn, who, in the character of the god, familiarly conversed with many pious ladies of quality, till he betrayed himself, in a moment of transport, when he could not disguise the tone of his voice. ​ The authentic and impartial narrative of Aeschines, (see Bayle, Dictionnaire Critique, Scamandre,) and the adventure of Mudus, (Joseph. Antiquitat. Judaic. l. xviii. c. 3, p. 877 edit. Havercamp,) may prove that such amorous frauds have been practised with success.] [Footnote 49: See the images of Serapis, in Montfaucon, (tom. ii. p. 297:) but the description of Macrobius (Saturnal. l. i. c. 20) is much more picturesque and satisfactory.]
 +
 +[Footnote 50:  Sed fortes tremuere manus, motique verenda Majestate loci, si robora sacra ferirent In sua credebant redituras membra secures.
 +
 +(Lucan. iii. 429.) "Is it true," (said Augustus to a veteran of Italy, at whose house he supped) "that the man who gave the first blow to the golden statue of Anaitis, was instantly deprived of his eyes, and of his life?" - "I was that man, (replied the clear-sighted veteran,) and you now sup on one of the legs of the goddess."​ (Plin. Hist. Natur. xxxiii. 24)] [Footnote 51: The history of the reformation affords frequent examples of the sudden change from superstition to contempt.] [Footnote 52: Sozomen, l. vii. c. 20.  I have supplied the measure. ​ The same standard, of the inundation, and consequently of the cubit, has uniformly subsisted since the time of Herodotus. ​ See Freret, in the Mem. de l'​Academie des Inscriptions,​ tom. xvi. p. 344 - 353.  Greaves'​s Miscellaneous Works, vol. i. p. 233.  The Egyptian cubit is about twenty- two inches of the English measure.
 +
 +Note: Compare Wilkinson'​s Thebes and Egypt, p. 313. - M.] The temples of the Roman empire were deserted, or destroyed; but the ingenious superstition of the Pagans still attempted to elude the laws of Theodosius, by which all sacrifices had been severely prohibited. ​ The inhabitants of the country, whose conduct was less opposed to the eye of malicious curiosity, disguised their religious, under the appearance of convivial, meetings. ​ On the days of solemn festivals, they assembled in great numbers under the spreading shade of some consecrated trees; sheep and oxen were slaughtered and roasted; and this rural entertainment was sanctified by the use of incense, and by the hymns which were sung in honor of the gods. But it was alleged, that, as no part of the animal was made a burnt-offering,​ as no altar was provided to receive the blood, and as the previous oblation of salt cakes, and the concluding ceremony of libations, were carefully omitted, these festal meetings did not involve the guests in the guilt, or penalty, of an illegal sacrifice. ^53 Whatever might be the truth of the facts, or the merit of the distinction,​ ^54 these vain pretences were swept away by the last edict of Theodosius, which inflicted a deadly wound on the superstition of the Pagans. ^55 ^* This prohibitory law is expressed in the most absolute and comprehensive terms. ​ "It is our will and pleasure,"​ says the emperor, "that none of our subjects, whether magistrates or private citizens, however exalted or however humble may be their rank and condition, shall presume, in any city or in any place, to worship an inanimate idol, by the sacrifice of a guiltless victim."​ The act of sacrificing,​ and the practice of divination by the entrails of the victim, are declared (without any regard to the object of the inquiry) a crime of high treason against the state, which can be expiated only by the death of the guilty. The rites of Pagan superstition,​ which might seem less bloody and atrocious, are abolished, as highly injurious to the truth and honor of religion; luminaries, garlands, frankincense,​ and libations of wine, are specially enumerated and condemned; and the harmless claims of the domestic genius, of the household gods, are included in this rigorous proscription. ​ The use of any of these profane and illegal ceremonies, subjects the offender to the forfeiture of the house or estate, where they have been performed; and if he has artfully chosen the property of another for the scene of his impiety, he is compelled to discharge, without delay, a heavy fine of twenty-five pounds of gold, or more than one thousand pounds sterling. A fine, not less considerable,​ is imposed on the connivance of the secret enemies of religion, who shall neglect the duty of their respective stations, either to reveal, or to punish, the guilt of idolatry. Such was the persecuting spirit of the laws of Theodosius, which were repeatedly enforced by his sons and grandsons, with the loud and unanimous applause of the Christian world. ^56
 +
 +[Footnote 53: Libanius (pro Templis, p. 15, 16, 17) pleads their cause with gentle and insinuating rhetoric. ​ From the earliest age, such feasts had enlivened the country: and those of Bacchus (Georgic. ii. 380) had produced the theatre of Athens. ​ See Godefroy, ad loc. Liban. and Codex Theodos. tom. vi. p. 284.] [Footnote 54: Honorius tolerated these rustic festivals, (A.D. 399.) "​Absque ullo sacrificio, atque ulla superstitione damnabili."​ But nine years afterwards he found it necessary to reiterate and enforce the same proviso, (Codex Theodos. l. xvi. tit. x. leg. 17, 19.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 55: Cod. Theodos. l. xvi. tit. x. leg. 12.  Jortin (Remarks on Eccles. ​ History, vol. iv. p. 134) censures, with becoming asperity, the style and sentiments of this intolerant law.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: Paganism maintained its ground for a considerable time in the rural districts. ​ Endelechius,​ a poet who lived at the beginning of the fifth century, speaks of the cross as Signum quod perhibent esse crucis Dei, Magnis qui colitur solus inurbibus.
 +
 +In the middle of the same century, Maximus, bishop of Turin, writes against the heathen deities as if their worship was still in full vigor in the neighborhood of his city.  Augustine complains of the encouragement of the Pagan rites by heathen landowners; and Zeno of Verona, still later, reproves the apathy of the Christian proprietors in conniving at this abuse. (Compare Neander, ii. p. 169.) M. Beugnot shows that this was the case throughout the north and centre of Italy and in Sicily. ​ But neither of these authors has adverted to one fact, which must have tended greatly to retard the progress of Christianity in these quarters. ​ It was still chiefly a slave population which cultivated the soil; and however, in the towns, the better class of Christians might be eager to communicate "the blessed liberty of the gospel"​ to this class of mankind; however their condition could not but be silently ameliorated by the humanizing influence of Christianity;​ yet, on the whole, no doubt the servile class would be the least fitted to receive the gospel; and its general propagation among them would be embarrassed by many peculiar difficulties. ​ The rural population was probably not entirely converted before the general establishment of the monastic institutions. ​ Compare Quarterly Review of Beugnot. vol lvii. p. 52 - M.]
 +
 +[Footnote 56: Such a charge should not be lightly made; but it may surely be justified by the authority of St. Augustin, who thus addresses the Donatists: "Quis nostrum, quis vestrum non laudat leges ab Imperatoribus datas adversus sacrificia Paganorum? ​ Et certe longe ibi poera severior constituta est; illius quippe impietatis capitale supplicium est." Epist. xciii. No. 10, quoted by Le Clerc, (Bibliotheque Choisie, tom. viii. p. 277,) who adds some judicious reflections on the intolerance of the victorious Christians. Note: Yet Augustine, with laudable inconsistency,​ disapproved of the forcible demolition of the temples. ​ "Let us first extirpate the idolatry of the hearts of the heathen, and they will either themselves invite us or anticipate us in the execution of this good work," tom. v. p. 62.  Compare Neander, ii. 169, and, in p. 155, a beautiful passage from Chrysostom against all violent means of propagating Christianity. - M.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXVIII: Destruction Of Paganism. ======
 +
 +===== Part III. =====
 +
 +In the cruel reigns of Decius and Dioclesian, Christianity had been proscribed, as a revolt from the ancient and hereditary religion of the empire; and the unjust suspicions which were entertained of a dark and dangerous faction, were, in some measure, countenanced by the inseparable union and rapid conquests of the Catholic church. ​ But the same excuses of fear and ignorance cannot be applied to the Christian emperors who violated the precepts of humanity and of the Gospel. ​ The experience of ages had betrayed the weakness, as well as folly, of Paganism; the light of reason and of faith had already exposed, to the greatest part of mankind, the vanity of idols; and the declining sect, which still adhered to their worship, might have been permitted to enjoy, in peace and obscurity, the religious costumes of their ancestors. ​ Had the Pagans been animated by the undaunted zeal which possessed the minds of the primitive believers, the triumph of the Church must have been stained with blood; and the martyrs of Jupiter and Apollo might have embraced the glorious opportunity of devoting their lives and fortunes at the foot of their altars. ​ But such obstinate zeal was not congenial to the loose and careless temper of Polytheism. ​ The violent and repeated strokes of the orthodox princes were broken by the soft and yielding substance against which they were directed; and the ready obedience of the Pagans protected them from the pains and penalties of the Theodosian Code. ^57 Instead of asserting, that the authority of the gods was superior to that of the emperor, they desisted, with a plaintive murmur, from the use of those sacred rites which their sovereign had condemned. ​ If they were sometimes tempted by a sally of passion, or by the hopes of concealment,​ to indulge their favorite superstition,​ their humble repentance disarmed the severity of the Christian magistrate, and they seldom refused to atone for their rashness, by submitting, with some secret reluctance, to the yoke of the Gospel. ​ The churches were filled with the increasing multitude of these unworthy proselytes, who had conformed, from temporal motives, to the reigning religion; and whilst they devoutly imitated the postures, and recited the prayers, of the faithful, they satisfied their conscience by the silent and sincere invocation of the gods of antiquity. ^58 If the Pagans wanted patience to suffer they wanted spirit to resist; and the scattered myriads, who deplored the ruin of the temples, yielded, without a contest, to the fortune of their adversaries. The disorderly opposition ^59 of the peasants of Syria, and the populace of Alexandria, to the rage of private fanaticism, was silenced by the name and authority of the emperor. ​ The Pagans of the West, without contributing to the elevation of Eugenius, disgraced, by their partial attachment, the cause and character of the usurper. ​ The clergy vehemently exclaimed, that he aggravated the crime of rebellion by the guilt of apostasy; that, by his permission, the altar of victory was again restored; and that the idolatrous symbols of Jupiter and Hercules were displayed in the field, against the invincible standard of the cross. ​ But the vain hopes of the Pagans were soon annihilated by the defeat of Eugenius; and they were left exposed to the resentment of the conqueror, who labored to deserve the favor of Heaven by the extirpation of idolatry. ^60 [Footnote 57: Orosius, l. vii. c. 28, p. 537.  Augustin (Enarrat. in Psalm cxl apud Lardner, Heathen Testimonies,​ vol. iv. p. 458) insults their cowardice. ​ "Quis eorum comprehensus est in sacrificio (cum his legibus sta prohiberentur) et non negavit?"​] [Footnote 58: Libanius (pro Templis, p. 17, 18) mentions, without censure the occasional conformity, and as it were theatrical play, of these hypocrites.]
 +
 +[Footnote 59: Libanius concludes his apology (p. 32) by declaring to the emperor, that unless he expressly warrants the destruction of the temples, the proprietors will defend themselves and the laws.]
 +
 +[Footnote 60: Paulinus, in Vit. Ambros. c. 26.  Augustin de Civitat. Dei, l. v. c. 26.  Theodoret, l. v. c. 24.]
