The Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret - Book III

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Translated with Notes by the Rev. Blomfield Jackson, M.A.
Vicar of St. Bartholomew's, Moor Lane, and Fellow of King's College, London.

Under the editorial supervision of Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Semimary, New York, and Henry Wace, D.D., Principal of King's College, London

Published in 1892 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

Book III.

Chapter I.--Of the reign of Julianus; how from a child he was brought up in piety and lapsed into impiety; and in what manner, though at first he kept his impiety secret, he afterwards laid it bare.

Constantius, as has been narrated, departed this life groaning and grieving that he had been turned away from the faith of his father. Julian heard the news of his end as he was crossing from Europe into Asia and assumed the sovereignty with delight at having now no rival.

In his earlier days, while yet a lad, Julian had, as well as Gallus [595] his brother, imbibed pure and pious teaching.

In his youth and earlier manhood he continued to take in the same doctrine. Constantius, dreading lest his kinsfolk should aspire to imperial power, slew them; [596] and Julian, through fear of his cousin, was enrolled in the order of Readers, [597] and used to read aloud the sacred books to the people in the assemblies of the church.

He also built a martyr's shrine; but the martyrs, when they beheld his apostasy, refused to accept the offering; for in consequence of the foundations being, like their founder's mind, unstable, the edifice fell down [598] before it was consecrated. Such were the boyhood and youth of Julian. At the period, however, when Constantius was setting out for the West, drawn thither by the war against Magnentius, he made Gallus, who was gifted with piety which he retained to the end, [599] Cæsar of the East. Now Julian flung away the apprehensions which had previously stood him in good stead, and, moved by unrighteous confidence, set his heart on seizing the sceptre of empire. Accordingly, on his way through Greece, he sought out seers and soothsayers, with a desire of learning if he should get what his soul longed for. He met with a man who promised to predict these things, conducted him into one of the idol temples, introduced him within the shrine, and called upon the demons of deceit. On their appearing in their wonted aspect terror compelled Julian to make the sign of the cross upon his brow. They no sooner saw the sign of the Lord's victory than they were reminded of their own rout, and forthwith fled away. On the magician becoming acquainted with the cause of their flight he blamed him; but Julian confessed his terror, and said that he wondered at the power of the cross, for that the demons could not endure to see its sign and ran away. "Think not anything of the sort, good sir;" said the magician, "they were not afraid as you make out, but they went away because they abominated what you did." So he tricked the wretched man, initiated him in the mysteries, and filled him with their abominations.

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So lust of empire stripped the wretch of all true religion. Nevertheless after attaining the supreme power he concealed his impiety for a considerable time; for he was specially apprehensive about the troops who had been instructed in the principles of true religion, first by the illustrious Constantine who freed them from their former error and trained them in the ways of truth, and afterwards by his sons, who confirmed the instruction given by their father. For if Constantius, led astray by those under whose influence he lived, did not admit the term homoousion, at all events he sincerely accepted the meaning underlying it, for God the Word he styled true Son, begotten of his Father before the ages, and those who dared to call Him a creature he openly renounced, absolutely prohibiting the worship of idols.

I will relate also another of his noble deeds, as satisfactory proof of his zeal for divine things. In his campaign against Magnentius he once mustered the whole of his army, and counselled them to take part all together in the divine mysteries, "for," said he, "the end of life is always uncertain, and that not least in war, when innumerable missiles are hurled from either side, and swords and battle axes and other weapons are assailing men, whereby a violent death is brought about. Wherefore it behoves each man to wear that precious robe which most of all we need in yonder life hereafter: if there be one here who would not now put on this garb let him depart hence and go home. I shall not brook to fight with men in my army who have no part nor lot in our holy rites." [600]

Footnotes

[595] On the murder of the Princes of the blood Gallus was first sent alone to Tralles or Ephesus, (Soc. iii. 1,) and afterwards spent some time with his brother Julian in Cappadocia in retirement, but with a suitable establishment. On their relationship to Constantius vide Pedigree in the prolegomena. [596] The massacre "involved the two uncles of Constantius, seven of his cousins, of whom Dalmatius and Hannibalianus were the most illustrious, the patrician Optatus, who had married a sister of the late Emperor, and the præfect Abcavius." "If it were necessary to aggravate the horrors of this bloody scene we might add that Constantius himself had espoused the daughter of his uncle Julius, and that he had bestowed his sister in marriage on his cousin Hannibalianus." "Of so numerous a family Gallus and Julian alone, the two youngest children of Julius Constantius, were saved from the hands of the assassins, till their rage, satiated with slaughter, had in some measure subsided." Gibbon, Chap. xviii. Theodoretus follows the opinion of Athanasius and Julian in ascribing the main guilt to Constantius, but, as Gibbon points out, Eutropius and the Victors "use the very qualifying expressions;" "sinente potius quam jubente;" "incertum quo suasore;" and "vi militum." Gregory of Nazianzus (Or. iv. 21) ascribes the preservation of both Julian and his brother Gallus to the clemency and protection of Constantius. [597] Tertullian (De Præsc. 41) is the earliest authority for the office of Anagnostes, Lector, or Reader, as a distinct order in the Church. Henceforward it appears as one of the minor orders, and is frequently referred to by Cyprian (Epp. 29. 38, etc.). By one of Justinian's novels it was directed that no one should be ordained Reader before the age of eighteen, but previously young boys were admitted to the office, at the instance of their parents, as introductory to the higher functions of the sacred ministry. Dict. Christ. Ant. 1. 80. [598] Sozomen (v. 2) tells us that when the princes were building a chapel for the martyr Mamas, the work of Gallus stood, but that of Julian tumbled down. A more famous instance of the care of Gallus for the christian dead is the story of the translation of the remains of the martyr Babylas from Antioch to Daphne, referred to by our author (iii. 6) as well as by Sozomen v. 19, and by Rufinus x. 35. cf. Bishop Lightfoot, Ap. Fathers II. i. 42. [599] Gallus was made Cæsar by the childless Constantius in 350, in about his 25th year. "Fuit" says Am. Marcellinus (xiv. 11. 28) "forma conspicuus bona, decente filo corporis, membrorumque recta compage, flavo capillo et molli, barba licet recens emergente lanugine tenera." His government at Antioch was not successful, and at the instigation of the Eunuch Eusebius he was executed in 354 at Pola, a town already infamous for the murder of Crispus. [600] amuetois

Chapter II.--Of the return of the bishops and the consecration of Paulinus.

Julian had clear information on these points, and did not make known the impiety of his soul. With the object of attracting all the bishops to acquiescence in his rule he ordered even those who had been expelled from their churches by Constantius, and who were sojourning on the furthest confines of the empire, to return to their own churches. Accordingly, on the promulgation of this edict, back to Antioch came the divine Meletius, and to Alexandria the far famed Athanasius. [601] But Eusebius, [602] and Hilarius [603] of Italy and Lucifer [604] who presided over the flock in the island of Sardinia, were living in the Thebaid on the frontier of Egypt, whither they had been relegated by Constantius. They now met with the rest whose views were the same and affirmed that the churches ought to be brought into harmony. For they not only suffered from the assaults of their opponents, but were at variance with one another. In Antioch the sound body of the church had been split in two; at one and the same time they who from the beginning, for the sake of the right worthy Eustathius, had separated from the rest, were assembling by themselves; and they who with the admirable Meletius had held aloof from the Arian faction were performing divine service in what is called the Palæa. Both parties used one confession of faith, for both parties were champions of the doctrine laid down at Nicæa. All that separated them was their mutual quarrel, and their regard for their respective leaders; and even the death of one of these did not put a stop to the strife. Eustathius died before the election of Meletius, and the orthodox party, after the exile of Meletius and the election of Euzoius, separated from the communion of the impious, and assembled by themselves; with these, the party called Eustathians could not be induced to unite. To effect an union between them the Eusebians and Luciferians sought to discover a means. Accordingly Eusebius besought Lucifer to repair to Alexandria and take counsel on the matter with the great Athanasius, intending himself to undertake the labour of bringing about a reconciliation. Lucifer however did not go to Alexandria but repaired to Antioch. There he urged many arguments in behalf of concord on both parties. The Eustathians, led by Paulinus, a presbyter, persisted in opposition. On seeing this Lucifer took the improper course of consecrating Paulinus as their bishop. This action on the part of Lucifer prolonged the feud, which lasted for eighty-five years, until the episcopate of the most praise-worthy Alexander. [605] No sooner was the helm of the church at Antioch put into his hands than he tried every expedient, and brought to bear great zeal and energy for the promotion of concord, and thus joined the severed limb to the rest of the body of the church. At the time in question however Lucifer made the quarrel worse and spent a considerable time in Antioch, and Eusebius when he arrived on the spot and learnt that bad doctoring had made the malady very hard to heal, sailed away to the West. When Lucifer returned to Sardinia he made certain additions to the dogmas of the church and those who accepted them were named after him, and for a considerable time were called Luciferians. But in time the flame of this dogma too went out and it was consigned to oblivion. [606] Such were the events that followed on the return of the bishops.

