Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History (AD431-594), translated by E. Walford (1846). Book 4.
ACCESSION OF JUSTIN.
AFTER Anastasius had, as I have said, departed for the better lot, Justin, a Thracian by birth, assumes the purple, in the five hundred and sixty-sixth year of the Era of Antioch, on the ninth day of the month Panemus, which the Romans call July. He was proclaimed emperor by the imperial body-guards, of which he was also the commander, having been appointed-prefect of the household troops. His elevation was, however, contrary to all expectation, since there were many most distinguished and flourishing members of the family of Anastasius, possessed also of sufficient influence to have secured for themselves the supreme power.
DESIGNS AND DEATH OF AMANTIUS AND THEOCRITUS.
AMANTIUS was the imperial chamberlain, and a man |190 of very great influence; but as it was not lawful for any emasculated person to attain the sovereignty of the Romans, he was desirous that the imperial crown should be given to Theocritus, one of his creatures. He, therefore, sends for Justin, and gives him a large sum of money, with orders to distribute it amongst the persons most fit for this purpose, and able to invest Theocritus with the purple. But with the money he either bought over the people, or purchased the goodwill of what are termed the Excubitores--for both accounts are given--and so attained the empire. Soon afterwards he took off Amantius and Theocritus, with some others.
ASSASSINATION OF VITALIAN.
JUSTIN sends for Vitalian, who was living in Thrace and who had entertained designs of dethroning Anastasius, to Constantinople: for he dreaded his power, his military experience, his universal renown, and his great desire to possess the sovereignty: and rightly conjecturing that he should not be able to overcome him otherwise than by pretending to be a friend ; by way of concealing his guile under a plausible mask, he appoints him commander of one of the bodies called Praesentes, and, as a more effectual persuasive, with a |191 view to a still greater deception, he raises him to the consulship. He, being consul elect, was assassinated on visiting the palace, at an inner door, and thus met with a punishment for his insolence towards the Roman sovereignty. But these events happened subsequently.
DEPOSITION OF SEVERUS, BISHOP OF ANTIOCH. SUCCESSION OF PAUL AND EUPHRASIUS.1
SEVERUS, who had been ordained president of Antioch, as stated above, ceased not daily to anathematise the synod at Chalcedon, and chiefly by means of those epistles called Enthronistic, and in the responses which he sent to all the patriarchs, though they were received only at Alexandria, by John, the successor of the former John, and by Dioscorus and Timotheus: which epistles have come down to our time.
Many contentions having thus arisen in the church, whereby the. most faithful people were split into factions, Justin, in the first year of his reign, ordered him to be arrested, and to be punished, as some say, by having his tongue cut out; the execution of which sentence was committed to Irenaeus, who, at Antioch, held the government of the Eastern provinces.
Severus himself confirms the account of Irenaeus being appointed to arrest him, in a letter to some |192 of the Antiochenes, describing the manner of his escape; wherein he casts the strongest invectives on Irenaeus, and states that he is under the strictest surveillance lest he should escape from Antioch. Some say that Vitalian, who still appeared to be in the highest favour with Justin, demanded the tongue of Severus, because he had reproached him in his discourses. Accordingly, he flies from his see, in the month Gorpiaeus, which in the Latin language is called September, in the five hundred and sixty-seventh year of the Era of Antioch. Paul succeeds to the see, with orders to proclaim openly the synod at Chalcedon. Afterwards, retiring voluntarily from Antioch, he went the way of all flesh by a natural death. He is succeeded in his see by Euphrasius from Jerusalem.
FIRES AND EARTHQUAKES AT ANTIOCH. DEATH OF EUPHRASIUS.2
ABOUT the same period of Justin's reign there happened at Antioch numerous and dreadful fires, as if harbingers of the terrible shocks which afterwards took place, and serving as a prelude for the coming calamities. For, a short time after, in the tenth month of the seventh year of Justin's reign, being Artemisius or May, on the twenty-ninth day of the month, precisely |193 at noon, on the sixth day of the week, the city was visited with the shock of an earthquake, which very nearly destroyed the whole of it. This was followed by a fire, to share, as it were, in the calamity: for what escaped the earthquake, the fire in its spread reduced to ashes. The damage that the city sustained, how many persons according to probable estimate became the victims of the fire and earthquake, what strange occurrences surpassing the power of words took place, have been feelingly related by John the Rhetorician, who concludes his history with the relation.
Euphrasius also perished in the ruins, to add another misfortune to the city, by leaving no one to provide for its exigencies.
ELEVATION OF EPHRAEMIUS, COUNT OF THE EAST, TO THE PATRIARCHATE OF ANTIOCH.
BUT the saving care of God for man, which prepares the remedy before the stroke, and the compassion which, while sharpening the sword of wrath, at the moment of the deepest despair displays its sympathy, raised up Ephraemius, at that time governor of the Eastern provinces, to take upon himself all the care of the city; so that it lacked not any thing that its |194 exigency required. On this account, the sons of the Antiochenes so admired him, that they elected him their priest: and he thus attains the apostolic see as a reward and prize of his singular care for the place. Thirty months after, the city suffered again from an earthquake.
At this time also, what had been hitherto called the city of Antiochus was entitled the City of God, and received additional care at the hands of the emperor.
MIRACLES OF ZOSIMAS AND JOHN.
Now that I have recorded the above-mentioned calamities, let me also add to the present narrative some other circumstances worthy of record, and which have been transmitted to us from those who have made them a subject of notice.
Zosimas was a native of Sinde, a village of Phoenicia Maritima, distant from Tyre about twenty stadia, and pursued the monastic discipline. He, by means both of abstinence and use of food, having attained to such a union with God as not only to discern forthcoming events, but also to possess the grace of perfect freedom from passion, was in company with a distinguished person from Caesarea, the capital of one of the Palestines. This was Arcesilaus, a man of good |195 family, accomplished, and high in dignities and whatever gives lustre to life. Zosimas, at the very moment of the overthrow of Antioch, suddenly became troubled, uttered lamentations and deep sighs, and then shedding such a profusion of tears as to bedew the ground, called for a censer, and having fumed the whole place where they were standing, throws himself upon the ground, propitiating God with prayers and supplications. Upon Arcesilaus asking the reason of all this trouble, he distinctly replied, that the sound of the overthrow of Antioch was at that instant ringing in his ears. This led Arcesilaus and the rest of the astonished company to note down the hour; and they afterwards found that it was as Zosimas had said.
By his hand many other miracles were performed: but omitting the greater part of them, since they are too numerous to detail, I shall mention a few.