 +
 +A nation of slaves is always prepared to applaud the clemency of their master, who, in the abuse of absolute power, does not proceed to the last extremes of injustice and oppression. ​ Theodosius might undoubtedly have proposed to his Pagan subjects the alternative of baptism or of death; and the eloquent Libanius has praised the moderation of a prince, who never enacted, by any positive law, that all his subjects should immediately embrace and practise the religion of their sovereign. ^61 The profession of Christianity was not made an essential qualification for the enjoyment of the civil rights of society, nor were any peculiar hardships imposed on the sectaries, who credulously received the fables of Ovid, and obstinately rejected the miracles of the Gospel. ​ The palace, the schools, the army, and the senate, were filled with declared and devout Pagans; they obtained, without distinction,​ the civil and military honors of the empire. ^* Theodosius distinguished his liberal regard for virtue and genius by the consular dignity, which he bestowed on Symmachus; ^62 and by the personal friendship which he expressed to Libanius; ^63 and the two eloquent apologists of Paganism were never required either to change or to dissemble their religious opinions. ​ The Pagans were indulged in the most licentious freedom of speech and writing; the historical and philosophic remains of Eunapius, Zosimus, ^64 and the fanatic teachers of the school of Plato, betray the most furious animosity, and contain the sharpest invectives, against the sentiments and conduct of their victorious adversaries. ​ If these audacious libels were publicly known, we must applaud the good sense of the Christian princes, who viewed, with a smile of contempt, the last struggles of superstition and despair. ^65 But the Imperial laws, which prohibited the sacrifices and ceremonies of Paganism, were rigidly executed; and every hour contributed to destroy the influence of a religion, which was supported by custom, rather than by argument. ​ The devotion or the poet, or the philosopher,​ may be secretly nourished by prayer, meditation, and study; but the exercise of public worship appears to be the only solid foundation of the religious sentiments of the people, which derive their force from imitation and habit. ​ The interruption of that public exercise may consummate, in the period of a few years, the important work of a national revolution. ​ The memory of theological opinions cannot long be preserved, without the artificial helps of priests, of temples, and of books. ^66 The ignorant vulgar, whose minds are still agitated by the blind hopes and terrors of superstition,​ will be soon persuaded by their superiors to direct their vows to the reigning deities of the age; and will insensibly imbibe an ardent zeal for the support and propagation of the new doctrine, which spiritual hunger at first compelled them to accept. ​ The generation that arose in the world after the promulgation of the Imperial laws, was attracted within the pale of the Catholic church: and so rapid, yet so gentle, was the fall of Paganism, that only twenty-eight years after the death of Theodosius, the faint and minute vestiges were no longer visible to the eye of the legislator. ^67 [Footnote 61: Libanius suggests the form of a persecuting edict, which Theodosius might enact, (pro Templis, p. 32;) a rash joke, and a dangerous experiment. ​ Some princes would have taken his advice.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: The most remarkable instance of this, at a much later period, occurs in the person of Merobaudes, a general and a poet, who flourished in the first half of the fifth century. ​ A statue in honor of Merobaudes was placed in the Forum of Trajan, of which the inscription is still extant. Fragments of his poems have been recovered by the industry and sagacity of Niebuhr. ​ In one passage, Merobaudes, in the genuine heathen spirit, attributes the ruin of the empire to the abolition of Paganism, and almost renews the old accusation of Atheism against Christianity. ​ He impersonates some deity, probably Discord, who summons Bellona to take arms for the destruction of Rome; and in a strain of fierce irony recommends to her other fatal measures, to extirpate the gods of Rome: -
 +
 +Roma, ipsique tremant furialia murmura reges. Jam superos terris atque hospita numina pelle: Romanos populare Deos, et nullus in aris Vestoe exoratoe fotus strue palleat ignis. Ilis instructa dolis palatia celsa subibo; Majorum mores, et pectora prisca fugabo Funditus; atque simul, nullo discrimine rerum, Spernantur fortes, nec sic reverentia justis. Attica neglecto pereat facundia Phoebo: Indignis contingat honos, et pondera rerum; Non virtus sed casus agat; tristique cupido; Pectoribus saevi demens furor aestuet aevi; Omniaque hoec sine mente Jovis, sine numine sumimo.
 +
 +Merobaudes in Niebuhr'​s edit. of the Byzantines, p. 14. - M.] [Footnote 62:  Denique pro meritis terrestribus aequa rependens Munera, sacricolis summos impertit honores. Dux bonus, et certare sinit cum laude suorum, Nec pago implicitos per debita culmina mundi                Ire viros prohibet. Ipse magistratum tibi consulis, ipse tribunal Contulit.
 +
 +Prudent. in Symmach. i. 617, &c.
 +
 +Note: I have inserted some lines omitted by Gibbon. - M.] [Footnote 63: Libanius (pro Templis, p. 32) is proud that Theodosius should thus distinguish a man, who even in his presence would swear by Jupiter. Yet this presence seems to be no more than a figure of rhetoric.] [Footnote 64: Zosimus, who styles himself Count and Ex-advocate of the Treasury, reviles, with partial and indecent bigotry, the Christian princes, and even the father of his sovereign. ​ His work must have been privately circulated, since it escaped the invectives of the ecclesiastical historians prior to Evagrius, (l. iii. c. 40 - 42,) who lived towards the end of the sixth century.
 +
 +Note: Heyne in his Disquisitio in Zosimum Ejusque Fidem. places Zosimum towards the close of the fifth century. ​ Zosim. Heynii, p. xvii. - M.] [Footnote 65: Yet the Pagans of Africa complained, that the times would not allow them to answer with freedom the City of God; nor does St. Augustin (v. 26) deny the charge.]
 +
 +[Footnote 66: The Moors of Spain, who secretly preserved the Mahometan religion above a century, under the tyranny of the Inquisition,​ possessed the Koran, with the peculiar use of the Arabic tongue. ​ See the curious and honest story of their expulsion in Geddes, (Miscellanies,​ vol. i. p. 1 - 198.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 67: Paganos qui supersunt, quanquam jam nullos esse credamus, &c. Cod. Theodos. l. xvi. tit. x. leg. 22, A.D. 423. The younger Theodosius was afterwards satisfied, that his judgment had been somewhat premature. Note: The statement of Gibbon is much too strongly worded. M. Beugnot has traced the vestiges of Paganism in the West, after this period, in monuments and inscriptions with curious industry. Compare likewise note, p. 112, on the more tardy progress of Christianity in the rural districts. - M.] The ruin of the Pagan religion is described by the sophists as a dreadful and amazing prodigy, which covered the earth with darkness, and restored the ancient dominion of chaos and of night. ​ They relate, in solemn and pathetic strains, that the temples were converted into sepulchres, and that the holy places, which had been adorned by the statues of the gods, were basely polluted by the relics of Christian martyrs. ​ "The monks" (a race of filthy animals, to whom Eunapius is tempted to refuse the name of men) "are the authors of the new worship, which, in the place of those deities who are conceived by the understanding,​ has substituted the meanest and most contemptible slaves. ​ The heads, salted and pickled, of those infamous malefactors,​ who for the multitude of their crimes have suffered a just and ignominious death; their bodies still marked by the impression of the lash, and the scars of those tortures which were inflicted by the sentence of the magistrate; such" (continues Eunapius) 'are the gods which the earth produces in our days; such are the martyrs, the supreme arbitrators of our prayers and petitions to the Deity, whose tombs are now consecrated as the objects of the veneration of the people."​ ^68 Without approving the malice, it is natural enough to share the surprise of the sophist, the spectator of a revolution, which raised those obscure victims of the laws of Rome to the rank of celestial and invisible protectors of the Roman empire. ​ The grateful respect of the Christians for the martyrs of the faith, was exalted, by time and victory, into religious adoration; and the most illustrious of the saints and prophets were deservedly associated to the honors of the martyrs. ​ One hundred and fifty years after the glorious deaths of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Vatican and the Ostian road were distinguished by the tombs, or rather by the trophies, of those spiritual heroes. ^69 In the age which followed the conversion of Constantine,​ the emperors, the consuls, and the generals of armies, devoutly visited the sepulchres of a tentmaker and a fisherman; ^70 and their venerable bones were deposited under the altars of Christ, on which the bishops of the royal city continually offered the unbloody sacrifice. ^71 The new capital of the Eastern world, unable to produce any ancient and domestic trophies, was enriched by the spoils of dependent provinces. ​ The bodies of St. Andrew, St. Luke, and St. Timothy, had reposed near three hundred years in the obscure graves, from whence they were transported,​ in solemn pomp, to the church of the apostles, which the magnificence of Constantine had founded on the banks of the Thracian Bosphorus. ^72 About fifty years afterwards, the same banks were honored by the presence of Samuel, the judge and prophet of the people of Israel. ​ His ashes, deposited in a golden vase, and covered with a silken veil, were delivered by the bishops into each other'​s hands. ​ The relics of Samuel were received by the people with the same joy and reverence which they would have shown to the living prophet; the highways, from Palestine to the gates of Constantinople,​ were filled with an uninterrupted procession; and the emperor Arcadius himself, at the head of the most illustrious members of the clergy and senate, advanced to meet his extraordinary guest, who had always deserved and claimed the homage of kings. ^73 The example of Rome and Constantinople confirmed the faith and discipline of the Catholic world. ​ The honors of the saints and martyrs, after a feeble and ineffectual murmur of profane reason, ^74 were universally established;​ and in the age of Ambrose and Jerom, something was still deemed wanting to the sanctity of a Christian church, till it had been consecrated by some portion of holy relics, which fixed and inflamed the devotion of the faithful.
 +
 +[Footnote 68: See Eunapius, in the Life of the sophist Aedesius; in that of Eustathius he foretells the ruin of Paganism.]
 +
 +[Footnote 69: Caius, (apud Euseb. Hist. Eccles. l. ii. c. 25,) a Roman presbyter, who lived in the time of Zephyrinus, (A.D. 202 - 219,) is an early witness of this superstitious practice.] [Footnote 70: Chrysostom. ​ Quod Christus sit Deus.  Tom. i. nov. edit. No. 9. I am indebted for this quotation to Benedict the XIVth'​s pastoral letter on the Jubilee of the year 1759.  See the curious and entertaining letters of M. Chais, tom. iii.]
 +
 +[Footnote 71: Male facit ergo Romanus episcopus? ​ qui, super mortuorum hominum, Petri & Pauli, secundum nos, ossa veneranda ... offeri Domino sacrificia, et tumulos eorum, Christi arbitratur altaria. ​ Jerom. tom. ii. advers. Vigilant. p. 183.] [Footnote 72: Jerom (tom. ii. p. 122) bears witness to these translations,​ which are neglected by the ecclesiastical historians. ​ The passion of St. Andrew at Patrae is described in an epistle from the clergy of Achaia, which Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 60, No. 34) wishes to believe, and Tillemont is forced to reject. ​ St. Andrew was adopted as the spiritual founder of Constantinople,​ (Mem. Eccles. tom. i. p. 317 - 323, 588 - 594.)] [Footnote 73: Jerom (tom. ii. p. 122) pompously describes the translation of Samuel, which is noticed in all the chronicles of the times.] [Footnote 74: The presbyter Vigilantius,​ the Protestant of his age, firmly, though ineffectually,​ withstood the superstition of monks, relics, saints, fasts, &c., for which Jerom compares him to the Hydra, Cerberus, the Centaurs, &c., and considers him only as the organ of the Daemon, (tom. ii. p. 120 - 126.) Whoever will peruse the controversy of St. Jerom and Vigilantius,​ and St. Augustin'​s account of the miracles of St. Stephen, may speedily gain some idea of the spirit of the Fathers.]
 +
 +In the long period of twelve hundred years, which elapsed between the reign of Constantine and the reformation of Luther, the worship of saints and relics corrupted the pure and perfect simplicity of the Christian model: and some symptoms of degeneracy may be observed even in the first generations which adopted and cherished this pernicious innovation.