Footnotes

[601] The accession of Julian was made known in Alexandria at the end of Nov. 361, and the Pagans at once rose against George, imprisoned him, and at last on Dec. 24, brutally beat and kicked him to death. The Arians appointed a successor--Lucius, but on Feb. 22 Athanasius once more appeared among his faithful flock, and lost no time in getting a Council for the settlement of several moot points of discipline and doctrine, which Theodoret proceeds to enumerate. [602] i.e.of Vercellæ. Vide p. 76. From Scythopolis he had been removed to Cappadocia, and thence to the Thebaid, whence he wrote a letter, still extant, to Gregory, bp. of Elvira in Spain. [603] Valesius supposes Hilary of Poictiers to be mentioned here, though he recognises the difficulty of the "ho ek tes 'Italias," and would alter the text to meet it. Possibly this is the Hilary who is said to have been bishop of Pavia from 358 to 376, and may be the "Sanctus Hilarius" of Aug. Cont. duas Epist. Pelag iv. 4. 7. cf. article Ambrosiaster in Dict. Christ. Biog. [604] cf. p. 76, note. Lucifer, bishop of Cagliari, had first been relegated in 355 to Eleutheropolis, (a town of the 3d C., in Palestine, about 20 m. west of Jerusalem) whence he wrote the controversial pamphlets still extant. He vigorously abused Constantius, to whom he paid the compliment of sending a copy of his work. The emperor appears to have retorted by having him removed to the Thebaid, whence he returned in 361. [605] cf. p. 41. Eustathius died about 337, at Philippi,--probably about six years after his deposition. Alexander, an ascetic (cf. post, V. Ch. 35) did not become bishop of Antioch till 413. [606] The raison d'etre of the Luciferians as a distinct party was their unwillingness to accept communion with men who had ever lapsed into Arianism. Jerome gives 371 as the date of Lucifer's death. "To what extent he was an actual schismatic remains obscure." St. Ambrose remarks that "he had separated himself from our communion," (de excessu Satyri 1127, 47) and St. Augustine that "he fell into the darkness of schism, having lost the light of charity." (Ep. 185 n. 47.) But there is no mention of any separation other than Lucifer's own repulsion of so many ecclesiastics; and Jerome in his dialogue against the Luciferians (§20) calls him "beatus and bonus pastor." J. Ll. Davies in Dict. Christ. Biog. s.v.

Chapter III.--Of the number and character of the deeds done by Pagans against the Christians when they got the power from Julian.

When Julian had made his impiety openly known the cities were filled with dissensions. Men enthralled by the deceits of idolatry took heart, opened the idols' shrines, and began to perform those foul rites which ought to have died out from the memory of man. Once more they kindled the fire on the altars, befouled the ground with victims' gore, and defiled the air with the smoke of their burnt sacrifices. Maddened by the demons they served they ran in corybantic [607] frenzy round about the streets, attacked the saints with low stage jests, and with all the outrage and ribaldry of their impure processions. On the other hand the partizans [608] of piety could not brook their blasphemies, returned insult for insult, and tried to confute the error which their opponents honoured. In their turn the workers of iniquity took it ill; the liberty allowed them by the sovereign was an encouragement to audacity and they dealt deadly blows among the Christians. It was indeed the duty of the emperor to consult for the peace of his subjects, but he in the depth of his iniquity himself maddened his peoples with mutual rage. The deeds dared by the brutal against the peaceable he overlooked and entrusted civil and military offices of importance to savage and impious men, who though they hesitated publicly to force the lovers of true piety to offer sacrifice treated them nevertheless with all kinds of indignity. All the honours moreover conferred on the sacred ministry by the great Constantine Julian took away. To tell all the deeds dared by the slaves of idolatrous deceit at that time would require a history of these crimes alone, but out of the vast number of them I shall select a few instances. At Askalon and at Gaza, cities of Palestine, men of priestly rank and women who had lived all their lives in virginity were disembowelled, filled with barley, and given for food to swine. At Sebaste, which belongs to the same people, the coffin of John the Baptist was opened, his bones burnt, and the ashes scattered abroad. [609] Who too could tell without a tear the vile deed done in Phoenicia? At Heliopolis [610] by Lebanon there lived a certain deacon of the name of Cyrillus. In the reign of Constantine, fired by divine zeal, he had broken in pieces many of the idols there worshipped. Now men of infamous name, bearing this deed in mind, not only slew him, but cut open his belly and devoured his liver. Their crime was not, however, hidden from the all-seeing eye, and they suffered the just reward of their deeds; for all who had taken part in this abominable wickedness lost their teeth, which all fell out at once, and lost, too, their tongues, which rotted away and dropped from them: they were moreover deprived of sight, and by their sufferings proclaimed the power of holiness. At the neighbouring city of Emesa [611] they dedicated to Dionysus, the woman-formed, the newly erected church, and set up in it his ridiculous androgynous image. At Dorystolum, [612] a famous city of Thrace, the victorious athlete Æmilianus was thrown upon a flaming pyre, by Capitolinus, governor of all Thrace. To relate the tragic fate of Marcus, however, bishop of Arethusa, [613] with true dramatic dignity, would require the eloquence of an Æschylus or a Sophocles. In the days of Constantius he had destroyed a certain idol-shrine and built a church in its place; and no sooner did the Arethusians learn the mind of Julian than they made an open display of their hostility. At first, according to the precept of the Gospel, [614] Marcus endeavoured to make his escape; but when he became aware that some of his own people were apprehended in his stead, he returned and gave himself up to the men of blood. After they had seized him they neither pitied his old age nor reverenced his deep regard for virtue; but, conspicuous as he was for the beauty alike of his teaching and of his life, first of all they stripped and smote him, laying strokes on every limb, then they flung him into filthy sewers, and, when they had dragged him out again, delivered him to a crowd of lads whom they charged to prick him without mercy with their pens. [615] After this they put him into a basket, smeared him with pickle [616] and honey, and hung him up in the open air in the height of summer, inviting wasps and bees to a feast. Their object in doing this was to compel him either to restore the shrine which he had destroyed, or to defray the expense of its erection. Marcus, however, endured all these grievous sufferings and affirmed that he would consent to none of their demands. His enemies, with the idea that he could not afford the money from poverty, remitted half their demand, and bade him pay the rest; but Marcus hung on high, pricked with pens, and devoured by wasps and bees, yet not only shewed no signs of pain, but derided his impious tormentors with the repeated taunt, "You are groundlings and of the earth; I, sublime and exalted." At last they begged for only a small portion of the money; but, said he, "it is as impious to give an obole as to give all." So discomfited they let him go, and could not refrain from admiring his constancy, for his words had taught them a new lesson of holiness.