Contemporary with Zosimas, and endued with equal virtues, was a man named John, who had practised the endurance of the solitary and immaterial life in the cloister called Chuzibas, situated at the extremity of the glen at the northern part of the highway leading from Jerusalem to Jericho, and was now bishop of the before-named Caesarea. This John, the Chuzibite, having heard that the wife of Arcesilaus had lost one of her eyes by a stroke of a spindle, runs immediately to her to see the accident; and when he finds that the |196 pupil is gone and the eye altogether lacerated, he commands one of the physicians in attendance to bring a sponge, and, having replaced as well as he could the lacerated parts, to apply and secure the sponge with bandages. Arcesilaus was absent, for he happened to be with Zosimas in his monastery at Sinde, distant from Caesarea full five hundred stadia. Accordingly, messengers proceeded with all haste to Arcesilaus, whom they found sitting in conversation with Zosimas. When informed of the circumstance, he uttered a piercing cry, tore his hair and cast it towards heaven. Upon Zosimas asking him the reason, he told him what had happened, interrupting his account with frequent wailings and tears. Whereupon Zosimas, leaving him alone, goes to his chamber, where he used to make his addresses to God according to the rule of such persons, and after some interval he approaches Arcesilaus with a solemnly joyous countenance, and gently pressing his hand, said : "Depart with joy, depart. Grace is given to the Chuzibite. Your wife is cured, and is in possession of both her eyes ; for the accident has had no power to deprive her of them, since such was the desire of the Chuzibite." This was brought about by the united wonder-working of both the just men.
Again, as the same Zosimas was going to Caesarea, and leading an ass laden with certain necessaries, a lion encountered him and carried off the ass. Zosimas |197 follows into the wood, reaches the place where the lion was, satiated with his meal upon the beast, and smiling says, "Come, my friend; my journey is interrupted, since I am heavy and far advanced in years, and not able to carry on my back the ass's load. You must therefore carry it, though contrary to your nature, if you wish Zosimas to get out of this place and yourself to be a wild beast again." All at once the lion, forgetting his ferocity, fawned on him, and by his gestures plainly manifested obedience. Zosimas then put the ass's load upon him, and led him to the gates of Caesarea, showing the power of God, and how all things are subservient to man if we live to Him and do not pervert the grace given to us. But that I may not render my history prolix by more circumstances of the kind, I will return to the point whence 1 digressed.
DURING the reign of Justin, Dyrrachium, formerly called Epidamnus, suffered from an earthquake; as did also Corinth in Greece, and afterwards, for the fourth time, Anazarbus, the capital of Cilicia Minor. These cities Justin restored at great expence. About the same time Edessa, a large and flourishing city of |198 Osroene, was inundated by the waters of the Skirtus, which runs close by it; so that most of the buildings were swept away, and countless multitudes that were carried down by the stream, perished. Accordingly, the names of Edessa and Anazarbus were changed by Justin, and each of them was called, after himself, Justinopolis.
APPOINTMENT OF JUSTINIAN TO A SHARE IN THE EMPIRE.
WHEN Justin had reigned eight years, nine months, and three days, he associated in the government Justinian, his nephew, who was proclaimed on the first of the month Xanthicus, or April, in the five hundred and seventy-fifth year of the era of Antioch. After these transactions, Justin departs his earthly sovereignty, closing his life on the first of the month Lous, or August, having had Justin for his associate in the empire four months, and reigned in all nine years and three days. Now that Justinian was sole sovereign of the Roman empire, and the synod at Chalcedon was being proclaimed in the most holy churches by the commands of Justin, as stated before; the state of the church was disturbed in some of the provinces, but |199 chiefly at Constantinople and Alexandria, Anthimus being bishop of the former, and Theodosius of the latter: for both held the doctrine of the single nature of Christ.
THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON UPHELD BY JUSTINIAN.
JUSTINIAN very resolutely upheld the synod at Chalcedon and what was put forth by it; and Theodora, his consort, those who maintained the single nature: either because such were their real sentiments--for when the faith is a matter of dispute, fathers are divided against their children, children against the authors of their birth, a wife against her own husband, and again a husband against his own wife--or by mutual understanding, that he should uphold those who maintained the two natures in Christ our God after the union; and she those who alleged the single nature. Neither conceded to the other: but he strenuously supported the acts at Chalcedon, and she, ranging with the opposite party, exercised the greatest care towards those who maintained the single nature. Our people she treated with the warmest kindness, and others too with great munificence. She also persuades Justinian to send for Severus. |200
DEPOSITION OF ANTHIMUS AND THEODOSIUS FROM THEIR SEES.
THERE are letters extant from Severus to Justinian and Theodora, from which we may gather that at first he put off his journey to the imperial city on leaving his see of Antioch. Nevertheless he afterwards arrived there; and has written to the effect that when he came thither and had conversed with Anthimus, and found him holding the same sentiments with himself, and the same opinions with respect to the Godhead, he persuaded him to withdraw from his see. He wrote concerning these matters to Theodosius, bishop of Alexandria, and greatly gloried in having persuaded Anthimus, as stated before, to prefer such doctrines to earthly glory and the possession of his see. Letters are also extant on this subject from Anthimus to Theodosius, and from Theodosius to Severus and Anthimus; which I pass over, leaving them to those who choose to consult them, that I may not include in the present work too great a mass of materials. Nevertheless, both were ejected from their sees, as opposing the imperial mandates and the decrees of Chalcedon. Zoilus succeeded to that of Alexandria, and Epiphanius to that of the imperial city: so that from that time forward the synod at Chalcedon was openly proclaimed |201 in all the churches; and no one dared to anathematise it; while those who dissented, were urged by innumerable methods to assent to it. Accordingly, a constitution was drawn up by Justinian in which he anathematised Severus, Anthimus, and others, and subjected those who held their doctrines, to the highest penalties: the effect of which was, that thenceforward no schism remained in any of the churches, but the patriarchs of the several dioceses agreed with each other, and the bishops of the cities followed their respective primates. Four synods were thus proclaimed throughout the churches; first, that held at Nicaea; secondly, that at Constantinople; thirdly, the former one at Ephesus; and fourthly, that at Chalcedon. A fifth also took place by order of Justinian, concerning which I shall say what is suitable in its proper place, while I weave into my present narrative the several events of the same period which are worthy of notice.
CABADES AND CHOSROES, KINGS OF PERSIA.4
THE history of Belisarius has been written by Procopius the Rhetorician. He says that Cabades, king of the Persians, wishing to invest his youngest son Chosroes with the sovereignty, was desirous to have him adopted by the Roman emperor, so that by |202 that means his succession might be secured. But when this was refused, at the suggestion of Proclus, who advised Justinian as his quaestor, they conceived a still greater hatred against the Romans. This same Procopius has, with diligence, elegance, and ability, set forth the events of the war between the Romans and Persians while Belisarius was commander of the forces of the East. The first victory on the side of the Romans which he records, was in the neighbourhood of Daras and Nisibis, under the command of Belisarius and Hemogenes. He subjoins an account of the occurrences in Armenia, and the mischief inflicted on the Romans by Alamundarus, the chieftain of the Scenite barbarians, who captured Timostratus, the brother of Rufinus, together with his troops, and afterwards liberated him for a considerable ransom.
INCURSION OF THE ARABS. SEDITION AT CONSTANTINOPLE.
HE also feelingly details the incursion of the before-named Alamundarus and Azarethus into the Roman territory; and how Belisarius, compelled by his own troops, engaged them in their retreat by the Euphrates, on the eve of Easter day; and how the Roman army was destroyed through their repugnance to the |203 measures of Belisarius; and how Rufinus and Hermogenes made with the Persians the peace called the perpetual peace.