 +
 +I.  The satisfactory experience, that the relics of saints were more valuable than gold or precious stones, ^75 stimulated the clergy to multiply the treasures of the church. ​ Without much regard for truth or probability,​ they invented names for skeletons, and actions for names. ​ The fame of the apostles, and of the holy men who had imitated their virtues, was darkened by religious fiction. ​ To the invincible band of genuine and primitive martyrs, they added myriads of imaginary heroes, who had never existed, except in the fancy of crafty or credulous legendaries;​ and there is reason to suspect, that Tours might not be the only diocese in which the bones of a malefactor were adored, instead of those of a saint. ^76 A superstitious practice, which tended to increase the temptations of fraud, and credulity, insensibly extinguished the light of history, and of reason, in the Christian world. [Footnote 75: M. de Beausobre (Hist. du Manicheisme,​ tom. ii. p. 648) has applied a worldly sense to the pious observation of the clergy of Smyrna, who carefully preserved the relics of St. Polycarp the martyr.] [Footnote 76: Martin of Tours (see his Life, c. 8, by Sulpicius Severus) extorted this confession from the mouth of the dead man. The error is allowed to be natural; the discovery is supposed to be miraculous. ​ Which of the two was likely to happen most frequently?​]
 +
 +II.  But the progress of superstition would have been much less rapid and victorious, if the faith of the people had not been assisted by the seasonable aid of visions and miracles, to ascertain the authenticity and virtue of the most suspicious relics. ​ In the reign of the younger Theodosius, Lucian, ^77 a presbyter of Jerusalem, and the ecclesiastical minister of the village of Caphargamala,​ about twenty miles from the city, related a very singular dream, which, to remove his doubts, had been repeated on three successive Saturdays. A venerable figure stood before him, in the silence of the night, with a long beard, a white robe, and a gold rod; announced himself by the name of Gamaliel, and revealed to the astonished presbyter, that his own corpse, with the bodies of his son Abibas, his friend Nicodemus, and the illustrious Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian faith, were secretly buried in the adjacent field. ​ He added, with some impatience, that it was time to release himself and his companions from their obscure prison; that their appearance would be salutary to a distressed world; and that they had made choice of Lucian to inform the bishop of Jerusalem of their situation and their wishes. The doubts and difficulties which still retarded this important discovery were successively removed by new visions; and the ground was opened by the bishop, in the presence of an innumerable multitude. ​ The coffins of Gamaliel, of his son, and of his friend, were found in regular order; but when the fourth coffin, which contained the remains of Stephen, was shown to the light, the earth trembled, and an odor, such as that of paradise, was smelt, which instantly cured the various diseases of seventy-three of the assistants. ​ The companions of Stephen were left in their peaceful residence of Caphargamala:​ but the relics of the first martyr were transported,​ in solemn procession, to a church constructed in their honor on Mount Sion; and the minute particles of those relics, a drop of blood, ^78 or the scrapings of a bone, were acknowledged,​ in almost every province of the Roman world, to possess a divine and miraculous virtue. ​ The grave and learned Augustin, ^79 whose understanding scarcely admits the excuse of credulity, has attested the innumerable prodigies which were performed in Africa by the relics of St. Stephen; and this marvellous narrative is inserted in the elaborate work of the City of God, which the bishop of Hippo designed as a solid and immortal proof of the truth of Christianity. Augustin solemnly declares, that he has selected those miracles only which were publicly certified by the persons who were either the objects, or the spectators, of the power of the martyr. ​ Many prodigies were omitted, or forgotten; and Hippo had been less favorably treated than the other cities of the province. ​ And yet the bishop enumerates above seventy miracles, of which three were resurrections from the dead, in the space of two years, and within the limits of his own diocese. ^80 If we enlarge our view to all the dioceses, and all the saints, of the Christian world, it will not be easy to calculate the fables, and the errors, which issued from this inexhaustible source. ​ But we may surely be allowed to observe, that a miracle, in that age of superstition and credulity, lost its name and its merit, since it could scarcely be considered as a deviation from the ordinary and established laws of nature.
 +
 +[Footnote 77: Lucian composed in Greek his original narrative, which has been translated by Avitus, and published by Baronius, (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 415, No. 7 - 16.) The Benedictine editors of St. Augustin have given (at the end of the work de Civitate Dei) two several copies, with many various readings. ​ It is the character of falsehood to be loose and inconsistent. The most incredible parts of the legend are smoothed and softened by Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. ii. p. 9, &c.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 78: A phial of St. Stephen'​s blood was annually liquefied at Naples, till he was superseded by St. Jamarius, (Ruinart. Hist. Persecut. Vandal p. 529.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 79: Augustin composed the two-and-twenty books de Civitate Dei in the space of thirteen years, A.D. 413 - 426. (Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 608, &c.) His learning is too often borrowed, and his arguments are too often his own; but the whole work claims the merit of a magnificent design, vigorously, and not unskilfully,​ executed.]
 +
 +[Footnote 80: See Augustin de Civitat. Dei, l. xxii. c. 22, and the Appendix, which contains two books of St. Stephen'​s miracles, by Evodius, bishop of Uzalis. ​ Freculphus (apud Basnage, Hist. des Juifs, tom. vii. p. 249) has preserved a Gallic or a Spanish proverb, "​Whoever pretends to have read all the miracles of St. Stephen, he lies."​]
 +
 +III.  The innumerable miracles, of which the tombs of the martyrs were the perpetual theatre, revealed to the pious believer the actual state and constitution of the invisible world; and his religious speculations appeared to be founded on the firm basis of fact and experience. ​ Whatever might be the condition of vulgar souls, in the long interval between the dissolution and the resurrection of their bodies, it was evident that the superior spirits of the saints and martyrs did not consume that portion of their existence in silent and inglorious sleep. ^81 It was evident (without presuming to determine the place of their habitation, or the nature of their felicity) that they enjoyed the lively and active consciousness of their happiness, their virtue, and their powers; and that they had already secured the possession of their eternal reward. ​ The enlargement of their intellectual faculties surpassed the measure of the human imagination;​ since it was proved by experience, that they were capable of hearing and understanding the various petitions of their numerous votaries; who, in the same moment of time, but in the most distant parts of the world, invoked the name and assistance of Stephen or of Martin. ^82 The confidence of their petitioners was founded on the persuasion, that the saints, who reigned with Christ, cast an eye of pity upon earth; that they were warmly interested in the prosperity of the Catholic Church; and that the individuals,​ who imitated the example of their faith and piety, were the peculiar and favorite objects of their most tender regard. Sometimes, indeed, their friendship might be influenced by considerations of a less exalted kind: they viewed with partial affection the places which had been consecrated by their birth, their residence, their death, their burial, or the possession of their relics. ​ The meaner passions of pride, avarice, and revenge, may be deemed unworthy of a celestial breast; yet the saints themselves condescended to testify their grateful approbation of the liberality of their votaries; and the sharpest bolts of punishment were hurled against those impious wretches, who violated their magnificent shrines, or disbelieved their supernatural power. ^83 Atrocious, indeed, must have been the guilt, and strange would have been the scepticism, of those men, if they had obstinately resisted the proofs of a divine agency, which the elements, the whole range of the animal creation, and even the subtle and invisible operations of the human mind, were compelled to obey. ^84 The immediate, and almost instantaneous,​ effects that were supposed to follow the prayer, or the offence, satisfied the Christians of the ample measure of favor and authority which the saints enjoyed in the presence of the Supreme God; and it seemed almost superfluous to inquire whether they were continually obliged to intercede before the throne of grace; or whether they might not be permitted to exercise, according to the dictates of their benevolence and justice, the delegated powers of their subordinate ministry. ​ The imagination,​ which had been raised by a painful effort to the contemplation and worship of the Universal Cause, eagerly embraced such inferior objects of adoration as were more proportioned to its gross conceptions and imperfect faculties. ​ The sublime and simple theology of the primitive Christians was gradually corrupted; and the Monarchy of heaven, already clouded by metaphysical subtleties, was degraded by the introduction of a popular mythology, which tended to restore the reign of polytheism. ^85
 +
 +[Footnote 81: Burnet (de Statu Mortuorum, p. 56 - 84) collects the opinions of the Fathers, as far as they assert the sleep, or repose, of human souls till the day of judgment. ​ He afterwards exposes (p. 91, &c.) the inconveniences which must arise, if they possessed a more active and sensible existence.] [Footnote 82: Vigilantius placed the souls of the prophets and martyrs, either in the bosom of Abraham, (in loco refrigerii,​) or else under the altar of God. Nec posse suis tumulis et ubi voluerunt adesse praesentes. But Jerom (tom. ii. p. 122) sternly refutes this blasphemy. ​ Tu Deo leges pones? ​ Tu apostolis vincula injicies, ut usque ad diem judicii teneantur custodia, nec sint cum Domino suo; de quibus scriptum est, Sequuntur Agnum quocunque vadit. ​ Si Agnus ubique, ergo, et hi, qui cum Agno sunt, ubique esse credendi sunt.  Et cum diabolus et daemones tote vagentur in orbe, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 83: Fleury Discours sur l'​Hist. Ecclesiastique,​ iii p. 80.] [Footnote 84: At Minorca, the relics of St. Stephen converted, in eight days, 540 Jews; with the help, indeed, of some wholesome severities, such as burning the synagogue, driving the obstinate infidels to starve among the rocks, &​c. ​ See the original letter of Severus, bishop of Minorca (ad calcem St. Augustin. de Civ. Dei,) and the judicious remarks of Basnage, (tom. viii. p. 245 - 251.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 85: Mr. Hume (Essays, vol. ii. p. 434) observes, like a philosopher,​ the natural flux and reflux of polytheism and theism.] IV.  As the objects of religion were gradually reduced to the standard of the imagination,​ the rites and ceremonies were introduced that seemed most powerfully to affect the senses of the vulgar. ​ If, in the beginning of the fifth century, ^86 Tertullian, or Lactantius, ^87 had been suddenly raised from the dead, to assist at the festival of some popular saint, or martyr, ^88 they would have gazed with astonishment,​ and indignation,​ on the profane spectacle, which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship of a Christian congregation. ​ As soon as the doors of the church were thrown open, they must have been offended by the smoke of incense, the perfume of flowers, and the glare of lamps and tapers, which diffused, at noonday, a gaudy, superfluous,​ and, in their opinion, a sacrilegious light. If they approached the balustrade of the altar, they made their way through the prostrate crowd, consisting, for the most part, of strangers and pilgrims, who resorted to the city on the vigil of the feast; and who already felt the strong intoxication of fanaticism, and, perhaps, of wine. Their devout kisses were imprinted on the walls and pavement of the sacred edifice; and their fervent prayers were directed, whatever might be the language of their church, to the bones, the blood, or the ashes of the saint, which were usually concealed, by a linen or silken veil, from the eyes of the vulgar. ​ The Christians frequented the tombs of the martyrs, in the hope of obtaining, from their powerful intercession,​ every sort of spiritual, but more especially of temporal, blessings. ​ They implored the preservation of their health, or the cure of their infirmities;​ the fruitfulness of their barren wives, or the safety and happiness of their children. ​ Whenever they undertook any distant or dangerous journey, they requested, that the holy martyrs would be their guides and protectors on the road; and if they returned without having experienced any misfortune, they again hastened to the tombs of the martyrs, to celebrate, with grateful thanksgivings,​ their obligations to the memory and relics of those heavenly patrons. ​ The walls were hung round with symbols of the favors which they had received; eyes, and hands, and feet, of gold and silver: and edifying pictures, which could not long escape the abuse of indiscreet or idolatrous devotion, represented the image, the attributes, and the miracles of the tutelar saint. ​ The same uniform original spirit of superstition might suggest, in the most distant ages and countries, the same methods of deceiving the credulity, and of affecting the senses of mankind: ^89 but it must ingenuously be confessed, that the ministers of the Catholic church imitated the profane model, which they were impatient to destroy. ​ The most respectable bishops had persuaded themselves that the ignorant rustics would more cheerfully renounce the superstitions of Paganism, if they found some resemblance,​ some compensation,​ in the bosom of Christianity. ​ The religion of Constantine achieved, in less than a century, the final conquest of the Roman empire: but the victors themselves were insensibly subdued by the arts of their vanquished rivals. ^90 ^* [Footnote 86: D'​Aubigne (see his own Memoires, p. 156 - 160) frankly offered, with the consent of the Huguenot ministers, to allow the first 400 years as the rule of faith. ​ The Cardinal du Perron haggled for forty years more, which were indiscreetly given. ​ Yet neither party would have found their account in this foolish bargain.]