Footnotes

[607] Corybantes, the name of the priests of Cybele, whose religious service consisted in noisy music and wild armed dances, is a word of uncertain origin. The chief seat of their rites was Pessinus in Galatia. [608] Thiasotai. lit. The "club-fellows," or "members of a religious brotherhood." [609] Sebaste was a name given to Samaria by Herod the Great in honour of Augustus. cf. Rufinus H. E. xi. 28 and Theophanes, Chronographia i. 117. Theodoretus claims to have obtained some of the relics of the Baptist for his own church at Cyrus (Relig. Hist. 1245). On the development of the tradition of the relics, cf. Dict. Christ. Ant. i. 883. A magnificent church was built by Theodosius (Soz. vii. 21 and 24) in a suburb of Constantinople, to enshrine a head discovered by some unsound monks. The church is said by Sozomen (vii. 24) to be "at the seventh milestone," on the road out of Constantinople, and the place to be called Hebdomon or "seventh." I am indebted to the Rev. H. F. Tozer for the suggestion that Hebdomon was a promontory on the Propontis, to the west of the extreme part of the city, where the Cyclobion was, and where the Seven Towers now are; and that the Seven Towers being about six Roman miles from the Seraglio Point, which is the apex of the triangle formed by the city, the phrase at the seventh milestone is thus accounted for. Bones alleged to be parts of the scull are still shewn at Amiens. The same emperor built a church for the body on the site of the Serapeum at Alexandria. [610] Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec, the "City of the Sun," was built at the west foot of Anti-Libanus, near the sources of the Orontes. [611] On the Orontes; now Homs. Here Aurelian defeated Zenobia in 273. [612] Durostorum, now Silistria, on the right bank of the Danube. [613] Valesius (note on Soz. v. 10) would distinguish this Marcus of Arethusa from the Arian Marcus of Arethusa, author of the creed of Sirmium (Soc. H. E. ii. 30), apparently on insufficient grounds (Dict. Christ. Biog. s.v.). Arethusa was a town not far from the source of the Orontes. [614] Matt. x. 23 [615] The sharp iron stilus was capable of inflicting severe wounds. Cæsar, when attacked by his murderers, "caught Casca's arm and ran it through with his pen." Suetonius. [616] garon, garum, was a fish-pickle. cf. the barbarous punishment of the skapheusis, inficted among others on Mithridates, who wounded Cyrus at Cunaxa. (Plut. Artaxerxes.)

Chapter IV.--Of the laws made by Julian against the Christians.

Countless other deeds were dared at that time by land and by sea, all over the world, by the wicked against the just, for now without disguise the enemy of God began to lay down laws against true religion. First of all he prohibited the sons of the Galileans, for so he tried to name the worshippers of the Saviour, from taking part in the study of poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy, for said he, in the words of the proverb "we are shot with shafts feathered from our own wing," [617] for from our own books they take arms and wage war against us. After this he made another edict ordering the Galileans to be expelled from the army.

Footnotes

[617] cf. Aristophanes (Aves 808) "tad' ouch hup' allon alla tois hauton pterois."

Chapter V.--Of the fourth exile and flight of the holy Athanasius.

At this time Athanasius, that victorious athlete of the truth, underwent another peril, for the devils could not brook the power of his tongue and prayers, and so armed their ministers to revile him. Many voices did they utter beseeching the champion of wickedness to exile Athanasius, and adding yet this further, that if Athanasius remained, not a heathen would remain, for that he would get them all over to his side. Moved by these supplications Julian condemned Athanasius not merely to exile, [618] but to death. His people shuddered, but it is related that he foretold the rapid dispersal of the storm, for said he "It is a cloud which soon vanishes away." He however withdrew as soon as he learnt the arrival of the bearers of the imperial message, and finding a boat on the bank of the river, started for the Thebaid. The officer who had been appointed for his execution became acquainted with his flight, and strove to pursue him at hot haste; one of his friends, however, got ahead, and told him that the officer was coming on apace. Then some of his companions besought him to take refuge in the desert, but he ordered the steersman to turn the boat's head to Alexandria. So they rowed to meet the pursuer, and on came the bearer of the sentence of execution, and, said he, "How far off is Athanasius?" "Not far," said Athanasius, [619] and so got rid of his foe, while he himself returned to Alexandria and there remained in concealment for the remainder of Julian's reign. [620]

Footnotes

[618] The crowning outrage which moved Julian to put out the edict of exile was the baptism by the bishop of some pagan ladies. The letter of Julian (Ep. p. 187) fixed Dec. 1st, 362, as the limit of Athanasius' permission to stay in Egypt, but it was on Oct. 23d (Fest. Ind.) that the order was communicated to him. [619] The story may be compared with that of Napoleon on the return from Elba in Feb. 1815, when on being hailed by some passing craft with an enquiry as to the emperor's health, he is said to have himself taken the speaking trumpet and replied "Quite well." [620] He concealed himself at Choeren, (? El Careon) near Alexandria, and went thence to Memphis, whence he wrote his Festal Letter for 363. Julian died June 26, 363.

Chapter VI.--Of Apollo and Daphne, and of the holy Babylas.

Julian, wishing to make a campaign against the Persians, dispatched the trustiest of his officers to all the oracles throughout the Roman Empire, while he himself went as a suppliant to implore the Pythian oracle of Daphne to make known to him the future. The oracle responded that the corpses lying hard by were becoming an obstacle to divination; that they must first be removed to another spot; and that then he would utter his prophecy, for, said he, "I could say nothing, if the grove be not purified." Now at that time there were lying there the relics of the victorious martyr Babylas [621] and the lads who had gloriously suffered with him, and the lying prophet was plainly stopped from uttering his wonted lies by the holy influence of Babylas. Julian was aware of this, for his ancient piety had taught him the power of victorious martyrs, and so he removed no other body from the spot, but only ordered the worshippers of Christ to translate the relics of the victorious martyrs. They marched with joy to the grove, [622] put the coffin on a car and went before it leading a vast concourse of people, singing the psalms of David, while at every pause they shouted "Shame be to all them that worship molten images." [623] For they understood the translation of the martyr to mean defeat for the demon.

Footnotes

[621] Babylas, bishop of Antioch from 238 to 251, was martyred in the Decian persecution either by death in prison (Euseb. H. E. vi. 39 meta ten homologian en desmoteriû metallaxantos) or by violence. (Chrys. de s. B. c. gentes) "Babylas had won for himself a name by his heroic courage as bishop of Antioch. It was related of him that on one occasion when the emperor Philip, who was a Christian, had presented himself one Easter Eve at the time of prayer, he had boldly refused admission to the sovereign, till he had gone through the proper discipline of a penitent for some offence committed. (Eus. H. E. vi. 34.) He acted like a good shepherd, says Chrysostom, who drives away the scabby sheep, lest it should infect the flock." Bp. Lightfoot, Ap. Fathers II. i. p. 40-46. [622] "The Daphnean Sanctuary was four or five miles distant from the city." "Rufinus says six, but this appears to be an exaggeration." Bp. Lightfoot l. c. [623] Ps. xcvi. 7

Chapter VII.--Of Theodorus the Confessor.

Julian could not endure the shame brought upon him by these doings, and on the following day ordered the leaders of the choral procession to be arrested. Sallustius was prefect at this time and a servant of iniquity, but he nevertheless was anxious to persuade the sovereign not to allow the Christians who were eager for glory to attain the object of their desires. When however he saw that the emperor was impotent to master his rage, he arrested a young man adorned with the graces of a holy enthusiasm while walking in the Forum, hung him up before the world on the stocks, lacerated his back with scourges, and scored his sides with claw-like instruments of torture. And this he did all day from dawn till the day was done; and then put chains of iron on him and ordered him to be kept in ward. Next morning he informed Julian of what had been done, and reported the young man's constancy and added that the event was for themselves a defeat and for the Christians a triumph. Persuaded of the truth of this, God's enemy suffered no more to be so treated and ordered Theodorus [624] to be let out of prison, for so was named this young and glorious combatant in truth's battle. On being asked if he had had any sense of pain on undergoing those most bitter and most savage tortures he replied that at the first indeed he had felt some little pain, but that then had appeared to him one who continually wiped the sweat from his face with a cool and soft kerchief and bade him be of good courage. "Wherefore," said he, "when the executioners gave over I was not pleased but vexed, for now there went away with them he who brought me refreshment of soul." But the demon of lying divination at once increased the martyr's glory and exposed his own falsehood; for a thunderbolt sent down from heaven burnt the whole shrine [625] and turned the very statue of the Pythian into fine dust, for it was made of wood and gilded on the surface. Julianus the uncle of Julian, prefect of the East, learnt this by night, and riding at full speed came to Daphne, eager to bring succour to the deity whom he worshipped; but when he saw the so-called god turned into powder he scourged the officers in charge of the temple, [626] for he conjectured that the conflagration was due to some Christian. But they, maltreated as they were, could not endure to utter a lie, and persisted in saying that the fire had started not from below but from above. Moreover some of the neighbouring rustics came forward and asserted that they had seen the thunderbolt come rushing down from heaven.