He subjoins an account of the insurrection of the people at Byzantium, which derived its name from the watchword of the populace: for they entitled it "Nica", because on their assembling they chose this term as the watchword, to know each other. On this occasion Hypatius and Pompeius were compelled by the people to assume the sovereignty. But on the defeat of the populace, both were beheaded by the soldiers at the command of Justinian, and the insurrection was quelled. Procopius states that thirty thousand persons were killed in this disturbance.
PERSECUTION BY HUNERIC.5
THE same writer, when treating of the affairs of the Vandals, has recorded most important occurrences and worthy of perpetual memory, which I now proceed to mention. Himeric, the successor of Genseric, and a professor of the creed of Arius, entertained most cruel intentions against the African Christians, in the endeavour to convert by force the maintainers of the orthodox doctrines to the opinions of the Arians. Those who refused compliance, he destroyed both by |204 fire and various modes of death, and some he deprived of their tongues. The latter, Procopius says that he himself saw, when they had taken refuge at the imperial city, and that he maintained a conversation with them in the same manner as with unmutilated persons: that their tongues were cut out from the root; nevertheless their speech was articulate, and they conversed distinctly; a new and strange marvel, of which also a constitution of Justinian makes mention. Two of these persons lapsed, as Procopius himself writes. For on their desiring commerce with women, they were deprived of their speech, since the grace of their martyrdom had abandoned them.
CABAONES THE MOOR.6
HE also relates another wonderful occurrence, wrought by our Saviour God in the case of men, aliens indeed to our religion, who, however, acted with religious reverence. He states that Cabaones was chieftain of the Moors in the neighbourhood of Tripolis. This Cabaones, he says--for it is worth while to use his own words during his able narration of this matter also--this Cabaones, as soon as he learned that the Vandals were marching against him, acted in the following manner. First, he commanded all his |205 subjects to refrain from injustice and all luxurious food, but particularly from commerce with women; and having raised two fortified enclosures, he encamped himself with all the men in one, and enclosed the women in the other, threatening death to any man who should approach the women. Afterwards, he sent scouts to Carthage with these instructions: that when the Vandals on their march outraged any temple reverenced by the Christians, they should note what was being done, and when the Vandals left the place, should, immediately on their departure, treat the sanctuary in a manner directly the reverse. It is mentioned that he further said, that he was ignorant of the God worshipped by the Christians, but it was likely, if he were powerful, as was affirmed, that he would chastise those who outraged him, and defend such as rendered him service. The scouts, therefore, coming to Carthage, continued to watch the preparations of the Vandals, and when the army set forward for Tripolis, they followed it, disguised in a sorry dress. The Vandals, encamping at the close of the first day, introduced their horses and other beasts into the temples of the Christians, and abstained from no species of outrage, but gave way to their usual license; and beating and severely scourging the priests whom they happened to seize, bid them wait upon them. But as soon as the Vandals had left the place, the scouts of Cabaones did all that had been enjoined them, and |206 immediately cleansed the sanctuaries, sedulously removing the dung and every other defilement: they lighted all the tapers, paid reverent obeisance to the priests, and saluted them with every kindness; and when they had bestowed money on the beggars who sat round the shrine, they followed the army of the Vandals, who, from this point along the whole line of march, committed the same outrages, while the scouts remedied them. When, however, they were at no great distance, the scouts, proceeding in advance, announced to Cabaones all that had been done by the Vandals and themselves to the temples of the Christians, and that the enemy were now near. On hearing this, he prepared to engage. By far the greater part of the Vandals, as our author states, were destroyed: some were captured by the enemy, and very few returned home. Such was the misfortune that Thrasamund sustained at the hands of the Moors. He died some time after, having ruled the Vandals for seven and twenty years.
EXPEDITION OF BELISARIUS AGAINST THE VANDALS.
THE same author writes that Justinian, having, in pity to the Christians in that quarter, professed his intention of undertaking an expedition for their relief, |207 was being diverted from his purpose by the suggestion of John, prefect of the palace, when a dream appeared to him, bidding him not to shrink from the execution of his design; for, by assisting the Christian she would overthrow the power of the Vandals. Being determined by this circumstance, in the seventh year of his reign, he despatches Belisarius, about the summer solstice, to attack Carthage; on which occasion, when the general's ship touched at the shore of the palace, Epiphanius, bishop of the city, offered up appropriate prayers, having previously baptized some of the soldiers and embarked them on board the vessel. He also narrates some circumstances, worthy of record, relating to the martyr Cyprian, in the following words:
"All the Carthaginians especially reverence Cyprian, a holy man, and having erected on the shore, in front of their city, a noble shrine, besides other reverential observances, they celebrate an annual festival, and call it Cypriana; and the sailors are accustomed to call the tempestuous weather which I have before mentioned by the same name as the festival, since it is wont to happen at the time of the year at which the Africans have fixed its perpetual celebration. This temple the Vandals, in the reign of Huneric, took by force from the Christians, and ignominiously expelling the priests, refitted it, as henceforward belonging to the Arians. They say that Cyprian, frequently appearing in a dream to the Africans who were indignant and |208 distressed on this account, told them that there was no occasion for the Christians to be solicitous about him, for in time he would avenge himself: which prediction attained its accomplishment in the time of Belisarius, when Carthage, ninety-five years after its loss, was reduced by him under the Roman power, by the utter overthrow of the Vandals: at which time the doctrine of the Arians was entirely extirpated from Africa, and the Christians recovered their own temples, according to the prediction of the martyr Cyprian."
TRIUMPH OF BELISARIUS.
THE same author writes as follows. "When Belisarius had subdued the Vandals, he returned to Byzantium, bringing the spoils and prisoners, and among them Gelimer, king of the Vandals. A triumph was granted him, and he carried in procession through the Hippodrome whatever would be an object of wonder. Among these were considerable treasures obtained by Genseric from the plunder of the palace at Rome, as I have already narrated; when Eudoxia, the wife of Valentinian, emperor of the West, having been both deprived of her husband and subjected to an outrage on her chastity by Maximus, invited Genseric, with a |209 promise of surrendering the city to him: on which occasion, after burning Rome, he conveyed Eudoxia and her daughters to the country of the Vandals. Together with the other treasures, he then carried off all that Titus, the son of Vespasian, had brought to Rome on the capture of Jerusalem; offerings which Solomon had dedicated to God. These Justinian, in honour of Christ our God, sent back to Jerusalem; an act of becoming reverence to the Deity, to whom they had in the first instance been dedicated. On this occasion, Procopius says that Gelimer, prostrating himself on the ground in the hippodrome, before the imperial throne on which Justinian was sitting to witness the proceedings, made application, in his own language, of the divine oracle: "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity."
ORIGIN OF THE MOORS. MUNIFICENCE OF JUSTINIAN IN AFRICA.
PROCOPIUS mentions another circumstance, unnoticed before his time, but one that can scarcely be regarded with sufficient wonder. He states that the Moors of Lybia settled in that country after being dislodged from Palestine, and that they are those whom the divine oracles mention as the Girgashites and Jebusites, |210 and the other nations subdued by Joshua the son of Nun. He concludes the entire truth of the story from an inscription in Phoenician characters, which he says that he himself had read, and that it was near a fountain, where were two pillars of white stone on which were engraved these words: "We are those who fled from the face of Joshua the robber, the son of Nun."
Such was the end of these transactions, in Africa becoming again subject to the Romans, and paying, as before, an annual tribute.