 +
 +[Footnote 87: The worship practised and inculcated by Tertullian, Lactantius Arnobius, &c., is so extremely pure and spiritual, that their declamations against the Pagan sometimes glance against the Jewish, ceremonies.]
 +
 +[Footnote 88: Faustus the Manichaean accuses the Catholics of idolatry. Vertitis idola in martyres .... quos votis similibus colitis. ​ M. de Beausobre, (Hist. Critique du Manicheisme,​ tom. ii. p. 629 - 700,) a Protestant, but a philosopher,​ has represented,​ with candor and learning, the introduction of Christian idolatry in the fourth and fifth centuries.] [Footnote 89: The resemblance of superstition,​ which could not be imitated, might be traced from Japan to Mexico. ​ Warburton has seized this idea, which he distorts, by rendering it too general and absolute, (Divine Legation, vol. iv. p. 126, &c.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 90: The imitation of Paganism is the subject of Dr. Middleton'​s agreeable letter from Rome.  Warburton'​s animadversions obliged him to connect (vol. iii. p. 120 - 132,) the history of the two religions, and to prove the antiquity of the Christian copy.]
 +
 +[Footnote *: But there was always this important difference between Christian and heathen Polytheism. ​ In Paganism this was the whole religion; in the darkest ages of Christianity,​ some, however obscure and vague, Christian notions of future retribution,​ of the life after death, lurked at the bottom, and operated, to a certain extent, on the thoughts and feelings, sometimes on the actions. - M.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXIX: Division Of Roman Empire Between Sons Of Theodosius. ======
 +
 +===== Part I. =====
 +
 +Final Division Of The Roman Empire Between The Sons Of Theodosius. - Reign Of Arcadius And Honorius - Administration Of Rufinus And Stilicho. - Revolt And Defeat Of Gildo In Africa. The genius of Rome expired with Theodosius; the last of the successors of Augustus and Constantine,​ who appeared in the field at the head of their armies, and whose authority was universally acknowledged throughout the whole extent of the empire. ​ The memory of his virtues still continued, however, to protect the feeble and inexperienced youth of his two sons. After the death of their father, Arcadius and Honorius were saluted, by the unanimous consent of mankind, as the lawful emperors of the East, and of the West; and the oath of fidelity was eagerly taken by every order of the state; the senates of old and new Rome, the clergy, the magistrates,​ the soldiers, and the people. ​ Arcadius, who was then about eighteen years of age, was born in Spain, in the humble habitation of a private family. ​ But he received a princely education in the palace of Constantinople;​ and his inglorious life was spent in that peaceful and splendid seat of royalty, from whence he appeared to reign over the provinces of Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, from the Lower Danube to the confines of Persia and Aethiopia. ​ His younger brother Honorius, assumed, in the eleventh year of his age, the nominal government of Italy, Africa, Gaul, Spain, and Britain; and the troops, which guarded the frontiers of his kingdom, were opposed, on one side, to the Caledonians,​ and on the other, to the Moors. The great and martial praefecture of Illyricum was divided between the two princes: the defence and possession of the provinces of Noricum, Pannonia, and Dalmatia still belonged to the Western empire; but the two large dioceses of Dacia and Macedonia, which Gratian had intrusted to the valor of Theodosius, were forever united to the empire of the East.  The boundary in Europe was not very different from the line which now separates the Germans and the Turks; and the respective advantages of territory, riches, populousness,​ and military strength, were fairly balanced and compensated,​ in this final and permanent division of the Roman empire. ​ The hereditary sceptre of the sons of Theodosius appeared to be the gift of nature, and of their father; the generals and ministers had been accustomed to adore the majesty of the royal infants; and the army and people were not admonished of their rights, and of their power, by the dangerous example of a recent election. ​ The gradual discovery of the weakness of Arcadius and Honorius, and the repeated calamities of their reign, were not sufficient to obliterate the deep and early impressions of loyalty. ​ The subjects of Rome, who still reverenced the persons, or rather the names, of their sovereigns, beheld, with equal abhorrence, the rebels who opposed, and the ministers who abused, the authority of the throne.
 +
 +Theodosius had tarnished the glory of his reign by the elevation of Rufinus; an odious favorite, who, in an age of civil and religious faction, has deserved, from every party, the imputation of every crime. ​ The strong impulse of ambition and avarice ^1 had urged Rufinus to abandon his native country, an obscure corner of Gaul, ^2 to advance his fortune in the capital of the East: the talent of bold and ready elocution, ^3 qualified him to succeed in the lucrative profession of the law; and his success in that profession was a regular step to the most honorable and important employments of the state. ​ He was raised, by just degrees, to the station of master of the offices. ​ In the exercise of his various functions, so essentially connected with the whole system of civil government, he acquired the confidence of a monarch, who soon discovered his diligence and capacity in business, and who long remained ignorant of the pride, the malice, and the covetousness of his disposition. ​ These vices were concealed beneath the mask of profound dissimulation;​ ^4 his passions were subservient only to the passions of his master; yet in the horrid massacre of Thessalonica,​ the cruel Rufinus inflamed the fury, without imitating the repentance, of Theodosius. ​ The minister, who viewed with proud indifference the rest of mankind, never forgave the appearance of an injury; and his personal enemies had forfeited, in his opinion, the merit of all public services. ​ Promotus, the master-general of the infantry, had saved the empire from the invasion of the Ostrogoths; but he indignantly supported the preeminence of a rival, whose character and profession he despised; and in the midst of a public council, the impatient soldier was provoked to chastise with a blow the indecent pride of the favorite. ​ This act of violence was represented to the emperor as an insult, which it was incumbent on his dignity to resent. ​ The disgrace and exile of Promotus were signified by a peremptory order, to repair, without delay, to a military station on the banks of the Danube; and the death of that general (though he was slain in a skirmish with the Barbarians) was imputed to the perfidious arts of Rufinus. ^5 The sacrifice of a hero gratified his revenge; the honors of the consulship elated his vanity; but his power was still imperfect and precarious, as long as the important posts of praefect of the East, and of praefect of Constantinople,​ were filled by Tatian, ^6 and his son Proculus; whose united authority balanced, for some time, the ambition and favor of the master of the offices. ​ The two praefects were accused of rapine and corruption in the administration of the laws and finances. ​ For the trial of these illustrious offenders, the emperor constituted a special commission: several judges were named to share the guilt and reproach of injustice; but the right of pronouncing sentence was reserved to the president alone, and that president was Rufinus himself. The father, stripped of the praefecture of the East, was thrown into a dungeon; but the son, conscious that few ministers can be found innocent, where an enemy is their judge, had secretly escaped; and Rufinus must have been satisfied with the least obnoxious victim, if despotism had not condescended to employ the basest and most ungenerous artifice. The prosecution was conducted with an appearance of equity and moderation, which flattered Tatian with the hope of a favorable event: his confidence was fortified by the solemn assurances, and perfidious oaths, of the president, who presumed to interpose the sacred name of Theodosius himself; and the unhappy father was at last persuaded to recall, by a private letter, the fugitive Proculus. ​ He was instantly seized, examined, condemned, and beheaded, in one of the suburbs of Constantinople,​ with a precipitation which disappointed the clemency of the emperor. Without respecting the misfortunes of a consular senator, the cruel judges of Tatian compelled him to behold the execution of his son: the fatal cord was fastened round his own neck; but in the moment when he expected. ​ and perhaps desired, the relief of a speedy death, he was permitted to consume the miserable remnant of his old age in poverty and exile. ^7 The punishment of the two praefects might, perhaps, be excused by the exceptionable parts of their own conduct; the enmity of Rufinus might be palliated by the jealous and unsociable nature of ambition. ​ But he indulged a spirit of revenge equally repugnant to prudence and to justice, when he degraded their native country of Lycia from the rank of Roman provinces; stigmatized a guiltless people with a mark of ignominy; and declared, that the countrymen of Tatian and Proculus should forever remain incapable of holding any employment of honor or advantage under the Imperial government. ^8 The new praefect of the East (for Rufinus instantly succeeded to the vacant honors of his adversary) was not diverted, however, by the most criminal pursuits, from the performance of the religious duties, which in that age were considered as the most essential to salvation. ​ In the suburb of Chalcedon, surnamed the Oak, he had built a magnificent villa; to which he devoutly added a stately church, consecrated to the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, and continually sanctified by the prayers and penance of a regular society of monks. ​ A numerous, and almost general, synod of the bishops of the Eastern empire, was summoned to celebrate, at the same time, the dedication of the church, and the baptism of the founder. ​ This double ceremony was performed with extraordinary pomp; and when Rufinus was purified, in the holy font, from all the sins that he had hitherto committed, a venerable hermit of Egypt rashly proposed himself as the sponsor of a proud and ambitious statesman. ^9 [Footnote 1: Alecto, envious of the public felicity, convenes an infernal synod Megaera recommends her pupil Rufinus, and excites him to deeds of mischief, &​c. ​ But there is as much difference between Claudian'​s fury and that of Virgil, as between the characters of Turnus and Rufinus.] [Footnote 2: It is evident, (Tillemont, Hist. des Emp. tom. v. p. 770,) though De Marca is ashamed of his countryman, that Rufinus was born at Elusa, the metropolis of Novempopulania,​ now a small village of Gassony, (D'​Anville,​ Notice de l'​Ancienne Gaule, p. 289.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 3: Philostorgius,​ l. xi c. 3, with Godefroy'​s Dissert. p. 440.] [Footnote 4: A passage of Suidas is expressive of his profound dissimulation.] [Footnote 5: Zosimus, l. iv. p. 272, 273.]
 +
 +[Footnote 6: Zosimus, who describes the fall of Tatian and his son, (l. iv. p. 273, 274,) asserts their innocence; and even his testimony may outweigh the charges of their enemies, (Cod. Theod. tom. iv. p. 489,) who accuse them of oppressing the Curiae. ​ The connection of Tatian with the Arians, while he was praefect of Egypt, (A.D. 373,) inclines Tillemont to believe that he was guilty of every crime, (Hist. des Emp. tom. v. p. 360.  Mem. Eccles. tom vi. p. 589.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 7: - Juvenum rorantia colla Ante patrum vultus stricta cecidere securi. Ibat grandaevus nato moriente superstes Post trabeas exsul.
 +
 +In Rufin. i. 248.
 +
 +The facts of Zosimus explain the allusions of Claudian; but his classic interpreters were ignorant of the fourth century. ​ The fatal cord, I found, with the help of Tillemont, in a sermon of St. Asterius of Amasea.] [Footnote 8: This odious law is recited and repealed by Arcadius, (A.D. 296,) on the Theodosian Code, l. ix. tit. xxxviii. leg. 9. The sense as it is explained by Claudian, (in Rufin. i. 234,) and Godefroy, (tom. iii. p. 279,) is perfectly clear.
 +
 +- Exscindere cives Funditus; et nomen gentis delere laborat.
 +
 +The scruples of Pagi and Tillemont can arise only from their zeal for the glory of Theodosius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 9: Ammonius .... Rufinum propriis manibus suscepit sacro fonte mundatum. ​ See Rosweyde'​s Vitae Patrum, p. 947. Sozomen (l. viii. c. 17) mentions the church and monastery; and Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. ix. p. 593) records this synod, in which St. Gregory of Nyssa performed a conspicuous part.]