Footnotes

[624] "Gibbon seems to confuse this young man Theodorus with Theodoretus the presbyter and martyr who was put to death about this time at Antioch by the Count Julianus, the uncle of the emperor, (Soz. v. 8., Ruinart's Act. Mart. Sinc. p. 605 sq.) for he speaks in his text of `a presbyter of the name of Theodoret,' and in his notes of `the passion of S. Theodore in the Acta Sincera of Ruinart,'" Bp. Lightfoot. p. 43. [625] "Gibbon says, `During the night which terminated this indiscreet procession, the temple of Daphne was in flames,' and later writers have blindly followed him. He does not give any authority, but obviously he is copying Tillemont H. E. iii. p. 407 `en mesme temps que l'on portant dans la ville la châsse du Saint Martyr, c'est à dire la nuit suivante.' The only passage which Tillemont quotes is Ammianus, (xxii. 13) `eodem tempore die xi. Kal. Nov.,' which does not bear him out. On the contrary the historians generally (cf. Soz. v. 20, Theod. iii. 7) place the persecutions which followed on the processions, and which must have occupied some time, before the burning of the temple." Bp. Lightfoot. [626] neokorous neokoros is the word rendered "worshipper" in Acts xix. 35 by A.V. The R.V. has correctly "temple-keeper," the old derivation from koreo = sweep, being no doubt less probable than the reference of the latter part of the word to a root KOR = KOL, found in colo, curo.

Chapter VIII.--Of the confiscation of the sacred treasures and taking away of the allowances. [627]

Even when the wicked had become acquainted with these events they set themselves in array against the God of all; and the prince ordered the holy vessels to be handed over to the imperial treasury. Of the great church which Constantine had built he nailed up the doors and declared it closed to the worshippers wont to assemble there. At this time it was in possession of the Arians. In company with Julianus the prefect of the East, Felix the imperial treasurer, and Elpidius, who had charge of the emperor's private purse and property, an officer whom it is the Roman custom to call "Comes privatarum," [628] made their way into the sacred edifice. Both Felix and Elpidius, it is said, were Christians, but to please the impious emperor apostatised from the true religion. Julianus committed an act of gross indecency on the Holy Table [629] and, when Euzoius endeavoured to prevent him, gave him a blow on the face, and told him, so the story goes, that it is the fate of the fortunes of Christians to have no protection from the gods. But Felix, as he gazed upon the magnificence of the sacred vessels, furnished with splendour by the munificence of Constantine and Constantius, "Behold," said he, "with what vessels Mary's son is served." But it was not long before they paid the penalty of these deeds of mad and impious daring.

Footnotes

[627] tes ton siteresion aphaireseos. This deprivation is not further referred to in the text. Philostorgius (vii. 4) says "He distributed the allowance of the churches among the ministers of the dæmons," cf. Soz. v. 5. The restitution is recorded in Theod. iv. 4. The sitometrion of St. Luke xii. 42. (cf. ten trophen in Matt. xxiv. 45) is analogous to the siteresia of the text. Vide Suicer s.v. [628] By the constitution of Constantine the two great ministers of finance were (i) the Comes sacrarum largitionum, treasurer and paymaster of the public staff of the Empire; (ii) Comes rei privatæ, who managed the privy purse and kept the liber beneficionum, an account of privileges granted by the emperor. cf. Dict. Christ. Ant. i. p. 634. [629] Trapeza is the word commonly employed by the Greek Fathers and in Greek Liturgies to designate the Lord's Table. Thusiasterion is used by Eusebius H. E. x. 4, for the Altar of the Church of Tyre, but the earlier thusiasterion of Ignatius (Philad. iv.) does not appear to mean the Lord's Table. cf. Bp. Lightfoot Ap. Fathers. pt. II. ii. p. 258.

Chapter IX.--Of what befell Julianus, the Emperor's Uncle, and Felix.

Julianus forthwith fell sick of a painful disease; his entrails rotted away, and he was no longer able to discharge his excrements through the normal organs of excretion, [630] but his polluted mouth, at the instant of his blasphemy, became the organ for their emission. His wife, it is said, was a woman of conspicuous faith, and thus addressed her spouse: "Husband, you ought to bless our Saviour Christ for shewing you through your castigation his peculiar power. For you would never have known who it is who is being attacked by you if with his wonted long suffering he had refrained from visiting you with these heaven-sent plagues." Then by these words and the heavy weight of his woes the wretched man perceived the cause of his disease, and besought the emperor to restore the church to those who had been deprived of it. He could not however gain his petition, and so ended his days. Felix too was himself suddenly struck down by a heaven-sent scourge, and kept vomiting blood from his mouth, all day and all night, for all the vessels of his body poured their convergent streams to this one organ: so when all his blood was shed he died, and was delivered to eternal death. Such were the penalties inflicted on these men for their wickedness.

Footnotes

[630] apokrisis

Chapter X.--Of the Son of the Priest.

A young man who was a priest's son, and brought up in impiety, about this time went over to the true religion. For a lady remarkable for her devotion and admitted to the order of deaconesses [631] was an intimate friend of his mother. When he came to visit her with his mother, while yet a tiny lad, she used to welcome him with affection and urge him to the true religion. On the death of his mother the young man used to visit her and enjoyed the advantage of her wonted teaching. Deeply impressed by her counsels, he enquired of his teacher by what means he might both escape the superstition of his father and have part and lot in the truth which she preached. She replied that he must flee from his father, and honour rather the Creator both of his father and himself; that he must seek some other city wherein he might lie hid and escape the violence of the impious emperor; and she promised to manage this for him. Then, said the young man, "henceforward I shall come and commit my soul to you." Not many days afterwards Julian came to Daphne, to celebrate a public feast. With him came the young man's father, both as a priest, and as accustomed to attend the emperor; and with their father came the young man and his brother, being appointed to the service of the temple and charged with the duty of ceremonially sprinkling the imperial viands. It is the custom for the festival of Daphne to last for seven days. On the first day the young man stood by the emperor's couch, and according to the prescribed usage aspersed the meats, and thoroughly polluted them. Then at full speed he ran to Antioch, [632] and making his way to that admirable lady, "I am come," said he, "to you; and I have kept my promise. Do you look to the salvation of each and fulfil your pledge." At once she arose and conducted the young man to Meletius the man of God, who ordered him to remain for awhile upstairs in the inn. His father after wandering about all over Daphne in search of the boy, then returned to the city and explored the streets and lanes, turning his eyes in all directions and longing to light upon his lad. At length he arrived at the place where the divine Meletius had his hostelry; and looking up he saw his son peeping through the lattice. He ran up, drew him along, got him down, and carried him off home. Then he first laid on him many stripes, then applied hot spits to his feet and hands and back, then shut him up in his bedroom, bolted the door on the outside, and returned to Daphne. So I myself have heard the man himself narrate in his old age, and he added further that he was inspired and filled with Divine Grace, and broke in pieces all his father's idols, and made mockery of their helplessness. Afterwards when he bethought him of what he had done he feared his father's return and besought his Master Christ to nod approval of his deeds, [633] break the bolts, and open the doors. "For it is for thy sake," said he, "that I have thus suffered and thus acted." "Even as I thus spoke," he told me, "out fell the bolts and open flew the doors, and back I ran to my instructress. She dressed me up in women's garments and took me with her in her covered carriage back to the divine Meletius. He handed me over to the bishop of Jerusalem, at that time Cyril, and we started by night for Palestine." After the death of Julian this young man led his father also into the way of truth. This act he told me with the rest. So in this fashion these men were guided to the knowledge of God and were made partakers of Salvation.

Footnotes

[631] The earliest authorities for the order are St. Paul, Rom. xvi. 1, and probably 1 Tim. iii. 11; and Pliny in his letter to Trajan, if ancilla = diakonos [632] Vide note on page 98. [633] neusai

Chapter XI.--Of the Holy Martyrs Juventinus and Maximinus.