Justinian is said to have restored one hundred and fifty cities in Africa, some of which had been altogether, and others extensively ruined; and this he did with surpassing magnificence, in private and public works and embellishments, in fortifications, and other vast structures by which cities are adorned and the Deity propitiated: also in aqueducts for use and ornament, the supply of water having been in some cases conveyed to the cities for the first time, in others restored to its former state.
EVENTS FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THEODORIC.
I NOW proceed to relate what occurred in Italy; events which have also been treated very distinctly by Procopius, the Rhetorician, down to his own times. |211
After Theodoric, as I have already detailed, had captured Rome and utterly destroyed its king Odoacer, and had closed his life in possession of the Roman sovereignty, his wife Amalasuntha held the reins of government, as guardian of their common son Athalaric; a woman rather of a masculine temperament, and administering affairs accordingly. She was the first person who led Justinian to entertain a desire for the Gothic war, by sending an embassy to him on the formation of a conspiracy against herself. On the death, however, of Athalaric at a very early age, Theodatus, a kinsman of Theodoric, was invested with the sovereignty of the West, but abdicated when Justinian had despatched Belisarius to that quarter; being a person addicted rather to literature, and altogether wanting in military experience; while Vitiges, an able soldier, was in command of his forces. From the materials which the same Procopius has collected, one may gather that Vitiges abandoned Rome on the arrival of Belisarius in Italy; who at once marched upon the city. The Romans readily opened their gates to him; a result mainly brought about by Silverius, their bishop, who, with this view, had sent to him Fidelis, formerly assessor to Athalaric. They accordingly surrendered their city to him without resistance: and thus Rome, after an interval of sixty years, again fell into Roman hands on the ninth day of the month Apellaeus, called by the Latins |212 December.7 The same Procopius writes, that, when the Goths were besieging Rome, Belisarius, suspecting Silverius of a design to betray the city, transports him to Greece and appoints Vigilius in his room.
CONVERSION OF THE HERULI.
ABOUT the same time, as Procopius also writes, when the Heruli, who had already crossed the river Danube in the reign of Anastasius, had experienced generous treatment at the hands of Justinian, in large presents of money, the whole nation embraced Christianity and adopted a more civilised mode of life.
LOSS AND RECOVERY OF ROME.
JN the next place he records the return of Belisarius to Byzantium, and how he brought thither Vitiges, together with the spoils of Rome; also the seizure of the sovereignty of Rome by Totila, and how the city again fell under the dominion of a Goth ; how Belisarius, having twice entered Italy, again recovered the city, and how, on the breaking out of the Median war, he was recalled to Byzantium by the emperor. |213
CONVERSION OF THE ABASGI.
PROCOPIUS also records, that the Abasgi, having become more civilised, embraced the Christian doctrine about the same time, and that Justinian sent to them one of the eunuchs of the palace, their countryman, by name Euphratas, with an interdict, that henceforward no one in that nation should undergo emasculation in violation of nature; for from among them the imperial chamberlains were principally appointed, whom usage styles eunuchs. At this time, Justinian, having erected among the Abasgi a temple in honour of the Mother of God, appointed priests for them; by which means they were accurately instructed in the Christian doctrine.
CONVERSION OF TILE PEOPLE ON THE TANAIS. EARTHQUAKES.
THE same author narrates, that the people on the Tanais (the natives give the name of Tanais to the channel extending from the Palus Maeotis to the Euxine Sea) urged Justinian to send a bishop to them; which request he granted, and gladly sent |214 them a priest. The same writer describes, with great ability, the irruptions of the Goths of the Maeotis into the Roman territory in the time of Justinian, and the violent earthquakes which took place in Greece; how Boeotia, Achaia, and the neighbourhood of the Crisssean bay suifered shocks; how innumerable towns and cities were levelled, and chasms were formed, many of which closed again, while others remained open.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND PIETY OF NARSES.
PROCOPIUS also describes the expedition of Narses, who was sent by Justinian into Italy; how he overthrew Totila and afterwards Teia; and how Rome was taken for the fifth time. Those about the person of Narses affirm that he used to propitiate the Deity with prayers and other acts of piety, paying due honour also to the Virgin and mother of God, so that she distinctly announced to him the proper season for action; and that Narses never engaged until he had received the signal from her. He recounts also other distinguished exploits of Narses in the overthrow of Buselinus and Syndualdus, and the acquisition of nearly the whole country as far as the ocean. These |215 transactions have been recounted by Agathias the Rhetorician, but his history has not reached our hands.
INVASION OF THE PERSIANS. CAPTURE OF ANTIOCH.8
THE same Procopius has also written the following account. When Chosroes had learned what had occurred in Africa and Italy favourable to the Roman dominion, he was moved to excessive jealousy, and advanced certain charges against the Roman government, that terms had been violated and the existing peace broken. In the first place, Justinian sent ambassadors to Chosroes to induce him not to break the peace which was intended to be perpetual, nor to trespass on the existing conditions; proposing that the points in dispute should be discussed and settled in an amicable manner. But Chosroes, maddened by the ferment of jealousy, would not listen to any proposals, and invaded the Roman territory with a large army, in the thirteenth year of the reign of Justinian. The historian also writes, that Chosroes captured and destroyed Sura, a city on the banks of the Euphrates, after having professed to make terms, but dealing with it in defiance of all justice, by paying no regard to the conditions, and becoming master of it rather |216 by stratagem than by open war. He also narrates the burning of Beraea, and then the advance upon Antioch; at which time Ephraemius was bishop of the city, but had abandoned it on the failure of all his plans. This person is said to have rescued the Church and its precincts, by arraying it with the sacred offerings, in order that they might serve as a ransom for it. The historian also feelingly describes the capture of Antioch by Chosroes, and its promiscuous devastation by fire and sword: his visit to the neighbouring city of Seleucia, and to the suburb Daphne, and his advance towards Apamea, during the episcopate of Thomas, a man most powerful in word and deed. He had the prudence to yield to Chosroes in becoming a spectator of the horse-races in the hippodrome, though an act of irregularity ; employing every means to court and pacify the conqueror. Chosroes also asked him whether he was desirous to see him in his own city: and it is said that he frankly replied that it was no pleasure to see him in his neighbourhood: at which answer Chosroes was struck with wonder, justly admiring the truthfulness of the man. |217
DISPLAY OF THE WOOD OF THE CROSS AT APAMEA.9
Now that I have arrived at this point of my narrative, I will relate a prodigy, which occurred at Apamea, and is worthy of a place in the present history.
When the sons of the Apameans were informed that Antioch had been burnt, they besought the before-mentioned Thomas to bring forth and display the saving and life-giving wood of the cross, in deviation from established rule ; that they might behold and kiss for the last time the sole salvation of man, and obtain a provision for the passage to another life, in having the precious cross as their means of transport to the better lot. In performance of which request, Thomas brings forth the life-giving wood, announcing stated days for its display, that all the neighbouring people might have an opportunity to assemble and enjoy the salvation thence proceeding.