 +
 +The character of Theodosius imposed on his minister the task of hypocrisy, which disguised, and sometimes restrained, the abuse of power; and Rufinus was apprehensive of disturbing the indolent slumber of a prince still capable of exerting the abilities and the virtue, which had raised him to the throne. ^10 But the absence, and, soon afterwards, the death, of the emperor, confirmed the absolute authority of Rufinus over the person and dominions of Arcadius; a feeble youth, whom the imperious praefect considered as his pupil, rather than his sovereign. Regardless of the public opinion, he indulged his passions without remorse, and without resistance; and his malignant and rapacious spirit rejected every passion that might have contributed to his own glory, or the happiness of the people. His avarice, ^11 which seems to have prevailed, in his corrupt mind, over every other sentiment, attracted the wealth of the East, by the various arts of partial and general extortion; oppressive taxes, scandalous bribery, immoderate fines, unjust confiscations,​ forced or fictitious testaments, by which the tyrant despoiled of their lawful inheritance the children of strangers, or enemies; and the public sale of justice, as well as of favor, which he instituted in the palace of Constantinople. The ambitious candidate eagerly solicited, at the expense of the fairest part of his patrimony, the honors and emoluments of some provincial government; the lives and fortunes of the unhappy people were abandoned to the most liberal purchaser; and the public discontent was sometimes appeased by the sacrifice of an unpopular criminal, whose punishment was profitable only to the praefect of the East, his accomplice and his judge. ​ If avarice were not the blindest of the human passions, the motives of Rufinus might excite our curiosity; and we might be tempted to inquire with what view he violated every principle of humanity and justice, to accumulate those immense treasures, which he could not spend without folly, nor possess without danger. Perhaps he vainly imagined, that he labored for the interest of an only daughter, on whom he intended to bestow his royal pupil, and the august rank of Empress of the East.  Perhaps he deceived himself by the opinion, that his avarice was the instrument of his ambition. ​ He aspired to place his fortune on a secure and independent basis, which should no longer depend on the caprice of the young emperor; yet he neglected to conciliate the hearts of the soldiers and people, by the liberal distribution of those riches, which he had acquired with so much toil, and with so much guilt. ​ The extreme parsimony of Rufinus left him only the reproach and envy of ill-gotten wealth; his dependants served him without attachment; the universal hatred of mankind was repressed only by the influence of servile fear.  The fate of Lucian proclaimed to the East, that the praefect, whose industry was much abated in the despatch of ordinary business, was active and indefatigable in the pursuit of revenge. Lucian, the son of the praefect Florentius, the oppressor of Gaul, and the enemy of Julian, had employed a considerable part of his inheritance,​ the fruit of rapine and corruption, to purchase the friendship of Rufinus, and the high office of Count of the East.  But the new magistrate imprudently departed from the maxims of the court, and of the times; disgraced his benefactor by the contrast of a virtuous and temperate administration;​ and presumed to refuse an act of injustice, which might have tended to the profit of the emperor'​s uncle. ​ Arcadius was easily persuaded to resent the supposed insult; and the praefect of the East resolved to execute in person the cruel vengeance, which he meditated against this ungrateful delegate of his power. ​ He performed with incessant speed the journey of seven or eight hundred miles, from Constantinople to Antioch, entered the capital of Syria at the dead of night, and spread universal consternation among a people ignorant of his design, but not ignorant of his character. ​ The Count of the fifteen provinces of the East was dragged, like the vilest malefactor, before the arbitrary tribunal of Rufinus. Notwithstanding the clearest evidence of his integrity, which was not impeached even by the voice of an accuser, Lucian was condemned, almost with out a trial, to suffer a cruel and ignominious punishment. ​ The ministers of the tyrant, by the orders, and in the presence, of their master, beat him on the neck with leather thongs armed at the extremities with lead; and when he fainted under the violence of the pain, he was removed in a close litter, to conceal his dying agonies from the eyes of the indignant city.  No sooner had Rufinus perpetrated this inhuman act, the sole object of his expedition, than he returned, amidst the deep and silent curses of a trembling people, from Antioch to Constantinople;​ and his diligence was accelerated by the hope of accomplishing,​ without delay, the nuptials of his daughter with the emperor of the East. ^12
 +
 +[Footnote 10: Montesquieu (Esprit des Loix, l. xii. c. 12) praises one of the laws of Theodosius addressed to the praefect Rufinus, (l. ix. tit. iv. leg. unic.,) to discourage the prosecution of treasonable,​ or sacrilegious,​ words. ​ A tyrannical statute always proves the existence of tyranny; but a laudable edict may only contain the specious professions,​ or ineffectual wishes, of the prince, or his ministers. ​ This, I am afraid, is a just, though mortifying, canon of criticism.]
 +
 +[Footnote 11: - fluctibus auri Expleri sitis ista nequit -
 +
 +- - - - - - -
 +
 +Congestae cumulantur opes; orbisque ruinas Accipit una domus.
 +
 +This character (Claudian, in. Rufin. i. 184 - 220) is confirmed by Jerom, a disinterested witness, (dedecus insatiabilis avaritiae, tom. i. ad Heliodor. p. 26,) by Zosimus, (l. v. p. 286,) and by Suidas, who copied the history of Eunapius.]
 +
 +Footnote 12: - Caetera segnis; Ad facinus velox; penitus regione remotas Impiger ire vias.
 +
 +This allusion of Claudian (in Rufin. i. 241) is again explained by the circumstantial narrative of Zosimus, (l. v. p. 288, 289.)] But Rufinus soon experienced,​ that a prudent minister should constantly secure his royal captive by the strong, though invisible chain of habit; and that the merit, and much more easily the favor, of the absent, are obliterated in a short time from the mind of a weak and capricious sovereign. ​ While the praefect satiated his revenge at Antioch, a secret conspiracy of the favorite eunuchs, directed by the great chamberlain Eutropius, undermined his power in the palace of Constantinople. They discovered that Arcadius was not inclined to love the daughter of Rufinus, who had been chosen, without his consent, for his bride; and they contrived to substitute in her place the fair Eudoxia, the daughter of Bauto, ^13 a general of the Franks in the service of Rome; and who was educated, since the death of her father, in the family of the sons of Promotus. ​ The young emperor, whose chastity had been strictly guarded by the pious care of his tutor Arsenius, ^14 eagerly listened to the artful and flattering descriptions of the charms of Eudoxia: he gazed with impatient ardor on her picture, and he understood the necessity of concealing his amorous designs from the knowledge of a minister who was so deeply interested to oppose the consummation of his happiness. ​ Soon after the return of Rufinus, the approaching ceremony of the royal nuptials was announced to the people of Constantinople,​ who prepared to celebrate, with false and hollow acclamations,​ the fortune of his daughter. ​ A splendid train of eunuchs and officers issued, in hymeneal pomp, from the gates of the palace; bearing aloft the diadem, the robes, and the inestimable ornaments, of the future empress. ​ The solemn procession passed through the streets of the city, which were adorned with garlands, and filled with spectators; but when it reached the house of the sons of Promotus, the principal eunuch respectfully entered the mansion, invested the fair Eudoxia with the Imperial robes, and conducted her in triumph to the palace and bed of Arcadius. ^15 The secrecy and success with which this conspiracy against Rufinus had been conducted, imprinted a mark of indelible ridicule on the character of a minister, who had suffered himself to be deceived, in a post where the arts of deceit and dissimulation constitute the most distinguished merit. ​ He considered, with a mixture of indignation and fear, the victory of an aspiring eunuch, who had secretly captivated the favor of his sovereign; and the disgrace of his daughter, whose interest was inseparably connected with his own, wounded the tenderness, or, at least, the pride of Rufinus. ​ At the moment when he flattered himself that he should become the father of a line of kings, a foreign maid, who had been educated in the house of his implacable enemies, was introduced into the Imperial bed; and Eudoxia soon displayed a superiority of sense and spirit, to improve the ascendant which her beauty must acquire over the mind of a fond and youthful husband. ​ The emperor would soon be instructed to hate, to fear, and to destroy the powerful subject, whom he had injured; and the consciousness of guilt deprived Rufinus of every hope, either of safety or comfort, in the retirement of a private life.  But he still possessed the most effectual means of defending his dignity, and perhaps of oppressing his enemies. ​ The praefect still exercised an uncontrolled authority over the civil and military government of the East; and his treasures, if he could resolve to use them, might be employed to procure proper instruments for the execution of the blackest designs, that pride, ambition, and revenge could suggest to a desperate statesman. ​ The character of Rufinus seemed to justify the accusations that he conspired against the person of his sovereign, to seat himself on the vacant throne; and that he had secretly invited the Huns and the Goths to invade the provinces of the empire, and to increase the public confusion. ​ The subtle praefect, whose life had been spent in the intrigues of the palace, opposed, with equal arms, the artful measures of the eunuch Eutropius; but the timid soul of Rufinus was astonished by the hostile approach of a more formidable rival, of the great Stilicho, the general, or rather the master, of the empire of the West. ^16
 +
 +[Footnote 13: Zosimus (l. iv. p. 243) praises the valor, prudence, and integrity of Bauto the Frank. ​ See Tillemont, Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 771.]
 +
 +[Footnote 14: Arsenius escaped from the palace of Constantinople,​ and passed fifty-five years in rigid penance in the monasteries of Egypt. ​ See Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 676 - 702; and Fleury, Hist Eccles. tom. v. p. 1, &c.; but the latter, for want of authentic materials, has given too much credit to the legend of Metaphrastes.]
 +
 +[Footnote 15: This story (Zosimus, l. v. p. 290) proves that the hymeneal rites of antiquity were still practised, without idolatry, by the Christians of the East; and the bride was forcibly conducted from the house of her parents to that of her husband. ​ Our form of marriage requires, with less delicacy, the express and public consent of a virgin.] [Footnote 16: Zosimus, (l. v. p. 290,) Orosius, (l. vii. c. 37,) and the Chronicle of Marcellinus. ​ Claudian (in Rufin. ii. 7 - 100) paints, in lively colors, the distress and guilt of the praefect.]