Now Julian, with less restraint, or shall I say, less shame, began to arm himself against true religion, wearing indeed a mask of moderation, but all the while preparing gins and traps which caught all who were deceived by them in the destruction of iniquity. He began by polluting with foul sacrifices the wells in the city and in Daphne, that every man who used the fountain might be partaker of abomination. Then he thoroughly polluted the things exposed in the Forum, for bread and meat and fruit and vegetables and every kind of food were aspersed. When those who were called by the Saviour's name saw what was done, they groaned and bewailed and expressed their abomination; nevertheless they partook, for they remembered the apostolic law, "Everything that is sold in the shambles eat, asking no question for conscience sake." [634] Two officers in the army, who were shield bearers in the imperial suite, at a certain banquet lamented in somewhat warm language the abomination of what was being done, and employed the admirable language of the glorious youths at Babylon, "Thou hast given us over to an impious Prince, an apostate beyond all the nations on the earth." [635] One of the guests gave information of this, and the emperor arrested these right worthy men and endeavoured to ascertain by questioning them what was the language they had used. They accepted the imperial enquiry as an opportunity for open speech, and with noble enthusiasm replied "Sir we were brought up in true religion; we were obedient to most excellent laws, the laws of Constantine and of his sons; now we see the world full of pollution, meats and drinks alike defiled with abominable sacrifices, and we lament. We bewail these things at home, and now before thy face we express our grief, for this is the one thing in thy reign which we take ill." No sooner did he whom sympathetic courtiers called most mild and most philosophic hear these words than he took off his mask of moderation, and exposed the countenance of impiety. He ordered cruel and painful scourgings to be inflicted on them and deprived them of their lives; or shall we not rather say freed them from that sorrowful time and gave them crowns of victory? He pretended indeed that punishment was inflicted upon them not for the true religion for sake of which they were really slain, but because of their insolence, for he gave out that he had punished them for insulting the emperor, and ordered this report to be published abroad, thus grudging to these champions of the truth the name and honour of martyrs. The name of one was Juventinus; of the other Maximinus. The city of Antioch honoured them as defenders of true religion, and deposited them in a magnificent tomb, and up to this day they are honoured by a yearly festival. [636] Other men in public office and of distinction used similar boldness of speech, and won like crowns of martyrdom.

Footnotes

[634] 1 Cor. x. 25 [635] Song of the Three Children v. 8, quoted not quite exactly from the Septuagint, which runs paredokas hemas...basilei adiko kai ponerotato para pasan ten gen. The text is, paredokas hemas basilei paranomo apostate para panta ta ethne ta onta epi tes ges [636] cf. St. Chrysostom's homily in their honour. The Basilian menology mentions Juventinus under Oct. 9.

Chapter XII.--Of Valentinianus the great Emperor.

Valentinianus, [637] who shortly afterwards became emperor, was at that time a Tribune and commanded the Hastati quartered in the palace. He made no secret of his zeal for the true religion. On one occasion when the infatuated emperor was going in solemn procession into the sacred enclosure of the Temple of Fortune, on either side of the gates stood the temple servants purifying, as they supposed, all who were coming in, with their sprinkling whisks. As Valentinianus walked before the emperor, he noticed that a drop had fallen on his own cloak and gave the attendant a blow with his fist, "for," said he, "I am not purified but defiled." For this deed he won two empires. On seeing what had happened Julian the accursed sent him to a fortress in the desert, and ordered him there to remain, but after the lapse of a year and a few months he received the empire as a reward of his confession of the faith, for not only in the life that is to come does the just Judge honour them that care for holy things, but sometimes even here below He bestows recompense for good deeds, confirming the hope of guerdons yet to be received by what he gives in abundance now. But the tyrant devised another contrivance against the truth, for when according to ancient custom he had taken his seat upon the imperial throne to distribute gold among the ranks of his soldiery, contrary to custom he had an altar full of hot coals introduced, and incense put upon a table, and ordered each man who was to receive the gold first to throw incense on the altar, and then to take the gold from his own right hand. The majority were wholly unaware of the trap thus laid; but those who were forewarned feigned illness and so escaped this cruel snare. Others in their eagerness for the money made light of their salvation while another group abandoned their faith through cowardice.

Footnotes

[637] Valentinianus, a native of Cibalis (on the Save) in Pannonia (Bosnia) was elected Feb. 26, 364, and reigned till Nov. 17, 375. Though a Christian, he was tolerant of paganism, or the peasant's religion, as in his reign heathenism began to be named (Codex Theod. xvi. ii. 18). The "shortly after" of the text means some two years.

Chapter XIII.--Of other confessors.

After this fatal distribution of money some of the recipients were feasting together at an entertainment. One of them who had taken the cup in his hand did not drink before making on it the sign of salvation. [638] One of the guests found fault with him for this, and said that it was quite inconsistent with what had just taken place. "What," said he, "have I done that is inconsistent?" Whereupon he was reminded of the altar and the incense, and of his denial of the faith; for these things are all contrary to the Christian profession. When they heard this the greater number of the feasters moaned and bewailed themselves, and tore out handfuls of hair from their heads. They rose from the banquet, and ran through the Forum exclaiming that they were Christians, that they had been tricked by the emperor's contrivances, that they retracted their apostasy, and were ready to try to undo the defeat which had befallen them unwittingly. With these exclamations they ran to the palace loudly inveighing against the wiles of the tyrant, and imploring that they might be committed to the flames in order that, as they had been befouled by fire, by fire they might be made clean. All these utterances drove the villain out of his senses, and on the impulse of the moment he ordered them to be beheaded; but as they were being conducted without the city the mass of the people started to follow them, wondering at their fortitude and glorying in their boldness for the truth. When they had reached the spot where it was usual to execute criminals, the eldest of them besought the executioner that he would first cut off the head of the youngest, that he might not be unmanned by beholding the slaughter of the rest. No sooner had he knelt down upon the ground and the headsman bared his sword, than up ran a man announcing a reprieve, and while yet afar off shouting out to stop the execution. Then the youngest soldier was distressed at his release from death. "Ah," said he, "Romanus" (his name was Romanus) "was not worthy of being called Christ's martyr." What influenced the vile trickster in stopping the execution was his envy: he grudged the champions of the faith their glory. Their sentence was commuted to relegation beyond the city walls and to the remotest regions of the empire.

Footnotes

[638] "The original mode of making the sign of the Cross was with the thumb of the right hand, generally on the forehead only, or on other objects, once or thrice. (Chrysost. Hom. ad pop. Art. xl.) `Thrice he made the sign of the cross on the chalice with his finger.' (Sophron. in Prat. Spirit.)" Dict. Christ. Ant. s.v.

Chapter XIV.--Of Artemius the Duke. [639] Of Publia the Deaconess and her divine boldness.

Artemius [640] commanded the troops in Egypt. He had obtained this command in the time of Constantine, and had destroyed most of the idols. For this reason Julian not only confiscated his property but ordered his decapitation. These and like these were the deeds of the man whom the impious describe as the mildest and least passionate of men. I will now include in my history the noble story of a right excellent woman, for even women, armed with divine zeal, despised the mad fury of Julian. In those days there was a woman named Publia, of high reputation, and illustrious for deeds of virtue. For a short time she wore the yoke of marriage, and had offered its most goodly fruit to God, for from this fair soil sprang John, who for a long time was chief presbyter at Antioch, and was often elected to the apostolic see, but from time to time declined the dignity. She maintained a company of virgins vowed to virginity for life, and spent her time in praising God who had made and saved her. One day the emperor was passing by, and as they esteemed the Destroyer an object of contempt and derision, they struck up all the louder music, chiefly chanting those psalms which mock the helplessness of idols, and saying in the words of David "The idols of the nations are of silver and gold, the work of men's hands," [641] and after describing their insensibility, they added "like them be they that make them and all those that trust in them." [642] Julian heard them, and was very angry, and told them to hold their peace while he was passing by. She did not however pay the least attention to his orders, but put still greater energy into their chaunt, and when the emperor passed by again told them to strike up "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered." [643] On this Julian in wrath ordered the choir mistress to be brought before him; and, though he saw that respect was due to her old age, he neither compassionated her gray hairs, nor respected her high character, but told some of his escort to box both her ears, and by their violence to make her cheeks red. She however took the outrage for honour, and returned home, where, as was her wont, she kept up her attack upon him with her spiritual songs, [644] just as the composer and teacher of the song laid the wicked spirit that vexed Saul.