Accordingly, my parents visited it together with the rest, accompanied by myself, at that time a school-boy. When, therefore, we requested permission to adore and kiss the precious cross, Thomas, lifting up both his hands, displayed the wood which blotted out the ancient curse, making an entire circuit of the sanctuary, as |218 was customary on the ordinary days of adoration. As Thomas moved from place to place, there followed him a large body of fire, blazing but not consuming; so that the whole spot where he stood to display the precious cross seemed to be in flames: and this took place not once or twice but often, as the priest was making the circuit of the place, and the assembled people were entreating him that it might be done. This circumstance foreshewed the preservation which was granted to the Apameans. Accordingly, a representation of it was suspended on the roof of the sanctuary, explaining it by its delineation to those who were uninformed: which was preserved until the irruption of Adaarmanes and the Persians, when it was burnt together with the holy church in the conflagration of the entire city. Such were these events. But Chosroes, in his retreat, acted in direct violation of conditions--for even on this occasion terms had been made--in a manner suited to his restless and inconstant disposition, but utterly unbecoming a rational man, much more a king professing a regard for treaties.
SIEGE OF EDESSA BY CHOSROES.10
THE same Procopius narrates what the ancients had recorded concerning Edessa and Abgarus, and |219 how Christ wrote a letter to him. He then relates how Chosroes made a fresh movement to lay siege to the city, thinking to falsify the assertion prevalent among the faithful, that Edessa would never fall into the power of an enemy: which assertion, however, is not contained in what was written to Abgarus by Christ our God; as the studious may gather from the history of Eusebius Pamphili, who cites the epistle verbatim. Such, however, is the averment and belief of the faithful; which was then realised, faith bringing about the accomplishment of the prediction. For after Chosroes had made many assaults on the city, had raised a mound of sufficient size to overtop the walls of the town, and had devised innumerable expedients beside, he raised the siege and retreated. I will, however, detail the particulars. Chosroes ordered his troops to collect a great quantity of wood for the siege from whatever timber fell in their way; and when this had been done before the order could well be issued, arranging it in a circular form, he threw a mound inside with its face advancing against the city. In this way elevating it gradually with the timber and earth, and pushing it forward towards the town, he raised it to a height sufficient to overtop the wall, so that the besiegers could hurl their missiles from vantage ground against the defenders. When the besiegers saw the mound approaching the walls like a moving mountain, and the enemy in |220 expectation of stepping into the town at day-break, they devised to run a mine under the mound--which the Latins term "aggestus"--and by that means apply fire, so that the combustion of the timber might cause the downfall of the mound. The mine was completed; but they failed in attempting to fire the wood, because the fire, having no exit whence it could obtain a supply of air, was unable to take hold of it. In this state of utter perplexity, they bring the divinely wrought image, which the hands of men did not form, but Christ our God sent to Abgarus on his desiring to see Him. Accordingly, having introduced this holy image into the mine, and washed it over with water, they sprinkled some upon the timber; and the divine power forthwith being present to the faith of those who had so done, the result was accomplished which had previously been impossible: for the timber immediately caught the flame, and being in an instant reduced to cinders, communicated with that above, and the fire spread in all directions. When the besieged saw the smoke rising, they adopted the following contrivance. Having filled small jars with sulphur, tow, and other combustibles, they threw them upon the aggestus ; and these, sending forth srnoke as the fire was increased by the force of their flight, prevented that which was rising from the mound from being observed ; so that all who were not in the secret, supposed that the smoke proceeded |221 solely from the jars. On the third day the flames were seen issuing from the earth, and then the Persians on the mound became aware of their unfortunate situation. But Chosroes, as if in opposition to the power of heaven, endeavoured to extinguish the pile, by turning all the water-courses which were outside the city upon it. The fire, however, receiving the water as if it had been oil or sulphur, or some other combustible, continually increased, until it had completely levelled the entire mound and reduced the aggestus to ashes. Then Chosroes, in utter despair, impressed by the circumstances with a sense of his disgraceful folly in having entertained an idea of prevailing over the God whom we worship, retreated ingloriously into his own territories.
MIRACLE AT SERGIOPOLIS.11
WHAT occurred at Sergiopolis through the proceedings of Chosroes shall also be described, as being a notable event and worthy of perpetual remembrance. Chosroes advanced against this city too, eager for its capture; and on his proceeding to assault the walls, negociations took place with a view to spare the city: and it was agreed that the sacred treasures should be |222 a ransom for the place, among which was also a cross presented by Justinian and Theodora. When they had been duly conveyed, Chosroes asked the priest and the Persians who had been sent with him, whether there was not any thing besides. Upon this one of them, being persons unaccustomed to speak the truth, told Chosroes that there were some other treasures concealed by the townsmen, who were but few. In fact, there had been left behind not any treasure of gold or silver, but one of more valuable material, and irrevocably devoted to God, namely, the holy relics of the victorious martyr Sergius, lying in a coffin of the oblong sort, plated over with silver. Chosroes, influenced by these persons, advanced his whole army against the city; when suddenly there appeared along the circuit of the walls, in defence of the place, innumerable shields; on seeing which the persons sent by Chosroes returned, describing, with wonder, the number and fashion of the arms. And when, on further enquiry, he learned that very few persons remained in the city, and these consisted of aged people and children, from the absence of the flower of the population, he perceived that the prodigy proceeded from the martyr, and, influenced by fear and wonder at the faith of the Christians, he withdrew into his own country. They also say that in his latter days he partook in the holy regeneration. |223
I WILL also describe the circumstances of the pestilence which commenced at that period, and has now prevailed and extended over the whole world for fifty-two years; a circumstance such as has never before been recorded. Two years after the capture of Antioch by the Persians, a pestilence broke out, in some respects similar to that described by Thucydides, in others widely different. It took its rise from Aethiopia, as is now reported, and made a circuit of the whole world in succession, leaving, as I suppose, no part of the human race unvisited by the disease. Some cities were so severely afflicted as to be altogether depopulated, though in other places the visitation was less violent. It neither commenced according to any fixed period, nor was the time of its cessation uniform; but it seized upon some places at the commencement of winter, others in the course of the spring, others during the summer, and in some cases, when the autumn was advanced. In some instances, having infected a part of a city, it left the remainder untouched; and frequently in an uninfected city one might remark a few households excessively wasted; and in several places, while one or two households utterly perished, the rest of the city remained unvisited: but, as we have learned |224 from careful observation, the uninfected households alone suffered the succeeding year. But the most singular circumstance of all was this; that if it happened that any inhabitants of an infected city were living in a place which the calamity had not visited, these alone were seized with the disorder. This visitation also befell cities and other places in many instances according to the periods called Indictions; and the disease occurred, with the almost utter destruction of human beings, in the second year of each indiction. Thus it happened in my own case--for I deem it fitting, in due adaptation of circumstances, to insert also in this history matters relating to myself--that at the commencement of this calamity I was seized with what are termed buboes, while still a school-boy, and lost by its recurrence at different times several of my children, my wife, and many of my kin, as well as of my domestic and country servants; the several indictions making, as it were, a distribution of my misfortunes. Thus, not quite two years before my writing this, being now in the fifty-eighth year of my age, on its fourth visit to Antioch, at the expiration of the fourth indiction from its commencement, I lost a daughter and her son, besides those who had died previously. The plague was a complication of diseases: for, in some cases, commencing in the head, and rendering the eyes bloody and the face swollen, it descended into the throat, and then destroyed the patient. In others, |225 there was a flux of the bowels: in others buboes were formed, followed by violent fever; and the sufferers died at the end of two or three days, equally in possession, with the healthy, of their mental and bodily powers. Others died in a state of delirium, and some by the breaking out of carbuncles. Cases occurred where persons, who had been attacked once and twice and had recovered, died by a subsequent seizure.