 +
 +The celestial gift, which Achilles obtained, and Alexander envied, of a poet worthy to celebrate the actions of heroes has been enjoyed by Stilicho, in a much higher degree than might have been expected from the declining state of genius, and of art. The muse of Claudian, ^17 devoted to his service, was always prepared to stigmatize his adversaries,​ Rufinus, or Eutropius, with eternal infamy; or to paint, in the most splendid colors, the victories and virtues of a powerful benefactor. ​ In the review of a period indifferently supplied with authentic materials, we cannot refuse to illustrate the annals of Honorius, from the invectives, or the panegyrics, of a contemporary writer; but as Claudian appears to have indulged the most ample privilege of a poet and a courtier, some criticism will be requisite to translate the language of fiction or exaggeration,​ into the truth and simplicity of historic prose. ​ His silence concerning the family of Stilicho may be admitted as a proof, that his patron was neither able, nor desirous, to boast of a long series of illustrious progenitors;​ and the slight mention of his father, an officer of Barbarian cavalry in the service of Valens, seems to countenance the assertion, that the general, who so long commanded the armies of Rome, was descended from the savage and perfidious race of the Vandals. ^18 If Stilicho had not possessed the external advantages of strength and stature, the most flattering bard, in the presence of so many thousand spectators, would have hesitated to affirm, that he surpassed the measure of the demi-gods of antiquity; and that whenever he moved, with lofty steps, through the streets of the capital, the astonished crowd made room for the stranger, who displayed, in a private condition, the awful majesty of a hero.  From his earliest youth he embraced the profession of arms; his prudence and valor were soon distinguished in the field; the horsemen and archers of the East admired his superior dexterity; and in each degree of his military promotions, the public judgment always prevented and approved the choice of the sovereign. ​ He was named, by Theodosius, to ratify a solemn treaty with the monarch of Persia; he supported, during that important embassy, the dignity of the Roman name; and after he return to Constantinople,​ his merit was rewarded by an intimate and honorable alliance with the Imperial family. ​ Theodosius had been prompted, by a pious motive of fraternal affection, to adopt, for his own, the daughter of his brother Honorius; the beauty and accomplishments of Serena ^19 were universally admired by the obsequious court; and Stilicho obtained the preference over a crowd of rivals, who ambitiously disputed the hand of the princess, and the favor of her adopted father. ^20 The assurance that the husband of Serena would be faithful to the throne, which he was permitted to approach, engaged the emperor to exalt the fortunes, and to employ the abilities, of the sagacious and intrepid Stilicho. ​ He rose, through the successive steps of master of the horse, and count of the domestics, to the supreme rank of master-general of all the cavalry and infantry of the Roman, or at least of the Western, empire; ^21 and his enemies confessed, that he invariably disdained to barter for gold the rewards of merit, or to defraud the soldiers of the pay and gratifications which they deserved or claimed, from the liberality of the state. ^22 The valor and conduct which he afterwards displayed, in the defence of Italy, against the arms of Alaric and Radagaisus, may justify the fame of his early achievements and in an age less attentive to the laws of honor, or of pride, the Roman generals might yield the preeminence of rank, to the ascendant of superior genius. ^23 He lamented, and revenged, the murder of Promotus, his rival and his friend; and the massacre of many thousands of the flying Bastarnae is represented by the poet as a bloody sacrifice, which the Roman Achilles offered to the manes of another Patroclus. The virtues and victories of Stilicho deserved the hatred of Rufinus: and the arts of calumny might have been successful if the tender and vigilant Serena had not protected her husband against his domestic foes, whilst he vanquished in the field the enemies of the empire. ^24 Theodosius continued to support an unworthy minister, to whose diligence he delegated the government of the palace, and of the East; but when he marched against the tyrant Eugenius, he associated his faithful general to the labors and glories of the civil war; and in the last moments of his life, the dying monarch recommended to Stilicho the care of his sons, and of the republic. ^25 The ambition and the abilities of Stilicho were not unequal to the important trust; and he claimed the guardianship of the two empires, during the minority of Arcadius and Honorius. ^26 The first measure of his administration,​ or rather of his reign, displayed to the nations the vigor and activity of a spirit worthy to command. ​ He passed the Alps in the depth of winter; descended the stream of the Rhine, from the fortress of Basil to the marshes of Batavia; reviewed the state of the garrisons; repressed the enterprises of the Germans; and, after establishing along the banks a firm and honorable peace, returned, with incredible speed, to the palace of Milan. ^27 The person and court of Honorius were subject to the master-general of the West; and the armies and provinces of Europe obeyed, without hesitation, a regular authority, which was exercised in the name of their young sovereign. ​ Two rivals only remained to dispute the claims, and to provoke the vengeance, of Stilicho. Within the limits of Africa, Gildo, the Moor, maintained a proud and dangerous independence;​ and the minister of Constantinople asserted his equal reign over the emperor, and the empire, of the East. [Footnote 17: Stilicho, directly or indirectly, is the perpetual theme of Claudian. ​ The youth and private life of the hero are vaguely expressed in the poem on his first consulship, 35 - 140.] [Footnote 18: Vandalorum, imbellis, avarae, perfidae, et dolosae, gentis, genere editus. ​ Orosius, l. vii. c. 38.  Jerom (tom. i. ad Gerontiam, p. 93) call him a Semi-Barbarian.]
 +
 +[Footnote 19: Claudian, in an imperfect poem, has drawn a fair, perhaps a flattering, portrait of Serena. ​ That favorite niece of Theodosius was born, as well as here sister Thermantia, in Spain; from whence, in their earliest youth, they were honorably conducted to the palace of Constantinople.]
 +
 +[Footnote 20: Some doubt may be entertained,​ whether this adoption was legal or only metaphorical,​ (see Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 75.) An old inscription gives Stilicho the singular title of Pro-gener Divi Theodosius] [Footnote 21: Claudian (Laus Serenae, 190, 193) expresses, in poetic language "the dilectus ​ equorum,"​ and the "​gemino mox idem culmine duxit agmina."​ The inscription adds, "count of the domestics,"​ an important command, which Stilicho, in the height of his grandeur, might prudently retain.]
 +
 +[Footnote 22: The beautiful lines of Claudian (in i. Cons. Stilich. ii. 113) displays his genius; but the integrity of Stilicho (in the military administration) is much more firmly established by the unwilling evidence of Zosimus, (l. v. p. 345.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 23: -     Si bellica moles Ingrueret, quamvis annis et jure minori, Cedere grandaevos equitum peditumque magistros Adspiceres. ​ Claudian, Laus Seren. p. 196, &​c. ​ A modern general would deem their submission either heroic patriotism or abject servility.]
 +
 +[Footnote 24: Compare the poem on the first consulship (i. 95 - 115) with the Laus Serenoe (227 - 237, where it unfortunately breaks off.) We may perceive the deep, inveterate malice of Rufinus.]
 +
 +[Footnote 25: -     Quem fratribus ipse Discedens, clypeum defensoremque dedisti. Yet the nomination (iv. Cons. Hon. 432) was private, (iii. Cons. Hon. 142,) cunctos discedere ... jubet; and may therefore be suspected. ​ Zosimus and Suidas apply to Stilicho and Rufinus the same equal title of guardians, or procurators.]
 +
 +[Footnote 26: The Roman law distinguishes two sorts of minority, which expired at the age of fourteen, and of twenty-five. ​ The one was subject to the tutor, or guardian, of the person; the other, to the curator, or trustee, of the estate, (Heineccius,​ Antiquitat. Rom. ad Jurisprudent. pertinent. l. i. tit. xxii. xxiii. p. 218 - 232.) But these legal ideas were never accurately transferred into the constitution of an elective monarchy.] [Footnote 27: See Claudian, (i. Cons. Stilich. i. 188 - 242;) but he must allow more than fifteen days for the journey and return between Milan and Leyden.]
 +
 +====== Chapter XXIX: Division Of Roman Empire Between Sons Of Theodosius. ======
 +
 +===== Part II. =====
 +
 +The impartiality which Stilicho affected, as the common guardian of the royal brothers, engaged him to regulate the equal division of the arms, the jewels, and the magnificent wardrobe and furniture of the deceased emperor. ^28 But the most important object of the inheritance consisted of the numerous legions, cohorts, and squadrons, of Romans, or Barbarians, whom the event of the civil war had united under the standard of Theodosius. The various multitudes of Europe and Asia, exasperated by recent animosities,​ were overawed by the authority of a single man; and the rigid discipline of Stilicho protected the lands of the citizens from the rapine of the licentious soldier. ^29 Anxious, however, and impatient, to relieve Italy from the presence of this formidable host, which could be useful only on the frontiers of the empire, he listened to the just requisition of the minister of Arcadius, declared his intention of reconducting in person the troops of the East, and dexterously employed the rumor of a Gothic tumult to conceal his private designs of ambition and revenge. ^30 The guilty soul of Rufinus was alarmed by the approach of a warrior and a rival, whose enmity he deserved; he computed, with increasing terror, the narrow space of his life and greatness; and, as the last hope of safety, he interposed the authority of the emperor Arcadius. ​ Stilicho, who appears to have directed his march along the sea-coast of the Adriatic, was not far distant from the city of Thessalonica,​ when he received a peremptory message, to recall the troops of the East, and to declare, that his nearer approach would be considered, by the Byzantine court, as an act of hostility. ​ The prompt and unexpected obedience of the general of the West, convinced the vulgar of his loyalty and moderation; and, as he had already engaged the affection of the Eastern troops, he recommended to their zeal the execution of his bloody design, which might be accomplished in his absence, with less danger, perhaps, and with less reproach. Stilicho left the command of the troops of the East to Gainas, the Goth, on whose fidelity he firmly relied, with an assurance, at least, that the hardy Barbarians would never be diverted from his purpose by any consideration of fear or remorse. ​ The soldiers were easily persuaded to punish the enemy of Stilicho and of Rome; and such was the general hatred which Rufinus had excited, that the fatal secret, communicated to thousands, was faithfully preserved during the long march from Thessalonica to the gates of Constantinople. ​ As soon as they had resolved his death, they condescended to flatter his pride; the ambitious praefect was seduced to believe, that those powerful auxiliaries might be tempted to place the diadem on his head; and the treasures which he distributed,​ with a tardy and reluctant hand, were accepted by the indignant multitude as an insult, rather than as a gift.  At the distance of a mile from the capital, in the field of Mars, before the palace of Hebdomon, the troops halted: and the emperor, as well as his minister, advanced, according to ancient custom, respectfully to salute the power which supported their throne. ​ As Rufinus passed along the ranks, and disguised, with studied courtesy, his innate haughtiness,​ the wings insensibly wheeled from the right and left, and enclosed the devoted victim within the circle of their arms.  Before he could reflect on the danger of his situation, Gainas gave the signal of death; a daring and forward soldier plunged his sword into the breast of the guilty praefect, and Rufinus fell, groaned, and expired, at the feet of the affrighted emperor. ​ If the agonies of a moment could expiate the crimes of a whole life, or if the outrages inflicted on a breathless corpse could be the object of pity, our humanity might perhaps be affected by the horrid circumstances which accompanied the murder of Rufinus. ​ His mangled body was abandoned to the brutal fury of the populace of either sex, who hastened in crowds, from every quarter of the city, to trample on the remains of the haughty minister, at whose frown they had so lately trembled. ​ His right hand was cut off, and carried through the streets of Constantinople,​ in cruel mockery, to extort contributions for the avaricious tyrant, whose head was publicly exposed, borne aloft on the point of a long lance. ^31 According to the savage maxims of the Greek republics, his innocent family would have shared the punishment of his crimes. ​ The wife and daughter of Rufinus were indebted for their safety to the influence of religion. ​ Her sanctuary protected them from the raging madness of the people; and they were permitted to spend the remainder of their lives in the exercise of Christian devotions, in the peaceful retirement of Jerusalem. ^32
 +
 +[Footnote 28: I. Cons. Stilich. ii. 88 - 94.  Not only the robes and diadems of the deceased emperor, but even the helmets, sword-hilts,​ belts, rasses, &c., were enriched with pearls, emeralds, and diamonds.]
 +
 +[Footnote 29: - Tantoque remoto Principe, mutatas orbis non sensit habenas. ​ This high commendation (i. Cons. Stil. i. 149) may be justified by the fears of the dying emperor, (de Bell. Gildon. 292 - 301;) and the peace and good order which were enjoyed after his death, (i. Cons. Stil i. 150 - 168.)] [Footnote 30: Stilicho'​s march, and the death of Rufinus, are described by Claudian, (in Rufin. l. ii. 101 - 453,) Zosimus, l. v. p. 296, 297,) Sozomen (l. viii. c. 1,) Socrates, (l. vi. c. 1,) Philostorgius,​ (l. xi c. 3, with Godefory, p. 441,) and the Chronicle of Marcellinus.]