Footnotes

[639] By the Constitution of Constantine the supreme military command was given to a "Magister equitum" and a "Magister peditum." Under them were a number of "Duces" and "Comites," Dukes and Counts, with territorial titles. [640] Ammianus Marcellinus (XXII. 11) says, "Artemius ex duce Ægypti, Alexandrinis urgentibus, atrocium criminum mole, supplicio capitali multatus est." [641] Psalm cxv. 4 [642] Psalm cxv. 8 [643] Psalm lxvii. 1 [644] Cf. Eph. v. 19

Chapter XV.--Of the Jews; of their attempt at building, and of the heaven-sent plagues that befel them.

Julian, who had made his soul a home of destroying demons, went his corybantic way, ever raging against true religion. He accordingly now armed the Jews too against the believers in Christ. He began by enquiring of some whom he got together why, though their law imposed on them the duty of sacrifices, they offered none. On their reply that their worship was limited to one particular spot, this enemy of God immediately gave directions for the re-erection of the destroyed temple, [645] supposing in his vanity that he could falsify the prediction of the Lord, of which, in reality, he exhibited the truth. [646] The Jews heard his words with delight and made known his orders to their countrymen throughout the world. They came with haste from all directions, contributing alike money and enthusiasm for the work; and the emperor made all the provisions he could, less from the pride of munificence than from hostility to the truth. He despatched also as governor a fit man to carry out his impious orders. It is said that they made mattocks, shovels, and baskets of silver. When they had begun to dig and to carry out the earth a vast multitude of them went on with the work all day, but by night the earth which had been carried away shifted back from the ravine of its own accord. They destroyed moreover the remains of the former construction, with the intention of building everything up afresh; but when they had got together thousands of bushels of chalk and lime, of a sudden a violent gale blew, and storms, tempests and whirlwinds scattered everything far and wide. They still went on in their madness, nor were they brought to their senses by the divine longsuffering. Then first came a great earthquake, fit to strike terror into the hearts of men quite ignorant of God's dealings; and, when still they were not awed, fire running from the excavated foundations burnt up most of the diggers, and put the rest to flight. Moreover when a large number of men were sleeping at night in an adjacent building it suddenly fell down, roof and all, and crushed the whole of them. On that night and also on the following night the sign of the cross of salvation was seen brightly shining in the sky, and the very garments of the Jews were filled with crosses, not bright but black. [647] When God's enemies saw these things, in terror at the heaven-sent plagues they fled, and made their way home, confessing the Godhead of Him who had been crucified by their fathers. Julian heard of these events, for they were repeated by every one. But like Pharaoh he hardened his heart. [648]

Footnotes

[645] Bp. Wordsworth (Dict. Chris. Biog. iii, 500) is in favour of the letter (Ep. 24, Ed. Didot 350) in which Julian desires the prayers of the Creator and professes a wish to rebuild and inhabit Jerusalem with them after his return from the Persian war and there give glory to the Supreme Being. It is addressed to his "brother Julus, the very venerable patriarch." [646] This is the motive ascribed by the Arian Philostorgius (vii. 9). [647] "The curious statement that crosses were imprinted on the bodies and clothes of persons present, is illustrated in the original edition of Newman's Essay (clxxxii.)" (i.e. on ecclesiastical miracles) "by some parallel instances quoted by Warburton from Casaubon and from Boyle. Such crosses, or cross-like impressions, are said to have followed not only a thunderstorm, but also an eruption of Vesuvius; these crosses were seen on linen garments, as shirt sleeves, women's aprons, that had lain open to the air, and upon the exposed parts of sheets." "Chrysostom (Ed. Montfaucon, vol. v. 271, etc.) mentions `crosses imprinted upon garments,' as a sign that had occurred in his generation, close to the mention of the Temple of Apollo that was overthrown by a thunderbolt, and separated from the wonders in Palestine that he mentions subsequently." Dr. E. A. Abbott. Philomythus, 189. [648] This event "came like the vision of Constantine, at a critical epoch in the world's history. It was as the heathen poet has it, a `dignus vindice nodus.' All who were present or heard of the event at the time, thought, we may be sure, that it was a sign from God. As a miracle then it ranges beside those biblical miracles in which, at some critical moment, the forces of nature are seen to work strikingly for God's people or against their enemies. In the O.T. we have for example, the instances of the plagues of Egypt, the passage of the Red Sea and the drowning of Pharaoh's host, the crossing of the Jordan, the prolongation of sunlight" (?darkness. Vide "A misunderstood miracle" by the Rev. A. Smythe Palmer) "the destruction of Sennacherib's army; in the N.T. the stilling of the storm, and the earthquake and the darkness at the crucifixion." Bp. Wordsworth. Dict. Ch. Biog. ii. 513. To biblical instances may be added the defeat of Sisera and the fall of Aphek. But, too, for "the forces of nature," when the Armada was scattered, or when the siege of Leyden was raised the course of modern history would have been changed. Cressy may also be cited. On the evidence for this event as contrasted with the so-called ecclesiastical miracles, accepted and defended by the late Cardinal Newman, vide Dr. E. A. Abbott's Philomythus pp. 1 and 5 et seq. "There is better evidence for this than for any of the preceding miracles." "The real solid testimony is that of Ammianus Marcellinus (xxiii. 1). An impartial historian, who served under Julian in the Persian campaign, and who, twenty years afterwards, recorded the interruption of the building of the Temple by terrible balls of fire." "If Ammianus had lived nearer the time of the alleged incident, or had added a statement of the evidence on which he based his stories, the details might have been defended. As it is, the circumstances, while favouring belief in his veracity do not justify us in accepting anything more than the fact that the rebuilding of the Temple was generally believed to have been stopped by some supernatural fiery manifestation." "The rebuilding was probably stopped by a violent thunderstorm or thunderstorms."

Chapter XVI.--Of the expedition against the Persians.

No sooner had the Persians heard of the death of Constantius, than they took heart, proclaimed war, and marched over the frontier of the Roman empire. Julian therefore determined to muster his forces, though they were a host without a God to guard them. First he sent to Delphi, to Delos and to Dodona, and to the other oracles [649] and enquired of the seers if he should march. They bade him march and promised him victory. One of these oracles I subjoin in proof of their falsehood. It was as follows. "Now we gods all started to get trophies of victory by the river beast and of them I Ares, bold raiser of the din of war, will be leader." [650] Let them that style the Pythian a God wise in word and prince of the muses ridicule the absurdity of the utterance. I who have found out its falsehood will rather pity him who was cheated by it. The oracle called the Tigris "beast" because the river and the animal bear the same name. Rising in the mountains of Armenia, and flowing through Assyria it discharges itself into the Persian gulf. Beguiled by these oracles the unhappy man indulged in dreams of victory, and after fighting with the Persians had visions of a campaign against the Galileans, for so he called the Christians, thinking thus to bring discredit on them. But, man of education as he was, he ought to have bethought him that no mischief is done to reputation by change of name, for even had Socrates been called Critias and Pythagoras Phalaris they would have incurred no disgrace from the change of name--nor yet would Nireus if he had been named Thersites [651] have lost the comeliness with which nature had gifted him. Julian had learned about these things, but laid none of them to heart, and supposed that he could wrong us by using an inappropriate title. He believed the lies of the oracles and threatened to set up in our churches the statue of the goddess of lust.