The ways in which the disease; was communicated, were various and unaccountable: for some perished by merely living with the infected, others by only touching them, others by having entered their chamber, others by frequenting public places. Some, having fled from the infected cities, escaped themselves, but imparted the disease to the healthy. Some were altogether free from contagion, though they had associated with many who were afflicted, and had touched many not only in their sickness but also when dead. Some, too, who were desirous of death, on account of the utter loss of their children and friends, and with this view placed themselves as much as possible in contact with the diseased, were nevertheless not infected; as if the pestilence struggled against their purpose. This calamity has prevailed, as I have already said, to the present time, for two and fifty years, exceeding all that have preceded it. For Philostratus expresses wonder that the pestilence which happened in his time, lasted for fifteen years. The sequel is uncertain, since |226 its course will be guided by the good pleasure of God, who knows both the causes of things, and their tendencies. I shall now return to the point from which I digressed, and relate the remainder of Justinian's history.
AVARICE OF JUSTINIAN.
JUSTINIAN was insatiable in the acquisition of wealth, and so excessively covetous of the property of others, that he sold for money the whole body of his subjects to those who were entrusted with offices or who were collectors of tributes, and to whatever persons were disposed to entrap others by groundless charges. He stripped of their entire property innumerable wealthy persons, under colour of the emptiest pretexts. If even a prostitute, marking out an individual as a victim, raised a charge of criminal intercourse against him, all law was at once rendered vain, and by making Justinian her associate in dishonest gain, she transferred to herself the whole wealth of the accused person. At the same time he was liberal in expenditure; so far as to raise in every quarter many sacred and magnificent temples, and other religious edifices devoted to the care of infants and aged persons of either sex, and of such as were afflicted with various |227 diseases. He also appropriated considerable revenues for carrying out these objects; and performed many such actions as are pious and acceptable to God, provided that those who perform them do so from their own means, and the offering of their deeds be pure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CHURCH OF ST. SOPHIA AT CONSTANTINOPLE.
HE also raised at Constantinople many sacred buildings of elaborate beauty, in honour of God and the saints, and erected a vast and incomparable work, such as has never been before recorded, namely the largest edifice of the Church, a noble and surpassing structure, beyond the power of words to describe. Nevertheless I will endeavour to the best of my ability to detail the plan of the sacred precinct. The nave of the sanctuary is a dome, supported by four arches, and raised to so great a height that the sight of persons surveying it from below can scarcely reach the vertex of the hemisphere, and no one from above, however daring, ventures to bend over and look down to the floor. The arches are raised clear from the pavement to the roof : but within those on the right and left are ranged columns of Thessalian stone, which, together with other corresponding pillars, support galleries, so as to allow those who wish, to look |228 down upon the performance of the rites below. From these the empress also, when attending at the festivals, witnesses the ceremony of the sacred mysteries. But the eastern and western arches are left vacant, without any thing to interrupt the imposing aspect of so vast dimensions. There are also colonnades under the before-mentioned galleries, forming, with pillars and small arches, a termination to so vast a structure. But in order to convey a more distinct idea of this wonderful fabric, I have thought proper to set down in feet, its length, breadth, and height, as well as the span and height of the arches, as follows:--The length from the door facing the sacred apse where are performed the rites of the bloodless sacrifice, to the apse, is one hundred and ninety feet: the breadth from north to south is one hundred and fifteen feet: the depth from the centre of the hemisphere to the floor is one hundred and eighty feet: the span of each of the arches is * * * feet: the length, however, from east to west is two hundred and sixty feet; and the range of the lights seventy-five feet. There are also to the west two other noble colonnades, and on all sides unroofed courts of elaborate beauty. Justinian also erected the church of the holy Apostles, which may dispute the first place with any other. In this the emperors and the bishops are usually interred. I have thought fit thus to take some notice of these and similar matters. |229
PARTIALITY OF JUSTINIAN FOR THE BLUE FACTION.
JUSTINIAN was possessed by another propensity, of unequalled ferocity; whether attributable to an innate defect of his disposition, or to cowardice and apprehensions, I am not able to say. It took its rise from the existence of the faction among the populace distinguished by the name "Nica." He appeared to favour one party, namely the Blues, to such an excess, that they slaughtered their opponents at mid-day and in the middle of the city, and, so far from dreading punishment, were even rewarded; so that many persons became murderers from this cause. They were allowed to assault houses, to plunder the valuables they contained, and to compel persons to purchase their own lives; and if any of the authorities endeavoured to check them, he was in danger of his very life: and it actually happened that a person holding the government of the East, having chastised some of the rioters with lashes, was himself scourged in the very centre of the city, and carried about in triumph. Callinicus also, the governor of Cilicia, having subjected to legal punishment two Cilician murderers, Paul and Faustinus, who had assaulted and endeavoured to despatch him, suffered impalement, as the penalty for right feeling and maintenance of the laws. The |230 members of the other faction having, in consequence, fled from their homes, and meeting with a welcome nowhere, but being universally scouted as a pollution, betook themselves to waylaying travellers, and committed thefts and murders to such an extent, that every place was filled with untimely deaths, robberies, and every other crime. Sometimes also, siding with the other faction, Justinian put to death in turn their opponents, by surrendering to the vengeance of the laws those whom he had allowed to commit in the cities equal outrages with barbarians. Neither words nor time would suffice for a minute detail of these transactions. Thus much will, however, serve for a conception of the remainder.
BARSANUPHIUS THE ASCETIC.
THERE lived at that season men divinely inspired and workers of distinguished miracles in various parts of the world, but whose glory has shone forth every where. First, Barsanuphius, an Egyptian. He maintained in the flesh the exercise of the fleshless life, in a certain seat of contemplation near the town of Gaza, and succeeded in working wonders too numerous to be recorded. He is also believed to be still alive, enclosed |231 in a chamber, although for fifty years and more from this time he has not been seen by any one, nor has he partaken of any earthly thing. When Eustochius, the president of the church of Jerusalem, in disbelief of this account, had determined to dig into the chamber where the man of God was enclosed, fire burst forth and nearly consumed all those who were on the spot.
SIMEON THE MONK.