 +
 +[Footnote 31: The dissection of Rufinus, which Claudian performs with the savage coolness of an anatomist, (in Rufin. ii. 405 - 415,) is likewise specified by Zosimus and Jerom, (tom. i. p. 26.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 32: The Pagan Zosimus mentions their sanctuary and pilgrimage. The sister of Rufinus, Sylvania, who passed her life at Jerusalem, is famous in monastic history. ​ 1. The studious virgin had diligently, and even repeatedly, perused the commentators on the Bible, Origen, Gregory, Basil, &c., to the amount of five millions of lines. ​ 2. At the age of threescore, she could boast, that she had never washed her hands, face, or any part of her whole body, except the tips of her fingers to receive the communion. ​ See the Vitae Patrum, p. 779, 977.] The servile poet of Stilicho applauds, with ferocious joy, this horrid deed, which, in the execution, perhaps, of justice, violated every law of nature and society, profaned the majesty of the prince, and renewed the dangerous examples of military license. ​ The contemplation of the universal order and harmony had satisfied Claudian of the existence of the Deity; but the prosperous impunity of vice appeared to contradict his moral attributes; and the fate of Rufinus was the only event which could dispel the religious doubts of the poet. ^33 Such an act might vindicate the honor of Providence, but it did not much contribute to the happiness of the people. ​ In less than three months they were informed of the maxims of the new administration,​ by a singular edict, which established the exclusive right of the treasury over the spoils of Rufinus; and silenced, under heavy penalties, the presumptuous claims of the subjects of the Eastern empire, who had been injured by his rapacious tyranny. ^34 Even Stilicho did not derive from the murder of his rival the fruit which he had proposed; and though he gratified his revenge, his ambition was disappointed. ​ Under the name of a favorite, the weakness of Arcadius required a master, but he naturally preferred the obsequious arts of the eunuch Eutropius, who had obtained his domestic confidence: and the emperor contemplated,​ with terror and aversion, the stern genius of a foreign warrior. ​ Till they were divided by the jealousy of power, the sword of Gainas, and the charms of Eudoxia, supported the favor of the great chamberlain of the palace: the perfidious Goth, who was appointed master-general of the East, betrayed, without scruple, the interest of his benefactor; and the same troops, who had so lately massacred the enemy of Stilicho, were engaged to support, against him, the independence of the throne of Constantinople. ​ The favorites of Arcadius fomented a secret and irreconcilable war against a formidable hero, who aspired to govern, and to defend, the two empires of Rome, and the two sons of Theodosius. ​ They incessantly labored, by dark and treacherous machinations,​ to deprive him of the esteem of the prince, the respect of the people, and the friendship of the Barbarians. ​ The life of Stilicho was repeatedly attempted by the dagger of hired assassins; and a decree was obtained from the senate of Constantinople,​ to declare him an enemy of the republic, and to confiscate his ample possessions in the provinces of the East. At a time when the only hope of delaying the ruin of the Roman name depended on the firm union, and reciprocal aid, of all the nations to whom it had been gradually communicated,​ the subjects of Arcadius and Honorius were instructed, by their respective masters, to view each other in a foreign, and even hostile, light; to rejoice in their mutual calamities, and to embrace, as their faithful allies, the Barbarians, whom they excited to invade the territories of their countrymen. ^35 The natives of Italy affected to despise the servile and effeminate Greeks of Byzantium, who presumed to imitate the dress, and to usurp the dignity, of Roman senators; ^36 and the Greeks had not yet forgot the sentiments of hatred and contempt, which their polished ancestors had so long entertained for the rude inhabitants of the West.  The distinction of two governments,​ which soon produced the separation of two nations, will justify my design of suspending the series of the Byzantine history, to prosecute, without interruption,​ the disgraceful,​ but memorable, reign of Honorius.
 +
 +[Footnote 33: See the beautiful exordium of his invective against Rufinus, which is curiously discussed by the sceptic Bayle, Dictionnaire Critique, Rufin. Not. E.]
 +
 +[Footnote 34: See the Theodosian Code, l. ix. tit. xlii. leg. 14, 15.  The new ministers attempted, with inconsistent avarice, to seize the spoils of their predecessor,​ and to provide for their own future security.] [Footnote 35: See Claudian, (i. Cons. Stilich, l. i. 275, 292, 296, l. ii. 83,) and Zosimus, (l. v. p. 302.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 36: Claudian turns the consulship of the eunuch Eutropius into a national reflection, (l. ii. 134): -
 +
 +- Plaudentem cerne senatum, Et Byzantinos proceres Graiosque Quirites: O patribus plebes, O digni consule patres.
 +
 +It is curious to observe the first symptoms of jealousy and schism between old and new Rome, between the Greeks and Latins.]
 +
 +The prudent Stilicho, instead of persisting to force the inclinations of a prince, and people, who rejected his government, wisely abandoned Arcadius to his unworthy favorites; and his reluctance to involve the two empires in a civil war displayed the moderation of a minister, who had so often signalized his military spirit and abilities. ​ But if Stilicho had any longer endured the revolt of Africa, he would have betrayed the security of the capital, and the majesty of the Western emperor, to the capricious insolence of a Moorish rebel. Gildo, ^37 the brother of the tyrant Firmus, had preserved and obtained, as the reward of his apparent fidelity, the immense patrimony which was forfeited by treason: long and meritorious service, in the armies of Rome, raised him to the dignity of a military count; the narrow policy of the court of Theodosius had adopted the mischievous expedient of supporting a legal government by the interest of a powerful family; and the brother of Firmus was invested with the command of Africa. ​ His ambition soon usurped the administration of justice, and of the finances, without account, and without control; and he maintained, during a reign of twelve years, the possession of an office, from which it was impossible to remove him, without the danger of a civil war. During those twelve years, the provinces of Africa groaned under the dominion of a tyrant, who seemed to unite the unfeeling temper of a stranger with the partial resentments of domestic faction. ​ The forms of law were often superseded by the use of poison; and if the trembling guests, who were invited to the table of Gildo, presumed to express fears, the insolent suspicion served only to excite his fury, and he loudly summoned the ministers of death. ​ Gildo alternately indulged the passions of avarice and lust; ^38 and if his days were terrible to the rich, his nights were not less dreadful to husbands and parents. ​ The fairest of their wives and daughters were prostituted to the embraces of the tyrant; and afterwards abandoned to a ferocious troop of Barbarians and assassins, the black, or swarthy, natives of the desert; whom Gildo considered as the only of his throne. In the civil war between Theodosius and Eugenius, the count, or rather the sovereign, of Africa, maintained a haughty and suspicious neutrality; refused to assist either of the contending parties with troops or vessels, expected the declaration of fortune, and reserved for the conqueror the vain professions of his allegiance. ​ Such professions would not have satisfied the master of the Roman world; but the death of Theodosius, and the weakness and discord of his sons, confirmed the power of the Moor; who condescended,​ as a proof of his moderation, to abstain from the use of the diadem, and to supply Rome with the customary tribute, or rather subsidy, of corn.  In every division of the empire, the five provinces of Africa were invariably assigned to the West; and Gildo had to govern that extensive country in the name of Honorius, but his knowledge of the character and designs of Stilicho soon engaged him to address his homage to a more distant and feeble sovereign. ​ The ministers of Arcadius embraced the cause of a perfidious rebel; and the delusive hope of adding the numerous cities of Africa to the empire of the East, tempted them to assert a claim, which they were incapable of supporting, either by reason or by arms. ^39
 +
 +[Footnote 37: Claudian may have exaggerated the vices of Gildo; but his Moorish extraction, his notorious actions, and the complaints of St. Augustin, may justify the poet's invectives. Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 398, No. 35 - 56) has treated the African rebellion with skill and learning.]
 +
 +
 +[Footnote 38: Instat terribilis vivis, morientibus haeres, Virginibus raptor, thalamis obscoenus adulter. Nulla quies: oritur praeda cessante libido, Divitibusque dies, et nox metuenda maritis. - Mauris clarissima quaeque Fastidita datur.
 +
 +De Bello Gildonico, 165, 189.
 +
 +Baronius condemns, still more severely, the licentiousness of Gildo; as his wife, his daughter, and his sister, were examples of perfect chastity. The adulteries of the African soldiers are checked by one of the Imperial laws.]
 +
 +[Footnote 39: Inque tuam sortem numerosas transtulit urbes. Claudian (de Bell. Gildonico, 230 - 324) has touched, with political delicacy, the intrigues of the Byzantine court, which are likewise mentioned by Zosimus, (l. v. p. 302.)]
 +
 +When Stilicho had given a firm and decisive answer to the pretensions of the Byzantine court, he solemnly accused the tyrant of Africa before the tribunal, which had formerly judged the kings and nations of the earth; and the image of the republic was revived, after a long interval, under the reign of Honorius. The emperor transmitted an accurate and ample detail of the complaints of the provincials,​ and the crimes of Gildo, to the Roman senate; and the members of that venerable assembly were required to pronounce the condemnation of the rebel. ​ Their unanimous suffrage declared him the enemy of the republic; and the decree of the senate added a sacred and legitimate sanction to the Roman arms. ^40 A people, who still remembered that their ancestors had been the masters of the world, would have applauded, with conscious pride, the representation of ancient freedom; if they had not since been accustomed to prefer the solid assurance of bread to the unsubstantial visions of liberty and greatness. The subsistence of Rome depended on the harvests of Africa; and it was evident, that a declaration of war would be the signal of famine. ​ The praefect Symmachus, who presided in the deliberations of the senate, admonished the minister of his just apprehension,​ that as soon as the revengeful Moor should prohibit the exportation of corn, the and perhaps the safety, of the capital would be threatened by the hungry rage of a turbulent multitude. ^41 The prudence of Stilicho conceived and executed, without delay, the most effectual measure for the relief of the Roman people. ​ A large and seasonable supply of corn, collected in the inland provinces of Gaul, was embarked on the rapid stream of the Rhone, and transported,​ by an easy navigation, from the Rhone to the Tyber. ​ During the whole term of the African war, the granaries of Rome were continually filled, her dignity was vindicated from the humiliating dependence, and the minds of an immense people were quieted by the calm confidence of peace and plenty. ^42
 +
 +[Footnote 40: Symmachus (l. iv. epist. 4) expresses the judicial forms of the senate; and Claudian (i. Cons. Stilich. l. i. 325, &c.) seems to feel the spirit of a Roman.]
 +
 +[Footnote 41: Claudian finely displays these complaints of Symmachus, in a speech of the goddess of Rome, before the throne of Jupiter, (de Bell Gildon. 28 - 128.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 42: See Claudian (in Eutrop. l. i 401, &​c. ​ i. Cons. Stil. l. i. 306, &​c. ​ i. Cons. Stilich. 91, &c.)]
 +
 +The cause of Rome, and the conduct of the African war, were intrusted by Stilicho to a general, active and ardent to avenge his private injuries on the head of the tyrant. ​ The spirit of discord which prevailed in the house of Nabal, had excited a deadly quarrel between two of his sons, Gildo and Mascezel. ^43 The usurper pursued, with implacable rage, the life of his younger brother, whose courage and abilities he feared; and Mascezel, oppressed by superior power, refuge in the court of Milan, where he soon received the cruel intelligence that his two innocent and helpless children had been murdered by their inhuman uncle. ​ The affliction of the father was suspended only by the desire of revenge. The vigilant Stilicho already prepared to collect the naval and military force of the Western empire; and he had resolved, if the tyrant should be able to wage an equal and doubtful war, to march against him in person. ​ But as Italy required his presence, and as it might be dangerous to weaken the of the frontier, he judged it more advisable, that Mascezel should attempt this arduous adventure at the head of a chosen body of Gallic veterans, who had lately served exhorted to convince the world that they could subvert, as well as defend the throne of a usurper, consisted of the Jovian, the Herculian, and the Augustan legions; of the Nervian auxiliaries;​ of the soldiers who displayed in their banners the symbol of a lion, and of the troops which were distinguished by the auspicious names of Fortunate, and Invincible. ​ Yet such was the smallness of their establishments,​ or the difficulty of recruiting, that these seven bands, ^44 of high dignity and reputation in the service of Rome, amounted to no more than five thousand effective men. ^45 The fleet of galleys and transports sailed in tempestuous weather from the port of Pisa, in Tuscany, and steered their course to the little island of Capraria; which had borrowed that name from the wild goats, its original inhabitants,​ whose place was occupied by a new colony of a strange and savage appearance. "The whole island (says an ingenious traveller of those times) is filled, or rather defiled, by men who fly from the light. ​ They call themselves Monks, or solitaries, because they choose to live alone, without any witnesses of their actions. ​ They fear the gifts of fortune, from the apprehension of losing them; and, lest they should be miserable, they embrace a life of voluntary wretchedness. ​ How absurd is their choice! how perverse their understanding! ​ to dread the evils, without being able to support the blessings, of the human condition. ​ Either this melancholy madness is the effect of disease, or exercise on their own bodies the tortures which are inflicted on fugitive slaves by the hand of justice."​ ^46 Such was the contempt of a profane magistrate for the monks as the chosen servants of God. ^47 Some of them were persuaded, by his entreaties, to embark on board the fleet; and it is observed, to the praise of the Roman general, that his days and nights were employed in prayer, fasting, and the occupation of singing psalms. ​ The devout leader, who, with such a reenforcement,​ appeared confident of victory, avoided the dangerous rocks of Corsica, coasted along the eastern side of Sardinia, and secured his ships against the violence of the south wind, by casting anchor in the and capacious harbor of Cagliari, at the distance of one hundred and forty miles from the African shores. ^48
 +
 +[Footnote 43: He was of a mature age; since he had formerly (A.D. 373) served against his brother Firmus (Ammian. xxix. 5.) Claudian, who understood the court of Milan, dwells on the injuries, rather than the merits, of Mascezel, (de Bell. Gild. 389 - 414.) The Moorish war was not worthy of Honorius, or Stilicho, &c.]