Footnotes

[649] This is probably the last occasion on which the moribund oracles were consulted by any one of importance. Of Delphi, the "navel of the earth" (Strabo ix. 505) in Phocis, Cicero had written some four centuries earlier "Cur isto modo jam oracula Delphi non eduntur, non modo nostra ætate, sed jam diu, ut nihil possit esse contemptius:" Div. ii. 57. Plutarch, who died about a.d. 120, wrote already "de defectu oraculorum." The oracle of Apollo at Delos was consulted only in the summer months, as in the winter the god was supposed to be at Patara: so Virgil (iv. 143) writes "Qualis ubi hibernam Lyciam Xanthique fluenta Deserit, ac Delum maternam invisit Apollo." Dodona in Epirus was the most ancient of the oracular shrines, where the suppliant went "----hophra theoio ek druos hupsikomoio Dios boulen epakousai." Od. xiv. 327. "The oracles" were potentially "dumb," "Apollo...with hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving," as Milton sings, at the Nativity, but it was not till the reign of Theodosius that they were finally silenced. [650] nun pantes hormethemen theoi nikes tropaia komisasthai para theri potamo ton d' ego hegemoneuso thouros polemoklonos ,'Ares [651] These four illustrations, occurring in a single sentence indicate a certain breadth of reading on the part of the writer, and bear out his character for learning. (cf. Gibbon and Jortin, remarks on Eccl. Hist. ii. 113.) Socrates, the best of the philosophers, is set against Critias, one of the worst of the politicians of Hellas; Pythagoras, the Samian sage of Magna Græcia, against Phalaris, the Sicilian tyrant who "tauro violenti membra Perilli Torruit;" (Ovid. A. A. 1. 653) but did not write the Epistles once ascribed to him. Theodoretus probably remembered his Homer when he cited Thersites as the ugliest man of the old world;-- "He was squint-eyed, and lame of either foot; So crook-back'd that he had no breast; sharp-headed, where did shoot Here and there spersed, thin mossy hair. Il. ii. 219. Chapman's Trans. And the juxtaposition of Pythagoras and Nireus suggests that it may possibly have been Horace who suggested Nireus as the type of beauty:-- "Nec te Pythagoræ fallant arcana renati, Formaque vincas Nirea," (Hor. Epod. xv.) though Nireus appears as kallistos aner in the same book of the Iliad as that in which Thersites is derided, and Theodoret is said to have known no Latin.

Chapter XVII.--Of the boldness of speech of the decurion of Beroea. [652]

After starting with these threats he was put down by one single Beroean. Illustrious as this man was from the fact of his holding the chief place among the magistrates, he was made yet more illustrious by his zeal. On seeing his son falling into the prevailing paganism, he drove him from his home and publicly renounced him. The youth made his way to the emperor in the near neighbourhood of the city and informed him both of his own views and of his father's sentence. The emperor bade him make his mind easy and promised to reconcile his father to him. When he reached Beroea, he invited the men of office and of high position to a banquet. Among them was the young suppliant's father, and both father and son were ordered to take their places on the imperial couch. In the middle of the entertainment Julian said to the father, "It does not seem to me to be right to force a mind otherwise inclined and having no wish to shift its allegiance. Your son does not wish to follow your doctrines. Do not force him. Even I, though I am easily able to compel you, do not try to force you to follow mine." Then the father, moved by his faith in divine truth to sharpen the debate, exclaimed "Sir," said he "are you speaking of this wretch whom God hates [653] and who has preferred lies to truth?" Once more Julian put on the mask of mildness and said "Cease fellow from reviling," and then, turning his face to the youth, "I," said he, "will have care for you, since I have not been able to persuade your father to do so." I mention this circumstance with a distinct wish to point out not only this worthy man's admirable boldness, but that very many persons despised Julian's sway.

Footnotes

[652] Valesius points out that politeuesthai means to hold the rank of Curiales or Decuriones. The Beroea mentioned is presumably the Syrian Beroea now Haleb or Aleppo. [653] The word thus translated is either active or passive according to its accentuation. Theomises = hated by God; Theomises = hating God.

Chapter XVIII.--Of the prediction of the pedagogue.

Another instance is that of an excellent man at Antioch, entrusted with the charge of young lads, who was better educated than is usually the case with pedagogues, [654] and was the intimate friend of the chief teacher of that period, Libanius the far-famed sophist. Now Libanius [655] was a heathen expecting victory and bearing in mind the threats of Julian, so one day, in ridicule of our belief he said to the pedagogue, "What is the carpenter's son about now?" Filled with divine grace, he foretold what was shortly to come to pass. "Sophist," said he, "the Creator of all things, whom you in derision call carpenter's son, is making a coffin." [656] After a few days the death of the wretch was announced. He was carried out lying in his coffin. The vaunt of his threats was proved vain, and God was glorified. [657]

Footnotes

[654] The word seems here used in its strictly Athenian sense of a slave who took charge of boys on their way between school and home (Vide Lycias 910. 2 and Plat. Rep. 373. C.) rather than in the more general sense of teacher. In Xen. Lac. 3. 1. it is coupled with didaskalos: here it is contrasted with it. [655] "One of the most noteworthy and characteristic figures of expiring heathenism." J.R. Mozley, Dict. Christ. Biog. s.v. Born in Antioch a.d. 314, he died about the close of the century. He was a voluminous author, and wrote among other things a "vain, prolix, but curious narrative of his own life." Gibbon. The most complete account of him will be found in E. R. Siever's Das Leben des Libanius. [656] The form in the text (glossokomon) is rejected by Attic purists, but is used twice by St. John, as well as in the Septuagint. In 2 Chron. xxiv. 8 (cf. 2 Kings xii. 9) it means a chest. In St. John's Gospel xii. 6 and xiii. 29 it is "the bag," properly (xi. 3) "box," which Judas carried. In the Palatine anthology Nicanor the coffin maker makes these "glossokoma" or coffins. Derivatively the word means "tongue-cases," i.e. cases to keep the tongues or reeds of musical instruments. An instance of similar transfer of meaning is our word "coffin;" derivatively a wicker basket;--at one time any case or cover, and in Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus Act V. 2, 189) pie crust. Perhaps "casket," which now still holds many things, may one day only hold a corpse. [657] In times and circumstances totally different, it may seem that Julian's courtesy and moderation contrast favourably with the fierce zeal of the Christians. A modern illustration of the temper of the Church in Julian's reign may be found in the following account given of his dragoman by the late author of "Eothen." "Religion and the literature of the Church which he served had made him a man, and a brave man too. The lives of his honored Saints were full of heroic actions provoking imitation, and since faith in a creed involves faith its ultimate triumph, Dthemetri was bold from a sense of true strength; his education too, though not very general in its character, had been carried quite far enough to justify him in pluming himself upon a very decided advantage over the great bulk of the Mahometan population, including the men in authority. With all this consciousness of religious and intellectual superiority, Dthemetri had lived for the most part in countries lying under Mussulman governments, and had witnessed (perhaps too had suffered from) their revolting cruelties; the result was that he abhorred and despised the Mussulman faith and all who clung to it. And this hate was not of the dull, dry, and inactive sort; Dthemetri was in his way a true crusader, and whenever there appeared a fair opening in the defence of Islam, he was ready and eager to make the assault. Such feelings, backed by a consciousness of understanding the people with whom he had to do, made Dthemetri not only firm and resolute in his constant interviews with men in authority, but sometimes also very violent and very insulting." Kinglake's "Eothen," 5th Ed., p. 270.

Chapter XIX.--Of the Prophecy of St. Julianus the monk.

A man who in the body imitated the lives of the bodiless, namely Julianus, surnamed in Syrian Sabbas, whose life I have written in my "Religious History," continued all the more zealously to offer his prayers to the God of all, when he heard of the impious tyrant's threats. On the very day on which Julian was slain, he heard of the event while at his prayers, although the Monastery was distant more than twenty stages from the army. It is related that while he was invoking the Lord with loud cries and supplicating his merciful Master, he suddenly checked his tears, broke into an ecstasy of delight, while his countenance was lighted up and thus signified the joy that possessed his soul. When his friends beheld this change they begged him to tell them the reason of his gladness. "The wild boar," said he, "the enemy of the vineyard of the Lord, has paid the penalty of the wrongs he has done to Him; he lies dead. His mischief is done." The whole company no sooner heard these words than they leaped with joy and struck up the song of thanksgiving to God, and from those that brought tidings of the emperor's death they learnt that it was the very day and hour when the accursed man was slain that the aged Saint knew it and announced it. [658]

Footnotes

[658] The emperor Julian was wounded in the neighbourhood of Symbria or Hucumbra on the Tigris on the morning of June 26th, 363, and died at midnight. On the somewhat similar stories of Apollonius of Tyana mounting a lofty rock in Asia Minor and shouting to the crowd about him `well done, Stephanus; excellent, Stephanus; smite the blood-stained wretch; thou hast struck, thou hast wounded, thou hast slain,' at the very moment when Domitian was being murdered at Rome (Dion Cass, 67. 18); and of Irenæus at Rome hearing a voice as of a trumpet at the exact hour when Polycarp suffered at Smyrna proclaiming `Polycarp has been martyred' (Vid. Ep. Smyrn.). Bp. Lightfoot (Apostolic Fathers 1. 455) writes "The analogies of authenticated records of apparitions seen and voices heard at a distance at the moment of death have been too frequent in all ages to allow us to dismiss the story at once as a pure fiction." Such narratives at all events testify to a wide-spread belief.