THERE lived also at Emesa, Simeon, a man who had so completely unclothed himself of vain-glory as to appear insane to those who did not know him, although filled with all wisdom and divine grace. This Simeon lived principally in solitude, affording to none the means of knowing how and when he propitiated the Deity, nor his time of abstinence or eating. Frequently, too, on the public roads, he seemed to be deprived of self-possession, and to become utterly void of sense and intelligence, and entering at times into a tavern, he would eat, when he happened to be hungry, whatever food was within his reach. But if any one saluted him with an inclination of the head, he would leave the place angrily and hastily, through reluctance that his peculiar virtues should be detected by many persons. Such was the conduct of Simeon in public. |232
But there were some of his acquaintances, with whom he associated without any assumed appearances. One of his friends had a female domestic, who, having been debauched and become pregnant by some person, when she was urged by her owners to name the individual, said that Simeon had secretly cohabited with her and that she was pregnant by him ; that she was ready to swear to the truth of this statement, and, if necessary, to convict him. On hearing this, Simeon assented, saying that he bore the flesh with its frailties; and when the story was universally spread, and Simeon, as it seemed, was deeply disgraced, he withdrew into retirement, as if from feelings of shame. When the woman's time had arrived, and she had been placed in the usual position, her throes, causing great and intolerable sufferings, brought her into imminent peril, but the birth made no progress. When, accordingly, they besought Simeon, who had come thither designedly, to pray for her, he openly declared that the woman would not be delivered before she had said who was the father of the child: and when she had done this, and named the real father, the delivery was instantaneous, as though by the midwifery of truth.
He once was seen to enter the chamber of a courtezan, and having closed the door, he remained alone with her a considerable time; and when, again opening it, he went away looking round on all sides lest any one should see him, suspicion rose to so high a pitch, that those who witnessed it, brought out the |233 woman, and inquired what was the nature of Simeon's visit to her and continuance with her for so long a time. She swore that, from want of necessaries, she had tasted nothing but water for three days past, and that Simeon had brought her victuals and a vessel of wine; that, having closed the door, he set a table before her and bid her make a meal, and satisfy her hunger, after her sufferings from want of food. She then produced the remains of what had been set before her.
Also at the approach of the earthquake which visited Phoenicia Maritima, and by which Berytus, Byblus, and Tripolis especially suffered, raising a whip in his hand, he struck the greater part of the columns in the forum, exclaiming, "Stand still, if there shall be occasion to dance." Inasmuch as none of his actions were unmeaning, those who were present carefully marked which were the columns he passed by without striking them. These were soon afterwards thrown down by the effects of the earthquake. Many other things he also did which require a separate treatise.
THOMAS THE MONK.
AT that time lived also Thomas, who pursued the same mode of life in Coele-Syria. On occasion of his |234 visiting Antioch, for the purpose of receiving the yearly stipend for the support of his monastery, which had been assigned from the revenues of the church in that place, Anastasius, the steward of the church, struck him on the head with his hand, because he frequently troubled him. When the bystanders manifested indignation, he said that neither himself should again receive nor Anastasius pay the money. Both which things came to pass, by the death of Anastasius after an interval of one day, and by the departure of Thomas to the unfading life, on his way back, in the sick hospital at the suburb of Daphne. They deposited his body in the tomb appropriated to strangers: but, after the subsequent interment of two others, his body was found above them, an extraordinary wonder, proceeding from God, who bore testimony to him even after his death; for the other bodies were thrown to a considerable distance. They report the circumstance to Ephraemius, in admiration of the saint. In consequence, his holy body is transported to Antioch, with a public festival and procession, and is honoured with a place in the cemetery, having, by its translation, stopped the plague which was then visiting the place. The yearly festival in honour of whom the sons of the Antiochenes continue to celebrate to our time with great magnificence. Let me now, however, return to my subject. |235
ACCOUNT OF A MIRACLE IN THE PATRIARCHATE OF MENAS.
WHEN Anthimus, as has been already mentioned, was removed from the see. of the imperial city, Epiphanius succeeds to the bishopric; and after Epiphanius, Menas, in whose time also occurred a remarkable prodigy. It is an old custom in the imperial city, that, when there remains over a considerable quantity of the holy fragments of the immaculate body of Christ our God, boys of tender age should be fetched from among those who attend the schools, to eat them. On one occasion of this kind, there was included among them the son of a glass-worker, a Jew by faith; who, in reply to the inquiries of his parents respecting the cause of his delay, told them what had taken place, and what he had eaten in company with the other boys. The father, in his indignation and fury, places the boy in the furnace where he used to mould the glass. The mother, unable to find her child, wandered over the city with lamentations and wailings; and on the third day, standing by the door of her husband's workshop, was calling upon the boy by name, tearing herself in her sorrow. He, recognising his mother's voice, answered her from within the furnace, and she, bursting open the |236 doors, saw, on her entrance, the boy standing in the midst of the coals, and untouched by the fire. On being asked how he had continued unhurt, he said that a woman in a purple robe had frequently visited him that; she had offered him water, and with it had quenched that part of the coals which was nearest to him; and that she had supplied him with food as often as he was hungry.
Justinian, on the report of this occurrence, placed the boy and his mother in the orders of the church, after they had been enlightened by the laver of regeneration. But the father, on his refusal to be numbered among the Christians, he ordered to be impaled in the suburb of Sycae, as being the murderer of his child.
Such was the course of these occurrences.
SUCCESSION OF BISHOPS.
AFTER Menas, Eutychius is elevated to the see.
At Jerusalem, Sallustius succeeds Martyrius, who is himself succeeded by Helias. The next in succession was Peter; and after him came Macarius, without the emperor's confirmation. He was ejected from his see, on the charge of maintaining the opinions of Origen, and was succeeded by Eustochius. After |237 the removal of Theodosius, as has been already mentioned, Zoilus is appointed bishop of Alexandria, and when he had been gathered to his predecessors, Apollinaris obtains the chair. After Ephraemius, Domninus is entrusted with the see of Antioch.
THE FIFTH GENERAL COUNCIL.13
DURING the time that Vigilius was bishop of the Elder Rome, and first Menas, then Eutychius of New Rome, Apollinaris of Alexandria, Domninus of Antioch, and Eustochius of Jerusalem, Justinian summons the fifth synod, for the following reason:--On account of the increasing influence of those who held the opinions of Origen, especially in what is called the New Laura, Eustochius used every effort for their removal, and, visiting the place itself, he ejected the whole party, driving them to a distance, as general pests. These persons, in their dispersion, associated with themselves many others. They found a champion in Theodore, surnamed Ascidas, bishop of Caesarea, the metropolis of Cappadocia, who was constantly about the person of Justinian, as being trusty and highly serviceable to him. Whereas he was creating much confusion in the imperial court, and declared the proceeding of Eustochius to be utterly impious and lawless, the latter |238 despatches to Constantinople Rufus, superior of the monastery of Theodosius, and Conon, of that of Saba, persons of the first distinction among the solitaries, both on account of their personal worth and the religious houses of which they were the heads; and with them were associated others scarcely their inferiors in dignity. These, in the first instance, mooted the questions relating to Origen, Evagrius, and Didymus. But Theodore of Cappadocia, with a view to divert them from this point, introduces the subject of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and Ibas; the good God providentially disposing the whole proceeding, in order that the profanities of both parties should be ejected.
On the first question being started, namely, whether it were proper to anathematise the dead, Eutychius, a man of consummate skill in the divine Scriptures, being as yet an undistinguished person--for Menas was still living, and he was himself at that time apocrisiarius to the bishop of Amasea--casting a look on the assembly, not merely of commanding intelligence but of contempt, plainly declared that the question needed no debate, since King Josiah in former time not only slew the living priests of the demons, but also broke up the sepulchres of those who had long been dead. This was considered by all to have been spoken to the purpose. Justinian also, having been made acquainted with the circumstance, elevated him to the see of the imperial city on the death of Menas, which happened |239 immediately after. Vigilius gave his assent in writing to the assembling of the synod but declined attendance.