 +
 +[Footnote 44: Claudian, Bell. Gild. 415 - 423.  The change of discipline allowed him to use indifferently the names of Legio Cohors, Manipulus. ​ See Notitia Imperii, S. 38, 40.]
 +
 +[Footnote 45: Orosius (l. vii. c. 36, p. 565) qualifies this account with an expression of doubt, (ut aiunt;) and it scarcely coincides with Zosimus, (l. v. p. 303.) Yet Claudian, after some declamation about Cadmus, soldiers, frankly owns that Stilicho sent a small army lest the rebels should fly, ne timeare times, (i. Cons. Stilich. l. i. 314 &c.)]
 +
 +[Footnote 46: Claud. Rutil. Numatian. Itinerar. i. 439 - 448.  He afterwards (515 - 526) mentions a religious madman on the Isle of Gorgona. For such profane remarks, Rutilius and his accomplices are styled, by his commentator,​ Barthius, rabiosi canes diaboli. Tillemont (Mem. Eccles com. xii. p. 471) more calmly observes, that the unbelieving poet praises where he means to censure.] [Footnote 47: Orosius, l. vii. c. 36, p. 564.  Augustin commends two of these savage saints of the Isle of Goats, (epist. lxxxi. apud Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. xiii. p. 317, and Baronius, Annal Eccles. A.D. 398 No. 51.)] [Footnote 48: Here the first book of the Gildonic war is terminated. ​ The rest of Claudian'​s poem has been lost; and we are ignorant how or where the army made good their landing in Afica.]
 +
 +Gildo was prepared to resist the invasion with all the forces of Africa. By the liberality of his gifts and promises, he endeavored to secure the doubtful allegiance of the Roman soldiers, whilst he attracted to his standard the distant tribes of Gaetulia and Aethiopia. ​ He proudly reviewed an army of seventy thousand men, and boasted, with the rash presumption which is the forerunner of disgrace, that his numerous cavalry would trample under their horses'​ feet the troops of Mascezel, and involve, in a cloud of burning sand, the natives of the cold regions of Gaul and Germany. ^49 But the Moor, who commanded the legions of Honorius, was too well acquainted with the manners of his countrymen, to entertain any serious apprehension of a naked and disorderly host of Barbarians; whose left arm, instead of a shield, was protected only by mantle; who were totally disarmed as soon as they had darted their javelin from their right hand; and whose horses had never He fixed his camp of five thousand veterans in the face of a superior enemy, and, after the delay of three days, gave the signal of a general engagement. ^50 As Mascezel advanced before the front with fair offers of peace and pardon, he encountered one of the foremost standard-bearers of the Africans, and, on his refusal to yield, struck him on the arm with his sword. ​ The arm, and the standard, sunk under the weight of the blow; and the imaginary act of submission was hastily repeated by all the standards of the line.  At this the disaffected cohorts proclaimed the name of their lawful sovereign; the Barbarians, astonished by the defection of their Roman allies, dispersed, according to their custom, in tumultuary flight; and Mascezel obtained the of an easy, and almost bloodless, victory. ^51 The tyrant escaped from the field of battle to the sea-shore; and threw himself into a small vessel, with the hope of reaching in safety some friendly port of the empire of the East; but the obstinacy of the wind drove him back into the harbor of Tabraca, ^52 which had acknowledged,​ with the rest of the province, the dominion of Honorius, and the authority of his lieutenant. ​ The inhabitants,​ as a proof of their repentance and loyalty, seized and confined the person of Gildo in a dungeon; and his own despair saved him from the intolerable torture of supporting the presence of an injured and victorious brother. ^53 The captives and the spoils of Africa were laid at the feet of the emperor; but more sincere, in the midst of prosperity, still affected to consult the laws of the republic; and referred to the senate and people of Rome the judgment of the most illustrious criminals. ^54 Their trial was public and solemn; but the judges, in the exercise of this obsolete and precarious jurisdiction,​ were impatient to punish the African magistrates,​ who had intercepted the subsistence of the Roman people. ​ The rich and guilty province was oppressed by the Imperial ministers, who had a visible interest to multiply the number of the accomplices of Gildo; and if an edict of Honorius seems to check the malicious industry of informers, a subsequent edict, at the distance of ten years, continues and renews the prosecution of the which had been committed in the time of the general rebellion. ^55 The adherents of the tyrant who escaped the first fury of the soldiers, and the judges, might derive some consolation from the tragic fate of his brother, who could never obtain his pardon for the extraordinary services which he had performed. ​ After he had finished an important war in the space of a single winter, Mascezel was received at the court of Milan with loud applause, affected gratitude, and secret jealousy; ^56 and his death, which, perhaps, was the effect of passage of a bridge, the Moorish prince, who accompanied the master-general of the West, was suddenly thrown from his horse into the river; the officious haste of the attendants was on the countenance of Stilicho; and while they delayed the necessary assistance, the unfortunate Mascezel was irrecoverably drowned. ^57
 +
 +[Footnote 49: Orosius must be responsible for the account. ​ The presumption of Gildo and his various train of Barbarians is celebrated by Claudian, Cons. Stil. l. i. 345 - 355.]
 +
 +[Footnote 50: St. Ambrose, who had been dead about a year, revealed, in a vision, the time and place of the victory. Mascezel afterwards related his dream to Paulinus, the original biographer of the saint, from whom it might easily pass to Orosius.]
 +
 +[Footnote 51: Zosimus (l. v. p. 303) supposes an obstinate combat; but the narrative of Orosius appears to conceal a real fact, under the disguise of a miracle.]
 +
 +[Footnote 52: Tabraca lay between the two Hippos, (Cellarius, tom. ii. p. 112; D'​Anville,​ tom. iii. p. 84.) Orosius has distinctly named the field of battle, but our ignorance cannot define the precise situation.]
 +
 +
 +[Footnote 53: The death of Gildo is expressed by Claudian (i. Cons. Stil. 357) and his best interpreters,​ Zosimus and Orosius.] [Footnote 54: Claudian (ii. Cons. Stilich. 99 - 119) describes their trial (tremuit quos Africa nuper, cernunt rostra reos,) and applauds the restoration of the ancient constitution. ​ It is here that he introduces the famous sentence, so familiar to the friends of despotism:
 +
 +- Nunquam libertas gratior exstat, Quam sub rege pio.
 +
 +But the freedom which depends on royal piety, scarcely deserves appellation]
 +
 +[Footnote 55: See the Theodosian Code, l. ix. tit. xxxix. leg. 3, tit. xl. leg. 19.]
 +
 +[Footnote 56: Stilicho, who claimed an equal share in all the victories of Theodosius and his son, particularly asserts, that Africa was recovered by the wisdom of his counsels, (see an inscription produced by Baronius.)] [Footnote 57: I have softened the narrative of Zosimus, which, in its crude simplicity, is almost incredible, (l. v. p. 303.) Orosius damns the victorious general (p. 538) for violating the right of sanctuary.] The joy of the African triumph was happily connected with the nuptials of the emperor Honorius, and of his cousin Maria, the daughter of Stilicho: and this equal and honorable alliance seemed to invest the powerful minister with the authority of a parent over his submissive pupil. ​ The muse of Claudian was not silent on this propitious day; ^58 he sung, in various and lively strains, the happiness of the royal pair; and the glory of the hero, who confirmed their union, and supported their throne. ​ The ancient fables of Greece, which had almost ceased to be the object of religious faith, were saved from oblivion by the genius of poetry. ​ The picture of the Cyprian grove, the seat of harmony and love; the triumphant progress of Venus over her native seas, and the mild influence which her presence diffused in the palace of Milan, express to every age the natural sentiments of the heart, in the just and pleasing language of allegorical fiction. But the amorous impatience which Claudian attributes to the young prince, ^59 must excite the smiles of the court; and his beauteous spouse (if she deserved the praise of beauty) had not much to fear or to hope from the passions of her lover. ​ Honorius was only in the fourteenth year of his age; Serena, the mother of his bride, deferred, by art of persuasion, the consummation of the royal nuptials; Maria died a virgin, after she had been ten years a wife; and the chastity of the emperor was secured by the coldness, perhaps, the debility,of his constitution. ^60 His subjects, who attentively studied the character of their young sovereign, discovered that Honorius was without passions, and consequently without talents; and that his feeble and languid disposition was alike incapable of discharging the duties of his rank, or of enjoying the pleasures of his age.  In his early youth he made some progress in the exercises of riding and drawing the bow: but he soon relinquished these fatiguing occupations,​ and the amusement of feeding poultry became the serious and daily care of the monarch of the West, ^61 who resigned the reins of empire to the firm and skilful hand of his guardian Stilicho. ​ The experience of history will countenance the suspicion that a prince who was born in the purple, received a worse education than the meanest peasant of his dominions; and that the ambitious minister suffered him to attain the age of manhood, without attempting to excite his courage, or to enlighten his under standing. ^62 The predecessors of Honorius were accustomed to animate by their example, or at least by their presence, the valor of the legions; and the dates of their laws attest the perpetual activity of their motions through the provinces of the Roman world. ​ But the son of Theodosius passed the slumber of his life, a captive in his palace, a stranger in his country, and the patient, almost the indifferent,​ spectator of the ruin of the Western empire, which was repeatedly attacked, and finally subverted, by the arms of the Barbarians. ​ In the eventful history of a reign of twenty-eight years, it will seldom be necessary to mention the name of the emperor Honorius. [Footnote 58: Claudian,as the poet laureate, composed a serious and elaborate epithalamium of 340 lines; besides some gay Fescennines,​ which were sung, in a more licentious tone, on the wedding night.] [Footnote 59: - Calet obvius ire Jam princeps, tardumque cupit discedere solem. Nobilis haud aliter sonipes.
 +
 +(De Nuptiis Honor. et Mariae, and more freely in the Fescennines 112 - 116) Dices, O quoties,hoc mihi dulcius Quam flavos decics vincere Sarmatas.
 +
 +......
 +
 +Tum victor madido prosilias toro, Nocturni referens vulnera proelii.
 +
 +[Footnote 60: See Zosimus, l. v. p. 333.]
 +
 +[Footnote 61: Procopius de Bell. Gothico, l. i. c. 2.  I have borrowed the general practice of Honorius, without adopting the singular, and indeed improbable tale, which is related by the Greek historian.] [Footnote 62: The lessons of Theodosius, or rather Claudian, (iv. Cons. Honor 214 - 418,) might compose a fine institution for the future prince of a great and free nation. ​ It was far above Honorius, and his degenerate subjects.]
history_of_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_roman_empire_edward_gibbon_volume_3_pg1.txt ยท Last modified: 2018/04/21 03:41 (external edit)