Chapter XX.--Of the death of the Emperor Julian in Persia.

Julian's folly was yet more clearly manifested by his death. He crossed the river that separates the Roman Empire from the Persian, [659] brought over his army, and then forthwith burnt his boats, so making his men fight not in willing but in forced obedience. [660] The best generals are wont to fill their troops with enthusiasm, and, if they see them growing discouraged, to cheer them and raise their hopes; but Julian by burning the bridge of retreat cut off all good hope. A further proof of his incompetence was his failure to fulfil the duty of foraging in all directions and providing his troops with supplies. Julian had neither ordered supplies to be brought from Rome, nor did he make any bountiful provision by ravaging the enemy's country. He left the inhabited world behind him, and persisted in marching through the wilderness. His soldiers had not enough to eat and drink; they were without guides; they were marching astray in a desert land. Thus they saw the folly of their most wise emperor. In the midst of their murmuring and grumbling they suddenly found him who had struggled in mad rage against his Maker wounded to death. Ares who raises the war-din had never come to help him as he promised; Loxias had given lying divination; he who glads him in the thunderbolts had hurled no bolt on the man who dealt the fatal blow; the boasting of his threats was dashed to the ground. The name of the man who dealt that righteous stroke no one knows to this day. Some say that he was wounded by an invisible being, others by one of the Nomads who were called Ishmaelites; others by a trooper who could not endure the pains of famine in the wilderness. But whether it were man or angel who plied the steel, without doubt the doer of the deed was the minister of the will of God. It is related that when Julian had received the wound, he filled his hand with blood, flung it into the air and cried, "Thou hast won, O Galilean." Thus he gave utterance at once to a confession of the victory and to a blasphemy. So infatuated was he. [661]

Footnotes

[659] There seems to be an allusion to Cæsar's passage of the Rubicon in 49 b.c. [660] His fleet, with the exception of a few vessels, was burned at Abuzatha, where he halted five days (Zos 3. 26). [661] The exclamation was differently reported. Sozomen vi. 2. says that some thought he lifted his hand to chide the sun for failing to help him. It has been observed that the sound of nenikekas Galilaie and epatekas helie would not be so dissimilar in Greek as in English. Ammianus Marcellinus (xxv. 3. 9.) says that he lost all hope of recovery when he heard that the place where he lay was called Phrygia, for in Phrygia he had been told that he would die. So it befell with Cambyses at Ecbatana (Her. iii. 64), Alexander King of Epirus at the Acheron (Livy viii. 24) and Henry IV in the Jerusalem Chamber, when he asked "Doth any name particular belong unto this lodging where I first did swoon?" and on hearing that the chamber was called Jerusalem, remembered the old prediction that in Jerusalem he must die, and died.

Chapter XXI.--Of the sorcery at Carræ which was detected after his death. After he was slain the jugglery of his sorcery was detected. For Carræ is a city which still retains the relics of his false religion.

Julian had left Edessa on his left because it was adorned with the grace of true religion, and while in his vain folly he was journeying through Carræ, he came to the temple honoured by the impious and after going through certain rites with his companions in defilement, he locked and sealed the doors, and stationed sentinels with orders to see that none came in till his return. When news came of his death, and the reign of iniquity was succeeded by one of piety, the shrine was opened, and within was found a proof of the late emperor's manliness, wisdom, and piety. [662] For there was seen a woman hung up on high by the hairs of her head, and with her hands outstretched. The villain had cut open her belly, and so I suppose learnt from her liver his victory over the Persians. [663] This was the abomination discovered at Carræ.

Footnotes

[662] The reading eusebeian for asebeian seems to keep up the irony. [663] hepatoskopia, or "inspection of the liver," was a recognized form of divination. cf. the Sept. of Ez. xxi. 21. "kai eperotesai en tois gluptois, kai hepatoskopesasthai" and Cic. de div. ii. 13. "Caput jecoris ex omni parte diligentissime considerant; si vero id non est inventum, nihil putant accidere potuisse tristius." Vide also Æsch. Pr. V. 503, and Paley's note.

Chapter XXII.--Of the heads discovered in the palace at Antioch and the public rejoicings there.

It is said that at Antioch a number of chests were discovered at the palace filled with human heads, and also many wells full of corpses. Such is the teaching of the evil deities. When Antioch heard of Julian's death she gave herself up to rejoicing and festivity; and not only was exultant joy exhibited in the churches, and in the shrines of martyrs, but even in the theatres the victory of the cross was proclaimed and Julian's vaticination held up to ridicule. And here I will record the admirable utterance of the men at Antioch, that it may be preserved in the memory of generations yet to come, for with one voice the shout was raised, "Maximus, thou fool, where are thy oracles? for God has conquered and his Christ." This was said because there lived at that time a man of the name of Maximus, a pretender to philosophy, but really a worker of magic, and boasting himself to be able to foretell the future. But the Antiochenes, who had received their divine teaching from the glorious yokefellows Peter and Paul, and were full of warm affection for the Master and Saviour of all, persisted in execrating Julian to the end. Their sentiments were perfectly well known to the object of them, and so he wrote a book against them and called it "Misopogon." [664] This rejoicing at the death of the tyrant shall conclude this book of my history, for it were to my mind indecent to connect with a righteous reign the impious sovereignty of Julian.

Footnotes

[664] "The residence of Julian at Antioch was a disappointment to himself, and disagreeable to almost all the inhabitants." "He had anticipated much more devotion on the part of the pagans, and much less force and resistance on that of the Christians than he discovered in reality. He was disgusted at finding that both parties regretted the previous reign. `Neither the Chi nor the Kappa' (that is neither Christ nor Constantius) `did our city any harm' became a common saying (Misopogon p. 357). To the heathens themselves the enthusiastic form of religion to which Julian was devoted was little more than an unpleasant and somewhat vulgar anachronism. His cynic asceticism and dislike of the theatre and the circus was unpopular in a city particularly addicted to public spectacles. His superstition was equally unpalatable. The short, untidy, long-bearded man, marching pompously in procession on the tips of his toes, and swaying his shoulders from side to side, surrounded by a crowd of abandoned characters, such as formed the regular attendants upon many heathen festivals, appeared seriously to compromise the dignity of the empire. (Ammianus xxii. 14. 3. His words `stipatus mulierculis' etc. go far to justify Gregory's demosi‹ tais pornais proupine in Orat. v. 22. p. 161, and Chrysostom's more highly coloured description of the same sort of scene, for the accuracy of which he appeals to an eye witness still living, de S. Babyla in Julianum §14. p. 667. The blood of countless victims flowed everywhere, but, to all appearance, served merely to gorge his foreign soldiery, especially the semi-barbarous Gauls, and the streets of Antioch were disturbed by their revels and by drunken parties carrying one another home to their barracks. (Amm. xxii. 12. 6.)" "More secret rumours were spread of horrid nocturnal sacrifices, and of the pursuits of those arts of necromancy from which the natural heathen conscience shrank only less than the Christians." "He discharged his spleen upon the general body of the citizens of Antioch by writing one of the most remarkable satires that has ever been published which he entitled the Misopogon. `He had been insulted,' says Gibbon, `by satire and libels; in his turn he composed under the title of The Enemy of the Beard, an ironical confession of his own faults, and a severe satire on the licentious and effeminate manners of Antioch. The imperial reply was publicly exposed before the gates of the palace, and the Misopogon still remains a singular monument of the resentment, the wit, the inhumanity, and the indiscretion of Julian. Gibbon, Chap. xxiv.' It is of course Julian's own philosophic beard that gives the title to the pamphlet." "This pamphlet was written in the seventh month of his sojourn at Antioch, probably the latter half of January." (1. c. 364.) Bp. J. Wordsworth in Dict. Ch. Biog. iii. 507., 509.


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