Justinian addressed an inquiry to the synod on its assembling, as to what was their opinion concerning Theodore, and the expressions of Theodoret against Cyril and his twelve chapters, as well as the epistle of Ibas, as it is termed, addressed to Maris, the Persian. After the reading of many passages of Theodore and Theodoret, and proof given that Theodore had been long ago condemned and erased from the sacred diptychs, as also that it was fitting that heretics should be condemned after their death, they unanimously anathematise Theodore, and what had been advanced by Theodoret against the twelve chapters of Cyril and the right faith; as also the epistle of Ibas to Maris, the Persian ; in the following words:--
"Our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, according to the parable in the gospels," and so forth. "In addition to all other heretics, who have been condemned and anathematised by the before-mentioned four holy synods and by the holy catholic and apostolic church, we condemn and anathematise Theodore, styled bishop of Mopsuestia, and his impious writings; also whatever has been impiously written by Theodoret against the right faith, against the twelve chapters of the sainted Cyril, and against the first holy synod at Ephesus, and all that he has written in defence of Theodore and Nestorius. We further anathematise the impious |240 epistle said to have been written by Ibas to Maris the Persian."
After some other matter, they proceed to set forth fourteen chapters concerning the right and unimpeachable faith. In this manner had the transactions proceeded : but on the presentation of libels against the doctrine of Origen, named also Adamantius, and the followers of his impious error, by the monks Eulogius, Conon, Cyriacus, and Pancratius, Justinian addresses a question to the synod concerning these points, appending to it a copy of the libel, as well as the epistle of Vigilius upon the subject: from the whole of which may be gathered the attempts of Origen to fill the simplicity of the apostolic doctrine with philosophic and Manichaean tares. Accordingly, a relation was addressed to Justinian by the synod, after they had uttered exclamations against Origen and the maintainers of similar errors. A portion of it is expressed in the following terms: "O most Christian emperor, gifted with heavenly generosity of soul," and so forth. "We have shunned, accordingly, we have shunned this error; for we knew not the voice of the alien; and having bound such a one, as a thief and a robber, in the cords of our anathema, we have ejected him from the sacred precincts." And presently they proceed: "By perusal you will learn the vigour of our acts." To this they appended a statement of the heads of the matters which the followers of Origen were taught to |241 maintain, shewing their agreements, as well as their disagreements, and their manifold errors. The fifth head contains the blasphemous expressions uttered by private individuals belonging to what is called the New Laura, as follows. Theodore, surnamed Ascidas, the Cappadocian, said "If the Apostles and Martyrs at the present time work miracles, and are already so highly honoured, unless they shall be equal with Christ in the restitution of things, in what respect is there a restitution for them ?" They also reported many other blasphemies of Didymus, Evagrius, and Theodore; having with great diligence extracted whatever bore upon these points. At an interval of some time after the meeting of the synod, Eutychius is ejected, and there is appointed in his place to the see of Constantinople John a native of Seremis, which is a village of the district of Cynegica, belonging to Antioch.
DEPARTURE OF JUSTINIAN FROM ORTHODOXY.
AT that time Justinian, abandoning the right road of doctrine, and following a path untrodden by the apostles and fathers, became entangled among thorns and briers; with which wishing to fill the Church also, he failed in his purpose, and thereby fulfilled the prediction of prophecy ; the Lord having secured the royal road with an unfailing fence, that murderers |242 might not leap, as it were, upon a tottering wall or a broken hedge. Thus, at the time when John, named also Catelinus, was bishop of the elder Rome, after Vigilius; John from Seremis, of New Rome; Apollinaris, of Alexandria; Anastasius, of Theopolis, after Domninus; and Macarius, of Jerusalem, had been restored to his see; Justinian, after he had anathematized Origen, Didymus, and Evagrius, issued what the Latins call an Edict, after the deposition of Eustochius, in which he termed the body of the Lord incorruptible and incapable of the natural and blameless passions; affirming that the Lord ate before his passion in the same manner as after his resurrection, his holy body having undergone no conversion or change from the time of its actual formation in the womb, not even in respect of the voluntary and natural passions, nor yet after the resurrection. To this, he proceeded to compel the bishops in all quarters to give their assent. However, they all professed to look to Anastasius, the bishop of Antioch, and thus avoided the first attack.
ANASTASIUS, PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH.14
ANASTASIUS was a man most accomplished in divine learning, and so strict in his manners and mode of life, as to insist upon very minute matters, and on no occasion to deviate from a staid and settled frame, much |243 less in things of moment and having relation to the Deity himself. So well tempered was his character, that neither, by being accessible and affable, was he exposed to the intrusion of things unsuitable; nor by being austere and unindulgent, did he become difficult of approach for proper purposes. Accordingly, in serious concerns he was ready in ear and fluent in tongue, promptly resolving the questions proposed to him; but in trifling matters, his ears were altogether closed, and a bridle restrained his tongue, so that speech was enthralled by thought, and silence resulted, more valuable than speech. Justinian assaults him, like some impregnable tower, with every kind of device, considering that if he could only succeed in shaking this bulwark, all difficulty would be removed in capturing the city, enslaving the right doctrine, and taking captive the sheep of Christ. In such a manner was Anastasius raised above the assailing force by heavenly greatness of mind, for he stood upon the immoveable rock of faith, that he unreservedly contradicted Justinian by a formal declaration, in which he showed very clearly and forcibly that the body of the Lord was corruptible in respect of the natural and blameless passions, and that the divine apostles and the inspired fathers both held and delivered this opinion. In the same terms he replied to a question of the monastic body of Syria Prima and Secunda, confirming the minds of all, preparing them for the |244 struggle, and daily reading in the Church those words of the "chosen vessel:"15 "If any one is preaching to you a gospel different from that which ye have received, even though it be an angel from heaven, let him be accursed." 16 To this all, with few exceptions, paid a steady regard and zealous adherence. He also addressed to the Antiochenes a valedictory discourse, on hearing that Justinian intended to banish him; a discourse deserving admiration for its elegance, its flow of thought, the abundance of sacred texts, and the appropriateness of its historical matters.
DEATH OF JUSTINIAN.
BUT this discourse was not published, "God having provided some better thing for us:" 17 for Justinian, while dictating the banishment of Anastasius and his associate priests, departed this life by an invisible stroke, having reigned in all eight and thirty years and eight months.
THE END OF THE FOURTH BOOK.
[Footnotes have been moved to the end and assigned numbers rather than the asterisks etc used in the printed volume. Footnotes in [Red] are taken from the running titles, not the bottom of the page]
1. [A.D. 519]
2. [A.D. 526.]
3. [A.D. 521.]
4. [A.D. 531.]
5. [A.D. 484.]
6. [A.D. 522.]
7. [A.D. 537.]
8. [A.D. 540.]
9. [A.D. 540.]
10. [A.D. 540.]
11. [A.D. 540.]
12. [A.D. 542-594.]
13. [A.D. 552.]
14. [A.D. 561.]
15. * Acts iv. 15.
16. + Gal. i. 9.
17. ++ Heb. xi. 40.
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, 19th October 2002. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
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